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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Breast Cancer Awareness and Tapering

Last week started off as a good week. I wanted it to be a strong training week because I knew I would be tapering this week for my races this weekend. I ended up cancelling my long run this week but I was completely stressed with the things I had to do over the weekend.  Everything had a time that it had to be done. Work, movie with my boy, bike ride for Breast Cancer Awareness & bday party for my nieces and nephew. Go, go, go! So taking that off my list made breathing a little bit easier.
 David and I signed up for a 25 mile bike ride for Breast Cancer but when we got there we opted for the 10 mile ride since we were so pressed for time. As you can tell David hates his picture being taken.  Hahaha! Half the time I do it just to get a reaction from him.  Ahh, what I won't do to entertain myself. We had a great time and everyone at Danny's Cycles - Stamford were super friendly.  Next year I am going to try to get a group from work to sign up so they can have a bigger turn out.

Then it was time to head to Little Bro's for CAKE! I forgot to bring in my camera so I don't have any photos to share. Trust me, my kids a cutie patooties! My niece, Danielle, has been wanting to do a race with me since she came to my first one and told everybody I won.  We went online and discovered that the local Turkey Trot has a kids race so she will be running in that with he Brother. Woohoo! Now I have to find them turkey hats.
I can't believe The Runner's World Half Festival is finally here. I got an email inviting everyone to run with Shalane Flanagan, Olympian, on Friday for a shake out run. I think I am looking forward to this the most.

The weekend is going to be full of races, seminars, and movies all centered around me running.  I also have a special surprise in store for David.  I can't wait to give it to him.  I'll fill ya in after the weekend. 

The only plans I have for the week are to get in a few short runs and pack for our weekend. Rocky will be coming with us again.  I don't like the idea of leaving him in the care of non-family.  Since we can bring him to the races and if we have to we can leave him in the car since it is so cool. Worst case we will leave him at the hotel.  It's not as much trouble traveling with him as I thought.  It is actually less stressful because I know he is being taken care of and he loves being with us.

Have a great rest of the week and Happy Running!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Allstate 13.1 Marathon - Boston recap

Last weekend my family and I set out for a weekend in Boston.  Our main purpose of the trip was for me to run in the Allstate 13.1 Marathon - Boston but we purchased tickets for a trolley tour of historic sites, harbor cruise and admission to a museum.  When we arrived to the hotel we were told that the room wasn't available so we couldn't drop Rocky so we could tour. We were all bummed but we still had a good time. We have already made plans to go back before the Spring to use the tickets.
After David and I took a swim in the pool/hot tub we hung out in the room. These two look quite comfortable, don't ya think?  We ordered take out from Ninety-Nine.  It was ok.  Nothing to write home about.  Then it was early to bed.  As usual it was hard for me to get to sleep because I was so excited about the race.
 The race had an early 7am start so when we arrived it was still dark.  We were a little confused as to where we should go.  The start/finish was at the Suffolk Downs Race Track but there were no signs posted nor did they mention in an email that the building would be open for use.  I was pleased to see that there were a boat load of port-a-potties. Once inside we were also allowed to use the restrooms.  Thank goodness we had the building because I am afraid of the dark it was COLD!! Hellllloooo Fall!!

A big thank you to the United States Marine Corp for presenting the colors during our National Anthem. 

I haven't had a race since June to test my progress.  We had a very humid Summer that kicked my butt. I expected to run around a 10 min/mi at best.  My plan was to do the best I could, listen to my body and not rely on my watch. I knew that the other runners would pull me along as well as my race day adrenaline so I needed to be careful to pace myself so I didn't hit the wall halfway through.  
 This is around mile 12.  I couldn't believe that I felt so good.  I read that if you train in the heat and humidity that it would payoff in the Fall but I really didn't know what to expect. The course was beautiful.  All but 4 miles of it was on a road that overlooks the ocean.  What a great way to keep distracted when your mind wants to quit. I just looked over my shoulder to watch and listen the waves.  It never fails to help my mind wander.
I finished strong @ 2:06 and an 18 min PR!!!! Woohoo!!
Give Your Sole was there accepting donations of used sneakers for a local charity.
 Allstate even provided massages after the race.  As much as I have been wanting to get a massage I can't get myself to get one after a race. Not only am I sweaty and stinky I feel bad subjecting those poor people to touching me in that condition. YUCK!!!
We even had a kick a** cover band to rock out! Oh, what is up with the free beer after races? What about Cosmos for those of us that do drink beer? ;)

All in all it was a fun race and I think I will do it again next year.  I have already signed up for their New York race in March 2013.

Next up, Runner's World Half & Festival in October.  It will be interesting to see what I finish with there.  The course is hilly and I will be running in their 10k the day before.

Do you get a massage post-race?
Do you drink beer after and does it help you to recover faster?
Do you train in the heat/humidity?
What improvements in your fitness have you seen because if it?
Happy Running!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Another Mother Runner's 10 Running Questions Game

The two Mama's at Another Mother Runner, SBS & Dimity, started a cool game of 10 running questions.  I was invited to play by the awesome Lisa Runs For Cupcakes.  I read through the questions and they have really made me think about my goals and accomplishments.  I tend to fly by the seat of my pants in terms of goals.  They are not well thought out in terms of sitting down to think about what is going to be next. They usually come to me when I am not thinking about goals at all.  My accomplishments tend to get buried in the back of my head.  I am so busy moving forward  I don't stop to look back until a point in my training where I get frustrated and need to recall how far I have come to encourage myself.  Let the thinking begin!
1. Best run ever: It would definitely be my Half Marathon, Allstate 13.1 Marathon Boston, this past Sunday.  After a long, hot, humid summer, during which I was only able to achieve a pace between 10:15 - 11:15, I ran my race with an average pace of 9:37 (2:06 finish). Can you say major PR?!?!?! Whoohoo!! It felt so good to see what my body is capable after I trained hard and smart.

2. 3 words that describe my running: energizing, empowering, therapeutic

3. My go to running outfit is: My Addidas skirt and a singlet. I also only run with Fitsoks. Before I found this amazing product I got blisters on my arches and had to wrap my feet.

4.Quirky habit I have while running: If I am on a new route I will run around parking lots if I feel I will not meet my distance goal.  I don't like deviating from my mapped out routes by taking a loop on a side street.

5. Morning, midday, or evening: Morning

6. I won't run outside when it's: Raining AND dark. If it is one or the other I am good to go.

7. Worst injury and how I got over it:  No injuries.....yet!

8. I felt most like a badass mother runner when: Smok'n guys is always a great rush but I think running in 95 - 100 degrees with 98% humidity makes me feel pretty badass.
9. My next race is: Sept 23rd Where the pavement ends.  I am only using it for crossfitness.  My next competitive races will be Oct 20th & 21st at The Runner's World Half & Festival.  I will be running the 10k & Half.

10. Potential running goal for 2013: I want to run a Marathon in the Spring to kick my 40th birthday in the bum and show my body that age is just a number.

Well, as my nephew would say, that's all I've got to say about that!

I am tagging the blogs below to play along but feel free to join in the fun and answer the questions too.

1. Run for your life
2. Meals & Moves
3. Sexy Mother Runner

Happy Running!!!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Dash 'n Splash 10 Mile Race & Giveaway

Hey everyone! Long time no blog. I realized the other day that I haven't posted a blog in about a month! WTH? How could I let this happen? If it's not blogged than life isn't happening, right??? ;)
Any who.... I have a great race and giveaway to tell you about. It's the Dash 'n Splash 10 Mile Race from 3W Races.  It is a 10 Mile virtual race that requires you to run through any type of water source, sprinkler, water spout, pool, river, ocean.  Whatever you have available, like these crazy guys @ 3W Races.

You can run the 10 miles 2 ways. 1 mile a day for 10 days (a water spot must be done each day) or 10 miles in one shot.  For $19.99 you will receive a bib & tshirt. Hurry on over to register.  The race is September 10th.

How cute are these shirts?!?!
The best part of this race is that the proceeds will be used to purchase a "push jogger" to be used by athletes in competition in conjunction with Athletes Serving Athletes. 3W Races rocks!!!
If you cannot participate in the race please consider donating to this worthy cause.

Now for the giveaway.  Leave me a comment telling me how you got wet during a run and you could win a free race entry.  No, being caught in a rainstorm doesn't count unless it was raining so hard it took your clothes off!  Hahaha! I will choose the winner at random from the comments.

Happy Running!!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Vacation Day 2: Pool Time......and more biking!

After the 40 miles of bike riding yesterday I thought my legs would be killing me but they are ok.  Tired but ok.  We headed to my Mom's in NY and went to a county pool.  It is huge and never is really that crowded.
David didn't let me get away with a completely lazy day.  We got in another 8+ miles of biking.
We followed the 3 mile Walden-Wallkill Rail Trail but continued on an undeveloped portion for about a mile.  This was right up David's alley.  He was able to get in a little off-road action.  Next time we are at Mom's I told him we would do more exploring. Mom said she thinks it will take us to New Paltz. After that we met up with friends and family in town for National Night Out. Meet my new friend, Tilly.  Isn't she cute?!
It was a nice event that was geared toward families. The had free food, raffles & demonstrations by Fire and Police Officers.  I think Target was the Corporate Sponsor.
They also had fireworks but we had to leave so that we could get up early the next day.  I'll be back to tell you about that tomorrow.  Surprisingly, it has nothing to do with biking.  :)

Happy Running!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Vacation Day 1: Biking in Farmington

Today was the first official day of my vacation, whoohoo!!  My son and I drove the 1.5 hrs from our home to enjoy a day of biking in Farmington.  We completed the Farmington River Trail (24 miles RT) and rode 16  miles (RT) on the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail which continues up into Massachusetts (about 22 miles from where we started).
The trails are very well maintained.  Some local artists even got together and painted this overpass.
The pictures don't do it justice.  Farmington is located in the middle of Connecticut.  The area was very industrial back in the day.  The tracks have been replaced with pavement but the buildings that received deliveries via train are still standing.
The area has so much proud history that they even have a museum.  We didn't go inside this trip but it is an the list for the next one.  We also found a watersports shop located right on the trail where we can rent kayaks for the day. How cool is that?!
It is a simple thing but I think one of the coolest part of the trail, for David and me, was this railroad trestel.  To actual go over a structure that was used by the trains helped bring the history to life.  Railways helped to build this country so to have a little part of it around for us to see is great.
Isn't my Bubah a cutie?!?! It's not a great shot of him but I have to be quick.  He's 13 and hates me taking his pic.  Maybe because I plaster them on Facebook all the time he'll get over it one day?!

Time for me to head to bed.  We have a fun filled day planned for tomorrow.  I'm starting think I am going to need a vacation to recover from my vacation.  Goodnight all!

Happy biking Running!!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The rail-trail ride and goals

What a great weekend the boy and I had.

Saturday we rode our bikes for 20 miles on a chain of rail-trails that start in Trumbull and end in Monroe, CT.  Most of the of the trails were either paved or well packed dirt.
The last mile was on a very undeveloped section of trail but it was David's favorite part.  He got to use his mountain bike for what it was designed for, rough terrain. I, on the other hand, had to be a bit more cautious maneuvering around the tree roots, rocks and railroad tracks.

Rail-trails are great for families because you don't have to worry about cars except when you cross from one section to the other.  The trails I have encountered are at least 1 mile in length so you can enjoy a nice ride before dealing with crossing a road. You can find your local trail by visiting the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy website.
We almost let a beautiful Sunday slip by.   Our original plan was to drive an hour to a beach that is closer to the open ocean.  We heard we were going to have showers all day so we decided to hang out at home.  By 10am the sun was still shining brightly so I told the boy that if it was still beautiful by 12pm we were going to the local beach.  Thank goodness we did! It was a beautiful, relaxing day.  I relaxed and read on the beach while he rode his bike on the trails around the park.  Win-win!

We packed it up around 4 with black skies creeping up behind us. We made it home just before some of the loudest thunder I had heard in a long time.  Rocky was going nuts!

It seems like all I do lately is set new goals.  I guess we need them in our lives to keeps us going...I know I do.  Here are my recent ones:
1. Pick an official training plan...and stick to it.
I chose Runner's World Intermediate Half Marathon Training Plan(Specific to their Half Marathon course in October). 
2. Reduce and eliminate any type of sweeteners from my beverages.  
I have been gradually reducing it for about 2 weeks now.  It's hard to get use to it.
3. I had become reliant on Fiber One 90 Calorie Brownies as my nightly snack.  I would leave enough calories for the end of the day so I could enjoy 2 of them.  The calories were my issue.  It was that I felt I NEEDED them to be satisfied at the end of the day.  I didn't like being dependent on them. They are so processed and I felt that I could find a fruit or recipe I could make for myself with whole foods.
I ate my last brownie about a week ago.  I REALLY miss that chocolate taste.  I have been eating fruit instead but I think I need to find a chocolate recipe.
4. Run back to back races
I am training for the Runner's World 10k & Half Marathon that they are holding in the same weekend.  I know it will be a challenge but I have my training plan in place.  I think the key to the piggy back races is to run smart races.  I will not be running to PR.
5. Work on realizing my self-worth.  
This will be an on going goal for a while.  This is something I really need to fix.

What are some of your goals?

Happy Running!!!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Guest Post from Seattle Police Officer Johnson : Self - Defense

With the recent stories of runners being attacked I asked my friend, Seattle Police Officer Jeffrey Johnson to write a guest post on the best defense strategies.
"My name is Jeff Johnson (JJ to my old Army friends) and I am a police officer for the City of Seattle. I am typing this at the request of my friend Deb, but it is in no way intended to reflect the opinions, or policy, of the City of Seattle.

I’ve been in law enforcement for about 20 years, not including my time with the US Army Military Police, so it’s safe to say I have plenty of life experience dealing with the issues Deb wanted me to discuss on her blog site.

Personal safety, while running, jogging, or walking.

I’ve determined that being “civilized” has dampened our instincts. It also effects are common sense. You ever have that feeling that something isn’t right, but choose to ignore it? I can’t tell you the number of investigations, involving crimes against persons, where the victim would say, “I felt something was wrong, but didn’t act on it.” STOP! Do something!

Too often people feel safe and don’t think about the consequences. I know many joggers like to listen to music when they run, and sometimes they play the MP3’s from their Smart phone. Criminals are aware of the cost for a Smart phone (or similar device), and look for volunteer victims. Would you hold $500 in your hands, so others could see, while you run? You make a nice target. So here’s my second piece of advice (my first being, “STOP! Do something!”). Do not show off your “Bling.” A less expensive MP3 player plays music too.

Another issue, along the lines of listening to music, is that it distracts you from your surroundings. Situational awareness is key in personal safety. If you can’t hear someone approaching you’ve given them the advantage. In law enforcement we call it “Keeping your head on a swivel.” Look around. Of course we cops tend to be paranoid, so we’re looking for ambush sites, avenues of approach and escape, etc. I’m just saying from time to time look left and right. If something seems a little off? Look a little longer.

Cell phones. You’d think everyone age 5 and up has one, but where’s it at when you need it? I’ve talked to many joggers, reporting a crime, who tell me that it happened some time ago, but they were without a phone. You can keep the old cell phones, without even having a phone carrier, and can still use them for calling 911. Cheap, disposable phone simply for calling 911 in an emergency.

Never underestimate your opponent. The fatal flaw in those who are highly trained. Do not think you can outrun a criminal, because they have the initiative. Surprise is on their side. That’s why law enforcement is so dangerous. We’re reactive to bad actions. Limit your exposure to bad actions by choosing the environment. Avoid high crime areas, paths with too much foliage (bushes and trees close to trail), run during daylight hours, or on paths that are well lit, run with others, carry cheap cell phone, no “Bling” and last, most important, NEVER GIVE UP!

Mace? Pepper spray? Taser? All good tools, but just remember they do not solve the problem. In my professional opinion they just buy you time. It’s what you do with the few seconds afterwards that determines the outcome. I’ve experienced all 3 and can tell you I can fight through them. In fact I fight harder. So have a plan “B” when you use them. Spray the criminal and run? or spray the criminal and fight? No need to hang out and see what happens.

If you are attacked only you can make the choice of fight, or surrender? Each comes with risk and a price, but I can say this, if you choose to fight, then FIGHT! A study on officers killed in the line of duty, showed the victim officers were “Too nice.” The criminals, those who were interviewed, said they attacked the cops, because they thought they could win. Most criminals shop for a victim. They want someone who is unwilling to fight. You ever see a pride of lions take down the most healthy, strong, zebra? Show the world you’re a fighter.

Now get out there and run a marathon!"
Thank you so much JJ! As I have said before, Seattle is lucky to have you looking after them.  You be safe out there too or I'm getting on a plane......!!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Man, it's HOT out here!!!!

Image by Sam Weber
If your neck of the woods is anything like mine it is H-O-T!!!! This past week of training has been a struggle.  The heat and humidity makes our bodies work so much harder.  Monday I ran @ 7pm and I could not wait for it to be over.  I took every opportunity to walk or wait for the crosswalk to give me the all clear.  When the run was done I checked my pace. My running buddy and I were so surprised we had run so slowly.  It felt like my heart was going to jump out of my chest the entire run.  We agreed that we would never complain about running in 32 degrees again.  The good news is that according to Runner's World  Magazine athletes who train in heat and humidity perform so much better when racing season rolls around.  That's enough to keep me going! :)
Speaking of racing season. A few weeks back I gave away a free race entry to Allstate Life Insurance 13.1 Marathon® Series race in Boston on FacebookThe awesome organizers have also provided me with an entry into the raceon September 16th .  I am so excited!!  

They are boosting a really awesome course that will take us through East Boston, Revere, & Winthrop with a view of Downtown.  Let's not forget my favorite part of the course...the smell of salty sea air.  We will be running all but 2 miles along the ocean.  There's nothing like it and it is why I have chosen all my Halfs to be running along the ocean.

At each mile marker there will be a "gun time" race clock and an Event Status System that will alert runners to the race conditions concerning weather and other concerns.  This system will enable us to have an enjoyable and safe race experience. 

The benefiting charity is Autism Speaks and you can sign up to be part of their team.  A team is a great way to keep motivated as well as receiving Virtual training from a certified coach.  Your fundrasing will do so much good for such a worthy cause so check it out.

If a Half Marathon is not your cup of tea? They will also be holding a Karhu 5k.   A fun twist of this race is the first 10 runners to "Beat the Karhu Bear" will win a coupon for a free pair of Karhu running shoes.

For more information on the Boston race and other races in the series  click here: Allstate Life Insurance 13.1 Marathon® Series  or find them on Facebook. Don't wait to long to check them out though as the entry fee will be going up on July 13th. I hope to see you there and check back here after the race for a full recap and pics of me with my race bling! 

Happy Running!!!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Goshen All - American Weekend & 10k 2012

After last weekend's little mishap I was looking for a motivational boost via PR in my 10k this weekend. Unfortunately that didn't happen and I am ok with it. I was out there trying my best and I finished.  In the end, as I was reminded by some of RHMB members, that is what matters most. 

I was not impressed with the race, the organization, or the lack of runner's etiquette.   I also didn't like that I had to strap a used timing strap on my ankle. Yuck!

The course itself was challenging which was nice. Lots of hills. One thing I found odd is that it started on a hill. :/ They also didn't have a timing pad at the start which made it impossible to get an accurate time (of couse I forgot my GPS watch @ Mom's).  It was a very rural course so they had police at every intersection to make sure traffic was diverted. The water stations were great! They were well staffed and they had lots of kids helping. I love when kids help at races.  There were a few people out cheering but on a hot, difficult course we could have used a few more people encouraging us.  We did get a good laugh at the 2 Pekingese barking their heads off. 

As I mentioned above I had a problem with runner's etiquette.  We need to remember that eventhough police close the roads on a course people live on at some point we are bound to encounter cars.  If we are going to safely share a roadway both drivers and runners alike most follow the rules and respect each others place on that roadway.

After the race David and I got some pool time! Yay! Thanks Cooper Dave, Sue and Travman. It was exactly what I needed.  Cooper is such a funny dog.  He had a blast trying to get the ball away from the boys.

I even got to see my brothers bear. It was a 350+ black bear he shot a while back and he got it stuffed.  He is such a sportsman and I am so proud of him. 
Then it was time to get my wine on.  I bought my Dad a groupon to a local winery for wine tasting.  While the region is not a huge producer of wine grapes, we do have several winerys that make up the Wallkill Valley Wine Trail. I picked this gift because it is right up my Dad's alley. He loves wine.  He makes his own beer as well. We got to try 5 wines. I wasn't surprised when I only enjoyed the Reisling.  I am not a big wine drinker but there is a wine I really enjoy, Green Apple Reisling, but cannot get it around here . We picked the perfect weekend because they had live music. After the tasting we order kalamata olive goat cheese and it was sooo good!

Adult time was over too soon but we had to go home to the kiddies and pick up pizza for dinner.  We topped of the night with some ice cream. Yum! Not much happend after that because when I layed down on the couch I was out! Dead to the world for 10+ hrs.  I don't remember the last time I slept so long.

I'm back at home and it's almost time for bed.  Guess I better go get things ready for the week.  The running club will be meeting tomorrow morning and I am looking forward to getting back on my normal training schedule. Goodnight all!

Happy Running!!!