Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Week 6 in Training and a Christmas Eve run with the guy who started it all!

 Week 6 was a lot of fun because my sister and her husband Kevin were in town and they are the people who got me into running. Kevin is a big time runner and him and Naomi encouraged me to sign up for my first race ever, a 2 mile turkey trot.  

That turkey trot made me catch the running bug and 7 months later Kevin ran by my side to help me finish my first marathon. He normally runs marathons about an hour and a half faster than I finished mine so he really took one for the team to stay with me. 
Yeah, my brother in law rules. 

On the 2nd day they were here, Kevin, Taber and I went out for a nice 6 miler. It was so fun running together and we were cruising along at a nice 8:30 pace even with some solid hills.

Then on Saturday (Christmas Eve morning) we put on some Santa hats and drove over to the Applefest course to show Kevin (who lives in flat Chicago) some real hills.

 It was FREEZING that morning. Had to do some jump shots to stay warm : )

Me and Santa Taber with the sun rising behind us

and Kevin taking one of his famous self portraits. He always makes the most flattering faces. ; )

I was only planning to do 12 miles and I was kind of dreading the applefest hills, but once we got going I felt awesome and I just powered along. I ended up doing the whole half marathon course with them and we finished in 1:58:06.

Here's what our splits looked like:

We took the first mile easy to warm up but by mile 3 we were moving along.  We ran slower through the hills but we picked it up again at the end and finished strong. (Taber went on to do an even 14  miles and Kevin tagged on 2 extra miles for 15 just because they're cool like that.)

It was an awesome way to start off the morning and we got lots of friendly honks and waves in our Santa hats!

 Also major props to my sister Naomi who watched all the kiddos while we ran. She is the stud of the universe!

Here's the full summary of what week 6 looked like:

Monday: 3 mile tempo run on treadmill: avg pace 7:53 ( Felt like pushing it that day)
Tuesday: 3 miles interval sprints on treadmill: avg. pace 8:01
Thursday: 6 miles outside with Kevin and Taber: avg pace 8:33
Saturday: 13.1 miles outside with Kevin and Taber: avg pace 9:01

And I'm throwing in a picture of the kids with Santa because cuteness like this must be shared : )

Hope Everyone had a Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Weeks 4 and 5 in Training and keeping the holiday pounds at bay (sort of...)

Well, the first 5 weeks of my marathon training is done. I gotta admit it's been a little tricky trying to squeeze in training during the holidays. It seems like I have so much going on, especially because I've been working on some major projects for Christmas gifts and they've been super time consuming. I barely got in 3 runs during week 4 and on week 5 I had to cut my long run short to get to a Christmas breakfast at my church that I was cooking for and singing in. This time of year is just busy. Despite the condensed training I do feel like the runs I've done have all been solid and I think I'm still far enough out that a few missed miles will be okay.

So yeah, the tough thing about training during the holidays is the crunch for time. The awesome thing about training during the holidays is that I've semi managed to keep off the "winter storage" that I usually pack on between Halloween and Christmas.  I'm a major foodie, and even though for the most part I try to keep my food obsession in moderation, this time of year is my weakness. I always gain 8 to 10 lbs every holiday season, but I'm happy to say that this year I have only gained 2! Not because I've been eating better, still gotta have my sugar, but my winter belly is a little smaller this year because I actually have to put in some miles to keep up my training. ; ) Someday I might conquer my sugar addiction but at least for now I've got running to keep it in check.

Anyways, here's what my runs looked like for weeks 4 and 5. Still no snow on the ground so we've been able to do all our long runs outside. And when I say "we" I mean Taber and I, he's thinking about running DC too so we've been doing our long runs together. We've been able to get babysitters for the last 2 weeks and it is so worth the money to be able to 1) be done with our runs by 9am and not have to drag it out until the afternoon by taking turns and 2) run with the hottest guy ever : )

This Saturday my brother in law who is also training for DC will be in town so I'm excited for all of us to get in a nice Christmas eve 12 miler : ) Hope everyone has a great week and a very Merry Christmas!

Training Summary:

Week 4:
Monday: 3.63 miles doing intervals on treadmill. avg pace 8:16
Wednesday: 6 mile tempo run on treadmill: avg pace 8:07
Saturday: 11.8 miles outside: avg pace 8:55

Week 5:
Tuesday: 4 miles doing intervals on treadmill. avg pace 8:04
Wednesday: 6 mile tempo run on treadmill. avg pace: 7:58
Thursday: 1.5 quick run on treadmill: avg. pace 8:02
Friday: 3 mile tempo run on treadmill. avg pace 8:11
Saturday: 7 miles outside. avg pace 8:59

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Week 3 in training: New running friends and a house full of sickies

Week 3 of training was a tough one. Taber was out of town in Minnesota for the first half of the week so I was flying solo on mom duty. It was exhausting being on the clock 24/7 with no backup, but I did manage to get 2 runs in during the week and they were both outside which was awesome.

On Saturday I got to do my long run with a friend I met through church who is an awesome marathoner. She just ran her 5th marathon and qualified for Boston, finishing in 3:32!  I really wanted to pick her brain about how to train smarter and get faster. She has 4 kids so she understands the mommy dilemma of making time for training while balancing her family life. Her husband came along too and it was fun talking to another couple who thinks running dates are awesome. ; ) We did 10 miles and it flew by having people to chat with. We had so much fun that we decided to meet up again this Saturday, and this time one of her daughters is watching our kids so Taber can run with us too. I'm so excited to have some new running friends! 

When I got back from my run I walked in the door and before I could untie my shoes, Brinley puked the entire contents of her stomach onto the kitchen floor. 

The rest of the weekend was spent taking care of barfing babies. Brinley couldn't keep anything down, not even juice or water. She was devastated because she really wanted to go with Taber and Teya to cut down a Christmas tree but I wasn't going to let her because she was so sick. She cried and cried and told me she felt better. Finally I caved and let her go. She made it through the cutting of the tree but as soon as Taber put her back in the car, she puked everywhere and then passed out.

Poor sick little lady : (

The next morning we started our day with Cam barfing up his entire bottle onto the bathroom floor. 
Launch round 2 of the pukes.

It was a long weekend. We went through a lot of towels, sheets, blankets, and laundry. I'm glad I had a bought a box of disposable plastic gloves, they made the clean up slightly more bearable. ; )

Thankfully the sickies weren't sick for too long.

 Brinley was back in action after 24 hours

 And Cam starting perking up again after 2 days. 

We got our tree set up, and even though it wasn't perfect, 
I logged week 3 in the marathon training books. 

Here's what my training looked like:

Monday: 3.5 miles outside: interval sprints: Avg pace 8:19
Wednesday: 5 miles outside (my friend watched the kids) hauled booty and clocked my fastest 5 miler ever! finished in 40:09, avg pace 8:02.
Saturday: 10 miles outside with our running buddies: avg pace: 8:53

No cross training! Yikes! Wish I could say I was doing better with that this week but so far haven't been able to squeeze it in! Gotta make a goal to get it in next week, we'll see how it goes.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Turkey Trot, Week 2 in Training, and the Alphabet block that almost killed me!

On Thanksgiving morning, Taber and I decided VERY  last minute to get up early and run the local Turkey Trot 5K. I figured that somehow those 3 little miles would make all the gluttony of the rest of the day feel justified. : )

It was a great little 5K through the trails at Mine Falls. I'm not used to trail running so it was trickier than I thought navigating some of the thinner paths with rocks and trees. I got off to a slow start but once I got in my groove I started passing people and ended up finishing in 25:55 min (8:12 avg. pace) Taber was about 2 minutes ahead of me finishing around 24 minutes.  Not our fastest 5K but good enough for me to say, "bring on the candied sweet potatoes!"

We were home just after 9 am and Taber got to work grilling up the turkey. Taber's parents flew out and our friends from Boston drove up and and we ate and ate and ate and ate, all week long! I wonder if the Tarahumara indians have Thanksgiving? I'm going to pretend they do so I can still claim I'm eating like a Tarahumara, haha!

Seriously though, it was a glorious week of eating and now I'm trying to wean myself off rich buttery carbs and sugary desserts every day. I'm still in the grouchy withdrawal stage ;  )

Despite the decadent eating, Week 2 of Marathon Training went well. Here's what it looked like:

Monday : 3 miles of intervals on the treadmill:  8:18  avg. pace
Wednesday: 4 mile tempo run on treadmill:  8:11 avg. pace
Thursday: 3.1 mile trail run outside: 8:12 avg. pace
Saturday: 9 mile hilly course outside:  8:34 avg pace.

The intervals are definitely making me faster, although I probably pushed it a little too hard on my long run. My legs were feeling it the next day. I think I'm going to shoot for closer to a 9 minute pace on my long runs since I heard you were supposed to run your short runs faster and your long runs slower (or something like that)

My feet are doing well without my inserts but I did have a major setback yesterday when the kids begged me to play tickle monster and chase them around the house. We were all running around, screaming and laughing and having a great time. I was really getting into it, taking big strides and then all of a sudden my foot came down hard on one of their blasted little alphabet blocks. I let out a big yelp and then had a Nancy Kerrigan moment, cradling my foot and crying, "WHY ME?" It seriously hurt SO bad! Luckily after some icing it felt a lot better but it's still tender this morning and there's a nice violet bruise in my arch where the block hit.

I think I might take today off or try a really easy run and see how it affects me. Hopefully it won't be a bid deal but I might have developed a new phobia of alphabet blocks after that one almost killed me!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Training recap: Week 1

Well week one of marathon training is in the books and I gotta confess, I might've been a little idealistic when I said I was going to train and eat like a Tarahumara runner. : ) I mean, I DID work on my form and think I'm making a lot of progress with my gait. I also ditched my inserts so hopefully my arches can get a little stronger. But the eating thing, whoa! That ended up being harder than I thought! After I read Born to Run I was all gung ho about eating whole foods and going meatless but then I got back to reality and was like, "yeah right!"

Like today when the kids wanted happy meals. I thought I could be strong and just order food for them and eat a nice leafy green salad when I got home. Nope. Those happy meals came in the car, filling the air  with the intoxicating aroma of hot greasy fries and I was a goner.

There were many other moments of weakness like that but the point is, I had a rough time sticking with healthy foods last week. Naturally it made me feel gross and lethargic so hopefully I can do better this week and benefit from the extra energy that comes from eating well.

Despite my less than stellar food choices I did get in some good runs. Here's what last week looked like:

Monday: 4 miles of interval splits on the treadmill. Alternated running 2 minutes at a 9:13 pace (6.5 mph) and 2 minutes at a 7:30 pace (8mph) until I hit 4 miles. Tough workout with an overall average pace of 8:17.

Tuesday: Jillian Michaels 30 day shred level 2

Wednesday: 4 mile tempo run on treadmill. 8:31 pace.

Friday: 3 mile run on treadmill without my inserts. Felt some pain for the 1st mile but then it went away. 8:39 pace.

Saturday: 8 mile run outside: 8:43 pace.

Total mileage: 19. Not bad for my first week. I figure I'll just ease into it nice and slow and hopefully I won't burn out.

Goals for this week:
1) Eat better (although I will be doing some major splurging on Thanksgiving. ; )
2) Try to get my runs in before the kids wake up so I can get more things done during the day.
3) Go to bed earlier!!

Friday, November 18, 2011

9 Months on, 9 months off

I know Heidi Klum and many other genetically blessed mamas are back in their skinny jeans just weeks after giving birth, but my body doesn't like to give up weight that easily.

For me the rule seems to be, 9 months to pack it on, 9 months to work it off. 
With Cam I put on a solid 43 pounds. 
Now that it's finally off,  I thought it would be good to post some before pics to remind me to go easy on the Twinkies next time I'm pregnant.

 Big Mama carrying Cam in my belly

9 months later carrying him in my arms.

 Chubby chipmunk cheeks at a restaurant 7 months prego with Cam

 9 months later the "cheek swelling" has gone down : )

Somebody probably should've told me to put down the cake  (8 months prego)

And here I am 2 months after he was born, 
still holding on to 25 extra pounds

8 months of Weightwatchers, a 5K, 10K and half marathon later and I'm finally ready to get back in my bathing suit : )

Of course it was all worth it for this guy.

Who wouldn't pack on 43 lbs to get this? : )

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


I'm BACK!!
And I'm ready to take on a marathon baby!

It's been 2 1/2 years since I ran 26.2 and I finally think I'm ready to revisit that monster again.
There are 18 weeks until the DC Marathon and if everything goes my way I'll be there toeing the starting line : )

It's been awhile since I posted but good things have been happening over here that have made me feel up for this challenge.
1) I finally made it back to my pre-baby weight and reached my lifetime weight watchers goal! It's amazing how much easier it is to run without all the extra poundage.
2) I spent a week in Turks and Caicos for our 10 year anniversary and came back pumped and excited again about running!

You wouldn't think a week of sleeping in and relaxing would make me a better runner, but when Taber bought me a book to read on the beach called, "Born to Run," everything changed. He's been trying to get me to read it for 2 years and it took a week without the kids to get me to settle down and do it.

Half way through I thought, "WHY HAVEN'T I READ THIS SOONER?!!!" It was AWESOME!!!  It made me look at running through new eyes.  It talks about the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico who run like super humans and yet they aren't slaves to some training schedule, they don't worry about time or pace, they don't even wear running shoes, just sandals! The biggest thing that impressed me though was that they run for the joy of running. Towards the end of a 100 mile race (that they won) they were still smiling as they burned up the trail.

That whole concept of running for the joy of it really hit me. We were born to run. (If you don't believe me, read the book.) And when we take away all the artificial things that we've added to our diets and training regimens, amazing things can happen. I'm telling you, after reading that book I'm seriously ready to ditch my running shoes, strap on some sandals, chug down some chia seeds and run as far as legs will take me! I know that's extreme and I'll have to ease myself into this new style of running but here are some things that I've already started to change:

1) The way I eat. The less ingredients the better. Simple, pure, whole foods. If it came from the ground or a tree, put it in my fuel tank. I've majorly scaled back on sugar and processed foods and am cutting back significantly on meat. (Not ready to go full on vegetarian like the runners in the book but definitely eating meat sparingly)

2) The way I train. My game plan for this marathon is to "Run Less, Run Faster." That's another book and another blog post but basically I'll only be running 3-4 times a week but with a purpose to every run. (Speed work, hill training, or long run)

3) The way I think about running. Instead of being a chore, I'm trying to look at every run as a way for my body to express itself joyfully. (I know that sounds kind of cheesy but seriously, this is what my body was made to do so why not enjoy it!)

4) My running form. Tarahumara runners land on the balls of their feet, they keep their hips dead under their shoulders and engage their core while they relax their legs and let them spin from pivot points in the hips. They stay smooth and level, not a lot of bouncing, and whip their heels up towards their butt. I haven't even come close to mastering this but I've tried in my last few runs and when I do I go faster a lot easier.

I'd also like to start easing myself into some simpler running shoes like Nike Frees or maybe even Vibrams. Right now my shoes are super structured and I run with arch supporting inserts so I'm definitely going to have to ease into this transition gradually, but I'm onboard with the barefoot running revolution after reading this book!

So that's the update! Marathon training started on Monday and I'm a born again runner! ; )

Friday, October 7, 2011

Applefest Half Marathon Race Report: Finally!

I totally posted my race report on my family blog and forgot to put it up here! I know it seems like the running blog would be the more obvious place to post it but I like my race reports on my family blog because I turn that blog into a book every year through and I love having my races in our family "scrapbook."

If you follow both blogs sorry for the redundancy. I did add a few little bonuses at the end of this one though to talk about our race wounds and causalities.

Anyway, here's the report!

For the last 6 months I've been slowly but surely working my way back into shape after taking a 9 month break from exercise and responsible eating while I was pregnant . : ) I signed up for the Applefest half marathon back in April to give myself some extra motivation to get out there and run. 

Last year I came with "big baby" (AKA my prego belly) to cheer on Taber, my sister and a bunch of friends that were running it. This year it was pretty awesome to be pinning on a number too.

After watching everyone run it last year I knew the course was insanely hilly with the worst of the hills coming in the back half. Those hills really freaked me out and I was hesitant to set a time goal for myself. But then my running buddy Kendall told me that every time her sister races, no matter what, she always goes after a PR.  I was inspired by that and it made me think of that quote, "It's better to aim high and miss than aim low and hit your target." So I decided to aim high and set my sights on finishing under 2 hours, which means I would need to sustain at least a 9:10 pace for 13.1 miles.

To prepare for race day I ran the Applefest course twice in training so I could get a feel for those hills. Both times I pushed pretty hard but couldn't get it under 2 hours.  I was nervous, but hoped that with good weather and race adrenaline I could get there.

Then the day before the race Taber did something unbelievably awesome. He told me he was going to forget about his own time goal and run as my pacer to make sure I got my goal. I seriously could not believe it. I was literally jumping up and down and squealing with excitment. It was like being handed a secret weapon with superpowers. Once he told me that I was like, "Bring it on you big scary hills! I'm running with The Taber! You got nothin'!" 

Seriously though, knowing that Taber would be running with me was the best confidence booster I could've asked for.  He also volunteered to run with the fuel belt so I could stay hydrated (water stops are only every 2 miles at the Applefest.) I was so pumped to have my own personal one man entourage. Pacer, water boy, motivational coach and even camera man. With Taber by my side it was going to be a good race.

We woke up that morning to cool weather with drizzling rain. Perfect running weather. I ate some toast with peanut butter and banana then we loaded up the girls and drove over to the high school. Taber dropped me off with the girls and their friend and went to park the car. We had only 30 minutes before it started and I still had to drop off my bag, find my friend who was watching the girls to do a kid pass off, meet up with a running blogger friend for some pre-race pics, stretch, and most importantly, do my port-a-potty routine.  Navigating the crowd with 3 little girls who walk slower than worms crawl was going to be a problem. Luckily I bumped into Taber's training buddy Rob and he offered to watch the girls so I could drop off my bag. 

I ran up to the gym and checked my bag, and finally got to meet my blogger buddy Lauren for a quick picture and good luck wishes on the race. I found Lauren's blog through a giveaway and have loved reading about her fitness adventures through her spunky upbeat personality. She is an absolute gem in real life too. I told her I'd look for her after the race, then I  squeezed in a trip to the port-a-potty with not a minute to spare. Taber got the girls situated with the babysitter, we took a quick picture and then we lined up with our friends Rob, Ricky and Joseph near the front.

The race director said "GO" and we took off with the crowd.  Rob, Ricky and Joseph pulled away from us pretty quickly. I could see Rob and Ricky in the distance but Joseph was long gone. I worried that we might be going too slow but Taber told me to hold back and stay with him. We finished our first mile in 8:11, well under our goal pace. Mile 2 brought us to Merrill hill which we plowed up no problem and clocked an 8:30 pace for the 2nd mile. We saw the girls at that point and they were screaming and cheering and reaching out for high fives. We slapped them some skin and the lady next to me said, "Aw! How motivating!"

We finished mile 3 in 8:32 and took advantage of a nice long downhill to pick up a fast 8:08 pace on mile 4. I felt strong, energetic and awesome during those first miles. Taber had his phone and was taking little videos while we ran. He would tell me when to speed up or slow down and do form checks every once in awhile.  He also told me I looked awesome and made it look so easy. I was like, "Man I should run all my races with this guy! I'm lovin' this!"

Here we are at mile 4 all smiles and thumbs up.

We hit a good hill at mile 5 but luckily there was a guy there playing the bagpipes for some motivation. We finished that mile in 8:38 and stretched out our legs to pick up some speed on the downhill at mile 6. Since the worse hills are in the second half our strategy was to run the first half under pace and pick up as much time as we could on the downhills so we'd have a buffer when we got to the big hills from miles 8-11.

We saw our friend Kemper cheering at mile 6 and then we saw Rob's wife Darby a half a mile later with personalized signs for us! We clocked an 8:22 pace for that mile and felt good as we got close to the halfway point. Mile 7 was mostly flat and we were well under pace so didn't push hard and kept it steady at 8:47. After mile 7 we downed our chocolate GU's and geared up for the long stretch of hills I call the gauntlet.

The gauntlet is brutal but I had run it in my training and knew what I was up against.  We jogged, we shuffled, but we never stopped to walk. It started raining pretty hard right as we were heading into the first hill but I didn't mind because it kept us cool. At mile 8 we caught up with Rob and Joseph and ran with them for awhile. Joseph hadn't been able to train since he started MBA school at the end of August and even though he flew through the first 8 miles, the hills started to take their toll and he fell behind. Rob fell back too but I knew we had to keep going because if I stopped I wouldn't be able to start again.

The rain made my feet wet and soggy and my legs felt heavy going up the hills. Taber told me to dig deep and started talking about all the people and things that motivate us to run. I blocked out everything but his voice and forced my legs to keep moving. Our splits through the hills were 8:59 for mile 8, 8:40 for mile 9, and 9:35 for mile 10.

When we got to the top of the last hill in the gauntlet Taber was celebrating but I was spent. He was ready to pick up the pace and coast in for the last 2 miles but I was starting to break down.  Mile 11 was 9:15. My legs were so tired and even though Taber said run, all I wanted to do was walk.
"Come on babe, you got this! Just stay with me and you're going to PR!" 
"This is all I got." I told him.  "It's all I can do not to walk right now." 
"15 more minutes of hard running and you're done. Think of why we run. Think about Cam. Don't stop."

That must've done it when he told me to think about Cam because I picked up my legs again and finished mile 12 in 9:02. Then we were back to Merrill hill. The cruelest part of this course is a 75 foot climb on the last mile. I wanted to cry. Taber started to pull away from me and I finally gave into my screaming legs and stopped to walk. Taber was having none of that though. "Stay with me and you're going to like what you see at the finish line, we're almost there, just stay with me!" I grabbed his arm and told him to pull me but he said, "no, you're going to do this yourself." I knew he was right, so I summoned every last ounce of will power and commanded my legs to run. I got to the top and it was all downhill from there. I ran as hard as I could. I heard Taber shouting, "Yeah! you're doing it! YEAH!"

 We rounded the corner back to the high school and saw all our friends and our girls shouting and cheering for us. Someone was holding Cam and ran him out to give me high five as I was passing. Darby took this picture right then. I could see the finish line and knew I was going to PR, I saw my girls and my sweet baby boy, my friends were there cheering for me and I had Taber by my side. It was an amazing moment.

 My official time was 1:56:15. Smashed my 2 hour goal and set a new personal record. My average pace was 8:53 min/mile and I placed 19 out 70 in my age division.  Not bad for my post-baby comeback!

Afterwards I tried to grab pictures with all my friends who had run.

I got to chat with Lauren some more in the gym and Cam seemed to like her (and her medal) a lot. : )

One last shout out to Taber for being the best pacer, water boy, coach, motivational speaker and friend I could ask for. He is my real secret weapon. So grateful to him and the kids for all their support (even though Cam and Brinley don't look super supportive in this picture ; ) I couldn't have done it without them!

The rain was great for keeping us cool but it did cause some wounds and casualties.

Running in a soaking wet sports bra= seriously painful back chaff-ige

My whole back was red but the worst was right here, completed chaffed my skin off and burned like crazy when I got in the shower. Owie!

And the biggest casualty of the race was Taber's iPhone. He had it with him to take video while we ran but the rain got it wet and now the mic that pics up your voice when you talk doesn't work.  I think it works when he puts the phone on speaker but yeah, he was a little bummed.

The good news is he was able to capture some cool clips while we ran and I put it into a little video. Hope you enjoy 2 hours of running in 2 minutes. : )

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Lululemon Giveaway

So I totally need to post about Applefest but I had to take a minute to enter this awesome giveaway for a $50 gift card to Lululemon. They have awesome workout clothes and since I literally live in my workout gear it would be nice to have some decent stuff : ) Go check it out for a chance to win!

Lululemon Giveaway

Friday, September 30, 2011


Applefest is TOMORROW and I'm kind of freaking out!! I get pre-race jitters like you wouldn't believe, especially when I've set an ambitious goal for myself and let people know about it. I get all worked up and feel like if I don't hit my goal everyone will be so dissapointed. I know that's not true so I just gotta reign myself in and stop freaking out! No matter what happens tomorrow, I'm proud of myself for sticking with my training and working hard to get to the point where I can actually run 13.1 miles, sub 2 hours or not!

So here are some things that have been making me nervous:

1)The course is super duper hilly. I've run it twice now and the hills are KILLER!

2) The weather calls for 60% chance of rain. Hoping soggy feet don't give me blisters ; (

3) Not to be TMI but during the last few runs I've had some bowel issues that have slowed me down.

4) I can't run with music (applefest has a very strict no music policy) I've tried to wean myself but I still run a lot faster with my tunes.

On the positive side, here are some things that boost my confidence:

1) I've run the course twice so I'm familiar with it and know what I'm up against.

2) I've trained on hills for the last 6 weeks since my treadmill broke and now my legs are getting better at taking them.

And the best most awesome confidence booster of all...Taber told me this morning that he is going to run with me the whole time!! I was seriously jumping up and down with excitement! With Taber there to pace me I KNOW I can hit my goal if I just stay focused and trust my training.

Also I will have the cutest cheerleaders on the planet waiting for me at the finish line. 

Do you love his, "My mommy runs wicked fast" onsie? 
My friend Kendall made it for him. 
We both had babies a week apart in January and Applefest is our come back race : )

And can't forget the girls, they wanted in on the pictures too. 
They were still in their jammies and rockin' the bed head but you can't deny the cuteness. 
Pretty awesome motivation ; )

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Dear neglected running blog...

Dear running blog,

I wish I had time for you but the whole 3 kids thing is still kind of kicking my butt.  I love those precious little nuggets more than anything in this world but let me tell you, 3 feels like a lot more than 2!

 Cam turned 8 months old today and keeping that kid fed, diapered, and safe from small choking hazards takes a pretty monumental chunk of time out of my day. I know those don't sound like hard things but you should see the circus act I have to put on just to get a few bites food in this guy's mouth. It's intense.

Also Teya just started kindergarten and don't even get me started on the horrendous schedule of getting all 3 kids loaded into the car to drop her off, then getting the two little ones unloaded, then re-loading and unloading 2 and 1/2 hours later to go pick her up. What is the point of 2 1/2 hour kindergarten? Plus keeping track of all her papers and back to school night and PTO meetings and fundraisers and all that stuff is pretty much maxing out my brain capacity.

 So now you know, it's not you, it's me. I want to keep you updated with workout summaries and race reports and ww recipes and all the ups and downs on my road back fitness but unless I give up sleep entirely it just isn't going to happen. Someday maybe I'll figure out how to fit it all in but until then you'll just have to make do with my sporadic posts that happen every 2 weeks (if I'm lucky ; ) Here's the latest:

Applefest is less than 3 weeks away! 
Running has been going really well despite two major bumps in the road. 

Bump 1: Our treadmill broke 2 weeks ago and no one could come fix it until this coming Thursday. I didn't realize how much I rely on that thing until I couldn't use it anymore. It's been really tricky trying to squeeze my runs in before Taber goes to work or after he gets home because he's trying to run too! His marathon is in 5 weeks so he's at the peak of his training. Anyway, with some major juggling and also some good friends who have watched the kids I've managed to get at least 3 runs in a week. It's not optimal but better than nothing!

Bump 2: The day after our treadmill broke Cam got really sick and ended up having to be taken to the hospital in an ambulance. (If you want to know more details you can read about it here.) He was in the hospital for 2 1/2 days and it was a very stressful and scary time. I usually deal with stress through eating and I'm not gonna lie, a friend brought some cookies to the hospital and I might've eaten a straight dozen without even realizing it till they were gone. That being said, after two days of stress eating I finally pulled it back together and instead of spiraling downhill I forced myself out for an 11 mile run. It was very therapeutic and got me back in gear.

So despite those bumps I feel like I've done a pretty good job staying on track for the Applefest. In fact, Taber and I ran a warm up half marathon down in Plymouth, MA last Saturday and it was a huge success. It was the Run to the Rock half marathon and we wanted to do it because it's really hilly like the Applefast and we thought it would be good practice.

It was kind of nice doing a race with no pressure and I actually think the fact that I didn't care made me go faster! From the way my long runs have been going I figured I would come in around 2 hrs 10 min or 2:05 if I was really feeling good. When I got out there the temp was nice and cool, my legs felt fresh and my lungs were strong. I started pushing through the hills and made up my mind I would run every one of them without walking. I never thought about the full 13.1 miles, I just focused on one mile at a time, one hill at a time and focused on completing each mini segment. Before I knew it I was heading down the home stretch towards the finish line. I was shocked behind shocked when I crossed the finish line in 2:00:53. I was less than a minute away from breaking 2 hours which is my goal for Applefest! My legs were feeling it big time afterwards but man what a high! If the weather will cooperate 2 1/2 weeks from now I think I may just log me a sub two hour half marathon ; )

Me and Speedy boy Taber who finished in 1:46:30 (an 8:08 pace!) He rocks!

So that's the update. Hopefully you'll get another one before Applefest but if you don't, at least now you know why ; )

Friday, August 26, 2011

Yesterday Rocked!

 I really should be cleaning my house right now but the baby is asleep and the girls are playing so nicely that I'm taking a quick minute to document yesterday's awesomeness.

Two things:

1) Went to my Weightwatchers meeting (finally!) and was down 2 lbs!! It was so motivating to see how close I am to lifetime status. 3 lbs to go!

2) Taber told me about a local 5K just 10 minutes from our house that was going on last night and said I should run it. I was hesitant because I haven't been doing any speed training and it was 89% humidity last night with temps in the mid seventies. Ideal 5K weather for me is more like in the 50's. Anyway, I didn't want to run unless I could beat my last 5K time of 27:11 and I honestly didn't know if I could do that in the muggy conditions. 

Taber was Mr. encouragement though and kept telling me I could do it. He believed it enough that I started believing it too and said, what the heck, I'll do it!

The race was small, only 327 runners. But it was well organized and the course was relatively flat for New England. There was no chip time so I knew that whoever I didn't pass was going to beat me, and that was pretty motivating. I ran the first mile in 8:23 and the second mile was also 8:23. At that point my lungs were burning and the humidity was oppressive, like running into a hot steamy towel.  I saw a couple of older gentlemen in front of me though and I knew I could beat them.  I pushed through the jacuzzi air past the old guys and caught up with a tall middle aged guy with about a quarter of a mile to the finish. He didn't know I was behind him but I decided in my mind I was going to beat him and started closing the gap pretty quickly. As I came down the home stretch Brinley got excited and came running out onto the course. I briefly left my quest to beat the tall guy and slapped her some skin then I was right back on him as we battled it out for the finish. According to the official results he beat me by 1 second, but it wasn't chip timed remember? so Taber caught it on video and even though it's hard to see, I think it might've been a tie. Here's the clip.

Overall I was thrilled with the race. My official time was 25:37 (8:16 pace) which is a huge improvement from my last 5K and put me 6th place out of 43 for my age division. (On Facebook I said 5th because that's what it said at the race, but today the results online said 6th. Either way I 'll take it!)

I'm so grateful to Taber for pushing me to get out there yesterday. It made a good day even better and boosted my running confidence. And I know I'm all red faced and sweaty in this pic but when I saw Cam holding that little cowbell I decided it was too cute not to post! I really have the best cheerleaders ever!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Wal-mart ego boost and a double digit run

Last week the fridge and pantry got pretty bare because I could not bring myself to do a major grocery shop with all 3 kids. When things got desperate I finally decided to hit up Wal-mart at 10pm and just get 'er done.

It was pretty glorious shopping by myself and totally worth the late night outing for the low stress experience. As I was checking out, the cashier noticed the diapers, baby food and other kid items and asked me how many kids I had. I said, "Three," and her eyes just about popped out of her head.

"Wow you do NOT look old enough to have 3 kids! How old are you?"
I told her I was 30 and her eyes popped out all over again. "Well you don't look close to 30 at all! More like 18!"

Thank you cashier lady. You are my new best friend.

And her nice words kept coming. "Well it must be all this healthy food you eat. You didn't buy any junk at all! Are you a nutritionist or in the medical field or something? I can tell you read the labels because this is all such good stuff."

Disclaimer: I am nowhere near the clean eating awesomeness of many of you healthy eaters but I try to at least avoid tons of processed pre-made foods (except for the eggos, which my kids are crazy about so I buy them in whole wheat.) Anyway, it made me feel good enough about my "healthy" loot that I brought it home and took a picture. (and yes, there's chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream in there, great source of calcium and um, vitamin D?)

So that was my little Wal-mart ego boost that made me feel young and healthy, even if I do get a little crazy with S'mores every now and again ; )
Training went well last week. Not quite up to the 6 days a week I was shooting for but I got some great runs in. Here's what my week looked like:

Monday: 9 miles, outside, 9:11 pace

Wednesday: 3 miles, treadmill, 8:55 pace

Friday:  4 miles, treadmill, 8:38 pace

Saturday: 10 miles, outside, 9:33 pace

The 10 miler was kind of a big deal to me because it was my first double digit run since having Cam. I ran it with Taber and our friend Joseph who's running the Applefest too. It was awesome running with those guys and it made it go by quickly. We tackled some pretty serious hills and I'll admit, at one point I started having a mental panic attack and freaking out about signing up for such a hilly race. I have a bad habit of feeling doubt or anxiety during tough parts of a run but Taber always tells me, "PMA!! positive mental attitude! you can do this!" And it's true, the one thing running has taught me is that I can do hard things. So I switched over to PMA mode and willed my fanny up those hills. Even though my lungs and legs were screaming, I pushed through to the end and felt a great sense of accomplishment afterwards.

When we were done I stretched really well but I could feel the the old plantar fasciitis flaring up again. I iced and rolled it and wore my inserts all the next day. It's feeling a lot better but I think I'm going to need some new shoes before I attempt another long run.

This week I'm shooting for 4 runs and 2 cross training sessions for 6 days of workouts. Hopefully I fit it all in because I can tell my legs and core could really use some strengthening!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Time to Buckle Down

So I guess it's been a month since I've blogged. Oops! My blogging frequency seems to be directly related to how well I'm doing with my Weightwatchers and exercise goals. The better I am doing, the more I blog, (and vice versa). So my month long absence on here should give you a pretty good idea of how much I've slacked off...Um yeah, summers are tough.

I hate to say it but my awesome dedication to 30 day Shred has completely stopped. Haven't done that workout in 3 weeks. : ( Luckily my running is still going well since I kind of have to keep that up with a half marathon in 6 weeks, but my weightwatchers tracking has been non-existent and I haven't gone to a meeting in 3 weeks. yikes!

Last weekend we took the family camping (don't the girls look cute?) and I think I may have consumed my entire week's worth of WW points in one night of S'More roasting. 

As I shoved the 19th or 20th S'more in my mouth (I lost count after the first dozen), I felt the sugar buzzing around in my brain and the discomfort of being stuffed beyond stuffed and I thought to myself, "Becca, it's time to buckle down." (Naturally I meant AFTER the campout and pit stop on the drive home that included a mushroom burger, onion rings and coconut soft serve ice cream. Can't buckle down without one last hoorah. : )

So now with a month of gluttony behind me I am back on track! As in, tracking all my points and bringing back the 6 day a week exercise plan. I have 5 lbs to go before I hit lifetime Weightwatchers status and get to go to meetings for free! 5 LBS!! I can totally do this! Just got to buckle down.

Yesterday I ran 9 miles to make up for the long run I missed while we were camping. Even running on marshmallow fuel I was happy with my overall time of 1:22:58 for a 9:11 pace on a course with some serious hills. The run gave me a lot of confidence and made me think for the first time since I had Cam that maybe, just maybe, I could break 2 hours at the Applefest. That would mean I'd have to crank out a sub 9:10 pace on a hilly course which is ambitious for me, but good to have something to shoot for.  So that's my goal, that and to be a lifetime WW member by the time I line up at the starting line : )