I don't have any races on my calendar right now, which is bugging me a bit. Just because my fall is going to be busy, and I'm just getting back into the swing of things running wise. I've been thinking back on my past races, about each one, and how I felt about them, to get an idea of which I would do again....or run away screaming from. I'm happy that I've run all of them, but these two stick out:
Favorite: NYRR Mini 10k
I ran this in 2001, right after we moved to Queens. It was only my second race ever, but it was so much fun. The race is All Women, and takes place every spring in Central Park. It was a gorgeous morning, and Mike came with me as my wing man. I don't remember being nervous, I was excited to see what I could do. It was fun to be running in the park, there were a couple of hills on the course, nothing too bad, and I actually passed some people! I finished it with a smile in 1:03:13, so it shows I haven't gotten any faster with age....but I haven't gotten slower either. Mike gave me a flower at the end, and after I got cleaned up, we met a bunch of friends at a beer garden in our neighborhood. Although I can't remember if I wore my medal or not that day, but I remember feeling very happy.
Least Favorite: The Mountain Goat 10 miler
This race takes place in Syracuse, and I ran it for the first time this year. This was my worst race ever. I wasn't happy with my performance, and got into a funk about it for a few days after it was over. I'd been scared of this race for a long time, not because of the distance, but for it's extremely hilly course, hence the name. I felt confident going in, mainly because I had done the work and ran the official training runs leading up to the race. Race day it was unseasonably hot, and they ran out of water on the course. This ended up being a test of my mental toughness. After one particularly hard hill, I hit a wall at mile 6, and ended up walking most of that mile. I struggled the rest of the way, and was not a happy camper when I finished. Classic case of beating yourself up instead of pushing through, and I definitely learned some lessons after that one.
Honorable Mention, The Rochester Half Marathon
I have to include this one for two reasons. Reason One, this race was back when I ran with just water, or maybe Powerade if the mood struck me. No fuel belt, no GU or Nuun, I just ran it and relied on the water stations for fuel. Which cracks me up.
Reason Number Two, I never thought I would run more than a 10k. Then, never more than a 15k. This was a logical progression in race distance, and after I ran it, I couldn't believe I did it. And that's how my marathon came about. You never know what you can do, until you do it.
I had every intention of running this morning while the kids were at school, but no go. These past few nights insomnia has been in the house, I think I slept three hours last night. It's dark and rainy today, so you can see where this is going.
Mike and I had a great night out for our Anniversary, it was cool enough out that I wore my tall black leather boots and wrap dress, which was a nice change from jeans and tees. I ran into a running group friend at the Irish pub where we met up for our training runs back in March, he hurt his ankle and hasn't run for five weeks, so we swapped injury stories. Mike and I exchanged gifts in the car (so romantic), mine was a $30 itunes gift card for new running tunes, and I gave him.....socks. Well, he needed them.
I can't stop eating roasted veggies. We've been making cauliflower about once a week, last night Mike made two pans of roasted butternut squash with shallots, and no joke, I ate one pan by myself before we even had dinner. We were in Wegman's yesterday, and they had itty baby cabbages wrapped in plastic, you just throw it in the microwave to cook it.
This gives you a better idea of how small it is.
I think my insomnia has something to do with my Mom finally closing on the house I grew up in, and she's retiring tomorrow. I decided not to go to my 20 Year High School reunion next month, I feel like it's too soon to go back home, when home isn't there anymore, and that will definitely make me sad.
I had a fun afternoon with my friend Kelly on Friday, we took the kids to Pratt's Falls for a hike and to soak in the beautiful weather. It was so nice to just gab the time away, and the kids had a ball looking for fossils and salamanders.
When I got home I had a package waiting for me, for an upcoming review and giveaway.....Eliza just loves the color.....shocker.
Like the rest of the East Coast, we're in the middle of some unseasonably warm weather. The high today is going to be 90 which is crazy. I went out for a run this morning, and I appreciate the warm weather, but now I'm a puddle of sweat. I'm ready for fall.
I was in a Coldplay kind of mood today. I've listened to them a zillion times, but when The Scientist came on, the lyrics made me think of my long ass run in Rochester. And of running in general.......
Come up to meet you
Tell you I'm sorry
You don't know how lovely you are
I had to find you
Tell you I need you
Tell you I set you apart
Tell me your secrets
And ask me your questions
Oh, let's go back to the start
Running in circles
Coming up tails
Heads on a science apart
Nobody said it was easy
It's such a shame for us to part
Nobody said it was easy
No one ever said it would be this hard
Oh, take me back to the start
I was just guessing
At numbers and figures
Pulling the puzzles apart
Questions of science
Science and progress
Did not speak as loud as my heart
Tell me you love me
Come back and haunt me
I want to rush to the start
Running in circles
Coming back as we are
Nobody said it was easy
Oh, it's such a shame for us to part
1. This weekend is Mike and I are celebrating our 11th Wedding Anniversary. Last year we got away for a rare weekend in Lake Placid, but this year we're staying local, but going out for dinner. Although that sounds easier than it is. Thanks to my Mom in Law, we have someone to watch the kids, but finding somewhere to eat, not so much. I wanted to use a gift card we have to a restaurant in Skaneatles, but there's a Wine Festival going on, so they're booked. And of course it's Parent's Weekend at Syracuse University, so everywhere is Syracuse that we would want to go is booked, but luckily we scored a reservation at a Thai place that is fabulous. I can make due with crowds of students and their families, as long as I get my dirty martini and tuna tartare.
2. Yesterday was my morning to run outside, and of course it rained, so I treadmilled it. I went much slower than Monday, hammy is tight, so I babied it a bit. I made it 5.3 miles before I called it quits, after watching the new episode of Parenthood on the DVR. I don't know why I watch that show, it's not that great. Now Survivor on the other hand, is already really good. Although I could do without the shots of Jimmy Johnson's Man Boobs.
3. I'm reining in my eating this week, getting back on the healthy track. I made some great angel hair pasta with leftovers I found in the fridge, sauteed onions, and mushroom and roasted broccoli I had used in a quiche. I just added some sauce and Parmesan cheese, and it was the perfect lunch. Now if I could only stay away from the Snowcaps my friend Dawn gave me....were these always dark chocolate???? They're goooood.
Eliza is the class V.I.P. this week, so yesterday I was able to stay in her classroom for a bit, to watch her "present" a poster covered with pictures of everything she loves. The poster that I thought about all weekend, and that we finally put together at six o'clock Sunday night.
I was in my running gear, so once I got home, I grabbed G-unit, and shot out my front door like a bullet. It was so beautiful out, and I was so excited to be moving again. I tried not to look at my pace as I went along, and I felt naked since I wasn't wearing my fuel belt. I had no plan for how long I would go, but about four miles in, hammy started protesting, so I headed home. I finished five miles in just under fifty minutes, and today I feel great!
Great enough to tackle my closet and organize my running clothes, cotton race shirts, tech race shirts, long sleeve race shirts, running shorts and pants, skirt and dress. I tossed three of the six pairs of running shoes in my closet, and kept three sets of inserts. Now we'll see how long I keep it looking the way it does now.
If you haven't had enough of my Marathon story, you can read it here, at Melinda Hinson Neely's blog, where she's featuring stories of first time Marathon runners.....
Well, I still did my usual housewife stuff, but I also had plenty of chances to watch a chick flick (The Proposal), eat salt and pepper popcorn (popped by Mike) and drink wine (Chardonnay).
The day after the marathon I took off my Marathon Hat and put on my Mom Hat, I got Luke off to school, took Eliza to her first day of preschool, went to PT, then to the library for story time sign up. My post- race soreness didn't really kick in until Tuesday, when I literally had to roll out of bed to get out of it. The worst part has been the inner thigh chafing, which scabbed over and now looks like overcooked bacon. Mike took a picture of it for posterity. My hammy is sore, but nothing terrible.
So obviously I've been thinking of What's Next. I feel like I'm on vacation right now, free of my training schedule, free to go for a run just for the heck of it. I'm happy to have my Saturday mornings back, which are now filled with Luke's soccer games. As for racing, I'd like to try and find a half marathon to do before the year is through. My friend Kelly has been talking about a 50k trail run in November, you don't have to do the whole thing, but I'm new to trail running, and don't even have trail shoes so that might be a bit ambitious for me right now.
At any rate, I do want to do another Marathon, but next time around, I'd like to do it on a larger scale. Rochester only had about 600 runners for the full, and over a 1,000 for the half, so it would be fun to do one in a larger city.
I still have my 1,000 miles in 2010 goal, as of today I have 296.75 miles to run before midnight December 31st. Which I think is doable, especially now that the kids are in school. For the first time in 6 years I'll have several chances each week for guilt free running. I do need to focus more on cross training, and on my core, I could have done more while doing my training, and I'm sure that's why I injured myself again.
I had a surprise when I came home on Tuesday, beautiful sunflowers from my wonderful friend Jennifer, which are really brightening the kitchen.
Now I need to go find my finishers medal, the kids keep swiping it from me.
Oh where to start....I guess at the beginning...this is a bit long, but it has a good ending.
Rochester is about an hour and a half from my house, so I thought it would be smart to stay overnight, so we'd be able to wake up a little bit later, and not have to worry about getting a flat tire on the way to the race. So Saturday afternoon, Jeannine, Norine and I headed out to the race expo, then on to dinner and our hotel.
The expo was pretty small, it was held in the gym I used to belong to, I lived in Rochester for five years, so it was great to go back to complete the circle...from running on the treadmill in that basement gym, to running a marathon around the city. We checked into the Hyatt, which was the official race hotel, and it was fun to see other runners in the lobby. Around five we headed to dinner at an Italian place that a friend of Norine's had suggested, where I had a perfect slice of lasagna, it wasn't heavy at all, with a bit of ground meat and tomatoes and cheese, which I paired with a beet salad. We gazed at the bottles of wine, and talked about how low our tab would be, since we were sticking to just water. I was careful about what I ate all that day, had a turkey sandwich for lunch, nothing that would give my stomach any trouble (a little bit of foreshadowing here). I was feeling stuffed up, I caught another freaking cold, which I think I picked up at a baby shower last weekend.
I was in bed by ten, reading my book, I had all my gear laid out and ready to go. I had a solid nights sleep on Friday, which I was glad about, since the sleep you get two nights before the race is what's important. I did my fair share of tossing and turning, and I woke up once during the night to the sound of rain.
I was up right before my alarm went off at 5:45, and I felt good mentally. I was calm, excited, I just wanted to get the heck out there and run this thing!!! I drank a lousy cup of hotel room coffee, ate a banana, and half a bagel with peanut butter. I was coughing a bit though, and was still stuffed up. We made it to the staging area at 6:45, picked up our time chips, then hit the bathroom. The walk to the start was only about a half a mile, and on the way over I had a couple of Norine's Cliff Shot Bloks. Time was going fast, so we took a quick photo, one more bathroom stop, and hurried to the start, with 2 minutes to spare. Which was a good thing, it didn't give us time to get too nervous.
After the national anthem, I touched my flag pin, the gun went off, and we got moving. I couldn't believe it, G-unit got all wonky, for the first time ever. I restarted it, and could only get the pace part moving, which was fine because that's all I wanted it for. My plan was to stay around a 10:30 pace for the first half, I didn't want to blow out my hamstring right away. Then the rain started falling. And falling. And falling.
But I was feeling good, rain aside, this 10 mile stretch went out of the city, along East Avenue, which is lined with trees and beautiful homes. I saw my friend Karin on the side at mile 3, with a big Good Luck sign for us, which is always fun to see. I sucked a GU at mile 5, my plan was to have one every 5 miles. I usually wait longer, at mile 6 or 7, but I thought since I was going to be running for so long, I needed more fuel (did I mention foreshadowing?). I had a bit of water at each water stop, I wanted to save my water bottles for the last part of the run, I think I'm scarred from the memory of the Mountain Goat run, where they ran out of water at mile 6. I also had Nuun with me, which I sipped every so often.
The course then turned onto a stretch of the Erie Canal, which was a dirt path, with puddles and mud in a few places. I found out later that Rochester changed the course this year, because it was too costly for the city to close the streets. So instead of 9 miles along the Canal, it was.....12. And I'm telling you, it felt it. No spectators, aside from those at the water stations, it felt like I was on a long run by myself. So I turned my ipod on, and in keeping with my history with ipods, it crapped out after about an hour. Must have gotten wet in the rain. But temperature wise, everything was good, the rain stopped, but it stayed cloudy, and it was in the low 60's. Perfect running weather. I had another gel at mile ten. At fourteen, I was excited, I was thinking how I had 12 miles left, which was totally doable. Then I reminded myself to stay in the moment, enjoy the fact that I was running a marathon, and to absorb it all. I had another gel at 15.
As I was nearing mile 16, my stomach was feeling a little off. So when I saw Karin again, I stopped for a second to stretch my hamstring (which, thankfully was feeling pretty good). I mentioned that my stomach was feeling weird, then I set off again.
I was trudging along, and I noticed the same group of people over and over at all the water stops, it was the family of a girl who was running the same pace as me. They had a big sign with the numbers 1 to 25 on it, and they crossed off each number as we completed them. I started talking to them as I came into each stop, and they would cheer for me as I ran by. At another point, a huge group of people had a whole pirate theme going, and a woman in wench attire offered me a shot of rum....yeah, maybe later.
Hate to say it, but I started to feel worse. This had never happened to me before, ever. My stomach had that weird unsettled feeling, I was craving a saltine. As I passed by mile 18, I saw a porta-john sitting by the water, so I thought maybe I just had to go to the bathroom. I ran up to it, tossed my fuel belt in the grass, and gagged. Opened the door to go in, and started heaving. I mean loud, throwing up your toenails type heaving. Although nothing came up. So I came out, and noticed what a pretty spot I was standing in, on the side of the river, with a guy fishing on a boat, people running by, and I'm acting like I just finished a bad night at the bar. But I felt better, so I grabbed my belt and got moving again. And I thought, "Tri Diesel would be so proud."
This part gets a little blurred. I was really getting tired of the canal path, it felt like it was never going to end. I saw Karin again, and she tried to give me some jelly beans, I looked at them like they were poison, but I took one, and it wasn't doing it for me. Karin has run the marathon before, and when I asked her when this boring stretch was going to be finished, so gave me a true look of pity, and said "Oh Moll, it's going to be boring for a while."
Before I pulled my hamstring, I had hoped to complete the run in 4:30 - 4:40. I had a solid 10:15 pace for all our long training runs, so I thought it was doable. But after my hammy issue, when I didn't think I was going to even be able to run the race, I threw all time goals out the window. But I still wanted to finish under 5:00. I got into my head a bit here, telling myself I can do this, think of all those people who want to run who can't, think of how I'm capable of more than I realize (which has been my training mantra, and I don't remember where I got it from).
Karin popped up again at mile 22, I was coughing and gagged once more on the side of the path, and one of the guys who had been running near me told her what I was doing. She got me some water and said I had 50 minutes left to finish in five hours. I stretched my hamstring which was starting to feel tight, and opened a GU and ran. I took little bits of it very slowly, I ate about half of it, and my stomach finally settled down. I was thinking, "Holy Cow, I only have four miles left, I can do that in my sleep!" Yeah, okay.
I had to stop a few more times for my hamstring, and I thought "well, I don't want to ruin my leg and not run for 3 months, so whenever I finish, I finish." I almost started laughing when I saw the 24 mile marker, I felt like the time went by fast, but also pretty slowly. Or maybe I was just hallucinating.
At this point we were finally back in the city, and I was so happy, I got the energy from somewhere, so I just kept moving. I looked both ways when I crossed a street, and the cop standing there laughed, and said "Don't you worry about looking for cars, I'll take care of it!" Then I passed a guy walking and I waved my arm at him and said "Oh come on!!" He said, "you're right." and he got moving.
And then, I had half a mile left.
I came down the road, and I saw Jeannine's Dad, and her daughter and niece, the girls started to run with me, and then I saw Jeannine, Norine, her husband Phil, my brother in law Rob, and Jeannine's sister Gina and Mom. Later on I saw video they took of me, and my arms are flapping so hard that it looks like I'm trying to fly, not run.
I finally rounded the corner and saw the finish, with Mike and the kids and all our friends, including Karin, waiting at the side, she was truly an Angel to me during the run, I don't know what I would have done without her. I came along and saw 5 little hands in a row waiting for high fives. I crossed that finish line feeling good, smiling, and as I passed through I struck a happy pose, which the photographer said was the best she's seen all morning. My time was 5:09:41....okay, I'll take it.
I went over to the food area, and grabbed a water, but nothing was appealing to me, so I plopped down on the wet pavement and started stretching. Then I met up with everyone, and as soon as I saw Mike it was Niagara Falls, my tears just started flowing. I couldn't even talk when I hugged Gina, I just cried silently. It was a relief to let it out.
Then I got it together, Rob handed me a cold Powerade bottle which I immediately put on my hammy. Then a runner came over to me and said, "was that you puking in the porta potty at mile 18? I recognized your fuel belt. Man, I would have never run after that, nice job!" Then I ran into the family I made friends with at the water stops, the Dad came over and shook my hand (but it seemed like he wanted to give me a hug) and said how they were rooting for me, and at one point it didn't look like I was going to make it, but they were so glad I did. Then they gave me the number poster.
After the race, we headed back to the hotel. Where I discovered how chafed my inner thighs were. I had put Glide on them before the race, but it must have washed off in the rain. They now look like a piece of overcooked ham.
I took the best hot shower of my life at the hotel, then went on to my friend Dawn's house for a post race party. I ate some veggie chili, crackers, water and nursed a glass of wine, but I had no appetite. It wasn't until we got home that I felt really icky, I was cold, shivering and tired. I sat on the couch with my comforter and barely made it through the finale of True Blood.
Now I'm sore, and coughing a lot more. So I don't know if my stomach problems during the race were because I had too much gel in too short a time, or if I was really just sick. In either case, it doesn't matter. I did what I set out to do, and I'll do it again. I'm still processing the whole day, as I look at my "trophy" that Luke made me out of Bendaroos and cardboard.
I have some catching up to do on everyone's blogs. Honestly, I have "met" some great friends through blogging, so thank you, for all the supportive comments you have given me. And I'm lucky to have an understanding husband, family and friends who encouraged me through this whole thing.
It's been 18 weeks, and they have flown by. I've put in the miles, put fuel in my bod (maybe a bit too much), and now it's here.
My mind is set to where it needs to be, time to get all my gear together.
I'm a bit tired this week, feeling a little sleep deprived. Kids are getting back to school, so we're up earlier, adjusting to new bedtimes.
Had my last PT session, Michelle wished me luck, said I would be fine, that she'll be thinking of me on Sunday.
Then I made an appointment for Monday.
I will be thinking of this on Sunday while I run, and I'll be wearing my American Flag pin.
The weather might be sketchy, maybe rainy, maybe not.
A huge Thank You to Jennifer, one of my BFF's, and Biggest Cheerleader, for making me my Marathon Training Journal....three years before I got the chance to actually use it.
For the race, I'm going to wear my Camo running skirt, grey tank, and white visor. I've worn this outfit for every long training run, so I can't break from the routine. On my last long training run, instead of the tank, I wore a Tech shirt and pulled my hamstring. Superstitious? Maybe.
I have a blog post today over on my friend Kelly's blog, My Life As A Trimommy. She has a weekly feature, titled "Wonderful You Wednesday" that focuses on self esteem and body image.......you can find my post....here!
This long weekend has felt really long. Trying to keep busy, but I'll admit I'm a little antsy, even though there has been plenty to occupy myself with. Like the tree that fell in the backyard Saturday. It was very windy out, and we were just leaving to take the kids to fly kites, when we heard this loud cracking noise. Half of an old enormous tree had fallen in a gust of wind, and it took out eight smaller trees as it came down. Thankfully it fell towards the yard and not onto the house, and now we have firewood for winter.
Today we went to the Diner for breakfast, and kept passing people out for their morning run. When Mike said to me, "No wonder you're so bored. Usually you're planning a run, taking a run, or recovering from a run." Bingo.
Eliza and I made a trip to Sports Authority so I could look at the summer sale racks, and pick up some KT Tape for my hamstring. I got the idea from Jill, at this point I'm doing everything I can think of to help my hammy. Eliza picked out hot pink tape, and I think I can feel a difference already. Or maybe its just the placebo effect.
I'm still spending time in the kitchen, a couple of weeks ago the lovely folks at POM Wonderful sent me some bottles of their 100% pomegranate juice to test out. The juice is loaded with antioxidents, it reminds me of a much deeper flavored cranberry juice, and it's a great addition to my smoothies. The one pictured here has raspberries, blueberries, a banana, Amazing Grass, skim milk, and POM. Isn't it pretty?
I had an empty ice cube tray, so I froze the POM into cubes, and started using them in my glasses of water. The flavor becomes stronger as the cubes melt, and it's a nice change from the lemon juice I usually put in my water.
Mike has been in a margarita mood, and we had some drinks Saturday night to celebrate the holiday weekend. Mike used to be a bartender, (a good one actually. He made up a drink inspired by me, and it's called....The Dork), he thought the POM would work well in a margarita. He used two parts Patron Reposado, one part Triple Sec, one part Sour Mix, and one part POM. We drank them over ice, and they looked a bit like a tequila sunrise. I highly recommend this one.
Check out the website for POM Wonderful, they have some great recipes on there, as well as info on their new muscle recovery drink called POMX, which I'm curious about.
*I received bottles of POM Wonderful for the purpose of this review, my thoughts on the product are my own.
It's so weird not to run. My house is immaculate. The laundry is done, there is food in the kitchen, I've been to the library twice. My kids are clean. My bills are paid. It has been hard not to eat all the food in the kitchen. Especially after I make chocolate chip walnut cookies, rice krispie treats, tacos, salmon burgers, and grilled teriyaki pork tenderloin. With baked sweet potatoes.
Went back to PT this morning, where I saw Michelle, who is my favorite therapist. She massaged the heck out of my hammy, then did the whole electrical stimulation/ice pack/stretching thing. We talked more about the marathon, and she shares the opinion I've heard from several people this week, that I should not run until race day. Just let the hamstring heal, and hopefully everything will work out. Got the old fingers and toes crossed that she's right. I bought some Arnica gel to help the healing process, and I'm going back to PT two more times next week. Thanks for all the advice and healing vibes, keep 'em coming!!
I'll do the more difficult one first....for the Cherry On Top, I need to answer the question: If you had the chance to go back and change one thing in your life, would you and what would it be? Hmmmm. I try not to look back too much on things in my life that haven't made me happy, because if I changed anything, I wouldn't be where I am now. I do regret not spending a semester of college studying abroad. I was an exchange student in high school, and I wanted to repeat it in college, but it just didn't happen. I remember feeling like my college years were experience enough, and that I could always travel, but couldn't ever go back to college life. Then the reality of work and money and limited vacation time made me wish I had done it while I had the chance.....
I'm supposed to thank who tagged me....thanks Erika, thanks Stefano!!!! Then pass it to 6 bloggers......
For the Happy 101, I also have to say thanks....thanks Ajh!!!! Then list 10 things that make me happy. I'm going to try and do this with one word, since I usually ramble on about everything else, and I'll leave out the obvious ones:
6. Bravo TV
10. hair dye (two words, but I love it and need it for my greys).
I'm to tag 10 people....but I read and enjoy so many blogs, that I figured if you're reading this.....consider yourself tagged!!
Here is the good news, my leg is feeling much better. The bad news is, I definitely pulled my hamstring.
I went in this morning to see my PT with kids in tow (these are the times I'm thankful for my Droid, where I can entertain the kids with Yo Gabba Gabba and Ben Ten Ultimate Alien on YouTube). I pulled my left hamstring, the one I had issues with before. On the positive side, the muscle is fairly smooth, he couldn't feel any knots or tears, so that helps. It turns out my hips are out of alignment, which makes sense because my left leg is a bit shorter than my right. I was actually happy to hear that, mainly just to know that all the stretching and icing I've done wasn't wasted effort.
When I asked the million dollar question, Can I Run The Marathon, I got a maybe. He hooked my leg up to those little electrodes that stimulate the muscle, iced it, and showed me some new stretches that should help my hip area. I'm going back on Friday, and then we'll talk about when I can run. But you know what, I'm still running the marathon. If I have to do it slowly, or walk a bit, so be it. There is no way I'm missing it. I'll just have to be smart about it.
Thank you for all the supportive comments about this whole thing.
Thought I would share our annual State Fair photo. We always take it in the Dairy Building, with the kids and their I Heart Milk cups, chocolate for Eliza, plain for Luke. It was about 95 degrees and we're a bit sweaty. And yes, I'm wearing THE cowboy hat.