Friday, September 30, 2011

Four Legged Speedwork

When you run with a dog, your pace is all over the place.  

You speed up, you slow down, you let the dog sniff things, you let him pee.  Your pace might go down a bit when he gets tired, or when he tries to lap up the dew that's on the grass.  Then it shoots up when he sees a chipmunk that he wants to chase.

But it's great to have a companion as enthusiastic about running as you are, especially when he finds your running shoes, brings them over to you, and drops them next to your feet.

My confidence level is slowly increasing, thanks in part to physical therapy, but also to Frank.  I'm not one for doing speed work, but with the time I'm spending with him, I think I'm getting it done.

My last three runs have been great.  When my knee first started to bother me, I was running between a 10:00 and 10:30 pace.  But now that it's healing, I've been shocked when I look down at G-unit as we ramble on.  I've been hitting between a 9:15 and a........8:30 pace!!  At one point I was cruising along, and my chest was feeling a bit heavy, and I realized I was running a 7:40 pace.  Wha wha whaaaaat?????

That's all well and good, but I think I need to fit in some solo runs, so I can find a consistent pace on my own.  Which is where tomorrow's run comes in.  Saturday it's going to be chilly and rainy, I'm talking 30 degrees in the morning chilly.  I haven't run on the treadmill in a while, so I'm going to do my 18 miler inside. I think it will be good for me, mentally, and physically.  I need to do some hills, and I have Mildred Pierce on the DVR, and I'm eager to get it done.  

Tomorrow is day one for participating in my virtual Fall 5k race, details are here, but you have until October 9th to run a 5k, with a chance to win some great prizes.  The registration fee is a donation to my NYC Marathon fundraising page, to benefit the Children's Tumor Foundation.

I'm so thankful for the donations I received this week, I truly appreciate it. 

Happy Running, Biking, Swimming, Walking, Racing.....Happy Weekend : ) 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Frank's Fort

This is Frank's newest thing.

He makes a little spot inside the couch pillows, then falls asleep.

Silly doggie. 

I know blogger is having issues again with posting comments, if you're having trouble leaving a comment on my Fall Virtual 5k post, just send me an email and let me know you're in.  Great prizes up for grabs, a $100 gift card to Everyday Endurance, a $30 gift card to the Silver Maple, and third prize is a pair of Wrightsocks and GU.

You can check it! 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Fall 5k Virtual Race!

I've wanted to host a virtual race for a while now, and since fall is the best time of year to run, here it is!

It seems like once fall hits, everyone has so much going on, but we still need to find time to run!  Thus the 5k distance (which can be a part of a longer run if you'd like). 

Prizes will be given as follows:

First place: a $100 electronic gift card to Everyday Endurance!!

Second place: a $30 gift card to The Silver Maple

Third place: a pair of Wrightsocks anti-blister socks, and a sample of GU

The NYC Marathon is six weeks away, and I'm still working on reaching my fundraising goal.  So thanks to the generous donations from Everyday Endurance, the Silver Maple, Wrightsocks, and GU, I'm able to put on this Fundraising 5k!

Here is how it will work:

1. Your race fee to enter, is a donation of any size to my fundraising page HERE, for The Children's Tumor Foundation.  If you have already donated, you're already in!

2. follow Everyday Endurance on twitter here, or facebook here.  And please check out the beautiful jewelry at The Silver Maple. 

3. Run 3.2 miles any time between Saturday October 1st, and Sunday, October 9th.  You can include the 3.2 in a longer run if you like, just be sure to document your time in your race report.

4. Write up your report, and email me the link by Monday October 10th.  I will post the winners on Tuesday October 11th.

So that's it!  If you're in, please leave me a comment....and Happy Running!!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Let's do five for friday

1. PT went well today.  Michelle said that my leg is much looser than it was last Friday, which is great news.  I've been vigilant about using my heating pad, rolling, and stretching, especially my IT bands, which are a big part of the problem.  This is my new favorite stretch for that area, I finally feel like I'm getting somewhere.

this isn't me, it's a photo I found while searching online.

My other issue is my pelvis, it's tilted a bit.  Michelle held my bent, bad leg to the table, then had me push down on my other leg. The bad leg immediately felt better, pushing on the opposite leg helps to straighten out my pelvis.  Who knew such a small move would give big results.

I didn't do my 17 miles yesterday, but we're staying in town this weekend, so I get to run tomorrow.  YIPEE!!!!!

2. I wiped out twice this week.  The first time was when the kids and I took Frank for a walk.  We went through a woodsy area, Frank darted after a squirrel, and yanked me down.  The second time was when Mike and I were goofing around and dancing a bit, and I fell backwards, onto my lower back and elbow.  Ouch.  I think I need to be put into a box until race day.

3. Every day is a different day, I'm wearing a bunch of different hats, sometimes all at once.  I'm more involved with the PTA this year, and so far, my part-time job is going well.  I went into the office the other day, and had to go over some things with Mike.  He was explaining something to me, and I just started laughing.  It's so funny that he's my boss, but also my husband.  I finally got a chance to catch up on blogs, and pay some more attention to my own.  I have something fun coming up next week, so stay tuned!

4. How happy am I that fall television has started?  Between Parenthood, The Office, Two and a Half Men (which I thought was pretty funny, but Mike thinks I just liked looked at a semi-naked Ashton Kutcher), and Survivor, my DVR is full. And I'm surprised that I'm team Coach this season, over Ozzie.  I don't know, he grew on me.

5. These things are like crack. Stay away.

Happy Training, and Happy Weekend!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Optimism is a good thing

Today I saw my favorite physical therapist, Michelle.  When I got there, she told me that when she saw my chart, she thought to herself, "Molly must be doing another marathon."

My pes anserinus muscle is feeling better (thank you Laura Elaine, for telling me what it was called!). Other than spending 8 hours in the car for a quick visit to see my new niece, I rested Friday and Saturday, and stretched, iced, and used the heating pad as much as I could.  Sunday I went for a five mile run, and I have to say, it was the best run I've had in a long time.

I went back in to PT today, and let Michelle know my running plans for the week.  This weekend we're going to be away, so I want to do my 17 miler on Thursday.  I missed last week's long run, so I really need to get it done.  However, Michelle thinks I should cut it way down, and give my pes a chance to heal.

I get it, but I also need to get these long runs done.  Last year my longest training run was 21 miles, and I'm planning on doing that again this time around.  We talked about how there are so many different training plans out there, I know that some of them have the longest run be 16 miles, and that's it. Obviously my fitness level is there, but I want to make sure I'm prepared, mentally, and physically.

I'm going to bike today and tomorrow, then see how far I can go on Thursday.

Hopefully, I'll be able to go far.

Then it's back to PT on Friday.

That's the plan.

And here's my newest little nugget of a niece:


Friday, September 16, 2011

If it's September, then I'm in PT

It's true.

The past two years in a row, I've had to visit my Physical Therapist, and for some reason, it's always in September.

I was really feeling my training this week, I'm smack dab in the middle of my schedule, with less than 8 weeks to go until the marathon.  I've been dragging, the miles are starting to weigh on me, and my motivation is just not there.  I only made it three miles on Wednesday, the inside of my left leg near my knee was really bugging me, so I decided to stop, and made an appointment with my PT.

I had juggled my schedule to clear up a few hours this afternoon to do my 17 miler, and when I went in to PT this morning, I was hopeful that I would still be able to bang it out.

My issues usually lie with my hamstring, but this time it's not the case.  It turns out I strained the muscle that runs from the bottom of my hamstring, along the inside of my leg, past my knee, and into my calf.  It's called a pez-something, I tried to google it but couldn't find anything about it.  Luckily it's not a bad strain, there is no tear, but I need to rest it a few days.  My IT band is pretty tight, so I have to do some stretching of that area, which is one spot I have a hard time getting a good stretch.  Instead of running today, I need to walk for a few miles, then bike.  I can run again on Monday, then I'll have PT a few times next week, and hopefully it will calm down.

I'm a little annoyed about the strain, I have been so good about cross training because of the triathlon I did in August, and I stretch twice a day.  But it could be much worse, so I'm thankful for that.

Oddly, this is the boost I needed.  A couple days of rest, then I have a fresh start.  I'm allowing myself to get excited for the marathon, I got my bib number and wave start this week from NYRR, my wave is at 10:40, with the slower kids.  My friend Jennifer is in the same wave, as are several of my NF Endurance teammates.  I let myself look at the course, and elevation chart, now that I know what my start time is, I can figure out when I'll hit spots in Brooklyn and Queens, for my family to spectate.

It's getting real, and I can't wait.

Happy Weekend, and Happy Training!!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

this will inspire you

I came across this story yesterday through The Children's Tumor Foundation's facebook page.

It is about Matt Hay, an athlete from Indiana, who was diagnosed 14 years ago with NF2, one of the types of neurofibromatosis, which is an incurable disease that causes tumors to grow throughout the body.

He has had eight surgeries and twice, had to re-learn how to walk.   He lost full control of the left side of his face, and in 2004 he lost his hearing.

But last weekend, he completed Rev 3's Cedar Point Ironman Triathlon. Matt completed the 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride and 26.2 mile run in 15:41:02

You can read the complete story here, but I just think his accomplishment is amazing.

I'm running with Team NF Endurance, to raise funds for this foundation, while running the NYC Marathon.  
If you would like to make a donation to my fundraising page, you can click the link on my sidebar. 

Monday, September 12, 2011

running and juggling

Let's play another round of "Do you know what this is?"

It's Woody's hat.  From Toy Story.  For some reason, Eliza decided to put it inside her bedroom lamp, onto the bulb, the night before school started.  Luke alerted us to the smoking plastic, because he said Eliza's room smelled like fried chicken. 

Once again I made a long run harder than it needed to be.

Last week was a step back week in my training, my long run Saturday was 12 miles, and I was happy because I was able to run with Jeannine and Norine.  They're training for a half marathon in October, so my plan was to run with them, and once they were finished, I could go on and finish the last few miles on my own. 

I drove over to Norine's neighborhood, and left a gel and bottle of water in my car, I figured when J&N were finished, I could guzzle them, then head back out.  We did the route of our local Thanksgiving 10k, and when we hit the 9 mile mark, J said she was going to do the whole 12 with me.  I was psyched, but by the time we hit the 10.5 mark, I was missing my water, big time, but I made it through.

It wasn't the smartest thing to do, but when I pull off a run like that, I know that my next long run will feel just a bit easier, because I'll be sure to be properly fueled and hydrated.  

Now that school and the kid's activities have started, and I'm working my part time gig, I've had to really plan when I can run.  I became an Aunt for the 8th time again last Friday, to sweet Baby Caroline.  The night before that, my 90 year old dear Aunt Betti fell and broke her hip.  I was already going down to NY for a baby shower this weekend, but I'm also going to see my new niece, and possibly my Aunt.  Looks like I'm going to have to squeeze my 17 miler in on Friday.  Which might mean getting up at four, in order to be finished by the time I have to get Luke ready for school.

That's a bit nuts, but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I will never forget.

I wrote this post a couple of years ago, and I wanted to post it again today.  I never need reminders of that day, because I will never forget.

I've been hemming and hawing about writing this post, I really don't want to be a Debbie Downer. But I can't believe it's been eight years since 9/11. That's a long time, when it's still so fresh in my memory. It's not something I talk about much with people, especially Mike. The days that lead up to the Anniversary are sometimes harder than the day itself. So I think it would help me to blog about what that day was like, just to get it out of my mind a bit.

That Tuesday was absolutely gorgeous. Blue skies, no humidity, the temperature was in the 70's. I was in Queens on my way back from an early appointment, and listening to Howard Stern. He started talking about the first plane hitting the WTC, which seemed bad, but we had no idea how bad it was going to get. The second plane hit. My cell phone stopped working, my last call was to my dad, we spoke about the planes but he said not to worry because everything would be fine. I inched my way down the highway, and decided to stop home before getting the subway to work. When I turned on the TV I saw how bad it was. Mike called on the land line, his office was downtown, and he said things were getting scary. He saw the first plane hit as he came out of the subway, he called his Dad in the Adirondacks to find out what was going on. He sat on the fire escape of his building with his coworkers, no believing what he saw. People leaping out of the WTC to their deaths. I told him to come home, just start walking and come home.

Mike started walking with hundreds of other people, most of them started running as they passed the Empire State Building, because they thought that was the next target. My sister worked at Homeland Security at the time, her boss ran into her courtrooom and said we were under attack. The thing that stands out in her mind is all of the shoes in the streets, shoes people kicked off their feet as they ran, shoes from God knows where else.

Mike got to the 59th Street Bridge that leads into Queens when he called again, we were on the phone as the second tower fell. I told him they were all gone, I couldn't believe all those people were gone.

I couldn't take it anymore so I turned off the TV and went outside. Right outside my front door was a National Guardsman holding a machine gun. I walked to the bodega next door and bought a beer, even though it was 10:30 in the morning. We lived 10 blocks from the entrance to the Triborough Bridge, and I couldn't get over the silence. Cars and tractor trailers just sitting there, with the engines turned off, listening to their radios. Mike got home and the rest of the day we sat there, we managed to get a couple of phone calls from family, but the phones didn't really work. We finally got a call at 11:30 that night, from our friends K&C. It was their wedding anniversary.

The next day I got up and went to work. It didn't make sense, but in a way, it did. I wanted to show those f**kers that they didn't change my life even though they tried. Have you ever seen that Tom Cruise movie Vanilla Sky, there is a scene where Time Square is empty? That is exactly what it was like. It was so surreal, it was like a movie. That weekened Mike and I went out and bought some things that the recovery workers needed, gloves, spray paint, etc., and brought them down to Ground Zero. On the walk over, we kept noticing pieces of paper that were floating around, charred around the edges. They were memos, reports, things from different offices.

It was hard working at a newspaper during this time. It was hard reading a newspaper during this time. Reading every day the new list of people who were identified. Seeing all the Missing Person flyers everywhere. My boss' wife had her baby on 9/11. In the days that followed, he enjoyed his newborn son, while attending 30 funerals. I did a double take whenever I saw a plane in the sky. We were in The Gaf, our favorite bar on the West Side, the night of the Concert for NY. It was weird to be in a bar that was usually loud and fun, it was silent as we all watched the concert on tv and drank our beers. We drank a lot that month.

A few months later my brother and sister in law came down for a visit, and we brought them down to Ground Zero. My brother in law couldn't get over the cross that was found in the rubble, just two pieces of steel that became a cross, and where prayer services were held for the recovery workers. I truly think that cross is meant as a message. The one thing I get comfort from out of all of this, is the hope that when those poor souls perished, that God was there to bring them to heaven.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

and overnight, it all changed

Today is the second day of school, and I'm sadder than I was yesterday.

The seasons changed, literally overnight.  It was cool and rainy, the kids needed jackets, and I threw on a pair of jeans.

I'm okay with Luke going to school. He loves it, he does well, he's confident, he's a good kid.  Although I didn't get a kiss goodbye when the bus came, he zipped right away from me, excited to see his friends.

I did have concerns about Eliza.  She's Mamma's girl, my little buddy, she can be a bit shy when she first meets you, but once she connects with you, you're her best friend. I thought that when the bus came, she would either cry, and not want to get on, or be okay, and climb aboard.

She needed to pose with her vanity.

Mike took a half day, E goes to afternoon kindergarten, so he was able to see her off.  It was pouring out, so we waited at the garage door.....for almost 40 minutes!! I called the bus department, got their voice mail, and the box was full so I couldn't leave a message.  I couldn't believe it.  Well, I could, because I spent two days last week, making phone call after phone call to the bus department, because they had gotten rid of our bus stop!

Eliza was in a good mood, but since we were waiting so long, she started to get nervous.  She asked for Teddy Bunny, but I told her Bunnies weren't allowed in school. The look on her face made me feel terrible, and she ran inside.  I got her to go back outside by slipping her a couple of m&m's.

Finally, the bus came, I got a kiss this time, and she was off.

I was so annoyed at the bus being late, that I didn't cry like I thought I would.  Mike and I went out for Mexican food and a margarita to celebrate the kids making it to school.

I go into work today for some training, this is so weird for me, to be going somewhere in the afternoons while the kids are elsewhere.

I'm excited, but feeling sad, I'm still a Mom, but I'm no longer a mom to babies, I'm a Mom to kids.

They still need me, but in a slightly different way.

But I need them too.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Nine Weeks Out

I have the sniffles.

I can't remember the last time I was sick, but I'm ending the weekend with a stuffed up nose, scratchy throat, and a sleepy head.  But on the bright side, I got all my runs in.

Saturday morning was my 16 miler, and when I set out with Frank, it was so humid you could practically see the water hanging in the air.  My plan was to take him out for five miles, drop him back home, then head back out.  But when we were done, and after I gave him a treat, I realized how much nicer it was in my house, so I hopped on the treadmill in my quiet basement, to finish off the last 11 miles.   It went really well, I watched some of the movie Say Anything, which was on HBO, as well as some of the MTV Video Music Awards.  Anyone else catch Adele's performance of Someone Like You?  It seriously gave me the chills.

At the 14 mile mark, I had to take off my shirt, it was so full of sweat that it made a TWACK sound after I tossed it on the floor.  Gross, but a great indicator of my hard work.

I have to say, I love my treadmill, always have.  I run on an incline of 1%, to mimick an outdoor run, and I love to watch the miles tick by.  I think the longest run I've done on my mill is 14 miles.  I've been thinking more and more of doing my long runs on the treadmill, I mean, why not?  I will definitely do my longest training run of 20 miles outside, but I don't see any real disadvantage of spending training time on the treadmill, a la EMZ.

Can you think of any?

I felt good after I was done, did the whole ice bath/compression sock recovery.  The weird thing was, Sunday morning, I woke up, and my left knee was hurting.  It was pretty stiff, so I popped some advil, and pulled one of my compression sleeves up, and over my knee.  We took the kids to play mini-golf, then went to the pool, I swam a short 200 meters to loosen my knee up a bit, and when we were finally home for good, I iced on and off for the rest of the night.  Monday, it was perfectly fine, and I was able to do my scheduled 5 miler.

Weird, right?

Tomorrow the kids go back to school, Eliza is starting kindergarten, and I'm very sad that my little one will be heading out into the world.  On Thursday, for me it's.......back to work!!!!

And in NINE short weeks, it's marathon time.

Those weeks are going to fly right on by.

Thanks to everyone who entered my YMX giveaway, as usual, I used to choose the winner, Tracy, from Our Life With 3 Guys and a Doll!

Congrats!  Send me your deets and I'll get you set up!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Tattoo Number Two?

Tattoo's intrigue me.  

Last fall I finally got my first tattoo, to celebrate my marathon, and to just celebrate being me.  Before that, I kept changing my mind over what I wanted to have done, I even went to a tattoo place, but chickened out at the last minute.  And when Luke was born, I realized why people get tat's of their kids names or faces.

I drew the Celtic cross that I had inked on my ankle, although Newt the Tattoo Artist made it look nicer than what I had come up with, and I love it.

But I feel a bit unbalanced.  I've talked to others who also have just one tattoo, and they think the same way.  I kind of need another one, on an opposite body part, to even it out.

My sister came up a few weekends ago, and mentioned she's getting a small musical note on her ankle.  I was so excited, I told her I would get one with her, that afternoon if she wanted (it's a fun bonding experience, I went with my friend Lori when she got one, and my BFF Dawn and I got ours together).  But she already has plans to go with a friend, so no go for me.

I'm thinking of getting another small one, on my right wrist, to balance my left ankle.  If I do it, I'll wait until after I run the NYC Marathon (have you checked out my fundraising page???), and it will be simple.

Some kind of combo of M L E.

The first letters of Mike, Luke and Eliza.

Do you have any tattoos??  What are they?  What do they represent??

Did you enter my YMX sleeveless jersey giveaway yet? Check it, here!!!

Have a great Labor Day Weekend!

It's September.