Wednesday, June 25, 2008


...was a slow month for the running. After my huge debut as a half-marathoner, I believe I've gone out for a run 3 times? Nothing stellar. But I REALLY don't want to lose all that training I worked so hard for. I'm not a fan of the long run (I'd say beyond 6 or 7 miles it's just no fun) so I will keep it short and sweet for now, and ramp back up when I have a distance to train for. And I've started back up again - 3 miles yesterday, and I planned on going out again today until I woke up with a nasty headache. So I'll be out tomorrow. I'd like to shoot for 3 runs a week, keeping it at about 3 miles.

I also signed up for another half marathon, but this one I'm doing as part of a relay team with my dad and sis-in-law. Should be fun, and will keep me running over the summer. I'll probably start looking for a 10K to do sometime this fall as well.

And as far as kage / delilas 10K crunch challenge goes, I've been doing my 100 crunches 4 or 5 out of every 7 days. Nothing to brag about, but that's 4 or 5 days more than I was doing crunches before!

I'm looking forward to my annual physical next week. Last year, my doctor encouraged me to make exercise a regular habit (beyond my usual training routine of chasing children) and I haven't seen her since. I can't wait to see her face when I tell her that I didn't just add 20 minutes a day, I ran freakin' 13 miles. And now I've just got to keep it up.

Monday, June 2, 2008


This post is going to have a lot of pictures, but you can just deal with it! Considering I think I've had maybe one picture in the life of this blog, consider this the make-up post!

I started the day with a half a peanut butter sandwich and a breakfast drink, and at 8:40 Chris (my racing buddy / sis-in-law), Mike (her hubby and our chauffeur) and I left to pick up Keighty (our other racing buddy and sis-in-law) to head off for the race. I was... nervous. NER-VOUS. Butterflies in belly. Not sure what to expect. As we approached Woodstock (the biggest town on the course) there was definitely traffic, a lot of cars parking and a bus ahead of us full of people. The closer we got to the start, the crazier it was. And then, we arrived - at about 9:30, with race start at 10:15 - and there were LOTS of people, and notably, LOTS of port-a-potties.

See them there behind us? Yeah, there were lots of them. Okay, so we first made a bee-line for said potties, since we all had to go. I get this nervous peeing thing before I run, I go about 10 times, convinced my bladder is full, but then it's like dribble, dribble, nothing. TMI?

Anyway, after that it was off to registration where we picked up our numbers and our timing chips. We then stood around watching all the "real runners" (as we termed them) stretching. It was our determination that it was too early for us to stretch, so we wandered around and crowd-watched a bit. With about 20 to go until start, we did some stretching, applied sunscreen and ultra glide, downed some shot bloks (I stashed some extras down my shorts) and we packed up our bag and stuck it on the gear bus (which took our bags to the finish line). Then it was time for one more stop at the potties, and then to the start line. Or, more specifically, to the back of the large mass of people at the start line. When the gun went off, it was 2 - 3 minutes before we crossed the line, and then we were off!

Chris and Keighty have always run a little faster than me, and we soon separated and did our own thing. I was probably right on pace in my first mile, but got a little worried in my second and slowed down more than I needed to I think. At about mile 3, you come to a part of the course where the route is doubling back on itself - and of course, by the time I got there, there were plenty of runners coming the other way (they were at about mile 5). The beauty of running slowly, you get the course to yourself, right?!?!? Just after mile 4, the course crosses a covered bridge and comes into Woodstock. That's where our team of supporters was waiting - so awesome and slightly overwhelming to see them!

Another nice thing about being near the end of the running pack is that there aren't a lot of people around to get in the way of photos, so Mike got plenty of shots of me crossing the bridge!

I look quite happy in that last one, don't I?

The highlights of the next 4 miles was a perfectly placed port-a-potty (they must have known when we'd need to get rid of all that pre-race water!) and some water stations and lots of very nice people cheering. If there's a race in your town, even if you don't know anyone running in it, go out and cheer for the people running by - it really does make them feel great! Starting at about mile 7.5, there were gatorade and water stations. I figured out that what I like is to take a cup of gatorade, drink 2- 3 sips, and then chase that with some water to get the taste out of my mouth. Running with that sweet taste in my mouth isn't fun - I'd rather flush it out with some water.

At mile 8, our cheering team met us at the end of a long dirt road stretch, right before we hit the biggest hill on the course. Here are a couple of shots of my son, Max, keeping busy while they waited:

And no, he doesn't know any of those people, he was just really enthusiastic about the whole event. Apparently, he was very upset that he couldn't run, so when I came along, he went out and joined me:

I paused long enough to give him a kiss, pick up a new pack of shot bloks from hubby, and then I was off again for the remaining 5.1 miles (after I trudged up the short but darn steep hill).

At about mile 11.5, when I was glad I had run the course before and knew the end was nearing, a sweet / funny / pathetic thing happened. There was a woman out on her porch, cheering us all on. As I came by, she looked right at me and said, very earnestly, "you've come this far, you're almost there. Look at what you've done! Now finish it!" What she said struck me and I got a little teary, getting excited about accomplishing this enormous feat that I never really thought I could do. Then, because I started to get teary, my throat started to close up, and suddenly, I couldn't breathe! I started to panic as I wheezed with no air, until I finally calmed myself down, mentally slapped myself around for getting teary, and resumed normal breathing. Basically, I got so emotional about finishing the race, I almost didn't finish!! Pathetic.

Speaking of finishing, here's the big moment:

My buddy crossed the finish with me. The time on the clock is my "gun" time, meaning the time from when the gun went off until when I crossed the line. My actual time (from crossing the start until reaching the finish) was 2:43, which is a good bit below my goal of coming in under 3 hours. And now I have a number to shoot to beat next year! Yes, that's right, I'm thinking I'll run it again.

Here are my partners in crime on their runs. They did great!

And here we are, happy to be done. (and stuffing our mouths with food, please ignore our chipmunk cheeks...)

A big thanks to everyone who turned out to cheer us on, especially Michelle, our fellow training buddy / sis-in-law who had to sit out the big day due to the baby inside her really wanting to come out (but it's not time yet baby, STAY IN THERE!) so she was there cheering us on. She pretty much did the race though, since she went out on the 12 mile day with us, so she deserves a big cheer as well. (YAY CHELLE!)

Thanks for reading along through this adventure. It's cheesy to say, but I hope this inspires you to set a goal and go for it. A year ago, I would have pulled a muscle laughing at you if you suggested I'd have just completed a half marathon today. But here I am! And i'm not a runner, or a fitness enthusiast - never have been. But this has made me a healthier and more confident person, and I'm glad I've done it. I'm already planning for my next race (a half marathon relay at the end of the summer) and I expect to keep training, so keep reading if you'd like. I'll try to be better about updating you all on my frustrations, fun, and foibles as I go along.


Friday, May 30, 2008

it's the final countdown....

da da daaaa da... da da da da da.... da da daaaa da (come on, don't say it wasn't going through your head too when you read the title)

The race is on Sunday. I am ready. I ran 12 miles on the 17th (I know, right???) and I have my shoes, socks, shorts, and tank all set to go. The last thing I need to do is load up my latest audiobook (The Second Summer of the Sisterhood - I know, I'm ashamed...) and quell the butterflies RAGING in my tummy.

I'll try to post on Sunday (with some pictures even!) but if not, then Monday at the latest. :-)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

apparently, I'm not much of a blogger these days

It doesn't help that I'm a little bored with running, which makes BLOGGING about running fall even farther down the list!

We tackled 9 miles, and while it wasn't as good as the 8 mile run, I'd say that's mostly because I didn't sleep enough the night before. This past week was an "off" week (meaning our regular Tuesday / Thursday 3 mile runs and then a 4 mile on Saturday) in preparation for this Saturday's 10 mile run. It's a testament to how far I've come that I'm not freaking out about it - what's one more mile? Of course, the next week is 12 miles and that sounds a little daunting, but I'm sure we'll do great.

I made it through The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, but it wasn't quite doing it for me. So I've switched over to some really hard-hitting literature: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Try not to hurt yourself laughing at me.

Also, after a less-than-thorough and really not scientific search, I've decided that I (along with my running partners / sis-in-laws) prefer Clif Shot Bloks in strawberry as our "performance food" of choice. Next task? Finding some (gulp) running shorts. Ugh.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A bit of a break

Hello there everyone, sorry, I've been a bit out of the blogging groove these last couple of weeks.

So yes, I was sick. I missed 3-mile training runs on 4/8, 4/10, and 4/17. I got in a 4-mile run on Saturday the 12th and a 3-mile on the 15th, but all said not exactly a stellar training period. Colds suck. 'nuff said.

Then, this past Saturday - 8 miles! It was an awesome run actually. We ran part of the actual race course - from Billings Farm in Woodstock to the Quechee polo fields, just past The Inn At Marshland Farm (where my hubby and I got married, actually). We left a car at each end, stuffed a bag with water and goo shots and dropped it by the side of the road, and we were off! Three of us ran, two (pregnant ladies) walked it. Aside from the water stop in the middle, we ran the whole way. It felt quite good actually.

Then yesterday I had the worst run I've had in MONTHS. I couldn't figure it out, it was only a 3 mile run, which we decided to do on the trails in the nature preserve behind my house. This is where we did all our running last summer, and so it should have felt familiar. However, I couldn't seem to get into it at all - it was totally a mental block, I wasn't too tired, but my body just wouldn't run for me. But after the run, I realized that all this time training on treadmills and the road has allowed me to develop a relatively consistent pace, and it is very difficult to maintain that when trail running - so many twisty little paths, ups and downs, rocks and roots, etc. So I'll be heading back to the road tomorrow, in hopes that it is indeed the solution. I hope I'm not permanently broken!

9 miles to come on Saturday. I finished Harry Potter #7 on the run last Saturday, and while I was tempted to just listen to it again (I love that book...) I thought something fresh might do me good. So I'm listening to The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis, which I'm enjoying so far. I haven't read the books in decades, so it is like reading (listening) to them again for the first time.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

I'm beginning to sense a pattern here

I'm feeling a little low, not really into the running groove. I head out, somewhat unenthusiastically, for a challenging run. I return victorious, energized, jazzed, ready to tackle the next run. Bring it on! And the next step?

... I get sick. I've been down with a cold since Sunday. :-( Which means no run on Tuesday, no run today. I should be back for Saturday's run, but I'm bummed I've had to miss these two. It's spring! I can run outside! I am nearing the (dramatic, gripping, wonderful) end of Harry Potter on my ipod! Nothing can stop me now! ... Except a little snot...

Saturday, April 5, 2008

We are the champions, my friends...

... which is what I was singing when I re-entered my house after my triumphant 7 mile run! That's right, I did it. I DID IT! 7 miles, and..... drumroll please.... NO WALKING! I ran the whole dang thing!

We ran outside - no snow, no rain. It was damp out from all the rain yesterday, but otherwise, excellent running conditions. I did great until about mile 5.5, when I hit a bit of a wall, but now I just know for next time that I'll need to give myself a little "snack" right around that point (oooh, weird exercise gel packs, can't wait!)

Not much more to report about it, other than I did it. But I think that's enough, right? !