Monday, October 31, 2011

Taper Dreams

Can you guess what this is?

My camera took this picture as I was rushing down the stairs at the kid's school this morning.  I thought their parade was at 10:30, not 10:00.  I left early though, because I wanted a decent parking spot, and luckily enough, there was an open spot right in front of the school.  I zipped through the school, to see the tail end of the parade, the kids saw me, and I saw them, so I wasn't as bad of a Mommy as I thought I was.

The pumpkins came out pretty well though.

With less than a week until race day, the anxiety dreams are starting to appear.  Friday night I had a dream that I was running the race, and when I went to grab a GU, they all had turned into packets of oatmeal.   Last week I had a dream that we had to drive to the starting line, and I realized we were still four hours away, and weren't going to make it.

Makes for a not so restful nights sleep.

What have you dreamed about during taper time?  Are you dressing up for Halloween?

I was going to wear bunny ears for trick or treating, but Frank ate them.

I'll get him back.  He's going to wear a black cape and be Super Dog.

Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

You Ran 15 Miles On Purpose?

Who pressed the fast forward button on winter?  We had a sprinkling of snow the other day, and I know parts of the East Coast are getting ready for the white stuff to fall.  It's not unusual for the kids to wear their winter coats for Trick or Treating, but this is ridiculous!

I went for a bike ride yesterday, the roads were dry, so I thought I should go for it while I still can.  It was a great ride, but Pez is a bit tight today.  I have the heating pad on it right now, to loosen up before today's run. I'm wondering if I should pay one last visit to PT this week, just for good measure.

Have you seen this video?  My friend Norine sent it to me, and it's hysterical, I was laughing out loud.

Crazy Marathon Runners.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Follow This Mother!

If you've read this book:

or if you read Runners World, or the blog Another Mother Runner, you're familiar with the "Follow This Mother" Feature.......but even if you aren' here to see who is featured today!!

Thank you Dimity and Sarah!!

Friday, October 21, 2011

It's All Good

Last week Mike and I were talking about what we want to do for my Big Birthday in January, and we agreed that it would be great to take the kids to Disney.  He got the ball rolling by calling the travel agent, and that was that.

Until the weekend, which was cold, rainy and miserable.  We still had Luke's soccer game though, my Mom was up for a visit and she was a good sport about the weather:

Once we got home, Mike turned on the furnace, to make sure everything was okay with it for this winter.

Yup, it didn't turn on.

Four days and $3,100 later, we have a new furnace.

Isn't it pretty?

So much for Disney. But I'd rather have heat.

I did get some good news this week though, after my last PT session, Michelle said I'm good to go for the marathon!  I made an appointment for next week, just in case, that she said I could cancel if I need to, but she thinks I'll be okay.  I just have to be smart, keep doing what I'm doing.  I ran hills twice this week with Frank, and he kept me at an easy 9:20 pace.  I ran 10 miles on the treadmill over the weekend, and I seriously had to force myself to stop.  I was so amped up, I know I could have done another 10, at least.

So now I'm in taper mode, which is weird, because for the past couple of weeks I've been in a shorter run mode, and my longest run maxed out at 18.  I don't feel like I'm truly tapering, because I'm biking and doing other things.  I'm almost afraid to truly taper, I want to keep the endurance up, but I still have to take care of Pez.

I'm also focusing more on my diet, I eat pretty well overall, but I'm making sure I get these staples in, every single day.  Breakfast has been oatmeal mixed with almonds, dried cherries, cinnamon, and a sprinkle of mini chocolate chips (dark chocolate is very good for you).  If I'm really hungry, I scramble an egg and have it on a slice of toast.  I'm not a fan of bananas, but I make myself eat them anyway, they usually end up in a smoothie, along with a cup of either blueberries, strawberries, or raspberries.

When I was out shopping yesterday, everyone seemed to be sniffling or coughing, so Amazing Grass is going to be in my diet for the next two weeks.  Lunch and dinner is usually some kind of meat, along with veggies, or pasta.  We roasted two huge butternut squashes the other night, along with shallots and rosemary, there was hardly any left.  I love roasting veggies.

And, um, I've had a chocolate chip cookie or two every day this week.  I blame my sister in law, she came over the other day with some killer cookies she made, we knocked those off, and I had to make some of my  own.

Why is it that raw cookie dough is sometimes better than the cookie?

16 Days!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Would you run with your rear showing?

I've been wearing the same running clothes for my long runs, making sure that everything fits right, and feels right.

For race day, I'll be wearing my Children's Tumor Foundation tech tank:

my favorite cushy socks, paired with calf sleeves:

and, I think, my compression shorts. 

When I say, I think, it's because they're tight fitting, and a bit see through.  Which means you can see my rear end, although it also looks like I'm either wearing white underwear (no, it's just my pale skin), or a black thong (due to the seams in the shorts). 

I love how they fit for a long run, and I'm going to wear them, but I don't want to feel/look silly.  I thought of putting a pair of loose shorts on over them, but I think I'd get too hot.

What do you think?  

Do you run for comfort, no matter what?  Or do you go with what looks best?  

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thursday Three: Be Good

1. This Sunday, Syracuse is hosting the inaugural Empire State Marathon, and Half Marathon.  I have friends who are running both distances, but never signed up because I knew the race fell during my marathon training, and I didn't want to throw another race into the mix.

Pez is feeling good, and holding up.  I ran Monday, biked Tuesday, and yesterday, ran 5 miles of hills.  Today is a rest day, tomorrow is biking, Saturday is a long run, whose length is to be determined.  While I was at PT the other day, I casually mentioned to Michelle that Empire State is this weekend, she gave me a look, and said "You are NOT running it! You're NOT!  The last thing you need is to go all out, and hurt your knee at this stage of the game, NYC is less than three weeks away. Be good."

Okay Michelle, I'll be good.  But I'm still raring to go.

2. I finally used a gift card to Barnes & Noble, that I got for a Christmas gift.  It is very unlike me to wait so long to visit B&N, especially when free books are involved.  I bought this:

and I can't put it down.  It's very inspiring, and I love how I can picture in my head the neighborhoods he writes about.  I'm hosting book club in January, and I told Mike that I was going to pick the Long Run for it.  He didn't think everyone would want to read about running, and I was completely baffled. Doesn't everyone want to read about running?

3. I caught a few minutes of Kathie Lee & Hoda the other morning (roll your eyes, but they crack me up), and they were talking about some study that said running causes wrinkles.  That would not be good, but just in case, I bought this.

I'll let you know in 12 long weeks if my running wrinkles disappear......

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Thank You & 5k Winners

Time is flying, and I'm wishing for extra hours in each day so that I can tackle everything I need to.

But for now, I wanted to say


Thank you to:

The Green Girl

Thank you for making donations to my NYC Marathon fundraising page, to benefit the Children's Tumor Foundation.  I'm over 90% of my goal, and I'm so appreciative.

And without further are the winners of my Fall 5k:

First Place winner of the Everyday Endurance gift card: Jason, from Cook Train Eat Race, Time: 19:25

Second Place winner of the Silver Maple gift card: Tara, from Colorado Runner, Time: 23:35

Third Place of the Wrightsocks and GU: Heather, from Mommy Are You Going for a Run?, Time: 24:23


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Could corn chips be the answer?

I went for a run yesterday morning with my girls, Jeannine and Norine.  It was 45 degrees when we headed out for 10 miles around my neighborhood.  The weather has been beautiful, warm in the afternoons, and the leaves are changing and falling so quickly. 

I wasn't sure how Pez would hold up, I had 12 miles on my plan, but I thought I would err on the side of caution.  I wore my compression socks, and the run was great, although my feet hurt towards the end.  I'm going to have to make the switch to socks and sleeves, but for now, the full compression is doing the trick. 

I've been thinking and reading more about my fuel for the 26.2, and how to get more salt into my system without causing any issues.  I have to remember that odds are, we won't have a 90 degree, humid day, but you never know.  The only thing I brought with me for yesterdays run was a gel, I had my fuel belt ready to go, but didn't feel like bringing it along.  J & N said we could just hit water fountains when we needed water, which made sense to me.  

I had my gel at the 5 mile mark, and instead of sucking it all down at once like I usually do, I took a little bit of it at a time.  Then I had a some water from the fountain when we reached the park.  Because of the cooler temps, I'm guessing I had three ounces of water, total for the 10 miles.  

I have 20 miles to do next weekend, if Michelle from PT will let me, and for that run, my plan is to keep using GU, drink water only when I'm thirsty, and have something salty after eating a GU.  At first I thought saltines or goldfish crackers would work, but Mike brought home some corn chips the other day, and I had a couple. Those things are so freaking salty, they'll be a perfect fit for the salt I need during a long run. 

I've started each paragraph of this post with the letter "I" so why stop now. 

I wanted to take advantage of the warm temps, and take the kids pumpkin picking.  I don't know what this farm put into their fields, but every pumpkin we came across was HUGE, and perfect. They were a bargain at $2 a pop, so we ended up with seven. 

Frank enjoyed knocking them over. 

27 Days.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

One month out

This came in the mail this week:


The marathon is a month from today, and after I started looking through the handbook, my nerves and excitement kicked in.  Which made me think more about race day, the course, what I'm going to wear, how I'm going to feel, how I want to go in strong, how I don't want to fail. 

For the past three nights, I've woken up around three, then I fall back to sleep around six-thirty, then get up at seven when Mike's alarm goes off.  My stomach is bugging me, and my brain has been all consumed with race details, and Pez details. 

I already know what I need to do with Pez, but here's what I need to figure out for the race:

1. The Course.  I know the streets of Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan, from the four years I worked in sales, when I drove, and walked all over these three boroughs.  I know that the 59th Street Bridge is going to be a bitch, as well as the end of the race through hilly Central Park.  My Dad has run NYC, and we talked about the hills, and how I'll be able to tackle them, because I've run up worse.

2. Nutrition. I had stomach issues that came to a head at mile 18 of the Rochester Marathon.  I wrote it off as too much GU, and nerves, but then after my 18 miler last weekend, I had the same queasy feeling.  After reading some of the handbook, and this article in the NY Times about marathon hydration, I think it's because I was drinking too much, and diluting the salt in my system. I usually have crusty salt on my face, and apparently a lack of salt causes stomach upset.  Anyone use salt tabs?  I'm considering downing salt water before my run this weekend, and see what it does for me, because I need to figure this out. 

3. Schedule. Daylight savings time is race weekend, so I gain an hour of sleep. Which will end up being an extra hour of laying in bed staring at the ceiling.  Luckily I'm staying at a friends apartment, so I don't have to worry about hotel reservations, and we'll have our car so Mike can drive me down to the ferry.  Which brings up a point, I chose a very early ferry, 7:45.  We had to choose our times back in July, before we knew what waves we were in.  I figured it made sense to get there early, but since my wave doesn't start until 10:40, I'm going to be hanging around for a while. Hopefully it won't be raining, or freezing out.  Which brings me to...

4. Clothing.  Fall in NY can be iffy, either its warm and lovely, or cool and rainy.  So I'm going to have to pick out different options.  I must wear my Children's Tumor Foundation tank, which I've worn several times, and luckily, it fits well and is comfortable. Although my compression shorts are slightly see-through (anyone behind me will get a good view of my, well, behind) they're a smart choice for hammy and Pez.  Tommie Copper generously sent me calf sleeves and a top, so that's covered, but I'm not sure about my arms.  I've never worn any kind of compression sleeves or arm warmers.  Anyone have any feedback on that?

5. Gear.  I'm thinking of leaving my fuel belt at home, and making due with the water and gatorade on the course.  I'm a nuun girl, so I would have to get used to gatorade.  My belt is big, and I don't know if I want to deal with it this time around.  But I do need to figure out how to carry my cellphone, GU, and maybe goldfish crackers. Then there is the ipod question, will I need it?  I think there will be plenty to distract me with along the course and spectators, but it's like a security blanket, I like to know it's there.  

Speaking of ipods......I must say Thank You to Steve Jobs for all he created, especially the ipod, which has carried me through countless runs.  May he rest in peace. 

6. Fundraising. I'm very thankful, and grateful for all the donations I've received for The Children's Tumor Foundation.  I'm still waiting for some of them to come in, and if they do, I have about $150 left to raise by October 24th.  As of today, our team has raised over $63,000! Our goal is $70,000, which you can help us raise by clicking here.

Now I need to go for a run.  

:  )

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

In limbo

Things are whirling in my brain, which is why I'm sleeping like crap.

I'm in that limbo of feeling ready to take on a marathon Right This Minute, to Wait A Minute, Am I Really Ready?

Pez was still a bit sore on Monday, so to be on the safe side, I bagged my recovery run, and rode my bike instead.   I went into PT, and Michelle asked me where I ran for my 18 miler.  After I told her I did the whole thing on the treadmill without stopping, she looked at me, and said if I could do that right now, I'm ready for the  full 26.2.  I kind of agree with her.  I was ready to be finished at 18, my feet hurt, but I could have done 8 more, I just wouldn't have been very happy about it.

But then she suggested that I forget about doing any more really long runs, to focus on cross training as much as possible, and do shorter runs.  Her concern is that, now that Pez is healing, I don't want to aggravate it any further, and possibly bruise it.

It makes sense to me, but it scares me.  I don't belong to a gym, and the pool is closed for winter.  I was planning on running 20 miles this weekend, then start to taper off.  But now I might stick to maybe 13, then taper the long runs.

And here's why:

  • Last September I ran a marathon, then stayed active through the winter with exercise DVD's, and the treadmill.  
  • I ran outside starting in February, on very hilly roads, which ended in May, with a 10 mile race, where I PR'd by 8 minutes.  
  • Then I sprained my foot while walking Frank, and took a few weeks off while I healed, then eased into my new custom orthotics.    
  • Then I started biking, swimming, and running, training for my first sprint triathlon, in August.
  • I took a week off, then started an 18 week marathon training plan. 
  • I hit all my runs, cross trained, but about a month ago, Pez started acting up, and I missed a 16 miler, and a 17 miler, while I rested for a week. 
  • I've been modifying my training plan, had some great runs, and a confidence boosting 18 mile run.
  • I know there are training plans out there that max out at 18, although the longest run on mine is 21 miles.

That said, I realize I have a solid base.  

At this particular moment, Pez feels fine. 

So I think I'm going to take each day as it comes, although this is the first time I'm not following my training plan to a T, especially at this point in the game. 

Which is where the nerves kick in.

But I'll keep on stretching, doing exercises, and using all of these:

33 Days.......

Sunday, October 2, 2011

That run should have put me to sleep

I feel an onset of my good friend Insomnia coming on.  It usually happens without warning, but I had a restless night of sleep last night, and then I was up at six in the morning, and couldn't fall back to sleep.

Which is especially annoying, because I expected to sleep soundly, after a long treadmill run.

I did it, no bathroom breaks, no stopping, with inclines and hills mixed in.  I started to watch Mildred Pierce, but I turned it off after I realized I taped it after it had started.  I can't watch a movie after missing the beginning.  Luckily I caught When Harry Met Sally right at the start, (I would have made an exception in this case if I tuned in at the middle) then I filled the last miles with MTV and VH1.  

My knee (aka, Pez) felt great the entire time. I wore compression socks, along with compression shorts, and although my feet hurt the last couple of miles, Pez hung in.  By mile 17 my stomach was bugging me a bit, I think it was from the GU, nuun, and water.  I need to play around with my fuel a bit, I might throw some goldfish crackers into the mix, to settle all that, well, goo in my stomach.  

When I finally got out of bed this morning, Pez was stiff and sore, but I get to see Michelle (aka my favorite physical therapist in the world) tomorrow, so I hope she won't be too pissed about what I might have done to my healing. 

Five weeks until race day.........