Monday, March 31, 2014

Baby Joey Is Here!

Three weeks ago today we welcomed Baby Joey into our family.  He is such a sweet little guy and we are all so in love with him.  Mia is the best big sister ever, in fact she thinks he is her baby and wants to help with everything- except diaper changes.

Like his sister Baby Joey was a C-section baby, this time though it was planned.   Having a planned c-section was a much better experience than laboring for 2 days and then having an emergency c-section.  I felt so much better after and was up walking around a few hours after surgery.  My recovery has continued to go well.  I feel so much less tired this time, even though he is up almost every 2 hours.  

While I am not cleared to run or do any vigorous exercise yet the doctor did tell me last week that I can start taking walks.  Last week I took 2 short walks to see how it felt and I felt great so this week my goal is to try to get in daily walks.  Today I managed 30 minutes on the treadmill for a total of 1.20 miles.  Hopefully these slow walks will help me continue to get back into shape and get me ready to run once the doctor gives me the ok in a few weeks!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

What happened to 2013 and Goals for 2014

Blogging got away from in 2013 and my goals took a different path as some big life changes happened.  Although I didn't even come close to my goal of working towards a BQ marathon time I did have a great year and had a few cool running accomplishments and even more important some great life surprises!

In July, we found out we are expecting our 2nd child, a boy, who will be arriving in just a few weeks.  Needless to say this put a lot of my running goals on hold.  While a 2nd child wasn't a surprise we didn't expect it to happen so fast since getting pregnant with Mia took a lot longer.  At this point, I just decided my main goal was to run and stay active for as much of the pregnancy as possible.  It hasn't been easy.  In the beginning this pregnancy wasn't much different from my pregnancy with Mia, but as time went on it's become a lot harder.  I can't complain though, while we have had some scares along the way, the baby is healthy and so am I.  Running for me tapered off around the holidays.  My last race was our local turkey trot on thanksgiving.  After that I pretty much stuck to the elliptical and a few treadmill runs.  Since the holidays, I've mostly just been trying to get out for walks at lunch time.  That seems to be all I have the energy for anymore.

All in all I was able to run 4 races while pregnant, one of them being a half marathon.  The half marathon I ran while pregnant was the Camp Chingacook Challenge in Lake George, NY.  This race was tough and I think I would have considered it a big accomplishment even if I wasn't pregnant, so I'm most particularly proud of finishing it pregnant.  The most special race I ran while pregnant was the Troy Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving.  It was my daughter's first time running the kids mile race and we ran with all of her cousins.  I almost bailed on the 5K because I was pretty tired and cold from running the mile race but at the last minute I decided to just try.  I ended up having a lot of fun and completed it feeling good.  It was certainly a slow 5K for me but it was fun and I felt proud of completing it.  

Prior to becoming pregnant my marathon training was going just ok.  I felt like I never really got into a groove in the spring and while I managed to qualify for Marathon Maniacs by running two marathons in 2 weeks in the Spring- the Memorial Day Marathon in Lenox, MA, and the Lake Placid Marathon- I just never felt as strong as I did in the fall of 2012 when I broke 4 hours.  In a way it was like my body was trying to rest up and prepare for pregnancy. 

While 2013 wasn't a running PR year for me, I must say I PR'd in race cheering and spectating.  In addition to cheering for friends in Boston in the spring, I also cheered for Joe at RAGNAR Adirondacks and the Marine Corps Marathon.  I was also proud to cheer on many of my Strong Running Mama friends at the Hudson Mohawk Marathon.   Even though I wished I was running myself at all these races I think I had just as much fun if not more cheering!

I'm looking forward to meeting this little guy in a few weeks and getting back into shape once my body recovers.  Lately I have been craving a good run.  Joe and Mia got me a treadmill for Christmas, which is something I had been dreaming of for a while, lately it's only being used for walks but I can't wait to run on it.  My running goals for 2014 will be all about listening to my body as I try to get back into shape.  I know if I am careful I can get back to where I was in the Fall of 2012 but it will take some time.  Last fall I deferred my fall marathon due to pregnancy so that is a goal I will work towards this summer.  I am going to try really hard not to give myself any time expectations but since it's the same race I broke 4 hours at I know that it will be hard not to compare. 

I also hope to blog more regularly again.  I think keeping this journal of my progress will keep me motivated as I try to figure out how to juggle two kids, a job, running and everything else.

Sunday, April 21, 2013


Last weekend Joe, Mia and I went to Boston for a fun family weekend with our main purpose being to cheer our friends, Sally, Sheila, Pia and Sue, on in the marathon on Monday.  Our trip got off to a bad start when 15 minutes after getting on the highway my car broke down.  It was nothing major but serious enough that we had to have it towed to a shop to be fixed.  At this point, several hours after our planned departure, I asked Joe if he would rather just stay home.  He said no way, that we were still going to have a fun weekend.  So we got in Joe's car and headed to Boston.  Even though we got there later than planned we had a great afternoon and evening. 
It wasn't the day they hoped for but we are so proud of them!

On Marathon Monday we woke up early and met up with my friend Jenny and her husband Bill and headed out to spectate.  Jenny has both run and spectated before so she suggested we drive to Newton and take the T into the city from the Riverside Station.  This would put us on a T line along the marathon route and make it easy for us to get back on the highway to head home after the marathon.  We decided we would get off at the first stop and spectate around mile 17 for a while.  We ended  up getting there around 10 a.m. so we were able to get a great spot right in front of the hospital.  Mia was super excited, she had her horn, cowbells and signs we made earlier in the week ready to go.  We got to see the hand cyclists come through, military service members that walked the course and then the elites.  It was so amazing to see some of my running idols like Kara Goucher and Shalene Flanagan run right by me.  The elite men were also amazing- so fast!
The elite women

After the elites passed us more and more runners started coming by.  We spotted some really fast runners from Albany that are members of The Willow Street Running Club and Team Utopia.  We spotted our super fast friend Sally who looked really strong.  We had so much fun cheering.  We loved how the runners seemed so happy when we would call out Thieu number or names from their shirt. We kept looking at the tracking information for our runners on the phone and finally decided that if we wanted to see everyone finished we should jump back on the train and head towards the finish.

On the train we discussed our options.  We could get off at the 25.2 mile maker, the 25.5 mark or the 26 mile mark.  This is where the what ifs begin for me.  We decided to get off at 25.2 figuring that we would walk from there towards the finish until we found a good spot to watch our friends come in.  When we got off the train we were right next to the course and it was packed.  We thought we would never find a spot.  As luck would have it we found a great spot right away right in Kenmore Square.  It was perfect we were right next to the course but we also had a little park right behind us where Mia could run around a bit.
Joe and Mia cheering

Soon after we arrived Sally came through looking fast.  She would end up finishing with PR and qualifying again for next year despite having some troubles throughout the race.  As we were watching we ran into another group of spectators from Albany that we knew so we had fun cheering for their friends as well.  Soon we saw that Sheila should be coming through but it seemed to be taking her longer than we thought it should so we worried that either we missed her or she was hurt.  Not long after we expected Sheila Sue came through.  We could tell she was tired but she was still going strong.  Still no Sheila and the tracker was not showing her as finished yet so we thought maybe we hadn't missed her and that something was wrong that was making her take longer.  A few minutes later Pia came through.  She looked like she was having so much fun.  At this point we weren't sure if we should head to the finish or wait to see if we would see Sheila.  The tracker still hadn't shown her as finished so we didn't think we missed her but we weren't sure.  Pia's family was near the finish and had texted Jenny saying that we should head down there to see them and Pia when she came through.  We didn't go at that point because we wanted to make sure we hadn't missed Sheila.  We would later find out that we missed Sheila somehow, that she came through before Sue.  In a way missing her turned out to be a blessing because we waited at mile 25.2 rather than trying to head to the finish. 


Not long after Pia passed we heard two loud noises, which we later would find out where the bombs.  At first we didn't think anything of it as we were so focused on cheering and trying to spot Sheila.  Then suddenly everything seemed to happen at once.  Police sirens started sounding and cop cars started rushing in from all directions.  Then several cops ran past us jumped the barricade and ran across the course pushing people out of their way as they went.  Helicopters were suddenly overhead.  We realized something major was happening but still the idea that a terrorist attack was taking place never occurred to us.  Joe walked over to an officer standing a few yards from us who told him there was an accident and that the trains were shut down.  We decided that we had better head out then and try to find a taxi right away or else we would be stuck in Boston for a while.  As we were walking away from the course we started hearing people yelling about bombs.  Our phones also started beeping like crazy with texts asking if we were ok.  It felt like everything was happening at once.  We realized we needed to get out of there so we kept walking towards the street still thinking we needed to find a taxi and not really understanding what was going.  Joe tried to call my dad to find out what was going on but we could not get any service.  None of our phones would work.  I think that was the point we realized this was real and something bad was happening.  More people were running down the street and saying that bombs had gone off.  Empty taxis were driving by and not stopping.  All of the sudden I was in the street with Mia in my arms waving at a guy driving a mini-van.  He pulled over and I asked him if he could get us out of here.  He asked where we were going and I told him Riverside Station but that we would go anywhere he was heading as long as it was out of the city.  He told us to hop in.  It's funny I don't really remember even thinking about doing any of this, it seemed like instinct just kicked in and I was determined to get Mia as far away from there as fast as I could.  Jenny later told me she thought I was a little crazy when I ordered her, Bill,  and Joe to get in the car with a stranger.

It turns out our driver Bill was actually there supporting a runner who had finished earlier.  His runner had jumped on the train earlier to head to the airport.  At this point we still didn't know what exactly was happening and we worried with him that his runner was safe.  As we were driving we explained to Bill where our car was and we figured out that Riverside Station wasn't far from where his daughter lives which is where he was heading.  We still were not able to get a cell signal but Joe discovered that the Internet on his phone was working.  He saw a report about bombs at the finish line of the marathon.  He also realized we could log in to facebook so he had me post a message that we were safe and on our way out of the city in the hopes that our family would see it and not worry so much.  As we were driving we kept trying our cells, we were so worried about Sally, Sue, Sheila and Pia and hated that we didn't know where they were or where their families were.  On one hand I wanted to get Mia away from any danger but I felt so guilty leaving not knowing where they were. 

Once we got to Riverside and got in our cars we started driving towards home.  Finally were were able to call out and get in touch with our families and find out more of what was going on.  When we heard we knew we made the right call in getting out as quickly as possible but we were still worried about our friends. 

As we drove towards home we saw a constant stream of police heading into Boston.  The only cars heading towards Boston were police and other emergency vehicles.  It was very surreal.

During the ride home we started getting info on our friends. Sally had finished and found her brother and got out of the city soon after the bombs went off.  Sheila was heading towards the finish when the bombs went off and ran the other way.  Her hearing was initially affected but she had no permanent damage.  Sue and Pia didn't get to finish either but were both safe.  Pia's family was about 50 yards from the 2nd bomb and had a pretty scary experience but luckily were safe and unharmed.  Sue found her family but was stuck in Boston and ended up having to walk 3 miles to get out and to her car in Cambridge.  Everyone from our area that ran made it out unharmed. 

Mia doesn't understand what went on and luckily just thinks that the train was broken and that's why we got a ride with the nice man, as she calls him.  I am grateful for that, she is too young to try to understand evil.  I can't even understand it. 

We were all so lucky and I am grateful for that but it still has been a tough week.  It's hard not to think of all the what ifs .  When we heard about the 8 year old boy that was killed it broke my heart. 

I want Mia to not be afraid of the world.  I want her to have a sense of adventure and to have as many experiences as possible, but this has really changed me.  I hope in time it will get easier and I know that I have to get past it or else those evil men win.  In the meantime I will keep praying for the families of the three people that were killed and pray for those that are injured.

Before the bombs went off we were having such a fun weekend.  The spirit of spectators and the runners was so inspiring.  It's hard to comprehend that one of the best days could turn our to be the worst day.  I'm more determined than ever to get to Boston someday.  I don't know if I will get there next year but if not I will be there to cheer on my friends and show the bad guys they don't get to win.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Sick and Frustrated

So January ended much the way it began for me...once again I am sick with a stomach bug and it's even worse than the last one.  This month has been frustrating for me.  Going into the new year I had all these great intentions and goals and then I kicked it off with a stomach bug that set me back for a few a days and sucked my energy and motivation.  I have spent the rest of the month much the same way.  I have felt like I could just never really get my running mojo.  I would have a great run and then the next few would suck.  I know it's been due to a combination of sickness (everyone in our house has been sick at some point this month, the cold weather, and some medical issues Mia has been dealing with but it's still frustrating. 

Wednesday the weather was like spring here.  It was in the 50's although rainy and windy.  I met my friend Gail for a nine mile run.  We did this run almost weekly in the summer but it's been a while since we've done it together.  It was a tough run for me, I felt like I should have been able to go faster than I was, but when it was over I felt great.  I felt energized and like my motivation was back.  Less than 24 hours later I was sick as a dog...I still have a few weeks until marathon training starts so I'm just trying to stay positive and get healthy. 

On the bright side in between all of the sickies we've been having some fun around here.  Mia recently had a Valentine photo shoot with an amazing local photographer TuLeaf Photography.  Here are some of the shots:

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Winter Series #3

Sunday was the Winter Series #3 Race put on by the Hudson Mohawk Road Runners Club.   It was run on the same course as the Hangover Half (Winter Series #2) where I came down with the stomach bug on New Year's Day.  There were 3 distances offered this week: 3 miles, 10K and 25K.  I was planning to run the 25K and Joe and my uncle were going to run the 10K.  My friend Jenny was running the 25K too.

On the morning of the race I changed my mind and decided to run the 10K.  Late Saturday night and early Sunday morning I started to dread the idea of running the 25K.  I kept remembering how lousy I felt on the course last time and I actually didn't want to go at all.  I think part of this was due to the fact that Mia had finally given up her binky the day before and we had kind of a rough night with her (smooth sailing since though!).  I was also feeling guilty that I was going to be so much time running that morning.  Usually I look forward to running but this what not one of those days.

I realized that right now I am not on an official training plan.  My Lake Placid training doesn't start for a few more weeks so why am I pushing myself to run a distance I just didn't want to that day.  Right now I should be focusing on getting ready for my training and not pushing myself in a way that makes me dread running. 

In the end I ran the 10K pushing Mia and had a great run (Joe would have pushed her for the 10K while I did the 15K but I wanted to be with her instead in case she had binky issues). I felt strong the whole time and enjoyed myself.  Sometimes I have the best runs pushing her because I don't pay attention to my pace since I assume I will be slower, I end up just running by how I feel and end up keeping a pretty decent pace. I also ran into lots of running friends, include Darlene, who got some pics before and after the race.

It was a good reminder to me to focus on my goals rather than trying to do everything just to do it.  I don't think I would have gotten any value out of the 25K on that particular day because I just wasn't into it.  Most likely I would have gotten myself frustrated and instead I walked away from the 10K feeling good about running and excited to start my official training soon.

Tonight I am off to do hill repeats with Jenny and some friends from ARE, another running club we belong too.  We have been doing this workout the last few Thursday nights and I feel like it's making me stronger.  I'm signed up for Winter Series #4 on Sunday, this time I am doing the 15K and most likely pushing Mia again since Joe will be working.  I also signed up for the Running of the Green 4 mile race in March and am hoping to break 30 minutes.  Lot's of fun running stuff to look forward too!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Look What Came in the Mail!

My running friend Sheila recently suggested Hanson Marathon Method to me so I took advantage of an Amazon gift card and ordered it. and it came today! I can't wait to start reading it.

I love reading about running.  In fact I just had to start pairing down my collection of running of books.  For the most part, I read on my Kindle but I still have hard copies of a lot of books I read before I had my Kindle.  I finally realized that there was no sense in hanging on to most of them.  I enjoyed reading them but now they just sit on my bookshelf, so I've been trying to pass them along to other running friends.  I am hanging on to a few like Advanced Marathoning that have training plans and other information that I use regularly.

I just finished reading Scott Jurek's book, Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness, based on a recommendation from my friend, The Happy Runner.  What a great book!Jurek is so inspiring.  While I don't think I could ever go completely vegan like he has, reading about his experiences with nutrition definitely has me thinking more about my diet and how I can improve it.

What other running books should I check out?

Sunday, January 6, 2013

2013 Goal

I've been hesitating about putting my 2013 goal out there because it's pretty ambitious for me.  Last year I chose a goal that I knew was tough but felt confident I achieve if I worked hard and I did.  This year I making my goal even more challenging but I'm not as confident that I will get it.  I think that's ok though, last year hitting my goal was awesome but the journey of getting to it and putting in the work was just as rewarding if not more.

This year I watched a few of my friends train for Boston and as they were training I thought I would never be able to achieve that, at least not for years until my time increased to at least over 4 hours.  After hitting my sub 4 hour goal I started wondering what else I was capable of and considered running an ultra and some other goals but I kept coming back to Boston.  My time is 3:35.  I turn 34 this year and then next year when I turn 35 it will go up to 3:40.  I thought about putting the goal off until next year when I gained 5 minutes but after talking with a very speedy friend who has qualified for Boston a few times at 3:35 and 3:40, I was convinced I should go for it now. 

I honestly don't know if I will get there this year but I figure the worst thing that could happen is I get closer to it and I get stronger by trying for it.  I don't want to regret not trying. 

I'm still working out my plan to get there but I have a rough plan in mind already.  I am going to spend the first part of the year working on my base and getting stronger overall.  I want to add speed-workouts and cross-train more.  I know I keep saying this but I think I have to commit to some cross-training if I am going to get to Boston.

My uncle, Joe and I have planned to run the Lake Placid Marathon in June (my uncle bribed Joe and I to run with him).  This is a pretty hilly marathon and it's definitely not a course for BQing but I think it's a good course for me to practice my mental toughness and to evaluate how I have improved up to that point.  We love Lake Placid and have done the half several times so we will have no matter what.

I am also considering running Pittsburgh in May.  Again, not expecting to achieve my goal there but I have always wanted to run it since I have family there.  This would be another race to evaluate how I am doing.

After Lake Placid, I will give myself some time to recover and then ramp up my training to prepare for the Hudson Mohawk Marathon in the fall.  This will be where I go for it.  It's local, it's a fast course, and I've run it several times so I think it's the perfect race for me to try to BQ.

I may also sign up for Philly in November but there will be no goals attached to that one.  It will be all about having fun.  I'm hoping I can convince Joe to run it too.

So there you's out there, it's real...YIKES!