Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January Wrap Up

Well it's only been a month and I've done great with some of my goals and not so great with others. 

I've been following along with my training plan and tracking my miles on dailymile.  I really like it.  This month I've hit 109.7 miles! I really wish I had an accurate log from previous years.  It would be really cool to compare.  I am guessing that this January is my highest because I've never trained for a spring marathon before.

I've done ok with core work and yoga.  I haven't been consistent with it, mostly because I've been trying to do it in the evening and evenings are hard to predict with a toddler.  I'm better off if I can get it done in the morning or on lunch, two times of the day I try to use to run.  I'm working on it.

I feel like I'm on track to hit a sub 4 hour marathon this year.  I feel stronger and faster than I have ever felt.  I'm hoping it happens on May 6th at the NJ Marathon!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Impromptu Speedwork

Yesterday morning I skipped running outside because we had some iffy weather overnight. It had gone from snowing to rain and I didn't want to risky any black ice.  I decided to sleep in and run at lunch on the treadmill.

At the Y I ran into a friend who is super fast.  She has qualified for Boston the last 2 years and recieved quaranteed entry to NYC this year for her fast half marathon time.  She's always placing in our local races and also happens to be a really positive person who is always encouraging others.

Anyway she was doing speedwork and the only treadmill available was right next to her.  I had planned to try to get in an easy 3-4 miles, however many I could squeeze in.  As I started running and saw her going fast next to me, I was in awe of her speed and how hard she was pushing herself.  I decided to kick it up a bit too.  I ended up running 4 miles in 33:35 which is about 30 seconds faster than I have been able run 4 miles! I also felt great after. 

I don't think I could have pushed myself like that on my own.  I think sometimes we get stuck on what we think we are capable of and are afraid to push harder.  I have to try to remember to just go for it sometimes.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

I Did It!!!!

After several weeks of making excuses for why I cannot get up and run outside before work I finally did it this morning!  I will be honest as usual I laid in bed for a bit and argued with myself about why I should just sleep a little longer. Then when I talked myself into getting up I looked outside and saw a light covering of snow but by that time I was up and said why not go out and give it a try. 

I am so glad I went out.  It was a beautiful morning.  It was actually a lot warmer than I thought it was and I definitely overdressed.  The snow looked so pretty and it was so peaceful being out in the dark and seeing the snow on the ground. 

My new knuckle lights were awesome! They really lit the way for me and felt so comfortable in my hands.  I passed another runner who yelled out that they really liked my lights and asked where I got them.  I felt kind of cool!

I ended up covering 6 miles and felt so energized afterwards.  Not a bad way to start the morning!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Heat Wave!

We're having a bit of a heat wave here in upstate New York which is making for great running weather!  I love it!

Sunday we had the Winter Series Race and I was planning to do the 15K.  I have to be honest I was dreading this run.  The forecast said it was around 10 degrees as I was heading to the race and after running in sub zero temps the previous Sunday I just wasn't sure I was up for another cold run.  I even contemplated going to the gym and doing my run there rather than the Winter Series but I knew a lot of running friends would be there and I would regret the chance to catch up with them if I didn't go.

Turns out I am glad I went.  The weather wasn't so bad! It warmed up a few degrees as we ran and the sun was out.  For the first time ever there was no wind on this course.  The layout of the campus that we run through basically makes it a wind tunnel so it is very rare to run there in the winter and not face winds.  About a mile in I was sweating.

I tried to keep up with The Happy Runner but fell behind in the first mile.  That's ok, she's a faster runner and I knew I probably couldn't stay with her for long.  The rest of the race was great.  Rather than do three loops which I thought we were doing we did a 3 mile loop and then a 6 mile loop which made the miles go by a little quicker.  I saw lots of running friends at the various turn arounds and everyone looked happy, like they were having good runs.  It just seemed like everyone was having a good day.  At the last water station a friend was volunteering so that was another boost. I felt pretty strong the whole time.  I wish I could have run a little fast but coming off a sick week I felt good the whole time which was my goal.  I finished in 1:25:28.  Not my fasted 15K but by no means my slowest.  All in all it was a good day.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

What a Week

It's been a crazy week so far.  I was sick for two days, my husband broke his finger and this morning Mia and I are stuck at home because my husband took my car keys by accident! I'm hoping things get better this afternoon.

I felt so proud of myself and motivated after the crazy 13 mile run in the cold on Sunday.  I followed it up with a decent 4 mile recovery run on Monday and after that things went downhill.   I think my body has been fighting something for the last 2 weeks since last week I got sick too.  This week it really knocked me down.  On Tuesday I was feeling pretty lousy and congested.  Sometimes when I feel that way a run helps so I attempted a treadmill run at the gym.  That was my start of my unraveling.  I got through it but the rest of the day I continued to feel worse. By the time work was over I could barely talk.  I ended up with a fever and stayed home sick the next day.  I took Mia to daycare and slept all day.  It was so nice.  I think it was exactly what I needed. I still didn't feel 100% the next day so I decided to take an extra rest day and play it safe.  Yesterday I finally ran again.  I was dreading it thinking it wasn't going to be a very good run since I was coming off of being sick.  I only ran 3 miles but felt surprisingly good.  I probably should have run a few more miles but was nervous about pushing it.

I'm hoping to get to the Y this afternoon and get a treadmill run in while catching up on some of my tv shows. Tomorrow is another Winter Series Run.  I'm supposed to do the 15K and possibly add some miles on with one of my running friends. 

Sunday, January 15, 2012


Today I had planned to run 13.1 miles with a group that was running for Team In Training.  Well the weather here has recently gotten more seasonable.  We've been lucky to have had such great weather recently that it was bound to happen.  This morning when we went to start our run it was 2 degrees and -10 with the wind! 

The original plan was to follow our local half marathon route.  Thankfully Elisa realized this wasn't going to work with the wind.  The last half of the route is right along the river with nothing to block the wind.  We decided to try to do loops of the bike path near the start. Unfortunately that turned out to be an icy, snowy mess.  We changed plans again and ran loops around the area of the bike path.  This was a much better plan- well except for a couple of big hills.

When we started running I thought we were crazy.  I couldn't feel my feet or my fingers, and any part of my face that was showing was burning.  What a site we must have been to the residents of the roads we ran on! With all of our gear we looked like brightly dressed robbers! Once we got going we warmed up a lot, every once in a while the wind would get us and when we stopped to GU we got chilled again.  Other than that it was great.  It was a really fun group to run with and I'm proud of us for sticking it out! We were hardcore runners today!

Friday, January 13, 2012

A Great Run and Some Sickness

Tuesday I had a great run! After another sleepless night with Mia I did not get up and run outside...this will happen eventually I promise! I knew I could run again at lunch and decided to run the same route outside I run on Monday.  I knew I would be pushing it but I was determined to get 4 miles in again. 

I am so glad I decided to go outside.  The weather was perfect and I felt great.  I covered 4 miles in 33:59! This was the fastest I have ever run 4 miles and it felt effortless.  I wish runs like this could happen everyday.

Of course Wednesday I felt exhausted and since I had run 5 days without a rest day I decided it would be a rest day.  My body was definitely trying to tell me something.  I ended up sick  all night on Wednesday, so Thursday became a rest day too.  Today I felt better but was dreading my run but figured I should at least try to run today.  I'm really glad I did.  While I didn't push myself too hard I got 3 miles in and felt really good after- much more energized. 

I'm hoping I continue to feel good this weekend.  Tomorrow I plan to get 4 miles in and Sunday I am running 13.1 with some Strong Running Mamas.

Monday, January 9, 2012


My plan to get up and get 4 miles in before everyone woke up this morning did not happen.  Since right around Mia's 2nd birthday in November we've had sleep issues with her.  Usually she is a good sleeper unless she is sick or teething.  The slip issues started when she was having stomach issues and even though we found the cause of her stomach problems and seem to have resolved them she still has nights where she wakes up and we can't get her back down.  Last night was one of them.  I was up and down with her for a few hours until I finally brought her in our bed hoping that I would at least get some sleep with her in there.  Of course she passed right out but then I couldn't sleep. 

When my alarm went off this morning I could not get up.  I ended up squeezing in 4 miles at lunch.  It was beautiful out, a cool and sunny day, perfect running weather.  I am glad I got to enjoy the day but I know I need to get myself into an early run routine.  I am going to try again tomorrow...

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Winter Series

Today our local running club held another Winter Series Run.  These are great runs because they always offer three distance options building up to the Winter Marathon.  The course is pretty boring but it gets you outside running in the winter with lots of great runner friends.  I had originally planned to run the 25K.  I thought since I ran the half last weekend and was feeling good I would try to run a little longer this weekend.  For some reason though I have was feeling off last night and this morning so I decided this morning to run the 10K instead.   I'm glad I did because I had a good run.  I finished in 54 minutes flat which is not a PR but not my worst 10K by any means.  While I felt ok during the run I definitely did not have another 9 miles in me today. 

My marathon training plan starts in 2 weeks so I'm glad I took it easier today.  I have many weeks of long runs ahead of me. It was nice to be done with my run early and enjoy the rest of the day.  I ended up having a playdate with Mia and my cousin's little girl.  It was definitely worth trading the miles for today. 

I ended the week with lower mileage than I had hoped but again marathon training starts in 2 week and I will soon be ramping up the miles.  I've been doing great with my other goals.  I did abwork 3 days this week and took a new yoga class.  I've also been stretching more.  I haven't stretched right after every run because my lunch runs don't leave me a lot of time after to stretch.  Instead I've been trying to stretch at night.   I also bought another package at the yoga studio I've been going to and so did my friend Kim so hopefully we can make it a regular thing.

Tomorrow my plan is to get up and run 4 miles outside before Mia is up and Joe has to leave for work.  This means 5:30 am in the dark.  I really need to start doing this.  I bought some Knuckle Lights and a new reflective vest so I'm prepared.  I have no excuses...

Friday, January 6, 2012

That's My Girl!

Mia is really into her baby dolls.  She loves to pretend to feed them and make them go "night night".  It's adorable.  One of her favorite things to do with them is to put them in her doll stroller and run around the house and saying "Mimi run like Mommy".  She even says "Ready Set Go!' sometimes! It makes me so proud! My little runner girl!

I have to admit that like most women for a long time working out and running was a vanity thing for me.  I was constantly worried about my weight and numbers on the scale.  After I ran my first marathon that changed a bit.  I became proud of what my body could do but I would still focus on my weight a lot.  Being pregnant with Mia changed that. It was the first time I could remember not caring what the scale said.  I ran throughout most of my pregnancy and listened to my body as far as how far and how fast I ran.  Running made me feel better and gave me energy during the pregnancy.  I also ate what I wanted and didn't focus on calories like I used to.  I just enjoyed being pregnant.

After I had Mia I was disappointed that all of the baby weight did not come off as soon as she entered the world but it didn't bother me as much as I thought it would.  It's taken a long time to get the baby weight- much longer than I expected.  I've had my moments, but for the first time in my life I don't care what the scale says.  Yes I would like to lose a few more pounds.  I'm down to my pre-pregnancy weight but finding that my body is still much different.  But I'm not focused on that the way I used to be.  I appreciate my body now more than ever for the amazing thing it gave me.  I am focused on being healthy for my family.  When I take care of myself by eating right and exercising I am a better mom. 

I never want Mia to focus on numbers on the scale.  I want her to value her body for what it can do for her.  I hope that by trying to lead a healthy, active lifestyle I can teach her to appreciate her body the way I have come to finally appreciate mine.  When I see her running with her dolls I am a proud Mommy - she sees Mommy as a runner! 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Officially In!

While I have been planning to run the NJ Marathon in May for a while now, I hadn't officially registered.  I wanted to wait until after all of the christmas spending was over before I spent money on myself.  Today I did it! I'm really looking forward to it.  There is a great group of Strong Running Mamas running and I know whether or not I hit my 4 hour goal I will have a lot of fun.

I also downloaded the Runners World 4 Hours or Bust Marathon Training Plan.  I used the 4:30 plan for my last marathon and came within minutes of my goal so I think this plan will work for me.  I'm starting the plan with a better base and I'm a lot more confident than I was before my last training cycle began.

So far this week I've been taking it fairly easy running-wise.  It's been freezing here so both of my runs so far have been treadmill runs at lunch.  Yesterday turned into speedwork since I had to wait for a treadmill and was forced to run fast to get 3 miles in.  Today I took it easier and ran 3 miles at a more comfortable pace.  I hate that I can only fit 3 miles in at lunch.  If I really push it I could probably get 4 but that will be pushing it time wise for me.  I think I need to bite the bullet and either run outside early in the morning or get to the gym very early.  I used to have no problem doing this before Mia, now I feel like mornings are already so hectic.  I would have to be home from the gym or running by 6:45 to make it work.  I think next week I will give it a try. 

As far as running outside in the morning goes I need to invest in a headlamp or knuckles lights.  I should also get some yaktrax since I may not be able to see ice early in the morning.  I guess I need to shop!

As for my other goals, I did core work tonight with Mia which was interesting.  I put on the P90X Ab Ripper video.  It's 15 minutes and is so hard.  Mia wanted to do them with me for almost the first 10 minutes, the last 5 or so she jumped on me which made it that much harder.  She's a tough coach!  I love that she tries to workout with me.  She runs around the house with her baby doll in her doll stroller saying "Ready Set Go!". 

Tomorrow night I am taking a yoga class- Hot Power Fusion.  The classes at this studio are tough but really fun.  Hopefully I can get into a regular class routine.  This weekend is another Winter Series Run so I'm planning on doing 15 miles on Sunday.

Monday, January 2, 2012

2012 Goals

Today was a rest day for me.  My legs were pretty tired from the half and today was the last day of my vacation from work so I decided to spend one last day having fun with my family. 

During the half I was thinking a lot about my 2012 goals.  My main goal is to run a sub 4 hour marathon.  This is a lofty goal for me but I feel it's totally possible.  My fall marathon was a huge PR for me- 4:33:13.  I worked hard for that time and pretty much stuck to my training plan.  If I am going to take 34 minutes off my time it's going to take some work.  My 2012 goals are all related to achieving this main goal.

1.  Follow my training plan.  In my previous marathon training I had a plan but didn't follow it.  In 2011 I followed my plan and I got results.

2. Stretch.  I have the worlds tightest hamstrings.  I've been lucky that my lack of stretching has not led to an injury so far.  This year I will stretch and use my foam roller after my runs.   So far so good, I did it yesterday.  One day at a time- right?  I also want to incorporate yoga into my routine.  Realistically I can't get to a yoga class as often as I would like but if I could get a class in twice a month that would be great.  One of my girlfriends loves taking yoga but also has a hard time fitting classes in so hopefully we can try to do this together. 

3.  Work on my core strength.  Ever since I had Mia I have neglected my core.  I know that a strong core will help my running.  I have some great DVD's I can do at home- P90X Ab Ripper X and a kettlebell DVD.  My goal is to do these videos 3 times a week. 

4. Strength train.  Again since I had Mia I have neglected strength training.  I used to have a regular routine before I became a mom.  I need to start again.  My goal is to strength train twice a week.  I will do this either during my lunch hour at work (I have a gym nearby where I usually run) or by using P90X videos at home.   I'm going to experiment to see which is easier for me to fit in.

5.  Track my mileage.  I see all of these posts about people hitting 1000 miles for the year or some other totals.  I ran a lot this year but I can't give you a grand total because I am so bad about keeping track.  I can look at my marathon training schedule and get some totals from there, my garmin has a lot of my data but not all because sometimes I run on the treadmill and don't record it, and sometimes I run garminless.  This year I will record all of my runs.  I'm going to try using dailymile to record them. 

2012 is going to be a great year!!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Giving this Blog Thing a Try

I've been a reader and follower of running blogs for a while and I thought I'd give this blogging thing a try this year.  I'm hoping it will help me keep better track of my training and races. 

I've been running since college.  I started running back then as part of my workout routine.  My husband, boyfriend at the time, used to run to keep in shape for his sport, so I though I'd join him.  I ended up hooked and ran our local Turkey Trot with him and many more races after that including 2 marathons and a half marathon. 

I had just started training for what was to be my third marathon in 2009 when I found I was pregnant with our now 2 year old daughter.  I decided not to continue training for the marathon since it would have been right around my fifth month and I wasn't sure I would be up for it.  I did continue running though and ran through just about my 8th month.  I was very slow but proud that I kept it up.  I was sure I was going to be back out there running a week or two after giving birth. HA!  After two days of labor and an emergency C-Section my doctor told me there would be no exercise for about 6-8 weeks.  I didn't believe him, I though I ran while pregnant I'll be back out there in no time.  Well he was correct- there would be no running for me for a while.  At 6 weeks I started mall walking with my daughter in the stroller.  I was amazed at how sore even that made me.  At 8 weeks I attempted to run but it was more of a walk.  I was frustrated and discouraged at how hard it was to get back to running.  Not only was my body sore and out of shape I was dealing with a colicy little girl who did not sleep and cried often.   Everything seemed so much harder than I expected.  

When my daughter was about 4 months old a friend connected me with her friend, The Happy Runner.  She was organizing a running group for moms who had never run before. The goald was to train for a local 5K.  While I had run plenty before I felt like I was starting over.  This group of women turned out to be amazing.  Just knowing there were other moms out there dealing with juggling families, babies, jobs, and everything else really helped me.  The Happy Runner has continued to add to the group and we meet up at local races or to train sometimes.  She also formed a facebook page so we could help keep each other motivated.   It's been an amazing resource and motivator for me.

Two years later I have learned to cut myself some slack and listen to my body.  After struggling in the early days of being a mom, I have learned to appreciate all my body has been through.  My runs are about clearing my head.  I truly believe taking time out to run makes me a better mom.  As a result, I'm running faster than I ever have before.  I've completed 2 more marathons and PR'd at both.  Today to kick off the New Year I ran a half marathon with many of the ladies from the running group and finally broke 2 hours in a half- 1:59:41!

This year I hope to run 2 marathons. The New Jersey Marathon in May and The New York City Marathon or Hudson Mohawk Marathon in the spring.   My goal for 2012 is to break 4 hours.