Monday, April 29, 2013

Lessons From A Long Run

Yesterday was my last long training run before the Quad Cities Distance Classic on May 12th. I ran 12 miles of the half marathon course with my running club. Part of the course is still flooded and a lot of the course is REALLY smelly from flooding that has receded. It runs from Augustana College, through residential areas, then through downtown Rock Island, and eventually ends up on the river front.

The temperature ended up being in the 70's by the time I was finishing up. The warmest weather I have ran in this year is probably low 60's, so I definitely was not prepared for the heat. I wore the same thing that I have for every training run- running tights, tank top, and a thin pull over. The pull over came off after the first mile. One of the seasoned runners told me that even though the running tights are thin, I am still overdressed and should wear shorts if the temps are expected to be that warm on race day.

Lessons I Learned:
-Figure out an alternative race day outfit, don't assume the weather will be what I've trained in.
-I need body glide when wearing a tank top, I have two places where my arms rubbed on my tank.
-WEAR SUNSCREEN!!!! We always run on a trail which is shady...and it's been cloudy or rainy every other week. I got a little burned yesterday.
-Hydrate beforehand! I should have drank more water and less vodka on Saturday, then I should have drank water prior to heading out. I drank a lot of water/Gatorade on the course (thank you CBRC for being awesome & setting up aid stations for all our runs!). It was too late, I was dehydrated going in so nothing I did could fix it.

Overall it was a good run. 12 miles, 2 hours & 15 minutes, 11:22 pace. I would guess I spent at least 3 minutes waiting at stoplights or waiting to cross a residential street. My race day goal is to be under 2:30. It's not as fast as I had originally hoped for. I still have 8 pounds of baby weight to lose and my muscle to fat ratio is not yet what is was before! Regardless of my weight or my various other excuses for not being faster, I ran 12 miles yesterday and I'm so incredibly lucky that my body is capable of it!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Three Months....and Three Days....

Clothing Size: 0-3 Months

Sleeping: Wakes up at 5:30

Laughing at Laithe

Being cold
The Bumbo Seat

Thursday, April 18, 2013

My 3 year old must be broken.

I haven't been able to blog....or work out (unless my husband is home).....or shower.
Our 3 year old has lost his mind.
It started last Friday with a meltdown over Cheese Its.  Yep, me refusing him copious amounts of orange crackers resulted in a meltdown that lasted for nearly TWO hours.
It was insane but clearly it was a fluke since he never ever acts like that.

Then we went to soccer on Saturday.  
And it happened again.
This time I had to march across the soccer field while carrying him like a football and pulling a loaded down stroller behind me.  
Then I had to shove him in the car and attempt to prevent him from injuring himself or others. he's a brat?  Got it.

Sunday I ran away.
I left at 7am and met with the running club.
I got home around 10:30 and all seemed well on the home front,
but I definitely wasn't sticking around.
I needed a break and the husband agreed that I should go meet my friend Casey and get a pedicure.

Monday we went to the YMCA, as we have done nearly every Monday for the last year and a half.
Before my class even started I got pulled to go down to the kids area because he hit someone.
We talked, he apologized and they let him stay.
That is until 8 minutes later when I got pulled from the class to take him home.

Tuesday he was good.
We didn't leave the house.
He's currently without any living room toys & TV.
So basically that leaves him to look at books all day, play with the dog, or play with his baby brother.

Wednesday we went to the YMCA, like always.  All he had to do was be good for ONE hour so I could work out and we were going to go to Monkey Joe's (indoor inflatable bounce houses and slides- Super awesome when you are 3).  I didn't even make it out the door of the child watch.
Laithe- "I don't want to stay here!"
Me- (attempting to avoid psychotic episode) "Fine, let's go."
Laithe- "I WANT TO STAY HERE!!!"
What crazy?  
So, he acted nuts throwing himself on the floor.
And I had to drag him out while carrying Kai's carseat.
When we got home, he fell asleep....for 4 hours.
As soon as the husband came home, I tried to leave, but another meltdown was on the horizon.
The husband forced me out the door before my sanity was completely lost.
After returning home from yoga there was, of course, one final meltdown to round out our night.
This one was about bedtime.

In all honesty, this has been the saddest, most frustrating week of my life.
It seems that everyone says it's "just a phase" or that he's "jealous of Kai."
If it's a phase, it needs to be over now.  I can handle once in a while meltdowns, I cannot handle feeling trapped in the house.  At this point the husband and I have been trying to rearrange schedules so that we can both fit in workouts.  It's so frustrating to have to reschedule everything because our kid wants to act like a punk.
If it's because he's jealous of Kai....I find it hard to believe that it took nearly 3 months to manifest.
Also, we have told Laithe that we are taking just him places and he's flipped out because he wants Kai with him.

Hopefully he gets fixed soon.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Gilda's Run for Laughs 5K Race Report

On Sunday, my friend Becca & I ran the Gilda's Run for Laughs 5K. The Gilda's Run benefits Gilda's Club.  Gilda's Club is named in memory of Gilda Radner, who passed away from ovarian cancer in 1989.  They provide social and emotional support to people living with cancer and their families.  If you or someone you know needs emotional or social support during cancer treatment, check here to find a local Cancer Support Community (CSC) program near you.

I took the kids to packet pickup on Friday, April 5th.  It was a quick in and out at a hotel.  The pick up was far from the race location, but it was easy to find and maneuver.

I ran the Gilda's Run last year with my friend Michelle.  It was the first 5K that I ran since we moved to Iowa and I was just starting to run again.  My 2012 time was 31:57.
I went into the race with the goal of under 32.
3 minutes faster than my goal time a week earlier (my goal was 35 during the Easter Egg Scramble 5K.)
However, I have been logging a lot* of miles and I finally feel like I'm speeding up.

I got up at 6 on Sunday and had 2 cups of coffee along with a Luna bar.  It was 44 degrees so I wore my Nike running pants, a Reebok tank, and a long sleeve Old Navy running top (super thin).
I met Becca at her house a little after 7 and we headed to the store so she could grab a banana.
We passed our running club, they were headed out for a minimum of 9 on the half marathon training schedule.

(Me & Becca)

We got to the Quad Cities Waterfront Convention Center around 7:45.  We went in and picked up our chips.  We secured them we went back and sat in the car for a few minutes.  Once the fun run participants started lining up we headed back in to use the restrooms.

We lined up 5 minutes before the race start.  There were 656 participants so it did get off to a little bit of a crowded start.  There is a turn .1 miles into the race and everyone was trying to force their way to the side.  There were also a lot of walkers that had lined up at the front, so there was a lot of weaving in and out.  I felt like I was being pushed and after finishing mile 1 I realized it was because I was running at a 9:25 pace!  Whoa, way too fast for me.
I felt like I lost a lot of energy with that first mile.
(and I got new SUNGLASSES!)

My next two miles were 10:26 & 10:37.  I knew after I finished the second mile that I would reach my goal.  I finished with a 31:31, 30/55 for my age group, & 277/656 overall.
So excited!
Although I'm not where I want to be, that was an improvement of 2:49!  That's a huge difference in such a short time.  I feel like I could have pushed it more during the last mile.  I think if I had paid more attention to my initial pace I would have been able to maintain a 10-10:15 for the entire race.  I would prefer to be more consistent and have negative splits.

(Finish line area after the race)

Since it was our long run day we headed out after the 5K to get another 6 on the riverfront.  We crossed over some railroad tracks to get to the trail and ended up getting stopped by the railroad police (who knew?!?).  Apparently it is illegal to walk across train tracks....huh.  The railroad police (legit) took our information- name, address, phone number and issued us a warning.  Apparently the fine is $500-$2000!!!!!  I'll happily take my warning and be on my way!

After our additional 6 we ended up walking for another half mile to find a way over the train tracks!
Main lesson I learned is that after completing the 5K if I am going to do any additional running I need to leave immediately.  Do not sit down!  I definitely lost some of my motivation!

I created a page for my training log- only 5 weeks until the Quad Cities Distance Classic half marathon!

*26 total last week vs. 0 10 weeks ago ha ha

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

After missing the last few months, I finally completed a book for Julie's book club over at Peanut Butter Fingers!  I definitely haven't been on my A game, but a newborn will do that to you!
This month's selection is actually my local book club's selection for June and I look forward to rereading it in a few months for a refresher before our discussion!

Description from Goodreads:

Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs... for now.

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind

My Review:

I loved everything about this book.  Hazel and Augustus were both amazing characters,.  I loved the uninhibited love story and the way they interacted with each other.  The story was beautifully written.  It's so difficult for an author to cover a topic such as cancer, especially when talking about teenagers and children.  I think the most amazing thing that John Green did was demanding that you not feel "sorry" for the characters.  They were so strong and wanted to be seen as so much more than teenagers with cancer.  Don't get me wrong, this book is a tearjerker.  You will cry during happy parts, sad parts, and at times when you're unsure what's coming next.  This book rips your heart out and stomps on it, then makes you laugh, and before you know it you are crying again.

Hazel and Augustus make you fall in love with them as they are falling in love with each other.  
I looked up John Green and learned that he worked as a student chaplain in a children's hospital while in college.  Working with those children was his inspiration to write The Fault In Our Stars.

I gave this book a 5 star review on Goodreads and I whole heartedly feel that it deserved each one.  It is  a must read, as in you must read it-RIGHT NOW!

Be sure to check out my books page and I would love to be your friend on Goodreads!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Easter Egg Scramble 5K Race Report

On Saturday I ran the first Easter Egg Scramble 5K.
(First annual?  How can you call something annual if its the inaugural race?)
It was located in the Village of East Davenport and had a beautifully late start time of 9am.
I was already impressed with this race when I had to haul both kids downtown to packet pick up on Friday.  The volunteers were so helpful and made it a breeze to get in and out.
They had a few local businesses such as Kona Ice and East Village Cafe at the packet pick up.  Of course Laithe couldn't refuse a grape shaved ice from Kona Ice, so we hung out there a little longer than anticipated!

On race morning I got up at 6.  I started my morning with two super hot, super full cups of Caribou Daybreak coffee and a white chocolate macadamia Luna bar.
I met my friend Becca at her house at 8 and we got to the Village a little before 8:30.  We headed down to the starting line area but decided it was a little too chilly and went to hang out in the car for another 10 minutes.  We braved the cold to hit the port a potties.  Good thing we went when we did.  There were only 3!
We waited in line for a solid 20 minutes.  It was 9:00 on the dot when we finally got to go.  Luckily the race started a few minutes late.  We had time to line up with a few of Becca's friends with a minute or two to spare.

I felt good that morning.  My goal was to come in under 35 minutes (come on!  I did JUST have a baby!  How long can I say that? LOL).  As soon as the race started, I knew I was going to meet my goal.  Then we rounded the first corner and I was confronted with the BIGGEST HILL EVER!  Geez. When I looked at the race map I didn't realize which hill we were going up!  It was giant and I was NOT prepared.  It was a good lesson for me- I definitely need to work on hills.  Shortly after making it up the hill I saw my friend Cecelia.  She is also running the Chicago Women's Half Marathon.  I was going to attempt to keep up with her, but I was still recovering from the hill so we chatted for a second before she took off ahead of me.  My first mile came in at 10:55.  That was with a little bit of walking on the monster hill!

(Thanks Cecelia for noticing this on the Easter Egg Scramble Facebook Page)

A lot of the second mile was spent going down hill which was a nice surprise!  My second mile was 10:48.  I really really wanted to walk for a second but I decided to wait until I hit the river front so at least I would have a pretty view.  Once I stepped on the River Dr. I walked for about 45 seconds so I could get a handle on my breathing.  River Dr. goes directly along the Mississippi.  Mile 3 was 11:32.  I could have pushed it more than I did, but I knew I was going to come in under 35 and alas, there was ANOTHER hill to go up!  :)

I didn't stop my Garmin as soon as I passed the finish line, but my official time was 34:22 with a pace of 11:05/mile.  I was happy with that, but I wish I would have pushed a little more so that I would have came in at a pace under 11!

The first 500 finishers got a medal...and since I was 471 I got one!
The medal also doubles as a bottle opener!


Overall it was a fun race.  They had a lot of activities after, including a breakfast buffet and an Easter egg hunt for the kiddos.  I didn't get to stick around for any of that because I had to meet Andy and the boys at Chick Fil A for a birthday party.
It looked like it would be a lot of fun though!

I will definitely run this race again next year and I might even use the course for some hill training because it definitely kicked my butt!

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