Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Succumbing to Injury

Ten days PM (post-marathon) and I finally decide to see a doctor about my leg. Not sure how much detail I've shared so far, since I've sorta been in denial about it.

What I can tell you is that every year for six years, I have run the Union Street Tavern Trot in Windsor. For the past three years I have done so reluctantly. It falls on a Sunday in late September, right in the prime of Hartford Marathon training.  In training season, Sundays are my rest days. So duh, when I run 20 miles on Saturday, my body can recover the following day.

Three years ago, I incorporated the race into my long run. I ran 10 miles, then did the 3.5 mile race, then ran home. Last year, I can't remember what I did, but I'm thinking I may have skipped the long run that weekend because I placed 2nd in my age group... and I probably wouldn't have done that with a tired body. This year (only 5 weeks ago), I was stupid.  I ran 21 miles on the Saturday prior to the race and tried to place the very next day in my category again.

Did I place? NO! Which makes it all that much more stupid. I was 5th in my age group :o( and I injured myself in the process. It was during the Trot that I felt something go askew in my hip.  I shook it off thinking it would be passing pain. I continued running through the pain and even did 21 miles the following weekend.

Then I started to limp... and the limping has yet to subside.  My last long run prior to the Hartford Marathon was three weeks ahead of the race. I took it easy until the marathon then ran it anyway. It twinged with almost every step.

3 days PM, I ran five slow miles and felt every excruciating step. My hip/leg was killing me. I realized after that fiver that maybe I should cease running for a bit. Maybe even go to a doctor?! I haven't given up a workout routine, but have definitely modified it. Biking/spinning and elliptical is all I know right now. Weights and abs too...

So yesterday I saw my Orthopedist. He is an ex-runner and soccer player.  Still fit and appreciative of athleticism. I like him because he will not discourage a patient from stopping doing the sport they love. A lot of doctors are against running because of a few ill-effects. Well F them! LOL.  Dr. Y knows the benefits of running far outweigh the risks.

What is the diagnosis you ask? An ilioinguinal strain. Fancy talk for a groin strain.  If in 3-4 weeks of NO RUNNING, there is no improvement, he will order an MRI and check for a tear.  He is confident it is a strain though.

So in these 3-4 weeks of no running, I can't run my fifth marathon (in Philly). I can't even run to the end of my street. He prescribed physical therapy and exercise such as yoga, swimming, elliptical and biking.

I'm sad, yes but there's nothing I can do other than deal with it.  I'm that person that feels like I haven't gotten a good workout in unless I've run, so let's see how creative I can get in these next few weeks with trying to burn those calories.  I'll tell you one thing... I'm NOT getting fat! And I WILL run Hyannis in February.

Resting my hip will take me right up to Thanksgiving. I figure I'll start training for Hyannis the day after Thanksgiving. That's a good day to get back in the swing of things.

In other news, I'll be on vacation soon. I can get my swimming in while in St. John.  Looking forward to a week away with the fam in the warmth of the Caribbean.  The countdown is on...

Now to find someone willing to run with my Philly Marathon bib... I'd hate for $125 to go to waste.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

All the Components of a Marathon - A Pace Group Leader's Recap

Well marathon weekend is over. And I survived! There are so many things to celebrate! Despite injury, I ran the whole race and better yet, finished in my goal time by 21 seconds.  I successfully led the 4:25 pace team to their goal.  Not without help though. 

Race day began before the sound of my alarm. I was up on my own at 5:30 am. Dressed, ready and out the door at 6:00. At the pacer meet spot at 6:30. It was a cold morning. 30 degrees in fact. I was bundled in disposable layers but the chill in the air still went right through me. 

Any racers looking to be led by a pace leader were encouraged to meet at 7:00 on the steps of the Bushnell Theater. Slowly, a crowd started to form. Some people were looking for me. Others were looking for pace groups in the Half-Marathon category. Others for the 3:30 group (yes, for the full). I chatted with a few people whom aspired to finish in 4:25. Some were vocal about joining me. Others just sorta stood there. It was at this point I realized just how big my responsibility was. I feared the possibility of failing the people that were depending on me to pace them to their own victory. OMG, What did I get myself into?! I maintained a smile though and we discussed the strategy at hand.

The plan was to maintain a 9:55/mile pace. We'd walk through 13 water stops, allowing ourselves 20 seconds at each. Good plan, right?

Well, for miles 1-3, we were dead on. Pace was right. The group was together. The mood was great. We made small talk. All was well. Miles 4-6 we got a little ahead of ourselves. We were about two minutes ahead. We needed to slow down!!  These people were depending on ME to keep their pace at 9:55. We were doing more like a 9:30. Eeeek! They're going to burn out! I'm going to fail them!

Mile 8, three minutes ahead! Ahhhh!!! I was freaking out! We needed to slow down. We approached a water stop with a port-o-potty. A light bulb went on. I told the group that we were going too fast and that though we felt good now, we had a long run ahead still.  We shall use this time to take a break, enjoy some fluids and use the potty. In three minutes, we'd pick back up.

I was one of the people that needed to use the potty. As soon as I was done, I looked for my group and found no one. Did they continue on? Were they in the potty? Did I even know what more than two of them looked like?? Where the hell did they go? I didn't know, so I began to run on. By mile 9, I realized my pace was right on target. But where was my group?

Some runners ran up from behind me and asked if I was on pace. (I was easily identified as a pacer with my "4:25" singlet on). I said yes, in fact I was dead on. "Well the 4:20 pacer is way back there. You must be ahead." Several people said this to me. My heart was sinking. I felt I could start crying. I knew I was on pace, but my lack of group had me lacking confidence. I was second guessing myself. WHERE was my group???

I had told them I was making a pit stop. I encouraged them to do it too!! But where the F*%$ were they?

Then, all of a sudden I heard, "oh there you are!" I later would find this voice to be my saving grace for the entire race. Mike was a guy I had been running with until mile 8. He was a man whom I learned was running his 49th marathon-- in Hartford-- on this day-- with me. The following day, yes the following day, he would run his 50th in Vermont.  He had lost me at the potty but found me again. I still didn't know where the rest of the group was, but as long as I had one guy, I was content.

I apologized to him. I let him know how upset I was for failing him. I don't think he thought it was such a big deal.  So, okay maybe I was overreacting?

Mile 10, 11... on target. Mile 12... Oh there's my mom!!!

For the past three years of doing the Hartford Marathon, each time I get to mile 12 (then again at 22), I welcomed the sight of my mom.  She greets me with food and fluorescent signage. This year she had no food because I planned on grabbing a peanut butter sandwich from my aunt at mile 14. Boy, do I wish I had depended on my mom.

As I reached mile 14, I looked for Aunt Gila. She wasn't there!! Correction: she probably was there but I missed her. Miles 14-16 are big cheer spots so she must have just blended with the crowd.  I missed my re-fueling opportunity!  Ut oh.

Mike offered me a GU. I turned it down at first. I needed calories, but not in semi-liquid sugar form. I wanted a sandwich!! I did cave though and ended up taking it. It was chocolate flavor. Tasted like cake frosting. It could have been worse.

Miles 15, 16, and 17 came and went. This part of the race takes us through the beautiful historic district of South Windsor. Foliage, rolling fields, old homes. Cows, farms, etc. Just gorgeous!!

17.1 or so is the turn around. It's literally a cone in the middle of the road that you turn at. At 17.5, I passed a couple of high school friends (thank you Katie!) with signs which was unexpected but awesome! I passed the same crowds from miles 14-16 at miles 18-20.  There was a guy on his front yard with a microphone greeting each of the runners as we passed. He'd say, "Hey 1504, I missed ya! Welcome back!"  There was a table of neighbors handing out Dunkin Donuts munchkins. Lots of music and signs! The crowd support was awesome. I got to see a fellow runner friend Jen in the crowd around mile 18. She'd been there since I passed her at mile 16 but we too missed each other then just as I missed Aunt Gila.

Miles 19-21... "Oh boy, I'm done with this race I think. I'm ready for it to be over." My heart just decided to not be in the race anymore. My knee began to hurt. My hip had been hurting. I told Mike I was ready to throw in the towel.  He started telling me about himself to distract me.

Mike was retired military who still worked as a civilian for the US Army. He was doubling up on marathons this weekend just as he did the week prior. He lives in Texas but originally was from Long Island.

Mile 22... "Hey, there's my mom again!!" And there she goes... Mile 23... The CANDY table!! Oh how I love this feature! Bite sized Snickers and flat Coke. YUMMMM!!!!

By the way, where the hell is the group Mike and I were originally running with?

Okay, so three simple miles left...  A 5k. That's it. I've done 5k's without my heart being devoted. It's a quick 30 or so minutes... Let's get it over with.  Mike told me to relax my shoulders. Don't think... just let my legs do the work.  I tried that. It worked. Mile 24... 25... oooh the crowd is getting loud! The finish is soon.

We were still on target! I knew that were were right in line with finishing in 4:25.  Knowing this, I was able to kick it up a notch. I actually sped up!

This is me at approximately mile 26.15

Mile 25.5...26... Cowbell, cheering, yelling, clapping.  Ohhhh, there's the Memorial Arch. And my dad! And Joe and Justin! My sister and nephew, and step sister too!! And the FINISH LINE! I crossed with Mike and started to cry. I hugged him and thanked him. I, the once "pacer" of the group had been led by this stranger, turned hero. He kept me going. He led us to our goal.

I learned later in the day, people had been following me (us) the whole time. It may not have been the vocal group I had started with (then lost), but runners sought me out and silently followed me and depended on me to pace them through the finish line.  I was successful in doing so, but not without help from Mike.

 Mike and I crossing the finish line!

Looking back at the race as a whole, I see it included all the components a marathon should. Commitment, determination, doubt, highs, lows, camaraderie, sweat, tears, empowerment and accomplishment. 

Did I hate running for a blip in time while racing? Yes.

Did I ask why I even attempt these things? Yep.

Am I sorry now that I ran the Hartford Marathon? Nope.

Do I think accomplishing such goals makes me a better person? You bet.

Am I ready for the next one? uh huh. Bring it on!

I'm not sure what makes a person desire to run. It can start with the need or want to lose weight, be healthier or as an outlet. Why I started running, I can't even say for certain.  I think I was sick of feeling unaccomplished. I wanted a "thing" that was mine that I could be proud of.  Running is in my blood some would say. My dad and sister are "Iron Men", having completed three of the iconic races between them, and dad being a Boston Marathon finisher, maybe subconsciously I felt my "thing" would be athletic in nature.

I'll never forget my first run.  I'm pretty sure I was high, after all I smoked pot every day from 1999 - 2009.  I headed out on the Greenway behind our apartment in Simsbury. Did a mile out and a mile back.  I felt so good. I bragged about my success for a long time.

Bragging has since been replaced with sharing my successes as a way to empower other people. Running is easy. It's one foot in front of the other... over and over and over and over... it's staying committed that's the hard part. That being said, not everyone enjoys running. If running isn't your thing, find your "thing". Commit to it. Accomplish it. Talk about it.

A family of runners... Dad in the back...Melissa on the left, then Isaiah, Justin (they ran the "Kids K", then me in yellow and my step-sister Missy)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Ready As I'll Ever Be!

Here we are, the evening prior to the 2012 ING Hartford Marathon.  It's very exciting. I'm not the only one who is excited though. My step sister Missy is excited, as well as Justin and my nephew Isaiah. My sister Melissa is presumably also excited, as she plans to run with Missy for part of the half marathon. Justin and Isaiah will be running in the kid's 1/4 dash. It's quite the family affair.

Yesterday I went to the Healthy Lifestyles Expo. Not even for packet pick up, but on official business. I went with my boss to meet with one of the women who works for the Hartford Marathon Foundation. She is interested in having our event planning company produce her expo next year. It was interesting to say the least, discussing all that goes into such an event. My boss is certainly a local icon in the industry and it was pretty neat hearing them discuss all the things they would do to make the event better.

While I was there, I did walk around for my own personal benefit. I bought Justin a cute shirt that reads: "Future Marathon Runner" and I grabbed some temporary tattoos that say "26.2".  I was thinking about putting them on my arm but since it will be ONLY 30 DEGREES at the start of the race, I'm going to have to put them on my cheek.

So a 30 degree temp at the start of the race may scare some people but not me. Looking forward to chilly conditions. The temperature won't get above 55 all day. If there's one thing I hate, it's running in heat, so tomorrow's weather will be welcomed!

If there's anything October is good for, it's unpredictable weather.  The last two years I ran this race, it was warm. I wore shorts and a tank top.  After last year's race (repeat- in a tank top), we were greeted with a foot of snow the very next week.  Silly New England!

Okay, well I'm off to get my massage and then to Missy's for family pasta dinner. Looking forward to seeing my family, especially my sister and two of her kids who flew in from Vegas on Wednesday and I've not seen them yet.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Taper Week is Upon us!

We are 5 days away from my 4th marathon. It will be my 3rd Hartford. In four more short weeks, I'll be completing my 5th marathon. Wow, who planned that endeavor!? LOL! I'm looking forward to Hartford because I love the race. It's a beautiful route with a lot of spectators. This year, I took the plunge and signed up to lead a pace team. Holy Moly! Thinking about it makes me queasy. I'm totally prepared mentally for this awesome experience, but my leg has been sore since the day after my last 21 miler. I was able to get two 21 mile runs in as part of my training this time. For that, I'm feeling confident, BUT still I feel apprehensive about the leg.

I've been nursing the poor thing for a while. Running less, doing the elliptical more. And lots of stretching! I managed to get two yoga sessions in and will be doing Bikram once more this week. Got a massage on Friday too which I'm looking forward to.

If nothing else, I'm hoping a double dose of Advil coupled with some IcyHot will do the trick. I'm determined to finish this race... and in my goal time. I'm leading a group of other racers that aspire to do the same, so it WILL happen. 4:25 is the goal. we will average just under a 10 minute mile and walk through water stops. If I could only find a damn map of the race route, I'd be able to learn about where the water stops are and how many there are. For whatever reason, it's not in a likely location.

I'll assume there is a stop every two miles. I can't remember from previous years.

In checking the marathon website for maps, I found out the pacer information was published. My bio and pic are in the newsletter! Woot woot!! It's very exciting!

So the weather looks great for Saturday. High 50's and some cloud cover. I'm considering registering Justin in the kids fun run. He was so proud after that one run he did. I would love to see his expression after another.

Okay, so it's late. I'm falling asleep. Was up early today at the gym then finished the day with a great Bikram class. Stay tuned for a post race wrap up!

Ramblings of a Prepared Racer

So two posts in two days! Wow. The excitement builds as each day passes and we get closer to marathon day. This is why I do what I do. Because I love the feeling of anticipation. Then subsequently I LOVE the feeling of completion!

In follow up to yesterday’s post, I did find a course map. There is a ridiculous amount of water stops which made it difficult for me to do my math and calculate which ones we should stop at and for how long. 

The goal here is to do the race in 4 hours and 25 minutes. That’s 265 minutes. When all is said and done, my group will have averaged a 10:07 pace, BUT not really. We will average a 9:55 pace and walk through our water stops. Knowing this, we can only spend 20 seconds at 13 water stops. I think I determined there are actually 18 water stops along the way. We will have to skip some. 

In my write up/bio thing in the newsletter, I suggested all runners come to the race with a water belt. This is because I don’t want them running any differently than they did in their training. Bringing your own water belt is good for a few reasons. Essentially, you become dependent on only yourself in the race. Let’s imagine for a moment that water stops at miles 20-26 actually ran out of water. If you had water in your belt, you’d still be able to hydrate.  It’s called preparation.

Last year, I did the Las Vegas half marathon. I ran without a belt and was fine, BUT a huge complaint from some back-of-the-pack runners was actually that the race ran out of water. Yes, they were pissed. I would be too, BUT in the end, you can’t always depend on the race. You must come prepared.

Another reason you should run with a water belt is that you may not realize how often you hydrate until you don’t have the means to do so. In your training, you may not calculate how often you sip from your bottles. You may just do it when you are thirsty. Makes total sense… but when you’re in a marathon and you leave your belt behind, you may find yourself feeling parched when you’ve gotten used to hydrating every 1 mile. 

By encouraging my group to keep things consistent with their training when racing allows for minimal surprises on race day. Don’t eat anything weird in the days leading up to the marathon. Don’t try new GU’s. Don’t even try a new flavor of Gatorade.  Assume your stomach will not like it. And make sure you’ve worn a new pair of shoes for at least 50 miles before race day, but no more than 300. No new clothes either. I’ll never understand how people wear the free race shirt fresh out of the bag on race day. What if you break out in a rash because it hasn’t been washed? What if the itchy tag is in the exact wrong place and chafes you the whole time?

Bottom line is STICK WITH WHAT YOU KNOW. You’ll be pleased by the close of the race when all goes as planned.  You'll be better off knowing you did all you could do to make it a successful race. You don't want to left saying at the end, "Oh I never should have worn those new socks. I never would have gotten blisters if I stuck with my regular ones."

So, in other thoughts… I’m trying to plan where “my people”, i.e. my family will go to cheer me on and give me things. LOL.  In previous years, my mom would be at miles 13 then 21 with food and big signs. I LOVE THAT!!! Not sure if she’s planning that again. My aunt lives at mile 15, so I’m going to ask her to throw me a PB sandwich as I run past. My dad and step mom, Joe and Justin are always at the finish line. Knowing I’ll see my son in 6 miles, then 4 miles, then 2 miles, then .25 miles is wonderful motivation. Maybe if I think I can grab him and take him over the finish line with me this year, I will. I always think I want to, then I get there and I feel like my arms wouldn’t be able to handle the weight. 

Oooooh, all this dwelling in possibility has me excited! 

I skipped the gym this morning. I had a double workout yesterday. Gym in the morning then Bikram in the evening. I figure I may walk this afternoon after work so I decided to sleep in. I certainly needed the extra 75 minutes in bed though.

Justin was up last night around 1:30 am. He came into our bed and was moving and squirming all over. I could tell he was miserable. Upon inspection, I realized he had peed through his diaper! Ugh. Very frustrating for two reasons… The end of diaper use is in sight. He’ll go all day in undies. He even poops on the potty now, which was a big hurdle to get over. I’d like to think he’ll be sleeping in undies soon, but then we experience something like last night.  That coupled with needing to fix a wet bed in the middle of the night makes for the act of sleeping in (until 6:00 am) much desired.

By the way, here a few links to check out:


Monday, September 17, 2012

A Beautiful New England (almost) Fall Weekend!

25 days until the Hartford Marathon! What better way to celebrate, er train, than to run 21 miles!? Did that this weekend… plus some…

Due to a pop-up weekend work day coming up at the end of September, I had to shift my training schedule. I had not planned a 21-miler until 2 weeks from now (on a day which I’ll need to now work) but pleasant weather, an open schedule and a sense of motivation led me to doing my longest run (pre-marathon) this past Saturday.  I left the house at 6:00 a.m. and headed east for Simsbury. A quaint beautiful town, while even though only 12 miles away, seemed to be booming with the feel of autumn, even more so than Windsor. 

Miles 1-5… left the house in the rain. I knew it was a passing shower so I headed out anyway. Fluorescent singlet, check.  Head lamp, check.  40 ounces of water and Gatorade, check.  New running shoes, check! Around mile 4, I recognized a smell. It was sweet and unique. It was the smell of drying shade tobacco. The town’s fields had been picked over the last few weeks and the crops hung to cure.  I believe The Farmington Valley is the only area in the country which still grows shade tobacco. It originated here and I THINK is still exclusive to this area.  I do not condone tobacco use but the smell is wonderful and reminiscent of late summer and early fall. Just lovely.

Miles 6-12… Sun came up, head lamp went off.  From my head to my waist it went. The thing only weighs a few ounces but it feels heavy after a while on the noggin.  I exited Windsor and entered Bloomfield, but only the little “forgotten corner” which happens to contain one of my most favorite stretches of road.  Route 189 in this little nook, I consider a corridor. The walls are high with cliffs covered in maple and oak trees and some were already turning to shades of yellows and reds. The corridor runs parallel to a portion of the Farmington River, known as the Tariffville Gorge. A white water “elbow” in the river which was home to various mills and factories at the turn of the century.  I took it all in as I entered Simsbury.

I took a left up Route 315, a big hill which felt strangely easy to climb. Up the hill, through the woods, to the Greenway to Starbucks in the center of town. I had planned on meeting another runner there and she was to take me on an 8ish mile loop through Simsbury and back to Starbucks where my husband would pick me up from. I was right on time. We introduced ourselves and we headed east. 

 My view as I headed over the bridge onto the Greenway.

Miles 13-21… Up and down the streets of the center of Simsbury is beautiful. Flags on antiquated lamp posts line the road. Potted plants don brick sidewalks. Small town shops, restaurants and “haunted” hotels are an added bonus for those that choose this little town to “leaf peep” during a New England autumn. As we ran through town toward another part of the Greenway, I embraced it. A chilly, sunny, early morning run through a gorgeous town are the qualities which make a long run so enjoyable. Then to be so cliché, once we reached the Greenway, two deer crossed our path. 

One of two deer I captured on camera.

Our route then took us over the steel bridge, past the largest tree in the state, the Pinchot Sycamore, onto Simsbury’s East Weatogue Street.  With Heublien Tower behind us we ventured past vineyards and farms showcasing pumpkins and squash.  Past a “second chance farm” for animals whom were not wanted by the previous owner. We said hello to donkeys, ducks, horses and goats. Onward by the old militia training fields then followed the Farmington River back into town. 

My whole run, which I rewarded with an iced coffee at Starbucks, was an enjoyable 20.8 miles. Yes, I’m rounding up and calling it a 21-miler!  As if the length of the run wasn’t enough to make a girl feel empowered, I averaged a 9:45/mile pace. My confidence was restored with regard to leading the 4:25:00 pace group for the Hartford Marathon. All summer I’ve been running in shoes I knew were worn out. I knew the lack of padding and support was contributing to a slower pace all summer; that mixed with heat and humidity, ugh! But finally, on Saturday, I was faster than my goal speed for the marathon. Great weather, new shoes and a companion for the last 8 miles were all contributing factors.  What a great run!!

Later in the day, I met up with one of my oldest friends at the pumpkin patch, and let the kids run around like crazy. Then I took Justin to the driving range. We ended the day with white pizza topped with shrimp and veggies. Was a great fall day!

My little cutie at Brown's Harvest.

Sunday was great too! I started the day with my two favorite guys. It was snuggle-fest with hubby and Justin until I decided to enjoy a cup of pumpkin coffee. I relaxed with my mug on the couch surrounded by the crisp, cool air flowing in through the windows. Only a few more hours until the Tavern Trot!

The Tavern Trot is a 3.5 mile road and trail race has run for 6 years. All proceeds go to Alex’s Lemonade Stand, and organization which raises money to fight children’s cancer.  Last year I placed in my age group. This year, I did not. 

My sister Missy came over around 11:30 a.m. and we ran down to the start of the race. It was the biggest turn out the organizers had seen in all the years. 700 registered runners!! 

12:30 p.m. gun time… on your marks, get set, GO!  It was a hot run.  Though hot, not humid. But the sun was beaming down hard.  I hate running in the heat.  My mouth was dry and I could feel the sunburn setting in.  Heat mixed with the sore muscles from my long run the day prior had me doubting a placement in my age group. I learned at mile one though, I was pacing 7:36. Wow! That’s not bad I thought, maybe I would place.  Mile 2, I was at 16:08. Hmmm, I’ve slowed down, I thought. Mile 3 was 24:00. Finish time was 28:05 or something. No placement, but the stats showed I was 5th in my bracket. I was pleased, but still a tad disappointed I couldn’t have been at least 3rd

Celebratory drinking commenced anyway.  Missy, Joe and I drank the day away in a crowd of smelly runners, entertained by live music.  We were there for hours. Too much Guiness!!  I never drink beer and yesterday I had like 8. I’m still feeling the bloat today.

This was pre-race: Missy and I all smiles

 Missy headed for the finish line. Strong finish, up hill!

All in all, a lovely weekend was had.  I can’t wait for next weekend! 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Busy Few Months Ahead!

So it’s been a very long while since I’ve posted last. Not gonna lie, life got busy. Not too busy to run, but too busy to write about it. 

Reading my last post (especially if a while ago) always entertains me. Sometimes I forget the chronological order of things until I read an entry detailing several days or weeks of events. Apparently my last entry was on the day of my first interview with a job that never panned out. Thankfully I was able to secure another position and get back to work after my contract ended at Valassis. Currently I am getting my feet wet in the world of event planning. I had my hands in event planning at Valassis but not nearly like I do now. It’s great so far and because I support he President of the company and am not really on the operations side of things, I can leave my work at work and still focus on my family and my passion for running.

On the agenda for the upcoming months are a few marathons. Hartford is in a few weeks, followed by a lovely, much desired vacation to St. John. Then two weeks later is the Philly Marathon. Come February is Hyannis again. Hopefully I can keep the momentum going and take a stab at my first ultra in April 2013. It’s a 50K. 

I’m excited for a few reasons about each race. For Hartford, I will be leading a pace team. I will be leading the 4:25 finishers and though my last two marathons have been completed in well under that time, I’m nervous as hell because people will depend on me to lead them to their victory. Sounds corny, I know, but my training has proven me a slow runner as of late. Hopefully new shoes (as of yesterday) will speed me up. 

As for Philly, I’m excited because I will be running with my step-sister Missy. She did NYC last year, but this will be our first full together. I was thinking this could be my first 4 hour marathon, but having just come off a vacation AND being timed so close to Hartford, I don’t know if I’ll have the stamina to do it in 4 hours. It’s a flat course, so maybe it’s doable.

So, that brings me to Hyannis. Realistically, this could be my 4 hour marathon. I did it in 4:16 this year. If it weren’t for 40 mph winds, I may have been closer to 4:05. I can shoot for 4 hours this time. I’m confident that I will get close!!

So Justin turned three a few months ago. He is doing well. I know I expressed frustrations in previous posts about him going through a difficult phase. Bed time routine is still challenging, but less so than 6 months ago I guess. He continues to go to school three days a week; in fact he transitioned into the pre-school program last week. My baby is getting so big!!

This week I turned 31. Ugh. I still feel waaaaayyy younger than that, so cheers to that I suppose. My birthday weekend was complete. Spent with friends at high-stakes BINGO, then a kid-less night with hubby, then a family feast over brunch, then dinner with mom. Was good!! 

Well if anyone reads this still, THANKS!! I’ll continue to update on mine and my co-runner’s progress as we approach these big races!

 This is Missy and I as we headed out for a 7 miler on Labor Day!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

It's been a while...

Was just reading my last entry to see where I left off. It’s been a while since I last blogged (for the record I hate that word) so I figured some catching up was due. I DID place in my age group for the Burn Calories for Fuel 10K last month. I was second in my age group which is exactly what I thought I would do. Yay! Cheers to victories! Justin did amazing in his fun run that day too. It was priceless watching him run and cross the finish line. We framed his number and he was given a medal. Something to cherish for many years!!

(Here is me and my little guy pre-kids fun run.)

On the topic of victories, I participated in the Valassis 5k last weekend. It was the inaugural race, put on by the company I’m currently contracting for. There was a small group, and I feel like I must say that as a disclaimer. There were about 25 participants, but of those 25, I was the third overall finisher and the first woman finisher. Woot Woot!!!

(Here I am with my fancy trophy)

So, I know I’ve mentioned Girls on the Run in the past-- an organization which I have decided to support this year. This past weekend while I was running the Valassis 5k, a group of about 15 people met for the second Hartford Chapter “start up” meeting. I couldn’t be there, but want to report the success from our first meeting which was a few weeks prior. We established that the basic steps required to start up the Hartford Chapter are to create a Board of Directors, find about $10k in funding (ugh) and attend a weekend long training at the GOTR Headquarters in North Carolina.The training teaches the 12 step curriculum which will then be shared with the girls that enroll in the program—girls that are looking to be empowered and feel confident. I’m unsure of how much of my time I can commit to the program. The start up requires a huge commitment and I’ve got a lot on my plate already. What I’ve tried to do is register as a SoleMate with GOTR. What that means is I would basically raise awareness on my own time and encourage friends and family to donate money to the overall cause.I would promote the program prior to each race I run, sort of like a ramp up. I’m awaiting direction from a Chapter Leader in Fairfield County. I think I keep telling everyone to stay tuned… but I’ll say it again… STAY TUNED!! LOL. For more info click: Girls On the Run

Onto other things… since the title of my blog is “A Mom’s Journey in Today’s Runner’s World”, let me talk about some mom things and I suppose general life things… For those that don’t know, my sweet Justin will be three years old in July. When I decided to return to full time work six months ago, it was a big deal because we were putting Justin in daycare/school for three days per week. The other two days each week, he goes with my mom or my dad. Rarely is it difficult to leave him with my parents, but dropping him at daycare has proven to be challenging. More times than not, he cries when Joe or I drop him off and it’s heart wrenching walking out that door. Though drop off is hard, he enjoys his days there and has developed quite the vocabulary and thirst for knowledge. Seeing him interact with other kids is sure priceless too. Daycare has been ultimately wonderful for him. Now, the contract that I’m on (basically the source of funding for Justin’s school) is up in two weeks. I worry because after my contract, if I don’t find another job, I’ll have to pull him out of school. Though he’ll love the thought of being home with mommy every day, I do believe he needs the structure of school.

Enter interview at Travelers Insurance today!! A previous boss of mine reached out to me a few weeks ago and hooked me up with the interview for the role of Assistant to a VP. Wish me luck!! Sure hoping this happens for me so I can keep Justin in school, and well, pay my other bills too!! It would be awesome to work with Tricia again too.

So, in an effort to get a good start to today, I ran a rainy 9 miles this morning. I’m feeling fresh, clear and good about my interview skills and what I can offer this VP as an assistant. I’m glad too because Tricia said the VP is currently training for a marathon. Something in common with a potential boss is always great!

Wish me luck! Only four more hours to anticipate…