Saturday, November 24, 2012

Turkey Trot Take Two!

(Say that ten times fast.)

O and I ran this race last year, but we did the three mile race. This year, we did the 5.2.  Rye (NY) Recreation puts on the race, and it's pretty good for a small race. We run on streets, through a park, up over a curb (stroller friendly, allegedly), and by some pretty beautiful houses. Sadly, a number of them (and the Playland boardwalk) were pretty badly damaged by Hurricane Sandy. It was a race that the SS run club trained for, and it was GREAT to see some running buds who I haven't seen in a while. They all ROCKED their respective races, without strollers, with strollers, and even two with doubles! Yeah!

It was a very chilly morning, but little man was AWESOME about wearing his hat and gloves during the race. Lately, this has been quite the battle. We arrived pretty early, registered on site (Only $15 day of!) and played a little bit on the playground before bundling up. Oliver was entertained for the whole 46 minutes, watching police cars, trucks, dogs (there was a Paws walk beforehand so tons of "doggies!" were around), and talking to people. Instead of Thursday's comments, Oliver chose to say "I see you!" and "Buh-bye!" as we passed a few people. Great.

We were the second stroller, grrr, but I suppose that losing out to a Dad who competed in Ironman Hawaii isn't too shameful.

We kept up an 8:52 pace, which I'm fairly content with. Would've liked to break 45:00, but there's always next year. Although, he'll be heavier by then...

What I learned today is that I do NOT drink enough water before, during, or after a race. Thanks to two Motrin, I'm feeling normal. But I really need to get better about this.

Happy post-Thanksgiving turkey trotting straight into the Christmukah season!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Turkey Trotting

Hanging out in the back, ready to trot!
This morning, we set out to do a favorite race of mine - the Ridgefield YMCA Turkey Trot 5K. Yes, that's right. WE. Last year all four of us made the trip, but Stella and Ben hung out at the dog park. (Side note: Ridgefield has the best dog park ever. Stella's obsessed. Still talks about it). This year, Ben ran it too! Here's proof! 
I had fun, always like running with other people more than alone. Oliver loves watching people, although today was a first for him. As we came up to a group of slightly slower runners, he yelled "MOVE!" and I lost it. Cracking up. Luckily, they didn't hear him. Happy Thanksgiving, huh? 
O and I are doing another one on Saturday, while B plays some paddle. As we got into the car, he muttered "man, I hate running." Such a good sport. 
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! 

Friday, November 2, 2012


Seeing as I'm SO not organized or time-committed enough to do one post a day during the month of November, I'm going to do it all at one. Here's a master list of 22 (one for each day leading up to Turkey day!) things I'm thankful for this month. In no particular order.

#1 - That little person who calls me "Mummy." That energetic, hilarious, thoughtful, sweet, creative and loving boy. Eating cheddar broccoli soup, hummus and always picking the fruit first. The crazy-haired child who loves school, adores his friends, and his four-legged friend. I never imagined I could love someone as much as I love him.
#2 - The man I married four and a half years ago.
#3 - Our crazy Stelladog.  Eating butter (among other things), chasing squirrels, and acting more like a human than some people... love our fur baby.
#4 - My parents. All six of them. Near and far.  Cookie-baking, football-loving, oil painting, singing parents.
#5 - My grandmother. Oliver's Gigi.
#6 - Styles that finally fit my body type! ...and hide what I want/need to hide :)  Scarves, boots, boot socks (my feet are always freezing), comfortable and baggy tops. Le sigh.
#7 - Siblings. Every single one of them. Plus, the nieces (BraeBrae, Dillon and two in utero) and nephews (Max, Joby, Nat, A.J. and Broady)!
#8 - Starbucks. Pumpkin Spice Lattes, Peppermint Mochas, Chai Lattes and an occasional Frap. Bliss.
#9 - My friends. They might be fewer and farther between these days, but the good ones are amazing.
#10 - Baby video monitors.  Because they let me see O snuggling stuffed animals and twirling his hair, plus they let me hear him attempt to sing his ABCs first thing in the morning.
#11 - Doing dishes. Yep. Because that means we've eaten food off of those plates, and have water/electricity to clean them.
#12 - Working at the best school. Ever. I've taught at some pretty great places, but this one is tops. Fifteen hard-working students who come to school every day eager to learn and ready to take on the world. Plus, a great support system of teachers and administrators who encourage me to do what I love, how I do it.
#13 - Old Navy and Target. For allowing me to buy clothes that aren't exorbitantly expensive, while still letting me fill a closet (or two...)
#14 - Pinterest. For allowing me to fake that I have some style.
#15 - Nature. Hikes in the woods. Walking along the rocky shore. Biking through the snow-capped mountains. Driving through the changing leaves. Feet in the sand.
#16 - Hot showers. Not warm showers. HOT showers.
#17 - The flavors of fall. Pumpkin. Butternut squash. Cinnamon. Apple pie. Nutmeg. Soups. Mashed potatoes. Mmmmmmm.
#18 - The ability to run. ...and more importantly to enjoy it.
#19 - Facebook, Instagram, Skype (!) and Twitter. Yes, I'm sorry if you disagree. It's how I stay in touch with people - video chats with O's grandparents weekly, commenting on cousins' pictures from across the country, friends since drifted... technology can be wonderful.
#20 - Music. Alejandro Sanz, Francis Cabrel, Mumford&Sons, Tristan Prettyman, anything country. I don't sing, but I wish I could!
#21 - Elmo. Peppa Pig. Clifford. Bob the Builder. ...because they excite, amuse, entertain and inspire my child. (Most importantly when I'm making dinner!)
#22 - October through February. No one can contend with Halloween, Thanksgiving, Chanukah, Christmas, and all four family birthdays in a matter of ~4 months! Bring it on!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Words, words, WORDS!

The other day I set out to write down a list of all of O's words. I figured, nearing 18 months now (when did that happen - holy cow!), there'd be about 20 recognizable words? Maybe even 25? Oops! Underestimated. Here's what we've got so far. (All English words, although, we're pretty sure he's blabbering in Arabic or Yiddish. The words with an asterisk * show that those words are currently only prompted, he's like a parrot!) 

I would normally put this on our family blog (sorry!), but it was connected to our old (hacked) email address, so sadly, I can't get into it until I contact someone :( 

Abby* - as in Caddaby. One of the wall clings in his room. Very clearly said! 
all done - pretty sure O thinks this is one word, a la 'aldone'. Usually accompanied by pushing his high chair tray away (without success) 
airplane - "air pane" at all times of the day, inside or outside. Pointing up at the sky (or ceiling). Often gets confused with a far-away lawnmower or motorcycle. Well-played, well-played. 
Auntie - said to, obviously, my sisters. But, now it's been extended to any remotely familiar female between the ages of 20-30. I guess that's what happens when you refer to all of your friends as "Auntie Mer" or "Auntie Stace". 
apple - this was one of Oliver's first words, and it generally applies to any round, edible object. Tomato, plum, peach, and even apples! 
apple juice - once again, one word - more like appleju. Said repeatedly, often very quickly over and over again. Especially when someone (anyone) opens the refrigerator. Reason obvious. ("appleju appleju appleju appleju appleju appleju") 
ball - with a lovely little British accent (can you guess who influenced that one?), in grocery stores, CVS (lovely bouncy ball displays), driving by a soccer game, and especially thanks to the Olympics. 
balloon - sounds slightly like ball-oooo, but contextually he always is pointing at balloons in books, or grocery stores. Who knew that Stop N Shop had SO many balloons - at the check-outs, at the deli, in the card section. Sheesh! 
Big Bird - "Bi Bir" when Sesame Street happens to be on, or he grabs the two stuffed BBs, or sees the wall cling. I think he knows these are two separate words :) 
blue*- Oliver's "blu" sounds quite French, and I love it. 
boat - This one was first heard on our UK trip, seeing as my in-laws live about 10 feet away from the harbor (excuse me, harbour), and we were constantly looking out the window at the boats. 
bump, bump, bump - always in threes. This is totally my fault. I've said this any time we drive anywhere, because there's a bit of our road that is SUPER bumpy. One day I forgot to say it (probably because I was jamming along to whatever was on the radio), so Oliver chimed in and said it for me. 
bus - we're having a bit of difficulty with this one. In London, it was easy peasy, because any two-level red thing was a bus. Over here? A bit more difficult. We've gotten the yellow ones down (although they are not too frequent in July/August - thank goodness), the city buses are going to take a while. 
bye bye - this used to only happen AFTER people walked out and closed the door, or AFTER we hung up the phone or Skype. We've made progress so people can actually hear the words. Now, we say "buh bye" to lots of people and things - balloons, animals (especially dogs, or when I turned the equestrian off the tv?!?!?!), and cars driving by us. 
car - again, British, "caaaaa"
cheese - much to Daddy's chagrin, this was a pretty easy word.  ...and he knows where the cheese bin is in the fridge. 
cookie - he knows where the snack cabinet is. trouble. 
cracker - this one cracks me up. "cracka" enough said. 
Dada - First word. Grrrrrrr.
dinosaur - we saw a bunch of dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum in London, and he really started saying "dine-sor" when we came back and were looking through his London Bus book. 
doggie - sounds a little bit like Dada, but we can generally tell which one he means :) 
Elmo - obviously, the furry red guy, although he gets Grover confused and sometimes calls him Elmo. They have the same face shape, right? 
empty - this is exactly how my sister, Sarah, used to say it. "emp-ih-tee" so cute. 
Ernie* - again, wall clings. (sensing a theme?)
giraffe* - we saw them at the zoo in London, and they were AMAZING. Plus, there's Sofie Giraffe here (who Stella is obsessed with. still.). It's pretty clear "jir-af" but only once we say it first. 
Mama - third word. after dada and doggie. I guess that's where I fit into the scheme of things! 
more - just now at lunch, this was combined with please! Ben got him to say "mo peas" - yippee! 
Nana - I'm convinced that this one (and all the other family names) were helped by our adorable photo books. (We have three we bought from Target - like this one) Oliver LOVES looking through the photos, pointing to everyone's faces, and practicing their names.) 
no, no, no - I've been trying to get this on video for approximately three months. We have a palm (?) / fern (?) in the corner of our living room (it's still alive! woo hoo!) and when Oliver went near it to grab the leaves, Ben said "no, no, no" while shaking a finger at him. Oliver did the exact same thing back. It was hilarious. And, of course, we had to pretend not to think it was funny. He does it now, without being prompted, which tells us that he knows right from wrong pretty well. 
Oliver* - sounds more like "ah-ver" but it's a start, nonetheless! And when we ask where Oliver is, he grabs his ears, points to his nose, or his chest. 
orange* - Granny and Papi (in-laws) have tons of orange flowers, and this was surprisingly easy for him to say - we were all pretty impressed! 
pepper - O says "peppa" like the pig cartoon, but then gets mad if his pepper (no matter the color) doesn't have hummus on it. He knows what he wants. 
please - "peas!" and if we don't respond or give him what he wants right away, it gets progressively louder until it's not really that polite! He walked over to Nana's candy dish, pointed at it, and nicely said "peeeease!" chocolate - score. He knows what to do. 
pool - we've been taking swim classes, and I suppose there are a lot of pools on the Olympics, but he kinda generalizes pool and can't differentiate between a pool, river, ocean, or lake. Fair enough, bodies of water are "pool" for now.
Pop - [my step-dad's name]. The second p is often soft, or even silent, but it is used to describe anyone wearing a suit and tie (we learned this Skyping with Uncle Mike), or sitting in a recliner. Hahahaha! 
poop* - I'll spare the details of when this happens, but maybe (?) it'll help potty train in a year or so? Ha!
purple - When the questions are: "Oliver, what's your favorite color?" or "Oliver, what color would you like to draw with first?" the answer is always "PURPLE!" Oh, Harold....
shoes - He knows where his shoe drawer is, and always chimes in when we're putting them on. What 18 month old has more than 10 pairs of shoes? Oh, wait, he's my kid.
sock -  Same as above.
spoon - We are trying to master the spoon. Trying is the operative word here. Suction cup bowls worked for 10 hours. He calls all utensils "spoon" for now. 
Stella - Obviously, he hears this word quite a bit, and has known where Stella is (below the highchair usually) or who she is (the one who takes all of the abuse), forever. Best friends. 
tree - "chee" on our walks, and when we're driving. There are a lot of them, and he likes to point them ALL out. Although, bushes/shrubs kinda confuse him for now. 
truck - I figured little boys loving trucks was kinda a myth, or exaggerated a little bit. Nope. 
up - "up" is usually followed by "peas" thus making "uppeas" which (like many other words) is repeated over and over, in a very cute voice until he gets out of the stroller, high chair or car seat. 
umbrella - another word we learned in England. Why? Because there were a TON of umbrellas because it POURED every hour or so.
yeah, yeah, yeah - "Oliver, do you want breakfast now?" Nodding his head, "yeah, yeah, yeah." Cracks me up. 
yuck, yuck - Whenever O tries to touch something (garbage bin, Stella's food dish, or something else that he shouldn't), I say "no, no, yucky!" and he does the "no, no, no" thing along with "yuck, yuck." Once again, he knows what's yucky and what's not. Smartie pants.

Woah! That's a long list. I'll be glad when he's older that I've written this.  I figured the only other person who will enjoy/appreciate this list is Nana :) So, enjoy, Nana! 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

What I want to teach my son...

This has nothing to do with running, at all.

I am normally not one to voice opinions on Facebook, or any blog, or even to anyone other than my family. Having said that, with all of this craziness about Chick-Fil-A going on, I've felt inspired to think about what kind of world I want Oliver to grow up in. And what kind of world I want him to try to make a difference in. 

We've lived and worked in two very different environments in the last few years, and I find myself somewhat split between the two. I often think about the quote, America is not a melting pot, rather a beautiful mosaic. I love this because it talks about the fact that we don't need to change who we are to 'fit in'.  I get upset when I hear people calling each other names, or trying to impose their own beliefs on someone else, and I'm honestly torn about this issue quite a bit. 

So, what about those chicken sandwiches and peppermint chocolate milkshakes? (mmmmmmm.) I think it's everyone's right to feel, and say what they believe. I don't necessarily agree with what Dan Cathy (president of Chick-Fil-A) had to say about gay marriage, but I think he should be able to say it. This might seem a bit hypocritical [and I'm sorry because I'm pretty sure I'm about to offend 99% of the five of you who read this], but I don't think that a town or city should be allowed to deny someone's company a plot of land to build on based on their political, artistic or religious point of view. Let them build a Chick-Fil-A in Boston, and let the people who disagree with his alleged homophobic remarks go buy their chicken elsewhere. That, my friends, is the beauty of the country we live in. 

...and half of you have exited out of this window. So here I go, up onto my soap box. 

I want my son to grow up in a world where he feels comfortable speaking his mind, regardless of what those thoughts are. I've heard about toddlers saying things publicly like "Mummy, why is that man having a baby?" (when seeing a man's large belly), and that's not the kind of thing I'm talking about. There is a big difference between knowing what is appropriate given the situation. I'd be glad to talk to Oliver about how some men happen to hold weight in their midsections, so long as the fat fellow isn't within earshot. 

I want my son to grow up in a world where he doesn't have to preface his friends' names with things like "Jenny, the one with two mommies." Because, let's face it, that's what people do (whether they realize it or not) with family circumstances, religion, ethnicity, and physical characteristics.  I want him to say "Jenny, the really nice one who helped me find my lost math book." Because that's what's important. 

I want my son to grow up in a world where he has choices. If he wants to 'boycott' a restaurant, business, brand, or product because he doesn't believe in their sourcing, beliefs, pricing, or ethics - so be it. Hopefully, there will be an alternative. (Ironically enough, I'm making the Chick-Fil-A chicken bites from Pinterest on Friday evening, I'll let you know if they're a good replacement!) 

I want my son to grow up in a world where we can have discussions about important issues like this - so I can hear his unique, uninfluenced (for now!) points of view.  Right now, I don't let Oliver watch more than 5-10" of TV at a time, except for when we watch the news altogether. Nightly, sometimes even the BBC World News, it's an important part of our day. I want him to ask "why?" although I'm sure I will run out of answers. I want him to know about the world, good and bad (but it seems like a lot of bad these days...), to have questions, and formulate his own opinions. 

And, finally, I want my son to grow up in a world where he wants to make a difference, a positive impact, for those who don't feel like they have all of these same opportunities as he does. 

Thank you for 'letting me' rant. I'm done now. For now. 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Have "trainers", will travel - UK Rave Run

Runner's World publishes Rave Runs (see here) in each issue, and I always get so jealous/inspired when I see them. They highlight some of the most beautiful routes in the world - through deserts, redwood forests, and along the coasts. When we were in England last week, I had MY rave run. 

Ben's family lives in Newlyn - a suburb of Penzance (think Pirates of...) in the southwest of England (County Cornwall). It's RIGHT by the sea, tropical climate, and absolutely beautiful. I usually bring my 'trainers' (aka sneakers) and head out for some stress-relieving runs, but I generally only get out half of the time I'd like to because of the weather. 

Here was the 10 day forecast before we left: 
Yep. Rainy every day. Cold (compared to the upper 90s of the US East Coast!). I packed my 'trainers' (sneakers) regardless and kept my fingers crossed.  

The first two days were pretty rainy, and on the third - it was like the skies opened up! So, I headed out for a solo run to scope out the path. I had run it on a few trips before, but never (ha!) thought about a stroller being able to go on it! 

Backtrack. In anticipation of our pond-hopping, B and I decided to bring the BOB. We spent a day in London on each side of the trip (between the 8 hour flight and 8 hour train ride), and wanted to have it to maneuver around the museums and zoo. Best. Idea. Ever. We bought the BOB Single Stroller Travel Bag, and it was GREAT. (I'll do another post about packing/travelling with a family at a later date)

The next morning I work up and eagerly looked out the window. Horray! Another not wet day! (Notice I didn't say sunny quite yet.) So, O and I had breakfast, got dressed and headed out west along the path. We stopped every so often for photos, and of course his snack (I didn't bring my Garmin, having read that it wouldn't work on UK satellites). We ran 1.5 - 2 miles towards Mousehole, a cute little town known for their Christmas lights around the harbor and then headed back. 

Here are our photos! Enjoy!

Ready for the run, in the sun (?!?!)

Prounounced "Mowzel"

Looking out towards the Atlantic coast

Photo op at the turn-around point. Thank you, camera timer!

Pretty rocky shore

O's mid-run snack - fruit rope. I snuck a bite, DELISH.

The view heading back

Perfect day!

Garden with the best view - ever!

Just your run-of-the-mill scarecrows. Ha. 

St. Michael's Mount in the distance

Back to Newlyn!

Coastal path along the water

Newlyn in the distance
The last run of our UK trip I did solo, on Sunday, while O was napping. I headed east along the road towards Penzance and probably ended up doing about 5 miles? It was really sunny and I actually ran in my capris and a tank top! I just had to remember which way the traffic went while I was crossing the road! I didn't drag the camera with me, and my phone was off (!) for 10 days straight. Bliss. 

Now, contemplating sending this into RW. 

Any Rave Runs out there worth sharing?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Four on the Fourth

Happy 4th of July, everyone! 
(A day late, sorry, the race results were just posted!)

This 4 mile race was a last minute decision. As in 24 hours ahead of time decision. 
Nothing like an impromptu run with the stroller to keep you on your toes!

I hadn't run with Oliver in the stroller in a LONG time. (Since the 10K training run, 5/19!) I was reeeeeally nervous about what would happen. The runs I did last summer with him were pretty easy by comparison, because he fell asleep every time! Not anymore. I was all set (or so I thought) to go. I had snacks (fruit strip, dried strawberries in the snack trap, string cheese), drinks (water in sippy cup), toys (Elmo sound toy, mechanical book, jingle bells, YesYesNoNo book, and shake eggz.) 

What did I forget? The velcro straps. (Uh.mazing = Sippigrip - see here) We have three of them and LOVE them. And they're great. Just not sitting at home on the counter! Wrap 'em around a sippy cup, a snack trap, or a toy - and if your child should drop (ahem, THROW) them out of the stroller while moving, no big deal.) 

What else happened? We wore Crocs. BIG mistake. Oliver loves these shoes. They're amazing in the summer, especially at the park when we're running through the water (see photo below), but not so much in the BOB with the snack tray. Oliver likes to wedge his feet in there and slide them off. Generally, they drop into the little 'holding' area at the front of the stroller. Not this time. This happened around mile 3. One croc off (I didn't realize it), I mean completely off the stroller. Then another about 50ft farther down the road. Awesome. I had to stop and go back to get it, not a big deal, but it was a slight annoyance to those around me - especially seeing as the race was on both sides of a non-closed street. 

What more happened? After the Croc incident, I wedged the shoes into the canopy remembering the "shaded streets" comment on the race's site. Ha! Should've known better. The last 1/2 mile was in full sun and it was about 80 degrees already, couldn't pull the shade down without doing an Go-go Gadget arm maneuver to get the shoes under the stroller basket. O was a trooper, and kept cheering (clapping) everyone on! 

Over the course of this race, I ran into a friend from college who played on the tennis team for a year, as well as a great family friend (and running inspiration!). It was a nice holiday run, fairly inexpensive ($15 with cotton t included!), local (12 minutes away), kid-friendly (strollers allowed, and popsicles afterwards!) and easily accessible (parked about 25 yards from the check-in/start.) Overall, a great race, one that I will probably do again next year, and perhaps be better prepared for! 

So, here are the results: 
4 miles in 34:10, 8:32/mile.   47/127 women, 11/32 age group. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

10K Race Recap and Coxsackie

On Monday, I ran a 10K with an awesome group of Moms! 
Stroller Strides does a 5K/10K training program to get mums ready to do a road race, and I was privledged enough to 'lead' the 10K training group for the last two months. I've really enjoyed getting to know these four awesome ladies, and am SO proud of how much they've accomplished. Through foot pains, hill aversions and everything else... we did it!

Woo hoo!
10K? CHECK! 

I wasn't planning on running the race for time, but I felt pretty well lining up for the start. The course rolls through a beautiful residential area of South Salem/Lewisboro, around a lake, and there's plenty to look at - although being a race of only 118 people (357 in the 5K), there were certainly points where I couldn't see a whole lot of other racers in the vicinity.  

My race prep normally this involves going to bed fairly early the night before, drinking a lot of water, and sometimes doing some yoga or stretching. Sunday I was so exhausted from everything going on in our house (see below) that I needed (NEEDED!) a mango margarita.  It was amazing. And apparently (as told by my husband) this will become of my night-before routine. Or at least until I have a bad race. While clutching the drink, I found my Garmin in a box (still unpacking - blech!) and took my iPod out to charge, but unfortunately left it at home Monday morning! Luckily I had another one in my car (from using it at the gym the previous week), although it didn't have my new mix on it. Oh well! There's always next time :) 

We got all checked in (not a bad race shirt, and it all came in a nice re-usable grocery bag, love 'em!), met up with all the other 10K racers, snapped a few pictures, and got ready to run! At race time (8:00), it was about 70 degrees, and about 70% humidity. Luckily, most of the roads were fairly shaded. It did, though, get significantly warmer before the 5K start at 9:30!

By the numbers...
6.2 miles
8:12/mi average
1/4 division
7/44 females
27/118 overall
3 nasty hills
1 shoe-tie
2 box turtles (1 moved off by fellow runner)
3 squished chipmunks

Now, comes the "Mum" part... We've been battling Coxsackie Virus at our house since Thursday. Not sure what it is? Thank you, WebMD. I was really unsure of how well I'd be able to be able to run the 10K, mainly because of the lack of sleep I'd been getting!

So, after a bum rash (thought it was just needing some Desitin) and a back rash (thought it was allergy to the salmon we let O try) - Oliver came down with a fever at daycare on Thursday afternoon. Friday I stayed home with him, and luckily we had the weekend to heal. Boy, was it a long three days! He really didn't eat a whole lot more than watermelon, jello, popsicles, and cheddar broccoli soup. (No matter how he's feeling, he will ALWAYS eat this soup - gotta love the kid!). Friday and Saturday nights were LONG. He'd get up every 3-4 hours or so, needing some more medicine (just infants pain reliever), and SCREAM until it kicked in. He developed a few sores on his chin, two visible ones on his tongue, but it seemed to be more a sore throat than anything else. Poor buddy! It's never fun when a baby is sick, but even worse when they can't vocalize what hurts :(  

Good news is that we're on the mend now, not contagious, and returning to our cheerful, happy self! And that's always a good thing!

No registered races coming up. But that probably won't last for long. I'm ITCHING to break 50:00....

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mommy friends and a new 5K PR!

Mother's Day generally involves breakfast in bed, maybe a pedicure or a massage.... what did I want to do on "my" day? Run, obviously!  Ridgefield, CT (along with cities in 10 states) have an all-female race on Mother's Day, and it was awesome.   (To clarify: they also have a kid's race, which was SO cute, I can picture Oliver doing it someday!) 
Never turn down a cute race tshirt! (Baby blue, well-cut cotton shirt!)

A bunch of friends ran it last year, before we moved back up here, and I was very excited to run it this year.  I signed up last week, once the move was finalized. It was only about 25-30 minutes away, and it made me realize just how much I love doing smaller races.  I got to the race 45" before start, a friend picked up my bib for me (thanks, J!), and it was super easy to get to and from the start/finish. 

We ran like mothers!
I hadn't seen some of these awesome mums in 6+ months (K/J - how did that happen?), but it felt like we had just done some Rail Trail training runs together... glad to be back! :)

I ended up finishing in 23:18, new PR! It breaks down to 7:31/mile, which I'm pretty psyched about. (LOOK!)I do have to say that having trained on some serious hills (for our 10K in 2 weeks), I felt awesome with the rolling hills and even passed a few people going up some hills! 

Team SS ready for our 10K race!
Upon crossing the finish line, we were all handed a very pretty red rose! I hung around a little and waited for everyone to finish, then Kerry and I headed over to check out the results.  Well.... I made the first printed page. Then, I looked over at the place in division. #2! WHAAAT?!?!?! How did that happen? 

Anyway, I was going to head straight home to shower (and then off to IKEA), but clearly wanted to wait around and see what I 'got'! They were announcing the division winners, and said some other girl's name for #2. (They read them in 3rd, then 2nd and 1st). Felt like a dummy for sure, until they read my name for having come in FIRST. [The girl who 'beat' me was 2nd overall, so I guess they pull out of division for that? This is all new to me....]

My first time placing in a race!

In addition to this beautiful bouquet of flowers, I got a free race entry into next year's race! (Ben was hoping for a cash award, not something that will just feed into my 'addiction!')

Happy Mother's Day to all of my Mum friends (runners and non-runners), as well as my three moms! I hope you all did whatever makes YOU happy today! 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Race recap (SO late!)

So, somehow the last two and a half weeks have flown by, and I have just not gotten around to writing my race recap post. SORRY! I know (ha!) that you've been waiting (ha! ha!) for this post. 

In short... WE DID IT! 

Us, circa 1990
My sister and I crossed the finish line of the Jersey Shore Half Marathon. Together. For those of you who know us, and have known us for - oh - twenty years or so, know that this is pretty cool for us. We've come a long way.

I'm pretty sure we'd both be lying if we said we didn't feel slight disappointment for our time (2:00:43), especially as we've both broken 2 hours before. But, that wasn't the goal for this race. (9:13/mile isn't too shabby though?!)

We signed up together, each of us ran for the last few months for different reasons. Through different sicknesses, in different states, and we learned that we are very different runners.  
ME: running shorts, fuel belt, and glide. (aka marketer's dream)
AMES: soccer shorts, compression sleeve (on one leg, totally intense looking) and vaseline.  (She did see another girl in soccer shorts lining up, and they totally air high-fived from 20 ft away!)

It was a GREAT course from Asbury Park down to Sea Bright and back. (We opted for the out and back as opposed to the three-loop course, great decision). It was ridiculously flat, only having to go up and over one small bridge. It was super foggy when we started, you couldn't even see the ocean from the boardwalk! By the time we reached the turn-around point, most of it had burned off, and we even got some sun! 

From the RunAPalooza! website.
After the race, we headed to shower at a friend's house (Thanks, J+N!) and had lunch before heading back. A nice little morning :)

The back of Amie's shirt!
All in all, the worst part of the race was that the photographers (stationed throughout the course) didn't take a single picture of the two of us together. Not even at the finish line!  Now, normally I would understand this... but we were wearing MATCHING NEON GREEN SINGLETS throughout the race and we CROSSED THE FINISH LINE HOLDING HANDS. 

Dude, seriously? Take ONE picture so we can give it to the parents for Christmukah, or put it on an ornament or something. Lost out on some $$ there, that's for sure! 

On the back of my shirt, was a crazy picture of O from his birthday and it said "13.1 for my 13 month old." As Amie pointed out, it was ONE day before he was 14 months, ha! 

Up next: 

Mother's Day, Run Like A Mother 5K - Ridgefield, CT - 5.13
(Putting the team back together for this one... can't wait!)

South Salem 10K - 5.28 
(Yay team Stroller Strides 5k/10k training!)

Stay tuned for what I decide about registering for a fall half and maybe even a full! Eeks! 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Bad run, GREAT run!

After missing two weeks of my long runs (one week Oliver was teething like a champ and not napping well, the next week I had strep and pink eye and spent four hours in Urgent Care waiting for medicine), I got in two more training runs before our half marathon on April 21st!

The first was last Sunday, April Fool's Day - but it was NOT a fun run. I felt a bit stiff before I even set out, and I had the feeling that it wasn't going to be a good run. I had led our 10K training program the day before, and gone to S.S. class - I'm pretty sure that's what put me over the edge. My legs and glutes were really sore from the time I woke up.  Here's the map and elevation/pace chart from my bad run. Now that I think about it, it also could've been the fact that I did the same loop as a few weeks ago. I need new scenery to keep me occupied :)

8 miles in 1:16:20, 9:29/mi. BLECH.

Wednesday, I picked Oliver up from daycare and he had napped for 40 minutes. All day. So, I figured it would be a great opportunity to get a short run in, allow him to nap (he will always sleep in the BOB if I'm running), and test out the Bronx River Trail where we'll be doing a lot of our 10K training runs.  It's a great, but very hilly trail. Oliver fell asleep before the first mile beep, and missed out on seeing a muskrat in the stream that runs along side. (I managed to snap a photo on my phone and text it to my nature-loving mum).  We ran 2.5 miles out, and came back. So it ended up being 5 miles in 45:30, 9:06/mile. Not bad with the stroller! Check out the elevation chart for this run, woah.

THEN......... comes the great run. [It's always better to get the bad news first, right?] I only did the 10K training, and not class on Saturday, which I think partially contributed to the success. Also, it was impromptu. I didn't plan my route until I headed out the door... and luckily my iPod and Garmin were charged and ready to go. It was a simply beautiful day - about 58 degrees with a slight breeze. Absolutely perfect running weather. I also ran a new way, along some residential roads, and across a few highways (I love this feeling, see previous post). I've decided that doing an out-and-back is great, but having to make a few turns breaks the run up into more manageable chunks.  For example, I ran 2 miles, turned right, ran another 2, turned left and ran another 2. Then, I just ran back home. This was mentally much easier than running 6 miles on the same road and turning around. And, after running for almost 7 years now, I've learned that running is about 80% mental. Ben will attest to this as well!  Here's the map/chart:

Easter Sunday, 4/8/12 - 12 miles in 1:47:36, 8:58/mi. YESSSSSSS! After this run I feel READY for our race in less than two weeks.

Running by myself is always a little bit harder (to keep pace, etc.), so I'm confident that Amie and I can break 2:00:00 again. (I've done one and made it under, she's done 12 (!) and made it under also).  I also have to say that I wasn't TOO sore today. I did make it to SS this morning, which was good. I ran a little bit, which felt nice to stretch it out a little bit. 

BRING IT ON!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

12 Reasons I run...

During my AWESOME 12 mile run today (recap to come later today, or later this week....) I was thinking about all of the reasons I run. With a little assistance, I came up with this list. Any more to add?

Reason #12 -  I run, because the only feeling better than the one you get DURING a run ("runners high") is the feeling when you're done. And stretching. And about to shower it all off.

Reason #11 - I run, because I get to listen to guilt-free and judgment-free music. Thank you, Pitbull, David Guetta, and Jennifer Lopez. 
Reason #10 - I run, because as my sister Amie once said, "spandex is a privledge, not a right." And I enjoy wearing spandex. (I believe leggings qualify here, and leggings are super comfortable - and semi-work appropriate, especially where I currently work - yesssss!) 

Reason # 9 - I run, because there's an unexplainable and powerful feeling you get when running across a highway overpass.  Watching the cars and trucks speed by is such a unique feeling.

Reason #8 - I run, because I like wearing shorts.  Not "short shorts", but I like a good pair of shorts in the summer, and running makes everyone's legs look better.

Reason #7 - I run, because I enjoy the looks I get from people driving by. I love the looks I get from people sitting in McDonalds as I run by them, even more.

Reason # 6 - I run, because it makes getting dressed in the morning a little less stressful. Running makes you think about, and feel, parts of your legs, shins, ankles, abs, arms, and hops that you don't really think about a lot.

Reason #5 - I run, so I don't feel TOO guilty polishing off the pint of Junior Mint Turkey Hill ice cream. That may or may not be happening as I type this.... 

Reason #4 - I run, because I LOVE the salt residue above your eyebrows after a long run. 

Reason #3 - I run, because as a competitive college athlete, I need a goal or race on the calendar to train for. Even if I'm competing against myself or a previous PR, I need that fire. 

Reason #2 - I run, because he (below) is learning how to. And I need to keep up. Or try to. For now. 

Reason #1 - I run, because it makes me a more patient person, teacher and most importantly, a more patient Mum. 

*Side note - I have been a terrible blogger - it's been pretty hard to keep up with everything. I was sick for 2 weeks (pink eye and strep) and missed two long runs. With work, and trying to find a full-time job for next year, blogging has taken a back seat. SORRY! I'm on break this week and will likely try to play catch-up!*

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Run, run, WORKING Mum! (Last two run recap)

Well, as I said on Facebook the other day, this mum is heading back to work on February 27th! I'm taking over a maternity leave position in a 4th grade dual language classroom in the area, until the end of the school year. It'll be a great experience, as two classes will come to me throughout the day, and I'll give instruction in English, and my partner teacher (across the hall) in Spanish. At least a quarter of the kids are ESL, and they're all super sweet. Oliver will be at day care with a friend of his from Stroller Strides, and I'm really happy with the center (as opposed to the first place I visited - YIKES!)

Last Sunday, I was supposed to do 5 miles. After I put O down for a nap, I headed out from the house (it was freeeeezing) and it unfortunately took 3.9 miles for my GPS watch to find a signal. Note to self: turn it on before I go feed him so it has time to locate the satellites.  I did a loop that's pretty familiar, and has sidewalks for 90% of the way. I estimated it would be about 5 miles, seeing as my Garmin wasn't functioning, and when I put it into Mapmyrun it came up as 4.8. It took me 41:12 (my watch still kept track of time while it was looking for the signal...), so that boils down to 8:35/mile. Not bad for about 20 degrees and 20 mph winds! (I did wear the rob-a-bank head/face thingy, people were definitely looking at me strangely...)

This morning, Oliver and I set off to SUNY Purchase to do the 3.1 mile loop up there (plus a little extra) to make it an even 7 miles. If anyone is familiar with the campus, and the loop around, you know that there is a difficult hill (it is 0.21 miles long, eeks!) that I hit between 2-3 and 5-6. Plus, on one half of the loop there I had some major headwinds (miles 2 and 5).  As you can see by the breakdown, my times were all over the place!

Mile 1 - 8:02
Mile 2 - 9:10
Mile 3 -9:19

Mile 4 - 8:29
Mile 5 - 8:44
Mile 6 - 9:07

Mile 7 -9:11

TOTAL:  1:02:02

Average: 8:51/mile

Although the last time I ran 7 miles I did it in just over two minutes faster, half of those miles were without the stroller, and it was a LOT flatter of a course. Just like I almost always say, "I'll take it!"

Next Sunday, I'm supposed to do 9 miles.... which will be interesting.... not only because I haven't run that far in a LOOOOONG time, but because it's going to be the day after Oliver's birthday party, and we will have my in-laws and my dad/step-mom in town. At least that probably means I can run sans stroller? We'll see!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Super Bowl Sunday Seven miler

This morning we headed out to do a nice seven miler. Let me begin by saying that I have not run this far since before I knew I was pregnant. That was a loooooooong time ago. Needless to say, I was a bit nervous! Ben and Stella were going to meet my mom for a walk around Tod's Point, and I had him drop us off at Binney Park.  Binney Park is a great and beautiful park in Old Greenwich, where we used to watch fireworks. On a nice spring or summer day, you can pretty much always see people taking their wedding photos here - or of course prom in early June! 
Pretty, isn't it? (Needless to say, this was not taken today!)
Here's the breakdown of the mileage/times from this morning:

Mile 1 - 8:46
Oliver fell asleep after about 3/4 mile!
Mile 2 - 8:27
Mile 3 - 8:34

At about 3.5 miles into the run, I passed my mom, Ben and Stella. Oliver was sleeping, so I dropped the stroller off with them, and set off without it! It made a little bit of a difference, but not too much in terms of time.  I ran by the same groups of people twice (I did the beach loop 2x), and they must have been wondering where I stashed the child/stroller after loop #1! Glad no one called the cops on me :)

Mile 4 - 8:29
Mile 5 - 8:36
Mile 6 - 8:39

After the sixth mile, I was trying to do all of the number-crunching in my head to figure out if I could break an hour. I really pushed the last half mile, and made it perfectly. The people sitting by the concession stand, and playing with the dogs on the beach must have looked at me like I was crazy.

Mile 7 - 8:29

Total - 1:00:00! 

What a nice, round number!  Now I can feel guilt-free about eating some mozzarella sticks, macaroni and cheese pockets, and chips/salsa during the game tonight!