Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Doctor, Doctor Give Me the News

I had a physical yesterday. It's my first physical in a long, long time. Although, my pregnancy was considered high risk so I was pretty much monitored non-stop from 30 weeks on. Not a physical, but still checked out, you know?

I had my physical. Doc asked if I had any specific concerns I would like to address and I said, "I am a runner. I like to run half marathons. I don't want to die at the finish line." To which he said, "That makes sense." So he listened to my heart and I had an EKG and all if fine there. As long as I don't have any sudden pain or breathing issues or swelling I should be fine. Basically, he told me to listen to my body and gave me the all clear to run away.


I also have borderline high cholesterol which I find interesting since I don't eat red meat, nor do I eat a ton of dairy. I did a quick search and figured I'd add some oatmeal back into my diet, I have been slacking. And maybe some of the other recommended foods like more citrus fruits and apples. Ooh and more beans. Hubs is going to LOVE that. ;)

All in all I am well. Which I like to hear.

Oh, and the scale at the doctor's office matches mine exactly. I'm not happy about the weight, but at least I wasn't slapped in the face by it, you know? Sometimes doctor's office scales can be EVIL!

And today I did not run. We aren't getting hit by the storms like most of the Midwest (if you are affected by them, believe me you are in my thoughts!) but it's raining here. I will run in the rain for a race because I hate to waste money, but not for training. Thinking about a Jillian Michaels workout tonight. Or maybe a run if it stops raining for a bit.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Listen With Your Heart/Weekend Recap/Let's Move Fesitval of Races 5K Recap

This house is clean.

I have five bags of clothes to be donated, including a TON of maternity clothes I have set to the side for my sister (fingers crossed she will need them soon).

Friday was a pretty normal evening for my family. Went out to a coney island restaurant. Wait, I don't know what you would call those outside of Michigan. A diner? Went out to a coney island/diner with my family. Saturday was my race which I'll get to in a second. And Sunday I spent cleaning my butt off. All in all, a ton of running around and hanging out and playing with toddlers. As the weather gets better our weekends get better and that's the fact jack.


Now for my race recap.

Let's Move Festival of Races 5K Recap

Packet Pick-Up
This festival of races included a half marathon, a half marathon relay, the 5K, a one mile fun run and a Kid's Mile. The festival promotes getting active to prevent childhood obesity so I am all for it.

I didn't pick up my own packet. The race was just down the road from my mom's house so she offered to get it for me. She did say there was no line and there were some neat vendors there. My mom isn't a runner.

The race swag included a long-sleeved tech shirt, a jogging backpack AND a finisher's medal. All of this for a 5K that cost $25.00!

Any race that allows others to pick up your packet without a big stink is a winner in my book.

Grade: A

Race Day
Like I said, the race was by my mom's house so I loaded up the Guys Saturday morning and headed over there. Weather was predicted to be in the low 50's on Saturday morning so I wore a tech t-shirt, capris and my running jacket. I ended up a little warm with the jacket on, but there was a wind so I was thankful I had it.

The half started at 9:00AM and the 5K at 9:30AM so I had plenty of time. I dropped the boys off with my mom and walked to the starting line. I wanted to use the walk as a nice warm up and to judge how my leg would feel. It was fine when I woke up on Saturday and remained fine through my walk so I had high hopes.My plan was to LISTEN TO MY LEG and do what needed to be done, as in walk if I had to.

I got to the starting line at about 9:20AM. I made my way to the middle of the crowd and hung out.
See the start way off in the distance?
The race actually started a little early, according to the time on my phone. Gun went off at 9:27AM. That's ok, I was ready for it. I hit start on my Map My Run app and took off. My leg didn't bother me AT ALL.

The first three quarters of a mile were downhill. I knew I was going too fast. I wasn't sprinting or anything but I was cruising. Sure enough I clocked in my first mile at 11:01. I tried to reign it in for the second mile because A. I wasn't trained that well B. I was afraid I was fighting and injury and C. There were two more miles left to go!

There was a water stop just after the first mile so I walked through that and took my time drinking my water and a cup of Gatorade. Gotta love a 5K that provides Gatorade. It just felt fancy!

I clocked in mile two at 11:36. Still fast, but much better for me. I knew at that current rate that I could almost WALK the last mile and still beat my PR of 39 minutes and change so I was feeling good.

The last mile was a gradual uphill and then all of a sudden a steeper incline. We all knew it was coming because we had to cross over a bridge very similar to the one we ran down at the start. My pace was much slower for the last mile. Last mile was 12:04.

Official time: 36:44

That would be a PR folks!

I finished right smack dab in the middle of my age group and right smack dab in the middle of the entire race.

And my leg was FINE, perfectly fine the entire time. In fact, I felt really good. PRing felt amazing! I pretty much danced back to my mom's house.
Who doesn't love a 5K medal?
There was water, bananas and orange slices at the finish. My stomach was a little rocky when I finished. I had a few orange slices and they were AWESOME!

Overall, this race was EXCELLENT! There were plenty of volunteers. The course was pretty easy, even with the uphill at the end. It was a busy race so a slow beginner would feel very comfortable here. You know me, I like any race where I'm not the last person left behind.

Next year I might try the half marathon or at least see if I can wrangle up enough people to make a half marathon relay team. If you live anywhere near the Metro Detroit area I say do this race!

Grade: A+

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Hello, Is It Me You're Looking For?

Oh hello twinge in my upper thigh! I have missed you. Oh wait, no, no I have not missed you. Please go away.

I didn't run this morning. I got out of me bed to run and the twinge turned into a full blown gasp of pain which to me means "get back in bed, dumbass, and rest that thing". So I am listening to me. I will rest it.

Looks like I'm walking Saturday's 5K. Sonofabitch (picture that said like Lily on How I Met Your Mother).

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

He Rocks in the Treetops All Day Long/Weigh In Wednesday

So this has been a miserable week. I've been dealing with TWO sick toddlers for the past two days. Two sick toddlers with two ear infections (one each) that were diagnosed yesterday. My poor guys. On top of that I went to the dentist this morning to get my root canal finished and guess what? The root is still infected so I got all numbed up, got my temporary filling filed out, felt some serious pain because the Novocaine wasn't cutting it and then was told to come back next week after a week of antibiotics.

I could punch someone right now. Mostly, my dentist but I'll take anyone who deserves it. Someone in your life who needs a pop to the face? Send them my way!

I tried to resist running. I was good and focused on my walking and resting my leg all weekend long. This past weekend was the first weekend since January where I didn't run further than four miles. Crazy, right?

I couldn't wait any longer so I went for a run this morning.

Check out my splits:

I took plenty of time to warm up. I walked a half a mile at a nice slow pace to get my leg used to moving. Then I started running at a nice and slow pace to get the leg moving. Then when my leg was comfortable I ran at a normal pace. It felt good. I felt a little tired and wobbly, like a newbie runner, but all in all I felt good. I'll run again tomorrow and see how the leg feels for my 5K on Saturday. I had hopes for a PR on this but with the injury sideline I'll settle for a happy race.

Weighed in this morning, up 1.4 pounds. Not being able to run + stress eating has seriously depleted my weight loss mojo. But, I'm back on the wagon this week and looking forward to moving again! It's easier to avoid crappy food when I'm running. You know how that goes.

Happy Hump Day!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Take This Sinking Boat and Point It Home/Weekend Recap

Ah the weekend. It was glorious. The weather remained spring-like all weekend (I had secret worries we would get snow because, you know, Michigan weather), plus it was Easter weekend which means we had plenty of yummy food to eat.

Want to hear my secret on how to avoid overindulging in Delicious Easter dinner treats? Take two toddlers, have them not be really hungry or into what's for dinner and then try to eat your own dinner while wrangling them. It's fail safe, trust me.

I was also so tired by the time we got home from my in-laws that I didn't even have the energy to snack on leftovers. I brushed my teeth and went to bed.

But, I'm getting ahead of myself.

I had a Girl's Night Out Saturday night. My friends and I started a little diet challenge, starting May 1st. The person with the highest percentage of weight loss at the end of each month gets their meal paid for when we go out to eat for our monthly Girl's Night. That way it doesn't stretch anyone's pocketbook TOO much (since the meal will be split amongst the four other contestants) and it'll be a fun way to keep ourselves motivated.

I was able to walk with the Guys on Saturday and with the dog on Sunday. My leg didn't hurt much either day so I will take that as a good sign. I'm not going to lie, I did think snotty thoughts towards runners whenever I saw them. You will be able to run again, Meg!
Saturday's walk. Look at those splits!
Sunday's walk. My poor dog. She was so tired after this walk.
I really wanted to get some exercise in on Sunday since I knew Easter dinner had not only cheesy potatoes but also green bean casserole. Those are my FAVORITE holiday dishes. I would eat them everyday if I could.

Lona walking along the golf course perimeter
I'm used to running at a faster pace so I underestimated how long and how far we were walking. I had to rush the last bit. Thankfully my leg behaved itself and I made it home in a little over an hour.
I had to resist the urge to high five this glove as we passed it
It is easier to get lost in your surroundings when walking. When I run I get lost in my own mind, in the zone and don't pay as much attention to the little details (I do pay attention to the big details like CARS). When I'm walking it's easier to see things around me. So there is that. Walking isn't the worst thing ever. It's not as good as running, but it's not the worst. Hopefully this leg issue goes away. I am going to attempt a run on Thursday. We'll see how that goes.

How was your weekend?

Friday, April 18, 2014

Born and Raised in South Detroit

I have a half day at work today so YAY.  Looking forward to spending some extra time with the Guys, especially C who was up last night at 2AM with a high fever. My poor guys.

Here are some bits and bobs to share:

*I got this email two days ago:

Dear Cocoa Classic Runner,

Thank you for participating in The Cocoa Classic on April 6th. We sincerely apologize that you did not receive your sweatshirt(s) and are working diligently to send them your way. We have received your information from the form you filled out on race day, and have estimated our supplier’s shipment date to be no later than April 30th. Your sweatshirt(s) will ship directly from our supplier to the address you listed on the form you submitted. If no address was specified, it will be shipped to the address on file with your registration.
If you do not receive your sweatshirt by Friday, May 16th, please contact us at info@redfrogevents.com.
Thank you so much for your patience and for running with us in The Cocoa Classic. We hope to see you next year!

The Cocoa Classic Team

Yep that would be the sweatshirt I paid NINETY DOLLARS for. Not in until May. Luckily I'll still need a sweatshirt in May in Michigan. Unluckily...well, crap, come on. Just one more thing to add to the list of bad things from that event. Never again, my friends.

*I signed up for a 5K at the start of May not even thinking about my stupid leg current injury. Hopefully I can at least walk the damn thing. It's an evening 5K, something I've never done before. Also, it's a part of a series called the Thirsty Three: three races based throughout southern Michigan. First one at a brewery, second one at a vineyard and last one involves hard cider from an apple orchard. Yes please! Here's the link if you're around here and want to check it out.

*Went out to eat with my in-laws last night. On our way out we passed a woman coming in with a set of twin boys who were about three or four. Hubs saw her and lit up and then high-fived her. Twin power!

*I'm going to dust off the old bike this weekend. As long as it doesn't bother my leg I'm going to try to get some miles in on the bike. Not the same as running, but at least I'll be moving. And since I already have PLANS for Easter (cheesy potatoes, you guys, CHEESY EFFING POTATOES) I'll need the extra calorie burn wherever I can get it.

*I got some gift cards for my birthday so I ordered a cute dress and a workout tank top from Old Navy. The tank top makes me nervous. I don't mind my arms, but I'm super sensitive about my stomach. I definitely carry my weight around my belly. I hate to buy things without trying them on but I also hate shopping so this will have to work. Fingers crossed.

*When we were kids my mom used to hide our Easter eggs (the plastic ones filled with candy) on Easter morning. The Easter Bunny dropped them off and she would go out in the yard and hide them. Each kid was assigned a color so you could only find your own eggs. And one egg always had a piece of paper in it with a clue leading us to an extra special treat, like a large chocolate bunny or a stuffed animal. I loved this tradition and plan on doing it with the boys, probably starting next year when they can maybe grasp the idea. This year they aren't getting anything for Easter from the Easter Bunny because they have no clue that Sunday is even a holiday so why bring more crap into our house? I'll wait until I don't have a choice thankyouverymuch!

If you're celebrating Easter, what are you up to this weekend? And if you aren't celebrating, still, anything fun going on this weekend?

Thursday, April 17, 2014

I'm a Maniac, Maniac On the Floor

I have a general rule when it comes to my runs. That rule is this:

Mile 1 sucks.

I always give myself at least a mile to get moving, to get through the creaks and groans and get my muscles nice and loose. I usually need this first mile to wake up, as well, especially during early morning runs.

Once I'm done with that first mile I am good to go. It's true, nine times out of ten if I start to feel in the zone I'll check my mileage and yep, sure enough one mile has passed.

The good news about this is I know my body. I know what my legs feel like when they feel good.

The bad news is I know my body so I also know when it feels bad, when there's something wrong with it.

There is something wrong with my left leg.

I attempted a run this morning. After limping through the first mile, Inner Meg started yelling louder than normal "Hey, idiot, you're not supposed to LIMP while you run!" And after limping only slightly less once I made it past said first mile I started listening to Inner Meg who was standing on her feet, waving her arms around and hollering at me, "STOP BEFORE YOU SERIOUSLY HURT YOURSELF!"

So I stopped.

Those are some ugly, painful splits
The good news is I am 99% sure it is a muscle thing. (I came to this conclusion when after my run I stretched, I mean REALLY stretched that leg and it HURT in a good way) Which means I need to rest said muscle.

The bad news is, I can't run.

It feels like the universe is fucking with me (sorry about the language, I'm kinda pissed off right now) because my Garmin comes in today. Today.

I am giving myself a week of rest, a week of ABSOLUTELY NO RUNNING (I mean it, if you happen to drive by and see me out running feel free to throw a bottle at me), to recuperate and see what's what. After a week I'll test things out and if necessary will take more time off. This blows. Seriously, seriously blows. I am mad at myself and my body because, damnit, I was getting into a routine here and I honestly think it was working.

Now I am bummed about this. And my usual response to being bummed about my body is to eat my weight in carbs. I will not do that, no sirree. I am going to find other ways to workout. Any tips or suggestions?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Don't You Forget About Me/Weigh-In Wednesday

As I mentioned before I'm doing a DietBet with Ash and Heather that coincides with WIW. I had to weigh myself on Sunday, which is not my usual day, and I was up quite a few pounds more than normal. I don't know if it was all the carbs from the weekend partying or what, but it sucked.

Thank goodness today's weigh-in was slightly more reasonable. I'm resetting my weigh-in chart to go with the Diet Bet so according to that I am down 2.4 pounds. I'm not celebrating this as a huge loss, since I'm still up from my lowest. It IS a loss on DietBet so I'll take it.

I was up in the middle of the night with a teething toddler so I didn't run this morning. Excuses, excuses. Does anyone else find it hard to get back into the training routine when one doesn't have a race planned? I mean, I've got a 5K set up for next Saturday, but other than that, not much on the books. Hard to put in miles when there's no ultimate goal.

Plus, I've had this niggling pain in my upper left leg. According to the Internet my leg needs to be amputated or I have a stress fracture or I pulled a muscle DEAR GOD STOP READING THE INTERNET! It seems silly for me to go to a doctor about something that isn't REALLY bothering me. More of a dull ache than a sharp pain. I can walk just fine. And after running for a bit it usually goes away. Anyone else experience the same mystery pain? It feels deeper than a muscle, if that makes any sense.

I did check out some videos on Fitness Blender last night. Thanks to Meg for the suggestion! Of course I just checked them out, I didn't actually do any of the videos. Is it weird that I like to watch a workout video before I actually do the video? I like to have an idea of what to expect. My left knee has always been slightly jacked up so I have to make sure the video I plan on doing doesn't have a ton of squats. Squats kill me.

I am all over the place, sorry. My mind is slightly foggy. Here's hoping the Guys let Mama sleep tonight!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Winter is Coming

Eff off, snow.

Of yes, my friends, it snowed here last night. There's at least an inch of snow on the ground.

Happy Tax Day!

I didn't run this morning because of the ICE. Ice, I tell you! How is there ICE in April?

So tonight I will throw on some workout gear and bust my butt to some cardio videos on YouTube. Any suggestions?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Sunday Morning Rain Is Falling/Weekend Recap

I had a spectacular weekend.

How can I not when I start the weekend off with a little Captain America: Winter Soldier? I loved that movie! LOVED it. Probably one of the best Marvel movies I have seen in a long while. Well played, Cap.

My sis and her husband watched the Guys while Hubs and I went to the movie then out for some Middle Eastern food. Vegetarian grape leaves and hummus YUM! We got back after eleven so I hit the hay since I knew I would have to be up super early to volunteer at the Martian Marathon on Saturday.

When one's alarm goes off at 5AM and one is not running a race or going to the airport for a vacation it is really, really hard to get out of bed. I managed it, though. Volunteers had to meet at 6AM. It took a lot of effort to fight my inner introvert once I got there I hate going places by myself where I don't know anyone. I always have a feeling no on will talk to me. I forget, though, how friendly runners can be.
The alien lined finish line
There were a lot of volunteers through Team In Training. Apparently, they were able to earn money towards their donations by volunteering which I thought was pretty cool. I ended up on the 5K route directing people around a corner.
Go left!
The 5K started at 8AM so I had a bit of time to stand around and chat with the people manning the 5K Aid Station. It was a good morning. I would like to do this one next year, maybe the 10K of Half Marathon. It was super well run and organized and had plenty of volunteers and cheering. Can't beat that!

Once the last person passed my spot I was able to leave. Got home and spent the rest of the morning and afternoon enjoying the sunshine and fresh air with my Guys. Oh man, we have been living it up in the backyard!

Saturday night I got all dolled up and went to the opera with my best friend. We haven't hung out just the two of us in AGES so it was a treat. Funny thing we were running a little tight on time heading down there so we had a fancy dinner at KFC. Nothing like eating some fast food while wearing a fancy dress and heels!

Sunday was Hubs' day to sleep in. Once the Guys were done with breakfast I loaded them up in the jogging stroller and went for a run. I had high hopes I could get at least three miles in. They tend to get a bit antsy if they're stuck in the stroller for too long.

They were awesome! The weather was perfect, cloudy but warmer with a nice breeze. Both of them LOVED when we ran into the wind. I could hear them cackling away. I managed to somehow get lost in my own neighborhood. Seriously, some of those streets are jacked up. Luckily, I had the Map My Run app running so I could follow the map and figured out how to get out of the weird spot I was in. That's what I get for trying a new route!
That 14+ minute mile was the "Holy crap, where am I?" part of my run
I met up with my mom and sister for birthday lunch. They got me a Garmin which made me cry. I don't ever, ever expect presents from people. And when people in my life surprise me I get overwhelmed.

Seriously, my weekend kicked butt!

Now for the upcoming week. I joined Ash and Heather's WIW Diet Bet which officially started today. I've never done anything like this before so I'll let you know how it goes. Hubs took my full body picture on the scale while I was somewhat distracted by the toddlers who were trying to climb on the scale with me and it is a terrible, terrible picture. Here's to losing 4% of my weight in twenty-eight days!

It's supposed to snow tonight. Yep, you read that correctly. I will be running in the snow tomorrow. No thank you!

Now that I don't have a half marathon in the books until August, I'm trying to come up with a new running plan. Might try some speedwork for my 5K. We'll see.

How was your weekend?

Friday, April 11, 2014

They Say It's Your Birthday

Happy birthday to me!

In honor of my 34th birthday I decided to run 3.4 miles this morning.
My first mile is always my roughest. Clearly, it takes me two miles to get into the zone.

Of course, somehow I messed up my route and when I was done with those recorded 3.4 miles I was too far away from the house and a little short on time so I ended up running about a half a mile more just to make it home.

Hubs surprised me with a World's Best Mom mug filled with gummi bears from the boys. My actual birthday present was my half marathon race entry so this was a pleasant treat. I hadn't had coffee yet otherwise I would've thought to take a picture for the blog. Ah well.

Tonight we're celebrating with dinner and a movie (I'll be sneaking those gummi bears in with me!). I really want to see the new Captain America film but will take pity on Hubs (who is pretty anti comic book movies) and we'll see Grand Budapest Hotel. I love Wes Anderson so it's not much a struggle for me.

And tomorrow I'm celebrating by volunteering at the Martian Marathon and then at night going to dinner and an opera with my best friend. And Sunday is a brunch with my mom and sis. It'll  be a weekend of celebrating!

Last year the boys were so young and I was tired and still somewhat brain numb so celebrating my birthday seemed like such a chore. This year I am more than making up for it.

Have a good weekend. Good luck to Hilary and anyone else who is racing this weekend!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Guest Post Time

Head on over to Hilary's blog and check out the guest post I wrote for her. Hilary is running her first half marathon this weekend. I am beyond excited to see how she does. Make sure you mentally cheer her on this weekend!

Seriously, I bet you'll see a race recap on here in the future about a race we run together. We've got really similar pacing and we only live about two hours apart so it could happen!

Writing that post brought back some fond memories so I figure I'd take a trip down memory lane today and briefly talk about my past long distance races.

October 2008
Ran the Detroit Free Press Half Marathon. It was my first half and the longest distance I ever ran. I had a blast other than some stomach issues and definitely got bit by the running bug. Check out the guest post on Hilary's blog to read all about it.

October 2009
Ran the Detroit Free Press Half Marathon again. This time I went to the race with a friend who was running a half for the first time. I honestly believe she OVERTRAINED for this one. She's a faster runner than I am, a lot faster. Yet I caught up to her at Mile 11 because her knee was bothering her so she had to walk.

After this I decided I would train for a full marathon and complete one by my thirtieth birthday (April 2010). The actual race didn't happen by my thirtieth, but I was still thirty when I ran it.

October 2010
Ran the Detroit Free Press Full Marathon. For the first 17 miles of this one I did really, really well. I had a friend who was only supposed to run the half but stayed with me through 17 miles until he had to leave and take his daughter to breakfast. After that my walk/run ratio went to hell. At about Mile 21 I met up with my family and started crying because I was DONE. No more! I ended up pushing through even though every rational part of me was screaming "NO NO NO!"
My mom, future husband, sister and my dog offering support at Mile 21
After the finish. I was bawling my eyes out!

I finished in a little over six hours. Because I was on the slow side (ha!) the course was already being taken down. For part of the race, which I was supposed to run in the street, I was directed to the sidewalk because they were opening up the street. Fun times, right? And there was NOTHING left at the finish. Thank goodness my husband (my fiance at the time) grabbed a banana and some bagels before they packed it all away. There was a six hour time limit on the course and I came in at only a few minutes over six hours so it sucked to not have much of a finish line.

Race was in waves so the clock time was not my actual finish time
After this race I swore I would never, ever run a full again. Never. Yet somehow I find myself contemplating possibly the Disney Marathon. We'll see...

September 2013
Ran the Detroit Women's Half Marathon around Belle Isle in Detroit. I was undertrained for this one. SERIOUSLY undertrained. I didn't bring any fuel or extra water. I ran with my sister for the first six or so miles then took pity on her (she was running much slower than her usual pace to stay with me) and told her to run on her own. At Mile 10 I called Hubs (who was coming to spectate with my mom and boys) and told him that I was done and needed to be picked up. He met up with me at about Mile 11. I had a granola bar and thought, screw it, I'll keep going. My finish was awful, my time was bad and more than anything I was MAD at myself for not training properly. That was my wake up call. I started running regularly in November of 2013. And thus, this blog was born.

Head on over to Hilary's blog or twitter or Instagram (I'm sure all of the links are on her blog) and send her some positive juju for this weekend. GO HILARY GO!

And how about you? Any fun race stories to share?

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Gotta Keep One Jump Ahead of the Breadline/Weigh-In Wednesday

WIW. What fun!

I am up a pound. Apparently one cannot eat ALL OF THE FOOD even though one just ran a half marathon. Who knew?

I had two chili dogs, a bowl of pasta and some Thin Mints on Sunday...for lunch. I ended up eating two English Muffin pizzas for dinner. Lots and lots of sodium and not so good stuff.

Dust off, girly, you'll hit Onederland soon enough.

I had my first post half marathon run this morning. My feet and upper left thigh have bothered me a bit since my run so I was worried I had injured myself somehow. When my alarm went off this morning I had my usual internal debate. I eventually talked myself into two miles. I could run two miles at whatever pace I wanted and that would be just fine.

I ended up running three miles.

That's the thing, the big secret that everyone shares with everyone else but none of us want to believe. The hardest part of any run, of any workout, of any sort of super healthy activity is getting off your butt or out of your bed and just doing the damn thing already. Once you're moving, once the first mile has passed, or the first twenty squats you start to think, "Hey, this isn't bad."

I'm going to pass on the half marathon at the end of this month. There's a 5K at the same event so I will do that instead. I have high hopes to PR my 5K. Plus, it's half the price of the half marathon. Can't beat that.

My plan is to run the 5K while my boys hang out with my mom (she lives within walking distance of the start and finish) and then hang out with her afterwards.

I've got my eye and my wallet set on a few races over the summer. We'll see how they pan out.

Oh yeah, and I'm volunteering at my first race on Saturday, the Martian Marathon in Dearborn, MI. I'm a Course Marshal so if you're running it maybe I'll see you down there! We can high five!

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Cocoa Classic Half Marathon Recap

I feel like this is going to be a long one, so bear with me. There are pictures. Maybe not a ton of the actual race, but trust me there are pictures and I will try to  break up the paragraphs as best as I can.

Second, I'm going to be a bit grumbly. I had a fantastic run, let me say that. But, this was an inaugural race and it was run like the people running it had never, ever done anything like this before. So there will be some complaints on that part.

Packet Pick-Up
It's never a good sign when the half marathon you signed up for doesn't have an expo. It was definitely a sign that things were on a much smaller scale than I was used to, that's for sure. I picked my packet up on Saturday afternoon at a running store about five miles away from my house. There were about eight tables with boxes full of running bibs so I headed up to the one that matched my last name and waited. The teenagers running that table never acknowledged me, just kept messing around with some zip ties. When they finally did decide to speak to me one of the girls looked up my name and couldn't find it. Finally the first thing she said to me, after me standing there for a good two minutes was, "Are you registered for the 5K?" To which I responded in the negative. "Half-marathon table is down there." And she gestured towards the end of the line up of tables. There was one table set up for the half and seven for the 5K.

When I was given the correct packet I was told they were out of the sweatshirts in my requested size. I filled out a piece of paper that was left haphazardly with a whole bunch of other papers so who knows if I'll ever get my sweatshirt.

Expo/Packet Pick up Grade: D+

The Start
When my alarm went off at 5:30AM all I could think was "what kind of asshole gets up this early to run 13.1 miles? I must be insane." I got dressed in my capris, running skirt, wicking t-shirt and jacket. Toasted an english muffin with some almond butter and was ready to go.

My friend picked me up at about 6:00AM. The start was set for 7:00AM. I don't live that far from Detroit so it was an easy commute. We got slightly nervous when it turned out our intended route was already closed for the race. Yikes. But, we managed to follow someone who looked like they knew what they were doing and we made it to a parking lot by 6:40AM.

We hung out at the starting line for a bit. I had worn an old pair of pajama pants over my capris so I wouldn't freeze while we stood around. Bonus there were A TON of porta johns. And because the half had less people in it than the 5K (which started at 9AM) most of the porta johns were unused! It's always a nice feeling to have to unwrap the toilet paper!

We look a bit sleepy and chilly but that's to be expected

After a few minutes of standing around the pacers started showing up.Nothing had been mentioned about pacers on their website which kinda sucks. As soon as we saw the 2:45 Pacer my friend and I knew we were going to try to stick with him. His name was Will. We knew this because he had it written on the back of his bald head with a Sharpie. Now that is someone who understands how to pace!
Those are some sweet pajama pants!
The race started on time. There were about 1000 people there so the start was slightly staggered. We crossed the starting line about six minutes after the initial gun.
The Start Grade: A- (Only because nothing was mentioned about corrals or pacers on their website)

The Race
My friend and I ran at 2:1 intervals, running two minutes and walking one minute. Aside from a few times where we were trying to catch the pacer or up a hill at the end, we stuck with that interval. Neither of us are big talkers and we both trained for this on our own so I wasn't sure how that would go.

It was awesome! This is the first half I have ever run where I was with someone I knew the entire time. We kept each other motivated and pumped up. I've known her since high school so we both knew when to chat and when the other really just needed to zone into her music and just run. There was definitely less chatting towards the end of the race.

Will was spectacular! He kept turning around and yelling at us "Everyone having fun!" and doing silly dance and cheering when we passed mile markers. We kept him in sight until about Mile 11 when we lost him after we took a potty break.

Now, as for the actual race, it was pretty unsupported. Water stops weren't where they said they would be. And when we did get to some of them, seriously, this is no joke, there weren't enough volunteers manning them to hand out the water so we had to stop and wait for someone to fill up a cup for us.

Plus, there were no porta johns between Mile 8 and almost Mile 12. That's a four mile stretch!

The route was scenic for the most part. We ran through Detroit, along the riverfront and over to Belle Isle, a state park. Knowing there was a bridge in our route ahead of time helped. We conquered that bridge both times we had to run over. Once we headed off of Belle Isle, we ran on a bit of a neighborhood street. This was very boring and would have been very disheartening if not for my friend.

The road we were on was blocked off from traffic. But, because it was a smaller side street at one intersection some motorist has very kindly moved aside the cones so he or she could get through and left them moved aside. That meant at one point we had to cross an intersection while cars waited at a stop sign. It made me very mad at people in general. Who sees a closed road and opens it up for themselves?!? Selfish move! And bad move for the race committee who didn't have people on the corners to prevent this kind of stuff.
S at  Mile Marker 10. This was the neighborhood stretch of the race.

At just a shade before Mile 12 we converged with the 5K people. At first it was nice to be surrounded by people. You can tell from the above picture we were at the back of the pack of half marathoners. But then it sucked to be surrounded because holy crap there were a shit ton of people. People were walking and people were running and people were stopping randomly to take pictures without any sort of warning because they are assholes. Who has a 5K combine with a Half? Seriously, people in the 5K were all "Oh my god, we have ONE WHOLE MILE LEFT? Ugh!" (Please note, yes, I too have been a person who used to think three miles was a helluva a long distance. I can fully appreciate that. I can fully appreciate having fun at your first ever 5K. That is awesome! However, if you have me run 12 miles and then have a bunch of people who are whining about their three miles cut me off to take a selfie then I'm going to think nasty thoughts about them.)

For the rest of the race we dodge 5Kers. We had to run up a hill (hills at the end of a race are evil), then around the corner for the finish. We crossed the finish line then immediately stopped. I mean it, I almost didn't make it over the finish line because of the crowd of people on the other side.
The Race Grade: B- (There weren't enough water stations or porta johns)

The Finish and Beyond
As soon as we stopped at the massive crowd we kinda waited in line for what I did not know. Eventually my friend asked someone if we were in the line for medals. We were not. We had to go back to the finish line, loop around and then we met up with two volunteers handing out medals and heat blankets. They had little cups of water at this point, or at least I saw a bunch of EMPTY little cups of water, but no full ones. I fully support not wasting bottled water, but for Pete's sake MAN YOUR WATER STATIONS. I get it, we weren't the fastest, but according to the results a full 100 people finished after us so we weren't the last ones.
After the finish with our awesome pacer Will!

There was absolutely no direction at the finish line. No volunteers telling people where to go, no race directors, no effing signs. Shoot, there wasn't even a photographer taking finish line pics. I don't mind it so much for me, but this was S's first half and she deserved a better finish.

We found out where the travel mugs were being handed out if you didn't want to wait in line for cocoa, so we headed that way.

The line for people to get their treats and chocolate dipping sauce was ridiculous. I know half marathoners aren't more important than the 5Kers, but come on, you couldn't have had a separate corral for us? We certainly paid more than the 5Kers!

I wasn't even able to get a banana or bagel or anything! According to the results there were 4000 5Kers who finished. FOUR THOUSAND! How could the half marathoners even compete with that insanity?

We did not get any chocolate treats. We didn't get ANYTHING at the finish. My friend and I were tired, thirsty and HUNGRY and the line for the chocolate treats was LONG. Turns out some people waited in line for an hour. There was no way I could've waited that long.

Now, if we were faster runners this would have been different. A lot of the half marathoners finished before the 5Kesr finished (5K started at 9AM so figure if you can finish in 2.5 hours or less it was less crowded) and they were able to walk in and get their treats and cross the finish line with no problems. It almost felt like we were penalized for being slow.

The swag minus my sweatshirt.

We ended up grabbing the empty travel mugs and getting out because it was insane!

Finish Time:2:50:04

A full 25 minutes less than the half marathon I ran in September. That is what proper training can do for you!
According to my app we ran over 13.1 Miles. I read comments on the rece's website and people were complaining about the 5K being 3.5 Miles instead of 3.1.
The Finish Grade: F (Is there anything lower than an F)

I get it, it's the first time this race was run but COME ON! I ran the Detroit Women's Half this fall and that was a first time event and it was a million times better than this.

What kind of race has the half and the 5K finish together and then does nothing to separate the two? At the Detroit Free Press Marathon the Half Marathon participants and Full Marathon participants split up at the finish line. It only makes sense.

Aside from my awesome run, awesome running companion and awesome pacer, this event SUCKED! I mean it really, really did. It was expensive, but the swag and fun chocolate finish line treats kinda made it worth it. HA! I won't even bother giving them the benefit of the newbie doubt and try it again next year. There are better events waiting for me!

Friday, April 4, 2014

She Works Hard For Her Money

I have never been one to say that being a working mom is better than being a stay at home mom. I refuse to participate in the "Mommy Wars". Women need to support each other and lift each other up, not break each other down. You do you and I'll do me.

That being said, there are times like RIGHT NOW that being a working mom really, really sucks. Times where your feverish son is left in the care of Nana (who is doing a kick ass job by the way) while you go off to work. Times where you simply ache from the wishing that you could be the one to snuggle the sick away.

It's times like these that blow.

I have a lot on my mind. I have my half marathon in two days. I'm going to pick my packet up after work. I'll take pics of all the goodies so you can see my swag. I'll definitely post more pre-race stuff, maybe on Saturday. I've been getting a weird twinge at the small of my back, not just when I run but when I walk around. And for some reasons my thighs are super, super tight. And I've developed foot pain. Seriously, body, why are you breaking down on me NOW?!?

And on top of all that, there's my sick guy at home.

Just focus on getting through today. The rest will fall into place.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

You Give Me Fever, When You Kiss Me

One already tired Mom + two toddlers who woke up at different times last night with fevers = Holy crap balls am I ever exhausted!

I kinda did the same thing I did on Tuesday, ran even though I had been up with the kids a lot last night. I didn't feel bad ass. In fact, I just felt bad. I ran and that's all that matters.
That first mile is what happens when you leave the house without proper ear coverings and spend a mile convincing yourself that the wind isn't really all that bad. The next two miles I was out of the wind so they were much easier.

On a slightly better note, I was correct about my weight. I weighed myself this morning after my run and I am only up .8 pounds. Much better than the two I was up yesterday!

I don't normally do Non-Scale Victories since I don't think I have many (I know, I know dumb, right? NSV are all about celebrating the little things. I'm a work in progress). But, this morning when I was strapping on my sports bra I was pretty tired so I hooked it on without really thinking about it. As I finished I realized I wasn't using my usual last row of eyes (is that what you call the loops the bra hooks go in? I really have no idea!). I had hooked it up with the second to last row of eyes (?), quite easily, and it was comfortable. Clearly some part of me is shrinking. Hey, look at that progress!

And now I am off to fortify myself with more coffee. And then some more.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

I've Got Friends in Low Places/Weigh-In Wednesday

I would like to rename April the Month of Meg Getting Dental Work All the Frickin' Time.

Hubs and I had dual cleanings this morning which worked out great. My mom came over to watch the boys early and away we went.

Now, Hubs has not been to the dentist in well over ten years. He does not floss. At all. I was last at the dentist three years ago. I floss, not daily, but at least a few times a week.

At the end of our appointments he ended up with ZERO cavities, while I ended up with TWO, plus a wisdom tooth extraction set for a future date since I'll have to go to an oral surgeon.

And that my friends, is Just. Not. Fair.

I'm feeling low right now. I've been feeling low since my first initial dental appointment that ended up with my getting a root canal. Dental pain sucks. Being told you have cavities sucks. Knowing you're going to be paying a shit ton of money to get said cavities filled and teeth removed SUCKS EVEN MORE.

I had planned on heading to New York for a long weekend to visit my best friend, but that trip will have to be delayed. Spending vacation money on teeth blows. Being a grown-up sucks!

With all that, with me being in a low place, it is absolutely no surprise to me that I gained two pounds this week. Now, mind you I normally weigh myself right after my morning run. And I didn't run this morning because of the dentist appointment. So I will weigh myself tomorrow to get an OFFICIAL result. Even then, I doubt those two pounds were just water. Shoot.

I wish I was the kind of person who could eat whatever they want and not gain a pound. I am married to that kind of person. All of my siblings (I have six of them) are those kind of people. I am surrounded by people with exceptional metabolisms! It sucks. It's not fair. Ugh, I feel like a toddler, stamping my feet and throwing a temper tantrum! Why can't I eat cheese balls or pizza or just plain old carbs and not gain weight?

Sorry. Sorry. Sorry. See the above mentioned low place.

The good news is while my eating has been crap, my exercising has been spot on. I am taking it easy, just keeping my legs nice and loos for Sunday. Because I didn't run this morning I will pop the guys into their jogging stroller and take them for a quick job this evening. I'll run until they get sick of it, which is usually a half hour. Better than nothing, right?

Life is not fair. Time to put on my big girl pants, suck it up and move on.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Mama. Mama You Know I Love You

This morning, just a shade before 4AM, I was woken by the cries of a somewhat cranky toddler. I got up with C, letting Hubs sleep a little bit.

Sometimes C leaks through his diaper so the first thing I did was change him. His diaper was full, but not leaking. I snuggled with him for a few minutes then put him back in his crib.

After twenty minutes of soft cries, sorta falling asleep noises, and then loud cries I went in to get him again. My alarm was set for 5:30AM for my morning run so I told Hubs I would stay up with C until 5:30 then we could switch. Hubs didn't have to be up until six.

Well, 5:30AM rolled around and I figured it was a little selfish of me to wake Hubs up so I could run when C was perfectly fine sorta dozing and sometimes giggling on my lap. Besides, I always love a little extra kid time.

Just after six C fell asleep. I was able to put him in his crib and he stayed asleep. I have no idea why he woke up or what it was. Teething? Hunger? Anger? In the end I chalked it up to JBBB...Just Baby Being a Baby.

Hubs was still asleep. And I really wanted to crawl back in bed with him and try to get some extra Z's. But, I figured not only would his alarm be going off shortly, and waking me up, but my own alarm would be going off right after that. I wouldn't be getting much sleep so I said "eff it" and went a run.

Now, I doubt myself A LOT. I doubt my mothering skills, my marital skills, my athletic skills...the list goes on and on.

But, in that moment, as I was about halfway through my first mile I felt BAD ASS. Here I was running when I had just been up with a kid for two hours, after going to bed later than normal. Here I was doing my thing, getting out and moving when I had a perfectly good excuse not to run.

I ended up running three miles. They weren't my fastest miles, but damn, they felt good!

When I look at these splits I like to think "hey, remember when you were running a 15 minute mile"?