Thursday, April 30, 2015

Hold Me Fast 'Cause I'm a Hopless Wanderer

Hubs left for a weekend golf trip early this morning. I got up and he had left me a present, a bottle of wine and some Bath and Body Works stress relieving bath salts.  Now that is a man who knows what it is like to raise toddlers!

Of course, he then sent me an email later on this morning with an apology because he had accidentally taken my running sunglasses with him.

And guess who is running on Saturday when it's supposed to be SUNNY out?

I think those two cancel each other out.


My 5K is in Detroit, The Super Run. So far, I am less than impressed. Race day information is sporadic and since I am packing up two toddlers and running with them the more information I have ahead of time, the better. Keep your fingers crossed this race isn't a complete cluster.

At least the weather should be nice.

I mean, aside from it being sunny and me without my shades.

Monday, April 27, 2015

She's Got Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes

I often forget how awesome quality shoes feel until I go out and buy a pair. And the last time I did that was five years ago. Thankfully, Hubs, the Guys, and my in laws all went in and got me a gift certificate to our local running store so Mama could get a new pair of shoes for her birthday. Heck yeah!

The process was so easy and painless. First, I stood on a machine that analyzed where I put my weight. I put pressure on my heels and the ball of my foot, slightly off center. Then the sales clerk looked up my previous shoes. He had me take of my shoes, roll up my jeans past my ankles, and walk back and forth in front of him.

After that, he picked out a pair of shoes and had me try them on, then walk with them. He poked and prodded at them, decided we needed to go up a half size because the toes were a little snug. Another pair of shoes. More walking. More poking and prodding.

I liked the way they felt so he had me run on a treadmill (oops, sorry about the lack of sports bra) for a minute so he could analyze my gait in the shoes. He showed me the video, which was awesome. I am an overpronator, which I knew and which is quite common. With the new shoes on I got to see how the overpronation was corrected, although still present since some overpronation is normal.

And best part, the shoes I picked out and loved were on sale so I still have some money leftover to buy other fun running stuff.

I ended up with the Saucony Guide 7.

So you know I had to take them our for a test run as soon as I could, right?
It was such a nice day (FINALLY). I ran a three mile run minus the toddlers who were thankfully napping at the time. I had to get photographic proof it's actually spring here in Michigan:
WOO effing HOO!!!

Friday, April 24, 2015

I Put Your Picture Away

The email arrived two days ago.

I approached it with dread more than anything. I knew what was going to be in it, and I knew  it wasn't going to be pretty.

I clicked on the link and scrolled through the information. Yup, exactly what I thought it would be. Ugly. Ugly. Ugly.

I wanted to look away, but I couldn't. I kept going and I got sad and angry and mad at myself.

And then I gave myself a mental slap in the face.

I was looking at race photos from a half marathon. 13.1 miles of sun and heat and running and all I could see were my fat rolls, and how terrible my chest looked, and how fat I was.

13.1 miles of putting one foot in front of the other. An accumulation of months of training through freezing cold and snow and being sick and trying to work runs in around raising toddlers. 13.1 miles of running, of going further than I have in a long time.

All this and all I could think was, "Why did I wear that outfit?"

Shut up.

Shut up, Inner Meg. Shut the hell up.

Those pictures were and ARE so much more than what I was reducing them to. They were pictures of a woman smiling, despite the heat. A woman kicking ass at a distance that less than two years earlier (and on a whole lot cooler day) nearly crushed her.

Those are pictures of a PR!

Those are pictures of me. And that lumpy belly I hate? Who cares? That lumpy belly made it across the finish line. Those fat rolls were there the entire 13.1 miles, jiggling along to some awesome tunes. Those fat rolls were dancing!

I ignored my inner negative demons and purchased a photo. It was worth the fifteen bucks for the download to thumb my nose at my own body image.

And here it is:
Capstone Photography
Look at you go, Running Warrior Mama! Look at you go!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

I Got Sunshine on a Cloudy Day

There was snow on my car this morning. Just a light dusting, but snow nonetheless.

It's my fault. I spent part of the weekend going through the Guys' clothing and getting some spring stuff out. I should have known it was too soon for that.
It's supposed to be a high of 48 today. My plan to run with the Guys is completely kaput. I can't take them out in that, and I would have a hard time running with the jogging stroller in that. Hopefully, I can squeeze in a run while they have dinner. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Baby I'm Just Gonna Shake, Shake, Shake, Shake, Shake, I Shake It Off/ Weigh-In Wednesday

I had my first post-half marathon run yesterday evening. I loaded two very cranky toddlers (more on that in a bit) into the double stroller and headed out.

It was a challenging run. Not only were my quads a bit sore, but there was a wind advisory going on, so I was running with some pretty impressive gusts of wind. I ended up going 2.25 miles. The splits are so off because on the way home we had to run past a construction site and visit the diggers, and bulldozers, and excavators.

As for my very cranky toddlers, we converted the cribs to toddler beds on Sunday. Only because the Guys have figured out how to climb out of the cribs. Nap time has been brutal, as in, not napping at all. The newness of the freedom of beds has gone to their little toddler brains and made them drunk with power. Thankfully, knock on wood, the past three nights have been pretty good when it comes to going to bed. But, without a nap, the evenings have been a bit rough. Over tired toddlers are complete assholes. Sorry, but it's true.

If you get a second, think sleepy nap time thoughts for the Guys!

As for my weigh-in, well, I haven't been doing these lately. And last week I had a lady doctor appointment and got my actual weight and I was mad. That was what I weighed last year at my regular doctor appointment and I wanted to weigh much, much less than that. Nothing like a little scale inspiration to get me tracking and moving again.

I weighed myself today and I lost TWO POUNDS!


Of course, my current weight is still six pounds higher than my lowest weight. But, I am aware of it, I am focused on what I eat and how I move my body.

I've got this!

Monday, April 20, 2015

And She's Always Gone Too Long Anytime She Goes Away

There are quite a few occasions where sunny and 70 degrees with nary a cloud in the sky is a most excellent weather forecast. Outdoor wedding? Bring it, sunshine! Picnic? Game on, clear blue skies! Park time with toddlers? SPF 50 here we come!

And then there are those occasions where maybe sunshine and 70 is not so good.

When one is running a half marathon that starts at 8:45AM, that kind of beautiful spring day isn't all that it is cracked up to be.

I was prepared, don't get me wrong. And it was certainly better than rain. At least, initially. Not sure if I felt that way by Mile 10.

Martian Half Marathon Race Review

Packet Pick-Up
In comparison to some larger events I have run, the expo for this one was short and sweet.  We were emailed our bib numbers so I had mine going in to the expo, which was held on Friday. This particular racing company always organizes by bib number, so I took a screen shot of the email so I would know mine, and headed to packet pick-up.

It was super fast, super easy, and I was in and out in about ten minutes.

Race Day
The night before the race I set up my racing gear.  There are a couple of things missing from the below picture because I was doing wash, and also, I don't need pictures of my giant sports bras floating around the Internet.
What you see is my shoes, Garmin, hat, Galloway timer, Body Glide, bib, fuel belt, ponytail holders, sunglasses, and Crocs to wear AFTER the race.

Not pictured, my racing skirt, running shirt, and sports bras.

I woke up about 6:45AM on race morning. I got dressed and slathered myself in sunblock. Then I drove to the race location with plenty of time to spare and picked up a coffee and bagel. I enjoyed those in my car and relaxed until about 8:15AM when I walked to the start. The half marathon started at 8:45AM.

I knew things were going to be bad when I realized I was sweating just from walking around the parking lot before the start.

By the time the race started it was 72 degrees out (Hubs let me know after the race).

We started with a nice uphill. Unfortunately, I had a hard time getting my phone out of my fuel belt so I only took ONE picture during the entire race. I wanted to get one of the stupid uphill start, but seriously, I struggled with my damn phone.

The first half of the race went really, really well. I was feeling good. I was taking a cup of water and a cup of Gatorade at every water stop, which were about every two miles or so. I had good tunes on Pandora and my times were great. Right in the low 12 minute mile marks. I even remembered to fuel, and had gummi bears at Mile 3, and a fruit leather at Mile 6.

I saw my Guys and Hubs at the turnaround and they were so cute and I waved and they wanted to run with me. And all was good.

And then, out of nowhere, the Heat Monster got me. My strength was sapped. I know it wasn't improper training, I trained for this bitch! My legs still felt great but I could feel my body slowing down. "Meg," my body said. "You need to stop running. This is bullshit."

Just to give you an idea of how sunny it was:
There was zero shade on this course until Mile 12. MILE TWELVE!

I slowed from a 2:1 run/walk interval to a 1:1 run/walk interval. My PR, which was looking SO GOOD from the first half of the race, slowly melted away, along with half my face and the blacktop on this road.

The water stops were manned really well, and every stop had Gatorade and water and people offering to fill-up hand held water bottles (which I did not bring because GENIUS). But the heat was strong in this day, and relentless, and those of us who were maybe not so fast, were taken down.

Thankfully, when I was sure I was down and I was just going to walk the rest of it, I hit Mile 12 and the shady part of the course. Well, sorta shady, it was early spring so the trees didn't have many leaves on them. It was still better than the direct sunlight on most of the course.

I used the shade to recharge and found myself actually able to finish pretty strong. Hubs and the Guys were there at the end.

I collected my medal, and watched the Guys play at the park for about thirty minutes. We ended up walking back to our cars and getting lunch.

Post-race car selfie:
An hour after the race and I was STILL flushed.

And now for the details:
I ended up with a 45 second PR.

When I checked the results there were 20 half marathon participants who started but didn't finish! I know I passed a guy who chatted with me and said, "Man, it's not the hills that got me, it's the heat!".

Overall Experience
This particular company, Running Fit, puts on an excellent race. There was plenty of race support, the water stops were fully manned, the swag was fun (tech shirt and medal), and the course was interesting. Obviously, no one from the race company could predict an early heat wave in the middle of April.

Personally, I wonder if I am done with the half marathon distance. I was hurting by the end of the race and even today, two days later, my quads yell at me if I get up from sitting for too long. I'm debating sticking to the 10K as my longest distance. We'll see how I feel when fall approaches and the Detroit Women's Half Marathon nears.

I finished strong and I finished with a smile on my face. Not much more I could ask for.

Now what do I train for?!?

Friday, April 17, 2015

The Best Things in Life Are Free, But You Can Give Them to the Birds and Bees

I am a terrible fundraiser. It comes from being mostly an introvert. I don't like talking to people, especially strangers, and I certainly don't like ASKING them for something.

I only sold Girl Scout cookies to my immediate family. And even then, I'm pretty sure I didn't see that many. Maybe to my grandparents? Either way, I am terrible at it.

I signed up for a 9K race on Memorial Day that supports  our local star pitcher, Detroit Tigers' Justin Verlander, is putting on this year. As part of the sign up, you are required to get at least $100.00 in donations towards Wins For Warriors, Justin's charity. This is awesome because, come on, who doesn't want to support our local veterans' mental health?

I'm just throwing this link out there if you think, oh heck yeah, I want to support Meg and donate to this awesome charity. Don't feel like you have to! Seriously, don't!

But, if you want to, go ahead and donate. And if you are a local reader you should sign up for this because the finish is at home plate of Comerica Park. You get to finish at home plate! AWESOME SAUCE! And if you are a veteran, or married to a veteran, or the child of a verteran you get to run this race absolutely free! Seriously, I feel like all races should do that!

And that's it for that. Now I am going to get back to my hydrating and not trying to panic for my half marathon tomorrow. At least the weather will be nice!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

It's the Final Countdown!

In two days and about fifteen minutes from now I will be starting my half marathon. I feel pretty OK about it. That doesn't really sound that good, but actually "pretty OK" is better than "scared out of my mind". The weather is supposed to be sunny and in the seventies. A little warm, but at 9AM I doubt it will be that hot and I have an awesome running hat that should keep me shaded and cool.

Last year I ran two half marathons, but ran them with friends and I think that makes a difference. Having some company for almost three hours of running makes the time go by. This time it will just be me and my own mind and my music.

My goals for the next two days are pretty simple. This evening I will have my last run, a forty-five minute run at a super easy pace. I am working on being SUPER hydrated. Between today and tomorrow I plan on drinking water like crazy.  My friend who is running the 10K and I are getting pasta for lunch tomorrow. Apparently, eating a little extra on the carb front for lunch instead of dinner the night before a race is a better plan. Who knew?

I ran on Tuesday just like I had planned. I  put dinner in the oven, packed the boys into the jogging stroller and headed out for my second-to-last easy forty-five minute run. The boys did really well and we lasted for forty minutes. I'll take it. I had planned my route around not passing any parks and even went so far as to chase a garbage truck around the neighborhood. The boys were most impressed that we managed to catch up to it a few times. Eventually, I had to stop, clearly the truck was faster than me and we ran out of streets to loop around and catch it. They briefly fussed but got over it as we continued to run. At the end of my run, as I was heading home, we were waiting at a stop light when what should turn around the corner? The garbage truck! Both boys cheered, "Yay mama found the garbage truck!" Talk about feeling like a super hero!

They also, very adorably, would say, "On your mark, get set, go!" every time I took off from a stop.

I had the day off work yesterday and went to a dentist and doctor appointment. I am sure a lot of women can understand how much I hated the dreaded scale. My weight was exactly what it is at home, which is nice, usually it's higher. It's not a number I am particularly proud of, meh. The good thing, this was my first time at the practice, and I expected a weight loss lecture. Instead, when the doctor asked me the usual questions she said, "Do you workout?" and I said, "Yes, I run." and she said, "Great." and moved on. I have great blood pressure, I don't have high cholesterol. Yes, I want to lose weight, for me, but it is nice to know that no matter how skinny the BMI charts say I should be, my doctor is happy with me the way I am.

I also got complimented on my flossing skills. Thanks dental hygienist!

How has your week been going for you?

To all my Whole 30 ladies, I couldn't do it this month, I just didn't have the time or will to prep for it. But I am thinking strong thoughts for you!

Monday, April 13, 2015

You Say It's Your Birthday, It's My Birthday Too

I turned 35 this weekend. 35. Old enough to start feeling some creaking in my joints but too young to think I am actually old.

In honor of my 35th I had planned a 3.5 mile run on Saturday. Well, I had planned a six mile run for Saturday and another six mile run for Sunday, but I wanted to take a picture of 3.5 miles and keep going for the rest.

Of course, I have kiddos and a husband who had to work and a whole slew of other crap going on so it didn't happen on Saturday. Ah well.

Sunday my lovely husband made me breakfast and let me sleep in. I ate, hung out for a bit and decided I would run right then.

Spring has finally sprung around here and I decided I didn't want to run alone.

"Go this way, Mama!"
 I planned my route to avoid all parks until the end of my run. We stopped and played at the park for about a half hour, then I trudged along for another half mile to get this:
I tried so hard to get 3.5 exactly. I had it, but then it was 47:58 and I had the great debate between an even 3.5 or getting to 48 minutes of working out. I'll take 3.51 miles.

It was a rough run for me, one of those ones where I started to doubt my ability to run 13.1 miles in less than a week.

And then I realized it was so rough because I was pushing SEVENTY POUNDS OF TODDLER while I ran. Duh.

I plan on running with them on Tuesday and Thursday. We had a good time, they liked the running parts and cheered me on, "Mama go faster!" when I felt myself lagging. Figure we can do the same thing, run a bunch, end up at the park, play, head on home. Fun for all! Plus, it's a full body workout. No joke, when I got up this morning my arms were sore, like weight lifting sore.

And my lovely husband, sons, and in-laws all went in on the best birthday present a runner could ask for: NEW SHOES! I am going to our local running store at some point this week to get them and I am super excited. I'm thinking Brooks, I have read good things, but I will try a bunch on and we will see.

Hope you had a lovely weekend!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Say No More, Mon Amour

I went for a run last night. This is huge because a. I don't normally run at night because once the toddlers are fed, bathed, and in bed I am usually exhausted and b. I haven't run in what feels like ages because of Easter Plague '15.

Side note: Yesterday was Rex Manning Day! I love that I was tagged in plenty of Empire Records posts on Facebook. Nothing makes me happy like Empire Records does.  Read this Buzzfeed article about the movie, it pretty much sums up how we all feel about it.

It only makes sense that I would have an awesome run on Rex Manning Day.

I told Hubs as soon as he walked in the door that I was going for a run once the boys were in bed. And sure enough, put them down and ran into my bedroom to change. One of the guys was still making noises as I left but I knew he would settle down.

My plan was to go for a half hour run. I didn't wear my Garmin, just used the Nike+ app on my phone, and my wireless headphones. I felt good, though, really good, so I adjusted my plan to aim for three miles.

I sent Hubs a text so he wouldn't worry when I was later than my planned half hour and kept running. Normally I walk/run but I just felt like doing whatever felt good on this run. I ran a lot more than I walked, but still took some walk breaks. I had fun. I enjoyed myself. Damn, I missed running.

All in all I ended up with 3.10 miles at a 12 min/mile pace.

And thanks for the advice, this weekend I will plan on running a six miler on Saturday and a six miler on Sunday. It is supposed to be lovely and sunny and perfect.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

I Get Weak in the Knees I Can Hardly Speak

I should go back in my archives and check, but I am pretty sure I missed my long run two weeks before my half marathon during my LAST training cycle. I am winning at this, I tell ya!

The stomach bug hit my family hard late Saturday night. Started with my husband, then one of the boys, then me. Thankfully my other boy still remains stomach bug free. Fingers crossed all that bleaching and cleaning I did before I was knocked down helped keep the spreading to a minimum.

Thankfully, the boys don't realize they missed Easter. We are having Easter 2.0 next Sunday with my in-laws. We'll hide eggs for the boys in the morning. We'll have our Easter brunch with my sister who will put her adorable daughter back in her adorable Easter dress. Thankfully, the plastic eggs are stuffed with stickers and not candy or chocolate so we don't have to worry about Mom and Dad eating it going bad.

I feel partly responsible because for the first time ever I did Pinterest crafts and goodies for Easter and did not fail at them. I also stuffed the boys' Easter eggs Saturday afternoon during nap time so I wouldn't have to worry about it early Sunday morning.
Guys' hand prints in cards for the grandparents

Square pretzel, white chocolate melt, Easter M&M's
I never do crap like this because I am the least crafty person you know!

I had planned on running on Sunday but just wasn't able to fit it in. I felt fine for most of the day but spent a lot of it holding a poor sick kiddo and keeping Paw Patrol and Dora the Explorer on permanent rotation on our television.

Now I am left with the problem of "I'm supposed to start my taper" vs. "my last long run was three weeks before the half marathon". There is no way I can do a long run during the week, I simply do not have the time. Plus, I'm pretty sure my body isn't going to be ready for anything more than a few miles until at least the weekend. Ingesting nothing but Gatorade and McDonald's Coke (seriously, the best icy, cold pop (soda for you non-Michiganders) in the world) for two days does not help one's body prep for running twelve miles.

What do I do? Do I attempt a long run this weekend? Do I say screw it and run my scheduled six mile run? The half marathon is 11 days away. I'm not really running it for speed, at least not anymore, but would like to finish strong and with a smile on my face.

Any tips? Advice?

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Don't You Forget About Me, Don't Don't Don't Don't

April is my birth month. Which means it is a badass month. For the most part, April tends to be pretty OK when it comes to weather. I am going to conquer April this year!

But first, let's see how I did with March:
I hit EIGHTY MILES last month. Thank you half marathon training! I am still feeling really good about this upcoming race. I have one more long run this weekend and then I start tapering.

As for my steps, I am proud to say I hit my goal of 10,687 steps daily every single day. I know it's a random number, but my Jawbone suggested it after I was hitting 10K pretty regularly. Unfortunately, I don't know how to get a monthly chart from my Up app. If and when I do get a monthly recap I will post it here.

I didn't get as much midweek running in as I would like which stinks but with it staying lighter later I think I might start aiming for evening runs.

And now for April.

I turn thirty-five this month, something that is making me feel a little weird and wonky. Mid-thirties, huh? Yikes. Every time I start to feel a little icky about a birthday I think about the scene in Friends when Rachel turns thirty and makes Tad come out of the bedroom and tell the rest of the friends a list of rules about how to celebrate her birthday. I feel ya, Rachel.

I am running my first half-marathon of the year on April 18th. And possibly my second half-marathon of the year on April 25th. We will see how I feel after this week's long run.I had dreams of a PR in my half this year, but probably not for this race. As for the half on the 25th, I would be doing that for fun, to support a great local group, and to qualify for Half Fanatics. It's a cheap half marathon, only $40, so it would be worth it if I could qualify. Plus, I ran the 5K for this race series last year and it was fun, well run, and near my mom's house. Gotta love free baby-sitting!

And by the end of this month I plan on being in Onederland. It WILL happen.

How about you? Any fun goals or races planned?