Forsythia Bushes all in a Row

I know I keep whining about the kids being home for Spring Break---really, I love my kids and I love spending time with them, but not going away for the break and trying to train for my 1st 1/2 marathon which is 2 1/2 weeks away is challenging with them home.

Today RayRay was meeting someone at the house---recently our hot tub went on the fritz and needs to be replaced---I know perfect timing--I was looking forward to getting in that thing after my long runs.  Anyway, I managed to sneak 5 in; unfortunately, I had to do it before I consumed coffee---I NEED coffee in the morning.

Ran without IPod---just my thoughts to keep me company.  Birds were out in full force.  

I love this time of year and since it was raining the last few days, everything was glistening and smelling fresh.  The forsythia's are all a bloom.

Garmin connect is down this morning---you know how I love looking at all that post run data;(

Good Thing it is a Day Off

The northeast is getting pounded by rain. Here in Colts Neck the ground is SATURATED. Being stuck home with the kids on Spring Break, I was actually hoping to sneak in at least 2 miles today (even though it is technically my off day) just for sanity sake. However, Mother Nature took over:

This is a picture of part of the side yard; 
thankfully our sump pump is working well today

So the boys and I went to see "How to Train Your Dragon" in 3D instead.

Great movie--
I was prepared for the worst (after being subjected to movies like "Shark Boy and Lava Girl" and "G -Force" in the past---if you have not seen them--don't, just insert the bamboo directly under your fingernail and save yourself the time and $), but I was pleasantly surprised--it was a great rainy day activity.

100s of Squashed Worms

Rainy Monday morning--had to get 3 miles done. I actually like to run in the rain as long as it is not cold; it was 50 this am, so just perfect.

The roads were covered in squashed worms---hundreds of them--why did they go out onto the road?

Did not have it in me today

I know some days are better than others, but this run was really hard and humbling---I knew right from the get go that my heart was not in it.  I was meeting the mother.runners this afternoon at Cheesequake State Park and I was really looking forward to the new running route---I had downloaded the park map ahead of time and was looking forward to the run like a first date---but alas, I knew a mile in that this was not going the way I planned.  I was holding all my tension in my neck and shoulders and despite trying to loosen up, I just could not.  On top of it I felt dizzy/lightheaded and felt like I could have easily vomited at mile 3.  I really felt like I should have thrown in the towel at 3 miles, but I muscled through---7 miles was on my training plan for today and with the kids off the next two weeks for Spring break---I need to get the runs in when/where I can.

The last mile was torture--the tension and dare I say it---PAIN settled in my left mid back area---thankfully I could call it a day a mile 7.  Sitting here now, I still feel a little dizzy---loading up on H2O---I think I was dehydrated. 

Today, song 

Overall my pace was OK--10:38, but I expected an 7 mile run to feel easier now that I have been putting the miles in----HUMBLING---will it ever feel easier?  or can I just chalk this up to a bad day/run?

Quick sneak it in run

This week feels like an "off" week for me.  I usually run M-W-F-Sun---but since I took this Monday off due to my 11 mile run on Sunday--and I had appointments all day on Wednesday, I feel like I am sneaking the runs in when I can.  

The weather today is actually PERFECT for running---overcast in upper 50s with a light breeze.  I started out fast but I felt really exhausted in the last half of the run.  I pushed myself a little harder than I normally do--overall pace 9:38

Ran without music today---plenty of thoughts to keep me occupied.

Holy Cow--Check it out an under 10 min/mile pace

Planned recovery run today, 3-4 miles.  Now most of you know that I am a notoriously S-L-O-W runner.  10-13 minute miles---I know that is a large window, but some days are better than others.  I could have sworn today was going to be an all time low (or is that high)--13 min/mile, my legs felt like lead.

I ran with the garmin, but I usually only glance at mileage--knowing my pace is ALL over the place----BUT guess what, I did it---a total pace under 10 (now, I know it really averages out to 10 min/miles, but can't a girl get a break)---for now I am going to bask in the glory of my 9:57 pace.

Today's song, Sublime, "What I got"

Scheduled Group Runs week of March 22

Tuesday,  March 23                       12N                 3-4 miles       Thompson 
Thursday, March 24                      12N                 3-4 miles       Clover Hill
Friday, March 26                            12N                 5 miles           Cross Farms

11 Along the Beautiful Shore

I really was not looking forward to this 11 mile run; I think I was a little worried about "getting it done".  I had run 10.5 two weeks ago, but for some reason 11 seemed out of my reach---that is until today:)

It was a PERFECT spring day and I wanted to run the route (or at least part of the route) I would be running the day of the 1/2 marathon.  Instead of starting in Asbury Park and running to Sea Girt, I thought I would start in Spring Lake.  We spend our summer there; we get a locker at North Pavilion and it is only a 20 minute drive from the house.  I was counting on the bathrooms being open knowing I would have to go before I ran.

Guess what.....not only were the bathrooms not open, but it seemed like everyone had the same idea I did---the boardwalk was loaded with bikers, runners, and Sunday strollers---so my plan B---popping a squat in the sand in a case of an emergency was a definite NO GO.

Thankfully, the never ending construction at the Essex/Sussex provided me with another option
Yes, the gate was open and I have never been one for silly rules.  When I came out there were some other runners across the street who made a bee line for the porta potties after they saw me leave.  

I had started the run heading into Sea Girt until I got to the stop point for the upcoming 1/2 marathon course and then turned around and headed North---I thought if I ran to the end of Bradley and back that would be 11.  I hit the end of Bradley at mile 6---I had started off fast, faster than I usually run:

mile 1 - 9:13
mile 2 - 9:01 (holy cow)
mile 3 - 9:27

For a lady that barely breaks 11 minute miles--this was fast and I had felt good until I got to mile 6--then I really felt tired.  Thankfully this song came on my ipod at just the right moment

I know this song is old school--but I get an endorphin rush every time it comes on.

I was slower on the way back, but I managed to keep moving.  I did miscalculate---I had hoped to reach 11 miles by the time I saw my car---unfortunately, I still had 3/4 of a mile to go when my car came into sight---I hate looping around, but that it just what I had to do to get the 11 miles in.  So I ran up and down the block where my car was until I "got it done".

Here is my car---sitting waiting for me--taunting me---
the last 3/4 of a mile was torture
I was dreading the calf tightness of an 11 miles run, so I ran in compression socks today---first time I ever ran in them.  I guess I will not know until tomorrow if they help reduce that calf achiness I normally get after a long run.   
Here is a picture of my socks---
this coupled with a skort and t-shirt---I was stylin

 It was a perfect run

WHAT---I just registered for my FIRST marathon!

I just registered for my first marathon---WHAT have I done (I haven't even run my first 1/2 yet---that run is scheduled to take place April 17th).

I saw an advertisement in this month's Runner's World for the Lehigh Valley Marathon.  I grew up in Hunterdon County only a hop, skip, and jump away from Lehigh, so I was intrigued.  I went online to check it out and it looks like a perfect marathon for me---flat course, pretty scenery, ---did I mention the flat course:)

I figured that I would need a new goal after completing the 1/2 and this run looks perfect. Any other Racy Runners up for the challenge?

In the meantime, I need to focus on the 1/2---I have my first 11 mile run planned for tomorrow am along the boardwalk.  Although I ran 10.5 miles 2 weeks ago, I have only run a mile or two on the boardwalk surface---I hope I can hang tough.  Thankfully I will have the ocean for my ice bath when done:)

6 Miles in the Sun

It is gorgeous here today in the NE.  Went for a group run this morning with some Race Runners.  I ran with my friend N who pushed her son A in the jog stroller the entire time---when she was apologizing for going slow, I was thanking her for the break---we had a nice steady run in the sun.  It is truly amazing out there.  Our other friends B and J ended up doing a 6 miles run/walk combo.  I think we were all happy just to be outside.  

I wore a new running skirt today and I don't know if it was the length of the inseam or the hot weather---but I ended up with chaffing on my thighs---this could be trouble.  I was debating running the 11 today (instead of Sunday as planned), but the rubbing of my skin was driving me crazy.  What to wear for the 1/2 marathon?  I wanted to wear shorts or a running skirt, but not if my thighs rub together the entire time. I guess this is a real sign that the extra 15 lbs has got to go.

My First 1/2 Marathon is Only 4 Weeks Away!

OK, for those of you who are just getting to know me---I am a new runner (August 2009).  I started running using the couch 2 5 K program,  My first race was the "Just Us Girls" annual 5 K race for breast cancer with a bunch of Racy Runners from Colts Neck---I remember how nervous I was running the 3 miles---it was sooooo hard for me back then, but running the race with all these lovely ladies was so much fun; we had a great time.  I hope to make this an annual event for all of us.
Here is my a picture of me and my friend Amy 
(hopefully soon to be sister in law); 
she officially kicked my butt in this race
After running a 5 K---I of course, wanted to run a 5 mile race---so I entered another local race, "The Beauty and the Beach Run" in Long Branch, NJ,  I was terrified preparing for this race.  I remember not being able to run even 5 minutes and here I was going to run 5 miles.  My goal in these races was not to be the fastest---I had to focus on finishing with out walking.  It didn't matter how slow I went, but walking was out of the question.

Here are the Racy Runners that participated in that race with me---again hoping to make it an annual event
I was truly hooked after this race; I loved running along the ocean that day and the sense of accomplishment was overwhelming.  Soon after my oldest son and I ran the Born to Run race in Freehold.  This is an annual event that takes place the day after Thanksgiving---what a perfect way to run off all that pie.  Conor had never run a race like this before (well--neither had I).  We showed up way to early, but had fun sitting with the family in downtown Freehold before the race.  I parked myself in a restaurant with a bathroom---a nearby bathroom is a necessity for me (but that is a whole other story).  Conor ran the first 1.5 miles with me and then he was off.  This race felt so long to me and there was hills---hills, I say---I had NEVER run up a hill before.  I keep pace with a 70 year old veteran--I had to thank him in the end for letting me hang near him--he was less than thrilled, but I was grateful anyway.

Now my race goal is a 1/2 Marathon, am excited and scared.  I am running the Asbury Park 1/2 Marathon in 4 weeks.  This is the second year for this event and it has sold out both years.  I picked this for my first 1/2 over the Long Branch 1/2, because of the course.  I will start at the Asbury Park Convention Center and run to Sea Girt and back.  As an old OG (that stands for Ocean Grove) girl--I know I will feel at home running through all the shore towns I love so much.  Not to mention the beautiful scenery will serve as a great motivator.

Erin go Bragh

What a nice way to celebrate St. Patty's Day---a group run with the ladies.  We meet up at the Library after the Bosom Buddies Breastfeeding Support Group (an awesome group session today by the way--happy to see some new faces come out for group),

I thought the trail would be too muddy after this past weekends NE rain storms, but it was perfect.  The trail surrounding the library is packed dirt, 1.1 miles; it was a nice change from the asphalt roads and trails we have had to stick to due to the snow and mud.  We took it slow for our racy runners who had taken the winter off and came out today for some sunshine---they need to ease back into it.

I had wanted to run 6-8 miles, but 5.5 turned out to be just perfect.  I have an 11 mile run planned this week, my longest run ever, in preparation for the 1/2 marathon.  I hope I can do it---send some good vibes my way--I need them.

First Running Blister Ever

Today I was scheduled for a Recovery Run and I wanted to go 4-5 miles.  I could have sworn I ran 5 miles, but I only made it 4.  I felt like I was running in reverse today---my feet weighed a ton from my wet soggy sneakers, and the wind was wicked.  I got my first running blister ever---darn, wet shoes.

Here is a picture of the part of the path (notice the ducks in the background)
In some of the larger puddles (yes, larger than this one), 
the ducks were swimming around:

When I got home, I was unable to open the garage door--car opener did not work---key pad did not work---finally realized we had no power---thankfully, I found some house keys in my glove compartment or I would have really been screwed since Ray is going to be home late (he is going to a Devils game, box seats---lucky guy).  Finally made it in the house---no electricity---no water pressure----no sump pump working---quickly flooding basement---not to mention, since I took a spin class in the am and then ran 4 miles, I was smelling pretty ripe and was counting on that shower.  Just as I was getting ready for a wipey shower (baby wipes)--thinking that was the best I could do and I had to roll with the punches--the power came back on and I spent the next hour shop vacing the basement--yeah!

Today's song, Big Audio Dynamite, Rush

Sheena is a Punk Rocker

Today I was scheduled to run 8 with the training group, mother.runners, but with the thunder and hail the size of marbles this morning and a call for thunder & lightening this afternoon, we all decided to go it alone.  It turned out to be PERFECT running weather, overcast, cool, and misting towards the end of the run when I really needed to cool down.  At first I thought the weather was a little cool and I was glad I had my gloves, but as always I ended the run wishing I was in my underwear and jog bra----I am always a sweaty mess when I run.  The sweat coupled with the bright red almost purple hue to my face always makes a pretty picture.  I think the people who see me out running look fearful because they are probably wondering if they are going to have to perform CPR.

Today's song, The Ramones, Sheena is a Punk Rocker

Scheduled Runs Week of March 15th

Monday           March 15       12 N               Cross Farm Park     4-5 miles

Wednesday    March 17th    12:45 pm       Library                     6-8 miles       

Friday              March 19th     9 am             Thompson Park      5-6 miles

If you want to run shorter/longer runs---I can easily adjust the routes to accommodate everyone.  You just need to let me know how far/long you want to run when you get there; I will run with you. 

Maybe I Shouldn't Have Eaten That

I have been fighting off a sinus infection/cold all week---bulking up on the Vitamin D and Oil of Oregano, my secret weapons, and last night I was finally feeling better, but alas my husband brought not just one---but two Pete & Elda's Pizzas home.  For those of you not from around here Carmen's/Pete& Elda's Pizza is delicious---it is the best thin crust pizza in existence (as far as overall best pizza---Vics in Bradley Beach would give them a run for their money---but thin- crust pizza--there is no other place that even comes close).  Pizza is my weakness---I could eat a whole double extra large pie without even breaking a sweat.  I don't know what it is about pizza, but I can not help myself.

The funny thing is I follow a vegan diet---except for the pizza.  I avoid dairy in all other forms--so why can't I stay away?  Normally I go to bed early---I mean real early.  I used to use the kids as an excuse, "Oh, Finn needs me to lie down with him to fall asleep---I better go up with him."  Now, I do not even try to pretend.  I think the whole reason we got the DVR for the TV was because I missed seeing any show that was not syndicated and on earlier.

So last night Ray took Conor to LAX, his last indoor league game, and then the team went to P & E to celebrate.  Ray told me he would bring the rest of us home some pizza----BIG MISTAKE---because I knew the pizza was coming, I stayed up untill 10:30 waiting---yes, waiting to eat pizza at 10:30 at night and that is exactly what I did when he walked in the door.  I don't even think I exchanged a greeting.

Was it worth the guilts?  Did eating it help me shed the extra 15 pounds I am running around with?  Certainly not---but I went to bed happy and I actually had a great night's sleep.

Breakfast this morning before the run....

Pizza, of course:)
(surprisingly it did not upset my stomach on the run)

Run this morning:

I ran with a friend, it was our first "run date" just her and I---as you know I love running with friends, but running with someone new is extra special----you get to learn all about them and look forward to learning even more the next time:)

6 miles; felt great.  We walked about .5 miles and I ended with the Cross Farm loop--1.5 miles.

Dust Bunnies Galore

I was all set to go strength train this morning, but instead I got caught on an hour long phone call with my insurance company---I will not go into details but this was a follow up phone call for an unresolved issues that previous phone calls/emails/faxes did not solve---uuuugh!

So I decided to spin at home and maybe sneak in one of the many DVRed shows I have yet to watch.  After adjusting the bike from the setting one of the boys must have set, since the seat was located down near the peddles---I settled in for what I hoped was an hour long session.  I was booking and the sun was shining in the sun room windows---when ut oh---what is that-----hundreds--I mean hundreds of dust bunnies all over.  You could have made an entire dog from all the dog hair that was there.  

I tried to ignore it--I did, but it was impossible.  Off the bike, out comes the vacuum and mop----can this count as my workout today???

6 Miles Through Colts Neck

I wanted needed to run today---I needed to get the stress out.  I wanted to run yesterday too--it was so beautiful out; I actually felt like I wasted the day because it was my day off.

I would run everyday---but I know I need the days off, especially since I am trying to build up my mileage.  I felt good day---fast and strong.  This is the fastest I have ever run on route this long.  I even walked up one big hill---4/6 miles were less than 10min/miles:)  

I ran with music today.  Mile 4, "Somebody told me", The Killers came on,  ---right when I needed the motivation--it felt like I was running uphill on miles 4&5.  Two groundhogs ran across the road in front of my.  I would have sworn they were a couple.  The first one actually stopped, turned around and waited for the following one to catch up. 

Tomorrow's Run Library at 12:45 pm

I am planning on running 5-6 miles (whoops just mapped the run and it look like it will be 7-8--if I go the route I am planning on, but we can always shorten it up if you are not game) tomorrow after the Bosom Buddies Breastfeeding Support Group.  The weather looks perfect---56 degree and a little cloudy.  I end group at 12:30pm; I hope some of the Racy Runners can join me.

I plan on taking it easy---slow and steady (10-11:30 min miles).

Breakfast of Champions

My stomach has been known to act a bit wonky when I run.  When I first started training for the 1/2 marathon (my first--coming up in April 2010), I think I spent more time in the ladies room than on the trails---but I have finally found a good pre-run meal that agrees with me---Kashi 7 Grain Cereal and Almonds with a little almond/rice milk (my carb and protein fix). 

Recovery Day at Dorbrook

I wanted to take it easy today; my knee was acting twitchy yesterday---no pain just twinges of discomfort.  Thankfully it felt great today.
Dorbrook---it was a sunny 60 degree day and 40% of the paved paths at Dorbrook are still snow covered and not safe to run on. Thankfully I had Bridgit's company today and we could run-walk-run-walk and chat.  I was disappointed that we had to walk so much, but what are you going to do--it was not worth an injury.

Good recovery day. 

Chasing My Shadow

Cross Farm Park into Thompson, Ran with the training group today. It was a balmy 54 degree with cool wind blowing to cool me down. Chased my shadow the first 2 miles, 9.47 and 9.39 min/miles----I rarely break the 10 min/mile so this is HUGE for me.

I felt good and I probably could have run a mile or two more, but I did not want to push my luck.

Today's song, The Clash, Death or Glory,

Racy Runners Week of March 8th

I am so glad the weather is finally turning; I can not wait to hit the trails again and it would be nice to have some evening runs.

Here are the runs planned for this week; I hope you can join me:

Monday, March 8                12N                 Dorbrook

Wednesday, March 10      12:45 pm        Library

Friday, March 11                 9 am              Thompson

Running Through My Dreams

I dream of running.  I hear the sound of my feet hitting the trail and I can see myself moving along the route.  I have had several running dreams since I starting running and I always feel great when I awaken.  Can I count them as runs?  I started to use the technique to help me fall asleep---insomnia runs in my family.  It is so hard to turn my brain off at night.  I have too much work to do; thinking about all the things “I have to do”, replaying conversations in my mind and thinking about the things I should have said or done, and just plain worrying. The night before I had my 10 mile run planned, the longest run I have ever done, I ran the route as I feel asleep.  I envisioned myself cruising along the roads on my route; imagining how long it would take and how I would feel.

So I guess running is my way of counting sheep.

Look What I Did

Look what I did!

10 miles--DONE!

No iPod only the birds, wind, the cadence of my ponytail swishing against my windbreaker and my thoughts---did I mention the snow. Yes, a light snow the whole run--hitting my fiery red hot face---it felt great. Counting the miles down, one by one----DONE!


Our Racy Runner email list has outgrown itself. Typically, I would send out a weekly email to those lovely ladies on my email list with the weekly group runs I have planned, but alas I feel as if I am spamming some of you.  So I decided to explore other options and came up with this blog idea instead.  That way you can follow my antics, but still be informed about weekly runs.

You will need to check the blog weekly if you are interested in run times/locations.  I hope this works out---let's give it a try.