Spring Lake 5

The Spring Lake 5 was this morning and I was excited to run it.  I had been worried all week about the possible heat and humidity, but when I woke up this morning and it was raining---I was thrilled---I know bad tourist weather for beach area--but GREAT running weather. 

By the time the family and I got to the beach it was drizzling and overcast but not too cold--PERFECT.  Hit the porta potties right away--a must----picked up my race shirt--SUPER CUTE!
I also picked up a tech shirt with same logo on it---light weight and great for those hot days.  I know I am not speedy so I positioned my self mid way in the starting crowd---but I really wish I had started closer to the starting line.  It took me 3 miles to break free of the starting crowd.  

I was amazed at large number of walkers who positioned themselves right up front.  I literally had to dodge people and cut through groups just to maintain my sloooooow and steady pace.  Even the last 2 miles were an obstacle field and I really feared being tripped.  At one point a lady got pissed at me because I cut in between her and her friends who were slow jogging one next to each other in a row, literally blocking traffic ---I am a polite runner (I ran without an iPod due to the crowd and used verbal cues on my passing, like--"passing on the left")--I had said excuse me and was practically killing myself trying to get around groups of walkers and slow joggers---and the numerous people who decided to stop running mid stride right in front of me.  Anyway this lady needed to take a chill pill---the sad thing was one of the ladies she was running next to  had on a shirt that said, "you just got passed by a mother"--I was admiring her friend's shirt and made the assumption that they were fellow "Run Like a Mother runners"--you know---women like me....well, even after the rude comment she made, I turned around and apologized, pointing out that I had said excuse me (thinking the fact that they were running side by side in a row on the left so no one could pass was kinda obvious)---and she still would not let it go, continuing to make rude comments---so off I ran--nothing I could do about it.  Despite her and the crowd the race was great.  The crowds cheering us on were fun and I LOVED the firetrucks stationed around the route with their water hoses squirting.

I felt strong and I definitely started off slower than normal---I just wish I could have broken through the crowds--I could have maintained a faster pace.

My garmin time (official time n/a) 49:09 (although I forgot to turn off my watch when I hit the finish)
Avg Pace
100:10:22 1.00 10:22
200:09:45 1.00 09:45
300:09:48 1.00 09:48
400:09:38 1.00 09:38
500:09:02 1.00 09:02
600:00:31 0.06 09:01

Honeysuckle is the Best Smell!

This am I hit the gym for Strength Training with Abby.  I had to miss the class on Tuesday due to a work meeting and I really missed it---what am I going to do this summer when the boys are not in school???  They are too old for the gym daycare and too young to stay at home.  I have been doing a lot of thinking about how I will need to switch up my workout routine---I am going to have to get up early and run while they are still asleep (before Ray goes to work)---this will take a herculean effort.  I am an early riser anyway--but running at 5 or 6 am seem semi tortuous.

Oh well, we still have a few weeks left in the school year.  Today I wanted to sneak 3 miles in.  I have the Spring Lake 5  race on Saturday and I am a little worried.  Running has been such a struggle lately---exhausted with small distances and the heat and humidity are killing me.  I would really like to run fast and strong in this race--I would really love to PR (wow, that is the first time I have ever used that in a sentence---maybe, I am becoming a real runner).

Today's run--Henry Hudson trail (pick up in Freehold near Y)--2.83 miles 9:45 pace.  The honeysuckle was in bloom and smelled so sweet --that coupled with the smell of rain in the area made it a perfect run.

Today's song, New Order, Love Vigilantes

I am so lucky!

I love where I live (no, I never thought I would end up staying in NJ--California, NY, Seattle, anywhere overseas but NJ No way!---I spent my entire teenage/college years planning my escape but I married a man that HATES change ----the reality is though that I am lucky--I live in a great location and LIFE IS GOOD)--Monmouth County is beautiful and I have the best of both worlds---rural country and shore (plus I am only a hope-skip-jump-ferry-bus-train-car ride from NYC or Philadelphia.  

Today I had a meeting for the Monmouth Ocean County Breastfeeding Consortium we were planning our annual conference and this year our speaker is Nils Bergman (the skin-to-skin guru).  Since we meet at the VNA WIC site in Belford-Middletown, I thought today would be a perfect day to run at Sandy Hook.  

Sure it was HOT and HUMID out and I would be running smack in the middle of the day---but I was looking forward to the beautiful views.  Recently the family and I took our bikes on the trail there and I knew it would be a perfect running location.

I really have been having a hard time running lately.  In my mind I can easily bang out 13 miles, but in actuality one mile is a struggle.  It is always difficult and I have had a hard time finding my "groove" lately.  So today I wanted to focus on the scenery and my pace---no iPod.  
Still really sweaty despite the breeze...
Avg Pace
100:08:49 1.00 08:49
200:09:05 1.00 09:05
300:10:11 1.00 10:11
400:10:09 1.00 10:09
500:05:03 0.50 10:09
Ran faster than I intended--I need to focus on slowing down in order to add the mileage. 

Hi my name is Casi and I am addicted to SPIN!

I LOVE LOVE LOVE SPIN class, but I remember when I was introduced to it and thought otherwise.  A little over a year ago a friend asked me to attend a class with her.  She had raved about SPIN and how great of a workout it was (thank you G).  I did not know what was in store for me.  Up until then my bike riding consisted of leisurely rides or most recently (the last few years) lots of frequent stops and riding around in circles as the boys learned how to ride (first with training wheels and then without).  Even now our family rides usually end up with Finn and I taking up the rear.  So I really was surprised at the vigor of a SPIN class--not to mention the seat issue.

This first class was just OK--sure I got a workout, but I really did not know what I was doing.  Even though I stood up and mimicked the other women--my form was AWFUL.  By the end of the class I was SWEATY but I did not have a full appreciation of the workout.  It did not help that the instructor played show-tunes and encouraged singing along---not really my cup of tea.  Anyway.....it was about that time that I joined the Y.

I already mentioned why I love the Y---but here it is again...I LOVE the eclectic clientele--no gym stereotypes.  I also love that you do not have to sign up for the SPIN classes ahead of time--no, you can just show up.

The first few times I did SPIN there, I did not get up out of my seat--I truly had to focus on keeping my legs moving.  I love seeing new people come into class now--I really try to encourage them not to give up on it --to come back again--that it takes awhile to get used to it--but once you do, you will be hooked like me.  I think it is a great workout (next to running of course--running is harder for me).

Recently I found out that a SPIN studio here in Colts Neck that has amazingly cool spin bikes is charging $25/class---are they CRAZY!  That seems awfully excessive to me.  This morning I took 2 spin classes back to back--that would have been $50 (a little less than what my family of 5 pays for monthly membership at the Y)--one week of SPIN classes there would be more than my family's membership at the Y---those must be some bikes!

Wow, do I sweat!

I wanted to get a run in this morning; I had a lunch appointment that was moved up an hour, so the longer run I envisioned was not going to materialize---that was probably a good thing.  My legs felt like lead today and I stopped to walk up some of the larger hills---very hilly route.  I am always hot and sweaty when I run---but today was crazy--when I stopped running, the sweat went into overdrive. I had a puddle collecting on the table under my face as I sat to drink water and read the emails I missed when I got back home.  I know I should have grabbed a picture--but you will have to trust me--it was NOT pretty. Sitting here post shower--I am still sweating.

I found a neat little hide-away trail on my route today.  Here is a picture of the land dedication; I wish I knew the story of how the land "came to be"--about why the Schlesinger's decided to donate the land to the park system:

Here is a picture of the trail entrance:
6 miles; pace 10:26
Today's song, Teenage Dirtbag, Wheatus

Great day for a run!

Great Bosom Buddies Breastfeeding Support Group today! Today we discussed the recent ABC "What Would You Do" about mothers breastfeeding in public.  I love the ladies---feeding your baby is not obscene and is simply a means to an end.  In a society where breasts are culturally excepted in a bikini--on a Victoria's Secret model---splashed all over advertisements---it just seems so strange that breastfeeding in public is such a controversy---OK, I will step off my soapbox---if you want to follow my breastfeeding posts, you can become a fan of the The Lactation Lady HERE.

I have been having a hard time sticking to my running plan lately---I need to make it a priority.  Today, I had 5 on the schedule.  I could have easily headed home after group today.  I was hungry, tired, and had loads of laundry waiting for me---but I mentally talked myself into it.  Someone said to me once, "You will never regret the run you take--you will always regret the run you did not take".  So I hit the streets, but I was still wrestling with the run at mile 2 and changed routes to see if I could get into the groove.  It was a great day for a run---overcast and cooler--you could smell the rain in the air. This field was picture perfect and had an immediate calming reflex on me---the grass was blowing with the wind--so rhythmic and beautiful.

Here is another shot--the picture does not capture the beauty of the field--you will have to trust me.  No music today--but I could not get this one song out of my head.  4.85 miles, 9:40 pace.

Today's song, OMG, Usher will.i.am

Gorgeous Clouds Today

Last night Ray and I had a well deserved night out.  It started with Bill Cosby at the Count Baise theater.

Then off to Nicholas for dinner---delicious.  We ate off the Mid Spring Garden selection (vegetarian selection).  The food was great but I could do without the pomp--it is hard to relax when everyone is so formal.  Thankfully some of the many waitstaff knew how to smile---although, it was as if they had to hide it.

Today is back-to-back sports.  Just spent the last 3 hours on the LAX field and I will soon be off to soccer.  I was able to sneak in 3 miles during Finn's practice---there is a .5 mile loop right next to the practice field.  I wanted to run 8, but you know how much I love running loops (track)--about as much as I love running on the treadmill.  

3.03 miles at a 9:19 pace---I'll take it.

P.S. Did you see those clouds today--they are gorgeous amazing!

Today's song, Black Eyed Peas, Rock Your Body

If I Hear Muscle Weighs More Than Fat One More Time....

Strength training this am at the Freehold YMCA.  I love the Y and the eclectic people it attracts--no stereotypical gym types here--all shapes, all sizes, all cultures---love it.  There is a strength training instructor there who is the BEST--she is a runner too (although, she is way outta my league).  I love how this class makes me feel strong---but I am getting discouraged that with all the weight training, spin, and running--I have only gained weight.

Despite training for 1/2 marathon, all the exercise, and the fact that I am a total health food nut (and my calorie count/day is in the low range)---not a pound lost ---about 4 gained.  I am officially 15-20 lbs overweight--No, my clothes are not fitting better--they are GD tight.  I think every woman has at least 2 "range of clothes" in her closet---I have what I would like to consider my regular size and then my larger ut-oh size---I am officially wearing the ut-oh size.  I am getting desperate, will I lose weight running--ever? I was already crazy muscular--my legs could compete with Arnold's---I am not kidding, I have always had freaky muscular legs---now if only my abdomen held the same magical muscular power.

Tomorrow is a booked day so I knew I wanted to get a good run in (a good run for me is at least 5 miles).  After strength training I hit the Henry Hudson trail, in connects right near the Y---I got a little lost and ended up running towards Marlboro--I had have run this route before from the other direction---I wanted to see where the route went into Freehold---on my way back to the Y, I saw the trail pick up---it was hidden--the path disconnects in several places due to all the home construction in the last few years in that area---holy McMansion.  I am looking forward to exploring that route another day.

5.25 miles---pace 9:34---not bad--I was sure I was going 11 min miles---but thanks to a man in red shorts I followed through miles 2.-4 I stayed steady and strong.  I love following (he was a good .2-.3 miles in front of me--- it helps me keep pace).

Today's song, They Might Be Giants, Ana Ng


One Crazy Week and Injury---Oh my!

It is turning out to be a crazy week; I guess that makes it no different than any other week:) 

This morning we had a state meeting of NJ partners for Shaping NJ.  NJ is gearing up for a statewide fight against childhood obesity.  I am a member of the breastfeeding workgroup representing the Monmouth/Ocean Breastfeeding Consortium.  We know breastfed infants have lower rates of childhood and adult obesity and choosing to breastfeed is a great way to initiate healthy lifestyle choices right from the get go---you can not get any more organic than breastmilk.  I am excited about the action plan and strategies that will be put into implementation (breastfeeding is just a piece); however, it did mean forgoing a run today.
I knew I would be short of runs this week and I was hoping to make it up by adding in less but longer runs; however, my left groin (which hurt on my run on Friday) just started really hurting today.  It hurts enough for me to know that it needs rest and some TLC.  Maybe this busy week and the rainy weather report for the next few day are signs----nature knows I am a stubborn lady and would likely run too far and too fast and further aggravate this injury.

When I don't run---I think about running and envy the people I see out there.  There was a man running in the middle of the road tonight (yes, the middle along the double yellow lines) when I went on one of my many kid runs (I forgot to mention that along with my own business and volunteer work that chauffeuring my children around is my main gig) ---we live in a rural area, but the speed on these county roads with little or no shoulder area is dangerous.  After calling him a few choice words (in my head, because the kids were in the car)--I envied him for running--it is a beautiful evening and the cooler weather here in the NE is great for running---let's hope he survives the run and makes it home to enjoy the post run high.

Where was BRUCE? A Trek Through Colts Neck Looking for Bruce Springsteen

I had a great route all planned out this morning, and the weather was perfect--cooler with a breeze.  I put the kids on the bus and then waited for mommy mayhem (aka-the parent brigade) to clear off the streets.  I live close by the primary and elementary school and a lot of parents drive their kids to school---since, I was planning on running on the road where the kids are, I needed to wait for traffic to clear.  This road is boookoo (VERY) busy and there is little room to run (no sidewalk or shoulder).

I headed out the door sans Ipod--I have found on my longer runs I do better without it.  I felt good---the route was about 8 miles and I really wanted to work on a good pace for longer distances--I was thinking 11 min/miles---I started out too fast (as always).  

I have been easing myself back into running since the 1/2 marathon and I have yet to come up with a definitive training plan for the full marathon--I am just winging it right now.  I thought, I would work on a "RUN with a little walk" approach to see how I do.  I did not/could not plan when to throw in the walks--I wanted to play it by ear.  I ended up walking probably about 3/4 mile of the entire route 8---so my overall pace of 10:02 (9:55 moving) was not bad--but I know I could go further if I slow down a bit.

I was about a mile into the run when I realized I needed a bathroom---yes, I went before I left the house (3 times before I left to be exact)---but alas, I needed to go again.  No worries, I thought--I was headed right by the library--PERFECT.  

I live about 3 miles from the library--who knew--it seems so far in a car, and I could run there--no problemo.  The problem was not how far away it was--the problem was on Friday they are only open 1 - 9pm---thankfully, the court house was open and there was a bathroom right by the front door.  Splashed cold water on my face-neck-arms--it felt DELICIOUS!

Hit the streets again and ran by the Colts Neck Golf Club--the clubhouse is so pretty, makes me wish I played.  One day I will need to learn if I ever want to see my husband during our retirement.

Headed across 34 onto Phalanx to Muhlenbrink; thankfully was not hit by any Brookdale students zooming along the country road.  I had driven down this road the other day and I knew it would make a GORGEOUS run--I was not disappointed---except for one thing---WHERE WAS BRUCE?  

I know he lives in town, and I heard he lives on this road, but I'll be darned if I know what house/driveway was his.  Oh well, I did see:
3 Horses enjoying a morning snack
One wanted to say hello; I think he liked me (or he thought I had food)--I only had a Shot Bloks with me and that just did not seem right--I had a feeling horses should not eat them--I am not sure if I should eat them:)

I found a great red barn--love red barns, the older the better--this one was not old, but it was nothing to sneeze at
All in all, it was a great run.  My left groin is a little achy--I am going to load up on anti-inflammatory and post run coffee--that always helps.  I walked more than I wanted to---I have got to work on that.

I will keep looking for Bruce.
Avg Pace
100:09:16 1.00 09:16
200:10:26 1.00 10:26
300:09:53 1.00 09:53
400:09:53 1.00 09:53
500:10:14 1.00 10:14
600:10:16 1.00 10:16
700:10:25 1.00 10:25
800:08:59 0.91 09:50

I am Wonder Woman

This week is turning out to be no better than last week in regards to getting my planned runs in.  Since I was unable to get a long run in Monday or yesterday, I wanted to run after Bosom Buddies group today.  I had a route all planned---I think part of the fun for me is planning a new route, one I have not traveled before.  I love running through Colts Neck---down roads I only usually travel on in my car.  Running places that seem far to drive ---and I run the whole route---it makes me feel invisible and strong (invisible in relation to "look what I can do" and not invisible like I can not die--although, I do imagine that I am WONDER WOMAN from time to time).

Here is what I imagine I look like running:
Ok, I don't look exactly like that---I have red hair after all:)

I did not eat breakfast (other than a handful of peanuts at the bus stop this am with the boys--I am a peanut/peanut butter fiend) and I had a protein bar I planned on eating at group, but forgot.  So I shoved the bar in right before the run---that did not work out so well.  It was so hot and I really needed a good meal.  I ended up walking 1 mile (warm up/cool down) and running 4 (about .5 mile walk mixed in).  I need to condition myself to the heat.  I will try again on Friday---I have a great route all mapped out.

Today's song, Save it For Later, English Beat (one of my faves)

Lilly Pulitzer and Run DMC---perfect combo!

Ray has been away for work (golfing in Myrtle Beach)--what a life.  Needless to say it has not been easy doing the single parent thing.  6---count them S-I-X games on Sunday; we left the house at 8:30 am and came home at 8 pm.  I am spent.  

Today I had several work appointments planned, and after an unexpected cancellation, I was able to sneak in a quick run on the Henry Hudson trail--wish I could have gone longer, but it was all I could squeak in.  I love this trail; I am going to figure out a way to run here from my house for longer runs.

Did not realize I left my sunglasses on until I got started and because I only had limited time, I did not want to head back to the car.  Who knew Lilly P sunglasses would be OK for running; they did not slide off my nose at all (I still prefer running without the glasses though). 
Here I am rocking out my Lilly P's
While listening to today's song, It's Tricky, Run DMC
Somehow I doubt Lilly would approve of my hip-hop love, but I was never one for stereotypes:)


I Need to Make a Plan and Stick to It!

So, I had my running scheduled for the week and this morning was supposed to be 8 miles.  Well, it was overcast and drizzling this am when I woke up--I was actually happy about that.  It was so hot (80-90s) and humid the last 2 days--a little drizzle and no sun was welcoming.

As the kids and I whipped through our morning routine (you moms know how crazy the morning can be between papers that needed to be signed and forgotten assignments---not to mention actually feeding the kids), the rain started to come down in buckets.  I tried not to be upset--I decided I would still head to the YMCA Western Monmouth. I was going to pick up the Henry Hudson trail for my run and then do a spin class, but with the heavy rain (I am afraid of chaffing) I changed my plans---2 miles treadmill run (you know how much I love the treadmill [sarcastic]) that is all I can squeak out--in my mind I ran 10--then I look down and see 1.5 miles---ran faster to get the last .5 in before spin---2 spin classes back to back.

I HEART spin--but it is not as physically demanding (for me) as running is.  I could spin for hours--yes, I sweat---I sweat A LOT--but it does not drain me the way running does.  So now I am left with a feeling of disappointment.

Disappointed in myself for not sticking with my plan--that is so not like me (sticking with the plan--type A task master here).  

I need to focus on a good plan--sticking to it--and getting used to running no matter what!  I need a running partner--someone that will hold me accountable--guilt is a motivator for me.

Scheduled Group Runs for Week of May 3rd

Scheduled group runs for WEEK OF MAY 3rd:

Monday    May 3rd     9am     Meet at YMCA parking lot for run on Henry Hudson trail     (I am going to get a good long run in and then try to spin at 10:15---I have found running after spin does not work for me)

Tuesday   May 4th    11am    Cross Farms (2-3 miles)--  Sorry, have to cancel work appointment; I will probably sneak a run in after the Breastfeeding Support Group on Wed--at 1 pm at Library.

Friday      May 7th     9 am    Long Road Run Start in Clover Hill---my goal is to run Muhlenbrink Road (if you are afraid of traffic, this run is not for you)     

A Run Planned the Morning After Too Much Wine---What was I thinking?

Well Ray is away for work/golf??? I give all those single moms and dads out there a lot of credit---it is not easy.  The chauffeuring job alone with 3 boys (2 sports) is enough to drive me crazy.  After spending all day yesterday on the LAX fields and driving back and forth to playdates and soccer practice---I was spent.

I really wanted to sneak a long run in this weekend, but it did not look like it was in the cards for me.  Yesterday's was a beautiful August like day--it was HOT!!!  So I thought I could wake up early today and run around the neighborhood leaving Con in charge.  I had it all planned out a nice 5 mile run with HILLS; my workout gear was laid out and ready, but alas I decided to have a glass of wine and read last night before bed.  Well, it was one BIG glass (with maybe a refill) and needless to say, I was not feeling particularly great when awakening at 6:30 am.  

Not one for quitting before I even get started---I got ready, laced up the sneaks, and hit the road---my first mile was strong--9:08 pace--I felt strong and then I hit the hill (or wall)---Walk--tried to get back into the groove after walking would have required nothing short of a miracle---ran home, cutting my run short---my training will have to start tomorrow (no wine tonight:).

Will have to make do with coffee and Sunday NYT to relax me today.  

Do I have enough time to train for marathon in Sept?  Will I be able to train this summer with the kids out of school?  What training program should I use? 

Today's song, Brian Setzer, Jump Jive an Wail (I Heart Brian Setzer)

Not a bad pace for walking almost a mile.

Avg Pace
100:09:08 1.00 09:08
200:12:21 1.00 12:21
300:08:31 0.80 10:37