Question …

I’m sure that most of you have seen those magnets on cars with various numbers: 13.1, 26.2, 70.3, 140.6

No, they aren’t bible verses, they are distances.

Half marathon = 13.1 miles, marathon = 26.2 miles, half IronMan = 70.3 miles, IronMan = 140.6 miles

And, yes, we will tell you that the .2 matters.

Last night while on a run, one of my running buddies mentioned that she had placed her 26.2 magnet on her car and her husband was giving her a hard time about it.

We haven’t actually completed the 26.2 yet.

She said it doesn’t matter, that she’s training for it.

So, what are your thoughts on the matter? Is it ok? Bad luck? Does it need an extra “in training” magnet to go with it?

Would you 26.2 before you 26.2’d?

I really am running a marathon

So, yes I have known for quite some time that I was going to be running a marathon.

After all, I ran the Quantico 10K back in March so I would have a guaranteed entry, AKA golden ticket!

I signed up, paid the fees, found a training plan, had a great running buddy who made us gorgeous calendars with all of our training schedules, and I set up long runs in my Google calendar so every Friday afternoon I receive alerts that say scary things like “18 miles”!

But, it’s just been recently when we moved into distances like 17 and 18 miles, taking regular ice baths, dealing with tummy issues, waking up at 4:30AM (or not) to go for an “easy 5”, talking about snot rockets, noticing the difference between the Saturday “serious” runners and the Sunday “out for a Sunday jog” runners at our favorite park, black toenails, blisters, crazy chaffing, compression socks, and statements like “Oh, it’s only 13 miles”, that I realized we are really doing this!

I have had moments that 26.2 definitely feels manageable, doable, and even slightly enjoyable. Yes, I said it … enjoyable. There have also been moments that I wasn’t sure if I could do it, but it is exciting that the positive days definitely outweigh the negative days.

People have asked me how long it will take me to finish. No idea … I really just want to finish. period. However, that competitive side in me comes out and I find myself looking up times of friends, Hubby’s first marathon, Oprah’s marathon, etc and plugging in times to pace calculators like this one. Speed work also started this week and I think we are now at the point in our training that we know we can do the distance, now it’s time to hone in and work on speed and endurance.

It also hit me this week that I don’t think this will be my last marathon. I don’t think I could/would have said that 8 or even 4 weeks ago, but I could definitely see myself doing this again.

I will admit, it’s scary, exciting, mental, and physical all in one.

6 years

This blog is almost 6 years old. Wow.

I looked back at my first post ever: I guess it’s a good sign that I was running then and I’m still running now.

I also found this old one … back when every blogger was writing 100 things about me posts. I think I was struggling to complete that list!

This one was when I got “the call” after having my baseline mammogram that freaked me out. I am so thankful that everything turned out to be OK, but still get annual mammograms and am debating getting tested for the BRACA gene that scares me even more. What is crazy to me is this happened a few months before my Mom’s diagnosis.

Looking back on my sweet babies. I still love these pictures of them.

And of course, documenting the belly. I can say, I wish I had more of these pictures … even if they were just for me to look back and reminisce. I truly don’t remember how enormous it was and that is probably a good thing.

Even though I certainly don’t write every day, and have thought about shutting it down, it’s still a great way to look back on the years and remember some of the stories that are long forgotten. It has been a great outlet for me and I’m thankful for the friends I have made along the way, both ones that I have never met in person and the ones that I see almost every day.

17 miler

I feel like I need to make this statement here and on Facebook … if you don’t want to hear about running for the next 3 months or so, just skip over me and check back in November!

So yesterday was my longest run ever and also probably one of my hardest.

I felt like I was getting a cold earlier in the week and as any good Junior League past president would do, I started taking my tested & approved medicines/remedies: Mucinex, Neti Pot, Nasonex, EmergenC, & Ricola cough drops. This is what always helped me get through the last 2 years when I was feeling run down.

Unfortunately, I still woke up throughout the night for two nights in a row coughing and what felt like I might hack up a lung. Not fun.

So, I had 17 miles looming on Saturday and on Friday, I took my inhaler about 4 times. This NEVER happens to me. I have “exercise induced asthma” that requires me to take my inhaler before exercise (duh). I had walked from my car, up 3 flights of stairs and to my office and had to take it. That freaked me out a bit because it was so far from my “norm.”

Let’s just say that my confidence wasn’t at 100% or probably even 80% when I met my running girls on Saturday morning, but we set out for the long run ahead.

Just a few minutes in, I was having a hard time breathing – or keeping my breathing in check. I felt like I was working twice as hard. I couldn’t keep up with our normal conversations because I was too focused on trying to breathe. My girls were immediately concerned, asking how I was doing. We were meeting another girl near my car, so in the back of my mind, I knew I could just quit.

That thought made me want to curl up and cry. I wanted to do this damn 17 miles, but I had figured out that I couldn’t keep up my normal pace and do so. I told them I just wanted to try to keep going, but I knew I couldn’t stay with them. They circled back and made sure I was OK and they went ahead.

At a slower pace, it was much more bearable and I just tried to get in a new, but slower groove. I thought about my friends, my daughters, my family, and tried to focus on the many positive things in my life. I thought about the fact that this may be what the marathon will feel like. Some of the miles clicked off surprisingly quickly. I ran into the girls again at mile 11 and M gave me her iPod. It helped for two reasons – Maria and I have similar taste in running music (Luda!, Missy Elliot, Ben Folds Five, Bare Naked Ladies, etc) and I could no longer hear myself breathing. Hallelujah!

I kept plodding along ignoring Garmina when I looked down and saw paces that should seem like I was walking. I made it to Mile 15, by my car, so I stopped and grabbed some more hydration, a bit of a Luna bar, and kept on going. 2 more miles.

So, I did a total of 17.27 miles. They were slow. They were ugly, but they are DONE.

I met up with the girls again after they were finished. We celebrated with oreos and went on our way. Ice bath, lunch, a mini nap, and I actually felt like I had knocked out whatever “crud” was in my chest out. I am still making an appointment with my allergist, but last night, I slept like a baby and don’t have the wheeziness.

So, things I learned:
– All runs aren’t easy.
– I am stubborn.
– I have great friends.

The end.

It’s helpful

To have a hubby with crazy sleep habits when you wake up at 4’ish due to coughing and hearing yourself wheeze, and you finally decide you can’t go back to sleep after plumping pillows, reading Facebook, answering an email, and rolling over a dozen times.

Because when you go downstairs for a cup of granola and milk, you will find your husband lying on the sofa watching a movie.

So, I joined him to eat my granola and watch a good 1.5 hours of Love and Other Drugs. 2nd time seeing it and I love both Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway in this movie.

It’s also helpful that when you do fall back to sleep on the above sofa, Hubby makes coffee and reminds you to wake up. At least I didn’t get his annoying interpretation of an alarm clock: Ennnnnn/Ennnnnn/Ennnnnn in your ear.

I may need to remember that going to bed at 8:30 isn’t always a good idea.

Catch up

I realized that I have blogged about M&L in a long time. Bad Mommy. I guess I could also say I haven’t blogged consistently in a looong time. Bad Mommy.

M & L turned 4 this June and I am still in shock. How can my babies be 4 years old? We enjoyed the start of our summer with lots of time at the pool, a fun lake trip with 6 adults and 6 kids all 4 and under, a visit from my parents, birthday celebrations, and they went to “granny” camp with the in-laws.

When I recently returned to work, they transitioned from a 9-1 parents morning out/preschool program to full time daycare/PreK without too many bumps in the road. We have had to answer why their “old” friends aren’t all coming to the new school and I haven’t quite figured out how I will answer why their good friend, WT is going to Kindergarten.

Maddy can be sassy, shy, inquisitive, analytical, and is still our little engineer. She watches how things work and usually knows what to do to fix them. She has the mind of a steel trap and remembers that she put her baby inside the chest, by the chair, under the blanket, etc. Or that yes, I have one applesauce left and sure enough, I will find it in the fridge. She loves music and especially a toy piano, and princess book that has a piano attached to it. Some days, she is our kissing bandit, showering us with kisses for no reasons. She is helpful and sweet, but can also be stubborn. Hmmmm … wonder where she gets that!?

Libby is loud, loyal, sweet, and can be a little sneaky. She loves to play, to engage others, and to “read” us stories at nighttime. I will say, C and I are both blown away by her ability to memorize/read to us. She can basically recite Brown Bear, Corduroy Goes to the Doctor, Goldilocks & The Three Bears, and Good Night Moon. Sometimes, when you ask her a question like “Have you already had a snack?” she will answer “No” knowing good and well she just polished off animal crackers. Not sure how to best approach this – yes, it’s lying. Does she do it to hurt anyone? No. Does she do it because she knows she can get another snack this way? Sure. We have started talking about what is telling the truth and what isn’t and need to keep working on it.

They both basically have two speeds: asleep or wide-open. They run, but don’t walk and are busy from the time they wake up. They do enjoy some Nick Jr. time and that will zone them out, but typically, they are on the move. Lately, they love to build houses out of blankets, toys, their small table and chairs. They also love a good picnic on the floor with their pretend food serving everyone coffee and pizza, or cookies, pretend babies (one is the Mom, Doctor, Sister, etc and the other the baby), draw, work in their green PreK readiness workbooks.

At their new school, they are in love with every puzzle, Candyland, the House/Kitchen area, coloring, and playing outside, and the “to-go” snack. Basically, a dixie size cup of snack to eat on the ride home. Libby will often tell me that she needs to get an extra for me since I haven’t had any that day.

The inspire, surprise, frustrate, and amaze me on a daily basis. I am so proud to be their Mom. Truly the hardest thing I have ever done and the most rewarding. When I tuck them in at night, look at their pretty faces, and smooth their curls, I am so humbled that they are mine.

Random thoughts during marathon training

My running shoe PSA for everyone today …

I have been wearing Brooks Adrenaline’s for as long as I can remember. Love them. Well, two weeks ago, I bought a new pair (pink!), ran on the treadmill at the store, determined they were fine & off I went.

Two weeks and and 50 some miles later, I finally decided that they just didn’t fit right. First couple of runs, they felt too tight across the top, but on my last long run, I felt like my toes were being squeezed.

Sure enough, they had rubbed callous-y blisters on the sides of my two big toes and the end of my second toe. Ick.

Luckily, our wonderful local running store exchanged them no questions asked. Apparently, these shoes have been running differently as of late, so I am now in a size 8. (Full size bigger than my regular shoes & half size bigger than my old pair.)

So, if you are in the market for shoes, ask about return policies, if any of the sizing has been off, and test them out if possible!

Other thoughts ….

It probably isn’t a good idea to go grocery shopping after church, while hungry, and when driving home proceed to grab the industrial size bag of animal crackers and put it in the front seat. Can’t get enough. I have reverted back to preschool.

Ice-baths are your friend. I have now taken two in my life and they honestly aren’t all that bad. Saturday, I tried the get in the cold water first, then dump the ice in. Definitely easier in my opinion since you don’t have to dodge ice cubes when sitting.