Friday, May 27, 2011

Run for the Dream Half Marathon Race recap

So, this was the race I wanted to PR at.  I will start with, I did not PR.  I finished about 10 minutes slower than my PR.  And I am OK with that.

The weekend had been long before Sunday morning.  Friday was packed with activity and Saturday was stuffed!  I was on my feet most of the day Saturday and by the afternoon I was tired.  Which got me worried about how the race would go the next day.  My nutrition had not been great while travelling either.  Greasy pizza is not usually on my menu for race week, but this week, it was (twice)!  I kept my water intake up, but even with that I did not feel like I was going into the race day in the best position I could be in.

When I woke up Sunday morning, I was exhausted.  Normally, race day adrenaline gets me moving fast in the morning of the race, but this morning, it was not working.  I got ready for the race, ate and  then headed down to get the shuttle.

The race start was neat.  The Colonial Williamsburg Fife and Drum Corp played and marched the runners into the corrals.  At 7:30 AM we were off and running.  With a short trip through William and Mary's Campus, we headed straight into Colonial Williamsburg.

Now, I had no real, good plan for this race. I wanted to PR and I knew the pace I had to keep to do that, but I was not sure how to run the race.  I have been using the Jeff Galloway run/walk method for most of my longer runs, but thought I might just run this race without walking. Somewhere in mile 1 I figured that would be a bad idea. I know I can run faster when I take walk breaks, so keeping them up would be my best shot at getting a PR.

By mile 2, I really had to find a port-a-potty.  Not good.  Other than my marathon, I have successfully avoided using port-a-potties during races.  But not this day.  The ones on the race course were full with a line, but luckily Colonial Williamsburg had a few right off the course that were there due to the concert the night before, so I ran over to them.  That slowed me down a bunch and my stomach was still bothering me, but I was able to keep at or below my goal pace for the next few miles.  Then I started to slow.  The course was beautiful, but it did have rolling hills.  We ran down Colonial Parkway down to the James River.  It was really breathtaking. 

By mile 8, I knew I would not be able to PR.  By mile 10, my stomach was done.  I needed to figure out a way to calm my stomach down or find a port-a-potty.  I passed the port-a-potties and decided to risk continuing on.  I figured I could finish faster if I tried to walk it off. Luckily, that worked, but I had to take it slow.  Anytime, I started to speed up my stomach started acting up again (I think that is why I look like I am barely walking in this photo . . . I really am running here!!).

Mile 12 - Why do they wait until I am hot, sweaty and tired to take my photo???
I headed into the stadium for the last .2 of a mile around the track to the finish line. I ran as fast as I could and actually passed a few people along the way.

Chip time: 2:17:30
 As soon as I was done, I quickly drank a bottle of water and a chocolate milk and headed to the after party.  I grabbed my food and sat down to cool off and try to eat.  One of the foods was a BBQ pork sandwich . . . I ate half of it and felt so sick.  What was I thinking?  The finish was a long walk away from the where we were to get the bus back to the hotel . . . I was not up for it.  Plus, there was this cute running skirt on sale for $15 that I wanted and I had NO money on me, so I called my hubby to pick me up.  I walked to the street.  Got there and realized, I needed to find the port a potties again.  I seriously was like that for the next two hours!  This was the first race that I felt SICK after.  There were times I felt light headed and like I could faint . . . all due to my stomach.  I layed down at the hotel for a while after my shower and ate pretzels and that seemed to help.  The strange thing was was that I was not sore at all.  My legs felt good.  So good, that I felt fine to walk around Busch Gardens for the rest of the afternoon after my stomach recovered.  (We had a GREAT time at Busch Gardens!)

Even with the stomach issues, from start to finish, I loved this race.  We love to go to Willimasburg and it was really such a great experience to run there!  The race was well organized and the course was beautiful (and most of it was well shaded too . . a big plus for a sunny, warm day).  And I felt that I ran well.  I may not have PR'ed, but I felt like I ran as well as I could.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Fit to Run, Fit to Dream 8K and Kids' Runs Race Recap

I wish I could say that I have tons of things to write about this 8K, but I do not.  J and my husband were set to run this 8K on Saturday.  We got down to Williamsburg Friday afternoon and went to the race expo and checked into the hotel.  We stayed at the Woodlands, which was the race headquarters.  I do not love staying at hotels with the boys, but with a free breakfast and shuttles to the race start, Colonial Williamsburg and Busch Gardens, I figured this would be the best place to stay.

Because of the excitement of traveling, and everyone being in the same room, the boys took a while to fall asleep, so my husband and I decided to let K and A sleep as long as they wanted the next morning.  The race start was at 8 AM and I had planned to get to Colonial Williamsburg to cheer J and my husband on and then rush to the finish to see them finish, but when it was late and the boys were still asleep, I had given up trying to see them run through Colonial Williamsburg, and figured I would be able to see them finish.

I was up before they left and gave them hugs and wished them luck.  K woke up at 7:30 AM and I got him ready for his race (at 10 AM).  By 8 AM, A was still asleep, so I woke him up and got him ready.  We rushed to breakfast and then we headed out to see J and my hubby finish. While walking, my hubby kept texting me . .. the final text said they were at mile 3.75.  They only had a little over a mile to go and we were no where near the finish line.  Poor K had to run to keep up with me.  We missed them finishing!! They finished in 58:38 which was almost 10 minutes faster than he ran his first 8K!

Luckily, a photographer from was there to get a picture of them finishing!

Then K and A had their fun runs.  A ran a 100m dash.  He looked so cute.

K ran a 400m dash.  K normally runs FAST. But, that day he did not have much "steam."  I think after having to run almost 2 miles to get to J's finish, he did not have much left for his start.  But, he had enough to smile big for the camera to tell everyone about the medal he earned!

Later that day we headed to mass and then to Colonial Williamsburg for a special presentation and Fife and Drum Tattoo and firework display.  There were corps from throughout the country.  Each corps performed and then marched through the streets of Colonial Williamsburg to the Capital building.  We followed and enjoyed the music along the way.  It was late, but we had had a great day!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Monday, May 23, 2011

A's new trick

Last Sunday, I was wakened by, "Mommy, I awake." 

As I opened my eyes, I saw A's cute little face smiling at me next to my side of the bed.

So, it was that morning, that I learned, A can climb out of his crib.  He has been doing it every morning and after nap time since then.  And even if I hear him awake and go to get him out of the crib, he says, "No, Mommy, I do it."

Getting in position

Half way there

Almost done

And he's out!

This is the latest I have ever kept any of the boys in a crib.  By about 20 months, both J and K were transitioned to a toddler bed.  But, A is such a light sleeper, I did not want to do anything to disrupt his sleep routine.  But, I guess, now its time to dust off the toddler bed and put away the crib!

Friday, May 20, 2011

7 Quick Takes

1. As you read this, we, hopefully, are on our way to Williamsburg, VA for the weekend.

2. We go to Williamsburg at least once a year.  The boys love it.  But this time we will be running in races.  All of us!

4. My hubby and J are running an 8K on Saturday.  A is running a 100m kids dash and K is running a 400m kids run.  I am running a half marathon on Sunday.  All are excited and ready to go.

5. Well, I do not feel ready to go, but that is OK.  I really wanted to PR at this race, but for some reason, do not feel like I have it in me.  Plus, I am not sure how this is possible, since I am still running and workingout a lot, but I feel so out of shape right now. It is pretty much a mental issue and lack of confidence.  We will see if I can overcome it to run well on Sunday.

6. The boys all got new running shoes a couple of weeks ago in preparation for this weekend. A loves to talk about his running shoes constantly.  He is ready to go for a run at a moments notice.  There is something cute about that 3 yr old saying, "Mommy, I go for run too?"

7.  And totally unrelated to this weekend of races, but K and J have been in their room all day.  No, they did not get in trouble. I got The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe book on CD yesterday at the library. They got to listen to some of it last night before bed and shortly after breakfast they asked if they could listen to more of it.  Well, it is the afternoon, and other than to eat lunch, they have been upstairs listening.  They are now on the last CD. 

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Being thankful for the messes too

I have not listed my Thousand Gifts in a while.  It is not that I stopped doing it.  I am still writing them down, but I have definitely slowed.  My journal still sits on the kitchen counter.  Although, most days, I do not even open it to list the blessings.  Days go by before I write them down, and suddenly I remember to write a few down all at once.

I got an email from someone the other day.  She mentioned that she really needs to look for the blessings because the the messes, the laundry, the sink full of dishes, often distract her.  I can add to the list: legos under feet, little boy underwear found thrown behind the couch (do not ask), school books strewn all over.  The list could go on and on. 

But that email got me thinking.  And, as I was thinking about it and walking barefoot into my kitchen, I walked right through a pile of sand! Yes, sand.  We do not live at the beach, or even close to water.  But, we did just fill the boys sand box.   I looked down, wiped my feet off and just stared at the pile of sand on my kitchen floor.  The messThe messes that distract me from the blessings.  And I wrote it downon my list of things to be thankful for.  Because as annoying as that pile of sand could of been for me, at that moment it reminded me of my blessings: boys that play so well together, boys that have so much fun in the sand box, the beautiful weather, the laughter of my children, the gift of their lives in my life.

Yes, the messes come.  But how empty my life would seem without those who create most of the messes.  Yes, I would still be blessed, but, with those boys in my life, my cup overflows.

276. boys building a cross
277. boys playing stations of the cross
278. my Grandfather's life
279. being with family
280. boys in ties
281. A singing at the funeral
282. a conversation with my Uncle
283. seeing  my cousins
284. good conversations
285. hugs
286. a funny, touching eulogy
287. a husband who sits in the car with a sleeping A
288. learning more history about our family
289. cuddles with a cute, fuzzy puppy
290. finding a small town marathon
291. the kindness of the race director
292. the kindness of someone willing to sell their bib to me at a greatly reduced price
293. the hope of a new marathon
294. after watching a St Jude Hospital program on TV at the gym: my kids' health
295. friends who watched the boys so hubby and I could go on a date night
296. hyacinth blooming
297. a little boy who was so good at mass
298. a boy who lays on the floor petting his dog early in the AM
299. becoming a marathoner
300. flowers growing on the side of the road
301. no IT band pain
302. Insanity workout
303. conversations with my 2 yr old
304. First communion
305. conversation with my mom
306. sandaled feet
307. piles of sand on the kitchen floor
308. birds chirping so loudly you would think they were in the house
309. a three yr old who climbs out of his crib in the morning and stands next to my side of the bed and proclaims, "Mommy, I awake!"
310. the patience of my husband
311. 2nd row tickets
312. boys dancing
313. two boys who read
314. May crownings
315. babies
316. pregnant bellies
317. learning to see the gift of our home and learning to be happy here
318. knowing that I have enough
319. my 4 yr old who wanted to come to the Holy Hour with me

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I feel the need, the need for . . .


Yes, to quote Maverick (Tom Cruise) in Top Gun (notice a theme this week . . . I need to see that movie again!), today I felt the need for speed.

After writing a post that will be autoposted in Friday, I realized that I have felt very down about my running and running abilities lately.  The fact that I ran 26.2 miles recently just was not good enough for me to quiet my inner critic. I have been very upset that I feel so slow. And it has affected most of my runs.  Lately, I just mentally give up after 1 mile.

But, not tonight.  After writing that post, I decided I really needed to do some speed work and push myself.  So, after dinner, the family headed to the track.

I "wogged" with the boys for a lap and then I told my hubby I wanted to run one mile at a fast pace.

Mile 1: 7:39

Wow! I have not run that fast in a long time.  I literally just blasted my ipod into my ears, looked straight ahead and RAN.  I felt like I got tunnel vision and was so focused, I did not realize that I was breathing hard or my heart was working overtime.  I was just running.

Mile 2: 9:31 min/mile

This was my recovery mile.  And I fully intended to run 2 miles at this pace.  But, as I got to the end mile 2, my hubby challenged me, "I want you to run an 8:30 pace for your 3rd mile."  I was up for the challenge.

Mile 3: 8:17 min/mile

At the end I felt great!  I have not run that hard in a long time and it felt so good to just run harder than I normally do. I was able to push through the mental barrier I have had for months now.

Wordless Wednesday - Nature in our own backyard

Anyone know what this is?? All I know is that is is one large moth!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I am feeling old and my running mantra

So while checking my email this morning, I saw the headline that the movie Top Gun came out 25 years ago today!  Um, wait, I was NOT a baby when it came out.  Really, 25 years ago??  Clearly, I was old enough to have my parents allow me to see it.  And then watch it so many times when it came out on VHS, that I had most of the dialogue memorized.

Oh, gosh, I do feel old today.

And I guess over the past 25 years the dialogue has been saved in the recesses of my brain, because I use, "I feel the need, the need for speed" as my running mantra to get me running faster when I certainly do not want to!

Happy Anniversary Maverick and Goose!  I think now I will, unfortunately, have the song "Danger Zone" playing in my head all day! (I may just have to see if I still have the cassette tape of the soundtrack still  . . . yes I am that old!)

Monday, May 16, 2011

A trip to hubby's work and the Imagination Movers Concert!!

Last week Thursday, we went to the Imagination Movers Concert at Lisner Auditorium at George Washington University.  The week before the concert, K would ask every morning if this were the day we would go to the concert.  He was so happy to get a "yes!" on Thursday.

Because my hubby carpools to work and works in DC, we went to his work to pick him up and to see his office.  This was the first time we had visited his work since he got his new job.  It was beautiful!  The building was beautiful.  There was religious artwork everywhere.  There was a garden in the courtyard area of the building too.

Koi pond at hubby's work
Boys running down the lane at hubby's work

Statue at entrance of hubby's work
 Then we grabbed a quick dinner and headed to the concert.  We got there with just minutes to spare.  If you remember, I got the tickets for writing this post.  Well, when we went to sit down, we were pleasantly surprised to find we were sitting in the second row!  The concert started with Choo Choo Soul, a group that is on the Disney Channel.  They were good.  But at this point, the boys seemed a bit overwhelmed.  They had never been to a concert before, so the noise, and lights, and activity were a little overwhelming.  Plus, J was a bit "old" for the music, so he did not seem too interested.

But then the Imagination Movers came out. And they got every kid in the auditorium on their feet.  I will admit, I think the concert was great.  From start to finish, it was fun, high energy, and entertaining.  The Movers would come off the stage and dance and sing among the kids in the aisles.  K and A even got to high five Collins.  K was dancing like I have never seen him dance! I laughed at how cute he was.  And even J danced.  which I loved, because he is typically shy and reserved and would normally not just get up and dance, but he did!

And my hubby and I enjoyed it too!  It was a great family night and I am so thankful that we got the opportunity to go.  The Movers still have a few shows left in the tour, so go here to see if they are coming near you!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

May Procession

This past weekend our parish had a May Procession to lay flowers at the Grotto of Our Lady of Rock Springs.  Our parish has colonial roots and is the site of where the first Bishop in the United States was named. The Grotto is very old, so the procession and May Crowning is quite beautiful.  Since J received his First Communion, he was a part of the procession.  I do not have any great photos, but I thought I would share!

J is right behind our pastor

Carrying flowers to Mary

Walking up to the Grotto

Finally smiling

Placing flowers at Mary's feet

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Fishing Fun

Yesterday, J's Cub scout den went fishing. They had a blast!  I have tons of photos, but I do not like to post photos with other minors and even some adults without permission, so the only picture I have to post is of A "fishing." I brought a rod for him that did not even have fishing line on it so I did not have to worry about him hurting anyone. He did not notice the difference and had fun just the same.

Monday, May 9, 2011

And the winners are . . .

Sorry for the long delay in getting the winners posted, but here they are:

1.  The winner of the book: One Thousand Gifts is:

2. The winner of the "run" necklace is:

3. And the winner of the Hail Marys Tee is:

Congrats ladies!  Check your inbox for an email from me!

Friday, May 6, 2011

7 Quick Takes

1. I have not been in the blogging mood lately.

2. I get very happy by simple things.  Last week I got the best thing ever off of Freecycle.

Yes, that is grass.  Sod to be exact.  Someone had redone their back yard and had 10 rolls left.  Since our front yard is mostly dirt and weeds, with a smattering of grass, I desperately wanted the sod.  When I went to pick it up, I thanked the man over and over again and told him I felt like it was Christmas.  We now have one, small, beautiful patch of grass by our flower beds!

3. Our dog is a cone head.

She had surgery on her ear last week.  And now she has to wear this lovely cone so she does not open up the stitches.  At least the cone, is reflective . . . . I guess we could take her out for walks in the middle of the night and cars would see her ;)

4. Today while driving home from the our dog's vet appointment (to get the ear checked), we saw signs for a Dinosaur Park.  So we drove down the road.  It looked like a lot of fun.  They open up the "dig" part of the park twice a month and the kids can really search for fossils.  Of, course, we will be going there soon. J wants to find a dinosaur bone!

5. And before we came home from the previously mentioned vet appointment, we ate lunch and went to the Piney Orchard Nature Preserve.  We saw turtles, fish, butterflies, a lizard and many cool plants.  We walked on paved and dirt trails.  The boys enjoyed every minute of it.

6. And, we brought home a "stow-away".  J found a tick on him while we were driving home.  I really, really, really do not like ticks.  There is something about the fact that they embed themselves in your skin and suck your blood that I do not like.  Ick! So the boys got a full body search and bath as soon as we got home.  They are clean and tick free.  And now, any little twinge I feel on my skin, I think is a tick!

7.  I am struggling, mentally, with running.  I want to get faster, but I have a mental block when it comes to actually running faster.  I think I am becoming lazy and just do not want to push myself too much.  I have been at a comfortable pace for a while and I like it.   I guess I need to just mentally tough it out and make my legs move faster.

Want to read more 7 Quick Takes? Head on over to Conversion Diary.

Have a great weekend everyone!  And have a blessed Mother's Day to all the moms out there!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

First Communion!!

This weekend was J's First Communion.  It was a beautiful day. My parents and my aunt came down from NY to be here for the special occasion and my hubby's parents came to the mass as well.  A priest friend of ours also came to concelebrate!

I, of course, cried as my "little man" received his First Holy Communion.  It really is an amazing experience to watch your child receive Jesus for the first time. 

He looked so cute in his suit.  And, he loved being in it too.  He kept it on for the rest of the day and refused to take it off until it was time to go to bed.