Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Random thoughtsssszzzzzzzzzzzz

I did make it to the gym last night, but my left knee was tight, so I ran 1/2 mile on the dreadmill before calling it quits. I chose the bike instead and was able to watch some of American Idol. I love multi-tasking....

We are headed to Myrtle this weekend, so I am hopeful to get in a few flat decent miles run. I don't know much about running, but I want to keep a base up for the next few months before I start training for fall half marathons. And no, no one has convinced me yet to do a full.

Ashley has turned from a six year old to a 12 year old over night. Nevermind, a 16 year old. We have instituted a "no warnings you're out" rule when she gets sassy or talks back to Ray and I. (On a side note, I am raising a mini-me according to Ray. Ashley has to have the last word in arguments. I might sometimes once in a while act like that as well....just saying.) No warnings, just punishment. So far not being able to ride bikes with her friends last night resulted in her crying for over an hour, so I am thinking it might work.

The weather is finally warm. It is supposed to be in the upper 80s here on Friday, same at Myrtle Beach.

I would love to run at lunchtime at work (I work in downtown Raleigh), but now that it's warm, I would definitely require a shower. Next door to my office is a Salvation Army building, and I contacted them about letting me and a few coworkers use their showers. We are in the final negotiations, but I think it will be a go.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Raleigh Rocks 1/2 Marathon: The full recap

Okay, here's my full recap on the Raleigh Rocks 1/2 Marathon. Kind of lengthy, but deal:

For starters, this race was night and day as far as organization and such from the OBX 1/2 Marathon I did in November. Maybe it's partly because the OBX race had a full marathon attached to it and this one didn't, but still. There was no "expo", the website never stated where the water stations would be, and there were no pacers. My friend picked up my race packet for me, and we got stuck with these weird blue men's size small shirts. She was told that was all they had, even though she picked up on the very first day, but at a satellite location (not from the convention center where the race started). We saw a lot of women on race day wearing a white version of the shirt and we asked one where she got it. She said she got it when she picked up her packet and was told that the women's shirts were white. Nice. We got stuck with the men's.

Since I had no idea of the water stations, I brought my handheld water bottle. I am glad I did. There were maybe 4 or 5 water stations along the course, and as we were passing the first one, they were filling up the water cups with a hose from a nearby house.

I also don't remember seeing any mile markers past mile 8. I had my Garmin, so I was good to go.

But still, I am very appreciative of all the volunteers and the police guarding the course as well as the bands that played. The crowd support was sparse, but it was cold that morning, so I understand.

A mile by mile breakdown:

Mile 1: 9:59
I had my Garmin (luckily, at first I thought I left it at home and frantically called Ray then realized it was in the van the whole time) and I tried to keep our pace slower. My friend is speedy, and I knew I would die at the end if I ran the first few miles fast. We started in the shade of the tall buildings in downtown Raleigh, and we started sort of towards the back of the pack. We did some dodging, but it wasn't too bad. Mile 1 pace was right on target.

Mile 2: 9:53
We wanted to keep a 10:00min/mile pace and this mile kept right on that. We were headed straight down Hillsborough street, and I think it was slightly uphill, but it didn't feel like it.

Mile 3: 9:47
We turned off Hillsborough street onto a side street and past the first water station. Right after Mile 3, we were heading across Hillsborough onto NC State campus, and I saw my friend Wendy, the one I did OBX with. She was crazy, jumping up and down and taking pictures.

Mile 4: 9:34
Yes, the pace got better and better. And honestly, it didn't feel too fast. We were going up and down hills, but nothing major. We saw Ray and the girls between Mile 3 and 4. The girls were cute yelling for me.

Mile 5: 9:33
Another speedy mile for me. And there were hills in there! I saw Ray and the girls and my friend Wendy again before Mile 5. My friend I was running with was having shoe issues, so we pulled off to the side and she retied her shoe. I also started to nurse my Gu I had with me.

Mile 6: 10:08
Still a fast mile considering we had stopped for the shoe thing between Mile 5 and 6. This mile was pretty boring, running under a major highway, but we did see a cute kids' band playing 70s rock. That was funny.

Mile 7: 9:53
I was actually getting nervous. I was beginning to realize that I could beat my previous time be more than a few minutes. I saw Ray and the girls again during this mile. I also knew the hardest mile as far as hills was coming.

Mile 8: 10:10
My neighbor, who I didn't know was coming, was cheering me on right at the start of this mile! She had a poster and everything and was braving the chilly temps (it was in the 30s at race start time). Mile 8 had this huge downhill which messed with my knee, then a huge uphill (as in switchbacks it was so steep), but we made it. This part of the course was actually on a paved trail behind the art museum, so the new scenery was interesting.

Mile 9: 10:34
We crossed over the beltline on a pedestrian bridge, and there was another downhill and uphill as we came up to Meredith College. At the top of the hill was a bagpipe player which was cool except that it sounded like he was playing a death march.

Mile 10: 10:17
Back on the streets that we came in on, I took a Gu chomp and between that and my nerves, I thought I was going to lose my stomach contents. My friend told me "mind over matter" and I got through it.

Mile 11: 9:58
Back on track with our pace. I was super stoked at this point.

Mile 12: 10:10
Between mile 11 and 12, my friend asked if we could walk for a minute. I could have kept on, but I think that minute of walking helped. And our pace stayed pretty much the same anyway.

Mile 13: 9:20
We knew we were near the end, and we kept trying to pick up the pace.

Mile .18: 8:28
Obviously, we were a little long, but with all the dodging and stuff, I expected this.

Official results:
773/1173 participants
81/133 for my age group

It was a good race despite the things I had an issue with (like the lack of water stations). I was shocked how easy those faster miles were. I was actually able to talk to my friend during those fast miles (I know, I am saying fast and most of you are probably thinking what a turtle I am), and I didn't feel overwhelmed. I am still a little sore today, but nothing like I was with my first half.

My next goal? A sub-2 hour half marathon. If only LMC would coach me....:).

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Raleigh Rocks 1/2 Marathon - Quick post, full recap later

Unofficial time: (per my Garmin) 2:10:56

So yes, that means I shaved more than 10 minutes off my old time! Wahoo!

And I am walking normally, not like after OBX where I couldn't walk. I actually feel pretty good!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Grown up

I feel like in the past few weeks, Audrey has gone from a little toddler to this:

She looks so much older to me.

And she is slightly more mischievous.

And she was super-thrilled to accompany her Dad and sister to the Daddy/Daughter dance at our gym this year. Maybe that's what it was...whatever it was, I wish she would stay little forever.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Weekend Roundup...

Sorry for all of you hit with snow and such this past weekend, we had 80 degrees here on Saturday. The neighbors even had their slip-n-slides out, it was that warm.

Saturday was my last long run before the half marathon this coming Saturday. I did okay, had some goal pace miles in there, but the hills in my neighborhood killed me at the end. Not a good sign since the elevation of my half on Saturday is ALL HILLS ALL THE TIME. I would like to say I could beat my old half marathon time, but I am not even going to set that goal. I just want to finish.

Saturday the girls also left with my Mom and Stepdad to stay at their house in Myrtle Beach for a few days. Audrey could really care less about us leaving; Ashley is homesick. I think she is okay during the day, but at night she is crying and wanting me or Ray. So my Mom is letting her sleep with her (and of course Audrey ends up in their bed at some point too). Yes, you would think it would be the opposite, that the younger one would have issues. Maybe Ashley just understands more of how long she is gone? I don't know.

Sunday I got up bright and early, picked up a friend, and went to spectate the Tobacco Road Full and Half Marathon. I knew a few people from the blogging world that were running it as well as another friend, and I was looking forward to actually watching a race. I made the sign "Chafe now, Brag later" and received many compliments on my sign! I also downloaded a cowbell app for my iPhone (yes, there is an app for everything) and used that too.

Our plan was to see our friend Tracy at mile 4, 7/9 (it was an out and back section) and the end. We got stopped at mile 3 and couldn't go any further, so we saw her a little earlier than planned, but it worked. Then we headed over to mile 7/9 and saw her there (as well as LMC who saw me and said hi!) and then headed to the finish. Tracy beat her last half marathon time by more than 12 minutes, so she was happy.

I am actually pretty nervous for my race next Saturday. Not sure how I will do and I just don't want to come in last. I don't want to let down my friend who is running it with me. I don't know what I should wear (lows in the 40s, highs in the 60s) and I don't know if I should wear my fuel belt or not. GAH! I do know I look forward to seeing Ray and the girls at the finish line no matter how long it takes me to finish....

Friday, March 19, 2010


I am going to be spectating my very first race ever on Sunday. My friend Tracy is running the Tobacco Road half marathon, and I am going to cheer her on.

And yes, I am going to make a poster, one of these probably:
"Toenails are overrated"
"If your feet hurt, it's because you are kicking butt!"
"You paid for this"
Chafe now, brag later"
Running is a mental sport, and we are all insane!"

I am going to try and see the start, mile 7 and 9, and then the end. I think I will need some luck too.

I also finally got to meet another runner that lives in my town a few weekends ago. We happened to run into each other at the park, and she recognized my kids. I am hoping she will do some runs with me in the future....

And I have also signed Ashley up for her first Duathlon! It's at our town park, and it is a .5 mile run, 2 mile bike, .5 mile run. The bike portion Ray is going to ride along with her just in case. I love the fact that Ashley thinks running is cool and wants to do it.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I realize my posts are getting fewer and farther between....

Another crazy week is almost in the books.

Sunday I had to travel for work since I had a meeting Monday morning and I had to drive over 4 hours to get there. I left as soon as Ray walked in the door around 5:30pm. I was back by 6:00pm Monday night. But as I said in an earlier post, we had to call my Stepdad in to help since Ray was in a class all day and couldn't take Audrey to her dance class. And yes, she could have missed class, but she is missing class next week since she is going to be in Myrtle Beach with her sister visiting the Grandparents.

Yes, Ray and I will actually have a few days to ourselves! I might actually go to the gym earlier that 8:00pm next Tuesday night. How crazy would that be??!!

And I am a little over a week away from half marathon #2. I would discuss my long run from last weekend, but I am afraid to jinx it for this weekend's run. Let's just say I was long overdue to have a good run with my speedy friend.

So work right now is kind of crazy. Ashley is tracked out of school which means our schedule is a little out of whack and also equals crazy. Time change and warmer weather, going out for a friend's birthday on St. Patrick's Day also really equals crazy (and reminds me just how old I am...).

Friday, March 12, 2010

Ready for an update

Okay, so I am back to the land of the living. It has remained nice outside, and I am calmed down from the spam comments.

Just a few things to make me crazy this past week:
Ashley is tracked out of school, so our schedule is a little different. Ray is working some open houses every Friday, Saturday and Sunday until who knows when. We have juggled some mornings (Ray actually took the girls to camp/school twice this week) and I think just that difference makes my kids crazy. Audrey didn't want me to leave this morning, and normally she is very easy going. It might have had to do with her sleeping in our bed again and wanting to snuggle more, I don't know.

And Monday, well let's just say Monday of next week we had to call in the big guns for help (my Stepdad) as Ray and I are otherwise occupied and needed some help. And we really owe my Stepdad for this one!

I am on track with running and have 9 miles on the schedule for tomorrow. Last weekend, I was going to have to do my 8 miles alone, but a friend stepped up and ran it with me. Unfortunately for her though, she hadn't run that distance in a while, and now her knee hurts. And yes, I feel totally at fault.

I had an awesome run on the treadmill Tuesday night, and then last night it sucked. As in I only made it 2 miles sucked. It was so freaking hot in the gym and I was there at a time I normally don't go. I don't think I had enough energy in me.

Two more weeks until Raleigh Rocks and my second (third if you count my medals since I got a medal at Myrtle Beach for the cancelled race) half marathon. I am not as prepared as I was for OBX, but I am more prepared than I was for the cancelled Myrtle Beach race.

And some funnies from my kids lately?
Ashley and Audrey were putting on a show the other night (this is what they do almost every night), and Ashley came out and said she was going to play the part of "small town girl". No idea where that came from!

And I had something funny that Audrey said recently, and now I can't remember it. Gah. I hate it when that happens. I am sure I will remember it at 3 in the morning.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Taking a break

Being pissed off from crappy spam comments on this blog, I am taking a few days break.

Plus, it is finally warm outside - the ice cream truck even made an appearance in my neighborhood on Sunday. 60 degrees last Sunday meant we were outside all day.

70 degrees today means I am pissed off I am in a building and am counting the hours until I leave.

But warm weather brings kids who inhale their dinners and sleep well at night. Bring on summer! (Yes, I am completely skipping over spring...I like it hot.)

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Race Update

So we finally got the word from the Myrtle Beach cancellation - we receive half off our registration for next year's race ONLY if you actually picked up your race bib and if you do it by March 31, 2010. Yea, not going to happen. I am hopefully running a half marathon in a different state next February anyway (I will keep you guessing on which state!).

But, we also get half off our registration for the Historic Marine Corp Half Marathon in Fredericksburg, VA! After some snafus, I am now registered for that race. Yippee!

Small Town Feel

I love the town we live in - everything is close (schools, dance studios, sport fields, parks, library, farmer's market) and yet we are still close to the "big" city of Raleigh. (Yes, I think it is funny that people think Raleigh is big considering Ray and I came from just outside of Washington DC).

And last night was the perfect example of a benefit of living in a town like ours. Next week is National Girl Scout Week, and Ashley's troop wrote the mayor a letter asking him to declare this for our town. He not only accepted, but he invited us to the town meeting last night and made the proclamation in front of the girls. The girls thought it was cool, and they will be on tv (we have a tv station for our town) as well as in the local newspaper. My only regret was not bringing the mayor a box of Girl Scout cookies!

Monday, March 01, 2010

Monday's Suck

We started off okay. I keep the girls on a pretty tight schedule in the mornings, meaning I get them up at 7:00am and we are out the door by 7:35am to get Ashley to the bus. They have to get dressed and do the bathroom duties before heading downstairs for breakfast.

Audrey was grumpy this morning. She didn't want to get dressed before coming downstairs. But if I let her get away with it one morning, then I am in big trouble. So I stood my ground, went downstairs with Ashley knowing eventually Audrey would either get dressed herself and come downstairs or call for me. Which she did. So crisis #1 averted.

Then as we were getting in the van, Ashley tried to tell me that today was March 2nd. An argument ensued in where I told her it was March 1 (her teacher had incorrectly told them it was going to be March 2 today and supposedly teachers trump parents on knowing stuff). I even showed her my phone with the date and time on it. Nope, still did not believe me.

So she got on the bus crying, I got back in the van to take Audrey to school and realized my travel mug of coffee had tipped over, in which I decided it was time for me to cry.

Not a good way to start the day.

I get to work, and incorrectly type my password to my computer in wrong and get locked out. A call to IT fixes it. And then I decided the only thing to make me feel better was to go see Ashley at lunch. So I leave work and get stuck in traffic due to construction work on the highway and get to Ashley's school with only 15 minutes left in her lunch time.

It can only get better, right?

She tells me I was right, we hug, apologize, talk about what we will do next time (note to self - DO NOT ARGUE WITH A 6 YEAR OLD). I leave feeling a million times better. I have been on a quest for the past few weeks to not go out for lunch at work and not stop at Starbucks. I decided today was a good idea to break that rule. I got me a much deserved Mocha. Now I am finally feeling better.

Good run vs. bad run

I had some terrific runs last week. I did all three runs outside, and my 4 miler on Thursday was probably my fastest 4 miles ever (and yes, I realize I am still quite slow, but whatever, it's fast to me).

Mile 1: 9:13
Mile 2: 9:35
Mile 3: 9:26
Mile 4: 9:21

So I was looking forward to Sunday's long run of 7 miles. My running buddy and I headed to the Tobacco Trail early Sunday morning to get them in. We would just obviously do 3.5 miles out, 3.5 miles back. And after my fantastic 6 miles last weekend, I was fully expecting to do well this weekend.

And I am going to blame the Tobacco trail this time. I had a few moments where I had a sudden sharp pain in my knee, and I think just running on the trail was the cause. Maybe it's wrong shoes, maybe I am just so used to running on pavement. My running friend had the same issue except with her hip. So we are giving up on the Tobacco trail for our long runs. I just think the terrain is too much.

Anyway, here are the stats. And yes, we stopped at 6.68 miles because I went to step behind my friend as we were passing people, and I stepped in a rut and twisted my knee. I am completely fine now, but it hurt like hell when I did it.

Mile 1: 9:58
Mile 2: 10:01
Mile 3: 9:37
Mile 4: 10:05
Mile 5: 10:18
Mile 6: 10:40
Mile .68: 9:54

My friend is unfortunately (or fortunately for her) getting faster than me. I can still hold a conversation at this pace, but I could tell she could go faster and still talk. Maybe someday I will get there, who knows.