26 October 2012

hershey park half marathon

saturday october 20

I was looking for a half marathon in the fall, driving distance, but somewhere fun and different.

what's that? Hershey Park has a half marathon? AND you get two tickets into the park for Hershey Park After Dark? AND there's a chocolate aid station? Yes.

[H, size Miniature]
H was not impressed by the rides.

 [what the eff am I supposed to do in here?]
but did enjoy being in his stroller [I mean, it's a BOB Ironman and it rides like a dream]

we were on our feet all day [and did a lot of walking] at the Park, and I knew that would effect my race. ideally the day before the race it's maybe a short run, legs up, compression sleeves on, trashy tv and a nap. this race was: walk uphill, walk, walk, wait in line for roller coaster, ride roller coaster, walk, eat delicious but bad-for-me food, walk, wait in line. repeat.
we got to our hotel around 10 and set alarms for 5:45. so very, very early.
sunday october 21
up and at 'em at quarter to 6 ! we got dressed quickly. I hemmed and hawed over how to dress -- mid 40s at the start and high 40s to low 50s at the finish -- decided on running skirt, thin tshirt, and long sleeved t. H and James were dressed a bit warmer.
we stopped at Dunkin Donuts so I could get a bagel and James a giant coffee. apparently, DD was not aware it was a race weekend, and it took forever to get our order. tg we left as early as we did. I HATE running late for a race start. super stressy.
and then to the Park ! it was perfect timing to get parked, get to the starting corrals (6-8 mm, 9 mm, 10 mm .. really? we're going to put me with the 6 mm ers?) and take a picture with a giant Hershey Bar:

the race benefits the Children's Miracle Network, and I was tearing up as we passed posters of the kids the race was helping. great organization.
the race was HILLY .. weird, I know, considering we're in PA ! only about a mile went through the park, but it was neat to see the whole town. A lot of families and kids (and teenagers) were out, cheering us on, waving, holding signs. I high fived all the kids. that's one of the things that's so neat about racing.. feeling like a superstar athlete when you are, at best, a FOMOP runner.
[cheering for mommy.. with tons of enthusiasm, clearly]
after the first mile, my glass-is-half-full optimism had me ready for a PR..
unfortunately, I couldn't quite hold a sub 8:10 !
1: 8:09.5
2: 8:22.3
3: 8:15.6
4: 8:18.8
5: 8:23.6
6: 8:16.0
7: 8:32.2
8: 8:24.6
9: 8:33.7
10: 8:42.4
11: 8:37.0
12: 8:53.8
13: 8:26.9
14: 2:48.4 (.33 mi according to Garmie the Garmin)


chip time: 1:52:47
pace: 8:35
overall: 702/ 3749

gender: 242/ 2381
ag [F 25-34]: 89 / 816

[not bad rankings !]

and then we did our family photo

and then to Chocolate World:

[one of everything, if you please]

and then back to maryland [H and I both napped in the car]

overall I'm happy with my race, but I'd like to see what I could do on rested legs on a flat(ter) course. I'd love to PR this distance and PR it soon [a 1:46:xx if I remember correctly]

05 October 2012

musings of a mulisport momma

after Ironman, I didn't know what to do with myself. It's a weird feeling to accomplish a goal - The Goal. there's this saying that the hardest things to deal with in life are failure and success. I would go to the gym, wander around, get in a workout --- but nothing with real purpose. I ended up doing a 100-runs-in-100-days challenge, which was fun, especially considering some of it was during snowmegedden 2010 (early winter 2010 - so hard to believe that was 2 1/2 years ago!).

so what did I end up doing after IM Cozy? I got pregnant! The race was November 29 and I found out February 13 that I was pregnant.[iIt wasn't a surprise, but I think that kind of news is always shocking.] so, yeah, that's what I did post Ironman. Had a baby.

my buddy, Deb, who said at the finish line at Cozumel that she wasn't doing that again -- is racing IMFL next month.

what do you do after Ironman? how do you go back  to "normal life" after those kinds of highs and lows?

maybe it's the rosy colored glasses, but I miss it. I miss the feelings of accomplishment after an early morning swim or a 100 mile bike ride (followed by inhaling large amounts of McDonalds, natch) or a long run through the city. I just felt like I was working toward a goal -- a goal I could measure in logs and numbers and miles and meters and minutes and hours. Being a great parent and raising a great kid is, of course, a goal - a Big Goal -  but it's a different kind of goal. and maybe I just miss it because it's easy to look back on Life's Big Events and only remember the good [hell, I can positively reminisce about Bar Review, and that was terrible!].

every time I get the itch to register for a race that requires a lot of time, energy, and/ or money (although usually one means all three ;)) I stop. I work full time, and I see H about 2-3 hours per day during the week. I can't and I don't want to justify a 3 hour run when I could be watching Micky Mouse Clubhouse, making pancakes, and playing trains. Not training for anything Big means that I don't have to follow a training program, and that means that if all I have time for after story time is a quick three miles, then I run three miles and don't feel guilty because there's nothing to feel guilty about. He's two and he's hilarious and this time is so short. It doesn't feel short when he's screaming his face off because I won't let him play with a hot iron (I know, lulwat?) but everyone says that They Grow Up So Fast and holy cow my baby turns two next week. I'd rather watch him run around then point to the bookshelf, say "BOOK! UP!" and then read him "Oh My, Oh My, Oh Dinosaurs!" for the third time that day while he sits in my lap and takes pride in turning the pages than do, well, anything else.

and here we are: after I got back from a run, I was stretching, and he ran up to the wall and mimicked me. "streccchhh"

so this need to balance training and work and wife and mommy meant: I needed to find a way to both satisfy the athlete part of me and the mommy part of me. I decided, as I think I stated in my last post, to stick to "middle distance" races - half marathons and 10 milers - and shorter races (5ks and 10ks) and trying to get fast back to my pre pregnancy speed. [I'm almost there]. the half marathons and 10 milers feel Big Enough, and it's actually kind of fun now to go balls-to-the-wall on the shorter distances.

I'll get back to marathons and maybe even Ironman. When H says, "mom, you're annoying. please give us food and then leave us alone" I will clip into my bike and ride from Easton to Tilghman Island and back. twice.

29 September 2012

where I've been

I found out I was pregnant in February of 2010. I worked out through the duration of my pregnancy, but I stopped running pretty early. I could never catch my breath and my ego (let's call a spade a spade) wouldn't let me run 11 minute miles. I walked, I swam, I lifted weights. I also ate McDonalds. And ice cream. And bagels (so many bagels). At one appointment my OB told me I'd gained 6 pounds in two weeks. She said that it didn't effect my health of the baby's health -- just that it would be harder to take off post pregnancy. I didn't care. Perhaps I should have cared. I didn't know how much weight I'd gained until my 6 week postpartum appointment, when I asked the nurse my last check in. 185. YIKES. I was about 135 when I got pregnant (I put on weight before Ironman - both fat and muscle). so... 50 lbs. yikes. Before I got pregnant I was one of those "oh, it's ridiculous when women gain so much weight, a baby only weighs 6-8 lbs, blah blah blah, it's an excuse to just eat." And maybe that's what it is - an excuse - but many women (and many women athletes) spend their lives restricting calories and dieting so can you really blame them (us) when such an easy excuse presents itself? but that's a topic for a whole 'nother day.

So despite an emergency c-section (no gory details and no "birth story" - this isn't a mommy blog) because the cord was around his neck, I had a pretty easy go of it. I started walking as soon as I got the go ahead. I started running shortly thereafter. And those pre pregnancy easy 9 (and sub 9) min miles did not come. I was running at 11 mm (take that, ego!), with frequent walk breaks. Franky, it sucked. I was an Iroman. I was a sub 4 hour marathoner. and now I was about 20 lbs (plus) overweight, running at a pace I couldn't previously fathom. There really wasn't anything else to do but suck it up and keep on keeping on. When H got big enough, we started running together (well, that's not entirely correct - I ran and he napped).

And then I started racing again.

I ran the Baltimore Half Marathon in October 2011 - one year and three days from the date H was born. It was no where near a PR, but I wanted to go sub 2, and I did it -- 1:58:55/ 9:05 pace

That one race was all it took for me to remember how much I loved racing. I got back threw myself into it..

last year [2011]
--> Annapolis Half Marathon [November 19]: 1:52:20/ 8:35 pace ...I think the course was short, but the RD maintains it was the correct length. Inaugural race, so some logistical issues, but a neat course through the city.
---> Zoo Zoom 8K [November 20 - yes, you read that correctly. THE DAY after the half marathon. I was HURTing]: a laughable 56:36/ 11:23 pace (HA) ...however, my friend had run a marathon the week before, so we were on equal footing, pain wise. Course goes through the zoo (you smarty pantses could probably figure that out from the race name), which is cool.
-->  Camp Letts Turkey Chase 10K [November 24] : 31:40/ 10:13 pace ...yes, slow again, but this was a family run and I pushed H most of the way. very impressed by my husband, who is not a runner but put up this respectable time! It was an awesome way to spend Thanksgiving morning.

this year [2012]

--> Penguin Pace 5K [February 2]: 24:59/ 8:02 pace. ... and all I wanted to do was break 25. nice.
 --> GW Birthday Classic 10K [February 18]: 49:06/ 7:55 pace. .. I really wanted to break 50, but didn't think it would happen since I didn't break an 8 mm the week before at a 5K. However a flat course but just having a good day made it happen. SO HAPPY
--> RNR Marathon [March 17] my first DNF. Story later.
--> Clyde's American 10K [April 15]: 50:39/ 8:09 pace
--> Potomac River Run Marathon [May 6]: 4:24:55/ 10:07 pace .. blew up. Hard.But at least it got the DNF taste out of my mouth.
--> Baltimore 10 Miler [June 16]: 1:25:16/ 8:32 pace
--> Arbutus 10K [July 4]: 52:36/ 8:28 pace
--> Annapolis 10 Mile Run [August 26]: 1:25:02/ 8:30 pace
--> Police Pace 5K [September 9]: 24:22/ 7:52 pace

next up: where I am and where I'm going

22 September 2012

don't call it a comeback [I've been here for years]

wow. my last post was more than 2 years ago.

[do they take away your blogger license after that long?]

I'm up and running (pun intended) again, and I'm excited to get back into reading all of your fabulous and interesting and inspiring tri/ running blogs. below are photos of our handsome little dude, H, who turns two next month!

I'm not quite up to speed (pun intended AGAIN. HA. I'm hilarious) yet, but I've been putting in about 30 mpw and the speed is slowly coming back. I did one marathon and blew up -- and decided to take a break from the 26.2 for a bit. training was too time consuming and I felt guilty running for 3 hours on a saturday when I only see my little guy and my husband a couple hours a day on the weekdays.

I'm running a few half marys, 10 milers, and hell, why not? even some shorter "faster" distances. maybe even another triathlon. stay tuned. work, run, family - it's pretty much a rockstar life.