Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Dirty 30 and the 2 week freakout

Hey hey there.  Hows your happy hump day going?  Not too bad here.  Started out my work day at 6am, so here I am, 12 hours later....and I have 10 whole minutes.  Whoop whoop.  Its a good and bad thing - I *should* be out on an 8 miler, but we changed that to an easy spin this morning...for no damn good reason. I have a niggle in my right foot, so I'm babying the hell out of it...with 2 weeks to go, I've done the work (repeat, repeat)...aka, the horse is in the barn, it's now my job to keep it there.

Wait, WHAT....2 weeks??  Double gulp.  nah, just kidding.  I have one more triple weekend (3 days of 2-2.5 hour runs) then it's taper nation.  I had my max week last week - 72 miles in 6 days, including a 30 mile run.  With a FT job, kiddo, and normal ole life, it's been hard to summarize my training for this sucker on the ole bloggie, and I apologize.  I shall try to give you the condensed version....this ultra is now 17 days away (no way, I'm not counting).  So far I've done 4-5 runs a week.  No tempo, no speed work, just time on my feet.  My runs are usually Wednesday, every other Thursday, and Sat-Mon longer runs.  I've gotten creative.  I downloaded a 50 mile training plan (my goal is 60 but it was the best I could do).  I consulted with friends that have done this madness, and they advised me to go with a string of semi long runs on tired legs rather than progressively longer runs, so my max runs have been 20, 22, 25 and 30, all spread out.  I've focused on 3 in a row 2 hour or 2.5 hour runs, which has been interesting.
 Other than this week, my body has adapted well.  I've eaten all the things (woohoo for mileage).  My pants size continues to go down, which isn't my goal, but it's inches and not pounds.  I feel strong.  Oddly enough, I've been able to balance this stuff with the more
husband and son.  Greg has been AMAZING. He spends time with Rob when I need to run long, and I've also been creative with 5am runs and 15 miles = 3 5 milers.

Do I know what I'm doing?  Nope.  But I figure that race day will tell me if I was right or not.  I've had some harder lessons....bonking (ultra fueling is w hole nother beast.  I'm good at eating that day, but you need to keep steady intake for 3 long days in a row!).  Asics 2000 do NOT = Asics 2170s.  Neither do Asics 1000.  Ugh.  Chafing can make your GP ask you is ok at home.  Oops.

Either way, May 10 looms like a party date, and I am AMPED.Scurred?  Nah, not yet.  Talk to me next week!

So....  I am starting to plan my strategy for the day for everything OTHER than running.  (I've got one of those, will share that soon).   Do I bring a tent?  Change of clothes?  What kinda first aid?  And most importantly.....who's doing a cheeseburger run for me?

Oh yeah...about that last part.....if anyone is free on May 10 for an hour of heckling, I would sure appreciate the support.  A BK run for a coke and fries (no, I'm not kidding).  Sitting for an hour at my aid station (yep, you got that right!) with a beer and yelling random things as I pass by 5 times?  You would be my savior.  Seriously.  I have some ultra friends (and hope to have many more after May 10!) but friendly faces would just make my day.  I'll be putting out an invite on facebook this week....but who can I bribe?  Pretty please? :-)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


Well hello!  I hope you've been enjoying the 80-30 weather we've been having (no, not a typo).  I would complain, but whats the point- I'm trying to teach my little guy that every day is an adventure and that it's much better to be thankful for what you have rather than complain when your life ain't perfect.  Working on it..... :-)
With that said, I do looove spoiling my kiddo.  And with the little nomser that he is, cheerios and bananas and yogurt just werent cuttin' the breakfast mustard.  So, since we've been moving toward food and have a ridiculous cache of breast milk in the freezer, I decided to introduce him to Daddy's favorite breakfast....time for baby pancakes!!

Super Easy Baby Pancakes (makes 2 dozen quarter sized cakes)

1/2 cup ground old fashioned oats
1/2 cup AP flour
1/2 cup breast milk (or formula)
1 egg yolk
pinch of cinnamon
1/2 banana, mashed
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Add all ingredients together and mix in a food processor/blender.  Drop quarter sized drops (1 tsp. roughly) onto a well greased skillet (I used real butter, just a smidge and it made 6 p-cakes at a time).  Cook on medium for 2 minutes or until bubbles form.  Flip, brown side two.  Repeat until all your cakes are done an sere to smilin' baby!  (Made 3 meals for us).

Rob loved the hands on aspect of the meal, and it was fun to watch!
Mom, where's the syrup???

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Ro-Bear Month 9 - The world is your oyster! (err....banana)

Well, now....3/4 of a year old.  My darn goodness.  Greg and I were looking at you the other day've now officially been around longer than you've were bakin', bebe!  Mommy got a little teary thinking about how you are almost a gosh darn TODDLER...wowee wowee.  One thing, dude....even if you get to be a zillion years old and run ultras like're always gonna be my bebe.  Deal?  Deal.  

Size - Thinking about 21 or 22 pounds....we go to the docs for our official check up next week, so we'll see where we stand.  Either way, you're galloping out of size 9 months and are into size 12 months for your day clothes....wowee!  Mommy is canvassing craigslist and facebook for deals- I am a possessed woman.   You'll appreciate this some day.
Hey ladies... :-P

Likes:  You are such a little charmer, dude.  You love ALL the ladies, and you love the heck out of your parents (for now, right?)  You and daddy play all the time, and you looove snuggles with mommy (the reverse is true for both of us, too!).  You squeal in delight when we show you new things, you get SO into playing with your cars, your animals, and your stackable cups.  You also ADORE your jumper more an more every day- you're getting so adventurous with it!  We keep waiting for you to launch yourself across the room....never a dull moment, buddy.  Never.

Dislikes: Those darn teeth.  We've cut 5 so far, and they all suck.  You've never been a super sleep expert, and these things make nights even worse for you.  We feel for you, buddy.  We keep trying everything, but the best is anything frozen (celery works best) and lots of mommy and daddy hugs.  You also hate peas.  I've come to accept this, and since you eat carrots, beans, asparagus and broccoli like a champ, we won't force it.  Daddy hates peas too....he gets it.  

Sleep: Aside from teething, you're doing awesome.  We still have one wakeup (more if its a rough teeth night) but you're just fine, bud.  You also had a rough few nights when you got sick (poor guy) but you just wanted mom.  It happens.  I'll always be there with snugs and comfort when you get sick, buddy.  Double promise.  

Eating: You are such a champ.  You're not as into milk anymore, except before bed and first thing in the morning (only 6 oz a day instead of 18!), but you love your solids.  You're getting  way to big for that pureed crap, and have started eating meat (chicken, beef), tofu, beans, and cut up veggies and fruits...and...pancakes!!  Yum-o.  Feeding you is so much fun, buddy!

Finger foods (other than cereal)
Meat- you actually prefer beans and lentils.  Must be like your mom!
Cruising.  You can move from place to place, and can stand unassisted sometimes (for about 10 seconds).
Gettin dunked!  You thought it was hilarious :-P
Upper teeth cut, lower teeth showing
First "word" with meaning- not complete yet, but you know "Da" means Daddy.  You look right at him when you say it.  My smart man!!
Best Moment: It's always so hard to pic, bud.  I would have to say it's a toss up- between your cruising (so awesome) and oddly enough, when you were sick.  I felt so so bad for you, bud, but all you wanted was me.  And even though I couldn't do anything besides hold you, that was enough.  And I knew, for the zillionth time, how. darn. much. I. love. you.  Always, kiddo.  Always.  

Looking Forward to: Easter (we go see the bunny man this weekend!), spring walks, and getting outside to explore!!

Monday, April 7, 2014

A "Spring" in my step: SF 15k

Time for another race report!  Even though it was almost a week ago , I like recapping my races - I think it's helpful for people thinking of doing them, it helps me focus on my strengths and weaknesses, and it's kind of neat to compare performances from year to year (especially with tri's!)

With that said, last Saturday I did a 15k in hilly Mendon called the Spring Forward 15k.  It was mainly for Greg, as he is training for the Unity Half Marathon in April, but since I had a 12 miler on tap for the day, I decided to run the race and then tack on a 3 mile run to finish it up.  The race course went right by Greg's godmothers house, and since she is amazing beyond belief, she agreed to watch our little cutie pie.

Race morning - up at 5, quick shower, breakfast of oats, dried cranberries and almonds.  We dropped off kiddo and headed over to the race site- this race has gotten super popular, due to the distance being a great tune up for a spring half/full, and the cost - can't beat a tech tee, 15k and post race treats for $20.  When we got there, we did the potty stop, a quick warm up, said hello to some friends, and made our way to the start.

HBO catching my dorkface at mile 4.  
My last stint with this race was in 2009 when I squeaked in at 1:19:42, which was roughly an 8:30 mile.  This course is horrendously hilly, so that was a pretty decent time for me.  My goal was to try to get under 1:20 again - I knew my legs could handle it, but MTD training has not been about speed, so I was cautiously optimistic.  My real litmus was the fact that I ran 10 miles the day before and had 10 planned for the day after....time for ultra training to get real, yo!

The race had a new start- uphill.  Pretty sure Boots, our RD, just likes to see us hurt.  And we love him for it.  There were about 1000 people running, so I seeded myself appropriately and before I knew it, we took off.  The first mile was quite the roller coaster, I was trying to regulate my breathing and cursing my lack of hill work.  Mile 1 = 8:46.  OK, not bad.  We twisted around the park, and I found a friendly face to run with for a bit.  Mile 2 went by fast, and we turned onto the main road, which was a brief uphill, followed by a nice long downhill...and my little dude!!  Debbie, Greg's godmom, had Rob all bundled up and I Blew my little sweetie a kiss.  With a big smile on my face, I hit mile 3 in 25:34.  Mile 4 was pretty uneventful, then the fun started.  Two massive Placid style hills in a 10 minute span, and I started to wonder why I don't just cash it in and race in Florida.....but since I must be a masochist....this is fun, right?  RIGHT!  Mile 6 came in at 51:02, and I knew an 8:30 pace was mine if I could take the next 3 miles smartly.

The last 5k featured 2 steep hills, some nice neighborhoods, and a fabulous half mile of slight downhill at mile 8.  Score.  I found someone to "race" with with a half mile to go (I don't think he knew we were racing, but I beat his pants off!), and tucked in to the finish line at 1:19:50, 8 seconds slower than 2009 and in the top quarter of my AG, top third overall.  Sweet.  I'll take it :-)

No rest for the wicked....I grabbed a drink, found Greg and gave him a hug, then tackled 3 more miles in the hills of Mendon to get back to Debbies, where a fabulous brunch was ready.  Total mileage = 12.36 miles in 1:50.  Not bad before 10am, in my book.

Recommend this race with a big thumbs up.  It's not easy, but what's worth doing isn't always cake.  Next up = MIND THE DUCKS.  Holy crap.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Healthy Living: Family Edition

Good Morning, everyone!  I have some wonderful Friday reading for you all, just in time to get us ready for a healthy, spring weekend!!  My new cyber friend Caitlin (love the internets) has graciously offered to share with everyone her secrets as to how she balances being a Mom- taking care of her family and herself without going nuts, and promoting a healthy lifestyle.  Enjoy!


OK, I’ve got it all figured out. I will make myself a delicious chicken salad for lunch. It will have home-grilled chicken with my special recipe of spices, fresh tomatoes, boiled eggs, red cabbage and oil and vinegar for dressing. For the kids? I’ll just pick up McDonald’s. Wait, what? This is a terrible idea. Leading a healthy lifestyle isn’t just for adults. It’s for kids, too. I know that they get a lot of their ideas about food and exercise from me. But, if I let them believe there’s a double-standard between what adults should do and what kids should do, they’ll grow up with bad habits. The fact is that health is, and always should be, a family affair.

Healthy Household
There are so many good reasons to have a healthy family. I’ll start with me. If I eat right and exercise, I am healthier and happier. I get sick less often. I have the energy to do fun, active things with my kids. If I’m in shape, I’m more likely to encourage my husband to get going, instead of just putting on another movie and becoming couch potatoes. If we like to eat healthy and be active, our kids will see that. I make it a point to get my exercise in before my day starts. At the very least, I’ll do a quick workout video in the basement. Over the years I’ve accumulated a small library of workout routines from Beachbody. Some are only 25 minutes (like the new T25) and others up to an hour. If we lead by healthy examples, our children will be better off.

Group Dynamic
In the past, I have tried to adopt lifestyle changes alone. It is so much harder. Everyone else is pigging out on junk food while I sit there with my protein and vegetables. Actually, since I learned how to really cook, they are the ones left out in the cold. The food I make is totally awesome, and it just happens to be healthy. I decided that instead of joining them in their misery, they could join me in living. This past week I made a new chicken dish that, to my surprise, was a favorite for everyone! We eat well together, and we exercise together. That way, no one is left out, and we all keep each other motivated.

Stay Simple
That doesn’t mean I’m not still crazy busy, though. I have a lot to do as a busy mom! So, I try to keep our lives as simple as possible. On days when I know I won’t have much time to prepare dinner, I get out crock pot and have dinner cook itself. That way, by the time my husband gets home dinner is ready with minimal effort. And, it smells so good that no one wants to go out to eat. I patently refuse to overschedule my kids’ activities. They need time to just run around and be aimless, and so do I. That time, actually, is some of our best family fun, and it is almost always active.

Reasonable Indulgences
We like to eat well as a family, and sometimes that means we want a treat. We try to make the best of produce as it comes out year-round. We always have a variety of fresh, raw fruits and vegetables that anyone can grab from the counter or fridge. Kids don’t care if it’s healthy, so long as it tastes good. In the summer homemade ice pops are my go too. They’re full of healthy fruit and yogurt and perfect for a hot day. For birthdays, we go to the cupcake store or grab an ice cream cone. It’s OK, and we don’t feel bad about it because we do it in moderation.

Getting the family on a healthy track can seem like a lot of work. But, I found if I model the right behaviors and encourage everyone else to get on board, it’s not so hard. They see me healthy and happy. A healthy happy mom makes for a healthy happy home.

Agreed 100%.  Great way to kick off the weekend!  Let's get in some playtime outside and some fresh spring veggies.  Have a great weekend!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Johnny's ROTG 2014: Ultra fun

What??  Two posts in one weekend?  I know it.  I''m frightened too.  I guess when kiddo gets up a happy lil guy and wants to play by himself at 5am...mommy can write a blog post.  Funny how that one works.

So, this past weekend was the annual kick off to the Rochester racing season - Johnny's Running O the Green 5 miler. I've run this race through a variety of different life circumstances - the blizzard of 2006, a nice fat PR in 2009, training for Ironmans in 2010 and 2011, and preggo as all can be in 2013.  My PR on this course is 37 minutes, which I knew I really had no shot at beating (even though I feel super fit, right now ultra training is suiting me more to distance, not speed!), but I was hoping for a solid run after weeks of beating my body up with back to back weekend long runs.  I had a goal of a sub 8:30 pace, with a long shot goal of breaking 8 - why?  I have no idea.  I haven't done any kind of speed work in months, and my long runs hover around a 9 minute pace up until about 13 miles but hey, dream big go big, right?  Right.

race morning came with temps at about 30, with some slight wind gusts.  Greg and I got up bright n early (thanks Rob!) did the coffee/banana oats deal, popped an Imodium (learn from the Rochester half debacle!) and were out the door by 7:30.  My cousin lives about 5 miles from the race site and adores Rob, so we dropped him off for some play time and made our way to the race site.  (I would have pushed him in a stroller, but this race sees about 2500 people and it was kinda cold.  Need to find a fun spring 5k for some Rob and Momma playtime!!)

I adore this race.  It's flat, fast and the structure of the course allows for you to see everyone faster and slower than you,a sit does a turnaround halfway through.  So for about a mile and a half I get to see all my Roc runner friends- makes the time go by, and I get all amped for the season!  I found a few friends pre-race, got my hair sprayed green, and before I knew it, it was time to go!

Slightly blurry mile 4 pic, courtesy of my friend HBO!
The congestion at the start line is typical, but thinned nicely.  Took about 20 seconds to cross the line, another half mile to dodge people that seeded themselves wayyyy optimistically, and i was off. Crossed mile 1 at 8:30, feeling good.  Greg and I ran together for about the first mile, then found our own paces.  One thing long running has taught me this year is how to pace and push through, and I've really cut back on my walk breaks (I used to favor a steady 9:1 run/walk ratio for an 8:30 mile, now I've found my 8:30 pace comfortably to maintain.  ironically, the run/walk is much better for an ultra.  I'm special like that).  Any who'sers, I stayed steady at 8:30 for about the first 3 miles, grabbing a quick sip at the one aid station. I ran for awhile with my tri friends, then tucked in for the last mile.  Mile 4 - 33:12.  I knew that I would most likely hit that B goal, as the last mile was downhill.  I turned up the gas a bit, sailed through the final mile, and crossed in 41:17, for an average pace of 8:16/mile and good for 20th out of 121 in my age group.  Sweet.

Post race, I grabbed a bagel and some water. stretched for a few, then headed out for another 5 miles to finish my longish run of the weekend.  #Ultraproblems.

Analysis?  I felt good.  My legs handled it well, my lungs are not cut out for an 8 minute mile for more than 5 miles right now :-).  What can I say?  I'm a mule!  I enjoyed the race (Did NOT enjoy the fact that the parking garage decided to charge this year without any warning.  Lame.) and am ready for the next race - Spring forward 15k in Mendon, next Saturday!)

Run on, run on.  

Friday, March 21, 2014

Lets get it started in here!

Wow.  Two weeks since a blog?  What is wrong with me??  Well, ok, there's a list, but hey, I won't bore you with that.  One of my avid readers (I love my Uncle), requested a 'damn update' - so here goes!!

1.  Rob is awesome.  Duh.  He is also teething.  So even though my little man is the bestest thing since sliced bread, we are all dead frickin tired.  No joke.

(That's passed out.  I did not kill the kid).
2.   In light of making lemons out of....ya know....I've developed a teething biscuit recipe.

Easy Teethers

3/4 cup ground oats
3/4 AP flour or WW flour
3/4 cup baby apple juice

This is not a genius recipe - it's a adaptation from a zillion baby recipes I found with teh googlez....but its super simple.  Mix all 3 until a sticky dough forms, then shape into balls.  Place on cookie sheet, slightly flatten, then bake at 350.  Let sit for 10 minutes so they slightly harden.  makes about 2 dozen, which lasts us about a week.
They aren't gorgeous, but they are pretty natural, cheaper than mum mums ($4 a box WHAT??) and kiddo loves em.  Of course, he eats dirt, so I'm not sure his palette is the best judgement :-)

Aside from baby, work and trying to keep us in clean clothes and food...I'm running. And running some more.  Mind the ducks is 7 short weeks away, and I've been logging the miles!  I owe a Johnny's race recap (spoiler alert - no PR but I hit my B goal yay!) but it's been going really well.  Even though my time is limited, I feel like ultra might be a good fit for me. Yay.

And now, onto the weekend!  What's on your agenda?  I have 3 back to back days of 2 plus hour runs, a Euchre party (so cool am I) and hopefully a girls night.  Woot.  Have a great first spring weekend!!!