Sunday, February 28, 2010

Tale of Three Cities

WOW - what a weekend! It is really Sunday night already? Bummer......

Where do I start? Friday C finally had the snow day he'd been wishing for! Luckily J works from home so it doesn't cause too many problems, and this is what they did in the afternoon:
That's C going backwards on the little "ramp". The kid is fearless.
Here are all the kids. J and C went with some friends of ours from the gym. C's on the ground in the back - but how cute is the little one in front??? Such a ham.

Friday night the weather was just as great (hint the sarcasm) so we stayed in and baked cookies. These m&m cookies are from this site. Her baking is A-mazing, and these cookies are the guys' favorite!
Cute, no?? :)

Saturday was pretty uneventful. C had his last basketball game in the morning so J and I headed to the gym afterwards. I had a pretty bad cold so we ended up lifting for about 10 minutes and then took our lazy butts home. I just wasn't feeling it, and I wanted to be 100% for my 12 miler today. Again, Cleveland was blessing us with a ton of snow so our dinner plans got nixed. We ordered takeout from Melt, and found out they were taping an episode of Man vs. Food there at that exact time!! J tried to get some pictures when he picked up the food, but it was pretty crowded and he couldn't get close enough. It was still exciting, as I just referenced that show in this post.

I got to bed later than I wanted last night (after midnight!!) so when the pup woke up at 7:30 this morning I was less than thrilled, to say the least. But I sucked it up and got up to let both devils, I mean dogs, out. I decided to just stay up and try to get my run done earlier than later. I was out the door by 9:30 this morning (I am NOT a morning runner!!). The first 3 miles were rough, as my stomach was a little queasy, maybe from the late night? Maybe from the grilled cheese? Whatever it was it passed and I really enjoyed miles 4 to 8. I took these pics with my iphone around mile 8.5:
This is a view of downtown Cleveland from an area real close to Edgewater Park. Normally you have full visability! The weather is just ridic here. Everyone was out plowing when I was running:
This guy actually drove past me on another street about a mile later and honked his horn! You know you're on a "long run" when you run past 3 different city Welcome Signs!

While I was on my "picture break", I ate 3 of these PowerBar Energy Gel Blasts:
They were actually pretty good! I'm still experimenting with snacks, but I think the Sports Beans are my favorite so far.

I ended up finishing the 12 miles in 1:53:40 - a 9:28 average pace. I was hoping to be a little faster, but I'll take it considering the snow and slush I was running in. My miles were all pretty consistent between 9:11 and 9:35 - even towards the end. My toes got really cold towards the end and I noticed my shoes were brown from the slush on the toes. Well, when I took my shoes off after I got home this is what I saw:
No wonder they were cold, the slush leaked through my shoes!!!

12 miles done! Not bad.
Almost halfway there!

What a marathon post (ha!)! I gotta jet. My 2 boys are busy playing - I think they may need me to mediate:

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Two posts in two days?? Who am I? Don't worry, this won't be a regular occurrence, I just actually have time to post and something to talk about! I don't have many pictures today, but I wanted to talk about something important to me.

Today was about priorities. My busy season at work is from January through April/May. We are not supposed to request time off during Jan-March because of this fact. I work full time during the months of February, March, and April because of this, too (every other month of the year I leave at 2:00). Well, today was C's school field trip to the zoo and he asked me if I would volunteer to be a chaperone. I said yes, not thinking that the teacher would actually ask me. Can you believe that she did? Knowing how important this was to C, I requested the day off of work (and cringed thinking of all the work I would come back to). But I reminded myself what's important in life, and he's not going to be young forever!

I set my alarm for 6:45 this morning (an hour and 15 minutes later than normal!), and got up to run 3 miles. It was rainy, wet, and cold, and the ground was very slippery since the rain was freezing. But I did it anyways, knowing that this run was for me only (priority). After I got back, I was actually able to have a nice breakfast and take C to school, which I absolutely LOVE since I'm never home to do (another priority).

After I showered and packed my lunch I was off to school for the field trip. It was cold, but the kids had a great time. I'm glad I can participate in activities like this with C. Our lives are very busy, and I can't always be at every event/sports game/activity, but I when he asks me specifically to be somewhere I do everything I can to make it happen. Priorities people.

So, even with being swamped at work, training for the marathon, teaching at the gym, and being a wife, I make it a priority to be a good mom. I love my little man:
And now I'm making it a priority to head up to bed early because I'm exhausted.

Night everyone!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Wake up Call

Hi there!!

So this past week is exactly what this blog is about. Whew, what a week. We were so busy that I barely got to do any of my midweek training runs. Considering it was hubby's birthday, and we were preparing to go to Pittsburgh for the weekend (J is from Pittsburgh..........hopefully I don't lose any readers from that fact!!), it was definitely worth it, but that led to me being very fearful of the 11 miler I had planned on Sunday. But let's back up:

Thursday was J's birthday. I had to teach at the gym that evening so I picked up takeout from our favorite local pizza joint, Danny Boys. If you are ever in the area, I highly recommend you going here. It's A-MAZING! After our dinner goodness we gave J his presents.

And, if dinner wasn't enough, we headed to Malley's for some (much needed) ice cream. I didn't make a cake because I knew J's mom would have cake at her house on the weekend. But I think this sundae all but made up for the lack of cake:
Needless to say, he didn't finish all that, but that doesn't mean he didn't try! As C said, "Man Vs. Food, Food wins!" Lol!

Friday night we headed out to Pittsburgh to visit with J's family for the weekend. It was a nice weekend - and I had found out my one good friend who is also running the marathon was in town, too (her bf is from the same suburb of Pgh J's parents are!). So we met up Sunday morning for our 11 mile run. Well, what a wake up call. The hills are KILLER!! It's like a roller coaster: up/down, up/down - wow, I still can't believe it. Plus, we took a wrong turn somewhere and ended up in the total country:

It actually ended up being a pretty great run (except for those stupid hills). The sun was out, and the scenery was excellent! We saw some cows and horses, and the people who were out were super friendly! We were a lot slower than usual since we had to walk some of the hills and stopped to ask directions, but that run really put me in a good mood. Those hills, however, really did a number on my hips. They are still hurting today. Anyone have a good hip stretches???

Here we are afterwards:

Almost halfway there!!

I tried a G2 afterwards to replenish my electrolytes because I seem to have stomach issues after my long runs. I think it may have helped! I don't know if it was a fluke or not, so I'm going to try it again next week and see what happens.

Have a fantastic week!!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

In love with cupcakes?

Happy Valentines Day, Friends!

My handsome son woke me up this morning with a homemade card and this most beautiful box:
Let me explain: I LURVE cupcakes. So much, that at one point I was contemplating going to culinary school so I could open my own cupcakery someday. Knowing that I'm not one to enjoy working at 4am on Sundays, the love of working/owning a bakery sadly diminished to just eating them.... :) So, when my husband proposed, I knew I wanted cupcakes involved in the wedding somehow. I found Main Street Cupcakes online and they made fantastic centerpieces for our rehearsal dinner.

So, last Saturday when J and I were out with some friends someone mentioned the new cupcake place that opened in Rocky River. My ears perked right up and a few minutes later realized it was the same Main Street Cupcakes that we used for the wedding, just a new location (and about 5 minutes from our house, which, let's be honest, is very dangerous)!! So, imagine my excitement when I opened that box this morning!

C and J both dug right in and each had a cupcake right in bed! I took bites, but held off on full cupcake love knowing I had a 10 mile run to tackle in a bit. And just in case you're wondering what I bought the love of my life for VDay:

I buy him energy bars, and he gets me cupcakes!! Oh well, he at least acted like he was excited. These are his favorite pre-soccer game bars, and the vanilla crisp flavors are hard to find so when I saw a whole box last week at the store I scooped them right up!

So, onto my run. Whew! 10 miles! First of all, I am SO ready for winter to be over. These cold, snowy, slushy runs are not for me. It took me so long this morning to get my butt out the door. BUT, it ended up not being so bad!

I was so proud of myself when I saw this:

I somehow maintained a 9:13 average! Check out these splits:
Mile 1 9:16
Mile 2 9:06 (!!)
Mile 3 9:13
Mile 4 9:14
Mile 5 9:07
Mile 6 9:11
Mile 7 9:09
Mile 8 9:26 (uphill for the first 1/2 mile or so)
Mile 9 9:15
Mile 10 9:18
FANtastic!! I could definitely feel a difference in my legs during Mile 8. My hamstrings start to feel it first, they get real tight. I wonder if the further I go, the slower I need to start so I can finish. Or am I supposed to try and keep this pace since I'm slowly increasing my miles? Any advice?

After my run I showered the nasty salt off my body because even with the low temperature I still manage to sweat like a crazy person! I had lunch, and then ate one of those lovelies from the box above. I'm in LOVE.................with cupcakes.......

Have a great day, and thanks for reading!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Happy Friday, Friends!!!

What a week! I don't want to bore you a full week update, so I'll just give you the "highlights" (yes, we live exciting lives here in C-Town!). First off, C brought home an origami book from the library this week. What, what??! What 8 year old brings home an origami book?? Too cute. So the guys got to work making foxes....
Let's just say they aren't professional fox makers......and after listening to lots of bickering I finally had to be the mediator and jump in to help. See what happens when you actually read the directions:

Mom to the rescue!!!!!!!! :)

We were also hard at work making cupcakes for C's valentines day party at school.

AND, check out the loot he brought home from school today. Since when did Valentines Day replace Halloween? What's with all the candy?

I got some loot today, too. Check it:

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this new running shirt I got from Lucy!! I could see the package in the door when I pulled in my driveway after work and got super excited. Call me gross, whatev, I wore it without washing it first. Yeah, it kinda smelled like a plastic bag, but it was too cute to wait! It was actually a little too cold outside to wear this today, but I only had to run 3 miles so I wore it anyway. The material is AMAZING, so stretchy and soft. And the shirt is actually long enough for tall mammoths like me! The thumb holes in the arms make me happy, too, as the sleeves are long enough that they don't pull like some of my Nike ones do. I googled Lucy coupons and found a 20% off code that worked. Try it!! You won't regret it.

Oh, my run wasn't too shabby either. I'm kinda diggin running in the cold - I swear I run faster? Don't know if it's because I'm freezing my booty off and want to get home or if there's just no heat or humidity to slow me down...... Whatever it is, I LIKE IT.

Have a fantastic weekend. I'm off to prepare for classes I'm teaching at the gym tomorrow morning. Then it's relaxing tomorrow night in preparation for my Sunday 10 miler (eek!!!).

See you Sunday!!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Teach 'em young

Hello!! Anyone still out there??!

I know it's been awhile, but the family has had a rough week. Sadly, we lost someone very important to us this past week. So things have been quite busy.

In any case, I've still managed to get my training runs in. This morning I woke up to 17 degrees here in C-town. I just can't catch a break. It's 20-30 degrees during the week, and then in the teens on the weekends. Sheesh. So, I ate breakfast and, like any sane human being, kept putting off my run. I finally forced myself to man up and just do it. I ended up finishing in 1:14:39 (9:19 average!!). Woot woot!! I wish I could show you a picture, but in an effort to keep this blog PG, I'll spare you. When I got in the shower after my run, my skin was so RED and BLOTCHY. Kind of like when you've been out sled riding for too long? I think I stood in the shower for 20 minutes just trying to warm up (shhhh.....don't tell J I was in there that long wasting the water)!! If you look closely, you can see the sock lines on my legs in this picture:

Sexy, no?

Yesterday was also an exciting day in that I got new running shoes! My last pair of Nikes gave me blisters during my half marathon, and Friday our puppy, Diddy, got ahold of one of them, pulled out the in sole, and chewed away. So, sadly, I had no choice. :) Here were the options:
In my heart, I really wanted the Pearl Izumi's (first pic) to be the best just because they look cool, but I ended up with the Saucony's (last pic). They are freakin fantastic - SO SOFT!! If you're ever in the Cleveland area, check out Second Sole for your running needs. They are so personable and fit the shoes to your feet/needs. Thank you, Second Sole!

I have so much more to share with you, but I think I'll save the rest for another post. But I'll leave you with this:
That's right, people, I teach 'em young! :)

Happy SuperBowl Sunday!!