Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Too Cool for School

Today was a good day.

After work I managed to squeeze in a quick 3 mile run, while C rode his bike. How could I not - I even ran in shorts and a t-shirt it was so nice!! We went down to Lakewood park and back - an almost even 3 miles.


Cute, right?


Afterwards we had an even quicker dinner, got changed, and started the short walk to school because C had his Spring Concert! Since he is in a 2/3 combined class he got to perform with the older kids and was super jazzed. Here he is with all the "cool kids":


He's the cute kid on the end kinda waving to his mom, but not really because he's with the cool kids and doesn't want to look dorky in front of his friends. :) Little do they know he was just bike riding/running with his mama an hour before!

Grandma had the brilliant idea of heading to Malley's afterwards for some ice cream. That blew my "cut the crap challenge" right out the window. No, really, it wasn't that bad. I'm limiting myself to one treat a day, and this was it. Though Easter Sunday could be a whole other story!!! Watch out cereal, here I come!!! Sidenote: I've already bought my 3 favorite Kashi cereals and they are waiting not-so-patiently for consumption after my 18 miler on Sunday.......I can't wait!

Typical Mom/Son pic:


DEFINITELY the cool kids.


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

It's a challenge!

So I haven't mentioned this, but all this running has caused me to gain some extra pounds the past few months. Well, let's be honest, it's not just the running. I know that when I train for a race I tend to gain some weight in my legs, butt, and thighs, but this is just getting out of hand. (I'll never understand those skinny, scrawny elite runners - my body does NOT react that way!) And it's hard when you run 17 miles, and burn almost 2,000 calories to NOT be hungry!!

Anyways, Allison, over at Green Dog Wine (love her blog, btw!), is doing a Cut the Crap Challenge for the next 20 days until April 14th. I will, of course, have my own rules, but she's the one who inspired me to get my butt in gear.

Why I am doing this challenge:
  • I'm feeling "soft". I used to be nice and toned, but I'm feeling squishy - especially in the belly area! Eww....
  • I want to look as strong as I feel
  • I want to be in the best shape I can be when I run the marathon on May 2nd
  • I want to fit into my designer jeans again!
Here are my rules:
  1. No snacking (this is my #1 bad habit). If I'm going to eat something, I will put it on a plate and sit down to eat. No more handfuls of this and handfuls of that.
  2. One treat per day. I have a serious sweet tooth. Enough said.
  3. No white bread.
  4. Limit processed food - this isn't too hard, as I don't eat a lot but there are times when I resort for the quick fix.
  5. Have ONE serving and give myself time to digest. I'm a fast eater so I tend to eat more than I need before I even realize I'm full. SLOW DOWN, Heather!
I don't want to limit myself completely, but I do want to clean up my act. I'd like to break my snack attack habit (this is especially bad in the evenings) completely. I thought to myself earlier today that if I was strong enough to stop biting my nails 10 years ago (after doing it all my life!) I can do this.

Determination and will power are what it takes, but most of all accountability! If I don't tell anyone what my plans are I will let them fall wayside. So I'm relying on my friends and family to hold me responsible for my actions! Of course I know I have to believe in myself first and foremost, and I think the key to this challenge is actually stepping on that scale. I haven't done this in over a year when I first noticed myself gaining weight. I think seeing that number will give me that final push I need.

p.s. Did anyone think of the lady from SNL who says "It's a match!" when they read the title? LOVE that skit!! :)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Long Day to run 17 miles!

So, here it is, the 17 miler recap.

It takes a lot of planning to run 17 miles, let me tell you. I was meeting Jenay to run the last 10 miles at 4:00 at my mom and dad's house. One good thing about running later was that I got to sleep in! I seriously can't remember the last time I slept in - I think I got out of bed at 8:45? (!!) Well, anyways, my parent's live on the east side of Cleveland, about 25 minutes from me (I'm a west sider! insert hand signal here). So after my lunch of an almond butter and banana sandwich I started getting ready.

After packing my bag and all essential electronic equipment including my ipod, Steve, HRM, iphone, etc, (and Market Day chicken I had got for my mom, leftover tupperware containers to return, a can of black beans she needed for dinner - talk about everything and the kitchen sink!), I headed to my Aunt Mary's house to drop of some fuel. She was going to be our halfway point this time! I got to my mom's house about 2:20, unloaded, said hello, and was out the door for the first 7 miles. I tested out my new headphones:

I have such a hard time finding headphones that stay in my ears when I run without a headband. You see, I sweat like a crazy person. Seriously. I can be standing still in 70 degree weather and my nose will have sweat on it. I blame my dad for handing down his sweat glands to me. I mean, my sister, NEVER sweats! WTH?

I read a review on these and snatched 'em up right away! I have to say, they worked fantastically! They never slipped and stayed in my ears the entire run, and considering it was raining the whole time I give them 2 thumbs up! And, seriously, it was RAINING, not drizzling. You can see here:

That is not sweat, people (ok, maybe some of it is). But you can definitely tell from my hat and pigtails that it was raining. The wind was crazy, too, very challenging, but I actually enjoyed it!

As soon as I arrived back at my parent's house, Jenay showed up (good timing!). I quickly threw my hat in the dryer while I changed shirts (I was soaked from the rain - and maybe some sweat) ate 2 Sharkies, grabbed my hat, and we were out.

It was 5 miles to my Aunt Mary's house. The rain was now a light mist, and we were running with our backs to the wind so we were feeling strong. We got there in pretty decent time (average 9:40/mile) and had a quick visit so we could stretch and see this pretty girl:

This is my cousin, Lily - isn't she cute??! Another baby! My aunt is only 4 years older than me, so it's not unusual for my aunts to have babies younger than C.

Once we were done getting our baby fix, we headed out for the 5 mile run home. Man, the last 2 miles were tough. My hamstrings were super tight and I just wanted to be home in my warm, DRY clothes. Jen and I pushed through and really kicked it in for the last mile (finished that mile in 9:27!) - not bad for being in uncharted waters! 16 miles was the furthest run I had ever had until Sunday. Let me tell you, it felt like we were sprinting that last mile when, really, we were running a pretty steady pace. What a kick in the pants.

Luckily C's dad dropped him off at my parent's while we were on our way back. And here we are with C being a goofball in the back:

Not sure how I'm going to do the day of the marathon with how much I sweat. I'm definitely going to need an "ensemble change" (channeling my inner Mariah). I sweat too much to go 4 1/2 hours without changing my shirt! Oh well, I'll figure it out, but any suggestions are welcome!

2:44 total - not too bad, right?? I'm proud of myself - AND I'm being smart with my recovery and taking care of my body. I made it a priority to ice my knees as soon as I got home that night. Which wasn't until 8:00, btw. I was gone from 1:30 until 8:00!!

I won't even tell you how long it took us to pack everything back up to go home.

Talk about a long day.

Baby snatcher!


So, before I get to my 17 mile recap from yesterday, I thought I'd catch you up on mine and J's beautiful Saturday. It was really chilly in Cleveland, but sunny and bright! The sun makes everything better, doesn't it?

After our morning trip to the gym (which I mentioned in my last post), we decided to enjoy the sun and take Diddy for a walk:

Can you see how he's pulling J along?? Haha. Yeah, we have no control over our 20lb pup.

We then showered up and headed out to Crocker Park. J headed here:

And I headed here:

Yeah, we definitely split up! I get mad bored in the Apple store, and J would rather cut off his arm than wade through H&M. I wanted to check out their new garden line that my sis tipped me off on. The stuff is cute! But does anyone else feel a too old to wear those cutesy flowers? And the dresses can be super short! Especially for someone as tall as me (5'9"). Speaking of which, I did pick up one dress, but it's a khaki shirtdress, not one of the new summer dresses. I need to find some cute sundresses that are age appropriate!! Any suggestions?

The big trip for the day was to here:

We had both been wanting to try Indian food, and heard really good things about this place. Well, here's my review:

OMG, never again. I barely ate a thing - what a disappointment. The service was bad, AND the food was barely edible - NOT a winning combination. J ate almost half of his but he got to a point where he pushed his plate away and said, "I can't do it anymore". Haha! We laughed about it and got some ice cream to cheer us up:

Ahhhhh........much better!

Then we headed to visit our friends with the new baby. They just built a new house, too, and J hadn't been to see it yet. I just wanted to see little Evan:

J calls me the baby snatcher. Anytime our friends (or not even our friends!) have babies and I'm around, they get snatched right up. So cute!

So, dinner wasn't fabulous, but the rest of the day made up for it. Babies make everything better.....

We left later than we expected, and headed home for a full night's sleep to gear up for my 17 mile run I had planned. Recap to come!! Stay tuned.....

Also, I think a challenge is in the works. I'll post about it when I have more details. Have a good night!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Busy Bee

This week has been quite the whirlwind! Though, somehow I feel like I'm always saying this?? Anyways, this week was my "on" week for subbing a friend's 5:30am Group Power class at the gym on Monday and Wednesday. It's a great way to start the day, but hard when I work full time AND teach Group Step Monday night at 5:15! I like my double duty days to be back to back. Oh well, Monday wasn't actually too bad, but Wednesday was HARD to crawl out of bed. You would think when you have a whole class of people waiting on you to work them out it would be motivation enough, but, yeah, not so much. Not at 4:45am when my alarm goes off.....

This coming week is my "off" week from those classes, though, so it's back to the normal schedule (for this week, at least!). Whew. So, needless to say, my marathon training wasn't fantastic these past 6 days. It was hard getting runs in when I had to teach 7 classes this week! GAH! Especially when there was lots of this to do:
Lots of homework for the 2nd grader this week!

I had time to run after work on Wednesday, but my body just wasn't feeling it. I was TIRRRRED from my 4:45am wake up call that morning. So C and I did some of this instead:

He's quite the yogi. :)

On my way to the gym on Thursday after work it started snowing (yes, snowing) so I resorted to 4 miles on the treadmill after Step. You would think this weather would help me convince J to move (anytime now, Hubs, anytime)..........

Friday I ran 4 miles with my friend, Christina, and then crashed for the night. Hubs and I watched the Blind Side, which was fantastic, and that was it. Oh, except that I made strawberry shortcakes - AWWWWESOME!!

This morning I had to teach (again) and we stopped at Dick's afterwards to pick up some sports beans for my long run tomorrow. I scored a new hoodie for C for $7.50 on clearance (!) and when we got home I saw this:

I knew Dick's was sponsoring the marathon, but I actually exclaimed out loud when I saw this on the bag! 5 weeks and counting..........let the nervousness begin.......!!!!!!!

So, tomorrow is 17 miles. The plan is for me to run the first 7 miles by myself and then pick up Jenay to finish off the last 10. I know my mid-week training runs were pretty much non-existent, so tomorrow should be interesting. I really just hope to get through it, and pray that next week is better. The marathon is CLOSE, there's no time for slacking now....

Wish me luck!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Back to Back

What a fantastic weekend! The weather in Cleveland is always so iffy, but we were blessed the past few days. I even ran outside on Friday in short sleeves! Crazy!

Anyways, C went home after school with a friend on Friday so I got to enjoy my run "guilt free". I'm getting faster, all this training is really paying off! I ran 8 miles at an 8:55 average pace. Not bad, not bad at all. I've been feeling pretty confident the past few weeks - I hope it keeps up!

Yesterday we went to see Alice in Wonderland in 3D with some friends of ours and their son. The boys really enjoyed it. To me, it was OK. Nothing spectacular, and definitely not worth the $11.00 matinee price! I never really like the original movie, though, so maybe that's why I didn't like it? Or maybe I'm just getting old......?

On the schedule this weekend was another 16 mile run like last week. Two in a row! The weather this morning was fantastic - about 40 degrees and sunny. I set out to tackle the first 10 miles on my own.

Kinda creepy, right?? Let me tell you, I am NOT a good morning exerciser, never have been. I prefer my evening workouts, fo sho. AND today was a little earlier than my usual Sunday runs. I was meeting a friend for the last 6 miles and she was coming over at 9:30 so I had to get out early to make sure I finished the first 10 miles before then. The picture above is me before 8:00am - NOT a happy camper. J was still in bed and C had just gotten up and was happily playing his DS in his room when I headed out.

I ran a 5 1/2 mile loop, came home for a quick drink, then headed out to do 4 1/2 more. When I got home, the boys were still in their PJ's!

Christina showed up, and we were off! My hamstrings were a little tight at this point, but running with Christina helped me slow down and just enjoy the run. Chit chatting the whole way quickly helped me forget about my tight hammies! We ran down to Edgewater Park:

I love this area of the city. It's like it's own little community that not a lot of people know about - such a pretty view of the city!

This was the turn around point so we headed back:

Check out that sunshine!!

All in all, I finished the 16 miles in 2:32:36 - a 9:32/mile average. The first ten I ran an average of 9:04/mile!! Holy guacamole! I don't mean to toot my own horn, but TOOT TOOT. I'm feeling strong, and liking it.

Thanks for a great run, Christina!!

Gotta jet - I have a 4:45am wakeup call so I can teach Group Power at 5:30am! Oh boy......

Night all!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Paddy's Day!

Hey, hey!! A big shout out to my fellow Irishmen out there!

Can't say I drank any green beer today, but I did set a new PR! I ran a quick 5 miles, and I'm not kidding when I say "quick". I still can't believe it. Check these splits:
Mile 1 = 8:52
Mile 2 = 8:39
Mile 3 = 8:36
Mile 4 = 8:41
Mile 5 = 8:23
For a total of 43:17, and an average of 8:39/mile!! HOLLA!!!! This might not be fast for a lot of you, but this is SPEEDY for me. My fastest prior to today was 44:58 in a 5 mile race 3 years ago! KILLED IT, and then ate it for dinner. Ha!

Now that I'm done bragging, let me back up. As I said yesterday, Sunday was my longest run yet of 16 miles. I drove to the eastside to run so that I could run with Jenay:

Love it! Jen met me at my parent's house as I was just returning from the first 6. We then headed out to tackle the last 10 together. We ran a 5 mile loop to my grandparent's house so we could fuel up and use the restroom, etc. This dog is outside my grandparent's house. Let me explain, my grandma and grandpa are both blind. My grandpa has had a seeing eye dog for as long as I can remember, so dogs are a part of his life (but the pictures are still funny, right?!). My grandparents are pretty amazing, they are both blind and raised 16 kids (yes, 16!!). It's pretty cool, actually. My mom is the first girl (9 girls and 7 boys), I'm the first grandkid, and C is the first great-grandkid! Pretty sweet. Here's me and Grandpa on Sunday:

Isn't he cute??? :) Love you, Grandpa!

After our short "visit" Jen and I headed back out for the 5 miles home. I kept telling myself "only 5 miles left, only 4 miles left", etc - it was much easier broken up into smaller segments. Here I am at Mile 15, my first PDR (before finishing the 16, obvi!):

Don't I look excited? You can't really see, but that brown building behind me across the street is my high school alma mater. What up, Eastlake North High??! **fist pump**

We finished those 16 miles pretty strong, and feeling great. What a difference from the 14 I ran the week before. I felt great the rest of the day, too! No stomach issues or anything. I even got up and taught Group Power at 5:30am on Monday! I'm helping out another instructor the next few months while she's out on maternity leave. And never did I think that class would be crowded, but holy cow! That gym's got a ton of die hards, I tell you. Wasn't a bad way to start my week, that's for sure.

This pic isn't from today, but here's the hubby toasting us Irish:

It's no green beer, but this is the best pic I've got. Can't say he DIDN'T enjoy the green beer today. :)

Enjoy the night!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

It's been awhile....

Helloooo! Wow, it's been awhile, huh? I have so much to catch you up on! You probably think this is going to be a long post because of that, but I have a hot date on the couch to watch Biggest Loser. Quick recap tonight and tomorrow you'll get the gritty details.

So, check out the hubby! Cute, right??? Last week during one of my 4 milers he decided to join me. I did a quick 2 miles, looped back to the house, and he jumped in for the last 2 miles. I love when he wants to run with me! The time goes by faster, and it's nice time to spend together.

Here we are afterwards: hot, sweaty messes!

On Sunday I ran 16 miles!!! A new PDR for me (Personal Distance Record)! It was fantastic, what a difference from last week's 14 miles. Here's me and Jenay afterwards:

Other than that, the hubby and I went to see Robin Thicke at the House of Blues Sunday night. OMG, what a concert! We both love him, one of his songs was actually our first dance at our wedding, but I think I'm more in love now! He was FANTASTIC. I can't tell you enough....if you've never heard his stuff you need check him out (ladies, he's super sexy, too - ow ow!!).

Speaking of sexy:

Monday, March 8, 2010

Water Logged

As promised, this post is a dedicated to our trip to the water park. Every year around this time, the kids (and husband!) start to get cabin fever so we plan a trip to one of the multiple indoor water parks in Sandusky, OH. Castaway Bay is by far my favorite of the 3:
  1. Smaller, so I always know where C is. Some are so big that I'm in panic mode the entire time worrying where he is and if he's safe (even though he swims like a fish!). This way I get to enjoy the trip, too.
  2. Has an awesome wave pool that the kids play in forever.
  3. Has an awesome indoor/outdoor hot tub that the adults play in forever. :)
  4. Cheapest of the 3!
Every indoor water park has to have one of these:

Check out the 2 kids laying on their backs about to get dumped on! Ha!

Here are pics of C and J coming down one of the multiple slides. Can you tell who is who??
Love the splash difference - too funny!

The kids enjoying their time together and being silly:

One of the best things about this park is that the kids feel like they aren't being watched constantly. They feel like they're given a little more independence. I know they look young, but they are the best behaved kids ever. I am a very lucky mom, as is my bff, Jenay (nickname, obvi):

True story:
  1. Jen and I both found out we were pregnant on the same day (Mother's Day to be exact)
  2. Jen was induced on a Saturday, had her daughter at 9:15 that night, and I went into labor the same night and ended up in the hospital at 4:00am. I had C at 1:16 that afternoon. The nurses hated us because we were always in each other's rooms!
  3. C and G are still great friends to this day (they are 8 now!), as are we. Love you, Jenay!
The kids (meaning, the 2 male adults) played a lot of basketball:

You can tell the guys really took it easy on the kids, huh? Tough love....

I think this was our best trip yet, and we've been doing this for 5 years now! It definitely gets more fun, and easier, as the kids get older. I recommend it!

No run yesterday or today. I'm going to try to get up early tomorrow before work to squeeze in a quick 3 miler. We'll see.....this girl is NOT a happy morning person.


Leave a comment

Just wanted to send a shout out to my friends and family who read the blog!

IF you do read the blog, leave me a comment. You'll probably have to do it "anonymously" as I can't see to figure this part out, but just sign your name at the end of your comment so I know it's you.

I just want to who's secretly stalking me............hee hee hee

Luv ya!!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Reality Check

Happy Sunday!! What a busy week it's been! Sorry the blogging is so sporadic, but life has sadly been getting in the way. Once work slows down and I'm back to normal hours things will be better. I promise....

So, I had 14 miles planned for yesterday. 14 miles is the longest I've run in over 5 years! Needless to say, I had a hard time falling asleep Friday night thinking about it.

The morning started off good, as this is what I saw when I peeked in C's room before getting dressed for my run:
That immediately put me in a good mood! So cute!

Steve and I always "gear up" at the same time:
I like to turn him on (haha!) and put him on a windowsill as I get dressed. This helps him locate the satellite quickly and I spend less time pacing around waiting for him to find a signal when I'm ready to go!

So, my run was a crazy reality check. Wow. I felt so defeated when it was over. Last week was so busy that I didn't have time for my smaller training runs. What a difference they make! Whoever invented training programs sure knew what they were doing. Anyways, I was SLOW SLOW SLOW. I knew less than halfway in it was going to be a struggle. BUT, I did it, and I finished. I averaged a 9:43 mile, and was totally bummed when I got home. I think you can see how I was feeling in these pictures. J was such a good blogger husband, as when the pup started barking he knew I was home and grabbed the camera:

Mommy's home! Finally! (I thought she would be home earlier....??)

CRAWLING up the street:

Glad to see my husband, but upset with myself:

Knowing I'll be glad I documented my run:

I know I need to not be so hard on myself, but all my other runs were cake. This run made me SUPA nervous about the marathon. I'll be honest, it really made me doubt myself, and if I can do it. I've never been one to back down from a challenge, but this is very intimidating. Plus, add that to the weight gain I've had recently and I am one unhappy camper. I don't know if my body is holding onto the weight knowing it's going to need the fuel for the long runs or what. All I do know is that my pants are so tight in the butt and thighs. Sick. Any recommendations/advice from anyone training for a marathon (or any other endurance sport)??????

On a good note, after I was home, fed, and showered, we immediately left for this place. I was a little worried about how my stomach would hold up after the 14 miles and being at an indoor waterpark with limited access to a bathroom (tmi?), but it was surprisingly the best recovery I've had yet! Funny how that works, huh? Horrible run = great recovery, and great run = bad recovery. Not sure what to make of that yet. Anyways, here's me and C in the lobby being silly as usual:

I'm planning a more detailed post on the waterpark this week. Stay tuned!!

Have a fantastic week - Peace out!