Friday, April 29, 2011

Here Goes Nothing...

Ahh guys, I'm nervous.  I haven't run in fourteen days.. and  I've been icing and ibuprofening and sweet-talking.. and then shin is feeling a little better.  Definitely still some pain, but not unbearable. 

So.... I am going to give it a go tomorrow.  I'm driving down to see Rachel (check out her awesome brand-new blog!!), and I'm going to do a little run with her.  If it goes OK, then I'm going to go ahead and do the half in two weeks, and if it doesn't go well... well, I'll cry.

Then after that, we're going out in Madison for a girlfriend's bachelorette party... she is also running her very first half marathon in Green Bay so leave her some loving comments and I'll make sure she sees them!  She's only been running about five months and is totally prepared for the half.  She's awesome.

So!  It has the potential to be an AWESOME weekend.  And even the worse case scenario isn't so bad... I mope around all day and still get to go out and have a fun night.  So wish me luck.. I hope I have good news to share on Sunday! 

I hope you all have a super awesome weekend!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Leg Update and Things I Hate Thursday!

Happy Thursday to everyone, hope your day is splendid so far!

I have a ton of stuff to tell you!

First, my little Alex is sick.  :(  A sick baby is so sad... I cannot even tell you... He slept in til almost eight this morning (which is totally unheard of), and then wouldn't even eat his breakfast.  This is a child who LOVES food and shoves everything he can into his face.

Spaghetti Monster.
So he's getting extra Momma snuggles and back scratches and smooches today.  They're sleeping now, but when they wake up, they'll get a bath and baby massage..  Ahh to be a baby again... :)

OK, about my doctor's appointment.  I saw a lady nurse practitioner, who is also named Kim, and she's a super awesome runner.  In fact, she's doing the full marathon in Green Bay in a few weeks... she's a rockstar.  Anyway, she did an X-ray and didn't see anything on the scan, and then sat me down to have the hard talk.  She said that it could be a number of things:  stress fracture, shin splints, inflammation of the fascia in my leg, but the treatment is the same for all of these things.  Rest.  Ice.  blah blah blah... honestly, when I heard rest, I zoned out and just heard the Charlie Brown Wah-wah-wah...

So, here's my plan.  I am going to ice the hell out of this stupid leg, and then I'm going to sit on my butt, and then next Friday, if I'm pain free (serious finger-crossing here guys) I am going to run the half the following weekend.  If I'm not pain free, then you'll be able to find me curled up in my bed surrounded by chocolate wrappers, take-out food containers, and a giant vodka tonic.  Not a pretty picture, OK?

So pretty much my whole doctor's appointment/leg thing could be my first Things I Hate Thursdays topic, because I pretty much hate everything about my dumb leg right now, but I'm going to try to be more positive, and talk sweetly to it, like a plant.  Then it'll grow healthy and strong, right?

What else.  Oh yes, W2 D2 of pushup challenge done... it was like seventy pushups, and it was glorious.  I think Nick is a little scared of my pythons.  Nick was in the Army, so he can bust out a million push-ups like it's nothing, but he still pretends we do a lot to make me feel better.  Sweet husband.  :)

And now.. it's time for...

I hate when you're at a restaurant trying to decide between two entrees, like say a grilled chicken sandwich and a yummy salad, and after much deliberation you choose the sandwich.  Then, when the food is about to arrive, you realize you'd forgotten which you'd picked and spent the last fifteen minutes preparing your tastebuds for some fresh, crunchy, salad.  And then you quick try to fantasize about a juicy steaming chicken breast, but there's no use... you really wanted the salad. 


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sneak Peek

Afternoon bloggy friends,

So, I figured it's time I start having a regular weekly feature on my blog... and last night after some heavy soul-searching, two glasses of blueberry beer, and a little time on Google looking for the perfect shooting rainbow, I landed on a winner.
It seems like everything in the corner of the blogosphere that I haunt is really uplifting and positive, and I LOVE that.  But, maybe it's my crankiness due to lack of running, or maybe it was the beer, but I think I need an outlet for the things in my life that piss me off.  So, check back on Thursday, and let me know what you think!  :)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Buff Mama!

Well, I hope to be soon!  Which is why I'm doing... drumroll please....

Basically it's a six week training program to get you to be able to 100 pushups consecutively.  It's super awesome, especially because my brother and husband are doing it with me. 

I'm in week two now, so I just did:

Set 1 - 14
Set 2  - 14
Set 3 - 10
Set 4 - 10
Set 5 - max (at least 15)

I'm going to start logging my workouts on here, so I'll keep you posted.  I go to the doctor the day after tomorrow.. so hopefully I be regaling you with tales of my runs very very soon... my running shoes are calling my name from their place by the front door....

Speaking of which, have I shown you my new running shoes?  They are awesome.  I had no idea Brooks made their GTS 11 in such schmancy colors:
Whoa, it's huge.  Sorry about that.
Ten bucks though the sports medicine lady will have me in different shoes... I'll just have to find some way to use them in home decor....

Hope your Monday was great!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Spring has sprung!

Finally!  Warm weather, and no more snow!!  Yay!  My handsome hubby and I took the kids outside and they LOVED crawling around in the grass.  Just wanted to share some pictures!  :)
Momma Jungle Gym

Nolan in gray, Alex in blue

Getting my workout in!

I LOVE this photo!  I can just hear Alex's giggles... :)

Seriously, I'm the luckiest woman.  That's a whole lotta handsomeness. 
That's all.  Hope you all had a fantastic Easter!

Down for the Count.

Hoppy Easter mis amigos!  Hope everyone gets some fun family time in... I can't wait til next year when the kiddos are big enough to hunt for Easter eggs... I'm already scoping out the good hiding spots.  :)

Well, I haven't run since the half-marathon.  That's EIGHT days guys.  I am dying here.  My shin issue has extended to my ankle, and now I'm hobbling around and walking down the stairs backwards. 

I made an appointment with a sports medicine doctor, finally.  I go on Wednesday, and no running until then.  I'm feeling super antsy and a little cranky (hey, want to come hang out with me? ha) but I know this is for the best - I really need to set my sights on the marathon this fall, and fix this problem now.  Even if that means I can't run the Green Bay Half.  I'll be the most enthusiastic spectator ever - I'm already thinking of signs I can make in case I'm sidelined.

My personal favorite - a sign I saw at the Chicago RnR 1/2 last year, held by a long-haired twenty-something year old dude:  "YOU ARE ALL REALLY GOOD AT EXERCISING."

Kind of reminds me of the episode of the Office where Dwight is in charge of decorating for a birthday, and his sign says "It Is Your Birthday."  ha.

Anyway, please PLEASE share all of the details of your runs, lifts, any sort of working out with me... I need to live vicariously through you. 

What's the best sign you've ever seen at a race?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Running Mantras

The beautiful Julia over at Pain, Pride, and Perseverance posts a topic every week for all of us bloggers to talk about...

This week it is Running Mantras.

And I feel a bit embarrassed telling you all about my mantra, because it's kind of silly... but hey, if it helps someone get through a tough run, it's worth it!  And, I think I stole it from an elite runner, so I'm not taking credit for it.

Fast, Strong, Light

I say it in my head in rhythm with my footfalls, and you know what?  It makes me feel fast, strong, and light.  I usually pull it out when I'm feeling really sluggish, usually when it's hot or I'm on a tough hill.. and magically my knees start driving harder, my posture improves, and I feel a sense of balance and strength.  It's marvelous. 

But, yeah, I may have said it out loud a few times, and I might have gotten some super weird looks from fellow racers.. but hey.  Someone that once ran around a track with her shorts tucked up in her butt cheeks doesn't have a lot of dignity left.  Sorry for the visual.  And Rachel, sorry for the actual visual. 

Here's a Runner's World Article about mantras... see, mine isn't so silly!  :)

Hope you all have a super awesome Thursday!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Race Photography

So, for those non-runners out there, let me tell you something about race photography.  Every decent sized race works with a photography company and plants photographers along the course and at the finish line to capture the blood, sweat, and tears of the participants.  As if that's not bad enough, they then link your photos on their website by your last name, so your running buddies (or your long lost high school friends on facebook) can type in your name and see you at your grimacing, gasping worst.  It's great.

Anyway, my pictures are always awful.  AWFUL.  My head is always tilted back and my shoulders hunched forward (this is perfect running form, by the way) and I'm beet red, eyes half closed... seriously, a pretty picture.  But this time, there's something even weirder.  I have this huge, creepy smile in both the pictures they have of me, and my feet actually look like they're moving (for some reason I always look like I'm just standing there, both feet on the ground)...

Oshkosh Race Photos

We'll see if I look this happy in my full marathon race photos!  :)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Oshkosh Half Marathon Race Report

Happy Sunday everyone!  I'm huddled in the basement on my laptop wincing at the pain in my shins while my sweet hubby is feeding the little monsters upstairs... he takes such good care of me.  :)

OK!  Let me tell you about the race on Saturday.

On Friday night, both of my little guys decided this would be a good night to stay awake all night and fuss and play and whack Momma in the face while she rocked them... seriously, I didn't get to sleep until about 1:30 am, and then was up with Alex around 3:00am, and then up for good at 5:15am.  I was pretty worried about the lack of sleep, but once I got out of the shower and had a cup of coffee, I felt pretty good.  Gotta love the race day adrenaline!

The weather when Rachel and I left for the race was not bad at all.  Temps hovering right around freezing, light breeze, light rain... we were THRILLED!  The night before, sheets of rain were pounding down and the wind was so strong our Christmas tree we chucked out in the yard in January ended up in our neighbors backyard.  Payback for all of the piles of doggie business in our yard I guess....  :)

Rachel, pre-race, pumped about the weather.

Ah, another note about the night before.  Rachel drove into town, and we went shopping for a new watch for me... While we were at the store, we saw a huge display of brightly colored ruffle-bum panties.  So, yeah, we figured what the hell.  We figured that if the weather was as awful as was predicted, we had to have a sense of humor about the run! 

Ruffle-bum panties, check!

We found parking, visited the porta-potties, and lined up at the start.  After a good rendition of the national anthem that was actually in a low enough key for my man voice to sing along with, we were off! 

I hoped to pace right around 10 minute miles for the first half, and then pick it up from there.  The first few miles felt a little uncomfortable and there was a bit of weaving in and out of traffic, and I distinctly remember thinking at the second mile marker that this was going to be a loooong race.  I began to worry I was getting too comfortable mentally with the half marathon distance and didn't have a healthy enough fear going in.

Anyway, we wound through the UWO campus and onto the trail.  As soon as we saw the trail, I could hear the groans and laughter of my fellow runners... this thing was FLOODED.  It was hilarious.  At it's best, it was about an inch of mud on the surface, and at it's worst, a 4-5 inch deep lake that was just a hair to big to leap over.  It was like a trail run, mud run, and steeplechase all rolled together.  People had an excellent sense of humor about it, and there were actually times we had to come to a dead stop as someone ahead worked up the courage to leap over a particularly deep puddle. 

At mile six, I glanced at my watch and it said 1:00:00.  Nice.  If nothing else, I can bang out ten minute miles like nobody's business.  :)

I can't remember at what mile, but eventually we returned to the roads, and then to paved trails that were in much better shape than their muddy counterparts.  By eight miles in, I started to feel a little rough, and then I thought, "Hey, you're running 13.1 miles.  It's supposed to be rough".  And that (along with a few Shot Bloks) cheered me up quite a bit.

At mile 10, I passed this girl about my age, and I gave her a "Nice job, runner." as I passed.  A minute later, I heard footsteps just behind me, and she caught me and asked if she could run with me.  Ummm.. yes!  I love running company.  And I love to chat while I run.  And I love to say every twelve seconds "You're doing so great!  Look at you go!  You're a super speedy runner!".  Which is very inspiring, and not at all annoying... right Rachel?  Ha.  Anyway, she introduced herself (Sam), and said she wasn't a runner.  Uhh, she was running pretty damn fast for a non-runner!  I told her maybe if we picked up the pace a bit she'd feel better... and we banged out an 8:30 mile for mile 12.  It was awesome.... until we turned for the mile long straight shot to the finish... and found our dear friend, The Wind.

Ugh, it was WINDY!  We trudged on (probably about a 10:30 pace at this point with equal effort as our fast mile)... and pretty soon we saw the finish about 400 yards away.  I wished Sam luck, and took off. I had the fastest finish of any half... I was just short of all-out sprinting, and feeling FANTASTIC!  I kept thinking about my running buddies that had driven down to see us finish, and how they would all think that I was a super awesome speedy runner... I crossed the finish line at 2:09:16, and was pretty happy with that.  Then came the crushing disappointment of seeing my runner friends walk up to the finish and say "Oh, did you finish already?"  They totally did not see my awesome ending!  I am kidding about the crushing disappointment, kind of.  :)

Sweet medal.

Rachel took an unbelievable TEN minutes off of her P.R... I'm telling you, this woman is a RUNNER.  Bad. Ass.  Our other group member Michelle ran her first marathon in a super fast 2:12:xx.  I am stunned by their awesomeness.

Photo evidence of the muddy terrain on my way out of Oshkosh.

Mildly sore today, but nothing too terrible.  I had planned to take one week off from running to show my shins some love, but I'm already feeling antsy.  We'll see.

If you live somewhere other than NE Wisconsin, can you please tell me about your weather this weekend so I can live vicariously through you?  There was seriously snow on the deck when I woke up this morning.  It's April 17th people.

Hope you had a wonderful weekend!!

Saturday, April 16, 2011


I survived the half! 

The weather was pretty bad... but not as bad as I had thought it would be.

I have to run to a wedding now, but I'll leave you with this question:

Q.  Is there anything that can make runnning 13.1 miles in the freezing cold and rain more enjoyable?

A.  You bet, and I'm pretty sure it has something to do with frilly undergarments worn outside your clothes. For 13.1 miles. :)

Full race report to come soon!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Chicken Soup Bath!

Good morning!  It is a bright and sunny Tuesday morning in Wisconsin... which is in stark contrast to the forecast for the race this weekend.  My fellow runners and I have been checking the weather obsessively, and yesterday it said "Rain/ Snow Showers/ Wind" and 40 degrees.  Awesome.  ha.

Today, it's quite a bit better - 40 degrees and snow.  I would MUCH rather run in the snow than some sort of rain/sleet garbage.  I know I should stop checking the forecast every 5 minutes, but I'm doing it anyway.  :)

So, my whole family came down with a nasty cold a few weeks ago... and let me tell you, nothing is more difficult than caring for sick kids and a sick husband when you're sick too.  I really missed those days when I could just call into work and lounge around watching crappy daytime TV all day... but then I wouldn't get to see things like this:

Please excuse my scratchy man-voice and my inability to make coherent sentences... sleep deprivation is a funny thing.  :)

Tuesday Track tonight!!  We have another runner joining us... I may have to bring my camera and stalk them for your viewing enjoyment.  I think I'll be having them do ladders - 200, 400, 800, 800, 400, 200, and I may or may not join in.  Really trying to baby my shin before Saturday.

What is your most favorite workout, running or otherwise?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Deep Thoughts

"If you're an ant, and you're walking along across the top of a cup of pudding, you probably have no idea that the only thing between you and disaster is the strength of that pudding skin." Jack Handy


“If you ever fall off the Sears Tower, just go real limp, because maybe you'll look like a dummy and people will try to catch you because, hey, free dummy.”  Jack Handy

Hey, happy Sunday everyone! Remember Jack Handy from SNL?  Makes me laugh every time I read one of his quotes.

Anyway, reason for the post title is I had some cool revelations about running, while running.  I headed out solo for my six miler yesterday to practice a little race strategy and push myself a little bit, and I've got to be honest with you... it SUCKED.  For about the first 1.5 miles, my shins were killing me, my stride was all goofy, and I just felt plain out of shape.  I was running about a ten minute mile, which is my plan for race day, and I felt beat and ready to call it a day.  But then I tried to picture myself at the race... cheering spectators, big mile markers, and my favorite, cowbells. .. I glanced at my watch, and it said I was running a 9:10 pace.  Nice! The rest of my run was awesome, fast, and fun.  My last mile was sub-eight minutes, and I felt strong.

That's when I realized how thin the line is between a great run and a total bust.  I think it's all about making the right decision - if you quit when the going gets tough you may miss out on an awesome experience.  Sometimes during a run when I feel like junk, I get it into my head that it's a bad day and tell myself there's always another run... but I wonder how much of the bad runs are caused by me giving up on them...  hmmm. 

Schedule for the Week

Monday - Upper Body Workout
Tuesday - Easy Track (4 x 400)
Wednesday - Lower Body
Thursday - Easy 2-3
Friday - Rest

The theme for the week is stretch, stretch, STRETCH!!

Hope you all have a great rest of your weekend!


Friday, April 8, 2011

Let's Talk Numbers

So, my half is a week from tomorrow. 

It's my fourth half marathon, and the second since I had the twins in March of last year.  It's the Oshkosh half-marathon, and it is also the first half I ever did, and I finished in around 2:10 I think.

The next one was the Chicago Rock n Roll half, where I PR'd with 2:06, and I was also unknowingly pregnant with the boys...

I took a big long break for the pregnancy, and jumped back in with the Chicago Rock n Roll in 2010, where I suffered through with a horrible, awful, painful 2:45ish.  I ran with my best girlfriend, the hilarious and beautiful Rachel:

She loves my babies :)
 Here's us at the race expo last year:                                 

If only that were our finishing time...

I don't know what went wrong with this race exactly.  I was very undertrained, nursing, four months post-partum and a good twenty pounds heavier  than my last half, so maybe those things had something to do with it.... ha.  This is us at mile six, before we wanted to hang ourselves with our running shoes:
Me in the blue, Rachel in green
Haha - coincidentally, this picture was taken a few minutes before my milk randomly decided there must be a hungry baby nearby, so after noticing the growing wet spots on my chest, I just squirted water all over myself to make it blend in.  Only, it wasn't water, it was my patented 50/50 water gatorade mix... so I had sticky orange stuff mingling with the sweat and breastmilk.  Man, I am so attractive.  My husband is a lucky man. 

So anyway, are you still with me after that history lesson?  yikes, sorry about that.   Here's the moral of the story.  All I've been thinking about for a month is my time for this half marathon.  Rachel and I have exchanged pages-long email strings detailing what we believe to be the essential goals every runner needs:

  1. The If-I-Don't-Get-This-I'll-Die Goal
  2. The Stated Goal
  3. The Secret Goal
  4. The Super-Duper-Secret Goal
 I came up with my numbers for all of them... but to ensure that I'm not too embarrassed to come back and update you all, I'm only going to give you #2 and #3. 

Ok... drumroll please.....

I REALLY want to get under


But I REALLY REALLY want to get under 2:10.

We'll see.  I'm terrified just seeing it in black and white. 

Does anyone have anything really fun they're doing this weekend?  I think it'll finally be warm enough in Wisconsin to get out with the kiddos!  Woo!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Last Will and Testament

So, I'm cleaning out my house today, and I'm finally going through all the random boxes of old high school notebooks, pictures from 15 years ago, etc. that never got sorted through when I left for college, and I found a gem. 

My self-written will, from when I was 8 years old.

I have died
and gon to heaven. 
Leave not one
speak of dust
to him.  I want
all my stuff
giving to good will. 
And put chris in the
slammer beacause
he was a meane all
----->  ----->
his life!
I'm dead!
give my garden
 to I don't care!
Oh yes, feed my
garden to the horeses
in our back yard.

So maybe my brother and I didn't get along very well as kids, but we love each other now.  He's the best!

Brother/Sister Love.

Crappy track workout last night (for me - the rest of the group kicked butt).  Damn shins are still bad, but I'm just trying to ignore them for now, and hope they hold up for my half marathon.  That is in ten days. 

Anyway, hope you all have a super happy Wednesday! 

Monday, April 4, 2011


When you read the title of the post, it's very important that the voice in your head sound like the deep, dramatic, wrestling announcer voice: "Noooowww, entering the ring.... THUNNNDERRRHAIL!!"  Sounds much more impressive. 

Well, I made it through the ten, and it was actually really fun.  As fun as running outside while getting pelted in the face by ice chunks can be... 

I woke up really early on Sunday (before my kids, which is a first), and got my stuff together.  I was really excited to try out my new Camelback handheld water bottle:

It was awesome.. I totally recommend it.  My old bottle would always slip out of the sleeve, and it wasn't insulated, and the water tasted like old dishrags... so yeah, it's safe to say I love my new bottle.

Anyway, I wrote out the directions for our new route, and "laminated" them with some Scotch tape.

I picked up Matt, and we drove twenty minutes to get to our run, and the weather was bad.  It was about 30 degrees, sleeting, and pretty windy.  Honestly, I wasn't looking forward to it.  I do NOT like being cold, and I'm not particularly in to this kind of masochistic behavior.  But, we had to get the run in. 

We parked, and I snapped a quick picture through the windshield:


 We started running, and it actually wasn't too bad.  Once we got wet, we weren't cold and didn't really notice the rain much.  The first few miles passed pretty uneventfully, but I could tell Mattie wasn't feeling it.  He ended up peeling off a couple of miles early, but still made an awesome effort. 

Around 4 miles, it was sleeting pretty hard, and our necks and faces were stinging from the little chunks of ice.  Luckily, we had worn hats with brims, so it wasn't so bad as long as we tilted our heads in the right direction.   By about 6 miles, it started thundering and lightening...  Bad.  With one particularly terrifying crack of thunder, the hail started streaming down, and that was when I started seriously questioning finishing up early.  But, I was still four miles away from the car, and I figured running would get me out of the hail quicker.  It did, and I was super happy to be done when I saw my car. 

Me, at home post-run, very very happy to be done.

Our deck an hour after the storm... the hail melted somewhat, but it still looked cool.
As a treat, I picked up Subway on the way home... it was SOOO GOOD.  Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki on Italian Herbs & Cheese bread with provolone cheese, extra spinach, lettuce, onion, tomato, green pepper, banana pepper and sweet onion sauce.  mmmmmmmmm


Coming up for this week:  cool track workout on Tuesday, tempo on Thursday, and a six on Saturday.  Next week, half marathon!!  Hope you all have a great Monday!

Sunday, April 3, 2011


Oooh I've got a serious case of the butterflies about my run today...

My kids, Nick, and I have all been sick since Thursday, so I missed my glorious ten-miler with my best buds yesterday... which is super crappy because yesterday was 45 degrees and sunny, and today is 30 degrees, steady rain, and windy! 

But, I mapped out a new course for my training buddy Matt and I to run, and it's going to be awesomely hilly and all-around super fun.  So I hope.  So, hopefully my under-nourished, not quite healthy body is ok for this run.  I'd consider putting it off, but it's my last long run before my half in THIRTEEN DAYS!!!  OK, I'll update later. 
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