Friday, July 12, 2013

3 Weeks Down 13 To Go!

I am in the 4th week of training for the Wineglass Marathon.  Wineglass is my target marathon with Chicago to follow a week later. Then in November, I will be running the NYC marathon.  I have decided to sign up with Runner's World Challenge Advanced Training plan.  So far it has been going well.  I have done a weekly hill run, long run, and marathon goal pace run.  I am also taking one rest day and the rest of the days are nice and easy runs.  Now that I am back on-line I can do weekly updates of marathon training.  It will definitely help keep me accountable. 
Entering Stadium

Medal and number


on the Jumbotron

I ran the Fifty-Yard Finish on June 29, 2013 in Orchard Park, NY.  This race finished on the 50 yard line of Ralph Wilson Stadium (Buffalo Bills).  This race was an easy one to convince my husband that I had to run.  The farthest I had run since of April was 9 miles and it was the second week of my training plan so I used it as a nice training run.  I started out slower and was able to actually negative split the run.  I felt so could at mile 7 that I picked it up and was able to maintain an 8:11 pace the last 6 miles.  I finished with a 1:52:43.  I was very pleased with how this race went.  The best thing about the day was that there was a kid's mile fun run. I ran it with my 6 year old and my 7 year old ran by himself.  The both kicked butt!! He ran 7:50 and she ran 9:30.
Finishing with A

G Finishing

G and A with Medals

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Elephant Run 4 Mile Race Report

     On Mother's Day, I ran the Elephant Run 4 mile race in Buffalo, NY.  We were in Buffalo for a wedding the day before so of course I looked up races and found the Elephant Run.  The Elephant Run was names such because and elephant never forgets.  This run raises money for Marcena Lozano Donate Life Scholarship Fund.  I ran this race in honor of my dear friend Holly and in memorial of her son Jake.  Jake was only 10 weeks old when he passed away.  Jake is a forever hero because of the selfless act of organ donation.  Jake's heart continues to beat in young boy from Iowa.  Jake's cornea's also continue to see in another unknown recipient.  Through Jake and his family I have learned so much about strength and courage.  Seeing that it was Mother's Day and a race supporting organ donation I knew that I could draw strength from Holly and Jake. 
goodie bag
       I had not been training so well lately.  Knowing this I set the expectation of 8 minute miles.  In true Buffalo fashion I needed my sunglasses the whole way to the race.  Once I arrived it began to pour, sleet and get really windy.  I picked up my bib and shirt and made a mad dash back to my car to sit out the weather. By time of the start it had stopped raining/sleeting but was still quite windy.  It was cold also.  I was so glad that I had my Oiselle Lux Layer with me.  I raced in that and my new favorite racing bottoms the Oiselle Bum Wrap. 

    I focused on not starting out to fast and for the most part felt pretty good.  My legs were tired because they were not used to going at faster pace.
Mile 1 7:27
Mile 2 7:34
Mile 3 8:15
Mile 4 7:43

My watch was a little off at the end but my finishing time was 31:35 (7:54 pace) so I was under my goal. Can you tell which was the hilliest mile :) ?  I ended up 64 out of 361 and was 3rd in my age group out of 26.  For females I was 21 out of 211.  Anytime that I run better than what I thought I could I consider it a good race.  This  race did motivate me to get back into more consistent training.  I would say the bug has bit me again :)

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Unite Rutger's 1/2 Marathon Race Report

I loved this race!  I was so undertrained for this race.  The last time that I had run more than 5 miles was at my last 1/2 marathon on 2/24.  I had low expectations for myself.  My big thing was to have fun and enjoy myself.  I was a little nervous on how much it was going to hurt but I knew that I could get through it. 

We came into town Friday night after a four drive.  The drive was crazy- thank heavens my husband drove the whole way!  It poured for 3 of the four hours.  We ended up missing little exits here and there once we got to New Brunswick.  This added an extra 1/2 hour onto our trip.  What a pain it is to drive New Jersey (no offense :) ).  We checked into the hotel and caught up on the news and headed to bed. 

Ally loved the hotel lobby!

Saturday, my daughter and I headed to the expo right away.  My husband and step-son were going to the Devils game so we had to be back to the hotel by 11 so they could head out.  It was much easier to navigate in the daytime with no rain but I still ended up driving around 15 minutes longer than should of.  We got to the Expo and picked up my number with no problem.  It wasn't a huge expo but they had nice selection of stuff.  I picked up a new nuun water bottle and some nuun tablets of flavors I didn't have.  I also bought some tropical punch clif shot blocks.  It is my favorite flavor and I cannot find them in stores around here.  I bought a  red 13.1 Saucony shirt to wear on race day.  We headed out and 1/2 way back to the hotel I realized I had forgotten to pick up safety pins.  Quick stop to a store and we were on our way back to the hotel.

Ally and I at Expo

Ally and her barbies

The rest of the day, I had  a girls day with my daughter while the boys were at the game.  We swam, painted our nails, watched a movie and grabbed a bite to eat.  When the boys got back we headed for dinner.  I chose Chipotle of course.  It is my favorite place to eat!  Well, this choice came back to bite me the next morning.  It sure tasted yummy though.  We headed back to the hotel.  Husband took Ally and Bryson swimming while I rested and hydrated. 

pool fun

Sunday morning, I was quite nervous.  I got up ate, drank more water, packed up and checked out of the hotel.  My husband dropped me off at the shuttle, wished me luck and told me he'd see me at the finish line.  It was a quick wait for the shuttle and we were off to the start.  Once I got off the shuttle bus it was a quick walk to the start line.  I knew I needed a bathroom trip before the start and I had about 15 minutes.  The lines were so long!  I knew that I'd miss the start so I popped a squat and headed to the line.  I moved my way up to 2 hour pace group.  They gave us all American Flags.  I put it in my pony tail.  They had a moment of silence for Boston, played Sweet Caroline, and the National Anthem and we were off.  It took me 2 minutes to get to the start.  In that time, I looked over and saw my daughter sitting there.  When I yelled for her my husband spotted me.  I was so excited to see him!!!

excited to see them!

Miles 1-4 8:19, 8:33, 8:06. 8:54

It was hillier than I thought it was going to be but it was so pretty.  I was just trying to settle into a pace.  The miles were flying by.  I knew that I needed a bathroom stop at some point!  I was hurting stomach wise (chipotle).  I stopped at porta-potty at mile 4.  I stopped my watch so I would have a time of what I was running since I knew I was on chip time.  I lost a few minutes here but it was much more comfortable to run :)

Miles 5-10 8:30, 8:20, 9:05, 8:52, 8:58, 8:59

My legs were getting tired and my hips hurt so bad.  It was a weird discomfort more than anything.  The miles were still flying by.  I knew I was going to finish at this point.  I took a gel at the 1/2 way point and got water at every station.

Miles 10-13.1 (13.26) 9:34, 9:16, 9:42, last .26 was 2:11 (8:24) pace. 
The last few miles were a struggle as I suspected.  I just slowed the pace, walked through the water stops and kept thinking how lucky I was to be able to run!  This last section was hilly with the biggest hill at 12.9.  I made a friend going up that hill.  He and I encouraged each other up and it was a straight shot to the finish.  My garmin read 1:57:24 but with bathroom stop it was 2:01:09.

I really loved the course!  The whole thing was well organized and it is a race I recommend!!!

Any races you recommend??

Friday, April 19, 2013

Boston Strong

My heart is heavy like everyone elses over The Boston Marathon.  I woke up Monday morning so excited to watch and track elite runners, people I personally know and bloggers I follow.  My goal is to BQ.  My fastest marathon is 3:44:05.  I just need to take 4 minutes off my time!  Monday morning/early afternoon made me want it that much more!

My friend, Kelli kept me update on the progression of elites while I was at work.  Then track practice came.  I left my phone in the car and started my kids on their warm-up.  They then got on a bus to head to the track and I drove over.  I checked my phone to see how people finished and it was crazy how many text messages that I had.  I couldn't believe what I was reading.  I am sure, like everyone else, I checked facebook and twitter, praying it wasn't true.  Hoping that it was transformer blowing or electrical problem.  As soon as I saw it on the news I knew it was an act of terror.  As I was learning of the safety of people I knew, and followed I become angry. Angry that someone could be so heartless.  Someone could attack the Boston Marathon.  As time passed, I knew that I wanted to achieve the goal of the BQ even more.  Whether it be the 2014 or 2015 marathon as my fall marathon is 10/6.  I WILL be on that starting line! FEAR WILL NOT WIN.  My thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Winning With Wellness 5k Race Report

This past weekend I ran the Winning With Wellness 5k in Winchester, Va.  We were visiting my sister and the race was close to where she lives.  I was supposed to run the Charloettesville 1/2 Marathon but with my husband's grandmother passing and having strep throat I opted to defer the race.  I am thankful the race organizers okayed this.  I ran the Kid's Mile with my daughter 1st.  She complained a lot because it was so cold and she ended up running a 10:28.

Finishing with my girl

my sister and my niece ran also

track stars!

       I wasn't sure how this race would go as I have not been motivated to run a whole lot lately.  I am nowhere close to being in shape and was coming off of strep.  I set a goal of breaking 25 minutes.  I tried to only look at my watch at the mile markers and my first mile was a 7:08.  This mile was into the wind, rolling hills and some grass.  By the end of the first mile my hips were aching.  Not sure why but ran the second mile in 7:58.  I told myself to keep pushing through the 3rd mile because I decided that I should try and get each mile under 8.  The last part continued to be rolling hills and I ran it In 7:47.  I ended up finishing in 23:15.  I was pretty happy with how it went.  The part that was most sore at the end was my right forearm.  Must of been clenching my fist because I was so cold.  I ended up with 3rd in my age group.
Any races coming up?
Ever had to skip a race for illness?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Not the Spring Break That I Imagined

Grandma Bal with 3 of her 4 great-grand children
This spring break had been a difficult one.  Saturday we went to visit my husbands 93 year old grandmother and she was asleep the whole time we were there.  She wasn't doing well.  We knew this and have been very fortunate to spend a lot of time with her the last few months.  We got home about 2pm and received a phone call that she had taken a turn for the worst.  This time we left the kids at home and my husband and I met his parents and his aunt and uncle at the hospital.  We stayed with her for 4 1/2 hours and then headed home.  His parents, aunt and uncle stayed and she passed away at 2am on Easter Sunday.  The crazy thing is she was born on Christmas Day 1919 and passed away Easter Sunday 2013.  Two of the most important days in Jesus' life were two of the most important days of her life.  We went to Easter Mass where they said a prayer for her.  Her funeral was yesterday.  She had such a great life.  She had 2 children, 2 grandchildren and 4 great-grand children.  I am so grateful that I was able to know her.  One of the last visits we had she thanked me for loving her family.  The example she set for her family makes it so easy to love them.  She was such and amazing woman and will be missed.
with my youngest

with my husband's other granmother

with my husband

all of the granparents

loving on her great-granddaughter

with her youngest again

Friday, March 29, 2013

Fall Plans

 Originally the plan was to run Chicago with my brother and NYC Marathon.  Well, that changed in December when my brother had a massive heart attack at 32 years old.  I knew that I still wanted to experience Chicago with him and that was obviously out the door.  I wasn't sure what I wanted to do.  Come mid January, I made the decision to upgrade to the full at Wineglass Marathon on October 6.

 This will be my target race, going for the BQ!  Well, as time progressed and my brother grew stronger, completed cardiac and pretty much amazed everyone with his recovery he was okayed to run Chicago.  He is now working out and running regularly and doing amazing things!  So, registration opened and we know how that went.  He didn't get registered and I was registered twice.

  He decided to reach out and received a comp entry as a "role model" patient.  They will follow his story as he trains, runs and completes the Marathon.  His first race since is heart attack is coming up next weekend, The Shamrock Shuffle 8k.

I probably would of chosen guaranteed entry in 2014 in NYC if had known how things would of played out but I am so excited to hit the streets of  NYC in November!

 I am now registered for the Wineglass Marathon on October 6 (my 8th anniversary), The Chicago Marathon on October 13 and the NYC Marathon on November 3.  Not an ideal marathon schedule but guess I'll get my Marathon Maniac status :)

What marathon(s) do you have coming up?  Have you done more than one in a "season"? How do I survive it ?

Monday, March 18, 2013

Thanks to Some Wonderful Companies!

Here we much has happened since I have last blogged!  I want to start with a shout out to some amazing companies!  On March 1, a guy I graduated with and his wife were killed in a car accident.  They were traveling back to their hometown.  In the car with them were their 3 children (ages 12, 9, and 3) and two dogs.  The three children and one of the dogs survived.  This story just tugs at my heart.  It is one of my biggest fears as a parent.  Two people taken from this Earth way too soon.  The support from the community has been amazing.  This upcoming weekend there is a raffle benefit at a local hockey game and un April there is another benefit.  The running group that I am in is donating a basket to be raffled off at the April benefit.  We reached out to some companies for help and I can't believe the support that we have received! My love for these companies has grown even more!  So far our gift basket will include 4 tubes of Nuun and a Nuun pint glass, $30 Road ID gift card, $60 gift certificate from Aspaeris Pivot Shorts, a Running Skirt, shirt, compression socks and bag from Running Skirts, 6Bic Bands, 2 Sparkly Soul headbands, Running Warehouse sweatshirt, hat and socks, 2 pairs of PRO Compression socks, 1 SPIbelt and a box of mint chocolate Clif Bars.  These companies have been amazing and will always be supported by me!!!  If you know of any other ideas to add or companies that might be able to help please let me know! The raffle takes place on April 20.  If you can help in anyway a trust fund has been set up for the boys.  Thanks!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Lake Effect 1/2 Marathon RR

       This past weekend my step-son's hockey team had Sectionals for hockey at SUNY Morrisville.  SUNY Morrisville is located in the middle of nowhere about 40 minutes from Syracuse.  The team had group discount for the Courtyard Marriott in Carrier Circle.  Naturally, when he has a tournament out of town I look for a race.  Well, it worked out that the Lake Effect 1/2 marathon was taking place the same weekend.  I registered early because I read that it would sell out quick!  I have not been very consistent in my training lately- I have been a cold weather wimp.  I had done a 9, 10, and an 11 miler is preparation but not very many weekly miles. 
       Packet pickup was at the Fleet Feet Running store in Syracuse.  It was a quick pick up and I was able to pick up a new Oiselle t-shirt.  I also picked up some Margarita Shot Blocks.  After that we headed to our hotel, let the kids swim and then headed to dinner.   We met up with my aunt, cousin, and her daughter at Ruby Tuesdays.  Then headed to my step-sons hockey game.  They won the game 14-1 and made it to the championship round.  One more win and they would get a berth to the state tournament. 

      The race had a late start Sunday morning.  10am.  Probably the only time that I wished for an early start as my step-son's game started at 12pm.  My mom and I  got to the race at 9:45 and headed straight to the bathroom and start.  I was on the line for about a minute before the gun went off.  I really wanted to be sub 1:55.  The course was out and back x 2 The first three miles were great 7:55, 8:14, 8:19,  we turned around shortly after 3 miles.  The way back brought us back to the start and little loop that brought us past the finish line 2 times.  These three miles were 8:21, 8:30, 8:25.  We headed back the way we started but this time the wind had picked up.  I couldn't believe how hard it was to run into the wind!  These miles were 8:41,9:06,9:01,9:37 (walked through a water station and had a margarita shot block which was frozen)  we had turned around and finished the previous mile.  Once I got through aid station and the wind wasn't in my face  we headed back to the finish 8:38, 8:56,  8:51 and the last .23 8:26 pace.  It was tough running by the finish line so many times and not being able to finish until the fourth time :)  Overall I was pleased with the 1:54:36 for the 13.1 which is 8:46 pace.  I have a goal to break 1:40 in the 1/2 this spring and this race made it feel doable because I didn't train well.  I loved the medals they gave!

         Afterwards my mom and I headed to Chipotle for reward meal :) After that we headed to hockey where my step-sons team won in triple overtime to advance to championship game and qualify for states.  They ended up losing in the championship game but the season just got two weeks longer!

Monday, January 28, 2013

 This weekend I met up with some Lady Warriors to for the Virtual half marathon/5k for Sandy Hook Elementary School.  We all met at 10am.  I started out with a nice 6 miles with another Warrior and then she headed back.  I am nowhere near 1/2 marathon shape so I ended up with 11.1 miles at about a 9:30 pace.  It was hard to get traction because of the snow and it was cold! It was so great to get some double digit miles in.  I haven't done that since the Harrisburg Marathon in November. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

New Year's Day RR

      December  was a nice easy relaxing training month.  It wasn't meant to be, but bronchitis and some quad pain sent it that way.  I ran a total of 50 miles for the month.  I usually run between 120-150.  I did absolutely no speed work minus one race at the beginning of the month.  I emotionally needed a break after not being selected for the Oiselle team, Cleveland Blogger or Nike Women's 1/2 Marathon.  I was feeling down about running in general.

      I figured new year new start. I ran the New Year's Day 5k (which was really 3.4 miles).  This was formally the Cookie and Hat 5k.  I missed the fun theme of the race but it was still a good time.  I wasn't sure how it would go and had a goal to run around 8 min. miles. I figured it would be a good speed workout back.  Once I started I felt pretty good and ended up doing the first mile in 7:20.   It was cold but not too bad.  My second mile was 7:30 and my third was 8:00.  The final .4 was at 7:51 pace.  I ended up finishing with a 26:02 (7:39 pace).  I was third in my age group.  I didn't stay for the awards because of my kids being home and I didn't want to be away too long.  They ended up mailing me my award which was a 2013 training log. 

     Overall, I was very pleased and I am looking forward to many positive things for 2013.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

My Brother Survived a Heart Attack

       2 weeks ago today I received a phone call from my mother.  My brother was on his way to the ER by ambulance.  He thought he was having a heart attack.  My brother is 32 years old. 40 minutes later a second phone call came.  It was definitely a heart attack.  He had a 99% block in his main artery.  They put a stint in and he was going to be okay.  He is very lucky that he recognized the symptoms of his heart attack.  My brother lives in Chicago.  It was a very helpless feeling being so far away when he was going through something so big.  My first reaction was to go running.  Running is my go to when things are going wrong.  It was one of those runs where the miles flew by.  The thoughts of my wonderful brother and all the great memories that we gave shared.


          My brother and I weren't always close.  We were too much alike as kids. Always vying for attention.  As we grew older, we grew closer.  When I went away to college, I realized how much each of my siblings meant to me.  At this point, my siblings became more than my brothers and sister but my friends.  As the years went by I learned that 3 of the people who would always be there for me were my 2 brothers and my sister.  Danny and I hung out a lot.  I lived in an upstairs apartment and Danny lived downstairs with my grandma.  We were able to spend a lot of time together.  Danny then headed of to Fredonia.  I was able to go and visit several times and had a blast with him every time!  When Danny moved back home we continued to hang out.  It seemed that I was able to go out or do something with him every weekend! 

     Eventually, I got married and he was even my maid of honor (at the small ceremony) when we got married in front of our family and friends he was one of the groomsmen.    He is the godfather to my youngest child.  Danny lived with us for a little while and he was able to develop a relationship with my kids.  Danny is such a great uncle to all his nieces and nephews.  He has had some struggles and made the decision to move to Chicago.  This was a big move for him.  The only person he knew was one of our cousins.  He had no job.  He made it work and found a job and met an amazing group of friends.  This isn't surprising though.  Everyone who meets him  loves him.  We went out to Chicago this summer to visit him and I was so happy to see him so happy.  He was in a good place. 


       Since his heart attack, I have realized how quickly things can change.  I have talked to him almost every day since and Skype him much more frequently.  I am so thankful that things turned out the way they did.  I am so proud of Danny.  He has made so many life changes in the past two weeks.  I am sure it is hard but he is fighter.  He looked death in the face and won!  I am so thankful that he is my brother and my kid's Uncle.  He is a great brother, brother in-law, son, Uncle, and friend.  I just hope he knows how much we all love him!