Tuesday, October 18, 2011

We Did It!!!

*Here is the post about the Grand Rapids Marathon that I put on my family blog!!!!!!

Over the weekend, my dad and I ran the Grand Rapids Marathon!

That's right...the ole man and I did 26.2 miles together!!!  (As my favorite sign said, "Because 26.3 would be CRAZY!)

It was a great weekend all together.  We arrived in Grand Rapids on Saturday afternoon.  The kids (and Rob and Aunt Katie) napped while while we hit the expo.  Then, we all headed to the local "establishment" to start our carb loading with some pumpkin ale!  :)  After that, it was off for pasta for more carb loading.  And we ended the night with the highlight for the kids....HOTEL SWIMMING POOL!

I should mention that it was cold and SO WINDY on Saturday, so we weren't sure what to expect for the race.

My dad and I headed out early Saturday morning for the start of the race...in the cold and rain.  But there was no wind so we felt hopeful.  An hour or so later, by the start of the race, the rain had stopped and we got the absolute perfect weather for a race...cool, no sun, no rain, no wind.  It was great!

My dad and I had a great race.  I have to say, my dad is an AMAZING runner.  From about mile 16-mile 22, I contemplated stopping many, many, many times!  But he kept me going!!!  I am proud to say we never stopped once to walk except through water stops!!!

The Grand Rapids Marathon is great.  There are so many fun runners who do this race.  Some of the highlights were:

-Our shirts!!!  My dad surprised me with shirts for the race.  My dad's said WINK and mine said SMILE because the song we danced to for my wedding was "We go together like a Wink and a Smile".  I LOVED IT!!!!!!!
-Pickle Juice around mile 16 and 20 (sounded gross but it was refreshing and awesome)
-Wedding at Mile 16
-My Team Triumps (runners who are pushing wheel chairs, it was amazing and I was inspired...more to come on that soon)
-Reading fun signs (Marathon runners run 26.2 because 26.3 miles would be CRAZY).
-Port-a-potty madness....let's just say we almost missed the start of the race.
-Ray, our running buddy!

This is my 7th marathon, and somewhere in the 40s for my Dad I think, but I can say this was a highlight for me.  I would say very, very, very few people are ever able to do something like run a marathon with their dad..and I'll always cherish it!

I should mention, we didn't do too shabby either.  We finished at 3:43:27, which is about 8:30mins/mile average.  My dad finished 6th in his age division and in the top 297 of the 894 men who ran.  I finished 15th in my age division and in the top 78 out of 712 women.  My dad also qualified for Boston...again! 

Seeing our amazing fans at Mile 4

Our biggest supporters

3 of the best cheerleaders

Cheering at the finish

So cute!!!  (But how did NO ONE fix her hat?????)

26.1 miles into it!  :)

Off to the finish line!

My amazing family who sacrifice a lot so I can follow my passion of running!

The highlight of the trip for these two!!!!  :)

Thank you to everyone for all your support, especially our amazing fans who traveled 3 states to cheer us on!  :)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Do You DM????

Daily Mile. 

One of the greatest things I found since running.  It's a site full of runners (and bikers, walkers, swimmers, etc) cheering on other runners.  I heart it!

When I first starting running, I ran in Chicago with a group called CARA.  Me and hundreds of my closest friends out there running every morning.  I found so much inspiration and motivation through other members.

Now I'm a mom....in the burbs....with 2 kids.....and a crazy schedule.  So running with a group is out the window.  My hubby golfs.  My kids have dance, gymnastics, birthday parties, etc.  And we still try to have a social life.  So running is "whenever I can get it in."  Most times it's Sunday morning, but it may be Sunday evening, Saturday morning, or an awesome Friday night followed by wine and a firepit!  :)

So I have found dailymile.com.  I log my runs.  But I also find so much inspiration and motivation.  People actually take time to tell me "great run".  And I learn about so many fun races, racing gear, etc.

On Sunday my dad and I will be at the Grand Rapids starting line...and I have a whole bunch of DM friends who will be out there with me.  It would be cool to meet them!!!  If you run, you should DM!  You WILL be inspired!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

What happened????

Kids. School.  Training.  Life.

I can't believe how long it's been between posts!  I apologize...life got away from me.

Next weekend is THE big run...Grand Rapids Marathon!  My dad and I have been training pretty well despite some injuries.  We ran 2 20 miles (one with major hills), a 19 and 2 18 miles, so I'm hoping we are ready!  I am nervous because I am used to running marathons under 3:40, but this time I'm just trying to finish...no time goal!  My dad and I trained together and our goal is to have fun and finish (and maybe he will place in his age group).

I'll be back soon!!!!!  If you are new, comment so we can chat!  :)  Happy Running!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Running Wish List

Have you seen the new Nike+ Sportswatch with Garmin?

It looks awesome!  My favorite feature is that you can just touch the screen to go to the next lap!  That'd be so nice right around mile 24 of a marathon when literally lifting your arm to set the next lap feels like a huge undertaking!

I think I'll give Nike a call and let them know how much I like it...maybe they'll send me on!  ;)

In other words, this weekend is my first half-marathon since having my second daughter.  Before kids, my goal was always under 1:45 for a half.  This time around, my goal is to walk minimally and have a lot of fun...and if I come in under 1:59:59 I'll be pretty happy!  Either way, I'll be ready for a cold beer after the race!

The race is Hawthorn Woods 1/2 and this is only the second year for the race.  The course seems pretty nice with lots of different things to keep me occupied during the race (trees, streets, homes, etc).  I'm looking forward to putting my racing shoes on and getting back out there...and then taking a few weeks off before my marathon training begins!

Happy Running!!!!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Be Someone's Hero!

Last night, the hubby and I went to see My Run.  My Run is an inspirational documentary about a man who ran 75 marathons in 75 consecutive days.

Let me start by saying I was very inspired by the movie.  That being said, it was not really a "running" movie and I'm not sure it should have been advertised as one.

I had my hopes for a great marathon movie, especially because the previews were all about amazing marathons (The Las Vegas Marathon looks so amazing, I want to do it in 2012). 

Without giving too much of the movie away, a 57-year-old man, Terry Hitchcock, decided to run from Minnesota to Atlanta (where the Olympics will be when he gets there) in honor of his deceased wife and to raise awareness of the struggles of single parents.  Terry was not a runner when he started, and really never became a runner.  He faced many many obstacles along the way, including a heart attack before he even started running, but he was determined to do 75 marathons in 75 days. 

Like I said, I don't want to give away the ending of the movie....but a serious runner knows how important numbers are.  If you say a "marathon", it means 26.2 miles, not 26 miles or 27 miles.....Terry would run 27-30 miles a day, which was amazing and I'm not trying to be critical or take away from his amazing accomplishment, but marathon runners want 26.2 miles!  Us annoying runners and our "numbers", I know, but that's why Garmins are runner's favorite technology, it gives us exact numbers.  Any runner who has had someone say "I ran a marathon today, it was 6 miles" knows that's like nails on a chalkboard.  All runs are not "marathons"....okay I feel better!  ;)

It was an inspirational movie about not giving up and finding the strenght within yourself to be someone's hero.  I was so inspired about his love for his wife and his committment to his children, although I wished his wife's memory would have been a bigger part of the movie.

To be honest, my husband and I were a little let down...not with the inspiration of the movie, but it just wasn't what we had expected.  We hoped to leave the theater inspired to run...and apparently the local marathons did too cause there were postcards for local marathons on all the cars when we left the theater, but it just wasn't that kind of movie.

I think someone who has never run a marathon before would be inspired to sign up for one!  However, what I took from the movie was to Be Someone's Hero.  Terry ended his journey disappointed that it didn't raise the awareness he hoped (in fact, they had Q & A after in which he admitted after the run he was checked into a hospital for depression)...but he is able to look back 11 years later and know that he made a difference in people's lives, and even if it only changed 1 person's life, it was worth it!

I have run marathons with charities before, mainly Alzheimer in honor of my Grandma, and I have also been a Girls On The Run coach, but if I can find a way to use my running to be someone's hero, that would take my running to a whole 'nother level!

Thank you Terry Hitchcock for reminding us all that running is mental and spiritual....and to be SOMEONE's hero!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Wanted: Motivation

Lately I've been in a running slump.

Treadmill.  Boring.

Mileage.  Boring.

Motivation.  Nada.

I know I have the marathon in October, but that's so far away.  So yesterday I decided to just find a half-marathon coming up soon and sign up.  There is the Chicago 1/2, but I wanted a smaller marathon so my family could come and we could enjoy it together without it being such a big, crazy production. 

I ended up signing up for the Hawthorne Woods 1/2.  I'm very excited.  It's small, has a great course, and is only like 30 minutes from my house!  So I officially have 5 weeks (and 4 weekends for long runs) before I run the race.  I did a 10 miler last weekend so I hope I will be ready in 5 weeks, but I'm a HUGE procrastinator so signing up at the last minute works for me.

My thoughts were: 
Weekend 1:  12 miles
Weekend 2:  8 miles
Weekend 3:  12 miles
Weekend 4:  5 miles (cutback weekend)

Then, during the week, I usually only run one or two days, but I'm hoping to motivate myself to run 3 times a week...somewhere between 3 and 6 miles a run depending on schedule, kids, etc.

So that's my plan....I'm definitely not running this for time (I usually am around 1:45 for a half marathon but will pretty much be happy under 2:00...hoping for between 1:50 and 1:55).

Ran 3.5 miles today on treadmill (8 minutes/mile) so my first day of motiviation was a success! 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I Can't Believe It!!!

I won a giveaway!!!  I have never won one before....and the best part is it's a great one! 

(See 2nd Contest Giveaway below)

I literally have been wanting to go buy a Camelbak water bottle for me and the girls...now I only have to buy one for the girls!  And the Northface Bag is adorable and perfect since I just purchased our pool pass for the summer!  And I have some "trouble" spots and need to work them out!

So THANK YOU Amy at http://www.inkedowl.blogspot.com/  so much!!!!!  And thank you to Jess at http://www.littlemissrunshine.com/ for the recommendation!!!!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Give Aways

Here are two GREAT giveaways for runners, walkers, or those who just love fitness! 

I LOVE both these blogs...and these giveaways!  I feel stronly to only enter a giveaway if it's something I would LOVE...or otherwise let someone else who would LOVE it to win it....

Jess at Little Miss Runshine is giving away:

1.  Jillian Michael’s 6 Week Six Pack
2.  Jillian Michae’ls 30 day shred

I really need this...hubby and I have a trip to Vegas planned for June and it's my goal to get myself into a two piece!!!!  I wanna be the mom of 2 in a two piece....

Amy at Inked Owl is giving away:

1.  The North Face gym bag
2.  A Camelbak water bottle
3.  A Jillian Michaels No More Trouble Zones workout DVD!!
I have been wanting to get a Camelbak...and LOVE the bag...and refer to above about Vegas, need some good abs, etc....
Check out these giveaways...and these GREAT blogs!  Good luck!

Friday, March 4, 2011

I've Accepted It...

This is NOT me.

I am NEVER going to win the Boston Marathon, the Chicago Marathon, or even the local 5K.

There...I've said it....I feel better!!!

I'm VERY, VERY, VERY, VERY competitive!  I'm the annoying girl who will up my speed because the person on the treadmill next to me checked my speed...or will sprint at the end of a marathon to beat 1 more person.

Today my goal for the gym started at 5 miles at 8 mins/mile. But once I started, I was feeling HOT!  Not the normal hot, but extreme about-to-pass-out HOT.  I think the gym didn't get the message that it was almost 60 degrees outside and still had the heat on.  Anyways, I wanted to stop, but I was being my normal competitive self. 

Then, as I'm running I look up to the t.v. and hear that a 16 year old boy had a heart attack and died on the basketball court.  My heart goes out to that family.  Those stories always hit home because my sister has a heart defect, but we didn't find out till she was in high school.  That story could have easily been her...thank goodness it isn't.  But I thought about the young boy with his whole life ahead of him, and the family who is grieving, and it made me slow down for a second. 

So I walked...and then ran...and then walked...and then ran...and then walked.  And then ran, but this time I got my second wind and was able to save my time a little bit (finished 4 miles with some walking at 33:30) but that wasn't important to me.  

I accepted it...I'm not going to win the Boston Marathon (although I did once win the Bass Lake Indiana 5K...it may or may not be because the leading group of men took a wrong turn...but I got lead to the finish line by the police car and it was GREAT...I digress)...but I have two beautiful, sweet daughters in the childcare that are waiting for me to come pick them up....so when my body is telling me to slow down, for the first time I will.

That is, until this summer when I start training to qualify for Boston again....then I'll return to the obnoxious, sweaty girl on the treadmill!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Christmas in February

Runners know there are 2 "BEST" days....the day of a race and the day you get new shoes!

I have been a LOYAL Mizuno Wave Rider wearer since my first marathon....but I did something I thought I might never....I switched!  I stayed with Mizuno...as I always have and always will as long as they are around!

Christmas came to me this week through these beauties:

I am trying the Mizuno Elixir for this spring training.  I've heard great things about them from former "Wave" wearers, so I thought I'd give it a try!

I haven't run in them yet, so I'll keep you posted on how they go!

(I received NO endorsement for this post...I just really really LOVE Mizunos this much!)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

We now return to our regularly scheduled program

Running took a backseat this week....but it was for a good, great, AMAZING reason!

I have a very short bucket list.
1.  Go to Europe
2.  Go see Oprah

Last Friday I got an email that I had gotten tickets for....

OPRAH!  But the "catch"...I had to read Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations in 6 days!  You will be happy to know, I did it...almost.  (The last 100 pages of Great Expections may have been read in "Cliff Note" form.)  I tacked it using multiple media devices:  book, book on CD, and book on Itunes.  My plan was to read it when I could, and listen to it when I was working, cleaning, etc.

Running and listening to Charles Dickens isn't the easier thing...I required me to slow down so I could focus!  But I have to say, it made my run go fast!  My dad runs LOTS and listens to books on his itunes on most of his long runs...now I get it (sort of...I often got distracted and had to rewind...and speaking of rewind, am I dating myself by using that word????).

So, I got off track last week....but I am now down to 1 thing on my bucket list! 

Last night my hubby took me out for an amazing dinner to celebrate my birthday and we talked and talked and talked (it was amazing how much we could talk without the kids there) and we decided to add to our bucketlist!!!!  My first new addition:  Marine Corp Marathon!!!!!!

My bucketlist:
1.  Go to Europe.
2.  See Oprah.
3.  Marine Corp Marathon

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Treadmill Limits. Dislike, Dislike, Dislike.

Actually, I respect the idea of having a treadmill time limit (my gym is 30 minutes)...but I dislike it during the months of January and February.  The whole "new year's resolution" is great...I love to make a new year resolution perfectly aware that it probably won't stick.  However, anyone who has been going to gyms for years knows that the months of January and February are full of 2 month gym members! 

I'm a mom.  If I leave my kids at home, I'm on a pretty tight limit before I need to be home!  So I sort of depend hope on my treadmill to be open.

Today a "newbie" decided to get the front desk to start kicking everyone off the treadmills, yet there was no line!  My solution?  I decided to run for 30 minutes, then get off my treadmill and use those 5 minutes for water and light stretching, then sign myself right back onto my treadmill.  Hey, I followed the rules (sort-of).  I did get a look from the "newbie"...but she'll be gone in a few weeks so that's okay!

(And I should mention again, I am always so proud of anyone who joins a gym, no matter the time of month....I just really, really, really like my treadmill schedule not to be disrupted.  Having kids, if I get to the gym and the treadmills are full, I'm off to the bike.  Still great exercise....but not the same.)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Meet the Crew

I'm so excited to start a new blog all about my running adventures!  I was an avid runner who completed 5 marathons, including Boston twice, before deciding to hang up my running shoes for a few years to start my family!  I am married to the love of my life, who also happens to be a darn good runner!  We trained for 1 marathon together....enough said.  I am a mom to two beautiful girls, ages 3 and 1.  Now that our family is established, it's time to take some time for myself to follow my passion, running!

How did I start running?  I have an amazing dad!  My dad started running when I was a kid.  I have 2 sisters.  My dad realized running got him the quiet time that was impossible to find in a house of 4 women!  He has run 30 marathons...and he's amazing!  I have been lucky enough to train with my dad for both Chicago and Boston marathon.  We have decided to run the Grand Rapids Marathon together....and that's where this story begins!

I blog about my family, but I wanted to start this blog to find a support team out there!  Finding time to train in between preschool carpool, gymnastic class, ballet class, swim lessons, diaper changes, meals, laundry, and spending time with my husband will be hard...but I know having a support system will help.  I also know if I blog about it, I'll be held accountable and it may make that 5am Saturday morning run just a little bit easier!

If you are running your first 5K or your 50th marathon, please follow me!  I want to be inspired!!!!!