OD 10/marathon

Whew! I am relieved today! and happy. 10 raced, 10 bandit and 20 done! This is kind of long so skip to the bottom if you'd like and answer the question there!

I was actually looking forward to this 20 mile run to sort out my thoughts. I didn't really get anywhere but ran into a colleague and felt that was a mini sign...

Woke up this morning to fog, rain, crap weather. The plan was to do the 10 mile race and continue to run with the marathoners to get in my 20 miles. Bill got up with me (thanks Bill! - we had a crap night - Nick did not want to sleep in the pack and play so we took turns waking up and holding him and falling asleep with him on us) to take me to the start, and I was considering going back home for a few seconds. Pumped, got out of the car and walked to the start. Kind of wanted to cry walking there alone in the rain and questioned what I was doing. Also just been feeling stressed about decision making.

First few miles I was considering texting Bill and telling him to get me at the 10 mile finish. It was raining, cold, windy, and foggy and my right knee was hurting all around - behind it, on the kneecap -everywhere. I thought I was going to be limping just to finish 10. Mile 1 was around 9 minutes. Mile 2 was around 9:30. Mile 3 around 9:30. Then around mile 4, I got this burst of energy, forgot about my knee and started picking people in pink to pass. I'd pass one and then look for the next one. So this game totally worked for me! My knee stopped bothering me. I was rolling along and feeling really good. Probably around mile 5 or 6, still feeling good, I decided I wanted to get a sub 1:30 time. I had no time goal going into it. I took a GU at mile 7, a little more than an hour into it. I thought I could do it and was only 30 seconds off of 9 min mile pace. I started speeding up, and the pink game helped alot! When I hit mile 8, I knew I could push it out for 2 more miles. I started picking other people to pass - guy with no shirt, girl with big butt, and was really doing a good job with it. I think I ran those last two sub 9 and was able to finish somewhere between 1:28 and 1:29. I'll figure out the official time later on. I was really happy!!

I took a break and got my medal for the 10 miler, saw the colleague from work who was running and then kept on going. I was thinking it was probably bad to push it those last few miles since I still had 10 more to go, but I just plugged along. I took another GU around the 2 hour mark and felt pretty good! My pace slowed, I was a little less motivated to care about my time once I wasn't really on the clock, but I felt good! I had some sport beans - dropped about 5 of them on the ground - bad packaging man!! (I was picturing how I could make a better package) and kept drinking my water. I used the fuel belt that I won from Amanda's HBBC! (When I first got this in the mail, I was prego and it was sooo tiny, I thought I would never ever be able to use it, but it actually was really snug and worked great!) I tried not to steal the water from the marathoners but have to admit I took 2 cups of water at 2 stops. Half marathon: around 1:58. Good! I realized around mile 14 that my bib # was a different color than the marathoners so I zipped up my jacket - kind of felt bad! The course was pretty cool, on the boardwalk for a little while and through the streets from shore town to shore town. It was a bit windy, with rain here and there, but not hard rain. Mile 15 - the weather started to lift and sun started coming out. I called Bill at mile 16 to tell him where to meet me and how long I might be. Knowing I was only doing 20 miles made me feel like I had a leg up on the marathoners and I kind of felt bad! But mentally I felt like it was easy and what a great way to get through a 20 mile run with a bunch of other people running, mile markers and water stops. I would totally do that again, even sign up for the marathon and only do 20 maybe? 4 more miles to go, I felt pretty strong! I took a few walk breaks to drink water but other than that I ran and felt good!

Mile 18 I ate 1/2 a cookie dough balance bar - wanted to try this for the actual marathon. It worked ! Mile 19, dropped a water bottle from my belt and bent down to pick it up and ooo.. was pretty stiff. Some guy running by was laughing at me and we chatted for the first half of that mile. Made it to mile 20, ipod still functioning, in good spirits, hydrated and feeling good!

There were a few moments where I considered running the whole thing since I was feeling good. But.. I didn't think it would be the best of ideas with Boston in a few weeks. It was a relief that I felt that way and I feel confident for the big day! I would have been close to a PR had I continued which is awesome! Boston is a bit more challenging - there were a few hills going over bridges and all, but I don't think it will compare to Boston! But I would do this marathon again - it was small and had that small marathon charm with fans here and there with lots of enthusiasm. I'm so used to doing the big ones. I am looking forward to Boston now, maybe I can get a decent time - for me! I hope that I feel that good!

In the end, Bill, Nick, and my parents were waiting for me at mile 20, and I was done! It felt great. I did an ice bath when I got home. I thought hypothermia was going to set in. Warm shower, pump, stretched out and plan to eat lots of food!

20 miles /3:04:40/9:14
first 10: 1:28:?? /8:52ish pace
last 10 1:35:??/9:30ish pace

Night before: Pasta with a bag of spinach cooked, chick peas, sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, tomato sauce, crackers, some pound cake, some of a power bar, some rosemary bread(thanks ABBY!), bread with PB, oat bran muffins

Before the race: bread with PB + water!

During the race : 2 GUs, 1/2 a package of sport beans, 1/2 a balance bar and lots of water


Ice bath - do you take a warm shower first? Do you totally stretch out before or after? How do you will yourself to get in - that was difficult! How much ice do you use?

Today I ate a power bar in the car, stretched a little before but got in right when I got home with 2 bags of ice, then took a hot shower, stretched more, then ate more.



Thanks for your assistance on this stressful decision! A few things I've looked into but are not options:

- our district doesn't offer job share or part time jobs
- I can't go back for the 4 weeks as a trial period and then not go back in Sept (ideal I think)

My thoughts are teaching an education course at a college where I only need my masters, continuing tutoring 2-3 times a week, and/or starting some kind of side business. I think in my heart I do want to go back to work, but, I feel that it isn't the best decision for Nick, and I think that he should come first. I'm sure that I can be happy either way? I feel that I'd question my decision more if I went back and feel more guilty about it, whereas if I stay home, I'll just be out of my comfort zone and miss my job.

I got an email from a student today - and they expect me to be back May 1. The subject was: COME BACK!!! She was a great student in one of my classes, and her email then said something about the sub not even yelling at her when she had her cell phone out (I was nuts about cell phones in class and always confiscated them). That was hilarious. I feel like I am deserting my classes, it is kind of sad. I wrote back that I may not be back and she wrote - YOU CAN'T DO THIS TO US!!
Breaks my heart.

Yesterday I did an easy treadmill 3 miles and today I met Abby for an 8 mile run on the trail.
It went really well sub 9 pace which is like a tempo run for me right now. She also made me some rosemary bread to carb-load for this weekend's long run (a 10 mile race + 8 or 10 more miles to add on). It is delicious! I signed up for the 10 miler this weekend which is the same course as the marathon so I plan to stop, get a water break and my medal for the 10 miler and then trudge on to finish 18 or 20 miles with the marathoners. So I'll be a partial bandit.

Still in my whirlwind of thoughts

April 1 is quickly approaching - "D" day for me. Will I return to work in August or take the school year off? I have thought about all of the different aspects of either way and here is what I've come up with:

The happy medium would be working 2 days a week at my job. Not possible.
I feel like it would be a selfish decision to return to work if we could swing it.


Returning to Work:
I love my job and it is fulfilling and gives me confidence. However, knowing that I am missing out on the little things that Nick is doing at home, how much will I love my job ?

Being home the last 7 weeks there have been several days where I really miss working. I miss the students that I teach, and the interaction with some colleagues.

I always would take work home and graded tests so that they were returned the next class.
I think that I would have to leave all work at school so that I could come home and spend family time. I think in the end I would feel like both a bad mother and a bad teacher.

I think no matter what, I will miss my job if I don't return to it. But I keep telling myself I can return and still work the rest of my life. It is like a year off where I still have a job to go back to. I can travel when the rest of the world doesn't have off .

This is my 4th year at the same high school coming up. The freshmen will be seniors and I know a lot of the kids. I was at my first school 3 yrs and second for 1, so this is the longest I've been at a school ( I plan to work here for life) nd have a relationship w/ alot of the kids who are seniors.

Staying Home:

I'll be there for all of the moments I don't want to miss.
More time to run- priorities, yes
More time for hobbies

What will I do with my time?
How bored will I be- (I'm a busy body)
What can I do to stay fresh on the math?
What can I do to supplement the income?
Big paycut

And last, one year will probably become 2 yrs if we have another baby next year. By that time, how hard will it be to return to work??


I don't feel like running.

Yes, you heard it here. The girl that ran through her pregnancy and didn't lack in motivation woke up today and I didn't feel like running. I got a through a crappy 8 mile run on the treadmill but the whole time was a drag. I couldn't wait for it to be over and it felt like a pregnant run all over again. I wanted to stop and take walk breaks and had to reason with myself that it would take much longer if I did. I guess we have good days and bad, so hopefully some better days are ahead for me!

I don't think it is the best idea to train for a marathon a few months after having a baby - just for anyone out there considering that idea! A 5k, 10k, even 10 miler would be perfect : )

I'm also over feeling like I'm still pregnant. I hate my stomach and I feel like I'm being a good eater and I still feel like I have a pregnant belly. I'm not dropping any weight, and I don't feel like I'm over-eating. I may start keeping track to make sure I'm not, but I can't cut calories much anyway since I need to feed my kiddo!

I took a little smoothie hiatus but they are back. Today was blueberries, flax, banana, spinach and protein powder + milk.


I'm not a smart runner

I wasn't a smart runner today. I was starving and so thirsty! I set out to do 16 miles down in Philly at Kelly Drive. Well, when I woke up I was praying Abby had texted me an cancelled. But, she didn't. On I went. The thought of doing a loop, then turning around and running back seemed mentally good to me, so I planned to meet Abby who was doing around 12-14. She brought her friend Bess and we met at 8:30 at Lloyd Hall and were off. There was a 5k race down there this morning and a regatta so it was busy! We started off at a quick sub 9 pace and held that for a bit. It felt fine, but I knew I couldn't hold that pace. After about 3-4 miles, I started to lag behind. I was definitely slowing them down! At around the halfway point, I turned to finish my 16 and Abby and Bess kept going to complete their 12-14. I had a vanilla bean GU and shortly after started to experience stomach pains. I drank my one water bottle in about 3 sips. I definitely did not have enough water, and didn't realize all the fountains were off or taken out for the winter which was very sad.

I took several walk breaks and my pace was REALLY slow. The first 1/2 was around 8:45 average and in the end my average was over 10, so I REALLY slowed! Around mile 12-13 I was really really thirsty. I ran past the regatta, our school had a tent, and at least it kept my mind off the running while I looked for any students that I knew - didn't see any. My knees were also bothering me - this is very bad. With 2 miles left my shoulders started hurting (damn Jillian workout that I did yesterday - I love how she says "I WANT YOU TO FEEL LIKE YOU ARE GOING TO DIE." Awesome!) With about 1.5 miles to go I hoarded the bag of sport beans that I had and was dreaming of water. Stupid stupid me. I had to go back out 1/4 mile to make it to 16 miles since the course is 7.75ish each lap. I finally finished and was so happy to be done! I chugged the bottle of water in my car and couldn't wait to get home for more. I ate a powerbar immediately!! And when I got home, I hoarded food all day long. I wasn't as dead as I was last week, and didn't have to pass out during the afternoon as I did last week on a bed that wasn't even made.

I'm a bit nervous if my knees will hold up in 4 weeks. I think I just need to run slowly and stretch well for the next 4 weeks!

This week 40.6 miles

Today's run 16 miles/2:44:46/10:18

* Thank you for all of your experiences and advice on my big upcoming decision!


computer/bars and MOM HELP!

**A mom question/help needed in the very last part of this post!**

Well today, I did a little experiment. I didn't turn on the computer until after lunchtime. I feel like I've been on it WAY too much for not using it for work. I got alot done this morning! I did 8 miles on the treadmill and it was kind of a drag. I have to say, I am not super motivated and would much rather run outside and with someone!

8 miles/1:15:00/9:23pace

Also, today, I decided to stay away from bar eating to see how that went. While I was running, I was thinking - what am I putting into my body? powerbars, gu, jellybeans(sportbeans)... hmm. I really need to eat more natural foods and not get by with bars. Also, I need to think of easy lunch options. I started thinking, hmm, maybe these boca burgers and morningstar burgers that I live on aren't the best thing for me either! I really need some lunch ideas, it is hard for me to change how I view things like eating bread/wraps, etc. I usually skip the bread/carbs and just want something nutrient dense. Any vegetarians out there? What do you eat for lunch?

My long run this week is 16 miles. My inlaws are in town so I could do 16 miles everyday to pass the time. Just kidding. Well, not really. Parents of any kind being in my house for more than 2 hours at a clip is difficult for me : ) I'm going to go on Sunday morning down to Kelly drive and do 2 loops. Lucky for me, Abby said she'd meet me and do her 12 miles for this week. HOORAY!!!! I was sort of dreading running alone.

Then the following week is this 10 mile "race" (for me) that is also a marathon. It is the same course and you stop at 10 miles or keep going if you are running the marathon. I'm trying to decide if I will stop at the 10, get my time, and keep going for 18-20 with the marathoners as my training run. Might be killer.

Since I have no pictures, here a picture of the day:

And on that note, a post for moms out there or anyone else that wants to throw out some advice.

The other thing going on is my 360 change. Back in the day, when I was pregnant, I was sooo resentful that I had to deal with the body changes, carry a baby, and stay home from work for 6ish weeks. I really just wanted a stork to deliver the baby.I thought nursing was horrendous and was afraid of what was to come.

Well, NOW, I think the whole thing is a MIRACLE. It is so cool. I will view the whole thing so differently for round 2 - and 3 and 4? Haha. I think nursing creates an awesome bond and is pretty neat how the body even works. AND, most importantly, I already decided that I won't go back to finish out the school year (I had originally put in for May 1), and now I am thinking that I can NOT leave Nick at daycare in August when I return for next school year. I'm freaking out! I know many of you do it and I know it is hard but I am having a very bad case of motherly guilt and wondering why I shouldn't stay home with him (the main issue is the benefits - we are all covered through my school). Yes, it would be a pretty large loss of salary, but I would take off 2 years I think (1 year then go back and have another baby and take off the rest of that year - yes, kind of have it figured out) and be working the rest of my life. I LOVEEEE my job, but I can't imagine loving it knowing I have a baby at home that I am not watching. I do not love being at home just yet, but I'm adjusting to it. I feel that I would miss my job, but that in my heart wouldn't be into it. I think the main problem I have is that he'd be 7 months and unable to speak yet to tell us if anything was wrong or treating him wrong? Even though the daycare we found seems great - now that he is here, I do not think I can do it!
I have to decide by April 1 and write my letter to school telling them when I will return. I can keep my job even if I take off until September 2010. I just get no pay and no benefits.
moms- and non moms - advice wanted!

Home with my little guy! (I think this counts for 10)
I get to work the rest of my life - not missing much

I might get bored!
I'll start talking like a baby and brain will turn to mush
No pay, no benefits


your thoughts on....bars

Powerbars that is!

Lately, I have just been grabbing bars - Lunabars, balance bars, Powerbars. I have 3 boxes of them in my house. I eat bars in the middle of the night and right when I wake up. I'm trying to cut out that middle of the night thing with water, and most of the time it works. I view bars as a healthy snack depending on what kind of bar it is. The protein is usually something that I can use daily. I'll do powerbars as a recovery food, balance bars as a pre-breakfast, and luna bars as a snack. The last few days I've probably had 2 bars a day just to grab something to eat when I'm starving. And a smoothie. I feel like they have lots of vitamins and are good for my sweet tooth but they really shouldn't be a replacement for a meal which sometimes they are for me. What are your thoughts?

Current bars:
Luna: White Chocolate Macadamia, Cookies N Creme
PowerBar: Chocolate one - harvest
Balance Bar: Chocolate and Cookie Dough

Here is a bar giveaway btw- giveaway ends tomorrow

More about food....smoothies. I haven't really changed them up much. Mine have berries, 1/2 a banana, Aria protein powder, soy/skim milk or almond breeze (tried this after hearing from abby and A.B. that they tried it out - don't like how it is low in protein but do like the low-cal), and a handful of spinach. Bad thing is these smoothies cause some gas!! The other thing is, it is kind of annoying to have fresh berries and expensive right now, so I'm thinking frozen is my next thing when I run out of fresh berries.

I keep getting into a rut where I just eat the same fruits, same veggies, same meals. I never switch it up! Oatmeal for breakfast, same smoothie everyday, there is some change in the veggies for dinner but always the same rotation (spinach, sweet potatoes, mushrooms for the most part). How do you mix it up??

Today I went with Nick to Valley Forge again for that intense hill workout. I brought out an old friend! When I started running, I bought the Garmin 201. It is HUGE. I remember being frustrated with it never finding a signal. So it sat in a shoebox for the last 3ish years, maybe 4, and I brought it out today to see how long that loop was. It found its signal pretty quick and I enjoyed it. Instead of wearing it, I sat it on the stroller. For any locals, if you park in the visitors lot and run the loop - around the arch/not under it, and back to the top past the visitors center and back down to the lot - it is 5.5 miles (5.49). It took me forever!! Nick was awake for much of the run and sooo good!

5.5 miles/1:03:15/11:30 w/ BOB

Thanks for your personal running info. It sounds like most of you run 4-5 days a week, which is where I'm at. I'd like to swim and lift the other two, but so far I have been doing yoga and strength. I have to find a pool all over again (the other one was before work and near work).



Happy St Pattys!

I haven't been doing my weekly activity summary so I'm doing it here for the last 5 weeks. More for me, but that's ok!

3/9/2009 — 3/15/2009:36.0 Mi 5:31:43 week 5
3/2/2009 — 3/8/2009:35.3 Mi 5:43:29 week 4
2/23/2009 — 3/1/2009:33.0 Mi 5:27:35 week 3
2/16/2009 — 2/22/2009: 24.3 Mi
4:19:34 week 2
2/9/2009 — 2/15/2009:4.0 Mi 46:32 week 1

I tried the 30 day shred - it is decent for someone like me that needs more direction using weights and gets bored easily making up my own stuff. Cardio wise - it is more low key I'd say. I still felt the need to go and do the elliptical machine at the gym. It's a nice quick workout for a cross training day I'd say!

Don't know why, but I'm still the same weight that I was weeks ago. Some days I'm a pound up and some days I'm the same. I'm eating really well and working out, so I don't know why it is so hard to get rid of these extra pounds that have been here since 1 week out!!

I'm trying to figure out how many days to run a week so that I don't get injured but I get in a good amount of miles. Last week I did Tues, Wednes, Thurs, Sat, Sun so 5 days.
I was thinking something similar this week. Most of my runs are easy with a long run for now.
How many days do you run? What is your week like?



30 DAY SHRED -what do you know about it? I've definitely heard people talk about it and just found it free on fios ON demand (new hobby).

On demand has tons of free workouts - Thanks Ali! I'm now considering quitting the gym!

What workout do you do?
I was feeling kind of sore so I did some yoga and an easy 2 miles.

Check out Amanda's giveway here!


First real long run - 5 weeks out

abby running

I was very, very nervous about the long run today. All of the logistics basically. Would I have enough sleep and energy? I could not remember what to wear, what to eat, and how to prepare and I was really anxious about it! Thank you to everyone who gave me some tips - and special thanks to Angela - she sent me a list of a bunch of tips to prepare! Thank you -thank you - thank you!!

Last night we were out watching Villanova play with friends who also just had a baby. We ordered pizza, which was strike 1 - so I had to bring some food along to make sure I had some good stuff in my system - some bulgar and sweet potatoes with a cut up gardenburger. I was trying to drink lots of water yesterday but kind of got sidetracked. I was supposed to go to bed early, and I kind of did - a little past 10. Nick ate around 7:15pm and I thought he'd be up to eat soon after I fell asleep and again in the early morning hours, so was nervous, but he's an angel and worked with me, waking up only at 1:15am and 5:50am (great stretches!) By the time he was done at 5:50 it was almost 6:30 and I was ready to go. But I slept another hour. I woke up before 7:30, made some pb/ toast and tea and pumped a side. I wore black pants, a long sleeve shirt and a teletubby looking SUGOI long sleeve hoodie.

We met at 8:30, and just prior to starting I pumped the other side. I brought the car with the tinted windows in the back and was looking at all the bikers around (lots out today!) and hoping no one was coming close to my car! We were off. We ran from Conshohocken to where the path ends just before Manuyunk. It was around 7.5 miles. The path is marked but Abby also had her Garmin, Neil, to confirm our distances. Which was very cool (fragment). Then we stopped at our cars for water/GU and ran in the other direction towards Valley Forge. Instead of running towards Norristown we went towards Plymouth meeting - it was a bit more quiet and there were less bikers. This is where the picture above comes from. We ran until we could just about see IKEA and turned around(a bit less than 2 miles). I took a little walk/water break here. Abby was rocking and doing and feeling great. I was definitely feeling like I was pushing it a bit and a bit behind. We ran back and then went towards Norristown for a little over a mile and turned around back towards Conshy until we finished 14. Towards the end we kept seeing lots of people dressed up for St Pattys carrying cups. Love it. I told Abby I like being on the other side of that - the runner instead of the partier. :) Abby still went out and did 4 more. Usually I would probably continue on, but my knees were kind of hurting a bit and I was feeling pretty tired. Actually when I went to put my leg up to the car to stretch, it was pretty stiff. Been a long time since I ran a legit long one outside! But - I made it. CHECK! I think I'll be a bit sore tomorrow and I'm pretty damn tired today!! I also (4 hours later) have kind of an upset stomach. I feel like dairy does that to me and I did have a slice of pizza. I almost always avoid it 24 hours before a long run/race. Do you get that?

14 miles/2:09:34/9:14 pace

I was thinking of getting ice for an ice bath after, but when I called home, Nick was screaming. I definitely didn't leave enough food for him, so now I know. I learned a few things that I'll do better next time! I left the one bottle of pumped milk and lots of frozen milk - but he wasn't taking to it. So next time I'll be more prepared with more food for him already prepared at a good temperature. As soon as I walked in the door, I fed him. Kind of gross but he didn't mind.
I devoured a power bar and White Choc Macadamia Luna Bar ( you have to try these, so good!) after and made a recovery smoothie (protein powder, milk, berries, banana, flax, spinach) after.

Thank you for all of the advice - and thank you Abby for running with me!

I feel good that I got one run in with a set schedule and not being too flexible about it. The rest of the long runs will go smoothly and I shouldn't be as nervous!


long run and cross training

First some fun:

Matilda's Kitchen
Honey Nut Lo
Granola giveaway !!

Today, I don't want to run. I ran the last 3 days and tomorrow is going to be a long run. I don't know what to do with myself. Yoga? Wii fit? Lift the baby exercises? What is a good workout prior to a long run? I'm a bit stuck since I can't take Nick to the gym yet and haven't joined the Y to swim yet. Hm. ANy ideas? I can't seem to brave the Y's high fees when my gym is closer and less expensive. The only plus is they have a pool and my parents live 2 minutes away so they would watch Nick when we/ I work out.

Tomorrow I'm meeting Abby to do 14 miles, maybe more, but doubtful. I'm nervous - not about the distance but the logistics and how my night goes! I may be a zombie in the morning! Also I'm planning to pump before and after - is this my best bet? I may feed Nick around 6 or 7 and meet to run at 8:30. Do I need to pump right before running, say it will take 2 to 2.5 hours. Let me know your thoughts mamas out there. I'm totally nervous about the logistics but am excited to go do a long run outside!

I decided I'm going to try(key word) to cook 3-4 meals on Sunday for the week. If you have any good ones (healthy and don't have to be veggie but those are preferred!) please share!

Have a great weekend to all!


Staying fit and preg running

5 wks out - up 6 lbs

Well... today confirmed my suspicion that my body rebounded so quickly as a result of working out throughout the 9 months. I met up with some girls from school that had babies in December and they can't fit into their clothes - hips/abs and are still + 10 pounds up. I don't have any issues with my hips - but Nick has a small head too, so... that might have helped! But, I feel like running all through the pregnancy totally helped me! I have been 5-6 pounds up from pregnancy weight since about 1 week out. I'm not dieting, just eating well and continuing my workouts/running/training!

I've been getting some questions so here is a brief recap.
How I handled the running throughout - a recap for all the future mommies:
I was already running 30-40 miles a week throughout the winter and spring and got pregnant late spring/early summer. My doctor said I was totally fine to continue running as long as I listened to my body. So, I continued to run through fatigue of the first trimester, energy burst of the 2nd trimester - still 30 - 40 miles. I did start being out of breathe in the first few months and my pace crept up, and in the second few, it stayed around the same, but went up at times. There were good days and bad days. I continued long runs on the weekends. The end of the first trimester my knees were a big problematic. Running was the same in the first trimester just slower and more being out of breath. Second trimester - as it got further into the pregnancy, some pains here and there like side stitches, and my achilles was bothering me at times. I took walk breaks whenever I needed it.

The third trimester I was still running, I was getting bigger, and my pace continued to slow. I could feel the baby moving but he wouldn't move when I was running (until the few weeks I'd say- then I could feel him at times when running). I'd get side stitches and need to walk more often than the previous months. Throughout, I was going 10 to 12:30 minute miles up from 7:30 to 9 minute miles before I was pregnant. I kept up the mileage and hit 30 miles almost every week, and dropped some of the longer runs until more towards the end. I did my last long run on Jan 31 of 12 miles at 12:30ish pace, 6 days before Nick was born. My last run of a total of 5.5 miles (did half took a break and did the rest) - the run where I started getting back pains (labor/contractions!) was Wednesday afternoon Feb 4, he was born the morning of Feb 6. It was 11 min mile pace. Running - it could have helped me go into labor 2 weeks early!

It is pretty cool to look back at my mileage and training throughout and confirm that it was all worth it! I feel great, and I recommend staying in shape to any future mama - with approval of your doctor. I was probably one extreme - but I think any working out through the whole thing really helps! I thought my pregnancy was a breeze looking back. I feel like none of the bad things (besides that line down the belly) happened to me. I'd do it over again anyday! And definitely run through it again for sure. Overall - running with some walking mixed in when body not cooperative, being flexible, and slowing down is what I did!

Gross pic - the jello belly and line
lost: any definition
gained: a precious baby!

SMOOTHIE - today was more pink/purple than brown. Less spinach, less banana, berries, milk and soy milk, protein powder.


training buddies, balance

BROWN SMOOTHIE - my smoothie was brown today.
I used more spinach than the last few days, blueberries, rasperries, blackberries, a whole banana (I like using half), some almond breeze and some silk soymilk.
I love this new stick thing Bill ordered and it makes cleanup really easy!

I had a second smoothie after dinner as a dessert smoothie - milk, protein powder (forgot it on the 1st one) and some almond butter. I think the almond butter was a waste because I could hardly taste it.

This morning I was able to run with Abby!! I hadn't run with her since before Nick was born. I was supposed to bring Nick but the weather was iffy, so I dropped him off with my dad who has his own business/office @ home and he watched him so I could run. I have to say she is so flexible with pace, time, etc. We ran before I got pregnant - last winter for long runs and then over the summer after I was pregnant and when I was pretty pregnant this fall/winter and wasn't going very fast. She has been awesome - what a great running partner!! Now I'm working on getting in miles and she is training for the NJ marathon in May. It was GREAT to run with Abby!

I think one thing that has been hard is finding balance between baby, self, marriage, running, sleeping, eating well and adjusting to staying home. I'm good at being a mom so far and giving time for the baby but we need to work at giving time for each other and Bill needs to work on time for himself. I'm making time for running but taking that time from naps/sleep/maintaining a semi decent house. I'm sure I'll get it together, and it has helped this week to focus on a goal - eating well - so that I'm not kind of bored and feeling like I am not doing anything. I think balance is a challenge for most of us and we find it in time.

Good eats
oat bran w/ pb, wheat germ, flax, brown sugar (bad-omit)
fruit smoothie
almond butter + wheat crackers
bulgar, beans, mushrooms
stuffed portabello
sweet potatoes and potatoes
milk smoothie
gs cookie


eating well

Eating well means feeding this guy well!

Thank you for all of your advice for training. I'll see how I'm doing and decide from there. Right now running 20 (possibly alone) sounds like something I'm not going to do. I'm not tooo concerned right now, since all I want to do is finish. It is kind of nice not having the pressure.

I have been eating pretty well. My main crap time is dinner and after dinner.

Breakfast has been oatmeal, pb, flax and wheatgerm. I don't know if I need both of those but it adds different flavors. The only bad thing is by the time I get downstairs to eat (after feeding, changing Nick and changing myself) I am ravenous. I start getting the stuff together for oatmeal and eat scoops of peanut butter while I wait for the oatmeal to cook. Very bad. I think once the naturally nutty is gone (1 jar left - but I did give 3 away, still, yikes) - I will do better. After breakfast I don't really eat meals, I just eat when hungry - not a priority right now! Ha.

So I'll eat maybe a balance, power or luna bar. And the new flavor for Luna is White Chocolate Macadamia - it is so good!! I've been making smoothies as well. And I'll eat a mixture of Kashi cereal with cranberries and almonds.

Dinner has been whatever I can throw together - I need help with this. There's always some kind of veggie and protein (veggie burgers, tofu, fake chicken patty, etc - boca/gardenburger stuff). Some nights a grain - pasta/bulgar/couscous.
I always get out the recipe books and they SIT there.
Boca burgers, cheese, pasta, mushrooms, sweet potatoes (thanks for THOSE recipes, I chopped them up with olive oil and baked them tonight - really good!) And with ketchup XC2!

Not sure that I'm eating enough or if I just want a dessert after dinner so I've been eating GS cookies, Trader Joe's Joe Joe cookies - a mix of them. I may start eating a Luna Bar for some extra sweetness. Oh, some nights I have more peanut butter or almond butter.

Then - the middle of the night when I get up to feed Nick, I started telling myself that I'm hungry. Sadly, I keep granola bars in the nursery. I need to move them and just drink water.
I really don't think I'm hungry at that hour. I guess just since I am awake. Isn't it weird how when we are sleeping we don't need to eat? How much work is my body actually doing making milk? I don't think that I need all that more calories because I'm really not starving at anytime (besides breakfast)...

So overall, doing pretty well with the nutrition but would like to rev up the dinner.

It would be great to be able to order from a menu of healthy organic foods every night. For free.


here the runners lounge interview from Friday March 6

Open Mic Friday: Lil Runner

Open mic friday We are excited to bring you this week's interview of a runner who is sure to inspire you. She is in the middle of training for a marathon and not any marathon - she is taking on Boston. And if that wasn't tough enough, add on the fact that she just had a beautiful new baby boy and except for the little detail of delivery, barely missed a step in her training throughout her pregnancy and now as a running mom. And through all her recent changes, she continues to inspire us through her running updates in her blog as well as stories of her son Nicholas in her baby blog,

Welcome Lil Runner!

Why did you start running?

I started running in 2004 because I really missed competitive sports which I did through high school and college. I am a competitive person by nature. One of my best friends, Nicole, had run a marathon and made me interested in running one. I printed out a training plan, followed it, and started with Philly's Broad Street 10 miler in May. I was hooked! I did a half marathon in Central Park the next weekend, and did my first marathon, Steamtown (Scranton, PA) in October. From there, it is all history!

Tell us about your beautiful new son - Nicholas. Lilrunner nick

He is perfect and precious. You do not realize the amount of joy that will come into your life and the miracle that is a child. I love holding him on my chest - he is so tiny. I am cherishing every moment with him. When I look at him, I can't even believe that he is mine! I look forward to many runs with him in the future.

How did you handle running through your pregnancy?

My doctor - who I may profess my love to very soon - told me that since I was in great shape going into the pregnancy that I could continue to run, and to listen to my body. He did not restrict me in any way but knew I would be smart about running. I kept up my mileage but ran slower as each month went on. Some days were harder than others and at first, that was hard. I adjusted and started to feel lucky that I could run each day. I signed up for the Philadelphia marathon and my doctor told me that I could do it (at 28 Lilrunner jogger weeks pregnant). I felt like the sky was the limit! I ended up walking the half marathon that day but I would like to do a marathon for fun earlier on in my next pregnancy.

What advice would you give running pregnant moms?

As long as you are already running - get approval of your doctor or switch to a doctor who will support you to run through your pregnancy. Listen to your body! You will have good days and bad days - don't push it! And look at each week as another gift that you are still able to run.

What tips have you found for balancing home and running so far?

I'm not back to work yet and I think that will present a new challenge, but so far it is all about priorities. Family comes first, but you also need time for yourself. That for me is where running come in. Yes - it is hard to fit everything in that you want to accomplish, but make running a priority and you will find the time for it!

What is the biggest question you have about running and being a mom?

I think that it is going to become more difficult as Nick gets better and more mobile, and as our family grows with 2 working parents. I'd love to hear from other moms about tips to fit everything in!

What are your running goals for 2009?Lilrunner family

First, I want to finish Boston successfully, raising money for Dana Farber! Then I plan to do some spring races for fun.

After that, I want to work back to where I was before the pregnancy. I PR'ed all of last spring and I want to get my speed back and get even faster.

Tell us about your journey to Boston.

I have always wanted to run Boston. In 2007 I got the bug and the spring of 2008, I decided I was determined to run Boston with a charity in 2009. I knew that I wanted to start a family back in the winter/spring of 2008 and I knew I wouldn't get in a marathon to qualify so I decided I would apply for a charity that I had a strong belief in. I found out I was pregnant in June 2008 and applied for the Dana Farber (known for cancer research ) marathon challenge in September, knowing that it would be only 2 months after my due date. I decided that if I got in, it was meant to be, and if not, it wasn't. I found out in November that I was in! I was completely excited and partially nervous as hell!

Share your secrets for managing your weight so well during and after your pregnancy - you already look fantastic.

I have to think running helped me to gain the minimum amount of weight that my body needed to have a healthy pregnancy. I also cross trained, took yoga classes, and swam 7 days a week almost every week. I am a good eater, and I mostly ate when I was hungry throughout the pregnancy. I'm a vegetarian so I kept my protein intake high and made sure I was getting enough nutrients from healthy foods.

The weight came off very easily after delivering and in the first week after he was born. I still have a few extra pounds and the jelly belly, but all of my clothes fit and are so exciting to wear!I feel great!

What is your favorite training and/or race distance?

My favorite race distance is 10 miles. It is manageable and was the distance of my first race.

What is some of your "must have" running gear?

My favorite item is my nike hatphones. I wear them on the treadmill even indoors but love wearing them outside - I love having no cords hanging around!

Why did you start blogging?

I took a class "internet in the classroom" a few summers ago and one of our assignments was to start a blog. I started an education blog as I am a teacher and would post every now and then. This past summer I was kind of bored, and started looking up all things running online. I found that people were blogging about running and was instantly hooked. Just reading other blogs inspired me! I started my running blog to keep myself motivated, make myself accountable, and to share and get support from other runners. The blogging community is amazing - I wish I had started blogging earlier, but I am so impressed with the doors that blogging has opened for me!

Tell us about your blogs.

My running blog (Lil Runner) is all about my training, races, and life thrown in there. I started the baby blog to talk about the pregnancy and baby things but wanted to keep it separate (It's a boy!). I also started one for my fundraising efforts for Boston to share updates of my training with family and friends. (Next stop...Boston).

Who are some of your virtual running friends you wish you could run with or chat with in person?

Mama Simmons at http://simmonsfamilygrows.blogspot.com. Michelle lives in Hawaii and is an ironman. Reading about her training makes me want to be there training with her!

Clare @ http://musclesandra.blogspot.com. Clare had a baby in December and it was fantastic finding her blog and asking her questions about training throughout the pregnancy. We had similar outlooks about pregnancy and she was a great support!

Amanda @ http://runtothefinish.blogspot.com. Amanda is a great inspiration - she writes not only about running, but becoming a better person, and eating better. It is very refreshing to read her blog and makes me as a reader want to improve myself!

Aron @ http://runnersrambles.blogspot.com. Aron is somewhat new to the sport of running, having started in early 2008. She is very level-headed about training, and found a routine that worked for her for her runs. I really enjoy reading her blog and find her to be a super positive role model.

What is your ultimate running dream?

My ultimate running dream has been running Boston. Now, it is running Boston, getting to the finish, kissing my husband & son, and holding little Nick and putting the medal around his neck. Then taking a family picture of this moment. I'm already envisioning it and I can't wait for this.

What brings you back to running everyday?

The way that I feel after a run - a sense of accomplishment and feeling that I am doing something good for my body.


6 weeks to go

Holy ****!!!

Would you take a look at my plan for the next 5 weeks of long runs and see what you think?
My main thing is the 20- should it be 2 weeks out or 3? I usually do 12: 2 weeks out and 8 : 1 week out.

week of
March 15: 14 miles
March 22: 16 miles
March 29: 10 mile race + add on to do 18? 16?
April 5: 20 (or do 18?) 12?
April 12: 8 miles
April 20: Marathon

I don't know if I'll really do a 20 miler. Maybe 18.
My goal: to finish and have fun. No real time/pace goals, but I do hope to finish under 5 hours. But mainly, I want to enjoy it and take in the experience. Hopefully see family along the way! And hopefully find lots of people to hop in and run with me.

I was thinking of doing a 1/2 race this weekend but I'm kind of thinking I might get nervous thinking about doing the other half in 6 weeks. It is a tough course. Hmm...

I tried the LUNA macadamia flavor today - YUMMMMMIEEEE in my tummy!!

smoothie mania - well, inspired by Amanda over at Run to Finish, this is my 3rd day of smoothies.
Today I tried spinach in it. It stayed purple. I think I added 1/4 to 1/2 cup of fresh leaves, so not too much. I used:

blackberries - 1/2 c
blueberries - 1/2 c
1/2 a banana
spinach leaves
Aria Protein Powder
Topped w/ whip cream and that is good stuff!

Check out the long legs on my peanut!


Outside Running

These feet can't wait to run!

Wow - the last 2 days have been great! I can't wait for full blown spring! Yesterday was high 50s, today was mid/high 60s! We took our little guy to the loop we've been doing, I ran it and Bill walked him in the stroller. I felt like I was going pretty fast, but then, not really. My nike+ seems to be lacking battery power - has anyone replaced this? I just used my ipod and I know the length of the loop, and I got 4 miles/35:13/8:49 - I'm not sure how accurate that was and I'm not sure I felt that fast. But, for now, I'll take it!

Today, my inner thighs are a good sore and upper back could use a nice massage. My knees hurt a little bit but didn't hurt at all during either run.

What is bad is that I am kind of ignoring my training plan, so I need to at least plan the rest of the long runs to make sure I am getting in the mileage. I am starting to get nervous!
There are 6 weeks to go. What do you think of 13 - 16- 18/20 - 14- 8 ? It sounds manageable to me besides that I don't know about the 18/20 without a partner but I'm sure I'll get it done somehow.

What is good is that I was inspired by the healthy A.B. and made a yummy smoothie today with pineapple, blackberries, blueberries, banana, protein powder and milk. Yummy! Lots of fruit and protein.
My breakfasts have all been oatmeal with PB, flaxseed ground and wheatgerm. Only problem starting the day with the PB is eating too much of it. It's almost gone (at least the good flavors) so that shouldn't be a problem until they have a 50% and free shipping thing going on again (Naturally Nutty).

I'm looking up recipes to make something with sweet potatoes tonight. We'll see how far I get. But I want to up the veggies and fruits! If you have a sweet potato recipe send it along!

Do you have an Iphone? I have the ipod touch but it sits in a basket at home. I got it at work for using technology to try out. I don't use it in the classroom at all. But, here are some great apps for the iPhone that you could check out.

Hopefully the weather sticks around!! : ) One more easy run planned for tomorrow, outside let's hope!



I like this picture - it looks like he's about to hand bump me.

Today! was run.eat.sleep.run for me and eat.sleep. for Nick!

Interview on Runners Lounge!

Nick is 1 month old!

Today to celebrate Nick's one month birthday and the weather, I wanted to go do my long run at Valley Forge. I tried planning it ahead of time, but then it was a little chilly this morning so plan #1 was bagged. Also, I just felt like staring at him this morning when we got up! And playing. I think I took a bizillion pictures of him in the same pose.

Instead I ran on the treadmill while he slept (on his tummy!), and got in 7.3 miles.

He woke up, he ate, and I packed him up to go to Valley Forge
He looks angry!

for one loop (5 or 5.5 miles?) to get in a total of 12. It wasn't really a long run because there was a break in between, but I'll get in some long ones in the weeks to come.

I realized when I got there I wore the wrong shoes - my nike+ is on my Mizunos and I wore the Asics. I've been alternating them pretty well.

Valley Forge: This was like a resistance training workout. Holy Hills! First, it was not nap time yet, so he was not too happy to be strapped into his carseat. He fell asleep once in the car and when I moved him into the stroller he stayed asleep. 5 minutes into running he started wailing. I took him out and held him for a little bit, 2 cute little kids came up to him and said 'look at the baby!' They were really cute.
Thank you Mama Simmons - the snugglie was AWESOME!

I crossed my fingers and put him back in the stroller and he was in and out, kind of looking around, and finally dosed off.

I tackled the loop. It isn't too bad for the first part... but then the hills are amazing. Pushing the stroller and running those hills, I was sweating my a$$ off!! It was BEAUTIFUL out by the way. I was running so slow and panting. I think by the end I covered about 5 to 5.5 miles and it took me 57 minutes. I would do it again - it was great training, but I think my legs and upper back from pushing the stroller are going to be quite sore tomorrow!

The arch
some log cabins
Things learned:
I can't schedule a long run.
I probably won't be running outside with anyone WITH the stroller anytime soon!
I can go to VF and get a great hill workout for Heartbreak Hill!
Running hills + the BOB is really tiring!
It makes it much more interesting and fun running with a little buddy! Even when he's sleeping!
Running with baby inside w/ my sister is easier than running with a stroller, carseat and baby!


Cookbook & Running

I enjoyed reading about your healthy eating habits!

I found this blog where she is compiling healthy recipes for a cookbook from Abby's blog and I am getting into that right now!

I ran 7 total today split up and some at a good low 9 pace, sweet! and 7 yesterday, and I'm hoping for a 12er on Friday.
I can fit it in - as long as he looks like this or entertains himself!

If I can, I want to run with locals Laurel & Denise on Friday but I realized I can't just pick up and leave... and that I'm on a tight feeding schedule - fun times! At first, I didn't even think about it!! Would love to hear how mamas out there fit things like long runs in if you have to drive there. It looks warm out so I could take Nick along? I don't have a babysitter or daycare at this point. I'll probably end up on the treadmill again for this one :(

Running is feeling good, but my knees are plaguing me a bit. I tried to go to yoga this week, its been 4 weeks now - but it was cancelled due to the weather. I need to get stretching!


Healthy eating habits

Now that I have someone dependent on me, I know that I want to be a role model for healthy eating. I can picture my little boy eating tofu and veggies and soy chicken nuggets - he doesn't have to know, right? It's fine if he eats meat, but I want him to be healthy and not know that McDonalds exists. I didn't grow up as a healthy eater. I became aware of eating and became healthy my sophomore year in college - 11 years ago. When I wanted to drop pounds for crew, I started doing research, kept a food journal and became really aware of what was healthy and what I was actually eating. Ever since then, there's no going back! It is a lifestyle change I was definitely more fun and less anal just eating anything anytime, but I'm more educated and feel much better about myself now than I did then! I'm not as hard core as back then, especially throughout the pregnancy and now (what is it with peanut butter???) but I am mostly a good eater. My downfalls: cheese, butter, baked goods, and peanut butter from the jar.

Now, I always bring healthy food to places just incase there are no healthy options.
I think the last time I ate McDonalds was when I was 12 or 13. I don't really do sandwiches or hoagies or anything like that unless it is a splurge! I try to eat only things that I know the nutritional value of - I just wish I followed this for baked goods.

Family/friends have been dropping off dinners to help us out, and I am kind of disappointed in what they bring! I feel like, gosh, do you not know me?? I got really frustrated at my parents, it hit the fan when they brought take out pizza/subs one night and I felt horrible. But, I really try hard to be a healthy eater, and when people are bringing crap food, it is really hard to eat well.
I ate so much lasagna the first 2 weeks, that I'll never make a lasagna for anyone again! Fettucine al fredo - which you can't even pay me to eat a whole dish of, plus all these baked goods and random cookies and cakes that I don't want in my house! My baked goods rule is make them and bring them to work or send them to Bill's work. Have a few and get rid of them!

So, I kind of feel frustrated that people don't know what I would like to eat and get that. There are so many options out there today! My co-worker that got me the diamond organics gift certificate is right on the money! I sound so ungrateful - but it is frustrating! I do appreciate the help people have given us.

When did you start eating well? What made you aware? Did you grow up eating well? What foods do you "cheat" on or are your trigger foods? What helps you to continue eating well despite bad food all around you? Does your significant other eat well too ? What tricks have you used to get your kids to eat well (if you have them!)

He's so tiny!! I like him this size!


A good week

It was a good week - family wise, running wise. This is going to be an all over the place post so I'm doing bullets.

  • Thank you Mama Simmons for the snugglie for the stroller to keep Nick nice and warm and in place!! This is going to be so helpful. Picture to come next walk/run.

  • My running mentor and one of my best friends came to visit this weekend - Nicole. She swam throughout high school and college and decided to get into running post college. She ran a marathon, which inspired me to try out running. I attribute my start to running to her - and now I don't know what I'd do without it. So thank you Nic! Nicole finished the Chicago Marathon that year of intense heat and is super fast. She is an amazing runner that can go out into the wee hours of the night and then go run a PR! :) I admire her running and adventures. And - she just happens to be one of the most thoughtful and level headed people that I know. She also doubles as my psychologist. Don't you love friends like that?

  • Runners World Log - you know how they list your monthly mileage? Is there a way to get back to a month not listed there, say last year - besides looking at the bar graph? What other logs do you use ? I like the runners world one - how it has a place for shoes also. Let me know what you are using and what you think.

  • I'm thinking of doing my long run on Friday incase we go to the beach on Sat for the weekend to catch a break and have some family time :) . Anyone out there going to do one on Friday between 9 - 10 min miles? I was just thinking that in my head.. and then, Yea, I just realized it all depends on the weather and if I can get someone to watch the baby... maybe I'll be doing it on the treadmill. Is there a site where you can find people doing long runs locally (when/where)? That might be cool.

Today's recovery run was 4.4 miles/43 minutes. Hope to stretch out and make it to yoga tomorrow!

This weeks mileage was 33 miles :) I'd like to build up to 40-45(?) by April 1.

Mileage for Feb: 72.5 miles - oh man! probably the first month in a super long time I didn't make it to 100! But for a good reason that I would never trade!

Happy March!