18 weeks and favorite holiday recipes

Yesterday I hit 18 weeks. For the first time 2 days ago, I felt the fluttering. With the first 2, it wasn't until 22 weeks so it's early for me! It's so weird and I'm still in major denial that this is happening and have major anxiety that I will be able to handle 3 children and give them each their time.  I have a strong feeling that it is a boy, but last night I had a dream that a girl was born! We will be surprised - that is my favorite thing! Other than emotionally, physically I have been feeling fine. Some days depending on the position of the baby, I cramp up when I'm running, but otherwise everything is good and I can't complain one bit. I've been able to eat pretty well and have not had too many aversions or major cravings so I'm lucky!  I was MAJORLY sore yesterday from the TRX class on Tuesday. I am still sore - everywhere. Every muscle in my body. Probably worse than the marathon soreness? I'm considering doing it once a week, it was a great workout!!

17 weeks:

I'm so excited to for the holiday season, I love it!! Share your favorite holiday recipe link - I love trying new recipes. Here are a couple that I want to try but I'm definitely looking for already modified tasty somewhat healthy recipes.

gingerbread cookies (vegan)

Italian Christmas cookies

Mickey Peppermint Cookies
Here is a nice start to the day with a Sugar cookie smoothie!
  • 2 Celestial Seasonings Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride Tea Bags
  • 1 1/2 c. unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (I used trader Joe's hemp protein)
  • 2 T. old fashioned oats
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 t. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 t. xanthan gum (optional, for thickening)
  • 1-2 c spinach
 Mama Pea boiled the milk, then steeped the 2 tea bags overnight in the fridge. I couldn't wait when I saw the recipe so I cut the tea bags open and just dumped the herbs directly into my milk.  Then last night I tried the overnight steep but honestly didn't find a difference.  So go ahead and dump the tea bags in!

Next - I added spinach and the frozen banana!  With the green color, it's not as pretty but you can't taste it :) I added in a cup or 2 of fresh spinach and used a frozen banana instead of ice cubes. Didn't have the xantham gum so it wasn't as thick as the picture but still yummy, the kids ate it up! ! Great recipe Mama Pea!


New Clif Shot Blok Flavor: Citrus

I had the opportunity to get a free sample of the Clif Citrus Shot Bloks - their newest flavor. I thought it was somewhat repetitive since they have lemon-lime. Isn't that what citrus is? I thought they tasted similar to the lemon-lime but maybe more subtle? So if you think the lemon lime is strong, try the citrus flavor!  What flavor would you like to see?

From Clif:
CLIF SHOT BLOKS come in eight flavors, including three with green tea extract as a natural source of caffeine, which studies have found improves endurance capacity.
In addition to Citrus, CLIF SHOT BLOKS are available in Black Cherry (50 mg caffeine), Cran-Razz®, Margarita (with 3X the sodium), Mountain Berry, Orange (25 mg caffeine), Strawberry and Tropical Punch (25 mg caffeine).

Back into the routine!

Whew! Happy Thankgiving!! Hope that everyone had a really nice break and thankful holiday. We were away from Thursday to Monday, but it felt like a month. We went to my inlaws house in Connecticut. I didn't cook anything. Next year it looks like I'll be cooking and we won't be traveling. I would love to have a veggie Thanksgiving - but I don't think anyone would want to attend that! :-)  What was your favorite Thanksgiving dish?

I am usually a really good eater at the inlaws and work out too, but this time I got sick the day after the marathon with a pretty bad headcold, and it intensified by the weekend after Thanksgiving. I was able to do my first run back after the marathon on Friday (5 days later!) on the local track but couldn't subject myself to the treadmill in the early mornings any of the other days. I slept in and enjoyed the help from my mother-in-law & cousin-in-law! Being pregnant and sick is the worst! You can't take what you want to take so it seems to linger on. The neti-pot was a huge help this weekend.

I had signed up for a free TRX class at the new gym that I joined this morning. It was just 3 of us so great 1 on 1 attention. I think I'll be sore tomorrow and that it was just what my body needed - change! I felt extremely slow on Friday running, but I think I'll get back into it this week and next week. I think that the rest was good for my legs and they will be fresh when it's time to get going again. If not, I'll switch it up and do other things. Have you done TRX? Do you do cardio before/after? It seems like I would put it in the place of lifting. It was one hour long but it would be good for 30 min of TRX and 30 min of cardio.



The healthy baking giveaway winner was schmidty - please email me your info - tosha25italia at yahoo.


16 weeks and more marathon thoughts

So today I'm pretty sore. My right knee started hurting around mile 23 yesterday and it's the kneecap - my knee is sore, and also I have shin splints and my quads are sore. I love being sore though, do you? I used to always record what shoes I was wearing and the mileage and I stopped doing it when I had kids. I am positive that my shoes need replacing and probably are to blame for the shin splints and my knee pain.  Time for some new shoes. Here are some of my favorite pics from my mom's phone:

stealing Nick's water - they ran out of cups

at mile 22
hugs at the finish!

Breakfast was a scoop of peanut butter with coconut oil and amazing grass and 1/2 a clif Z bar. I had 3 chocolate clif gels and 1 razz clif gel along the way. I think the first was around 7/8 miles, maybe even 10 miles, then 15, 20, 23/24. I had zero plan and just took them when I felt like I needed them. I also had a bag of sport jelly beans along the way. I really like those things! Post race I was hungry! I ate a power bar, pretzels, a chocolate milk, a coconut water, and then veggie quesadillas at the diner we stopped at post-race. It was fun having the kids there and able to function. We got home and they napped so it was perfect!

Check out the comparison of times:
Marine Corps 10/30
Philly 11/20

 Half for Marine Corps was 2:13:57, 30K 3:15:19...

About 100 yds to the finish, I should have taken Nick with me!

15/16 weeks were kind of a milestone - i feel like my stomach popped out, my boobs started hurting and got bigger, my regular sweaters aren't flattering anymore...
I don't look obviously pregnant to the general public but probably obvious to people who know me.  Every week I feel like I have a different craving. Last week I was eating alot of Fritos and the past month York Peppermint Patties! I'm kind of just eating whatever I want but I get full quickly!


Philly Marathon '11 report

I lined up at the start this morning not knowing if I would be running half or the full marathon. I was leaning towards the half as of yesterday because I didn't feel like spending 5 hours running today...here was my thought process around miles 10 until I saw the divider - TO THE HALF MARATHON FINISH (go right) or FULL MARATHON this way. - I'm running pretty well, faster than MCM -maybe I'll beat my time?
- Can I handle a slow half marathon time?
- I'm starting to cramp up a bit, should I just stop?
- I can stop and watch the finishers come in, and do media coverage (for examiner)
- I will stop and enjoy myself and get a massage and take my time getting home!
- Maybe I should just go for the whole thing, I have a streak going and this year I'm supposed to do the full
- Should I really do this?
- I signed up for the full, will they give me a medal if I stop at the half? Can I handle no medal?

And that was it my friends. I wanted a medal and to follow through on what I signed up for. And so it was.  And at mile 14, I was like, WHAT THE HELL WAS I THINKING? Should I turn around NOW? Or go to mile 15 and turn around?  Can I just show up at the finish and ask for a medal and somehow pretend I finished without crossing the line? Maybe I should just do this thing. Am I really going to do this?

I felt like I was being total irrational and somewhat crazy to even consider going all the way out to Manayunk but I just kept running and I was in good spirits. My poor parents, Bill and the kids were awaiting what I was going to do and my mom kept texting me "do we have a decision?" they were coming for the second half of the race. I got to see them at mile 22 which was awesome, and then again right before the finish. By that point, I was barely running, it was like a speed walk/jog. I got pathetic and it all went downhill pretty quickly around mile 14. It probably would have been good to stop at 13, but I don't regret finishing. I kind of like the no-stress marathon, but man, it would be nice to run a fast marathon and not spend so much of your day on your feet, wouldn't it? And the pride too!

I finished in over 5 hours - my first over 5 hour marathon 5:10. The last 2 miles I was pretty much hurting and trying to keep moving, and from mile 18 on, I loved cheering on other people (LOVE the names on the bibs, stellar!) It was really fun, I think 20 miles would have been a good ending distance. :)

I got to see Abby at the start, the first 100 yards! She did awesome and PR'ed! And Run to the Finish was out smiling in Manayunk - got to see her too!

Got my medal, and my pride, and #7 complete.

The pictures:

Pooped out from watching

had a great time watching

#1 fan

eating all my post race snacks to stay happy

future marathoner

and she's awake as we're ready to leave!


Healthy baking (giveaway)

Whenever I see a *normal* recipe that looks good, I try to tweak it to be more healthy. Sometimes it turns out, and other times, not so much! Thanks to blogs like Peas and Thank You, A Healthy Passion, Heather Eats Almond Butter & Oh She Glows, I've had guidance on what products to use and how to properly tweak recipes.

I used to see a recipe, replace the white flour with whole wheat flour, and then wonder why it just didn't taste the same.  I've learned that whole wheat pastry flour is a lighter flour to use that works much better for baked goods and recipes, and that it is nice to throw in some ground oatmeal (oat flour) or toasted ground quinoa when you can too!

Other than changing up the flours, I usually try to find a way to add in something good for you, whether it be flaxseed, squash, applesauce, beans, avocado ...  here are some of those recipes that were tasty for sure:

Avocado Brownies
Brownies made with white beans
Butternut Squash Doughnuts

Now sometimes I do just make straight up full fat, bad for you recipes, but most of the time, it is for other people! SO what are your tricks? Where do you find your recipes?

Hodgson Mill® is offering one lucky reader a $25 gift certificate to the Hodgson Mill online store. Here you can find flours of all kinds, corn meal, baking mixes, pancake mixes, bread mixes, couscous, pastas... the possibilities are endless!  Just leave a comment below telling me one of the following:

a) what are your tricks for healthier baking?
b) what are you looking forward to baking this holiday season?

A winner will be selected at random on Tuesday, November 22nd.
Hodgson Mill is also giving away 50 giftpacks ($85 value) of their products.  


Review of Margaritaville sunglasses

I was given the opportunity to review a pair of Margaritaville sunglasses. This is a new line of polarized sunglasses.
I picked the Calypso model:
I have never spent more than $15 on a pair of sunglasses because usually a) I lose them b) I sit on them or c) I break them. It is nice to have a very nice pair of sunglasses, and the best part is that they come with a box to store them in, a bag to protect them, and a "leash" to go around your neck.  That helps not to lose them and not to destroy them!  Here are the details from the website:
  • MPT (Margaritaville® Polarized Technology) nylon lenses
  • 100% UV A/B Protection
  • Heat Sculpted Polymer frame
  • SunGrip rubber nose pads
  • SunGrip rubber temple tip insert
  • Spring hinges
  • Integrated Margaritaville® Leash System
  • Island Style details
  • Ships with custom Margaritaville® Case and microfiber cleaning bag 
Also from the website:

MPT® Polarization Technology

Polarized lenses act like slatted window blinds—when light hits a reflective surface it bounces and scatters, reducing contrast and clarity. The “blinds” in MPT ® lenses block scattered light rays but let in the “corrected” light with virtually no glare, allowing you to see clearly and fight eye fatigue.
All Margaritaville® polarized sunglasses feature premium fused polarization Technology.  MPT® Fused lenses diffuse glare through the use of an integrated, pre-formed polarizing filter, layered within the injected lens, allowing incredible clarity even in the harshest conditions. MPT® fused lenses are the highest quality available and filter out 99.9 % of blinding glare.

How did they fit? The fit is great and they are super comfortable. I noticed that they make things look much darker than they are which can be a positive and negative depending on your needs. They provide great protection from the sun and stay on during running too! I like the palm tree logo that is on them - if my glasses are ever on a table and I'm not sure which ones are mine, they are easy to spot. I love that they have the "leash" that I can keep them around my neck. And I store them in my car in the box because right now I'm usually wearing glasses when I'm driving, or out at the park. 

If you are willing to spend money for a nice pair of glasses, I would highly recommend these!

Right now, you can get a great deal - all eyewear is 50% off! Check them out here.

Like Margaritaville on Facebook!

How much do you normally pay for sunglasses? How often to you buy a new pair?


Acts of Kindness

I forgot to share this when I saw it last week: There are great ideas for random acts of kindness that you can do yourself or with your kids.

I love some of the ideas, and here is another great blog too! Inspired last week, I picked up a leaf from the YMCA to donate 2 jars of gravy for Thanksgiving. It just helped me to think that it's nice to help others, even if in a small way.

What random acts of kindness do you take part in?

It's marathon week, and I'm back and forth on whether I'm actually fit to run this thing. The weather forecast - now calling for 60s - looks like it's on my side. Just knowing what I'm getting into (by knowing the course and such) is not on my side.  After having the great long run on Saturday I felt like my body was hurting Sunday and Monday. I had a good run yesterday. My plan is to line up to attempt the full and depending on how I feel, I can always stop half way (which I think is a detriment about the course!) I'm starting to rationalize and feel like I'm sort of crazy for even thinking about doing another marathon 3 weeks after the first only because I'm pregnant. We'll see what happens!

I'm a big birthday party planner. I love birthdays and like planning themed out parties for the kids. Last year was trains, the year before was airplanes and I've been thinking about fire trucks for this year since his last birthday, ha!  Well, most of my friends are doing parties during the week within playgroup so I am questioning spending the money to have a firehouse tour and safety demonstration for less than 10 3-year olds. I'm trying to find a happy medium. Do any stations have free tours? That's what I'm thinking - I feel like the fire station would be pretty awesome. We're in limbo since we're renting and I would like to have the party elsewhere, so...that's where I am in party planning right now!


Share your eats Saturday

I had an amazing long run this morning!  It was the best I've ran since the Philly Distance run 2 months ago.  I had only peanut butter before I ran and didn't feel like I wanted to eat anything during the run, and then I really wasn't that hungry after. It was weird.

This was my week of improvement:
 Last week/recovery week-  average pace for first run back 10min/mile. Long run 10:24

This week:
Run #1: inside:7 miles- 10:13 min/mile
Run #2: inside: 5.1 miles - 9:49 min/mile
Run #3: inside:4.2 miles 9:32 min/mile
Run #4: LONG RUN outside: 12 miles 9:38 min/mile

Did my training this week get my body ready to run faster? I couldn't believe I was on my way to being done 12 miles in that last mile! It flew by and felt great. My goal once I hit 5 miles was to keep each mile under 10 min pace. It wasn't too challenging to do that but after 5 miles I did think I was starting to fade.  Mile 6 was the slowest then I got it back together. I tried to give whatever I had the last 1/2 mile and was able to get it below 9:30. All in all, I wish I could run like this everyday!

I did pay for this run the rest of the day - exhaustion, sore lower ab area - maybe that means I pushed too hard. I remember running the Baltimore 1/2 marathon when I was 5 months pregnant with Nick and it hurt to cough. It was like that today when I was done. Either way, it gave me great confidence for next weekend!  If I do run the full, I think I can beat the MCM time?

Moving on, here are my recipes to share from this week! What do you have to share?

Nutrigrain Bars - great for kids

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pancakes
inspired by Mama Pea's Apple Cinnamon Pancakes

  • 2/3 c. whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • 1 T maple syrup 
  • 3/4 c. almond milk
  • 1/2 t. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c. pumpkin
  • 1 T ground flaxseed
  • mini chocolate chips to your liking
Combine it all in a bowl. Let's get real here - I don't have time for steps. Cook them on the skillet till set. Enjoy!

Creme de Menthe Brownies and Creme de PEANUT BUTTER Brownies

I followed this recipe for the Creme de Menthe for Nick's nursery school bake sale and then a colleague from work needed a dinner after her pet died this past weekend and I knew she loves the pb/chocolate combo so I made half mint and half pb. Why didn't anyone think of those Peanut Butter layered bars? Or maybe I missed it!

For the creme de menthe, they were WAY sweet!! For my second go-around I took out 1/2 the sugar. I actually tried a vegan version but they did not compare, so I don't recommend it. I would just cut out some of the sugar in the brownie bottom, because you will be getting sugar in the middle and top.  For the peanut butter version,

Creme de Peanut Butter variation - I swapped in Trader Joe's creamy (pretty liquidy) peanut butter for the creme de menthe. It was easy to spread.


winner of the SILK giveaway

Send me your info :)

OWW - Opinions Wanted Wednesday

It's that time again - Christmas cards! I've had three photo shoots with the kiddies so far and I am a perfectionist. I never get the picture that I want. I'm learning that I don't have time to get exactly what I want anymore, and I feel like 3 photo shoots is all I have in me right now. Getting them dressed into their Christmas attire and attempting to have them sit for me - partially impossible!  I have a feeling I will try one more time but I'm going to try to hold myself back. None of these are perfect but let me know which picture you like the best for a main photo!

#1 Nick isn't smiling :(

#2 I wish Kara wasn't laying down

Nick has a death grip on Kara here

These were some of my favorite photos from today - non-edited:



#6 thanks for the smile Nick



#9 Now look at Mommy!


You can tell me if you like any of these more too!
You're probably thinking, wow, it's November 9th and you're taking Christmas pictures? I love taking photos of the kids, and last week I wanted to run away so I decided to have a focus and this has made life easier :)

I forgot to put my due date in the last post - May 3.


1st trimester

I think the decline of my running came the week after the Philly Distance Run. We held under 9 min pace for that race and I felt comfortable for it. Then my hamstring flared up and I could not run the entire week after. When I came back from that, it was slowly and I had to go get my hamstring worked on every week. Now I'm dealing with discomfort after every run that lasts the entire rest of the day but I can run comfortably for the most part. The pain is the worst when I'm driving or sitting still (which I don't do much!).  I feel like I can't get back to a faster pace and I'm working against myself since my body is going the other way (decline,slowing) but it would be real nice to run a better time in Philly than MCM?

I was able to run 7 miles this morning on the treadmill and it felt really good! But so slow! I could run 7 miles in an hour at one point, and it took me over an hour and 10 minutes :( Kind of frustrating. I made a friend at the gym. Do you talk to people at the gym? I need to socialize in the morning. At the Y, it was the same early morning crew so I knew people and knew the instructors. I joined a new gym for the days I'm not swimming since they were running a special for the rest of the year (and hopefully after that I can cancel it!) I don't know anyone, but this morning the guy next to me asked me a question about signing up for the machines - you have to do that to "reserve" the time you are on it. Then we became running buddies, haha. Too bad he was traveling for business.  Older guy, recreational runner. I'm starving for interaction, even when I'm running, so it made the time go by quicker. But all in all it felt good anyway! It was definitely frustrating since he started after me and was done before me - and we both did 7 miles, but what can you do? 7 miles felt really good!

So the first 12 weeks were different this time. Since I was in top shape and training for the triathlon and marathon, this wasn't in my original plan, and I did cry when I found out.  For the full story, I thought I was in the clear, then realized I wasn't and that I ovulate super late. I took the Plan B pill but this baby pulled through. I think I feel overwhelmed enough with Nick(will be 3 in Feb) - low key and sweet, and Kara( will be 1.5 in January) - demanding, mama's girl, but sweet! so it has been hard to swallow but I know babies bring so much joy and it will be great for the kids to be close in age (17 months between Nick and Kara, 22 months between Kara and the new sibling:) ) As far as my well being?? We'll see how that goes! I wish that I could share my fertility because I know so many people who want to be pregnant and jump through a million hoops to get there or just can't get pregnant. I can't even imagine.

Anyway, as far as the first trimester... I had some nausea this time around, I was napping in the afternoons very often, I couldn't keep my eyes open! I didn't really have aversions, just foods that I saw and wanted right away!  With Nick and Kara, I wanted butter, cheese, and toast/english muffins, and I could not look at veggies the first trimester. I'm going strong on my veggies and was really into cheese the first few weeks, and cheese hoagies too! Peanut butter was take it or leave it for a couple of weeks there, and I was eating my Amazing Grass Chocolate with coconut oil every day!  Now, I have weekly/monthly cravings - the chocolate and mint is a strong one, mexican food - black beans, cheese, sour cream, guacamole.  Starting at Halloween with the candy, I feel like I have been shoving my face and not stopping when I'm full. I feel like I am now obviously pregnant (at least at swimming). I need to chill out a bit!

I feel like I've been pregnant for the last 3 years straight and everytime things start getting easier, bam! I'm pregnant again. I guess they'll all be close in age and have a good time. I'm questioning how you give enough time to each child, because I've always wanted 4 kids and I feel like giving two the attention they need is a challenge!  I guess I'll see after 3.

Some ultrasounds pics! Due date May 3. I'm around 15 weeks, I think. I'm not really keeping track!


Recovery week stats and granola recipe

This is Kate's great granola recipe that was gone from my house extremely quickly!

High Protein Granola
adapted from Kate at A Healthy Passion
4 tbsp brown rice syrup
2 tbsp sunflower seed butter
3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 3/4 c oats
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 scoop vanilla hemp protein powder
1 tsp cinnamon
Directions: Combine the brown rice syrup, oil, sunflower seed butter and vanilla in a large bowl until well mixed, fold in the oats and add the rest of the ingredients stirring to coat. Once mixture is well combined pour onto a lined baking sheet and bake 20-25 minutes at 325 degrees stirring once. Let cool and enjoy!

I didn't need all that much recovery after the marathon and my week rounded out pretty well. Here's what it looked like:

Monday - off
Tuesday - easy short swim, bike 4.5 miles and stretching
Wednesday - swim easy 3300 yards
Thursday - run easy 4 miles!
Friday - spin class - challenging 17 miles
Saturday - run 7 miles outside
Sunday - Spin class - 16 miles

This weekend I'm hoping to run about 2 hours, and then I might just run Philly for some 5 hours of fun in 2 weekends!


Marathon history

Marlene had posted all of her marathons and times and like it's supposed to be, they improved with each one down to a BQ! So inspiring! Unfortunately my friends, that is the opposite case with me, which leads me to believe that I've never given my all into marathon training and that I'm probably not cut out to be a BQ'er. Here is a recap of my marathon running history.

#1!  my first marathon  - Steamtown, October 2004, 4:14:19*  PR
I was teaching and coaching, single but engaged and followed plan to train for this one.  My friend Nicole got me into the marathons after college. Too bad there was no facebook back then - I have no pictures to share.

#2 New York City, November 2006  4:43:40
I had stomach issues pretty early on and ended up walking and using port-a-pottys and my sister held my hand through most of the latter miles of this one! It was killer! I'd like to return to NYC someday and have a better experience but not at the price they are asking - and I hear they have fast standards now too.

#3 Philadelphia Marathon, November 2007, 4:26:24
I trained pretty well for this one, and around mile 18 I hit the wall. Miles 20-26 I was barely moving. My cousin finished the last 6 miles with me. I've never had a strong 10k at the end.

#4 Boston Marathon, April 2009, 4:21:03
10 weeks after Nick was born! I was so excited to be running in this race. My sister hopped in and ran the last 10k with me. I'm pretty sure I slowed down but I was just so happy to be there.

#5 Philadelphia Marathon, November 2009, 4:39:36
(7ish weeks pregnant)
I was totally burnt out for this race, since I never really took a break after Nick was born. I had just found out I was pregnant with Kara 5 days before and I had no air to spare. I distinctly remember around mile 19 being completely out of breath. My sis ran the final miles of this one with me too!

#6 Marine Corps Marathon, October 2011, 4:54:03
(14ish weeks pregnant)
Slowest one yet! Started with my sister, but all my training runs were super slow, and I just got slower as I reached the teen miles. I really didn't care about my time but when you are done you always wish you went faster!

#7??? Philly #3? Should I do it?

So I've ran 2 Philly fulls and 2 Philly halves and here is my comparison of Philly to the others:

Steamtown - small-town marathon, the whole town is out cheering and the fans are amazing! There were definitely quiet spots, and there was also room to run along the course. When we got off the bus at the start - a high school, students presented us with ribbons to wear on our shirts. It was a hometown feel, hilly at the end, and a great experience! I'd go back

New York - I remember getting up at like 4am, boarding buses and sitting around for a long time. The village was cool - where you wait to start. A guy in the starting corrals peed right in front of me. Going over the bridge was so weird, it was shaking! I liked seeing all the parts of New York and all the fans that were out.  The finish in Central Park was amazing.

Boston - what can I say, I was so happy/excited to be there, the whole thing was amazing. Fans everywhere, great things to give out - gus, etc, great crowd support and amazing atmosphere.  Similar to New York I think I had to get up at 4 am, even though the race didn't begin till 10am. Long day!

MCM - the first 10 miles were annoying, and the start was anti-climatic. It was a long way to get to the start (walking) and to get home because the metros were so crazy. I liked how we didn't have to wait around in a village and we basically walked up to the start, starting running and were off! The crowd support was amazing, lots of fuel stops - donuts, oranges, gels. I would have liked more water stops, it was weird there weren't clocks at each mile but instead marines yelling out the clock time... busy race, great atmosphere, very fun.  The shirts were lame, I would probably never wear it - mock cotton turtleneck. What?

Philly - Since I know Philly, whenever I run it, I get bored and say I'm never doing it again. The first part is through the downtown and head to Penns Landing. The start is lined with fans but they dwindle quickly. Kelly Drive is fun, there is room to run for the most part and the crowd support is decent but not as good as NYC, Boston or MCM.  Manayunk is my favorite part - where the streets are LINED and people are giving out beer. Knowing you have to run all the way back down Kelly Drive and to the art museum is kind of daunting - it's basically an out and back which I don't like all that much. It's a pretty fast, flat course and they do a great job with the corrals and the start. It's super organized and they started putting your names on the bibs, and the shirts are pretty awesome year after year, and the medals!  If I was choosing between MCM and Philly, it would be a toss up. I'd choose whichever city I didn't know as well.  Hope that helps you out Frank!

What's left in my future? I hope to do Chicago, and some fun destination like Hawaii! Which marathons do you want to do?


Marathon Pics & recovery

I recovered pretty easily from my slow paced (for me) marathon!On Sunday I wasn't walking well after the marathon, and my calves and knees were KILLING me. My feet were too, right after.  I slept in and took off on Monday. On Tuesday I swam briefly and then did alot of stretching. Wednesday I swam again and was able to swim pretty hard, but my legs were tired. Today I was planning to do a spin class but then I realized there wasn't one so I ended up running 4 miles slow and steady. It felt fine, and I stretched afterwards. I feel like I recovered pretty quickly and I think it is because of my pace!

In my head, I'm actually considering running Philly (in 2 weeks) for another 5 hours of fun, but I'm not even sure how I'd structure the next 2 weeks. I don't feel like doing a long run this weekend so maybe I could skip that and just run for 2 hours next weekend? What do you think? I want my legs to be more fresh before I run long so soon.

Here are my pictures. I like the first one because I think my form looks good - except that right foot - supposed to land on my forefoot there. I'm glad I look upright and my shoulders back, but for the most part my strides look so short that it looks like I'm speed-walking in almost every picture!

good form?
power walking?
I love this expression and the dude to the right looks funny too!
determined to finish
I look tall
very short strides - like the thumbs up from the dude to my right
run run run let's not walk
happy with my buddy Nicole
smiling at the Capitol!
major fake smile
good spirits
I like these pics! :)