Special

Come springtime in Central PA, there’s a very special smell in the air. Especially when you live in the country. It’s cow $hit. Farmers are getting their fields ready for the spring growing season. Not only do I get to enjoy the aroma, but it even leaves a bit of an after taste in my mouth when I’m out for runs.  Nice, right?

April 10, 2.27 mi., 19:32

April 8, 5 mi., 47:58

 

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Nobody told me

How did I not know this?  I totally completely missed National Cheese Lover’s Day on January 20. How could I overlook such an important holiday? Honestly, I don’t know why we don’t celebrate this holiday everyday.  Cheese is a necessary staple in my diet. It’s right up there with beef jerky and fancy imported meets from Italy. (Yes, my diet really does contain large quantities of these items.)

So,  I hear spring is around the corner. Honestly though, I’ll believe it when I see it. We’ve had a heck of a winter here in Central PA.  I’m a cold weather running wimp. Every fall I say I’m going to suck it up and be hardcore this winter.  But every spring I find myself starting over.  Such is life. I accept this about myself.  Fortunately, I’ve learned a thing or two in the 10+ years I’ve been running, including how quickly I can build up my mileage. So, I’m starting easy.

March 11: 4.06 miles, 37:05

March 12: 1.76 miles, 27:18

March 15: 2.44 miles, 21:20

I’ve also incorporated some light strength training two days a week. I find even light strength training helps me go the distance.  Also registered for my first race this year–the Capitol Hill Classic 10k–in May.


How is this possible?

Taking stock of my running in 2013.  I always love to look back at my races and miles come year end.  Before that though, I managed to squeeze in two quick runs between the holidays.

12/28, 2.26 miles, 21:16

12/31, 2.22 miles, 20:42

The cold weather is surely putting a damper on my running these days, but that seems to be the way it goes for me every winter.  Treadmill is not a word we say around this house. And with another snowstorm getting ready to blanket the Northeast, there likely won’t  be any running in the near future for me either.

So, miles logged in 2013….drum roll, please: 168.72. I’m pleasantly surprised.  I struggled after having the baby to get back to my regular running routine and my first race of the year ended up being my only race of the year. Despite that, I still managed to log more miles than I did in 2012 (153.02 miles).

How is this possible? In looking back at 2012, I found my running tapered off in September. I was around 7 months pregnant at the time.  I loved running during my pregnancy, so I was pretty disappointed when it started to become uncomfortable for me in later months. I was looking forward to getting back to running in 2013, but have to admit it wasn’t easy.  At the time, I really felt like I had a good pregnancy and labor. No one tells you though what your body will be like after pregnancy.  I’m fortunate that I didn’t struggle to lose weight after welcoming my little one, but I was really surprised by stress on my ab and pelvic muscles. For months I felt like I couldn’t pull myself up with my abs. My muscles felt strained doing everyday tasks.   I still don’t feel completely recovered even a year later, though things are much improved.

I was expecting to see lower mileage for 2013, so I’m feeling pretty good all considering. It was an adjustment this past year to get used to running with my jog stroller. I always felt like I was cutting my runs short. I definitely feel a new appreciation for all those mamas out there pounding the pavement with jog strollers.  I managed to carve out some running time for myself this fall when my little one started daycare. Those few miles each week make such a difference in my daily life.

Not entirely sure what’s ahead for me in 2014. I’d love to do another half this year.  I’d also like to get in another great trail run this year.  Only time will tell.

 

 

 

 

 


Happy Halloween

HAPPY HALLOWEEN, all! Love this time of year.  Should be a low-key night for us here in Central PA. Enjoying our little one’s first Halloween at home.

No running last week. A chest cold slowed me down and no amount of screaming or shouting from Britney and Will.i.am. could get me moving.

Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2.29 miles, 19:50

Wednesday, Oct. 30, 6.49 miles, 1:01

Don’t know if I’ll make it out today or not.  Temps are above average, but rain is on the way.

If you’re out and about tonight, stay safe and enjoy.


So this is funny

I’ve told this story to a few friends already, but it’s still funny. A few months back I picked up a jog stroller for $40 bucks on Craigslist.   I love running with my little one and now, thanks to my jog stroller, I have some serious appreciation for all the mama’s out there hauling these things along.  They do glide nicely along, but that doesn’t mean the extra pounds from baby and stroller aren’t noticeable.  I’ve even gotten a few compliments on my new, more shapely biceps.

I noticed, especially on longer runs, the stroller gets harder to push. I just figured I was feeling the burn.  After all, I’m running. Between the baby and stroller I’m pushing at least 20 lbs.  I’m just getting tired, burning calories, nearly reaching my runners high.  Except that, I wasn’t.

Hubs and I took a walk a few evenings ago.  He was pushing our little one along in the jog stroller when he says to me, “Your break drags.”  And I’m all like, “What to you mean?” And he’s like, “The break on your jog stroller drags after a while.  Can’t you hear that noise?”  Turns out that pushing my jog stroller felt harder because it actually was harder.  I never noticed the dragging.  Once the clicking was pointed out to me, sure I could hear it.  I typically run with ear buds so I never noticed it before. Hilarious, right?  Just another day.

A few of my recent runs…

Saturday, 9/28, neighborhood stroller walk/run, 2.25 miles, 24:02

Monday, 9/30, neighborhood stroller walk, 1.79 miles, 26:16

Tuesday, 10/1, neighborhood run, 4.10 miles, 38:43

Thursday, 10/3, neighborhood run, 4.27, 39:21

Typically I wouldn’t call out whether it was a stroller run or not, but I’m a little concerned that my stroller pace is nearly the same as my non-stroller pace.  This reinforces my theory that I only have one pace–slow–and I’m not sure how I feel about that.

 


Welcome to the family

I’m a person who’s motivated by rewards.  Take a look at my new reward…

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Saucony Kinvara 3

Ooo, pretty!  Last month I ran the Capitol Hill Classic 10K–my first race since welcoming my little one into the world this past December.  I promised myself a reward for running 6 miles before she turned 6 months. Welcome to my world Saucony Kinvara 3. I’d been drooling over them and was super surprised when they arrived in the mail one day.  Hubs…He even ordered the right size (I always get my running shoes a size larger).

It was time to retire my Brooks Ravenna 3. Oh the miles they’ve seen.  I love my Brooks running shoes.  In fact, until I tried Brooks, I never thought a shoe could make much of a difference in my running. A pair of Ravenna’s, two Adrenaline’s and a Ghost later, still loving Brooks running shoes.  There will certainly be more Brooks in my future.

Still, I’d heard so many good things about Kinvara that I was really wanted to try them. I’ve strayed from Brooks before. I tried a pair of well-reviewed Nike’s and New Balance shoes in the past, but for me, they weren’t anything to rave about.  I’m super excited to get out and road test my new Kinvara’s.

I’ll be road testing something else on my next run, too.

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Folks have asked how I’ve managed to go this long without a jog stroller. Truthfully, I don’t know.  I typically avoid running during the cold months, so it wasn’t an issue during the winter months.  While training for the Capitol Hill Classic, I squeezed in runs here and there–early mornings, late evenings, quick intervals with the walking stroller. I managed, but it wasn’t ideal by any means.

I picked this one up used for a steal.  An InStep Safari jog stroller with a swivel front wheel.   It has an adjustable handle, foot break, and pocket and basket storage.  The canopy has a plastic widow that’s great for sneak peaks but can be covered to keep little ones safe from the sun.  The canopy can also be pulled back. The seat is also adjustable and can recline for sleepy little ones (perfect for my little one who can’t seem to keep her eyes open any length of time in a stroller…It’s just so soothing!). I laundered some of the material and wiped the rest down with wipes.  Hubs made sure the tires had enough air.  Other than a little fading on the canvas, it’s in great shape.  Can’t wait to use it.


Race Recap

Feeling pretty great.  Ran the 34th Capitol Hill Classic last Sunday. That would be 6.2 miles before my little one turns six months old.  So yeah, I’m feeling pretty great.

Race day was a gray and misty.  The race was supposed to kick off at 8:30 am, but the line for packet pick-up rounded the block so race directors delayed the start slightly. Once the race got underway, I was feeling great.  This was my first race since having my little one in December, and frankly, I was a little nervous.  I didn’t get out to train as much as I normally would before a race.  I’m still learning how to fit running into my new mommy schedule.  I try hard to make it a priority, but sometimes life (or laundry, or dishes, or vacuuming…excuses, I know!) happen.  Despite not running as often as I would have liked leading up to the race, I was still feeling pretty confident that I could cross the finish line not far off my average pace.

How’d I do? Finished in 1:03:20. 1,720 out of 2,365 runners overall, and 776 female out of 1,289. That put me at or about 10 minutes per mile.

So, what really made this a great race?  I enjoyed my sister’s company along the way–and it took very little convincing to get her to race which leads me to believe there’s a runner in there somewhere.  And for the first time, I got to greet my baby girl at the finish line.  That smile always makes my day.

Can’t wait to run it again next year.