Monthly Archives: February 2016

MB Marathon 2016 Training: Week 12

Screen Shot 2015-11-28 at 9.38.59 PMWell if you look at my week of training at a glance this looks like a big fat fail. In a way it was. I only ran twice this week. TWO FREAKING TIMES. During what what supposed to be my peak week of training. I did nothing on the other days. This is so unlike me, and I don’t want to make excuses, but I do have some reasons for it being this way. I’m definitely ready for life to settle down a little bit (or a lot). However, on the positive side, I had an amazing, confidence building, perfect 22 mile run. Isn’t that what’s most important anyway? That’s what I’m telling myself at least.

Here’s what I had planned vs. what I actually did for week 12. Ugh. It’s embarrassing. Bad running coach, I know.

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Here is the detailed rundown (a.k.a. all my excuses).

Monday: Rest Day. I always take Monday as a rest day, so this one was planned. I was very thankful for that too, because Kyler was literally awake from 11:30 PM until I had to get up at 5:15 AM. It was ROUGH. I couldn’t figure out what was bothering him. I was exhausted the entire day at work.

Tuesday: Rest Day. Another rough night with my boy. I finally figured out what was going on. Turns out he has a tooth breaking through. It’s next to his bottom teeth where I didn’t even think to look, since usually the top teeth come next. I had my fingers crossed that he would finally have some relief, but needless to say, I wasn’t up for a run on this day. Especially since I also had class after work and didn’t get home until after 8:00, with a bad headache. So I went to bed 😦

Wednesday: Rest Day. I finally got a better night sleep and allowed myself to sleep in a bit to get rid of my headache. I planned to get my speedwork in that evening, and I was actually feeling motivated to do it. And then I went to pick up my kids from daycare and walked in to see something that really upset me. I don’t want to get into the details, but I immediately had to pull the kids from there and spent the rest of the night researching new places to send them. Talk about stressful.

Thursday: Easy Run – 4 miles / 37:40. I stayed home from work to figure out the daycare situation, and during Kevin’s nap time the baby allowed me to squeeze in a 4 mile treadmill run. I loved being able to look at his sweet smile the whole time. He put a smile on my face while I was feeling super stressed. Plus he just learned to clap and wave so he did that while he watched me. He’s my biggest fan! I thought about doing my speedwork, but I realized my long run this weekend was going to be tricky. I decided kind of last minute to go home to Pennsylvania to visit my family over the weekend, where it was going to be dangerously cold (temperatures in the single digits with negative wind chills). My dad gave me his treadmill so I didn’t have that option either. Plus, the thought of running 22 miles on a treadmill made me want to vomit. So I decided I would do it Friday morning before heading into work and before it got too cold. That’s why I kept Thursday’s run nice and easy.

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Friday: Long Run – 22 miles / 3:11:46. I wasn’t sure what to expect from myself while attempting to do my longest training run ever during a time that I’m constantly feeling super drained. But I did it!!  In all the years that I have been running I have never had a long run this amazing. Physically and mentally I felt so good. I can’t explain how much I needed this run to remind me that I am strong and can do hard things. I executed this long run exactly how I want to race. I started off a bit slower, picked up the pace around mile 13, then picked up the pace even more for the last 3 miles. My splits were [9:05, 8:50, 8:49, 8:44, 8:46, 8:51, 8:48, 8:51, 8:57, 8:47, 8:50, 8:36, 8:35, 8:34, 8:44, 8:37, 8:38, 8:37, 8:23, 8:32, 8:28]. The first 10 miles seemed to drag a bit and I kept finding myself thinking about how much I had left, but once I hit double digits I started feeling a lot better and the miles flew by. I started just focusing on running the mile I was in, rather than how much I had left to go. I also practiced a lot of visualization while I was running. I know the Myrtle Beach Marathon course really well, so I tried imagining myself out on the course at different points during the run. I picked a flatter route (like my race will be) with some multiple loops that had me looking at the same thing for a while, which is also how Myrtle Beach is when you run for 9 miles along the same road, so that was helpful. Finally, I practiced and nailed down a solid nutrition plan for the race, which includes eating a half pack of Honey Stingers at the hour mark and then every 40 minutes after that. It was the perfect amount of fuel and the perfect timing. I finished this run on cloud 9, I was so ecstatic!

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Saturday: Rest Day. I headed home to Pennsylvania after work on Friday with Kyler (the Kevins both stayed in Virginia) and got there late in the evening. I was hoping to squeeze in a run on Saturday at some point, but it was so cold in the morning and I knew I wasn’t going to be able to do it later in the day since we had company coming over. So instead I took yet another rest day. Sigh…

Sunday: Rest Day. Again, I was hoping to get a quick run in and leave Kyler with my dad or sister, but it felt like negative temperatures almost all day. Plus, Kyler seems to have developed some intense separation anxiety. All weekend, if I even walked across the room away from him or gave him to someone he would start to hysterically cry. I felt really bad leaving to run when he was that upset. Finally, the icing on the cake was that I ended up having to leave a day early to go back to Virginia, due to predicted snow and ice in the forecast. I thought about hitting the treadmill once I got home on Sunday night, but by then it was 10:00 PM and yeah… not happening!  I was sad to have to cut my trip short, but glad that I did when I woke up the next morning and saw this!

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Week 12 Totals:

  • Run: 26 miles
  • Strength Training/Cross Training: NONE. 😦

My successes this week were obviously my 22 miler. I have never done a training run that long after training for 9 marathons, and I think I really needed to have this experience not really for the physical benefits, but the mental side. Even with all of my marathon training and experience, I still struggle mentally the last 6 miles of the race. I now feel 100x more confident for Myrtle Beach. I KNOW I can finish the race this time, and hopefully finish feeling strong like I did after this long run. My big challenge was being able to fit my runs in this week with all the craziness of the weather, daycare, traveling, no sleep, etc., and all on top of the stress that I mentioned last week. My goal for the upcoming week is to just do better than this week. Haha, shouldn’t be too hard!

The thought of the week is very fitting.

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Let the taper begin!

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MB Marathon 2016 Training: Week 10 & 11

Screen Shot 2015-11-28 at 9.38.59 PMLong time no training update! I am still here and still training, but the blizzard and its aftermath definitely broke some of the momentum I had built up. Then some personal life stuff happened and I had to shift around my priorities. Running/blogging got put on a back burner and my motivation suffered. I now feel like I’m in a little bit of a slump, which is really unfortunate since this is peak training time. Here’s what I had planned vs. what I actually did for week 10 and 11. Lots and lots of modifications as you can see.

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And here is the detailed rundown!

WEEK 10

Monday: Rest Day.

Tuesday: Easy Run – 2 miles / 18:57 + Dirty 30After we had over 2 feet of snow dumped on us here in Northern Virginia, I knew it would be really difficult for me to do a speed workout, tempo run and a 20 mile long run outside this week. There was a ton of melting and refreezing, and some roads that hadn’t even been touched by a plow. I knew it would also be very tough to do those runs on a treadmill. So I decided to be a bit flexible and prioritize which runs were the most important. Rather than do two speed workouts this week, I chose to skip my Tuesday intervals and focus on my tempo run later that week. Instead I just did an easy 2 mile run plus a strength workout.

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Wednesday: Easy Run – 3 miles / 27:48. Another easy run – but this one was outside, yay! It felt good to get some fresh air! The roads near my house were pretty good but there was definitely a lot of water/slush that I knew would refreeze overnight.

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Thursday: Tempo Run – 1 easy, 2 @ tempo pace, 1 easy [4 total / 35:08]. Treadmill- 1, Me- 0. It beat me on this night. My 8 mile tempo workout turned into a 4 mile strugglefest with a few breaks. I had a tough day and a bad headache for most of it. I probably should have skipped my run but the weather had forced me to adapt a lot of my training and I wanted to at least give it a shot. This was all I had on this night, but I knew it wasn’t the end of the world and that tomorrow was a new day.

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Friday: Rest. 

Saturday: Easy Run – 3 miles /  + 21 Day Fix Abs. 3 easy treadmill miles while both kids were napping and my husband was at work. This little one woke up just as I finished and then he watched me do my ab workout 🙂

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Sunday: Long Run – 20 miles / 2:58:35. 20 miles! I can’t even explain how it feels to have this run under my belt. It was such a beautiful morning too. I was so happy that one of my running buddies was able to start my run with me, and then Laura met me later on for some of the middle miles. For the most part I felt good, but I did have a little twinge in my knee that I was 95% sure was due to my old shoes. I’m ready to retire them but my new ones weren’t quite ready for a 20 mile long run. Lesson learned! Also- very thankful for the town of Fredericksburg, VA. They made sure that not only the streets were plowed but so were the running paths and most of the sidewalks.

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Week 10 Totals:

  • Run: 32 miles
  • Strength Training/Cross Training: 1 strength workout + 1 ab workout

WEEK 11

Monday: Rest Day. I finally went back to work after a week and a half off due to snow and it was rough! Lots to catch up on left me feeling exhausted. I was very thankful to have a rest day.

Tuesday: Speedwork Ladder – 400, 800, 1200, 800, 400 w/ 400 recovery + WU/CD [5 miles total / 43:13] . Nothing like a late night treadmill speed session to burn off some steam from a long, tough day of work followed by class. I wasn’t feeling up to doing my planned 5 x 1 mile repeats on the treadmill, so I did a little ladder workout instead and ran by effort level rather than pace (which I really enjoy!). 1 mile warmup, 400, 800, 1200, 800, 400, all with 400 recovery between, then .75 cooldown. No thumbs down after my treadmill workout this week. I’m feeling a lot better now!

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Wednesday: Easy Run – 2 miles / 19:12 + Upper Fix. I came home from work and immediately changed into my running clothes before I could talk myself out of it. I ran an easy mile on the treadmill, then did Upper Fix, followed by another easy mile. And then I sat my butt on the couch to catch up on the Bachelor with some popcorn and a glass of wine. Guilty pleasure!

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Thursday: Rest. This was supposed to be a progression run, but I was tired and not feeling up for it. I decided to go to bed early instead and get some rest.

Friday: Easy Run – 4 miles / 36:02. Where did all the snow go? So weird that it’s pretty much all gone now after the huge blizzard! I’m not complaining though. I’ll take the clear sidewalks! 4 refreshing, stress-relieving miles after work right before the sun went down. TGIF!

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Saturday: Long Run – 15 miles / 2:17:30. My Moms Run This Town running group planned a group run around Washington DC this morning, and I was so excited for it! DC is only about 40 minutes from my house but we don’t go often to visit because of traffic. Luckily traffic and parking in the city is super easy early on weekend mornings! I ended up running 15 miles (it was a cutback week for me) with two friends. It was so fun and beautiful to run next to the monuments and the White House, and finish along the Potomac River.

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Sunday: Easy Run – 3 miles / 27:41. Just 3 easy miles to finish out the week. I’m so happy that my new shoes are feeling a lot better and aren’t as stiff now. I didn’t have a single trace of the knee pain I had last week. I really think it was shoe related!

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Week 11 Totals:

  • Run: 29 miles
  • Strength Training/Cross Training: 1 strength workout

My successes this week were definitely fitting in my long runs. At this point in training they are my highest priority workout, so I’m really happy I was able to make them both happen and that they went well for the most part! My challenges were more mental this week. I had to allow myself to be okay with adapting my plan and skipping some workouts. I honestly did the best I could, and I know that is enough for now. My goals for this upcoming week are to prep mentally and physically to run 22 miles this weekend – my longest training run ever! I also want to at least get one quality speed workout in. We are supposed to get some more snow so that might throw things off again a bit. I have had to sit down and look at the last few weeks of my training plan, adjusting some things based on what I know is realistic with all that I have going on right now. It is what it is and that’s fine!

Some wise words I wanted to share for the thought of the week. I need to get out of my own head and out of this running funk!

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4 weeks and counting until I run marathon #10!

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Mom & Baby: 8 Months

Whenever I sit down to write a new update on one of the boys, I always open up my planner to see what we did over the past month. I also look at the pictures I have taken. I couldn’t believe all that happened in just one month! From the holidays to traveling to South Carolina to a blizzard… whew! We sure did pack a lot of excitement in. It’s actually been so exciting that I’m 2 weeks late writing this update. Here are all the details about Kyler’s 8th month of life.

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Baby

Kyler went to the doctor at 8 months to get his second flu shot dose, so I know that he now weighs 17 pounds 4 ounces! He’s gained a good amount of weight since last month when his sickness took his appetite away for a little bit, so I was relieved to hear that!

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He somehow contracted a viral case of pink-eye this month shortly after his ear infection, but other than that he’s been healthy (knock on wood!). It needs to stay that way! He’s been home with me the majority of the month thanks to winter break, travel, and some snow days, so that helped with the germ factor.

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Kyler has become quite the little eater! We’ve been a lot more relaxed this time about letting his taste different foods, after the initial month or so of experimenting with one at a time. By this point he’s had a ton of different food, and I honestly can say that there hasn’t been one thing he has disliked. From avocado to banana to green beans to broccoli to eggs, he devours it all and he really likes to feed himself. Right now he eats breakfast and dinner with us, but soon we’ll add lunch in there too.

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Since food is just for fun until he turns one, he’s obviously still nursing a lot too. One of the nicest parts of this month was that I was off work for most of it for winter break and then the blizzard, which meant I could put my pump far away and just nurse him. He usually nurses 6 times a day, sometimes more if he’s not feeling well or is extra attached. This month I did have a new challenge when I traveled for a work conference in Myrtle Beach, which meant I had to pump for 48 hours straight. It was weird to not feed him for that long but we got through it. I was very thankful for all the milk in our freezer!

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Nursing after the Charleston Half Marathon

He doesn’t have any new teeth yet, and is still very proudly rocking his bottom two. I can’t even handle this smile of his. Melts me every time.

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Kyler has gotten very good at sitting and only really falls over if his brother knocks into him or pushes him over (yeah… it happens!) Now he is starting to move from the sitting position onto his tummy. He is not really trying to crawl yet but he is working hard on pushing himself up with his arms and scooting a little bit. Kevin started army crawling at 9 months and crawling on all fours at 11 months, so I’m not worried about it. I’m enjoying his lack of mobility for now 🙂

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I think Kyler’s tummy and digestive system is still getting used to eating solid food, because we’ve had our fair share of poop issues this month. Never a dull moment, that’s for sure! He tends to not go for a few days at a time and then has a really bad, explosive diaper. It’s hard to predict when it will happen, which makes going out risky sometimes. Over winter break I took both kids to the grocery store, and Kyler started screaming when I was almost done and wanted to be held. When I picked him up I realized he had a huge blowout and it was all over the car seat, his clothes and me. I rushed through check-out while holding him because he was still upset, and every concerned citizen informed me that my baby had pooped through his clothes. Then Kevin had a meltdown because we had to go home and couldn’t go Christmas shopping for daddy. Sigh… all I could do at that point was laugh!

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About 30 minutes before the grocery store poop incident!

His sleep has been a little disturbed this month, which I think is due to the wonder week he’s working through. He went from 7-9 hour stretches to waking up 2-3 times a night. Now he’s back to the longer stretches but every once in a while he has a rough night. While I was off form work, I tried to get him napping on more of a schedule and in his crib more consistently and it went really well. He tends to take a morning and afternoon nap, and sometimes little catnaps if we’re driving somewhere.  I am also working on moving his bedtime up. He was going to bed at 8:30, but now we have him going to bed at 7:30. Then he usually wakes up between 3 and 4 to nurse.

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Coffee for both of us?

Kyler is VERY vocal and loves exercising his voice. He will screech, babble, make noise with his lips and blow raspberries. He practices different volumes and goes between screaming and whispering. He has started to say “dadada” but I don’t know if he’s associating my husband with that. He also LOVES to laugh, and has learned to wave! Check out the videos below to see my little man in action!

I still can’t get over the personality difference between Kyler and Kevin. Kevin was (and still is) very high maintenance, while Kyler is super laid back. He’s just happy pretty much no matter what is going on, unless he’s hungry or tired. For example, we got him up super early, drove to Charleston and dragged him all around the city and he was super smiley the whole time!

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Kyler’s favorite part of the day continues to be bath/shower time. As soon as he hears the water turn on he starts kicking and squealing in excitement, and he gets upset when it’s time to get out.

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One of the most special parts of this month was that we celebrated Kyler’s first Christmas. With him only being 8 months old, he only had a few presents to open and was mostly interested in trying to eat the wrapping paper, but it was really sweet and something we’ll remember forever!

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We are thinking of transitioning him into a convertible carseat soon. We already have one and he just looks so big in it, even though he hasn’t hit the weight and height limit yet. I might actually shed a tear when we move him out of it and say goodbye to the infant carseat we’ve had since Kevin was born. It’s close to it’s expiration date anyway, but I remember when we first bought it. Seems like yesterday and forever ago at the same time.

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Finally, here’s some brother love!

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The face they make when mommy sings… :/

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Melts my heart

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Pretty sure Kyler lived in his Christmas PJs all month

And some mama love too. This boy usually won’t take his eyes of his mommy lately 🙂

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Body

It was an interesting month for me physically. I don’t have any official body pictures this month so I will use a photo from my snowy run the other week instead. I am officially below my pre-pregnancy weight, which I don’t really want. I have been so hungry lately, and it was hard to tell whether it was due to marathon training, breastfeeding, my thyroid or a combination of those things. It felt like my metabolism was in overdrive. I got my thyroid levels checked and they were definitely on the hyperthyroidism side now (I’ve had Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism since I was 16) due to still being on a higher dose of my meds from pregnancy and the initial post-partum period. They adjusted them back down and I feel so much better. It feels like my body is functioning like it should, and my anxiety has gone down as well, which can be a side effect of thyroid levels on the hyper side. So glad I got that checked out!

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Even though I prefer to weigh around 130 and I’m a little below that right now, I’m pretty happy with my body at 8 months postpartum. My clothes fit really well, I feel strong from running and marathon training, and things are slowly going back to the way they were. I had my annual appointment with the midwives who I delivered Kyler with, and after examining me they said it seems like I never even had a baby (or two). I beg to differ about that, there are definitely some things that aren’t (and will never) be the same, but that is fine. The more I run and the more success I find in that, I’m so much more interested in what my body can do rather than what it looks like.

For example, I ran two races this month that I feel very proud about. I did the Resolution 5K on New Years Day and the Charleston Half in the middle of the month. Even though neither race gave me a PR, I think both showed how my running has improved since having Kyler, and helped me learn a lot about myself.

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Mind

So much went on this month that made me happy mentally and emotionally. First we celebrated the holidays for the first time as a family of 4 and with our extended families. It was really nice, despite strangely warm temperatures this year (I ran in shorts and a tank top on Christmas Eve… it was 70 degrees!). But we baked cookies anyway, sweating the whole time 🙂

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I spent two weeks off from work on Winter Break with my boys, which was so nice. It was definitely a different experience than the last time I was home with both of them for an extended time during the summer. Kyler and Kevin can actually play together a little bit, which is really nice. But it did make me a little nervous for this summer when they’re both mobile!

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A few weeks later we headed to Myrtle Beach for a mini-vacation. Like I said earlier, I went down a few days early for a work conference. I haven’t been alone for an extended amount of time like that since before Kevin was born. It was a little weird to say the least, and I didn’t like having to pump all day since I didn’t have a baby to feed, but it was also relaxing. And I got to sleep through an entire night uninterrupted! However, I was still super happy to see my boys at the end of the week and to spend the rest of the long weekend together.

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Finally, this month was capped off with a glorious blizzard that led to us being off from school for a week and a half. But that went into month 9, so we’ll talk about that more soon!

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I have been so aware of how quickly time is passing, and really trying to focus on enjoying and remembering these special times with a baby that is only going to be this little for a short time. A lot has happened in the last two weeks since he turned 8 months old, but I’ll save that for next month’s post. Hopefully I can get it up in a more timely manner 🙂

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