Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Family Traditions

I don't know what started all this, but a while back at the dinner table I asked my kids "What was your favorite part of the day?"  Now we do it every day, and if by some freakish thing I forget, the kids will open the conversation.  

I think I started it as a way to include them in the conversation.  I try to start with a different kiddo each day, and we go around the table telling what our "thing" was....   H & I are also asked to produce a suitable response, and "eating dinner" is not a suitable response if you're being grilled by a 7 year old.  Even if you spent the day doing laundry and homework.

But what cracks me up is B-ridge.  Consider asking a 3 year old what was her favorite part of the day?  And she cracks me up every time...  

"My favorite part d'day said.... when we go to the pool and pay with O'Lidia and her brodder... mom, what her brodder's name?"

Monday, June 28, 2010

Pimp my Skirt

My Runningskirt.com cheetah black skirt is my new Pimp.

Yup, I was SO nervous about having to run the whole LONG run alone that I wore my Cheetah skirt "armor".  Briefly I pondered going in just a Sports Bra *temp was forecast to 102 degrees F.  Couldn't do it.  Just couldn't even get out of the car.

So, ten minutes after I shrugged into my Lime Tank, I was running along, working on settling into a group - honestly I was looking at the group of women ahead of me, and I heard from behind:

"That SKIRT is FAB-U-LOUS!  It inspires me girl!"

And there you go.  It was love.  So I made a new running friend, and while he has a nice Normal name, I'm sorry, sometimes a guy's Honorary Skirt name has to be as FAB-U-LOUS as a Cheetah Skirt.  So, without further ado, meet my new HSBMRF - Norma Jean.
yea, I'm there too, but i had to edit myself due to a particularly bad angle on the camera- makes it look like you can see right up the Fabulous skirt.  You can't, it's a shadow, but this is a rated PG blog, so we're not going to show anything questionable.

Norma Jean and I ran together from the middle of mile 1 to the end of mile 9.02, and wow, that was a bit humbling.  I'm huffing along at a 10m/mi pace, and he is flowing across the ground beside me.  Such a gentleman though, when I said, around mile 5ish "You can go, my feelings won't be hurt", he says, "Well, yes, I could leave you, but what would be the point?"

Then El, the Swamp team's head coach, comes upon us around mile 7 and says, "You two are still having fun, I see." ...and we joked about being in love, and El says, "g.  I hate to be the one to tell you, he only wants you for your skirt."...

And we pondered for a second what it would take to get Norma Jean into a running skirt and not be socially shunned, and I said, "I don't think you could get away with training in a skirt, but, you could probably race in a skirt.  I mean seriously, you see men racing wearing Porta Potties, tutus, kilts and thigh-high fishnet stockings, if you ran in a cheetah skirt someone's going to look at you and think, Dude, you didn't go far enough!"

So once again, Thank You to Cindy & Christy, my runningskirt saved the day, and I had a great long run!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

um, nervousness is weird.

It's been a long time since I've been nervous before a long run.  A long time.  Probably, the last time I was really nervous was last October, ?.  Yea, so anyway, tomorrow I'm going for a Long Run with SNOT.

T is OOT in Key West.  so.  no T, she mutters with a furrow of her brow.

DeNiece is OOT in Jacksonville.  so.  no DeNiece, she mutters with a twist of her mouth.

Geez people what is with FL?

Dave is still recovering his hamstring.  I think he ran 1.6 miles this week... and what I gathered is that all 1.6 miles were in pain.  so.  no Dave, she mutters with a resigned sigh.

And SpeeDee & Jackie P are both PINK NATION.  so.  no SpeeDee or Jackie P, she mutters as fear clouds her eyes.

What if I can't find someone to run with tomorrow?  What if I have trouble fitting into a group w/ a pace I like?  What if I have one of those cosmically bad long runs where you break down and there's no one there to help me out?  What if I find myself running completely alone in the Ghetto?  What if the butterflies in my stomach upset it and I throw up some GU in front of a perfect stranger.... wait... I've done THAT before... what am I worried about?

Still.  All this nervousness is making me nervous.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Four Things Friday

1)  I broke the cardinal rule of running Thursday.  There is ONE *rule that supersedes all others:
"If you're in question about whether or not you can run pull off running in just a sports bra & skirt, 
you should not do it."
But, it's going to be about 100 degrees F here in RVA every day for the next few days, and the humidity is at 82%.  Do the math.  It's like running in a steam room.  When I left my house at 6:30am it was a whopping 80 degrees.  Seriously.  I dressed in my pink/pink runningskirt and a pink sports bra with a white sports bra on top of that... and I did it, figuring that the likely hood of actually seeing someone I knew on the run was very slim.
uh.  the FIRST person I saw on the run was my son's cub scout pack leader.  Really.
(*what, you thought there was a running rule more important than that?  silly you.)

2)  T. is on VACAY!  I will be "lonely" on my run this weekend, BUT I'm so glad for her.  I get kid free time with my husband every January, and it's SO important to remember that we were a couple before we were a crazy mom and dad trying to juggle it all.  For those of you with kids, just remember that... the couple has to come before the family.  Get a sitter and go on a date.  Even if it's just to a coffee shop for a Latte.  

3)  Speaking of Kid Free Time.  Have I mentioned what a great man my own Dad is these days?  He & his wife own a beach cottage down on the OBX, and he's inviting my kids down for 5 days after July 4th weekend.  H & I do not have to go.  WHOO HOOO!!!  I will be driving our kids down to the OBX to spend some quality time with D-Dad so I can have some quality time with my H.  Love you Dad!!!

4)  My prof's been super tired this week.  I argue that carrying around an extra 150lbs is probably wearing her down.  The reason I mention it at all is that she's let us go early all week.  Not 15 minutes early.  No.  More like 2 HOURS early.  I told her to get some rest this weekend.  In the mean time, my B-Ridge was SO happy to see me walk in the door last night right before she went to bed.  She ran up to me screaming "MOMMY!!!" at the top of her lungs!  Love it.  It made me smile after a long day.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

an example of randomness

So remember how I said I never really follow a recipe?  Here's the recipe I used to make banana bread with my kids today.... as well as a few modifications.

2 cups all-purpose flour 2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teas baking powder
1/2 teas baking soda
1/4 teas ground cinnamon
1/8 teas ground nutmeg
                                       a splash of vanilla
2 beaten eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas ...well, we didn't measure, we had 4, so we used 4
1 cup sugar      1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup cooking oil       1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/4 cup chopped walnuts I felt like keeping my husband alive, so we omitted this all together

mix dry stuff.  mix moist stuff.  mix them all together.  pour into a greased stoneware bread pan.  bake at 325ish for a little more than an hour....  my oven's on the fritz, so we assume it was somewhere between 325 - 350.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

G, at the Half Ice Mini Mites championship!
(His team lost, but he didn't seem to care)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Trouble with Tuesdays

... some days, the blog just writes itself.

This week in class we wrapped up brain physiology and CNS, studying how the cells actually change when they go from storing short term memory to long term memory.  We talked about brain waves and brain chemistry and... we pushed the threshold of stupid questions to the next level:

This is a 100% TRUE STORY:

"Miz Tanna!  Hey, Miz Tanna!"  Huh says, in a loud southern twang, as Wha giggles in the background, "When you is sleepin', an you dream that you die, duz that mean you will really DIE in yo' sleep?"

True Story.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Monday Missive

A city dweller I am not.  I live in the burbs, and have lived in the ‘burbs of one city or another since I was about 11 years old.  Aside from those formative years from 6 - 11, I’ve lived in a house with a yard, a fence and no sidewalk.  Yes, it’s a truth about suburbs, or at least, the ones I’ve lived in, that sidewalks are not part of my home running life.  I’m accustomed to running on the street, and I prefer to be running on the street, only, on The Boulevard in RVA, you really would be taking your life in your hands.  Really.  

This weekend, I found myself in uncharted waters.  On the Sidewalks, “alone”, and in-front.

This week I was running without T.  I was alone, with DeNiece and 62 other runners.  "Alone" isn’t something we do that often.  Yes, we run alone all the time, but usually, if we’re going more than 6 miles and we’re in the same state, we’re together.  When we run together, she’s the natural leader for a few reasons.  One is that she’s been running about a year longer than I have so I deferred to her for a long time - i.e. - habit... and another is that she’s a head taller than I am and can see things I cannot see... like moving cars that are on the other side of parked cars.  

On Sundays we always start our MTT runs from the Diamond, an aging baseball field island in an industrial sea.  The wide spaces of the parking area, combined with the giant structure of the stadium, makes it a decent place to begin and end a run.  Usually it’s breezy.  

This week, as soon as we left the parking area, the breeze was sucked away, and the 85F airlessness began.  We began the run as we always do, by crossing over the railroad tracks.  It’s a giant overpass that allows a decent view of the industrial city where it blends with the museum district.  The massive engines seem tired, moving in slow motion like ants in a line parading toward a crumb, and yet one can see that they’re deceptively fast and strong. I always find that watching the giant powerful trains inch along with their heavy loads gives me hope that I will finish my run with that same tired power.

On the other side of the tracks, we cross through a narrow section of sidewalk dotted with small trees.  There is no shade, and the blazing sun bites down with force.  The pack of runners is congested, and we all jockey for position, hopping down onto the road to pass slower runners, jumping back onto the sidewalk at the sight of a car.  The cars are few and far between on this hot morning, and we’re left unmolested, running three across in the traffic lane.  It’s only for a minute, but it’s a nice reprieve from the uneven sidewalk.

Crossing Broad, we’re herded to the sidewalks weaving through a cute neighborhood of brownstones and row houses on the upscale “west” side of RVA called The Fan.  The roads are treacherous, with the early Sunday Church goers heading to and from their places of worship.  The truly new running experience that I tasted this weekend was being the lead runner in the “PACK”.  As a fellow student of mine in Anatomy would say, “Do WHA?”  Yes, it’s true, my 10 minute per mile pace does not usually allow for me to be a leader in a large group.  So, how did it happen exactly?  Try this on for size.... the lead pack, the entire lead pack.... took a wrong turn.  And there you have it.  Me.  The leader.  

It was here that I lead the pack for a few blocks, and I quickly became disenchanted with the responsibility of screaming, CAR LEFT, CAR RIGHT, CAR BACK, HOLE!, HOLE!!, STEP UP!!!!  as we crossed streets, dodged potholes and suffered with the uneven sidewalks.  The seams buckled from the roots of a hundred hundred year old trees, jutting a few inches up and down as we stepped from one to the next.  
From here we turned up near part of the marathon course and plugged east toward VCU.  Our run skirted us around Monroe Park, where a large homeless population was gathering this Sunday morning.  I am fairly certain that the Union Mission or some similar organization was opening their doors to allow them into an air conditioned location for breakfast.

The 8 miles went fast from here.  We looped back around, passed a SAG, again through the park, now west through the city, over the sidewalks, cross the treacherous street, and up the overpass at the trains.  It is here, as we finish, that we spot our friendly course photographer.  A gentleman who donates every Saturday and Sunday morning to photographing the Richmond MTT runners.  And it was here, that he captured DeNiece and I, on film, soaked and crusted with salt as we powered, strong and tired, toward the finish.

That's DeNiece one step behind me.  Probably the only time in my life I'll ever "beat" her on a run.

This is a terrible photo of me.  I'm "braking" for the end of my run.  About 3 steps behind the photographer is the water "stop"/end of run sign out sheets.  And yet, I'm willing to share it because it fully demonstrates how FREAKISHLY hot it was here in RVA.  I argue that no one would look good after 8 miles in 85F heat with very high humidity.  In fact, I'm weirded out a little by the fact that there are any dry spots left on the shirt.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Virtual "Half & Half" Race/Run

TODAY was the LAST DAY OF SCHOOL!  ~gasp~

I have a hard time training in the summer months.  And I really have a hard time racing, because the races always start at 7 or 8am, and frankly, it's hot.  Or, the irony will be that it's cool on a Friday, and 98 on a Saturday when the race is supposed to go down.  So, I thought a fun way to celebrate the summer "anti-race" season is that I would host a VIRTUAL RACE, "about" Halfway through the summer.  can't be exact, because everyone has a different schedule.  I just picked the week of July 15th because that looks about right on our calendar.

The details...

When:  Thursday July 15, Friday July 16, Saturday July 17 or Sunday July 18 - hopefully you'll have some good temps to work with on at least one of those days!

Distance:  5K or Half Marathon

Cost:  FREE!

What you need to do:  Anytime starting July 15 through the end of the day July 18, pick your course, and run your "HALF" race.  When you're done, e-mail me a link to your race report and your finish time!

What will you get?:  Uh, not a whole heck of alot, except the PRIDE that goes with running Half a Race, a LINK to my Half&Half Recap... and a prize for the Fastest Half Marathon, the Fastest Half 10K (5K), and The Runner who demonstrates that they OVER CAME the biggest running handicap to complete their race... be it temperature or some other handicap:  H will be the judge.  Each winner will win... prize to be determined later.  But think along the lines of a Gu or two, or Cliff Blocks, or Nuun.

Registration is open to all followers of NofSahmof3 and goes through Tuesday July 6th.

1) Become a follower of the Nofsahm Blog.
2) Please e-mail your registration to:  nmomof3 (at) gmail (dot) com  ... and by the way, when you register, let me know who you are, if you're attached to a blog, & what race distance you choose.  Happy Running!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Three Things Thursday

1.  Awarded the
by runcourtrun.  Thanks!  So, apparently I need to tell you where I think I will be in 10 years, and award 10 bloggers.  Hmmm...

Where I would like to be...  In 10 years I will be 40something years old.  I will have a TWENTY year old child  ~gasp~, a 17 year old who's about to graduate High School, and a 13 year old.  I will be a veteran Marathoner, Part Time Volunteer Running Coach & Nurse working part time (because I have a theory about being home when the teenagers get home from school), with 3 healthy children & a healthy husband.

1.  Anne at Asthma & the Gift of Running
2  SpeeDee at Bits & Pieces of Me (aka - RunHapi!)
3  Lady Em at The Reluctant Triathlete
4  Jen at Setting You Free
6  Kat, who I LOVE to read.  She's english & hilarious, at The Running Adventures of ZupaKat
7  Tricia @ Endurance Isn't Only Physical
8  Alicia @ AliciaRuns
9.  Julie @ The Finish Line Diaries
10.  TMB at Racing With Babes

2.  Children are funny.  This week B had camp all week at her preschool, and she was so excited every single day about getting dressed and out the door.  Irish skin requires extra equipment before heading out doors....  "Mommy, I need my sun scream.  Can we put on my sun scream now?  So I can go to camp?"  This is adorable.  But not at 5:25am.  I'm just saying...

3.  I'm the kind of person who reads a cool recipe and thinks, "That sounds great", and then ends up substituting half the ingredients anyway.  Either because I've never heard of the vegetable, or I know we (aka H & kids) don't like certain spices, or because I hate to buy a pantry ingredient to use one time & have it go bad.  Ultimately, we eat a lot of tasty dinners that do not resemble the original recipes very much.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Photo is from May, but I wanted to share it anyway.  
H & I, after 12 years, and we're still cute together.  
"...and they said it would never last..."

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Trouble with Tuesdays

Somedays the blog... just writes itself.

The Trouble with Tuesdays is that I've got SO much to write about.  I have all my running over the weekend, and then time with the kids, and they do cute stuff that is blog worthy so I think, I'm going to write about that.

And then, on Monday nights, I go to class, and low and behold...  sometimes the blog just writes itself.  I have NO control over it.

Last week in Class we dissected Sheep Brains.  (sorry if you're a PETA, I will just argue you'll be glad I know a little about all this junk if I'm ever YOUR nurse....and then we'll drop it.)  Imagine for a moment a bunch of giggly squealing 19 & 20 year old girls ... with sharp objects ... and a sheep brain of their very own ... and instructions on how to cut it up.

Do I really need to continue?

It was loud.  It was rambunctious.  I was very glad that having children prepared me for dissection night at class.  Mr. Nice Guy *NG, my lab partner, along with Pretty Runner Girl *PRG and Pretty Young Thing *PYT as well as PYT2, all were assigned to work together.  We were quite the team.  PYT #1 & #2 did not prefer to do any of the cutting, so the other 3 of us worked together cutting while the youngsters did the writing.  It was a good fit for the group.

So as it turns out, I don't hate my professor.  She's a little silly, and I'm not going to invite her out to dinner at any time, but I can at least show her the respect that she has earned.  She's fairly even keeled, and she continues to insist that there are NO stupid questions, despite the fact that she seems to be asked many marginally stupid questions each class period.  Since she's a Dr., she has earned the right to be called such, and it annoys me to no end when the other students shout at her like she's a peer, "Hey!  Miss Tanna?  Wutz this say?"

Across the room.  (or, Lady Em, if you're from the midwest you might say, "Acrosst the room") there was a lab group that NG couldn't handle.  They, apparently, make his eye twitch.  Rightfully so.  While many of us do things like read our text books and look up words, these young girls simply yell, "Hey, Miss Tanna, How'chew spell that?"  or,  "Hey, Miss Tanna, Wutz that word?"  or, my personal favorite, shouted at the top of their lungs, "huh!?!  Say wha'?"  Yes, that is the proper way to address at Professor at the college level, especially one who holds a Phd in Micro Biology.  Sure sure, some people might go a different route, but this seems to work just fine.

On Dissection night, Mr Nice Guy turns to me and says, "You HAVE to name them on the blog.  You HAVE to!"  So, I thought long and hard on names, and finally, after last class, I realized I should just go with the simple route.  So, without further ado, meet the "rest" of the class....

"Wha...?" and "Huh...?"

These two young ladies seem determined to find out if there IS in fact such a thing as a "stupid question" in the professor's eyes.  I will chronicle their journey toward this goal over the next 8 weeks of A&PII.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Monday Missive

The weekends are busy, especially now that I'm training.  Add Kids, Kids Activities, The Neighborhood Pool and a Husband to that running, and it's hard to keep up with what's going on around me.

On Sunday's training run with SNOT I tried to settle in and think about what I was seeing on the run.  I dressed for the part today, and wish my camera had cooperated with me... let's just say, I was feeling the green... but tossed in a touch of pink.  (That said, I went with a LIME color, not a SNOT color.)

The run today was 6 miles and took us on a loop down through the city of Richmond.  We stayed to the West side of town.  The first few miles were upscale residential, aged town homes that gave way to the hip and trendy row houses that have been modified into a 10 block shopping area, complete with a Spa that J Lo is reputed to visit when she's in RVA.

Once through that part of town, we looped through a park.  I have fond memories of this park, as it's where I started an 18 miler with Jackie P, TMB and Fay.  The Park also over laps with a course I raced two years ago where I felt confident and awesome, not to mention powerful and SpeeDee.  As we wound through the course today, I saw the Pink Team running toward us, and reached out to say Hi to Jackie P.  I keep hoping he can make the jump to SNOT.  I just can't imagine not having him on our 20 milers.

After we passed the last of the PINKs we wound down through a genuinely old part of Richmond.  Parts of the historic Confederate Capital passed under my Brooks as we stepped over the aging red brick peaking through the potholes in the black top.  We passed an alley named "Mule Barn Lane".  At some point we toured right past The Sauer Spice Factory - a castle if you will, built in the mid 30's I'd guess.  Then an old Smithfield Ham Building, and then, a huge brick furniture warehouse that is being converted into LOFTS.

Finally, about a mile from the finish, the past and present slammed together in a telling moment.  With the Baseball Diamond of our marginally professional team in sight, we... stepped over a used hypodermic needle on the street.   

Yup.  Welcome to the "other side" of RVA.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

CrossRoads 17.75K Race Report

I think it's important to start out by stating the following.  This was not a race.  This was a training run... on a race course... with a bib, a timing chips, and Marine's handing out water.  Technically I wasn't out to race.  For a few minutes there I forgot that today, but, I remembered now.  This was "for fun".  The reason I didn't want to race is that I don't want to hurt myself on day 6 of Marathon Training.  So, just remind me of that when I start "poor me, I didn't bring my A game" later this week.

Even though it was for FUN, I got a PR.  Because I've never raced 17.75K before.

The alarm was set for 4:15, but I did that thing where you're afraid of over sleeping so you wake up an hour early... and then doze for 10 minutes, wake to check the clock... doze for 10 minutes, wake to check the clock... doze... until 4 when I just got up.  Threw some last minute stuff in the car (ice towels for the cooler, sandwich), and headed out to pick up T.  I pulled up at exactly 4:45am as planned, and she came out the front door.

At this point, I confirmed that of all the things I'd forgotten to throw in the bag or apply, I'd forgotten body glide.  uh.  Fail.  So long story short, I just figured I would make due with something, and we got on the way to Northern VA.

We arrived on time, I finished dressing, and as we sort of milled around the JEEP with me deciding what to use in place of Body Glide, we heard a woman say, "Well, you two do know how to stand out."  MCM MAMA joined the fun!  So, now we were 3.  I finally opted for Neosporin and Baby Powder scented deodorant and applied to the legs.  FAIL for not applying it in my bra.  TMI?

We did the usual pre-race junk - aka, potties, photo-ops, etc, and lined up to start.  Let me say this, the woman who sang Star Spangled Banner had a lovely voice.  And... let me also say, that the guy doing the announcing after she was done singing needed to know... you do not need to shout into a microphone.  I'm just sayin'.  AND, as he's talking, they're playing this DRAMATIC MUSIC behind him.  Too funny.  Oh the Drama Drama was so loud that we barely heard the start gun.  The race got started.  It was crowded, yet cheerful.  I was dripping sweat by mile .2.

It. is. not. an. easy. race.

The race topography should have been a clue.  It went a little like this -^^^^^^^^-/.  So.  There wasn't a lot of not climbing or descending.  In fact, from my point of view as a racer, it was leave the parking lot, run on a boring flat highway and complain about the sun, turn a corner, run up a hill into a State Park, cheer for the shade, run down a hill, run up a hill, run down a hill, lament the loss of the pavement, run up a hill, try not to fall down a hill....

I was doing really well, good spirits, keeping myself entertained, talking quite a bit, an over all pace of just about a 10min/mile, with a pretty decent heart rate.  The volunteers (all male Marines) enjoyed our socks.  The two men behind me kept calling me Pippy b/c I was wearing what's becoming my signature buns, and with the socks and the Runningskirt, yea, Pippy made sense.  They were encouraging & flirty, but not inappropriate and creepy - always a plus.  BY THE WAY - calling single female runners... this is the race for YOU.  Tons and tons of cute Marines at every turn.

We were having fun, walking the water stops, I never took my GU, I was just doing shots of PowerAid, and since it was working I didn't want to shake it up....  And then, we came around the corner on yet. another. hill.  And my spirit broke a little and I thought, "I can't do another one".  So MCM Mama and I set TMB loose and walked for a minute up the hill.  I realized later when I looked at my HR that I totally could have done another hill.  Fully capable.  Mentally I just wasn't doing at that point.  MCM Mama and I started walking up the hills and running down (flying down one of them!).  I finally said, we should just settle into a pace that works, and stop trying to kill ourselves... which, uh, we kinda did alright with...  I think the pace I verbalized was a little slow for both of us... and we didn't really run it.  Then we came to the _ part of the end of the course and I set myself on cruise control and cruised in with MCM Mama right behind me, up a hill and to the finish.  I didn't have much (any) kick at the finish line, but you know, I was just dead beat at that point and glad the race was OVER.

I finished 700th over all, in 1:52:06.  The goal at some point was to finish "sub 2", because I knew there was no way we were going to hit 1:40ish once the forecast was calling for freakishly hell like temperatures with high humidity.  So that goal was accomplished.  Other goals included  "Having Fun", "Not Breaking An Ankle", "Not Falling on my A**", and "Not chafing the legs", all of which were totally achieved.

I would do that race again if TMB & Erika & anyone else* wanted to run it next year.  It was fun - for a hot, hilly, training run.  *you know who you are.

SO, since you're all DYING to know!  The verdict on Neosporin & Secret?  It's a good sub for body glide in a pinch.  First applied the secret, then the ointment over top in a super thin layer.

Friday, June 11, 2010

no laughing matter

...my taper week may have saved my life.

A few days ago I made a joke to another blogger about getting a bottle of pepper spray to run with....  a joke.

Well, yesterday, at a time when I normally run, a woman on a mid morning run was attacked in my "posh" neighborhood about TWO TENTHS of a mile from my house.  The man tried to force her into his car, and... she kicked his a**.  No seriously, she pushed him off, screamed... and then... chased him to his pick up truck which he used to flee the scene.

Yesterday I would have been on that path, at that time, IF I hadn't been on a Taper Week!  So thank you TMB, for coming up with the idea to sign up for the race (what, like, Oct 2009? we had this idea) that is this week.  Thanks also to my guardian angel who prevented me from walking my dogs, which is what I planned to do, but... for some reason unbeknownst to me I completely lost my motivation.  And Thanks to Ann's guardian angel too, for preventing her from walking alone on those same paths.

I am glad that I've got my black & tan dog trained up to 4 miles... but, she's 8... I probably DO need to buy some pepper spray type stuff.  I always thought I was safe because I live in a snooty part of town, but I'm having to rethink that line of thought.

In the meant time... be safe ladies, and get a running buddy!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Three Things Thursday

1.  I'm nervous about my race (CROSSROADS 17.75K) this weekend, and at the same time, I'm not nervous enough.  Hmmm.  What does it all mean?  I don't know, probably it means I should make a plan to not go out too fast, and then stick to the plan.  I'm excited to meet fellow Blogger MCM Mom.  Anyone in the NoVA/DC/MD area who wants to join us... I don't think the race is full.  Hint Hint.  AND Speaking of races, if I hosted a "Half way through summer virtual Half Marathon & Half 10K (aka 5K)", would anyone be interested in participating?  Or, is mid July just too crazy HOT for people?  I've been thinking about it for a while now and thought it would be fun.  I'm looking at the weekend of July 10/11/12.  Weigh in and let me know.  I can't promise any kind of exciting prizes, but I'm sure to come up with something silly.

2.  My middle child B is sick.  Yea, I feel like the dumbest mom alive.  On Monday, my kid who rarely naps any more took a 3 hour nap, and I didn't catch on.  Duh.  I guess SOMEONE had to be the dumbest mom alive this week.  Glad I could spare the rest of you.

3.  I have MARATHON FEVER... and watch out - I think it's contagious.  I've moved to the intermediate Marathon Training Team - SNOT (GREEN).  It was a smart move, but I already miss SpeeDee.  Yes, there is something wrong with me, it's been 23 1/2 hours and I already miss her.  Anyhoo, I am SO excited about the prospect of running and training for the next 25 weeks or so.  I keep looking at the plan, and looking at my history, and making tentative goals, and then backing off the goals, and then upping the goals....  I know that some of this excitement will wear off as time goes on & the training gets tedious, but, right now I'm trying to enjoy the feeling.  There's something so empowering about the following sentence,

"I'm not going to drink a milk shake from Arby's, Dude!  I'm marathon training."

For many reasons, one being that it makes me superior to the milk shake drinker.  Later this month that same sentence will be "Dude, of course I'm getting a milk shake, I'm marathon training and can eat what ever I want".  Oh you people thought I was going to share the goals?  Crazy heads, I'm saving that for much muuuuuch later.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

T & g.  Pink Nation for a day...
really, am I that short?
But only for a day... look, I'm wearing Green!  So, it must've been an OMEN!
I'm now a member of Intermediate Team SNOT.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A WHOLE Summer of "Fun" ahead.

Sometimes the blog... just writes itself.

This weekend, after camp I took my kiddos to the pool with H, for the first time this season.  H has been many times already, but not me.  Busy, taking care of sickies, camping, homework... still, today was just a nice day to hit the pool.  OR, as the case of some moms in my 'hood, to NOT hit the pool.

I dressed today, for the first time in a while, in my black two piece... which... the bottoms are saggy.  Combination redistribution of a** & blown elastic created a new droopy look on me, but I had no options.  I need the SPEEDO dry for tomorrow, so the Saggy Bottom and I had to team up today.  Nice.

We arrived at the pool, and since the top fit fine, and my belly wasn't the WORST it's ever looked, I went ahead and stripped down to enjoy my pool experience.

Having a 3 year old, I pretty much have to get in, or hang VERY near the edge of the pool incase of water-wing deflation.  I sit, with my feet in, on the edge, waiting for an emergency.  It's very relaxing.

The "popular" moms, who are known by me & my H as Snobby Brunette, Disapproving Skinny Blond, & Social Butterfly, also station themselves where they can watch over the pool.  They line themselves up, sitting on half cocked lounge chairs like a row of tan fence posts with artfully arranged designer bikinis and pretend to supervise their children, while clearly watching the "others" at the pool.

Their washboard abs are at least nice to look at, I can be honest about that, but really ladies?  Do we HAVE to be so obviously unpleasant about the "less fortunate" moms wandering around & who's "wearing what" and exposing their less than ideal body types?  We can't ALL be rails...  some of us look like grownups.  And yea, I know, today some of us looked like "grownups" in a sagging store brand bikini.

Yeah.  So excited that I get to do this for about 12 more weeks of summer.  good stuff.

And True yes, I can be CATTY, but at least I can keep it to myself!  Or... I at least keep it between my bloggy pack & me!

Monday, June 7, 2010

MTT First Run Recap

Marathon Training Team....  Take 1.

(Sports Backers Stadium on a A Sunny Sunday Morning at 7:30am)

...cue the runners.... Hot mothers arrive in the parking lot.  No really, T, DeNiece & I are HOT Mothers.
...cue the weather... HOT as a mother !&*(@!er.
...cue the long run... (awkward pause) what long run?  They forgot the run.  (Paper rustling)  It's a marathon training team, I'm 99% sure there's supposed to be a long run....

But seriously, Sunday was the "before we start training meeting", and to save sanity, the teams simply met during the normal time, and then ran together.  For 4 miles.  Technically, Marathon Training starts... Today, Monday... and it's a REST DAY.  After yesterdays "long run" of FOUR MILES, I'm sure everyone needs a rest.

Of course, T & I didn't run 4 miles.  T & I ran 6 miles, and then went to the meeting all sweaty and gross, where we sat for 30 minutes while our muscles got stiff, and then we moved and listened again for a few minutes while our muscles got stiff s'more.  It's all good, because my heart rate came right down and I felt great when they said for us to "GO".  And then we ran 4 miles.  On the 4 mile run it was hard not to try to beat everyone there.  No seriously.  We're crazy like that.  And... we totally kicked booty, by the way.  Sure, plenty of people kicked our booty too, don't worry, but we HAD already run 6 miles thank-you-very-much.  So we're out there kicking booty, trying to remember not to weave and race, and a woman in the group in front of us fell... and started screaming that she'd broken her hand.  It was so sad.  On the first day of training to fall and break something.  Oh I am sad for her and I hope she is OK.  But T & I didn't stop.  First off, a Coach was right there.  Another, I don't have Ice or a Cell Phone at that point - there's no point in stopping and just being in the way - I certainly wasn't going to be any help at all.  So we just ran by her, and in the process picked up a few runners who ran the last 2 miles with us.  So, after all was said and run, we were handed a training book.

Which I opened when I got home... and nearly cried.

The facts are these.  I signed up for the MTT because T & I don't currently share the same goal.  See, I'm running a Marathon in November.  And T is running an 8K that day.  I can't expect she'd WANT to run my 20 milers with me.  So THAT is why... it's a goal thing.  Though that said, she has a closet goal going on... either she doesn't realize how much she's talking about it in front of me... or...  she does.  

Because I know (and like, a lot) one of the PINK NATION MTT Coaches, I signed up for the PINK NATION MTT.  T is allowed to "run bandit" on my MTT runs in part because of this connection, and in part because she is TMB of RACING WITH BABES.   Only, see, PINK Nation is novice.  And, I'm pretty sure (deep breath) I'm NOT a novice.

Novice doesn't mean slow.  Don't worry, on the 4 mile run there were plenty of people who kicked my booty.  As I was saying, Novice doesn't mean slow.  Apparently Novice means, on paper at least, LESS RUNNING THAN I'D LIKE TO SEE IN MY MARATHON TRAINING PLAN.


I said it.


Is, everyone... OK?

I knew all along that I would want to add miles to the PINK NATION plan and all, but now that it's in front of me on paper I'm getting cold feet and instead I'm thinking about switching MTTEAMS to the Intermediate team.  But before I do something crAzy, let's review the pros and cons, and the people who read my blog, please chime in.... Do I Stay PINK, or go SNOT.
No really.  Those are the real choices.  And gosh, right there, the answer seems really really obvious....

1. SpeeDee is a coach.
2. Pink is a cooler color than Snot.
3.  I think the moto of PINK NATION might be "COWBOY UP", which I LOVE.
4. If I run PINK, and I'm going to HAVE to be adding miles every week to the long run to make my "base" goals, I can start earlier than 7am and theoretically, be done earlier.  (i.e. - the long run is 14 and I want to run 18, I can start 40 minutes early)
5.  If T can't come, I will have SpeeDee on my run with me.

1.  The PINK training plan is... short.  I mean, the runs are shorter than I like.  I am going to be adding miles on every run, about 10-15 miles per week.  And I was thinking three 20 milers.  The PINK plan has ONE 20 miler.  This means that one week I'm adding 2 miles before my 18 miler.  One week I'm adding 4 miles before the 16 miler... but some weeks I need to add 7 miles before a PINK scheduled run.
2.  If I stay PINK, I can rarely car pool with DeNiece.

1.  DeNiece is on SNOT.  We live a block apart.  IF we were both running at the same time, the same distance, we could car pool sometimes.
2.  SNOT is the closer to the training plan I had anticipated choosing.

1.  DeNiece is on the FAST SNOT group, where I would be slow SNOT.  We're NOT going to be running together, even if we run together.
2.  If I join & run with the SNOT Team, on the group long runs I'll have to start at 7am.  It's HOT in Virginia.  Last year we were starting our runs at 5:30 some days because it was THAT hot.

Well, what do you think?  Stay with PINK?  Or change to SNOT?  Or, none of this makes sense because I'm rambling?

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Camping vs. Going to Camp

My daughter is in a Girl Scout Troop.

This weekend we went Camping.  At a camp.  In a cabin, with twin sized beds & real mattresses.  Was it rough?  A bit.  Was it roughing it?  Heckfireandshoot no.

I had a decent time too, it's hard to tell, reading this post, but I did.  I wasn't planning on going, despite being a "camping helper" with our troop, because it seemed silly.  They weren't pitching tents, heck, they weren't even cooking for themselves.  The camp has an air conditioned mess hall with a menu.  But at the 11th hour, I found out the entire troop was being accompanied by... ALL the other mothers.  Yes.  10 girls.  9 moms.  Really?  Really?  Oh.  Really.  Well then.  I guess I better go too, lest my kid be the one who was over looked all weekend or felt that her mother didn't love her.

I live in a bit of a posh school district.  I love my neighborhood.  I hate my neighborhood.  It's complicated.  Needless to say, for a long time now, my Husband and I have been making up names for the people in our neighborhood....  and then I read Slummy Mummy (TOTALLY, if you're a mom, you should read it, it's by Fiona someone, hilarious) and learned that I am NOT the only one making up names for the other mothers in my life.  So, without further ado, meet my camping buddies...

Alpha Mom, Snobby Blond, Huffy Blond, Yummy Mummy (the main troop leader) and Proper Mom joined us, as well as Adventure Camping Mom, Ann, ... and finally a mom who I cannot name... because she is THE MOST ANNOYING MOM EVER.

Here's an example of ONE of the many ways she drove me nuts for the 24 hours we spent together.  An ACTUAL QUOTE:

In a loud commanding voice, tinted with a Long Island accent, she gives her edict so that all the girls in the troop will hear, "Everything needs to be even and fair.  So everyone gets half.  OK?  It HAS to be fair.... " and then in a marginally hushed voice that can also be heard by everyone, "here Offspring, you can have a little extra."

I'm sure you can imagine that Offspring, if she doesn't get a little extra, throws down a temper-tantrum that can be mistake for a spring thunderstorm, given that she's ALWAYS been given "extra".  It's fabulous.  It's also not Offspring's fault.  Which is why I won't call her names or call her out.  If I had been raised to believe I was better and more perfect and more deserving than everyone else in the world, I would behave like that too.

But truly, we did have fun, and when I'm through being annoyed with Annoying Mom, I'll tell you ALL about the camping trip with pictures.  We rode horses, climbed a rock wall, went canoeing, toasted marshmallows, ate s'mores...  really, it was fun, and I ensured that C had a blast, and isn't THAT what's important?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Mostly Wordless Wednesday

Fab 5 at the Autism 5K
V, SpeeDee, C, g. and TMB
Fab 4 later that same day!  (C's too little to go out for celebratory beverages!)
TMB, g., SpeeDee, V

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Product Review: Running Slow to Run Faster

As you all know I've been running along for a few years now.  2 years and 1 month.  In two years I have raced one 3Miler, many 5Ks, quite a few 10K's, a 15K, 5 Halfs and a Marathon.

In all that I've been slowly growing my speed, at some points making HUGE strides....  but mostly I've been frustrated as I watch all the people I know and love leave me behind race after race.  I thought doing TEMPO runs and SPEED WORK were the key, and my lack of discipline was going to be my undoing.  Actually, I'm very disciplined, but I use it all up in other areas, like making time for homework and junk like that...

So, as far as running is concerned, I was always fitting my run IN, but not really putting a quality run OUT.  And, by fitting it in, that meant a 3 and a 4 miler each week with a long run on Saturday or Sunday.  During the marathon training I learned that I could add many more miles to my week, and that I liked running that much.  And then I BROKE DOWN.

So, about that.  Yes, I broke.  Yes, I was running more.  Were the two connected?  Not entirely.  I was running too many miles in the wrong training zone for my body, and not enough miles to do what I wanted to do.

In late March I decided to try a *NEW PRODUCT known as Running Slow to Run Faster.   I'd just come off an injury and was in the process of deciding how to move forward.  Do I get a 5K plan out that has 1 tempo, 1 speed, 1 easy and 1 long run?  (15-18 or so miles a week), or do I do something else?
 (new for me, other people have been doing it since the '70's).  

TMB gave me something else to do, and clear instructions on how to do it.  Now armed with a new training zone (read that: SLOWER over all pace that fit MY zones) I upped my milage for the months of April & May.  Seriously, in April & May I cranked out 217 miles (combined).... and most of those miles were a "slower than 10 minute mile" pace.  16 of those miles, however, were racing miles, and they were so much better.

For one thing, I did a 13.1 mile training run, and PR'd on it.  Without exerting effort, I attained at Half Marathon PR.  Seriously, that ROCKED.  It wasn't a huge PR, only a few seconds, but with NO EFFORT.  I could have run faster, I just didn't.  I was chatting with my peeps for over half the run.

But we can't base this whole review on one 13.1 mile training run/race PR, can we?

The final thing, I think, that shows that RUNNING SLOW to RUN FAST works is that I ran a 5K at the end of April and a 5K exactly one month later with the larger slower running base, and guess what?  I attained a PR.  Not a "one second" PR either.  No, it was a *serious 26 second PR.  (I believe that a 26 second speed increase on a 5K is a lot of time in 30 days!)

*by the way:  officially, the race time was 25:55, giving me an official 26 second PR.  However the course was long, and TMB's Garmin agreed with my Garmin to the exact distance.  When I calculate out on that, my avg pace was an 8:12, and my PR would have been 25:30, a 49 second PR.

So, the verdict as far as I'm concerned:  Running Slow to Run Faster works and I will use it again and again!