Thursday, November 29, 2012

Tons of fun

 As November comes to an end...I am reminded how lucky we are.  We spent a great few days in NH for the Thanksgiving holiday.  We played with cousins and relaxed with family.  We did our annual Thanksgiving day hike and I am proud that all of our kids made it up North Pack Monadnock...which is a long way for a little guy (he had a little stroller help).

Of course the annual Thanksgiving driveway run happened and we caught some on camera..namely on bigger individual who wanted to remain the driveway king..I am pretty sure he ran last year as well.  Apparently when NYC marathon got cancelled he thought this would be a good opportunity to show his training.

We came back to PA and winter was upon us.  Time for jackets and mittens!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Fun Thanksgiving Week

We arrived in NH after a long day of traveling yesterday.  We left early hoping to avoid the masses traveling today and really we just humg out with 4000 more friends that made that same decision.
Jackson joined me this morning for my post marathon pedicure.  He was pretty interested for the first few minutes and then he terrorized the birds in the salon.
Busy helping grandpa with mashed potatoes
Brianna had her Thanksgiving feast at school...she loved wearing the pilgrim hat.
We are looking forward to a cousin filled Thanksgiving in NH.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Bucks County Marathon!

Before the race report...I need to talk about my rockstar husband!  He came out of a 4 hour exam yesterday and encountered the crazy wife who was running today.  It was one of those weekends where everything needed to go right.  Ryan had his exam on Sat and and he was shot when he got home.  He went to bed in the afternoon so that he could be ready to corral the masses for Sun.  Getting three kids out the door for marathon spectating is not easy! the race did not start until 9 and my friend George was nice enough to drive the four of us down to the start.  It is an out and back course and there were wave starts.    I started with my running buddy Joe and tried to keep a conservative pace.  It was hard, I felt good but I knew the day was long.  We kept the first half around 8:45 and headed back.   At this point I lost Joe, he was not feeling was nice to have company for the first half. 

Ryan thought they might make the half point but he was not sure.  I did not see them but it was a little out of the way of any parking so I carried on.  I was not feeling super but I think the hardest miles are the last 10.  I hit the 18 mile mark and my pace had slowed...I was running through a water stop and I ran right by the was not until I passed that it hit me that they were there.  I instantly felt bad...bummer I should have gone back.  I carried on thinking I would see them at the finish. 
Backing up a bit...this week Jen and I had a great conversation about family, balance and running a marathon.  I struggled this fall trying to figure out what pace I should shoot for.  I went back and forth and never really settled on a "set" pace.  This week...she said she wanted to take the pressure off this fall and allow me to enjoy the training before I need to focus for IMLP.  She recognizes to importance of my family and kids and 5-10 min in a marathon really deos not matter.
Ok...onward so I come to the 20 mile mark and low and behold...there they are again...HOW I stopped and I slapped their hands and told them how HAPPY I was that they were there.  It was great...and then I ran through the park which was a loop and saw them again at mile 21...oh they were so excited.
I knew at this point..I was still on target to go under 4 hours which was my original I carried on with the biggest smile!  How awesome...and then they were there at mile 22 and mile 24...and if you have kids you know in and out of the car with car seats every 20 mins is no easy task.  They followed the towpath..honking and was so much fun.  My pace slowed, my legs hurt and i was ready to be done but I made sure I waved and high fived them when I saw them.  Jen was so right..this was what makes training so worth it!
So I crossed the finish line in 3:55...35 minutes faster than my first marathon...after having three kids and I am proud of that!
So I owe Ryan who thinks this is nuts but made sure my day was perfect!  XOXO.  Jen who has provided more balance, guidance and TONS of support...I am lucky to have you as a coach.  Myse and AnnMarie, at Fleet Feet, I am truly greatful that you have supported me through all of my athletic endeavors this year, 2013 will rock.  Kate who helped me with strength training to make this day possible and last but certainly not least...Heather who kept my hamstring and ITB at bay so I could run.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

It's TAPER time!!

YES!  I am gearing up for a marathon this weekend and I am really excited!  I am feeling good and ready.  I decided against running Philly...since I have done that one and getting in and out of the city is a it is huge and I have done so much training on my own that a smaller marathon appeals to me.
However, when NYC cancelled their race filled immediately.  While it is still small - a field of 500 I think.  I was hoping it would be more like the 20 miler race that I ran a few weeks ago.  The course is almost all on trail and it is narrow.    The best thing is it is close to home and a bunch of friends are running it as well, which makes it fun! 
I wasn't sure how I was going to run this...but after some back and forth, I hammered out a good race plan with Jen this week.  The hard about running a race with friends is that your goals may be we will just have to plan for the Poconos in May - right George! I am excited to start planning 2013...and throw in some fun stuff like swimming in a meet for the first time since high school.
And then it is time to play..get back in the pool seriously and find my bike which I am actually looking forward too.  We have our annual Gingerbread Holiday Party so we will spend the early part of the month baking and building for the holidays, I am capping it at 30 houses this year..too many make me crazy.  We are traveling for Thanksgiving but not for Christmas so it will be nice to be at home for the holidays...and maybe Jackson will leave the ornaments on the tree this year!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Lots to be Thankful for!

Jackson could watch this all day long!  It is a good thing that our neighbor has an orange tractor...the storm cleanup continues.  We were lucky not to lose to many trees.  There are still many down from the storm.
How cool is this bowl?  Our neighbor Mr. Mike (with the orange tractor who is 85 I think) carved this out of a tree and brought it over after we had helped clean up from the storm.  Jackson LOVES Mr. Mike and he has proclaimed that this is his bowl...for chips of course!

Here are the lines of power trucks...still heading north as people do not have power.  It is amazing to see all of the help that is still coming in.

and with all of this...we created a jar full of Thanks for November...the kids are having a great time at dinner writing what they are thankful for.  We are truly blessed to have power, a warm house and healthy family.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Brianna Birthday!

Guess which PARTY girl turned 5!!!! and she has certainly celebrated all week long.  She wanted everyone to know, everyone to sing to her and it was all about her birthday.  We were supposed to have her party on Friday but she was not feeling well at all! So Sunday it is!

She wanted a Tow Mater cake and I have never worked with it will be a work in progress but it was really fun to learn something new. 

The first cake did not make the taste testers came in to see if it was going to make the cut.

This was the before...
and then the after....

Saturday, November 10, 2012

A little time away

Last weekend, I went to Atlanta to catch up with a couple of tri camp friends, my college friend, and meet some new ones too!

Ryan's mom was kind enough to fly out and help us for the weekend.  I was not sure that I was going to make it out given the storm and I was flying out of Atlantic City.  The stars aligned though and I was able to make it to Atlanta with no problems.

I caught up with my college friend, Tara,  for the first night and we hung out in Atlanta...crazy stuff I tell you..dinner and a quiet night.  I was just so excited though to have dinner that did not include the same conversation..please sit down, no you are not done, we don't feed the dog what we don't like...etc.

Then on Friday, I met up with Julia, Sarah, and Liz....we met up on a house in Lake Lanier, which is a huge lake in Georgia.  I tell was such a nice nice weekend.  We ate, relaxed, read books, sat in the sun and watched movies.  There was no drama, no crazy workouts, and lots of laughs. 

This was a HUGE hill that we ran up to get out to the main was a killer and I am glad that I do not live near it!

and Monday it was back to the regular schedule...CRAZY!