Thoughts on moving/ on

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These thoughts are a collection of things I have written in my own personal journal over the last month. In a little over a week we will be moving from upstate NY back to Virginia. It has been a challenging few years, for a variety of reasons. I’m grateful for my husband Pete, and my two girls, my friends, and running for being my anchor.

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If it’s not going to matter in five years, then don’t think about it for more than five minutes. Where did I hear that from? I don’t even remember but that’s some pretty damn good advice.

That saying “your vibe attracts your tribe” is so true. Friendships are so important. Humans have a need to connect with one another, to have real relationships, meaningful conversations.

In the book “How Bad Do You Want It” one of the later chapters (Passion Know No Age) talks about how the healthiest and happiest athletes were ones who treated life as a grand adventure, and who stressed very little about things. I loved reading that chapter. Puts many things into perspective.

I get a lot of joy from spreading my love for running to others, and in turn learning from other athletes. That’s why I coach, and why I do a lot of reading on exercise physiology and sport psychology. I’m always growing as an athlete and as a person, every day trying to get better.

I choose to be optimistic. I choose to focus on the positive. Even negative experiences can be blessings in disguise. Highs and lows are part of life, but it’s important not to dwell on any emotion and just carry on.

Be authentic and be you! Don’t try to be anyone else. You have your own God given talents and what makes you YOU. Remember to be yourself, be loving and kind, and contribute to the collective conscience in a positive way.

I’ve moved many times in my life, and I’m not afraid of change. I’m more afraid of the unchanging, being stuck in a job or circumstance that doesn’t let me become the best version of myself.

Binge watching TV does not lead to self-actualization, but I have learned some important life lessons from this season of The Bachelor. Plus it makes me laugh.

There’s a certain dichotomy that’s always been a part of my relationship with running. It’s a love/hate thing. I love to run, but sometimes it’s the last thing I want to do. When running becomes a chore, it’s less fun. I guess that’s why I have struggled with training for a marathon in the past, because the training is so far outside my comfort zone. The workouts are long. The training can be tedious.

The beauty of running is it’s simplicity. You only need a good pair of running shoes (and probably a sports bra for the ladies). You can wear whatever you like, no other gear needed. Sometimes we over complicate things with fancy devices. We place more focus on heart rate zones and splits instead of just putting one foot in front of the other, feeling our hearts beat faster, feeling the air go in and out of our lungs.

My college coach used to tell me, “don’t think, just run”. I think that’s the best advice.

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Hartford Marathon Training: Week Eight

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Week Eight: Week of 8/21

I had a great week of training, even with travel and not getting as much sleep as I usually do. The Tuesday workout was a lot harder than I thought it would be. I did the 400’s in my neighborhood, and wasn’t thinking about the fast that my neighborhood isn’t flat. So half of the 400s were uphill and the other half were downhill.

We left for an out-of-town wedding on Thursday, and I had planned to get my long run done early on Thursday so I wouldn’t have to do it on the hotel treadmill. I was dreading that run, and didn’t think I’d be able to do the cutdown part of the workout. But the run ended up going well, and after the first 8 miles (and a gel) I suddenly felt good enough to tackle the cutdown.

After the wedding we took a short trip to the beach and to visit family in Norfolk. More about that next week!

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Week Eight:

M 10 miles easy

T 3 miles warm up, 20 X 400, 3 miles cool down (12 miles)

W am 6 miles easy, pm 4 miles easy

T 20 miles total (8 miles easy, 10 mile cut down starting at 7:00/mile and working down to 6:00/mile, 2 mile cool down

F 10 miles easy

Sat 4 mile warm up, 10 x 20 second strides, 4 mile cool down (9 miles)

Sun 10 miles easy

(81.6 miles)

Travel means being doing your best to plan ahead but also being flexible. I ended up running on Sunday instead of taking a rest day because I had something else planned for Monday morning. So my mileage is a little higher than usual, but it will balance out next week with an extra rest day.

Looking for more of my training for the Hartford Marathon?

Week 7

Week 6 

Week 5

Week 4

Week 3

Week 2

Week 1

Hartford Marathon Training: Week Six

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Week Six: Week of 8/7

(Previous weeks are here: Week 5, Week 4, Week 3, Week 2, Week 1)

I felt tired at the beginning of the week. Pete was out of town the previous weekend so I was solo with the girls and it caught up with me Monday. But I’m starting to understand this parenting thing and how it works, so I knew I just needed to spend the day giving my body some rest.

On another note, when did everyone start becoming so serious about this whole running thing? You guys, running is supposed to be fun. Some of my best times are when I’m just chatting with friends on a long run, laughing about stupid stuff. When I coached high school, my favorite memories are from the days when we had inclement weather and got creative playing games and coming up with workouts we would do indoors. We don’t have to be inspiring people all the time. Life is ridiculous. Look around you and laugh at things.

 beach scared running timid GIF

Week Six:

M 8 miles easy on the treadmill (7:35/mile)

T Fartlek (7.5 miles at 7:02/mile) 2 miles warm up, 1.5 cool down (11 miles) + Pilates mat class

W 10 miles easy (8:08/mile)

Th 4 mile warm up, 10 x 20 second strides, 4 mile cool down (9 miles)

F 8 miles easy (7:41/mile)

Sat 16 miles with Allie (7:15/mile)

Sun REST

(62.7 miles)


What’s something ridiculous that’s happened to you recently? 
I left my kids downstairs while I was cooking dinner and discovered this masterpiece on my nearly brand new NordicTrack. Luckily it was just chalk, so it cleaned up fine. I didn’t have the energy to be mad, but even if I did I think I would have just laughed anyway. At least they were being creative, right?

Treadmill Fail

Hartford Marathon Training: Week Five

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Week Five: Week of 7/31

I got the most well-timed and amazing email this week. You may know that I’m a podcast junkie, and I was listening to an episode of one that I don’t usually listen to. At the end of the episode, there was a prompt to enter the contest so I did. I’ve probably entered at least 100 contests on social media and have never won a damn thing. But I figured, what the hell?

You guys, I won.

Unfortunately I can’t give all the specifics yet, but once it’s announced I think you’ll realize why this was such a big deal to me. At the beginning of the week, before I got email, I was seriously doubting my ability to train for a marathon. But I realized that this was absolutely a sign. It really helped me re-focus and cut out distractions.

And now… something that made me laugh way too much:

 cat family kittens hiding hide GIF

Week Five:

M 4 easy treadmill miles, (~34 minutes)

T 4 miles easy (ran most of this outside, last 11 mins on treadmill (~32 mins) + Pilates 

W 10 miles treadmill (7:42/mile)

Th 2 warm up, 5 mile fartlek workout, 3 cool down 10 miles (7:13 avg)

F 6.1 miles easy (7:54/mile)

Sat 14 miles on the treadmill (7:19/mile)

Sun REST

(48.1 miles)

Moving forward, moving back…

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The process of moving has taken up basically all of my brain power for the past two weeks. I’m exhausted. I have run once since my Shamrock 8k. If you know me, you know that’s weird.

The rest of my time is split between taking care of my ebullient and precocious little girl, writing training plans and following up with my coaching clients, and growing my new skin care business. I haven’t been reading as much as I would like (or writing as much either). But I can’t seem to change the number of hours I get in each day, so there are some things that maybe aren’t as much of a priority right now. Such as showering.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to move “back home” and if it has really been what I originally thought it would be like. In reality, I think it has turned out a lot better. Things that used to bother me don’t bother me any more- like having to drive 10-15 minutes to get everywhere, the winter weather, and whatever else angsty teenagers complain about. Yes, I was one of those kids who would slam their door and blast music on a regular basis (but I was a good kid, really, just way too emotional). Hey, the music in the 90’s was pretty good too, you can’t blame me for wanting to listen to that instead of my parents.

So… moving forward. I can’t hardly believe it myself but our little girl will be here in about 10 weeks! I have a few 5k races planned this spring in addition to spectating at the Boston Marathon next weekend. I find it hard to believe that it’s been a year since I actually ran Boston with my sister, and two years since the bombings. I’ve never actually spectated at Boston so I’m looking forward to catching a glimpse of a few of my favorite runners- Shalane, Kris, Jennifer C (before you move abroad!), and Steph (my sister)of course.

And right on cue, Emma is up! Catch you all soon.

After the Boston Marathon last year (and probably the only finisher's medal I'll ever hang on my wall)

After the Boston Marathon last year (and probably the only finisher’s medal I’ll ever hang on my wall)

Winter running, part two.

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In case you want to read about what a dumbass I was at the beginning of this winter (when I thought 32 degrees was cold), part one is here.

I laugh at how naive I was (or maybe forgetful) a few months ago. Why did I think low 30s was so cold? Yesterday I ran outside for the first time in a long time and it felt HOT at 29 degrees. But first, there was a trip to Target, of course, because I’m a Basic SAHM.

Poor Emma, she really wanted to take that minion home.

Poor Emma, she really wanted to take that minion home.

We only had to get a prescription refilled, but it takes 30 minutes, so we just played in the toy section and Emma didn’t want to let go of this guy (we’ve watched Despicable Me a few times when I haven’t been feeling well, I admit). Afterwards we stopped at Bruegger’s and we got lucky that there were some hot bagels in our favorite variety (Honey Grain). I feel bad for people who don’t eat carbs because it doesn’t get much better than fresh bagels and cream cheese. I usually get Honey Walnut cream cheese and Emma prefers “pink” (Strawberry).

This is from a different bagel run, but you get the idea... pink cream cheese everywhere

This is from a different bagel run, but you get the idea… pink cream cheese everywhere

On the drive home I decided that it was way too nice for the treadmill, so I put Emma down for a nap and got some others things done. Then when she woke up we went running outside! Woof. It was hard pushing that stroller after a hiatus, but totally worth it.

Emmaline all bundled up after our run. She wanted to play outside. Her favorite word lately is "snow"...

Emmaline all bundled up after our run. She wanted to play outside. Her favorite word lately is “snow”…

I was going to write about what I wore in detail (I even took photos) but I realized it was basically the same thing as in part one, so I guess there’s no need. Hopefully this will be the last time I write about winter for awhile. February is coming to a close and I’m excited for the month of March for so many reasons, but the biggest one is that we are closing on our new house in a few days! More about that soon. Hope everyone is keeping warm and that my southern friends and family are enjoying their late winter snowfall from last night.

Some questions for y’all… What is your favorite bagel/cream cheese combo? What do you think about last year’s Boston jacket (or the 2015 version in purple)? You won’t offend me… I know it’s freaking bright. I mean, is there any possible shade of orange brighter than this?

Boston jacket that everyone thinks is hideous (but I like it for visibility on the roads)

Boston jacket that everyone thinks is hideous (but I like it for visibility on the roads)

Some baby news (and more)

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Well, first let’s begin with the other news.

My birthday was this past Tuesday, and I was pretty excited to get out on a weeknight for some Mexican food and homemade (by mom) birthday cake. We went to El Loco on Madison Avenue in Albany, and it was surprisingly pretty good for upstate NY Mexican food served by hipsters. We really don’t have many options for Mexican food here (compared to the plethora of authentic Mexican restaurants in Virginia Beach) and it’s my one constant pregnancy craving, so I was quite happy. Afterwards we went back to my sister’s house for some cake, ice cream, and presents.

New age group (I'll let you count the blurry candles to figure out which one...)

New age group (I’ll let you count the candles to figure out which one)

Running has been going pretty well. I ran a 7k race on Super Bowl Sunday (another of the HMRRC Winter Series races) and finished third, behind a fast teenager and my sister Steph. My time was 29:23, which was about a 6:45 average. Since then I’ve done most of my runs on the treadmill. I usually try to run 4 miles during the week (not every day, but most days) and one longer run on the weekends. I have to admit that I’ve taken a break this week (because of a stomach bug and then a bunch of other things that have kept me busy) and am having a hard time getting myself motivated again. The stomach bug seriously knocked my on my butt for awhile and it took me until my birthday to start feeling normal again.

And lastly, since we’re nearing the end of the second trimester already (time is flying)…

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Making plans…

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The past few months have been full of surprises.

Two pink lines. Our house selling and moving to NY. Starting a new job.

Finding a new house!!! Or not. Ok, finding another new house!!! We thought we found the house we wanted, but someone had already made an offer on it. We were supposed to travel to Virginia for New Years, but since I got sick we stayed here and ended up finding another house- and making an offer!

With so much up in the air recently, I’ve been trying to take control of the few things I can plan out for now.

House plans

Taking Pinterest by storm. I have so many ideas of what I want to do, and being pregnant isn’t really helping. Last time I only had to focus on Emma’s nursery and a few other small details in our house. Now I have an entire house to remodel and decorate.

Meal plans

I’ve been working on getting back into the habit of planning meals for the week. I like cooking, but the process of planning and then shopping for ingredients is one of my least favorite things to do. I signed up for Blue Apron after a reading a few sponsored blog posts and reviews about it. Our first shipment comes this Tuesday and I’m more excited about it than I probably should be. I like that you can check out the menus ahead of time and pick the ones you want.

Race plans

This part isn’t nearly as important as it usually would be. I still enjoy races even if I’m not able to push myself to the limit. I have a few races on my calendar for now:

February 1st- Winter Series #5 race at UAlbany (4 miles)

February 15th- Winter Marathon Relay (I think I’ve decided to scratch this one, only because it’s a bit long and I know I’m going to have to stop a few times- bladder pressure is constant issue)

March 21st- Shamrock 8k

I’m also tentatively planning to run a 5k on Mother’s Day and maybe the OK 5k at the beginning of June. Things get a little iffy in the last few weeks of pregnancy, so I’m just keeping those races in mind for now, and I’ll decide as it gets closer.

Do you have any fun races on your calendar for the rest of the winter/ early spring?

I’ve had this blog post in my drafts folder for awhile, and February seemed like it was so far away at the time… but today is the last day of January! One more month of winter AND daylight savings is on March 8th, which always seems to make spring seem much closer…

Weekend festivities

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First off, it was time for a haircut. I really don’t even remember when I last did that… maybe the beginning of the summer?

Fantastic "before" look complete with headband to keep things under control

Fantastic “before” look complete with headband to keep things under control

I had to return a coat before my appointment so I actually really tried hard to not look like I just rolled out of bed, but it obviously didn’t work. Anyway, two hours later…

After

After

The girl that shampooed my hair was all, “You have so much hair!” Obviously that’s why I’m here (is what I wanted to say), but I just said “yeah” or something like that. This was the first time since I was a kid that I can remember having to stand up to get my hair cut (when my mom cut my hair and I had to stand on the back porch and hold as still as possible- that never went well).

The rest of the weekend included a track workout (8 x 400 meters) with three of my favorite workout partners. My 400 times were pretty consistent, around 80-82, except for the first one (93- guess I wasn’t warmed up yet) and last one (76- got my ass handed to me, thanks B). Also read this interesting article on cool downs the next day and pondered my current cool down routine. We followed that up with a birthday celebration for Pete that consisted of two of his favorite things: wings and football.

Almost pulled out a win with these two cute cheerleaders

Almost pulled out a win with these two cute cheerleaders

I don’t have a photo of the cake from before, but I was pretty proud of myself for trying something new. I made a “zebra cake” with chocolate frosting. The recipe from the back of Hershey’s cocoa is the best freaking chocolate frosting I’ve ever had. I seriously had to hold myself back from eating it all with a spoon. I’m not very domestic when it comes to baking, but I’m working on it.

Happy Birthday, Pete!

Happy Birthday, Pete!

I also did an easy 10 mile long run this weekend. The early part of this week will be all easy runs in preparation for the Turkey Trot 5k on Thursday morning. I just found out that we have a winter weather advisory for Wednesday and Thursday and we may get 9 inches of snow!

Are you running a Turkey Trot this week? Do you have any fun family traditions for Thanksgiving?

Our family tradition involves running the Troy Turkey Trot every year, then going out for a quick bagel breakfast, followed by a day of cooking and eating everything in sight. Here’s my Turkey Trot history, full of many ups and downs over the years: Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, and I Quit.

Life and stuff (and some real talk)

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Well, the tornado that is my life has finally calmed down for a few hours so I figured I should at least start writing about everything that has been going on.

In August, we decided to put our house up for sale and move to NY. The end of summer was a blur of home improvement projects combined with first birthday party planning. We went on a family vacation in Corolla, NC for Labor Day weekend and when we returned there was a for sale sign in our front yard.

Keeping the house spotless for showings with a toddler and a messy dog was a challenge I wasn’t quite prepared for, but within a few weeks we had an offer on our house. If you’ve ever bought or sold a home, you probably know that there are good days and bad days, and lots of uncertainty. Although there were some stressful moments, we were able to close the at the end of October. Now looking back on it, we were so freaking lucky to sell our house that fast. I almost can’t believe it happened.

I took this photo as we drove away. Our first little house.

I took this photo as we drove away. Our first little house.

So, we’ve been here in NY for the past two weeks. The first week was a blur of just trying to unpack and organize the things we would need, and taking care of all of the boring details of closing accounts and opening new ones. We both started new jobs (more on that later).

And now, here’s the real unedited truth. Living out of boxes is frustrating!!! I can never find what I’m looking for. I have a problem with exclamation points, and I’m really trying to work on that. I miss running in my old neighborhood in Virginia.

I took lots of photos on my last run around the neighborhood, but I'm sure it will be burned into my memory anyway.

I took lots of photos on my last run around the neighborhood, but I’m sure it will be burned into my memory anyway.

It’s cold and all of the leaves have fallen off the trees already, but I think I will get used to it (I hope). Watching the New York City Marathon was so inspiring, even the little ones got in on the action this year! And dang, it looked cold at the start.

Cheering for the runners!

Cheering for the runners!

But, I will leave on a positive note. Thanksgiving is coming soon, along with one of my favorite races, the Troy Turkey Trot. I did my first speed workout since the Mohawk-Hudson Marathon on Saturday and felt great, and I’m excited to race a fast 5k in a few weeks. It’s an out-and-back flat, fast course and a family tradition that I look forward to every year.