Shamrock 8k Recap

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Phew! What a whirlwind of a weekend. Let me quickly (ha) recap my race and some other things that happened this weekend.

Our travel was delayed by a few unforseen circumstances (including snow, what was the heck was that about?)… We arrived at our hotel in Virginia Beach at 12:30 am. The kids (Emma and my niece Mia) promptly woke up from sound sleep and started chasing one another around the room, so needless to say we didn’t get much sleep that night (sorry to whomever was in the room below us- we really tried to get them to calm down).

I woke up around 6 the next morning, but I guess that wasn’t enough time… because I looked at my watch thinking I had plenty of time and did a double-take when I read 7:15 already. I scarfed down as much of a Picky Bar as I could and pushed Pete out the door at 7:25, which left us 20 minutes before the scheduled start time of our race. Unfortunately we were staying on 6th street and the starting line was on 30th street, almost 2 miles away. Pete had to eat breakfast while running, and I was doing my best waddle-shuffle, frantically checking my watch at every street to see if we were going to make it. Luckily we did make it with a few minutes to spare, but it was a close one!

My original goal had been to run around 7 minute pace for the 8k, but with the travel and lack of sleep and accounting for pregnancy-related factors I adjusted my goal to somewhere between 7 and 7:30 pace (around 35-38 minutes for the 5 miles). In the beginning I did my best to relax, but there were a LOT of people around me bobbing and weaving. I was concentrating more on not being tripped than on my actual pace. I came through the first mile around 6:45, and I was surprised to run that “fast” and still feel pretty good. I made a conscious effort during the second mile to just maintain my pace and kept repeating “relax, relax” to myself in my head. The second mile was around 7 minutes.

Somewhere in the first mile- I'm in the orange (pop) arm warmers. Photo courtesy of Jen B.

Somewhere in the first mile- I’m in the orange (pop) arm warmers. Photo courtesy of Jen B.

At this point we had run two miles in the direction of our hotel and were rounding first street to head up the boardwalk toward the start/finish area. I got squeezed from the outside by another runner, which happens sometimes in road races, but I suppose the guy on my inside felt I was encroaching on his space so he actually THREW me and elbow and attempted to push me hard away from him AND hold his arm out to maintain his space. I, of course, gave him some lip service and sort of pointed out “hey, preggers here” but he ignored me! Then I turned my head and stared at him and asked him if he heard me, to which he finally responded “yes”. Then I took off and never saw him again. I was shocked that someone would act like that in the mid-pack of the race. People are usually supportive of one another and don’t show such poor sportsmanship. I feel a little bad for probably embarrassing him because I’m sure he didn’t know I was pregnant when he threw me a ‘bow, but I had to look out for myself and the baby. Ok, moving on.

Miles 3 and 4 were on the boardwalk with a slight headwind. I ran both miles around 7 minutes and felt pretty good. I passed a lot of runners on the boardwalk but there were a lot of people noticeably slowing down, likely from starting out too fast.

On the boardwalk nearing 4 miles. Photo by Jen B. again.

On the boardwalk nearing 4 miles. Photo by Jen B. again.

We then turned off the boardwalk to the left and ran up the parallel street, Atlantic Ave, for a half mile. I decided to try and pick it up at this point, mainly because I felt good and also because I had to pee and just wanted to get it over with. We turned once more to the right and back onto the boardwalk in the opposite direction. Finally I could see the finish line (isn’t that the best?) I ran my last mile a little quicker, around a 6:45, and crossed the line in 34:20, averaging a little under 7 minutes per mile. I think the flat course and extra blood volume helped my time a bit.

The Shamrock 8k was a fun race, and one of my favorite race distances. But the highlight of the weekend was Emma’s first race! She ran the Leprechaun Dash later that morning along with her cousin Mia. They separate the kids into age groups for each year, ages 1-5. It is the cutest thing!

Emmaline was very excited about her race number (and they printed the kids' names on them too)!

Emmaline was very excited about her race number (and they printed the kids’ names on them too)!

So they all lined up and the announcer told them to “Go!” Emma did such a good job running straight for that finish line. I cried a little bit when we crossed the line, thinking about all of the races she has ahead of her and all of the other fun things she will get to experience. I know it’s silly, but I was so proud of her.

Shamrock 3

Shamrock 2

Emma got her medal, which she wore all day and refused to take off. We stayed by the finish to watch Mia run her race. She is getting so fast! Then the kids ran around and giggled the two miles back to the hotel.

This is where I imagine Emma is explaining to Mia what happened in her race...

This is where I imagine Emma is explaining to Mia what happened in her race…

That’s about it. We got in late last night and I had an appointment this morning- 26 week check up and glucose challenge. Yum. Fingers crossed that I pass this time, because I failed by a few points when I was pregnant with Emma and would prefer not to go through the 3 hour test again. I did things a little differently this time so I’m hoping my research pays off!

Running, pregnancy, and skin care

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Running is still going. I ran a marathon relay a few weeks ago and lucked out with the shortest leg possible, 5.4 miles. The past two weekends I managed a ten mile run and eight mile run, so I know I’ll most likely make it to the finish of my 8k race this weekend in one piece. I hear there’s some type of bonus if you give birth at the finish line, but the baby isn’t quite ready for that yet unfortunately. (This is, of course, an attempt at humor, but I realize it’s not even that funny. It’s more of an inside joke, but I couldn’t help myself. Sorry.)

Totally different topic, but I promise it will all make sense in a minute…

Why didn’t anyone tell me that tanning beds are a bad idea?

DeFrancesco_Mollie

Ok, maybe some people warned me, and maybe I ignored them. I mean, we basically had to wear bathing suits year round and I figured I’d look better with a slight tan… which turned into me looking like one of those orange guys from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Oompa loompas, I think they’re called.

All kidding aside, I spent lots of time running outside 7 days per week for hours at a time as a D1 athlete, at day long track meets in the hot sun as a track coach, training for and racing marathons in my 30s, plus plenty of time on the lifeguard stand and at the beach. As I got older I started to notice little changes here and there in my skin- as my tan would fade I noticed tiny freckles on my skin. Eventually they weren’t tiny anymore. I could cover them up with makeup but that became time-consuming… plus I didn’t want to have to wear makeup all the time. Who does?

In 2007 I went to a medical spa in northern Virginia where I was living. I was prescribed a series of mini chemical peels. Unfortunately they didn’t do much and cost a lot of money. My skin looked a little better for a short time.

Fast forward to 2009 when I decided it was time to fix my skin issues- I had just gone on a trip to Hawaii and came home with blotchy uneven skin and horrible break outs. I went to a medical spa and paid for several microdermabrasion treatments as well as a line of products to even out my skin, clear up my breakouts, etc. Did it work? Well, yes… but I dealt with very dry, very red, irritated skin due to the highly concentrated retinol prescription I was given. My face hurt like hell. It would flake off in public. I wasn’t working full time then, but I was taking classes to finish my Virginia teaching license and I’m sure everyone in my class thought I was a complete freak. Eventually I tapered off my use of the products so my skin would have time to recover before my wedding.

Afterward I started working full time and stopped using the products on a regular basis. I made a few more visits to the medical spa but ultimately decided that the cost was too much and that I couldn’t go to work with irritated red skin. I was able to keep my skin problems under control and cover up the unevenness with makeup, but I wasn’t happy with how my skin looked at all.

Then in 2012 I found out I was pregnant. Emmaline was born in 2013 and I was left with a new set of skin problems- Melasma (dark patches of skin on my forehead, cheeks, and upper lip). It got bad over the summer before Emma was born, but faded a bit over the winter. Then it cropped up again this past summer while I was still breast feeding and marathon training outdoors (and of course going to the beach).

The day after Emmaline was born. My skin was very uneven and blotchy. Aww, she was so tiny.

The day after Emmaline was born. My skin was very uneven and blotchy. Aww, she was so tiny.

This past winter I began to notice even more changes- fine lines forming on my forehead, around my eyes and wrinkles beginning to form along my “smile lines”. These are all common trouble areas for women in their 30s.

Luckily I got in touch with one of my teammates and friends from JMU and she got me hooked on Rodan and Fields skin care. I’d been stalking her amazing before and afters on her Facebook, and I will be sharing mine with you guys as well (as if the above photo isn’t embarrassing enough). Rodan and Fields are the same doctors who created Proactiv, and they recently created a whole new line of products and tools to fix four common skin issues- anti-aging, sun damage, sensitive skin, and adult acne. The products themselves work so well, plus they are so much more affordable than what I had used before. And there’s no office visit required. Not only that, they provide you with a schedule to follow so that your skin doesn’t end up dry, flaking, peeling, and irritated.

I don’t ever again want to take a bite of my sandwich and have my skin literally fall off my face onto my plate.

I want to be able to run outdoors or at the gym and not have to worry about breakouts and blotchy skin.

I don’t want to have to wear makeup all the time- I’m not the type of person that likes to spend an hour getting ready.

I also want to start taking good care of my skin now, fixing my issues, and setting up good habits for the future.

And so… I’ve decided to take a huge leap and join the Rodan and Fields team as an independent skin care consultant!

I will leave you with some incredible before and afters. If you have any questions about R and F I’d love to hear ’em!

And here’s my new website so you can check out the products for yourself: shop R and F

Meghan was a Rodan and Fields customer who was so blown away by her results (in just two months of using Acute Care strips and Redefine) that she decided to become a consultant too!

Meghan was a Rodan and Fields customer who was so blown away by her results (in just two months of using Acute Care strips and Redefine) that she decided to become a consultant too!

This customer used Rodan and Fields for 5 months and it took 10 years off her face- She started using Unblemish to clear up her hormonal acne, then started Redefine for large pores, sagging skin, and wrinkles (as well as the Macro Exfoliator and AMP MD Roller tools). She also just recently started using the Acute Care (fill a wrinkle while you sleep) strips. And all of these photos are makeup free!

This customer used Rodan and Fields for 5 months and it took 10 years off her face- She started using Unblemish to clear up her hormonal acne, then started Redefine for large pores, sagging skin, and wrinkles (as well as the Macro Exfoliator and AMP MD Roller tools). She also just recently started using the Acute Care (fill a wrinkle while you sleep) strips. And all of these photos are makeup free!

An ode to winter running

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The winds whip through the trees
As my feet pound the snow-covered ground.
I run swiftly over hill and dale
Because I’m being chased by the snow plow.

Has this ever happened to you? It’s seriously one of the most frightening things to come across (except for maybe a bear or a dead body or something like that).

Running in the winter poses some unique challenges. This particular winter I am running less than usual because I’m growing another human, and falling on slippery roads isn’t an option. Then there’s my treadmill which somehow ceased all usefulness somewhere between Virginia and New York. The last two weeks have been especially challenging because the temperatures have dipped below the acceptable range for taking Emma out running in the stroller. But there have been some bright spots here and there with my running adventures.

Bright Spot #1: Before Christmas I ran a Holiday-something 5k, which turned out to be the single most hilly 5k I have ever run. I didn’t know what I was getting into, and originally planned to just take it easy. Once the race was underway I changed my game plan and decided to start off fast and get it over with. This didn’t end up being a good decision- I had grossly underestimated the quantity and quality of those hills- but it did make the race go by quickly. I crossed the line as the first female in 20:01, and at 13 weeks pregnant, I was happy to cross that finish line feeling strong.

I planned to run a race on New Years Day, but instead I caught the plague and was confined to bed for a few days. I was lucky to get over it as quickly as I did (because I know others who were sick for a week or more). I didn’t run for almost a week, and when I tried running it felt horrible. I decided to take the following week easy, which turned into another five days of rest (and coincided with a few sub-zero days). Bright Spot #2: This past Saturday I finally got outside for an easy 5-6 miles and had one of those zen running moments where everything feels fluid and easy. I guess I expected that I had reached the point in my pregnancy where I was going to just feel awkward and slow all of the time… but I was so thrilled to feel like myself that I decided to run a race that next day.

Bright Spot #3: My local running club (The Hudson Mohawk Road Runners Club, or HMRRC) holds a free winter series of races with varying distances. On this particular day runners could choose from a 3 mile, 10k, or 25k distance. I will probably always choose the shortest option unless I happen to be in the middle of marathon training. It was very cold yesterday for the race, around 5 degrees, so I knew it would be smart to dress in layers and start off slowly. I was aiming to run under 7 minute miles and keep it at a tempo-like effort. Although there were no mile markers to get my splits, I feel like I ran pretty evenly. I remember in college that my coach always reminded us to keep a “conversation” pace for tempo runs and to make sure we didn’t feel lactic acid in our legs, so I kept that in mind (although I did kick it in when we made the last turn toward the finish). I crossed the line as first female again in 19:45, which was a 6:35 pace for 3 miles (not bad for being 16 weeks pregnant). There were some hills, but not anything close to that last 5k.

This pregnancy has been a lot different than last time. I felt sick and lethargic most of the first trimester when I was pregnant with Emma, and didn’t race at all. I ran a few times, but they were all at very easy paces. I remember being shocked when I managed a 7:45 pace at the Shamrock 8k when I was 16 weeks pregnant last time (and that didn’t necessarily feel “easy”). I hope I can continue to feel strong on my runs and continue to show up at some races here and there through the spring. I’ll talk a little about my future “race plans” in my next blog.

Nine Days

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Nine Days

Bella is enjoying her last few days of being an “only child”. According to my pregnancy app, baby should make her appearance in about 9 days (give or take), which is hard to believe. My doctor does not want me to go past 41 weeks, so that means baby will definitely be here in 16 days, but for some reason lately I’ve been feeling like she might actually come on time.

I’ve been running or run/walking 4 miles almost every day this month. Today I ran the full 4 miles and felt pretty darn good. Of course, this is all relative as I probably average 10 or 11 min miles, but it feels much faster than that.

A few other fun things I learned at my doctor appointment yesterday. The baby has a lot of hair (who knew you could see that on an ultrasound), I could see her practicing her “breathing”, and she’s in the perfect position for delivery already. High five, baby Turner!

Running full-term-style

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This is photo proof of me laying in bed while I type a mini blog post on my iPad.

Baby is full term as of yesterday (that’s 37 weeks of gestating for those who were wondering)… My life consists of laying in bed for far too long, running very slowly, eating, organizing the shit out of my already clean house, and going to doctor appointments. I have been doing an okay job of getting together with friends a few times per week (mostly because I probably won’t see anyone for awhile after the baby is born). Besides that, I’m trying my best to enjoy these last few weeks of relative calm before le bebe storm.

I have been able to keep up with and surpass my August goal of running 1-2 times per week because it has been a little cooler than expected. So, new goal: 3-4 times per week of 4 mile run/waddles. Maybe I’ll time myself for a good laugh! (Sorry to disappoint but there will be no Garmin photos. I’ll take time predictions, though!)

In a funk…

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Sort of. More like, I’m kind of over being pregnant. I miss running. I’m nervous about the pain of labor.

We went to the beach this weekend and the weather was perfect. It had been so oppressive for the past two weeks, that I had barely been outside. Thankfully we got a break in the weather and the weekend was gorgeous.

I know I probably look uncomfortable here, but I promise you I was extremely relaxed.

I know I probably look uncomfortable here, but I promise you I was extremely relaxed.

I had trouble sleeping on Friday night and woke up kind of early. When I let Bella out at 6 am, I noticed how cool it was outside and decided to take her for a run. It had been almost a month since my last run on land, but I took it easy and we ended up going 6 miles!

I’m going to try to run at least once or twice per week until the baby is born, and the rest of my workouts will be in the pool. I’ve been going to the pool 3-4 times per week for about an hour, mostly water running but I have done a few actual swimming workouts just to mix it up.

Yesterday I cleaned out my closet and stored most of my maternity clothes. I haven’t brought in all of my old clothes yet (a lot of them are in storage above our garage), but just looking at some of my normal clothes without elastic waistbands got me excited.

I have also been thinking a lot about what races I will be doing this fall and winter. My biggest goal for the rest of 2013, though, is to get back to running consistently and increasing my training volume. I know exactly what I need to do in order to make this next year a good one, and I already have some big ideas and plans set into motion.

On that note, I need to get to the pool.

oiselle at pool

I swear I’m normal…

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Two blog posts in one day? Who am I?

Well, I’m about to go out of town, and I wanted to get all of these thoughts out my mind and before I forget them.

My friend from work called me to tell me, “I hate you”, after reading my post this morning. I love her honesty, but it made me think that I should probably explain, okay, there was a time that I ran 89 miles per week and 5ks in 16 minutes… so running 89 miles in a month and a 5k in 21 minutes may seem excessive, but TRUST ME it’s not. My doctor and I have had many long conversations about all of this and she is 100% okay with my level of exercise.

The other hot topic at the moment is weight gain. I’ve mentioned before that I was worried about gaining weight and seeing all-time high numbers on the scale, but in truth I’m completely okay with this temporary side effect of creating a human being. Although my weight gain has slowed a little, it’s not something that’s happening on purpose. A random person that I work with (who I have spoken a total of ten words to in four years) commented today that I didn’t look like I was in my third trimester. Well, what the hell is that supposed to mean? I’ve gained almost 20 pounds so far, but I guess she was upset that I don’t look like a giant hippo yet.

So, I dug up a photo I took in the bathroom mirror in mid-February before we started to do official photos every week.

I know I look hot here, try to contain yourself. This was probably at 10 or 11 weeks.

I know I look hot here, try to contain yourself. This was probably at 10 or 11 weeks.

And this one was from this past weekend. Clearly you can see that I’m gaining a healthy amount of weight.

Try to ignore the slight sunburn from the beach (belly hasn't seen much daylight). That was my 27 week photo.

Try to ignore the slight sunburn from the beach (belly hasn’t seen much daylight). That was my 27 week photo.

I’ve been a little tired lately, but other than that I feel pretty darn good. This weekend is my baby shower in New York, and a few hours before that I’ll be running one of my favorite races, the OK 5k (along with my husband, sister, brother-in-law, and 21-month old niece). After that we only have a week of school left!

Pete are I are also headed to Maine in a few weeks to celebrate our fourth wedding anniversary, and I guess you could call that our babymoon, whatever the hell that is. I find it annoying when I hear people talk about being pregnant as if they are the only person in the history of the WORLD to be pregnant, so I digress. Also, I know I’m not normal, and the title of this post is intended to be taken lightly as is everything else I write.

What’s your favorite race? Do you have any fun vacation plans for the summer? Any ideas of what we should do in Maine?