Thursday, December 5, 2013

Meet Dominic...

This is where I've been. And also why I haven't run or posted on this site this year, and most especially in the last month. My little love, Dominic, was born 11-22-13 at 12:14 a.m., 7 lbs, 12 oz and at 19.49 inches. I love everything about this perfect little sweetheart. My husband and I are so very, very blessed. Happy Holidays to you all! I most assuredly will not reliably return for a few months at least. I am much too happily busy elsewhere.

[Originally posted 12-5-13 on my other site Coffee and a Book Chick]

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Slowwww pace, but 8.34 miles nonetheless

Last week, I wanted to increase my mileage. Not only just for the fact that I'm listening to a pretty good audiobook and wanted more time with it, but I also felt that I could run further. I slowed my pace, however, since I wasn't sure what to expect, and off I went. For several of you in the running world, the pace you see below is so slow it is laughable, but for me, the distance is what I am focusing on. Six months ago I couldn't run half a mile. Last week, I ran 8.34 miles. I am extremely content.

I blog at Coffee and a Book Chick, and I participate in Joy's Book Blogs' weekly meme, "Readers' Workouts." To participate, add the button to your post and link up.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Holiday meals won't hold me back, I tell ya

A quick and thankful post for running. It's what made me feel comfortable to eat a gazillion calories this weekend, since I ran about 16 miles in three days. It's not a lot as many bloggers I follow who are runners through and through, but for me? Yes. I am quite content with that. And I still feel ravenously hungry.

I hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving. A special thank you to Joy for hosting the weekly "Reader's Workouts" meme! I wish I could be much, much more consistent, but it's a pleasant reminder that there are a group of readers and runners who revel in each others' accomplishments in this tough ole thing called exercising...

I blog at Coffee and a Book Chick, and I participate in Joy's Book Blogs' weekly meme, "Readers' Workouts." To participate, add the button to your post and link up.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Keep on keepin' on. And run on, superstorm-style.

My heart goes out to all who lost loved ones and are still experiencing power outages. Please remember that we can all do a little something to help everyone out. For where to donate, click on the link at the end of this post.

The superstorm that devastated several areas in the Northeast is still affecting fellow Americans. Discussion is everywhere, major news networks are covering it 24/7, and... runners keep running? In hurricane coverage over the past two weeks, struggling on-scene reporters fought against wind and rain, and occasionally, one of them crazy runners glided past the camera. Invariably, a stunned "weather center" desk reporter expressed outrage and shock, fumbling over words trying to figure out how, HOW is it POSSIBLE anyone could run during this ungawdly weather?

As my faithful readers know (hey, you two!!), I'm not an accomplished or veteran runner. Far from it. I started in June of just this year, and at the age of 39, fell madly in love. Not sure what it was, but it boiled down to feeling free, separate from the day-to-day nonsense of corporate life and the other mish-mash of ridiculousness. I just love it.

So surprise, surprise. I ended up being one of the many who ran during the superstorm. Keep in mind that Virginia Beach was not in the direct path, yet we experienced extremely strong winds, rain, and tidal surges in our coastal town which resulted in severe flooding in several neighborhoods in the Hampton Roads area. Of course, it was nothing at all like what New York and New Jersey experienced and are still dealing with (turn the power back on!) but that Sunday morning before it hit the area, Virginia Beach bloomed cold, windy, rain. A brief respite? I had to take advantage.

It was exhilarating. It was FUN. (My pre-39 aged self is completely stunned right now.)

Would I would have gone on a run before everything really fell apart if I were in New York? Maybe. If  just to see how the water looked or how it felt to be in that crazy awe-inspiring, purely nature-filled moment. It's not like anyone was running in the water or on the seawall rocks, for cryin' out loud. No one is that silly.

But I think I'm getting this mentality and I'm happier (and healthier) for it.
REMINDER! For donations for those affected by Superstorm Sandy, click here. (Disclaimer, this blog is not affiliated with any organization, however thinks it's great if you want to donate to help fellow Americans in their time of need.)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

6.26 Miles! And a break, so where should I go?

Well, my friends. I so rarely post over here, but that may change in the next few months. My most exciting piece of news is that somehow, I don't know how, my longest run ever occurred Sunday, September 30. By some magical fairy dust, or whatever else it may have been, I was able to comfortably finish 6.26 miles. I really think I could have gone that extra .34 to get to an even 7 miles, but there was my house, and I didn't feel like looping up a few blocks. Plus, I didn't want to do what I've done in the past and just go more than necessary and then end up hurting myself. So as much as I wanted to go a little bit longer, I reined myself in and tried to be smart.

So... 6.26 miles!! I ran the entire time and while it was not a fast pace in the least, it was just perfect for me in that cool Virginia Beach night air. I will say that if you look at the graph above, though, my best pace was in the last two miles! What the?!

I still recall my very first run on June 2 of this year when I could barely push through half a mile. I've done two 5ks, with my eye on more, but am considering signing up for a 10k very soon. I like taking this new "hobby" of mine slowly and not putting more pressure on myself than I need to. I made a decision that I would sign up for the 10k when I was doggone good and ready - and that means mentally, more than physically, ready.

Now, here's my question for you: I might be heading up to New England this fall and would love to get suggestions from you all on where are the best spots to run? Flat roads with beautiful views of the fall colors, or mountainous trails? Let me know and I'll look them all up if I'm in the area!

I blog at Coffee and a Book Chick, and I participate in Joy's Book Blogs' weekly meme, "Readers' Workouts." To participate, add the below button to your post and link up.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Running in Hotels

My view in Philadelphia a few years ago, which is pretty much my view during my business trip last week.

One of the things that swallows up my time considerably is that I travel for my job. Now, I haven't traveled at all in the past few months, but when it does, it's a lot. I have a sneaking suspicion it will pick up at the tail end of this year. Part of me is looking forward to it, since that gives me a lot of time to read on the plane if I'm not trying to catch up on emails or projects, but part of me isn't because of trying to comfortably incorporate running into my travel life.

Since I've never run while on a business trip, it sort of throws a wrench into everything. Even packing! I now have to make a little space for my running shoes, which is just bizarre for me. I'm completely excited to be lugging those with me, but it does make travel a little different.

Last week, I went to Dallas for three days for a business meeting. Well, more like I flew in on Wednesday, had the marathon meeting on Thursday which ended late, and then flew out Friday morning. While I was exhausted, I dd make time to head to the fitness center.

I used to work at a health club about twelve years ago, but I haven't been in one since. And as I'm used to running on the open road now, adjusting to using a dinky treadmill is awkward. Unfortunately, the hotel fitness center had the treadmills facing a blank wall, no mirrors. Which means that if I only listen to my audiobook, I am about a foot from a wall that I just stare at. Visually, it's disorienting and I felt extremely uncomfortable.

Watching the television monitor in the display of the treadmill also was no fun. I'm not tall at all, but I still had to look down at it. Which made me feel unsafe. I had an image of being THAT guy who face plants on the treadmill. Didn't want to do that.

But, I made it through a clunky uncomfortable two miles by adding inclines so I could walk a good portion of it. I had the speed cranked and the inclines way high, so I held onto the handle and still sweat it out. A good cardio workout, I admit, but it would have been much more satisfying to run and stare out a window or even at a wall mirror so I could see dimension and depth and people around me.

Note to self on this one: get over my fear of the elliptical thing and just use that machine.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

9/11 Heroes Run 5k, Virginia Beach

"If not me, than who?" That's what 1st Lieutenant Travis Manion responded with when asked why he was going to Iraq. This incredible warrior lost his life on April 29, 2007 in Fallujah, Iraq in service to our country while keeping us safe and free. On this day, Tuesday, September 11, 2012, I remind myself that I will never forget. I will never forget those who lost their lives on that fateful day eleven years ago and I will never forget those who protect me and my country every single day.

It is because of them that I can participate in an event like a 5k. I have to participate, I have to honor them.

But who takes care of the service members who do come back from the war? And who takes care of the families after they've received word that they've lost a loved one in service to our country? The Travis Manion Foundation is an amazing organization created to help the military community fill this gap; their service to the community is inspiring. The Virginia Beach/Norfolk area is home to the largest naval base in the world so the 5k held this weekend meant that much more. This year's race resulted in over $20,000 raised and over 600 runners participated, and that's just in Virginia Beach. Houston had several thousand runners!

Each year, the 9/11 Heroes Run 5k races are held internationally during the weekend on or around September 11th. After Sunday morning in Virginia Beach, I can assure you that there is no better way to never forget September 11th than by honoring our service members, police officers, firefighters and emergency responders by supporting this event as the proceeds go to the foundation. So now I know what I'll be doing every year for September 11th. If it seems like the right thing to do, it's because it is.

A special note to the organizers
For all those with the 9/11 Heroes Run and the Travis Manion Foundation, you did such an incredible job. I was honored to be a part of the day and to remember your warrior, and all those who are out there keeping me safe and free. It is because of men and women like 1st Lieutenant Manion that we can take part in events like this and I will never, ever take my freedom and their service for granted. Thank you so very, very much and I will see you next year!

Quick overview
  • Weather: It was rainy when I woke up, but stopped before the race. Beautiful running weather at 70 degrees.
  • Music: Music to get all 600 runners and supporters pumped played before, during, and after the race; one runner sang the National Anthem and she was amazing; two bugle-players played Taps, and then one man played the bagpipes before the start of the race. Beautiful, absolutely memorable way to start.
  • Friendship: The "Team Looney" group spoke of their loved one, 1st Lieutenant Brendan Looney. Looney and Manion were roommates at the U.S. Naval Academy and they are both buried side by side at Arlington National Cemetery. Their story was eloquently shared, and was another reminder of what our military does for all of us.
  • Had no idea: That the logo for the Travis Manion foundation (see above picture, the bib has the logo of what looks like a mask) is actually the T and the M from his name. So. Doggone. Cool.
  • So Professional: Chip-timed event which was my first experience and it was fantastic! Not to mention that I got an email about an hour and a half after I finished with full details of how I ran, including where I placed in my age group, time, etc.
  • My Time: I finished at 35:43 which is about a minute better than my first 5k. I was bummed that I didn't finish with a time closer to the run I did a few weeks ago before I got injured, but I'll get back to that awesome time, I know I will.
  • I ate: Krispy Kreme doughnuts at the end. Delish. Which was nice since I had only half (of a half) of a bagel with peanut butter at 7:30. Not a good idea for me to do that again, note to self.
  • Wicked cool take-home item: They give you dog tags when you cross the finish line. And they are beautifully crafted and surprisingly heavy (see above picture). I will always keep it.
  • Who did I meet? A fellow book blogger! I first "met"her through our bookish chats between her book blog, Beachreader, and mine at Coffee and a Book Chick, but we finally met in-real-life Sunday!
Longer overview (with pictures!)
My husband was a wonderful supporter and photographer for me. He wasn't pleased with his own injuries but he is just awesome. It was also pretty doggone cool to meet a few guys who are in the same Coast Guard unit my husband was in. And oh, let me tell you, folks, this ain't the Coast Guard you think it is! Take a look at the picture below, a few photos down. These gentlemen all ran with bullet proof vests, gas masks, boots. Dang.

I was incredibly nervous. Someone on the stage said "stretch." I think I'm praying here. Rockin' (er, trying to, at least) my new pink compression socks from Final Kick Sports that I bought Friday.

I am fairly confident no one is looking at me. Except that one girl.

These Coast Guard service members ran with all this tac gear on; it was absolutely awesome of them to let me take this picture. Thank you for your service, gentlemen!

My husband works with Katie, and her husband is a U.S. Navy SEAL. Not only is she super-nice, but she happens to be quite the badass herself since she's run a half-marathon, for cryin' out loud. That is one of my dreams. And to get taller.

Meeting fellow book blogger, Beachreader! She's doing a 5k next month and I'm pretty sure I'll be doing the same one, so it'll be nice to run into her again!
And me at the finish line. On the left. Behind the dude with the stroller. And before you get all, "oh wow, the guy with the stroller beat you" let me tell you that YES, I thought that, too, but he's one fit dude, so whatevs, he rocked it. (Image source: Facebook picture on the foundation's site.)

Never forget.

I blog at Coffee and a Book Chick, and I participate in Joy's Book Blogs' weekly meme, "Readers' Workouts." To participate, add the below button to your post and link up.