2014 MICHELOB ULTRA MIAMI BEACH 13.1 MARATHON

So, I did it!! This past weekend I ran my first ever half marathon! I love running, but I’ve never really considered myself a “true runner.” I run all the time for enjoyment (slow and steady), but I’ve never before run a race longer than a 5k. So it kind of shocked me when I actually decided that I was going to do this. Backing up a little, 2 years ago my good friend convinced me and 2 other friends to run the Disney Princess Half Marathon together. We all thought it would be a blast, but then a few months into our training I found out I was preggers. I attempted to continue training, but my heaving in everyone’s bushes got in the way, and in the end, I decided to drop out and just go as a spectator. So, since then, I’ve felt like this half marathon deal has been unfinished business. Something I still needed to check off my bucket list. And with our hope to one day soon add a second kiddo to the family, I figured now was the time! So with that in mind, I decided to (somewhat impulsively) sign up for a half marathon in Miami Beach. Lucky for me, my father-in-law was sweet enough to sign up with me so I would have a running buddy the entire way.

To say I was nervous before hand would be an understatement. Saturday I was such a bundle of nerves, snapping at everyone and trying to eat without throwing up. And then Sunday morning, while me and my father-in-law made the 4 am trek down to South Miami, I had pretty much convinced myself that I had forgotten how to run and that I hadn’t actually trained at all for this race. If you can’t tell, I don’t handle stress very well. My sweet and amazingly gifted running sister flew down with her husband and new 10 week old baby and I all but demanded that she find a way to meet me at mile 7 so she could run 4-5 miles of the race with me. And even though mile 7 basically sat in the ghetto of South Beach, there was my sister, ready and waiting to jump in and keep me motivated during the hardest part of my run.

^^Apparently I have HORRENDOUS running posture! Just look at that lovely slouch!

For the most part, this course was AMAZING! Starting and finishing in downtown South Beach, the course took us over gorgeous waterways, past cruise ships and along the beach. Yes it was hot, and yes those bridges were a heck of a lot hillier than I expected, but there was always something to look at and enjoy. My father-in-law was a lifesaver, handing me Gatorade and water the entire time and keeping the pace. And my sister? Well, let’s just say that the whole first half I kept repeating “just get to mile 7, get to mile 7” because I knew that’s where she would jump in with us. Having someone jump in and run with you for a few miles, half way through the race, is seriously a great energy booster. I was so excited to see her and have her join us that the next few miles sailed by. She didn’t even mind when I listened to my audio book instead of talking to her the entire way. (Does anyone else listen to audio books while running or am I the only one?? I seriously love listening to books way more than music while running. I’m weird like that).

My best friend Katie totally surprised me at mile 11 and it was such an awesome feeling to see her jump out from the sidelines and run with us for a little bit. It was funny because I knew I would see Brett and Leah around mile 12, and when I saw them, running towards me with huge smiles on both of their faces, I completely lost it and started to ugly cry all over the place while still running. Have you ever cried while running? It’s not pretty. I was doing this horrible gasp wheeze, trying to catch my breath while still keeping the pace and it was a hot mess. I gave myself a stern “pull yourself together girl!!” before kissing Leah and Brett and finishing my run toward the finish line.

^^My amazing sister who ran over 5 miles of the race with me (while texting updates to the family and taking photos, so you can see how strenuous this run was for her. Ha!) and my gorgeous 10 week old niece, Amelia Lynne.

After the race was over, we did what any smart person would do, head to Jaxson’s Ice Cream Parlor and indulge in a huge banana split sundae.

So there we have it, my first ever half marathon. Did it make me want to run another? Maybe, maybe not (although there was a moment, around mile 9 or so, where I found myself thinking, “Why the HECK did I think this would be a fun idea?!”) but in the end, it was such a blast, and I am so happy that I can now check this life goal off of my bucket list!

Let’s Run

photo

My favorite running partner

My favorite running partner

I don’t know if I consider myself a “real” runner. Then again, I’m not exactly sure what it means to be a “real runner.” Before getting pregnant I was training for a half marathon and running an average of 5-7 miles, 3-4 times a week. I wasn’t super fast; I’m all about the running for enjoyment, not for the time. I don’t own a Garmin, I’ve never timed a run, and the closest I’ve come to keeping track of my distance is playing around on Mapmyrun.com. But I have always loved running. Running is my thinking time, my chance to put on some music, zone out, and just let my body naturally move forward. And then I got pregnant and the running stopped. And yes, I know there are runners out there who impressively run 7 1/2 minute miles with their 9 month pregger belly bouncing along, and really, kudos to them, I’m honestly impressed. But that was not my experience. At about 10 weeks pregnant I stopped running when every time I went out, my morning sickness (AKA all day nausea) left me dry heaving in people’s bushes. Not pretty. And then, once the morning sickness subsided, I attempted to run again only to realize the whole belly bouncing, back aching experience was just not doing it for me. So I took a break. A VERY long break. There are some runner mommy blogs I follow where the crazy ladies give birth and 2 weeks later they’re blogging about their 10 mile runs. (Ok, I exaggerate…barely). These insane moms are an inspiration, but again, that was definitely not my experience. So, with that in mind, here are 5 things I’ve learned while still attempting to get my running mojo back 5 months post birth.

1. Your new post-birth body feels insanely different than your old pre-baby body.
Before I had a baby I seriously had no butt. I’m talking full on saggy pants business. And then I got pregnant and suddenly BAM, I grew a butt. And, as a side note, if I’m honest, I kind of enjoy it. It’s like I suddenly put my jeans on and think “ohhhhh so that’s how my pants are supposed to fit……” But the first time I ran after birth? I seriously thought “What the heck is that thing jiggling behind me and why the heck is it so darn heavy?!” That, paired with my new heavy umm…you knows…and I felt like a big jiggly blob stumbling down the street. Not super attractive. Luckily, this didn’t last forever. 5 months later I’ve grown accustomed to my new “parts” and running is becoming easier everyday.

2. Pump or nurse RIGHT before you run.
I’m talking like moments before you walk out the door, not 30 minutes before your run, not 15 minutes, but IMMEDIATELY before you leave. Nurse, pull down your shirt, lace up your shoes and get your butt out the door. Seriously, you will thank me.

3. Running post baby not only feels different, but it can also be uncomfortable or even down right painful.
This is what I cannot for the life of me understand with those crazy new mom runners who are out running 10 miles immediately after popping out their kid. My first run was exactly 5 1/5 weeks after birth and, let me tell you, that business hurt. I’m talking ovaries jostling about, worrying they may fall out my body, kind of hurt. I think I made it about 500 ft before deciding, “yeah…I think walking’s cool for today.” And it took me awhile before running was comfortable. I don’t know if this is normal, or if it’s just a side effect from my crazy messed up PCOS ovaries, but 5 months later? My ovaries are just now starting to not feel crampy while running.

4. Running with a jogging stroller is awkward.
How the heck do you push this thing?? Do you do the one arm push, one arm swing?? Do you push with both arms and keep your body all stiff?? Do you push with no arms and hope the speedy momentum of your body moves the stroller by itself?? (I wish) It took me quite some time to get into the jogging stroller groove. I tried the whole pushing with both arms deal at first but after my first run my back KILLED for quite some time. I found I was most comfortable pushing the stroller with one arm and doing my normal running swing with my other. In theory I switch arms occasionally, but honestly I basically push the stroller with my right arm the entire way and swing my left. But luckily I live in South Florida where hills are non-existant so the whole pushing a stroller with one arm deal is no biggie. Until a strong headwind hits, and then that stroller wants to take off like a kite.

Another note on pushing a jogging stroller, it’s all about your core strength. My post baby abs were like jello and pushing Leah’s heavy chub for a few miles felt impossible. About a mile and a half in I could feel my arms giving way and my body begin to bend into the stroller. I’ve been doing CrossFit 4 times a week for 2 weeks now and, when I went for a run today, I already felt a CRAZY difference. My core feels 110% stronger and pushing that stroller, while staying upright and strong even with the crazy headwinds, felt like nothing. So go do some CrossFit! Or at least some situps…..

5. Running with a baby is fun.
I am developing a whole new love of running with Leah. Every time I sit her in the jogging stroller she kicks and smiles and is just so excited to get outside. Seeing how happy she is, makes me even more motivated to get outside for a run. And another perk to lugging your chubby baby/toddler on your run? The times you go running and you aren’t pushing them, you feel like you are flying.

So there you have it, my 5 lessons I’ve learned from running 5 months after baby. Now get out there and run.

Disney World Part 2: The Princess Half Marathon

The big event of the weekend

apparently i felt the need to lecture katie and christine at mile 11

katie was apprehensive

made it to the finish line!

so proud of these girls!

 The half marathon was wonderful. Shannon, Christine and Katie all did amazing and I was so incredibly proud of them. Jumping in briefly with Katie and Christine at mile 11 was so much fun, although it made me wish I could have run the whole race with them!

The costumes that some people wore during the half marathon were crazy. I think people had these outlandish ideas like, “it would be so awesome if I wore a full little mermaid outfit to run 13.1 miles!!” but then they didn’t really think about how this idea would pan out when they, you know, actually ran 13.1 miles. We saw so many people looking so uncomfortable by the end of the race, holding up their costume and sweating profusely. Some of my favorites (that we caught on camera):

I give them full points for creativity.

Although this marathon was so much fun, my one complaint is that it was super hard to be a spectator of this race! They didn’t allow people along the course so we were kind of stuck to the end of the race. Usually hubs and I are amazing race cheerers, hitting up as many spots as possible along the course. This time however, we were only able to walk up to mile 11 to catch the girls there before running down to catch them a the finish line. I wish we could have seen them more often, but it was so amazing to get to share this race with them even a little bit!

What a great weekend!

Hardcore falls.

Running club kicked butt tonight. Shannon and I were totally killing it until about a mile from the finish. There we are running along (in the dark) and suddenly I hit a ditch. While Shannon screams I did an impressive roll, while simultaneously smashing my elbow, hip, knee and scrapping up both palms. Feeling the burn I just jumped up and moved on, finishing the run with dirt streaks down my arms and legs. And yes, now I might be too much of a baby to clean out the impressive amount of dirt embedded in my palms, but those few minutes, I was totally hard core. And we celebrated our impressive run with chips and salsa instead of fro-yo. It was a welcome change.

Yesterday hubs and I went over and signed the lease on our brand new house-apartment. We are totally psyched, although the thought of moving all of our furniture makes me feel a little less enthused.

Here is a pic of our new front door. And yes, I love the door knocker.

Happy almost weekend.

Oh, just some thoughts…

It’s Monday. Or Wednesday, depending how you look at it, since I’m only working three days this week. Look at me being all “glass half full.”

Start of the week thoughts.

  1. I burnt my neck with a curling iron like crazy this morning while doing my hair. Which means that I went to work looking like I had a nice big hickey on my neck. Reaaalll professional.
  2. Let’s talk about children and cell phones for a minute. Since when is it common for a 6 year old to have an Iphone? Come on, a child who hardly possesses the fine motor skills to dial a phone number should not have a nicer phone than me. Gone are the days where a kid has to call collect after soccer practice and quickly yell “momcomepickmeup!” when the computerized message asks for your name. “Do you accept a call from-momcomepickmeup!?” Yes, this was my form of communication until I was 16.
  3. The running club decided to take a break from actually running and decided to go see Twilight instead. Best. Decision. Ever. Sometimes you just need a vampire break. And although the movie was killer (obvi) the best entertainment actually came from the family sitting in front of us. The husband, wife, and their 2 almost grown daughters were just loving the movie, dad especially. He made sure to fist pump Edward throughout the movie and boy oh boy was he just loving the werewolves scene.
  4. In two more days Brett and I will be back in NY, the state where our love began. I fully plan on spending a day in the city, walking through every single area that is significant in our relationship. Oh let the memories begin!

Running Reflections


Source

Today one of my favorite patients went home. This noodle has been here for months and he always lit up my day (as well as 99% of the staff’s). He became a constant in my daily routine. Need a pick me up? Just walk down the hall to see this little man and watch his eyes light up as I walk in and say hello. Instant lift. I don’t care if I had the crappiest day, this guy could make everything alright just by blowing me one kiss. But now he’s gone. And although I KNOW I should be happy, my heart is still sad. So today I came home, laced up my running shoes, and I ran.

I am strategic. Usually before every run I am on mapmyrun.com (awesome website by the way) mapping out a run and factoring the exact mileage. But not today. Today I went out and decided to just run until running didn’t feel good anymore. And when I got to the point where my mind knew I should be tired, my legs told my mind to shut up and just run faster. And it felt amazing. I ran and I thought about my little man. I thought about the natural flow of working in a children’s hospital. Patients arrive, child life specialist becomes way too personally attached to patient, patient leaves. It’s bound to happen. But as I ran I thought happy thoughts for this noodle and his family. I thought about the excitement his siblings will have at finally having him home, of a normal routine that will hopefully soon develop in his life, and the happiness I felt at the fact that he is healthy and thriving. But I will miss this cutie and his daily love.

Brett continues to be my favorite person in the world by making me his super special banana cake tonight. Or as I like to call it: “banake.” Tomorrow the running club is upping their mileage and then celebrating by immediately going to Yogurt Land. Notice how everything always seems to circle back to food?? Whatevs, I can’t escape my sweet tooth.

Can you believe the week is already half over?? Craziness. Enjoy your Wednesday night! Just give me some cake and a new Modern Family episode and I know it’s going to be a good night.

Random Tuesday Thoughts…


Just doing my favorite activity; sitting in the street, feeding and loving random stray kitties.

1. Tonight the husband and I had waffles for dinner, which I loved. Because I am big on having breakfast for dinner. Okay, actually I am huge on breakfast in general. Which means that eating basically 2 breakfasts in a day automatically makes a day special. But what was CRAZY was the fact that hubs and I both decided we wanted waffles for dinner at the exact. same. time. Now that’s love.

2. Today at work one of my good friends was convinced all day that I was pregnant because our hospital’s therapy dog could not seem to leave me alone. And apparently dogs can sense when you have a bun in the oven? Although I am 99.9% sure that I am NOT preggers, I tried to get more of a definitive answer out of her like, “okay, bark once if I’m pregnant, bark twice if you’re just enjoying lovin’ on me…” Sadly, she did not give me a clear answer. But, if by some heavenly miracle I am pregnant, than I think that dog deserves a raise.

3. Our running club is killing our twice weekly park runs. Except now we’ve hit that point where we all think “hmm we should probably up our mileage…” And yet we are all so comfortable with our easy runs that it’s hard to think about pushing ourselves more. But we are determined to do so on Thursday, since we get to reward ourselves with fro-yo afterwards. And I mean immediately afterwards. As in, I am mapping out a run that starts and ends in the fro-yo parking lot. Because we are just that serious about our yogurt.

And that’s about it. Happy Tuesday (although I was made less happy when I realized that Glee and New Girl were not on tonight thanks to a baseball game…oh, the disappointment…)