Monday, December 28, 2009

Boston Marathon training weeks 1 and 2, and the end of 2009

First lets start out with my Boston training. I'm finding it difficult to scale back my mileage. I am actually running a bit more than before, with last week running 3 16 mile days right in a row. This week is looking like the same (well, 5 16 mile days in a row) I just can't shake this. I hear a New Year's resolution calling me! Quality over quantity. It's just so hard! Both long runs were too long by marathon training standards - 2o miles for my first week and 18 for my second week. They should have been 10 and 11 miles. I am torn. I want to be fast for Boston, but I want to run long, too. Is it possible to do both? (And do both well I might add) I just want to run long, and I want to do it on trails. Unfortunately, I won't be visiting the trails as often since I am trying to get my road legs back. After Boston, however - trails and ultras will be my main focus from this point out. I have come to love trail running and ultras so much since I started this year - something I am so thankful for! Back to focusing on Boston: I have decided to continue to try and raise money for UNICEF since I did not meet my goal for the YUTC. The link to donate is still located on the left hand side of my page, and I appreciate any amount you can give! I want to give all those who did donate towards the YUTC a big thank you and "virtual" hug. Thanks so much! I am a the half way point in terms of donations.

Goodbye 2009! And don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Am I being too negative? Good things did happen in 09 - but bad things as well. I wonder if I am spending too much time focusing on the bad. Especially since the good definitely outweighed the bad. (I mean, come on...Obama was elected! YAHOO!) I met almost all of my 09 resolutions (learning Spanish was the one I failed to conquer!) That being said, good people were lost in 2009, and that's tough to forget. However I did meet lots of new people and discovered I am not alone in the world of running. There are other "crazy people" (frequently heard) out there like me - and they are amazing! I have a second family, and it's my running family. I'm so glad I have the opportunity to run with great people.

New resolutions for 2010:

Restart the Spanish lessons. Rosetta Stone was expensive damn it!

Run Boston. I'm all set, now we're just waiting on April to get here!

Run my first 50 miler. This will be done at the Mohican Trail 50/100 mile run.

100 miler is questionable. Of course I'd love to do one! But with 2 out of town races and a total of 3 runners in the family now, running expenses are piling up. We'll see what happens closer to October (Oil Creek).

Best wishes to all this coming New Year. I hope 2010 is a great year for everyone - best wishes, and thanks to all for the wonderful support you have given me through out the year, especially my family. I can not thank them enough! xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Boston training commence! My family and the Cleveland 1/2 Marathon, Group runs, New products, and Recipes that work


Group Runs:

The last two weeks have been pretty exciting (and busy - this would be the reason for falling behind on the blog!) Each weekend was spent running in some group runs. The first was a group run with the NERC, and I sure slept well that evening! The majority of the group ran around 12 miles, and a few of us started early and wound up running a total of around 16 miles. There were quite a bit of hills thrown into the mix, and it was just what I needed. There were only two things that I could complain about. #1. My hydration pack froze (tube area) almost instantly. #2. After the run the group went to Bellasano's for some coffee and unbeknownst to me I ordered some kind of frozen coffee drink. As if I wasn't frozen enough! I tried to drink it, I didn't want to be wasteful, but it wasn't happenin'. I ditched it and got a much warmer, more enjoyable beverage. I was shaking uncontrollably when I went to the counter to order my new drink! I have to say that I could not take a hot enough shower when I got home. The following day my family and I met up with some people at Squire's Castle. I finally met my fb buddy Carole, met some new friends, and got to talk with one of my favorite runners Daniel. My husband and son did really well on the run. I'm so proud of them both!

And now this past weekend:

Two group runs again. The first was a trail run/clinic held by another running friend Nick (Saturday). My family and I attended, met another fb friend - David Lunardi (finally!) and had a great time! Nick had lots of useful information to give to everyone, nice door prizes, and a nice easy run one of the many trails at the CVNP. It was good seeing him again, and very interesting to hear he has never gotten a blister. EVER! Amazing! Sunday's run was with the NERC again. This was their "Elf Run" with lunch at Yours Truly afterwards. We met some new people, ran with Eric Ford and running guru Mark Anson to name a few. Good times and good food! I ordered my last milkshake until the Boston Marathon. ~sniff~

New products:


Now that my husband has entered into the running world, he is wanting things. Expensive things (Garmin forerunner 405). Things I had never bought because I would feel guilty spending the money if I did. Well, ha! Now we can ALL benefit, so new things are had by all! We are still trying to get used to the Garmin. It seems like it can do so much!










My husband got his first ever pair of trail shoes (and my son and I are enjoying laughing at the very bright color)! We all got new water bottles, gloves, shirts, hats, etc.






I bought my Boston Marathon shoes after a small panic attack upon learning of the fate of my old Adidas shoes. DISCONTINUED! The Salvations are nice, though.


We also bought the Gold's Gym pull up bar & accessories. I felt muscles I didn't even know I had. Owwww! It's the good kind of hurt though!








Boston Marathon Training:

Today marks my second day of training for the Boston marathon. No more junk food and hard core workouts are in my future. FUN! I'm pumped and more than ready to dive in head first.

Cleveland Half Marathon:

It's official! My husband and son are now registered for their first half marathon, the Cleveland Marathon that will be held in May. I'm registered as well, and will be running alongside them the whole time! Go boys! (er, uh men)

Recipes That Work:
Finally we've tried many new healthy recipes the last few weeks, and we are so surprised at how good this food actually is. I wish I would've done this sooner, but you live you learn I guess! Our favorites for this week are Baked Spaghetti Squash-Lasagna Style, Angel Hair with Feta and Sun Dried Tomatoes, and Black-Eyed Pea Gumbo. I wound up burning on recipe this week, with special thanks to Facebook. Maybe that one will be in next week's blog! Recipes below:

Baked Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Style:

Ingredients:

1 Spaghetti squash halved lengthwise and seeded
1 onion chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 cans stewed tomatoes
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 cube vegetable bouillon
black pepper to taste
1 cup shredded low fat mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese


1. Preheat oven to 325. Spray a baking sheet with a thin layer of cooking spray. Place squash halves cut side down on baking sheet.
2. Bake squash 35 mins or until knife can be easily inserted.
3. Meanwhile, spray a non stick saucepan w/cooking spray. Over medium heat, saute the onion and garlic until golden brown. Stir in tomatoes, basil, bouillon cube, and black pepper. Cook for about 15 mins or until you have a medium thick sauce.
4. Remove squash strands w/fork, reserving the shells. Layer each half w/a spoonful of the sauce, a layer of spaghetti squash strands, olives, and mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers until shells are full or until all the ingredients are used. Top with Parmesan cheese.
5. Bake for 20 mins in preheated oven or until Parmesan cheese melts.



Angel Hair with Feta and Sun-Dried Tomatoes:

Ingredients:

1 package wheat angel hair pasta
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, crushed
3 oz sun-dried tomatoes, softened and chopped
1 package (8oz) tomato basil feta cheese, crumbled
1 cup grated low fat parmesan cheese
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper to taste


1. Cook pasta according to directions
2. Mix remaining ingredients together - then mix pasta in. Serve warm.


Black Eyed Pea Gumbo:

Ingredients

1 medium onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
5 stalks celery, chopped
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup brown rice
4 15 oz cans black eyed peas with liquid
1 can diced tomatoes and green chilies
1 can diced tomatoes
2 cloves garlic finely chopped


Spray a large saucepan with cooking spray, cook the onion, green pepper, and celery until tender. Pour in the chicken broth, rice, black eyed peas w/liquid, both cans of diced tomatoes, and garlic. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer 45 minutes or until rice is tender.


ENJOY!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

MOHICAN!

New race, family runs, and recipes that work:

MOHICAN

It's official! I am now all signed up for my first 50 miler. I'll be running in the Northface Mohican 100/50 mile Trail run. It will be held on June 19, and starts at 5 a.m. along with the 100 mile run. I'm excited to have a new mileage goal to look forward to!


FAMILY

On the home front: My husband is still going strong on his runs. My son has been running more than ever as well! Thanksgiving week they raked up around 30-35 miles of running. We had a spectacular turkey day run at my parents house together. They are going strong and loving it! Yesterday I went out, early a.m. and ran long. When I came home they were ready and waiting, and we went out together to enjoy another family run. Fun times! With my husband and son both committed to the 1/2 marathon this fall, I see a lot of 3-a-days in my future!





Our dog Scooby is enjoying more running as well!



RECIPES THAT WORK

Another tasty recipe that we tried out this week. Quesadilla Pie: It fills you up, and one serving is 440 calories.

Ingredients:
1 can chopped green chilies (4.5 oz)
1 can black beans (15 oz)
1/3 cup chopped green onions
1 Roma tomato
1 can enchilada sauce (10 oz)
3 cups Weight Watchers "Mexican" style cheese
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
4 wheat tortillas

Heat oven to 400. Spray a 9 inch glass pie plate w/cooking spray. In a medium bowl, mix chilies, beans, onions, tomato, 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce, and 2 cups of the cheese. Set aside.

Spoon 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce into pie plate. Top with 1 tortilla and 1/3 of the bean mixture. Repeat twice to make 3 layers. Top with remaining tortilla. Cover loosely with foil.

Bake 30 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 5-7 minutes or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup of cilantro. Serve with salsa and jalapenos if desired. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

2009 XC

Here it is! The pics I took for my son's XC team.....

video

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Recipes that work

In my quest for eating all things healthy for Boston I am getting a head start now on finding healthy recipes. I will be posting the recipes that I have found that actually taste GOOD. I will also being posted good finds from the supermarket. A couple new recipes we tried this week are Asparagus soup and Mexican Pizza. (Don't let the names fool you!) Check these recipes and products:



PRODUCTS:



Smart Balance butter spray: Zero calories! We have been using this a lot. It's especially good on the Fit and Active popcorn that we buy at Aldiz. 60 calories for a normal sized popcorn bag!



Wish-Bone Salad Spritzers: 1 calorie per spray. I never realized just how heavy some salad dressing is. I used this on a salad we made for dinner one night, and I felt so light afterwards. It was amazing! I would spruce up your salads with some extra spices if possible. The best flavor we have tried is Balsamic Breeze. No sprucing required for that one!



RECIPES:



ASPARAGUS SOUP




This one scared me at first, it was my hubby's choice. I thought for sure I would hate it, but it was great! And at only 170 calories for a cup, who can beat it?




Ingredients:


  • Smart balance zero calorie butter spray, or any cooking spray


  • 1/2 cup chopped onion (1 medium)


  • 1/2 cup chopped celery


  • 2 tablespoons flour


  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth


  • 2 15 oz cans of asparagus


  • 1 cup half and half


  • Salt


  • Pepper


  • Red pepper flakes

In a 3 quart saucepan, spray cooking spray to coat. Add onion and celery, cook 4-5 minutes until vegetables are crisp-tender. Stir in flour. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in broth. Cook 5-7 minutes stirring constantly, until heated through.


Remove from heat. Stir in asparagus. In blender, blend asparagus mixture until smooth. Transfer back to pot. Stir in half and half, cook 5-8 minutes stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened and thoroughly heated. Add salt, pepper, and hot pepper flakes to taste.


MEXICAN PIZZA


This pizza was very good the day we made it, but leftovers the next day were nasty. Be sure only to make what you will eat that day! 341 calories per slice, and it's very filling.


Ingredients:



  • Boboli wheat crust


  • 1 cup low fat refried beans


  • 1 1/2 cups salsa


  • 1 cup black beans


  • 8 oz low fat Mexican cheese blend


  • Canned jalapeno peppers

Preheat oven to 425. In a small bowl, stir together the refried beans and salsa. Spread the mixture over the pizza crust. Scatter black beans over top. Top with cheese and jalapenos. Bake 12-18 minutes until bubbly and golden brown.


ENJOY!!!



Friday, November 20, 2009

Heikki Lunta's Arctic BLAST!

Created by Daniel Bellinger, this is going to be one awesome event! He has been working hard on this! Come and bring your family - have a blast!!!!

Saturday, January 30, 2010
Time:
10:00am - 4:00pm
Location:
Kendall Hills, Cuyahoga Valley National Park


WHO IS HEIKKI LUNTA (HAY-Key LUN-Tuh)?

According to local legend, in the winter of 1970, no snow fell on that part of Upper Michigan known as the Copper Country. As the time for the big winter parties approached, it looked as if there would be no parties. (No snow, no party). Finally, someone remembered that there was a crazy old Finnish woodsman living in the swamps near Atlantic Mine, Michigan, who knew an ancient snow dance. Townspeople found Heikki Lunta ( Finnish for Hank Snow), and persuaded him to do his dance. He did, and it snowed non-stop for a month, so much that the parties had to be cancelled for too much snow. In honor of Heikki Lunta, and in the spirit of the northern community winter parties, Western Reserve Trail Running is throwing a PARTY FOR ALL PEOPLE who volunteered in any race in northern Ohio this year. ANYONE WHO RAN in those races, and anyone who might volunteer to help in a future race, AND THEIR FAMILIES, are also welcome. Cuyahoga Valley National Park has given us use of Kendall Hills, the park's best winter sports area, for this family-friendly event.Bring your whole clan any time between 10 am and 4 pm on Saturday, January 30, for sledding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, a variety of fun races, snowboarding demos, boot-throwing, a costume contest, children's games, LIVE MUSIC, DANCING, hot chocolate, chili, and other food and drinks. Local running clubs will offer information on upcoming races and events, and give party goers a chance to meet members of clubs they might wish to join.This is a FREE FAMILY EVENT. Your hostess is Laurie Colon of Northeast Running Club, assisted by Mark Shelton, Joe Jurczyk, and Daniel Bellinger of the Burning River 100 group, Micky Rzymyk of North Coast Multisports, and members of local running clubs.

Event page:
http://www.facebook.com/#/ical/event.php?eid=309814090037

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

And then there were three!

It's almost been a month now, and my husband is still running! Big kudos to him (and Adidas!). During Bills' Bad Ass 50k my husband and son ran on the Perkins trail for a short time. My son ran 5 miles, and my husband a whopping 9 MILES! He is completely hooked on trail running. His knee, which has been problematic in the past, hurt somewhat after his 9 miler. The next day he woke up and there was no pain, however. He has made the decision to run the Cleveland 1/2 marathon this year! WOOT WOOT! My men are simply surprising me these days :) My husband gets it now. The other day he came home from work saying how he thought about running all day. Wha?? I'm so proud of him, because he has quite a story to tell! It's very inspirational, but I am sorry - it is quite personal and is his to tell if he chooses to do so. I am just extremely proud of him and hope his knee holds out.

The healthy eating has begun! I am doing exactly the opposite of what I did after the YUTC. I have learned from my mistakes, for once. We have eaten 2 veggie dinners this week. I was worried about both, but they were very tasty. Sounded nasty, but tasted great! I'll post the recipes up here sometime this week. This week is an off week for me - I am giving my body a rest so I can start out training for Boston nice and fresh. It sucks, but I do know I need it. I did do some biking the past two days. Not a lot, a couple miles on some trails while my husband and son ran - but I guess it's something. I am getting a bit jealous of my boys though! Sunday can't come soon enough!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Bills' Bad Ass 50k FA report

It was not a typical November day in Northeast Ohio. The sun was shining, and the temps were warm. An unbelievably warm, beautiful day in November. Perfect weather! I thought for sure it would be snowing or rainy and gloomy for this "race". This was my first FA, and many lessons were learned during this one. This reminds that yes, I am still a newbie, and will probably be a newbie for a long time to come!

Early a.m.

I woke up around 4 a.m., showered, and could barely stomach eating breakfast. "DAMN!" I thought. I feel like crap. Usually I have 2 packets of oatmeal, piled high with fruit before a big distance race. I could barely eat one. I almost got sick afterwards. I'm not quite sure why I felt crappy, nor did I care. I was just completely bummed.

Could it be?

Mistake #1: The night before I took a hot bath. Hot baths are one of my downfalls. Knowing that they are pretty much no good at all - I still do it. I never ever ever take one the night before a big event. Until Friday. Blech.

Mistake #2: Spaghetti. Well, the spaghetti was not a mistake. But my homemade HABENERO spaghetti sauce was. Not too bright eating that the night before. Yeah uh huh. Sheesh!

Mistake #3: Well, I've said this before, I've gained 10 lbs since YUTC by not eating right. Still running, but eating some bad, bad stuff. This was the major factor in my crappy performance at Bills' Bad Ass.

Besides all that, hey it was a great event! I officially met some of my facebook friends, and met some new friends as well! Ultra runners are the most amazing people ever! Such an experienced group was at Bills', and I was in awe of pretty much everyone! Once again my son's old Y running coaches were there, Chris and Crystal Basich. Chris ran the 50k and Crystal ran with their dog for a bit. (Leadville runner from previous blog) It's always good to see them!

The course:
The course consisted of 6 loops along the Perkins trail in the CVNP. Some nice hills, but the baddest hill of all was at the end, a steep climb (up and down) that felt 10 times steeper after 30 miles of running!

The start:

Was just a simple, "Ok go"! Nothing big, no gun going off, no siren - just "GO"! Awesome. Brian Musick was there, and Chris, Brian, and I ran for a short time. Yeah until I thought I was some kind of Bad Ass and ran ahead. Ummmm no!!!!!!!

Throughout the race:

Next I saw Tanya Cady from the NERC running the opposite direction. I was a little puzzled, and asked her if I was going the wrong way. She said no - but I'm still confused!!! Soon after I wound up running for awhile with Melissa, who has done the Burning River 100 miler and is hoping to get into the Western States run. We talked about running (of course), family, and how women view themselves. It's amazing how much we put ourselves down and how we look at ourselves sometimes! Good discussions! I also ran for awhile with Mike Keller, a facebook friend who I had not yet met. We talked a bit, and it was good to finally meet him. I'm sure there will be many more races to come!

Again Chris B. and I were running together, and I told him I pretty much wanted to puke. We were running with a couple of other people, whose names escape me, but they were great! One of them was a former skydiver who knew Dan Mathie (previous blog) and we discussed skydiving for a bit. Chris ran ahead, but before he did he said there would be some electrolyete capulets waiting for me when I got back to the covered bridge area. I never heard of these, but he said they would help. I forget what loop this was, but sure enough when we got to the parking lot my son and Crystal were there with the electrolyete caps . I took two right away. The nausea would come in waves after that. Sometimes it seemed to be improving, and then - no. It went on and on like that for awhile. I then saw Shannon, an awesome runner who gave me pretty good advice. She explained I really did need to take more. And I needed something, anything - Gatorade more E caps, something! After returning to the parking lot for the last 5 + miles I took 2 more E caps. Soon I felt alot better - better than what I did for the previous 25 miles. Seriously, and the run was almost over? UGH! I am so grateful for everyone who gave me advice though, I will take this with me to my next races/runs, of course! I am wondering though, will I always feel like a newbie? Will there always be new things to learn? There probably will be. Each new run brings new challenges and new ways of learning and dealing with them. I apologize if I'm leaving people out, I spoke with so many great people it's hard to keep track!

The end:
The end was marked by a run up a HUGE hill to get a Dum Dum sucker, and run back down. Feeling a bit better, I was pumped more now (or maybe it was because I knew that this was the end!) This hill was wild! It felt good to reach into that container and get my "trophy" though! I got a cream soda Dum Dum, and it was the best damn sucker I have ever eaten! When I got back to the parking lot/van I marked my final time and got my shirt. Yes a shirt for an FA! It is now my favorite shirt, it has an awesome design and there were women's and men's styles, which was great. Very nice. Even though my time was not that great due to many mistakes, in the end I did have a really good time, and am glad I stuck it out for the whole thing. Thank you Chef Bill and Bill Wagner for putting on a great FA! Maybe next year we will luck out and get some more mud and some snow in the mix. Now THAT would be Bad Ass!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Headed to Boston? Info you can use!

On my recent search for things to do with the family while in town for the Boston Marathon I stumbled upon the GoCard. This thing seems like it has every family activity you can think of on here! 70 activities for one price, it seems so easy! We bought ours and it has already shipped. A free Boston travel guide comes with, and a few extras. Purchasing the GoCard gets you into these attractions (keep in mind some of them are closed in April - mostly the water related ones):

Bay State Cruise Company-Provincetown Ferry
Beantown Trolley Tour: City Place
Beantown Trolley Tour: Prudential
Boston Childrens Museum
Boston Duck Tours
Boston Harbor Cruises 45-Minute Constitution Cruise
Boston Movie Mile Walking Tour
Buckman Tavern
Cape Cod Canal Cruise
Cape Cod Central Railroad
Cape Cod Maritime Museum
Cape Cod Museum of Art
Cape Cod Museum of Natural History
Cape Cod Rail Trail Bike and Kayak Rental
Charles Riverboat Cruise
Concord Museum
Discover Plymouths History - A Walking Tour
Fenway Park Tour
Foxwoods Casino Tour
Franklin Park Zoo
Gibson House
Gray Line Tour - Cape Cod
Gray Line Tour - Fall Foliage
Gray Line Tour - New England Seacoast
Hancock Clarke House
Harvard Museum of Natural History
Heritage Museums & Gardens
Hy-Line Marthas Vineyard Ferry
Hy-Line Nantucket Ferry
Hyannisport Harbor Cruise
Ice Skating on Boston Common Frog Pond
Institute of Contemporary Art
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
Islander Touring Train
Jenney Grist Mill
John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum
John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum
Liberty Fleet Tall Ship Adventures
Liberty Ride
Louisa May Alcott Orchard House
MIT Museum
Mass Bay Lines Whale Watch
Munroe Tavern
Museum of Fine Arts
Museum of Science
Nantucket Historical Association Whaling Museum
New England Aquarium
Newport Cruise Company
Newport Mansions of the Preservation Society
Newport Vineyards
Old North Church
Old South Meeting House
Old Sturbridge Village
Otis House Museum
Paul Revere House
Peabody Essex Museum
Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology
Plimoth Plantation & Mayflower II
Salem Heritage Walk
Salem Witch Museum
Samuel Adams Brewery Tour
Sandwich Glass Museum
Seaport Express Water Ferry
Six Flags New England & Hurricane Harbor
TOMB Presented By 5WITS
The Freedom Trail Foundation Walking Tour
The House of the Seven Gables
The International Tennis Hall of Fame Museum
The Mary Baker Eddy Library/Mapparium
The Nichols House Museum
The Old Manse
The Old State House Museum
The Swan Boats of Boston
The USS Constitution Museum
Theater-on-Wheels Movie Tour
Wrentham Village Premium Outlets Tour

Here's the GoCard link for purchase and further review:
http://www.smartdestinations.com/boston-attractions-and-tours/_d_Bos-p1.html?pass=Bos_Prod_Go

Monday, November 9, 2009

The upcoming Bills' Bad Ass 50k and a family of runners!

Bills' Bad Ass
Well the end is near. Bills' Bad Ass will be held this Saturday. A Bad Ass Fat Ass as the are calling it, more appropriately for me since the eating has not gone well and I've gained a few. I'm not feeling terribly confident about this one as far as time goes, since I have not been eating properly. Each week I have put off healthy eating until the next - until OOPS! 50k time! Aw well, it should be fun anyway. As for the food, we have bought a veggie steamer and used it for the first time today. All junk food is now out of the house, and we have been easing into healthier eating slowly but surely. By Dec 14th it will be 100% HEALTHY for a long long time (at least until Boston!) Christmas will be difficult, but it is absolutely possible. Especially since I will not be having Christmas dinner this year. The hubby and I both decided that we were going to take a break from that. I don't know what we'll do, probably go to the parents house in Ytown, but who knows. New Year's won't be as hard - so I'm not really concerned about that. Anyway, back to the running:

One final long run
Saturday was my last "long" run. Only 12 miles, but it was a good one! Ultra runner Joel was on the trails (the toilet paper vs. paper towel advice giver from the beginning of my YUTC training). He was accompanied by his daughter (who runs marathons & Ultras with him) and his dogs (one of which ran 3 hours with him last week!). They are going to be running the JFK. It's always good to see him, he's so inspiring! Ranger Andy was there (as always) leading one of his many hikes. The next time we go on a hike with him, I'll be asking him how crazy everyone thinks I am! :)

A family of runners!
That's what they called us as we ran by. It brought a smile to my face! My husband, son, and I were trail running together on Sunday! Yeah that's right!!!! My husband started running last week, and is loving it! He's tried before but has had a great deal of difficulty due to a knee issue. He's been wanting to get into it really bad lately though, and we went shoe shopping. I helped him pick out his shoes (I was almost too late!) While he was in the shoe department at Dick's, I walked around looking for my hydration pack. When I returned to the shoe department (thank god the person that was helping him was extremely slow) he had a heavy, clunky, unsupportive Nike running shoe in hand. I snatched that thing up so fast and told him NO WAY! The shoe was horrible. As far as I'm concerned, Nike is just a way to look cool as far as running shoes go. I quickly grabbed a pair of Adidas and had him try them on. He loved them instantly, and we left with his much better pair of Adidas. I'm so proud of him, he's been running 2 miles a day. He called me this morning at work and told me all he wants to do is run, run, run. He's got the bug! He went trail running this a.m.! I can't believe it! Can this be? My son running, my husband running, and both of them loving it? HAPPINESS!

Monday, November 2, 2009

25 mile long run and Autumn Leaves race report

Sunday my son and I ran the Autumn Leaves 5 mile run. This was a big deal for him, as it was his first 5 mile race! As promised I ran with him the entire length of the race and it was a blast! It was a little hard waking up early the day after Halloween, but we did it. I tried to convince him to eat some oatmeal and fruit for breakfast, but he wanted a Power bar instead.

We arrived at the Farmpark around 8:15. When we arrived Jeanette Spada soon introduced herself, a cool chick who is training for her first half! Hopefully we'll run more races with her! Mark Anson then came up, hydration pack in tow. He let me test it out during the race, since I was questioning whether or not I would like one. (I have been procrastinating on this issue for quite some time now). Mark uses a 2 liter REI hydration pack, and it was AWESOME! I couldn't believe it! I went out that day and bought one for myself. While it wasn't an REI (I didn't want to wait for an online order to be shipped, my patience got to me) it works well. It's a Camelbak 1.5 liter for women. I still like Mark's pack better, but this one is pretty good, too. I thought for sure I would hate the pack, water sloshing around, etc., etc. but this was not the case. Thanks Mark!











At the starting line:

We took our place and listened to the instructions. (Ready, set, horn blows). Radames was ready! All of a sudden, there goes the horn! "Hey, I didn't hear them say ready set" My son said. Truth is, I didn't hear it either, but I just told him "Well I guess we're ready now!" And we were off.

On the course:

When we reached the first mile my son was pretty surprised, saying he thought we had been running only a couple of minutes. I told him that was great, and how good he was doing. It was probably because of all the talking! I swear he talked more during the race than he did all week long at home. He had volunteered at the Farmpark's Haunted Hayrides the entire month of October, and took pleasure in pointing out many things. "This is where this happened, this is where I did this, this is where I met, etc., etc."

The most fun part of the race, in my opinion, was running through part of the corn maze. It was slippery, muddy and exciting! My son liked seeing Michael Myers on the course. Before we knew it the race was over and he completed his first "official" 5 mile run! He ran it in 54 minutes and 53 seconds. I'm so proud! He proudly sported his Autumn Leaves race shirt all day.

Today - My 25 mile long run:

A new trail system and my first hydration pack. Both were awesome. There were so many trails to choose from, it was like a great big playground to me! I am seriously kicking myself for not getting here sooner. My hydration pack did me well, and other than my water it had enough space for my keys, cell, power bar, and energy shot ( tried AMP for the first time today). Since I had so far to run I did not worry about how long the trails were and did lots of exploring. I enjoyed so many trails, each with their own unique personality. It soon became my favorite running spot. At the halfway point I stopped at a waterfall for a quick munch on my Power Bar. An older man came up behind me and said "So you're a runner, huh?" We talked for awhile, and truthfully I could have stayed all day and listened to his stories. He used to be a runner - but ran into knee issues and had to stop. He ran 7 marathons, qualified for Boston but never went and was even training for the Olympics at one point! During training, duty called. World War II. All these stories, but the story that gave him the biggest smile and heartiest laugh was the story of how he ran a marathon with his son. With a grin on his face he said he had beat his son by a whole 25 minutes! It's unfortunate that this man had knee problems - you could tell he really loved to run. Kudos to him for still getting to the park though! I had a smile on my face for the rest of my run, thinking how lucky I was to have heard his great stories.
















Saturday, October 31, 2009

Slacker!

So yes I've been slacking off on my blog, no I have not been slacking off on the running! There's one more super long training run (which I will do on Monday) before my next 50k (a F/A). Hopefully the 50k will be a rainy muddy mess. Mud = fun! I'm not looking to be speed demon on this one, there's no real time goal. I'm still not doing good on the eating but am planning new recipes and menus for when Boston training starts. If anyone knows any good healthy recipes please help me out!


I'll be attempting to take one week off after the FA, but I said the same thing after the YUTC and only took two days. I think I'm going to have my husband hide my running shoes so this can happen. (He'll have no problem doing that!) I want to start training for Boston with fresh legs. Boston will be my main running goal until April 19! (Speed is the goal for Boston, mostly). I'm excited to get into training.

Last week my son and I ran the Painesville 5k Run for the Parks. Only a 5k - but we always run it. There's a pretty tough hill that pretty much makes you want to die when you run up it. I met Steve DiFranco during the race - very cool guy with an amazing inspirational story. There were only a few of the regulars at the race - one of them being Jean Toth - an amazing lady who I swear is at absolutely every race. She is in her 70's I believe. I really hope to be where she is at when I am all growed up! Anyway, the race was a fun one - I took second place overall for females. The woman who took first place I have never seen before. She blew by me away - going so fast, all I thought was "See ya!" There was no catching up to her. She was like a rocket! My dad noticed her as he was driving past us runners - screamed out the window "Pick it up, Colon!" Yeah right! My son did amazing at the race - being involved in XC this year helped his speed so much! Thanks Coach Tinney! His 5k time improved by 5 minutes! He had an amazing photo finish as he picked up his speed in an attempt to catch another kid running the race. It was something to hear, people screaming both the kids on at the finish line - cheering, smiling, jumping up and down. An AWESOME finish for them both! They both came out of the chute smiling. Tomorrow he will run his first 5 miler, the Autumn Leaves 5 miler at the Lake Metroparks. We are both signed up, and holding true to my promise I will be running with him. I have promised him long ago that every new mileage race he does I will run the first one with him. (1st 5k, 1st 5 mile, 1st half, etc, etc) It should be a nice, good, muddy race as it is currently raining outside. The race is XC style and has you running through cow pastures, horse stables, etc, etc. Hard race, but fun muddy times! If anyone is planning on running - word of advice for you - wear shoes that you don't want anymore. They will be no good after tomorrow's race. And remember - it's the first of the month so the Farmpark is free to Lake County residents who want to hang out after the race with their family & check out the farm animals.

25 mile long run on Monday, then another taper begins. If anyone wants to join me, let me know. It will be more towards the 11/12- as I have off because my son's Science Fair at school is Monday. It's from 9:30 - 11:30 and I plan on going right at 9:30.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Bad food = bad performance

***First thing's first, good luck to all those running the Oil Creek Ultra this weekend, and good luck to all those running the Towpath 1/2 marathon and marathon! I look forward to reading your race reports!***


My Double stuffed oreos (with chocolate icing) last night were so so good. So was the Jamocha shake I drank earlier in the day. Since the YUTC I have put healthy eating aside, as I seem to do after ever large event I particpate in. I never learn my lesson, and frankly it just sucks. Sure the food tastes great, but it makes you feel so so bad. I've still been running, but not well. I almost gave up on my Saturday long run last week. Seriously almost cut my 24 miler to 12 miles. I blame it all on the food. I'm sure I could throw in a few rest days - that wouldn't hurt, but what it all really comes down to is what I am eating. I've done it enough times to know what is wrong. Hopefully after Wednesday (my bday) I will be able to get serious. I will pretty much have to at that point, with a 5k coming just 10 days after that. As I said before, I'm not really sure why I do this, because when I eat right my body feels so great! It would be nice to say that my post marathon eating free for alls are over. I am figuring that I run so much now I need to just eat right all the time, No "I just ran 31 miles so I can be a complete pig" days anymore. I was thinking of doing the Towpath Marathon that is this weekend, but am not due to unhealthy eating I've been doing. This is the first time ever that my bad eating has interfered with a race and I DON'T LIKE IT. I have learned my lesson. Have I said that before? Probably. But I see now to be a serious runner, you have to act serious. You can't win a race on Hot Cheetos and Magma fries. Proper fuel for energy, strength, and an all around good feeling is absolutely necessary, and I realize now that it's better to feel good ALL the time - rather than just the few minutes you spend eating that ice cream. The satisfaction you get while eating that chocolate fudge brownie batter ice cream is only temporary. So I will hobble through another 24 miler tomorrow, and hopefully next week's long run will be better. :)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Ok so I bought it.

I bought it. The stupidest contraption known to the running world, in my opinion. I bought the parachute I was talking about, the "Power Chute". (Not for skydiving, but again - for running)

I was so excited. The first thing I did when we got home from my son's cross country practice was watch the "how to" dvd. Ok whatever. A dvd full of stretches basically. Five minutes on how to use your chute. Which, Ok - it was easy enough. As my son rolled his eyes, I dragged him outside to help me out. Wind was not an issue, they were topping 30mph that day. I got all geared up and I was ready to go! My son stood there, hat pulled down, head held in shame. I can only imagine his thoughts.

Back to the parachute: So I try it, and nothing. No resistance. Try again. Nothing. Try again. NOTHING. I would be better served using a tire like Ray Zahab does at the beginning of Running the Sahara. And it would be cheaper. So today, the useless chute went back to Dick's Sporting Goods. When asked why I was returning it, I almost blurted out "Because it just sucks!" My money will go towards buying that water/fuel belt that I need. Truth is, I should have bought that first anyway. Lessons learned.

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Recovery. Or um, not.

Before the YUTC I was saying that after it was over I would take 1 or 2 weeks off from running. It didn't quite work out that way! I took a whopping 2 days off and couldn't stand it! I took Sunday and Monday off, ran 4.5 miles on both Tuesday and Wednesday, 7 miles Thursday, 8 miles Friday, and 20 miles on Saturday. (All treadmill miles) The 20 miles came after I made the decision to run another 50k, and it's coming soon. I still need to organize my running schedule a little more, since there's a couple smaller races coming up that I always run this time of year, and plan on running again this year. The Autumn Leaves 5 miler, and the City of Painesville 5k. I also need to somehow work around another trip to the Laurel Highlands, we will be going to see some awesome fall colors down there in a couple weeks! All this amounts to, most likely, is more treadmill miles than I want. I'm not happy about that, but life happens, and I don't want to miss it! I am going to try to get as many trail miles as I can. Maybe I can forgo the typical 1 weekend day off, and get some extra trail miles in that way. That will mean zero days of sleeping in, when I already only get 4-5 hours of sleep a night, but you have to sacrifice somewhere I suppose!


Bills Bad Ass 50k


It's free. And you still get stuff. One of the organizers of the race is in the t-shirt business, so therefore we will be provided with shirts! Another one of the organizers is in the restaurant business, so therefore free FOOD! The only downfall of this race is that runners will be making 6 five mile loops. A little mind numbing - but on a positive note, we probably won't get too separated from each other and will be able to have some nice conversations during the run.

Then what?

After the 50k it will be all about speedwork/distance combo until after Boston. Then who knows? I definitely have a 50 miler on my mind, but have to look into it more. This week I plan on buying a parachute (no not for skydiving, but for running so hold the comments). We'll see if it does anything. I imagine it will be a lot of fun if anything. It does raise one question though. If you saw someone running down the street at 3 in the morning with a parachute strapped to their back, what would you think? :)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Remembering Dan Mathie

Skydiver Dan Mathie died Saturday, September 19 2009 while making a tandem jump with first time jumper Sierra Thomas. Dan was 30 years old.


Dan Mathie at the CPC - August 16, 2009











It was August 16, 2009. It was Dan's birthday. My family and I arrived at the Cleveland Parachute Center with me quite anxious to make another jump. Dan was there, making his jumps with those lucky enough to be able to jump with him. Dan's mother was there. Skydiving legend Bob Sinclair was there. It was a beautiful, perfect day - fitting for a 30th birthday. After a short training class led by Dan, I was ready. He got me my gear, and we suited up. Then waited. We got held up a bit, which despite my being so hot in my gear - I felt lucky. We all stood talking for a long time. Bob, Dan, and his mother. It all felt so comfortable. They were all so easy going, great people to have a conversation with. We stood chatting some more outside of the plane as the plane received all the fuel it needed. Then, it was finally time to go. I told him "You have one hell of a job Dan!" He smiled and stated that he couldn't really call this a job. He also had another job as a bricklayer. The pilot, Dan and I, and a CPC employee who was just along for the plane ride all piled into the plane and we were finally off.


It's hard to have a conversation on a plane that is so loud, but we exchanged a few words up there. At one point he saw me smiling, big goofy grin as I looked out of the window and grabbed my foot, shook it and smiled. I can't believe I wasn't nervous! No worries! This was the first time jumping that I did not feel nervous. Not one bit. I knew that jumping with him, I would be OK. It felt totally safe, totally comfortable, and just totally natural. Somehow he just made everything seem OK. Strange to say when you're jumping out of an airplane, but that was just how he was.

After about 15-20 minutes it was time to jump! We got ready, and away we went! Falling
through the air I was still feeling totally at peace
and it was completely amazing thanks to Dan. I couldn't believe it. There was no other skydive quite like this one. Falling through the sky with oddly, no fear - but that is how Dan made it. The chute opened, and there we hung. We talked (again, not easy) for a bit and he pointed some things out to me. I was bummed it was almost over. For once I had an incredible feeling that I just wanted to do this all of the time. This was it. I HAD to! Enough of this once a year B.S.!


We landed and got situated, got the gear off that we needed to. Gave each other a hug and waved to the family. We completed the video and headed back up to the CPC office after taking a few pics with the family to take the rest of the gear off. I kept on telling him how this jump was so different, so amazing. We hung out for a little while more afterwards, again talking with his mom and Bob - laughing at Bob's stories and just smiling. I could have stayed there forever, but with three little hungry kiddos, it was unfortunately time to leave. We said our goodbyes, one last hug - and then my family and I left. Left with me saying I need to find out how I can do this all the time. "Ya gotta think like a skydiver!" Bob said. "Sell your car! Sell your house! Who needs it!" While that wouldn't work, I did have to figure it all out and I pledged I would only jump with Dan from now on. I needed to find out how I could get some extra cash to do an AFF course with him.

I really couldn't understand my lack of fear then. I do now. After reading people's accounts on their jumps with Dan, I get it now. It was all him. He just put people at ease, and I'm sure he created alot of skydiving addicts because of it! Even my husband, who had said NO WAY was he ever going to jump out of a plane, left that day saying he was going to jump.

The days passed, and I received the video of our jump together a little under 2 weeks ago. I am saddened by Dan's death, and just can't believe that he is gone, but I still have to smile when I watch the video and remember what a wonderful time it was and how lucky I was to be able to jump with such an amazing person. Dan has inspired and touched many lives, has given people a greater appreciation for life and will be missed by many.

Rest in peace


Dan Mathie
August 16 1979 - September 19 2009

video

Monday, September 21, 2009

My first 50k: The YUTC 50k/25k race summary

My first ultra marathon is over and done with, and what an amazing experience. This race is by far the absolute BEST race I have ever run in. The race was so well organized, and registration fee was so low. In my goodie bag: An extremely comfy La Sportiva shirt sporting the YUTC logo, Hammer gel (which I may give a shot, but am extremely uneasy about after my first and last gel experience), Five hour energy drink (YAY!), Ivy block, Dirty girl gaiters, and a copy of Trail Runner magazine (which I am almost done reading!). I was anxious to meet all my new running friends there, and the first person I ran into was Mark Anson. He quickly designated me the new fb administrator of the NERC page. (Ah hem....runners go check it out and become a fan!!!) Upon returning to the parking lot I ran into Daniel Bellinger and chatted with him for a bit. Headed back down the hill, ran into ultra marathon vet Nick Billock, and before the start Brian Musick.











The starting point of the YUTC. BEAUTIFUL!

My dad, son, and husband all arrived with me to see me off. (My brother was supposed to come on his bike, but due to a bit of a mishap at fire training school yesterday did not have the energy. He came later with my mom.) As we got settled we saw Crystal and Chris Basich, my son's old running coaches from the Y last year. Crystal just finished the Leadville 100 in Colorado (AMAZING!) and was volunteering. Chris was running the 50k. Great people who if you ever get a chance to talk to you must! My son was happy to get to see them again. I was happy to see them and hear Crystal's Leadville stories!

The start:













Soon the call came to line up. After taking a few quick puffs of my inhaler and a stealing a few kisses from the family I lined up. Then the start. I was told this was going to happen: Everyone started out all gung ho, running and excited - and then we came to a stand-still all waiting to walk up the steps of the bridge on the outskirts of the park. I laughed, made my way up the steps and then we were really off! It was now or never, and I was pretty pumped. Somehow I got to the point where I was the third female. The first 2 were 25k'ers. I stuck with the second one, Sabine for a very long time. (I have no idea how far ahead the first one was!) We chatted for a good long while, rolled over the "love log" together and laughed with her simply stating "Just wait until you have to do that the third time!" After a few trips (no falls yet) I threw the question out there. "Have you ever fallen while trail running?" She said no, she never had - and I stated that I had not fallen on any trails yet, either. I completely jinxed the both of us. Not too soon after, she fell. I stopped, helped her gather her things and we were on our way. Then it was my turn. She stated I fell "gracefully". It sure didn't feel graceful! Then: BOOM! She fell again. I started to feel pretty bad about saying what I said. It was my fault! But, paybacks as I then fell one more time! GRRRR!!!!! Then Sabine stated "No more of this! No more games, No more laughing, No more falling!" And well, she didn't fall again (but I sure did, not until after she was finished with her 25k though!). We separated after my last fall, but caught up with each other in the bathroom surprisingly with I don't know, maybe 1 1/2 miles to go? (I could be way off on that guesstimate) I walked into the bathroom and jumped when I saw her, I didn't think I would've caught up! We did our thing and she did leave before me. I did see her down at the 25k finish and congratulated her while I was drinking up.

The first thing I drank was some HEED. I have no idea what that is, never heard of it before - but it was not bad. I did think I was getting water when I picked it up, so it kind of shocked me at first. But I did continue drinking it at the rest stops the rest of the race. Heed/Water combo is what I stuck to. Along with my energy jelly beans and the power bar that I was carrying with me in my spi belt.

Realization #1:
Carry my own water. I wasted a lot of time at the aid stations. I mean A LOT of time. I just chilled, talked, took my time. It was nice talking to every one - I really enjoyed it, but I did lose a lot of time. So while I do have a Nathan fuel belt - it does not do me well. I need to find one that works and just run with it. Since I loved the 50k and will do more I seriously need to look into this.

I was alone:
After the 25k mark, I was alone for a long time. I was the first female for the 50k at that point (lol which means I started way to fast, and sticking with Sabine for the length of time that I did was probably not smart). I was fearful I would get lost. It was just complete silence for so long. At certain points I had to stop and get my bearings just to make sure I was going in the right direction. The course was well marked, but I am directionally challenged without my mapquest! There were a couple times when some men ran by and I had to ask if I was going the right way. Then more solitude.

A flash of red:
She blew by me looking so, so strong. The woman who would eventually take first place. "WOW" Is all I could simply think. She does not even look the least bit tired. It was amazing. I was just simply in awe of this runner and her red compression leg sleeves! She was Michelle Ellery, from PA and finished in 5 hours and 28 minutes.

Along the way somewhere I fell a third time. I forget where, I forget if anyone was even around but yeah I did it. I started to get ticked off at myself, and in my (once again) solitude some not too nice language would coming spewing from my mouth (good thing I was alone) every time I would trip. SHAPE UP! I thought. Get those legs up! But man were they so tired! The trails on this race were so different from the trails I was training on. Much more technical, way more roots. There is no comparison. Also, some of the hills at this run were so steep. Monkey hills, is what I believed Mr. Billock called them. The first go around they weren't so bad, but the second and third time around, WOOO WEEEE! MY GOD! You practically crawled up them! It's such an amazing feeling when you got to the top though. A feeling of accomplishment. Forget the rest of the race - you just conquered that hill! And there was the "Love log" Sabine had joked about earlier. Yeah I just rolled over that thing. Nothing more I could do except just....roll. Roll and keep on runnin'.

The final miles:
My husband, son, mother, father, and brother all decided to head towards the covered bridge rest stop and meet me there while I chugged on water. This was a pretty cool surprise! I probably spent the greatest length of time at this particular stop. I was pumped they were there, and pretty much chilled for a couple minutes, taking my good old time.




Covered bridge rest stop











After a few minutes of fartin' around I saw her out of the corner of my eye. UH OH! I thought! She was looking strong and fast, and I started running. While I was running - I heard someone mention she was carrying her water with her. DANG IT! I have since heard that because of that - of course, she did not stop. I kept on truckin'. She soon caught up with me. We talked for awhile. Kim Boner was her name, and she landed the #2 spot with a time of 5 hours 44 minutes and 15 seconds. She had done 7 ultras this year. (This is the number I believe she said as I was struggling to keep up with her!) And then it happened. Fall #4. Kim turned around, stopped and asked if I was alright. I said yes, and thought to myself: Just go. Just keep on running. This one's gonna take me awhile. She kept going, and I shakingly got up. That one hurt. Every time I fell during this race, my whole body cramped up, but this one was particularly bad. Shaking, I pushed on. Started running again. It was not until I crossed a certain point on the road, going from one trail to another did I perk up. I ran into the family driving back to the finish! My dad was beeping, and my brother had his siren on his car going. I could not believe they were there! It was the funniest thing to me - especially the siren and my husband yelling, woo woo!!!! I continued on with a big goofy grin on my face.

The finish:
I could here the crowd from a certain point in the trail. I was almost done! I saw the lake and couldn't believe it! The first voice I heard was Crystal cheering for me, and then I saw the family. Running through the finish line I was pumped! My time, 5 hours 46 minutes and 23 seconds. Third place female! I was quickly handed my trophy - which is my favorite one. It is a log with YUTC on it, says third place female. This trophy is for me! The typical medals and trophies with little runner people on them are so boring. This one is the coolest!





Me with my husband, son, and my third place trophy!







Kim came up to me and congratulated me, asked me how I was after that fall. Took some pictures, and talked with some runners and volunteers. Brian had said something like "Beer cures everything" but I could barely eat at that point! I think I would've got sick! I had one piece of pizza and just couldn't have anything else. There was good food there too! Darn it! However later in the day while my husband, son, and dad were golfing I did place a call to have them pick me up some Bailey's on the way home!

UNICEF:
Ok all. My training is done. My race is over. This is the last chance to donate to UNICEF, and I am asking for donations no matter how big. Every dollar helps. Whether it is one dollar or a hundred, every one counts - so please take the time to donate today. Donating is easy, just click on the link at the side of this page. I want to thank everyone who has donated this far. I appreciate it so much, and I am sure the kids that you are helping appreciate it as well! Thank you everyone for your continued support! Everyone has been amazing throughout this whole experience, and I am so glad that I did it.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Running my first Ultra-marathon for UNICEF in 2 MORE DAYS! Please donate!

I can't believe that it's almost here. Saturday is approaching so fast. I am nervous, excited, happy, and a bit sad that it will all be over soon. I can't wait to meet everyone! My bags are packed already. My brother called to tell me he'd be riding around the park on his bike during the race, which I think is the greatest! I will be needing him to give me a good kick in the butt now and then! My mom, dad, husband, and son will be there as well. One big happy support group :)

As most of you know, I am running this race & trying drum up some donations for UNICEF. I received two more donations today, from Mary Pietrocini and Joe Vasil of Ohio. THANKS MARY! THANKS JOE! And thank you to everyone who has donated so far. For those of you that haven't (lol maybe you're just waiting too see if I finish) here's a few words on UNICEF and what they do:

UNICEF: when first created the acronynm stood for the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund. Now it is simply the United Nation's Childrens Fund.

UNICEF works in over 1500 countries to provide children with health care, clean water, nutrition, education, emergency relief, and more.

  • Despite extraordinary progress, 24,000 children still die each day from preventable causes.
  • In Afghanistan, where under Taliban rule women and girls were forbidden to attend school, UNICEF is setting up literacy centers so that everyone can get the education they deserve.
  • UNICEF's School-in-a-Box kit, a portable classroom developed by UNICEF after the Rwandan genocide, allows children almost anywhere to attend class.
  • UNICEF distributes oral rehydration salts wherever children are suffering from illness and deadly dehydration caused by unsafe water.
  • In areas like Sudan, where the environment is hostile and poverty extreme, UNICEF distributes fortified foods like Plumpy'nut, a high-protein, high-calorie peanut spread. They provide children with vitamin A to keep them from going blind, and we give folic acid to pregnant women.

These are just a few of the many things this great organization does. Please take the time to donate by clicking on the link at the left hand side at this page. Online donations are easy, fast, and convenient. A few seconds can make a world of difference in a young person's life. Thanks so much!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Ultramarathon training week(s) in review: Weeks 15 and 16

Ok all, so I slacked off on the blog for a couple weeks, due to be so busy - but I'll do my best to try and remember everything. Even now, I'm typing this at lunch because I know I won't have time later. It will be nice when things chill out for a bit. (Whenever that may be!)

It's been kind of a bummer the last couple weeks. Week 15 was spent feeling tired the whole time due to the fact that I did not allow a rest day for myself, worked some days around because of ziplining @ Hocking Hills. I just haaaad to get every mile in. Week 16 I started feeling a bit under the weather. The cold has followed me into this final week of training, and I'm pretty ticked off about that. It would've been great to end training feeling good instead of lousy, but Murphy's Law I guess.

***Please donate to UNICEF!!!! There's only a few more days, and I haven't even reached 50% of my goal yet :(
Click on the link at the side of this page. THANK YOU!!!!

Here's my breakdown:
(lunchtime runs were not added since I can't recall which days I did/didn't run them. Eh, they're extra anyway!)


Week 16:

Monday: 10 miles a.m. treadmill, sit ups, weights

Tuesday: 9 miles a.m. treadmill, sit ups, weights

Wednesday: 8 miles a.m. treadmill, sit ups, weights

Thursday: 9 miles a.m. treadmill, sit ups, weights

Friday: 25 miles, trail - a poor time due to no rest day after last week's 24 miler. It was somewhere around the 4 hour and 30 minute mark. I forget the exact time.

Saturday: 9 miles a.m. treadmill

Sunday: 12 miles

Week 17:


Monday: 8 miles, treadmill @ the hotel - ziplining afterwards!

Tuesday: off

Wednesday: 10 miles, treadmill, a.m., sit ups, weights

Thursday: 7 miles, treadmill a.m., sit ups, weights

Friday: 15 miles, treadmill a.m., sit ups, weights

Saturday: 12 mile "long" run on trails - 1 hour, 52 minutes

Sunday: off

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Ultramarathon training week in review: Week 14

This week felt great. The iron that I had started taking a couple weeks ago has finally started to kick in. I frequently get anemic - not due to running - and had run out of my iron pills about a month ago. I kept forgetting to buy them, and paid for it. Having remembered (finally) a couple weeks ago that I needed to buy them, they are finally started to kick in. More power! I also started making a protein shake in the morning to drink w/breakfast. I tried it plain at first, and it was NASTY as always. I just don't like the whole whey protein taste that goes on. However, I added a banana to the mix and YUM! It killed that weird taste that I hate so much. I bought this hoping to give up peanut butter. This drink has way more protein and way fewer calories than pb. Yeah it's a lot better than me sitting here eating spoonfuls upon spoonfuls of peanut butter. With the iron kicking in and the protein drink this week I was feeling super strong and energized. I did speed Monday, hills Tuesday, speed Wednesday, hills and speed combined on Thursday.



The Long Run:

The day started out with me driving to the trail trying to peel the spider web that I ran into on my way out the door off my face. Took me the whole drive to get it off. I started my run, and ran into another spider web.

The weather was perfect for a little while. The air was so good, my lungs were happy. Happy lungs equals a happy me. At mile 3 I got stung by something, possibly a yellow jacket. My leg still hurts #$%&^! Around the 5th mile it started to rain. This is fine by me as running in the rain is one of my most favorite things :)

At around mile 15 I ran up behind some poor unsuspecting man. I didn't think I was close enough to yell passing on the left, or behind you. I also had my music on, but he didn't hear it. I let out a really deep breath and I thought he was going to have a heart attack! The poor guy screamed, turned around, and ummmmm...#$% #$%#! He started laughing after a second though thank goodness. I felt bad, but I did have to laugh, too :)

At mile 22 I got a little encouragement from someone else on the trail. As I ran by he stepped aside and started clapping. Unusual, but it actually did pump me up for oh, I'd say a whole minute!

I finished my long run in 3 hours and 52 minutes. I felt really good, expect for a very short lived wave of nausea a bit later. It is so great to feel so good! I attribute this to the protein shakes and iron. Or maybe it was the 5 pieces of pizza I had last night. And breadsticks. And chicken wings. And salad.

On the Ultra:


I'm starting to get nervous about the Ultra now. It's less than 3 weeks away. I can't believe it! Only one more super long run to go (25 miles). There are going to be so many experienced, good runners there. I think I am really just going to be in awe of these people. People who have run numerous ultras from the 50k distance to 100 milers! Multiple times! And here I come bee-boppin' in with only a few marathons under my belt. It's kind of like...you ran some marathons huh? lol. Hopefully I can gain a lot of knowledge from all these runners. I'm excited to meet everyone, but nervous about meeting people with such talent, too!



Here's this weeks breakdown:





Monday: 11 miles (17.70km) a.m. treadmill, sit ups, weights/2.2 miles (2.54km) outside @ lunch



Tuesday: 10 miles (16.09 km) a.m. treadmill, sit ups, weights - no lunch time run due to me

taking a late start at work to be able to help my son get ready for his first day of 7th grade



Wednesday: 10 miles (16.09 km) a.m. treadmill, sit ups, weights/2.2 miles (2.54km) outside @ lunch



Thursday: 9 miles (14.48km) a.m. treadmill /2.2 miles (2.54km) outside @ lunch



Friday: off



Saturday: 12 miles (19.31km) a.m. treadmill. sit ups, weights



Sunday: 24 miles (38.62km) trail run