Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Doubt

Classify this post under the category of "keeping it real".

The last couple of weeks I have been doubting myself. I have been questioning if I am as fast as I think I am or if I can be as fast as I want to be. I am not sure why. Self-doubt and insecurity are a big part of who I used to be, but not a big part of who I am now (most of the time) or more importantly, who I want to be. 

On my run today I did a lot of talking to myself (in my head). I reminded myself of how far I have come... that three years ago I was still over 200lbs and couldn't run a mile, and that one year ago I was gearing up for my first marathon. I thought  about recent races and the successes I have had. I told myself not to compare myself to other runners.  I reviewed training runs over the past few months that I nailed and which hint that faster race times are within my reach. Maybe most importantly, I reminded myself that I run because I love it. I run because it's fun. I run because I am strong and committed and determined. I run because it makes me feel amazingly good, physically and emotionally.

I thought about Bart Yasso telling me that I have a "runner's body" and look like I am "built to run fast".  (My favorite running compliment ever. If he says that to everyone, please don't tell me).

While I run because it is fun, I do also want to be competitive. I like racing and I enjoy pushing myself. I want to be fast and to get faster. I want to do well. I want to better my times. I would love some age group placings and wins. 

I need to remember - 

Patience. Trust in the training. Have faith in the process. Believe in myself. Don't be afraid of big goals. I am putting the work in, and I have to believe in myself.  I have to find satisfaction in achieving my best, whatever that is.

Courage, Faith, Strength.

I am on my own running journey. I don't know where it will take me, but I am going to enjoy the journey.

Do you ever get plagued by self doubt or insecurity?  How do you handle it?



Saturday, November 26, 2011

Odds and Ends, and a Winner!!

I hope everyone is enjoying their long weekend.

We have a few kids with colds... no one is feeling terrible, but there is a lot of coughing and sniffling. So we are keeping it all pretty low-key.

Yesterday we had a Christmas movie day and watched movies, ate leftovers, and relaxed. (I do not shop on Black Friday. I don't enjoy shopping very much. I do 99% of my Christmas shopping online). We did go out and get a Christmas tree and tonight we are going to our town Parade of Lights. I love the Parade of Lights!

I have been running lots. This morning I did a 9 miler with five miles at half marathon goal pace (about 7:06). I ran the last tempo mile at a 6:45 and it felt pretty good to run fast. I was stuck on the treadmill because of lots of ice, but I ran outside the rest of the week so I can't complain (this time of year any run outside is a major bonus!) Tomorrow I have a 17 miler to do, and next week will be over 70 miles with 10 miles on Saturday and 20 miles on Sunday. The Disney Goofy Challenge is just over a month away now. Crazy! I know the month is going to go by super fast with the holidays too.

As much as I would rather be doing my speedwork at the track instead of on the treadmill and as much as I complain about my water bottle freezing shut on my long runs, I love having winter races to train for. I love having "no excuses", I love the escape from the "busy-ness" of the holidays with my daily training, and I love the motivation to keep up my training when it would be super easy to slack.

I am happy to report that I ate great this week. I didn't overeat, overindulge, or gain any weight over Thanksgiving. I enjoyed the day. I had tasty food that we prepared in healthy ways, and I focused on my family, being thankful, and the "fun" of the day instead of the food. It feels GOOD. This was the first year of my life that I can remember that I enjoyed Thanksgiving without overeating. I don't feel like I missed out on anything, and in fact I think I enjoyed the day and the weekend a whole lot more without feeling stuffed.

Two more piece of business -

Yesterday I heard that I was chosen to be a FitFluential Ambassador.They have been expanding their program and looking for more Ambassadors (so there are lots of other people being added to the program), and Dorothy at Mileposts and Blonde Ponytail both recommended me. Thanks ladies! You can read more about FitFluential here.
and finally, the lucky winner of my Neocell Collagen Sport Giveaway is


LACEY SUE from N.Y.A.R.M. !!!!!!

Congrats Lacey! Send me an email and I will get you connected with Neocell so you can get your prize.

More soon!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Perfect day

Today I held my first race! I organized a small Turkey Trot for our community. It was SO MUCH FUN. I was so happy with how many people came out and what a perfect (albeit cold!) morning that it was.

We had about 50 people that participated (which was a lot more than I expected) and we definitely will be planning it bigger and better for next year. I started planning this just over a week ago and just spread the word through email, Facebook, and word of mouth. We told everyone that it was just a fun run and invited people to come out whether they wanted to run, jog, or walk.

Josh and I went down to the church parking lot at about 8:40. We had a huge cooler filled with hot chocolate, two cans of Redi-Whip, paper cups, napkins, a garbage bag, a stop watch, a notepad, a pen, and a camera.

Nathan, Ryan, Shane, Ben, Amanda and Maggie all came to run the race! I was so pleasantly surprised that they all wanted to come and run (especially the little girls!) Since it was an out and back course, I knew that they could turn around early if they needed to and that there would be lots of friends and neighbors around.

When we got there the kids drew a start/finish line, and then Josh took off on his own. The plan was for him to take his Garmin and run down 1.55 miles and then stop at the turn around point. We picked an out and back course on a road that was clear of ice and snow and it worked perfectly. Josh stood at the turn around point and he gave everyone a high-five as they got to him and made sure the road was clear of any cars when people were turning around (it was a road with very, very little traffic).

Everyone lined up and I gave a quick "have fun, be careful, stay to the left, thanks for coming out, Happy Thanksgiving", and then with a "Ready, Set, Go!" they were off!

Sadies (my oldest) came down to help me at the finish line. I had the stop watch and a notebook and pen to write down the finishing times and Sadies was armed with the hot chocolate and Redi-Whip to give out to everyone.

A dad and his two little kids (who had gone about a quarter way down and then turned back) were the first back and we cheered for them.

The winner just happened to be my Shane (12 years old!) He finished in 22:27. Ryan (my 13 year old) finished 6th in 25:21, and then Nathan (my 15 year old) finished 7th in 25:30!!!!! Nate is NOT a runner (well, he wasn't until today!!!!) and I am really, really proud of him.

Maggie was walking and I guess looked a little lonely/concerned, because an older woman who lives next door and was walking with her grown kids saw Maggie and decided they should turn around together (about half way down). Maggie came back in one of their extra coats on top of hers, all smiles and ready for hot chocolate.

Josh waited down at the turn around until the last runners/walkers passed him and then he ran back with them. The last two runners happened to be our Amanda (who is 10, the tiniest little person ever, and was born with crooked femurs that can't be fixed and two heart conditions that will be fixed when she is older but don't slow her down) and her friend. They had made it all the way down to the turn around and were determined to finish the whole 5K. They ran in strong with Josh right behind them with a time of 40:41. I seriously could not have been more proud.

Everyone stood around, talked, stretched, and had hot chocolate for a little bit, and then we all went home to our families to enjoy our Thanksgiving Day.

It truly was a perfect morning. (I got up early and got my six miles and core work out done before the race).

The turkeys are cooking (one on in the smoker, one in the oven), we watched the parade, and we are all set for a fabulous, fun holiday here at home. It's a wonderful day.

I am thankful today and every day for all that I have been given.

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!!!
Shane and Ryan decorating the starting line.




Ben, Amanda, and Maggie getting ready to run.
A bunch of the group at the starting line.
Sadies staying warm in the van
And They're Off!!!
Victory pose!
Ryan with his hot chocolate
Nate after his first 5K


Monday, November 21, 2011

Inspire

I am not the kind of person that pushes my interests, beliefs, loves etc. on to other people. I am a very open book and share easily, but my style is more to just "put it out there" and let the people who are interested take what they will from it. I try to live in such a way that my faith, priorities, and passions are evident and obvious by my words, actions, and my life.

And I hope that my words, actions, and life can inspire others in certain ways.

I hope that by seeing my beautiful, amazing, totally rocking family, that others will be aware of the millions of children in the U.S. and around the world that do not have families, and will be inspired to consider adoption as a way to add to their family. Adoption has blessed Josh and I nine times, and each time it was just as much a miracle as it was the times I gave birth. (November is National Adoption Month!)


I hope that by sharing my love for our sweet Noah, the fun and special spirit that he brings to our family, and the amazing progress he continues to make every day, that I can inspire others to consider adopting a special needs child, or at least change the way they look at and think about people with disabilities. Noah was a baby that the world had given up on, but he is so very much more than a bunch of labels (cerebral palsy, epilepsy, cortical vision impairment, feeding disorder, developmental delays, blah blah) and the challenges he faces. He is pure joy and it is a privilege to be his mom. He is truly a miracle, a blessing, and an inspiration.


I hope that by sharing basic, factual information and living the way that we do that others will learn that HIV is a chronic but manageable disease, that people with HIV can live long, healthy lives and that HIV can not be transmitted in any casual/household contact. It has been proven that HIV and AIDS can only be spread through sexual contact, birth, breastfeeding and blood to blood contact (such as sharing needles). (Two of our children are HIV+ and I am an adoption coordinator for HIV+ kids and kids with other special needs. Fighting the stigma that surrounds HIV is something I am passionate about).


I hope that by the choices I make, the priorities I have set, the way that I treat people, and the life that I live, that my faith in Jesus Christ and my Heavenly Father is evident.  I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and my faith is an extremely important part of who I am, how I live, and all that I do. I hope that the true happiness I have in my life may inspire others to seek out that happiness.

  I hope that by sharing how I lost weight slowly but surely by eating in a healthier way and exercising regularly (without gimmicks or diets), that I can inspire others to find for themselves how great it feels to be healthy and in shape, and the motivation to make a change. At the age of 32 I finally got sick and tired enough of being overweight and out of shape that I did something about it. I started eating healthy. I started exercising. I started taking care of myself and my body. I lost over 75lbs and gained so much more.
before

after
And if you have ever spent more than a few minutes on my blog, you know that I am a runner. I love running. I love racing. I love marathons. I am committed to training hard and putting a lot of effort and heart into my running, so that I can be the best that I can. I hope that by sharing my passion for running, and how much strength, courage, power, confidence, fun, excitement, and joy that I get from running that I will inspire others to give running a try.



This week I have two fun opportunities to inspire others to get active and get running. Tomorrow, the elementary school that three of my kids go to is having a Turkey Trot. Each grade is having their own race and prizes. I will have Solomon in the Kindergarten race and Marcus and Belane in the second grade race. I have not pushed my kids into running at all. With 12 kids, they ALL are very unique and have their own talents, interests, and passions. I want all of my kids to be active and healthy, but we encourage them to pursue their own "thing" whether it be sports, art, music, etc.

It has been SUPER fun though to see these three kids be so excited about the race. They want to "run like Mom" and "race like Mom". I love it! And I can't wait to go cheer them on.

And then I decided to throw together a very informal Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning. It will be a simple 5K course fun run. There will not be any timing or prizes, it is just about getting family, neighbors, and friends out and active on a holiday morning. The response has been really great though and I am excited to share my love of running with my community, even in a very small and simple way. (I am hoping to build on this next year into a more official event). It should be a lot of fun and a great way to start Thanksgiving Day.

This week of Thanksgiving (and always) I am thankful for much, but tonight I am especially grateful for all of the people in my life who have inspired me with their words, actions, and lives. I am blessed to be surrounded by wonderful people who inspire me in endless ways.

"Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony."
- Mohandas Gandhi



Sunday, November 20, 2011

Collagen Sport giveaway!

Today I have a giveaway and product review for you!


Recently I was sent some Neocell Collagen Sport Whey Isolate Complex. It is a drink powder sold for athletes to "Refuel, Recover, Regenerate and Replenish". One of Neocell's sponsored athletes is Russ Jones, who is a triathlete, USAT nationally ranked #1 Triathlete in the 50-54 age group, an Olympic trials marathon qualifier, a USA Triathlon Certified Coach, and an all-around pretty impressive guy. :)

Here is some info about  Neocell Collagen Sport -
  • 15 grams Pure Ion-Exchange Whey Protein Isolate
  • 15 grams Super Collagen™ Bioavailable Peptides
  • Rich in BCAAs
  • Good source of L-Glutamine
  • Enhanced with Exogenous Amino Acids
  • Multi-vitamin Fortification
  • Doctor Formulated 
  • Gluten, Wheat, Sugar & Lactose Free
  • No Artificial Sweeteners or Flavors
  • No Fillers or Synthetic Ingredients
I have never taken any type of supplement before, other than a multivitamin, and I wasn't really looking to add a supplement to my exercise diet and routine. (I am not big on "taking" stuff. I almost never even take a Tylenol.) But I was contacted by Neocell right after reading (again) about the importance of refueling and getting the right nutrients into your body within 30 minutes of exercising. That is something I had NOT been doing a very good job at.

My package from Neocell came while I was in NY and being honest, when I looked at it I wasn't sure if I was going to use it. Josh's mom was here and I gave her the belgian chocolate flavor and the french vanilla sat on my counter for a few more days. Then I read yet again about the importance of refueling after a run. I read in detail about Neocell's Collagen Sport and decided to give it a try.

The directions say to mix one or two big scoops into 6-8 ounces of water or milk (and there are also directions to use it in smoothies). I put one big scoop in probably about 8-10 ounces of cold water. I shook it up in my water bottle and was impressed with how quickly and easily it mixed. I only had to shake it for a short period of time and there were no clumps at all (no fancy mixer or shaker bottle required).

I was also impressed with the taste. The vanilla taste was very yummy, there was no grainy texture at all, and it was sweet without being overly sweet (and I love that there are no artificial sweeteners of flavors because I am sensitive to the artificial sweeteners). I imagine the belgian chocolate is super yummy!

For the last week now I have been using Neocell Collagen Sport. I have finished my runs, made and drank a bottle (using probably 12-16 ounces of water and one scoop, which is weaker than what they recommend but works for me), and then gone and done my stretching, rolling, playing with Noah routine on the living room floor, and then finally getting some breakfast.

I have been really, really happy with this product. I have been so happy with it that I am actually going to order more, which is something I have not done with any other drink/supplement I have been sent or have tried.  It has not upset my super sensitive stomach, it tastes great, it mixes easily, it has kept me feeling full longer in between breakfast and lunch, and I am finally refueling like I am supposed to.

It is hard to say after just a week how my muscles are benefiting, but I can say that I ran 60 miles last week including one tough speed work out, and I also started my new strength training routine twice a week and my new core strength routine three times a week, and my body feels really good and muscle soreness has been very short-lived. Since I am now a girl with a plan and am trying to "step up" my training, I want to make sure I am giving my body all that it needs. I plan on sticking with Neocell Collagen Sport for awhile and seeing how it works for me. I will keep you posted!

Neocell wants to give  one of you the chance to try Collagen Sport too!

One winner will win their choice of a container of Neocell Collagen Sport in either the Belgian Chocolate Flavor or the French Vanilla Flavor, 15 serving size container (a $29.95 value).

To enter -
Leave a comment saying you would like to enter and which flavor you would choose.

For bonus entries (leave one comment for each please)

- Go to the Collagen Sport Facebook page, like them, and tell them See Mom Run Far sent you.
- Tweet " I want to win Collagen Sport from @SeeMomRunFar and @NeoCellSport"
- Leave a comment here telling me what you currently do to refuel after your runs

I will use random.org to draw a winner from all entries on Saturday, November 26. Good luck!

***FTC requires that I tell you that this product was given to me free of charge for the purpose of review/giving away by Neocell. That said, thoughts/reviews shared on the product are my  honest opinion.***

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Girl with a plan

I am officially a girl with a plan! Earlier this week I posted my "decisions decisions" post, and shared that I was trying to figure out if I could/should get a coach, what training plan to use, races for next year, etc.

I have talked with Josh, researched, prayed, read, soul-searched and planned.

I am a girl with a plan. :)

For now, I am going to keep training on my own, without a coach. I definitely think a coach could be great for me in a lot of ways, but what it boils down to is that I can't justify the cost of a coach at this point and time. Our budget is tight. The costs and expenses of life with 12 kids are literally endless. I do not have any guilt or doubt about the money I spend on my running and racing, but adding the monthly expense of a coach isn't possible/responsible.

But as much as I think a coach could be great for me in a lot of ways, I am feeling really good about my plan and confident in my ability to continue to coach/guide myself. I think it's going to be good.

I read (devoured) "Advanced Marathoning" by Peter Pfitzinger and Scott Douglas.


I love this book. I really enjoyed reading it, and I feel like I learned a ton (even though I had read lots of running books before this one). I found it very motivating and encouraging, and it really helped me put together what I think is a great plan to get me from here to Boston.


I am going to use the Pftiz "in between marathons" plan from now to Goofy. I tweaked the plan slightly so that I would have back-to-back medium long runs and long runs on Saturdays and Sundays. The speed work is different from what I have done in the past and I look forward to new challenges.  Then after a short recovery period after Goofy, I am going to use the Pfitz training plan for 70-85 miles a week to train for Boston. (I know that sounds like a lot of miles but I have done many weeks at 65 miles lately so it's not a big increase).


I also came up with a plan for my overall fitness. I already had been good about stretching after my runs (and foam rolling) but after reading "Advanced Marathoning" I have a more thorough stretching/flexibility routine I will do after every run.


Up until now I have been doing a routine of exercises twice a week that I considered my strength training. After reading this book I realized that about half of the exercises I was doing were core-stability exercises and the others were strength-training exercises. Pfitzinger recommends doing a routine of core-stability exercises three times a week and a routine of strength-training exercises twice a week. I used the book and the exercises I was already doing to put together a core routine and a strength routine that I will be doing the recommended times per week.


I have done the core workout once and the strength workout once now (each just takes 20-30 minutes) and I really think that these exercises, along with the stretching/flexibility routine are really going to help my overall fitness and strength and help prevent injury, and I am excited about it.


The chapter on nutrition and hydration was great, and I loved all the info and science about training and racing marathons in the other chapters. This book just really excited me about training hard getting faster, and taking care of myself and doing things so that I can be a healthy and strong person, runner, and athlete. (And yeah, it still makes me smile to think of myself as an athlete).


I also have set some goals for myself for Goofy and Boston (I will share in a future post since I am ready for bed now!). Goals are subject to change as training goes on, but I am feeling good and excited for what the future holds.


I have a training plan for my running. I have a plan for my overall health and fitness. I am going to follow my plan, listen to my body, adjust as needed, pray for guidance and protection,  and give it all I have.

Watch out world. I am a girl with a plan. :)


(I bought "Advanced Marathoning" with my own money. I wasn't asked to review it and I am not giving it away. I wrote about it because I really like it).

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Runners are cool

I have been really trying to think a lot about the NYC Marathon and the entire awesome experience that it was. I tend to be SO crazy busy right up until I leave for a race, and then the minute I get home I am back to mom, housekeeper, adoption coordinator (and usually a bit overwhelmed playing catch up on all fronts). This was a special trip and wonderful experience and I don't want to lose any of the memories.

As I was thinking about race day again this morning, I was remembering the walk from the corrals and then standing on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge right before the race started. I was chatting with some of the people around me, two in particular. One guy was a young college kid from the Bronx who seemed to be in super shape. He said he had run the NYC Marathon as a bandit twice, and this was his first year running it "legal". He worried about going out too fast but was quite cocky and funny. Another guy was an older gentleman (I am guessing late 50's) from the midwest who had a shaved head and was covered in tattoo's. This was his first NYC marathon (but he had run lots of others) and he was getting a tattoo for it as soon as he was done. He was a really cool guy and very fun to talk to. And then there was me... a 34 year old mom of 12 from Wyoming, running my sixth marathon and my first NYC Marathon.

A few other people around us popped in and out of the conversation, but the three of us hung together and talked for a good half hour or so. They made me laugh a lot and really helped me from getting too anxious as we got ready to go.

Then after I finished I was leaving Central Park and walking towards where I was supposed to meet Josh, and I heard someone yell, "Hey Wyoming! Great job!" and it was the college kid from the Bronx. He was wearing his race blanket like a super hero cape and was all smiles. It was fun to see him for that passing moment and I smiled that he recognized me in the crazy herd of runners.

Remembering these things got me to thinking that there aren't too many situations in life in which a college kid from the Bronx, a 50-something guy from the midwest covered in tattoo's, and a mom of 12 from Wyoming would end up hanging out together. But lined up there on that bridge at the start of the NYC Marathon we had an instant kinship as runners, and conversation, laughs, support, and encouragement flowed freely.

Along with my two buddies from the bridge, I made a friend from Wales on the bus to the start, an Italian runner with very little English offered me a Power Bar in the runner's village and butchered trying to say "Erin", a German coach talked to me about my race, and I gave and received lots of encouragement and congratulations to and from countless other runners. I got to hang out with a friend I met through my blog for the second time in person. I met several other bloggers. I got to meet Meb Keflezighi (and hold his Olympic medal!), Ryan Hall, and Bart Yasso. And then of course there are all of the amazing friends and all of the support and friendship I get from the online running community. All of the "good luck's" and "congrats" had me smiling all weekend. Awesome.

Yup, the running community rocks. Runners are cool.


Saturday, November 12, 2011

My hair

This post has been floating around in my head for a couple of weeks now. I am writing it more for myself than anything.

I got my hair cut.  Pretty dang short. I realize that for a lot of people a haircut is not really a big deal, but for me, this haircut symbolizes a lot.

I have always, always, always, had long hair.  For as long as I can remember, everyone always told me how beautiful my hair was. I always thought of it as my best feature, and then as my weight went up and my self-esteem went down, I thought of it as my only pretty physical feature. Even more so, I got to the point where I felt like my long hair defined me, and that I wouldn't be "Erin" if I didn't have long hair.

Every once and a while I would cut it a little shorter than usual, but I always grew it right back. I spent more time than I should blowing drying it, brushing it, and worrying about it. I often saw people with short hair and was envious... wished I had the "guts" to get my hair cut, or the courage to believe I could pull it off. I would often say that I couldn't have short hair because I had a fat face and it wouldn't look good.

The last few months I started toying with the idea of cutting my hair... not just a little shorter, but A LOT short. I saw a picture of a pixie cut and wanted it. I worried I couldn't pull it off. I worried I wouldn't be pretty without my long hair.

But as I have become a runner, more has changed than just my physical appearance. As I lost 75lbs, ditched a whole lot of fat and grew some muscles, I found strength that I didn't know I had, physically and emotionally. I also managed to build myself some self esteem.  The voices in my head that said I wouldn't be pretty with short hair or couldn't pull it off were quieted, and I felt excited about going for a big change. And I figured it was only hair... if I didn't like it, it would grow back. All of a sudden, having long hair didn't define me, and my long hair didn't feel like my only pretty feature.

Right away, I liked my hair cut short and I LIKED that I liked it. It's different. It's fun! The "old me" would have needed the people around me to tell me that they liked it before I made a decision. I would have been nervous to see people for the first time and would have worried what they thought. I would have felt insecure.

I look in the mirror and I see that not only am I still me with short hair, but that I am a newer, better version of me. I am stronger. I am healthier. I am happier. I am more confident. I don't need long hair to feel pretty, or other people's approval to feel confident. And my face isn't fat anymore. Somehow a haircut seemed to represent to me all the positive changes that I have made in the last two years. Going to NY and seeing family and friends for the first time with my short hair reinforced how much I like my hair cut and how good I feel, inside and out.

I know it is just a haircut and not that big of a deal in the grand scheme of life, but it has been a fun change that has shown me once again how very much running has had such a positive impact in my life.


Decisions, decisions

I think I am finally all caught up on life, sleep, work, etc. It has been a crazy week since we got home but our trip to New York was well, well worth it!

Josh is out of town this weekend as he and his friend that he coaches with used our 15 passenger van to drive a bunch of kids (including our 13 year old, Ryan) to the Nike Cross Country Invitational meet in Boise, Idaho. A couple of my kids have little colds, so the rest of us are all just hanging out in comfy clothes and having a restful weekend. Right now we are all laying down in the front room watching "Princess and the Frog".

It took a couple of days, but I finally shook that "hit by a train" feeling. Long hours of travel, a tough race, walking all over NY city, and all the work involved in getting ready to go out of town and catching up once I get home, had me at a new level of tired. I am still feeling a little more tired than usual, but my body feels pretty dang good though now and I have been running every day, nice and easy.

As I have been resting and recovering as much as possible, I also have been researching, reading, and planning.  Here are some things I have been working on -

- A coach? I have been thinking about getting a running coach. I feel like I have a lot of progress I can still make in my running and I'd like to reach my full potential, whatever that is. (I know I am never going to be an elite runner or anything like that, yet I do enjoy being competitive and want to be as fast as I can). I love running, I love racing, and I want to push myself and be my best. Do I need a coach to do that? Would a coach help me?

I don't feel that I need a coach to hold me accountable or motivate me, as I am pretty dang motivated and expect more out of myself than anyone else will.  But I do think that a coach could help me make a training plan, adjust it as needed, and make the most out of my miles and training.  I would like having someone to ask questions to and get advice and guidance from, especially someone with lots of marathon experience.

On the flip side, I think I have done a good job so far educating myself and training myself... pushing myself, pulling back when necessary, listening to my body, adjusting training plans to fit my needs, building my mileage, increasing my speed, etc.

And then of course there is the issue of cost. Being honest, we don't have much extra money. At all. And it's hard justifying spending money on myself that isn't necessary. 

So could a coach help me? Significantly? Can I reach my full potential on my own? Is the benefit worth the expense? Hmmmm... any thoughts? I'd love some input!

- I have been reading "Advanced Marathoning" by Pete Pfitzinger and Scott Douglas and I am thoroughly enjoying it. I love all the science behind the training. I have read lots of books on running and training and this is at the top of my list. Right now if I don't use a coach, I do think I will go with one of the Pfitz training plans for Boston.

- Races! I am also trying to come up with a "race plan" for next year. I have had several people tell me now that if I want to run my fastest and be as competitive as I can in the marathon that I need to run fewer marathons. I do have a pretty good schedule so far I think. As of now for 2012 I have planned -
January - Goofy Challenge in Disney World
April - BOSTON MARATHON!!
May - local 5K
June - Ragnar Wasatch Back as part of an ultra team (will run about 30 miles in 3 runs in 24 hours)
July - Star Valley Half Marathon, another local 5K
September - Top of Utah Marathon (leaning towards this one over Pocatello right now)
November - NYC again? It was an amazing experience, my family is there, I'd love to run it again, Josh would love to go again, and I would love to stay connected and involved with Team MEB and run for them again. If not NYC I would love another race in November/December that involves a weekend away together for Josh and I.

That would be four marathons in the year and some shorter races, which sounds pretty good to me.

That's all for now! Hope you all are enjoying your Saturday.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

More NY recap and pics

We got home at 3:15am yesterday morning after many hours of travel. I got a whopping 2 1/2 hours of sleep and then was up with the kids at 6am. It was great to see them and to be home but I felt like a zombie most of the day yesterday. I got a great night's sleep last night though and had a nice, easy six mile run this morning and I am feeling more and more like myself. :)

Here is the rest of the recap of our NY trip and pictures! If you missed the first part of our trip (expo, Team MEB lunch and other adventures in NY) you can find it here, and if you missed the race recap you can find that post here.

Ok, so after finding Josh, my parents, my brother Mark and his girlfriend Mel, and my friends Kelly and Chris, we walked back to our hotel. It took two hours from the time I crossed the finish line until we got back to the hotel (and most of that was spent walking). When we got back to the room, Josh and my Dad went and got what I wanted most to eat... a huge cheese pizza and a real Dr. Pepper!  I almost never drink soda now, and I had been avoiding dairy for months since it upsets my stomach but I was not going to miss out on NY pizza. I forgot how huge the slices were, and one slice and one garlic knot was all I needed to be FULL, but it was delicious.

I rested some, talked with everyone about the race and about their morning spectating (they were the BEST support team!) and then I got showered and we all left to go to the Rangers game. My family and I are huge NY Rangers fans and I can't even tell you how many hockey games we went to at Madison Square Garden when I was a teen. I hadn't been to a game in a LONG time, and it was tons of fun. And yes, I wore my medal!!

After the game I had to say good-bye to my parents and Mark and Mel which is always hard. They were heading back out to Long Island and Josh and I were staying another night in the city. We got back to our room and SLEPT.

On "Marathon Monday" Josh and I got up and decided to head to Central Park to get my medal engraved and then to see what else was there. I felt good enough to go for a short run, so we put on running clothes and ran to Central Park. It was only 1.7 miles from our hotel to the finish line area (since we didn't have to go the long way and all the roads were open). We waited in line for about half an hour and had my name and time engraved on my medal (very cool!) and then walked through the store they had set up. There was a hoodie I really wanted but they only had large and x-large sizes left even though it was still quite early. I was bummed, but when we got home I got online and ordered a small. Yay!

They still had the finish line set up, so I took a picture under the finish line. It was really cool to run that final stretch of the marathon into the finish line area with Josh. He said he had a whole new appreciation for how hilly it was after running it!

We ran back towards the hotel and picked up some fruit and bagels. We had breakfast, showered, checked out of our hotel room and went and met a friend for lunch. K. was my best friend all through elementary school and junior high and I hadn't seen her in years and years. She lives and works in NYC and it was really great to see her and catch up with her.

From there we had a few hours until we had to leave for the airport, so we did some walking! We walked past the NYC Library where I had gotten on the marathon bus on Sunday morning, and then walked around Bryant Park and watched the ice skaters and looked in the little shops. I had the best cookie I have ever had at Max Brenner's little shop. The OMG Chocolate Chip Cookie lived up to it's name, and Josh about cried over the thick Italian hot chocolate. :)

We walked up 5th Avenue and looked at all the shops getting ready for Christmas, and couldn't pass up going into FAO Schwarz. Yes, we ended up in a toy store even when we were kid free. We played and looked at toys and posed with some awesome giant Lego statues.

Before we knew it, it was time to walk back to the hotel and get our bags and get on the subway to head to JFK airport. We made it uneventfully, and soon were sitting in our plane, which was  a DINOSAUR. Seriously, everything was broken on this plane, and there were ASHTRAYS.  How long has it been since people were allowed to SMOKE on an airplane?? Yeah... this plane was old. But luckily we made it home safe and sound. We landed just before midnight and then poor Josh had to drive the three hours home. It was a LONG day, but it was well worth it.

The entire trip was amazing. Having Josh all to myself for so much time was truly a treasure and a blessing. This was the first time we have gone anywhere alone for more than a few hours in years and years and years. As we walked around NY and I looked at how very, very many people there are, I was awed and grateful that we found each other 16 years ago.  He is my best friend and my true love and this trip with him was perfect (and much needed).

It was also such a blessing to have time with my parents (although it always seems too short), and to get to see Mark, Mel, Kelly, Chris, Amanda, Kathleen, Janet, Don and others. Meeting Barty Yasso and Meb, and having lunch at the NYC Athletic Club were very special experiences too.

There were quite a few people I had wanted to see while in NY that I didn't get to (next time T!!), including my friend Tal who was in the crowds along the course just to see me and even made a sign. I felt so bad I didn't see her!!

I have had a few people ask me if I am disappointed with my race time in NY. I am not. Of course I would have loved to set a new PR and my goal is to run a marathon in under 3:20, but I have no regrets with how I ran in NY. I truly gave it my all even though it was tough, and I know I did the best I could on that day in those conditions. And it's hard to be disappointed with a finish that puts you in the top 5% of women in a race that big. Nope, I am not disappointed. It was an awesome race, an incredible experience and a wonderful trip. I am so grateful for all of it. And would I run NY again? In a heartbeat. I would love to stay involved with Team MEB and run for them again.

I am especially grateful for Josh's mom and sister, who came and watched the kids so Josh and I could go. We came home to happy kids, a clean house, and a Gramma who may have been completely exhausted and slightly stressed out, but was still smiling.

Pictures!
Race morning! almost ready to go.

Buses lined up in front of the NY Library. They went on forever!
Pam ready to cheer!
Pizza!!!
Josh and I at the Ranger game
My cute parents!

Mark (my brother), Mel (his girlfriend), me and Josh. My brother bought me a Rangers shirt to wear. :)
At the finish line on Monday morning
My friend Kathleen and I. Our friendship started in first grade!
Josh and I in Bryant Park in NYC. I love this pic of us!
Jack Sparrow made out of Legos. So cool!
Josh and Indiana Jones out of Legos



If you want to see all of my professional race pics (there are lots!) you can click on this link here. There are a couple that are really good and I really like, although they are so expensive I doubt I will order any.  It is fun to look at them though. I think that sums it all up.

More soon!

Monday, November 7, 2011

NYC race recap

Josh and I are on the plane on our way home. It definitely was a whirlwind trip! I don't have the pictures uploaded yet, but since I know I won't have much time to blog once we are home, I want to get my recap done while it is all fresh in my memory and while I am stuck in a seat for five hours anyway. :) I will get the rest of the trip pics up as soon as I can.

Recap!

- On race morning I got up at 4am and showered and got ready to go. Josh and I left the hotel room by 5:25am and after walking just a block or so we got a cab to the NY Public Library, where I had to get on a marathon bus to Staten Island. We had a really fun cab driver who was very excited I was running the marathon and even put the weather on the radio to show me what a nice day it was going to be. I was feeling excited and happy but pretty calm overall. I knew I still had hours before I was going to be running.

The line of buses going up Fifth Avenue was amazing. I couldn't believe how many buses there were! There was a line of runners waiting to get on the buses but things moved along like clockwork. There were TONS of volunteers and they were all super cheerful, excited and encouraging. They were awesome and it really helped build an incredible atmosphere.

- I got on the bus and ended up sitting next to a super nice guy from Wales. He was in the 45-49 age group and has a 3:07 PR. It was his first time in NY and he was really great to talk with. The bus got to Staten Island as the sun was starting to come up, and it was a five minute or so walk from where we got dropped off to the start villages.

- At the start villages I had to split ways with my friend from Wales because he was an orange bib and I was a blue bib. It was pretty chilly but I was bundled up. I did like lots of people were doing and found some grass in a little bit of sun and sat on an old race mylar blanket I had brought and just tried to relax. Sitting there, it was really cool to just listen to all the people around me. There were SO many different languages being spoken!

- The starting villages had plenty of portapotties, food, drink, etc. I drank a bottle of my Hammer Perpetuem and that is all I had pre-race (Perpetuem is made to be fuel for long distance events) and this worked out GREAT for me and my sensitive stomach. I wasn't hungry at the start and was fueled, but didn't have any solid food in me to upset my belly. I was really impressed with how well organized the starting area villages were, as was everything else race morning. NY does an incredible job.

- At about 8am, I checked my gear bag at the UPS trucks and started walking over to the corrals. I found my corral and got in easily (where again, there were plenty of portapotties). We waited in the corrals for half an hour or so and then we started walking. It finally felt like we were getting close to running!! I shed one of my throw away hoodies and my throw-away sweat pants, and held on to the gloves, one hoodie and the mylar blanket while we walked. Right before the start I spotted Keri from the Blue-Eyed Runner and her Dad, and said hi, and it was cool to see a familiar face.

- The atmosphere was crazy fun. I talked with the other runners around me and everyone was excited and fun. Runners are just cool. We worked our away until we were standing on the Verrazano Bridge. We were back a bit from the start, but close enough that we could hear well the introduction of the elite men, the national anthem and the announcements. To our left was a long line of buses that had spectators on top and they were all cheering and yelling fun things which added to the excitement. I got rid of my hoodie and the mylar blanket and after the countdown we heard Frank Sinatra singing New York, New York. It was awesome. We started inching forward and then we crossed the start line and were running up the bridge!

- I wore a cool back bib from Races 2 Remember that said "Mom of 12" and had a pic of the kids, and that got lots of comments. :)

- IT WAS CROWDED. It was really, REALLY crowded. I expected it for the first couple of miles, but it just never let up. The crowds slowed me down more than I wanted the first two miles, but I tried to just focus on the beautiful view, relaxing, and enjoying the race and not getting frustrated/tense.

- At mile three I saw Josh! He had managed to take a train to Brooklyn and was on the lookout for me. I wasn't expecting to see them that early and I missed my Dad and Pam, but I saw Josh and that was really cool. I saw him again (and my Dad, Pam, Mark and Mel) after the 59th street bridge and then again shortly before the finish line. They were awesome spectators!!

- The crowds were insane. SO MANY PEOPLE, so much energy and so much noise. There was so much to look at and listen to. It was crazy cool and fun, and at times it was almost overwhelming. Spectators, bands, signs, cheers, other runners, course signs, etc. etc. etc. I can't imagine another race having this amount of spectators, music, fans, volunteers, etc.

- I was warm right away. The temps were GREAT (low to mid 50's), but the sun was out and on us most of the time. My gloves and arm warmers came off right away, and I dumped water down my back several times to cool down. I knew I wasn't "hot" because the temps weren't high at all, but the sun was strong and I am used to much, much cooler temps when I run. There was a lot of wind on the bridges and on certain streets but not for the whole race and I guess it wasn't nearly as windy as it can be.

-I was told a lot of times by a lot people before this weekend that NYC Marathon is a tough course, and is not a fast course. These are very very true statements. I was prepared for the hills. I was sort of prepared for the crowded course (47,000+ runners!). What I wasn't prepared for what how mentally challenging this race was for me.

There was not a single time in this race where I was able to get in a groove and just run. I was constantly focusing on the ground in front of me to watch my step to avoid garbage, cracks and potholes (and I did have a slight ankle twist around mile 18 thanks to a small pothole, but after a quarter mile or so it felt fine). I was constantly focused on the runners in front of me and finding the right path to get around slower runners without too much zig-zagging. Every time we went up a bridge or hill, the "pack" would slow, and it was almost impossible to maintain a faster pace and get through the crowds. Every corner was a bottle-neck and slowed me down a lot because of the crowding. And every water station slowed me way down, even when I wasn't getting anything. The course narrowed a lot and it wasn't possible to just run through the middle unaffected, and the course was littered with so many cups and spilled drinks that you really had to watch your step.  And on top of that, I was trying to scan the crowds and keep me eyes out for Josh, Dad, Pam, Mark and Mel, as well as my friends Kelly, Chris and Tal. There was so very many faces and signs though, and when you didn't know exactly where to look for someone it was really hard.

Mentally it would have been really nice not to have to always be focusing on the ground, my path through/around other runners and the crowds.

- I had to make two portapotty stops, and lost about 4 minutes and change. The good news is that I didn't stop at all until after mile 12!! That is by far the furthest I have made it in a full marathon and my stomach felt really good. I could have/should have waited and not stopped at mile 12 and if I had waited another mile or two I am confident I wouldn't have had to stop again at mile 17 and would have saved 2+ minutes, but it was hard to know when you would get to portapotties again.

- I fueled as usual with my Hammer gels every five miles, drinking Perpetuem, and grabbing sips of water at some of the aid stations. It worked very well and I was not sick at all and did not hit the wall.

-By mile 17 (after the second pit stop), I knew I wasn't going to hit my goal of 3:20 and knew I probably wasn't going to PR. Nothing was hurting, but I was just TIRED. My brain was tired, my body was tired...it wasn't the dreaded wall because I was able to keep running at a good pace and I didn't start out too fast, it was just hard.  I told myself to keep pushing but I stopped checking my Garmin often and went into survival mode. I still smiled and enjoyed the race. I kept telling myself, "You are running the NYC Marathon!" But it was TOUGH.!

- This was the first race I have ever run when I had real thoughts about stopping and walking. I never did, but man did my brain try to talk me into it! In fact at one point two women were walking at my left and a man stopped without any warning right in front of me causing me to stop short. In that split second I had to decide to give in and also walk, or to take off around him. I took off around him.

- I actually ran almost exactly even splits. My half time was 1:44:12 (and I lost just over a minute in the portapotty quick stop at 12 1/2 or so). Even splits with that half time would be a 3:28:24 marathon, and since I lost just about three minutes in the second half at  the portapotty stop and finished in 3:32:40, I ran a very even paced race.

- I have never, ever been so happy to see a finish line in my whole life. I saw Josh, my parents, my brother, Mel, Kelly and Chris just about a mile before the finish line and that was great. Those last two miles were killer... knowing you were so close yet still having to grunt out two miles up and down the hills of Central Park was really tough. I crossed the finish line with big smiles, but instantly felt BAD.

- I have never felt bad at the end of a marathon before. And I couldn't even really tell you what felt bad. My whole body just felt awful. I didn't have any specific cramps or pains, I think I was just completely out of energy. I was spent. I was done. I was on empty.

AND, I had to keep walking. At the end of the NY Marathon they have you walk (and walk, and walk). You get your medal, then keep walking. You get your picture taken, then keep walking. You get a bag with food and drink, then keep walking. You get a mylar blanket, and then you keep walking. And walking. And walking. And then you finally get to the UPS trucks and get your checked bag, and then you keep walking. It was really rotten and was the one part of the race I was not impressed with.

I understand that you can't have 47,000+ runners all stopping in the same place, but we were in Central Park! Surely they could have found a piece of grass that runners could use to sit, get a drink, stretch a little, etc. before they were forced to walk and walk and walk. People were collapsing, throwing up, cramping up, etc. and it was really icky that we just kept getting prodded along like cattle. I wasn't cramping or barfing, but I was shivering like crazy (even with my blanket). All I wanted to do was stop and put on my fleece but at that point I was carrying two bags, still didn't feel very well and was trapped in a see of runners with people everywhere telling us to "just keep moving".  I did get the Gatorade recovery drink open and was sipping that slowly. It didn't taste very good but I knew it was good for me.

- I got out of the park and turned on Columbus and started heading towards where Josh and my Dad had told me to find them. Josh  had walked ahead and got to me just a few blocks from the park. It was SO good to see him and hand him all my stuff to carry. We got to everyone else and after lots of hugs. I sat down on the mylar blanket, got my fleece on, ate some salty pretzels, finished the Gatorade, stretched, and started to feel much better. We chatted there for a little bit and then started walking back to the hotel. It was a long walk but I felt pretty good. We finally got back to the hotel 2 hours after I crossed the finish line (and all but 15 minutes or so of that was spent walking!)

 -I went in to this race healthy, strong, injury free, well tapered, rested, and ready to race. I have no excuses for not making my time goal of a 3:20 marathon...it just wasn't happening for me in NYC. I did have a German running coach talking with me in the hotel. He asked my time and when I told him I ran a 3:32 he thought for a minute and then said, "You know a 3:32 in this race would be like running a 3:20 on a flat course that wasn't so crowded." I hadn't told him my goal time so that made me feel pretty good.

- I gave this race all that I had on Sunday, and for that I am proud. This was definitely the hardest race for me that I have had, and I feel the most beat up I ever have after a race. I don't have any true aches or pains but my whole body sort of just feels like it was hit by a train today.

- The ING NYC Marathon experience is amazing. Over the top. One of a kind. Crazy cool. Awesome. Incredible. Huge. I loved it!!!

I will have one more post soon with a recap of the rest of our trip (hockey game,  run in Central Park, lunch with friend, trip home, etc.)  For now I cannot wait to get home and be with the kids. It was so good to have the time with Josh and to see my family and we had a truly great time, and yet it is very hard for me being away from home and the kids.

i want to say THANK You to everyone who sent messages, comments, Tweets, etc. with words of encouragement, good luck wishes, congrats, etc. They all meant a very great deal to me. Thank you!!!!

Here are my stats one more time. :)

Official time - 3:32:40

Overall - 6047 out of 47,438 starters - Top 12%

Gender placing  - 921 out of 17,272 - Top 5% of all women finishers!!

Age group place (30-34 Female) - 208 out of 3068 - Top 6%

More soon!

NYC Stats

I am working on a full recap, but here are my NYC marathon stats -

Official time - 3:32:40

Overall - 6047 out of 47,438 starters - Top 12%
Gender placing  - 921 out of 17,272 - Top 5% of all women finishers!!
Age group place (30-34 Female) - 208 out of 3068 - Top 6%

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Yay NYC!

Quickly so I can go to bed and get some much needed sleep... ;)

I finished in 3:32:40 (another BQ time by over 12 minutes). It was my toughest race to date and I gave it all that I had today, so I am happy and proud. It was an incredible experience.

My family and friends are the greatest.

The Rangers game was SUPER fun.

Full recap coming during the flight home tomorrow night. Tomorrow I am enjoying Marathon Monday and a day in the city with my Josh.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

NY so far!

Wow. So far New York has been amazing. Overwhelmingly amazing. As I sit here and think about writing it all down, I am realizing just how amazing it all has been.

- We landed safely (even EARLY) at JFK on Thursday night, and were picked up by my parents. Yay!!! It is always such a treat to get to see them and it is hard to live so far away.

- We got up in the morning and Pam had to go to work. My Dad took Josh and I to breakfast and then after running a few errands we were on our way in to the city to go to the ING NYC Marathon expo. We got to the expo just before 1pm and there were lots of people but no lines and everything was very well organized. I got my bib, goodie bag and shirt, and then we walked around and saw everything there was to see at the expo. It's a HUGE expo and was really fun. I told my Dad it is like "runner Disneyland". It was nice to be there when it wasn't the day before race day because I didn't have to worry about being on my feet and doing lots of walking.

- We met Ryan Hall and got pics, watched the cool NYC Marathon movie, collected lots of samples and handouts and had a great time. 
Hands down, the highlight of the expo for me was meeting Bart Yasso. I have read a ton of books. I know the stories of many runners. I admire and am inspired by lots of athletes. But for some reason, Bart Yasso is my favorite of them all and is my running hero. Maybe it's because he didn't run in school and came to it later in life like I did, maybe it's because he comes across so humble and personable. Maybe it's because he has overcome so much and accomplished and experienced so very much. Whatever the reason, I love Bart. And meeting him just reinforced that. He knew who I was instantly, even though he meets countless runners and fans, and he spent a good 10 minutes talking with me. On top of that, he gave me the best compliment of my whole life when he said that I had a runner's body and looked like I was built to run fast. Maybe he says that to all the girls, but he sounded genuine, and I am going to believe it. :) For this girl, who three years ago weighed over 205lbs and couldn't run half a block, to have Bart Yasso telling me that I had a runner's body was a super awesome moment.

- My Dad bought me an awesome NYC Marathon black fleece hoodie. He has been buying me hoodies my whole life because they are my favorite and he is the best Dad. This will be a favorite favorite hoodie.

- We got back out to Long Island to my parents' house and had  a fun night of take out and visiting with family and friends. Pam brought home a huge platter of sushi and they got a plate of take out spaghetti and the best roll I have ever had from a local Italian place just for me. Oh, and I beat everyone at Scrabble. Oh yeah I did.

- This morning we got up and Josh and I went on a quick three mile run together, and then we got cleaned up, dressed up, and packed up and headed back into the city. Pam had a church function she had to go to so again it was just my Dad, Josh and I. We checked into our hotel and then went to the NY Athletic Club for the Team MEB luncheon. It was a very nice, small event. Meb's wife, parents, brother and one of his daughter's were all there, as well as all of the runners. It was great fun to meet and chat with everyone. Harrie Bakst, from Carnegie Sports and Entertainment (whose story is told in the "A Race Like No Other" book if you have read it) was there as his firm represents Team MEB and he was great to visit with. Josh really enjoyed talking with Harrie. We watched a short movie, listened to Meb speak, had a nice lunch, and then visited and took pics. Meb had his Olympic Silver Medal as well as his medal from winning the NYC Marathon in 2009 and they were both BEAUTIFUL. We all got to wear them which was very cool.

Meb is a wonderful guy and I was so impressed with him, his family and his foundation. You can still make a donation to my Team MEB fundraising for the NYC Marathon tomorrow and help kids in need have access to health, education and fitness. Click here to donate. :)

- Originally we were going to go from the luncheon to the expo to meet Molly and Amanda, however I was getting tired and Josh and my Dad made the decision that the smart thing to do would be to avoid the expo and go back to our hotel room for me to rest and relax. I was bummed about not getting to see the girls, but Amanda has stayed at our hotel the night before and came over to visit me. Yay! It was really nice to see her again (and it's her birthday today!)

- Pam got here and now we are getting ready to go to dinner at a fabulous Italian restaurant Pam has arranged, and then it will be back to the hotel to rest and relax for race day!! I CAN NOT WAIT!!!

Pictures!
YAY! My NYC Bib!

Ryan Hall!
Yup, I love Bart.
Chatting with Bart
Mmmmmm pretzel
With Meb Keflezighi (I am wearing his NYC Marathon winner's medal)
It's blurry, but Josh, Meb and I
In our hotel room
More soon!!!

Lucy!

Today is my sweet Belane's eighth birthday and it is also Lucy Activewear's birthday!!

I wanted to post this earlier but just got to internet access. Today is their one-day special event, where EVERYTHING is 25% off. They have a huge line of activewear for all sorts of female athletes. Check out their website here and stay tuned for some upcoming product reviews and giveaways. :




Thursday, November 3, 2011

On our way

Josh and I are on our way to NY! I am typing this from my seat, 29B, on my Delta flight to JFK. Woo hoo!!!

It has been a wild couple of days getting everything ready to get out the door. I tell you... getting ready to travel cross country for a big race AND getting ready to leave 12 kids at home is a marathon of it's own. But I got the house clean, got everything as organized and prepared as I possibly could, got myself packed, and the kids are in the very capable and loving hands of their Gramma (and Auntie Shanon will be there soon too). There was a lot of training for Gramma (and I left a complete hand-written manual and how to photos) on how to take care of Noah, and I felt really good when we left. I think they are all going to do great. I miss them all already but am so excited for the next few days and to have this time with Josh. (Today is Josh's 37th birthday too!!)

Whew.

Thanks for all the good wishes, comments, and advise on my last post. I am feeling ok. I am still sniffly and the throat is a little scratchy but so far it hasn't gotten any worse and I am hoping that in the next 24-48 hours this cold will be history. I have been getting good sleep at night and eating well and staying well hydrated, so I am doing all that I can. And now that we are on our way, I will be resting as much as possible and don't have much else to worry about.

Something I haven't gotten to mention yet... I was chosen to be a Social Media Reporter for the ING NYC Marathon, so I will be blogging, Facebooking, and Tweeting a little more than usual over race weekend. I am @SeeMomRunFar on Twitter and Erin R Henderson on Facebook if you want to follow my feeds. So much fun!

Also, if you'd like to track me as a runner on race day, my bib number is 11533. Add those numbers together and you get 13, which is my favorite and super lucky number. Josh and I were married on the 13th (of July), our first apartment was 13C, and it has been a constant in our lives since then. Yay for 13!

Tomorrow we are going in to the city to the race expo and I can't wait to see all there is to see, to meet Bart Yasso, and to soak it all in. Then we are having a small get together at my parents' house that night, and on Saturday we will be back into the city for the Team MEB luncheon at the NYC Athletic Club, then checking into our hotel and having dinner and a relaxing night before race day on Sunday!

I will keep you posted. More soon! Watch out Big Apple... here we come! :)

Winner!!!

I always want to say "Winner winner chicken dinner!" but I don't really know what that means or where the saying comes from so I am just going to say "Winner!" :)

The winner of my Sof Sole giveaway is

ELLE from Eat, Run, Sail!!!

Congrats Elle and thanks to Sof Sole for the giveaway and to everyone who entered. Elle, send me an email at full house mom at g mail dot com and I will send you the info on how to get your prize package from Sof Sole. :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

New plan

Yesterday I woke up with a stuffy/runny nose and just a slight scratch to my throat. Today it's definitely a head cold.

Yesterday was Halloween, which required much to do on my part, including walking around in the chilly weather with little kids for an extended period of time. (When it got really cold I took Noah and some of the younger kids home and Josh stayed out with the bigger kids).

Yesterday I ate candy. More than I probably should have.

Last night, after putting the kids to bed and getting started on the cleaning, packing, organizing that I have to accomplish before Thursday morning, I finally went to bed at 1:40am. I woke up this morning with four hours of sleep.

Yesterday was a total fail in "how to get ready for race day".

Today will be better.

Today I am staying home all day. And wearing sweats.

Today I am not eating any candy. (Not one piece of the 26 POUNDS that is sitting in a Hefty bag in the closet).

Today I am resting as much as possible.

Tonight I will go to bed nice and early.

This is the official start to  my "kick this cold to the curb and get rested up" plan.

Wish me luck!