Wednesday, October 12, 2011

One More Thing

One more thing to add.  The counters on the left have obviously not been updated.  And I really need to get a new picture of “The Fam” on the right side.  I’ll have to work on those two things in the near future. 

Heather

Thanks for Checking In

Marathon Training Week No. Who the Hell Knows Day Wednesday


Yeah, yeah, yeah...I know.  I want to start off by saying that I AM still training for the Marathon and have not quit.  Unfortunately, that is one of my negative traits...once I commit to something I need to follow it through (most of the time).  So I've been very religious in doing all of my long runs on the weekends and have been really good about getting my three days in during the week.  I did not, however, do the 9 and 10 mile runs midweek as my training plan stated.  It was not and will never be possible for me to fit in a run of that length during the week.  I work and have a family.  On those days I went as far as I could, which was usually 7 miles.  All-in-all I think I did really well with my training.  There are a few things I would have done differently, but for the most part I'm pretty happy with myself.  I even surprised myself quite a few times at what I was able to do.  Even when I ran my 20 miler and wanted to just stop between 18 and 19 miles, I kept going.  Yes, I called myself a lot of names and used a couple of adjectives that only come out of my mouth when someone really, really pisses me off (you know the words, one starts with a C and the other starts with a P, just in case you're not following).  But I kept going and that's the point.  I did not quit.


So the marathon is this Sunday, October 16.  I got my bib number on Monday, so it's official.  I have one more run tomorrow and then that's it before the big day.  It's a little 2 miler on tap for tomorrow.  That means I get to sleep in a little bit and I don't have to get up at 4:30 a.m.  I'm probably more excited about that than anything else right now.  I'm still not entirely sure when we're heading down to the Expo.  It will be either Friday evening or Saturday afternoon.  Maybe Saturday late afternoon would be better and then we could go out for a nice pasta dinner afterwards.  We'll see. 


I've noticed that I've been doing a lot of reflecting this past week.  I've read that some people go through a sort of depression after they run a marathon and I can totally see how that happens.  I've been thinking of all these months of training and how supportive Mr. Jeep has been.  He really is the best.  I don't know what I'd do without him.  LC is super excited about me running a marathon.  I don't know that she really truly grasps exactly how far that is, she just knows it's a really long way. 


My parents are going to go down to the marathon with LC and E so they can be at the finish line when I cross.  I know it's probably going to be a really emotional moment for me.  This is something I've been wanting to do for a long time and it's finally here.  It's so hard to believe.


So I guess that's enough sappy talk and ramblings.  I'm planning on taking lots of pictures at the Expo and before the race.  Mr. Jeep has been given strict instructions to take lots of pictures while I'm running and, of course, after I'm done (and crawling on the ground).  I can't wait to get this beauty, either:

Because let's be honest, isn't this why I'm really doing it?!



Heather



Monday, July 18, 2011

Back to Reality

**I actually created this post last week and never posted it.  It was a busy week.

Marathon Training Week 5 Day 2 or 3

I’m baaaack!!!  The Two Seconds family was on vacation for a lovely 13 days.  I didn’t get in all of my runs, but I was able to stick to my long run days.  I know how important it is to do those, so I made a special point to do them.  It was definitely nice to have a change of scenery on my runs.  The first part of our vacation we were in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, with an initial stop in Mackinaw City.  I had a 3 mile run scheduled for that morning and luckily the Gaylord to Mackinaw trail was right outside the hotel where we stayed.  I would definitely like to go back and bike that trail.  It was gorgeous.  Plus I saw two deer on my run.

We then headed to the UP (as we call the Upper Peninsula here in Michigan).  Let me start off by saying that the UP is Mr. Jeep and my absolute favorite place to go.  It is a totally different way of living up there.  There are no expressways, just two lane roads with an occasional passing lane.  The speed limit on these roads is also only 55 mph, which makes for a very restless lady.  Mr. Jeep and I try to stick to the speed limit, too, after getting a speeding ticket one time when we were up there.  Everything is laid back up there.  It’s great!

We were very excited to take LC up there because we always tell her stories about our travels there.  She had been counting down the days until we left.  Of course, we’ll have to go back in a few years, if not before, so that E can experience the beauty of the Porcupine Mountains (that’s where we went in the UP).  I have to also add that even though I didn’t complete all of my training days, we did do a lot of hiking.  And I mean a lot of hiking.  The hiking also involved carrying E in the Baby Bjorn because there was no way a stroller could go where we went.  (E earned the nickname Carlos, a la The Hangover, during the trip…I don’t think he appreciated it)  LC loved seeing all of the waterfalls.  She was super excited the day we let her actually walk out to the edge of the waterfall and touch the water.  Don’t worry, it was totally safe (or at least that’s what I told myself).

The most exciting part of the entire trip was the deer that visited our campsite every morning and every evening.  We adopted her while we were there and named her Caroline.  She was a very brave and bold deer.  I have a picture of Caroline on one side of a tree and LC on the other side of the tree.  LC could have reached out and touched the deer she was that close to it.  I’m assuming that several people have fed the deer and that’s why it wasn’t scared of us.  We also saw a black bear, which was very exciting.  Exciting because we were in the car at the time and it wasn’t at our campsite.

It was a great vacation and maybe I’ll post some pictures when I get a chance.

So, on to the training log.

I ran 9 miles on Monday.  It was scheduled for Sunday, but since we were traveling home on Sunday there was no running for me.  I decided I didn’t want to run my same boring route around my house and decided to go to a nearby park that has a pretty good trail system.  I didn’t actually map out how many miles long it was before I went and decided to rely on Big G to get me through it.  I figured the trail was at least 4.5 miles in one direction and therefore would get me my 9 that I needed.  Let’s just say that I underestimated a little bit.  When I hit the end of the trail I was only at 3.5 miles, so I had to scramble to figure out where I was going to make up the remaining 2. I ended up doing one of the loops twice and took the trail in the opposite direction to make up the rest.  Big G told me 9.00 as I got back to the car.  It was great to have a change of scenery and I ran next to a river most of the way.  I even saw a deer.  It was a great way to start the 4th of July.

Tuesday was a rest day and I ran 5 miles yesterday.  For some reason I developed a huge blister on my big toe after my run yesterday.  I’m not quite sure why, but I popped that thing as soon as I had the chance.  It was not in a good spot.  I almost had a deer/pedestrian collision, too.  Some of you may think, big deal she saw a deer.  It’s not normal to see a deer around my house.  The deer must have been grazing in someone’s front yard and I startled it.  It ran out in front of me on the sidewalk and then circled back.  It scared the crap out of me!   And then another one popped out of these people’s flower bed and ran with it.

This morning I ran 3.2 miles and I felt really good.

Keep on keeping on…

Heather

Monday, June 20, 2011

Looking Good

Marathon Training Week 2 Day 4

Ugh, what a weekend!  We leave for vacation Wednesday and Mr. Jeep and I spent the entire weekend trying to get all of our crap worldly possessions gear together.  Plus, you have to add in there that we celebrated Father’s Day Saturday evening at my parents’ house and then yesterday was Father’s Day.  It was BUSY and I am pooped.  Oh, and let’s not forget I had to run 7 miles yesterday.  I forgot that little thing.

My intention was to get up around 5:30 am yesterday to get my run out of the way.  I had hoped that by getting it out of the way early, I could be back home by the time the troops started waking up.  Then I would shower and go on a bagel run for Mr. Jeep for Father’s Day.  As all of my plans normally go, I did not get up at 5:30 am.  I think by the time I got ready, ate a Larabar, drank some water and got out of the house, it was about 6:15 am; so not too terribly bad.  The weather was absolutely perfect yesterday morning.  It was about 62° when I left the house with a slight breeze and the sun was shining.  As usual, the first 2.5 miles were hell.  I’m not sure what it is, but I always have a hard time with those first couple of miles.  I don’t know if my body is still waking up or getting adjusted to the activity at hand, but it’s a struggle.  The good thing is that once I’m past that point, I’m fine. 

The run was great and I have decided Sunday morning runs are even better than weekday morning runs.  The difference being that on Sunday mornings it’s light outside for my entire run and I get to feel the sun on my face.  Good ‘ol vitamin D!  There was hardly any traffic out and I passed a total of four people and a dog the entire way.  Plus, because it’s light outside, I get to listen to my music.  During the week I run without music, mainly because it’s dark outside and I want to be able to hear if someone is coming up behind me.  Not that someone couldn’t still come up behind me when it’s light out, but it’s still different.  And my iPod is at a comfortable volume where I can still hear things around me.

I felt really good when I got back home.  In fact, I could have kept running and not stopped at 7 miles.  I figured I really need to stick to the training plan and not get over zealous.  My time was awesome, too.  Big G (that’s the name I’ve given my Garmin) told me I averaged a 10:08 pace.  I was thrilled and even gave a “Yahoo” when I checked in with Big G at the end.  I’ll be running a sub-10 before I know it.  I’m totally not expecting that my marathon time will be even close to that, but a girl can hope right? 

Today is a rest day (as much as a Momma to a 5 year old and a 9 month old can rest).  Tomorrow I have a 3 miler scheduled, which will probably be a 3.5 miler because that’s how I roll.

I’m going to steal an idea from a blog that I read, The Bitchy Runners(you should really check them out, they’re hilarious)  They post pictures of themselves before their runs in the morning and usually post-run pictures as well.  I just need to remember to take the pictures when I get up at the butt-crack of dawn.  I’ll try to remember tomorrow morning.

I’m really looking forward to running while on vacation.  It will be a different location, different scenery, the possibility of a bear sighting or some other wild animal…I can’t wait!  Mr. Jeep told me that I absolutely have to carry my pepper spray with me (the explanation for what made me start carrying the pepper spray is best left for another post).  I’m hoping that I won’t get that close to a bear to have to implement the pepper spray. 

Other big news over the weekend…Clarence Clemons passed away.  So sad and such a great musician.  The news had one of the local DJs on this morning giving his editorial of Clarence Clemons’ passing and it was very annoying, as expected.  The DJ was rambling that he feels that this is the end of the E Street Band and Bruce Springsteen will now be done performing.  Blah, blah, blah…we’ll see on that one!

Happy Monday and tomorrow is the first day of summer!  Yahoo!

Heather

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Check it out...two days in a row!

This post is combining two days into one (I wasn’t on the computer yesterday,*gasp*)

Marathon Training Week 2 Day 2

So there’s a pattern that has developed in the mornings for me and I don’t particularly care for it.  Here’s the low down…I run in the mornings.  It’s the only time of the day that works for me, it’s quiet, it’s my me time, and I just plain prefer to do it then.  My alarm goes off at 4:30 am (and yes, the birds haven’t started chirping yet).  I usually hit snooze once, especially since I’m at my low mileage training at this point.  Since I get up so early, every little bit of sleep counts in my book.  Here’s the problem, Clifford.  For the past two weeks he will come to the bedroom door and whine until I tell him it’s okay to get up on the bed.  And what time does he do this?  4:20 am!  So I’m getting robbed of 10 minutes of sleep every day because the damn dog wants to get in bed with us.  I’ve tried to ignore him, but he’ll just stand there and continue to whine.  I have to give him credit; at least he waits for the invitation.  He’s polite like that.  But come on dude!  Let momma sleep 10 more minutes and then you can do whatever the heck you want to do.  Maybe he’s trying to help me by making sure that I get up to run, that’s what I’d like to think.  It’s working if that’s the case, but really?  I have an alarm clock and it doesn’t have 4 legs and howls.

Yesterday as I was lacing up my running shoes at the back door, Marley came up behind me and was staring at me.  I could feel her eyes burning a hole in the back of my head.  I turned around and looked at her and she hooked me.  I had to take her running with me.  She used to go running with me all the time.  She was a great running partner and definitely forced me to run faster than what I would normally run.  She had knee surgery almost two years ago and I’ve been afraid to take her running any long distances.  Plus, she has a little bit of arthritis in her back hips.  Although, watching Marley you would never know any of this or think that she’s going to be 12 in a few weeks.  So I looked into those dark brown eyes and I couldn’t resist, I took her running.  I knew this would royally piss off Clifford, but oh well, he’ll get his shot.  We ran 3.52 miles and she did awesome.  I couldn’t help but wonder if she’d be able to walk later in the day, but I knew she was having a great time and so was I.  It was just like old times.  She tried going after several rabbits, but with a gentle tug on the leash she would get right back on track.  And, she made me take 10 seconds off my pace time, just like old times. 

The weather was about 52° when I left the house.  I wore my Flying Pig shirt and running skirt.  It was the perfect amount of clothing.  I was neither too hot nor too cold.  I need to find another running skirt, one where the shorts don’t ride up.  That’s about the only thing I don’t like with the one I have.  All-in-all, it was a great run…and then I walked in the back door. 

E was crying uncontrollably and Mr. Jeep was just coming out of the bathroom.  The little guy decided to wake up before 5:30 am yesterday.  He hasn’t been feeling good, so I kind of figured he would wake up early.  I didn’t get a chance to stretch or really drink much because I was trying to console him and feed him.  I make my sacrifices where I have to.

Marathon Training Week 2 Day 3

Again, woke up 10 minutes before the alarm went off, not because of the dog, but because I think my body is now trained to wake up at that time.  Another 3 miler was scheduled for today and this time I stuck pretty close to 3 miles.  I ran 3.2 and shaved off another 10 seconds.  My pace was 10:06 this morning.  I’m pretty proud of that number.  This morning when I left the house it was 64° and it felt pretty humid, so I wasn’t quite sure how I’d do.  But obviously, it didn’t bother me too much.  I ran alone this morning.  I really wanted to take Marley again, but Clifford was standing with her and I’m very hesitant about taking him with me in the mornings.  Unlike Marley, who sees a squirrel or rabbit and is silent and keeps running, Clifford will howl.  And by howl, I mean loud enough for people in the next county to hear him.  I really love running with him, too.  I told Mr. Jeep last night that I’m just going to have to deal with it and take him, but not today.  I wore the running skirt again and a short sleeved shirt.  I probably should have worn a tank top.  I was a big sweaty mess when I got home.  And today when I walked in the back door it was silent.  Everyone was still sleeping.  Just the way I like it!

I have cross training scheduled for Saturday and a 7 miler for Sunday.  We leave for vacation next Wednesday evening, so it’s going to be a busy weekend.

Happy Running All!
Heather

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Checking In...with the morning report

Marathon Training – Week 2 Day 1


I know, I know…it’s been like forever since I’ve had a post.  And I know, I know…I said that I was going to be regular in posting.  And I know, I know…I haven’t.  So here I am and I’m going to…oh screw it – I’ll post when I post dammit. 

My new adventure that I am currently preparing for is the Detroit Free Press Marathon to be held October 16th.  And yes, you read that right, the full marathon.  (I may have already posted that I signed up for the marathon, but I’m too lazy to log into the blog right now and read over my past posts).  I’m following Hal Higdon’s marathon training plan.  I’ll most likely tweak it here and there to accommodate my schedule.  Since I just ran the Flying Pig Half Marathon in May, I think this training plan is pretty doable.  I have all of my long runs scheduled for Sundays, with the option to do it on a Saturday if need be.  I’m still trying to figure out how I’m going to get in the 9 and 10 mile runs during the week later on in the training.  Hal’s advice is kind of a joke:  “on the weeks that you run 9 or 10 miles on Wednesday, think about either taking half day at work or taking the whole day off.”  Sure, my boss won’t have a problem with that one.  WTH?  I guess I’ll cross those bridges when I get there. 


(not a real picture of my boss - but this is what he'd look like telling me I couldn't take the day off to RUN)

Today I ran 3.52.  The plan said to run 3 miles, but for some reason I can’t run just 3 miles.  I know when I get to the tapering part of the plan I’ll love the fact that I only have to run 3 miles.  At that point it will probably feel like I’m sitting on the couch – well, maybe not exactly like sitting on the couch, but you know what I mean.  I didn’t get much sleep last night.  LC had her second day of dance recitals last night and we didn’t get home until after 10 pm and I don’t think I actually went to bed until 11:30 pm and who knows when I finally fell asleep.  My alarm went off at 4:30 am bright and early.  I was actually awake before the alarm went off because I was listening to E on the baby monitor.  He came home with a 102° fever yesterday and I’m pretty sure he may finally be getting some teeth.  So I don’t think he slept very well last night.  Anyway, hearing him was my queue to get the heck out of bed and out of the house before he woke up completely.  The weather was perfect.  It was 54° when I stepped out the door.  My mind was clear, legs felt good, the groin problem I’ve been dealing with for the past two days was gone and I was ready to go.  My time was a little slower than my 6 mile run on Sunday.  I ran at a 10:25 pace today compared to 10:21 on Sunday.  I think it was the rabbit that scared the crap out of me this morning.  He made me jump back a few feet, so I’m attributing the time difference to him.  Thanks, you rascally rabbit!



And the best part of the whole run…I walked in the door at 5:22 am and it was silent!  Mr. Jeep, LC, E and Clifford were all asleep.  Marley, of course, came charging to the back door so she could get in a little early morning hunt in the backyard. 

I’m also currently doing some research to find the perfect pair of shorts or skirt to run in for the marathon.  Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.  I think I’m going to have to bite the bullet and just buy a pair or two that I’ve read reviews on and try them out.  I’m the first to admit that I’m cheap.  I like quality items, but at a cheap price.  So paying a lot on running clothes absolutely kills me.  I’m trying to tell myself, as is Mr. Jeep, that this is a pretty big deal that I’m training for and I need to spend the money.  Time will tell what I end up with.  I’ll keep you posted.


(Do you know what types of images come up in a Google search for "cheap" or "cheap lady"?)

I also wanted to add that I’m currently in the process of revamping the blog.  I’m testing out some different stuff, so it may go through some changes.  Don’t be surprised if it looks different from day to day (this is for those two people that actually follow me).

Have an awesome Tuesday.
Heather


Monday, February 7, 2011

Hello 2011!

Ahhh…2011.  We’re already into February.  Where oh where does the time go?  Between kids, work, family, friends, side business and, did I mention kids, I barely have a moment to think.  I swear most days I’m on auto-pilot.  I get in my car and it just knows where I have to go.  I was going to say that I have a plan to be committed to my blog, but we all know how that goes.  I’ve said it before and POOF, five months have gone by without a post.  Oh well, I do my best.

I was just commenting to Mr. Jeep yesterday that this is the first winter in a long time that it’s actually felt like a true winter.  We have had continuous snowfall for a while now.  Some days it’s only a dusting, but it still counts in my book.   Last week I had my first snow day in a long time.  We were warned for two days in advance that we were going to get The Storm of the Century (that’s how the forecasters sensationalize the weather in these parts).  We ended up getting about 8” of snow last Wednesday.  Then this past Saturday we got an additional 4-6”.  I’m a snow lover, so I think it’s awesome. 

In running news…I signed up for a half-marathon the first weekend in May.  My thinking, at the time, was that it would motivate me to get back into my normal running routine and provide something to work towards.   I’ve been having difficulties with sticking to my running schedule due to a little man that goes by the name of E.  He started waking up at 5:00 a.m. to nurse and that throws out my working out schedule.  I have to work out in the mornings before I go to work.  I’ve tried doing it in the evenings and it just doesn’t work for me.  For the past couple of weeks he’s started waking up around 4:30 a.m.  This works out great for me because I’ll nurse him and then go running.  It sucks waking up at 4:30 a.m., but if that’s what I have to do, that’s what I have to do.  I was able to get in 3.5 miles this morning, so I’m pretty excited about that.

Speaking of my run this morning… I’ve mentioned before that I had wanted to get a pair of YakTrax for winter running.  They’re supposed to help you from slipping on snow and ice.  I finally got a pair for Christmas and used them for the first time today.  I have to say they are fantastic!  Last night we got about a ½” of snow and the YakTrax worked superbly.  I highly recommend making sure you take them off before you walk on your hardwood or linoleum floors.  I could see where they might scratch the floor.  They go on the bottom of your shoes and then Velcro across the top.  Here’s a picture:
I love them!