Saturday, April 30, 2011

Running Class

 

For the past two springs, I have taught a little running class through our town’s recreation department. The goal of the course is to successfully train runners for the annual Fourth of July road race. It is an exciting tradition in our little town- the road even was even striped red, white and blue for the occasion last year.

I began my third installment of this class this past Wednesday evening.  Thirteen students signed up for the course, and I am excited to work with them to achieve this goal.  Although I do not miss teaching high school, I do miss teaching.  This class helps me to get my fix.

Teaching the class this year was a difficult decision for me.  Back to work full time, I feel that any moment spent away from my little baby needs to be purposeful.  But, it came down to the fact that I really enjoy working with the students in this class.  I was not a runner myself, and still think it is pretty amazing that I was able to transform myself into one.  This class brings me back to my first Hingham road race and reminds me of why I became a runner.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

My Little Jack Rabbit…. and My Final Words about Boston 2011

 

Another shameless plug of my little Jack Rabbit- he makes me so happy!

Jack Rabbit

I know I am his mama, but my goodness, his Easter picture may be the cutest thing ever.

My race recap of Boston is now over a week late.  Fortunately, it now means most of the emotion about the race has died down for me, and I can concisely summarize the day.

(1) I went out a little too fast….. Boston #5 and I still am learning….

(2) The weather was a little too hot for my liking, especially after training in this winter.  Next year, I plan on jacking up the heat in  my house and running on my best friend the treadmill.  The HEAT (I am being dramatic) caused me some distress, and I let it get to me.

(3) Although I had a great training cycle for it being so short, I don’t think I was as ready for the race as I would have liked.  At mile 22, running became slow and ugly.  Then again, that could be the result of going out too fast and the heat. 

(4) I really, really, really want to run another marathon soon.  So, as Colleen said in a comment, why don’t I?  A fall marathon is on the horizon!

(5) The end was awesome.  I mean really- look at me as I run onto Boylston!  I love this race no matter the outcome. And that my friends is the spirit of running.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Boston Marathon Recap Prelude- How I Trained for a Marathon after Giving Birth

As I sat down to write my recap of the Boston Marathon, I realized that I wanted to capture the months that led up to the date. Knock on wood- Jack hopefully will not be my only child. I want to be able to look back on these months if I am pregnant and struggling with exercise what I was able to accomplish the first time.

I found out I was pregnant with Jack within a month after the 2010 Boston Marathon. TTC was a struggle for me, so needless to say I was nervous as running was pointed to as one of the possible culprits. Initially, I thought I would stop running when I was pregnant again. However, each spring, I teach a Learn to Run class in our town that prepares participants for our annual Fourth of July Road Race. It starts the week after Boston. So, not only did I need to instruct the class, but I needed to keep my running up so that I stayed faster than the students.

So, run I did- up until the month of my due date. I did not put in serious miles or break any speed records.

I ran with Cisco.



I ran with Bill.



I ran even when I was pushing it at ten minute miles.



(Even though I am huge here, I think it may be my favorite picture of myself. I feel so hardcore!)

I stopped running in the few weeks before the marathon, but I still was walking, going to hot yoga and on the elliptical. When Boston training started in the beginning of January, I devoted every Sunday to spending as much time walking/ellipticalling for the time that I should have been running. Even though it was not running, I know this cardio helped me immensely in the next few months.

Then, Jack was born. Big, big, ouch. I remember walking to the restroom the day I had him and thinking that I could barely make it there, so how could I possibly run Boston. I tried running for the first time 10 days after I had him and did 5 painful miles on the treadmill. EVERYTHING hurt. Everything! I chalked it up to the fact that I needed to start somewhere. Then, I went to the gym about two weeks after I gave birth to Jack and only completed 8 miles on the treadmill (with walking breaks) on a day where I should have been running miles in the high teens to be adequately prepped for Boston. It was a huge struggle. I cried to my husband. I was so upset. And I emailed Mary and asked her to coach me.

And, coach me she did. It was the best money I have ever spent. Much better than any lululemon outfit. Really! I did not technically need a coach; I had run 6 marathons before then after all. But, I needed major confidence that I could pull it off. And, Mary and her program rebuilt both my physical and mental strength. And, despite having a month of from running and starting some mileage, I did not get injured.

I cannot say that I am super happy with my time at this year's Boston. It was 20 minutes slower than last year after all. But, I am so proud of myself that I had the courage to even consider trying this crazy experiment. It was awesome crossing onto Boylston that day- it really took a village to get me there. My parents watched Jack so much so I could run. Mary coached me. My blogging buddies gave me support. My running club friends pushed me to get back with my normal group. And, my husband, well, he never doubted for one second that I could do it. He was my confidence when I did not have any.

I am not anyone special for trying this. There are lots of running moms out there who come back faster after having birth. But, I never considered myself an athlete. Yet, Jack will never know me as anything but a runner. How awesome is that!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Little Bit of a Heartbreaker- Boston Marathon 2011

 

What an amazing day!  I did not run a PR, nor did I come close to it.  Yet, I finished this race with a huge smile on my face.

Marathon #7- 3:54:37

I am SO very sad that it is over.  It is a little bit of a heartbreaker for me.  I just will miss marathon training so very much.

Full recap to come, but here are some pictures that capture the day

 

Heading to the coralls with Leann and Steph

Trying to stay strong

On Beacon Street near the end with dead legs but still smiling!

Onto Hereford- the end is near!

#7 Complete

 

Marathon 2011

With my number one fan

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Faithful from start to finish

Faithful from start to finish

When I finished reading this article by Father Brian, tears came to my eyes. He writes that he runs to give praise to God for the creation of life. How beautifully stated! My little Jack illustrates this phrase for me. I simply look at him and am reminded of why I am running tomorrow.

Take the time to read Father Brian's words. Even if you are not Catholic, I promise you will find some gems.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

For Patty

 

Before I begin this blog post, many thanks to all those who posted nice words about the post on Another Mother Runner. You make me blush.  I am just a lady trying to figure this whole balancing act out.

Tis the week before Boston, and of course, the taper is making me a little mad.  Mary still has some runs on my schedule, including one that made me descend in speed.  I did it, and I would stand on my head if she told me too, but there was something so counter-intuitive about slowing down. Especially for me…..

That run was a reminder for me.  My life has been extremely busy since I returned to work.  Jack and I attended a Bachelorette in NYC- he is so wild! And, there have been board meetings and just stuff to go along with the work, the family life and the training. I never imagined how hard it would be.  Jack is in wonderful hands with my parents’ for the month of April, and I do enjoy being back at work.  I love him more than I can express, but leaving him is not the hardest part. Living life is a logistical nightmare right now.  Every day feels rushed and hectic, and I probably need to descend the pace a little bit and cut down on some of my obligations. 

I have been thinking a lot this week about HOW I want to live my life.  Much of this reflection was a result of the passing of my husband’s Aunt Patty this past Monday.  She was 74 years young, but you would have thought she was 16 by the way she acted and lived her life.  The woman was a storm of activity and dominated any room that she entered.  Outspoken, Patty lived her life the way SHE wanted to.  She really did not care what anyone thought of her or her opinions.  I so very much admire her for that. 

Patty was diagnosed with late stage cancers shortly after I had Jack.  The prognosis certainly wasn’t good, and she accepted it with dignity.  My husband and I brought Jack down to meet Patty not even two weeks ago on April 1st.  Though she was very sick and it was hard to see her that way, I will always remember how she held Jack, rocking him and kissing him.  Our last afternoon spent with Patty was so wonderful, and I will be forever grateful for her love.

This weekend, instead of being in Boston with the frenzy of the marathon, I will be in Hartford with our family celebrating the life of this remarkable woman.  God Bless you Patty.  I am privileged to have had you as a part of my life.  This year’s Boston is for you. 

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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Don't Be Afraid to Lose

I stole this from Elizabeth's blog. It provided me with complete inspiration for Boston.

Bring it on!




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On a side note, I am featured by the lovely authors of Another Mother Runner today on their blog! Thank you, Sarah and Dimity!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Balancing Act

 

I returned to work this week.  There may have been some tears shed on Sunday (and maybe even on Saturday too), but Monday was a good day.  There were no tears shed on my part, though I think my husband may have experienced a few from baby Jack during the day. My adult brain functioned, and  I wore a pair of heels for the first time since December.  I would call the day a success based on these two facts alone.

Even better, I managed to fit it two runs since my return.  One did start at the early hour of 4:45 AM and did occur on my second husband, the treadmill.  But, it was completed.

I should mention that it is Wednesday, and I am exhausted from the week already. 

Life for me has evolved into one big balancing act this week.  How do I care for Jack’s needs?  How do my husband and I find time for each other? How do I remain a productive  member of my office?

I admittedly am not good at balancing. This skill is like Mandarin to me, a foreign language that I cannot decipher, read or understand.  I tend to be the type of person who commits 110% to everything she does.  With Jack, I am not sure there is time to give 110% anymore. 

Maybe, just maybe, I don’t need to give 110%.  Maybe I need to be more balanced.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

A Week in Paradise

 

I fell off the face of the earth this week….. no email, no google reader, no twitter, etc.  It was my last week of maternity leave, so we needed to get away.  I love work, but am not ready to go back.  Very conflicting indeed! So, to the Westin St. John we went! More on that later….

But, the day before we left I ran a 20 miler on the Boston course.  For most training for the big day this year, this feat is nothing big.  For a lady who gave birth nine weeks previous, it was a huge feat.  I had not run this far since the marathon last year.  This was a big huge deal for me.  I know I need to get over myself.  Running post pregnancy is all the rage lately (just kidding!) - and some ladies like Dorothy are simply inspiring to me.  Please go ahead and read her recap of the National Half.  You will get what I mean when you read it.  I read about Dorothy and read this Kara Goucher article and realized that it was time to face the music.  I have made the choice to compete in the Boston Marathon this year; no one is forcing me to Hopkinton on April 18th. 

The 20 miler was AWESOME!  I ran with my friend Leann, which is one of my favorite things to do in the world.  I adore this girl and our friendship.  And, she pulled me through this course.  I only left the run with a little apprehension.  What can I pull off?  What if I had a few more weeks?

We headed to St. John on Monday morning.  I love Boston, but I certainly could live in the warm weather year round.  Although I indulged, I nailed my workouts from coach Mary. They may have all been run on a treadmill, but they were all completed and completed well.  I am still jazzed up from the 20 miler!

It was a great vacation, one of the best.  We enjoyed it immensely.

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I think this picture is so funny!  There is no crying in paradise Baby Jack!

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Popping the color

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I love swimming!

I cannot believe that Monday will be April 4th, the date since before I knew I had a little baby boy that I would return to work.  I am so not ready…. to return to work, for the marathon, to face the new reality that my life will be.  But, I have no choice.  It is time to face the music.