Monday, May 24, 2010

back in the saddle

I finally was able to run for the first time since the marathon on Sunday...and it felt great. Scary awesome. I even had the jogging stroller and my two year old (about 70 pounds altogether) with me, and it still felt great.  Thank goodness.  My knees were very wobbly all last week, and I was afraid I had an injury or something.  It turns out, running a marathon is just hard on your body. Plain and simple.  Who knew?

I am still going to take the next couple of months and do more cross-training.  Saturday I did my yoga again. I have really missed that, and am going to really try to get back into it. Next week I start a boot camp that runs three mornings a week. There is something so wonderful about having to just "show up" and that is it. Somebody tells me what to do, and I do it.  I don't have to rely on myself to push it. Someone is yelling at me, and all I have to do is sweat.  Right on.  I guess that is why personal trainers are so fabulous.  I get it. 

I still don't have any kettlebells, but I am getting closer to making the purchase.  There is no real reason that I haven't gotten them yet, other than I just haven't had the time.  Stay tuned, though...they're as good as purchased!

This Sunday my family all went to watch a minor league baseball game. It was crazy hot outside. I think our section was seated just left of the surface of the sun.  Seriously...people were sweating so much that the backs of their shorts/pants/skirts were soaking wet (mine included). What a great look.  Good thing it was universal.  We decided to buy snowcones at the park to cool us off, and they were tasty. Have you had a snowcone recently? I highly recommend them. Very refreshing. My kids all loved the game, and it was a great way to spend some time together. Now that summer is upon us, we will be looking for more ways to spend time as a family.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

big, fat, awesome party

I am so glad that I finished my marathon, I have decided to throw myself a party!  I can think of nothing better than schmoozing it up with my girlfriends over some drinks, and this is a fabulous excuse to get everyone together.  Plus...I have slimmed down so much while training, my skinny jeans are looking pretty good on me these days, if I do say so myself!

Here is the invitation that I made up for the big event.  I didn't have access to my usual fabulous adobe suite (boo hoo), so I had to make this up in MS Publisher.  Still, it got the job done.  I mostly sent them out as evites.  I just love the convenience and affordability (meaning zero cost) of evites. Now I can save my $$ for fun stuff like food and drinks at the party!  Do you prefer to send evites, or do you like paper invitations?

I am really having a tough time resting this week. Training was so time and energy consuming, and now that I don't have that, it feels as if I am missing something, that whole "I lost my purse" feeling.  My body is used to having endorphins rushing through it, as well, so I am really missing those, too.  I did try to run a little this a.m, but my knees still feel really boggy, so I just made it around the block and stopped.  I am hoping that on Saturday I will be able to log a few miles, but if I don't feel ready, I won't.  I have to stay healthy for Nike in October!

Would you, or have you, ever thrown yourself a party?

Monday, May 17, 2010

26.2 recap, part 2

am came early (of course), and we got up and decided to have some breakfast.  I need at least one cup of really strong coffee every morning, but this morning I was disappointed in the hotel coffee. It was weak and stale tasting, and not that satisfying.  For breakfast we decided to have some Green monsters, since Jayme brought her Magic Bullet blender (the greatest blender in the world). Chef Jayme was blending her little arse off at 4am.   I hope our neighbors were also running the marathon. Otherwise we probably ruined their visit.
We also ate some oatmeal with blueberries in it, and it was pretty good. I usually have some peanut butter toast, but we didn't want to mess with the continental breakfast and I didn't bring any for myself (dumb move).

Then it was off to the marathon!  It was pretty cold when we got there (47 degrees or so), but I decided that I didn't want to run in a long-sleeved shirt. I hate running when I am hot.  There were lots of runners wearing long pants and jackets, and I can't imagine how hot they must have been halfway through the race. 

We all lined up at the start line, a beautiful voice sang the national anthem, and we were off!  The half-marathoners started at the same time as we did, and we all ran together for the first 11 miles, which was nice because we got to run with Karen.  It was pretty smooth going, and we were making pretty good time. I was absolutely starving by mile 4, and really was wishing I had eaten some peanut butter toast. I need to eat a lot when I run.

At 11 Karen split off from us, and it was a little disheartening, since we still had so long to go. Karen ended up running a stellar half marathon time of 1:50.  Go Karen! I wish I could have been there cheering her in. 

Jayme and I ran together and were feeling okay until around mile 22, when we hit the wall.  And what a wall it was.  I had been warned about this feeling, and it was no joke. I don't recall ever feeling like I couldn't go on like I was feeling that day.  I just kept thinking, "get to the next water station. Then you can walk," but I did have to stop a couple of times in between stations.  We ended up running in our last mile, though, so it was a strong finish.

The best part of the husband and kids surprised me.  I was running into the end, about to die, when I hear this familiar voice yell, "Go Mommy!"  I started crying, partly out of exhaustion, but mostly because it was so amazing to have them there for this huge accomplishment. I didn't really realize what a big deal it would be for me.  What a great hubby I have!  We joke now that it is a good think he didn't surprise me with two miles left in the race. I don't think I could have run two miles crying the whole way!

Here we are, the three big racers! What you don't see is Jayme and I don't have any shoes on, and we can't really walk that well or bend over.  Still, we look beautiful, I think.  Yay us!
Now that a couple of days have passed, I am still pretty stiff, but looking forward to the Nike Marathon in October.  I won't start training for it until the end of July, but I am going to be a little more aggressive with my distance and speed work this time around. Now that I have a marathon under my belt, I know that what we train for is actually the last six miles of the race. The first 20 are cake.  I'm following Hal Higdon's Boston plan, since I plan to not only break that 3:40 mark...I am going for 3:30 now. 

so long, marathon (recap, part 1)

Evie Clercx
Bib No: 28
Pace: 8:43
Age: 33
Sex/Category: F
Division Place: 5 out of 13
Gender Place: 14 out of 68
Overall Place: 58 out of 203

I can't believe I ran a marathon!  It is surreal. I did it.  My finishing time was 3:47, so just a bit slower than what I wanted to finish in. I am okay with that, though.  Let me give you a quick recap of the events:

Friday afternoon my friend Karen, who ran the half, picked me up at my house.  She offered to drive since Jayme and I were both running the full and weren't sure our legs could handle the drive home.

Then, it was off to get Jayme and get on our way.  The race is two hours away from where we live, but we wanted to get there in time to pick up our packets and eat a nice pasta dinner.

Here we are picking up our packets! Except, this was the wrong building.  Silly us.  We finally found the correct place to go and picked our stuff up.  This race had disposable racing chips, so that was kind of a cool switch. I don't know about you, but I get nervous about losing my chip mid-race. I don't want to have to pay $30 or whatever just because my chip fell off, and I don't want to have my race not count because I didn't turn my chip in.

Next stop...dinner!  We were all starving by this time, so we went to a restaurant called BraVo's for some pasta.  We got a coupon for a discount on a pasta dinner in our race bags, so that pretty much decided it for us.  Since the weather was beautiful, we decided to sit outside for dinner.  Although the weather was nice, the service was not the best.  We sat there FOREVER before someone waited on us.  As a former waitress, I am pretty sympathetic to all servers, as I know first hand how difficult the job can be.  But it wasn't even all that busy, so I kind of think we got sat and everyone just forgot about us.  Oh well...I had spaghetti and meatballs, and it was really yummy. They also served bread and garlic dipping oil, and the three of us polished off two loaves. It was yummy.  Is that a glass of wine in front of me, you ask? Yes, it certainly was.  I was really debating about drinking it since it was the night before my race, but decided it would be okay, since in training I always had a beer or something the night before my long runs and I did fine.  It also kind of calmed my nerves.  It was so good, I had two glasses (whoops).

After dinner we decided to head back to the hotel and get ready for bed.  We would have to get up at 4am in order to get dressed and breakfast eaten in time, and by this time it was close to 9pm.  Although I brought a few options for running, I ultimately decided on my pink fila shirt and nike shorts. I didn't want to take my fuel belt but needed something to hold my GU, and my fila shirt has pockets.

After setting four alarms (three phone and one wake-up call), we were off to bed for the night. We had a room at the Holiday Inn Express, and they had the most comfortable beds in the world.  I would like to go on vacation and just sleep in one of those beds! That became the joke of the trip for us. "Are you a runner?"  "No, but I stayed in a Holiday Inn last night." I kind of get the joke now.

Friday, May 14, 2010

26.2 in 22

I cannot believe it. In just 22 hours I will be running a marathon. I am a total mess today. It is all I can think about, and I find myself wanting everyone to know it. I wish I had gotten a t-shirt printed up that says, "Be patient with me, I'm running a marathon tomorrow," just so I can act like a total idiot and not have to try to explain myself. It would also serve the purpose of starting conversations about it, as that is all I want to talk about today, it seems. Is it wrong to send a mass email to everyone you have ever had email communication with, just to let them know you are running 26.2 tomorrow?
Last night I was supposed to get a really good night's sleep. Of course, my boys had other plans for me. They did not go to bed until after 10pm, and woke up all night starting at 2:30am. My two year old woke up for the day at 5am. Thanks, boys. My husband was wonderful. He got home late from a track meet, and still woke up with the boys in the night and tried to let me sleep as much as I could. He is fabulous, and has been very supportive about my training. It is a huge time commitment to log all those miles, and he has always been great about watching the boys or being okay with me getting a sitter for those times he had to be gone for coaching. What a man!
After I run this thing, I plan to really step back on the mileage for a month or two and focus more on cross-training. I just signed up for a summer boot camp, so I will be sweating it out with a bunch of other ladies. I did a boot camp in the winter and loved it, and really saw some great results. I plan to start training for Nike around the end of July.
Wish me luck, blogworld! See you on the other side!

Monday, May 10, 2010

mother's day madness

Happy belated mother's day to all of you mommies out there!  In case you are, I didn't get my kettlebells (sob).  But, I did get a very nice Bunn coffeemaker, so I am happy. My coffeemaker has been on its last leg for some time now, and I really wanted a Bunn.  The hubby did well.  I decided that I will just buy myself some kettlebells as a celebration for finishing my marathon, which is in 5 days.  Yikes!
This week I am really trying to take care of myself and eat well and get enough rest.  Fortunately, my school semester is out and I have a lot fewer things on my plate this week.  I plan to stretch a lot, run a few little miles, and carb load.
Since it is May and the weather in the Midwest can be a little tricky, I am really struggling with what I should wear.  I hate to be cold when I am running, but it is just as miserable to be hot. Also, I have been carrying my sports beans in my hydration belt, but don't plan to run with it on Saturday.  I'm not sure where I will put those, either!
I am having anxiety attacks over what time I should finish in.  I have to confess that I have aspirations of running a 3:40 marathon.  I have averaged about 8:30/miles for all of my long runs, and so if I look at that, I should be right in that neighborhood.  But, I have never run the last six miles, and I understand those to be the most difficult.  That means I would have to run 8:15 splits in order to account for my slowing down at the end.  I'm not sure if I can do it.
I know I should just go out and run and not worry so much about it. I guess that's just not how I roll.  I think the best thing for my brain is to feel good about finishing anytime under 4 hours.  I think I would be happy with that.

Friday, May 7, 2010

cinco de mayo deliciosity

I don't know about you, but one of my favorite days is Cinco de Mayo.  It just seems so fun to be able to have a little "fiesta" in the middle of the week.  Plus, I love Mexican food, and any excuse to get down on some yummy tacos or enchiladas...I'm game.

Yesterday I made what is probably the greatest meal ever.  It was amazing.  Delicious.  Yummy. Wow.  I made a rub of ancho chile powder, paprika, cumin, crushed red pepper, sea salt, pepper, and brown sugar and coated pork tenderloin medallions. Then, I put them in the crock pot and added a little chicken broth, lime juice, and a whole lot of garlic and cooked it on low all day long. I ended up with the most flavorful shredded pork on the planet.  Yum. 

Since the pork was rich and spicy, I decided to make a really fresh, easy salsa-ish side to put on top. I put onions, tomatoes, a jalapeno pepper, a ton of cilantro, and some lime juice in the food processer and pulsed it until everything was finely minced.  It smelled delicious and fresh, and was just what the pork needed.

Finally, I whipped up some homemade tortillas. I used to buy tortillas, but it is so easy to make them, and they really taste much better homemade. I combine 3 cups of flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt, about 5 tbsp lard (I know, but it is so yummy), and about 1 1/4 cups of water. I divide the dough up into small pieces and roll them as flat as I can, then cook them in a really hot frying pan for a minute or so on each side.  I know they are ready to be flipped when they start getting brown spots on them.  I also put paper towels between them while they are cooling, so the moisture doesn't make them soggy. 

I always serve my soft tacos with butter and cilantro white rice, black beans, lettuce, cheese, and guacamole (of course).  Whenever I make these I overeat, but it is totally worth it! 

As a side note, I have started eating lots more pork tenderloin lately. It is one of the better meats for runners, and although it can be a little on the pricey side, they are small and so when they go on sale I stock up.  Also, I have found that kids eat better if they can use their hands, so rolling anything up in a tortilla is a good idea for the kiddos.  Plus, you can hide lots of veggies in there!