Tuesday, September 2, 2014

My Birthday (With my Friends)

So my awesome friends decided to throw me a birthday party and it was so much fun.  I feel so blessed to have so many wonderful ladies in my life.   

I was a little bit worried about the one on right below, that's Emily. 

She threatened to bring in the beer bong.  Aside from a couple of shots, she took it pretty easy on me. 

My friends are so different and come from different parts of my life, but I love them all just the same.  

Part of he Neighbors plus Kim 
The Running Friends 
All the ladies 
Luckily the girls did let me eat so the shots didn't do too much damage and we all just had good clean fun.

They also got me a cake and luckily they didn't have to put 40 blazing candles on it.

I was determined to get all those candles out at once.  


I swear they were trick candles because they came back on.  Hmmmmmm.  

Look how cute this little basket is that the girls got me.  It says, "40 doesn't have to suck.  Here's hoping that 40 brings you lots of luck."  The basket is full of suckers and lottery cards.  I won $10 too!

They also got me these 40 flip flops.  I'll be rocking these at the bus stop ladies.  I'll wear my 40 proud!

Tory Burch earrings.  Yes please!

Lookie, Diet Coke!  Someone (Tracey) knows me well.

How cute is this Wonder Woman shirt?  I can't wait to wear it.

The girls got me lots of other things too not even shown.  Let's just say I'll be doing some shopping!  I feel so grateful, but not for all the presents.  Yes, I love the gifts, but it's the relationships and the laughs that I'm so thankful for.

Thank you for an awesome 40th birthday party my beautiful friends.  Here's to 40 more when someone will be fighting over wiping our ass or cleaning our toilet.  hahahahaha 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Steelers Gatorade 5K Race Recap

Wow y'all today was something.  I have not run a 5k since 2011 when I ran the Dukes and Daisies 5k in Ausitn.  The time at that 5k (29:41) remained my 5k PR for 3 years.  Edited:  Turns out I was wrong my PR is from 2009 at the Steelers/Gatorade 5k and it was 29:29.  I knew for awhile that I could easily break that record, but I hadn't managed to sign up for a race.  The reason?  Because I really, as in really, really hate 5ks.  They're so much pressure and I'm not a fast runner, so they intimidate me.  

I was so nervous this morning.  I said a long time ago that I wanted to break 27:00 in a 5k.  It's on my fitness bucket list.  (That bucket list needs updated by the way, not Tim McGraw though, he stays on the "to do" list.)  Anyway, I set that goal a LONG time ago and Tracey also told me that her goal for me was 26:59.  That was an 8:42 pace.  

I honestly didn't know if I could do it.  I told Tracey, going into a race I normally set a goal for myself and it's normally pretty realistic and attainable.  I'm realistic. Today, I really didn't know if I could break 27:00 minutes for a 5k.  Nonetheless, Tracey told me she'd run by my side and help me to get there (or at least try). 

The gun went off and we were off pretty quick.  The pace didn't seem fast at first.  Tracey told me we were running a 8:05 pace, but I told her I didn't believe it because it didn't feel fast.  I told her I didn't trust her Garmin downtown.  

By the half mile mark, however, I did feel like the pace was fast.  I felt my breathing VERY labored.  I tried to control it, but I couldn't help breathing through my mouth.  I really tried to concentrate taking deep breaths in through my nose, but I couldn't get my breathing under control.  I made a conscious decision at that point to just breath through my mouth and say to hell with anyone who didn't like my heavy breathing.  Ha! 

By the one mile mark we could see the runners in front coming back at us.  They didn't seem like they were going that fast, so I imagined I must look like a snail to them.  At this point Tracey was talking to me and encouraging me.  I wasn't even able to say a single word to her.  She knew I was listening, but I really couldn't talk.  

I decided to not get water at the one mile mark because there was water at the 2 mile mark.  I passed it by and immediately regretted it.  Not because I needed water, but because I could have used a break.  Lame but true.  

Soon enough however we were at the turn around point and headed back.  I swear I felt so much better mentally when I hit the turn around.  Physically, however, I was suffering.  I had developed a huge stitch right at the top of my rib cage on both sides.  I managed to grunt out to Tracey that I had a cramp and she asked me if I wanted to slow down.  

I told her I didn't know if we could.  Would we make our goal?  According to our time and distance we were a tiny bit ahead of schedule, but I did NOT have room to slow down.  

Suffering big time right about mile 2 point something 
I really didn't feel well.  I felt like I was going to puke and every part of me wanted to quit.  Well every part except my head and my heart.  I wanted to keep giving it my all and I truly was, but I felt I was slowing down.

As we grew closer and closer to the finish, I kind of had a gauge for where we were.  I knew we had less than a mile to go and I wanted to speed up, but I just couldn't.  As we got to less than 1/2 mile, Tracey told me I would have to pick it up at the end to make it.  She said, "pick it up at the truck."

When I got to the truck, I told myself to pick it up.  I tried, I honestly did, but I had nothing more to give.  I told myself, "that's ok, pick it up at the tunnel," but when I got to the tunnel I STILL didn't have anything to give.

I'm making my way the last 75 or so yards to the finish line and someone goes sprinting by me as fast as he could.  I said to myself, "yes now I will sprint," and I told my legs to go, but they didn't.  I glanced up at the clock.  30:21 (we were 3 minutes behind the gun).  I knew I hadn't met my goal.

I felt so bad at the end.  I was light headed and had to stop to catch my breath.  I couldn't breathe.  I stopped and put my head down on a gate and sat there and gathered myself.  I knew right then and there, I had given it my all.  I really had nothing left to give despite telling myself to give more.  I ordered my legs to go, but they couldn't.

I wound up finishing with an official time of 27:21.  21 seconds off my goal.  I have mixed feelings about this race because on one hand I KNOW beyond a shadow of doubt I gave it my all, but on the other hand,  I didn't meet the goal I set for myself.

Then I looked at the results a little further and I finished 25th out of 168 runners in my age group.  I normally finish in the top 40 to 50% of my age group.  So I made a HUGE improvement FOR ME and for that I am truly and genuinely happy.  Also, back in 2011 I would have KILLED to have run a 27:21 5k.  I shaved 2 minutes and 20 seconds off my previous PR and I'm not getting any younger.

So no, I'm not the fastest runner, nor will I ever be, but I've got a new PR and that's something I can always be proud of.

Thanks so much to Tracey for pacing me.  You encouraged me the whole way and I know I wouldn't have done as well without you.  Also thank you for drinking Diet Pepsi and eating cookies with me after the race.  THAT, my dear, is why we are friends (well one reason anyway).  Love you!

As far as the Steelers Gatorade 5k, this is a GREAT race. It's very highly organized and the course is flat and fast.  I can't recommend it enough if you're looking for your own PR.  I mean who doesn't want to run a race that has cookies at the end?

Sunday, August 31, 2014

First Day of School 2014

I'm finding it harder and harder to find time for blogging these days.  When I have time (late at night) I feel so lazy and rather just sit and veg out watching TV or on Facebook.  I also sometimes wonder if anyone out there really cares and wonder if I waste my time.  Then the first day of school rolls around and I don't even blog about it and then I realize I'm missing the opportunity to document that for my kids.  That's the whole reason I started this blog in the first place.  I want my kids to have documentation of their childhood and if, God forbid something ever happened to me, they'd be able to read MY words to them and about them.  

So here I am to blog about the first day of school.  First grade for Jack.  

Jack was excited and a wee bit nervous.  He was actually more concerned about what shoes he was going to wear than anything else.  He had waited over a month to wear his new blue high tops and he was happy as a clam when he finally got to wear them.

 Jack was worried about getting on the correct bus after school was over and he said, "I don't know what I'm doing, so Miss Commesso better be able to tell me."  He cracks me up.  Apparently Miss Commesso had her act together because he made it safely home.

Ella is a third grader.  I'm not quite sure how that is possible.  I mean seriously I can't believe it.  Someone asked me this summer about a third grade assignment and I said, "I don't know, I don't have a third grader."  Yep denial.

She too was worried about that first day of school outfit and I think she looked just precious in her lacey "skort" that she picked out.

Ella is really excited about her teacher, Mrs. McGroarty and said that she's "smiley all the time."

Then there is Nicholas.  He's in sixth grade and didn't care about school, most likely didn't care about a new outfit or anything.  He did want to wear his red high tops, but I told him he didn't have anything new that was red so I talked him into this new outfit.

He told me he wasn't nervous at all.  He already knew of at least 2 kids in his class so he knew there would be familiar faces.  He's come home everyday and done everything on his own.  He hasn't shown me assignments and he doesn't have to have a planner signed.  He's all on his own and it's scary and liberating at the same time.  I just love this kid, no matter how big he gets.

So there you have it, another school year begins and I can't believe I have a 7,9 and 11 year old.  I seriously feel like I will blink and they'll be going off to college.

I refuse to let them grow up.   So there!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wonder Mom Wednesday Link up: Why I Workout

Hello bloggy friends.  Today, I am partnering up with Amanda from Mom Who Tris and Sue from This Mama Runs for Cupcakes for a new link up called Wonder Mom Wednesdays!  

Please make sure you play nice and follow the guidelines (see end of post)! When you link up please link back to your hosts and grab a button below for your post.  

 <a href=”http://www.thismamarunsforcupcakes.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/WonderMomWedfinal.jpg”><img class=”aligncenter wp-image-2554″ src=”http://www.thismamarunsforcupcakes.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/WonderMomWedfinal.jpg” alt=”WonderMomWedfinal” width=”258″ height=”300″></a>

Ok I'm assuming there are some new people around here from the link up so I'm going to start  at the very beginning.  I NEVER played sports.  EVER!  I was never on an organized team of any kind.  I never did sports with balls and I pretty much sucked at all things athletic.  True story! 

During the end of the year in 2007 I decided I wanted to lose weight.  I had just had 3 babies in 4 years and I wasn't going to have any more.  It was time to reclaim my body.  To be 100% honest, I was inspired by the Biggest Loser.  I thought if morbidly obese people could go to the gym and workout, then surely I could workout!  

So I joined a gym in January of 2008 and I've never looked back.  For the first probably year or so I was focused on working out to lose weight.  I lost almost 30 pounds in 4 months.  I was serious about working out and eating right.  I sometimes worked out twice a day.  So I lost the weight, but there I was with no goal.  

Then my friend Tracey and I met and she talked me into doing my first ever half marathon.  I started training in August of 2009 and my first race was in November of that same year.  From that moment on, my workouts had different meaning.  Now don't get me wrong, I definitely don't want to be a fatty, but losing weight isn't the primary goal of my workouts.  Not even close.  

I began to realize something through training for events.  I enjoyed having a goal, working toward it and reaching it.  It kept me motivated and most importantly it kept me healthy.   In addition, I enjoyed suffering because the feeling at the end made everything worth it.  No one can HAND you training for a marathon.  You have to go out there and do the work for yourself.  No one does it for you and at the end you can beam with confidence and bask in the glory all your own.  It's something I have for myself.   

Suffering (a LOT) at mile 26.1 of the Pittsburgh Marathon 
Somewhere along the way, my focus with exercising also became about something else.  3 something elses if I'm being honest.  Nicholas, Ella and Jack.  

I noticed that I was being an inspiration to my children.  They wanted to sign up for races, they wanted to do triathlon.  They wanted to be like mom.  They wanted to be healthy.  That made me happy in a way I probably can't even articulate.

My kids literally (an figuratively) watch me workout.

That has had an PROFOUND impact on their lives.  They think working out is just part of life.  They don't really know otherwise; it doesn't occur to them and that's just fine with me!  I love that I'm their inspiration.  I love that they're trying new things because of me.  I love that they understand the importance of healthy habits and I love showing them that hard work pays off.

So while working out was once solely about being "skinny" I don't worry about that (much) anymore.  I worry about being healthy and FIT and being a strong role model for my kids.  They'll always be the number one motivating factor in my life in general.

Now don't get me wrong, when I see a picture of myself and I don't look "fat" (to me) then it makes me happy that I'm treating my body well and I can be proud of it.  Honestly though, it's really just a side effect because (if I'm being honest) I'm never going to be 100% satisfied with my body.  That's just not me.

BUT (and this is huge).  I've totally removed skinny from my vocabulary.  I don't even want to be skinny.  I want to be fit and I want to feel athletic.  While I still don't do sports with balls, I can honestly say I am an athlete.

And that's why I workout!  

Join the Wonder Mom Wednesdays link up hosted by Mom Who TrisThis Mama Runs for Cupcakes, and myself Mom Swim Bike Run.   Here are the instructions for linking up:  

  • Publish your blog post on the link up  topic
  • Copy the code for the "grab button" and insert it into your blog post on the topic. The button lets your readers know that you are participating in a link up and can help direct them to the other entries
  • Go to the author’s post inviting you to link up
  • Click on the linky button
  • Fill out the required information
  • You have to  include the direct link to your post, not your general URL. For example, if your blog URL is www.momswimbikerun.blogspot.com, you should not use that URL to join the link up.  You need to use the direct URL to your post on the topic, (i.e http://momswimbikerun.blogspot.com/p/wonder-mom-wednesday-link-up.html)
  • Visit other bloggers posts, the purpose of the link up is to get to know others and send traffic their way!

Happy Linking!!! 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Roatan Day Seven: Farewell

Ok folks, this is my LAST Roatan post.  I can't believe it has taken me almost a month to get them all in.  I thought about just not finishing them, but I did that with our Florida vacation and regretted it.  So, I didn't want to go without finishing them up. 

The whole last day, we spent relaxing at the pool.  I just kept thinking to myself that I couldn't believe how fast it had gone.  That and also that I'd be leaving BB and her family and wouldn't get to see her again for a LONG time.  Too long.  

After the last day at the pool, we all decided to meet at the beach to watch our final beach sunset and then head to dinner.  

It wasn't as spectacular as most as the clouds rolled in just in time to spoil it, it was nice nonetheless.

Everyone says Nicholas and Jack look just alike (I don't think so at all) and everyone says they both look JUST LIKE George (especially Jack).  I'll admit in this picture Jack and George look a little twin like.  Just a little.  I still think he has Diersing features.

Ella and Isabel had run out of matching outfits to wear.  Can you imagine?  When Isabel asked what Ella would wear anyway, Ella replied "my romper."  Lo and behold, Isa had a romper too.  And how cute are they?

Ella also wound up getting her hair braided.  I told her all week I would let her do it, but not until the last day.  She didn't forget.  She looked too cute with the braids and was so proud of them.  

For some reason, I didn't get a lot of pics of BB and I.  I love this one though.  She's so adorable.  I just love her and value our friendship so much.

Photo bomb!

And again...

We finished off the night with buy one get one Pina Colada and lobster.  No better way to end a week in beautiful Roatan.