Thursday, February 27, 2014

I'm a Runner XXXV

Susan Tirch
Former World Champion Pharmacist, SAHM 
39, Mars, Pennsylvania 

Before I got serious about my health and fitness and running (read before kids), I would work out 4 days in a row and then take 3 month break.  I really thought that was normal.  It's hard to be motivated when you're 118 pounds, but skinny does not equal fit and I'm happier now heavier and healthier.

In a race, I realized just recently that I rarely pay any attention to the people around me.  I thought about The Austin Half Marathon this year and I barely remember anyone around me.  I was so focused on what I was doing, I didn't even have time to look around.  Except for the guy who spit right in front of me.  Seriously who does that?  I would like to have tripped him, but I couldn't pick up my pace quickly enough to make a smooth getaway.

I've run with my dad quite a bit considering we live almost 400 miles apart.  It always amazes me that my dad is 30 years older than I am and still kicking ass.  30 years.  Wrap your head around that.

Running strengthens your legs right?  I run a lot right?  Why oh why are my legs still so flabby?  It couldn't possibly have anything to do with my love of carbs and salty snacks.  Could it be?  Ok, just keep running, just keep running.

I never worked out during my pregnancies.  I don't have many (any really) regrets in life, but I really wish I could go back in time and have FIT/ACTIVE pregnancies.  I wonder how it would have changed things.  I had horrible pregnancies with Ella and Jack (extremely uncomfortable) and I wonder if that would have changed.  At least I was blessed with easy labor.

My kids are absorbing what I do.  I want nothing more than to instill fitness into my kids' lives.  I want my kids to know that exercise should be party of their daily life to keep them HEALTHY (and happy).

Running is almost a 4 letter word in my vocabulary, yet I still do it.  I'm going to keep doing it until I'm good at it.  We could be here awhile.

On my first "I'm a Runner" post ever I had only done 3 half marathons.  I'm about ready to run my 14th and that amazes me.  I have such fond memories of all my half marathons.  It's my favorite distance.

I'm used to running with friends now.  It's probably a crutch, but I really enjoy my running friends.  In fact, if I really think about it, I think all my friends are runners.  Ha!

I love that running is a community.  Runners get other runners and there's an unspoken bond between us.  At least that's the way I see it.  When I see someone out running and I'm riding in the car, I silently think about what's going through their minds as they plug along.  They're all heroes in my scenarios.

Every time I see someone running who is trying to lose weight, I go into cheerleader mode in my mind.  I've read where heavier people have gotten snide remarks thrown at them while running and can't imagine anyone ever thinking that way.  I'm always like, you go girl.  Mean people suck!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Random Thoughts From a Crappy Blogger

I feel like I've been such a bad blogger as of late.  And by as of late I mean, like for over a year now.  I just don't know what content will resonate with people.  I write some posts and think it'll be a good one and it's a flop and vice versa.

So most days I throw my hands up and don't write anything.  Mainly because nothing really comes to me, not because I don't WANT to do it.  I guess my life is just kind of repetitive and that makes it kind of boring for the blog.  I mean there are only so many hockey pictures of my kids you can look at, right?  But, but, but look at my girl!!!

Is she not the cutest?  I can't even tell you how happy it makes me to see Ella playing hockey.  Not because it's hockey (I couldn't care less) but because she's doing something that makes her happy.  She was really nervous going out on the ice (her first official practice).  I could tell that she was nervous and she admitted it.  

When she came off the ice, I asked her how it went.  She told me that it was like she was in a dream the whole time.  She said that after 2 minutes of being on the ice she said to herself, "Ahhhh yeah, I'm totally doing this."  Meaning, she wants to PLAY hockey (not just the learn to play program).  Then she asked me how long she was out there.  When I told her it was about an hour, she said, "Wow, it felt like just 10 minutes."  So yeah she loves it and seeing her happy doing something outside her "wheelhouse" makes me happy.  She doesn't just have to be just an artsy fartsy, dancing, singing, girly girl.  

Speaking of girly girl.  Have you seen my boys' hair?  

Yeah they're growing it out.  They want "hockey hair."  I'm not sure what that is entirely, but half of me thinks it's cute and the other half wants to run for the clippers.  I do appreciate, however, that Nicholas is embracing his individuality with his hair.  He's usually too afraid to step outside his comfort zone and this is something totally new and different for him.

And let's face it, Jack is just along for the ride.  Whatever Nicholas does, Jack does.  Don't get me wrong, we all know Jack does Jack, but he really does seem to idolize and mimic his big brother.  Nothing wrong with that.

Oh and guess what?  I signed up for another half marathon.  It's Just a Short Run and it's on March 29th at North Park.

I've done Just a Short Run before (but did the 8.1 miler) and I'm so looking forward to this race.  I love racing at North Park because I know ever nook and cranny of that place and I know when to put in effort and when to hold back.  I'm hoping to have a good race, but I'm really just using it as another training run.

Just a Short Run 8.1 miler, March 2010:  1:17:51
So yeah, I guess we'll just see what happens on the 29th!  

Local Peeps:  Have you ever done Just a Short Run?  Running this year?  
You should say hello when you see me heavy breathing on the course :D 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Pittsburgh Marathon Training Long Run: 15 miles

Ok let me set up the scenario for this run.  I ran 13.1 HARD (for me) miles last Sunday, I spent the entire week fighting a nasty cold, worked 10 hours Thursday and Friday (which I'm not used to) and then ran around all day yesterday with the kids.  Did I mention George has been out of town since Thursday, yeah because he has.  I'm not whining, I'm just stating the facts. 

Tracey's husband was also out of town, so figuring out where/when/how to do our long run was a little bit difficult.  We had 2 options for babysitters, both of which fell through.  I finally decided last night to ask my mom to watch all 6 of our kids so Tracey and I could run. My awesome mom agreed, so we drove 45 minutes north to my mom's house in order to run our 15 miles.  

I told Tracey I wanted to maintain a 10:30 for this run.  I did NOT want to start off faster and I didn't want to go slower.  I wanted to run right at 10:30.  I feel like at a 10:30 pace, I can maintain that for the distance.  Hmmmmm we shall see.

So we started off too fast of course.  So much for 10:30 pace.  haha  The weather was great and we were running somewhere new, so I think that got both Tracey and I excited.  I knew we were going too fast, but it didn't seem that fast so I went with it.

Mile 1:  10:08
Mile 2:  10:09
Mile 3:  10:18
Mile 4:  10:28

At the 4 mile mark we made it to our turn around point and… well we turned around.  haha  At the 5 mile mark, I wanted to cry.  Tracey mentioned we were a 3rd of the way there, but to me it seemed like we'd been running much longer and should have been much further into our run.  Still, I moved forward, trying to put the total distance out of my mind.

We made it to mile 8 and back to my mom's where we stopped to use the restroom and fill our water bottles.

Mile 5:  10:23
Mile 6:  10:22
Mile 7:  10:22
Mile 8:  10:32

I had been holding my gloves and hat the whole previous 8 miles and planned to just fuel when we got to my mom's house, but by the time we got to my mom's my stomach was already feeling off.  I grabbed a mini peppermint patty and we got back to it.  STUPID.  I know better.  It's hard to talk myself into eating when my stomach is off, but I should have just done it!

We started running the other way from my mom's house which would take us out 2 miles before we had to turn back.  By the time we got to the turn around point (about mile 10) I was hitting the wall and hitting it hard.  That coupled with a few tiny hills (tiny but hills nonetheless) and I was toast.  I could feel myself fading and fading quickly.  By the time we made it back to my mom's house, I had to keep my head turned and not even look at it because I knew if I did I'd want to stop.  Seriously, by mile 12 I wanted to die and not run another step.  Literally I hoped someone would pick me up and transport me back to my mom's, but alas it did not happen.  

Mile 9: 10:27
Mile 10:  10:45
Mile 11:   10:44
Mile 12:   11:00 

I encouraged Tracey to go ahead and leave me.  I wanted her to run to the 13 mile mark and turn around and I'd just turn around then too.  Instead, she'd run a little bit and then circle back around to get me and continue that pattern.  I felt badly, but she said she didn't want to leave me.

Tracey hit mile 13 and I was at mile 12.9 so I wasn't that far behind, but I was fading more and more and shortly after the 13 mile mark I walked.  I walked about 4 or 5 times for 30 seconds, but it helped to boost me just enough to keep going.  There were times I literally wanted to cry.  I can't tell you what it was either.  My hamstrings and hips definitely hurt, but really my energy was the problem.  I was just zapped.

When we arrived back at my mom's house I was at mile 14.75 and decided to just call it quits.  I had had enough suffering.

Mile 13:  11:40
Mile 14:  12:14
To Mile 14.75:  12:26 average

Total: 2:39:00
Average: 10:46 

It's so disappointing to have a good run for 11 miles and then hit a wall so hard that I wanted to die.  I don't think I've hit a wall like that since the marathon in San Antonio.  Let this be a lesson to myself to fuel properly and the way I know how.

I will cut myself some slack today.  I really did just come off a horrible cold and I'm not even fully recovered.  I didn't even discuss the snot and mucous that accompanied this run (you're welcome).

The only thing I can do from here is move on.  16 miles next week.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Austin Trip 2014

I wanted to share a little more from my trip to Austin.  Mostly it was just food and friends, but really what is better than that?

Thursday night we headed to The Salt Lick to have BBQ and meet up with my friend Jennifer and her daughter Kysa.

I fell in love with Kysa when she was only a couple of weeks old.  She will always hold a place in my heart.  I am so happy we got to see her sweet little face.  She even let me kiss her.  SQUEAL!!!

We miss you girls!

Friday morning Bianca had me up at 5:00 am for a run.  I only wanted to run 3 miles, so that's what we did.  It was short and sweet and just what my legs needed.

Afterwards, we got ready to head out for lunch.  I dressed for the holiday and for my very special Valentine-- Bianca.

We stopped at Ella's old preschool (where she and Isabel met) and said hello to her teachers Ms. Karen and Ms. JJ.  It so nice for them to see their old teachers and steal a hug.

Perhaps the best part of the day was Torchy's Tacos and the queso.  We ate this times two!  ha!

Oh and don't forget this!  OMG so good!

After some shopping and visiting the Austin Aquarium, we headed out to dinner with my other friend Joelle and her daughter Elise.  How cute are these girls I ask you?

On Saturday, things got serious as we started heading into prep mode for the half marathon.  And by serious I mean, we took more pictures.

The runners:  Chrystal, Bianca, Moi, Val, Tony 
Special props to Julie for hanging out with us.  Julie is running the Pittsburgh Marathon (26.2) and the NYC Marathon this year, so she opted to sit out Austin this year.  Still, she was our cheerleader the whole weekend through.

The final preparation for the half was Buca (a tradition).

I honestly have to say, I have some of the most beautiful friends.

It's hard sometimes to have all these beautiful ladies around.

 Then again, it's easy because they're just as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside.

But still ladies, can you help a sister out and gain a few pounds and stop looking so damn pretty!  haha

Anyway… we finished off the night with our traditional sundae.  YUM!  We left perfectly carb loaded.

Ready to run 13.1!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Ella and Isabel Edition

We recently visited Texas where Ella and her BFF Isabel reunited.  Their friendship melts my heart.