Friday, December 30, 2011

Our Christmas Holiday - in Pictures

Although Jordan and I have both had the entire week off, I still have neglected to blog and write about our break.  We have been having an amazing week filled with relaxing, working out, running, meeting up with old friends and family, eating out, and playing with our puppies!

Since we have so many pictures from the holiday (and I don't feel like typing much!) I thought I would share with everyone!

I had a half day on the 22nd, but Jordan took Bruno to the vet to get neutered and have his duclaw removed.  We took him back to get a bigger cone later on because his snout is ridiculously long.

Santa at our family gathering on the 22rd

One of his presents

At the tree at the theater - we saw A Christmas Carol

I wore head to toe gold - but that was okay because everyone was wearing head to toe fur
Christmas Eve, we had a family reunion type gathering in Export, PA with Jordan's mom family where they cooked a massive 7 fishes Christmas Eve Dinner.  We left after dinner and went to my parent's party at their house, then went to 10pm mass.
my 'little' brother

JoePa shirt from Corey

traditional after mass Christmas Eve PJ opening
Christmas Morning I had a nice 7 mile run (with tempo) with my dad.  We both dressed like crazies.  It was dark when we started, but a nice start to a great day. 

Jordan and I opened our presents and had a nice breakfast.  We spent some time at his dad's party in the afternoon, then ate dinner (filet and ravioli) at his Aunt's house.  We stopped by my aunt's house briefly as well.  Very busy, but fun day.
our little reindeer

and our little tree

Merry Corgmas!

Santa came for Caitlin, Jordan, Bruno, and Penny

Puppies opened their presents first.  They both got some toys and bones.  So happy!

Two Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, yay!

brunch casserole

family portrait

brothers stopped by

Penny and Bruno's cousin, Bailey

At Aunt Donna's House

New sweater I got Jordan

New dress he picked for me, matches my beautiful new bag!

Bailey likes to dance

Jordan needed to photograph the meat

Hope everyone else had as great of a holiday as we did!  Have a Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

RunningWithCorgs: Boston Training - Week One

RunningWithCorgs: Boston Training - Week One: Although I didn't run according to plan every day this week, I am very happy with the days I felt up to running. Monday : It was AMAZING ...

Boston Training - Week One

Although I didn't run according to plan every day this week, I am very happy with the days I felt up to running. 

Monday : It was AMAZING to run again after having not ran at all the previous week, due to being sick.  I felt so fast and speedy.  I ran 7 miles in the dark around my neighborhood after work and afterwards felt so much happier.  It amazing what running does to make me felt normal after a stressful day at work.

When I got back from my run, we discovered that our furnace was broken - not the best news.  The next 12 hours we focused on staying warm and getting a repairman over to fix it up.  I left for work at 6:30 am and got home at 9pm, because we had our winter concert.  I was very tired after the long, busy day and did not get a chance to run.

Wednesday I had intense sinus pressure after work (my bronchitis turned into a cold, which is much easier to deal with) but the sinus pressure gave me such a headache I came home and actually had to lay down in bed.  Not a good day, and I was even more miserable that I didn't get my endorphin fix.  However, I did get to lift weights in the morning at least!

Thursday I returned to my normal level of happiness by doing hill repeats in the dark listening to rap and Taylor swift.  Weird combination, but it is pretty much like therapy for me.  Of course it is dark, but all the houses were light up with Christmas lights.  It was a great workout and I ran 8 total miles and pulled in my best times ever on that particular hill.  I was in a fantastic mood after.

Friday morning the alarm sounded at 4:40am and after feeding the dogs and getting changed I was on the treadmill for an easy 5, while watching Desperate Housewives reruns.  I LOVE watching reruns of the show while running. 

Saturday I went out to the lake and ran 14 miles.  I averaged 7:50 pace with the last mile a 7:06.  I felt fantastic the first few miles, felt kind of blah the middle miles when the snow and wind picked up, but was able to pull it together for a fast last 5. 

Saturday night we went to the our favorite restaurant in Pittsburgh, Legends of the North Shore and went to the Symphony at Heinz Hall to see the holiday concert.  It was a great night out and was very approrpiate for this time of the year!
Legends of the North Shore - great Italian food AND BYOB
Heinz Hall Christmas Tree


This morning we had some snow so my dad and I ran together in the early afternoon.  I ran a relaxing 8 miles with him and spent the rest of the day baking, cleaning, and making a yummy dinner.

Baked Pasta with Spinach, Lemon, and Cheese - from my favorite magazine, Cooking Light!  Jordan liked it, too.

Sunday night is always kind of sad knowing that the weekend is over and you have to be at work early the next day, but tonight I don't even care.  I only have 3.5 days of work until a long, long 10.5 day break and I already have so many fun plans/get togethers in the works.  I am like a seven-year-old when it comes to Christmas and I can't wait for everything to start.  My two little friends are also very eager for Santa to arrive with new bones and toys.  Here is a flashback from last Christmas!!!

Visit with Santa
Our tree and both pups this year
Week 2 Training Goals:
Monday: AM lift, PM 5x1,000 total 8
Tuesday: AM or PM easy 5
Wednesday: AM lift, PM hill repeats total 8
Thursday: AM easy 5
Friday: 15 miles
Saturday: 8 miles
Sunday: 7 miles easy

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Eve of Boston Marathon Training!

I am going crazy.

Monday of this week, I went to the doctor's after school because I could not breathe without discomfort.  It was pretty tough to teach/speak all day and I couldn't even think about running.  Turns out, I had bronchitis.

I probably should have taken Tuesday off to recover, but I went to work Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.  I took my inhaler every couple hours and felt miserable.  Thursday after work, I stopped by target to get some wrapping paper.  I had such a horrible coughing fit I almost passed out!  I took Friday off and went to the doctor.  I was happy to find out that my lungs were almost back to normal, but I should be taking it a little easier - meaning not hanging out with 20 needy 5-year-olds.

I have been trying to 'take it easy' since then, but it is really hard to keep still.  So instead of exercising, I have been cleaning, cooking, doing laundry, grocery shopping, and running Christmas errands.

In my boredom we watched two movies (I cannot believe I actually stayed awake for them both, maybe my sleepyness has to do with running?) and read a book from the library.
It was as good as the book...probably my favorite book!

Almost better then the book, if that is possible
I am addicted to this author

I am hoping that tomorrow I am feeling good still....because tomorrow begins Boston Marathon Training!!!

I am feeling a little ambitious this season and am going to attempt to run a peak of 70 mpw and lift twice a week.  I am going to follow Daniel's Running Formula plan, since it worked well last year for me.

What's up for this week:
Monday: PM 7 miles
Tuesday: AM 6 miles total, 5x4 min hard, 3 easy
Wednesday: AM lift, PM 8 miles
Thursday: PM 8 mile hill workout
Friday: AM 5 miles
Saturday: 14 miles
Sunday: Easy 8, lift

We will see if all goes to plan...I am really excited to start training for something and having something to look forward to after the holidays are over.  I LOVE this time of year, and always find it sad when we take the tree down and put the decorations away.  Boston training will give me something 'fun' to do.

Being sick stinks...the worst part is not being able to run.  But on the bright side, I had my special friends to take care of me!!!
Making sure everything is under control

Monday, December 5, 2011

Why Yes I Am Alive and Marine Corps Marathon Recap

Let's start off with a Penny and Bruno photo, since I am pretty sure that is the reason why anyone reads this blog!!!
the pups
I am looking forward to trying and blog more often.  I am not sure why I was gone for so long, but I think some of it has to do with my new job this year and working longer hours.  What I missed most was reading everyone's blogs and talking to everyone else through my blog! 

Since this is a blog about running marathons....

October 30th, 2011 I ran the Marine Corps marathon.  I originally planned to run this and shoot for sub 3:10, but very sadly I was injured much of this summer.  I didn't start running again until the first week of August, after doing lots of strengthening exercises at Physical Therapy.  I was thrilled to run again, but really did not expect to run the race in October.  I like to have a long time to build up a base and prepare for my race.  However, in my previous post I ran a half-marathon PR in Erie (1:29:05) and that convinced me to follow through with the race, especially since my friends Leslie and Kate were running it for the first time ever!

All in all, I am very glad I ended up doing the race.  It was a beautiful day and I ran much of the race with Kate, Leslie, and even Charlie!  I felt absolutely fantastic the first 15 miles.  I felt so light and running was so easy.  Around mile 3, both Kate and Leslie came up from behind.  We ran together for a long time.  Those first 15 flew by and we really enjoyed taking it all in together.  My friend Charlie actually dropped back with us, so at one point all four of us were running together.
Having too much fun together

My knee started to ache soon after.  Around mile 21, Leslie sped up and I fell back.  The last few miles were agonizing.  I was running so wierdly on my knee, I was pretty much dragging it!  I was discouraged because the first 20 miles I was at around 3:06 pace and it felt SO GOOD and SO EASY.  I kept telling myself that since the first 20 were so good I could still run pretty poorly and get a decent time.  I didn't even expect myself to run the race a few weeks earlier.
Face of pain
Thankfully, I made it through and finished in 3:14:19.  That is 37 seconds off my best, so I really wish now that I tried to push it a little more at the end...but not so sure that I could.

Leslie and I at the finish
Kate, Leslie, Leslie's friend Sabine and I entered in the team division.  We were "Pittsburgh's Smoking 4" and we came in as the fourth women's team.  However, the three teams that beat us were the Air Force, Marine, and Army teams.  I am okay with losing to them.

sparkly headband bought at the expo - $5
One of my favorite things about this race was my specially selected racing attire.  I loved the pink overkill.  The arm warmers were fantastic, especially at the start when it was 35 degrees. 

In addition to running the race with my friends, I got to visit my twin at his apartment Saturday night and stay overnight at my best friend's apartment right across the street from the Pentagon City Mall.  I love her place.  However, that was not totally planned.  We were going to just leave Saturday morning, since we had the dogs to look after.  My dad called at 8pm Friday night and said a snowstorm was moving in.  We threw all our things in a suitcase and left immediatly.  My parents dog sat and we got to Caitlin's apartment at 2:00 am.  A little past my bedtime, but it was awesome to stay with her.  Another unexpected event was the tick Jordan had to get removed at the UrgetCare down the road. Sorry, I did not photograph the tick.  We managed to take care of that on our way to the Expo.
with my twin at his apartment
What is next you may ask?  Starting one week from today my official training for The Boston Marathon begins!  I am excited to begin and try chasing a PR there.  I have heard that it can be pretty hilly, so I have been doing hill repeats once a week to prepare.  I am hoping it is not so hilly that it makes it unrealistic to try for a PR here.

If you have run Boston before, any advice?
We missed you all!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Erie Half Marathon

Yes, this is a running blog again!

First, some fun pictures from the last few weeks.
We finally met Bruno and Penny's cousin, Moose!

Bruno enjoyed some couch cuddling after a long day at school/hard run

Can you find the weenie?

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this vest from Macy's.  I may be watching too much Real Housewives of New Jersey, though.  Is it appropriate for a kindergarten teacher?  Or at least to wear out to dinner with some jeggings and high boots?  Did not buy it yet...but am thinking of getting it soon!
 I had signed up for the Erie half marathon at Presque Isle to get my body ready for the Marine Corps Marathon I am doing October 30th.  I was pretty unsure about this race, mostly because I just started running at the end of July (due to injury) and have been following my own training plan.  We woke up at 3:30 am this Sunday morning to get to the race around 6:30!  It was an awesome morning for a run, cool, sunny, the only complaint was that it was very windy on a couple of the miles that weren't shaded (we were on the peninsula at Lake Erie).  I had no idea what pace to try for so when my first mile was 6:53 I thought what the heck I might as well try to keep that up!
Mile 2 I caught up to a group of three girls and my mile split was 6:51.  I was feeling pretty comfortable and tried to just relax and enjoy the scenery of Lake Erie.  It was a beautiful fall morning.  6:e58 for the next mile and I reminded myself not to get comfortable and slip off pace.  6:44, 6:52 and by that time I passed two girls who I could tell would probably not catch up, and the other girl that was with us left me in the dust, suddenly taking off at mile 5.  The next few miles we had the wind to deal with, but I felt like I could keep up my pace for the whole race, unlike the last time when I ran this course and totally bombed the last few miles. 

Mile 6 was 6:51.  Next, 6:50, 6:54, and 6:49.  When I got to mile 9 I mentally told myself to start picking it up and 'catch' those marathon runners who started a half hour earlier (they had to do two laps) and just enjoy the feeling of racing again.  My legs were very tired and I was breathing so hard I kinda startleted those marathon runners, but I felt great at the same time.  A lot of very nice marathon runners gave me words of encouragement, especially since I was a girl.  The last four miles were 6:45, 6:42, 6:36, 6:33, and the last .1 at 5:46 pace.  I was thrilled and totally surprised to cross the line and see that I got a 3 second PR at 1:29:03, and that I got third overall!

Nothing beats the feeling of a new PR, especially when you have a marathon coming up that you hope to PR in....after I finished I found my husband of the year, did a two mile cooldown, grabbed some chocolate milk and headed to the lake to take some pictures.
by the lake!

pretty day!
number one fan
My award was a really cool glass picture plaque of one of the lighthouses at Presque Isle.  It was a very good day in Erie, and I got to see a bunch of my friends run the whole marathon and half marathon.  To top it all off, we got back about ten minutes before the Steeler game started - and they won!

Today was a much needed day off from running, mostly because my calves are on fire from racing.

Finally, I am starting to feel like sub 3:10 is possible at Marine Corps!  40 days!