Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Memorial Day Part 3

I am having a major problem.

I can't comment on ANY blogs.  There is a space for comments, but no little box appears for me to type.  I feel like I am slowly going crazy. AM I?

Anyways, my Memorial Day was very nice.

I started with a morning bike ride with my dad.  We got coffee, as usual.

I came home and got ready in the air conditioning - felt so good.

Jordan left me to golf all day, so I took myself to the mall.  Express had 40% off all their bottoms.  I got two pairs of crop pants and two pairs of shorts (plus a couple tank tops) a skirt and top for our anniversary dinner, and a pair of wedge sandals from Nine West.

Crop pants - but on me they are very close to the ankle.  Got them in black, too.
Mine are khaki colored
In black
It was great going to the mall at 1pm on a Monday instead of going to work.  On the way home, I picked up a baby pool.....

Penny Swimming

It gets hot wearing a fur coat in 90 degree weather
Best of all, it gave me an excuse to hang out with my feet in a baby pool

Look at that Corg Smile
Jordan came home to see his crazy wife in the baby pool with her dog.  Haha.  I did reward him with homemade crabcakes, and finished reading Water for Elephants on the porch.  What an awesome weekend!!!

Water for Elephants

PS Let me know if you can solve my comment problem :(  I feel bad I want to comment on your blogs!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day Part Two

I had a world record of sleeping this morning - slept until 8:20!  We all enjoyed not having to get up for work.

I decided to do a quick run around home so I could finish folding and putting away my FIVE loads of laundry.  I'm not really sure how two people had 5 loads of laundry....anyways I got out the door right at 9am after eating a few pieces of watermelon.  The temperature only said 68, but it was so humid and sunny, it was really tough and my legs were tired from the bike/lift the day before.

On part of my run, I found a little beagle running across the road off leash and without a collar.  I was really worried about him because he could get hit by a car easily.  I chased after him for a long time and asked a few people if they knew where he lived.  I was finally told that this dog is not lost, he just always is off leash.  That really disturbed me and I could have easily taken him if I felt like it!!!

The rest of the day we did yard work and housework and by 3pm I decided it was time to tie Penny up in our patio room, open an adult beverage and read.  It was a nice break.

Dinner was a cook out at my Mom and Dad's, it was really fun.  My grandparents and brother Corey came.  Jordan and I dominated in two games of ladder ball.
Family Portrait

Corey, Penny, Dad

Actions Shots



One more day of vacation! :)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend Part One

Friday, Jordan did something that made me very, very, happy.

He did not buy me jewelry or take me out to a fancy restaurant.
He did not buy me a corgi puppy.
He did not clean the bathrooms.


At the sketchy water park in Mexico for our honeymoon. 
He looks like a runner, but don't let that fool you.  In high school, he ran a fast 100 and 200.  He plays deck hockey every week and golfs whenever he can.  If someone is playing basketball, he is in.  Same with flag football, racquetball, etc.  But he cannot understand why I love running.

I tricked him with promising I would hit golf balls at the driving range if he would run the 5 mile lake loop.  I even told him he could listen to my Ipod.

Our goal was to keep under 9 minute mile pace.  He previously did this loop about 6 years ago at 9:08 pace.  He only complained when he kept swallowing bugs behind the lake.  He looked focused the whole time and raved about my Ipod mix, especially the Miley Cyrus songs thrown in between the 50 Cent and G-Unit tracks.  He even ran the last mile faster than the rest, an 8:25 to bring us to a respectable 8:51 pace for the entire lake.  Can many people really just go out and run 5 miles for the heck of it?  No.  I am impressed.
A little tired

Excuse the sweat blob

So my plan is to try and golf a little bit more this summer so maybe he will run a little bit more with me.  Maybe someday he will even try a half marathon.  Who knows??

Saturday morning I went on another bike ride with my dad.  I beat my mile pace by 5 seconds compared to last week!  It is a hard workout when you go up those hills.  I am such an amateur biker, it is just pathetic when the regulars zip past me.  My legs were tired the rest of the day from the effort. 

When we finished, we checked out the LA Fitness booth advertising for reduced membership rates for the new gym set to open in August.  I LOVE Club Julian, but this place looks even better!  It is enormous and has a lot of classes and even a spinning studio.  I really like how it has lanes for lap swimming, I stink at swimming and would like to practice getting better at it.  They have a smoothie bar and even a child care (NO I'M NOT PREGNANT) for mommies to drop their kids off at so they can get a workout in.  I convinced Jordan to join because they have racquetball courts and he loves to play.  I am very excited!

The rest of the day was spent lifting, grocery shopping, doing laundry, and getting ready for a cookout with Caitlin and Peter later that night.  It was great eating outside and catching up with them.  Sadly, I did not take any pictures to document. :(  It felt great to have my best friend around, and we are planning a trip to visit them in DC this summer so the boys can golf together!

Looking forward to a fun day today!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Anger Management Advice

When you are feeling furious and outraged, here is some advice to follow.  It is cheaper then therapy and medication, and helps you keep off the lbs.

1) Grab the nearest corgi and cuddle.  Let him/her lick your face.
Pup knows how to relax

2) Put on your running clothes.  Make sure to grab your Ipod.  Leave the house with no workout goal or set distance.

3) Put the following songs on top volume:
         In Da Club - 50 Cent
         My Hood - Young Jeezy
         Unwritten - Natasha Bedingfield
         P.I.M.P. - 50 Cent
         Survivor - Destiny's Child
         'Till I Collapse - Eminem and Nate Dogg
         Tubthumping - Chumbawamba
          Fighter - Christina Aguilera
         Dirt Off Your Shoulder - Jay-Z

4) Begin pounding the pavement, thinking of everything that is upsetting you with each footstrike.  Pretend that you are outrunning your problems.  Imagine them going away with each hill you charge up.  'Race' the person/thing/situation that is bugging you and pretend you are kicking their/its ass and setting a world record in the process.  Finish your run much faster then you really should be going on a recovery day.

5) Turn on the hose (It was in the 80's today!) and spray yourself in the face while the 8 year-olds playing street hockey think you are the wierdest person on earth and that you shouldn't be allowed to own a home, especially since after the sweat filled run you don't look much different then their 12 year-old brother.

6) Flop yourself down on the floor in front of a fan and let your Corgi (from step 1) lick your sweaty face.

It worked for me!!!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Post Marathon Life

First Thing First: Corgi enjoying the great outdoors

 Five days without exercise (Monday - Friday after the marathon) was enough to drive me nuts.  It was great to come home after work everyday and have cheese and crackers and wine and enjoy episodes of Real Housewives while cuddling with the corg.  Just about as good as running.

Saturday morning was beautiful and I had the chance to bike with my dad at North Park.  I biked 13 miles at the speedy mile pace of 4:42.  Haha.  It was a little hard at times because there was a walk-a-thon, so people were walking about twelve across.  I enjoyed biking and it was hard getting up the hills.  I decided I should try to do more of it this summer and drag my husband along.
Dad with nice bike
Me with the purple RoadMaster, purchased at a church flea market for $20.  Gets the job done.

The rest of Saturday I purchased flowers and shrubs for our house and planted.  I am attempting to grow lettuce, eggplant, hot peppers, green peppers, tomatoes, basil, rosemary and chives in our backyard.  If one of those plants come in I will be happy.
Our Home

That night, we went to the Pirates game with a group of friends.  It was such a pretty night, and it was really cool to walk around the area where I finished the marathon less than a week ago.
The bridge in the background is where the final 800 meters started

Sunday morning, I ran 5 easy miles around the North Allegheny Intermediate School with my dad.  It was so nice out and it felt great to  be running again.  My hamstring felt better after I ran, and as of right now, I don't have any pain.  I did some abs as well.  We got coffee at Panera afterwards and I took a shower, got dressed, and put on makeup for church in a record 8 MINUTES.  We arrived at 10:31 for 10:30 mass.  Not too bad.

This morning, I got to the gym at 6am for 30 minutes on the elliptical and some abs.  It felt great to get cardio done so early in the morning.  I did the hill setting and it did its job.

Very excited for tomorrow....I get to meet Kate at North Park for a run after school!  I am also excited because I am making salmon burgers.

Only 11 days until summer vacation/being a nanny begins!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Pittsburgh Marathon

I really wanted to write a post about the race Sunday, but was awaiting some pictures from the race. 

Stats for this race: 3:18:23 (7:33 pace), 24th woman, 7th in age group 20-24.
My marathon PR: 3:13:42 (Marine Corps 2010)
My Pittsburgh time from last year: 3:33:06

4:30 AM READY!
I have mixed feelings about this race.  Obviously, I did not meet my goal of breaking 3:10 in the marathon (yet).  I know for a fact my fitness level for this season was the best it has been.  However, I did not beat my best time in this race.  I am not quite sure why,  but it seems like I don't do as well at the Pittsburgh course as some others do.  Maybe I am not a great runner on hills, or maybe I struggle in the rain.  It is frustrating not reaching your goal, but there are some other positive aspects to the race.
Getting to the race Sunday morning was very simple.  We left much earlier than needed (4:55 am).  My brother Corey, Jordan and I parked in a garage downtown and were at the start line around 5:30.  I was kinda mad I was so worried about getting there in time when it was so ridiculous how unnecessarily early we were there.  Corey and Jordan decided to eat breakfast at McDonalds while I sat inside with them  nervously thinking about the course I had a hard time with last year.
Mistake Number 1: Getting in line for the porta potty one last time.  I got in line at 6:20.  Was in line till about 6:50.  I had a seeded number, which meant I should be near the top of Corral A, but I literally could not wedge my body very far up.  I was trapped by people who were definitely not taking the race super seriously....I was a little annoyed because when the gun went off, I was stuck behind for a bit.  But honestly, I don't think it matters at all because it is a MARATHON - 26 more miles to catch up.  It would have been a bigger problem during a 5k.

After the first mile was a little slower (7:29) I settled in close to goal pace on the flat.  I was happy with this, because I like to run a little slower in the beginning.  It was all going according to plan.  One things that I wasn't thrilled with is that I noticed there were hills everywhere in the race.  I later noticed I wasn't able to hit the 7:10 pace while feeling comfortable, which was a concern.

Mile 2: 7:09
Mile 3: 7:16 Saw Jordan and Corey
Mile 4: 7:14
Mile 5: 7:16 Saw my Father in Law
Mile 6: 7:20

Mile 7: 7:21
Mile 8: 7:20
Mile 9: 7:23
Mile 10: 7:23

Mile 11 started the hill up Oakland, and at this point the half-marathoners were on their way back to the finish.  It was kind of depressing knowing you had a huge hill that would slow down your pace even more, the majority of the people you were running around were on their way back to the finish, and there were still 15 miles left of the race.  At this point, my leg was starting to hurt as well.  Needless to say, miles 11-17 were pretty rough for me.  I started to feel really sorry for myself around mile 13 and when I saw Corey and Jordan at 14 I told them my leg really hurt but wanted to keep going....  two miles later I snapped out of my cloud of darkness when the best cheerleaders ever went crazy when I ran by.  I really am appreciate of the ladies of Homewood who came out to cheer for us that day, their enthusiuam made the race and running fun again when I was really not having so much fun!

Mile 11: 7:34
Mile 12: 8:15
Mile 13: 7:38
Mile 14: 7:48 Saw Corey and Jordan, told them I was hating my life
Mile 15: 8:02
Mile 16: 8:02
Mile 17: 7:45
Mile 18: 7:47 Saw Corey and Jordan, told them I was going to stop being a wimp

Miraculously, my leg started to feel better and I started to enjoy the atmosphere around me again.  It also helped that I was not being passed, and although I sadly realized I would not get my best time, a lot of the people around me were struggling as well - misery loves company.  I relaxed a little and enjoyed the scenery around me, counting down the miles to the finish. I was thrilled to run up to Bloomfield, such a fun place to run through!  I randomly saw an old friend from highschool (SUE!) cheering for me like crazy and that made me feel that much better.  I just kept telling myself to hold on, the downhills to the finish would start soon!

Mile 19: 7:31
Mile 20: 7:32
Mile 21: 7:38

The downhill felt spectacular and although I was very tired, I was all smiles because I realized it would be done soon and I pushed through those tough middle miles.

Mile 22: 7:11 (YES, DOWNHILL!!!)
Mile 23: 7:38
Mile 24: 7:20
Mile 25: 7:51
I thought the finish was really neat.  We made a turn and ran up the 6th street bridge, and there was a big screen TV projecting us running right on the side of the bridge.  At this point, only half a mile left and my whole body was hurting, but somehow I was able to smile a lot.  The guy running in next to me was very upbeat and yelling how excited he was to do this, and I was enjoying myself as well. 
Mile 26: 7:12
.2: @ 7:07

The last straightaway to finish by the stadiums is VERY long.  I was lucky to have my friend Jo, who ran the half, help me run to the end.  I know I would be able to finish, but she really helped me to increase my pace till the end.  I was really out of it and asking her where the finish was because I was very confused!

Coming off the bridge before coming in with Jo

Seriously, why am I smiling?  My body was miserable.

Click this to watch me cross the finish around 3:18:20 and hear the announcer comment on my smiling problem

Finishing the race, I was so incredibly tired.  I relized I was swerving in and out to get my medal and I had blood all around the heels of my feet.  I w anted to cry because all I wanted to do was lay down, I couldn't find Jordan or my brother and I didn't have the energy to do anything about it.  I remembered thinking walking after the race was worse than the actual race - crazy talk. I wrapped myself up in my foil blanket and layed down agains the wall of Heinz Field.  A little while later, Jordan and Corey found me and I started the NEVER ENDING walk from Heinze Field to where he parked at his Dad's house on Arch Street.

I am proud of myself for running another solid marathon and finishing 15 minutes better than last year, and for my highest overall finish, but am still a little bummed I didn't get my goal time, or even run a PR. I am not sure exactly why I have a hard time with this race, maybe I struggle on the hills, or maybe I just struggle with the rain - I wish I knew or someone would tell me this answer!

Overall, I really enjoyed this race because so many of my friends were participating and EVERYONE did well.  I mean, EVERYONE!  It was so nice to see so many friends out on the course as well, a lot of running friends from highschool and tons of Pharaoh Hounds were spectating.  As always, my family memebers were out to cheer me on, too.  Although I did not have EXACTLY the race I wanted, being able to spend time with friends at the Expo, racing with my friends, and being cheered on by my city made it a great experience.  Will I run the full marathon here again?  I'm not sure, but I know I will at least do the half or a relay.  Congrats on everyone who race, and thanks to all the volunteers and supporters.  I'm ready to starting training again:).

Favorite Expo Pictures:

My favorite Volunteer Adam - not much of a height difference..

One of my favorite running buddies! KATE! Running Marine Corps with her this year!

Just liked it

I enjoyed this t-shirt

And this one even more.  So true.

See name below

Last year I was Caitlin Palko

Friday, May 13, 2011

Taper Madness/ Good Luck!

This article perfectly describes the mental illness I am suffering from this week, Taper Madness.

Taper Madness

My Symptons:
1) Germ phobia - I ran to the bathroom to wash my hands when one of my students sneezed and snot went flying into his cubby.

2) Weather obsession - I check the weather forecast on my Iphone every 2 hours and have been doing this since the 15 day extended forecast became available.  I also check a few different sources, and pick the most favorable weather forecast at the moment and immediately tell my husband.  I make phone calls like "It will be 61 and just a 60 % chance" before I even say hello, like he is supposed to know what that means.  I have considered text messaging my meteorology major friend Chad for his prediction, but have refrained.  Barely.

3) Detail obsession.  Do I really need to write down every parking garage location in the city?  Yes.  Do I need Jordan to put down in writing for me EXACTLY what mile locations on the course he will be standing?  HECK YES.  Do I need to pick my flavor of GU ahead of time?  Yes, it's laying on my dresser.  Has been all week.  I have a morning routine scheduled down to the minute.  Completely neccesary.

4) Losing my mind.  One minute I am thinking back on how awesome my long runs were this season and smiling confidently that I will have a kick butt race.  The next minute, I see myself getting picked up my the sweeper shuttle because my hip injury flared back 200x worse than it has ever been.  The extra energey is slowing driving me insane, too.  During Show and Tell today, I grabbed my 4-year-old student's jump rope and demonstrated to the class how long and how fast I can jump rope, and even do a cross over.  I. AM. WIERD.

5) Race Gear has been on display in my bedroom for the past two weeks.  It cannot be folded or put away.  I try it on every few days and simulate running in place to see how I feel.

6) I have a slightly sore throat.  End of the world.  Have been chugging vitamin water, orange juice, and downing Zince throat lozengers.  I also think I keep imaging my hip pain coming back.

This is it!  Only two days away from the big day we have trained for the in snow, wind, and rain since December.  The reason why I have gotten out of my warm bed before the sun was up to put on my headlamp and vest.  The reason why I went to bed early, ate properly, and strength trained.  The reason why my weekends were not spent out in bars and clubs but around North Park lake for 22 mile runs at 7am on a Saturday.  I enjoyed training this season so much, especially training with all my friends and running buddies, many who I CAN'T WAIT to race with on Sunday.  We worked so hard for this day and I am excited to run Pittsburgh!!!

P.S. Current weather forecast is 61 degrees and 60% chance of rain

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


NO MORE HAMSTRING PAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am ready for Sunday.

Weather Forecast: 53-63 degrees, 50% chance of rain.

Tonight, I ran my last workout before the marathon with my Lady Hounds.  We are ready to kill it Sunday!  We did 4x1200 at about 6:43 pace.  It really didn't feel so bad.  Tapering is driving me nuts, though.  I really want to be running more and feel very lazy and sluggish.  However, I think this is the point of tapering.

Some of my friends wanted to know how to track me during the race.  Go Here:
Pittsburgh Marathon Tracking
all you have to do it put my name in. 

If you are coming to the race, let me know where you are watching!!!  I will be wearing navy blue shorts and a hot pink Nike sports bra.

My husband ran two miles on the treadmill before I agreed to feed him dinner.

Husband Abuse

And the mandatory cute Corgi picture.

Hiding under our bed

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Tapering continues, Bridal Shower, Corey is 19, and Mother's Day Party

Friday was an easy 5 miles in the morning at 8:44 pace.  Thursday's workout went really well, but I felt stiff in my left hip on this run.  It wasn't anything that hurt that bad but it was irritating to me.  I really want this completely gone before the race Sunday......

Saturday I did an easy 3 miles.  I actually awoke on my own at 5:57 that morning.  So weird, I  know.  However, I had a very busy day ahead so I was fine with waking up so early.  I had a bridal shower to help host, and that night a bachlorette party to attend.  I had so much fun at both, and it turned out to be a very busy day!  I actually stayed up close to 1am.   World record.

Today I was expecting to be tired but again woke up before my alarm, this time at 7 -a little bit more normal.  I ran with my Dad at the track to do a marathon pace workout.  I ran 7 miles total, and the goal was to run two miles at marathon pace in the shoes I would be wearing to race.  Well, I actually ran a little faster than marathon pace - 6:57 pace to be exact.  I hope I can use this to boost my confidence one week from now.

Besides checking the 10 day weather forecast every half an hour (Currently, the weather for race day is predicted as a low of 54 and high of 64, with 40% chance of rain) I cooked spaghetti, meatballs, hot sausage, and a carrot cake for Mother's Day/Corey's Birthday.  We also had two types of salad, bread, and lots of red wine....it was a lot of fun and we actually set up outside and tied Penny to a post in our yard.  She loved it- except when I left her sight.

Mom and I

Grandpa and Penny

Birthday Boy and Corg

Jordan's Mommy

This man did all the dishes!

Family Portrait



Dinner Guests: Dan, Sue, Maura, Alex, Mom, Dad, Corey

Carrot Cake - words written in carrots

Happy Birthday!