Friday, April 29, 2011

Next time...

Ward warned me.  He said "it's a beautiful day, are you sure you want to do a speed run on the Rail Trail?"  I assured him that it was the "best" idea.   I wanted to go to the rail trail mostly because the majority of the trail is flat.  Yes, there are some "bumps", I definitely wouldn't call them hills especially after some of the road races I've done this year!   I haven't put a lot of speed work into my running, so today was the day.

My goal was to get a baseline - 2 miles of speed and the rest (whatever it turned out to be) was to be recovery.  The McMillan Running Calculator says I needed to do my tempo run with a pace between 7:40 - 7:56.  Hmm....good goal for me, I think.   Before I started running, I decided I was going to stop and reset my Garmin between each "set" so I would know exactly what my pace was for each segment.  

Here's what I did:

0.5 mile warm up - 4:09 (pace - 8:18)
1 mile speed - 7:00
0.75 mile recovery- 6:28 (pace - 8:36)
1 mile speed - 7:39
1.28 mile recovery - 10:35 (pace - 8:16)

Total: 4.58 miles!  Woo hoo!

I was impressed with the 7 minute mile but I know I started out too fast.  By the end of that mile (and it ended on one of the "bumps" I thought I was going to throw up.  Ewwww.   The next mile speed run was obviously slower but I am still very happy with it.  

So, why was Ward warning me about the Rail Trail?  Because it's a gorgeous day and it was going to be packed.  I should have listened because trying to get in a speed run by dodging around people, strollers, their unleashed dogs, kids on bikes (who I swear were out to kill me) was not the most enjoyable, but it definitely added a challenge.  Plus, it was awesome when the nice lady who was walking, looked at me, and told me that I "inspired her" and started to run.  That was a warm fuzzy moment for sure.    

Should I be mad?  Definitely not.  I love the Rail Trail for the reason that it gives people/families an excellent place to walk, ride their bike, or run.  (I will not that I do not appreciate it when people smoke on the rail trail.  That is what makes me angry and that's when I make some not-so-nice comments!)    It is not my personal track.  While I'd love for it to be just that, it is not.  Next time I want to do a speed run (and I will be doing more very soon) I will have to head to the high school track when practice is not in session!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Adding a touch of yoga

I've been thinking that my routine was missing something.  I just wasn't sure what.  I know that cross-training is important for runners mostly because the constant pounding on the road just wreaks havoc on the body.  To help out with the aches and pains from regular running, and because of an IT band injury last August, I see a chiropractor on a monthly basis.  I look forward to the adjustments and feel incredible after each appointment.  But I know I needed something else.  Biking?  When it gets warmer and when I actually get the tire fixed on my bike, I'll consider doing more.  But the locking bike shoes/pedals that Ward insisted I get for my bike really freak me out.  I've fallen off that bike more times than I care to admit right now.  Perhaps I'll be a better biker this season.  I sure hope so.  

Then last night I received an email from Terry, one of the founders of Yoga to Run.  She and her friend, Jen, are starting a 16-week program aimed at helping 5k-10k runners complete a marathon.  Yoga is the perfect cross-training activity for me to add into my routine.   And better yet? It's free (to a limited amount of participants).  If you are interested, please go to Terry & Jen's blog and check it out.  It would even be better if you lived in the Brunswick/Portland areas as that's where they will have the yoga classes.  

I am most confident that by adding yoga into my routine, I will become a better runner and will kick some ass in the Maine Marathon this October!  

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The end of vacation week...

I've been a big time slacker this week.  I had so many plans - like painting, cleaning up the garden, catching up on paperwork, blogging, run, and hang out with the kids and friends.  Well, I ran and did get some hanging out with the kids and friends in.  I guess that will have to be good enough because break is over.  The good news is that there are 38 more school days left.

I hope everyone had a fantastic easter.  I hosted a brunch here for my little foursome, aunt & uncle, and Ward's parents.  Before brunch, I did manage to get in a quick 3.5 miler.  I needed that run.

I love brunch so it's always a fun cooking experience.  I completely forgot to take pictures but today's menu included:
- ham
- hashbrowns (unfortunately I broke my food processor by shredding the potatoes in it today, oops!)
- frittatas - 3 types: cheese, spinach, and sausage
- pumpkin scones
- blueberry scones
- strawberry/rhubarb pie
& my aunt brought up a fruit salad

After brunch, we went outside for an egg hunt.  Thank goodness for awesome weather today!  Both kids had a great time.

I'm not so sure what's going on with Izzy's smile right now, it's kind of cute but kind of like a growl at the same time.  Love that girl!

Tucker has been a blast all week.  I'm going to miss him!

Friday, April 22, 2011

10 miles & fish tacos

Well, spring break week is almost over and we finally had a nice day.  I started off my day with an early 10 mile run with the girls along the Rail Trail.   While I love running the Rail Trail, I also enjoy the convenience of parking in the Hannaford parking lot which means pre-run pee breaks and post-run grocery shopping.  Nothing like doing the grocery shopping after running 10 miles.  Not only do I look awesome (not really) and smell incredible (not-so-much), I'm absolutely starving and want to buy everything.  The only way for me to avoid caving in to my hunger, I bring my list and make sure to follow it.

Some of the items on the list were for dinner tonight -- Fish Tacos.  Tonight was the first time I ever attempted to make them and I must say they were delicious.  

1 lb Haddock (cut into smaller pieces)
1/2 cup flour
4 eggs
1 cup panko
baking dish/pan coated with spray

broccoli slaw
diced tomato
salsa (tonight I used pineapple salsa)
shredded cheese (tonight's choice was monteray jack)
sour cream
tortilla shells
leftover rice

- preheat over to 450
- cut up haddock into smaller pieces
- take each small piece and cover it with flour, cover in egg, then cover in panko - then set in pan *I rinsed my fingers between each piece of fish because this was messy!
- repeat with each piece of fish
- bake in over for 12-15 minutes

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The beginning of vacation week…


I’m not going to lie.  One of the reasons why I’m a teacher is the vacation time.  With any luck, April break has beautiful weather and makes me long for summer.  I started off my vacation with a much needed 8 mile run on the rail trail.  It was gorgeous weather.  Saturday morning I met the girls on the rail trail for a 9 mile run.  While it was a bit chilly in the beginning, it was still a great run!  After the Race the Runways ½ at the beginning of April, we’ve dropped our mileage back to allow for some injury healing and we’re going to increase our long runs again in prepping for the next ½ at the end of June.  The beauty of the half marathon at the end of June is that it is going to be held on the rail trail, the exact location of most of our long runs. 

After the run yesterday, Ward and I took the kids to Bailey & Orrs Island with his mother and grandmother.  While it was quite windy, it was still nice to get out and do something. 

Ward & Tucker looking for sea glass & other treasures

Izzy with her crazy, wind-swept hair

peaking through the Cribstone Bridge

another peaking shot

photo shoot under the bridge, I think Izzy was a little freaked out

This morning, we woke up to a horrible rainstorm.  The weather channel reported some areas getting winds from 40 to 60 mph.  This report made me a bit nervous because the last time we had gusts like that, the barn roof flew off!   

last February

Thankfully we knew someone (Ward and Wade) who could fix it. 

I took advantage of the rainy weather and went shopping, by myself.  What did I go?  Target, of course.  Once the rain cleared up, the sun came out, so I went for another run. 

Looking ahead at the week, I see a lot of running (hopefully) and some fun relaxing days with the kids.  Izzy will go to daycare a few days, mostly so I can get the runs in and spend some quality time with Tucker.  I think he’s in need of mommy time or at least I know I am in need of some Tucker time. 

Chicken update:  Last Saturday I did get 6 grown hens.  I chose 2 Rhode Island Reds and 4 Americauna-like hens.  I say Americauna-like, because they kind of look like the pictures I’ve seen online, but not exactly.  Unfortunately, one of the Americauna-like ones did die this week, I'm not really sure why. We’ve been keeping them separate from “my girls” this week.  They haven’t been laying a lot of eggs, but I need to give them time to adjust to their new home.  Here are the eggs they’ve given me this week:   2 green ones, 1 blue one, and a brown one.  I love the variety. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Wanna win?

Awesome give away!  

Check out this blog for details!  She's giving away a used Garmin 305, spibelt, and a super cute t-shirt.  
Good luck!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Is it vacation yet?

What a week it's been!  And it's only Tuesday.  I still have to get through Wednesday, a very long Thursday (1/2 student day then conferences until 7 - ugh), and Friday (a very early Friday - with a 7 am meeting) and then conferences until 10).   But, then it's vacation.

I don't know about all of you, but my head was absolutely overloaded today.  It was filled with this jumbled mess of - IEPs I need to write, IEPs I need to score, other student issues, conferences, bills, and what to do about the chickens!  How did I deal with it?  I went for a run.

Let me tell you, that run was the best idea I had all day.  I came back in a better mood, more focused, and almost have action plans for everything that was clouding my head.

Plus, I got to run in a t-shirt and shorts.  THAT by itself makes me so happy.  Oh, and that there are 40 more school days left til summer.  Oh thank goodness!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Thank you mystery runner!

Yesterday was our group run.  I absolutely love our group runs and look forward to them every week.   However, yesterday's run kicked my butt, big time.  The cold I had all week reared it's ugly head yesterday morning.  Needless to say, I went to bed very early last night, along with taking some medicine.

This morning, I woke up feeling like a different, and much healthier human being.  So, I ventured out to redo that 7 miles from yesterday.  With a clearer and head and chest and a gorgeous blue sky, the run was perfect.  I was taking it easy for the first 3.5 miles.  Then I saw this woman come running toward me in the opposite direction and I was impressed with her pace.  Something inside of me clicked and I turned around (I was turn at that point anyway - it was just meant to be, I think) and I ran behind her.  I decreased my pace from 8:30/8:45 to 7:45/8:00 while tailing her.  She was the motivation I needed!  I stayed behind her until she turned around and headed back toward Hallowell.  I finished my 7 miles this morning in 58 minutes.

RUN like you stole something

We have shirts!  Three out of the four of us read the SR blog.  In her blog, there are several pictures of her wearing a white shirt that says “Run like you stole something”. 

When SR sold shirts, she didn’t sell any with this saying.  That’s when Stacy said that we should make our own shirts.  She found the tech tees on and knows somebody locally who does printing. Now we all have our “RUN like you stole something” shirts! 

Stacy brought them to our long run (7 miles) yesterday on the rail trail. 

Here’s the back of mine! 

Thank you, Stacy!!! 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The day the fox came to town…

I bet you thought this was a running blog.   Not today.  Today, Ward and Wade were gone to intall on  Northhaven and of course I was at school.  Since our chickens are free range chickens and have been since last summer, they were out and about, until that nasty fox came around and took away most of my chickens. 

How do I know it was a fox?  Because my neighbor saw it happen.  He said he came over and chased it away.  When I went down the coop, there were four scared hens in there.  Poor girls.  I told them I was sorry and I shut the coop door.  I am not na├»ve.  I know chickens have many predators and that our chances of having one (or more) of those predators take our chickens away was fairly high.  I was just hoping that we would be lucky.

We’ve had them for just over a year now and I’ve gotten a bit attached.  It’s hard to not get attached, especially when they give you yummy, delicious eggs and when I go outside, they come running to me.  

While I’m on the farm-life topic, I’ll let you know that we’ve decided to not get the pigs this year.  My good friend, Stacy, found the Farmers’ Gate Market, which is a full scale butcher shop specializing in grass fed beef and pastured pork.  They also have lamb and poultry.  And get this, their price per pound is $3.69/lb when purchasing half a pig.  That’s a huge savings compared the calculations I came up with when doing the research for raising our own pigs for slaughter.  My prices kept coming out in the $4.00 - $4.50/lb range.  Plus, now I won't bond with those cute piggies.  We already know I'm sad about my chickens being eating by the bad fox.  

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A Necessary Run

The past few days at work have been a bit stressful and I really needed a run today.  It seemed as though the closer I got to my house, the harder the rain came down.  I had made up my mind that I was going to have to suck it up and head to the gym to run on the treadmill.  Now this is a big deal to me because I have been quite proud of myself for having braved the Maine winter weather and have done a majority of my runs outside.  By all means, I am not saying that running on the treadmill is a bad thing.  I actually do enjoy it, but I also enjoy saving money.

As I was getting ready to head to the gym, I realized that the rain had lessened to a drizzle and I quickly changed my mind.  I was going to run outside and I was pumped.  It was 40 degrees with a drizzle, so it was definite hat weather.  I do love my new hat.   Tonight was my first run since Saturday's half marathon, so my goal was to just take it easy and do my quick 3.5 mile route on my road.  I was able to complete my run in 29:21.  AND I feel way better!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Race The Runways

Saturday really seemed like a normal school day because I was getting up at the normal time (5:20) and I my destination was Brunswick.  The only difference was getting 2 extra people up and ready before heading out the door.  Okay, really 3 extra people because normally I just put a jacket on Izzy and strap her in her seat and drop her off at daycare.  Adding Ward and Tucker into the mix was crazy!  My goal was to be in the car, driving away by 6:30.   When I looked at my watch as we were driving away, it read 6:32.  Not bad. We didn’t have to worry about dropping the kids off anywhere for the race because the race times were staggered enough and we had my dad, and Ward’s parents coming to watch.  Thank goodness for that!  All four of us were registered to run races yesterday.  Tucker and Izzy (I only registered her because I didn’t know if Ward was going to have to run with her to encourage Tucker or not) were registered for the Kid’s Fun Run, Ward was registered for the 1 mile, and I was registered or the half marathon.  Maybe someday, if the race coordinators continue with the race, our family will have representation in all the races held.  We were only missing out on the 5k.  

When we drove into the base, old memories came flooding back.  I was not a Navy brat, but both of my parents worked as civilians on the base.  The last time I was on the base was for my mother’s funeral.  Bringing back that memory brought some (many) tears to my eyes.  What a way to start the day, huh? 

Here was the race schedule: 
1 mile: 8:00 (and get this, they shuttled them out to the starting point in the Bath Trolley)
5K & Half Marathon: 8:30 (I think we walked ¾ of a mile and were not shuttled!)
Kids Fun Run: 9:30 (I missed Tucker’s first run L) – Izzy decided not to run the race

1 Mile
Ward and his brother, Wade, did the 1 mile.  They are pretty fast!  Ward came in 2nd and Wade came in 4th.  Nice job! 

Go Ward!

Love this one with me watching Ward in the background!

Go Wade!

Our friend Jess also did the 1 mile and she was the women’s 1st place AND she walked away with $100!  Awesome! 

Half Marathon
Heading out to the starting line for the half marathon was a little crazy.   I didn’t realize how far it was.  We ended up jogging out there.  It got to be a bit chaotic because there was an intersection that lead to two possible starting points – 1 for the 5K and 1 for the half-marathon and absolutely no signage.   

We figured out which starting point (the furthest one) to get to and jogged some more.  I hadn’t planned on warming up.  I figured I had 13.1 miles to warm up.  But I was definitely warm by the time we got out there. 
When the gun went off and I got behind Mark and Christine.  We rounded our first corned and I lost them!  Why? Because the 5K started at the same time and for some reason, the race directors thought it would be a good idea to have the 5K and 13 mile runners merge.  It was absolutely crazy!  I had people bumping into me and cutting me off.  It was incredibly frustrating.  Then I saw the 1st mile marker and saw the time 7:13?  No way!  I was supposed to start off easy.  I looked at my Garmin and realized that this mile marker was not for me.  Then I saw the next mile marker – which WAS meant for the half marathoners.  Phew.  My real mile 1 was 8:13.  

Overall, the course was nice and flat.  The wind was not so good.  At times, I was pretty warm – pushing my sleeves up all the way and other times I was pulling them down.  I did take my cheapo Target gloves off and put them into the bungie cords of my Camelbak, but I didn’t tuck them in enough and I lost them.  When I reached for them during really chilly part, I was a bit bummed. 

I loved the two small parts where there were out & backs and I got to see my other running friends – Joe, Gene, Mark and Christine, Emilie, Jill, Stacy, John, and Karen. (Joe - I am so sorry, I haven't seen any pics of you yet! - I guess you were too fast for the photographers!)

Christine & Mark


Emilie & Karen




I also got to see our school nurse’s 16 year old daughter, Katie, running with her boyfriend.  How cute is that?  This was her 1st half marathon and she completely rocked it – 1:34!  Woah! 

I even got to see my principal for Harriet Beecher Stowe (my new school for next year) running! She just ran the Princess Half Marathon in February. Way to go Jean!

On the way back toward Hangar 5, I saw my dad standing there with his camera!  Thanks, Dad! 

When I rounded the corner to head back onto the runways, I was met with a brutal wind.  I had to put my head down and push through it.  I seriously thought I was going to lose my hat!  Ward came running out to take some pictures, but didn’t get there in time (that’s okay, honey, the Maine Running Photos people were taking some great ones). 

Then I finally rounded the last corner heading back to Hangar 5 and the wind was at my back.  Thank goodness for that.   Then I saw Ward again and he got some pics and then took my camelbak.   It was an incredible feeling coming into the finish line seeing my dad, mother-in-law holding a sleeping Izzy, father-in-law with Tucker and Jackson, brother-in-law & Scout, and friends Joe and Jess and their kids AND actually hearing the announcer say my name as I came in! 

Gotta love my supportive hubby.
He took my camelbak and coached me along on the last stretch!

Almost done.

Kids Fun Run
Tucker did his 1st Fun Run.  Ward said it was a ½ mile.  I was so sad I missed it.  At least I had my dad and Ward taking pictures!!! 

The crew of kids - Max, Lila, Tucker, Jackson & Izzy.  

I think this is how Izzy spent most of her time while I was gone.
Grammy's poor back!
Tucker’s report on the race – “I loved it!  I kept up with the big kids!” 

Get ready!

My little track star!  Just like daddy.

Love this one.
Go Jackson!

Yay, Max!

5K Pics of Friends!

Erin & her daughter, Lexi.

high school friend, Mary

Post Race
We hung out in Hangar 5 few a bit after the race – packing up our belongings, watching the kids run around like crazy, warm up, and to take more pictures of family and friends! 

Izzy & Ward

with John (his 1st half!)

with Stacy (her 1st half, too!)

I must say that our group of friends is one that is very supportive.  Look at this group!  Scott & Dan - thanks for taking pics.

All in all, for it’s first year, and having 4 different races going on at the same time and nearly 900 runners, I think the Race the Runways went pretty well.  I really hope this race becomes an annual event!