Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Matching Pair

This photograph totally cracks me up, yet brings great sadness.  Today would have been my parents' wedding anniversary.  It makes me incredibly sad knowing their time together was cut short.    

Monday, May 30, 2011

A Race to Remember

Today was the Race to Remember 5K in Gardiner.  There are a couple of things I love about this race:
- it's local
- it's small (approx 100 participants today)
- a majority of the course is on the rail trail  (we all know I love the RT)
- the race benefits the Gardiner Boys and Girls Club 
- and it's super cheap to register ($15) and the t-shirts have actually been pretty good

We started off the day by drying out the jogger because it was absolutely soaked thanks to the thunderstorm that passed through early this morning.  Oops!

Ward, Wade and the girls pre race.

Thankfully it moved through quickly but it left behind some very humid conditions.  I was just thankful for no rain.  We had a nice sized crew at the race today - Jill, Stacy, Jess, Ward, Wade, and myself.

Ward and Wade (only 2 weeks post Sugarloaf) raced with the girls because "they weren't ready to race yet".  Somehow, they still kicked some major butt - Ward came in 3rd and snagged a 1st in his age group.

Wade actually started near the back of the pack, and passed most of the runners.  He even ran with me for a little while and gave me some helpful tips - "thumbs up", "head forward".  Thanks, Wade!

Look!  Jess is right behind him!

Jess and I really wanted to race this one and we both wanted to finish in the 22 minute range.  In order for me to meet my goal, I thought that if I stayed with Jess, I'd be in a good spot to meet this goal. However,  when the race started, she took off like a rocket and actually stayed just behind Ward for the first part of the race.  When I lost her that early, I decided that my new running plan was going to be to run strong and make sure I can see Jess.  Oh and to pass the girl with the hat - which I DID!

Jess held strong and finished 1st woman overall.  (results have not been posted online yet - but her time was sub 22!) I finished 2nd woman overall (no medal)/1st in my age group for woman with a time of 22:10 (7:09 pace).  

Jill coming in strong.  You can't really see what her shirt says - but it says "Anger is a gift".  I love it!

And here's Stacy!  

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Gardening in Gardiner

Today was the first day without rain we've had in over a week.  No wonder I've been cranky and irritable.   I had such high hopes for today.  In my head, no rain meant sunshine and warmth.  HA!  It was freezing all day.  I actually think the warmest part of my day was during the 13 mile run with the girls this morning.  From that point, it just got colder.   I must say, I was much happier with yesterday's weather.  We did get a few thunderstorms come rumbling through, but it was at least 15 degrees warmer and I DID see the sun a few times!  

As I said above, the girls and I did our 13 mile run this morning.  We started out at 8 am on the rail trail.  On our way back (2 hours later) we began noticing a lot of people walking their dogs - many more than normal.  And they weren't really just walking just any dog - a lot of people were walking greyhounds. When we came around the final corner, we saw tons of balloons and even more greyhounds and their owners.  There was a table set up with some information there, but we didn't go over.  Then I saw this event posted on facebook today.   I just hope they cleaned up their poop!  

Anyway, today's run, as always, was nice and easy.  I love these runs.  It was MUCH better than my run yesterday.  I decided to take Izzy in the jogger and go out of a run.  This was the first time I took the jogger out this year.  Jeez it was hard.  I have forgotten how hard it is to run with a stroller.  I felt like I was running a 7 minute mile, but then I looked at my Garmin and it completely disagreed and told me I was running a 9 minute mile.   I was exhausted at the end of the run.  My calves were hurting so bad I came home and put my Salonpas pads on each of my calves.  I know I'm not supposed to use more than one, but I really just had to do it.   

After today's run, I felt great.   Which is a good thing because we really had to get out in the yard and garden and take of the amazon.  The lawn was crazy and completely filled with dandelions and my garden was absolutely overrun with them as well.  What I really wanted to do was get mulch and put it down today, but I desperately had to weed first.  While Tucker, Izzy and I weeded the garden, Ward mowed.  

This is how high the grass was - the left over patch by the tree waiting for Ward to weedwack it! 

After weeding - let's just hope most of the weeds stay away until next weekend
- when I'll have time to get mulch on it!  

After all that was done, Ward moved the strawberry planter over to my berry garden.  Yes, that's right.  I've turned my old veggie garden into a berry garden for a couple of reasons:  1.  I'm a full share holder at the CSA now (and hopefully Keena has an awesome growing season!), 2.  I just don't have time for the maintenance of another garden right now, 3.  berries are so much easier and don't require as much work - I won't need, I mean, Ward won't need to rototill it anymore and keep up with the weeding.   


Last year I bought 5 blueberry (high) bushes.  I am happy to report that they all made it through the winter and are flowering right now!  


Also, two weekends ago, my in-laws split up their raspberry bushes and gave the "extras" to us.  They are looking good.  Hopefully I'll get some raspberries from them this year.  We'll see!  

They don't look like much, but these raspberries will fill in next year!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Oh my

I was the absolute best wife ever on Sunday.  Really, I was.  And I totally expect excellent treatment from Ward after I run the marathon in October.  I'm really writing this so I can show him in October and remind him of how awesome I was!
    - I didn't put any parenting demands on Ward all day
    - I let Ward nap in the car while I took the kids into a diner for lunch 
    - I even ordered him fries and milk (his request) and he joined us when he woke up
    - Once we got home, I didn't place any parenting demands on him....well, except for 
             the 30 minutes that I snuck out for a run - I do know he didn't leave the couch 
             the entire time...so he was all set!
    - I unpacked both of his marathon bags - gross, stinky clothes and all and didn't 

The only thing I really made him do was go to the New Balance Outlet with me in Skowhegan.  I really wanted to use the gift certificate that I won at the January Thaw race and since we were sorta in the area, well, north of Gardiner anyway, we stopped in there on the way home.   

What did I get?  I got a pair of New Balance WT100 and a high impact sports bra for $53.  That was after the $25 gift certificate.  Not a bad deal.  

Here's my new shoes.  They are technically trail shoes, but really, does it matter?   They are basically a minimalist shoe - 6 ounces and very little cushioning.  They are going to be my new 5K racing shoes.  I may try a 10k with them, but I'm not sure.  

I'll spare you a picture of the sports bra.  I'm just excited that it is high impact and there are absolutely zero bouncing going on there.  AND I don't have to double bra it anymore.  Woo hoo!  

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Deep Breathing Helps

Okay, so watching the husband, my brother-in-law, and our friend, Joe, rock their marathon on Sunday was absolutely exhilarating.  But honestly, it got me thinking about what I'll be doing in about 20 weeks - running my 1st marathon.  I'm really going to try to not panic about this.  Seriously - I'm going to run 26.2 miles?  What was a I thinking?  

Ward & Wade - Sugarloaf Marathon 2011

I've been a bit obsessed looking at the many marathon plans out there on the internet.  I've checked out Hal Higdon's marathon training and McMillan Running's training programs as well and I like both of them.  There are many similarities between the two.  Basically, 1 long run, a short run, a medium run, some speed training/hills, and cross training.   Of course, there are some additional pieces, but you get the idea.  Right?   I'm also positive that Jill is thankful I'll be teaching in a different school next fall.  That way I won't be bothering her all day talking about marathon training.  Maybe I'll just be emailing her all day instead!  

Lucky for me, I already have a marathon plan.  I've been chosen to be a participant in YogatoRun's marathon training.   Training with Terry and Jen will begin mid-June and my running program will be tailored to where I am in my running.   In preparation for the training, I've been practicing some yoga on the side - only through some youtube videos - but it's still practice, right?   I don't want to look like a complete fool!  In addition, I signed up for the 21-day Yoga Challenge.  (Stacy told Jill and I about it on our long run on Saturday.)  If you sign up for the daily email, you'll get a yoga sequence to follow.  I did do the day 1 sequence yesterday, but really didn't get to doing day 2 today.  I will make it a priority to get to it tomorrow.  The nice thing about it, is that the sequences are very easy to follow AND Izzy and Tucker got into the sequences with me.  I love those kids!  

Sunday, May 15, 2011

BQ Baby!!!

Not me, Ward, Wade & Joe!  They have spent so many months training for this day and they did it!

Thank goodness for this man.  Mark, a marathoner himself and an incredible friend, offered to be the guys support person.  Because the road does not get closed for the race, Mark was able to drive the course of the marathon today to provide the supports the guys needed along the way – water, Sportbeans, Shot bloks, taking articles of clothing, running with the guys and providing me with updates (via texts and phone calls) of their progress.  Isn’t he just awesome? 

Today was the BIG day at the Loaf.  Too bad the weather wasn’t cooperating, it rained the entire time.  Yuck for the runners and yuck for the spectators.  

Here’s the cheering squad.  We decided to spend our time at a market under the cover of their roof.  

Around 10 am we decided to go to the side of the road and prepare for cheering.  When we got there, Mark showed up so that was our signal to get ready!  If Mark was there, the guys were not far behind.   

First we saw Ward, then Wade, then Joe! 

Ward - #26 overall - time 3:06:43

Wade - #27 overall time - 3:06:54

Joe - #31 overall - 3:08:57

I let Ward borrow one of my most prized possessions today. 

Here are his stats: 

Mile 1: 7:04
Mile 2: 7:14
Mile 3: 7:02
Mile 4: 7:03
Mile 5: 7:07
Mile 6: 7:08
Mile 7: 7:05
Mile 8: 7:08
Mile 9: 7:29
Mile 10: 7:16
Mile 11: 7:01
Mile 12: 7:03
Mile 13: 7:15
Mile 14: 7:08
Mile 15: 7:11
Mile 16: 6:59
Mile 17: 7:08
Mile 18: 7:07
Mile 19: 7:06
Mile 20: 7:09
Mile 21: 7:08
Mile 22: 7:04
Mile 23: 7:06
Mile 24: 7:04
Mile 25: 7:02
Mile 26: 7:00
Last 0.2: 5.44

Love this pic - Ward finished watching Wade come in to finish!

Here they are - our fantastic guys

Friday, May 13, 2011

Settled In

Remember a few weeks back when the Mr. Fox came and took (ate) away 6 of my "girls"?  I was completely devastated.  I really was.  I raised those girls from chicks and they followed me around outside. Of course they weren't really following me around because they love me.  They were only following me because they knew I fed them, but it was still cute.  Plus, I was getting some awesome eggs from them.  Well, sadly, Mr. Fox chose the "good" egg layers and left me 4 of the not-so-good egg layers.  I couldn't get rid of the remaining girls, because they were still my girls!

I went back and forth with what I was going to do.  Was I going to get more chicks and start all over?  This would mean raising them in the basement until it got warm enough and then have to wait until the fall until they start laying?  OR scour craigslist for some egg layers.  I chose craigslist.  I'm impatient.  We found a farm not too far from here who had tons of hens and sold us 6 for $5 each.  Unfortunately, one of the new girls did die in the first week.  I'm thinking it was the stress of the move because the other girls have been very healthy.  We kept the two flocks separate for 1 month, as it is recommended.   We didn't have two coops, so we just kept the new girls locked in the run (fenced in area which was covered with fencing on the top as well).  Ward put in a long stick for a quick roost and I put some metal roofing ontop when it rained and ta da, we had a quick make-shift coop.  When I let the original girls out, they would come over and check out the new girls.  This helped quite a bit.

The old coop with the original girls outside & the new girls locked in the "make shift" coop.

Fortunately, I am married to a talented builder who can build anything out of practically nothing.  I wanted two separate coops so each flock could remain a family, but also allowing for them to go outside together during the day.  Ward had some extra windows in the barn and had plenty of wood, so he whipped together two super cute coops.  They are small, but adorable.  At some point, maybe this summer, I will paint them.  I'm thinking barn red.  What do you think?

Moving the new coops from behind the barn to their new location was a challenge, but Ward rose to the occasion and did it.  Of course he had tons of support from the rest of us.

Anyway, we sold the old coop through craigslist to a lady down the road.  Getting the old coop to her house was another challenge in itself.  Thank goodness for Wade because I was useless with that one.

I’m thinking the girls are liking their new houses because they have been laying more eggs than we can handle.  I actually sent out an email at school in search of any buyers of my eggs and had an overwhelming response!  I sold 4 dozen today with another 5 dozen on order for next week.  Perhaps this will be my new part time job?   

PS - We do have a plan to build a very tall fenced in run between the two coops to allow for the girls to get out and I don't have to worry so much about Mr. Fox or his family coming to visit again.  Of course we'll have to slid the coops apart a bit and move the compost bin, but those moves are incredibly minor compared to the coop moving adventures.  For now, I only leave the girls out to roam when we're home and we're going to be home for the day.  My hope is that if we're here and there's a dog/human presence, the chances of a fox or other predator coming to visit will be reduced.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Or win a pair of Minimus Trail shoes

Check out HUNGRY RUNNER GIRL to win a pair of New Balance shoes.

I tried these on yesterday as well!

Win Merrell Barefoot Running Shoes!

Win a pair of Merrell Barefoot Running Shoes @momvsmarathon courtesy of onlineshoes.com here.

How awesome would that be?  I tried these on at EMS yesterday and loved them.  

What an incredible blog!  

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Happy Mothers Day

Today began with the Portland Seadogs Mother's Day 5K.  I apologize for not having any pictures, my photographer was a big ol' slacker in that department today.   I had an odd feeling going into this morning's race because Ward didn't run it this year.  Normally he runs it with one of the kids in the jogging stroller. But this year he felt that it was best to not run a race one week before the Sugarloaf Marathon.  Since he chose to not run the race, we didn't have to worry about dropping Tucker off anywhere and I got have my own cheering squad.  I loved seeing my family on the side of the road at the start of the race and we very excited to see them sitting in the stands as I came in to the finish line.

Thank goodness for mainerunningphotos.com!
I'm the one in the deep pink shirt, black shorts (near the center) with my number on my shorts...look at all those runners!  

Since Stacy couldn't run the race today, she transferred her bib #s to Joe and Jess.  Joe is running the marathon with Ward and Wade next week as well, so he chose to run with Jess (so sweet) and I tagged along.

I came in #256 (out of 2500ish) runners -  with the time of 23:05.  I did meet one of my goals: to improve on my time from the 2010 Seadogs Mother's Day 5K and dropped my time by 2 minutes & 10 seconds!  However, I did NOT PR.  I missed my mark by 7 seconds.

After the race we went to Eastern Mountain Sports and Trader Joe's.  Two of my favorite stores and they are beside each other!    I wanted to try on the Merrell Pace Gloves and the New Balance WT10 Minimus Trail shoes.    I went in there thinking I was going to love the New Balance, but came to realize that they are not the shoes for me.  There is a rubber strip right on the side where my bunion is.  While the toe box is roomy, I can see the rubber strip becoming a problem.  I tried on the Merrell's and they were perfect!  I didn't buy them.  I'm going to hold off for a little while and think about it.  I may try on another pair of shoes that completely wow me.  You never know.  Plus, Ward and I are going to stop off at the New Balance Factory Store in Skowhegan on our return trip from the marathon.  I have a pair of New Balance WT100's on hold waiting for me to try on next Sunday.  Maybe they will be the ones?  I know that they will definitely be less expensive (especially with my $25 New Balance gift certificate that I won at the January Thaw race).   Decisions, decisions, decisions...

My 80's girl...

and boy does she love riding on the big "toys" with daddy!  

Anyway, we came home and a had a relaxing day.  Izzy and I hung out in the yard while Ward and Tucker road around the driveway on Tucker's mini-bike.  

Perhaps I need to get this boy some fully body armor -
I have a feeling the helmet isn't going to be enough.  

Tucker had a special gift for me this morning.  He is so sweet!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Goal Setting

When it comes to running, I have many goals.
- I want to be faster and continue to improve my 5K times, 10K times and 1/2 marathon times
- I want to complete my 1st marathon in October
- I also want to keep running as long as I possibly can...I'd love to be that 80 year old woman in the Boston!  :)  (I am crazy, I know!)

With 2 5K's this month, my short-term goal is to work in improving my 5K times.  On Sunday, I will be running my 4th Seadogs Mother's Day 5K.  My times are below:

2008 - 27:24 (8:50 ave pace)
2009 - 25:45 (8:18 ave pace)
2010 - 25:17 (8:09 ave pace)

My goal - I'd REALLY love to beat my 5K pr from the Bath 5K.  That race was hillier than the Seadogs 5K route and my time was 22:59:28 (7:25 pace).  HOWEVER, the Bath 5K had approximately 2900 LESS runners!    This 5K brings in about 3000 runners and it is super congested in the beginning and can be congested in the end - since the race ends in the Seadogs Stadium.

What kind of training have I done this week to get ready for the 5K?  I've done 2 "normal" runs (hills and all) on my road, one easy run (4.7 miles), and then a tempo run yesterday morning on the rail trail - my speed work ended up being 1/4 mile sprints - with 1/4 mile recoveries.   Now I'm going to rest for 2 days, stretch a lot, and begin to incorporate some of my newly learned yoga poses.

There have been some improvements to the organization of the Seadogs 5K and I'm anxious to see how they play out.  The one I am most excited is that there will be a start mat/corral.  Runners are being asked to self-seed ourselves.  It won't matter where I am in the mix though because of the start mat and the use of B-Tags.  We'll see!

I also have to note that since Ward is tapering/resting for the big Sugarloaf Marathon next week, he is not going to run the 5K on Sunday, which means we don't have to worry about childcare.  He will be able to  cheer me on in the stadium with the kids this year.  Yay!  (Let's hope he can get some pictures too!)

While I am excited about Sunday's 5K, I'm bummed as well because we won't be able to do our long run this weekend.  I love those runs with the girls (and I really love the amount of calories burned during a long run too!).    I am also bummed that Stacy won't be doing the 5K on Sunday due to family obligations.  :(

Monday, May 2, 2011


It’s official!  I am have been accepted into the marathon training program offered by Terry & Jen at yogatorun.com.  

The program is 16 weeks long and begins mid-June and ends with the Maine Marathon on October 2nd! 

What’s in store for me:
-       weekly emails regarding running, yoga, cross-training plan with tips, motivation and recipes
-       monthly yoga workshop
-       monthly group run (which will be done on a portion of the Maine Marathon route)
-       monthly private session
-       & finishing a marathon! 

What’s even more exciting is that I’ll be doing this program with at least one of my running girls.  Jill has already committed to the program and Stacy is thinking about it.  I cannot wait to share our experiences with all of you!