Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Taper Week

I’ve been home all day with a sick 2 year old.  It’s been sunny but windy.  I really wanted to just put her in the jogging stroller and go for a run.  But, it’s taper week. 

Tapering is a necessary evil that gives runners that time to recover from the weeks/months of training we’ve put into such events.  Tapering allows our bodies time to recuperate. 

Amount to Reduce Mileage Before Race
Race Distance
3rd week before race
2nd week before race
Race Week
15K to 30K
5K to 10K

It is suggested to reduce your mileage by reducing the distance of your workouts while reducing the number of runs moderately.  The above chart suggests that I reduce my total running (pre-race) by 50%.  If I normally run 26 (ish) miles a week, I should only do 13 before the Saturday race.  Now, if I start my week on Sunday, I did 7 miles on Sunday + the 4 miles on Monday = 11 miles already.  I really only have 2 more miles to do this week. 

I dislike taper week so much because I love to eat.  Running 5 out of 7 days a week allows me to eat and not really worry about what I eat.  During taper time, I feel that I have to seriously reduce my calorie intake and I just don’t want to do that.   Ward says a few days of not running, or at least running as much as I like, isn’t going to squash my metabolism.  I beg to differ. 

Another reason is that running is my anxiety drug.  Dare I say I am physically addicted to running.  I crave that physical outlet daily.  Like I said above, I run 5 out of 7 days a week.  On the two days I don’t run, I still crave it.  I compromise by doing another physical activity like a Jillian Michaels DVD. 

The plan for the rest of the week is to not run (a lot).  I am planning on biking tonight and tomorrow night.  I might go for a super easy job Thursday.  It won’t be anything substantial, perhaps a 2 mile jog.  Then Friday will be rest and a pasta dinner at Jess’s house.  

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Maine Maple Sunday

This morning the girls and I ran 7 miles on the Rail Trail.  While the thermometer read 30 degrees at the start of the run, the wind made it a brutal run.  We are in now in tapering mode as we prepare for this Saturday's half at Race the Runways.  Now that we're ready, let's hope the weather holds out.  Jill said she heard "something big" is coming our way on Saturday.  Here's hoping the weather pattern shifts!  

After the run, we all celebrated Maine Maple Sunday at Goranson's Farm today.  We started off with some yummy Maple Syrup Sundaes.  

Then we moved on to some more yumminess with maple candy, maple scones, apple cider.  

Then Tucker and Jackson protected the boxes of maple syrup!

I'm pretty sure Izzy didn't smile the entire time we were there.  

Saturday, March 26, 2011


With one week until the half marathon, I feel the need to revisit my playlist.  Can I get some suggestions?  Here's what I have now.....

Thunderstruck – AC/DC
Back in Black - AC/DC
Highway to Hell - AC/DC
T.N.T. - AC/DC
I love the Night Life – Alicia Bridges
Gives you Hell The – The All American Rejects
I Like to Move It – Bang Gang
So What’cha Want – Beastie Boys
Brass Monkey - Beastie Boys
No Sleep ‘Til Brooklyn – Beastie Boys
Hey Ladies – Beastie Boys
Intergalactic – Beastie Boys
Sabotage -– Beastie Boys
Fight for Your Right
Dancing With Myself – Billy Idol
Rebel Yell – Billy Idol
I Gotta Feeling – The Black Eyed Peas
The Bad Touch – Bloodhound Gang
Song 2 – Blur
Shake Me – Cinderella
Fire Woman – The Cult
Sexy Bitch – D. Ghetto
Dancing with Myself – The Donnas
Pump It up – Elvis Costello
Sisters are Doin’ It for Themselves – Eurythmics
Paralyzer – Finger Eleven
Take Me Out – Franz Ferdinand
No You Girls – Franz Ferdinand
Whatever – Godsmack
What You Waiting For – Gwen Stefani
You’ve Got Another Thing Coming – Judas Priest
Walking On Sunshine – Katrina & The Waves
Hot & Cold – Katy Perry
I Kissed  Girl - Katy Perry
Tik Tok – Ke$ha
Poker Face – Lady Gaga
Just Dance – Lady Gaga
Born This Way - Lady Gaga
Nookie – Limp Bizkit
Good Vibrations – Marky Mark
Kickstart My Heart – Motley Crue
Girls, Girls, Girls – Motley Crue
Wild Side – Motley Crue
Dr. Feelgood – Motley Crue
Hair of the Dog – Nazareth
The Hand that Feeds – Nine Inch Nails
Here It Goes Again – Ok Go
Crazy Train – Ozzy
So What – Pink
When Worlds Collide – Powerman 5000
Cum on Feel The Noize – Quiet Riot
Round and Round – Ratt
Walk This Way – Run DMC
Push It – Salt-n-Pepa
Bullet with Butterfly Wings – Smashing Pumpkins
Last Nite – The Strokes
We’re Not Gonna Take It – Twisted Sister
Icky Thump – The White Stripes
More Than Human – White Zombie
Start the Commotion – The Wiseguys
Bust a Move – Young MC

A few weeks ago, we went to LL Bean and crammed the family into the photo booth.  Here are some cute pictures!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Dodging Cars

That’s what I felt like I was doing on my road tonight. Seriously?  People need to slow down on my road!  Tonight I went out for my run about 4:45 while Ward made dinner – a yummy breakfast pizza. I normally run toward Richmond, but the people down the road just got these large dogs that like to come out into the road and they really don’t appear to be friendly.  So, tonight I decided to run towards town.  What a big mistake. The traffic was ridiculous!  For my back road, it was crazy.  I know I should probably not run in the range of 5:00 if I’d like to avoid traffic.  I’ll be sure to do that tomorrow!

The plan tonight was speed work, so I did repeat of mailbox training but on a different route.  This route is mostly uphill on the way out, which sucks, but that means that the return is mostly downhill!   

Here are my times;
Mile 1: 7:40 minutes/mile
Mile 2: 8:52 minutes/mile (*this mile was 100% uphill!)
Mile 3: 7:39 minutes/mile (which means this mile was 100% downhill!)
Last 0.67 of a mile: 8:04 minutes/mile
Average:  8:04 for 3.67 miles! 

Now I need to make sure I do some stretching and rolling. 

What’s the plan for tomorrow?  Probably the 4 mile loop at my Izzy’s daycare and definitely not at 5:00! 

Something to share with you.  This is bath time is like at our house. I think Ward has WAY too much fun making bubbles with Izzy!

Thankfully Izzy still enjoys bubbles in the sink.  Although she doesn't really appear to be enjoying the bubbles in this picture!

Monday, March 21, 2011

11 More Days!

My first half marathon of the 2011 year is just 11 days away.  As with any upcoming race, I am feeling both excitement and nervousness.  Excitement because the “girls” and I have been training for the 13.1 miles since December.  Nervous because I just want to improve my time from the Maine ½ Marathon last October AND I really want Stacy to heal in time for the run.  (sending lots of healing prayers your way!) My time in October was 1:54, which averages to an 8:45 pace. 

The Macmillian Running Calculator says this about my training: 
My long runs should be in this range: 9:41 – 10:41 (we’ve been close most of the time!)
My speed runs need to be in this range: 7:53- 8:11 (done that!)

I’m thinking I will meet my goal this year for several reasons:
-       this isn’t my 1st half
-       I’ve trained all winter long, in some pretty brutal conditions – while the weather in Maine in April is often iffy, it shouldn’t be as bad as those negative windchill days! 
-       I have my Garmin to help me pace better
-       I have my Camelbak (which I love) to hold my fuel and can rehydrate while running (I have it down now)
-       I’ve incorporated some speed training into my midweek runs (ie my mailbox training)
-       The course is basically downhill…that’s right folks- look at this map!  Gotta love Brunswick!

Next week will be a taper week.  I’ll be posting my taper plan later on this week! 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Happy Spring!

Here’s some pictures to show some of the new life coming up in my garden!  It always makes me so happy to walk around the garden and see the signs of spring. 

Some daffodils peaking out!

and some Tulips here!

Izzy is getting to be more and more fun everyday.  It suddenly seems like we no longer have this baby.  She’s a little girl.  With her own personality and style. 

She loves to feed the chickens.  Or I should say, eat most of the bread and give them a little. 

Speaking of chickens…they are loving this weather.  Or at least it appears that way.   They have been everywhere – on the deck, in the fields, in the flower garden, in the fruit garden.  They even laid 10 eggs today!

This past week training recap:
Monday: 3.7 miles
Tuesday: Jillian Michaels
Wednesday: 4 miles on the treadmill (it was pouring!)
Thursday: 4 miles
Friday: off
Saturday: 13.74 miles
Sunday: 3.5 miles

Total:  28.98 miles! 

Our long run on Saturday was a scheduled 14 miles.  We ran into a little issue when we got to Augusta and realized the trail ends abruptly.  We tried adding on some mileage on that end by looping around one of the buildings downtown a few times.   When we returned to Gardiner in the Hannaford parking lot, we just wanted to be done at that point, so there was definitely no adding any mileage on at that point.  It was still our furthest distance yet, so that’s a plus!

Today was beautiful.  Blue skies and near 40 degrees.  I had to get out there and get in a run.  Especially since we’re getting more snow tomorrow (2-5 inches here – yuck!).  I actually left my Garmin at home and ran with the old school watch – ie my sport watch from Target.  I felt a little fatigue in my legs, but not too bad considering our long haul yesterday.   I still finished my 3.5 mile run under 30 minutes.  Not too shabby!  

Friday, March 18, 2011

Mixed Feelings

Next year my teaching assignment is changing from a Jr. High Special Educator to an Elementary Special Educator at the brand new Harriet Beecher Stowe Elementary School.   I've definitely had some mixed feelings about this change.  On the plus side, I am excited about younger kids, new building, new technology, and new furniture.  The negative side is that I'm leaving some incredible teachers whom I've been working with for 9 years.  Today was a teacher workshop day in Brunswick and I was scheduled to hang with my HBS folks.  It was a typical workshop day which included a lot of sitting and listening - I am not good at either one of these things.  But, our reward was that at 3:00 we got to tour our new school.  I took quite a few pictures with my cell phone and I'm going to share some of them with you! 

This is the view looking up in the main lobby area.
It was super bright and cheery in this area.   

The teacher's kitchen area - undone, of course.
It's really nice, but it's like a mile from my classroom.  Boo.  

My room (we think).  This is the wall where the Interactive White Board will be!

My room!

My room, again!
Note:  Room assignments have not been done.  But, we are assuming this is my room since I'll be working with the 5th graders (and possibly 4th) and this is the only room identified as a resource room anywhere near the 4th and 5th grade classrooms.  Here's hoping!  

On a running note, the girls and I are going out tomorrow for our 14 miles! 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I'm In!

For those of you who don’t know what the Beach to Beacon is, it’s the largest road race in Maine.  You should really read about Beach to Beacon here.  The race caps out at 6,000 runners and registering for the event is quite competitive.  Registration takes place in three stages: Cape Elizabeth Residents, Open, and Lottery.  Yesterday was the 1st day for registering, but it was only open to the first 600 Cape Elizabeth resident who registered.  Today was the big day because it was open registration.  Open registration began at 7:00 am.  Believe me, you want to be at your computer before 7:00 and have the website up .  At 7:02, I was in.  At 7:03, I had Ward registered!  I was expecting a total meltdown (on my part) because registering last year was so hard.  Everytime I entered my credit card information, I was kicked out of the site.  If I remember correctly, the open registration closed in less than 20 minutes.  This year, it was closed in about 7 minutes!  4,000 registrants in 7 minutes!  Wow!  And we’re in.   Actually, I believe all of my runner friends who tried to register, were able to get in.  Way to go guys!
The hubby - Ward (in the green Red Sox shirt) next to his brother,
Wade, at the Shamrock Sprint 5K in Bath, 3/12/11.

On another note, Saturday’s Shamrock Sprint 5K results were finally posted in the Times Record.  I was thinking 23:07 was an awesome time (Garmin time); however, the posted results have me at 22:59:28.  A sub 23!   I never thought I’d see that time near my name.   I can only hope to continue to improve my time this summer.

What races are you doing?  (you can see my list to the right)  
What are your goals?  Share please!

Monday, March 14, 2011


Weekends seem the fly right by.  When both the adults are training for upcoming running events, the weekend tends to be mostly consumed by time spent running.  After the 5K on Saturday, Ward and the guys decided to do their long run - 20 miles.  That's right.  After a 1 mile warm-up, 3.1 mile race, they added on another 20 miles in one 24-hr period.  Needless to say, Ward was gone for hours Saturday night. But, before he took off, he decided to check the status of the sap.

We weren't expecting much at all.  We only have 6 sap buckets tapped into 3 maple trees.  But he came back to the house with about 10 gallons of sap.

What in the world were we going to do with this much?  Of course we were ill-prepared, because that's how we do it around here.

We also know you're not really supposed to boil down the sap inside.  But, we thought it wouldn't do much damage if we weren't doing a huge production.

We left the sap boil/simmer Saturday night and all day Sunday and this is what we got in the end.

And it is delicious!!!!  Tonight on the menu - waffles!

While Ward and the guys were crazy and did their 25 miles on Saturday, the girls and I did our 13 miles yesterday.  We noted how light were were dressed.  (sorry, no pictures - I forgot my camera again!)  I wore a long sleeve shirt, light shell, light-weight socks, and capris.  No hat, no gloves.  It was awesome! We were joking about how we were so cold in November with the temps in the 40's and how in March when it the temps reach 30's - we are so warm!

I have a couple of countdowns going on right now.  Tomorrow is the registration for the Beach to Beacon.  That means I have to be extra efficient in getting to school early so I can register!  Next, there are 18 more days until the Race The Runways 1/2 Marathon.  They coordinators have the course online now.  It is so incredibly flat.  Thank goodness for that.   Next, 24 more school days until April break.  When we get back from break, I'll be counting down until summer vacation!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Shamrock Sprint

After two dreary days, the weather for the race was awesome!  Blue skies, 40 degrees.  Loved it.

So, Bath is much hillier than I remembered.  We did live there 8 years ago.  We did walk around the city a lot, but we never really ran it.  Wade described the course as all hills and no flat parts.  That is completely accurate.   It was still a great race.  I'm not sure if I'll ever see official results anywhere.

So here is my recap:  For the guys, Joe got 1st for his age group while Ward got 2nd place.  The race was small enough that 3rd placers didn't get a ribbon.  Sorry, Wade!

Ward is such a dork!

For the women, I got 4th overall and 3rd for my age group with my PR of 23:07!  No ribbon for me either.  Oh well.

Stacy and her family took off before we got back to the cars for pictures.  I have to do a better job at remembering to take pictures!

We did get a pretty cool t-shirt, bag and bracelet.  Not bad for a $15 registration.  

Overall, a cute little 5K.  Not a lot of runners.  No mile markers, but who needs one when the Garmin tells me my pace.   Plus, I got to go into the health food store for chia seeds and then to Reny's to get some mud boots for Izzy.

Enjoy the rest of your Saturday!

Race Day

Today is race day!  Ward and I are both running the Bath Blarney Day's 5K.  This the 2nd year for the race, and our first year doing it.  Wade will be here in about an hour to drive there with us and we will be joining Stacy and Joe there.  What's great about this race is that it's just a 5K AND it's not raining and the thermometer is telling me it's 39 degrees already.  (Weather.com says it will be 41 when the race starts!)

Last night I laid out my outfit:

charged my iPod,

and charged my Garmin.

I've already eaten a light breakfast.

and drank my water. 

I know, that's a lot of water.  I've peed 2 times already and I'll go a few more times before we leave.  I can also guarantee I'll go just before the race too!

I have my gum ready to go too.  

I don't know what's wrong with me, but I have to chew gum when I run.  I like having that moisture in my mouth.

Now I need to pack a bag for some clothes for post race, get the kids ready, and wake Ward up!  Then we need to drop the kids off at their grandparent's house on the way to the race.

Izzy is no where near ready.

As I type, she has a heap of dresses on the floor and is making a huge mess!

This will be fun!  Results to come...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Family Affair

On the menu tonight:  Jillian Michaels 6-Pack DVD.  

Tucker actually got excited when he noticed I had a new DVD (well, it was new on Monday, but close enough!).  So he rushed into the living room to join me.  

Then Izzy joined me too.  

I'm not really sure what's going on with Tucker's eyes here...they look so black & scary!  

Of course she bailed within 5 minutes.....

But Tucker stuck it out the entire 30 minutes.  He was so proud of himself and said he was going to be so good in PE now.  He's so cute!

We did level 1, I am not ready for level 2 yet.  I don't know that I will ever be.   But, I keep telling myself that working on my core strength is only going to improve my running.

Good night!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

2nd Day

My 2nd run in these shoes:  4 miles in 33:09, average pace: 8:17.
The breakdown -
Mile 1:  8:26
Mile 2: 8:21
Mile 3: 8:19
Mile 4:  8:03

Today I really tried to just take it easy.  I haven’t been feeling well.  Most of the day I thought my head was going to explode.  I don't want to be sick, so I’ve been downing vitamin C packets dissolved in water all day. 

The cheapo Rite-Aid version of Emergen C

I really wanted to run today because I’ll be taking the next two days off from running due to the 5K Saturday morning.  I will more than likely do some type of cross training on my “rest days” – like a Jillian Michaels DVD or two!

Last year's Blarney Day's 5K ...no, I did not run it, but I will this year!
If you will be near Bath on Saturday, there is a whole slew of fun activities going on!

I do have to say that while running today, I was really paying attention to how my foot came in contact with the ground.  With these shoes, I could feel exactly where my foot was landing and was super focused on keeping it light and easy and to not heel strike.  For anyone of my running friends out there who don’t have racing flats, I urge you to get some.  These shoes are incredible and super light!  

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Rocking Shoes

I just HAD to try out my new shoes today.  It was 33 degrees and sunny when I got home, so I changed into my running gear and waiting patiently for Ward to come up to the house.  Then I was off.  I really didn’t mean to start off the run so fast, but ¼ mile into the run, I looked down at my Garmin and saw that my pace was 7:45 and I didn’t even feel like I was running hard.  So, I went with it. 

Here’s the break down:
Mile 1: 7:54 minutes/mile
Mile 2: 7:52 minutes/mile
Mile 3: 8:02 minutes/mile
Last ½ mile:  7:32 minutes/mile

I completed my normal 3.5 mile out & back run in 27:35.  Those shoes shaved minutes off my time!  I love them.  I just wish Maine Running Company carried cooler colors.   Oh well, next time I’ll go for super light and super cool!

Now I cannot wait until Saturday’s 5K!   Here’s hoping this slight feverish feeling I have going on right now goes away.