Say What? (Part 1)

One of my favorite bloggers also has boy/girl twins, who are three (I think). His blog is called Twinfamy (why didn’t I think of that?) and is a man of few words but very cute stories depicted by stick figure comics. A totally brilliant idea (why didn’t I think of THAT?). My own twins were still itty bitty when I began following his blog, and I remember thinking that although I approached the idea of toddlerhood with some trepidation, I looked forward to sharing the same kinds of stories.

Ladies and Gentleman – the time has come. Hello and welcome to:

“Things I Never Said Until I Had Kids (Part 1 of ?).”

As I mentioned in my last update, Abby LOVES her reflection. She finds it in both the more obvious (mirrors) and not so obvious (the car door) places, dances, claps, and moves side to side. Recently, she discovered she could find her reflection in the oven. I thought she was just looking closely at her face, but instead found myself saying:

Honey, don’t lick the oven

Miles doesn’t care much for his reflection, but has found noses of great interest lately. Not his own though. He sat in my lap watching Poyoco and I told him:

Buddy, please get your finger out of my (yes my) nose

The spring has brought with it some nice weather and since both myself and the twins prefer the outdoors to indoors, we spend lots of time outside. In particular, they like walks. Walks in the stroller, walks in the wagon, walking around themselves – they love it all. Just this evening Miles found a flowering bush and spent about 5 minutes walking back and forth bringing me flower petals. Once I finally got him away from the bush he headed forward and brought me something as I watched Abby:

Oh! Bird poop! Thank you!

Stay tuned folks. its just getting started.

I Won a Race! (Turtle 5k)

I’ll admit it, I’m a little more than a little competitive. With other people, yes, but also with myself. I am no good at running races “for fun” have been known to not run one if I know I have no chance of at least achieving a personal record.

Sad, isn’t it?

So I wanted something to train for after the Myrtle Beach Marathon and thought that a 5k PR would do the trick, except I didn’t anticipate that it would take so long to not only get back into running, but more formal training (i.e. intervals, speed work etc). When I did run, I just wanted it to be easy, fluff miles. I did do some intervals but my heart wasn’t totally in it and my time showed. I wanted to have a race to run in March though, and it seemed like this one was small so I might have a chance to win something (see? competitive) so I stuck with the plan.

The Turtle 5k (ironically named if you ask me) supported Meals on Wheels and was in honor of Lena Cox, a long time volunteer for Meals on Wheels. She was nicknamed the turtle because she believed very much in the perseverance lesson involved in the story “The Tortise and the Hare”.

The race was an easy out and back on a local bike/running trail, with the awards at a church within walking distance (literally down the street). They made a few announcements and we were on our way.

I’m historically not a very smart racer because the adrenaline of running a race tends to take over and I end up running my fastest mile at the beginning and suffering through the end. After the success starting more slowly with the marathon I really tried to do the same here. I was mostly successful. I stayed behind another girl and ran Mile 1 in 7:34. The turn on a dime was slightly annoying but really no big deal, and I high fived the other runners on the way back to keep myself from going to quickly and ran Mile 2 in 7:36. I had hoped to speed it up a little, but you live you learn. Mile 3 I tried to turn it up and did but not as much as I had hoped, finishing in 7:21. I was literally one second behind some 12 year old kid the entire last mile and the poor kid kept trying to speed up to stay ahead, while I was thinking “no worries buddy I don’t have the energy to beat you.”

My clock finish time was 23:22, the EXACT same time as my last 5k, but my watch time was 23:21, so that’s what I’m going with. Hey, a PR is a PR, even if its only one second.

Post race they had water and a good assortment of food choices particularly for such a small race. Doughnuts, cupcakes, fruit, granola bars and water. It took awhile for all the runners to finish and awards to start, but my dad had come along to watch the twins so they kept us entertained while we waited.

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I’m not a slow runner but I’m not amazingly fast either. Sometimes results in races are just as much in who shows up as how fast you run. This race was my lucky day because not only did I win a medal, I won OVERALL FEMALE! And as an added bonus, got a $50 gift card to a local restaurant!

IMG_1396

We tried to take a celebration picture, but you know how those go.

Great mom, you won. Where's our snack?

Great mom, you won. Where’s our snack?

So, time wise, not my best race ever. I’m still struggling to get back to where I was before the twins were born, but it was a good time and frankly, it was awesome to win overall!

It is just fun to see my name here, even if I'm not SUPER speedy

It is just fun to see my name here, even if I’m not SUPER speedy

Life With Twins – 22 months

Well, I’m not gonna lie to you – I’ve pretty much quit tracking milestones, and I’ve lost count on words though I’m guessing they have somewhere around 45-50, know 3-5 body parts and jacket, shoes, socks, hat (though strangely I am not sure if they know shirt and pants!). They follow directions really well…..when they want to that is.

What I HAVE seen a lot of this month is personality.

Miles is my conscientious, “put things back where they go”, “figure out how things work”, “want to be a good helper” kid. He tends to talk more than Abby and use words functionally more frequently.  He loves everyone and hugs everyone. He finishes with a toy, says “all done”, and sometimes puts it away. He takes care of Abby and gets her her monkey when she cries. He also, surprisingly, has been the biggest tantrum thrower and the one with the biggest attitude, a trait I had assigned to Abby as an infant. Every day when I pick them up from daycare he goes straight to the fridge and gets his cup out, then to his hook to reach for his jacket. Sometimes he will get Abby’s cup too if I ask (because she is too busy leeching onto me to get her own cup). Many stereotype boys as constantly “on the go”, but I don’t know that I’d say he’s any more on the go than Abby is.

cracker break

cracker break

Just chillin', taking a break from sliding, drinking some water

Just chillin’, taking a break from sliding, drinking some water

HAT!

HAT!

I *might* like the bike

I *might* like the bike

I am G -cute (get it? GQ...G cute?)

I am G -cute (get it? GQ…G cute?)

Boy on a swing

Boy on a swing

Miles Goodnight

Miles Choo choo

Miles’ motto of the month: STOP IT!

Abby does her own thing. She’s slow to warm up to new (and even not really new) situations. She’s social when she wants to be but when she doesn’t want to be she’s usually happy to entertain herself. She figures things out in her time. She’s also super sweet and loves to snuggle and sing e-i-e-i-ooooooo. She’s more the one to create the mess than clean it up, but she will help if Miles starts to pick up toys. She is tending towards more of the follower than leader at this point in time, but I have a feeling these roles will flip flop quite a bit as they get older. She is my eater. She LOVES the mirror. For real, LOVES it and anything she can see her reflection in, including the stove, a storm door or the outside of a car.

I'm too sexy for my hat

I’m too sexy for my hat

Girl on a swing

Girl on a swing

Daddy pillow

Daddy pillow

WEEEEEEEE

WEEEEEEEE

I see London, I see France, My hand is in my pants

I see London, I see France, My hand is in my pants

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Pay special attention to this gallery, because its hilarious.

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Abby acts silly (and signs please)

Blind Abby

Abby’s motto of the month: I LOVE ME!

So far, they love each others company, and that’s something I hope they will always do.

Bring on the warm weather

Bring on the warm weather

We run!

We run!

Sticks and Stones

It can be tough to be a kid. I’ve worked with a share of what many would consider the “underserved” population – kids who live miles from the nearest WalMart, without a car, and with much much less than my own kids have. Kids with family issues that leave you shaking your head. Kids with under involved parents. I’ve had more than one make a comment that he made seem like no big deal, maybe about someone who teases him at school. But even the kids with new clothes every season, loving families and all the advantages aren’t always left alone. Bullies go after the unsuspecting for reasons that aren’t even logical, but that doesn’t mean it hurts any less.

I often find myself searching for something comforting to say. I’ve heard it so many times myself that I think I just repeat  without thinking- something to the effect of don’t worry about what other people think, or it doesn’t matter what they think. Let it roll off your back, like water off of a duck. The problem is, not only is that nearly impossible to do, it seems extremely invalidating. Nothing makes you feel like your feelings don’t matter than a “don’t worry about it”, even if the person muttering those words meant no harm.

Recently a member of a Facebook group I’m in posed a question (I’m paraphrasing as I don’t want to give anyone away) – are here any cures to care less about what people think?

The truth is, it doesn’t get much easier as an adult. Our brains are better developed to understand the logic  behind why someone might throw hurtful words at you, but often times it doesn’t take the sting of them away. The older the twins get, the sooner they will become susceptible to this kind of pettiness and, quite frankly, bullshit. It’s a virtual guarantee they won’t go through life without someone speaking badly of them, weather its to their faces or behind their backs.

One day, surely sooner than I’d like, one of them is going to come up to me crying because some kid said or did something mean to them. I want to be able to validate their sadness, but unfortunately there is no cure. Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me? LIES.

I don’t know what to say. This is part of the reason why I run – because it helps me let go of anger and unfairness. I can sweat it off, both literally and figuratively. I can usually think it through.

People just suck sometimes. Words hurt. Kids are mean. Adults are assholes. That is the way the world is. It is ok to feel sad and it is ok to be hurt, but don’t let it take control. Find an outlet. Make a goal. Accomplish something, even if its just to show yourself, and no one else, that you can. Don’t stoop to their level. Strive to be better than that. You’ll do it. You’ll be mean, you’ll be petty, but recognize it and work to change it. Find friends who care. Sticks and stones may break your bones, words CAN hurt you.

Let it hurt, then use them to become stronger.

Normal

This morning was like most mornings around our house. Even when I don’t need an alarm my twin alarm goes off about 6:30. I get up, change them and then spend a few minutes chasing them around with shirts or pants in my hand because I likely wasn’t smart enough to have clothes ready right after the diaper. Sometimes they get carried downstairs and sometimes they walk (with help), and then its straight into the highchairs for breakfast. Fill up two milk cups, throw some cereal on the tray. Make 1-2 waffles, cook 4 eggs. Cut up strawberries because Miles has been eating his weight in them lately. Pack my own lunch. Make coffee. Eat my own breakfast – I get to eat half of it if i’m lucky because there are always two little humans who want to share. Put dishes away or load dishwasher. Wipe off stove and counter from egg mess (because there is always egg mess).

Once Miles exclaims “all done!” I know I have a precious few seconds to get him out of the chair before a fit starts. Get him down, wash his tray. Get her down, wash her tray. Refill milk cups for daycare. Chase two toddlers around with shoes and socks (unless I was smart enough to do it while they were in the highchair which happens like 10% of the time. Get daycare bag ready. Give them toothbrushes so they can “brush” (eat toothpaste) their teeth. Put my shoes on. Check my own stuff. Chase two toddlers around so I can get jackets on and get them in the car. Pluck Miles from the slide on the patio and carry him to the car. Drive to daycare.

Abby is my runner so Miles gets out first because I can put him down and he will stay put (most of the time). I’m pulling Abby out of the car and guiding them to the sidewalk when a man walking to his car sneezes. I say “bless you”, because you know, its the polite thing to do. He says, visibly perplexed:

“You have that much stress going on and you take the time to say bless you??? Thank you”.

I am rendered speechless. A rarity, but it happens.

Yes, absolutely having two toddlers can be stressful, and yes there are definitely some days I am counting down the minutes to bed. But sir, what you just witnessed?

That was normal!

Sing

I wake up most mornings, thoughts running through my head. Though the morning routine rarely changes and my schedule is almost always memorized, I mentally run through all of it anyway – often more than once. Sometimes as I stand at the counter cutting strawberries as Miles chimes “more more” behind me or take a few sips of coffee I find myself thinking about the long day that lies ahead.

I really should know better, because generally before I know it it is time to head back home from work. On the car ride I play through the evening routine: dinner, bath (usually), play, sometimes a small snack, Pocoyo and bedtime. More often than not, by the time the the twins’ bedtime rolls around, I am ready. Toddlers are constantly moving. Even more so with two.There is a good chance I’ve been running around all day and there is probably still more to be done once they are sleeping. I don’t really look forward to the “fight” of toothbrushing and sometimes find myself sighing at the bookshelf of books wondering which one I’d like to read for the millionth time to an audience who still seems to really care less. (On the other hand, perhaps I will wish for this when they reach the age when we’ve finished book number 4 and they are begging for “one more!”)

Before the twins were born my parents gave us a set to go on the bedside table that went with the theme of the room. It had two book holders, a picture frame and a musical snow globe. The snow globe sat untouched for over a year until Miles took some interest in it and responded to its song by bringing it back over to us to play it again. After that, I started winding it up before I left the room for the night. It was cute, but not a song I recognized and so held no particular sentiment to me. This went on for a few weeks until one night I remembered an old music box from my childhood that had been sitting on their dresser, also generally untouched, save for the few times it was picked up to dust under.

I wound it up.

Sing

The first night or two I simply let it play, but soon I found myself singing the lyrics to myself while I tucked them in.

Sing a song

Then I began singing it to them while I walked back and forth, fixing blankets, retrieving stuffed animals, offering head rubs and a couple belly tickles.

Sing out loud

After a few nights I began to really look forward to these last few moments before the end of the day. I picked Abby up out of her crib and danced with her while I sang. She laid her head on my shoulder. I picked Miles up out of his crib and did the same, or “kissed” his cheeks with a stuffed animal while he laid down giggled.

Sing out strong

It wasn’t long before this became my favorite part of the day. No matter how stressed I feel, how tired I am, how ready I am to sit for a few minutes. No matter how distracted I feel or how many things left on the to do list, those few moments are my time – our time. Sometimes Miles dances with me, sometimes he stays comfy in his crib. Regardless, he utters the sweetest sounds of contentment as I hold him or run my fingers through his hair. Abby has come to expect it now and will start to stand as I put Miles back down and walk over to her crib, arms outstretched. Sometimes she lays her head on my shoulder, sometimes she says “hi”, sometimes she tries to sing along with me. I’ve started cherishing these few verses each night, these snuggles before bedtime. No matter how bad the day, I feel at peace, and I think they do too. I think about how I hope that they will grow up happy, find something to be passionate about. I hope they will be themselves whoever that might be, without worrying what others think. I think about how how much they’ve changed me, and how I hope I’ll be a good role model. How I hope I’ll be able to find the right balance between love, discipline, expectation and freedom. Mostly though, I enjoy them, and hope that one day they’ll remember I sang to them.

Don’t worry if its not good enough

For anyone else to hear

Sing

Sing a song

No More Marathon – What Next?

This happens after each marathon I’ve run- some version of the post marathon blues. Sounds silly, right? It’s a real thing.

I’ve actually enjoyed a more lax workout schedule and no real pressure to have to run when I do exercise. I’ve enjoyed practicing some more yoga lately and even hopped on the elliptical a couple days ago for the first time in months. What bugs me is no set plan for what comes next. Aside from the Sprint Triathlon series this summer and hopefully an Olympic Triathlon in the fall, I have nothing on the calendar. While this probably makes Bryan happy, its driving me a little nuts. Races give me schedules to follow, goals to set and things to blog about at least once a week, even if they are boring.

I can’t decide if I really want to keep recording “training” when I’m not really training for anything. I like the idea but it seems kind of silly. Since the jury is still out I guess I’ll just keep going.

Sunday – rest day. Sore.

Monday – rest day. Still sore.

Tuesday – rest day. Almost not sore.

Wednesday – Vinyasa flow yoga. Though I was no longer sore, I could definitely still feel some fatigue in my quads during the lunge poses. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

Thursday – interval yoga

Friday – rest day

Saturday – 20 mile ride. It’s my longest ride yet on the new bike so I think that counts for something. But the headwind on the way back SUUUUUUUUUCKED.

My motivation to run, perhaps not surprisingly, was lacking the week after the race (to say the least). I did fend off a little of the “blues” by researching a couple 5ks over the next couple months. I promised myself (and my chiropractor) that I’d focus more on swimming and biking once this marathon was over, but lets be honest: I’m still going to be a runner.

Maybe a 5k PR can be next…….

Life With Twins – 21 months

The 21st month marks the month of the viral plague. No, we weren’t sick the whole month, but someone was sick for almost 2.5 weeks of it. The sickness this winter can kiss my behind. I’ve thought about, cleaned up, listened to or talked about more disgusting bodily fluids than I care to EVER.

Gross/Fine Motor

I’m not going to lie to you – I have no idea what milestones they are supposed to hit at this age with regards to gross and fine motor skills. I can tell you that they’ve finally shown more of an interest in scribbling vs. eating the crayons/pens/whatever. Both, Miles especially, like to screw the top of the bubble container on and off, jump on the little trampoline pretty frequently and Abby started walking backwards the other day which was cute. Miles is able to walk down the stairs if I am holding his hand. Abby, not surprisingly, would rather be held. She will walk to and from the car/daycare more often, but she’s my wanderer so I tend to carry her more often than not. Otherwise I’m scurrying to get Miles out of his seat and she’s off playing in the grass 10 feet away. Not a big deal if its the grass, a big deal if she goes into the street instead. They both LOVE to go outside and down the slide. Actually, they are really just happy to go outside and walk around.

Speech/Language

Its becoming increasingly harder to track what they know. If I had just one kid maybe but with both I never remember. I know for sure they both know 2-3 body parts, possibly more. They know a few animals – mostly cat and dog and I think Miles knows lion. Abby knows monkey. They both know most common objects – I don’t know that they’d point to one if I asked but if I say go get your shoes/book/bubbles they know what I’m talking about. I know they understand jump, clap, up and down, possibly on and off (in other words, I say them a lot).

Word lists (again for my records, ignore if you don’t care – though I usually end up forgetting a few anyway)

Miles

  • mom (ma, mama)
  • dad (da, dada)
  • cat
  • “here” (doo, da – at least we think that’s what he’s saying)
  • tickle
  • more (muh)
  • hi
  • hot
  • dog
  • again
  • want it (we think)
  • paci (sigh – he says “ma”)
  • ok
  • go
  • that (da)
  • uh oh
  • cookie
  • here you go
  • this
  • ball
  • up
  • help (admittedly up and help sound about the same)
  • stop it
  • no
  • bubble
  • pop
  • up
  • down
  • cup
  • two
  • open
  • apple

Abby:

  • mom (ma, mama)
  • dad (da, daddy)
  • hi
  • up
  • yay
  • high five
  • done
  • go
  • hot
  • dog
  • ok
  • tickle
  • “here” (a combination of syllables that I can’t remember now but always stays consistent)
  • more
  • cookie
  • e-i-e-i-o
  • ball
  • cup
  • weee
  • woah
  • wow
  • cat
  • what
  • butt (yes, butt)
  • uno (per daycare)
  • dos (per daycare)
  • monkey
  • sock (I think)
  • pop

Favorite word/phrase:

Miles: dog/no, stop it

Abby: tickle

Picture overload time!

  • We visit the aquarium

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  • I create a new yoga flow – “toddler yoga”

Sometimes, you gotta do what you gotta do

  • Abby FINALLY has enough hair for a “pony tail”
My "little pony"

My “little pony”

  • Who needs a chair?
This is how I roll

This is how I roll

  • Time to scribble
COLOR!

COLOR!

  • They enjoy some aunt/uncle snuggles
Snuggles

Snuggles

  • They refuse to pose with me
Grumpy gus, sister and mom

Grumpy gus, sister and mom

  • Miles would make a pretty cute cupid, wouldn’t he?
Where is my bow and arrow?

Where is my bow and arrow?

  • Abby enjoys a lollipop
Mmmmm sucker

Mmmmm sucker

  • She traps the boys in a cage
Boys in a cage, where they belong

Boys in a cage, where they belong

HELP!

HELP!

Videos!

Abby says YAY with Pocoyo

WEEEE

Miles imitates a song

Miles runs to get Abby exclaiming “bubbles!”

Myrtle Beach Marathon Recap

I made it to the finish line.

I know it sounds crazy, but I’ve been really gun shy after I hurt my back, and then after 2 weeks of the viral plague running rampant in my house, I was freaking out a little like crazy.

Friday rolled around and we were all miraculously healthy! Hooray! After work Bryan and I packed up the car, we picked up the twins and headed out. Packet pickup was at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, and other than a minor re-route because of the Family 5k going on, we had no problem finding it. I basically had to run in, pick up my number and shirt and run out because we wanted to get the twins to bed ASAP (it was already a half hour past bedtime at that point). From what I could tell in my quick trip in, packet pickup was well organized. All you needed to pick up your bib was your bib number. If you had downloaded the Its Your Race app on the website prior to the race you could look yourself up and find it, otherwise there was someone there to tell you. In fact, if you wanted to pick up a friends bib all you needed was the number – no name, no ID, nothing. Most races won’t let you pick up a friends bib without an ID, a permission slip, a mothers maiden name and a lock of hair (if they do at all) so it was nice to know there are some races that don’t make it that difficult.

We got to the hotel and as I’m putting together my gear for the next morning I find myself thinking something to the effect of “holy cow I’m running a marathon tomorrow”. Even though I’ve done a couple before, I think it will always be a big deal.

what was I thinking?

what was I thinking?

I don’t typically sleep all that well the night before a race and this one was no exception. I have this fear that I’m going to oversleep my alarm or forget to turn it on despite the fact that I’ve checked it 20 times before I lay down and another 15 afterwards (I mean, you never know). At 500 am my alarm went off and I showered (I like to shower the morning of races, it helps wake me up), ate a banana and some peanut butter and bagel and drank a measly 8oz of water, which will become significant later. It was a quick drive to the start so we left around 545. Bryan was nice enough to hang out in the parking lot for a bit so I could sit in the warm car. I ended up getting out of the car around 615 anyway though because even though I went to the bathroom before we left, I had to go.

Race start was 630 so it was still dark when I made my way out of the car. I didn’t honestly take much note of what was around me, but there were a good number of porta-potties, the importance of which any runner would understand. There was a line of course, but I only had to wait a couple of minutes. The start was split with the half marathon runners on the left and full on the right, with the pace goal clearly marked.

pre start selfie

pre start selfie – yes that is the shadow of my own phone in my face

When I started training for this race my main goal was simple: finish injury free. At one point my chiropractor told me he wasn’t sure my joint could handle the training required for this and I think it was always in the back of my mind (and always a reason to keep going so I could prove it wrong). It was the reason I stuck with the Novice training plan and only ran 3 days a week. It was the reason I kept my milage low. The last thing I wanted was to be out of commission again. After I finished my 20 mile run feeling stronger than I expected, though, I changed my tune a bit.

I really wanted a 4 hour finish. I am notorious for starting races too quickly and dying at the end. I knew that my best bet in reaching that goal was to start slow.

The gun went off at 6:30 sharp and we made our way up to the start line. My slow mindset worked a little TOO well though, because I ran Mile 1 in 10:15, Mile 2 in 9:45 and Mile 3 in 9:39. Well, at least I couldn’t say I didn’t start slow.

The course was pretty straight forward – a few turns, a couple out and backs and one sharp turn that I can remember but nothing so obnoxious that it was worth complaining about. A good deal of the run was along the road near the beach but honestly its hard for me to enjoy scenery during races because I’m usually focused on what I’m doing. There was a water/Gatorade stop every 2 miles, a time clock every 2 miles and an aid station every few miles at the start and every 2 miles near the end. Food was available at mile 16 and 22 – Gu, bananas and oranges. If you downloaded the app I mentioned earlier, you could actually track a runner live. This came in handy for Bryan so he could figure out when to leave and meet me at the finish line with the twins.

IMG_1160

The one downside to this race was that because I didn’t want to run in Charleston for a third time, I didn’t have any friends running so I ended up doing the entire thing alone. I broke the race up into thirds: the first 10 miles I’d run without anything, the 2nd 10 miles I’d listen to my audiobook and the last 6 I’d turn on my interval music in hopes I’d be ready to kick it up a notch. I’d fuel with the food I bought (puree baby food in a squeeze pouch, not kidding) at mile 8 and 12/13 and then use what the race provided after that. I know many advise against it but I also brought  two ibuprofen if I needed it. I know my body well enough to know that I’m not going to miss a sign of major injury because I took two ibproufen.

After mile 3 I started to find my pace.

So remember that 8oz of water I drank before the race? Well even though I peed before we left the hotel, and again at the race start, by 1 mile in I had to pee. Seriously? I skipped the first water stop hoping I could “sweat it out”, but took some water at each stop after that. Each water stop had a bathroom or two but they all had lines and I didn’t want to waste 5 minutes waiting in a line. Honestly I should have gone somewhere in a wooded area. (I was really jealous of males at that point) By mile 8 I saw one with only one person waiting and stopped, but I still lost probably 60-90 seconds there.

At the first split (10k) I was at 1:02:22 – oddly a little SLOWER than I’d hoped.

Mentally I knew I’d have to pick it up quite a bit to hit 4 hours, but somehow I was able to keep myself in check and realize that if I started too soon I’d be suffering at the end, so I tried to keep it steady. By Mile 11 I started to feel sore. At Mile 12 I took the ibuprofen. I was still walking through the water stops and felt like my hip/butt was off. I stopped a few seconds to massage.

At the 2nd split (half) I was at 2:03:55.

By that point, gauging what energy I had left, I pretty much knew a 4 hour finish was out. I was averaging at 9:28 min/mile and needed a 9:09 to finish in 4 hours. Still, I figured I could easily shoot for 4:05 which would still get me a 5 minute PR.

The third split (18.3) I was at 2:51:14

The audiobook did a decent job of keeping my mind busy and pace steady until I hit Mile 20. I did stop to stretch for a few seconds once and was still walking through the water stops. The good news was, I had 6 miles left and had managed to pace myself well enough that I felt like I had enough in me to speed up. (The bad news was there was a headwind for the better part of the last 8 miles.) I tried to keep steady for 2 more miles and ran Mile 20 in 9:15 and 21 in 9:16. At Mile 22 I cranked the volume up and my speed with it.  I finished Mile 22 in 8:41, Mile 23 in 8:36 and Mile 24 in 8:35. I had to stop and walk a couple times during Mile 25 and 26 but still managed an 8:57 and 8:45. I felt like I might throw up the last 2 tenths but I sprinted anyway. I’ll admit teared up a bit towards the end. Infertility, a twin pregnancy and 2 injuries before this and I was minutes from crossing the finish line of my 3rd marathon. For those couple minutes, I felt incredible.

Clock time: 4:03:59

Chip time: 4:02:48

I didn’t finish in 4 hours, but I beat my last finish of 4:10:16 by nearly 7 minutes. I mean, honestly, I couldn’t complain about that.

I'm awesome

I’m awesome

One of the things I love best about running is what it teaches me. Each race I’ve run I’ve learned something about myself that I either didn’t already know or forgot in the hustle and bustle. Usually, they remind me that I am stronger than I give myself credit for. This year, I learned that even with LESS running (3 days a week and cross trained 2) and lower mileage (I think my highest week was 36 miles), with a little planning and a lot of belief in myself, I can finish faster. Finishing even close to 4 hours didn’t even feel possible to me until a running buddy of mine suggested it was possible (thanks Tami!) I distinctly remember the last few miles of my 2011 marathon HURTING and I spent the last 4-5 miles wishing for the finish line. I was so tired at the end my legs almost seized up and I hobbled to the car, This year, I not only finished faster but actually enjoyed the entire race, ESPECIALLY the last few miles.

The best part was the fact that Bryan and the twins were waiting at the finish line. It was something I had always hoped for during our struggle with infertility. At 21 months old (to the day!), they are still too little to understand, but one day they will. And maybe by then they’ll both smile in a picture?

IMG_1187

You know what I realized this means though?

With the right plan and motivation, a Boston Qualifying time is totally possible.

The madness never ends.

And because no post would be complete without them, Abby and Miles also wish everyone a Happy Valentines Day. :)

Until my next crazy idea…

Marathon Training Recap – Week 18

RACE WEEK!

Monday 16 mile bike ride. With a short run week I took advantage of the warmer weather and took my bike for a spin. This is my longest ride to date on this bike, and I finally ordered a water bottle cage, tire tubes and a changing kit in case I have a flat so I can start doing longer rides soon!

Tuesday – 4 miles @8:22/mile.

Wednesday – rest day

Thursday – 3 treadmill miles at 9:32/mile. Miles was home sick (AGAIN) so we watched Pocoyo while I finished my LAST training run. I did this run at this pace on purpose so I could get a feel to start the race slow – I am notorious for starting races too quickly and hating the end of it. When I managed to run the 20 miler without feeling completely wiped at the end because we started slow I knew that no matter how I finished, this was key. (It ended up working a little too well – more on that in the race recap to come)

Friday- rest and travel day

Saturday – RACE DAY! By some miracle, despite 10 days of sickness in my house I stayed healthy! 26.2 miles @9:15 pace. Details to follow soon in my race recap!

Total Miles: 33 running, 49 with biking

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