10 mile run

I was faced with a hard decision for this morning’s run.  I wanted to bring Z along, but I was worried that pushing the stroller that long would be difficult.  More importantly though, I didn’t know if he’d be content for over an hour and half in the stroller.  I haven’t taken him past 4 miles yet so I wasn’t sure what to expect if I brought him.  I ended up going alone and I decided I’ll try taking him on a shorter long run another time- maybe a 6 mile run to see how he does for an hour.

My run was fantastic today.  My muscles were a little tight in the beginning, but they warmed up after the hilly first 2 miles.  It took me 1:38:59 to run 10 miles.  My average pace was 9:53 per mile (last week it was 10:15 so that’s a great improvement for me).  Most of my mile splits were around 10:00 per mile or a little less, but my last 2 miles were 9:11 and 9:14.  Once again, I got my confidence at the end to push myself harder.  I can definitely tell that running with the stroller during the week is making me stronger for my long runs.

My run was very relaxing today.  I’m sure all the moms out there know that sometimes you need some “me time.”  Being a stay at home means I don’t really ever get time to myself.  I’m certainly not complaining about that because I love spending time with my little man, but to keep my sanity, I do need a few minutes to myself from time to time.  My solo long runs on the weekends have been a great way for me to get that time alone that I need.  I feel refreshed physically, mentally and emotionally after a long run.  The best part is that I usually leave for my run when Z is still blissfully asleep and I get back just as my hubby is starting to give him breakfast so I know I’m not missing too much while I’m running.

Happy running!

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Aches and pains

I took the past 2 days off from running because I came down with some really bad knee pain.  Oddly enough, I don’t think the pain and swelling I had were directly related to running.  On Saturday evening, I was on my feet (on hardwood floors) for about 6 hours while I was baking treats for Easter.  That was after having run 8 miles in the morning.  I was on my feet a lot again Sunday morning then I snuck out for a 4 mile run when I was supposed to have a rest day.  My knee didn’t hurt while I was running, but throughout the rest of the day, it got really stiff and pretty swollen.  I decided I really needed to take it easy as to not make it worse so I forced myself to take 2 days off.

I headed back out for a run alone this morning and made it through 4 miles.  No knee pain! However, I have been having some annoying pain in my ankle for the past couple of weeks.  It doesn’t bother me much when I run, mostly just when I stop running.  I hope it’s nothing, but I’m keeping an eye on it.  I tried wearing this ankle support wrap thing that I recently got to see if it would help and it was too uncomfortable while I ran.  I had to stop to take it off after the first mile.

Blah.  I wish it wasn’t so easy to get injured with running.  I have always had issues with injuries as long as I have been running.  It’s frustrating and discouraging.  I hope what’s going on with my ankle turns out to be nothing.  I think I’m going to ease up a little with my training because I have been pushing it a bit lately and I’ll see if that helps.  I hope it does!

Happy running!

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Faster, Daddy, Faster

I’m very excited to have my first guest blogger today! BJ in Catonsville shares his experience running with his daughter for the first time.

Check out this little cutie pie ready for a run!

I love running.  I love my kids.

So what could be better than running with my kids?

These thoughts have been passing through my mind for several months now, and as the winter finally seems to be gone from view I’ve looked into buying a running stroller.  My first step in making this purchase was to ask around and get advice on what stroller seems to work for other runners.

A number of people mentioned Bob strollers.  These state-of-the-art strollers (I didn’t know strollers could be state-of-the-art before this) are the top of the line, very rugged and relatively light.  They’re also $400-800, depending on the model.  Now I love my kids and want them to have the best, but that’s a little steep for me.

So, having procured advice which I promptly ignored, I headed to Babies R’ Us to check out their selection.  The store had several to look at which were more in my price range, and I ultimately pulled the trigger on the Baby Trend Expedition LX.  This model was $139, plus my wife had a 20% off coupon which brought the total down to just over $100.  I figure this stroller can fall apart and be replaced five times before I reach the price of a single Bob!

When I got home I was happy to find that putting the stroller together was a breeze.  I had it out of the box with the wheels on in less than ten minutes.  I inflated the tires, checked to make sure everything was good to go and, since I’m a guy and can’t look at a new toy for more than three seconds without having to use it, I got my daughter for her first run with Daddy.

I noticed a few things almost immediately when running.  First, strollers take away your natural arm swing.  This took me nearly the entire run to get used to, and even by the end I found myself holding the stroller with one hand to allow at least one arm to swing freely (don’t worry, I left my hand with the safety strap holding the stroller!).  The second thing I noticed is that hills are much harder with a stroller, regardless of direction.  This might sound silly to say, but it’s something I didn’t think about much before buying the stroller.  The final thing I noticed is that my daughter is really impatient when I slow down going up hills.  Her yelling, “Faster, Daddy, faster” was neither cute nor appreciated as I slogged up a few steep inclines.

Overall, I think I’m going to enjoy running with my kids so long as they stop expecting me to maintain the pace of Ryan Hall.  I really like the stroller I purchased and would highly recommend it to anyone, especially for the price.  I mean seriously Bob, what does the extra $300-400 for your stroller really buy a runner?  For that kind of money I’d nearly expect a motor to be attached.

Hopefully I get a chance to see you out on the trails running with your new stroller this spring as well.  If you’re wondering whether or not it’s me your passing, just look for the really slow guy and listen for the voice of a taskmaster shouting:

“Faster, Daddy, faster.”

Check out BJ’s blog here and follow him on Twitter @BJBernier!

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Rest day treats

Well it was supposed to be a rest day, but this mama felt the need to go for a solo 4 mile run this morning anyway.  I know I shouldn’t do that, but it was in anticipation of the goodies I will be consuming throughout the rest of the day :) .

If you know me in real life, you know I love Bakerella and have made her cake pops on many occasions.  For Thanksgiving, I made turkeys; for Christmas, I made Christmas trees, santa hats and reindeer.  I’ve also made her cupcake cake pops and a few others.  I love making them.  They’re a lot of work, but they turn out so darn cute!

For Easter today, I made some cute little chicks and eggs.  Some are filled with strawberry cake, some with chocolate hazelnut cake and the rest with peanut butter cake.  They’re all covered with white chocolate and they’re super yummy, I must say.

Check them out!

And for the folks who prefer dark chocolate coating, I made some cake balls (same different flavor fillings):

Underneath them you can see another batch of my shortbread cookies like I made last weekend (that was before adding the raspberry filling).  I also made a cake for my sister-in-law’s birthday.  It was a busy weekend for running and baking!

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Another great 8 miles

I don’t think I’m going to know what to do if it’s warm and sunny on race day because it seems like all of my best runs keep happening on the cool rainy days! It was about 45 degrees and misty when I headed out for my 8 miles this morning.  The weather was perfect.  It started to really rain right as I was finishing up which was a nice way to end a great run.  I’m feeling pretty confident about my ability to cover the miles and I think I’ll be all set for the half marathon in 3 weeks.  I was also happy that my new iPod Shuffle came yesterday which was much easier to run with than the clunky iPhone.

I am happy with my pace overall- an average of 10:15 per mile.  My last mile was 9:24 because as usual, I didn’t really feel confident pushing it until the end.  I need to work on that! I ended up doing 8.3 miles in 1:25:15.  My pace last weekend for my 8 miles was an average of 10:43 so I did make a nice improvement today.

One thing I’m getting worried about is if I’m going to be able to transition back to bringing the baby along for these long runs when the weather gets better.  I haven’t been bringing him the past couple weekends because the weather hasn’t been nice enough.  So far, the forecast looks great for next weekend so I’m hoping we can do a family run for our 10 miles, but I am little worried it’s going to be tough.  I can handle 3-4 miles pushing the stroller during the week, but 10 is going to be tough! I think hubby will have to take a turn with the stroller.

I can’t believe the half marathon is only 3 weeks away.  I’m pumped!

Happy running!

P.S. The Running Mom will be having a guest blogger next week! BJ in Catonsville will be blogging about what it’s like to start running with a jogging stroller.  Looking forward to hearing a dad’s perspective!

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My iPhone took a tumble on the last mile of my run this evening.  When I’ve been running alone, it’s mostly been chilly so I can put the phone in my jacket pocket without it causing any issues.  It was a hot 82 degrees this evening so no jacket.  I wore it on a belt clip and it decided to come out flying out towards the end of my run.  The funny part is that I was more concerned that the brief diversion was going to mess up my awesome pace at the time.  I didn’t really stop to think, crap, I just messed up my phone! I have to say that thing is built pretty tough because it landed face down on the asphalt and on has one tiny scratch on the screen.  Phew.  I think it might be time to look into an iPod Shuffle or Nano for those solo runs.

Back to that whole awesome pace thing.  I was in the mood for a “fast” run.  I put fast in quotations because what’s fast for me is nothing compared to actual fast runners! My first mile was 9:58; good for just getting going.  Second mile was 10:05; I blame it being slower on the fact I had to stop a few times to cross the street.  And drumroll please……my last mile was 8:47.  That’s my fastest mile in recent history.  And that included the iPhone incident.  So yay for me! I’m quite happy with that, especially considering is was quite hot and humid when I ran.  Hopefully I can keep working on my pace and maybe eventually, I’ll be faster overall.

Really happy with my run tonight :) .

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I have heard this term used in different ways.  It can be the simple fact that you’re more hungry in general because you’re running and burning a lot of calories.  For me, I usually use it to refer to that awful feeling when I suddenly become insanely hungry while I’m running.  Runger is not fun and it can sneak up on you and majorly distract you from the task at hand.

I went out for a 4 mile run this morning with the baby.  I felt pretty energetic.  I had some yogurt before we headed out and I thought that would be enough.  Wrong.  My stomach yelled at me the whole time for forcing it to make it through 4 miles pretty much on empty.  It was kind of funny.  Runger struck me on my 8 miler on Saturday too.  Around mile 6, my stomach was like “what the heck was that Gu crap you sent down here?! I want some real food, woman!” I must have been getting a little delirious if my stomach started talking, but moving along…

I’m not really a competitive person.  I run because I enjoy it, not because I want to win any races.  I do compete against myself.  Thanks to my Garmin, I can compare my runs and try to beat my previous times.  Occasionally, hubby tries to throw out some competitive talk about running.  I always remind him that I’m not trying to compete with anyone.  Well, he ran before me this morning using my Garmin.  I noted that his 4 miles took him 43:08.  I was able to clock in my 4 miles (with the baby in the jogging stroller, mind you) in 43:04…just sayin’ :) .  Both of us had an average pace of 10:45 so we’re pretty even in terms of speed.  I was happy I was able to sneak in my last mile in just under 10 minutes at 9:58 which made up for my first slow mile at 11:26.

In the end, I did have a great run this morning despite the runger.  Plus, we managed to get it done while the weather was still decent because now I’m hearing some thunder.  Glad we beat it!

Happy running!

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The running mom bakes

It’s rest day so no running, but lots of stuff to do.  We’re headed to a family dinner in a little bit and I made these yummy raspberry-filled shortbread cookies.

I have been so excited to make this recipe since I bought a mini bundt pan at Target a couple weeks ago.  Hubby approved so hopefully they’ll be a hit at dinner!

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8 miles

I was so pumped for today’s long run.  I was so excited about it that yesterday I laid my outfit out and revised my running playlist on my iPhone.  I knew it was supposed to rain today so I was expecting a wet run.  I unintentionally woke up at 6am and couldn’t fall back asleep so I figured I ought to hit the road.  I didn’t bring Z along because it was cold and windy and the rain was on it’s way.  Plus, my little nugget was still sound asleep.

Since I had more miles to cover than usual, I had to do a slightly different route.  It was nice to have a change of scenery.  I had originally planned to run 7 miles today, but decided that if I felt up for it, I really wanted to go for 8.  I felt really good for most of the run, except for a little slump about halfway through.  I brought along some Gu just in case I needed a little boost so I had that around the 4.5 mile mark.  That really helped me finish strong.

My pace was decent- an average of 10:43 per mile.  I felt good for my last mile so my goal was to get that one under ten minutes and I just barely made it with 9:56 :) .

The weather actually held out for my run so I didn’t get drenched.  It was a little on the chilly side and windy with a few bouts of drizzling rain, but overall it was actually nice running weather.  I prefer it to be a little cooler when I run anyway.  About 10 minutes after I got home, it started to pour.  Just in time for hubby to head out for his 8 miles.  He decided to skip it for today and do it tomorrow instead.  Sounds like a good plan to me.

Now I have that achy feeling in my legs that comes after a good long run.  I love that feeling.  It means I worked hard this morning and that’s a good thing :) .  I am slightly worried though that my ankle is bothering me now.  I hope it’s nothing and it will feel better after taking it easy for the rest of today and tomorrow.

Happy running!

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Much better

Yesterday’s 3 mile run was much better than Monday’s.  My hubby was home so he came along and that helped pass the time too.  Family runs are my favorite :) .  I love when my husband crosses in front of the jogging stroller and Z yells out “Daddyyyyy!” My husband says “yes, sir?” and Z giggles.  It’s too cute.

I tried a new health food shake this morning.  My friend sells Beachbody stuff and is always talking about how great Shakeology is.  My curiosity got the best of me and I ordered the chocolate version.  Wow, it’s good! It tastes like a chocolate milkshake, except it’s actually good for you! I had it for breakfast at around 8:30am and I’m still not hungry at 11:15am.  That’s good for me.  I am usually looking for a snack by now :) .  It is pricey so I’ll have to see how much I like it and if it does help me on my quest to lose these last few pounds before I decide to stick with it.

I’m thinking of trying to add in more runs during the week.  Right now, I run Monday, either Tuesday or Wednesday, run Thursday, rest Friday, long run on Saturday, rest on Sunday.  I’m probably going to stick with resting on Friday and Sunday because I like rest days surrounding my long run day.  During the week though, I find that I just don’t feel as good on the days I don’t run.  It’s hard to always fit in my runs with a busy 1 year old, but I’m going to try to run Monday through Thursday and if I don’t run, I’ll try to cross-train.

We’re having another beautiful day here so once Z wakes up from his nap, we’ll be heading out for another 3 miles.

Happy running!

P.S. Last night I signed up for the Joggermom virtual marathon.  It’s such an awesome idea and I’m looking forward to tracking my mileage in May.  With my half marathon being in May, I think I should be able to cover the 26.2 miles pretty easily (easy to rack up the miles, not easy to actually do all that running!).  I think this is the perfect challenge for us running moms.  Most races aren’t stroller friendly so this is an awesome way to “race” and bring our babies along!


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