For well over a year now, Wednesday nights have been my “me” nights. It started because I played beach volleyball with work friends on Wednesdays last summer and then over the winter it turned into my night to get drinks or dinner or work late, whatever I wanted to do. In January my best friend forwarded me an email of a new spin studio opening in Baltimore. So when we decided to check out the new Rev Cycle Studio, Wednesday was the natural night to go. Continue reading
On May 3 I joined colleagues and a few hundred other cyclists in Howard County for a challenging but totally gorgeous ride. After four months of as much training as I could, I decided at essentially the last minute to ride 32 instead of 22 miles. I felt ready. No doubt it was the right decision. This event was the first athletic event I’ve done that wasn’t a race and I can genuinely say it was just as rewarding. Part of the reward was in being part of something bigger. And part of the reward was the feeling of accomplishment at the end.
Riding in packs is always a hair intimidating at first; a lot of people in a small space going at a relatively decent speed means you have to really have situational awareness of your surroundings and confidence in your ability to control your bike. We headed out around 8:30am on a brisk but beautiful morning with a group of about 100. Our team from r2i was divided between a 32 mile group and a 10 mile group. Within the first three miles things started to space out which was helpful as we were on roads without much shoulder, but at that hour also without much traffic.
By mile 10 or so my co-hort had taken off ahead of me and I kept up as best I could. The course was pretty darn hilly–much hillier than I expected–so while I could cruise at 25mph downhill there were plenty of uphill moments where my GPS read a depressing 6mph. We reunited at the well placed rest stop at mile 21 and finished the rest of the course together. At 21+ weeks pregnant during the ride, I was much more comfortable than I anticipated I would be. Most of my training rides had been midday while our son naps and I think midday pregnant work-outs are just not for me. I’m full and bloated and generally uncomfortable. So doing this ride at the start of the day was perfectly enjoyable.
As we made our way up the final hill within site of the finish line we could hear the music and festivities of the finish line. The volunteers of the day made for an awesome “welcome back” committee and the music made all the difference for having a powerful finish. We reunited with the rest of our r2i team for a group photo and to celebrate the accomplishment.
Riding for a Cause
This event was also one of the first where I’ve ever had to seriously fundraise prior to the event. I set a goal for myself of $500 which would go toward our team’s goal of $5000. I ended up raising $706 and am incredibly grateful to each person–family and friends–who donated toward my ride and the cure for diabetes. Our team made it 88% of the way to our goal which is darn impressive in my opinion. I’m proud of what we did as a team and I am humbled to have been able to ride for a cause.
I’m really proud of this year in running. Hands down, this has been the year I’ve raced more than any other year. I busted my butt starting back in April to focus on getting fast. So it was also a year of speed. And then there were weeks of pain. And then recovery and back to speed. This year in running might also be the first time I feel like I truly figured out the balance of running and the rest of life (though I’m not entirely sure my husband would agree with this!).
I also set some pretty specific goals for the year and accomplished most of them with a few new goals peppered in as I checked things off the list. I totaled 14 races for the year and originally hoped to cover 1,000 miles for the year. I’ve happily covered more than 1,326 for the year. Continue reading
I am very pleased to report that I’ve been running pain-free for about four weeks. I give enormous credit to Doyle & Taylor Physical Therapy in Annapolis and also have to admit that a reduced weekly running schedule (3 days) combined with diligent strength exercises and stretching have allowed me to resolve the sources of my hip pain. I’m not entirely convinced the pain is gone for good but I am most definitely back to my normal running pace, comfort level and optimism. Continue reading
I love to run. I’m pretty good at running. I really, really enjoy cycling. With consistent riding I am a decent biker. I like to swim. If I could work in swimming with regularity I could be an ok swimmer again. But I hate quad work. I dread the idea of having to do squats, lunges and wall sits. And yet, those are the exact things I should be doing if I were going to be preparing as best I can to run two marathons this fall, both of which have significant downhill components. Continue reading
I took on what I consider to be serious long distance running and training in the early fall of 2008 when I signed up for and started training for my first half marathon. With the exception of the last 6 months of my pregnancy (in 2011-2012) I have been pretty much consistently training for one race or another. There may have been a few “down” moments where I wasn’t heavily logging miles or focusing on a specific plan, but I have regularly been running, biking and swimming for about six years now (ok, mostly running). And just when I hit my peak, just when I decided I should try and train for a BQ, just when my first tri in over a year is on the horizon and just when I felt like I might have figured out even the slightest ability to balance work, life, motherhood, wifehood, and training–I decided, I realized, I’m tired. Continue reading
On the opening slide of one of our capabilities presentations is a brief infographic with an overview of r2i, (the digital marketing and technology agency where I’m Director of Marketing) and there is a snapshot of things we love. At the top of the list is the Candy Wall. For the purposes of this post, it is absolutely a proper noun. The problem is, it’s not just one Wall of Candy where there are jars of Reese’s Pieces (my favorite), gummie bears, peppermint patties, peanut M&Ms and more; there’s candy around every corner. It’s in the lobby, conference rooms, the kitchen, at the printer stations, on our desks! And it just so happens one of my biggest weaknesses is my sweet tooth. Continue reading
Happy new year! I am quite excited for 2013. I think it will be one of the better years for healthy living although I'm not yet sure what the year will bring as far as running, triathlon and races are concerned. (More on that later.) I have just finished reading Amby Burfoot's article in the November issue of RW about how to be a lifelong runner. In it, he comments that a nice goal is to average around 1,000 miles a year. It got me curious about how many miles I logged this year. In 2012, my Garmin log shows 688.29 miles. I know there are definitely some miles not captured so I think it is safe to say that I logged at least 700 miles in 2012. Not bad. But, in 2011 I logged 1,659.54 miles! I guess a year with only one marathon as opposed to two, and a pregnancy, accounts for the drop in mileage. Overall, I'm very happy with my 2012 running year. Continue reading
I thought for sure that doing a marathon early December would be the key to getting through the holidays without gaining a ton of weight, going crazy and maintaining fitness. I do believe it got me through Thanksgiving. What I forgot though, is that life post-marathon tends to quickly become directionless. Training is all of a sudden over. The race is over. The high mileage weeks are over. As we approach December 31 and therefore New Year’s resolutions I wanted to reflect on how I handled ‘holiday running’ this year. Continue reading
On April 15, mine and my husband’s world changed forever. Quite unexpectedly our son decided to arrive about 3.5 weeks early and we welcomed Connor to the world, a healthy, adorable and amazing son. I am still processing what it means to be a mom and each day is different as we learn the ropes of parenting.
A number of people told me that I would have an easy labor because I am a runner. This might be true though I credit the epidural for making the labor ‘easy.’ I labored for about 12 hours, pushed for just under one of those hours and then Connor was in my arms. During our two nights in the hospital, when the night nurse was taking my blood pressure, heart rate and temperature I was asked by one, “Do you run marathons?” and by another, simply “Runner?” Continue reading