Thursday, March 27, 2014


Another year has gone did that happen? Today I turned 33. This year has been both one of the longest I can remember and one that went by in the blink of an eye. Some days I feel every second of those 33 years and other times I feel like I am still 20-something. So much has happened this year that much of it is a blur.

This year has been both amazing and ridiculously hard. It has been full of both excitement and fatigue, tough choices and amazing rewards. If nothing else, the theme of this year has been patience and change.

Since my last birthday, I went on a vacation, had a baby, went on maternity leave, bought and moved into our first house, returned from maternity leave, celebrated Baby E's first Thanksgiving, Christmas and Valentine's days, ran my first post baby 5k, 10k and half marathon and that is just the big stuff. I have been busy.

Several times in the lately I have looked around at my life and been amazed that this is my life. I am so blessed. I have a job I enjoy and some amazing coworkers, the best baby ever, a wonderful husband and a house in the neighborhood I coveted for so long. I don't exactly know what I did to get here, but I am going to enjoy every minute of it.

Waking up to this face makes this one of the best birthdays ever. I can't wait to see what this year will bring.

Friday, March 14, 2014

7 Months with Baby E

This post is a couple of weeks late, but better late than never. I have to say that this past month has really flown by. I think that the craziness of life during the past month is part of why time has flown. During the last month I really felt the struggle between being a good mom and a good daughter for the first time in Baby E's short life.

Happy baby!
Baby E is doing really well and seems to be developing more every day. I don't have her height/weight stats, but it feels like she has grown a ton. Lunging her around in the car seat has really become a chore. I find myself leaving it in the car much more often now.

This month she also started sitting in her stroller like a big girl and sitting in high chairs when we go out to eat. We don't eat out often, but when we do she seems to like looking around and being a part of the meal. It is also nice to not have to hold her the whole time we are eating. She has never loved hanging out in her car seat, so this created some challenges.

Baby E is still working on the becoming mobile thing. She pushes herself up onto her hands and knees and will scoot backwards, but doesn't really do it purposefully yet. Her tummy is still not her favorite place to be and that doesn't help her crawling. She likes to pull herself down from sitting and then complain she is on her tummy. I really want her to crawl, because it is a really important developmental step and it helps with coordination, but I think she may just stand up and walk. Both my husband and I did least we didn't name her Grace.

Now what?
 My little girl also got her first Valentine from a boy this month. I am still not sure if I think it is sweet or scary to have valentines in the baby room at daycare. If she is already getting hit on, we are going to be in trouble when she gets older.


While it was unexpected, my parents and my sister were in town for a little over a week. Once we knew my Dad was going to be okay, it was nice to spend some time together as a family. They loved hanging out with Baby E and Baby E loved all the attention. 

Introducing solid food has gone pretty well. She has eaten too many things to list, but her favorites at this point are zucchini and sweet potatoes. Baby E has gotten better at eating things and doesn't choke or gag very often. There are still some nights that she doesn't want anything to do with food, but for the most part she enjoys eating with us.

I am not so sure about this!
I have been feeling overwhelmed a lot this month. It probably has to do with everything else that was going on, and I am hoping it gets better not that things have settled down. I did complete my first half marathon since having Baby E on her 7 month birthday and that felt good. There is just not enough time in the day most days for everything I would like to do. 

I think that is all for this month. The 8 month update will be coming soon enough.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Best Damn Race Orlando Race Recap

Last weekend I ran my first half marathon since having Baby E and I didn't die. In fact, I ran a really great 10K. The only problem was that I had signed up for the half marathon...oops.

I finished!
To fully understand this race experience, I have to take you back about 2 weeks prior to the race when a stomach bug made its way through our house. I loosely follow the above/below the neck rule for training, so this sidelined me for a few days.

The following weekend, a week before the race, my parents came down to visit and things were going well until we had to take my Dad to the emergency room where he was subsequently admitted and had emergency surgery to remove a tumor from his brain. Amazingly, he was released from the hospital a couple of days later, and other than a nice scar on his head he was feeling great. (We are still waiting and praying on the long term prognosis. He has been fighting cancer for a while now, but this was the first occurrence in the brain).

After much discussion with my parents and sister about doing the race, everyone said we should do it and my Dad even wanted to come watch. I knew it would be good to run, but because of all the craziness I ran a total of 8 miles in the two weeks leading up to the race. Not really the best strategy, but it was what it was.

Saturday morning I got up about 4:45 a.m. got dressed and ready and then got baby E up and fed. My husband left about 5:15 a.m. to take my sister to the airport and then meet me downtown. I headed out at about 6 a.m., 15 minutes later than I wanted, to meet him and drive to the race together. It was almost 6:45 a.m. by the time we parked and a little before 7 a.m. when we got to the race start. I quickly fed Baby E and then hit restroom before lining up at about 7:13 a.m. Since we were running a bit late, I didn't see anyone.

This face is so worth running late

I didn't really have a goal for this race, but I was hoping to average about a 13 minute mile, so we lined up behind the 2:45 pacer. The national anthem was sung and we were off. The first few miles felt good and I was keeping just behind the pacer and using 3/1 run/walk intervals. I wasn't really paying attention to my watch or my pace, so I was surprised when I looked about 3 miles in and realized that I was keeping just under a 12 minute per mile pace. I knew that was probably a little too fast to maintain for the whole race, so I focused on really listening to my body.

Miles 4 through 6 still felt good. I lost sight of the pacer at about 4.5 miles, but figured they couldn't be too far ahead of me. The course also had a ton of twists and turns, so you could be a couple blocks away and not see anyone. This was probably my favorite part of the course because it took you past the executive airport and around Lake Underhill. I used to run in this area, so it was a nice blast from the past. At 6 miles in I was averaging just over a 12 minute mile pace.

At about mile 7, things started to get harder. I was getting tired and I was beginning to feel a pull in my left thigh muscle. I was still keeping the 3/1 intervals, but the running portion was getting slower and felt much longer. Miles 8 and 9 were tough, but I was thinking about my Dad and if he was tough enough to come watch my half marathon 6 days after brain surgery, I was tough enough to keep running.

Then at about mile 10 I hit the bricks and those were not fun. I walked a good portion of this mile then dropped down 1/1 intervals. I figured it was better to drop to this than to just walk. Somewhere between miles 11 and 12 I started chatting with a girl on the course. She was just trying to make it through as well, but she was super nice and helped keep me motivated the rest of the race.

This girl was awesome!
I was super happy when I turned the corner for the finish line. It was almost over and I had finished, something I wasn't 100% sure would happen this race. About a block from the finish I saw my parents and Baby E. Baby E was so excited to see me that she was passed out in my Mom's arms. At least she woke up for her Daddy to come through.

It was so good to have everyone waiting at the finish
After the race we grabbed some food and I sat down to feed Baby E. The bad thing about being slow is that the post race food was pretty picked over by the time we got there. After Baby E ate, the husband and I headed over to get our post race beers. The guy carding people gave me a hard time about not having my ID. I think he was trying to be nice, but I know I don't look that young, so it was a little annoying.

Even bad beer tastes good after a run
My official time was 2:48 which works out to 12:52 per mile. I think the course may have been short, but at 7 months postpartum I am happy with my time and my performance. It gives me a good baseline and place to work from for my fall races. (As of right now I am not doing any long races this summer.) I do need to work on building my core up before fall, because my hips were not real happy after this race.

As for the race itself, there were some good and bad things. The weather was perfect, and the date and location worked well for us. Since both my husband and I were running, we needed somewhere that it was easy to find a babysitter. The race was also priced well and well organized. The gender specific tech tees and the PR bell were also nice. That said, there were some things I wasn't really fond of. First was that the course had way to many turns, too much brick and I think they found the only hills in downtown Orlando. Second, there was not a lot of entertainment or support on the course and finally, they ran out of cups at one of the water stations. There were a number of water stops so this wasn't a huge deal, but it did rub me the wrong way.

Would I say that this was the Best Damn Race ever...probably not, but I wouldn't rule out running it again. Especially if I can be one of the 10 people that gets in for $10.

Now it is on to pre-planning for my fall halfs. I am thinking that 2:30 may be my goal. Any training plans you can recommend? Any suggestions for good, quick core workouts for runners?