Monday, May 31, 2010

How Is It Possible

How is it possible that I am more exhausted deep cleaning just two bedrooms and one bathroom than running 22 miles. Is this some strange cosmic sign to make me think running's not that bad?! Or...and this is entirely quite plausible...that I should deep clean more often. Nah, I'll go with the first excuse!

Happy Memorial Day! Have a safe, fun-filled holiday!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

22 Miles and an Ice Bath

All I can say is I'm glad that's done - 22 miles in this heat was no easy feat! I do have the best husband because he had a Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA waiting for me after my ice bath. Thank goodness tapering begins after today!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Hotter than Hades Today

Running a marathon in June means I have to prepare myself for running in the heat. But seriously, 85 degrees? Today's tempo run was hot, steamy and sweltering. I managed to only lose about 15-20 seconds per mile from the frequent head wiping ad half-mile water chugging. Phew...glad that one is in the bag :)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Caribou Coffee Cups

I get excited over simple things. Recently, it's been the Caribou Coffee to-go cups and the wonderful ideas written all over the sleeve. Below are the ones I really dig:

•max out your passport
•technology is good but people are better
•run your feet, not your mouth
•you are as wonderful as your dog thinks you are
•get there on two wheels
Hold hands, not grudges
•roll down the hill
•go home early and play with your kids. 

Love these!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

20 Mile Run = Pizza Rolls

After a hot hot hot 20-miler today, I rewarded myself with a yummy post run lunch of 6 pizza rolls with a healthy side of red grapes and celery with peanut butter. Hands down, the pizza rolls totally made the 20-miler worth it!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Two Wonderful Days in the City

In 48 hours, I've visited some wonderful NYC neighborhoods, saw a show at Madison Square Garden, and dined at Mario Batali's amazing restaurant! Here's a recap in pictures as well as my own narrative :)

After landing, we checked into our hotel, Kimpton's newest hotel Eventi a couple blocks from Madison Square Garden (MSG). Greg had an hour or so before his first meeting, so we headed to Chelsea and the Meatpacking District. After gaining my bearings, he headed back and left me to wander aimlessly through boutique shops and yummy food places. I found a fab girly dress at Darling in Chelsea. According to Design Sponge, the shop is a frequent stop for the show What Not to Wear. Loved it. Went in and out of too many shops to remember or name, then came upon the Chelsea Market, a great spot for lunch.

One of the best salads from Hale and Hearth, a yummy cappuccino from Amy's Breads, and my Darling shopping bag!

Afterwards, Greg, Kim, George and I met up at Son Cubano to soak up the sunshine while sipping mojitos. Mmmmm...

Pearl Jam was amazing at MSG. It was one of Greg's "checklist items" (we all have those) and they played for a good 2.5+ hours. Well worth the experience!

I am notorious for making Greg take pics of us while we're out, but he actually surprised me by this one at the concert(sneaky guy).

Did I mention my wonderful dining experience our first night in town? No? Ahh...well, I had a street vendor pretzel for an appetizer followed by a hotdog slathered in mustard at the concert for dinner (yes, I know, a true culinary delight), then topped it all off with a wonderful dessert after the show of a big NYC-style grease-dripping pizza. Yep, indigestion at its finest! And to top off the evening, we fell asleep with this view from our room (the Empire State Building all lit up). Wow!

Friday could be called the "Day I've Never Been So Tired!" We got up at 6:30am and promptly began our trek to the Today Show studio to catch me some Al Roker! On our way, we hit up the most delightful breakfast spot, Magnolia Bakery, for the best (and I really mean THE BEST) Apple Walnut muffin. I'm still thinking about it! As luck would have it, security let us in to the taping grounds and both Greg and I actually got to shake hands with Al Roker! Talk about a "checklist item" - hello? Mission accomplished!

Friday was a true exploring day. We shopped Fifth Avenue because both my girls asked that we bring them back "beautiful dresses" and Bridget asked that we also bring her dolly back a dress (how cute!). Found just the perfect combination for Bridget and her dolly at the American Girl store. Poor Greg, he got a little "taste" of what to expect in the coming years (translation: years 4-8!). Found a wonderfully priced Marc Jacobs cotton jersey sundress for Megan at Bergdorf Goodman (primarily so I could get the BG bag!). Both girls were beyond excited when we got home! Oh, Greg and I stumbled across the neatest little shop called "Little Mismatched" which is shop that sells non-matching socks in groups of 3. This was soooo Megan because I can't tell you the number of times that I have noticed she's not wearing matching socks.

After shopping, we walked through Central Park, stumbled upon a great little late lunch spot called The Ginger Man, then headed back to our hotel for a nap! Our dogs were barking after walking/wandering for 4-5 miles. Later, we showered up and headed out to Greenwich Village for dinner at Babbo's. Wow, this may have been OUR BEST MEAL EVER! We didn't have reservations, but they are so acccommodating and kind. Babbo's truly does not push people away, but encourages them to come inside, have a drink, have a little conversation, and wait for either a walk-in table or a spot at the bar. We got lucky, after a short 45-minute wait, we were seated at the bar and had the great fortune to spend our evening with Teresa. She was knowledgeable, entertaining, witty and educational. We couldn't have been luckier. We learned about a new appertif that we will definitely have again! Best of all, we dined for 3+ hours! We actually enjoyed our meal, enjoyed our wine, all of it - amazing.

Two days is the perfect amount of time to spend in New York City because it ALWAYS leaves you with the need to come back. I told Greg next time, I will have another list of places to check out and, who knows, I might even try to squeeze in a race while there :)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Go Mommy Go!

Obviously from my earlier post, I am happy. And you better bet I have so many "positive" comments about the Cleveland Rite-Aid Half Marathon that it's ridiculous. But today, Go Mommy Go was the exciting part for me! I got to see my two girls (compliments of my husband's great gift of logistics) at mile 4 on the course and at the final kick before the finish line. That made my day! So much to write about so I'll break it down like this:

1. Great Running Company. I ran with Kim (her first half marathon) and I can't say enough good things about having someone to run with. We would keep each other positive when the other one started feeling a slump. Great motivation!

2. Great Weather. I mean, seriously, mid-50s. Does it get any better than that? I could have done without the headwinds along the shoreway (and the never-ending supply of concrete and incline on the shoreway), but the temps were just amazing. Light sun, not blistering (we've all been victims of the blistering sun during races), and a nice breeze.

3. Kick-Ass ipod Music Selection. This was so key. So much so that I even had "dedicated miles" for different reasons and I didn't even plan it that way. As I was approaching Tremont, Michael Jackson came on and it was shortly before I ran into Greg - great timing since he was (and will always be) a huge MJ fan. Around mile 7 (boring ass mile), both Jack Johnson's Banana Pancakes and Ben Harper's I Always Have to Steel My Kisses from You came on so that mile was all Megan's. I had the hardest time not yodeling along with Chris Isaak at mile 2 and I wanted to rap with Jay-Z to On the the Next One around mile 8 (perfect timing by the way). Michael Buble helped me around mile 9 and it was hard not to pretend I was a broadway performer at this point. The music, just perfect.

4. Knowing the Course and Loving the City. Never underestimate how motivating it is to have pride in your city. I love the Tremont neighborhood with all the wonderful shops and restaurants. Ohio City and the Westside Market get me and my family out of bed early almost every Saturday morning. Gordon Arts District has Gypsy Coffee, Room Service and Luxe. Downtown always provides much to enjoy as a family including the Rock Hall, Great Lakes Science Center and the Browns stadium. Best of all, I giggled as I saw up close one of the "guardians" of the Lorain-Carnegie bridge wearing a Cavs sweatband!

I'm also thrilled to PR because it motivates me to continue working hard during my marathon training. My official time ended up being 2:17:30, which puts me at a 10:30 pace. I'll take it!

Grandma's Marathon you're next!


I did it! A new PR in 2:17:32!!! I beat my previous best by 8 minutes!!! Great course and experience. More to come later. Congrats to Kim on her first half marathon! We crossed together and tackled Cleveland with a smile!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Getting Nervous and Excited

In slightly more than 12 hours I'll be trotting along the streets of Cleveland in search of that elusive PR. I'm hoping that Tremont, Ohio City, the Gordon Arts District and the Warehouse District can provide me with all the good vibes to beat 2:25! Fingers crossed!

Cleveland Rite Aid race goody bag may very well be the best goody bag to date!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

My New Music Finds

A couple nights ago, I spent an hour or so putting together a nice blend of music for my upcoming race. I had grown tired of the same yelling/loud/pump-you-up music and wanted to go for a change. I mean, Guns n Roses, Foo Fighters and the like are good for a nice run, but I wanted something that wouldn't result in me skipping to the next song...the next song...the next song. I started thinking about mixing in some Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. Classics...Just pure great music. So I went to iTunes and downloaded Sway by Dean Martin (I could listen to that over and over)and a couple classic Frank songs. iTunes has this feature that "recommends" artists. I couldn't believe how much I enjoyed finding new music. Came across Madeleine Peyroux's 2004 CD Careless, she is compared to Billie Holiday and I could literally listen to her music for hours. I was also impressed with Melody Gardot out of Philadelphia with her sultry jazz voice, very similar to Norah Jones. For my 80s flashback, no mix would be complete without a little Robert Palmer. So I'm all set and can't wait to rock out...or get "jazzed" by my new music!

The funny part is that husband (who got the iTunes notification/bill) thought my daughter was making a love mix! Nope...that's your wife d/l the music :)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Week in Review: 5/3-5/9

Happy Mother's Day to everyone. I am thrilled that I got two new CLE shirts (Cleveland's a Plum is such a cool one) so I can "represent" while knocking out the remaining states. Yeah! Good week of running and nice mix of workouts as well as two of the best partners ever - B and Meg!


Tuesday - 5 miles. 1 mile warmup & cool down. 5x800m at 6.5 or 9:13 pace w/400 recovery at 5.2mph or 11:32 pace.  

Wednesday - 600m swim during lunch of 200m free, 200m breast and 200m back. Loved being in the water again. 

Thursday - 4 mile run with B in the jogging stroller and Meg alongside me on the bike. Meg has mastered the perfect "mom is running" speed on her bike!

Friday- the elevens, 100 crunches, side planks w/weights, squats and fire hydrants 

Saturday - Farmer's market, gallucci's, eye doctor appt for Meg and other time consuming errands. In other words, no workouts. 

Sunday-18 miles. Good run with great company (Meg), but cold and windy staying in the high 40s.  I actually got my hydration and fuel issues figured out. I will test it again in 2 weeks when I have a 20 miler on the agenda.  

Getting excited for the Cleveland Half next week and hoping to PR in my own backyard!

Good luck to Karen on her 100 Miles to Nowhere!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Another Great Saturday in Cleveland

There is so much to love about this city. Obviously, my #1 fave is the Metroparks. But I also love the food scene just as much. Today we ventured to the east side to the North Union Farmer's Market on Shaker Square for some yummy fresh mini doughnuts, maple coated peanuts, apple bread and some Jonathon apples. Afterwards, we made a quick trip over to Gallucci's for a ridiculous bag load of Italian goodies - lasagna fixings, cheeses, sausage and bread. Yum yum yum!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Tonight Meg and Greg put their teamwork skills to work by assembling a tandem bicycle and taking it for a ride - afterall, it's a bicycle built for two (corny, I know). It was funny seeing them roll up next to Bridget and I as we were heading back from the park.

Monday, May 3, 2010

New Shoes!

I feel like a kid again in my pretty (pink) new shoes! And they're pretty kick-ass because they're my (6th) pair of Brooks Adrenaline. You can never have too much of a good thing!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

A Good Week of Running: 4/26-5/2

I tried to get in some quality work this week, even if it didn't include anything terribly long. After the weekend's 19.3 miles of trail running, I definitely needed Monday as a rest day.

Tuesday and Wednesday were speedwork with 3 miles each day. Tuesday I ran a tempo pace maintaining 6.2 miles or 9:40, which felt comfortable. Wednesday was another 3 miles alternating between 2 minutes at 6.0 then one minute at 6.5 for the first two miles, then switching to two minutes at 6.5 and one minute at 6.0 for the final mile. I actually enjoyed that routine because it made my lunch workout go by faster. Both runs were in the 29 minute range, which I liked seeing.

Friday I had a really nice 6 mile run through the Metroparks after work. In spite of the 82 degree temps, I still pulled out a 1:02:32!

I have a long run on the calendar for Sunday - not sure what distance, but it will be at least 15 miles...but we'll see since thunderstorms are called for ALL weekend.