spring clean

Well, we all officially made it to New Hampshire alive on Saturday evening. It took us about 8.5 hours from northern NY, but all things considered, it wasn't the absolute worst thing I've ever experienced. It was hard, don't get me wrong, but it could've been worse. The hardest part was the fact that neither Spencer or Porter really took a proper nap, and managing two kids and a broken dog at our two rest stops was quite the ordeal. BUT, it's over, and it's done!

I managed to get my long run in on Sunday, and doing all the hills around my parents' house was about as difficult as I'd expected it to be. I got in over 7 miles though, and I'm pretty proud that I've actually stuck to this training plan, all the while staying committed to The Babe Campaign, as well.

I'm seeing huge gains (and losses), and they're very encouraging. I'm down nearly 20 lbs since Ryan deployed, my speed work has vastly improved, and my energy levels are a lot better - even with a teething 10 month old and a trying 2 year old. While I was running in the warm sun on Sunday, I consciously thanked God for giving me this body and allowing me to really use it to accomplish my goals. It may sound silly, but even when I see my flaws, I realize that I am so, so blessed. 

I decided to participate in Spring Clean 30 with The Babe Campaign, and I'm really excited to kick my goals into high gear now. I have quite a bit more weight to lose in the coming months, and I have a bunch of races coming up. If you're interested in seeing a bit more of what we're going to be doing this month to accomplish ALL THE GOALS this month, check out the hashtag on Instagram: #springclean30 :) 

As for now, I'm in the office today and tomorrow, then I'm headed back to my boys and my parents, and we leave on Friday for South Carolina! I'm looking forward to this little break to really rest, relax and revive. I just wish Ryan was here to enjoy it with us.

getting away

I made the decision last week that I'm going to leave town for a couple weeks starting this coming weekend. I have the NJ Half Marathon at the end of April, and my family will be celebrating my mother's 70th birthday in South Carolina the last week of April before the half. Because I don't have daycare for Porter until May, I decided it would be smart to head to NH to spend some time with the family and go into the office a couple days, so we'll be leaving on the 15th.

Confession: I'm totally terrified of driving 8 hours alone with my kids. So, mamas (or daddies...), if you have any advice at all, please start dishing it out!

We did get some great news on Friday. Porter's new daycare has a spot for Spencer, too! Both boys will be starting there full-time on May 2nd. It's about double the price, but having struggled with proper daycare since we moved to NY, we figured it was time to buckle down and do it. If I want to keep my job and be able to train properly, I have to have the time to dedicate to doing so.

And what, you ask, am I training for? Besides my current running calendar, I've decided with Ryan to set my sights on the 20 Bridges Swim next summer before we PCS. It's the longest marathon open water swim in the world, and it is carried out in 7 stages over the span of a week. In the coming weeks, I'm going to buckle down with a proper game plan, training regimen and really commit to it. I'll be doing it to raise money for a wonderful cause, so I'll detail more on that soon!

Life is crazy, but I'm committing to a healthier, happier me. I'm committing to a wonderful summer with my crazy little men, and we've been making the best of the warmer weather lately with trips to the zoo, the park and more. It's a sweet springtime, but somewhat bittersweet without Ryan. Here's to the ticking days, the summer sun and many good memories ahead.

a current run calendar

I've been working on scheduling out my runs for the rest of the year so I have things to train for, and I knew I really needed to buckle down if I want to see some real progress. So, since work was slow this morning, I decided to plan some things out and get moving. Right now, here's where I stand:

April 30 - NJ Marathon & Half Marathon - I'm doing the half
May 21 - Thompson Park 5k
May 28 - Chaumont, NY 12k
June 11 - Lake Placid Marathon & Half Marathon - I'm doing the half
August 27 - 18.12 Challenge
October 8 - Chicago Marathon 

I'm hoping to add a few more races into the mix, including some swims, but I'm not sure where. I thought about doing the Lake George swim again, but it's the day before 18.12, and I'm not sure that's the best thing to do back-to-back. You'll notice there's a gap in races right now for July and September. I haven't found the right races yet, and I'm hoping to find a swim to fill in those months, so fingers crossed?

In other news, but somewhat related, I came across this beauty on Craigslist the other day when I was looking for a double jogger. I didn't want a traditional jogger, and I really wanted something that could work with bikes down the road, too. The couple selling with this purchased for $550, and sold it to me for $200. It's in great condition, and it's clearly kid-approved, so we'll see just how much they're willing to tolerate when I attempt my first long run with two littles this weekend. Fingers crossed!

Mamas who run distance with their littles...any advice? The longest I ever did with Spence was 5 miles, and it was the worst. Granted, he was a lot younger, but I'm still scarred :)

running wrap-up: march

March was another tricky running month for me. Between Porter getting kicked out of daycare, the DONSAs on post and Danny's recovery, I was lucky I found any time at all, really, to run. That said, I'm excited that I've really turned a corner because my first race is coming up at the end of this month. I'm running the NJ Half Marathon on Sunday, April 30th by the shore. It's a flat course, and I'm hopeful for a great run! 

Despite all the challenges, I managed to start kicking things into gear at the end of the month, which made for a great start to April. In March, I managed to get a disappointing 9 runs, but it was still a month of a tiny bit of volume, so it's better than nothing.

Here are some of my March stats for my records:

Longest run: 5 miles
Shortest run: 1 mile
Fastest pace: 8:40
Slowest pace: 11:26
Miles this month: 28.84
Miles this year: 114.8

My neighbor, Emily, and I made the decision to sign up for the Lake Placid half marathon on June 11th, so that's another race to train for this year. I've done it before, and the course is absolutely beautiful - but really hard! We booked a nice hotel room in town this time, so we'll be prepared for a great race. Also, it's April 4th, and I've already done 2 runs this month, so I think we're cooking with gas. Fellow runners...how did you do?

a good one

My last post was really a bit of a downer, but I won't apologize for it because, honestly, that's where my head's been lately. I've been struggling, but I feel like I turned yet another corner yesterday. The weather is slowly turning towards spring, I was able to get outside, and the Vitamin D was like medicine for my soul. My friend, Mareike, and I took the kids to the Thompson Park Zoo, and it was a blast. Spencer's been a few times before, but this was Porter's first visit, and we had so much fun!

The zoo features all indigenous animals, so I don't feel too guilty about paying to see some exotic creatures in captivity. Spencer was fascinated by the Mountain Lion and the Canadian Lynxes, and he really loved the river otters - as did I! We watched the wolves have an Easter egg hunt, which was hilarious and funny, and we had a lunch date outside, which made for some happy boys. 

During naptime, my neighbor's husband watched the boys so Emily and I could get our long run of the week in - 60 minutes. I wasn't expecting much, but I was hoping to get about 6 miles in. I figured I could do a 10-minute pace, and I crushed my goal. I went 6.46 miles in 60 minutes, an average of 9:17 pace, and I held tight splits the entire time. I also PRed my 10k by a whole minute, which was a huge ego boost after how awful I've felt lately about life in general.

I also made a decision last night with my mom, who came to visit (yet again) to help me for a couple days. I'm going to brave the trip to NH to see them in a couple weeks, and I'll stay with my parents for a week before we head to South Carolina for a week for my mom's birthday. On the way back up, we'll be stopping in NJ for the NJ marathon. I'm doing my first half of the year, and I'm hopeful for a good time. I also signed up to do Lake Placid in June with Emily, so I'm pretty excited about that!

Deployment life is hard. I won't sugarcoat it at all. I've really struggled a lot lately, but I'm working hard to keep positive and remember all the good stuff. I think that as the weather turns, so does my psyche, and I'm so glad for that.