Monday, February 28, 2011

Bring on Spring!

I am so ready for spring! I brought this machine home today! Whoo Hoo!

I spent a couple hours at Two Wheel Tango today getting it all set up and "fitted" properly. Don't I look so much faster now!

Here it is coming home! 20lbs, 11oz, like it is a third baby or something :) (actually, it is my third bike baby, and it is pink and black just like its siblings, although this is my first Trek since my HS graduation present a LONG time ago)

We have no idea where to put it, other than the kitchen right now. We have no garage. Our bike room (aka laundry room) is a bit full these days. There are already 6 Specialized bikes in here (3 road, 2 mountain, and 1 girls Hotwalk- can you spot them all in the picture? They are in it, like I spy or something), single jogging stroller, winter MTB tires, old tires, and toy lawn mower. Oh, and a dryer. We do have a washer, it just isn't in there, and no, the bikes are not the reason it is not in there. There is not a water hookup by our gas hookup. I am not sure who the genius was that put the washer in the middle of an internal wall, but there isn't room for the washer, laundry sink, and dryer on our back wall unless you moved our office. Yeah, not happening. We were also not responsible for the horrible paint on the wall either, but didn't fix that yet, and it has been almost 9 years of living with it. Can you tell we are ready to move????

I feel a bit like a traitor to Specialized, who has treated me very well, but I specifically went to Two Wheel Tango because they sell Trek, Cervelo, and Specialized! Can you believe that??? I knew if I went there, I would be able to get the right bike for me because they could get it, not because it was the brand they happened to sell. It also helped that they were having a sale and they had this bike on the floor (I was able to try it out and put the deposit down a few weeks ago). They did not think the Specialized Transition would fit me properly since it has 700cc wheels as opposed to Cervelo and Trek's 650s on the XS, which I needed. It looks so small, I can't believe it. I can barely stand over the XS Trek as it is barefoot! The Cervelos were not PINK, or on sale, so this was an easy choice. I CANNOT WAIT to try it out outside! BRING ON SPRING!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

BOB Stroller Canopy Recall

I wanted to pass along this information that I found via f/b today. BOB is voluntarily recalling their strollers with drawstring canopies, because the string can become a strangulation hazard. They are asking that you remove the string. However, if you have purchased a weather shield or sun shield, you need to submit your information to get a canopy retrofit kit. The shields require that the canopy be drawn to allow for adequate airflow with them installed. I just submitted my info for my 2 BOB strollers, a single Ironman and a Duallie Revolution. With it being wintertime (still), my strollers aren't getting much use yet, but I hope my kit comes soon, because once it gets a bit warmer, I can throw on the weather shields and get back to stroller runs!
Please go to for more information.

I have actually noticed Soren playing and pulling with the drawstring, and would always tell him to cut it out, or else he couldn't have his canopy down. This recall wasn't terribly surprising to me, because I had concerns with Soren and it. Thankfully, Soren was old enough to understand "don't do that or you can't have your canopy down" and you can tell if the string is being pulled because it raises the canopy. Keira never bothered it.

Here are a few pictures from this past November's Hines Drive Light Fest 8K, when we got some great use out of our weather shield. It was in the low 40s and pouring, so not so good for running period, let alone the kids. However, the goal of the race was to run and show the kids the lights, so running in the rain without them seemed almost pointless. They stayed nice and dry, contrary to Cristina and I. The kids loved the lights, but hated get out of that nice cozy warm stroller to get into the car!

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

I don't really like complaining on my blog, and if you read much of my personal one, you will think my life if all roses and rainbows, as I really only include mostly positive things on it. As this is a training blog, and things in training don't always go as planned, I wanted to elaborate on my week.

We had really high hopes for last week. It was supposed to be a step down week so I planned to have things be a bit lighter, so that was a good thing. I did have some really good things happen this week, but they came with some bad.

1. Valentines Day was great, but it also led to me practically taking a "cheat week" from my diet. Mmm Chocolate and cupcakes! Got to get back on the diet horse again. Grr!

2. 3 Birthday parties to take kids- this turned into 1 birthday party as the birthday boy got sick and postponed, we got sick and missed one, and then we finally got to go the last one. This also resulted in more cake eating for me.

3. During the sickness, I missed an 8 mile run scheduled for Thursday. I couldn't take Keira to the gym on Thursday, and I was so exhausted from her being up in the night that I could not have done it that evening once Ryan got home. I just wanted to go to bed. To make matters worse, it was a fabulous day and I didn't even know it b/c we were all crashed on the couch all day.

4. Both Team Compex and Team Marathon will no longer be able to sponsor me in 2011. Major bad news.....Team Compex will not have a team in 2011, so that is a bummer for everyone. Team Marathon will only be sponsoring runners living around Rock n Roll Marathon events for 2011. This is not me. Even after we move, I still won't be in one of their target market areas. The good news is that I did apply for Team Aquaphor, and spoke personally with one of the team managers to express how bummed I was and how bad I wanted to continue with them. Hopefully I will get picked.
If you are interested in applying for Team Aquaphor, go to and submit your profile and application by Feb 28th, and please say that I referred you!

5. I did my long run indoors on the treadmill at the gym on Saturday. I got it done, is pretty much what I can say. I missed all the warm outdoor running weather with the sickness and due to the party, I had to run in the morning on Saturday. Ryan was sick too now, so I couldn't leave the kids with him to at least be outside in the cold, even though I had even arranged to run with Valerie. No go. I also got some of the worst chaffing I have ever had from running in a short skirt that far. The liner kept riding up and it was just not good. I am not sure if it is related to the "diet" issues above or if it is the skirt. I do need to be careful depending on the skirt and the distance. I usually use some sort of skin protectant with skirts and didn't today, and didn't have any with me either to grab once it started. This skirt may be relegated to 4 miles and under from now on. Perhaps I will get the Aquaphor sponsorship and this will take care of that! I have horrible skin issues in general, with eczema, blisters, chaffing, so I really need this sponsorship.

6. I did a core fitness class at the gym and Cristina came too. This was good and bad. There really wasn't anything wrong with the class except it really just wasn't my style, and considering it was a new class, I should have been a lot more sore after it. I wasn't. I think I could have gotten in a much more effective ab workout on my own in less time. It wasn't challenging enough, and I got scolded for talking during the class, as it just wasn't difficult enough for me. I don't think I will do this class again because it cut my swim time short to stay under the 2 hour childcare limit at the gym. Perhaps once the weather warms up and I can do more outside instead of being stuck inside all the time, I will do it again.

7. We did our taxes, and yea, I can bring my new tri bike home. I just need to schedule a fitting for it, and it comes home. Yea! There will be a full post on it once I bring it home.

I am really hoping this week will turn out better. I am not excited about all this chaffing. The only thing worse than all this chaffing is having to go have my "annual exam" with all this chaffing, which I will have to do THIS week. So not happy about that. It was bad enough to wear a swimsuit today in the pool. I have another big 20 miler planned for Saturday. Hopefully I will not get sick too and be able to have a good week!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

New Boston Qualifying/Registering Procedures

I had been at a loss of things to blog about this week, and today I saw this article (Thank you Running Fit, for posting on f/b)
Boston AA Announces New Procedures for Marathon Registration, Qualifying
With my main goal of this spring being Boston Qualifying, this definitely caught my eye. I was amazed last year how fast the race sold out, and was actually relieved that I did not scrape together a hasty attempt to try to qualify in November since it would have been full anyway. I probably would not have done well, possibly re-injured/delayed the healing of my ankle, and spent a ton of money registering late to a race far away. All around, a bad situation, and I am so glad I didn't mess around with it.
I am also really glad that I have been hoping to not only qualify, but BLOW AWAY the time. Well, not really blow it away, but safely qualify, hopefully by 5-10 minutes. This would mean I would be allowed to register on either day 3 or day 5 of the process. These dates are going into my planner. Additionally, I was planning on using the Kentucky Derby Marathon as a backup, but do at least the half. Perhaps I will do the full just to try to improve my time, even if I do qualify. The entry fee is very reasonable. It will be my first race in my new hometown, so why not go big? I guess I will need to see how I do at the Martian, and go from there, as well as check the fee schedule.
I am feeling really good, though. 20 miler #1 with Cristina this past weekend was AWESOME. We had decent weather (no snow falling and dry pavement in February in MI = decent), and we were able to get in 20 miles in 2:56, or an 8:45 pace. Yes, this is slower than a BQ, but we were at a conversational pace (well, Cristina was, but I was able to talk for the most part), and the course we train on is much hillier (is that a word? spellcheck says so) than my marathon. Yeah, I am feeling good!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Snowtorious B.I.G Take II

This post is a bit after the fact, but I am glad I waited, because I got to snap a picture that my 2 year old son LOVES, of a digger doing clean up work in front of our house. Awesome.

Last week most of the Midwest was preparing for this huge blizzard/snowstorm that was to hit last Wednesday. On Monday, the grocery stores were packed like Christmas eve, leaving me very thankful that I procrastinated until Tuesday to go, as they were dead then. With the new diet, I pretty much need more fruit every couple of days anyway, regardless of snowstorm or not. Schools were calling off left and right early Tuesday, before anything even happened. Our district was a bit more sensible, waiting to call off until the snow actually started, late Tuesday night. We went to bed with heavy snow and woke up to a decent amount. Not the two feet as predicted, but it was very cold and the road crews took their time clearing the roads since EVERYTHING was cancelled today, except for my husband's work. He went in with in our 4x4 with little issue, and made it home faster than usual just because there wasn't hardly any traffic to deal with. The gym was closed, so I used it as an excuse to take the day off. I considered running outside, but my husband talked some sense in me, saying that there was only about 1 mile of cleared sidewalk in our neighborhood, and it wasn't risk falling and injuring myself for a short 1 mile run. We had fun in the snow with the kids, and it was a good restful snow day. It was really overrated, in terms of being not as bad as expected at all, but that is always better than the opposite.

On Thursday, it was like the snowstorm had never happend. Everything was open and the roads were dry and clear. I did my 7 mile treadmill run in less than an hour, and just under BQ pace, and then Friday I did swimming drills. I felt like I was going to sink while practicing breathing on the other side since I hadn't worked on this in forever. I am sure a few more days of drills and it won't feel as strange or like I am going to drown, but it will take a while before it is second nature I am sure. I wanted to take the day off as scheduled per my plan since I had a 19miler for Sat, but I have to swim sometime, and with Wed being nothing, I couldn't justify it at all. I was elated that Cristina had called me asking if I wanted company for my 19 miler, which meant we would get it done, no matter what!

On Saturday, it was a beautiful morning, but I can't run in the morning because of Ryan's schedule. He rides with his friends indoors on the trainer (more on that to come) on Saturday mornings, and I run outside in the afternoon, when it is the warmest. I did errands(browsed for a new tri bike) with the kids and as we were finishing up around noon, it was starting to snow. I didn't get too worried since we had driven way out to Ann Arbor to pick up a clearance cost for Keira that was the last one in the state, and that was pretty far from our house and run site. I still wasn't worried when Ryan came in the door at 1:30 with snow in his hair from the walk from the car to the house and his comment, it is really snowing outside. Eh, we were running 20 minutes from here, no worries, right??? I still wasn't worried when I struggled to make the turn on our street without sliding. I considered going back to get the truck, but then I knew Ryan would make me stay home and I didn't have the park pass on it anyway. I got a little worried once I got out of my sub and traffic was not moving, and it took a LONG time to get to the freeway. Once on the freeway, things were snowy, but good. I arrived at the park a few minutes after Cristina, and we could not believe how hard it was snowing. We were the crazy ones AGAIN out here running. It wasn't too bad for the first 5 miles or so. We made it to the end of the plowed path and opted to turn around after we had gone 8.5 miles (oops, should have been 9.5), which would keep us away from the cars until the last 3 miles (should have been 1.5 miles, but the engineer in me apparently doesn't compute simple math correctly while running). It did stop snowing on us after that first leg of the run. We did make up a little bit of the mistake by running around a parking lot a couple of times. When we got back to the far parking lot/bathroom the second time, we popped inside for a bit of water. When we came out, it was like there was a blizzard going on outside! It was crazy, and the snow was really coming down for the last 6 miles. We got back to the cars and had to make up 1.5 miles. It wasn't as slippery as it was when we did our 17 miler, but the snow was deeper, so we really slowed down those last few miles. We did get it done, crazy snowstorm that was not forecasted and all. Also, to top it off, we saw a beautiful sunset once we got back to the car. Here are a couple pictures from Kensington.
Conditions when we started:

Snow that accumulated on my car over the course of the 3 hour run. The car was warm from the drive over, so some of it melted before sticking. (Disclaimer- yes, it is not a Ford, but at the time this car was purchased, Ford held 40% share of Mazda, and this car was needed before the Ford Fusion was available for purchase.)


My husband called just as we were finishing up. He was worried about me doing the drive home in my car. It had apparently snowed a ton more at our house than at Kensington. Ryan was expecting the 20 minute drive to be an hour based on the conditions in Novi. It really wasn't too bad at all here, comparatively. I made the drive home in about 30 minutes with no issues. Ahem, no issues until I got to my court. Our main street had been plowed, but as soon as I turned off of it, I had little control of my car again. The snow was super deep, and I could barely get the car into a space. I could see our neighbor's car was only half pulled in due to the snow. Persistence paid off, and I got the car parked, where it sat for almost 2 days, until I had to drive Keira to school. Ryan took the truck out once I got home to get some well deserved pizza for dinner. Yeah, it doesn't fit in with the diet, but after a run like this, I needed a cheat meal!

Cristina and I are really hoping to have better weather luck on Saturday's 20 miler. This is our first of 3 planned, and they said it is supposed to get UP to freezing on Saturday. That is a good sign, right? With 3 20 milers planned, I figure if one goes bad, at least I have 2 other shots.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Go Detroit!

I didn't really think I would do a post on this, or this soon after yesterday's quick post, but I really wanted to share this commercial:

I wish it was a Ford commercial, but I will take any positive press on Detroit. I LOVE Detroit. It was the home of my first "real" job. I worked for Ford after graduating college up until I had children, and they sent me to Detroit to work for my first assignment. When I say Detroit, I mean DETROIT, like wrought iron spiked security fence around my plant Detroit. I-94 and VanDyke Detroit. It was a drive from the 'burbs, but I loved it. I loved the people who worked in the plant, I loved getting all kinds of food for lunches out in Hamtramck, and the crazy drive I did where I took 8 mile all the way in to work one day on account of construction. It was actually very fast, as it was the most direct way to get there, and wasn't as terrible and scary as I thought it would be.

In addition to working in Detroit, I love racing in Detroit. Prior to having kids, I would LOVE to go downtown to do the Komen Race for the Cure with 60,000 others. The Detroit Marathon is also a fabulous race, it is the last time I tried to qualify for Boston, the first half marathon I ever did (and pregnant too), and I have gone back to do the half again once more. I had wanted to do the full last fall before my injury, and was pretty down for a while that I couldn't. I love running through the Detroit Windsor Tunnel and across the Ambassador Bridge. I love the auto show, Red Wings, Tiger games, and Ford Field. I love Mexican Town and Greek Town. I am really going to miss Detroit while we are gone in Kentucky. Thankfully, Ford is still here, and we will have Ford to bring us back here once our work there is done.
I love the Eminem song. I feel like I have one shot right now with my marathon. The race is right before the move. Right before everything will change, and I know I can get the training in while we are here. I will have so many unknowns after this race in terms of training and schedules, so I have to do it now. This is my shot, and while I am not doing in Detroit per say, I will be doing it in Dearborn. Maybe I will have to come back in the fall to run in Detroit again :)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

My first Marathon on "Chasing Atlanta"

Leah, one of the area's top runners, is featuring guest bloggers on her site, Chasing Atlanta. The topic is "My First Marathon". As a follower of her blog, I submitted my first marathon story to her, and it is currently posted here. Please check it out! I am honored to be featured on her blog. She was the second place female at the Detroit Free Press Marathon in 2010. She will be running the Martian Half Marathon in April.