Thursday, March 31, 2016

Better late than never

Once both boys were in bed I did what every parent does with a little bit of freedom ... I went downstairs, took out the ice cream from the freezer, and served myself a heaping bowl of Talenti gelato.  Yum.  Actually before that I took the dog outside to do her nightly business and checked the mailbox.

Even though the Elizabeth 8k Road Race was weeks ago, I was reminded of the event when I saw that the race organizer (or someone associated with the race) had mailed me my medal!

It was a total coincidence that I was actually wearing the race shirt today.  It's really comfortable and fits well for a typical race shirt.

Anyways I'm so glad that they took the extra time and energy to mail me my medal ... I MAY have asked them once (or five times) about picking it up myself but I suppose the person thought I was too crazy and didn't want me near their home.  Joking.  Maybe.  Either way I have it and can't wait to show Mason the medal tomorrow morning since he asks me after each race if "I won" ... yeah kid this time I (kind of) did.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

An Easter run

This morning the boys slept in until 7:15 ... anything past 7 is sleeping in lately.  Once we headed downstairs I made our usual sunday breakfast, chocolate chip pancakes.  Mason couldn't contain his excitement to open his Easter basket that was sitting by the fireplace.  We kept telling him to wait but finally had to cave to his begging once we were done eating. 

He quickly tore through the eggs and then turned to Anderson's basket to "help" him with his loot.  Within minutes the baskets were dismantled and empty eggs were scattered throughout the floor of our living room.

At that point Ryan and I decided to "divide and conquer" and he took over Mason duties and I took Anderson upstairs.  I knew Mason was getting antsy of being indoors so I asked him if he wanted to go on a run with me while in the stroller.  I really thought he would say no but instead he said sure and got ready.

We managed to do 4 miles in around 42 minutes.  It.  Was.  Tough.  He's roughly 40 pounds and was hanging out of the stroller cause he's too tall.  I worked hard and even walked up most hills instead of running them. 

Glad I was able to get a run in today ... but I'm even more glad it was with my little buddy. 

Know Your Craft 5k - race recap

Two years ago I ran in the first ever Know Your Craft 5k.  I finished the race in 22:25 minutes and placed 3rd overall among the females. 

On Saturday I ran the race and finished in 22:25 minutes again!  Talk about consistency.  Out of 655 total finishers, I finished 63rd and 12th among females.  This time I placed 2nd in my age group and received a pint glass and a gift card for a local running store as my award. 

Since the race began at 9am Ryan and the boys were able to tag along with me.  They dropped me off near the start line and then went to find parking while I was running.

Ryan was able to control both boys and snap this great action shot of me finishing the race.  I started off the race pretty strong and finished mile 1 in 6:58 minutes.  I finished the 2nd mile in under 14:30 minutes and still thought I had a decent shot of PR-ing.  By 2.75 miles I felt like throwing up and kept dry heaving as I was running.  I slowed down considerably but somehow managed to finish in 22:25 minutes.  As soon as I crossed the finish line I walked off to the side and threw up behind a car.

Once I threw up I felt a ton better and was ready to drink my pint of beer from Triple C Brewery.  Hey, whatever works right? 

Mason stayed with me while we waited for the awards ceremony and Ryan headed home with Anderson to grab Mason's t-ball equipment for his practice later in the day. 

It's a great race and definitely one I'll continue to run.  The shirts were awesome this year and the free beer at the end of the run is spectacular. 

I made sure to keep up with pre-race tradition and had Bad Daddy's take out the night before.  Mason was a train wreck so we knew better than to take him out in public for my cheeseburger.  Instead I called in our usual order and we picked it up from their Ballantyne location. 

I stuck with making my own burger and chose American cheese, whole wheat bun, with pickles and onions and a side of garlic mayo.  I wish there was an option for burger size because these are honestly just too big.  I could barely finish it and felt super full by the end.  I didn't even finish the tater tots, but Mason helped me with those. 
Just another day of running for a cheeseburger!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Shorts, socks, and six miles

On Sunday I took advantage of the not as cold weather and ran my 6 miles outdoors. I was getting tired of running laps around the indoor track at the Harris YMCA.

Since it was just under 50 degrees I wore shorts. To keep my legs a little warmer I wore my PRO Compression hot pink compression socks.

Why wear compression socks (aside from warmth)? Well here are a couple of reasons (from the PRO Compression site):

- improves blood flow, resulting in better, more consistent performance and faster recovery

- support critical muscles and tendons while reducing inflammation, swelling and soreness

I currently own two pairs and use them when I'm running more than 5 miles, after running half marathons, and if it's chilly out (for example I'll probably wear my "shamrock" ones during a St. Patrick's day 4 miler). 

Have you ever tried compression socks during or after a run?  

Checking out the new kid in town

I love working out and in general most fitness related things.  I'm lucky I live in a city where there are so many different options for exercising, besides the normal run-of-the-mill gym.  This morning I had the opportunity to check out the newest cycle studio to hit Charlotte.  CycleSouth is located in uptown and is officially opening its doors on January 11th. 

I lucked out with a free preview ride through Scoop Charlotte and couldn't wait to try it out. 

Uptown is about 20 minutes from where we live so I jumped on the highway this morning and made it to the studio with 10 minutes to spare.  Fortunately there is a parking garage in the same building as the studio.  CycleSouth provides free validated parking with your ticket. 

Once I entered the studio I was greeted by a super friendly employee who told me to check in and leave my things in the locker room.  Lockers are provided free of charge but remember to bring a lock with you as they do not have any (not sure if they will have any in the future).

I was going to break this review down into pros and cons, but since my pros and cons may not be the same as everyone else, bullet points seemed like a good choice :)

  • Schwinn bicycles have cages or snaps on the pedals ... if you don't have your own cycling shoes (I don't) then you can secure your sneakers in with the straps on the cage side.  If you do have cycling shoes just snap them right in!  My feet felt secure the entire ride

  • 4 rows of bicycles with 9 in each row, stadium style (the last row may have had 8 bikes not sure)

  • huge fans all around the room

  • lots of speakers to hear the music

  • Erica did a great job of walking around before class to make sure everyone's bicycle was adjusted and to answer any questions

  • clean towels provided by studio

  • Jason was the instructor and kept the class motivated and entertained along the way.  You could tell he was working as hard as the class was!

  • 45 minute ride, with cool down afterwards (stretches on/off bike)

  • GREAT playlist ... lots of awesome jams

  • no tracking on bicycle (no way of knowing calories burned/mileage cycled) ... resistance is done through red knob on bicycle.  you're basically in charge of how hard you make the ride.  you also have to have some sense of rhythm (or should) to keep timing/speed correct.  Jason did help at times with prompts to keep cyclers on beat

  • 1 ride costs $23, but current promotion offers 5 classes for $75

I really liked my experience at CycleSouth this morning and am considering purchasing the introductory special.  With our YMCA membership it is hard to justify too many other costly work outs, but I like having variety in my exercising and can easily spread those classes to once every week or every other week. 

Check out CycleSouth if you're looking for a new cycling studio. 

(although my class was free through Scoop Charlotte I am not getting anything in return for writing this.  Just thought local Charlotte readers may want to know about my experience!)

Elizabeth 8k road race - recap

On Saturday March 19th I ran my first race as a 34 year old.  It was the Elizabeth 8k Road Race and I'm surprised it took me so many years to finally run it. 

Race Website

The race distance is a little less than 5 miles and goes through the lovely Elizabeth neighborhood in Charlotte.  Although it was originally forecasted to rain during the race, the waterworks stayed away and left us with a pretty chilly morning.

I did a lot better with pacing during this race than last week's 4 miler where my first mile was the fastest time.

mile 1 - 7:46
mile 2 - 7:37
mile 3 - 7:17
mile 4 - 7:39
0.97 - 6:54 (really pushed it at the end!)
4.97 miles - 37:12 minutes, 7:29 pace
The course itself was hilly, but not as bad as other Charlotte area races.  After crossing the finish line I grabbed a banana and water and headed out to find the boys.  They had dropped me off at the race start and we were waiting for me by the finish.  Unfortunately that meant that I didn't get to stay for the awards ceremony which is a bummer since I placed 3rd in my age group.  I've contacted the race in hopes of obtaining my medal at some point.
All in all it was a great race and I would love to run it again next year!

My 34th Birthday

On March 17th I turned 34.  The day started off a little better than most days ... Ryan brought home bagels for breakfast.

Then after dropping off Mason at school, Anderson and I ran an easy 3 miles. 

After a quick shower it was time for an (early) lunch and we headed to Sir Edmond Halley's. 

Later in the afternoon both boys went down for naps and although I had a feeling Mason wasn't going to fall asleep (he rarely naps anymore) he surprised me with the best birthday present and napped. 

Mason napping gave me the chance to meet up with some friends and their kids at Olde Mecklenburg Brewery for some afternoon beers.  Anderson behaved for the most part and then was quick to remind me when it was time to leave. 

We fed the boys dinner and got them ready for bed then was time to get ready ourselves for date night!

Another year older, another year wiser?  Another year older, another year faster?  I'm so happy that I was able to spend my birthday with my 3 boys! 

Hope everyone had a good St. Patrick's Day!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Twelve months - Anderson

Well ... Anderson turned ONE year old on Saturday March 5th.  We celebrated the milestone with a fiesta at our house.  We invited some of his friends (ie. Mason's friends and their siblings) and were lucky to have my parents in town as well.

We even got Anderson a vegan cake from Whole Foods so that he could enjoy diving face first into it. 

Another big "first" was Anderson's hair cut a few days before his birthday.  Although Ryan and I trimmed his hair back in the summer when he was losing all of it, this was his first official haircut at a kids salon.  He rocked it and was so patient as the stylist cut his hair.

The Monday following his birthday he had his wellness check at the doctor's office and received 3 vaccines.  We are so happy with the progress he has made with gaining weight. It's hard when there are so many foods that he can't eat due to allergies.
height - 30.25" (66%)
weight - 21.5 pounds (51%)

He has a total of 4 teeth poking through the top and 4 poking through the bottom.  We are off formula and drinking hemp milk 4 times a day by bottle.  Anderson is drinking water from sippy cups but hasn't mastered the art of swallowing the water and not spitting it out all over his shirt.

He eats solids like a champ and has on occasion 1 pureed bowl of vegetables a day.  Otherwise I cut everything up for him into little cubes and he feeds himself.  Still loves sweet potatoes and peas the best.

He teeters from one to two naps a day and at this point I would rather him just have one massive nap in the afternoon.  We are working on this and yesterday he rewarded me with 2.5 hours of glorious napping.

Still no walking but lots of pulling and taking steps if he's holding onto something.  Says mama and dada and what sounds like "hey" when we walk into the room. 

He's so happy all of the time and makes us smile with his goofy grins.  I love you so much Anderson and can't believe you're a toddler!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Shamrock 4 miler - race recap

How do you like to celebrate your birthday? 

For my birthday, I like to pick out a running race and ask my closest girlfriends to run it with me, then treat ourselves to a delicious brunch afterwards.  This past Saturday I got to celebrate my birthday a little early by running the Shamrock 4 Miler with 3 of my friends. 

This was my third time running the race (I blocked out the time I ran in 2014 for some reason) and had a great time.  After taking some time off from running due to the flu, I wasn't sure how I was going to do on Saturday.

We made sure to dress up in our finest St. Patrick's day attires and were excited to race at 8am.  Maybe we were more excited about breakfast at the Flying Biscuit afterwards.

I finished mile 1 in 7:06 minutes and mile 2 in 7:14 minutes.  I started to feel those hills after the turnaround point and noticed a decrease in speed with over 1.5 miles to go.  I finished mile 3 in 7:45 minutes and finished the race in 30:04 minutes.  I was really hoping for a sub 30 minute race and thought I had succeeded ... there's even a picture of me crossing the finish line in 29:55 minutes but somehow my final time is 30:04 minutes.  Oh well there's always next time!

I was the 14th female finisher out of 514 and finished 4th in my age group.  Racing is one of my favorite things to do but racing with friends definitely tops that!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Parking lot naps

Yesterday I took a day off from running. I figured after 3 days straight of miles it was ok to have a rest day.

Today I was ready to run at least 4 miles around the indoor track at the YMCA (it's like 37 degrees right now and I don't feel like outside running in that).

Usually Anderson can hold it together until late morning for a nap but the kid fell asleep after dropping Mason off at preschool. We didn't even make it to the YMCA parking lot before I noticed he was asleep.

I figured I would let him nap and just sit here but I really have to pee and would like to get my run done with so I can get on with my day.

Poor buddy is probably resting up for the big ONE year birthday on Saturday.

Hope everyone got their runs done this morning!