Running

Wildwood Half Marathon Recap

Another Wild Half in the books! This is what was on my Facebook page this morning.

Wild half 2014

Last year was so sunny! It was beautiful, but hot. It was a tough run for me with the heat. This year my alarm went off at 4am to get up and ready for the drive to the race with Holly. Of course I had my usual pre race fuel.

ucan

Holly and I both swear by Ucan on race day, but she follows the directions and drinks it 30 minutes before the race starts. I drink it on the ride to the race with my protein bar and coffee. ūüėȬ† Ucan is a complex carbohydrate that stabilizes bloodsugar over time, providing a carbohydrate source to your body over a longer period of time. We have both been using it for more than a year and love it.

Wild Half

Holly and I have been running races together for years now – literally! We don’t live close to each other, so it is great when we can race together. We caught up on the hour plus ride and enjoyed the pre race excitement. Here we are in the chute – way behind where we should have started! Of course I think the beginning of the race leap frog game is one of the best parts of a race!

Me and Hol

The race itself was great. The crowd support and volunteer support for this race is probably the best of any race I have ever done. There are people cheering for you the whole way – and you know there are always times during a race when you really need that. The course itself is beautiful. You run on the boardwalk along the ocean, cross the inlet and two small bridges before you turn around and come back. I love out and back courses. I like knowing when I am halfway done and you are guaranteed to get a nice breeze at least one way!

Race views

This bridge was probably the steepest part of the course.

Bridge to Stone Harbor

It is one of those little bridges that opens for boats to pass under. The grate is not fun to run on, especially when it’s wet! But it’s always fun to add new things to your running experiences.

bridge grate

This race is run by CGI Racing. I run a few of their races every year and love their mile marker signs and finish line. You can see them really well. It’s a great feeling when you can see the finish line!

Finish line

It was a great race morning, especially since it was cloudy this year! I didn’t PR, but my time was better than I ran at this race last year.

Wildwood Half Time

 

A big thanks to my mom and dad for always taking such good care of my boys while I race. I couldn’t do it without them! And the boys love having special time with Nana and Popop while I race.

My mom and me

Yes, my team did have a game later in the day. It was an exciting game ending with a somewhat controversial goal scored against us for a 2-2 tie. Overall a great day!

A Week Off

 

A week off of blogging… That is the longest break I have taken yet! As you can probably guess it was not a week off of anything else. Lots of things going on! Here is what’s blogworthy.

Running in humidity

Running has been tough! Between the sudden heat, humidity and the clouds of pollen blowing by I have not had my best performances. I am still thankful to get out there considering this crazy schedule. I have even been able to run with friends lately! So much fun. :-)

My mom

Mother’s Day was so much fun. We had an amazing brunch at my parent’s house and got to relax and have fun together.

My boys 3

My boys planted the whole front garden for me (with help from Nana!) and it looks so pretty! I am very thankful too. I have no idea when I would have had time to do that!

Then we were off to Soccer Sunday! My Hurricanes made all of their moms’ proud and played an awesome game.

My soccer boys

I really do love coaching these boys.

Hurricanes 3

It is really great to have Aidan as our team scorekeeper this season. Finally, he can be a part of it with us. :-)

Scorekeeper

You can’t ask for much more than time with your most important people on Mother’s Day!

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I love coaching these guys too. They are little sponges and they have such a unique perspective on the world. Plus, they are silly.

soccer shots kids

There are so many good things going on with Soccer Shots right now. I’ll tell you all about it soon.

Today I went on the 5th grade class trip to see some of the historic sites of Philadelphia. I love being able to share these times with my kids.

Liberty Bell

We saw the Liberty Bell, which I must not have seen since I was a kid because I remember it being much larger!

We visited Betsy Ross’s house.

Betsy Ross house

And saw money being made at the US Mint.

US Mint

But mostly I loved hanging out with my guy.

My Aidan

We were passing my favorite falafel truck as we were getting ready to leave. That’s fate or something, so I had to stop. I can’t even look at this picture without¬† wanting another one!

Falafel

That’s it for now. Catch you later!

How to Avoid Running Injuries

Let’s be honest, injuries are just not fun. If you are a runner you have probably had at least one running related injury though, whether it was a minor shin splint or something major. The key of course is to avoid the injury before it happens. Since most running injuries are overuse injuries, we actually can prevent them. Here are some tips on how to do that.

Avoiding running injuries

I feel very strongly that if you follow these, you will be much less likely to get injured from running. Some of them are tough to follow though!

5 miles

It is such a pretty time of year to run – new discoveries and little friends everywhere.

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Soccer Sunday was a great day. My Hurricanes left it all on the field against the number one team and came away with a very respectable loss.

My keeper

We basically left the game and headed straight to goalkeeper training. Can you tell he loves it? There was some excitement while we were there. I guess open fields are a safe place for medical transport helicopters.

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Aidan and I kicked the ball around for a while.

My guy

It’s that time of year when I get my favorite flower often. :-) I love dandelions – they are my favorite color and they are usually given to you with no strings attached, just because the person appreciates you and wants to make you happy. What more could you ask for? This year I am getting them from my sweet boys and my soccer shots kids! Bonus!

My favorite

For the record, if you see me around town in these, they are not pajamas!!!  I swear. My boys are not so sure. But since they are the most comfortable pants I have ever worn, I am still going to wear them.

Not pajamas

So, I am wondering, what is your favorite flower?

30,000 Steps

Saturday was a 30,000 step day. It started out the best way possible for any day to start – with an early run with friends. Most of you know that I am really not a morning person. But getting up to run with friends is totally worth it. Great exercise, great conversation and you feel very accomplished when you are done before breakfast! Plus, the sunlight in the morning is amazing. Seeing this picture is making me want to go for another early run with these girls!

12 miles

Saturday is a soccer shots coaching day for me. We have a lot of kids come out to the park to learn soccer and it is a lot of fun. We were down a coach, so I recruited my guy to help me. He did such a great job with the kids and felt so proud when we were done. I’m looking forward to many more days of Soccer Shots with my boys.

Assistant coach

We have been having trouble catching up with our Scout friends with everyone’s different sport schedules, so we planned a weekend hike. It was a beautiful day for a picnic and football too!

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Buddies

From there we went to see the professionals play soccer. We love watching live sporting events, and we have been catching a few soccer games lately. This time we saw the Philadelphia Union play Toronto in Philadelphia. If you haven’t caught a professional soccer game yet, you should go.

Philadelphia Union

Philadelphia union game

This is how it became a 30,000 step day before it was even over. 

30000 steps

I’ll have to tell you about soccer Sunday later. Hope your weekend was great!

Outside for Days

 

Finally! The weather has actually been nice for a few days in a row. This is the perfect time of year for running and soccer Рand pretty much anything else you want to do outside.

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Soccer shots park

The sky has been so amazing lately.Sky

It almost feels like you can touch the clouds.

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So basically we have come inside only to eat. And to get froyo. :-)

Froyo

Aidan and I had the best trip to Philly today. We chatted and caught up on what is going on with each other. It’s nice to spend quality time with your kids.

Penn

Running and soccer on the schedule for tomorrow – what a surprise!

So, I am wondering, why is the temperature already 10 degrees warmer in the city? It’s not summer yet.

Summer’s Coming

 

It was such a beautiful weekend here!

Bay run

Perfect weather for running – sunny, but not too hot. It’s a good thing too, since I realized my next race is 2 weeks away and I have only run a bunch of sixes lately! Oops. So I headed out to some of my favorite areas after Saturday soccer. This weather is making me really excited for summer. Kind of like this song.

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The second worst thing about having a stress fracture in the fall was not being able to play soccer with my guys. (I’m sure you can guess the first worst! No running = no fun). And even though I have been back running for a while, I still have not been able to take more than a couple of shots on my keeper. These things take time, I guess. But on Saturday after Soccer Shots the boys and I hung out at the fields for a while and I was able to take shots on Dane in goal like it was nothing. :-) We had such a great time. I forgot how special those times with my guy are.

My Hurricanes had a great game this weekend! We were down a few players to a nasty virus and my guys¬†had us sweating¬†it out in the first half. The second half was all ours though. They came away with¬†a nice win. I hope they have as much fun with it as I do! Here are some of my guys after the game. (No, we don’t play games with those goals.)

Hurricanes goal 

We had a lot to celebrate this weekend. My nephew won first place for his Arbor Day poem. Nice job!

Arbor Day

We went to his favorite restaurant to celebrate – hibachi! The kids in our family have great taste. ūüėČ

Hibachi

With so much going on, we have missed spending time with our family lately. It was so nice to hang out with them!

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Hope you had a great weekend too.

Timing and Opportunity

 

Sometimes timing is everything.

life is all about timing

 

We might wish for something or really want something to happen, but it is just not available at that time. Other times the exact thing we need might be right in front of us. Runners are always thinking about timing. Timing of races, training plans, personal records, pace. How we can change our timing…

garmin forerunner

Over time we realize that we can influence the opportunities we have, even if we can’t control their timing.

start-where-you-are

If you really want something, you usually have to put in the effort to get it. I tell my boys and my soccer kids all the time that effort and consistency will take you where you need to be. Even if you don’t know the final destination, every effort will lead you there. In running, every training run makes you a better runner. Maybe you are getting faster or you can run farther. Maybe you can sign up for the race you have been dying to run or hit your PR. Every run counts. Every practice counts. Every time you do something that is hard for you, you get better. Test your limits every once in a while.

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I am so thankful for the opportunities I have had along the way and I have no regrets about taking them.

start where you are do what you can

It’s finally starting to feel like spring here, and everything feels fresh and new and exciting. Is it making you think about what you want to accomplish? It is for me and¬†I can’t wait¬†to see where my new opportunities will take me.

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Just remember…

Room in your heart

and…

Start

Getting Back Outside

The weather has finally caught up with the season and we are spending as much time outside as we can. My soccer guy is loving it.

Goalkeeper

It’s great to be able to get some good practice time in before our game this weekend. Keep your fingers crossed for us!

Of course you can’t really beat Soccer Shots by the lake in the morning. It is so pretty! The younger kids are very cute too. I am getting lots of hugs and flowers and excited happy faces.

Soccer shots park program

Aidan is such a good sport about coming to all of our soccer activities. It’s a good thing he is our team scorekeeper now.

My Aidan

Sometimes it’s hard to¬†get one on one time with your kids. Aidan and I got some quality time in on our trip to Philly this week. We had the best chats. :-)

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The girls and I decided the lake is a good place to run this week too. I’m taking it easy with mileage after a busy running week last week.

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I love running with the girls. We talk about everything and since I just follow them, I barely even know where we¬†ran. It’s hard to believe we ran 5 miles when we are done because it goes so fast!

Cub Scout camping and lots of soccer coming up this weekend. What about you?

Up Next…

Getting ready to race

It’s race season!!!!¬† Yay! You have no idea how happy this makes me. This weekend is my favorite race of all – the April Fool’s Half marathon in Atlantic City. This was my first half and is still my favorite. I mean, how can you beat running along the boardwalk with these views.

April fools half course

Plus, it’s close enough that a lot of my friends usually run it. This has been a tough training season, weather wise, so I will miss some of my usual running buddies at the race this year. :-( Here are me and my girls from last year.

Race buddies April Fools 2014

Here we are with our SOL Sisters.

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sol-post-race-lunch1

Time flies… I can’t wait to run it with Tara and Dawn this year. Here we are in 2013.

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It has been raining non stop here lately! I’m not sure we will ever get a full week of soccer practice in! Some of my boys came out despite the weather. I always remember having so much fun playing soccer in the rain. These boys loved it too.

Soccer in the rain

There was no convincing them that practice should end early, and that was fine with me. They were all smiles right up until the end.

My soccer guys

I’m hoping for a lazy morning tomorrow. We might as well get something out of spring break, right? Even our pets know the morning routine around our house. Everything is better after coffee and a protein bar.

White cat

So, I am wondering, what is your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?

Easter and Hot Chocolate…15k

Cousins-1

Happy Easter! We hope you had as wonderful of a weekend as we did.

Easter morning

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We didn’t have the usual crowd this year – we missed you guys! – but we still had a great day. There were egg hunts, of course…

Cousins at Easter

And also Nerf wars and ball throwing clinics. These boys will steal your heart, they are so sweet.

Nerf boys

Of course we had Easter bread for breakfast. And after breakfast snack. And afternoon snack. ūüėČ

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Every year we make Easter bread with my mom the Saturday before Easter. It is a fun, all day tradition that we always look forward to and the bread is amazing. This year the boys took my place since I was at the race. They did a great job and I will be back to bread making next year!

Dane easter bread

Our breads have always been braided, but the boys had the idea to make theirs Easter themed. Dane made a bunny and Aidan made an egg. Kids really make everything even more fun.

Aidan easter bread

While the boys were baking, I was in Philadelphia with the girls from my running club for the Hot Chocolate 15k.

SOL Sisters

I can’t even tell you how much fun it is to race with these girls. We get up super early to drive to the race, then stand around freezing and excited waiting to start. We pretty much laugh the whole time. This race sold out with 15,000 runners, but did a really good job with their corrals. It was a crowded course though! We started in the 3rd or 4th corral and ended up playing leap frog right through to the finish line. I guess we should have moved up a corral or two. This was our view from the starting line.

Hot chocolate starting line

I did not like this course at all at the Philadelphia Rock and Roll half marathon, but I loved it yesterday! I knew where the slanted hills would be this time and did my best to avoid them. The weather was great. A little windy to start and warmer than we have been used to, but overall a great day to run. Here are some views from the course.

Philadelphia hot chocolate race

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You really never know what you will see at a race. This is a first for me! I guess he was going swimming in the river after the race.

Speedo guy

Boathouse row is so pretty on a sunny morning! Too bad on race day it usually coincides with a killer pitched hill leading straight up to the finish line. Definitely the hardest part of this course – but good scenery!

Boathouse row philly

I felt good the entire race, which is pretty amazing considering I am still battling this cold!

Hot chocolate medal

Since it was the day before Easter we collected our bling,

Medals

and our chocolate goodies and headed home to finish up Easter stuff.

Post race goodies

This is how tired I was the rest of the day, but it was so worth it.

Post race

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Hope you had a great Easter weekend!

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