Saturday, November 30, 2013

Meal Planning - Week of December 2

I have decided that it may help to hold me accountable if I plan all of our dinners in advance and get them written out here. So from here on in, I hope to write about my meal plan on Saturdays, and that is the day I will also do my shopping for the week. So I am crossing my fingers that having all of this out here, making me accountable to any readers will keep us on track with our eating plans. That would be a pretty big wish for me. So here we go:

Monday, December 2: dream dinner
Tuesday, December 3: Chicken Fajitas
Wednesday, December 4: Butternut Squash from PaleOMG, and leftover turkey (Thanksgiving)
Thursday, December 5:Out
Friday, December 6: dream dinner
Saturday, December 7: Out
Sunday, December 8: Pumpkin Chicken Chili from the Civilized Caveman

So next week will include two Dream Dinners (uncertain on which two at this point), 2 new recipes, one easy/wing it type meal (fajitas), and two nights out. I would like to get us transitioned to just one night out, but for whatever reason, I am not feeling it yet for next week. I think with the holidays coming up, things might be a little bit more haphazard and a little more careless than they might be after the New Year.

For now, I am just doing the best that I can do to get through the time from now until the holidays. I am very much looking forward to the holidays. I am excited to spend so much time with my family over the next several weeks.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Race Recap: The 104th Thanksgiving Day Race

So yesterday I ran the Cincinnati Thanksgiving Day Race. It is the 104th annual race. The race takes place downtown and goes through both Ohio and Kentucky. J's company was the title sponsor this year for the first time. I figure that was my in to leave on thanksgiving morning and run six miles instead of hanging out and helping with the cooking. I wanted to show my support and appreciation to J and his employer for helping put on this race.

I was up early in the morning to feed Addie and then I started to brown meat and stuff for my dad's stuffing. Addie sat in her chair in the kitchen with me. J came down after I had been down for only about 5 minutes, and he started working on cleaning the guts out of the turkey. After 15 more minutes, my dad rolled in, and at that point, I felt like I could get in the car and head downtown for the race.

I arrived downtown right around 8:20 for the 9 am start. I stayed in my car for a few minutes getting my timing chip on to my shoe and my bib pinned to my Oiselle singlet. It also was freezing so staying in the car for a little while was not a bad idea regardless. I wasn't meeting anyone and there were not any official corrals so I figured the least amount of time I needed to spend outside the better it would be. It was just so cold outside, in the teens with lower wind chills and so I was not overly thrilled and honestly was questioning whether I was really interested in running at all!

But I sucked it up and lined up to run. This is a HUGE race, with 17,000 runners hanging out in downtown Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. I did not even hear the gun (or bullhorn or whatever) go off to start the race. But soon I was moving forward, rounding the corner onto Vine Street to cross the timing mats and head up into Cincinnati.

They changed the course this year, although in reality I do not remember the old course from when I ran this race 2 years ago anyway. So now the course went straight up Vine all the way into Over the Rhine, up the hill on Liberty (ugh) and back past the new casino. After that, you are halfway. The next three miles are fairly similar to the first three miles of the Flying Pig. You run 3 bridges in the 3 miles you have left covering both of the little downtown type areas of Northern Kentucky. Newport and Covington as well as the bridge that goes in between them.

I went into this race with only one goal. I wanted to finish in less than an hour. Not a huge of super challenging goal. But I just wanted to run and feel good running. I mean, sometimes racing hurts, really hurts. But with this race? It's thanksgiving! I want to enjoy myself.

The new course definitely seemed to add a few more hills. I hate that Liberty hill, J and I have run it in our beer series races before and it always catches you by surprise and always makes you mad. But hey, it was quick and then I was running back downhill past the casino and toward the river. I was focused on slowly picking up speed as my legs started to feel much more warm. But I still was not trying to push super hard. I am glad for the fact that I went into the race with this attitude. It definitely made things easier to not put pressure on myself and just to think about feeling good while I was running.

I honestly recall very little about running in Kentucky other than that the bridges hurt. Bridges are always a nice hill no matter where you are, and having so many of them was not that much fun. When I got back to the Ohio side, I was ready to pull out all the stops to finish the race. I started going faster and kicking up the speed to really sprint to the finish. I passed a lot of people in that last 400-ish meters.

The only complaint that I have is that immediately after crossing the finish line, you make a right to get to the finishers area (where they cut off your timing chip, you collect water, bananas, etc) because of this immediate turn, the area after the timing mats was crazy crowded with no where to go. It was tough to even step on the third mat because you came to a complete stop right away.

I finished the race in 57:58, so I met my sub-1 hour goal. It was a 9:22 average pace for the race, which I am happy and comfortable with. That is a good pace for me right now, even though it used to (before elbow break and baby break) be nice and easy for me.

Did you run a Turkey Trot?

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

No time for a big entry today. But I wanted to swing in quickly and wish you and your family's a

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Emily's Head and Body

First of all, this is an update about me, not an update about Addie. I will reflect on her being 4 months old pretty soon. But I feel like it will be important to look at how I am feeling about all of this, and our relationship as a unit. 

Let's do a reflection on the last nearly 4 months. Addie will be 4 months old in approximately 1 week. And I have spent those 4 months attached to her in all possible ways. Nursing, hugging her, loving on her, snuggles, and mentally attached. I have learned that she knows my face and knows my voice. I am her momma, and one of my most favorite things is going in there in the morning when she is ready to wake up for the day. She is awake in her bed, but happy, just waiting for someone to come in to feed and change her. When I go in there, she is still swaddled up in her blanket. I peek over into her crib, she smiles and scrunches herself up, which to me seems like a bodily reaction to my appearance. I love it!

Anyway, moving on...

We will start with my body. That is where I struggle the most. Currently, I sit between 5-7 lbs over my normal, comfortable, happy weight. It makes a much bigger difference in my clothes. My regular jeans do not fit at all in the waist. All 5-7 lbs definitely resides in my waist and hips. It is all soft, it is all fat. And I am not comfortable with it. I know that I am struggling to get it off most likely because of the nursing stuff. In reality I am doing everything that I can do in order to drop it as far as food and exercise.

The worst of it is that none of my clothes fit. Tops are ok, but jeans? I have a pair from Target that I pretty much live in. And they are huge in the legs. So I just deal with it for now. At least they button unlike my previous jeans. Now, I am not giving up on this, because I need to feel comfortable (we'll get to the mental side of things) with myself, and I think clothes that fit can greatly improve this. So that is what I am asking for from Addie and J for Christmas. New clothes.

So onto my mental state....

It improves greatly all the time. I love that baby and my family an incredible amount, which absolutely improves how I am feeling about things. It has been a true shift from the selfish Emily before her birth to someone who never wants to be without her. Admittedly, when other folks who were similar to me prior to babies had them, they changed their attitudes and their selfishness to become dedicated to these children, to their families. And that seemed, crazy, intense to me...  but now, now that I am going through it myself, I completely understand. Something that I denied to one of my besties (even as recently as Addie being 4 weeks old), was that I would live for this child. And as tough as that is to admit, it is true now.

Mentally, I am all over being a mom. I love my Addie so much.

Other side of the mental stuff? I am struggling with the mental side of feeling like me. I have so much new stuff going on being a mom. I am completely unable to look toward what I need for myself. I am the final priority in my life right now, which is ok, but it is mentally difficult. I know that I need to put myself in the background though, I am just trying to figure out how I can manage like that.

Any advice out there?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Training Plan Options

Like I mentioned last Friday, I really want to step up my training for this cycle, and make sure to include significant crosstraining and strength training in order to get the best results out of this cycle. I am exploring different training plan options to figure out what will be the best option to get me my PR in the Spring. I have found a few that are at the front as far as options, and I am going to lay them all out here.

1. Hanson's Marathon Method
I own this book and have read it recently. I like the idea of this book because it focuses on running on tired legs in order to imitate the last few miles of a race, rather than the first. But there is very high mileage during the week for what you might be used to, and therefore I am not sure if this is the correct plan.

2. One of Jenny Hadfield's free half marathon training plans from her website. I am leaning toward the advanced half marathon plan because it just feels like the best option to really focus toward
versatile training. Some strength training, some cross training and running (with speedwork) is all included in this 14 week plan.

3. One of Run the Edge's Level Up plans. This one looks like fun, kind of like a board game. You complete your workouts, etc, and then you get to level up to the next stage. How can you go wrong with a plan written by Olympians?

4. A plan from McMillan Running. I worship this pace calculator and I use it all the time. The plans from them are pretty pricey, but they are personalized unlike the Run the Edge plans.

5. RunCoach. This is what Karen and I used when training for the Columbus Marathon. She has since subscribed to it completely and LOVES it. It is personalized based on your recent race paces. Karen highly recommends it and loves the workouts and the plans that come with it. It is a subscription based service, it costs $130 for a whole year (the best value) and could be utilized going into the fall season as well.

Have you used any of these training plans? Any recommendations?

Monday, November 25, 2013

Weekly Workout Recap: Week of November 18 - Plus Addie

Let's talk about how my day started before I review my week last week and the workouts. So Addie woke up early today. She rose around 4:45 am. I got up with her and fed her with the intention of putting her back down for a little while. In between sides, I changed her diaper and reswaddled her, which usually gets her settled and cozy to fall asleep again. Today that didn't happen. Apparently it was morning and time to wake up. She was singing and talking and carrying on. So awake we were. We went and got Addie's puppies and took them outside to go and fed them and gave them their medicine. They are taking antibiotics still after they had their teeth cleaned last week.

I got ready, got Addie ready and then we headed downstairs to hang out and eat a little. The dogs were snuggling with Addie and I, they are currently very into her because she is much more aware of them. She pats them, and tries to eat their tails.

But then after we ate, and as we were trying to get everything packed up and ready for the day. I got the pump packed up, got the bottles I needed for the day, and got everything loaded up. And then it happened. A very juicy bit of gas followed by wet. Blowout. The worst blowout ever. Her poop went all the way up her back. I had poop all over me and she had it all over herself too. I got her undressed as best as I could, and then had to take her into the bathroom to basically bathe her in her socks and attempt to get the diaper off of her without an even bigger mess. I ended up with poop all over my hands and clothes, but she got clean and eventually I did too. But yes, that is how my day started.

So my workouts last week... They did not turn out exactly as I had hoped for, but I still hammered through 4 in the week. I hit my 20 miles goal, but I did get some of them cycling. I suppose it is what it is...

Monday: 4.5 miles. Warm up, 3x mile repeats @ 8:34 w/400 recovery, cooldown
Tuesday: 4 miles, easy pace
Wednesday: 1.5 miles on elliptical, 6.5 miles (easy) on the bike for 45 minutes of total cross training
Thursday: off
Friday: unplanned rest day
Saturday: 6.18 miles with the Buckeye group. 9:03 average pace (getting that little speed back!)
Sunday: rest day

Total mileage: 22.68

It was a really good week overall. I have to remember that when I am feeling discouraged about everything. When I feel like I am not working hard enough. 4 workouts is normal for people who work out consistently. If it is light for me, maybe it needs to be more of the new me. Maybe I need to aim for 3-4 workouts per week rather than 6. I need to come to terms with this.

Have a great week everyone!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Goals for the Week: Week of November 25

I kind of want to make a practice for myself that will allow me to set goals every week. I feel like it will keep me moving forward and accomplishing the little things that make me feel like myself. I know that the new me, this new normal is something that I need to adjust to, but I still need to be able to accomplish things and feel like I am a strong person like I was prior to Addie.

So if I can set little goals on a weekly basis, and then cross them off the list, one by one, it will allow me to feel like I am achieving things. For the week of November 25, I have a few things that I would like to get done.

  1. Run the Thanksgiving Day 10K in less than an hour.
  2. Work out at least three other days
  3. Cook a turkey with success!
  4. Stick to our prepared meal plan for the week.
  5. Finish decorating for Christmas (other than the tree)
  6. Wrap 3 Christmas gifts
It is fun that this week gets to be a little more fun and interesting than most weeks because of it being the holiday and I therefore have 2 days off work. Because of that, my week and my goals are much more focused on personal items, which is a nice change of pace.

Here is the Christmas decorating that is already started:
My village (I collect Snow Village by Department 56) is all set up and beautiful. I didn't even get it set up last year. It is the most involved of my Christmas decor (other than maybe the tree), and therefore, last year I skipped it. But I want everything perfect for Addie's first Christmas.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Long Run Day

Today was a long run day. I almost crapped out on going. I admit it. Addie woke up at 6 am and I fed her. I put her back to bed around 6:45 and I climbed back into bed. I kind of resigned myself to the fact that I wanted to sleep. 

J was up reading news articles on his iPad. At 7:15 he woke me up and told me to get dressed for run group. Who knew he would be the one to make me go! Now that it's over, I'm glad I went. But initially? Zero interest. Oh lacking motivation... You suck. 

There were people going lots of different distances this morning, so I decided to stick with my norm and do 6. There were two girls I haven't met before that decided to also do 6. They were right around the same pace as I, so that worked out great! Here were our splits:
So not super fast, but probably 15 seconds per mile faster than last week. The wind will do that I think.

Did you run long this weekend?

Friday, November 22, 2013

Incorporating Crosstraining: Goal

I know that a lot of readers out there are runners, like me. I am guessing that like me, you all struggle with strength training and crosstraining when you are focused on race prep. You need to run 4-6 days per week (normally) and it just makes it feel difficult to try and fit in any more workouts on top of those running workouts. Especially once you get to the point where you are training for time rather than just to finish. Then you start to throw speedwork, tempo runs, and hard workouts into the mix rather than just junk miles, just running.

I know that just logging miles is not the whole picture. I know that just running my workouts (including any speedwork or hard workouts that I might do) is not going to give me the full results that I want. Not to mention, I am not going to be as strong as I know that I can be.

That is why, this time, I want to take a different approach. I have always trained for a full marathon, and just run halfs along the way. So I haven't actually had the luxury of training to run a half. Unless you count the one I ran in early November (I am not counting that since I didn't actually train for it!)... So maybe the luxury of shorter weekend runs, less miles needed, etc, should allow me time for strength training and crosstraining. I am really planning on coming up with a plan for this training cycle that will incorporate all of the things that I need to make me a strong runner and to keep me from getting too overwhelmed with running (and therefore losing my motivation).

Everyone knows the benefits of crosstraining and strength training. And we are not immune to injuries. Doing the strength training and the crosstraining will help with those injuries.

I am really planning on trying to turn over a new leaf with this training cycle so I can achieve all of the goals that I want. I think that I would like to incorporate 2 days/week of strength training and crosstraining along with 4 days of running. I am going to explore training programs online (some free, and potentially looking at some paid ones as well), and see what I can find that will suit my needs and help me reach the goals that I have set for myself.

Does anyone have any good training plans that are free out there? Or how about paid ones? Any one used McMillan? A paid runners world plan?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thanksgiving Prep and Planning

As I posted in my November goals blog, I am making Thanksgiving dinner for the first time. I am in charge of the turkey, which is just the way that I wanted it. I ordered my turkey from Whole Foods and I get to pick it up fresh the day before Thanksgiving. I am headed up there on my lunch hour to pick up the turkey. That way I won't have to do any defrosting or anything when I am trying to prepare it.

Now, I have never prepared a whole turkey before. So I have been googling lots of options for lessons on how to cook a whole turkey. From time it takes to roast, to rubs, and stuffing recipes (even though I know that my dad is in charge of that, he claimed it right away!) I wanted to be as prepared as possible so I could have success.

Here are some of the options that I have uncovered.
The simplest, easiest method.
The Food Network Plan.
The Plan from TLC
There are obviously an obscene number of options that I can use in my turkey preparation, but I am thinking that I am going to wing a rub with some of the different options that I have read about. And I will definitely be following directions from these webpages on how long to cook the turkey. Because I do not know that.

Yes, I will have my dad and Aunt Debbie to help me, but I still want to be able to kind of do these things myself. That is why I have been doing this research rather than just waiting to rely on my dad for help. This way I can seem like I am completely in control.

Do you prepare Thanksgiving dinner? How do you prep your turkey?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Motherhood. My Girl...

I know that I already wrote an entry today, but I really want to write about what happened last night while it is still fresh in my mind. It was a good night for Addie's sleeping, but not a great night for mom and dad. That stinks since she slept so well.

Miss Addie woke up around 1:30, par for the course, I got up and fed her, changed her diaper and got her back down to sleep. It was all normal and how our nights go. She went right back to sleep and snuggled into her swaddle. I went back to bed, it was around 2:15 am. I was out almost immediately.

Only 15 minutes later, J and I both woke up with a start. The mobile over Addie's bed was playing music. It is a wind up thing, and I did not wind it up. It really scared us. I shot out of bed, staring at the video monitor. I didn't see anything weird, but I was still scared, so J went in there to check on her. He checked behind the door, in the closet, under her bed. No one. He checked the spare room. Nothing. He and the dogs went downstairs. No one. He rebolted all of the doors and came back to bed.

While I feel like at that point I knew we were safe, etc, I still COULD NOT go back to sleep. I stared at the monitor for another hour and a half after that. Every time she kicked or made a noise I got out of bed to look more closely. I went into her room 2 more times to check and just make sure she was still there.

My desire to be Addie's mom might have been wavering throughout my pregnancy. I struggled A LOT with my emotions when Addie was first born. I felt like I lost who I was, who I always wanted to be when she first arrived.

I feel guilty now for ever feeling that way. I cannot believe that I ever felt that way. I want to apologize to the universe for the struggles that I had going into motherhood. Addie is the most important thing in my life. My family means more to me than anything. It makes me a little sad that it took a scary situation for me to admit it (although I definitely got there more than a month ago, I just haven't really owned up to it yet!), but this little girl is the top priority in my life, and I would not have it any other way.
Thanks Addie and J. Thanks for making me a better woman and a better mommy.

Feeding Update for Miss A

So Addie is now around 3 and a half months old. Nothing is easy about being a new mom, but I am definitely kind of getting the hang of things in order to be a decent mom. I do think that Addie and I are getting there, and J is managing to fit himself in there and be extremely helpful. But there is an aspect that he has not been able to be helpful in, and that is no fault of his own... Feeding.

So, at 3.5 months post birth, Miss Addie is still exclusive fed breastmilk. I cannot say she is exclusively breastfed, since obviously I pump when I am at work and she takes a bottle then. I work pretty hard to stay on top of feeding and pumping. To make sure that I keep up with her and her appetite, I pump probably more than necessary to encourage more production. Not to mention I rented the hospital grade pump to help with that.
It is hard for me to believe that I have been at this for as long as I have already. It is a lot of work.

I definitely struggle with my supply a little. And that is why I have to really be on top of the pumping. It is all that I can do to try and be able to continue to feed miss Addie in the way that I hope to. My goal is to keep this going for at least 6 months. At least now, 3.5 months in, that is my goal. So I pump extra as much as possible to make sure that I have enough to fill the bottles that I need to fill to send her to school. I definitely do not get 4 ounces per pump which stinks. That is what I need to be able to do, but I don't.

As you all know from my Boston recaps, I was very much on top of pumping, as annoying as it might have been to J, while I was out of town. I pumped every 4 hours, even in the middle of the night while we were gone just to ensure that I was not going to lose any supply without being with Addie. 

But I am going to try really hard to keep up with it. I have set myself a goal and I really hope to keep it up. I think I can do this, as long as I continue to wake my rear up in the middle of the night to pump, in order to get the correct number of ounces that I need to feed her.

Any tips out there? Any other nursing moms struggle with their supply like I do?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Weekly Workouts: Week of October 11

So last week was a little bit of a light week because of the travel. I had plans to get in extra workouts on more frequent days, however things just got over my head. I just was super busy with everything going on at work because I missed a few days. So I took a few days off to relax and just work right through my lunch hour rather than going to the gym or for a run, even though I had my gym clothes with me all the time.

So here is the workouts I accomplished last week.

Monday: 5.5 mile walk - walking the Freedom Trail and back with a little bit of additional wandering in Boston.
Tuesday: off - travel day
Wednesday: rest
Thursday: rest
Friday: 4 mile treadmill run at 8:51 average pace
Saturday: 6 mile run with the Buckeye group
Sunday: off

Weekly mileage: 15.5 miles including 2 runs and one crosstraining-ish walk. I am not sure that I can call it crosstraining since we were definitely stopping at various places and walking at a strolling pace for part of it, but it was definitely still exercise (Boston has lots of hills!)

Fridays run was at the gym. I played with the speed the entire time that I was running. I needed to keep doing that just to keep myself distracted the entire time. It ended up being a decently speedy run. I was pretty pleased with that pace overall, so I need to be proud of myself for getting through a tough run at a rough-ish pace. And I squared away four miles running which was a happy thing.

I kept J in the loop all week about how I wanted to go to run group on Saturday. I felt like keeping him in the loop would definitely be a good way to make sure that I got to go. It is between time for training right now at the group, so we are just sticking to keeping our mileage at a decent average. We had 6 planned miles including a new route. Karen stuck with me, which was great because I was definitely running a good amount slower than everyone else. Here are the splits:
Mile 5 was directly into the wind. I seriously thought I might fall down. I also considered quitting the run right then. I am so glad Karen was with me. If she wasn't, I definitely would have stopped running.

How were your workouts?

Monday, November 18, 2013

Decision Making and a Cute Baby!

Well, I have a little bit of a running update. I feel like I need to post about decisions made and moving forward.

I have made the decision about what I want to do for the Glass City Marathon in the Spring. I was hung up between training for the full and training for the half. I hadn't figured out which I was going to do, nor was I sure how fitting full marathon training into my schedule was going to work. I need to be with Miss Addie a lot especially right now while I am still nursing, so I just was not feeling too confident in my abilities to train for a full marathon.

So I have made the decision to go for a half marathon PR. In the Glass City Marathon, which was my very first sub-two half marathon. So my goal that I am setting out there right now... sub 1:50:00. I want to run it in 1:49:xx.
I think that is a solid goal to have. I am going to be spending from now until mid January trying to get my speed and comfort with running back to where it was before I got pregnant or in my early pregnancy. And then in mid January, I start my workouts with full force and gusto to get to where I want to be!

So I have spent a lot of time with Addie over the weekend. She is such a funny baby. She was happy overall this weekend, even in the evenings, which is normally her rough time. She is growing up crazy fast, and I love this little peanut.
 Isn't she such a pretty girl? I love that silly baby so much. Did you know she is three months old already?
Gramma took this picture of her while we were in Boston, since she officially turned 3 months on the 9th when we were gone. What lame parents we are to not be around on her 1/4 year birthday! Regardless, she is pretty freaking cute. Happy 3 month birthday a week ago, little lady!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Boston Day 3

After Abby Lane for dinner, I spent another night waking up every 4 hours (at some point, J gets used to my alarm and does not even flinch when I wake up in the middle of the night - we have reached that point) to pump. When I am at work, I do not go as long in between pumpings. I go 2.5-3 hours. When you go further apart like I did on vacation, it is obscene the amount of milk that will come out! I am not sure if overall that would lead to more milk or not. Today I am going to space things out a little more and just see what happens, I think.

Sorry - tangent.

We got up slowly once again the next morning and we were showered and ready to head out by 10:30 am-ish. Now, to some, that might not seem that late, but we are both normally up and getting things done on weekends at home (even before the baby) by 8:30 or so. Our plan for the morning was to walk the Freedom Trail. J is into history, and I like exercise (and also seeing new things) so this was going to be a good one for us!

The Freedom Trail starts at Boston Commons. The greatest part of our hotel? It was 2 blocks (or less) from Boston Commons with a Starbucks and a Dunkin' Donuts in between. :) We stopped at Starbucks this time (we had Dunkin' Donuts on Sunday) and then hit the Visitor's Center at the Commons. We were not planning on taking a guided tour, as we wanted to do it our own way, but figured we should maybe get a map of the trail. So we picked up a map of the trail, learned that the red line was the trail (and went the entire length of it) and headed out. One of our first stops was the old city hall.
(Thank goodness for J getting his iPhone out regularly to capture things.) We were just hanging out across the street looking at this building. It's pretty, right? I think the gold dome is kind of funny, but it is a really neat building. We saw lots of gravestones, including this one:

This one made J decide that he wanted his headstone to say "Big Pimpin', Ardent Patriot" on his own headstone. It is amazing those old headstones, some of them are so faded that you cannot read them anymore. They have skulls or symbols on them and there are signs in the graveyard to describe what the symbols mean. We followed the trail around and got to see lots of neat things throughout downtown. It is funny. J actually knew about a lot of the stops because of a video game he played (Assassins Creed 3 took place during the Revolution, and that is J's favorite video game series. J would tell me that he had climbed on top of these buildings or drank at this bar with Revolutionaries.)
(This is actually that Tavern that he drank at in the video game). We went to this pub/tavern for lunch. J was very excited because they had $1 oysters. I am allergic to shellfish, so I did not enjoy that, but he thought they were delicious. We went to a lot of other neat places including the USS Constitution and the Bunker Hill memorial.

And J posed with Paul Revere.
After we hit up all of these sites, we headed back to downtown, right next to the Green Dragon, to go to the Union Oyster House - claim to fame: America's Oldest Restaurant. J got some more oysters, and we each had a beer. We had some time back at the hotel for pumping and picking dinner. We wanted to go someplace really different/kind of nice. I hopped on Yelp and started searching. I wanted there to be seafood/oysters since J was kind of on a roll. I also wanted there to be other options since shellfish is not one of those options that I can enjoy.

We ended up at a place called Post 390 which was a few blocks away in Back Bay. They had a "farm to post" (versus farm to table. ha!) menu, which I ordered from. J and I both had fish for dinner which was delicious. I would definitely recommend checking it out if you are in Boston!

We left the next morning.

We will soon be back to our regularly scheduling posting.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Boston Day 2

Sorry for the delay in this post. Things have been busy at home and work, so now I need to play catch up.

After our night spent drinking at Harpoon, J woke up with a headache. I cannot say I am surprised, but it turned out to be hangover mixed with a sinus headache, so it lasted much longer than such a headache should have lasted. We were slow to get up that morning for sure. I was relatively attached to the pump, even though I was not with Addie for 3 days, I wanted to keep all of the supply up in order to resume feeding as regularly scheduled upon my return to Cincinnati. So I had an alarm on my phone set for every 4 hours. While we were at the hotel, I used the big hospital grade pump. But I carried the manual one around with me while I was gone.

We decided that Sunday would be the perfect day to head over to Cambridge. We could see MIT, Harvard, Cambridge Brewing Company, etc. I wanted to find something Harvard for little genius baby Addie. That was kind of my goal, in addition to seeing the campus as I have heard it was beautiful. Cambridge Brewing Company was J's idea, although I was kind of surprised that he was up for that again since he was feeling yesterday.

Unfortunately I do not have any pictures of Harvard. So instead, here is a picture of Addie laughing hysterically.
J and I decided to start over to Cambridge walking, with plans to pick up a cab somewhere on the way. There was just a Cambridge Rd and we figured that if we followed it, eventually we would end up at least in generally the correct direction. We had a map of downtown as well as the train map, so we knew that this particular street would get us headed in the correct direction.

We ended up continuing to walk. We headed over the Longfellow Bridge which took us into Cambridge. MIT was directly over the bridge. Their campus was interesting. It seemed a little bit more urban than most college campuses I have seen. Not a whole lot of greenspace or anything. The buildings had labels on them that would be completely strange at other colleges. It was just extremely obvious how smart and science-y people are there. We walked by a bookstore and Jason (who, mind you, is SUPER smart) said, "holy crap. I don't even know that that word is!"

Lessons learned from walking to Cambridge...  Emily is SUPER great at reading paper maps, but lousy at understanding phone GPS. We definitely got lost. I have no idea how I managed that. I mean, I had specific directions on my phone to get to the University. But I was not using the navigation portion. I was just looking at the turn by turn directions, which somehow had me all turned around. Yes, we definitely got lost.

Eventually we made it all the way over to Harvard. We got there finally. That campus was unlike any campus I have ever been on. And by that I mean the buildings were beautiful brick buildings. There was greenspace everywhere. There was not a student to be found. Seriously, no kids (or adults) walking around campus. You could not find a school store or cafeteria or anything. Those things seem to be blatantly obvious at every other campus I have been on (ok, not MIT, that was another weird one). Not finding the bookstore was unfortunate because I had big plans on what I wanted to get for Addie.

After seeing all of the campus, J and I grabbed a cab and headed over to the Brewing Company. That was back close to MIT, so I am glad that we took a cab over there. We both had a beer off of their list - I got pumpkin, obviously - and we enjoyed our lunch. That took the majority of the day. We finally got back to the hotel (via train) and we just hung out and relaxed for a little while. We had walked probably 6.5 miles and were looking forward to a break. So we hung out in the room, I pumped with the electric pump (score over the manual!) and we made our dinner plans to hit the restaurant that was right next door to our hotel. Abby Lane.

The sign on the window of Abby Lane indicated that the chef/owner was on Hell's Kitchen and J and I just watched the most recent season of that show. Suffice to say, we are kinda into celebrity chefs. I made us a reservation for the restaurant since we were staying in the theater district and it was a show night. That just seemed like a good plan. J selected the restaurant because he thought there looked like there were a lot of taps in there. Turned out the food was much better than the beer, although we had good beer too. I selected a personal pizza off the menu. It had sausage, scallions, pesto, and balsamic on it. It was delicious. J got chicken with some kind of yummy rub on it. We both were extremely happy with our selections.

So ended Day 2 in Boston.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Boston Day 1

I am in Boston. So far we are definitely having a good time and seeing a lot. The day started yesterday with a trip to City Sports to get some shoes for J. Stupidly, I managed to forget his shoes. Honestly, I am not sure how I managed to do that, but I did. so he got himself some new running shoes. he seems to like them so far, he got mizuno wave inspires. I think he is grateful to have them, as we have done a lot of walking. After City Sports, we got to see the marathon finish line (obviously, a bigger deal to me than to him).
I was pretty excited about that.

After that, we continued down Boyleston St until we found a sports bar that had some tvs and stuff where we could have lunch. I also took a little time out in the bathroom here to pump. I carried the manual pump with me because that was obviously much easier than taking the big heavy thing. I just made myself pump for 10 minutes on each side every 4 hours-ish. That seemed to work out fine.

Following lunch, we kept walking to go toward Fenway Park, we wanted to do a tour. With them just winning the World Series though, tours were obviously sold out. So we went to the team store so J could get a t shirt, I could get a pin, we got Addie a magnet for her collection, and J got a Christmas gift for who he has in our siblings exchange.

Across the street from Fenway is Boston Beer Works, so we decided to go grab a drink. We each ordered samplers with 4 different beers in them. Their beers are pretty yummy! I enjoyed the 4 that I selected. I think J liked his as well. We did not get food here as we had just eaten not that long before. But the beer was fun and they had lots of choices.

Off to Harpoon Brewery beer hall for the remainder of the evening. J did another flight here, and I had a raspberry wheat beer which was delicious (among other beers). We were there for several hours and enjoyed several beers. It was a cool place. They also had some delicious pretzels. We pretty much stuck with pretzels for our meals. We had a fun first full day!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Gettin Ready to Travel

I am getting ready to head out for vacation this afternoon. I am looking forward to leaving but anxious about leaving little Miss Addie. I am certainly really glad that my Mom is the one who is going to be in town to watch her, if there is one person (other than J and her teachers!) that I can trust with her, it is my mom! But I am also prepare to be relatively attached to my pump (every 4 hours) this weekend. I have to keep thinking about this gal while I am gone to make sure that I can keep her fed and healthy!
How cute is she?

We don't have a whole lot of plans for the weekend so far. I am planning on running a little on the hotel treadmill. We are hoping to walk the Freedom Trail, visit the Harpoon Brewery, take the Fenway Park tour, and I am going to see the Boston Marathon finish line. Yes, there is not anything in stone, but those things all sound pretty fun. We'll just do some exploring. I have never been to Boston that I can recall. I was there once when I was about Addie's age, but clearly I do not remember that.

Yesterday I went for a run in the cold at lunch. It was low 50s. I just wore a t-shirt. I knew it would be cold when I first got out there, but I also knew that once I got running, I would warm up pretty quickly. I just wanted it to be a short run. Here were my splits:
Mile 1 - 9:32
Mile 2 - 9:16
Mile 3 - 9:07
Mile 4 - 9:09 (this was just 0.66 miles total)

It felt like a pretty good run. I hope that continuing these runs will be great.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

November Goals

Better late than never.

We are now into the final 2 months of the year. We now have 2 more months to meet our goals or resolutions for the year. At least, I need to look at these goals that I want to meet by the end of the year. I want to reexamine what I have set up for myself and make sure that I can achieve what I want to this year. I am pretty close to everything.

The big issue that I am having is meeting my mileage goal for the year. It is going to be a tricky one. I definitely took it easy in September, even easier than the month that Addie was born and the month I had surgery. I decided that I wanted to run 1,200 miles on the year. That would average out to to 100 miles per month, and I was on track with well over that until I broke my elbow. I honestly was still on track until September since I was ahead of the game until then.

In order to meet my goal of 1200 miles this year (which by the way, I blew out of the water last year), I need to run about 110 miles in both November and December. I am not sure if I will make it happen or not, but I really would like to. I am going to keep plugging away at mileage this month and see how it goes.

But there needs to be more to this month than just trying to run. I need to have other solid goals for any given month that are not just about running or fitness. Yes, those things are a huge part of what I am, but I need to remember that there is more to life than that. So, even though I am now 6 days into November, here are my goals for this month:
1. Run/walk 110 miles
2. Enjoy my mini vacation with J to Boston.
3. Run the Thanksgiving Day Race in under an hour.
4. Prepare a turkey/Thanksgiving dinner for the first time (with help from my dad).
5. Get an email out to my coworkers about putting together a company relay team for the Flying Pig Marathon (I just received confirmation from a C-Level employee that the company will pay for this!)
How do those sound? I feel like that is a few goals that are achievable this month, but it won't be too easy. I want to be able to work hard to get there.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Updates and Back at Workouts

Tuesday morning. I am feeling back to normal after the half on Sunday. I am ready to get back after my workouts and running today. I took yesterday off to rest. I was not necessarily sore, but I knew that it was probably best for me to take the day off. I know that I would normally take the day after a big race off, so I guess I needed to do that again.

Addie seems to be feeling a little bit better today as well. She still did not sleep through the night. Again. She was up around 12:30 am and again around 4:30. I put her back down around 5:30 and figured another hour of sleep would be good for her. So I was up, pumped for about 10 minutes (I am working CRAZY hard in an attempt to increase my supply and avoid supplementation), and then got ready for my day. Addie stayed asleep that whole time. When I got her up, I had to get out a cute outfit for her, as it is picture day at Addie's school. Even though she has recently had pictures taken and we have recently had family photos taken, she is still going to look mega-cute at school for those pictures.

Things at work have been hectic since I have been back here. It has been more than 6 weeks now. It is hard to believe that I have been back here for more than 6 weeks, and Addie has been at school for more than 6 weeks. I can't believe how quickly time is passing. I feel overwhelmed with the different things that we are trying to do here at the office. I feel like I am moving back into a public accounting role that I have been kind of trying to avoid since I left public accounting more than three years ago.

But that is part of my life again now. I need to get myself readjusted to the new way that I am working. I still work at a company that I really feel kind of passionate about. So I just need to get used to it. Right? There are definitely still some awesome things about this place, so I am glad about that.

I am starting to work on putting together my training schedule for the Glass City Marathon. There will be two schedules put together. I am going to make one schedule that will get me a PR in the half, and one to PR in the full. I am not sure yet which I am going to go with, it kind of all depends on how I can fit running into my schedule with Addie. I plan on figuring things out in my base building time between now and Christmas. I plan on chatting with J to get an idea of how much time he will allow me to train on weekends and in the mornings.

That might be a bad way to say it. How much time he will allow me to have...  that sounds bad. I just know that he often gets stressed out when I am gone at run group in the mornings. Regardless, I definitely need to figure it out.

How do you handle long runs with a young baby?

Monday, November 4, 2013

Mason Half Marathon: Race Recap

Well, I lived to tell the tale of the Mason Half Marathon. I guess in a lot of ways, that was all I was asking for, right? I ran it. I finished it. I received my medal, and then I went home and spent the entire rest of the day with Miss Addie. She is definitely growth spurting, and so she pretty much just wanted to spend the day attached to me. And when she wasn't, she was pretty much a fussbudget. I think I had gotten spoiled of her calming down a little bit, after she reached the 8 week mark, so the fact that she is now cranky pants again is tough. But it will only last a few days, I think.

But that is not the point of this entry. I am here to tell you about my half marathon. The one I was nervous as hell about, even though I tried not to let on in the blog. The one that I was not sure I would finish simply because of lack of training. I ran 6 miles twice in the 6 weeks that I had been running since Addie was born. The first 6 weeks I just walked with her every day. So here are the facts that will demonstrate my lack of preparedness going into this race.
1. I had a baby 12 weeks ago.
2. I have only been running for 6 weeks.
3. The longest training run I had was 6 miles.
4. I hadn't run AT ALL for 12 weeks prior to giving birth because of my fall/elbow break with the exception of a few 1 minute intervals on the treadmill.

That adds up to 18 weeks without running followed by 6 weeks of low mileage followed by a half marathon. So clearly I was not really trained for this, but I wanted to do it. It was basically to prove a point to myself and give myself a little bit of confidence going into training for the spring. I am 90% sure that I am going to run a full.

So I arrived at Mason High School around 7:15 am. The race started at 8 am, but I was inside the school using the bathroom, stretching, and staying warm. It felt pretty good to spend time stretching out since that is not something that I normally do. I headed outside to the start line with everyone else to hear the national anthem and then the race got started. I originally made plans to bring my ipod with me, I thought I might need the distraction, since I was not sure that I was going to survive the race. Unfortunately, I couldn't find my ipod.

Instead of the ipod, I decided to try and focus on something or someone for each mile. In addition, I did not wear my watch or even use my phone app to track my splits. I have no splits to share. Instead I can tell you what I spent my time thinking about while I was running.
Mile 1: This is my race, so take it easy.
Mile 2: Karen. My very close friend and running buddy who encourages me.
Mile 3: Brett. The running coach at Buckeye.
Mile 4-5: Jes, Andrew & Randy. The Buckeye Brew Hogs.
Mile 6-9: My Bourbon Chase team (there are lots of them)
Mile 10: Leah & Katie. The women who got me to start running in the first place.
Mile 11:My family
Mile 12: Jason
Mile 13: Addie
And the last 0.10 I ran for me.

It was the most difficult race I have run since my first half marathon. I met only my C goal. Finish. My time was 2:11:37. I walked on and off during mile 12 & 13. My legs were tired and heavy. I honestly got a little bit nervous about falling. I think that is a fear I am going to have to get through as well. I don't need anymore elbows broken. But I finished the race. I am proud of that and I have that little bit of added confidence going into training for the spring.

Did you race this weekend? How did it go?

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Goals for Tomorrow

Picked up my packet this morning for tomorrow's half marathon. I have all of my clothes picked out (but not laid out yet, I will do that later this afternoon, I think. I know in my head that it is going to be a tights morning, even though I would rather wear socks. I know I will be warmer to get started with tights. And although, yes, I know I will get warmer, I think tights are the right bet since it will help my legs to get warm faster (which will help me to get running more comfortably faster).

So the plan is the Lesley Tights by Oiselle. My singlet (obviously). The long sleeved Flyte top (I own it in graphite). ProCompression trainer low socks in hot pink. My Brooks Ghost shoes (this link shows the 6s and I have the 5s, but I will definitely purchase the 6s in the future). Some toss gloves that J never tossed after the Columbus marathon a year ago. My chica band in Drive Me Dotty (purchased at the Glass City Marathon expo last spring) to keep my growing out bangs out of my way. That just about covers it.

I also set myself some very conservative goals for the race, knowing that I am not completely trained. I set myself an A, B & C goal to try and keep myself on track. I think that should really help me to complete this race. I know that a PR is not even a stretch goal at this point, so I have not set that for myself. My goals are REALLY conservative.
A Goal: 2:10 (a 9:55 avg pace)
B Goal: run the entire race
C Goal: finish

My current PR is 1:53:52. It was set at this race last year. My slowest half? 2:01:23 with a 9:15 average pace. And that race hurt if I remember correctly. Jes and I ran the 5K following that half and struggled to keep our legs moving (but we were glad we did since it felt so good to shake them out when it was over!) My A goal is more conservative than the slowest half I have ever run. I just really want to finish this race. That's it. It really is the only thing I want to do at this point. I feel like with my longest run being 6 miles so far, it is all I can ask for.

Race recap tomorrow, wish me luck!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Snow Addie's First Halloween

Halloween was quite successful considering that it was pouring down rain. Addie only trick-or-treated at one house (next door) just so Steve and Carol got to see my little one in her costume. But first I had to pick her up from school. Apparently it was a very fun day at school though, because she sure was a happy girl!
I still love those silly dogs that she has on her carseat straps. They make me laugh every single time. And she loves them too. She likes to hold them and eat their heads. For someone so full of boogers (she is very boogery) she sure is cheerful. We spend a lot of time with the booger sucker. She hates it while it is happening but then afterward she is a happy camper.

She had a Halloween costume that came in the mail from Grammy Rose.

My little Snow Addie. Momma's favorite Disney Princess and Momma's favorite Princess all in one! Isn't she so beautiful? But here is the kicker... I know I posted a picture of me yesterday, but it got better:
Momma Snow and Baby Snow. That dress did not fit perfectly, but I got it zipped. Oh momma body...  At least my chest is bigger? Ha!

How was your Halloween?