Updates, Updates, Updates…I’m BACK!!!!!!

Anyone still here…anyone?? Anyone??

It has been almost a full month since I have written!  So much to get caught up on!

Unless you are on my Facebook (and if you aren’t, why not?) you might have thought I died. Or was kidnapped. Or that I hate blogging.  Don’t believe the rumors- none of the above are true.  The truth is, I was so overwhelmingly busy that I could not sit long enough to finish a post.  But now things are calmed down a little and I am ready to give you the updates.  And there are some major updates!

  1. I turned 30- That’s right folks, I am officially in the 30 club!  And honestly, I feel great!  I am so happy to be out of my 20’s I cannot even tell you!  Plus, turning 30 has been so much fun…I had a surprise party back in May and then over my birthday weekend I went to Boilermaker to celebrate with 9.3 miles with two of my closest friends.  Last weekend topped off the birthday festivities with a trip to Baltimore with R2.  We stayed Friday-Sunday and had so much fun.  Yeah…hello 30, I think I love you!
  2. I GOT A NEW JOB!!!!- I did it!  I finally left my old school and got a new job!  This is the best news and best thing to happen to me in a long time.  I feel emotionally more stable and so much less stressed out.  I have been sleeping through the night again, not freaking out over dumb stuff and can enjoy my weekends more because I am not thinking about work.  I feel like my prayers have been answered!  I start in two weeks and I cannot wait!!!!!!
  3. I am still racing- Since I last wrote I raced the Boilermaker, Splash and Dash and NJ State Triathlon.  See below for race reports- they were all good ones!
  4. R2 and I are still amazing- I am not the mushy mushy type and I certainly dont talk much about my relationship publicly, but seriously…how lucky am I to have such a great guy.  R2 has been there for me every step of the way while I searched for a new job and is ridiculously supportive of my racing.  We have so much fun, we are almost always laughing and we genuinely like each other so much.  It has been a great six months!
  5. Marathon Training is underway- That’s right…the official training has begun.  I don’t want to rush summer or wish time away,  but I will be glad when the race itself is finally here.  This training is daunting!!!  I have to be honest, I don’t see myself ever doing a second marathon!

Three Race Reports!

     Splash and Dash- Splash and Dash is a local swim/run race held in memory of a local boy who was killed in a car accident.  It is held at night and super fun.  I had a pretty good swim and used the run as a training run so it was so-so.  I was happy with it overall and can’t wait to do this race again!

     Boilermaker 15K- Hello automatic PR 🙂  This race totally lives up to its hype.  While I wanted to kill myself up the first 3.5 miles of hill that seemed endless (hi, I train in SJ!!) I love love loved all the course support.  I am not even kidding, there was support every single step of the race!  People everywhere- more music than anything 1/2 marathon I ever raced and water/aid stations everywhere!  I went into this race with some shin pain and random back pain so I wasn’t sure what to expect out of myself; in the end, I was really happy with my time.  15K- 1:48:23.  Slow, steady and recovered well from it- stuck with the plan and it worked!

     NJ State- This race was last weekend…you know, in the 92387 degree heat.  Which honestly, was still better than last years weather.  This was my first full tri this year- up to this point I had been doing only relays.  I went in thinking I would see how I felt and take it from there.  Listen- I KILLED the swim.  As in…20th out of 103 in my age group and 375th out of 1362 overall.  KILLED THE SWIM.  I felt like superwoman coming out of the water and was rearing to go!  I zoomed in and out of transition and started the bike.  Ugh…the bike.  My disdain for the bike runs deep and my goal was to do the same or better than last year, although my lack of bike training had me thinking I might not make it.  However, I did…beat my time last year by a few seconds 🙂  Hey, I’ll take it!  Once again, I zoomed in and out of transition and was ready to run.  I should clairfy…I was ready…my legs, notsomuch!  Took me a solid mile to get my legs back, but I knew I was doing so well overall that I kept pushing and smiling.  I crossed the line with a THREE MINUTE PR.  And I couldn’t have been happier!!!

What’s next?

Racing- This weekend I have Belmar tri, one of my favorites.  After that, my concentration is really on running.  Getting through this marathon training without injury and feeling good and confident.  I have a few 5k’s in August where I hope to work on my speed and then the WildWood half-marathon at the end of the month.  The WildWood half is going to be a good indicator of where I stand in my training.  They will have pacers and I plan to use one; my hope is I can keep the pace for 13.1 and reach a solid PR, which will give me confidence for the full marathon.  In September, I am running the Jersey-Liberty Half Marathon.  This is purely a training run with no PR expectations.  In Oct, I am running the LBI 18-miler (falls right into my schedule perfectly) and then November is the marathon!!!!

Life- I have a little over a week of in between jobs ending and beginning and then I start the new school year.  I am not the least bit sad to leave my current job (although I will miss most of the people, most families and the students) but I am scared/nervous/excited for the new job!  In September I will be heading downtheshore for my yearly, much anticipated, vacation.  Other than that, I am just feeling really blessed right now in my life.  Lucky, and blessed.

Pictures

You know I wouldn’t leave you without photos!!!  Here’s a hodgepodge of race photos from the S&D and NJ State…

PS-It goes without saying that my Reader was out of control, so I deleted everything and I am starting over today.  Please update me on anything awesome I may have missed!

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Scott Coffee 8K & Black Bear Tri Reports

So many races to catch you all up on!!   That will  give me more time to get caught up on my reader as well.  (Does anyone else feel like they will never be caught up on their readers?!?!)  I raced yesterday too but that post will have to wait…as will my hospital post (the fun never ends with me) and my general life update! 

Two weekends ago, I raced twice; first on Saturday at a local 8K and then Sunday in the Poconos for a relay tri.  I was the swimmer.  Obvi, right?

Friday night I had to work, and I had a bad week the days before so I was really not in the mood to race.  But I woke up Saturday and got ready to toe the line!  I ran into a few friends and my friend Kristen and I decided to start out together.  First mile…9 minutes…WHOA fast runner.  Had to slow that down or I was going to lose it.  We slowed it down a notch but by mile three we were still just under a 10 minute mile pace.  At about that time, I took off from Kristen (she would have done the same thing and I would have let her too)  because I was feeling like I could really push it.  I held on strong, only stopping at the final water stop and came through the finish at 49:57!  I have raced this course four years now, and all I wanted was to get in under 50 minutes.  I was ecstatic!!!!!

Pre-race with Kristen

Mom and pre-race

YES!!!! 🙂

After the race we grabbed a quick lunch and then R2 and I were headed to the poconos for race number two of the weekend!  We headed up to the Jim Thorpe campsite the night before for a night of cooking out and chatting around the fire.  (In addition to the good times, it is about a 2 hour drive, so going up the night before was a major morning of time saver!)  The ride up was going well until R2 missed his exit.  Have you ever missed an exit on the PA turnpike?  Not fun!  After that notsomuchfun time, we were finally there.  There were a total of 10 of us camping, however only four of us were doing the tent thing.  Our friends had a camper.  It worked out really well because we used the camper for making dinner 🙂  R2 is a former Eagle Scout, so I was camping with the best of them!  In fact, it was obvious that R2 had some experience when we compared our tent to our friends tent:

Even though we were camping and having fun, it was still the night before a race.  Bed early is still the rule!  Wake up call was 5am and after packing up the site we were off to the race.   I had a little bit of anxiety because I was remembering the prior year when the swim portion of this race chewed me up and spit me out.  Talk about humbling!  Well, this year I was back for redemption.  And I got it.  My swim was 30minutes and I felt great the entire time!!!  I quickly tagged off to Shauna for the bike and she was back in no time!  We were kicking ass one relay person at a time and next up was Lisa on the run.  As she passed us on the first lap, she yelled out “8 minute miles” and we could tell she was rocking it.  Turns out we were all right too- end result was 1st place female relay and 3rd relay overall!!  Wooohooo!!!!

R2 at his tri, spectating 🙂

Happy girl coming out of that swim!

Awards ceremony!!

A HUGE Surprise For Me, A Wedding & Lots Of Photos

If you read my last post, you would know that this past weekend I was attending a surprise party for a friend on Friday and a wedding Saturday.  Well…the surprise party…was for me!!

I am honestly still in shock.  Stunned, even.  My actual 30th birthday is not until July 9, so even though I had an idea that something was being planned…never in my wildest dreams did I think it would be in May.  As many people noted…if I had thought it was for me, I would not have worn pants!!!!

Luckily my mom knows me too well and knows that I would want to wear a dress.  She snuck in my house, and my closet, the night before and took a few dresses.  Whew! 🙂

My cousin Megan did the honor of holding my dresses.

Picking the dress!

The whole night was overwhelming and is still a blur!  Thank goodness for photos!  Here are a few of my favorite ones.

The surprise:

My mom pulled it off!!!

Tiara time!

Things to see:

The party favors, my sign and the guestbook which was a scrapbook of photos.

I am a HUGE Phillies fan; my Uncle made these signs!

The cake my friend Danielle made

Dancing:

Friends and Family:

Love this one of Mom and me

Bestie Sarah

Best friend foreva and eva Jessica and my momma

My friend Danielle- I thought it was her party!

Some of my family (and me, after some wine!)

Having fun with work friends!

TT kids!

And of course, R2:

First time dancing 🙂

By the time we got home and had everything in the house on Friday night it was well after 1am.  We had an early wake up call Saturday because my good friend Kristen was getting married!  Her wedding was about 2 hours away in North Jersey with the reception about another 30 minutes north of there.  We went right from my house to R2’s, got ready and packed our bags and headed on our way.  The wedding was beautiful- gorgeous church and gorgeous bride!  The reception was an absolute blast.  The cocktail hour was full of amazing food and into the reception we danced and danced and danced!  Ok…and drank and drank and drank!  It was another super late, but really fun time!

Kristen and Joe

The TT kids

Love these girls!

My favorite photo of R2 and I, thus far.

Overall, it was pretty much the best weekend ever.  Sunday night, after returned from North Jersey, my parents met R2 at my house and we opened gifts.  I am a very lucky girl to have so many wonderful people in my life.  And I feel lucky to have all of you to share this with through the amazing blog world!

Boston Trip Report Part 1

Wow- some of you already have your 5K reports up and some even have full weekend reports- you people are quick!!!!  In an effort to not bore you all to death with one long report, I will make this a three parter.  First part will be Saturday, the second part will be Sunday and the third will be Marathon Monday.  There are going to be lots of reports to read- my advice is to read them all- we all have a different story and perspective.  But if you cannot read them all, of course read mine 🙂

The adventure started very early Saturday morning.  I was still packing as of 1am and had to be up at 5am!  It was going to be a whirlwind weekend and sleep was going to be a hot comodidity  Mom and I were off to the airport at 7:30.  While checking my facebook at the airport, I noticed Denise was on the same flight- I got up to look for her and she spotted me right away!  So exciting to finally meet!  We have been looking for each other at local races for a long time; meeting at the airport was extra special!!!  We had a little bit to chat before the plane took off which was great!  Once boarded, the flight was only 46 minutes (love it!!!).  After we landed in Boston, I snapped a quick photo with Denise and we headed off to the T-line…the first of many trips we would make on the subway!

As soon as we got to the hotel, all we could think about was food (ok, all I ever think about it food) and we got ourselves fed.  Then it was off to the expo to pick up my bib.  Honestly, I wasn’t over-impressed with the expo.  With exception to watching the awesome video they had running and finally getting my photo with Yasso (after three failed attempts), I was disappointed.  It was ridiculously crowded and overall, I have seen better at other race expo’s.  We spent quite a bit of time there but I was ready to go after a while.

 

After the expo, I decided to hit the up the Bloggy Happy Hour.  Unfortunately, the actual Happy Hour never occured.  The bar knew nothing about us coming so instead it was more of a hang out in the lobby, snap some photos and have a chat session.  Regardless of how it worked out, it was so much fun- especially because I got to reunite with Morgan,  meet Aron and meet so many new great people!

By the time I left the bar, I was beat.  My mom and I were both starving so we hit up some dinner before getting back on the T-line to head to the hotel.  I laid out all my 5K stuff and headed to bed.  I slept like a baby!!!

Up next…the 5k and more bloggy lovin!!!

Post Race Thoughts And Onelittletrigirl Unplugged.

Hello interwebs.

I thought I might have a delayed reaction to not meeting my goal at the 8K last weekend.  The good news is that didn’t happen.  There is no bad news. 🙂  I am really truly happy with my effort out there- I pushed hard, left it on the course and did the best I could.  Like I said, just because my best wasn’t my best time, doesn’t mean I didn’t give it my all.  For my first 2011 showing, I am proud.  And I think it says a lot about where I am going with my running in 2011.

Oh and I managed to get a pretty good shot snapped during the race- woo-hoo!

Since returning from VA on Sunday, my training has gone awesome!  Usually post race, I struggle with the first few workouts but this week, everything from my swims to my lifting to my running has been great.

I gave myself Monday off to recoup from all the driving I did (11.5 hours in less than 3 days!) and then first thing Tuesday morning I was in the pool.  I lifted first and I have been working with some new weights and doing some new routines and finding that for the first time ever, I like lifting.  I think also, for the first time, I am really seeing results.  Ever notice how seeing results makes you want to do more of what you ae doing?  Yeah, I have that going on.  I swear my arms and back have never looked this good!  As for my swimming, I have been sticking to pure freestyle for the time being while I adjust to being back in the water after over six months off from the pool.  Next week though, I will start incorporating my swim workouts.  I am the swimmer in a relay tri the first weekend in June and it’s a good team.  My friend Shauna is the biker and she is amazing, as is my friend Lisa who will be doing the run leg of the race.  We are hellbent on hitting that podium!  Yeah, no pressure there, right!?!?

When it comes to my running, this is the best start to a year, and training schedule, I have had since I started racing.  However, with that said, I cannot get the notion that I will get injured out of my head.  It still amazes me how much of what we do is mental!  I thought about this a lot on my run yesterday morning.  Right now, I am only running short distances while I work my mileage up, but I know that if I cannot get rid of this fear it will start to mentally screw with me.  I just can’t let it go…for two years in a row, I started the year out hurt.  Starting over.  I am so afraid to have to start over again…I am really afraid that for the third time in a row, the marathon will elude me.  And I want it so bad!

In other news…I’ll be a little MIA this weekend.  I have already been unplugged from Facebook since last night (which if you know me or are my FB friend, you know how hard this is for me) and as of tomorrow morning I will be unplugging from blogging until my MBE post goes up on Monday.  To be more precise, I will be unplugging from the internet all together until Monday morning.  This weekend R2 and I are heading into the city.  Philly, that is.  (For those who don’t know, the “city” is Philly for those in South NJ.  For those in North NJ, the “city” is NYC.)  It’s no special occasion; we simply just wanted some time together.  Between our schedules (read: my schedule) we don’t get to spend a lot of time at once together.  But this weekend, we are  unplugging.  After my run Saturday morning we will be heading into Philly for a day of sightseeing (he has only been once and I look forward to being a tour guide!) and then later dinner at the Melting Pot and later to check out some of my favorite Irish pubs in the city.  All of that is going to be amazing fun but I really just cannot wait to sleep in- neither of us have anywhere to be and we can just sleep in!  Ahhh…the little things.  Good food, great city, sleeping in…oh, and my pretty awesome boyfriend too!

Lastly…I want to give a shout out to my friend Michele.  You would remember her from Shamrock last year; we went down together and she ran the half.  This weekend she is running her first Marathon, the Nations Marathon!  She has trained so hard…really given this her everything, and I just want to wish her the best.  Please send some great racing vibes to her for this weekend!!

Oh, and PS- LATER DUKE FANS!!!!!!!

The Best Of Times…The Worst Of Times

As I have said many a times this year, 2011 has been very good to me.  I am very blessed and lucky.  But, unfortunately, things are not so good for people around me that I care about.

Let’s talk about all the good stuff first 🙂 

  • Florida-I DID just spend a long weekend in Fort Lauderdale, Florida 🙂  Seriously…most relaxing trip ever.  After we made it to the plane that is!  How’s this for excitement:  we leave Victoria’s house right on time and we are making great progress until we hit accident traffic that has all lanes shut down.  That’s right, completely stopped.  Once they had the accident moved to the side of the road we eventually got by but it delayed us about an hour.  At the point in which we got through the traffic we had about an hour to get to the airport and our flight was leaving in about an hour and fifteen!  To say we were crazed is an understatement especially when we hit some construction traffic.  Every minute that ticked by, we kept thinking we were done for; as if things couldn’t get worse, my GPS could not read the construction and took us down the wrong exit!  What a mess!  We arrived to the airport parking at 6:05.  Our flight was at 6:20.  We missed the shuttle.  Of course.  6:06…6:07…6:08…FREAKING OUT!  Finally the shuttle came and let me tell you…thank God we are runners- as soon as we got off the shuttle we booked it to security, which thank goodness did not have a long line and the people in line let us go before them.  Once we were through there it was another sprint to the gate.  We made it just as they started boarding.  Whew!  Our flight was completely uneventful, we landed and spent the rest of the vacation eating, drinking, beaching, running and sleeping.  And repeating as necessary 🙂  It was the perfect get-a-way; I am tan, got my fill of Vitamin D and ready to detox and get ready to train for 2011!
  • Training– the official training schedule is underway!  I know I said I was going with a no-plan-plan, but seriously…this is me.  I am WAY too anal to simply fly by the seat of pants when it comes to training.  So yes, I have a schedule.  However, I have also made it fairly flexible so I don’t feel stressed out if I cannot accomplish everything in one day.  The schedule works out perfectly; just about the time my tri season is ended, marathon training picks up.  I am really excited about this year and focusing so much on running!
  • R2– Yeah, so you might have caught it when I very super briefly mentioned I was dating someone.  Well, we are official 🙂  And in this blog, he will be refered to as R2.  He is an incredible guy and we have so much fun.  I look forward to seeing what is in store for us.
  • Boston 5k– I got in 🙂
  • What’s ahead- In two weeks from tomorrow, I will be heading down to VA Beach for the Shamrock 8K with my friend Nicole.  It’s just for the weekend but I am very excited.  I love road trips and appreciate any time I get away.  Then it is Boston time 🙂  Before we know it, Spring will be here and then Summer and the beach and all kinds of happiness!

And the not so good:

  • Today my roommate is putting her dog down.  She has had him for nine years.  To say that they are close is an understatement.  That dog is my roommates everything.  And not only am I so sad for her, but I am sad for me too.  I have some to love Bru so much.  I had a little sit-down chat with him last night to say my good-byes and I was a mess.  I was really hesitant to move in with Michelle because I didn’t think I would want to deal with a dog, but Bru is such a great guy.  I will miss our walks, playing and running around with him and most of all…I will miss him greeting me at the door. 
  • Tuesday night, the cuts from Chris Christie came down on our school.  If you politically affiliate with Christie, or worse voted for him, please do not leave me your comments here about that support.  Our school took away two jobs entirely and cut eleven people down to part-time with no benefits.  No benefits.  What a slap in the face!  And while it wasn’t me, and I am so thankful for that, it will be me next.  I’ll be next with no benefits.  And really, why would I stay at a job I hate so much, if I cannot even get the benefits.  Honestly, this is just their way of pushing people out without cutting.  But what is important to remember is that this is not a problem in just this town (although, if this blog wasn’t public I would have a lot more to say) it is a problem with NJ and NJ Education.  And Chris Christie.
  • One of my friends who was cut completely, is battling cancer. That’s right.  Cancer. With no benefits as of July 1.  Another friend who was cut to part-time with no benefits, currently has twin babies in ICU.  Both of these people and their families could really use as many good vibes, thoughts and prayers as they could get.  So if you have some extra time, send em along.

Last year was a really bad year for me.  Sure, it had is highs, but there were many more lows.  During that time, many people sent their good wishes to me and supported me.  I know how very lucky and blessed I am to have so much good in my life right now.  And I just want those around me to have the same good. 

As for reading all your blogs…I’m working on getting caught up! 

A Tale Of Two Runs & Off To The Sunshine State!

Tuesday Afternoon Run

  • Tuesday, when I was off for my snow day, I hit the gym for a run and some lifting. 
  • Short run; just a few miles.
  • Didn’t really want to run. Just wasn’t in the mood.
  • Did it anyway.
  • Everything was perfect (especially considering I was on the dreadmill) and I felt great!
  • When the run was done, I was sad.  I wanted to keep going.
  • Damn 10% rule!

Thursday Morning Run

  • Long run planned.  I should say “long” run since my mileage is generally still low.
  • Was excited and ready to go!
  • My legs were dead and barely moved.  I felt like I had lead weights around my ankles.
  • Everything hurt.
  • The excitement of the run was gone and I just wanted to be done.
  • I was sad, and wanted to stop.
  • Did it anyway.

Why is it that we can have such a great run one day and such a terrible run the next time out?  I mean, no run is ever terrible…I always feel good after getting my miles in, but some runs are a serious pain in the ass.  And it seems to me that a not-so-good run always follows an awesome run.  Frustrating!  

I think the lesson in the good/bad run, is that I get through them.  Even when we have bad runs, it is so important to get through them.  Especially since the mental game is definitely the hardest.  In fact, I tend to think of the mental aspect of triathlon as the fourth discipline.  We can swim, bike and run all we want…as fast as we want…as long as we want.  Unless we get beat mentally.  How do you overcome being mentally beaten?

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And for the best thing in my life right now:  I leave for Florida in a matter of hours.  My excitement is through the roof- not even sure how I am going to make it through my half-day at work!  It is rainy and gross in NJ right now and the perfect day to take a trip to the Sunshine state 🙂  I cannot wait to take a run down A1A!

I will be blogging here and there- some photos and I’ll post the MBE, but for the most part I will be too busy in the sun and sand with a drink in my hand. 🙂