Wednesday, September 17, 2008

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month! Please join Running Skirts in the fight against breast cancer by making a kind donation or joining on of our for the Cure team to run or walk the 5k event in your town on October 5th! Click here to make a donation!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

OK Ladies & fellow running mummies, here's some inspiration for you!
My sister has been babbling some nonsense about a girl she has seen running by the san diego office each day in a running skirt pushing a triple jogger. Christy told me she runs every day without fail with all three of her kids. I have heard of other people sighting this phantom wonder mom...she's just been somewhat of a urban legend to me. Until Now!

A few weeks ago, I was I was taking my new jog stroller out for a test drive up the coast (to see if I put it together properly). I was huffing and puffing and grumbling under my breath about how much work it was pushing my little chubby monkey along with me. I stop at a stoplight and look up and what do I see? The legend herself in person - triple jogger, pinkypink running skirt, three adorable kiddies in triple jogger crusing right along.

I greeted her with a hello and vocalized my adoration for her commitement and told her she was inspiration for us all. As I continued my jog I remembered that I had my new blackberry with me in the jogger so I stopped and grabbed it out quickly while I waited for the super mommy to run by. I stopped her and asked her a little more about her training and running with the not single, not double, BUT TRIPLE jog stroller and snapped a few pics. Her name is Alicia and she runs every morning without fail at least 3 miles. She said she has never run without her kids and was actually training for a full marathon until she discovered that there weren't any local marathons that would let her run with her jogging stroller. (I know this is probably a liability thing, but surely there must be local running events that allow jog strollers - why cant they start in the back?). She mentioned that her husband works the graveyard shift, so she takes the kids out each day for her runs. When I asked her if she ever runs without them, she quickly responded "NO, I never run without them!". Wow- I thought - imagine how speedy Alicia would be in a race sans jogger. I again gave her my kudos and accolades at being such an inspiration and let her continue her run (apparently if the kiddies are all on their best behavior, mommy stops at the park).

As I finished my own run, I silently reprimanded myself for being such a grumbly single jog stroller mommy and reminded myself that it was a way to continue getting in mileage and fresh air and also sharing my love for fitness & running with son. With visions of Alicia and triple jogger in my head, I reminded myself "it could be worse! um I mean better!".

Alicia - you are a super star running skirts mom - keep it up! If by chance you read this, please tell us how you do it?

Monday, September 15, 2008

This week starts the 6 week countdown to the marathon! I'm happy to report I survived my first of a few 20+ mile long runs. Unfortunately my long run partner Val had hockey mom obligations all weekend and she did her long run Friday afternoon so I was going solo for this on on Saturday. The plan was to run the rail trail again for 2 hours and than pick up the pace at the end a bit longer this week (last week I survived 5k of tempo at the end). I was absolutely dreading the long run solo - especially since the rail trail is so desolate and remote. The hubby agreed to ride his mountain bike along with me & Grandpa agreed to have a go at his first babysitting gig with the boy. (I don't know what I'd do without my family to support me though these long training hours). I did give the hubby and grandpa a free golf pass for Sunday though in exchange for the ride-along. The run itself was pretty uneventful, long & slow. My legs were feeling pretty sore from a track workout on Thursday night too. I managed to go 4 tempo miles at the end of the 2 hours slow and then 2-3 miles cooldown which brought to 21 big ones. Whew - glad that's over.

Now, onto the more important big niece Madi had her first real theatre "tryout" over the weekend. She was auditioning for a role in "The Little Mermaid" play in San Diego (she was hoping she'd land the part of Ariel). Christy took her to the tryouts Saturday which lasted for hours. I received a text message from Christy right before Madi went on stage and she said her hands were trembling and she was soo nervous as if she herself were going on stage to sing and dance for the panel. Apparently the competition was pretty tough and she was up against very talented singers and dancers of all ages. Madi had to sing a song of her choice (she chose something from Mama Mia). She did an outstanding job and also had to learn a quick dance number in 15 minutes and then come out with the group and show her stuff. The call backs were going to be posted later online. They headed home after the dance number and Christy ended up staying up until midnight (the night before her long run) until they finally posted the call back names online. Madi wasn't in the list! Gasp - the horror! Christy was dreading breaking the news with her the next day since Madi was certain she'd land the role Arial or another lead. So, to make a long sad story short and happy. The bad news was broken Sunday morning, life went on with softball games, etc.
I got a text message in the middle of the night that said "Big News". Christy had discovered that Madi's name appeared, not on the call back list, but actually on THE CAST LIST for not one, but 2 roles!!! A Singing Frog AND a Sea Creature....OH HAPPY DAY! was the message from Christy. Too funny. I'm sure when she is a famous superstar someday we will all look back and laugh about how she got her big breakout as her role as a "singing frog". The hubby and I had a huge belly laugh at the role title "frog singer", too cute! We are so proud of our budding superstar!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

I just looked at the calendar yesterday and holy cats! My marathon is less than 6 weeks away. I've been training and running a lot of half-marathons, but haven't really cranked the mileage up like I should have by now. I think my longest run has been around 15-16 miles. Normally I wouldn't be having heart palpitations over this. However, this will be my first full marathon in several years and to say I'm a little nervous would be an understatement. I think I ran my last full marathon in late 2005 or early 2006 and then had to back off of the speed workouts and crazy mileage so that I could work on "project baby". I wasn't one of those lucky female runners that just (oops) turned up pregnant while they were training for their next marathon (like Christy who I refer to as "fertile myrtle"). I pretty much had to stop the long distance and competitive running and speed workouts (and eat ice cream and peanut butter) every day for lunch so that I could get my body back up to child bearing condition.

I had a chat with my coach yesterday about my concerns and the quickly approaching marathon. He reassured me that I could carefully get my mileage where it needs to be and talked me through how I needed to run my long runs. Val and I met for our long run yesterday (she was also coming off a fast half marathon last weekend). We decided to run the Oro Medonte rail trail since it's all hard packed dirt/gravel and completely flat. The only downside is that it is in the middle of nowhereville and there aren't any water stops or bathrooms along the way. Without going into too many unpleasant details, I'll just say that my body is till on PST (I just got back from California on Wednesday) and I wasn't quite ready to "do my business" before Val picked me up at 6:00 a.m. I was a little concerned knowing where we were running (in the middle of nowhereville) and knowing that the "poo fairy" was gonna arrive promptly on schedule pacific standard time (right about mile 6 or 7) so I stuffed one of my skirt pockets with Charmin extra soft just in case. I figured if I prepared for the worst, it wound't happen. (Kind of reverse-murphy's law mentality). I'll just say that that was wishful thinking and I was wrong and as Val described it - I took my running to a whole new level! Thank goodness for the dense forest. Val was giving me a hard time asking why I didn't come back out with a pocket full of tp? "pack it in, pack it out" she said. I reassured her all materials were biodegradable and then joked about our new marketing phrase for the running skirts with for gu and one for poo. Ok, gross, I know but it entertained us for at least a mile or so....alrighty then, I'm moving on from this subject.

As for the long run - we ended up running easy and slow for 2 hours and then at the end of the 2 hours, we ran 5k pretty hard. This simulates the feeling you have at the end of a marathon and helps you gage conditioning for that distance. Here are my splits for this long run workout: 8:34, 8:15, 8:29, 8:18, 8:25, 8:14, 8:20, 8:31, 8:25, 8:22, 8:31, 8:37, 8:39, 8:28, (5k - 6:54, 6:36, 6:24), cool down mile 9:15 - total mileage 18.3

Ugh - my legs were feeling so heavy and dead just like they do at the end of a marathon, but otherwise felt injury free. We were very happy to have this workout behind us. I finished up with a nice hot cup of timmy's (coffee) while sitting in my ice bath for 20 minutes or so and then a warm shower. I was feeling pretty good after the shower. I also had a nice hot epsom salt bath at the end of the day before bed and it was heavenly. They sell these awesome giant bags of eucalyptus epsom salts at Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada - I recommend them if you can find them! I pour almost a whole bag in my big soaker's a minty hot fabulous almost spa-like experience.

This morning I woke up slightly stiff but otherwise feeling really great. Today is a rest day and then I'll do something easy tomorrow. We will run a similar long run again next weekend, only finishing with 6k-8k strong and keep bumping up the last portion of the run until we get to 10k fast at the end.

Now onto more important subjects - all you moms out there - when did your little ones start sleeping through the night? We had our little guy "ferberized" at 4 months. He would sleep all night until 4 or 5:00 a.m., but that all went to the wayside when he started cutting teeth. We have been traveling the last month and I have spoiled him by grabbing him and feeding him as soon as he starts fussing before he wakes up the whole house or hotel guests. Now that we are home again I'm ready to re-ferberize, but wonder if anyone else has any tips on this. The first night attempt didn't go so well - he cried for 10 minutes and wasn't calming so I walked into his room and found him sitting up in his crib (this is a new skill). So do you let them sit there and cry and will they finally lay themselves down? Or do you pick them up and settle them and try again? Please help - I really can't do this 8-9 times a night thing anymore. I'm a sleepless wreck. I am also still breastfeeding him and may have something to do with the waking. I know all my friends that have switched to formula already all have babies who sleep more. Any tips? please??!!??

Monday, September 01, 2008

What a great family running event! Our weekend started off with the Disneyland Half Marathon and 5k Health and Fitness expo which took place in the Disneyland Hotel Convention Center. We were thrilled to have our new "mini dot" polka dot athletic skirts available for customers who have been waiting for the red & white minnie mouse version of the skirt with black compression shorts underneath.

The expo was tons of fun - Christy, I and Coach Katri worked the booth in full Minnie flair, mini dot skirts, black tanks, topped off with the famous mouse ears (mine of black sequin variety). There was great energy and everyone was out having a great time at the "Greatest Place on Earth". This is the perfect marathon event to bring the whole family - disneyland theme parks for the kids (and kids at heart) and a 5k race on saturday and the 1/2 marathon Sunday morning - all on labour day you get a whole extra day for recovery and family time!

3 full days on the feet working the skirt booth at the expo leaves the legs achy and heavy so we always take our traditional pre-race ice bath to help flush out the legs. After having a fabulous traditional pre-race dinner at McCormick & Scmicks (salmon and brown rice for me), we headed back to the hotel and ro-sham-boed (sp?) on who was going to get the first ice bath? A few buckets and shopping bags of ice later Christy found her way into a splish splash bath of icy - can you see the relaxation on her face? I only regret that these photos don't have sound attached - the noises that came from her as she sat into the water were something of a cross between a moan/shreak and lamaze type breathing. Hi-larious. .

Christy carefully lowered herself into the ice bath (left) while I took the traditional method of quick immersion = less suffering and plopped right in.

We had the baby with us in the hotel room, so Christy got to experience first hand the challenges of waking up 4x night with him. Is my 9 month old they only kid out there that doesn't sleep through the night yet? Our alarm clock went of at 4:15 a.m. -ouch. The Disneyland half was scheduled to start at 6:00 a.m. nice and early to avoid the crazy heat problems that they had the previous year. For those of you that haven't heard about it - they race coordinators "black flagged" the race and told the runners their times wouldn't count, their chips wouldn't work, etc. in an attempt to get people to chill out and go easy to avoid heat problems. Here's a few shots of us waiting for the bus (we caught the last bus btw - talk about cutting in close!)

Christy & I waiting for the bus & Chisty & Katri (Tinkerbell) pre race.
We hopped off the bus and darted for the porta potties and then made our way to the first wave corral. We tried to get as close as we could to the front in hopes of getting good race positioning from the get go and have to do less maneuvering in the crowds. As we were nearing the start line the announcer "Rudy" called a runner up to the front by bib number, turns out it was his girlfriend and he brought her up with him on the platform and! It was so sweet, she said yes! Rudy does all the race announcing in the big socal & san diego running events and it was so great to hear his proposal. We kind of joked that we didn't think we were going to be starting the day off with tears. Thanks & Congrats to Rudy and his fiancee! She then hopped back into the pack as she was running the half marathon also (imagine how crazy that 13.1 miles must have been for her...euphoric!).

The race went really well except for the fact that I wanted to kill "Snow White" in the first few miles. Some clown was dressed up like snow white and veering back and forth in front of me at mile 2 and almost tripped me twice. I found myself yelling "Snow White - stop cutting people off!!" and finally made my way around him. I'm not sure if he understood english since he looked at me like I was crazy and continued his antics. So frustrating! I made a mental note not to get passed by Snow White again and held my pace. Here are my splits: 6:38, 6:30, 6:19, 6:36, 6:41, 6:36, 6:38, 6:38, 6:34, 6:26, 6:28, 7:02, 6:09. I finished in 1:26:40 - a pr for me which landed me 4th female and 1st place in my age group. I was a little disappointed that the overall awards only went 3 deep - they were the coolist gold mickey mouse trophies! But - how cool is my plaque with Micky on it!
After the race I ran back to the hotel and picked up baby in the jogger and ran back to the finish line, but unfortunately missed the award ceremony and photo op with Mickey. Christy collected my plaque for me - I told her she should have taken the photo with Mickey since nobody would really know the difference. All in all it was a really fun race, great flat course through California Adventure park, parts of Disneyland and around Annaheim Angels Stadium then back through Annaheim to Downtown Disney and the finish in front of the Disneyland Hotel. I will definitely do this race again and hopefully take the whole family next year! There were so many "mini dot" skirts in action - it was amazing and so much fun!

Post race Haagen Daaz!