Sunday, September 28, 2014

... playing catch up, with few words and some pics ...

Haven't been here in a while ... Life has been busy. Thankfully Instagram is here to save the day, making my catch up posts much easier.

Last post was me leaving my baby in college. Life without both my girls is terribly silent. Silence is what I have without them, not a normal silence, but an empty silence. I miss them!

 
My faithful pup!

Chiropractic visits!

Tradeshow running.

Shopping cart accident. I still have a bump in my leg. Hurt so bad!

Reuniting with the pup after tradeshow in Mexico!

 
Took the train in Chicago ... thought it would be a nice thing to experience. Total scary fail!... We ended in going back to a non-sketchy station stop and called a taxi! Thankfully!
 

Chicago Half with the girls. Half number 1, 2, and 6 for the family!

Too much eating in Chicago!

 
Hit the Brixx 10K and 5K! Hated the 10K. It was miserably humid. The start was too crowded. Water not in correct intervals. Disorganized. Missed the 5K start. No chip time, just clock time. :(. Temp for the 5K was so much better. My friend gave me sleeves to add color to my always black outfits. I wanted to rip them off, halfway! Not doing that again!
 

Friends!

Personal Massage therapist!

Finally joined the Sunday Long Run Crew! So fun!

Lungstrong 5K! Great course. Hilly, but beautiful. Did OK for not running for the past two weeks!

Happy finisher!

Playtime with the pup!

Seems that more and more my (albeit not frequent) posts deal less and less with food. Note to self ... change blog graphic! Somehow my peppers are becoming less relevant. (I love the Italian flag colors though).

Hope you enjoyed the catch-up! A dopo ... J

 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

... and so she grew up ...

One of the most important events of my life lately was dropping off my youngest in college. Yes, I look at her in disbelief, (it does not help that she does not look her age and is so cute that you just want to take care of her!)



 

We just had a lovely weekend the three of us ... her sister is not pictured as she did not approve her photo to be published ... :)

We had a good cry, before leaving her sister's apartment for the last load of things for her dorm room, but all in all I have been OK. The same thing happened when I left her sister ... I cried, but not terribly until one day about one month after where I just cried for what seemed 24 hours straight.

Oh, how I miss them though ... I have my Dante by my side and he sure keeps me entertained, but ... the house is just so quiet without my girls ... I hate that ... but, it's also life ... and I know it ...

 

Here is my co-pilot ... he was acting brave and rode in the front seat of the cargo van for the whole three hours back home ... he was so proud of himself ... he is now back to the backseat of the car.

Running -

He is always waiting for my return -

 

In terms of my running ... my miles are going strong ... I will probably hit 500 this month, which was my goal for the year ... I thought I would be able to shoot for 1000 miles after upping my mileage, but I think that would be a little too aggressive of a goal and I do not want to get hurt!

I am just happy I met my goal 4 months early ... I think I could get close 900 and next year maybe I can shoot for the 1000 mark!

Speaking of ... I have had a little pain in my arches so I'm going to the chiropractor ... seems to stem from my hips ... we will see ... feeling better already.

Volunteering -

I love this picture as it portrays my duties on my Ronald McDonald volunteering shift ... I actually think it is a cute picture!

Races -

I ran the SLR (Sunday Long Run) Unsanctioned Half ... a group of us got lost and recuperated miles along a HILL no less, but still came up short ... thankfully even though it was a timed race it was more like a fun race among runners so I didn't feel that bad as no one was really looking at their race placement.

 

Today I paced for the first time ever in the OrthoCarolina 10K ... What a beautiful course. I think I want to run again on my own because it was just tha beautiful.

I was pacing Lamarr and Giovanni ran with us ... I felt nervous ... I have to say that pacing a race is difficult. I just felt I was not good enough! (Although, I secretly hope I was!)

I ran for www.runningworks.org ... a wonderful non-profit organization that "encourages the homeless to rediscover the power of teamwork, discipline, confiddence and respect for each other one stride at a time." I encourage you to check them out. What an inspiring organization.

I really need improve my running hair styling capabilities ... argh! The pic below is a little better as I did my own little "ice" bucket challenge at the aid station which seemed to help my hairdo!

What a fun day ... It always is when volunteering and running are involved!

... now off to pack ... Mexico City here I come ... (work) ... a dopo ... J

Monday, August 4, 2014

... a running milestone ...

I chose to pursue was running 100 miles in a month. A task easy for many seemed like a stretch for me. I range anywhere from 25 miles to 65 ... 100 is quite far from my average. 

I told my friend and fellow runner that I had always thought of completing to running 100 miles in a month ... her response ... "What is stopping you?" ... and after some careful consideration, I just could not find a good answer for her ... so I committed and I did it!

I can't say it was not hard for me and I can't say I was not tired, because I was. After the pain from The Scream I just could not find any speed in my tired legs ... but the miles were complete 100.01! It felt great to complete this mileage on my 4 year running anniversary month.

I also reached another milestone ... going past 13.2! I had one 14 mile run ... a very slow 14 mile run ... yet a 14 mile run, nonetheless! 

I am trying to decide if my body can take this mileage ... my arch has been bothering and my legs just feel heavy ... I finally decided to book an appointment at the chiropractor to get things checked out!

I am also debating if I want to take on an additional 13.1. 

I am right on track to completing one race a month this year. (I have completed 17 races so far and technically I should be at 8!) Since 5Ks are the easy races to find, I have a great number of these ... next year I am going for distance not for quantity ... I have come to realize that 5Ks are not my favorite type of race.

Races on the horizon for next year - (Read wish list instead of horizon).
  • Jan - Commitment Run - This is a 5K, but I love that it is held on New Year's Day!
  • Feb - 9 Miler - tough 9 miles, but a fun race.
  • Mar - Bridge Run 10K
  • May - Mother's Day 5K
  • July - Atlanta 10K
  • Oct - Mini Marathon
  • Dec - Kiwanis
That is all I have for now ...

On the race front - I have participated in a Prediction Run ... I called to change my prediction time due to the aftermath of the Scream ... but my email went unanswered so I knew I would be far off my 27:30 mark. I also stopped to help a little runner dealing with a little wall of her own ... so I knew from the get-go that my prediction would be all but accurate.


I also participated in a Duathlon with my daughters and my friend Kendra ... (Kendra is the one who introduced me to the mega fun - mega painful downhill race known as The Scream!)


USNWC - Amphibious Race - 5K Trail - 2K Paddle (Kayak) - 5 Trail - Such a fun race, but it was hard!!! My arches started to hurt during the first 5K .... almost to the point of stopping ... I knew it was not going to be my day! I thought I would recoup time in the Kayak, but I was unable to pass one single Kayak!!! I thought I would recoup after being off my legs for 2K, but getting back to running was so hard. 

This was a very challenging course, but it was a lot of fun ... maybe you can't tell due to my description .. but it was a great experience ... 

Kendra and I even got 3rd place in our respective age groups ... mine was called 40 and better ... hmmm ....


Trail races are hard for me ... again, I think I am sticking to the cement!

This is all for now!

... a dopo ... J

Monday, July 21, 2014

... The Scream ...

Yes, this race deserves its name. My calves and hamstrings are screaming. Yesterday I could not move. Today I walked like a duck.

I went for a VERY slow 6 miler to try to shake my legs out of their pain. I think it helped. Now on to some stretching and foam rolling.

... and yes, I still loved the race! ... a dopo ... J

Sunday, July 20, 2014

... thank you Instagram ...

Keeping up with my blog is basically impossible ... I know excuses, right! Thankfully I am semi-obsessed with Instagram and that makes my blog catch ups easier.

So to pick up where we left off ... here are a few pics of my life lately ..

***

I wanted to have a back to back race long weeknd but it didn't happen .. rain and lighting got in the way ... can't say I wasn't disappointed.

Fortunately I still had one race during the 4th of July weekend scheduled. I ran the July 4th Spectacular 4 Miler and got second in my age group! Though speed sometimes eludes me, I am starting to love Charlotte's rolling hills!

After the 4 Miler I finally got to volunteer with a fantastic group. RunningWorks. They meet during the week and since July 4th was on a Friday I was able to partake ... What an amazing experience! Please checkout this wonderful program encouraging homeless to as their mission states, "... rediscover the power of teamwork, discipline, confidence, and respect for each other one stride at a time."

We ran, spent time with each other and in the end we had circle time where Meredith, the wonderful group leader led a moving and at times funny discussion. How I wish this group met during the weekend. I would make it my weekly appointment.

Hoping for more holidays soon to volunteer some more !!!

We are a soccer loving family and this has been one of the more exciting world cups for us. This is my little one and I prior to the Colombia game.

I love the following picture, as it sums up our family makeup. Having Italy, Colombia and the USA in the World Cup made for an interesting World Cup for us.

We knew it would be hard for Italy, but we cheered ... We were proud of the accomplishment of the US team ... We were touched by the spirit of her Colombian team ...

... and even though Colombia was robbed of a fair game against Brasil it was an incredibly exciting game and World Cup.

***

Other than this we ...

... took Dante swimming to Lake Norman.

... reunited with my baby before going on a mini vacation to Miami.

So proud of myself for running every day of my vacation! This is my daughter's snapchat. It made me smile and it made me happy that I can keep up with my 17 year old soccer player.

OK .. maybe not that well ... I raced her in the parking lot ramp after our run and got a sore hamstring ...
Recuperating a sore hamstring with this view is quite easy!

I ran my seven miler here .. tackling the 3 Key Biscayne bridges ... 2 are totally doable, but there is one that has a pretty good ascent. I have always wanted to run the full Key. 8 miles one way. I am happy to say ... now I have.

Totally worth it!!!

... we celebrated ... we had splendid family times as I met my brothers and their families in Miami!

Here is one pic with my sis in law. We had to take about 215 pics until we finally agreed on this picture. I wish 215 was an exaggeration. I have the evidence ... Thankfully we are in the digital picture taking era!

More stunning views!

Upon my return I volunteered in my running club track meet. I feel inspired by all the runners and my club's president. All are such an inspiration.

I did manage to run a few laps with one of the volunteers after the meet. We could not go away without running the track. It's hard to see people running without feeling the need to run yourself!

I love volunteering and the fact that I was running The Scream Half 4 days after I opted to give my legs a rest! Today, I am thankful I did! You will understand why shortly.

***

The cooler weather came as a surprise to Morganton, NC. It was raining and windy and a fellow runner's trash bags came to save the day.

Fortunately the wind subsided as we started the race. It rained throughout the race, turning out to be a refreshing addition.
My calves were so tight for the first two miles, fortunately slowly but surely the pain left ... We didn't warm up, the rain and distraction got in the way, and since I have had tightness in my calves and feet ... this was definitely not a good idea and I should have known better.
The Scream is mostly a downhill race that makes the miles go by quickly. There was only one downhill that you had to actually try stop yourself, all the others you could just run with the grade.
There were a few uphill portions. Two of them were tough. Really tough as your muscles are used in such a different way during this race.
Last mile and a half was on a flat road and at times that seemed harder than the downhill and the uphills combined. It was wet dirt and it seemed as if you were sinking with very step.
I ended with a 31 second PR ... as they say a PR is a PR. ;).
I thought I would do better, as the race organizers state that many PR due to the downhills. But I didn't train for his race I was on the waitlist until last week. AND, regardless of the downhills this is not a super easy course and the terrain is just so different to what most runners are used to.
***
I can tell you that today I am SORE, as I can't walk sore!!!! Ouch, I haven't hurt this way since ever ... Not even when I started running.
Brief recap -
Pros
  1. What a beautiful course. Gravel, tree lined course.
  2. Runners ... Always great.
  3. Small race feel.
  4. Fun course. Challenging ... again very fun course.
  5. After race meal had a very nice family feel. Runners got to regroup and enjoy BBQ and pasta salad. Not bad!
Cons
  1. Not enough bananas for the finishers.
  2. Packet pickup was a little hectic, but this could have been due to the rain.
  3. Had to ride a bus to the start line. I was getting dizzy.
  4. Waited for at least 50 minutes for the bus to take us back to the start line. Since it was raining this was a drawback. I was having a really good time with my friends, so I particularly did not mind, but we were all getting hungry and I saw everyone getting antsy.
  5. Timing didn't seem accurate. I was only about 30 seconds off, but some of the later finishers had minutes difference and as we all know minutes make a lot of difference in our pace.

I loved this race. Cons and all.

I am writing this post from my bed as this is where I have been. I am soooo sore and so are my friends. Don't believe I will be able to get a shakeout run today.

 

These are my beautiful friends. I met them in another race and we became friends. It was a truly lovely race because I got to share it with them.

***

After a little nap and some rest I headed out to dinner and drinks to celebrate my friend's birthday.

First stop was 5Church. Never disappoints. No picture as mussels are just not camera friendly. Take my word for it ... delicious.

Second stop ... Fahrenheit ... another delicious culinary stop and lovely terrace for after dinner drinks!

Friends celebrating!

... all caught up ... now back to not moving ... a dopo ... J