Saturday, December 31, 2011

Steph: Running still SUCKS! But I feel better after!

Monday was one of the hardest runs I have had in a while. I decided to do 3 -1/2 mile runs for a fourth time because my body was still not adjusting and I found them so freaking hard. Well, my body didn't like that. I have learned to listen to what my body is telling me from my running buddy Jill and my body was saying  "Hey stupid. I don't like stopping and starting so many times anymore. I feel better after I am allowed to warm up and then just keep going."

So Thursday, I listened to my body, and Mike and I decided to try the 2 - 3/4 mile segments. And I did it ... and again I didn't die (to my amazement). And I actually felt better while running. Mike and I had to count to 19 and 1/2 laps on our Hamster wheel at the downtown YMCA. We laughed a lot as we both lost track at different times. The longer I have to run, the harder it is to keep counting. Apparently, the two don't go together very well. Amazingly, I even felt pretty good about running afterward.

So this morning, Jill and I head to Mt. Airy forest to do the 2 - 3/4 mile segments for the second time. OK, I can do this again. I did it with Mike 2 days ago, right??? Well no such luck. Mt. Airy forest has hills. I can honestly say I hate f***ing hills. Like a lot. I even had to stop once to walk the rest of the way up a hill and then resume running. They are crazy harder than my little hamster wheel at the YMCA.

But I finished. And shortly after finishing I felt pretty good about having accomplished the run (even though I felt like I was going to die during the run!!). And Jill, she is still a little better of a running buddy than my husband (you are doing great honey!) because she talks to me non-stop about stupid things or funny things or things I can't even remember once we are done. This is SUPER helpful to keeping my mind off of the dreadful, painful, snot filled, tears running, outdoor running we are doing.

So thank you Jill ... I don't think that I could continue to do this without you!

P.S. All you run club BETCHES!!! I am challenging you to a wager added to our Cheviot Run/Crawl. Anyone who can't run the entire 3 miles has to buy the rest of us a round of drinks! Any takers ?????

SG: Back on track

Well, I headed out for a run this morning. I've been out of town for the holiday eating everything under the sun while the gym shoes I packed to run in stayed snuggly packed in my suit case the whole time!!! I woke up this morning and decided it was time to get back on track and in a routine of running again so I'm ready for the Cheviot Crawl. So I gave HC a text and we met at the track. I knew I would have to take it easy but OMG!!!!' it was the worst run I have had to do ever!!!! We had a nice warm up and then did a half mile. At the end of this half I was about to cry, vomit and then die.... In that order!!!' uuuggghhhhh what has happened??!!! It was like all the ham, potatoes, pies, and wine came up to punch me in the face!!! My legs were feeling fine but I couldn't breath and I thought for sure the holiday food was going to creep back up and land right in front of me on the track!! No worries, we started to walk a lap, I had a hit of HC's inhaler, and I could slowly start to speak again. Another half mile run went and I had to put my foot down, HC was cheerfully talking about her new cupcake maker, her anticipated engagement and her plans for the new Year. I however, was back to guessing when I would vomit. Another walk came and I had to tell HC that was all I could take for the day!!!
I'm a little disappointed I didn't keep up with my runs over the holidays, but it sure was nice!!! Now it's time to get back on track. I've already set Monday for my next run, now I just have to eat all the leftovers in my fridge so they don't continue to taunt me all week. Hah.

Friday, December 23, 2011

SG: Chaos

I wish I looked this good juggling all these things!

Where to even start...... It's been two weeks since my first race, and I haven't even gotten to do a recap!!!! Ugh, life's been busy. I guess I'll start with the race. Clearly I survived, however, next time I am asked to run a race, I will be sure to check the course first to make sure there are no bridges involved! Although my dear running buddy kept me distracted while running over the river twice, I would really like to never do that again. It happened to be the coldest morning of the season so far, and I wasn't expecting the hills to feel so steep, but now I know what I need to work on.

I am so proud of my girls and myself for this accomplishment. A 5k is nothing to most people, but we are not most people! We are new moms, teachers, women trying to loose weight and maintain balance, and we all HATE to run! However, we love a challenge and let's face it, nothing burns more calories than running. Speaking of calories, I've been so proud of one of the members of this club who has lost 49lbs as of Wednesday, and knowing her, she's probably hit 50 now since it's Friday! She's pretty much awesome. She keeps me focused and gives me hope that one of these days this 'baby weight' is going to shed (even though it's been six months since I've had my baby). I've got to be the only person that has gone from doing zero exercise to running a 5k and not shedding a pound. It's so discouraging and to be honest since the race is over it's made me lose a lot of motivation :(

After the race I was able to run most of the week after. I was feeling pretty good. Then baby got really sick, had to miss some work, spend lots of time in the house and somehow in the midst of that, I hurt my back which in turn put my running on hold about another week. Although I'd like to say I was sad I couldn't run, I really didn't miss it much with all the hustle and bustle in preparation for the holidays.

Any who, it's Christmas break now and I finally got a few consecutive hours of sleep in, so I got out for a run this morning. It pretty much sucked. It was cold and drizzly and the park I went to was hilly (blah) but really what sucked the most was that I ran alone. A lot has been on my mind and I really didn't feel like running anyway, and it got me to thinking how much I really actually love my girls and the support that I have here in this silly club! So, as discussed earlier, our next goal needs to be set! I think the 'Cheviot 5k run and crawl' needs to be made official. (For those of you not knowing what this is, it was discovered that the distance from my house to a nearby bar district named Cheviot, is actually 3.2 miles! Coincidence? I think not! The idea is to run there and then do a bar crawl after.)

With all the Chaos in my life I need a goal to work to. Saying I will run "just because" really doesn't work for me, lol. I have a lot on my plate, as we all do, and if I don't schedule runs in amongst my chaos they slowly get pushed aside, and I don't want that to leads to too much whine, wine, and cheese....and inches on hips :(

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Steph: The Next Level


So the program gets me used to this 25 minute workout 3 times a week. You do the same run 3 times and then bump up a level. If you find a level too hard, then you repeat it before bumping up a level. OK, right?

THANK GOD my body finally starts getting used to this steady increase in activity. Of course I have sore muscles that I didn't even know existed. Every once in awhile, I pull a "HABENERO CHEDDAR" type move and trip over my own feet or run into a planter which causes more soreness. But it is all GOOD, I am slowly getting used to this.

Then, you hit the infamous 5th level. WTF.  All the rules change. You only get ONE workout at each level. They want me to run 3 - 1/2 mile segments with 1/4 mile walks in between. Ok, I can try that, which I did with HabeneroCheddar on Monday. And it was freakin' hard. I mean really hard. I thought I was going to die several times. Luckily, HabeneroCheddar is a rock star running buddy and AMAZING cheerleader. "YOU CAN DO IT .... JUST KEEP GOING." My favorite distraction of this rainy, drizzly, overcast day was HC looking around and saying that "At least we have beautiful weather to run in today." This got me laughing pretty good.

Anyway, I digress. So, 3 - 1/2 mile segments kick my butt, and then I look at the program just to make sure of what this morning's run should be, and they are ALREADY bumping me up to 2 - 3/4 mile segments with 1/2 mile walk in between. AND then Saturday, I am supposed to run 2 miles. WTF. Needless to say, I did NOT run two 3/4 mile segments today. I stuck to the 3 - 1/2 mile segments, and I almost died again today. You know what? Saturday I am running 3 - 1/2 mile segments AGAIN.

You know why? BECAUSE I hate how this program is all of a sudden trying to rush me. And in the beginning it told me that I could repeat things that were hard, so I am going to repeat. And next week, I will try those 2 - 3/4 mile runs. And I will do 3 of them. So take THAT stupid "Couch to 5k" program. I am modifying you :)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Jill: Motivation and Smiles

It's always tough to stay motivated when there is no race date circled on the calendar.  Until we finalize that next date, here are some things to ponder:

Friday, December 16, 2011

Jill: Say it ain't so

Apparently there's a lot of creativity involved in smuggling drugs across the U.S./Mexico border, and I am sad to report that those drug folks are ruining perfectly good tubs of stadium-type nacho cheese:

When Smugglers Try to Transport Drugs in Cheese

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Jill: Jingle All the Way Race Report

As you may have already noticed, our club recently participated in the Jingle Bell 5K Run/Walk for the Arthritis Foundation.  Before I launch into my individual race recap, I want to celebrate how we did as a team.
  • 9 is the number of official teams that we beat. With the help of Steph's husband who registered as part of our team, we were able to place 26 out of 35 teams.  26 of 35 may not sound so good if you are waiting in line at the DMV, but for four chicks who just started running, I thought it was a solid place to be. After all, we get to say we beat other teams which means we were not last. Yay!
  • 3 of the girls finished their 1st 5K EVER.  It's safe to say that they ran more this day than ever before.  And for chicks that hate to run, that ain't too shabby.  I'm so proud of each one of them. Really super proud.  Like the embarrassing-mom-who-tells-everyone-she-meets-that-you-won-the-4th-grade-spelling-bee type of proud.  It's been amazing to be a part of their journey. The best part is that we are only really starting.  There's more fun ahead.
It appears that I am the only club member whose pre-race evening was not full of nerves. Whatever nerves might have tried to take hold were quickly squashed by sheer exhaustion.  My 3 month old baby girl is currently on a schedule that puts bedtime somewhere between 10 p.m. and 12 a.m., and since I am still the sole provider of milk for the child, I have to stay up and endure her marathon, end of the day nursing session.  When I finally got the baby to bed and returned to my room, this is what the clock read:

No worries. The race didn't start until 10:00, and it was local so we didn't have far to drive.

Cue the toddler. This is what time she decides to wake up crying, presumably from a scary dream where Dora and Diego do NOT work together.

Yes, that's a.m., people.
Did I also mention that the day the before the race I started to get my first head cold of the season? Right. Well, in addition to not sleeping enough, I also slept badly because of the oncoming cold (which by the way, is why it's taken me so long to get this race recap posted).  Why didn't you take some medicine, you say? Well, I did, but because I'm still breastfeeding, I couldn't take any of the really awesome, super strong, knock you out so your body can heal while giving you freaky dreams medicine.  Instead I am allowed to take this:

Sorry, makers of Tylenol.
And even though the box says "severe," it's pretty much like not taking anything at all.

So, I try to make the best of the early morning situation by getting myself up, cleaned, and fed before the rest of the house turns the calm into crazy. I also wanted to get in the requisite pre-race gear check.  Now, if you want to read about real running gear such as shoes, arm warmers, and tech shirts, then I suggest you hop on over to another running blog.  Like I've said before, I'm all about the costumes, or in this case, what I like to call "fun wear." Fun wear falls somewhere between full costume and bland running attire. Here were some of my favorite fun wear items for this race:

1. Super long, awesome Santa hat that doubles as a scarf. I hung it on the refrigerator for scale.  It's so long that I could wrap it around my neck several times. I'm considering making it my regular winter hat/scarf this year.

2. Festive, knee high socks. Turns out that all club members had a pair of these, and I saw loads more people with them during the race. I wonder if the sales department at Target noticed the unusual, sudden interest in this item.

Yes, that is denim, but don't get too excited JoggingJeans fans. I didn't run in them. Sorry.
3. Best piece of gear for $5. This is a holiday light necklace that I picked up at Kraynak's which is this really difficult to categorize toy/Christmas/Easter/garden store. What makes this the best piece of gear? Well, for your $5 you get 3 different light settings!  There is the fast blinking, going to a holiday rave setting.  Then there is the slow blinking, family friendly setting.  And finally, there is the non-blinking, just "on" setting.  The sad part is that race day was so sunny that you couldn't tell if the lights were on or off anyway.  Boo.  But you can bet I'll be wearing it to all the holiday events in the next few weeks!

Eventually everyone else woke up, and we all bundled up and headed to the race.  Remember the toddler who didn't sleep too soundly?  Yeah, she was thrilled.

We get to the race on time, score some free parking close by, and head in to meet the girls. Once everyone is there, SmokedGouda distributes our official team shirts.

SmokedGouda also sewed on some festive ornaments for us!
Sponsors on the back, just like real runners!
With about 15 minutes before the start, I get into the long line for the ladies room.  While in line, I notice a women behind me in jeans, but I have no camera.  As fate would have it, Steph's husband exits the men's room right in front of me, so I send him with the mission to have Steph return with my camera.  We have a good laugh while she tries to take a picture of the jeans lady while acting like she's taking my picture while not being able to work the camera on my phone.  In the midst of the confusion, the lady in front of me asks if we want a picture together, as if that was our actual goal. So, we ended up with a nice pre-race picture outside of the ladies' room.

We made our way to the very crowded start.  I still don't know if there was an actual gun/horn signal or if we were just too far back to hear it.  Either way, the four of us started together knowing that we'd be splitting up quickly into pairs based on where we are in our training.  Steph and I kept up a nice pace with a good balance of walking and running, and despite what she says about me going slower just to stay with her, I wasn't interested in "running my own race" as they say due to all the sickness and tiredness. I enjoyed supporting her even though I ran the risk of getting kicked or perhaps even thrown off the bridge.  There were definitely moments where she hated me, especially running over the last bridge, but she finished strong, and I had a really good time.

Some random thoughts about the actual race:

  • The race had people not only holding up mile markers but also giving splits at each mile.  I must have run some rinky-dink 5Ks in the past because I've never seen that before for a 5K distance.
  • On a similar note, there was a water only aid station about halfway through. Again, I don't think I've ever seen an aid station for a 5K. That said, it was nice to get a quick drink.
  • The race organizers didn't exactly pick a pretty course.  Other than the river crossing, it didn't show off any highlights of downtown Cincinnati or Northern KY.
  • My new priority is to find some sort of sport case to hold my phone/camera while I run. This is a MUST.  There were sooo many things that I wanted to document including the awesome military guys running the aid station, the person who dressed up as the leg lamp from A Christmas Story, and a guy in jeans who passed us.
  • The phone/camera case is critical because I also learned that if my husband has to be on kid duty during the race, then he probably can't take pictures too.

We finished about 10 minutes behind our cohorts and took lots of post race photos like these:

Jill and Steph
HC and SG charging to the finish

Smilin' like rock stars

Then came the really important part: the post race celebration.  We quickly decided that it should take place at the Hofbrauhaus because they could easily accommodate a large, loud group with babies and toddlers. Oh yeah, and they have beer.  Like, really good beer. They even had a Christmas variety on tap to add to the festive mood.

It's not wine. Sometimes you just have to make do.
Even though we all went without wine, there was no lack of cheese.  Appetizers included pretzels with yummy yummy beer cheese.

Gorgeous, gorgeous beer cheese
With the inclusion of the cheese, I declared the first club race to be a total and complete success for all!  Our next task will be to find our next race.  Pucks & Pinot might be the place to make this happen. Or perhaps we can discuss at Habanero Cheddar's Christmas party? Either way, we will be faithfully following Rule #2.

Steph: My Hamster Wheel

At least once a week, I run with my husband at the downtown Y. (When I can't hook up with my running buddies.) It is very close to our house and as the weather gets colder and colder, it conveniently has an indoor hanging track.

But...the track hangs above the small gym in an ancient downtown building which means that you have to run around the track 26 times to equal a mile. That is correct. I said 26 times. Until this week, it has not been a big deal. I have been measuring my running in seconds and minutes NOT mileage. This week, I bumped myself up to level 4 on the "Couch to 5k" program. That means that I start looking at mileage.

I successfully ran 1/4 mile, 1/2 mile, 1/4 mile, and 1/2 mile intervals on Monday with walking in between. That means I successfully ran 1 and 1/2 miles. If you had told me that this was going to happen when I started 6 weeks ago, I would have laughed in your face. I am not a runner. I can't even run one lap around the track. Yeah right that I will ever run a mile, let alone a 5k. But, as Jill so nicely puts it, I am a sucker for peer pressure and when my friends decided to do this, I was dragged along kicking and screaming.

So, back to the hamster wheel. This is what it looks like to do my current intervals at the mini track. Walk 10 laps, Run 6.5 laps, walk 3.5 laps, run 13 laps, walk 4 laps, run 6.5 laps, walk 3.5 laps, run 13 laps, walk 4 laps. FINISHED!!!!! Yes, it is that ridiculous, and Thank God that both my husband and I were counting because at some point we both lost track. But I kind of liked it. It gave me mini goals that I could accomplish like "I already ran 4 laps, I am 1/3 way there" or "now I have hit 10 laps, 3 more sounds easy."

So I am O.K. with my hamster wheel even though it feels like ...

And while looking for this picture, I found that there are REAL human-sized hamster wheels. Who knew??

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Steph: I really think that kicking someone would help!!

So luckily, I was un-grounded by my doctor before race day. I was only able to get 2 runs in before race day, but felt O.K. about it.

Last Monday, I ran with my husband for the first time in over a week. It actually felt GREAT!!! I ran a 90 second interval and then 4 - 3 minute intervals. I left that workout feeling like ... OK, maybe this is how people who enjoy running feel. I still didn't enjoy it, but I could feel how other people might not hate it. Well, Monday was just a teaser...

Wednesday, I went running with my husband again. This time I felt like I was DYING!!! Every time, he said "run", I wanted to say "f**** you." Most of my runs were between 2-3 minutes, but I did not feel as comfortable with it as Monday. I was huffing and puffing. My left calf muscles cramped up at every run, and overall I just didn't want to be doing it anymore. It sucked!!!

So race day is Saturday. Oh great! All I have in my mind is that Wednesday run, and today we are doing it for about 1 more mile than I have been doing in training. AWESOME!!! For some stupid reason, I was nervous the night before. I had butterflies and difficulty sleeping. Then when I awoke, I had ENORMOUS amounts of nervous, anxious energy.

I arrive at the race and can't find my teammates. Great. Another reason for a smooth start. Once we find each other (thanks SmokedGouda!!), I am excited by the outfit finishing and the jingle bells, and the amazing costumes that I see around us including the leg lamp from "The Christmas Story!"

Then the race begins, and I swear JILL was out to get me this day. To be honest, she is an AMAZING running buddy who is moving a little slower than her own pace just to give me someone to run with. She did an amazing job giving me landmarks to run to (even though several of them are farther than the 1/4 mile at a time that I am currently used to!!!). Every time I ran, I got a huge stitch in my right side. She talked me through breathing and rubbing it out during the walks. I was feeling pretty O.K. Then my running buddy decided to PUSH ME to run back across the entire bridge (minus the incline/decline on each end). At this point in the run, I can honestly say that kicking something would have made me feel better.

We managed one more little run to finish the race at the end where our amazing club members SmokedGouda and Habenero Cheddar where waiting to meet us (as well as our husbands and families). Overall, not a bad first start. I am only 10 minutes (ish) behind SmokedGouda and Habenero Cheddar, so I don't feel like that much of a loser. I am going to keep it up though. And I am going to run an entire 5k.  After all, I have a bet with my husband to win!

HC: The Morning After ...

Woke up this morning and decide to go for a run. Why? It’s the same theory of the best thing to do after a car accident:  Get back in, buckle up, and hit the road! I figured the longer I waited, the harder it would be. Anyway here is my recap of race day:

Woke up early since I couldn’t really sleep the night before. Made sure I had everything I would need for the race then rechecked again another 10 times. Not sure why, but I was VERY nervous. This may sound kinda goofy since it was “only” a 5k but I couldn’t help feeling like I was getting ready for a big test!

My love picked me up, and we were on our way. He even got there early since he knows how much I freak out about getting places on time. Registration time! Got my number strapped on, met up with the ladies, stretched, then it was time to roll.

I wasn’t ready for the congestion caused by so many people in a small amount of space. Zigging and zagging through the crowd definitely added a new challenge to the course. Just when I thought we were in the clear the first bridge came.  I do hate bridges but not as much as my running buddy. She did amazing though! This was perhaps the quickest pace of the whole trip.

After crossing the bridge we turn the corner and hit a water break. Everything is good until I see this.
One huge freakin' hill.

Somehow we managed to make it over and keep going. After more running, comments on how loud our bells (or maybe just us) were, and a couple puffs of the inhaler, we were almost there! My stomach and heart decided to revolt against me but with the help of Smoked Gouda telling me I can do it and the end in sight, we crossed the finish line. Official time- 36:40. Goal for the next 5k is to run the entire time and finish below 35.

This entire experience has given me a new appreciation for my friends (let alone gaining another example of how much they all kick ass) and more importantly more faith in myself. I NEVER thought I would sign up for a race let alone actually finish it! Do I still hate running? YES !!!!!!!!  But now I might hate it just a little bit less.   

Friday, December 9, 2011

SG: Betches!!!!

Ok, I know I said earlier that Betches was the nice term for bitches, but I may retract that! I just found out that our first race (which is in almost exactly 12 hours) requires running over the bridge. TWICE!! Ah!!! For those of you unfamiliar, we are in Cincinnati, and this is the Ohio river which I am talking about. That has huge, giant, high bridges over deep, disgusting, flooding water!!!!  I seriously want to open a bottle of wine right now and drink the whole thing! There is nothing I hate more than bridges! Is it ok to be drunk for the race? Could I just take a few shots ahead of time?  Ugh, I'm so anxious I can't take it! We are going to have to have an action plan in place for making it over this bridge! GRRRRR....I'm never going to be able to sleep now tonight!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

HC: Come on just one more!

These words used to be associated with the request to DRINK just one more beer, glass of wine, shot, etc. Today it was the rallying cry while running the track after school. First, let me paint you a mental picture:

While walking up to the gate to the track we see that it is LOCKED. Seriously? After doing a quick assessment of the situation, we decide the best thing to do is to hop the fence. Of course this fence is taller than both of us so it took some skill and calculated foot placement to make this happen. It officially became the first successful moment of our workout since somehow both of us managed to do it without getting hurt.

After stretching out and warming up, Smoked Gouda and I went on our way. We did the usual 5 min walk then started to run. We actually ran for an entire mile without stopping! Yes, there were moments of screaming (mostly from me … maybe all from me) and thoughts of "why am I doing this" but we made it. We walked than ran for a half mile, walked again and finished running for ¾ of a mile.

Looking back when we all started this, I remember how much I HATED running for just 90 seconds straight. It was really beneficial to see just how much progress we have all made!  

Jill: More Blogger Love

I've found a few other ladies floating around the blog-o-sphere who should totally be a part of our running club.

First, there is Carly over at Chubby Chicks Run Too who I sooo want to hang out with.  As if the name of her blog wasn't awesome enough, I was totally hooked after reading about her pole dancing exercise experience. Yes, I mean that kind of pole dancing.

Then there is Al.  She also has a fantastically named blog called You Run? No, really, you run? And let's be honest, I'm pretty sure that is what's going through most people's minds when I mention that I have a running club. I didn't have to go farther than her "About Me" description to know that she would fit in well around here:

I'm Al. I love to eat. I am crazy like that. I started running to counteract my eating. Little did I know, I would actually like running. So look around to what I eat and listen to me piss and moan about exercising.

A girl who loves food and hates exercising? Al, consider yourself an honorary member of the club.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

SG: Get your gameface on!

I'm welcoming myself back to the blog as I feel like I haven't been able to post in quite some time. You see, I've been consumed by 'mommy brain'. It completely overcame my whole body and wasn't regained until sending my baby and husband off for a night and consuming the world's largest and most over priced margarita while later dancing to a George Micheal impersonator under a disco ball the size of my bedroom! No worries, I feel much better now, and I am so ready for this race!

True and I hit the gym yesterday since it seems the whole city seems to be flooding right now. We decided to stray from the plan and see how far we could make it without a rest. We did a warm up and ran about 10 minutes before we did our first walk interval! I was pretty proud! As long as we don't finish last I can agree with Jill, it's considered a win, so I think we're in good shape!

There are three things I think we need to consider before Saturday:

1. What are we going to wear? This is a Jingle Bell run after all! I have purchased a few decorative items to adorn our new shirts as well as a headpiece for each of us that will remain a surprise til race day. Anyone else have any thoughts? Perhaps we could sport some denim???

2. Where will we be partaking in celebratory drinks after? This is, of course, the whole point of this club, correct?

3. In order to continue training after this race, so we can all actually run three miles, not just run/walk it, an executive decision was made at the gym tonight by True and I:  There will be the first ever "Whine and Cheese 5k" in February, date and location TBD before Saturday so we can keep motivation to run after this race!!

Jill's Addition

I thought you might appreciate some visuals from our night out!
This is the world's largest and most over priced margarita with Steph's hand for scale.
Side view of the bowl glass
I unfortunately did not snap a picture of the George Michael impersonator or the huge disco ball.  However, I am going to save the day with a picture of the Slash impersonator!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Jill: There's no place like home

For the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, my husband and I traveled to my hometown so that my family could meet our new baby daughter.  Before leaving, hubby did a little research and discovered that my hometown had a holiday 5k the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  Now, before I deliver my race report, I'm going to give you some statistics about my hometown so that you may appreciate the rest of the post properly.

1: The square mileage of the town. Seriously. It's only one square mile.

2: The number of traffic lights in the town while I was living there.

3: The current number of traffic lights

60: The number of students in my graduating class. Most of us had been in school together since kindergarten, which means that labels/cliques/stereotypes/assumptions had been set very early and were very difficult to change.

0: The number of years that I lived there after high school graduation.

136: The number of runners in the 5k

A little more background...while I was growing up there, I didn't really participate in many athletic activities.  Volleyball was by far my favorite and the only sport where I was competitive, but our school district was so small that we didn't have a school team.  I spent my summers playing sand volleyball at the local park instead.  I played a lot of summer softball and decided to play for the high school team my freshman year.  Despite lettering as a freshman, I didn't return to the team the next year because I wanted to focus on my studies.  I knew early on that my ticket out of there would be through academics not athletics. So it's safe to say that anyone who knew me back then would not have described me as athletic.  Not by a long stretch.

Somehow my husband convinces me that doing the 5k will be fun. We can do it together, our oldest daughter can do the kids' fun run, your family can come and hang out, blah, blah, blah.  He threw lots of reasons at me, and I relented.  Also, it benefited a good cause, and I'm a sucker for charity.

So we show up, and I immediately feel like the awkward teenager I used to be.  Before the race even started, I spotted 3 former teachers and 3 former schoolmates, although there were more of each in attendance according to the official race results. Even worse, I didn't spot anyone running in denim.

Very quickly I decided that my goal needed to be to NOT FINISH LAST.  I knew I couldn't run the whole thing. I'm still only working on week 4 of the Couch to 5K plan, and my postpartum body can't really handle much more.  My dear, sweet hubby said he would stay with me the entire time despite the fact that he finished 2nd overall at the last 5K he completed. I figured that was the least he could do after inadvertently making me relive the embarrassing teen years of my life.

Before I could focus on not finishing last, hubby signed our 2-year-old up for the kids' fun run.  It was only a run around the block, but she was the ONLY toddler. Most of the other kids were at least 4-5 years older.  I stayed with them for the first part, and then let hubby take her the rest of the way.  He shot this video of her towards the end.  If you make it to 0:38, you can hear how he motivated her to finish.  If only I was that easily motivated!

As we lined up for the start of the race, we headed towards the back knowing that I'd be desperately slow.  At first I thought I wouldn't have to worry about crossing last simply because there was a walking division, and we quickly passed walkers who looked like they were simply using this race to replace their regular Sunday stroll around town.  But about a mile into the race, the walk and run courses split, and I realized that the walkers were only doing a 2 mile fun walk. Crap. That meant I really had to pay attention to the other runners.

First, I tried to hang with two other run/walkers at the back.  One was a lanky emo teen whose ipod was cranked up so loud that I wanted to keep running near her simply to have some music. The other was a older gentleman whose pace looked more like a shuffle most of the time.  We leapfrogged back and forth for awhile until they both got too far ahead. Crap again.

 Next, I concentrated on staying ahead of this group:

Turns out this group of runners are affiliated with a local gym.  So in an effort to show off advertise, they ran the entire race carrying that log and empty keg.  It went down like this: 2 of them would be carrying the log on their shoulders and 1 would be carrying the keg on his/her back.  Every so often they would stop and, like a Chinese fire drill, would switch places. Someone new would carry for a bit while the others "rested" by just running.  Obviously, they are strong, but they couldn't move too terribly fast, so I thought I had a good chance of beating them. And I did until about halfway through the race.  Then somehow they were ahead of us.  Crap. Crap. Crap.

At this point I was thinking about the humiliation that would follow when I showed up last.  I was secretly cursing my husband for convincing me that this would be a good idea and myself for agreeing.  I was also having fantasies about kicking someone in the face. If we were racing anywhere else in the entire world, this would be fun.  But in my hometown, it just felt awkward.

Turns out that the last mile was kind to me, and I didn't finish last.  I finished in front of the following 4 people:

--a short, somewhat chubby, 11-year-old boy

--a girl who tweaked something during the race because we passed her when she was walking with a slight limp

--the injured girl's husband because he was sweet enough to slow down and walk the rest of the way with her

--a 16-year-old girl who we passed at the very end because she stopped to walk so she could TEXT someone and tell them how lame the race was (probably)

My mom took a little video of us at the finish.  The funniest part was, although we weren't actually last, as soon as we rounded the corner one of the race workers started to pick up the cones behind us which gave the impression that we were the last.  I'd love to post it, but the camera work was so jittery that it makes The Blair Witch Project's camera work look like a still shot.

Am I glad I did the race and got some mileage under my feet? Yes.  Was it fun watching my daughter get in on the action? Yes.  Was it nice running and chatting with my hubby?  Yes.  Do I ever want to do that particular race again?  Not unless I can do it in disguise.  And have lots and lots of wine afterward.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Jill: Sponsored by...

Thanks to our combined creative talents and my hubby's graphic design work, we now have "official" sponsors for our club, and like any good race shirts, the logos will be on the back of ours!''

We dutifully do our part to keep recycling companies in business

True proves over and over again that you can huff, puff, and run successfully

Cheese. 'Nuf said.

Any teacher knows that your plan bell is where you regain sanity each day

Unfortunately, dear reader, this is based on a long-standing joke between the 4 of us. It would take too long to explain, and you probably wouldn't think it was funny.

Steph: I have been grounded!!!

I have spent the last 3 days in and out of Dr. offices and hospitals in an attempt to get an out of control blood pressure in order. One that I didn't even really know was that bad until a routine check-up Monday night.

The worst part of the whole experience : my doctor put a STOP to all running activities until the blood pressure is regulated. Hopefully, that is just until Monday when I have my follow up visit to see how the current medication is reacting in my body. She didn't even want me walking, but I convinced her to let me walk for 3 miles at least 3 times by Monday so I didn't lose my forward momentum (which was already at a crawling pace!). She agreed as long as I don't speed walk and I don't walk fast enough to sweat. Now we are talking the kind of excercise that I really enjoy. Leisurely walks in the park that don't actually feel like excercise. Well, at least until Monday that is.

So, I have been grounded. Hopefully, I am given a green light on Monday. We will see :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Jill: Heaven on Earth

It's official.  I may have found my very own slice of heaven here in the 'Nati. For anyone who doesn't know me well, I am an avid hockey fan (go Pens!), and if you've spent any time reading this blog, then you know I'm also a fan of wine.

While I will be adding this to the official Wine & Cheese events page, I thought it deserved a post of its own.  Ladies, may I present...Pucks & Pinot.  That's right.  Some genius at the Cincinnati Cyclones promotions department decided that it would be really awesome to have wine tastings before hockey games. Check out last year's article about the event from Uncorked Cincinnati.

From the website:

Forget tailgating, take part in the ultimate unique pre-game experience. Before select games this season the Cyclones invite you to the All Access Bar & Grill to watch warm-ups and enjoy a tasting of your favorite beverages! Each ticket comes with a commemorative glass, hors d'oeuvres, game ticket, and an experts’ take on that nights sampling   of beverages.

And if hockey + wine wasn't already a dream come true, guess what the hors d'oeuvres are?  Cheese

Monday, November 28, 2011

Jill: 'Tis the Season

Speaking of wine...I found the perfect race for us.  Behold the Wineglass Marathon!

Don't be afraid of the "marathon" part.  They have a half-marathon race, and they used to have a relay.  The best part?  Your registration fee gets you a split of champagne and a wine glass among other things.  The worst part?  It's held on a Sunday (as most marathons are), usually late Sept/early Oct, which isn't exactly great for our work schedules.  Think anyone would notice if we were all gone from work the following Monday? 

Friday, November 25, 2011

SG: The Burn

Well, I headed out this morning to Nelson Field, home of the Big Reds, sunk in the hills of the Ohio/West Virginia Valley, in hopes to run off my double serving of Thanksgiving dinner and glasses of Riesling from last night. I'm pretty sure the only thing that run worked out for me was some gas but hey, it was worth a shot. The run was quiet. I lapped the senior citizens that were out doing their morning walk and I realized it's much more fun to run with someone for the distraction away from the burn! All I could think about was my burning shins!!!! Agghhh did they burn! Maybe its time to follow Steph and go to the running store for some new shoes. All I know is it made the last three minute interval TERRIBLE!!! I was surrounded by the beautiful hills of Appalachia and all I could focus on was my burning shins!!! Maybe they have always burned and I've never noticed bc we are always chatting!??! I'm not sure, or maybe it was my body telling me it's time to go back home so I can run with my girls!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Steph: Giving Thanks

Sunday was a wonderful day for whine and cheese. Jill and I went shopping at Bob Roncker's to buy me new shoes and then we when to a winery for a tasting and to buy some wine for my party ... WONDERFUL!!!

But the rest of this week has been a new challenge for me. Two of the members of the club went out of town to spend Thanksgiving with their families. So I am left with my lovely husband to run with this week. Therefore, I realized how THANKFUL I am to have Jill and Abby and True to run with because my husband is a BEAR!!!

So Monday, we run. I decide to try the next level on the couch to 5k program ... which means I need to run a couple 3 minute intervals for the first time. Bad decision!!! I should not have tried to push myself with my husband as my jog buddy. This normally laid back, super nice guy is freakin' insane when it comes to running. This man ... who runs 2 miles 3 times a week as his normal .... does not seem to understand that his wife ... a complete couch potato for about 11 years ... is going to need a little time to work up to "2 miles is easy." So I run a 90 second interval, walk 2 minutes, run a 3 min interval, walk 2 min, run a 90 second interval, walk 2 min .... and then I CAN NOT run the next 3 min interval. My logical mind tells me to split it into two 90 min intervals and try again next time .. my husband's logical mind yells at me "c'mon just keep going." NOT HELPFUL!!!

So I talk with my coach (Jill) who tells me that I have created an AWESOME 1/2 step and tells me to try to do this 2 more times this week and then the two of us will try the REAL STEP 3 together next week. So again ... I am THANKFUL to Jill who pumped me back up so that I could keep going!!!!!!!

So today (Wednesday) is a beautiful day and we decide to run at a park instead of the inside track on the Y. We have a discussion about the difference between "motivational comments" and "yelly comments" before we head out to try the same run as Monday. This time, my loving husband talks to me about stupid stuff during the running intervals to keep my mind off the running. He supports me by saying things like "You got this ... only 10 seconds to go" and he congratulates me on a job well done when we are finished. So again ... I am THANKFUL to my husband this time for being a quick study and supporting me today. I am also THANKFUL for the wonderful weather outside that allowed me to run outside (which I enjoy so much more).

But I still can NOT be THANKFUL for running. I don't know if this will change, but running sucks big time. Even with a supportive run buddy Jill or a supportive version of my husband, I find myself wanting to kick someone in the face when they say "Ok ... we need to jog a little now." Especially after the 3rd or 4th time that they say it. So the last thing I guess that I am THANKFUL for today is self - control. Because I am pretty proud of myself for NOT kicking anyone in the face so far !!!!! :)

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

HC: Morning Workouts

Lately I have been making an effort to go to the gym BEFORE work. I’ve never been much of a morning person, so this is a difficult task. However, there are a few motivating factors that make it easier to go in.

1)      Using the track/court/equipment before anyone else gets there. SURE there are signs posted telling people to wipe down their machines after use but how many people actually do this? GROSS! I hate to think how many germs actually reside on those things.

2)      I usually do a run, shoot some hoops, and then use a variety of weights/equipment. Being a 5’3’’ female it always gets me some interesting looks when I walk onto the basketball court. Now surprisingly, although I am not the most graceful person who has ever lived, I am rather functional while shooting a basketball. The problem is my cheap ass gym only has ONE basketball. I mean, really? When I go later in the day there will always be that man in his jeans talking on the phone while trying to shoot the ball. Of course he stays there until more men walk onto the court (usually wearing jeans) wanting to do the same thing. Give me a break.

3)      Weighing yourself in the morning before having breakfast is so much more rewarding than doing it after that late night snack!

Jill: But there's no wine on this list

As I've confessed before, I'm married to a much more serious ultra-distance runner.  This means that I've previously been drawn into running.  Way back in the early-I'll-do-anything-for-you-because-I'm-giddy-in-love stage of our relationship, I ran a Halloween 5k with him and another good friend of mine who is a marathoner.  The fun part was that is was held at night, and we got to wear costumes (oh, I do love a good costume). The crappy part was the running.  I was fit and had done some training, but I was really unprepared for the hills.  While on one of the hills toward the end of the race, I clearly remember looking over at my future husband and friend who were calmly talking and laughing as if they were on a Sunday stroll and feeling a strange mixture of confusion and annoyance as I struggled to keep breathing.

After that experience, I've had few other runs with longer mileage.  I slowly (~13 minute mile pace) jogged a 10k last year after someone gave me their entry for free despite doing very little training (did I mention it was free?), and I've helped pace my husband during a 50k by running a 6 mile stretch with him.  In the meantime, my hubby has fantasies about the two of us leaving the kids with someone and taking off to do our long runs every weekend.  Reality is quite different though.  When I'm not at home with two kids, I'm a full-time 6th grade science teacher. When I do get time off, running usually is not at the top of the to-do list.

Suffice to say that since our little club has blossomed and running has become more routine for me, my husband has been very excited.  He's been nothing but super supportive of me and my friends.  He's made it easy to leave the kids and go for a run whenever I can.  He is also (whether he knows it or not) the mentor of our little group.  Everything I know about running that I've passed onto the girls has come from listening to him (yes, I actually listen to him...perhaps that will work in reverse someday?).

He is also into our blog and has been very helpful with a lot of technical and design stuff.  Today however, he has actually sent me content for the blog.  So, consider this a guest post from him.

May I present the 101 Greatest Training Tips of All Time (according to MensHealth, that is).  Obviously, the editors left out a few, so I've provided the missing tips below.  Happy Training!

102. Make sure you have plenty of wine on hand

103. Make sure you have plenty of cheese on hand

104. Make sure you have a way to whine that doesn't annoy everyone around you

105. Make sure you have some fun friends to drink, eat, and run with or else tips 102-104 won't be nearly as enjoyable

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Stephanie: Funny ... I couldn't help myself

So I thought it was time to pursue the cheese and wine part of our club, so I found the following that I found hilarious (and it doesn't hurt that several have cats):

I agree wholeheartedly with this one :) If I could live in a block of cheese, I WOULD!!!!!!

I feel like this when I eat cheese because I just can't stop :)

My thoughts on the following...a warm summer day is the perfect time for a nice Rose'

The following ad made me laugh so hard that I almost peed myself :)

Hope some of these made you smile too. These were just my favorites, but there are a lot more!

Jill: Making Friends

When we first started the blog, I was lucky enough to stumble across JoggingJeans and quickly made friends with another awesome Jill.  I honestly can't wait for the next race so I can complete another secret mission of taking pictures of people running in jeans.

There are 2 other online bloggers who I now love and want to be friends with.  I may sound like a tween on facebook, but I have good reasons.

First up there is Viper who runs the Booze Hounds Inc. Running Team.  Although he's a waaaay more serious runner than any of us, I am willing to overlook that in the face of the following facts:

1. He obviously understands the importance of serious drinking as well as running.  His running team is like our Northern Ohio counterpart.

2. His profile quotes The Goonies which may be the first movie I ever had memorized from start to finish.

3. As if that movie reference wasn't enough to hook me, he started yesterday's post with a Harry Potter reference, and not a super obvious one either.

4. And if you need any more incentive to check out his blog, he also plays the banjo.

Next up we have Steve from Steve in a Speedo?! Gross!.  Steve is not just a serious runner, but he's also a triathlete.  Again, I'm willing to overlook those flaws for several reasons.

1. The name of his blog is hysterical.  I laugh every time I read it. There's nothing better than an athlete that doesn't take himself too seriously.

2. Like us, he is a teacher, which means if he can find the time to train for crazy long distance events, we probably don't have any excuse to skip a 30 minute jog.

3. Then there is this piece of hilarity.  Instead of running the Twin Cities Marathon, he and a couple of friends donned animal costumes and entertained the runners and spectators from the sidelines.  This almost makes me want to run a full marathon, but I still think I'd rather be in the costumes.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Steph: The Journey

This journey has not been overly fun for me (even if I am only in the 3rd week). I feel like a roller coaster. I have ups when I feel as if it is possible for me to run this 5k. I have downs when I feel as if I will never get past running at my current level (which is only 90 second intervals). There are ups when I am running with friends and we are talking about wine and cheese and boys and FUN! Downs when I feel as if I am behind or need to catch up with other members of the club because I am not progressing as fast.

But today I realized that this feeling is just a smaller acute version of my entire life. There have been ups when I met and married my husband. Downs when my mother passed away. Ups when I finally got to travel to Europe for the first time. Downs when my entire family seems to fall apart. Another journey that (at times) has not been overly fun for me.

And today, I also realized that my body does adjust to the running just as I have adjusted to all the ups and downs in my life. I was not sore today from yesterday's run. This is the first time that has happened. What does it mean???? And I found myself scheduling a 4th run for the week with my husband. What does that mean??? And it means that I will run 2 days in a row instead of making sure there is at least 1 day in between.

So I am feeling that I can adjust to this running thing (well today anyway). And I know in my brain that it is good for me physically. As my trainer and friend told me (JILL), if I can just get through the cardio part and my heart and lungs wanting to give out, the rest of me will be just fine. And the more I thought about it today, the more I believe her. My legs feel fine, so the rest of me will follow if I keep it up.

Just like ... I am content and happy right now in my life. I have a great husband and friends that allow me to be myself. As well as PUSH me when it comes to running.

I am adjusting ... this journey is starting to feel pretty good!

Jill: Team Spirit

If you haven't noticed yet, we've got ourselves a logo (big thanks to my hubby).  We are now totally official which can only mean one thing...T-SHIRTS!  That's right, ladies.  Abby is going to use her "power of persuasion" (i.e. boobs) to get us a deal at the print shop again.  And the best part?  This time we can actually wear them to the event!

We once had t-shirts made for a golf outing, but we never made it to the event.

I'll be posting a list of our "sponsors" soon, so be on the lookout!

In all seriousness, we are now officially registered as a team for our first race, the Jingle Bell 5k.  If you'd like to get into the holiday spirit early, visit our Team Page and show your support.  You can either join us as a runner or make a donation to the Arthritis Foundation through our team.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

SG: This really is my new normal!?!

As the week began, I found myself unable to even remember the day. The exhaustion of mommyhood with a sick baby finally caught up to me. It's really awful when you have a child that starts to sleep through the night then decides, F-you, I'm going to wake up every other hour for two weeks just to make sure you're still tough.....ugh how I loathe the night,s yet long for them all day! Anyway, Monday, the day I forgot about was supposed to be our first group run. Well, of course I lost my mind and had to bail because I made the plan without remembering whose day it was to watch my little one. No worries, I quickly rescheduled for a run Tuesday night with Jill. As Tuesday came, so did the rain. Can't a girl catch a break, dang! I hurried home after work got things settled and met Jill at the park. Flashlights on, watches set, and off we went! It was the easiest 25 minutes I've had to run thus far. Not because I don't remember it, but because we started talking about our "New Normal" as Jill calls it. The conversation didn't end, and by then end of the run I felt so relieved that I wasn't the only mom who looses her mind and can't remember things, or has a hard time adjusting to this new normal.

My night quickly went and as I thought about my new normal I decided it's time to just accept it! Embrace it, in fact!! So Wednesday I hit the track hard with True. We kicked it up a notch, I got a stitch in my side, and it was certainly the hardest run I've had. It's ok though. My new normal means I accept my new body, work hard to change it, and to be fit in a way that I'm happy with. So, as I kicked my own ass, (and pushed True's on the track) we decide to reward ourselves with a girls night on Friday with plenty of wine and cheese!!!!

Keep it going ladies, we are doing great!!!

Jill: The New Normal

For most of my life, exercise has been about feeling fit and strong and liking the way my clothes looked. I've never been worried about the number that the bathroom scale reads.  In fact, I never even owned a scale until I was married.  Running was also never part of my exercise regimen until I met my husband. I much preferred hiking, biking, weight lifting, and fun classes at the gym like kickboxing where I could imagine how super tough and kick ass I was or yoga where I could imagine how slender and graceful I was (neither of these are true by a long shot but it's fun to dream).  But after meeting hubby, I was more inclined to toss some running into the mix.  We happily kept fit together for all the years before we were married.

Then we got married.

Then we had kids. 

Ever hear people say "having kids changes everything"?  Yeah, it's basically true except that things don't exactly change.  You just find yourself having to adapt to what I like to call the "new normal."

For example, we still sleep, but just not as much.  We still cook good dinners together, but just not as often as we make mac 'n cheese.  We still go out for dates, but now we need several days advanced planning to pull it off.  We still work on our house, but now it's at the pace of a land tortoise (approximately).

And we still exercise.  My husband's regimen hasn't changed much.  He still just goes out and runs, more when he has a race to train for and less when he doesn't.  I, on the other hand, have less time to drive to the gym for one of those classes I enjoyed.  If I've gotta spend three days prior lining up child care for an hour long zumba class, it just isn't worth the effort, especially not when I could be spending that time with a glass of wine and a few blissful moments of silence.

So now I run.  It's easier, quicker, and thankfully, it's fun now that I have buddies to whine with.  It is, for now, my new normal.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Jill: Cheesy Art

There are lots of things that go well with a glass of wine.  Some of my favorites include art, chocolate, and cheese.  This awesome woman has found a way to combine two of the three by making Cheese Sculptures.  My favorite quote from the artist:

 it's much more delightful than working with wood or stone. You can snack while you work.

I love this lady already.

Steph: Now things are getting exciting!!!!!

So now we are talking ....

At yesterday's jog/walk, we finally discussed some things that sounded super fun!!! And now I am starting to get excited. We discussed:

1. Going to a book signing and shopping opportunity AND then going for a jog/walk.

2. An opportunity to celebrate a member's birthday by shaking our booties all night at Boogie Nights which is awesome because it is fun AND exercise.

3. Our first group 5k experience which will be to run the Jingle Bell Run. Which I learned (Thank God) is more about dressing up goofy and getting the experience under our collective belts, rather than actually running the entire thing (again Thank God).

4. Then later that same night meeting for a wine and cheese tasting party.

Now we are starting to talk my language ... books, dancing, dressing goofy, eating, and drinking ... and as little of that thing called RUNNING as possible.  :)  YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!

HC: WHO AM I?!?!

I am definitely not a runner. Even through this experience, I still would not classify myself as a runner. Runners are crazy. Period. I feel you have to actually enjoy running to be titled as a runner, which none of us do. Anyway, with that being said, I found myself waking up before 5 a.m., going on less than 4 hours of sleep, to hit the gym. I’ve gone to the gym early before but hardly for running. Even the last time I went to the gym before work it wasn’t for the running. It was the promise of hitting a small ball in an enclosed room. This time, however, it was solely to get a run in since I wouldn’t be able to after school. WHO AM I?!?  I’ve always taken pride in working out, but this is just crazy. I decided I would really push myself this morning to reward myself for waking up early (yeah doesn’t make much sense now that I think of it). So, get ready for this:  I did the 5 min start up walk, then did intervals of 4 MINUTES jogging/1 minute walking!!!  Again, WHO AM I?!?! It got rough towards the end, but I’m proud of myself for pushing through.  Even better news, I only had to use my inhaler once during the last jog. I think I have a really good breathing rhythm going that made the difference. The only regret I have is doing this awesome workout at a time when I cannot enjoy wine afterward!

Monday, November 14, 2011

SG: What? We are running?

While today was supposed to be the first full group run for us all, I had to bail :(  I've been experiencing my first bout of a sick baby lately, and it only seems to be getting worse, poor baby. I gathered the group, Jill got a sitter, and the crew was ready. Then, I realized I had no idea what day it was and forgot I had to pick my sick little baby up after work instead of going for a run. While I was bummed to let the group down, deep inside I'm not all that sad. Why? Well, last night as I thought I was putting my child to bed, she screamed for a solid 40 minutes not wanting her bottle, so I laid her down and thought I'd try that 'cry it out' method all you mothers say works! WRONG!!!!! She screamed her little heart out and started to cough so much she threw up in her bed :(  Bleh.  So of course I had to get her, change her sheets, change her pj's, and change my pj's (as you can imagine pulling vomit covered sheets off a bed). We then tried some water. Nope.  Didn't like that either. Perhaps a vicks rub down? Nope. Didn't like that either. We rocked and sang and finally by 11, she was ready for sleep, but don't worry, we repeated this process at 2:45am!!!!  Ugh.  So tonight we shall see. My fingers are crossed, and I'm sitting with some homemade blackberry wine. Maybe tomorrow I won't feel like a zombie, and I'll be able to get my run on (of course so I can enjoy another glass of wine)!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Steph: Saturday jog and walk and walk and walk and walk ...

So Saturday started productively. Jill and I met at 9:30 for a jog/walk. Mission accomplished, including an up-hill jog and a 90 second interval ending just to see if I could do it before Monday's next step/level or whatever you call it.

I didn't enjoy this run. I loathed it, but other than the stitch in my side, I did survive it. So I left the park feeling relatively good.

So I get home to shower and change quickly because Mike wants to go to the UC game at Paul Brown stadium. I HATE football, but O.K. whatever. However, what I didn't realize was coming was:

1. Mike's brother and sister-in-law would be a lot late which means for football fans (again, not me) a full out mall - walk (i.e. we speed walked the 1.5 miles to the stadium).

2. GREAT - so after showering, I have another sweat going on .... fabulous

3. Once in the stadium, we are the top most level, and guess what?  The 4-story escalator is OUT OF ORDER, so I have to walk up the EIGHT flights of stairs to the top level (again sweating ... again absolutely FABULOUS).

4. So we reach the top. I have a stitch in my side. I can't breath, and what is welcoming me? More FREAKING stairs because we have to walk UP the stadium steps to our seats.  Oh yeah ,this is FABULOUS. I love football.

5. So at this point, thank GOD, I get to sit and watch an enthralling 5 hour football game (sarcastic smirk here) where I have just enough time to COMPLETELY stiffen up from all my morning jogging and walking.  The only positive was the absolutely fabulous hot chocolate that I bought 2 of. Who cares if they are 5 dollars each?  I deserve something for all that f*****g walking.

6. Then to round out the fabulous day, I get to walk home another 1.5 miles. At least this time it was NOT at warp speed. And thank GOD, at the end of this walk, I popped open a bottle of Moscato wine that I got from Jacuzzi Vineyards in Sonoma. I shared with my sister-in-law, but man I have never felt that I deserved a glass of wine more :)

So, now it is Sunday night, and all I can think about is how TRUE and GIRTEN are going to kick my a** jog/walking tomorrow because they are ahead of me in the program, and I will be running 90 second intervals for the first time, and it scares the hell out of me! So maybe I should have my wine now, that way I can sleep and not have nightmares about it. :)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Jill: Wine, Cheese, Run, Whine

Congratulations to me for making it out to meet Steph for our run this morning. Last night's events made for a rough morning, and I was secretly hoping that Steph would reschedule for Sunday due to her migraine. But, alas, she was a trooper, so I dragged my exhausted butt out of bed.

A quick recap of all the things that tried to derail this particular run:

First, the baby had to get her first set of shots on Friday. She got two, one in each leg, the poor dear. She spent much of the day sleeping but when awake, she was sore and miserable. This threw off her eating schedule so I found myself up at 3:30 (that's a.m. people) feeding her on and off until the sun was up.

Second, my husband and I were lucky enough to have a night out. We attended a great party. Here's why it was so great:


More Cheese

Wine and Even More Cheese

The wine was going down way too easy, and I totally wish I could have had a few more glasses. But I had that baby to feed and that run to get up for. That's when I understood the real horror: this running club is now PREVENTING me from drinking more wine! WHAT?! How can that be? How can things have gone so wrong?

Never fear, I do have a plan to counteract this unforeseen side effect. The website will be undergoing some design changes in the near future including the addition of several stand alone pages. One of those pages will be dedicated to a running schedule/calendar. Now, however, I see that there is a need for another calendar devoted solely to our wine and cheese type of outings. While the running and the whining has been great, don't forget that life is all about maintaining balance.

Friday, November 11, 2011

SG: Lessons learned!

So today my work out was very insightful. Here is what I learned:

1. I can get up at the same time as usual and make it to the gym for a full workout without baby, so the early rising wasn't so bad because I'm used to it.

2. Running was much easier than racquetball.

3. Hitting blueballs really does make you laugh at 28.

4. Next time I play with True I would like protective eyewear and possibly even a helmet.

5. Getting hit with blueball hurts.

6. True likes aiming for the vent on the ceiling which makes for a very scary return ball.

7. The hot water lever in the gym shower is really cold and vice versa :( (that one took too long to figure out).

8. True's best quote ever while playing, "I'm used to these little balls." (no I didn't ask why!).

Anyway, I'm most definitely going to need some wine tonight for my new aches and pains. Perhaps some cheese spread too!!!

HC: Morning Burn

3 miles + racquetball + NO INJURIES = Two kick ass females. Yes that actually happened. Nothing like going to the gym at 5:30 to get your blood flowing. I will say that this morning reminded me how much it helps having someone else run/workout with you. One of the only reasons I went through with my agreement to work out this morning was because I knew Abby would kick my ass if I canceled. It was (I believe) the first real chance she had to go to the gym since June Bug came along and she did AWESOME! Way to go! The only thing that would have made this morning better would be if we had video of us playing racquetball. There is a (really good) chance we burned off more calories laughing than actually running around hitting a little ball. It looked something like this.
Epic ? I think so.