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.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Jill: Saturday and Beyond

Alright chicks, Steph and I are meeting Saturday at 9:30 at Mt. Airy. Park by the tree house. It's a road run, so strollers are welcome.

Personally, this may be the most challenging run to date. Is it because we are running faster? Longer? No, my friends, it's because my husband and I are going out Friday night to an event with wine AND desserts (some of which I'm guessing will include cheese). And did I mention we're going WITHOUT children. That's right, it's date night, and somehow I have to get myself out the door the next morning for a run. My goal is to not feel like this:

Let's start thinking about next week. Check your calendars and let's find a day or two to keep this train a-rollin'. It's been a great start for everyone!

SG: Chasing balls while running!

So today I had to cancel my run with True :( My little bug has bronchitis and well, to say the least, it's been a bit of an exhausting week. This cold, and yes, very windy weather just didn't seem well enough for my 'appendage' to join. So, tomorrow morning before work I have talked True into meeting me at the gym before work :) We will do our run for the training plan, but we have decided it would be more fun to get some exercise while chasing balls!!! That's right we are hitting the racquetball court! I can't decide which of these images will best sum up our work out.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Jill: Wind and Whine

Today's run at the school track was good for several reasons.

1. I got to run with True and Abby who have been kicking butt together since this club started.

2. I got to push my pace which I needed. I always work harder when I'm running with others than alone.

3. I found last minute child care so no stroller to push. Yay!

However, I am going to whine about one thing. It was windy. The entire run felt like this:

HC: Goal

So last night I bought a bottle of wine. No surprise there. The idea for this bottle though is to set a goal, reach said goal, then drink the wine. Any suggestions on what the goal should be would be appreciated!

Steph: This is why we run with club members

Okay, so Monday Jill and I jog/walked on a track for my second experience, not bad ... I can still do this!

Right, well today, I walked/jogged around downtown with Mike. NOT so sure I can do this anymore. He either worked me harder than Jill without my knowledge, or I am in less shape than when I started?????

Our deal: you run the timer, I set the pace. But I am not sure that actually happened. He may have set the pace too. By the fourth time he said jog, I felt like DYING. Was it the hills involved? Was it the city streets? Was it the fact that Mike doesn't keep talking to me like Jill so I was more aware of the running? I don't know, but I don't feel as confident anymore.

We finished. I did it, but I feel like SHIT!!! But, I am still going. I am not giving up. I will meet Jill at 9:30 Saturday morning.

P.S. good news ... my jiggly, wiggly butt fat didn't hurt as bad while running tonight :)

HC: One Week at a Time ...

This entire process started with a bottle (actually 3) of wine. During the first bottle the idea was hysterical. ME run? Have you met my lungs, heard my coughs, or seen me grabbing for my inhaler when I laugh too much? Hell, I sound like an old man who has been working in a coal mine his entire life. After the third bottle of wine Abby was going on about how it will help us get in shape and would be easier than working out alone. I finally agreed then went to sleep. After waking up I wondered what I just got myself into.

Although this is only the second week, I am starting to feel good about my decision. I might actually be able to do not only this, but more! Plus it’s nice to have my workout buddy back instead of having creepy muscle heads try to talk to me at the gym. I find myself wanting to do more than the actual running plan, but I know I can save that for later. It’s all about the journey, not just the finish line. Until then, I will take it one week (or bottle) at a time.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

SG: 30 lbs lighter!!!

That's right!!!! Tomorrow I will run 30 lbs lighter!!! Of course it's not because my ass has magically shrunk or my jelly baby belly has disappeared but instead, I will have lost an appendage that I have had attached to me the last 15 months!!! That's right, tomorrow I will have my first run without baby!!!! Whoop Whoop! I am just imagining how easy it will be to take a nice long stride and not knock a wheel with my foot or worry about chasing Michelle off the track because I can't steer. I won't even have sore arms when I'm finished!!! Ahhh, I can't wait! Now, I know this will be quite a liberating experience, and it seems it has made some members of this club debate the half marathon in May. I, however, realize my appendage will soon be back for most runs, and I find it will be a little above my ability sooooo....I propose the RELAY!!!! Check it out: Flying Pig Marathon Relay. Can't wait to see you girls at the track tomorrow....baby less :)

Jill: Wednesday Run

Meeting at 4:15 at school. No strollers for this one!

Monday, November 7, 2011

SG: Yeah Betches!!!

That's right, I said Betches!!!! (It's the nice version of bitches ;)) I'd just like to brag that True and I just pushed it and did 3.2 miles tonight. It burned in a good way, and I just wanted to tell you all that we are doing awesome!!!!! Keep it up! Now off to the grocery for some goat cheese for my yummy pizza :)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Jill: Life with a Real Runner

Confession: I am married to a real runner. When we met nearly 10 years ago, he was merely competing in Ironman triathlons. Even though his style of training is to do as little as possible in order to finish and he neglects training elements such as stretching and diet, he is still very much a real runner. Nowadays he claims to be retired from Ironman racing and is solely focused on running marathons and ultramarathons (yes, he may be crazy). Some of his bucket list goals include completing a marathon in every state (18 done so far), finishing a 50 miler (done although not quite within the race's official time limit), and finishing a 100 miler (1st attempt he made it 65 miles).

Needless to say, with his passion for ultrarunning we don't get to very many 5k races any more. So after years of honing my skills at supporting and spectating races that can take up most of your day and nights (and let me tell you, it takes some skill, especially when it comes to planning and coordinating, to be a supportive wife and race crew member), I was pleased to be able to watch my dear hubby run a simple 5k this weekend. Even better was that the race took place only a few minutes from our doorstep. This made coordinating two kids on race day the easiest it's ever been.

After doing some research (my honey is all about the research) on past times for this race, my husband decided to go into this race with the goal of making the podium. Because this race benefits a local school district, the podium has been dominated by lanky teen boys from the local cross country teams. My husband, who will spend the next year staring down 40 like Clint Eastwood, had his work cut out for him.

At the finish, we watched the 14-year old winner come in looking like he just rolled out of bed and decided to run a 5k instead of playing Dungeons and Dragons on his X-Box (ok, I know NO ONE plays that anymore but I have NO IDEA what 14-year-olds do play nowadays). Then someone spotted the 2nd place finisher. As I watched the figure come up over the hill, I muttered something about how that looks like my husband. A few seconds later, and I realized it really was him! He was going all out trying to hold off two 12-year-olds.

He held on for 2nd place. His first ever podium finish (the closest until then had been a 4th place finish in a local triathlon with his brother). He then promptly collapsed onto the ground like the old man he is. The sad news is that he actually thought he was first because he never saw the winner go by him. But he was still thrilled to be able to scratch that accomplishment off his bucket list. It was even more fun for him when he realized that he was the only one in the top four who was old enough to drive.

I'm super proud of him, but the second-best part of the race was that I was able to snag not 1, but 2 awesome photos of racers in jeans for JoggingJeans.com. It was like having a top secret spy mission. This makes going to early morning races soooo worth it!

Jill: Monday Run

Steph and I are planning on Monday at 6:30. Meet at my house then off to the track just down the street. Yes it will be dark (stupid daylight savings-I mean, who wants extra light in the morning anyway?!), but it's an almost full moon and clear skies. Don't be a wuss.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Jill: New Strategy

In keeping with Rule #3, here's how some other runners keep their minds off of the running (at least I assume this is why--why else would you run and juggle at the same time?): Joggling.

Attention True: you are automatically forbidden from such activity. I fear for your safety!

Steph: Whine, whine, and more whine

So I ventured out for my first walk/jog this morning with Jill. I made sure to whine a lot while "jogging" because I wanted to make sure to follow the rules of belonging to the club. We also talked a lot while walking (not as much while running because I was just trying to BREATH!), but I forgot to talk about my favorite subject ... CHEESE! The cheese topics I had planned, but forgot about when the pain took over (which was pretty much immediately thanks to this wiggly, jiggly fat that I have on the outside edges of my butt which feels like it is litterally slapping me every time I jog) are ... we are back to the cheese topics of course ... this new cream cheese and orange marmalade dip that you eat with crackers, a brie and spicy apricot appetizer that is absolutely delicious with apples, and of course this amazing aged gouda that I go to Findlay to "try" for the first time every single Sunday.

But anyway, back to the jog. So the first jog session of 60 seconds did not feel bad. By the fifth time that Jill told me "let's jog a little" I was struggling to breath correctly, numb in in the buttocks where my own fat had slapped me until I couldn't feel that region anymore, and I was completely aware of my calf muscles (which Jill had to name for me) and how they were on fire and going to explode at any given moment.

But at the end, I can say that we walk/jogged 1.9 miles and I made it. I didn't die. I didn't have a heart attack. I didn't pass out. It makes me wonder (for the first time ever in my life), can I actually run a 5K in 4 months time ... I don't know, but it is worth a try. Plus, Mike promised me an iPad if I did it.... which I can't tell if it is his way of motivating me or if he doesn't think it is ever going to happen so he is safe. Either way ... a motivation for sure.

First time done ... only about a million more torture "sessions" with Jill to go. She has promised me a thrilling evening run at a high school track next week. WOW that sounds fun! or not!

Jill: Morning Whine

I am not a morning person. Never have been and never will be despite choosing a profession (teaching) that requires early rising. Now that I'm living with a 2-year old and a 2-month old, it's an amazing feat to sleep past 8. So let's just say that getting up in the morning to do a run isn't exactly my idea of fun. Not even close. It's even more difficult to get out of the house on time in the mornings, so I'm not sure why on earth I would meet Steph for a run at 10 a.m. Truth be told, despite Steph being the self-proclaimed problem child of the group, I was very, very, very close to begging off because it was just waaaaay too difficult to get all of the following done before 10:

1. Had to clean up infant puke off of myself, the infant, the chair, and the carpet

2. Had to chase down Miracle Kitty to shove heart medications down his throat and apply allergy goo to his head. This required moving the baby's crib since this is where kitty has decided to hide from me.

3. Needed to feed the baby (again) which is time-consuming because I'm nursing

4. Had to pump off the extra milk in order to run without pain and without looking like I'm groping myself.

5. Somewhere in between all of this I had to scarf down a few pancakes (quick shout out to my hubby for cooking breakfast!). I think I ate them standing up.

Somehow I managed to get dressed, brush my teeth and hair, and only need an extra half an hour. Thanks to Steph for being flexible, but I think I may be rethinking the sensibility of Saturday morning runs.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Jill: Say Cheese

I've found another way to distract ourselves from the actual running while also contributing to this slice of running blog hilarity: Jogging in Jeans. Any time there is an opportunity to see runners in jeans, bring a camera!

Jill: Weekend Run Details

For those of us who will be in town this weekend (give Pittsburgh a hug for me True and say Hi to my Pens!), we're going to run on Saturday at 10 a.m. at Mt. Airy. It'll be a road run, not a trail run since we are nowhere near ready for that yet. 25 minutes of walk/run intervals. Join us if you can!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

HC: Reasons to Wine

After a particular difficult run today filled with scorched lungs I decided to concentrate on a more positive aspect of our group. WINE. I am sure we could think of a thousand reasons to drink but for now these will work just fine.

Jill: Whine (and Wine) All You Want, But Run With Pride

While flitting around the blogging world today (thanks for the tip Running is Funny), I got a great lesson in history, specifically about women and long distance running. Since I don't consider myself a "real" runner, I am woefully ignorant of how women came to be a force in this sport. Do yourself a favor ladies, read this great article at Jezebel and be at least a little proud to be participating in the same sport regardless of our whining about it. The most amazing fact to me is at the very end: Women weren't allowed to compete at the marathon distance in the Olympics until 1984.

Do I think I'll ever run a full marathon? Not really. But after reading this, I'm proud to be completing whatever mileage I can. Rock on ladies!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

SG: Since when do I pee my pants?

Well I set out with True this evening for my first post-baby run, it was about as I expected, no fun. This new body I have (4 months post-baby) just doesn't move as it used to. The larger problem with this new body isn't what is happening on the outside but more so on the inside. Like, no one told me I would feel as though I was about to wet my pant as I began this running journey. I know poppin a child out of a very small body part really takes it toll on you, but really can't I ever hold my pee again???!!?!?!?! Don't worry, I made it, for those that were concerned, but only with a few seconds to spare. Next time I will take precaution and be sure to 'empty' before I start my next run. Jill, I'll be thinking about those Keagles....who knew that would be such a large topic for the start of this running group?!

Jill: GROUP RUN!--Updated!!

Thursday's group run has slowly fallen apart due to more pressing issues and family parties, and let's be honest, who wouldn't rather be at a party? So, here's where we stand: True and I may run Thursday if she's up for it. Rabbitt (who I've dragged into this kicking and screaming) and I are going to run Saturday morning as long as I don't use the word "run". So now we need to set our sights on next week's group run and hope we can actually make it!

SG: Let the whining begin!

True and I are meeting for our first run tonight! Wish us luck! I'll be back later to whine :)