Monday, March 19, 2012


I had an AMAZING time running with the whine and cheese club plus some AMAZING colleagues from work. Funnily enough, as you can read in the previous blog post, I found everyone on the morning of the race except Mark and he is NOT going to let me forget it.

And AWESOMELY enough, we signed up 25 racers to earn the grant money for our school!

So race day started EARLY this time. I knew I could run 3.1 miles this time, but I needed a little caffeine to get me awake and started. By this point, I had already run 3.1 miles in practice twice. But I was still nervous ... because my brain did NOT buy what my body was able to do!

New Brain: This is fun ... I can't wait to run with everyone. It sounds like so much fun.

Old Brain: Fun ... hell no ... you know what is fun? When we used to sit on the couch and do nothing ... or ... if we were still asleep right now! That would be fun.

New Brain: O.K. The race has started. Man this is a congested start. I really wish that it was better organized so that all this weaving in and out of walkers doesn't slow down my time.

Old Brain: WHAT ARE YOU SAYING? Weaving in and out of the walkers gives us a perfectly valid excuse for going really, really slow at the start. We are basically walking. This is great.

New Brain: Good. It is clearing out a little. Thank goodness that we have now naturally separated into runners and walkers. It makes it much easier to establish my normal pace.

Old Brain: Normal pace. Listen to yourself woman. What are you talking about? Your normal pace is walking a 20+ minute mile. There is NOTHING normal about this.

New Brain: O.K. This feels good. Now I am running. Good pace. Good conversation with my running buddies Jill and Cara.

Old Brain: WHO ARE YOU? This does NOT feel good!!!!!

New Brain: Ha, Ha, Ha!!! This conversation is good! They are so funny! Great times :)

Old Brain: The only think good about the conversation is that it is distracting me from the running! How can they possibly keep talking? I am just trying to breath!!! Are we done yet.

New Brain: I can keep this up. It is not too bad. No stitch in my side yet. Breathing is slightly labored. I just need to concentrate ... breath in ... breath out ... breath in ... breath out! I need a huff or two on the inhaler and then I will be GREAT!

Old Brain: Are you kidding me? I am going to die right here on the path. I can't breath. We need to stop. No really, we need to stop NOW!!!!

New Brain: O.K. Now I am feeling this. I am definitely starting to feel worked out. It feels good to work out all these muscles. Loosen them up.

Old Brain: Right ... you are feeling this ... that means STOP!!! And the only work out that feels good is using your arm to raise food to your mouth! Stop all these crazy thoughts.

New Brain: Maybe Jill is right. Maybe I can train to do a 10K next. I think we should start next week.

Old Brain: How do you even know what a 10k IS???? Let alone talk about doing one. You have gone CRAZY!!!

New Brain: Cool ... I am almost finished. I can see the clock tower again. This means that I get to have a coffee and eat some breakfast soon without feeling super guilty about it. YEAH!!!

Old Brain: Now something that we can both agree on!

New Brain: I can see the finish line. I think we should try to sprint the last little bit to the finish line for a strong finish and to make-up for the slow start.

Old Brain: Insane woman ... the start was the only part of this I liked! Let's stop and walk to the finish. No one would blame you.

Both: Oh, look. There is Mike and Timmy. They are cheering me on from the sidelines. That is so sweet!!

New Brain: O.K. We are turing the corner. Time to sprint to the end (well as sprinty as I can get right now). Thanks CARA!!! Cheering me on with ... "You can do it" is exactly what my brain needs right now. I can do it!!!!!!

Old Brain: My lungs are going to EXPLODE!!!!!

New Brain: You've got this!

Both: YEAH WE ARE DONE!!!!! We ran our first 5k ever ... the entire thing without stopping.

Both: YES!!! Now Mike owes me that IPad ... bet he wishes he didn't make that bet now :) And look there .... our sweet, adorable, he just lost the bet husband is bringing all three of us water!

At the end, we met up with good friends again. Talked and laughed about our individual experiences and ate some really BAD food choices. But a great experience overall that I would not take back or change in any way ... well ... maybe I would have looked for Mark a little harder :)

Food 1: Coffee - YUM!

Food 2: Dorito Taco Bell - NOT yum :( (MIke Liked it!)

Food 3: Panera Asiago Bagel - YUM!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Mark B: Shamrock Shuffle - Guest Post

I spent my time at the walk-a-thon/race playing the game of "Where's Stephanie?" After being badgered to participate I thought for sure I would see her there with the rest of her retinue. So, struggling to walk such a long distance I had to find something to keep my mind off of the physical strain of the walk. Unfortunately for me I had not one sight of her, so I left the race convinced she had not been there but had just lured the rest of us into committing our Saturday morning. Beyond that I had a very nice walk with Kara's friend Kelly. Interesting lady and fun to tour the streets of West Chester with. Still looking for Stephanie, though. Did anyone else see her?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Jill: New Kicks

Last weekend I finally got out the door to get my new running shoes.  This was way overdue, but I kept putting it off because all of that unpaid maternity leave put a dent in the household budget.  I was also waiting for the spring clearance sale at Bob Roncker's, which is our local running specialty store.  They are super nice and very knowledgeable, and they totally treat us like real runners instead of the cheese-loving, wine-drinking pretend runners we really are.  For example, real runners get really excited about new gear like tech clothing, GPS watches, socks and hydration equipment.  But shoes really take the cake.  Everyone dissects the latest models and foot wear trends (crazy barefoot people, I'm talking to you).  Heck, even Runner's World has the "shoe issue" every year.

I, on the other hand, despise shoe shopping.  Problem number 1 is that my feet are almost a full half size different from each other.  That makes finding a shoe that fits nicely on both feet somewhat annoying.  But the fun doesn't stop there.  I have been wearing special orthodics in my shoes since the age of 15 because I have arches that look like this:

Needless to say, it takes me awhile to find shoes that work well for my high maintenance feet.  My last two pair were very simple Asics Gels that I loved very much.  Unfortunately, I was determined to get something that was on sale ($60 or less!!!).  I ended up finding these which remind me quite a bit of my old shoes and have so far felt good:

Mizuno Wave 7. That's right.  They are the OLDER model. More proof I'm not a real runner.

To celebrate my success in finding a workable pair of new kicks, I'm leaving you with a few of my favorite songs about shoes.  Enjoy!