Jeff’s Post – Weekend Recap and A10 on the Horizon!

I feel like a broken record here but I continue to struggle with the blog posts.  I keep making notes and have things I want to blog about and I have a product review but work/life keeps getting in the way.  My commitment at the moment is once a week but I really hope to pick it up soon.  I find it frustrating because it is both motivating and therapeutic to blog – I must find the time!

Last week was a good running week.  I topped 50 miles for the first time in a while and my shin continues to improve…..I think.  I really am trying to run smarter and listen to my body and mind.  I had two really nice runs over the weekend.  Saturday I went out for 13 miles (haven’t been that far in a couple months) and it felt really good.  On Sunday Tamara and I headed out for another longer run (10 miles).  Tamara is much better at following a plan (currently RnR Philly ½), I just try to put in the mileage.  This really was a fun run and Tamara was pushing me the whole way.  Having just come off the 13 miles on Saturday I was feeling a little tired in the legs so I enjoyed the challenge of trying to keep up (it is a challenge to keep up with her when I feel good btw and I don’t always do it).Tamara took a Gu on this run at around mile 6 (training for her race) and I used that as another challenge to keep up with her as the Gu kicked in – I definitely noticed a change in her pace!  I managed to stay with her and we finished the 10 miles strong!

I’m looking forward to the Annapolis 10 miler this weekend and then a few weeks later we will be in Philly.  I still don’t feel like I’m in the best shape I’m trying not to put too much pressure on myself this weekend.  I want to run a fun/smart race and then push it in Philly.

Have a great week and Happy Running!

Tamara’s Post – Vacation Over…Boo!

We are heading back to Maryland today after 5 days in Wisconsin…it was a fun trip with a great weather and a packed agenda. I got 3 runs in – once with Jeff and twice by myself.  Samantha surprised me by wanting to run a few “miles” with me after my run yesterday – so she got ready and we headed out down my Dad’s driveway. Jeff followed us as our official photographer. She made it to the highway and back which is 1/4 mile each way – this picture was taken just as she shouted “Pick it up Mommy!”

Not only did we get to Six Flags, the State Fair, and the Lake – I also got to spend time with my Dad and some of my family that lives in Wisconsin. I wish we had more time – it flew by and there was still so much more I wanted to do and see. Even though I lived in Wisconsin for 10 years, I still love to visit. My favorite thing was…ummmm…embarrassed to say…fried cheese curds! Now I need a vacation from my vacation!:)

Wisconsin scenery

Me and my Daddy

At the Wisconsin State Fair

Cream puff from the Wisconsin State Fair…yup, I ate it…all….

Fried Cheese Curds – my fav!

Family…

Jeff’s Post – Wisconsin Follies!

We are wrapping up an eventful week in Wisconsin and will be leaving tomorrow for the 12+ hour road trip back to Maryland.  Running while traveling is always difficult so I’ve been fairly happy with my runs this week and I always love running in new places.  My running recap for the week – 6 miles in Ohio (after driving 8 hours), 6 miles in Waterford, WI (after driving 5 hours), 6 miles on Monday, 4 miles with Tamara on Tuesday – then we went to Lake Michigan for the day and I couldn’t resist running another 4 miles at the lake – just beautiful.  I got another 6 in yesterday and have decided to take a couple days off.  I’m still dealing with a nagging shin pain and I’m hoping the couple day rest will help.  Our vacations are over and I need to get super focused over the next couple months.  I basically have a race every month ending with Marine Corps in October.

This trip was really about visiting Tamara’s Dad and making sure that Samantha got to as many amusement parks, water parks and ice cream shops that we could find.  I think we accomplished all of those.  I even had my first ever Cream Puff from the Wisconsin State fair.

I’m writing this post while Tamara is out running and she just called me.  We always carry a cheap flip phone when we run and she has never called before (scared me a bit) but she just wanted me to check on a road she was running to see if it connects to the highway.  I tend to run more up and backs when I travel just to make sure I can find my way home.

I have shared a few pics below and will add more once we get home.  I also ran on the track for the first time last week and want to recap that over the next few weeks. I really enjoyed it and hope to get on the track more.

Have a great day and Happy Running!

Tamara’s Post – Road Trip!

We are driving down I-80 in Indiana, we can see Michigan to our right – about a 1/2 mile over the corn field. We are heading to visit my Dad in Wisconsin – it’s such an easy drive from Maryland and love the 70 mph speed limits! We spent last night in Maumee, Ohio – we had a free night at a Marriott, so picked one that had a pool. Jeff went for a run and Samantha & I hit the pool and the hot tub – ahhhh! I love eating at new places, and was happy with my discovery of Mancy’s Blue Water Grille – yumm! This morning we scored again by finding Scrambler Marie’s for breakfast and Biggby’s Coffee for lattes and hot chocolate for Sam – success! Alot of interesting sites on our roadtrips…some from inside the van…

So…after an exhausting first part of the summer – I finally feel somewhat back in the groove. Samantha’s social calendar filled with swimming and countless hours of play practice for the Wizard of Oz really took alot of time – but was well worth it to see her as a munchkin! My running has been going ok – just ok – nothing to brag about by any means. I tend to let my child and work (sometimes) take priority over my running…but it’s time to get serious! I’ve been dealing with a silly pain behind my right knee for about 3 weeks – I took 4 days off last week which helped alot. We are doing the Rock ‘n Roll Philly 1/2 marathon (#rnrphilly) on Sept 16 – so I really want to increase my mileage – soon!

With my knee issues, along came some pretty painful stomach issues that started this past Wednesday, I’m not over it yet  – but I think I could run through any non-running issue and I do…my brain needs it – has to have it. I felt a bit better this morning and headed down to the gym at the hotel. I was super disappointed I couldn’t watch the women’s Olympic marathon on the TV – Jeff & Samantha were watching it up in the room. I had to settle for scrolling through the channels and finishing 4 miles in time to sprint back upstairs to catch the end of the marathon – no medal for USA, but awesome to watch all of the incredibly talented women that finished – they all deserve a medal for just making it that far! Samantha said they were running slow and she could beat them – she was quite interested in the race – which made us happy! Gotta drive on!

Jeff’s Post – Friday Rewind!

Another long stretch in between blog posts.  I hate that but I see them picking up as we head towards the fall – I have quite a few races coming up.  We just got back from a whirlwind trip to Ocean City, MD.  It was nice to get away for a few days and I always love running at the beach.  I ran 9 miles on Monday (5 by myself and then 4 with Tamara), 6 on Tuesday and 7 on Wednesday.  I had some of the slowest runs of the summer but I’m  not beating myself up over it.  I know why they were slow – too much sun, food, drink and not enough sleep.  We have a trip to Wisconsin planned in a few weeks and I will start pushing the training right after that.  Last year I felt like I was in my best shape around July/August which was really too early.  I want to be there in September/October this year so I can go into Marine Corps strong and fit.  I also want to try to lose a few pounds by October. I ran both of my Marathons last year at around 168lbs, I want to run Marine Corps at around 160 if I can get there.  That is really too light for me but I think it will help and I’m willing to put up with the “you are too skinny” comments for a month or so.

A quick Tamara update – she is still around:) but is nursing a sore knee and has just been super busy running Samantha around.  Samantha is in our local production of  The Wizard of Oz this year (she is a munchkin).  The kids have been working so hard and have been rehearsing for months.  All the rehearsals are over and they are in the final weekend of shows and they have done an amazing job.  So proud of Samantha!  I shared a few pics below.

6 Treadmill miles this morning – Have a great weekend and Happy Running!

Jeff’s Post – Running the Pain Away!

I just finished my morning treadmill run (6 miles) and for the first time in a while I didn’t feel a shin pain I’ve been dealing with for a couple weeks.  It felt more muscular (in the front of my leg but not like a shin splint) and started in one leg and then seemed to move to the other.  I’m not sure why I suddenly feel better but I’m thinking it may have been the 10 miles I ran on the treadmill yesterday morning.  My legs just felt really good after that, maybe I ran the pain away.  I’ve had a decent string of runs – starting with a 6 mile run with Tamara on Saturday, 11 early morning miles on Sunday (this run was slow and hilly but I loved watching the sun rise and just love being outside running while the rest of the world is waking up) and 8 treadmill miles on Monday.

We are heading to the beach for a few days next week.  I’m looking forward to some time away from work and a little beach time with Tamara, Samantha and my family.  It also means more running.  Can’t begin to explain how much I love running at the beach!  We have a trip to Wisconsin planned in early August and then I’m in full training mode.  I have the Annapolis 10 Miler in August, RnR Philly 1/2 in September (with Tamara), Army 10 Miler in October (with Tamara) and then I have Marine Corps at the end of October.

Tamara was running in the gym with me this morning and we had a couple funny moments.  The first was when Kacee decided to walk to the other side of the room and tripped over the cord of Tamara’s stand fan causing it to crash to the ground and fall apart (no one was injured:) and the second is just the enjoyment I get watching Tamara’s reactions to what is going on with the Bachelorette.  We both have headphones plugged into the TV’s so I can’t hear what is going on but it is too funny to see her hands flying in the air and see her yelling at the TV.

Tamara took a pic of me during my 11 mile treadmill run yesterday so I thought I would share it.  I will try to sneak a video of her one day as she reacts to her show on the TV.

Have a great day and Happy Running!

Jeff’s Post – 6 Left Turns!

I just came back from a rare outdoor weekday morning run.  We have company staying in the basement and I could have gone downstairs to the gym but I tend to bang on my treadmill so I thought it would be a good opportunity to get outside and let the company sleep.  Tamara’s treadmill is much quieter and she was itching to watch the Bachelor so she opted to stay inside and get her reality TV fix.  I grabbed a small flashlight and headed out in the dark on a nice 10k loop.  I have a love/hate relationship with this loop because it is a bit hilly and challenging at times.  But one thing I love about it is that it basically has 6 left turns to get me home.  I tend to look at each turn as a separate segment and that helps me on both good and bad runs.  This morning was no exception.  I was pushing the pace a little and felt good through most of the segments but I won’t lie I was thrilled to see the last left turn.  I finished a muggy 6.2 miles in 46:38 which I was happy with.  I even saw a member of the local running club about 1/2 through my run which was nice.  I always like to see another runner out there!

Have a great day and Happy Running!

 

Jeff’s Post – I’m Being Chased!

We are in the midst of a crazy heat wave in Southern Maryland so Tamara and I got up early again this morning to try to beat the heat.  We had a short 5 mile run planned which I was ok with given the heat and my tired legs.  We took off out the driveway and decided to run a reverse route of a loop we have run many times.  Almost instantly I was ahead of Tamara.  It wasn’t planned but just happened.  Our rule is to not slow down for the other just run how we are feeling (Just had a flashback of the Rock n Roll ½ Marathon in DC this year where Tamara flew by me at mile 12!).  About a mile in I had a pretty decent lead in our race of two:).  I looked back a few times to both check on Tamara and to see how close she was to me.  It was strange but the whole time I was feeling a little bit of pressure to keep my lead (yes I wanted to win).  I also thought a couple times that this is really good training for me to stay focused and keep pushing.  It reminded me of the one and only 5k race I won last year.  I passed a runner for the lead about 2 miles in and it was a strange feeling to be the front runner.  I won’t win many 5ks but I really did love the feeling of being chased this morning.  It kept me focused and made me push myself to run faster than I would have.  Thanks for the chase Tamara!

Tamara’s Post – A Steamy, Sunny, Sweaty Run…

After months of not finding the time to blog – I’m back…again. It’s been a whirlwind few months, but I’m hopeful that things are settling down and I can catch up with posting – I like getting my running thoughts out.

With a high of 103 predicted for today, we decided to hit the road early. My sister and her 2 children are here visiting from Maine so I gave Samantha the instructions last night to wake them up if she awoke while we were still running. The house was quiet when we left – until I realized I forgot my sunglasses and startled the dogs which made them bark as I trampled back inside…I heard some mumbling from Samantha’s room…and then silence – whew, let’s get out of here. It was almost 6:30am and I could see the sun had risen past the trees already. Ugh – Jeff was right, the earlier the better – it was gonna be hot! As we sprinted down the driveway I noticed the sun rising higher and higher in the sky with every step we took…we can’t outrun it. We didn’t talk much on the run, we actually didn’t talk at all. We ran. Just having Jeff beside me keeps me going…and as he sped ahead of me with each rolling hill I kept my focus and tried to catch him. It’s like a game. Fortunately we had some shade from the tall trees on the back roads and at one point the shade came from very tall corn stalks sitting high on a knoll to our left – ahhhh…thank you corn! It’s been a few weeks since I’ve had the opportunity and ambition to run outside in the heat and I can’t say enough how much I hate it. The steam seemed to rise from the foliage and leave the air stagnant making it difficult to breathe. I could hear Jeff’s quick breathing – from the steamy air or from the pace, I didn’t know. We press on and with the descent down into each little gully in the shade I seem to linger a bit in the coolness – or at least it seemed cooler. As we round the corner and head down the 1 mile straightaway that leads to the road we live on, I notice the cell tower wwwwaaaayyyyy in the distance…jeez, it looks like someone moved it further away today! I run 50 or so feet behind Jeff for the reminder of the run – pretending I’m in a race and trying to catch him – which I never do. It was a hot, steamy 6.2 miles. As we enter the house we realize no one is awake yet, no surprises there…it feels great to get a nice run in so early in the morning – I’m glad we went!

Jeff’s Post – Strength From My Right!

I get strength to push through runs from a bunch of different places.  It could be music, emotion, passing another runner or a goal I have set for myself.  Today I got strength from my right.  Tamara and I have treadmills about 8 feet apart and this morning when I was struggling on a normal run I took a few peeks over at her and it helped push me to the finish.  As we do with our outside runs we normally don’t talk much.  She is blasting the volume on her latest reality show and I’m typically watching the news or a concert with my ear buds in.  No need for conversation just having that person running beside/with you will push you when you need it.

Hope everyone had a safe and happy 4th.  I started the day with an early morning 8 mile run and then we spent the day at a picnic in the neighborhood I grew up in.  It was hot hot hot but we had a great day.  I have shared a few pics below.

Have a great running day!

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