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Running Through a Fulfilled Life


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Glass City Half Recap

So…happy new year.  This blog fell off the rails kind of like me at the beginning of the year.  January and February were fairly difficult months for me, as I struggled and battled through some personal issues.  I’m doing much better now, and I can only hope to not fall into that place again.   For a while, I didn’t think running Glass City was going to happen even though I had registered for it last year.  The furthest I had run since having Lucas was 5 miles and that was maybe once.  Thus why there was no training plan, no training updates…because there was no training.

Slowly but surely, the clouds began to clear at the beginning of March and I was able to complete a 7 mile run 6 weeks out from Glass City.  I thought to myself, gosh darn, you are doing this.  So with each passing week, I pushed my long run distance.  7 miles, 8 miles, 9 miles, 10 miles, 10.5 miles, and 8 miles.  That’s it.  There was no speedwork.  There were no tempos.  There was just me, my heavy breaths, my shoes bouncing along the pavement as I fought my way back.

Be brave.  Be courageous.  Be strong.

April 22 arrived.  The knowledge of having zero pressure for time or expectations was freeing,  My only goal was to finish.   Just getting to the start line was a victory in itself and I was proud of myself for pushing through.  Glass City is one of my favorite races and is definitely my favorite half marathon to do.  My Dad had also registered and it was wonderful spending the weekend with him and sharing the day with him.  We arrived bright and early to the start, experiencing some difficulties getting out of the parking garage at the Park Inn which delayed our arrival.  We found parking quickly at Rocket Hall, however, and were over to the start area off of Secor by 6:30.  I porta pottied myself and then headed to the start line.  Because of the construction off Bancroft, the start was moved to Secor, which resulted in a change of the course.  My goosebumps had goosebumps, not just from the cold of the morning but also my nerves.  However, I quickly shoved those thoughts aside as we listened to both the Canadian and American national anthems.  I was ready to do this, whatever the result.  Off we went.

I found my legs feeling stiff, cold, hard to move amongst the crowd.  (Probably because of my lack of any warm-up).  I didn’t start to warm up until I hit Mile 3.  I was trying my best to keep things easy, effortless.  Forward lean, run from the hips, light feet.  Be brave.
Mile 1–8:23
Mile 2–8:01
Mile 3–7:49
Mile 4–7:36
Mile 5–7:48

It wasn’t until Miles 6-7 that I decided to finally race.  I was feeling really good and I was surprised that I wasn’t tiring as much as I thought I would.  So I pushed.  I high fived everyone that offered.  I smiled as much as I could.  I was enjoying the hell out of myself.  My only regret was not to push sooner, because by the time I figured out how I was doing, it was too late to make up the time lost in the first few miles.
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Mile 6–7:35
Mile 7–7:37
Mile 8–7:42
Mile 9–7:25

From Miles 10-13.1, we ran into the wind.  It made it a lot harder to hold my kick, but I wanted to fully leave it out on the course.  Everything was hurting.  My left calf, which I strained a few weeks ago, was on fire.  My right hip was screaming every time I went up a small hill or incline.  But I kept repeating to myself: be brave, be strong.  As I got closer to UT, I could hear the announcer and hear the crowd cheering.  I closed hard and made some really good pain faces.  I crossed the finish line, feeling like I couldn’t have pushed any harder.

Mile 10–7:29
Mile 11–7:31
Mile 12–7:36
Mile 13–7:28
Final 0.1–6:30 pace

Finish: 1:41:40.  A small PR (by 15 seconds), but a PR nonetheless when I had no business doing so.

Mike and James met me at the finish line.  There was no better way to end my race then burying my face into my husband and son’s waiting arms.  I celebrated with my post-race beer in my Libby Glass mug and ate pizza while waiting for my Dad to finish.  He rocked it as well, finishing in 2:32:51.

It was truly a great weekend overall and I couldn’t have asked for a better result.  I’m sure that I will be back to Glass City again.  I absolutely loved the half course this year, I felt like the changes helped to add some different sights and I actually liked having a little more elevation change.  The race swag was on point, the half marathoners got a high quality quarter zip long sleeve wicking shirt and the 5K/marathoners got a short sleeve wicking shirt, a finishers mug, a high quality finishers medal, 2 beer tickets post-race and a nice selection of foods at the finish.  James even got to participate in the Kid’s Marathon the day before and set his own personal PR for having his Mom drag him around a 1/4 mile track.  Despite him attempting to bail at the start, he said he wants to race again, but he only wants to participate in “trophy races”.  Truly, my child.

Eli Out!

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Race Recap: Shades of Gray 5K

Oh hey, I’m still here.  The thought of writing any kind of blog entry lately has produced a big fat “pppppppppfffffff” from my brain, which is why I’ve been on hiatus for way too long.  But yes, I’m still here.  I’m still running.  I’m still baby rearing.  Even if I have less time to do the running portion of the equation (spoiler alert: baby #2 takes so much more work!).  The Shades of Gray 5K is the 3rd race I’ve done since coming back into running post-partum.  It’s also the best I’ve felt and run since Lucas made his appearance 4 months ago.

This race was to benefit Serving Our Seniors of Erie County, an organization that I’ve referred countless patients to and know provides invaluable services in the community to those 60+.   Thus, game on.  I arrived early enough to give myself a bit of warm-up time, as this race started over by Battery Park Marina in Sandusky.  It was a 2 loop course of the downtown area and I’ve done several races in that vicinity before and it’s relatively flat.  The weather wasn’t too bad, it was about 72 degrees and slightly humid at race time, but I was ready to do this thing.  My 2 previous 5k’s had been pooptastic and I felt pooptastic during both–like I was running with sandbags for legs.  This day, however, I felt like I had energy and some bounce in my step even during warm-up.

The race started promptly at 9:00 AM.  It was a small turn-out, but hopefully that doesn’t deter the race from coming back next year, as it was well organized, had a cute shirt design and *bonus* pair of socks that came in the swag bag.  We took off heading down Water Street and I quickly found myself in 2nd.

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Look at me! Wee!

Like 2nd overall.  In the whole race (small races throw me off big time when this happens).  The lead male got slightly confused when we had to turn to head into our second loop during the course, so I felt like this did hurt my concentration and game plan for at least 1/2 mile prior to Mile 2, but I regrouped and kept pushing.

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Is this what “striding out” looks like? My legs are actually capable of this position? Gasp

Mantra: Run EVEN.  And I did.  Mile 1 was around a 7:04.  Mile 2 was around a 7:07.  Mile 3 was around a 7:03.  I finished the race in 21:43.  1st Female Overall and 7:00/mile avg pace.

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My finish line photos always look like a hot mess. Like real hot. And a real big mess.

The best part?  I felt good.  No sandbag legs.  No heavy “everything hurts and I’m dying” breathing.  No “I want to quit running because I just don’t have it anymore” feeling.  I felt really good.  It’s about gosh darn time!

I’m really hoping Shades of Gray comes back next year (so, race director, keep this thing together) because I am definitely marking it back on my race calendar!

Eli out.


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Life With Two: 1 Month Update

Keeping the blog up to date was hard before having another bambino, but it’s been exceptionally hard since!  You would think taking 5 minutes to jot down some thoughts, words, sarcastic comments would be easy to squeeze into the day, but *surprise surprise*, a 24 hour day somehow just isn’t enough.  Baby Lucas has grown by leaps and bounds since he sling shot his way into this world at the end of March (which I guess is reflective of why I have no time, I’m either toddler chasing or have a baby hanging from me and using me as a giant cow).  At his 1 month check up, he measured 22.5″ long and 11 pounds, 1 ounce.  Just to put that into perspective, when we discharged from the hospital, he was down to 6 pounds, 14 ounces.  Eating obviously isn’t a problem, but washing in between his baby fat rolls could be.

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Throw your hands up in the air if you pooped!

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I wear my sunglasses at night, in the morning, during the mid day, and on weekends

Lucas has been incredibly more chill than James was at this stage, which is a total giant blessing.  He is up to sleeping 2.5 to 3.5 hour stretches during the night, which equates to waking up 3 times during the night with him.  He’s still sleeping in our room, so he’s already beat his brother’s record (James got evicted at 1 month old because of his gaseous grunting all night).

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Baby selfie!

Toddler James on the other hand, has been less than incredibly chill.  He’s definitely taken slight offense to having sibling competition and has been more loud, needy, and whiny.  This sounds horrible, but I’ve really been enjoying all the time I’ve been getting to spend with both of them on my maternity leave, so I’ll take all the “gosh darn it, this kid is approaching the terrible 3’s that I can”.  For as bad as those “I’m going to throw myself on the floor and cry by yelling the words ‘Waa waa waa’ which is total fake crying because you gave me the sandwich that I asked for” moments are, they are quickly replaced by snuggling boy whispering “I’ll love you forever, mommy”.  Those moments are the ones that melt my heart.

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I think really, the main difference with adding another little boy to the mix has been that I am constantly doing something.  My hands are never empty, they are usually full of diapers, babies, laundry, dishes, etc.  I am a whirling dervish of mommydom.

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These 3 dudes are my world

I have started doing some workouts over the past week, slowly adding running back into the mix.  I’ve been trying to really hit on my core and hip strength and stability, because I managed to totally and horribly throw my SI joint out the day before I got induced to the point that I could barely walk.  So yeah, that’s a work in progress to fix, but it’s getting better.   I can now run 3 miles straight (slowly) with good form, no pain and no female post-partum issues…victory!

I’m slowly shrinking back down to size, from week 1 up to week 4 post-partum.  Almost there, but when the pre-pregnancy clothes still don’t fit right, you know there is still work to be done.

Phew!  That was a lot of typing to get out, but I look forward to sharing my continued journey back into fitness, life, work, and family from here on out.  Hopefully.  Maybe.  Kind of.  Sort of.


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Weeks 32-35 Update

Ugh, I am exhausted.  There’s no if’s, and’s or but’s about it.  Less than 5 weeks to go until my due date and I’m at the point of “I’m ready to be done with being pregnant and move onto holding my little girl or guy in my arms”.  I don’t remember feeling this sluggish last time around, but I also didn’t have a super energetic 2 year old that thinks his Momma is a superhero either to chase.  All I know is I’m large and in charge and feel like a beached whale most days.  Please play me the world’s tiniest violin now.

Baby Mason Part Deux is now the size of a honeydew melon and is 18 inches long and weighs approximately 5.25 pounds.   If only my stomach was merely the size of a little melon, instead it resembles more of a small beach ball, but way less fun and colorful and definitely more veiny and shiny from my skin reaching its breaking point.

My energy levels are definitely waning as is my desire to do anything of a physical nature…like, run, has gone down the pooper.  But I’ve still been doing it, more like a chore than a want.  I’m afraid if I quit doing anything (even going on a walk on the treadmill) that my body will just totally wave the white flag to me.  At least when I’m staying active I retain some energy, keep my ankles from getting puffy, sleep better, have less back pain, and can take a daily (although sometimes it’s more like every other day) constitutional **if you know what I mean**.

Here’s what I’ve been looking like the past few weeks.  Grow belly, grow!
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Here’s to hoping that the next 5 (or hopefully less) weeks go by really fast so we can get to hold our newest little guy or gal soon!


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Weeks 25-27 Update

The past few weeks in this pregnancy journey have flown by, probably because they have corresponded with Christmas and New Year’s.  We definitely kept busy and Toddler J had himself a very good and spoiled time.  Seriously, kid needs 2 playrooms now for the gross quantity of toys he has been gifted.   He shouldn’t be bored until sometime in May.

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So here we are, marking the end of the 2nd Trimester and ready to kick off the final stretch–the 3rd Trimester.  It’s like coming into the last mile of 5K and you know it’s going to be a massive positive split because your body is getting more tired, sluggish, and waddly (is that a word?! I just made it up).  And that’s certainly how I feel.

At 27 weeks, Baby M #2 is weighing nearly 2 pounds and is approximately 14.5 inches in length.  He or she now has a normal sleep/wake cycle (which corresponds to sleeping when I’m awake and waking when I’m trying to sleep.  Touche), can open/close eyes, and suck on fingers.

I keep thinking Baby #2 either is sitting super low in comparison to J or is measuring big, because I have continued to experience occasional left sided sciatic symptoms that I didn’t get last time.  I had Hubs try to correct my alignment yesterday and I swear my ligaments must already be rubber bands, because a simple leg pull felt like my ankle, knee, and hip dislocated all at once.  But magically, the pain was gone and now I can tell him he retore my ACL.   He likes that.

Let’s watch how my belly has grown the past 3 weeks.  And let’s be honest, it’s not just my stomach that feels huge anymore, it’s everything.  I’ve got more junk in my trunk than I know what to do with.  A lot of it probably has to do with the fact that my running has not been as consistent as it was with J and I’m simply tired a lot.  I’ve been trying to exercise still 4-5 times per week, but my runs have dwindled to 2-3 miles max.  Also, this pregnancy is now being sponsored by Lularoe (not really, but it’s all I’m comfortable in anymore), so I’m like a walking billboard.

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3rd Trimester, here we come, Tally-Ho!

Belly out.


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Weeks 22-24 Update

Oh boy, I’ve taken this from an every 2 week update to an every 3 week update.  (Nearly 4 if you consider that I’ll be 25 weeks along on Friday).  Things have been a bit busy, I’ve been a bit tired this go round–like all the time, and the Holidays are quickly approaching which means I’ve been having a party for 1 in front of my computer doing online shopping/wrapping/planning/cleaning in order to get all things Christmas done before next week so that I can actually…drumroll…enjoy Christmas.

The past 3 weeks have been a bit of blur, but my bump continues to grow.  I’ve only got a few pairs of non-maternity pants that fit anymore and I’ve been living in buttery soft leggings, tunic shirts, and sweats.  I’m sad that I didn’t get a picture the other day when Toddler J literally nesting dolled inside my tunic shirt and refused to get out, making me wonder if maybe they make those tunics a little too billowy if a small child can fit inside with the wearer.  I looked like Sally the Camel…with 3 humps.

Since I was delinquent in typing anything for Weeks 22 or 23, we’ll just flash forward to where things are at now.  Week 24.  Baby Dos is now the size of an ear of corn and is 1 1/3 pounds in weight.  This ear of corn has apparently, these past 2 days, decided to wedge its husk on top of my sciatic nerve on my left side, because I’ve been getting the beginnings of piriformis pain.  AKA BUTT PAIN.  Weirdly, it doesn’t hurt if I’m running but does hurt if I sit, squat down, walk, or stand.  Basically, live.

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Hopefully the husk moves soon because I never had this last time and this is a bit early to start dealing with back pain.  Ain’t nobody got time for that.  Also another fun pregnancy fact is that my stomach region is now the size of a soccer ball.   GOAAALLL.

In other news, winter has finally arrived in these parts.  Earlier than I would like, by far, because my hatred for snow multiplies like the Grinch’s heart whenever I’m pregnant.
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This kid, however, doesn’t hate snow and wishes he could live in an igloo in our back yard.

Until next time, belly out!


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Week 19 Update

Another week has come and gone and I’ve gotten my belly rubbed a few times like I’m a genie lamp more than I would like.  It’s hard to believe that I am nearly to the halfway mark!

This past week I definitely began to feel some movement.  As in, during Game 7 of the World Series when I went through all 7 stages of grief, I counted not 1…but 27 kicks in a row.  Obviously, this child is already a Cleveland fan and is sharing in Mommy’s utter sadness and woe.

My belly continues to grow by leaps and bounds, making me feel like I’m 6 months pregnant when I haven’t even made it to the 5 month mark.  Woe are my abdominal muscles as well, apparently.  I’ve been in denial of the scale this go round, but I was pleasantly surprised at my 18 week appointment that I had only gained 9 pounds so far.  I was positive it was going to be more, as I’ve been eating my feelings, lounging like a sloth most days, and staying far less active than I was with James.  I guess that’s why they say all pregnancies are not created alike, and this one has got me pooped out most of the time.

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This week Hubs and I got to finish out Wedding Season 2016 with a swish and a flick of a Harry Potter themed wedding.

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The workout belly.  Yikes my workout clothes barely fit already.  Crap on a stick.

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Ahhh!! 

Next week is an important one, it’s ultrasound time and we finally get to see what Baby Mason Dos looks like!  Belly out!