Monday, May 31, 2010

RACE REPORT: Boston's Run to Remember Half Marathon

So I finally have a minute to sit down and write the full race report. What a great weekend! It was absoultely BEAUTIFUL here in central MA. Maybe a little too warm for the race....but beautiful none the less! I wish all weekends were 3 days, sunny and 75 - 80 degrees...ahhhh.

Anyways, on to the race report! This was the first time that I was able to run Boston's Run to Remember. It is in memory of all Massachusetts Law Enforcement Officers killed in the line of duty. It always falls on Memorial Day weekend and in the past we have always been out of town. I made sure this year we were going to be around though!

We headed in early, Stephen and Gram E were reading the newspaper on the way...

Parked, peed, and found our way to the 10:00 pace group with about 4 minutes to spare. As you can see in the picture below, the "mostly cloudy" sky that had been forcasted the night before was bright sunshine.....

Me (blue) and my sis (green).

We knew it was going to be a hot one and were going to try to stay together as much as possible. It was pretty much a flat course with the only "hills" being the bridges, so we were hoping to finish around 2:18.

Here we are about half a mile in - notice we are looking at Stephen in the stroller and not the camera! (Sis - green, me - blue)

So the first mile went by pretty fast, but I really started feeling the heat around 2.5 and the negative thoughts began. It wasn't fun at all, and I couldn't stop thinking about how hot I was and how I just needed some water to dump on my head. I ended up stopping and walking 3 to 4 times before mile 4. I was miserable and upset with myself. I rarely am a negative person, especially with sports, but being this hot already, I was so nervous that I wasn't going to finish.

A little after the water stop around mile 4, I was able to turn my thoughts around. I dumped water all over me to cool off, found a little slower pace and was good. By this time we had crossed over the Longfellow Bridge into Cambridge and were running along the Charles River ( that dirty water.....ohhhh Boston you're my home.....). And then finally Mr. Sun decided to cooperate and tucked behind a cloud! yay!!

For the next 6 miles or so, I was doing great. I had my pace, I had my positive thoughts back, I was finding this running thing exciting again! It was tough around mile 10, since the sun came back out, but we were back on the Boston side of the Charles and we could run in the shadows of the buildings.

Around mile 10.5 I heard one of the funniest things ever and have to share - ya know how in a long race, there are certain people you keep seeing over and over? Well, I had 3 people that I noticed a lot: Orange Shirt Girl, Tie-dye Shirt Girl, and Tall Guy. So Tall Guy was running to my right and just slightly behind me. I was concentrating on staying in the shadows to keep cool, but I hear a female voice behind me ask Tall Guy who he was running with. He responded, "You". Now, I thought this was weird - after 10.5 miles, she doesn't know he is running w/her??? She then responded, "Well, it doesn't look like it! It looks like you're running with HER!", talking about me. Good thing that I had NO extra energy to turn around or say anything back to her!!! hahaha

After I got my water at the aid station at mile 11, I mentally knew that I was good to go for the last 2 miles. I lifted my chin up and enjoyed it, as the crowds were getting a little bigger.

Here is Sister approaching the last .4 (Mom didn't get the camera out in time for me, but that's ok! I was sure to ham it up for all of the on-race photogs!)

After a rough start, both physically and mentally, I am very proud of myself for pulling it together and making it a great race! I ended up finishing in 2:32:54 (an 11:40 pace) and Sis right behind me at 2:35:21 - not the 2:18 we were hoping for, but at least it was not our slowest! (2:37 last August in NYC - talk about heat AND humidity - at least we were spared the humidity yesterday). This was an awesome course and I hope to do it again next year!

Our "finish" photo - Sis chugged too much water right after she finished and she honked in the car on the way home ("What if he honks in the car?" "I give you a no-honk guarantee!" Anyone who knows what movie that's from gets bragging rights!)

So we took our race photo back at home.
Hope everyone else had a GREAT Memorial Day weekend!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Quick race recap - Boston's Run to Remember Half Marathon

Just a quick note, I'll post a full report tomorrow. A hot day, a good crowd, an awesome course, and we finished! My sister and I were hoping to finish around 2:18, but by around mile 4, we knew it wasn't going to happen because of the heat. Official times aren't up yet, but we ended up around 2:34.
Off to bed...will post more, along w/pics, tomorrow! Congrats to everyone else who ran this weekend :)

Friday, May 28, 2010

Good think its taper week!

There is officially less than 48 hours until my half marathon, Boston's Run to Remember!!! I am very excited! The weather looks to be great (maybe a little hot, but no rain!) and I am going to be running w/my sister. Very cool!

The only thing that I am a little nervous about is that I have only been able to run once this week. And it was only 2 miles. My left knee has been sore since my 10 miler-last Sunday - worst going up and down stairs and deep squatting. Just some patello-femoral pain, probably triggered by my oh-so-lovely tight ITB. I was able to get through the 2 miles on Wednesday morning, but it was still sore. I know that I could probably get out and push through the 3 that I was planning on doing today, but I know that will just inflame it more. I am so glad that it's taper week, otherwise I would be more nervous about not keeping up with my miles!

I am more than certain that I will be able to finish the race, possible with pain, but hopefully the adrenaline will be in full force and get me through!

Anyone else racing this weekend?

Have a great Memorial Day!!!!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Versatile Blogger Award

Sandy at Sassy Runner Girl tagged me for the Versatile Blogger award. The way it works is that I have to list 7 random facts about myself, and then pass the award on to 15 others. Kind of like a bloggie chain letter. So here are my random facts!

1) I have a fear of snakes. Even if I am out running and see a squished one on the side of the road, I get goosebumps

2) My hubby and I were best friends in college for 3 years before we started dating. We each even dated the other's roommate at one point! When we finally got together, all of our friends were like, "finally!"

3) I have a sweet tooth, but not so much for chocolate or cake or cookies. But give me skittles, frosting, Mike and Ikes, gummy bears, or any sour candy and I will love you

4) I love to travel. Before the little guy was born, hubby and I took a 2-week trip to Europe. My favorite places were the Cinque Terre, Italy, and the Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany. I would LOVE to go back again, and hopefully one day we will have the chance!
Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy

5) I was addicted to Jon and Kate Plus 8 when I was home on maternity leave. I cried when the whole fiasco happened...I can remember being home and having a rough day w/my newborn, and then watching Kate handle 8 kids. "If she can do it, I can do it!", I used to think. So when she fell apart, I was devastated! I'm over it now :)

6) Even though I grew up in upstate NY, I am now a Boston Red Sox Fan. My hubby (then boyfriend) made me pledge allegiance to the Sox before he would give me a ring. No joke.

7) Maybe not so random, but I truly feel blessed to be married to my best friend. He is the most supportive and caring person I know and I wake up each morning feeling lucky. I also am blessed to have a beautiful and healthy son (minus the pink eye he brought home from daycare this week!).

OK, now it's YOUR turn! I know this has been going around for a week or so, so some of you have already posted your 7 random facts. If you haven't been tagged already and are a follower of my blog, consider yourself TAGGED! This means YOU! :)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Check out the newest listing on my ETSY site - a CUSTOM RACE BIB SCRAPBOOK, but this time a BASIC version. Just embellished with scrapbook paper backgrounds for your race bibs, this is a less expensive, no-frills version of the previous scrapbooks I have done. It will hold 10 - 12 bibs, depending on if you use the front and back covers or not. You can see the full listing HERE and place your CUSTOM order if you'd like!

Thanks for looking and enjoy the rest of the week!
Laura Elaine

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Disney Marathon Scrapbook for Amanda!

When Jamie at Running Diva Mom contacted me a month or so ago to have my scrapbooks featured in one of her giveaways, I was very excited and very grateful! I have since made a scrapbook for Jamie's upcoming Madison Marathon (you can see her review for it HERE) and now have finished up a Disney Marathon Weekend Scrapbook for Amanda from Alone in Walt Disney World, the winner of Jamie's giveaway! This Disney scrapbook is so cute, it almost motivates me to want to do that crazy Goofy Challenge!

The book itself is an 8" x 8" bound chipboard album. It is embellished with scrapbook paper, cardstock, Mickey and Friends chipboard tags, and stickers - all with a Disney and running theme. Amanda will be participating in the 2011 Disney Family Fun Run 5k, the Disney Half Marathon, and the Disney Marathon - combining for the Goofy Challenge! There is room in the book for all 3 of her race bibs, room for journaling her finish times, and 11 mats for photos from her amazing weekend.
I am so happy with how this book came out. It is such a nice way to display race bibs and memories from your races that you train so hard for. Another option for a race scrapbook like this is just to have race bibs in it - one on each page. Feel free to contact me via this blog, or through my Etsy site HERE if you are interested in one of these scrapbooks!
First page spread: Family Fun Run 5K - room for pic on the left page; bib on right page:

Second page: Half Marathon! Room on left page for pic and journaling; right page for bib:

Third page: MARATHON! Again, pic and journaling on left; bib on right, with running quote (see following picture):

Close up of "marathon" definition:

Fourth page spread: Goofy! Room for 3 additional photos:

Fifth page spread: 4 mats for additional photos/memories:

Back cover: one more mat for photo:

Thanks for looking!

Laura Elaine

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

RACE REPORT: Running Diva Mom's Virtual 1 Mile Race for Girls on the Run

Stephen and I got ready this morning in our matching tie - die shirts and black pants, and Stephen also had his "Mommy's running partner" shirt on. He is at the stage now when I ask him to "Show me your smile" I get this silly grin with the scrunched-up eyes! Too funny.

The "before" pics.....

In his stroller and ready to go! SMILE Stephen!

We headed out around 8:30 am for our one mile, my first virtual race! My goal was to finish in the 8:00 range. My pace for my past half marathon training has been about 10 minute miles, but lately I have been doing some shorter runs at a 9 to 9:30 pace (3 to 4 miles). I was thinking that somewhere in the 8's would be reasonable, but wasn't really sure what to expect.

I took full advantage of our neighborhood - lots of downhills going away from the house....which I usually dread on my way back UP. But today was different - my plan was to use my little 2 mile out-and-back course, running as fast as I could down the hills for the one mile race, then walk the mile back to the house. I was using today as one of my cross training days for my half.

I felt great the whole way, and of course Stephen did great, since it was just a short ride. When I looked down to stop the timer on the ipod, I was very excited to see 8:06! Very cool.

Our "after" pic back at the house

The "proof!"

Good luck to everyone else who is participating, and THANK YOU to Jamie aka Running Diva Mom for putting the race together! You can check out the other results on her blog here.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Beautiful Day: check. Positive Attitude: check. 9 mile run: CHECK!

Any time that I complete a long run that is a distance that I haven't run since my previous race and/or training, it is a such good feeling. Today was no different!

I woke up to a beautiful blue sky with just a few little puffy clouds, a nice breeze, and a POSITIVE ATTITUDE! I was really looking forward to this run and couldn't wait to get out there on this nice day.

Once I am up to a 5 or 6 mile long run in my training, I like to do a figure-8 loop with my house being the "belly" of the 8. I have a 5 mile out-and-back which entails leaving my neighborhood, and then I can build miles on that 5 by trotting in and out of other neighborhoods along the way. Today I built up to 6 miles by adding one extra neighborhood. Once I was back at the house (the "belly"!), I re-hydrated and grabbed some more GU Chomps that I left in the driveway, and continued along my way. The remaining 3 miles I did in my neighborhood. This is one of my favorite ways to complete a long run because I don't think of it as going out and doing 9 miles. I get the 6 done first, then just have to do my usual 3 mile loop around here that I have done HUNDREDS of times!

The run was a good one and I felt great the whole way. I had hydrated well and decided to bring some nutrition along with me. Like I had mentioned earlier, I used some strawberry GU Chomps. I have used some other chewy-nutrition supplements in the past and wasn't thrilled with them, but had heard great things about the chomps from other bloggers and wanted to give them a try. They tasted great and did the trick - I will definitely be getting more to use for next week's 10 mile training run and for the half in 2 weeks!

Have a great weekend!
Laura Elaine

Friday, May 14, 2010

Baking bread, making scrapbooks, and gearing up for my 9 miler!

Today was a very productive day. This morning I decided that I was going to try Judi's bread recipe that she posted over on her blog, Twelve Fit Feet. Since her granola recipe last week was so good, I had high hopes for the bread as well! My little sou chef and I made the dough and set it aside to rise for an hour. I figured that it was the perfect amount of time to get ready and do a quick 3 miler with the jogging stroller.

(Backing up).....I had a tough run on Wednesday on the treadmill - not sure if it was just an off day, or if it was because I haven't been on the treadmill in a while, but it just wasn't a great run mentally. I really wanted to get in the 3 I had scheduled today, since tomorrow is my long run. I hate to go into a long run with a not-so-good run in the back of my head.

(Back to present!)......So anyways, we get dressed and ready, head outside with sippy cup and 2 trucks in hand, open the garage door, and....the jogger is in the back of hubby's car. At work. Ugh. My first thought was to just jump in the car and go to the Y. BUT, the bread was rising and I REALLY didn't want to get back on that treadmill!

So I called my neighbor and she took the little one while I banged out a quick 3 miles (and felt great!).

We came back home, baked the bread, ran a few errands (including mailing the NYC Marathon Premade Scrapbook pages I had listed on Etsy...sorry to anyone who had their eye on those!) and came back home to try the bread for lunch. IT WAS GREAT!!!! The little one LOVED it and kept asking for more!

Now on to the scrapbooks. I finished up my Race Bib Scrapbook, started a graduation album, which you can see listed on Etsy HERE, and organized the paper and materials that I am going to use on Amanda's album that she won in Running Diva Mom's giveaway.

With such a busy day, I decided that it was worth a post. I am especially proud of the bread and can't wait to eat more tomorrow! I'm going to use it in place of my usual bagel before I hit the streets for my big 9 miler. And I'll leave you with this picture of my little sou chef excitedly waiting for that bread to be done! (Please excuse the whoopie cushion in his hands!!! haha!)

Have a great weekend!

Laura Elaine

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Race Bib Scrapbook!!

I have been excited about this new album and was finally able to start to put it together today!
I have been searching for the best way to display race bibs with a running scrapbook and I found a bound 8" x 8" chipboard album. I decided to be greedy and make this one for ME for a change :) I have a lot of it done already, thanks to a nice long nap today from Stephen, and from some nice "coloring time" earlier this morning. Coloring time with my 20-month-old consists of him emptying out and then filling back up his cup of crayons, an occasional nibble, a frequent "uh-oh" as a crayon tumbles to the ground, and oh yeah - a very occasional scribble in the coloring book :) So cute.
Anyways, I ended up getting a lot more done that I anticipated and am so happy with the results! I was able to finish about 4 -5 pages of pictures and then left the facing pages blank so I can add the bibs (pictures to come!).
If you are interested in having a custom scrapbook created for your race bibs, photos, newspaper clippings, and other memories, please feel free to contact me at laurak1228 at yahoo dot com.
Thanks for reading!
Laura Elaine

Friday, May 7, 2010

Third day of my cold and third day of not running :(

I caught little Stephen's cold and this has now been my 3rd day in a row of not running. If I talk too much, laugh, or start to breathe heavy, I begin to cough uncontrollably! I tried biking yesterday, figuring that at least would get my heart rate up a little but I had to quit after only 3 miles because I was coughing the whole time! Tomorrow I have to work and then we're taking my MIL out for an (early) Mother's Day dinner, so that doesn't look especially promising either. Oh well, at least it is a scale-back week. My long run is only supposed to be a 10K this week and hopefully I will be able to get that in on Sunday morning! It will be a great Mother's Day present to myself :)

Hope all the Mommies enjoy their day!

The pic is last year - my first Mother's Day :)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Baby Boy Scrapbook

Even though I am very excited about the new scrapbooks for running bibs that I am going to start, I had to finish up this baby boy album for my friend first. I LOVE the way it came out - so cute - so I had to share!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Double Ear Infections, A (half) Day Off, and Scrapbooks!

So little Stephen had a rough night the past 2 nights. He has had a little cold, but the past 2 nights he woke up for 1 - 2 hours and was just inconsolable! This is not like my good little sleeper at all! So I called the MD this morning, thinking that perhaps his cold settled into his ears again. Unfortunately, I was right - double ear infections, again. I guess at least it explains our family's lack of sleep the last few nights!

I'm going to go into work late today, at 4. I usually do 11 - 9, so at least I'm still getting a half day in. But what to do during this unplanned nap time today (besides blog!)? Work on some new scrapbooks! I recently found a little scrapbook shop nearby and have been in heaven the past few weeks. They have so much stuff there! I stopped by on the way home from the MD this morning to look for a slightly larger chipboard album to make the running scrapbooks with. I wanted something that would be able to hold the race bibs, but not quite as big as a 12 x 12 album.

I was in luck! They had 8 x 8 bound chipboard albums, made up of 6 pages, so 12 total counting front and back. I am so excited! Get ready to see some cool samples!!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Grafton Gazebo 5 miler (plus 3!) = 8 mile long run!

Grafton, the town next to mine, hosts a yearly 5 mile race the first Sunday of May - the Grafton Gazebo 5-Mile. For one reason or another I have not ever been able to participate for the 4 years that we have lived here. This year was the exception though!
The Grafton Gazebo!
(Photo credit to: Paul Keleher, uploaded from Flickr)
My half marathon training (see the plan I am following here) called for an 8-mile long run this weekend. The start of the race is 2.5 miles from my house, so with a little round-about run DOWN to the start, I was able to make this an 8-miler! (Yay! I didn't have to run back UP my dreaded hill!)

I drove down to pick up my number and t-shirt at 8:30. My friend Katie, who is also running the half with me on Memorial Day weekend, met me at my house around 9 and we were out the door by 9:20. We both average around 9:30 - 10 minute miles, but we wanted to leave a little extra time to get there, use the bathroom, and get over to the start. It was perfect timing! We ran the first 3 miles in just about 30 minutes and only had to stand around for about 3 minutes before we started again!

I knew that the course was going to be hilly and Katie and I can never seem to stop talking when we are together, so I knew this was not going to be a speedy run, which I was fine with. If I can have someone else to run 8 with, I'll go whatever speed I need to! So we were off, running up and down the hills, chatting away, and we finished the 5 miles in 55 minutes and some change.
Here we are rounding the corner to the finish! My little guy was standing there clapping for us - so cute!! :)
So probably the easiest 8 miles I have ever ran (we both agreed on this!) and did it in 1:25 (10:38 pace). Hopefully we can meet up to do our 9 and/or 10 mile runs together before the half!
Ok, the little guy is napping, time to go do some mulch! Enjoy the weekend! :)