Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Joggermom Marathon: Complete!

All Done!

The toddler and I completed our BOB marathon tonight with our 7th run. Yipee! Above, she models proper post-marathon re-hydration =)

Ready to get this race finished!

Our run tonight was not a very long run, but was just what we needed to reach our goal. The toddler wasn't up for much running; I don't blame her after Sunday's six-miler. So, we headed straight for a local park where she could get busy playing.

I'm so glad that we completed our Joggermom Marathon miles with the jogging stroller. It really motivated us to get out there more together and, as a result, we had some beautiful, fun-filled outings that otherwise would have been just boring car trips. Perhaps we can make this a monthly goal. We'll see how the pregnancy goes!

Joggermom Marathon Run 7

Race medal!
All Joggermom Marathon Runs: run 1, run 2, run 3, run 4, run 5, run 6, run 7.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Joggermom Marathon: Part 6

Today DH had his first run ever over the 1/2 marathon distance, 14 miles. He's training for the San Francisco Marathon in July (more to come on that)! To celebrate his big run, the toddler and I met him for the last six miles along the Bay Trail.

The toddler was a trooper, putting up with such a long (for her) run in the stroller. I was very tempted to go the extra mile we need to finish our marathon, but she was ready to be done =) One more run and we should be there!

Re-hydrating together after the long run

Mommy looks like she ran 14 miles, but she only did 6 =)

Joggermom Marathon Run 6

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Joggermom Marathon: Part 5

This morning we headed out for a BOB run on our way to daycare. I took a long route (hoped it would be longer!) but headed back to our destination when it was clear that the toddler was ready to get her morning play session going =) Just a few more runs and we should be done!

Joggermom Marathon Run 5

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Pasadena Half Marathon Race Report

Last weekend DH and I had a wonderful time running the Pasadena Half Marathon!

Last year, DH was a resident adviser at Avery, a Caltech Dorm, and we ran a training group together for a group of undergraduates to prepare for the 2011 half marathon. Due to a wedding, we weren't able to run the actual race ourselves. So, we promised to come back and run it with them in 2012. Little did I know when I made that promise that I'd be 6 months pregnant. I am so glad that we made that commitment though, because it served to motivate me to keep running a lot and complete a half marathon at 27 weeks pregnant; something I probably wouldn't have done without the extra support. Thanks, guys!

The whole event really couldn't have gone smoother. I love small(er) marathons for that. Plus, we really made things easy on ourselves by staying at a hotel, the Saga Motor Hotel, which is located right at the start/finish line. The hotel even let us use their conference room, free of charge, to host a little pre-race breakfast with our group!

Before; all ready to run

After; happy to be done!*

I think my running will scale back a bit now, though I hope to keep a weekly 10 miler in there for a bit longer. We'll see how it goes =)

For any local runners who are interested, here's a review of the actual event:

Race Review: Again, this is a small(er), mostly local race so expectations should be set accordingly. There were some great aspects to this year's race (the 4th running) and some areas that could use some improvement.

  • Excellent coarse support: Water stations at roughly 2 mile intervals were all well stocked with water, Ultima, and friendly volunteers.
  • Traffic management: Major intersections were well staffed with police officers and lane/road closings were done appropriately for the volume of runners at each point along the course. I didn't feel like there were any bottlenecks or overcrowding anywhere along the way.
  • Course route improved: The course was tweaked this year in a very good way. Some of the North/South (uphill/downhill) out-and-backs were replaced with a great out-and-back across the Colorado St. Bridge. One of Pasadena's most noticeable landmarks, running across this bridge was a great addition! Plus, because the course goes under this bridge a few miles later, we were treated to a glimpse of the super-speed runners ahead of us =)
  • Very convenient: I prefer small events over large ones for this very reason!
  • Inconvenient and disappointing Expo: I didn't go to the expo myself (DH did the pickup for us) but from what I hear it was a real let down over past years. The first three years the expo was at the Pasadena Convention Center; a nice space that's easy to get to with lots of room, facilities and, as it's indoors, shade. For some unknown reason, this year's expo was at the Santa Anita Park. While not terribly far away, it's in another town so that was inconvenient for our group of students. Everyone estimated that there were only about half as many vendors as years past. Also, because it was held in the infield of the park, there was no shade and everyone came away with sun burn. Not a good idea to have runners baking out in the sun the day before an endurance event! The race organizers billed this new location as an improvement, but I think it was a big fail.
  • Absolutely NO COURSE ENTERTAINMENT?!? What happened here? In past years there was some music and bands positioned at strategic points along the course. The limited fan support is to be expected and is not a big deal. However, the organizers didn't have a single high school band or even a guy with a boom box, anywhere. The local Lululemon store along the course had some staffers out dancing and playing music and one church along the course was playing their sound system loud. That's it. There area lot of hills on this course and it sure would have been nice to have a band or two on them to help keep things peppy.
  • No additional course support. Past years had some misting stations on the large hills and other nice perks. None of that was present this year.
  • Not enough on-course porta-potties. The few that were out there always had lines, through the whole race. I finally gave up finding one w/ out a line and took a 5-min pit stop standing in line around mile 9; very frustrating.
While my 'con' list is longer then my 'pro', that's just because it's easy to be a critic =) Overall, I rate this as a wonderful event that I definitely recommend to local runners. I'm sad that we likely won't ever do this event again, since we're moving back East in a few months.
* Don't worry, everyone finished and we didn't lose five people; we just couldn't find everyone for a post-race picture because some folks finished too far ahead of us. I blame the baby bump =)

Monday, May 21, 2012

First vs. Second Pregnancy: The Second Trimester

We had a great run this past weekend. Check back for a Pasadena Half Marathon race report once I get some pictures =)

Unfortunately, this last week was also the end of the second trimester. Of course, I'm thrilled to be that much closer to my new baby girl. The energy and relative comfort that comes with the second trimester, though, is soon to be replaced by the obnoxious discomfort that is the third. Oh well, only three months to go!

Here's part two of my first/second pregnancy recap. If you missed part 1, you can find it here.

Month 4

Month 5

Month 6

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Joggermom Marathon: Part 4

This morning I was woken up by an extremely painful cramp (is there any other kind?) in my right calf and foot. Ugh, after writhing in pain for what seemed like forever (aka 10 minutes) I was finally able to get up and proceed with the morning. I've been hobbling around and cramping throughout the day, though. Have I mentioned that I hate pregnancy?

So, still a bit gimpy, I was going to scrap this evening's run. However, we needed to get some twine (to hang a piƱata, fun times ahead!) before heading out for a weekend trip tomorrow. So, we set out on a quick jog to Home Depot as our 4th BOB run. Here's my passenger chilling during our pit-stop:

Riding in style! (you can see why I haven't removed the car seat bar!)

We're past the half marathon mark, yay! It's a good thing, too, since this weekend will be busy with the Pasadena Half Marathon and we won't be getting any BOB runs in. I have my fingers crossed for a good (and by that I mean completed slowly with minimal pit stops!) half marathon this weekend. Something tells me that, at 27 weeks pregnant, this will be my last half marathon for awhile!

Joggermom Marathon Run 4

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Joggermom Marathon: Part 3

Today I got a wonderful surprise, an unexpected afternoon with the toddler! Unfortunately, it's because her daycare provider was sick, but I'll take extra time with the little miss however I can get it =)

Naturally, we seized the opportunity for a nice afternoon run and park-visiting session. We drove two miles to the waterfront and then headed out on the East Bay section of the Bay Trail. This trail is definitely one of my favorite things about living in the East Bay. On most days you're treated to beautiful Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco views. Even though today was a bit too hazy for that, it was still sunny and beautiful. Check out these pictures:

Wonderful Biking/Running Path (how do you like the shoes she insisted on wearing? =))

Beautiful views of the bay...

...and of the marshland along the waterfront

Plus, a tired toddler chilling in the stroller is always good!*

We ran two miles North to a nice little park near the Richmond Marina. There, we had a busy, fun-filled play session. It was very windy, as it often is near the water, but that didn't hamper our enjoyment any. In fact, the wind practically pushed the stroller home for me!

We're starting to close in on the half marathon mark! Twelve miles and counting =)

Joggermom Marathon Run 3

*Notice the just-finished sucker stick in her hand? Dum-Dums are worth their weight in gold when it come to getting a run in!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Joggermom Marathon: Part 2

Tonight the toddler and I headed out for installment #2 of our Joggermom Marathon. Again, we're trying to only use BOB stroller miles towards our marathon!

Ready to 'Race'

 My little passenger was more interested in her race number than the run itself. Not surprisingly, the race number (and her socks & shoes) didn't survive the run intact. No one was left behind though =)

All Done 

Oh yeah, that's some running mama sexiness right there. I'm back to wearing the support belt this week (26 weeks preggo). With pregnancy #1 I made it past 30 weeks before I needed some extra 'help'. Sigh, I hate preggo running. At least there are fun little events like this one to help keep me motivated!

Joggermom Marathon Run 2

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Joggermom Marathon: Part 1

This evening I finally got to my first BOB run of the month for the Joggermom marathon. We had a beautiful evening run. Little miss especially liked it because we stopped half way through the run for some ice cream =)  All runs should be like that!

Joggermom Marathon Run 1

Who knows how many runs this will take us? Likely at least 6 or 7, since it's a miracle when I can get her to sit happily through 4 miles =)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Joggermom Virtual Marathon - sign me up!

Joggermom is hosting a virtual marathon during the month of May. It's an easy concept; run 26.2 miles anytime, in any increments, during the month of May and you're a winner! What an awesome idea! Why haven't I heard of this before? (thanks, JillWillRun!)

I have done virtual races in the past and always loved them. They're cheap ($15 in this case), provide extra motivation to get out there and often, as with this race, come with an entry to receive awesome prizes!

Any miles run during the month of May count. Since I'm still running well (17 miles May 1-3 already!) I've decided to 'up-the-ante' for myself and attempt to only use BOB Stroller miles to complete my virtual marathon. So, baby toddler girl and I will be doing a whole marathon together! (in bits and pieces, of course =)).

As I mentioned, this race comes with a chance to win some awesome prizes, including...
  • B.O.B. Revolution SE Single Stroller ($449.00 value)
  • Baby Jogger FIT Single Stroller ($299.99 value)
  • Mountain Buggy Terrain Single Stroller ($499.99 value)
  • Bumbleride Indie Movement Single Stroller (529.99 value)
...and much more. Since you need proof of having covered the distance to be eligible for the prizes, expect many blog posts over the next month showing the progress made by the toddler and me!