Sunday, August 24, 2014

the maine mile

last monday i said "fuck it oh sure, why not" (ya know, trying to watch the mouth around the baby! ha) and submitted to win a free entry into "the maine mile" from jen at Running With The Girls.

as a long(er) distance runner, ive done some mile repeats and sprinting shorter distances here and there during marathon training, but ive never gone out and sprinted an all out mile knowing i could just give it my all because i didnt have to do any sort of repetition or running after! well, as my luck would have it, i won! and promptly figured it was a terrible life decision and just prayed i didnt get hurt.

the race was at 7:30pm (ugh) so i did my scheduled training run in the morning and then spent the day shopping in freeport with the boys. we also got hen his first haircut!

so handsome

i didnt really know how to fuel for this race, so in pure danielle fashion i had half a burrito leftover from dinner friday night, some chips, and hen didnt want his ice cream cone from dairy queen so guess who got to eat that! i really felt like just taking a nap and not going, but i left the house at 6pm and headed to back cove. i got the start/finish mixed up and parked in the wrong spot, ended up running almost 3 miles before the race when i really just wanted to run 2 (and had to steal jens phone to call ty and tell him where to go, since where i sent him was not going to be where we finished).

carrie, wade, ward and i ran to the start to warm up, and then we sat around stretching in the road. eric and sara arrived with about 15 minutes left to go, and then we all warmed up a little more. it was slightly cool but once we were warmed up it felt pretty warm, and there seemed to be a tailwind. woo hoo! right before the race started, the director gave us some rules and thank yous, and he headed to his bike. he told us to follow him for the tangents, and then a lady said "runners on your mark" (this is where i told sara i was going to throw up and i didnt want to do this anymore) and then she blew her bullhorn marking the start of the race.

i took off like someone was chasing me and my life depended on beating every single person out there (spoiler alert: i didnt win the race. i was in fact being chased) i had set my watch to lap at each quarter mile to see those four splits. its funny... i ran this race just like i used to run my 5k's- go out way too fast, blow up and almost die, finish semi fast knowing it was almost done. take note, this is NOT how you should probably run a mile race (and now of course i feel like i should run one again to see if i can run it better. i am not saying run faster. just better. and not so stupid).

lap 1- 0.25 1:23.35 (5:33 pace). oops. like i said, i took off from that starting line. i knew i had speed and all but when i looked down at my watch and saw 5:24 average pace, i wanted to puke. i knew i couldnt (and wouldnt) keep that up for the remainder of the race. so i slowed down. and considered just stopping altogether. there was one girl in front of me at this point, and there was absolutely no chance i was going to catch her unless she fell over and didnt get back up.

lap 2- 0.25 1:36.87 (6:28 pace) well obviously i slowed down a bit too much. this race was painful. i was weaving around the road like i had been drinking but i was just following the people in front of me who were following the biker. maybe he had been drinking! right after the half mile mark another woman passed me looking like she was just out for an easy evening stroll. how do you freaks do this?!

lap 3- 0.25 1:38.68 (6:35 pace). slow death. seriously, why am i here?! but i hear people behind me and i refuse to be passed by anyone with a quarter mile left to go. i can do anything for a quarter mile! suck it up princess, youre almost done! donuts are at the finish line!

lap 4- 0.25 1:32.89 (6:12 pace). weeee yay faster! i heard people almost literally breathing down my neck and i was not going to give up. there was a left hand turn into the park and a slight uphill (barf) and i ran as hard as i could through the finish. as i turned around after finishing i saw sara right behind me! sorry chica, im glad this wasnt another mid winter classic finish for us! hehe.

ok ill admit that this was almost fun. almost. im not entirely sure i would want to do it again, but this was a new experience (automatic PR!) and was fun to have a few friends there. and of course the donuts at the finish from "the holy donut" were great. i didnt have nearly enough of them (my lungs and throat felt like they were going to explode out of my body, and i wasnt sure if i was ready to handle eating quite yet).

great job to all runners and to the directors and volunteers for a fast, flat, well organized inaugural maine mile race! apparently there are talks of another mile race to come in the future... hmmmmmm.

wade and ward coming into the finish super speedy (4:58 & 5:03)

you can almost see the look of death on my face

can we dub them fastest couple in maine?! 
sara and eric cruisin in without breaking a sweat

carrie coming into the finish looking strong and speedy!

(thanks for all the pics, jen!!)

hen was pretty squirmy which made for a blurry pic

top 3 female finishers

the maine mile
6:11 (official time)
3rd female overall
19th out of 45

Friday, August 22, 2014

a (not always typical) day in the life...

there truly is no "typical day" in this house. ty works monday thru friday 8 to 5. i work three days a week (7a-7p), all different days every week (i have my schedule in 6 week blocks, so i know what those days are but they arent really consistent). our parents watch henry in our home on days that i am working (not a weekend), and sometimes tys parents stay overnight so we have help in the am... seriously, not one day is the same.

on a work day for me my day looks like this:

4:00am alarm goes off. i (almost always) hit snooze
4:05am alarm goes off again. i decide whether i really want to run or not (i usually dont and hit snooze again, or in some cases reset my alarm for 5:15). i then lay there thinking about how im not going to get faster or stronger or any closer to boston unless i get out there and run. sometimes i say screw it (not usually though)
4:10am garmin is turned on, laces tied, pink mace in hand, out the door to hit the pavement
4:11am questioning why i dont stay in bed
5:15am back in from running, start coffee, take a shower. get dressed. pack lunch if i didnt pack it the night before. sometimes hen is already up, sometimes he is still asleep
6:15am leave for work
6:40am arrive at work, get report
6:50am - 6:50pm save lives. no big deal.
6:50pm give report
7:15pm leave work
7:40pm arrive home, sometimes hen is awake, sometimes hes already in bed. i may or may not eat dinner (sometimes i eat before i leave work). usually have a beer and head to bed before 8:30

on my off days, things (today) go something like this:

2:18am i wake up to check on hen (and pee... i never woke up while i was pregnant  but now i cant sleep through the night. go figure). i change him ninja mom style with hopes he doesnt wet thru his pjs and sleeps later than 5:15 (his size 5 diaper for sleeping weighs at least 5 pounds in the am if we dont change him overnight, and usually he soaks through all his clothes)

5:57am we start hearing babbles on the monitor. usually im up by now and running but im on call this am for work so i figured id try to get a little more sleep

6:05am ty gets up to take care of hen so i can sleep in. thanks husband!

6:08am chips does a daring leap over duke (who is laying watch at our bedroom door) and she darts across the bed, landing right on my stomach before resting in the window

6:10am guess im awake. and glad i didnt pee the bed. anyone want a cat? ill send her with some snacks

6:22am awake, but still in bed, answering a few texts that came in overnight. can i just stay here all day? i check to see if work called (they didnt) (i leave my phone on silent at night... which is good because of mornings like this the other day...)


6:25am i smell coffee brewing, throw on my sweatpants and zensah calf sleeves, and head downstairs. heres my lovely family:

everyones so excited to see me, clearly. and hen needs longer pants apparently

6:30am we go through multiple rounds of "sit on your bottom please" while hen stands and walks around with his bottle, seemingly ignoring us. its gonna be a long 17 years

"oh hey, did you want me to sit down?"
at least hes cute

6:33am news is on (channel 6). grab my coffee and daily meds

6:37am give hen some banana and make him oatmeal cereal with maple syrup and cinnamon. he eats half the banana and two bites of cereal. we throw a few puffs onto his tray

6:40am breakfast is over when he starts throwing puffs on the floor. i let him out of the high chair and he heads over and starts pushing the cable box power button over and over, then comes over and attempts to climb the coffee table

6:50am let the dog out and grab the laundry i forgot to fold last night

6:52am let the dog in. hens back to pushing the cable box power button

7:00am the today show starts. no surprise, matt lauer has an "exclusive interview" coming up

7:02am i remember to put my phone ringer on incase work calls (they havent)

7:03am i ask hen to bring me some books to read

so excited!

the three he brings me. he has a sophie obsession. i kinda do too

7:10am (the books are pretty short) we head upstairs to watch daddy iron. hen pushes buttons on the radio and baby monitor, walks into the guest room and finds the printer buttons to push

7:15am back downstairs and pushing the cable box button again. he loves watching the tv turn on and off. this drives my batty

7:21am i distract hen by pulling out some blocks and stacking toys for him

7:25am hen gets a little fussy and starts rubbing his eyes. i take him upstairs and put him in his crib

7:30am immediately sleeping with no fuss at all (usually when we put him down for a nap or to sleep at night theres at least a few minutes of crying or fussing before he falls asleep). not a normal nap time (normally nap is closer to 9am), but you do whatever works. i use this time (not knowing how long i have) to finish folding the laundry, take out the trash, take the nail polish off my toes, and clean the downstairs hallway and living room floor (so much dog hair)

7:56am let the dog out (he goes out a few times in the morning but then will sleep most of the afternoon)

7:57am hen starts talking on the monitor. maybe he just needed a little tiny nap? ill let this go for a bit before going to get him

8:00am hen is quiet and i decide i should take a shower just incase work calls (they dont) and i need to quickly get my mom over here and head in. it used to be so easy when i could just put hen in the rock and play and take a shower, knowing he would be there when i got out. now, not so much. i remember while in the shower that i had let the dog out im sure ill get out of the shower to him barking his head off at nothing and hen screaming to get out of bed

8:05am quick shower over, hens quiet, dukes quiet/just laying on the deck

8:11am getting some more coffee, watching big brother from last night

8:23am i guess breakfast would be a good idea... bowl of cheerios with a banana

8:53am i start transfering pics from my phone to computer and backing them up (my lap top is getting old and wont hold battery charge and im getting nervous one day it just wont start and ill lose all my pics). hen is still asleep

9:01am i get an email about maines half price online outlet selling $18 to "the holy donut" for $9. at the same time, i get a text from the bff about a "great pumpkin race" where you eat one piece of pie before running a mile... 3 pieces of pie, 3 miles. i send her the link to the donut certificate. we love food

9:30am hen is still sleeping. i check to make sure hes breathing (he is). bff sends me a text that the 40 gift certificates to the holy donut sold out in 3 seconds and she missed it. apparently people love donuts around here! (and shes pissed)

10:30am henry finally wakes up and he is SO happy! we play around in his room for a little while (changing his clothes and his diaper take forever!)

11:00am we finally get clothed and head downstairs for lunch! hen eats half a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, two strawberries, and a few cinnamon graham bunnies and some white cran peach juice. (and instead of jelly i actually spread some of his earths best apple peach oatmeal pouch on the other half of the bread before folding it. he didnt notice the difference, but it was much messier than jelly!) mom has some ham and cheese roll ups and cous cous with cranberries & almonds

11:35am out for a walk and then playing on the porch and in the plants/under the deck til grammy arrives. hen loves throwing all of the water table toys off the deck and then going to get them from underneath. he also tries to eat rocks. yum

clearly someones totally into the walk. busy making important calls on his phone. cant be bothered

but he loves being outside, throwing his toys, climbing down stairs, and retrieving the thrown toys

1:00pm grammy stays with hen while mommy goes to run some errands. first up, i stop at dairy queen to pick up bff and her son who got caught biking in the rain!

1:30pm arrive at the gym. run a few miles, did my lower ab routine/back exercises from physical therapy, snuck in a loser gym selfie. because im a loser. no shame

3:15pm down for afternoon nap after an 8oz milk "ba" (bottle)

3:25pm realized im still watching curious george

3:30pm make a 2nd lunch for myself (half a box of spongebob squarepants mac and cheese and half an avacado, leftover coffee with ice. iced coffee! picture of health here, folks)

3:50pm sitting at the table to do some stuff on the computer and one of the guys outside working on the house across the street from us just backed his truck into the other guys truck. whoops. i play around with pics for this blog on pic monkey, listening to youtube videos playing of whitney houston, celine dion and various acapella groups. its just what i do

4:25pm hen starts fussing a little on the monitor but it doesnt last. ty calls asking if i want pizza for dinner (duh) and i ask him if he wants to take hen to dairy queen after dinner (obviously he says yes). gonna be a good night on everett street!

5:15pm the UPS truck stops right in front of my house, honks the horn three times, makes duke go crazy with barks and i meet him on the porch so he wont ring the doorbell. what is with these people? and he honks as he drives away too! i should make a door sign (yes, the ups guy is a regular at our house. yay online shopping!) related: my new oiselle sports bra finally arrived! i think im officially ready for marathon #10!

5:20pm hen starts to fuss awake. he isnt as playful up in his room and throws his arms up to be picked up and taken downstairs

5:40pm dad comes home and we get set up for dinner (mac and cheese, avacado, and red grapes for hen, pizza for mom and dad!) hen rubs his eyes, wont eat much, throws most of it on the floor, and refuses juice. how can you be tired after taking a 3 hour am nap and a 2 hour pm nap!?

but we get him to smile playing silly games with the cat door

6:04pm dad and hen sit down in the living room to watch a few simple songs videos, and hen takes an 8oz milk bottle

6:20pm ty and i attempt to have dinner, which results in one of us chasing hen away from the cable box, the other chasing him away from climbing on the coffee table after being shooed away from the cable box, meanwhile trying to keep duke under control. dinner time is a fun time in the sterling household. can i have a beer yet?

6:40pm we decide to take a family walk instead of going to dairy queen. hen still seems tired but probably needs a little bit more food when we get back before bed

7:15pm we return and run around the front yard for a few minutes before heading inside, eating a few strawberries, then heading upstairs to brush teeth

7:30pm hen is in his pjs (2T... this kid is huge!), diaper changed (luckily its not much of a wrestling match because he is sleepy), nighttime lotion song is sung, we read "llama llama red pajama", say goodnight to all the animals, and he goes in his crib. soothing sounds sheep is turned on, mobile wound up, lights out, walk out the door

7:32pm not a sound

7:35pm i come downstairs to find ty watching cops. i join him

8:00pm were upstairs, brushing our teeth, getting ready for bed. i dont have to work (or run!) tomorrow so i dont set my alarm. we browse through "the chive" for a few minutes, and shut the lights off. goodnight! sure it might still be light out (not for much longer!) but were usually so exhausted. feels good to get more sleep than to just be up at night watching pointless tv.

so thats a "typical" day in the sterling household!

Friday, August 15, 2014

bradbury breaker 9 mile trail race

there have been a few times this year (ok, and maybe a few other years too) that i have questioned my life choices (and sanity). things always usually look good on paper, right? take for example signing up for three trail races of shorter(ish) distances for only $20 each and in the end you get a "bradbury bad ass" hoodie! no brainer, obviously. 

until the day of the race.

now really, to be honest, these life choices i speak of are truly 100% mine. no one is forcing me to do anything against my will. the bradbury 6 mile trail race is great and not really hilly and a lot of fun... when you dont run 17 miles the day before. and the bradbury 9 mile trail run is actually really awesome and beautiful (and tough, but still really really awesome).... when you dont run 20 miles the day before. i really like running. and making bad decisions. i vow to never do this race series ever again during the heart of marathon training! which means no more fall marathons. cuz these races are the best!

my other race partner in crime, michelle, texted me while on my way to the mountain on race day morning. we discussed going for donuts instead of running, how my legs felt like lead i make terrible life choices and i should just quit running all together. but that obviously didnt happen. 

we met up with jim before hitting up the outhouses before the race started, and saw at a nearby picnic area they were setting up for a birthday party! all i could think about was eating cake. and we were going to pass the picnic area twice on the run... this was my motivation. seriously. mmmmm cake.

michelle, jim, me

we lined up at the start, listened to some pre race items, and we were off! starting out was a bit rusty, but my legs somehow sucked it up and loosened up.

mile 1 11:51

yeah, totally loose. but its trails and there are rocks and roots and its not the road and i cant be fast so whatever.

mile 2 13:37
mile 3 16:41

the next two miles werent a piece of cake either (see what i did there? still no cake either. boooo). and during mile 3 was our first trip to the top of the mountain. you literally couldnt run up, it was so steep. but michelle and i had fun and obviously took some sweet selfies at the top.

hiking up the mountain

are you gonna throw up, michelle?

it was also at the top of the first climb that we joined up with catherine (kathryn? im too lazy to look up the results). she had heard me tell my friend jamie (volunteering at the top of the mountain) that i was never going to train for a marathon again (im a liar) and catherine asked what marathon i was training for. we talked about chicago for a while and her experience at the nyc marathon (they make a video of you during that race! it sounds so cool, i hope chicago does that too! its so that people dont cheat, which is so awful, but the idea of seeing you run at certain spots is really neat). 

mile 4 13:03
mile 5 13:15
mile 6 14:17

we hit the summit again during mile 7, all three of us looking a little worse for wear. coming through the picnic area i stopped to say hi to rebecca and her new little baby boy holden- so tiny and cute! i just wanted to really stay with them and not head out for more of the hunger games (as we had decided to call it in the woods), and i was also secretly hoping rebecca would steal me some cake. but alas, we all grabbed a cup of water from the aid station and headed out to finish up the race. the downhills were almost just as hard as the uphills, having to brace yourself and avoid a tuck and roll maneuver. michelle gave us a bit of comic relief when she would show off her stallion like prancing over some of the roots. whatever it takes to get you through, right?

the three of us ran together for the remainder of the race, until the very end where michelle points out nicely in her blog that i took off and left them behind to tend to a girl with a hurting knee. who also blew away from them at the finish line. i was trying to pass the girl in front of me because i thought she was in my age group. apparently even on tired legs (33 mile weekend/57 mile week), i still have a little oomph.

mile 7 17:49
mile 8 12:51
mile 9 10:09

post race selfies a bit better than mid race ones

we all grabbed a few cookies and other various baked goods (looooove this aspect of trail races, obviously...sad there was no watermelon left though!) and watched for jim to finish. he came through the finish line bleeding from his head- i thought he had smacked a horsefly or something, but it turns out he ran into a tree! (hes ok!) trail running is no joke, but we all definitely had a ton of fun. id say im looking forward to the next/last race of the series (and getting my "bad ass" hoodie!) but in all reality, my legs are bound to be shot and it is most likely going to be a huge sufferfest. yay.

bradbury mountain breaker
9 mile trail race
106 out of 155
22nd in race series out of 56 females

**id also like to give a little shout out to marianna henry... she is the sister of a good friend i work with and apparently she was too scared busy to introduce herself last week. im very good at internet stalking and i know what she looks like now and will be seeking her out at the 12 miler and most likely running with her for the 3 hours as we suffer through the trails. get ready to learn everything you never wanted to know all about me, marianna! hehe

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

july recap + beach to beacon 10k

july miles

# of runs/actual miles scheduled:

# of runs i missed and just said oh well. f it. running sucks. i quit. peace out chicago:
3 (i guess it doesnt make me look sooooo bad and loser-ish/dramatic now that i write it down)
(also note: im back to not hating running and still going to chicago. incase there was any doubt)

# of miles on treadmill:
8. humidity can seriously just kiss my butt.

highest weekly mileage

i tried vanilla gu and didnt die or puke. ill probably never use it again though.

bradbury scuffle 6 mile trail race

july was pretty boring, so here are some cute hen pics:

checking out his new baby cousin

"uh henry, dont you know we dont wear shoes on the couch?"

beach to beacon 10k recap

last weekends beach to beacon 10k once again proved to be a great race from start to finish. registration was way back in march, and it sold out in 4 minutes and 32 seconds... 5 seconds slower than this years winners average pace per mile for the race (Bedan Karoki Muchiri, 23 years old from Kenya, finishing time of 27:37 pace 4:27.

with close to 7,000 people running the 6.2 mile race along a small coastal new england town, it would seem like things would be very hectic. but over the past 17 years, Joan Benoit Samuelson and her team (now joined by Boston Marathon race director Dave McGillivray) have made this one of the most organized and well respected races in the world. and if you have never run it... what are you waiting for?!

i woke up saturday not feeling like i wanted to race. or really run at all actually. thats how i have been lately, mileage for the week leading up to the race totaling a whopping 13 miles. not quite what peak marathon training looks like. but i had gotten a sweet package in the mail friday (great timing!) and figured id give it a shot (thanks again, row!)

great to have good friends when your racing shoe stops being made

what a difference a year makes! and ty sure loves orange

kim, jason, ty, me, jamie, ali

we packed up hen and headed over to my parents house a little earlier than we did last year to ensure we made it before they closed the roads. we were there in plenty of time, a few friends met us over there, and we drove up to the start to park in the field and warm up a bit/wait in the bathroom line before the race. the air was cool temperature wise, but it was starting to get humid. it was looking like it might rain as well, which actually would have been welcomed (but it didnt rain, so just the humidity. yay).

my plan was to try to go out at about a 7:10/7:15 pace, but getting to the self seeded area proved to be very difficult. my mouth felt so dry but luckily they had tables of water cups lined up near the start line so i grabbed one and sipped on it while trying to make my way through the crowd of people. i eventually ended up just after the 9:00 min/mile sign, and really couldnt go any further. i was nervous about having to weave in and out of people but it was just so packed. my friend betsy ended up finding me in the crowd and we chatted until the race started. i think they started the race a few minutes later than planned, and it was stop and go for a few minutes before the crowd opened up and we were off. slight uphill for about a half mile and then straight away until mile 2.

mile 1: 7:14

i stayed fairly close to the middle/right of the road, and got to the first water stop at mile 1 rather quickly. i was already sweating pretty bad so i grabbed a water, drank half of it and dumped the rest down my back. there were lots of people lining the sides of the road as usual, and i didnt wear my headphones and just took in the crowd cheers.

mile 2: 7:19

from mile 2 to 3 its slightly downhill and shaded, but it was still very humid. the crowds were loud and enthusiastic, which was great but i wasnt feeling all that good. i knew i was running pretty fast and just hoped i could hang on for the next 4 miles, knowing what the last mile was like (up, ugh).

mile 3: 7:29

for about a half mile leading to the mile 3 marker is a pretty steady uphill climb. its in the shade which is nice, but it was still very humid and there are tons of people around you. a water stop is right before the mile 3 mark, and i ended up walking through it, drinking a cup of water and again throwing one on my forehead and back of my neck. i should have brought my handheld.

mile 4: 7:10

turning onto rt 77 after the mile 3 and 3.1 signs is one of my favorite parts of the race. you almost forget your running during this stretch. the streets are lined with spectators, everyones cheering that youre halfway there (and if you stop and think about it, the winners are already done! well usually theyre done.... not this year, i ran a little faster this year). this is the center of town and they line firetrucks out with a huge flag, there is music, people have water hoses... its just like a big party. and as you turn right onto shore road for the last 2.5 mile stretch, the crowd just gets you pumped up. its also slightly downhill, which is a nice relief coming off the mile 3 hill. shortly before the mile 4 sign i could hear a roar up ahead, and as i got closer to the water stop i realized it was the volunteers at/around the water stop. they were LOUD! it was great, and clearly helped me run faster (this was my fastest mile).

mile 5: 7:18

from mile 4 to 5 is pretty downhill/flat. i probably ran mile 4 too fast and didnt have much left to give, and still knew i had a really hard last mile to get through before the finish. during this mile is a very scenic spot where its just you on the road and the atlantic ocean. gorgeous. another water stop right around mile 5, more water for my neck. i was drenched, but feeling ok at this point (yet at the same time ready for the race to be done). this is a very fast course and it feels like you blink and youre at mile 5.

mile 6: 7:31

the last mile of this race is tough. really tough. up a hill, then down. and up another hill. and another. and as you run into fort williams park, one last steep hill hits you right when youre ready to throw in the towel (i was at least). but like all of the other miles along this course, the crowd helps push you. no one lets you quit on this course, and its an amazing feeling when you hear your name being called out (love that your name is on the bib!) that last stretch seems like it takes forever, but i gave it all i had and crossed that line with a huge smile on my face, throwing my hands up, realizing i ran this course the fastest i ever have before.

last 0.27 miles: 1:39 (6:06 pace)

but better than my own finish was the overall womens race... Shalane knew an american woman had never won this race, and she clearly gave it all she had right to the very end. step for step.

winner Gemma Steel from the UK in 31:26.7 (5:04 pace)
Shalane Flanagan 31:27.0

a 10k with Meb, Joanie, Gemma and Shalane... nothin like that feeling

i found leslie after the race and she snapped this gem, then we went and got some food at the hannaford tents and waited in the lines for the shuttles back to where we parked. overall a really great day!

beach to beacon 10k
official time: 45:38
806th out of 6490 runners
23rd out of 497 F30-34 age group