Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Size does matter sometimes and the "Walking" police

Is it August yet?....No?  Crap....
I love my boys more than anything.  I love them no matter what.
I do not LIKE them when they fight over the air that they breath.  It is driving me nuts.  They are just 18 mos apart so they should get along perfectly...yeah not so much.  My older one has decided he is his brother's third parent and my younger son is not having it.  His solution?  To punch his older brother on the nose.  I cannot say I blame him for being mad but I am not a fan of the hitting part.

They are taking swimming lessons this week.  I got a really good deal for private lessons, it was buy one get one free.  Cannot pass on that.  Is it me or all swimming instructors are good looking guys...not that I am complaining or anything :)  It is like they are coming out of GQ Magazine or something!

I am heading back home in a few weeks and I went shopping for clothes.  Now I hate shopping.  I had to go because most of my clothes are too big again.  I am OK spending $ on running clothes because I use them every day but regular clothes...it does not matter much to me if they are old or too big but I do want to look OK while I am visiting my family and friends..I  do have some pride in me! :)  Went to Old Navy and tried on some summer skirts. 

 I first picked up the MEDIUM size..put it on and it fell on the floor!  So I went down to Small.  It was OK but it looked funny so I tried the XS just to see and that is the one I bought!  Extra Small.  That is crazy for me.  I used to wear XL..sometimes even XXL.  I would never had to try a smaller size on..it was always a bigger size.  This skirts may be made bigger than normal..I don't know.   XS is not my "normal" size.  It is when I buy clothes like that, that I realized I have come a long way from being the sad gal who was sitting on the sofa with 2 babies letting herself go not knowing how to get back to who she was before being a mom.  Because of that, that day size did matter.   It reminds me that I  am healthier, stronger and happier.  Not because I have a skirt with a XS tag in my closet...because of what it represents. 

Speaking of skirt, I have a Gym Girl Ultra Skirt by Skirt Sports for sale.
It is black and size MEDIUM.  I wore it 3 times.  Paid $65 plus tx, selling for $30 including shipping.  If you are interested let me know. 



Just one more run to do before my 10th half marathon!
Have you ever ran a race where walking is forbidden?  It is at that race. 
Not just no walkers allowed.  NO WALKING.
They even have a "walking police" on the course; a car who will stop and "evaluate" situations where runners are walking on the course.
On the website it did say no walkers allowed and that runners must keep a 13 min / mile pace but it did not say no walking allowed for water or for people who use the Galloway method.  Now some people are freaking out on the Facebook page and are not happy to learn they actually have to run the whole thing.
This is a downhill race and I think I understand the no walking rule, it would be dangerous to have many people stop to walk while others are flying down the hill.  I am pretty sure they will not pull the people who are stopping to grab water at the stations out of the race.  This should be interesting.   Have you ever ran a race with a no walking policy?


Monday, May 28, 2012

Running Downhill HURTS

Hope you are all having a good Memorial Day weekend.
I have decided to sip the race I was thinking of doing today and follow my plan for my half marathon.  

I am happy I did not sign up for the 5k or 10k today because I am in a lot of pain.  It hurts to walk and go down the stairs and bathroom trips are hell.   Why is that? 
You would think I ran a half marathon this weekend...but no....
I had the brilliant idea to prepare for my upcoming downhill half  marathon by doing a part of my last long run downhill.  YEP.....and now I am paying for it.

It's not that it was not a good idea...but the timing is not good because now I have to recover from this in time for my race.

I asked Bill to drive me on top of a hill (for the locals Haven avenue) and run down for the first part of my long run.   Well I now know for sure that the day after my half I will be in pain because the hill for the race is more like a mountain!  It will be almost 4 times longer than what I did Saturday. 

Yesterday I forced myself to go for a 4 miles recovery run even if each step was painful.  I am using the foam roll and I am wearing my compression socks since Saturday.  I will go for a 4 miler today also and tomorrow will be rest.  I will have 2 more short runs this week, rest Friday and Saturday is race day.

This will be my 10th half marathon!  I cannot believe it.  I still remember being so nervous to sign up for my first one.  This is my last one until Long Beach in October.  I don't run half marathons in the heat here.  I will run 5k and 10K and prepare for Hood to Coast this summer.

Speaking of HTC...I booked my flights over the weekend!  Shopping for flights is so frustrating.   The first time I looked was the day they announced who made the team.  I had found the perfect flights..both direct and at good hours.  I decided to wait to see if the price would go down....and it did NOT...it increased by almost $100!  Grrrrr.   So now I have a different schedule with a lay over on the way back...and I could not be happier to have  almost 3 hours between my flights because it will be in Phoenix ARIZONA!

Part 2 of this,  coming up August 26 2012:


Thursday, May 24, 2012

12 years

12 years ago today I left my hometown, Quebec city and I moved to California to start a new chapter of my life.  It was hard to leave my country and my family and friends.  I am still homesick after 12 years.   BUT I would not have my family if I had not taken this huge leap of faith.  Even though it is still hard for me to be living here I have never regretted my decision. 
Have you heard of this?


The fabulous gals over at Another Mother Runner are starting this new challenge for the month of June.  You can find all the info HERE.  I am in of course!!  How can I not be..some of you may recognize the picture on the right.  It is me at my very first half marathon.  Remember this?


Me and Rick aka Magnum PI finishing the Carlsbad half marathon.  Talk about ruining my first big photo finish.. right?!

Today was the last day of school for my boys.  I now have a 1st and 3rd grader!  Will had to say goodbye to his beloved teacher after having her for 2 years and that was sad...5 kids had her for 1st and 2nd grade and they were all in tears.   We found out today that Jonathan was choosen to be in a 1-2 combo next year and he gets to have that same teacher.  I could not be happier about this.   I appreciate great teachers like her.  The boys brought home excellent report cards and we now have more LEGO pieces in our house!!!

Will's last day! 
(4th from right back row in blue shirt)



Jonathan's Last Day!






Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Awards and Idol

If you are allergic to parental bragging posts.  Skip the first part of this one.  
The 2012 school year is almost over.  I cannot believe it. 
On Thursday I will have a 1st grader and a 3rd grader!
Today was the 3rd trimester awards at the school.  My younger son is in Kindergarten and our school does not do awards for K students and it is perfectly fine with me since they don't do a lot of testing in that grade and they go for 1/2 the day also.  So for Jonathan we are waiting for the report card to see how he did this trimester :)  So the awards ceremony was for Will who is finishing 2nd grade.  I am proud of both my sons.  Will so far has been a fantastic student.  A top of the class kind of student.  He puts a lot of pressure on himself, he wants to do well and he does.  I am strict with my kids.  School and good manners are #1.  I always tell them that being a student is their job and that it is very important to take it seriously.   My hope is that Jonathan will follow Will's example! 
Today Will received the award for the TOP READER of the 2nd grade.  This is the second year in a row that he gets that award.   To receive any kind of reading award the students have to read books and take quizzes on each of them and get a score of 80% or better and they get between 0.5 to 2 points for each quizz depending on how difficult the books are.  Most of the winners today have between 15 and 45 pts for the year.  2 girls, who are actually twins, have 50 pts and Will has 161.2 pts!

Here is a short clip of the Principal giving Will his award:

video

He also received the Perfect Attendance Award.  I am not a huge fan of this one.  I am happy that he got it because it means that he was healthy all year.  What I don't like is that some parents will send their kids to school when they are sick just to get this award.  I think it is not OK to do that.  This is the second year in a row that Will gets this one also.  Last time he missed school was in October of  Kindegarten year.

Only 2 half days and school will be over!




Will and his FANTASTIC teacher!
She is the best, we were so lucky to have her for 2 yrs.


Running:
Not much to report other than the heat is here to stay and it does change my runs.  Yesterday it was over 80 before 9 am.  I have to be careful with the heat, there is no shade where I run and I tend to get dehydrated VERY easily.  Next week is taper and I will be inside on the treadmill for the whole week.  I am hoping for a cool morning on June 2nd or even rain!

I got an email for a local race on Memorial Day.  It is for the Red Cross.  They have 5 and 10k and kids races.  I have a really hard time resisting signing up for this one.  Maybe it is not the smartest thing to do the Monday before my Saturday Half Marathon?   Maybe I should just sign the boys up for this one and skip it...what would you do?

Tonight is the American Idol finale!  Are you watching Idol? Who do you like?  I called the winner on Day 1 of the audition and he is still in it to win it like Randy would say!!!
He is the only one I really liked this season and I hope he wins!  I am so over those judges who stand up and clap only for the ones who scream the loudest.
This is who should win: Phillip Phillips!!!!



Saturday, May 19, 2012

ELEVEN!

11 years ago today I put on a white dress.
I said "I Do"
but not "I will obey" :)  (my Mother in law did not approve but I did not care much)


Father-Daughter Dance


Last year I tried my dress for fun and it does not fit anymore.


Most weddings have something that goes wrong and mine was no exceptions. 
Let's see...first my father in law's wife showed up dressed in white....yep she did!
Then our wedding photographer was late.  He showed up AFTER I had walked down the aisle.  And worst the guy who showed up was NOT the photographer that I had hired, it was some guy I had never met.  When we got our pictures back,  I realized that on all the pictures he took of us at the park, we could see the restrooms in the background!  Can I tell you I was not happy....Now I can kind of laugh about it but 11 yrs ago I was pretty mad.

Went for 10 miles run this morning.  I was nervous about this one because last week my long run was terrible.  I am happy to say that this week was much better.  I wore my new skirt and I love it!  (anyone need a black Sports Skirt Ultra in medium? I got one for sale :))

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Running Skirt Maybe

Thank you to everyone who left a comment on my last post.  Your kindness really touched me.  This has been a difficult week for my family and it is very hard for me to be far away in times like this.  I wish I could be there to help my mom.  Out of the 16 of them only 5 are still alive.   It is very sad.  Event like this reminds us how short life is and how we should truly make the best out of every day we have.

Running
It looks like the sun and heat are here to stay. 
I now have to carry water for every run.
I think I found a running skirt that I will like!

It is from Sports Skirt.  I bought on sale on Amazon. 
It is black and white print called vinyl in size small.
It is their triathlon skirt called "cover up"
It has no shorts and I love that.  I will wear it with my Nike Pro Compression shorts that I usually wear under my shorts.
It has perfect length of 15 " in the front.


Little snap buttons to put the bib


This is the best part : Rubber at the waist band to keep the skirt in place.  It is great.


Back pocket with zipper





This looks promising!
Cannot wait to try it for a run!



Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Downhill and Farewell to Ma Blanche.

I have ran a few Hilly races and in all of them the hills were UPHILLS.
My next one is going to be hilly but DOWNHILL.
All of it.
It will be my 10th half marathon.
10! I cannot believe it.  I ran my first in January 2011 and I am at #10 already. 
OK back to the race.
This is a fast course obviously.  Some say it is cheating to run this one. 
I say it is still 13.1 miles.  
I expect to get a PR because other than being sick, I cannot think of an excuse not to PR on a course that has downhill and flat sections only.  Now I find going downhill to be a challenge.  I cannot "let go" and just "fly" down.  I tend to put on the breaks actually.  And my quads usually cry.  It hurts to go down.  Right?  I also struggle with form on downhill sections.  I land on my heels big time going down.

My other problem is going faster usually leads to stomach problems for me.  That is so frustrating and it limits my efforts.  The heat is back (depressing time of year for me).  This means I will have to drink earlier in the race and also more.  That will lead to the "washing machine" feeling in the belly.  That is no fun.  Makes me feel sick.

I want to do well at that race.  I don't want to get dehydrated and go in dry heaving mode.

How do you race downhill?  Do you put on the breaks to keep an OK pace or do you just let go and hope you can hang on for 13 miles?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I am selling my Brooks Pure Flow size 11.
They have less than 10 miles on them.
One shoe has a scratch on the top.
I am done with those.  We got a divorce.  They need to move.
If you are interested email me. 


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I have been living away from my family for 12 yrs now.  When the phone rings I always wonder if it will be bad news.  I cannot help it.  Today it was.  My mom called to let me know one of her sisters passed away at 2 pm eastern time.  If you read my last post you know my mom is one of 16 kids; 9 boys and 7 girls.   My aunt Claire was my special one.  We had "a thing".  She had white hair since she was in her 40s.  She never colored her hair.  White in french is blanc or blanche.  I used to call her "Ma Blanche"  (My White) and she would call me "Ma Noire"  (My Black) it was a running joke in the family because I have blond hair.  So today I lost Ma Blanche.  She had a pulmonary embolism 3 weeks ago and her 87 yrs old body did not recover.   To me she was like a grand mother.   In times like this it is really hard to be living so far away.  I should be home with my mom right now.

Aurevoir Ma Blanche!
I will miss you.





Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mothers and Grandmothers (really old pics)

Happy Day to all the moms reading this today !

Hope you had a lovely day and that your children were all on their best behavior on this special day!!! :)

My mom is too far away for me to spend this day with her so thank you to the genius who invented SKYPE!!!!

Joyeuse Fete des Mères to my mom!  There she is with my dad in 1968!  This was on the famous boat called LE FRANCE.


Because it is Mother's day I thought I'd share pictures of my Grandmothers as well.

This is a picture of my mom's parents.  It is 95 yrs old (I am the lucky one out of 70+ grand kids who has the original).  It was taken on the day of their wedding.  It reminds me of "Little house on the Prairie" !


My grandmother was supermom...she had 16 kids.  No twins. No C-Section.  She went in labor 16 times.  Sadly, she died before I was born so I never met her.  Here they are after my uncles sitting on the chairs came home for WWII in 1945. (My mom is kid #15: little girl on the left)


And here 10 years later:
(My mom is in the back row in the middle making a silly face)


And here is my dad's parents after the war in 1945 in Hungary:
(My dad is the one next to my Grandfather)


My dad's mom is the only one out of my 4 Grandparents that I remember.  His dad died right after the war and my mom's dad passed away when I was 3 or 4.   My dad's mom came to visit us in Canada twice in the mid 80s and I went to see her in Hungary in 1992 after I graduated from College.

And this is me today with my kids!






Friday, May 11, 2012

Running Gear

Running Gear.
Since I started running it is my favorite thing to receive as a present.  That and books.
I hate shopping in general;  all kind of shopping: grocery, Costco, clothes, shoes, cars, bras and swimsuits (those last 2 = the absolute worst), you name it, I hate it.  However I can easily spend 3 hrs in a bookstore and at least one in Sports Authority.

So running gear...we all have our favorites, I always like reading about other people's favorites especially the tall gals out there.

So I thought I would share some of mine today. 
Before I share my list I should share some numbers to give you an idea.  This is what I look for when you guys post lists like these..are you close to my size.  Something can fit great on a 5'2" girl and not so great on a 5'11" girl.
I am 5'11" and I would say I am on the thin side of the spectrum (now!).  (My jeans are size 4 or 6 depending on the brand.)

1. TOPS
My favorite tank tops are the Under Armour Victory tank.


What I like best about those is that they are LONG.  They are perfect for tall people.  If you use a running belt they will not ride up.  They are light and fitted.  They come in several colors.  If you read my race reports you can see I have several of those.  They are made of polyester and elastane.  They are super soft and very comfortable.  I wear a Large in those because they are fitted.

2. SHORTS
My favorites are the Nike Tempo shorts.
They come in many colors.  I always buy those from clearance racks.  I get the Medium because they are longer than the small and they have a drawstring so it is OK!

3. COMPRESSION SHORTS AND TIGHTS

I like the Nike Pro Combat 5" compression shorts and the Pro Combat tights.



I wear size small for both of these.  I wear them in the cooler months.  I see people wearing these alone all the time but for me always with shorts.  I am not 20 anymore!!  I always hand wash those and they last a long time.

4. COMPRESSION SOCKS

I have 2 different kind of compression socks.  I have black ones with the hearts from Running skirts and I have Blue and White ones from Pro Compression.


Pro Compression are my favorite.  The quality is much better, even after being washed several times.  They have different sizes, the Running skirts are one size for all.  They fit better.  They are also longer.  I wear a L-XL. 

5. RUNNING SKIRTS.

Every time I see one in a store I try it on.  It never fits.  Too short or too big at the waist.  I took a chance and bought one online from Skirt Sports.  I ordered a Medium.  It does not work.  The shorts are OK and the length is also good but the waist is too big so it moves when I run and it is very annoying.  It needs a DRAWSTRING!  Why can't they put drawstrings in running skirts?!  Most of them don't have any.  Running skirts size charts are driving me nuts.  This from the website of one of the company selling running skirts:

So to get decent length a taller gal has to order L or XL.  It is like they assume that just because a girl is tall she is big?  If I go with the waist  and hip measurements I need a XS, if I go with dress size I need a S.  Small is probably the better one BUT with that I get the shortest skirt!  It is frustrating, I wish they would either offer TALL sizes or put a drawstring.   Until then..I am sticking with shorts!!! :)

What are your plans for Mother's Day?
Happy Mother's Day weekend to all the moms!




Tuesday, May 8, 2012

New and Good Stuff

New: I ran without my Ipod today.  For the first time. EVER.   I did not plan it really..I just forgot to bring it.  I did want to start doing some of my runs without music to prepare for Hood to Coast where I am not sure it is allowed to run with music.  Even if it is allowed I want to run without music there.  OK so 4 miles with no Keith or Bruce singing in my ears.  Well...it wasn't that bad.  I can actually do this.  One thing I cannot do though is relax and shut my brain off.   I kept making lists in my head of what I need to do.  So that was good.  Also I am feeling a little better finally.  I'd say I am at 70% so also good. 

Today at my kids school we had a get together to thank all the parents who volunteered in the classrooms during the year.  It was really nice and I received a fantastic gift from Will's class (2nd grade).  They made journals with thank you letters to the parents who helped.   I got 10 letters in mine.   They were all really sweet and some had parts that made me laugh.


 "You made perfect, nice, sweet children" !!!
Ha Ha Ha! That made me laugh.  This is so cute!


"You are in the very best shape for a person like you" :)
The very polite and sweet 7 yrs old way of saying "old"!

This one is from a special boy who is autistic. 
He always gives me a big hug in the morning and he says he is my fan!



That one made my day.