Rain, Cold, and A Weekend Of Great Moms

Happy Monday!  What a weekend we had here.  Remember how I was singing the praises of last weekend and the amazing weather we had (by the way that seemed like just yesterday….I’m getting old)?  Well Mother Nature decided to stick it to us this weekend and we had some chilly, misty, and rainy weather here.  In true Midwest fashion it went from 80ºF on Friday afternoon to a quite chilly weekend in just a matter of hours.

Friday I went for a seven mile run and worked to pace myself with the hot and humid weather.  It was our first really toasty and damp day and I used that as my first lesson in pregnant running with warm weather.  It went really well and the clouds started rolling in just as a finished my run.  Fortunately I had just enough time to run to the grocery store to pick up some ice cream because milk shakes were in demand.  Duh!

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A runner needs their calcium right?!

But Saturday was a whole different story.  I woke up bright and early to chilly and rainy conditions.  It was Team Momentum’s final weekend group run before their half marathon and fortunately we had a few brave souls out on the Lakefront Path.  It wasn’t so bad on the way out but when we turned around we were met with some brutal winds.  A bunch of us are also suffering from allergies and this windy, pollen filled air was not a good combo for the run.  We made a new rule not to look anyone in the eye during a run because we were all a pretty gnarly sight.

I haven’t really mentioned much about this but I am also a figure skating coach.  Don’t worry, I don’t have a figure skating blog too!  Our students had their end of the year ice show and Saturday was the main and final event.  It was a late night coming off of an early morning but it was a great success and so fun to watch everyone get to show off their end of the year routines.  I will say however that it was a relief to have that event over and it also means the skating season is coming to an end for the summer.  This is perfect timing because I’m not sure how much more I can handle trying to balance on my skates these days.

Sunday was another ugly day but I never mind a rainy Sunday when I plan to stay inside and clean and head to mass.  I was also fortunate enough to get a nice Mother’s Day call into my mom and a visit with my mother-in-law too.  Rock also surprised me with what might be the most perfect Mother To Be Day gift.

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Yes that is cereal.  I love this particular brand of cereal and we can only find it out East.  So he had a case shipped to me.  Now if that isn’t true love, I don’t know what is.  I am a lucky girl for sure….and stocked up for awhile too!

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the wonderful moms.  How was your weekend?

A Lovely Spring Or Maybe Summer Weekend

Happy Monday.  What a beautiful weekend we had here in Chicago.  I hope yours was as warm and lovely as ours. A few weekends ago we were treated to something similar and I got a little excited but was later thrown back into cold and dark weather for what seemed like weeks.

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It was so wonderful to wake up on Saturday to sunny skies and warmer weather.  In fact, it was warm enough that I wore shorts and a singlet to our early morning group run.

Saturday was a big one for Team Momentum.  It marked our final (big) long run before the half marathon in two weeks.  We had 12 miles on the plan, the longest run during our training and for many their longest run ever.  There is something so exciting about helping athletes get through that last big hurdle whether it is the 20 miler before a marathon or this 12 before the half.  That first longest run for anyone is rarely ever easy and it often comes with many struggles.  But as someone who loves long training runs I really truly enjoy sharing those moments with newer runners and watching them transform over the course of their training.

Having warm and beautiful weather was the icing on the cake.  And someone brought donuts for the end of the run.  The pregnant coach also keeps a 12 pack of LaCroix in the car at all times these days (hey, you’ve got to hydrate!).  So we had a lovely donut and Passion Fruit LaCroix tailgate party after the run.  It honestly doesn’t get much better than that after a long sweaty training session.

My favorite way to follow up an early morning long run is with a nice long nap.  My buddy Louie has recently been given some freedom in the house and no longer gets caged up when I lay down for a little rest.  Funny enough, he likes to follow suit and hits his bed anytime I opt for a little afternoon nap.  I think it is the cutest thing to wake up to this.

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The rest of the weekend was complete with lots of walks with the dog and more incredible weather.  While Saturday stayed in the 70’s, Sunday jumped right into the 80’s.  It honestly felt like summer and I took that as my cue to throw on some summer clothes.  Hello shorts and tanks!

How was your weekend?  Any long runs or races?

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I’ve had several people ask where my pregnancy pics are and I just don’t really have any. I took a quick selfie before I left for church yesterday. I think Louie is saying, “Can you believe how big that belly is getting?!” This marked 23 weeks.

Congrats to all of the Team Momentum members who finished their final long run and are now tapering for their half marathon.  Way to go team!

Rain, Sun, And Oh Heck Why Not A 5k?

Happy Monday.  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  Mine was full of rain, productivity, some sunshine and an impromptu race.

Saturday was a chilly, rainy and windy one here in Chicago.  We canceled our team training run because no one wants to run in 30 degrees with rain and 20 mph winds.  I think everyone was unanimously thrilled to think about sleeping in during a rainy day.  For me, I didn’t know what to do with myself having a full Saturday off of work.  So I decided to tackle our home and do some serious spring cleaning.  I am pretty certain I hit just about every nook and cranny of our place and it felt so good when it was done.  I have mentioned before but I have a sick fondness for cleaning.

I also enjoyed a little sleep in time.  Some people have been asking if I have “pregnancy brain” yet and I think this picture says it all……

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Oops!

Since I didn’t get a run in on Saturday and the forecast for Sunday looked fantastic I got talked into registering for a 5k.  It didn’t take much arm twisting because the race literally started blocks from our place.  The Ravenswood Run is a neighborhood 5k that twists and turns through Ravenswood and Lincoln Square.  The race hosts 4,000 participants and benefits the Ravenswood Community Food Services Pantry for the local All Saints’ Episcopal Church.

Packet pickup was held at local Fleet Feet locations which made this a breeze.  And with that small race fee I ended up with a great pink Mizuno technical shirt.  I am always thrilled when this is the case because I certainly do not need another cotton race shirt.  I don’t know about you guys, but they just end up tucked away in closets or up at our lake house for inevitable painting projects.  On the other hand, a good technical shirt can come in handy for the one thing I do on the daily, run!

Sunday I woke up bright and early to sunny skies and chilly 30 something temps.  But with a light breeze and no clouds, I couldn’t complain.  The race started at 8:00am and fellow Team Momentum member Kim met me at our place at 7:40.  There is nothing like wandering over to the start, picking a corral and hopping in with just a few minutes to go.  No worries about parking or port-a-potties.  Perfect!

Kim was the reason I got talked into doing this race.  As of Sunday I was 22 weeks pregnant and not looking to run any more races for awhile (except a half that I am coaching in 3 weeks!).  But she has been working really hard and her pace has improved a lot lately and she was looking for a PR.  Knowing how hard she has been working I was happy to join her and be her pacer.

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Not the best pics but this is the local church benefiting from the run. They host a wonderful food pantry for the needy.

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What I loved about this race was the casual neighborhood feel.  We popped into the 9:00min/mile pace corral without any problems.  Stood on the street with neighbors cheering us on and after a lovely National Anthem we were off with 4,000 other racers.  And for a race of 4,000 can I say how awesome it was that most everyone picked their appropriate corral and that made life much easier!

I’m happy to say that Kim killed it and bested her PR by 31 seconds.  That is a lot for a 5k!  Afterward we were met with tables full of food and drinks and for $10 we could have had a lovely pancake breakfast hosted by the Episcopal church.  Instead we grabbed Louie and I headed back to watch the kids races.  What a blast!  Louie loves kids and running so he was in his element.

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The rest of the day ended with a nap, followed by mass and some lovely walks in the sunshine.  Not a bad end to the weekend.

Congrats to Lauren for finishing her marathon, Miles for his marathon, and Sara for completing her half.  And a big congrats to Team Momentum members who finished the Nashville Half and Crazy Legs in Madison, WI.  Great work everyone!

How was your weekend?  Any races?

Lovely Weekend Full of Miles and Fun

Happy Monday friends!  I hope you had a great weekend.  Mine started out with beautiful weather here in Chicago.  Friday was a day off of work for me and it almost hit 80 degrees.  I got a nice run in and all sorts of organizing that needed to be taken care of.

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Saturday morning Team Momentum had an 11 mile training run, their furthest yet in preparation for the Chicago 13.1 in less than four weeks!  The weather wasn’t quite what it was on Friday but I woke up to mid 50’s and that meant shorts and a tank for the run.  It was so nice to see a larger group show up for our training session and I am proud to say that everyone did an incredible job.

The weather was wonderful on the way out but as we turned around we were hit with some pretty awful winds off of the lake.  My fingers were numb and I was kind of regretting that tank top.  You know that in between weather where it is just too hard to pinpoint what you should wear?  Nothing like getting that for the second half a of long run.

Despite the wind and slower paces on the way back, everyone continued to rock their runs.  In fact some people were posting PR’s compared to last year.  It is going to be really fun to see how it all works out come race day.  But one thing I know is that this group is going to be half marathon ready!

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I do have one minor confession.  I pulled a Salt in the last half mile of our run.  I was chatting with a friend and bringing up random topics as I often do when I am coaching and trying to help others get in those last long miles.  I wasn’t paying attention and somehow rolled off of the sidewalk and took a nice trip.  I was absolutely fine but my hands took the brunt of my fall and so did one of my legs.  It was one of those falls where you know you are going down and it is going to be okay but everything plays out in slo-mo.

Holy embarrassing! My hands got skinned up and later in the day it reminded me of being a little kid and falling at the play ground.  I had a nice case of gravel burn.  Later I confessed to the rest of the team what happened and they asked me how I fell.  All I could say was, “Like a figure skater!”  It was a classic Sarah moment.  In fact the day Rock proposed to me we went out to lunch right before he popped the question.  As we left the restaurant I tripped over an imaginary something and fell to the ground.  I ended up with scraped hands, knees and ankles.  Fortunately the blood didn’t deter him and the day wasn’t lost.  Later he confessed that he thought that might have ruined his big surprise.  All I can say is that Rock knew right from the beginning what he was getting himself into!  I tend to walk into walls, even in my own home.  I am a serious klutz.

Minus the bruised ego and hands, the rest of the weekend was great.  Our new crib arrived and we got it assembled and the baby’s room is coming together.  Can you believe we are at 21 weeks along already?  We don’t know if it is a boy or a girl and we are waiting to find out on the big day.  But I would love to hear your guesses.

Sunday is always the perfect off day for me.  Lots of sleeping in and a cinnamon roll with cream cheese icing to kick off the day.  There was some church in there along with errands  and house cleaning.  And of course, lots of fun time with Louie who continues to grow and run like the wind.

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How was your weekend?  Did you manage to stay upright for your long run or races?

A huge good luck to all of the Boston runners including Michelle S., Mother Racer, IrishRunnerChick’s husband, and Wasn’t Just The Wine Talking!

Happy Monday!

Happy Monday!  I am still feeling great from a most amazing weekend.  We have had a “heat wave” roll through Chicago and it made for a fantastic few days.  Over the weekend the weather soared into the 50ºF temps.  Something about unusually warm weather during winter months does wonders for my mood and energy levels, which was perfect because we had an action packed few days planned.

Saturday morning I got up bright and early and did a nice 30 minute workout before I taught a small group training class.  I have mentioned before how much I like starting my day off with a brief workout and these days they have become a bit more interesting.  Louie, our new dog, is a major cuddler.  If you sit on the floor he will run to sit in your lap.  Apparently he will also run to you if you are doing planks.  My morning workout involved him sitting on my back and laying underneath me.  Extra challenge points thanks to Louie.

Blurry I know but not easy to take a pic while doing a plank and having a dog walk on you!

Blurry I know but not easy to take a pic while doing a plank and having a dog walk on you!

After my small group training class I decided to get a quick run in because later that evening we had a pizza party planned.  If I know anything about myself, I have zero self control when it comes to pizza.  I rarely have it; maybe once or twice a year.  So when I get around pizza all bets are off.

When I stepped outside it was so pleasant out.  I had planned on running six but I quickly decided that it was going to be a nice brisk ten miler.  It was so unexpectedly wonderful and my pace was better than it has been in weeks.  Talk about a confidence booster!

After my run I quickly cleaned up and my husband and I joined my sister-in-laws and nieces for an afternoon at the Nutcracker.  I hadn’t been in over ten years and it was the perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon.  Something about the Nutcracker really evokes some of the best feelings of the holiday season.  I also find it just mesmerizing about being at the ballet too!

Keeping with our weekend of nonstop action we went right from the theater to the church next door.  Over the past few months I had been attending classes as part of a process to join the Catholic Church.  I grew up in a Lutheran home but after getting married I really wanted my husband and I to be part of the same church.  So  Saturday evening was my confirmation.  My husband and a lot of his family joined us at the church.  It was a really special evening.

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And then there was pizza!  What better way to celebrate my confirmation than to have everyone back to our place for pizza, a chocolate fountain, and playtime with the puppy?  It was such a fun night with some of our favorite people.

But the fun didn’t stop there.  One of our friends, and a fellow Team Momentum member, was hosting a holiday party in our neighborhood.  So I kicked off my heels and threw on sneakers with my dress and we headed out the door to a killer holiday party.  It was so fun and so festive.  Everyone was wearing awesome holiday sweaters, minus my husband and I still in our clothes from the ballet/church.  By the time we got back home I was beyond ready for bed.

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My husband is a saint and let me sleep in on Sunday.  As I mentioned recently in a post about sleep I try to get to bed early and avoid the late nights to bed and late mornings to wake.  But Sunday was a real treat.  Once I finally dragged myself out of bed we took Louie for a walk to Lincoln Square to grab a cup of coffee and just wander in the moderate temperatures.

When we got back home I spent the rest of the afternoon in the kitchen making holiday gifts.  I can’t reveal here what I made but I have to say that some special people in our lives will be receiving lots of delicious (and healthy) treats.  I absolutely love the holiday season and as I have gotten older my favorite part is being able to share with family and friends.  It doesn’t have to be something big or expensive.  Some of the best gifts are the ones you make that come from the heart.  It is always nice to be remembered.

Last week we even got the chance to go to a cookie baking party with some friends.  Seriously, the holiday fun just doesn’t stop.  Everything about this time of the year is my favorite.  I say that now because it isn’t cold out.  Remind me about what I said when it drops into the 20’s again.

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Look at me trying with all my might not to eat EVERY single one!

Look at me trying with all my might not to eat EVERY single one!

There were a few more walks and a strength training session thrown in but most of the day was spent enjoying heavenly scents in the kitchen.

What is your favorite part of the holiday season?  Do you have something you like to make for gifts?

A HUGE congrats goes out today to Patrick and Steve.  Both are Team Momentum members who completed the Chicago Marathon back in October.  Being the loyal team members that they are they signed up in November to run the Dallas Marathon on December 14th.  They trusted me to coach them for a second marathon and not only did they finish but they finished STRONG!  Steve even beat his PR by almost 20 minutes!  Way to go guys!

Congrats to everyone who ran the Dallas Half and Full Marathons yesterday and a special shout out to Team Momentum!