Sunday, December 4, 2011

There is no place like home...

We returned to Buffalo, NY for the Thanksgiving holiday for the first time in two years. Being back meant Thanksgiving dinner with our families, Friendsgiving at my friend Christina's house, and one of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions, running in the 116th Annual YMCA Turkey Trot. The Buffalo YMCA 8k Turkey Trot is America's oldest road race and one of my favorites.
I knew going in to this year's race that I was in better shape than any prior Turkey Trot. Having run 13.1 miles less than two weeks prior, I figured 5 miles would be a breeze. So, I set a goal time of 45:00.

The weather Thanksgiving morning was balmy by November in Buffalo standards. I started the race towards the back of the pack of more than 13,000 runners and walkers, because of this most of the race was spent weaving around walkers/slower runners. But, I still beat my goal time by 2 minutes.

Here are my race stats:

  • Finished in 43:28 minutes
  • Placed 138 of 1,009 in my female age group of 25-29
  • I came in 752 of 6,074 finishers
I was ecstatic with the I indulged in a little post race celebration in the Buffalo Convention Center. I had the usual crowd to celebrate with: my husband Brendan, my father-in-law, and his crazy group of running buddies. I also had two Turkey Trot step-siblings, Colleen and Patrick!

It was SO GREAT to spend time with them after the race (I still can't believe we found each other since the Convention Center was packed with thousands of people). I hope that they will continue to be part of one of my favorite Buffalo Thanksgiving holiday traditions!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Cashed in again

I've consumed the second of three free lunches courtesy of Mr. Lynn Ewald. He looks so happy about having to buy me lunch....

This time it was Chipotle tacos. And it was yummy. Thanks Lynn! Looking forward to my third and final you are too!

Third Time's the Charm

I did it! The third time was the charm! I finished my third half marathon in 2 hours and 17 seconds. If you remember, one of my goals as I headed into the summer of run was to finish a half marathon in under 2 hours. Two hours and 17 seconds is close enough for me.

This half marathon was so different from the two I completed in the past. I was so much more prepared and it showed, and not only in my time. In races past I felt winded at numerous points along the way, but not this time. The last half marathon I did in Buffalo (May 2010) I had to stop for a bit at mile 8 due to injury, this time I was able to continue running the entire time.

Part of my strategy for this race was to only stop once for water. At mile 6 I ate a few sport jelly beans for some extra energy and at mile 7 I slowed a little through a water stop to wash the jelly beans down. In the past, water stops have really slowed me down. Everyone in front of you slows to grab water cups and some even stop to drink. I avoided waters spots in an effort to reach my goal time. Luckily, there wasn't much need to drink a lot throughout the race, because...

The weather was perfect! There was no wind, 38 degrees at the start time and it warmed to a little over 40 degrees by the end of the race. The only problem with the weather was at the end of the race- I was freezing! They handed out disposable blankets and I almost didn't grab one. I didn't think I'd need it, but I definitely did.

I also indulge in a few post-race treats. First, before getting in the car to head home I got a massage which was included in the entry fee. Later that evening for dinner I fed my body the calories it was craving! Burger, fries, and a chocolate shake.....yum!

Here I am (black/pink shirt) heading downhill for the last .5 miles...almost there!

All done and trying to stay warm....
So happy with my 2:00:17 personal record!
Me and one of my biggest fans before the race....

You can even click here to see a video of me crossing the finish line. The time on the clock reads 2:08:29 when I cross (on the far left) took a full 8 minutes for my wave to cross the start line at the beginning.

Thanks for everyone for their support and encouragement! I am heading home in a few days and will be participating in the YMCA Turkey Trot 8K on Thanksgiving morning after a two year hiatus.
I cannot wait! I'll have an opportunity to achieve an 8K PR. And after 13.1, 5 miles should be a breeze!

Monday, October 31, 2011


Just a quick update:

I've been training for my upcoming half marathon in Richmond. It's hard to believe that it is only 2 weeks away!
It's been tough to train while being back in school, but I think I've done a pretty good job of balancing work, home, and training.

I especially love running in the fall because every run to go on (short or long) I see views like this..... FALLOVE!!! What is your favorite season to run during?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

3rd time is a charm....Let's hope.

I signed up for my third half marathon this week. I will be running the McDonalds Half Marathon in Richmond, Virginia on Saturday, Nov. 12th.

I've wanted to finish a half in under two hours and fifteen minutes (I think I could've done it with it weren't for this during the last half marathon). I am hoping that the third time is the charm for achieving my goal. I'll keep you posted as I prepare for the race and will definitely share the results in November.

Why Richmond?

1. It was the closest to home
2. It was within the time frame that I felt I'd be ready to run a 1/2 again
3. It is a relatively easy course (only a few rolling hills)
4. Check out the elevation in the last mile- downhill!! Score!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Post Run Refuel

After a long run, I love to refuel with: toast with peanut butter and honey, Powerade Zero (only the zero calorie blue kind for this girl), and my favorite of the three items-chocolate milk!

Studies have shown that it aids muscle repair after a strenuous workout- Got milk?

What is your favorite post run/workout meal?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Free Lunch #1

I enjoyed my first of three free lunches from Lynn (another coming from Adam) this past Friday.

First free lunch included:
2 spring rolls and red chicken curry from Thai by Thai

Here's me and Lynn enjoying our Thai food! Apparently, the sore loser didn't want to smile for the camera.

I have to thank him not only for the first of several lunches but for the added motivation this summer. I am not sure that I would have made it out there everyday. However, the thought of losing to Lynn and hearing about it all year really pushed me. I don't think I've made a point to let him know how thankful I am- so...thank you Lynn for the food and the motivation!
And this doesn't change anything, I still want my remaining 2 lunches.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Running. Unplugged.

As I headed out for my run Saturday morning, I realized that my Ipod was dead. Totally dead. It did not even enough power to get through a mile with me. Waiting around for the Ipod to charge was not an option as my cousin was getting married in just a few hours. So...I headed out without music (gasp)!!! Rarely do I run without music or my running partner Tom.

But that morning I was thankful that my Ipod died and that I was forced to run unplugged. I was able to hear the rain drops from an early morning rain dripping off the trees on to the path. I heard the birds chirping and animals moving in the bushes.

But most importantly I was able to reflect on the wedding ceremony taking place that afternoon in which my cousin Rj and his beautiful bride Ali would (finally) tie the knot. Ali has been with Rj since I was in middle school and she's felt like family to me for such a long time. I was grateful for the ability to quietly contemplate Rj and Ali's marriage and their future as I ran. They are an amazing couple who has many years of happiness ahead of them.

I found (surprisingly) that I enjoyed myself while running unplugged (and had a great pace per minute). I've now committed to running at least one run per week unplugged.

Here are a few pictures of Rj and Ali's Day-

The Bride and Groom
All seven of my grandparents grandchildren on the same weekend they married many years ago- wish they could've been here to celebrate with us.
Me with the beautiful Bride, Ali!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


I finished the summer of run, about 2 weeks ago actually, life is crazy again now that I am back to school. This post is long overdue and I am so excited to be writing it.

If you want to refresh your memory about the "summer of run" and how it began, check that out here.

115 miles in 74 days of running (75, because I couldn't just stop cold turkey, I needed to wean) commenced on June 17th, and as a result here are....

The things I've gained:
1. A new found love and respect for running. Running, to me, is no longer a love/hate relationship (hate it while you are doing it, love it when it is over)- but a love/love relationship instead.

2. Personal satisfaction from setting a goal and working hard to achieve it. There are many days when I did not feel like running, like after this injury or after this trip.

3. A solid running partner, even though we don't always run together.

4. Four free lunches and the sheer joy for having proved Lynn wrong. Lynn- I. WIN.

5. Consistency in my running schedule- I am not running every day (less time now that school is back in session) but I am more consistent and begin to miss it if I haven't been out in a day or two.

Things I've lost:

1. The constant ache in my left knee, IT band, and hip.

2. The feeling of dread I felt as I head for each run- I can't wait to get out there now!

3. The idea that I wouldn't be able to run every day for 74 days.

4. 30 secs off my pace per minute
(enough to hopefully finish a half marathon in November in under 2 hours)

5. 10 lbs. - enough said

Last, but certainly not least, I have to thank a few people for their love and support throughout this process:

My husband Brendan- for being my Webmaster, joining me on an early am and late night run, and for always believing I could do this.

My cousin/running partner Tom- your easy going attitude combined with our crazy conversations make the miles fly by.

My father-in-law- whose love for running (and perseverance) inspires me every day.

My family- my Mom(s), Ross, Dad, Ryan, Rj, Ali, Dan, Uncle Ron, Aunt Michelle, Fraser, Lauren, Shannon, Spencer, Nana, Grandma, Uncle Mark, Aunt Diane (hope I didn't forget anyone)- for your love and support.

My readers- thank you to anyone who took the time to read this dinky little blog that chronicled my experience throughout the summer. I appreciate it more than you know!

**This is not the end of the Summer of Run blog, I intend to keep posting and sharing what I hope continues to be my love/love relationship with running. So- feel free to keep on reading!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Your presence is requested at the Wedding of Sarah and Andrew today on A Wedding Story

My final trip to Buffalo ended last weekend with the wedding of my dear friend Sarah Utzig
(oops- I mean Sarah Lanigan).

We LOVE weddings! The morning of her wedding was spent reminiscing about our days back in high school when we'd watch episodes of The Wedding Story on TLC after school, singing the cheesy theme song to each other, and dreaming of our own weddings to be.

Sarah's wedding was incredible! I think she took notes about the good, the bad, and the ugly from all those episodes of The Wedding Story because her day was perfect! From the dress to the cake (that she's wanted since she was a little girl).

A perfect wedding turned into a not so perfect run the following day.

We left Buffalo late in the afternoon, but for good reason- we spent the morning visiting with family and friends.

We headed back to Virginia around 2:30 in the afternoon and 8 1/2 hours later we arrived home. But not after we (I mean Brendan) drove the last 3 1/2 hours home in pouring rain, thunder, and lightening. Also, as we reached Route 15 (an hour from home) the traffic was at a standstill. After waiting 25 minutes and moving .5 miles we turned around to go a different route adding an hour on to the trip. None of this seemed to bother Brie, she spent most of the time in the car like this...

After pulling in and unpacking at 11:30pm, I had 30 minutes left to get my run in for the day.

The streets are not well it around our home. So, I ran the sidewalk that runs in front of our condo- back and forth, and back and forth (about 12 times) to make it to a mile, all while it continued to rain.

However, the long drive home and the late run were well worth it.

The countless episodes of The Wedding Story we had watched together over the years had nothing on Sarah's perfect wedding story- it was amazing and I am thankful that I was able to be a part of it all.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

"Defying Human Nature"

Well- I am almost done with my summer of run with only 10 days left. I know there were at least a few people out there that didn't think I'd make it through...none more than Mr. Lynn Ewald (more on him later)- but so far, so good!

I don't want to get too confident because things can happen- like this accident that almost brought my runs to a halt. I was told that it is against human nature to be able to run every day- injuries, sickness, fatigue, etc. prohibit someone from being able to achieve such a goal. Well, I guess I've defied human nature, not to mention my own expectations of what my mind and body can handle.

There are definitely days when the prospect of having to go out and run is not exciting.
But, most days I get out there and feel great as I complete my run. Running every day this summer has dropped me down an entire pant size too! Here is the stack of pants and capris that don't currently fit. My wonderful mother-in-law altered another 4 pairs!

In addition, completing another run is another day closer to finishing my summer of run and chowing down on four free lunches :) Good thing I've saved that stack of pants, because all of my winning lunches may bring me back up a pant size!

While we are on the topic of running and lunches- I thought I'd add that I am willing to trade in a free lunch for a picture of Mr. Lynn Ewald bowing down to me and all my running greatness.
It would look something like this (preferably at a faculty meeting too, but I won't get too picky).

Lynn- I'd give up one free lunch for this! What say you?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Flora and Fauna

One thing that I've come to really enjoy about my daily runs is the amazing plant and animal life that thrives along the paths surrounding my house.

I don't run on the paths every day and I never run the same route two days in a row for fear of encountering a creeper. But the days that I do run the paths I enjoy taking in all of the amazing scenery.

Here is a partial list of the wildlife that I've enjoyed watching throughout my summer runs:

Deer (one so close the other day I could have reached out from the path and touched it)

Birds- and this is just a small list, I cannot identify all of them- but I kinda want to take up bird watching as a hobby now (who cares if I am not a retired old man)
Bluejays - my personal favorite
Morning Doves
Carolina Chickadees

and lots of different butterflies.

Anyone have a favorite place to run?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Tricks of the Trade

What you need to run every day

mental and physical strength
adequate rest and sleep
a foam roller

Road ID
Garmin GPS system
ice pack
heating pad
pain reliever

good running sneakers (get your foot analyzed before buying a pair)
jammin' tunes for your Ipod
a supportive family

and an entertaining running buddy

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Cat and Mouse

After a super sappy, serious post last week- I am keeping it lighthearted.

This past Thursday my running partner and I returned to the pavement together after a long hiatus. This summer has thrown off our running schedule a bit. I prefer to complete my runs in the morning. Early on this summer I arrived at Tom's at 7:30 in the morning for an a.m. run- let's just say that we never scheduled another morning run.

It has been so hot here in DC that running in the afternoon, when Tom is out of work, makes my stomach queasy just thinking about it. But last week we got a break from the heat and humidity so we decided to get out there together.

However, together isn't the best way to describe it. Tom's speed as increased considerably since we began running together last year. My speed has increased too, just not enough to keep up with Tom. In addition, Tom likes to run hard and fast, then take a short walk break. Where as I prefer to run slower and aim to avoid any walking breaks because my goal is to run the Suntrust Half Marathon in Richmond this November so I've got to work on logging more miles.

So our runs have turned into a cat and mouse chase. Tom runs ahead while I work to catch up, then Tom stops to walk, while I run past him. This pattern continues for most of our runs.

(image taken from here)

Even though we are no longer running side-by-side, I am grateful for our runs "together."

To keep with the lighthearted theme, here is a little blast from the past- Tom and I back in the day.....this looks like my junior year of high school. So I'd be 16 years old and Tom is 14.
Who knew that little kid next to me would be beating me during our runs...

Saturday, July 23, 2011

It's a Bird. It's a Plane. It's Superdad!

During my trip to Buffalo back in June I put the bug in my father in law's ear that I would love to run with him when he and my mother-in-law came to visit for a long weekend in July.

Reston has amazing running paths that can take you all over the city. Earlier this summer, I finished 4th in my age group in a Reston Pathway race. Ironically, it was the Run with Dad 5k and this post is all about my father-in-law. To me though, he is simply- Dad.

I know, some people might think "why does she call him Dad, when it's her father-in-law?"
But I have a million reasons to explain why I prefer to call him Dad and I'll just leave it at that.

So, back to their visit (which was last weekend). They arrived Thursday night and during dinner I inquired as to whether or not Dad had packed his running gear- he had. YES!

I didn't say much more about the possibility of running together over the weekend.
Although, Friday morning I had changed into my running clothes and began to gather my Garmin, RoadID, etc. to head out for a run when Dad said he'd join me. WHOOPEEEE!

I guess now is the part where I should explain why his running with me is so exciting and meaningful to me (and why I've determined that he is "Superdad").

Just a few years before Brendan and I met, his Dad had a massive heart attack while camping with Brendan and his brothers in the Canadian Wilderness. And when I say the wilderness, I mean it- check out where Allanwater Bridge Lodge is on GoogleMaps! Basically the middle of nowhere.....

As a result of the heart attack, he underwent QUADRUPLE bypass surgery.

Dad had been running for years prior to these health complications- even competing in a marathon in Ontario. But a heart attack in the middle of nowhere and quadruple bypass surgery certainly did not make Dad to hang up his running sneakers! He was still running and participating in road races when I met Brendan a few years after the heart attack and surgery.

As I have mentioned before, when I met Brendan, running was part of the family culture.
So, I began to attend the Turkey Trot and Shamrock Run with Brendan, his dad, and a crazy/wildly entertaining group of Dad's friends. I still remember my first road race and not being able to walk down stairs for days after! I must add too that Dad has beat me at every road race we've attend together.

I am getting to why he is "Superdad." In addition to his heart attack, this past fall he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. His diagnosis was more serious than most men who have prostate cancer and so he began intense radiation treatments on Dec. 23rd. Needless to say, running was not a priority and not much of a possibility either.

So- when he agreed to run with me last Friday (it was his first run since the summer of 2010) it was exciting and extremely meaningful.

Not only did he run with me on Friday, but Sunday too! Sunday we did the entire mile together.

An entire mile may not sound like a big feat for an experienced runner (and I know that Dad wishes it could be more than a mile- and it will be with time), but for all that life has thrown at Dad in the last few years I think he deserves to be forever referred to as...


I look forward to more runs and road races together in the future. I look forward to Dad's grandchildren (I am going to hope that they inherit Brendan's athleticism and not mine) sharing a love for running and participating in road races with their grandfather.

Although, I am not sure about exposing young children to Dad's wild bunch of friends that attend road races with us...we may need to do something about them ;)


Thanks for getting back out there and allowing me to experience that with you.

Get your sneakers ready, I'll be home in 2 weeks and we can log more miles together.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Ice Ice Baby

Not that "Ice Ice Baby" and yes this child of the 80's does know that the bassline for that song is from Queen and David Bowie's "Under Pressure." The Queen version is one of my favorite songs from my running playlist.

Since I decided to run every day and not allow a rest day(s) I've had to deal with muscle aches as my body adjusts. Then, mix in my fall last week and we've got a painful combination.

As I took on this challenge, I've also taken to (well not quite taken too) ice baths.
My ice baths are certainly not these pretty setups like professional athletes.

More like me dumping what ice is left in my ice bin into the tub, while my faucet fills the tub with water as cold as I can get it. Nothing fancy but it does the job.

When I prepared to take my first one I thought I would be like this-

But it actually wasn't that bad and it made a world of difference.
More on the benefits of ice baths from the professionals over at Runner's World.

Besides ice baths- my routine is the same as most runners. I stretch and heat a problem area before running. After a run, I ice certain areas if I am not taking an ice bath.

And that is how I deal with the aches and pains from running every day, my back injury, and nagging left knee/leg issues....WORD TO YOUR MOTHER!

Images from here and here.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

"What is the hardest part?"

A few weeks ago, in reference to my "Summer of Run" challenge, my cousin Daniel asked me, "What is the hardest part?"

So in response to his question, I've made a list of possible answers to that very question.
Here is what I had contemplated as challenges before beginning a few weeks ago:

1. Getting up and running every day - Nope, not for me.
I try to make a point of running within an hour or less of waking up. I also try not to sleep past 8am on any given day so I can run early (except my 10+ hours I usually get each Fri. and Sat. night).
I know, I am getting a lot of sleep- but I am banking it while I can. Eventually kids will be part of the equation and I will NEVER sleep again.
A few days I've waited all day to run and I always regret it.

2. Having the energy to get through a mile - Nah, that's not it either.
A mile is not a big deal for me to complete. Trust me, it used to be! As I mentioned here- athletic people do not win the "Most Versatile" cheerleader award. I actually wish I were logging more than my average 1-2 miles each day and I think I could be if this hadn't happened. Oh well, I will add on sooner or later. As of today I still have 47 more days to go.....

3. Finding the time to run - Definitely not.
It is summer and I am a teacher, enough said.

4. Recovering from sore muscles/aches and pains - Bingo!
That has been the hardest part BY FAR and was compounded by my falling down stairs. My knees and hips ache daily. My left knee (the entirely too long post about that is here) has been feeling great! It is mostly my left and right hips that are the most sore. Well, the last week my back pain has superseded any other pain I've felt.

**Take my poll on the left side of the homepage to share what would be the biggest challenge for you!

So- other than the aches and pains from not having any rest days, I am running along just fine.
Although, a few times I've either had a dream in which I missed a day or I've had moments of panic at the end of a day thinking that I forgot to run. Crazy- I know.

I'll be back with a post later this week about how I deal with my aches and pains (the normal ones, not the ones from falling down wet stairs).

Friday, July 8, 2011

I thought I had to call it quits

So Wednesday, July 6th began like many mornings here at the McIntyre Household. The alarm went off at 5:15am reminding us that it was a gym morning- as normal we hit snooze a few times before finally getting up and out the door. We aim to work out together at least two mornings a week and since Brendan leaves for work at 7:30am, we normally workout from 5:45-6:30-ish.

After our workout I ran home from the gym (which is between 1.5-2 miles depending on the route I take). In hindsight, I am SO THANKFUL that we worked out that morning and that I had completed 1.5 miles before 7am. You will see why in a minute, I am getting there....

After eating breakfast, drinking my coffee, and perusing some of my favorite blogs ( and, I decided it was time to head to my Aunt Michelle and Uncle Ron's house to begin working on some furniture I was refinishing. They live here in Reston too and have garage space for me to work in.

I had worked for a little over an hour when it began to rain. There isn't a lot of room to work in the garage and since I am mostly working with spray paint, I decided it was best to haul the furniture inside and call it a day.

As I headed out the door and down the front stairs (3 stairs to be exact)- I slipped and fell (HARD) on my back/left side. My butt fell on the third step with my back hitting the edges of the other two stairs. I think it was the combination of my cheap $2 Old Navy flip-flops and wet stairs that are to blame. Anyways, I am thankful that I didn't hit my head and blackout because I was all alone at the house and there was not a soul on the street (I'm thankful for that too since no one saw me fall).

I gathered enough composure to stand, despite the searing pain in my back, and walked the length of the porch just to make sure I could walk. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks, what if I couldn't run anymore? I knew I could walk but the pain was so bad that I feared the worst. I called Brendan in tears- he asked if I thought I could drive and I said yes. So he said to head home and apply some ice and see how it feels in the evening.

One painful 7 mile car ride home and the rest of the afternoon was spent on the floor of the living room with ice and Advil. My cousin and running partner Tom was kind enough to bring lunch and walk Brie for me. Around 2:00 the pain had not improved (despite 600 mg of Advil) so I called the doctor's office. They couldn't get me in that same day, but I was scheduled for 11:00am on Thursday. The nurse ensured me that since the lump forming on my back was soft that I probably had not broken anything. So- I did about all that I could do, took a muscle relaxer and headed to bed. I woke up long enough to get an ice pack, heat pad, and "get well soon" card from my husband and eat dinner. Then, it was back to La La Land.

I woke up Thursday in more pain than the day before so I am glad that I was scheduled to see the doctor at 11. Dr. Garvert took one look at my back and said that I definitely had some bruising and swelling. She then touched my spine and because it was so tender she ordered an x-ray.

Before heading to get my x-ray I told her about this blog and my bet. I confided that I had cried more about giving this goal up then about the pain I was in. She totally rocked my world when she said that I could run so long as my body felt okay and the x-ray showed that nothing was broken. She also promised that if I went right away for the x-rays that she'd have an answer by the end of the day (and I could potentially get my run in w/o missing a day).

Not ten minutes after leaving radiology center (where I had been for the last hour and a bit) the nurse called to say that nothing was broken! She also said that she heard about my goal from the doctor and thought it was awesome. I WAS CLEARED TO RUN!

I headed home to physically (laying on ice for the rest of the afternoon) and mentally prepare. I was still afraid that running would hurt like hell and I'd have to admit defeat. That night, I headed out for a mile...and it was not as painful as I had anticipated. As I ran the soreness and aching in my back muscles was intensified when my legs made impact with the ground. Bu thankfully no sharp, shooting pains. I made it through a mile (while only adding 20 seconds to my normal pace). This morning I made it another mile at a more normal 9:36 pace.

I am planning to stick with a mile until my back muscles loosen up and the bruising and swelling begin to fade, but I am so thankful that I didn't have to throw in the towel on this goal. It would have been a painful reminder of my experience giving up Navy Seal Team 6 when I realized I couldn't swim the length of an Olympic sized swimming pool while underwater.

Did I mention that since my summer vacation began not only have I fallen down the stairs, but I've locked myself on my patio for 1.5 hours and locked my keys in my car!
Don't you think that I am due for a break!?!

Part of the problem: cheap flip-flops + pouring rain on wooden steps

= one yucky back injury And this is what is keeping me in running form (got to show my love for CVS - I worked there in high school)

Monday, July 4, 2011

Almost 4 on the 4th

Happy 4th of July! Is everyone celebrating with a backyard bbq and fireworks like we are?
I am throwing in watermelon margaritas this year too! Yum!

I went out for a mid-morning 4th of July run. I slept in until 10:30am and didn't hit the road until close to noon. Not the best idea in hot, humid Virginia...but I had a 4 mile goal in mind for the 4th of July.

With some new tunes on my Ipod I was feeling pretty good. However, about 2 miles in I felt like I hit a wall- but I decided to run through it. I felt better at 2.5 miles but felt weak again as I approached mile #3. I decided to call is quits there. I've been struggling with muscle soreness in my legs and hips and did not want to push it.

I think my body is still adjusting to running every day without a rest. I definitely DO NOT want to injury myself, have to admit defeat, and buy four lunches for the naysayers out there. So- almost 4 on the 4th is okay with me.

Friday, July 1, 2011


Well- my running continued during my brief trip home to Buffalo, NY. One of my very best friends from high school, Sarah Utzig, asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding and this past weekend was her bridal shower. Here is a picture of the two of us at the shower- isn't she going to be a beautiful bride?

I also got to see some other wonderful friends from high school.
Chrissy Schreiner, Vicki Kordasiewicz Schroeder, Sarah Utzig, and Katie Piwtorak

Here is a pic of the bride and groom to-be. Andy, Sarah's fiance, and I went to Canisius together for social studies education- he says I was the smart, goody two shoes always sitting in the front row and I said he was the laid back, slacker who was always in the back row :)
He is not slacker when it comes to Sarah, I know he will take good care of her!

I finally got to see the inside of my brother and sister-in-law's new home. I didn't snap any pictures but take my word, this house is going to be gorgeous! They bought a fixer upper and when they are done it is going to be the best house on the block. The few things they've done in two short weeks already look amazing.

I also got to hang out with these rascals-Conlan and Reagan. They are my cousin Renee's kids and Reagan is my goddaughter. Reagan shows her love for me by wiping chewed, gooey pretzels on me. I love these two kids and wish I were around more often to see them grow.

I spent some time with my cousin Andrew and his daughter Gabby. I was treated to a fantastic dinner by my friends Rachel and Jon Garra, while their one year old, Patrick, flirted and showed off his six pack abs. In addition to all this, I got in a golf game with Vicki, and spend many hours catching up with my moms (my mom and mother-in-law).

Most of my runs while home were short and sweet because (as you can see) my time is always jam-packed full of things to do and people to see. It is always crazy coming home for a visit, but I wouldn't want it any other way.

My Saturday run while home was a good one (probably my best yet)- I intended to go two miles but ended up completing almost 3.5 miles. I felt good so I kept going and I loved the route- running in the neighborhood my husband grew up in. I ran by Glen Falls (where Brendan and I took our engagement pics) and down Main Street (which I adore), then down Evans, Sheridan, back to Mill Street.

And most days were chilly and overcast- it was SO nice to run without humidity.

I'm looking forward to another, longer trip in August for the wedding festivities. Not just because of the time to spend with family and friends, but also for the non-humid runs that allow me to reminisce about the past and remember why there is so much Buffalove in my heart.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Run 2B Great

The quote from my shirt I put on this morning before heading out to run reads, "Run 2B Great." This got me thinking about what I wanted to write for today's post. There are many reasons why people run, but why do I run? This question was not easy to answer.

First of all, for those of you who knew me back in high school, I am sure that you will agree, I was not athletic in any sense of the word. I was a cheerleader from 7th grade through my freshman year of college. I will never forget my cheer award at the end of the year- "Most Versatile", aka not really good at anything so we are going to give her this award....

Then there was my experience running track each spring for four years during which I pole vaulted with a number of my good girlfriends. A typical practice was the group of pole vaulters lying on the mats watching a real runners train. When told to get moving out favorite line was, "pole vaulters aren't runners." And as a pole vaulter I think I may have cleared my own height (5'0'') one time.

So what have we learned...Katie WAS not athletic.

Where did the motivation to start running begin? I am not quite sure about that one. Perhaps it was the fact that running a 1/2 marathon was on my bucket list or that I married into a family where running Buffalo road races like the Turkey Trot and Shamrock Run were tradition or that I just simply wanted to be more athletic OR some crazy combination of all of them are drove me. Not let's be clear, as I have already stated in previous posts, I've always been terribly, horribly inconsistent with running, but so far this summer I am changing that.

So here are some reasons why I run:

to create a more athletic me, to cross something off my bucket list,
to bond with my family (especially my father-in-law who is an amazing runner and a big supporter of mine- although he did tell me to take a rest day throughout the summer- sorry Dad, no can do),
to be fit and in shape, to clear my mind, to be alone, to de-stress, to win a bet, to prove something to myself, and yeah- I guess 2B great too.

And this morning I ran to hang out with my cousin Tom. Thanks for a good run and for getting out of bed early to go- not sure how I feel about am runs with you yet.... ;)

Why do you run?

**I leave for Buffalo tomorrow for a few days (to celebrate the bridal shower of an amazing friend).
I am going to be (of course) running while there. I am not sure if I will be able to upload my Garmin runs each day from my mom's computer but will give it a try. If not, I will have lots of miles to add when I return.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day 5k

I saw this quote on a friend's Facebook wall this morning and though it was so appropriate.
"Many men have fathered a child, but real men become good, loving, and dedicated fathers." Happy Father's Day to all those men!

I did not run today's Father's Day 5k with my dad because,#1- he is in Buffalo, NY and I am in VA and #2- he is not a runner! But my husband, Brendan, ran the 5k with me and someday he is going to be an amazing father to our children. Here is a quick photo that I took of us after today's race. You can see part of the only "baby" we have right now, our Pomeranian Brie.
I ran this race in 28.57. I was hoping for around 27 minutes which is my best 5k time to date. However, my husband reminded me that the race I was thinking of was a flat Buffalo road race (compared to today's race on the Reston Pathways). Either way, my time is proof that races push me because I finished 4th in my age group. I am looking forward to some more this late summer/early fall. My goal is to complete another 1/2 marathon sometime this late fall. Perhaps the Richmond Suntrust 1/2 in November?

In another extreme couponing side note:

Last week I picked up a Schick Hydro razor and a 4 pack of refills for $3.46 (full price would've been close to $20). This razor is the mother of all razors as evidenced by the fight that we got into- clearly the razor won....

Friday, June 17, 2011


My running partner Tom Robinson! I promised a post about him a while back so ladies, here he is:

Not the best picture of either one of us, but a better one is coming.

Let me tell you a few things you need to know about Tom:
1. He loves my cooking- especially pasta dinners
2. He is my running partner
3. He is always up for any run I suggest (length, route, day/time, etc.) and I really appreciate that about him
4. He is easy to talk to and a great listener, which make him an even better running partner
5. He has become quite fit in the last few months so he runs faster than me, then I have to push harder (not complaining- it is a good thing)
6. He lives in the same town as me (but on the "better" side of town)
7. He hates my dog, but I try to overlook that about him
8. He is one of my best friends
9. He has a good friend named Jack
10. He went to Hillsdale College (which you can gather from his shirt)
11. He is a HUGE DC sports fan
12. He is my cousin and I love him

That's all for now- except a better picture of Tom (the best one EVER- since he is wearing a Bills jersey). You will hear more about him throughout the summer, as our runs can get pretty crazy!