Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Best of 2012

This morning I ran for the last time in 2012. I was thinking over this year and how much I accomplished. My yearly mileage wasn't all that impressive, but I went from two consecutive zero months (Dec '11/Jan '12) to running 2 half marathons in the Fall and a few new PR's. I'm pretty proud of 2012, so I thought it would be fun to round out the year with Miss Zippy's 2012 Q &A.

Best Race Experience:
This would definitely be a tie between my two big races this year. I set a Half Marathon PR at the Ramblin Rose Half in October on a pretty challenging course.

Best day ever!

Three weeks later I was on the Outer Banks toeing the line at another 13.1. This time it was part of a girls weekend getaway with some good friends! While there was no PR involved, there was plenty of eating and drinking and napping on the beach.

Best Run:
Again, it is a toss up between two 10 milers I ran. Both of them were out of town. One when I was home in Philadelphia. I ran a couple loops of a state park. The trail was crowded with people. The scenery was awesome. I felt great through the run. It was just all around fun.

The second was in Vermont at the peak of leaf peeping season. Vermont is one of my favorite places ever. I loved being able to get in a long run while we were visiting my brother and his family.

Oh Vermont, I love you!

Best New Piece of Gear:
Hands down, without a doubt, my Garmin 110. I was using the Nike + watch before that and it was wildly inaccurate. I super love my Garmin and could not imagine being without it.

Best Piece of Running Advice Received:
"Don't think, just go."  I tend to get bogged down in my own head. Self doubt often stops me in my tracks before actual fatigue. I am trying to listen more to my body instead of the negative thoughts that can creep in during the harder workouts.

Most Inspirational Runner?
Honestly I can not chose just one. Since starting this blog and becoming active on Twitter I have come across so many inspirations: the ultra marathoners, the speedy runners, the slow runners who are just as proud (as they should be!), the runners who juggle families, careers and their own fitness, runners who have lost weight and work to keep it off. I would not be the same without the online running community that I have found.

If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be?
Educational and motivating. I am so excited to see what happens in 2013!

Monday, December 17, 2012

A Mother's Love

As an American and as a parent of a 1st grader and a pre-schooler, the tragedy that occurred in Newtown, CT is unimaginable. My heart goes out to all of the families of the victims. The pictures and the news coming out of CT consumed my thoughts and heart all weekend, as they will for a long time to come. I wish I could be more eloquent, but I need some sort of outlet for my thoughts. I hope they will not be perceived as selfish. What I am is a parent who looks at her own children differently after this weekend.


I couldn't sleep much last night. The words of what I wanted to write here kept flowing through my head. To be honest, I would have been better off writing them down last night because in those moments of silence everything I wanted to say was flowing freely and easily in my mind. Not so much right now.

Like the rest of the nation, I have been consumed by the news from Connecticut. The event, as gruesome as it is, was all the more heart wrenching for me because those children whose lives were lost were the same age as my son. They were probably doing the same things he was when their lives were torn apart from them. My heart aches for the parents of the victims, because I know if it were me I would not be able to go on.

President Obama mentioned a saying about parenthood that I have heard before: that being a parent is like having a piece of your heart living and breathing outside of your body. It is completely true. People obviously know that the bond between a parent, a mother, and their child is unique. But I do not think that you can fully comprehend that unless you have a child of your own. I don't think the intensity of those feelings can be adequately put into words. I struggle to find the words to describe my love for them.

This weekend I was more lenient with them than I normally am, I let them stay up a little later than I normally do and, to be honest, was more patient with them than I normally am. What I realized from Friday's events were that no matter how trying these two little people can be at times, no matter how messy, how obnoxious, how loud and how tiring, I am so incredibly lucky to have them in my life. I don't know if I deserve so much joy and I realize now that I can lose it in an instant.

The joy of parenthood is only equaled by the burden. Every decision I make affects not only me but also them. My responsibilities are heavier because of them. I make personal sacrifices on their behalf. I have the overwhelming responsibility to prepare them to become citizens of the world. It is my job to teach them how to be kind, considerate, active members of society. It is something I don't take lightly, and while I may have been more lenient with them this weekend in particular, I know that can not last long. By setting rules and setting consequences for not following them, I am doing my job as a parent. I am showing them that I love them enough to prepare them for this world.

President Obama also mentioned that from their first step, and every step after that, our children are taking steps away from us. This is true. I sent them both out into the world today when every fiber of my being wants me to keep them with me. But the world keeps moving despite how much we want it to stay still. And I still have an important job to do with these children.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Catching up

Greetings from my sick bed. Today marks day #3 that I have been confined to my bed with the stomach flu. Today I feel well enough to move to the couch, which is a big improvement.

Today, as my symptoms subside, I am relishing the opportunity to slow down a little bit. Life as been moving pretty steadily all Fall and I feel like I am just along for the ride. Since I am able to actually stay awake today it is nice to catch up on some of the little things, like watching everything on my tivo and finally updating my little blog.

I had a whole Thanksgiving post all planned out. What I didn't have was the time to do it. We traveled to South Carolina and I ran a 5mile race on Thanksgiving morning. I PRed and my brother-in-law came in 25th place out of over 1000 people! It was quite a morning. Followed by a lot of eating.

Good running! Now let's eat!
Since then I have been really enjoying not being on a training plan. Two half marathons this Fall were fun, but I definitely am enjoying the break from having to run. So far I run when I want for however long I want. I really like the freedom of that.

I have big plans for the Spring, including 2 half marathons and a 10 mile race. Training for that officially starts in January. Until then, I am taking a much more relaxed approach to running and attempting to get back into weight training.  I am hoping that this stomach flu has not set me back too much. Hopefully by the weekend I will be abe to slowly get moving again.

But for now, it is back to the couch for another nap...