Saturday, February 26, 2011

Practice makes perfect

I feel like an episode of the twilight zone. Its saturday morning, past noon, and I am in my pj's drinking coffee and... blogging?? What? Who is this girl and what happened to crazy wedding planning Sara?

Oh she's here. In fact right now she's playing around with her super fun new Martha Stewart paper punch and designing stationary.
I big pink puffy heart crafting. And weddings.

But you're here for the running related stuff huh...

Today was Team Challenge practice week #2 - New Jersey version. Aka we have a lot of participants from south jersey so we have split up practices in two spots to give more people the opportunity to get the "group training experience" I think I woke up about ten times in the middle of the night terrified I had over slept. I don't know why I do that, but I do. When my alarm finally woke up I double checked my emails and started reciting the names of the people to expect at practice. I am horrible with names. I shouldn't even be talking about it. But I am awesome with repetition, and if I repeat it enough times I am golden.

I like to be super on time! (or I am still learning how to use my new Garmin...)

My pretty sweet new coach shirt.

Good Morning!!!!

So here's the thing. I don't want to say anything negative about New Jersey, but with out fail, every time I go there I get some kind of lost. And then I get angry and frustrated. Lose lose. Thankfully the park we were meeting at is RIGHT by Ralph's office so he gave me great directions and I was there super early. And then I parked in the wrong parking lot. Excellent. This gave me plenty of time to practice with the Garmin and after a few minutes I got the hang of it. I jogged around the park until I met up with our wonderful mentor who helps out with practice. One by one our participants trickled in and then it was time to start practice. Meeting in such a small group was a change from last week but it gave it a much more laid back feeling which was great. I felt like I was just meeting up with friends for a run instead of leading this huge group workout. We were able to split up into two groups and head out.

AAAAAAND I got my Garmin to work! So when someone asks "what's our pace?" or "how far did we just run" I could answer with confidence instead of saying "oh about a mile". It really makes such a difference!

After our run - me with some of our fabulous NOVA teammates!

Bottom line, practice was great, the people are awesome and I am having a BLAST! Getting up early on Saturday mornings is totally worth it, and when practice is over I feel like I have really accomplished something for the day. I am loving meeting all the new people, hearing their stories, and helping them train.

Now if only the weather would warm up a bit...

xx Sara

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Brace yourself

Ralph is the proud new owner of one lovely new fashion accessory - a fitted knee brace to keep his knee cap in place! Yay! I'm happy, because he is on his way to getting better, but he is not happy because it is bulky and uncomfortable.

I was helping Ralph train for an 8-k when he started complaining of knee pain after one of his longer runs. First things first - stop running! But after it didn't go away in a week I started getting nervous. And he got discouraged. Multiple doctor's visits, an X-ray and an MRI later, he finally had a diagnosis that his knee cap was sliding out of place every time he bent his knee (ouch!). Thankfully he is taking the less intrusive route and getting the brace to stabilize it day to day, and going to physical therapy to strengthen all his muscles and hopefully is able to run again come spring, or maybe summer.

I don't know what's harder, being injured and not being able to run, or watching someone close to you be injured and not be able to run. I miss our runs along the tow path (thankfully it's cold so those aren't really an option anyways) and how we could easily chat about our day as we ran along. I am so proud of everything he has accomplished and I am just hoping for a speedy recovery so we can start running together again. With me taking some time off from marathons I think this year will be really great for running smaller races together.

As for me I have been so busy with wedding planning and Team Challenge coaching (and hating mother nature for winter - except when I am snowboarding) that I have been pushing my personal running aside. Saturday I was able to get outside for three great miles through the snow ice and what have you. It was cold but I FINALLY got to use my Garmin for the first time. I'm not even sure if I used it right, but I'm just excited I got to take it out of the box. Yesterday being valentines day was a huge wrench in my workout schedule. I didn't want to come home sweaty for our nice romantic dinner so I skipped the gym altogether and forced myself out of bed at 6am today to head to the gym before work.

I felt like amazing afterwards. Except for the waking up early part. But otherwise I feel like I am finally getting back on track. YAY!

xx Sara

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Full Plate

I would have to say I excel at taking on too many things at once. Kate Middleton has quit her full time job to spend all her time planning her wedding. Me? Hey why don't I take on a whole side job while also planning a wedding. Why not?

So if I am not writing in painstaking detail about every run and every workout - it is because I probably am busy getting confused what day of the week. Oh yeah, an
d also probably because I have not been working out that much.

Dear Mother Nature,
Enough of this winter business. I am cold.
xx Sara

What is this side job I have taken on? Assistant Coach for Team Challenge! I know only a crazy person would say yes to all this extra work at the EXACT same time they get engaged, but that just proves I'm crazy (In case there was any doubt). I couldn't help it. I love running, and I love being involved with Team Challenge. I have gone from participant, to mentor, and now I am moving on up the ladder. I am so excited to be able to work with first time runners or people taking on the 13.1 for the first time, and I am also excited to see what new things experienced runners will be able to teach me.

First time half marathon finishers!!

Oh yea, and on top of all THAT I am taking my RRCA coaching certification in April. It is going to be one CRAZY year, that's for sure.

cute - but we are NOT getting married in front of a giant boat painting.
xx Sara