Catching up…

Good morning!

Things have been super quiet around here for the past couple months, so we thought we’d do a catch up post and let you all know what we’ve been up to!

Travis has been taking some much needed downtime since running Chicago and NYC back to back. He’s still been dealing with a slight groin strain so getting back into running has been a slow process. Since he’s not been running he’s been able to do a little bit of weight lifting in the mean time. He’s going to have to get back to training soon though, as he was accepted through the lottery for the NYC Half Marathon!

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For the 2017 season Travis will once again be running for SLS3. The majority his spare time has been spent in the woods. He had a successful hunting trip to western New York at the end of November snagging two deer and he got extra lucky and was able to get a great looking buck right near home on his last day of hunting. He keeps telling me that the mount of the deer he’s having made will hang above our bed. I keep telling him he’ll be finding a new bed (just kidding…kind of).

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I’ve still been plugging along post injury. I’m back to running on a regular basis and have been trying to build my base back up before starting to train for Syracuse. Making strength training a priority and focusing on form has made a major difference in my running and I’m really looking forward to seeing what next years races hold.

Speaking of races, we’re both still trying to finalize next years race calendar but are happy to say that we’ve secured spots for the Chicago Marathon with Team Up! with Autism Speaks once again. We’ve also begun early preparations for the third annual Piece By Piece 5K which will be once again presented by SLS3. Keep an eye out for more information! Also on my schedule so far is Ragnar Adirondacks. I’m still looking to add a few more races into my schedule…any suggestions?

I’ve also been busy playing hockey mom. Parker skates three times a week so we spend a lot of time at the rink. He’s made some great progress this year and is now skating on his own without the assistance of the walker or a chair. He learned to stand up without holding on now and finds it highly entertaining to purposely fall so he can practice his new skill.

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Peyton has reached the stage where she’s into all things girly. She lives in a purple ball gown just about daily and loves having her hair done up with bows and when daddy paints her nails.

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As always with this time of year,  we’re in full swing getting ready for Christmas. I’m on top of the game this year (for once) and have all of my shopping done and most everything wrapped already! The kids have been enjoying all things Christmas- decorating the tree, making cookies and visiting Santa…well Parker did at least. Peyton wouldn’t go within 5 feet of him.

I think that’s about it for catching up!

We’re linking up with Ho Ho Runs and MissSippiPiddlin for the Weekly Wrap!

WeeklyWrap

Chicago Marathon Weekend — Before the Race

Preparations for our Chicago trip were in full swing for most of last week. One of the most important things that had to be done before we left was a haircut. During the course of fundraising for Team Up! a friend had told me he was willing to make a sizeable donation this year, but I was going to have to earn it. An idea was thrown out and when another friend caught wind of it he agreed to match the donation. For a $400 donation, I had agreed to shave something into the back of my hair and it had to remain for the entirety of our trip.  This is the result:

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It’s a 13 hour drive from Upstate New York to Chicago, so to make it easier on the kids we left at bedtime on Thursday night. Within the span of a few minutes both kids were snoring in the back seat leaving us able to drive a solid chunk of the trip without having to stop. Traveling this way has it’s pros and cons – the kids sleep but that leaves us staying up the entire night driving – it’s exhausting!

Our first stop was at O’Hare International Airport to pick up our back up for the weekend – Grandma! She flew in from Michigan for the weekend to help us out with the kids while we attended the various activities that we had planned. Poor timing on our part left us stuck in early morning Chicago traffic. Once we left the airport it took us nearly an hour to get over to the expo.

Once we arrived at McCormick Place and walked what seemed like a mile to get to the actual expo it was time to pick up bibs! The kids were a little overwhelmed with the amount of people so they hung out with Grandma outside while we visited some of the vendors and did a little shopping. We also stopped at the Nike pace booth to sign up for a pace group for Sunday.

After the expo we were all pretty hungry so we checked into our hotel and set out for food. After dinner we were all pretty exhausted from traveling all night so it was an early bedtime.

On Saturday morning we were up bright and early as I had registered to run the Chicago International 5K.

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 The first International Chicago 5k began at Daley Plaza, where the Chicago Marathon starting line was many years ago. It was a great event and great start to the weekend. The course ran along Lake Michigan and finished a short distance from the marathon finish line. It was a timed event but I was using it as a shakeout run, so I just enjoyed the views and went for a three mile jog. 

We had plans to take the kids to the Shedd Aquarium so once the 5K was complete we picked up the kids and Grandma and made our way back across town.  We also had something extra special planned for the Aquarium. Parker was going to get a chance to meet his IRun4 buddy who flew in from New Orleans to run the marathon with Team Up! We were all very excited to get the chance to meet Rachel and her boyfriend. They spent the morning with us while we checked out all of the exhibits. Both kids had a blast – they especially loved the penguins!

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After several hours at Shedd it was time to head back to the hotel to get ready for the Team Up! Chicago team dinner. Just like last year it was held at Maggiano’s Little Italy. We got a chance to meet some other team members who would be running the next day. I also had the opportunity to speak and share a little bit about our family and our reasons for choosing to run with Team Up!

 

After spending a couple of hours at the dinner it was time to head back to the hotel to get ready to tackle 26.2 the next morning!

 

Weekly Wrap #33: 7/25-7/31

Happy Monday! It’s not been a very eventful week here. The majority of our free time was spent on our driveway project, which is now finished! I wasn’t completely sold on why we needed new rocks…but now that it’s done I’m very glad we did it. It looks a thousand times better than it did before!

Monday was our 7th wedding anniversary. We totally failed at taking a picture, but we celebrated with dinner out. We tried a new to us place just across the border into Canada called Truffles. They served specialty burgers and fries that did not disappoint! I wasn’t overly adventurous (they had alligator burgers as well as one coated in 23 karat gold) and got one topped with avocado while Travis had a venison burger.

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Tuesday we ended up spending some extra time at the doctor with Peyton. She’s been battling a nasty cough for the majority of the month that got significantly worse. Poor thing is finally getting back to normal now!

We’re prepping to leave for Michigan later this week. We’re really looking forward to spending some time with family. We’ve also got a wedding to attend this trip so we’ll get to see some extended family members that we don’t get to see often at all!

Travis: At the end of July I had amassed a total of 1,209 miles for the year and 216 in July. August should be my highest mileage month leading up to the Chicago Marathon which is now only 10 weeks away. I received my tenative corral assignment over the weekend which means it’s getting close! Just have to keep pushing through this sheer exhaustion and persevere. 

Monday: 6 miles (a.m.) @ 8:08 pace – I skipped my evening run to celebrate my anniversary. 

Tuesday:  2 Mile Warm Up, 8 x 800 meters @ 5k pace w/ 90 second recovery, 2 Mile Cool Down – 8:01 pace

Wednesday: 6 miles + Strides @ 7:27 pace

Thursday: 11 miles – 1 Mile Warm Up, 9 Miles Marathon Pace, 1 Mile Cool Down @ 7:18 pace

Friday: Rest Day

Saturday: 17 mile Long Run @ 8:03 pace

Sunday: 6 miles @ 9:00 pace

Total Weekly Mileage: 54 miles

Jen: I’ve been feeling downright exhausted lately. Most likely from training, heat, life in general…all of the above? I’ve already run double the miles that I ran last year. For our run the year challenge I’m currently sitting at 736 and July marked my highest mileage month ever with 132 miles. Its crazy for me to think that I ran somewhere just shy of 300 miles for the entire year last year and I did nearly half of that in one month alone. In an effort to tone up before our Dominican vacation in January I’ve started stepping up my strength workouts in the past week as well. Nothing like a week on a beach upcoming to provide a little extra motivation! There was a little step back in my long run this week to act as a recovery run.

Monday: Rest Day

Tuesday: unplanned rest day

Wednesday: 2 mile WU, 2×2 mile at tempo pace with 0.5 recovery, 0.5 mile CD- 7 miles total

Thursday: 3 miles

Friday: Rest Day

Saturday: 4 miles

Sunday: 10 miles

Total weekly mileage:  24 miles

WeeklyWrap

Weekly Wrap #32: 7/18-7/24

 

Phew! This summer seems to be getting the best of us. Apologies again for a lack of posting.

I got back from Nashville Tuesday morning around 5 am. My only options for flights got me back into New York at midnight and then I still had a five hour drive home from the airport. Exhausted didn’t even begin to cover it! I had a great weekend away with my sister but was glad to get back home to the family. Here’s a few photos from my trip:

 

Travis and the kids had a great weekend at home as well! It was our local SummerFest, so they had some fun playing in bounce houses and getting Ice Cream and Cotton Candy.

 

 

We’ve also been working on a major outdoor project that will hopefully be wrapping up at the end of this week. We’ve currently got our entire driveway ripped apart and will be getting all new stone laid down. Between that project and cleaning up from the couple big storms we’ve had there’s been a lot of yard work this week!

Today is also our seventh wedding anniversary. Time sure flies when you’re having fun!

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I think that’s about it for a catch up…here’s our workouts from the week:

Travis: It’s that time of the training cycle where I’m constantly exhausted and always eating. My body is craving a break from work also after two 10-day work stretches in a row. Despite the constant exhaustion, the body is handling the increase in mileage very well, with only a few minor muscle aches. I’m very pleased with my training times and have loved seeing negative splits on all my longer runs. 

Monday: 6 miles (planned 8) @ 8:11 pace

Tuesday: 8 miles – 2 Mile Warm Up, 5 x 1 Mile Tempo Pace, 1 Mile Cool Down – 7:37 pace

Wednesday: 5.50 miles + Strides (planned 6) @ 7:46 pace

Thursday: 8 miles Marathon Pace @ 7:02 pace

Friday: Rest Day

Saturday: 16 mile Long Run @ 7:49 pace — second half 3:15 (min:sec) faster than first half

Sunday: 6 miles @ 8:08 pace

Total Weekly Mileage: 49.50 miles

Jen: Week 8 of training for the Chicago Marathon just wrapped up! It’s crazy to think that we’re just a few short months away from the race already! Training has been going well. I’m up to 15 miles in my long runs at this point. I’ve started to try different things with fueling…I think I’ll have a whole post about that once I finish experimenting. 

Monday: Rest Day

Tuesday: 3 miles

Wednesday:4 miles

Thursday: 2 miles warm up, 3 miles @ tempo, 1 mile cool down

Friday: Rest Day

Saturday: 3 miles

Sunday: 14.5 miles

Total weekly mileage:  30.5 miles

WeeklyWrap

Weekly Wrap #31: 7/4-7/10

Happy Monday!

It’s been a pretty quiet week around here. Parker’s tee ball season is officially finished, leaving us with two extra free evenings during the week.

After we got back from New Jersey both kids came down with nasty colds and they eventually passed it on to me as well so that has led to us needing and wanting to lay low and try to get healthy.

For the Fourth of July, we spent the majority of the day at home playing outside with the kids. We hit the local parade where the kids got far too much candy, but they seemed to enjoy it! We didn’t attempt to keep them awake to go to the fireworks. The thought of keeping them up at least three hours past their bed time just wasn’t appealing!

Parker started his extended school year on Thursday. He was very excited to meet his new teacher and was thrilled to find out that they will be going swimming several times during the week. I love that even though he will be spending six weeks of his summer in school that they are still trying to add in fun aspects to it for the kids.

I head off to Nashville on Friday. I’m really looking forward to spending the weekend with my sister that I haven’t seen since Christmas as well as exploring Nashville. She’s got some fun things planned for us! There’s been some talk of moonshine and mechanical bulls…we’ll see if I survive!

Travis ran a local 5k on Saturday morning in the pouring rain. Parker was really bummed that he didn’t get to race, so after the event was over he and daddy had their own race in the parking lot. Parker won!

 

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Here are our workouts for the week:

Travis: Training is beginning to ramp up quickly now. As you’ll see below, I set a new 5K PR this week — now my third year in a row setting a new 5K PR in the exact same week of the year. I have been trying to break into the 18 minute range since last July with no success. It felt good to finally achieve that new PR and prove to myself that the endless miles are paying off. I also ran my first sub 6 minute mile since I was a high schooler, so that was exciting as well. Looking ahead I will be doing some video reviews on some newer products and the first review should be up soon on YouTube, so stay tuned.

Monday: 6 miles @ 7:58 pace

Tuesday: 8 miles – 2 Mile Warm Up, 4 Miles Tempo Pace, 2 Mile Cool Down – 7:52 pace

Wednesday: 6 miles + Strides @ 7:53 pace

Thursday: 8 miles – 1 Mile Warm Up, 6 Miles Marathon Pace, 1 Mile Cool Down @ 7:43 pace

Friday: Rest Day

Saturday: 5K Race with two new PR’s

1) One Mile PR – 5:54

2) 5K PR – 18:57

11 mile Long Run @ 8:02 pace

Sunday: 7 miles @ 7:55 pace

Total Weekly Mileage: 49 miles

Jen: It’s hard to believe that I’m already through week 5 of Chicago training. For the most part it’s been going well! My legs were tired for the first half of the week, but that was just from shifting my long run around last weekend. I’ve been dealing with a sinus infection this week and have been feeling all around miserable, but have still managed to get all of my runs in. Actually, when I’m running seems to be the only time that I can breathe easily! This weeks long run brought my first venture into anything over half marathon distance. Because of the storms we had all weekend I was stuck to the treadmill. Now, I don’t usually mind the treadmill but 14 miles was pushing it for me. I’m looking forward to checking out the greenways in Nashville while I’m there next weekend!

Monday: 13 miles

Tuesday: 3 miles

Wednesday: 2 mile w/u, 3 mile tempo, 1 mile c/d for 6 miles total

Thursday: 3 miles

Friday: Rest Day

Saturday: 2 miles

Sunday: 14 miles

Total weekly mileage:  41 miles

WeeklyWrap

Weekly Wrap #30: 6/27 – 7/3

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Welcome back to Tale of 2 Half’s and Happy Independence Day!   As we sit here writing this post, we have been thinking about all of the places one or both of us has visited in the last month that represent a small portion of our country’s freedom and Independence. From Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia where the 2nd Continental Congress signed our Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.

To the Statue of Liberty –  a gift to the United States from the people of France – representing the Roman goddess Libertas, who bears a torch and stone upon which is inscribed the date of the American Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776. The statue is an icon of freedom and of the United States, and was a welcoming sight to immigrants arriving from abroad.

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“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

~ The New Colossus, by American poet Emma Lazarus

And also Ellis Island where today over 100 million Americans— about one-third of the population — can trace their ancestry to the immigrants who first arrived in America at Ellis Island for inspection before departing for points all across the United States.

 These are only a few of the many iconic locations in our country’s fight for freedom and independence and we would highly recommend that each of you visit these locations at some point. Now, on to our workouts for the week:

Travis: Training has been off to a good start for me as I am prepping to tackle the Chicago Marathon for the second time. I have only missed one workout in the first four weeks and my times have been faster during the first month of training than during previous training periods. After one month my legs feel good, my new shoes are breaking in well and I’m injury free. Hopefully this trend continues during the second month.

Monday: 6 miles @ 8:28 pace

Tuesday: Skipped Workout

Wednesday: 6 miles @ 8:15 pace

Thursday: 7 miles at Marathon Pace @ 7:26 pace

Friday: Rest Day

Saturday: 13 mile Long Run @ 7:36 pace

Sunday: 6 miles @ 7:49 pace

Total Weekly Mileage: 38 miles

Jen: I’ve been doing a lot of shuffling within my training to accommodate various events and life in general but all in all everything is going well! This past week was a little lighter which was welcomed while we were traveling! I’m anticipating the next few weeks will have me heading into the highest mileage long runs that I’ve ever done.

Monday: Rest Day

Tuesday: unplanned rest day

Wednesday: 3 miles

Thursday: 3.5 miles

Friday: Rest Day

Saturday: 4 miles

Sunday: Off. This would typically be my long run day but it was pushed to today instead.

Monday: 13 miles

Total weekly mileage:  23.5 miles

WeeklyWrap

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