Race Recap

What do a dozen people dressed as reindeer, four wedding couples, a Japanese man wearing traditional  dress including wooden shoes, a lady dressed as a cake, and Darth Vader have in common? They all ran 26.2 miles today!

So I know I haven’t mentioned it lately, but the last four months I’ve been training for the Honolulu Marathon! Thankful for preschool (the most expensive training plan ever! Haha) , an amazing husband, and treadmills when needed, I made it through the entire 20 weeks uninjured and with all toenails intact.

Today was full of logistical craziness (babysitters arrived at 3, had to find a backway to the parking garage, walk a mile to the start line, and then fight the selfie takers to actually make it over the mat – more on that in a minute) but it was worth it and now that it’s over I need to research the races next year.

To start with, it was wet. Drizzly constant damp dreariness. To be fair, it felt pretty good (at first). When we got to the 20+ mph winds later and downpouring rain it wasn’t as much fun. After ditching the trash bag that kept me mostly dry on the walk to the start line, I joined in the selfie taking fun.


Finally the fireworks went off. They say the race starts at 5, and I’m sure for the front runners it does, but no one moves till the fireworks are over, and even then you fight crowds the whole way.


Who knew we were at a race start and not a rock concert with all the phones and cameras out?


From there, it wasn’t until about mile 13 that there was actually enough room on the road to maneuver easily. There were just so.many.people. It definitely would be hard to Boston qualify with the multitudes of people.

The race went pretty well from there, though. The sun came out and warmed us up every now and then (between downspurts), and around mile 17 I even found a yellow submarine. How can you not stop for a picture with a submarine?


And in true Hawaii fashion, we were graced with a rainbow!


From there it was just back up and over Diamondhead and on to the finish. I was actually on target for the time I wanted until mile 22. Someone in front of me collapsed and so I stayed to help until EMS arrived. Thankfully she should be just fine. Once I got up my muscles were not happy about having to get moving again, and it took a little while to get back into it. She kept telling me to go finish the race, and I promised her I would finish for her. This one is for you, Wanda!



And I found Darth Vader! Can you imagine running even 1 mile in a helmet?


Well, that’s all for now. I am eating all the food and researching races for next year. You know that’s when it’s bad is when you want to do another even while you can barely wiggle your toes without cringing 🙂

Marine Corps Marathon – The Completion

Thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you for your support for us, for your thoughts and well-wishes for the marathon, and for your support for the Fisher House.

Marine Corps Marathon is like no other. Called “The People’s Marathon,” there are no elites – no racers getting paid to be there. It is entirely entered by runners wanting to challenge themselves for the sake of the race.

It was cold. Very very cold. But I’d prefer that to rain/wind/snow/heat, so I’ll take it!


The race was honestly the best I’ve ever seen/run. It felt like there were just as many spectators on the course as there were runners (and there were a LOT of runners).


And the best part of going in with no real time goal except for to beat the bus? You can be one of “those” people who stop and take pictures. Because, well, why not?!



We were even able to meet up with some amazing friends from our last boat (the Navy really is a small world.. or it at least makes the world feel smaller), and it was wonderful to meet their baby girl! She was even sweet enough to take a pic for us!



And the best part of any race? The bling. And this is by far one of the coolest medals I’ve ever gotten (with the only exception being the Salinas Valley Half Marathon’s… it’s a wine bottle cork, what’s cooler than that?!)


In the end, we charged D.C., “beat the bridge” (didn’t get picked up by the slow runner buses), and conquered the last hill at the Iwo Jima memorial.

Thank you, Congress, for doing your job and reopening government so that the race wasn’t cancelled! And THANK YOU to Team Fisher House for your support, the awesome race goodies, the crowds cheering us on, and the food tent at the end.




Halfway there…

Hard to believe that when we started planning this crazy Marine Corps Marathon/PCS/cross country driving insanity, it was over 3 months ago. And now we have just over 3 months to go before the MCM.

Can you believe it?!

We’ve officially crossed the halfway point of the training plan, with this weekend calling for 14 miles. A bit of a milestone, since the last time I ran that far was marathon training in 2010. Do the math. That was BEFORE the triplets. 3 years ago.

Can you believe it?!

Training is going pretty well. We are enjoying the Galloway plan – low stress, low key, and allows for a life during the week (as well as kickboxing, my new obsession). We also get to do some of those 30 minute runs together. You don’t realize how easy 30 minutes of running is until you try to do the same route with 75 pounds of child and stroller (90 if you’re pushing the boys).


Sometimes it’s nice to get out there with just some music, the miles, and the ocean going by. You know, in the beautiful sunny warm Monterey weather (not… see the giant cloud blocking the ocean below?!)


Others? It’s nice to have company.  Every now and then we’re blessed with a house guest who, as a perk of staying here (or punishment.. not sure which!) they get to watch the little terrorists wonderful angels and we can run together on a long run.


Not all runs are great (like today), and honestly some of them suck (like today) but we’re getting there. And it’s definitely better than it was 3 years ago. And we’re raising money for Fisher House, which makes it all worth it.

Speaking of, if you haven’t yet had a chance and are so inclined, don’t forget to donate to our team! Every dollar helps another military family (just like yours truly) have somewhere to stay during a military hospital stay for their family member(s).

Fisher House banner


No words to describe


Can you even imagine? Training for months. Working harder and committing deeper to this than you have to anything before in your life. You make it 26 miles. You smile at the crowd around you. The crowd that is cheering for YOU. It is a holiday in the city. Workers have the day off, schools are closed, everyone who knows anything about running is at that finish line. To support YOU. Boston is said to be one of the friendliest marathons – best cheering crowd, best memories made, best scenery. People work their whole lives to run 26.2 miles faster than they ever have before, just in order to qualify to do it all over again.

And you get to 26.1 miles. You can see the finish line ahead. And then the world collapses into chaos.

Those families. Those runners. Newtown, CT, victims’ families are there.

There is nothing to say. There are no words for this tragedy.

I know that when I run 26.2 miles in October, it will be every single step in memory of those who lost their lives or limbs or selves today and will never run again. It will be for those military who go through the fear of that every day of their tours overseas. It will be for those who will not recover from this event and will be forever scarred.

Pray. Pray harder than you ever have before. Our country needs it.

Almost 7 months until…

Marine Corps Marathon 2013!!

Not sure if you remember me saying last year when we were doing a local event for March of Dimes, that if I ever were to actively raise money for a group it would be the Fisher House.

A lot of people haven’t heard of Fisher House Foundation. Understandably so, as they serve military families so if you’re not military you might not ever cross paths with them.

We, fortunately, were able to take advantage of the house in Tacoma, WA near Madigan Army Medical Center. Located only 1 mile away from the hospital (and therefore the NICU), our social worker in the hospital kept in touch with them during my hospital stay. We had actually looked into a room there for Steven and Aiden, but as we didn’t have childcare set up down in Tacoma, it didn’t work out for them to stay closer to me when they’d have to commute back to Bangor each and every day.


Once we delivered, though, we called and they had a room available for us. The great thing is that, had they not, they would have put our family up in a hotel near by until they had a room open up, so either way they would have helped us get our family closer together.

So after being discharged from the hospital, instead of having to drive an hour away to our house, we merely drove a mile down the road. I could see the hospital from the yard if I tried, and it was so comforting to know that while I was leaving my sweet little babies at the hospital, I could be back in a matter of minutes should the doctors call me.

We stayed there for over two weeks. There was food in the kitchen, girl scout cookies on the counter, toys for Aiden to play with, a great play yard outside, and the staff was incredible. They were kind, provided a new toy and blankets for the kids, and it was so nice to know that we were taken care of.

Once Jace came home, I was even able to walk back and forth, which was so much easier than trying to drive at the time!


And did I tell you the best, most amazing part, of this whole thing? IT WAS FREE. You read that right. FREE. They did not ask a single penny for any of it. And while a couple weeks doesn’t seem that big of deal, you have to remember the 4 weeks prior Steven was driving an hour a day each way to come see me. Add up those gasoline charges. And imagine how much a hotel would have been so we could stay down near the babies. Not a pretty picture is it???

I swore that should I ever run a race that Team Fisher House (a fundraising group for Fisher House to run races around the country) was a fundraiser for, I’d sign up in a heartbeat. And we did. We’re actually scheduling our lives in October around the opportunity to run Marine Corps Marathon in DC. Steven and I are both running, and have a family fundraiser page.



We are asking you for your help. Fisher House helps thousands of families across the nation every day. Not every story is as happy as ours, or with as good of an outcome. Wounded warriors and their families are taken care of for months at a time (one of the families we met in WA had been staying there for over a year while their service member was treated!), they are often helped so much more than we were. But we cannot say thanks enough. What they did for us took the worry out of our NICU stay in regards to logistics and our family and let us focus on what mattered: our babies and each other. And for that we want to try to repay them at least a little.

We’ll keep you updated as begin training, the plans for the race, and the results afterwards.

Thank you in advance for your support!

Taking a break…

From the children.

We all need it, even those wonderful-amazing-homeschooling-attachment parenting-child loving-martyrs of moms need it.

Who doesn’t?!

I haven’t really talked about my training or running lately, and frankly I probably should more. Keeps me accountable, is fun to share something other than children/diapers/messes/war stories, and gives you a break (though, I know, you’d really just prefer to see their smiling faces. I might oblige at the end!)

Two and a half years ago I got together with a trainer in WA with a goal of improving fitness and speeding up my running. Back then, she gave me a spreadsheet with running paces on a treadmill (after having seen me run), and completely believed that I could do it. Um, yeah, she was a nut case. I couldn’t make it through one interval, much less the two additional repeats of it. Now, I say that in the nicest way, because I know she really just had more faith in me than I did myself (than I DO myself, most days).

A couple weeks into the program (which I was failing miserably at), I found out I was pregnant. No biggie, I’ll keep running and just slow it down. I remember trying a run in Coronado during our crazy cross-country drive, and thinking, “This is HARD.” Yeah. Found out a few weeks later it was triplets. There went the running!

Fast forward two years. I’ve gotten back into it, suffered through a half-marathon (wow, is it different after a triplet pregnancy, my hips are still not back in the right spot, I think!), and done a triathlon. But I want more. I want to get faster. And I (stupidly) signed up for an olympic triathlon in 3 short months which may just kill me.

So I tried that training plan once more. And didn’t die this time. Yeah, it still sucks. But not quite as much as it used to. And I did start to get faster. I finally could run faster than an 11 minute mile on a regular basis. And I can almost do the intervals without stopping for water. Insert a 5k this weekend, and I was shooting for my first sub-30 minute yet. Low and behold, I pulled off a 30:32! Not too shabby. I wouldn’t be as upset about it if I hadn’t walked a few times. Went out too fast, too much wine the night before (never thought I’d say that phrase!), and a stomach cramp or two later, I found a sweet old man, white beard and all, and followed him along the way to the finish line. We kept each other going, and it wasn’t as rough with him beside me (I mean, really, if he can do it, I have nothing to complain about!).

So the journey begins. Less than 12 weeks until I swim almost 1.5km (0.97mi), bike 40k (25 miles), and run 10k (6.2m). Lord help me…

At least these little munchkins will be at the finish line!


2012: A year in review

2012 was a pretty darn good year, I’d say.

It featured a lot of stability, which was a blessing and nice surprise in the Navy life. It’s not often that we go an entire calendar year in the same house, with no orders or changes to current orders, with a husband who was home EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. of the year (except for a day or two at the Rose Bowl, but I’ll forgive that!).

The year started with us having a 3 year old and three 6 month olds. Big brother didn’t know his alphabet, couldn’t read numbers (though he could count pretty well), and was a little toddler still in his mama’s eyes. The babies? Well, they still stayed where we put them, and ate pureed food and drank from bottles that we mostly had to hold for them.


One year later, we have three babies who walk, run, and climb their way around the house. A big brother who counts, sings, runs, plays, and is more of a boy than a baby now. We hear sweet little voices all day long as they talk to each other and us (or yell, or scream, or cry… but that’s a topic for another post). Big brother takes an active role in helping them (sometimes too active). We have children that I can refer to less and less as “babies” and more and more as toddlers and kids. It’s kind of scary!


Last year I pledged to finally recommit to running in earnest. And I did. Sort of. I definitely accomplished more this year than ever before. My first triathlon. My first road race. My first of many post-babies half marathons. Faster. Stronger. But I was still a bit lackadaisical with it all. Why bother training for a half? I’ve done 6 before! Well, let me tell you, a triplet pregnancy later, and having been up with children in the night before, leads to a half marathon taking more effort than it has in the past. But we made it. Steven and I survived our first half together. And we can only do better next time!


This year? We’re ready. Bring it on. January is starting out right with a trip to Disney (Remember, kids under 2 are free. When half of your family turns 2 in just a few short months, better go now while it costs half as much!). February brings big boy turning 5. FIVE. HOLY CRAP HE’S TURNING FIVE. That’s like… a whole hand. Seriously. How did that happen?!?! March brings the big 3-0 for a certain daddy in this house. April? Submarine birthday ball. I think I’ve already planned more for it than was done by March last year. Thank God for that! Olympic triathlon in May? Scheduled. June? Three little ones have a sweet little birthday. July? Our last school break before daddy finishes school here and we head on the road to who knows where. August? Kindergarten. Need I say more?? September? Graduation from NPS. Marathon in October? Hopefully, depending on orders and what happens (welcome to the real Navy again!). November? Hopefully we’ll be settled in a house that is bigger than the one we’re in, or at the very least isn’t any smaller. And December? Goodness, another year, another Christmas, another 365 days without deployments.

How can it get any better than that?!

Here we go again…

The good about being done having kids? I can focus on running/weightloss/getting faster without knowing that at some point in the future I’ll have to start all over.

The bad? I lost a lot of stamina and endurance with that pregnancy. Carrying 13 pounds of baby and being 60+ inches around doesn’t really help your midsection, nor does it allow you to do much other than walk (and that is at a VERY slow pace).

The ugly? I have no more excuses. No more reasons why I shouldn’t try harder. No more excuses that I’ll have to slow down eventually so I might as well take it easy now. None.

So here we go again. Unfortunately, this picture sums up my training quite beautifully:

Source: facebook.com via Nicole on Pinterest

So yeah. Wardrobes have been switched out from shorts that ride low to compression capris that hold in the post-baby belly. We had to learn how to run on hills. Because, you know, I was able to avoid those in WA. I could run anywhere I wanted without having to run a hill if I really wanted to avoid them. Here? I have to do at least 100 feet of elevation change just to get from my house to the lower housing area less than a half mile away. And then I have to come back up that to get home.

No more excuses.

And yet, I feel stronger. When we first got here the hill leading to our house would leave me breathless on a run. Today? I did it three times with the neighbor.

Before, trying to hold a conversation during an “easy” run was a joke. The concept of an “easy” run was a joke. The concept of a run that didn’t involve a step of walking was a joke. Now? The neighbor and I did 5 miles last weekend without breaking stride and joking the whole time, still at a faster pace than my half-marathon PR.

I will never win. And my fastest times may be when I’m trying to catch up to the girl scout selling cookies. But ya know what? I can’t get worse, and I won’t ever have to stop again. Some day I might even be able to push a double jogger. And run. All at the same time. For now? The jogger will be reserved for parks and malls, and running will be reserved for girl time with a great friend and burning off those girl scout cookie calories.

That said, next up: Why girl scout cookie season occurring right after new years resolutions are made is just cruel…