Archive for November, 2017

The Finishers

November 15, 2017

And here we are, a Las Vegas half marathon finisher. Yes, I went, I ran and I finished. It wasn’t easy, it was tough, but it definitely wasn’t the nightmare my inexperienced half marathon self was expecting. Running it with one of my oldest besties and a brand new bestie was the difference in making it not only manageable, but fun. I shared in my previous post how challenging training for this half marathon was for me. And prior to running, my line of thinking was, “one and done”. Tick this off your non-existent bucket list and never entertain the idea ever again. As for a marathon? Fu*k no! However, in the days since the race I’ve been pondering the notion of maybe, possibly, could I perhaps be capable of running a marathon. I’m a bit#h for a challenge, especially if its a physical one. There’s a streak in me that just finds it hard to say “no”. But I’m going to let the idea sit for a while. Recover from this past weekend of racing and celebrating and not make any hasty decisions.

Here we are doing the pre-race pics and selfies. Top right corner is my good friend Caitriona and I. Caitriona and I started running together when we were kids. We’re talking 9 yrs old. We were part of the same Athletics (Track) Club, shout out to Newbridge AC, and represented our County of Kildare are every Community Games All Ireland Final from the age of 9 to 16 yrs of age. If your not from Ireland, none of that will make any sense, but just know that its a pretty big deal. She is a huge part of my early days as an athlete. Without her training and competing wouldn’t have been half the fun it was. All these years later, and here we are, still friends and still athletes.

A couple of official photos from the race. 3 very happy and relieved half marathon finishers

Half Marathon Debut

November 10, 2017

Plans for the weekend? Me? Why yes, I’m planning to run my first half marathon this weekend, in Las Vegas. I had great intentions of writing a blog post about how it all came about and what I’ve been doing, not doing, trying to do, in preparation for it, but with all of the hosting thas been going on around here the past week, free time became a bit of an unobtainable luxury. So I’ll give a bit of a bullet points version and maybe share more when I return.

- Way back in March my good friend Caitriona (who lives in Texas and is a bit of a marathon beast) and her friend Aileen convinced me that I’d be well able to run a half marathon and should join them in taking part in the Las Vegas half marathon in November. Back in March, November felt so far away that I was sure by the time it came around, I’d definitely have myself ready to take on a 13.1 mile.

- As it turned out, training never seemed to be easy. The first and biggest challenge was finding the time. Mothers live in a constant state of being spread thin. There is always so much that needs to be achieved in a day and you are constantly faced with prioritizing the things that get your time and attention. And some days unfortunately, running didn’t make the cut. Work schedules got crazy. The Husband was in the midst of the travel phase of his job, gone sometimes for 2 or more weeks, and solo parenting doesn’t really lend itself to lots of available running time. Kids got sick, I got sick, basically life was happening and like life tends to do, it made shit hard.

- I underestimated how physically hard training to run 13.1 miles would be. Most days I can comfortably go out and run 4, 5 or 6 miles, but pushing myself to get closer to double digit milage numbers, was a whole other ball game. Shit hurt. Often I’d have to leave days in between one run and the next due to post run body misery. And I would consider myself a pretty in shape person, but long miles are evil, they’re emotional and they fu#k with your head.

- As a former professional athlete, the idea of showing up to any kind of competition less then 100% ready, physically and mentally was never an option. Letting go of that, recognizing that that is not who I am anymore, that my life no longer looks like it did when running was my job and learning to accept the idea of showing up to run a race for the fun, the enjoyment, the challenge, with perfectly fine.

So here I go into my first half marathon. Not feeling completely ready, but feeling nervous  and naively excited. This is going to hurt, like a mofo, guaranteed. But we will start  and we will finish by God. Then we will celebrate, Vegas style.

Taking every opportunity I could to get some milage in. Long runs with my best friend Derval during our kid and spouse free trip to New York last month, after she figured out how to get her Fitbit stop watch going #stepcredit

House Party

November 8, 2017

This past weekend 56 of our closet agent friends and IAAF board members, flew into town for a week long track & field agents conference. Of the 56, 5 actually stayed in our home, 1 from Sweden, 1 from Germany, 1 from the Czech Republic and 2 from the U.S. It was like our very own miniature United Nations HQ, with a heavily represented European delegate. Luckily our guests were completely low maintenance and in the days prior to the conference were happy to play the role of visiting family members, helping around the house, providing entrainment for Keane and Cullen and even joining us on our Sunday morning family hike. Also, low maintenance guests = low maintenance hosting, and despite the fact that times have changed and men and womens roles within the home are now viewed more equally, for some reason the only preparation my husband feel needs doing for visiting guests, is to stock up on beer. The rest of the preparation magically takes care of itself apparently. You know the simple stuff like readying the guest rooms, overall house cleaning, food stocking as well as cooking, just kind of happens while your out shopping for the beer. My high levels of Prep-Host-and Post Host fatigue are just plain baffling to him. But the one thing that really put our hosting skills to the test this week was our idea to have the conference “Welcome Dinner” at our home. Yes, a sit-down dinner for 56 people in our house. As you can imagine this was no small undertaking. The stress levels were on overdrive, planning lead to arguments (The Husband and I disagreed, A LOT) and the effort to move out most of our own furniture and bring in enough tables and seats for 56 people was physical. I swear, the struggle was real, the pressure intense, but with the help of an amazing friend and event planner, a caterer to assist with the food side of things and plenty of available alcoholic beverages we managed to pull it off. Successfully I might add. It was actually a really enjoyable evening, with only a small hangover accompanying me throughout the following day. Ask me if I’d ever take on an entertainment project like that again and the pre-dinner me, tripped out on stress and anxiety would have slapped you square in the face, cut you with a death stare and through pursed lips and gritted teeth said, “NEVER AGAIN“. But ask the post dinner me still buzzing with adrenaline (and wine), high on a winning spirit cos we actually managed to pull off a very enjoyable evening, the same question and suddenly I’m all smiles and declaring that “yes, of course I would do it all again“. In fact, I might even start renting our home out for parties and functions, tis almost party season after all.

Our Sunday morning hike and we divided into 2 teams. The A-team would take the stroller friendly route around Kennesaw Mountain. And the B-team who would hike up and over the mountain. This is our A-team, and the agents are on stroller pushing duty.

A nice long hike will give you plenty of opportunity to get to know each other better.

The A-team made it back to the rendezvous point first and passed the time waiting for the others with a pool paddle.

Finally, the B-team arrives.

Poor tired post-hike Dexter and fellow agent friend.

Nope, I didn’t bring extra clothes for Cullen cos I didn’t know he’d end up in a pool. He went home naked.

So here we are, party day preparations. Our living room has been cleared and replaced with enough tables and chairs for 56 people. The boys were all in for helping. Cullen there to the left is assisting by playing with some trucks at the fire place. Keane is folding the napkins.

All the hard work and preparations finally came together.

A big shout out to my creative and amazing friend Sanders for designing the fabulous centre-pieces decorating the fireplace.

A view of the space from above.

For once I decided to leave my camera aside, so I could focus on actually participating in the fun and enjoying the party like everyone else. But of course I couldn’t resist this one quick iPhone shot of everyone in party mode.