Wednesday, July 31, 2013

I'm Back!!! NYC, Philly, Blue Ridge and Born to Run 100K Here I come!

Yes, it's been a while since I blogged.  I was taking a vacation.  A vacation from work, vacation from cooking, cleaning, running so intensely, from blogging and life in general.  As you may recall we went to Bosnia and Croatia to visit Emir's family.  We were there for 4.5 glorious weeks!  We ran the Plitvice Marathon which I wrote about in my last entry.  After that I was tired.  I mean I'm pretty sure that it was a normal reaction of my body to running 3 marathons and a 50K between the last week in March and 1st week of June, only one of them NOT taking place on a mountain.  Unlike some people, I wasn't sick of running and I didn't hate it.  My body just felt physically tired.  I took about 4 days off completely after the marathon and then I ran 4 miles here, 5 miles there whenever I felt like it.  Once we went to Croatia I only ran maybe 2-3 times in the 2.5 weeks we were there.  Most days I went for 45-60 minute swims in the Adriatic.  There's nothing like it.  Water is crystal clear, you can see fish and other sea life while swimming.  I miss my swimming days so much.  Every time I'm  in Croatia I just always think why can't the Atlantic be this nice?!?!  There's no way you could go for daily open water swims like that in Jersey.  It's just not safe.  Anyway Emir's mom has an apartment on an island called Ugljan.  My life when I am on the island is perfect.  Whenever the kids wake us up, we eat breakfast and we are at our beach cafĂ© by 9.  I'm pretty well known there now after several summers of lengthy visits so either a table is saved for me or space made at one of my friend's tables.  You are literally sitting right on the beach so the kids play and swim while the mommies drink coffee and chat.  Eventually it's lunch and nap time.  That's mommy's free time to go swimming, read and relax.  My mother in law cooks all our meals and stays with the kids while they are napping since she is usually cooking all day anyway.  At night we go for walks around the small town, usually indulge in ice cream and beer.  It was truly the perfect way to end our spring racing season and give our bodies some rest. 

Once we were back in the states which was the very end of June, I still wasn't really ready to go back to a steady running schedule.  Also we have a condo in Wildwood at the Jersey shore so I spend a lot of my off days there with the kids.  Until this past weekend, Emir wasn't able to come down as much because of many reasons (car problems, soccer games, work) so anyway that made it pretty much impossible for me to do much running anyway.  I did however do a bunch of I suppose we will say "jogs" with the kids.  Niko rode his bike while I ran pushing Una in the stroller.  Usually somewhere between mile 1 and 2 Niko gets tired and he hops on the stroller as well and I throw his bike on top.  Yup that's how I run anywhere from 1-2 miles to finish it off.  It's actually fun.  The kids love it and we are on the boardwalk next to the ocean so what's not to love?!

So that brings me to last week.  The weather finally broke from being oppressively hot and humid to 80s and fresh air.  All of the sudden my desire to run and run a lot came back.  Maybe it wasn't all completely my body being tired maybe some of it was the impossible thick air that made me feel like that.  Regardless I know it was for my own benefit that I rested a bit.  And now not only am I feeling better running but Emir and I have finally put together our running schedule.  It was hard to be excited and motivated without races in my future to be excited about.  That's just how I am, I need some kind of goal or else I feel like "what I am doing this for?"  So what races are we doing, you might ask.  Well back in May my sister-in-law (editor for Fitness magazine) basically begged Emir and I to sign up for the NYC Marathon lottery.  She ran it in 2011 and absolutely loved it.  She wants to run it this year with her husband (Emir's brother Dino) and us.  Honestly, Emir and I were pretty against running NYC.  The thought of paying $260 for a race plus having to take a ferry to Staten island at the crack of dawn only to sit there and wait 5 hours to race. It just didn't sound like that much fun to us.  But we obliged and entered the lottery.  I think all of us figured it was pretty much guaranteed that there was no way all 4 of us would get in.  Well long story later and really thanks to a friend who works at ING, all 4 of us are in the NYC marathon.  Despite my hesitations, I am really excited.  Not going to lie, I'm pretty sure that I am excited because we are part of the ING team so we will have some special privileges that include a heated tent on race day ;-)  But really it will be an experience to do a huge race like this.  It is completely different than the types of marathons we generally like to run. 

Of course if you have been reading my blog at all you know that NYC can't be the only thing on our schedule and you would be right.  Two weeks after NYC is the Philly Marathon.  Despite not being the biggest fans of the course due to the second half being of the out and back variety, this year is the 20th anniversary so there will be a lot of fun things going on plus an awesome medal I'm sure.  Did I mention we also got a good discount for filling out the race survey??  ;-) 

Then we move on to spring.  Nothing is set in stone yet but OD Marathon at the shore is always in play since it's so convenient for us and a fast course.  Then there is Blue Ridge Marathon in April.  We absolutely loved this marathon and are really hoping to do it again.  I'm waiting to hear if maybe I will get to be an official blogger.  Fingers crossed!!!  I would love to have that experience.  But either way most likely we will run it since I have cousins who live down there and it's such a great race.

And then there is a race that we are most excited about.  April 2014 happens to be Emir and I's 10th wedding anniversary.  We have been thinking of ways to celebrate for at least a year now.  We were married in Key West on the beach so one thought was to return there.  There's a ragnar there or a half marathon.  Another idea was to run the Madrid marathon since it occurs right around our anniversary and we LOVE Madrid.  There were other ideas.  It was always the same, we liked the ideas but there was never anything that gave us that "yes, this is it!" feeling until this week.  Emir stumbled across the Born To Run Ultra event in California.  It occurs in May which is perfect timing for us to go on an anniversary trip.  The race included camping on a ranch for two days, lots of drinking, tattoos and of course the running.  After the race we are going to stay in California and visit a bunch of sites and eventually end up in Vegas and the Grand Canyon.  I couldn't be more excited, except that it's 9 months away.  Anyway they offer a variety of distances from 10 miles to 100 miles.  The last few days while we have been talking this out and planning out which sites to visit while we are there, it was assumed that we were doing the 50K.  I started reading about the race, reading some runners' blogs about it and getting myself really excited.  In my head I was thinking I really want to do something more for our anniversary, do something we haven't done.  But I was also thinking about conservative Emir.  You know how he can be afraid to go fast in a race for fear of "hitting the wall" or afraid to set a goal for a PR because we are running several races close together.  I didn't want to say anything because I thought for sure he would say it's too much to do more than a 50K, how will we train enough?  we will be too tired to enjoy the trip, blah blah.  I just want to enjoy our anniversary.  Then today after I got back from my run before Emir was going on his, we were discussing the trip a bit.  All of the sudden, Emir blurted out "I want to run the 100K!"  I was shocked!  I said "you do?!  so do I!!!"  That's all it took, now we are set on 100K for our 10th anniversary and I CAN'T WAIT!!!!  Let the training begin!!!!