Thursday, November 27, 2008

Atlanta Half Marathon

Happy Thanksgiving! Me, Adam, his uncle Guy, his cousin Emily, and my friend Becky started the holiday out with a little 13.1 mile run known as the Atlanta half marathon. The AHM is kind of a tradition in the Walenga/DiMuzio Thanksgiving holiday rituals, with always Guy and Emily and a random assortment of other friends/relatives taking the running plunge before the grand feast. This was my first year running the AHM, and it was quite literally, a training run for the marathon.

That didn't stop me from treating it with due respect though, and I set a PR for time. I could tell as soon as I started out it was going to be a fabulous race day for me, so I rolled with it and paced well ahead of my Disney half marathon pace. For that race, I finished in 2:24, and this one was 2:17 clock time, which is not my official time because it doesn't not take into account the time it took me to reach the starting line. The official race time won't be posted for a few more days, but it should be somewhere in the vicinity of 2:10, which was my goal for this race.

This race was mostly flat in the first half, but there were two or three very challenging uphill climbs in the second half. It was a lot of fun though because the course takes you right through the heart of Atlanta and past the landmarks I grew up with, like the Fox Theater and the old Macy's building.

I finished a full five minutes ahead of Adam and Becky, which made me very proud because both of them are lifelong runners that have done this course before. I never thought I'd be a good enough runner to even complete the distance, much less finish before Adam.

Anthony's had a great time earlier in the week with MiMi and Grandude, and is now enjoying his first Thanksgiving with a house full of relatives at Grandma's house! He amazed Auntie Chiara with how smart he is-- check out her blog at :

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

New Longest Run Ever!

You know what is freaking awesome? Pushing yourself beyond your limits. Doing something you never thought you could do before. Moving towards a goal, one step at a time, checking off one training run at a time, moving ever so closer to the coveted finish line. Today we took another big leap towards that goal, checking off the 16 mile training run, leaving only two more longest runs of my life to go before the big 26.2.

Today wasn't quite as exhilaratingly good as last week's 15 mile run, but I think that's because I logged in 43 miles total this week, and it's not really surprising my legs were tired. I did great the first 14 miles-- I hit the wall there and pushed myself through the last two against a wall of unusually chilly wind for late November in Florida. Aside from running 16 miles in 2 hours and 39 minutes, my big accomplishment today was clocking in at 2 hr, 9 min, 30 sec for the half marathon length of 13.1 miles, a full 15 minutes better than my half marathon time last January. Slowly but surely I've improved my half marathon time in this training, from 2:24, to 2:16, to 2:14, to 2:09.

Someone asked me this week what my goal will be once the marathon is over. Though doing a triathlon is in the back of my mind, I'm not sure I want to tackle that one just yet. Who knows. Maybe I'll work on goals in my life that aren't athletic in nature, something that doesn't require me to dedicate 18 weeks of my life to training!

Onto my amazing son... he did the cutest thing today! We put him down for his nap today at noon, usual time, and he laid in his crib babbling to himself for awhile. Typically he'll do that for 15-20 minutes or so, talking himself to sleep. Today though, it was 1:15 and he was still going, so I went in there to check on him and was greeted by a roomful of stifled poop smell. I took him out of his crib to change his diaper (after all, who can sleep with pants full of poop?) and he looked me in the eye and said ever so sweetly, "I'm sorry, mommy". Sorry, I suppose, for having pants full of poop and not going to sleep! I just melted, gave him a hug and assured him it was ok. As soon as I laid him back down, I didn't hear another peep out of him and he went right to sleep.

He's so cute!!!!!!!! I'm so lucky to have such a sweet, intelligent little boy! He is what I'm thankful for this Thanksgiving, and every year to come!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Longest run of my life... for the next week

Today we completed our 15 mile training run. Wow.

15 miles! I have to admit, I was pretty intimidated by this run, mainly because it was the furthest I've ever run in my life... to date. When I looked at the training schedule, I wasn't nearly so intimidated by the 20 mile run we have to do the week of Christmas as I was the 15 miler. So much of running these long distances is mind game, and I really do believe your mind runs a marathon as much as your body. It was a really good run today. We finished in 2:33, which is 10:10 minute miles, very good pace considering that also includes our water breaks. We broke the run up into a 5 mile loop which began and ended at Erin's mother's house, so while we completed each leg we focused only on getting back to the driveway for water rather than the full task at hand. I know I'm going to be saying this a lot in the next 6 weeks, but there was a time that I didn't believe I could ever do something like this, and now, not only do I know it's possible, but I can easily visualize myself crossing the finish line.

Running like this is a celebration of life. It's an amazing feeling to be so aware of your body, of the air filling your lungs, of the rhythm of your feet as you press forward stride by stride. It makes me grateful that I am healthy enough to undertake this endeavor, that I long ago stopped the stupid behaviors (aka, smoking) that otherwise would've prevented me from doing this. People do ask me all of the time, why?! when they hear I'm running a marathon. My answer is: because I can.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

First Time-Out

Well, it had to come sooner or later... Anthony's first time-out.

We've had some problems the past few nights with our eager tot waking early in the morning, and yesterday it was before 6:00am. Of course, an early rising spud equals crankiness later. Yesterday he went to Ms. Erica's for the day, and seemingly had a great time... except for skipping his afternoon nap. I guess the change in scenery and routine was much too exciting, and he slept for maybe half an hour, whereas he's been doing two to three hour naps.

So after I picked him up and brought him back home, I had him lay down with me on my bed thinking I could squeeze an hour or so nap out of him. He wasn't very interested in sleeping at first; it was far more intriguing to point out and name the parts of my face. All fine and dandy, until he decided it would be fun to slap my face. No, Anthony, I said, calmly but firmly. He did it again. NO Anthony, I repeated, a little more forcefully this time. SLAP. NO! I grabbed hold of his hand, and he laughed at me!

That's it!
I jumped up, grabbed him off the bed, and put his little butt in the corner. I blocked him into the space by using my arms, and told him he was in time-out for hitting mommy. Good God. You would've thought I had pushed him off a cliff. DADDY, DADDY! he shouted desperately as mean mommy instilled the first-ever punishment, tears streaming down his face. It lasted all of, oh, maybe a minute, before I scooped him back up and explained why he had been in time-out. He continued to snivel and snot for a few minutes until thankfully, he had tired himself out enough to fall asleep.

We've been discussing the need to start time-outs, and now it looks like it's an official Chantel and Adam DiMuzio family policy. I'm not going to have a brat child that runs around without control, hitting and acting rambunctious as he pleases. He's a smart kid; I hope he learns a good lesson from it.

In running news: this week, the longest run of my life to date-- 15 miles. Next week, the longest run of my life to date- 16 miles. YIKES!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Halloween 2008

One half marathon down...

... one more to go on Thanksgiving morning. In training yesterday we completed 13 miles... the distance I was training to achieve two months later last year at this time. Hard to believe a year ago I doubted my ability to complete the half, and now I feel confident that I'll be able to conquer the full. It's very different running 13 miles with your buddy on the sidewalks around your neighborhood than the excitement of race day in Disney World, but I have to say, I ran better. I know my fitness level has improved by leaps and bounds, thanks to the fact that I'm 19 months postpartum this time around instead of 8. I improved over my Disney half marathon of last year by 7 minutes yesterday in my training run, when I wasn't attempting to break any personal records. It was just a great running day, and I probably could've gone longer. Plenty of time for that though, so I decided not to push it.

So tomorrow is Election Day in the good ol' US of A. Will we have our first African American president, or our first female vice president? Either way, if I have to hear one more dang "Joe the Plumber" ad I'm going to SCREAM like Scrunchie when mean Mommy won't let him carry the stick inside. That is the most ridiculous, annoying political propaganda ever... I absolutely cannot stand it when fat-cat politicians pretend they can relate to the little guy when they haven't the slightest comprehension of how the average American lives. Personally, I can't stand McCain, and at the risk of sounding like Nigel from So You Think You Can Dance, I hope America gets it right this time!

I survived a long weekend as a single mom while Adam was off in Orlando selling stadiums. Overall, a pretty decent weekend, though the little fry definitely knows how to push mommy's buttons when daddy's not around. After whining all the way through the grocery store, having a meltdown over getting a free chocolate-chip-versus-sprinkle-sugar cookie, and then refusing to hand over the "magic Publix stick" (ie, the customer dividers that go on the scan belt), he went into a full on screeching fit much to the shock and awe of the 18 year old cashier and his 16 year old bagger. Kindly the young lad did grab my cart to help me out (probably eager to get the screaming toddler out of the store as soon as possible) and proceeded to get his ear drums blasted the entire way. Jesus.

Katelyn came over to watch Anthony while I ran my training miles. I love my training time, especially when I'm feeling stressed and overwhelmed like I often am since I started my own business... I will miss it when the marathon is over. I don't know what my next big goal will be, but I'm sure there's one out there waiting to be discovered!