Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Anthony's First Disney Trip!

We're going to Disney World!

Anthony has passed an important milestone in a child's life... his first trip to Disney World! We took him to the Animal Kingdom with MiMi for Mother's Day. It was a surprise for MiMi. Somehow Sheramy, Adam, Dad, and I managed to keep it a secret for a couple of months. We had MiMi convinced we were taking her to the beach for the day. I videoed Anthony saying "we're going to Disneyworld!" for her and we surprised her the night before the trip by showing her the video. As she said, it was one of the greatest surprises of her life!

We had a great time. Anthony was dazzled by everything about the Animal Kingdom, especially the big African drums! He spent two 20 minute sessions doing nothing but running from drum to drum, excitedly pounding away. He even got his own souvenior drum that MiMi bought him, luckily a lot smaller than the ones in the picture! At one point he got a drum show from two teenage boys who brought their own sticks and were there to dazzle the crowd. He continued to pound in awe, watching as they drummed. Later in the day, MiMi took him to watch a street band performance while Sheramy and I rode Everest (p.s.-- yes Sheramy got on a roller coaster. No, she didn't like it!) Apparently they just sat and watched the band for about 10 minutes, then the drummer was so impressed by Anthony's interest that he gave him his own sticks! Anthony has his own pair of "real" drummer's sticks which he calls his "d-sticks".

When we first arrived he said "WOW! Jungle!" as we passed through the gates. He couldn't have been on better behavior. The whole day he watched, participated, played, and never once got fussy or cried. We took him on the animal safari ride, and on the train. I also took him to the 3D movie "It's a Bug's Life", but unfortunately we only spent about a minute in the theater before the 3D images frightened him and we had to leave. I felt so guilty (still do actually) because the last two days he'll randomly tell me (or someone else) that the movie was "so scary" and he "doesn't like the spider". I hate to think the image of the giant spider is replaying in his head! Though I'm sure I haven't scarred him for life I hate that he had his first scary experience.

We watched the parade and left the park a few minutes before it closed. He missed his nap but stayed awake the entire day, finally falling asleep for a little bit on the way back to our cabin at Fort Wilderness. I couldn't believe how good he was! It was a very special experience taking him to Disney for the first time. We're saving the Magic Kingdom though for when he's a little older and will remember the experience. What a fantastic Mother's Day!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Still running... though much less!

Anthony dazzles the crowd at Holmes Beach

I realized it's time to change my blog picture and header information three months after the marathon is over! Hey, I have priorities with my free time, ok? It's hard to believe after all the hard work the marathon came and went. No more 40 miles-a-week training; I'm back down to running a comfortable 15 miles or so a week. That is combined with my part-time work as a fitness instructor, where I'm teaching classes about 10 hours per week-- yoga, pilates, body sculpting, and soon, Les Mills Body Pump! I went through the intensive 3 day training last month and starting next week, I'll be team teaching with an experienced Pump instructor. Teaching classes is a great part time gig that I love, and that allows me to spend more time with Anthony. I've started studying to take the Personal Trainer certification exam later this year so I can broaden my career scope while still remaining in the fitness industry. I know now this is exactly what I'm supposed to do. Running wise, I don't know what my next goal will be because a long, hot summer is approaching and we may decide to get pregnant before the year is up. I'll just stick with my 15-20 mile weeks and just see how it goes.

This past weekend we took Anthony to the beach-- the real beach, not that little crappy one near our house. He had a blast. This year he's not afraid of the water like he was last, so even though it was chilly he loved shuffling his feet around the waves. We had a moment of crisis when he missed a uneven spot in the sand and went face-first into the water... he was none to thrilled about that but he handled it well. The best part was watching him attract an audience with his uncanny drumming ability. I should've set out a separate bucket for him to catch spare change! Some kids on a nearby blanket donated their sand buckets to his cause, and before long he had a full bucket spread. With his beach hat and sunglasses, he looked like a Coral Reefer in training!

Everyday I'm amazed more as his vocabulary increases and he learns more about the world around him. He speaks in phrases and sometimes full sentences now, and has a very good handle on asking for what he wants. It's nice also he can tell us when something's wrong or hurts, though he still hasn't grown out of the whining phase yet, unfortunately. He's also very affectionate now, and has just learned to say "I love you!" Talk about making a mommy's heart melt!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Anthony's 2nd Birthday!

Well it's been a busy week in the DiMuzio household. We had Anthony's 2nd birthday celebration... twice. Last Saturday we had a party at the park for him and his friends. It was a great time, beautiful weather, and all his favorite friends came. We decided to make this birthday very low key. Last year I found planning a party with all the whistles and bells just more stressful than it was worth for me, so this time we only got a cake and refreshments, and other than that it was just a day at the park! The cutest thing was when Daisy arrived. Daisy, as everyone knows, is Anthony's little girlfriend. I had told him she would be there but Daisy's parents were running a little late, so when we first got there Anthony walked around looking for her. She arrived about 15 minutes later, and as soon as they saw each other it was like something out of a movie. They giggled and screamed and ran together to hug. Anthony's mood went from blah to elated-- apparently it wasn't a party until Daisy arrived!

This past Wednesday, March 18th, was Anthony's actual birthday. Adam went up to Atlanta the day before so unfortunately he wasn't home for it. I tried to make the day as special as possible for my big boy. I made him banana pancakes in the morning, then later on I had to teach a class at the gym so he went to the gym's childcare. I bought him a smoothie from the smoothie bar afterwards, which he absolutely loved. In the afternoon Auntie Sheramy came over and we took Anthony to EG Simmons Park. He must've been hungry because he whined the majority of the time we were there. After we went to Qdoba for dinner, his favorite place, and he chowed down on rice and beans. When we got back home he was running around, crazy silly... amazing what a little food can do! I try to tell him this but he insists on toddler anorexia.

He even took his very first pee-pee in his potty that night! What a milestone for his 2nd birthday. I've tricked him into sitting on his potty by showing him pictures on the camera while he sits on it. That night we were looking at the pictures as usual, and then he just started peeing! I freaked out (excitedly) of course and tried to help him tuck it in so pee wouldn't get all over the floor. Anthony just thought the whole process was hilarious... he just laughed and laughed. Sheramy and I made a very big deal of course out of his first pee-pee in the potty!

Thursday we had our biggest event of all: Anthony's first plane ride! I was super nervous about it, but everything turned out great. Anthony was such a little angel on the plane. he did not fuss, he did not whine, he just sat in his own seat like a big boy and enjoyed the ride. We had plenty of entertainment, of course, including books, letters, and his portable DVD player. I had business class vouchers so we got unlimited apple juice and coffee. I decided business class is the only way to fly. Too bad I usually can't afford it! We arrived in Atlanta for Grandma Chris's 65th birthday party this weekend. Anthony was very excited to see all of his Atlanta people.

It's amazing to me that my boy has grown so much! He's such a handsome, happy, and smart child. I'm so proud of him and everything he does. Hard to believe that just two years ago I was struggling to figure out which end was up, literally! Everyone in our little family has come a very long way!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I did it... again!

Nothing like making a big goal and achieving it! I'm so addicted to road races because I just love the anticipation and the training of setting a goal and meeting it. I made my under 2 hour goal for the Gasparilla half marathon.... finishing in 1 hour, 56 minutes, and 45 seconds. It was a hell of a run. I could tell as soon as we started out that as long as I could pace myself in the beginning, I'd be able to turn it loose after mile 3 and hold the pace until the finish. It was warm and humid that morning with the threat of rain, but it held off until mile 12. The last mile I ran through a pretty decent downpour, but it felt pretty good at that point and I wasn't about to let a little rain slow me down! It was also very windy that morning. Around mile 7, the course turned straight on into the wind for three straight miles, like running into a brick wall! We turned the corner and headed back the other direction with the wind at our backs for the rest of the race though after mile 10. My greatest achievement in this race was catching up to Adam's friend Jon just after mile 10. Jon is a fast runner--he left us behind very early on, but as my pace increased over the distance I saw him ahead and on mile 9 and knew I had to catch him. I ran up alongside him, said hi, and the look on his face of sheer amazement that I had caught up to him was priceless! He paced ahead of me for the duration of the race and beat me by about 25 seconds, but it was well worth it just to catch up with him at all. At the super bowl party at his house I had told him one of my goals was to catch up with him at some point, not thinking I'd actually do it.

5 K pre-race pic above...

The 5K was fun too, though I'll take the wind and rain over the heat of that morning! My girls did great, they all finished strong and had a great time. We intended to stay together but with 8500 people running it was impossible. I lost them all early on, then just picked up the pace to the end. I finished in 0:28:44, a little slower than my half marathon time, but not surprising considering the size of the crowd.

Looking ahead to March 15th... a small community 10K race. It'll be less hooplah than Gasparilla or Disney but should be fun none the less. Shooting for less than 54 minutes on that one...!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

First 5K for my girls!

Well it's been awhile since I've posted but I've been working like a fiend on my first great American novel, so blogging has taken a back seat. Besides, with the marathon over, though I'm still running I've shifted my focus more to my teaching. I've taken on almost 10 classes a week, teaching yoga and pilates, and I'm happy finding my with that. When I decided to do the marathon, a big part of it was because I felt so empty and unmotivated in my work, and I needed something to get me excited again. Now, every day I get to teach is exciting.

Anyhoo... I did have running news that I wanted to blog about. The Gasparilla distance classic is this weekend (!) and I'm signed up to run the half marathon with Adam on Sunday and the 5K with three of my former students from Baby Boot Camp on Saturday. I'm super excited for the 5K because this is the first race ever for two of them, and the other one has only run a small community 5K and has never been a part of a big road race before. I feel like a proud mama because it was me that motivated and encouraged them to do it, though they had never run before. I've watched these women evolve from new moms frustrated with their baby weight to healthy, active moms who are trained to run a 5K race. They're all so excited to run on Saturday, and we're even making plans to go to the fitness expo together on Friday. I remember the my first 5K-- this very same race 4 years ago-- and little did I know then how it would become so addicting to me and pave the way for the marathon I just completed. I love knowing that I've helped others get excited about running the same way I did. They're even bringing their families to watch them cross the finish line of their very first race! I'm so proud to be sharing in that moment with them.

As for me and Adam, we're still shooting to finish the half marathon in 2 hours or less on Sunday. I don't know if it'll happen for me or not. My training has been spotty on the time goals, I've run 6-7 at the needed race pace or faster, but I've struggled to keep it up for longer. My best training run has been a 9 miler at a 9:15 pace and a 12 miler at a 9:20 pace. Neither is good enough to make a 2 hour or less half marathon, but I'm hoping race day excitement and motivation will help propel me along. I decided NOT to wear the GPS watch... I've found obsessing about the time is putting a damper on my running and I really just want to enjoy this race, especially since it will likely be my last half marathon until the fall (or later, if we decide to get pregnant again over the summer!) I want to focus only on running a good race and if it happens in 2 hours or less, that's all the better.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Pictures of Anthony, Ladies' Man

Anthony introducing himself to Layla...
You got me on my knees, Layla... I'm begging darlin' please Layla...

Training for Half Marathon

Well two massages later I think my recovery from the marathon is complete. I took a 3 day hiatus from running and was pretty much chomping at the bit by the third day. I'm back at it in full swing now, but thankfully, only doing half the mileage I did in marathon training. Right now I'm working on speed as it is mine and Adam's goal to break 2 hours the Gasparilla half marathon, which is scheduled for March 1st. At the Atlanta half on Thanksgiving I finished in 2:04. My goal then was 2:10, and if I'd had any idea I was that close I would've picked up the pace, to say the least! I'm getting another crack at it though and the focus of my training for the next month will be consistently running 9:00-9:10/min miles. I ran 10 yesterday at a 9:05 average pace, plus I'm running on shoes that need to be replaced. I'm waiting until a week or two before the race to buy new ones because I know how I can fly on new shoes.

I saw Auntie Chiara posted some pics from our marathon weekend on her blog (thank you for that!) I want to add a few along with a story that needs to be immortalized. My son, always the ladies' man, saw a little girl that caught his eye while we were waiting for dinner at Downtown Disney. She was probably three, maybe four, and quite a little cutie with a headful of blonde curls. Anthony immediately chased her down and threw his arms around her in a hug, and even shook her hand! Both families just cracked up at the spectacle, and Anthony did not want to let her go when it was time for her family to move on. Her name was Layla.

Monday, January 12, 2009


Clock Time4:56:02
Chip Time4:43:32
Overall Place5378 / 14940
Gender Place1855 / 7139
Division Place322 / 1166
Age Grade47.8%
5 Mile57:09
10 Mile1:47:29
Half Split2:19:35
20 Mile3:33:43

I did it! I did it! I did it! I did it!

I ran the 2009 Disney Marathon yesterday. I don't know how to exactly describe the experience, other than saying it was unforgettable. It's hard to articulate the mass of physical and mental thoughts and feelings you get when running 26.2 miles for the first time. Friday and Saturday nights, there was nervousness and anxiousness. Sunday morning, as I got up at 3:20am to start getting ready, I felt completely super-charged. As the fireworks and starting gun went off, and we waited in the very large pack slowly moving towards the start line like a heard of cattle, I felt like a very small fish swimming towards an ocean.

Around mile 4, the very tight pack started to break up, and I felt relieved.

By mile 6, I had found my "sweet spot", my groove, and lipsynched along to my favorite songs as I coasted along.

Mile 9 brought the entrance in to the Magic Kingdom, and a somewhat emotional moment rounding the corner and heading down Main Street USA, the Cinderella Castle in front of me, the streets lined with cheering spectators. I thought about my first trip to Disney World at age 5, which I vividly remember, plus the photograph capturing the moment in time when I first saw Cinderella's Castle. Would've never dreamed I'd someday be running a marathon through those same streets!

Miles 12-16 were sheer boredom down the long, uneventful road between the Magic Kingdom and the Animal Kingdom. Interest in this stretch was brought by Erin's need to pee and our decision to duck in the woods rather than wait in a port-a-potty line (No, I didn't have any toilet paper and I haven't squatted in the woods in about 10 years!)

By mile 17, we were entering the Animal Kingdom, and I could see the proverbial wall looming ahead of me as I started to tire. I enjoyed running through the Animal Kingdom, but was distracted by the 8 miles that remained.

By mile 19, I had smacked right into that imaginary wall and with legs of fire, continued to press forward, becoming annoyed by the fact that Erin remained a good 5-10 paces ahead of me at any given moment.

Mile 20-- thrilled to be within a 10K of the finish line but felt a little worried, knowing I had never run above 20 miles before and didn't know what this No-Man's Land would be like. By this point everything below the waist was really hurting, my hips, my knees, my ankles, how could I possibly keep this up for 6 more miles?

Mile 21... WTF?!... the route had us run half a mile straight down the road and then double back. They couldn't make up another mile somewhere else other than that?!

At Mile 22, Erin was still ahead of me and I was getting even more irritated that she didn't seem nearly as tired as me or all the people around us. If anything, she was speeding up. WTF?! Where the heck did this super-girl come from?

I don't remember any of Mile 23. I think I blocked it out.

Mile 24. Erin glanced back at me from the more than 20 paces she had gotten ahead. I waived her down frantically, and when she slowed to allow me to catch up, I snapped at her: "I thought we could at least two the last two miles together". Yeah, I was exhausted, in terrible pain, and pissed as hell that she was still bouncing around like the g.d. energizer bunny while myself and everyone around us fell apart at the seams. What kind of crack did she smoke that morning to get that superhuman resolve?

Mile 25. Ran through the World Showcase of EPCOT center, wondering when the hell EPCOT got so big. No longer appreciated the crowds of cheering spectators, and wished I could smack the next person that said Almost there! or The finish line is just around the corner! REALLY wish I could smack Erin when she asks, "Are you able to run a little faster?" NO, you psycho, I'm NOT!

Mile 26. Tears.

Rounding the corner, I could see the finish line and began scanning the massive crowd lining the road, hoping my family was able to secure a good spot to see me finish. Right as we approached the finish line, I grabbed Erin's hand and we raised them up for the camera, hoping to get the million dollar shot for the photographers as our time chips beeped, signaling the torture to finally be over! Suddenly I spotted Sheramy and my dad in the crowd-- I don't know if it was delirium but I never did see my mom, Adam, or Anthony, though they were right beside Sheramy. I started to worry something was wrong.

I tried to stretch as best I could so I wouldn't get stiff, but when you're that exhausted it's hard to even stand up. I wobbled over to the family reunion area to meet my posse, happy to hear mom, Adam, and Anthony did see me finish, though I didn't see them. Erin immediately started talking about when she wants to run her next one, and I told her she was on her own.

Will I ever do another marathon? I don't know. It's an experience like no other, and you only do your first one once. I get the same thrill from half marathons with only half the training and pain afterwards. But... there is a challenge out there I will need to tackle sometime in the future, and I only started thinking of it because it really annoyed me there was something bigger and better than what I had achieved, and it was right under my nose the whole time.

The Goofy Challenge.

Am I goofy enough to even contemplate it? I've been accused of worse!

For now I'll just focus on my next challenge, and one that hopefully will allow me to walk normally the next day... Gasparilla Half Marathon, March 1st, 2009, which Adam and I will run together and will attempt to break 2 hours.

It's nice to always have a goal to work towards!

In health,
My Marathon Mommy

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The 2DW officially begins!

After my Pilates class this morning, I jumped on the treadmill to do a quick and easy two miles, the last of my training. As of now marathon training is officially OVER and the 2DW begins! I can't say I feel nervous exactly-- more anxious. I know I've done everything I could do to this point, and I can just hope all that training pays off in a great run. I'm feeling much better about the weather forecast today. They're now calling for cloudy skies and a low of 45, high of 67. That is ideal running weather. Earlier this week it was supposed to be sunny and 75, which would've made it way too warm for a comfortable run. Let's hope the current forecast holds and we have grey skies and a nice comfortably cool temp.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

In the 2DW

When you're trying to conceive, they call the two week wait between ovulation and Aunt Flo the "2WW" (2 week wait). When you're training for a marathon, the training plan tapers you down for three weeks following the big 20 mile run, and the week before the race is very light-- a 3 mile, a 4 mile, and a 2 mile run, then two days of complete rest before the race. Tomorrow, I do the ridiculously easy 2 mile run, and then.... nothing. I'll be in the 2DW (two day wait). No cross training, no jogging, nada. Just two full days of rest to help my body rest and get ready for Sunday. After tomorrow, the training is officially over.

I am relieved to not be anchored down to an extensive training schedule anymore but at the same time, it's become such a part of my routine that it will be really weird not to have it. It's not like I'm going to stop running-- we already have two half marathons planned in March-- but I've run halfs before, and will be very well conditioned for those races and won't have to put a lot of extensive training into preparing for those.

Will I run another marathon? Honestly, I don't know. There's been so much put time and effort put into this that I'm not sure I'd want to do it all again. But, I haven't run the race yet, haven't felt the excitement of the crowd or the exhilaration of crossing the finish line, so I may change my mind over time, who knows. But, you only run your first marathon once, so even if I do run another one in the future, it won't be like this first time. I'm planning to enjoy every moment of it!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Less than a week to go!

I can't believe it's less than a week until the marathon! I started planning for this very shortly after completing the half marathon last year, and here I am, about to embark on the great journey! Lots of things to worry about this week--drinking plenty of water, getting my fruits and veggies in (especially my Vit. C!), not getting a last minute injury, and staying healthy. My parents arrive on Thursday, and Saturday together with them and Sheramy, Anthony, Adam, and I will head to Orlando.

One thing I did this past week was ask my family and close friends for song suggestions for my iPod. I wanted a little piece of all my favorite people with me as run the long road, so that when I'm feeling the most tired and defeated, I'll remember the people I love to propel me through. I'm even going to put one of Anthony's favorite songs on there-- "Calling All Movers" by the Imagination Movers. That song makes me laugh because I think of him running around like crazy whenever it comes on. I'll think of him, and Adam, and my family waiting for me on the other end of the 26.2, and that will help me run like Forrest Gump!

On a side note, Adam just pulled Biscotti from where she was hanging on the screen of our porch. Last night we saw "Marley and Me" in the theater, the story of "the world's worst dog". Now, in our best Owen Wilson voices, we call Miss Scotti "the world's worst cat".