05.22.13 Allstate Drive It Home Show Recap
Last week I had the opportunity to attend the Allstate Drive It Home Show in Middletown, NJ. The show focused on teen driving and was sponsored by Allstate Foundation and the National Safety Council. I am not yet a parent of a teen driver but I know that time will fly and it will be upon me before I know it. Just the thought of my son driving already has me scared and nervous. I know I am pre-worrying but how can a parent not?
Growing up my dad was hard on us when it came to driving. He was strict, made us practice all the time and insisted that we learn how to drive stick shift while learning how to drive. One of my scariest memories from driver training involves driving from New Jersey to Long Island. As part of “true test” on whether we are ready for our license, my sisters and I had to take the wheel from NJ to LI. If you live around the NYC area, you know how scary that drive can be. The crowded highways of NJ, going across the George Washington Bridge, the even more crowded highways of the Bronx, another bridge and then the craziness of Long Island traffic. My dad figured that if you could do that drive then you can drive anywhere. Boy was he right! I remember having sweaty palms and shaking behind the wheel but that drive definitely improved my confidence. 50% of all teen drivers will get into an accident. I was lucky and escaped my teen driving years accident and ticket free (still am ).
The Drive It Home Show focused on teen driving, teen driving risks and how to improve parent/teen communication when learning how to drive. Second City (of SNL fame) kicked off the show with a hilarious, engaging yet serious skit about teen driving.
The National Safety Council spoke on sobering teen driving statistics.
- One of the most dangerous years’ in a person’s life is the 12 months after they get a driver’s license. Over 2 million teenage drivers are earning their license every year.
- Inexperience is the #1 cause of teenage crashes but 74% of parents believe it is risk-taking.
- Teen drivers tend to only watch the car right in front of them instead of anticipating problems/issues on the road. They don’t see brake lights several cars ahead of them.
The most sobering and heart-breaking moment in the show was listening to a local mother who had lost her 16 year old daughter in a car crash. She was in a car with 3 other teens and it was not an alcohol or drug-related crash. The driver was speeding and didn’t slow down. Her daughter was killed and her life will never be the same. Nearly 7 years later, the mother hard trouble speaking because she was so choked up. Her story had me in tears as well. I couldn’t imagine her pain.
At 17, I received my license in NJ and was able to drive anywhere with anyone. NJ has changed the law and now teens have to wait till 18 to receive that full honor. At 17, teen drivers are limited to their driving times and who is allowed in the car but there is no minimum time requirement a teen needs to drive before then can get their license. Between 2009-2011, 164 teens (aged 15-19) were killed in car crashes in NJ.
Drive It Home was created by parents to help parents with teen driving. By using humorous video and graphic styles, Drive It Home educates parents on the driving risks their teens face. Parents can sign up for weekly emails about driving lessons and tips.
Teaching my son to drive is just around the corner (I know more than a couple years away) but there is no time like today to start practicing my own safe driving techniques. He is going to learn about driving from watching me so that means I should leave the cellphone in my purse, not get flustered by other drivers and always keep aware of my surroundings.
If you are a parent, I encourage you to check out the Drive It Home site. It’s never too early to educate ourselves on teen driving and preparing to teach our own children to drive.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
05.13.13 Baby #2 Details
Thank you for all the comments about our exciting Baby #2 news. The hubs, Lucas and I are so excited for our next addition. I think my father is the most excited in my family, he blabs to everyone. Haha!
So here are some more details about Baby #2.
Were we trying? - Yup we were trying but it took longer than with Lucas. I had to tone down my running to less than 20 miles a week and decrease the intensity of my workouts. Once I did that, I got pregnant that month. I found out on April 11th right before I left for the Another Mother Runner party.
How have I been feeling? – I was fine until week 6 then the symptoms hit me like a freight train. I’m extremely tired, nauseous and dizzy. I feel the same as when I was pregnant with Lucas.
Any cravings? – I can not stop thinking about tacos.
Any food diversions? – Nope. I’m still eating veggies, salad and fruit.
Are we finding out the sex? – We are not! When I was pregnant with Lucas, the husband and I discussed finding out the sex. I wanted to but he didn’t. We struck a deal that we would find out with #1 and not with #2. So this time it’s going to be a surprise!
Official due date – 12/24/13. At first I was a bit nervous about a birthday so close to Christmas but it is what it is. I’ll be getting my Christmas shopping done in November and we definitely won’t be hosting Christmas Eve dinner at our house this year. :) I was a week late with Lucas and had to be induced so I’m hoping this one comes before 2014. Just the thought of being pregnant into another year is making me tired. Lucas and #2 will be 20 months apart.
Working Out – I’m still running between 15 and 20 miles a week. My pace has slowed a teeny bit but I’ve continued to run sub 10 minute miles with the stroller. Lucas and I are going to complete our Spring/Summer race calendar but the July 4th Firecracker 4 Miler in Cranford, NJ will be our last race till 2014. I joined the town pool for the Summer so Lucas and I will be spending our days swimming.
That’s about sums up Baby #2 details for now. Have I missed anything? Now that my secret is out, I’m excited to post more. I was definitely hiding behind my lack of posts.
05.11.13 36th on the 9th
On Thursday I celebrated my 36th birthday and I had so much fun sharing it with my family and Lucas.
Last year he was just over 2 weeks old and loved the candles and singing.
This year he had fun eating the cake and yelled along to the birthday singing.
We also had a nice dinner out with my husband’s family and L had a blast eating pasta and shoving even more birthday cake in his mouth. He had 3 pieces that day!!! Little man is definitely a party guy.
Next year, on my 37th birthday, I will have 2 helpers when I blow out the candles. Yup, I’m pregnant!
Due Christmas Eve
It’s still early but we had a great ultrasound on my birthday!
Nearly 20 years after I got my driver’s license, I can still hear my dad in my head as I drive down the road. ”Always be aware of other drivers”, “it’s ok if you get a speeding ticket while passing an 18 wheeler”, “knowing how to drive stick shift is very important, you never know when you might need to drive someone else home”. I know in just blink of an eye, I will be teaching my son how to drive and those same mantras will be flying out of my mouth.
Teaching driver safety is extremely important and I’m excited to get more teen driving tips at the Allstate Drive It Home Show. Even more than learning tips for teens, I find it important to always refresh myself on driver safety.
If you are in New Jersey, you are welcome to come to the Allstate Drive It Home Show.
What: Drive it Home Show, presented by the National Safety Council and Allstate Foundation
When: Wednesday, May 15 from 7pm – 8:15pm
Where: Middletown Arts Center (36 Church St, Middletown, NJ 07748)
Price: FREE!; no tickets required
What: Allstate Drive It Home Event
I hope to see you there!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
05.02.13 Postpartum Running Surprises
Now that I am officially 1 year postpartum, I have come to accept that my running has definitely changed. At first I thought the changes would be temporary and I would eventually get back to pre-Lucas, but that didn’t happen. Like it or not, little man has changed my running in ways that have surprised me.
1. Running shoes – Pre-Mr. L I wore Saucony Kinvara and loved them! My feet felt better than ever in a minimalist shoe and I never injured myself. Fast forward to postpartum days and the Kinvaras make my feet hurt, give me blisters and caused me shin problems. I went to the running store hoping that it was just a sizing issue but it wasn’t (my feet actually shrunk after baby). The running store helped me pick out a new shoe and now I run in Saucony Mirages. My feet are much happier.
2. Endurance was easy to get back but speed, not so much – My postpartum goal was the NYC Marathon 2012 so I concentrated on endurance before speed. My endurance came back easily but once I started focusing on speed, it was a much different story. My body just doesn’t seem to want to go fast and even with speed workouts, intervals and tempo runs, my pace never returned to pre-Lucas days.
3. I don’t mind running with the stroller – I was so excited to get the BOB at my baby shower but I was secretly nervous about running with the stroller. I thought I would hate it, would find it too hard and end up not running with the stroller at all. The opposite has happened and I love running with the stroller. I hate to say it, but I like the additional challenge it provides and I feel faster without the stroller. I also love running with my little buddy, he makes great company. Running with the stroller also makes me feel a bit like a bad#ss. People are always a bit impressed and frustrated when Lucas and I pass them in a race.
4. I now call the treadmill the dreadmill – In my pre-baby days, I was solely a treadmill runner. I would run races outside but used the treadmill for all my training. It was a combination of working late, commuting and convenience that led me to be a treadmill runner. Now I love running outside and get upset when I am forced to use the treadmill.
5. I’m much tougher – Having a baby and being a mom has definitely made me tougher. A bad race used to get me down but now I can just brush it off. A bad training run.. no biggie. A huge hill..I’ve dealt with worse. Missing a race because of family issues..eh, there will always be another.
What changes did you see post-baby in your running? Anyone else have to change their shoes?
04.28.13 Susan Zabransky Hughes 5k
The other week my mom asked if I wanted to run a race put on by her school and church. A local 5k where my mom was volunteering? Of course I would sign up! Yesterday morning I packed up Lucas, BOB and myself in the car and headed up to Saddle River, NJ to run the Susan Zabransky Hughes Memorial 5k.
We arrived about an hour before race time and easily found a parking spot at the school. My dad met us at the church entrance and we headed off to packet pickup. Tech tees and reusable bags were handed out…loved that!
With more than 45 minutes till race time, Lucas, my dad and I headed over to the refreshment tent where my mom was volunteering. Lucas helped himself to some donut holes, like 8 bananas (he kept stealing them from the box) and a mini bagel. He was quite the hit at the tent and was having a blast hanging out in the sun.
It was finally race time at 8:15am and my dad walked L and I to the start. There wasn’t a corral system but the race did have signs indicating where to start per your pace. Strollers and walkers were put in the back so I started where I was asked. Big mistake! I got stuck behind so many walkers.
With a ready, set, go..the 2nd Susan Zabransky Hughes Memorial 5k run was off! Lucas and I spent the entire 1st mile dodging walkers and crossed mile 1 in 9:58. A big hill, more dodging and a water stop in mile 2 produced a 10:17 minute mile. I usually never stop for water in a 5k but I feel like I am setting an example already for Mr. L with racing and running. We always stop at the aid station and share a cup of water. It’s hard work riding in that stroller . I felt good at mile 2 so I turned it on in mile 3 and passed a lot of people. It felt really good and I finished that mile in 8:41. I think that was my fastest ever stroller mile. Lucas and I finished the 5k in 30:03 and have a shiny new stroller 5k PR. We beat our prior fastest 5k time by 1 second but a PR is a PR, right?
My dad was cheering us on as we came into the finish line and we were told that we were the 1st stroller! If only they had a stroller category. Oh well, it’s still nice to know that we were the speediest duo.
After the run, Lucas and I stuck around to help out my mom at the refreshment tent. We handed out Omega water, bagels, bananas and other goodies. Lucas kept my father busy by running all over the church yard. After watching a helicopter land in the church field (it was supposed too to be fun for the kids), Lucas and I headed home. It was such a fun day that Lucas fell asleep in the car before we even got out of the parking lot. A successful stroller run!
Anyone else race this weekend? I loved reading all the NWM in DC and Eugene tweets. Made me a little jealous for those Tiffany necklaces.
My favorite little man turned 1 on Saturday, April 20th! What a year it’s been and we celebrated with family and close friends at our house.
My little man started walking just shy of 9 months old and currently has 9 teeth. We’ve been on the go for months now and he keeps getting faster each day. Running is now his new favorite mode of transportation.
Lucas can sit in the jogging stroller for hours as long as he is outside in the fresh air. Take the kid to the mall and he wants out of the stroller in about 3 minutes.
He is a lover of macaroni & cheese, spaghetti, water, blueberries and tapioca pudding. He finds it hilarious when you tickle his belly and yell “mac & cheese belly, mac & cheese belly”.
Loves Gymboree class, swim class and climbing on everything. Lucas currently finds it hilarious to climb on his little chair and peep at me on the couch.
He’s had 4 haircuts with the last one being at the kids salon. It caused a meltdown of epic proportions including sweating, screaming and 30 minutes of post-haircut snoozing.
We’ve run hundreds of miles together and raced 3 times. His love of the jogging stroller started early and continues. I hope it never goes away.
Little man takes 1 nap a day and finally sleeps through the night. At bed time we read two books, sing twinkle twinkle little stars then say good night and he falls asleep by himself. Heaven, I tell ya, heaven.
Lucas says ball, ba-ba (for bottle), cookie, mommy and daddy. He loves to talk to Siri on my iPhone and I find it funny at how she talks back to him. Sometimes knowing what he is saying and finding all the daddy references near us while other times, telling him she doesn’t understand. hahaha
He loves garbage trucks, construction sites, lawn mowers, Big Bird and books. Lucas dislikes diaper changes, getting dressed, being hungry and being told no.
Little man’s construction site birthday cake I made
12 Month Rundown:
19 lbs 4 ounces, 30.75 inches tall
Size 3 diapers, size 4 at night
12-18 month clothing but the pants are usually too big in the waist. Little man is skinny and already needs suspenders
Takes one afternoon nap and sleeps 11 straight hours at night. Bedtime is at 7pm.
Happy Birthday to my little boy! Can’t wait to see what the next 12 months bring!
I’m at a loss for words over the bombing in Boston yesterday. I couldn’t stop crying yet couldn’t tear my eyes away from the news. I have so many thoughts running through my head….
As a runner, I am shocked and saddened that a nightmare has wormed its way into our beautiful marathon dreams.
As a marathoner, I am afraid that no race will ever be the same.
As a mom, I cry for the parents and children.
As a NJ/NYer who was in NYC for 9/11, I understand and know the fear that washed over everyone. I know that, for the foreseeable future, life in Boston will change.
As a wife of a 9/11 survivor, I know that people will be forever changed.
Today I will wear my NYC 2012 race shirt to honor Boston and L and I will run 4.09 miles.
Sorry for the big ole disappearing act this past week or so! Things have been busy around our house and we are getting ready to celebrate Lucas’s 1st birthday this weekend. Can’t wait! Here’s what’s been going on in our house lately…
I went to Another Mother Runner party last Thursday in Montclair, NJ – I love the AMR site and the newsletter so I was psyched to see that Dimity and Sarah were visiting NJ. I immediately signed up for the party then did something so unlike me, I went to a stranger’s house all by myself. Yup, I’m usually a shy person but I stepped outside my introverted box for a nigh of chatting about motherhood and running.
The party was awesome! Dimity and Sarah were so friendly and funny and I had a great time meeting other mother runners. Dimity and Sarah did a couple of readings from their Train Like A Mother book and we got some sweet goodie bags. I was totally in my runnerd element.
I’ve been getting my stroller running on – It’s been so nice out and I’m really tired of Lucas getting sick from the gym childcare so we’ve been hitting the roads to pound out some miles. I’ve decided that I am running the Long Branch Half just for fun so the stroller runs have been perfect for keeping up my motivation and reminding me how much fun running really is.
We’ve sleep trained Lucas – Lack of sleep was getting way out of hand in our house so we had to sleep train Lucas. I was hoping to never have to do this and he would just be a baby who would figure it out on his own but that didn’t happen. I’m happy to say that it took just 2 nights and 1 nap and now L is sleeping from 7pm to 6:30am.
I’ve been really tired lately – Since L is now sleep trained we are getting more sleep in our house. I haven’t slept through the night since November 2011 so this new sleep is making me even more tired! I think my body is catching up from all the months I missed. Has this happened to anyone else?
I’ve signed up for my favorite local races -
New on the race schedule:
April 27th – Susan Zabransky Hughes Memorial Run in Saddle River, NJ
May 5th - Long Branch Half Marathon in Long Branch, NJ
May 12th – Mother’s Day 5k in Berkeley Heights, NJ
May 27th – Ridgewood Run 10k in Ridgewood, NJ
June 9th – Share NJ 5k in New Providence, NJ
June 29th – Amber Pizzo Memorial 5k in Berkeley Heights, NJ
July 4th – Cranford Firecracker 4 Miler in Cranford, NJ
Lucas will be running all the races with me except the half marathon. I’m looking forward to such a fun Spring and early Summer full of races.
What have you been up to lately? Sign up for any good races?
And I forgot to announce a winner of my What To Expect When You’re Expecting Giveaway…CONGRATS BRITTNEY @ LIFE IN A HOLDING PATTERN
Email me your address at firstname.lastname@example.org
Well, that blog title is a mouthful! Whew. Little man and I have been enjoying our Spring stroller runs but the past two days have brought Summer-like temperatures to NJ. It’s only April 10th and we had a high of over 80 degrees! My pace has definitely suffered with the quick warm up. On Monday (50 degrees), I ran a 4 miler with a pace in the low 9:00′s and yesterday (80 degrees), I ran 3 miles with a pace in the mid 10:00′s. That sun and heat really get to you.
Back in 2009, I ran the MORE/Fitness Half Marathon in NYC. The late April Sunday ended up being 80+ degrees and NYRR made the decision to make the run a fun run and not scored. I know what you are thinking. 80 degrees isn’t that hot. But it is really hot if your body hasn’t acclimated to the increase in heat. When the NJ/NYC area warms up too quickly it doesn’t allow the body to get used to the heat and then running can be dangerous. If that run was held in August and it was 80 degrees, it would have definitely been scored.
So, how do you survive an unseasonably warm Spring run? Here are my tips…
1. Head out early – That’s a no brainer in the Summer but if it’s a warm Spring day, it’s probably best to run before the heat peaks. Lucas and I have been going out between his morning bottle and breakfast. In non-Lucas mom terms, that means 7am.
2. Bring water – Before I ran with the stroller I never ran with water. I hated having to carry it and used to wish that an aid station would just appear on the side of the road. Wouldn’t that be nice? Your own personal aid station magically following you around on your run. A girl can dream… I always bring water on my runs now and the stroller has that handy basket at the bottom to hold it. Gold star for BOB!
3. Don’t worry about your pace – When your body isn’t used to the heat yet, you can’t be too hard on it. Your pace will suffer and that’s ok. It’s ok because your body will adjust to the temperature change and your pace will (might) return. I’m slower in the warm weather so my pace doesn’t return till Fall.
4. Walk – Feeling too hot? Getting too sweaty? Breathing too hard? It’s ok to stop and walk. I’m guilty of thinking that if I walk than I’m the biggest running baby there is. But if it’s too hot, I would rather walk then end up passed out on the side of the road from heat stroke.
5. Wear the right running clothes – The sudden change in temperature took my running wardrobe by surprise and I had to dig out my summer gear from the shed. It took a little extra time out of my morning and it was kind of annoying but it was worth it. Running in the right clothes for the outside temp makes your body feel much better.
Now that I’ve written this post, the temperature in NJ is about to take a nosedive. Tomorrow I will be trading in my tanks & flip-flops for a fleece and socks. Well, that is, until the next unseasonably warm Spring day occurs.
The storm that ended our Summer weather!
What are your tips for running in unusual weather?