Thursday, May 29, 2008


I just realized I never posted any follow-up on Saturday's event. The boys had their kids race after my 5-miler. It's a 1/3 mile race around a residential block, most of the kids are accompanied by a parent because you can't see the whole course from a single spot. Also, because many of these kids couldn't make the whole race alone. It was so cute, there must have been about 20 kids, ranging from probably eight years old down to two or three. I was running with Superman, husband had Hot Wheels. I was so proud of Hot Wheels, he kept up a single pace almost the entire way. He's not really built for speed, but he's determined and steady. He was quite excited to beat his cousin who is a year and a half older than he is. We tried to downplay the competition aspect of it, because we didn't want his cousin to feel bad, but he was very proud of himself for it. Superman was a little trooper, too. He's got more bursts of speed, started out a bit too fast and then wanted me to hold him. I told him I could hold his hand, and he was okay with that. He finished the whole way on his own, and he stopped for a couple quick walk breaks but ran for the most part. He's so tall for his age, he didn't really look like one of the younger ones, even though he was. I know his time was 5:52 for the third mile. I asked husband to check Hot Wheels' time when he finished, but he forgot, it was likely between 4:30 and 5:00. I know the times aren't really important, I'm just weird like that in wanting to know. Here are the pictures. A little far out, but the first is Hot Wheels and Dad, the second is Superman holding my hand.
Tonight is swimming lessons. Hot Wheels is really hoping that he'll get the front float down well enough that he'll be moved to Level 2. We'll see. Superman just likes to "disappear"- their terminology for dunking themselves. Anything that gets them excited about swimming is good in my book!

Starting again

Now that I've had some time to think about it, if I had thought back in January that I would run a 5-mile race at a sub 10-minute pace at any time this year, I would have been psyched. So, to run a 9:28 average pace for 5 miles is a great accomplishment for me. I also learned the important lesson that I need to eat before a race of that distance and so it's all good. Moving on to: actual triathlon training.

Ten weeks from today is the sprint triathlon at work. It's a 0.5 mile swim, 12.6 mile bike and 3.0 mile run. The swim until this year has always been a very generous 0.3 miles, I think probably a bit shorter than that in reality. The bike course is 6 loops of a 2.1 mile course, boring but not too difficult. There is a small hill, so six small hills and then there's one short but steep hill on the run. Next week I get back to the pool before work and there's a group riding a 15 mile loop at lunch every now and then. I'm planning to recruit a few people for some 5:30 or 6 am rides as well. I know going in that the bike is my weakest event, and at least before my first triathlons I had spin class- they haven't offered them at the gym recently, so my biking is really cold. I mean really. But, it's time to start!

This morning was an excellent strength class at the gym, before that I decided I'd try to do a faster warm-up. I intended to start at 7.6 mph, a 7:53 pace, and see if I could hold it for a mile. I accidentally entered 8.6 mph, a 6:58 pace, and was able to keep up for 0.5 miles before I nearly fell off the treadmill, gasping for air. Actually I backed off a bit after that half mile, but still managed to hit the 1.0 mile mark at 7:54. I was happy about that. I can't attend the group track workouts for the work running club because they're evening events- but I've got the workout schedule, I think I see some treadmill intervals, or even a family trip to the track in my future.

I took most of the day off this morning to take Hot Wheels to his kindergarten orientation day. I sat next to a mom I know from his preschool class, she was there with her youngest of four (and only girl), and him being my oldest, it was a different experience for both of us. I'm so excited to see him growing up, gaining some independence and really becoming a cool person. She's having a tough time with her "baby" heading off to school. Less than five years from now I'll be sitting in her shoes. Time just flies.

Saturday, May 24, 2008


I meant to post my pre-race goals but never got around to it. They were
1. Finish the 5 mile race.
2. Have fun.
3. Keep up 9:00 mile pace.

As it turned out I managed 1 out of 3. I finished, but I did not enjoy myself at all and my pace wasn't exactly what I would have hoped for. The only good thing is that I think the lesson learned was that I cannot run a 5-mile race on no food or water pre-race. I had intended to eat breakfast but I was running around a bit crazy pre-race trying to get the kids ready for their races and wrapping an anniversary gift for my parents.

Short story would be that my splits were as follows:
Mile 1- 8:40
Mile 2- 9:00
Mile 3- 9:20
Mile 4- 10:20
Mile 5- 11:01
Total time- 47:21, a 9:28 per mile overall pace. If I had finished with that time and felt like I did my first two races I don't think I would be as upset about the time. But since I really felt awful, I'm a bit disappointed with the race. Oh well. There will be others.

The boys did great in the kids race, I'll have details and pictures soon.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

120 equals 2. Or eleven and a half.

First, the important stuff. Here's Cutie, drool and all. And here are the boys do a semi-regular pre-bedtime yoga session. The two poses shown are Tree and Bow. Maybe not perfect, but good enough and I hardly want to squash their enthusiasm by correcting them.

Today was the final hill workout of the season for the work running team. They switch to track workouts next week and those are, unfortunately, during the evening hours when it's just not possible that I can attend. Today was two sets of 45, 90 and 120 seconds. For the faster people in the group the exact wording was "twice all the way to the top, 120 seconds". For me, however, 120 seconds is not all the way to the top. The first 120 I made it around the bend in the road, a personal record, and was happy with that. For the second 120 I decided I was going all the way to the top, rather than the 120. So, at 120 seconds, everyone else in the group stopped running, many of them at the top, but I kept going. I actually reached the top somewhere around 4 minutes and by that time everyone was already running back to campus, so I just kept running. It's a little ways down hill, but then there's another very large hill on the way back. At one point I thought I really had stopped moving forward up that hill but eventually it ended. I looked down at my watch and I had been running since the interval started somewhere around eleven and a half minutes earlier. I walked the half mile back from the top of the hill to work, showered and then collapsed into my desk chair. And here I am.

I've decided that my new effort into going green (and really only one so far other than recycling) is going to be to start composting. I've been mulling over whether to go worm composting or not and I think at least for my initial effort, I'm going to go wormless and just try a bin in the yard. Or a wooden frame from scraps. I'm hoping to have something up and running by next month, and maybe when I plant my garden next spring I'll have some wonderful home grown compost for fertilizer. And we'll also reduce our family's contribution to the landfill somewhat. Every lit bit helps, I hope.

Monday, May 19, 2008


Only five days until the five miler. I won't be getting in a 5-mile practice run, especially since I've had some calf troubles on my last couple runs. I'll just hope that the 4-mile practice runs will get me through the first 80% and the desire to not fall over in front of my family will get me through the last mile. Husband has decided he won't be running, so a small portion of my motivation to try and stick with him will be gone. But I'm looking foward to it. Then, the tri-training has to start in earnest, because there's only 11 weeks until the triathlon. I haven't swam a stroke in a year, and my bike has been untouched since September of 2006. Yes, that's year and a half and it could be ugly. I'm happy to hear that the swim of the this sprint has been increased to a half mile swim, however back when this course was supposed to have a one-third mile swim, it was never even close to that distance- probably less than a quarter mile, so I'm not holding out too much hope that the swim will really be a half mile. I'm looking foward to the race, there are a lot of people in my department that will be doing it and it's always fun to race with friends.

This morning was a fun time at the gym. Our normal instructor's on vacation so we had a new instructor that chose step aerobics for class. He was enthusiastic, flambouyant and had some funky moves. I laughed, I tripped, I moved and sweated. It's all good at 6am. Last night was a tough one, though, with all the kids up at some point; 11:30pm, 1am, 3am and then the alarm at 4:30am. I'm glad I made it to class, but I'm hoping that by some miracle I might be able to sneak in a few minutes of nap this afternoon. Maybe the babysitter, I mean TV, will occupy them for a few minutes and I'll catch some zzz's on the couch. Really, a 15-minute power nap would do wonders!

On the home front, Superman announced yesterday that he's wearing underpants from now on. Remember the trying times I had with Hot Wheels and the issue, I had decided not to push him until the end of summer because he'll need to be potty trained before nursery school. We'll be traveling in July for my sister's wedding and I decided I just didn't need something else to cause stress then, either. Yesterday he soaked the underpants twice and didn't actually make it to the potty successfully, but he actually sat on the potty multiple times, which is more than he had done until then. So, wish us luck. I've got the M&Ms all ready for potty successes and I've told him that if I can return the unopened box of diapers to the store, I'll buy him something with that money. Bribes, I mean, incentives, can be good.

Tomorrow's the final hill workout for the running team. I'm determined to make it to the top of the hill. The front-of-the-packers are up on the 120 second repeats. However, at 120 seconds I'm still only about half way. Depending on how my calf feels, that's the goals. And on Wednesday, the Wii Fit comes out. Good times.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I'm not fat

I still can't say that out loud, but I'm trying. Yes, I could still stand to lose some weight, but at 152 pounds I'm within the range of normal and my BMI at 5'7" is under 24. (I've still got the bat wings, my inner thighs still touch a little and I've got some muffin-top if my pants are too small, but I digress) To say I'm not fat, though, sounds vain to me and I feel like an impostor. I still identify with myself at 194 pounds, really fat, and out of shape. Recently one of the women at work asked me why I'm always referring to myself as the "big girl" or as being overweight. I realized that my current coworkers never knew me as my 194 pound self, so they don't identify me as fat, or even formerly fat. I feel comfortable making fun of myself as the big girl, but that's something it's time for me to change. Especially with the kids getting older and really paying attention to everything we say and do, even my unintentional comments about my weight could lead to misperceptions for them that everything's about weight instead of health. And I certainly don't want to raise Cutie to think anything negative or her body, adorable fudgy thighs and all. I've got to learn to think of my weight and size as a non-issue. Most people seem to make it through days without ever referring to their own size, why is it something that I've always brought up more- just to put myself down for being fat? I'm never going to be waif-like or even skinny, but if I can be fit and healthy, that's what's most important.

Along the same lines, I've always referred to myself as slow. Yesterday I went to the group hill workout and the first four and a half repeats out of six went pretty well. I was actually only a couple steps behind a woman that I always considered pretty fast. I referred to myself as a slow runner and then realized that she could misinterpret my comment and think I was saying she's slow- since we were almost the same pace. I always told myself if I ever ran under a 10 minute mile, that would be fast. Well, two races now have been under 9 minute mile pace (okay, just barely) and I still don't feel fast. But I guess it's time for me to stop saying out loud that I'm slow. It used to drive me nuts on the cross-country team when the fast girls that were blowing by me would talk about how slow they were. I thought that speed was totally wasted on the fast because they didn't appreciate it at all. Maybe some day I'll get there, physically and mentally.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Doesn't get any better than this

Happy mothers day to all moms, grandmas, moms-to-be, and anyone else I may have forgotten.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Two weeks to go a mile

This morning I decided I would run 4.5 miles. I got to the gym and found that all of the treadmills near a TV were taken, so I ended up on the odd back row treadmill off by itself. I have lost my wonderful clip on iPod shuffle and favorite headphones, but I brought my older iPod with me and some headphones. I set the treadmill at 6 mph and off I went. Within five steps my earphones had fallen out so now I had no TV and no music for an intended 4.5 mile run. Crap. I've also decided after running my two outdoor races and the outdoor hill workouts, that I prefer running outside. Too bad for me because for safety and daylight reasons, the treadmill is the only viable option at 5:30am. In a couple weeks I might get a month of two of outdoor runs, we'll see. Anyway, I started off and the first two miles felt great, they actually just flew by. Mile three was definitely sweating and working but still I decided that 4.5 was reasonable for today.

All of a sudden I felt as though I had really hit a wall. I checked out the distance- 3.1 miles. Apparently my body feels well-trained for a 5K, anything more than that, not so much. I made it 4.0 miles and I just quit. I was beat, my heartrate was up to about 177+ (it read 177 a minute after I stopped) and my feet and legs hurt. Not a good omen for a 5-mile race in two weeks. I tried to hang in there, but with no TV, music or other distractions, and the fact that I had to get to work, I just stopped. Two weeks, can I do another mile?

Here's a picture of the boys from the local comic book store. They are Darth Vader and Boba Fett in the middle. The date says last year, but it was last weekend.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

No title

Well, I'm still tired. Between Superman and Cutie I had a good hour and a half of awake time from 1-2:30am. Enough so that I didn't even hear my alarm this morning which resulted in my getting up almost an hour late, missing the gym. I'm hoping to fit in a workout before lunch, we'll see how that goes.

Yesterday was the sixth hill workout, unfortunately I had been unable to attend last week because of work commitments. It was 3x60, 2x75 and 1x120. That 120 second climb was rough! Also, I had slowed way down because at the 60 second mark I was still about 20-30 feet short of my normal 60 second mark. But I did it, and also ran the whole route back. Definite signs of improvement.

Hot Wheels was funny the other day, husband told me the story. They arrived at school and there were already a few kids there. Hot Wheels looked around and said "Look, there's three friends and a girl here". We tried telling him that girls can be friends but he wasn't buying it.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

THAT tired

I'm tired. I know, whine, whine, whine. I'm not sure what it is about this tired that's so different, but I actually took a left-over pre-Cutie pregnancy test just because I feel that tired. (Thankfully, negative on the pee-on-a-stick.) The tired where I feel like my bones are heavier and I could easily nap at any given moment, if the opportunity ever came up, which it doesn't. This morning I fell asleep again while pumping milk for Cutie.

And today is hill workout day. I've also just sent in my registration for the 5-mile race that is two weeks from Saturday. Holy cow that snuck up quickly. Five whole miles. I know the course and it's pancake flat, but it's right along the water and there will likely be a strong headwind in one direction. I hope it's a tailwind on the way back.

Oh well, what's the saying- I'll get plenty of sleep when I'm dead? I sure wouldn't mind some now.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

A great start

Yesterday was a 3.5 mile road race that was a work-sponsored entry race. There were actually 64 runners from work, 470 total in the race. It's a walker friendly race as well, so at the start I had no idea where to place myself so I wasn't too slow for those behind me or stuck behind other people. I couldn't find my iPod before the race and I decided that since I was going alone- originally we were going to push the kids in strollers, but my husband decided to stay home with the kids because it was chilly and rainy- I was really going to try and push myself the whole way. I placed myself a bit too far back as it turned out and I spent the first couple minutes trying to find openings to get around other people. I didn't enjoy listening to my breathing as much as I had enjoyed running with my iPod, and I felt like I was working harder than I did at the 5k last.
Mile 1- time check- 8:35, not bad! I was feeling pretty good still and passed a guy from work that finished 2 places ahead of me last week. I wanted to keep him in sight for pacing but felt strong enough to get ahead for now.
Mile 2- time check- 17:00- whoa, that's an 8:25 mile, Nice! We turned a corner and hit a slight head wind for a few minutes which felt good because I had over-dressed myself for the race with a long sleeved t-shirt and my running pants.
Mile 3- time check- 25:45- still 8:45 but I was feeling quite warm.
Finish time- 31:27, which made my pace for the last half mile almost 6 minutes! I was very surprised and disappointed because I did not feel like I was running a 12 minute mile over the last stretch. I thought I was still moving quite well, so there must have been something wrong with my timing on my watch. My final pace came out to 8:59/mile. I was a little disappointed since the first three miles really seemed faster, however, in the big scheme of things, under 9 minute miles again for my second race is pretty decent. I was 14/56 in my age group, exactly the cut-off for top 25%. I finished 190 out of 470. That did include many walkers, though, in a running field only I'd be happy with 50%.

One thing I was happy with, although I'm not proud of the character trait, is that I came in ahead of some people from work that I really thought would be faster than I was. There were a few people that really seem like "runners" and they were behind me.

Only three weeks until the 5-miler, that's going to be a struggle. I certainly didn't feel like I had another mile and a half in me yesterday. I'm planning to switch up my Thursday 5k this week for a Thursday long run. I'll try 4.5 miles- keeping it to 6 mph. Even if I have to pace myself for that at the race, a 50 minute race would be a success in my book.

After the race, we took the kids to Free Comic Book Day at a local comic book store. There are some people that come out in costumes, including some local Star Wars fans that have professional grade costumes and make appearances at different events. We didn't tell the boys where we going and as we drove by the store to find a parking spot the boys yelled "Look! Stormtroopers!" Then we saw Boba Fett- a big favorite of theirs from the movies, a Tuscan Raider as well as some other non Star Wars characters like Superman, Indiana Jones and some called Sailor Moon I think. I told the boys I happened to have their costumes in the van, so they also dressed up- Boba Fett and Darth Vader. They had their pictures taken for the paper with some of the characters and of course we also took a bunch of pictures. They had a great time. Then we headed off to a playground before calling it a day. A great day for everyone in the family.

Friday, May 02, 2008

New world

Last night we joined the realm of kids activities and the boys started swimming lessons. Hot Wheels was signed up for the lessons already and an hour before we were going to go, Superman decided he wanted to take them to. I took him along with me and by a great stroke of luck there was an opening in pre-school level 1, so they both started lessons. I think Hot Wheels was a little disappointed because he felt like it was his "big kid" thing to take the lessons and I debated just leaving Superman home. However, I think that swimming is really important for them, so I decided to take Superman because he's always trying to keep up with Hot Wheels, at least he'll learn a little more comfort and safety.

I recently read something by a parenting "expert" that said you shouldn't spectate all your kids events. They should learn to be proud of their accomplishments independently of your praise or involvement. So, I thought, maybe after the first night I'd use the half hour to do my own swimming rather than sit and watch. Well, scrap that idea. I loved watching them and I don't care if that makes me too involved. It's also a nightmare trying to get them both changed to leave so if I tried to get in a swim and had to change myself, that would just be crazy.

The boys were both so excited when they got out of the water and couldn't wait to go back for another lesson today. They were both really disappointed when I told them the next lesson isn't until next week. At least when the weather gets warmer we can go swim at the beach between lessons.