Saturday, April 25, 2009

PR: check

This morning was the 5K race that's an annual family event. My husband, brother-in-law and I run the 5K and then our kids run the kids' races. I was on a business trip from Wednesday morning until last night and let's just say that my nutrition over those days left much to be desired in the way of health. However, it was tasty. At least I avoided the breakfast pastries in favor of cereal and fruit, and I skipped the lunch time desserts. But, I still ate more than I should have and knew it might have an effect on my race. Also, I slept awful. I thought that for sure with a king sized bed to myself, no kids to wake me up in the middle of the night and no husband snoring like a chainsaw, I'd sleep like a rock. Nope. Up many times both nights and then slept awful again last night. The forecast was for possibly up into the 70s for the race, and considering it's not been that warm since September, that was not a good sign. But, we woke up to overcast and 50s. The race started at 10am and it was cloudy and cool until about 9:58 am. We were literally at the starting line when the clouds just disappeared and in rolled the sun and heat. I've set myself up here to use many excuses, but I actually had a pretty good race. First mile: 8:38, second mile 8:44, (those times were by my watch) last 1.1 miles was 9:22, for an overall 26:44- 8:37 pace. (My watch times don't really match up with the final time but I'll take it) Woohoo. I started out feeling pretty good and the first two miles were strong. Then, it got hot and ugly. In all honesty, the thought that kept running through my head was that I could not possibly enjoy running another 10 miles after this race was over. And next weekend I'll have to do just that. Granted, I do not intend to start out anywhere near the same pace, and I know I'm trained and capable of finishing. But it might not be too pretty. For today I finished up 73 out of 139, and 8 out of 20 in my age group. Last year the same time would have been good for 4th in my age group. Oh well. Not sure how realistic it would be for me to try to shave off another minute next year, but maybe I'll give it a shot. Pretty happy with the effort and I was really proud of the boys. Spiderman and Hot Wheels were both dressed in long pants and long sleeved t-shirts because of the cool weather when we left the house. By the time the kids' races went off it was easily in the mid 70s. Spiderman was in the 5 and under quarter mile race- he paced himself well and ran the whole way. He held my hand for about the first 300 meters and then let go to finish the last hundred meters on his own. He came in at 2:32 for the quarter mile. Then Hot Wheels had the option of a quarter mile or half mile race and he chose the half mile, because his cousin wanted to run that one as well. He was a total trooper. He was the youngest in the race, since he just turned six a few weeks ago. At the start the other kids took off and he was dead last for the first half loop. He kept going at his steady pace, though, and soon he was passing other racers that had gone out too fast. He slowed to a walk probably twice during the two laps, but it was briefly and he was determined. He crossed the line in 4:58 for the half mile.

Speaking of kids, I was beaten by 8 kids under the age of 13, including a 7-year-old that busted out 7:51 pace and an 11-year-old that flew through 6:38 pace. Wow. At mile 2 I passed a girl who was either 9 or 10 years old. She was hurting and crying. She said she had a cramp and she just looked so upset. I told her to stretch her arms up and try to work the cramp out. She kept going and she ended up either 5 or 10 seconds behind me (I'm not sure which of the finishers she was), that was pretty good, I thought. This race attracts quite a few younger racers, there were 18 finishers under 14 years old- I thought that was quite a high showing for only 139 racers total. It's great to see all these kids out there running, and all the families with kids in strollers- including a guy that I think finished fifth pushing two kids in a jogger. A great event for all involved.

A week from tomorrow. The half. It's getting close.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ten in the books

Last night I got on the treadmill after the kids were in bed and ran 6 miles at 10:00. I got off the treadmill and thought I'd go to bed, but I could hear my husband snoring from downstairs and I wasn't all that tired, so I headed back down to the treadmill for another 4.1 miles. They were in the 11-13 minute range, depending on when I could jog or just walk. After the first six I had a glass of chocolate milk, and that was not going to sit well if I tried running hard again. I finished 10.1 in under two hours. Now I know I'm ready for the half. Not that it was a great run, since I only ran the first 6 at a good pace, but I covered the distance and I know I could have gone another 3 miles after that. Going to bed at midnight is definitely not my style, but it was worth it. I'll try an easy 2-3 tomorrow and then I'm taking off until Saturday- it's 5K day! This morning the weather man predicted that Saturday will be 80 degrees- ugh. Too hot for me. I hope it's not that hot for the half on May 3rd, but with early May I guess you never know.

I leave for work in the morning. I'll only miss two bedtime tuck-ins (well, three for Princess since she'll be asleep before I get in Friday night), but it's still hard. Has to be done, though, and everyone will survive. I feel so much better now that I've gotten that long run/walk in!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Great weekend

What a wonderful weekend, yesterday was almost 70 degrees and then today was in the upper 50s. Friday afternoon we hit the local park for a hike and then a picnic. Followed by many races up and down a very large grassy hill in the park. I love that the kids all love to run and I hope that we will be able to keep that fun and love for running as they grow older. We played out in the yard for a while yesterday, using the new soccer goals that Hot Wheels got for his birthday. Then later in the day I took Spiderman to a birthday party, his first kid party with all his preschool friends. They had a battery powered car that didn't have a working battery, but they have a downhill driveway so the kids could ride down, they just couldn't get the car back up. So, for about 40 minutes, I pushed kids up the hill in the car and then ran down the hill holding onto the car because some of their 4-year-old driving skills couldn't get them down the driveway safely. I sure got in a a good workout there.

Then today my husband and I packed up the kids in the two jogging strollers. Hot Wheels was in the single and Spiderman and Princess rode in the double. We headed down to the beachside boardwalk for a nice two mile run. It was WINDY! I had Hot Wheels on the way out and then I got the double on the way back. I think I got the short end of the stick there because the double is heavier and the trip back was into the wind. It was a nice short, but tough, workout. Then we played on the beach for a while before heading home.

On the training front things are just alright. It hasn't been the stellar month that I had in March, but I'm getting through. My mileage is down this month, but Friday morning we headed outside for a 4.5 mile run that was under 10:00 pace. I went with a woman that I rode with last year before our triathlon. It was our first time out running together and it was great having a partner that runs a very similar pace and we get along just fine. I'm looking forward to running together for the summer as it gets light earlier. I was quite embarrassed, though, that at 4.5 miles of the 5 mile planned run I had to stop due to some major intestinal distress. I ended up walking back while she ran because I wasn't sure I would make it to the restroom in time if I kept up the running. As it was I only barely made it. Not my best showing for a first run with a new partner, but she seemed quite understanding. I've missed two long runs now, I'll only get in one more before my May 3rd half marathon. I'm pretty sure I'll cover the distance, although it might be ugly towards the end. Not sure why I'm having these intestinal troubles, though, I had a repeat problem today. Must be something diet related but I can't pinpoint it right now.

Overall, life is great. If the biggest of my problems is related to something as non-essential as running, I'm doing pretty well. I've got a three day business trip this week. It's the first time I'll be away from Princess for that long, I've only missed her bedtime a few times since she was born. I don't want to go, but it has to be done. And, I'll get to have dinner with my sister and see her new house so that will be nice.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Phew, I didn't forget

So this week was not great, following my previous not great week, and it started to make me nervous. I missed Monday's scheduled long run and there was a part of me that was really afraid that my body would just completely forget how to run after two weeks of less than great training. Last night I decided to hit the treadmill after the kids went to bed. I wasn't sure how long I'd last, I ended up running 5.1 miles and felt really good, I was even at 10:00 miles the whole time. (except one commercial break bathroom stop) I was ready to switch my long runs to Friday nights because I don't have to get up early, try to fit it in on a weekend day and worry about the kids giving me a hard time, and I enjoyed the Friday night TV more than the early morning gym TV shows. However, I took a shower at 10pm and then I couldn't fall asleep for a long time. I'm not sure that's the best solution for me, but it's definitely an option. I haven't watched a 60 minute TV show in ages. It was fun. I do plan to get in the 9 miles on Monday, then I've got a 10-miler before the race. I can't believe it's only 3 weeks from tomorrow. At least now I'm sure I'll finish, the back end miles might slow down, but they'll get done.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009


Maybe not my smartest decision ever, but after taking the past two days off because I just felt run over, I decided that today was going to be my first outdoor run of the year. I took a puff of my inhaler and headed out the door, into the 36 degree weather with a 10mph wind. The weather website now says it's 39 but feels like 33, I ran 2 hours ago, so I don't know what it felt like temperature-wise, but it did feel cold. I didn't really know how long the route was, so I just ran along, periodically checking my watch so I could track my times when I got back and mapped my route. The run felt pretty good, although I was NOT pushing myself due to the cold. I was running next to the water, into the wind, for a while, and my eyes were watering so badly I was constantly wiping off tears. Even with my inhaler, by the time I came to the last section, my chest was tight and uncomfortable. I'm alright now, I just sound like I smoke a pack a day, that should subside by this afternoon. I was pleasantly surprised when I got back to my desk to find that I ran 3.7 miles in 37:30. My long runs on the treadmill have all been at 10:20 pace and they felt more difficult. I think it's just the actual moving and being outdoors that helps. I do hope that the spring weather actually arrives soon, I'd like to move outdoors for good, but will have to wait for a day warmer than today to try this again.

Next time I'll share pictures of yesterday's awesome afternoon at the playground. It was cold, but the kids had a blast, and that's what it's all about. It's a shame that so many very nice school playgrounds sit empty while kids are on their couches these days.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009


missed my planned 4-miler on Friday, but made up for it with a 3.6 miler on Saturday. Wow did those 3.6 miles HURT. I had thought that overtraining only affected ultra athletes that did some extreme training, but I looked it up yesterday and I've got just about all the symptoms. Muscle soreness, fatigue, insomnia, headaches, irritability, got 'em. Weight loss? Nope, don't have the one symptom that might be of some use to me. I was up for a couple hours Sunday night with Princess and yesterday morning's planned 9-mile run just wasn't going to happen. I had enough trouble dragging my lazy butt out of bed and to work, forget going to the gym, it just wasn't going to happen. I know that trying a treadmill run when I felt that way has lead to tripping in the past. Maybe it's just my inherent laziness coming through after a few weeks of training. It's just so annoying, though, because two weeks ago I ran my longest run ever, 8.25 miles, and I felt great. Now with four weeks left to go until my half marathon, the thought of dragging myself across 13.1 miles is the last thing I want to do. I hope that missing yesterday's long run won't be too detrimental to training, but I have to remember that training schedules don't take into account sick kids, family obligations, work conflicts, etc. This morning I got up and even though I didn't do training of any sort yesterday, I hurt. My arms, legs and core are sore as if I had a really tough workout. I'm skipping one more day at the gym and then I hope to get something done in a workout fashion tomorrow. I really wish I had just stayed in bed.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

I'll fake it 'til I can make it

This was just a crappy week on the physical fitness front. Not really sure why, either. It was a recovery week on my running schedule, thank goodness, but even the short 4 mile runs I had scheduled seemed long and painful. I'm NOT looking forward to Monday's run, it will be 90 minutes on the treadmill, it's supposed to be a 9-miler, but it will likely be a bit shorter than that since I'm not at 10:00 miles yet for that distance. I was going to transition to outside runs Monday but I decided I'm going to wait until Wednesday and go with a shorter run for my first outdoor foray. I've still got to get a good water bottle belt and I know that there will be some additional aches and pains transitioning from the forgiving surface of the treadmill to the pavement and concrete outdoors. So, one last boring treadmill run and then I'll have two long distance runs before the half. Only four weeks from tomorrow!

Strength training was weak this week, too. Tuesday I was just too lazy and bagged it. Then Thursday I went to the gym with the schedule from my trainer but I knew I wouldn't push myself as much as I should. So, I switched to a class instead. It was a good workout at least. And I got my miles in, so overall it wasn't a total loss, but not as good as other weeks have been recently.

On the non-fitness front, we're preparing for Hot Wheels' sixth birthday. SIX. I feel like I say it all the time, but I can't believe how quickly time just flies. The kids and I went to an Easter Egg hunt with my mom this morning. Spiderman and Princess were in the 2-4 year-old hunt, then Hot Wheels was with the K & 1st graders. Princess wasn't technically eligible yet, but she's taller than many two-year olds, and she thinks she's a four-year-old like Spiderman, so it worked out fine. That girl's a challenge, though. She's into testing limits like nothing we ever experienced with the boys. She's got a temper and a fierce independence. Things that will make her a very interesting adult, I think, but add to the challenge of parenting her. This phase too will pass, and some day I may long for these days of toddlerhood. Although I've yet to find an age beyond 12 months or so that I don't completely love. I'm not a real infant person, but give me a toddler on up and I just love it. I've got to get to cleaning now, we're hosting my husband's family for the birthday party tomorrow. We haven't gotten into friend parties yet, but our family party has 7 cousins ages 11 and under, so that's plenty of activity.