Sunday, September 27, 2009

I'll take it

This morning I left my house in low 60 degree weather with plenty of rain and some wind. Nice day to spend about two and a half hours running, right? Actually, except for the fact that it prevented much spectating by the kids and my husband, I rather enjoyed the weather. I lined up at the very back of the pack of 500+ runners and we headed off on a two loop course that is pretty much completely flat. I know the course very well, since the starting line was about 3.5 miles from my house, we've spent much time in the state park we went through as well as the adjacent neighborhood. Here's the picture of a decidedly NON-negative split race.

mile 1-10.11
mile 2-10.36
mile 3-10.20
mile 4-10.29
mile 5-10.34
mile 6-10.48
mile 7-10.44
mile 8-11.06
mile 9-10.56
mile 10-11.23
mile 11-12.00
mile 12-11.59
mile 13.1-12.52
As you can see, the first seven were decent. It went downhill from there, but in contrast to my first half where I ended up walking most of the way after mile 10, I only stopped running for about 30 seconds to hug my kids and my husband at mile 10.5. Overall, I felt better than I did in May, but I've definitely got to put in more higher mileage runs to acclimate my feet and legs to the 10+ mile distances. I have to mention that my husband walked, in the rain with three kids, about half a mile to find a spot to spectate. Then they waited around for me because the race started about 15 minutes late, and had to walk back uphill to the car to go home. He's the most awesome husband ever. And seeing the kids was such a total boost for me, it got me through miles 9-10 without stopping and then once I'd passed them around 10.5 I figured I could at least keep running for the remaining 2.5 or so. I came in 479 out of 510, 76/84 age group and pulled off a 55 second PR, 2:24:05, for 11:03 average. May 2nd, 2010. Half marathon #3- goal- 2:11:00. It's on.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Ready or not. I'll go with not.

But tomorrow morning the half marathon will be here either way. It's supposed to rain, I've got a cold, I developed a blister on my toe doing a three mile run this week and I'm just altogether uninspired for this race. I've put in a few longer runs, but I've missed enough regularity in my workouts that I'm just not feeling confident. Also, I left myself in a bad place as far as goals. I kept saying I just want to get through it and feel better than last time. Well, that's just not a concrete enough goal for my uptight schedule-loving self. So I'm putting it out there today for 31+ weeks from now. My May half marathon goal is 2:11, 10 minute miles. Tomorrow I'll finish, maybe soaked, cold and cranky. I don't really care when I cross the line, I know I'll get there but I don't think it will be much fun.

On a much happier note, Hot Wheels was awesome in his first triathlon last weekend! He really enjoyed himself and already wants to do it again next year. He certainly wasn't the fastest one out there, but there were only six 6-year olds and his division was 6-8 year olds. Those 8 year olds are just so much more developed, it's not about the competition for the younger kids. Fortunately he didn't even care about who got trophies, he was a bit worried he wouldn't get one before the race. But once he crossed that finish line he just beamed for the rest of the day.

Here's his race report. We got there about 8:15 am and found an open transition spot near an edge, because parents weren't allowed in transition I at least wanted to be able to see and talk to him. Turns out other parents just ignored the rules completely, but we'd been through our transition practice so I knew he could do it. We went down to the beach for the start and the race directors were talking to the kids. Hot Wheels was off in space a bit and we had no idea whether he'd paid attention at all. They fired the gun and he stood there for a minute, then when the other kids hit the water, he ran in. He dropped and dog paddled pretty quickly, I thought he was going to walk until it was a bit deeper. The water did get deeper than his height, but he didn't seem to mind he really swam the whole way. There were lifeguards with floats and he stopped, along with most of the kids, to take a breather a few times. When he reached the shore I wondered whether he'd look around for all of us or stop. Nope, he was focused and determined. He motored up the really long run from the swim to transition area and he had a really quick transition to the bike. He had a volunteer assist him with clipping his bike helmet and then he was off on the two loop 0.75 mile course. He was nervous about stopping before the line from the bike-run transition, but he did manage to stop without falling. He had another volunteer help him unclip the helmet before heading out for the run. I couldn't see the whole 0.25 mile run course but he said there was a water station and he stopped for a drink. He was a little nervous when he couldn't find a garbage can so he stopped to ask the volunteer where to throw his cup. I thought that was cute. He was a little annoyed at all the littering until I told him that volunteers would clean up all the cups. He crossed the finish line and was ecstatic, the first thing he said was "Can I do it again next year?", then he said he was really tired. What a great event this was and we'll definitely be back again next year. I was just so proud of him, it was one of the most awesome things I've experienced.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Guess I'll taper

The half is a week from Sunday and I've put in two runs over 9 miles or so. I was planning to get in another 10+ miler in, but it just didn't work out that way. As I've been going along with this training plan, knowing that school, vacations and life in general was going to get complicated at times, I've done okay. My motivation has been decent, but not complete. I've put in most, but not quite all, of what was planned. If I can just get through and not feel as awful as last May, it will be a success. If not, then I know what to work on for next May.

But, the highlight of this weekend will clearly be HotWheel's first triathlon on Sunday. Last weekend we did a "wet run". I hosed him down in the backyard and he went through transition and then did a bike/run workout. We don't have a good pool or swim option, so the hose was the best approximation we had. I didn't push the practice much this summer, but he knows that if he does it again next year he'll have to practice more. Not because we want to push him to win, but just because that's part of the event. But for this year I let him sort of dictate when he biked/ran or didn't. The transition to first grade and full days of school has really taken away alot of his Lego time. He would play with his Lego collection for multiple hours a day if given the option, and that's what he did most of the summer. So when he gets home from school, if he doesn't want to bike or run, or do much of anything other than build for an hour or so, I just go with it. That's his relaxation, and it could be much worse. He hasn't even asked to play video games during the week at all, and while I'm not completely against video games, I'm glad that he prefers the more creative Lego option.

I'll have photos of the event to share soon, please hope for good weather for us! I may race in the rain, but it will be miserable if we're all out there cold and/or wet.

Saturday, September 05, 2009


So much going on, I'm not sure why I haven't posted except that I just haven't had the time. I now have a two-year-old, a first grader and not to ignore him - a middle child that starts 4-year old preschool next week. This summer was just about the best I can ever remember. Fun trips to the beach, a family vacation with my family, and a small trip to Story Land for just the five of us. Last weekend we discovered the fun of geocaching, where you download coordinates to a GPS unit and tromp through the woods looking for a "treasure chest" of sorts. The kids had an absolute blast and now I'm going to invest in a Forerunner so I can have a watch GPS for future geocaching trips. (there's more information at if you're interested)

On a training note, I'm very happy with how the half marathon training has gone. I put in a 9-miler last week, a 9.5 miler yesterday and they both felt pretty good. I was at 10:02 pace yesterday, which I was very happy with. I still have a fear of the last three miles, I'm hoping to get in at least one run over 10 miles before my race on the 27th. I'm not really approaching it as a race, I just want to be able to run through it as if it were another training run. I'm not worried about the time, I just want to get to the end and not feel completely awful like I did in May. My running partner is pregnant, she's about 18 weeks along now and she's still running 4-5 miles at just about our normal pace. For my long run days I've been going out for 4-5 on my own and then meeting up with her for a second "loop". I'm very happy for her that she's pregnant, but I'm a little sad that I'll be back on my own in the not too distant future. However, next summer she'll be back, I hope, and we'll get back into the same routine.

Of course I have more pictures to share, so here they are.
Here we are on our geocaching excursion. Princess with her pony on her birthday. Yes, she accessorized herself and the pony was from a tag sale. But she never needs to know that.Hot Wheels heads off to first grade.We all head off to the bus stop together.