Thursday, November 29, 2012

Awesome training run

Running for me has always been a stress reliever and a source of solace.  With three little ones at home my life is rarely quiet or calm so running provides that oasis for me.  I choose to run alone because I like the time to myself.  Also, because I did a team race earlier this year and ended up with one of my friends not speaking to the group for weeks following the race (I guess we all have different levels competitive spirits). There have been moments when I've thought it would be wise to join a running club or to find a partner to help challenge me, but ultimately I find myself the best and cheapest company.
Today was a day when I wish I had run with someone else, or at least had someone else around to share in my accomplishment.  I ran 11 miles this morning at a 8:35 pace.  Nothing too spectacular but an accomplishment none the less that I wanted to shout from the roof tops.  The other part of the run that was so darn fun was picking up another runner around mile 8.5 who must've thought he was tough stuff.  I could tell by his gait that he was an athlete but not a long range runner.  Once he spied me he made his move and whizzed past me to eat his dust!  I let him maintain his lead of about 300 feet for the  next mile and a half but then we hit a downhill (my favorite) and I zoomed right by.  I could hear his mouth drop.  I couldn't tell you how far ahead of him I made it before he slowed to a walk by once I finished my run and turned around for a quater mile walk I saw him standing still.  He turned and headed back where he came from and I have no idea if he picked up his pace again or not, but I loved surprising him and kicking his butt.  Oh and did I mention that this was in my last couple miles of my run compared to his fresh early miles!  Score one for the girls!!
Lets hope today's high keeps me going through the next 9 days as I gear up for the big Half-Marathon.  I'm putting it down here; I'll be content with a 9 minute pace but I know that I need an 8:30 or less if I'm going to have any chance of placing in my age group (even at that pace I could quickly be picked off by some more seasoned athletes but this is where the paces were last year) so I'll keep doing some speed work outs and hoping that I feel as good on the 8th as I did today.

Lace 'em up!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Making a list and checking it twice.....

So I've already begun making my Christmas wish-list. While my daughters are rambling off items like My Little Pony and Minnie Mouse I've started daydreaming about what I'd really love for Santa to stuff into my stocking.  This year I find that most of my "wishes"are for items that might help my running or my lifestyle.  While I know that I'm not likely to see too many of these items actually under the tree this year, here's to holding onto a few dreams!

  • CEP Compression Calf Sleeves

  • Amphipod Hydrafoam Handheld Ergo-Lite water bottle

  • Handful Bras. Honestly what Momma would't want something functional and flattering like this!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Potty training!

Ok, so here's the "Bugaboo" part of this blog.  Some ramblings and antics about my children and parenthood.

I have three sweet daughters and 2 of which have whizzed right through the babyhood and are now 22 months old.  An age, I believe, to begin potty training. My eldest was this age when I trained her, and I fully intend to have her younger sisters trained and out of diapers before their 2nd birthdays as well.

Let me just say, I thought potty training was the hardest parent challenge I had ever endured when I trained Adelyn, but now that I'm training twins I'm recanting.  Potty training twins is the hardest challenge I've had as a parent! Not only am I scrambling to get one to the toilet in time, but then I'm trying to find a spot for the second one to go as well.  Not to mention the accidents, yes twice the fun!  I believe that this endeavor is actually helping with my speed work on the race course since I'm scrambling, running and darting all over the house in an effort to avoid one more pair of wet pants!

Even with the challenges I firmly believe my efforts will be worth it.  I HATE diapers, they are messy, expensive, dirty and well gross.  So the quicker we are out of them the better.  Beyond that I think the successes in the bathroom give my girls some confidence and some independence, something that girls need at any age. So with our handmade cloth training pants a timer and a hearty supply of cleaning solvents we trudge forward.  Everyday we get closer, I just know it.

Training Week 3 (4 weeks to go)!

It's been 3 weeks since I made the heavy commitment to a December 8th half marathon.  So far so good.  Today I buttoned up this week with a great 5 mile run through the cool fall morning on a nice trail along with 30 minutes of crazy core work (to quote the instructor "6 tracks to a 6 pack!"....we'll see).
This week has been pretty mundane.  Thankfully.  Last week was tough.  I felt fatigued and my body felt like it was made out of un-moveable steel.  My tibias ached and my toe nails started to give way, and I was sluggish.  This week has been much more fun!  I've logged my anticipated miles and completed several varied cardio workouts.  I even feel like I can see a few slight improvements in my figure from my hard work. Bonus!

As I look at my training plan I see that the next 2 weeks will be long!  I will be spending a good deal of time away from my family with my laces tied and my feet pounding the pavement.  Am I being selfish with this training?  Yes, I suppose but not intentionally.  My  husband is fairly supportive of my efforts, although he really sees no point, and my girls love to go to the races and cheer me on.  Nonetheless, I spend 10-15 hours a week training, time I could be playing with the kids or cleaning the house.  The honest reality of it though is that I don't really believe I'd be any more productive as a house wife if I weren't running and I'm sure I'd be less effective as a mother and a wife without it.  Running and pushing my body thrills me, it motivates me, it energizes me.  What could be more beneficial for children than a happy mommy?  Nothing, I hope.  As long as my hard working husband continues to allow me a couple hours of solace when he's home to go run out my mommy stress, and the local gym continues to provide me with free child care then I fully intend to keep moving and run right through the guilt!

Week 3 Results:
Sat: 5 miles with hills
Sun: 6 miles 
Mon:60 mins Yoga, 4 miles stationary bike, 1 mile 6.45 pace
Tues: 60 mins Core/Pilates & 2 miles sprint interval
Weds: REST
Thurs: 5 mile bike ride with twins in chariot
Fri: 5 miles negative split & 30 mins CX works plyo/core

Week 4 Schedule:
Sat: 6 miles with hills
Sun: 9-10 miles 
Mon: 60 mins Yoga & 3 miles sprint interval
Tues: 60 mins Core/Pilates & 5 miles stationary bike
Weds: REST
Thurs: 3 mile bike ride with twins in chariot
Fri: 5-6 miles negative split & 35 mins CX works plyo/core

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Suburban Trails

I've started adding a few more miles per week to my treads in effort to gain distance and speed for my upcoming races.  In doing so, I've had to seek out new trails and time for these longer runs.  With my new training plan I've started running when and where I can.  This has been exciting and humorous.  Last weekend, I decided to use my feet to take me to my local Walgreens to pick up a couple small items.  The Walgreen's is about 3.5 miles from my home (7 miles round trip)and the run itself was generally paved with concrete and asphalt and with a few monstorous hills to fight with, but it wasn't the actual pounding of the pavement that was so much fun during this journey.  It was showing up sweaty and gently out of breath into a general public setting and seeing the glances of the less active society watching me that was so amusing.  Sure, I may not have smelled as appealing as the other shoppers and my clearly impatient demeanor at the check-out line(not wanting to be idle for too long) was a little irritating but I myself was a little smug, knowing that my body was all I really needed to get me from place to place.  It's nice to get past the tethered feeling that we seem to have to our cars.  While I don't live in an area where I will ever be able to completely go without my car for any length of time, knowing that once in a while I can steal away on nothing but my feet to complete my errands is liberating.

I did learn a great lesson during this trip, I need some gear!  If I'm going to be adding distance from my home and gym I really must get myself a good handheld water bottle and some obnoxious neon shorts or tops!  I've discovered that venturing onto the suburban sidewalk trails may open a whole new world of opportunity and danger!  While I'd like to imagine most people whizzing by me in their cars are aware of my presence and proud of me, the reality is just the opposite.  Sadly, most people driving in their cars pay little attention to the pedestrians around them. In fact, the NHTSA found that in 20120 that nearly 12 pedestrians a day lost their life in a motor/pedistrian accident! From the cozy cabin of most cars we pedestrians seem to be nothing but an annoyance at best and a speed bump at worst!
So please, be careful while your hitting the pavement, and enjoy!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Week 1 Training Review (6 weeks to go):

I have just completed my last training session for this week of this fast paced program that I've decided to undertake.  In just 6 more weeks I plan on racing in a half marathon (13.1 miles).  This week has been exhilarating and energizing.  I've added several new blisters to my toes and some dull aching in my tibia's but I'm generally feeling good.  I feel fairly confident that at this rate I'll be ready to tackle the challenge.  That being said, I must admit that my times on this morning 4 mile run were abysmal.  I intended for the run to be a negative half split ( 2nd half was run faster than the first) and was successful by definition but it's not saying much with mile 2 was a turtle-y 9 minute mile! I think I've got to get myself a decent watch/pedometer so I can keep better track of my pace.  Beyond that, the 35 minute plyo/core workout  added a little hair to my chest (kidding really) and a bucket-full of sweat beads to the gym floor.
For anyone who is interested here is what this week's training looked like and a peek at what next week has in store.

Week 1 Results:
Sat: 5 miles with hills
Sun: 6 miles 
Mon:60 mins Yoga & 3 miles interval
Tues: 60 mins Core/Pilates & 2 miles sprint interval
Weds: REST
Thurs: 2 miles hills with twins in double stroller
Fri: 4 miles negative split & 35 mins CX works plyo/core

Week 2 Schedule:

Sat: 6 miles with hills
Sun: 7miles 
Mon: 60 mins Yoga & 3 miles sprint interval
Tues: 60 mins Core/Pilates & 5 miles stationary bike
Weds: REST
Thurs: 3 mile bike ride with twins in chariot
Fri: 4 miles negative split & 35 mins CX works plyo/core

Off to the races.....

Fall is in full swing across the country and here in Central Texas, for me, that means race season is here.  Don't get me wrong, you can find a race just about any weekend of the year in this area but I personally take my annual "break" during the hot and steamy summers.  While the rest of the country seems to be hunkering down and preparing for the cold months I am just starting to get my running legs back under me and out on the trail. This month's edition of Competitor magazine has countless articles on the "winter break" and with the NYC Marathon set for this month (conditions permitting this year) it's clear that most of the community is preparing for their BIG 2012 finish.  Not me, we're just getting started!

So what are my plans for the fall/winter season?  Well, I kicked off season with a 5k and a 5 mile race in October (with 2nd and 3rd place finishes respectively) and November will bring the ubiquitous Turkey Trot.  But the height of my training and focus will be on the Half Marathon I have committed to in December and with any luck a 30k in January.  Just putting those commitments in writing here has me feeling inspired, how about you?

I'll keep you posted on my progress along with a few quips and anecdotes along the way from my 3 daughters (the eldest, who is 4, started her racing career this season).  There are sure to be lumpy days, times when I just feel like a lump of coal, but with my sights set on a little more "hardware" for the trophy wall I'm feeling up to the challenge.

Lets lace up and get moving.