Category Archives: balance

welcome back!

Hello my long lost neglected blog! There is no good place to even begin on covering the last 7 months. I do hope and plan to restart this blog. The timing is due to the fact that life is finally settling back into the normal fullness of life with 3 young kids and a husband with an awesome yet very busy new job. Also, I finally feel like my running is returning to normal. Back in April, when I ceased all writing, I was in a major funk. The Boston Marathon came and went without me there even though I qualified, successful got it and paid a hefty entry fee. Coming back from my injury last Fall just took way more TIME than I ever imagined. It was hard to be patient.

Then while the kids and I were on our annual summer trip to Maine, my husband flew from Florida to Seattle for a job interview. It was late June. He then joined us in Maine. Was offered the job (and accepted). We drove home from Maine a day early – a 30 hour 2 day trip. And a week later he leaves for Seattle to starts his new job on July 14. The kids and I begin to wrap up our lives in Florida, go on an already planned 10 day trip to California with my family, go back to Florida, movers pack our house and we say a lot of hard goodbyes, spend a week at my parents while our stuff is in route, say even more hard goodbyes, fly to Seattle, spend 5 days in our house without our stuff, stuff arrives and we unpack, and our older 2 kids start school 4 days later. YEP I am exhausted (and emotional) just thinking about it all!

So here we are, adjusting to life and loving life – in Seattle! My husband typically leaves for work between 6am-6:20 most days – but at times as early as 5:15-5:30. So I have been having some super early runs! It has taken me a while to get into a new rhythm and routine, but I am getting in a good spot. I am starting to feel like *me* again.

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65 hours

In just over 65 hours, the gun will fire for the start of the Pensacola Marathon.  It’s amazing to look back at my training log and know that I have done everything in my power to be ready.  While yes there have been runs I have cut short and goal times I haven’t met, overall, I have stuck to my plan pretty darn well.

In my previous 2 marathons (Feb and April 2008), I trained with other people for a lot of it.  This time, it’s all been on my own.  That is a pretty cool feeling.  Yet don’t get me wrong – I’d prefer to have people to run with – but the 1 person I’ve found to run with in this small town (who is an amazing training partner) – had knee surgery this Fall.

So I’m resting my legs as much as possible, stretching, staying hydrated, and seeking to make every calorie I eat to be a calorie my body can use for good (which is HARD with our bucket full of Halloween candy!!!)

As for my time on Sunday – I’ll be happy with a PR (3:29:58), but I REALLY want to break 3:20. That’s my high goal.  Training’s done.  All that’s left is to run a SMART race!

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Filed under balance, consistency, goals, life, marathon training, race, running

a kick

I’m on a motivational kick – or high – right now.  Or surge. Not sure what to call it, except that RUNNING is going well FINALLY.  I get nervous that tomorrow it will tank again. But for today, I’m excited.  And I’m motivated.

January was one of my best and most consistent months since I started keeping track of things.  Every aspect of training has been going well.  My legs are tired, but seem to be adjusting well to added volume.

I ran 111.5 miles for the month (to reach my goal of 1000 miles in 2012, I only need to run 83 miles/month).  I did not take more than 1 consecutive day off.  My pace is moving in the right direction.  So yes, I’m encouraged! And excited!

I’ve also been asking myself what can I do to be a better runner?  My aforementioned new running partner will help – she’ll push me and not let me dog it on our runs together.  I am also trying to be more conscience of what I eat.  With 3 kids, meal times can be crazy and I often don’t get a good breakfast or lunch myself while feeding them.  I then tank in the mid afternoon and make poor decisions on what I do eat.  I am working on eating a solid breakfast and lunch, to get the good calories, and to feel better as the afternoon progresses.  Other thoughts are swarming through my head, but let’s take it 1 step at a time.  January was good.  Here’s to February being even better!  

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Filed under balance, consistency, eat/food, goals, partners, running

this morning

I’ve been thinking.  What is realistic for me right now?  I’m tired.  Just in the past 2 weeks, Andrew has started sleeping through the night most nights, which is amazing.  On mornings I run, I now set my alarm for 15 minutes earlier than normal so that I can feed him before I go.  All that to say though, for 5.5 months, I did not get a full night sleep.  That can take its toll.  All the while, I’ve been pushing my body to get stronger and faster.  The past few days, I’ve been wondering if I’m asking a bit too much of myself?

Then I start thinking about the flip side.  Running, racing, and having goals honestly help me stay sane.  Ever since Sarah was born, running has been my outlet.   This is 1 of my favorite quotes from another running mama, published in the March 2010 Runner’s World … As a runner-mother, I train and race to be distinctly different from the woman struggling to maneuver the grocery cart shaped like a race car. “Sorry, sorry,” I repeat like a mantra in the produce section, as I bump my way around the vegetables.  Give me four safety pins and a piece of paper with a number on it, and there are no apologies.  I have somewhere I  need to go, as fast as possible, and no one gets in my way.  The woman on the playground who uses phrases like “Oopsy daisy” spits and swears while running with friends.

That thought of not having a goal race, a plan, leaves me feeling like I’m floundering and seriously squashes my motivation.

So NO, I am not throwing out racing.  All of this basically comes to a head when thinking about WHAT goal and WHAT races.  In the back of my mind, I’ve been planning on running a half marathon in Pensacola in November.  Yet the more I think about it, the less I want to.  When choosing races, my main factors are … (in no particular order)
1.  realistic potential to set a PR
2. fun location/event
3. friends running it
4. local races

Pensacola fits NONE of those.  So unless I have a major change of heart, I’m going to toss it.  I am going to set a tentative goal of a Spring Marathon, but at least a half … all based on how the next few months go.

So that alters my training schedule. It allows me to back off just enough for things to feel more realistic and natural.  I still want to push myself. I still want to get faster.  For now, I’m planning on running 4 days a week.  In another month or 2, I’ll hopefully bump it up to 5 days.  I think my body will respond a lot better.  And maybe I won’t be quite as irritable from lack of sleep :)

So this morning, as I’m doing some soul-searching as I think through all this … I’m running along … I see what looks like a uni-bomber type figure on the sidewalk ahead of me … so I casually cross to the other side of the road.  There is no side-walk to jump on if a car comes, but I’m going the direction the few cars drive before 6am.  Damn, a car.  It was too dark to jump off the road, so I keep going straight, hoping the car will see me.  As I’m watching the car, not the ground, I step in a hole and ROLL my left ankle.  The same ankle I injured twice in the Fall of 2009.  Adding to it, the hole was full of water.  Damn.  So today, my ankle hurts.  To continue the whining, my right big toe has been sore for  a few weeks.  Those 2 things add to my decision to not run Pensacola.

All that to say, maybe I’m having a bad day and will change my mind.  But I doubt it.  And I look forward to the Spring with great enthusiasm!! :)

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a balance

I’ve been thinking through the balance of needing sleep, but also craving (and needing) exercise.  I was talking with a friend who also has 3 little ones similar ages to ours about how a tired Mama is an impatient Mama.  That is often oh so true.

Yet I have this weird make up in my DNA or psyche or whatever you want to call it that needs to run. Yes, I need it. I need it to be a better Mama; to be a better wife; to be a better friend; to be happier.  Maybe it’s an addiction – to feeling a certain way and to the release of endorphins.  I also love it.  I love having a goal and competing.

So I’ve been weighing the balance … do I wait until the boy is sleeping through the night (or at least sleeping more) before I start waking up in the mornings to run? Or do I just go ahead and go with it?  With my husband’s work/school schedule, mornings are pretty much my only option for fitting a run into my day now that school is out and I have 3 kids and I’m not about to spend $1K on TRIPLE jogger! :) (much less put myself through the hell of pushing it while I ran).

So I’m going to try.  I did it twice this week (Wed & Thur) and so far not bad. I did nap both afternoons.  We’ll see how it goes!

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Being a mama, there is no “wait and see” if there is time for a run.  If I wait and see, IT DOES NOT HAPPEN.  We have sought to make it part of our routine.  Yet when our routine is off, my running is inconsistent to nonexistent.

Our routine has been off lately.  Jon (my husband) had back surgery last Wednesday and thus can’t pick up our kids for at least 6 weeks.  It isn’t really an issue with Sarah, but is with Cora.  If she wakes up screaming while I’m on a morning run, he can’t get her out of her crib.  Normally this isn’t an issue, but her sleep has been a bit out of whack lately.  She’s been sleeping better the past few days, so I’ve been more brave to head out the door with her still sleeping.

Yet even before surgery, we went on a weekend camping trip came home with a sick Cora and an exhausted mama.    I didn’t run for 4 days.  It was the 1st time in a long time that I took 4 days off not for an injury.

This added up to May being my lowest mileage month since November, when I was out for a bit because of my ankle.

Here’s to June being a consistent month!!!

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hell week

Back to the March issue of Runner’s World.  There was a 1 page article titled Hell Week – about a running mama who sprained her ankle and could not run for a week.  This household knows what that’s like!  Using the title has probably made you think, oh no, what happened?  Nothing! (thankfully!!!)  I just LOVED the article and can so relate.  This was my favorite:

As a runner-mother, I train and race to be distinctly different from the woman struggling to maneuver the grocery cart shaped like a race car. “Sorry, sorry,” I repeat like a mantra in the produce section, as I bump my way around the vegetables.  Give me four safety pins and a piece of paper with a number on it, and there are no apologies.  I have somewhere  need to go, as fast as possible, and no one gets in my way.  The woman on the playground who uses phrases like “Oopsy daisy” spits and swears while running with friends.

That is perfect.  It’s me.  I love being a mama.  It has been so much more fun and beautiful than I ever imagined.  Yet I also love my outlet.  I love that it enables me to be a better mama.  My unexplained grumpy days are far less frequent if I am running consistently – releasing endorphins, stress & emotion in a healthy way.  It has helped me handle the downs and ups and bumps of this move.

*funny side note – yesterday afternoon I was having an unexplained grumpy day.  Jon picked up on it pretty quickly – maybe it was me bitching about how the potatoes where not cooking  how I wanted or perhaps that 1 of the 1st things Sarah said to him when he got home was “Papa, Mama said maybe you could take me and Cora on a loooong bike ride!”  Hats off to my husband – without missing a beat, he had both kids in the bike trailer in record time!  I was able to finish dinner, take a deep breath, ask the Lord for patience and was much better off when they all returned! :)

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