Tuesday, December 2, 2014

November stats

I feel like I was just writing October's stats. We spent the majority of November sick. After 3 weeks I gave up and went to the doc (yesterday) for meds for a sinus infection. I only took a weekend off when I was sick and the girls were both sick and the idea of running long just wasn't appealing.

I did pretty good sticking to my routine this month but it's getting harder. It's getting cold out there and the toddler does not like to bundle up for stroller runs (and it's hard to buckle him up wearing a coat anyway). I think I'll be doing more treadmill runs soon. My long runs are not quite long yet, but I ran more often this month. Last November was 32.8 miles.


Mileage: 54 miles
Runs: 14
Races: 1 (Celebrate Women 5K)
Cross training: 8
Bike: 12.5 miles

I did really well with the cross training this month. In addition to the Jessica Smith videos, I've been adding some bike miles. I bought a bike trainer to use with my road bike but it didn't work out the way I hoped. My bike is a smaller sized mountain bike. The back tire was being shaved by the trainer and when I looked into getting a replacement tire I realized that I couldn't get a trainer tire for it and to get just a regular mountain bike tire would have been too much work and money. Adding it all up didn't make sense. So I sent the trainer back and bought a semi-recumbent bike instead. I should have done that right away but I swear when I first started looking all I saw were bikes for thousands of dollars. My research failed me. I'm not heading for a triathlon or giving up running. Biking is great cross training for running and an indoor bike is something I can do during the winter. I'm hoping to do the bike twice a week, run 4 times a week and throw in some videos when I can. 

The Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Bike

I did just start Jessica Smith's Quick Fit Holiday Challenge which means videos almost every day for the month. I generally don't do challenges because I have a hard time fitting them into my running schedule but I like the word "Quick" in this one. All of the daily workouts are 20 mins or less. I should be able to get that done on top of whatever running and biking I am doing. I'm expecting to have a really strong winter of exercise so I can have a really strong half marathon time next fall. When a good friend says she's running her first post-baby half and asks you to do it with her there's only one response. So I signed up for the Wineglass Half Marathon in October. A destination half with friends and wine. Awesome. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

October's stats

That month went by pretty fast.

I was determined to not let this October be a repeat of last October when my 2 weeks off after the half-marathon turned into more. I intended on only taking a week off so that's what I did. I've been fine too, no aches, no soreness, no need for extended recovery. I started back relatively slow but now I'm kicking it back into "high gear" with a planned 4 run week. Two stroller runs, one speedwork, one long. I hope I can keep this up!


Mileage: 43.4 miles
Runs: 9
Races: 1 (Mohawk Hudson Half Marathon)
Cross training: 4

Last October was 24.1 miles, so I'm okay with 43.4. I've started to get some Jessica Smith workouts back into my rotation too. I'm hoping that if I stick with it all it will make the winter slightly less horrible.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

2014 Mohawk Hudson Half Marathon wrap up

As I expected, I didn't PR at Sunday's half-marathon. But that's okay, because sometimes races are about more than just the numbers.

We got to the race around 8 and had some trouble parking so by the time I got the bathrooms the line was huge for both the inside park bathrooms and the portapotties. I had gone to the bathroom 5 or 6 times before I left the house so I thought I'd be okay. No. I'm going to have to get there earlier next year.

Me, Tracy & Kathleen before the race

I met up with a few friends running the half and we started out together but I was determined not to try to keep up with anybody this year. I was going to just run and be happy doing it. It was somewhat difficult at first to think of Fallon and run happy. If I thought about the details too much, the exact opposite would occur and well, running and crying are not a good mix. So I switched gears and thought about how strong she was and how much good she has done. I ran most of the race "alone" but ran into (no pun intended) a couple of fellow Strong Running Mamas who very nicely took pictures.

I'm not the guy in purple.

The entire time I was running I was peeing. I was prepared for it but it was somewhat distracting. I think next year instead of using the hydration vest I will run with a catheter and a pee-bag. 

When I hit mile 11 my toes hurt, my arms kind of hurt, my legs didn't really want to move anymore. I really wanted to just be done but I had so much further to go. Even further than I thought because my beloved Bia added a half-mile for me. I don't think I could have really added a half-mile from zigzagging, so I don't know what was up with that. I wasn't sure how I was going to finish. And then I thought about how hard Fallon fought for her 11 days and surely couldn't I fight for a couple more miles? I was determined not to let her down. I had to finish so I could donate to her cause. She came through for me and pushed me on. 

Pushing on
When I got into the home stretch I could see my family waiting. I will be honest, I had a hard time not crying. But I was determined to run happy, so run happy was what I did. 

High fives!
When I saw the finish line I let it all go and ran as fast as I could and finished really really strong. My official final time was 2:23:11, 8 minutes slower than last year. I was actually pretty pleased I came in before 2:30. Last year I ran hard with friends and did 2:15. This year I ran "easy" by myself and was only 8 minutes behind. Most of the time I ran with a smile on my face, thanking volunteers and laughing at signs ("Run faster, we all just farted."). When I wanted to quit, I didn't. Sure, it would have been great if my easy running led to a 2:00 finish, but that wasn't going to happen. I had a good run and on top of it all, I was able to make a nice donation to Fallon's fund.

I'm taking this week off from running so that I can try to catch up with all the things I've neglected. I don't want to take much longer off though. I know how a week turns into 4. I want to take advantage of stroller running weather for as long as I can, so I'm going to have to get back out there. Part of me wants to just take a nice break but a larger part of me wants to do a reverse taper and get back up to 10 miles in a couple of weeks and stay there. I'm not sure if the winter will cooperate with me, but I'd like to get as many miles in this winter as I can. I need to get these legs nice and ready for when I do PR at next year's half marathon. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

A special half marathon goal

On Sunday I will run my second half-marathon (or thirteener as some like to say). I've been training for it for 16 weeks now and I think I'm ready. I've been thinking a lot about my goals and time and running and what's important. Last year I did it in 2:15:02 which was exactly my A goal. It would be great if I can do it faster this year, it would be good if I can make it close to that. But honestly, I only have one goal in mind.

I'm going to run each mile with little Fallon Jade Rilling on my mind and in my heart. A year ago today she was born and I remember talking about her as I was running last year's race. Worrying because she wasn't doing well. I had no way of knowing she would live such a short life. Just 11 days. She was born with a very rare--but rare doesn't mean impossible--disorder called Alveolar Capillary Dysplasia. There was nothing they could do, no way to prevent it (that we know of), no way to cure. More research is needed to help parents from having to experience this horror. The Rillings have raised an amazing amount of money on their own but until there's a cure, it's not enough. 

If you'd like to donate to her birthday fund: http://www.gofundme.com/Fallon-Jade-Rilling . If you'd rather donate directly, you can do so here: http://www.acd-association.com .

I've already donated to her birthday fund but I feel like I have to do more. If I had my butt in gear earlier I would have set up some kind of fundraising thing, but my butt is rarely in gear these days. So, whatever my average pace is for this half-marathon, I will multiply it by 13.1 and donate that as well.

If you can't spare any extra money right now, please honor Fallon by being grateful and satisfied with your lives. If I could pack up some peace and joy and send it to the Rillings I would. If you're the praying sort, perhaps you could send some their way?

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

September's stats

September is always so crazy with back to school and soccer and crap. I ran more this month than last month but not quite as much as I did in July (or September of last year). Considering how insane our soccer schedule has been and how incapable of getting up before 8:00 I am, I'm okay with September's miles. 


Mileage: 69.8
Runs: 12
Crosstraining: Laundry?

Yes. 69.8! Had I known while I was on the treadmill yesterday that I was so close to 70 I would have added .2, but alas I had set out to run 40 minutes and that is what I did. I briefly considered hopping back on but I had just run intervals and I was done with it. 

I am in week 13 of my training plan. For some reason I decided to do 4 runs a week instead of the 3 I did last year… or I should say I decided to plan 4 runs a week. Unless I get up before the sun I can't do 4 a week. Particularly if I wind up doing my long run on Friday because of weekend insanity. I am greatly looking forward to our weekends calming down. Although basketball will start up in December it's only one kid and Vader won't have to mow the lawn, so our weekends should be somewhat easier. 

I am in taper mode and only have to run 6 this weekend… but we'll have two soccer games, two soccer picture times (in a different location) and other stuff to do. My preschool playdates start up this week as well, so I've got plenty to keep me busy. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

About those 12 miles

I ran 11 miles on Sunday but because of soccer and birthday parties and our crazy lives, I knew I wasn't going to be able to do my long run on the weekend. So I asked my MIL to watch LightRunner and just 5 days after running 11 miles, I ran 12 for the first time in a year

Now, I have gotten to the point where I am thinking that I will never run another half marathon and I'm tired of long runs and why am I doing this? I'm doing most of my runs alone so there's no girl power sisterhood feeling like last year. Jen is nursing a baby, Sara is doing the marathon instead, Tracy has gotten pretty speedy and will probably finish a good 10-15 minutes before me. So the motivation is a little low. And after running 11 miles just FIVE DAYS AGO I was pretty nervous about this run. I knew when I was doing the 11 that I would have to do 12 pretty soon after so I tried to be smart and ran pretty slow. Which wasn't hard because I had to pee the whole time until I finally found an unlocked portapotty in front of a house being built and it was the best pee EVER. I planned on doing today's 12 pretty slow too because the last thing I need is another injury. 

I had a plan to cut the 12 miles into thirds. For the first 4 miles I would run really slow, even walking when I didn't have to, just to make sure that I was really warming up and not starting too fast. I did this no problem. Then I wanted to run the next 4 miles at my race pace (10:00) and then slow down a bit for the last 4 and hopefully wind up with an 11:30 average pace (I just read that your long run should be 30-90 seconds slower than your goal pace so I was shooting for 90 secs.). But when I hit mile 4 there was a bit of a problem. My left foot--the supposed good one--started cramping up for no stinking reason but even more than that I had to pee again!! Argh with the pee!! So I spent the next couple of miles focusing on not peeing and not focusing on running faster. Such is life. I finally found a spot to pee in the woods and it was lovely. I decided to just try to make sure my second half was faster than my first since my overall plan got messed up. 

I did it.

My average for the first 4 miles was 12 which was right where I wanted it to be.

1: 11:04
2: 12:25
3: 11:53
4: 12:49

My next 4 was not 10 minute miles but they were faster with an 11:23 average time.

5: 11:46
6: 11:29
7: 11:01
8: 11:17

My last 4 miles were my fastest with an average of 10:43. I kind of wish I had reversed mile 11 and 12 for true negative splits, but I'm pretty happy with the outcome. 

9: 11:17
10: 10:37
11: 10:27
12: 10:31

My overall pace was 11:22. I am stoked. I still feel like this will be my last half marathon, but I am really happy that I did what I sent out to do. These 12 miles were FASTER than the 11 I just did and yet I feel so much better than I did after those 11 miles. If I could just turn off my bladder everything would be so much easier. 

My Beloved Bia knows me so well.
The back.
One of the reasons my bladder is fuller is that I went ahead and bought myself a Nathan hydration vest so I don't have to use the belt anymore. The belt was getting too irritating and just not working out for me. I looked at both the CamelBak and the Nathan vests and decided on the Nathan Women's Intensity Race vest. The reviews were pretty good. I liked that the bladder is removable and easy to clean. It can hold 70 ounces which is more than I need but I like the option. I need to drink so much more than most people because of the whole kidney stone thing so I really can't get away with just a handheld. The first time I ran with it I forgot to suck the air out so it sloshed the whole time, but it wasn't as annoying as I thought. Today I sucked it out and there was no sloshing. It's comfortable and so much easier than the belt. I tend to drink less if I have to grab a bottle out of a belt, but I don't run anywhere that I could easily refill a handheld. The pockets are so much easier to use too. There's a big pocket in the back that can hold my keys and tissues and spare money and whatever. My favorite though is the pockets on the front. There's a bottle pocket on one side and then a zippered pocket for your phone on the other. Because I have an otter box on my phone and I don't need an extra bottle, I put my phone in the bottle side. It fits perfectly and is in easy reach. I put my honey stingers in the zippered pocket and my pepper spray in the outer one on that side. It's the perfect setup. I think I might wear this for all my runs regardless of distance! It was reasonably priced and I haven't had any problems with it. No chafing anywhere, no unusual shoulder pain. I've only used it twice so I don't want to jump the gun, but if you're looking into a hydration vest I would recommend looking into this one.  
The front

Thursday, September 11, 2014

All the feels

This weekend a few of my closest friends are doing another Ragnar Relay--Reach the Beach in NH. I'm not doing it with them. I have a perfectly good reason but it's still making me sad and grumpy… I can't believe I feel this way but I wish I was doing it with them! I want to be not sleeping in the van and running in the dark and simultaneously feeling like I will both never poop again and have diarrhea. But alas I can't because this weekend is Skywalker's birthday party. His TENTH birthday party. As in 10.


Ten is big. 1 is big and 5 is big, but 10 is the first amount of years that has its own special name. On Wednesday next week he will have been alive for a whole DECADE. Which means I have been a mother for a decade. I've been changing diapers for a decade (really wish I was done with that one).

Ten years ago I had no idea what the hell I was doing. I had no idea what the future would bring. I had no idea what kind of mom I would be. And then SkyWalker came along and it was ok. It's hard to believe that was ten years ago (harder to believe there have been 3 more babies since him). He was so tiny when he was born--just 5 pounds when we brought him home--and now he is nearly as tall as me. I'm thinking he'll be just as tall if not taller by the end of the school year. He is so smart and reads so much and he is such a good big brother to LightRunner. LightRunner loves him so so much. He's not quite as nice to his sisters as he used to be but they're kind of a pain in the ass sometimes.

So I am feeling all emotional that my first baby is going to be 10 in less than a week… and then today one of my closest friends who also cannot do Reach the Beach (for a very good reason) had her third baby girl. We have been waiting and waiting for this little lady to arrive and now she is finally here. Even my kids are excited. My girls love her older girls and we all love her and now there's a new little baby for us to fawn over and love. I can't wait to meet her. The only thing better than having your own baby is when someone you love has one.

I am feeling ALL THE FEELS.