Wednesday, November 18, 2015

If you buy a running picture, you'll probably want it framed

I never buy race pics. I usually have someone with me who's taking pictures and after spending money on races and running clothes and gear I usually can't justify spending money on pictures. But  how often do you cross a finish line holding hands with one of your best friends? So after Wineglass, Jen and I decided to order one of the pics and split the cost. 

And then I started thinking. Which usually isn't a good idea. 

What if I framed it for her (us)? From there it went to, what if I get a silly race-specific frame? I almost bought a Sole Sister frame but it was vertical and the picture I ordered was horizontal so that wouldn't work. In the end I decided to get a plain silver frame and have it engraved with the name and date. Cheesy, but classy. 

The frame came before the pictures. I excitedly opened it up... and it was vertical. Yup, the picture of the frame on the website was horizontal but I didn't check the tab next to it, so I ordered a vertical frame. Ack!! I researched how to "sand off" engravings so I could just get it re-engraved. I researched anything I could think of to repurpose the frames. 

I quickly realized I was stuck with the frames. So then I thought about the picture. I could scan it in and make it vertical, right? I *could* do that but while my printer is decent, it's not top of the line. So, I did what one always does when one has a problem of this nature. 

I emailed my Daddy. 

I still didn't have the prints but I decided if I wanted true high-quality I couldn't just scan them in. So I bought the digital version and sent it to my Dad to work with. He was able to convert it but because of the nature of the picture the cropping was just too tight. He suggested adding text at the bottom--like the race name and date. Which was exactly what I had engraved on the frame. So, I decided to just suck it up and buy new frames. 

Except the horizontal frames were out of stock.

So, I went back to my Daddy. He filled the bottom with purple--a favorite color Jen and I have in common--but it needed something else. Then I figured if you're going to be cheesy, be cheesy. This entire year I've focused on one word. I had just bought Jen a mudlove bracelet with that word. It's as cheesy as you can get. So, after all of that: 

Center stage of my "running" desk.

The moral of the story is two-fold. Always double-check before you order. And you're never too old to have your Daddy save the day.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Mondays or how time works differently with kids

This is not a running post. I have a few of those on the back burner, but today I need to just mind-dump. It's been a long time since I've done that here. I've been caught up lately in the "busy" trap & thinking there's not enough time to get everything done. I reread my There's Totally Enough Time post and that helped me a bit, but I was thinking about it more today when at 1 pm I felt like my day was over and all I had done was gone food shopping.

With a 3 year old.

And there's the rub. There's the normal time-space continuum that civilized people have agreed upon and then there's the one that happens when you throw a kid--a toddler/preschooler--into the mix. Time doesn't work the way it always has before. This is my day thus far:

  • Wake up around 5ish to the sound of the treadmill. Barely fall back to sleep before waking up to kids in the kitchen and husband shaving his head. 
  • Hear alarm at 7 and groan. Lay awake and contemplate ear plugs. 
  • Groan more when 3 year old jumps on me--and my full bladder-- and kicks me with his cold feet. Argue over taking off his pull up. Finally get out of bed at 8.
  • Make breakfast for myself while 3 year old cries over yogurt that does not magically appear in the fridge. Offer him yogurt we do have. Finally accepts. Sit down to eat my breakfast & 3 year old cries because he wants mine, not a little of mine in a bowl, but all of mine. Muddle through breakfast and wish I liked coffee. 
  • Do the dishes left from the early people who think dishes magically get done. 
  • Remember to go through the coupons and the shopping list. Listen to 3 year old yell to stop cutting the paper. Pick up all the coupons the 3 year old stole. 
  • Get dressed. There's no showering with crazy 3 year old.
  • Argue with 3 year old over which toothbrush is his, which toothpaste he can use, and whether or not I can even brush his teeth. Wipe the yogurt off his face while he cries at the injustice. 
  • Attempt to get him dressed. He manages to simultaneously have jelly legs and yet also be completely stiff and unyielding. How is that possible? 3 days later I finally have him dressed. Now we argue over shoes and jackets. It is after 10 am. 
  • Go to first store for just a few things not available at main store. Turns into more when 3 year old flips out over needed totally unhealthy smoothies because of the cool picture on the bottle. Screw you world. 
  • Go to second store and argue over whether or not he should get out of the car. Reevaluate getting groceries delivered. 3 year old desperately wants to go to Panera for lunch. We are not near Panera, nor do I have the money to keep taking him to Panera. Finally convince him we need to go inside and finish food shopping. Manage to get all of our stuff without further incident. It is now 12:00 pm
  • Get home and have panic attack when I can't find house keys. Realize the last person who had them was 3 year old. Have bigger panic attack. Luckily, the keys are in his pocket. Unload groceries while he steals the change from my car. Get everything put away so we can have lunch. 
  • 3 year old needs the ridiculous smoothies for lunch. I don't even care. Helps himself to two, sees my english muffin and needs one. I make him one. He sees my yogurt and he needs yogurt now too. I make him a small bowl. He rips the english muffin and while banging on the island, all the pieces fall on the floor. He cries that he needs a new english muffin. He gets them himself and nearly grabs two before I can intervene. I relent and let him have a new one. He eats neither the english muffin nor the yogurt. 
  • I do the lunch dishes and he helps himself to cereal. 
  • Realize I still need to make bread so I get that going in the bread machine while he runs to the bathroom and tells me he's pooped. Argue over washing hands. Argue over whether or not the safety flashlight is a toy. 
  • Decide I need to blog while he helps himself to tomatoes. 2 minutes until the big kids bus is here and then it's homework and refereeing and snack time and then I have to think about dinner before basketball practice. 

And just like that my day is over.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Catching Up

Seriously nice bling

It's been a while.

First things first. The stats.


Total 103.4 miles
Running: 91.3 miles
Biking: 12.1 miles
Cross Training: probably none
Races: 1


Total 76.2 miles
Running: 76.2
Biking: 0
Cross Training: Ha
Races: 0

August was a great month. I ran a lot. Vader and I raced a 5K together again and I broke my PR again. 27:05. Second in my age group. Just prior to that race I helped my 5 year old nephew run his first 1 mile race. That was awesome. As was having my sister at the finish line to watch me break that PR. It was a great day.

September was full of back to school nights and kid sports and birthdays and while I did my running I didn't do much else. I really felt the stress of the plan this month.

The plan that ended yesterday.

Yesterday was the Wineglass Half-Marathon that I have been training for these last few months. I had originally aimed for a sub-2 time but as the summer went on I let that goal go. My speed work was good (and clearly helped my 5K time) but the weekly tempo runs were sucking the enjoyment out of me and I decided I didn't care enough about a sub-2 to keep doing them. There was also the issue of my BRF recovering from mono and I switched my focus to just finishing the race with her.

We had a bit of a drive to get out there and stayed in a crappy Days Inn for the few hours of sleep we were able to get. The half-marathon started at 7:45 but we needed to take a bus there and the last bus left at 6:30. The weather was iffy all week--we weren't sure if the predicted hurricane would be bringing us rain--but as we lined up for our final portopotty time the sun started to peek out and I was glad I stuck with my tank and arm-warmers instead of a long sleeve.

A couple of weeks ago we decided to switch our run-walk ratio from 1 mile/ 1 minute to 4 minutes run/1 min walk. We planned on doing that for the half and it definitely worked well. We started the race really strong--maybe a little too strong--but we felt good. We settled into a good relatively consistent pace after the first few miles.

Mile 1: 9:47
Mile 2: 9:24
Mile 3: 9:44
Mile 4: 9:51
Mile 5: 9:51
Mile 6: 9:55
Mile 7: 9:56
Mile 8: 10:03
Mile 9: 10:05

I started to lag behind Jen and she actually missed a couple of walking breaks because she was running so strong. At mile 10 my calves started to really tighten up and it was painfully difficult to keep running. I couldn't catch up. Jen saw and slowed down enough for me to get closer, but I just lost it at miles 11 and 12. I can't remember exactly when but the 2:10 pace group passed us and that kind of broke my spirit. We had been running so strong and I just totally lost it.

Mile 10: 10:20
Mile 11: 10:35
Mile 12: 10:37

Jen was up ahead and she was flying. You would never have guessed that just a few months ago she had mono and couldn't even get out of bed. She looked so strong and powerful and I thought there's no way I can catch up to her and finish with her. But I really wanted to. I rallied and pulled it together the last mile.

Mile 13: 9:55

The finish line was in sight. My legs were protesting every single step. I thought about just laying down and rolling over the finish. But when I needed it most, Jen went off to the side, slowed down, and reached out her hand. I had to get there. I busted my butt, caught up, and we finished holding hands. I wasn't breathing very well because I'm pretty sure I was sobbing.

Mile 13.16 8:38

We finished at 2:11:17, 10 seconds away from my PR but a big PR for Jen and that was awesome. I felt pretty bad that she could have done even better had she not slowed down for me, but I know that I would've done the same for her. (But oh the irony! For so long she was afraid of slowing me down because of the mono and here it was the opposite! I think I saw smoke coming out of her shoes!). I didn't run my best race and there are a number of things that probably contributed (fueling, water), but I will never ever forget this one. When it gets tough you need your friends to help you through and I am so grateful to have one like her.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

July stats

I know it's already August 8, but it's been busy busy busy here. Also, blogging requires stillness and I have not been very still as of late. But that's another blog post. 

My birthday month is over and it was a pretty good one. I had some great runs and some crappy runs but I had ZERO TREADMILL runs so it was awesome. My speedwork is coming along, I continue to hate tempo runs, and my long runs depend on many factors. Today's long run was spectacular because I ran with a couple of friends, one of whom is my BRF who hasn't run long in quite a while since getting mono! It was so nice just to run with her again. But today is August and I need to talk about July. 

Total 68.6 miles
Running: 50.9 miles
Biking: 17.7 miles
Cross Training: 5 sessions
Races: 0

I skipped a couple of days of running when we went camping for the first time ever. I did do a lot of walking however and tallied 27 miles in the 4 days we were away. I also skipped some biking before and after camping. I did good with cross training the beginning of the month but then things got away from me and on the list of priorities it was low. I did do quite a bit of swimming and while we were camping I did some rowing in the canoe. So maybe I should count those. 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

June stats

Total Mileage: 68.3 miles
Running: 55.9
Biking: 12.4
Cross training: 4
Races: 0

Running-wise June was ok. I started training for my next half-marathon. It's the toughest training plan I have ever done-- faster speedwork, tempo runs, faster long runs. There will be no stroller runs this time around. Vader has been working a lot of early days which means he's getting home early enough for me to run outside. Other days I've paid a babysitter. I've been lucky enough to not do a treadmill run since May 5! I'm hoping to keep that trend up this summer.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

This is 40

I meant to do so many posts over the last month but nothing has quite been how I planned it. I'm going to try to prevent writing a novel here, so to be very brief:

In early June, within two days Chewie broke both of her arms-- her left wrist and then her upper right arm (proximal humerus). She has a cast on the wrist and a sling on the right arm. We hoped to get rid of them both last week but they haven't healed yet. No summer camp for her, no swimming, no playing, no running and jumping and enjoying summer. She is now able to feed herself some things but still cannot dress herself or brush her teeth. I bought her an iPad mini and she uses it all the time. She will have major withdrawal once her arms are working again and she has to follow the same electronics rules. It is impacting everything-- LightRunner's behavior, our routines, everything. Right after she broke both arms, the Princess came down with both strep throat and a mystery high-fever virus, and then Chewie caught the same bug. Anything I hoped to accomplish before school was out was thrown out the window. No special LightRunner and me time.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, also in June, Vader threw me a "surprise" early 40th birthday party. I knew it was coming but not where or when (until that week). It was a great night filled with wonderful friends and the perfect beginning to what will no doubt be my best decade yet.

Surrounded by friends! Ignore the red eye. 
On my actual birthday, Britt came over with pizza and peanut butter brownies that she spent all day making, despite her son's severe peanut and milk allergies. That's love.

I celebrated by running 8 miles (8/2=4 and also it was on my plan) the day before my birthday and running 4 awesome miles of speedwork yesterday. Truly awesome. I paid for a babysitter to watch LightRunner and Chewie so I could do my speedwork at the track and it was worth every penny.

June pretty much sucked and was not at all what I planned and I'll admit I had a couple of days when I was not at my best. But we adapt. We do what we can do and we move on. In my 20s and early 30s I would have wallowed and lamented and cursed my fate. But what's the point? You do what you can do. And let the rest go. And *that* is 40.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Defining moments

May was a really good month.

First, there was that PR-breaking 5K. Then that PR-breaking Half Marathon. I took a week off from running and then the kids and I did the second Wildcats marathon at school. SkyWalker ran on his own and although the Princess started out with me she eventually ran ahead too. I had to stay with Chewie and motivate her to keep running when she stopped to walk every two minutes. It was a really long 1.2 miles but there was no crying this year and I was mostly just really happy that the Princess ran her own race.

The gang
I wasn't intending on doing the Freihofer's this year because it was just 2 weeks after the Half Marathon and I took a week off from running and I don't want to get injured and yadda yadda yadda. But it's been FIVE YEARS and I only ever skipped it once when I was pregnant.  How could I not run it? So when a friend said, hey wanna do Freihofer's?, there was really only one choice. We both said we would take it easy and just enjoy it since we both had different reasons for not wanting to push it.

Me & Jen before the race
We started the race together and even though we never once talked about it and we didn't say a word to each other while running, we stuck together. There were times when we took different paths to pass people and one of us would get slightly ahead, but then we'd be together again. There were roughly 3200 women running so it was a bit congested in the beginning. I did the first mile in 9:07 and thought ok, taking it easy. But then we were speeding up and around 1.5/1.6 I started doing the math and thought, hmmm, we might actually do pretty well if we keep this pace up. I did the second mile in 8:48. Around 2.5 my bladder hit and I was super glad I was protected. Jen got slightly ahead of me and I started to doubt I could finish strong. I could still see her and I just focused on her and tried to forget my rotten bladder. I tried to speed up but it wasn't happening.

Had to steal a couple of glances at my foot,
since I seem to have lost my SRM bracelet!
Then at 2.8/2.9 I thought, this is it, if you're going to make a move, you've got to do it now. This is your defining moment. You can either accept a perfectly reasonable time after having just raced a half and taking a week off, you can be satisfied with this, you can be complacent, OR you can rise up, accept the challenge and get it done. I chose the latter. All I focused on was catching up with Jen and I closed the gap so we finished together. I did the last mile in 8:28 and the last .1 in 7:09.

Perfect negative splits:

This makes me giddy. 

We passed the clock at 28:01 and I knew that would be a PR for her because of our distance from the start line. I wasn't even thinking about my time. I was just so happy for her. She wound up with 27:26! A major PR after having a baby in September! Isn't that amazing? I was so proud of her! My net time was 27:24. Yes, 2 seconds shy of my new overall PR. I was THRILLED. I hadn't intended on running fast, I haven't been doing speedwork, I haven't been biking, I took a whole week off from running! And there were 3200 women running! It was a definite Freihofer's PR. Everyone says you can't really PR in this race because of the size, but we did pretty good. (Our speedier friends finished with unbelievable times). We beat over 2500 other women! I love that I finished nearly 6 minutes faster than my very first time, I love that I finished 34 seconds faster than last year, I LOVE that we did perfect negative splits, but I really love that we finished it together.

No age awards here, but not too bad!

Total Mileage: 49 miles
Running: 49
Biking: 0
Crosstraining: Um. Does pool cleaning and gardening count?
Races: 3

Lots of double run days!