Update in overly long sentences…

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One of the many highlights of the last week…

The last week was a full one. The short version: I flew to Chicago and back, I got a mild stomach bug there, it put a damper on things, Jasper had another reactive airway episode, and got a real diagnosis of it, so that bought him a nebulizer, I missed more work, and I I tried desperately to catch up on work, I did a run with the marathon pace groups during our first real winter weather weekend, lots of standing around in the cold on said run meant for lots of muscle soreness, I celebrated a birthday, I requested a stress free day without me reaching my breaking point, it sorta happened. I got a Ninja ( take that vitamix!), I made my first pumpkin pie smoothie, My very kind and generous family over- gifted me with Lululemon giftcards, And I have some shopping to do. I went to a real yoga class, and despite a birthday massage, my entire body hurts from the real yoga class. I had a great birthday dinner, with salmon, an IPA and a peanut butter dessert.

And now I’ve got some soda crush to play with a little black fur ball at my feet. And then bed calls!

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Lately…

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It’s been a very stressful last couple of months. Mainly because at least someone in this his household has been constantly traveling. Add to it some good stress….running a marathon, getting a new dog….yes, these things are wonderful but not really relaxing. Then some bad stress, sick kid, constant appointments, trying to work….you know the old “I’m doing a lot of things but not doing any of them very well” deal, and that’s where I’ve been. This weekend the stress continues with a last minute work trip for me. In Chicago where the high is going to be in the low 30s. Ouch. The puffy jacket will come out. Actually there is no downtime on this trip, so I really won’t even need to see the outdoors, but I plan to run. Last time I had this same conference I was able to run the lake path. Hotel treadmill is a back up….it’s not like I’m not used to it. :)

DaVinci is settling in really well. We had a few marking territory incidents I was not happy about, but once he seemed less nervous that stopped. His running is not going well though, but it’s ok. He seems utterly uninterested in going on a run, but will chase a ball for hours. So that may be his gig. He sleeps on the bed which is something Cake never has done. It’s nice to have a doggie at your feet all night. I’ve caught him and Cake playing a few times too, which is the biggest relief that their temperaments do indeed mesh, and there is no aggression. He’s really good with Jasper too, where as being an older dog, Cake always just tolerated him, but was never that interested in him. It’s nice he has a dog buddy now.

I’m staring to plan for Austin marathon! I got invited back for the pace team, which is a huge honor I really enjoy. We are about 13-14 week out, so I’m back to some mid range runs. I will always run Austin as long I’m capable. It’s just so cool to have a home town marathon. This will be my 14th Austin this year. I missed two years….one was early one before I realized I’d have a streak and I took off the year I got married and graduated nursing school the same winter as the marathon…and then the year I had Jasper I was on bed rest for post partum hypertension, but I probably couldn’t have managed even walking it if I had been allowed. I was a mess. I give myself a pass for that year and the year I missed for trivial things like graduating and marriage ( I kid), I still did the half, so I’m calling it a streak!

Well….I’ve got a super early wake up tomorrow and I’ve spent two days with a feverish child glued to me starting at 4am…so yes, I am tired. Time to dream of puffy jackets…….

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New family member…

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Meet DaVinci. We’ve known for a few months that he was coming at the end of October. He was my parents’ dog and they decided to simplify their life a bit and down size their dog pack. DaVinci was really good with Jasper when we met him back in June. So here he is. It’s a little adjustment, but so far, it’s going pretty good. Our biggest concern was Pancake, who’s been an only dog her whole life. DaVinci is a very gentle male dog, so we thought it could work (apparently two females can cause fighting for who gets to be the alpha dog). Pancake has given him some warning growls, and he responds without any aggression, so I think they’ll work out the order of things.

I am going to slowly working on converting DaVinci into a running partner. He’s at about a mile right now, so we’ve got some time ahead of us to build him up. Cake has gone down from her 6-10 mile range to 1-2 miles at age 14, so they are pretty evenly matched. But I still think a couple miles is good for a 14 year old.

So that’s the newest adventure. I know I need more stress and chaos in my life (not!)…….but hopefully in a few weeks once DaVinci gets settled in it will be pretty easy to have two dogs.

Working on gently running this week. Feeling mostly recovered from last weekend’s fun run. I am seriously craving yoga, as with Mike being out of town almost all month, and then my out of town weekend, I’ve only done home yoga for almost a month. So that’s the goal in the next couple weeks……to get back into a schedule. Then time to think about the Austin marathon….more on that later. In the meantime, I’ve got some miles with a little black fur ball.

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KC marathon weekend recap…

We all have different criteria for what makes a good marathon.  For me, fast and flat is not one of them.  I’ll take scenic and hilly any day.  Good thing….that’s pretty much what the Kansas City marathon was.  Here’s how the weekend played out:

Thursday:  HORRIBLE sleep.  Like, two hours due to stress.  Ugggg.

Friday:  3:30am wake up to get to the airport.  Total brain fog.  Once I got to Kansas City I started to feel better.  I met up with Steve, got his rental car, got to Stephanie’s amazing new house, go down her house slide and get my thrill ride fix for the year (it’s really steep, and amazing),  hit up her super cool neighborhood for overdue lunch, hit the expo, ate frozen custard at Foo’s (new favorite dessert), did some shuttling around, and then met up with Stephanie’s sister in laws (who were also running) for a fantastic Japanese food dinner.  I’m telling you, this is my new pre-race standard.  You can get simple chicken over white rice.  Perfect.  Italian food laden with oil and garlic does NOT agree with me.  No need for the details…  Completely crashed and slept pretty good (yay).

Saturday:  Race day!  PERFECT weather.  46 at the start, no clouds, no wind, warming to the mid 60s.  I had planned to run with Steph and Steve the whole way.  The start was really organized and this race was the perfect size….smaller than Austin, but big enough to have crowd support.  We started off and Steve pulled ahead at mile 6.  Maybe we were too busy enjoying the leaves to keep up with him. Hello, real fall!  It was soooooo pretty.  You forget that leaves actually change color when you live in Texas.  The course went by several KC landmarks and through some beautiful neighborhoods.  The hills are impressive.  I thought my hill training this summer was overkill, but now I know it was needed.  This is the second hilliest marathon I’ve done.  The first was Estes Park…and that was in the mountains.  So yeah, bring your hill legs to this one.  The course had great support.  Water and Gatorade every two miles, two GU stops, and plenty of porta potties.  There were very few sections that weren’t really pretty.  A few stretches here and there to get from one area to the next were a little dull, but for the most part it was like running in a Norman Rockwell painting.  Lots of beautiful homes from the 1920′s…oh and major Royals pride going on.  It was super fun to take part in some of the festivites.  People had blue pumpkins on the porches, blue Christmas lights up, and all the fountains in the city (there’s a lot) were dyed blue.   

Stephanie had a running partner join us at mile 13 who was nice as could be and the three of us had a great time chatting for several miles.  Stephanie was feeling the fact she had a major move a couple weeks before the race that took over her life and urged me ahead the last couple miles.  It gave me a little time to reflect on how thankful I am to do stuff like this and how much I appreciated and needed the time with friends.  Crossed the very much uphill finish and got a HUGE medal, which was very pretty and really nice quality.  Cold chocolate milk at the finish line and bananas.  For me this is my dream finish line food.  Drinking that milk righ away really helped, as I was having some stomach issues.  Note to self, I need to carry TUMs when I run, or suffer.  There was also pulled pork sandwiches and local Boulevard beer.  I can’t stomach this stuff after a race, but I thought is was a super nice touch to add something local. So I give the race an A+. If you out are looking to do the 50 states, this is a great way to knock Missouri off your list.

Post race Stephanie and I showered and then walked around her hood. There were super cute shops and the best children’s a bookstore I’ve ever been to….Reading Reptile. Apparently it’s consistently voted one of the best book stores in the country! Later Steve and Steph’s fam joined us for pizza and beer. It was fun to play with her kids since last time I saw them they were so much younger. I really wished Jasp had been there. I fell asleep that night before the kids did. Ouch.

Sunday: I’ve done enough marathons now that I know what I’m in for. Sore, but bearable but sore in weird places. My back and shoulders were super sore. My stomach was bad. Ugggg. At least the race was Saturday, which gave me one day of feeling awful before I had to go back to work. The flight home was rough with a lay over and a big delay. I was super sore, hungry and tired when I got home.

Monday and today: I’m better. Monday was kinda rough at work and required a mid day coffee. Today I felt pretty normal, but resisted the urge to run.

Final thoughts: I’ve definitely got a touch of post marathon depression. It was so much fun to see Stephanie again that it was a little sad to say good bye. I really want to go again next year. Hopefully it will work. I said over and over that if I hadn’t booked this trip so far ahead I wouldn’t have gone. Life has just been super of crazy lately and throwing a trip in the mix seemed like a lot. But I needed it. Aside from the fact I loved the race, I really enjoyed reconnecting with friends. I’m already looking forward to next year……

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KC marathon weekend, my new favorite race weekend…

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Good times. On the course with Magic Kitty, the infamous ” Superman”,prerace jitters, enjoying Royals’ blue everywhere, and post race yumminess.

Full report later.  Absolutely a perfect marathon.  4:14.  But more importantly a great weekend with friends…

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It was bound to happen…

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One of the laws of marathon/ any big race training is expect things to fall apart in some way during your taper.   Examples that have happened to me:  a major move, food poisoning, and stubbing my toe on a rock and falling so hard I was limping for a week.   This go round was no outside running for almost two weeks and a major behavior jag on Jaspy’s part. 

But I have learned.  Two weeks is just a little too long for me to forgo an outdoor, “real” run.  I LOVE my treadmill.  I am thankful I had the means to get it, I am so, so lucky I have this as a way to run.  But it’s not how I want to do all my runs.  Yes, running is a luxury, not a necessity, but as someone who has started almost everyday of my entire adult life with a run, it really is a necessity for my mental health.  The treadmill does the trick, but just one outdoor run in a couple of weeks would have helped a lot.  So next time I find myself in this scenario, I’ll plan to pick a day I leave work early and get in a run.  If I find a magical babysitter, great….but if not, I’ll make it happen.  I actually had a couple plans for a little “me” time and both fell through.   The behavior jag coupled with not getting out to run was not the best combo.  Most of us can conquer anything as long as we get our run in.  A treadmill run makes me able to conquer about 90% of anything.  It’s that little 10% percent I couldn’t conquer that got me down a bit this week.

But now I am 5 days out from KC and that makes me happy.  I am a little concerned about my legs’ lack of contact with pavement, but there is nothing I can do about it at this point in the game.  The weather looks good, and I was able to watch a little of the Chicago marathon online yesterday, so I am inspired.  Oh, and I get to spend time with friends.  That will be the best part….as long as they don’t mind waiting for me at the end…..

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B+

The real reason to train...

The real reason to train…


Yesterday was my last big run for KC. I ran a very hilly 16 miler. It ended up a little slower than I would have liked, but I am blaming this on the fact it was pitch black for about 90 minutes of it. Does anyone else feel like they run much slower in the dark? I also modified my route to change it up, and I was slowing up to look at street signs to not miss my turns. Excuses, I know. But, I got it done. A hilly 16 miles, solo, at 5:30 am still deserves a pat on the back.

Marathon training cycles are a bit of a way to reflect on the passage of time. It seems like it went fast now, but I look back and realize I started at the beginning of the summer,and training followed an entire summer of life events.

So how did I do? I give myself a B+. Here’s why:

-I did 4 20 milers, a couple 18 milers, and several 16 milers. 4 20 milers is good for me. What I didn’t do was go over 20. I really think that helps for race day. Next time…I still need to figure out how to book enough time for long runs, as it was a mere matter of “timing out” However, all but one of my long runs was in really hot, humid weather. They were not pretty. I don’t know how well a 20 mile death march will translate to race day.

-I get an A+ for running hills. I did hills most weeks mid- week and most of my long runs were hilly.

-I get a D for speed work. I ran once a week with my neighborhood friend and called that speed work. She is a little faster than me, so it was always a tempo run. As far as mile repeats or anything that really helps, I did zero. I suck at doing speed work in the heat and humidity. Need to work on this.

-I get an A+ for injury prevention. Over the last year, I’ve solidified a habit of spending about 15-30 minutes most nights on a short yoga or strength routine. I also added daily planks, push ups, and hip and hamstring strengthening. There are many nights I do not want to take 15 minutes to do a core video, but I’ve made myself do it. I can feel a difference. I do my best to make it to a weekly yoga class, but some weeks it’s impossible, so I try and do a little more at home. Jaspy also loves to go to childcare at the Y now, so when time allows, I try and make the core class, which is fantastic. When you are old, you just have to do this stuff to keep up your running.

-I get an A for flexibility. I shuffled my long run day and off day around based on what was going on at home. It’s really easy to get into a rigid pattern when you have a big goal on the horizon. It was really nice to not try and cram a long run into days that were packed to the brim. It still happened sometimes, but better than in the past. I also had 3 weekends where I couldn’t do a long run, and made them work in the schedule and didn’t freak out.

_This was my first marathon in a very long time without stroller miles! Crazy, my last couple marathons had the bulk of their miles done pushing the stroller. I miss it and don’t miss it all at once.

I’ve run enough marathons that I don’t really worry about finishing, but I don’t want the last 10 miles to be agony, and I want to have fun. This marathon is primarily being done for fun, but I don’t want my friends waiting on me at the end. I’d like to keep up with them. I’d also like to keep up a respectable pace, and finish with a time that won’t make me cringe at the end. Hopefully my work was enough to achieve that. Despite a lot of really hot runs that took a lot out of me, I enjoyed the training. It kept me motivated and I can tell a difference in what I can do now versus back in May.

Now, lots of treadmilling in the next two weeks, and trying to avoid any illness germs. Then it’s time to get to #32!

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