The last weekend of summer…

   
Nothing like $30 to feed a couple parakeets…

 
Enjoying his first Thundercloud sub.  Ingredients?  White cheese and white bread. He said he is allergic to everything else.

  
His taekwondo gear bag that was a surprise after advancing belts.

This was the last weekend of summer.  It was a super, super busy week leading up.   The additional responsibilities/ volunteering of kindergarten are all ready starting.  This weekend we packed in a ton and I was busier than a weekday.  Welcome to the school year!

I started with my unconventional long run with a chunk of speedwork in the middle.  It was really hot and humid so mile repeats were extra fun.  Then we rushed off to Jasp’s belt test and I am so proud of my angel as he advances.  This was the first belt test that we finished and he said he couldn’t wait to go to taekwondo again.  Score!   Anyone who puts their kid in a time demanding activity knows the rewards are few and far between.  

Sunday I met Steve at Brushy Creek and enjoyed running in trail heaven. Once again, super hot.  Next I hit up hot yoga.  Then we went to a small water park.  Heat index 108.  I was soooooo tired by the evening.    That was a lot of heat.  The water park was small enough that it wasn’t that tiring but I predict it will be a gateway to real waterparks.   I predict next summer to be our first season pass…

I took today off to have the last fun day before kindergarten tomorrow.   Jasp picked the activities:  Austin Aquarrium (pretty sad place, his choice though. We looked at fish for 5 minutes, fed parakeets for 5 minutes and spent the rest of the time on an indoor playscape), lunch at Thundercloud, Jumpoline, frozen yogurt and school clothes shopping.  Jasper scored a pair of Sketchers Go Meb shoes for kids on clearance.  I was just impressed Meb now has kids shoes.  I’m glad Jasper has the perfect biomechanics that allow him to wear what are basically racing flats.  Meanwhile I’m still in my orthopedic clunkers.  At least someone in the house can wear Meb’s shoes even if acquired on the clearance rack.  They have been declared the first day of school shoes.  Do you think Meb would autograph our first day of kindergarten picture if I sent him one?

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I touched a kettlebell…and the end of summer. 😥

I’m sore, chaffed and tired. Yes, it’s Sunday night of a marathon training weekend.  To rewind, I learned how to do more gym stuff this week and have an hour long full body strength workout now. Yay!  Saturday Mike was out of town again and Jasper’s taekwondo was canceled so he and I went to they gym and I did my strength workout….which normally I would not do before a long run, but it’s all about fitting it in when I can.  Today I had 17 miles on the schedule.  I woke up pretty sore in the back and upper body, as is to be expected.  The 17 went pretty well, it wasn’t speedy, but I never hit the overheated, “I’d like to die now” feeling. But boy, I was sore the rest of the day.  And chaffed.  I am convinced there is no clothing on earth that won’t chafe once it hits over 100 degree days.   I’m pretty psyched about the strength training though…I really enjoy it and it’s 100% new to me.  I’d love to go 2-3 days a week, but for now the goal is one gym day of yoga, one of strength training.  One of the new things I learned is a squat with a kettlebell. Yes, you read that right.  The trainer asked me “you seriously have never touched a kettlebell?”  Uh, nope.  I was unaware this is something most people did.   I can run 17 miles on a hot, humid day but I was totally uninitiated to the world of kettlebells.  Now I can say I’ve touched one. 

Summer is coming to an end way to fast.  We will have a whole new schedule after next week.  Jaspy is pretty anxious about kindergarten so we are trying to work in some extra fun activities (today he earned a trip to Pinballz arcade).   He “graduated” from OT this week and I’m pretty happy to have one less thing on the schedule. We have a very busy week with meet the teacher night, a belt graduation in taekwondo, some appointments and some promised swimming trips.  

Which means I’m turning in.  I’m also a touch under the weather so trying to rest up and conquer our last week of summer.  I’m already looking forward to winter break.  🎄⛄️

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Hot days and speedwork…

  
More time at the climbing wall this week…

What does it stay about your week when you resume playing Candy Crush after a long lay off?  Stress relief needed?  Perhaps.  

I was on the ‘mill most of the week.  Yesterday I got to run outside and I needed a long run.  Perhaps not the best way to do speed work, but I met the group at the gym in the middle of my long run.  Run to the gym, stop, warm up, 6x 400, run home.  I am definitely the only one in the group who favors longer distances, but anyone who is willing to meet early on a Saturday is pretty committed, so it makes for a good bunch.  I’m getting to know some of the folks a bit and that’s nice.  I admittedly spent a lot of time doing kid things and don’t get out with friends much at all….so like minded adult company is welcome….and work does not count!   I have to admit that speedwork in a group is fun as heck….on my own, not so much.  As far as marathon training goes, I’m at the point where I need to buckle down, but I still feel like there’s a lot of weeks to go.   We’ve also been hit with the hottest weeks of the year.  It cools to about 80 but a lot of heat still radiates off the street.  Slowing down is inevitable, so it’s difficult to tell if I’m getting in my prescribed paces.   

I hit the gym a bit this week to combat stress and take advantage of some childcare time.  As of now,  Jasp really likes the childcare so I’m going with it.   I did hot yoga, the TRX strength stuff, and the stair climber.  Funny story is the trainer who showed me how to use the TRX ropes said he starts strength training beginners on them. Today Mike joined me for gym time and I was excited to show him what I’d learned. There was a couple of 80 year old ladies taking up the TRX ropes.  My first thought was 1.  Good for them… But then, 2.  How appropriate the trainer started me on the same exercises the 80 year olds do.  Plus they did them a lot better than I do, but you gotta start somewhere, right?   I hoping the extra gym work will help get me faster but if not, at least it’s fun.  I also rode my bike one night on the trainer in the garage.  I’ve been wanting to pick this up 1-2 nights a week.  But,  that’s a tough time to go sweat hard,  and even with the door open and the fan on it had to be 110 degrees.  I took a shower and then proceeded to be wide awake a couple hours past when I normally go to bed.  Not my smartest move.  Biking may have to wait until fall. 

Well, I got some Candy Crush calling my name and an extra early wake up. Onward…

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Little things and toasty paws…

  

Doing his second favorite activity at the fancy gym.  Swimming is always first choice.

I’ve rewritten this blog post a few times trying to make my week sound interesting and I realize it’s pretty boring stuff to anyone but me.   Sometimes life is all about the small, little victories.   Jasp and I are flying solo for awhile and when that happens the days can often feel like a a big long checklist that just goes until bedtime and then repeat in the morning.  This isn’t to say things are bad, there’s just a lot of things to get done each day, and it’s just not all that interesting.  That makes for a blogger challenge.

The running related gems that stuck out in a week of routine were several.  I got my watch back!  Actually it’s a completely new watch, but I was happy to geek out again.  Plus it makes for a nice, sleek daily watch and as a minimal jewelry wearer a nice watch is my fave accessory.  I got a babysitter this morning and ran a long run outside with Steve.  So, so worth every penny.   I managed a little time at the fancy gym and am moving ever go slowly to not feeling like a fish out of water when I’m there.  At this point I’m about a freshwater fish that’s been dumped into saltwater but at least I’m not completely out of the water.  

A not so great thing this week:  it’s so hot now that when I tried walking the dogs after work (peak heat) they burnt their paws, and whimpered, licking at their feet while they walked. Now that’s hot!  (Not to mention I felt terrible).

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800 repeats and risotto…

    

Running partner number one…..when one does a long run and a mini chunk of speed work, one must eat lots of Butternut squash risotto.

Mike is heading out of town for awhile so this weekend was a now or never for a long run.  Ok, not never but not for a couple weeks at least.  16 mile and I found myself solo.  The fancy gym happens to have a free run group.  I’m a skeptic of run groups.  For me, they must be small, too big means you never really get to know anyone and might as well be solo.   Sometimes they can spend too much time pre run farting around with drills and stretching.  Love all this after but before, no!  I’m all about get ‘er done. My plan today was to run to the gym to see how long it would take, run back home, then add on another loop for whatever was left to hit my mileage.

Oh and let’s back up and interject my horrible bad day where I dropped my watch on a tile floor and watched it shatter.  Then got to work for a 6:30am meeting I didn’t need to be at.  Grrrrrr.  I was soooooo sad about breaking my nice watch. It was such a nice present.  Good news is it’s being fixed.  Fixing it ain’t cheap, but much less than a new one….which I wouldn’t have done.  So I’m relieved I will be reunited with my watch again in about a week. 

Ok….back to the gym run.  Made it to the gym at 6:45 and I knew the run group met at 7:00, so I went way out of my comfort zone and ran around a bit and then met them.  Have I mentioned I’m sorta an extroverted introvert? Meaning I think I’m a friendly and outgoing person, but I typically avoid  group things and enjoy doing things alone.  The group was small, about 10 people.  There was a little waiting for everyone to gather up and then a warm up couple of miles and then a short run to the neighborhood for speed work.  Yes, speed work.  I was already at about 10 miles after my own run and the  warm up, and doing a big chunk of 800s then running home seemed stupid, but I stayed for one.  Apparently the group exclusively does speed stuff.  This is good….it sucks to run 800s on your own.  I was just in the midst of a long run, so today didn’t really work, but I’ll definitely run with them again.  I’m super proud of myself though.  I went super far out of comfort zone and tried something new. The group seemed like nice folks too.  

And I got my 16 miler!  I ran a gazillion errands plus Jaspy stuff, made cookies, made risotto, walked doggies, and now I’m crashed hard.  Listening to the new Modest Mouse album….that’s probably not that new.  Oh and Jaspy got up at 4:45 and had terrible asthma and was super grouchy all day….so chilling in bed with music and my iPad is heaven.  It’s not the long run that’s hard….it’s the rest of the day.  Tomorrow should be a little less tiring.  Less miles and going to see Minions!!!

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Fancy pants…

   
 A bit late but, my angel and his first tournament medal.  Wishing I was running in the other picture as out temps hit the 100s….

Last week the sting of vacation being over was lessened by our family splurge of joining the fancy gym.  It was more money than the Y for sure, for not over the top, but definitely a lot if we don’t use it.  In a week we’ve gone four times!  And I looooove the fancy gym.

Evenings are still pretty busy so joining a fancy gym didn’t change the fact it’s hard to get out, but when I can go it has so much more availability than the Y did.  I love that the yoga is in a real yoga room and not on cold linoleum.  And it’s hot, yay, but more showers.  But the fancy gym has soap…and towels…..and a cafe with real food…..and coffee and smoothies.  And a rock wall that Jasper has already tried.  It’s more like a rock room.  Hello, we can rock climb!!!!  And super fancy pools….and two massive jacuzzis.  So yes, I really like the fancy gym.  And they have people to help you if you’ve not stepped foot in a gym since high school…like me.  I always used to laugh about the fact that while at the Y I had been in the actual gym one time in our two years there…..to test a treadmill before I purchased one.  Since the fancy gym is more money I felt obligated to learn about how to use it.  I’ve also learned that during the middle of the day and Sunday mornings the normal looking peeps use the fancy gym.  Evenings seemed to be reserved for the super fit, so I rush to the yoga room then and try to ignore the grunting going on in the “advanced training” area.   

In the fancy gym, when they orient you to the equipment they ask about your current exercise.   Trainer types are baffled by exercising everyday but yet not knowing how to use a single piece of gym equipment.  I did learn how to use the stair stepper.  I liked it.   So yes, the fancy gym has been great so far.  

It’s also the “try not to be discouraged” phase of marathon training. I do decently in the heat, but I do slow down. I’m trying to tell myself pace will pick up in the fall but we’ll see.   My victory this week was a long run just through my neighborhood ( which means respeating loops) where I kept my head in the game and never got bored.  Sometimes I think the most challenging aspect of a long run is doing it solo and not letting boredom lead to negative thoughts, which leads to cutting it short.    Let’s face it….I’m not exciting company…even for my myself sometimes.  

Bed is calling.  Tomorrow is my once a month painfully early work day which involves an alarm clock setting with “3” as the first number.  Gag…..

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Travel and life….

   
   
  
Enjoying RMNP.   Bouldering.   The nicest view in the world, and a mountain post run selfie.  Sunglasses and long sleeves are a must!

Where to begin…..we just got back from our every two years or so trip to Colorado.  I always say I just need to be rich enough to have a winter home and a summer home.  Don’t know that I’d love winter at 10000 feet, but summer is heaven.  It was Rocky Mountain National Parks’s centennial.  RMNP is about my most favorite place on earth.  We only spent one day there and got up to 12,000 feet and it was too cold for us to be hiking around in what we had on.  Critter count includes a mama and baby moose a herd of elk.  No bighorns this trip. 😕🐏.   We spent some time kayaking at Grand Lake which is right past the western edge of the park.   I love this little town.  I also loved kayaking and will be doing it here very soon.   It was like cycling…..I’m sure you can go hard and make it a killer workout but I went nice and slow and just enjoyed being out.   We also spent a day at Winter Park resort.  Yes, it’s expensive to buy a day long lift pass but so worth it to have unlimited trips on the alpine slide. Jasper declared it better than Disney.   A small victory for nature.  We stayed in the town of Winter Park and I can’t recommend this place enough.   We love it there.  I felt the altitude pretty bad on day one of our trip and about half day two.  The trip was only 4 days including our travel days , so it was quick….so feeling bad for about 24 hours was a bummer.  I ran all three mornings while we were there.  9000 feet altitude which may not seem like much to some but I could tell a difference on hills.  I was pretty ok on the flats though.   

And speaking of running, right before I left I got a library book on heartrate training. I used a lazy person’s formula and did a calculation and not a physical test to find my max, then I figured out my “zones”.  As suspected ( and if my lazy calculations are accurate) I spend all my time in the “Working a little but not too much zone”.  Then I heard a podcast about how much our running declines as we age , and heartrate training really sounded attractive. More to come……I barely have scratched the surface on my reading about it.

Other stuff:   We hit the Denver Nature and Science museum while there.  This was the best science museum I’ve ever been to,  why Austin can’t have something like this with such a university and tech presence is beyond me.   We spent 3 hours and we still had to skip stuff.  If you ever go to Denver make a stop here a priority!

In family sport  news, Jasper is doing black belt training in his taekwondo.  This really just amounts to 3 days a week, more money and even more money buying the weapons.   Then right after I signed him up, I read an article about how we over extend our kids and three days a week of a sport is too much.  Fair enough, but I want to give him the chance to acquire a skill and be good at something.   Plus he is pretty enthusiastic and at age 5 enthusiasm that lasts more than a few minutes is rare and I’ll roll with it. 

As a family we dropped our Y membership and joined a fancy gym.  I realized we no longer did youth sports through the Y and they didn’t have the best availability for the classes I liked.  I’ve never been a member of a fancy gym.  It’s a little intimidating.   Most the people there looked fit.   The kid pools were vastly superior to the Y’s so  we’re excited…..I just hope I can survive yoga classes.  And their spam…
Well a few days worth of shows are calling my name.   Time to relax then dream of mountain air and pines until the next visit.   

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