Workouts and birthdays…

First attempt at cake balls. Need to work on my dipping technique…

Three weeks into being in the running group and hit a snag of Mike being out of town for the weekend workout.  Coach was nice enough to do it with me Friday and then I was able to go to the core class immediately after.  I was off Friday to volunteer at school.  Hills + being pushed +45 min. of core= potential to be very sore.   Then I was outside in the sun the rest of the day at field day and then a pool party.  I tried my best to hydrate but I feared major soreness the next day.  I tried an Epsom salt soak for the first time and I am sold!  Not any leg soreness to speak of the next day.  Bad headache from dehydration though.  😞

This past weekend we had 4 kid birthdays plus regular stuff.  It was super busy and Jasper was just off all weekend with 4:30 wake ups and grouchiess.  It was one of those weekends I was actually ready for Monday.  I was on the treadmill and did a recovery easy run Saturday and then did my workout Sunday.  Jasper was up so early I had company the whole time for both and Sunday I told him I had to focus and to save all his requests for post workout.  I was impressed he let me do the whole workout and I made it another week of getting in all the workout days! Major victory.   Making cake balls was about the only thing I did that wasn’t a run or attending a birthday party.  

Assuming I complete my workout tomorrow I’m officially three weeks into my “real” workouts.   I must be doing them hard enough, because I truly run easy on my easy days.   I’m still looking very forward to bumping up to longer distances, but I can tell I’m in an actual process and I can already tell I’ve picked up the pace.  All this babbling is my way of saying I’m super optimistic and feeling very excited about the whole thing.  It’s all so new to me. I’ve been writing all my own plans for over 20 years.  This is a huge shift!

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Seems to be working…

Poop emoji cupcakes as requested by Jasper. They have a chocolate malt buttercream…mmmmm.

I survived my first week of real group training.  Sorta.  I couldn’t actually meet the group during the week, but did the two quality workouts on my own, but had a friend meet me for both, so I wasn’t truly on my own.  First off,it was more repeats than I would have given myself.  The track workout was not all that bad.  As with any track workout the first couple repeats seem horrible but then suddenly I realize I’m on number 6 and almost done.  The other quality workout was hill repeats and once again, it was more than I would have given myself but doable.  I was a little sore by Friday but I also  did some gym time and ashtanga yoga which always kicks my butt hard.  I will saying paying for the group does give me a great deal of motivation to do it.  Having someone else tell me what to do even though I could easily come up with workouts on my own seems to also make me do the workouts.   The miles are less than I would have done on my own but way more quality workouts.  I was excited to meet the group again this morning and ran a lot quicker than I would have on my own, plus company was nice.  So I think so far it’s working.  I’m signed up for an 8k in a couple weeks but may just do the kids run with Jasper, but if I do race it will be a great test to see if the speed work is starting to sink in.  

Also, I learned tonight that if you plan a very rare girls night out to dinner at a restaurant in a shopping area, and you are all runners, and there is a lululemon and an Athleta in the shopping area, it quickly becomes a very expensive night out.  🙄

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All in…

Lots of running updates!   I was chugging along and then had a routine doctor appointment with a new PCP.   We were chatting and turns out she’s a runner and recommended her running group.  I’ve never joined a running group, but she planted a seed.   I’ve pretty much lost most my running buddies to moves or they no longer do marathons.   I decided to at least look into it and contacted the coach.   And just for good measure, I contacted another very popular group in town.  The popular group never responded to me.  The coach of Team Aussie ( the group I’d heard about), responded right away and was very inviting, plus I liked the fact it was smaller and more personable.   So I did it.  I paid the monthly dues (which were  very reasonable) and met them today for the first run of fall marathon training.  I also decided if I’m going to do this, I need to go all in, and follow their plan and not do my own thing on the side.  So I dropped my miles to match theirs and did a 9 mile hilly run today, instead of 15 flat miles I’d do on my own.  I was pushed and ran much faster than I would have on my own and really liked the vibe of the group.  Afterwards there were smoothies.  So I am in!   I’m really excited and think this will be good for me.  Plus it’s very close to my house and it’s a full week of workouts.  I cannot make the weekday times ( stupid downtown job!), so I’ll have to do that part on my own,  but as the marathon runs ramp up I will have a group to run with!

Which brings me to a fall marathon.  Since this is an experiment and I want to follow the group and it was too late to register for Chicago which a couple of them are doing….I registered for the Frankenthon (very small local race) again.  It’s low cost, guilt free, and hopefully gives me a good shot at a Boston qualifier.  

So I’m pretty psyched.  This is a whole new way of running for me and the first time I have ever trained for a marathon and not written my own plan.  

That’s the  biggest news in my running world.   My only exciting picture this week is a homemade lasagna I made.  Even the sauce is from scratch and there’s a ricotta filling with two cups of basil leaves blended into in there.  Gotta love runner food…

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It’s all about the base…running update…

You’d never know he can actually be quite naughty…

Who do you think did this?

 I realized this weekend I’ve only got about another month of “base building” before I start to work towards a fall/ winter marathon.  I usually don’t love off seasons but this year I think I really needed it to try and get my pace up.  I also realized as you get older, even if you’re running,unless you work on some quicker runs, you get lose aerobic conditioning even if still running regularly.  Depressing for sure, but I’ve been trying to get back to a point where long runs don’t wear me out.  I’ve been doing one speed day a week, a 15 mile long run every other week, and working a pushing a mid week run up in distance.   I also did some really fun shorter races.  Loved that and will do it again next year!    The mid week run is the tricky one.  It’s so hard to get up any earlier, but I think to run a better marathon I need more than one double digit run a week.  I’ve pushed it to 8/9 miles though, so I’m on my way.  I’ve ordered the second edition of Advnaced Marathoning and plan to use it as my “coach”.  No really this time I swear……I am horrible, horrible, horrible at sticking to a plan, but this time I mean it!!!
I also have had the realization in the last couple months that I can do more for myself now.   Jasper is 6 and while he’s not one to self entertain, he’s not as needy as back in toddler days.  He is willing to go play video games while I nap a little after a long run.   This makes a HUGE difference.  I used to do 20 miles and go all day without any breaks, and now things aren’t quite as crazy.  He also is willing to play  video games a bit in the morning and let Mike sleep while I do a long run,  so the major guilt of disrupting the whole family isn’t there anymore.  I guess I can’t be anti-screen time and do marathons too. 😕.   Something has got to give….

Now about choosing a race.   I love to have a goal on my horizon.  I’m leaning towards the Dallas marathon again, but I’m going to consult with my running buddy, Nancy, who has run 17 Boston marathons and doesn’t seem to get slower.  Part of me says book two races so if weather/ health craps out on one I get a back up.  Last year I had crap weather at almost everything, and ended up booking a last minute replacement race.

So that’s my plan.   Plans don’t always happen, but I can try!

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Happy Marathon Monday…

 It’s marathon Monday….Happy Boston day to all the runners.   I had a marathon Monday of my own over the weekend.  Jasper and I traveled to Kansas City to visit Stephanie and her family and as a bonus she and I got to catch up while running the Garmin half marathon.  Did you know Garmin is headquartered in Olathe, KS?   Who knew, right?   The goal of the race was just to catch up and chat the whole way and collect the cool Wizard of Oz themed medal.   While we had a great time catching up, this is a pretty dull course.  But the race was very well done with great volunteers and a nice finish area.  And the best medal I have ever received.   So if you are a bling junkie, do this one.  If you want a fast course with lots of crowd support, maybe skip it.  

The rest of the trip was really a great time.   A huge thanks to Stephanie and her family of welcoming us and providing some childcare…which goes way above and beyond.   We did so many fun activities.  Jasper’s tears started the minute we hit the airport that he was so sad to go and leave his new friends.   

We had a couple small hiccups with cough and fever in day one, a hunger strike and a 4 hour delay coming home which meant a VERY late night for a 6 year old.   So you know if despite all that we still had a great time it had to be pretty good!

But…….a touch bittersweet.   I miss having Steph as a running buddy.  But at least it’s relatively easy to visit her.  We’ll be back.

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Austin 10/20 race…


This isn’t my favorite distance but this race is so close to me and so well done I had to do it again.   The day before I rested, only doing some walking.  Race didn’t start until 8:00 (wish it had started earlier) , but that gave me time for a true warm up.   I ran a couple miles at home, changed into race clothes, drove to the start and did another 1.5 miles.  I think it really helped.  I felt ready to roll, and no tightness the first couple miles.  I knew a couple people I met at the gym were doing it so I met up with their group right before the start.  I almost always go to races alone, so it was nice to have some people to hang out with.  One of the girls is a sub 8 min/ miler but we agreed to start together.  One of the coolest things about this race is there is prize money, so real professional runners show up.   Granted the prize purse isn’t huge, so these are probably the JV team of Kenyans, but watching these guys run in person is pretty incredible.   Like my experience in the Dallas marathon I was completely surprised at just how tiny these guys are.   They make even a very fit, thin person at the gym look bulky.   

Goal was 8:00/ miles which sadly in a race this competitive is midpack.   But it’s what I’ve got.   Right away my body felt good and I didn’t feel like it was an over reach.   Kept the first 5 miles at Sub 8:00.   The course isn’t really exciting or pretty but mostly flat.   There is a gradual incline at mile 8:00 and it ends on an incline, so my last two miles were my slowest. 😕. But overall, I was pleased.  It’s no where near what I used to be able to run, but 20 seconds a mile faster than last year, so it’s improvement which I have been working on!   

And now my overly picky critique of the race.   Not much to say, extremely organized.  Corrals worked great and I wonder why more races don’t use these.  So much better than weaving through people at the start.  Shirt is ugly, but I think most race shirts are ugly.  Medal is over the top.   Super nice, although personally I think a huge medal for a 10 mile race is a bit much, but maybe I’m just being old school and a grouch. 

Anyhow, a good morning of racing.   Perfect weather and good times. Up next is the OZ half marathon.  But Stephanie sets  the pace on this one….as long as she doesn’t make me run faster than I did today…not quite there yet!

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Easter sloths and another race week…

So I’m a little late getting Easter pictures out….I guess it was just a busy week.  Last week was a pretty good week of running including a 15 miler in perfect running weather.  This week I had a couple treadmill runs and a couple outside runs and then this weekend I have the Austin 10/20 race.  It’s my last “effort” until Texas racing season starts back up in the fall so I plan to push.   Weather is looking good, so no excuses.   I’m skipping my run with friends tomorrow to rest my legs even though it’s killing me not to meet them.

Easter already seems like forever ago, although I still seem to be eating plenty of candy.   Jasper is really into sloths lately, so he got an Easter sloth.   I love when he’s into something that we’ll do “research” on the internet about.  And not looking up video game stuff.   And baby sloths are pretty much the cutest thing ever.

This will be quick a post…I’ll get a race report up Sunday evening…hopefully a good one!

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