Sleeping Owls, Experimental runs, and focusing on the moment…

Lots going on here!  First off, Jasper started sleeping through the night this week.  Tonight will be the 5th night, if it happens again.  Relief doesn’t begin to describe how I feel about this!  He goes down about 630 and has been sleep until at least 5-ish.  He woke up at 4am one day, but Mike got him back down until 700…still that is a full night of sleep.   I am much more productive at work, I have evening time, and most of all I don’t feel like I am losing my mind!  The trade off is less time during the day to be out and about.  The long, very strictly timed naps seem to have been key to creating this sleep, so we will keep doing them, even if it can be a hassle.  So there you have it…at 10 months old, the Owl SLEEPS!

I am very excited about some new developments in my running.  I tried a little experiment this morning to see if I could do my long run before work.  I left about 430am after a 4am wake up.  Mark actually wanted to run at 430, so that helped me bust my butt to be ready to run at 430, not 440, 445 or whatever I would have done on my own.  Getting up at 400 really wasn’t much different from 415 or 430, so dare I say it was doable?  So, I ran 7 with Mark.  On his blog he called it an easy run…I am calling it a tempo since we were at 8:20-ish pace.  Then I said goodbye to Mark, ran into my house for a bathroom break, and kept telling myself it was just like I stopped at Starbucks or Burger King, and not a warm, cozy place with really good coffee brewing and a bunch of new Kashi cereals calling my name.  I dashed back out and was a little pokey for a bit and then dipped my pace down to the 7:50s…yay.  For some reason, I had to pee a couple miles into loop 2…even though I just went, so at 15 miles, I called it a day (the goal was 16-18).  But, I am very pleased.  I ran for 2 hours, and still managed to shower, feed Owl, get him ready, and pack up a lunch.  I did not manage my usual stretching routine, but I had a feeling that would go.   I think had I not been dying to use the bathroom…AGAIN, I could have easily eeked out a couple more miles and still had enough time to get ready.  I am encouraged, because for my next goal race, in April(more on that later), I want to try the Hanson’s marathon plan in the latest Runner’s World.  Long runs are de-emphasized and lots, and lots of mid distance tempo and long intervals, like 3 miles.  I would need to up my weekday runs, and down my weekend run to do this plan.  They claim the really long runs make you slower…which does seem to be the case for me.  My marathon PR was done on one 18 miler and lots of mid-distance.   Cutting the weekend run distance a little will give me some time to get home and play with Owl before he naps…and while he naps, I really want to become a regular at Ashtanga yoga.  I am going again tomorrow, yay!

Once again, I would like to put it out there that yoga is not just slow stretching.  I push it so hard, because for runners who are mileage junkies (most of my friends are, me included), yoga will get you strength training and flexibility all in one….and if you pick a more vigorous style, I promise that you will be extremely challenged.  One reason I love yoga is I am not good at it.  I am such a novice.  Yoga also uses a very non-western concept of not competing.  You go as far as you can go into a pose and don’t force it.  You do not compare yourself to other people in the class.  You don’t think ahead to goals…you focus on the right now.  When I can do this (it’s very hard), it feels fantastic and is so relaxing.  We all have so much chatter in our heads…to get rid of it just a few minutes is so liberating.  AND, clearing your mind and focusing on the right now is a truly awesome skill to tap into for running.

So my next goal race is the Country Music marathon in Nashville in late April.  A dear friend is moving there, and I am already planning a visit.  Out of town racing is hard when the 2 people I want to spend all my free time with are here.  But an occasional break is good, and since the run is on a Saturday, not a Sunday (gotta love those Southern Baptists!), I can fly in on a Friday, run, then fly home Sunday, and not be gone very long at all.   So I have something to look very forward to and a new goal race!!!

Ok, off to bed for me.   I still have a lot of sleep to catch up on!


6 thoughts on “Sleeping Owls, Experimental runs, and focusing on the moment…”

  1. Very interested in the Hanson’s marathon plan, I’ve had some mental issues with my long runs so far this year but my weekday runs have been better quality runs than I have had in a long time. I guess I will get a tast of what kind of shape I am in on Sunday when I run White Rock.

    1. Steph…I plan to make the Country Music Marathon an annual tradition. there are a lot of marathons in Tennessee that look great. There is another one I am definitely doing in November on my birthday weekend that I’ll post the info for at some point.

  2. Yay for sleep!!! So glad he’s sleeping through the night for you!!!!! You must feel amazing!

    I really do want to try Yoga…I may have to do it at home on a DVD or something.

    What do you think of the Hanson plan in RW? My husband and I were just talking about this yesterday. I know for someone like you (with countless marathons and ultras) under your belt, it could work. But what about those first timers- who only train up to 16- 10 is a long way to go. (Or for those who run really slow- like the 5 hour group).

  3. Stefanie….I agree that the Hanson plan may be better for those with a base. And, I admit it makes me nervous to kick out those 20 milers! But, I do like the focus on the hard 8-10 milers. I am sure I will modify it somewhat, but having a few less 20 milers will be nice.

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