Stefanie S asked me why I was tossing my lovely marathon plan Mark wrote for me out. Well, to clarify, I am not getting rid of it entirely. As my boss always says at work, “this is a guideline, not a policy.” So I am using it as a guideline. I am keeping the practice of a base phase and then a sharpening phase with quicker paces. I kept a lot of the long runs. I like that the paces are in a range, so a slightly off day doesn’t become a disaster and I can still hit a workout. I am ditching some of the 10 mile pre work runs, and some of the over 20 mile runs. I also am giving myself premission to have weeks I just don’t do anything on the plan. Like next week, when Mike is out of town, and I’ll be running circles around my block every morning. Call me lazy, but I just don’t have it in me to do 10 miles that way. I realized that things can be unpredictable. I still have a lot of nights I get very little sleep, so I usually switch things around and run something easy in the morning. I have a friend other than Mark who meets before work once in a while and I certainly do not want to turn down her company to stick to a tight schedule. So there you go…think GUIDELINE!
I am was off today and the morning started with a 4am wake up for an 8 miler with Mark, toddler yoga, then groceries, house work during nap, swimming after nap, cookie and dinner making after the pool. And I wonder why I am tired all the time…
It would appear Mark and I have both sworn off our marathon plans. I am reverting back to what works for me, PR be damned. I usually write out a long run schedule, and this is critical for me, and once again I did that. But I am pretty much reverting to my one day speed run, one day mid distance, one long run and everything else is filler. I guess when it comes right down to it I am just not a schedule and log keeping type of person. I abandoned Daily Mile long ago and it only took me 2 weeks to screw up the Mark plan. Quite paradoxical, as I am very type A. We’re usually spread sheet junkies. Not this type A. I guess I prefer to keep it in my head and fret and obsess over it that way 🙂 By the way, I think I do a very good job coming up with a long run schedule. I’ve done enough marathons at this point that I would stand by it, so anyone ever wanting help if you’re just starting out, let me know.
I am going to try really to watch my eating habits this training go round. If you are one of my runner friends reading this, do you eat healthy? I am a lot better than I used to be, but not where I want to be. While I wasn’t ever exactly chowing on big Macs, I love me some treats. I have a hard time turning down homemade sweets, and I love a huge breakfast. I used to indulge in both quite a bit citing the ol’ “I ran 20 miles, I can eat whatever I want.” Nope…unfortunately when you run for long enough your body adapts and you gain weight like everyone else does. After I had Jasper I got serious, because for the first time in my life I had weight in double digits that needed to come off. While I didn’t deprive myself, I made I big effort to not keep sweets in the house, so I couldn’t just nibble every night (says the girl who just made cookies). I also am very motivated to eat healthy just by having Jasper. I try to mimic what I feed him. Very minimal processed foods, and if he wants a snack he gets things like a cup of blueberries. So why am I chowing on tortilla chips and cookies when I wouldn’t let my kid do that? Exactly….huge motivator. I still like an occasional homemade oatmeal cookie. And, per dietician friend Meredith’s advice, I do have one day a week I just eat what I want and don’t fret. Now this isn’t giant fast food platters, but more like good local tex mex, or a good brunch, or my fave, pub food at Black Star Co-op (and a beer!). I guess what I am getting at is there is a fine line between being mindful and being obsessive. I personally think there is just too much good food out there to never enjoy it….and we are super spoiled in Austin. We have fantastic local, inexpensive restaurants. Plus, you don’t want to be the buzzkill at the potluck, or happy hour or whatever, who refuses to eat. For me, I am trying to trim carbs here and there, and take more giant salads for lunch. Anyhow, stuff to think about if you run. We don’t get a license to pig out….yeah darn. The exception is after a race. You should go celebrate however you want! Oh and by the way, Jasper and Pancake are sharing a plain greek yogurt in the photos….the reason I don’t think I could go vegan. I LOVE that stuff.
Ok…laundry calls, then Harry Potter. Gotta get caught up so we can get a baby sitter to see the final movie!
Jasper must have read my last blog about not being able to stick to the running schedule. Yesterday called for 10 miles. I was really going to do it. Jasper had other plans though. He woke up at 4am. I took him with me to run to allow Mike and little more sleep, and felt slightly crazy hauling a stroller around before 5am. There is no way he would last for 10 miles, so I settled on 7. His latest obsession is a little plastic test tube that had bubbles in it. He carries it everywhere, and says his only consistently used word, “bubbles.” So it went with us on the run. I was very careful to check that the tube remained in his hand for the whole run. You see where this is going…we got home and the tube was gone. I felt like I had just seen it in his hand, so I figured he couldn’t have dropped it too far back. I retraced my steps….for 2 miles. No luck, but I somehow managed to run a lot longer than I thought I would. I was off work and had a day of fun stuff and some errands planned. That was put to a halt when Jasper realized the test tube was gone and spent the next 4 hours crying. I went to Target looking for a replacement, and my attempts at a second class test tube did not go unnoticed. A small, emptied bubble container was hurled across the room at me. A new little camp chair and sleeping bag set out in the living room to play with all day turned into something just to roll on and cry out for bubbles. The only thing that could ease the pain of a lost test tube was a very long swimming session. So much for errands. But it worked. Bubbles the test tube is still being regularly requested, but without the tears.
So Jasper has further encouraged me to question schedules. My friend Anna pointed out in a comment that just being able to go out for a run is a good thing. Agreed! And, thanks to all for nice blog comments. I really appreciate it, and I don’t always comment on other blogs, but I promise I keep up with everyone.
Ok, Mike and I have been watching this series on the universe on the Science channel. I need to pay attention and not type at the same time. Understanding things like black holes doesn’t come easy to me. Better focus.
I was really good about following the plan Mark worked so hard on for me for 2 weeks. Last week, I knew just getting out to run was a victory, so I didn’t attempt 10 miles of loops around my house. So there goes one week of being plan free. This week it is very tempting to remain plan free. I did the required 8 Monday, and today instead of 4 fast, painful miles, I ran 6 leisurely, easy miles. I know….naughty me. Didn’t I say I wanted to run a PR, and I needed to do something different? Here’s the facts: running longer than 8 miles before work is hard for me time-wise. It means I need to get out the door really, really early. I like doing easy little 6 mile runs. 4 painful miles isn’t as fun. So yes, I am torn between just making running enjoyable and possibly not progressing, and getting out of my comfort zone and trying to change it up to see some improvement. I felt better when I saw Mark on Sunday and found out he was being bad too. He hadn’t been following his own plan at all. Long runs are really easy for both of us to follow a plan on, it’s just the other stuff…and it is looking like I may have up to 3 weeks in August of doing loops around my block, so the plan goes out the window for that.
I would guess that most non-elite runners do it for the enjoyment of it, and not so much to be competitive. Isn’t just about every runner’s favorite run a leisurely, mid distance run somewhere pretty on a day with great weather? Yeah, I would rather do that than painful mile repeats.
So, time will tell how I will do with this whole structure thing. I really appreciate Mark working it all out for me, so I try to at least use it as a guideline. But, like most of my runner friends who read this, my life is busy. It can be stressful. Some days I just want to use my run as an escape and enjoy it…and that’s completely ok.
The little boy is MUCH better. Stomach bugs usually seem to be a 24 hour thing, but it was a rough 24 hours. We stayed home all day yesterday, minus a quick trip to Target for a little get well treat, and Starbucks for me since I was close to falling into a coma. TV restrictions were thrown out the window and we watched Toy Story 3 two times…is that the best kids’ movie ever or what? Mike’s flight was delayed a million hours, but eventually he did get home. It was great to have him back.
Today I met Mark at 5am for a real run. Although it was the usual Texas summer hell weather, it felt fantastic. We did 16, and it was a lot of fun to catch up. After the run it was time to quickly head off to Jasper’s swimming lesson. Mike came and decided just to watch, but it kinda distracted Jasper and made him freak out a bit that Mike wasn’t in the water too, so Michael Phelps’ records will be safe for one more week. Post swim cinnamon roll afterwards…of course. Got home, and headed out to yoga. I missed Ashtanga today, and went to my first Sivananda class. It was challenging in a non-sweaty way. I am sure I will still be quiet sore tomorrow, as it was pretty intense and the postures were challenging and held for a fairly long time. It was good for me though. I did things I didn’t think I could do, and when I look back to when I started going to yoga not that long ago, I did things I thought I could never do.
We also had a lot of little errands and things to do that we had to cram all into one day, and I am tired! Mike crashed pretty early from his travel and I think I will follow his lead. I am looking forward to this week being a little more routine for me.
Oh, and Mark and I discussed that we are terrible about strictly following our plans…more on that to come. Right now bed is calling. Sleep sounds incredible right now!
We almost had made it 8 days alone without any major issues. Sure, it was a very challenging week, but I managed about 40 miles of running without leaving my house, I made it to work on time everyday, Pancake got a morning and evening walk everyday, and the house looked pretty decent. I picked Jasper up from daycare Friday evening with plans to pick up some take out for dinner (side note…single parenting is a great weight loss plan, I didn’t cook real food once due to the evenings being so busy)..anyhow, they said he had just thrown up, and I found him getting cleaned up, and crying. We went straight home and it was a downward spiral from there. Owl couldn’t even keep down water and threw up all night…and cried….and couldn’t sleep. At 4am, after a few hours of camping out on the sofa watching pixar movies together he fell asleep, after he managed to keep down a little water and a rice cracker. He slept until 730 and we did a stroller run with Pancake. I never run that late, but it felt great not to run circles around the house. He seems to be keeping down water, so I hope we are moving in the right direction. I did about 6 loads of laundry this morning, took the best shower of my life after being thrown up on countless times last night and using baby wipes to clean up, and had the best coffee in the world after a night of going to bed at the time I normally am getting up.
I think my plans for next weekend will involve booking a massage. It’s been a crazy week, and the last 24 hours really was the cherry on top. Time for a break!
Just signed up for the Frankenthon marathon in October. I may still have the weekend free of San Antonio, in which case I may just run SA as a fun run, or switch down to the half marathon. So, it looks like Frankenthon is my goal race, but even that has become questionable. I had a reality check this am on the bike trainer. Mike has a lots of travel coming up, which means lots of weeks of running loops, which means not running scheduled workouts, which means a goal that is already a long shot may not happen. The bottom line for me is this is all for fun anyway. I’ll try and do what I can to run my goal time this fall, but I may just end up with two really fun marathon races, and I can live with that. Didn’t I say not too long ago I wouldn’t do so many marathons? Yes, I am an addict. I am sure Mike is wondering how I managed to change one marathon into two…
The little boy was up last night with an asthma attack, so I am a little sleepy today. I knew a week of sleep was too good to be true. He was doing better this am, so I hesitantly sent him to school . I am just glad tomorrow is the weekend. What a long week! Mike gets home tomorrow night. Sunday morning I get a real run! Plus, we missed him and are happy he will be back.
Did my last loopy run of the week today. 10K worth of loops while listening to another marathon talk. Saw a really nice shooting star. See, 445 am runs aren’t all that bad. Jasper had a very brief 1230 wake up, but he had a diaper tab come loose and leak, so I attribute it to that. Tomorrow I am riding the bike trainer and Saturday I am leaning towards doing a run with the stroller so Pancake can get a run in too. You would think she would follow me on my loops around the block, but she just sits in the garage looking confused and refuses to go. She’s 11 and can call the shots if she exercises or not at this point, but usually she really enjoys a run. She must realize that running 40 loops around your block is completely nuts.
My bloggie friend Derek suggested I write about my take on the whole barefoot running craze. I’m not drinking the Kool-Aid, as they say. I read “Born to Run”. I thought it was ok, but kind of made ultrarunners out to be pretty weird. I didn’t like that. When I ran ultras my favorite part was meeting just normal folks who fit in their running with a pretty balanced life. I think it’s pretty wild that the book has fueled a really bizarre trend. I just don’t see how you won’t eventually get an injury running without anything to protect your feet. I also think the trend of the very minimal shoes in dangerous. A very few, biologically gifted people can get away with those. I have one friend who can wear racing flats as her training shoes, and trust me, she is very biologically gifted. She is super fast, and I am guessing her feet must be aligned perfectly. But I really do believe many of us need some degree of support. My worst running injuries came when I did shoe wear testing. Both times I got lightweight, speedster type shoes with little support, and both times I ended up with injuries: tendonitis from one, and plantar fasciitis from another. So now I stick with the same shoe. Why risk it? Sure I get tempted by the trendier, newer shoes. But anytime I’ve strayed from the Asics 2010 series, I come back. My advice to any new runner is always to go to a running store and get fitted for a basic moderately supportive shoe. This usually works for 99% of runners.
Last December I saw a barefoot runner in a race on a morning that was in the low 30s. You can’t seriously tell me that wasn’t miserable. I guess it really just comes down to the whole “if it works for you, then go for it” attitude. You won’t catch me trading in my supportive and moderately priced shoes for some trendy, overpriced shoe that is supposed to replicate running in bare feet. And, it’s not that I am immune to trends. I recently paid $50 for lululemon running shorts. So, yeah, I am a sucker in other ways. But I am keeping my shoes and orthotics. They work for me.
2 more loopy runs down. Yesterday’s was just about guaranteed to happen. The Owl woke up at 345, crying. It took me until 430 to get him back down. If I wanted to run, I just had to stay up. 345 wake up was a bummer, but it all but guaranteed he would sleep until 630. So at 500 I headed out armed with This American Life fired up, and got in 6.5 miles…which translates to over 30 loops. Yikes! Got in and had time for stretching and a cup of coffee. Yay! Last night Owl slept though the night (Go Owl!!!), so I knew I needed to get going early to assure I got the run in. I had Ultrarunner podcast fired up, and got in 7 miles. I finished just as Jasper was waking up. I only have one more loopy run, and then I have the option of running with the stroller over the weekend, or another loopy run. As long as I have a podcast I like, it’s very doable. Don’t get me wrong, I will be happy when I get to hit the roads again (I probably ran about 40 loops this am), but it beats not running every time Mike leaves.
I am feeling like a complete butt today, as I am off, but Jasper is at daycare right now. I never put him in daycare if I am off, but I needed a morning. This week has been good…challenging but good. But I definitely notice not having Mike’s help around. Just simple things like making dinner and really hard by myself when Jasper is launching himself off the couch continuously. So I’ve eaten a lot of salads this week. I needed to go to the store and prep some food. I need to clean up the house a bit. Ok, I did reward the fact I haven’t broken down into tears yet with a yoga class right after I dropped Jasper off. I had fantasies of taking a nap too (I may be sleeping through the night, but 4am is still an early wake up), but time flys…a couple errands, and I am due to pick him up in an hour and a half…and I still need to clean. So yeah, I should get off the interwebs. I still have some ideas for running related posts that I really hope to get to soon…maybe tonight.