Marathon fever and the dragon…

Doesn't that look fun?
Marathon fever.  Doesn’t that look fun?  I can’t wait for my next one….

I wrote most of a post yesterday, reread it and realized it was almost identical to the post before it.  I guess getting a little free time and marathons must be on my mind.  I also realize if I posted it, it would have made me the most boring blogger ever.   So I’ll get the running talk over with first.  I had a great 16 mile run today.  It wasn’t super fast, but it was steady, and I ran the last couple miles a little quicker than the early ones.   It dawned on me I did horrible marathon training last year.  Lots of long, slow runs.  So I’m good at long, slow runs and not much else.   I need to work on faster runs and gradually make them longer.   These 13-16 milers I’ve been doing rock.  I love not feeling trashed all day, and I am starting to push them harder.  Maybe, just maybe I may see some improvement yet.

Today Jaspy and I met a mom friend and her little boy at the Dragon Boat races.  Jasper is a bit of a crap shoot at events like this.  This one was a bit of a fail.  Child with bounce house OCD + bounce house with a line and time limit = tears and rolling on the ground, and a 1 mile walk back to the car carrying a sobbing 32 pound child, and large bag with blankets and snacks.  The dragon dance was neat, and held the boys’ attention, but apparently bounce house hysterics on the ground trump little boys in karate uniforms doing choreographed routines to “Kung Fu Fighting”.

In his Dragon Boat shirt, I mean dress.
In his Dragon Boat shirt, I mean dress.
Nice little dragon...
Nice little dragon…

Then after no nap, we went to a swimming birthday party (already did one stint of swimming at morning swim lessons), so he who didn’t go to bed until 1000 last night fell asleep by 730 tonight.  Heaven I tell you.  Just me and the border collie right now.   Bliss.

Work with what you got…

Someone got to go to a baseball game.
Someone got to go to a baseball game.

A typical day for me starts about 430-5am with a little tiny voice going “Mommy?”  “Mom-eeeeeee”  “Go run.”  Yes, my dilemma.   Leave at 5am and get a good run and maybe even some hills, but feel guilty about Jasper’s tears and Mike’s subsequent wake up, or take him with me, don’t do any hills, and run with the stroller a little slower than planned.  That’s the option I’ve been picking.   I feel Mike’s sleep and Jasper’s happiness are a small price to pay for a slightly lesser workout.  My evenings go like this:  during dinner and clean up the mental list of what I would like to do gets made.  A short spin, yoga, easy stretching, reading, tv, baking, cleaning….but after taking from 730 until past 9pm to get the little Owl asleep, I crash out by 930, and do nothing.  How does one plan on running a “fast for me” fall marathon on this training schedule?  My child free time is about 30 minutes.  I know those of you with multiple kids are probably muttering f-bombs at me right now saying 30 minutes is more than you get in a week, so quit complaining, but it’s all about perspective.  Right now, my perspective is “You work with what you got”, so that’s what I’m going to do.

I’m learning to push the stroller runs a little harder.  I’ve managed 2 core work sessions this week, since they are only 15 minutes long (but 15 minutes of pain).  One night a week, I get the night off for yoga.   Fall is a long ways off, but I want to put down the foundation for some successful running.    One thing this week did for me was make me realize that being a marathoner is part of my identity, and like a lot of runners this week, the desire to be out there hitting the road was stronger than ever.  I will say though, that the stroller runs were especially satisfying this week.  I can’t think of a better way to mull things over than while working up a sweat, and having my little running partner with me. A definite sense of completeness.

On that note, the week’s meal planning.  Will I ever get better at this?  Maybe it’s just not my thing.  A very loose plan:

Stirfry with leftover Yumm sauce.  Have you had this stuff yet?  It goes good on everything.  I could actually just eat it plain.

Grilled salmon

Tempeh with orzo

Grilled chicken

At least one night of “heathly” take out :  vietnamese or Chipotle.

Yes, we are pitiful.  At least we don’t eat out every meal, or just eat cereal…although sometimes I am tempted.

Ok…gotta sneak in the core DVD before the little one wakes up.

Oh yeah, last minute addition:  Got new running shoes this weekend.  My favorite kind of shopping.  Life is good.  🙂

One entry fee…

Race entries are expensive.  Let's put that money to good use.
Race entries are expensive. Let’s put that money to good use.

I LOVE Another Mother Runner’s 10 things to do for Boston post today.  What a great idea.   I have an idea that builds on their post.  I challenge all my running friends to take what you would spend on a race entry and give to one of the charities they listed.  I was very excited to see Challenged Athletes Foundation helping with amputee support, and that’s where I put my money.   The running community always comes out and helps in times of need and this time I think we especially feel the need to do something.   So let’s do something!  Thanks for reading…

 

My writing skills are too poor to convert my thoughts into words.  Horrible, terrible, awful.   I fear if I attempt to put any of this into words it will come off insincere and overly simplified….and I certainly don’t want that.  Out of respect, I removed my recent Boston marathon post.  It seems trite and silly now.   Mark and I exchanged texts throughout  the day wondering how something that brought us so much joy and satisfaction last year was such a source of sadness this year.  It simply doesn’t make sense.

Hoping everyone is safe and sound right now.  Run on, friends.

Beer Saturday…

That's a lot of beer.
That’s a lot of beer.  And despite how it looks I am wearing shorts and not just underwear.

I cannot blog on Sunday night anymore because of Game of Thrones.  It’s pretty much sacred time around our house and nothing happens once we start the show except shoveling popcorn in our faces.  So Saturday night it is!

I messed up my running schedule a bit this weekend and still haven’t done a long run.   I ran with the stroller a lot this week, and did a treadmill run while watching a documentary about mountain biking.  This morning Jasp and I did 8(!!!!) miles as a stroller run.  It’s just so funny that the minute I got a treadmill he became such a stroller angel, and asks to go constantly.  I’m embracing it though….times like these are numbered and it’s worth it.

We went to the Real Ale anniversary party today.  It’s a brewery about 45 minutes outside of town in the hill country, and every year they have a very nice all day party with tours, lots of free food and beer, music and it’s all in a beautiful setting.  We went when Jasp was about 5 months old, and it didn’t seem to crowded.  Well word has gotten out!   We had fun, but I am not sure if I would do this again unless they cap how many people can go.  Oh well, one can never really complain about a hill country drive in the Texas springtime.  Pure beauty.  Tomorrow I am taking Jasp to the circus.  No elephants or tigers at this one though….I can’t do those.  This one is more acrobats and clowns.  It’s in a tent and I get to sit, so they could do just about anything and I’ll enjoy it.

And meal planning…what a joke for me.  I probably shouldn’t do the link up unless I really am planning.  I have a very loose plan, does that count?  Our usual grilled salmon will happen at some point this week, and that’s two meals.   I’ve got all the stuff to make black bean/ sweet potato enchiladas, I hope that means I get around to making them (another two meal dish), and I’ve got some smokey maple tempeh to add some tofu scramble too and do a vegan breakfast for dinner one night.  I am just happy I have a husband who loves leftovers and a child who doesn’t eat any cooked foods, so I don’t have to even worry about trying to make things he will eat.

Bed is calling.  That and Catching Fire.  The movie comes out in November.  I am not joking that it may take me that long to finish it.   New seasons of Game of Thrones and Mad Men aren’t really conducive to reading.

Capital 10K + meal planning…

There may have been a pink cake made yesterday.  Did you know Duncan Hines cake mixes are vegan?  Sub. apple sauce for eggs and you are good to go.
There may have been a pink cake made yesterday. Did you know Duncan Hines cake mixes are vegan? Sub. apple sauce for eggs and you are good to go.
I may or may not have also had a piece of this rainbow cake at a birthday party.  It's a vegan rainbow cake!  Only in Austin...
I may or may not have also had a piece of this rainbow cake at a birthday party. It’s a vegan rainbow cake! Only in Austin…

Today was the Capital 10K.  I really prefer longer distances, but I put this on my calendar most years.  It’s a huge party to usher spring into Austin.  It has a classic Keep Austin Weird vibe, it’s a beautiful course, and once in a while it’s fun to not worry about pre-race nutrition, being out there for hours, how many gels I should bring etc.  Just wake up and go!

I met my friend Steve, who I have a long tradition of doing this race with.  This year the did away with runner/ walker corrals, and it was a free for all.  They had suggested pace markers but it was clear people started where ever they pleased.  But that’s one thing about this race…if you are going to get worked up over stuff like that, it’s not the race for you.  Think of it as a 6 mile run you can push yourself on a little.  We had a great time and finished in 51:56.  I was pleased.  Of note, just to relive my glory days, my best time ever on this course is just over 40 minutes.   I was super happy with my sub 52 minute time today.  Yay for being old.  A super cool touch was food trailers at the finish.  There was a vegan trailer and a cupcake trailer!  Only in Austin!  But my heart was set on a latte so we went corporate and hit a Starbucks.   A big thanks to Steve for running with me.

I had a really good run yesterday and feel like I am getting my legs back after a period of being really slow.  I think I just needed a break from 20 miles every weekend.  I am feeling more confident about some future goals (post to come).

Ok, a brief meal planning for the week:

Vegan eggplant parmesan (2 nights worth of food)

Whole wheat pasta with Mmmm sauce

Grilled chicken

Vietnamese take out

And less cake.  I ate too much cake this weekend.

This ain’t old lady yoga…

This is how we do yoga at my house, pajamas and bad hair.
This is how we do yoga at my house, pajamas, bad hair, and the little yogi.

I go to yoga at the Y.  It’s a mixed crowd and the class I go to is all levels.   There are athletic folks, but mostly regular folks, and some folks just starting on the road to better health through exercise.  The class focuses a lot of alignment and posture, which I figure is probably a good thing, even if I  don’t always leave it exhausted.

Austin’s trendiest yoga studio, Black Swan Yoga, just opened a location about 2 minutes from my front door.  I decided to check it out.  I choose their hot yoga class.  I’ve only done real hot yoga one other time, and I loved it, but it was just too expensive.  Black Swan is very reasonable, so that was no issue.  Ever hit a point in your life where you think, “I thought I fit in, but now I so painfully realize I do not.”  Yeah, that was my yoga class.  I was older than everyone there by at least 15 years.  Even in my smallest yoga clothes I had way more on than anyone else.  The Black Swan crowd is the type of crowd that doesn’t cringe when the situation calls for less clothing, and has no issues with running errands after class while still in hot pants.    I’m one of those people who would never consider running in just a sports bra, and avoid public situations where swimsuits are required.    The Black Swan crowd also lacked any kind of abdominal fat.  I was the only one who had to work on the whole tucking in my belly thing, the poses have got to easier when you have no gut.    To be fair, the class wasn’t too hard, since the teacher did offer different points to take each pose to.  Everyone except me, and the slightly awkward looking girl next to me could take every pose to the edge.  I felt like screaming “I see your forehead on your shin, but I ran 7 miles this morning at 5am while pushing 40 + pounds…aren’t you impressed by that at all?”  Probably not.

So yeah, I felt embarrassingly out of place.  But I loved it.  I really like hot yoga and I like to sweat.  I hate being cold, so this plays right into that, and I’m still sore two days later since the heat allows for such deep stetching.  And the teacher must have noticed I belonged in the old lady class because she did make a point to ask me how I enjoyed the class, would I be back, etc.

I will definitely give it another  go, hot pants wearing 20 year olds be damned.    Just don’t expect me to run out and buy a new wardrobe.  I’ll stick with my capris for now….

Does your running partner watch Yo Gabba Gabba? Mine does…

Loves to run...
Loves to run…

My little running partner continues to join me on most of my runs.   He insisted on coming on a hill run on Sunday.   Hills with a stroller are off the chart hard, and somewhat embarrassing.  I’m sure every car driving by wondered what in the hell I was doing trying to run up massive hills.   Yesterday I ran on the treadmill, so my little partner mostly watched with a couple very short breaks for me to get something for him.  Today my little partner was up before 500 requesting a run.   And, yes, in complete irony the minute I get a treadmill thinking my stroller days are numbered, my little running partner decides nothing beats going running in the morning, and is devastated if we don’t go.  Oh well…I still am happy I have a treadmill. 

I admit there was a time I hated see running strollers in races.  I thought “why would anyone want to run with all that?”  “Why not just get a baby sitter?”  Yes, famous last words.  I am well aware to all the “real” runners in Austin running with a stroller is terribly uncool, and removes you from the “serious runner” catagory.   But I feel incredibly resourceful when I take it out on a run, and I think I was kicked out of the serious runner club over a decade ago.     It’s a great feeling to run back up to the house at 615, check the box for 6+ miles for the day, and have a happy kid.  

Oh  and I have a race this weekend!  10K…not my preferred distance, but racing = happy mommy.