Treadmilling, and making fall plans!

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What I found on my bed when I got out of the shower this morning…

The theme of the week is I am thankful for my treadmill. Jasp has poo-pooed the stroller and in all the back to school commuting traffic hell that is this week, I am glad I at least get a run in each day. Ok, maybe a little dramatic there, but it’s always a little challenging when it’s just me and Jasp. He’s fine; it’s really just getting us both where we need to be each day and getting us back home in the evening at a decent hour. And finding time to cook myself something….big fail so far. It’s all salads and scrambled eggs this week. But knowing I get to run each morning no matter what is just wonderful.

I’m a little sad the pools are now closed during the week. I guess this means summer is almost over? Doesn’t really feel that way, but I am looking forward to it being cool enough to hit the state parks. I think Jasp is old enough to climb Enchanted Rock this fall…and enjoy it. There’s also a good brewery in the area, and a really good bakery. Post hike cupcake or porter? Yep, time to find some new adventures. Doing all your runs on the treadmill definitely leads to some daydreaming!

Texas summer wins again…

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A better way to enjoy the summer than running for 2 hours…

Last week was one of those crazy weeks….nothing bad, but Mike had to work every evening so lots of things just fell by the wayside.  It’s amazing how much more two people get done than one!  I was super ready for the weekend running.

Saturday I did 17 and it was one of those Texas summer runs.  I’ve done pretty good all summer pacing myself and not shuffling through the last few miles of a long run due to major heat except a couple times.   Well Saturday was an offical shuffle!  I think my issue was all the water stops provide borderline hot water that my body just wasn’t absorbing, and while I finished, I felt headachy the rest of the day.  That’s just life in the south in the summer.  Sometimes the weather wins.   Having one of Mike’s IPAs, then finding out afterwards the alcohol content was a little higher than normal didn’t help either.  But it is late August already!   Fall is my favorite season and although it is still pretty warm, the 100s start to leave in a couple weeks.   Then I can end my Saturday with porters and pumpkin ales.  🙂

Yoga took a massive hit the last couple weeks since I’ve been the  Jasper watcher most evenings.   I’ve been really good about home practice, but it’s still not the same as a class.  Still, I pat myself on the back for doing it.  The number one rule of being a working mom (even if the hours are European) who wants to run marathons and not get injured is flexibilty and adaptability.  I’d say the number two rule is don’t be ashamed to wear compression socks to bed.  I did all weekend.  A 17 miler and an 8 miler in 80% humidity will create a little soreness.

Anyhow, Mike it OOT so Jasp and I flying solo this week.  Hello treadmill runs and HBO to go!

Mid week rambling…

Funny that I did a post on stroller running and then proceded to run 4 days of stroller running in a row this week.  One thing I failed to mention is I have found as Jasper has gotten bigger that I am slower on the runs, without being able to tell other than what my watch tells me.  I just tell myself it’s more strength training and try not to stress it.   I also coincidentally have a massage scheduled this weekend, and I really feel like I need it after so many miles pushing the stroller.

I’ve been enjoying the DFL ultrarunning podcast lately.  Not sure why I listen to all these ultrarunning podcasts since I don’t run them.  Maybe to remind myself why I quit running them when I hear stories of 40 mile training runs.  Anyhow, I love that it focuses on New England running and smaller, local races.  It is quite true of ultrarunning that there are these almost celebrity types doing big mountain races, and the old school local running club scene kinda has gone by the wayside.  This podcast really plays up that old school feel.  I loved the Vermont 100 episode since I loved the brief time I spent in Vermont, and it was my only 100.  It really is a special, unique event.  Warning:  the production value isn’t the greatest and sound quality can be annoying, but it’s a free podcast so no real complaints!

Other news:  looks like a work conference in November is a no go, so I am considering running the San Antonio marathon for fun.  Pros:  It’s on my birthday, San Antonio is a fun city, Mike and Jasper would go and we would eat yummy food and do a fun kid activity and it’s Formula One weekend in Austin, which is my least favorite event that takes over the city and creates madness.  Cons:  I’ve heard pretty mixed reviews about the marathon.  I ran it before it became big and corporate and enjoyed it even though there were some ugly parts on the course (some nice parts too).  Anyone out there have an opinion on this race?  Anyone doing it?

Ok…work calls….I am soooo ready for the weekend.  This week was uber busy, and I have a long run, a massage, swimming, and family dinner at Black Star.   Can’t wait!!!

An Ode to stroller running…

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In his new Toothless hat waiting to head out on a run…

Saturday’s run was all I’d hoped it would be. It was soooo nice to hit the trail. Taking a break from the neighborhood was just what I needed. I realized I need to do it more. I will definitely be working in more town lake and brushy creek runs.

Anyhow, Mike was out of town for a good chunk of the weekend and it was just me, Jasp and Cake. Sunday we had a lovely stroller run (all three of us) and I was so thankful to have it as an option, as the morning was nice and cool and I didn’t want to miss getting outside. Here’s my list of all things stroller running:

1. The iPhone makes it possible. Most kids are pretty happy to have Netflix, video games and things electronic in their hands.

2. Filling all the pockets in the stroller is part of the fun. We always bring a milk, a smoothie pouch, an apple sauce, crackers, and sometimes water and GU for me. We don’t need all that food, but it ensures a greater likelihood of getting in all the miles I want.

3. Picking out a blanket for each outing is also part of the ritual.

4. Toothless the stuffed dragon or Baby owl always come with us.

5. It is definitely slower going, but doesn’t feel slower. It’s sorta like running on the trails. The effort is there is just takes longer,so I still count it was a tough workout.

6. It’s a whole body workout for sure. Shoulders, back and core all get worked with the stroller. I once did 6 days straight of stroller runs when Mike was out of town, and then got a massage. During the massage I realized my back and shoulders got a massive workout that week. Ouch.

7. Give it time. I’ve listened to a lot of podcast interviews with runners who said they hated the stroller. It is super hard and awkward at first but you get used to it.

8. Three words: guilt free run. I get my run, Jasper and I spend time together, and Mike sleeps in.

9. The days I don’t run with the stroller I feel Ike I am flying!

10. In the big picture it’s a really short chunk of time that the stroller will come on runs. Jasper asks to go running. That won’t happen forever, and I’m enjoying it while I can.

Summertime Blues…

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I’ll admit to a touch of the blues since we finished vacation almost two months ago. No real reason in particular, but part of me has been yearning for less hectic days and more family time. I guess part of me was yearning for more me time, but I didn’t figure that out until this week.

Those of you with multiple kids or those who work real jobs are probably saying ” F – you, you have tons of time to yourself!” But even those of us who work European hours need time to do things we enjoy. We’ve been busier than normal lately and minus a few playdates I haven’t seen much of friends lately.

In the last couple months I’ve met friends to run one time. I’ve done about 80% of my runs with the little child who lives in my house. I love our time together and I know I’ll be sad when it ends. Last Sunday I cancelled the upteenth run with friends when Jasper woke up at 430. I spent the rest of the day grouchy and irritable. I wasn’t mad at Jasp, I wasn’t mad at Mike, but something had to give. I finally blew. I don’t need a running buddy every week, or even every other week, but sometimes I need a guaranteed, guilt free run with some friends, and a promise that someone else will watch the little child, and he won’t just sit in front of the tv. You know what? Mike agreed with me. And just like that a huge part of summertime blues went away. Funny how things work when you talk them out.

Next was part two of operation to end the summertime blues. My friend Steve and I have a ton in common but one thing we don’t is running routes. I love trails, trees, and wooded areas. He prefers downtown and city neighborhoods. I texted him that this weekend I had a pass to meet up but I needed to run somewhere pretty. I love my ‘ hood but I’ve had two months now of running loops around it and I wanted a change. He was agreeable, to somewhere pretty, so trail it is tomorrow! I’ve been looking forward to it all week.

The lesson here? I need friend time. I need to remember I don’t have a baby anymore and occasionally not dragging him along is ok. I may work less hours than they do in France, but I need my leisure time too.

Speaking of, the little child was up for 3 hours in the middle of the night with a nightmare that someone took his backpack and he kept trying to look for it. So I got 3 hours of sleep. I have a big run tomorrow on the trail, with a buddy, so it’s bed and True Blood for me!!!!

My brain hurts…

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Would be a super cute picture without Dillard’s in the background…

I am sitting here on Friday night with a 20 miler done! I had to work in my regular day off this week, so I got today off. Last night at dinner, I started thinking about doing my long run today and not have 20 miles over my head for the weekend. I love/ hate the long run as most runners do. I guess I should rephrase that as I love/ hate a solo long run. I long for the days I have a buddy training for the same race as me! But until that happens, I’ve got a lot of solo running.

Anyhow, I proposed the idea to Mike and he was all over the idea of not having to watch Jasper early on a Saturday while I was out running. He could go into work a little later, so long run it is! I originally planned on Friday off running and had done hill repeats Thursday…doh!….but I figured I could handle it.

My plan was 3 loops of my standard 6-7 mile morning loop. This is my bread and butter run that’s pretty easy, and works well if I have to take the stroller. I live in a typical older suburban neighborhood, so we aren’t talking super interesting scenery here. So I did something I don’t usually do and brought my phone and listened to a podcast for the first 13 miles. I swung by my house each loop and grabbed a new bottle of Nuun and a GU. Mike, Jasper and Pancake joined me for a 5 mile chunk and when they were done I did a quick 1.5 miles on my own and watched the Garmin beep 20. Yay me!

Ok, the good , the bad and the ugly: Good: legs were fine and I really never felt tired, and it’s not like I went into the run rested. Quite the opposite. Despite brutally hot and humid weather, I held my own and never slipped into the miseries. I also really like Mocha Cliff Shots! The bad: a little nerve pain in my right foot. Hoping its nothing. The ugly: I had a headache at the start of the run that had actually started the night before. It got worse as the run went on and then throughout the day. Despite a couple rounds of ibuprofen it just got worse as a pretty busy day went on. By late afternoon I had a full migraine as was reduced to setting Jaspy up with a movie and lying on the couch, and not turning my head or making any sudden movements. Ok, it was pretty sweet at he kept saying “mommy, I sit by you” then coming over and kissing my head, but I was seriously wasted. Finally a round of ibuprofen took the edge off and I was able to get off the couch. I’m still pretty headache-y though, and I hope it doesn’t mean I’m getting sick or that I can’t handle a long run. It’s always something, I swear!

Anyhow, Mike went out with friends which is probably for the best. I have a bed and a DVR calling my name.

Up next: a nice spin session, hopefully a run with friends, and …gasp…..a babysitter for the first time in 5 months!!!!

Epic treadmilling….

Jasper seemed so sick on Saturday night after our all day outside extravaganza, that I was expecting the worst on Sunday. He slept horribly as I expected, and woke up still feeling feverish, but after an hour or so he was completely fine and was running around. He spent the rest of the day fine and running around. Kids and their fevers are just a mystery to me. No complaints, I was so happy not to spend Sunday in the house all day camped out on the couch with a sick child.

It still made for a kinda crappy run. Jasper got up at 4:30 and since he still wasn’t 100%, I didn’t try and force him on a stroller run. I waited and played with him until about 6:00 and then woke up Mike and asked him to take over while I ran. I was super tired and just never got into a rhythm until the run was almost over, and I really couldn’t push it longer since Mike was waiting for me at home. Today Jasp woke up at 4:30 again (WTF!!!!), and since he was fine, I set him up to play video games on the ipad while I ran on the treadmill. I’ve been watching Big Love on HBO to go, and I was completely happy to knock out another episode, and I even managed a race pace run. I will confess though, as awesome as the treadmill is, I do sometimes miss epic runs. Long trail runs with wildlife sightings, and beautiful scenery. I’ve been overly confined to my neighborhood and the treadmill lately. I was reading blogs, post run while stretching and drinking coffee, and was enjoying the excellent MilePosts blog. The blogger, Dorothy, manages to make treadmill runs and stroller runs sound like epic adventures, and it is so inspiring. It dawned up me that this time in my life is about making these seemingly uninteresting runs my adventures. I love doing them and there is no shame in hopping on the treadmill at 4:45 am, and knocking out race pace miles. Yes, there are those trail running blogs where someone says something like “drove 2 hours to a local state park, put in a 6 hour run on the trails. Here are a bunch of awesome photos of the run.” But I love my little runs I’ve carved out for myself and the trails will come again someday.

In the meantime, I am thankful for really good tv shows on the ipad and my little training partner. 🙂

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Heat, pools, and the fever boy….

A leftover from vacation last month.  Double rainbow.  Not the best light, so I could not do it justice.
A leftover from vacation last month. Double rainbow. Not the best light, so I could not do it justice.

Ready for another long run day recap?  I know, I know, it just doesn’t get more exciting.  Today was “only” 14.  Still a decent amount of running, but nothing like doing 20.  I made plans to meet a couple friends and like clockwork, Jasper was up at 445.  I just don’t get that M-F I only  have a couple days he’s up that early but it never fails on a Saturday.  By now my friends are about to drop me since I flake out every weekend, so I just had to make this one.  I very guiltily left Jasper on the couch at 5 am with a milk, a snack, his blanket, his dragon stuffed animal and his ipad.  I tip toed into the the bedroom and told Mike that Jasper was out there and he could probably manage another half hour or so of sleep.  Jasper protested my leaving and I left feeling like a complete jerk…..and the feeling didn’t let up when I got home and Mike said he actually slept another hour, meaning Jasper sat alone on the couch the whole time.  Oops.

Anyhow, it’s full fledged summer and it’s ugly.  I’ve managed to make it this far without too much whining, but today was brutal with just stupid humidity.   I was glad it was a fall back week, as I don’t know if I could have done 20 today.  I was ready to be done at my 14.  BUT, the good news is I had no soreness or tiredness after.  OMG, training works!  Well sometimes at least.

After the run it was a whirlwind of eating, showering, and heading off to swimming lessons.  Hot humid room with a pool and about 50 children plus parents?  Check.  Nothing like another massive sweat session.  Next, rush to hit the tail end of a kids birthday party, outside at a splash pad.  Another round of losing all fluid reserves from my skin.  Oh yes, and I have a super, exhausted child who’s been up since 445 and who fights sleep the whole way home from the two sweatfests.  No nap.  I consider eating my arm off on the way home as I am now hangry.

Quick lunch for all and off to the pool.  More heat and sweating when not in the water.  The exhausted child slips further into exhaustion as he’s now on water activity number 3 for the day and he’s been up almost 12 hours.  He also has refused anything resembling food.

Falls asleep on the way home after two hours of swimming.  Jasp never naps this late, but we let him for a bit because he seemed so tired.  Wakes up soaked due to a pull up malfunction, and I start laundry load # 4 for the day.  Uggg.  But, the worst part?  The little exhausted child who refused to eat all day is absolutely roasting with fever.  AHHHHHH!!!!  No sick child, please!!!!!!  Too late.  He mopes on the couch and declines food and milk.  Jasper never declines milk.  At 630 he asks to turn off the tv, and asks to take a nap.  This child never voluntarily sleeps, so yep he’s sick.  I stay in his room with him until he’s asleep and I just wonder what the night will bring.  Historically sick child does not = a good night’s sleep.  I also left out the part earlier about getting woken up at 2am and not really falling back asleep.  I’m tired.

So yep, that’s how 14 miles can kick your butt.   I hear True Blood calling.  Time to relax with feet up.    Fever boy may not stay asleep long….

Boring post week…

I’ve started a gazillion posts this week and not finished them. They just seemed so boring, I couldn’t bring mself to publish them. This is pretty much a running blog and running is going along pretty routinely, but nothing too epic or exciting. I need to escape by neighborhood for some different routes. So how about some things I’ve been enjoying lately:

1. Fish tacos. We made awesome fish tacos this week. I got the recipe from food.tv.com. Tilapia is cheaper than buying chicken and it really grills up nicely. We did screw up with whole wheat tortillas for a healthier version, so sorry, for fish tacos you gotta go with corn. I definitely have a new favorite Sunday dinner….

2. Podcasts. I love listening to podcasts while I work. I mostly listen to running/ health related stuff to keep me motivated. I’ve totally been digging the Rich Roll podcast (very long interviews, which make it good for passing time at work…loved this week’s interview with the Cro-Mag’s singer). I also loved Another Mother Runner’s podcast this week full of book recommendations. Too bad I don’t read as much lately, but this is motivation for me to finish my current book and order some new ones. I could not work at a computer without podcasts!

3. Yoga core. I’ve talked before about the little 15 minute core DVD my friend Mark gave me forever ago. I’ve been committed to doing it 3-4 times a week all summer. I feel the difference by now! I am not about to post pictures of my “abs” (especially since I do not have them), but I feel much less slouchy on long runs and my hips don’t get as sore. I really recomemend that every runner find a little core routine you can manage in the evenings. It’s not much time, and while I never want to do it, once I started feeling the results, I was hooked. Those of us who are old and fragile runners have got to make sure we are doing what we need to do to keep running.

5. The fact it’s August. I love fall, especially in Austin because it’s not too cold, and it always means fall marathons 🙂 Summer has flown by thanks to swimming everyday I was off work. While we are stil two months out from fall temps, we are over the hump.

6. Sleep. Jasper has started sleeping through the night a couple nights a week. This is huge. I never thought we’d get here. It’s nice to feel rested. Last night he woke up and wanted to put on red shorts. He doesn’t have red shorts and threw a fit, but I’ll focus on the restful nights for now.

That’s about all I’ve got. It’s a drop down week in traninig for me, so nothing too big on the running front this weekend. I’m just glad it’s here (anyone else just get so tired of M-F chaos and traffic?) I’m sure you’ll find us at the pool all weekend when not running or grilling fish tacos….