One of my favorites days of the year was this week…Gear-mas. I would probably do the marathon pacing for just a tshirt, but some years we get some really sweet gear. This year was the best yet! I got an embarrassing amount of really nice Under Armour gear. Including shoes! Tomorrow is the official road test, but I have to say after wearing them around all day I am impressed. I never would have thought about Under Armour for running shoes, hence I guess the sponsoring of the pace team worked, because I really like them!
I started Jasper’s Rubik’s cube cake yesterday and finished it late this afternoon. In the future I will leave custom cakes to professionals. Notice I did not post a picture. I had good ideas, but picked too fluffy of a cake and cream cheese icing didn’t work well either. It tastes fantastic, and very obviously homemade, because the design execution looks like crap. But Jasper loved it and said “mommy, you are a like a real cooker.” (Translation: Looks like a professional baker made it). So I guess mission accomplished. I purchased these beauties for kids who are scared of my cube of multi colored icing…
And last medium long run done….let the taper begin!
I don’t have any good pictures from my week…which means a doggie picture default.
End of marathon training cycle = time to bust out new kicks. Happy they updated my old lady model with modern colors.
Hooray, final push for the marathon this weekend. I wanted one run over 20 miles. I just went over 20 by a hair, but it’s done. Felt pretty good, but got bonky at mile 15, but I’d eaten too lightly the night before for 20 miles. That’s why the marathon never gets old no matter how many I do it’s always a challenge. I didn’t do all my miles at pace, but I can check the box that it’s done. The rest of the day was a whirlwind. I had a quick shoveling of food and a shower to take Jasper to taekwondo, then a quick trip home for some more food shoveling and then off to a taekwondo tournament which took the rest of the day. Somehow I didn’t realize this and didn’t bring any snacks. For a job well done Jasper got to pick a quick treat, and instead of ice cream he wanted the next door juice bar. One $6 juice later, I was feeling human again after slowly wilting all afternoon and while I crashed hard that night, I felt like I held up pretty well after such a long run. Next weekend is a medium long run and then true taper starts. And an aside, my angel did awesome in his sparring tournament. Lots of high two point kicks. And despite the teacher’s urging, I will never try taekwondo. Sparring would not be for me.
I’ve been spending way too much time on marathonguide.com lately. Travel races are mostly a fantasy. Part of me has on my bucket list to do one of the other two biggies: New York or Chicago. One minute I swear I’ll put in for the lottery for either and them in the fall, then reality sets in that both a horribly expensive and not really justifiable. But I’m not sure how many more years of marathoning I have left. I’d like to make it to 50 marathons and I’d like to do one of the big ones. Hence my time of marathonguide.com….which if you haven’t visited it’s like Yelp for marathons and completely addictive. But I also want to run KC again in the fall and Dallas. Sigh, so many marathons, so little time.
It’s also birthday time around here. Mike’s this past weekend, Jasper’s coming up. Shhhh, don’t tell, but Jasper is getting a trampoline. I plan to stay clear of it until after marathon week…
And just like that it’s time for me to get ready for work. Today was an easy run day and it was warm enough for shorts and a long sleeve, even if quite breezy. A perfect way to start the day…now all I need is a really good latte.
Pancake has never been a cuddler, can you tell?
Another long run done! I love/ fear long run weekends. That run hangs over your head, but once done it feels glorious. I did a practice pace run with my partner and friend, Meredith. 19 miles at pace and we threw in hills. I was untapered and had put in a pretty big week, but it was a success. Huge confidence builder. Today was a nice 7 miler with Steve and then weights at the gym. The weights made me sore, but two runs with friends was awesome. Can you tell I made a New Years resolution to be more social?
The weekend was a typical one with lots of kids activities. Jasper did the slide at the indoor pool at our gym today for two hours without a break. I guess that’s his version of a long run. We also went to the cake supply shop to get a pan for his Rubik’s cube birthday cake. God help me I’m making it myself. We also got glucose for these cookies from Milkbar. I had no idea what it was but it’s sugar on steroids, and very, very thick, and I suspect a lot of commercial bakeries use it for a chewy texture. Two things: the cookies turned out to be amazing. Best chocolate cookies I’ve ever had, and going to Milkbar is on my bucket list. NYC or DC. I wish one would open here! And that’s my second New Years resolution….the explore my other interest of baking a bit more. I can’t say I love to cook, but I do like to bake. My interests tend to be spin offs from my running, so I’m aiming for some time spend doing something completely different. Can’t say I like the clean up part of baking though……
Ok, one more big push next weekend. 21 miles, Mike’s birthday and then the next weekend Jaspy turns 6!
This past weekend was the Rogue 30k. This is a great opportunity to get in some marathon prep work….aka “dress rehearsal”. I was pacing the 4:00 hour marathon pace group which is a 9:09 mile. I think I was more nervous for this one than the marathon. I was pacing solo, so nothing can go wrong, and it was forecast to be really cold. 29 degrees which is pretty cold for Texas. The one good thing is no rain and clear skies.
This race has a long history. It used to be in a suburb south of Ausitn, Buda, and I loved it then. Back county roads, and fantastic finish on the high school track with homemade food. It was also a fundraiser for the the high school. That edition ended and in the last few years this race has struggled to find itself. It’s moved around and not every location was very good. The last few years it’s been in Cedar Park, which is very close to me a once again is a fundraiser for the high school,which is very nice. The course is pretty boring, just through a suburban neighborhood, but it serves its purpose to get in some great practice for the marathon. This year’s race was riddled with issues. I won’t list them all and rant, but I hope they can get fixed and it can continue. I love the idea of having a race outside the city limit for a totally different route than all the other Austin races, I love fundraising for a local school and I love that 99% of the people in this race are using it as marathon prep so it’s more of an organized training run than a race with lots of friendly talk.
I was relieved that my pacing job went well. I was a little fast but I was so nervous about being to slow. I felt really good the whole way. I was really beat the rest of the day with some dehydration, but felt strong during the run. I had 4 people run with me the entire way, which is a good turn out. Success! And the weather wasn’t that bad. The early dark miles were cold. But once the sun was out I was very comfortable. I got a little over 19 miles at race pace which is a big confidence builder for the marathon.
And now we are one month out from the Ausitn marathon. I can’t believe it…time has flown. Can’t wait for my favorite race!
How can you discuss running without discussing food?!? Homemade pizza!!!!!
My machine in all its glory…
I had a friend leave a comment asking about treadmills, so here is my treadmill post! I think if you live somewhere with frequent bad weather or have young kids it’s an awesome investment. It’s not as much money as you would think. It’s a lot upfront but way less than a gym membership. Plus there’s always the used route. I have a Precor 9.13. It’s their entry level. I opted to put my money towards a higher end treadmill, so I don’t have any bells and whistles with it. That is fine with me, I just manually adjust for hills and different speeds. It doesn’t have speakers, so I just put my iPad on the front and watch whatever I’ve planned on to get my through the miles. It’s a pretty smooth ride and I got to used to it quickly. It’s fantastic for speedwork and a nice way to get in a shorter run. Here are a few things I’ve learned after running on it for a couple years now…
I sweat buckets inside so I’ve learned to keep a towel handy to I’m not dripping on my floor. It also can cause the room it’s in to smell like a gym, so I crack a nearby window and have the fan on. Mike got me some Beats headphones for my birthday and I never thought I’d need these but going wireless on the treadmill is so much more comfortable than being tethered to an iPad like I used to be. Highly recommended. I won’t lie that it’s not the most exciting workout to just hop on it, so I always go in with a plan of want I’m going to watch and if I’m doing a planned workout. It’s pretty easy to do an hour or so of running. Long runs get challenging. I confess that I’ve never done a 20 miler on it. I’ve done 13 as my longest. I did back to back days of 10 miles a couple times. I think the trick is being committed to a distance before you hop on.
As for entertaining a small child while I run I’ve been lucky. I use it a ton when I am solo parenting. Jasper is really good about giving me an hour and in return he gets iPad time. I just established from day one of owning it that it’s mine and he’s never allowed to play on it. If his friends come over he’s really good about telling his friends it’s mine and they cannot play on it. I realize this makes me sound very possessive, but I wanted to establish from the get go it’s not a toy. As for entertaining two kids while on it, I guess you need two iPads. 😀. I also set out kid snacks before my run. Sure I have to hop off here and there to help him but he’s pretty good about keeping interruptions minimal. And if he was a better sleeper I could probably get my whole run done before he wakes up but he usually hears it and comes out to sit with me. I get it though, that more than one kid is tricky.
So yes, I think a treadmill is a good investment. I would advise anyone thinking about it to try a workout or two at a gym first and see if you really think you’ll use it. It’s a pretty big and bulky thing to just sit untouched in a corner. Good luck to anyone thinking about getting one. It’s really my saving grace to keep me running!
These are just a few photos from the last few days. I had five glorious days off work around Christmas and we had lots of fun and family times. I rejoined the running world full time and enjoyed a few runs after 6am on my days off. I got to hit the gym more than normal which was a treat and I got a super nice yoga mat for Christmas I got to try out. This was the first Christmas Jasper was really clear about what he wanted and I feel like he’s really been enjoying his gifts. He grew his Rubik’s cube collection and got some nice display shelves. He really enjoys lining them up and displaying them. Tomorrow night we tackle thank you notes. Yikes.
And now it’s New Year’s Eve. And I’m writing a running blog. We were so busy with company and then back to work that I totally failed to make any plans. It would have been nice to have some people over to play some games or something but this morning I realized I made no plans and its sorta late. Oh well.
As for the year in running review, it pretty much went that I worked all year to get a little faster and at the final hour in December ran a marathon I was happy with….(and met Meb…giggle). I did 7 races in 2015. Three marathons, the 30k marathon prep race, a 5k, a kids race and a 10 miler. It was a good year.
I’ve also struggled a bit with maybe changing up my blog. I do it for me, and I know I have very few readers. Without doing many races and long trail runs anymore I just don’t always have a lot of personal running topics to blog about. I’ve thought about doing a more “essay” style blog to brush up my writing skills. I plan to kinda do a hybrid of both essay and personal info. I’ve had topics swirling in my head for awhile and it’s time to try them out…..but after I crash hard tonight. Long run in the morning to start the new year!