Fall!   Taper!

Well the cooler weather is finally here!   The days are still pretty warm, but comfortable.  Minus one really hot muggy  morning this week, most mornings were pretty comfortable.  Which means the last two weekends’ 21 mile runs were not misery.  

So yes, taper starts tomorrow.   It’s been a long journey and gone fast all at the same time.  Marathon training kick off was May 1!  This was my longest build up, but I think that was necessary.  Without a doubt I got faster.  Twice a week speedwork, did indeed work.  I spent longer mastering each distance so that by the time I got up to 20, I had plenty of endurance.  I have no doubt that if I stay healthy, don’t do anything stupid, and the weather is favorable, I can make my goal time in two weekends.  This Saturday was a test, 15 miles at a faster than comfort pace then 5 miles at race pace, and it went well.  I’m sure a lot of that was the fact it wasn’t 80 degrees at 5am.  I also started taking salt pills and I think it really leveled out my stomach and gels and water went down great.   I’m a little sore today, but coach said getting sore was fine.  I have almost two weeks to rebuild.  Like all runners, I hate tapering and I’m terrible at it.  But I’m going to do what he tells me, as I’ve  worked way to hard the last few months to screw it up.  I will have to remember all the mornings running on the track in the dark at a horrible hour or ricidulous intervals on the treadmill at an hour that is still considered night.  Bleh.  I love the training, but some mornings are just hard.

And in the rest of life,  the Fall slam continues.  Jaspy had ramped up to activities five times a week and we decided something had to give.  I ended up missing his activity twice in a week  because the traffic for me to get home was so insane, plus he has homework every night now, plus we were pretty much never eating real dinner.  So cub scouts got the ax.  He took it well.  He is currently so infatuated with gymnastics that he was willing to do anything to protect it.  I remained slammed with fall festival.  Once that is over,  I get a lull before Austin marathon.  Yes, despite lots of doubt I decided to pace again.  Because I need extra stress (ha!), but I really decided I’d be really sad if I gave up my spot on the team.  I’ve managed to fool them for this long that I know what I’m doing…

So that’s it until race day.  I hope it works….I plan to recount what I thought worked well and what didn’t.  Hopefully more works well!


Muggy days and 5Ks…

Lost a tooth . Permanent teeth growing behind baby teeth, aka shark teeth, aka braces in the future.
Go team old people!

I guess it’s not as hot as peak summer, but the last two weekends have involved runs in 100% humidity.  Last weekend was 20 miles with the last 20 minutes faster than race pace, I was actually cramping at the end and  spent rest of the day with a horrible headache.  My clothes weighed about 20 pounds after the run, they were so saturated with layers of sweat.  My headache was bad enough I gave in and ordered salt pills after spending most Saturday’s this summer with a headache.  Better late than never?   This weekend was an alleged cold front and a 5k.  Like most marathoners I fear 5ks.  They are way too fast and hurt the whole time.  But I’ve learned that I have to do things like this to get faster.  We had a good workout Thrusday and I felt confident until I woke up to 75 degrees and 100% humidity (that’s a cold front?). The 5k was in my neighborhood which was pretty hard to beat for convenience.  So there was just a short jog to the start and we were off.   It was myself and Maria and George (aka coach).   As expected it hurt and I didn’t quite hit my paces given the humidity but I came out of it wanting to run another.  I really want to get better and these short,  painful races are key.  We all came away with hardware, which was cool.  And  I actually won a gift certificate!  It was to a crossfit gym though, so that was promptly given away.  (Dang)

Today was just a 10 miler which you are allowed to say the last couple weeks of marathon training, even though it sounds obnoxious.  But it was brutal, and discouraging.  It was so muggy I was drenched a mile in and I spent the rest of the day with a massive hangover sensation.  From 10 stupid miles, and I took salt.  I survived much worse runs this summer with much less carnage but I guess my body is just ready for fall.

Halloween decorations are up, humidity be damned.

A test, a pilgrimage, and a 10K…

Last weekend’s attempt at inducing fall….making fall themed cookies.
First night of gymnastics. Of course he loved it and was a natural.
Voo Doo donut love…

Sooooo busy the last couple weeks.  Between hard workouts, activities, fall fest planning, and way too much work, oh yeah and getting sick, there wasn’t much breathing room.

I knew fall would be wild.  There is just so much going on, but I know have one huge thing off my list, a certification exam.   That sucker’s been on my calendar since March and I’ve been studying two night a week for the last 6 weeks or so.   Saturday was my test (250 questions, ouch).  I won’t know results for 4 weeks, but I’m just glad it’s done.   I took Jasper on a Voo Doo donuts pilgrimage later.   I am ashamed it’s been here over a year and I just now went.   I thought it was worth the hype.  The donuts are really good and I am not a donut person.   The atmosphere is super fun.  The donuts are over the top and not really something I’d want for breakfast,but they are so inexpensive it was fun to get a few crazy flavors and sample them. Only gripe….horrible location.  It’s in the middle of a bunch of bars with no where to park.   Jasper and I ended up with almost 4 miles of walking round trip.  I’ll pay to park, no problem, but I had to draw the line at $15 dollar parking for a 30 minute, $5 donut excursion.   I’ll have to figure out something better for next time.

I’ve had a few good workouts the last few weeks.  We had a 19 mile progression run that I got the pacing right for, and I didn’t feel too sore the next day.   We had mile repeats this week that were done at paces I haven’t seen in 5 years.  This morning, coach had us do a 10k race with warm up and cool down.  The race was near by, but didn’t start until 8:30.   It’s really not fall at all, because by then the heat was getting pretty intense and the completely shadeless course was an oven.   Our goal pace was 7:30.  On one hand I bombed that, 7:40s for me.   But, that is the fastest I’ve raced at in 5 years, so I don’t feel completely defeated.  Plus it was a good effort and faster than I would have run on my own.   Also this run had the 10kers plowing right into the 5k walkers on loop two so there was a ton of weaving.  I’d like to think I could have gone faster without that, but who knows?   It was good  to race for the first time in over 5 months and get the cobwebs out, before the marathon.  Plus I had some Voo Doo donuts to race off…🍩🍩🍩

Up this week, Jasper had taekwondo, gymnastics, and cub scouts, Mike has the Melvins and Dinosuar Jr to see.  I have a 20 miler.  We need more weekend time!

Farewell summer…

Cake is watching Usain Bolt…Olympic watching was awesome.  I will miss being able to watch track!

Farewell summer.  It went way to fast.  I already have a better game plan for next year.  More time off (I hope!) and some camps for Jaspy that are more fun.  The kids’ time off really does fly by.  

The last week was crazy.  I did all my runs on the treadmill including a brutal 16 mile.  It was supposed to be 19 but I timed out where I absolutely had to stop and get ready for work.  Meant to do the last three after work but running after work never happens.  Not only a mentally difficult but logistically hard.  Who wants to run at 9pm after being up since 3:30?  Yes, and last week included three 3:30am wake up days.   Like I said, it was a tough week.  I had to drive back and forth to San Antonio for work over the weekend, so I also sat in a car for a huge portion of the week.  It was a week I was happy to check the box it was over.  Now I have a certification exam I’ve been actually having to study for, and once that’s done I can focus full efforts on marathoning and the volunteer position I do with the school (aka second job).  So yes, fall is just as busy as summer!

The training is going well, I think.  Treadmill weeks are hard to tell since I set the pace ahead of time.  I’ve done a good job about embracing the off days more.  It’s been a hard transition to take off when someone else tells me, but I’m trying to follow all the rules and stay in the same schedule as my little group.   There were a couple of really hard days where I thought to myself “I better qualify after all this!”   I can proudly say I’ve been 100 % consistent on doing my track days once a week since May.  If I missed due to childcare I did the workout on the treadmill.   Been consistent with one day of weight lifting and short yoga sessions at home but yoga class has been tough to get to.  We are rejoining the Y and leaving the fancy gym due to the cost, Jasper hating the childcare, and some other reasons,  and I have access now to Mike’s work gym with a decent yoga schedule so maybe I can make it work again.  Even though the fancy gym was awesome, Jasper was much more willing to go to childcare at the Y.  And if he doesn’t want to do childcare most gym time is out.   So I’m hoping this means I can hit it up more than I currently do.

So back to school tomorrow.  I have enjoyed not having to leave the house by 7:15 this summer but the schedule starts back up.   Just a few months until Christmas break, right?

Short update…

Only pic of Six Flags, a few moments in AC playing air hockey.

This will be brief.  Summer has flown by and has been too busy.   We swam a lot, and work got too busy for all those little extra days off I wanted.   Jasper mastered a front flip off the diving board, and I took my 800 down 15 seconds.  In addition to a Disney trip, we went to Six Flags this weekend and it was BRUTAL.   Over 100 degrees with hour plus waits and no real areas to escape the heat and the food situation was a nightmare.  But Jasper and his friend LOVED it and he declared it to have the best rides.  Worth it.

I am loving the training group and am getting more used to hard-easy-hard.   The easy days are super easy and the hard days are much more intense than I was doing in the past.  We have recovery weeks that have me itching to run more and then build weeks with runs everyday.  I am loving doing something so different and really enjoy time with my new running buds.   I’ll detail it more later, but now I am off to work…..

Best Disney park and hard runs…

Hours spent this summer doing this…..

At Disney California Adventure….best Disney park!

The summer continues to fly by, and anytime I go anywhere near this blog I’m interrupted.   But my blogging would consist of “we swam!”, my workout nearly killed me!”, ” where does all the time go!”  

Last week we went on vacation to SoCal to visit family.  Jasper got to spend a lot of time with cousins all in his age range, so that was a lot of fun for him.  We also had TWO days at Disney.  Our first vaycay day everyone was at work and busy and we were on our own, and said its our money, why not do what we want to do and added an extra day at Disney.   We did California  Adventure, and I loved it.   All the best stuff from WDW in Flordia , but not spread amongst three parks, all in one.  Our top three rides were Tower of Terror, grizzly river Rapids and the Cars radiator springs ride.   I could do a huge post on how awesome I thought this park was but I’ll shorten it to just saying if you are in SoCal then do it!   The next day we did Disneyland with family and had a blast.  It was definitely more crowded than DCA though.   

So lots of walking.    It was a recovery week for the running group so that worked out great.  The morning we left I did our one hard session and was really sore on our first Disney day.  The other runs were all pretty easy and easily fit in with being out of town.  My aunt gave me really good directions to a bike path along the ocean, so I did that in 65 degrees.  Coach ordered easy pace, which I did, but I was still a little bummed I wasn’t any faster than easy pace at home despite no humidity and such mild weather.  This weekend was a really hard workout with race pace segments scattered throughout our whole long run, and I had no dinner the night before and had gotten in late.  I was also worried about the heat since I had had the last 5 days in really mild weather.  I got through it, but only due to my training partners.   We worked together with me watching pace and my buddy Rich watching time.   I love being part of this group and was really looking forward to hooking back up with them!

And back to work tomorrow.  Should be another crazy week.   I will be playing catch up and the workouts will be hard.    And there will be endless pool trips thrown in there too.   Gotta love summer…

The new, “new” pace and busy summer…

Eleven years ago (yikes, time flies) I spent the summer converting myself to an ultra runner.   Everything about running was new again as we adopted “the new pace” (slower to accommodate more miles) and practiced eating on the run, and made new friends.   As is the case with most big goals, the journey was the best part, not necessarily  the final destination.   That’s sorta the case this summer.  Except not converting into an ultra runner, but a faster runner.  There is a new pace for sure….everything is either much faster or much slower.   I’ve got a nice little group of new buddies and it’s great to have the support on the hard days.  Even thought I still do a lot of the work solo, texting friends keeps me accountable.  This week was the first time I got a big drop in my track times which was really exciting.  I haven’t done this much speed work since high school and it was nice to see it finally took me to a new gear.    I have no idea if ultimately I’ll end up that much faster, but it’s fun to have all new routes, all new running and new friends.  

Otherwise summer is insanely busy.  I have no idea how we managed during the school year, and I already fear the fall for all the things that will be going on.   I had a mini meltdown this weekend that I just need one day that isn’t go, go , go from wake up to bed time.   Maybe this weekend?   I thought summer was supposed to be lazy…

And now some go, go , go begins.   Gym, day, swimming,  groceries, and vet appointment.  At least one small thing in this house seems to have an appointment every week, hence part of the insanity.  It may be an iced coffee day…

Full blown summer…

Favorite summer treat, Sweet Caroline’s snowballs!

This week was our first week of summer break, a big build up week for running , and our first week of heat.  I quickly realized that even though I still have to work, not having a set time to get Jasper to school by does make the mornings a little more relaxed.   It’s not much, but an extra 10-15 minutes to run or have a cup of coffee feels fantastic.  I don’t think I realized how scheduled everything is during the school year.  We tried keeping Jasp home all day with me on my off day, Wednesday.  He did that before kindergarten, but we always had therapy appointments that ate up the day.   Over the school year I got very used to going to the gym and running errands all day and getting a ton done.  I told him we had to do a few errands and chores in the morning.  This week worked pretty well.  He went to the gym with me and we met up with a friend with boys his age, so he had playmates in gym childcare.   Then off to Costco where the trip only cost me a set of $10 early reader books.  If he runs errands with me it end up costing me something everytime….. Hard to argue with books though…..

So it was a big running week.   I was pretty excited that things are picking up.  I had a moderately tough track day, a marathon pace tempo run and then hills.  I also started a weight class with a gym buddy.   The gym run group was full of nice folks, but their shorter runs just weren’t helpful to marathon training so I gave it up.  A couple girls from the group got me to go to a weight class (similar to body pump) and I love it!  Every muscle group gets worked and I was sore after!  It meant giving up my yoga day and doing it another day (with not as good of a teacher), but I thought the weight class was that good.  No way could I replicate that workout on my own.  Plus I have weight lifting buddies….how cool is that?

The runs were tough as I mentioned but I am really starting to feel an extra gear kick in.  I’m doing more during the week and less on the weekend (very Hanson’s plan-ish).  I was happy with my times this week and that is pretty much never the case!  Next weekend we finally bump up the long run and I cannot wait.  

Summer is also in full swing.  Jasper had two days this week where he swam for 3 hours.  He also gets swimming at daycare and lots of outside time….this is all great but he’s been falling asleep at 7:30 and up at 4:30.   We can seem to break the  cycle because he’s playing so hard all day and tired from getting up at 4:30.   Can’t say I don’t mind the evening time but was irked this morning when he was up at 4:45 I was didn’t need to get up until 6:00, which is my sleeping in.   Sigh…..

And yes, snowballs!   It’s finally hot enough.  It has to be really hot for me to get a massive cup of ice but we are there!

And so it begins…

Summer kicked off this week and I cannot believe I have no pictures….so you get DaVinci.  Jasper had his last day of school and I was able to leave work early to make it to their party.  We’ve already started endless swimming once the rain let up.  It rained everyday last week a ton.  Jasp and I are compiling a list of Pinterest crafts and desserts we want to make this summer.  If ever there was time to be envious of teachers….I wish I had summer off!  We have so many things planned!

This was a down week on the running schedule.   There were two workouts but they weren’t too hard.   The challenge this week was two days of 3:30 am wake ups for our conference at work.  I had to shuffle the schedule some and actually did a workout one of the days, waking up up just a little earlier.   I’m glad it’s done.  That is about my waking up early limit.  Combined with all the end of school activities, I was glad it was a down week.  I was pretty tired.  Today I ran alone and I feel like my “easy” pace is starting to pick up after a month of 2-3 consistent speed days a week.  This week is supposed to pick up miles and I’m excited.  I’m ready to feel like fall marathon training is really happening.  

Autism speaks 1 mile run…aka get this kid some intervals, quick!

Proud finisher.

Free climbing in rock climbing class

Yesterday was the Autism Speaks 8k/ kids run.  I signed Jasper up for the kids run.   A friend was on the board of this event and we mainly did it to support her and give money to a good cause.  I was registered to race, but as I’ve learned in the past, it’s better to sometimes just focus on the kids run and not stress about warming up, etc with a kid in tow.  I ran my groups 10 mile hill route the day before and had to work pretty hard to keep the guys in sight so I wouldn’t make a wrong turn.  Woke up at 4:15 to get in a treadmill run before the kids run and it was raining….which ended up scaring away a lot of runners.  I had some friends there and it was so small I easily could have raced while they watched Jasp.  Dang it….plus there was nice gift cards for prizes that normally I wouldn’t be in contention for.   BUT, it was fun to cheer on my friends who did race and have a stress free morning!  Jasp totally rocked the kids run.  This was the first run he didn’t cling to me and sorta walk most of it.  He shot out at the start and I couldn’t keep up with him and he ran just about the whole way.  I was amazed how he transformed into such a little runner in less than a year.  It was a great confidence builder for him as he suffers from a little underconfidence.  The low turn out meant lots of time at the kids post race events.   After finally  showering 6 hours or so after I woke up, Jasp and I went and saw Angry Birds.  So many good looking kids movies coming out this summer…I can’t wait!

Today woke up to pouring rain.  It’s supposed to rain everyday this week, and I hated to bail on a run.   Tried to cancel with Steve but couldn’t reach him which was for the best because as he arrived it was light drizzle and we made it through the whole run.   Took Jasp to a trampoline place since it was pouring by mid morning, plus he’d been up since 4am, so go figure that he was bored by 9am. (An aside….I still cannot believe that he regularly gets up at 4:00).    Then he played with neighbors and swam in their pool the rest of the day.  He’ll be tired tonight.   And this is the last week of school.   We are so ready for summer!