Tuesday, July 29, 2014

RnR Chicago 5K

I am sure it has become no secret that I am obsessed with all things running. Obviously this includes my beloved Oiselle, who has allowed me to be a part of an amazing group of women for the last year, and I am just beginning to kick off my second year of racing with them.
Plus I love to run with Olympians. So far, prior to this past weekend, I had run with Ryan Hall in the Flying Pig 10K. And I had forgotten, but in 2012 when I ran in Vegas, I also ran with Meb. He paced the 1:30 half marathon group. Maybe one day I will actually be able to run in his pace group, but still, I call this racing with Olympians. This past weekend in Chicago, I was able to add another to that list.


She ran the 5K on Saturday at the RnR Chicago, which I ran (can't say raced, as it certainly was not, even for me) after the Billy Joel concert. She ran it as a shakeout (I assume) to get ready for the half on Sunday (which she won!). I met her briefly following the race before she took off running (I assume 3.1 miles is not a sufficient shake out run for an athlete of her caliber).

But then I looked at the race results. I was 14th woman overall (there were not age groups for the Saturday race) out of 737 (top 2% sounds like success in my book!) and definitely was not anywhere near a PR pace, but honestly, it had been a pretty long day on Friday. I was in the car for just over 5 hours getting to Chicago, we drank a decent amount during the day at Revolution Brewing and at dinner with some friends, we went to a concert, we hiked all over Wrigleyville trying to get away from the huge crowds to find a car (we ended up on a train), and we did not get back to the hotel until after midnight.

My legs had no interest in moving that morning. I ran about 2 miles as a warm up (plus a little walking) and I just could not get things moving the way that I wanted. It took all the way until the end of the race (we ran all along the lakefront path) for them to move the way that I like them to move and feeling like things were going quickly enough. But I still got the race run, and for that, I was happy.

And something else? Something super motivating about it?
I finished right after Shalane. Granted, she was running this as a shakeout prior to the half (which she WON!) and I am guessing she ran a few more miles after this, but still. I pretty much paced with an Olympian. And that is awesome.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Marathon Training: Week 8 of 20

Another week has come and gone, I am through 8 weeks of training for marathon number 2, the redemption marathon, with only 12 more weeks to go. That is less than three months. My first 20 miler is about a month away (I think I am going to try for 2 of them this cycle). And things are sneaking up on me quickly. I have my first run of OVER half marathon distance since Addie was born (I have run 2 halfs, and done 12-13 a few times) next weekend, and things are quickly growing in distance.
Columbus is hopefully going to be a bit of redemption for me, since this is the marathon that broke my heart two years ago. I am more mentally prepared, I think, than I was before. I honestly think that going into Columbus in 2012 I was mentally burnt out after the Flying Pig in the spring, and that had more impact on me than any injury. I went into that race being Debbie Downer, I think. But this time, I am focused on being as mentally ready as I am physically ready.

So let's look at another week of training.
Monday: Crosstraining. Walked 2.09 miles in a half hour (needed this day after all of the time in the car!)
Tuesday: 7 miles before work. easy pace - 9:01 average
Wednesday: strength workout
Thursday: 6 miles easy pace - 9:08 average
Friday: 6.7 miles, run in the old neighborhood. 8:50 average pace
Saturday: 12 miles, 9:08 pace. 8 miles on treadmill, 4 outside.
Sunday: rest day

34.81 total miles, 1 day cross training, 1 day strength

Overall, a good week!

Friday, July 25, 2014

time flies + need for clarity

I am struggling with the fact that it is the 25th of July. Seriously. How did it get to be late July already? Not only that, but I will have a 1 year old in two weeks (two weeks from tomorrow to be specific)! How did all of this happen? Not only that, but little Miss Almost One is battling bedtime, last night with Daddy.
Yep, she is supposed to be sleeping, and yes, she looks exhausted, but there she is, standing up and grinning at her Daddy. You can't necessarily see the grin behind that bink (omg, I HATE to think about taking it away from her, but it is coming...), but look at her eyes. You can tell.

My whole balanced life thing definitely seems to be struggling these days. Work is on the front burner all the time, and not much else is. Obviously, when I am home, Addie is, but that just is not enough. I need more time to play with her and enjoy her. I need time to hang out and do things with her. We need more pool time. Parks. Walks. Outside yard playing. Everything that we don't get time for now. Also the zoo sounds like it could be a blast. Especially now that she is interested in EVERYTHING.

And those are just the things I want to do with Addie. It is just that weekends are so crammed with running for me, naps for Addie (seriously. Girl takes like a 3 hour nap most weekend mornings), and golf for J, plus cleaning, errands, etc, that we do not do any of the fun things that we would enjoy doing. We need to set our priorities differently and really do more fun.

So that kind of gets me thinking. Maybe I really need to change. Not just how I feel about work or my family or the time we spend together, but maybe I really need to spend some significant time setting some goals around how I truly want my life to look. At some point in time, I really need to take the time to figure that out. It has not been easy to even think about, much less make happen because that lack of balance is ever present.

I have wanted this blog to focus on a healthy and balanced life. That balance comes in every form. So I guess since I have put that out there, I suppose it is time for me to make a list and look at the different aspects of my life I need to figure out. So, in no particular order...
1. Work
2. Family (Addie, doggies)
3. Relationship (me + J)
4. self
5. health

So, that is a solid list, and obviously there are lots of intricacies to it, and some areas that overlap with others (there is a seriously argument to be made that self & health can definitely go together since running fits in both categories).

Are you in the same boat as I am? How do you create balance in your life? What tips do you have for me as I finally REALLY focus on this endeavor?

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Squeezing in a Workout

In an effort to get back to blogging in a more successful manner, I am trying to get another update written today (two days after I wrote my last update! Wow!) However, there is no telling how that might go. I am certainly hoping to put up the effort, as I have really been trying to make a push to keep this little part of my life off the ground and successful, then I have days (ok, sometimes even a full week!) where I don't get any updates out there. I hate that. But regardless, life/my job tends to be overwhelming sometimes, and I need to deal with that as it comes.

So on the workout front, things have been going pretty well. Yesterday I skipped a run. I was planning on it, I packed my gym clothes and brought them to work with me, it just did not work out this time. It was raining and work got in the way. But I tried not to let that stop me. Last night, when I got home, I did a solid strength routine that left me feeling tired.
I only did it one time, but it might be a good workout if you do it multiple times as well. Typically if I was doing a strength workout, I might do 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps and have some rest time, etc. This was just 1 big set of 35-ish reps, so I would say it might be similar, and I took no rest.

Working out at home FTW!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Marathon Training: Week 6 and 7 of 20

7 weeks down, 13 to go. We are down to double digit days left until the marathon. That is hard to believe. Oh yes, it is OFFICIAL. I am registered now for my fall marathon.
So, it is a done deal. Finally. On October 19, I will toe the line in Columbus, reaching for the moon. I am pretty excited.

And through 7 weeks of training, I am still generally motivated to keep plugging forward. I have had a few miserable workouts, especially over this past week, that I am proud of myself for getting through, and that generally makes me even happier to get through them and to continue to be motivated to keep on running and training.

It has been a rather long and extremely busy two weeks. My overall mileage has been on par with where it needs to be, however, with some vacations, I admittedly walked a decent chunk of the mileage. At least I had built this vacation into my schedule, so I actually RAN the miles that I was supposed to run. That is a victory, right?

So let's do a recap of the last two weeks of workouts.
Week of July 7 -
Monday: 5 mile run, 1 mile walk HOT outside
Tuesday: 2.5 miles walked around the mall carrying an 18 lb baby (ugh)
Wednesday: 6 mile stroller run, 1.5 mile walk
Thursday: rest
Friday: 6.5 mile run
Saturday: 12 mile run
Sunday 2.6 mile walk
Total mileage: 37.1 miles, two days of XT

Week of July 14 -
Monday: strength. legs and core, 25 minutes
Tuesday: 6 miles, speedwork
Wednesday: 5 miles, maintenance pace
Thursday: 5 miles, maintenance pace
Friday: 2.5 mile walk
Saturday: 5K race, 3 mile jog (wu, cd) 6 miles walked
Sunday: rest
Total mileage: 30.5 miles, 1 strength, 2 XT

Overall, I think I had two solid weeks.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Friday, Finally

Well, this was another week that sort of felt like a short one. I worked from home one day because of Addie's ear infection. Granted, I still ended up with pretty much a full day of work that day, but it was kind of nice to get time at home with the little lady and get a later morning (8:30-ish) run in.

Regardless of any of that, I am relieved to have made it to Friday yet again. These days, getting all the way to Friday can feel like a pretty major accomplishment. Do any other moms with full time jobs (even if your full time job is being a mom?) feel like this?

Every other Friday at the office is particularly awesome these days. Today was one of those Fridays. We have a "chill-n-grill" where we bbq in the parking lot and then enjoy lunch together and teams take turns to host the event. Finance went a few chill n grills ago, and today it was hosted by the marketing team. After logging a little over six miles at lunch, it was nice to come back and not think about what I was going to eat. I had a burger, some sweet potato chips, and a whole lot of fruit. I am working hard at the office to set an example of balance to my coworkers who are currently engaged in a team biggest loser competition.

I ended up covering about 6.5 miles (despite a garmin death) on my pre lunch run. I had been in a super long meeting in the morning which basically increased my very serious NEED to get a decent lunch run in. I suppose that can happen to anyone right?

Does work stress you out to the point of NEEDING to run? If you don't run, have you considered it as a way to deal with the stress?

Thursday, July 10, 2014

A Stroller Run

So yesterday, Addie was home from school, AGAIN. She is dealing with yet another ear infection. This is the third for my little 11 month old nugget. If we go back at her 1 year appointment and she still has fluid, there is a pretty good chance (I am calling it 95%) we are going to go the tube route. I have officially decided I am ok with that, even though it means surgery for my little nugget. My mom helped me to get to that point by telling me about my little brother's experience and how it was like night and day for him. He could hear better, no more pain, and no more ear infections.  So if that can happen for Miss A, I am game.

I guess it is, what it is, for right now. I mean, it is difficult for me to work from home, but I do not really have a choice. So I plugged away for the day. I got everything set up for the morning before Addie was awake and started plugging away at my work. This was about 6:15 am. She was up and ready to go by 6:30. Sigh. I have an early riser, don't I?

She played by herself, allowing me to get a solid two hours worth of work. And then we decided to head out for a run. I took the stroller out, with plans to get a decent run.

Admittedly, I am not super great or enthusiastic about running with the stroller. I just think it is HARD and therefore, I am not a huge fan.

But this went well. Here were the splits.
Mile 1: 9:38
Mile 2: 9:05
Mile 3: 9:04
Mile 4: 8:53
Mile 5: 8:57
Mile 6: 9:12

So there are a few things about this. It is the longest run I have ever done with the stroller by 2 miles! And at a 9:05 average pace, it was probably about 30-40 seconds faster per mile than my fastest run with the stroller (which was a 5K, by the way). So I guess in some ways, I need to consider this run a HUGE success? I am trying to remember that for sure.