Early Morning Running Success Continues

One week of early morning running in the books!  I was up at 5:30 again on Thursday and this morning (Saturday) at 5:00.  I can’t believe how well it’s gone.  It’s been so incredibly nice to have a break from the heat and humidity.  Moving runs to the morning has also helped me stick to my training plan without having to go crazy rescheduling everything.  I’ve also been sleeping better – finally!  I just need to find a way to keep it going now.

View from today's 10+ mile run at about 6 am this morning.  That wood bridge is actually on some sort of pontoon system - challenging to run across (almost made me "seasick"!).

View from today’s 10+ mile run at about 6 am this morning. That wood bridge is actually on some sort of pontoon system – challenging to run across (almost made me “seasick”!).

I’ve also been really making an effort to eat more fruits and vegetables.  I read or heard somewhere that runners eat a lot of fruit.  So that’s what I’m doing.  No other logic really but I’ve felt more healthy this week.

Do you run early?  What keeps you motivated to keep it up?  How do you wake up before the sun day in and day out to lace up and get out there?

In other news, here’s a little video on this week’s paddling club outing.

And of course I can’t leave out the weekly marathon training update.

What are you up to this weekend? 🙂

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The Early Runner Gets the Sprinkler

While my tagline for this blog is “wake up, lace up, show up”, for me this mostly applies to race day.   I truly believe that a big part of being successful in anything is making the effort to just be there.  When the alarm goes off early in the morning on race day, wake up, lace up, show up has been my mantra.  Basically – just get yourself out the door and you’ll be fine.

However, this has not been my mantra for training.  I train whenever I can get it in.  I’ve assumed that as long as I get the run in at some point, I’ll be fine.  I am usually up late studying or getting my stuff/my kids stuff ready for the next day until 11:00 pm or midnight, occasionally 1:00 am these days.  I need to be up by at least 6:00 or 6:30 to get ready for my day.  The few times I’ve tried to get up early to run, I’m just too dog tired or don’t feel like it.  I also have this nagging feeling that I’ll be too sluggish to really put in a good effort and I’ll just dial in the workout instead of giving it everything I’ve got as I do with my evening or lunchtime runs.

That said, I’ve had some issues come up that have been problematic with my evening runs and the blaring facts point to switching to morning running.  So here’s the situation with the evening runs…

  1. Trouble sleeping: I’m having trouble with insomnia lately.  Just can’t fall asleep.  It’s hard to calm down by 11:00 when I may have just come home from a 45 minute run at 10:00 pm.
  2. Scheduling: Additional evening activities (golf/kayaking/kids lacrosse) are taking away from my running time so I run either super late or move my workout or scramble to finish homework at the last minute on Sunday or all of the above.
  3. Weather: It’s getting hotter.  Even in Minnesota.  My runs this weekend were brutally difficult, made worse by the blaring sun, even in the evening hours.

All of this smacked me in the face yesterday afternoon.  I looked at my husband and said “I have to start running in the mornings”.  To which he said “Good luck”.  I told him I wasn’t sure how I was going to do it and proceeded to whine and complain about waking up early.  He said “Just do it.  Put out your stuff the night before and go before your brain even registers you’re outside.”  I figured this is all easy enough for Mr.Snooze-55-times to say but whatever, maybe it’s worth trying.

My alarm this morning went off at 5:30 am.  I didn’t hit snooze.  I got up, got a drink of water.  I wanted to go back to bed but I didn’t.  I put my stuff out and went outside.  I have to say, I felt great.  It was one of my best runs I’ve had this month.  It was another speed interval workout and I was able to hit all of the intervals without issue.  The sun was just coming up and the air was cool.  As an added bonus toward the end of the run when things started to heat up, I got an unanticipated treat – sprinklers!  Getting a nice mist when you’re pouring sweat is a pretty sweet little bonus.

I was home in time to get in a half a banana and a protein shake before my shower.  I also have the luxury of knowing that this evening I have golf lessons with my boys, then some homework and plenty of time to relax with the hubs.  No 15 minutes changing, half hour running, 15 minute shower and recover.  I actually kind of hate how well this went because it means I probably need to make the effort to get out there early on a more regular basis. 🙂  Operation wake up, lace up, show up continues this week.  Stay tuned!

6-23 run

New Stuff!

Who doesn’t love new stuff?  I know I certainly do. 🙂  It’s been a week of new things both activity-wise and stuff wise.  I started golf lessons for the first time this week and also went kayaking for the first time this week.  Kayaking is pretty darn fun but I’m not sure if I like it more than stand up paddle boarding yet.  I have yet to get the board out this summer but it’s early yet. 🙂

To support said new-found hobbies my super supportive hubby bought me some new starter golf clubs and I also invested (I use the word invested because it makes it sound less frivolous) in some water sandals for kayaking and canoeing this summer.IMG_0612

I’m taking the golf lessons with my two boys which has been really fun.  We’re all learning together!  My husband already plays so he was eager to get the rest of us started.  Turns out golf is super complicated.  So far there just seem to be a lot of rules on how to swing the club and then also game etiquette but I’m enjoying it and think it will be a fun family activity.

I actually tried kayaking as part of a weekly paddle club my friend and I joined that started this week.  It alternates between kayaking, canoeing and paddle boarding every Thursday.  Automatic cross training – yay!  I meant to take some pictures or video of the kayaking but was nervous about the water factor.  I may get braver and bring the go-pro with it’s waterproof armor at some point though.

In other news… here is this week’s video update.  Tonight’s run was AWFUL!  I haven’t had such a bad run in a long time.  The heat and humidity also took a toll but I will be back out there tomorrow.  Marathon training must go on.

Race Recap: Blair’s Balloons for Hope 5K (w/video)

My kids have been asking me to take them to run a 5K for the past few months.  I ran this same 5K last year and when I got an email on Thursday about last minute registration for 2015’s race I realized it would be the perfect first 5K to run as a family.  I remembered the post race snacks were great, it didn’t start too early (that would appeal to the hubs), and there is a medal at the end which is pretty rare for a 5K.

Here’s the video of our race!

We got up bright and early, had some biscuits and jam and headed over to packet pickup before the race.  Packet pickup was perfectly smooth, no lines and very well organized.

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The race started right on time at 10:00 am and we were off!  My 7 year old took off sprinting and my husband jogged after him leaving my 9 year old and I to walk jog together.  We did an easy jog the first half mile and then started taking walk breaks.  We had some tough moments but got into a groove after a few minutes.  He agreed to run on the downhills and past any volunteers.  I can’t tell you how proud of him I was.  He was a real trooper and did a great job jogging when it counted.  Afterwards we had some post race snacks included bagels, cookies, coffee cake, bananas, and full size water bottles.

We had a great time and got some great pics!

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And before I forget – here’s a quick update on the marathon training.

How was your weekend? 🙂

And Then it Hit Me… Literally

Well, it’s been a weird day.

A really weird day.  Forgot my gym bag – weird.  Had a doughnut for breakfast – weird.  Was in a car accident (everyone’s okay) – weirder.  Saw an albino squirrel – weirder still.

Because it’s been a weird day, let me recap with a weird-for-this-blog style of writing.  Who doesn’t like a short story, fiction style?


 

Beth stamped approval on the last file for the day, stacked her papers neatly, snapped her laptop shut and tucked it neatly into her rolling briefcase.  She clicked the light off and locked her door.  It was Friday and had been a long week at the office.  She waved goodbye to her co-workers with a “have a nice weekend!”.

In her car, she turned on her latest audio book and pulled out of the parking lot.  Her nine year old son would already be at a sleepover party tonight but she was excited to go out to eat with her husband Lou and younger son Cam, who had just turned 7 last month.  He had been begging to eat at a Chinese buffet all week and since his brother was at a sleepover she had a feeling her husband would acquiesce, even though he hated buffets.

Beth pulled onto the interstate that lead toward home.  Lou would beat her home today so she wasn’t in a hurry.  Most days she was in a rush to make it to the after school program in time to pick up the boys.  She would normally ride the left lane until the very last moment before switching into the right with an apologetic wave to the car behind her.   But today was different.  She merged into the right hand lane a full 2 miles earlier than absolutely necessary.  After all, the book she was listening to was intriguing and it would be nice to get in a few more minutes anyway.

Shortly after merging into the lane, the car in front of her slammed on the breaks coming to a complete stop.  Beth checked the rear view mirror and noticed the car behind her was definitely not taking the same precautions.  Damn.  She braced herself for what she thought would be a minor bump.  BANG!  There was a violent crash, the car shook and lurched.  This was not the small tap she had expected.  Damn it.  She thought as she turned off her audio book and got out to assess the damage.

Beth was irritated and frustrated.  Was this driver not paying attention?  Why were they so close?  Did they not see everyone was stopping?IMG_0487

The other driver got out of her car as well, a petite blonde at least 10 years younger than Beth… and very much freaking out.  This other driver was clearly shaken.  “I’m so sorry, I’ve never done this before, I don’t know what to do” the other driver repeated several times.

Oh for heaven’s sake, thought Beth.  Her long week, just been hit by a stranger irritation and anger dissolved.  Beth asked if the girl was alright – she was.  Beth explained the process and called the police for the accident report.  They exchanged insurance information and Beth suggested they wait in their cars for the officer to arrive to stay out of the road.  Beth sat in her car and texted Lou she would be a bit late.  “Do you need me to come over there?” he had texted back.  “No, I’m fine.  Car is drive-able and everyone is okay.”

As Beth sat in her car she realized she didn’t know when she had turned into the responsible grown up.  She had a flash back and remembered running a red light at age 17 and completely losing it.  She had been beside herself blubbering and crying.  She remembered she couldn’t figure out how to use the payphone at a nearby diner to even call her parents let alone the authorities.  When had she turned into the calm collected adult who knows how to handle this stuff?  At some point between 17 and 32 she’d acquired the ability to rationally handle a fender bender.  It’s not one of those skills you take a class on, go to school for, or read about.  It just sort of sneaks up on you.  She realized it’s nice when you notice these moments and appreciate them.  What else does one do while they’re stuck on the side of the road with a busted up fender waiting for the police to arrive?  Play Words with Friends on your iPhone?  She did that too.

Later that evening Beth went for a run and saw a white squirrel.  The end.


 

Yup, that’s all I got.  Hey, there’s a reason I’m not a professional writer.  🙂

Here is a picture I tried to take of the squirrel but it was too high up to really get him.IMG_0492

In other news – I can’t get MapMyRun to work with my Apple watch!  Grr.  I’m experimenting with Strava and Nike Apps.  Will keep you posted.

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Hope everyone had a great week!

Have you ever had one of those “how did I even get here?” moments?  

Have you ever thought about what you would tell your younger self if you could go back in time?

Running Long on the Treadmill without Losing your Sanity

My husband has been out of town this weekend for so I wasn’t able to get in my normal long run outside.  I was faced with the following choices:  skip the long run, move the long run, or get it in on the treadmill.  All of these sounded terrible so I considered the one that would help my training plan the most – the treadmill.

The cons of treadmill workouts are many:

  1. It’s boring.
  2. No fresh air.
  3. It’s boring.
  4. No sense of adventure.
  5. It’s boring.
  6. No natural hills.
  7. It’s boring.
  8. Nothing to look at… and it’s boring.

There are some pros though as well:

  1. Convenience to home amenities.
  2. You can “bring” more stuff than you could outside – food, fluids, band-aids, technology, etc.
  3. …. alright I just have those 2.

But sometimes you just *have* to do it!  Here is a short video I put together to sum up how I execute a long run on the treadmill when there aren’t other options.

I also filmed a short video recap of my week’s training. 🙂  Hope everyone is having a great week!  Have you ever had to run long on the treadmill?  How did it go?  Would you do it again?

 

Happy National Running Day!

What a cool day.  I’ve loved watching my twitter feed blow up with running stuff all day. 🙂  I got in 2.3 miles myself this evening.  We’ve had crazy thunder storms in my area of Minnesota all day today but I finished my 7 max pace sprints on the treadmill followed by some strength training.  I am pooped!  I’ve somehow been able to get through all of my planned workouts this week, even with the recovery issue.  IMG_0439

Happy National Running Day!IMG_0438