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

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?

One Lovely Blog Award (with video)

Thank you Alison of MostlyHealthyLiving for nominating me for the One Lovely Blog Award!  I was so flattered you thought of me for this recognition.

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To quote Alison’s quote from her nominator Eat2Health Blog: “This award is another friendly way of getting to know your fellow bloggers whilst helping to give your blog supportive and mainstream exposure, and of course some recognition for all of your hard work!”

The recipient’s participation is to then disclose 7 things about them and nominate 15 other bloggers.  I’m happy to play along so here we go! 🙂

  1. I love 80’s music.  When it’s treadmill time I flip on Pandora’s 80’s Cardio playlist and am good to go.
  2. I love sandwiches.  Quite a bit.  Also my favorite post-race food.  If someone suggests eating something else after a race I get sad.
  3. I have a really unique sneeze.  I have never sneezed around someone for the first time without a comment on it.  Not sure if I should feel proud or self conscious of that…
  4. I like to use smiley faces as much as I can in any digital interaction – email, texting, tweeting, even here.  I try to not use them but feel like it makes my tone too serious. 🙂 🙂 🙂
  5. I really love making dinner and eating at home.  Like many of us, my hubby and I are on the go so much with full time jobs, kids activities, my grad work and marathon training, his hockey that we often eat fast food for dinner or grab something that can pack easily.  It’s so nice to spend time cooking and eating a real meal.
  6. In my teen years I liked to dress up in period costume and participate in civil war reenactments.
  7. As a kid I was home schooled.  I also composed music, sketched, bred finches, and collected stamps for fun.  (I was super popular.) 🙂

And my nominees for the One Lovely Blog Award are below!  I have truly enjoyed reading all of the blogs I’ve listed and highly recommend you check them out.  Looks like Alison and I ‘run’ in the same circles so some of you were already nominated by MostlyHealthyLiving too.  Double nominations for you! 🙂

Don’t feel obligated to participate if you’re not feeling up to it but I would love to read your blog posts on this and learn even more about you. 🙂

  1. Run with Faust
  2. Pirate Bobcat
  3. Live Slim
  4. Piper’s Run
  5. Slacker Runner
  6. Runs on Syrup
  7. Tangent Media
  8. Miss Adventures in Running
  9. See Sebby Run
  10. The Tipsy Runner
  11. Running in Paradise
  12. Dashafitness
  13. Darlin’ Rae
  14. Destination: Minneapolis
  15. Chronicles of a SAHM

In closing, here is a video I shot of my training run on Monday while messing around with the GoPro.

And a little teaser for my upcoming race recap of the Lebanon 10K Trail Race I participated in yesterday. 🙂  Let’s just say there was some mud involved.
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Ready to Start Marathon Training! (with video)

 

IMG_0259Took this video after running 7.5 miles yesterday!  No more build up or base building!  Time to get started on actual marathon training!  I’m so happy to start my first speed work session on Tuesday.  Six months ago I decided to run a marathon and have been working on increasing my time in the sneakers.  Seven weeks ago I picked up the Gipis training plan for my marathon.  I chose it because it is really customized with realistic goals, which I like.  You plug in info about you and current level of fitness with your goal distance and race date.  It gives you an estimated finish time and training plan to get there.  Mine estimates I can finish in about 4 hours and 30 minutes (which was my super stretch goal) if I stick to the plan.  So far so good – I haven’t missed a single one.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!  My boys have been spoiling me all day with brunch and gifts.  🙂  Love them so much.

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Fun flashback from Timehop – today two years ago I ran my first race ever.

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Having it All vs. Doing it All

I’ve never no-showed a race.  In fact, I rarely ever no-show anything at all.  If I say I will do something, I do it.  If I say I will be somewhere, I’m there.  If I register for it, I show up and run.  Until this weekend.  A few months ago I registered for the Get in Gear 10k.  Later my husband let me know that our 8 year old would have a hockey tournament – we just didn’t know what time of day.  A couple weeks ago, in looking at my training plan realized that it called for an 8 mile run that day.  It doesn’t take a genius to realize that 6 miles is not quite 8 miles.  I decided to change my distance for Get in Gear to the half marathon.  A few days ago we found out my son had two big tournament games the day of Get in Gear (yesterday).  One at 8:15 am and another at 1:15 pm.  The race was scheduled for 9:00 am.  No way to do both.  I would be lying if I said I didn’t even consider skipping the hockey tournament.  It was extremely tempting.  I really enjoy race days, they are the best.  Sitting in a cold ice arena for hours is not always super fun.  It crossed my mind but in the end I knew I needed to be there for him.  When there’s a conflict – the Mom card trumps all.  I got my first Did Not Start (or DNS in the running world).  Kind of a bummer but I don’t regret it.  I didn’t skip it because I forgot or slept late or was feeling lazy.  I skipped it because my guy needed me.  And he did.  The first game of the tournament was a shut out, 0 to 10.  The second was another loss at 1 to 10.  He was super disapointed and I would have felt even worse if I hadn’t been there to give hugs and encouragement.

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Sometimes having it all doesn’t mean doing it all.  Sometimes the kitchen doesn’t get cleaned.  Sometimes that last minute email gets answered the next day.  Sometimes grad homework is turned in at the last minute (like this week!).  And sometimes a DNS happens.  That’s life as a parent.  We sacrifice our own wants for our kids’ well being and happiness and it’s okay (and encouraged!) to give ourselves room to do that guilt free.

But it doesn’t have to be a total sacrifice.  I skipped the race and am very glad I did.  I gave up the half marathon but didn’t give up my training.  It would have been easy to just say ‘oh well, that’s that, wasn’t meant to be’.  But I still had those 8 miles on my training 8 mile trail trainingplan so I cranked out them out on some trials.  (This trail stuff is growing on me although we ran into several harmless but startling snakes which I didn’t appreciate.)  Had a great workout with a good friend in spite of the scheduling issues.

Sidebar: Looking for some feedback!  I have been watching YouTube videos lately for running, workout and training tips.  Playing around with the idea of doing some video blogging of my own.  Thoughts?  Good idea?  Silly idea?  Have you tried it or have any tips?  Would welcome any comments. 🙂

Sister of the Year

What a great, awesome, fantastic, amazing, super-fun long weekend!  My sister (I’ll call her Pan because I can :P) lives super far away from me on the east coast but was able to take a few days to visit me all the way out here in Minnesota this weekend as her 2014 Christmas present from her hubs (totally felt like MY present too!).  We were lamenting today as she was heading out that we wished we took more pictures or did a better job documenting her time here.  We just generally spent the weekend enjoying ourselves instead of hamming it up in with selfies and facebook check-ins.  Which was a LOT of fun but now I wish we’d done more hamming!  So before I forget how awesome our weekend was I’m going to save it here instead.

Her flight was a bit delayed but she made it in more or less on schedule on Thursday.  I happened to be just getting to the airport as she got her checked baggage (super lucky, that never happens!).  Picked her up, she hadn’t had dinner yet so I fed her some left overs (sister of the year right here folks).

Friday we went grabbed some coffee at carribou, dropped my dog off at the groomer, then headed down to the city in search of some cronuts since neither of us had an opportunity to try them yet elsewhere.  Cronuts were super delicious!  Not what I was expecting but yummy.  I would say better than a croissant, but not as good as a doughnut, in my opinion.  After that we went to Panera Bread for some real food.  Pan also needed to get some productive stuff done and I needed to work on homework so we hung out there for a bit before heading back up to my suburb.  Got back to the house and caught up on a bunch of stuff – laundry, car wash, picked up the dog (See?  I’m building my case for sister of the year here).  Next we picked up the kids, took them to see the new live action Cinderella flick before finishing the day with dinner at our favorite pizza joint and some Pictionary at home.  (Hubby was at the Wild game.)

Saturday I hit the pavement with a 35 minute run in the morning.  Finally, after years of searching I found the perfect 5k loop through my neighborhood.  No busy intersections.  Virtually no overlapping and half of it is through the bike trails to get a change of scenery.  The route starts at my front door and ends at 3 miles right back at my house.  1mappicOnce everyone was up and at ’em, Pan and I ran to Target (not for the last time this weekend) for syrup and other breakfast essentials and made a big brunch with my hubby and kids.  Spent some time doing some leisure reading and hanging out then decided to go to liquor store  to grab a bottle (or three) of wine.  My 6 year old was with us and wanted to go to Target (Target run #2)  where Pan indulged him with a science kit.  In the afternoon we all went to see the Huck Fin play at the Children’s Theater.  The acting was terrific and the whole family enjoyed it.  Had some all you can eat sushi for dinner with cupcake for dessert.  Oh my goodness, so much eating but also so much fun!  Pan and I wrapped up the evening with a couple glasses of wine while working on a puzzle of Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow. (After spending over an hour trying to figure out where this nostril goes and where that chin hair goes I will never look at the man the same way again.)  One of my favorite parts of the weekend.  It was really wonderful to just relax and catch up.  I really wish we could have more time like that (love you Pan!).

Sunday we slept in before going to a nice brunch out.  Pan helped the boys make slime from the science kit.  (I let her have this as special time with my kids and didn’t intervene on their slime time. Yup, sill going for sister of the year.  :D)  Later we went to Target (Target visit #3) to pick up a present before going to the birthday party for said present.  Had a great time at the party visiting with friends.

Throughout the weekend we had been playing the who-can-pay-for-stuff fastest game.  She definitely won more than she should have.  Last night we had an arm wrestle throw down for who could pay for late night hot wings.  She WON!  Grr.  (Need to get back in the gym asap.)  We hung out, scarfed hot wings and played some card games with my hubby before we called it a night.

Today we got some coffee and swung by my favorite nail salon for some pedis.  It was great to just relax and chat.  We stopped back at the house to get her luggage, my hubby and kids then drove her to the airport.  Bummer.  Worst part of the weekend.

So there you have it.  One of the best weekends ever.  The sister of the year award definitely has to go to my sister Pan.  I couldn’t be more grateful that she took the time to come out to spend time here in Minnesota with us.  She is heading into a bunch of exciting but stressful changes and I just can’t say how much I appreciate her.  She may be my little sister but I look up to her in more ways than one.  Since we were kids: She’s into Irish dance?  I think I want to try that.  Through adulthood: She’s a runner?  I want to be a runner.  She’s getting a Ph.D?  I think maybe I’ll do that too.  I only wish we could have more cronuts, more pedis, more time for chatting and hanging out.

A Weekend of Fun & Games

Weekends full of errands, hockey, date nights, and homework are so much fun.  But what’s more fun?  Slow relaxing weekends full of nothing.  They are like gold these days.  I was sick all last week.  Thought I was coming out of it on Wednesday only to find myself worse on Thursday.  Decided not to work out on Thursday and instead spent the extra time finishing my homework for the week.  For Friday’s exercise I just did weight lifting without pushing too hard.  Focused on a balanced full body work out since I didn’t do much the rest of the week.

wpid-wp-1424052909292.jpegSaturday was Valentine’s day.  It was also 0 degrees out with a wind chill of -25ish so all of the kids’ outdoor hockey practices and games for Saturday were cancelled.  I didn’t clean or catch up on projects around the house, I didn’t have to work on homework, I didn’t work out (nope, not at all).  I just enjoyed not being sick and not having an agenda.  I usually love being busy and having a list of things to accomplish but yesterday we all literally just did nothing.  We went to IHOP in the morning, we played video games (Sims

Got this water bottle from Target.  Love it.  Doesn't leak, holds 32 oz, easy to wash, $7.

Got this water bottle from Target this weekend. Love it. Doesn’t leak, holds 32 oz, easy to wash, $7.

4 for me!), we had Jimmy John’s for dinner, we napped.  It was amazing.  Today I got in a short run (first one in about a week), did some laundry, turned in my homework, focused on drinking extra water.  We went out for lunch, had some fun at the arcade, picked up some cupcakes.  Later in the evening we all went to our 8 year old’s hockey game followed by dinner at Pizza Ranch.

So happy for the time at home with family.  Sometimes it’s just nice to do nothing at all.  I’m now feeling fully refreshed and ready to kick butt in the gym this week! 🙂