“Slow” Work?

A few months ago I was focused almost exclusively on speed work in my running.  In fact I think that it is probably one of the main mistakes I made in my downward spiral that ended with this injury issue I’ve been working through.  I had wanted a fast-for-me marathon finish time for my debut marathon, but instead will now be sitting out completely; an option I didn’t even think was really possible.

At any rate, I’ve been doing what I can in the mean time to recover (video down below).  The slower pace has some benefits too.  Mostly, I’m spending a lot more quality time with my boys and with our dog.  I’ve gone on several walks with my sons and last week my 9 year old biked 6 miles with me.  It was a PR for him in distance! 🙂  He now wants to make it a regular thing we do together, which is so amazingly awesome. It’s been really great to get outside with them and get some exercise together.  No, these low intensity family workouts are not going to earn me any medals or PRs.  I don’t finish feeling sweaty and badass.  However, these workouts are completely priceless.  We’re spending quality time together moving, getting fresh air and talking about things away from the video games.  So right now I’m working on this “slow work”, and plan to do more of it, even when I get back to training.  I don’t need a medal to know we’re doing something good by staying active together.

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What ideas do you have for family fitness?  Always looking for more ideas to incorporate. 🙂

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. 🙂

Blocking the Goalie

When our kids are little, what they should and shouldn’t do is obvious.  Do eat vegetables, do not put a fork in an electrical socket, do practice piano, don’t punch your brother, the list goes on.  But I’m learning the older they get the lines are becoming more blurred.  My 8 year old wants to play goal tender.  He has had a few opportunities to try it and says he loves it.  He’s had a few good games and honestly did a great job.  He blocked some great shots and did a nice job paying attention during the lulls.  I can tell he really enjoys the glory that comes with it too.  The end of the game where all the kids pile on and give him hugs and leading the pack down the “good game” handshake line.

However, I would rather he didn’t.  Is it dangerous?  Waiting for high speed pucks to fly at him from all angles – yes, probably a little.  But considering the mountains of padding that make up goalie gear, it’s not exactly fork-in-socket dangerous.  He is very sensitive and takes things personally.  He puts a lot of pressure on himself and wants to do everything well.  My fear is the focus on this key position could cause him emotional distress.  What happens when the team isn’t winning and it’s up to him to make sure the other team doesn’t score?  What if he’s off his game and there’s negative focus?  How would he handle that?  I also know that he won’t get as much exercise in the net as he would in a skating position.  Goalie gear is also uber expensive but that is the least of my concerns.10010733_10205650449957390_1000019861101380376_o

It would be easy to discourage him from playing goalie or to make the parental decision and just say no.  But some things need to be learned for yourself.  It’s a hard lesson but one he needs to find out on his own.  This is a tough exercise for a parent as well.  How will I handle teenage years when he has friends I don’t like or wants to pursue a major I don’t approve of in college?  What if he brings a girl home I find annoying and repulsive?  He’s turning into his own person and I know I need to give him the opportunity to explore (and possibly fail) on his own.  This week he has been talking to his friends about goalie in the locker room and is pretty stoked about the potential of playing as goalie.  My husband and I will continue to have some real conversations with him but in my opinion he needs the room to be him.

Who knows, maybe if I give him this one he’ll only bring home smart, pretty, funny, appreciative girls who think I’m awesome. 🙂  Hey, a mom can hope right?

Channeling the Energizer Bunny

Some of you may remember those old battery commercials about the Energizer Bunny featuring the rabbit with the drum who would “Just keep going and going and going and going…”.  (I don’t watch much TV anymore – is that guy still around?)

The bunny had his pros and cons.  At face value it looks pretty darn awesome to have that much energy!  To just keep going!  (And going!) Forever!  I’ve had a week of doing my best to emulate that rabbit.  Get the kids to school (just keep going…), get to work (and going…), work all morning/workout over lunch/resume work (and going…), get the kids/make dinner/clean up/hockeyhockeyhockey/check homework (and going…), kids in bed/Ph.D. studies (and going…), chat with the hubs/pack snacks & lunch & water gallon for the next day (and going…), wake up and do it all the next day! (and going…)

I know I’m not the only one with this type of nutty crazy schedule – we’re all so busy!  It’s great to feel so productive and accomplish so many wonderful things in the day.  That said, the Energizer Bunny also seemed a little boring.  All he did was bang that dang Energizer drum all day.  I truly believe it’s so important to work as hard as you can but then also play as hard as you can.  This weekend is Superbowl Sunday.  I don’t necessarily enjoy football but I love the eating and commercials.  I truly believe that having something fun to look forward to is super important for mental health and overall well being.  So this weekend, I’m seriously looking forward to playing hard (and eating mountains of greasy food).  🙂

Until then, I’ll just keep going and going and going and going…

First NHL Game!

wpid-wp-1421803889577.jpegWe had such a great time taking the boys to the see the Minnesota Wild play at the Xcel Energy center last night.  We got to St. Paul around 5:30 PM for the 7:00 game.  Our 6 year old had a little too much smoothie from Caribou on our way so we spent a frantic first five minutes looking for a bathroom.  Once we found one, let me tell you I’ve never seen that kid run so fast!

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It turns out the Xcel doesn’t open their doors for the game until 5:45 so we waited to get in for a few minutes.  Once we were in the boys immediately wanted to go see the ice.  One of the security guards noticed how excited the kids were and asked if it was their first wpid-wp-1421803830740.jpegNHL game.  We of course said yes and he told that we take them to guest services for a free puck to mark the occasion.  How cool!  Virtually no line at guest services and they were so nice.

We spent the rest of the game walking around, eating game food (“trickle fries”, fried pickles were awesome!) and taking pictures with the mascot, Nordy.  We purchased tickets for this particular game through the boys’ youth hockey association so there were lots of kids they knew in our section.  The boys had a blast chatting and cheering with their friends and team mates all night.

I only wish the Wild would have scored more!  The Wild lost to the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-1.  Oh well.  Something tells me there will be more Wild games in our future.wpid-wp-1421803917358.jpeg

Measly Mileage

Type the word measly into google and here’s what you get: paltry, meager, scanty, miserable, inadequate, insufficient.  This perfectly describes my running mileage this past week.  Reviewing my mapmyrun app I put in about 5 miles.  That’s generous, let me rephrase: barely 5 miles.  5 miles on a goal of 15-20 is not so hot.  Rest assured though, I was not napping all week!

Here’s what did happen while I wasn’t running those additional 10+ miles:

  1. Started my finance class.  Put in at least 15 hours on this class this
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    Hubs watching our 8 year old’s game with our 6 year old.

    week just reading and putting together my outline.  I still have a little less than half the paper left to write later tonight/tomorrow.

  2. Started my new weight lifting routine.  Managed to get every work out in.  Had to cut the last workout of the week short because my 8 year old had a stomach flu so I couldn’t go to the gym as planned and I don’t have all of the equipment at home.  So I got in what I could and called it good.
  3. It was our first week on a new initiative at work.  Crazy busy with lots of new meetings and activity.  Definitely well over the 40 this week but am very excited about this project.
  4. I did get my 2 HIIT sessions in without issue – yay!  Felt good to meet with my trainer again.
  5. Went to 5 hockey games for my kiddos.
  6. Went to my monthly book club meeting with my girlfriends, went to my husband’s company party and we also had date night tonight at the Minnesota Wild Game.  (Yes, the fun stuff counts too!)
Date night!

Date night!

Here’s the good news.  I still have 8 months or so before the actual marathon.  5 miles is better than none and next week will be better. 🙂

New Year, New Class, New Gym Schedule

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The lawn mowing sneakers.

So excited to start some new things this week!  I started a new strength training routine this week called Simply Shredded.  (Here’s a link to the program website: http://www.simplyshredded.com/the-ultimate-female-training-guide.html)  I’ve also just updated my site with a new Training page that outlines my training routine.  I’ve been mostly winging it thus far so I’m looking forward to working through an actual program.  I also got some new lifting shoes!  And by “got some” I mean found in my closet and by “new lifting shoes” I mean my super old canvas lawn mowing sneakers.  My awesome and super supportive SIL suggested using a flat shoe for lifting and man have they made a difference!  Squats are much easier in these shoes than they were in my running shoes.

It’s also back to school week!  My Higher Education Finance class starts this week.  Finance is not my strong suit but anything is better than Statistics II (the course I just finished before the holiday break) so I plan to learn as much as I can and enjoy it.  Friends and family say “I don’t know how you do it” in reference to the busy lifestyle my husband and I lead.  Here’s the big secret: enjoy it!

This is yesterday: Got up early (only snoozed twice!), got myself and the kids ready and out the door, full busy Monday at work (hit the gym on the lunch hour), left work to pick up the kids (hubby beat me home and had started dinner – yay!), ate dinner/packed

Waiting for Dad to get forgotten the jersey.

Waiting for Dad to bring the forgotten jersey.

the car for hockey, watched my eldest’s game (was a nail biter, they lost 7-8!), pack gear back in the car, drive home, boys were showered and in bed by about 9:30, hubby left for his hockey game and I hit the treadmill for some speed work, took a quick shower, logged into my grad course by 10:30, reviewed what was due for the week, prepped my gym bag and snacks for the next day, watched an episode of Downton Abbey and hit the sack.

It was a pretty typical day.  Not without some hiccups.  I spilled the gallon of water I usually take to work and we forgot jerseys for the game, but it was overall a good day.  If I felt like any of this were drudgery, “work”, or if I hated it, I’d be a miserable person.  But I don’t.  I love my husband, I love my kids, I love my job, I enjoy working out.  Now I just need to take the next 8 weeks and learn to love finance. 🙂