“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.

12017464_10207490779604481_6074915072073973988_o

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.

IMG_0150

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?

Back in Business

Got my groove back this week!  I’ll admit, last week was rough.  Not every week will be spot on or perfect.  What’s important is recovering and jumping back in to keep the momentum going.  That grad paper I put a million hours into last week?  Got it back today – 100%!  Making progress on the new projects at the office.  Husband was out of town the past few days so it was just the kids and I.  No hockey practice the past couple nights (weird) but we’ve been spending time on their homework and piano practicing.  My grad work for this week is about halfway done which is a comfortable place for me on a Thursday.  I was able to get an earlier start to it this week which has made all the difference.

Capture2This week I powered through 3 out of my 4 lifting sessions, 1 HIIT session with my trainer and then 5 miles on the treadmill yesterday.  Another lifting session with HIIT to follow tomorrow and will round out the week with another 5 mile run on Saturday.  Weather is forecasted to be a balmy 32 degrees on Saturday so I may be able to run outside comfortably.  Comfortable running weather in Minnesota in January is such a treat so I plan to make the most of it. 🙂

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!

wpid-wp-1421803856001.jpeg

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
    IMG_0682

    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. 🙂

Advice for the Soft Spoken Sports Mom

I didn’t play sports as a kid.  I didn’t watch sports as a kid.  I was very happy to sketch, play piano, read, write and dance.  By nature I’m a relatively quiet person.  That being said, I’ve taught large college lectures to auditoriums of 300 and can give presentations to upper executive management at work with ease.  I can raise my voice when I have to (don’t my kids know it!) but being vocal isn’t necessarily my favorite activity.

IMG_0491This has all worked out just fine for most of my life.  However, I’ve learned when you’ve got your precious little athlete out on the ice (field, court, etc.) making the big play with hands in the air they don’t want to turn to their parent in the stands to see them mildly clapping with a proud smile.  They want standing!  They want jumping!  They want, you guessed it – yelling.  And lots of it.  I think to most this may sound like no big deal but if you’ve never played the sport they’re playing, don’t know the rules, and are afraid of shouting something ridiculous, here are some tips I’ve learned by watching other parents over the years of hockey and other sports games.


 

 Things you can shout pretty much 100% of the time, to any player, for any reason:
“Skate!” (or “Run!”)
“Go (enter kid’s name here)!”
“Keep your eye on the puck!” (ball, frisbee, target, birdie, golden snitch etc.)

 Things you can shout when there are a bunch of players near your goal:
“Defense!”
“Go defense!”

 When your kid’s team scores:
“Way to go (team name or jersey color)!”
“Nice one (enter kid’s name)!”

 When the other team scores:
“Let’s get it back (your kid’s team name or jersey color)!”
“That’s okay (your kid’s team name or jersey color)!”
“Let’s go (your kid’s team name or jersey color)!”


 

10294249_10203661037903332_7509179253222779903_nCheer for the other kids too!  If you don’t know the names of the other players, and their jerseys only have a number or last name, bring the team roster to games.  Odds are your coach or team manager has sent this out via email, or could give you a copy. Nothing helps give you more parental respect than being able to cheer on other kids by name too.  Plus it helps to support the team and you’ll be able to talk about the game more with your kiddo later (“nice work with that assist from Johnny today!”).

At the end of the day, don’t worry about saying something weird or cheering incorrectly. I’ve learned the hard way that yelling nothing at all actually looks sillier than yelling the wrong thing.