Monthly Archives: February 2012

Meecy Mice

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Business…my computer is sick:-(  sad.  something is wrong with it and it’s really throwing a wrench in my technology reliant life.  I don’t get to see the internet until after the kids go to bed at night.  we miss each other.  there are lots of other things that happen then.  when the kids are in bed.  rated G stuff.  like laundry.  dishes.  tidying up the homestead.  fun. 

Workout – I’ve been bringing on the sweat these past two days using the stairmaster.  I honestly don’t even know how long I was on it today in total, but it was split up between some time at the gym and then more time at home.  It was hard.  My legs were not in it.  I think they were still upstairs sleeping in bed.  All the more reason to pump it to level 20 and make them work.  😀  they worked and I think I sweated (word??) more than ever.  it was hot next to that furnace.

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glistening sweat.  happy to have done the workout.  this is the “ab ripper” instagram effect.  a good one.

   
I had a total mental battle today about running.  But let’s back up a minute.   I ran Sunday, day after the half.  I had no plans to run or do anything yesterday.  but got antsy and had a good stairmaster/strength workout at home.  I think the master said it was 9 miles.  not too shabby.  Last night I decided I really needed to get to the gym this a.m and run.  This a.m. came and I turned into a big baby and didn’t want to go.  Some self talk about how miserable my day might be if I don’t go, and something like the last time I checked I’m still training for 2 marathons so not running for the second day in a row won’t help me much.  I got to the gym.  First step.  Whoever said the hardest part about running is taking the first step, lied.  Not true.  not today anyway.  Made it to the gym, and I REALLY didn’t want to run.  I got on the treadmill.  and I started the treadmill.  and I took the first step.  it was still hard. and I REALLY didn’t want to run even more.  I made it one mile.  fantastic.  and then I saw the stepmill open up.  I let the run go and moved on to plan B.  I ran up to that machine as fast as my non wanting to run legs would take me.  By then, my gym time was coming to a close.  Unfortunately, I can’t spend hours at a time working out.  I do have responsibilities at home that look like 3 small children.  So I only got in about 35 minutes, promising my legs, that were cursing me at the moment for putting them through that,  that I would do more later.  And I did more later.  no running.  lots of stepping.

Point of this rambling being a few things – don’t give up on any sort of workout without a fight.  don’t give up on anything that you really know you want to or should do without trying.  My five year old is into saying I can’t, before she even tries.  Every time I tell her, you can and you need to try.  We don’t say can’t and not only do you need to try, but you have to put in a good effort.  that goes for me, too.   

I think the recommended time for cardiovascular activity per week is 150 minutes.  That’s 30 minutes, 5 days a week.  That is NOT easy for a lot of people to do.  A lot of people, I’m sure, don’t try hard enough to get it done.   so many excuses.  Just TRY.  I LOVE to workout and there are days, like today, where I just don’t want to do it.  It’s hard.  But, I KNOW in my knower that it is good for me, that I will feel great after, and that I need to do it.  Even if it’s not what the original plan was – improvise.  I actually had a fantastic workout today.  It may not have been running, but it was really good.  My legs may have been telling me they needed a break, and they got a break.  from running.  I think I still got in some good training for the marathon.  My legs were tired.  I was not injured, sore, or hurting, just tired.  they will be tired when I am running 26.2 miles.  I’m just not big on excuses.  low tolerance for that.  I don’t think excuses don’t get anybody anywhere.  we get in our own ways more than anything else. 

I got sidetracked, or off track from the marathon training when I decided to run this past half marathon.  It was a good distraction.  It gave me a good little push toward the marathon and excitement of running.  It gave me something else to “do” on my way to the marathon.   There are a lot of people who train for races with races.  I can totally see the draw.  It makes it fun.   I think it’s ok, and even good sometimes to get off track, as long as I know how and when to get back on track.  It’s time to get back on track.  I need to get my focus back on the marathon, and refocus my training.  get back to my plan, and the little changes that I’ve made to it, like adding in more hills.   

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So, I can do some other things, other than talking running and training nonsense.  It all makes sense to me, but often wonder if it makes sense to anyone else.  just nod and say yes. 

#1 – I make a pretty stellar minnie (or mickey, depending on who you are talking to) mouse pancake. 

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Anna had an insatiable desire for pancakes yesterday.  She just couldn’t let it go.  Come to find out, Curious George was eating syrupy, delicious pancakes.  she just had to experience this, or her day could not go on.  as soon as she finished the mouse cake, her appetite changed.  she just had to have a red pepper. 

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we are still trying to figure out what planet she is from.  

#2 – speaking of mice, I am a phenomenal mouse catcher. 

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Yes, that is a real, little mouse I saw run across our mudroom floor.  ick.  after I found my breath and composed myself, I got that little sucker out the door.  after I got a picture.  pretty sure he was one of the 3 blind mice.  it kept running into the walls.  makes me crawl a little just thinking about it.  yuck.

That’s about all I’m good at this week.  hoping I don’t have to pull out my mouse hunting skills again though. 

I am going to get back to planning out my weekly workouts.  I have to refer back to my smartcoach plan and make the adjustments at the beginning of the week, so that I know what is coming. 

I have 6 and 1/2 weeks until my first marathon of the year.  whoa.  that means only 4ish weeks left of serious training.  holy moly.  my #1 and #2 running goals this week are to get in a good speedworkout that is part of a semi-long run, like 10-12 miles.  and to get a 20-21 miler in at a slower pace than I have been doing.  That means allotting enough time for it so that I don’t have to go fast to get it done.  and this information is because you lovelies truly care about my plans for the week.  🙂

With my sickly computer, I will be sporadic in posting this week.  I hope the mice stay away, friends, unless they are in pancake form.  that’s gross.  not actual mice in pancakes.  mouse shaped pancakes.   

Who’s running and how is the ‘running’ week going?  How are the workouts going?  any fun and exciting new ones?

Do you like/need to plan your workouts/runs for the week? 

What is your favorite breakfast food?

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Loving Lulu and reflections

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Workout – 5 miles outside, fairly “easy” – I’ll delve into that statement in uno momento.  36:xx minutes.  Kinda hilly.  Sunday is normally a rest day.  But Friday was also a rest day and I REALLY didn’t do anything.  Saturdays are my long run days, and it was supposed to be a longer than the half marathon I did run day, but I only did the half.  I know.  Very silly to say I only did the half.  But it’s the truth.  And I am at a place in my running where I feel like saying only a half marathon is small beans for a run for the long run day is an accurate statement for me.  If you are still following, that is why I chose not to rest today – didn’t do enough yesterday, the hills and the wind weren’t enough.  Here’s a picture of today’s run.  Yes, I’m still taking pics of my computer screen.  so sorry. 

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I just have a hard time taking it easy on a run.  I’m going to go ahead and call anything above a 7 minute mile a take it easy run for me.  I don’t generally go slower than 7:30 mile.  I don’t know that this is necessarily a good thing and is something I’m trying to work on.  This was actually a pretty nice, easy, shake the sillies out run (that’s definitely a preschool term. they come out every now and then. it’s fun to talk preschool lingo. the cool kids do it)   I usually leave the garmin when I want it to be easy and relaxing, but I took it today because I like to analyze the stats.  I need a job.  with numbers.  If only I could do this for a living.  anyway, for now I’ll raise kids and look at my garmin connect and do pace calculations.  

And another lululemon outfit for the run today.  photography courtesy of a 4 year old whizbang child.  and I have multiple pictures to make you understand why this top needed to be part of my wardrobe.   I think it’s called the back on track pullover something or other, not good with names of clothes, can barely keep track of my kids’ names…those are the same wunder unders I wore yesterday.  and I might wear them everyday for the rest of my life.  so comfortable I wish I could bottle it up and drink it.  comfortable coolaid.  could be a big hit. 

   

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Anna pulled out the super slimming thigh lense and made most of my legs disappear.  I like.  but not an accurate portrayal of the thighs that really exist.  according to the most helpful lululemon sales chic, my thighs are “muscular, so you may want to try the next size up”.  Ok.  Will do skinny mini leg girl.  I really want to not be nice to you right now, but you said that in such a way that I shouldn’t be bothered by it.  and I love this store.  so I won’t be bothered.  nice choice of words.  moving on.

#2 picture – supercool neckline, the hood has a hole in it for your ponytail that I would never use, but kinda fun – Anna is obviously not responsible for this superawkward self portrait.  she’s much better than that. 

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and look at that, it unzips too….

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It’s long. it’s warm, but not too warm.  it’s fitted. all around freaking fantastic top.  love.   

That’s the last of Lulu purchases – for now.  I am itching to get back there.  I bought a running skirt, and I think I am going to return it.  I love it, I have it in black and I bought it in this green/seafoam/teal color (I’m not good with naming colors either), but I think for the $, there are other things from there that I would use more.  I have a wishlist.  And it is growing longer by the minute.  I’m having lululemon dreams of pretty pants and perfect tops.   

Sunday Funday was indeed a fun day.  We went to church this a.m., and I did NOT get stuck in the nursery with the little goobers.  Good morning.  AND, I chose to waste an obscene amount of time doing absolutely nothing productive last night, went to bed SUPER late even though I knew it was my morning to get up with knucklehead, and the one and only super stellar husband got up with him for me – 3rd day in a row – because I made a poor choice last night.  that is love. 

ok.  I have some more reflections from yesterday’s race.  I’m reflecting so much for a couple reasons – this reflecting, and thinking nonsense is new to me too.  don’t be frightened.  I usually don’t do this much reflecting.  but, I have never run any race so early in the year – and it’s kind of kicked my mind into, this is really fun, I can’t wait to run more races mode.  thus prompting me to think.  and think some more. about future races and what I might do differently, or the same.  Here’s my list. 

1. Fluids.  I started the race having to pee.  I only had coffee all morning, and I usually drink some sort of sports drink well before the race.  well, I forgot to, and I was stuck between not drinking anything else and drinking some at 9am, 1 hour before.  I drank.  This left me with a slightly full bladder to start.  By mile 11, there was a darn near flash flood in my wunders.  The bladder control just isn’t the same after 3 pregnancies/births.  thank you children.  I pulled through and held tight.  real tight. NOT GOING TO DRINK THAT MUCH RIGHT BEFORE A RACE. 

2. Music.  I don’t run with music.  I rarely, as in I’ve run with music maybe 2 times ever, train with music.  This is something I want to change.  I really think some heart pumping music would help get me through the end of any half or full marathon, when my body has more to give and my mind is fighting it. GET SOME HEADPHONES THAT STAY IN MY LITTLE EARS AND PUT TOGETHER A PLAYLIST THAT DOESN’T INCLUDE TAYLOR SWIFT AND LADY ANTEBELLUM. 

3. Fuel.  I like to take something every 4 – 5 miles.  In a half, I usually take something at mile 4 and 9.  Yesterday I did mile 4.5 and then not until sometime between mile 11 and 12.  too little too late.  I needed it 2 miles back but didn’t feel like chewing on sport beans.  gu’s and gels just go down easier.  they also come up pretty easy.  FIND A GU OR GEL THAT STAYS IN MY TUMMY AND NOT ON THE PAVEMENT IN FRONT OF ME.  AND TAKE THEM AT THE RIGHT TIMES.

4. Hills.  I certainly did some hills yesterday.  Hills are the BEST training for running, strength and speed.  I have not been incorporating hills at all.  I am excited for the time change coming up so that I can get outside and run in the morning when it’s light out earlier.  I can do hills.  INCORPORATE AT LEAST ONE GOOD HILL INTO EVERY RUN.  AND THEN DO AT LEAST ONE FULL HILL WORKOUT PER WEEK.  this used to be my rule when I was running outside over the summer.  I think it’s a pretty good rule, and not a hard one to do.   

5. Mantras.  I have some that I use when I run.  they didn’t come out yesterday.  I needed them.  but they got lost in the mindless running that took over the end of my race.  my head was blank.  I got sucked in to the I can’t do it, I don’t have anymore to give thinking and couldn’t pull myself out of it.  Saying the mantras after the fact, doesn’t really work.  I know mantras do a great deal of positive reinforcement for the negative thoughts that can come at the end of the race, when you need your MIND the most.  PULL OUT THE MANTRAS.  REPEAT.  AND REPEAT.  OVER AND OVER.  Here’s a couple of mine – most of them are pretty corny.  except the first one.  

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

I feel strong.  I am strong.  Run strong.  This one almost helps me get into a really good rhythm.  

If you can labor for 3 hours and give birth to 3 children with out any pain meds, you sure as heck can run 13.1 or 26.2 miles. it’s temporary.  Suck it up and go.  faster.  or some variation of this.  At some point, I’m sure early on, my mind made the connection between marathon running and pain.  can’t imagine why.  childbirth is also pretty painful – there’s the connection to the two.  silly.  I know.  It works.  and that’s all that matters.       

6.  STRETCH. ROLL. REPEAT.  I NEED to do this on a regular basis.  period.  once a month doesn’t count. 

that’s about it for reflecting.  so much to learn.  all the time. 

I ended the night with a little cuddle time with my boy.  he’s fresh.  put that tongue away, Luke. 

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scratch that.  it’s never really ‘cuddle’ time.  more like pull mommy’s hair out of her head time.  so much enjoyment either way.  whatever makes the boy happy.

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  What fun things went on this weekend?

Any good, long runs?  or just good runs, in general?

What’s in store for the week?!? 

Colchester 1/2 Race Day Recap

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Official stats –

30th overall out of 625

3rd female out of 221

1:28:26

6:46 pace

 

My stellar husband got up with tweedle dee at 5am, so I could sleep. 

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I slept until 6:30 when little cherub #3 came looking for me, and got to it.  Of course I was not prepared and did not have coffee.  Once again, aforementioned husband comes to the rescue with an iced coffee from the best little coffee shop this side of the Mississippi.  or the Connecticut River.  either one.  This ensures things move on out smoothly before the race.  That, combined with my staple pre-race breakfast. 

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quaker instant, flax, peanut butter.  stick to your ribs breakfast

I usually add a little protein powder to the mix as well.  I’ve been trying to get away from the pre-packaged oatmeal, and have been doing well with eating the real oats.  but this was a special occasion.  This is what I eat before any race.  I was not going to mix it up today in the name of clean-er eating. 

Typical morning followed – made breakfast for the crew – scrambled eggs, cereal, whatever else they demanded ordered asked for.  I got myself ready.  showered, makeup’d – I absolutely put on complete makeup before a race.  it just so happens that I ran out of just about all of my makeup, and I have yet to replace most of it.  the makeup today wasn’t super nice.  but then again, I wasn’t going to walk the red carpet, so it wasn’t the end of the world. 

This was the original wardrobe plan for the race:

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decked out in lulu.  those are the wunder under legging pants.  not made for running specifically, but phenomenal.  did not budge.  and the only pants that go to my ankles.  in love.  will talk more about them in a lulu post.  I may have bought some other things.  that I could not live without. 

I really liked the 10am start time.  We didn’t leave the house until about 8:45, and we were still there pretty early.  another thing I get crazy about – getting to the race with PLENTY of time.  We were parked and unloaded by 9:15.  I like to be on the early side.  This gave me plenty of time to get myself to the little ladies room, and make sure my laces were tied and my pants were on.  Last minute, I grabbed a long sleeve shirt and decided to change into it.  It was REALLY windy out.  the weatherman did not lie.  the wind definitely came out to play today.  I think it was about 40 degrees, but felt a lot colder because of the wind.  I was happy I grabbed the shirt, but I would have been ok if I stuck with the short sleeve.  I actually wished I had kept the short sleeve on about half way through, and then when the wind almost blew me sideways off the road, I was glad I had longsleeve. 

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don’t mind me.  just digging in my goodie bag for my sport beans and my gu. 

The night before the race, my husbands cousin decided he would run with me.  This made me really happy.  FYI- he runs a 2:50’s marathon and a sub 7hour, 50 mile ultramarathon.  He has put in 90 miles this week, before the race.  no big deal.  and I also met up with another friend of mine that I didn’t know was running.  happy day. 

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The race started right on time.  10am sharp.  straight into the wind.  I think it was about 25mph.  no exaggeration.  and the wind continued head on for probably about 75% of the race.  The course was a big loop.  Let me refresh you one more time on the elevation map of this course.  because you have only seen it twice this week. 

CT14831_Elevation_Map

The hills definitely joined the half marathon party today.  I could not imagine them away.  I wasn’t even able to downplay them into smaller hills.  They were every bit as horrible as they look in that map.  I really try not to exaggerate, but I would dare say they were worse than they look.  They were steep and there were a lot of them.  Hills within hills.  The race ended on a 2 mile climb with a significantly strong headwind.  That many hills should not be allowed in one race.

I took my first powerade gel, I think it was tangerine, at mile 5.  I’m surprised I didn’t gag it back up.  I usually can’t do gu.  This wasn’t horrible, but I try not to let it touch my tongue so that I don’t really have to taste it.  I took sport beans around mile 11 – this was hard because they are just hard to chew and swallow without aspirating them into a lung.  especially while I was chugging up a hill. 

I was definitely the idiot who stopped running before I actually crossed the finish line.  everybody was yelling at me to keep running the 15 feet to cross.  I could have sworn that the mat I ran over 10 feet back was the finish line.  apparently not. 

The race was very well run, but very boring.  and I don’t need to tell you again it was hilly.  to put it mildly.  there were no spectators and it was basically running on roads through the woods.  there was a bit of it on dirt/rock roads.  back country. 

We bolted right after the race.  There were no medals, no t-shirts, no rewards.  Nothing.  This was great.  I really don’t need another race tshirt that I wont wear, or a medal that my kids will fight over.  Unless I’m going to get 3 medals to pass out to the littles, I don’t really need it.  It only cost $12 to run it, and it’s a not-for-profit race.  I think there was a lot of food for those who stuck around, but after running and my husband trucking the kids around, we were ready to go -after a nice little shot with my cheering crew.  It took a few to get a half decent one.  no one wants to look at the camera at the same time.

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this is just a hot mess. and get a load of that forehead vein.  in full force today. 

 

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missing Alex.  hello again vein. 

 

 

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as good as it gets 

 

The nice thing about a half, is that you still have the rest of the day.  to not relax, go to birthday parties, play with children and go to the 99 for dinner.  My first choice was Red Robin, but the 99 was closer.  99 won. 

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I got a nice cobb salad, hold the bacon dressing on the side.  good stuff.  I really don’t have too much of an appetite after a long run. 

and now I am replenishing the muscles with a nice big bag of these.  and some dark chocolate. 

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Race Reflections

After the race, my husband asked me, “So, what did you learn???”  I like this question.  As with anything we do in life, there are things to be learned.  About life, about the particular thing we are doing at the time.  About ourselves.  Growth can happen.  growing is good.  I love to run.  I love the introspection and life reflection that comes with it.  I love how it allows me to dig in and figure out what drives me or what doesn’t drive me.  I love the physical challenge of it.  I love the results, physical, emotional, spiritual, mental.  This run kind of kicked off my racing for the year.  I was excited about this.  I have 49 days until my first marathon.  I have A LOT of work to do to get sub 3.  This is good to delve into my thoughts and figure out what’s going on with me.  Here is what I have come up with so far, to answer my husbands question. 

Physical – hills are hard.  I respect the hill.  I am going to run a lot more hills.  Physically, I conquered the hills today.  I took the challenge of this hilly race, and finished it.  Physically, I am capable of a lot more than my mind lets me believe.  I felt great at the end of the run.  My legs felt good, my breathing was good.  I had no knee pain, or pain anywhere.  This made me very happy.  I think one of my underlying concerns is always injury.  I’m always afraid that the next run or the next race will end in injury.  Physically, I am strong.  I want to get stronger to help prevent injury, and I can put that fear to rest.  I have also put on about 10 lbs since my last race in the fall.  10lbs fell from the sky and landed on my hips.  I am a female and my body kind of does what it wants.  I call it my winter weight and my I’m almost 30, I have little control over my weight, weight.  I was probably about 3-5 lbs under an ideal racing weight this past fall, but I felt good.  Now, I feel I am about 5 lbs above an ideal racing weight, for me, and was having anxiety leading up to this run about how it would effect my running.  I got rid of the scale.  Out of the house.  I have plans to do a post on this topic on it’s own, but this was something I was holding onto leading up to this run.  Regardless of the 5 or 10 extra lbs, physically, I felt great today. 

Mental – I have a great respect for the power of the mind over the body.  My husband said that my biggest challenge is not running a certain time, but overcoming the mental boundaries that I let determine my physical capabilities.  I wanted to win today.  I also wanted to PR.  My last marathon PR was a totally flat, fast, ideal weather race.  I thought it would have been a challenge to PR today.  It also would have been a challenge to win.  I wanted to win more.  Today, at mile 5, a woman passed me.  She was no more than 10 seconds ahead of me at any given time.  She won.  In the last half mile, another girl passed me up the last hill.  She got 2nd place.  I got 3rd.  14 seconds behind her.  At some point between starting the race and mile 11, I let my desire to win go.  Getting a PR was enough.  And I am beyond happy that I took over 1 minute off my previous flat half, on an unbelievable hilly, cold, windy race course.  That is a success.  But I still let something else go that was within reach because my mind was stronger than what I knew I could physically accomplish.  I do this over and over – I am ok with 2nd, or 3rd.  I don’t want to be.  I look at the results and grow increasingly aggravated that I didn’t push it harder at the end.  26 seconds between me and first place.  That’s less than 1/10 of a mile.  I let my mind settle for something less than I am capable of doing.  Last year, I wanted to run a sub 1:30 half.  So I ran a 1:29:36.  For the race today, I wanted to PR, by running less than a 1:29.  I ran a 1:28:26.  I let my mind limit my body.  Those are the results below for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place women.  I’m on the bottom.  I don’t want to be that close and be at the bottom.  I want to be on the top.  I can do it.  I need to stop letting my mind get in the way.     

27 1007 Katie Libby F 1/35    F3034   1/221  33       1:28:00.19   6:44

29 378 Molly Evak F 1/30    F2529   2/221  29          1:28:12.12   6:44

30 187 Katie Edwards F 2/30    F2529   3/221  29   1:28:26.59   6:46

 

Emotional – there is a process to everything.  I guess I still kind of consider myself a ‘new’ runner, just starting to move out of the ‘new’ stage.  I didn’t seriously start running until after I had Luke.  I ran before, but I didn’t put the time into it like I have in the past 2 years.  I have run more races in the past 6 or 7 months than I think I have run in the previous 3 years total.  I am still figuring out how to run and what works for me.  I definitely go into races, especially these smaller ones, wanting to win, or at least win age group.  I think it is going to take a certain amount of time and some races under my belt until I figure out how to really want it.  Like I said above, I tend to settle into certain goals, play it safe and let certain goals go when someone passes me on a race, and default to the next best while the first one is right within reach.  It’s going to take a certain number of 2nd, 3rd and 4th places until I’ve had enough of that and find the push to take more.  I’m in the process.  I think we are all in the process of something.  whether it’s actually the running, or the working out, or the job, or the family – whatever it is.  We are always figuring it out and getting ready to take it to the next step.  I have 49 days to keep training for the next race, physically and mentally.  running is not my life, but it makes up part of my life, and it is important to me.  Running certainly helps balance the other parts of what makes me move and groove.   

I’m always happy with the race.  satisfied.  on a runner’s high all day from running well.  As the day goes on after a race, and I reflect on how it went, I quickly realize there was more to give.  satisfied is not enough for me.  This is why I run.  It’s always a challenge – in many ways.  After I finished today, my daughter runs up to me and says, ‘Mom, you won!’  I said well, I got 3rd place for the women, and that’s great.  She said, ‘yeah, you won, you got 3rd place!’  and she’s right.  I ran.  I finished.  I won.  It’s always a win when you run, and you finish.  no matter what the place.  It’s always a win when you get out there and do something.  find in yourself what your winning something is and make it happen. 

 

I would love to hear about your race stories and personal wins!  Race season is coming up and I’m sure a lot of you have races coming.  Feel free to share, and I would love to mention you on the blog!  Also, feel free to email if you would like to read about a certain topic or have questions you want answered. 

 

What is your biggest challenge in running? 

 

How To Friday – how to race prep

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Workout – ever loving rest day.  thank you very much.  It worked well that Fridays are usually a “rest from running” day.  I usually do something else.  but today I took a complete and utter rest day.  which included sleeping until 7 am.  yahoo, thanks to the hubs.  I guess that means it’s my morning to get up with boy wonder tomorrow.  blah.  I had actually toying with the idea of doing a nice and easy few miles, but wasn’t clued in to the weather we were having today….

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That would be snow.  50’s yesterday.  snow today.  I opted out of that run.  and am ever so thankful that this snow happened today and not tomorrow.  back into the 40’s and sunny tomorrow.  prayers are answered. 

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or maybe I should have prayed more specifically – do you see that wind forecast?!?!  that is for tomorrow.  it’s only 27 mph.  shouldn’t be a big deal going up these hills…

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That is just fantastic.  looking forward to it.  every single part of it.

I thought it only fitting to do a “how to” about race preparation, seeing as I have a race tomorrow.  If you have been reading for a little bit, you are well aware that I am slightly neurotic all the time before a race.  doesn’t matter what the race is.  I could be racing into a pile of poop, but if it’s a race and people are competing, you can bet I’ll get crazy about it. 

One funny and annoying thing I do – you can ask my husband – is walk around the house the week before a race with a calculator practically attached to my hip figuring out what different paces put me at different finish times.  told you.  I’m crazy.  I like numbers.  and it gives me something to do.  because I get pretty bored around here with my three young children, my husband, “keeping house”, cooking, cleaning and keeping fit as a fiddle.  all in a days work, you know.  and I still couldn’t tell you what pace puts me at what finish time.  I guess I’ll just leave the pace to my garmin. 

let’s begin.  and this is all subjective info that pops off the top of my head.  most of which I have done none of today, in preparation for my race tomorrow.  because I was too busy figuring out my pace and finish time.  😉

How To Prepare for a Race

1 – sleep.  this is very important.  Sleep is not so important the night before a race, but two nights before a race.  I generally never sleep well before a race.  So I try to make it happen the night before the night before race day. 

2- rest.  take it easy the day before.  I don’t think going for a run is bad, but don’t get anxious and do some crazy new exercise or speed work.  that would be silly. 

3- hydrate

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as if my pace calculating didn’t seal the ‘katie is crazy’ deal for you, that is a water bottle with a filter in it.  and that is conversation for another post coming up.  I like it.  will explain later. 

Don’t hydrate so much that you will float away, but keep a water bottle with you.  full of water.  not juice.  and sip it all day.  I’m thinking the two cups of iced coffee I had today probably should have been water.  Can’t get enough of that stuff. 

4- eat.  my take on the carbo loading thing…I don’t find it totally necessary to “carb load” before half marathons or under.  If you are eating a healthy diet, especially leading up to the days before this distance, I think our bodies have enough reserve to get through the 13.1 miles, especially if you are like me and plan on taking 1 or 2 energy supplements during the race.  I feel like people can overdo the whole carb loading and use the race as an excuse to eat a ton of pasta and carbohydrates.  this usually only serves to weigh you down on race day.  I try to just replace some of my protein meals the day before with complex, whole grain carbohydrates.  donuts, cake, cookies – these don’t count.  not a good idea.  Some people like to cut out fiber and fatty foods for the days leading up to a race to prevent the humiliation that might ensue if a porta potty is nowhere to be found.  I don’t generally cut out fiber.  I eat pretty clean and my race morning anxiety tends to do a good job of emptying the bowels before a run.  This is something where you just need to know your body and what works.  Likewise, don’t try any new foods the day before.  And I try to eat on the earlier side.  we always eat on the earlier side, but don’t make 8pm dinner reservations.  Give your body time to digest.  So, your calories don’t need to be through the roof the day before a race.  they just need to be in the form of energy you can use to run – think oatmeal, brown rice, whole grain bread, veggies, fruit.  My dinner is always this –

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I told you this was my new favorite sweatshirt.  it’s important to stay comfortable, at all times. 

Pasta with a little olive oil and I usually throw in some ground beef.  I don’t eat a lot of red meat, and it’s good for the iron.  I love the Barilla Plus pasta.  It has a good amount of protein, and carbs.  I do like my protein.  and you don’t need to eat the whole box.  a normal serving will do.  and have a snack later if it’s not enough.  

5- lay it all out.  This has been my motto regarding running, working out, exercising – if you feel good in what you are wearing, you will have a better workout.  You will work harder.  Run in an old ratty college shirt, and you will probably feel old and ratty and not like you can conquer the world.  Run in a cute, matching, fitting outfit and you will feel like you can do anything.  this is a fact. This may also justify my pre-race lululemon purchases 😉  that’s also for another post.  I may or may not have gone to lululemon.  two times.  in one day.  it is a strong possibility.  Anyway, get the outfit out, put together, ready to go.  Get your race fuel out, ready to go.  Get your breakfast ready, if you can.  I drink iced coffee, not hot – I usually make that the night before so I can get up and start drinking early.  coffee that is.  Get everything – iPod, if you run with music, sneakers, socks, race bib, race information – have it all ready and set so that you are not running around on the way out the door trying to find a sock. 

6- take a breath.  have fun.  I am totally that person that obviously makes a bigger deal out of everything than is necessary on any level, ie: pace/finish time calculations, tracking weather patterns, looking up past years results, normal things like that.  I remind myself constantly to Keep it Fun.  I do this for fun and because it makes me happy.  I do want to keep it that way.  let the craziness and any anxiousness roll away. 

 

What are some of your pre-race preparation tips and tricks? 

What kind of miles is everyone putting in this weekend? 

Is there a specific food you like to eat before every race you do? 

 

Early morning wakeup call

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Well helloooo 4:45 am wakeup to my sweet little angel face darling 2 year old bubbly bouncing baby boy.  I’ve really missed you since 8pm last night when you went to bed, and was hoping you wouldn’t sleep until 7am so that I could see you sooner.  We thought we were out of the woods with the early riser – he is making a reappearance.  just to keep us young. 

Refresher – what we do at 5am.  when all the fun happens.

Eat cereal.  he was being camera shy.  probably still a little sleepy.  I was bright eyed and bushy tailed.  puttin’ on a happy face.  and I either severely over tweezed that eyebrow, or the lighting is weird.  I think the lighting is weird.  

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Play with the digger.  work to be done by 5:30am. 

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Hide in the castle. you won’t fit in there, luke. 

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Sidenote- I just realized there are about twice as many picture “effects” on instagram that I didn’t know you could scroll over to use.  yeah.  little slow.  it’s like discovering instagram all over again.  fun.

Workout – EASY peasy 4 mile run, rolling hills.  no garmin.  no stress.  no speed.  no treadmill.  no clue about my pace.  light and fluffy.  T minus 2 days until half marathon.  my legs are very excited to rest, stretch and roll.  very excited.   

Staycation Days 3 and 4. 

day 3 was a roaring success.  Playdate in the am.  Birthday party in the afternoon.  Mommy night out in the evening that included a peartini.  I’m all about the fruity martini’s.  love ‘em. 

Day 4 is well underway. 

Trip to the mall.  Hit up H & M.  one of my favorite things to do is shop for clothes for the little kiddos.  much more fun than shopping for myself.  It’s like dressing up real live dolls.  Makes me feel like a big kid playing house.  wait.  I don’t have to play that one.  they’re really mine.  Got a few items to start the spring wardrobe.  the kids played in the play area.  we harassed panera for lunch.  sorry panera patrons who wanted a nice lunch without a screaming, tantrumming 2 year old.  today was not your lucky day. 

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Takes a lot of focus and hard work to eat a bowl of macaroni. serious stuff

I achieved my #1 goal for the day – keeping the kids out of the house all morning and tuckering their little heinies out.  Success.  Luker boy fell asleep on the way home.  happy sleeping kid.  happy sleeping peaceful mom. 

The girls and I made some brownies.  I grew up making brownies with my mom from scratch.  it’s a little sad to me that I will probably never do that.  then I get over it when all I have to do is add a little oil, water and egg and voila.  best brownies ever.  and it’s still a happy special time of brownie batter licking fun.  that’s what it’s all about anyway. 

 Hubs and I are trying to remedy this freaky new little smile Anna likes to sport.  that’s toned down a bit from the first take.  little scary.  working on it. 

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The mom in me – didn’t want to leave my #1 out of the post – #2 and #3 got pics, and I know my Nana and Bubba like to see the pics of the kids, they don’t care so much about the running talk… for you N & B

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Point proven – just realized I could do B & W on instagram!  wow. 

 

2 Days from my First Race of the year. 

My legs felt super tight and stiff this morning.  but that’s ok.  little TLC today and tomorrow and all is well. 

It’s 57 degrees here today.  this is a good week.  the weather is looking pretty snazzy for Saturday – high of 46 and sunny.  somebody loves me. 

I’m kind of excited for this race for a couple reasons.  and I would like to fill you in. 

1 – This is totally out of my comfort zone.  on many levels.  Normally, I would take one look at that elevation map and say no way.  I only run flat, easy, fast courses.  really.  I’m a wimp.  I don’t want to be that way.  This is good.  It’s a challenge and I’m glad I’m doing it.  I also don’t normally run anything this early in the year, nor do I or have I run any other half than the one I’m doing in June.  I don’t like change and I don’t like new things (unless they are a size 10 with 4 inch heels, made of designer denim or are leather, fit on my shoulder and come from Italy…to name a few)  Adding this race is a big step outside that little bitty circle I call comfort.  I keep my circle pretty small.  I like it like that.  This is making it a little bigger.  Bigger is better.  in this case.

Step outside your circle – or don’t – just make it bigger by adding a new something that you are already doing.  I’m already running, and I’m already doing races, I’m just adding a “new” race. 

Challenge yourself.  in any way.  grow.  become stronger. 

2 – This is a good way to ease into some bigger races I have coming up in April.  I think it will be nice to start with a half marathon and then go to the full.  Sometimes Often when I’m running, I think, how the heck am I going to do a marathon, faster than this pace, and it’s 26.2 miles!  Yes, that last .2 counts, because when you are running it, it feels like at least a 5K.  maybe worse. I’ve done 3 marathons, over the past 3 years.  I would still call myself a newbie to the marathon running.  And it’s a daunting distance.  I’m excited to get 13.1 miles in and let some of the there’s no way I can run a marathon, at the pace I want, or any pace, at all, ever, what am I thinking out of my head.  at least for a little while. 

I think people sometimes think that a marathon is what makes a runner, and if you haven’t done a marathon, you’re not really a runner.  NOT TRUE.  running a marathon is an amazing thing.  but it’s not the be all and end all of running.  set a goal and run a race.  any distance.  and you are a runner.  the smaller ones, whether it be a mile, a 5K, 10K, a half, are great confidence boosters to get you to where you ultimately want to be.  eventually. and it your own time.   

3 + 4 – It doesn’t start until 10am.  this is just perfect.  no reason to get up early.  that’s funny.  like I have a choice in the matter.  my little luke.  he loves to get up early.  at least I don’t have to rush out the door.  yay.  It’s all about sleep two nights before anyway.  I never get a restful night the night before any anticipated run.  early to bed tonight and I’m sure early to rise tomorrow.  and, technically I’m supposed to do a long run on Saturday.  this will knock off 13 miles in a fun way.  then I only have to do 6 or 7 more.  later in the day.  easy peasy lemon squeezy.  mom, I know you think this is crazy.  to run after a run.  it’s totally normal.  in a very not normal way.  

That’s all she wrote friends. 

 

Hows the weather doing where you live?  good for running?

Have you challenged yourself in any way lately?  running or not running related?

What time do you set your alarm for?  or do you have little human alarms that come in and wake you up at ungodly hours of the morning?  maybe that’s just me.  🙂

 

 

 

New Kicks

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Workout – Tuesdays workout – stairmaster intervals:  13 minutes, level 20 + strength exercises, repeat 4 times.  9 miles on the master.  was a good one. 

I should expect nothing less from my faithful 5 year old used ebay stairmaster.  I’m sticking to my plan for the week and taking it easy with the running legs.  I will run wednesday and Thursday.  *update – ran 6 miles today on gym treadmill.  40 minutes. (I started writing this post yesterday, hence all of the talk about tuesday’s happenings) done and done.  until tomorrow.  That is all.

 

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I actually tried this new thing today, I stretched after the workout – heard it’s really good for you. I’ll let you know how it goes. that’s why I’m barefoot.  because I’m sure you were looking at my naked feet. I might even foam roll tonight.  that’s procrastination at its finest.  I haven’t touched the roller in a good month because my knee has been feeling great (doesn’t make sense, I know, all about prevention yadda yadda) – race in 3 days…no time like the present.    

Staycation day 2.  we survived. 

And boy did we stay yesterday.  It took me until 11:30 to get my act together to get to the grocery store.  and I don’t even think I showered.  I’m pretty sure I didn’t get a shower because I left the house looking like this…

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yes, that is a new sweatshirt – so cozy.  I have replaced the red one for now.  nothing like a running warehouse almost freebee.  I’ll take it thank you very much. 

 

I was moving (and thinking) like molasses yesterday.  can’t. get. going.  it was one of those horribly long days where I had to think really hard how the day started.  I finally remembered it started at 5 am and wanted to forget that part.  thought harder as to whether or not the workout I did was that morning or the day before.  I almost had myself convinced I didn’t workout. 

Luke put “his own” shoes on as I was getting ready to put him in the car.  He just prefers pink and sparkly.  that’s what older sisters will do to a boy.  for now.  he was NOT happy when I took them off.  but I forgot to put his own on.  shoeless boy at the grocery store. 

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Some fun things I got at the store.  I don’t know why I say “fun”.  They really aren’t fun.  Nothing in my mind is fun about the grocery store.  I really just try to get out of there without one of the kids knocking over those ridiculous displays they keep all over the place.  It’s not fun having to pick up 800 different gift cards.  been there.  I digress.  here are the “fun” items.   

#1- Kashi Bars.  I have had some of these kinds of bars, and I like them.  These actually did look like “fun”, rolled in whatever they are rolled in.  sucker for marketing.  

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But, they are made with soy protein.  the devil in my world.  sad.  Soy and thyroid probs don’t mix well.  And most tasty bars like this are made with soy protein.  most of the ones I find tasty anyway.  My favorites are the ThinkThin bars.  Those are soy protein too.  double sad face.  I try not to have more than 1 or 2 a week.  even that stresses me out a little. 

#2- Quorn Chicken patty things.  Not the official name.  very weird food substance.  I have a hard time eating these kinds of things.  I think I would just rather eat organic chicken.  especially for the price. 

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$3.99 on sale for 4 of those weird little non chicken, chickens.  The first ingredient is mycoprotein.  or something.  don’t know what that is.  but I know it doesn’t grow in my would be garden if I had a green thumb, and it’s not some sort of wild animal.  I wouldn’t say they tasted bad.  But I definitely won’t buy them again.   

Nuff said about fun and weird sale food products.  Onto really fun things like sneakers!  I’m coming to terms with the fact that I think I have crossed the line into preferring to shop for active wear clothes over regular clothes.  I certainly wear them more often.  I’m trying to keep the balance.  not easy.  stretchy, elastic clothes speak to me. 

These are from my little online shopping extravaganza last week when the kids were home being pukey. 

First pair:

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I’ve been wanting to try these.  they happened to be on sale.  Nike Lunaracer.  and they will be going back to their home at Running Warehouse.  The only thing I liked about these were the shoelaces.  I wanted to keep them for the pair of shoes I’m keeping.  I’ll do the right thing and just go buy some pink ones.  I didn’t even have to do a test run on these.  nothing felt right. 

Second pair:

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My baby Kinvaras.  I was due for a new pair.  These just feel like home for my feet.  My precious little big size 10 feet were so happy to slip into these babies.  I keep saying I am going to start training with a more substantial shoe. (the kinvaras are very light, under 7 oz., I think).  but, I keep coming back to these because we belong together.

Instead of trying to talk myself into a sturdier shoe – why not just stick with what is working, kinvaras, and think about racing with a lighter shoe?  I’ve never worn a racing flat.  It might be time to try.  I don’t know how to do this.  what constitutes a racing flat?  do you do any training in the racing flat?  or just slip them on on race day and hope all goes well?  I will have to use google and find some answers.  The shoe that I think I would like to try would probably be this,

Saucony-Grid-Type-A5-Shoes-for-Women-in-White-Purple-Black 

Saucony Grid Type A5 Women’s Shoes

or this,

mizuno 

Mizuno Wave Musha 4 Women’s Shoes

I would love to hear any input about racing flats for marathons that you lovely people have had good luck with! 

I wasn’t completely selfish with my running purchases.  I picked up a trail shoe for the hubs.  these were on sale and got good reviews.  the only thing I didn’t realize was that there is actually quite a bit of purple on them. 

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it’s fine.  he’s pretty secure.  he can rock a purple and green shoe.  He does mostly trail running and hasn’t tried these out yet, but hopefully they will work great. 

Staycation Day 3 is well underway and we are keeping busy.  Playgroups, birthday parties and all around good times are keeping this day alive and well.  Stay tuned for more staycation fun tomorrow.  peace out peeps. 

ps – hubs and I are all caught up with Twilight series.  I am very disappointed that I will never get that time back.  disclaimer – this is not a judgment on those of you that are all aboard the Twilight wagon.  I’m getting off here.  and I wish I never got on.  I’m all about cheesy romantic lovey dovey movies.  not these ones.  #4 was probably the worst one yet.  I don’t know how we made it through alive – it sealed the deal as worst movie when she decided to name vampire baby “renesme”.  that’s right.  my apologies to those of you with a child named “renesme”, again, no judgment.  wouldn’t be my top pick.  

 

Who’s running today?  Good run?  Bad run?  Take it or leave it run?

Talk to me about racing flats, those of you who are in the know?

What sneakers are you sporting now?  Do you need any sort of extra special support in a shoe?

Do you like the different kinds of non-meat, meat?