Category Archives: busy schedules

Humid, Hot, Hilly, Happy – 4 on the 4th

Hello my midweek holiday celebrating friends!  That was a tough one for me. my brain could not understand that it was Wednesday and not Saturday.  and that everyone was off from work. very difficult. we pulled through. the Wednesday wannabe Saturday was exacerbated by the fact that I ran a race. because races are always on the weekend. but this was a Wednesday. a Wednesday race was a first for me. what was also a first was running a 4 mile race. but now we are getting ahead of ourselves. let’s backtrack and talk about some workouts leading up to and through today. that’s a lot of running, so I’ll try to keep it brief. which shouldn’t be a problem because I quite honestly can’t remember much past yesterday anyway.

Tuesday – 6.25 miles easy. truly, it was easy. I kept it just under 8 minute miles.  because I was running a race the next day. and because it was getting late in the day and it was really hot. my legs wanted to go more like 7:20-7:30ish pace, but we persevered and kept 8 near and dear.  trying to conserve as much energy as possible.
Wednesday – 1 mile w/u plus 4 mile race plus 6 mile recovery run = 11 miles for the day. 
I ran with my watch for the 6 mile recovery, but didn’t look at the pace, just ran comfortable and it was right around 7:45. good.
Today – 6 miles really easy. 8:20 pace easy plus 3 treadmill miles for 9 total in 73 minutes. My legs were really tired from yesterday. I put very little effort into this run and just let it be what it was. It was very pleasant, but also SUPER humid and hot at 5:30am when I left.  I needed to get about 10 miles.  instead of getting up when my alarm went off, I chose to lay in bed and not sleep but think about how much of a bad mood I would be in if I didn’t get my bum out of bed. It took about 10 minutes for me to firmly decide that a foul mooded mama was not in the best interest of anyone today and it was now or never.  at which point I only had time for 6 miles before I had to be back for the hubs to hit the gym. hence, the undesirable little 3 mile stint on the home mill.  It had to be done. I’ve got to sneak those miles in somewhere.  It’s not easy to get 50plus miles in a week.  for me. I feel like I’ve been running a TON and I just hit 36. not complaining. just think I should be able to add some honorary miles for feeling like I’ve been running more.

My crew. love them to death. 
This was a last minute race. my kind of race. I was told it was hilly. I already knew it would be hot and suffocatinlgy humid. none of those H’s failed to represent. although, I feel the hills were a little misrepresented. agreed, this was a very hilly 4 miler –  but we were not climbing everest. some expreienced looking runner tells me this is the hilliest race you’ll run and I think, good lord what have I gotten myself into. he obviously didn’t run the colchester half. that was hills. these were significant rollers, the whole time.   and one or two real hills.  enough to make it very challenging. but not killer.
Before we get into the race, let’s take a look at what happens behind the scenes for the lucky spouse that doesn’t get to race…hanging out with 3 little cherubs with sassy attitudes in hot temps…
no explanation

that didn’t happen for very long. he doesn’t like containment. 

little knuckleheads. 

post race crazies. heat was getting to them. and possibly the sugar from the free soda. that we let them have. 

# 1Goal was to RUN MY BEST RUN

I would have been ecstatic with a 6:15 pace. I had no idea what that equated to for finish time, and I have no idea where that number came from. completely arbitrary. and very aggressive. I thought. for a hilly run. on a hot day. with high humidity. 

Aggressive pace or not, I knew I would have to hold back for the first couple miles because I always go out way too fast. and was capable of doing a 5:40s first mile and a sub 6 second mile then crashing. I didn’t want to crash. I wanted to run my BEST run that I had in me that day. and that was a smart run. and a run that was going to be good practice in mental strength. I truly wasn’t concerned with the outcome. I just wanted to run well, and strong. 

I was dripping sweat at the start. It was about 80 degrees and 80% humidity.  I did a 1 mile warmup. and waited about 10 minutes for the start. I LOVE seeing all the different people toeing the start line. 8 year old boy kept shoving me out of the way and two men in their 70’s were chatting up a storm next to me. behind me were a group of goofball high schoolers that would run sub 25 with ease. 

Horn blows.  Runners start cruising. 

holding back. staying in the low 6’s. I kept seeing 6:06, 6:04…slow it down a tad

I was in the front. with a pack of guys. no idea who was behind me. 

I LOVE these short, fast races. so hard from the start. so beneficial to the grand scheme of distance running. so mental. 

Miles 1 and 2, I felt like I was on cruise control. very comfortable in that pace. 

6:19, 6:12

 Hills started within the first 1/4 mile.  I didn’t let the hills psyche me out. I took them head on. 

Mile 3 was equally strong.  I felt good that I hadn’t wasted all of my energy in the first two.  but I almost blew it on this one. at the end of mile 3, you come back near the finish and EVERYONE is cheering. There were a lot of people. something about a lot of people cheering in a small race seems to give the runner some sort of magic ability to grow wings and just soar. effortless. I think I even saw fairy dust. maybe a unicorn.


5:54 is never effortless. for this girl. people are gone just as fast as they appear. crowds die and mile 3 is over. and you find yourself smack at the bottom of a hill after running a 5:54 mile. not cool. my legs felt like lead. I saw 6:40 on my watch and for a split second thought I blew my run. a split second later I got back in it and didnt care what my watch said. I was running. and I was going to bust out whatever I had left. pants peeing, dead leg running, gut it out pace.  one mile.  and more rollers.  I tried to start picking off the guys, which is tough when they are all running sub 6 minute miles. I didn’t know who was right behind me. and at this point, I didn’t want some girl taking my first place when I had worked for this position. 


Before I knew it, the finish was ahead and I could see 24:42 on the clock. I had no idea what my time was until that point, and I sprinted to get in under 25. done. 


1st female

17th overall out of 730 racing peeps

6:15 average pace

2nd girl was just over 2 minutes behind me. glad she wasn’t nipping at my heals.

I ran my run. I couldn’t have done it better. Happy I won, but happier I ran smart and strong. in heat, humidity and hills.

These short runs are purely mental for me. right now. the pace is what it is and I push myself, but i want to feel strong and present and in control when I run.  you start out hard and finish hard. and strong. physically and mentally.  I lost my mental edge a bit these past few months. I’m going to get it back doing races like this. 

Lululemon speed skirt and cool racerback top. that speed skirt is my favorite skirt. they don’t carry it now. but you could probably find it for twice as much on eBay. 

and that’s my last minute race. onto the next one.
By the time we got home, I put Luke down for a nap and scootched out the door to finish up my miles for the day. before it got too hot. it was already in the 90’s. I really do love running in the heat. that is why I love fall marathons. you have a full summer of hot running and training and then ease into some nice fall weather. if all goes according to plan.
but the heat takes everything out of you. my body wanted to be doing this…
seriously. give me a binky and a bath and let me chill out on a giant stuffed animal.  wrapped in a towel. rough life. 
not moving a muscle.  at all.  But my kids wanted to be doing this…

running around like maniacs, slip and sliding all over the yard. they win. 
moving. a lot. and it was the 4th of July.  meaning we had a long day and a later night ahead of us. and we would be bad parents if we made the kids leave the partay that night before te fireworks.  we played. and played some more and hung out with friends and watched some fireworks. perfect ending to a hot, hectic, hilly, fantastic day. 
and I pay for the late night and early morning, today.
they chose to ambush me at the grocery store. 3 on 1. no fair. two of my three decided to have a little soliloquy of screaming throughout. delightful experience.  we quickly moved our way through the store, as to ensure that I did not choke my kids out in the cereal aisle. surprisingly, I remained calm despite the ear piercing notes coming from their sweet little mouths. oh, stare all you want. I really don’t mind. I ran this morning. and I might have perused lululemon this afternoon.  always a mood lifter.  especially with all of their fantastically bright and exciting new colors. nothing can shake me. I can’t hear you, little screamers. but it was slightly exhausting.
somehow I managed to come home with something for dinner. Go me. randomly throwing items in a cart works. we had chicken and a nice little tomato/white bean/scallion salad. yum.
tomorrow will be a different story. I’m pretty confident we will be back at the grocery store. hopefully fully rested and with our happy pants on.
How was everyone’s 4th?? 

Who got some running in?  Racing?  

How do you stay sharp in a race or a long run?  Mantras?  Mantras really work for me. love ’em.



Yesterday, 10 miles, early. no watch, but nailed just about exactly an 8min/mile. perfect. I was tired from life in general, not to mention the 10 hot miles the day before. 11pm bedtimes dont agree with 5am runs.  no more of that.  slow was necessary. so was a 5am start on a Sunday morning. for one, it was already really humid, for two, we had lots of family fun planned for the day. more like lots of time in the car, but if we call it family fun – its more fun. 
I snagged a couple things on the fly when I was at target the other night, put them together and called it an outfit. I want a pair of those shorts in every color.  elastic waist.  not only for pregnant women and toddlers.  heaven.  I think it worked. 
Perfect outfit to wear for sitting in the car for a few hours. and it was just about way too hot to be existing yesterday, so tank and comfy shorts it was. 
We had a birthday party to go to in NJ, which was about a 2.5 hour ride. we were crossing everything that the would be no traffic. on a holiday weekend. it worked. we made it. 
pleasant children = happy parents. no one had to be left on the side of the road. when they are not happy children in the car, the hubs and I just tune out…
that wasn’t this trip, but it’s a lovely solution to unruly children. I think it started out as my hubs trying to tune me out. oh no no. share the love. one free ear to hear the little screaming banchies in the background and one ear to be enjoying some tunes. nice. 
I woke up at 5am and had a moment of what kind of person gets up at 5am on a Sunday morning to run. really. 
It would be the kind of person that knows the importance of starting the day doing something active. the kind of person that knows the day will be a better one for doing that active thing. the kind that knows it will ALWAYS be BRUTAL to get out and get moving that early, but 3 strides into the run is feeling fantastic for being out there.  Sweating.  Moving.  It would also be the kind of person that has early rising kidlings so a true sleep in wouldn’t happen anyway. or, the kind of person that has a busy day ahead and was planning accordingly instead of letting the run get lost in it. It would also be the type with a hubs that planned a 20 mile bike ride for 6:30am – meaning the wife had to get ‘er done before that. I was approximately 1.27 minutes late getting home for my hubs to leave on his bike date – to be noted for scheduling next time. 
All in a day – 10 miles for me, 20 mile bike + 3 mile run for the hubs, feed the little monsters which usually ends up being a restaurant style a la carte affair, wash car, get kids pulled together – my little hot mess, where to begin with him…
and beautify myself only to melt in the heat, drive to NJ to party hardy, thank the good lord that Luke slept for 2.5 of the 3 hour, thanks to traffic, drive back. 
tuck the kids in and crash. and finish off what we didn’t start the night before. 
for a long, full day well done. 
I dont have a clue what is on the agenda for the day. now that marathon training has begun, my schedule is a little turned around. I think today is a rest/cross training day, where that is typically Tuesday for me. throw me out of my routine and I get a little crazy. breathe. take it one moment at a time. pretty sure I am not running today. it will probably just be a strength day. and run tomorrow. who knows.  I’m sure I’ll pull through. 
Who has begun training for a fall marathon?  Who is doing NYC??

Whirlwind, cont. and Mind Power

I do not know which way is up with my workouts. my ever steady workout schedule is not so steady this week. cross training days got confused with run days, and longer run days became shorter stroller run days. and it’s only tuesday. my normal schedule is run SU-M-W-TH-S, Tuesday cross train, Friday off, or just strength. 
Here’s what we have so far…
Sunday – 9 miles

Monday – 5 jogger miles, 30 stair master speed intervals (wanted 10 miles.  no go.  couldn’t bring myself to unearth the TREADMILL to finish the run)
Tuesday – 9 total, 3 jogger stroller miles + 6 speedy miles later. 
The jogger miles are usually in the 8-8:20 pace range because my little bundle likes to throw things overboard like shoes, snacks, his special lovey…so we spend a lot of time rescuing such things. By the end of my 3 jogger stroller miles today, I needed some speed. what better way for speed than a nice progression run. it’s a plan. The plan was to start off around 7:30 and finish the 5th mile around 6:25, feeling like this would be very challenging to do, then cool down with a mile. Here’s what happened per mile…






Yeah. that mile 2 threw me for a loop too. big pace jump.  I thought I failed at my progression run and was going to have to do a reverse progression run.  no such a thing.  completely illogical in training, I think.  no one ever says, wouldnt it be great to positive split in a race??? Lets do our best to run the second half slower! Yeah!!  Let’s train for that!  I think not. That mile 2 was supposed to be mile 4 time, if I even felt that good by mile four. I felt like I was even holding back just to make sure I didn’t push the pace too hard and screw up my progression.  Mile 2 beeped, I thought this sucks, I can’t hold this pace or even think about doing the next 3 miles FASTER.  blah. but then, why not?  Its funny how easy it is to give up, tell yourself you can’t do something, settle for lesser than what you set out to do, and not even try to push through. Reverse that can’t do attitude and grasp the power of positive thinking.  so I tried. I held onto 6:31 and then tried to pick up the pace. Mile 4 had two very small hills.  but a hill is a hill is a hill.  I dont really agree with that, but an incline is an incline and it can hurt a speedy pace.  if you let it.  again, I immediately thought this mile is doomed to the hills. reverse. I changed my mindset and thought, don’t break this pace, it’s one little hill and one more little hill. take it. run it. well, I ran it. and the watch beeped 6:21, and what do you know, I ran it harder than I thought I could.  just because I was telling myself that I CAN do it. that meant the next had to be faster than that. make it happen. It’s one more mile. this last mile had about 1/3 mile downhill, and that was helpful. then it flattened out. and I cruised. I was happy with the finish. I like to finish the last mile the strongest, whatever the pace may be. it just goes to show how much power your mind has over your body. you tell yourself you can’t, and you won’t.  without even a chance to try. You tell yourself you can, and you at least give it a good effort so that if you fall short, you have tried. and you feel good that you have tried. and that trying has made you stronger.
I wore my new Mizuno Wave Elixirs. love. love. love. 
Lululemon marathon skirt. all black. all amazing.
I will admit. I did not love them at first. and I put them away. I gave them another shot. they are now broken in and they are great. slightly lighter than the precision, but heavier and more supportive than the musha. 
My whirlwind weekend continued into a whirlwind week. the whirlwind kind that brought a very best friend down from VT to visit and have a slumber party with on Monday night.  A whirlwind that brought a kitchen turned upside down from doing a little “facelift” action, that will be turned upside down for a bit longer. 
The whirlwind week started when I thought of the brilliant idea to make a dentist appointment for my #2 little beauty at 8:30am on Monday morning. who does that?  I do.  Little darling had to get a cavity filled. the horror. major mom guilt. you know, that unnecessary guilt us moms take on for the most riduculous things that we usually have no control over, oh my gosh, anna had a hangnail last week, how could I possibly be so neglectful. the horror.  this, on top of my normal dentist anxiety.  I would rather have 10 babies with no medication than go to the dentist.  for myself or my kids.  say the word dentist and I begin hyperventilating.  how does a 4 year old get a cavity.  Probably that choking hazard gumball she ate or the twice weekly trips for froyo.  a hypothesis.  Dr. Dentist assured me it didnt look so much like a cavity as a tooth defect, or just a little piece of enamel chipped off.  Oh, Dr. Dentist, I’ve worked through my mom guilt over this one, if it looks like a cavity and acts like a cavity, let’s just call it what it is, a cavity, and get on with our lives.  
Anyway, I must have done something to piss someone off, because not only did it torrential downpour the second I had to walk out of the house with all three kids, but I couldn’t find anyone’s shoes, I had no booster seats for the girls and we couldn’t find big A’s umbrella. God forbid only 2 of the 3 kids have an umbrella.  I stress about being late for things. thank goodness I have a husband. a good husband. he chauffeured us to get the boosters and held onto Luke so that the dentists office was still in tact when we left.  
I think the dentist did something wrong, because she came out looking like this…
now you see why I fear the dentist. it’s just not right. she used to be so cute. 
Today was a good whirlwind. hanging with the bf and her amazingly adorable, flipping intelligent little two year old. we had deep conversations about politics and religion.  then she sang the abc’s to me and recited the united states constitution.  she makes Luke look like a caveman. I like little cavemen. 
My very dearest friend has recently found the joy and love of running. this is exciting. is there anything better in life than a best friend that has seen the light of running?  pretty sure there is, but that is one thing that is definitely at the top of the good things in life list. right next to designer jeans that fit like a glove and children that know how to sleep past 5am. I know nothing about the latter.
She requested a killer backyard workout whilst (probably one of my all time favorite words) the kidlings nicely frolicked in the yard around us. I gave her a killer workout and sent her on a run. We geeked out for a bit with running talk and looked up training plans. She’s a trail runner, and has a trail half coming up. pretty soon I’ll have her talking tempos, progressions and fartleks. not fartleks. probably one of my least favorite words and running activities. they don’t need to exist.  darn good times. 
All of this whirwinding has left my house sorely neglected in the cleaning and laundry and housekeeping department. but that’s ok. I put Luke on mopping duty.  little baby cavemen are good at those activities.
the driveway was getting a little dirty. 
and that concludes the festivities of this whirlwind.   hubs and I are having a little movie night. 21 jump street. we like movie nights. hoping the whirlwind dies down by tomorrow. it’s hard to get ahead of yourself sometimes when the day starts at an obnoxiously early hour with a small child running circles around you. I wouldn’t have it any other way. we are thoroughly enjoying our morning runs in the jogger. tossing things overboard and all.   I’m going to work on the constitution with him tomorrow. 
word to the wise. don’t give up on your hard work when it looks like it might actually get hard. You never know what you are capable of until you try. Strength come from success and failure, but not so much from settling for less or quitting. just stating the obvious. one of my many talents. 
Who has seen 21 jump street?  

When was the last time you pushed yourself out of your comfort zone?  Running or not running. asks therapist Katie. 

What was the last movie you saw?  Like or dislike?

Morning Swim


4 mile ‘run’ 
And bath time tonight.  that was kind of a workout. 
And the two hours before that we’re pretty intense. kids were off the wall. 
let’s just say from 4:30am on made for a pretty un-restful, crazy day. workin’ it all day long. 

What else do you do when little insomniac is up at 4:30am and the rest of the house is doing what they should be doing at that hour.  run. buh bye rest day.  Its better not to commit to things like, tomorrow will be a rest day, because life is wildly unpredictable with kids and you just never know when 4 extra miles might sneak in.  really, not so much a crazy run.  more like kill some time and get out of the house to let my sleeping beauties sleep run
I stuck my handsome devil in the stroller and took him on a run date.  happy to be alive, not so happy to be stuck in the stroller.
he insisted on wearing the hat. too cool for school, that boy. 
we ran.  and he hates the jogger.  so I had to keep it wildly interesting by excitingly shouting things at him like, DID YOU SEE THAT SPARROW FLY INTO THAT TREE?!?!  and, HOLY MOLY LOOK HOW FAST THAT CHIPMUNK CAN RUN!!!  or, LOOK AT THAT BIG WHITE CHURCH, ISN’T IT AMAZING?!?  we tried to sing songs, but he gets very angry when I start singing abc’s.  maybe because he doesn’t know them yet and he’s a little sensitive about that. pandora it is. Taylor Swift has a slightly better voice than me anyway. yes, I like t. swift and I made my son listen to her. I’m ok with that.
we passed the barns and headed down to the ferry. 

the longest continuously running ferry in the U.S. of A. fun fact

we had a lovely time by the CT river. 

Luke is “petting” the water. because thats what you do, you “pet” water.  precious child. 

I had to ruin the nice pictures by sticking my head in there. just for proof that I was there.  bonding with my son. 

until daredevil decided to make our run date exciting and go for a swim. 

then he was a little pissy pants.  

When pandora failed to entertain, I had to bribe him with his own run. as soon as we got to the corner of my street, it was his turn. nakey butt and all. 

that completes the long drawn out four mile non run day adventure. but not quite. we had chores to do when we got home. 

put ’em to work. get that trash can securely put away my little man. and do it quickly, there is weeding to be done. 

and it is finally 6:20 am. now what. 

Day 1 of summer break. 

Last night, I’m all, this is fantastic, I’m so excited to spend every waking moment with my three precious little cherubs, what a blessing to have ALL summer with them. me and the kids. the kids and me. la dee da. happy summer. 

Day 1 of summer. 

me and the kids.  the kids and me.  I am truly blessed to spend the summer with and always be at home with my kids. I am excited to spend many moments with my children.  perhaps not every waking moment from 4:30am on. let’s find some balance.  and we’ll all make it past this first day of summer just fine and dandy.

This summer will be about priorities and keeping them in line. and about having fun. lots of fun.

One priority for me would be sleeping past 5am, but I don’t think little bundle of energy is on board with that one. 

Here are some other priorities, in the form of a list!

1.  Be patient. I know I won’t make it through the whole summer if I can’t muster up a decent amount of patience. it’s in there somewhere.  now would be a good time to harness it.

2.  Quality kid time. with each kid. it could just be reading a book or sitting outside folding laundry while they play whilst we all melt in the summer heat. thats special time. they don’t need a lot. just a little love and water to grow. 

3.  Quality hubs time. which will be happening tonight, thank the good Lord. it’s been one long summer day and this is a well deserved night out. mama can decompress. and have a nice cocktail. yum. 

4.  Run. given. 

5. Go with the flow. don’t be a crazy schedule stickler. it’s summer. there technically is no schedule. it’s like one big revolving day. it never ends. 

6. Eat healthy. so easy to do in the summer. fresh produce abounds everywhere. 

7.   Get organized so I can stop doing things like going to the grocery store three days in a row. I don’t know, I could probably thing of a few better things to do with my time than spend it at the store. everyday. 

8. Spend time doing educational things with the girls. Luke can fend for himself. #1 is going into first grade, big kid stuff now. I have to get in touch with my inner teacher and make sure she can still read and write by the time this summer deal is over. maybe I’ll try to teach her some new tricks too, if I’m really feeling inspired.  

This one is well underway. let’s see how long it lasts. kids nicely educating themselves under the tent. we keep a big circus tent setup in the backyard. because its like a circus around here. not really. it’s the grandparents’ 80th bday this weekend, big festivities. requiring some tent action. 

9.  God. church every sunday is great and lovely, but the personal side of faith is easily neglected as a mom, or just as a human being.  I get in this downward spiral where life stuff consumes me and I spend less time in devotion, or prayer, or just spiritual, faith filled things.  gotta be brought back up to the top. pray more. done. 

That gives a general priority list – then I have to set some goals to make those priorities happen. Hopefully I will do that by the end of the summer. and all these things will carry forward like habit. they are pretty much always priorities, I just want to pay better attention to them. give them the care they deserve and require.  

Bring on the summer and many happy days. and lots of miles. and lots of smiles. and no broken bones or anything like that

What’s on tap for the weekend, my friends???

I’ll fill you in on my exciting weekend on Monday! 

Superwoman and Smart Choices

We have some workouts to talk about. get ready.
Wednesday – I mentioned I wanted to do 10 miles. What I want and what actually happens are rarely the same.  I want to pull together a nice non workout outfit, but I just can’t seem to get out of my comfy running clothes.  I’m ok with that. I did 6 that morning and went back out for a short and slllloooooowwwww 3. really slow. but it made 9 miles for the day
Thursday – is usually a running day. sleep trumped running and I got to sleep in until 6am.  be still my heart. 6 am is so much nicer than 5 am.  it’s still 6 am. and that’s still in the too early to be functioning category. my kids don’t care.  that meant no run. I will admit, I moped for approximately 37 minutes.  then I put my game face on, readjusted my attitude and my day and had a slice of get over it for breakfast. and I used and abused the stair master during nap time. my saving grace.  50 minutes speed intervals/hills. tells me I did 8 miles. probably not accurate. but I looked like this after, so it did kick my booty
Friday – hello 5 am. I really don’t like you.  like, I wish you didn’t exist.  thursday claimed the non running day.  friday, tag you’re it for the run.  not a bone in my body wants to be out on the road at this ungodly hour. The alternative is chasing around testy two year old. I’ll run.  about 6.75 miles, about 50 min, about 7:24 ish pace, just about a pretty good run if I ever saw one . I didn’t have the watch on.  Just checked the clock. kitchen clock tells me it was about 50 mins. I was pleasantly surprised because this run felt a lot slower than that. go me. good pace. glad I hit the road.
I love running without the garmin on non super hard, run your heart out training days. I’ve learned I’ve got enough push of my own without the watch barking at me that I’m going too slow.  Running watch-less puts the i love to run back in running.  Love it.
36.5 miles for the week. one more running day. Good stuff.

Every now and then, I’ve been known to make some smart decisions. sometimes I don’t. Let’s talk about some of the smarter ones and how I’m kind of like superwoman today.
1.  It is not always an easy task to get three children fed, dressed, ready for school, as well as myself and my husband. he needs help sometimes too. my 4th child. It must be noted that today, June 15th, I ran my almost 7 miles, made a nice breakfast for everyone (myself included – super crank comes out if mama doesn’t eat ASAP after the run), had everyone dressed and ready for school, got myself showered and dressed in my Friday best – I call it shamrock glam
Not everyone can rock the old 5k race tshirt and pull off this shamrock glam look.  I can. I was in comfort mode today.

All of this morning craziness was accomplished by 8:15 am. be impressed. not sure that has ever happened. call me shera. Or superwoman.  either one will do. So, it was a smart choice to get my bum moving at 5 am. it always is a smart choice.
2. I cooked a nice meal for my family. I have been in a total I don’t want to cook or think about what to cook for dinner funk.  big time. surprisingly, the children are alive and well and no one is starving, but meals have been less than impressive. think french toast and lots of grilling.  I kind of pulled it together Wednesday night. And made this little creation. 
The unfortunate thing is that friends of ours came over. Visiting friends are not unfortunate, but being unaware that we would be dining with them and one of them is gluten free, that’s unfortunate.  wasted energy cooking a meal.  bummer. we ended up doing sushi takeout. and this is lunch for the rest of the week.
3.  Strength training is a pretty smart decision. My weak little arms are just easing back into strength training after the elbow incident a few weeks ago. little righty is still pretty sore and can’t do most things, but we are working on some stuff. One exercise that I love in particular is doing upper body strength moves while doing a wall sit.  intense. 
I have a few personal photographers. this one happened to be 5 years old and impatient. hence the blur.
Multitasking at its finest. multiple body parts at once.  Kids play, I get strong.  win win all around.  this is great for runners because it strengthens those quads pretty nicely.  runners tend to have a plethora of knee problems, one of which is appropriately called runners knee. You can help your sweet and very necessary to running knees avoid this by having strong quads.  I did a lot of shoulder work in the wall sit position.  keep your core nice and tight and you’re getting a good workout.  that’s about all I can do. biceps hurt my baby arm. in good time it’ll be ready to work hard again.  much of my “extras” – strength training, massage sticking, rolling activities happen wherever the kids are.  there tend to be walls most places, so this is a good one.  pull up a wall, grab some weights, have a seat and start pumping out those arm workouts.
4.  We have a new familey pet.
 her name is Shelby the hermit crab.  right now she lives in a plastic cup. right now, I’m not sure if she is a he or a she. I’m not even sure how you tell the sex of a hermit crab.   I’m not quite sure that hermit crabs are male or female.  I’m not really sure I care.  I’m going to call this a good parenting decision. my daughter loves animals. she desperately wanted the class hermit crab for the summer. the lucky child to bring it home was to be randomly drawn from a hat from whatever children brought in the little paper saying they were allowed to take it if they were selected. how could I say no to her.  It was either a horse or a hermit crab.  Call me crazy but I think crabs are a little bit lower maintenance than horses.  sure. put your name in my sweet animal loving child. meanwhile I’m thinking she won’t get it. she got it. and we have Shelby. I can only imagine Shelby will be getting some fishy friends.
5.  Lululemon is always a smart choice.  
kids in tow, off to lulu we went. shopping with kids is kind of good and bad.  I take that back – given the opportunity, it would generally be without children, but that’s generally not the case, so- they can serve as damage control because you, meaning me, has to get in and out ASAP before crazy man knocks down every mannequin. Bad because that speed shopping could potentially lead to impulse buying. there was none of that impulse stuff happening today. I practiced good self control and we were super speedy in the store.  the jet engine hand dryer in the bathroom rocked Luke to the core of fear and we had to ditch pretty quickly. thank you Luke. I will divulge the contents of the bag at a later time. I will note that the item I purchased was on sale. And I do think it’s comical to speak of lululemon and sale in the same paragraph.
Baby girl #2 graduated from pre-k today. oh my, world. here she comes. she’s a big kindergartner now. 
She actually has two more days of school and big girl still has 4 days. then I am the mother of a first grader and a kindergartner.  and another little crazy person that doesn’t fit anywhere yet.  I don’t know how that could be seeing as I’m not a day over 21. I love those precious little people of mine. crazy how much a child can melt your heart.  enough of that. getting sentimental stuff.
Longish run on the agenda for tomorrow and who knows what other shenanigans we will come up with.
What are your weekend plans?

Who is racing and what are you doing?  GOOD LUCK!!!

Who has had a pet hermit crab?  it’s very exciting. Ours has already turned from a female to a male.  Just because. 

Progression Running

Workout – run. 6 miles. I’m going to go ahead and call this one a progression run, although I’m not entirely sure any of my runs can ever be put into a category, because I’m kind of a spastic all over the place with my pace kind of runner. which makes hitting certain paces difficult for me.  it wasn’t even really one full progression, more like two mini 3 mile progression runs. because as I mentioned, I have a pacing problem. not afraid to admit it.  I strapped on the garmin for this run and here’s how it went down per mile:
7:03, 6:56, 6:35 slow down a bit and start over 7:12, 6:49, 6:17

Heavenly. I was totally in my happy run place. A place I haven’t been since early march. I’ve been loving running, but have been feeling out of place with my pacing.  Those up there are the paces I LOVE. adore. can’t get enough of. The ones that get me injured and burnt out because I just want to run them all the time and not slow down.  I see that 6:45-7:05 on my watch and I just want to cruise. 7:30-45 is great on certain days, but it doesn’t feel like me.  this run brought me back to my running. and it was good.

What pace makes you feel like you are cruising, or floating on a cloud, or swimming in a pool of chocolate, or something like that?
The original run plan was to get 10 miles in this am, with about 7 of them revolving around running to and from the track and doing a little bit of speed work. Easy’ish speed work. Nothing crazy. In my perfect world, Luke was going to wake up at 5am, he did not disappoint.  I would then throw him in the stroller for 3 morning miles.  Then I would have a sitter for the day (hubby’s cousin that for some reason wanted to hang out with my kids all day) so that I could do my track run.  And then hit up a couple stores.  one that might look something like lululemon – so fun – and one that might look like the grocery store – necessary evil.  but I’m having a hard time coming up with delicious meals when the only ingredients I have are sunflower seeds and bagels. we need to restock.
Perfect world did not happen. I woke up to this. 
Lots of rain.  I definitely did not have my most shining moment of motherhood this morning engaging in a minor wardrobe battle getting my 5 year old ready for school, but I’m not such a terrible mom that I would take Luke in the rain for 3 miles. Although he probably would have loved it. 
And this is what happens to the hair with the rain..looks like it brings out the grease monster too.
And then, hubs cousin didn’t show up. that was a very unfortunate subtraction to my day.  being a stay at home mom, rarely going anywhere without at least 2 kids in tow, one of which is an unpredictable, man eating two year old, being told that you are going to have a few wonderful hours to yourself and then being told its not gonna happen is akin to taking Christmas away from a small child.  and then telling them santa isn’t real.  neither is the tooth fairy or the easter bunny.  cruel. 
I rallied. Pulled myself together and moved on to plan B as usual.  Lululemon out the window, along with the grocery store. Hubs knew I was in a precarious emotional state now, having my whole day turned upside down and my run plans looking grim and quickly offered to come home for me to get a quick run in.  what a stellar husband. and a quick and fabulous run it was.  
Where am I going with all this silliness?  I do not honestly know. But let me attempt to pull it together for you. 
1.  I had track work on the brain.  so when my run plans changed, I knew I wanted to inject some umph, some speed into whatever I ran.  I wasn’t sure how fast, but I did want the watch by my side to help me. I like help. All of my runs have been easy, and I want my legs to feel the quicker turnover every now and then. I want my body to feel a little push. push it did today. 
2.  Track wasn’t happening, but progression run sounded good, challenging enough and all around a fantastic option. 
3.  Progression runs require some sort of consistent pacing that gets progressively faster.  again, I do not know how to pace well.  When my first mile clocked in at 7:03 and I was feeling great, I knew I couldn’t do a 6 mile progression run where every mile got faster. So my mini progression runs came to be – in the form of two, 3 mile segments.  That worked for me. 
4. I was in a little funk from sending my 5 year old to school after a little ‘fight’ about what to wear. It has already begun. She was upset. I yelled. She yelled. I’m 30. She’s 5. I don’t want to have yelling matches with my 5 year old. Especially right before she goes to school. She was obviously having some sort of anxiety about what to wear and I didn’t help the situation. It’s my job as a mom to remain calm. I did not. Next time I will. I said a little prayer, told her I loved her and sent her off to school.  My mood often effects my run. It always starts a little rough if I’m pissy or upset.  And for some reason I want to bag the run when the situation isn’t perfect. I’ve learned to get over it, push through the pissy pants attitude and move on.  The run worked out.  It served a purpose. a purpose for my moodiness at the moment and a purpose in my confidence in getting back into the running groove. 
Every run has a purpose 

Every purpose has a run

Get out and run. find your happy pace.  find your pushing it pace.  find the purpose. 

This run’s purpose was a confidence building, I can run, this is my happy pace kind of purpose.
The purpose of this run was to go faster. accomplished.
Let’s end with a little education on progression running.  I think I am going to incorporate more of these kinds of runs into my daily training and race training.
I found this online and think it explains some great progression running
(read the whole thing HERE)
3 Types:
1. Fast – Finish run: 
Great for half and marathon training. They challenge you to run fast when you are tired. These can be easy or hard, depending on the duration of the slower first segment. An easy example would be 5 miles comfortably and 1 mile at 10k pace to finish.  This would allow you to still be fresh enough for another hard workout in that week. A harder fast finish run, great for half and marathon training, would be 13 miles comfortable followed by 3 miles at marathon pace. 

2. Threshold Progression:
Longer warmup followed by lactate threshold running for a few miles.  Lactate threshold would be the fastest pace you could hold for one hour in a race. This has a long warmup and virtually no cool down.  This challenges you to sustain a hard pace when you are already tired.  An example would be 5 comfortable miles followed by 4 at lactate threshold.  Also good for half and marathon training. 

3. Marathon pace progression:
The faster second segment is longer and slower than in the previous two methods. These are great to increase the challenge of long marathon training runs, instead of just running them all at moderate pace. This progression is also useful for any other race distance, just adjust your pacing accordingly. For 5 and 10k, these should happen earlier and then phased out in favor of even faster running as race approaches. For marathon, these are great 3-4 weeks before – example would be 2 miles moderate pace followed by 14 at marathon pace. 
Anyone can do this type of running. It gets you out of a comfortable, la dee da, running is fun and easy mode, into working towards getting faster and stronger. You have to push it, consistently, to see results.  This is one way to integrate some speed and some challenge into your running.  go pick up the pace and find some running greatness. 
What kind of run did you have today?
Do you do progression runs?
Does your mood effect your run?  In a good or bad way?
Do you get frizzy hair when it rains too?  unfortunate.

A 5K, A Win, and Base Miles


So much to catch up on. Where the heck to begin, my friends???  Let’s start with Saturday and work our way forward and then back again then forward again. Keep it all over the place exciting.  Because this weekend had a lot going on. Kind of. Don’t get excited. It wasn’t super exciting stuff. It was nice family stuff, but nothing over the top. As always, I’m going to share the juicy details of a typical running family weekend.  weekends tend to revolve around the run when both parentals are running and training for something.
Saturday- 5k race (we will talk about this in a minute) + 5.3 miles later in day = 8.4 for the day
This put me at 45 miles for the week!!!  It truly does not take a lot to make me happy.  give me some running miles, chocolate and perhaps a new workout tank and I’m on cloud 9.  this 45 mile week included two days off from running, one day was stairmaster cross training. I’m very happy with my first 40+ mile week, which also included two good short races.  and is lacking any pain or soreness.
Sunday- 10 miles am before church + 3 miles after church = 13 for the day.  No garmin.  I actually started with the watch on, and it quite honestly was being a little pisser and bringing my run down, so I shut it off. I wanted it to be a nice easy run, no stress, no fuss- but I kept looking at the watch and getting annoyed that my “easy” run pace was not as easy as I wanted it to be. So I turned off the watch and just ran.  Turned out to be a 7:45ish pace, which is what I was shooting for.
Monday (which is today, for those of you in denial that the weekend is over)- 7.75 miles. no assistance from gps watch.  Hence the pesky “.75” at the end instead of a pretty looking figure 8.  Kind of a bummer. This is where taking pushy mr. Garmin works out well- you don’t get stuck with a “.75” at then end of your mileage.  but you also dontnget stuck with a poor attitude about a certain pace.  I don’t really like decimals with the numbers 75 after them when they are under the miles I wanted to hit.  If the .75 followed the 8, it would have been happy day.  So I’m stuck with 7.75 instead of 8.  I do suppose worse things could happen on a Monday.
So there it is. We’re all caught up on the running weekend. Let’s move back to the racing weekend.
Turns out I’m a sucker for 5k’s, or any k for that matter. I had fun at the 10k last weekend too.  I had to help my 5 year old visualize every “k” from 1 to 10 by telling her how far she would have to run from our house to make that distance.  It was a riveting conversation.
5k’s are frightening. They are a fast, scary, slightly torturous breed of race.  I like that. Thrilling. Challenging. Make you hit up the bathroom every 10 minutes kind of anxiety inducing distance. That might be just me. And that might happen to me before any race. but 5k’s especially.  my stomach starts flipping just thinking about it.  while they are short and fast, I think the challenge of them and the training benefits – both mental and physical – are great. You have to go fast from the start, stay fast in the middle and push it harder in the end.
When my friend said she was running the race, I obviously wanted to join.  and therein lies the problem of dual training parents. The hubs had a 26 mile run planned for that morning. Whats a mom to do.  I thought about hiding his sneakers, but didn’t want to play dirty.  So I’m left with three kids. One race. One parent. Find a way to make it happen…by pawning off the children on friend’s husband. perfect.  This is also why a 5k is great, its a quick race. so my children would only be torturing friends husband for approximately 18-20 minutes.
I signed the girls up for the half mile kids race. and stuck my little crazy man in the stroller.  the girls ran the whole thing. of course, I have no pictures of them running it.  I can’t be photographer/runner/mom/coach all at the same time. The race photographer caught some delightful images of them, but i am not tech savvy enough to hijack them from the website. and that would be stealing. I might be forced to pay for these ones. too cute.  This is the only picture I have – and it’s not very delightful…
I went into my 5k just like my 10k on Sunday- ready to run my best run that morning.  I always go into a race wanting a PR, but it’s just not always the case.  And I’m learning that it’s ok to not run faster at every run, but it’s great to run my best at every run.
On Saturday, my best got me First place overall female.  Happy.  I squeaked in just under 19 minutes. My garmin said 18:57, official time I think was 18:58. What a major discrepancy there.  Average pace was 6:05.  I was 9th place overall finisher out of 385 people- so it was kind of a small race.
This was a bit hillier than my 5k in march. There was a hill within the first 1/10 mile. And then the one that sucked the life out of my legs – it was a 1/2 mile incline from mile 2 – 2 1/2. that’s exactly one 1/2 mile too long of an incline for a 5k.  It wasn’t super steep, but anything other than flat in a 5k is just not desirable.  It was probably like running 3-4% incline on the treadmill. Naturally, that was my slowest mile.  Here are my garmin splits:
Mile 1- 5:50 

Mile 2- 5:55

Mile 3- 6:27 that’s a doosy. There’s the beloved hill. not fun.

Last .13- 5:45

I felt great after this run.  #1 because I had no expectations other than to run my best run. #2 because I came in first. That always makes for a fun day. #3 because I had all of my kids with me. I love having my kids with me at races. I love that they did the kids race too. #4 because it was a new race to me.  I get stuck in a big box of not doing new races and not branching out.  I’m going to branch out this summer.  Lots of new races.  Lots of short, bathroom inducing races. It was a great morning. It would have been cool to PR and win, but that may be pushing it.  Throw a winning lotto ticket on there too and I’d be a happy mama.  I’ll take the win and leave the PR and winning lotto ticket for next time.

I ran in these green monsters.
Mizuno musha. Minimal shoe. 
 I LOVE THEM. I ran the 10k in them too, and will do speed work in them when it becomes part of my schedule. I’ve been training in these pretty little things…

Mizuno wave precision. To the right. I’m not crazy enough to wear 2 different sneakers. But I am too lazy to find a picture of just the precisons. So you get more musha action too. the precison are lightweight, but a little more support/cushion than the musha.

Right now I’m in base building, easy run phase.  These are my immediate goals: (because you do care)
1. Hit 40-45 miles a week through June
2. Keep all miles fairly “easy”, between 7:30-7:50 pace, depending on the day and the mood of my legs.  I would say 95% of my running has been easy, not really pushing my pace too much.  I might do one run a week that pushes it a bit, but nothing crazy.  run easy paces while not stressing about the easy pacing.
3. Keep all of my runs happy.  they have been pretty happy.  I love to run. I don’t think I’ve mentioned that.
4. Avoid injury. Ha. That’s what everyone is trying to do. I can hope for the best and train smart. that’s all I’ve got.
5. Run garmin less for the majority of my runs. The garmin is a GREAT training tool.  but it definitely has a time and a place. right now, that time and place for me is not on my wrist every time I walk out the door. It takes away the enjoyment of my run. And that makes me not happy. And that does not help with #3 above.
6. Add more strength work. I’m like a broken record saying that, because I’m always trying to do that and never really feel accomplished in that.  So I’ll just keep writing it in hopes that it will really happen. Strong core = stronger runner.
I do know how it’s done.  I just need to do it.  Break my 6 minute plank record.
I was definitely getting mentally burnt out on running before my spring marathon extravaganza. I took a MUCH needed timeout from running and feel like I’ve come back with a very new mindset. I’m in this moment with my running.  I’m not thinking about what I used to do and the paces I used to hit, because they were definitely faster. I bring zero stress into my running as far as goals and races.  Instead, I’m thinking about what I am capable of in the future, about what I CAN do and about how I am going to successfully get there. And that means switching things up a lot. My running hasn’t changed, but certain circumstances around it has. I stick to two days off a week, one cross training and one complete rest day – which allows my mind a break and my legs a break. and I’m confident it’s going to keep me fresh for adding more miles and energized for some super speedy workouts in the weeks to come. I leave the watch at home, which means the stress of mile times stays at home too.  I’m excited to do things a little differently, making the whole experience of training for the next marathon a new experience.  A fun one. A fresh one.  For my legs and my head.
Once the base building phase is over in a couple weeks, I will be more than ready to tackle some speed.  my body will be more than ready to add on some miles and get into the 50’s consistently – something I’ve never come close to doing, but I think will make me a much stronger runner.
Now we are all caught up on the racing weekend, let’s catch up on the family weekend. In a short condensed parsgraph, it consisted of running, running, some more running and some relaxing. That’s the perfect weekend to me. Not a lot of plans. just a lot of home time/running time/hang out in the driveway and wear pink boots time.
Turns out little boy pink has another double ear infection.  although, we aren’t confident that last one cleared up, it does explain his particularly devilish behavior as of late. pump him up with some antibiotics and hope for the best.
At the risk of turning this into another 3 day long post that doesn’t actually get posted until sometime at the end of the week, I’m going to have to end it now. so much to share, so little time. I have more chitty chat for you cool kids out there, but I’m going to end this long and drawn out running/training/racing reflections post right now.  I promise I have some fun sneaker talk coming up and a possible opportunity to get some sneaks, but I’m also confident I will probably come up with some super interesting day in the life of Katie talk to fill this blogspace first.  I’m also confident I finished off that jar of nutella over the weekend. I’m equally confident that I see a lululemon trip in my near future.  I’m pretty confident my ear infected 2 year old will be up at 5am tomorrow and that I need to get my hiney to bed ASAP. That’s about all I’m confident about right now.
Fill me in on the juicy race/running details of the weekend?!?

Has your training/running changed over the past year? Has your outlook on running changed?

Do 5k’s terrify you?

What is your favorite race distance?