Saturday, October 29, 2011

Rounding Out a Good Week of Training

If you live in the Northeast, you know the weather that we are currently experiencing right now. Snow, snow, snow. It is driving me crazy. My daughters asked me today if they can make snowmen tomorrow. Snowmen? What about scarecrow? It is Halloween on Monday, not Christmas. I am originally from northern Minnesota, so seeing snow in October is not unheard of, but I live in Massachusetts, we should not be experiencing a snow storm of 6-10 inches two days before Halloween.

Because of the upcoming snow storm, I decided to run my long run this morning instead of tomorrow. I was not in the mood to hit the treadmill for 17 miles tomorrow, so I figured, why not?

Why not? Ha! First of all, it was 33 degrees on my run at 10am this morning. It was only two months ago when I was watching my thermometer creep up and begging it to stay below 75 on my runs and now I begged it to creep up to 40. I wore shorts, as I am not ready to pull out the running tights and a thermal shirt with another shirt pulled over it. I was surprisingly comfortable.

Second, I ran a tempo run yesterday. 9 miles total with 4 miles at my tempo pace or 7:30 pace. I did it on the treadmill so that I could ensure hitting my paces which I did. Oh my legs were a bit tired from that run. I know it is not recommended to have back to back "hard" runs in your week, but it was either run today or back to the treadmill. Because of this, my pace was slower than my normal long run pace. My average pace was 9:29 for the 17 miles. I am perfectly satisfied with this pace. I kept telling myself during my run, one minute to two minutes slower than goal marathon pace. My goal marathon pace is around 8:10, so I am was doing OK. I also took is slow because I wanted to finish running strong. This is my first long run without my running partner in a while. My awesome running partner is down in DC getting ready to run the Marine Corp Marathon in the morning. I missed you today Steph and wish I was running with you tomorrow. Good luck and kill it!

Finally, the reason I shouldn't have been running today was the cumulative miles I have put in this week. This is what my training looked like this past week:
Sunday: 15 miles with 8 @ Goal Marathon Pace
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 12 miles
Wednesday: 11 miles
Thursday: 5 miles
Friday: 9 miles with 4 @ Tempo Pace
Saturday: 17 miles (Should have been 5 recovery miles)

So my grand total of miles in the past 7 days is 69 miles. Cue crazy eyeballs! I have been averaging 55+ miles the past few years so that isn't a crazy number to see, but it was not in the plan obviously. My legs feel surprisingly fine after 69 miles, but will be happy to run only 5 tomorrow and have Monday off totally.

So there is my training for the past week in a nutshell. Now I must return to eating bagels and restoring some carbs.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Wise Little Girl Once Said

My two little girls are my life. To say I am thankful I get to be with them every day is an understatement. The last couple months of my employment, I carried an insane amount of stress just thinking that my daughters were at home with a babysitter as I was taking care of someone else's kid at work.

This morning, Gabbie (my 4yo) and I waited in the car drop off line as Bridget (my 6yo) ran into the school. In front of us was a school van dropping off another child. Gabbie had commented that it was funny that such a small bus could drop kids off at school just like the big buses. She then said to me, "You know Mommy, it's the little things that can make a big change." Now don't get me wrong, Gabbie is full of sage advice but this one floored me and I of course agreed with her and she went on, "That little bus can make a big change."

I dropped Gabbie off at school and headed out for my five mile recovery run. While freezing in the rain, I thought about my little munchkin's advice and how the little things in my life have made such huge changes.

I first thought about the death of my brother. While this is far from small, it was just one event that changed my family. My parents are having a hard time recovering and I doubt they will be the same ever again. They are changed people. They are still grandparents but seem lost. On the other hand, my family has seen such positive changes. My husband quit his job of 11 years while I was at the funeral. HUGE change. I came home and was so mad at him for making such a drastic decision. Within a month he found another job, an amazing job. He is making more money and is finally being appreciated. This is had lead to be being able to stay home with my kids and finally being able to breathe again.

My girls were also small little things that changed our lives forever. I met my husband when I was 23. We were both young and got married almost immediately and in turn had a baby right away. To say we were prepared for such a huge change is an understatement. Our lives were turned upside down like we had never imagined, but I am so happy it happened that way. His friends are now finally catching up to us and we just love that we are already through all the baby stuff and can enjoy our intelligent little beings.

When looking at my training, it is still the small things that create such huge changes. I ran two marathons this past summer and was pretty burnt out. I wasn't seeing results and I was just tired. I decided to take a step back and take the fall marathon season off. Considering I am known to run two marathons in the fall, taking an entire season off was a big decision. I focused on half marathon training and speed work. I PR'd in the half marathon a few weeks ago and my easy pace is so much faster. I am now going into marathon training a faster person, thanks to that small change.

Now I have to admit to you where my wise little Gabbie got her wisdom. I asked Gabbie where she learned such a nice thing and she said Barbie. Yes, I know we all hate Barbie but some of the Barbie movies do have good take home messages. I hated Barbie growing up, but unfortunately, my girls love her. I am just thankful for the fact that she is taking the important message from the movies. Just because the Barbie dolls at the store are not realistic, most kids don't see the fake bodies and beauty as much as they see friendships and love. My girls believe a good person is beautiful, I just wish they could stay this way forever.

IT IS the little things that can make a big change. Have you seen a small thing make a big change in your life?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Retail Therapy

I quit my job in September so have been home for just over a month now. There are days when I wonder, how I got everything done when I was away 12 hours a day. I am not exaggerating when I say, "There is a lot to be done around this crazy household." Lately, my husband has been working late nearly every night and I wonder, how would this have worked if I was still employed. I had plans for tonight. I finally was going to get out of the house, alone, and I get the call with only a few hours to go that he has to work late. This is added to the fact that I asked him over a week ago to not work late tonight. And now here I sit, again. Another night home with the kids and no husband. Making dinner for just the three of us.

Now don't get me wrong, I am so very thankful that he has a good job. If it weren't for this job, I wouldn't be staying home with my kids. I just wonder, how would this have worked, one month ago. That's OK though, I will just have to make an order for a few more pairs of shoes to make up for his late nights. Don't you just love seeing this on your doorstep?

Like many women, I love to shop when I feel any sort of emotion, good or bad. Fortunately, for my husband, I take my shopping out on running gear, which is a necessity, right? Currently I am looking at getting a pair of the new Brooks PureProject shoes. Specifically, I am looking at the PureFlow shoes.

Are they not the cutest looking shoes. If you haven't heard about the PureProject shoes yet, I encourage you to go to the BrooksRunning Website to check them out. They are the Brooks version of your minimalist shoe. They are lightweight and flexible. I obviously, cannot give you a full review yet as I am in the process of ordering mine, but will let you know what I think of them. I have only read good things about them and can't wait to give them a try. For an actual review you can also check out Got2RunNow's blog.

And you can bet, I will add a few thermal shirts to that order as well as a pair of arm warmers. My run this morning was so cold. I will detail my current training plan in a different post, but I can definitely say, training cycle #16 has started off great. The Disney Marathon is in less than 11 weeks and I am really excited to be training for another marathon and running long slow runs again.

As for my plans tonight, I was supposed to watch Spirit of the Marathon with my wonderful running partner Steph. She is getting ready to run her first marathon on Sunday and we were supposed to have a good time talking about running and relaxing. I'm sorry that I won't be there, but I wish you the best of luck at Marine Corp Marathon. You will do amazing. Relax, have fun, and smile at all the cameras. (You don't want to see pained pictures, trust me, I have too many of those)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

New Priorities, Same Blog

I would like to say hello again to the Blog World. To pretty much everyone, I am new to blogging, but as you can see from my archives, I have been here before. Why am I back? I never wanted to leave in the first place. When I stopped blogging over a year and a half ago, I had returned to work and simply ran out of time.

I am a mom of 2 young girls and worked up to 60 hours a week. When I went back to work, I really had no choice. Life happened and I had to return to work. I liked working and I loved feeling more financially comfortable, but even more life happened.

Just after returning to work, my older brother moved next door to me. He was a recovering alcoholic and my parents were trying to help him on his road to recovery. I loved having my brother nearby. He was a college athlete so we really bonded over running. We spent an amazing summer together in 2010, running every morning before work. We shared stories and dreams, all about running. It was so much fun. The summer ended and my parents moved away and so did my brother. I continued to work and train and fill him in on my progress. In January, after 4 years of running, I finally qualified for Boston at the Disney Marathon. My brother, was one of the first persons I called.

In April of 2011, the day before the Boston Marathon, my brother texted me asking if I was running Boston, and I told him, I wouldn't be running until 2012. He was still really excited for me. I was so proud of myself for having my big brother so happy for me. Three days later, I got the call on my way to work....My brother had died in his sleep.

We don't know how my brother died. He had been in the hospital in February with blood clots, so that is what the doctors tell my parents he died of. My brother beat up his body because of his addiction and his body could no longer take care of him. I loved my brother and miss him everyday. I cannot go to my trail in the morning and not remember his smiling face as he would be so proud of each new mileage milestone. I am running Boston in 2012 and I will be running that marathon with my brother in my heart.

How this relates to my return to blogging is that last month I quit my job. My family is more important to me than working. Yes, things are tighter around our house, but I get to spend every day with my daughters. I am a mom again and so thankful that I have been given this opportunity. It makes me sad that tragedy has to happen in order for us to open our eyes.

I hope you will return to my blog to read about myself and my family. I will obviously talk about my girls, my husband, my sister, and running friends. I will talk about my training and my journey to my dream race. I will talk about my favorite running products and how I stay injury free. This is my journal of how I live and be happy. Welcome!