Monday Musings

I don’t know how your weekend was, but here we finally saw 60 degrees.  It was amazing.

Running in sub-85 degree temps has been astounding and watching the kids play soccer in sub-90 degree temps makes me sleep better at night (there’s not enough Nuun in the world to keep me sleeping soundly at night worrying about the kids playing sports in super hot weather).

Speaking of trends….training, running, etc.  How’s it going?  How do I feel about it?

IMG_2830Actually that’s a picture of me getting my nails done (not kidding), but I have the same feeling about my running lately.  If I go fast, I seem to get hurt so I’m just hanging out in the “slower for me” speeds and it’s frustrating.  If my mileage hits above 25 miles a week I feel like I’m flirting with an injury, so I’m sticking to that base mileage.

On Saturday morning I went out for a 10-miler and was supposed to finish at the boys’ soccer game, turns out I only had time for 7 and the route to the game was mostly uphill.  I was running “naked” as in no watch and nothing barking splits at me. In fact, a few of the bigger hills (that lasted over half a mile) left me feeling like I was going to dry heave so I was a little concerned.

I was quietly recording it on my iPhone so when I finished I was surprised to find that I had run that fast on a hilly course (7:49 overall splits).  The difficulty was probably because I’ve been doing a lot of this:

Sneaky, sneaky....

Sneaky, sneaky….

No I haven’t been hitting the Skittles, but I have been hitting the pizza, ice cream, and just snacking all day long (not always healthy ones) instead of really thinking about meals, healthy, balanced snacks, etc.  Not too mention I haven’t been doing near enough of this….

Yes that's me fake sleeping in my wedding dress and Converse sneakers

Yes that’s me fake sleeping in my wedding dress and Converse sneakers

I am trying to remember the ol’ GIGO:  Garbage In, Garbage Out.  You can only get out of performance what you put in.

What’s up next?  Long Beach Half Marathon in 3 weeks.  I’m using this as a litmus test to see how things are going, see where my running fitness really is at the moment.  Truth be told I haven’t run anything longer than 12 miles since…errr…uh…Boston in April.  So there’s that.

That followed by a few months of mid-length fast runs, followed by slower, lesser miles because I was starting to feel an injury coming on, followed by moderate paced, moderate length runs.  What’s going to happen?  I have no idea.

From there, I’ll make some decisions on what things are going to look like moving forward.

What’s your biggest challenge about “input” on your training?
 Sleep, food, miles, speed work?

Whole ‘Nother Level

Weekly Recap
Monday – 4 Miles Running
Wednesday – 6 Miles Running
Friday – 2,000m Swimming (with super creeper dude), 4.5 miles walking
Saturday – 10 miles running, 1,200m swimming
Sunday – 10 miles biking (fast)

I really am TRYing to mix it up to prepare for the iTryathlon

The other day the following conversation took place in the back of the car:

Strawberry:  Mom!  Guess, what?!
Me:  What babe?
Strawberry:  [in abundant excitement] I HAVE HAIR ON MY TOES!!
Me:  Ummmm…okay
Strawberry:  That means I’m becoming a man.  Oh my gosh!  This is so exciting….

Clearly we both have grown up maturity levels

Clearly we both have grown up maturity levels

The rest of the boys then proceeded to find hair on any part of their body and declare their newfound steps toward manhood.

Just like Strawberry’s taking it to a whole ‘nother level in his manhood, I’m realizing I need to probably do the same in my running life.  While I have been running less miles per week, I have been running much speedier strides.

After most of my runs I’ve been looking at my watch and thinking I’m kind of a bad ass.  Now let’s clarify my bad ass scale:

2013-07-28

1 is your crazy grandma and 10 is Lauren Fleshman.  Let’s just say I’ve been putting myself at about a 5 on this scale.

Before I get too far on my high horse, I realized it’s time to get some work done.  And I’m not talking like a starlet in her 50′s worrying about HDTV showing every nook and cranny…I’m talking about getting past the next plateau.

I can stay here, but I can also use plateau as a platform to take it to a whole ‘nother level.  It’s time for me to figure out how to step it up.  I’m not a coach, I’m not a crazy good runner with a ton of experience, but I know it’s time for me to start changing my expectations and reframing what my workouts look like if I want to step it up.  I should probably sit down and set some goals, figure out just how to set them and research what you’re supposed to do instead of my MO – winging it. #somuchwork

What are your best “next level” resources?

How do you plan/map your next performance goals?

Fleet Feet

5 Miles- Tuesday
Slogging Strides

7 Miles-Wednesday
Meh Strides

The other day I had a friend in town visiting.  And the following convo happened:

IMG_3002Me:  Ugh, my toenail’s purple again.
Guest Response:  Oh I know, I need to get mine painted so badly.
[Long awkward pause]
Me:  Um.  Yeah, mine aren’t painted. 

#runnerproblems

That said, I’ve been thinking about my feet a lot.

A- It’s time to get new running socks.  All of mine have a serious case of the funk.  And coming from a mom with not 1, not 2, but 3 boys, let me tell you that means something.  

B- I need to new shoes and I’m in analysis paralysis with it all.  My self-proclaimed “best ever, love of my life” relationship with my Brooks shoes went south when I started having pains in my feet and problems with the shoes.  I shouldn’t have U-hauled that relationship.

Check out my inner Amazon

Check out my inner Amazon

C- I’m watching my form.  With long runs in full swing I usually have 1-2 nice easy recovery runs so I’ve really been spending time thinking about each and every strike.  The other day I did 5 slow, hilly miles sans any talk radio, music, etc. (not even a GPS – GASP!) and simply put one foot in front of the other noticing when I was straying from proper form and working to correct it.

Seriously, wild life I lead.  I can tell your insanely jealous of this all.

Which leads me to ask you….

Do you have socks that you love?
I obviously am borderline obsessed with  my ProCompression socks, but I need some ankle socks for the shorter to mid-length runs.  No one seems to be impressed and my children are simply embarrassed when I show up to school in my blue argyle knee high compression socks.

What shoes do you love?
I have about a bazillion pairs of the New Balance Minimus line and LOVE my minimalist wear, but am unsure if I should continue on with the line or test out some new waters.  All of my current shoes have at least 300-500 miles on them so the clock is sorta ticking on this one.

T-Minus 100

5 Miles
Stomach Unfriendly Strides

Newsflash:  I’m allergic to cold.  It leads to rashes, skin itching, and questionable fashion sense.

Why I shouldn't be allowed to shop in the Midwest

Why I shouldn’t be allowed to shop in the Midwest

Can you believe that baby was marked down 70% off?  Amazing.

Due to real sickness and my cold “allergy” I bombed what should have been peak training for the Surf City Marathon.  And I resolved that I’d just run the half instead and I was so okay with this.  (We will focus on that pesky “was” here in a bit).

Honestly, the only reason I was running it was so I had more than one full marathon under my belt before Boston.  I mean, I’m going to be with all of these people who run marathons like I eat chocolate chip cookies for breakfast and I’m going to have to be having this awkward conversation…

Uber Runner:  So how many marathons did you run last year?
Me:  Oh just one.
UR:  Oh slow year, eh, injuries?  Childbirth (even that’s not an excuse)?  What gives?
Me:  Oh I’ve only run one…umm…ever.  Totally undeserving to be here, party of one.

Yes, when you finish a marathon looking like this, you clearly know what you're doing. *eye roll*

Yes, when you finish a marathon looking like this, you clearly know what you’re doing. *eye roll*

And like I said, I was okay with this…until I got some awful social media message (Twitter, Facebook, whatev Bev, it don’t matter because it was so scary) that informed me that as of today, there are 100 days until the Boston Marathon.

Swallow that with a pill of “it’s okay no biggie you’re skipping the full marathon sweetheart”.

And so it goes, I’m going in with one full marathon under my belt and I can’t change that, but I do have 100 days to get my butt in gear, to build on the mileage and fitness I created this fall…and even if I bomb the race, hey, at least I got to go which I never thought I’d ever, ever do.  Fun times.

What’s the scariest thing you heard this week?

What’s the best way to get rid of hiccups?
According to Strawberry, it’s to get hic-down.  You learned something new here at Striding Mom today folks.

The Long Run That Finally Was

16 miles
(13.5 during the half marathon + 2.5 pre-race run)
Off the Beaten Path Strides

I finished off “testing week” (seeing what my ankle could handle) by putting in 40+ hilly, mostly trail miles this past week and feel okay to move forward with CIM.

So on Saturday I got up and drove my butt down to Escondido to the SheRuns Half Marathon.  I thought it would be fun to vlog about it.  So I did this:


Then the caffeine kicked in and I remembered how awesome awful my vlogging skills are, so I decided to go back to pictures about the day.  I’ll give a full race review later this week, but here’s my account of the overall day.

I was clearly tired on my drive because the 76 looked a lot like 78 and I took a wrong turn  which left me traveling through a place called “Gopher Canyon” which, until I was there, would have surmised it was a fictional SoCal place.

I cruised to the race start with just enough time to get 2.5 miles in pre-race and literally hit the starting line 30 seconds before the race began.

After 13.5 miles of racing (more on that during my race review later) I finished and it was only 89 degrees outside.  As they warned, the course was challenging and was about 80% on hilly dirt trails.

Just me, my Stick, my blanket and my giant blister that is my big toe hanging out resting on the side of the road post-run.

So the 16 miles was probably more of an 18-mile level of exertion from my normal road/paved trail, mostly flat long-runs.  After, I sat on the side of the road and rolled my legs and hydrated for a while, before making a pit stop at the outlet mall sporting this fabulous outfit.

Thanks to Aspaeris Pivot shorts and my ProCompression socks, I was not only feeling the squeeze, but I think the Google maps satellite picked up my Froot Loop inpsired outfit as I trekked through the Carlsbad Outlet mall.

I then celebrated with the only thing that sounded good to eat after the #heatpocalypse long run – a giant pretzel and lemonade.

So worth it.

All in all, feeling pretty good today after the run and I’m excited to give you a race recap here soon!

Anyone else have a good long run this weekend?
Any exciting news?
Did you eat something super fabulous you normally don’t?

When Did I Become a Soccer Mom?

Today was a rest day, though I did get a mild bit o’ sweat on with a few ladies.  After a mimosa fueled marathon watching party, a few of us decided to see just how hard race walking is.

Photo courtesy of Sarah. Find it here

Turns out it’s a bit harder than we anticipated.

Clearly we have so much in common – like we both breathe air. Source

As August is clearly here to stay, I’m forced to face fall-  soccer season is starting.  And it turns out that I’m a volunteer and have not 1, not 2, but 3 kids in soccer.

Which begs the question.

When did I become a soccer mom?

Let me begin this by saying that I’m not your typical soccer mom.  I don’t wear those buttons with your kid on it, I don’t spend hours putting together spectacular little bags of stuff for the kids, and I let the referees do their job instead of screaming at them..most of the time.

But I do provide some fun, on the field support.

It might look like I’m playing, but I’m mostly getting my butt kicked by 48 inch munchkins.

And I provide some on-field discipline.  I wish it weren’t true, but I was really trying to pick his nose.  Seriously.  He was being a total pest and I told him if he didn’t stop I’d pick his nose.  And good parenting is all consistency, so I had to follow through.

Nose picking = maternal love

But mostly I’m there for comic relief.  I’m not kidding.  Some kid kicked me in the crotch with his cleats and a friend happened to catch this gem of a shot.

I have to say, this look works for me, no?

Actually the most significant part of soccer season comes the tweaks and adjusting in training/racing.  Longer runs have to be scheduled in the wee hours of the morning before games and my kids end up a little more tired so they don’t want to put in as many miles with me so I have to get more creative bribe them more.

I am also that mom who runs to her kids’ games so I sit there sweaty, smelling and disgusting.  Or at least that’s the reason I tell myself the flies buzz around while game watching.  I clearly know how to win friends and influence people in the best way possible.

That and with each passing year I have to admit I’m not 22 anymore, which seems hard to believe.

What’s your biggest challenge in managing life’s priorities with fitness?
Any tips or tricks?