Friday, August 17, 2012

This Week's Training Fail

First of all, I want to thank everyone for the kind messages and tweets I received about my last post. I certainly was a tough one to write for me. You guys were kind!

On to this week....


This pile of running clothes has been sitting on my dresser since Monday night. It is now Friday morning and they sit there still.


I wish I could tell you that this week has been filled with epic mid-distance runs and speed intervals. But if I did, I would be a big, fat liar.  The truth is I have no laced up my Brooks since Sunday. Instead of listing my daily mileage, the following is a list of excuses as to why this week was such a failure!

Monday: Planned rest day. I rocked this like a champ.

Tuesday: I was up sick all Monday night and there was no way I could make it out.

Wednesday: Brent had to leave super early for work which meant I was solo on trying to get the kids to camp and preschool on time.

Thursday: Again up ALL night. Not sick this time. Just could not for the life of me fall asleep. The last time I looked at the clock it was 5am and I was about to give up and just go running. Next thing I knew it was 7:15. D'oh.

Friday: Two things. I was not home before the kids got to bed last night and felt guilty leaving them before they woke up. Secondly, my grandmother is ill in Philadelphia and I was trying to coordinate with my mom whether or not we were going to drive up there today.

Since evening running is not an option for me, my weekly mileage remains a big old goose egg.

I am wise enough to know that missing all of this running is not the end of the world, but still not mature enough to not whine about it...

Sunday, August 12, 2012


My half marathon training program called for 8 miles this morning. I haven't run since Thursday so my legs were fresh. My mind? Ehhh, not so much.

This morning I stalled in a way that would make my four year old at bedtime proud. There was the snooze button about three times. There was the Olympic marathon. The Kardashians needed to be kept up with (don't judge me). Eventually enough was enough and I had to get out the door and lay down some miles.

I was barely into my first mile when my motivation came to me in a couple of different ways.  At first it was Meb. What US runner is not so proud of his 4th place finish this morning?


As I set out for my super slow long run this morning, I was keenly aware that Meb and the rest of the guys were running nearly three times faster than me and not making it look very hard. It was a good mental image to hold on to.

Not much later into my run today's date popped into my head. August 12. And then it hit me like a ton of bricks. Today marks 11 years since my grandfather passed away.  Unless you knew him, I imagine it is difficult for me to accurately describe this man and what he meant to me and my family.

My favorite photo of Pop. My wedding day
and the last day I ever knew him as a healthy man.
My oldest brothers were born to teen parents and my next brother and I weren't far behind. While my parents were (and continue to be) amazing parents, my brothers and I always considered my maternal grandparents to be more like a second set of parents. They lived across the street from us and were always around.

He was diagnosed with cancer a few weeks before my wedding in the Summer of 2000. He swore my family to secrecy so that my wedding day would not be tainted by the sadness of his illness. I was told when I came home from my honeymoon. The fact that he loved me so much to do that still brings tears to my eyes. For the next year he fought bravely. The night that he passed, he called us all into his room one by one and said his goodbyes. It is a conversation I will never forget. After saying a final goodnight to my grandmother, he was gone.

My biggest sadness is that he never got to meet my children or know that my son bears his name. But perhaps he is looking down on us. If he is, I hope he is proud.

I thought about Pop during my run today. Not sad thoughts, just happy memories - because there are so many.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Seven Things About Me! Beautiful Blogger Award

I started this tiny little blog a year ago as a way to track my training for my first (post-kids) half marathon. At first it was private. It was mainly a way to journal my training and my general running thoughts in a way that I could come back to as time went on. As I started reading (and gaining massive amounts of inspiration from) other running blogs I decided to come out of hiding and share my own running thoughts with the interwebs.

It is still very much a work in progress. I am loving sharing my journey even if nobody even reads my posts.

I'm not the fastest runner. Nor is my weekly mileage about to break any records. But I love running and I love this virtual running community I have found through other running blogs.

That's why I was pretty excited that Jina over at Behold the Turtle nominated me for the Beautiful Blogger award!

Here are the rules:
1. Copy the Beautiful Blogger Award logo and post it in your post.
2. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.
3. Tell all of us seven things about yourself.
4. Nominate seven other bloggers and comment on their page to let them know.

I am going to take this chance to shake some things up around here share seven non-running related things all about me!

1. I love to ski but haven't been since before I became pregnant with my oldest child. Having married a man from New England and moving to Boston after college it was inevitable that I would have to learn how to do it. Brent was a great teacher and I picked it up pretty fast. We went almost every weekend for a few years until I found out I was pregnant. Now that we have moved to North Carolina, we rarely get the chance to go anymore and I miss it.

My happy place

2. Inside of me is an inner hippie just dying to get out. Some days I long to move to a self sustaining farm and live off the land. I will make all of our food from scratch and can our summer harvest. I will spend my free time bare foot and playing guitar.

I used to take guitar lessons. I was *really* bad.

3. I think cake should be its own food group. Cakes and cupcakes will always be an acceptable form of nourishment.

It is a proven scientific fact that love for baked goods is indeed genetic.

4. We relocated from New England to North Carolina in 2008 and I still don't feel like I have found my niche here. If given the chance I would move to Colorado in a heartbeat. Brent and I love the outdoor lifestyle and would love to be able to play in the Western mountains any time we want. Trail running, hiking, skiing, snow shoeing.  If Colorado weren't an option, Vermont is a close runner-up.

I big fat heart Vermont.

5.  For the past 2 weeks I have cheered on Team USA with heartfelt vigor, but there are two facts about me that are very much un-American....1) I have never had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (they completely gross me out) and 2) I have never been to Disney World and I have no desire to go (*gasp!*).

6. I wish I had enough guts to dye my hair purple.

7.  I am an extremely forgetful person. I have a notebook that goes with me almost everywhere to help me not only keep organized to remember things. Case in point: I forgot that I was in the middle of boiling water for pasta while I was writing this post. Ooops!

Here are my seven nominees!
Life Imperfectly
Journey of a Canuck Mom on the Run
Prior Fat Girl
Run, Bang, Run 
One Run at a Time
The Wannabe Athlete
Am I There Yet?

That was a fun little exercise! Thanks, Jina for helping me to come out of my blogging shell a little. In the meantime, I have to go set another pot to boil....

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Half Marathon Training - Weeks 3 and 4


Like the rest of the world, I am completely caught up in the Olympics. I had to take a break from them last night in order to get some much needed sleep since I have been staying up way later than normal this past week.

Of course I LOVED the women's marathon. I've been following Kara, Shalane and Desi's training since the Winter and was so excited to watch them run and completely heartbroken for Desi. Even though there were no USA medals, these ladies made me so proud.

Love these teammates!

These past couple of weeks have been the epitome of balance. Everything seems to be coming to a head lately and trying to balance my home, my work and my running have been pretty challenging over the past 2 weeks.

Let me just say that I love my husband. Despite the fact that he is at work is 80+ hours per week, he still makes it a priority to make it home for me to go on my scheduled runs. He knows as well as I do that being able to get my run in is essential to my mental well-being - especially when work and home are equally demanding.

I have to say, I think I put in 2 solid weeks of running.

Half Marathon Training - Week 3

Week 2 was fine despite only being able to run 3 of the 7 days.  My second speed work session went pretty well. It consisted of 1 mile warm up, 6x45sec @ Zone 4 with 1min30sec recovery, and a 1 mile cool down. My splits felt pretty good for me (9:15, 8:22, 8:38, 8:32, 7:21, 8:00). My long run was 8 miles through downtown Durham which just so happened to be the first part of the half marathon course.

Half Marathon Training - Week 4

This past week had some pretty average runs in it. I have been thinking about the remainder of this training cycle and how I might want to switch some things up....a topic for a different post. Sunday's long run was supposed to be 7 miles but I got caught up with the women's Olympic marathon and got out the door too late. It was was just way to hot. At one point I stopped to get a pebble out of my shoe and realized my skirt was sagging almost halfway down my thighs. It was pretty...

All in all I feel like training is going ok. I also feel like it could be better. I have some thoughts on how to go about that.