Thursday, July 9, 2015

10K Training Run

I've already posted about how the 10k went and what a wake up call it was to me. But it was a super hard run for me. I stayed up way too late and had too much wine the night before and ran it way too fast so was dying by mile 3. I learned from it though and the actual run was pretty cool.  A run along the South Platte River than through the tunnel to the field at Sports Authority Field. We were on the megatron which was pretty cool. Jason was planning on going to watch me which I was really excited about but then the night before he sold his SUV.  So him and Lucas got up with me really early and drove with me then hung out with me before and during the race.  What a guy, right?!  I loved having them there and then Lucas got to play in a bounce-like house with Jason.  It was a good morning. :)

End of June Update

Lucas is getting so independent lately...a little (way) too independent. No idea how to discipline him and he really needs it. He understands well enough to test us and do things he knows he shouldn't yet at this age they didn't understand time-outs or other discipline. Its beginning to be a tough age. But with that being said it has also been a last watching his figure things out. Yesterday he was using a pen to write on a piece of paper and then he would put the lid back one and he did this over and over again. But then somehow the pen got flipped over so the wrong end was being closed which he didn't like. It was so fun watching him figure out how to close the pen without actually having to set the pen down. He finally put the cap in his mouth, then flipped the pen around with both hands and put the lid on the correct way.  Its moments like these that I love watching.I am so in love with this kid!

Crawls up on his own and sits like such a big boy

Like a cat...if there's a laundry basket out, he thinks it is his to climb in

Water slide fun

Cooper is so good with Lucas! Which is good because Lucas loves his puppy

Fathers Day fun at the park. I was worthless that day because I was sick. I had plans to make Jason feel really special and instead I was miserable all day.  Jason is the best dad to Lucas!

Farmers Market means tomatoes...lots of tomatoes all summer long!  YAY

More fun with Dad on Fathers Day

Because doesn't everyone run around with a bucket over their head?

This morning he was staring out the window for up to 10 minutes at a time just watching the cars go by and the construction workers across the street. 

He loves his puzzles and touch and feel books. 

Thomas the train at Barnes and Noble

His new obsession is chalk, he'd take one out at a time, draw a line then take the next until the were all out.

This time he brought his tractor flash light into the basket to play

All this crazy Colorado weather has given us so many rainbows, a double rainbow outside

Just relaxin on our walk at the dog park

Wearing Daddy's shoes!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

1/2 Marathon Training Lessons

This will be my 2nd half marathon...if I don't get injured or something between now and July 19. My first was in January 2008 in Phoenix for the Rock n Roll half. That year I was 28 years old and had just gotten into running a couple years before. I worked for a non-profit and we had a booth at one of the many Chicago run expos. While working the booth I was inspired by all the runners and decided I wanted to do a half.  It was Septemberish though and winters in Chicago are brutal so I figured signing up for one really far away would motivate me enough to run through the winter. My friend, Adam, let me fly on one of his Southwest buddy passes and my parents friends had a second home in Scottsdale that I could stay at. All I had to do was keep up with the training and then fly there to do the race. I don't know if it was because I was younger, single, more carefree or what but I don't remember training being nearly as brutal as this years half marathon training has been. I was looking through my old blog a few nights ago and read something about how every time I ran in Chicago I wanted to go home and write for hours about all the fun things I saw. Running in Chicago was SO MUCH FUN. I mean I had miles and miles and miles from every direction to run, not to mention the actual path along the lake which I lived only a mile from. Back in 2008, there wasn't a GPS watch or smart phone. It was just me, a stop watch and an ipod on my arm with the same old songs. Though I do remember listening to Central Christians Church sermons online when I ran and a few books on CD so there must have been some kind of technology I was using that allowed that. Anyway, I would do my "short runs" after work and my "long runs" on the weekends but I can only remember a few of the actual runs. I know the longest distance I ran before the half was 8 miles (training goes up to 10) and I never did any of the cross training that I was supposed to. It didn't consume my life like it has seemed to this time around. Running was just fun and I looked forward to hitting the roads and path for a run. I also met Jason about a month before my race and my friend that was supposed to fly out to Scottsdale with me backed out so he booked a flight and met me out there. (how fun is that?!)

The actual race I remember being nervous before hand. I remember finding my coral and running over the start line. I remember seeing Jason about three times during the race, each time me spotting him which I still think is funny! I don't remember crossing the finish line, I just remember getting a popsicle afterwards and having a beer while sitting down and taking in the hot Arizona sun in the middle of January. I also remember the juicy hamburger I had  at a restaurant after the race. But I don't remember how hard the race or or much else! I know my time for the race was 2:22 and that has really messed with my training for THIS half marathon!

So fast forward to today...less than two weeks out from hopefully completing another half marathon. I now live in Colorado where there's more hills in my neighborhood alone than in all of Chicago. We are at 5,471 ft which even after living here for 3 years I STILL get winded just walking up the stairs. I am not kidding. I've had a baby, am no longer single and am now 36 years young and about 20 pounds heavier.

I didn't think anything of registering for a half marathon this time around since it seemed so simple the last time. I am a stay at home mom so have the time during the day...I bought a running stroller and figured I'd just take Lucas with me. I even found a gym that has a little track in it so when the weather doesn't cooperate, I can run indoors. All seemed simple enough. I was running about 3 miles about 3 times a day so when the training kicked off, I was ready!

I've loved running on the track at the gym. One mile was 11 laps, imagine how small that is! Now imagine doing 5 miles...round and round and round and round! But I love it, flat and predictable. I was running about a 10:00 mile at the beginning of my training and many days I was running much faster. So I figured, hey...this was going to be easy to make a PR. I'm running at a higher elevation and many days I'm running up hills...while pushing the stroller! My short runs were now up to 5 miles and my long runs were about 7 or 8 miles. And I was dying. I haven't enjoyed running at all. This whole time I have been trying to run at around a 10:30 pace all to keep up with what I thought was my pace for my last half marathon. And I'm constantly tired. There have been so many hot days so I have thought I'd going to die. Many runs Lucas is bored after only a couple miles so I have to figure out ways to entertain him when I myself feel like I'm about to die. I usually have to pee about 1/2 way through my runs (TMI? Having a baby will do that to you!). Its just been SO HARD.

But last weekend was a HUGE wake up call for me. I ran a 10K in Devner. We started at Sports Authority Field, ran down some path, the back and then the other direction and back, finishing through the field and back out. I seriously thought I was going to die. Yes I've said that a lot but it's how I felt! I wanted to quit around mile 3 and felt like I was one of the last runners to finish. I was so disappointed. I later found out my pace was 10:59 and was so discouraged. How in the world would I get a PR for the half if I was running this slow for a 10k?!

Well then...this past week I was doing a little research and learned that 2:22 for a half is really 10:50 pace!! What a difference! Plus I realized that I was not anywhere near one of the last runners for the 10K but instead was in the top half, so hey that wasn't last place! Plus, I've realized that when I ran my last half marathon Facebook wasn't what it is today. I wasn't comparing my every race to everyone else's races. Running actually wasn't quite as popular when I ran my last half so me just running a half was a big enough accomplishment for myself. But the past few years whether I've meant to or not, I've found that I have been comparing myself to everyone out there. And this is NOT why I run. I don't care that my FB friend who I haven't talked to since 6th grade ran a super fast marathon! Or even my bestest friend can run a half at an 8:00 mile pace. (I don't really have a bff who can do that). This is about ME and only me running this race. I have put my heart and soul into training. I've only missed one short run and one long run, both due to illness. I've been keeping up with all my cross training (that means Saturday mornings at the gym). I've made many trips to the chiropractor, done more stretching that I have ever done, consumed tons of water the past few months, rolled out my IT band countless times and ate better than I have in months. Jason has been incredibly supportive getting up at the crack of dawn to watch Lucas every Sunday since I'm out running before it gets too hot. He's showed up to the 4 mile race, 5K and 10K that were on my training schedule. Lucas has also been super awesome though all this! Even if he does get bored at mile 1 and makes me sing to him the rest of the time so he doesn't fuss...and throws his hat down without telling me until a half mile later making me run all the way back to get it. ;-) These two have been so great so not only do it I owe it to myself to stop comparing, but I owe it to them to do the best I can do.

This past weekend I had 9 miles on my training schedule. I had missed the last long run (8 miles on Fathers Day weekend because I was sick). I was dreading going out there because of how badly my 10k had been. But I decided no more comparing, and I was going to slow it way way down. Maybe a 12:00 min mile or somewhere around there. Let the other runners on the trail blaze past me. This was MY run and I am going to run all 9 miles. I actually enjoyed the run! I had some serious aches and pains and had to pee at around mile 1 but I could breathe! I finished all 9 miles (over a 12:00 pace) but I did it and actually enjoyed it. Not to mention that I got to bed late the night before, Lucas was up for almost 3 hours in the middle of the night (obviously that means I'm up) AND it was the morning after a holiday. I'd say I rocked that run!

I've been saying during and after each training run that the actual race is more about the training because so much goes into the race than the actual day of...but I also know the actual race is where all that training comes out and shows you how hard you have worked toward your goal. I cannot wait to run in a couple weeks. I am scared out of my mind, knowing how achy and sore I was after just 9 miles but having completed one half marathon already gives me the confidence I need to know I can do another. I am so pumped to run in my favorite city!! And this was the whole reason I signed up in the first place. To run through my favorite city..not for anyone else but for ME. Wooohoooo

And I cannot wait to just run a 5k. Nice and slow and only 3.1 miles.