Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The long weekend

Last Thursday all over Facebook people were posting about starting their long weekend and their fun plans, how they had 3 or even 4 days off of work to relax and enjoy. I too had a 4 day weekend ahead of me, but mine was 4 days of work. I guess working in health care this is something to expect. Somehow this holiday weekend was well behaved and didn't involve much trauma, at least that I saw, so my work days weren't bad and I was able to leave early.

Besides work it was a busy weekend and by Monday we were ready to do nothing. Friday night I had a great dinner out with some college friends some who I haven't seen in many years. A few glasses of wine and great conversation resulted in a late night and Saturday morning came way to soon. Much different and calmer then things used to be when we all hung out at the bars in college until close! Now we're all mothers, wow how life changes.

Saturday after work I finally had a long run that felt good. 12 miles at an easy pace in the sun and heat, finally. Such a beautiful day that ended with grilling. This was also Ophelia's 16 month "birthday". Thanks to Matt stepping in to coach for me she got to spend the morning running with daddy and her godmother and enjoying the sights of the lakes.

Sunday I actually had another good, easy run. Finally consistency just in time to finish tapering. Monday, another work day, but not another run. I actually listened to my body and took the day off considering I had an achy left shin. This allowed me plenty of time to finally plant my garden. It was wonderful to sit out in the sun. A couple months ago we signed up for a CSA share for the first time since I'm not the best gardener so I said I wasn't planting much. That wasn't really the case when I got to the greenhouse: bell peppers, hot Thai peppers, hot chili peppers, cucumbers, spinach and tomatoes all in deck pots and a strawberry plant in the ground. Yep, so much for limiting what I plant. Although these are all things I've been successful with in the past.

Today was my "weekend" at least a day off from work, but the start of another semester...reality continues.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Bad race with a suprising finish: Maple Grove Half Marathon

Saturday was our local half marathon and not a very nice day for a run: cold with temps in the 40s and drizzly with winds. Yuck! Not what I like to run in especially on this hilly course. We get to the race and line up for the first lap around the track before heading out on to the the streets and trails. There is just something wrong with wearing mittens and long sleeves in mid-May. I had 20 miles on my schedule so the plan was to finish by running home afterwards.

As my typical race starts I went out way too fast, Mile 1: 6:50, yikes! This continued Mile 2: 7:03, but at this point I was the lead woman, I'm never in this position and it didn't last. I was soon caught by another woman (she ended up winning for the 3rd year) and we ran together for about 1 mile chatting about Boston since I was wearing my jacket at this point. Mile 3 came and so did the feeling that I was punched in the stomach. I was continuing to slow down to a better pace 7:10s and just kept telling myself to keep the 1st girl in my sight. The next miles came and went and I was falling further back, she was out of my sight by Mile 5. I grabbed water and was about to grab a gel from my pocket when I realized my mom and Ophelia were there. Good I can get rid of my jacket, I dropped my water and pulled the jacket off to only realize 1/2 mile later that I left my gels in the pocket, so here I am nearly 6 miles in and haven't drank anything and have no gels to finish. 

Cheering on the runners!
I am now realizing the importance and history of this day and race. Two years ago (May 14th 2009) I got a much anticipated, but very unexpected phone call, after a long time trying I found out I was pregnant. We were actually only having the test done to confirm the negative home test so I could start wonderful fertility drugs. Two days after this wonderful news I ran this exact race, my first pregnant race leading to the start of the pregnancy nausea. That year it was warm and miles 6-8 are near a lake, the combination of heat and fish was now pleasant. This was also one of my first post-partum races last year. This is now my motivation and keeping me going as I am passed by another two women, from first to forth in miles, ugh!

Finally a water stop and I decide to grab some Gatorade since I have nothing else and can tell I need more then water, I hate Gatorade and this was only reinforced. 10K at 44:58. Now here come the hills! I should have remembered these hills and made it a point to save something for them, too late now. Just keep running I'm telling myself. Mile 8 and it is now raining harder, not pouring yet but a steady rain. Mile 9 done, I think I can still PR.

Almost to the finish!
Almost to Mile 10 and here comes girl number four, now I'm in fifth. I guess a top five finish isn't bad, maybe she'll fall back. Now I'm trying to get back to keeping a 7:30 pace but am just not feeling it (I'm going off memory I have yet to look at my Garmin for the mile splits). The last hill is finally here and then flat to the finish! Mile 11 and I have nothing left as I tell myself to keep pushing and maybe I can catch #4 she's still in clear view. Mile 12 and the final water stop, every year I find this an odd place to put a stop. I just want to finish, no stopping now. Finally I am starting to hear the crowd at the finish and I see the school realizing I'm not catching #4. I hit the track for the final lap with a quick glance at my watch and realize I can still PR. I give it all I have, which isn't much at this point and I am finally crossing. Done!

1:37:48 (7:29 pace) 5th woman and 1st place AG finish! 2 minute PR. Wow! How did such a crabby feeling race turn into such a good finish? 

My first thought after finishing is crap I have 7 more to run and am I freezing! I grab my pants and jacket and try to warm up waiting for Matt and my dad to finish and soon realize I should wait for the awards too. I grab some coffee to stay warm and eat a little knowing I need something if I plan to finish 20. The 1st woman who I ran with early on finished 1:33, we chatted a little afterwards about the tough course and how you can't call it a race if you don't go out too fast, so true. 

The rain returned and I chose the lesser of the two bad options and hit the gym treadmill to finish my last 7 miles since I was still cold.
Lessons learned: don't go out too fast (actually I've learned this many times before), hydrate during a race/long run, think before you get rid of jackets/clothing there might be something you need in the pocket.

One question for the women runners: Am I the only one who hates V-neck shirts? Why whenever they have women's shirts at a race are they V-necks? Yuck!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Afternoon long runs, yuck!

With working some weekends I often need to change around long runs to fit them in, in the past (pre-baby) I would just run these a different day usually Monday. Now I have two not so wonderful choices: run after work on the weekend or run in the morning a different day either with the BOB or on the treadmill during nap time. None of these options is ideal so I tend to go for the late day post-work run.

This weekend that meant 16-18 miles on Saturday. That wasn't fun! I have a hard enough time getting the eating right for a morning run, but add into that another meal and multiple snacks and it's a disaster. That combined with the fatigue of a day at work resulted in a sluggish 16.5 miles. my belly was not happy resulting in multiple pains where I'm sure I was making a lovely face as the sudden pain came on and slowly subsided. This allowed me to take maybe 1/2 a Gu in the entire 2 hours and 15 minutes I was running which also didn't help to sluggish feeling.

My final complaint is my fuel belt, every time I run with it I fell like my back is bruised afterwards. I hate the feeling of it moving and can't stand anything around my waist so I wear it low and kind of tight. I think Saturday was the worst, maybe from my pager and cell phone being in the pouch on the back, it's padded shouldn't that be enough?! In attempts to adjust the contents I managed to lose my ID resulting in back tracking almost 1 mile to find it and forgetting to re-start my Garmin during this search mission.

Alright enough complaining, today Spring has finally arrived and I actually ran in shorts and a sports bra! Huge contrast from the jackets and pants of last week, gotta love midwest weather.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms and moms to be out there. I spent my day working, but had a nice visitor today bearing flowers. Just before lunch I heard a knock on my office door and there was my cute little girl holding a single pink daisy for me while Matt had the rest of the bouquet.

On the way home I stopped to pick up something for my mom and found the most interesting plant. As I was looking at flowers I smelled limes and looked up and there was a plant called "Cerveza n lime". Perfect, I grabbed two! Then home for a quick 4.25 miles in the rain before dinner. What a great day and the rain stopped just in time to grill for dinner: halibut with pesto, squash, garlic potatoes with a nice Cabernet and lime pistachio bars for dessert.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Looking back and what's ahead

April was another long cold month that didn't bring Spring, still snow and cold here. I'm wondering if Spring will ever come and if it is safe to pack away the Winter running clothes. Ophelia is now 15 months and still my little peanut: 18lbs 12oz (5th percentile) and 30.5" (50th percentile) and that girl eats like crazy and like her mom never stops moving. She is signing so much, I think this is the best thing ever for babies, such a great way to communicate and prevent my little drama queen from having a break down trying to get her point across.

April Highlights
PR at Boston: 3:30:27 !!
Running another 200+ month: 204 miles (27:47:03)
Biking 6:10:00 (still all on the trainer)
Acceptance into my grad program
Back to weight training 2-3 days a week

April Lows
The weather, temps in the 30s, snow, rain, wind!
Still no answers, but more theories on what is wrong with me. I seem to be getting worse with the gluten and am having symptoms that I had forgotten about.
The family illness that lasted almost the entire month

Looking to May
Get back to morning workouts
Maple Grove Half Marathon (hoping to PR)
Get outside to bike, bought a Burley now to find a toddler helmet
The end of another semester! Only 4 to go, even with the addition of a new specialization I can see the end.
Get the BOB back out
Add more stretching to my routine, maybe pilates?