Saturday, July 30, 2011

Miss Me?

I'm sure all of my 23 followers have all been on the edge of their seats. Where is she?!? Where is she?!? Bahahahaha!

We're on vacay... in sunny AZ.

Wait.

Don't we live in sunny AZ?

Indeed.

We're currently two hours north with extended family.

And of course, we're still working out...

Doing some lat pull-downs on random exercise equipment on the back porch. 
(I think the broom gives it a nice touch, don't you? Also, I super love Mike's hair with the middle part and bangs.)

Gettin' huge!!!

Perfecting the "Flying Squirrel"
(God, I love this...)


Working on our jumps.


Small deduction for the splash.

Go Colin!!

Working on our back flips.

And our front flips.
(My husband took this. Thanks for the asstastic photo, honey. Notice how I made it small.)

Also working on our Wipeout auditions.


I'm still getting my runs in! My 5-year old took this. Don't you love the patterned vertical blinds in background? Let's get a close up.


AAAACK!!! Super creepy (blinds and me). I went a little crazy with the touch-up function on iPhoto, and now I look blurry and WEIRD. Yikes!

I strained my calf while I was here. Not good. Totally bummed. 

10 miles tomorrow instead of 15. New shoes on order (Brooks Launch). Fingers crossed for a quick recovery. 

I swear. 

You get one thing fixed (strained hip flexor) and then another thing goes to HELL

Here's to being almost 36! Boo.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

I Love My Husband!!!

...even though he takes semi-skanky pictures of me for my blog and thinks they are ok to publish.

I'll explain in a bit.

Sunday long run today was again a 14-miler. My coach increases my mileage VERY conservatively. I've done 37 miles each week for the past two weeks. Next week will be 38 miles + a 15-miler for my long run.

I'm feeling a little bummed. I used to really look forward to my long runs. At this point, they are simply a chore. When I left the house this morning at 4:40 IN THE FREAKIN' MORNING, it was already 85 degrees. It was also windy. Wind gusts were up to 15 mph. I started out running directly into the wind thinking this would serve me well on the way back (turns out it really didn't). I kept stalking my Garmin, which was reading in the 9:20s. Ugh!

Would love to say that the run really took off after a few miles but not so much.

I had to poop around mile 11. Naturally, the bathrooms in the park were LOCKED. Come on! Throw me a bone already!!

At any rate, I made it. Finished up without pooping my pants and at a 9:17 overall pace. Meh.

When I got home, my husband hopped to it. Not only did he go get me 40 pounds of ice for my ice bath, he brought me some Starbucks too! (Note: Even the water here comes out of the tap WARM during the summer, so it takes 40 pounds of ice to get a decent, actually therapeutic ice bath. All 40 pounds are melted by the end of the 10 minute torture session.)

Awkward ice bath photo. I couldn't figure out what to do with my R arm, apparently.

I actually had to crop the photo because my husband took a really crotchtastic photo of me in the tub. What's the equivalent to TMI in photo talk? Yeah, it was something like that. TMV maybe?

The only thing even remotely cute about that photo is my headband. A couple of weeks ago I won a blog giveaway from Shut Up and Run. It was for $50 worth of headbands from Active Headbands. I can't say enough great things about my experience with these headbands thus far. They don't move AT ALL during my runs. I've used several types of headbands before and they have ALL slipped out of place. Not these though. I'm a huge fan and highly recommend that you check out their website and order a couple for yourself.

How are your long runs going in this heat?

Do you do ice baths??


Friday, July 22, 2011

That's a Wrap!

7/17 continued: Running not only does a body good, it does a mind good too.

After my 14-miler, we headed over to the pool for the last day of Regional competition. A swim team mom looked at me and said, "I heard about your run. Gosh, you look so relaxed." I had that glow. Leaving it all out on the pavement will do that to (for?) you.

This shirt from anothermotherrunner.com says it all.


I don't have the shirt (yet) but only because they don't offer this one in a tank top. I need a tank top this time of year!!!

After Evan swam his final Regional event (can't even remember what it was at this point...), we decided to stop by a nearby fro-yo joint for a little treat.

This place was CUTE! And they had peanut butter fro-yo. SCORE!!!

I had an epiphany in the yogurt place. Sort of. Actually, it wasn't so much of an epiphany as it was a decent idea or an experiment, if you will.

The day prior (Saturday) was just rough. Evan shuts down when the water is chillier than his liking. He mentally unravels and the day goes to poop. So what do we do when he starts crying and carrying on? We kind of kick him when he's down, telling him things like, "It's not cold," and "You're being a bit ridiculous/dramatic," and "Stop complaining." Does that really work? No. He still thinks the water is cold, he's still dramatic and he still complains.

But you know, I think as people (i.e. mothers), we do that to ourselves anyway. You have a bad day, so you skip your workout. Or you overeat. Or you snap at the kids. Or you pick up happy meals at McDonald's for dinner. And then what? You continue to berate yourself about it. You kick yourself when you're down. Then, guess what? You get so used to that mentality that you kick your kids when they're down.

I wanted to use this opportunity where everyone was HAPPY to my sneaky little advantage.

Me: "Evan, look at my foot after my run." (This would be my L mangled foot with the GINORMOUS fluid-filled blister, bruised big toenail, cut on second toe from jagged third toenail stabbing it on runs, contusion under third toenail which bleeds on every run and completely white (dead?) 4th toenail... sexy).

Evan: "Gross. Does it hurt?" (mostly talking about my new blister...)

Me: "It doesn't feel good, but it's part of running. "

Evan: (pause) "Well, why don't you just stop running?"


Hmmmm. He has a point. DAMNIT!


Me: "I don't want to. I like running. This kind of thing is just part of it. Kind of like the cold pool. If you want to be an athlete, sometimes you just have to kind of deal with stuff like this. It's just how it is."


Evan: "Oh." (dives back into yogurt)

Ok, maybe I planted a seed. Or something like that. What's smaller than a seed? Maybe I planted that.

Or not.

At any rate, the afternoon went muuuuuuuuuuuuuuch better than Saturday.

Of course I didn't take any pictures because I was wrangling kids.

I should have though! Evan's last event was a 50m breaststroke against kids upwards of 6 years older than him. He was placed in his heat based on his best time.

This is crazy to me! (and he thought it was so cool that he had beaten a 13-year old's time in a previous meet)

It was funny watching him on the starting blocks. Most of the kids were literally twice his size (he's 50 pounds). I so wish I had gotten a picture!!!! Unfortunately, the camera was in the car and I had just stuck my hand in a giant buttcrack full of poop checking to see if Colin had soiled his diaper.

Um, yes he had. And of course I did this about 2 minutes before the start of Evan's event. So there I was cheering with a thumbnail full of feces.

Evan finished last in the heat but still managed to hang with the big boys. He wasn't far behind!!!! (Peaked too soon this year... bummer)

He finished happy. Back to (trash) talking about how he's going to be the best swimmer in the world someday. I love it.




And that is a wrap for both the weekend and for summer swimming...


Thursday, July 21, 2011

DOI!!!!

I must be in denial about races with hills.

First, there was the Derby Festival Marathon hills. Miles 10-12 = not too fun (especially with the sun coming out). Miles 22-24 = not fun AT ALL on dead legs.

I forgot that Louisville had some hills. I even trained on those mile 10-12 hills in high school. I completely must have blocked them out of my mind!!

I googled the Heartbreak Ridge Half this morning to see if I could find the course.

I came across a blog entry from a guy who ran it last year.

What the what? 


Well duh. Why else would the race be called "Heartbreak" Ridge?

Looks like it's an out and back course. You go up a ginormous hill, down to the bottom of another one, turn around, and then run right back up that sucker.

It's a good thing that I've been incorporating some hill repeats into my weekly workouts. I think I need to incorporate some into my long runs as well.

7 weeks from Saturday!!!!

Any other tips for me???

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Long Slow DESERT Run

Sunday 7/17: It's 5 am, and it's time to hit the road for my 14-miler. Doing it this early ensures that I will be back at the hotel, showered and fed before we need to head out for Evan's Regionals, which start at 8. 

Mike and I had mapped out part of a route the day prior. Taking a back road behind our hotel for 4.5 miles would take me to Hwy. 93. I could either turn back around and then tack on another 5 miles around the hotel (booooooring), or I could do what I really like to do on my out-of-town runs: try and figure out a loop that brings me back to the hotel. I'll do that! (I'm actually pretty good at it.)

First, let me just show you for what my 14-milers look like here in Yuma.


I know what you're thinking, and yes. I took a picture of the computer screen. I COULD NOT figure out how to cut and paste this section of my Garmin report. Damn!

Anyway, that is my typical flaaaaaaaaaaaaaat run. I tried to put a couple of hills in the beginning for a challenge. It's slim pickins in the hill department here though.

Now my run in Kingman:


GAH!!!!

Note the high-altitude training. I'm so badass.

(Not really. Running at 3,680 feet apparently doesn't mean jack. I googled.)

I felt like I was going to die that first hill, but I made it. I actually did it again around Mile 10, in fact! Then I did the Rocky Balboa celebration afterwards!

I did that mofo twice!!! Booyah!!!

It was such a beautiful run. Kingman isn't much to look at for the most part, but the back road that I was on, while slightly Deliverance-ish (sans woods), offered an amazing view of the desert sunrise. Sure, I was sort of scared that someone in a pick-up truck was going to nab me, veer off on one of the side roads and rape me... But I tried not to think about it and chose to enjoy the sunrise and all the bunnies hopping across the road at this hour. They were so cute!

I even stopped to take a picture of the sunrise.



Eh. The iPhone can only do so much.

I then proceeded to butt dial Mike after putting my phone back into my fuel belt.

I took another picture a couple of miles down the road (the choo choo train featured on my first Kingman post), then butt dialed my sister! 

My primary goal each week for my long run is to run the last half at sub-9:00 min/miles. On this run, I didn't worry about it. I felt like I was getting enough of a challenge with the hills that the sub-9 didn't matter today. 

Final Score:


Split
Time
Distance
Avg Pace
Summary02:08:4314.0009:11
100:09:581.0009:59
200:09:391.0009:39
300:09:021.0009:02
400:09:071.0009:07
500:09:101.0009:10
600:09:081.0009:08
700:09:261.0009:26
800:08:481.0008:49
900:08:521.0008:53
1000:09:191.0009:19
1100:09:451.0009:45
1200:09:001.0009:01
1300:08:461.0008:46
1400:08:341.0008:34


I finished strong and felt FANTASTIC. Since Kingman is at a higher altitude and I ran so early, it was really cool compared to Yuma. The week prior on my long run, I thought I was going to die. I came home and jumped straight into our pool, which felt like a bathtub and wasn't much of a relief.

Unfortunately, that's a likely scenario for my 14-miler this Sunday. (((sigh)))

I'll just try to remember that sunrise and those bunnies. 






Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Not Feelin' It

While my birthday boy puts together some new legos in the other room, I'll quick bloggity blog...

So back to Kingman.

BTW, I had an AWESOME run in Kingman. But that blog entry is next. You'll have to wait!! Sorry if I'm totally boring you rambling on and on about my little swimmers. I've had a couple of peeps already jump ship. I'm down to a whopping 21 followers. Soon there will be crickets chirping as I talk to myself here. Lol!

Alright. Back to business.

You've heard that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, this one says it all.

Ooozing positivity and enthusiasm. Can you feel it?
(Also, I'm not sure why he looks like a ghost. The video camera picture function SUCKS!)

It just wasn't happening on Saturday. At all. For the following reasons:

1) Pool water still too cold.
2) Too much chlorine, which irritated his MILD sunburn...
3) And made his skin super itchy.
4) Still doesn't like backstroke.
5) Times were OFF. Like 3-8 seconds off from his PRs. This happened to nearly everyone though. Our city is not very supportive of the swim team and only gives the kiddos one hour to practice each afternoon. That's 1/2 the time that they swim each day fall-spring. They simply lose fitness. Bummer.
5) Too many events.
6) TIRED

Ok, I will give him 5 and 6. I'll even give him 4. These swim meets are challenging for little kids (and their parents). And by little kids, I don't just mean the competitors. Their siblings, by the end of the day, aren't feelin' it either.

In my little fantasy world, Tyler, Colin, Mom and Dad all cheer gleefully for Evan during his events. Between events, the little ones sit quietly and play. We have some snacks. We have some laughs. Everyone is happy. We're all outside in the fresh air and all is well.

In reality, Coach Dad hangs with Evan and makes sure he's staying on track. He walks him to the starting blocks, makes sure his goggles are all set, and gives him advice on his stroke techniques, his underwater pullouts and all that sh*t that I really know nothing about.

Meanwhile... I'm:

 Making sure these two don't kill each other. 

 Watching them as they stalk swimmer chicks. 
(How you doin'?)

Making sure they get along with other random kids that they befriend because they have cool legos. (Tyler tried to set up a sleepover with this little guy even though he lives 3 hours away in Lake Havasu.)

Other duties:

1) Keeping them OUT of our snack cooler. You don't need a snack every 3 minutes!!!! GET OUT!!
2) Making sure they don't kill themselves playing on the bleachers.
3) Keeping them (mostly Colin) OUT of the competition pool. NO! YOU CAN'T STICK YOUR FEET IN THERE! OUT!!!
4) Changing a really disgusting poopy diaper or taking Tyler to go poop in the bathroom, of course, 3 minutes before Evan's event.

Now that I'm typing this out, I realize that, I too, am not feelin' it by the end of the day.

At any rate, it was a LONG Saturday (1 event in the morning at Regionals, 5 events in the afternoon). There was a lot of tears (from all of our kiddos) and lots of lecturing on having a good attitude and being mentally tough (totally futile but we had to try).

Evan still rocked his 50m breaststroke. 

He's on the far R. Totally not sure how I got this action shot with the crappy video camera, but I'll take it! (No, the pool is not really Wizard of Oz green)

I know winning isn't everything, but it's really cool seeing this, especially after a pretty lousy day. Great note to end on.

When all was said and done, we (ok, really just me) stuffed ourselves with Papa John's pizza back in the hotel room, Mike and Evan went off to meet the rest of the team for a 7 pm showing of the new Harry Potter movie, and I got the little ones off to bed. I needed some shut-eye before my challenging 14-miler the following morning. It was one of the nicest long runs I've ever done. Can't wait to tell you all about it!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Kingman Kraziness

Whew.

I need another vacation.

This past weekend we traveled to Kingman, AZ for both AZ State Regionals and a no-time standard swim meet.

It was a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG weekend to say the least. Lots of highs and lows. There were many moments when I questioned if all this kid competitive crap is even worth it. Are we doing this for us (parents) or for him (Evan)? In the end, I think it's for Evan. We ended the weekend on a really good note but more on that later. Let's get to it.

So where in the world is Kingman, AZ? It's 4 hours north of Yuma in the middle of nowhere.
4 hours of this...

And this...


Ooooh! Lake Havasu! Finally, something other than BROWN and DRY.


A road trip isn't complete unless someone dumps a Subway sandwich all over the floor. Thanks, Colin!
(*Note the errant Lego and flip flop. You could totally play "I Spy" in our van.)

4 hours later, we've arrived at this very random ass town!! Choo choo!

Fun Fact about Kingman (courtesy of Wikipedia): Pamela Anderson did one of her 1992 Playboy photo shoots at the corner of 4th Street and Andy Devine Avenue (U.S. Route 66), and was brought in to the Kingman Police Department for indecent exposure. She was not charged but asked to write a letter of apology. 

Bahahahaha!

Ok, back to our weekend...

We check into our hotel and then head off to the pool for warm-ups. Friday afternoon competition was Regionals. I think we knew it was going to be a long weekend when Evan got out of the pool in tears because the water was too cold. Evan tends to be a little "Hollywood Diva" about his water temps. They have to be just right. I guess when you have 0.5% body fat, you tend to be a little colder than the average Joe. Still though, it was a bit dramatastic. The water may have been "cold-er" than what he was used to (Kingman is a little cooler than Yuma), but I would hardly call it COLD. 

Strike 2 was the fact that he hates backstroke and we were opening the weekend with 100m backstroke.

Anyway, we got through it. The event went ok, and we made a trip to Walmart for a sweatshirt for Evan for the remainder of the weekend.

Next up was dinner. This was kind of fun. We decided to head to Mr. D'z Route 66 Diner. It looked like a fun, quirky kind of place. I happened to notice it on the way into town. 

It's kind of hard to miss.


I guess it must be a famous eatery or something. While we were dining, we noticed quite a few foreigners. I think the guys in the booth behind us were German. We also saw some Frenchies taking an extraordinary amount of pictures of Elvis and Marilyn and there was a Canadian family that came in as well. Quite odd. It was a fun little place, but I can't imagine actually coming there unless you were stuck in Kingman for whatever reason.

We sat at the mint green booth in the back.
 
The rest of the swim team came and joined us, so that was kind of fun. Team bonding and all that junk.

One of the high points of the trip. Enjoying a brownie fudge sundae (with no fudge apparently) and a banana split. Sometimes it's the little things. And let me tell you, I really had to embrace the little things on this trip.

And that's a wrap for Day 1. I have so many things to do that my head is spinning! Tomorrow is someone's 8th birthday, so peace out for now!


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Slow Ride... Take It Easy

I have a confession.

There's a little voice inside of my head that constantly says (when I'm running):

"You need to be running all of your training runs below 9 min/mile. Now pick up the pace."

The only exception is during the first half of my long runs. I shoot for a 9:10-9:25 pace for the first half and then sub-9 for the last half.

Why the arbitrary sub-9 min/mile stance? Not sure. Part of it is because I feel like I have been training long enough to where I should be able to do that. Another part is that my goal for the Heartbreak Ridge Half (8 weeks from Saturday) is a 1:43. That's a sub-8 minute mile pace. If I can't hold sub-9 during training runs, how can I expect to do this?

I do have a coach, and I'll likely ask him about this when he gets back from his vacation (fabulous 13-day European cruise). I feel like I already know what he's going to say. I've asked him about hydration, fueling and LSD for long runs and he gave me a simple, straightforward explanation for each. Then he closed with:

"Hope that helps. Entire chapters have been written about this topic." 

I love it. He helps this overthinker stop overthinking.

My bet is that he's going to tell me to run by how I *feel*. If I *feel* like doing a sub-9, go for it. If I want to do a 10 min/mile, that's cool too. One of his basic rules is that one should alternate hard days with easy days. No two hard days in a row. Another one of his tenets is below (Bahaha! You have to keep reading if you want to know. PFFFFFFT!!!)

Today's run was an easy run for me. After completing 6 miles of interval training yesterday, I headed out this morning with my primary running partner and another runner and decided to just go ahead and follow their lead. It felt good, but as I looked down at my Garmin (when it finally got light enough outside), I felt really guilty seeing a 10:07 for my pace.

"Don't think about it. Just go with it. Your body needs this relaxed pace. You've been achy lately. Maybe you need to slow down. This feels good." 

At 2.5 miles, I turned around and headed back home while the girls continued on. Mike wanted to be able to go to his masters swim practice, and I only needed to do 5 miles. Time to head back.

I could have really stressed and picked up the pace to sub-9, but I decided not to. I'm gonna take it easy today.

Final Score:



Split
Time
Distance
Avg Pace
Summary00:48:165.0009:38
100:10:101.0010:10
200:09:481.0009:49
300:09:391.0009:40
400:09:261.0009:26
500:09:071.0009:07
600:00:030.0011:09



Positives to take away from the run:

1) I ran by how my body *felt*. How can that be a bad thing?
2) I did what my coach encourages me to do: finish the last half of the run stronger than the first half.
3) If nothing else, I still ran this slightly faster than what the McMillan Running Calculator says I should do for a "recovery jog" based on my goal race pace. Today, I felt like I really needed a recovery jog. Tomorrow is my weekly hilly 8-miler (or at least as hilly as you can get in Yuma).

Mcmillan Running Calculation for my 1:43 Half Marathon Goal:

Endurance WorkoutsPace/MilePace/K
Recovery Jogs9:48 to 10:186:05 to 6:24
Long Runs8:48 to 9:485:28 to 6:05
Easy Runs8:48 to 9:185:28 to 5:47


Do you have that inner voice that tells you to "pick it up" even when you know you should be going slower?

Do you incorporate "recovery jogs" after a hard day?