Sunday, April 29, 2012

I did it! Heroes Half Marathon re-cap.

This is very, very long, so grab a coffee! 

Wow, what an amazing and fun day! I can honestly say I loved every single second of the run. Was it tough? YES. But still very fun. I AM A HALF-MARATHONER!

I'll start at the very beginning (because that is the very best place to start.)

Matt, the girls and I all piled in to the car shortly after 6:00 am and drove about 45 minutes north to Everett, where the Heroes Half was held. I was really glad we were able to park quite close to the start/finish/packet pick-up area. It made everything a lot easier for all of us. As we were pulling gear out of the car I finally got to see the sign Matt made for me.

If you look closely you will see that Eloise added some more pizazz to her sign by the time I finished!
I have to say, these were all pretty awesome signs. I am glad I got to see them before the race because, when I was approaching the finish line, I was overwhelmed (and overcome) by everyone out there cheering and I didn't really see the signs. 

We got my bib number and t-shirt, waited in the port-a-potty line and then went back to the car to get my last-minute things situated. I did some stretching and then it was back to the port-a-potty line. 

TMI TIME: I was hoping to go "#2" before the half started, which runners obviously appreciate before they set out on a race. I had no luck, and was a little stressed about it. What if I had to go out on the course?!?! 

While I was in the potty the second time Matt started yelling "they are starting the race!" so I wrapped up my efforts and jumped out to get to racing. I threw my jacket to Matt and said my goodbyes. Then I was off!

The race was very small; I think I heard it was just over 800 people. We had two lanes of a road to spread out on, and it was nice that I didn't have to do too much weaving around the other runners. I spent most of the first couple of miles going "holy shit, I can't believe I am doing this!" and then we approached pretty much our only hill. It wasn't bad, just a ramp to get from the road on to the highway. I also knew that on the way back it would help out quite a bit. 

When I looked up a map of the course online I thought it was going to be quite scenic, as it goes right along the waterfront. Turns out it wasn't right along the water, though. We went over three really cool bridges but that is the only time I saw water. Oh wait, scratch that. The turn around point was a path around a sewage treatment plant. Yeah, that was lovely. 

Overall I felt the race was nothing special in terms of scenery, but it didn't bother me. I find that even when I run next to gorgeous views I focus on what is right in front of me for the most part, anyways.

Mostly my thoughts went like this "I am running a half-marathon!" "Should I be running this fast? Can I sustain this?" "Yeah, I got this." "Gee, so glad I don't have to poop!" "I am running a half-marathon!" "I wonder what Matt and the girls are doing?" "Oh look at that, I passed another runner!" "I am still running a half-marathon!"

Once I got past the first four or five miles I checked my Garmin. Doing, the math in my head, I realized that if I kept my pace or even slowed down a bit that I would hit my time goal of 2:00. Knowing I was ahead of my pace gave me a lift that helped me push even harder. 

I'm really glad I practiced running negative splits. I am not a super speedy runner, but especially on the second half of the race I passed a lot of people and was only passed once or twice. One guy I was following most of the way really slowed down at about mile 11. I was kind of bummed to run on without him, since he was my buddy without even knowing it. Since it was the "Heroes Half" many service men and women were running. I entertained myself wondering if the guys I was passing were firefighters or police men. 

I stared feeling it when I came back down the hill around mile 11. You know, the "it" that says "oh, man, I am tired, this is getting tough," but I pushed on and sped up. The course did this really fun (or not so fun, really) thing where right before we got to the finish area we had a huge detour out and around the marina. I was checking my Garmin and knew what the mileage was, but it was still annoying to feel like I was close and then be directed out. 
A picture of the finish line, just a wee bit before I finished!
Waiting for me with their signs!
Matt and his sign!
Right at the end we had to make a hard right, then a hard left, and that is when I heard the cheers. I started scanning the crowd for Matt and the girls, as the finish line didn't end up being where we originally thought it would be, so our plan was out the window. Tears started forming in my eyes as I found my family. I yelled for the girls to come out and run to the finish line with me-- I ended up grabbing Eloise's hand and Iris ran up right behind us. As we crossed the finish line the lady handing out the medals asked Eloise if she wanted to put it on me, which of course she did. It was really sweet and fun. 
Here I am going "come on and run with me!" to the girls!
My chip time was 1:57:59!!!!! I honestly couldn't even believe I was able to do it. I slowed to walk through every water station and took two gels on the course, but I felt strong the whole way and blew my aggressive goal of a 2:00 finish out of the water.

Finishing with my girlies! One of my favorite parts of this photo is seeing
 all the people watching who turned to see us running :)
After some hanging around and me changing in to my, well, pajamas (yeah), it was time for Matt and the girls to run the kids' race.

Strong girl!

I guess she didn't read her bib?

On your marks, get set, go!

My speedy girl. See that little blob of pink to the right in the photo?
That was the first place girl, but Eloise was hot on her heels.
She was so happy to be running... a girl after my own heart!

Here comes Matt and Iris! Big smiles! 

Three proud girls with three well-deserved medals.
After the kids race we headed to the Scuttlebutt brewery for food, but about half way in to my cheeseburger I totally faded and was DONE. I wanted to get home and in to bed. Once we got home, I took a warm shower and put my jammies on again, and then, finally, got in to bed for a rest. Ahhhh.

I can't even properly describe in words how awesome this day was. Matt and the girls gave me so much love and support, everyone on facebook offered congrats, my mom made me feel so awesome when I called her. My BRF (best running friend) even brought me tulips. How amazing is she????

You only get your first half-marathon once, and I am so glad I chose to do this one. I think the Rock-n-Roll would have been very overwhelming  for my first one. It is going to be an absolute blast for my second, though. Lots of friends are running so it will be like a 13.1 mile party in sneakers. 

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Taper and tape

My joke this week is that I have been carb-loading and tapering for about two weeks in anticipation of Sunday's half marathon. To anyone who is reading that isn't a runner, let me explain carb-loading and tapering. Carb-loading starts about 24-48 hours before a race, when you want to consume something like 90% of your calories from carbs (a typical diet is closer to about 55%, if my memory serves without looking it up). I have had noooooo problem adhering to this, though!

A taper means you run less than normal in anticipation of having your legs well-rested for the race. Any hard training near the race no longer helps your race performance and can only serve to hurt you, so the idea is to taper down your running until race day. Again, I had no problem adhering to this. I have read about "taper madness" where people get antsy and have a hard time reducing the thing they love to do, but this time, at least, I felt really good about it. My last few runs were kind of crappy, anyways, so I was happy to take a little break and build the excitement about the race. Last Saturday through Monday I ran a total of about 17 miles and my legs were toast for the rest of the week. I did a slow easy run on Wednesday night and intended to run another slow easy run on Saturday (today), but I didn't have a chance to (read: too busy carb-loading to let my stomach empty enough to fit in a run!).

On Thursday afternoon I went to my physical therapist. It was only my second appointment with her and so far I am not in love. Last time she sent me home with ideas for stretching and strengthening, which I did more or less every day with pretty much no change in my hamstring/shin issues. On Thursday she taped up my hamstring and shins with kinesiology tape and sent me on my way. Well, that was nice, but not sure what that is supposed to do for me in the long run (pun not intended!). I ended up ripping all the tape off today because I realized I didn't want to run with my legs all taped up like a neon Christmas present for my first half marathon ever, especially since I had never run with the tape on before. So far my injuries don't negatively affect me while I am actively running I wasn't too worried to take it off. Maybe I will try taping and running another time.

Side note: how random is it that when I run hard I feel fine, then hobble around like an old lady when I stop running, only to be able to leap in to a sprint again?

Obviously this is just my shins, my right hamstring was all taped, as well.
The girls made signs for me and Matt hinted at having made a sign of his own, I can't wait to see it! It is going to be a really fun day. I feel completely and totally ready and that my training went as well as I could have hoped. After telling myself I don't really need to, I decided to make a time goal (putting it out in the universe now: it's 2:00) but if things don't go as planned, I will be okay. After all, it is my first half, so it will be amazing whether I bust through my time goal or overshoot it by 20 minutes. Okay, maybe I will cry a little if I go over by 20 minutes, but it will still always be my first! I can't wait to come back and write about/show pictures about how it goes!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Under pressure

Things have been a little, well, intense, ever since I got back from Marco Island. The girls did to me what they usually do to their dad after he has been gone on a trip, which is to say they acted like big fat jerky pants. I get it, I get it, they do it to show me they love me, right? So we made it through spring break last week with only a few tears shed (on my part) and seem to be settling back in to a normal week of school-- both home and public-- and everything else that gets done on any given week. Even good stress can still be stressful, which is how I am feeling about the half marathon coming up this weekend. It's good stress. Today my physical therapist taped my legs up all crazy, I look like a hot pink Christmas present from the waist down! Let's hope it helps my hamstring and shins!

The other part of my stress has come from the news we got from the Seattle Public School district that Iris wasn't placed in to her little sister's school for the fall. She was assigned to our reference school and put on the waiting list for Eloise's school, so she will get in only if someone gives up their spot. I wrote about it in more detail over on my schooling blog, but what I have to say about it here is that I might just completely fall apart with stress and worry over the situation long before the new school year starts. We could literally be waiting until September 30th (which is just over FIVE months from now) before we get a definitive answer. They keep the waiting list running a few weeks after school starts and then that's it.

I haven't been able to talk to Iris about what will happen with school in the fall because right now the answer is: "I just don't know". Knowing how much Iris struggles with anxiety has made me keep every detail to on the subject to myself. I don't know at what point will I have to start talking to her about it and about the fact that we will have to prepare her to potentially go to a different school while secretly crossing our fingers that she won't end up there, anyways.

Today Matt and I went to Iris's therapy appointment without her to talk about a few things we can't talk about with her in the room, and I brought up the school issue. I feel a teeny wee bit better knowing we have professional help in wading through this situation because I am sure that MY anxiety over all of it is of no help to Iris. The sweet therapist reminded me that Iris will be just fine if she ends up at the other school, and I think I definitely needed to hear that. Iris often surprises me with her resilience and her ability to handle situations that I never thought she could. I suppose our "worst case" scenario next year is she has to go to the other school and it is so awful (for whatever reason) that I pull her out and home school her again. Not too bad for a worst case scenario, though from my experience with how rocky the beginning of this school year was, I am seriously hoping to avoid that at all costs.

The best thing is that Iris WANTS to go to school. Now, she has wanted to do other things and ended up severely hating them, but this would all be infinitely more difficult if we were forcing her to go to school against her will.

So in the meantime, I will keep running away from the stress (literally) and keeping my fingers crossed that the universe will work it all out for us. It always does!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Running wrap-up

This past was a week of lower mileage for me, which is good because I am sort of in "taper mode" which means cutting down a bit right before my race.

Total mileage for the week: 19.9 (.1 away from 20?!?! Sheesh!)

Monday: rest day
Mostly I rested because I was on Marco Island still and didn't feel like running in the heat. Hopefully going to the beach and eating a grilled chicken sandwich and fries was enough cardio for the day!

Tuesday: intervals class
I was pretty tired at class but ended up running decent times. We ran an 800 meter warm-up, then 20 sets of stairs, then a 1200, two 800s, and one 400. Overall a low mileage class, which was fine for how spent I was.

Wednesday: 5.1 miles
Still tired, but it was a nice run with shorts and a t-shirt!

Thursday: bootcamp
Oh man, this was a very tough class. We did hill repeats and 60 spiderman push-ups (not all at once, thank god) plus a bunch more stuff. 48 hours later my abs were still sore, which is saying a lot! Side note: I don't count any mileage from bootcamp in to my weekly running mileage because it can be hard to tell exactly how far I ran and usually it is less than a mile total.

Friday: rest day
I am just getting lazy this week! Ugh! I should have run, but I didn't.

Saturday: 6.9 miles on the trails at Cougar Mountain
I went up with an acquaintance and her friend and we met up some fabulous ladies from the High Heels Running Group. It was a tough course, much more technical and hilly than what I had ever done before, but I did it and had an absolute blast the whole time.

A rear-view picture of all of us ladies sporting hair ribbons
 in celebration of Megan's (the founder of the group, in all black) birthday!
I am in the purple shirt, my friend is in the bright green shirt and her friend is in the blue shirt with red shorts.

Sunday: 5.6 miles
I had to get up at 5:45 Sunday morning so that I could help with  race my fitness/running coach was putting on in the morning. Luckily we were down on the waterfront and it was an unbelievably gorgeous day so it ended up being a lot of fun. Of course this, coupled with several more hours outside in the sun, meant I was super exhausted by the time I was able to fit a run in (working the race, two play dates and a basketball game for Matt made for a busy day!). I was tired. It was too hot for me and I picked a hilly route. I ended up walking several times which I usually don't do. Ah, well. I got it done!

After I got home, this was my post-run meal. Protein shake and peanut butter slathered on a banana. Deeeelicious!

Next time I write this it will include my half marathon! So very excited!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Marco Island, next day and a half

I woke up on Saturday morning determined to get in a long-ish run on Marco Island. I hydrated well on Friday, I took a gel before running, I wore my water belt and I also picked a different route-- a loop. I figured I would have to finish a loop, unlike an out and back, there is no turning around early!

It ended up being a much better run than Friday, but still tough. When I got back to the house I stripped off my shoes and socks and running shirt and jumped in to this:

I think I could do ANY run if it ended with a dip in the pool! This pool was probably colder than the Gulf was, which isn't saying much. The Gulf was 78* while I was there!

And then it was time to eat breakfast, poolside.

After breakfast my mom and I got ready and headed out for a morning of shopping. Of course, I had to hit up the one Starbucks I had spotted on the island! You can take the girl out of Seattle . . . .

After some browsing at a few different shops we went in to a giant store that sells t-shirts, towels and all sorts of other obnoxious beach-themed tchotchkes. I found a couple of Marco Island t-shirts for Iris and Eloise and then we headed back to the house for lunch. Oh, and a nap. It started raining in the afternoon so it was a perfect time to catch a little snooze on the couch in front of some random episodes of HGTV.

My mom in front of the fountain in one of the shopping centers we were at. 

After the nap we headed out on an adventure. While shopping my mom got some info about a little trail where you can see some great wildlife, it is part of Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge. We parked and headed in, not really sure what was in store for us! I wish I had more pictures, but they are all on my mom's camera. We saw three little alligators, one huge alligator and tons of birds. And I got bitten but lots of mosquitoes. Not so fun. It was a little creepy, walking along this trail with mangroves on either side-- it felt like you never quite knew if something was going to slither across the path or jump out and make you lunch!

The one photo with my camera.
After some more driving around we headed back home and got ready to go to dinner. We chose a little bistro and shared a BLT and a variation on a Waldorf salad. Both dishes were excellent. Then it was back to the house for dessert, a movie (Pretty Woman!) and bed! 

Sunday morning I decided to forgo the run because we had planned to do a kayak excursion and I knew that I would get plenty of exercise paddling around the mangroves. We checked in at the marina just before 9:00 am and met our captain for the day, Sean. 

The tour was just myself, my mom, another mom from Boston and her 11 year old daughter. We had an absolute blast! Sean was a perfect captain (and pretty easy on the eyes, if I do say so myself!) and our companions were chatty and very nice. 

The boat took us out of the harbor and around Isle of Capri before heading up in the mangroves. On our way out of the harbor we saw osprey, pelicans, bottle-nose dolphins and  . . . . a manatee! The whole trip my ONE objective was to see a manatee. Captain Sean made it happen! 

The dolphins were feeding along the sea wall here. There was two or three of them, but we never saw much more than their dorsal fins popping up.

The manatee was extremely curious about our boat. He (she?) kept swimming in close, then under the boat, then back out again over and over.

So cute!

Manatees' backs are covered in algae and sometimes barnacles. They aren't the fastest moving creatures! Sean said that manatees will rub their backs on the undersides of boats to clean themselves off. This manatee had a few scars on its back, as well.

After hanging with a the manatee for a while we made our way back in to the mangroves and set off on our kayaking adventure. As we were unloading the kayaks a couple of dolphins swam right past us, but unfortunately that was the only non-bird wildlife we saw while kayaking. Sean took us back around and around the mangroves, occasionally directing us through tunnels created by the branches so we could test or (very mediocre) skills. It was so peaceful out on the water. I will have to put the pictures my mom got up when I get them.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Marco Island, first day and a half!

Yesterday I returned from an amazing, and much needed, vacation on Marco Island, Florida. I loved every second of it and can't wait to go back! Though the break from family was incredibly relaxing, I did spend a lot of time thinking about how much the girls would have loved it. I think Matt would have, too, but he's not as much of a beach person as the rest of us. I got to go to Marco Island because my mom, who lives in Michigan, was there house and dog-sitting for a friend.

I flew in on a red-eye and arrived Thursday just before lunch. My mom picked me up, we zipped "home" and immediately changed in to our bikinis! Marco Island is really amazing because the island has dozens of canals and it feels like everywhere you turn there is water, so hanging out in a bikini all day seems totally normal!

After ooohing and ahhhing over the island and the house (and the indoor swimming pool!) we headed out to a beach called Residents' Beach. It was, you guessed it, a beach only for residents of Marco Island. We got to go there because my mom was using the car that belonged to the people who lived there and we had a special pass on the car. On my map above, if you go to the west end of San Marco Road, where it intersects with N. Collier Blvd, that is where the parking lot for Residents' Beach is.

Here is my mom, telling me something about something. This is the path up to the beach.

Walking along the path.

On the wide, almost white beach. The sand on these beaches isn't hot like it is in Michigan! It is almost impossible to walk on dry sand in Michigan without hurting your feet. Not here! The sand reflects the sun, I was told.

The beach is very, very wide.

Looking back up towards the path.

We walked right up and stuck our feet in the water. This is standing at the edge of the Gulf of Mexico, looking north. I had never been in the Gulf before and was amazed at how warm it was!

Looking south. Lots of condos along the water, but they aren't right on the beach. You can walk south along this beach for a long ways. In fact, later in my stay we went to South Beach which is, you guessed it, right at the south end of this strip.

This one I took with my phone. 99% of the pictures from my trip don't include me. Or scratch that, the ones that do, I took! Ha. After we took this it was time to go shelling for the first time. These beaches are basically a giant pile of shells in various stages of being broken down, it's incredible!

On the way home we stopped at the grocery store to pick up some provisions and then we spent the rest of the day at home eating, drinking, walking the dogs and swimming in the pool.

I crashed pretty early the first night as I hadn't really gotten any sleep because of the flight. The next morning, Friday, I woke up at 6:00 am in an attempt to get a run in before it became too hot out. Of course, on Marco Island, the lowest temps were around 65, which is still hotter than what I usually run in!

The sun coming up. This is the view across the street from our house. That house on the left is for sale, but I think my mom said the house was 2.8 million. Just a touch out of our price range, boo!

What 99% of my running route looked like on that morning. I love, love, loved passing countless palm trees and tropical plants! So much of it reminded me of Hawaii, too.

Okay, this is a terrible photo taken with my phone, but see the small bit of brown in the grass in the bottom left of the photo? That is a burrowing owl. This lot is home to a few of these guys (and gals) and every time we went past we could check on the owls. The next morning I ended up spooking one because it was right next to the road as I ran past. If owls are making their home in a lot they are protected and can't be disturbed.

This run with pretty rough. I was hot, tired, sore, under-nourished and dehydrated.

When I got home I had to shower and eat quickly so we could head out to Tigertail beach for a walk/talk with a naturalist. It was so informative! Unfortunately the tide was high so many of the animals that hang around at low tide weren't there, but we still learned about everything. In my map above, if you go straight left from the red "A" in the center of the photo you will see a piece of land that, well, looks like a tail! That is Tigertail.

Unfortunately most of my photos I took with my mom's camera, which is still with her on Marco Island until next week.

This is the path to get from the parking lot to the beach, looking toward where the parking lot is.

This is walking out on to the beach.

All of those people are walking across this low channel to get out to the Gulf. You can't really swim in this channel, the water is low and while it is warm, it's not great for swimming. It IS good for watching for wildlife. We saw lots of birds, like osprey, red egrets and sandpipers. We found shells, most of them still with creatures in them, some with hermit crabs in them! While you can collect non-living shells, it is against the law to take shells with creatures living in them. We learned about the mangroves and the difference between red, white and black mangroves. Very interesting stuff.

My mom and I went home for a little while before heading back to Tigertail with our swimsuits on. We collected more shells, relaxed and swam before heading home for eating, drinking,  and dog walking!

This was my favorite mailbox on the island. Wondering if I can get one in Seattle? That wouldn't be weird, would it?

More to come!

School assignment

We recently got Iris's school assignment for next year. To read my thoughts about it, head over to my schooling blog, The Schooling Bridge.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Week of running wrap-up

So my big excitement last week was that I was on Marco Island, Florida for a few days and got in a couple of decent runs! I was planning on running all four days I was there, but, well, it didn't happen. It was very hot and humid for a Seattle girl. The first morning I got up and death marched through my short run. The next day I planned better and knocked out twice as many miles. The day after that I got in my exercise kayaking and walking the dogs and the last day? Well, that was a free day, I guess!

Monday: 5.5 mile run
I decided to embrace the hills because if I don't want to run up any as I leave for a run from my front door I only have two options: run in to a not-so-nice (or consistently safe) part of town or on the path that I have run what feels like eighty bajillion times. So up the hills I go! It was a good run, I got to wear shorts and a t-shirt!

Tuesday: 4.8 miles
This night was my intervals class. It was one of my most favorite workouts ever, as we did a one mile warm-up then three one mile repeats. On the last repeat I set my new one mile PR at 7:26. At class, sometimes I'm on and sometimes I'm not so on. That night I was on and was loving every step of the workout!

Friday: 3.4 miles
This was my first run on Marco Island. I was jet-lagged, hot, had no water, hadn't taken any gels or anything, my shins were sore. It was rough.

Saturday: 6.9 miles
I took a gel before I left, wore my water belt, had another gel on the run and wore my compression socks. It was a hard run, but I felt better than on Thursday! The best part was finishing my run by jumping in to this pool at the house I was staying at with my running clothes (not shoes!) on:

Later that day I walked 3.5 miles between walking dogs (we walked the dogs 1.5 miles every day) and exploring at a nature preserve. I haven't been putting my walking miles in to dailymile, but it definitely made for a lot of miles on my feet that day!

Sunday I went kayaking 2 miles. The best part of my trip to Marco Island was this kayaking trip. I will write more about it later, but this was my exercise that day.

Just under two weeks until my half! I am very excited, though I often "forget" about the race in how busy I have been. I need to pray for good weather . . . which to me is something like 40s at the starting line and 50s at the finish. My heart went out to those running the Boston Marathon yesterday, as I knew exactly what running in that heat felt like! NOT fun!

Sunday, April 08, 2012

My week of running

I have seen other bloggers I follow post a weekly update on running and I think I will try to do that so that I can can A) not overwhelm the blog with running stuff!, and B) have it all in one place for reference. Of course, I am well aware that is mostly for MY reference, unless any of my dear readers are dying to look back on my running career, ha! I will have to think of a fun name for my Sunday night wrap-up.

This week I ran a total of 21 miles . . . or so that is what dailymile says. I realize they round up to the nearest whole mile so  I am hoping I didn't miss something.
I was "supposed" to run another 5-6 mile day today, but with it being Easter and my long run yesterday and knowing I was going to sit in the car for almost three hours today . . . well, I didn't want to push it. I also ran several 400s (one fast lap of the track) on the 5th during my fitness class, so I had a lot of running days in a row already. Anyways, 21 miles. I am happy with anything over 20 right now.

On the 3rd we did 400s at the track at my running class. I HATE 400s. If someone said "hey, you can either run four miles or one fast 400, what do you want to do?" I would probably pick the four miles.

This week I also did my second early morning run. I definitely like running at that time of day, but I didn't get up quite early enough to do the amount of miles I wanted to do. Instead of doing more miles I headed for a long hill near my house. Quality over quantity that day, I guess!

My biggest excitement this week was my longest run, mileage wise, yet! 12 miles! We were at my in-laws for Easter and I did my long run there on Saturday. It was so much fun to do that kind of distance. I know that sounds weird, but I really do love to run. I half listened to a bunch of Another Mother Runner podcasts that I had already heard. One thing I am learning is that I really don't need music as much as I thought I did. I have done so many runs without my ipod or music and I feel the same running with or without it. I didn't plan my re-fueling very well so I felt a little flat for the second half of my run, but I still did okay. I need to figure out the best way to re-fuel on runs that are long enough that I can't carry as many gels or as much water on me as I need.

It feels like I am definitely in wonderful shape to do my first half marathon in three weeks from today!

My route was a little crazy. I referred to some routes that a local running club suggested but then added on a bunch of extra miles so I had all kinds of turns to remember. I ended up writing down the turns on a piece of paper, but I still got lost once. That big square up in the top left corner was totally out of my way (I was supposed to turn right and instead I went left, you can see where I got back on track!), so I cropped off those miles from the end of the run. Ah, well. It all ended up fine!

The elevation was fine, there was only one steep short hill that kind of caught me off guard. I was glad that it wasn't completely flat so that I still got in training on long inclines. There was one hill I was flying down and then realized I lost a gel packet on the way . . . so I ran back up it to find it and I couldn't. A little extra hill work never hurt anyone, right?

The other big excitement for me was doing my first ice bath at the end of the run. My legs honestly have felt totally fine ever since the run, I wonder if that is because of the ice bath? Ice baths are coooooold but I read some tips to help me out. For instance, it is good to keep your top half covered and warm (check!) and drink something hot (Mexican mocha!). I did ten minutes in the water and it wasn't the worst thing ever. Heck, I've given birth sans drugs, so everything is down hill after that, right?

All in all, it was a great week. I am doing my stretches every day, though some days a little more abbreviated, and I am icing my shins regularily and am taking one day totally off of working out per week plus having another day as cross-training. I hope, hope, hope that I am being smart in my training! 

Next week my weekly wrap-up will come from a warm, sunny and beautiful part of the country . . . . stay tuned! 

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

A few (non-running) updates

If you can even believe, there are things going on around here besides running. Shocking, I know!

First, last night I read that my friend and awesome blogger/mama/photographer/chef/homemaker/ community activist Holli nominated me for a blog award. Awwww! Thanks Holli!

I am sorry that right now I am going to be a little bit of a jerk and not tag all of the bloggers that I am supposed to. My blogging window for the day is rapidly dwindling, unfortunately.

Here are the rules that Holli posted about the award:

The Rules:
  1. Thank the person who gave you this award.
  2. Include a link to their blog.
  3. Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly.
  4. Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award.
  5. Finally, tell the person who nominated you (and those reading this post!) 7 things about yourself.
  6. Inform each nominated blogger of their nomination by posting a comment on each of their blogs.
The one super cool thing is that Holli nominated me because I inspired her! How awesome is that? I have to say that Holli inspires me quite a bit, as well. I secretly suspect there are actually three or four of her, for how much awesomeness she is able to accomplish on any given day. 

Second, we are in car-buying hell. We have an older Saturn that I bought when I was pregnant with Iris and it is just slowly falling apart. We also have grand plans of driving to Michigan this summer to see family and, well, the old Saturn would likely not make the trip in one piece. The one blessing/curse of the process is that we are severely limited to certain cars because my tall husband needs to fit comfortably in the car we buy. At 6' 7" this is a pretty, um, tall order. The one really good thing about this, however, is that being limited means much less headache in terms of the "what kind of car is right for me?" question. The right car 1. fits Matt, 2. fits our price range 3. gets decent gas mileage. Boom. Done. We narrowed it down, or so we thought, but now I have made the horrendous mistake of allowing for everyone and their brother to comment on our car buying process and EVERYONE has an opinion! 

Of course, adding to all of this fun is trying to drag two unruly children to car dealerships. It is definitely making keeping the car we have look much more attractive. 

An update over at The Schooling Bridge

Yeah, yeah, it's been a month. I am lazy busy! Come see a little of what we have been up to!