Sunday, September 26, 2010

Freedom

I had a great time at the Akron marathon yesterday! That race never disappoints. Even last year when I DNF'd I had a ball. This year was no different. I will get to that, but first I need to vent.

Today was one of those days where I just couldn't seem to find an hour to get my run in. I finally decided enough was enough and booked outside while mrp and peanut ate dinner, figuring I'll just eat after the kids are in bed. I'm so glad I did. I was in a bad mood all day and the run, even at a measly 4 miles, was just what I needed.

But the day made me miss the old days, before kids. Don't get me wrong. I LOOOOOVE my mrp, peanut and #2 more than anything and wouldn't change a thing. Oh no, I would not! That doesn't mean I don't look at those pre-kid days and kick myself for not appreciating my freedom more. I had so much time and could run anywhere anytime. I wish I would have trained with others more. I wish I would have traveled for races more. I wish I would have savored the miles that I was not pushing two kids in a stroller and that I wasn't worried about whether my newborn would take a bottle or whether peanut would not get into something while I was gone or whatever it is I'm worried about on any given day these past two years.

And this too shall pass. But in the meantime, I do appreciate my little bits of freedom now. And I will work on leaving the worries behind when I hit the road!

In other news, my race went great! I aspired to run 7:30 pace for my 7.9 mile leg of the relay, but since I've only run one mile under 8:00 in 5 months I figured that might be a bit of a stretch. Turned out to be a great goal. I ended up averaging 7:28! My last two miles were 7:15 and 7:14 and I felt good! I had a great time cheering for the marathoners as I passed them and working on getting my team under 3:30. When I got the hand-off we were at about a 3:33 pace, but I managed to get us in in 3:27:56!

It's kind of funny that all my marathons have been faster, but hey--it's all relative. And for right now this was a big accomplishment. I'm still a good 20 lbs heavy and at just 12 weeks post-partum I am proud of myself. And I am proud of my team. Jen C, Triple H, BS and Parsley: each ran faster than she thought she would!

Anyway, here's this week's numbers:

M: (2x BOB) 6 miles easy

T: (2x BOB) Hit a different path that is incredibly awesome for running with the stroller and did an easy 8.

W: (2x BOB) Hit the neighborhood park with the girls and BOBs. Got drenched in a surprise downpour. #2 stayed dry and peanut thought it was awesome so Evie and I soldiered on and had a great 7 mile run together averaging 9:12 pace.

Th: (2x BOB) Was thinking about a day off but needed to run so did 6.

F: (2x BOB) With the race on Saturday and the hot temps I decided 4 was sufficient.

Sa: I ran 11 total. 2 mile wu with my old fast friends MR and E-speed. Averaged 8:18 pace for the wu and felt surprisingly good. Then 7.9 miles at 7:28 pace followed by 1.1 mile slow cool-down--ouchy quads!

Su: Alone for an easy 4.

Total: 46 miles

Weight: Lost 3 more lbs!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

An Akron Marathon Carol

The 2010 Akron Marathon is on Saturday. It will be my fourth time participating. Each year's race has been its own exciting adventure for me.

In 2007 I ran my 10k p.r. It was just 6 weeks before I married mrp and I ran the third leg and he anchored. We had a super fast team. When I got my hand-off I was the lead woman in the entire race! It was exhilarating to run through the University of Akron campus and hear the screams and cheers from the spectators. Too bad my leg veered onto the desolate towpath around mile 2.5. Oh, I will never forget how hard it was to keep up the pace on the soft surface with nobody around. My first half of my leg was sub-19, but the second half was way slow as I rolled in with a 39:05. But, it was a big pr. My previous best 10k race was more than 10 minutes slower!

In 2008 I ran the anchor leg of the relay, ~8 miles while 31 weeks pregnant. My team, the Speed Bumps, was composed of 5 pregnant women. We were quite the hit. We did t.v., radio and newspaper interviews. My big pregnant running self is even in the promo video for the 2009 race. I ran somewhere south of 9:00 pace to get us in under 4:00. It was a super fun day! Looking back, I can't believe I was pregnant with peanut just two years ago!

Last year was going to be my year to do the full! I was super excited. But by the time the race rolled around my life was pretty stressful and I think my taper wasn't the best. I ended up DNF'ing. I've never ever done that before, but I felt so crappy and was having trouble even running my rock-bottom pace. I had worked so hard that I couldn't see breaking myself to run a subpar marathon, especially when I had a baby boy to take care of. Plus, I knew that mrp and I would want another kiddo fairly soon a spring marathon probably wouldn't be in the cards. So I decided to fold and try the marathon again in a couple of weeks at the Towpath Marathon. I ended up winning the Towpath marathon and had no calamities during the race (novel for me in a marathon!), but was pretty confused by why my time was way slower than I felt like I was running. I bemoaned it and whined about it until a few days later when I noticed my tummy pooching out and then starting feeling nauseous and then took a positive pregnancy test! Well, I guess we got on that second kid thing a little sooner than I had planned!

This year, I have my first race post-#2 in Akron on Saturday. I'm running the same relay leg I ran as a Speed Bump two years ago, but this time with four awesome running mom friends. I'll be 12 weeks post-partum so I don't think it's going to be an epic performance or anything. My goal for Saturday is to race for the shape I'm in on Saturday. That's it. Do my best. Although, it better be faster than two years ago!

When I reflect on Akron marathons past I realize how much my life has changed in such a short time. Hopefully, someday I'll be able to beat the 10k p.r. I set in 2007, but for now I'm happy to be where I am in September of 2010.

And with that, here's this week's numbers!

M: (alone!) 7 hilly miles averaging 8:56 pace.

T: (2x Bob) 6 easy

W: (2x Bob) 6 easy with friends.

Th: Off. Ran 9 days in a row, so think I earned this one!

F: (2x Bob) Was going to meet friends, but decided we needed a low key day so stayed local and did an easy 6 at our home base park.

Sa: (alone!) Ran 12! Ran 2.5 on the roads from home to the park to meet friends. Then 6 with said friends before hitting the trails for 2 and then ran home on the road. Overall pace was slow--friends miles were slow and then trail miles were slow, but averaged under 9:00 for all road miles alone. Longest run since the Towpath marathon!

Su: (2x Bob) Took the kiddos to the park and hammered (heh) out 8 on the bike path. Was kind of fun to see so many different people at the park on a weekend rather than the usual crew we see on weekdays.

Total: 45!

Weight: Lost another .5 lbs this week. Kind of a bummer, but a loss is a loss so can't complain! 23.5 to go.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Growth Spurts

I got myself all excited about a half-marathon in early November because it was offering cash for breaking age-group records. My pre-old-lady age group's record was 1:38:xx and I thought that would be a good goal for me and I could bag money to cover the entry fee and the gas to the race. Well, damn if I didn't stalk the entrants list and see that a very fast local woman also just entered my new age group. Oh well. I still think that's a good goal: 7:30's for a half 4 months post-partum. Feels like a huge stretch from this vantage point, but I never would have thought I was where I was 4 months after peanut at 11 weeks out either.

In other news, peanut is suddenly talking a blue streak! Yesterday, I asked him if he wanted to wear his white t-shirt and he said, "No, blue." Where did that come from?! And then today he said, "I love you, momma." Oh bestill my cold cold heart!

And then little #2 is all of sudden trying her darndest to roll over. Peanut rolled over at 11w 4d, so #2 needs to roll over tomorrow if she wants to keep up with her brother. No pressure, toots! (Why, that attitude isn't going to cause any sibling rivalry at all!) But man that little girl is a cutie. She's laughing and chattering most of the time she's awake. She even giggles when I tickle her. I love it! It's so awesome to watch her awaken to the world.

It's funny how they both seem to be going through huge developmental milestones at once. I'm starting to see shades of them interacting. I can picture the group bath time and fighting over toys and huggy cuddles. Sure, having two so close in age is very hard at times, but it's so much sweeter than I thought it would be even now. Even now when I feel like my body has been ravaged by two back-to-back pregnancies, I wouldn't change a thing.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

So It's Not the Kool-Aid

So... remember a while back I was bemoaning my money management skills. I also mentioned from time to time my lack of domestic ability and my propensity for being a slob. I decided I wanted to fix these problems and while I was researching I discovered something that shocked me.

*** drumroll ***

Maybe it's ADD. I always thought ADHD described little boys who drank too much kool-aid, not professional women who have trouble concentrating, have an embarrassing propensity for mess making, have problems paying attention to detail or organizing anything. Interesting. It's a weird thing--I'm honestly not sure what an official diagnosis will do to help me. I doubt I'd want to take medication, at least for the time I'm nursing (and if #2's anything like her brother--who's still nursing 2x a day!--it'll be a while!) and even after that, I'm not sure I'd want to.

I did a little research on how to manage life with ADHD and I actually found some things that might help me. First of all is to acknowledge what I'm not good at instead of fighting to try to be good at it. Face it folks--I'm never going to have a balanced check book and if I'm in charge of the bills some will be missed or late, etc. So, I handed them off to mrp. This way I can spend my time scheduling my days with the kids and planning meals and other stuff that I'm good at rather than wasting time screwing up trying to be good at something I'm not good at.

Another thing is to remove stimulation from my environment. I like this plan. In law school I had no tv and only dial-up internet. Now tv is everywhere and my laptop is on the kitchen counter. I don't want the distractions in my face. My plan is to move the t.v. to the basement (where I can see it in front of the treadmill of course!) and to finally clean and organize the office space down there so my laptop can stop being such a source of distraction.

I don't want to check my e-mail while peanut eats his breakfast and I don't want to reply to e-mail while I'm eating dinner across from mrp replying to his e-mail. I'm sick of it. I want a rich family life free from silly distractions and I don't want my kids growing up in a hyper-stimulated environment. I'm glad I stumbled across the possibility of ADHD to help me realize a few things to make our life better.

In running news, things are slowly coming around. But again, I'm not in a hurry. Here are this week's numbers!

M: off (I sacrificed my run time for mrp because I love him and he so rarely makes the effort to run these days and I know it makes him happy when he gets to do it)

T: (2x BOB) Squeezed in a boring ol' 6 at the park before #2's pediatrician appointment. No watch. #2 is 13 lbs and 25 inches. 90th percentile for both height and weight!

W: (2x BOB) My friends Parsley and HH and their girls met us for 8. 8 with the 2x BOB. Go me!

Th: (2x BOB) Another boring ol' 6 at the park. No watch.

F: (2x BOB) Met Parsley at the CVNP for 6. Felt decent for the first Friday in a while. Probably because I didn't take Thursday off. (It's weird how sometimes I feel worse after a day off and sometimes a day off makes me feel spectacular the next day. Go figure.)

Sa: alone! Ran at noon on a hilly 10 mile course averaging 9:14. This is a killer route from my in-laws. I love it, but it is really challenging. It rolls the entire way, but the last three miles are all almost all uphill. I felt good and never really pushed the pace.

Su: (2x BOB with only one kid). Peanut was still napping and mrp had to get ready for a business trip so I had this great idea to take #2 out in the BOB and run a mile around the neighborhood and back and pick up peanut when he woke up from his nap. All mrp would have to do was walk him down to the driveway for me. I did all three laps with no peanut or mrp in sight. Peanut slept for 3.5 hours! Growth spurt! Averaged 9:08 for 6 miles with the 2x BOB without trying! Sure, there was only one kid but it was windy and that thing is hard to push in the wind. I am going to claim that as a mini victory :)

Total: 42 miles

Weight: lost 2 more pounds. 24 to go!




Tuesday, September 07, 2010

My Pickle

Per usual I found myself feeling stressed out, as if I was putting too much pressure on myself.

"I NEED to lose this weight!"

"I NEED to get back into shape!"

"I NEED to get in at least 40 miles!"

Yadda yadda yadda. What else is new? I always seem to get into this pickle. At least I caught myself. On my run on Saturday, when my back was hurting and I felt myself bemoaning the slow pace and my fat butt, I decided enough was enough. I had a baby 10 weeks ago. Who cares where I was at this point after my last pregnancy. Who cares where other people were at 10 weeks post partum. I am where I am and I'm happy. Sure, I want to lose the weight and get faster, but now is not the time to MAKE it happen. Now is the time to get back into running and have fun and let nature take it's course. It's not the time to push through injuries and be a hero. Duh.

So, instead of doing my hard longer run of 10 hilly miles I had planned for Sunday, I left the watch at home and enjoyed 7 easy hilly miles. It doesn't sound like much of a compromise, but in my head it was. I had to shut up the "go go go go GO! No matter what!" voice and deviate from my plan. Nor surprisingly, my back is much better (I must have po'd my sacroiliac joint which manifested in a dull ache in my lower back and a sharp stabby pain in my groin if I laid on my side.)

In other news, #2 is 13 lbs! She's 90th percentile for height and weight. Atta girl! She is so stinkin' cute! She smiles and babbles and is so so lovable. I never thought I could love another as much as peanut, but lo and behold I do!

And with that, here's what I did last week!

M: (2x BOB) 6 miles no watch

T: (alone!) My mom watched the kids and I ran 6.12 alone averaging 8:41. Last mile was 7:51!

W: (2x BOB) Met my friends and their kiddos for 7. Definitely feeling Tuesday's run!

Th: off

F: (2x BOB) Another friend run. Felt like poo.

Sa: (alone!) Ran 8.1 hilly miles averaging 9:16 pace

Su: (alone!) 7 very enjoyable easy miles. No watch.

Total: 40.22 miles

Weight: Lost 2 more lbs so that's a positive. Still have 26 to go.