Monday, March 26, 2012

3 Weeks and Counting!

This came in the mail today.  I am getting so excited!!!!!  I can't wait!

I had a killer 20 miler on Saturday.  There was a bit of drama around the scheduling of this, trying to coordinate my schedule with Ryan's fluctuating schedule, but it all worked out for me to run with Kim's church group.  It is a huge group, and the same group I ran with 2 weeks ago.  The course was a bit different, since it was set up for everyone to do 20, not 18.  We started with the loop to Iroquios park, which contains the hills, and then finished the second half by running through Eastern Parkway, (which went past one of my church buildings), and then into downtown, to the Yum Center, and then back to the start, near Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.  I ran the first half with Kim, and we started off pretty fast.  One of her friends out doing support for the run was pacing us on her bike and asked if we really intended to do 8:36 this early on.  Yup, I guess we were!  We slowed down a bit in Iroquois, because it is hilly.  Kim and I parted ways at mile 9, when she met up with a different friend for a slower second half.  I couldn't believe it, I but I held on, and finished up with a time of 2:49:58, which was an 8:30 pace.  This was a great confidence booster, especially because it had some nice hills in it.  I was starting to worry if I had trained enough "downhill", but when I took a look at the course profile today, I am feeling good!  My quads are a bit sore today still, but that is probably a good thing!

I am so happy that I have finished with the bulk of the training, and now it is just taper time.  In fact, I got really emotional on Saturday as I drove home.  I finished all three of my 20 milers without any major incidents.  I have done all the work!  Wow!  It is really happening.  I only had 2 training runs out of the entire cycle that could be categorized as "difficult".  The first was towards the beginning of my training, and I was still not focused in on my nutrition, and had a horrible stomach cramp.  The second was a 17 miler where it rained THE WHOLE TIME, and it was pretty chilly.  Other than that, it has been smooth sailing.  I also did the "hard" parts of my 20 milers by myself, which I feel like that is important, since Boston will be pretty much on my own.  I know several people headed out there, but the reality of me seeing them on the course is very slim.  I am not in the same corral as anyone I know well.  I like to run my own race when I am running anyway, so it was nice to train my own way, but still have some company for parts.  It was the best of both worlds!

Also, totally unrelated to running, but I got outside to ride my bike all by myself too last week!  It was  great.  We had a wonderful day last Wednesday, and I finally cashed in some of my babysitting hours so that I could ride, not with Ryan, but at the same time as him anyway.  He had driven me on the roads that he rides over the weekend, so I pumped up my tires, and rolled out!  WOW, it was fabulous to be outside.  I rode 16 miles, at about 17mph, and it was so great to ride from my house!  I had spent all this time missing Island Lake in Michigan, because I loved how you didn't have to deal with intersections or traffic.  HELLO Oldham County is the SAME WAY!  I rode out 7.5 miles, and only had the stop sign at the end of the neighborhood and then the intersection where I turned onto 1694 from my house.  Awesome!  It was HILLY!  I had a blast, and can't wait to get outside a lot more after Boston.  Unfortunately, the very next day or so, Oldham Co published some draft of an ordinance to try to limit cycling on "their" roads, talking about how people just come to OC for the roads.  Well, I live in OC, and I am going to ride on MY roads.  They want groups of over 50 to register with the county and pay for police support at intersections so that residents are not "inconvenienced" as the article stated.  I am not sure what to think of it.  Honestly, a group of 50 is pretty huge, and probably ought to be considered some sort of "official" ride (especially if they are charging to ride with them, as one group does), but I think they are making a bigger problem out of it than they should, and the language in the article was written as if cyclists were the enemy.  With the Ironman course going through the county, I don't think the bike traffic is going to let up anytime soon.  All it has done so far is make the cyclists want to organize themselves into groups of 49 :) 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Awesome day plus its aftermath

I am guessing that the other mommy readers will really understand this.  I am hoping that it isn't just me that this tends to happen to, and maybe it happens to people who aren't parents, but I just notice it a lot more now.

Do you ever have a really awesome day, only to follow it up with the cruddiest day, on account of your kids?  I got to work out 4 times yesterday.  FOUR TIMES! That is including my coaching, but still 3 times is pretty darn good, and it is the way things used to be before we moved.  Finally, back to Wednesday's being swim, bike AND run day!  I was finally feeling like I want to bike here, so I did, even though I had already swam and run.  Cristina posted a pic of her brand new frame, all put together, after getting it replaced under warrantty from Cervelo, and she was at Island Lake.  I was feeling really jealous, almost to the point of crying over how bad I missed riding with TIA on Wednesday.  I'd swim in the morning, and then do a brick at ILRA in the evening.  Darn f/b for making me sad!  Actually, it made me really motivated, and I lined up a sitter, and after my coaching was done, I went out and rode 16 miles on my own.  It was awesome.  Riding from my house is the way to go here, even if it does mean by myself.  Since I am out in the country now, it means NO TRAFFIC LIGHTS and only 1 intersection where I had to roll through stop.  AWESOME!  It was hilly, and kicked my butt.  As a result, I was pretty stressed about today's workout, especially because I had stayed up way too late and Soren got up WAY TOO early, and dragged me out the door to the gym super early.  He was in the car waiting on me about 20 minutes before we could leave, due to the gym playroom not even being open yet!

Here is where it started to fall apart.  Ryan told me last night that he had to chaperone a scout campout for the weekend, and if he didn't go, it would be cancelled.  No biggie, I thought, my parents had been talking about coming down this weekend or next, and I would just ask them to come down this weekend.  I talk with them, and find out that they aren't coming down.  My mom crashed her bike, and just didn't want to spend 3 hours in the car each way.  No biggie.  I wasn't going to push that.  I can still try to find a sitter for Saturday because I still have my last 20 miler.  Why the campout is the weekend, I don't know, when I had specifically said this weekend is one of the worst (aside from April 14th).  Why I only found out about it last night, still don't know, and was about to make a few calls on my own to say I don't appreciate this type of notice.  But, that could be Ryan's fault and not those planning the campout.    I get to the gym and I have all sorts of stuff that I need for my indoor 10 miler.  I chose to do it indoors because my legs were toast from last night still, and 10 miles is a lot to do with a stroller.  Too much for today, especially because I can't find 10 miles of flat to do with the stroller.  I had 2 water bottles, gu, and two ipods (itouch that was charged, but that I didn't want to use unless I had to because I wanted to use it for internet at Chick Fil A, and my nano that needed to run off the treadmill).  Needless to say, cell phone didn't make it to the treadmill today.  I am actually thankful for that, because Keira had to come home from school sick, and Ryan got her because they couldn't get ahold of me.  I was able to get my run, but I feel like a horrible mother for it.  Although, I am actually really glad I was at the gym without my phone than on the road with Soren with my phone, because being out in the middle of the run and getting the call would have made me really feel like garbage, because it could have taken me anywhere between 30-45 minutes to get back to the car, based on the time I got the first VM.  That would have been crappy to have on my mind dashing back to the car, and it would have been faster to have Ryan get her anyway if I was out mid run.  At any rate, I feel like I am totally paying for my awesome day.  Keira promptly threw up all over as soon as Ryan headed back to work after I got home.  Now I feel super nauseated.  Hopefully it is just sympathy pains.  I told Ryan he can't chaperone the trip if Keira is still sick tomorrow.  I am not going to watch both kids on no sleep if she is up all night.  I can't get a sitter for Saturday to do a group run, but oh well.  I can run on my own when Ryan gets home.  He should be back early afternoon on Saturday.  It will make our day a bit cruddy, but honestly, if Keira is sick, what does it matter anyway, we won't be able to do anything with her out.  I have a swim lesson tonight, that I will hopefully still make as long as I don't puke.  I am really thankful I have that, since I won't be going anywhere tomorrow with Keira.

I hope you aren't dealing with sick kids.  It is no fun.  Is it just me, or is this the normal flow of everything, that it can't be too awesome for too long?  It seems like whenever I am away from the kids (or just doing what I want to do for a change), all heck breaks loose as soon as it is over.  Sometimes I don't even get to cool down from a race before someone starts screaming or I get a phone call that I need to be home immediately for some reason or another.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

20 Miler #2 DONE, and It's Here!

Last Saturday, I did my second twenty miler.  I was at a loss on where to run.  We didn't have any pressing plans, and I didn't have anyone lined up to run with by 6pm on Friday for Saturday.  My usuals were either unavailable or not running far enough to justify driving into the city to run only half with them and still be on my own for the harder second half.  I wasn't sure if I should just run around Crestwood, doing the Old La Grange route, and then into Pewee Valley, and then back, similar to my 19 mile route with Erin, but just one more mile.  Then, I realized that my neighbor had a friend, Kim, who was in charge of a massive group run that was doing 18.  Sweet.  She even had folks that she expected to be my pace, and she lived further away than I do, and could "pick me up", so I could follow her down.  Since I was going to add on 2 more, I wanted to make sure I had my own car, even though she thought I would still finish ahead.  I really wasn't sure. 

There was a huge group of people, but there really wasn't anyone my pace that started with me.  I felt a little "behind", because when I got there, my GARMIN WOULD NOT TURN ON!  Are you freaking kidding me?  20 miles, no Garmin.  GRRR!  I was pretty proud of myself for not completely freaking out.  I knew I had an 18 mile route planned, and if I did that route, I would have 18.  I also knew that I am capable of doing math while running and could calculate some sort of pace based on my final time for 18 miles to figure out how far I needed to run in 1 direction before turning around to call it my final 2 miles.  Needless to say, I took off running just what felt good, and kept telling myself, this is not a race, don't race it, be comfortable.  I was running sort of with another guy, and I didn't want to do what I have done to Cristina before in this situation, which is ask every .1 miles either how fast or how far we have gone.  I knew that would be incredibly annoying.  I've been a runner for long enough that as long as I am not hurting, I can sort of judge about how far I am going with enough certainty to know when I need a gu and such.  Also, the route was 2 lollipops, very simple, and each 9 miles, so I knew when I got to the first one, I should probably be about 3-4 miles away, so I could loop around and then run back for my first 9.  I hit the starting spot at 1:16.  Holy smoking fast!  I knew that miles 12-15 would be hilly, in a park that I races in for the LSC half, and told myself I was allowed to slow down a bit if I needed to.  I did slow up a bit on these hills, and it was fabulous to run this out and back section.  I seriously felt like I was in a race with the number of runners out there.  I guess that is what it is like running in a city park that is practically downtown (the first half took us all the way to the river rd near where the IM starts).  That really helped push me along.  There was always someone up ahead that I could "catch".  I passed one group of ladies and I don't recall what they said, but it was something to the effect that I made them look like they were standing still.  I wasn't trying to show people up, but I was just trying to train how I needed to train for my race.  I kept just trying to keep track with my timex and have my gus on time, and I was pleased to get back to the start again at 2:37!  Sweet!  I ran out about another 8:30, and then turned around and finished in 2:54:22.  Awesome!  I was so pumped.  I definitely felt tired though.  I felt way more tired than I did after my last 20 miler, which was done about 6 minutes slower overall, and had a different hill structure.  I was a lot more tired after this run later in the day than the first.  Our master bathtub is now 3/3 for ice baths/uses.  I think it really helped, though. 

One of the cooler parts of this run was running along 3rd Street, which contains historical homes.  Check out these two that I pulled off of Old Louisville's Autumn page.  The homes were very impressive, although running through the city made it hard to watch for traffic because there were lots of lights downtown.

So, right after I finished up with this run, I went ahead and order my Boston jacket.  I wanted to have it beforehand so that I don't have to stress about buying stuff at the expo.  It came TODAY!  I tried it on, and I must say, I am super pleased with it.  It isn't quite as long as my previous jacket, and the neck is a little snug, but overall, I LOVE IT!  I am glad I read the reviews, and ordered the size I did, because any smaller and it would probably be too small for a running jacket.  Really, it could fit terribly and I wouldn't care because it is a Boston Jacket!  Now that I opened it up, inspected it, and tried it on, it is all packed back up in its box to wait until the afternoon of April 16th.  Whoo Hoo!
 Not sure why this pic is sideways.  It wasn't like this on my computer, but blogger turned it!

I also dealt with sick kids today.  It was fabulous outside, and of course, poor Keira is sick.  What do I do with sick kids?  I put them in the jogging stroller and run with them when they can't go to school.  Playing outside was sort of out because she was just too tired really, and I didn't want any of the neighbor kids to wander over and get contaminated.  Keira should be back at school tomorrow.  We did 6 in just under 51 minutes with the 100lb+ jogging stroller.  Lets just say I had a bit of extra motivation when I peeked in at Soren and saw that he can found a random crayon and drawn all over the inside.  ACK!  This wasn't even one of the special washable ones.  That lit a major fire under me to get him home and in time out so I could scrub.  Most of it came out, and it is finally acceptable.

This week is another recovery week, and then I have one more 20 miler before tapering begins.  I am not sure if I will run with this new group for it or not.  I might see if Erin is available, or just run it on my own again, but here so I don't have the travel time to keep me away from the family.  It was nice to be able to just run whatever I felt like running since I didn't have Cristina to pull me along at her faster pace.  It was nice that I was able to do it on my own this time around!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

I am the Smoothie Freaking Master!

My latest obsession has been making smoothies from spinach.  With my diet that I was on, I have been going to the grocery store like mad and having trouble keeping track of what we have and what we don't.  As a result, I ended up with a whole extra giant bag of spinach.  Hmm, what to do with it before it went bad?  I had so much of it, that I figured I might as well try out some green smoothie recipes.  Since my diet doesn't allow dairy, I was at a loss for where to start.  Thankfully, I was able to just put "dairy free green smoothie" into Google, and come up with a winner on my first shot!  Here is the first recipe that I used:
Green Slime Smoothie
2 cups frozen spinach, 2 cups frozen strawberries, 1 banana, 1/2 cup ice, 2TBS honey
We didn't have strawberries, so I substitued 1 cup fresh raspberries and 1 cup fresh blueberries, that I froze myself. 

It makes quite a bit, and if you eat the whole thing, it is a lot of fruit to throw down at once.  It says it serves 4, but I am not sure if I didn't smash my spinach enough, but I didn't quite get 4 servings, and Soren and I ate the whole thing between us.   I have since modified it a bit to use the same spinach, but half of the fruit, and I switched to buying the pre-frozen fruit.   Then, I decided that I should add some whey protein.  I have been using EAS chocolate whey, and it is SOOO GOOD!  It is brown, but not super chocolately.  It is pretty thick, sort of the consisitency of a frosty, so I feel like I am having a milkshake, although it is super healthy.  I bet it would taste awful compared to a real milkshake, but with the diet I am on, it tastes heavenly!  I am able to eat the whole batch, and I think it is around 350 calories or so.  It really fills me up, so it is like a meal.  I have been having them as my mid afternoon snack, and I am able to eat a smaller dinner.  Doesn't it look, um, healthy?

I am thinking my next experiment will be to double the banana, skip the berries, and perhaps add some peanut butter?  Maybe a bit more ice?  I plan to keep the spinach though.  I feel like if I get it ground up really small, I don't even notice it.  I am a bit worried about my blender's health.  It is not meant to do this type of blending with no added liquid.  We'll see how long it lasts.  I did FINALLY get those tires that I had needing so badly (for a year), and that set us back a huge chunk of change.  I went the convenient route, not the cheapest, but honestly, it wasn't that much more expensive.  We also got to check out these cool vehicles that were also being serviced:
1966 Ford Shelby Mustang
They called this truck "Tow-Mater", but I think it looks more like a red "Ivan" (1953 Ford C600)
The kids were super well behaved while they changed the tires, and I had them both.  It was worth the extra money to have it done here instead of a garage where they didn't have TV, internet, and snacks.

I had to take the car home and get Keira before we could get the new tires, but during the oil change part  I also took Soren on a stroller run, in the WIND  Holy Cow!  I was really excited for the opportunity to run on Old La Grange road with Soren since I would be starting at my usual turnaround spot, and not need to worry about running on the bypass with him, until I got into the wind.  I did start on the better end, since I ran into the wind first. I ran a total of 5 miles, 2.5 miles out and back, into the wind, and then with the wind, with the stroller.  My first 2.5 took me 23 minutes, and my second 2.5 took only 20!  I was practically chasing the stroller on the way back!  I wa
What are your plans for the weekend?  I have my second 20 miler on deck.  Whoo Hoo!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Where have I been? Crazy weather and other things.

I know I mentioned earlier this year that blogging and internet were going to be lower on my list of priorities for this  year, and they really are.  Since we got back from vacation, things have been really crazy over here.

First, we have had the most unusual (and deadly) weather.  Last week was nuts.  It was very warm, with high winds, and then we had a cold front come through and bring tornados.  We were thankfully spared, but on Wednesday of last week, we had our neighbors lose a chimney- it came detached from the home and toppled, a window plus surrounding trim be blow off, and several homes lost their playground equipment.  I copied these photos from my neighbor's facebook page.  Her home was fine this time around, but last time we had high wind, she lost 30 feet of her fence.  This wasn't deemed a tornado (and as it turns out, I WAS home during this, but had just decided to not take Soren for a run, BEST DECISION OF THE WEEK EVER!)  All the garbage cans went crashing to the ground, and there was trash everywhere, because it was garbage day. 

Then on Friday of last week, severe tornados ripped through KY and Southern Indiana.  We watched the news as long as we could, but were invited to go across the street to take shelter if we wanted.  Ryan was at work, and I knew he would not be home before the storms hit, we could go to have more company.  I had actually invited another family to our home since they had a huge walkout basement with glass windows, but were able to walk to a neighbor's house.  While I felt fairly prepared at our house, since our basement is actually very well equiped for a disaster with our food storage, cable, radio, water (we have a full bath), I still went across the street for the company.  I had been watching the radar and felt it would miss us.  I had just put my tri bike in the basement (as a precaution), and packed up coats, crackers, and beverages to take when they announced a tornado warning for our county.  We bolted next door, and hung out in the basement for a good half hour or so, and had strong winds and rain.  After seeing the devastation in Henryville, it made me feel so blessed and fortunate that were did not suffer more damage, and that I had my kids all home.  It was slightly unnerving that Ryan was at work, and cell phone coverage was a bit spotty.  I didn't talk to him until much after the all clear was given.  I think the next time we need to take shelter, we will stay here.  We have a full bath, with no windows, unlike our neighbor's basement that is almost all open.  I feel bad that I had even thought about putting my tri bike in the bathtub and taking a picture of it because of the seriousness of the situation.  Also, they warned us on TV that we should put on helmets if we had them available.  We had our ski helmets in the basement, as well as my aero helmet.  I told my new running partner, Erin, that I didn't want to wear my aero helmet since it was the most expensive of my option.  Her response was, "you should have, then you would be flying faster than everyone else in the storm".  It did feel good to laugh at that because it really had been such a tense week.  I was really glad it was a recovery week for me, because it was rather high stress!

So, with last week being a recovery week, I realized I skipped over blogging about my biggest week of training to date!  When we got back from vacation, I started a new diet, basically cleaning up my eating.  I did had a bit of trouble with portion control, I think.  I didn't lose nearly the weight I did last year when I did the same diet, but I was eating more this time around, and not starving myself.  I had 2 five mile runs, a 10 mile, and a 20, plus I started coaching three neighbor girls (daughters of the neighbor who's pictures I posted above) in the Couch to 5K program, so I was run/walking with them two days a week.  I also got in 3 swims (including a 30min lesson where I learned that I am doing EVERYTHING wrong), and 1 sufferfest DVD.  I was using Advocare products, and felt great all week, and I had my percent body fat drop by 2%.  That was huge for me, especially since my weight didn't change much.  It meant I kept my muscle this time around.  My 20 miler went really well, and my track workout last week went well too.  I am now pretty much off the advocare products (due to cost), and just eating the food recommendations, and I don't feel nearly as good as I did before.  Maybe it is just the stress from last week catching up with me.  I didn't quite use everything from the diet yet, and plan to use them on my remaining 20 milers and for race day.  This week is another big week, with the same mileage essentially as the week I described above.  I passed out on the couch last night and woke up around 2am to go to bed.    I am not sure if it is the marathon training just getting to me, or the continually getting up so early to get Keira to school.  Soren has been waking up really early too, because it is getting lighter out earlier.  I am looking forward to daylight savings time to give me more time in the evenings and hopefully get my little buddy sleeping later.

Finally, we have been spending a lot more time outside.  We had snow yesterday morning, and Soren was playing in it by 7am. 

I did manage to injure myself yesterday, preparing everyone for snow play.  We had put all the snow gear away since it was 70 last week.  Instead of getting a stool to get Soren's hat and mittens down from a high shelf, I jumped and grabbed.  As I did this, an umbrella was caught in the hat, and I pulled it right into my mouth!  It cut the outside of my lip, the inside of my lip, and bled everywhere.  This was all before I had gotten Keira on the bus too!  I tried to hold it together to get Keira on the bus, and none of the other parents were actually outside this morning. Darn!  I felt really bad, and was afraid to stand up else I would pass out.  I hugged Keira, put her on the bus, and as I was making my way back home, I wiped my face and it was still bleeding.  I hate blood, and I was paranoid that I would go down, but couldn't keep it together much longer.  I scrambled up my porch steps and laid down in our foyer while Soren stayed outside.  I couldn't get him to come in, but I couldn't risk being upright anymore.  When I was in college, I passed out while standing from a similar bloody incident, and really messed up my teeth.  I was freaking out because I did hit those teeth I messed up, and was worried I would need more dental work.  Ugh!  I finally felt that bad feeling pass, but I felt off all day.  I did get my swim in, as well as more playing in the snow and coaching, but I am sure this contributed to me falling asleep on the couch!