Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Where Do You Find the Time??!

Added a year after this was written:  So many things have obviously changed in a year since I wrote this.  My kids no longer nap, I don't use the jogger stroller anymore to fit in runs, and I'm finding it just a bit easier to multitask now that the kids are little older.  But I do still give up certain things for the sake of working towards a goal that is satisfying and rewarding...a goal that gives me drive and motivation in so many other areas of my life (almost all of them).  I don't have to take as much time away from my family as I used to when they were younger...things feel easier now.  I do however, choose wisely how I spend my time.  I don't say that I don't "have time" for ___________. However, I do say that I choose to spend my time doing the things that are at the top of my priority list.  I let go of things that I might enjoy doing outside of training:  reading more for fun, going out with friends as much (this is only a season), watching television or movies (I rarely do this anyway), etc.  

If I had a dollar for every time someone asks me how I find the time to run so much...well, gee, I'd be rich!  


Here's the thing:

  • We are all busy with life.  Life is busy.  And it is easy to fill with things.  Work, running kids around, chores, family outings, sports, etc. etc. etc.  
  • We all make choices. 
  • We make time for things that are important to us. 
  • It is up to us to set goals for our life and determine what is important to us.  
  • What is of value to one, might be worthless and pointless to another.  
  • Running and training for a marathon might seem like a big waste of time to a large portion of the population.  But for me, it is enjoyable and challenging.  
  • Having a big goal like training for a PR in a marathon isn't something that will be an "ALWAYS" in life but it is something that I'm going to do with a bang right now.  Anything worth doing, is worth doing well.  
  • A movie lasts about 2 hours.  So does going out and running approximately 15 miles (for me). Most of the time, I'll choose the 2 hours of running over the 2 hours of sitting.  
  • I don't watch a lot of television.  Unless I'm watching from the treadmill.  
  • I don't play video games.  
  • I've cut back on writing blogs.  
  • In order to fit in higher mileage, I get up early to run before my kids wake up.  
  • I also run more than once a day this time around (most days) because I rarely have long enough stretches of time where I can be running unless my husband is home.  
  • As a stay-at-home mom, I might not work outside the home but I do work.  My ass off.  I rarely have a moment to myself where somebody doesn't need me but I do sometimes find time for "quiet time".  This is quiet time for my kids and myself. It is good for all involved. Now that my 2 year old is trying to be done with naps, this means that he spends time with quiet toys or books in his crib or heaven forbid, sometimes I turn on ELMO for him.  ELMO buys me a good half hour.  A nap buys me about 1-2 hours.  The other is usually in school  and the other one can self entertain for up to an hour.  This buys me some time to fit in a run up to 8 miles.  
  • Yes, I would say that being a SAHM gives me more options for fitting in my runs now that I have a treadmill.  However, when I worked outside the home, I had more time to myself to where I could leave work on time (rarely did that as a teacher) and hit the gym BEFORE picking up my kids.  I also had the option of working out before work but this meant getting up REALLY REALLY early since teachers have to be at school by 7:30.  But it was possible.  
  • It really is all about priorities.  This is different for everyone.  If it is important enough, we usually find time.  
  • I own a treadmill...this is key for me.  Last time I trained for a marathon, I went to the gym to use the treadmill at night, I rarely slept through the night (baby), and by the time the day was over and it was time to run, I was so exhausted that I often shortened my workouts.  This time around, I am well rested, have more options for running, am more driven and can wake up earlier since I sleep through the night. 
  • I multi-task!!  Okay, so I don't consider my walk with God a "task" or chore but it is something I want to make time for.  I often pray, listen to worship music or meditate on an idea/subject while I run.  My running time can also be used as self-time  and time with God.
  • When it is nice outside, I take my oldest daughter on her bike and put the other two in a stroller and we run together.  This is not only quality time with my kids but it is also a wonderful opportunity to GET OUTSIDE and model a healthy and active lifestyle for them!    
Things I give up so that I have time to train (Again, this is only temporary...this training is for a set goal in April.  It isn't my entire life!) :
  • television (I still watch some.  Just not much. This one was easy since I have never been too big of t.v person.)
  • writing.  This is important to me but my writing has taken a back burner for a few months.  And that's okay.  
  • reading for book club.  Most of my reading now is nonfiction material related to training, nutrition, etc.  
  • sleeping in later
  • napping
  • lounging around
  • I admit, I'm giving up some time with my family.  I don't feel too guilty for this.  I do, however, stay conscious about the time that I AM with them and I make it count.  
  • reading as many blogs as I used to...I'm missing many of them.  
  • staying up super late  
Why do I do it?  
Now this is a pretty deep question that could be a blog post all on its own.  But a brief answer to this question is:
I'm doing this because it is fun!  It is a challenge for me to see what I can do with this one body that I have.  This one life.  It is exciting to try out new training strategies, more mileage, fueling better, etc.  Seeing results is energizing and makes me want to keep climbing.  Finding friends out there with common goals is motivating and sharing training with them is also fun!  And inspiring.  I feel like my training makes me stronger in every other area of my life.  It helps me live with focus, health, a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, and it makes me want to bring the same fire and energy to so many other things that I do.

1.  Wow, my second post in 24 hours!  You'd think I'm on vacation or something.  Oh, wait, I am.   Thank you for your comments about my training from my last post on Mileage.  Again, 85 miles a week is NOT my typical training week.  This was just a sample taken from last Wednesday to Today. Way too high for a regular weekly mileage for me right now.  I'm really trying to be conscious of not pushing myself too hard and also not holding back too much...there is a fine line here. However, I am excited to see this number and feel strong after running that much.  Makes me proud of my hard work.

2.  Also in my earlier post, someone asked me if I count my calories.  I'm assuming they  were wondering if I'm counting my calories to make sure I'm getting enough.  The answer is No.  I eat based off my hunger and if I think I'm getting enough.  The thing is, I'm always hungry.  I eat a lot and I try to eat lots of good calories and carbs so that I'm not filling up on junk.  This can be tricky during this time of year.  I also don't make myself feel guilty for eating "junk". I eat healthy most of the time but I certainly indulge in pizza, sweets, and the occasional french fries.  I've found it nice to start my day (after my morning run) with a big bowl of oatmeal with toasted whole wheat bread.  I'll post more on this another time.  During my last marathon training, I don't think I ate enough carbs and I think I deprived myself of too much.  I'm learning this time around that I NEED those high carb foods!!  

Are you training for something?  Why do you do it?  And How DO YOU make the time so that your goals are a priority in your life?


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Mileage--Increasing, Adjusting, and Another Looking From a Different Angle

Life lately has been mostly:
1.  Parenting
2.  Running
3.  Enjoying my kids
4.  Running
5.  Spending quality time with my husband
6.  Running
7.  Talking with God--many times while running
8.  Attempting to connect with girlfriends and family as much as possible
9.  Running, e-mailing about running, dreaming about running, loving running, and reaching new milestones with running. 
10.  Fueling my body with lots and lots of carbs and good food!  Quinoa, brown rice, Ezekiel bread, eggs, cottage cheese, peanut butter, bananas, oats...these are just some of my staples these days.  I also eat my fair share of chocolate, pizza and other goodies.  

I've never been so good at recording my mileage in any cohesive log.  Most of my years of logging my mileage have been through scribbles in a notebook or in my book margins.  And if I try to go back now and see what I did, I understand very little of my chicken scratch.  Most of the time I can at least make out what my weekly mileage totals were but even then, it is a guessing game.  This time, I've been a bit better at recording my mileage somewhere whether it be online, via e-mail with virtual training partners, or in my running journal.  

My mileage has consistently been increasing and my workouts have (very gradually) been getting harder.  And I'm feeling pretty good.  I have to say that as my body adjusts to the added mileage, I have been feeling little aches and pains here and there but it is just my body's way of taking it all in and keeping me from getting ahead of myself.  I've been very good at listening to my body and pulling back when I need to.  Even if it means skipping a workout or taking an unplanned day off.  I felt some pain in my feet last Sunday but after taking a day off on Monday and keeping it easy on Tuesday, they felt loads better. 

This is a sample of my training from last week and this week so far.  I wrote this down today so that I could take a look at my mileage from a new angle.  It probably makes your head spin but it works for me and that's what matters!  :) 

This is how I typically record my mileage...chicken scratch right on my plan in the book! Certainly not as rewarding to go back to look at.

Here's one of my favorite staples.  We found this stuff at Costco and it so great!  Cook it with some chicken broth or vegetable broth and you are good to go!  I'm eating it right now as I type and it is good without anything else.  It is also yummy with chicken, black beans and even over spinach.  
A New Angle
A friend mentioned her weekly mileage from last Wednesday to today and it got me wondering what my mileage would look like if I also counted from last Wednesday to today instead of just counted from my typical Saturday to Friday count up.  I was expecting maybe something like 65 or 67.  Nope, since last Wednesday I've run 85 miles!  This is huge for me.  A first for sure.  The fact that I'm feeling so strong right now after 85 miles in a week makes me so happy. But also cautious.  The rest of this week will be easy miles for sure.  Especially since I have a 10k I'm racing on Sunday.  I'm mostly racing it for fun and so that I can get another good gage of where I'm at.  It is easier for me to race all out for a baseline rather than trying it on my own.  I'm still hoping for a pretty high mileage week even though I'm racing but I'm loading this week up on the front so that I can take Saturday off and keep Friday light.  

Note:  This 85 miles is only a window of my training from Wednesday to Today. The 85 was due to the fact that I ended up heavy on the end of the week last week and I'm loading up the front end of the week this week. I don't consider this my highest weekly mileage since it isn't a typical training week.  For example, my typical/normal training week starts on a Saturday and goes to Friday.  It starts with my long run as day one.  My highest weekly mileage if considering a typical Saturday to Friday counting since I started base training would be 66 miles.  I guess the 85 miles was still run in a week so really I could count that.  ??  I don't know.  It doesn't really matter I guess but I typically don't run 85 miles in a week.  My goal is to keep it around 65-70 miles for now.  

Thankful for:

  • Having my husband home all week
  • A happy and healthy family
  • Girlfriends--the ones that I see often, the ones I've never met but love dearly, my running partners, and the far-away friends that are always there even if we don't see each other often.
  • A wonderful Christmas
  • My husband's heel pain is starting to get a little better and he is SLOWLY starting to run again...I miss having him to run with
  • My treadmill...this is a HUGE blessing!!  I've already used it so much.
  • Feeling so strong
  • Virtual running inspiration
  • Boston in 4 months!!  
  • Reminders to savor the moments I have with my kids.  God always seems to knock me on the head when I get too one-track-minded with my running.  He works on my heart daily "Hello Amanda!  There is more to life that running!!  Your children need you to be present and active.  What other areas of your life need attention??"  He's always pretty gentle with me but I'm thankful for these reminders.  I can easily get lost in this training stuff.  But then again, if you're going to do something seriously and really give your all and be your best, it is going to take a bit of focus...lots of focus.  And that's okay.  Not everyone is going to understand but as long as I'm balancing the most important things, some other things might just have to go to the wayside.  The people worth keeping around will accept this.  This is important to me.  
  • My sister-in-law and 8 month old nephew will be staying with us for 2 weeks!  I'm so excited.  This will be my first time meeting my nephew.  And my sister-in-law is from Thailand and we all end up learning thai and eating some really really delicious thai food that she insists (and I don't argue) on cooking daily.  
  • Water and soap to clean this sweaty gross running girl up!  Right now.  
Happy Tuesday!  As always, I love hearing from you even if I've been so lousy at responding and commenting lately.  
1.  Any fun race or training news to share??
2.  What are you most thankful for this week??
3.  I'd love to hear some funny parenting stories.  Anything crazy happen in your world lately?  Funny?  2 year old boy moments? (I could fill a book with 2 year old boy stories).


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Favorite Running Workout, Happy, and WINE

Today's workout:
10 miles on the treadmill @ easy 8:34 pace with 8x1 minute Fartlek intervals @ 6:40 pace (target 10k pace right now)

For those of you that are unfamiliar with the word Fartlek, here was the definition I included with my fartlek post from last November:

fart·lek (färtˈlĕk)

  1. An athletic training technique, used especially in running, in which periods of intense effort alternate with periods of less strenuous effort in a continuous workout.
  2. A workout using this technique.
Fartlek intervals are my favorites at the start of a training program or for getting back in running shape because:
  1. They break up the monotony of a run (especially on a treadmill)
  2. They are great for improving overall running fitness and getting your easy/base pace at a faster speed.  Before you know it, what once felt fast, starts feeling easier and easier.
  3. They are just enough to get your legs awake to the idea of speed without doing too much too soon.  
Happy and Thankful
This week I'm feeling an overwhelming sense of gratitude, happiness and abundance.  So much to be thankful for.  The small things really.  The everyday things that are so easy to take for granted.  Just a few things that I'm feeling rich with:
  • The ability to run.  Oh, such a blessing.  And one that I DON'T take for granted.  After a serious hamstring injury back in August 2010 (the reason for starting this blog), I know that every day that I am out there running strong and improving, it is a gift.  
  • Some of you know that after my 8 mile recovery run on Sunday, I felt a ripping feeling in my left foot.  Both of my feet were feeling awful.  This scared me.  But after a day off on Monday and a light 6 miles yesterday, I am feeling strong again.  I am so thankful that A.  I was able to pull back and listen to my body.  and B.  It wasn't anything serious but just my feet saying "I need a break.  Gee, lady you just ran 12 miles @7:36 pace with the last mile @6:53 on impulse.  Take a day off already!!"  
  • Wine, pasta, and salad.  Wine.  Did I say wine?  I don't drink very often during training.  Maybe once a week if that but tonight I'm enjoying some wine and it is so good.  
  • My husband is home from work tomorrow and we get to have a family day before Christmas.  
  • This time with all of my kids home from school can be crazy but I'm really soaking up this time I have with them.  We've been sleeping in, making gifts with clay, watching movies, using our imagination and so much more.  Oh, and fighting like freaking crazy!! Don't let me make it sound like all roses.  :) Plenty of eyepoking hours that make me wish for routine if I forget to savor the moments with them.  
  • If you don't count the feet hurting this week, I'm feeling stronger than ever with running.  My body is responding so well to the higher mileage and I'm so excited to see where this season takes me.  I feel myself starting to fly like never before.  The mental stuff that help me back before is GONE!
  • Thankful for my home, my husband's job, and that we can provide for our children.  So many people are struggling right now and I'm so thankful for what we have. 
  • Gingerbread houses, Christmas movie and cuddle time with my family tonight.   
  • I am planning on catching up on blogs soon...I'm so behind
  • Oh, and a new favorite wine that is under $20:
Found this pic on google and it led me to a great new blog, The Reverse Wine Snob, about good wine under $20.  Well, I only scanned the first post I saw but it looks promising.  

1. What special things do you have planned for this week?  Do you celebrate Christmas?  
2. Do you have a favorite $10-$15 dollar wine??


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Is Crying It Out Dangerous For Kids?

Is Crying It Out Dangerous For Kids?

I'm feeling kind of annoyed.  Not really angry but just kind rubbed the wrong way perhaps.  I recently saw this article posted on facebook about crying it out being dangerous for babies and possibly resulting in such things as ADD.  The facebook post came with a message stating that they were so glad that they could never bring themselves to let their babies cry no matter how difficult it got.  Not sure why this rubbed me the wrong way.  In fact, the person that wrote it is a dear friend who I love and respect greatly. (And I might add that this blog post isn't anything personal against that person or the people that commented in agreement.)  Perhaps this facebook "share" and article in general got under my skin because parents already feel enough guilt over things they did and did not do so here is another one to add to this list.  Maybe it got under my skin because so many people were liking it and saying how they never let their babies cry either and it seemed to come across like "hey, pat on the back for me!  This research says I'm a better mom than you because I never let my kid cry."  This wasn't what they were saying, (obviously, this was just me allowing myself to feel a certain way), but it was just the way that it was posted that got me thinking and reflecting.  Fired up in an Amanda kind of way.

Did I let my babies "cry it out"?  Yes and no.  We used the Ferber method as mentioned in this article. We never let them cry it out when they were little babies but once they got to be older babies closer to a year, we did let them cry for certain amounts of time as we were trying to get them used to soothing themselves, sleep through the night (when they obviously didn't need to nurse/eat anymore), etc.  We always let them know that we were there, they were loved, and we made sure their basic needs were met.  Does this make me a better mom than someone that let their kids cry for longer or at a  younger age?  Absolutely not.  I think there is a lot of research out there that backs up a lot of points.  We see this in education, the medical field, parenting, and so much more.

I think this situation about letting babies cry it out depends on so much.  Some mothers and fathers are actually better off allowing their children to cry for longer amounts of time.  For their own well being and their child's.  We all have different limits.  And we can always take things too far.  We can even take co-sleeping and never letting your baby cry too far.  Different strokes for different folks.

I'm sure there is some validity to this research/study.  As with most research and studies like this, there are extreme cases that go in the mix with the average "cry it out" situation.  This is definitely something to talk about, present to future parents and parents who are currently facing this situation. The most important thing to take from this article is the value of nurturing and loving your babies.  However, I don't think that every parent that allowed their children to cry it out should start berating themselves and freaking out that they are the reason for their children's learning problems, ADD, use of anti-depressants, etc.  There just might be another cause for these issues folks so don't go hating yourself just yet.

1.  So, what are your thoughts on this article?  I surely think that this article is talking about more extreme cases but I think it was just the way it was posted that rubbed me the wrong way.  God knows, mothers feel enough guilt as it is.  This article is definitely food for thought for future parents, and those that are just now having babies.  But it is no good dwelling on it for too long now that my kids are not babies any longer.  What is done is done.  I'm sure if they ever start antidepressants or have ADD, I'll blame myself for letting them cry it out when they were 11 months old.  Kidding.  :)  

2.  Did you ever let your baby cry it out to fall asleep, for you to get sleep, to help them learn to self soothe, or to just get a break?  Or did you believe in sleeping with your child, picking them up every time they cried, etc.  I don't think there is a right or wrong answer here.  We were right in the middle here.  We were not able to really let them cry it out for too long before we picked them up and nurtured them but we did let them cry for short amounts of time.  We slept with them when they were really little and had their bassinet next to our bed until about 4 or 5 months.  Around 10-12 months we started helping them fall asleep on their own, fall back asleep when they woke up in the night, etc.  


Pushing the Envelope Wisely

I think there are always times in our life where we tend to push ourselves too hard and when we hold ourselves back and just don't give enough.  It can be somewhat like an art to find that sweet spot where we are pushing ourselves and holding back just enough so we thrive according to our potential.  This can be tricky and is easier said than done.  This can be true for us in so many roles that we lead in our lives...our professions, how we are as a parent, getting emotionally involved with people, our spiritual lives and most definitely as an athlete.  

In most roles of my life, I've generally pushed myself harder than I have held myself back. I jump in head first when it come to relationships and making myself vulnerable to others.  I almost worked too hard sometimes in college and when it came time to get my first job, I was over the top dedicated to making sure I stood out and got in where I wanted to be.  I've always pushed myself hard and given so much of my self, heart, mind, and spirit to whatever I do.  However, when I think of myself as an athlete, a runner, I most definitely would say that I've held myself back a little too much.  I'm not sure what that comes down to but it has always been hard for me to push myself fully and just throw myself in without reservation.  I usually set my goals lower than perhaps what my potential is and I've often felt a heart full of fear, nerves, and reservation when it comes to just laying it all out there and giving my all.  Not sure why it has been so much harder to push myself as an athlete when it has come so naturally for me to push and challenge myself in all the other areas of my life.  

Yesterday's workout called for 12 miles with the last 20 minutes moderate.  Well, I broke the "rules" or plan a bit but gosh, it felt good!  I got out of my "cage" (a.k.a treadmill) and my legs just felt so good.  Once I got out there and realized that an 8 minute pace uphill felt easy and natural, I told myself to just run comfortably  and enjoy the run.  This ended up being faster than I had planned but also easier than I would have imagined.  So, the plan was 12 miles with the last 20 moderate and what really happened was:

Next time I'll run this course backwards.  Yes, there is a nice downhill slope here but this is great training for Boston!  


  • 12 hilly miles @ 7:36 pace with the last mile in 6:53.8 (this didn't feel too hard,surprisingly and yes I'm holding on to that 6:53 even though Garmin rounded it. ha!  I just told myself to run strong, increase the cadence a bit and stay within the moderate/low hard zone).  
  • 1.45 miles (gradual uphill) easy on the way home . 8:19.  I expected this to be way slower so I started a new Garmin time so I could keep the two separate but surprisingly, this last 1.45 miles felt easy and strong and was faster than I was planning on for the end of this run.  
  • Total was 13.46 in 1:40/7:40 pace.  
  • Every time I looked down and saw a 7:15ish pace and felt relatively easy, I thought my garmin must be OFF but it happened again and again and I eventually started believing and owning it!  
  • I feel great today!  Not sore or torn down. This makes me feel great and like I didn't push myself too hard but just enough. Huge confidence boost.   
I want to emphasize that I think it is important to play it smart to avoid injury and save ourselves for our peak races.  But I also think that sometimes we hold ourselves back a bit too much and we never really know what we are capable of if we hold ourselves back a bit too much.  This was a great opportunity for me to get a feel for where I'm at so I can reevaluate my goals for this training that is just starting.  By pushing the envelope a bit now (safely), it has given me a boost in several ways. It comes down to trusting yourself, listening to your body and knowing when to push and when to "play it safe" Glad I went with what my body felt like doing yesterday.  

I'm going to continue to do lots of:
  • Base runs around 8:15/8:30 pace on the treadmill. Last time I think I ran my daily runs too fast.
  • Increasing mileage (this has helped me so much!! Who knew?? Apparently everyone else except me.  :) ) 
  • Playing around with the inclines on my treadmill.
  • Having really really easy days at least a couple runs a week.  Not junk miles but therapy miles.   
  • Listening to my body and taking time off, pulling back and pushing the envelope when it seems wise.  
  • Being FLEXIBLE with my plan and adjusting it to MY NEEDS.  Being my own coach and trusting that I know what is BEST for me.  Afterall, nobody knows me better than me.  Time to put some of my reflective skills to use with my running.  I seem to make reflection work for me in every other area of my life...why not with running as my own coach?  
So, here's a more specific training post for those that have been asking.  And for those that haven't.  Here's to some strong training in 2012!  I'm excited to hear about how you are gently and safely pushing your running "envelope" as you continue to unfold with your training!

As with most things in life, what we give and how we conserve is such a balance.  If we give too much, we can find ourselves depleted, injured, overworked, etc.  But if we hold back too much then we can find ourselves never fully discovering what we are capable of. 
1.  Are there areas of your life where you hold yourself back a bit too much?  Why do you think this is?  
2.  Or are you a person that pushes yourself too hard most times and then ends up with injury, overworked, or emotionally/physically drained?  


Saturday, December 17, 2011

First Weird Boston Dream and Training

If you clicked on this,  you might be expecting a post about dreaming big about the Boston Marathon.  Maybe a ramble about my goals and how I'm ready for this.  Excited.  Revved up. Eh, those things will come but I'm talking about a real dream.  A silly one.  But almost a nightmare.  It was one of those dreams you have before a big event, a trip, or something you've been thinking about a lot.  One of those dreams where you can't move very fast, you're late in packing your suitcase for a big trip, the plane leaves without you, you can't move your mouth to talk, or you forget your wedding dress on the day of your wedding.  You know...those dreams.  We've all had them at some point in our life, right?  With these dreams, I usually find myself feeling a range of emotions:  determination, will power to overcome this weird thing, panic, outrage, "You've got to be kidding me!!!!" kind of feelings, disbelief, and finally I usually end up surrendering to the situation and just accept it all as an unfortunate loss.  

This morning I woke up feeling:

  • So thankful for race volunteers
  • Glad that we have certified courses and we all know where to go when we are racing.  
  • Thankful for a fair playing field, chip timing, starting corrals, personal goals and every athlete being treated equally for the most part.  
  • Oh, and so thankful that the Boston Marathon (or any marathon/race for that matter) is not run inside houses like an obstacle course with yarn, jumping over chairs, crawling under tables and never being able to get to full stride.  
So, yeah, I was at the Boston Marathon and I still hadn't even checked my bags and we were already starting the race.  Having my backpack, shoes, and all my belongings without checking them was the least of my worries.  The race was so disorganized and there were only a few volunteers that really knew what they were doing.  And get this...the BOSTON MARATHON was really more of a stupid obstacle course through these houses and buildings.  We had to remember where to go because nobody was really there to tell us.  How UNFAIR when it came to having standards.  But the person in me that hates cheating, unfair playing fields, and lack of standards, tried desperately to follow the "Yarn-marked" course through the rooms, under chairs, over tables, around statues, and out onto an airport landing strip the best I could so that I could have an accurate time.  Only the entire time I was getting angrier and more emotional about my time getting slower and slower.  I was devastated.  When I finally did get on the road, it was because someone gave me a ride in their car and just chose a place to drop me in.  SO inaccurate.  It wasn't even worth continuing really except for the fact that it was the Boston Freaking Marathon!  I remember I kept saying things like:

  • "Who do I talk to around here about this?!" 
  • "I was on track for a 3:10 marathon and this is ridiculous!  There is no way I will get it now.  I've lost too much time"  (note:  I do not have it as a goal to run a 3:10 marathon...this must be my subconscious speaking.  Apparently, there must be a part of my brain that thinks this would be a good goal.  Ha!  I will be happy with a PR.)
Yes, I had my first panic-like Boston Marathon dream and it isn't even January.  So random. 
 I don't expect this to be a regular thing for me.  In fact, this might be my only one.  I really haven't even thought too much about the race and I'm certainly not feeling anxiety over it.  Just enjoying building a strong base right now and excited more than anything. So silly how the brain works.  Perhaps it was because I watched tons of Survivor (my favorite show) last night and then talked to people about the Warrior Dash.  

Whatever the reason for dreams, most of us have them at some point.  Although I don't remember dreaming often, this week has been FULL of pretty powerful dreams that stick with me for most of the morning.  Not sure what I think about dreams but I certainly think they serve a purpose, even if only to entertain us or help us process something.  They usually make me wake up with a new appreciation for life the way it is and not the way I just dreamt it was!  

On a running note, training is going great.  Still mostly base building with some fartlek intervals and progression runs ending in marathon pace thrown in.  I'm experimenting with marathon pace.  My range is 7:15 to 7:30.  I know, big range but in my opinion, right now is a good time to dapple and play around with numbers.  Once training gets more serious, I will have my marathon pace down to about a 5 second range and I will mostly likely shoot for a 7:20-7:25 range. Or 7:30 would be fine too since that would still be a PR. Not sure how high to reach here.  Other randoms:
  • Thankful for some amazing women in my life that are training or gearing up for marathon training at the same time.  It  has been great to have virtual and real-life running friends to talk to about training, goals, and thoughts about running.  So encouraging and motivating!
  • Mileage is still staying relatively high (for me).  Last week was 59.5 and this week was 65.  I start my new weeks on Saturday with my long run. 
  • I'm feeling strong and healthy.  Still listening closely to my body and giving it the rest it needs when it tells me it is ready.  I took a day off (mostly) on Wednesday even when it meant giving up a 10 mile day.  My body was thankful.  
  • It is so easy to get caught up on a number.  My Runninghood facebook status this week was:  
Conscious today of not letting NUMBERS define me: weekly mileage, race time, age....if you think about it, Numbers are a pretty big part of our world and how we label, size of our bra, weight, how many sq ft our house is, zip code, etc. With a number comes an idea or judgement whether we are conscious of it or not. As a runner, it is hard sometimes to not get attached to "the number". Like today, I'm thinking of taking the day off running "just because" but if I'm not careful, that 10 miles that I was going to run today kind of gets to me...I can feel the weekly total dropping. But really, in the end, my day off helps me better than that 10 miles will this time around. Just a doesn't define me.

  • Today calls for a 12 mile run with the last 20 minutes (preferably uphill) moderate with the last mile at marathon pace.  Or I think that is what it said.  Maybe not.  I'm following this part of the plan VERY loosely.  Moderate for me right now probably means some where between 7:25 and 7:45. 
  • Doing daily doubles has been great for me.  Definitely one of the biggest reasons for my success with higher mileage.  I can carve out more time to fit my runs into chunks rather than say one long chunk of time to run 15 miles. 
  • I don't do doubles every day and when I do, I definitely try to incorporate some mid long runs of say 10 miles into one run.  I think these mid distances are important to get in without breaking up too much.  Rather, I might run a shorter/easier run of 3-5 miles in the morning and then get in a longer chunk of running in the afternoon or later morning if time allows.  
  • While I run on the treadmill, I've been enjoying watching Life at Ponderosa on Youtube.  Ponderosa is the camp that the players of Survivor go to after they are voted off.  It is so funny and fun to see what happens after they leave the game.  I love survivor  
  • I know that many out there are now saying that the 1% incline rule on the treadmill is no longer valid and actually not needed to simulate outdoor running.  I still like to put it on 1% but rather, I alternate my inclines often.  I even put it at -2% and 3% sometimes so I can get some downhill running in when I can't get outside.  Boston has lots of hills so if I can't get outside a lot then I will benefit from having my treadmill at higher and lower elevations.  
  • I'm so excited to run outside today!  
1.  Do you ever have weird dreams like this where you lose control and see something that is so important to you end up in total chaos?  
2.  Do you watch Survivor?  Who do you want to win?  I'm rooting for Ozzy at this point.  
3.  Do you learn from your dreams?  Or do you write them down and try to analyze your dreams?  I usually just chalk them up to things that I was thinking of that day or things on my mind that I don't realize when I'm conscious.  I have friends that really put a lot of emphasis on dreams and think that they are telling you something that you need to hear.  My mom has one of those dream books that tells you what certain things symbolize.  She even has dream journals.