Friday, December 12, 2014

What's Up? Running, Parenting, Life: Goals and Happenings

Training for my May 50k and Boston started this week.  I'm excited to be more focused about my running, goals, and fitness.  With this comes more intention with my diet, strength work, and stretching/rolling/maintenance.  These are things I should have in mind year round but they become all the more important when I'm asking more from my body physically.  My training this time around will be different in many ways. Just a few differences from the past:

  1. Most my runs will be on trails
  2. Less focus on specific times and more focus on effort
  3. At least 2/3 of my runs will be without my Garmin.  I'd like to run based off effort and feel.  
  4. Less focus on a goal time and more focus on my experience and what I'm getting from running overall.  I want to run strong in my races but not make it all about a PR on the clock this time.  
  5. The plan so far is for Boston to be a training run, not a race where I race all out.  
  6. Race without a Garmin!  I want Boston to be about feel and the overall experience without letting my Garmin tell me what I should and shouldn't be running for each mile.  I'm sick of looking down at my wrist every mile.  For Christmas, I asked for a good old Ironman Timex watch just like I used to have.  
  7. Less mileage and speed work and more back to back endurance runs. 
As of now, my plan is to use a basic plan from Relentless Forward Progress where my mileage will be up to 50 miles a week.  In the past I've run between 55 to 65 miles as my general average (my highest weekly mileage at 85...this was too much for me).  I think a lower mileage will be just fine for my goals. I will also pull one faster paced workout per week from Advanced Marathoning.  This will alternate between tempo and vo2max work.  If I'm feeling strong, I might do two a week or incorporate some of the threshold work into a longer run.  It's hard to judge pace on the trails (one reason for no Garmin on most runs) but I'd still like 8 min pace to come easy and natural for me when running on flat.  The other day I did take the Garmin out to see where I was with this and high 7s/low 8s felt just right like they should at this point after building a base. I'll still be keeping a training journal but this time I'm trying out the Believe Journal.  I love so much about this book...the feel, format, font...all of it is inspiring!  I can tell a lot of passion went into putting this journal together.  

I've always kept a training journal in just an ordinarynotebook. This has worked great for me and led to growth and opportunities to reflect, dream, be my best journals are treasures!  Now that training mode is starting again, I'm excited to start digging into this beauty!  Just from my first flip, I love what I see.  It makes me itch to put pen to paper and start writing my goals and plans!  From font to format to feel, it is well composed/compiled!  

We are definitely in a different stage with our kids now that they are well within 9, 7, 5.  One of our main things we are wanting to be intentional with is helping our kids continue to take responsibility and ownership over their learning, family contributions, and daily tasks.  We also want them to learn about the value and management of money.  We want to incorporate an allowance into family life but we don't want it to just be about paying them to do things they should already be doing as contributing members of this family.  So, last night we had our family meeting and came up with a list of family contributions and things we want them to do weekly.  We also discussed the difference between getting paid out of reward vs. an opportunity to learn about money while still meeting their family expectations and contributions. We set a dollar amount that we will give them monthly and as long as they are keeping up with their end of the deal, they get their full amount.  It isn't much at all but we are hopeful that this will teach them about saving, giving, and spending!  This is new to us so we are still finding our way and will see how it all unfolds.  Some of their family contributions and expectations (nothing really new):
  • Keeping their rooms clean.  Not perfect (goodness knows mine isn't perfect!) but picked up at least once a week where they make it look clean and tidy.  
  • Picking their stuff up from the downstairs and keeping their things where they belong.  
  • Doing chores willingly as asked.
  • RESPECT to each other! With tone of voice and actions.
  • Read daily.  This should be a fun habit for them.  They can read whatever they want but we do expect this habit to be in place. 
  • Writing.  We recently started asking our older kids to keep a journal.  The older kids are expected to write two pages a week.  One page is just whatever they want to write.  Again, this can be fun.  A story, rant, letter, poem, list, writing about their day or week or something they are excited about.  Their second page is a list of gratitude.  The goal here is to help them practice some habits that we feel can be beneficial to their lives.  The gratitude lists is self explanatory and we hope they will learn to recognize more things in their ordinary life to be grateful for as they begin this routine.  We've done this before but in the past we have had a family gratitude journal. As for the free write entry, we want this to be a way that they can get more fluid with their writing as well as be more reflective.  Maybe this habit/routine won't last and maybe it will.  For now, the girls have actually had fun with it the last month and they are picking it up on their own without having to be reminded.  
I continue to work on adjusting to life in Bend, OR.  We've only been here since August so I can't expect it to feel completely normal just yet.  Slowly but surely.  The best thing (hands down!) about our home here are the miles and miles of trails outside my door.  I'm beyond grateful for this.  My biggest struggle in life at this time is COMPARISON and letting go.  Not comparison to others but comparison to what I had (and LOVED) in Asheville.  I've been quite stuck some days.  Missing and longing instead of moving on and giving my full energy to making THIS chapter a beautiful one.  So, I'm really working hard on this:  Moving forward with CONTENTMENT and gratitude.  I'm quite positive that when I open my heart and mind and truly give of myself here, I will find community, home, and connection.  So, the walls are coming down and I'm making it a priority to practice gratitude and positive thinking.  

Some personal goals:  
  • Let go of the expectations of how it's supposed to be and embrace what it is.
  • Instead of seeing all the things I'm not doing/accomplishing, feel good about what IS being done and what I can still do.  One thing at a time!
  • Break things into smaller chunks.
  • Do what I'm doing because I find meaning in it.  NOT because others are doing it or because I think it's what I'm supposed to do.  
  • Get rid of comparison. Comparison to others or to my past self/life.  Comparison kills joy.
  • Use my love language: Give and love in the ways that come naturally.  For me, this is through words of affirmation: letters, texts, conversation...full attention.  
  • Slow down and make the time count.  
  • Give my kids and husband my FULL attention at least once a day.  It doesn't have to be long to count. 
  • Uplift, support, and love.  


  1. I love what you're doing here! I'll be keeping your family duty list for future reference. I'm thinking we could modify now for the kids.

    I'm also following RFPs training plan of 50mi/wk. I still feel like a noob to running and training. The plan calls for 5 days of running. I'm curious what days you're cross training, what you like to do to cross train and what time you're spending doing so. With a 2yo and 4yo and a husband that works long hours, I'm always suggestions and ideas how to fit it all in :)

    And seriously, bucket list to run a Rainshadow race...may see you sooner than later!

    1. Callie, Hi! I love that you are doing a 50 miler! Inspiring. Well, with cross training I haven't thought that far ahead yet. I think I'll run 6 days a week most weeks with one day of rest. I don't belong to a gym or rec center this time around so cross training will be different. In the past I've liked mountain climbers and water But I have all that in nature here so if I find myself needing cross training I can find snow shoeing, hiking, mountain biking, and all sorts of other things. For now, the plan is to run with yoga-like stuff and isolated strength (and circuit work with free weights and my pull up bar). You are always welcome to come stay with us if you see a trail race out here you want to run! Your whole family is welcome!

  2. Lots of great stuff going on with you! Moving forward with intention and awareness is such a strong part of who you is no surprise to me that your life continues to unfold in a lovely, meaningful, and grounded pattern. I am glad the adjustment to life in Bend is in process :) Wishing you and your family a beautiful and joyous holiday season.

    1. Hi you. Thanks and good to hear from you! I haven't been very good at these things the last few months...majorly stuck. Like I know what I want to be doing to move forward but like I'm in emotional quicksand. Hoping to get out and stop looking back. Feeling grounded today but if you asked me a week ago, I'd say my feet were somewhere in the sky and I was grasping for twigs. Wishing you the same sweet friend.

  3. I, for one, like that you posted on Friday evening! I like to catch up with blogs over coffee on Saturday AM and there usually isn't much to see...
    So how excited was I to see yours! A favorite!
    Great blog as always, I love to hear about your training and life journey :-)
    (I too, have a believe journal and love the concept, and format but simply do not think there is enough space for my own notes! Maybe this is a problem unique to me and my verbose nature....?)
    Happy holidays to you and your family!

    1. Ah, your so kind. I love your comments. Thank you. And I love your blog too. You know, I might find this to be the case with this journal if I didn't already keep another personal journal. Now, if I tried to blog or comment or email in that space? Um, my verbose nature wouldn't do. ha! Happy holidays to you too!

  4. Great post! I really love that you've incorporated journaling into your kids' responsibilities, and that part of their writing includes gratitude. So hard to teach kids about gratitude, and so often overlooked! I am thinking I may have to adopt this myself! I also really love your list of personal goals. Again, there are things on your list that I think I could work on too!

    1. Hi Katie. Thank you. You know, I went back and forth with the journaling expectation. I didn't want to be pushing something on them just because I find value in it but really, that's what we do as parents. We try to implement habits that we believe in. I don't want writing to be dreadful ...I want them to grow up finding it enjoyable. So, my plan is try to go about it that way. I don't mark their writing up with a red pen and make it like school (I do pick out a word or two here and there as an opportunity to help them spell something correct the next time...) but rather a process for them where they get their thoughts out (goals, gratitude, emotions, dreams) and improve at writing fluency. Perhaps we will all share from our gratitude lists at the start of family night or midweek dinner when everyone is exhausted and needing a boost. Good to hear from you Katie!

  5. I lived in Sisters for a summer, but have never been to Asheville. What are the things you don't have in Bend, that you had in Asheville? Or, what do you miss about Asheville?

    1. Hi Elizabeth. I'm typing on my phone so this might not go through. The small town outside of Asheville where we lived was/is quite different. Not sure where to even begin.... Climate, forests (more deciduous trees), fireflies, so many old houses and history nearby, the Biltmore Estates (favorite place where I went every week), location to east coast cities I love, Blue Ridge mountains, walk to coffee/library/town...small town/front porch living, the charm and flavor, cost of living, ....just so much I loved that truly captured my heart and made me so happy! But I'll find my place in Bend and it is a place so many would love to be so I'm grateful and working on not comparing to asheville. It's our compromise in not moving back to Portland and yet still being near family. Maybe someday I'll get back to WNC but for now I'm here. :) I'm lucky to live here but would go back in a heartbeat if things aligned.

    2. I'd like to visit Asheville someday(when I don't have 3 dogs), in Bend, I didn't get a feel for the charm, history and old houses you describe in the Asheville area. Is the cost of living much lower in Asheville, compared to Bend? I like the high desert climate of Bend, but don't really love the "hipness", but I guess it is a good place for young families and affordable compared to N. CA where I grew up. I I now live in a tiny town in SW Montana and love it, but I imagine I could get used to living anyplace that is somewhat rural. The state furthest east that I've spent time in is MN and it was small town living, but too flat, I like some mountains, or at least hills. I bet your family appreciates you being close by. Enjoy the trails. We got over 4 inches of snow today in MT.

    3. Yeah, not the same charm, history, old houses, art scene, food scene,'s just different. And yup, "hipness"...I'm not sure what word I would use to describe Bend. Lots of money, athletes, patagonian wearing people. Kind of like a living REI catalog. A bubble. Cost of living higher than Asheville for sure. Where in Montana? What I loved most about the small town I was in in WNC was the small town feel, community, opportunities for our family to thrive but still a small town that had so much to offer as far as resources. We are still 3 hours from Portland where our family is but yes, they are glad we moved back. My husband is glad too. Enjoy your snow! Good to connect. Do you run?

  6. I live in SW Montana, in the Big Hole Valley. There aren't many "opportunities" here, but I don't have kids. It is quiet and peaceful here, which suits my husband and I fine, we are pretty solitary people.
    I love running, especially here in MT with my dogs, it is rare for us to see another person on the trails. This morning I ran 11 miles in the snow. I don't do speed work or race, but need running and yoga or some type of exercise everyday to feel good. I do think about trying to improve my speed for a challenge, but I'm 43 now, not at all competitive and mostly just happy that my body lets me get out there and run, hope I can keep running for many more years. Nice to know there are still good affordable places for young families to live, like Asheville area, I wish my 30 yr old brother would move someplace like NC, it is impossible to afford housing in CA and I don't think the quality of life is much better there.

  7. Excited about your training plan and also about all the goals you have made in life and parenting. It is almost that time of year for New Years Resolutions... we all make them. Sounds like you have so many goals that you are passionate about. Those are the goals that you will stick with, the ones that are important to you... I especially love you point of giving your family full attention. It's so easy to over look this, especially in a life full of multi-tasking. Hope to hear more about the journal and how you end up using it and what it adds to your journaling routine.

    1. Thanks Marci. I know I am so late in responding here so I will save the rest for our run this week (hopefully Wednesday!)

  8. I love the goals you have!!!
    I'm really working on doing things that have meaning and that I enjoy not just doing "stuff."

  9. I love your blog, and your deliberate goals for parenting. I only have a one year old but it's good to think about what I will implement in the future. I see where you are coming from missing Ashville. I live in Bar Harbor Maine which sounds somewhat similar as it is a small town but offers a lot for the community. Not to mention Acadia National Park is my backyard with over 100 miles of trails to run! However were moving at the end of Feb and just thinking about it makes me miss it like crazy! So I can relate, I hope it feels like home soon!

    1. Thank you Noelle! Oh, it sounds gorgeous there! And moving away from a place you love is so hard and takes time to adjust but I hope you're moving someone equally as beautiful.