Saturday, January 31, 2015

Roo and the lil sis

Monday, monday...  We have gotten through a nice long weekend (that was not long at all) where I headed up to Toledo to celebrate with my baby sister who is having a baby in March. I do not have too many pictures of the event because I will busy hosting the party, although admittedly, I am eternally grateful for my aunts and the help that they were able to give me for this party. Without them, it would not have happened.

So just in case any of my Aunts come across this blog when they are looking for... who knows what on google...  THANK YOU!

Karen came with Addie and I to Toledo, and she was on Roo duty when Grandma was not, which I am thankful for. So thanks to the best future MIL that Roo could have for keeping your eyes on her while Mom was busy.

So, lil sis, hope your shower that was one week ago was everything that you wanted.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Home with Sickie

It is Friday morning at around 6:30 am. I am working from home today because I have a little sickie that I am hanging out with today. She is asleep at the moment, so I am trying to get a few work things done. I figure if I can slam through a few hours of work now, it will be a little bit less to worry about trying to get through once Addie is awake. Obviously, it is much more difficult to work when I have a little nugget who is trying to hassle me.
That is a sick baby selfie from yesterday.

You can tell how wiped out she was feeling. I love the sweet thing, but I really hate it when she is not feeling great. I am glad that Bossman got the Board meeting moved so we have a little bit of extra time to get things for year end squared away. Otherwise, it would probably be really tricky for me to stay home and work from here with her. So I am grateful for that announcement that he gave to us on Wednesday afternoon.

I have not actually talked to anyone (well, almost anyone) from work since I had to head out yesterday to get Addie from daycare and take her up to the doctor. The SLT meeting was going on (a management meeting) so most of the people that I would have wanted to talk to were in that meeting. I brought Addie over to the window of the conference room and let her wave to everyone - she got a lot of smiles from my friends - and then we headed out for our doctor's appointment.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Monday Speedwork

So one of the more difficult things to do now that I am back on the training wagon is speedwork. It is one of the most important things as I look to shave the 3+ minutes off of my fall marathon time, but it is definitely one of the trickier things.

When I am struggling with motivation, it is even more difficult. Because running itself is tough. Trying to convince my legs to go HARD is even more difficult when I am lacking motivation. But most times I make it work. Monday was one of those times that I just made it happen.

Here is the workout I did on Monday:

1.25 miles - warm up
1 mile @ 7:13
400m recovery
800m 2x @ 7:02
400m recovery
1 mile @ 7:13
400m recovery
1.25 mile cool down

7 total miles at an average pace of 8:02. I figure that is a pretty fantastic run.

I have to be pleased with the fact that I managed to get my motivation up enough to accomplish this run. It was not an easy one for sure, but now, I have DONE IT.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Revisiting the Pain - Week 2

Admittedly, it is now nearly a week since I wrote that last sad post, maybe a week tomorrow? I cannot remember the specifics right now. Regardless, not a whole lot has changed since then. I am still feeling pretty defeated about most things. I do not necessarily feel as "in shape" as I want to be as I tackle double digit mileage. I am down about some changes I have made in my personal life. I am feeling generally unfulfilled. I am struggling daily with the motivation to go for a run, I am even struggling with the motivation to move out of my bed on some of the lower days.

Yes, these things are obviously a problem, yes, I know. And that is why I am making an effort, no matter how small, so talk about them here. Write about them. Talk to my therapist weekly. I am making all of the effort that I can in all of the right places, but honestly, the switch just has not flipped yet.

I spend every single day laying things out on the table, laying all of my feelings out to the world, and I just have not yet gotten the answers that I am desperately craving. I know that finding "all" of the answers will be difficult, but I am still seeking them. I am still constantly on the lookout for any and all answers that I may be greeted with.

In therapy, I am working very hard to try and come up with real solutions for the struggles that I am having internally. Every week, I make some progress, and today was no exception. I always feel better when I leave there, and I spend the next week always writing down all of the things that I have realized when I was running or thinking or whatever. I don't want to forget about what I want to talk about and miss anything that could be important.

I am certainly pleased with that...

Monday, January 19, 2015

Saturday Long Run

A weekend and a long run survived. I have to be honest, when I am able to get through the longer ones, I am certainly pleased with myself. Saturday was one of those days.

On Saturdays in the early part of the year, J has to work. It is busy season for him at his job, which reminds me (and probably him too!) of public accounting days when Saturdays in tax season are always extra hours. So obviously, training for a spring marathon is a little bit trickier than a fall one, since my babysitter is working already. And typically, I enjoy running on Saturday since that is when run group is, I definitely find it easier to nail double digits on days when I am running with someone else. But with Karen being out for the spring season due to her trail marathon injury (she tripped on a root and has two fairly serious fractures!), I am a little bit more willing to go it alone.

Saturday I had my first double digit run of this training block, and my first double digit run since Columbus. Admittedly, while I knew I was more than capable of covering the 10 mile distance, especially after 9 on the treadmill just the week before, I was still nervous about the 10 miles.

J's plan was to leave the office around 11, which is right around the time that Addie would be going down for her nap. (We have tried and tried to transition her to being an afternoon napper, and it just is not working. So 11 am it is!) So the plan was for him to text me and say he was on his way home, I would put her down, and then he would be home, so I could head outside for my long run (it was about 45*, way better than the negative temps of the prior weekend where I scrapped my plan for run group and hit the treadmill instead!) When we started to get near the 11 am hour and I had not heard from J yet, I needed to make a decision. Addie was falling asleep on the couch next to me, so I decided to put her down even though I had not heard from him yet.

After Addie is asleep (she went down immediately!), I head into my room and get dressed to run. I am prepped for a half indoor-half outdoor run. I decided to start on the treadmill and then head out for the remainder of the run after J got home. That way I would not be wasting the free time that I had while Addie was asleep. So I put on crops, a shortsleeved shirt, and grabbed my long sleeved for the later part of the run, put on my Brooks Launch (oh, favorite shoes, ever) and headed to the basement with the baby monitor to ensure I was doing my mommy duty.

I set my Netflix to Parenthood, since that is what I have been enjoying on my treadmill days, and started out at 6.8 (8:49 miles) which is my suggested easy/maintenance pace for long runs. But let's be honest, running at one pace on a treadmill is super boring, and I am not going to do that. So each mile, I turned it up one.

I ended up on the treadmill for an hour (and 7.07 miles) before J finally arrived home - "audit emergency" he claimed. So I headed out and did my final three miles on the cart path at the golf course. It was the first time I have ever actually run on the course. It is much hillier than actually running around the course, which is what I usually do, but I still maintained an 8:15 average pace.

So total run was 10.1 miles in EXACTLY 85 minutes for an 8:24 average. Pretty damn good.
And here is a cute baby eating yogurt.
There comes a time when eating that a spoon becomes more of a hindrance than a help. So you should use your other hand in that case.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Life and Running

So first of all, somehow I have only 3 pageviews today. Um, that seems bizarre considering even when I was not posting AT ALL for 2 months, I was still getting 20-30 per day. So super strange, but it is what it is, I suppose?

Yesterday was another day of running, in an effort to get my mind off of the things that I was thinking about, the things that are haunting my thoughts these days...  Unfortunately, one of the biggies is running related. It is - am I focused enough and motivated enough to cut three minutes and forty three seconds off of my marathon time, stay focused enough in the last 10K of a marathon to get that big BQ time that stared me right in the face just a few months ago. I am getting closer to being fully committed, I think, but I am not 100% there yet.

Sometimes as I am covering mileage, i think to myself...  holy crap, I am struggling with my paces right now, how on EARTH am I going to be able to hold this pace (or whatever pace it might be) for 26.2 miles! (or whatever thing I am struggling with in the moment.)

It is a lot about running motivation these days, because I know what my big fat hairy goal is, but at the same time, it seems pretty difficult to gather the amount of focus that I need to really grow and gain fitness to achieve it.

Obviously there is a lot going on in my world other than running. I have been working about a million hours. I am not the mother of a 17 month (!!!) old. Somehow in all of this I need to keep my head, keep my wits about me. Continuously move forward and become a better and healthier version of Emily so I can teach that to Addison (we have some work to do on foods that are not breads and fruits though. I suppose that is semi-normal for her age, and I may experiment a bit...)

Work has been kind of constant lately. I have been insanely busy with a few long term projects that we have been working on for months, and then some big things came up the last two weeks of December, and now, being an accountant, I am obviously slammed with year end things, and it will continue to be like that at least until we get through our audit in late February. So I am stuck for now. I know that everyone that I work with feels that I am a valuable member of the team, blah blah blah, and they trust my judgment and knowledge in a lot of areas, so it is hard not to put all of my effort into it.

ahh... well, tomorrow is this week's long run, and I plan on double digits for the first time since Columbus. Last week I ran 9. I guess I am slowly getting there at some level. I want to continue to make progress, continue to add endurance, and continue to get stronger.

How is your motivation now that we are in spring marathon training season?

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Wednesday Speedwork

Believe it or not, despite feeling rather down in the dumps, I occasionally will have a decent workout. I am struggling sometimes with motivation as we discussed yesterday. But sometimes something clicks and even when I do not feel up to running, I may get a decent workout in.

Yesterday, Charlie and I escaped the office for and hour and headed over to the gym, the Blue Ash Rec Center, a gym that I belonged to in my time living in Blue Ash. I no longer live there and I no longer belong to that gym. But I do still work in that little city and so I could legitimately still belong to the gym. Charlie does. So I went with him, as his guest.

I actually suggested a workout to him, that would likely be a bit of a challenge, but still doable. He had to do six miles, so I pushed him to run a 1-4-1 tempo with the tempo miles at 7:15. I am about 95% sure that he completed it. I had more of a speedwork workout planned, although I kind of modified it based on how I was feeling.

I alternated between the treadmill and the indoor track to add some additional variety. I do not have actual paces for this workout as I did not wear a watch or run on the treadmill, but based on how I felt afterward and even how I feel today, I would say I did a pretty good job getting it done.

Here is yesterdays speedwork:
1 mile treadmill (variety of paces between 8:27-8:49)
3 miles speedwork - 0.10 all out effort, 0.10 recovery
1 mile treadmill (variety of paces between 8:27-8:49)

So I covered 5 miles in no idea what pace, other than the fact that it hurt. I was somewhat in pain after this workout ended and had to spend a good amount of time before bed last night with my foam roller and a lot of stretching. My glutes are extremely sore and very tight right now, and I am definitely hoping to be able to shake them out a little bit by running again at lunch time. We will see how everything shakes out with today's schedule, but of course, that is the plan for today.

And now, here is what I WANT to be doing today instead of working or shaking out my legs with a run.
Hilarious, right? I love this gal.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Motivation and Sadness

Sometimes you just feel sad. There may be a reason for that feeling, or it might just come on, seemingly out of no where. This time in my life is absolutely a combination of those two things. At first, it seemed to be out of no where, and then there was a change, and I know the reason, or at least, the current reason. It is not something that I really want to talk too much about, but it does exist, it is real.

It is part of the reason that I have been quietly following along in my marathon training, not posting, reading about other's crazy levels of motivation while mine is not present and I occasionally collapse and cry in the front yard of a stranger (true story). Sometimes things are feeling overwhelming to me lately. I am trying to get through all of the things that I have needed to do recently. I have been trying to work extra hours. I have been trying to survive.

When you feel down, certain songs carry special meaning. You listen to them on repeat. And then you try and pick yourself up and run again. You try and get your motivation back, you try and get through the first few miles and hope to goodness that you suddenly start to feel good.

Some days it happens. Somedays it does not, like the day I landed in a neighbor's lawn crying.

Sometimes you are sad and you know why. Sometimes you are not sure what happened.

FYI - yes, i have some stuff going on. Yes, I am seeing a professional. Yes, I will get through it.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Thanksgiving Day Racing

So yeah, it has been three month since I wrote here. I had a half written entry from when I was in Sioux Falls, South Dakota at the beginning of December, but I never finished writing it, I never got all the way through the entry, obviously. Since I have not managed to post anything since well before Thanksgiving.

So I guess I can start this entry that I am finally getting around to writing by chatting about Thanksgiving. Naturally, we headed up to Toledo for the holiday, and had plans to race on Thanksgiving morning with some family members. Even Addison was going to come with us to race. She was going to hang out in her jogger and my mom was going to take her. So Thanksgiving morning the whole family (well, my mom, Addie, J, my brother Joey, and myself) piled into J's car, and drove to the East Side of Toledo, to run the East Side Turkey Trot, the same race I PR'd in when I was approximately 4 weeks pregnant with Addie.

But this year, 2 years later, she was with us in a different way, she is snuggled up in her stroller, wearing a hat, gloves, hood, blankets in the stroller, etc. It was a chilly morning, but not completely unbearable, which I was grateful for. And I was extra grateful, since J didn't want to run if it was too cold. Obviously, with Addie with us, so not frozen was a better way for the weather to be.

I had a goal to break 22 minutes in this race. I placed first in my age group and broke 25 minutes for the first time (in fact, broke 23 minutes!) two years prior, and I have come a very long way since then. So I knew that I should be capable. And that would justify my marathon goal, since breaking 22 can convert to a sub-3:35 marathon time. The original plan was for me to start out with my cousin Pete who ran a 21 something a few times over the summer. If I started with him, my goal would be just to hang on.

It turned out, We started together as planned, I passed him about one mile in, and then he spent the rest of the race hanging on. We pretty much crossed the finish line together.
I love this photo because in it, I look thrilled to have met my goal and Pete looks like he might want to kill me. And yes, I was hurting, and yes, I choked a bit after the race. And yes, I needed to be by myself for a few minutes to catch my breath and make sure that I was not going to throw up before going to chat and talk to Pete and see how he felt. When I was recovered, I went and found him, sitting on the curb, also beat. He looked up, handed me some water, and I joined him on the curb, and we waited for the rest of our family.

We finished the race in 21:45 - well, Pete finished in 21:44, the ass. :) This put me in 4th place for the 30-35 age group.
Uncle Joe finished in second place in his age group, and so we were both able to collect our turkey trophies. We were the winner's of our family, and we were happy to have some many folks with us, finishing the race, and feeling great about our holiday.
It was a pretty good group of people to spend the morning with. Look at Addie crawling out of my mom's arms. She is definitely ready to go home at that point.

But she recovered quickly to spend Thanksgiving with us in a new shirt with her favorite Christmastime characters on it.
I love this little nugget.

Hope your Thanksgiving was very good too, and more on the last two months later.