Running Update and Goals

Since my last post, I have continued to be sporadic with my running schedule, hitting it hard for several days in a row and then just sitting around for the next several days.

Over Memorial Day weekend I ran every day, starting on Friday with a planned 4 miler that turned into a 5 miler.  It was such a beautiful day and I was really jammin' out to my music, so I didn't want to stop at 4.  I am terrible about updating my music on my iPod (affectionately named Shuffalufagus), but that morning I had added nearly 2 hours worth of fresh songs to my playlist.  I usually listen to a lot of rap and R & B on runs, which I still like, but I am so behind the times on what is popular that I have been listening to the same Kanye, DJ Khalid, and Birdman songs for years and I needed some new stuff.  I loaded up with more alternative, indie, and alt-country and a few newer rap/R & B songs, and that has gone a long way to keep things more interesting.

On Saturday, I wasn't super motivated to get out and run because it was pretty humid, so I went out for a 4 mile out and back, just to get something done.  I sweated buckets, but was glad to have gotten some mileage.

Sunday, I decided to get out before the heat and humidity really set in, so I headed out around mid-morning and explored a new neighborhood for a 6 miler.  My subdivision is very close to about 5 or 6 different housing developments of varying ages and price points, and I haven't explored them all yet.  I had hoped to make quick work of my 6 miler by getting lost in the new scenery, but it was hot enough that I couldn't really break the 12 minute mile pace that day.  It was a good run, but not the most enjoyable I have ever had.

Monday, I went back to the neighborhood I had begun to explore the day before and completed another slow run totaling 5 miles.

After a week of not doing much of anything, I knocked out 20 miles in 4 days.  I decided to take a break from running on Tuesday and ended up doing a Zumba workout after work, but I spent the next 4 days doing nothing.  So it goes.

I hope to do better at being consistent this week, but I won't be too hard on myself if not.  I feel like I have focused on getting back into the habit of running enough in the past month or so, that I will eventually find a groove that is right for me.  I look back at my old training logs and I can't believe that in the year after Eva was born, I regularly ran 20-25 miles a week and often ran 7-8 miles on my long run.  I can't imagine that being my normal schedule now-  I am just so tired.  Haha! But I am 5 years older, I have a job with a lot more responsibility, and a 2nd child to care for, so it makes sense that I would struggle trying to maintain that sort of schedule nowadays. I will not give up though!  Goals!

A Really Awesome Week and A Not-So-Awesome Week

I have been working on getting my weekly running mileage back up in to the 20-30 mile range, with no success for a while.  Even though I would plan to run about 5 days each week, usually I would only end up getting out there for about 3 days and rarely for more than 5 miles on any given run.

Until last week, that is.  For reasons I can't quite pinpoint, I was super motivated all week to get out and get some miles done.  I even got on the treadmill for an interval workout one rainy afternoon, which added 3.5 miles to my total for the week.  After all was said and done, I ticked off 22.5 miles last week, and I was so proud of myself for doing it.  It really wasn't that hard, and I remembered how I used to do this every week without batting an eye.

Then this week happened!  I really thought I had it figured out and I would be back in the groove to the extent that I could at least duplicate my mileage from last week.  But alas, I haven't run AT ALL. Insert frowny face here.  It has been a rough week for everyone and I just haven't had the time on some days and absolutely zero motivation on others.  I hope to get my mojo back this weekend, so we'll see.

I am trying not to be too hard on myself.  It takes a while to develop a habit, and one week of 20 + mileage is inadequate for instilling a habit.

In other news, Eva graduated from preschool and I finally finished watching the 7th season of the Real Housewives of Atlanta.  So the week wasn't a complete bust!

EDIT: I did make it out for a 5 miler on Sunday, so the week was not completely lost.  The delay in posting was because I wanted to get a picture of Eva's preschool graduation for the blog, but I can't find what Kyle took at the ceremony on the cloud.  

Here a few pictures of the kids before Eva's preschool graduation program.

Littlest Runner

I have a new runner in the household, and she's got energy!

Eva has shown interest in running with me, so last Thursday, I told her that she could run with me a little bit after I finished up with my normal post-work run.  Usually, when I plan to go out for a run after work, Kyle picks up the kids from school and I just go straight home, lace up, and head out.

Since I get off around 5pm on most days, that gives me plenty of time to get a 3 or 4 miler in by the time Kyle and the kiddos arrive at home.  Then I am able to hang out with Eva and Jonah for a bit while Kyle gets supper going.  I told Eva that I would go out and run 3 miles and then meet her back at the house to venture out on a one miler.  She was game and happily donned her "running" clothes and shoes once she got home.

Jonah wanted very badly to go for a run with us, but I kind of wanted this to be a girls outing, and aside from pushing him the jogging stroller, he wouldn't be able to make it very far on his little 2 year old legs.

We headed out and I estimated a short one mile loop into the neighborhood behind our subdivision, by the elementary school Eva will be going to in the fall, and around by our neighborhood pool. Starting out, Eva had a pretty quick pace.  I was already tired from working all day and doing 3 miles before she joined me, so I was dragging a bit and figuring that she'd need a walk break soon, since she obviously went out too fast in the beginning.

I was wrong about that.  She maintained a pretty even pace and didn't need to stop until we hit a steep uphill, which was actually at about the 1.1 mile mark (as I didn't measure an exact mile).  She did want to walk the uphill, but picked back up running the .15 miles back around to our driveway.  The mile we did run was about 12:30, which is slower than my normal pace, but faster than I would have expected her to be able to maintain for a whole mile.  I am super-impressed.

Now, she keeps asking me when she is going to get to run with me again and can we go 5 miles next time.  I told her we could do a mile together a few more times and then see about going a mile and half after that.  Kyle suggested we look at signing her up for a kids fun run, which I am not opposed to doing, but for right now, I would just like to let her have the chance to just run, for fun, and spend some quality time with me.  If, after a while, she's still really into it, then we can see about letting her race.

Yesterday was Mother's Day and I had planned on getting a 4 miler in before going to brunch, but my sis called to chat for a while and I decided to skip the run so that we could eat at a decent time.  It was a rainy, stormy afternoon, which made for great napping and the kids played in the rain a little bit before supper.  All in all, it was a nice day!

Gettin' It Done

Eva is now 5 years old.  I can't believe it myself, but she will be going into kindergarten this fall.

Last summer, she kept asking about doing some sort of activity.  We put her in T-Ball when she was 3, but she didn't really catch on or show much interest in it, so I didn't think she'd want to do that again.  She said she wanted to do cheer leading or dance, so we found a ballet school right in our town (which has a huge amount of gymnastics, martial arts, and dance academies for a city our size, I must say) and enrolled her in a Creative Movement class once a week last September.

She really, really enjoys it and her teacher has recommended she move up to pre-ballet this September.  Her class is comprised of about 7 girls, ages 4 to 6.  They are learning the general ballet terms and proper positioning of hands and feet.  Eva really pays attention and follows all of the teacher's instruction, even when some of the other students are goofing off or having trouble maintaining attention.  It doesn't matter to me if she does dance or something else, or nothing right now for that matter, but she has asked to continue ballet over the summer and into the fall, so I guess that is what we'll do for now.

The class is every Tuesday night at 5:45pm, so I usually get Eva from school and take her to dance while Kyle will get Jonah from daycare and take him home.  The class is a 40 minute class and parents are not allowed in the studio during practice, so I usually bring a book or surf the web on my phone in the waiting room.

This week, however, I didn't want to waste my time sitting in the waiting room.  I have been in a really good groove of running most days over the past few weeks, and I knew I would miss my opportunity to get a run in due to ballet last night, unless I planned ahead.

I checked the weather for the day and saw that it was set to be a gorgeous, mild and warm afternoon with no chance of rain.  I packed up my running gear in my gym bag and threw it in my trunk when I was home for lunch yesterday.  I knew I would only have 40 minutes to get my run done and get back to the dance studio, so I got onto the Running Ahead web site to map out an easy 3 mile route in the area around the ballet studio, that I should be able to knock out in about 30-35 minutes.  After work, I quickly changed into my running clothes at work and went to pick up Eva from daycare.

Once Eva went in to start her class, I ventured out on my run.  I picked up the pace a little more than what was comfortable for an easy run, because I really wanted to make sure I got back before her class let out.  I took my Garmin 610 to keep track of my pace, mileage, and time and got back to the studio with about 3 minutes to spare.

It felt good to take control of my day and get that run taken care of, when normally I would have just used Eva's ballet class as an excuse not to get in any sort of run or workout for the day.  I hope to make this a habit that will help push my weekly mileage back up into the 20s on a regular basis.

It is so great to have a passion for running again.  Ever since I began running regularly in 2008, I feel like I am just not quite myself if I am not maintaining a steady schedule of running, even when I am mentally just burned out on it.  I always do some sort of cardio workouts, but nothing is quite like running when it comes to feeling strong, accomplished, and managing stress.  Eva has even taken interest in it, and asks to run with me sometimes.  She can usually only go about half a mile at most, but that's pretty good for a preschooler, if you ask me.  Maybe she'll grow up to be my running partner in a few years?