Chicago Marathon Training 2017

I was all set to let this blogging thing go, but recently I have felt like writing and being in the throes of marathon training, I actually have something to say on one of the subjects of this blog!

nicky1
Baby Nicholas turned 1! He was also nice enough to share his cake, unlike his mommy, who does not share cake EVER.

I am currently less than 40 days out from running the Chicago Marathon. Baby Nicholas is now almost 14 months—how is this possible?!—and yet he is still not sleeping through the night. He is still nursing at least once, if not 2 or 3 times through the night. I know he doesn’t need it, but I am having so much trouble weaning. I struggled so much with weaning Max as well, which is why I ended up nursing him for 2 ½ years!

family

Anyway, I’m only explaining the sleep/nursing stuff because it’s causing me to be exhausted, which of course is affecting my training. During my last marathon training cycle in 2015, shortly before I got pregnant with Nicholas, I was running really strong. I got up early every day before Max and my husband Andy got up, and I was super consistent. Things are very different now! Early runs are out of the question because Nicholas is usually up around 6 and Max is up shortly after. Andy got a new job (no more nights and weekends!), but he works from 7AM to 5:30 or 6 PM. So my runs are at lunchtime while I’m at work, post-work with the double jogging stroller or by myself after the husband gets home, or after the boys go to bed on my trusty garage treadmill J I do actually get to run on the weekends BY MYSELF OUTSIDE now, which is amazing and different and I love it!

andyandme

Another positive to my husband being home on weekends is I can actually run races without having to find childcare – HUGE CHANGE. I randomly ran a half marathon in July because I could. I was just easing into Chicago training, but I managed to eek out a 1:47:39, which I was pretty pleased with—my PR is a 1:46:39.

xmasinjuly

Currently I am running anywhere from 35-45 miles per week, with one long run. I know that’s a big swing, but I sometimes have to take extra days off because of life. My longest run has been a 17, and I have plans to run 20 this weekend and hopefully one other 20. I was consistently doing speedwork one day a week, but in August I kind of fell off that and haven’t really picked it back up. My heart just isn’t in training for a specific time right now. I wasn’t prepared for how mentally and physically draining having two kids and working full-time would be when I entered the lottery for Chicago. This spring and summer have also brought some huge changes as far as life goes and I’ve faced some personal stuff that has tapped me out emotionally. I sometimes forget how huge of an emotional toll training takes, and how you really have to have your heart in it to be successful. I have been training for marathons since 2007, and yet I still forget how challenging it is mentally even when it’s semi-routine. I still have the desire to run the marathon, but I’m not putting the pressure of hitting a certain time on my shoulders right now!

doublestroller
Double stroller run with Max and …Carl?

That being said, I am doing my best to run my easy runs easy and to do some fast finish miles during long runs. I’m also running a very hilly route 1 to 2 days per week. I find long runs with fast miles in the middle or at the end and hill runs to be confidence building, and they seem easier to me than going to the track or doing speed on the treadmill. When I look back at my old training, I realize that I was running my easy runs far too fast. Easy pace for me is realistically closer to 9:30 maybe even 10, but I was pushing to run under 9 on easy runs. This wore me out too much to really go for it or be successful on my longer runs or speed work. Now I feel strong when I run my long runs and I have something in the tank for some quicker miles in there. I also feel pretty good on my hilly runs, so I must be gaining some power in my legs. I also occasionally just feel like running faster, which I can say I never felt in my last marathon training cycle 2 years ago. I definitely had to force myself to push the pace on certain runs. All of this will help when I hit the start line in Chicago.

Hopefully I can check in again closer to the race. I’m excited to run such a huge race and to have a weekend away from my kids with just my husband. Hopefully baby Nicholas will be sleeping through the night by then! Regardless, I want to enjoy the experience, as I have never run such a large race. Whatever the time on the clock reads when I finish, I will be happy and proud that I was able to complete a marathon during such a crazy time in my life.

Cheers and thank you for reading! Anyone else running Chicago?

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Halloween and Last Week’s Running Recap

Things got pretty serious up in here yesterday. While I started running to get me through some deep stuff, I continue to run because I just plain love it. It’s fun. It helps my mood and keeps me sane. It’s not always serious – in fact, it almost never is 🙂

Let’s lighten things up today and talk about Halloween and go over last week’s running, shall we?

Halloween flowers from the hubby :)
Halloween flowers from the hubby 🙂

It feels weird to be writing about Halloween – it seems like everyone has already moved on to Christmas at this point. My Starbucks this morning is in a red cup, I’ve already begun hearing Christmas music and the Toys ‘R’ Us massive toy catalog came this weekend.

Um, WHAT ABOUT THANKSGIVING PEOPLE?

Sorry for yelling at you guys. 🙂 I just really like Thanksgiving. I was explaining it to Max last night and he seemed pretty on board. My description was this: “All you have to do is show up at Amma’s house (my mother-in-law), eat lots of yummy food and DO NOTHING. It’s glorious.” He definitely agreed with me.

Let’s rewind though to Halloween. It was Max’s first time trick-or-treating. He was 6-months-old for his first Halloween, so we decided to skip it. Last year, he was 18 months and we were planning on going to a few houses, but it ended up snowing. This year, nothing was stopping us!

Mickey Mouse getting ready for candy!
Mickey Mouse getting ready for candy!

We went with my friend and her son, who is Max’s age too. Both of our husbands work at the same restaurant and were both working 😦 so we were on our own.

Mickey and Frankenstein being goofy
Mickey and Frankenstein being goofy

These two little cuties were so much fun! They were bubbling over with the excitement of candy and costumes. They kept ringing doorbells and then immediately saying “Trick-or-treat!” to closed doors. It was so adorable.

Trick-or-treat pros
Trick-or-treat pros

We were out for a solid two hours and carried the boys for ¾ of that time. Max asked me to pick him up after about 15 minutes! My arms were burning by the end of the night!

Mickey walking - this lasted about 15 minutes...
Mickey walking – this lasted about 15 minutes…

Overall, Max’s first time was a success! The boys ended up playing and eating candy at my house until after 9 :30 or so – which means Max didn’t go to bed until 10:30. We were all exhausted on Sunday.

This was from Halloween during the day, but the skeleton outfit was too cute not to share!
This was from Halloween during the day, but the skeleton outfit was too cute not to share!

I woke up Sunday morning to sore arms and a sore hip. Carrying Max for so long kicked my butt. Imagine carrying a 30-ish pound medicine ball for almost 2 hours. And the medicine ball is also moving around, screaming for candy and sticking lolly pops in your hair. That was my arm workout Saturday night :). It’s Tuesday, and my arms are still a little sore.

On to running…

What should I call last week? Indianapolis Marathon recovery week #2? Monumental Marathon taper week #2? I have no idea.

I actually took last week easier than the week before (Indianapolis Marathon recovery week 1). I went a bit too hard that first week after the Indy race. Did I really need to run 40 miles? DUMB. I felt good that week, but it caught up to me this past week. I felt pretty run down and a little achy.

And here’s the thing about training for me: I know what I SHOULD do. But, I think I’m some sort of superwoman and I can do what I WANT (which is not take time off from running after a marathon) and that I’ll be fine. Add that to the list of things I need to work on. Acceptance is the first step 🙂

A gorgeous fall scene from one of my runs last week
A gorgeous fall scene from one of my runs last week

So here’s how last week shook out:

Monday: 4 miles 8:56 pace

Tuesday: 6 miles 8:02 pace

Wednesday: 5 miles 8:49 pace

Thursday: 7.2 miles 8:31 pace

Friday: 9.2 miles 9:00 pace

Saturday: 4.25 miles 7:51 pace

Sunday: REST

TOTAL: 35.65 miles

I took this Monday off as well, and today was a laid-back 7 miles. I’ll probably run 5-6 tomorrow and Thursday, then take Friday completely off. Then MARATHON on Saturday!

I have decided that I will run the full on Saturday. However, I’m going into it with no expectations. My goals are to finish and to listen to my body. If my body wants to run 11-minute miles – then that’s what I am doing! I am making a promise to myself today that I do not need to prove anything, but that I do need to take it easy and treat my body kindly. I need it to keep on running with me for another 50+ years.

The Monumental is a beautiful race through my city, and right now the weather looks good! This will just be a fun jaunt through Indianapolis 🙂

That’s all I have today. Anyone run NYC? Who’s racing this weekend? Did you go trick-or-treating?

To Run the Half or The Full – A Monumental Decision

indecisive

I’m sill waffling back and forth as to whether I should run the full or the half at the Monumental Marathon. If I don’t decide within the week, I’ll be stuck with a marathon bib.

I can still back out in the middle of the race—the half-marathoners go their own way around mile 6. But then I’ll be the person with the marathon bib that all the volunteers are yelling at to go the other way. And then I have to yell back, “I changed my mind! I’m running the half instead!”

I’ve obviously been there before.

I’m struggling to decide what to do, so I figure the best way to decide is to lay out the reasons for and against running the full.

Reason to Run the Full #1

I want to redeem myself.

 The Indianapolis Marathon on October 17th did not pan out how I would have liked it to. I believe that I have a 3:4x:xx somewhere in me.

Reason to Not Run the Full #1

Redeeming myself may not be physically possible.

Realistically, it’s going to be tough to pull out a PR 3 weeks after another marathon. I have done these races back to back before, but I was not going for a time goal. I ran them both fairly easy and my times were only a few minutes apart. BUT, in 2010 and in 2011, I ran the first marathon faster. I remember my legs feel weird at the Monumental both times.

Reason to Run the Full #2

I love running full marathons.

I just do. I’m probably more equipped and better built for half marathons, but fulls are my jam. I love the feeling of accomplishment that comes with running 26.2 miles. I can’t really explain it.

Reason to Not Run the Full #2

Extra time with little man. 

I am taking the day before the Monumental off and I have the entire following week off, so I will definitely be getting lots of time with him. But hey, ANYTIME with him is awesome. If I run the half, I get home to him a couple of hours earlier. Plus, I will be able to actually chase him around and play with him, instead of hobbling like a zombie.

Reason to Run the Full #3

I will want to race the half, and may not be ready for racing just yet.

If I choose to run the half, I’m really going to want to race it. It’s hard to keep that competitive drive down. My body may not be ready for the hard effort.

Reason to Not Run the Full #3

I might be able to pull out a big half PR.

On the other hand, after lots of long runs and a recent full, I might be able to pull out a nice half PR. I tested out a few more faster miles this morning, and it felt pretty good:

Tuesday

What this really boils down to is that I want to run another full marathon and have a good race. And by good race, I don’t mean that I have to run the time I’m shooting for or even PR, but I want to HAVE FUN. I did not have fun at the Indianapolis Marathon. I had put to much pressure on myself to enjoy it.

I also have the secret hope that my speed and endurance are still there from this training cycle, and that I will be able to run a PR race. This may just be wishful thinking.

I will continue to change my mind 50 times this week. Indecision is one of my strongest character traits.

It wouldn't be one of my blog posts without a picture of Max!
It wouldn’t be one of my blog posts without a picture of Max!

Have you ever run goal races in the span of a few weeks? How did it go? Would you do it again?

What would you do if you were me?

Recovery Week Running Recap

Thank you all for your kind words about last week’s race. I’m getting over it. I went into the race with 3 goals, the last being to at least have fun, and I missed all of these goals. While this made me feel as if I had “failed” I’m realizing that failing would have been to quit when I knew I wasn’t going to meet these goals (Either to BQ, PR or have fun). But I suffered through it, and I am proud of that.

Re-reading my post and trying to imagine that I was reading someone else’s re-cap, I came to the realization that I am pretty hard on myself. I think that’s part of the nature of runners. We strive to be our best selves and we push ourselves hard to meet goals and if we miss them, we are upset and blame ourselves. We have the inherent need to become better and when we don’t, it’s very upsetting. I do believe that pushing yourself hard can really pay off, but you also need to be kind to yourself and remember that you are human. So, I had a bad day? Who cares? I’m going to use the letdown to fuel me for my next race.

And now, on to last week’s running recap.

Monday: REST

Tuesday: Easy 3 AM, Easy 4 lunchtime

Wednesday: Easy 4, PIYO DVD in the evening

Thursday: Easy 5

Friday: 6 miles AM with a few fast miles thrown in, 2 miles PM

Saturday: Attempted long run, quit at 10 – easy pace

Sunday: 6 mile progression

Total miles: 40

Also, lots of foam rolling, stretching and light yoga

And the details:

I woke up Sunday morning pretty sore. I did not run at all, but I did take Max to a birthday party for my niece and nephew who were turning one. I did quite a lot of chasing after Max and playing with kids. Somehow, I always end up as the adult playing with about 10 kids. I suppose I am a kid at heart 🙂

This guy keeps me young :)
This guy keeps me young 🙂

By Monday the soreness was greatly reduced, but I again did nothing. I was ITCHING to run. Like, if I didn’t run soon I was going to lose my mind. Maybe I need to find some additional stress relievers?

Tuesday morning I did a short, easy 3 miles. It felt GOOD. I’ve find that the first run back after a race often feels a little stiff, but I didn’t notice any of that. I still had a little bit of soreness, and this run helped to release it.

I had a light day at work, and the opportunity to run at lunch that day. Who am I to turn down a run opportunity? I ran 4 easy miles on part of the marathon course from the Indianapolis Marathon. It was weird how different I felt on Tuesday as opposed to race day. I felt relaxed and smooth and I wasn’t hating life, like I had been at the race. What a difference it makes to run without the pressure of a race. I realize the pressure is self-imposed, but it’s just amazing how different it feels to run for fun versus race.

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday’s runs were fairly unremarkable. I was able to get some speed out of these legs on Friday, so that was encouraging.

Saturday, I intended to run 14-16 miles. I am running the Monumental in 2 weeks, and in that weird place where I’m recovering from a marathon, but preparing for another. I figured a semi-long run at a very slow pace might give me some confidence and keep my endurance up.

In hindsight, this probably wasn’t a good idea. I felt pretty worn out by about mile 6. I cut my loop short and ended the run at 10 miles. My body needed some more recovery and I was fine with that.

I slept from 9 PM to 7 AM Saturday night, which is a lot more sleep than I usually get. My body is definitely craving rest, so these next two weeks before the Monumental will be all about easy runs and as much sleep as possible.

Sunday, I did eek out a pretty decent run. It was an unplanned progression, with my last mile at 7:58. Then, I slept 10 hours again last night.

I’m still not 100% sure I will run the full at the Monumental on November 6th. I’m going to see how this week of running goes.

How was your week in running? Are you recovering from a race or getting ready for one?

Highs and Lows of The Last 7 Weeks of Marathon Training

In 3 days I’ll be running a marathon.

20th_Annual_Indianapolis_Marathon_and_Half_Marathon

Scratch that – 3 days from now I’ll be done running a marathon, cuddling on the couch with my sweet 2-year-old and double-fisting a mimosa and a chocolate milkshake from Steak’n’Shake.

Lunch___Dinner___Specialty_Milkshakes___Double_Chocolate_Fudge___Menu___Steak__n_Shake

No matter what happens on Saturday, I feel really good about this training cycle. I was flexible, I didn’t beat myself up, and I enjoyed running while not letting it interfere with my life.

Win-win-win.

I won’t bore you with 7 weeks of training logs. Or maybe that interests you? I doubt it. Let’s just cover the highs and the lows of the second half of Indianapolis Marathon – Home Page training, shall we?

The Lows

Injury Scare-I wore ridiculously high wedges to my brother’s wedding Labor Day weekend—this after 13 consecutive days of running because I’m a moron. I woke up the next morning with so much achiness in my shin that I thought it was a stress fracture. I’m also a tad bit dramatic when I think I’m injured. I took a few days off, and realized that it was getting steadily better. Then I put two and two together and figured it was the damn shoes. I swore I would not wear wedges or heels until after the marathon.

Hubs and I at the wedding, I couldn't find any good picks of the offending shoes. They have since been burned.
Hubs and I at the wedding, I couldn’t find any good picks of the offending shoes. They have since been burned.

A Week of Treadmill Running-I traveled to Boulder, CO the second week of September for work. I was in BOULDER. Ya know, running mecca? I didn’t get to run outside once the whole time I was there. Thanks to work all day everyday from 8:30 to 6:30, followed by dinners out, the only time I had to run was early. I didn’t want to run in the dark somewhere I don’t know, so I made friends with the treadmill. #travelingrunnerfail

It stinks that I didn’t get to enjoy the beautiful Boulder trails, but on the plus side, I did some killer speedwork.

Long Run Fail– I got home from said trip to Boulder late Friday night and planned to do a 20-miler early Saturday morning before I picked Max up at the in-laws. The run started at 5 and I felt like death. Maybe it was due to lack of sleep all week, a little too much alcohol 5 days straight and some serious humidity, but that was a sad attempt. I capped it at 17-miles and tried not to stress too much about my craptastic performance. My overall pace was fine, but I felt like I was barely moving and that I could never, ever run 26.2 miles.

17mi

The Highs

Long Run Success- After my failed attempt, I went for another 20-miler a week later. I managed to drag my butt out of bed at 4 and was outside and moving by 4:15. I was motivated by the fact that I won’t have to get up that early again for a long, long time.

20

It was pretty much a perfect long run. It felt nice and comfortable, and I actually enjoyed that the majority of the run was in the dark. I also listened to an excellent book, which made the time fly by—The Admissions by Meg Mitchell Moore. I’ve had to run super early this whole training cycle in order to be home when Max wakes up, and for some of my runs I’ve done the first part on the treadmill and the second half outside. This saves me from running in the dark the whole time, but also makes for a more painful second half. Something about the treadmill kicks my butt, which is why I just wanted to do this whole run outside.

Early Morning Runs-I’ve successfully made the transition to a morning runner. I was able to get in so many more runs because I’ve stuck to the morning plan. At this point, I actually wake-up a few minutes before my alarm goes off. WHO AM I?

 

Must run in the morning so I have time to play drums with this guy!
Must run in the morning so I have time to play drums with this guy!

No Stress-I’ve had a cool as a cucumber approach to this training cycle and I feel a lot less beaten down. Usually, by the time my taper comes around I feel physically and mentally drained. And then I spend three weeks obsessing over whether I did enough. Not this time. Life is so full these days that running is not the main thing on my mind—and I love that. I get up, I do my run and get my “me-time” and then it’s on to my day. I’ve found when I don’t expend so much mental energy on my running that I actually run a lot stronger.

Unrelated...but cute
Unrelated…but cute

The Outcome

Well, we’ll find out on Saturday, right? I will say that overall, I think that I am in shape to run close to a BQ, but it’s going to have to be a perfect day. I strongly believe that a PR is in reach, as long as I take the first few miles SLOW. I’m guessing I’ll end up somewhere in the 3:40s possible upper 3:30s. I know, that’s a big range. But I’ve run enough marathons to know that ANYTHING can happen.

Cruising on my way to PR city!
Running last year’s Monumental Marathon

Ultimately, all I really care about is running in the moment and enjoying the race. This is the last year that there will be a full marathon at this race (the half will continue next year- not sure if they will change the name?) and I want to savor the beautiful course. The Indianapolis Marathon was my very first full in 2007 and I’m so sad it will be gone next year. I’ve run the half or the full every year since then except for 2008 and 2014, and I want to relish running my hometown marathon one last time. Finishing this year will definitely be bittersweet.

Do you have a race that you hold near and dear?

Who’s racing this weekend? If you’ve already done a fall race, tell me about it! I’m so out of the loop!

 

 

 

Indianapolis Marathon Training Week #8

hello week

Am I seriously already halfway through my training for the Indianapolis Marathon? Where the %^&$* did the time go?

Molly___motherhood_and_marathons__•_Instagram_photos_and_videos

Last week was pretty solid, except I only had one real “workout” – Wednesday morning’s tempo that would be more aptly described as a progression run. Or something like that. I did do a long run on Friday that ended up being 2 miles less than the plan, but I’m still pretty happy with it. But, I’m getting ahead of myself. Here’s the rundown:

Monday: Off. Lots of glorious sleep. But not really, because my toddler is going through some things and had quite a few wake-ups last week. Andy and I use the phrase “going through some things” anytime Max has unexplained fussy or sleepless behavior 🙂

Tuesday: 6 miles total. 4 miles at lunch (8:30 average pace) + 2 miles late night (8:34 average pace)that weren’t really necessary, but I was frustrated with life stuff and needed to run off some aggression.

Wednesday: 6.2 miles. First mile at 8:40 then 7:59, 7:47, 7:34, 7:26, 7:57 and the last .2 at 8:17

Wednesday morning run
Wednesday morning run

Thursday: 10 miles total. 7.1 miles AM (9:08 average pace), 3 miles PM (8:35 average pace) outside. Max goes to my in-law’s house on Thursdays and they drop him off around 6. Which means if I can get home by 5:30 I can squeeze in a run. Made it home at the exact same time my in-laws got there. Max was grossed out by the “wetty hug” I gave him 🙂

thursdaymorn

Friday: 17 miles total. 16 mile long run with the first 10 easy pace, last 6 at tempo pace. My original plan was to do 18 miles with 8 at tempo pace, but I ran out of time. My legs were also toast, so if I had not run out of time, I probably would have done the last two as cooldown miles. I was beat.  Splits from Strava:

16miler

My Garmin said I ran 16.05 miles, while Strava says 16.4. Not sure which one is right, so I’m just going with my Garmin as far as mileage goes. I felt really strong those last 6 miles. I never would have believed even a year ago that I could hold those paces after already running 10 miles. I really don’t even believe them even though the numbers are right there in front of me. Did that really happen? I feel as if a BQ might be possible, especially after how good this felt. But, who knows? The hecklers in my brain (I imagine they look like Statler and Waldorf from the Muppets) are telling me this was a fluke or a computer error. Who knows? I’m just going to keep doing the work and will see where it gets me.

Where did the additional mile for the 17 mile total come from? My drill sergeant trainer, AKA Max, insisted that we run to the park. My legs were shot, so I figured I would walk him instead of run and take the shortest possible route. He kept saying “Faster, momma. Faster!” So I ended up jogging the ~half mile there and ~half mile back. I usually take the long route, so I wore my Garmin just to see the distance when I don’t add in any extras.

bonusmile

Saturday: 7 miles total. 3.1 miles AM (9:19 average pace), 4 miles (9:00 average pace) during Max’s nap. I wasn’t planning to do the 4-miler, but I was itching to run and I told myself I could as long as I kept it easy.

run1

Sunday: 7 miles total. 4.3 miles AM (8:45 average pace), 2.7 miles (8:34 average pace) on the treadmill during nap time.

tmill run

Total: 53 miles

I’m happy with this, but I really don’t want to increase my mileage any more than this. I’d like to keep it in the upper 40s to low 50s and increase the quality, not the quantity, from here on out. I have the tendency to run junk miles whenever I get the chance (see Saturday and Sunday’s afternoon treadmill miles). Maybe those doubles are helping, but most likely they are just making me more tired. I woke up this morning feeling like I was hit by a bus and I’m sure it’s because of the added miles this weekend. I think I would have been better served by taking the day completely off on Saturday. Note to self: You don’t need to run ALL the miles.

In other news, Max and I had a fun weekend. If you’re new here, my husband works pretty much all weekend long, so it’s the Max and Mommy show Friday afternoon through Monday morning. Friday afternoon was when I hobbled him in the jogging stroller over to the park. We played there for HOURS. We have a game called “Slippery Slide” (Max named it), where he sits at the top of the slide and I climb up. When I get to the top, I act like I’m slipping off and I say “Max, save me! It’s so slippery!” and then he “saves me” by pushing me back down the slide. He gets really proud of himself and says “Saved Mommy!” He doesn’t quite get the saving concept, obviously 🙂

Saturday my friend and I took Max and her son, who is the same age as Max, to a kids’ workshop at Lowe’s. They were so too young for it and were not interested at all. She and I tried to do the project, but we couldn’t read the directions. Mommy fail, haha. We ended up bailing and letting the kids run around the store for awhile. The staff loved us (sarcasm).

lowes

Boys and their tools! I love how it looks like they are legit shopping for stuff. Max is saying
Boys and their tools! I love how it looks like they are legit shopping for stuff. Max is saying “You see buddy, you need this doohickey to fix your broken tricycle.”

Sunday, Max and I went to our favorite place, the Children’s Museum. We go here at least twice a month. We spent a lot of time looking at and playing with trains.

trains

The Museum has a giant glass sculpture in the center by Dale Chihuly called “Fireworks of Glass.” It’s STUNNING. It extends all the way from the first floor to the fourth and is the focal point of the museum. In the basement, you can go underneath the sculpture and look at it from below. There’s also a bunch of fake “glass” pieces that kids can play with and create their own sculptures with. Max loved it!

colored glasscolored glass 2colored glass 3

Sunday afternoon and evening were spent cleaning, playing and grocery shopping. Max woke up early from his nap, so I went and got him. I sat on the couch with him and he promptly fell asleep. I ended up holding him for about an hour while watching 27 Dresses and eating Skinny Pop white cheddar popcorn. It was blissful.
kissmax

Whew, that was a long recap! Cheers to a new week and being halfway to the start line!

P.S. – I started an Instagram just for Motherhood and Marathons! If you follow my personal insta and you want to see more running-related stuff, follow my m&m insta! If you don’t follow me, please do @motherhood_and_marathons !! 

How was your training last week? What did you do this weekend?

Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff

One more day ’till Friday, One more day ’til Friday!!

Can you tell I’m excited for the weekend? I feel like this week has kind of dragged on. I’ve been trying to spend more time with the husband in the evenings, which has led to late nights. He’s a stay-up-late kind of guy, as he often gets home from work after 11PM through the week and as late as 1AM on weekend. Last night he came home around 10:45 and instead of saying “Hi” to him real quick and then going to sleep, I stayed up to talk and watch TV with him. Quality time, yo.

As a result, my 5:30 AM alarm came way too quick. I snoozed until after 6 (EEK) and headed out for an easy run. Tuesdays and Thursdays are usually “workout” days, but Tuesday’s workout didn’t happen. I was comforting a sick/upset toddler in the morning, so I had to miss my morning run. Instead, I did an easyish run at lunch and a couple miles in the evening. I moved the workout to Wednesday, but of course the husband and I stayed up late Tuesday night watching Wayne’s World, and so I was late heading out the door. I squeezed in 6.3 miles yesterday with a few fast (for me) paces.

Wednesday morning run
Wednesday morning run

Long story short, I needed today to be easy since yesterday was a semi-workout. I’m considering moving Saturday’s long run to tomorrow and making up the Thursday workout on Sunday. Does that make any kind of sense? Haha, I just need two days between a hard run and a long run. This is all getting way too complicated for this early in the morning.

Anyway, I managed 7.1 easy paced miles this morning. I pushed my time, as Max is usually up between 7-7:15. I try to get home a little before 7, shower as quickly as possible and then go get him. He usually just wakes up and chills in his crib, talking to his stuffed animals or babbling about whatever random stuff is in his mind. He doesn’t usually cry or get upset unless he’s been awake for awhile and I haven’t gone to get him yet, and this only happens if I’m home late from running.

I came in this morning at 7:20, expecting to hear an upset Max. Instead – silence. The kid didn’t wake up until 8!?! I usually get him up after my shower and then blow-dry my hair while he watches cartoons or plays. I wake up the husband at 8, finish up my make-up and dart out the door. Today, I was pretty much ready by the time Max got up. Score!

Today's run
Today’s run

So my week may be a bit off, workout wise and mileage-wise, but I’m really fine with it. In the past, I would have obsessed. I would have done anything to stick to my exact training plan and would get pretty bent out of shape if I was “off.” I also ran way too many miles and was always exhausted. And my times were slower than they are now.

After having Max, I realized I could maximize my training by adding in one or two tough workouts a week, and losing some of the excess miles I was putting in. I’ve only done one full marathon since the little dude arrived, but I found the training sooo much more enjoyable because I eased up on myself. I aimed to hit the plan as much as possible, of course, but if I missed a run or workout, or didn’t hit the paces I wanted, who cared? I ended up running a 24-minute PR. I’d say flexibility works for me.

I’m also so much happier the less I worry about whether I ran 6 miles or 9 on any given day, or whether I hit 45 miles instead of 60 miles for the week. In the grand scheme of things, running is small potatoes. It’s what I do for fun. For stress relief – not added stress! I of course want to BQ this fall, but if it doesn’t happen, if have 30+ years of running (fingers crossed!!) to make it happen. I would rather be happy, fulfilled, and enjoying time with my friends and family versus losing sleep over my training. I’m focusing on what’s important and not sweating the small stuff. It’s definitely a much more fun way to train.

Wearing a suit is NOT SMALL STUFF according to Max. It's definitely worth sweating, or crying, over.
Wearing a suit is NOT SMALL STUFF according to Max. It’s definitely worth sweating, or crying, over.

Back to the grind I go!

What’s your workout today?