Monday, January 28, 2013

The Joanna's Loves Triathalon

This week's Mondays in Love is historic. A first. Are you ready for this?

I'm hosting my first triathalon. That's right. Right here.

On Facebook I recently posted, jokingly, that I'd like to do a triathalon comprised of running, yoga, and baking in that order. Enough people shared my enthusiasm that I thought, what the hell? Why not? Let's do it! 

So that's what we're doing! Here are the ground rules:
  1. You must complete all three activities (running, yoga, and baking) yourself. No team "racing". 
  2. Since this is the Joanna's Loves Triathalon, I'll hold it over Valentine's Day weekend, February 15-17. You have all weekend to complete the three activities. 
  3. Once you've completed the events, post a comment on THIS POST telling me how it went. Also, feel free to send pictures to I'll pick a few and post them. Entries must be posted by Sunday, February 17 @ 9pm CST.
  4. I will select winners based on quality of recap/pictures sent and will send prizes. The prizes will be really modest since I'm buying them myself (think GU stash, socks, or some similar thing), but there WILL be prizes!
Who's in? C'mon, you know you want to. This is going to rock. 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Mondays in Love: What?

That's about the only coherent response I can make about the last week. What? Chaos. Pure chaos.

It feels like reaching back into a fog to pull out any vague memory of what happened. But I can tell you that one of the biggest highlights was my return to organized yoga--LOVE.

While I'd done some yoga at home over the last 9 months, I hadn't gone to an actual class, and truthfully my core strength is still a complete joke. Last Tuesday evening I went to an hour-long yoga class at a studio near my house. Lessons learned:

  1. If you attend a yoga class when virtually everyone in the metro area is congested, it's inevitable that someone in the class will sound like Darth Vader breathing. 
  2. I got to chatting with the girl next to me before class started and told her it was my first class since baby (as in, please don't judge me!). She was really nice. She tipped me off that the class gets sweaty, which brings me to...
  3. Yes, I got sweaty. But not so much from exertion. While doing a pose I saw the thermostat on the wall behind me: 78 freaking degrees! Who heats a room of 60 people to 78 degrees in January? And yet, 
  4. Doing yoga in a hot room is amazing! My periformis, which has been in a knot for at least 2 years, actually released for a few days. Is hotter better? Who has tried it? I need input!
  5. I really expected the class to kick my rear end hard, and it really didn't. I felt great and bendy when I left, and was only a little sore over the next 2 days or so. Ideal. 
So there you have it--my return to formal yoga. How do you like your yoga? Hot, cold, class or at home? What works for you?

Monday, January 7, 2013

Mondays in Love: Race Announcement!

I am thrilled to bring you the first Mondays in Love of 2013! I always enjoy writing these, but this week's especially has a warm place in my heart. This is big:
I have registered for my first endurance race post-baby!

You may recall that I vowed not to enter a half or full marathon until baby boy turns 1. In one way it's been hard to honor that promise, because, well, I love to race! Except in races where I bit it hard on the wall, I've generally had a blast running half and even full marathons (see here, here, and here). But at the same time, it also hasn't been that hard because I've been really, insanely busy over the past few months. There will be some reprieve from some of the chaos soon, which will free up some time for training. 

I looked for a race reasonably close to home, in April or May, and on a reasonably easy course. On the suggestion of a friend, I gave the Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon a second look and decided that it fit the bill. I will be running in Springfield, IL on April 6!!*

Training will officially begin late this month. I am SO excited about finally having a reason to make a training plan--complete with color coded runs and weekly mileage totals--for myself. I'm not shooting for a PR. I don't have a concrete time goal, but will set one once I do some speed work and time trial miles to see where I'm really at on pace. 

I love this time of year when people are picking races and setting goals. Do you have an exciting new race picked for the year? How did you handle goal setting for a return to racing?

*full disclosure: yes, this is a few days before baby boy turns 1. Whatevs. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2012 in Review

Hello runnahs, and welcome to 2013! I want to take a few moments to look back on 2012 and forward to 2013.

The highlights
Do I really need to tell you what the biggest highlight of my year was? Just in case you're new here (insert opportunity for gratuitous baby picture)...
From his first days--he's changed so much. It's been beyond amazing to watch him grow and learn and be adorable and cuddly.

Other highlights include losing almost all of the baby weight, entering a few 5ks this fall, our family staycation in November, and a whole host of personal and professional goals met. Life has been good. And chaotically busy. And stressful. And wonderful. 

The summary
In 2011 I ran well over 800 miles. In 2012 I ran 281. I'm good with that. I built mileage in 6 of the 8 months after having the baby. I'm back over 6 miles in my longest weekly runs. I've brought my pace back to the ballpark I was in before (though not quite there yet). Most importantly, I'm enjoying this. My return to running has been kind to myself, slow and without concrete goals or expectations, and fun. This is how this is supposed to be done after having a baby, especially a second (or later) baby. 

Looking forward
What are my goals for next year? At this point, fairly modest: two half-marathons, the second one fast. The first will be my Grand Return to Racing--yay! I want something that is low-key, not meant to be a PR but not meant to be blown off either. Stay tuned for more news on this!

Mileage: I think 700 miles for the year is a reasonable goal. With only 2 half-marathons scheduled, there aren't stretches of really high mileage weeks built in. Without much structure for much of the year, it's hard to estimate total mileage, so I think this is a good guess. 

I'm super excited to ring in 2013! I'm looking forward to reading about all of your races and training cycles, seeing how much ground I can make up in my quest back to my pre-baby pace & weight, and seeing where else life takes me. Let's get this party started!