Monday, September 24, 2012

Mondays on Notice: Sins of a Runner

Yesterday our little family was headed to a party about 2 hours from home. We were super excited to go--we would see friends and celebrate some wonderful things in their lives. We got about half way there and the warning lights on my dashboard lit up like Christmas lights. After some recon at an Auto Zone, we figured out that it had something to do with the cooling of the hybrid engine. All we could do was turn around and drive slowly home, out of fear of over-heating. As we drove along under the 70mph speed limit, I wanted to hang a sign on the back that said "sorry we're slow--we're having some car trouble and need repair!"

poor thing! But she got all fixed up today at the dealership--under warranty even!

Then I realized, this was the perfect metaphor for how I've felt as a runner these past few months.

I realized recently that when I talk to people about running, I've been introducing myself with an asterisk. I feel the need to tell people, "But I had a baby 5 months ago" or "I ran a marathon last year." This is my runner's sin: pride.

Since I got the all-clear to start running again after baby boy's birth, I've been slowly building back up. I've increased my distance, up to 4 miles. I've lowered my pace. I've slowly lost weight, though I still have a long way to go. I've made a lot of progress, and I'm so pleased with it and proud of myself.

Why can't I just be proud of where I am today? Why do I feel the need to let people know that I have and will be a better runner than what I am today? Yes, running has an element of pride in it, but now is a time to celebrate my progress and celebrate without reservation others' races and training and awesomeness. I've let this monster creep up and take root in me, and it needs to go.

Anyone else had this happen? What did you do about it?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Mondays on Notice: The Plague

People on fb might be tired of hearing about it, and somehow it's not even news here except it its ridiculous, never-ending magnitude: my household has had the plague.

It's true. For 10 long days we were ravaged by upset stomachs, fever, pink eye, and exhaustion. As proof of how bad things got, here's my normally very smiley, happy baby after he was well past the worst of it. (if you don't see a picture it's because I've removed it--I'm only planning to leave it up for a few days)
My heart breaks a little every time I see this picture. 

I'm about 90% now, but guess who has zero miles to show for the past week? I think this means that I need to start working on upping that long run mileage to balance things out for the month.

What say you? Make up miles for sick time, or ease up and let it go?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Running with the animals, or sick on my couch

It has been a rough couple'a days around our house. It all started with big brother coming home sick on Thursday, and finds us today with a healthy big brother, a baby brother and Mr. Joanna with fevers and pink eye, and me with a fever. My day consisted of feeling gross and consuming an unethical quantity of Powerade, and not much else.

Suddenly finding myself with some downtime, of all things I decided to read my son's National Geographic Kids. Bet you didn't know they made compression suits for horses, huh? Ha!

Is it just me, or does this make you want to run with the wind blowing your hair back? Hmm. Just me? Ok. Once I got over imagining myself in a full-body compression suit, I decided this was a, uh, more reasonable picture to aspire me to health and getting back on the road. :)

Here's hoping for feeling at least 80% in the morning. I'm optimistic. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Mondays in Love: PROGRESS!!

This Monday, I give you this wonderful, happy, joyful bit of an update:
(for those of you newer to my blog, I was pregnant last fall and had a baby in early April)

August was my highest mileage month since freaking JANUARY!! (yes, that's purple just because I'm that excited!) Yes, it was a measly 28.5 miles, but it was a glorious, I-found-time-somehow 28.5 mile love fest. It is a steady building back up from only walking a few miles in April and May. It was a huge step up from July.  And I'm on track to increase that number again this month. 

AND, I collected my first post-baby hardware this weekend! On Saturday I ran another local 5k, where I took 3rd place female 30-34 (I know--who gives out medals for that at a 5k? These people, I suppose) and I won a door prize for a $10 gift certificate to a coffee shop near my work that is supposed to be ah-mazing. But my favorite part? I improved on last weekend's 5k time by about 40 seconds. I think that's the part that was the sweetest. Even if I did almost get beat (seriously) by a 10ish year old. What? Leave me alone. She was fast. 
Show of hands--how many of you have this race shirt? I loved that race!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Mondays in Love: First 5k in the books!

The time had come, the time had come, post-baby 5k, it was time to run! 

Except.....not. On Wednesday I went to check packet pick-up information for my Friday evening 5k and realized that my registration had gotten totally botched. I'd registered through a Groupon and hadn't read the fine print that said I'd needed to register online by a certain date. So to run, I was going to have to drive to the edge of the earth, pay the full price registration, and chance whether the race was actually going to happen with Isaac moving in. So, I bagged it.

Enter a local charity 5k to save the day! And even better, it was in the park near my house, I could register race day, and it benefited a great cause. So Saturday morning I literally ran down the street to get registered before the start. I got there, registered as quickly as I could....then realized I was an hour early. Oops! I stretched, paced, sat for an hour before lining up.

I was nervous. Yes folks, nervous about a 5k. I knew I could do the distance, but it was a moment of truth. Could I sustain a pace? Could I come in under my goal time of 30 minutes (which I'd kept to myself)? Was I going to get passed by 8-year-olds eating peanut butter crackers? .....and.....GO!

Mile 1: Getting started, I felt like I didn't have a lot of power in my legs. But maybe half a mile in I loosened up and got into the swing of things. I did a pace check about .4 miles in and realized I was going way too fast. I decided to just run by feel and check pace at the mile splits. So I settled in.

Mile 2: Fortunately for me I know the park so well that I could anticipate the hills and knew when to push it and when to hold back. At no point did this run feel easy, so anticipating the course was a huge help.

Mile 3: I knew my pace had slowed down some and I was feeling tired. The thought crossed my mind that I could walk a bit, but I quickly squashed the thought. I knew every step of the way to the finish line--I've run it a million times. So I envisioned the course ahead and put my head down.

Finish: I came across the finish in 28:28--well below my 30 minute goal. I was, as I've been many times, humbled and thankful to run so substantially slower than a did I year ago. The bottom line is that I've got my first post-baby race in the books! It can only get easier and faster from here.

I picked up my goodie bag and walked back up the street to my boys. This is the stuff Saturday mornings are made for. Love.the.race. <3