Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Marathon Training Weeks 8 & 9

WOW! Okay, so life took over after Week 7 and I failed in being able to keep the blog up-to-date. As the mileage for training peaked, other activities in my daily and weekly schedule suffered and got pushed aside. It still amazes me, as I look back on it, how I was able to keep my "normal life" going (to a certain extent) AND train for a marathon.

I know a lot of you really want to know about how the race went and how I felt during this last week, after the race. So I am cramming the last 4 weeks of training into two blog posts so that I can get to the good stuff! Here's a condensed version of what happened in my life with training.

Week 8: Total Weekly Mileage 25.67
Sunday 10/30/11 - Short, recovery run after our peek run of 16 miles last week. Schedule had me down for 6 miles - we did 6.52 miles. It was nice to have a shorter run morning because it allowed me to be home most of the day to prep for Halloween. I had a bunch of prep work to do for both kids' classrooms and for the house.

Monday 10/31/11 - Halloween Day! Super fun day BUT incredibly busy. Had celebrations in both kids' classes so when I dropped them off in the morning I was pretty much at school all day long. We got home from school at 3:30pm, had a little bit of resting time, ate dinner at 4:30pm so we could start visiting family at 5pm and meet up with friends to trick-or-treat starting at 6pm. This was the first year that the kids did real trick-or-treating and it was so fun to watch them. Jazper would come back down the path from each front door, holding up his basket and say "Momma, they gave me more candy!" Seriously one of those precious moments that you will remember forever.

Tuesday 11/1/11 - BAD DAY! Started out with the car not starting. Cathy, bless her heart, met me at the kids' school and we ran from there. We did 4.06 miles at a nice average pace of 10:02. After our run, the car started and she followed me to the gas station and waited for me to fill up to be sure the car started again. It did, barely, and I headed down to the dealership so they could see what was wrong. After being there for an hour, it was only the battery, thank goodness! I was able to make it out of there on time to go get an oil change as well. Got done with the oil change just in time to make it to work in Sevannah's classroom. Talk about a stressful morning! Then that afternoon there was the tantrum of the century from Jazper. I literally ahd to pull over onto the side of the road and sit there for 20 minutes until he stopped screaming and I could drive again. This was not a good day; one I wish to never repeat.

Wednesday 11/2/11 - Rough morning; didn't sleep well and just felt lethargic. I had to talk myself into running and didn't get to that point until noon. The schedule had me running a total of 8 miles so I split it into two runs. When I made it out at noon for the first run I did 4.25 miles at a nice pace of 10:04. Got back home just in time for Jazper to be dropped off by carpool. He and I ate lunch and then I headed off to work. After work, I drove straight to our evening run location to meet up with Cathy and Jennifer. We did 5.85 miles in the dark. We ran for about 20 minutes and then did 6 x 3 minutes pickups with 1 minute recovery at slow jog; then ran the rest of the way home. I felt a lot better after both runs. It still amazes me how running can rid me of a bad mood!

Thursday 11/3/11 - Cathy and I needed to do a 5 mile tempo run. I met her at her house and we headed out. We had a nice, slow first mile, then picked up the speed for miles 2, 3 and 4; slowed back down for mile 5. Mile 4 was a really fast mile for us (8:31 pace!) It was really cold this morning so we had oatmeal and coffee after we stretched. After that, I changed into some dry clothes and headed to my client. When I was done with my client it was time to pick up the kids from school. There had been some issues with my paychecks from my job at the hospital, so the kids and I drove over to St Helena to pick up my check. Seriously long day! Was so tired by the end.

Friday 11/4/11 - Right now, I do not even remember what I did on this morning. I didn't make any notes either. Oh well! I do know that when I picked the kids up from school I had 3 large bags of laundry from Jazper's kindergarten class that I had to take home and wash. OH! And the chicken pox and lice were in both kids' classrooms. Ya - this was a fun end to the week. The kids had been vaccinated for chicken pox but you can apparently still get a mild case. So we were on high alert, checking the kids for both chicken pox and lice. (Luckily, we didn't get either one -hooray!!) After dropping the kids at my mother-in-laws, I headed to work. After work, I got home and immediately turned around to leave again, with Sevannah, for her classes Lantern Walk. It was cold but really pretty!

Saturday 11/5/11 - James had to work all day, so I had both kids with me at Outdoor Family Fitness class. This proved to be a challenge today. I was tired and cranky, and Jazper wanted to be with Daddy. So we struggled to get through the morning. After class, we went home and I proceeded to work on getting the 5 loads of kindergarten laundry washed, dried and folded. The kids we're counting money while I was doing laundry and Jazper wanted to know what he could buy with his money. He had less than $2.00 in coins so I told him he had enough money to pay for his own hot chocolate at Starbucks. So guess where we ended up next? You guessed it - Starbucks - so the kids could pay for their own hot chocolates. It was a fun to see them order their own drinks, tell the lady their names for their cups and count out the coins.

Week 9: Total Weekly Mileage 32.74
Sunday 11/6/11 - 18 miles!! Yes we did it! We met at Cathy W's house up in Windsor because she lives near Chalk Hill Rd and our route was to go from her place, out Chalk Hill Rd to Hwy 128 and back. This is a very challenging route. We gained over 1,000 feet in elevation - yes really! It was super fun afterwards to look at the elevation chart on my Garmin report. In fact, I'll share that with you here...Chalk Hill Out & Back by annad83 at Garmin Connect - Details After the run, Cathy W had brunch all cooked and ready for us to eat! It was so great to be able to change into dry, warm cloths, sprawl on her floor and stretch, and fill up on good yummy food. When I got home, I ice bathed and took a shower before we headed out to go shopping for a new refrigerator. Our freezer wasn't closing properly, causing the refrigerator/freezer to thaw and not function properly. Really all I wanted to do was relax and take a nap, but this was important. We had to see what kind of prices we were dealing with.

Monday 11/7/11 - Recovery day = no running. I woke up with tight hips and sore quadriceps but over all felt pretty good.

Tuesday 11/8/11 - Ran from my house with Cathy B & Leslie. Faster than we were suppose to be (as usual for our Tuesdays) but it felt good! Heart rate was a little over, and in the last mile I could feel I was pushing a little harder than I probably should have been but it was cold, we were talking, and it wasn't like it felt bad. Total distance was 3.1 miles. We chatted about marathon pace afterwards. My usual Tuesday activities took place after that - acupuncture, work in Sevannah's class, drive two different carpools (kindergarten pick up and grades pick up). Had some MAJOR drama with my parents late in the morning that pretty much ruined my day. Had people come after dinner to purchase our large oak desk and hutch that we sold on Craigs List. I was glad when this day was over!

Wednesday 11/9/11 - Woke up still feeling crappy from all the drama on Tuesday. It was a Lecture Day at the hospital so after driving carpool in the morning I went home and got ready for work. Work went pretty well. I was leaving work when I got an email from the people who bought the desk and hutch. They decided they didn't want it and wanted to return it to us. Ummm NO! You and your husband came to my house, looked over both pieces from top to bottom, had a conversation amongst yourselves and decided to buy it. You both, with James' and my help, loaded the pieces into your vehicle, handed me the money and drove off! This, on top of the family issues just about pushed me over the edge. I got to our evening run location after work in the worst mood. Thank goodness for running and my running pals! Talking over the issues with them while we ran made a world of difference. Before I knew it, I was laughing so hard it was difficult to keep running. It was a full moon and so pretty on the creek path that we turned our headlamps off for a while and ran by moonlight. Amazing! On our way back we had an encounter with a skunk, which had us all laughing so hard we were crying! This run was the perfect way to bring a really bad day to a much better end.

Thursday 11/10/11 - Cathy B and I went to the Coast Guard base to run with Teja again. It was cold and super windy!! Made the run harder but it was great! Took our phones and took pics at the bottom and top of Texas Hill.

Awesome coffee and snacks afterwards. After school that day, Jazper went home with a friend so I could take Sevannah to the orthodontist. After her appointment we met up with them for a playdate at Ragle Ranch Park. During the playdate, Jazper lost his 2nd tooth! It was a busy afternoon.

Friday 11/11/11 - Veteran's Day. The kids didn't have school so we got to sleep in and hang out at home until it was time for me to get ready to go to work. At work that afternoon I did some upper body strength training with a blue band (heavy resistance). It felt really good.

Saturday 11/12/11 - Taught Outdoor Family Fitness class. It was Full Body Day so I got to demonstrate a lot. Afterwards, I attempted to conquer the mountain of laundry that had accumulated during the week and ran a bunch of errands for Sevannah's class. As the "Class Purchaser" I get a list of items from the teachers from time to time that they need for the class and then need to get those items for them. We hit Whole Foods for a couple items, Beverly's for a few others. By the end of the day I was ready for bed and a little nervous about attempting our first 20 miler the next morning!

There you have - two weeks worth of life and training, albeit, a month late, but at least I finally got it done. The plan it to have the last weeks of training done by the end of the week so I can move on to sharing Race Day and the recovery week(s) after the race. Thank you so much for your support and patience! I do love being able to share my experience with all of you.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Uncharted Territory - Week 7 of Marathon Training

Oh boy, here goes nothing! With Week 7, I'm moving into distances on our long, slow days that I have never ran before. It's a scary and intimidating thought; trying to wrap my brain around the idea of 16 or more miles all at the same time!

Sunday 10/23/11

16 miles - our task for the day. We had a big group of people wanting to run today, all different distances, so we figured out a loop that we could do that would work for everyone. It was a 7 mile loop, which was perfect because it gave everyone the distance they needed. Some people ran it once, others ran it twice, and a few ran it twice and added on. Cathy B and I ran it twice and added on to get our full 16 miles. This was also the first long run in my new shoes, so I was hopeful that the balls of my feet wouldn't hurt as much or cramp as much by the end of the run.

Having a loop was great because it allowed for us to fill up our waters, restock on gels/blocks/etc... and lose layers. The weather was perfect! It was a little chilly when we started but 7 miles later as we started the 2nd loop we were all plenty warm. Being able to loop around also made it convenient for people to join us or take off when they were done with their mileage.

The whole run was good. The last two miles were a little hard and I could feel the miles; ready to be done. My right foot cramped a little bit but no where near as bad as on the 14 mile run and it was more localized. I could feel that it was my sciatic nerve (I have sciatica that bothers me from time to time). My left foot was a lot less sore, so the cushioning in my new shoes is working!!!

When we were done, we stretched and then grabbed coffee and ate the yummy muffins I had made. We chatted and laughed, as we always do, when we hang out and enjoy the company of friends at the end of our runs.

Stats for the run: 16.0 miles in 2:55:13; average moving pace 10:57. My heart rate was right in the middle of the range. This all made me beyond excited because our pace was faster than what the training schedule had me doing for the day (11:18 minute/mile).

After the run, I went home, talked to James, then took an ice bath. Jazper, this time really wanted to get in with me so I let him put his feet in. He thought it was great! He looked at me and said, "This is easy momma!" I had to laugh. He had no idea how cold it would be to be sitting in it form the waist down.

A nice hot shower after the ice bath and plenty of resting time during the remainder of the afternoon had me feeling tired but good. 16 miles wasn't so bad - it was actually okay.

Monday 10/24/11

Morning after 16 miles - I was worried about how I would feel. On that first step out of bed in the morning, I felt my calves. They were a little tight. But a walk to the kitchen to get breakfast started and lunches made loosened them up. Other than the calves, nothing was sore, I was just tired. Not bone-dead tired; just tired like I wanted to curl up on the couch and read a book. But alas, I had things to do and get done before I went to work.

After driving carpool, I went home and caught up on some emails and paperwork, and had a session with a client. After my client left it was time to make lunch and get ready to go to work. With Mondays being a "rest day" I normally do not run, but will still do some light strength training on occasion. Since I was still feeling tired from Sunday's 16 miles, I did not do any strength training with my groups at work today. I truly took a rest day.

Tuesday 10/25/11

Recovery run day - though Cathy B and I always have a hard time running slow. My schedule said 5 miles, and Cathy's said 2 - 5 miles. We both were feeling good so we decided to go for 5 miles. We did a loop from my house that ended up being just over 5 miles. It was a good run, but we both felt it by the end; not in a bad way, just that we were ready to be done because we were tired. Our total was 5.15 miles at an average pace of 10:09 (about a minute per mile faster than we should have been.... oops!) My heart rate showed it too. It was a little over the limit for the day.

After changing clothes I headed off for the rest of my morning/day: acupuncture, handwork helper in Sevannah's class; drive the Kindergarten carpool; lunch with Jazper; piano lesson with Jazper; pick up the 2nd graders and drive them home. It was my normal "busy Tuesday".

Wednesday 10/26/11

My morning to drive carpool so I ran by myself after drop off. It was a really nice run today. I hadn't had a chance to find a spare set of ear buds yet so I did something I never do,play music from my phone. I don't like doing this because then anyone around me would be subjected to listen to whatever I had playing, but I really wanted to listen to my music this morning since I was on my own. Overall, the run was a little fast according to what the training schedule said I should have been at for pace, but my heart rate was within the range I should be on for my slower runs. I did 5.25 miles at an average pace of 10:33 (should have ran at a pace of 11:16).

After my run I headed home and did some chores and paperwork until it was time to go get a manicure and spa pedicure. It felt so good to have my feet pampered! Plus, I had Toni give me hot pink toes with white polka dots which made me smile! Once my polish was dry I headed home and prepped lunch while I waited for Jazper to get dropped off by carpool. He and I sat down and enjoyed lunch together before I had to leave for work. Work consisted of teaching two stretching classes today. It felt really good to lead them through the stretches, working out some residual kinks left my the longer run on Sunday.

Thursday 10/27/11

Last week, Cathy, Teja and I made plans for Cathy & I to head down to the United States Coast Guard Training Center in Petaluma to run together. Teja's husband is in the Coast Guard and she invited us down to run with her since she is there every morning dropping her kids off at school. Once we parked, we went into the gym and looked at the various running routes. Both Cathy and I had about 6 miles to do so we picked the longest route they had 6.2 miles. The two guys behind the counter that morning in the gym told us there was a hill - we didn't think anything of it.

We headed out and it was a gorgeous morning. A little chilly, but clear. Cathy and I marveled at how beautiful the base was as we ran on the path at the outer perimeter. We stopped and checked the map a few times to make sure we were headed in the right direction. At one of these stops we were approaching a very, very steep hill. Sure enough, according to the map, we had to run up that hill! And man, oh man, was it steep! But the view from the top was breath taking. We all wished that one of us had packed our cell phone so we could take a picture, so we decided we would have to do this run again.

Once we were done with the run, we sat in the Two Rock Coffee Shop on the base and enjoyed the best coffee! We chatted until we had to get going with the rest of our days. It was such an amazing morning! It was also the first time Teja had ran that far. Cathy and I were both so excited for her. It's great to be able to help others learn that they are capable of more than what they think.

Once back in town I had only enough time to regroup and prep for a busy afternoon before it was time to pick the kids up from school. Once I had the kids, we headed down to Santa Rosa Ave to have a quick lunch/snack and go to Costco. We breezed through Costco as quickly as we could because I had to pick up a friend's daughter from school. My friend had to work that afternoon and needed childcare. So with the car loaded down with Costco, we went and picked up Adie, and then went home. The kids played while I unpacked from Costco and cleaned the kitchen. Adie really wanted to stay for dinner, so after okaying it with her mom (we both agreed she could only stay if she got her homework done!) I settled into making dinner and helping her with her homework. As the three kids ate dinner, I searched online for a new muffin recipe. I found one that sounded good, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip.

After Adie headed home with her mom, I made dinner for James & I and made the muffins. The muffins came out okay. I'll have to tweak the recipe some more the next time I make it. I made it "healthy" style like my Banana Chocolate Chip Coffee muffins - using agave in place of sugar, grated zucchini in place of oil/butter and whole wheat pastry flour in place of white flour.

After the kids were in bed, I took a quick shower and went to bed. It had been a long, busy day.

Friday 10/28/11

I dropped the kids off to carpool this morning and then headed to a local Starbucks to work done on this blog. I worked until I had to see a client. After my client, I had to quickly get home to prepare for the afternoon. I had the kids' bikes to load into the car for their afternoon at Grandma Peggy's and lunches to make.

At work that afternoon, I had a request to do Upper Body Work, partner style, and there was an odd number of participants, so I had to partner up with someone. It felt good to get some great strength training done.

Saturday 10/29/11

Being that it's Halloween weekend, today was our Halloween Class for Outdoor Family Fitness. Every strength training station is Halloween "themed". It's always a super fun class. Here are some pictures:

That afternoon, the kids and I carved their pumpkins. I got to do all the hard work - scraping out the insides - and the kids carved their pumpkins. I had to help Jazper a little with his, but Sevannah did all her own work. I carved a few too.

We cleaned up from the pumpkin carving, had dinner and put on our Halloween costumes. We had tickets to Sprites Night at Summerfield Waldorf School & Farm (where the kids use to go to school). The kids had a blast seeing the different skits and people who they miss. It was a long evening, and all three of us were super tired, but it was a lot of fun.

So there you have it - Week 7 of my training. It was a long hard week, but encouraging, making it for the whole 16 miles, which is something I have never done before. And it's scary at the same time knowing that higher mileage weeks are coming.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Marathon Training Week 6 - A Peak Week

So it's Friday of Week 7 and I am just now getting around to sitting down to tell you all about Week 6. It's been a long two weeks, filled with extra activities and obligations for Halloween. Not to mention that Week 6 was a "peak training week"!

Here's how the week went...

Sunday 10/16/11

One of the ladies that is in our Sunday group, Cathy W, is running the Healdsburg Half Marathon on October 29 and she wanted to be familiar with the course. So at 5:00 am, the alarm went off, and I got up to get ready for the morning. I picked up Cathy B and we drove up to Warm Springs Recreation Area at the base of Lake Sonoma (the finish area for the Healdsburg Half Marathon). Cathy W and Jennifer met us there and we all climbed into one car and drove back down to Francis Ford Coppola Winery, where the race would be starting. This is where we started our 14 miles. As we made our way over the first few miles, we happily chatted and caught up on how all our weeks had been. The hills along these first few miles were not as big as Cathy B and Jennifer remembered them being so this was great news to Cathy W.

Soon we arrived onto Dry Creek, where it got exciting for a mile or so. It just so happened to be the day of the Wine Country Marathon and Half Marathon. It wasn't long before we saw the first men of the half marathon passing us in the opposite direction. Not too far behind them were the top two or three women. It was a lot of fun to cheer them on and witness how well they were doing with only about 3 miles left in their race. This was also the place we had to deviate from the Healdsburg Half Marathon's course because it goes along West Dry Creek and that was were the Wine Country Race was too. To avoid the racers, we stayed on Dry Creek, all the way out to Warm Springs Recreation Area.

As we approached the finish area, Cathy W & Jennifer finished their 13 miles, while Cathy B & I continued on to get our 14 miles. Little did we know that as we passed the parking lot we would have to head up a rather steep hill to get our total distance! Coming back down for our last half mile was nice, and we finished feeling good. Cathy B & I have done 14 miles once before so this was still a distance that we could wrap our minds around and feel okay with. My training schedule had me at a 11:20 pace and we were faster than that. Our stats for the day: 14.0 miles, 11:12 average moving pace, 2:36:53 total moving time; and my heart rate was right in the middle of the range I should have been in.

After some stretching, non-fat chocolate milk and a change of clothes, Cathy B & I drove Cathy W back to her car and then went into Healdsburg to get coffee and take it to our friend Leslie, who was announcing finishers as they crossed the finish line at the Wine Country Marathon. We hadn't planned on staying; we were just going to say hi to Leslie and give her, her coffee; but we ended up staying to see the last marathoner finish the race around 6:15 (six hours, fifteen minutes)! It was so inspirational to be there and see everyone finishing the race. There were children waiting for their mom or dad and when they saw them they ran out and joined them on the final stretch, running the finish with their parent. It was so sweet, it made me cry! I know... sappy... but it's true. These people had trained hard and their families were there to support them all the way to end!

Cathy B & I hanging out at the announcers tent.

Leslie in her super cool, personalized announcers chair.

Monday 10/17/11

Rest Day - technically - but at work in the afternoon I did some strength training. I did some partner work with tubing focusing on core and upper body. My partner and I used a medium weight band and it felt good! After work I came home to dinner being all cooked thanks to one of my best friends, Amy. It was so great to just be able to help her serve up dinner, sit down and enjoy it. Plus, it helped make the evening shorter for all since everyone was tired.

Tuesday 10/18/11

Tuesdays are typically my busiest day of the week. I get the kids to carpool, run, go to acupuncture, help in Sevannah's classroom, drive the kindergarten carpool when they get out, have lunch with Jazper, take Jazper to piano, then drive the "big girl" carpool when the grades get out at 2:45pm. I like my Tuesdays, but they are exhausting.

Today's training schedule had us doing 2- 5 miles at a nice slow pace since it's suppose to be a recovery run from Sunday's long distance. As always, Cathy B and I ran too fast. We did 4.15 miles at a 9:38 average moving pace; and my average heart rate was one beat over the range I was suppose to be in. But we both felt good and it was a great start to the day, not to mention a beautiful morning!

After driving all the carpools, I sat at the computer and did some research. Well, tried to do some research! After Sunday's 14 miles the balls of my feet were really sore, so I wanted to research some shoes to see if I could find some that had more cushion in them. Our refrigerator/freezer in the kitchen is also having an issue so I was also looking into the cost of a new one. Lesson re-learned for the day.... One should not do research on important things when you are exhausted and would rather be asleep! All I succeeded in doing was getting frustrated because I couldn't make sense of anything. Oh well.... it'll still be there another day.

Wednesday 10/19/11

Got up feeling tired, and it took me a bit to wake up. I ran my first run of the day right after driving the carpool and dropping the kids at school. The training schedule for the day had 8 miles total and Cathy B and Jennifer wanted to run in the afternoon so I split the total distance into two runs. The morning run I only needed to do about 4 miles so I decided to stick as close to the kids' school as I could and try to make a loop. I did it, but I will never run that route again! Too much traffic; almost got hit by a car in a crosswalk on Bodega Ave and it was hillier than I wanted to do for the day. Other than that it was a great run! I ran at a little faster pace than I should have but my heart rate was right in the middle of my range. Stats for the run: 4.1 miles, average pace 9:47.

After my run, I parked myself at a Starbucks and worked on last week's blog post, updated a few things online and then got to chat with one of my best friends, Colleen. I hadn't seen her in a while so it was really nice to just be able to sit and talk to her. When it was time for both of us to leave, I headed home and got ready for work.

Right after work, I headed straight to the evening run location to meet Cathy B and Jennifer. Jennifer needed to do a 60 minute run with 3 x 5 minute speed intervals with 1 minute recovery between them. We ran out for 32 minutes then turned around and headed back, adding in the intervals. Once back to our meeting location we found a space in the back parking lot where we could "safely" do sprints in the dark. We did 6 x 15 second sprints. By the time we were done we had 6.19 miles. It was a lot of fun, but I was good and tired.

Thursday 10/20/11

After getting the kids to carpool I headed over to Cathy B's house for a Tempo Run. We were suppose to do 1 mile warm up, 3 miles @ 9:41 according to my schedule (Cathy's schedule said 9:17) and then 1 mile cool down. We decided that we should try to increase the speed each of the 3 miles so that we were getting progressively faster. We succeeded! Check out these paces: Mile 2 - 9:26, Mile 3 - 9:19, Mile 4 - 8:55... HOT DAMN! For the last mile, our cool down mile, we walked to the stop light would would have to wait at to cross a street and then jogged back to her house. It was a hard run after all the hill/speed work I did yesterday, and I was feeling it. We stretched a lot in Cathy's garage when we were done.

I left Cathy's and headed to Fleet Feet to see if I could find new shoes with more cushion in the forefoot so that my feet would be happier after the longer runs. After all, we were going to be tackling 16 miles on Sunday! I was successful in finding a new pair of shoes.....

I plan on taking them for their first run tomorrow morning.

After finding shoes, I picked the kids up from school. They have been asking to decorate the house for Halloween for about a week so I surprised them when were got home from school by telling them we were going to decorate the house instead of having restie time. Here's the results....
Their favorite part is the bright green "sticky web". They think having it all over the front window and the garage is the funniest thing ever! We were all tired when we were done but the kids were so happy - it was worth skipping nap time!

Friday 10/21/11

5:45am and I was heading out the door to drive over to Cathy B's house to meet her, Cathy W & Jennifer for a chilly 6:00 am run. My new shoes were all ready for their first run....

The shoes felt good and the run felt a little hard because I was really tired. I hadn't slept well that night so I wasn't in "top form", but I made it. It was a nice, short 3.75 mile run even if it was hilly. I think we all have a love/hate relationship with the hill on Hidden Valley Rd.

After getting the kids off to carpool, I went home to try to take care of few things, and nothing worked. So, still in my jammies, I headed out to meet two friends, Natalie & Clementina, for breakfast. We hadn't done this in a long time so it was fun and relaxing to sit around and talk with them. After breakfast I went home and tried again to get things to work, and I was still unsuccessful. Leaving it for another day, I got ready for work, picked the kids up from school, dropped them off at Grandma Peggy's and headed to work. At work, I had the request to work on Core Exercises, so we did a bunch of different planks.

Saturday 10/22/11

After teaching Outdoor Family Fitness class, I got the kids and I ready to go to the Pumpkin Patch with my parents, brother & sister-in-law and my nephew & nieces. We met at my parents and drove down to Tolay Lake Regional Park. The kids had a ton of fun looking at all the exhibits, doing the crafts and of course, getting pumpkins.

Sevannah and her pumpkin.

Four of the five Cousins looking for their pumpkins.

Jazper and his pumpkin.

It was a long, hot afternoon/early evening. We didn't get home until 6:15 pm. I needed to get the kids fed and in bed so that I could prepare my things for the next morning. We were going to be doing 16 miles, which will be a first for me!

So after just over 37 miles for the week, I'm signing off on another week of training and keeping my fingers crossed that I survive tomorrow's 16 miler.... Uncharted Territory!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Marathon Training Week 5

Well, I am a little behind schedule in getting this week's blog posted. It's Wednesday of Week 6 and I am just now getting to sit down and reflect on last week's events. So here it goes - a reflection on Week 5 of my Marathon Training.

Sunday 10/12/11

Last Sunday, we did a 12 mile run. The day before I had a full day of teaching class, shuttling Sevannah to and from a birthday party while Jazper had a playdate. It wasn't a good food day and I was exhausted! So waking up on Sunday thinking about 12 miles was not super exciting. Cathy B was driving that day so she picked me up and we headed out to Analy High School to meet our other friend, Cathy W. It was a nice cool morning, but it was a hard run. I felt sluggish and my right foot kept cramping. I was so happy when it was over, simply because it was over! The end of the run had us at 12.0 miles at a 11:18 average pace, which was slightly faster than what my training schedule had me doing today. My heart rate average was on the lower end of the range I was suppose to be in, so according to the numbers, it was a good run. I only wish I felt a little better about it.

We grabbed coffee afterwards and I showed Cathy B. around Sebastopol after we had our coffee because she was going to start watching my kids on Wednesday afternoons and that involves picking Sevannah up from school.

After she dropped me off at home, I made myself some breakfast. It tasted so good! I had an omelet with mushrooms, peppers, zucchini and jack cheese; a yummy muffin that Cathy B has made, and of course, bacon! I'm kind of partial to bacon - good, crispy, bacon!

The rest of the day consisted of getting some things done around the house. It was nice to have an afternoon at home.

Monday 10/10/11

One thing I love about the kids having a Monday off of school is sleeping in! Normally, I am up by 6:00am, and if I am running early in the morning, I am up around 5:00am. So the chance to sleep in is something I covet. This was one of those days. I slept until about 8:00am, when Jazper came in and crawled in bed with me. Around 8:15 am Sevannah joined us. They kids only stayed a in bed with me for a few more minutes, and then they headed into the living room to play, leaving me to stay relaxed in bed until 9:00 am when they came in saying they were hungry and wanted breakfast.

After breakfast, they played while I did some paper work for a client I had to see later in the week. At work, that afternoon, I did some light strength training, mainly through demonstrations, with my two groups.

Tuesday 10/11/11
Tuesday = recovery run day. I almost always run this with Cathy B. Today we had our friend, Teja, join us. It was great to have her along! Between mine and Cathy's training schedules, we were suppose to do 2 - 5 miles at a nice, slower pace. We ended up doing 3.77 miles at an average pace of 10:44, which as usual, was a little fast for the day! Cathy and I have a really hard time slowing down our pace when we run together.

After chatting for a bit after the run, I went about my "normal" Tuesday schedule - Acupuncture, helping in Sevannah classroom, driving the Kindergarten carpool, taking Jazper to piano lessons (this was his 2nd one) and then driving the later carpool as well. After dropping off the last child in the carpool, I dragged my kids to the grocery store so I could get some items I needed for dinner. My best friend, Amy, was going to watch the kids while James and I went to a Parent Meeting for Sevananh's class that night. I made two different lasagnas - one marinara one with regular lasagna noodles and then one pasta-less chicken pesto one. I used swiss chard instead of lasagna noodles because Amy is mainly eating Gluten Free and I am also experimenting with different ways to get more fruits, vegetables and beans in my daily diet to make sure my body is getting what it needs as I ramp up my running for this Marathon. It came out so incredibly good!

The meeting was LONG! We didn't get home from it until 9:15 pm so I was exhausted. The best part though was that Amy, being the super star Auntie that she is, had the kids in bed and they were asleep!!!! Woohoo!!! That made it easier for me to take care of a few minor things and get to bed almost on time.

Wednesday 10/12/11
I woke up feeling like a zombie. I could not seem to fully wake up which was not making me happy because this was my longest day of the week last week.

I drove the morning carpool, went home and prepped my things for lunch, work (it was lecture day so I had to bring my laptop and have my presentation ready to go), my client folder to see a client before the run, and a change of clothes because I was going to run right before I had to leave town to drive to work.

Once everything was packed and ready, I headed over to Cathy B's work and we headed out for a run. Our training schedule had us doing a longer run, about 5-6miles, today but we wanted to do a longer run than our training schedules called for, so we shortened today's run. It was about 11:15am before we got running and it was HOT! We did 3.0 miles at a 9:41 pace. I didn't feel like I was awake and fully into my running zone until the last mile, which was frustrating because at that point the run is basically over. Oh well! At least we got it done.

After cooling down and stretching, I changed and headed to work. I presented my lecture and then taught two yoga classes. We were working on our balancing series so I did a lot of demonstrating. It all added up to me probably doing one whole class. All I know is that by the end of work, I was so ready to curl up on the couch and relax, but I had to drive home, make dinner, give the kids a bath and get them in bed before I could relax. And instead of relaxing, I went to bed.

Thursday 10/13/11

Fountain Mountain Day! That is the name Cathy B gave one of our runs that I came up with over the summer because I wanted to try a new route and I wanted it to be a hill challenge. Our training schedules for the day called for 4 - 5 miles with hills, but we shortened out Wednesday run so we could do Fountain Mountain which is approximately 6.60 miles, the first 3.5 which is pretty much all uphill! Here's a link to my Garmin read out of our run. Check out that elevation chart!!
Fountain Mountain by annad83 at Garmin Connect - Details

After the run, I headed home to shower and make lunch for Sevannah's teacher. After picking the kids up from school, we went home and I worked on some stuff and the kids played. I had been hoping for a nap but that didn't happen. I also had to field some phone calls, one of which was about my Grandpa. They just found out that he has prostate cancer. The news was that it's all contained in the prostate. That combined with his "young" age (he's 71) is good news. He had some appointments to go to to learn more in the coming week, so now it's just a waiting game as they figure out what the best treatment options will be for him.

That night, I went and worked with a client for an hour. We went over form on lunges again because she wasn't feeling confident about her form, so I did a bunch of lunges with her. I definitely felt the hills from that morning's run!

Friday 10/14/11

I woke up with a goal for the day - reclaim the bathtub in the kids' bathroom. We remodeled out master bedroom at the beginning of last year due to a mold issue. When we did this, we gutted the room down to the studs so we could rearrange the layout of the room. It's 90% complete - we don't have a built in closet. James, my husband, has been planning on getting our new closet built but life has had other plans for us. So for over a year now, my closet has been the kids' bathtub. But now, as our Sunday runs are getting longer, I need t be able to take an ice bath after the longer runs. Ice baths help reduce the inflammation in the leg muscles which helps them recover faster and reduces soreness & injury. It's not super fun to sit in a bath tub filled with cold water and 5 pounds of ice up to your waist, but it is necessary and helps me feel so much better.

So after getting the kids to carpool, I went back home, took care of some business emails and assessed what I would need to get in order to get my clothes out of the "bathtub closet". With a few ideas in mind, I headed down to Bed, Bath & Beyond and gathered what I thought I would need. Back at home with my goods, I started assembling the clothes rack I purchased, only to have one of the caster wheels break! So I un-assembled it as much as possible and headed back down to Bed, Bath & Beyond and exchanged it for a new one. The new one went together just fine. With a place to hang my clothes I started the process of moving and purging everything in the "bathtub closet". I was almost done with it all by the time I had to head to work. I finished it that evening when I got home from work. The end result....
3 bags of purged clothes and one box of purged shoes to give to Amy (she's collecting items to send to women in need in Kenya)

A useable bathtub...

And a new "closet" in our bedroom.

Saturday 10/15/11

It was Partner Day for Outdoor Family Fitness Class. There was an odd number of people so I had to partner with one of them. It felt good to get some light strength training in. It mainly focused on upper body and core, but we had a little leg work too. After class, we all went to coffee and sat and talked for a bit. I couldn't stay very long because we had to get home and get ready for my Great Uncle Pete's 90th birthday party.

We arrived at the party at 2:00pm when it was suppose to start. A few people were already there, but a bunch of people we still not there. It was great to see a lot of family that we haven't seen in many, many years. We were waiting in the bar area of The Union Hotel in Occidental, and it was hot and loud. By the time everyone was there and we were seated in the banquet room, the kids were starving, and so was I. Speeches were made, songs were sung, and then food was served. Now, when you have 40 plus people all in one room, trying to have conversations, it gets loud and hot. I have some noise sensitivity issues that makes it hard to be in a situation like this. After eating, I went outside to get a break from the noise. When I came back in, Jazper wanted to go for a walk. So I went back outside with him and we walked around Occidental for a few minutes. When we went back in, he decided he wanted to go for another walk, so we did. At this point, Sevannah was also ready to go and the noise was getting worse, making it really hard for me to stay in the room. So we said our goodbyes and headed home.

Once home we all decompressed for a couple hours. The kids played quietly and James & I curled up on the couch and caught up one some shows we had recorded on the DVR. Around 8:00pm I started prepping my things for the next morning. We had a 14 mile run on the schedule and we're running it up in Healdsburg so that Cathy W could see some parts of the course she would be running on October 29 for a half marathon. By 9:00pm I was in bed so that I would be ready for that 5:00am alarm the next morning.

So there you have it - Week 5 - all done. One thing I was curious about was how much I had really done in the last 5 weeks. So one thing I did was add up all my runs in the last 5 weeks. This is actually easy to do with my Garmin! In the last five weeks I have:
Ran 129 miles
Total Time Running 23.5 hours
Total Calories Burned 14, 812 (this equals 4.25 lbs of fat!)

With this information in hand, I weighed myself at work Friday afternoon. I do not own a scale because I don't like them. I think people give the numbers on the scale too much power over their feelings in regards to weight-loss goals. It's more important to focus on how you feel and how your clothes fit. So I only weigh myself about once a month, to make sure that I'm maintaining, or losing, depending on my activity level and goals. Since we started officially training for the marathon, I had lost a solid 4 lbs! It's nice to know that all the changes I have made in my food choices and my sleep schedule while increasing my training is paying off.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Marathon Training Week 4

WOW! I can't believe I'm four weeks into my marathon training schedule. That means that I only have six more training week and two taper weeks until the race - eight weeks until I run my first half marathon! Kind of a scary thought. It's one thing to put a plan together and work at it day to day, but to see the weeks passing and inching closer to the actual event is something different. I've hit the point where I'm starting to focus more on the mental endurance that it will take to get through the 26.2 miles. Sure, it's a hugely physical event, but, most marathon runners will tell you that it is the last three to six miles that count.... and they are ALL mental!

Here's how Week 4 went for me:

Sunday 10/2/11 - Harvest Fair 10K

After three weeks of building up the mileage it was time to back down but a few of us still wanted to push our pace and see how we could do, so we opted to run the Harvest Fair 10K for speed! That's 6.2 miles as fast as we could do it. It wouldn't be too bad if it were a flat course, but it's not! Hills abound in this race course so it was going to be a tough push to try to break some personal records. The day was beautiful! I picked up running pals, Cathy & Jennifer, and we headed over to the fair grounds and parked. After getting our race bibs, we went for an easy two mile jog to warm up. Our warm up jog had another purpose as well - to find coffee! Sadly, SoCo Coffee is closed on Sundays - which if you ask me is just plain wrong! How can a local coffee house be closed on a Sunday?!?!?! Have no fear though, we were rescued by another running pal, Amy, who brought us short drip coffees from Starbucks! Totally saved the morning!

It was great walking around the fairgrounds, as we made our way to the start, and seeing friends from high school whom I usually only get to interact with via FaceBook. It was nice being able to see them in person and to chat over the common topic of the race and running. As we lined up we all wished each other luck and waited for the race to start.

Cathy and I are pretty evenly paced, though she is a little faster than I am. We agreed ahead of time to try to stay together on this race so we could push each other, both knowing that we wanted to break our PR's (personal records). As we took off at the start, we wove our way through the crowd and found a pace that felt good, but hard. We talked some when we could, and focused on our breathing when necessary (like when we were pushing our way up the hills). It was around mile 5 that I felt the wall coming. We were maintaining a pace that was just sub 9:00 minutes per mile. Cathy heard my breathing get a little harder and ushered out some words of encouragement. Coming up the last hill with less than half a mile to go, the wall came down and I wanted/needed to be done. As Cathy pulled in front of me, I thought, "This is what it might feel like at mile 23.... are you going to quit then??" So, having given myself a mental kick in the butt, I pushed through the wall, and picked up the pace a little more, finishing about 30 seconds behind Cathy.

I looked down as the time on my Garmin and got super excited. I was sure I had PR'd! At that moment I could remember my exact PR time but knew it was a 56:xx and I just finished the race at 55:26. When the official race results went up, I was listed as 5th in my age group! Once our group was all together we compared our finishes. Amy had a great time on her 2nd 5K race, which was the first time she had to run hills; Cathy, Leslie and I all PR'd; Cathy & I both took 5th in our age groups and Leslie took 2nd in her age group! It was a great race for everyone. Awards were being handed out to the top three finishers in each age group so we hung out and relaxed while we waited to cheer on Leslie as she got her reward.

The first thing I did when I got home was look up my old 10K time (which turned out to be 56:55). I shaved 1:29 off my time! That is a sweet reward for the work I've been putting into my running!

Later that afternoon, we met back up at the Harvest Fair for a fun girls' afternoon of wine tasting. We had a blast sharing tastings, sampling food and having fun conversation.

That evening at home, I did a ton of chores around the house and prepared a bunch of stuff for the kids for school the next day. It was 10:00pm before I got to bed and I was exhausted.

Monday 10/3/11

Rest day! I woke up feeling tired which is to be expected after a long day combined with an all-out effort on a race. After driving the morning carpool, I hung out and tried to catch up on some computer work and only got part of it done before I got stuck on the phone finishing up loose ends to the carpool and childcare drama of last week. As I was finishing up the last phone call, my client showed up. I worked with my client on strength training she can do at home or work (for down times or when she can't get to the gym) and she did great! As she was leaving, carpool dropped off my son, Jazper, and I had to start getting ready for work. Work was good, and despite it being my "rest day" I had to do some strength training for demonstration and as someones partner because there was an odd number of participants in class. It was all core work though, so that felt good.

Tuesday 10/4/11

Slow, recovery run day. Cathy's training schedule said 2 miles but she felt like she could do a little more, and my training schedule said 2 - 5 miles, so we went out for 3 miles. Like all Tuesdays, we're suppose to keep a SLOW pace of around 11:23 minute/mile. We have the hardest time going that slow and today was no exception. We did a total of 3.15 miles at a 10:14 pace. My heart rate average was at the high limit of the range I should have been in, so that was okay; and the run felt good. It didn't feel hard and we were able to talk the whole time.

After the run, I changed clothes and headed out for the rest of my busy Tuesday - acupuncture, helping in Sevannah's classroom and driving the afternoon carpool. I was hoping for a restful afternoon with the kids once we were done with carpool, but I ended up working on some projects for Sevannah's class that were given to me since I am the "Purchaser" for the class. One particular project required finding and purchasing 3/4" oak dowels and cutting them down to the appropriate length to make Rhythm Sticks. The teacher also wanted them to be in a basket. James helped me with this project. He cut down the dowels and then instead of driving around trying to find the right size basket, James & I came up with the idea of making a custom sized wooden crate to house the Rhythm Sticks. Here's the end result:

Wednesday 10/5/11

Wednesdays are one of my mornings to drive the morning carpool which this week is perfect because I had the Rhythm Sticks to deliver to the class. Sevannah's teacher loved the sticks and the crate James & I made for them. She said it was so much better than a basket and she couldn't have asked for anything better! This left me feeling great and ready for my morning run.

My training schedule for the day had me running eight miles at race pace. I had some other errands to run this morning so I was a little pressed for time, and some of my running pals were needing to run in the evening. So I decided to split my run into two. When you split a run, there's a formula to follow - one run is half the original distance and the second run is 3/4 of the original distance. Needing 8 miles originally, makes my two runs 4 miles long and 6 miles long, or 10 total for the day. Now, I also had to take into account the pace & distance my friends would be doing in the evening. I knew they would get around five miles, so I opted to do five miles in the morning too, so that by the end of the day I would have around 10 miles.

My morning run ended up being 5 miles at a 10:11 pace, just slightly faster than race pace (10:19). My average heart rate was right in the middle of the range I should have been in. The run felt great! After the run, I ran my errands, went home and did a few chores, packed my bag for the evening run and got ready for work.

Work today was a stretching day so I got to stretch a lot with the two groups. It felt really nice on my hips - helping loosen then up. After work I drove straight to our meeting location for the evening run. We ran a total of 5.63 miles, which included 4 x 15 second sprints at the end. It was a "speed" workout where we ran a fairly easy pace for the first 32 minutes, then picked up the pace for 7:30 minutes followed by a 2:30 minute recovery jog. We did that twice, then finished out the remainder of our distance back to the cars at an easy pace. In the back of the parking lot, away from traffic, we did our 4 x 15 second sprints. These were hard tonight!! It didn't feel like my legs were really into the sprints until the last one. It felt good once we were done though. Our total numbers for the evening run were 5.63 miles at an 11:02 pace. My average heart rate was below the range I needed to be in, but it was still a good workout.

Daily total 10.63 miles - I'll take it!

Thursday 10/6/11

Thursday is the hardest workout of the week. Both Cathy and I had a tempo run on our training schedules for today. Our tempo run was suppose to be 5 miles long, with the first mile being a warm up, the middle three miles being around a 9:45 pace, and then the last mile being a cool down mile. Here's how the run actually went:
Mile 1 - 10:24
Mile 2 - 9:33
Mile 3 - 9:35
Mile 4 - 9:19
Mile 5 - 12:42

Both of us, by the time we hit the end of mile 4, our last speed mile, were done! We took a walk break before picking the pace back up to a cool down jog. It was a hard run.

Afterwards, I headed off to see a client, went to Costco and then picked the kids up from school. Once we made it home, we unloaded the stuff from Costco, had lunch and then snuggled into bed for a nap. The kids both slept, I did not, but I did rest there with them. After their nap, it was time to run a few more errands - grocery store and a birthday present for the party Sevannah had on Saturday.

Friday 10/7/11

On today's training schedule was Cross Training/Strength Training, but it was also Sevannah's first 2nd grade play! She's was the tree in the class's St George Play. It was so sweet and so well done!

After the play, I helped my mother run an errand and then met up with a friend for coffee. It was a nice morning.

I did my strength training in the afternoon at work. It was a lot of leg work - squats, lunges, etc... After all the speed work this week, my legs were tired and I really felt the strength training.

Saturday 10/8/11
My second rest day of the week - though I teach my Outdoor Family Fitness class - so I do, do some minimal strength training. Today's class was Favorites - so all the exercises were made up of some of my all time favorite exercises.

After class, we picked up a friends son, Liam, because her daughter had pneumonia. The boys and I dropped Sevannah at her birthday party and then went to the Fire Safety Fair. They had so much fun checking out the inside of an ambulance, watching one of the big ladder trucks do a basket rescue and getting their Fire Chief Hats. Jazper kept asking me, "Mommy, do I look like a real fire guy?" It was truly adorable!

After the boys had, had their fill of Safety Vehicles, we headed home and had lunch. After lunch it was time to go pick Sevannah up. The birthday party ended at a park so of course the boys wanted to play when we got there. Everyone played for about half an hour and then it was time to go. We dropped off Liam, made a deposit at the bank and went to the grocery store for milk. By the time we got home, I was so ready to be done for the day. Tired did not even begin to describe how I felt; and that made me anxious about whether or not I would be able to make it through the 12 mile run we had planned for Sunday morning. So after dinner, I got my stuff for the morning run together and headed to bed, hoping that a good night's sleep would help me make it 12 miles in the morning.

13 Rules for Marathon Training | Active.com

Being that I am in the middle of my marathon training program, I found this to be a helpful article. It was a great reminder of all the important "rules" to adhere to.

13 Rules for Marathon Training | Active.com

Monday, October 3, 2011

Marathon Training Week 3

Sunday 9/25/11

Long, slow distance day - hooray! Like I said in last week's posting, this is my favorite day in the training schedule because I get my ME time. Today, on the training schedule, we are suppose to be doing 10 miles. We decided to meet at the Windsor Town Green and head out Star Rd. I love this run - it's peaceful and has plenty of rolling hills. We ended up doing a total of two hours which gave us 10.2 miles at an average pace of 11:44 - which was just a tad slower than the target pace the training schedule suggested, but it felt good and my average heart rate was at the lower end of the range I needed to stay in.

After our run, two ladies in our group had to take off for their busy day, but Cathy and I sat and enjoyed coffee, a snack and good conversation for about an hour. It's always so great when we get to do this! Just sitting, relaxing and enjoying good conversation. I was hoping this would lead to a relaxing afternoon at home but no such luck. After breakfast with James & the kids and a shower, I was getting ready to curl up on the couch with a book while James took the kids to run some errands when I got a text message that ruined my afternoon. It was about a mom in my afternoon carpool wanting to change how we had it set up, for the third week in a row, just because she (and I do quote) "just don't want to do it." SERIOUSLY??!!! So I spent the afternoon trying to make other, new, permanent arrangements for my daughter's pickup on Mondays so that I would know that she was being taken care of.

Monday 9/26/11

Today is a rest day to recover from the longer run. After driving the morning carpool to school, I camped out at a Starbucks to get a bunch of computer work done and I also got to visit with a friend. We chatted about our kids, the problems she was experiencing with her son who's having a hard time adjusting to Kindergarten, and about a slew of other "mom" topics. It made a super productive morning, which was great, because whenever I can get all my work and errands done while the kids are at school, it means more time for me to focus on them when they are home from school and I get home from work.

My afternoon at work was pretty good. Lots of new clients in the program who are fairly eager to add fitness back into their lives. Once again though, carpool drama took place, which got me thinking about it all over again...

Tuesday 9/27/11

So today was suppose to a be a slow recovery run, but the previous afternoon's phone call/conversation about carpool again had me all fired up. So as Cathy and I were suppose to be running nice and slow, I started venting to her about my carpool drama. This is what we do when we run.... we help each other through the problems that have come up in our day to day schedules. So Cathy listened and bounced ideas around with me, but since I was emotionally heated, we ran way too fast! This is a theory that we have come up with and proven to ourselves over and over again during our three plus years of running together - when we're talking about something that gets us emotionally charged, we unintentionally run faster. I apologized to Cathy and took full responsibility for the derailment from our training plans for the day! We got our mileage in (four miles) but our pace was 9:51 when it should have been 11:23. Oopsy! But I felt better!

Wednesday 9/28/11

All of the runs this week are suppose to be slow runs, since we built up for two weeks. I have had to think about it as a "recovery week". Today's runs was suppose to be five miles at an 11:23 pace. I ran an errand after driving the morning carpool, and then started on my run around 9:30am. It was already hot and muggy, which I have to say, I am completely over running in! I am so ready for more fall time weather. My run went really well today. I did my five miles at an average pace of 11:19. My average heart rate was just a tad high (two beats per minute) but running in muggy heat does that to me. I drank my entire 24 oz bottle of water in the hour I was running.

Had another good afternoon at work, but am now having a but of drama with my Wednesday childcare. Hoping to work this out in the next couple days so things can be less stressful.

Thursday 9/29/11
Today on the schedule is another low-key run. I met up with Cathy at her house and we were both kind of stressed out. I'm was still ruminating over carpool and childcare issues while she was dealing with computer/internet/virus issues. We both seriously needed to run. As we started to head out, her two dogs started having a mini-fit because they wanted to go out too. So we adjusted our plan to include them. Cathy ran with Teddy (who accompanies us on runs a lot)
(Teddy with Cathy's daughter, Samantha)

and I got the honor of running with Trixie - the Chihuahua.

It has now been decided that Trixie - the Chihuahua is a sprinter, not an endurance athlete! She sprinted the whole 0.75 miles to the turn around spot and promptly decided that, that was as far as she was going to go. We even tried just walking a little bit, but not even than would keep Trixie moving. Our solution.... I picked her up and jogged back a good half mile carrying her! Oh my gosh - Cathy and I were in stitches we were laughing so hard! And let me tell you, carrying a 7 lbs Chihuahua in your arms while trying to run is comical and a good biceps workout. When we got back to the corner of Cathy's street, I put Trixie down and Cathy said "Shall we run home and get a cookie?" By golly, Trixie took off sprinting again.... all the way home! It was one of the funniest things I have ever seen. It was also a great way to break both Cathy and I of our stressful moods.

After getting the dogs settled in the house with their cookies, Cathy and I headed out for the rest of our run. By the time we were done, we had 5.55 miles at an average pace of 10:28 (this included our run with the dogs!). Definitely a little too fast when compared to the training schedule, but it was just what we both needed.

I had three kids to pick up from school today. Jazper's friend, JP, was coming over for a playdate. I had a giant fort in the living room, then a giant train track in the living room. They had a blast and ate a ton of food! I also had a message from the class parent for Sevannah's 2nd grade class. She was calling to recruit me to be the Class Parent Team Purchaser. Basically, when the teacher needs some supplies for the classroom, the Purchaser goes out and gets what is needed and then submits the receipts to the office to get reimbursed. Apparently the parent who had originally signed on to do this decided it wasn't the job for her when it required driving out of Sebastopol. So I of course said yes, because helping out with things that are needed for my kids and their school is a priority for me; and being a working parent, I cannot always be in the classroom so I like to help out whenever I can.

Friday 9/30/11
Cross-training day = Carido Kick Boxing today! It's a bittersweet day because my friend who teaches the class has decided to turn her focus to other things, so today is our last class. I'm happy for her, because it's time for a change and it's going to be good for her and her family, but I will miss the class. It was a great class and I was dripping sweat by the time we were done. I had my son, Jazper with me, because he had woken up with a funny cough. He stayed curled up in the back of the room with his pillow and his duck, Duckie,

and rested until it was time for stretching. Then he came over and stretched with us.

Saturday 10/1/11
Once again, I woke up being really sore across my shoulders and upper back from kickboxing yesterday. Got the kids and myself ready to go for my Outdoor Family Fitness class. We held class at a different location today because the Gran Fondo was taking place at Finley Park where we usually have class. Today was Double Strength Day, which is a hard class! Everyone did really well. After class we went to coffee and chatted until everyone had to get going on their errands. Had an extra child today, one of my best friends' daughters because my friend had a funeral to go to. I had to run some errands for my new position as Purchaser for 2nd grade. The classroom was missing some painting rags so I needed to find similar fabric, wash & dry it, and cut it down to the appropriate sizes. I got it purchased, washed and dried today. I'll cut it to size tomorrow.

At home after errands, the three kids played and had lunch while I did chores. After my friend picked up her daughter and the kids were in bed I prepped my things for tomorrow morning. We're running the Harvest Fair 10K for time. Here's hoping for some great times... maybe even some PRs (personal records)!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Marathon Training Week 2

Sunday 9/18/11

Happy Sunday! I love Sunday's because it's our Long, slow, distance run which means I am out running with a great group of other adult females and NO children or spouses! It's my ME time for the week when I don't have to worry about anything and get to enjoy spending time with my friend's - with no interruptions!

This morning the training schedule said I should be doing 9 miles at around a 11:27 pace. What we ended up doing was 10.07 miles at a 10:52 pace. So we went a little longer and a little too fast, but, my heart rate was still within the appropriate range.

One thing I was concerned about as I was heading to the run this morning was my leg. It didn't really "hurt" when I got up but it was a little achy. I change the top bandage to make sure that it was staying closed and had stopped bleeding. It looked pretty good, so I put a new bandage over the top of it and headed out. During the run, I felt it occasionally but it didn't impede my stride or my ability to finish the run.

After the run, we went and had coffee as we always do. Today though, we sat for a long time and visited. It was so great to relax and enjoy the time together.

When I got home, I double checked on my leg again. Here's what it looked like....
Not too bad! It bled a tiny bit on the run, but considering we did 10 miles, I think it's doing really well.

After a quick bite to eat, fresh bandages on the cut and a shower, I left for Occidental to have lunch at Howard's Station Cafe followed by the Cedar Enzyme Bath at Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary for my best friend, Amy's, birthday. It was incredible relaxing. The perfect end to a great day!

Monday 9/19/11

This morning I started working on seeing if I needed a tetanus shot. Trying to make phone calls at 8:00 am when the doctor's office opens, with four kids in the car so they have to be quiet so you can hear the sounds coming from your wireless blue tooth speaker, is not what I would call fun. When I finally got through to the office, they said they would have to call me back after tracking down my paper chart (they've apparently gone digital since I was last in... which was years ago.) So I continued on with my morning and waited for their call. It never came, so I had to follow up. In the end, I needed to go get a tetanus shot because they could not find a record of my last booster.

Tetanus shots are not any fun. They hurt! My arm hurt worse from the shot than my leg did from the cut. Oh well.... better to be safe than sorry.

Tuesday 9/20/11

Today was a super busy day. Had an extra meeting at my kids' school during the time I would usually run, so I had to get up and do my run at 5:30am. My other option would have been to run in the afternoon or evening, but there were two reasons that was not an appealing option today. One - it was super hot outside today! Running in the heat is not something I enjoy. Two - there's always more of a chance that something will come up and interfere with my plans if I try to run in the afternoon/evening. I've learned that if I get my runs done in the mornings then they will always get done.

Today's run was a slow, recovery run. Last week, going slow was hard. Today, slow wasn't so bad, however, maybe that's because I felt like I was still half asleep! It was so peaceful and quiet out. I almost ran right into a spider and it's web that was across the entire sidewalk at chest height. I spotted it in my headlamp at the last second and walked slowly into the street to go around it. All in all, it was a good run. The training schedule said I had to do 2 - 4 miles at around an 11:30 pace and I did 4 miles at an 11:29 pace.

Since school started, I haven't been running in the wee hours of the morning because I have to be getting the kids ready for school, so it was kind of hard to get up and out the door for my 5:30am run today. I also didn't realize how dark it was at that hour, so at the last minute I woke up our chocolate lab, Trixie, and took her with me. Taking Trixie is always interesting. It takes her about 1 - 1.5 miles to calm down and settle into controlled pace. She was on guard when we went by people; she was ready to chase the cat that crossed our path. All of this made it interesting for my sore arm, which was still aching from the Tetanus shot. Here's a picture of Trixie at the end of our run.... under a street light and in the light of my headlamp (as you can see it was still really dark.... and she's a chocolate lab, so she blends in!)

Wednesday 9/21/11

Waking up this morning, after yesterday's super long day, was extremely hard. I felt like my feet were cased in cement.... I just couldn't get moving. This tends to be an issue when you have to get four kids to school and then run 7 miles. I managed to get the kids to school, and myself dressed to go for the run immediately after drop off but I did not plan my route out ahead of time. Normally this would bother me, today, I was glad for it because I felt sluggish tired. Having to keep my mind busy figuring out which direction to go, when to turn around so I made it back to the school at the end of 7 miles, kept my mind from thinking about how tired I felt. I just started running and made my route up as I went. I eventually ran out of sidewalk along Hwy 116 south, so I turned around and headed back. I decided then to get onto the West County Trail starting at Analy High School because I knew where it went and how far I would be from the school. It was refreshing having to figure it out as I went.

By the end, I had my 7 miles at an average pace of 10:44. My training schedule today was for distance only. No pace requirements that I was suppose to try and keep. I did have some guidelines for my heart rate, though, and I was at the low end of the range I should have been in. That's really good, but at the same time, it felt so much harder than that! Oh well.... some days are going to be like that! Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

Thursday 9/22/11

Today is suppose to be the hardest workout/run of my week, according to my training schedule. My schedule for today said 4 - 5 miles, tempo run; but I was running with two others so we did something different. We ran a route we call Montecito Madness. It's named this because we run up Chanate to Montecito and then down Montecito to Pacific and back to Cathy's house. It's SUPER hilly! So no tempo run today, we just pushed hard on the hills. I was not feeling it today! I had to walk up some of the hills because I just didn't have the energy to run up them, which was evident by how my heart rate would climb higher when I tried to push through and keep running. By the time we were done, all I wanted to do was go to bed, but alas, I had a client to see and children to pick up from school.

Our run ended up being 5.2 miles long and the average pace was 10:24. My heart rate, despite climbing too high on the hills, was overall, below my target range for the day. I was shocked to see this because the run felt so incredibly hard.

I had been hoping today would feel better than yesterday, but it didn't. I tried not to feel disappointed by it, and tried to focus on the positive aspects - like as still did it, I finished the run, etc... - but it was hard. I really just wanted a nap, and by golly, I got one! After I picked the kids up from school, we all curled up in my bed and took a nice, long two hour nap. Pure bliss!!!

Friday 9/23/11

Today was cross training/strength training day. I went to Cardio Kickboxing and it was a tough class! Colleen kicked our butts today! It felt great. My sciatica was bothering me a little and so was the cut on my leg so I modified a few things when I needed to. In the afternoon at work, I did a small amount of strength training when I needed to demonstrate some exercises.

Saturday 9/24/11

Woke up really sore across my upper back and shoulders this morning from Kick Boxing yesterday. It was that good sore, that lets you know you really worked hard. I love that feeling! Taught my Outdoor Family Fitness class this morning. The theme for the day was "ALL ABS" and it was a great class! Everyone worked really hard.

Had a busy day after class. Had to pick up my son's friend, JP, so they could have a playdate. Then, had to drop my daughter off at a birthday party. When it was time to pick her up, I loaded the boys into the car and went and got her. After the party dispersed, we took JP home, but of course, the kids wanted to play, so we were there for a bit. Once we finally got home it was 4pm and I still needed to go to Whole Foods. Once the kids were settled at home with my husband, James, I went to Whole Foods, came home and made dinner. After dinner, James got the kids in the shower while I cleaned the kitchen. By 7:30pm the kids were tucked into bed and I got to relax with James for about an hour before I went to bed because tomorrow, Sunday, we're running at 6:30am.

And that's the end of Week 2 Marathon Training. It was busy and hard, but I made it!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Marathon Training Week 1

Saturday 9/10/11 8:40pm
After posting my last blog entry earlier today, I worked almost all afternoon and evening making my "official" training schedule. When I finished I sat back and was hugely relieved because even though it's a daunting task, taking on a marathon, once I could look at it one week at a time it didn't seem so daunting.

So I sat back, examined the three pages a little more, added in my work schedule so I would know what days I would have split some longer mid-week runs into two to fit around my work schedule, and then sat it aside. I'll pick it back up tomorrow after our long, slow, distance run of 8 miles and see if I feel I need to make any further changes. Then, I'll pick it up again on Tuesday after another run to go over it with and compare it to my main running partners plan that she's put together for herself and her schedule (we're running the marathon together; it's a first for both of us). And as training goes on, I'm sure there will be adjustments, but I am starting to feel better, more relaxed, about this journey now that I have a plan.

The other part of the plan is coming into focus too. In my earlier post, I said I would post my marathon journey on the blog. After thinking about it all afternoon while working on the schedule I thought it would be best for me to update the blog weekly. This weekly update will include a daily note on my progress, both mental and physical!

Monday 9/12/11
So yesterday marked our first official day of training. We did 8 miles on trails in Annadel. It was a great run despite me falling and all three of us being covered in a paste of mud. The dirt was dry (and it's super fine) and then the fog was so thick it was drizzling so it created this paste that coated our shoes and lower legs.

After our run, we stretched and did some body weight strength training - 1 set of 15 Lunges, 1 set of 15 Pushups and 1 set of 15 Side Plank Dips. Once that was done it was time to grab coffee and get home for food and a shower. That afternoon we gathered to celebrate the birthdays of two of our friend that we run with regularly. It was a great afternoon of food, drinks, conversation and laughter!

Today, is a rest day on my training schedule; though I have also left it open to Strength Training as well since I sometimes have to do some for work with clients.

Tuesday 9/13/11
Today is a slow recovery run. I ran with my best running pal, Cathy, and our faithful "training dog" Teddy. Our pace is suppose to be SLOW.... really slow compared to what we're use to doing. We ran 4.25 miles at an average pace of 10:45. We were suppose to be slower - closer to a pace of 11:00 but both of our heart rates were at the bottom of the range we should have been in so we both figure it's okay. That said, it's still going to be important to learn how to run a little slower than we're use to. Training for a full marathon is proving to be very different from training for a half marathon... and it's only day 3!!

This afternoon, I added a run. My friend, Amy, just recently trained for and ran her first 5K and is now training for a 10K. Her training schedule (she's doing a Podcast) had her doing a 5 minute walking warm up, then 4 x 10 minute run/1 minute walk, followed by a 5 minute walking cool down. We covered 3.5 miles which gave us a 15:31 pace. I'm hoping that by keeping Amy company, and encouraging her in her training, that it will help me learn to slow my pace down. Plus, it's just great to spend more time with one of my best friends! We've been best friends since we were 16 years old.

Wednesday 9/14/11
I had a hard time waking up this morning. Yesterday was a super long day (I was at the grocery store at 8:30pm) and I really wish I could have slept longer, but it's was my day to drive car pool. After I got the kids to school I headed out for my run. The training schedule had me running 7 miles at race pace (10:19). Since I did an extra 3.5 miles yesterday, I figured I could and should decrease today's mileage, so I only ran 6 miles. I was pretty close to my target race pace too. My average pace was 10:06, so I was still a little fast. Miles 1 and 2 were too fast; miles 3 and 4 were right on target; and miles 5 and 6 were a little fast. For the first week of training, I figure I'm doing great!

This afternoon I got a little yoga in at work which felt great! Nothing like some plank and downward dog to make your spine, hamstrings and core feel stronger and more relaxed.

Thursday 9/15/11
Today I had to get up earlier than usual because the mom I car pool with is out of town to visit her older son and daughter-in-law who just had a baby last week. So her husband was dropping their kids off at 7:15am so he can get to work on time. This means that I had to have my kids ready to go before they got her, otherwise, they would play and not get ready for school. It was an interesting morning, but we made it!

Cathy came over and rode with me to take the kids to school because we're running a hard, hill run today. Our training schedules have us running our hardest run of the week on Thursdays. So sometimes we'll do hills, other times we'll do sprints or tempo runs. The route we ran this morning is one I did a few weeks ago at a leisurely pace. It's on the back roads of Sebastopol so you feel like you're all alone; it's peaceful. Cathy wanted to check it out so we decided to run it fast and push our limits.

It was a really good run! It felt great to push after the days of trying to slow down. It was a 5.13 mile run and my average heart rate was at the low end of the range I should have been in - hooray!!

I had a full day after we were done though and by 4pm I was done. As I sit here now, at 9:05pm, I am very ready to head to bed, but there's laundry to be done and a shower to be had. I will be in bed by 10:00 pm though. One of the most important things in any training is rest and recovery. Our body's heal and repair while we sleep so I am making it a point to be in bed by 10:00 pm because most mornings I need to be up at 6:00 am thus giving me a good eight hours of sleep.

On a fun note, one of the things I did today was make some adjustments to a recipe that I love and so do all my running pals - Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins. The regular recipe calls for all-purpose flour, sugar and butter. Today I substituted those for organic whole wheat flour, agave and grated zucchini. They came out great!!!

Friday 9/16/11
Today was suppose to be a cross training / strength training day. So I did some strength training - all core work - which felt really good. A low-key day overall which was nice after the busy week I've had.

Saturday 9/17/11

Today was a long, crappy day! It's an "OFF" day in my schedule so I'm suppose to rest. I taught my class which requires some demonstration of the exercises. It was a really good class! After that the day just went downhill. I was tired, the kids were not listening that well, they needed new shoes, I had to get to the grocery store.... I felt like the day was never going to end. Just as the end was in sight (kids were tucked into bed) I cut my leg open on a piece of non-rusted, new metal. One spot along the "slice" was kind of deep and wide so I had to quickly clean it up, get to Rite Aid so I could get the supplies I needed to bandage it up in hopes of not needing to go in the Emergency Room for stitches because it's 8:00 pm! I also can't remember the last time I had a tetanus shot so I started to think about needed to take care of that as well. I decided since it was new, non-rusted metal, that it could wait until Monday morning. When U got home from Rite Aid I was able to get the butterfly bandages to close the gap - thank goodness! The bleeding wasn't bad and stopped pretty quickly, so I hope it'll hold up for tomorrow morning's long wrong. Oh what a great way to end Week 1 of Marathon Training!!