Sunday, October 27, 2013

Half Training, Week 5 - PFTW

This is going to be short and sweet, because I'm a little pressed for time.

HAHAHA JK. Actually, I just don't have a ton of interesting things going on right now (still), so there's not much to share?

Last week..... I had a really great training week!

Monday: Cross training
Tank Top Arms, Core, and pushups. I'm SHOCKED at the improvement in pushups. Fascinating! Did you know, consistency helps?!

Tuesday: 4 miles
Easy run on the beach path at Crystal Cove. It was super ugly, with the sunset and sweeping ocean views.

Via the Instagram

Wednesday: Long run
I had time, and there was a bunch of Bravo stuff I wanted to watch on, so I long run'ned on the treadmill. I was a little concerned, because I ran long on Sunday... but 14 miles, with 5 mid-miles at goal pace. NAILED IT. Goal pace was dead on, and I finished with an overall 10:03 pace - which is my current half PR pace, and it almost killed me dead. It was a great, great run.

Thursday: XT
Arms and pushups

Friday: Easy/XT
Core in the morning, then a 6 mile, easy pace, negative split run.

Saturday: Rest
Actually, I did pushups, but it was only 10 minutes and barely counts.

Sunday: Tempo
5 miles total, mid 3 at 9:25-9:11. Actual was 9:24, 9:17, 9:14. It was a little tough, but not unbearable.

Total: 29 miles. Solid.

I finally replaced my poor shoes.... And all my panicky trepidation was for naught. The Flow2's seem to be juuuuuust fine.

Saddest transition ever.
This week.....
Monday: 3 easy, XT
Tuesday: 7, speeeeeed
Wednesday: XT
Thursday: 5 easy with strides
Friday: XT
Saturday: 10 easy
Sunday: rest

Yaaaay cut back week!

No pictures from #1's race this week (I cannot even believe that they for real race EVERY SINGLE WEEK that's crazy), because we didn't go. It was far away, they were being bused, and we would never have made it on time after getting Gab and #2 from school.

BUT, she raced with varsity, and did GREAT.

15th place!!!! What. 18:24 on a 2.7 mile (random) hilly course.

I spent a lot of Friday and Saturday keeping up on the Mt Sac Invitational - #1's school only participated in the boy's varsity sweepstakes race, but I tried watching the parts I could keep track of. Sarah Baxter - a senior at Simi Valley - is a robot fast running machine. She has won every high school race she's run.

Photo cred Juan Carlo
Oh wait, turns out she's human. Here's a great article on her race Saturday. “I went out way too fast and I shouldn’t have done that,” Baxter said. “I kind of let it get away from me and didn’t realize how fast I was going until it was too late.” 

Says the girl who ran a 4:58 first mile...... Zoinks. 

After that, I spent hours and hours searching for a winter/spring marathon, and as a result, updated my "Wish List" with a ridiculous number of options.... Someone stop me. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Half Training, week 4 - PFTW

Last week....
Monday: Cross training
Core and arms. I let myself stop doing the glutes/thigh video, and THAT WAS DUMB. It's going to be the worst ever when I start doing it again.

Tuesday: 4 easy
Nothing interesting. Ran 4 outside, easy pace, with negative splits (not on purpose, it just happened that way). 10:13 avg.

Wednesday: XT
Core, arms, yoga. I also (re)started the 100 pushups program - day one completed.

Thursday: 6 miles, speedyish
1 mile warm up, 4 at race pace, 1 cool. Hit goal pace just fine. Thought I had an achy hip, but since it didn't bother me when I started running, and didn't bother me after, maybe my brain was faking?

Friday: XT
Arms, and day 2 of 100 pushups.

Saturday: Rest
XC spectating, which consisted of an easy hike and some sprinting around the course to watch #1 race.

Sunday: Long!
13 easy miles - 12 easy pace, last mile at race pace. No problems, avg pace 10:26. Caught up on Master Chef and some of Million Dollar Listing. I love Bravo - it's the only thing I miss about not having cable!

Total: 23 miles

I think I've finally worn out my last pair of originally PureFlows. I'm so, so, so sad.

Next week.....
Monday: XT
Tuesday: 3-4 easy
Wednesday: Long - 14 with 5@race pace
Thursday: rest
Friday: 6 mi, XT
Saturday: Rest
Sunday: 5 Tempo

On Saturday, #1 ran the OC Champs Invitational. For her first varsity experience, her team ran the sweepstakes race. Did you know sweepstakes mean "super duper fast"? Surprise!

She finished in 20:03 - her second fastest time yet. Her PR is from a month ago, on a flat course, in cool weather. This was a hilly course on a warm day.

It was an interesting experience - moving from the freshman/sophomore races up to a varsity sweepstakes race means that her previously impressive placing was no longer... well, it was just not great in the field she raced against. It was - for her - a great race individually. It's a much more strategic race when those kids are involved - so it'll be fun to see how she picks up on this, if she takes the coaching from her teammates, and what she does with it.

We had to be at the park so, so early (6:15, what!).... the moon was up, but the sun wasn't..

We spent a few hours hiking around...

this is the hill in mile 1 that they had to run up. NO THANKS.

then playing on the playground by the start line. Personal request to OC XC planners - all start lines should be playground adjacent.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Friday Five

1. Something that I should mention, related to yesterday's post, is that the point of the blog post, as I read it, is that Matt Walsh is a jerkface. One thing that I don't need is a guy running his yapper in defense of my choices.

For realsies, though, I don't begrudge anyone else their decision to stay at home or work - I am okay at playing this game with school-age kids, but I would have LOST my mind with smaller kids. The good thing about this gig, though, is I really like cooking and baking and I get to do a lot of that? It's just not as simple as he says, that having a mom at home is the best, the end. I wish people would acknowledge that more often, and spend less time selling the SAHM bill.

2. The lack of doing any real stuff is why I haven't been blogging much. There's just not much to say, when I'm not scrambling around to fit in all of the mom stuff around work, and when I have no work stuff to complain about.

3. I've got the Marathon Itch. FINALLY! I've been hesitant to get too ambitious and register for anything when I'm juuuuuuust finding my running groove again, but now I am antsy to start 18 and 20 mile weekends again.

28 Reasons Why Training for a Marathon is the Worst Thing Ever.

Except that you are ravenous all the time so you’re not actually getting in shape. Yep.

4. #1 is running with Varsity for the first time this weekend! She's been sick the last few races - last weekend, she was not too far off of her PR, so I'm excited to see how she performs this weekend.

5. Unrelated to anything, THIS WOMAN GAVE BIRTH 88 DAYS AGO.

WTF, Kate.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

On being an accidental stay at home mom

Last week, I read this blog post from Matt Walsh, Jerkface, and thought it was fascinating. SAHM's, WHAT DO YOU DO?

I've been staying at home for just over 2 months now, and I have to say... It's a pretty easy gig. I'm probably exceptionally lucky for a few reasons:
1. It was financially sketchy, but not a crisis, for me to stay home right now. 
2. My kids are pretty self-sufficient - on purpose, we have made them that way.
3. My kids are older - at 14, 12, and 7, they can do a lot of things on their own.

So while my circumstances are maybe different than what Matt Walsh is using as reference, I'm still a SAHM*.... and since he asked, THIS is what I did Tuesday:

6-6:15 - wake up, roll out of bed, start coffee. H and #1 are already up - she has to be at school at 7, and he has to be at work at 7. He rides his bike, she usually rides mine (unless I'm feeling exceptionally kind and give her a ride). #2 is usually also awake, but she leaves later than they do. Yesterday, this part was REALLY exciting, because I almost started a fire when my coffee maker died a dramatic, smokey death.

6:30 - spend a billion minutes trying to drag Gab out of bed. Giving her the top bunk was a terrible plan, she is NOT a morning person. (Unless it's a weekend, then she's up at 6).

6:40-7:25 - try to get her to eat breakfast, but she's the slowest moving human ever.

7:25-7:55 - drag Gab through teeth brushing, hair styling, getting dressed, and shove her out of the house.

7:55-8:30 - walk Gab to school - usually she rides her scooter and I walk with her. #2 comes with us, and walks to school from there. I walk back home with the scooter.

8:30-8:45 - consider running outside. It's cool now, but I hate being hot, and the sun is out. Decide to just run and stop thinking about it so hard.

8:45-9:30 - quick 4 mile easy run around the neighborhood. Schedule was for 4 easy, and I just made loops until I hit that. Pace felt easy, and I avoided checking the Garmin, but it was negative splits, so that was exciting. Wheeee.

9:30-10 - think about how much I want coffee RIGHT NOW, eat some breakfast, drink chocolate milk - a poor substitute :(.

10-10:45 - check Amazon for replacement coffee makers. Consider my options, debate if the potential savings is worth waiting for. Decide I must stop at Target to buy a replacement, because I will surely perish without it for 24 hours.

10:45-11:30 - read blogs, dick around on twitter/fb/etc. Find reviews of an Evan Dando show last weekend. Think about applying for Amazing Race, and decide that would be CRAZY....

11:30-12 - Consider lunch options. I'm feeling lazy (more than usual...), and kind of want to just toss some chicken nuggets in the oven. Briefly consider going out to Souplantation for lunch. Decide I'm not quite that lazy, and make eggs instead - egg whites, ham, a ton of spinach, some cheddar cheese, and then drown all that isht in salsa verde. I've been eating this for weeks.

12-12:05 - Complain via text to the H that I wish I had coffee RIGHT NOW. Realize I'm being ridiculous because I am, in fact, doing absolutely nothing, and could just go get some. Then immediately realize that I'm too lazy....

12:05-2 - play around on the internet, googling info on #1's XC meet this weekend. Watch TV. Deadliest Catch on Netflix streaming, then the end of an episode of Party of Five on Amazon Plus. Get half-way through before I have to pick up Gabby.

2-2:45 - pick up Gab at school, then head to Target to pick out a new coffee maker. THANK GOD. She's also being super adorable, so I buy her a slushie. I'm so nice to her.

2:45-3:15 - head to #2's school and wait for her. When she shows up at the car, ask how school was. "Fine." What'd you do? "I don't know. Nothing." She DOES spill that she was invited to a Halloween party, so that's exciting - she's had a little bit of a rough transition to middle school this year, and her BFF moved away a few weeks ago, so I'm really glad to see her excited about something.

3:15-5 - get Gab started on homework - 2 math worksheets and reading. Thankfully, this math I can still do, but they use weird words and terminology. I'm not a fan - it is just overly complicated. Look over #2's homework assignments - her teachers post everything online, so I make sure to review it every day, and watch her do it. Otherwise, she will be mysterious and sneaky and not actually do it. This is probably the most exhausting part of my day - chasing down 7th grade homework. Review her grades, and get irritated that she's not turning things in. She's so dang smart and is sabotaging herself. She will never, ever be ungrounded this school year... The H shows up at home around 4:15ish. Says he wants to run, and then kind of hangs out until...

5-5:20 - #1 calls and asks to be picked up from cross country practice. The H is really nosey and rides with me so he can ask her a million questions. She was doing 400's - they got through 6, I think?, at an 80sec pace. Laugh inside at the idea of trying that. I would die dead.

5:20-6:30 - H finally goes to run. I make dinner - grilled pork chops, baked potatoes, grilled asparagus. It's delicious.

6:30-8 - watch tv. I watch a lot of tv.

8-8:45 - make lunches for the next day, make more coffee for me (I drink a LOT of coffee), clean up the kitchen.

8:45-9 - convince kids to get to bed.

9-10:30 - watch tv, some more. It's my expertise.

The great thing is, I have every morning free, from 8:30-2 (or 1 if Gab is getting out of school early). Sometimes I cross train, sometimes go grocery shopping, sometimes... nothing at all. It's pretty great.

Living the dream....

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

When one turns 7, obviously the first order of business is to start (finally) losing teeth....

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Half training, week 3 - PFTW

First, Becka ran ONE HUNDRED MILES this weekend.


That's CRAZY. I can't wait for the recap.

Last week....

Monday: XT
Tank Top Arms, Core

Tuesday: Arms?
Ages ago, the passenger window in my van stopped working. I would always say that it wasn't that big of a deal (until it was really hot in the summer and I wished I could roll it down, because -ahem- the AC also doesn't work), because at least it was UP and not down.

And then, about a month ago, it ROLLED DOWN, all by itself. And wouldn't go back up.

So for a few weeks, it was fine, because our weather is nice, and since I'm not commuting, I don't drive too often.

But then there was finally rain in our forecast last week, so.... we googled the problem, purchased a part (a new motor for the windows), and did this...

And now it works, and I fixed it just in time to NOT soak the inside of my van. It was fairly easy - definitely easy enough that I feel dumb for waiting so long to do it :D. Anyway, my arms were EXHAUSTED after doing this, so I called it cross training, lol.

Wednesday: Tempo
5 miles, 3 at tempo. Goal pace was 9:25-9:11, actual 9:12, 9:22, 8:54. It felt hard, but only REALLY hard the last 400m or so. Overall pace 9:39.

Thursday: XT
Arms, core, and yoga. #1 had an after-school race - her first league meet of the season. It was a tough course, pretty hilly, and she has been struggling to kick a nasty cold. AND YET, she finished 4th place in the freshman/sophomore race, first for her school, at 20:08. Super powers, maybe?

While I certainly enjoy watching the races, these events are draining - they last FOREVER. FOREVER. This one was not so bad, because there were only 6 races I think, but they were 30 minutes apart, so it just goes on and on. At least it was pretty?

It's FALL. See?

Friday: Rest!
It was Gab's birthday, so I spent hours making a BRIGHT-ASS purple cake with neon pink frosting. I have no idea what came over me, but it was ridiculous.

Saturday: Easy
6 miles strides - did this one on the treadmill, and ran fast-ish pace during commercials. Overall pace 9:55.

Sunday: Long
10 miles - I ran a local route, with the first half on some hilly trails, and second half on roads (well, sidewalks). H came with me, and we had a lovely run. AND, it was faaaast (for me!). Average pace was 10:13 - the last time we did this route, my average pace was 10:54. What.

Total: 21 miles

So, I'm intrigued that I really am not running a ton of mileage, but I'm getting some pretty drastic improvements in pace over the last month or so. Maybe there really is something to blah blah strength training...

Next week.....

Monday: XT
Tuesday: Easy 4
Wednesday: Long (13)
Thursday: XT
Friday: 6 with 4 at race pace
Saturday: XT? Easy run? #1 has a race, lord knows how long that will take me out....
Sunday: Rest!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Half Training Week 2 - PFTW

Last week...

Monday - easy 2
Run/Walk with #2. We did an easy 2:1 run/walk ratio, trying to teach her to paaace herself. She's a great sprinter, but then blows up early. She had a lot of smack to talk during the early intervals. By the last one, she was begging to walk. HAHAHAHA.

Tuesday - easy 5
Nothing exciting. Easy 5 miles with random strides.

Wednesday - cross training
Tank Top Arms, core, vinyasa flow yoga.

Thursday - long run
Weather was cool and overcast - easy 8 miles outside, steady pace with slight negative splits.

Friday - cross training
Repeat of Wednesday.

Saturday - rest
Spent the day out with the family.

Sunday - speeeeed
3x1600. Gross. Goal pace was 8:45-9, actual was 9:02, 8:56, 8:49. Challenging, but not the worst ever.

Total: 21 miles.

21 miles seems to be my happy spot - I feel fine, nothing feels like it needs extra recovery, all of the runs were manageable, I'm not dying of runger. So far, the Jerk Shin has behaved nicely, but I'm assuming it will resume its jerkiness as I add miles.

Someone asked last week about what training plan I'm using - I built my own based partially on the Train Like a Mother book, and Run Less, Run Faster. I don't like running 5 times a week, like TLAM suggests, but I'm willing to give it a shot to see how it works as the weeks progress. If they're easy miles, it could be fine - especially since I have plenty of free time. BUT, I have supplemented my fall/winter schedule with a few shorter distance races, so I've pulled some of the speed workouts from RLRF to keep building speed - I just can't do the All Speed, All The Time RLRF program, it doesn't work for my janky legs. Eh. We'll see how it goes. The nice thing about making your own isht up, is you can change whatever you feel like changing.

This week, #1 races on Thursday instead of Saturday, so I may move things around. Or not. I don't know. OH, and also, Tuesday is OC Run Club night, so that may be shifting things around, too. I'll figure it out as I go, I guess....

Monday: easy 2-3 miles, XT
Tuesday: tempo (ick), 5 miles
Wednesday: XT
Thursday: 6 miles, easy
Friday: XT
Saturday: Long - 10 miles
Sunday: rest


On Saturday, we headed up to Yucaipa for the Yucaipa Cross Country Invitational.

The course has one "nice hill" at the end of the first mile....

which #1 used to pass everyone. She started up the hill in 6th or 7th, from what we could see. She crested in 2nd.

Making her move (can you find her?)

I guess this is what it looks like to be FAST? I don't know, it hardly looks like she's working hard.

She was able to maintain that lead, and finished in 2nd place in the freshman/sophomore Gold division race.

It's so ugly where we live. Dumb hills and mountains.


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