Sunday, August 30, 2009

My First Twenty Miler

(of this training season, anyway)
Yes, I had the big 20 miler on my training schedule. But, after having a super stressful week with long work hours, little sleep and little to no running, I was not counting on getting all twenty miles in. I was afraid that my cardio would get the best of me or that my IT band pain in one or both knees would rear it's ugly head and force me to cut my run short. I expressed all of these concerns in a frantic, needing-to-vent phone call to my friend Veronica. She assured me that my previous months of training have been strong, I worked hard to build a good base and one or two weeks of low mileage wouldn't totally upset a weekend long run. I had my doubts, but performed all of my pre-long-run rituals anyway (light pasta dinner, lots of hydrating on Friday, early to bed with heating pad on hamstrings.)
I set my alarm for 3:00 am to have time for my PowerBar breakfast, two drink servings of Emergen-C and loaded in the car for the 35 minute drive out to Fishhawk. I met up with Veronica and we started our run in the wee dark hours of the morning, donned with headlamps and reflective vests. The first 9-10 miles went along pretty well. Veronica and I chatted about everything, as we normally do on these runs. I think that's what makes them so therapeutic! We kept our pace nice and SLOW, as suggested by "the coaching manual" due to the heat, humidity and the fact that we were running twenty miles. If we had anything left towards the end, that's when I vowed to pick up the pace.
Another runner, Sunita, met us at mile 9 for her first 10 miler. She's been working to build up her mileage and likes the Galloway (run/walk) method as much as we do (smart woman!) When Sunita joined us, she continued the conversation chatter and enlightened us on many topics to keep us distracted. After about 10 miles or so, my conversations skills drastically reduce so it was nice to have someone along to keep it going and distract us from our misery!
At mile 18, Veronica was NOT feeling well and made the wise decision to take more walk breaks and run for shorter periods of time. My legs were hurting, feeling stiff, but that's expected. At this point, I was feeling pretty strong and had no knee/it band pain. I wanted to keep running and finish as strong as I was feeling. By this time, the sun was out and it was HOT! All the more reason to get this run over with as soon as possible! So, for the last two miles, I picked up the running pace (negative splits), walked less and was able to run/sprint it in. Sunita was such a trooper! Instead of doing her planned 10 miler, she hung with me for the last two miles and turned her run into an 11 miler! Veronica came in shortly after us, chugged the bottle of Gatorade I had waiting for her and stated, "I had twenty miles on my plate and I planned to finish it!" Stubborn much? :)
It was a good morning for me! After the run, I joined the rest of the running group at Panera for a yummy breakfast sandwich and coffee (I was starving!). The rest of the day involved spending some family time with my two favorite guys. Then, James and I went over to a friend's house for some more playtime and fun. That evening, Will and I grilled out steaks, opened a nice bottle of red and wound down with the movie, The Soloist. All in all, a productive, wonderful way to spend my Saturday!
How was yours?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Bear With Me, Folks...

I'm going to apologize now for being a bad blogger and not having any cute pictures of James to post or any cute stories from our week together. My husband has been out of town for various business trips and I'm starting full-time teaching in the classroom this school year and James' preschool has been closed for a couple of days last week due to Staff Training and I'm still training for this da#m marathon! Needless to say, I've had LOTS on my plate over the past couple of weeks.
Hopefully, once we get back into the swing of things and resume a somewhat normal schedule, I'll be able to post as usual! Good news, James has been wonderful over the past couple of weeks. He's had long days at daycare, been shuffled from babysitter to gym daycare, stayed with friends and has just "gone with the flow" each and every time! My training runs are getting longer and longer. So far, no major injuries to report! Since it is so stinking hot and humid here as soon as the sun comes up, I start my long runs at 4:30 in the morning. When I'm running alone, it really stinks to start out and run for two hours in the dark, but it beats running in 90 degree heat with 100% humidity. Oh well.
I still continue to use the Galloway method (run/walk) during my runs. Some people out there in bloggy land feel that this is "cheating." They feel that running is an endurance sport and that walking is not. I propose that they ask any woman who has completed the Breast Cancer 3 day walk about their endurance. While it's true that walking doesn't require as much endurance as running, there is still value in running (or walking) great distances and taking a few walk breaks throughout to work/stretch different muscles and promote muscles recovery verses muscle damage. For instance, if you are running a marathon (or half) and have to walk part of it or get injured and have to walk towards the end, is this called "cheating?" Absolutely NOT! As an injury-prone "runner", I find the Galloway method very helpful in injury prevention. And, I'm a strong believer in "Plan your Work and Work your Plan." Or, "Plan your Run and Run your Plan." Okay, I'm off my soap box.
I hope all of you out there in bloggy land have a wonderful week. I wish I could come up with some witty and clever comments about recent events and ongoings in my life, but I don't have it in me right now. I'm all about Back to School Welcome Letters, Behavior Logs and lesson plans...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

One Little Monkey......

(you guessed it) Jumping on the Bed!
Since Will has been gone all week (business trip), it's been just James and I in the evenings. Tonight, instead of our usual books before bedtime routine, I let him indulge in some pre-bedtime jumping on mommy and daddy's bed. (bad mommy, I know!) But, it was so much fun, I had to grab the camera and try to capture some Kodak moments.This has been such a busy week for us. First, James started back to preschool full-time on Monday. I was worried about how he would adjust to staying there all day, eating lunch and napping there, since he wasn't there full-time this summer. Don't know why I was worried! He didn't seem to miss a beat. He went down easily for naps (and stayed down!) and was totally happy when I dropped him off and picked him up. I'm so glad to have a child who just "goes with the flow" and doesn't have separation issues. Makes for a very happy mommy!
This was all good news for me, because I am going back to teaching full-time this year. This past week, I've been moving back into my classroom, unpacking boxes upon boxes of personal teaching resources and classroom library books. I am really, really, really excited about teaching again. I truly enjoyed my time at home with James, but he is ready for school (preschool, that is) and so am I!
On to more bedtime jumping.....


As you can see, James loved his new bedtime routine. And, it wasn't too hard to settle him back down before bedtime (thank goodness!)
I hope you all are having a great week and getting ready for the weekend!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Jump Around, Jump Around....

One thing my little boy LOVES to do is JUMP! He loves to jump onto things, he loves to jump over things and he loves to jump off of things. Oh, the wonderful world of jumping!

The other day, I walked into his room to see this scene......

He continued this jumping off the bed routine for well over ten minutes. He was absolutely worn out afterwards! If you turn the sound up, you can hear him asking ME if I'm "okay" after HE jumps off the bed. His scruffy little voice is so cute! He was also doing a 1, 2, 3 countdown before every jump, but got a little camera shy when I walked in.