IT Band Injury & Marathon Deferral

I’m officially injured.

This injury isn’t something that just spontaneously happened one day, it’s been coming for a while. During training for Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio I was doing some pretty intense speed training (intense at least for me). With that speed work came some tight and achey knees. I didn’t think much about it and just chalked it up to a new training routine and a tough training cycle.

I was wavering on whether I should run a spring marathon because of the concern about my knees, I was almost committed to no spring marathon until…

…Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio happened. I PRed (1:48) and it seemed that my pie-in-the-sky goal of qualifying for Boston was actually attainable sooner than I thought. I was on an emotional high and I went home and immediately registered for The Woodlands Marathon. Training began.

Just after Christmas on an 18 mile long run my knees were exceptionally stiff. I just ignored them and hoped they would loosen up some as the miles progressed. At mile 4 all of a sudden, sharp pain went through my left knee and brought me to a stand still. I walked for 20 yards or so hoping it was just a tweak but as soon as I started running again it came back. At that point I turned around and walked back home. Run cancelled. Something was very wrong.

I wasn’t sure what the injury was but I knew I couldn’t run with it hurting like that so I took three days off, went on a test run and made it a mile before the pain came back. Three days later I tried another run and made it three miles but the pain came back. The week after I tried running more with mild success but I have’t been on a pain free run since that fateful failed 18 miler.

After much googling I decided with certainty that it was my IT band.

This injury caught me off guard but I wasn’t surprised. I’ve been neglecting my body for a while. Every time I saw “cross train” or “strength train”on a training plan I ignored it. My laziness got the best of me.

Pair that with shoes that I now realize are not the right choice for my feet and injury was a given.

Weak hip muscles doing speed work on a canted road in non-ideal shoes? Yeah. Genius.

I guess the big question here is, what am I doing about it?

Most importantly, I’m not running. At all. Last week, I did a little test run in some of my old shoes to see if they helped (they did) but I haven’t run since then. Instead I’m doing every other exercise at the gym that I failed to do before. Elliptical. Rower. Spin. Swimming. Yoga. If it’s offered at the Y and (and doesn’t aggervate my IT band) that’s what I’m doing. At least an hour everyday.

I’ve also added strength training to my routine. I’m doing the Strong Lifts program but slightly modified to fit my schedule and abilities. Lifting twice a week.

Stronglifts

The days I don’t do Strong Lifts, I use a mini band to do hip exercises.

I also bought a new pair of my old type of shoes (Mizuno Wave Creation). It was almost time for a new pair of shoes anyway and I’ve never been happy with the Wave Riders. The Wave Riders are great shoes but they just aren’t the right fit for me and I’ve had problems since I switched to them. I’ve had success with the Wave Creation in the past so they’re a safe bet when I return to running during the healing period.

Foam rolling. Every day. Every single day.

All this cross training and weight lifting have me feeling stronger than I’ve ever felt – like I do at peak marathon training which is FANTASTIC.

Unfortunately, I’m not in a good place to run a marathon. Even if I could finish it wouldn’t be a smart move, so I’ll be deferring my marathon entry. I’m sad and disappointed but I know I’ll come back from this as a much stronger and much smarter runner and I’m confident that this is the best decision for me and my body.

Lesson learned.

A Day in the Life {January 22, 2015}

A glimpse into my day. I’m stay-at-home-mom with a 3.5 year old daughter and a 19 month old son. My husband and I are currently on day 21 of the Whole 30 challenge and we are homeschooling my daughter’s preschool. This is my fourth Day in the Life post.

{You can read the first three here, here and here.}

Disclaimer: This is long but I want to document as much detail as I can for my own enjoyment later.

5:30 AM – I hear Alvy over the baby monitor talking to himself. I throw the covers off my legs and roll out of bed. On my way up to his room I stop by the kitchen to turn on the coffee pot. I pick him up, change his diaper, get him dressed and then we both sit down in the glider so he can nurse. Yes, I’m still nursing him.

6:00 AM – We go downstairs, I pour my coffee and turn on the TV and hunt down Alvy’s hearing aids. We both sit on the couch and watch WordWorld while I drink my coffee. I look at our meal plan and make a grocery list for a trip to the grocery store later in the morning.

6:10 AM – Jason leaves for work.

6:45 AM – I get off the couch and start breakfast. I’m having bacon, eggs, sweet potato hash browns and sliced apple. The kids are having french toast, bacon and sliced apple

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7:00 AM – Evie wakes up and stumbles into the den.

7:30 AM – I turn off the TV and the kids and I sit down to breakfast.

7:45 AM – I put in a load of laundry, Evie goes to get dressed, I clean the kitchen, get myself dressed and make the bed.

8:30 AM – We leave for the grocery store. The kids are rowdy and the trip is somewhat stressful. It started off well but quickly deteriorated to this.

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…and this.

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Thankfully I went in with a good list and the store was relatively empty.

9:30 AM – We get back from the grocery store. I start Evie on her schoolwork while I unpack groceries and put in a load of diapers. Then I sit down with her. She does pages from her workbook (Complete Book of Grade K) and we read a Bob Book (Bob Book, Set 1:Book 11). Alvy plays with his ABC puzzle and his wooden farm blocks.

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10:15 AM – Alvy becomes unruly. He’s yelling, throwing puzzle pieces and generally being disruptive so I “pause” school to lay Alvy down for a nap. Evie plays on her Leap Pad quietly downstairs while I nurse Alvy.

10:45 AM – I lay Alvy down in his crib. He is extremely fussy and refuses to settle himself. Screaming ensues. He’s been cutting a tooth the last few days so I give him some Tylenol hoping that will help. Evie and I finish school then I fold the laundry that I washed earlier in the day.

11:15 AM – Alvy is still screaming so I go upstairs to rescue him. I bring him down and hold him with one arm while I make lunch with the other.

11:30 AM – We sit down for lunch. The kids have almond butter and honey sandwiches, apple slices and some cheese and I have a huge taco salad (lettuce, avocado, tomato and taco meat).

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11:45 AM – I take Alvy back upstairs for nap attempt #2. We read one of his favorite ABC books and I put him back in his crib. He cries for just a minute then starts to settle himself down. Phew!

Evie makes a loud noise playing downstairs and he starts crying again.

Just. Go. To. Sleep.

He’s over tired and mad. Our little boy has quite the temper.

Just as he settles the doorbell rings, it’s the mailman with a package. Growl. Once again he starts crying.  As I pass through the den I notice Evie has dug out about a dozen milk bones from the pantry and is feeding Baxter on the rug. Earlier in the day I would have told her to stop but after listening to Alvy scream for an hour I really don’t care.

12:30- He FINALLY lays himself down. FINALLY. I sneak out of his room and start working on the mountain of laundry that needs to be folded. Evie follows me into our bedroom and sits on the bed and helps me fold and plays word games on the tablet.

1:30 PM – Laundry is folded and put away. I change into my workout clothes and dig out one of my old pairs of running shoes. I’ve been having some IT band problems lately and I have suspect it’s an issue with my shoes. So today for my workout I’m going back to my old Mizuno Wave Creation 13s to see if they make a difference in my band tightness. I spend a few minutes fiddling with the laces, then when I am satisfied with how they feel on my feet I go into the kitchen to prep dinner.

2:00 PM – My chores are finished so Evie and I sit down and at the kitchen table to play with her Legos. We work on building a sports car from a little kit. I also fold the diapers.

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2:55 PM – Alvy wakes up from his nap in a much better mood.

3:15 PM – We leave to run errands, go to the chiropractor and go to the Y. I run 3 miles, do Strong Lifts Day A (squats, bench press, inverted row, pushups and reverse crunches) and let the kids run around the indoor track. I was pleased with my shoe experiment. On Tuesday I was only able to run a mile and a half so the shoes made a difference. IT band was still tight though.

6:00 PM – We finally make it back home. Time to start dinner. The kids play quietly for a while but then start to pester me in the kitchen so I turn the TV on and let them watch a couple episodes of Signing Time while we wait for Jason to get home.

7:15 PM – Jason gets home and we immediately sit down to dinner. Pecan Crusted Salmon, Roasted Carrots and Beets and Shredded Brussels Sprouts.

7:40 PM – Jason cleans the kitchen and I go take a quick shower.

8:10 PM – We herd the kids upstairs. It’s time for bed. Alvy is obviously ready for sleep telling everyone, “ni-ni” as we walk up the stairs. Evie and Alvy read two books together and then go their separate ways. I take Alvy and nurse him then lay him down. Jason takes Evie to her room, reads her two books and then they cuddle for 5 minutes before he goes downstairs.

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8:35 PM – Alvy is almost asleep in my arms so I lay him down in his crib. He fusses for about two seconds rolls over and goes to sleep. I sit in the glider for a few minutes to make sure he’s asleep before I try to leave. As I’m sitting there I hear Evie crying in her room.

I walk into her room and she tells me she’s mad because dad won’t let her sleep in our room. I explain to her that she needs to sleep in her own room first and she can come to our room in the night if she wants. She reluctantly agrees and I promise to go check on her.

I go downstairs and make a cup of hot tea.

8:55 PM – Back upstairs to check on Evie. She’s already asleep. Jason and I sit on the couch and watch TV while I drink my tea. This is literally the first time I’ve sat still since 6:30 this morning.

9:35 PM – We go to bed.

THE END.

Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio Half Recap

What a whirlwind few weeks we’ve had around here! One Saturday morning, a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving, we were sitting around the kitchen while I made breakfast. Evie was whining, Alvy was crying, Jason had his head buried in the computer and I was trying my best to ignore all of them so that I didn’t overcook our eggs. Just when I was about to snap, Jason, who had been extremely quiet all morning, handed me a sheet of paper. Airline tickets to for us all to go to San Juan. We were going on vacation! In two weeks! Ack!

Puerto Rico

We had a great time on the beach! It’s amazing what a week in the sand and sun can do for your morale. BUT this post isn’t titled Puerto Rico Vacation Recap so I’ll skip to the important part. We were to arrive home just 48 hours prior to the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio Half Marathon, which I’d been training for since September. Hmmmm. Interesting.

The end result? Apparently copious pina coladas and unlimited beach time are good for tapering because I ran a 5 minute PR! 1:48:33! Granted when I began this training cycle my first long run was 12 miles so I wasn’t training for distance, I was training for speed – which worked!

We ran this race in 2011. Since then the course has changed so I was unfamiliar with the route. On Saturday morning before we left our house for San Antonio I looked at the route online and printed out our confirmation sheets. When I grabbed the confirmation sheets off the printer I saw my corral. 4?!?! I felt my heart skip a beat.

Do they have the right person? Me? 4? Are they sure?

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The last time we ran this race I was in corral 13. Corral 4 is….not 13. I wasn’t nervous about the race at all until then. Then I started second guessing my pina coladas and every other ounce of my training. Did I run enough intervals? Would my feet give me problems? Should I back off a corral or two?

No. You trained to run a 1:49, your corral is for a 1:49. Do not let the corral intimidate you. Do not be afraid of the pain. Don’t be a wuss. Put on your big girl panties and go do it.

I didn’t really have much of a plan, just stick as close to an 8:00 minute mile as I could.

Right off the start line I could tell it was going to be a great day. My legs felt fresh, running was easy. The weather was perfect for racing (low 50s). I was keeping a nice pace and it wasn’t difficult at all. I was focusing on my pace and my form and those first few miles flew by. I was so focused that I ran right past the Alamo and never even saw it.

Mile 1 – 8:08
Mile 2 – 7:44
Mile 3 – 7:59
Mile 4 – 8:09
Mile 5 – 8:04

HILLS. HOLY HILLS. Living in Houston I forget that hills exist. The course was relatively flat but I think the event planners found every single hill in San Antonio. There’s nothing like that here shy of an overpass and I just can’t train for them. They kicked my butt and are the reason that I’m still sore. I haven’t been sore from a run in YEARS.

Elevation

Mile 6 – 8:41
Mile 7 – 8:33

I recovered from the hills…kind of.  Thighs felt a little wobbly but I had no joint pain, no cramping, no big cause for concern.

Mile 8 – 8:04
Mile 9 – 7:55
Mile 10 – 7:50
Mile 11 – 8:11

I started doing math in my head. If I can keep this pace for two more miles……then I hit a wall.

Almost instantly things became exceptionally hard. Around the same time I found myself in hole in the pack, practically running alone. It was me and two male runners both of whom were just a couple of paces in front of me.

Male runner #1 turns his head towards me and says, “You go girl. You got this!” He obviously could tell I was beginning to struggle.

Male runner #2 musters his best high-pitch female voice and says, “Thank you. I think I’ll be just fine.”

Male runner #1 says, “Not you. Her.”

I started giggling. Thanks guys. I needed that.

Runners are awesome.

By mile 12 I was completely spent. My legs were moving but I couldn’t feel them. My energy was completely drained and I really had nothing left to give the course. I did the best I could to maintain my pace to the finish. When I saw the finish line up ahead I started crying simply because I was almost done.

Mile 12 – 8:28
Mile 13 – 8:36

I crossed the finish line and I could no longer stand. Two very nice volunteers held me up while I convinced my legs that they really needed to walk back to the hotel.

I left San Antonio with absolutely no regrets. I gave that race every bit I had, all my energy both physical and mental was left there on the course. I can say for certain that I could not have run a better race.

Standings

My next goal is a big one. According to McMillan to qualify for Boston I need to be able to run a 1:44 half. Time to shave off 4 minutes!

The Run Streak Ends!

Beach RunAfter 176 days and 690 miles the run streak has come to an end. It didn’t end due to injury or illness but instead I chose to bring it to an end on my own terms.

I started the streak as a way to motivate myself to run after a tough marathon training cycle and it evolved to become part of a larger challenge to help my husband lose weight. Coincidentally, he gave up alcohol to aid his weight loss quest the same day I started my run streak. This led to a little friendly bet between the two of us {read about it here}.

On Saturday he reached his goal weight (he lost 30 pounds) and cracked open a beer. Since we started our streaks together it only made sense to end them together.  I put my shoes in the closet and for the first time in nearly six months I took a day off. Actually, I took two days off. It felt odd.

Run Streak Collage

I didn’t need it to motivate me anymore. I am registered for the Rock n Roll San Antonio Half on December 7th. My training plan calls for six days of running a week which includes speed work, pace runs and progression long runs. After three weeks of training while maintaining the run streak my legs were exhausted and after every run felt like wet noodles. I need that day of rest. It was time for the streak to go.

Time Out Run

I enjoyed the streak and had a hard time choosing to end it. It had me running on days I never would have laced up my shoes. I ran in a driving thunderstorm. I ran during a week long battle with Hand Foot & Mouth disease {day 81, I’ll never forget you}. I ran through a stomach bug. I ran on trips. I ran on the beach. I ran in golf clothes. One day I forgot to run and practically sprinted around my mile loop at 10 PM. I ran every single day for the better part of six months. Every. Single. Day. At least a mile.

My run streak taught me a lot about running on tired legs and it truly made me a stronger and much faster runner. I enjoyed it so much I intend on making it an annual event. After the Woodlands Marathon next spring I fully intend on streaking again.

How did our bet end? A draw.

Hottest Half Recap

recap imageI understand it’s been six weeks since I ran the Hottest Half and my recap window has long since past but I do want to talk a bit about this race. I’ve wanted to run this race for quite some time but the timing never seemed to work out. A few weeks prior to the event I finally decided I was going to do it and I spent all of three weeks training.

The race was August 24. The high for that day was 100 degrees F but the race was run early in the morning so the temperature at the start was only about 80.

This was a small race, only around 1,000 participants which started and ended in the design district just west of downtown Dallas. The course went through the flood plain along the Trinity River which had very few trees and only partial shade. I don’t normally race wearing a shirt but for this particular race I chose to wear a very sheer Nike tank because I wanted to keep the sun off my body. I wore sunglasses (and I took a hat but I never put it on) and my Enduracool towel. Before the race began I made sure the towel was wet and I wore it tied around my neck like scarf. At every water stop I took two cups of water. One to drink and one to pour over my towel to keep it wet. This strategy worked well and I never had a problem with the heat.

Begin rant.

I’m not sure I would run this race again just simply because the course included three miles of running off road (miles 8, 9 & 10). This wasn’t a nice stretch of gravel either it was on a service road that was peppered in rocks the size of golf balls. Since no one wanted to risk a twisted ankle it forced everyone onto a muddy shoulder, set on an incline, in a single file line. This reason alone would keep me from running this race again.

But unfortunately, I’ve got a second reason I don’t want to run this race again. The distance. It is a given that a runner is never going to be able to run the shortest possible route in a race. I get this. I understand that races are measured for the race distance to be the shortest possible route and most runners will run further. I get that. I don’t expect my Garmin to tell me I ran exactly 13.1 miles. I am familiar with the USA Track & Field requirements for measuring a course. I know all these things. I also understand USATF states that GPS devices always measure long and that their accuracy can be questionable due to tall buildings or trees.

When I ran the Woodlands Marathon earlier this year my Garmin told me I ran 26.46 miles. Somehow over the course I picked up a quarter mile by not taking the shortest possible route. I was okay with this. It seemed reasonable. In the Houston half I ran a tenth (.10) of a mile too far, again reasonable.

In the Hottest Half I ran a full half mile too far. A HALF MILE. I just don’t see how I can only pick up a quarter mile in a full marathon but double that in only half that distance, especially in a race this small where I didn’t have to dodge other runners every time I went around a corner.

Let me also clarify that this wasn’t an issue with my watch. This race took place in a flood area where there are no trees and tall buildings to interfere with the GPS and I know it wasn’t just my watch that recorded this discrepancy. Since I ran without headphones I could hear all the other GPS watches chiming every mile within just a few seconds of mine. It wasn’t just me.

Along with that, the mile markers along the course weren’t anywhere near where they should have been. The early mile markers were almost a full quarter mile off and the later ones weren’t anywhere close. Mile marker 12 was only a half mile from the finish line. These two factors left me not trusting the course measurement. I’m sure the race organizers will say the course was measured correctly and I have no way to prove them wrong but what I can tell them is no runner, especially one trying to PR, wants to be forced to run an extra half mile over a half marathon distance – it’s an issue with the course. For that reason, I won’t be running Hottest Half again.

Rant over.

Post Race PhotoSomehow I still managed to PR with a 1:54:00 so it’s not all bad.

Overall: 108/1197
Gender 27/631
Age group: 9/127

{Splits}

Mile 1 – 8:39
Mile 2 – 8:11
Mile 3 – 8:12
Mile 4 – 8:04
Mile 5 – 8:10
Mile 6 – 8:07
Mile 8 – 8:30
Mile 9 – 8:30
Mile 10 – 8:40
Mile 11 – 8:19
Mile 12 – 8:26
Mile 13 – 8:38

I’m glad I finally got to run this race, it’d been on my radar for a while. I was nervous about the “hottest” part of the Hottest Half but that didn’t turn out to be a problem at all. We had fun playing in Dallas as a family for a couple of days – we went to all our favorite places, ate at all our favorite restaurants and reminisced about our life there. I’d like to make a race in Dallas an annual event, maybe I’ll try to run Big D Half in April. Big D is always a favorite!

A Day in the Life {September 15, 2014}

It’s been a while since I did a day in the life post and now that Alvy is older I would like to document how my days are spent. My daughter, Evelyn is 3 years, 4 months old and my son, Alvy is 15 months. Today is a pretty typical Monday.

This post will be relatively long but I think this will be fun to go back and read later so I want to document as much detail as I can.

5:15 AM – Jason’s alarm goes off. I’ve been getting up with him lately because I like having a cup of coffee before the kids wake up. Evie slept with us last night and has her head glued into the crook of my arm, which is halfway asleep. Jason gets in the shower. I lay in bed and enjoy a sleeping kiddo cuddle until I hear him get out.

5:30 AM – Once he’s out of the shower I roll out of bed and no sooner than I walk into the kitchen to pour my coffee do I hear Alvy up in his room crying.

*headdesk*

So much for a quiet cup of coffee. I hurriedly pour my coffee, grab my tablet and head upstairs. I try to lay him back down but no dice. He’s awake. For the day. At 5:30AM. Bummer. I nurse him and we cuddle in the glider in his room and then he crawls out of my lap and begins playing.

6:00 AM – I sit down at my desk in the game room and write a MOMS Club email while Alvy plays. The email is long (about our upcoming monthly calendar) so it takes a while to write. I’m thankful he’s playing happily so I can concentrate.

7:00 AM – Alvy starts to get fussy so I assume he’s hungry. Before heading downstairs I change his diaper, get him dressed and lay Evie’s clothes out for the week in her room. Downstairs we go.

7:15 AM – As I’m making breakfast Evie wanders in still half asleep. She helps me out by cracking eggs as I make tortillas. We’re having egg and cheese breakfast tacos.

8:00 AM – Breakfast is over. I spend about an hour cleaning up after breakfast and doing my morning chores (unloading the dishwasher, making the bed, feeding our pets, putting in a load of laundry, picking up random toys). Evie goes upstairs to get dressed. The kids play quietly some inside and some outside while I watch through the window. The weather has been so nice the last few days they’ve been eating up the outside time. I want them to burn some energy because I need to go to the grocery store and I don’t want them squirming in the shopping cart.

9:00 AM – I tell Evie that we need to go to the grocery store and she has 5 minutes to finish playing. She is having so much fun in the backyard she doesn’t want to leave. Bribery follows. I may promised her a donut. 30 minutes later everyone is in the car.

On the way to the store we stop by the chiropractor for an adjustment and then finally make it to the grocery store around 10.

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I spy pie pumpkins!

Grocery shopping goes off without a hitch and almost $200 later we leave. It is a pretty high grocery bill for us but we were out of almost everything so I’m not too surprised. The cart was overflowing.

11:30 AM – We get home. I unload the car and start making lunch (a double batch of chicken nuggets for the freezer and sweet potato fries). The kids play in the backyard while I watch from the kitchen window as I cook and put away groceries.

Chicken nuggets.

Chicken nuggets.

Backyard fun!

Backyard fun!

12:30 PM – We sit down for lunch. By we I mean Alvy and I – Evie insists that she’s not hungry and refuses to join us. It’s not a battle I’m willing to fight right now so I let it go. Alvy inhales the nuggets and sweet potato fries and I eat leftover pizza.

1:00 PM – Alvy has a meltdown. Nap time. When I tell Evie is time to go upstairs for quiet time she informs me that she’s hungry. Of course. I give her some lunch and tell her to sit at the table and eat while I lay Alvy down for a nap. I sit down in the glider, nurse him then lay him in his crib. Though it’s time for his nap and he’s obviously tired sleep isn’t coming easy. I sit back down in the glider and wait for him to settle himself down. He cries in the crib. Cries turn in fuss and fuss turns into silence. After 45 minutes he finally lays himself down and falls asleep. At some point Evie wanders into her room and begins playing quietly. The whole time I’m hoping the dog doesn’t eat the chicken nuggets left on the table.

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Sleepy sleep little boy!

1:50 PM – I go downstairs put the chicken nuggets in the freezer, pick up after lunch and come back upstairs to find Evie.

2:00 PM – We start “school”. We’ve been doing school every weekday while Alvy naps. It’s challenging for Evie and it gives us some good one-on-one time. Today we do sight words, number writing, a reading lesson, practice counting to 30 and write the letter J.

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Writing numbers.

Sight words.

Sight words.

3:30 PM – School is over. We both go downstairs and I clean up from lunch, clean out the pantry, finish putting away the groceries and call I the audiologist (the tube on Alvy’s hearing aid is ripping in half). Evie practices using her scissors on our junk mail and leaves tiny little pieces of confetti all over the kitchen floor. Once I get all my mandatory chores done I continue to clean like a mad woman knowing my time my time is limited. I also change into my running clothes so I’m ready to go when the opportunity presents itself.

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Clean pantry!

4:30 PM – Alvy wakes up. I change his diaper, feed him a snack and let him play for a few minutes. I am about to put the kids in the stroller for my run but I hang around just long enough to find out that Jason was leaving work. Immediately I decided to postpone my run until he got home so I didn’t have to push the stroller.

5:15 PM – Jason gets home and begins playing outside with the kids. I talk to him for a few minutes then leave for a 5 mile run. After about a half mile I realize how late we were going to eat dinner and instead decide to shorten it to 3 miles in exchange for more family time. Didn’t look at my watch at all just ran a leisurely pace. My legs felt reluctant but the weather was nice so I was a happy girl.

Daddy's home!

Daddy’s home!

I love being outside!

I love being outside!

I love being outside too!

I love being outside too!

5:50 PM – I get back from my run and Jason informs me that I left the door to our upright freezer in the garage open when I put the shrimp away after my grocery trip. All the food inside has thawed and ruined. At first I was mad at myself but most of the food in there was very old and probably needed to be thrown out anyway. Still kind of a bummer. I guess I know what I’ll be doing tomorrow. I spend a few minutes outside cooling down.

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My run.

6:15 PM – I go inside, take a shower and start working on dinner. We’re having Huevos rancheros – fried eggs served over a tostada, covered in salsa and queso fresco. Served with refried black beans, country style potatoes and bacon.

7:10 PM – We all sit down to dinner. Jason and I talk a lot about his work and a little about my hair brained business ideas. Evie tells Jason about her day at school. She actually eats quite a bit of her dinner, something that only happens about once a week.

7:45 PM – Evie asks if she can be excused from the table and she had eaten relatively well so we let her. As soon as she leaves Alvy starts screaming, “ALL DONE! ALL DONE” (which sounds like Ahhhh da! Ahhh da!) and waving his hands in the all finished sign. The kids both go in the den to watch Mickey Mouse. This is the first time all day our television has been on. Jason and I continue to sit at the table and chat and enjoy some quiet time. Ahhhhh.

8:00 PM – We finally leave the table. I clean the kitchen and do my evening chores (make the coffee for tomorrow, program the dishwasher to run overnight, get the next load of laundry in the washer and pick up the house) and Jason goes outside to make a work phone call. The kids play.

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Dinner aftermath.

It's never too early for lessons on proper golf form. :-)

It’s never too early for lessons on proper golf form. 🙂

Dishwasher helper.

Dishwasher helper.

8:46 PM – I’m standing in the kitchen talking to Jason and Alvy walks over crying. That’s our cue that’s it’s time for bed. We all trudge upstairs to change the kids into pajamas. Once in his PJs Alvy gets a second wind and we all play in Evie’s room as a family.

9:15 PM – I take Alvy, literally kicking and screaming, into his room for bed. He was having such a good time playing with his daddy and sister that he didn’t want to stop but it was past time for bed. I rock him and nurse him until he’s calm.

9:30 PM – I lay Alvy down in his crib. He cries for about 3 seconds and immediately falls asleep. I sit in the glider for a few minutes to make sure he’s well settled before leaving the room.

9:45 PM – I walk downstairs and find Evie and Jason reading curious George and watching football. As soon as the book is finished Evie comes to cuddle with me on the couch. It’s time for both of us to go to bed. Lately, she hasn’t been sleeping well in her room so we’ve been letting her sleep with us. Jason stays up to watch the rest of the football game and she and I go to our bedroom. I move the pile of unfolded laundry off the bed and on to my dresser (I’ll deal with it tomorrow). She and I curl up in bed in a mommy/daughter cuddle and we both go to sleep.

Today was a pretty good day. I was in control all day, no epic meltodown, no tantrums, nothing I couldn’t handle. I can walk around with my head held high proud of the two, well behaved, little people I’m raising. Days like today, I feel like I’ve got this stay-at-home mom thing down – until tomorrow when the kids run me over like a Mack truck. {Two days later as I’m editing this, I can tell you that’s exactly what happened – oh well. You win some you loose some.}

One thing is for sure, I wouldn’t trade this time for anything.

The Hottest Half!

Hottest-Half-logo-2014-sI’ve always said that I like being half marathon ready. Meaning that I’m in good enough shape that I could hop into a half marathon with very little additional preparation. I’ve been in that place in my training for a while now and I’ve finally decided to pull the trigger.

I registered for the Hottest Half!

I officially have three weeks to get myself ready. Last night I crafted a three week training plan and am ready to get started!

Though this plan is only three weeks long it is by far the most technical plan I’ve ever undertaken. I’ve never actually tried to hit paces before during training, I’ve always just winged it based on feel but I’m at a place now where I won’t continue to improve unless I get slightly more serious with my training plans.

Hottest Half Training Shedule

Notice there’s no off days? That’s because I’m still streaking, today is day 107! I’m not sure how that’s going to affect my training so I’m giving myself the option of switching the Friday 4-miler to 1-mile if I feel my body needs the break.

The paces here are calculated off a finish time of 1:50 and honestly I think that’s realistic. I’ve been doing 800 meter intervals at a 7:34 pace once a week for the last several weeks so tomorrow’s run actually will be a bit easy (knock on wood) and the weekly mileage is spot on. I ran 40 miles last week so I don’t see the total mileage being a problem. I can easily maintain a 9 minute/mile while pushing the stroller so a race pace of 8:24 might be pushing it a little but not too far off.

I plan on doing the intervals on the treadmill at the gym, the remainder of the weekday runs will be done pushing the double stroller (including the tempo) and Jason can watch the kids on Saturday and Sunday for my long run and race pace run.

Despite the name, I’m not worried about the heat. I lived in Dallas for six years so I’m familiar with the weather. Now I live in Houston and I run outside almost every day, even during the summer. I’m as acclimated to the heat as I can get so it shouldn’t be much of a shock.

I am so excited about this! I’ve wanted to run this race for a long, long time but the timing never worked out for me. I’ve been either pregnant or recovering from having a baby during the training window for the last four years but this is the year! EXCITED!