Thursday, March 29, 2012

Realigned Expectations.....Check

I have spent a lot of time thinking this week about a lot of things.  One of the main things on my mind is my reaction to the MI Half last weekend.  My reaction is absolutely ridiculous.  I know this logically, but there is some weird niggling thought in the back of my head that keeps telling me you should have done better.

Really??  Why???
Were you training for that particular event?  (No it just happened to be part of the training plan.)
Have you truthfully been putting in all the work? (No.  I have not.)
Wasn't this your first Half race? (Yes, but I have run 13mi faster)
But weren't those 13.1 flat miles? (Yes, but I thought adrenaline was supposed to pick up your pace)
Umm, yeah but weren't those some really big hills and have you done one single hill workout? (umm, no)

Here is the reality.  I have not been working nearly hard enough lately.  I have three midweek runs on my schedule each week and for at least the last month I have only done two per week.  I still make every long run, and my mileage is still increasing, but the reality is I am not putting in the full work I should be.

Tonight while I was rocking Pooh Bear before bed it came to me.  I actually chose the lowest mileage marathon training plan there is out there.  I chose it to just finish.  That's it.  I did not choose it because I was going to get a rockin' time.  I chose it because I haven't even made it to my one year runniversary-I am truly doing a couch to marathon program.  Seriously-how well did I think I would do??
Apparently I thought I was going to come out and be some sort of natural phenom that was going to rock out huge long fast miles.  NOT!!  See that is the thing.  I never had thoughts of grandeur until I crossed that Half finish line.

So what is the deal???  This is just my ridiculous competitive side.  You see I am pretty competitive in most things, but I am MOST competitive with myself.  It is never good enough, fast enough, efficient enough, thought through enough, just never enough.  No matter what happens, I can somehow spin it to something I did not do enough of.

My son isn't eating right now and lives on air about three days per week, clearly this is because I did not introduce him to enough foods early enough like I did with Elise.
The kids aren't sleeping enough or they are falling asleep at wonky times, clearly this is because I did not pay close enough attention to their cues and I missed their routine tweaks.
I can't ever get this house clean, clearly this is because I am a lazy oaf with nothing better to do.  Forget the fact that I spend copious amounts of time keeping my children from killing one another or themselves for that matter.
You name it.  If it happens in my life I can make it my fault.

Now the running is truly my fault and that is what is really digging me.  I know that I am selling myself short because I have slowly slipped back into putting myself last.  The Hubby has been working LONG and LATE so really no relief.  Plus with the double trouble birthday month just hitting our house and all the developmental joys that go along with it-I don't think I have to expand on that much further. It has gotten to the point where everything comes first and my runs come last.  I did not get this far by doing that, but that is exactly how I got to be so miserable in the first place.

This is where I would love to puff up my chest and tell you that is all going to change starting now!  The reality of it is it's not.  I have no idea how I am going to change it back.  I don't know how to make it work.  I am not 100% sure how I was doing it before.  I mean I do and I don't.  I do know what was different, but I know right now it can't be like it was then.  So what to do?

I don't know.  I don't have the answer.  That's kind of why I had to come here.  I thought if I just started working it out on paper something would come to me.  Something magical.  Something like what should have carried me across the finish line in under two hours. HA!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Look At That Honey MaMa-She Don't Give A Sh!t

How do you know you are running your first  half marathon that is super hilly and you did not fuel correctly?  Could it be that you are delirious and in your mind you call yourself Honey MaMa and are laughing out loud because this is your internal conversation:

"Look at that Honey Mama-she's crazy-she don't give a sh!t-She just attacks those hills-disgusting-oh look-there she is running in slow-motion"

Clearly that is not how the story goes, but that played over and over and over in my head as I ran up yet another hill making the count at least 172-and there are still plenty left to go.

Just in case you don't know what I am talking about and you want to know what the fuss is all about- Here You Go

So here we are in a step-back week in training.  After last weeks 18mi run the reward for getting ready for a 20mi run next weekend is a 14mi run.  I had not yet run and "official" Half Marathon and I thought it might be an important step in the training process.  Not all, but most take the logical progression of 5k-10k-something bigger-Half Marathon-Full Marathon.  I being the genius (or should I say Crazy F@#K) I am decided to toss conventional wisdom aside and sign up for the Full Monty right off the bat.  This was basically the last weekend I had to fit in a Half and I am glad that I did.  I learned many things along the way...some I knew but down played and other things were a complete surprise.  Like for example:  I feel the most powerful and strong when I am running and I look down and see my shadow in front of me.  I can see my ponytail swinging from side to side and for some reason it feels like my feet barely touch the ground.  Now if only I could pocket that sunshine for every run right?!

Let's start with some positives as there are many.  I also like to think of myself as a positive person.  I don't prefer to dwell on the bad but today I did have a few low moments that put a bit of a cloud over my day.  Positive first though.

  • Today I ran my first Half Marathon in just a touch over 2:01.  Not bad at all for a first time attempt.  As this was my first-it was an instant PR, which I forgot about until just now!  Double yay!!
  • I have not yet had my "Runiversary" I have been back at running for well under a year and when I first laced back up I could not even run a full mile in under 10:30min.  Now I run 13 straight for 9:11mm average.
  • I don't hurt.  This amazes me the most.  Nothing is tight, nothing is knotted, nothing is fatigued.  I truly feel the same as I did the other day after 4mi.  This may be a different story tomorrow, but for now let's go with it.
  • I got to put the 13.1 magnet on the back of my car.  Even though I had run 13mi before, I still would not concede that I was a Half Marathoner.
  • I was able to run the race I should have run.  Even though in a few lines I am going to tell you how disappointed I was today, the reality of it is I ran the race the way I should have to keep me in the perfect condition for the real deal in less than a month.

So now let's talk about my disappointment.  First I want to say that as I crossed the finish line I was elated.  I finished strong and healthy-goal accomplished!  My negativity did not start until I walked into the door at home.  It was like a scene straight out of Lord Of The Flies.  My son was literally bouncing off things still in his PJ's, screaming like a wild banshee.  My daughter was not screaming (which almost scared me more) but she was walking around with no pants on.  This I came to find out was because she had just gone potty.  And last but not least my husband was on the couch wrapped in a blanket and looked pretty much like the living dead.  Now before you get all worried that some crazy illness is going around our house-you will be happy to know that No he was not sick that Yes he was just hungover.

A few things here-I am not bashing my husband, so please don't do so either.  He is a great guy who works his tail off for us and honestly puts my running needs in front of his need for a release without batting an eye.  He very seldom goes out for beers with his buddies and if/when he does, he is very responsible about it.  Except every once in awhile.  Now I would like to blame Mr. W as it seems to be a recurring theme. The last time the Hubs felt this way it was also after a night with Mr. W.  I think I see a pattern here.

If you are familiar with my husband-you are already laughing at the fact that he was in the condition he was and he had to take care of our two wild toddlers.  If you have not had the great fun of meeting my husband's hangover-let's just say he puts up a good fight with the Exorcist and in fact I would say beats Reagan hands down in the spewing department.  Quite frankly I have never met anyone who gets hangovers as bad as my dear husband.  Not only is there a lot of vomit involved, but it lasts pretty much all day rendering him completely useless.  This by the way was the first time he has had to care for the kids in this shape-I don't think I have to add, I am pretty sure this will be the last!

So back to me. I walk into this mad house and instantly the wind goes out of my sails.  Instead of basking in my glory and rehashing every mile to the hubs-I in fact get the honor of getting the house back to order.  He has fed them, but certainly hasn't taken them out for their walk yet so that is first on the list.  So super quick shower-no time for ice- throw on some comfies and get the kids in the car.  Food??  Refuel?? No time (ugh)  Although I did get some more water to drink which I really needed.  Load them up and start to drive.  It also happened to be nap time and there was no way I was going to get them both to sleep-oh God how I WISH I could have napped-so a long drive into the mountains it was.  They both calmed down and fell asleep and that is when I started going over the race in my head and started thinking of all the things I could have should have done.

Let's take a look at the splits and go over it shall we:

Elevation Gain
Elevation Loss
Avg Pace
Best Pace

As you can plainly see I fell apart going into mile 8-half way.  You automatically think Oh you went out too fast.  Maybe, but honestly it didn't feel like it.  It felt very comfortable.  Plus I really focussed on not going out out guns blazing.  I held back from the bob and weave and found a comfortable outside line.  I actually was pacing behind another female runner and we were really in a groove.  My breathing was even-even up the hill climbs.
I could tell pretty quickly that I was not fueled properly.  In fact I would say that I felt dehydrated within the first mile!  Not a good way to start a 13mi run.  I also ended up needing a lot more Gu than I would have ever guessed.  Thank goodness I brought along my running belt stocked with Gu and one 10oz. bottle of Nuun.  There is NO WAY I would have finished running if I did not have those things along.  I usually shoot for Gu about every 4mi or so.  Today I needed on at mile 3, 6, 8, and 11.5.  Mile 8 was tough, not only did I take a Gu, I also felt something in my shin.  Being the nervous Nelly I am about injuries I pulled it over and stretched and mentally decided to slow down.  This is where I am pissed at myself.  If i wouldn't have mental broke down right there, I could have finished in under 2hrs.  And don't doubt-it was a mental give-up.  I can wrap it up in any pretty box I want, but the reality of it is I know I still had enough in me that I could have given just that little bit more to have a sub 2hr finish.

Oh well.  I know now how important fueling my body the day before is.  This has bee a repeating theme during this entire training-must eat better-must get more food-Now I know the reality is I need to stop talking about it and just make sure that I do it or I will bonk out there for real during my full.  I don't know how much Gu you can take before you totally loose it, but I am pretty sure that every 2-3mi for 26mi would not be a good idea!

On another happy note-as I was walking away from the finish line, the kids teacher from toddler group happened to be there and she spotted me.  My frazzled brain took a minute, but I was so happy to see a familiar face.  She gave me a hug and I started sobbing (yes I was sobbing as I finished too) just for a minute but I was so thankful to see a face that was happy for me.  I ran today alone as I have many times before, but having the family at the 12 k's of Christmas made me realize I kind of like having a support crew with me.  Logistically this race was a nightmare so I had no expectations of the family coming.

Well that seem like that's it.  Maybe I am just tired because there sure seems like more.  OH!  That Stupid iPod!!!!  I have vowed before I was not going to run with it-but then it was so awesome for my 18mi run, I thought I was back on the saddle with it.  NOPE!!  I was so irritated with my playlist I wanted to rip the thing off my body and send it over the cliff into the water!  My jury is still out as to wether or not I bring it for the full.  I think I would do better without it, but I get scared that I will get to a mentally tough spot and would find some comfort in my tunes.  AGH  I don't know :P
Self portrait pre-race with my BAMR shirt

My new magnet-looks more like I need a car wash!  You may not be able to see it, but the sticker  in the window is "my sport is your sports punishment"  I have always loved that quote and I got the sticker for free at the expo for being the 100th credit card customer!  See Already a winner!!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Blogging At 4am...This Can't Be Good...

And it's not.  I don't know what my deal is bu 4am is my witching hour the last few days.  It really screws up so much stuff.  Normally I have no problem getting myself back to sleep. Years of insomnia have made me well aware of the tricks and techniques I need to use to send me back to dreamland.

Not so much the last few days.

Even more irritating-it is starting to affect my training runs.  A daughter with some sort of cling-on issue is also causing some huge problems and maybe if it was one or the other this would not be such a big deal .. Both combined however has lead me to being on irritated momma.

It's true I have a lot on my mind-I have honestly five emails that I need to send out that are really important (and as a SAHM that is like 200).  I am blessed with kids so close in age - and in many ways it is a blessing, but when the birthdays hit,  it is an absolute curse! Mental growth hits generally right at birthday times so we get  double the fun here.  In fact in Ryan's case it is fun.  I am a lover of the 3-4 age group.  I do love many other points in childhood, but I am partial to the age range Ry is coming into.  Everyday he slips further from two, and makes it easier  for me to deal with him.  He still melts down right now over some of the slightest things but that is easily overlooked as we are now fully in the throws of the land of pretend.  He loves so many cool things like playing restaurant where he is the worker and I am the customer.  He is a great T-Rex and Iguanadon.  He has all sorts of scenarios and he is more than willing to let me participate.  It is also so easy to talk to him right now-that is if we are doing what I said we would be doing.  He still has a hard time transitioning if things aren't going the way he expected they should - very much like his mother.

You see that is the root of my issue these days and why I am not getting my runs in.  Ryan and I are both blessed with this irrational side that sometimes can't move us past a situation if it doesn't turn out the way we planned it.  It also means that we are frequently frozen into non-action because we can't move on.

It's simple-my runs aren't happening in the time frame I have allocated, so they are not happening. Period.  I can blame it on Ry thinking he wants to drop the nap, but after a few days he is overtired which means that he starts habit waking at 5am (sound much like his mother - poor soul) and can only fall back and stay asleep if I hop in his bed with him.  I don't complain - I realize it won't be long before he is too busy for old mom and he will have no interest in any physical contact let alone snuggling with me in bed. And by snuggling I mean I sleep sideways kind of fetal like and he rests his feet on my thighs.  That is how we non-snugglers like to snuggle.  That whole wrapped up in arms business is for the birds and way to freakin' hot!  And so smothering!  Yes girls-don't plan on Ry being overly snuggly if that is what you are looking for.  We are quite the oposite of the other two family members who I swear would love life just a little more if they could sit like monkeys or lemurs and just hold each other all day long. The idea of a king size bed is totally lost on them.  We own one, but I am not sure why.  Mike always sleeps in the middle encroaching on my side slowly and methodically until I kick him and send him back to where he came from.

Hello-this is the problem with writing in the middle of the time I should be sleeping-far off task.

So I can't adjust.  Morning runs haven't been happening due to sleeping with my boy.  Then I thought I had it figured out.  I could take the young-ins to the gym.  This solved two huge problems - when to run and how to keep them occupied during their crazed witching hours of 3-7.  I thought the distraction of new toys and things to see would solve everything.  Then Elise decides she can't let me out of her site for two minutes let alone the hour I would like to take for myself.  I am hoping this will pass sooner than later, but by then - it won't matter.   I am now less than one month to my race.

Ummm....So I can't adjust.  Good Lord, I need to finish a thought!!!!  All of these curve balls come at me and I can't seem to readjust.  I mentally can't get over the hurdle and say "oh well, I'll just do it after they fall asleep" mostly because I know that by the time the wild ones fall asleep I will be zapped of any energy I once had and will still have to fold three loads of laundry, load the dishwasher, pick up the toys, figure out what I will need for my morning run and set it out (which may or may not happen) take out the trash and any other thing that may need to happen (like adding a word to my 13 Words With Friends games)  You may ask why I don't get these things done earlier in the day - I am a SAHM after all right?  Well the children are at the wonderfully fun age where I can not leave them alone for more than 4min or someone starts crying-ok Elise starts crying- and I am not sure if it is something Ryan has done because she is at the stage where anything - ANYTHING - can make her cry.  She walks 2 ft and doesn't end up where she wants- she cries - she drops something - she cries- her brother hits her -she CRIES -  my God this girl is a tear factory these days.  The Whining.  The Never Ending Whining.  I swear to God most days I am prepared to start drinking shots of Jaeger by 10am.  If I didn't think I would find so much relief I might even really do it.  My fear is it will work and I will be a full blown alcoholic before they get to Kindergarten.  Instead I take the approach of being within arms length of them at all times.  This seems to be the only thing that takes the whining and crying down from a notch 11 to maybe a 9.  But 9 is better then 11 right???  Please say right - I'm dying here!

So what am I going to do here.  My alarm I set last night when I was hopefully asleep by 1030, is about to go off.  I still have the emails to write and I got this all off my chest and of course now I just want to go to sleep.  I don't know.  Logic tells me to put on my clothes and just go run.  I can here Beth goading me to go run.  I can hear Dimity saying Don't Think Just Go.  I also hear all those motivational things that say you will never regret a workout.  But I am mentally tired.  That is the true root of my problem

Marathoning is a mental game I have been told and in fact mentally I am ready to run the damn thing today -in fact, I wish it was today so I can just be done with it and move on.  Right now it is just one more thing on the to do list of things I can't get done.  As a type A that likes to check things off her list, I have had too many things on my list and not enough check marks.  Again I think we are coming up with the real problem to my non-running.  I think the real answer is I am not going to get my runs done until I get other things done that I have put off for too long.

I have loved every minute and mile of marathon training, but the reality of it is this - until the kids are out of the house for at least a few hours each week I won't be training for another one.  The good news is they both will be in pre-school this fall for a few hours on Wednesday and Friday.  I might actually get the chance to explore some more training time then and really for real train for an event.

To Be Continued......