Little update this week after plowing through week #9 (crazy!). Also, if you didn’t get a chance to read Rob and Sheila’s story last week, you should. It’s pretty amazing.
Week #9’s Workouts
-Monday: spring break week around here; this morning but my 11- and 9-year olds were little rock stars and got up early with me their first official day of spring break to run 4 miles (Jackson, 11, couldn’t wait to try after his little brother made history – and got lots of attention – with his five mile run last week). They did great despite the pretty hefty winds blowing in our faces (dude, I was spent) but every time someone felt like stopping, Jackson would say: we started this together, we are finishing together! And we did.
-Tuesday: no workout today. I had every intention of doing a cross-training workout but spring break with all five kids home had different plans for my life, if you know what I mean (instead of exercising, I was working through closets, bins, under beds with the boys wherein we ended up with three bags of trash and four bags of donation items and a headache).
-Wednesday: headed out for an early a.m. run; first time on a track so my friend, Deb, 30+ weeks pregnant with #8, could walk around while I ran. It was an attempt to motivate each other for early morning workouts in the pitch dark. After the 16th lap (of the 4 mile run), I wanted to die – I was feeling kind of sluggish and out of energy – but was glad to get it out of the way first thing.
-Thursday: my big grand plans to wake up before my kids and do a strength/yoga workout were waylaid by good things (again, spring break busy town around here). By the time bedtime rolled around for the kids, I had to literally bribe and drag myself up to the bonus room for a PiYo workout. I did the 45-minute Drench workout (yoga, strength, kill my muscles all in one) and as much as I had been dreading it, I felt pretty good after. You know, if jello-legs is a good thing. I will say that I love the PiYo (and other dynamic yoga type workouts) because my muscles are so loose and limber by the end that I can see huge improvements in my flexibility which is a pretty big deal because I swear I’m the least flexible person on the planet and I’m not even kidding. Touching toes = a dream.
-Friday: instead of an official workout, the we spent the afternoon and evening with friends 4-wheeling and RZR-ing. So I guess if you consider driving the RZR through gullies and ditches and then throwing a ball to Maggie a few times, I totally got my exercise in.
-Saturday: thanks to another busy Saturday (kind of a consistent pattern), Brian knew I was stressed about possibly not getting my run in (I was avoiding at all costs running the 5+ miles on the treadmill). Since he hates running more than life (granted, he’s running with the boys for their upcoming 10K but it’s been a huge sacrifice for him; he really, really detests running), I about passed out when he said he’d go with me before the day got insane with wrestling weigh-ins and Saturday jobs. I think he was doing it in an effort to a) be supportive, b) help me get out the door, and c) make me stop complaining about when I’d fit it in.
I didn’t give him a chance to back out but I did warn him I didn’t want to be all chatty and friendly on the run so he better grab his iPod and earphones. In my defense, it wasn’t strict unfriendliness – it’s just that running is hard enough for me that thinking about talking AND running makes me want to keel over on the spot.
5 1/2 miles later, I can honestly say running together is a first in our 13+ year marriage and it was really fun (you know, in a weird sense of the word since we were dying) doing it side by side. I never thought it would happen. On one hand, I was so proud and impressed that Brian could just go out and run 5 1/2 miles since I’ve been working up to this for 9 weeks. And on the other hand, I kind of wanted to kick him in the shin because he could just go out and run 5 1/2 miles when I’ve been working up to this for 9 weeks.
The report is in, though: Brian can’t walk today and I can. And if it makes me a bad wife to feel a little happy about that, then so be it. He’s actually looking over my shoulder right now and says he refers to the run on Saturday as his Pride Run. Meaning, his pride is the only thing that kept him running.
Consulting the trusty loaned Garmin, we kept our pace between 9:30 and 10:30 and only stopped once – to stretch halfway after summiting the biggest hill in our town. My kids call it Ticklebottom Hill and honestly, it felt like Mt. Everest when we were running up its steep cliff face and I swear (although it isn’t verified) that the air was thinner at the top. I’m sure it had nothing to do with the fact that my legs and lungs haven’t scaled a mountain, er, hill, for a long time like that while running.
Question + Thoughts + Upcoming Week
–Any tips on pacing? I’m not so concerned about running fast as I am about keeping a steady pace. Brian mentioned as we were running that I was constantly speeding up and slowing down – it’s not as noticeable to me, I guess, but I do notice pace changes on the Garmin whenever I look down. For you runners out there, do you keep a steady pace the whole time and do I need to get better at that or is the faster/slower thing normal? I’m also really paranoid at starting out too fast and losing all my steam so I tend to run pretty slow at the beginning, but on Saturday, for instance, the last mile and a half, I felt this burst of energy to run quite a bit faster and I’m noticing that happens on my runs that are longer than 3 miles. Should I just increase a bit for the entire time instead of running faster at the end or not worry about it? Sorry for all the questions. Pacing: I have no idea what I’m doing.
–Many of you have given me tips and advice on eating/not eating before runs. Much of the reason I don’t eat beforehand is 1) because often, I’m running first thing in the morning and thanks to a past cancer/thyroid history, I take medicine each morning on an empty stomach with no eating for 45 minutes to an hour after and 2) I have a little bit of a sensitive stomach and haven’t wanted to risk having “issues” while running. It hasn’t been a big deal yet since my runs have been between 3-5 miles and I really have felt like I’ve been fine not eating before. But since I know that will change as I increase miles, Saturday, I decided to carry along a pouch of applesauce (convenient since Brian works for GoGo Squeez and we have applesauce coming out of our ears). I ate it halfway through while stretching and I do think it helped a lot with the last half of the run.
–The last few runs, I’ve started wearing the water pack around my waist that Brian got me for my birthday. It kind of twists on me while running (if I cinch it any tighter, I can’t breathe, so yeah) but otherwise, I’ve loved, loved, loved having water while I run (and my kids have, too, when they’ve run with me). It’s made a world of difference. Maybe it’s just a placebo effect, but I feel like being able to have water at the ready keeps me energized a little longer.
–My left hamstring continues to hate me. It’s tight all.the.time. I’m still foam rolling like a monster and it does help but I’m wondering if my stride is off a bit or something.
–This week will most likely be: running 4 miles Monday, 4 miles Wednesday, and 6 miles (yikes!) on Saturday with some cross-training and flexibility thrown in there. I’m less than two weeks away from the 10K I signed up for. While I feel more confident that the distance will be manageable, I have to admit, I kind of have that nervousy-excited feeling about running a real, live race.
Any reports? How was your week? FILL ME IN!