So be sure when you step. You step with care and great tact and remember that Life's a Great Balancing Act.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

1 Week Left - No More Training!

End of Week summary,
and I realize this is a day early. I am not running tomorrow because my husband and I have a wild night out (and a baby sitter and a hotel room). Plus, this makes my 4th week of running over 55 miles, and without a rest day.

I am not sure why my coach did not give me any rest days, but I am looking forward to taking one!

Monday: 8 mile trail run

Tuesday: 10.5 mile run with 800x7 (3:07, 3:03, 3:08, 3:15, 3:03, 3:03, 3:15). On that first 3:15 I just lost my focus. The last 3:15, I came around the corner to find a piece of construction equipment hauling down the bike lane. Quite frankly, if you are operating something that is faster that a cyclist on crack, you do not belong on the bike lane. I leaped out of the way to save myself, but it ruined my interval.

Wedneday: 8 mile trail run. I messed up here. I was having so much fun and ran way too many hills. It didnt even dawn on me until mile 6 that this was supposed to be a recovery run.

Thursday: 12 miles w/ 8 miles at "race pace-ish". I say "pace-ish" since I am still not decided on what I want my race pace to be.
mile 1: 6:55; mile 2: 6:48; miles 3 and 4: 6:44; mile 5: 6:37; mile 6: 7:03 (uphill); mile 7: 6:48; mile 8: 6:48.
Times were OK but my legs felt worn out from Tuesday/Wedneday. RIs were mostly 1 RI between miles 3 and 4, long RIs after mile 4 and 6.

Friday: 5.5 mile trail run

Saturday: 12 mile run. This is when I realized that I am beat.

The next week for me is about rest and recovery. I have an ART appointment and a massage. I just bought a bunch of epson salt. I have new compression socks arriving any day.

Ah, taper.

I might do a few easy runs with the stroller. The kids really miss it.
On Tuesday, Hayden woke up and went right to the jogging stroller. I had just finished my run so this was not an option.
I could not lure him away, so I gave him a banana and took a shower.

When I came out, I still could not lure him away so that is where he ate breakfast.

Although it did melt my heart a little bit, Brenna didnt mind having the breakfast table all to herself:

Happy Halloween everyone,
see you after the festivities!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

2 Weeks Left - And then What?

This was my peak week of training.
I still have two hard workouts left but then I start my taper.

I hit all the paces I wanted to hit, and ran all the miles I wanted to run.
Even at 61 miles, my legs feel great - strong, loose and limber.

The only thing is a stupid headcold, which is making it very hard to breathe. Luckily for me, I am not to cool to do a snot-rocket or two while running.

End of Week Summary:

Monday: 7.4 mile trail run (Desert Classic @ South Mountain)

Tuesday: 10 miles w/ 5.3 @ tempo effort (6:51). It was dark during most of my run and I like this because I dont look at my watch.

Wednesday: 7.5 mile trail run (National trail @ South Mountain)

Thursday: 10 miles w 1 mile x 3 (6:17, 6:15, 6:09). Goal was 6:20/6:15/6:10...I was unsure if I could hit that 6:10 but it wasnt that hard.

Friday: 4.6 mile trail run (obscure trail at South Mountain)

Saturday: 16.4 mile run. Longest run since giving birth, and the longest run I will do for training. And of course, I had to do it like a rockstar by going around Mummy Mountain. This is a famous route for all the local runners and cyclists. I have cycled it many times, this was my first time running it. It is a windy road, filled with hills. Here is one of the hills (not my photo, I just image googled it):

But its pretty, right? Actually its gorgeous.
Totally worth the work.

The first 10 miles were @ 8:20 pace (included the largest hills). Then I broke loose and did 5 miles @ 6:55. Ended with a mile of strides and a cool down.

Sunday: 5.2 miles with the jogging stroller while watching my amazing, hardcore friends do the Soma Half Ironman.

It's always so inspiring when I cheer at these races. Anyone who is capable of riding 56 miles and then running a half marathon is a true athlete. Watching them *almost* makes me want to do it next year!

We just looped around a bunch of times, which ended up being like hill repeats because the course went along this rather annoying hill. It's not so bad to push the stroller up it once, but after a few times, yes, it becomes quite annoying! I am sure the racers feel the same way (since they had to ride it multiple times as well).

I would have loved to stay out longer, but at 10:30am it was already 90-degrees. Brenna insisted on wearing black leggings and just like I suspected, she got hot.

Despite the hills and heat, my pace was pretty good - it makes me want to run another 5K with the babies!

However, I am also in the process of transitioning to trail running. It has been rather hot - Perhaps this looks familiar....
(yes that says 98-degrees in October!)

But that is one thing I love about trail running, you have to embrace the elements.

So I am torn about what to do after this half marathon.

Focus on trail running/racing?
Speedwork with the stroller for a new stroller 5K PR?
Focus on swimming for next tri season?

So many options,
and not enough time!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Mommy and Me Mall Day

I heard an add for this on the radio.
Face Painting! Fashion shows! Free snacks! Arts and Crafts!
Well...none of that was happening at 10am.

The mall was bare bones when we arrived. There were a few other mothers strolling around, and a woman doing balloon animals, but other than that it was a typical day at the outlet mall.

We walked around and window shopped. I pondered important questions.
Does Brenna need sparkly Uggs?
Does Hayden need a clip-on tie?
Do I need a prom dress?

We snacked on free pretzel samples and the kids had a free sample of gelato:

We looked the puppies at the pet store and the fish at the Rain Forest Cafe:

And Brenna picked out new shoes at Payless (they were only $5). Lately, she has been very particular about her shoes and she keeps insisting to wear Hayden's old black and ugly crocks. Hopefully these shoes become her new staple instead.

After an hour of perusing the mall, we ended with lunch at Paradise Bakery. This is the second time the kids have experienced a mall foodcourt. I got them the turkey sandwich kids meal, with fruit instead of a cookie. It was very lackluster $4 sandwich.

But the lack of fixings didnt bother them as they devoured it. The meal also came with an "organic" version of GoGurt. They loved this.

Hayden loved it so much that he threw a huge tantrum when it was gone. I think he was expecting the tube to be contain an infinite amount of yogurt.
I explained to him that unfortunately, after you eat food it is gone and the meal is over. It's a hard lesson for a 2-year old who wants more GoGurt.
Luckily, he had plenty on his t-shirt, hands and face to lick off.

Monday, October 17, 2011

3 Weeks Left / Race Report

End of Week Summary:

Monday: 7 trail miles @ South Mountain. I did this in the afternoon and wow, it was hot! Also the Desert Classic trail seemed extra hilly.

Tuesday: 8.3 w/ 800x7: 3:11/3:13(headwind)/3:09/3:10/3:10/3:06(tailwind)/3:11, 2minRI

Wednesday: 8 mile SS

Thursday: 9.7 miles w/ 5 miles sub-6:50, 1 min RI

Friday: 5 mile trail run (South Mountain)

Saturday: Splash and Dash (1000 meter swim, 5K run+1 mile cool down). Race report below.

Sunday: 2 hour run. I was supposed to do 16 w/ surges at 630. But I forgot my Garmin! No big deal, my friend Patty had one. So we start off with the super fast kids in town (you know, they just run sub 2:40 marathons). I stayed with them for 5 miles. I knew there was no way I was going to keep that pace up for the whole run (it was probably around 7:15) so I turn around to find Patty. And I didnt find her until the very end! So I ran on own for the rest and did some strides along the way. I mapped it at home I was under 16 miles - closer to 15. Bummer, but its still the longest I have ran since giving birth.

Total: 57ish miles.

On to the fun stuff:
Splash and Dash. Again.

I originally wanted to do a sprint tri that had only a 400 yard swim - in a clean pool!! But it was almost $100 to register. These increase in race prices is killing me. So, I opted for a cheaper option: 1000 meter swim in the gross Tempe town lake, followed by a 5K.

Most people do this race to train for the Ironman. I am not doing the Ironman (thank goodness!). So, I was doing this race just for fun...yes, I swam in Tempe "Toxic" Lake for fun.
And to see Shelly!

And then I got the awesomeness of seeing a bunch of my friends!

I havent done much, if any, swimming since my last triathlon, so my goal was just to enjoy myself. I had the luxery of swimming the shorter distance - only 1000 meters. My time was 18:04, which is nothing to brag about...but honestly, I dont know how I swim that fast. I spend so much time doggy paddling with my head up, fratically looking for the bouy, re-positioning myself, and choking on lake water...its amazing I move anywhere.

After the swim, I attempt to peel off my wetsuit.
That sucker doesnt want to come off! I sit down, I kick my legs, I grunt. I might have said the F word.
Finally it comes off and I dry off my feet. It's so nice to do a race where you can take your time!

Then I proceed to run out of the transition in the wrong direction.

After getting corrected, I start my run. My first mile is in 7 minutes. I feel great but I begin to wonder where my fellow athletes are. I pass two men and it finally hits me that I am in the front!

So I speed up to a 630 pace, which feels ridiculously easy and manage to pass two females (finishing 3rd). Right at the end, I pass a male - who was the overall male. This is the first time I beat all the men! Yes it was a small race since most people did the longer swim but I still get credit for beating them ALL, right?

Friday, October 14, 2011


When my aunt and cousins came to visit earlier this year, they brought the babies a book about dinosaurs, and two dinosaur beenie-babies. The kids really loved it, especially Hayden.

Hayden is a late talker, but one of his first, consistent words was "saur-saur", for dinosaur. Sometimes he will say the word correctly, but for the most part, a "saur-saur" is a dinosaur. And it is always said with excitement, and a huge smile.

We've encouraged his obsession, buying him more books about dinosoaurs, and toy dinosaurs. He could play independently all day, if left alone with collection of dinosaur toys.

Last year after Halloween, I bought leftover pirate costumes for this year. But I felt badly that Hayden wasnt going to dress up as a dinosaur.

But who says that costumes can only be worn for Halloween? I found him a $10 costume on Craigslist and transformed him into his favorite animal. Photobucket

He loved it. Who wouldnt love such a cool costume?

It only made sense that Brenna wanted to be a dinosaur, too.

And then it only made sense to get a second costume. And yes, I realize that this is more of a monster costume than a dinosaur costume, but Hayden didnt seem to notice:

Yesterday we are playing outside and Brenna starts banging on the car door, screaming. This is her (very loud) way of telling me that she wants to go somewhere.

"I dont have anywhere to take you," I tell her.
But she doesn't care. She keeps banging and screaming.

Then I remember that I do have a prescription ready to be picked up at Walgreens. So I pile the dinosaurs in the car.

The screaming stops.
This is my mission in life these days - to make screaming stop.

Inside Walgreens, neither of my little dinosaurs want to walk. They both want to ride in the large basket of the cart. I allow it, in an effort to avoid a tantrum. We pick up the medication.

And then the dinosaur brawl begins.
Brenna starts hitting Hayden's Hayden.
Hayden starts screaming. He pushes her.
Brenna screams and hits him harder.
I struggle to hold the cart still and make sure that no one falls out.

"Brenna, stop it," I say.
"Hayden, relax."
" not hit him!"
"Hayden...stop screaming!"

But my words fall on deaf dinosaur ears.
So I push my cart of fighting / screaming dinosaurs straight into the liquor section.
And I buy a 1.75L of whipped cream flavor vodka.

But the vodka was on sale for $15 (it's normally $22)so this story has a happy ending!

I think we will stick to the pirate costumes for Halloween, though.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

4 Weeks Left

End of week summary:

Monday: 7.5 w/ 1 mile x 3 (6:19, 6:25, 6:24). The miles were a little slow (aiming for 6:20) but I just wasnt feeling it. 82 degrees and humid did not help.

Tuesday: 6 miles w/ the jogging stroller in the wind.

Wedneday: 8.3 miles w/ 3.5 miles @ tempo effort (6:49). It was 15 degrees cooler than Monday! Although twice as humid, since it rained.

Thursday: 9.25 miles...first 30 minutes in intense wind. I was just so happy I was not on my bike, I think I would have been blown over! After that, the wind stopped and it started to pour rain. In Arizona, it rains about 3 times a year. I cannot even remember the last time I ran in rain. It was fabulous! I had to force myself to stop.

Friday: 5.5 miles (4.5 miles on the trails at South Mountain, followed by 1 mile worth of strides) and 1000 meter swim.

Saturday: 2.6 mile run / 14 mile ride @ 20mph / 1.5 mile run

Sunday: 14.7 mile run. First 10 miles @ 8 pace, last 4 miles @ 7:01 pace, plus a short cool down. But I confess, I stopped and stretched at mile 3 of the last 4, even though my running partner told me not too. In my defense, we had to stop anyway to turn around...might as well stretch for a few seconds, right??
Ahhh, stretching felt soo good!

Total miles: 55.3
Overall, I feel really good - probably in part of the cooler weather. This morning I actually wore a SHIRT.
Good bye, Abs.
Hello extra laundry.

Despite a hard week full of tantrums and big boy beds (and toddler bowel issues) was a nice weekend.

We attempted a garage sale to get rid of baby toys. Although we did make a few sales, the only person who was really interested in the toys was Brenna.

We also took the kids to Oktoberfest.
I wore the Rock and Republic jeans that I bought in college, however my experience was very different from when I went to Oktoberfest while in college. See, college kids hang out in the Beer Garden.
Parents of young toddlers hang out in the "Kinder Garden" where toddlers pick foam apples off of fake trees. I wish I was kidding.

Friday, October 7, 2011

New Things

I like Fall.
The cooler weather comes with faster running paces and better television.

Fall has only just begun and we are already experiencing some major changes.

Like tantrums.
Really, really loud tantrums.
That happen in public.

And climbing out of the crib.
Yesterday Hayden spent his first night in his big boy bed.

And finally,
I disovered a store in the mall that sells ONLY sparkly hair barrettes. And ONLY for $3.
Brenna's hair will never be boring again.

Look at that sparkle!

I know, it makes me jealous, too!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

5 weeks left

End of week summary:

mon - 4 easy miles. I was supposed to 6 but realized that the triathlon really beat me up. Also did ART.

tuesday - 76 minute run, partly on trail. I had 8 on my schedule, but went without my garmin because I didnt want to worry about pace.

wednesday - 4 easy miles.

thursday - 8.5 miles w/ 4 x 1 mile @ 6:50. Was supposed to be 1 min RI but with the exception of the first one, my recoveries were longer for a variety of reason (potty break, crossing a street, etc). Goal is to plan better and not make short recoveries long recoveries - defeats the whole purpose of the workout!

friday - 30 min trail run (South Mountain) + 30 min swim. I was supposed to do 6 miles but i saved this workout until the afternoon - it was 101! hence the swim.

saturday - 14 miles w/ 1 min @ 6:30 x 4 in between miles 6-7.5, and then the first minute of miles 10,11,12,13 were at 6:30. But dont let a few 6:30 surges fool you, the average pace was relatively slow. I dunno, it was only 82 degrees but yet I felt hot? I also felt like I ran out of fuel so next time I am bringing emergency gels.

Sunday - 5 mile trail run (Papago).

Total: 46.5

I have to say, transitioning from multi-sport training to single sport training has been hard on me. My poor bike hasnt been touched since the race and I miss it soooo much.

I even miss swimming, can you believe that??

Truth is, multi-sport training provides more variety. more adventure. more challenge. In comparison, just running is....well...boring.

It's not that I *can't* ride my bike. In fact, my coach even included it in my schedule per my request. But two things stopped me:
1) My cycling muscles are STILL sore. The thought of riding a bike this week has made me flinch.
2) I am not currently my fastest because of bike riding. Yes, I am in great triathlon shape, but I dont have a triathlon next month. I have a half marathon. And the only way to be in better shape is to run. Time spent on the bike = less miles OR less recovery. I really cannot sacrafice either.

With all that said................

I am not the only one practicing athletic endeavours. Hayden discovered that he is now strong enough to dangle from monkey bars. He even discovered that he can get momentum and swing from them.

My little Hercules!