Friday, November 27, 2015

Thanks For Giving 4 Miler 2015

I had no business doing this race.  I have been battling a terrible cold for the better part of a week and was still quite congested with a bad cough yesterday morning.  I was already signed up, though, and I thought it would be okay.

Hail, Hail, the gang's all here!  Dave, me, Anderson, my sister, two of my nieces, a nephew, my mom and dad, and some of my sister's friends and their kids.

The day started with the Drumstick Dash, a kids race, where my youngest niece and nephew and Anderson ran.  I should say, we carried Anderson for most of the race until the crowd was out of the way and then he decided he wanted to run over the finish line all by himself.  He got a medal with a turkey on it.  He's way cool.

Our race was a four miler that wound through the neighborhoods, had many turns, and did some of the race on the bike paths.  It was definitely not a PR course but I did get to see part of New Albany that I've never seen before.  Of course, you've seen one Georgian house, you've seen them all.  (Google New Albany, OH and you'll know what I'm talking about.)

The first mile I went out at a pace I thought I might be able to sustain for the race, even being sick.  But I quickly realized that I was still way sick and should not be running this hard or even running at all.  By the second mile I was toast and needed to stop and cough.  At this point, Dave passed me, asking me if I was okay.  I got running again and stayed right behind him.  I was on the cusp of passing him at mile 3 when I needed to cough again.  This time I thought I might lose a lung.  Seriously.  The last mile was another coughing mess.  I finished the race in 32:05, just a few seconds behind Dave and a few second faster than my oldest niece.  Even with what I consider a poor performance, I finished fourth in my age group just narrowly missing getting a full-sized pumpkin pie.  (That's alright.  I don't like pumpkin pie anyway.)

So here's what so cool about this race.  This race started a few years ago when a few neighbors got together to enjoy a run before Thanksgiving.  Then they started doing it in conjunction with donating money towards services that would provide meals for others.  This year was the first "official" year of the race and it was 100% donation/charity.  You could pay a little; you could pay a lot.  You could pay nothing.  ALL money raised was given to charity.  The shirts and other goodies were donated by local businesses.  Now, I'm not one who runs charity races for the cause (I like to race to race), but this is a good cause and model I support and will do again.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 23, 2015

I went all the way to Colorado and didn't run a race?!

A couple of weeks ago we took a vacation to Colorado.  The first part of the week was spent near Boulder with family and the second part of the week was just the three of us touring all over the place.  Here was some of the highlights (with lots and lots of pictures).

Rocky Mountain National Park
The day after we arrived, we headed to Rocky Mountain National Park.  We did a lot of driving and little bit of hiking and just enjoyed the scenery.  It doesn't look like this in Ohio.

Air Force Academy
They say it is sunny 300 days of the year in Colorado and wouldn't you know three of the days we were there it rained?!  Our whirlwind trip to Colorado Springs was done in the cold rain.  First we stopped at the Air Force Academy and did a little sightseeing.  The chapel was super cool.  Anderson picked himself up a souvenir.   He still plays with it a lot.  Guess we chose well.

Garden of the Gods
I'm sure Garden of the Gods is super cool and beautiful, but it was 40 degrees and raining and I'm not going to lie, I was a bit miserable.  We did a small hike and took some pictures.  Someday I want to see this again when it's nicer out.

Olympic Training Center
I'm not going to lie, I had high hopes and was super excited to see the Olympic Training Center.  And it was sweet, expect you really weren't allowed to see anything.  We were given a tour which basically only showed us a little bit of the buildings.  The weight room and pool were awesome, but I wanted to see what the living situations looked like and also see the dining hall.  I was also hoping to catch a glimpse of some badass athlete.  I did win a quiz, picked up a prize, and bought myself a training journal for 2016.

Great Sand Dunes National Park
Great Sand Dunes National Park was my favorite thing we did on this trip.  We drove about three hours from Colorado Springs to the middle of freakin' nowhere and out of the ground were these GIANT sand dunes.  We layered on our clothing, strapped on the hiking backpack, and headed up to the tallest dune.  It was so magnificent.  Because of the time of year it was, there were very few people at the park.  We were the only people on the dune and it was so silent.  It was an amazing experience and I'm so glad I got to experience it with my boys.

Pikes Peak
The last full day of our trip we stayed in Colorado Springs and were blessed with good weather in the morning.  The sky was clear and I finally got to see Pikes Peak.  We took the cog train to the top where the weather was a brisk 21 degrees with lots of snow.  This was the highest I had ever been (we had been over 13,000 feet when we went to Switzerland several years ago) but I didn't feel the elevation so much.  Guess I'm in better shape than I thought!  We only got about 20 minutes at the top of the mountain.  We, unfortunately, did not get any of the famous donuts as they ran out, but Anderson did get to play in the snow.  We wore the boy out too.  He slept the entire trip down the mountain.

Manitou Incline
Finally, after Pikes Peak, we had fully intended to climb the Manitou Incline to the top.  However, it was now raining and it was a whole lot steeper than I thought it would be.  I had plans of putting Anderson in the Ergobaby but we were worried about how we were going to manage and didn't want to spend hours out in the rain, so we climbed up a little, took a picture, and headed back down.  Picture or it didn't happen!

Right now, there are plans to return in August 2016 for an epic race Dave is planning...

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


Let's talk more about swimming.  (When did this become a swimming blog???)

Two weeks ago I sucked it up buttercup and got up at stupid o-clock to try out the local masters swim team.  To my surprise the place was packed.  People!  It's 5:30 in the morning!!!  Everyone was welcoming.  I told a few people my usual swim times and I put myself into the very.last.lane.  Yep, you think you're good until you swim with real swimmers.  Then you suck.  The workout was hard but I was keeping up and felt pretty good about things. 

I went back two days later and swam with the boys.  It felt harder.  Maybe I was more tired.  Maybe it was because I didn't eat breakfast. 

Last week I just couldn't get up for the first swim, but did go later in the week.  This time we did a descending set with the very last 100 as fast as we could go.  And you know what?  I cut nearly 10 seconds off my best 100 times.  All this swimming?  It's working. 

This morning I got up again.  This time I led my lane through some of the sets.  I was hitting the send-offs and I was doing well.  Guess I am going to have to keep going.  Right now I am loving swimming.

Monday, November 09, 2015

Week in Review

Gah!  Every day I SWEAR I'm going to write here and every day gets away from me.  Training is crazy town right now - yes, 10 months out from the big race.  Plus, I am about to work my 11th day in a row today.  Oh and you know, I have a 2 year old that occupies a lot of my time.  To be honest, all of this is too overwhelming for me.  I'm starting to shut down and just sleep.  That's how I handle things.  Unfortunately, that also means I'm getting ABSOLUTELY NOTHING done.  Let's talk about what I did get done last week.

Swimming - 7250 yards ~ 4.1 miles
And I missed a swim!  I am living in chlorine right now.  Even the days I don't swim I'm in the water.  I teach 8 swim classes a week.  I have started attending masters (oh yes!).  I am swimming on my own.  Oh, and last week I made two pseudo-saves during my lifeguarding duties.  BUT, it's paying off.  All of it.  My back and arm muscles are starting to be banging and the times are falling.  Last week I did a 100 all out and came in nearly 10 seconds faster than ever before.  Boom!

Running - 14.85 miles
Truthfully, I'm just not loving running right now.  I'm struggling with time management and just can't get out to do it.  I don't want to run in the dark.  I don't want to run on the treadmill.  I don't want to be cold.  The only day I'm loving on running is Fridays when I drop the kiddo off at preschool and two hours to myself.  Those are the runs I truly love.  This week, though, I'm going to try harder.  I swear.  Hold me to it, please!!!

How do you manage your time?  I know I'm not the only mama out there who trains.  Do you use babysitters?  Do you have terrible mom guilt?  Any of you mamas work and train?  Do I have to get up at stupid o'clock and sleep nearly nothing to get it all done?