Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The best laid plans

As I mentioned before, the hubby is still out of town (he'll be back on Saturday, and not a moment too soon!) and it's been really challenging to get time to run while he's been away.  I didn't realize just how convenient that getting up at 5am to run routine really was.  The first issue is that my gym's daycare options SUCK (Urban Active Pittsburgh, I'm talking to you!).  They are closed from 2-4pm Monday through Thursday and 12-4pm on Friday.  This is ridiculous because that's the time of day I could actually really use the gym and make the most of my time!  If they were open during that time, I could pick Elliot up from preschool at 1pm, drop him and Charlie at the childcare (where Charlie would nap and Elliot would play with the cars) and do my 8 miles, or whatever, get showered, and have plenty of time to get Oliver from school at 3:50.  That time between Elliot's pickup and Oliver's is absolutely dead time because of Charlie's nap, it would be the perfect time during the day to run.  But can I?  Nope.  Because my gym's daycare hours suck.

In an effort to overcome this difficulty, I decided on Monday that we'd go to the gym at 4pm after picking Oliver up from school and I'd do my 8 miles on the treadmill, then we'd either grab dinner out or whip something up quickly at home.  I figured we'd be home around 6pm.  Well, it too longer than I thought to get us checked in and everything (it should be a newsflash to no one that 4pm is a busy time at the gym, and I should have anticipated this), I misplaced my phone in the changing room and had to track it down, and the 4 miles into my 8 miler I got a call from the childcare that Charlie was freaking out, so I cut it short, showered and went down to get him.  Since it was so late in the day, I had packed a bag of snacks for the kiddos, which the childcare staff totally forgot I brought, so my children were absolutely losing it because they were hungry, poor things.  So I took everyone home, all three of them crying, Oliver in low blood sugar induced hysteria, and realized that there really was no part of that plan that had been a good idea.  So lesson learned, 4pm at the gym is not a good time for a whole bunch of reasons.

I was going to try to go this morning, since the older two kiddos would be at school, but then I ran into problem number two - my kids keep getting sick.  Oliver said his belly hurt, so I agreed to let him stay home since he said it hurt "so bad" and was crying and upset, the whole nine yards.  Now he *IS* a pretty sensitive soul and prone to overreaction, so I made a rookie mistake and let him stay home even though he really didn't seem that sick (I think he just had some gas).  I didn't want to drop him at the childcare if he was sick (obviously), but I did make him come to Target with me to get some new shoes for Charlie, where he proceeded to *skip* through the aisles and pitch a hissy fit in the Lego aisle when I wouldn't buy him the 12 different things he asked for.  At that point I decided he was probably fine, so I signed him into school late.  Yup, I'm *that* mom.  But I'd already missed my chance to run since the stupid childcare closes so early, so today is a wash, too.  This means either I'll have to talk my mom into hanging out at my house after I put the kids to bed so that I can go to the gym and do my hamster on a wheel routine, or I'll have to skip pilates tomorrow so that I can run instead.  And that'll only work if everyone stays healthy!  Let's not forget that I've got my old annoying cold that I'm fighting, but since mom's don't get to be sick, I'm choosing to ignore it for now.

That's a whole lot about my kids and not a whole lot about running, which seems pretty appropriate given how the week has been shaking out.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Still plowing away

My 14 miler on Saturday went surprisingly well, some belly upset notwithstanding.  I'm not sure what causes the upset belly, but I choose my routes for the facilities, so it all works out.  This was my longest run in almost 2 years and though the pace was a pretty slow 10:50ish, I got it done.  I think the poor conditions contributed to the slow pace - it was wicked slippery out there!  My Yak Trax did not live up to my expectations and snapped after just 5 or 6 uses, so I was out there sans friction, and the icy snowy yuck that got left up around the reservoir was just enough to slow me down.  I did the last 2 miles on the road and they were MUCH easier, even with the hills.

Haakan's put in some projected paces and finish times for the races I have coming up, and for once I actually don't think he's overestimated my abilities.  I'm shooting for a 2:35 finish in the Spring Thaw 15 miler at the end of February, and I think that's pretty doable, if I get the early pacing right.  That puts me at a 10:20 pace, and after I get a couple of 16 milers under my belt, that really shouldn't be pushing it all that much.  I'm shooting for a 4:30 finish in the marathon in May, which would be awesome.  It would please me to no end to actually come in just under 4:30, like 4:29:59.  I mean, less than that would be great, but I'd be happy with *just* under.

Haakan's out of town so I'm stuck on the treadmill, which I absolutely loathe.  It was actually beautiful outside today, over 40 degrees, and I would have taken the younger kiddos out in the jogging stroller, but it was still pretty icy, so the treadmill it was.  I'm sort of perplexed about why it's so much easier to keep my pace up outside as opposed to on the treadmill.  I'm thinking it's because it's just so. damn. boring.  Seriously, it's like being a hamster on a wheel.  I need some better strategies for dealing with it because I'm stuck on the dreadmill for another week or so.  Yes, the fancy schmancy gym does have TV's on the treadmills, but for some reason the volume is so low on the headphones, I can barely hear what's being said.  This does actually provide some distraction, but it's totally annoying, and I can't ever get the closed captioning to work.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Some numbers to wrap up 2010

2010 was a good year.  And for those of you who love numbers and stats, here are a few to review the year that was.

803 miles run total
13 races completed (8 5k's, 3 10k's, and 1 half marathon)
3 5k PR's set
3 slowest records sent (slowest 5k, slowest 10k, slowest half marathon)
2 pairs of running shoes gone through

I love the symmetry of having had so many extreme highs and extreme lows at the same time this year.  Still I'm hoping that moderation is more the order of the day for the new year, all those highs and lows get exhausting!

So far we're off to a good start.  I did my first long run of the year yesterday and it went pretty well.  I was not at all pleased to head out for 12 miles in the pouring rain, on what I consider to be not nearly enough sleep, but it really wasn't unpleasant, other than my hands being absolutely frozen by the time I got home.  I haven't figured out a good way to keep the hands warm when it's raining, do they make rain-proof gloves or mittens?  I kept a rather zippy pace of 10:21, and felt pretty good still at the end.  Next week I up my mileage to 33 miles, so I do a 10 mile, a 7 mile, a 4 mile tempo run, and a 12 mile long run.  I think this will be the highest weekly mileage I've ever run, since training for my previous marathon topped out around 31 miles (which explains a whole lot about how that race went down).  Then the next week I get to up my long run to 14 miles, which is about where the wheels came off of my marathon training over the summer.  I'm both looking forward to this mini milestone and kind of afraid of it.