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Friday, March 27, 2015

Nothing but the truth (Friday funnies)

This made me laugh because it is all too true. Especially for me last night. Ellie has been having some fears and has a hard time falling back to sleep if she wakes up during the night, so for a while we tried letting her go to back to sleep on our bedroom floor when she awoke during the night. When that resulted in both Scott and I losing sleep on a regular basis because some nights it took her so long to fall asleep, we tried several other things and finally came up with a new solution that has been working best.

Ellie has bunk beds in her room, so now when she comes in during the night, I go sleep on the other bed in her room. She's such a light sleeper that I quickly gave up on the idea of just lying there until she fell back to sleep because she always heard me leaving and was soon wide awake again. So now I spend part of several nights each week sleeping on her bottom bunk. However last night, I spent far too much of my time in her room awake. She was restless and couldn't fall back to sleep for almost two hours. So I'm a little tired today.

I had a deep, thoughtful post about running written in my head yesterday, but my brain is too tired to spit it back out today. So here are some brilliant life observations instead.

My new standard answer (although most people know better than to ask such a stupid and dangerous question).

I want to talk like that. Try saying it without a British accent. Not. The. Same.

You know who you are.

I am not talented in this area. I must work on my sarcasm skills.

Why I am not a trail runner.

I'm not hardcore. But this game was the bomb. Granted, a very frustrating bomb.

Then we added another venue for all the crazy with Instagram. Oh, those were the days. Can we go back?

Children = my favorite kind of truth. Leggings = not my favorite kind of truth. Drunk people = nothing but the truth, for better or worse.

Monday, March 23, 2015

"You" in this case is really "me"

What do you do when your kids have a day off from school and you are sick, the kind of sick that makes you feel like you need a nap every time you make the effort to walk upstairs and the kind of sick where it feels like tiny little knives are constantly stabbing your throat?

You manage to shower and get dressed (because that always makes you feel a little better) and take your girls somewhere they can ride their bikes a fairly long distance without them leaving your line of sight but where you can sit and not move for two hours while they enjoy the sunshine and ride until their legs hurt.

Then you go to the library, because your girls have been begging to go for days and you can mostly sit in one spot while they wander around looking for their favorite books. In Grace's case, that is a stack of American Girl novels and a new series she recently discovered at school. For Ellie, it means any and every book about horses, with a few books about dolphins thrown into the mix.

Then, because those tiny little knives stabbing your throat need some taming, you hit up Maverick for some froyo. Bonus: the new flavor is peanut butter. So clearly you all get the peanut butter swirled with chocolate. And after your finish yours, you do Ellie a solid and eat the last half of hers that she can't finish.

Saturday, when you are feeling a little better, you convince yourself that it is a big enough improvement that you can run 16 miles. You try to block out the fact that it was exhausting just to walk up a flight of stairs the day before. But the fact that you struggle to hit an 8:30/mile pace begins to clue you back in to reality. And you call it at 10 miles because it's better to let your body heal and get well than to push yourself to exhaustion and turn a few days of recovery into possibly weeks.

And on a completely different subject, I really love when I can force my girls to match and they are happy about it. I ordered two options for their Easter dresses and ended up liking both enough that I kept them all so they got to wear one set of them yesterday.

And this was my view from the couch last night:

It just really makes me smile.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Fuel for Thought

I've only had a few 20 mile long runs that I finished and felt like I could keep going. Saturday I had one of those runs.

I was a little worried going into it because I hadn't run since Monday. I decided to take some time off from running to see if my piriformis and quad would finally stop bothering me. I cross trained all week instead, stretched every day, and took Friday off completely.

I think four days off from running may have been the reason my legs seemed to be questioning what we were doing about two miles into Saturday's run. I was a little worried when my legs felt so tired and sluggish early on but also reminded myself that it's been taking five or six miles to feel warmed up during my long runs lately.

My quad was a little sore the first five miles but felt fine after that. And I was aware of my piriformis but it was not painful, and the odd sensation I felt in my butt was only there off and on. I was definitely better off from having some rest and TLC the previous four days.

At mile six, my family met me with water, and I downed a Root Beer GU. Then they hiked a waterfall while I ran, and they met me again at mile 11. I had a Salted Caramel GU and told them to meet me again at mile 16.5. They brought me some water, which I downed. I debated taking another GU and decided to see if it would help prevent a crash during the last few miles. So another Salted Caramel down the hatch. I finally remembered to grab my headphones at this point but could have just as happily finished my run music-free.

I never felt my energy level drop and kept my pace pretty even all 20 miles. My slowest mile was into a pretty strong headwind and my last mile was my fastest. It was about as good as a 20 mile run gets.

Throw in the times I ran into my family and they scootered along with me for a few minutes and the times they drove alongside me and cheered me on, and it doesn't get much better.

As someone who once upon a time didn't fuel at all during long runs or races, I can now tell you it makes a huge difference.

When I first began trying to fuel, I always had stomach issues. Every time I would fuel during a run or race, my stomach would act up and I would give up trying to fuel the rest of the run. I got to the point where I wasn't even trying to fuel anymore. The only thing I would use during races was Powerade.

Then the first race when I was first trying to qualify for Boston, I had stomach issues (without any fuel to blame it on) and missed qualifying by eight minutes. So I decided to give the fueling thing another try. I was on a mission.

I knew super sweet things weren't going to work because I can't even stand the thought of them when I'm running. So I bought about eight different types of the least sweet fuel I could find to try, including gels, chews and nut butters.

I liked the flavors of the nut butters, but they were too thick and hard to get down while running. The chews ended up being too sweet, but there were a few gels that I could get down. The flavors I could stand were key lime, peanut butter and salted caramel.

I began using them regularly on my long runs and the Salted Caramel quickly became my favorite. I still had stomach issues sometimes but kept trying the GU in hopes that my body would get used to something hitting my stomach during my runs. And it did.

I have found that taking my first fuel within the first hour of my run seems to help with the stomach issues. For me, fueling every 5-6 miles works best. I feel like my energy level stays steady that way. To further help avoid stomach issues, I have been saving the GU with caffeine for later in my run. 

The moral of this story is you should fuel. Figure out what works for you. Then put it to work!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Photo Friday

Once in a while I wander through the photos on my phone and remember several things I intended to blog or post about on Instagram or just find random things that make me smile. So in order to follow through on those intentions and to share some of my smiles with you, I bring you Photo Friday, captions included.

This generosity. The incredible generosity of others sometimes astounds me. I won a giveaway from Nicole (@heartnsolerunning on Instagram) a few weeks ago and absolutely love everything she sent me!

This running happiness. The hubs surprised me with some Root Beer GU to try out and a big box of my favorite, Salted Caramel. I tried the Root Beer on my last long run. I used it at mile 6 and then some Salted Caramel at mile 11. It was great because the Root Beer didn't seem too sweet that early in my run, but I was grateful to have the caffeine in the Salted Caramel later in my run.

This charm. Just one of many. Grace has become quite the Rainbow Loom expert lately, and I randomly find pictures of her creations when scrolling thorough the pictures on my phone.

This boy. Grace also likes to randomly take pictures of Rowdy. She pretty much thinks EVERYTHING he does is cute and worth documenting.

This blizzardy run. I forgot how snowy it was during one of my runs last week. This reminded me. It's hard to believe this was one of only a few snowy runs this winter.

This haul of birthday loot. My Princess is nine. How did that happen? And yes, her autographed copy of the cast of Studio C was one of her favorite gifts.

This salad. Thank you Blue Lemon. And thank you Grace for choosing Blue Lemon for your birthday lunch.

These girls. I sure love them. Thank you Instagram and blogging for bringing them into my life.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Running is Like Parenting

Running is hard. Parenting is hard. And the more I think about it, the more alike I realize they are.

Just because you have a lot (meaning 3+ as far as I'm concerned) of kids, doesn't mean you are a better or smarter parent. And just because you run more miles every week or month than someone else, doesn't mean you are a better or smarter runner. In both cases, quantity DOES NOT equal quality. There are soooo many factors that come into play in both cases.

If you only have one or two children, parenting isn't automatically easier for you. You are not less of a parent than someone with more kids. No one knows how much you put into your effort as a parent. You can devote more time and energy to one child than someone else does (cumulatively) to four children. And just because you run less than someone else, doesn't make you less of a runner. You may be a much smarter runner. A much more disciplined and informed runner. What you see on the outside can be deceiving. So don't judge a book (or a parent or a runner) by the cover.

Even when your youngest child is 6-years-old, sleeping through the night isn't something you can count on every night. And when they are older, they keep you up late because they are out with friends or just because you lay awake worrying about your perceived failures as a parent. Feeling tired is something that becomes the norm when you are a parent. When you are running regularly, especially when you are training for a race, you are also always tired. You just don't get tired the same way when you are going to the gym or working out at home every day. There's something about running that takes that little extra out of you.

When you are a parent, there's poop involved. Whether it's in diapers, wiping toddler fannies, hearing poop comments, or being randomly informed by your child, "My poop has been green the last two days," you can't get away from it. For some reason, it is also very much a part of being a runner. Whether it didn't happen and its lack thereof haunts a run or (especially) a race, it does happen but at inopportune times, or your stomach decides to rebel post-run/race and let's you experience it off-and-on for the rest of the day, poop is involved.

The biggest similarity though:

Some days it's hard. Some days it's easy. In the end, it's always worth it.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

I don't think I could ever stab someone...

I've had some good runs this week. Yesterday it snowed, which automatically makes for a happy run. But it wasn't easy. The first three (of ten) miles were all uphill because I decided I would benefit more from hills than speed this week. I knew my body could do the one but not the other. The second half of the run was in the snow which was super fantastic when it was blowing sideways or pushing me. But when I turned and had to run the last 2+ miles directly into a strong wind, blowing snow straight into my face, it made things a little tougher. But it was still a good run. Just hard.

Today's five miles were nice and easy. I feel like I could run five miles every day and never get tired. But I also wouldn't be ready for a marathon in 47 days, so five milers are saved for my easy days.

And because Wednesday just seems like a good day for some funny things to help get us through the rest of the week, here are some things that made me smile:


I just updated my resume. Your turn.

 I consider myself fairly successful. But it will continue to perfect this effort.

You know how I feel about spelling and grammar errors...

My world would be SUPER creepy for sure.

Have a good life, hair ties.

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