Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Marathon Training: Week 6

Total mileage: 24.1

Monday: 2 miles with Mister
It. Was. Cold. Ten degrees with a windchill of negative ten. 

Tuesday: fast 5k
Still cold. About seventeen degrees. Heat wave in the Midwest. Look out! I intended to run 6 miles, but about a mile in, my big toe went numb and started hurting. I decided to quicken my pace and sun a fast 3.1. I didn't want to over compensate for the pain in my toe and screw up something in my stride. 

Wednesday: 6 miles
I made the brilliant decision to run in shorts since the temperature reached a warm 34 degrees. Bad life choice. Well, forgetting to apply Bodyglide on my thighs was the true poor life choice. Goosebumps plus chub rub equals the worst pain ever. Needless to say, I waddled around for the rest of the evening.

Thursday: rest

Friday: 13 miles

The run was great. It's really sad when the long runs are becoming my favorite. I don't know if it's the lack of pressure or fresh legs, but I'm sure digging them. I was worried about my toe hurting because it was still pretty cold out. No toe pain at all, which leads me to believe this is related to being on my feet most of the day at work and then running. This is definitely a relief but annoying also. Being a preschool teacher, you don't have the option to sit more on the job. Maybe a change in footwear will result in less pain for my mid week runs. 
Don't worry. That was a Parks Department truck on the trail, but aggravating nonetheless playing leapfrog with it.
I guess it's not really electric since it's in quotes??
I don't condone vandalization of public property, but that is probably one of the prettiest graffitis I've seen. 

Saturday: rest

Sunday: ZERO >:(
I had some pain in my calf/Achilles area and figured it was best to take an extra day off. I almost slipped into my shoes to at least walk a couple miles, but a Twitter friend talked me out of it. I'm hoping the pain is just from overuse and is nothing serious. Running smart is more import than getting those miles. If I push too hard, I may not be able to run that 26.2. But it's so hard!!!!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Marathon Training: Week 5

Total mileage: 22

Monday: yoga
My hips and lower back have been very tight, so I thought I'd give yoga a whirl. I always thought I was pretty flexible and graceful, until today. Whoa. I'm not very limber, and I kept tipping over. I did enjoy the workout. 

Tuesday: bailed on speed work
My lower legs HURT. I wore a different pair of shoes to work for just a bit because of the snow. I changed after and couple hours, but the damage had been done. I decided not to mess with my fast 5k. First and foremost, I need to run smart and listen to my body. Instead of running, I ate pancakes. 

Wednesday: 6 miles
I forgot my Garmin, but wasn't going to let that stop me. I needed these miles like I need air to breathe. I know the turn around point, and had to hurry because I had to pick the kiddo up from school. This was a bit of a challenge because of the snow and ice all over the route. I did it though. I figured it was right around 9 minute miles. (Side note: my stride changes when running on the snow and ice. I can feel different muscles working. I dislike this because I never fall into a groove. I couldn't run the other route that was clear because of traffic. Lame.)

Thursday: rest

Friday: 11 miles

This. Run. Oh, this run. Every other Friday, I work just a couple hours to help with the morning routine (more on work in another post). Not a big deal. I'm up at that time any way, and I'll still have plenty of time to long run before getting my kids from school. Except this day, I ended up having to work. I was sad. I wanted cheese fries. I won't get cheese fries unless I've done my long run. I stressed and fretted about when I'd be able to run and how far. I knew I'd have time for a good six at the very least, which means I would cover the lost miles from Tuesday. Huge positive. The long run could happen Sunday. Stinky, but definitely not the end of the world.
     Meanwhile, I have NO FOOD with me besides my pre run snacks. First world problems, right? Yes!! I've been really keeping a close eye on my macros so I don't want to just snack on random things we have at work. I'm a bit concerned about running anything more than six because of poor fueling. I broke down and ate a poptart I had stashed for my kids. I was startling to feel lightheaded and figured the sugar would help me later. 
     I left work earlier than I had planned, and started running numbers in my head. If I hurried, I could bust out 8 miles on the ground and finish the last 3 up on the treadmill. It's been bitter cold, so the closed route was still icy, but I knocked it out. Long runs should be done at a slower pace. I know this, but I didn't have that option. I'd deal with the consequences tomorrow.
     The last 3 miles on the 'mill were rough. I had to stop and grab some animal crackers before I bonked. Long running after being on my feet all day was not one of my best life choices, but I wanted those cheese fries, and I wasn't going to let anything stop me. 

Saturday: ab work

Sunday: 5 miles
I took it easy, which was hard. I'm slow. Very slow. I'm not handling it well either.

Here's to an awesome week 6!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Marathon Training: Week 4

Yeah. So. I might have forgotten to post week three's recap and I cannot remember for the life of me what I even ran that week. I want to say my total mileage was 15 or so. I didn't do my long run. We woke up to no water that Sunday. I wasn't interested in running nine miles and then sitting in my filth until who knows when. Good life choice. We didn't get full restoration until 7:00pm. When you can't run, the most logical thing to do is go to a breakfast buffet. Figured I'd work out my stomach. 

Total mileage: 26
Total treadmill miles: ZERO!!

Monday- 6 miles on the hills
Oh. You know. My Garmin died less than a mile in to the run. I knew it, but also know where the turn around is so I didn't stress. I just need the miles.

Tuesday- rest

Wednesday- 6 miles, slightly faster pace due to time constraints

Thursday- rest

Friday- 9 miles on the hills
Little bit chilly for this run. It warmed up to a balmy 16 by the time I hit the road. With the winds, it made it more like 4. Awesome. This is how I battled that: 
Hawt. Notice all of the other running clothes all over the bed. I had no clue what to wear. Turns out, the windbreaker wasn't the best choice. It trapped all of the sweat which led to me really freezing the last couple of miles. My skin was purple in spots when I got home. Not even lying. Oh. And the snow picked up for the second half of my run. Slippery and cold. I snorted more powdery white stuff than Charlie Sheen.

Saturday- rest

Sunday- 5 recovery miles on the hills

Sloooooooooooow. It was hot. 23. I took it very easy. My legs were pretty sore, so I figured I wouldn't push my luck.

While it was pretty chilly all week, I was very greatful to run all of my miles outside. I'm hoping the wether stays dry so I can continue this. Running outdoors is soooooo much easier than the treadmill.

This week, I need to do core work and stretching. I'm noticing some discomfort in my lower back and want to make sure that doesn't turn into something that'll sideline me.  Over all, a great week and I can't wait for week five!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Let Go

I'm finished and letting go of that magic number I had. The weight loss goal that would some how bring peace and sanity into my life once I'd reached it. I weigh ten pounds more than I did six to seven months ago, and yet, my clothes fit better. I feel amazing. I'm in the best shape of my life. I'm no longer winded from simply singing nursery rhymes or climbing stairs. 

The Mister paid me a compliment today telling me I'm the thinnest I've ever been in our eight year relationship. I needed that. I had gotten on the scale a couple of days prior and was saddened to see a gain. It was a blow to the gut. Mister's compliment was good enough for me. I'm not going to obsess over losing weight if it means sacrificing muscle. I won't be a slave to that number any more.

Am I a size two? Ha. Not even remotely close. And, I don't want to be. I'm happy and healthy. For the first time in my life, I'm happy with my body. I don't give a rat's hind end what the scale says. I have some work to do as far as trimming more fat and toning up. I know that I can do it. Respect your body and your body will do things you thought impossible. Nothing is off limits. The only thing keeping you from success is YOU. 

I'm still going to be vigilant about how I'm fueling my body. I'm still going to track the nutrients so I know I'm putting in the very best. If you want good energy, you have to put in good foods. When you eat crap, you feel like crap. Let me tell you. My days of feeling like crap are far behind, me and I intend to keep them there. 

***I parked this post for a while after I wrote it. I wasn't ready to share it yet until I knew I was truly at peace with myself. In that time, I had my annual blood work to check my TSH (thyroid stuff. I'll have a post about this later because I've never shared and I find the workings of the human body intriguing. Yes. Nerd). Turns out, my level was off (I had an inkling it was due to other changes in my body: dry eyes, weird muscle cramps). I felt a little relief after hearing the news they'd be increasing my dosage of medicine. The gain had nothing to do with what I was putting in my body. It was out of my control.  Am I going to get on the scale to see if the weight starts to fall of now? Not a chance.***

Lowering the Bar

Common Core this and Common Core that. I will be completely honest. I have read zero posts on Facebook in regards to CC: negative and positive views. I don't have to read the articles to form an opinion. I know what is trying to be achieved, and I know first hand it's ruining my sons' lives.

The first time I was introduced to the Common Core Standards was over the summer at D3's kindergarten orientation. The video was chock full of ridiculous charts and animations. I wish I had videoed the presentation so I could quote word for word how this was presented to the parents. Essentially, CCS are FANTASTIC because it "levels the playing field" for students across the country. It is set up to make ALL children successful and able to get into the best colleges. Because it's just not fair that some kids are smart and some aren't. It's just not fair that some go to Ivy League schools while others go to *gasp* community college. The horror. CCS will make children in the United States as smart as the people in other countries! Well, doesn't that sound just fantastic?!?

I was livid after sitting through the video. I remember talking to the Mister shortly after telling him I thought it was a crock, and I had serious doubts about how successful this would be. Needless to say, I kept an open mind and didn't look into pulling the kids from public school that instant.

CCS may work for some children. It's not working for my boys. My daughter is still doing very well in school. I don't know if it is because she has been able to adapt or if CCS aren't being implemented as strictly in middle school.

Mr. T's math and communication art grades have plummeted. He was a mostly low A student with an occasional high B every now and then. Now? He's bringing home low Cs and struggles to earn any sort of B. Initially, I thought he was just tooling around. Rushing through work so he wouldn't have homework. Then, I was concerned he's simply not grasping certain concepts. If this is the case, I want to help in any way I can. After speaking with his teacher, I learned she's seeing this across all of her students and that in actuality, Mr. T's grades are right on par with everyone else. No one is performing above average.

D3's math homework is a joke. I wish I had a worksheet handy so I could show an example of one of the problems. They've over simplified something to the point it's actually confusing. I have to reread the questions myself. The questions aren't asked point blank. They tip toe all around the question adding unnecessary information. Often, I have to rephrase the question so that he understands what they are asking. I'm not at all surprised when he brings home a math test with a low grade. I've taught preschool for quite some time. When it comes to young children, the fewer words, the better off you are. If you try elaborating, you often lose them. Be direct and straight to the point.

I suppose you can say that CCS are successful. The famous "playing field" is leveled. My son is no longer an A student and everyone is performing below standards. Is it working for some? I suppose it is and maybe it will improve over time. Maybe my boys are simply not capable of learning in this manner. We aren't going to sit around and wait for improvements. After talking to the Mister, we have already come to the agreement that D3 will be going to a private school next year. He will not succeed in the public school system with this new curriculum. If private schools are forced to use the same system, I will home school him. I hope to transfer Mr. T to a private school also, but I'll have to talk to his father in order for that to be a possibility. If he doesn't agree, I'll continue to help him, get tutoring, do whatever I can to help him succeed.

While the goal of the Common Core Standards is to make all children successful, it is doing just the opposite. What was wrong with the school system when I was a young child? Some kids do well. Others don't. Such is life. No one is entitled to anything just because someone else has it. If you want good grades, study harder. If you want to go to Harvard, figure out a way to get there. If you want a better paying job, work harder.

Food for thought. The principal at the school my daughter will be attending next year said they've done away with valedictorians and salutatorians. I wasn't either one of these on graduation day. Could I have been? Absolutely. I could have studied harder. I had no desire to. I settled with being in the top 25 percent. Was I jealous? No. I didn't earn it. Good for them. They worked hard, and they deserved the honor. We need to put a stop this "everyone deserves a trophy" mentality. It's ok to fail. Fall flat on your face. It's how we learn. It's how we become better at living. If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Don't go run and whine about it.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Happy Birthday, Grace!

14. Fourteen. FOURTEEN?!?!? How? When?
My little princess is not so little. I remember being so terrified when she first entered this world. I was 18. I don't know if it was because that's how all first time moms feel or if it was because I was so young. I am so incredibly proud of the young lady she is developing into. She's so much more than I ever hoped she could be. I've seen so many kids with young parents who are bad students, have horrible manners and aren't the nicest human beings to be around. Grace is none of these. I feared she would find herself on that path when her father and I divorced, and yet she's remained the same. Grace, I love you to the moon and back. You are the first of my three greatest masterpieces. You are the first true love of my life. Thank you for being amazing.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Marathon Training: Week 2

Total mileage: 20

I don't have a lot of photos for this recap as I ran all but one of the runs on the treadmill. Next week's post will probably be similar as we currently have about a foot of snow on the ground. 

I also didn't keep track or my times. Running on the treadmill usually means interruptions because one or all of the kids need something at some point. I just worried about getting the distance I needed. 

Monday- rest

Tuesday- 4 miles on the treadmill, ab work
Oh, hey. Nothing like a six year old sneaking up on you while you're on the treadmill. Talk about a heart attack! He thought he was hilarious. 

Wednesday- rest

Thursday- 5 miles on the treadmill

Friday- 6 week 6 pack abs
Friday is a run day on my training plan, but it occurred to me when I woke up that morning that a winter storm would be hitting the area late Saturday, early Sunday. I had no desire to run seven miles in a foot of snow or on the treadmill, so I'd have to move my long run to Saturday. Excellent life choice.

Saturday 7.25 miles
I decided from the get go this run would be slow. I had no time expectations. I ran an out and back on the hills with 20mph winds. I was ok with slow. I went a little too far on the out. I really paced myself on the hills, setting goals and completely forgot about the distance. No biggie. This run was HUGE. My legs felt strong even though I'd avoided hills for quite some time. I had such a good time with no pressure at all.

Sunday- 3.75 miles on the treadmill, ab work
I wanted to pull the plug after two miles. My legs were a tad bit sore, and I was bored out of my mind. I knew I'd regret not increasing my total mileage, so I kept at it.

This was a great week despite running so much on the treadmill. It serves it's purpose. If I didn't have the treadmill, I could pretty much forget about training for any race. 

What are you doing to burn calories during this cold snap?

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Just Eat It, Eat It

My eating habits the past couple of months have been, well, less than spectacular. I put on a few pounds. I didn't freak out like old Cecilia may have as the extra eight pounds were only noticeable on the scale. My clothes still fit, so I was ok with the little gain. 

Once I started marathon training, I knew I'd have to get back on track. I'm not necessarily looking to lose a bunch of weight. I want to make sure I am fueling my body properly to get the maximum energy output possible. With that being said, I'm at a crossroads. Currently, my calorie goal is set to lose 1.5 pounds per week which puts me at about 1500 calories before exercise. My concern is that in a few weeks, when the mileage really increases, is this going to be enough for my body? 

I suppose I can feel it out. See how my body reacts and then adjust accordingly. One thing I'm going to do that's quite a bit different than any other race? I'm only going to eat crap food on long run days. In the past, I'd eat something junky any time I ran whether it was a candy bar or a small bag of chips. Now, this doesn't mean I'm going to binge like a mad person on long run days. I'll still stay within my range, but I'll let myself enjoy a small burger, small fires, and small chocolate malt. 

What about you? How does your diet change during increased exercise periods?