I wish I were a Kardashian…

Now I know you’re thinking “where could she possibly be going with this?” because presumably, the Kardashians have nothing to do with either running or biscuits, because they pay thousands of dollars a month for private pilates reformer lessons and thousands of dollars a week (day?) for a personal chef to make them delicious meals that are less than 1200 calories per day. Then again, I feel like the booties would be a little smaller if no biscuits were being consumed? I digress. The reason I somewhat envy the Kardashians is because I am pretty sure that most of them, except Rob- because he seems useless- have personal assistants that force them to stick to these strict schedules. I really need one of those. Because my flexibility, in areas of my life other than yoga of course, is getting a little out of control.

I used to be one of those people that was very regimented with my schedule. This is most likely because I had only 24 hours in a day to get in two swim practices, go to high school or college 6-8 hours a day, eat, and hibernate. This carried over into my adulthood, to the point where I would not go to a happy hour if I had a long run planned (LOSER) or I would get serious anxiety if I someone bailed on our plans and I had to come up with some other way to entertain myself. Or, if someone suggested doing a race together in 11.4 weeks, I would say “no, that is 4 days too short for me to complete a full 12 week training cycle.”

When Super Girl entered this universe, I continued this military precision scheduling, as many new mothers do. We were I was going to get this tiny human sleeping through the night by 19 days old if it killed me. That is slight hyperbole. Oh, you’re hungry 6 minutes before this sleep training book says you’re permitted to eat again? Sorry, hope you can get some milk out of that pacifier because the milk factory is off limits for 6… 5 1/2 more minutes. Someone wants us to meet them for a quick brunch? Not gonna happen, it may overlap with naptime by 15 seconds. I was so wed/chained to the schedule that I drove EVERYONE crazy. Including myself. Granted, I ended up with a champion sleeper, but that’s genetics there.

The second time around, I decided that I would be a lot more flexible with Super Baby’s feeding, sleeping, etc. I would head to the gym and Super Dad would say “What time does Super Baby need to eat next?” My response: “uh, whenever. anytime between 2 and 4 hours from now.” Ok I wasn’t quite that lackadaisical, but you get my point. Super Dad looked at me like I had grown a second head and was speaking in Mandarin. He was certainly not expecting anything other than “90 to 91 minutes from now. No earlier, no later. And don’t rock him to sleep, that’s a sleep prop. And no white noise, that’s a sleep prop too. So is loving him too much” (just kidding!)

I liked my newfound flexibility as well. It was very liberating at first, but then it sort of morphed into this hippie meets ADD-ish attitude. What should we have for dinner? Oh, whatever (I became that girl). Should we go out of town next weekend? Yeah, I guess. Or we could not. We could just “play it by ear.” Should I run a marathon? Sounds good, maybe…

But here is where my flexibility really got to me, as an athlete and now, as a member of this family. I have run precisely three races since Super Baby was born 13 months ago- an 8k, 5k, and 10k. This is because I could not commit to the schedule required to train for a half marathon or full marathon. I don’t know if it’s because I was scared to start really getting into the training, only to run the race and be disappointed in myself as I have so many times before. Or maybe it’s because I just wasn’t willing to sacrifice spontaneous trips to the park, or ice cream after work, or going with my tried and true calorie scorcher (and social hour) at the YMCA in Charlotte. It’s most likely a combination of all of these things. Ultimately, it resulted in me achieving basically zero of my goals for the first year after Super Baby was born, besides fit back into pants that have zippers.

Since we have moved to Raleigh, scheduling really has to be a necessity in our lives. We don’t live as close to daycare or work as we did in Charlotte. Granted, we could walk to daycare and work (but didn’t, because we’re the world’s worst commuters like that), and the Y was just over a mile away. Here, we spend significantly more time in our cars than we used to. Again, this is a very small fraction of time compared to what the average American has to spend getting to and from their place of work. Point being, the amount of time we are sitting in the car is time that I used to spend just kind of farting around after work or actually spending at the gym or running. Getting to the Y now by 6pm takes an act of Congress. We also don’t want to take the kids to the Y as much because overall, we are spending probably 30 fewer minutes per day with them so we want to be at home with them when we can. This poses quite a quandary for my triathlon, and eventually marathon (!) training.

Recently, Super Dad bought a white board so that we could map out our family schedule each week. The board still has not been mounted on our mud room wall, so I just pretend that I don’t actually have to commit to anything until it is officially on the wall. Most weeks I spend quite a bit of time trying to decide what days I will ride, what days I will run and what workouts I will do, and which days I will swim (almost never) or do strength work. Then, I spend even more time not sticking to that plan. I have been applauding myself for my ability to be flexible and continue to get what I presume is an adequate amount of training in despite my having to change up the plan at the last minute. If I have planned a morning run and I decide to sleep in, which is 95% of the time, I don’t beat myself up because I have already given myself a backup plan of two other times during the day to run.

The problem with this flexibility is that it is all inside my head. So while I am patting myself on the back for getting my workout in when in the old days (post sleep training breakdown, pre-newfound dedication to training) I would have just called the day a wash and decided I would just do “extra” the next day, I am messing up someone else’s plans. Yesterday, I was going to get up at 6am to do a tempo run. Story of my life, I just gave my iphone alarm the old “get real” and slept in another hour-ish. I then worked through lunch, planning to leave work early to get my run done on the treadmill before picking up the kids. Of course, things didn’t work out quite so perfectly, so I headed home and set out for a run just after 5pm in the sunny, 90 degree weather.

I was so angry with myself for not being able willing to stick with my original planned morning running. It was hot, humid, sunny, and I was just annoyed. I knew I would likely be slower because of these conditions, so I set 8:15 as my goal pace. Mile one went by in 7:37 I think. Ohhh, this isn’t so bad. At 1.4 miles, I heard a lot of thunder and noticed the skies were getting a bit dark. At 1.5 miles, it started pouring. Like, horizontal rain sheets attacking my face. I just kept trucking, knocked out a 7:24. Then mile 3 was all uphill, heavy shoes, wind, and frustration that my headphones broke from all the rain. 7:50. Back on the flats the rest of the way- 7:34, 7:36, 7:34 I think. I stopped at 6 miles because Super Dad was bringing the kids home and he had a prior engagement, which had been scheduled well in advance of 5pm that day, and I needed to make sure I was there when I said I would be home.

I was feeling pretty smug about my ability to get in a really solid workout despite sleeping in and presumably heading out to run in the worst conditions ever. I was expecting heat exhaustion but I got a nice brisk run in, and bonus- people couldn’t tell if I was soaked in sweat or acid rain! I told Super Dad that I planned to go to a strength and conditioning class at the Y tonight so I could work on getting my upper body muscles back. Although I lamented my gigantic lats in my youth, I now wish I had at least half of a bicep or maybe even a quarter of a pec. And abs, well a 2 pack would suffice. We agreed this would work with our family’s commitments for today.

Then around 3:30 this afternoon, I find out that my favorite gym in Raleigh, which is a bit too steep for my budget, had a free class at 5:30 tonight. Score!!! Sign me up. Problem: I talked to Super Dad soon thereafter and learned that this time probably wasn’t going to work for the family because I would need to pick up the kids from daycare. Problem solved: call Super Mother-in-Law and then I can still go to the 5:30 class. Psych! Although this allowed me to get my workout in, I was selfish and put someone else out, all because of my classic spur of the moment “I do what I want” attitude. Hmmm, and I wonder why Super Girl does this

Anyway, although no kids were neglected, no puppies went without dinner, and no world peace pacts went unsigned because of my not sticking to the previously agreed upon schedule (it wasn’t in writing though, so it’s not really legally binding right? oh wait, I should know the answer to that one) I still messed up. It’s really not that difficult to wake up at 5:30 to run a couple times a week. It’s not the end of the world if I don’t go to a free gym class immediately after work, when I can go to an equally free class two hours later when Super Dad is available to watch the Super Kids. And it’s probably a pretty good idea, if I have actual goals I want to achieve, that I stick to some sort of training plan, or those goals will just end up as more registration fees that have vanished into PayPal cyberspace.

So my commitment for next week is to be both a Kardashian and a Kardashian assistant. I will force myself to stick with my training plan, including the actual start times for my workouts. Not just getting them done within 24 hours of when I had planned, but doing a morning run if that’s what the schedule calls for, etc. If someone gets sick or work runs late or a neighbor needs us (to drink wine with them on the porch), that’s understandable. Life happens. But it’s time this not so Super Mommy started making her Super Family’s life a priority rather than her sweat life. I think the result will be happier kids, happier man chef hubby, and ironically enough, happier me. My, how we have come full circle grasshopper.

Image

Race recap

I have meaning for some time to do a product review post, because I am a product junkie.  Ok, I’m a shopaholic.  There, I said it.  I will get to the review later this week because I wanted to do a quick tediously long race recap.  It may take you 98 minutes (the length of time of my race) to read it.

My first triathlon was this weekend.  It was the Triangle Triathlon in Apex, or maybe it was Holly Springs?  I am not sure.  Anyway, I have the White Lake International distance triathlon on September 7, but felt like this would be a good tune-up race since it is significantly shorter, i.e., I have not been in the pool nearly as much as I should, so I wanted to gauge my fitness (or lack thereof).  Also, as mentioned earlier, my friend Sherman, who has done a handful of Ironmans, basically forced me into doing it.

Last week I had one good workout.  I had been battling a stomach bug for over a week, and the old me would have used that as the perfect setup to excuse a poor performance.  Instead, I decided to just take the bug head on by overdosing on Imodium and Pepto.  After a good 72 hours of medicine, which apparently is contrary to manufacturer recommendation, I felt more than 50% normal.  I did not do any workouts on Wednesday or Thursday as that was when I felt like death was warming over, but apparently this made for a decent taper.  On Friday, Sherman and I did about 10 quick miles on the bike and a fast mile (well, rounding up significantly) after work.  I felt like a pile of warm sludge.  This could not bode well, right?

I made a list of all the things I needed on Thursday night, and packed my bag Friday.  I painstakingly selected a tri suit, oh wait, I only have one kit.  I also set a reminder on my iphone to bring my USAT card or else I would have to pay $12 at the race venue in order to pick up my packet.  I guess I missed the memo about bringing my ID as well.  More on that later.

Super Girl also chose Friday to get some sort of illness, and naturally, she woke up three times in the middle of the night.  Super Dad, as per usual, woke up with her the first time, so as to give me some extra rest.  The other times, I took one (two, three) for the team.  Basically, by the time the alarm went off at 5:15, I felt like I had gotten maybe 39 minutes of shut-eye.  Awesome.

Sherman and I swung by McDonald’s and had a nutritious breakfast of egg and cheese biscuit for me, and sausage and egg platter for him. Oh yeah, we had pizza the night before. Apparently this is some thing that triathletes do?  I guess I really was destined to get into this sport.  How ironic after my last post on nutrition.  We got to the race venue around 6:00 and the race was to start at 7:30.  Plenty of time, right?

By the time we lugged all our stuff from the parking lot to the transition area, met up with some of Sherman’s friends, and went to check in, it was almost 7:00.  I just needed to get out my USAT card and ID to pick up my bib.  Oh wait, I didn’t have either.  I left my USAT card in the truck (one mile away) and my ID at home.  They let me use my facebook page to authenticate my ID – wow, really? And I had to borrow $12 to pay the one-day fee.  Of course.  By the way, I owe Cameron Simmons $12.  Better set a reminder on my iphone.

Fast forward to the swim start.  I was in the 6th wave, so I had to wait about 24 minutes to start.  We warmed up before the swim, at which point I learned the temperature of the lake was 90 DEGREES.  What?!?! A 90-year-old would get hot in that lake. Not good.  I warmed up then stood around more nervous then you could ever imagine.  I seriously almost tossed my cookies.  I had not been that nervous in over a decade I would guess.

Image

We lined up in the water and I realized it was on.  These girls were hardcore.  I had heard about fighting during the start of the swim, and people drowning and punching each other.  I didn’t drown anybody and managed to escape with no bruises, but I had a minor panic attack when I was trapped in a pack for about 50 meters.  Eventually, we evened out and I was out in the lead with two other girls.  I got really really warm about halfway in (400m), and when we caught up to the wave in front of us, there was a lot of water gulping going on because these were not the most fluid of swimmers.  I just kept my eyes on the girl right in front of me, and perhaps drafted off of her a tiny bit.  Kept me from having to do all the navigating.

Came out of the water tied for second.  I looked down at my Garmin and almost laughed when I saw how slow the swim was.  Yikes.  Maybe time to start training in the water some more. T1 went uneventfully, though I was shaking as I put on my shoes and helmet.  Still nervous!  Got through to the bike start and it took what felt like 4 minutes to get clipped in.  Oy, I should have just tatooed “Novice” on my helmet and back.

The bike went as well as I could expect.  I feel like I know my bike pretty well at this point.  I got passed by quite a few girls on what appeared to be $5,000 tri specific bikes with $2,000 race wheels (that’s what I am telling myself) but I passed a lot of men on hybrids if that’s any consolation.  I am a pretty decent climber but need work on going fast on flats and dropping down to get more aerodynamic.  I can say I was probably the only person with a road bike that did not have aero bars.  So I put an order in for those already.  I am sure I looked like a goon sitting up in spin class as I came down those hills on my aerobar-less bike.  Oh well, it was a learning experience.

I felt good finishing up the 17.5 mile bike, which is perhaps a sign I didn’t push myself hard enough. Or so I thought.  I had a pretty quick T2, slipping into my  laceless Zoots.  Housed a few Stinger energy chews and chugged some water on my way out to the run start.  Feeling pretty good… until about 1/2 mile in.  That’s right people, I pretty much hit a wall at that point. I didn’t have my Garmin on gps mode because I was using it on stopwatch mode during the swim.  I had no clue how fast or slow I was going, and there wasn’t a mile marker until mile 2.  Oh, and at what I presume was the 1/2 mile mark, we went from a paved surface to a trail.  Not like a single-track, break your ankle trail.  But gravel, sticks, and mud puddles.  What?  I really need to spend less time watching Bravo tv and more time reading course descriptions.   I wanted to cry.  I was so tired and hot.

The only thing keeping me going was “only 18 more minutes- assuming I am running an 8:30 mile pace, only 15 more minutes, only 10 more…” Plus, I wasn’t getting passed by very many people.  There was a girl right in front of me who was also in my age group and I remember her passing me on the bike.  She had an Ironman tattoo on her right calf.  I was thinking “wow, she is really struggling and she has done an Ironman.  I don’t feel so bad about myself anymore” and “there is no way I am ever doing any Ironman.  Those people are crazy!” Sorry Sherman and random girl, who I ended up passing.  Woo! At the 2 mile marker I got my 13th wind.  I looked at my watch and realized I was somehow well under an 8:00 mile pace.  I felt like I was speed walking at that point.  Suddenly I was at the 3 mile marker, and then I was done, having finished the run portion in 23:30.  Not too bad after a 750 swim and 17.5 mile bike.

As soon as I finished all I could think was “I am NEVER doing a triathlon again.  Ever.”  And then I thought “Oh hey, they have free Mountain Dew and Papa Johns?! I am definitely doing another triathlon.” Usually you get little pieces of bagel and half a banana after a marathon.  Maybe some beer if it is a St. Patrick’s Day race. But these triathletes do not play around with the pizza and soda. I limited myself to one slice and waited for my buddy to finish.

I finished 6th in my age group and realized that with just a little extra effort in the pool, better form on the bike, and some more strength work, I could actually get on the podium next time.  Hey maybe I could even win if someone wanted to pay for private coaching lessons and a Felt tri bike for me.  And pay my mortgage and daycare so I can quit my job and train full time. Ok, I guess that isn’t going to happen, so I will just buy a book about triathlon training, get the local tri shop to tweak the geometry on my bike, and have them slap on my new aero bars.

My goal this week is to get in the pool twice and do at least one strength training session. We are already on Tuesday and I have done neither, so I guess there may be some doubles in my future. Ouch!

Do you have any favorite exercises to increase leg power?  Any suggestions for positioning on the swim, other than taking up Kung Fu? Anyone else race this weekend?  How did it go? Any triathlons I need to put on my bucket list?

Image

You are what you eat

People always say, “you are what you eat.” I never really got that. If I eat steak, that doesn’t make me a cow. Cows don’t eat other cows- they eat grass, hay, pulp, and other stuff humans toss out, but they are still cows. Note: A lot of googling went into figuring out what a cow’s diet consists of. Likewise, if I eat broccoli, celery, and garbanzo beans, that doesn’t make me a vegetable (or legume if you want to get technical). So I always figured I could just eat what I wanted because the saying didn’t make any sense.

A couple friends recently sent me a link to The Oatmeal’s comic about running. There’s a slight chance very high probability that I annoyed several coworkers laughing out loud as I read the post about the terrible and wonderful reasons why I run long distances, particularly Part 2 “the feeding.” This comic could not more aptly describe my eating habits. As a swimmer, I trained up to 5 hours a day over the course of two workouts. I was always hungry. And I ate whatever I wanted. We’re talking a Croissanwich AND French Toast sticks from Burger King after morning practice, curly fries with cheese at the high school cafeteria at lunchtime, then a DQ frosty and six powdered donut gems from 7 Eleven before afternoon practice. Looking back, it is truly a miracle I did not develop type II diabetes or high cholesterol as a teen. And the only reason I was not obese is because I was burning upwards of 5,000 calories a day.

In college, I did not binge quite as much but really, who did not indulge in late night Domino’s? Plus, I continued to swim so the calorie burn continued. I noticed though that I was always tired despite taking two naps a day, and my metabolism wasn’t quite what it used to be. Shocker right? To think that your metabolism might decrease as you age, it is such a novel idea.

As I took up running more after college, I somehow fooled myself into thinking that my diet was appropriate for ANY LIVING BEING, including a super calorie burning athlete like Lance Armstrong or a 600 pound gorilla – also googled that one- that has nothing to accomplish in life. Wrong. Not only was I failing to come even remotely close to offsetting the calories going in, I was also just putting trash into my body. And I felt like trash. I had no energy, could not focus on my classes in law school, and I gained a lot of weight.

So, lesson learned, right? False. I thought that if I just ate fewer calories, I could still eat whatever I wanted. I convinced myself that the reason I ran is so that I could eat tons of Bojangles. When I was pregnant, I ate French fries with ranch dressing like I had just come off of four weeks competing in Survivor. I gained less than 30 lbs each time, and the Super Babies turned out healthy, and not large, but I only think it was because I ran a lot, or am just predisposed to making smaller offspring (until they turn 4 months old, then all bets are off).

When I started on this journey, I was obviously not running for kale, for health, to set a good example for my children, or for me. I ran for biscuits, plain and simple. I ran because I wanted to eat. I have learned that eating is a major crutch for me. It is how I cope with stressors in life, it is how I celebrate, it is how I bide my time, it is how I bond with friends and family. Because eating is such a huge part of my life- other than the obvious, that everyone has to eat to survive- I figured I would just run to support my habit. Well, that’s just not cutting it anymore.

I really felt that I had stalled out in my running, and not just because I have been either making babies or feeding babies on and off for the past four years. I thought I had tried everything, from doing more strength workouts, to cross training, to doing interval work. I think I knew in the back of my mind that I was avoiding the most obvious thing: my diet. Not diet like Weight Watchers or Paleo or 80/20 or Atkin’s (does anybody even do that anymore?) or anything with a label. Just my nutritional needs.

Lately, Super Dad has been majorly into cooking. He has always taken the reigns in that regard, but he has upped his game from Master Griller to Master Chef. We aren’t talking Joel Robuchon, but just simple yet flavorful and healthful meals. We want to make a concerted effort to eat more whole foods and to instill an appreciation of the earth and our bodies (not in a touchy feely crunch way, though it is totally cool if you are into that) in our kids. Now, Super Girl still digs her Drumstick ice cream cones, and she comes by that honestly, because I ate approximately 193 of those while she was in utero, but last night while I was juicing, she asked for blueberries and apples for dessert. Come to think of it, I’m not sure if she is actually mine. Or maybe she is already angling for a car. Her 16th birthday is only 13 years away.

Since we have been eating a more balanced diet and significantly less takeout and/or processed foods, I have noticed an uptick in my energy and improved endurance and speed. I have had days where I typically would have dragged through a workout, but last week was able to knock out mile repeats faster than I imagined possible a few months ago. I enjoy running too, and I am not just thinking about what I am goig to stuff my face with after finishing a run.

I also find that I am craving better foods. I used to get the shakes if I didn’t mainline Nutella, but now I can go weeks without eating half a jar. I now crave my green juice, which is about five leaves of kale, a handful of spinach, three green apples, one cucumber, and two handfuls of grapes. It is glorious, and both Super Baby and Super Girl approve.

That said, I don’t get excited by beets or coconut milk or chia seeds. I like my carbs, they make me feel happy sometimes and in moderation, provide me with the energy I need to get through a long workout. I know I know, beets are probably better for energy and are a super food. I still think they taste like dirt. I also still enjoy my Bojangles, mainly for the sake of this blog, because I would hate to have to change the name 🙂 I still eat cheeseburgers more often than I should, and I still get my Drumsticks, but I get the mini version instead. So I guess if you are what you eat, I’m now mini version of my old self. And a little greener.

20130717-160417.jpg

I suck at yoga…

I also suck at anything involving balance. For instance, a balanced diet, balancing my checkbook, balancing home life versus work life (I am not entirely to blame for this one, as Super Dad and I work at the same place), balancing on my road bike well enough to merely lift a hand to signal to my other cyclists that there is a pile of glass or a pothole they should avoid, and the biggest balance issue facing most runner/triathlete moms: how do I balance my bizarre exercise needs with my family’s schedule? I don’t want our family schedule to revolve 100% around me- 75% would suffice- but I also want us to have some flexibility to enjoy the pool or go out to dinner just because.

DISCLAIMER: This is a REALLY, REALLY, obnoxiously long post. It’s not for the faint of heart. I have 7 months worth of venting to do, so grab some Nuun hydration and read on if you like.

Ok, let’s back this train up. When willrunforbiscuits started, I was all about running. Otherwise the blog name wouldn’t make much sense. I have been all about running pretty much since I graduated from college and decided I would be done with swimming FOREVER. I was that burned out on the sport. I dabbled in some kickboxing and pilates, but realized that my diet of biscuits and gelato were probably better suited to fuel a long distance runner. Cue five marathons, zero swimming, zero triathlons, zero cycling.

I made it a goal to run a marathon between each baby. After Super Girl (formerly known as Super Baby) was born, I ran the Kiawah Marathon in 2010. But then I had the shoulder surgeries mentioned in previous blog posts, which basically left me in the shape I was in freshman year when I quit swimming for 6 months. Round, floppy, and out of breath. I was no good at balancing recovering from my surgeries with finding appropriate but challenging workouts, so I just gave up.

I finally started getting back into shape with the help of my beloved Athletic Conditioning class at the Y. Those were my people. Some of my closest friends that I have developed over the past several years. Check them out, they are a good-looking group.

IMG_0329

Finally, I was ready to start training for “something.” I hit the greenway with my friend Kevin for long runs, and he would join me for interval work on the indoor track at the Y. I would push Super Girl around in her jogging stroller, which definitely helps gain strength and speed. I finally felt like I had the balance thing down. You can be a mom to one kid and still find the time to train distance.

Then I got pregnant with the new Super Baby, and I kept running. All the books I read about exercising while pregnant were totally common sense. “If you have been active, then it’s okay to stay active.” And “listen to your body.” What does that mean???? I need real answers. I was very bad at balancing logic and emotion during early pregnancy. The basic takeaway from everything I read is this: If you are at least moderately in shape and NOT an idiot, then just keep doing what you’re doing, keeping your heartrate in check and taking stock of any other warning signs like cramping, chills, obvious signs of dehydration, etc. If you have jogged one 5k before, probably not a good idea to sign up for you first Marathon, set to take place when you are 34 weeks pregnant. Having already been doing long runs upwards of 9 miles when I got pregnant, I went ahead and signed up for a half marathon which I completed in January 2012, when I was 15 weeks pregnant. It was a really pleasant race because I was able to balance my baby’s safety against my desire to be the fastest pregnant runner out there. I ran a 5k at 24 weeks and a 10k at 28 weeks. It is fair to say that by the end, I had gotten really good at balancing my fluid input/output because there are usually no porta johns on a 3-6 mile course. Yikes!

After new Super Baby came along, surrounded by much drama that I would talk about if this were yet another birth story blog, I initially dove back into the group exercise thing that I so loved. I was unable to balance my desire to train for another marathon with my desire to hang out with my friends and go to classes which I knew would push me and leave my on the edge of vomitus, just the way I like it. So I fell into a bit of a rut.

I ran a few local races at the end of 2012, with my eye on a marathon in 2013.

image

IMG_1789

But then we moved to Raleigh. So the months of late December to late February of this year are a total blur of boxes, tears, more boxes, house hunting, eating garbage (not literally), and not running. No balance could be achieved in that phase of my life. And quite frankly, it has taken about four months to get back on track.

I really wanted to find balance in my workout regimen upon moving. As I have mentioned a thousand times, I had such a great group of instructors and friends at the YMCA in Charlotte. I wanted to try to replicate that here. I toured probably 6 different gyms. I was like Goldilocks. This gym was too expensive. This gym was too dingy. This gym too far, this gym too boring.

So I decided that instead of trying to achieve in Raleigh what I had in Charlotte, I would create something new. Like a Phoenix rises from the ashes, so too did my new training goal. I decided to sign up for a triathlon. It is definitely a symbol of balance- having to balance your time to train for three different disciplines. My goal race is the White Lake Olympic Distance Tri in September. Before that race, I have a sprint distance- the Triangle Triathlon- this weekend! And I really have no idea what I am doing or what to expect, so it won’t be that different from becoming a mother.

In order to get in triathlon shape, I have spent less time in group exercise classes and taken more initiative to find group runs, go out on long morning runs before my kids get up (which I never would have done before), find group cycle rides, and swim just to get my shoulders stronger and hopefully wake up some muscle memory that’s been covered in cobwebs for the past 11 years. I have finally been able to strike a balance in all the three disciplines, and I am actually having a lot of fun doing it. The issue is just figuring which workouts to do in the morning before Super Girl and Super Baby wake, which to do at lunch (too much work involved in getting re-coiffed for work) and which to do after work, as that calls into play either taking the kids to the Y or SuperDad piling up the parenting points so I can go on a bike ride after work. We haven’t quite figured out how to make it work, and we have to take it on a week-by-week basis, which is difficult.

Raleigh  Trail Runners at Umstead Park.  They look fast.

Raleigh Trail Runners at Umstead Park. They look fast.

Which leads to the final straw that led me back into the blogosphere. My family may be done with 2 kids and 3 dogs, but we may expand- ya never know, we could add a guinea pig to the mix. Whatever size our family ends up being, we will have more and more commitments as our kids get older. Super Girl is in gymnastics and will likely start ballet and music lessons in the next year. Super Baby will probably be entering eating competitions so we need to balance those commitments into our family schedule. My exercise also needs to be balanced out against my family’s needs.

Last night, I planned out this week’s workouts. I planned to do an easy steady-stead 7 mile run before work. Well, off went the buzzer this morning, and I said “let’s get serious iPhone, you know I’m not getting out of this bed.” End of discussion, no agonizing, just went straight back to dreaming about Robin Thicke.

The result of this 100% selfish decision was that I completely threw off our family plan for the day. The morning routine went fine, as I would have been back from my run and showering at the same time I ended up rising. Because we are so earth-conscious, Super Dad and I decided to carpool. Then I would pick up Super Baby and take him to the Y while Super Dad took Super Kid to gymnastics. After my quick little swim and run, I would swing by to get Super Girl from gymnastics. Wrong. As I checked my phone post swim and run, I notice that Super Dad has called and sent an urgent text, something to the effect of “my darling wife, I forgot to remind you that my car is at home because we carpooled to work. As such, our beloved daughter is stranded at daycare, I am stranded at work, and she will not be able to get to the gymnastics class she was so looking forward to. In no way are you to blame, but I wanted to let you know that I will get this taken care of in the approximately 6 minutes before daycare closes. Love Always, Super Dad.” As you can imagine, the text was not quite so polite. Oops, mommy messed up. No really, mommy threw off our family’s balance today in a big big way. One that inconvenienced many people, including Super Daddy, Super Uncle and Super Neighbor, who let Super Girl borrow a leotard. When I got home, Super Girl had a MAJOR attitude. Our conversation:

SG: That was NOT COOL mommy! You don’t leave Daddy at his office. It’s not cool to leave people at their offices. He was lonely.

Me: I’m sorry, I messed up.

SG: Yeah, you did. Now Daddy and I are going inside, but you can stay out here with Super Baby.

…proceeds to lock me out of the house. [end scene]

Moral of the story: if you are going to be lazy, which is warranted every now and then (unless you are Shalane Flanagan and you’re trying to win Olympic Medals) try not to upset your whole family. I need to work on balancing my obligations to my family with my training. Anyone else have trouble with this balancing act?

Rejoice!

For those of you who have spent the past 17 months anxiously refreshing your browsers every 15 seconds (like me the night the iPhone 5 went on sale) hoping that there would be a new willrunforbiscuits post, rejoice! Your prayers have been answered. At fleeting moments over the last year or so, I have felt an urge to resurrect the blog, but it was not until a dear friend facetiously offered to buy me a box of Bojangles Cajun Filet biscuits that I decided it was time to jump back into the world of airing my dirty laundry in cyberspace.  Who are we kidding? That’s what I do on Facebook 19.3 times per day.

In all seriousness, I am well aware that on my Facebook page, there is an overabundance of baby cuteness, talk about lululemon, discussion/photos of my latest carb fests, and posts about my workouts which SuperDad cannot decipher because he ran cross country for 2 years and only understands a running workout that goes like this: “hey you, skinny kid, go run really far then turn around and come back.”  While I am sure my many adoring fans friends enjoy seeing my gigantisaurus rex of a baby and reading about the hilarious and incredibly inappropriate things his sister says, I need a place where I can really throw up all my feelings about trying to be a better runner.

This is not a mommy blog.  This is not a shopping blog.  This is not a “I’m sooooo great because I ran 17 miles with ankle weights while pushing a double stroller and dictating a brief with the sweet Dragon software on my phone” blog.  There are already a ton of those blogs out there and like the good liberal arts major I was, I really am not trying to be the best at any one thing.  I just want to dabble. If only my super Asian Tiger Mom had known this before she pretty much took out a second mortgage to send me to college.  Just kidding!

This is just a blog that will hopefully give me some accountability as I train for my next marathon.  I will definitely talk about my kids because what kind of mother that overshares doesn’t talk about her kids?  I will also tell you about clothes/shoes/gear that I love and probably (more likely) things that I hate.  Because I’m not really an “everything is sunshines and roses and puppy dogs and I love everyone” type of person.  I am obviously an air quotes type of person, and I also don’t know how to edit, according to SuperDad.  Finally, I can already foresee a post about running while pregnant.  Because I have done it twice, and it is not that awesome.  But it’s doable.  And the two books out there that are allegedly about running or exercising while pregnant are also terrible.  The worst.  So bad that I am going to take out a loan, go to med school, become an expert in exercise medicine, and write a book about running while pregnant.  I cannot guarantee that will actually happen. Any of it.

Well kiddies, it’s time for me to tuck in and watch some Real Housewives Breaking Bad with SuperDad.  As you can see, there’s a lot of excitement going on here.  Two kids + 11 mile run tomorrow + generally being lazy = in bed long before I was even ready to put on my makeup back in the day.  You have to use an accent and say “BACK in the day-uh” when you say it.  If you’re lucky I will tell you about my new training plan tomorrow.  But it will most likely be in a week. 

Know your limits… then push them (sometimes)

It’s been two weeks since my second shoulder surgery.  I had a ton of scar tissue so it’s a good thing I had the surgery, or I would be a decrepit old woman with no range of motion within a couple years.  The doctor didn’t tell me that, but this is what I surmise.  The recovery went really well- I was back to work within a day and hit the gym three days later.  I mistakenly thought I could just dive right in and go for a run.  I tallied an impressive 1/2 mile.  If by “impressive,” you mean “really really ridiculously low.”  But instead of pushing myself and impeding my recovery, I hopped on the elliptical for 45 minutes.  I have been building back up since then.  It’s certainly been quicker than the first time around, but I still know my limits.  Like, when I go to Power Hour (which henceforth will be called Athletic Conditioning, because that is what the Y is now calling it) and the class is centered pretty much entirely on pushups, burpees, weighted burpees (aka The Death move), and shoulder presses, I run some sprints on the track and do squats instead.  So basically, I should not have even gone to class.  But I have friends there.  And I also savor the opportunity to a) check to see if one of those friends is going to do something stupid and blog-worthy and b) show off my giant purple bruise.  No seriously, it is gross.  Here is a picture.

Last Saturday, I did my first long-ish run in months.  I know that when I start ramping my mileage up (you know, from  1/2 – 12 miles per week), I start getting shin splints.  It is a tried and true theory, regardless of whether I am heel striking or running in a more natural form.  So earlier in the week, I contacted my good friend at Body Helix, who hooked me up with the brand new Body Helix full calf sleeve.  That’s a picture of me in the silver sleeve.  It is awesome.  It feels so smooth in fact, it feels like you aren’t wearing anything, although you can tell it is providing nice compression.  You know I love me some compression gear.  I have worn Body Helix in the past for my shin splints, and had good results. I think I am going to love these even more though because, being a full sleeve, you get an even greater area of compression.

Anyway, the Body Helix sleeve was only part of what made the run so great.  Another wonderful part of the run was that I got to take sweet Riley running with me.  She is our hound dog and she loves to run.  Rain, shine, hot, cold.  She will run in any weather, unlike me.  Here she is.  The one on the left in the pink collar.  The others are kind of useless for longer runs.  Griffin, in the middle, will trot at a 10:00 pace for approximately 3/4 of a mile.  Then he tries to make his way home or to the car.  There is someone in my house who is fairly similar but I won’t name names. Dylan, on the right, is a decent sprinter and can do about 3 miles if it is precisely 63 degrees and he has not had too much to eat.  We are very much alike.  Riley is the natural born runner, kind of like Shalane Flanagan.  Both are my running idols. Unfortunately, between the baby, two other dogs, and the heat, Riley doesn’t get as much exercise as she should.  It’s certainly possible I train for marathons simply out of guilt, because she will go on training runs with me a lot. Riley is really fun to run with now that all of the dogs had training at the Dog Wizard last December.  She no longer pulls on the lead, which she was terrible about in the past.  She still stops like 5 times to poop (though it’s usually only productive once or twice) but I just sip some water while she does her business. Afterwards, Riley almost had a coronary.  I told you, it’s been a while since we last ran.

Additionally, the weather was incredible.  I despise running in the heat.  I am pretty sure I have mentioned this many many times.  Here in North Carolina, the weather has been horrendous.  So hot and humid.  It is like living on the surface of the sun, after a hurricane.  Oftentimes, I blame my inactivity on the weather.  I think that’s a valid excuse, but I need to deal with it because hello, it’s July, and it’s not likely the heat is going away anytime soon.  But on Saturday, the temp was a brisk 79 when I left the house.  I felt like I needed some earmuffs or something, given how much cooler it was.  The cool temperature tricked my body into thinking it was winter and thus, that I was in some sort of shape.  My goal was to run about 3-4 miles.  I started getting a little tired but felt all right, so I decided to push us. I ended up running 5 miles with Riley and then dropped her off to pick up the other two for another mile.   We won’t discuss what pace I kept.  That’s not what my goal was.

Which brings me to my next point.  It’s HOT AGAIN.  So hot.  Tonight, I went to Athletic Conditioning.   We went outside onto the track, which is not abnormal.  What was abnormal was the humidity.  I swear it was not just me.  We did a decent amount of running, but somehow it felt like I sprinted a 10k with a backpack full of weights in it.  I really wanted to run fast and run hard.  That’s just how I am when I am in a group setting.  But I just couldn’t go as fast or as hard as I wanted to.  Then, when I realized I couldn’t go as fast or as hard as I wanted to, I wanted to quit.  But I stuck it out.  I kept running, slower of course.  I cut off about .01 of a mile off, but I kept going.  I figured out, not surprisingly, that I am not yet capable of running full steam in this kind of heat.  I could have pushed harder- but what would I have accomplished?  A headache, maybe some vomitus, and what else? The point is to get better every day, and enjoy myself.  Physical ailments like shin splints and IT band issues I can deal with, but making myself sick?  That’s not what running and exercising are about to me. At least not anymore.  I know my limit, and for the time being, I am not going to push myself to the brink of sheer exhaustion.  Now that I am a mom and have long term goals like another half marathon and marathon in the next 6 months, maybe another Super Baby, and an Ironman, I can’t risk being out of the game again due to illness or injury.  For now, I just want to have fun and work on increasing my mileage every week.  The really hard stuff will come soon enough…

Why you should only sign up for races while sober…

As you know, I am trying to make my triumphant return to running.  My literal first steps towards this goal culminated in a one mile run.  My most recent efforts have included a 38 minute run at an average pace of 7.4 mph.  The hotel treadmill inexplicably displayed my total mileage as 3.1, but I’m pretty good at math and I don’t think that adds up.  Anyway, I have primarily been going to Power Hour because it’s so hot outside, I can’t stomach a run outdoors after work, and my fuse is too short from my lack of stamina and speed that I cannot deal with the people on the indoor track who openly defy track etiquette.  A few weeks ago, I jogged about 3 laps on the indoor track, and a tween walking around the track with his older sister/babysitter dared walk on the inside of the track for a protracted period of time.  When I said “excuse me,” Carrot Top said, ne, commanded, that the inner lanes are for walkers!!!  I calmly screamed “look at the sign!” and gave up in defeat shortly thereafter.  I have not returned to the indoor track, the former home of my winter 18 or 20 milers, since that incident.  I don’t foresee a trip back to the track until I can tune up my anger management techniques.  Maybe I will take a yoga class…

But I digress.  I have been torturing myself with Power Hour, a class which offers ample running, hill work, and strength work to make me feel like less of a sloth when I sit on the couch watching Real Housewives of New Jersey later in the evening.  It also exposes my shoulder scars to enough UV rays to guarantee I will be branded with these imperfections until I am 80 and the rest of my body resembles an old leather briefcase.  Power Hour has introduced me to some people who I find fascinating, because they too enjoy masochism.  On Friday night, some of my Power Hour friends and “real” friends joined me for Happy- not Power- Hour.  This was an excellent way to kiss goodbye one full week without alcohol. I must say, taking a week off of social drinking was remarkable.  I saved probably $12 in cheap wine and staved off SuperBaby learning the term “Mommy Juice” for at least another week.  Seriously though, I feel marginally more energized and think I will make a habit of not drinking during the work week.  Granted, I’m not a booze hound. I may typically consume 3 or 4 glasses of wine total from Sunday-Thursday, but it’s the principle that counts.  I also have cut out virtually all caffeine and processed flour, so I am feeling rather superior these days.  After consuming two glasses of delicious wine, the name of which I cannot recall, I returned home with my friend Erin and we started talking about running. We thought it would be really fun to pick a race in the fall to do.  We decided to choose a half marathon, since Erin is still nursing a back injury and I will be recovering from a second shoulder surgery.  Instead of thinking our choice through in a sober state of mind, we voted on the inaugural Savannah Rock n’ Roll 1/2 Marathon & Marathon on November 5.  I even found a coupon code to get $10 off registration! We immediately registered online, texted a few friends from Power Hour to harass them into signing up also, and patted ourselves on the backs for our foresight to register early and save $10.

The next morning I see a confirmation email from Active.com congratulating me on registering for the race.  My first thought was “Race, what race?!”  My second thought was “Wow, my brain hurts.  Wine has a lot of sugar in it.”  Great, I roped myself into another race without having even built back up to a solid 10 mile per week base.  And by solid, I mean pathetic.  And by pathetic, I mean “I’m not judging you if you consider yourself a runner and all you run is 10 miles per week.  It’s just that you can’t exactly race 13.1 miles at once if you are running/jogging 2 or 3 miles at a time a few times each week.”  Plus, given I am likely having repeat shoulder surgery very soon, I won’t be running until early August at best.   My negative, super sarcastic brain (which typically wins) laughs at me maniacally, telling me I am shooting for a world record for signing up for races I cannot attend/complete.  See, e.g., Myrtle Beach Marathon (not enough time to recover from Kiawah), Corporate Cup 1/2 Marathon (too much pain 5 days before surgery), Providence Marathon (registered before I realized I would need surgery), and The Scream Half Marathon (wedding that weekend).  My positive brain, which is a rookie, is all about promoting good Qi and making sure I get back into the running that I love.  This part of my brain has decided that Savannah is going to be the one race all year that I fully train for and that I can use to accomplish a PR (under 1:38).  So I mapping out my training schedule, just like I have done in the past.  Here is a sampling of my goals for the next month of training, which will probably take closer to 6 or 7 weeks because of my recovery from surgery:

Mondays/Wednesdays: Power Hour

Tuesdays: 30 minute run at HMP + 10%, 10 cycles of Tabata Sprints (30 seconds sprint, 15 seconds walk)

Thursdays: Intervals (4×800, 8×400, 10×200)

Fridays: Off

Saturdays: Start with a 6 mile run at half marathon pace + 20% this Saturday (on the treadmill at the Aria hotel in VEGAS!!!), add 1 mile per week for three weeks, then back down 2 miles on week 4.

Sundays: Easy 2-3 mile jog

Not too daunting, certainly not like marathon training.  If anyone has any suggestions which one may consider constructive, please send them my way. Happy running, and don’t sign up for any races in the immediate afterglow of Happy Hour!

Motivation

As you know, it’s been a while since my last post.  I’ve found I haven’t had motivation to post, mainly because I haven’t had motivation to run or even exercise all that much. I never realized how easy it is to get out of the exercise routine.  It’s just as easy as getting obsessive about working out, planning out interval work, and making sure I get at least one chicken biscuit a week.  I am three months post surgery and unfortunately, not making much progress with my range of motion.  It is looking like I’ll need another surgery to remove a bunch of scar tissue.  Supposedly, the recovery isn’t supposed to be as bad.  This isn’t surprising to me, given that I don’t think any recovery from a relatively “minor” surgery could be worse.  I know I didn’t have a hip replacement like my dad, or get hit by a bus and have to learn how to walk again like that firefighter in New York, Matt Long, that ended up doing a freaking Iron Man a few years after he almost died and was told he’d never walk again.  But still, I’m not used to being laid up.  I didn’t even take off that much time off (5 full weeks) when I was with child or after I had Superbaby.  It’s not easy, but I think I’ve finally found my motivation again.

My motivation is twofold:  cute exercise clothes, and doing an Ironman one day.  So, the only thing bad about these workout clothes is that they are likely going to lead to my filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy.   However, I find that I can make room in my bank account by eliminating other things, like food and work clothes.  I’ll just wear the same black shift dress to work every day and drink tap water. I never drink enough water. Maybe I can throw in a few free Splenda packets from the coffee machine at work. Just kidding, I like Sugar in the Raw.  So what are these wonderful clothes that caused me to break free of my DVR and Kindle-reading cocoon?  None other than lululemon.  I’d heard about this gift from the textile gods before, but didn’t really shop there until last summer when I won a tank top in a pushup competition (seriously) and then bought another online.  But when lululemon opened a store in the nearby mall last month, I figured I would pop in because I had a $25 gift card.  Mind you, you can only buy two headbands or a water bottle for $25 there.  I knew this going in.  I walked away with a couple pairs of their split shorts and scoop neck tanks.  Let me tell you people, these things are LIFE CHANGING.  Not just because you may not be able to make your car payment if you buy four articles of clothing there, but because of the comfort.  I felt like I was naked when I ran in these things.  In the good way, not in the “oh crap I got on the school bus naked” in your dream kind of way.  No hint of chafing in sight.  Granted, I didn’t run 16 miles but I usually get some chafing in the summer due to my biscuit thighs.  As for the tops, they somehow managed to minimize my super large upper body and make me feel like I looked good (even if I didn’t).  And the built-in bra provided good support to someone of my (maybe) above average chest stature.  So needless to say, I was hooked.

I decided I needed to take every opportunity possible to model my new ensembles.  And purchase more ensembles.  I began reducing the number of meals I ate out, and generally have tried to reduce my overall caloric intake.  This has produced three miraculous results: 1) I lost a couple of those pesky post-surgery pounds, 2) I look better in those glorious scoop neck tanks, and 3) I haven’t bounced any checks despite buying $54 scoopneck tanks.   I also feel healthier overall, and better fueled to tackle my workouts.  I have since purchased a few other goodies, all of which I love.  I just can’t get enough.

I also have a legitimate, non-vain source of motivation for getting back into running.  I eventually would like to do an Ironman (well, probably just a half Ironman).  Or maybe what’s happened is my friend Sherman (the Shermanator- he just did his first Ironman at the age of… we’ll just say, he’s not 25) is just strong-arming me into thinking I can do one.  I’ll never have the bone strength to do an ultramarathon, but I think with my swimming background I could kill some triathlons.  The only problem is that I don’t have a bike and I’m deathly afraid of falling off the bike.  Oh, and I can’t really swim right now because of my jacked up shoulder.  Well, I’m not going to let that stop me.  At some point in the future, I should be able to move my shoulder more than 15 degrees in any direction.  And Superbaby will probably get better at gift giving, meaning I can probably score a tri bike from her. Triathlon bikes are expensive!  I guess I could try riding a Huffy from my childhood days, but I have a feeling my legs would fall off or I’d miss the cut-off time for the Ironman bike leg.  So in the mean time, I just need to get myself back into fighting shape with spin classes, running a lot, and Power Hour.  If I need to have another surgery, I am not sitting on my butt for five weeks eating chicken biscuits.  I’ll run and eat my biscuits.

Will speedwalk/yog (with a soft “j”) for biscuits

I’m baaaaack. Did you miss me? It has been almost 2 months since my last post. It has been about 7 weeks since my last 5+ mile run. And only about 4 days since my last Bojangles chicken biscuit. The reason is that I had arthroscopic surgery on my right shoulder on March 18. After surgery, it has been a long, uphill battle. SuperDad has effectively become a single parent. I could not change a diaper for over 4 weeks because I was in a sling 24/7. Not going to complain about that one. I planned on working out on the bike or elliptical within a week or two or surgery, but my deep-rooted desire to be a couch potato bubbled to the surface, leaving me with plenty of excuses to forego the gym. I have to work hard to fight those couch potato urges, and it took me a full five weeks to conquer my lazy evil twin. During which time I forbade myself from consuming any chicken biscuits. Seriously.

So on Saturday, less than 24 hours after consumingy first post-surgical biscuit, I went out for just over a 3 mile jog/walk with the dogs and SuperDad. It was brutal, almost as if I had had surgery on both legs and my spine as opposed to an extremity I previously thought played a very small role in running. But I made it through, and in the process got schooled by SuperDad and produced enough endorphins to make me foolishly think I would be ready for another half marathon in 12 weeks!

Since Saturday, I have gone to Power Hour twice, which has proven interesting considering I cannot lift ANYTHING more than a biscuit with my right arm. Needless to say, I did a lot of squats and lunges in lieu of pushups or other upper body activities. I will probably have great difficulty getting any decent running in, but I don’t really mind. It feels good to sweat hard, almost go into cardia arrest, and face the new challenge of completely starting over again. What doesn’t feel good is the 156% humidity and 80 degree temperatures. When did spring finally decide to show up? Sheesh.

Friday morning I set out to conquer my second non-human nemesis: the hill near Myers Park High School that appears at mile 8 of the Corporate Cup half marathon.  I surprised both myself and SuperDad by actually waking up at 6am, bundling up in my cold weather gear, and running over to the hill, approximately 2.5 miles from our house.  I ran that darn hill 6 times, and by the 6th time, it was no easier than the first. I was moving at about an 8:20 pace up that hill, which is not great.  I figure if I can keep a 7:25 pace for the first 6 flat miles of the course, I can afford to run the hills in 7:40 or so.  Not 8:20.  Nevertheless, I was pleased that a) I woke up at 6 am, b) I actually did repeats on that hill, as opposed to doing it once and crying the whole way home, and c) I didn’t get hit by a teenager turning his brand new 2011 Yukon into the parking lot.  It’s sad that one day, SuperBaby will be the “poor kid” at that high school.

Sunday I planned to do a 10 mile run at 7am.  Instead, I slept 12 hours, waking at 9.  Yep, I went to bed during the Duke-Carolina game because Duke was losing and I knew they were not going to pull through.  I think I was depressed in my sleep about the game, and that’s why I slept so long.  When I got up, I had no motivation to run.  It was pouring ran and there was no end in sight.  So naturally, I took two naps with SuperBaby and worked a few hours.  Around 5 it cleared up.  I decided to sack up and take Riley on the run.  Big mistake.  Huge mistake. Riley has OCD.  And she thinks she has IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).  She literally stopped 15 times during 10 miles.  For you non-math majors out there, that is 1.5 times per mile.  There was approximately 1.7 poops and 1 pee (total) generated in those 15 stops.  Riley thinks she has to go but there’s nothing there.  But people walking or driving by think she is going #2, and give me the stink eye when I don’t clean up.  Sorry, can’t clean up a phantom poop.

Also, because I didn’t want to carry my water bottle, along with the doggie poop bags, remote control for her collar, and my Iphone, I did an out-and-back course twice.  Meaning, I mapped out 2.5 miles from the house and ran to that point and back twice.  I put the water around mile 1.5 so I could have water at least every 3 miles.  This way, I was always under street lights as well. The problem with that course is that it goes along a busy road with many stop lights.  Naturally, as it goes when I drive, I hit almost every red light.  I think I had to stop about 23 or 24 times, even if only briefly.  This made me quite angry.  SuperDad thought this was funny, because he thinks it is absurd that I choose to run on such busy roads.  Whatever.  The run was 4 x 2.5 miles at HMP + 20% (about 8:45), HMP + 10% (8:15), HMP (actually, ended up being about 7:40), then HMP + 20%.  All of the stopping and starting messed up my splits, but then again, I guess it gave me time to rest as well.  I was not at all happy with Riley afterward, and the worst part is that I cannot shame her with this blog because she doesn’t read and lacks the opposable thumbs to pull up the site!

I am hoping my shoulder makes it through this last week of taper and the race on Saturday.  If you don’t hear from me before Saturday, it is because I am spending my free time visualizing the race and the pain I will endure on the multiple hills. I am afraid that all my weeks of avoiding hills on my long runs is really going to come back and bite me.  I am going to do one last hill workout tonight in the hopes of drumming up some semblance of fitness before Saturday.