Birthdays, races, and running. Yea verily, there will always be running.

It had been so long since I’ve been here that I almost had to reset my blog password. But finally, success!

I don’t have enough time to update you on everything that’s happened since my last post here, but here’s the abridged version:

There was a half marathon.

I ran the Cellcom Green Bay Half Marathon that I signed up for on a partial whim, lived, but did not order the overpriced professional photos. Finish time was right around 2:27, meeting my 2:30 goal. Also, my running partner and I ran the entire way in very warm temps, so not completely ideal conditions. (The statute of limitations equivalent on race recaps has run out, so this is what you get.)

There was a birthday.

Sophia turned six years old. Yes, she lived to see the day, though there were moments leading up to that celebration that were tenuous, indeed.

The Birthday Queen at school in her special celebratory headgear

More pictures below in a fancy gallery:

There was a 5K.

I impulsively signed up for a 5K, high off the completion of the Green Bay Half. I ran the Brian Kraft Memorial 5K in Minneapolis, which is a fine race, especially if you are a gazelle. However, even if you were not born with a singlet attached to your body, this is a fun event and for a good cause. And the race shirt this year was super cool.

I ran my little jiggly heart out amongst some mighty fine runners.
Got my fangirl on and chatted with Melissa Gacek, who is part gazelle, I’m pretty sure. Definitely entirely bad ass.

There have been multiple bike rides.

I’ve ridden my bike more in the last month than I have in the last five years, easily. I’ve made a commitment to cross training and strength training and stretching and foam rolling, basically all the stuff I haven’t done in the past because it always feels easier to just run and not take time for stuff like that.

Team /var/ride

I haven’t seen a complete physical transformation yet, but I’m down a few pounds, clothes fit a little better, and I’ve had so much less back pain than I did when I was running pre-pregnancy. In fact, I haven’t had any at all. Is it from all the squats? Not sure, but I’m going to keep doing them.

There is More running (and now there is training).

And so I keep running, which leads me to what I was originally going to write about when I opened up the text editor: My first week of training for the Twin Cities Marathon.*

Find Your Strong ATP pic badge

I’m training with the AMR Tribe and using a completely new plan. This is a big deal for someone who’s used the same plan (generally) for the last eleven years.

So week one was something like this:

Keeping easy runs easy. It’s not that I don’t find running easy to be, well, easy, but when you’ve got a little computer on your wrist that is always telling you how fast you’re moving and how long you’ve been at it, it becomes very difficult to stick to a slow plan, even if you’ve decided a slow plan is what you’re going to do this time around.

But now that I’ve got a functioning heart monitor device (I am using this Mio Link wristband with my Garmin Forerunner 410), I am getting a better picture of heart rate and effort and how my body feels in general at different levels of exertion.

Long run is low and slow. That’s the other place I made a real effort to keep it slow: my eight mile long run on Saturday. I was coming off tired legs from bike commuting the day before (32 mile round trip), so there was no desire to be speedy. And I wasn’t; it took me almost 90 minutes to run eight miles. However, my heart rate stayed exactly where I wanted it to be, and I wasn’t completely wrecked when the run was over. My gut stayed happy, too.

Saving speed for tempo. There was one tempo run and I did give it all I had, even though I’ve been battling a crappy cold all week. I’m only going to run faster when the plan calls for it. It was tough but not impossible. I mostly hit my target pace I’d like to run for Twin Cities, a slightly ambitious 10:20/mile pace.

Overall feeling: Good. Proud of myself for sticking it out despite the head crap. Happy to not have to reschedule or shift around any runs due to not getting up with the alarm in the morning. Looking forward to a week of training where I’m hopefully not just hacking up phlegm. Also making a commitment to biking on my XT days and sticking in some strength training, something I have not kept up with for the past two weeks like I’d like.

* Oh yeah, the asterisk. I’m making 2015, the year I turn 40, also the year I finish my first ultra. Fall Back Blast in Eau Claire, WI in November. More on that craziness later.


    1. We will see! I’m still talking myself into it (or out of the impending pain). Even though it’s only five miles more than a marathon, which I’ve done many times, I’m suddenly really nervous about it. Trail = slow for me. So, stinking slow.

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