Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Week's Summary

My husband and I hosted a cookie exchange yesterday, my job has been busy and my kids turned FIVE on Thursday, so this is the first time I've been able to think about blogging since Monday.

I don't write much about my twins on this blog, mostly because like running itself I see this journal as "my time," where I can focus on my non-motherhood obsession. But nonetheless they are a huge part of my life, and I'm very proud of them.

Here's how we looked five years ago:

And here's how we look today!

Five years old is a great age. While they were adorable babies, I kind of always wished they could have just emerged about five years old, so I could skip sleep training, potty training, separation anxiety, and preschool illnesses. Yep, I'm a lazy parent. But despite my laziness, we've made it to five the old-fashioned way and most of that stuff is behind us (I know there are more illnesses lurking, and lots more to learn about manners, not to mention the teen years....but at least the latter are a ways off). Bring on the Wonder Years!

Back to running......

This is the only palatable photo from last weekend's Rock Canyon Half.

I had two *great* runs this week.

On Thursday, I did 10 miles with the middle six at marathon pace. I decided to do this one on the treadmill because the streets and sidewalks were still really icy from the prior weekend's storm. While I don't mind negotiating a bit of ice when I'm doing an easy run or a long steady one, I don't like having to think about it when I'm concentrating on holding a tougher pace for any time longer than a fartlek. So the 'mill it was! I got to the rec center early enough (5:30 a.m.) that the time limit wasn't a factor.

The other issue with this run was choosing what the heck to call marathon pace. My Top of Utah time, on which I'm still basing most of my paces for my runs, has 9:05 miles as my marathon pace. So when the two warm-up miles were over, I put the treadmill at 6.6 mph, which is right on 9:05. At the end of that mile, I punched it up one notch, to 6.7, and so on, until for the last mile I was running 7.1 mph. On that mile, because I was still feeling good, I notched it up one more on the last half-mile, so that I finished at an 8:19 pace. I also threw in four 2.5 to 3% grade hills of about a quarter mile each on the last two MP miles. Then I cooled down for one mile on the treadmill and one mile on the indoor track. Afterwards? No obvious achiness, no ill effects at all either the rest of that day or Friday!

However, I was worried that having pushed my pace on that run would affect the weekend's long run of 22 miles. After all, running too fast on midweek runs is what I believe made almost all of my long runs ahead of Top of Utah so unproductive. Until Thursday's run, I had deliberately avoided exceeding the prescribed paces this time, hoping to avoid any hint of over-training.

Happily, this didn't appear to be an issue at all in the end! The first part of the 22-miler was rough, but not because of any fatigue. I was running outside again and got myself out the door by 7:30 a.m. because I wanted to be back well ahead of the 2:30 p.m. cookie exchange. I had all my clothing and equipment lined up (water, fuel, toilet paper in a baggie, cell phone). Unlike last weekend, the weather was still (no wind! yay! it's much better to have to run a half-marathon in wind than to have to do a solo 22-miler in wind; if you're going to be miserable, you need some company).

But I didn't plan on the valve to my CamelBak freezing by mile two. It didn't thaw out so I could drink from it until mile 10. So what did I do? I did what I tell my kids never to do: I ate snow. Yes, I tried to find the cleanest snow I could. Yes, I avoided the snow that was anywhere near the many prairie dog colonies I ran by (I was on the Boulder County backroads). Yes, it's still a little gross. But I needed liquid and it seemed like an OK risk to take. Fortunately it paid off in the form of a wonderful distance run where I felt great the whole way (and better in the second half than the first AND didn't have to find a bathroom once!).

My calves are a little stiff today, but I think that's less from the run itself than it is from wearing uncomfortable but cute leather boots all afternoon at our party. Which also was an excellent time, especially since after running 22 miles I didn't worry too much about how many cookies I ate or that glass of champagne Dan and I enjoyed by the fire after the kids were in bed and the guests gone home.


  1. Ewww! I'm a total germphobe, so I'd probably have to be dying to eat snow. Still, running makes you do crazy things! Your twins are adorable, btw! Somehow your cookie exchange cookies still sound awesome to me despite what I ate yesterday. I think I'm a sugar addict.

  2. I'm glad I'm not the only mom to wish my kid could have popped out older!

    You know - you're supposed to repeat things that you do on wonderful distance runs. Good luck finding dirty snow to eat in Houston! :D

  3. Happy birthday to your twins!!! That is really exciting! I too wish that I could skip the potty training, sleep training, potty training, illnesses, potty training, and oh yeah potty training! They sure are cute and enjoy these "wonder years!"

    I can't believe you had to eat snow! You are going to have to wrap a pocket warmer around your valve so it doesn't freeze! But that was good thinking eating the snow...especially avoiding the prairie dog snow!!

    Wearing cute boots is always worth the sore feet that comes with them!

  4. Love it! Both your runs that you describe sound GREAT and like you will be more ready than you think for Houston. Enjoy the cookies!

  5. first of all, happy birthday to your babies!! amazing how time flies, isn't it? and i agree 5 is an awesome age. my little guy turned 5 this fall :o)
    congrats on your awesome runs this week! that 22 miler sounds incredible - i can't imagine snow right now, much less eating it. i am getting used to and enjoying running in the colder weather, but no snow around here yet.
    you are going to rock it in houston! i am so excited for you!

  6. Happy Birthday to the twins!!!

    I'm so psyched for your Houston race - bring it ON!!

  7. Happy Birthday to your munchkins!! And well done on the 22 miler -- and making it work by eating snow. And a good week running overall.

  8. What great pics of you and the twins! They are so cute!

    Great run! I guess if your going to keep up these long runs in this weather you will have to figure out the water thing! Great run by the way!

  9. Hahah...I am laughing at the snow eating, I seriously thought about doing that the other day and figured with my luck, I'd end up in the hospital for a few weeks after. Glad to see your alive and kicking after - especially after that stellar 22-miler! YOU are my hero!! I'd like to run 11 right now feeling "Okay" - I don't even know what it is to feel "good" - I'd just take okay. But one day I will again.

    Love the twins' pictures - too cute. I have a couple pictures holding two babies like that, too :). HAPPY BIRTHDAY to them!

  10. Way to be creative with the hydration! Smart move. Glad the 22 went well and glad you got to enjoy those cookies afterwards.

    The kids are so cute. You're not a lazy mom for wanting to move past those just makes life easier, I know. Nothing wrong with that!

  11. Wow! Great runs! Your twins are so cute...happy birthday to them!! :)

  12. Yay! Yay! You crazy snow eating lady!! So glad your 22 went so well. It was a perfect day, wasn't it?

  13. Awesome!!!!! 10 incredible miles on the TM - you're a rock star! Look out Houston :)

    Good tip about snow...but I would imagine Philly's snow to be much more disgusting so I should probably stay away!

  14. Good job on the 22 miles and yay for no wind!!!
    Isn't part of the reason we run is to be able to eat Christmas cookies??? YES!!!!!! :-)

  15. congrats on a great mid-week run followed by a great 22 miler!! those are the confidence boosters we hope for as training peaks.

    I'm getting excited for houston after this weekend, maybe I can do better than planned!

  16. Aw, happy birthday to your two cuties! I definitely loved every stage of my kids' lives, but some were certainly easier than others. Now that they're all basically able to fend for themselves (at least in small ways), I can't imagine going back to all the work that little ones take!

    I don't talk about my family all that much on my blog, for the same reasons you mention. Plus, a lot of my family/friends, some of whom have kids around my kids' ages, also read it, and I don't want to be sharing things that would make my kids feel uncomfortably exposed. I'm telling MY story, not theirs. Still, my 8 year old will remark on occasion, "You never talk about me on your blog."

    Awesome runs! I do the same thing on the TM during my speedwork. Keep bumping it up every so often. It helps me stay focused, and it's fun to see how "fast" I can run, if only for a short stretch of time. And I totally would've eaten the snow, too. :)

  17. After giving birth to twins & getting them to age 5 w/o losing your mind, I'd say that a Boston qualifier is definitely in your future! Sorry--I know you don't want to spend lots of time chatting it up about your kids on your blog, but when you post cute photos of them, it is to be expected.

    Kindergarten next year? :-)

  18. 5 is a GREAT youngest is 5 1/2 and he cracks me up
    happy birthday to your beautiful kids!
    I am like you..I could have skipped at least the first 4 yrs...I mean have them come out at 4 or 5..I still loved them the first years...but you know what I mean!!!

    I used to eat clean snow all the time when I was a kid!!!

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  20. Happy running and happy double birthdays! Our girls are now 24. I remember when they were 5, and I'll never forget when they were 13-18!!!! Being a parent is the best calling I've ever had! Glad amidst parenting twins you take time for you.

  21. A glass of champagne by the fire? Now that sounds like the PERFECT cap to your day.

  22. yes - 5 is such a great age...way more fun than the crying baby/pooppie diaper stage. :)

    awesome job on the 22 mile run - eating snow and all!

  23. Never noticed the boots! Darn.

  24. Happy birthday to your kids.
    With the 22 done the marathon is closer.
    Great pictures.