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.