{IMM Training-Week #7}

Monday-7.25 miles (counted as last weeks miles)

Week #7 Workouts-

Tuesday-4.75 mile walk with friend, 30 minute upper fix

Wednesday-3 mile run/walk (ran 2 miles, then P decided he would not remain in his car seat in the jogger.  Carried P and pushed stroller home), 30 minute lower fix

Thursday-2.5 mile run, 30 minute Pilates Fix

Friday-off

Saturday-5.5 mile run, 4.5 mile walk with daddy and P.

He just loves to look around.  If he can see, he is happy.  I see I missed some toe jams.  🙂

Sunday-7.3 mile run, 30 minute Yoga Fix (Lots of thoughts and emotions on the run today.  It gets lengthy below.) 

It was a perfect day for a run…except I really wasn’t feeling like going.  P got up 5 times during the night.  I was exhausted.  I had things to do around the house and back to school is near.  Not one to make a ton of excuses or back out on a goal, I set out for my Sunday long run (12 miles) that was scheduled on my training plan.

Along the way I felt the familiar tweak of a muscle that gets painfully sore from time to time since training for my first marathon nearly eight years ago.  Earlier this week I wasn’t sure I’d make it more than a mile into one of my runs.  Some stretching and easy running and it nearly went away.

I’m loving running and working out, but am feeling the challenges of being on someone else’s schedule and balancing all the new mommy tasks. I can’t just run when I feel like it or move a run the way I could in the past if something comes up.  I’m feeling the exhaustion of a baby who has been getting up 3-5 times a night for the past three weeks after getting used to only one feeding a night for the previous five weeks.  To make matters more difficult, when P stopped getting up only once per night, he has also stopped taking a bottle so well.  Day time bottles from dad are usually ok, night-time bottles he refuses.  Last night I got frustrated with P for being awake AGAIN and not letting his dad give him a bottle.  In my head I kept thinking I had a long run planned for the morning and he was making it so hard to get up and run.

And then I thought, who gets mad at their baby because they have a long run the next day?  I immediately felt guilty for thinking it, but the fact that I had remained.

According to the Wonder Weeks app he has been “storming” all month (love this app by the way) and will be for another 11 days.  I counted. He is definitely going through some major development as almost everyday he wakes up doing something new.  One morning he found his feet.  Another day he began sticking out his tongue.  He loves doing pull ups with his hanging toys.  He adores knocking toys off his exersaucer that before he just stared at.   He hates riding in his car seat if he can’t see the world around him.

As I got a few more miles in the familiar tired/weak feeling returned.  It seems to show up near mile five in a run in the morning.  I just can’t figure out my fueling with breastfeeding.  I headed out on a longer route so I couldn’t cheat any miles.  As I turned down a country road that would take me past one of my favorite trees, I started to ask myself why I was out there.  If I’m not loving what I’m doing, then why the push?  As my favorite tree came within sight, I stopped to stretch and think about why I was so eager to get back to marathoning.  When I was pregnant I promised myself not to put pressure on myself to return to running or run to a point that I was overwhelmed and feeling unbalanced after baby.  I have not been holding true to this. I’ve been putting lots of pressure on myself.

As I neared my favorite tree I thought about the logistical problems that recently arose with running this marathon in Indiana.  I registered before our school calendar was out.  We have inservice on Friday, so we are not allowed to take a personal day.  I would have to take an unpaid day in order to get to the Saturday race.  I’m ok with taking an unpaid day if it means a weekend of family fun.  P is, however, not riding or sitting in his infant seat well as of the last two weeks.  A two-hour ride took forever last weekend.  There is no way he can make the 7 hour drive there AND back in two days.  After putting him through a road trip to Boston, we don’t feel it is in his best interest to even attempt this drive, so I will have to run this marathon alone.

This presents another problem.  I fall asleep really easy when I drive and I’m tired.  There is no way I can drive myself 6-7 hours Friday, run a marathon Saturday and then drive the same distance back.  I know myself.  I will fall asleep.  My goal of running 50 marathons in 50 states was always about exploring a state while visiting for a marathon, which I guess wouldn’t happen either.  More importantly, I don’t want to be without my boys for that long.

My favorite tree…one of them.

I hate when people back out of commitments.  I never make goals and not follow through with them.  I’ve never signed up for a marathon and not ran it.  I was feeling so guilty at even entertaining the idea of not running this race.  I waffled back and forth for another mile beating myself up with my own thoughts.

As I made the turn towards town and home, I thought about how lately my heart, mind and body have not been so into this training.  The song changed on my iPhone to the Zac Brown Band-Loving You Easy.  I instantly smiled a big, dorky mom smile. I dance with Pierce to this song in the kitchen while I sing the words to him often and he smiles this biggest, heart melting smile each time I sing the chorus to him.  Running along I was flooded with emotion and tears glistened in my eyes.  I missed my baby.  I could feel his soft skin.  His little hand when it curls around my fingers when he nurses.  The delicious smell of his sweet baby smell.  His gummy grin.  The way his whole body smiles when I walk over to him, limbs waving with excitement.  All of this talk in my head on this run was not important.

The decision I’m waffling on is not worth the memories I might miss or the stress I’m putting on myself.  I want to run what I feel like on that particular day based on how many times I was up the night before, how Pierce’s day is going, or around other family time.  I just finished the 21 Day Fix today, and I really enjoyed doing the workouts, but combined with my training it is a lot.  I want to make time for parts of both, not do both.  A run here, a 30 minute fix there.  Balance.  I’m also loving my weekly yoga class that I missed twice since picking up training.

I always believe in honesty and hate how social media often makes life look so perfect and cookie cutter.  Life is messy.  My cookies never roll out perfect each time.  This is just another example of that.  So, I’m 95% I won’t be on the starting line of the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon like I planned and thought I wanted to be.  Instead I will aim for the Houston Marathon in January as my first marathon after baby.  I have my sights on a fall half marathon or two since this distance is much more manageable for me right now.

I don’t regret setting this lofty marathon goal only to change my mind.  It’s not a failure.  For the $50 I paid back in December I got my butt moving after having a baby.  I walked a lot so I’d be able to start easy running sooner so I could then start training for this race.  I credit this goal with getting me back out on the pavement and to yoga sooner than I would have without a goal. This helped me remember to give myself some time each day and got me outside with baby early on.

My marathon goal also helped me gain some much needed perspective.  I want to do it all.  I want to be a good mom, wife, friend, daughter, sister, runner, teacher, …and on and on.  But, we can’t be perfect at all of them all the time.  Focusing on what is important led me to realize that my goal to arrive at the starting line of my next marathon with balance in my life just isn’t possible right now as a new mommy.

Balance right now means not training for a marathon that will happen in just over two months.  Balance right now means not following an exact training plan and giving myself some flexibility with accountability. Balance right now means a run one day, yoga another, and coffee and serenading my sweet baby everyday.  Loving him is easy.  Making this decision wasn’t at first, but in the end I know I will enjoy this time even more without the pressure I’m putting on myself.  I will be a better mom to P.  A nicer wife.  And that’s what really matters…along with singing and dancing in your kitchen, which is exactly what we did as soon as I got home from my run.   

Cue the chorus!

Look to see a post each week as I continue running, 21 day fixing and working on balance with this whole new mom thing.

Sarah

And, in case you wondered…

     Weekly Miles Ran-17.3 miles not counting     Monday’s 7 miles

21 Day Fix Recipe(s) I Loved This Week aka Yummy, Healthy Eats!

This was so good.  I was skeptical since the flat-out is so thin, but it was delicious.  Minus the vegan cheese-Think Kraft     singles, but so, so much worse.

Flat-Out Pizza 

I run because…I need balance in my life.

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Some people will be wondering what is next after my 50k. After following (although somewhat loosely at times) a training plan since the last week in December, I’m sort of ready to run what I want when I want. I’ve got some recovery action that will take place this next week, followed by some inbetween marathon training that will let me be flexable while also keeping me in shape for my next races-the Foot Traffic Flat Marathon on July 4th in Portland, Oregon and the Missoula Marathon on July 13th in Montana. The plan will allow plenty of time to enjoy summer, the husband and whatever else I feel like doing.

Finding balance between being a runner and a person is so important for me.  I love my time alone on the roads and trails, but I also need the social fun of being with others.  Too much of one or the other leaves me unbalanced and feeling cranky.

All day I’m surrounded by people-from the adults I work with to the 130 students I see in a day to the athletes I coach. Running offers me time to hear my own thoughts in my head, to process what I feel, and to rejuvenate myself for the next day.
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On the flip side too much time alone on the road or the trails makes me sad and puts feelings of discontent in my heart. Being around my students, friends, family and the husband help to restore the fun in my life in a way running doesn’t always fulfill. After too much time alone I crave being around others.
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I find I am happiest and most content with running when I am happiest and most content outside of running. When my life is full (but not too full) running provides me with the greatest joy. When life is challenging and difficult running provides me with an outlet, but often it is not my best or favorite time to run.

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I like this image, but tend to think that life is more good than bad. The yin-yang would need to be a little uneven to represent how I view this balance.

Running encourages balance in life.  Running allows me to sort through all my responsiblities and still make time for myself.  Running helps me see that work is work and sometimes there is more to life than just your job.  Running also helps me to see how much I love my job and gets my creative juices flowing while my feet hit the pavement.  While out on runs I’m reminded of how great the people are in my life and all they do to support me.  This is especially important when people in my life are frustrating me.  Running simply gives me time to think about all I’m juggling in life.

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Balance in all parts of life is always important. I don’t believe for a second that I have this figured out, nor do most people (I think, I hope). Running miles helps me find more balance than if I were not a runner. This is just one more benefit and reason why I love this sport.

How do you find balance between running and the rest of your life?  Tips?  Suggestions?

S & S

{Wisconsin Marathon Training-Week 3}

I’m not going to sugar coat this week in terms of running. It wasn’t good, great, or impressive. I struggled to make myself run EVERY SINGLE DAY! I put in long days everyday this week (except Friday) of 11-12 hours trying to get stuff done at school that I needed/wanted to do.  On top of that I felt sad, lazy, and like the only place I wanted to be was under a blanket by the fire place when I finally got home. I shamefully did not complete all my runs this week and missed my minimum weekly mileage goal by 2.5 miles (#wintermiles). I’m annoyed with myself-big time. With Ryan still out of commission I didn’t have any extra motivation to get those miles in. Excuses!

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Ry guy’s heel this week.

Tuesday-(3 miles in 5+ inches of snow half the way) This run was extremely challenging the entire way. I tweaked my ankles running on uneven surfaces you couldn’t see. This led me to skip a run the next day. It was a great core workout though and fun to run in the fresh snow.
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Wednesday-(5 miles elliptical) Ryan hit the gym and put in 5 miles on elliptical. While this is not replacement for running it has him doing something cardio wise.

Thursday-(5 miles-elliptical) Ryan on the elliptical

Friday-(6 miles-elliptical) Ryan again hit the gym and rocked the elliptical machine.  I hit the bar with coworkers, rocked some pitchers of beer, and got a new temporary tattoo.  I needed a mental break and simply some FUN!  Plus, the black panther now on my arm is FIERCE!

Saturday-(8.5 miles-me running, 8 miles-Ryan on elliptical) This was a good run. I started out feeling cranky, but getting some vitamin D and seeing the beautiful sunset put me in a way better mood even though a total of 3 blocks were NOT snow covered.  Seriously, who could get enough of sunsets like these.

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Sunday-(6 miles) I was starving on this run, it was getting dark, and I just really wasn’t feeling it. I put this run off to spend time with the husband (good choice), but it did impact my run. Then I thought of Meg and her family, and I pushed through those miles.

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Wearing blue for Meg. #megsmiles

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Found this plastic bag with the contents inside of it scattered all over the road a quarter mile from my house. One of my biggest pet peeves is littering. GRRR. How hard is it to throw your trash into a garbage? I picked up the garbage, put it in the bag, and ran the rest of the way home.

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Hydrating after my run with Tropical Nuun. Trying to think warm!

When reflecting on this week’s training, the reality is as much as I preach to not make weather excuses or wait for the perfect conditions (I do fully believe this), it is sometimes exhausting to be mentally tough during EVERY SINGLE RUN during winter in Wisconsin. There are very few to no clear roads. It is always slippery. It is cold. Snot freezes in your nose and sometimes onto your face. Eyelashes freeze. You step onto what you think is frozen ice and it ends up being a freezing puddle that comes up to your ankles (Sunday’s run ;). I say this not to complain, but just for all of you to see there is really nothing special about me and my training over the winter. I fight the same battles all of you winter runners do too. Some weeks we win the battle, while other weeks we lose.
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Another training battle I always find myself in is the balance between having a social life and getting in my miles. As soon as running seems to put a kink in my fun plans, I start to resent it. This week with my funky mood, I did not put running first. I chose drinks after work on Friday with coworkers over freezing cold miles. Saturday I cut my run a mile short to go to dinner with the family. Sunday I ran later, when I was starving, and as a result didn’t run as many miles as I’d planned/hoped. That choice was in exchange for a day date with the husband. Sometimes we just have to acccept that the miles will be there later, but the people in our life might not be.

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Chose this guy over getting in all my miles Sunday. Sunshine, coffee, and my love-always a good choice!

Reading the story about Meg on Sunday morning reminded me of the importance of people over miles.  Her tragic story is the reason I pushed my run to later in the day so I could have a day date with the husband. Running and miles are important. Running doesn’t take more than it gives back. It makes you a better person. Yet despite all these wonderful things, sometimes we just need the people in our life more. I filled my cup this weekend with good people and miles. Even if those miles weren’t quite as high in number as planned, I’m better for the chance to both run and spend time with people I love. I strive for the perfect balance in life everyday. When I figure it out, you guys will be the first to know. Until then, we are all works in progress.

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Losing the battle with running this week has renewed my determination for the upcoming weeks. I refuse to sit and feel bad about the missed miles. I can’t change them. The week is over. All I can do is work towards a better mileage week next week.

Ryan’s Total Miles on Elliptical-24 miles
Sarah’s Total Miles Running-17.5 miles

Ryan’s Tip of the Week: If you are injured while training, do other cross training that won’t aggravate or make your injury worse. I lifted three days this week and put in miles on the elliptical. Injury doesn’t mean stop training, it just means a different type of training.

Sarah’s Tip of the Week: Don’t play basketball when training for a marathon if you can’t not hurt yourself. Just kidding. My actual tip is…

Balancing social lives and running is never easy. Do your best to get all your runs on your training calendar in. The more you miss the more you risk not reaching your goals or finishing the distance you are working to complete. Do this consistently enough and you can forgive yourself some weeks when life gets in the way or you just need a mental break from the demands of training. A few missed runs or miles don’t mean you will fail, but try not to skip long runs-they are essential to marathon training. And remember when running is put against friends and family, sometimes the ones you love have to win!

Happy Running!