Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Lauren Files

My Best Running Friend has returned to her home near Burlington, VT. I was so lucky to get to know her last fall and we quickly found that we were quite compatible running mates. True friendship was not far behind. If you are a runner, you know how easily conversation turns from casual to fairly meaningful as the miles and sweat adds up. There's nothing like it. I miss her and will look forward to the opportunities we have to run together in the coming months, specifically, for our ultra Reach the Beach Team and the Hampton Rockfest Marathon. I hope this medium will serve to keep my blog breathing and keep my treasured BRF apprised of my nonsense, running and otherwise! 

Dear Lauren,

Well, I told you that with you moving off to Vermont it might inspire me to get my arse back to blogging. You've been out of Live Free or Die Land for less than a week so I'm going to pat myself on the back for getting to it. We shall see what kind of maintenance plan I can sustain.

So, there's been plenty of running 'round here (in every sense of the word) since you left. School got out for the boys and I on Friday. The big "aahhhhh" that ought to accompany that occasion has yet to transpire and looking at our family calendar, I'm pretty sure we are skipping the "ahh" in Summer 2013. But that's okay. 

The boys and I spent the weekend sort of figuring out how to live with each other all-the-time again. I instituted a "pay-for-play" policy on screen time which so far, they really seem to dig. They have to do a chore, watch Gabriel, read a book, do online math activities, write in a journal... stuff like that. Each activity is slated a certain monetary or screen time value (kid's choice). I'm embarrassed to say that it was this system that finally led me to teach the boys how to vacuum and wash windows. (Imagine, a wannabe feminist like me taking so long to teach these things to her boys? I know if I had a daughter she would already be adept at these and many other housekeeping duties.... Mommy Fail!) They are not very good at it at this point, but it's not like I am looking for spotless. If I can't embrace the inevitable filth of living with 3 boys (+1 big boy), I can at least ignore it a little! 

The annual acclimatization of Dad being away 6 days a week is also underway. It's not as bad as it sounds, since we get to see him everyday at camp, but it is a bummer that he's only home one day a week. For example, he had yesterday off so we went to Concord for some shopping and lunch. He and the big boys went to the beach after that and then we had a thunder-storm-accompanied dinner. Because he's always 'on' at camp, I convinced him it would be a good idea for him to go check out Man of Steel with a coworker last night. I got up and ran hard this morning, arrived back at 7AM and he was poised to start up the lawn mower (we are on the verge of bailing hay in the backyard!), but the logic was not there: he needed to leave by 7:45 and he hadn't showered yet. So, I mowed for 45 minutes until he had to take off. (In other words, still plenty of hay here if your horses are hungry).  I can wear my Badass Badge for cranking out 7-ish miles + 45 minutes of pushing a lawn mower all before 7:45AM, but I was still cranky and pooped  by 2:30 from the effort!

Another summer time bonus is the meal situation. In other words - I basically don't have to cook. There's a new chef at camp and although he's not blowing me away with Vegetarian entree options, his side dishes are incredible. (Who knew a person could, like, season vegetables?!?) There's certainly no chance that I will waste away this summer as my mileage kicks up. 

Added to the fun of our typical summer shenanigans, I am trying to get lines memorized for the show I'm in, get prepared for teaching summer school. And after a lengthy struggle with cancer, my Uncle passed away yesterday afternoon. This sad event for us was a true blessing for him, so we will be focused on celebrating his life. Of course, it also means the boys and I are heading out sooner than expected for our annual Camp Gungah adventure in my hometown. 

(So, ummm, remind me why I thought it would be a good idea to train for a marathon this summer!?)

Now, at last, to the intended topic of this letter, Dear Lauren. My running. It's going pretty okay, actually, though running with you in real life far exceeds the pleasure of virtually running with you. Let's see if I can recap the last few days:

Friday: Last day of school and at about 5AM I got 4 miles in but there was a severe lack of mojo. Just happy to get them in. 9:18 pace.

Saturday. Got up at 4:15AM (YUP, that's what I said!) so I could get in 15 miles before Scott had to leave for camp. The Train Like a Mother "Own It" plan called for the middle 5 to be "race pace". In order to simulate the relative flatness of the course we will have at Smuttynose, I chose to run into town and do miles 6-11 on the Cotton Valley Trail. (Same deal we did the week before when it was 14 miles). I'm not going to even try to be humble out those miles. I freakin' OWNED them: (8:33, 8:26, 8:06, 7:54, 7:57). It was all I could do to not yelp with glee each time my phone told me my splits... but given that my run started at 4:38 AM, it was a touch on the early side for whooping it up. My average pace for the whole run was 9:12, and given that I truly took it easy after the race pace miles, I was insanely happy with that, too.

Sunday was a rest day. Intended to do ab ripper. Did not. 

Monday: The boys and I spent Sunday night at camp with Scott (the basement apartment he has is not much to look at but it's about 30 degrees cooler than our house!). I got up to run early Monday morning and it was horrible. The humidity was just ferocious. The plan called for 4-5 miles. My phone is all screwed up though and says I did 5.6. Pretty sure it was only 5. The pure hell of running in that weather is odd to me. I don't feel winded and my muscles don't even feel that fatigued. I just feel like I would much rather walk on the hills... and sometimes I did! Thank goodness I had the foresight to bring my water belt to camp with me because even at that relatively low mileage, I downed 20 ounces of water.

Tuesday: And that brings us to today. Again, my phone is wonky with mileage. My plan was 1.5 mile warm up, 2 miles at tempo, .25 recovery, 2 miles tempo and 1.5 mile cool down. According to my phone my splits were off the charts amazing, but I knew when the nice lady told me we were at mile .5 that I was at least .25 short of that mark, it was going to be a funky run. Either way, the 3Hs (hot, humid and hills) made me feel like I did a bang up workout, even if it was short of the miles I wanted. (Hee hee it says I did mile 5 in 6:36, for example. Yeah. SUUURREE! Maybe iPhones are not a fan of humidity either...) Oh, and I FINALLY did Ab Ripper this afternoon. It was modified slightly as I had a 14-month-old coach climbing on me for a good deal of it. But, better than nothing, I say.

After our 'last' long run a week and a half ago-ish. We didn't have to go fast, so we didn't!
It should be interesting to see how my training (and my blogging!) fairs over the next week and half a or so. I think I will be alright running in  my old stomping ground because there will be plenty of willing caretakers of Gabe (19 cousins plus aunts and uncles have to be good for SOMETHING, right?!). Here's hoping he warms up to them quickly... otherwise I'll probably doing a lot more 4:30AM runs. Yikes....

Miss you lots, my friend, and hope that your new/old reality is treating you well. 


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