Friday, December 27, 2013

Course map

So I did some searching and found the course map for our half marathon.  I am certainly glad Emily is a creature of habit because this race has a lot of turn arounds!  The last race I ran like that was the Girlfriends Half Marathon, and, the mistake I made with that race was that I did not look at the course map ahead of time (there may not have been one).  During most of the race I was wondering when the next place to turn around would be.  Here is a pic of the map:

Here is a link to the live map

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Week 7

I can tell these posts are getting boring…that is kind of how the training gets sometimes too.

Sunday: 7 mile mix up
The weather report said rain all day, but as I mentioned to Emily, we need to get out there in the elements if we are going to be truly prepared for a January run!  Thankfully it wasn't raining when we went out.  In fact it was overcast and very warm.  We headed over to the local high school track where we were greeted by wet cinder.  The photo below is dry, but imagine what this looks and feels like when it is wet…a lot like sand.

When we first began our run we were happy because the ground felt soft beneath our feet, we were chatting about how enormous the track felt compared to our little strip of asphalt back at the school, musing about jumping the hurdles that had been left out on this particular track, but soon became weary of the extra work it took to run on the pliable surface.  After 3 miles Emily expressed to me that she'd had enough trying to maneuver her feet on the yielding surface.  I wasn't going to argue.  

We made our way over to the nearby parking lot after having completed 3 miles on the track.  We continued to run in a zig zag pattern through the parking lot rows.  Emily complained of her legs hurting on the small up hill sections of the lot, so we avoided those.  After another couple of miles she began to complain of leg pain more frequently and we were walking and stretching more.  As hard as I tried I could not help from becoming impatient, soon loosing sight for exactly WHO we were doing this.  Gently (in my mind) pushing her to keep running.  After 5 miles total Emily told me her legs hurt and that she needed to stop.  She said she would finish out the 2 miles at home on the treadmill.  

I admired that she was willing to finish it out later.  I, on the other hand, knew that if I stopped I was not going to find the gumption nor the strength in my tired legs to do so.  Emily waited by the van, which was in my sight the whole time, while I finished out 2 miles.  Every time I would run by her, she would give me a thumbs up, or an encouraging "Your doing great mom!"   

When I finished and we were on the way home, I recalled how earlier she told me she felt bad for stopping.  When she said that, my heart sank because the last thing I wanted was for her to feel bad, especially after she had just ran 5 miles, three of which were pretty much on sand!  I reminded her that she had gotten dressed on a Sunday and headed out there with me regardless of the fact that she did not feel like it.  I encouraged her to think about all that she had done to get to where she was and did not forget to mention the fact that she promised herself that she would finish out the two on the treadmill at home.  

Splitting long runs is not an unusual practice, especially for runs that endure longer than 2 hours.  Typically a 7 mile run will last anywhere between 70 and 80 minutes for me.

For the past week we had been running 4.5 Tuesday, 3 Wednesday, and 4.5 Thursday.  This coming week called for the same.  I asked Emily on Christmas eve if she wanted to run 4 or 4.5, she said 4.  I have been doing some thinking about my child and all the miles she is putting in for training.  I have come to the conclusion that 4 miles on Tuesdays and Thursdays will work better than 5.  I wanted to follow the schedule to the letter, but one thing I learned in school is that the programs written for the masses, do not always apply to the masses.  My belief is that if I do not tire her out during the week, and she keeps up with her base runs, that we will do just fine on race day January 26th, 2014!!!! 

Lesson learned: A little push is okay to get the child motivated, but to remember who this race is being trained for, and keep it fun.  

Emily's Corner: I did not know that Sundays run would be so hard.  I thought we would just be able to get it over with.  When my mom showed me the track that we were going to go on I was excited but then it started getting hard to run on because of the rain and because some kids probably messed up the track.  but when we ran in the parking lot I felt a little bit better.  but then I started getting really tired so I figured that i could just finish my run at home.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Week 6

Sunday: No big deal
Our race schedule stated that we should try to run a 5K race for experience, but I had not planned anything like that so we just did 3.2 separately on the treadmill.

Tuesday: Almost uneventful
As we began our run at our usual outside spot (the school track) I was thinking about how I was going to write about an uneventful run because things were going pretty smooth.  We had a 4.5 mile run to do.  At about 2.90 my phone battery died.  NOT cool.  I said "Oh no, Oh no!" and Emily said what's wrong?  I told her and she asked me how far we had come, when I told her almost three she immediately calculated the rest of the distance and stated "we will run 10 more laps starting here, does that sound good mom?"  I was very impressed and knew that would put us at goal.  Every lap she would say what we had done, and I would say "I can run __ more laps", then at the end she said, "What about one lap, mom, can you run one more lap?"  By the end of that run we were both pretty glad it was over.

Wednesday: Change of plans
At first I had planned on taking Emily out of her last class at 2pm, but soon realized I would not have time to get home and shower in time to leave to make dinner at 5 so instead I arranged with Emily's PE teacher to run out on the track during her class which is at 8 am.  Emily agreed and we ran.  We were both relieved that it was not super cold outside.  This run seemed to take a long time and I was glad to get Emily back to her class in time for the next one.  I was really watching the clock on this one because we still had to go to the van to get her back pack, she needed to stop by her locker, and change into her school clothes.

Thursday: Last one till Sunday
This run was fantastic!  We had the best conversation, and it went so fast!  Emily said a couple of times that she forgot she was running.  This time my phone stayed charged, until directly after we were done I put the camera on to take a selfie of us so we could have a post great run pick, and boom! dead... at least it waited.

One thing I have learned in this week was that I cannot run as fast as Emily sometimes does and that it is okay to tell her to slow down.  She really doesn't mind :) And I learned that I should make sure my phone is charged to 100% before these longer runs!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Week 5

Week 5, how long does this thing go?  Race day is January 26th.  I try to think about the fact that it should at least be in the 40s temperature wise by then.

Sunday: A Long Run Leads to Hunger.
   I ran on the treadmill in the early part of the day and it was a good run.  Emily ran later in the day, around 4:30pm.  She finished her run and took a shower.  We all decided to go out to dinner.

 We got into town, and due to holiday festivities there was no parking,  so we headed up to the next town.  While on the freeway Emily became really hungry, then it hit me that she had not eaten since she ran 6 miles.  I do not know how many calories an 11 year old burns on a 6 mile run, but for me it is about 600.
This is the position assumed after eating a few chips and waiting for dinner #poorbaby

 When a person runs a long distance, they do not feel hungry directly after, but when it hits, it hits strong.  I have been so hungry after a run that I have had Emily bring me carrots in the shower because I don't think I can make it another minute, so my heart was breaking for this kid as my husband was telling me not to speed.  I tell you I was feeling like mother/trainer of the year at this point.

Tuesday: School Closed Due to Inclement Weather.
 Our regular routine was off, and the run was more like a Sunday run where we had to run separately on the in home treadmill.  I did mine earlier in the day as usual, but this time Emily went out there with her dad.  I thought it was great that they could spend the time together getting in shape.  It was a late run though, ending at 8:00 pm.  We usually go to bed between 8:30 and 9:00 pm.  I asked Emily if she had a hard time sleeping on that night and she told me there was no problem.

Wednesday: Another Snow Day from School.
 I spent most of this day cleaning and organizing one of the spaces in my house.   Having run four miles on Tuesday, and then spending the day cleaning, I was tired and my back was sore.  I knew in my mind that I could probably get away with skipping the two mile jaunt, but if I skipped, what message would that send to Emily?    It felt longer than two miles, but overall it wasn't bad and I love watching guilt free television!  Sure enough after dinner Emily and her dad went out to the game room and worked out together.
Emily and Haley playing in the snow

Thursday: The Bear Run.
 The girls were finally in school and I was not going to mess up this indoor treadmill run together!  I had everything packed.  After I picked Emily up from school, we headed over to the gym.  Em had warmed up for a total of two minutes and 30 seconds.  I was concerned about her ramping up her speed after only a short time, but then when she turned it up to only four MPH I figured that was still a warm up mode.  It wasn't long until we were running right a long.

For some reason this was very difficult.  I knew I was struggling, but could not get a clear message from Emily.  She took her headphones off after the first mile and did not want them back on.  I asked her "Do you want a hair tie?" "Do you want to just turn on your iPod without the headphones?" "What about the TV?"  Her answer was "no" to all.  She looked determined and focused, but more or less she looked like she just wanted to get it over with…at least that is how I was feeling.  Eventually she told me she had to take a bathroom break (we ALL have this happen at one point of training).  When she came back she ran for a while then complained of stomach pain.  I explained to her that it is OKAY to walk it out and not worry about finishing.  I told her that if she needed to stop that I would stop with her.  She finished it out with me by walking.  I am proud of her decision to listen to her body and how she was feeling.

So what happened?  Why were we feeling so stretched?  The gym was warmer than where we are accustomed to running.  We keep it at about 60 degrees in our running room at home, and the gym is warmer that that.  From the reading and studying I have done concerning youth, they do not have as great of a cooling mechanism as adults.  So something that may have been uncomfortable for me to be able to push through could have been very painful and grueling for an 11 year old.  The gift of education is such a blessing, especially in this type of circumstance.

I heard once that there will be tough runs and there will be easy runs.  The tough runs make all the other runs more enjoyable.  The tough ones are also few and far between, if they were not, no one would run!  I shared this info with Emily.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Week 4

Sunday: Today was a 5 mile run, just as it was last week.  I wanted to get this done early again as, even though I like to run, I like the feeling of being done the best.  Emily surprised me by heading out there in the morning.  She got up around eight, ate some breakfast, watched television, then around 10:30 she headed out.  I went out there, bundled up with my blanket and hat and sat while she ran.  I must say that even though I was able to finish my run earlier, I do feel guilty sitting while she runs.  I got a cute picture of her, and eventually got up and at least did some stretching.

I had to do a red eye fix, so her eyes may look a little strange.

She ran for a total of about one hour and three minutes, with one short bathroom break (one of the treadmill luxuries).  This week was very similar to last weeks run.  She watched mixed and matched episodes of her favorite Disney shows.  When asked how she felt while running, she said it was easy and hard.  The first part was easier than the last.

"Emily, what kinds of things do you tell yourself to keep you going?"
"You can do this!, or when it is at 4.5 or 4.7 I get excited because I know the finish is soon."

Tuesday: Today was a 4 mile run.  It was very cold outside, I kept waiting for Emily to shed her hat or gloves, but the most she ever did was roll up her sleeves.  She had so much determination.  At about 2 miles I gave her a shot block.  She has been wanting to eat my shot blocks since the first time I bought them almost two years ago.  I would tell her she was crazy to even suggest that I would give a child any sort of energy booster, as she becomes a different (off the wall bouncing type) child when given any caffeine.

For Emily, there is something about being outside that fuels her speed.  Today she ran the whole thing without stopping or walking once.  So between the outdoors, and the shot block, mom was in the dust.  I was telling one of her teachers that I am going to have to find a replacement for myself, one who can keep up with her!  When we were done, she was so proud of herself.  She looked up at me and said "I ran the whole four miles mom, without stopping!"
Here are our splits:
Mile 1: 9:08
Mile 2: 9:35
Mile 3: 9:06      
Mile 4: 8:37

I just want to interject here that I have not made speed an issue.  I do get excited when we run fast, but I am definitely trying to get her to slow down half the time!

To see the self efficacy that she is developing in this, truly gives me joy.

Tuesday: There is an option of run or cross train on Tuesdays, and Emily chose cross train, so we did a circuit in my shop.  It was fun as she was eager to try the different exercises.  We had our own little group exercise going.

Wednesday: Today it was 32 degrees outside.  Conversation goes like this "Emily, do you want to try the new run outside, or inside on the treadmill?" "Inside on the treadmill." "Emily, I know it's cold, but it's really pretty and there is no rain." MOM, IT'S 32 DEGREES OUTSIDE!".

I thought I was a lot more prepared for a treadmill run than I actually was.  I had Emily's iPod all charged and had a pair of wireless headphones for her to use…that I later learned were not compatible with her device.  Next problem, NO WATER.  One can do 2 miles, and maybe even 3 without water, but four miles is really too long without hydration.  No cash in the car, no dollars in my wallet, thankfully I had a dollar in bottom-of-the-purse change.  So now we have water.

I had already got Emily started on her warm up before the water fiasco, so as I walk over to the treadmill to get started, she is past warm up and into full run.  I think to myself, she is not running very fast and she normally takes the treadmill slower, so I will catch up to her!  It seems that just as soon as I get started she bumps up her speed.  As I got closer to 4 miles I decided to increase my speed. All of a sudden as I look over I see that she was upping her speed.  She looks at me and says "what?", I say "You are just copying me!" She says "No I'm not!"  It was quite comical.  Emily could say she wasn't doing it on purpose all she wanted, but when I went into intervals, she would up her speed every time I did.  She ended up finishing about 2 minutes before me.  That was the most fun I had on a treadmill run ever.

Emily's Spot:  okay i was not copying my mom when she bumped up her speed i was just trying to get the run done and during that run if my mom would bump up her speed i would try to see if i could go that fast to.  i could not believe that on tuesday i ran four miles without stoping!  but after that i was really tired.  :)

Monday, December 2, 2013

Week 3

Sunday: I knew we were going to have a busy day today with my husband having just gotten back in town after a business trip (first one in 6 years) so I decided to get my five miles in the morning.  Even though it was performed on the treadmill, it was a much needed and very refreshing run.  I like to save up episodes of the biggest loser and watch them while I run.

I asked Emily earlier in the week if she would rather run on Saturday, or run later in the day on Sunday.  She is not, necessarily, a morning runner.  (I think that if the marathon is in the morning, her endorphins will be good enough to get her over the morning hump.)  She chose Sunday.  We did not get our day said and done until around 5:45.  As soon as we got home, she said "mom, I need to get my run in." Went upstairs, changed and headed for the treadmill.  I was so impressed! She is my determined little cookie :).  She ran her 5 miles while watching the movie "Turbo".

I have heard it said, and experienced myself that when one exercises regularly, they naturally want to eat healthier.  My daughter loves cold cereal, but this morning she was asking for something healthier.  This to me is PROOF of that theory!


Tuesday:  Today was our 3.5 mile.  I realized on this run that I am just not prepared for cold weather running.  I used to be afraid of it, but the more I do it, the more I see its advantages.  I do like the fact that the only thing I feel I need to shed is my head wear, as opposed to my jacket.  As we were running yesterday it became evident that we should invest in some small gloves as it turns cumbersome to tuck the hands into the sleeves.  Today Emily wore my water pack, which fit her so much better than my old one she was wearing.  
I am not certain what is happening, but the need to walk every mile has significantly shortened, and yesterday she ran at lightening speed.  Sometimes she gets a stride length ahead of me, and I just cannot keep up!  I run one pace, it's called mommy pace. I don't know if she is trying to make good time, or just get it over with. (like I often have done in the past).  Check out our splits.

Mile 1: 9:55 pace
Mile 2: 9:44 pace
Mile 3: 9:42 pace
Mile 1/2: 9.25 pace
Total time 34:06

Wednesday: Today was our 2 mile or cross train.  I was feeling horrible this day, very tired and in no condition for a run.  It was all I could do to be a good trainer.  If I wasn't running, I wasn't going to force Emily.  Neither of us ran.

Thursday: This day was Thanksgiving and thankfully my friend had wanted to run this, so we were all set for a 3.2 mile turkey trot.  We ended up walking most of it, but the whole family was there and it was a great memory made.

Next week our training scheduled runs will increase.  I know we can do it, I am just not sure why I am so nervous about it!  Oh, and there is snow in the forecast.  Emily wants to run in the snow, I am not certain that is possible for El Clutzo Mom.