If I had planned the weekend out right, I would have completed my housework on Friday. I returned home to find the same clutter, dirty clothes, and dishes awaiting me. Having done such a hard workout, my legs ached. It was a bit surprising because 11 miles is not an exceptionally long distance for me. None-the-less, my legs were feeling it. Perhaps an ice bath would have been more therapeutic, but my hot shower felt so good after today’s a run. I just sat there and let the hot water run down my back and hoped that the mess would be gone by the time I got out. It knew that it wouldn’t. Instead, I had two neighbor kids over for a play date. I started slow. I wiped the counters down, loaded the dishwasher and started it, and put a load into the washing machine. Then I ate something. I was felling a bit light headed. Afterwards, I swept and vacuumed the house. It is now time to cook dinner and finish up the weekend’s homework. The bathrooms can wait until another day, but the house is back into reasonable shape and ready for the abuse of another week.
On Sunday morning I got up at 6:00 AM to get ready for my long run. Yesterday was a comical event (if you have amusement). I was getting set for another chase run. YaYa’s bike had a flat. Wonderful! I didn’t have time to mess with it, so I just pumped it up and hoped for the best. When we arrived at the trail, I took the bike out of my Mommy-Van only to find that it was low on air (but not flat). By then YaYa wanted to ride so we headed out on the trail. I could hear the tire getting lower and lower on air. At mile 1 we turned back. At 1.5 miles, I had YaYa get off and we both ran back to the van. We loaded up and headed for the nearby track where I got the balance of my 6 mile pace run. 6.03 miles (51 minutes).
At 7:15 AM I arrived at the park for today’s run. A smile came to my face as I drove through the gates. The sun was just coming up; fluffy white clouds and fog hovered over the hills. This is my favorite place to run. The plan for today’s run is 11 miles. I met two friends and we set off at an easy pace. The biggest hill on the trail is about 2 miles up. It’s steep and tough. I watched as my friends gradually got farther and farther ahead. My breathing wasn’t easy. I wished that I was running alone so that I wouldn’t be worried about my pace in relation to theirs. My heart rate was up and my breathing was rapid. I walked for a couple of minutes and then resumed my running. At the top of this hill Cindy and Mark were waiting for me. “Take your time,” Cindy says with a smile. I have to admit that I wanted to flip her off. I felt so slow and humbled. When I finally reached the top, I glanced at my watch and found that I was right on target for the pace that I like to run this route. I felt better knowing that and considered having given up 1 pint of my blood probably did have an affect on my ability to run up the hill with ease.
The remainder of the run felt good. After the big hill, the rest of the run rolls up and down. It’s beautiful here. We went 8 minutes past our 4.75 mark and then turned back. 11 miles (1:40:43)
I sat on a park bench just outside the cage where BoBo was getting his lessons. He worked on his pitching technique with his instructor, Scott. They broke down the steps and Scott commented on what BoBo was doing right or wrong.
Scott admits that breaking the steps down can be boring, but he reassures BoBo of the importance of good form to protect from injuries. I had a good view of BoBo from where I was seated. His face showed his focus. His eyes were intense as he raised his left leg off the ground, balanced for a few seconds and then brought it down so that his foot almost touched the ground. Then his glove pointed forward, towards Scott, as his right arm pulled back and then made its way up behind his head. As his right arm began to propel the ball forward his right foot came around and landed in front of him. I watched the ball make its way into the Scott’s glove.
I love to watch BoBo pitch when he’s in the zone. There are other times, when he is not in the zone, that I hold my breath…especially if he is on the mound at a game. Today, he concentrates for his lesson. He absorbs what the instructor is telling him. His intensity reminds me of myself when I am in my zone while running. It’s awesome.
The email went out yesterday notifying us of the urgent need for blood. Today, I arrived at the office to find my colleagues contemplating when to go down to donate. I’ve often given blood, but more recently have let the blood drives come and go without getting a drop of my A+ blood. This morning, however, I let them take a pint of my blood.
Later in the day, I passed through the cafeteria with my lunch in tote – a nice salad and chicken lime soup. Some of my colleagues get my attention as I head upstairs to drop my lunch at my desk before heading to the fitness center. I probably shouldn’t have been taken back by their concern for me working out after donating blood this morning. The Post Donation Instructions note, Don’t do any strenuous activity or exercise, heavy lifting or other heavy use of your arms for the next 24 hours. But how one defines “strenuous” is varied depending upon the individual. For me, running 3 miles at an easy pace is not at all strenuous, and that is just what I did. No weights, no speed work, just me and my iPod.
Beginning my workout a bit later than usual, I saw the usual fitness center goers, as they were finishing up their daily exercise. I choose my treadmill and set it for a very easy pace with the plan to keep my heart rate less than 160 with my 10% loss in circulating blood volume. I resumed the play list that I ended my last run with. Familiar songs played and I noticed that, at the much slower pace, I felt the urge to increase the speed. I resisted. It was fun, listening to music, reading the text from the TVs in front of me, and moving along. Towards the end of the workout, YaYa’s sleepy voice said, “Go Mom, You’re almost there”. This is a mix of YaYa’s voice that DD mixed with some fast beat music for me. It makes me smile and encourages me on the run. Yes, I am almost there. Pretty soon 3.1 miles done, I head back to my office.
Grandma’s Marathon is rated high in all areas of evaluation in the Marathon & Beyond Publication. I’ve always wanted to do it. Each year, however, I have logged onto the website only to find out that the race is already sold out. Grandma’s Marathon takes registration by mail only. You can send the race a SASE in order to have an entry form mailed to you when they first come available. The forms cannot be downloaded from the website until 4 days after they are mailed.
My entry form for the Grandma’s Marathon came on Saturday. At the time that I mailed away for the entry form I was not totally sure that my husband and I would be running The Avenue of the Giants Marathon. Since that time, I began my 18-week training program and have been set towards that goal. On Saturday, I noticed the envelope sitting on the counter. I sat and stared at the entry form. I remembered hearing that all of the hotels were selling out. I thought, “If I can’t get a hotel room, then why try to get into the race”. Well…I DID get a reservation so I took that as a sign. I completed my entry form and mailed it in priority delivery. I’ll just see what happens.
Now my head swims with thoughts on what scenario should play out. I could run BOTH marathons. I’ve done two marathons 5 weeks apart. Other than giving me two chances to BQ, I can’t see the benefit. I could run a half-marathon at the Avenue and then support my husband during his marathon. I could only run Grandma’s. What’s a girl to do?
Today I did 50 minutes on the spin cycle. Since I forgot my iPod, it wasn’t as fun as last time. I got a good workout; I was dripping with sweat. I did a bit of standing climbs and a couple of 90-second sprints. The schedule is starting to build which means I’m going to have to get creative about how I fit it all in. Of course if I am doing a June marathon, I’ll need to revise my training to be sure that I don’t peak too soon. I’m tormented.