musings on running, life, and everything in between

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Form Friday: That time I changed my form part 2

If you recall, a few weeks ago I promised a multi-week piece on good form. Little did you know that it meant it would be a couple weeks before the next post, ha!

Anyhow, to review: good form can be broken down by 1) midfoot strike, 2) running tall, 3) cadence, and 4) toe off. I wrote last time about the midfoot strike, so on to running tall. This one seems like an easy one. I mean, who wants to run short? Or run slouchy? HOWEVER, it’s rampant–partly because people, particularly women, have poor posture to begin with. Factor in double digit miles and tiredness and you get the picture. As much as I hate to admit it, running involves more than just strong legs and mental toughness. It involves quite a bit of core work.

Now before you get your panties in a bunch about why women have worse posture, let me explain. I’ve been talking a lot with Nicole of Mama’s Gotta Move about the importance of core for runners, but particularly the various core issues women (especially post-partum) have with weak core muscles. (Sidebar: She’s AMAZING and definitely a great resource/trainer for this, and has published in Runner’s World and other magazines about this.) This actually can lead to the breakdown of your body in other ways as you try to compensate.

As an example, I know someone  who is a perfectly lovely woman. She has a one-year-old at home (and another child) and her posture is painful to observe. It looks somewhat like a backwards question mark, with slouched shoulders and severely tucked in pelvis. If you then imagine the pressure on your spine and legs over miles running in that kind of position, you can begin to imagine the issues. Without good posture and core strength, she would essentially be collapsing in on herself with every stride.

With the running tall, there are actually two parts: a) posture and b) lean. I like the visual from yoga of imagining a string pulling you up from the crown of your head to the sky so that everything is nice and straight. Another way to visualize or practice this is to imagine/place a book upon your head (hello RunNerdider Lady’s Finishing School!) and walk around. If you demonstrate poor posture or slump either your head or shoulders, the book will fall.

I have a lot on my mind

Obviously if you were that stiff and rigid while you were running, that wouldn’t work either but you get the idea. You could try it with a bean bag for more give. So that’s the posture part.The other part is to lean slightly forward FROM YOUR ANKLES. To get a feel for what this means, stand as straight as you can and maintain that straight line from head to ankles and lean a bit forward keeping everything straight (so that your body looks like a math problem about angles). One workshop I attended on form suggested leaning until you almost fell into your next step and using that momentum. But always keeping that tall feeling. Leaning forward will also help keep your feet under your hips and prevent you from overstriding. If you want an extreme visual of what this looks like, look at a sprinter. When I was watching Race, they showed some of Owen’s training, particularly starting out. He was almost parallel to the ground for his first several steps, but he still had good posture and was really working to push off. Obviously you can’t keep that going, but that visual helps me think about my body and the power of my legs.

So this week try thinking about pulling yourself straight when you’re running, PARTICULARLY when you’re tired. I’ve noticed that I tend to lean back when I run, which places me more on my heels and requires more effort (and more pressure on my legs). Whenever I run by shop windows, I tend to check my posture–I swear it’s not to check if I look cute 🙂 Use opportunities to check in on what you’re doing and to correct yourself when you can! And obviously good posture is helpful outside of running as well.

On a very different note, I recently got an email from Boston that we are less than 50 days away. How is that possible? I can not think of another time that I’ve gone into a training cycle feeling so nervous and unsure. And even unprepared. I’m not sure if it’s because this race has been such a long-coming endeavor or because it’s BOSTON, but it’s FREAKING ME OUT. I think the fact that Patty, Jen, and I are all struggling with the training hasn’t been helping any of us. I keep vacillating about reading more about the race and learning as much as possible or doing the “don’t read/ignore/block everything until I’m there” route. Patty is going with the read everything and over-prepare route, but I don’t see it helping her anxiety about the race (sorry, Patty) so that doesn’t hold much promise for me. It also seems foolhardy to not go into the race with any understanding of what to expect either. Argh. Thoughts on race preparation and quelling nerves, etc? How do you manage anxiety around big races? Chime in with what you got!

And finally, I’m on Facebook. I’ve set up the blog to post through my new Facebook page as well. I know a lot of people spend more time reading on Facebook if they’re not heavy blog-readers, so you can catch me on there or here. I might also post up random thoughts that aren’t full posts there as well.

Happy running this weekend folks. Hope everyone gets a great long run in!

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Spending time on self care

Women can be bad at self care (yes, I know it’s an overgeneralization). Moms are even worse. Running moms the worst. One way I know this is even the targeted health advertisements I see for women to get mammograms or other screenings, and the advertisement is spun as a “You take care of everyone else, but you also need to take care of yourself in order to do that.” As a mom, you put your own needs and sometimes health behind others (ask any mom what happens when they are “sick”). As runners, we’re even more prone to ignore aches and pains until it’s too late. I get the extra awesomeness of being Korean and having grown up with self-employed parents–read: having minimal insurance/access to doctors–so I don’t go to the doctor when I’m sick or for much in general. Just to give you an idea, my dad slipped/fractured a disk in his neck and ended up having major surgery, wearing a halo brace, and being out of work for a year. And he didn’t go to the hospital, in fact SLEPT on the injury, until the next day.

So yeah, learning to ignore pain and what my body wants or needs runs pretty deep. Recently, Craig (my myofascial guy) gave me a long lecture about how I really needed to work on self care to keep myself injury-free. I couldn’t just ignore stretching, etc. And he may have muttered a thing or two about aging…

And the fact of the matter is that I’m not 25 and gutting out my first marathon through excruciating pain and thinking it’ll all go back the way it’s supposed to in the morning…or in 3-4 months since I refused to run for awhile after that first marathon.

Whereas before, I used to not understand what people meant by this “warming up” before running they would do, and I had no idea what a foam roller was until my second marathon. Oh, and I started training for my first marathon in cotton. A lot has changed. I still don’t warm up, but I do sometimes stick my legs (meaning I use “the stick” or “tiger tail” to massage my legs a bit) and do some dynamic pre-emptive stretching before a run. I wear compression religiously to ward off “something” much like garlic for vampires. I spend more intimate time with my foam roller than I do with my husband. And I’ve always been good at stretching afterwards, but it was only for at most 5 minutes. Craig was talking about spending some serious time getting into the tightness, maybe backing off the mileage, and doing more yoga and other activities.

The brat in me wants to stomp my foot and go, “REALLY?! You want me to do MORE STUFF to be able to keep doing the stuff I’ve always been doing?” Um, yes. As much as I hate to admit it, my body has changed. And my threshold for discomfort has lowered. Don’t get me wrong, I can take pain like no one’s business (hello, two natural child births), but I’ve begun to realize more and more that I don’t HAVE to. And maybe I SHOULDN’T (yes, this post is all about caps). Maybe that’s wisdom. Or just being an adult.  

14 miles in 2 degrees. i can take pain.

I see this in other areas of my life. The other night, I crashed hard at 7:30. After a brutally cold 14 miles starting at 6:15 am, my body was done for the day early. I demanded a lot from it, and it wanted a lot in return. I actually debated forcing myself to stay up. Watch bad shows. Read. Putz on the interwebs. As if some “cool patrol” was watching me and assessing my dork factor for going to bed on a Saturday night so early. But no one was watching. I was the only one who had to face the consequences of my actions. So I went to bed. I slept a solid 11 hours.

I have begun to realize more and more that if I don’t take care of myself, I will be one miserable runner, mom, wife, and educator. And I will make the lives of those around me miserable. And that doesn’t have to happen.

So I go to bed early. I call people when I’m struggling with my depression. I go to yoga. And… I drop down running plans. Boom.

Yup, I decided to move from the 5 day/week running plan to the 4 day/week. My body isn’t happy with what I’m doing or have been doing. Something needs to change. And for some insane reason, it freaks me out to admit it to myself and change the plan, and admit it to others. Even though no one is judging me for it, and most of my running friends would encourage me to be healthy and do what my body needs. But there’s a sick little devil on my shoulder that tells me that I’m not a REAL runner if I’m not cranking out 50+ miles a week. If I’m not running 5-6 days a week. If I’m not running a sub 8:00/mile on the daily. If I don’t make the top X percent. So you push and “dig deep” until your well is empty and you are spiritually or physically broken.

No thanks.

I’ve been there and done that. And I don’t need to go back.

But that’s taken me a long long time to learn. And it’s definitely progress, not perfection. It’s the long view. Boston was once a bucket list for me. And now that it’s on the horizon, I want to make sure that I can actually run it. I don’t know if I’ll run it more than once, so I want to make sure all my crazy work the last two years actually means something. I take it back, it DOES mean something whether I get to run Boston or not (as of right now, btw, there’s nothing to stop me but myself). That I can work hard, attain my goals, and bust my guts doing it. And regardless of what happens at Boston, I’ll know I did good and I’ll be with friends. *cue soaring, inspirational music* But that only happens if I’m healthy and strong enough to get to the starting line. And that only happens if I listen to my body and take care of myself.

Even the elite runners do this. Deanna Kastor pulled out of the Olympic Trials pretty last minute, and Kara Goucher said she “left it all out there,” but it wasn’t enough to make the Olympic Team (although since she was 4th, she’ll be the official alternate). Even Desi Linden, who pulled an amazing second half of the marathon, said she had to trust her plan and not punch it in the first half to keep up with Amy Cragg and Shalane Flanagan (and that plan is what got her to pass Shalane just within the last mile or so and nab second). Amazing. So even the elites have to listen to what their bodies and spirits need.

Sorry if this post was all over the place, but I’ve been thinking a lot about trying to figure out what I need and how to keep myself healthy on lots of fronts. I didn’t have a great foundation for those things growing up, so it’s new terrain. Anyhow, hope you all had a great run this weekend, whatever your plan was.



Are you still a runner if you miss some runs…

Amy sent me this last week, and it’s about spot on.

After my last post, a friend of mine reached out to say that the post really resonated with her own personal experiences. She was a serious runner and good at pushing through, then she went through a series of injuries, one after the other. That, ultimately, is what drove her into personal training. Trying to figure out what was wrong and causing her body to fall apart when she’d not had issues before. THAT scared me. She doesn’t really run long distances (aka marathons) anymore, because her body can’t take it. She wrote to convince me to make sure I was really addressing my issues and not pushing through. So despite vacillating a million times about running the race Saturday or not running the race, I stuck with the decision to not run the race. Or run at all. Another long run missed. ARGH.

Buuuuuuut, I also decided to still go to the gym and do almost 2 hours of cardio. It was ugly, but I got to catch up on a new (to me) podcast (Ten Junk Miles) by some folks in the ultrarunning Facebook group I’m in. I found them both annoying and humorous. Scott Kummer, one of the podcasters and big ultrarunner, is doing the Arrowhead 135. In case you want to get a taste of what insanity looks like, here it is:

A couple of my friends and I are planning to do a mini-movie viewing party soon. Cuz nothing makes more sense from the perspective of an injured runner than watching movies about running…

Oooh, and then there’s this new film coming out about Jesse Owens!

Anyhow, in case you didn’t know, heading to the gym in the dark on a Saturday morning is not the same thing as meeting your friends for a long run.

45 minutes of cycling and my sitz bones were annoyed with me. More various elliptical machines and some stair climbing. Boo. I wore my compression like a big dork to get some more support around my legs. Not sure if it mattered.

I also made noise about going to the pool last post, so I did that this weekend. I forced my friend Stephanie to meet me at the pool and swim for 30 minutes. I use the term swim loosely, and the 30 minutes felt grindingly slow and painful. I forced myself to go the full 30. I also stopped every lap to gasp for breath. EVERY. SINGLE. LAP. Stephanie even said to me, “I mean, I’ve SEEN you run marathons and you’re struggling. This is hard!” What is it about the breathing in a pool that’s so hard for me? I just can’t figure it out. I know how to breathe, even alternating sides, but I always feel like I’m going to simultaneously pee my pants and suffocate at the same time. Anyone?

I also had a flashback to my one attempt at triathlon training and realized that’s where my form obsessions began. Because swimming is so unnatural to me, I was fixated on form. I didn’t know what to do with my arms or my hands or my legs in minutiae, so I asked my instructor lots of questions, read stuff online (this was before videos were so prevalent and pre-YouTube), and fixated on how to make myself better (i.e., feel less like I’m dying). I think I got a little bit better, but I’m starting over at square one…

I feel like this picture shows how delirious and oxygen-deprived the swim made me. It also didn’t help that I was using my 6 y.o.’s swim goggles and didn’t have a swim cap. And my swimsuit was 12 years old, but whatevs, right? I like to keep it real on this blog. That is what I look like after a horrible swim. The swim did make me more aware of my left (the non plantar-irritate one) ankle’s tightness, though. Grr.

Finally, I’m working on rounding out my various workout possibilities. A post from a reader/commenter (Danielle of Naturally Sweet Athlete) brought me to her blog post about different ways to stay active during winter months. Coincidentally, she’s also injured. She posted about a few free apps with workouts, so check it out. I’m a sucker for anything tech-y that might motivate me to do something other than run. Or “crosstrain” as people keep calling it.

Anyhow, I have some updates on the whole ankle/running/thing, but I’ll save that for next post.


Where My Body Falls Apart and I Grow Up

I woke up yesterday with a swollen LEFT ankle and stiffness–almost like it was a few days into recovering from a sprain. This is NOT the ankle/foot/leg I’ve been having issues with. What gives?! After running 8 marathons under 2 years with no injury? This reminds me of a theory that Mr. UnRunner (he’s back to not running, ha) has about massage. He refuses to get one because he believes that the tension is what keeps him together. Knock out one knot or muscle contraction and the whole thing tumbles like a Jenga puzzle. Perhaps all this enforced time off has forced my body to realize it’s time to collapse…

Let me back up, though. I saw Magical Craig twice this week. And he highly suggested I NOT race this weekend the F3 Half Marathon I’d signed up for months ago. He knows I’m prone to not listening to him when it comes to things like backing off on running, but I’m going to be a grown up and DO THE RIGHT THING. Which means, NOT run it–just in case you weren’t sure. Here’s why. Craig suggested I skip the cardio stuff this week, or the cardio stuff that would have impact. I tried a barre class on Wednesday thinking it was going to be low-impact. Wrong. It was an odd cardio version and there was a lot of jumping. My foot started bothering me during the class (more on the class in a bit). If just jumping jacks and dynamic lunges were bothering it, hauling out a half marathon would not be great. Craig did say I could finally try running on it Saturday to test it out, but I had to stop if it hurt. An out and back loop in a race doesn’t really fit well for that. I think I’d rather have a DNS (did not start) than a DNF (did not finish)…at least if it’s for an injury. I also know that I probably won’t accept the idea of not finishing and further set myself back. If I really want all this time off to count for something, I need to make sure I’m not continuing to draw out the injury. Growing up sucks. I’ve already scaled back for two weeks, I can’t take it much longer.

So, what does “recovery” look like when you can’t do cardio with impact or that involves alot of ankle (he also banned the ellipticals this week)? Well, you can swim (barf, but also more on that in a bit) maybe, or I forced Craig to let me at least cycle. Seriously, what else is there?? Here’s what the week looked like.

Monday: Botched 2. 5 miles

Tuesday: Yoga

Wednesday: Cardio barre class

Thursday: 50 minutes of cycling

Friday: Nothing right now…maybe some yoga or strength training.

It hurts me to look at that. I swear I’ve gained weight in the last two weeks. Depressing. I know it’s better to work all this out now, then, rather than potentially not running or finishing Boston. Still.

Here’s the scoop on some things I’ve been trying in the meanwhile.

1) I really like yoga, and doing a partial supported headstand against the wall is safer. I go to the studio when I can, but I also like to do some different yoga apps and YouTube videos.

2) After my second attempt at barre, I’m pretty sure I don’t like it. This class reminded me of a mom’s 80’s aerobics class. Except my mom didn’t do aerobics. So maybe YOUR mom’s aerobics class. I totally spaced and thought the class was almost over when I saw it was 9:55. When it was 10:04 and didn’t seem to be ending, I realized that we were only halfway through (the class started at 9:30). I almost wept in disappointment. You see, the reason I run is because I AM NOT COORDINATED. Following a variety of dynamic movements with garbled-sounding microphone directions, especially when I’m afraid of jumping on my right foot, was a nightmare. I still have one class left on my 3-class Groupon, though…so I’ll be back to torture myself (I’m also cheap about getting my money’s worth).

3) I really hate cycling inside. It feels indeterminately long. Give me a bike ride outside any day. Oh wait, I left the garage door open months ago and someone stole my bike. Sigh.

4) I need to learn how to cross train differently. i.e., swimming. Swimming is like the arch-nemesis of my athletic-ness. Well, after aerobics. So maybe it’s just a nemesis… Anyhow, I had a scary drowning-ish moment in a pool when I was a kid (think of getting fished out by the lifeguard but no resuscitation but lots of spitting out of water and maybe some vomit) so I tend to get panicky if I feel like I am getting too much water in my nose, or I don’t have control. To try and get over that years ago, I took private swim lessons and signed up for a super-sprint triathlon. I knew how to swim, but I wanted to learn how to feel comfortable in the water and work on my stroke, etc. The swimming portion of the triathlon got canceled because of too much bacteria in the water (I know, gross) so I never got to have my moment of triumph. And I’m still uncomfortable in deep water. So I’m considering signing up for a triathlon again to force myself to cross-train in the pool more. “Just” swimming for exercise sounds awful. I need something to hold me accountable and motivate me. Oh, and I’ll still need to buy a bike. And because I am friends with crazy people, someone’s already trying to egg me on to do a half iron distance triathlon in the fall. CRAZY.

It’s Friday. I’ll try and do a run tomorrow. And take stock from there. It’s hard recognizing that you have limits, and you need to take time to recover. I know I write about that alot, but it’s still hard to swallow. I need to listen to my body and take the time to do things right. Good luck to anyone racing this weekend and high fives to all those doing rehab/recovery work–in any sense.


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So…Saturday’s long run was rough. I started having pain in my heel and my right calf felt like it was going to snap because it was so tight. Not good. I limped around the rest of the day because both my calves were so sore and tight after. Argh. I have not had to deal with a running injury (sans various sprained ankles) in a long while. I guess that streak can only go so long though.

I made the big girl decision of taking most of this week off from running and trying a short run on Friday to see if I can get up to speed for the long run Saturday. If Friday’s run doesn’t go well, I’ll forego the long run this week. Better to take the time now to deal with this before training really takes off. I hate it.

This means I have done some of the first cardio cross training and gym workouts in a long long time. I will do a workout video or various exercises at home, but I have really gotten away from the gym. Well, my friends, the gym has changed! There are sorts of newfangled cardio machines out there! I felt like a newbie. However, it was also cool to see how much has changed.

WhenI don’t run, I usually do the elliptical as a good substitute. Mostly because I can read on there. However, the elliptical type machines have changed. Now you can do all sorts of different movements in the middle of moving instead of just the same plane and level. There’s one that I’ve done that lets you change your stride and form while stepping up and down. In the past I’ve hated it because it feels like my legs are all over the place and I can’t get any kind of rhyme or reason to my movement. This time I was brave and did a better job. I even did a long stride that made me feel like a Kenyan with their super gazelle moves.

I hate the stair master. However, the new ones (that are actually revolving stairs) were more tolerable. I also felt better that I was working my weak glutes.

But this…this was the piece de resistance. This is a crazy elliptical type machine that works your lateral muscles. Hello hips and glutes! You can adjust your lateral width to work different muscles. You can also change the way you’re standing to switch up muscle groups and sides as well. Woah. It was hard. Like I decided to not overkill and only used it for 20 minutes hard. I will definitely be coming back to do this. 

For your dizzying pleasure I have included a horrible video to try and show you how it looks.

While I can’t say that I’m loving all this stuff in place of running, I can’t help but feel some satisfaction that this forced rest is taking place during a week of single digit temps. I am definitely not missing the “realfeel” -11 degrees today. 
I also saw Bill this weekend at Roadrunner and bought some new, cushier shoes–the Saucony Triumph. I tried on the Hoka Clifton but didn’t like them all that much. I also ended up really liking a pair of Nike Free (RN Distance) but they were really more for speedy days. While Jen did buy two pairs of shoes, I stuck with just one since I have a pair of Kinvaras I still need to rotate in.

Anyway, off to yoga and trying to p/rehab (I’m pretending it’s prehab and not rehab for my foot/leg). Feel free to check in with other ideas.

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Weekend’ish Round-Up

Since I failed to post towards the end of the week and now the weekend is closing, I think this would technically classify as a round-up of the week/end.

Anyhow, the week recovering from Chicago was ok. It was the closing of my first quarter of teaching so it was a little more hectic work-wise, which means I didn’t miss the time running. I only ran three times since last Sunday, 1) a recovery 3 miler on Wednesday with a friend, where I didn’t wear a watch, 2) another short 3-miler, though a little more up-tempo, and 3) a longer 7’ish mile run this morning. I say 7’ish, because my 305 has been acting up.

The mileage should have said closer to 7, as I ran a 0.5 mile warm up before meeting the girls for about 6.5. However, that’s not what my watch did. It randomly paused and didn’t start back up at some point. This would be the third time this has happened in the last month–if you recall my misadventures of trail running in Wisconsin Dells, the Chicago Marathon, and now today’s run. It’s irritating.

I could take this as a sign from the universe that a) I should stop running with a watch or b) I need a new watch. Obviously, the materialistic part of me wants a new watch, particularly the newest Garmin, which has a heart rate monitor in it (Yeeeesssss, preciousssss…). However, I could also take the much more philosophical view that I should run “naked” as they say. But we all know, if you don’t track the mileage, it’s like you didn’t even really run it (or as I told my sister one day when she didn’t realize her Fitbit’s battery was dead, “You shouldn’t have even gotten out of bed. What’s the point?!”). Ok so that’s a bit extreme, but I do NOT miss the days of clocking distances via the odometer on my car to figure out my mileage or in more recent times, mapping it out on Google maps before/after a run. Perhaps it’s not the end of the world, though, to not know to the 0.1 of a mile your distance or the exact pace. Deep thoughts, my friends.

Also, as part of my recovery, I did a yoga class at the CorePower Yoga studio near my house. They recently moved and it’s literally a couple blocks from my house. Awesome to be able to walk and get to the studio in a couple minutes. You know you’re tight when even child’s pose pops some things in your shoulder. Holy smokers my hip flexors were sore the next day too! Definitely need to be incorporating more yoga into the training. You can also see my rockin’ runner’s tan on my back there. Sweet. I also spent part of the day at the zoo with my daughter. It’s all Halloween’ed out!
It was an absolutely gorgeous day, which meant my daughter wanted to go one of the indoor exhibits. Sigh. Mostly because she wanted to do the face paints. She wanted to paint her face like a butterfly…Mhm. Maybe if you kind of close your eyes…Um, like all the way and imagine. Still, it was cute to watch how focused she was on cramming every square inch of her face with color.
I fee like this fall has been fantastic. People joke that Chicago generally has two seasons–construction and winter. This has been a real fall, though. Someone even told me it’s the height of color right now. Maximum color and foliage. Or foilage as they say. I’m supposed to do a trail run with a friend on Tuesday, so I hope the sunshine continues to hold until then. I’m not sure if the extended Chicago fall has confused nature, though, because last week I saw my first woodpecker outside of a forest. I was taking garbage outside and I heard a weird knocking sound. I looked around trying to locate it and I saw a bird I’d never seen before. I’m pretty sure it’s a downy woodpecker–see the blog title is upfront about my total nerdiness.

Whatever it was, it was kind of neat to see something new on a random day.

There I had a ton of friends doing races this weekend. A bit cold starting out, but alot of them had good races. Did you race this weekend? How’s the cold affecting you?

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Family Fitness and Reconsidering Marathon Plans

A friend asked me recently if I do the whole protein shake recovery thing after long/hard runs. I do usually. To be honest, I haven’t experimented a whole lot with different powders, but alot of people had recommended the Vega Recovery ones. I’m not going to lie, it’s a bit grainy and not like a real shake, ha. However, I’ve found that if you mix it with almond milk (versus water) and keep it cold (by blending with things like frozen berries) and something a tad sweet (like a banana), it’s not bad. I have a Vitamix, which helps alot. I also threw some kale in there the other day for good measure. I feel like I need to read up on the whole green smoothie thing and get on that, but … there are so many other things that call to my attention (like my recent obsession with the Netflix series Sense8. SO GOOD). Feel free to share good green smoothie recipes with me and save me the effort 🙂

On a side note, I thought the chocolate flavor would be be better, but I actually have found the vanilla one to be easier to drink.We’ve been continuing the whole family fitness thing this week. Yesterday was a yoga/stretch day. We did my Jillian Michaels Yoga burn DVD, which the kids found too difficult (crow isn’t the easiest position to get into for a 3 year old, ha). So, we traded off and I found a kids yoga video series on YouTube, which they LOVED. As in, they asked to do 3 in a row. It’s called Cosmic Kids Yoga, involves elaborate storytelling and some visuals, uses real yoga moves, and is only about 20 minutes. I can’t decide if I think it’s brilliant, creepy, or annoying. Maybe all 3.
My 5 y.o. has also been requesting to ride his bike along one of my shorter runs. He’s a pretty good bike rider, and I had made a passing comment this weekend that maybe he could ride alongside. He’s been at me for days about it so I actually built in a short 3 mile run yesterday just for that purpose. All my runs are super long this week, which I’ll talk about in more detail later, so I just added yesterday as a running day. That was fine, though, since I had to cut part of my run Tuesday short because I didn’t get up early enough to get the whole 10 miles in.

He did great! I carried my handheld so he had water for stops, which mostly happened at intersections. He kept up pretty well. We even did a couple interval bursts–he’s also been demanding to see me run as fast as possible. He was very proud of himself, AND he ate like a champ the rest of the day. Win-win. My 3 y.o. is up and riding on her two-wheeler, but she’s not agile enough with it yet, nor is she able to start herself off yet. But soooooon, you’ll see me and my posse rolling at you on runs! Finally, this week has been hard. I was sore for a couple days after Saturday’s race. That really surprised me. Was it the hills? Speed? I’m not sure. I also realized belatedly that I should have done a short recovery run Sunday or Monday, but I didn’t. Because it wasn’t on the plan. Bleh, need to reconsider my fierce obsession with following the plan. Anyhow, this made Tuesday’s run, 10 miles of which 5 were to be at 15k or half marathon race pace (uh, yeah), unpleasant and unmanageable. I half-heartedly tried to do them, but it just felt awful so I just did my regular pace.

I have 11 miles on the docket today. I am dreading it. I am exhausted and feeling tight. Part of this might be the fact I’m teaching two nights this week, and I realize how all that standing is killing my legs and back after all the running. Part of it might just be all the ramping up of miles. But I’m tired. So I’m reconsidering whether I want to keep following the Advanced Marathoning plan or switch back to Liz’s spring marathon plan. I need to compare the plans again to see where I am. Maybe I could create a hybrid, I don’t know. Ugh. Maybe I’ll just get through this week’s plan, which ends with a 17 miler Saturday, and then re-evaluate. Maybe I should just take a nap…

Anyhow, friends, have a great day and happy(-ish) running!

P.S. Did folks see all the body-critiquing stuff that was going on with Serena Williams?! Geez, even elite athletes’ bodies aren’t “good enough” for public consumption. Grr.