One of the downsides of impending winter is the decreased light and the inability to effectively tell time by the amount of light in your bedroom. We all woke up at 7:30, which meant the oldest nugget missed his bus, which means Mr. Sometimes Runner had to drive him to school, which means he’ll be later picking him up from after-care, which makes the evening more hectic (since I’m teaching tonight). Of course the ankle-biters woke up between 5 and 6:30 AM every other day of vacation. Sigh. So it’s a bit of a stumbling return to the daily grind. Holiday hangover is real, friends (and that’s without drinking!).
It’s been a bit of time since the last post. As much as I thought about it, it just seemed more work to post amongst the flurry of activity with children home, in-laws visiting, cooking, and still trying to get my runs in. I hope everyone was able to survive!
The last remnants of snow melted earlier in the week. The final leaves of fall have also been taken down as well. The ginkgo trees in particular held on the longest and then let go all at once (the mass of yellow leaves in the picture below). Grossly, the berries are still smashed into the sidewalks stinking up everything. I would really like to know the evolutionary reasons for why those berries have to smell so foul.
It got warm right away, and I actually ran Thanksgiving Day in a t-shirt and shorts (I was a tiny bit cold as it was also sprinkling a bit). Still, I got to enjoy the last shreds of shorts weather we’ll probably see for a bit. I actually did this run as a tempo run (well, as tempo as I’ve been getting lately, ha). I was feeling the tiniest bit of speed and the cold made me want to finish faster, so it was nice to feel like I was getting some of my speed back.
Jen and I also ran the day after Thanksgiving to a steady drizzle. Like good little consumers, we incorporated a stop at our local women’s running store where Jen bought a Handful bra (which I then got suckered into running with in my pocket for 4 miles). Like the losers we are, we also managed to wear our matching Mother Runner hats. As you can see, it was cold enough that the misty rain on the hats froze over a bit. It was good to get out, and running in the rain (particularly cold rain) always makes me feel a bit hardcore. One thing I did look at in the store was breathable rain gear, but I realize I’m too cheap to invest in the good stuff. I own rain gear, but it’s either waterproof (and essentially akin to running in a plastic bag) or it’s water-resistant and lets in some moisture. One day, when I am a rich and famous blogger (hahahahahaha), someone will gift me better gear. In the meanwhile, you’ll see me with a clingy rain jacket sweating buckets or looking slightly angry at the chilled wetness.
It must have been the holiday of Jen because then we also decided to check out one of the local barre studios. We had bought a Groupon for 3 classes a couple of months ago, and of course we waited until the last day to redeem it. Typical. It was fun to see two other ladies from our running group, Jeanette and Jennifer (Jennifer also ran Ragnar the last two years with me) in the class. I guess you had to have a name start with J to be in the class 🙂 The instructor, Carmen, is also a BFF member!
This was the first barre class ever for Jen and me. It was hard!! Carmen had us do a bunch of glute stuff, which also totally ass-kicked our weak runner’s hips. We were grimacing for a good deal of the class. I’m not as sore as I thought I would be today, but I can definitely feel the effects. We’ve been talking about incorporating more core and strength training into our training plan… I didn’t love it, as I tend to like more cardio-based workouts. However, for 50 minutes of pumping music and having someone else lead, it’s not bad. We bought a 3-pack, so we’ll go two more times. After that, we’ll see. It’s not cheap!
Last, but not least, we actually went to a restaurant for Thanksgiving, which made Thanksgiving Day relaxing. However, because I love Thanksgiving food so much, we also cooked a turkey breast and some sides on Friday. Mr. Sometimes Runner’s favorite part about that is the wishbone. Here, he wrestles the 6-year-old for domination (he lost).
Training is coming along. I actually had two runs last week that were paced under 9 minute miles. I’ve been feeling super slow and heavy lately (nothing to do all the eating, I’m sure) so I was happy to get some speed back that didn’t make me feel like I was dying. Just being under 9 is hardly “speed,” but lately I’ve been doing some runs at 9:45 so it’s speedy enough. Overall, though, I’m still not feeling like I’m really in training mode yet. Technically, I’m on a training plan but it’s just base mileage right now and I’m not following it all that closely. I have to be careful I’m not being too loosey-goosey about it, though, as I realized I didn’t even run 30 miles last week. My 10 mile long run Saturday felt hard–in the sense that I never hit my groove. I never got into the non-thinking auto-pilot you get with long runs. I was thinking about my mileage the whole time. Jen had the same struggle so we just complained about it for most of the run. Misery loves company.
Anyhow, friends, here’s to getting back on schedule and working through this training rut. The grey wet weather isn’t helping, but at least it’s not bitterly cold yet.
I also know that running is a way for me to deal with all the craziness in the world–both within my family and within my larger community. The chaos of what’s going on in Chicago between the video of Laquan MacDonald’s shooting and today’s closing of the University of Chicago campus because of a potential shooting makes me realize there are definitely larger issues impacting us. So I will use my run today to pray and meditate on hoping for peace. Hope everyone has a chance to do the same.