Thursday, April 4, 2019

Race Goals

After having my baby, race goals were definitely NOT a priority. Being home for Timmy was my priority. I have still kept up with running in that time but definitely not as extreme as before.

Last year I completed one half marathon. I didn't care about my time goal (although we did have a goal in mind as I was running with some friends). Completing my first half marathon post-baby was my goal. It wasn't easy and even being away for my long runs was difficult. I like having "me" time but I still felt guilty.  But I finished the half marathon and even got the goal we wanted. So it was a win-win.

Not too much happened by way of running last year. I tried to get better/faster. But was plagued by a random (not serious) foot issue. I also slept past the triathlon I had signed up for. Let's just keep it at ... uneventful.

This year, I decided to sign up for another half marathon, because it requires effort and training. So when I finish, I feel like I actually accomplished something (no matter how slow I am).

On Saturday, April 6th, I'm running the Milwaukee Half Marathon.  I'm excited about it.  I do have a time goal in mind but I'm happy no matter what (I say that but do I really mean that??). 

BUT...something was still bothering me. I was feeling ... mediocre. I was listening to other people's big goals. I needed something to shake me up. To make me train harder than I was. To make me know that I can do better and be better. My husband says I had a mid-life crisis (since I just turned 40). Regardless... I was feeling blah and needed...something...

So I signed up for the Wisconsin 70.3 in Madison on June 9, 2019. At first, I wasn't going to tell anyone (but my husband, of course). But in true fashion, I blurted it out on my facebook. I'm so weak. 

So I have been swimming, biking, and running for the past 2 months more than I have in a long time (well, my running is the same as just training for the half). But getting up at 4:40 a.m. to swim at 5:00 a.m. on a Monday morning is definitely out of my character. I've spent endless hours on the bike trainer since I live in Chicago and spring never wants to come.  So, even though I might not be training as much as some, or I know that there are things I could improve on, I'm training as much as I can right now given the fact that I still want to be home for my baby. So lots of bike trainer hours are after Timmy goes to bed at night. It's pretty exhausting sometimes. But I know it's temporary and I want to put the work in so that no matter what happens on race day, I know it wasn't from lack of trying.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Dusting off the ol' blog!

*Disclaimer: grab your tissues. Not running related.*

Is it sad that I forgot how to even start a new blog post? I couldn't find the button that said "New Post."

It's been a hot minute ... a lifetime ...  the better part of nine months since I last posted.

Let me just say the last 2 years have been rough. Let me step away from the running blog for a minute and get you caught up.

As you know from the last couple of posts, I had a baby on July 28, 2017! Yay me! Ha! Actually he is 20 months old (over 1.5 years old) today.  He is seriously the most fun baby/toddler/kid ever! And the most hard work ever! lol. I love watching him learn "all the things" like sitting up, standing up, walking/running, talking, singing,'s endless!

A little ladies man!
So I needed to focus on the positive first before I list some negatives.

I lost a dear friend Kathy in October 2017 to cancer. I met her running and but we definitely became more than that. Losing someone so young is heartbreaking.
Kathy and I at the Warrior Dash in 2012
The next one is even harder. I lost my dad in February 2018 (on my birthday). He became sick in December 2017 and it took a while for them to even figure out what he was sick from. In which case, he became even more sick while they tried to figure it out. So much pain and suffering but in the end, he couldn't overcome his illnesses. I can't even begin to tell you how this felt. Losing my dad when he still had so much life left to live and him never being able to play with my baby again is beyond heartbreaking. He was only 60 years old.
My dad spectated a race of mine in 2009.
He was a runner before I was so he enjoyed these things.
Then in November 2018 (because why stop now), both of my mom's parents became sick. My grandma unfortunately passed away in January 2019. Just one more angel to look over my family and my son. She told me a week or so before she passed to make sure Timmy (my son) keeps reading. Oh he will. He LOVES books.  Luckily my grandfather is still around. He's had ups and downs but he's on an upswing so keep him in your prayers.
My grandparents with my baby after he was born in August 2017
So thank you for bearing with me while I catch you all up on the ups and downs of my personal life for a minute. I wanted to post it because these things do affect our goals, our life, our perspectives. At least temporarily.

You know, my dad always loved my blogging. And my running. So I need to continue to do the things that make him proud of me. Every time something gets hard, I think of him.

And every time I run a certain route near my house, I think of my friend Kathy.

And my grandma was just a special woman that did so much in life for me. I felt like we had a special bond. I was her first granddaughter. She took me shopping, on vacations, and just gave me so much love.

I'm blessed to have the people in my life for the amount of time I did. I try to not forget that when I dwell on the "bad" things. I need to focus on the good things.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Short Run on a Long Day 5k - First stroller 5k

Happy Friday! Going to be a hot weekend in Chicago (mid-90's) and looking ahead, next week will be close to the same. I don't mind personally but it's too hot to push the baby in the stroller in that weather.

Last week, I participated in the Short Run Long Day 5k for the 6th year in a row. I love this race for a few reasons. It's in the town I live in and is only a hop-skip-jump away! I can find parking right near the start. My run group FNRC is a HUGE presence at this run. Which basically means...lots of my friends are there! Every where I looked from the minute I got out of the car, I saw gold FNRC. Even the volunteers! It was so fun!

Frankfort/New Lenox Running Club
(Timmy and I are front right - not in stroller)
When I signed up for the run, which is on a Wednesday evening, I forgot my husband was going to be out of town for work. I had planned to bring Timmy anyway but thought I'd have my husband for "help" with the baby if I needed it. Oh well...I was going to try it anyway. He loves the stroller but never ran 3 miles with it before.

Actually long story short, we ran it, we finished, he fussed a little in the third mile but nothing a little "Elvis" couldn't handle.  My friends seemed to all love him and I enjoy bringing him out every once in a while so everyone can see him. He really is a cutie!
Friends (Jill, Julie & Melanie)
I ran 3:1 intervals with a couple friends. I had very low expectations going into this race with the jogging stroller. I only ran with it twice and only up to 2 miles. And it was HARD! But, it seemed easier running with my friends, we kept a pretty decent pace (for me with the stroller), and we stayed with our intervals the whole time. I was pretty tired by the end but very happy with the run itself.

Almost finished!

"Mommy, why are you so sweaty?"
All in all, it was a successful run. I'm much slower than I was prior to having the baby but I'm actually working my way back up a bit and noticing some progress.