Ya’ll I am so motivated right now.
This morning I went to run with a friend at the trails around here. I’ll admit I was nervous. I am much slower than her and I have never ran on difficult terrain. I thought she would smoke me (spoiler alert: she did). I was scared but I agreed to go so off we went! That is the most fun run I have done in a long time. It was hard, really hard. My body feels like I ran a half marathon. I’m sore all over and I took a 2 hour nap when I got home. But I pushed myself, and that’s something I haven’t done in a long time. The terrain was difficult. We meant to run 3 miles but we got lost and I ended up with 5 (she had a little more but I cut across a few switchbacks at the end so she didn’t have to wait as long). I haven’t ran more than 3 lately, and I did 5. FIVE! I’m so stinking proud of my hard work and I had a GREAT time.
Of course, knowing me, this led to some thinking. This was such a different run for me for many reasons. The terrain of course. Running with someone much faster than myself. But also, how hard I pushed. I never gave up. I was uncomfortable and I kept going (saying “a finish is a finish, just don’t stop” in my head over and over at times). That’s not something I do regularly. I run easy in the pasture. I run easy with the stroller (much slower than the pasture), and I plan to run easy on Saturdays to increase my long runs. But I imagine that runs like today are the ones that net results, whatever those may be.
So how do you train hard when you don’t have a goal? I don’t have a race in mind. I want to be flexible. I’m not saying “marathon time!” right now because after 2 days running 3 miles each day my leg was hurting. I don’t even really want to run the next big half because it’s expensive and cold and I don’t like being cold. ha. So what is my goal? Other than “get better.” And what does “get better” really mean?
There are a few things I know. I’d like to keep extending my long run. I want to be able to do whatever, whenever. To me, that means being able to pick up a 5k or 10k for fun with very little notice, and being able to pick up a half without an entire training cycle needed. Essentially, I don’t want to ever have to start over! So a long run of 6-10 miles would be a great place to sit. I want to keep running easy. I believe in easy runs. I believe they’re good for your body. I want to increase aerobic capacity (although not drop everything for that goal as the Maffetone Method recommends). I believe in active recovery. I want to be able to run often, because I like running and I don’t think running hard every run is conducive to that goal. So I see myself as having 1 run a week that isn’t long or easy. 1 run where I want to push myself and work on some sort of goal.
I have 2 possible goals in mind. The first is one I did back in the summer of 2016, but haven’t really focused on since. That is a faster mile. I wanted to get my mile time to 8 minutes. The fastest I made it was 9:06 in July – I only worked on this goal for a few weeks. It wasn’t a big goal at the time. More of a “it’s too hot to try to get my 5k time down (training in 100 degree +) so I’ll work on my mile time instead” and after that I switched back to longer mileages. The second one is similar and that is getting my average pace down to a certain number. I don’t know what number that would be, and the distance would play a lot in to that. Essentially, it’s the same goal, just the distance that I’m unsure of.
In July I ran a mile at 10 min pace. Beyond that I have times from 11:45 to 18. The data isn’t very useful though. The runs in town (14:01-15:00) I push my daughter in a stroller which is more difficult. The runs in the pasture (14:27-16:28) are slower than what the road would be. And for most of these runs I have been attempting to keep my HR low. All that to say, I need to choose a goal and a day to complete it. Do I want to speed up my mile? I’d love to speed up my 5k… but maybe starting with a mile would give me a quicker victory. If that is the plan, I need to set a realistic goal for the mile – something that I can accomplish relatively quickly, so that I can set the next goal and continue on towards the ultimate goal of a faster 5k.
I would love to run a sub 30 5k – 9:39 pace. So to break that down, I think the first step is running a 10 minute mile – this may be more of a test than a goal as I really have no clue if I can do it or not. So I will attempt to run a mile in 10 minutes on the road or 11 minutes in the pasture or with the stroller as step 1. From there I can move on to either a faster mile time or longer distance.
Saturday – long (starting at 5 since that’s what I did today on the trail)
Sunday – rest
Monday – goal work
Tuesday – easy 3
Wednesday – rest
Thursday – easy 3
Friday – rest
The occasionally I will hopefully do a trail run instead of long run, but since my recovery for this says I need to rest til Friday to not be super strained… I don’t want to do that too often!
Most of my journaling these days happens in my prayer journal. Occasionally, however, I just want to sit and type. Reminds me of old times, back in the corporate world, where I spent hours at the computer and could use break times to get my thoughts out (while still sitting at the computer because that’s what I did). Now a days I’m rarely at the computer at all. I fail to check my e-mail which occasionally gets me in trouble. I do my browsing on my phone, because for some reason that seems like less of a time waster? ha!
Anyway, new years resolutions. Here’s the thing. I’m getting restless. I ran a 5k yesterday after not running by myself in months. I run a few days a week with a friend and strollers. We run with a low HR and I really enjoy our time. Like really really do. I wish we didn’t miss so much but… yea… life with kiddos. We have had soccer games early on Saturdays so I haven’t been running alone then. If I run alone at all it is in the pasture, which means I listen to an audio book to keep from going crazy running in such a small circle. So again… not alone. The 5k started out rough. I never heard my first mile split beep, so I can’t say for sure how far out I was when I started feeling this way, but I would guess it was around the 1 mile mark. I wasn’t having fun. I was being passed (duh! I’m slow!) and just not hitting that zen place I normally go to. I wasn’t hurting. I wasn’t really discouraged. I was just bored and feeling very meh about the whole thing. As usual, when I hit the zone in a run, I don’t know when it happens. I’m going along and then I’m done and I’m thinking “wow! I have no idea what I thought about that whole time!” The time just flies by. That’s my zone. That’s my zen place. I think it must be like meditation, which I have never managed to do because I’m not a big fan of sitting still and silent and Lord knows I can’t shut off my brain intentionally. The race was hard. It seemed uphill most of the way which I don’t think is physically possible (it was a loop) but sure seems accurate. It also seemed to be in to the wind about 99%. And the wind was brutal. I know all of these things, but I don’t feel them. I don’t feel anything because I hit that zone and I finished the race in my happy space. ha. I was able to run the full thing (except for walking through the water stop) which I haven’t attempted in months. That was really encouraging to know that I can still run 5k. I finished in 37:01 which is about 11:45 pace. I haven’t run on the road/alone in so long I don’t know if that’s “good” but I’m happy with it.
It makes me want to run more. As always, it makes me want to get a little faster. I’m not looking to win anything. heh. The top 3 in my age group (of 4 total) finished in 28 minutes. I don’t know that I can catch them. I don’t know that I can’t. It’s not about that. It’s more about this: I finished comfortably (except for the finish line which I sprinted with my 7 year old who apparently is really fast when he wants to be… 8 min pace coming in). I didn’t try to “race” it because I don’t know what that feels like, especially having not run alone on roads in so long. I just wanted to finish and not get sick to my stomach (tmi?), and I did that. So that tells me I could have gone faster if I had “raced” it. So now I’m thinking, do I want to do the polar workout plan? Maybe. Or do I want to just do my own thing, which at this moment would look like an easy mile warm up, a harder mile, then an easy mile cool down, once a week I figure that would give me more speed. The rest of my runs will be easy, including my Saturday long run. So I guess it doesn’t really matter. ha. Anyway this is just running, which I change my mind about all the time.
My ultimate goal for running is 2 fold. A solid 3 mile base, which I apparently have, and a long run of 6-8 miles. I have no idea how far I can go at this point so I don’t know how far off I am from that goal. As for the 3 mile base, the goal will be to work on speeding up – not necessarily through speed drills, but instead through repetition and increased aerobic health. I run with the stroller mostly, so when I can run 3 miles aerobically with the stroller that will be a major accomplishment. When I can run 3 miles in the pasture, that will be a major accomplishment. Those will both translate to running faster on roads alone. It’s all related. Some friends have mentioned running the Cowtown half in 2019. I want to do it with them. This isn’t training for that. This is just where I want to be, but when I’m there, training up for a half should be a simple enough process. Really if I threw in an extra long run every once in a while, just for fun, I could probably pick up a half without training and survive. But yea, this has nothing to do with New Years Resolutions. So again I say…
Anyway, new years resolutions. Running can help me lose weight, but I do not believe it is the *best* way to do so. Running alone can only do so much. I thing weight loss and body composition changes are three fold. ****Ok really I think they’re 2 fold. I don’t think you *need* to run. But I *need* to run for sanity so darn it that is part of it and we’re calling it 3 fold, ok? Good.**** So diet and strength are the keys here. Calories out > calories in. Strength for building muscle and building metabolism. Also strength for burning calories because again calories out > calories in. Easy runs for burning fat calories. Hard runs once a week for speed and not really for fat loss at all. Also, I tend to throw weight loss around incorrectly. I know this. In my head weight loss does not mean scale #s. It means fat loss. So again, just go with me here.
I love cross fit. I love watching the games. I love seeing the women and their strength. I love how the strength translates to real life. Those women can do whatever they want. They can run, then can kayak. They can try a ninja course. They can try a ropes deal or wall climb or whatever they want… because they are strong in many ways. I want that. I don’t want to pay multiple $100s a month to do it because honestly I can’t. So I’m considering looking at the WODs online and doing what I can at home. I found a great site that breaks down the WOD and shows modifications if you can’t do the full exercise. I don’t have an assault bike or row machine but I figure I can substitute something that accomplishes the same result. I Just don’t have the money to throw at a gym right now and I got bored doing the strong lifts 3x a week. I liked it, I just didn’t like pulling out the equipment and actually doing it, which sounds so silly. But I need something that I will do and I wasn’t doing that. Hopefully changing up the workouts like this will be enough to interest me. heh.
Still that’s only half of it, and not really anything to do with New Years yet. I promise we’re getting there. Diet. dun dun dunnnnn. I know what works for me. Eating to my macros and drinking a gallon of water a day. ***YMMV: the water is an amount that works great for me but I know that is very body specific. It took me a long time to find the sweet spot for what to drink*** I say New Years because I’m not about to start watching calories the week I make 3 pies. Then I start baking cookies. Then Christmas. I suppose we could call it a 12/26 Resolution but let’s just give us that last week to finish eating leftovers, shall we.
So even though I have never done a new years resolution and really disagree in general with the idea of “I’m going to make great life changes! …at some later date!” I’m going to do it. ha. I’ll probably start now-ish with the running and crossfit because I want to. I’ll also try to drink more water because I know I need to. I’m not sure about counting macros. I suppose I could start, just to get used to it. But I’ll be going in to this knowing I will be way over on my carbs and possibly calories. Because again, I’m not going to start a big diet change (no matter how good it is for me) right before the holidays.
So there you go. More for my thoughts than anyone elses’s reading since I don’t think anyone actually reads this. But I type so much faster than I write and sometimes it just feels good to get it out this way. Not to mention the super handy search feature that unfortunately regular journals do not have. ha. Makes things much easier to review later!
6/1/17 – 2 mile easy
I learned about macros from a friend today. I used IIFYM to calcualate what mine should be and came up with 123 carbs, 55 fat, and 106 protein. I tried to do well for dinner but had already eaten most of my meals before I learned.
6/2/17 – rest
This was date night. I did well with my macros until our date dinner. The meal I ordered (and accounted for in MFP) was bigger than I expected and I couldn’t finish it. Then we went out for yogurt (unplanned), which I estimated the amounts I put in. I ended up way over on carbs (not surprised), but everything else was good.
6/3/17 – 3 mile “long”
I had trouble getting my protein in. Derek offered to buy me a half and half sweet tea and I accepted. This put me a little over on carbs. Otherwise I did well.
6/4/17 – 0.25 mile swim (cross)
It is difficult to plan for small group without knowing what will be offered. This can’t really be avoided. I ate additional green beans, bread, strawberries and dessert – mostly carbs which I was already slightly over on.
Swimming went well. It was more difficult than I anticipated. I was really tired and my form was horrible, but hopefully that will improve. I was exhausted after. I’m excited to keep it up throughout the summer.
My left leg has been bothering me lately. It feels a lot like my right did a few years ago when I had all those IT band issues. The main difference being that my knee doesn’t hurt and I can still run. I’ve been stretching it out well and today I decided to test my glutes. Before, my issue was caused by my right glute being substantially weaker than the left. I did some single leg bridges and, lo and behold, the left leg is now weaker. What is with my body? So now I will be adding a simple strength program to my run/swim days. When I rehabbed before I did them every day, but since I am still running I will keep my rest days for full rest. I will do 20 clams each side, 3 sets of 10 squats (unweighted), 15 bird dogs each side, and 3 sets of 10 bridges (both legs). Hopefully I can nip this in the bud and avoid an actual injury!
*random possibly ignorant thought: I thought I was looking pretty good before small group. I am definitely less “poofy” than I was. So I went to small group and ate a ton of carbs (lots of bread, potatoes and dessert). When I came home I noticed I was bloated. Is this why so many people think they can’t have carbs? (I’m not talking about celiac or legitimate medical issues that make you avoid gluten, etc. I understand that.) I had eaten most of my daily allotment of carbs before I left, and wasn’t bloated at all. I ate them throughout the day in a balanced way. It was only the high carbs all at once (not balanced) that affected me. People love an “easy fix,” and “low carbs” is much easier to swallow than “decent amount of carbs balanced with the right amount of protein and fat.” Again, I’m not talking about medical issues here. I just wonder if part of the “low carb” obsession is not wanting to deal with balancing your meals. It definitely takes work. These are the random things I think of in the shower at night.
6/5/17 – rest
I have swim lessons for the kids this afternoon. For the little one, that means I will be swimming as well. So while this is a “rest” day, it is not going to be a complete rest. Luckily we don’t have swim lessons on Fridays so that will be my complete rest day.
6/6/17 – 2 mile easy
I ran in the morning because the pasture is swampy from all the rain. It felt good to get out there on the roads.
I got my macros planned out to nearly perfect. We’ll see how today goes on sticking to the plan.
6/7/17 – 3 mile tempo
Ok y’all this was fun. I set out as soon as it was light outside. Instagram (wherever they get their numbers) said it was 68 degrees. I did a half mile warm up – no biggie, just a zone 2 run like usual. Then I took off. I mean I really did. The goal was to run my mile repeats in zone 4. My fastest pace for that part was 8:32, and that happened right at the beginning. I slowed down throughout the mile and finished with an average pace of 10:48 (I dropped into the 11s when I hit a long hill at the halfway point. Then I stood still for 90 seconds and just enjoyed the beautiful sunrise. The sun was pink this morning. It was amazing to see and really take in God’s glory. I took off for my second mile, this time with my max pace of 9:01 (also at the beginning). I had a few slow hills in here and finished with an average pace of 11:01. Then I cooled down with a final zone 2 half mile. At this point my HR was all over the place. I had a hard time getting it low enough and keeping there. I did a lot of walking.
I will repeat this workout every 3 weeks, increasing the # of mile repeats as my workouts require. I think I will stick to the same route when I can, just to be able to see the progress better. My first goal is to not lose so much on the hills. It would be nice to not have to walk on my zone 2 hills, and not slow down to the 11s-12s on my zone 4 hills.
I’m actually happy with my fast start and gradual slow down for each repeat. I’m not sure what the “official” purpose of tempo runs is – maybe I’m doing it wrong. My goal is to get speed on my legs (because it feels so darn good), and to push myself for how fast I can go within that zone. I (in all my scientific glory… ha) figure a good way to do this is to run at the threshold of the zone I am in. My zones 2-4 are basically 10bpm ranges, which helps. So I run fast to get up to zone 4 (not over), and then slow down as necessary to not get into zone 5. I do the same on my zone 2 runs, which also leads to slowing my pace at the end. But I’m not running for pace, I’m running for HR. I don’t think you can do both at the same time anyway.
6/8/17 – 2 mile easy – SKIPPED
My hip hurts y’all. It feels like when I had my IT band injury on the other leg, except for my knee does not hurt bad. I don’t remember if my hip hurt first last time or my knee. Basically, it is familiar and it is scary. I’m taking today off to rest. I’m going to be more diligent with my rehab. I’m going to look this in the face and stop pretending it is just going to go away. I am prepared to drop a day of running if needed. I don’t know that it is a good idea… just something I told myself I was willing to do. I can’t blow up my leg like I did training for Cowtown Half 2 years ago. I’m scared, but I’m going to try hard to fix this.
My husband is more rational than I am. After talking to him, I will take an entire week off. I will start again on 6/18 and just work on icing, stretching, rolling and strengthening in the mean time.
6/9/17 – rest
6/10/17 – 5 mile long – SKIPPED
6/11/17 – 0.25 mile swim (cross) – BIKED 2 miles
6/12/17 – rest
Progress today! So here’s what has happened. I was having some pain that worked itself out during a run. I would feel it after though. I decided to rest. I spent Thursday and Friday sitting and RESTING – HARD RESTING. I did very little and tried to sit on my bum and really rest. OUCH! It started hurting worse. Sunday I was in horrible pain before my bike ride. So today I did some research. Someone recommended another myofascial release tool for me to try and in looking at that I followed the rabbit trail and found what I was looking for! Let’s all admit that when we use Dr. Google, we’re just looking to find a source to back up what we think the answer is, right? I found it (and a reputable source at that). I’m not crazy that I had more pain when I sat a lot. My problem is my piriformis (not my IT band) and it can be bothered by sitting! So after reading half the articles on Duncan Sports PT website and attempting most of the exercises on her instagram, here is what I have decided. I have piriformis pain caused by weak glutes and an over-achieving TFL. I will start working to strengthen my gluteus maxius and medius with her recommended exercises, focusing on engaging the CORRECT muscle. In practicing this today, I was able to alleviate some pain momentarily, simply by using the correct muscle. I’m going to continue with my plan to bike Tues-Thurs, Saturday and then run again next Tuesday. I may skip my Wednesday (or replace with biking) depending on how I feel. I could also drop the mileage on my Wednesday down. My main concern is overdoing it by jumping in to a 13 mile week after a full week of rest. I’m really not sure how big of a deal that is. I’m not sure what I will do. But I”m going to play with my Wednesdays to give myself a rest if needed.
6/13/17 – 2 mile easy – SKIPPED
6/14/17 – 3 mile 400s – SKIPPED
6/15/17 – 2.5 mile easy – SKIPPED
6/16/17 – rest
6/17/17 – 3 mile long – SKIPPED
6/18/17 – 0.25 mile swim (cross)
6/19/17 – rest
6/20/17 – 2 mile easy
6/21/17 – 3 mile 800s
6/22/17 – 2.5 mile easy
6/23/17 – rest
6/24/17 – 5.5 mile long
6/25/17 – 0.25 mile swim (cross)
6/26/17 – rest
6/27/17 – 3 mile easy
6/28/17 – 3 mile tempo
6/29/17 – 3 mile easy
6/30/17 – rest
5/25/17 Easy 2 miles
Ran this based on the polar default zones. I spent a lot of time walking. After talking with Rachel, I adjusted my zones (see other post).
5/27/17 Long 4.5 miles
First run with my new heart heart zones. Minimal walking.
5/30/17 Easy 2 miles
It felt hot today. The weather says only 85 during my run and that it “feels like” the same but man was it hot out there. I was a little worried. It was unnecessary. The run felt good. This was my first attempt at an easy zone 2 run now that I adjusted my zones. I found myself running in zone 1 for the first section and had to pick up the pace a little bit. That is encouraging. I did find that my cadence was low. I didn’t think about it once but looking at my watch after, I was back around 80.
5/31/17 Speed Work (400s) 3 miles
half mile warm up – 4x quarter mile work/quarter mile rest – half mile cool down
May Miles – 49
Year to Date – 88Miles Left to Run in 2017 – 412
Overall I feel good. I need to get better about diet and foam rolling, but the running itself feels good. I purchased a competition swimsuit this month and Derek’s mom is going to let me cross train in her pool on Sundays.
Blogging because I need to work some stuff out in my mind.
A few years ago a friend of mine started doing triathlons. She had never been a runner but she “suffered through.” Now she is a great runner. She posted on facebook about doing a zone 1 5k in 26 minutes. I am going to confirm with her that we are looking at the same zones. lol. For me, zone 1 is less than 114 bpm. And she ran it at a 8:23 pace. I mean, it’s possible, theoretically. It’s just amazing.
So anyway we got to talking. She said that last year zone 2 was difficult for her. She had to walk a lot. She said she would just run as slow as she could to keep it down, then stop when it went over and walk. It led to some very slow paces. She took pace off her watch so that she wouldn’t even see it. Now she runs everything in zone 2. She runs marathons. She is an ironman. Not to mention she looks incredible.
I am so impressed by how far she has come. I embraced Maffetone in the past, but found it too difficult for me mentally. I think it was hard to do the same thing every day. Plus, my big concern with my marathon is being swept. I worry that if I run in a zone 2 every single run, I’ll never be fast enough to finish on time.
So I’m considering a hybrid plan. Marathon training so far is fun. I use the Hal Higdon Novice Supreme program, and then do what I want for each of the runs. Lately that has meant 2 days of easy runs, 1 day of speed work (Yasso 800s or Fartleks), and 1 long run. After talking to her, I am going to attempt to do my easy and long runs in a zone 2.
I changed my watch to display HR, the zone slider, the distance and my current cadence. I want to keep my cadence up to avoid injury. My not-so-scientific-opinion is that I’m more likely to get injured if I drag my feet trying to slow down more. I also changed my workout log so that it no longer displays duration or pace. I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life. The data is there when I’m ready. It shows HR now as well.
Today was my first attempt at a zone 2 run. It felt great but it was mentally rough. I ran on the pasture which makes it more difficult. At the beginning I could do about half a lap before I had to walk a bit. After about 1.3 miles I could do 21 paces before I had to walk. Towards the end it was difficult to get my HR low enough, even when walking. I’m not sure I would have survived without my audio book.
The up side of this is that I will see progress easily. It will be a happy day when I can run a whole lap without getting my HR up. And then when I can run a whole mile?! Wow!
I figure it doesn’t matter that I’m jacking with the pace as long as I get the miles on my legs. That’s the point, and long runs are meant to be slow anyway.
All this to say, I haven’t actually looked at my data. I wanted to write this while I’m feeling positive. I did pause at one point to take a phone call from my son’s allergist. My watch said my average pace was 17 something. That’s running and walking and going slow. I’m just going to force my mind to focus on the HR and the cadence.
So I spent some more time talking to my friend. Her zone 1 is huge and her zone 2 is tiny. From what I can tell, her coach set zone 2 as +/-4 of her target heart rate. So I did the same. Zone 1 is anything below that. Zone 5 starts at my anaerobic threshold. Zone 4 starts halfway between Zones 3 and 5. So there you go. Unfortunately this was AFTER I did my first pasture run that I had to walk. Today, Saturday, I will be doing my first zone 2 run with the updated zones.
So I felt a little better* that she did an 8:23ish at a 151 heart rate… until I saw an IG friend did a “recovery” run at a HR of 95 and a pace of 7:30. Goal, right?
*I kid. My friend is on team USA for triathlons and my IG friend is training for the Olympic trials. I’m finding joy in my journey and not comparing – other than to see what is possible. Rachel and Amanda, y’all are awesome!
I stuck with my goal of 500 miles in 2017. The problem was, I was sick until the end of February. I actually went to the doctor after we moved the week of January 21st. I had bronchitis bad and was sick for another month or so after that. It was one of those fun “I’m better thanks to the antibiotics, but I’m still coughing because I jacked up my lungs.”
Anyway, I hit April having only ran 19 miles. I kept telling myself I could still make my goal. I said (jokingly and more than once) that I’d just have to train for a marathon. I was joking but it put the bug in my ear.
The problem with running a marathon was that I could only think of Cowtown near by, and I didn’t want to deal with the weather. Cowtown is in February and has been snowed out.
So I did some looking around for a fall marathon (train in the summer, recover when it’s cold), thinking I wouldn’t find anything close. Hello there, Fort Worth Marathon. This one is in November. It’s absolutely perfect!
So here I am. Marathon training.
I’m going to try to keep this to April. I ran a mile April 10th and then made all these drastic decisions. So official training started April the 12th. I chose to run Hal Higdon’s Novice II program (I have since switched to Novice I), and made up my own pre-training until the program started (I have since switched to Novice Supreme which includes pre-training).
I ran 20.2 miles in April, ending the month with 39/500.
New years mean new goals, right? My friend (and my son’s PE teacher) jokingly asked me to run 1000 miles with her in 2017. I said sure. That comes out to a little less than 3 miles a day. Of course it was January 4th-ish when I said this so I had already lost some time. Then it got cold (icy). Then I got sick. Then I got thinking.
In 2015 I ran 201.9 miles.
In 2016 I ran 297.2 miles.
In 2017 I think I will run 1000?
2015 was the year I was injured. I started running in June of that year and stopped in October when I got hurt.
2016 I didn’t start running until May. I ran steadily through November when I’m going to guess it got cold (I’m such a baby).
If I intend to run all of 2017 (except the really cold days) then it makes sense to jump a few hundred from my partial years of running.
So with all that being said, my goal for 2017 is 500 miles.
It will be a challenge because I can’t just stop and still meet my goal. I have to be consistent. It’s approx 1.5 miles/day, 10 miles/week, or 30 miles per month. The break down like that look easy, but it’s keeping it up all year that will be the real struggle for me.
As far as training goes, I have been trying to do my MAF training BUT I don’t think it’s working right. I think you need to be regularly training to see results in that and I am not at all. I will be the first to admit that I will not run with the kids if it is below 40 degrees. I also may choose not to run when it’s in the 40s because that’s just too darn cold and I don’t like being cold. I would usually at least have my Saturday long runs (as long as it’s not icy) but with the move and the farm I don’t have childcare for long runs. (Note: I’m kidding about “childcare.” Of course my husband watches the kids all the time, because he is a parent not a babysitter. I just mean that he has things to do on the farm and I don’t feel right leaving him to watch the kids when there is so much to do that can’t be done while watching a 2 year old dare devil.) Back to the point, I may be taking full weeks off at a time when it gets cold again. Instead of stressing that I’m not seeing results when I am admittedly not willing to do the work, I will just wait until spring to begin really working on my aerobic base. Summer brings it’s own problems with having all 3 kids home and not being able to run until after bedtime. For that reason, I will probably not do MAF training in the summer either. That gives me spring and fall to work on real MAF training and my aerobic base, and winter and summer to just run for fun (or for whatever plan I choose to run for). I feel good about this. It gives me flexibility during the seasons I really need it, and also helps me from getting burnt out at the constant slowness.
So today I ran 3 miles. My HR was really high. I’m going to keep tracking it because data! But I don’t know that I’ll really do anything with it when I’m not doing the MAF training. So I need to re-train my mind to stop saying “woah that is a high HR!” when I look at it because “yes! It is a high HR! Because I wasn’t trying to run with a low one!”
So that gives me 7.3 out of 500 for 2017. Only 492.3 to go!
So what happened to me? I was running every day and then… not.
I have my other posts about illness at the end of November, but really I kept pushing through until my last consecutive run on December 5th. I got one more in on the 12th at which point I gave up. ha! But let’s start back at the end of November.
My hubby was off work the day after Thanksgiving. A friend of ours was hiring him to build a deck on her new house (hubby is a home builder/remodeler), so we went over that Friday to bid it. I spent some time wandering around playing with the goats and the horse and just watching life at her place. When we left, I sent her a message telling her how much I love being over there. She is only a mile away (her back pasture backs up near my house), but the feel is completely different. She has 12 acres and feels more rural than my 2 wooded acres at the entrance to a nice subdivision. That’s where it all started. In the conversation, she mentioned that her recently widowed next door neighbor would be putting her small farm for sale sometime soon. I talked to Derek, and we decided to call her. She was a sweet lady and invited us over the next day to look at her place. All of this happened Friday, November 25th.
The next morning we all loaded up and went over to her house. It needed some TLC, but we really liked the feel of it. We also really liked the farm buildings. The property is 10 acres with a barn, a tack shed, a shop, 2 coops, 2 loafing pens, a round pen, and it is cross fenced with pipe, goat and wire fencing. There is also a fenced garden, a pecan tree, asparagus beds, grapes and a peach tree.
Stepping aside for a second, my husband and I have been talking forever about wanting to live out in the country with animals and everything. That was the initial goal when we moved from the big city, but somehow we ended up in this beautiful large house with small land. This is a great place and we don’t regret that decision at all, however we did start getting the bug for livestock pretty hard core at the end of summer. We had casually looked around, and couldn’t find anything. There were other barriers. Financially, we could afford the land/house but we wouldn’t have money to fence it. Or we could find fenced land, but wouldn’t be able to afford the house/improvements. There were smaller acreages, but it wasn’t worth moving if we were going to have to settle. We decided it just couldn’t be done “now” and to wait until all the kids were in school before we started looking for real. A few months after that, a friend moved into a little house on 50 acres and we fell in love with it. We talked about it more and more and dreamed about what it would be like in a few years when we got ready to move – later, not any time soon.
So back to the 26th: After leaving the farm, we called our realtor. He had sold our house in the city 3 years ago and we really liked working with him. He also worked out here in the country so we decided to get his opinion.
He came over on the 29th to talk and look at our house and make suggestions. At our city house, he had a laundry list of things we had to do in order to sell quickly for what we wanted. We did them, we sold quickly and got out of there. We were prepared to get the list from him and get it done, maybe finishing and listing by January. He wasn’t here at the house long at all before he suggested we list for more than we had expected. He suggested we do some landscaping in the front (we have minimal curb appeal because we just don’t go out there so we don’t think about it), and then just general fixing up things (paint touch ups, etc). That’s it. He said it wouldn’t be a bad thing to be on the market around Christmas as long as I was prepared to show the morning after Christmas and not be put out. I was suprised that he wanted to list so quickly.
We spent the next few days patching paint and cleaning up a little. On December 3rd we bought our landscaping for the front but we weren’t able to get it in the ground because of freezing weather. The woman who owns the farm had gotten a realtor and the realtor was out of town so we were just waiting around.
We went back to the farm on the 5th. My dad and his wife came with and looked around. This was our “official” showing of the house with both realtors and no home owner. We made an offer that night.
The next day was a little strange. We got a “no thank you” on the offer, not even a counter. So we tried again. This time we offered what she asked but wanted 90 days to sell our home. She had a set time she wanted to move out and didn’t want to give us so long. We finally settled on 47 days. Phew! Our offer was accepted on the 6th and we filled out the forms to list ours that evening.
The realtor picked up my listing forms at the elementary school on the 7th and the house was on the MLS that night. We were lucky to have had professional photos made when we first built our house. We were able to use those as the listing photos. I think it looks very different to see the house empty vs full of my stuff (and now Christmas decorations). We also used a few photos of the back yard (wooded) and one of a deer hanging out in the back yard (not an abnormal thing). The listing looked great. I wasn’t sure what to expect though. It hit Zillow that night. I remember seeing it on our way home from church. When we sold the house in the city it took a while. I remember being excited to get showings but I think it took a week or so for things to pick up. I don’t remember exactly.
The next morning I was in a tizzy (as is my nature). We didn’t have the signed contract for the farm yet, we didn’t have a sign/lock box at our house (I was told they would come Wednesday), and I just wanted to worry. I called the realtor after dropping off the kids (on my way in to town to get more keys made) and he said he was about to call me. We had a showing! Our first showing! In an hour! Yes, I was about 30 minutes away and no, the house was not ready at all! I rushed home and that is the fastest cleaning I have ever done. I scrubbed, I swept, I vacuumed, I washed mirrors and the dirtiest windows, I scrubbed toilets, I hid toothbrushes, I shined the sink, and I got it done. I was heading out the door with the baby and the dog when the realtor got there. Phew!
We ended up showing 2 more times that day and set up 3 showings for the next day (Friday) and 2 for Saturday. It was crazy and hectic and stressful and great! Also, my house looked fantastic! It was hard work but oh I loved it so much when it looked like that (notice the past tense… heh… we’ll get there).
Friday morning I got a text from the realtor that we had received an offer. What?! It was a full price offer, really clean. The only hold up was that we hadn’t had an inspection on the farm yet. We spent the afternoon hashing out lease agreements (they wanted to close 4 days before we were to close on the farm) and we went back to the farm that evening to do an “inspection”. Our lender didn’t require an official one so we did it ourselves. This is a perk of being custom home builders. I had the contractor (my husband) and even the boss/business owner (my father-in-law) look it over. The issues were mainly cosmetic, with the exception of some plumbing in the bathrooms. We had decided to remodel the bathrooms first so it didn’t really matter. We also had the foundation guy come give us a bid (oh yea, foundation issues, sigh) and it was within what we had expected. So we accepted the offer on our house that evening. We still showed all 3 times that day (We’re on Friday the 9th) but the people on Saturday eventually cancelled.
One perk of the weather is that we never did get those plants in. They were in the garage when the buyers saw the house. Because they were not in the ground, they do not have to go with the house. So I have a garage full of landscaping to put at my new house!
December 12th the buyers had the inspection done on our house. There was only one request we found unreasonable. We discussed (via realtors) and sent some documentation and they removed it. So on the 14th we were done with the signing of amendments. Phew!
So this is where we sit now. Everything is good to go on buying the farm. Everything appears to be good on selling our house. The only major thing we need to happen is the appraisal on our house. We are putting enough down on the farm that it could appraise for less than asking and we would be fine. The situation with the buyer is such that we really need a full asking-price appraisal. There’s nothing to be done about it though, so we wait. I haven’t heard anything about when this will be so I try not to stress about it.
Throughout this process we have given it to the Lord. I keep asking him to put something in the way if it isn’t to be. Everything just keeps working out and this is the last road block. I hope and pray that it goes well, because at this point I am much more invested. Through that first 2 weeks I was more than prepared to back away. I was completely secure that the Lord would lead us where he wanted us to go. Unfortunately I have lost that sense of peace as we have moved farther. I feel like the Lord is letting this happen (there were some details that had to work just right, and did) and so I would be devastated if the appraisal isn’t favorable. Not to mention the work of packing up our whole house for nothing. I have definite opinions about the whole real estate process. Our realtor said not to be surprised if we get a call January 2nd to set up the appraisal (we close January 6th). I find this ridiculous. The appraisal should be done ASAP so that both parties can move on with their lives. If this goes badly, both families will already have packed, we will lose the farm, and the other family will have lost a month of searching (they are coming from out of state and really need to get in a house quickly). It just seems so backwards that everything can seem so perfect and then, poof, it’s not – the day before we close or sometime close to). End rant. But seriously.
My house isn’t really show ready anymore, although it could be soon. It is full of Christmas, and 3 kids at home, and packed boxes, and packing materials. It’s like we finished all the hard stuff before we got too close to the holidays, which was wonderful.
So here’s the plan. First, Christmas! Then next week we are going on Tuesday to measure for carpet and other things. We plan to continue packing as if it’s going to happen. There isn’t time to wait for the appraisal before we start. We plan to close on the sale January 6th, close on the farm January 10th, and be moved by January 15th. We have carpet replacement and a cleaner scheduled for the 11th. That gives us 3 days to move everything! ah!There are a few other exciting things. We have been chatting with the current farm owner often. She has agreed to leave the barn cats and the chickens for me. So I will be moving in to a working farm (just chickens but still). That is so unbelievably exciting for me! One of the cats is super sweet and the kids love him. The other three are young and skiddish but I’m sure they will come around.Our plan is to get goats within a few months. For tax purposes we need to have them before 2018 but we want to get started sooner rather than later. We will raise goats for meat for ourselves and also to sell. We will keep the eggs for ourselves and for our neighbor who started this whole deal, but if we have extras I will sell those as well. We will seed the back with coastal and bale that for our goats and also for sale. Eventually (probably when the youngest goes to school, which, if you remember, is when we were first talking about moving) we will get horses as well. We wouldn’t mind having cows but right now we have a great source for beef (a friend) that is less than raising our own. It seems so crazy that this has all happened so fast. Christmas will make exactly 1 month since we first jokingly talked about doing this. When we move it will be less than 2 months from that first conversation. Crazy.The thing is, it is just so perfect. Right now we live 2 houses (3 large lots) down from my in-laws. We love being close and didn’t want to move far away. The new house is 1 minute 30 seconds away from their house. The house is zoned the same as ours now so my 1st grader will not be interrupted mid year, and my kiddo going to kindergarten next year will get the same teacher my oldest had. We are really no farther from town and church. There is no addition to my husband’s commute. Actually, you could argue it takes about a minute off based on the country road he takes to the highway. We have the 10 acres we wanted. We have the fencing (and while she took down the electric wire, she left the posts so we have those to reuse). The fencing is mostly goat ready (which is big because goats require specific fencing to not escape). We are set up for my dream of one day having horses with the loafing pens, round pen, multiple pastures, and 6 stall (electric and water) barn. We get the chickens and cats so we don’t have to worry about setting that up. We don’t have to worry about coops/yards/boxes for the chickens because it’s already there (AND the chickens already know where to be). There is water out to all of the pastures and she is leaving the troughs that are currently being used. There is a shop for my husband’s tools (we have a shop here that is full… the new one is bigger). There is a fenced garden (I didn’t have much of a garden this year, but I had a fenced garden here that I loved the year before). It just feels like we aren’t losing anything. The house is smaller and needs work, but we don’t mind that. So we get to keep everything we love about where we are, and translate that to actually being on farm. It’s like we kept saying, we wouldn’t move unless it was perfect and… it pretty much is. So that’s what is going on in my life. The other thing is that the kids are out of school and I don’t have a triple jogger so I can’t go run with all of them, but realistically I wouldn’t be running anyway. I plan to get started the first week of January when school starts again. I’ll have another post about this but basically I’m going to take it easy since I’ve been off for so long. I don’t know that I will start with a MAF test because we have so much else to do. I’ll try to run 3x a week, but I won’t freak out if I miss my Saturdays. There is much to do. Once we are in and established I will get more serious about MAF testing and getting on a schedule.
***NOTE: This is the first week of lowering my MAF threshold from 150 to 145. Also the first week of quitting BBG and running only. So the first week of running 4 days instead of 3. I am not writing in my walks, however I plan to walk any afternoon that I do not have errands to run (M-Th). Fridays and Sundays will be complete rest unless we do something as a family. I have tracked these in the past as “runs” but I won’t be doing that any more. My mileage may go down because of this (as recorded), but I want to differentiate between what should be a run and what was a scheduled walk from the beginning.
***ANOTHER NOTE: I missed my MAF test Saturday (family things happening and weather issues). It is possible I will not have another MAF test until February-ish. I will try to get one in as soon as I can, but a long run is easier if we have limited time on a Saturday.
And this is where I fell off. I’m not positive what week this was. It is possible I ran that Monday and it is possible I didn’t run at all that week. I haven’t run since.
Things have gotten crazy and I will update soon. I look forward to getting started again in January. I will re-number the weeks beginning at 1. I’m essentially starting over after an almost month long break. I’m also going to start with running 3 days and then move up to 4 after a while. I want to make sure I don’t wear out my legs by jumping in too fast, but I don’t really know how to know what is reasonable. There will be another post on this as well.
Merry Christmas to everyone!
Last week doesn’t count! I had a cold at the end of the week 11 and managed to get my race in BUT (big but there) I felt horrible after! So I skipped my BBG. I had a head cold that morphed into a chest cold. I also had all 3 kids home (2 seats in the stroller). I didn’t feel well until Thursday morning. I still wasn’t 100% but there was definite improvement. So I went for a run. I ended up cutting it short because my HR was shooting up so high and taking a while to come down. It is fascinating how my HR shows that I wasn’t really better, even though I felt much better than before. Exciting things happened starting Friday and I missed my run Saturday as well. So I’m beginning this week on a week of rest, and also with an extra BBG day (week 4 – Friday) to catch up with.
As to the exciting things, I cannot elaborate right now. I should be able to share (or not) within a week or two. In the mean time, I will not be increasing my long runs. I will still do my MAF test this week because data! However, I will keep my long runs at 1 hr 5 min. I don’t want to drop to less than 3 days a week of running, but I can’t afford to spend any extra time away from the home at this point. Exciting things!
In general, I’m excited to get back to running this week. I’m also a little nervous. I hope that an entire week of rest makes this week easier for me. Hopefully my body will be nice and rested/recovered and ready to jump back in to it. My fear, on the other hand, is that a week of no workouts will have killed my ability to “do it all” and I will struggle this week. I don’t really want to be exhausted! We shall see, I suppose.
Monday 11/28 – Planned medium run of 50 minutes. 5 Minute warm up at 1-2 heart rate, 40 minutes work at 3 heart rate (MAF), 5 minute cool down at 1-2 heart rate and BBG (catch up). Completed 3.35 miles at 14:55 (Warm up 15:40, Work 14:28, Cool down 18:46).
I started out strong but had trouble keeping my HR down towards the end. It seems to be at the same spot (close to the park) where I start having trouble. The elevation data doesn’t work for some reason, so I can’t see if I’m right. It feels like we go downhill to that point and then a steeper grade uphill into the park. That means on the way back I get a short downhill followed by a gradual uphill the whole way back. It feels that way and my HR acts as if that’s the case. I can’t wait until I can run the whole way without having to stop so often to walk. I may try going over the tracks instead, but I think that way has steeper hills. There’s nothing particular to report about this run. I do feel like I went farther than my last 50 minute MAF run, but I had stomach issues the last time so it wouldn’t be surprising.
I also completed BBG week 4 (full body). I was not feeling well at all after lunch but I didn’t want to miss. I took my time going through the moves and got it done. There was no award for speed, but I’m proud of completing it.
I read somewhere (credible, although I don’t have a link) about push up form. I read that I was doing it wrong. My arms were too far out from my body. I didn’t understand why this was bad, and so I did some more research. I found a video discussing the shoulder joint and location of the bursa there. I learned that, if your arms are up at 90 degrees (the exact angle is less than that, but 90 is included), your bursa is ineffective and you can cause damage to your shoulder. For this reason, it is recommended that you keep your hands closer to your body while you do push ups. This keeps the angle of your shoulder down and allows the bursa to do it’s job. This made sense to me so I decided to make the change. Wow! It’s a lot harder to do push ups this way. I am assuming this is because I was using different muscles when I did them with wide arms. I hope that, as I get stronger, I will get better at doing them this way. It’s a little humbling. I could bang out the push ups before and now I am slow. I have to take breaks. Keeping my core tight is so much more challenging and necessary (I think that is a good thing). The morning after, my front shoulders (upper chest?) are so tight! I can feel that I did something different. It doesn’t feel bad at all, just like using unused muscles.
Tuesday 11/29 – Planned walk of 40 minutes. 5 Minute warm up at 1-2 heart rate, 40 minutes work at 3 heart rate, 5 minute cool down at 1-2 heart rate and BBG. Completed BBG and my walk (forgot to start the watch).
Wednesday 11/30 – Planned medium run of 40 minutes. 5 Minute warm up at 1-2 heart rate, 40 minutes work at 3 heart rate (MAF), 5 minute cool down at 1-2 heart rate. Completed 2.9 miles at 15:23 (Warm up 15:47, Work 14:21, Cool down 19:51).
Thursday 12/1 – Planned walk of 40 minutes. 5 Minute warm up at 1-2 heart rate, 40 minutes work at 3 heart rate, 5 minute cool down at 1-2 heart rate and BBG. Completed BBG only.
Friday 12/2 – Planned rest.
Saturday 12/3 – Planned MAF test (5 miles). 10 Minute warm up at 1-2 heart rate, 65 minutes work at 3 heart rate (MAF), 5 minute cool down at 1-2 heart rate, and BBG. Rested.