Tuesday, June 19, 2018


You guys.

I'm in a funk.

After writing my "goals" post the other day I've kind of spiraled into...I don't really know what to call it. It's not really a hole of inactivity or anything, I've just spiraled away from those goals (for the most part). I've gotten a bit distracted by the things that need to be done around the house, and I only have enough time and energy to choose one set of goals to accomplish...house goals or personal goals.

It sucks a bit because it makes me feel badly about myself. I want to be able to do it all...but life doesn't work like that. I work a full time job, I have an infant to take care of, we have a house (and yard) to manage, (it's summer and I really hate humidity), and things just have to get squeezed in when they can be.

I think back to two years ago. I was so good about getting up at 4:30 to get my workout in. I busted it out, went to work (I started at 7!!!) then usually worked out after work too! Things are way different now...but how am I no longer able to get up early to work out?! Where has my energy gone?? I know part of the problem is that I need to force myself into the routine and then the physical activity will naturally increase my energy levels...but the struggle is getting that ball rolling.

I'm rambling, I know. This is what happens when I get 5 minutes alone with my thoughts and my computer. So let's get to the point.

Really this post was just to put it out in the universe that, as much as I'm loving life with my family and little one right now, I'm struggling to meet my own personal goals, and that's affecting me mentally. It's making me question myself.

But then the other day I was inspired by someone, and it stopped me in my tracks and made me reevaluate things.

This past weekend, someone I know (and find pretty inspiring in general) was running a marathon with the goal of attempting to qualify for Boston. She wrote a blog post about it, including the fact that she wanted to PR by something crazy like 10+ minutes. To qualify she had to run a 3:35, she wanted to run a 3:30...but you know what stuck with me?

5:27:11...the time it took her to run her first marathon.


Because 5:20:56...my first marathon time.

Now. There were huge differences in these races, and as runners we have very different histories. But I read her post, I saw that first marathon time, and I realized just how limiting my thoughts have been recently.

During pregnancy I was limited by my body in a lot of ways, and that was totally expected. But feeling limited has continued past pregnancy, even if there's no real reason for it. I can't explain it, and I really don't think there's a reason for it. It's just a mental barrier I need to work through.

I recognize that part of overcoming that barrier means pushing aside excuses and showing up every day...but there also needs to be a certain amount of grace. I'm not trying to shatter world records, I'm just trying to find my groove again. And I trust that I will, it's just been a bit harder to get there than I thought it would be.

And first and foremost I need to believe the voice in my head that tells me I can, and stop listening to the voice that's trying to limit me. That needs to be the number one goal right now.


Oh...and for those wondering - the day after she wrote that post this friend qualified for Boston, and hit her goal of coming in at 3:30 ;)

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Mother's Day 5k (plus Mother's Day)

Another race recap! On Mother's Day this year my mom and I completed the Barrington Mother's Day 5k, Little Man in tow! This was a 5k for fun with my mom, and even though the weather was sub-par we had a great morning!

A few months ago I asked if she'd want to do this with me. I had the full intention of walking with her, but she told me she'd like to train to run. That idea was waylaid when she hurt her knee (doing I cannot remember what...) a few days before the Shamrock Shuffle, but it didn't matter, all I wanted to do was spend some time with my mom on Mother's Day, and this race fit that bill!

Race Details
This race was organized by All Community Events - I've done a few of their races now and I really like them. They're smaller, more local races. They organize the 5k/Half Marathon Turkey Trot in Schaumburg which I really enjoyed, and they also do a Turkey Trot in Long Grove that my cousins have done for a few years now (and I'm assuming they enjoy since they keep doing it!).

I fully intend on doing next year's race, and I'm hoping to run it (which I already regret saying...you'll see why further down).

For those interested, the race benefits WINGS: The mission of WINGS is to provide a continuum of integrated services in an effort to end domestic violence and homelessness one family at a time.

Packet Pick Up
Let's get the boring bits out of the way first! Packet pick up was at Deer Park mall (or right across the street) in Kildeer at Road Runner Sports. It was an easy in and out pick up - I had printed out our waivers and just handed them over and got our bags. The race included a 10% discount that you could use in store - I didn't use it because I didn't need anything, but it's a nice thing to include. Swag was a nice, soft cotton tshirt...and even though it's pink I actually really like it and have worn it a lot since!

The only downside about pickup for me was the location. Kildeer is very out of the way...but I detoured over there before going to my grandparent's house in Crystal Lake the night before the race. I realized when I was almost to the store that it's right by my aunt and uncle's house...and they were going to my grandparent's for dinner the same night. I totally could have saved the time and asked them to pick it up if I'd realized sooner! Oh well...moving on!

Race Time!
I met my mom about 20 minutes before the start time in the Barrington train station parking lot - it was the recommended parking for the race, and fyi there was plenty. I was really worried about parking because I ended up running pretty late - I wasn't initially going to bring Little Man, but he woke up right as I was about to leave and Anthony had been out until the wee hours of the morning celebrating a friend's birthday, and I wasn't about to saddle him with baby duty too. So I took 15 minutes to get the kid (and the diaper bag) ready, then headed out.

Bottom line...I got there in time. We suited up for the chilly (slightly damp) morning (including weather proofing Little Man inside his B.O.B, and then walked over to the start/finish area. We hit up the port-o-potties, then found ourselves a spot in the walkers corral.

I took the obligatory selfie shot
Snug as a hibernating polar bear, Raffey in tow.
The Course
As soon as we crossed the start I was glad it wasn't a course I was running...after leaving the parking lot where the start/finish is, you cross a street and head straight up a hill. And not some dinky, softly inclining hill. It was short, but steep, and turns you left onto another street where you're greeted by - you guess it - another longer, steep hill.

I would classify the rest of the course as "rolling" hills, and it wound all through an affluent part of Barrington (which honestly describes all of Barrington) with it's large, yet somehow cozy looking houses. There were a few dogs out in their front yards watching the masses go by, spectators scattered throughout, and even a few families who watched from their front lawns.

It was a pleasant course, the other runners and walkers were pleasant as well, and overall we had a good time talking and laughing as we went. Both of us agreed this is a race we want to do again, with kiddo in tow, to celebrate future Mothers Days.

We made it to the finish in well under an hour! This was the only "official" photo of us! I finally had a reason to wear this "Swim Bike Mom" shirt, and my mom wore the shirt she's worn on every Mother's Day since I made it for her (in like 3rd grade). I believe this is year 20 for that shirt!

A much better selfie on our way back to the car!

Post Race

After the race we met Anthony for brunch at Apple Villa, then my mom came over to snuggle her grandson and watch me unwrap the gift she and Anthony got me...a fantastic Storkcraft Glider. We still haven't put it together, but I can't wait until we do! Little Man will be 6 months old at the end of the month, and that's when we'll transition him to sleeping in his own room and his own crib...and I have no doubt this glider will be very important for that transition.

Oh, and let's not forget the Mother's Day gift Little Anthony "made" for me at school, the card that he (I) made for me, or the flowers Hannah and Miles sent me (in the clear vase):

Tell me this is not the cutest card ever - I made these for our moms and grandmas too:

After my mom left we went to Anthony's sister's for some barbeque and more family time, before finally calling it quits for the evening and heading home to chill.

I've said it before and I'll say it again...better than post-race coffee or brunch? Post-race, chill out baby snuggs.

And let's not forget the puppers ;)

And there you have it.


Monday, June 4, 2018

June Goals

Hello, loyal readers!

That's right, I still exist in the blog world. As much as you may hope I'll stop posting, I'm still here! ;)

I'm working on a few race recaps right now (Mother's Day 5k and Ragnar), but it's June and I have some thoughts sitting in my head that I thought it might be good to post on the good ol', ever faithful and waiting to be updated blog.

Let's dive in.

Drink More Water
That's easy enough to understand. Moving on.

Did you know...that on Garmin you can earn badges for repeatedly meeting your step goal??
I did not. Until my Ragnar data uploaded and I earned a ton of new badges. I looked at my step metrics, and the most days in a row that I've met my step goal is a measly eight (this begs the question why I haven't earned the 7-Day badge yet, but I'll use the knowledge that Garmin is cheating me out of this as impetus to earn it).

Needless to say, I'm going to try and earn the first two of these in June. And I do think it will be a challenge, for a few reasons.

  1. They're cumulative. You have to hit a streak to get the badges, which means there's a goal every day.
  2. As you step more, your daily goal increases. It might top out at 10,000, but I don't actually know (because my goal hasn't been much over 8,000 for a long while).
  3. The days I run the total will be easy to hit. It's the days I do other stuff (yoga, cycling, lifting) that will be harder to hit because I just don't walk as much!

Get Outdoors to Bike
Since last summer when pregnancy left me super heat and humidity adverse, I have cycled indoors. I still haven't swapped out my trainer tire for the road tire because doing so is annoying, and I like the cool of my basement. But I have to get outside. For real. So throw that one on the goal list.

Also, and I could make a whole other post about this, but due to some stuff last month, I've decided to postpone my century to late summer. There was some stuff that happened last month that prevented me from training for a bit, and then I got absorbed with prepping for Ragnar, and I'm just not where I should be with mileage. But the goal still exists for the summer, and I still plan to conquer it.

Focus Less on Racing
This is one that's really hard for me to come to terms with, and it's part of the reason I'm making a goal list for the month. I need something to motivate me, and I'm having a hard time without concrete race dates because I've always had them lined up in my back pocket. Without them it feels like I'm going nowhere.

But I can go somewhere without waking up early as all hell on a Saturday to go to a race. I'm not really into paying race fees right now and would rather use my money (and time) for other stuff.

That said, there's also a mental hurdle with not having a race I'm aiming for, or one to be proud of just completing. It also makes me waffle about what to do each day, and hard to find a good rhythm with workouts. It's like I need to give myself permission to not race, not medal chase, and just chill about things. So that will be part of this month's goals.

Lift just a bit more and do some freaking core work
Because I haven't been doing it at all lately, I'd like to lift at least once a week and do some core work slightly more often than that. My core is still weak from the whole baby-having thing, and I feel it after I've done *insert name of anything here* for too long. I'd like to get over that now, please.

(That's two links up there.)

This starts June 21st and goes until September...I feel like this will provide me with some "fun", non-race centric motivation to run during the week and on weekends. In the three months of summer I feel like I can tick a good number of these off...maybe I'll even add an extra date achieved column for cycling ;)

I think that's it for now. I mean, I have way more random thoughts in my head, but those are the ones concrete enough to be written down somewhere.

I hope everyone had a fantastic Monday, and that your week is also great!