*Dedication*

A few days ago, Sunday morning to be exact, I ran a blissful 10 miles. It was my first solo “long” run in a while, the weather was good, and I managed to run a 7:58 pace average which made me happy. It took me just over 1 hour and 18 minutes.

During that run I thought that if, four times a week, I could carve out and hour-and-a-half, I could easily run a 40 mile minimum week. The more I thought about it, the more sure I was that it was entirely possible for me to find the time to make that happen this week and I became fixated on it.

Fast forward.

I’m not sure what made me think that I could carve out that kind of time during the week when I’m working about 20 hours at my new job, which has a commute time of 50 minutes (round-trip), coaching, teaching yoga, packing meals and snacks for three people every morning, running kids to school, picking them up after and taking them to various activities, managing the household stuff… paying bills, cleaning, doing laundry, etc., and I thought I could squeeze in 40 miles this week?

I’ve been lucky to get in a few miles here and there.

Yesterday was such a day. The rain has returned to the Pacific Northwest with vengeance. I was feeling exhausted and had a headache much of the day.  I had about an hour to squeeze something in, including time to shower and cleanup before moving onto the next activity and was not really feeling that motivated to head out into the pouring rain to run.

But I did.

And I realized on the 3.5 mile run that it’s not the hundreds of miles I’ve run or the time spent training that makes me a stronger runner. It is my dedication to running and pushing myself to work hard for what I want even when I’m exhausted, not feeling well, have very limited time and it’s a sloppy, wet mess outside.

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Soaking wet and grateful for being able to squeeze in a few miles.

Next week 40 miles will happen!

*Weekly mileage*

Mileage for the week of October 13th – October 19th

Total weekly mileage: 28.5

Total XC mileage: 9.5 (included in weekly mileage total)

Total October mileage (to-date): 81.5

Total year-to-date mileage: 1,685.5

Run review:

10/13       3 mi. w/XC

10/14       No run/rest day

10/15       3 mi. w/XC

10/16       30:18 min./3.5 mi./8:40 pace

+ 3 mi. w/XC

10/17       .50 mi. w/XC

10/18       53:29 min./5.5 mi./9:44 pace

10/19       1:19:38 min./10 mi./7:58 pace

Another week in the books. Another 28.5 miles I managed to run despite not knowing how, or where, I’d fit it in. I’m grateful for every single mile!

This is the last week of cross-country. Out of everything I have on my plate right now, it’s the one thing I’m saddest to see end. I am looking forward to having a little more time to pursue my own things, but I’ve loved coaching and know that I’ll miss it when it’s done.

Several things, actually, will be wrapping up for our family within the next couple of weeks… soccer, marching band, etc., so slower days are ahead. One day at a time, right?

*Busy*

This space has been neglected.

Life is busy and I feel as if several things have been neglected this past week.

But alas, as busy as it is, life is happening all around me and there have been some good times. I remind myself, sometimes several times a day, that this craziness will pass and things will slow down again in a few weeks. For now, I’m trying to embrace the busy and all of the good it brings.

Have a great week!

 

*Weekly mileage*

Mileage for the week of October 6th – October 12th

Total weekly mileage: 37.5

Total XC mileage: 1.5 (included in weekly mileage total)

Total October mileage (to-date): 53

Total year-to-date mileage: 1,657

Run review:

10/6       27:37 min./3.7 mi./7:28 pace (3.7 miles for 37  years!)

1.55 w/XC

10/7       27:31 min./3.25 mi./8:28 pace

10/8       23:43 min./3 mi./7:53 pace

10/9        No run/rest day

10/10       57:58 min./7 mi./8:16 pace

10/11       52:27 min./5.25 mi./9:59 pace

10/12       2:09:53 min./13.75 mi./9:27 pace

When things got crazy-busy last week, I decided I’d do two things: 1. squeeze in shorter runs whenever/wherever possible and be grateful for those few miles because they do add up and are usually a much-needed break between activities and obligations. 2. Play weekend warrior and try to get as many quality runs in as I can on the weekends or days I have off or a larger windows of time. Last weeks mileage is the perfect record of how that worked out!

I read a great quote yesterday. “If it is important to you, you will find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse”.

This will be my mantra this week as I tackle what looks to be another crazy one!

*On my nightstand*

Or at least soon to be…

I cannot stop thinking about marathon training lately. Specifically, training for the Boston Marathon! I’m itching to get started but being that Boston is still 6 months out, I’ve got a couple of months to kill while I wait for that training cycle to start on December 29th.

One of my original goals for 2014 was to run four marathons. After the last two, which left my body feeling battered and my ego crushed, I’ve decided that the three I’ve run this year has been plenty. That is still 6 marathons over 14 months! A very seasoned runner and beloved local XC coach told me a few weeks ago that no one should really run more than two marathons per year. I think that is sound advice! I can’t ignore the fact that my best marathon to date, the one at which I qualified for Boston, was more than four months after the previous one. Something tells me that my ability to run my best, and hopefully continue to improve, is going to be dependent on allowing my body enough time to heal between races. It only took 6 marathons to figure that out!!

Anyway, back to training. I saw a training program/book recommendation from an amazing gal on Instagram a few days ago. If you need a serious dose of inspiration, check out Speedy Mama!! She is a big fan of Matt Fitzgerald and speaks highly of him and his coaching/training style. The concept of his 80/20 approach to training intrigues me, as does his knowledge on nutrition and weight for peak performance in athletes.

I’m still celebrating my birthday after all, so I’m looking forward to getting these two beauties this week! ; )

As time allows, I’m also hoping to map out my pre-training, training for the next couple of months, once my schedule slows down a little. I’ve got a lot I want to accomplish this fall!!

*The return of desire*

As the saying goes, “absence makes the heart grow fonder”.

The reduction of my time that I’m able to dedicate to running, due to other responsibilities the past couple of weeks, has created this absence so-to-speak. Not being able to run when I want, as long as I want, has made me miss having that freedom and as it turns out, rekindled my love affair with running. (I hate using the *busy* excuse, but yesterday I didn’t run because I was, well, really busy. And I hated it!!)

There are other factors I have to consider too…

Perhaps it’s that I hit that magical three-week post-marathon mark a few days ago which has left me feeling back to normal and somewhat refreshed and ready to go. Maybe it is due to the fact that on a daily basis, I witness a small group of young athletes flourish and discover the joys of running. I also cannot rule out the perfect running weather that we have been gifted with so far this autumn, or the fact that I’m starting to look forward to building a solid training program this winter to begin preparing for the Boston Marathon. There is a good chance that playing fangirl last weekend at the Portland Marathon and cheering on BFP, and hundreds of other runners, also contributed to this romantic feeling and has recharged my passion for running.

Either way, over the course of the last few days I find myself falling madly in love with running again. The obsessed runner in me who fantasizes about running when I should be giving my attention to something else, has returned. The desire to run has returned.

This morning I ran a blissful, solo 7 miles. It was slightly cool, but not cold, and there was a light fog blanketing the ground. I had a whole hour to myself before needing to shuffle kids around and begin the activities of the day. I took my time because I wanted to fill that hour to the max!

I’m still riding the high-vibe from this mornings run and can’t wait to get out there again tomorrow!

*Weekly mileage*

Mileage for the week of September 29th – October 5th

Total weekly mileage: 20.75

Total XC mileage: 9.5 (included in weekly mileage total)

Total September mileage (to-date): 133.75

Total October mileage (to-date): 15.5

Total year-to-date mileage: 1,619.5

Run review:

9/29       28:05 min./3.25 mi./8:39 pace

9/30       2 miles w/XC

10/1       35:28 min./4.5 mi./7:53 pace

3.5 miles w/XC

10/2      1.25 miles w/XC

10/3       2.75 miles w/XC

10/4       29:32 min./3.4 mi./8:40 pace

10/5       No run/rest day

Someone slacked off last week! And became a little overly dependent of getting some mileage in with the cross-country team! Guilty.

I’m in a bit of a transition right now and am juggling a lot! Just when I think I couldn’t be any busier, BOOM! Life throws me another challenge. It’s all good but these shifts take some getting used to and create the need to rearrange the schedule a bit. That includes my time dedicated to running at the moment.

It’s not an excuse… I’m just being kind to myself. I’ve got a lot I want to accomplish, training wise, and I’m looking forward to the dust settling so I can get back to what I know and love, full-speed!!

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