Tuesday, January 31, 2012

To do: train with your head

After the 10mi race this weekend, I was a little bummed that my time slowed by 3min.  Could it be "this is the new me" meaning my pace is just now slower?  Should I be looking at my Age Grade instead of just my Garmin now?  No - and besides, if I look at my Age Grade and don't take into account the terrain, weather, etc. it makes me feel worse!
To get back on track, and keep on track, here are the top 5 things I'm going to focus on:
  1. Run with people my pace or faster - I've been heading out with a group who is a bit slower (fun group, don't get me wrong!) but I've noticed I'm getting comfortable in the slower grove.  It's fine for one offs and long runs, but I need to challenge myself.
  2. Hit the track - I don't think I've been on a track since high school.  There's definitely something to be said for speed training and track workouts, though.
  3. Race more - Last year I was pretty good about compiling races.  The more frequent I raced, the better I got.  I can't afford to do weekly races (and frankly, I don't want to be away from the boys that much) but I can do a weekly fast long run.
  4. Start with the core - This is something coaches and chiropractors have been telling me for years.  I'm still trying to get over my mini remaining twin tummy but the reality is there's an even more compelling reason to plank and V-up - a strong core helps with distance. 
  5. Run for fun - Sometimes I am literally dragging myself into running shoes. Typically, after a mile or so the dragging stops; there are the occasional lead legs, though, where it just doesn't.  On those days I think a mile is enough - turning to another workout is a-ok - and keeping running fun is key.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Race report: Bridle Trails 10mi

Yesterday my mom and I enjoyed the Bridle Trails race in Kirkland with 250 other amazing runners.  My mom did the 5mi version, and I did the 10mi version (I need to work back up to a 25K and one of these days I'll make a 50K).  My mom was amazing - ran the whole way on an incredibly muddy / snowy / icky trail.  I did only OK - 3min slower than my time from the same race last year (this year I ran 1:19 - last year I ran 1:16 and came in 2nd, this year, I didn't even get top 5).

All in, a great race.
Some highlights - we started at 3pm just as dusk started creeping over Washington.  The race was in a grove of trees and NW Trail runs started the runners in waves by distance starting with the 5mi.  The course went out on a single track trail and wove up a small hill, then another hill, then another.  The trail was incredibly muddy and there were some fallen trees (most of which had been cleared before the race, but some remained).  After hill number 4, we passed a house, then a track, then two horse tracks.

The 10mil loop was the 5mi version twice (and the 50K was 6 times).  Even though I ran the same loop twice, it really didn't feel like it - running in the trees is good for reducing redundancy. 

Can't wait until the next race!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

SH*T Twins Say

One best things about toddler twins is them finding their voice and stringing together real sentences ... here are my favorites from the past couple days:

(Wilson and Cole sitting at the table)
Wilson: Look what my made Cole!
Cole: I like dat! Dat beautiful!

(Family dinner)
Cole: Daddy?
Matt: Yes, Cole?
Cole: I love you so much.

(After most of the snow melted)
Wilson: I want to go sledding!
Cole: Me too.
Matt: Let's go play outside!
Cole: (putting the sled on the sidwalk and sitting down)
Wilson: It's not working
Matt: It needs snow
Cole: (putting snow into the sled)
Wilson: (sitting down)
Matt: It needs to be on the hills
Wilson and Cole: (putting snow (in pinches - there was hardly any) onto the very dry hill

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Snowmagedon hits Seattle!

The weather outside is ... white.  My mom sent this article over the other day, and it's ringing true:
I have to say, though, we're quite enjoying it. 

Snow + work from home day
Today I'm back in the office, so I missed:

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Running in the snow - oh what fun!

The weather has finally turned to WINTER and it's snowing.

This means lots of new games for the boys in the house, warm cozy meals, and figuring out how to safely run in the show.  I didn't make it out for a run until around 4pm today (which was just before dusk here) but the good news was that meant some of the snow already started melting.  The bad news was that meant black ice blended even more into the dark sidewalks. Here are my tips for running in the snow:
  1. Bundle!  I'm not a huge fan of cold weather running, but it's often a necessity.  My solution?  Layers of warm long sleeve shirts, a waterproof jacket, ear warmers, and gloves.
  2. Stick to the snow.  Sounds kind of funny (and leads to wetter shoes) but sticking to the snow is a good way to avoid slick ice.
  3. High knees.  I feel like this is resurrecting an old track workout from my highschool days, but high knees made slipping less likely.
  4. Slow and steady.  I normally get bored and frustrated if I'm stuck at too slow a pace but in snow it's a must.
  5. Take the road that's traveled.  I chose a loop around Green Lake today because people had been out there walking their dogs and even sledding all morning - this meant the danger zones were already marked with skids.
I don't have tricked out running shoes for the ice and snow (it doesn't snow that much here) but these (Kahtoola MICROspikes) look cool and worth an investment if the weather turns even more:

Thursday, January 12, 2012

To buy: dark weather running gear

Although we've gotten through Winter Solstice, it's still dark first thing in the morning and on my way home from work.  The dark makes it challenging to run without falling (in fact, I did fall while going around the lake just last week - a root jumped right up in front of me!)

Introducing - the running headlamp.  Here are a couple I'm looking at:
Black Diamond Icon Headlamp

And then there's the cheaper option of:
Energizer Trail Finder 7 LED Head Light

Monday, January 2, 2012

Race report: Resolution Run

To celebrate the New Year, Matt and I did a 5k with the boys in a stroller yesterday and it was awesome!  The race was called the "Resolution Run" and it was the first time we've done a race with the boys (they've been on plenty of runs, but none with the crowds).  They loved it.  The tight turns and some of the narrower trails were a little tricky, but we tried to stay polite and navigate as best we could to stay out of the way and off peoples' heals.  At the same time, we passed quite a few slower packs which the boys delighted in.

At the end of the race, we both did a "polar bear" plunge into lake Washington - brr!

Post race, the boys rocked out to a ska band while we dried off and enjoyed free coconut water (best after race beverage ever).

Sunday, January 1, 2012

You know it's time to potty train when ...

For months we've been trying to get into potty training mode.  We have the mini potty (that sings even).  We have the "grown up potty" mini seat that can perch a toddler on the big toilet.  We ask the boys if they have to go potty to which they always reply yes (because they get stories while sitting on the toilet and Wilson gets a laugh out of pulling an oldmanpoopface).  Not enough.

The past two days have been full of NUMBER TWO.  Not in a good way.  The twins (two) who are two - great.  The poop coming from two two year olds?  Not great at all.  Yesterday when I was on a long run during naptime, the boys did a doozy.  I got home to Matt looking frazzled sitting on the couch.  He said to look at my phone where I saw this text message:
"OMG!  Both boys?  Naked in bed.  Poop all over crib."

Apparently while I was out on my long run, the boys plotted to plop and spread.  Matt went to check on them during naptime and both boys were naked from the waist down, both with their own waste (GIANT POOPS) in their crib.  Both with it all over their hands.


We thought we had taught them how not acceptable poop in the bed was.  Then today happened ... After we put the boys down it was super quiet for about 30-min.  Then, all of a sudden I hear Cole singing "the wheels on the train go ..." (he's in a train mode - so past busses).  I walked into his room ... and ... POOP all over his hands, all over the sheets, and all over the bed.  In his words Cole made a "poop train" on his bed.


So yes, it's time to crank up the potty training.  It's also time to get more overalls.