Monthly Archives: December 2015

MB Marathon 2016 Training: Week 5

Screen Shot 2015-11-28 at 9.38.59 PMWeek 5 of training threw some wrenches into my plan, that’s for sure! But I ended up making it work and fit in all my key workouts – even if they weren’t done when I originally planned them to be. I was so excited for this week because it was the first half of my winter break. I thought it would be so much easier to get my runs and strength training in since I didn’t have to work. And then I got sick on Monday. It seems like my body always waits until I’m relaxed and on a break to totally fall apart and get sick. I felt like I was hit by a truck. I quickly took some Zicam to stop the cold/flu/whatever it was in it’s tracks, and it did curb some of the symptoms, but I didn’t really feel right until Wednesday. Once I started feeling well again, family came into town for the holidays and craziness began. Needless to say, I had to get a bit creative and settle for an imperfect week of training, but that’s okay. It happens!

Here is the overview of the week – what I had planned vs. what I actually did.

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And here is the detailed rundown!

Monday: Rest Day. This one was planned. I started not feeling well toward the evening though.

Tuesday: Rest Day. Woke up feeling like I was hit by a truck, so my planned speedwork was out of the question. I decided to take another rest day.

Wednesday: Speedwork – 4 x 1600m w/ 800m recovery + WU/CD [7 miles total / 58:44]. This was ROUGH. I still wasn’t feeling 100% and it was raining and humid. Since it’s been dark and I’m not comfortable going to the secluded track by myself, I have been doing my speedwork in a shopping center that has a 1 mile loop and is well lit. It is usually totally empty, but on this day I had to dodge cars out shopping at 6 AM (did you know Kohls is open 24 hours until Christmas?). I’m not able to see my pace/splits until I’m done when I use the Garmin’s interval feature, and I couldn’t help feeling a little disappointed when they came up and only one was in my goal range, and they were WAY slower than they’ve ever been (Splits – 7:23, 7:28, 7:50, 7:38). But I tried to remind myself that my effort level was there and that is what was more important on this day. Plus I did 4 repeats instead of 3 for the first time, so that is something to celebrate! Like I said last week, the great thing about running is that there are no failures, just lessons learned for next time. It’s taken me a long time to realize that but it’s changed my whole perspective!

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Thursday: Easy Run – 4 miles / 35:45. I woke up on Thursday morning (Christmas Eve!) feeling much better. The weather has been crazy here in Virginia. It was 70 degrees, and it was so weird to go for a run in shorts and a tank top in late December! I went out to run 3 miles but felt great so I added another one, then I came home and foam rolled some giant knots out of my calves.

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Friday: Rest Day. Technically I should have done my tempo run on this day, but it was Christmas and I knew it wasn’t going to happen. Instead I enjoyed the holiday with my family and our extended family who was at our house visiting, and I refused to allow myself to feel guilty for that!

Saturday: Tempo Run – 1 easy, 4 @ tempo pace, 1 easy [6 miles total / 47:14]. Because running the day after a holiday doesn’t hurt bad enough, why not make it a tempo run?! Haha! Surprisingly, this actually felt really good! The plan was to do 1 mile easy, 4 at tempo pace (7:32-7:45) and finish with 1 mile easy. I accidentally did my first ‘easy’ mile way faster than expected, but I honestly didn’t look at my watch until it beeped and was shocked to see a 7:48 split. I was a little worried that I went out too fast and wouldn’t be able to maintain my tempo pace for 4 more miles, but I continued to feel better and better with each mile that ticked by. I actually came in slightly below my goal range at 7:31 average pace for the middle miles! My splits for miles 2-5 were 7:34, 7:34, 7:29, 7:28. So much better than my speed work on Wednesday and it really restored my confidence.

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Sunday: Long Run – 14 miles / 2:03:58. I normally don’t do two harder efforts like a tempo run and long run back-to-back but didn’t really have a choice this week with the holidays, family in town, and my sickness earlier in the week. I wanted to do a few fast-finish long runs in this training cycle because I always struggle at the end of longer races, and practicing finishing strong should help with that both mentally and physically. I ran 14 miles total and my last two miles were 8:34 and 7:58! I also fought off two loose and aggressive dogs on this run, which was a little scary and got my adrenaline pumping. It also reminded me why I need to always run with pepper spray!

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Week 5 Totals:

  • Run: 31 miles
  • Strength Training/Cross Training: None. Bad runner 😦 Lots of stretching and foam rolling though.

My successes were managing to fit in all my key workouts, and having a very successful tempo run and fast finish long run. My body is feeling good now, and I’m proud of myself for getting into the habit of stretching and foam rolling after each run. My challenges were definitely the sickness that hit me and the busyness of the week that put my strength training on the back burner. My goal for next week is to make sure to get my strength training in – and to go into my longest distance in almost two years (16 miles! Eek!) with confidence!

The thought of the week. When training gets hard, I need to remember this. It’s supposed to be FUN and it is with the right attitude!

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I am ready to finish out 2015 strong!

Previous MB Marathon 2015 Training Posts

Christmas 2015

We just wrapped up nearly a weeklong Christmas celebration with family and friends. It was exciting, sweet, tons of fun, a bit overwhelming, and exhausting, but I wouldn’t change any of it. This year felt extra special to me because it was Kyler’s first Christmas. It was also the first year Kevin really got excited for the holiday, because he was able to remember last year.

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Our celebrations officially started on Christmas Eve. I was home with the kids all day since I’m on winter break, so we had some fun wearing santa hats and doing some holiday painting. But the real fun began once daddy got home!

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Ever since Kevin was just a few months old on his first Christmas, we decided we wanted to have a tradition where our kids open a gift on Christmas Eve that contains new pajamas, a movie, and some sort of snack. We continued that this year, giving both boys some holiday PJs, the movie “Inside Out” and a bag of popcorn. Kevin was so excited to put them on and watch the movie as a family with his snack, but first we had something very important to do!

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Kevin and I headed into the kitchen to bake some cookies for Santa. He loves helping in the kitchen and is very enthusiastic about wanting to do everything himself. I decided to have fun with it and ignore the mess 🙂 He even got to lick the mixing beater for the first time ever! The cookies were probably the best I ever made. They were soft and chewy and SO GOOD! The recipe we used is here. The key was taking them out of the oven after 10 minutes.

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We took a few family pictures by the Christmas tree like we do every year, and then it was time for our movie!

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It was so nice to have such a fun, relaxing Christmas Eve as a family of four before our families came into town. I love spending the holidays with our parents and siblings, but there was something really special about just the 4 of us being together on Christmas Eve.

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Kevin started falling asleep, so we paused the movie (promising him he could finish it tomorrow to avoid the meltdown). Before heading to bed, he put out some milk and cookies for Santa. This picture makes my heart melt. He is truly so excited. I love this age!

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His daddy took him up to bed and read him the Night Before Christmas like he has done every year. I went to put Kyler to bed too, and I heard Kevin tell my husband before he left the room, “Daddy, ask Santa if he likes our tree.” OMG. I almost cried. So sweet.

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Once the kids were asleep we got to work on getting the presents where they needed to be. My dad and sister got to our house just before 10 PM, and we spent some time talking and hanging out with them before we all went to bed to get some much needed rest!

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The next day we were all up bright and early, and Kevin was MORE than ready to go downstairs since he knows exactly what happens on Christmas morning now. Most of the next pictures were taken by my dad, who is a great photographer. They do a great job telling the story of our Christmas morning, so I’ll let them speak for themselves!

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Such an awesome day! It was raining pretty much all day so we just hung out inside and spent time together. I loved it. They left the following day, and then my in-laws came from South Carolina for round 2. We don’t have many pictures of that since we mainly took video, but the grandparents spoiled both boys rotten. I think they got more gifts from them than they did from Santa and us combined! That evening more extended family came over and we all had a nice homemade meal together. They spent the remainder of the weekend with us and left this morning. Whew!

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I feel so lucky to be celebrating my 7th Christmas with my amazing husband. It’s so much fun to carry over our family traditions and create new ones together. I hope to someday have 50+ annual pictures by the Christmas tree.

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I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday, from our family to yours!

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Previous Christmas Posts:

Mom & Baby: 7 Months

Kyler is now officially in the other half of his first year of life! My not-so-little baby boy is now 7 months old and is more fun than ever before. Here are the details about both of us at 7 months post-partum.

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Baby

Kyler is officially 16 pounds 13 ounces and 28 inches at 7 months old. I know this  because we had to take him to the doctor a couple days ago (more about that later!). He’s starting to look longer and leaner to me, just like his brother and many of my family members are. I think we’ll have another tall and skinny kid soon!

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Last month I said that it was so nice to have him healthy for an extended period of time. Unfortunately, soon after writing that he got sick again, and this time it was really rough. He started to get a cold when we were home in Pennsylvania visiting family for Thanksgiving. It got worse and worse, and when we took him to the doctor for what was supposed to be his 6 month well visit (a little late), they said he had a pretty bad ear infection. I felt terrible. He was in pain but rarely complains so we didn’t know how bad it was. After that we started him on antibiotics and took turns staying home with him for a few days, since he was so sad and just moaning and wanting to be held. Poor baby 😦

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Thankfully, after a few days he started to return to his happier self. We finished the 10 days of amoxicillin on Saturday, but on Monday after work I took him out of his carseat and I noticed big red hives/welts on his face. I immediately stripped him down and they kept appearing out of nowhere. I panicked and started packing up to go to urgent care, and called his pediatrician at the same time. He was breathing okay and not in distress, so she said to give him some Benadryl and see what happens. Once I did that the welts went away within about 10 minutes. His doctor said it was most likely a side effect from the medicine, and that sometimes it has to reach a certain level in the body to see symptoms- even after you are finished taking it. He had a little breakout of more hives two nights later and they went away with Benadryl again. He’s doing much better now. The pediatrician says his ears are looking good and that his little runny nose and cough should clear out very soon. So thankful for that! We will just need to keep an eye on the hives to see if they continue to happen. She’s pretty sure it was a reaction to the antibiotic but we can’t be 100% sure.

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One of the huge hives!

In happier news, we had some new developments this month! Kyler started to sit up all on his own. We have been practicing but he would just fall over after a few seconds. One morning I sat him up and he stayed up! Such a big boy! He loves his new view 🙂

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We also started solids this month. He had his first bites of food at Thanksgiving. We gave him avocado just like we did with Kevin, and he could not get enough!

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Since then he’s also had banana, sweet potato, apple, and butternut squash and has loved it all. This is a lot less than Kevin had at 7 months because we’re taking it slower this time. He’s also become a big fan of feeding himself. He loves this little self feeder. So independent 🙂

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He only gets solids once a day at dinnertime and nurses the rest of the time (or takes a bottle of pumped milk while I’m at work). Aside from a little decrease in appetite when he was sick, he’s still nursing 6-7 times a day. He tends to nurse around 3:30 or 4 AM, before leaving for daycare at 6:30 AM, then has three 4 ounce bottles at daycare. After we get home I nurse him at 6:00 and 8:00, then put him down for bed. His two bottom teeth are not fully out, but he doesn’t bite me as much anymore – thank God!!! He mostly chews on his own fingers.

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His nighttime sleep has been inconsistent this month, again due to the sickness, but when he’s feeling okay his longest sleep stretch is between 7 and 9 hours. Naps are a different story. He’s not really on a napping schedule yet, and that’s probably our fault. We tend to just let him sleep anytime, anywhere, including on us. I really want to get him in the habit of taking naps in his crib, so that we don’t pay for it later!

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Kyler is not crawling yet or really trying to crawl at all. He will roll and reach for what he wants, which is EVERYTHING right now! This kid is so grabby! If we are holding anything or if something is nearby, he will do whatever it takes to grab for it.

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He has also started watching us closely and copying us. He will mimic us talking by screeching and babbling. He will stick out his tongue in response to us if we stick out ours, and we will blow raspberries back and forth. It’s really fun to see him become more interactive.

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He LOVES to cuddle. I can’t remember if Kevin was as big of a cuddler as he is but I love it too. I know that time passes quickly so I enjoy every minute of snuggles I can get.

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One other new thing he has been loving this month is the stroller. He is now big enough to sit in the main part of the stroller next to Kevin, rather than his carseat attachment. We’ve been having a very mild winter/late fall so far so he has been out on many runs with us, and he smiles from ear to ear the whole time! It has been really fun to go on family runs too.

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Finally, he continues to be infatuated by his big brother. He loves him so much, and Kevin loves him too. He is always taking care of Kyler and making sure he has toys, a blanket, or whatever he needs. Kyler watches him and tries to do what he does. It’s so fun already to see them together, and I know it will only get better as they get older.

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Body

Not much is new physically in terms of my weight or how my body looks. I haven’t weighed myself in a while but the last time I did I was still holding steady around 132 pounds. I’m feeling a bit bloated right now thanks to all the holiday treats from Thanksgiving to now (almost Christmas), but I know that’s just temporary. I don’t know if it’s marathon training, breastfeeding, my thyroid or some combination of those but I have been SO hungry! I’m getting my blood drawn to check my thyroid levels next week, but it feels like my metabolism is in overdrive sometimes.

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Last month I talked about how I thought I was getting my period because I noticed some signs of ovulation and a little bit of decreased milk supply, but I never got it. I’m really curious when it will return, but not missing it at all right now 🙂 I have been feeling pretty good physically and really excited to be getting faster lately. I’ve been seeing my chiropractor regularly for maintenance which I think is helping. I have been having a little bit of pain here and there in my right side, especially in my lower back and my right foot. It’s nothing too bad at all but it’s something I notice on and off. I’m going to keep my eye on it and maybe go to the running store to see if they think I’m overpronating more on one side. I have a feeling that’s what it is.

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Mind

The past month was really awesome for me mentally and emotionally in many ways, but mostly because it’s my absolute favorite time of year. I LOVE the fall and winter, and especially October to December with all of the holidays that they bring. We started the month by celebrating Thanksgiving in Pennsylvania with my family, and because my school gave us off on Wednesday this year, we were able to go away from Tuesday to Sunday. I haven’t been home for that long in years and it was so nice and relaxing. We were able to see a lot of people we love, and Kevin and I even got to go out together with friends on Thanksgiving Eve which was a blast.

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Our Annual Turkey Bowl

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The boys with their Aunt Yaya

The boys with their Aunt Yaya

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Since Thanksgiving we have done a lot of fun things to help get ready for my favorite holiday of all – Christmas! I grew up with very strong traditions around Christmas and it’s something that I think is important to pass on. We got our Christmas tree and decorated it together, saw Santa on a fire truck and sat on his lap, visited the Festival of Lights, and more. It has been so much fun, especially this year now that we have a family of 4. I’m writing this on Christmas Eve, and we still have so much more in store for this upcoming week. I’m so excited!

Picking out our Christmas tree!

Picking out our Christmas tree!

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Pajama Day at school and daycare

Pajama Day at school and daycare

At the Festival of Lights looking just like Daddy

At the Festival of Lights looking just like Daddy

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This month I have tried very hard to leave stress at school and focus on my family at home. I know I’m truly doing the best I can at work and I refuse to let it affect my family or my time at home with them. This has really helped me keep things in perspective and make the most of our evenings and weekends together. I’m really happy to be home with both of my boys right now for 16 days (!!!) over Winter Break. It was so, so needed!

Seeing the boys after daycare makes me so happy!

Seeing the boys after daycare makes me so happy!

Finally, one thing that is keeping me busy in a good way is my new coaching business! I am so excited about it and the progress I have made with it already. I have taken on 4 clients and each one is so important and special to me. It feels good to be doing something for ‘work’ that I’m so passionate about, especially since I haven’t really felt that way about teaching for a while. Maybe someday I will be able to make this a full-time job, but in the meantime I am really enjoying  doing it on the side.

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I can’t wait to see what month 8 has in store for us!

My 3 boys :)

My 3 boys 🙂

Previous Mom & Baby posts:

MB Marathon 2016 Training: Week 4

Screen Shot 2015-11-28 at 9.38.59 PMWeek 4 of my training was a beautiful, glorious cutback week! I always make sure to incorporate these weeks into my plans for a little mental and physical break. During these weeks I step back in mileage bit and do a shorter long run, and instead of speed intervals and a tempo run I do fartleks and a progression run. So I am still doing some “speedwork” but it’s less structured and more fun!

Here is the overview of the week – what I had planned vs. what I actually did.

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And here is the detailed rundown!

Monday: Rest Day.

Tuesday: Fartlek Run – 5 miles / 44:40. We have been having some very strange weather here in Virginia! I wore shorts and a short sleeved shirt for my 5 AM run… on December 15th?! So crazy! Like I said, since this was a cutback week for me I did an easy Fartlek run instead of my usual speedwork of mile/half-mile repeats. After a warm-up I just picked something ahead of me (like a house with lights, a mailbox or a road sign), sprinted to it, ran slow to recover and did it again. It’s a less structured and fun way to still practice the cycle of running hard, easy, hard, easy. The word “fartlek” actually means “speed play” in Swedish. I really enjoyed mixing it up!

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Wednesday: 21 Day Fix – Lower Fix. This workout is starting to feel a little easier but it still makes me super sore for a day or so afterwards!

Thursday: Progression Run – 5 miles / 45:35. While I’m thankful I have it, I am soooo not a treadmill girl! I chose to do my progression run after work because it was dark, cold and rainy and that combination sounded very unappealing. Running on a treadmill feels a lot harder for me so I didn’t feel like pushing it much. I was glad when it was done! My little photo bomber was glad too because he got home right as I was finishing up and was begging me to come play!  Splits – 9:31, 9:17, 9:05, 8:57, 8:49.

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Friday: Rest Day (unplanned). I had a really busy last few days of work before winter break began (WOO HOO!). I wasn’t able to get myself out of bed in the morning to do an easy run or strength workout, so I planned to get it done in the evening instead but I fell asleep on the couch. I guess my body needed some rest! It didn’t help that I was in pajamas all day, since it was pajama day at both my school and my kids’ daycare!

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Saturday: Easy Run – 3 miles / 26:03 + Yoga for Runners.  I went to my chiropractor early on Saturday morning because I’ve been feeling a little off in my right side again. He fixed me right up and I had an awesome little 3 mile run (in shorts!) when I got home. I have a feeling I am overpronating more on my right side since having the baby, so I want to get to the running store to get it checked out and see what I can do for it. It’s causing a little bit of pain, mostly in my right foot, that comes and goes. I am making sure to make time to do some good stretching after my runs and foam rolling. I also did a 25 minute Yoga for Runners video that I like. I felt amazing afterwards. Note to self: make this more of a priority!

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Sunday: Long Run – 8 miles / 1:11:20. On Sunday morning I met up with a couple friends to do my “long run,” which was only 8 miles since I was cutting back. It was much colder than the days before (temps in the 20s), but we felt really good. We were really surprised to see our overall pace when we were finished because we felt like we were running at such an easy, comfortable pace. It’s crazy to me how paces that used to be hard become effortless with time and hard work!

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Week 4 Totals:

  • Run: 21 miles
  • Strength Training/Cross Training: 1 strength workout,, 1 yoga workout, lots of stretching + foam rolling.

My successes this week were allowing myself to really cutback in terms of mileage and intensity. I’m feeling rested and ready to ramp it back up again – which is good because my next three weeks include another 14 miler, then 16 and 18! My goal this week is to continue to do my stretching/yoga/foam rolling on a regular basis and to keep an eye on the right side issue I’m having. It feels better as of the last few days so I’m hoping it stays that way!

The thought of the week goes along with some the challenges I’ve had lately. I’ve been thinking a lot about my goals and the tough training that is ahead of me, and trying not to let it overwhelm me or freak me out. I have had to work a LOT on the mental/emotional side of running, probably more than the physical part. I have had difficult runs and races with unexpected outcomes, which have broken my spirit and motivation in the past. Over the years and after many experiences that I previously called “failures” I realized something. There are no failures, only lessons learned. I really believe that every run, every race, every effort of ours teaches us something. The key is to reflect and figure out what that lesson is. Once you learn and accept that there are no failures, it’s so much easier to push yourself without that fear limiting you. I need to remember this as I move forward into my longer runs and harder speed workouts. If I do my best and take away a lesson from each run, I will not have failed. Truly believing this is very freeing and empowering!

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4 weeks down, 11 to go!

Previous MB Marathon 2015 Training Posts

A Day in the Working Mama Life

The last time I wrote a day in the life post was back in August when Kevin was almost 3 years old and Kyler was 3 months old. I was ending my summer vacation and maternity leave and getting ready to head back to work. Fast forward to 4 months later and it has been quite the whirlwind. Adjusting to working full-time again with two kids, while also juggling pumping, running, my coaching business, and more has been a challenge (to say the least!). We are finally settling into somewhat of a routine, although I wouldn’t say it’s gotten any easier. I think we’ve just gotten used to the craziness. I thought it was a good time to capture another snapshot in our lives. Here is what our day was like on Thursday, December 17th, when Kevin was 3 years and 3 months old, and Kyler was almost 7 months old.

4:52 a.m. Kyler wakes up to eat. His feeding schedule has been a little inconsistent lately because of his teething and sickness. Sometimes he wakes up to eat around 3:00, and sometimes he doesn’t wake up until closer to when I have to get up and start getting ready (like today).

5:30 a.m. He finishes up and we lay down together for a few minutes while my husband showers. Kevin wakes up and comes into our room around this time and gets into bed with me.

5:50 a.m. I shower with this cute little boy as my audience.

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6:02 a.m. I get out of the shower and start getting ready for the day. While I’m doing that my husband is downstairs with Kev making coffee, prepping our smoothies for breakfast and packing our lunches (he’s pretty awesome!). Kyler hangs out upstairs with me, and Kevin comes up and down a few times to bring his brother toys and play with him.

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6:30 a.m. I feed the baby again quickly, even though it hasn’t been very long since he last ate. I like to feed him right before he goes to daycare to “top him off,” especially because his weight was down a bit at his 6 month appointment. I think that was because he was sick that week and didn’t have much of an appetite, so I have been trying to make up for it since then.

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6:45 a.m. I get the boys dressed and ready and make sure the diaper bag is packed for daycare with diapers, extra clothes, milk, etc.

7:02 a.m. My husband leaves with the kids. He’s been on daycare drop-off and pick-up duty most days since I’ve been so busy at work. It’s a cold, rainy day – which is why I skipped my morning run and moved it to the afternoon. I can do rain, but not in the dark and in 40 degree weather! After they leave I finish getting ready and drinking my coffee.

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7:35 a.m. I leave for work with my smoothie in hand!

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8:05 a.m. I arrive at work after sitting in some traffic due to rain (nobody knows how to drive in any type of weather where I live). I drop off my bags and immediately start running around to different classrooms to check in with some teachers about things that we have going on that day. I am a reading specialist so I support both the students and the teachers in my building in grades K-5.

8:45 a.m. I take a break to go pump. While I am pumping I plan out the rest of my day and eat some pumpkin bread my aunt sent us with Christmas gifts 🙂

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9:00 a.m. Back to work! I do some lesson planning, work with a couple students, meet with a couple teachers, and complete some paperwork. Whew!

12:00 p.m. Quick 20 minute break to shove some food in my face (veggies with my favorite cilantro jalapeño hummus and last night’s leftover Baked Pasta with Spinach and Ricotta – so good!) while pumping.

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12:20 p.m. And back at it. I work with two more students, more lesson planning, another meeting with a teacher, and one more student.

3:35 p.m. I end my work day by helping with dismissal outside in the rain for 30 minutes. It was during that time that I decided I wasn’t going to do my run outside today. I just couldn’t take the cold rain!

4:15 p.m. I leave work and drive home. I’ve gotten really good at pumping in my car on the way home. I put my cover and my pumping bra on, set everything up before I start driving and then just let the pump run while I make my way home. Eventually I turn it off but I don’t undo everything until I’m safely parked back at home. I think it’s a great way to save time and multi-task 🙂 I also eat a Larabar on the way home for a snack. My husband gets off workout 4:30 and gets the kids before he heads home too.

4:55 p.m. I get home, unpack my stuff, and quickly get changed to run before I lose my motivation.

5:14 p.m. I hop on the treadmill to begin my 5 mile progression run. Running on the treadmill feels harder to me than outside so I keep my effort easy tonight. The miles feel like they drag on!

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5:55 p.m. My boys all get home. They were stuck in some traffic due to rain.

6:00 p.m. Finally finished with my run! I head into the living room to do some stretching and to see my boys. I really don’t like to run after work because I like to be able to come straight home, make dinner, and have time to play with the kids before bed. I’d much rather wake up super early to get my runs in while everyone is sleeping and this afternoon reminded me of that.

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6:15 p.m. I nurse Kyler while my husband makes dinner (I told you, he does so000 much around the house these days!).

6:45 p.m. We all eat. My hubby and I have homemade paninis, Kevin has ‘deconstructed’ quesadilla at his request (tortilla, beans, corn, cheese and guacamole) since he already had a sandwich for lunch. Kyler has applesauce in his little self-feeder and LOVES it!

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7:05 p.m. My husband leaves for the part-time job he has working at a local brewery on Thursday evenings, while we all finish up dinner and clean up. Afterwards we go upstairs to get into pajamas and ready for bed. We normally do baths most nights, but on nights that my husband goes to work we usually skip it or do it in the morning before daycare. Kevin’s been a little tough to get down lately for some reason (I think he has severe FOMO- Fear of Missing Out!), so I try to compromise with him by letting him read to his brother and staying with him for a little longer than usual.

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8:05 p.m. I finally get Kevin to sleep… whew!

8:15 p.m. I nurse Kyler for the last time and try not to doze off in the process.

8:55 p.m. I get Kyler into his crib, then go downstairs to start getting some school work done. It truly never ends!!

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10:35 p.m. I am finally finished with my work. I go upstairs to get ready for bed. My hubby still isn’t home yet but he should be home soon.

10:50 p.m. Sleep!

While I was at work, Kyler had three 4 ounce bottles, took a morning and afternoon nap, and played on the floor and in his exersaucer. Kevin had breakfast, lunch and a snack, took an afternoon nap of 1.5 hours, played with puzzles and legos, and read some books.

I am currently on a two week winter break (Hallelujah!!) so I’m feeling much better and less stressed already. I needed this break badly and I’m so happy that I’ll be able to spend so much time with my boys. My next day in the life post will be on a weekend, so you can see how we try to make the most of that time that we have together. Being a working mom is tough, and I’m still figuring it all out, but there is nothing like coming home to those sweet faces!

Previous “Day in the Life” posts:

MB Marathon 2016 Training: Week 3

Screen Shot 2015-11-28 at 9.38.59 PMWhew! Week 3 is over just like that! I am happy to say that we had a much better week. We were all relatively healthy and although work was stressful at times, I tried hard not to let it get to me and to choose my battles. It also helps that I see the light at the end of the tunnel… just one more week then I’ll be off for 16 glorious days with my family for Winter Break! We’ve already started doing lots of fun holiday things and it’s making me so happy. This past weekend we got to go on the Santa Train, and it was a blast! I’m glad to have a good balance of work and play 🙂

All aboard the Santa Train!

All aboard the Santa Train!

Here is the overview of the week – what I had planned vs. what I actually did.

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And here is the detailed rundown!

Monday: Rest Day 🙂

Tuesday: Speedwork – 6 x 800m w/ 400m recovery + WU/CD [6 miles total / 49:01]. Used my trusty lit up shopping center parking lot for speedwork again this morning. The plan was 6 x 800 and my goal was 3:21-3:29 for each. I only hit that in my first one. I don’t really know what happened but I felt kind of off and my stomach hurt. My effort level was there but the splits didn’t match up today- they were actually slower than what I usually do for mile repeats, which is weird. But it’s okay! I know training is all about progress, not perfection. And the important thing is that I got myself up at 4:45 AM and got it done. Splits: 3:29, 3:36, 3:34, 3:36, 3:33, 3:38. I’ll get it next time!!!

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Wednesday: 21 Day Fix – Lower Fix + 35 minute walk. What a fun evening! I did Lower Fix after work and then met my local Moms Run This Town group for a Christmas lights run/walk. Some people ran, but I walked with a few other ladies and pushed the boys in the stroller. Afterwards we all went inside for snacks and hot chocolate. It was really nice!

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Thursday: Tempo Run – 6 @ steady-state tempo pace / 47:12. I couldn’t get myself out of bed in time to do my tempo run, so I did it after work instead. I was a little nervous about that because I thought I would be drained and not be able to pull it off. I drove to a nearby running path that has some rolling hills and decided to go for it. I was going for 6 steady-state tempo miles within the range of 7:50-8:10. Steady-state runs can be challenging because you are supposed to go out at a certain pace and hold it the whole time, rather than doing an easy mile at the beginning and end of the workout. However, I felt really strong and my average pace was 7:52! I even got a little faster with almost each mile. Woo hoo!

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Friday: Iron Strength for Runners. OMG. My friend let me borrow her “Iron Strength for Runners” DVD, and it totally kicked my butt! I got through all 50 minutes but it was not pretty and I had to do a lot of modifications. I can see how these strength moves would really help runners get stronger and faster though. On the website it says, “There’s no question that running is an excellent workout — for some of your muscles, like your calves, hamstrings, and quads. Others, such as your glutes, hips, and core, don’t see as much action yet are essential to providing stability. Weak muscles not only slow you by breaking down your form but also create an imbalance in your body, which can lead to injury and sideline your training.” Umm HELLO! This is exactly what my chiropractor told me when he was addressing some pain I was having in those exact areas- especially my glutes and hips. I’m really proud of myself for doing strength training twice this week and I really need to keep it up and make it a part of my routine.

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Saturday: Easy Run – 3 miles / 29:11. Our weather here has been really weird lately. It was in the 60s and 70s all weekend – really hard to believe it’s mid-December!  We decided to celebrate by going for an easy family run with the double stroller. Little Kev got out at the end and ran with us for the last minute or so. I am also proud of my husband, who has been working hard at building his running back up. He ran all 3 miles without stopping- yay!

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Sunday: Long Run – 14 miles / 2:06:09. This morning I met up with a friend to do my long run. I ran 10 with her and then 4 more solo… my longest run in 16 months! Actually, I have only ran 14 miles once since my marathon back in March 2014. It was last August, when I decided to build up my long run again to possibly train for a fall marathon. I found out I was pregnant a week later! It felt good overall, but toward the end I could feel that my body hasn’t done that distance in a while. My legs felt heavy and I probably should’ve taken another gel in the second half of the run, but I didn’t. Lesson learned!

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Week 3 Totals:

  • Run: 29 miles
  • Strength Training/Cross Training: 2 strength workouts (Lower Fix & Iron Strength for Runners)

My successes this week include my awesome long run and my tempo run. I am also really proud of myself for fitting in strength training twice. My challenges were definitely the speedwork that I felt like I struggled through, and lack of sleep. My goal this week is to get more sleep – at least 7 hours a night. This is also a cutback week (every 4 weeks I cut back), so between a little less mileage, easier effort workouts and more sleep, I’ll be able to go into the following week feeling strong and rested!

The thought of the week is a good one. My friend sent me this blog post all about time management vs. energy management, and it REALLY hit home for me. I am guilty of over scheduling, always saying yes, and letting things suck the energy out of me. After reading this post I spent a little time thinking about the sources of positive and negative energy in my life and how I can balance my energy scale more. It made a big difference in my day and the rest of the week… except for the no caffeine and sugar thing… I need those 🙂

3 weeks down, 12 to go!

Previous MB Marathon 2015 Training Posts

MB Marathon 2016 Training: Week 2

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Week 2 of marathon training is officially in the books. Last week was challenging due to holidays and traveling, and this week was another tough one due to work and a couple of sick kids. I’m so glad I’ve learned to be flexible with my training plan over the years because sometimes LIFE happens! Over the weekend Kyler developed a bad cold and cough that turned into a nasty ear infection. He was absolutely miserable and it broke my heart. He had a fever and didn’t want to eat. He only wanted to be held. I stayed home from work with him a couple days and my husband stayed home one day too. As he started to feel better, Kevin caught his cold, and my husband and myself are feeling the beginnings of it now too! Sigh… tis the season I guess!

The majority of my week... I can't complain :)

The majority of my week… I can’t complain 🙂

Despite all of this and very little sleep since Kyler was restless and hurting, I’m proud of myself for fitting in as much as I did- even if that meant switching some of the days of my runs. Here is the overview of the week – what I had planned vs. what I actually did.

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And here is the detailed rundown!

Monday: Rest Day. I was home from work with Kyler today so I made an appointment with my chiropractor. He addressed some pain that I thought was in my lower back but was actually in my gluteus medius. It felt much better after an adjustment and some heat therapy. Must strengthen the glutes!

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Tuesday: Speedwork – 3 x 1600m w/ 800m recovery + WU/CD [6 miles total / 49:51].  Could not bring myself to do my speedwork outside on this day. I’m okay with running in the rain, but the thought of running in the cold 35° rain at 5:00 AM was just really unappealing. So I hit my treadmill instead and was reminded within a minute why I prefer running outside. My mile repeats felt soooo much harder! Plus, Kevin came downstairs halfway through and decided to stand right next to me staring the whole time. LOL! But I’m still so thankful I have the option to use a treadmill if I need to thanks to my dad generously passing his down to me. My splits were 7:04, 7:06, and 7:05. slower than last week, but I definitely felt as though I put in the same amount of effort.

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Wednesday: 21 Day Fix – Abs. I wanted to do a full strength workout today, but I got home late from work and then had to take care of a sick and snuggly baby. I only had time to do abs, which is better than nothing I guess. My core was still sore from Sunday’s workout too!

Thursday: Easy Run – 3 miles / 26:58. Kyler and I didn’t sleep much Wednesday night/Thursday morning. This meant I wasn’t able to get my tempo run in like planned first thing in the morning. I ended up staying home from work with Kyler again since he was still miserable and had a fever. By the time my husband got home from work it was late, I was hungry and it was dark. I just didn’t have a 6 mile tempo run in me. I did a 3 mile easy run instead, and decided to do my tempo the following day.

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Friday: Tempo Run – 1 easy, 4 @ tempo pace, 1 easy [6 miles total / 48:17]. I was so thankful I waited to do my tempo run until Friday, because I ended up having an amazing run. I really needed it after I struggled through last week’s too! This time the goal was 1 mile easy, 4 miles @ tempo pace (7:30-7:45), 1 mile easy. My average pace for the middle miles was 7:33 and I got a little faster with each one. It felt great to get a workout like that done before 6 AM. I was riding my endorphin high all day – even riding on very little sleep!

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Saturday: Rest. I didn’t plan for this to be a rest day but it ended up as one, and I’m okay with that. I was hoping to get a strength workout in, but instead I spent the entire day with my family decorating for Christmas and just enjoying each other. BONUS: Kyler started acting more like himself again. I was so happy to see some smiles again! But then Kevin caught his cold, although he is dealing with it much better. I can’t wait until we are all healthy again.

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Sunday: Long Run – 12 miles / 1:48:10. 12 solo miles through the hills of my town. I got a late start and then it took a while to find my rhythm. In the first few miles I had to stop to adjust my shoes (does anyone else hate when one feels tighter than the other?), my sports bra came unhooked (how does that even happen?!), and I realized I forgot to bring my chews so my husband met me to give them to me. He’s the best! I started feeling good by mile 4 and the rest of the run was pretty much smooth sailing. I did realize something while I was running that made me think of many of my friends who currently have injuries (including my running buddy Laura- hence the sad solo run).  The paths through my town that I ran on today are all very uneven and slanted. I am more aware of that now after going to the chiropractor a few times for imbalances in one of my hips and legs, and he said that can be a cause. It was a really good reminder to be careful and to try to find even ground to run on whenever possible. 

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Week 2 Totals:

  • Run: 27 miles
  • Strength Training/Cross Training: 1 core workout

So clearly I had some successes and some challenges this week. My successes were fitting in my key workouts during another busy week, with the added stress of sick kids, unpredictable weather, and an injured running buddy. However, I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t fit in any strength workouts yet again. I NEED to make this a priority starting in week 3. I know how important it is and I just have to make it happen. Also, next week I enter into new territory. I’ll be doing my longest run in a very, very long time – 14 miles! I have only run 14 miles once since my last marathon in March 2014… eek! Here we go!

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Thought of the week

Previous MB Marathon 2015 Training Posts