Monday, December 31, 2018

End of the 2018 Racing Season / Year in Review

Races Run (Strava times, not official):

1. 1/1 NYRR Resolution Run (Virtual) 27:43

2. 3/25 the Eastern States 20 miler (North Hampton, NH) 2:46:42

3. 4/14 Newport Marathon (Newport, RI) 4:02:42

4. 5/6 Angry Unicorn (South Kingstown, RI) 1:38:54

5. 6/9 Gaspee Days 5k (Cranston, RI)  24:06

6. 7/14 Run with the Beavers 10 miler (Chepachet, RI) 1:45:49

7. 7/27 Blessing of the Fleet 10 miler (Narragansett, RI) 1:28:15

8. 10/28 Cape Cod Marathon (Falmouth, MA) 3:56:16

I ran 10 more races last year than this year, but many of them were 5ks. I don't think I'm really missing much by having cut the 5k out, I prefer running longer, anyway. I was also able to really focus and stick to my training schedule this year for the marathons, which let me break four hours again for the first time in a few years (in spite of an injury.)

I was also hesitant to list the Resolution run on there, as it was a virtual Strava race. I did treat it like a race, though, so I'm counting it. I did not count the NYRR Virtual Mile, because I was amidst injury and I couldn't get in a mindset for it. Additionally, I had two races that I registered for and did not run: Funky Monkey HM was in late June, and the Black Goose in November. Black Goose actually conflicted with a family event I had, and I wasn't feeling well morning of the Monkey. I plan to be running for a long time, so there will be a time for everything.

Had a good showing at Eastern States, my fastest time, by about 3 minutes. I love that race and I was happy to be able to go back to it. Some things have changed logistically there, but I'd like to return again in 2019. It still will never be a super easy thing to do all by myself, but there's also something nice to the feeling of completing that race self supported.

Newport Marathon was a really tough course. The day itself was beautiful, but I think the number of hills on the course just beat me down mentally. I also don't know how seriously I really took that training, because it's unpleasant to train through the winter. It's tough to do speedwork amidst snow. I have some thoughts on how I'll train for a spring race next time around, but I'm saving those for my goal setting post.

Angry Unicorn is such a treat. Another race where I supported myself, but the course is that sweet spot of rolling hills and easy climbs that feels very familiar to my legs. Additionally the pack isn't huge, so it's easy to break up from the group and run your own race. Kind of a bleh day weather wise, but just such a great race. I'm not sure I believe the course measures entirely accurate, and so I was hesitant to claim that PR fully. But it would be my first HM in the 1:30s, so that is pretty exciting.

The summer races I really run for fun -- not trying to go for a particular time. These three are all in the midst of my summer run streak, so I see them as gems in a larger collection.

Cape Cod Marathon was the other big event for me for the year -- despite feeling overuse coming on late in the training plan, I still managed to go sub-4 which was a big personal victory. It has inspired me to take on some crazy challenges in 2019, but there will be more of that later.

Parenting-wise, it has been a very big year. My wife and I welcomed our second daughter, and she has been a delightful spirit who has brought a lot of joy and love into our family. Her big sister absolutely adores her, and watching the two of them together is very sweet. Parenting two kids is a balancing act -- trying to give the toddler the attention and interaction she needs while also giving the baby the time and experiences her sister had when she was this age. I've been feeling like I'm not doing as much singing and hands on play with child #2, so I'm trying to re prioritize that.  The baby loves when we sing and play games (like "Itsy Bitsy Spider") so that's good.

Christmas was a great success. We stay home, and do the holiday as a nuclear family. I made a full dinner by myself, mulled some wine (and cider for the toddler.) The baby is eating real food now, too -- mostly rolls and anything mashed, but it's a start. It was a fun day complete with presents in the morning, dinner in the middle of the day followed by a long nap. The toddler didn't end up falling asleep until quite late, but we have the week to get things back on track.

We also just returned from a family vacation up north -- quite a bit of stress associated with these trips, and a lot of work. But, also plenty of enjoyable moments. In any event it is good to be back home again, and ready to dive back into life.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Resolutions "In Review" for 2018 (part 1)

Every year I set goals, so this will be a two part post reviewing the goals I set, and then in part two setting some new goals for 2019.

So, here were my resolutions for 2018:

  1. Teach my daughter something each week.
  2. Enter no store before March, all stores off limits except the grocery store.
  3. Clear out unnecessary junk.
  4. Consistent social club meetings.
  5. Cook more.
  6. Get down to my "fighting" weight
  7. Run two marathons in one calendar year.
  8. Barefoot a 5k race.
  9. Learn to fuel appropriately again.
  10. Journal more consistently.

I'd say it's nearly impossible to meet all of these goals all the time, but I do try my best. I like some of them as guidelines, where others are certainly more concrete. The parenting goals, for example, I like to think of as things to bring me closer to my ideal parenting style. The running goals, on the other hand, have more to do with concrete outcomes.

My first goal was to teach my daughter something new every week. I had in mind when I set that, that I would work on an exact skill or idea with her each week. Which is a fun goal, but the truth is little kids are just experiencing so much all the time, and the attention span doesn't lend itself much to that. And I know better, too, because I've studied child psychology. Either way we did a lot of fun stuff this year, from learning how to use pens and crayons, to sensory play with shaving cream tables, playing music (she made her first sounds on a brass instrument!) and cooking fundamentals (how to use a measuring cup, for one.) It was a blast and while I couldn't pick out 52 concepts we went over, we probably did way more.

I did manage #2, and kept out of the stores other than to buy groceries basically until May. It became harder in the summer because we did so much -- the zoo, museum, what have you at least once a day. So when we needed supplies, sometimes we had to go to stores I don't love. I did manage to buy less junk for the first half of the year, at least. And I'll work on that again next year -- because I really hate stores and going to shops after work really cuts into any time for running or playing with the kids.

Clear out unnecessary junk. Sure, I mean, a little. I have lots of crap around my house that I should get rid of. We don't have enough storage for any of it, either. I did manage to donate lots of clothes that I don't wear anymore, and so I think that will be an ongoing goal for 2019. I've been better about managing my clothes and materials, as well, so hopefully that will get even better as time goes on.

Cooked a lot this year. I mean, a lot. We still ate out a bunch in the very busy times of year, but we managed to plan and execute meals more consistently, for sure. One thing we need to get better about is the family dinner around the table. We do that a few times a week but often we're so beat at the end of the day that we just want to relax on the couch or whatever. That said, I've learned some crazy good recipes.

I did not get back down to the weight I wanted to be at -- but I was in a pretty good shape for my fall marathon. I had to fight to get under 170 lbs at all this year, and I think a lot of that is just that it's hard to have the mental discipline to cut calories while running as many miles a week as I was. We'll see what next year holds in this regard -- but I tracked my weight almost everyday this year, as well, and I think that actually helped me see it more as a trend line than a number. Which is pretty important for me. Because the number used to get in my head a whole lot.

I did run two marathons this calendar year! Newport in April, and Cape Cod in October. I even broke 4 hours in Cape Cod, which means that all is not lost in terms of reaching my goals. It's going to take some hard work, but achieving this resolution (which I've had for awhile now) gave me so much energy and desire to work harder coming up. And I've got some stuff to do, too -- because I got injured training for Cape Cod, so for sure stretching and cross training are on the docket come January.

I did a lot of bare-footing this year, including a barefoot run that covered the 5k distance. I did not race that distance without shoes, as the goal was set, but I also did quite a bit of running this summer on a broken toe, so there's that. It had me not in the mood to race much of the summer. That said I loved my barefoot time and I'm hoping to continue that in 2019, possibly even on some varied terrain.

I tried some new fueling strategies in training for Cape Cod and I think they were really successful. A new carb beverage for pre-long runs, gels, and an energy shot for different places in the run and water every two miles. It worked really well for me and gave me something to focus on during long runs so I could just work to get to that next fuel point. It took a lot of focus and practice, but I think that fuel wise this last training cycle was better than any I've ever had. It even let me put up some pretty impressive numbers in training (for me) before I got injured and had to dial-back the mileage. There's always another cycle, so this gives me confidence that I have some skill here to tap into next time.

I have tried really hard to write something here every month, at least. Of the 137 days I ran from Spring into Fall, I tried to write a little something everyday. This crowded out some of the bigger posts I usually do focused on a concept, but it also let me focus my mind on a routine -- run, sync the watch, write the post, review the data. That was pretty crucial to me doing as much as I did in the streak. So that's a thing I've learned, and obviously, I want to continue writing here. Hopefully I'll be able to write more on my parenting life here in the coming year. But I can get to all that in the next half of this post setting goals for 2019.


Holiday Run Streak has been going well. 24 days in, I've covered sixty-four miles. Aiming for twenty miles a week while I try to sort out the various pains and twinges in my legs from marathon training. It has been uneventful, and enjoyable running, though, as it often is in New England in December. I've been running in neoprene boots, in case of rain and snow, and they're a bit cold, but overall comfortable.

And the house is all decked out with garlands, fake candles, stockings. The usual holiday decor. The toddler absolutely loves the season, and I'm finding a new joy in watching her enjoy it. This week is a busy week, with meetings and engagements, but finally ending with her birthday party and our solstice party on Friday. I'm very much looking forward to it.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Holiday Run Streak, Day #7

Tried to take the dog out for a run tonight, but she refused to leave the block again. Doesn't like to go too far from the kids. Will try to take her for more walks with the toddler, see if that gets her comfortable with the neighborhood and running again.

Did a chilly mile on my own this evening. Have a late meeting tomorrow so I will need to go out early tomorrow (~5am) to get my run in. I'm planning a short one for now, so that I can just keep the streak going. If it works out, and I'm able to go to sleep at a reasonable hour tomorrow, I may continue to do the morning runs. They are some of my favorite memories from the run streaks, and with the sun setting at about four in the afternoon, it's nice to feel like I can rest when the sun goes down for the day.

Holiday Run Streak, Day #4, #5, #6

One mile each on days four and five. Pretty incredible rain, too.

Last night got out for a four mile run, and felt very good after about mile two. Have to switch to morning runs tomorrow, because I have a late meeting at the end of the work day. Should be possible but I'll have to make sure to run easier tonight, and possibly less distance tomorrow.

The pain in my left foot isn't so bad after I'm up and moving, so running at the end of the day is working out for now. When I get up in the morning it bothers me a little, but not enough to stop me from walking around or anything. My right quad is still bothering me, too, but has gotten a little better now that I'm doing some regular stretching.

Long days at work mean I'm exhausted when I'm home, but still trying to carve out some time to read with the kids, play games, and have family dinners. We have a routine before bed now of reading four books, and it's been growing up to five or six books. The toddler likes Halloween books.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Holiday Run Streak, Day #3

Mile and three quarters today. Expecting rain and cold for the next couple of days. Have the gear to tough it out, but it won't be fun for sure.

Pain in my right quad. Need to do some stretching and form work. I think I'm OK to keep moving, but I'm concerned that it's compensating for a weakness/tightness elsewhere, so we'll see. The left plantar fasciitis seems to be gone. So that's good. Need to do some stretching regularly to keep stuff in check, as well as some strength to stay rounded. Have to get back to eating real food tomorrow, too, so I don't gain fifteen pounds and struggle all month to keep running.

Eventful day today, with errands and lots of playing and cleaning around the house. When the kiddos wake up, likely more playing. Wife and I got our flu shots today, so once the baby is all better from her cold we should be good to go visit friends again.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Holiday Run Streak, 2018 (Days 1 and 2)

First two days of the Holiday Run Streak are in the books! Good to be back on my feet. And in some familiar (very) cold New England weather. 3 days yesterday, almost four today. I'd like to keep this run streak at a comfortable distance each day, while taking it easy. I know there are bound to be one mile days in there, but I'm going to still try to keep them few and far between. Also, having covered 169 miles last year in the streak, I'm not certain that same distance will be replicated this year. We'll see, I suppose, but I am not sure how many middle to longer distances I'll put in.

Had a quiet Thanksgiving day with the immediate family. We like to stay in just us, I make the meal and we spend time together. It was a lot of fun. I will miss it when things inevitably change as the kids grow up.

Put up the Christmas (Solstice) Tree today, which I usually do on Thanksgiving eve, but I was too tired. We decorated it this morning together, which was a lot of fun. Grabbed a nap afterwards and heading out to visit extended family for dessert in a bit.

Monday, October 29, 2018

the Cape Cod Marathon (Marathon #7) Race Review

Froh, wie seine Sonnen fliegen 
Durch des Himmels prächt'gen
Plan,Laufet, Brüder, eure Bahn,
Freudig, wie ein Held zum Siegen.
 --Schiller, Ode to Joy

Ran the Falmouth Track Club's Cape Cod Marathon yesterday.

I was a bit apprehensive about the race because I had some overuse injuries, because I kept building volume, and I suppose my base wasn't as ready for it as I thought. For about a month I've had some joint pain, and tendon pain in my left foot. I laid off the running quite a bit in the two weeks leading up to the race, and just trusted the base I built up.

Friday after work we headed out to our accommodations on the cape. Pretty nice little hotel with a kitchenette. I brought lots of run stuff this time, because I really worked on my sports nutrition this time around. Lots of energy gels, powdered carb drinks, etc. Went out to a local supermarket to pick up food for the couple of days, also picked up some sweats to toss after the race got going. I ended up getting a solid eight hours of sleep, which was really good.

Saturday was a super windy day, with winds that actually resembled a tropical depression. We ventured out to the hit expo. Found some cool stuff there, and I picked up a couple of extra gels in my favorite flavors, along with some anti-friction gel (having left mine at home.) Met and mingled with some of the FTC folks, who were all very nice. It was a surprisingly well stocked expo for how small of a marathon this was. At least two running gear places, and then the track and running club booths.

Found a British pub place for lunch, with some familiar New England sights and weather, and then returned to the hotel. We stayed in and played board games with the toddler. Learned dominoes, but also taught her to play Barrel of Monkeys, and Connect 4. So that was a lot of fun, and she really enjoyed it. I made pasta and a bland sauce for dinner, which worked out well for me. Got all my race stuff together before heading off to bed.

Oh man, Friday night's sleep? That was great. Saturday night was rough -- the toddler just DID NOT want to go to sleep. I mean she was up until like 9:30. I had planned to get up at 5:30 the next day to start going through pre-race rituals, but that was just not realistic. I fell asleep around 9:45 and ended up snoozing until 6 am. The race start was at 8:30, so that didn't throw me off much, but it was just not as planned.

The race day itself was beautiful -- started off a bit cold, and damp from the previous day's storms, but I ended up being happy I chose to run in a singlet and shorts. Paced myself pretty comfortably for the first eight or nine miles, having talked through the pacing plan with my wife, I knew to save some stuff for the hilly back half of the course. The whole course was rolling hills, but a very familiar kind of hill to me. Many of the hills resembled the ones I live around and train on all the time, so my legs were able to lift me through them and let me coast down the back side. I pushed my gels up about five or ten minutes from my usual gel schedule, hoping to get a little more juice out of things, and I think that plan worked OK, except I should have added an extra one in there somewhere -- because I had a bonk at mile 24.

Mile 24 is such a crappy place to bonk. I knew looking at my pace, though, that sub-4 was still in sight, and adjusting my expectations a bit, I did my best to dial in a pace that would keep me about 9min/mile overall. The last stretch along the beach was really lovely, and I managed to run the last mile of the course in before taking a picture with the kiddos and grabbing a bite to eat with everyone before heading home. I'm very sore today, moreso than the previous few marathons. But I think that's in keeping with the effort expended (both mental and physical.) I'll be taking a couple of weeks off to get ready for the holiday run streak, and looking into one or two fun races to wind down the season.

"A runner must run with dreams in his heart."--Emil Zatopek

Checked a couple of goals off yesterday at the Cape Cod Marathon.

First, I went sub-4 for the first time since Baystate in 2015. My marathon results look like this:

Baystate (2013): 3:47:53

Marine Corps (2014): 3:52:07

Baystate (2015): 3:48:48

Big Sur (2016) 4:34:17

NYC (2017): 4:37:12

Newport (April, 2018): 4:02:22

Cape Cod (October, 2018): 3:56:

So, my timing was significantly better and I think that's owing to a couple of things. 1) I trained better (and a bit harder) for this race, and I wasn't trying to lose weight simultaneously, and 2) I wasn't running the race as a vacation primarily. With Big Sur and NYC I threw myself into the experience of the race, knowing that I'll likely never get to run those events again. So, for me, those races were about the sights and the people. It didn't make me want to rush to the finish. I'm only about an hour away from the cape, and the terrain is very familiar and similar to other races I've run, so I was willing to really see what I could do in my current shape.

The other goal was that this was the first time I've run two marathons in one calendar year. That's been a goal of mine for a couple of years now, but it didn't feel really do-able to me until this last very successful training cycle. I don't know that I'll ever get up to a marathon every weekend or anything, but it helps me look at some goals that I'd like to meet next year, which will all show up here when I start writing the posts planning for the future.

Also, the toddler is getting very interested in doing a kid's race. It's led to a lot of discussion about what it means to win a race, which led to this really fruitful discussion:

Me, "How do you win a race? What do you have to do?"
Toddler, "You cross the finish line."

Out of the mouths of babes, right?

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Autumnal Rambling

Very, very busy between work and childcare. The sensation of living many days in one 24-hour stretch is becoming very familiar, and I'm hoping it's not aging me too much. I'm also extending my hours at work, which means one day is really starting to blend into another.

Finally arrived at Saturday morning -- my wife is feeling sick with a cold, but the toddler is up and active. I've been on the verge of getting sick, so I've been taking it easy this week. Focusing on sleep and taking it easy because I don't want to go into the marathon with a cold. Anyway, got up early with the toddler and went out to breakfast. Impressive kid knew just what she wanted to eat, and it's neat watching the hand-eye dexterity coming along with her utensil use. Sang along with "Yellow Submarine" on the way home, which did my hippie heart a lot of good.

Now we're hanging out watching Saturday morning cartoons and playing with toys. I'm running as much laundry as I can today, too. So that's fun. At some point I'll get out for a forty-minute run, just to keep things going. Tomorrow is a 16 mile (thereabouts) run.

The baby is doing well -- now has the helmet, and isn't too averse to wearing it. She remains the happiest baby ever, and she's a delight to be with. Although, I still have the guilt that she isn't getting as much of my attention as baby #1 did, but that's to be expected, I guess. She absolutely loves her big sister, and smiles every time the toddler sings her a song or talks to her.

I'm still pretty sore from an overuse injury, but I'm not planning to drop out of this marathon. There will be plenty of time to recover AFTER I suffer through it. I have wanted to do two marathons in a calendar year for a couple of years now, and I'm really planning on this year being the year.

Getting colder here in New England, which very little in-between weather. I prefer the cold, anyway, so no complaints there. But it is making me feel like I have not a lot of time to get the yard ready for winter. Yikes. Lots of cleanup to do.

Re-reading Jeff Smith's Bone with the toddler. A chapter each night before meditation and bed. Definitely a big change to the night routine, which used to be a solid hour of music and rocking her to sleep. It's a good routine, though, and often means I pass out and am able to log a solid seven hours.

All that said, though, I'm still just as worn out as I was when I did my heaviest marathon training week. So that isn't great. I'm thinking about getting a indoor trainer for one of my bikes, and just starting to log lots of indoor miles on it over the winter. I'm planning to do a holiday run streak, too, but I think I'd benefit from the additional cardio training indoor for the few months.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Autumnal Routines

"...I am the autumnal sun,
With autumn gales my race is run;
When will the hazel put forth its flowers,
Or the grape ripen under my bowers?
When will the harvest or the hunter's moon
Turn my midnight into mid-noon?
I am all sere and yellow,
And to my core mellow.
The mast is dropping within my woods,
The winter is lurking within my moods,
And the rustling of the withered leaf
Is the constant music of my grief... "

Henry David Thoreau, I am the autumnal sun


As the late summer's hurriedness and anxiety give way to early autumns consistent work, I find I have a bit of time to stop and write. I love this time when I'm often busy, have to work my training in around work and family life. It has a good rhythm to it, and is quite in contrast with the enjoyably lazy summer.

We pursued the scans for the baby's skull shape, and there's no need for surgery. That news was quite a bit of relief to my us, although the babe will need a helmet for a few months to help things grow correctly. She's the happiest baby of all time, though, and seems to be moving along at a normal developmental pace, so that's good.

The toddler and I have been reading Jeff Smith's Bone. It's a favourite graphic novel of mine, that I first read in college. I'm reading it on an app, as it allows us to follow one panel at a time, but only a couple of weeks in and we're nearly through with the story. Should finish this weekend. I was somewhat worried about some of the scarier bits, but she seems to be dealing well enough with it, and has a lot of fun telling her mom all about the rat creatures and how Fone Bone escapes them with the help of a dragon.

Training wise I'm a bit sore these past few days, starting to feel some overuse pangs after last week's speedwork (in which I over reached, impressively.) I'm going to cut this week's speed work, but still aim for time on my feet as an active recovery. As it is things actually feel better once I get moving, so I'm not sure there's much of a need to stop. My body is showing me the tell tale signs of over use: elevated heart rate in the morning, soreness. I'll do what I can to start eating better and sleeping more (as much as I can.) I'm adding more ice baths in and foam rolling. I'll get to that second marathon at the end of October, and hopefully I'll be feeling better by then, too.

I've had to order another pair of shoes from wearing out my first pair of the cycle. Not thrilled about that, but otherwise my other new gear is holding up well. And with the muscle soreness I've been running more in my sandals anyway, so this new pair of shoes should easily last me until the marathon. If I'm able to recover on the run like this, it will mean pretty great things for the rest of the fall and winter, but I'm hesitant to let this plan quite out in case I should jinx myself.

Today marks day #132 of my run streak, which is pretty cool. I haven't been keeping a table on this streak in the way I do for the holiday run streak, but I'm averaging just over 50 miles per week according to Strava. I think that my highest weekly mileage is only in the high 50s, anyway, so maybe it means big things are on the horizon for me endurance wise. It would be exciting to find out that this first six years in running had just been the prelude to a really fun life in endurance sport.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Dreaming of Mercy Street

I run with Orion
and Orion runs with me
on through the night and the small hours
past my old stomping grounds and grounds yet rediscovered
Orion has run with many
over countless generations
stories unknowable and lost to time
remembered only by my silent partner

This marathon cycle has found me revising and revisiting areas that I grew up. I was a wild kid, but never became interested in running until my mid-20s. I have a whole new vantage point on the place I once lived, and the streets I once tore around on. I ran on these roads as a gleeful child, eager to play along the water line with my friends. I skated, played with dogs. As an angsty teenager I wandered the neighborhood after dark with my friends, basking in the orange glow of the street lights.

It's different now. I have the benefit of knowing the terrain, but it's like it doesn't quite fit anymore. It has the familiar sensation of returning to an elementary school as an adult -- the place is much smaller than I remember, like a well loved hoodie that has shrunk in the wash. It is hard for me to not wax poetic within the confines of my own mind as I tread an area with so much history to me and at such a solitary hour. There are familiar colored lights, and a bridge that has been replaced but with a view exactly the same as twenty years ago. I revel in the nostalgia only because I know that a change is coming. You can't stay in the same place forever, and I'm not the person I was then. I need to become something else, and learn new skills. My kids will cut new memories in a hometown of their own, and I'm certain that they'll experience the similar push-pull of aging.

I grew up by the water. I don't live far from the same river and bay now, and I can never escape the feeling that I know myself through my connection to this place. But there are other places, too, of course, and there are other sides of myself worth discovering.

The Social Club celebrated Oktoberfest, which we do in September (although I think still a bit earlier than the Germans do.) The food and drink was incredible, and of course the conversation alone left me never longing for another activity to have as a shared distraction. The toddler loved the food, and had a great time talking to everyone and playing. Nice to see her confident in social situations and undeterred from the business of being a kid.

The run streak has been going well, although I've abandoned (temporarily) the practice of blogging my run journal each day. I'm at the height of my marathon training cycle and have been in 40-60 mile weeks for awhile, feeling strong and focused on that. Ended up with just shy of 57 miles for last week, with the week ending with a 22 mile long run. The long run surprisingly went by very quick, so my mental toughness must be building up. This week's long run wasn't as long, but the plan had two longer easy runs so I still ended up with just shy of 50 miles. I'll be able to comfortably build to the mid-to-high 50s this next week.

My wife and I have been doing some personal training sessions, so Saturday I was doing some fun lower/core work which left me trashed for my long run. But I gutted it out and I'm actually really happy with it overall. The conditions today were also similar to what I'm expecting for the marathon, so that is also always a bonus. I'll need to take an ice bath before we go run around with the kids, though.

The silent running partner listens
ever attentive but with no comment
no judgement
the miles render their own opinion in due time
I gain perspective from the thrum of motion in my bones
the chant of the road pounds in my legs


I'm finding in this third decade of my life I have a hard time talking about things that upset me. I'm a bit ashamed to say that I have friends I still haven't told about the death of my cat, because I just get too upset thinking about it. Likewise, I have friends that I haven't spoken to in a large amount of time, and I find myself torn between reaching out and just severing ties. In the same vein of this struggle, I've taken about two weeks in drafting this post, because as much as I love to write about my running and the delights I experience with my little family, the hard things are so much harder for me to talk about. But I need to leave them somewhere, if only to get some space and perspective.

So I've found the best way is to just say the thing. My wife and I noticed that the baby's head seemed sort of lopsided last week, and asked the pediatrician. It turns out she may need surgery for a fused suture that's preventing things from growing correctly. She's still developmentally on track (ahead, I think) and we've been told the surgery will be more annoying than anything, but it's still a stressful thing to imagine a four month old having to be put under and having a procedure done. It's tough. She's a happy baby, and she loves to smile and giggle. She doesn't deserve this, and although it's no one's fault it just sucks.

It's been very stressful for my wife, and I'll admit that I am upset about it. We're in the process of scheduling tests and taking this all one step at a time. I've always been grateful that although I've had challenges in my life my kids have been healthy. This isn't something that will have long lasting repercussions, and I should be happy about that, too, but I'm stressed and worried for her. I have the comfort of knowing at least we're handling things the best we can.

I'll have to keep my head down, and move into the hills.

In the realm of stress I've also had some offers for additional work that I'm not sure I can turn down. It would mean extra hours potentially for about half of next year. I'll make time to be with my kids, I know that. What would be hard on me would be the loss of time to go running, because that's where I process most of my day. I certainly couldn't keep a streak going with those kinds of hours, and I'm not sure what would happen to my race calendar.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Summer Run Streak, Day #98, #99

Had a close call tonight with our cat. We came home after a long day at work, and were lazing about watching TV, reading books, and playing with the kids. At some point either the toddler or myself accidentally let the cat out of the house, and we didn't notice until sometime later. He's my wife's cat, originally, as we had gotten him for her after we'd been living together for a few months. He is a good cat, and I have him pretty well trained to respond to treats. The dog freaked out while I was getting the toddler to bed, and my wife said there were two cats fighting in the street.

That's when I noticed the cat wasn't anywhere in the house. I know all of his hiding spots, so I checked thoroughly. I walked a lap of our neighborhood, and threw down some of his favorite treats on our stoop. Sure enough after a couple of hours he came back, chirping at me and purring. I brought him in and gave him some flea goop, but we'll keep him separated from everyone until I can give him a proper flea bath in the morning. He doesn't have any marks or anything, so I'm not concerned about his health otherwise.

It's tough because when my cat died a couple of months ago, we had a real dilemma around whether or not to tell our toddler. Her memory is still very much in development, so we're pretty sure she doesn't remember the cat at all, and thinks we've always had only one cat. I'm happy to not have to tell her our cat ran away, and that he probably wouldn't come back. But we will have to talk about being vigilant when he's around the door.

Serious speed workout yesterday and an easy four miles today. I actually ended up doing a ten mile run yesterday with about six of those miles being decent 2000m intervals. Felt tired at the end but happy to have done the work, and the work during the exercise was not too bad, either. Today's four miler had me really burned out, but I think I'm also feeling the effects of exhaustion. I haven't been getting enough hours of sleep at night. Maybe I can catch a few more over the weekend.

First real long run for this plan is on Sunday (well, what I'd consider long.) The plan calls for three hours, which I imagine to be in the neighborhood of 18-20 miles. I'm planning a route that's about 20 miles. I feel really strong though, so I'm not worried about the distance. I'm a bit worried about the time frame as the  weather in New England is going to turn unpleasant again any day now, and I also have a job mid morning on Sunday. It would be tough to go to work so run down from a long training run.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Summer Run Streak, Days #96 and #97

We're in the middle of a vicious heat wave in New England. True to my luck, it's right as we go back to work and have to be in buildings with no air conditioning. It's just as well I guess that it forces me out of the house earlier, so I'm having an easier time talking myself into getting up at 4am to go out for my training.

Yesterday covered 7.6 miles. The plan had it as an optional fartlek workout, but it was humid and I wasn't completely in the zone for a workout mentally. I did put in a decent effort, and I tried to add some small surges. With being back to work I did end up covering about 18k steps (12 miles or so) so I don't feel too bad about it. I need to pace myself when I hit this point in the year, so I adjust to the dramatic uptick in activity.

My wife and I canceled our personal training session for last night, too, which was just as well. We hadn't slept well the night before, and that set the whole family up for an early bedtime just after 8:00. It was nice to get almost seven hours of sleep. Hopefully I can make that a pattern. The toddler has been so worn out from being back to the daycare full time that she's ready to have dinner, read books, and go to sleep earlier than usual. All in all it isn't a bad way to unwind after the work day, and I have been enjoying not having to go running after bedtime.

Tomorrow I have a speed work out on the training plan, and it is the last day of the heat wave. More than likely I'll end up running through the last hours of the heat wave.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Summer Run Streak, Day #95

One mile in the early hours of this morning.

We're due for another heat wave, so even at 5 am it is wicked humid, and about 70 degrees. Not my favorite conditions for running. I need to get my workouts in early this week because we're back to work, and the kids are back to daycare. Getting up early means everyone is asleep when I go out, but in theory it means more family time when we're home in the evening. I've gone so far as to map out meals so I'll know how long they take to prepare, and mapping out my outfits for the week so I can change as quickly as possible. It is often said that the hardest time period in building a new habit is the first thirty days, and that is certainly my previous experience.

So, I'm taking the month of September seriously in that regard. There's only a couple of nights I can't go to bed early, and I will really have to tough out those challenge spots.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Summer Run Streak, Day #94 (Long Run Sunday)

Up for my first morning long run in awhile. Usually these are easier to fit in later in the day, but as we're back to work this week I need to get in the habit of training in the morning. I actually set my alarm for 4am, but the toddler was half awake so I was worried getting up would just rouse her further, and  I didn't want to head out on a long run leaving my wife with two awake kiddos.

Of course that didn't matter much because she never did go back to sleep.

The plan for today was a one hour and thirty minute progression run. I don't usually do workouts like this and I'm used to using plans where I just build or rest, so it's weird to have a dial-back week where I'm working harder. It was a really fun workout either way, and I've started taking my fueling a bit more seriously too -- starting with an energy shake about a half hour before running, and then using some gels at prescribed times. I also throw in an energy shot towards the end of my long runs. And sipping on water every mile and a half to two miles. All in all that seems to keep me pretty happy.

Of course one of the biggest challenges to working in the running before work is that I cover a lot of miles in a week. Where I need to do nine or ten miles in an easy run, that means I'll have to get up really early. Which means needing to go to bed REALLY early. And sometimes that's at the mercy of a toddler. Either way I have the prior experience of knowing that banging out some mileage is really empowering during a workday, and I get to ride an endorphin high all day at work, too. We'll see what happens.

Off to find breakfast!

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Summer Run Streak, Day #92, #93

An hour ten minute "easy" run yesterday, that meant covering about 7.6 miles. Felt tired, and I'm still feeling pretty tired today. I took it easy today running just one mile this morning. I'm going to need to start running in the morning again, so covering the miles this morning isn't too bad an idea anyway. Need to take it easy today as I have a ten or eleven miler tomorrow (this week's long run, which is less miles but ending faster.) I should end up with forty-two or forty-three miles for the week, so not too bad, even on a "dial-back" week.

Now for a long day chasing around the toddler. But first, coffee.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Summer (Run Streak Days #87-91)

Streak has been going well, although I've fallen off the daily blog. I would like to start that up again, but we'll see. Any day now I'll be going into fall mode and back into a regular posting habit of just occasional stories.

Got out for a five mile hike today, which was not too bad. I've been in love with Rhode Island's North-South Trail for a couple of years now, and had planned to hike the Northwest Corner section this morning with a friend. Unfortunately, we navigated to the wrong trail head and didn't have time to redirect. Ended up hiking the Run With the Beavers course route, which is still a great hike and one of my favorite parts of the NST. We're talking about planning hikes for each section next year -- one a month. Each section is about 20 miles, so it would be a full day of hiking for us, but could be a really good step to my goal of thru-hiking the whole trail. Hell, I'd like to run the trail. One of these days.

My wife and I did a subscription box thing to get some new running gear. I don't advertise stuff on here as it isn't that kind of blog, but I wanted to make a couple of notes about it. One: was this ever helpful in learning some new brands of gear. Two: I really need to buy more gear more often. I tend to run shorts and singlets into the ground -- until they're literally falling apart on my body. No reason for that. I spend an average of seven hours on the road a week, I should be doing it in more comfortable gear. Three: I really should be more confident. They sent me a pair of 2" shorts, which normally I would never think to even try on. No harm, no foul, with a box like this because you can send stuff back. But I put them on and I'm absolutely in love with them, so I'm planning to keep them. Should be really nice on some of the shorter runs, but we'll see. I really never though I'd love a pair of shorts this short.

Toddler is easing back into daycare. Hit the 'terrible twos' really, really hard a couple of days ago. Refusing to listen to directions, whining, to top it off she shoved another kid. We had a big talk with her about all of it, and set out some more consistent expectations. The next day was a lot better, but I'm not foolish -- I know there will be good days and bad. That's part of learning, and part of parenting is rolling with that and supporting them. She's a great kid, and her communication skills are very advanced -- probably why it took her six months to hit this phase. We'll get through it.

Kiddo will also be running her first race (a kids race) held for fun before a local 5k. She's excited, and I'm excited to ring the cowbell for her the way she does for me at my races. Great kid. She says she wants to go running with me when she's bigger, too, so I love that. I didn't anticipate how difficult it would be to get a workout in with a toddler who asks me not to leave, but I also know that it's an important thing for her to have a dad who is in shape, and dedicated to living as long as possible. I mean also with a sense of adventure.

Marathon training is going well -- long runs have been feeling good, and I've been experimenting (with positive results) with my nutrition strategy. I've also been doing a lot more core and strength work (twice a week, one of those times with a trainer.) My weight hasn't changed too much, but I'm more focused on feeling the strength while I'm moving. So that's good. Unfortunately, breaking in my new shoes has been rough so my feet are all chewed up.

I'm planning an interval workout for tonight, too. Which I'm like half dreading and half excited for. It is tough to push super hard, especially after a couple of build weeks that had some tough runs in them.  I just need to be careful to not cut my feet up anymore so they heal up in time for my next long run.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Summer Run Streak, Day #84, #85, #86

Day #84 was a tough one. Very hot, nasty humidity. Ended up doing about 10k from an originally planned seven miles of speedwork, and I did throw some intervals in that were a bit hard but I wasn't really happy calling it a workout. The conditions were just not there.

Day #85 I headed out for about eight and a half miles, and I had intended them to be easier but actually ended up pushing pretty hard. Probably a symptom of not having done that second speed workout, I had some stuff in the tank to spare. The conditions were better, so I actually enjoyed the running more, but I lost the bandage on my right nipple, and the shirt I had just sand papered away at me until I was bloody. My wife ordered me some new runner specific nipple gear. I can't wait for that, the humidity in New England makes it so tough to keep the clear spots on.

Tonight (day #86) I went out for an easy barefoot mile. I'm hoping to put in a good long run tomorrow, so no need to stress it. Overall I'm feeling pretty good, and I've got some good hydration planned out for the run tomorrow. I also ordered some energy gels, so as the runs get closer to and over twenty miles I'll be in shape to keep myself fueled.

Had a battle with the toddler today over nap time. She just refused to go to sleep. I mean, it took about two hours which is a much longer time than usual. It was one of the rare days, though, where we all got to take a nap. So I'm running OK in terms of sleep but definitely nowhere close to my ideal. Soon enough we'll be back to the early morning, early bedtime routine, and as much as I hate to see the end of summer I expect we'll all be better rested from the regulation of our circadian rhythms.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Summer Run Streak, #81, #82, #83

An eventful few days in my running.

Monday was an easy mile, just trying to get back on my legs after the long run. Felt OK if a bit sluggish. The weather is really tough here, lately. The pain in the lower part of my core seems to have resolved. Unfortunately, my wife is suffering a bout of postpartum carpal tunnel (I didn't know that was a thing.) So we've had to put our training sessions on hold. I did some core work and a weight session, I'll probably add a second one on Friday as well.

I'm following a plan that has an optional second speed workout in the week. I decided rather than just the hour long easy run I could do, I'd give the hour long tempo workout a try. Reviewed material on tempo running here from Runner's World.

I ended up logging three really solid miles at a tempo pace after a two mile warm up, and then gave myself a two mile cool down. I was very proud of the workout, it's been awhile since I've shown that kind of speed in a training session.

Tonight I went out for my easy run, just about 50 minutes (I covered about six miles.) But feeling pretty tired. Tomorrow is meant to be a fartlek day so I'm hoping to be better rested for that. It will cover about seven miles again, so this week will end up being another build week. I like that, though. It makes me feel as though I'm actually doing something.

I've registered for the Cape Cod Marathon on October 28th, so this is the race I'm training for. I'm not sure what my goal will be at this exact time, but for sure I'm more enthusiastic about this training cycle than I've been in a long time. This will be the 7th marathon I've run.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Summer Run Streak, Day #79, #80

An interesting couple of days. I've been starting in at a training plan (although I'm hesitant to name the event yet.) and I was lacking in confidence about being able to cover the mileage in this first week. This week ended up totaling about 41 miles -- way more than I've covered in awhile.

Saturday I covered a barefoot mile, and took it easy, too. I don't really take rest days while streaking, but this was a day that I was doing my best to recover to be ready for the long run. The plan for Sunday was to cover 14-18 miles, and I ended up covering 15.5! I felt strong, too. I could have run another ten miles or so, with little effort. My mental game was pretty strong and I was really enjoying it. So overall, a pretty happy week, running wise.

This week will be another higher mileage week, with two speed workouts planned. I have a tempo run and a fartlek run planned, along with the easier miles. So we will see how that goes with the weather.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Summer Run Streak, Day #78

Went back to the zoo today to take the kiddos on one of the mini train ride things. The line had been crazy long at member night, and for $3/ticket we were content to come back. We also got some frozen lemonade, which was helpful because of how hot it was. Can't win. In New England we get sick of the winter by the end of January, and then we're also over Summer by July.

I hate running in both sets of conditions, but I certainly learn a lot from both. I've had some really good runs this week, even if the workouts have been made harder for the heat. Assuming I'm able to get my long run where I want it on Sunday, this will be one of my best weeks of running since my earlier marathon training cycle back in March.

Seven and half miles tonight! Felt pretty good, all in all. The paces on these easy runs have been harder than I need them to be, but the benefit being that it's getting me out of the heat and humidity sooner. As we get into August and the miles build up I may end up slowing those easier runs down so I have more in the tank for my workouts. Fun stuff.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Summer Run Streak, Day #77

Six and a half miles tonight after bedtime. Sore spot in my lower abdomen. Think I pulled something during strength training this week, so we'll see what happens with that as time goes on.

Have another hour long easy run planned for tomorrow. I'm very excited for the time on the road. Once I'm out, I'm really loving moving. Dragging myself out on the other hand... gets harder as it gets later. I may go back to two-a-days just to try and get myself some more time running in the early morning, although I'm not certain that time frame will work for me super well once we're back to work.

Had a pretty busy day today, actually. Went and visited with some family, the toddler got to run around. Wore herself out, took a nap. Went out this evening for dinner and then to the zoo's Member night. Member night is basically a nice way of saying "large concentration of children missing bedtime and throwing fits." but whatever. She had fun. Fought sleep like a demon straight out of hell.

Witching hour (for the baby) was easier tonight, though. I'm sure that will change as I can remember it sort of ebbing and flowing when our oldest was this little.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Summer Run Streak, Day #76

Have been following a training plan on Strava, and got in my head that today was a speed workout. Didn't think about the fact that the current day's email is actually the workout for the following day. Stupid.

So I did 7 miles of speedwork tonight. Hey, that's a thing. It was super humid. Very bad.

Daughter #2 has begun having a witching hour. Basically 45 minutes to 1 hour of inconsolable screaming before bed. Awesome. Going to need whiskey (for me, not her.)

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Summer Run Streak, Day #75

Just one mile tonight. We're in the midst of a heatwave, so I'm running late even though it means fairly oppressive humidity. Opted to go barefoot, so I was pretty happy during the run. I tend to obsess about time less when I'm barefoot, too much feedback to focus on.

Today was a tough day, otherwise. We were up early to go to the gym, and work on some strength. Toddler had an accident while in the kids room, so I had to go and change her. She wasn't too distressed by the whole thing, but I wasn't thrilled about the state of the changing facility. Talked to the management about it.

Anyway, the strength session was tough. My core is fairly chewed up. I have a plan that I'm following, although I'm reluctant to say I'm training for a specific event yet until details are ironed out. It's meant switching my rest day (easy day, during the streak) with a build day, so I can be OK with only having covered one mile today. I'll need to get some miles in tomorrow, but hey, I could stand to see the return of midweek miles.

Everyone actually managed a nap today, too. So that was good. We've been running on about five hours of sleep a night, which is starting to take it's toll. Hopefully today is a sign that we can at least start to get some of that sleep back during the afternoon.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Summer Run Streak, Day #74

Up decently early this morning. My wife actually gave me an extra hour in bed because I had gone to sleep so late. She's a good egg, that one.

Went to breakfast, and received truly abysmal service. Then off to a store to replace the toddler's shirt that she destroyed at breakfast, and then the Children's museum. Afterward we went to a local cafe to try and offset the lack of sleep.

Toddler refused to potty anywhere. Maybe she didn't have to, but either way we had no accidents. We got home and she promptly fell asleep, but only slept for an hour or so. I slept for maybe twenty minutes. The short nap was enough that I could actually cry. My wife and I have been averaging about five hours of sleep for the last couple of days, and it's very demanding. It's like the entire thing has reset to when we first brought her home.

Hopefully that'll work itself out and we will get back into a decent rhythm soon.

Went out today for a planned six miles. The heat index was 101. Decided to call it after mile 2. Maybe I'll get the other miles later when it cools down a bit. We're at the gym tomorrow, so I may just also take the time and get some sleep (or as much as current circumstance allows.)

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Summer Run Streak, Days #69-#73

Once again I've fallen behind but I'm still going strong.

30 miles this week, starting off with a couple of strong 10k runs and then ending the week with a good 10 mile long run. The pace on the long run was faster than I'd like for a long run pace, but I was comfortable with the level of discomfort. I enjoyed it.

We've been working on potty training with the toddler. It has been going well. I'm still a bit nervous about it, but she's a confident kid and she can handle a lot of it herself. Many fewer accidents on day #2, and we're going to try a small outing tomorrow. Getting to a place where we won't be totally housebound will be nice.

It's a weird blindspot of this whole thing. When we talked about becoming parents I think I considered the baby phase, and also the little kid phase, but overlooked what a process something like potty training is. Being consistent, and also staying patient is trying but also rewarding. My wife and I actually put so much of that energy towards the little one that we were getting frustrated with each other. But a bit of a reset on the clock today and we're doing much better.

It's not so much a new normal as an ever evolving normal, I guess.

Got out for a 5 and three quarters mile hike this morning! It was fun to get moving in the woods again. It was really the first hike this year, where last year I was out at least once a week. Lately I'm clamoring for more trail running, so I'm hopeful that next year I'll be able the prioritize that a little bit, at least. All of that stuff is tough while the kids are little, but I want them to see a really active dad. An involved dad, too, so it takes some balance.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Summer Run Streak, Day #68

Running just shy of 10km tonight, after bedtime. Had strength training with the personal trainer this morning, which was good. I'm hoping to use those sessions to keep developing my core and balancing out my upper body, which has gone well so far. Was definitely tired tonight running, but wanted to get the distance in to make sure I covered 200km in July.

Learned how to get the toddler to nap today. Typically my wife does nap time with her, and I do more of the night bedtime. Today she explained how she does nap time, and I got her to sleep! It wasn't super easy but worked, so that made me feel pretty good about my parenting game.

Planning to take it easy tomorrow, hopefully getting a nap in so I can recover some from today's super active day. I think it's supposed to rain quite a bit tomorrow, so that'll force me to take it easy.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Summer Run Streak, Day #64-67

Busy, busy weekend. Hence no posts.

On day #64 I ran my sixth Blessing of the Fleet. Boy, that was rough. It was 85% humidity, and in the 80s. So, by the time I got out of my car and walked to registration I was already drenched in sweat. Add to that the fact that I forgot to pre-register (which wasn't a problem, but threw off my mental game a bit...) and the fact that I had forgotten to take my ibuprofen before the race. I had a rough go of things.

Ultimately my toe didn't bother me that much, but I was hesitant to push it and so I threw some walks into the last four miles. There's going to be plenty more runs at the Blessing for me, so no need to push this year. Better to live to fight another day when the conditions are better and I'm not injured.

My childhood best friend got married this weekend, so Day #65 was after the rehearsal dinner, and #66 was after the wedding reception. I only did a mile each on these days, and opted to do them with no shirt or shoes again because of the humidity. It was actually very comfortable. I hope someday to get to a point when I can run shirtless and not be insecure about my appearance.

Knowing that I'm close to hitting 200km for the month of July, I decided tonight and tomorrow would each be 10k runs. We've also got a session with the personal trainer tomorrow, so I'm sure that will be rough. But we'll have to see how that goes.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Summer Run Streak, Day #63

I go under in the pacific
I rise in the Atlantic
I was born at the Atlantic, and so I've finally come home
two years later and seven months into the year
I'm awake and moving


Tomorrow I'm racing the Blessing of the Fleet 10 miler. It will be the sixth time I've run the race.

I first ran the Blessing back in 2013. I don't know how many times I'd run ten miles by that point, but I'd heard good things about the event, and was told it was a "had to" kind of race for Rhode Islanders. I wasn't let down. The crowds were huge, the parties were raucous. I had so much fun I decided to go back.

Blessing of the Fleet (by the numbers)

2013: 1:16:30, 7:39/mile
2014: 1:17:30, 7:45/mile
2015:1:17:27, 7:44/mile
2016: 1:23:06, 8:18/mile
2017:1:23:03, 8:18/mile

Like a lot of my running career, I was so much faster in my first year. I was a lot lighter then, too. I was pretty consistent, too, and you could actually chalk some of the time in 2014-2015 to conditions. But come 2016 and 2017 I was really taking it easy, preparing for other things on the horizon.

I'd like to get back to that place where I can run the ten under 8/mile, but the truth is the ten milers I run in July have always just been for fun. I'm not super competitive at the distance, and it's a tough time of year for me to put that work in. This year I attempted to follow a half marathon plan, but I broke my toe, so I felt like speed work and hill work were just not in the cards if I wanted to keep moving.

So tomorrow we'll see what I've got in me. I don't want to injure myself worse, of course. So we'll have to see what the day has in store for me.

Tonight was an easy three miles just to keep used to the humidity, and I was actually feeling really good. Felt pretty light, and had an easy gait. I'm optimistic that will be the case tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Summer Run Streak, Day #61, #62

Felt pretty strong yesterday and put in a second five miler for the week. Since I'd put ten miles in so far, I opted for an easy one mile tonight so I can get some rest. Very humid out, and expecting more rain for the next few days.

Pain in trying to get my lawn done, because now that we've replaced the lawn mower I'm running into the issue where it's raining all the time. At this point it's going to take me awhile to get the yard cleaned up, although I know it will get done in time. Hopefully in the next couple of days we'll get a decent break so I can at least knock down the weeds.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Summer Run Streak, Day #60

A solid 60 days of running in the books. Not my fastest or most comfortable summer miles ever, but definitely earned.

Five miles tonight, trying to see where I am coming back from my injury. 82% humidity meant it was really pretty uncomfortable, but I'm finally feeling better after last week's strength session, and my toe is starting to bounce back as well. I was able to layer on some speed in the later part of the run, so the splits look nice and I could comfortable go out for another five or six miles, so that bodes well for the Friday night race.

I'm still not sure that I'll PR that ten miler, as I wanted to, but I'm confident that I'll get the race done, and I'll have a lot of fun doing it.

Took the kiddos up to New England aquarium today. Really a short stop for us, because we parked in one of the garages, and were really only there for an hour and a half or so (toddler attention span.) But we had a lot of fun. Got home, had lunch, and then a nap. Now on to dinner time, and then bed times!

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Summer Run Streak, Day #59

Toe seems much better this past couple of days. Much less painful, and less swollen. Still sensitive, so I'm taking it easy. 2.5 miles tonight in some really ripping humidity. We're entering a stretch of very rainy days, so I'm not thrilled to be running in it, but will get it done anyway. The goal is to keep the streak going into September, but for now I'm still taking it a day at a time until my toe is 100% again. Worth babying it to avoid anything more serious.

Good day around the house today. Couple of scary falls by the toddler -- she's a rough an tumble kid. Making a lot of progress identifying letters, though. Especially as she takes them out of the foam tiles on the floor. I'd get stressed about it, but I can't be too bothered because everything seems to sort itself out one way or another. Usually that's my wife or I cleaning up, but hey, you only get to do this stuff once. Might as well enjoy the entire experience rather than make it a thing to suffer through.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Summer Run Streak, Day #58

Just one mile tonight. This week ended up being a dramatic dial back week (will probably end up with 15 miles total.) due to the toe injury. Hopefully that's on the mend, but only time will tell.

Ended up running late tonight because nap time was late today, so then bedtime was later. Really had to drag myself out of bed to go running. Once I was on the move I was more or less OK, but it's hard to get amped up when I'm out that late at night. Additionally I've been really sore since the strength training the other day, so just uncomfortable all through my chest while I was running.

We're coming up on ten days of solid rain. Like, everyday has at least some chance of rain. So I'll have to be really smart about when and how long I run for. Friday is race day, and while I'd wanted to really put in a good effort at this race, I'm not convinced that plan will materialize as the weather looks rougher, and I'm injured. In any event I'll get another year in the books at that race (this should be year #5!) and I'll live to fight another day.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Summer Run Streak, Day #49-#57

Obviously I'm not going to recount all of those days.

Suffice to say I've been running, and I've had some complications. I slammed my right middle toe into the bathroom cabinets (because I'm a clod. Can't handle walking through my own house.) and it's been swollen since. I'm not convinced it's broken, as I can move it, but it has been very badly bruised. In any event there isn't much to do for a break like that other than buddy tape it, ice it, and rest it. I've been limiting my mileage because of that, and I've been limiting my walking as best I can, too.

Sleep is pretty messed up, but it's summer so that's to be expected. We've been doing a decent amount of stuff with the kiddos, and with friends and family. So that's fun, and I'm having to remind myself that July isn't usually a big mileage month for me anyway. Mostly my marathon training usually ramps up in September, so I shouldn't be expecting 50 mile weeks right now.

The wife and I joined a gym, and we've even done a couple of sessions with a personal trainer. I should be doing more to build strength in my upper body and core, and I've absolutely been taking a pounding from the workouts at the gym. Today I was actually so sore I considered taking an ice bath for my upper body.

So anyway that's what's going on. I'm going to do my best to get back to the daily running log, and hopefully soon I'll be writing more about upcoming goals. We have a couple of big things we're working out race wise, so I'm excited for that.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Summer Run Streak, Day #48

9 miles tonight before bedtime. Have a ten mile trail race on Saturday, so wanted to make sure that I can chug along the miles. Trail races are harder than running on the roads, of course, but I have run this race a couple of times before and I really only do it for fun. Not a year to set a PR on it or anything, just going to get out on the trails and love it.

I guessed that it would take me about an hour and twenty minutes for tonight's run and I was dead on! So hey that's a fun thing.

Both kiddos have a round of shots tomorrow -- first round for the baby's and then the toddler has a round. We are stocked on junk food and expecting a stressful evening from any reactions to the shots. I'm going to try and get a few miles in early in the morning tomorrow before we have to deal with all that.

Also! My lawnmower broke. I'm pretty bummed about that because we've only had in a month or so. It's an electric one, and from what I've found in my research this issue is pretty common in this model. I'll have to take a look at whether or not we take it somewhere to get repaired, or maybe I can just make something happen on my own.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Summer Run Streak, Day #47

Up early this morning (even before the toddler!) to help my grandfather out with a project. Got home early enough that we all went out to a local bakery for breakfast. A fun if brief outing, but punctuated by a nasty fall and scrape on the toddler's arm and hands. Fortunately I now carry a first aid kit with me everywhere (I actually started during day hiking trips, so not a bad habit.)

Home mid-morning and had both kiddos to myself while my wife was at an appointment. Terrible. Overtired toddler plus fussy infant. Eventually they both chilled out a bit but not for long. Cleaned the kitchen all day during nap time, and made three pints of ice cream. Up to five pints total this summer, and have eaten 0/5 pints. Good for my waistline.

Made dinner, cleaned some more, and then did bedtime. Got out for a five mile run after bedtime, in some truly unpleasant humidity I still managed to enjoy the run. My inner opossum is dreaming of new runs, new goals, things I want to do to keep moving. I'm fighting sloth for sure, and a bit of depressed tendency. If I can get past that, and manage to get over my love of sleep, I'm sure I could do some pretty impressive stuff...

Monday, July 9, 2018

Summer Run Streak, Day #44, #45, #46

Three days on one post again. Not my favorite way to blog a run streak, for sure.

Five mile run in the morning on day #44, which was pretty nice. Went to a donut place after, and then the zoo. Wild donut place with pretty crazy flavors. Toddler fell asleep on the way there, so we figured we were in for it.

She ended up being up for the zoo, and then took another nap after we got home. We're learning that we have to navigate these things carefully or bedtime ends up totally screwed up, and if bedtime is screwed up or I don't prioritize my running correctly I end up running at ten at night. Not my favorite.

Day #45 saw us going to a birthday party for a coworker's kiddo. The baby slept in the wrap the whole time, the toddler ran around and played... more or less by herself. She's pretty social, but many of the kids at this party were either related or had spent a lot of time together. She wasn't totally ostracized, or really all that aware of it, but it still made me a little sad for her. She's really pretty outgoing, but it was a big group of kids, all of them older than her, and not particularly interested.

After we got home and I made dinner, I knew I had to get out for some miles. I have a tough race up next weekend which is ten miles on technical trails. I love the race, I know it's going to beat the crap out of me, but I needed to at least put some distance in. Unfortunately that meant that I ended up getting home ten minutes after bedtime should have started, so my wife and I did bedtime with the kiddos, me still decked out in my running kit. Like some sort of weird parenting decathlete.

Tonight (Day #46) I ended up going out for two miles barefoot, after bedtime. It was pretty nice as the nights have been cooler, but I know I'll be kicking myself tomorrow for not having gotten more sleep.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Summer Run Streak, Day #43

Barefoot for three and a quarter miles tonight, just messing around. Nice weather in the 70s with an easy breeze.

Slept a bit later today (not much) and headed out to get coffee. Hit up the Children's Museum which was slam packed. Did an hour there, came home. I cleaned most of the house while the kiddo hung around. I got struck with a nasty migraine while cleaning, and my very thoughtful wife took the kids to the store and made me go sleep for awhile.

Woke up feeling significantly better. Did a shaving cream table with the toddler. Watched some TV. Prompty broke a nail on my middle right toe, bleeding. In horrendous pain trying to figure out how to handle it when the toddler climbed into my lap and fell asleep on me. Ugh.

Got dinner and then after getting both kids back to sleep I went out for my run. Tomorrow is supposed to be a truly beautiful day, which after the heat wave I'm desperately looking forward to. We might do the zoo and the carousel, and I'm optimistic I'll be able to get four or five miles in before we do all of that!

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Summer Run Streak, Day #42

One and a half miles or so this morning before the start of a long day. Have some errands to run, and of course it's going to be another super hot day, so it will be a thing to endure.

Didn't get out for a second run yesterday, so now it's becoming a habit. Bedtime ran later, and I was just absolutely cooked at the end of it so I went to bed. Only ended up with four hours of real sleep, anyway, and then another couple hour nap. Pinched a nerve in my neck, too. So, I'm in for a fun couple of days.

Given that I pinched that nerve, though, I'm less inclined to lay around because it hurts to do that. So maybe that will make today more active.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Summer Run Streak, Day #40, #41

Just a mile yesterday, due to lots of excitement.

Van got a flat, had to get it in to get the tire replaced. Stressful drive home in traffic with the baby, while my wife had a stressful drive home with the toddler. Ended up eating way too much for dinner because of the stress, which meant I was all bloated today with a weird weight number that was way higher than it should be. Probably more due to the sodium, though. My legs were ready to go at night, but at that point we had to do bedtime so I decided to let it be an easy day.

Up this morning to get breakfast, and excellent cold brewed coffee. Went out for a mile and a half in the heat after picking up the house a bit. I'd like to go out again for another few miles tonight, but we'll see. I like the two a days because the second run always seems to feel much better. Plus I think it's a way of adding more mileage to the week without totally burning myself out, so I'm going to try to head out again later.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Summer Run Streak, Day #39

Up early for a mile, which was really sluggish, but I expected that due to the run last night. Pretty warm in the morning, but what I noticed more was the very oppressive humidity.

My wife and I are doing a "Food Fights" thing where we got a coupon kit to a bunch of local cafes to try their iced coffee. We did a similar thing last year and really enjoyed it -- actually a couple of the places have become regular breakfast stops for me and the toddler all year. So we headed out early to hit one of the places up, and then off to the Children's Museum for some time to tire the kiddo out.

Got home mid morning, and I set into cleaning the kitchen. A clean kitchen for me keeps my brain de-cluttered, and cleaning it, along with cooking has been a really important part of my mindfulness practice. We ordered lunch today. My stuff is set up for ice cream making, although I'm attempting to be good on that front as I still need to lose a couple of pounds before races in the next couple of weeks.

Got out after bedtime tonight for 10k. Actually, closer to six and a half miles, but I'm still considering it 10k. The weather was much nicer, felt like it was mid-70s but with much less humidity so it made moving quite a bit more pleasant. I decided to settle in on some podcasts for the first three, and switched over to music for the last three, which got me some nice negative splits. Certainly I'd hope to put up better times in a race, but it was a very nice training run and about the time that I planned to take.

Tomorrow have to be up early to get some errands done, and hopefully get a morning mile in again. I know it will be a tough one, but I'm already seeing some benefits from these two-a-day runs, not the least of which is that it is a lot of fun to pay this much attention to my activity. I'll still need to be careful to avoid burn out but man I'm enjoying running again this last couple of days.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Summer Run Streak, Day #38

First of July.

Got back this morning from vacation, decided to head out (amidst weather quality alert) for a mile at about noon. Was very hot. Only did a mile, but noticed the air quality issue, and also the humidity made it feel as if the air was the exact same temperature as my body. Just generally kind of an off-putting feeling, although I have to admit it certainly wasn't impossible to move in.

Went back out after the kids were in bed tonight for another four and three-quarters miles. Still very humid, but about twenty degrees cooler which really made a difference. My first two-a-day run of July. I'm hoping to do at least two runs a day through July, to keep my activity level up and also to help with my ability to deal with heat and humidity. By running on multiple parts of a day I should get some different conditions which I'm hoping gives me some versatility. Plus, June was a lackluster month for me in terms of running quality so I want to make up for lost time and really milk all the hours I can out of July.

Summer Run Streak, Day #35, #36, #37

Just one mile on Thursday, amidst a positively nasty rain storm. Urban flooding meant I was running through inches of rain sheeting through the streets. I ran barefoot, so I was pretty comfortable, and I didn't wreck a pair of shoes. Social club Thursday evening, which was a lot of fun.

Three days in this post, because I was committed to running but not posting while we were out of town. A couple of weeks ago when work was at it's most stressful, my wife and I planned a little get away. Just a couple of hours south to see some small museums and touristy things, but definitely do-able with a toddler and baby, and still rejuvenating from the standpoint of being away from the humdrum for a bit. We planned to leave Friday and come back on Sunday evening, but we had some unexpected hiccups.

Friday got out for just over four miles in the mid-morning. Pretty warm already, but as we were in for a heat wave nowhere near as hot as it would get by mid-day. Knew I wouldn't go running after a day driving, so I was happy to get the run in then. Got everything loaded into the car and hit the road at about 10:30. Traffic was atrocious.

Went to a children's museum on the way down, and it was pretty neat. Had a full planetarium (which we didn't do.) with an exhibit on the Apollo program, and a cool play area with moon rover simulators, lunar lander simulators, etc. The toddler had a blast. The main level had an indoor ropes course and some STEM activities, and then up from that was a pre-school aged area. We had a total blast. Baby slept through the whole thing, but the toddler had a blast.

Stopped by the supermarket before the hotel, so we had food and snacks and stuff. There's a lot of logistics to moving as a family of four, for sure, but dealing with a hungry toddler is no laughing matter. Got sandwiches for lunch, checked into the hotel. I chilled out in the room with the baby while the wife took the toddler swimming in the pool, and then showers and bedtime.

Saturday morning woke up early, went out for a mile run. Grabbed bananas and peanut butter from the hotel breakfast after. Then we drove about forty-five minutes to the New England Carousel Museum, which was a total blast. Not huge, but we had fun looking at the horses, riding the little carousel there, and learning about the restoration process. Got lunch at a diner afterwards, and headed back to the hotel for a nap.

After nap time we went swimming, which was really fun. I logged the activity on Strava, mostly for kicks (the pool wasn't a regulation size, so it tracked as nothing, but hey, I tried.) We went out to a hibachi place for dinner, and then bedtime was an absolute hell. But hey, everybody fell asleep eventually.

We decided to head home a day early due to the ridiculous heat. Everything we planned to do ended up opening around noon, and that would have had us driving home during the hottest part of the day. Got home mid morning.  Taking it easy now, the kids are napping. More on today's run(s) later.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Summer Run Streak, Day #33, #34

I guess I didn't write a post yesterday. Weird, but not that weird. Lately what happens is I sync my watch, start to type, and then get called away to tend to one of the children. I'm happy to do it, but it's a disorienting thing on my goal of keeping up a post each time I run.

Yesterday was a hot 5 miles. The weather was actually quite nice, but I ran during the hottest part of the day, with little cover, and along a stretch of busy road. So it ended up being quite a bit warmer. Overall pretty enjoyable, though. Need to get my weight under control to be more comfortable in this climate, but I'm on that.

Among the standard "just trying not to eat junk all the time", I'm getting back into the vegan banana ice cream. It's pretty simple to make, just some frozen bananas in a food processor with some mix-ins, but much better than constantly eating actual ice cream (which is sort of a custom this time of year.) Lately I've been throwing strawberry and blueberry in, so that gives it some added flavor and color. Fun stuff. The toddler loves it, so that takes away some of my guilt for the fact that we usually eat so much junk.

Ended up running a late mile tonight, in some drizzle. I had planned to go out about nine o'clock, but the toddler took a good while to settle down and go to sleep, so it ended up being a bit past ten o'clock. Can't blame her, she's two, she doesn't know.

Did quite a bit of cooking today, but otherwise took it easy. Have a lot to get done this summer but I already feel like it's flying by. Social club tomorrow, so a bit of the day will be spent prepping for that. But I'm looking forward to getting in some video games with my friends. I even made some rhubarb syrup tonight so that I can make a strawberry/rhubarb lemonade (which the toddler enjoys, but can also be a great mixer for the adults.)

And then Friday we're off for a mini-vacation. Just going away for two nights, and not too far away, but going to see a different zoo, a museum. It will be fun to get away from the familiar for a couple of evenings. I won't be posting those days, although I'll be running. I'll recap the vacation and all my runs when I return.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Summer Run Streak, Day #32

Today is the seventh year the wife and I have been married. Wild. It's been a heck of a journey so far, and while I don't really feel as if this time flew by, now that we have the two kids it for sure feels pretty sped up.

Went out to breakfast this morning, and then to a playground near the zoo. The plan was to head to the zoo afterwards, but the toddler began to tantrum so we called the day short. This is day #3 of recovering from the post-birthday party sleep cycle catastrophe of 2018. Very late nap, hopefully a normal bedtime after we have a celebratory dinner in honor of the anniversary.

Three and a half miles this evening. Feeling OK, although poor nutrition has me hanging on to a couple of pounds. Will go over to my vegetarian diet this week to shake some of that weight before the ten milers in July.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Summer Run Streak, Day #31

Rough night's sleep last night. Woke up early and often (as is the case when you have a toddler.) Felt pretty lousy (dehydrated, mostly) so I sat out the race I had planned to run. Ultimately, there's a few reasons I felt OK about it. I have two little kids at home, and so sleep is a tough thing to get consistently. I neglected a bunch of things that are pre-race rituals for me, because I was tired and so I just forgot to make them happen. Lastly, I recognize that my goal overall is to have a long term involvement with running as a sport. One or two races here or there is not the end of the world for me.

Ended up getting out mid-morning to pick up breakfast, then a quick trip to the zoo. The toddler was still out of it from yesterday's excitement so we came home early so she could catch a quick (two hour) nap. Afterwards, went to the carousel in town but she was still exhausted, so we headed home after a short outing. Had a movie night watching some children's movies on the projector before bed.

She ended up putting herself to sleep towards the end of the routine, saying, "Daddy, can you leave now?" and then falling asleep after I had gone to sit on the edge of the bed. I don't expect that will be an every night thing yet but it was both sad and exciting to see her growing up, developing independence and security there.

Got out for one mile tonight, late. The later I run in the day the more demoralizing it is, but also afterwards it is an incredible satisfaction. I love running when it's dark, and the streets are lit by the yellow/orange glow of the street lights I remember from this area as a child. Overall not a bad day, and while it was long my step count was low for the second day in a row. I need to regulate a bunch of areas in my life to get some better results, and I think I'll start putting a plan to that effect tomorrow morning.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Summer Run Streak, Day #30

Long day today.

Up early(ish) to grab breakfast and head to packet pickup for tomorrow's half. Talked to the race director for a bit about race logistics (where to park, etc.) and headed home. One of daughter #1's friends from daycare had a birthday party today, so we were off to that a bit later in the morning.

Planned to stay for a couple of hours, ended up staying for almost four hours. Had a lot of fun watching the kids play, and watching them interact. It was so neat to see that first hand, because D1 can be sort of shy around people, and once she warmed up she was just her usual outgoing self playing with her friends, and even introducing herself to new kids. A great feeling that we've actually been doing OK at this parenting stuff so far.

And the baby slept in the baby wrap for most of the event, so that was pretty good, too.

Owing to our late departure, we all were burnt out and ended up taking a really poorly timed, very long nap. That made bedtime even harder, and one of those "why am I even doing this." runs for tonight. Thunder clouds hanging out over the city, humid, but comfortable and no rain. Hopefully the weather holds up for the half tomorrow, as I hadn't planned on racing it, it would be much more comfortable to run in dry conditions.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Summer Run Streak, Day #29

Hooray! The busy season is over at work. More time with the kiddos and more times on the trails and roads. Had a celebration tonight (featuring frozen pineapples with mango rum punch -- and a virgin frozen pineapple for the toddler) and had planned to have the whole social club. Unfortunately due to some illness it ended up being just the family. Whole celebration pushed to a later date.

Anyway, we had a good time. Got a bit over a mile barefoot in.

Now I'm going to actually shower and then sleep for (hopefully) 8 hours. 13 mile run this weekend!

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Summer Run Streak, Day #28

Very long day today. Have plans tomorrow to celebrate the end of the busy work season, so we headed out after work to get some provisions. Quite a bit of trouble to handle the two kids in the variety of stores, but I think we did OK. Got home, made dinner, and I headed out for a run.

Got in a bit over three miles at a pretty nice pace. I'm feeling a bit heavier, but I'm not sure if that's the fact that I'm carrying a bit of weight (just up three pounds or so, and I think partly because of the lack of sleep.) It was also pretty hot and humid out today, so I think that had an impact on my legs.

The infant has been temperamental the last couple of days, and it is taking an emotional toll on my wife. The kiddo just fusses a lot, and it's really tough to soothe her. Sometimes I can get lucky and get her to sleep in the wrap, but tonight even that failed. Eventually I just rocked her, swaying on the balls of my feet, until she fell asleep on my chest. Now I don't dare move her, though, because I don't want to wake her. Fun.

This weekend is going to be tough. Folks over tomorrow after work, then a birthday part for one of Daughter #1's pre-school classmates, and a half marathon on Sunday. Fortunately I'll be able to recover from my weekend on Monday!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Summer Run Streak, Day #27

One barefoot mile tonight. Soles are a little bit tender, so I will probably try to do a longer run shoed tomorrow.

Spent today trying to catch up on my lack of sleep, which was moderately successful. Just two days left to the work week and then we can start looking into fixing the problem next week.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Summer Run Streak, Day #26

Long, long day at work today. Given how little sleep I got last night (a bit over four hours) I was happy to drown my sorrows in coffee, and throw myself fully into a task of organizing a big program. 10k steps by the time I picked up Daughter #1 at daycare, and then 12k by the time bedtime was all done.

Grief is a strange thing. I found that while I was immediately very sad at the event of losing my cat of ten years, the harder thing for me was to actually tell people. And I really needed to tell people, because owing to the lack of sleep and intense emotion around it, I was acting really bizarre. Everyone I talked to was very understanding, of course, and it was nice to receive their support on it. It is just a hard thing. Thinking about it, it has probably been around ten years since I've had a pet pass away, and that was a family dog that I hadn't lived with in some years. So it's tough but of course each scenario is tough in a different way.

The toddler has not noticed anything is amiss, and she hasn't asked. So we'll see if that conversation needs to happen. Cats are pretty independent, so being that she has only interacted with her a small portion of any given week, she may honestly be lacking in object permanence. I have plenty of pictures of the two of them, so I'll still be able to tell her all about the cat that made her fall in love with animals.

The wife and I had to lose the lawn service we were using. Just a drop in quality from year to year, and not worth the investment at the service we were getting. Picked up an electric lawn mower today, so hopefully we will be happy with that. I'm used to gasoline mowers, of course, but I'm interested in trying out something new. Also, as a plus, if it works out there is an electric snow thrower that works with the same battery. So, we'll see. It's going to be a learning summer.

Planning to do some yard work tomorrow, around some other commitments. Will be good to finally have the gardens weeded, and all the roses fertilized. I have three rose bushes currently, and each of them is in truly magnificent bloom.

Two miles tonight barefoot, which is more consecutive barefooting than I've done in awhile. I felt good, and I needed to work out some stuff in my head, so I kept moving. In addition to all the machinery feeling good on the move, my feet weren't hurting or anything. One 'hot spot' seems apparent on my right sole, but that also could have been from the change in grade and my hastened pace in the second mile. Either way I'm going to plan to continue any shorter runs in this streak barefoot, because I think I'm learning a lot kinesthetically from them.

Summer Run Streak, Day #25 (In Memoriam)

A quick note from yesterday before today gets going.

Last night I went out for my mile, barefoot, and it had been raining. I felt OK minus a couple of lingering aches from the long run disaster on Sunday. Got home, and was met at the door by the older of our two cats (who is really my wife's cat, as we got him for her.) I couldn't figure out what he wanted, so I pet him for a bit and headed downstairs to sync my watch.

Plugged my watch in, and then heard a meow that shook me a bit. Looked over to find my cat on the ground next to me, unable to walk. My wife rushed with her to the veterinary ER, only to have them run a test and find feline leukemia, and a really grim prognosis. We had to have her put down. All the while I was at home watching the toddler. My wife and I were very torn up about this, as we've lived with this cat for the last decade. But I believe it was the right call, as had we treated it we would likely have just been buying time in small increments.

She was a really good pet. She was deaf, rescued from a hoarder house with some one-hundred and fifty other cats, she likely lost her hearing due to an infection that never was noticed or treated. A little, black, deaf cat we adopted her when she was six months old. She was super eccentric, but truly the happiest animal I've ever known. She was very close to my older daughter, who she started nuzzling from the time she was a baby, about seven months old. She'd sleep in the bed with us, or more often, come to visit and then sleep in my daughter's room (which I think she thought was just the cats' room.)

I'm dreading the conversation with the toddler a bit. I'll answer any questions she has, of course, and I'm going to be brief and honest in all of my answers. Death is a part of life, and a thing that we have to learn to work through. I understand all that. It just doesn't make things any easier. I'm honestly not sure what to expect from this, as my daughter is very, very smart, but cats are flighty so it isn't like we spent even 90% of our time with her. It may take her awhile to notice the cat is gone, and the idea that she wouldn't notice at all makes me sad. But I also don't want to hit her too hard with the information.

It's an area my wife and I will have to navigate together and very carefully.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Summer Run Streak, Day #24 (Father's Day)

Twelve and three quarters miles tonight. Had to throw in some walk breaks, owing to humidity brought on by the high humidity (and my forgetting a water bottle.) Desparately thirsty at mile 10, had to tough it out but cut it short.

Had a pretty good father's day. Up pretty early, went to breakfast at our favorite diner. Afterwards, went to the playground so the toddler could get in some running and climbing. Total blast, all the "Daddy! Come on the slide with me!"

Got home from the playground, and did some work in the kitchen, and took it easy. Got very hot today, so I had the whole house closed up to keep it dark and cool. Ended up ordering pizza for dinner, which was fine by me as I didn't have to cook. Early bedtime for the toddler and I headed out just after sunset for my run.

Have a half marathon next Sunday. Not planning to race it, but depending on the conditions I'd be happy to do the distance in just under two hours. Going to treat it as a long run. It will be at the end of a busy weekend for us, too, so no need to really push myself.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Summer Run Streak, Day #23 (Father's Day Eve)

Big day today.

My wife attempted to let me sleep a bit later, in light of my late night last night. She took the kids and headed out of the bedroom around 7, but it was to no avail as I still woke up around 7:26. Went out, cleaned up the kitchen and made breakfast (banana pancakes). Breakfast was pretty good, too, I really liked the way the recipe came out this time.

We decided to do some stuff out today because it is supposed to be fairly hot tomorrow. Went first to a local farm, and did some strawberry picking. The toddler absolutely loved it, as she's a fan of strawberries. We also bought some rhubarb while we were there, as the familial supply of it is dwindling. Came home, as it was still a bit early to go to the carousel. Headed out a bit later and went and rode the carousel. The toddler even rode one of the horses that moves! It scared her a bit, as I expected, but she still did so well. It was awesome.

Both of those things are things I remember doing as a kid with family members, and even in the exact same venues, so they carry quite a bit of nostalgia for me. It is a great thing to be able to share those experiences with my kids. I'm really lucky to get to do that.

We had to run by the supermarket after the carousel, and both kids promptly fell asleep in the car. Short naps, but when we got home I was actually able to get some cooking and cleaning done. We hung around for awhile, and owing to the short nap, we did bath time and bedtime early.

I headed out for my run a bit early, around 9. Got in a good 10k or so, and felt pretty strong. Listened to the entirety of Peter Gabriel's Ovo, which I absolutely love, and of course has some great nostalgia for me.

I'm hoping to do a longer run tomorrow (first in awhile) but it will have to be in the evening after sunset. Just going to be way too hot tomorrow.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Summer Run Streak, Day #22

Trying very hard to mentally overpower anhedonia. The word might be kind of dramatic, I guess. I'm having a hard time getting the motivation to move. Once I do move I'm all good, I feel great, and I'm filled with a deep love and enthusiasm for the world around me.

In a perfect world, I'd be able to wake up early and hit the road for my daily workout, and that would set me up for the day. It's just so tough to do that. And I can't totally explain why.

So one mile late tonight under a beautiful clear sky, with great views of the constellations. Made me want to run longer, but this late at night I know that isn't smart. My grandfather used to tell me that nothing good happens between 11pm and 4am. I mean, of course that's not totally true, but being raised with that idea makes me less likely to take my chances on the road in the middle of the night.

Daughter #2 was super engaged today. I sang a bunch of songs to her, made a bunch of sounds and could see her looking at me, hinting towards a smile, and absorbing all of the sounds. So exciting, but I feel like the first month went by faster this time. So, it was a little easier, but also tough with that feeling that time is fleeting.

Father's day is this weekend, so we're planning a big day out to the carousel, and at home with our little family. I've been doing sensory play with shaving cream at our kitchen table for Daughter #1, so maybe we'll do that. It's such a blast to give her a time where she can be a truly raucous and messy toddler, which is sort of the nature of toddlers.