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.