Thursday, June 27, 2019

10 Things I Love About Summer

Summer, I've said it over and over, but summer is my favorite! And this year it has felt like it's taken forever for summer to really show up! Now that summer is here, I have the itch to do everything summer all the time!  Today felt like a good day to share my 10 most favorite things about summer with you!

1. Relaxed schedules. I don't think I have to elaborate much on that. It's a pretty common answer for summer time. Not having to feel rushed to the bus in the morning, not having to get a sack lunch ready for school, letting the kids sleep in or stay up a little later at's all so heavenly to me.

2.  The weather. I know, it's hot, and in our area, it gets pretty darn hot. But I enjoy the heat so much more than the cold. No one has fun being cold, even if you're a winter person you're having fun when you're bundled up and warm. The feeling of not having to bundle up just to take out the trash, or for anything else, makes me really happy. 

3. My garden area. I used to hate yard work, but the older I get the more I like having a pretty yard, with a functional garden. Plus I love teaching my kids about gardening!

4. Having my kids home. I'm one of those moms who cries when it's back to school time, and not happy tears. I mean, I love my kids having a schedule and making friends and learning and all of those things, but I really love having my kids home and being able to do fun things with them. I don't love my house being a reck, but I do love it when they have friends over and hearing them play and have fun.

5. Summer runs. Yes, again I know it's hot, but I love doing evening runs and morning runs in the summer. I love waking up and having the sun already starting to come up. I love watching the sunset in the evening while I run. And, I love that I don't have to layer to run.

6. Swimming. I'm not much of a swimmer. I love being by the pool and watching my kids swim but since being a mom, it's just not quite as appealing to get all the way in the water with 10+ kids  (we swim with cousins) splashing around you. But I do love watching my kids swim, and to be honest, when I do get in I never regret it!

7. Summer food. Bbqs, ice cream, fresh really can't get better.

8. Being outside. Being stuck inside is miserable. I love that in the summer we can enjoy being outside whether it's in the back yard or in the mountains. I love being able to enjoy the fresh air and the sun because it really recharges me and makes me feel happier.

9. Camping! It's definitely one of my favorite things ever. There's something about getting to a campsite and setting up camp that just makes me feel so happy.  It's like when you're a kid and playing house except for its real life!  Figuring out how to cook food, keep things clean, and exploring is just part of summer that I love.

10. All of these things can be wrapped up and labeled "making memories" because that's what it really comes down to. Some of my favorite life memories were made in the summertime. Times I spent with family and friends doing things that we love.  I love that nothing has changed about making summer memories now that I'm a mom. I love watching my kids love summer too!

What is your favorite thing about summer?

What is your favorite season and why?

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

That Now What Feeling and What's Next

After you have trained for a race of any distance, you have worked hard to meet your goals, and then you run the race and you feel all the emotions and excitement and you push yourself and you do your best! And then it's over, and sometimes whether you've met your goal or not, you get this feeling of "now what?"

This feeling is why I always love having a race planned. This is the feeling that makes me feel empty or lost in my training. What am I working for now?  And a lot of times, this feeling is why I immediately look for another race to sign up and train for. Its post-race depression and while I'm pretty sure this isn't a medically diagnosable thing, it feels real and I'm not alone in that feeling.

And now because of this, I am working on coming up with new goals. There's always another race, I'm eyeing a half marathon later this summer, but in reality, it probably won't happen.  I know there's a 5k that I want to run in the fall time, but it doesn't take me a long time to prepare for that, so I start getting that "what now" feeling.

Sometimes when I'm looking for smaller goals to make, I look at my bigger goals and how I can break them down to work out what goals I can work on in the meantime. Most of mine have to do with getting PRs in all sorts of races. But while I'm waiting to race again, I can start working more on speed workouts and adding them in my training more than I would normally while not having a specific race coming up. This is a good time to also look at things to improve like running form which requires a lot of practice as well as strength training.

I think that until I decide exactly what my next race move will be, I'm going to be working on speed. A PR is hanging around in the future, it's just a matter of time and work for me to catch it. Specifically a 5k PR. I've always wanted a sub 20 minute 5k, so I think that will be my biggest goal for now.

Do you ever have post-race depression?

What is your current goal?

How do you decide what your next goal will be?

Monday, June 24, 2019

AF Run Against Cancer Recap

Let's start with the race expo.  This has probably been the best packet pick up I've ever been to. I honestly can't say that I've been to a real expo until now, and I loved it.

The AF Run Against Cancer is so well put together. Everything is very organized and thought out. 

We got to packet pick up, the line moved fast, the instructions were easy. They had enough swag for everyone. 

My niece came with us, she's never done any kind of packet pick up experience yet, but I think she and my kids were all impressed with this one. They had so many things for the kids to do. Starting with making cheer cards. They each ended up making 2.

My favorites were M's that she spelled "go mom!" all by her self, J's that said "just believe in yourself and you can do it!" (she also made one that said "run fast so you can win! and don't give up") and my niece wrote one that said: "we are counting on you" which put a little pressure on me haha ;). V scribbled and said it was a track.

To finish with the kids, they all got free t-shirts and snow cones! 

The swag for this race is pretty great. 

The night before my eye started itching so I took some allergy medicine and washed my face. Then I noticed my eye was also swollen.  So I texted my brother who is a doctor and he said to take some more allergy meds and let him know. Well by morning it was swollen even more haha.  I'll spare you a picture of that.

My alarm didn't go off and I slept in a little, which has literally never happened to me on race day before. 

But we got to the starting line on time and made sure we had everything ready before we headed to the start.

We didn't have to wait very long at the starting line which was nice because it was kind of chilly.

The course was a lot harder than I thought it would be.  Looking at the elevation graph it looked, to me, that the first half would be slightly uphill and the last part would be down. I was wrong haha. This has nothing to do with the race directors or anything, it does have everything to do with my perspective of the graph.  It was a pretty challenging course with about 3/4 of it uphill. 

It took me a while to warm up and my eye that was swollen drained consistently for around 2-3 miles. It drained enough that it looked like I was crying. Sorry, that's probably gross haha. The good news is that once I was done, my eye was back to normal. It was super weird.

When I hit that last mile and a half or so of downhill though, I felt awesome and like I was flying. If the whole race felt that fast I'd be super happy about it.

I finished in 52:08 which is not what I was hoping for but that's why we keep running and racing and trying. The more we practice the better we get.  

I ran this race with 2 of my cousins (my other cousin ran the half and rocked it).  

We had french toast for celebratory breakfast.

And of course creamies.

My favorite thing about this race was that I was running it with some of my favorite people in my life. I think if I do this race next year, I'll be doing the half instead of the 10k. 

What is your favorite part of a race?

Do you study a race course well or just wait for race day?

Friday, June 21, 2019

Fast Friday

It's Friday! This post is a little late because we've had another kind of crazy week. This summer is turning out to be a busy but fun one.

Last weekend we went to the park with a few friends and the sprinklers were on so we all decided to run in them.

We went to Lagoon with Trevon's work, you can read more about that HERE.

I got some running in.  I tried to keep this week's workouts a little more light. Monday night I did a 3.5 mile easier tempo run.

M started saying her ear hurt so we went back to the doctor. Turns out she got swimmers ear. They gave us a prescription for some ear drops. While we waited we went to get a car wash because having a nice clean car makes me really happy. And now that she's been using ear drops she's feeling better!

I got my new swimsuit in. I got it from Coral Reef Swim. I love it. It's a great price and fantastic quality, and I love the back of it. 

The girls have been begging to do a lemonade stand so we put one together for a couple of hours this week. They sold pink lemonade and chocolate-chocolate chip cookies. And they made a good amount of money. I think this will end up being a regular thing this year because J really wants to save up to go back to Disneyland. Honestly, with how much they made in 2 hours on a weekday afternoon, it wouldn't surprise me if they made that much.

Foam rolling happened to help me stay nice a loose. While I was foam rolling I found this show and it was hilarious!

V insisted on going to bed with this hat on the other night and he still had it on when he woke up.

I did a quick 2-mile shakeout run and decided I'll be wearing THESE leggings on race day (that's an affiliate link btw;) ). They are incredibly comfortable and it's going to be chilly running race day thanks to a cold front coming in. Why can't summer just decide to stick around this year?

I'll be back next week with a race recap!

Who has a race this weekend?

Did you ever do lemonade stands as a kid? Were you successful?
  We never really did so I'm surprised how well they actually do.


Thursday, June 20, 2019

What I Do When I Get Nervous For Race Day

2 more days to go! I'm excited and ready to see how this goes!  Keeping my workouts pretty light this week so I don't end up sore.  I did a quick easy bodyweight workout in our back yard. Inchworms, mountain climbers, burpees, push ups, side planks, bear crawls, side plank, bridge, and crunches.

Race day prep starts way before the race but the week before it's extra important to make sure you're preparing right.  This week I'm making sure to keep well hydrated, fuel right and make sure to get good rest.

There has been a lot of foam rolling happening.

And a lot of relaxing.

Whenever I get nervous for the race, I think about how much fun it's going to be and picture myself in the race. Picturing myself doing well in the race not only helps me feel excited about it, but it helps me feel more prepared and ready for anything on race day. It really helps prepare my mind for the mental challenge of race day, which will definitely be needed on for a 10k. Holding that fast of a pace for that long is way harder than people think it is.

Know the main things about the course before you go so that you can get a good idea of what the elevation is like, how many turns you'll be making etc. Then, start picturing yourself running through the course. Picture yourself having fun, running strong and feeling happy. If mantras are something that helps you, repeat those mantras to yourself while you're picturing this. This kind of meditation helps you mentally feel excited and ready for race day!

Race day is supposed to be pretty cold for this time of year.  46 degrees and possible rain. Which means I will be layering and hopefully not freezing. I am not a cold weather runner, clearly. Being prepared is a huge help for anything on race day.

When's your next race?

What do you do to help yourself feel prepared physically and mentally?

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Getting Ready for Race Day and How Race Week Workouts Look for Me

It's race week, so training is going to look a little different this week.  Usually, the week of a race isn't that much different for 5-10k though, mostly just switching around what day runs go on. It's the longer races that you start worrying more about the taper.  So instead of worrying about making sure I have fewer miles this week, I'm structuring this week's workouts more around making sure my legs don't feel tired or sore by race day.

Because our bodies recover easier from the shorter races/runs, tapering your mileage isn't a big deal, but we still want to make sure our legs and our minds, and the rest of our bodies are ready for race day. So when you think of the kinds of workouts that make you really sore, you want to make sure to either avoid those workouts all together for race week or plan them for early on in the week so that you'll feel better by race day.

For me this means that I do my strength training and speed workouts earlier in the week, I make my long run shorter and I get good rest days with as little standing/walking time as possible. 

Monday evening was a normal easy run with my sister in law. These runs are great because they are all about taking it easy on the pace and making sure we are feeling good and loose and relaxed and it's great for stress relief and getting my mind ready for the rest of the week.

Today I'm switching things up a little with strength training by adding some intervals on the treadmill to the routine. If you want to be a faster runner, you have to do speed work. Speed work tends to make me a little sore, and I don't want to have tired or heavy legs on race day. So it was important to add this speed workout that isn't all working on getting the intervals done at the fastest pace I could hold. It was a mix of sprints and tempo intervals with good recovery in between. 

And then keeping the strength training part of the workout just body weight. And finishing with some foam rolling. It's really important that we aren't tight on race day.

Another thing I'm doing to get ready for the race is reminding myself to have fun! I got to make a choice to run this race, I'm doing it because I want to. And I know I do much much better on races if I am having fun. So every time I start feeling nervous about the race, I think of how much fun it's going to be, I picture myself in the race doing and feeling well, and I smile. A big part of racing is mental and I want my mental game to be strong all week, and for the whole race.

What do you do to make sure you're ready on race day?

How do you make sure you're mental game is ready?

Monday, June 17, 2019

I Missed My Run but We Won!!

Last week was a little bit crazy with lots of things on the schedule, spontaneously deciding to work on potty training, and then dealing with sick littles all week. It was the first time this whole training cycle that I wasn't able to do all of my planned runs. But that's ok! Missing a workout, especially this far into training, doesn't stress me out that much anymore. 

Every time we go out for a run, we are adding up the miles in our running bank account.  Thinking of it that way helps me to relax when it comes to missing one run.  At this point in my training, my account has added up pretty well and I know that missing one run isn't going to deplete it all. It's always better to get a workout in, but things happen and sometimes you get busy, or you get sick, or things come up that make it hard to get it done.  I know that missing that one tempo run isn't going to change much on race day (which is THIS WEEK!). You can read more about what to do when you're going to be missing some workouts due to summer plans HERE

So, now why I missed Saturdays workout?  Well, I had planned on doing it Friday because I knew that we were going to be playing all day Saturday, but that didn't happen either because I woke up with V's cough.  So I rested instead.  Then on Saturday, we got to go to Lagoon with Trevon's work. They do this for their employees every summer and it's probably my favorite thing about him working at Blender Bottle (you know, besides having a steady income ;)). 

We didn't have to get a babysitter this time because V is old enough to go on a lot of the rides. Plus the girls are getting big enough to go on a lot of the good rides. 

I lost my voice so it made it really hard to communicate but it was still fun.

The girls found ways to entertain each other while we stood in line. 

One really great thing about Lagoon is that they have a little splash pad for when it gets hot outside. V and M were really happy about that.

We took turns with V when he couldn't ride. Trevon took the girls on Wicked while I took V on a car ride. 

Then we met the rest of the Blender Bottle group for dinner.  Halfway through dinner, the girls both needed to go to the bathroom so I took them and there was randomly a huge line.  By the time we got back Trevon had V get in the employee picture with him since I was gone. V started coughing so hard that he threw up all over Trevon and himself. I started helping Trevon with V and as he was still throwing up, Trevon let me know that we had won the grand prize in the raffle that they do every year. 2 free flights to anywhere in the continental US! So between V's throw ups, I was jumping up and down haha. Poor kid has been feeling mostly better, but when he starts coughing sometimes he just can't get it to stop.  He's doing much better now though!  

Thanks to Chandler, who has to be the funniest and happiest Blender Bottle employee, for taking our picture with our prize for us! He also snapped this special surprise for us. 

And here's our winning ticket number.

When was the last time you won something?

How many workouts do you usually skip during a training cycle?

We need suggestions! If you could fly anywhere in the continental US where would you go and why?

Friday, June 14, 2019

Fast Frida

Hello to the weekend! This has been a long and crazy week. V got sick over the weekend and spent a lot of time hanging out inside. We also had swim lessons, errands to run, Fathers day to get ready for and lots more stuff going on.

Saturday morning we got out of the house and got the last of our garden shopping done. I got everything planted finally!

Then I went out for a run while the kids played with friends. You can read about that one HERE.

On Sunday I stayed home with V from church because he had a fever.  We ended up going to the doctors because his ears started to hurt.

Poor kid couldn't get comfortable.

He was so tired and just feeling crumby.

Turns out he had a double ear infection :(.

We laid low all day on Monday and then on Tuesday we had things to do.

I got up and worked out first thing. I did a mile warm up and then a strength training workout that I forgot to take pictures of to share.

J went to a birthday party while M had swim lessons and has loved swimming all week long and V hung out with me on the couch.

Thank heaven for easy dinners, we were all happy about grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner.

J got to go on to a day camp and do lots of activities with a few of her friends in our neighborhood.

We sold our outdoor table and chairs and now I need to know what I should put here...any fun, cozy, budget-friendly suggestions?

Thursday morning I did my last speed workout before my race next week! I did a sprint ladder. 5 minutes fast, 5 minutes recovery, 4 minutes a little faster, 4 minutes recovery, 3 minutes top tempo, 3 minutes recovery, 2minutes sprint, 2 minutes recovery, 1-minute sprint, 1-minute recovery. I'm at the point in this training cycle where I'm questioning all of my training and if I did enough to be ready for race day. I have to remind myself that I followed my training and nows the time to see how it will pay off. You really have to trust your training.  This far into the training the most important thing to do is to stay loose, hydrated, eat well and make sure you're well rested. 

We are all ready for a fun weekend here!

Any back yard suggestions?

What are you doing this weekend?

How do you stay sane during crazy weeks?