Monday, May 14, 2012

Utilizing every.single.second.and the Law of Diminishing Returns

People have been asking me how I find the time to workout or cook or craft or whatever.  I think about this a lot and I think it boils down to this:  I have to ensure that my time is fully utilized in order for me to get done what I need to do and what I want to do.

This does not mean that I am "go, go, go".  I rest. I relax. But I have to plan for it or I have to give something up.  I have also accepted that I need to be flexible and accept that things will never completely go as planned and that things do not (and really should not) be perfect.  Finally, I have reevaluated what "NEED to do" and "WANT to do" really mean - and if I don't really NEED to do something and I don't really WANT to do something, guess what- I don't do it!

I thought I'd give an example of a typical Friday (feel free to ooh and ahh at how importantly busy I am.  Or not.)

4:20: Wake up
4:20-5:00: Get ready to leave the house.  This includes making coffee, getting dressed, packing my lunch and work clothes if I have not already done so.
5:00: Leave the house
5:10: Arrive at Go Barbell and set up
5:15: Class Starts
6:00 Class Ends, head to work. Snack in car. Listen to Audio Book.
6:15: Arrive at work
6:15-6:20: Change, clean up, do hair, put on make up. (yup- no shower- I'm gross, I know this. I accept this.)
6:20: Start working
9:00- Breakfast (while working)
11:00: Snack (keep working)
1:15: Leave work (note- no breaks). Stop at ATM to get money for parking and babysitter.
1:35: Arrive Home. Have Lunch. Read blogs while I eat.
1:50-4:15: Pick up house. Do some laundry. Relax a little. Craft. Cook make ahead meals. Blog. Run errands (usually grocery store or fabric store if needed)
4:15: Head to Spin Class
4:30-5:30: Spin
5:30: Rush home, hop in van with family, head to dinner (still in workout clothes)
5:45-7:00: Eat dinner, relax with family.
7:00: Home. Feed the pets and play outside with kids and dog.  Maybe work on the lawn a little.
7:45: Start the bedtime routine for Mack.
8:00: Start getting things ready for the next day (clothes, lunches, coffee pot). Switch laundry/run dishwasher.
8:30: Start bedtime for Tommy.
9:00: In bed.
9:30: Hopefully I'm asleep.

Monkey Wrenches and Multi-Tasking

Anything can mess this schedule up, from a doctor's appointment to a dirty diaper (um, that's Mack having a dirty diaper, just to be clear).  Throughout my day I try to squeeze in things like checking email, returning calls, making shopping lists, working on my calendar, paying attention to pets, reading the mail and blogging.  I also try to be aware of where I can and cannot multi-task.  I believe that when you multi-task, neither "job" is getting done as well as it should and you are rarely really "present". I also know there is a difference between multitasking and "killing two birds with one stone". I try to think a couple of steps ahead and plan.

An example of this is I always try to go to the ATM at work, so I don't make a separate stop.  When I make lunches, I pull out all the food I need at once and put it all away at once.  It sounds silly, but I swear, I used to do Mack's lunch, then Tommy's, then mine and I'd open that fridge15 times! When we are in the car, I try to engage the kids and ask about their day, tell them what the plans are for the day and the next day, etc. I try my best to avoid going to the store for just one thing and if I am out shopping, I try to plan it so that I am running two or three errands, not just one (ex: go to Target and Whole Foods, which is a block away).

I also break things down a lot.  I don't need to do all of the laundry at once or vacuum all of the house at the same time.  I can do a little here and a little there.  I have four minutes? I can unload the dishwasher.  I'll load it later.  Two minutes- sweep the kitchen.  I used to feel like I had to clean an entire house, or at least a full room at once.  Now I know I can grab a towel and spray and within two minutes, all of the tables and counters are clean and that in itself is an important accomplishment. This practice is especially useful in my crafting.  For example, I am making curtains in two different rooms plus a skirt for the craft table. A week ago Friday I bought the fabric. That Sunday I washed and dried it. Tuesday I set it out with the iron and ironing board. Today I hope to iron it and maybe by Thursday, the curtains will be done.  I would never have time to do the entire project start to finish, but bit by bit, it can get done.

It's funny, but before kids, I think I felt more stressed and more rushed.  I even felt this before taking up such a serious fitness regimen.  I had 5 or 6 things that I had to do a day, with lots of gaps in between.  I didn't plan for what I would do in that free time and when it came, I was overwhelmed.  I didn't know what to do. Nap? Grocery Shop? Laundry? Exercise? Call a friend? I usually didn't know what to do and would just plop on the couch and watch t.v, accomplishing nothing.  Heck, I wouldn't even be relaxed because I felt bad about doing nothing.  Later I would end up stressed because I was out of clean clothes, forgot to get a gift for a party, had nothing to eat and you get the picture.  I'd then try to jam way too much into a day and end up miserable.

Getting Over Myself

This isn't to say that I don't get thrown off and upset. I can talk a good talk, but this is still a new thing for me and I'm still learning.  Last Friday was a perfect example. You see, I can handle things like Tommy announcing he has to poop right when we are supposed to be walking out the door for an appointment. Oh well. We will be a little late. I've got kids and this happens. I don't worry about little stuff like that.  I can also deal with rearranging my day because of something like a doctor appointment, hair appointment or birthday party.  I plan ahead and can rearrange my activities so that everything still gets done.

What I do not like are large amounts of my day being taken up without proper notice. This leads me to Friday.

Background: I've mentioned how our neighbors are moving. Well, they've received a great offer and we decided that this would be a great time for us to sell our house.  We decided to use the same agents and my husband was to call and set up a pre-listing appointment where the agents would come and walk through the house, tell us what we had to do and give us an idea of what it might sell for.  On Wednesday, I gave my husband the info and asked him to set it for 10-14 days out.  He set it 2 days out. At 4:30. On a Friday.

So not only do I miss my favorite class of the week, I had only 2 days to clean up my disaster of a house. Not only do I have only two days to clean, but they are my busiest 2 days of the week.  We have zero free time on Wednesdays. Thursday could have been ok, as I am usually off of work, but I had volunteered to work for someone else.  To top it off, after work 5 kids were scheduled to come over to play at my house before we all go to dinner. After dinner we get ready for bed.

This left me 3 hours on Friday to clean a filthy house.  And I mean, filthy.  Friday is always the worst day for our house.  I cannot even put into words what it looked like.  (I completely meant to take pictures, but I forgot!Bad, bad blogger)

I spent the days leading up to the appointment being stressed and irritated. I was overwhelmed and anxious. How was I going to pull this off? On Friday, I rushed home from work and cleaned like crazy.  I was super cranky at first, but then it happened.  I stopped, looked around and I simply got over myself.  Who the heck cared what these people thought of me? This would not be the worst house they ever went into and no matter what I did, it was not going to be the best.  We were hiring THEM to sell our house.  This was not about me, but was about the house. I regrouped and enjoyed the quiet and the sense of accomplishment.

I ended up getting more done than I had thought I could and the process was not nearly as bad as I thought it would be.  I was I got over myself and just enjoyed the quiet. I did miss my class.  I was irritated. But in the end it all worked out. The house certainly was not ideal, but it was good enough.  And I am learning to be happy with good enough.

It reminded me of my old econ classes, specifically, the law of diminishing returns.  I didn't do well in econ, so don't quote me, but in a nutshell, there comes a point where the effort you have to put into something just isn't worth it anymore.  That's how I see perfection. Good enough is doable. Perfect- it's just not worth it.  And that's OK.

I can't wait to tell you about the agent's visit...but that's for another day.

Do you try to be perfect?
How do you manage to do what you want to do AND what you need to do? 


Friday, May 11, 2012

The most random of shopping trips.

I adore the blog "Parenting. Illustrated with Crappy Pictures".  Awhile back she posted about how you can go into target for one thing and come out with a full basket of crap you did not need.  You have to check out the whole post, but here's a great picture from it:

Her post had reminded me of a recent shopping trip of mine that I had been meaning to blog about.  I admit, my list had a lot of stuff on it.  It was mostly the odd variety of things that reminded me of her post.
I bought stickers, painting supplies, a natural air freshener thing, the thing you hand in the shower for your shampoo and stuff, a new mail box, deodorant, plastic Easter eggs, measuring cups and spoons, Play Doh, wall hooks, laundry detergent and a yard stick- among other things.

The odd hodgepodge of by booty cracked me up, so I was inspired to snap some pictures and share them with you. And it is a good excuse to urge you to check out the Crappy Pictures blog.

All About Reading

I love to read.  I've always been a book worm. From Madeline to Superfudge to A Wrinkle in Time to Anne of Green Gables to Ann Rice.  I cannot remember a time when I was not part way through a book.

Over the years, my taste in books has solidified.  While I have enjoyed books like Running with Scissors and The Lovely Bones, I prefer reading about things a bit less realistic.  I think this is because of my day job.  I've been practicing criminal law for about 13 years. I spend my days seeing loss, poverty, injustice and sadness- and there is never really a happy ending.  I just don't want to spend my free time thinking about anything so real. 

There are some genres that I come back to again and again and I especially like when they overlap.  In general, I want some sort of mystery or adventure.  I'm thrilled if there is a historical element, or some sort of fantasy/magic/sci-fy stuff going on.  I also like there to be some romance, but not too much.  Kind of a tall order, huh?  Turns out there is a lot out there that has two or three of these elements.

I'm also a series kind of person, though I think most people are.  I've read most everything from Harry Potter to The Hunger Games.  Which leads me to today's post.

Last night I finished book 3 of the Hunger Games, Mockingjay.  I loved all three books and began to think about what I would read.  I was checking out my favorite blogs and I saw this on Peanut Butter Fingers "If You Liked the Hunger Games".  Well, as a matter of fact....I did. Talk about perfect timing.  It turns out, Julie had a guest blogger, Lisa of Read. Breath. Relax. posting yesterday.

I had never been to Eat. Breath. Relax. before, but it's right up my ally.  Lisa blogs about and reviews sci-fy/young adult books, which I surely love. As PBF's guest, she recommends a number of books that have come out this year. I've already added some to my Goodreads list and bought a couple on Audible (Including the one pictured below). Be sure to check out the guest spot and Lisa's blog if you are fan of YA/Sci Fy/Fantasy.

To be honest, I'm not in immediate need of a new book.  I always have an Outlander available on Audible.  If you have not heard of the Outlander series, I apologize.  It could take over the rest of your life.

The series is by Diana Gabeldon.  I'm only in the third book, but since each book is long, I often take breaks.  When I say they are long, I mean it.  I read the first one on Kindle, but after that it's Audible only.  How long are they you ask? Well, the one I'm "reading" now is 44 hours and 46 minutes!

The Outlander series has just about everything going for it.  It could be classified as historical fiction, fantasy, adventure, mystery and romance. In a small, small nutshell, it's about a woman who unintentionally travels through time to the 1700's and falls in love with the most delicious man. Currently, there are seven Outlander books, with another in progress.

I do love this series and recommend it to most everyone, but I have a hard time explaining what is so great.  Besides the fact that these books are an amazing value (44 hours for one Audible credit, awesome.), they are just plain enjoyable.

While researching for this post, I found that there is a whole "Outlander" community.  People who love the series so much they write blogs about it or join online communities.  Some are odd, but some are pretty cool.   I especially like My OUTLANDER Purgatory and my favorite is Outlander Kitchen, which is described as  "Historical and Character-Inspired Food from the fictional world of Diana Gabaldon"

My plan is to finish Drums of Autumn.  I only have 14 hours left. From there, I'm not sure what I'm going to do.  I've already downloaded Divergent by Veronica Roth, The Mummy Case by Elizabeth Peters and The End of An Affair, by Graham Greene.  The End of an Affair is not my usual type of story, but it's read my Colin Firth, so I had to get it. Mmmm... Colin Firth, that's a whole other post...or twenty.

What are you reading?
Have you read any of the books I've mentioned? What are your thoughts?
How do you read? Real paper, electronic or Audio? Why?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

My idiocy knows no bounds

I took Sunday off and returned to spin (Weighted Intervals) on Monday.  I was the second to last person to class.  There were only two bikes left, both in front.  A random one and the dreaded #4.

It may be true, it may be urban legend, but according to the patrons at GoCycle, #4 is the bike from hell.  I don't think I have ever ridden it, but people say that the resistance is way off, so that a measly 9 feels like 18.  It's always the last to go.

While I lucked out and ended up with a great bike (read, easy), I was not so luck with the weights.  I had a choice, 3 lbs or 10.  fantastic.

I chose the 10 and ended up being ok for most of the class. Curls, shoulder press and tricepts were good.  The row, not so much.  Oh well.  All and all, great workout.

Tuesday morning I went to my usual GoBarbell class.  My tricepts were killing me from the night before and my legs were not great either.  It was still so much fun- mostly because we were outside.  For some reason, I find that lifting weights at 5:15 in the morning while on wet pavement is the coolest. You know you are hardcore when one of the instructions from Lisa is "make sure your eldows touch the wet pavement". Badass, huh?

My feelings of athletic superiority quickly faded when we began the triceps push ups. Lisa stopped the class and pointed out how phenomenally pathetic me and my triceps were. OK, this isn't exactly what she said, but it's what I heard.  Tricept pushups are my Kryptonite.  I'm sure chin ups would be too, but I don't plan on ever trying such a stupid move.

I usually do speed workouts on Tuesdays, but I branched out.  I joined the Royal Oak Area Runners for a 5 mile run.  ROAR is a local group and they seem to meet up several times a week.  I think they have group runs Tuesdays, Thursdays. Saturdays and even do a trail run outing on the first Sunday of the month.

I have not run with a group in years and years.  I have mixed feelings.  When I am alone, no one is faster than me and I can pretend I am beyond awesome.  But, when I am alone, no one is faster than me so I don't challenge myself.  I was very intimidated about joining a group.  I had a lot of fears, including:
1) What if they are all way faster than me?
2) What if they are all slower than me?
3) What if they are weird?
4) What if they are super cool and think I am weird?
5) What if there really is no group, but just one insane person who wants to kidnap me and use my skin to make a dress ("It rubs the lotion on it's skin.....)

Turns out, none of the above applied...Well, maybe #4, but I can't be sure.  Turns out some were faster, some were slower and all were very nice.  They seem to have known each other awhile and there was a bit of good natured teasing and general joviality. I ran faster than usual thanks to a guy that ran a mile or two father than he had planned (it was his recovery day) to keep me company.

He had lost a bit of weight through fitness as well, so we had a really great talk about what it's like, what it takes, the support systems you need back at home and our lives before and after the weight loss.  I loved this conversation and hope to run with him again. In fact, I plan to make this my usual Tuesday run.  The group aspect had me running much faster than usual, though I think I am reevaluating my goal time for the Oak Apple- under an hour might be more appropriate.

I'm sure you are wondering were my idiocy comes in.  Well, I was all kinds of idiot this week- from cancelling the wrong GoBarbell class, over flowing the coffee maker three times, losing the dog (quickly recovered), missing a court date for a speeding ticket (all was worked out, don't worry) and on and on.  While technically missing the court date was the worst, since it was fixed with a simple phone call, the award for stupidest thing I did goes to what happened on last night's run.

I drove to the meet up location, parked my car, put money in the meter and locked my stuff in the trunk.  All I had was myself and the car key.  The new car key to the brand new car.

Turns out, I did not realize that my shorts didn't have a pocket, so I was forced to tie the key to my shoe.  About a mile or so in, a stick got caught in my shoe and I shook it off.  It felt funny and I actually wondered if I lost my key.  I was running pretty quick and someone was right behind me, so I didn't want to stop.  I looked down and saw both shoes were tied and kept on going.

4 miles later we were back.  I looked dawn and although both shoes were still tied- no key. How the heck did that happen? Now I have to decide what to do.  I can ask someone to use their cell and call my husband, I can ask to use the phone in the library or I can back track.  At this point I am pretty sure I know where the key is and that spot is on my route home, so I decide to go look for it on my own.  Understandably, I really didn't want to admit to anyone-including my husband- that I am unable to properly attach a key to a shoe.

I head out and realize that I'm not exactly sure what our route was.  I can picture the house where I lost the key, but I don't remember what street it was.  I end up making it all the way home without finding it.  I am tired, hungry and very, very sore.  I filled my husband in and since the kids were in the tub, decided I better take the van out and look some more.  I quickly realized where I had made my wrong turn earlier, found the  correct block and within a minute, found the key.

I jumped up and down for a minute, looked around to see if there were gawkers (no) and returned home as the kids were getting out of the tub. I examined the key, sure that it must have some sort of flaw that caused it to come loose from a tied shoe lace.  No such luck.  I cannot fathom how I did it, but I must have failed to loop the pace through the key.  Oh well, all's well that ends well.

Since I did not take any pictures, I'll just post these...

Monday, May 7, 2012

A great race plus over-training

A few weeks ago I ran my first 5 K of the year and Saturday I ran my second, the MOM 5 k in Royal Oak.

As I mentioned before, I was happy with my "Run with the Cops" finish and was really excited that I placed in my age group.  This experience kind of changed how I viewed my racing.  I went online and began looking at other local race results to see if I just got lucky or if I had a chance at placing again.  I found that regardless of the race, my time probably would get me a top 3 finish in the 35-39 age group.This realization had me thinking not only about simply improving my times, but thinking about winning my age group, or maybe even placing overall.

I had a hard time deciding how to handle my training though.  I knew I had to do speed work and I did- though I really struggled through it.  I also skipped my long two runs.  That didn't mean I was not working out, i just wasn't feeling like running.  In fact, I ended up working out way more than I should have. I worked out every day for two weeks, including a spin class the afternoon before the race. Probably not smart. At least I completely splurged the two dinners prior to race day.  On Thursday I got home made potato chips instead of my usual broccoli and Friday I ate a french dip and fries!  It was awesome.

The weather was nice, which was a treat after the Belle Isle race.  I went to the race my myself, I'm not good with spectators.  I found the start, ran about a mile warm up and then did some strides.  I checked out the competition and didn't see that many serious runners. I realized I might really have a shot at winning my age group.

Eventually it was time to line up.  I headed to the front area.  After Belle Isle, I just did not want to get stuck behind a bunch of walkers.  There was a woman standing behind me and I knew she was a real runner.  First, she had race shoes on.  Most people wore training shoes, so she stuck out.  She also was wearing real running clothes and well, she just had a look.  I told her to get in front of me.  She looked at me confused. I asked her what time she wanted to run.  She played it off, all "I don't know, I haven't thought about it".  I could tell this was complete crap and told her so.She asked me, and I said I just wanted to break 25. She said that was her goal as well.  I looked at her and told her she was going to run way faster than that and to get ahead of me.  She did.  She clearly thought I was nuts.

The race started and one girl flew out in front and was gone.  The one I had talked to was close behind, and then there was me.  Holy crap.  I was not supposed to be this far in front.  We were chugging along and I was hurting off the bat.  Within 400 meters I was thinking that I was nuts, that I was going to stall out and briefly thought about quitting.  I quickly realized that this reaction was because I was doing well and was afraid to screw it up.  I got my head together and kept going.

Much of the race was looping on a boulevard, so you could see those behind you.  It was nuts.  For awhile I was like 20th overall and right behind me was a pack of like 50.  I felt like I was in the Hunger Games and being chased by the careers! I was completely panicked.

While I had committed to not quit and try hard, I still had negative thoughts.  I kept thinking that all these people would think I was such a fool when I burned out and everyone passed me.  Then we hit the mile mark at 7:30 and I literally said, out loud, "oh shit".  This was at least 15 seconds faster than I wanted to be.  Add that we were now headed up hill, I knew I was in trouble.

Close to mile two, another woman passed me.  She had the biggest headphones on and was anything but light footed.  I could hear her stomping for the longest time.  I was actually relieved when she passed me.   I hit the 2 mile mark at 15 something and was dumbfounded.  I was still faster than I thought I would be.  Especially because this course was so much hillier than anything I usually run.

At 2 mile I was hurting.  My hear rate was going between 178 and 182.  I was trying to keep it at about 179.  I was gasping and really pushing.  More people were passing me and I knew my pace was really slowing.  I also knew that I still had a chance at PR-ing and I was pretty sure I was still in first for my age, so I just gave it everything I had.

Before the finish, another woman passed me, as did several men.  It was hard, mentally, being passed by so many people and not passing anyone.  At Belle Isle I passed a ton of people, but I don't think I passed a single runner on Saturday.

One great thing about this race was the finish.  You can see if from so far!  When I saw it I decided to kick.  I focused and...nothing.  I think it was the first time in my life that I didn't have a kick.  I tried so hard, all the way to the end, but I don't think you could call it a kick.  I crossed the finish at 24:39!

I saw that the girl who I talked to placed, so I walked up to her.  I congratulated her and asked her time.  She said 22 something.  I knew it.

I congratulated the other two and all and all, I thought they could have been nicer.  They were pretty stand-offish, which I found to be odd.  I was also stuck by the fact that two of the woman were from the Lansing area and the other was from Dearborn.  All of this made me think that maybe they were pretty serious runners as opposed to just being there for fun. As I type that, I realize many of you are going to be "duh".  I don't know what I expected.  I mean, it's a local 5k, not the Olympic Trials, it's supposed to be fun.

I did run into the last woman to pass me as we were waiting for results.  I noticed her shorts as she passed and loved them, so I asked her where she got them (Lululemon, of course).  We chatted awhile and she was super nice.  Turns out, she won the age group above mine, while the top three were 28, 32 and 33.  I could be wrong, but I think that as we get older, we get more comfortable in our own skin and therefore, we just seem friendlier.  I guess that's a whole other blog topic, but worth thinking about.

I've only run 4 non-school 5ks in my life, and never stuck around for results until this one.  I was wandering all over, not sure what to do with myself when I ran into a father -son combo that were at the start with me. The kid was maybe 12 and I knew he had beat me.  I congratulated him and he said he won his age group.  "How do you know that", I asked? Turns out, the results were posted on the other side of the pavilion.  I was thrilled to see that I won my age group.

I cheered for myself and took a picture of the results.  I'm completely comfortable with the fact that I'm a huge dork.

I called my husband to tell him and it turns out he wasn't surprised. Unbeknownst to me, he and Mack (Tommy was with my mom) came up to the race.  Tom said he tried to time it so they would be near the end for my finish.  He said they were about 8 houses from where the race was and he could see some men quickly running by.  He thought they were pretty fast, so he thought he had at least a minute until I got there. He was walking along and there I was!  He saw me round the corner and off I was.  I snapped a quick picture and I was gone.
I'm the one in the orange-ish shirt.  I have no idea who that girl behind me was. just glad she didn't catch me! I am so touched that Tom headed up there.

Getting a PR and winning my age group was awesome.  It was a very hard race for me for a variety of reasons. Physically, I pushed myself so hard.  I was breathing heavy the entire time.  Emotionally, a lot was going on.  Besides the mixed feelings of being in the front of the pack (I placed 43rd out of over 600), something else was going on.

The race is put on to raise awareness for mental health and suicide prevention.  I was running it in honor of my dear friend, Luke Lako, who took his life 13 years ago at the age of 25.  I don't talk about this much, but the race really brought a lot of emotions to the surface.  Sadness, anger, loss, regret.  They had signs every 400 m or so with statistics about suicide, mental illness etc.  I quit reading them after about the 5th one.  It was too much for me.

Still, for some reason the thought of Luke helped me push myself.  This course was so much harder than the Bell Isle one, and I had been working out more than ever, but I was able to run it 50 seconds faster.

People hung pictures, poems and letters in memory of their loved ones.  Pretty moving.
All and all, entire race was a good experience.  I felt the course was well marked and that the staff was helpful and friendly. After the race there was music, bagels, muffins, apples, bananas, Gatorade and water.  The bathroom lines were kind of long and when I wanted water at the 2 mile mark, they only had one person handing it out and the man ahead of me got her last cup.  Not ok. Other than these two things, I think it was a good race.  I especially loved that I was able to pick up my race packet the night before and the t shirt is something that I will wear.  I guess I should also add that I was appreciative that they made everyone look at an example of how to put the timing chip on their shoe.  There's always one idiot who has no idea what they are doing....

Next up- the Oak Apple 10k on June 2 and then the Beulah Firecracker 5k on July 4.  Both races are pretty competitive. For the Oak Apple 10k,   I would be thrilled to place top 5 in my age group and will really try to be top 10.  I also need to finish it in under 55 minutes and will be trying to get as close to 50 minutes as possible. 

For the race on July 4, it's a really hard course.  There is a monster of a hill and then much of the downhill is through the woods.  Still, I hope to run it in the 23's.  Both goals are really pushing it, but what's the point of setting goals if they are easy to attain?

Onto the topic of over-training.  As mentioned, my last "off day" prior to the race had been April 20th.  I was seriously due a day off.  BUT.....I wanted to go out for drinks Saturday, so after the race I went to Nth degree!  Yikes.  I knew during that workout that if I didn't take a day off, my central nervous system was going to flip out on me.  It was crazy that my legs and body felt great, but I could just tell that my heart and CNS was exhausted. I found that committing to take Sunday off was easy, once I could tell that I really needed it.

I think the day off was a great idea and was perfectly timed.  In the past I have had a terrible time sleeping on my off days, usually waking for good by 2 am.  This was not the case last night.  I slept like a baby.

I'm feeling well rested and ready to take on my spin class tonight. 

April 30-May 6-workouts

Mon: Go Cycle w/ weights: 650
Tues: GoBarbell: 300; mile repeats x 4 plus 1.5 mile warm up/cool down: 550= 850
Wed:Nth Degree plus half mile: 450
Thurs:Go Barbell 300; Bootcamp : 350= 650
Fri: GoCycle plus Abs: 545
Sat: "MOM 5k race" plus warm up: 400  PLUS Nth Degree (runner): 435= 835
Sun: OFF- my first day off in 15 days.
Total Calories: 5180

What I did- April 9-30

April 23-30

Monday: Spin-weighted Intervals at Go Cycle: 450 calories
Tuesday: Go Barbell and Speed work on TM: .5 mile warm up. 4x1600 repeats at 7:30/8:00 min mile pace, 1 mile cool down: 832
Wednesday: Nth Degree plus floor (for 15 min prior to class did push ups and abs): 550
Thursday: Boot camp cancelled- did Peanutbutter Fingers' At Home Circuit Workout 250 calories
Friday: Go Barbell AND GoCycle Abs: 830 calories
Saturday: Nth Degree sprinter: 500 calories
Sunday: GoBarbell   I didn't end up running- it was freezing! 282 cal.
Total Calories burned: 3694
Weight: 128 (-2)

April 16-22

Monday: Spin-weighted Intervals at Go Cycle: 530
Tuesday: 800 m warm up, 4 x1600 repeats 7:30 min mile pace, mile cool down
Wednesday: Nth Degree plus mile: 500
Thursday: Off
Friday: Off
Saturday: 5 K: 300
Sunday: GoBarbell: 250
Total Calories: 2200
Weight: 130 (-1.5)

April 9-15

Monday: Spin-weighted Intervals at Go Cycle-570
Tuesday: Go Barbell: 270
Wednesday: Nth Degree plus a mile:570
Thursday: Bootcamp: 464
Friday: Go Barbell AND "Friday Fartlek 5" - (5 miles of Fartleks):840
Saturday: Nth Degree plus a mile: 575
Sunday: "Easy like Sunday Morning" 50 minute run & GoBarbell: 675
Total Cal: 3950
Weight: 131.5

Race Review: Run with the Cops

A few weeks ago I ran a 5k in Detroit called Run With the Cops, Not from Them. Really, that's what it's called.

Before the race- it was freezing!!

The race supports the "For a Day Foundation". It's a great organization which volunteers visit kids in our local hospitals and treats them to special things like makeovers, crafts, games and so on, so that the kids feel like a "King or Queen for a day".  For a Day is run by local law enforcement officers (police and fire), hence the clever name.

I pressured a few of my work friends to sign up and  met them down at Bell Isle.  It was my first 5k of the year, my second in a decade.  It was a cold and gloomy day (low:37, high:51), but at least it wasn't raining.

I was not sure what to expect- of the race or of myself.  Out loud I said I wanted to run in under 30 minutes, but I had been training to do 8 minute miles, so in the back of my head I was thinking that 24-25 minutes was possible.

I was glad it was a "chip" race, because the start was kind of a mess.  There seemed to be a lot of people who did not realize that slower runners/walkers should be in back and to the outside.  I held back awhile, trying not to start until some of the crowd had thinned out.  Still, I had to run up on the grass to get by some slow people hugging the curbs.

After about a half mile it really cleared out.  There was a bit of an up hill, but not bad.  I hit the 1 mile mark at about 8 minutes and was pleasantly surprised.  I was pushing pretty hard, but not too hard.  I continued to pass people bit by bit and my second mile was again about 8 minutes.  The third mile started to get tough.  I was wearing my jacket and was starting to get pretty hot.  The course actually went by where I had parked my car and I thought of dropping it off, but decided against it.  I also kind of had to pee (or thought I did), but again, decided to hold on.

I still was passing runners that last mile, but there were fewer and fewer.  There was one woman ahead of me that I had my eye on and was trying to catch up to her bit by bit.  The finish was obscured around a corner.  I wish I had seen it a bit earlier, because I would have started my kick sooner.  By the time it came into view, I only had about 200 meters to push it and still had a bit left at the end.  I never ended up catching up to that last runner in my sights.

I crossed the finish and the timer was asking me where my chip tag was, I said, "Here, on my bib". Uh oh. Turns out I am an idiot.  I was supposed to remove it from my bib and put it on my shoe.  I had to run go back over the finish a few time before it registered.

For the Detroit Free Pres Marathon last October, the chip was built into the bib, so I thought it stayed there. What is super embarrassing is I saw the neon green tags on everyone's shoes and just assumed they were ID tags (I wear a Road ID, so I don't need to do the shoe ID thing) and did not think anything of it.

I finally got the time thing taken care of and looked at the clock.  I can't remember what exactly the time was, but it was in the 25's.  I was so happy I almost cried.  Not because I thought 25 was a very good time, but because it wasn't a terrible time and I felt ok.  I just took a moment and acknowledged how far I had come.  I knew the 20 year old me would have been mortified by such a time, but I also knew it had been at least 16 years since I had been this strong and fast.  Since before I was diagnosed with cancer.  It was a cheesy but special moment where I let myself be proud, happy, hopeful and victorious.

I stayed around until all of my friends had finished.  I found a spot 400 meters or so from the finish and started cheering runners on.  From here you could not see the finish, but it was close.  I yelled to everyone that they were a minute away from being done and to kick hard.  Several people did that and some even came up to me and thanked me- saying they PR'd.  I loved that.

the finish

After we were all done, I went home and posted my general time on Facebook.  My sister in law, Laurie, runs a lot of 5K's and posted something like "you might have won your age group with that time". I was like, no way! But just for fun I got online and looked at the results and was shocked to find that I was 2nd in my age group and 39th overall with a time of 25:29.  I was on cloud 9!  Though I did see that that girl who was ahead of me only beat me by like 10 seconds.  I wanted to kick myself because there came a point, with about 600 yards to go, that I told myself there was no way I was going to catch her and I kind of backed off.  I completely forgot about the chip timing aspect.  She must have started a good 30 seconds ahead of me, so even though it seemed like she was way ahead of me, we were really much closer.  I could have technically beat her without ever passing her.  This is something that I am having a hard time getting my little brain to comprehend.

Turns out, I even get a medal.  I think they are mailing it to me.  When I get it, I'll post a picture. Or twenty.

Enough about me, let me tell you about the race.

Had the weather not been so thoroughly miserable, this would have been an awesome event to take the family to, especially if you have little boys.  Police Departments were there with horses, armored vehicles, a bomb robot, motorcycles and all their fun stuff. I'll be sure to bring the boys next year.
Bomb Robot

I felt that everything went very well.  Parking was easy. Getting my bib was easy. Everyone was nice and even the porta potty lines seemed reasonable (though I can't say what they were like inside, since I didn't use them). The course was well marked, had a water station and mile splits.  It was also very fast in my opinion.  It was  mostly flat and avoided the windier side of the island.

As far as scenery, this is another situation where had the weather been better, it would have been fantastic. I did stop a couple of times to take pictures for the blog.

It was also a small race.  The 5K only had 309 finishers (there was also a 10K and a 1 mile walk), so it was very comfortable overall.  I have to say though, even though it was a small group, there were some fast folks.  Several members of Hanson's Running Team ran the 10K and the top finishers in the 5K were amazing.  The top male finished the 5K with a time of 17:04 and the top female was one second behind with 17:05.  Holy Cow that's fast!

Trader Joe's supplied bananas and frozen fruit pops after the race. Hot chocolate would have been better, but who would have thought it would be so cold.

All and all, I think this is the perfect "first 5k" race and a great race to start the season with.  I hope it continues and I plan on making it my "Opening Day" race tradition.