Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Feeling Better

I've been doing really well lately.  I've improved my diet and have been losing weight.  I feel so much better than I've had in the past.  I come out of my workouts feeling refreshed rather than worn down, generally.  The main thing is I've mostly stopped eating processed foods, nightshade vegetables, legums, and grains.  I still eat carbs in the form of fruit, starchy veggies, and I still sometimes eat rice. It is sort my own version of a Paleo or Primal diet.  I eat almost everything cooked from scratch, using whole foods to cook with.

I feel so much better, I feel bad about all the years I felt bad and had ho idea why.  The brain fog I'd had so many times since I've had Rory doesn't happen anymore.  My moods are much better, although not always perfect.  It's funny, I thought the brain fog had to do with sleep deprivation or hormones, but apparently it had to do with my diet.

Rory isn't in preschool anymore, so that opportunity for extra workout time has disappeared.  Still, I'm managing to train a lot.  I ride my bike trainer during his naptime, and also do some strength training.  I'm doing pushups, dips, and lat rows, hoping they'll help my swimming, but I've almost given up on the idea that I'll get back in swimming shapes.  It's been over 3 years now, and I may have finally come to peace with it.  I do a Masters workout on the weekends, which I do to spend an enjoyable hour and a half, rather than having a future goal in mind.  I'm not getting a lot out of it in terms of camaraderie with teammates or anything.  I swim in a lane that often has 2 people in it while the lane next to it has 6.  It makes me feel like an outsider a little, but I actually like swimming in a lane alone more than one that is crowded.

I run on the weekends, early before Raybon does his long runs.  He takes about an hour to get ready, and keeps an eye on Rory, while I run.  I then pick up Rory and put him in the stroller to add on a few miles on top of whatever I get done in an hour.  Last week, my friend C. joined me, and my friend B who I've run with in the past may, too.  I've also pushed a stroller and ran with Ema during the week.  Life is busy, sometimes I just don't see people if I don't work out with them, so it's nice to kind of "double up", so to speak.

Rory is in a playgroup where I really like the other moms.  So far he hasn't made any friends, but hopefully more kids his age will join in.  It's nice that I have that social outlet with people I genuinely like.  Sometimes locker room conversation seems a little catty to me, and there are so many people that rub me the wrong way that I often think I'm a misanthrope.  It's a bit of a relief to find good people I really like.  Fingers crossed.  I have a tendency to fall in love with groups of people, and put them on pedestals, so I hope I can be real with this group of moms, rather than expecting them to be perfect people who are never catty or passive aggressive.

So although life still has it's downs, and sometimes I get grumpy and other times blue, I'm generally doing better and better, and life is looking up.

It's about the right time of year to come up with a race schedule.  The idea of a tri is sort of appealing, since I'm riding my bike so much, but I haven't really picked one.  I also don't ride off my trainer, and I'm not sure when I would do that.  I'd have to at least a little bit if I was going to do a tri.  Every swim race I've done since I've had Rory has been a little depressing, as I am just sooo slow compared to how I used to be.  I may do more runs, what length I'm not sure.  Probably less than a marathon, unless miraculously I find the perfect preschool for Rory and potty training falls into place.

 I kind of like the idea of doing some kind of "mud run" or "warrior dash."  I'm working on my strength training, and bought the "Perfect Pullup Basic" bar.  I'd like to learn to do Pull-Ups, something I've never been able to do, and something I probably should be able to.  Doing a race where I have to scale walls and do pushups might be a good place to use the strength training I'm doing.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Jingle Bell Rock Run 2011

Rory, Raybon, and I went down to Flip Flop for the Jingle Bell Rock Run on Sunday.  There was a 5K race and a 1K kids race, too.  It was a Toys for Tots Drive, so Raybon picked out some Thomas and Friends engines to give to the needy kids.

The way things work these days is that Raybon gets Sundays as his workout day for his long runs, and I get Saturdays to swim.  I am trying to squeeze in workouts on Sundays, too, but in a way that doesn't interfere with Raybon too much, either by taking up his time or energy.  I guess if I ever had a big race on a Sunday I wanted to do, I would have Raybon do his run on Saturday, and I would just skip my swim.  That's the way it has worked in the past.  I kinda wanted to do this run without a stroller, just to see what I could do, but since Sunday was Raybon's day, I ended up pushing Rory in the race.  This ended up being fun for both me and Rory, though.

Raybon had an 18 mile run to do on Sunday in training for the Big Sur Marathon in April.  Yes, this seems early to get that much mileage in, but Raybon has developed his own plan for a really slow build up to the marathon. He seems to be improving in mileage and speed without getting injured, so far be it from me to question his tactics.  He wanted to do the 5K, too, so he ran 15 miles before the race started.

I knew it would be a little hectic doing a 1K with Rory, who is only 2 and a half, before the 5K started.  He seemed to enjoy doing the Marine Discovery 1K in May  last year so much, though, I felt like he should do this race.  When I went to sign the family up for the race on Sunday, a friendly acquaintance of mine, T., a fellow Triath-a-mom from my little town in the Flip Flop Mountains was working the registration table.  I told her I didn't want a timing chip, because I would be running the 1K with Rory, and I didn't think we'd get finished before the 5K started.  She told me they would wait for me, and that since I would be chip timed anyway, it wouldn't matter if I didn't get started right away.

Ema came out to do this race, too.  It was lots of fun seeing her.  We've been running together lately during the week, and did a Turkey Trot this year, too, on Thanksgiving.  Our Thanksgiving dinner was Rory, Raybon, and I, which was really nice, but it was good to see a close friend for a run that morning, too.

Rory did plenty of running before the race started.  I had trouble getting him to the starting line on time, because he wanted to go run somewhere else.  Ema helped me wrangle him and drag him to the start line in tears.  It kinda made me look like a pushy mom who was making her kid do a race he didn't want to do, but I knew he'd be happy once we got there and the race started.  He ran about 1/3 of the race.  A nice guy on a bicycle who worked for the race production company helped keep him motivated by riding alongside us.  I ended up picking Rory up, and was going to turn around before the turnaround cone and just get to the start/finish, but Rory insisted we go around the cone.  So I ran the rest of the race carrying Rory, not wanting to hold the race up, and feeling a little guilty.  But it was important to me that Rory have an enjoyable race experience.  I let him down a little before the finish line and told him to run under the arch.  He stumbled as I set him on the ground, but he got right back up and ran across, to many, many cheers of the 5Kers waiting to start their race.

Ema told me that people were wondering why they weren't starting the race, not knowing we were out there.  When we finally came into view they realized I was running and carrying him, and were a little less impatient.

Still, after the finish, people were really wanting to go.  I barely had time to strap Rory in the stroller and tear off my windbreaker.  I wanted to fish out my stopwatch from the bottom of the stroller, but there was no time.  I ate maybe half of a Hammer Gel, because I didn't have time to consume the whole thing.  I jumped in the middle of the pack and started the race.

This race was really fun.  There were lots of other jogging strollers, and people in different crazy Christmas costumes.  Rory got a kick out of the costumes, especially the people who reindeer ears and antlers.  This race went along the levee of the River, and under the many bridges that go over it.  Every time we went under a bridge Rory yelled "Hallooo" to try to hear an echo.  A lot of people jogged with their dogs, too.  One costumed runner wearing long johns even picked up his small dog and ran to the finish line alongside his wife who was running with their other leashed dog.

I had fun racing, but got frustrated more than once trying to get around people with my stroller.  The race was an out and back on a bike path that went towards the beach.  People would take up the whole sidewalk by running beside their friend, so I had to ask to go around.  It was tricky, especially at the beginning when the pack was pretty thick, and then again when the people in the lead started turning around.

I think I was the third place jogging stroller.  The first place jogging stroller was a man, who actually got second place overall.  The third place overall was a little 14year old boy.  A six year old boy got 5th place overall.  Wow, were they fast, all finishing in about 18 minutes. I thought that was pretty cool and said something about the local, family friendly nature of this race.

I ended up finishing in 27:32.  This was my gun time, not my chip time.  As with the last run I did with this race production company, no one got chip times, even though we were wearing timing chips.  Since I didn't start my watch, I don't know what my chip time would have been.  Raybon finished in 27:01, 30 seconds faster than me, and only 6 places in front of me.  I wonder if they got our chip times if I might have beat him. It is impossible to say.  This was a P.R. for me, and my first sub nine minute mile 5K.  I guess it seems impressive that I P.R.'d with a jogging stroller, but all but one 5K I've ever done has either been with a jogging stroller or at the end of a sprint tri or aquathlon.

Ema finished her race in a time that she was proud of, too.  She has been getting back in shape after a stressful couple of years, doing the Big Sur Half Marathon just a little while ago.

I had fun, and it is always good to know that I still have a little bit of speed leftover, despite not doing much speed training since my Half Marathon at the beginning of October.  I really enjoy these small local runs, almost more than any larger, longer races.