Sunday, September 14, 2008

I'll have some humble pie with that...

You know, I'm going to have to go back and look at old training schedules, but I'm pretty sure that none of them included an 18-mile run during the "taper" period.

So last week, we ran 22 miles. It felt great. In fact, for weeks all of my long runs have felt great. So knowing that 22 was the longest put me in this mindset of, "It's all done! Easy from here on out until the race!"

But, honestly, I think in other seasons, my longest run was 3 weeks out from the race - not four. So for this training season, it totally made sense to run one more long one - 18 miles.

Except for the simple fact of thinking I was in a taper meant I treated this long run a lot less seriously - to my detriment.

The last time I did 18 miles, I did go out Friday night (and big, too - Saturday was total recovery from Friday that weekend), but that Saturday during the day I hydrated well, ate properly and went to bed at 8:30 p.m.

This time? Um...well, I had plans to go out last night, and I made the brilliant decision to put my curfew at 3 a.m. - then I decided 3 a.m. was the "start to head home" time, not the "be asleep in bed" time.

In my defense, the run wasn't until 9 a.m. - but I had to bring the kids to their grandma's house for babysitting, so I had to wake up by 7:30 anyway.

I actually woke up at 7:15, before my alarm went off. I felt pretty much okay. Got a bagel and some coffee down, took the kids out to grandma's, came home and finished getting ready. Aleks was on time, as always, and we headed out at 8:59 a.m.

The first five miles was good - even fast. The next three miles were okay. And the next two - now we're five miles away from Nancy's car, who met us at mile 5 - were bordering on torture.

My left knee was doing that thing where it feels like the leg from the knee down had turned around in the knee socket. Because of the knee pain, I was running funny and making my calf tight and sore.

And then I got weird side stitches and pains very low in my belly. So I decided at mile 10 to walk a while.

I told Nancy and Aleks to go on ahead to 6.5 miles before turning around; I thought at worst, I'd walk the five miles back in the time they took to run what they had left (8 miles), and we'd finish together.

And walk I did. Not the entire time - I did go one full mile, just to see how long it took me to walk a mile (14:30, if you're wondering), but the rest of the miles I walked until I felt like running, and then ran until I felt like walking. I timed two of these: one was 11:30, and another was 12:30. I actually found this slightly annoying: If I'm running 10s to 11s, shouldn't my run-walk miles be way slower? Doesn't seem like running is all that efficient for me!

So, I got back to the car, and Nancy and Aleks were not yet in sight, so I ran-walked another mile to get 16 or so, then saw them. I didn't get 18 in, but I am not really beating myself up over it: it's a good lesson for me. How arrogant am I, to think I can party until 3 a.m., sleep a few hours, then go run 18 miles?

I feel good about recognizing my arrogance. It's good to learn from your mistakes, right - and now I see very clearly that I wasn't respecting my run, my running partners, or my body by trying to prove I could do it all.

16 is still nothing to be ashamed of, of course. Next weekend when we run 15 miles, I'll remember what happened today - and not let it happen again.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

I was certain I could do it...

But I was totally and completely wrong.

So Gabriel has been practicing a rock beat. It's like this:

On the hi-hat, with the foot pedal depressed, 8 beats to the ? measure? I don't even know. But it's 8.

On the bass drum, with the other foot, 4 beats to the measure.

On the snare drum, hit on the 2 and 4 for the bass drum.

So two hands and one foot are moving at different rates, but all together.

I know what this sounds like. I know what this looks like.

But when I sat down to try it...NO GO.

It was SO HARD. I know I'm old and the kid is young, but still.

It was impossible!

I mean, for me. Gabriel continues to make it look easy.

Spent $1,000 on a drum kit for him today. Obviously it's pretty nice for an eight-year-old.

Thank good ol' uncle Bill for a bonus, I guess!

Pics later...the card I'm using in my camera doesn't want to be read by my laptop, and I'm too lazy to go find a computer that will read it.

Oh, and in other, but related news: If you ever want to see a kid motivated to clean a stinky garage, promise a drum kit, complete with a little rug to put it on. Gabriel has never been so helpful before, and my garage has never been so clean. :-)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Gabriel goes to the School of Rock Music

Okay so I know I'm a proud mommy. But oh my goodness, yesterday I could not wipe the silly smile off my face for Gabriel's entire first lesson at the Seattle School of Rock Music.

Seriously. Gabriel's been taking guitar lessons, but he really wants to be a drummer. And he's got some natural talent. So, despite the fact that the school is like 30 miles from home, and lessons and rehearsals are twice a week, and gas costs a million dollars for my beloved but gas-guzzling car, I signed him up. Oh and I didn't even mention the monthly fee, the noise associated with having a child practice drums in the house, and the expense of a real drum kit.

But he did promise to give me $10 million from his first billion, so that's pretty generous for the woman who spent 19 hours in labor with him, right?

So, really, the kid is coordinated and has rhythm. By the end of his first lesson, he had his foot and each hand going at a different rate (I don't know anything about music, can you tell?) and it sounded great. His instructor was even smiling when Gabriel couldn't see him.

Here comes my next role: stage mommy. Gotta love it.

Monday, September 08, 2008

A silent house

I've been so behind on blogging again, mostly because school started and chaos ensued and I'm only now starting to feel back in control of everything.

And right now, as I sat alone at my kitchen table to eat some dinner, I realized: my house is silent, except for the hum of the washing machine.

Camille is next door; 10 minutes ago she came home and asked how long she could stay at her friend's house and whether she could have ice cream. Gabriel went to a neighborhood community center with his friends to go swimming. John is taking a nap.

I woke up today at 5:45, worked 7 to 3:30 in the office, picked up the kids from school, worked again from 4:15 until about 6, then picked up the house and folded laundry. It's 8 p.m. and I have nothing left that I have to do - I even managed to help both kids with their homework and piano and guitar practice while I was cleaning up.

It feels like a little glimpse of what's to come: the older these kids get, the more independent - and the quieter the house. It's weird. And frankly, it makes me uncomfortable.

Oh, and in uneventful running news, I ran 22 miles yesterday, then had brunch with the girls, then went shopping for birthday presents, then spent the afternoon and evening at a birthday barbecue on the beach in Seattle. Got home late, had to bathe both kids, get lunches and uniforms ready for school tomorrow, and prepare for work today. Just a typical weekend day, right?