Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Super FireBugs Race and Sparking Out

Legos, me, and our little Super Firebugs getting ready for the run

Earlier in the summer, Legos and I did a Color Run together.  You know - one of those "fun runs" where everyone dresses up in white, sometimes drinks, definitely dances before hand, then pretends to run for a few miles while volunteers throw colored corn starch at everyone.  It was a lot of fun - kind of a last-minute girls morning out.  Although most do not consider it a serious run (in fact I'm pretty sure the announcer promised to punch anyone in the face who ran a PR), I actually did run my PR for a 5K that day.  Even though I had to push past dozens of underdressed college girls and overdressed walkers in tutus to do it.  Legos theorizes that these races are a fad because people want to feel athletic while not being embarassed by actually running in front of their boyfriends/friends/coworkers, etc.  However, I would submit that wearing colored knee socks, ripped white t-shirts, and blinking headgear makes you look pretty darn silly anyway.  But I digress.....

Ok, but it is a lot of fun......

Long story short, I came home covered in colored chalk on a Saturday, and my kids were pretty suspicious that Mommy had FUN without them.  So Legos and I promised our kidlets that we would take them to the next one.  This being the Color and Glow Run - same concept, but with the added attraction of being wildly past their bedtime, in the DARK.  And a 2 hour drive away (actually that part was just bad planning).  We chose the team name Super Firebugs, as my children's favorite game is to play superheros, and at the time we had just completed an educational program on fireflies.  And they glow.  Get it?  The kids loved it.  Legos and I even made everyone special white shirts with glow-in-the-dark puffy paint and let the kids decorate them.  It was pretty cute.  Moms of the Year.

Fast forward to Saturday, in which the kids had soccer practice, I did four miles of hills before delivering the wedding cake for the weekend, and then we all piled into Legos' van to drive to the run. Although we got there pretty close to the start of the race in order to minimize kid wait time, the race started almost a half an hour late.  That's a half an hour in which we were standing in the corral with the kids in their strollers, trying to keep them from exploding.  Thank god we packed an entire Dollar Store's worth of glow toys.  

Waiting, and waiting, and waiting....

And Legos' awesome friend bought color paint, so the kids (and we) could get all war painted up.  This friend would later earn her worth in gold by helping me keep track of a giant double stroller and a running child in a crowd of thousands of running people in the dark.  Thank you Stephanie!

Painted and Ready!

Finally the started the run, and we slowly moved up to the start.  Being as my stroller is actually a bike trailer and weighs 60+ lbs before you add 70+ lbs of children to it, we were toward the back.  We kept the kids incarcerated until the crowd thinned, and then about 1/4 mile into the run we gave them the option to get out and run.  Mini-Legos and my boy child decided to stay put, but my daughter bounced right out and took off. Let me tell you, this kid can RUN.  I made her carry a glow toy so I could see her - she chose a bright blue star wand.  Not only does she run, but she keeps up a constant chatter the whole time.  The Jedi and I joke that this is how we know she has never reached her maximum exertion rate - she never stops talking.
Mini Firebugs - what did parents do before glow sticks??

I wish I had a picture to show you of my little pixie child - all in white with her blonde hair streaming out behind her glowing in the black lights, with her fairy wand, running her heart out.  I kept called out to her "go around left!" or "cut around right!" as she passed people and I tried to follow without running anyone over with the giant stroller.  It's one of those times that I was so proud to be her mother I wanted to cry.  After a while she had spectators and volunteers cheering for her.  One women even thought she was a lost child until I called "Nope she's mine!!"

Around mile 2 she was starting to tire.  That far at a 13:00 minute pace when you're only 42 inches tall is not to be sniffed at.  She told me "Mommy - I'm gonna finish.  I told myself before we started that I wasn't going to let the tummy hurt thing stop me this time."  Alert to any malady, I asked "What tummy hurt thing?  Do you feel sick?  middle or just one side?"  "One side", she says. "But I'm gonna finish!".  My brave little girl ran through a side stitch - all the way to the finish, where she was rewarded with another medal for her brag rack.  Little dude did a great job too, as the ground was super bumpy and he wasn't buckled in - he stayed put and did great listening the whole time.  Stay in there kiddo!  Hang on!  God I love my children.  I mean, they just absolutely ROCK.

Hey wait, how did Legos get away with no face paint?

It turns out a piece of my stroller fell off during the run, so I grabbed a flashlight and ran the first half of the course and back again looking for it (no success).  I hadn't counted on running with the kids - I thought we would walk.  Total mileage for the day: 7+ miles.  Yikes.  

Jedi (who had come to be sherpa and support crew, possibly bc he realized just how logistically hard this was going to be) helped us pack the kids back into Legos' van, and we drove home.  We didn't arrive until past eleven.  Very.  Tired.  Firebugs (small and large).


The following morning I had a 25 mile bike ride and 2-3 mile brick run scheduled with Gypsy.  I was tired.  There was no way around it.  But I hadn't trained with Gypsy in what seemed like forever, and it was one of those crystal blue fall mornings that begged playing outside.  I decided to give my runner's legs a rest and just do a 30 mile loop, picking Gypsy up at her house along the way.  The ride was splendid.  It was so great to catch up with my tri partner and hear about her half-marathon training (Gypsy seemed none worse the wear for having knocked out a 10 mile run the day prior), the kids new schools, physicial therapy for both, and the million other things you can talk about on a 2 hour ride.  But my legs were like lead.  Whenever we hit a hill (and there were many), my quads weren't there.  We averaged about 13 mph for the ride - much lower than usual.  Jedi would go out and do the same loop in the afternoon and beat me by 3 minutes.  Boo.  (Not that I'm competitive).
Winnie the Pooh birthday -
balloon cake and honeybee cupcakes

I took the kidlets to a birthday party in the afternoon.  I was there in body, I know, because I remember playing soccer and t-ball with the kids.  But not in mind.  I was a zombie.  I came home, tagged out, and went to bed at 4 o'clock.  Jedi woke me up to make dinner (how do you like that?), which I did, and then back to bed.

The next day (yesterday) I felt like a truck had hit me.  Sore, exhausted, sick to my stomach, teary, and with a stabbing pain in my right foot that I can only assume is plantar fasciitis.  And that was before Jedi's car refused to start to pick the kids up from kindergarten and preschool and we realized that we need a new car.  (We can't afford a new car by any stretch.  But that's another blog post).  Questioning my ability to ever do the 70.3 traithlon next spring.  Questioning the 62 on my schedule for October.  I was seriously questioning my decision to be an athlete at all.  Or a parent.  Or conscious.  It is so hard to not let everything snowball when you feel crummy.

I sent Gypsy a text that I was dropping out of the spring tri because Jedi's car was broken (a leap of logic that she pointed out in her response made absolutely no sense).  I called my mom.  And I got my workout summary from MapMyRide and realized I'd run about twelve miles, biked 30 with 1000 feet elevation gain in the space of three days.  With reduced sleep.  Perhaps there is a correlation.

I think that being a triathlete we are subject to a certain kind of dementia.  Especially with social media, with friends at all stages of training, with tri clubs, it's so easy to feel that long runs are those greater than 9 miles, that a 20 mile bike ride is "short", and that 6 days of workouts is normal.  That my body should be able to handle it.  On top of work, kids, and oh by the way the Title 9 race only eight days in the rearview and three of those days felled by a migraine.  It seemed a long time ago, but really, my body knows the difference.  My body remembers that six months ago, I couldn't run a single mile, much less seven in a single day.  Somehow, I need to learn to respect that.  One more reminder that the mental aspect of triathlon, and really of life, is always going to be 1000 times more difficult for me than the physical.

I've taken 2 rest days.  I might take more.  I've slept in.  I've helped my little girl with her kindergarten homework, and played more soccer with my son.  I've helped them sprinkle fairy dust over the yard to protect against witches (there's been a rash of witch sightings near my house.  It's a serious problem).  I made an apple crisp that is to die for.  I may drop the 62 ride. I may even drop the 10k with Gypsy coming up if I don't feel up for it.  Especially if I'm still icing my foot every hour.  I am going to try hard to focus on what really matters, and listen to my body.  I'll let you know how it goes.....

Kitty is always happy to help me rest.

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