Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Traditions and Recovery

My love affair with the outdoors started early.  When I was four years old, my parents moved to a 4 acre property in rural upstate New York.  I spent my time from sun up to sun down out in the woods - wandering, biking, hiking, creek jumping, breaking my arm (yes really) and generally learning to love nature. The peace that I feel when alone and out of doors is more complete than any other in my life.  It's not a coincidence that, when the time came to choose where our children would grow up, the Jedi and I built a house on 5 acres of land in rural central Massachusetts.

Every winter my parents would take my brother and I to a nearby state park to cross-country ski.  As adults, my brother and I still enjoy this great winter sport.  This weekend was special in that I was able to introduce my kids to skiing - Mommy style.  They took to it like ducks to water.  Now all four of us can enjoy the nearby rail trail and zoom endless loops around our yard and woods on our skis.  Definitely a fulfillment of a small dream come true.

A family tradition passed down

Triathlon-wise, all this skiing definitely added up and into my training schedule.  I have officially committed to and registered for the Old Fashioned 10 Miler in February, and the New Bedford Half Marathon in March.  Which means that my long runs are getting longer.  Hella longer.  This Sunday it snowed about 6 inches.  Great for skiing, bad for running.  Luckily, a coworker came over on Friday to deliver my new (to me) treadmill.  Yes, I now have a full-on "pain cave" in my basement.  Very handy for squeezing in workouts when Mother Nature isn't cooperating (like tonight, when we're getting another 8 inches...).

Anyway, Friday I met Hummingbird at the gym for a strength set (that girl is tough) and what should had been a one-hour 1850 meter swim set.  It got a cut a little short as I showed her some of the drills I've been learning in my Total Immersion class.  Okay fine, and as we stopped multiple times to ogle the college guys (high school?  Please no...) swim team that was practicing in the pool at the same time.  I know - dirty old women.  Snigger.  I atoned for poor behavior somewhat with an hour trainer session that night that left my legs feeling pretty ripped up.  Saturday was TI class, which I am enjoying and benefiting from so much that I really need to make a separate post about it.  Stay tuned on that one.  

And then Sunday rolled around, and Gypsy's and my carefully mapped out meet-up run was snowed in.  So 8 miles in 1:24:47 on the treadmill for me.  Way to break that sucker in.  I listened to a podcast from Another Mother Runner, and then mixed up the rest of the time alternating flats for one song, higher speed for one song, and hills for one song.  I won't say it wasn't painful, but it did break it up nicely.  I also had brought down my IPad for emergency boredom - the cover of which sports the mantra from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, "Don't Panic".  Appropriate for my longest run ever.  Plus I was running for Meg's Miles, so I had plenty to focus on and be grateful for as I went.  

I'll be leaving Meg's badge up on the 'mill for some time.
More skiing and snowman building on Monday has left me pretty drained.  My legs are the opposite of peppy.  This morning's hill/speed workout demonstrated that.  And yes, my coach combines hills and speedwork.  Run up hill fast.  Awesome.  I guess you get more bang for your buck...

Foam rolling and stretching is important
I truly do have faith that I can finish 13.1.  I do. I'm still on board with my clean eating challenge, and will be keeping gluten free and refined sugar free for the foreseeable future.  I'm still struggling to recover from these long runs - they seem to lead to me sleeping more and wanting to eat everything in the house.  Trying to be good about rest, stretching, foam rolling (as my son nicely demonstrates).

If I could just get one more nap....

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