Family Marathon Training: Week 12

Marathon name needed

When Mountains 2 Beach cancelled we decided we’d run anyway. We’d leave our house and take a long route to Viva in Ithaca. I had a little online chat with a friend trying to convince her to join us for the “half” option. “We can end for takeout from Viva!” A bit later that day I received a text from another friend. “Did you say you were running a marathon to Viva?” I cheerily replied, “yes” and then she shared the sad sad news. Viva was closed until further notice due to coronavirus – even for take out. She sent the take out list from the Ithaca Voice. So many places we like are on the list as closed or not on the list as open. After reading the list and sulking I went back to baking for Emoticakes. Scott walked in and I said, “I have sad, sad news.” I went on to share and he was visibly relieved. Of course when he heard sad, sad news his mind went to a much darker place than takeout options being limited. So the point of this was that I had planned to name our race “Dawsons to Viva” and now I need a name.

Training paces

It is just Xander, Scott and me and we’ll likely be three very different paces, making water stop work challenging and causing a need for a long wait upon finishing UNLESS we do a staggered start. Xander is really fast in his training. He ran 18 on Friday at a 7:07. Scott was in the middle in the low 8s and I was pretty slow for my long run with a 9:45 average pace. Elizabeth is going to be our roving cheer/water stop family member and then as we route we’ll reach out to friends and family to request cheering and water stop help!

This week’s training

This week we moved to the back of the sheet. I’ve now completed 12 weeks of a 20 week training plan. I’m pretty impressed that I’m sticking to the plan without many major changes. I think often how I used to focus on inspiring my children and now I’m in a position to have my son inspire me. He’s following his training plan really well and the 3 of us are helping each other stay with it. I’m grateful that Xander wanted to do his first marathon this spring. It is giving us all something to focus on in the midst of this coronavirus shut down. My training this week looked like this:

  • Monday Original hot yoga (Zoom session) and a 3 mile hike
  • Tuesday Easy 4 mile run and 3 mile hike
  • Wednesday Les Mills on Demand cycling, The Trip 18 and a 3 mile hike
  • Thursday Easy 5 mile run and a 3 mile hike
  • Friday 3 mile hike and a 16 mile long run
  • Saturday 6 miles of hiking (2 separate 3 milers)
  • Sunday 5 mile run, 3 mile hike and original hot yoga (Zoom session)

About those hikes. My daughter and I are 14 days into our Rim Trail hiking streak. It is fun, though I admit I’m feeling tired. I ADORE this trail but I don’t usually hike every day. I dropped one 6 mile run from my schedule (replacing it with a 6 mile hiking day) this week just because I’m feeling the increase in time on my feet.

About that long run

I’m struggling a little bit with the transition to teaching online. It is about finding a balance between the amount of work given, agreeing to timing with my team and not spending a million hours looking at work and designing work. I have talked to a few colleagues who feel like they are failing as moms and teachers in the balance. I feel like I’m failing as a colleague and doing ok as a teacher. I’m also feeling really grateful that my own kids are old enough that I don’t have to manage their online learning. I am not consumed by feelings of struggling as a mom during this time. In fact, one thing that is going really well is our family life. We’re managing extremely well as a crew of 4.

My long run took place on a day that I felt really crummy about my ability to interact digitally with my team. I had spent the past two days thinking I should find a different profession. I’ve been thinking it would be easier to cope of I just have to be less invested in this entire process, accepting what I’m told to do instead of trying to find ways to work around limitations. What exactly is the harm in leaning in and just staying in pjs and watching movies while still getting the required things done? Why am I continuing to get up at 5 am and work most of the day? These are all questions I’ve been pondering as of late. I started my long run in a pretty crummy mood. My only motivation to kick myself out the door was for food. (Our plans for after included takeout from Ithaca Beer. We had put in our orders of burgers and fries and planned on a beer to go with it). I reasoned I could run 16 miles with that carrot hanging out at the end.

I put in a Tim Ferriss podcast from August 2019 that I hadn’t yet listened to. An interview with Safi Bahcall about hypnosis, incentives and more. I think I was about 2 miles in when I got out of my head and started to enjoy the run. I ran roads until mile 7.5 and then dropped into the Black Diamond Trail. Once on trail I saw so many people out running, biking and hiking. It was nice to realize that despite all this social distancing there are still people out and about. Everyone kept their distances and waved and smiled. Just seeing people perked me up even more. My friend Jessica biked by me heading the other direction and I saw a group of bikers as they headed up the trail and then again on their way back down. “That’s a long run,” they said. “16 miles I chirped back” feeling really strong.

At mile 12 Xander ran by me in a blur. He waved and said, “hi mom!” and he was gone in a flash. I spent some time thinking about how proud I was of him. He has taken so well to marathon training. I am enjoying watching him tackle this with a full heart. It is fun to see him grow as a runner.

At around mile 13 I decided I’d like to switch from the podcast to music. However, I couldn’t get Siri to understand my commands and my hands were too cold to operate my phone. I would instead finish the podcast. That turned out to be a great choice because the last half hour was the most interesting part of all. It really dove into incentives and group behavior – something that I’m struggling with at work. I got a little bit of perspective about my struggle.

When I hit the end of the trail both my kids were there cheering for me. They were a bit deflated when I asked, “where is dad?” and they shared that he was about a mile back. I was at 15.6 and reasoned I actually should do the last .4 so I continued on by them. When I finally finished they were not cheering quite as enthusiastically. After I finished the 3 of us hopping into our warm car and waited for Scott to finish. We had a blueberry fig bar in the car. I ate half of it and it was oh so good!! We drove to Liquid State to try to buy beer, only to learn they close up for beer sales at 4 pm daily. Then suddenly we realized, “Oh we are getting dinner at Ithaca Beer! We could buy beer there!” We spent the rest of the drive deciding what beer we’d want to have, only to arrive and see they had two choices in their beer cooler. “That was easy! We’d take our favorite hoppy choice of Flower Power.” Scott took a picture of our dinner (we all got a burger).

Our burger, fries and beer from Ithaca Beer

In true post long run fashion, my stomach was starting to turn a little bit by the time it was actually time to eat. However, I did eat every scrap of food. After all the entire motivation for my run was getting to enjoy take out from Ithaca Beer!

Other training thoughts

As we enter into week 13 it is the week that the Skunk Cabbage Classic half marathon was supposed to take place. We agreed that we’d run our own Skunk on Sunday. I’m pretty excited about this. Looking ahead at my training plan I see that I have a rest day on Saturday and a pretty low mileage week. I want to add a little more yoga at home to get more stretching in (I’m so grateful that Pure Sweat is offering Zoom sessions), and I plan to take our daily hikes a little slower. I don’t know that I’ll race the half this weekend – it is hard to race without the adrenaline of a real race environment, but we’ll see. Here’s to another week of training!!

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