Mommy Wants a Timeout

In which I contemplate absurd moments in parenthood, occasionally attempt to refer to myself as a “triathlete” while keeping a straight face, and maybe post some random pictures of stuff I’m knitting

Archive for the month “February, 2014”

Snow Days

9 days before my upcoming half-marathon, the Portland area got hit with a rare winter storm, which sent the city into its typical winter-weather hysteria. (Snowmagedden! Arctic Blast 2014! Snowpocalypse!)

Aside from some closure-related inconveniences (I missed getting the alert that the kiddo’s school was closing early on Thursday, and happened to be in the dentist’s chair when my husband called to inform me) and a swing shift at the hospital (luckily most people heeded the warning to stay off the road, so the drive wasn’t as harrowing as the subsequent 8 hours in an understaffed ICU), I was able to spend most of the long weekend at home.

My neighborhood picked up around 8 inches of beautiful, powdery snow, much to my son’s delight:

Creating a full-size snowman seemed like too much effort, so we settled for elf-size.

Creating a full-size snowman seemed like too much effort, so we settled for elf-size.

It was fun to see all the kids on our street with their sleds and toboggans sliding down the hill in front of our house. I’m not sure I remember a day when so many neighbors were out visiting with each other; snow (and days off from work) must be a universal catalyst for socializing.

My half-marathon training plan called for a 6-miler this weekend. Unfortunately, the gym was closed due to the weather (which I’m almost grateful for; I did a tempo run on the treadmill Thursday, which reminded me why I run outdoors in just about any weather!) so I decided to brave the snowy roads and trails.

Here’s a view of where I began, a paved trail I do at least a portion of nearly every run on:

Somewhere under there is a trail...

Somewhere under there is a trail…

The snow was powdery and mostly packed, but the footing was uneven and a little slippery. I slowed my pace quite a bit, and it felt sort of like running on a rough trail. By a couple miles in, I was pretty fatigued mentally, and very concerned about straining a muscle or twisting an ankle before my race next Sunday, so I turned around and headed home for a total of about 4.5 miles…Good enough, I decided, and my legs should be nice and fresh next weekend! Again, it was fun to see all the people out enjoying the scenery, some of them on cross-country skis

Fast-forward a few days: the weather turned almost balmy, and the rain started pouring down.

R.I.P., little snow elf.

R.I.P., little snow elf.


I made it outdoors for the last run before my race, a short tempo run which felt GREAT! The snow was a fun interlude, but it was nice to be back out in the normal Oregon winter drizzle.

The weather forecast for the coming weekend calls for heavy rain and wind…I’ll be hoping for a break between about 8 and 10 Sunday morning, but even if I don’t get one, at least I won’t be running in a Snowpocalypse!

(Fast forward another week…MAN, I have a hard time finishing blog posts! At least I don’t have the same problem with racing. My half is done, I nailed my goal pace, and I can finally walk down the stairs without cringing. A race report to follow…if I ever get around to it!)

Back in the Saddle, Again…

Ahhh, that was a nice, long rest, wasn’t it? I feel refreshed, energized, motivated…to blog again, that is. Sorry for the long delay…Since my Oly tri in September, life has been full: family, projects around the house, and yes, goal-setting and training for the next race.

I’m the Parent of a Kindergartener!

Hard to believe it, but the kiddo turned 6 in November. He’s happily attending a kindergarten a full half-hour away from our house. The long commute creates the perfect opportunity for him to pepper me with relentless questions like these:

1. How long until our sun turns into a supernova?

2. How much cheese can you eat before you have a heart attack?

3. Is a baby shower like a meteor shower, with babies falling from the sky? (I’m pretty sure he was joking with this one…At least I hope he was!)

All pretty reasonable questions, though none quite as wonderful as the one he asked me a year or two ago: “Mommy, what do the actors do when we press ‘pause’ on the remote control?” I laugh every time I envision a crew of tiny people inside our TV standing around waiting for my son to press “play” again.

Trying to find answers must count as some kind of training for my brain. I swear I’ve done speedwork on the track lately that was less exhausting than a 20-minute conversation with my son! Still, I’m loving this stage of his childhood, where his creativity and curiosity are expanding so quickly, but his little body still fits perfectly next to mine when he crawls into bed for a snuggle on Saturday morning.

I’m Training for a Half-Marathon!

After my Oly tri in September, I vowed to take a couple weeks off from training. I lasted 5 days before going out for a run. I waited a little longer before setting some new goals, then decided it’s time to jump back on the horse that threw me. My summer of training left me feeling stronger than I ever have, so I hunted out a training plan in which I run only 3 days a week, so I can continue to swim and bike at least once a week. It’s not an easy plan, though; I set a goal pace for my HM, and the plan calls for tempo runs, speedwork, and a long run all at prescribed paces to help me achieve that goal. There are no “easy run” days or junk miles, but I’m actually pretty happy with that. It’s nice to set out with a purpose for every workout, and so far I’ve been able to meet or exceed my goal pace with every one (although last week’s 6-mile tempo run nearly made me cry.)

I’m just hoping my body’s revolving display of nagging aches and pains (Left foot! Right knee! Left hip! Upper back!) doesn’t progress to anything steady and debilitating. With a little luck, February 16th will find me CRUSHING my half-marathon PR and nailing my goal pace! Either way, I’m feeling pretty good about the way I’m running right now.

(Disappears for 3 weeks, continues to train for her race and be a mommy, then remembers she has a blog again…)

And, here I am again. Today was the last run of the peak week of training for my HM. I’m proud to say I met or beat the prescribed pace for every tempo run, track workout, and long run I’ve done. I had weekly mileage totals that were way higher than I’ve ever had in the past, and all on 3 days a week of running! I cross-trained on the bike and in the pool, too, which was a nice break from the long run workouts.

At this point, I don’t even really feel that much pressure to nail my goal pace for the half. I’ll run hard if I feel like it, or back off if it feels like too much. The real victory I’m celebrating is having the self-discipline to push myself through mile repeats on tired legs, or an 8-mile tempo run when my stomach was cramping…or just getting myself out the door for a long run on a cold day when I could have stayed in my warm house.

So send me some happy thoughts on February 16th, if you think about it, but rest assured that I will be having fun no matter what. After all, the hardest part of my race is already finished.

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