Progress Not Perfection

I feel like when you are all on the social media sites it’s easy to compare yourself to other people, their paces, how fast they rebound after they have a baby, or the PR’s. It’s easy to compare yourself and then feel like garbage when you don’t measure up to what those people are able to do. I think it’s easy to let others curb your progress. I always see myself thinking I will never be as fast or as toned as those people and I catch myself backing off or not trying as hard. 

So fast forward to me being a mom and getting back in to running. Am I where I was before I had my daughter? Nope. Do I care? Nope. With that being said, I am getting back in shape and my running is getting back where I was before I was pregnant. My weight is no where where I was before but honestly I feel like the extra weight is related to all the strength training and the fact that I’m still carrying a little weight. 

I feel like comparison is normal but when it consumes who you are and the work you put in toward reaching your goals then maybe you need to take a step back from things and think about what you want. I want to make progress and I know I won’t be perfect and I’ll miss days and I won’t feel like it but I’ll always push forward and only compare myself against me! I’m happy with being a work in progress and I’m also happy with how far I’ve come in just 6 short months! 

Just keep running friends!


5 thoughts when running 

I’m a thinker when I run. I think about what the last person who I passed is up to. I think about what my daughter is thinging about in the stroller. I think about a lot of different, random things. I’m not really a shut your mind off type of person. I’ve tripped so many times and almost fallen because I’m so deep in my own thoughts. Here are my top 5 thoughts while running:

  1. I wonder what we have in the fridge to eat when we get back?
  2. Did I close the garage door when I left?
  3. Why is that kid not at school?
  4. If I run this cal-d-sac one more time then I’ll get that extra .2 I need. 
  5. Did the wind just shift?

Running is a funny thing and I think about a lot of different things when I run. 

What’s the funniest thing you have ever thought about while running?

Run slow to get fast?

How on earth does this even work? When I signed up for my first PP marathon I went in to my training with a different mindset. I had researched a lot of different training plans to see what would work for me because I knew I hadn’t trained or ran much while I was pregnant so I needed to ease back in to my training. The training that I decided to do was a combination of several of the Hal Hidgon plans. This plan does include running 6 days a week, which was 1 more day of running per week then I was used to before but 4 of the 6 runs were at 60 to 90 seconds per mile slower then goal pace. Then there are two workout days per week with a long run (this run is still at 60-90 seconds per mile slower then goal pace). 

I have been doing this training plan since November. I feel recovered faster and less sore after harder workouts. I also can run harder and stronger during my workout runs. I’ve pushed myself back in to shape faster then I thought I would after having my daughter and, knock on wood, I have done so injury free because I’m actually recovering my body and not pushing ever run. 

On March 11, I’m running my first PP marathon. I’m excited to see how this training carries me on race day and I’m exited to see the results of all my running the last few months. I have other goals this year that I want to use this type of running with. 

Has anyone used this plan and seen the results they wanted from this type of running? 

What’s it like to be a mother runner?

I’m going to be completely transparent here. When I found out I was pregnant I wondered how I would do it all. Would my running suffer? How would I get out and run when I was home by myself with the baby? Would I ever be able to train and run marathons again? Now that I’m 6 months post- partum, I really value the saying “It takes a village to raise a child” because it truly does. I depend on a lot of other people to make sure that I am able to get my runs in every day. I also feel like scheduling my runs has completely gone out of the window. I fit a run in when I can. Whether it be at 6am (lets be honest, I’m not doing much of those time of days running) or in the evening when my husband has gotten home from work. I also depend on my super amazing sitter that comes over twice a week so I can do things I need to (most of that includes running and taking a shower) and also filling my weekend with great quality running. Sometimes I do feel overwhelmed when I think about all the things I need to get done but it helps to not stress about schedules and too much structures (we never miss nap time though because it would be bad if we did).

With that being said, I can be a mother and a runner but sometimes the runner part of things takes a back seat when I need to be a mother, first. I just need to remember that running will be there and I can always come back to it when I have more time. With that being said, I have less then 60 days until my first post baby marathon. I’m scared, excited, nervous, and worried about the outcome of that day. Just taking one run at a time and I’ll get to the start and finish lines one way or another.

Goals

2016 was a year of babies and postpartum fitness returns! As of yesterday, my daughter is 5 months old. I’m beginning to feel great and slowly getting myself back in shape. I have two races on my spring races calendar. The first, Rock and Roll DC Marsthon, is my goal race. This is the one I’m training for all winter. I also was selected for the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler. That is about a month after the marathon so it might turn in to a run for fun race. 

With that being said, I’m decided to do Hal Hidgon training. I think this type of training will get me to the start and finish lines of the marathon. This plan has 2 quality workouts a week and a long run. All non workout runs are to be 60-90 seconds per mile slower then goal pace. The point of this is to get the quality of the run in without stressing the body. This works! I’ve been doing this type of running since the beginning of November. It’s effective and I’m feeling great so far. I’ll keep doing updates along the way but so far so good! I’ve customized it to my liking but it’s been amazing so far!

You should take a look at this plan! 

I haven’t done this in awhile

So, it’s been quite some time since I have posted anything on my blog. I believe it was last year while I was training for 3 marathons, in three months. I never ended up running the third marathon last December. A week after Las Vegas Rock and Roll Marathon I found out I was expecting. Over the course of nine months, I ran, I walked, and strength trained. In July, I gave birth to a wonderful baby girl. She has consumed a lot of my time and energies. I have a c-section, so I was on strict rest for the first 6 weeks. During that time, we sold our house, moved to a temporary apartment and moved 2000 miles (it was quite a first 6 weeks for our baby girl).

Currently, I am in the middle of getting my fitness back, while also caring for my daughter. I signed up to run for St. Jude in March for my first postpartum marathon. It will be interesting because I will be training in the winter weather, which I haven’t done in almost 6 years. Honestly, I feel like I’m right where I am supposed to be!

Hopefully I can keep up with things on the blog. When things get busy, sometimes there are parts of documenting my journey that have to go, and it always seems to be this blog! Well, I hope that everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Running with the dogs

For the last two weeks I have been recovering from the Chiacgo Marathon. I was not too terrible banged up as a I didn’t run that exceptionally well. Today I had planned to run 4 miles since I have a longer run on the docket for tomorrow. As of right now all my running friends bailed and I have to leave to travel for work so we shall see what tomorrow brings. But alas I digress, Thursday my husband told me about a running event that the local animal shelter puts on and so we decided to head over there this morning. The event involved taking the adoptable pups out for a run so that they were a little bit tired to take to an adoption event. I have to say that it was good for my soul today. It didn’t matter about the distance or the pace but all about the experience. It was such a good running morning.  

 

Ah the trail that I love

I went to the trail this morning and met up with a friend. I haven’t been trail running in a hot minute because of marathon tapering and such. The trail was new to me and I have never been there. I normally hit the trail by my house that is rocky and not too fun but close. I have to say that this trail was beautiful and great. About 720 feet of gain in 6.5 miles, a little technical but nothing crazy. It’s great to get back out there. I live here! It’s hard to appreciate it when it’s the dog days of summer and over 100 degrees. I do appreciate it today. 

  

The Chicago Marathon

It’s been almost one week since the Chicago Marathon. The marathon was an interesting experience. I have completed, successfully I might add, a 18 week training plan. I executed the plan to a tee. I tapered perfectly and things went great. We left Friday morning and headed to the Windy City. I ate well and hydrated. Nothing too crazy. We went and walked around the expo which was crowded but I did pick up a lot of great apparel and a new pair of my favorite shoes.

Sunday morning:

I ate a bagel and had a cup of coffee. Got dressed and walked over to the start line. It was crowded and crazy but I got through the gate. Checked my bag, which was easy. Then I went and waited.

The race started well. I was right on pace and feeling great. I believe around mile 4 I accidentally took a Gatorade cup. I didn’t think much about it even though I do not drink Gatorade. At mile 16 I started feeling sick. Sometimes when I race my stomach flips so it wasn’t too unusual that I felt that way. It turned from feeling sick to me needing to find somewhere to get sick. It was an awful feeling. For 10 miles I fought the urge to get sick. It was the worse feeling ever. At 400 meters to go i was struggling to finish without getting sick.

At the end, yes I pushed through, i was running everything through my head about what changed or happened and I realized the culprit might be the Gatorade. I’m not a Gatorade drinker. I’m a coconut water or Nuun lover so I think the sugar did not sit well.

I felt a wave of disappointment even though I still finished a few ticks over 4 hours but I know I was tough and this day made me a mentally stronger runner. The plus side is that I get to race again in id November at Rock and Roll Vegas! I do have to say I had a great time and I get to redeem myself and not drink Gatorade in a few weeks!

  

Has it really been this long?

So I have kind of gotten away from the blogging game. Between getting through my last few courses of grad school (I start my last ever class next Wednesday), working part (to almost full) time, and training for not one but three fall marathons things have been hectic and crazy. I have been tweeting daily, so follow me over there (tcross1124) if you want to be kept abreast of all my shenanigans or also over on instagram (justkeeprunning) if you find pictures to be more your speed. I’ll be posting via both places this weekend at the CHICAGO MARATHON. What?!? Have I really made it through 4 tough months of training with several hundred miles run? I think I have. I am very excited to recap that race. Promise I will! 

To preface my weekend of all things running, I have to begin by discussing a couple things. I have never really trained for a marathon before. I know, I know, it sounds crazy but I am a last minute sign up for a race type of gal and never have time to fully commit to training for a marathon, so this spring after I was cleared by my doctor and given the go-ahead to resume normal activity after my eye surgery (more on that later) I decided to sign up for the Las Vegas Rock and Roll Marathon. Literally the next day, Chicago open it’s random draw. Not thinking I would ever get in because I mean that race is huge and a lot of people want to run it, I decided to put my name in. Well a few short weeks later, I find out I get to run that one too! So here we go. I have over 4 months to actually train and focus on getting stronger and faster. I think that it is safe to say I am both and maybe even a little mentally tougher. So that’s where we are. Oh, you are wondering about that 3rd marathon I mentioned. Well my running friend asked me if I thought I would be up for it to run the Tuscan Marathon with her in December. She convinced me with the negative elevation gain and the all downhill business. So, I signed up for that one. So thats where I am at. Running three races this fall with the first starting this weekend. I will keep you updated with little race recaps after each one and then maybe a discussion after the Tuscan race, since I’m not sure I would ever recommend running three that close together, but hey it’s the crazy ultra runner in me that really can not resist doing weird stuff.

See you after this weekend!!! Tell me would you ever consider running so many long races so close together?