Friday, 23 January 2015

That time I ran with poop all over my shirt

The window of opportunity for going for a run is relatively small in a two-toddler household.  I've learnt by now that, when that window presents itself, it should be grabbed with both hands and embraced.

Yesterday morning J-Bear woke up at 05:45 a.m., the usual time, giving us exactly 15 minutes to get up, get dressed, change his diaper, grab him a juice and a snack, and head out the door for our early-morning run.  Experience has taught me that heading out the door any later than 06:00 a.m. starts interfering with our "get-ready-for-the-workday" activities, which in turn leads to a rushed, teary chaos for the kids, which, of course, isn't ideal.  So 06:00 a.m. it is.

But back to yesterday.  We were right on schedule and just about to head out the door at 06:02 a.m., when J-Dawg had a huge diaper blow-out (poor Bear is teething).  Okay, so on to Diaper Change No. 2.  [Side note: "Diaper change" sounds all quick and innocent, but believe me, it's not.  J is at a stage now where Will and I change his diapers as a two-man team.  He.  Just.  Won't.  Lay.  Still.]  I changed the dirty diaper in record time, strapped J into the stroller and flew out the door at 06:11.  We were pushing it time-wise, but I was convinced that we would make up the lost 11 minutes elsewhere in our morning routine.

As we started running, I just couldn't shake the dirty-diaper smell.  I checked and re-checked if J had had a second blow-out, but all was clear.  And then I saw it: The back of my lily white running shirt (the only clean one left in my cupboard) was covered in poop.  Okay, not quite covered, but lets just say that it wasn't lily white anymore.  Drat.  I was faced with a tough decision: Head back home and skip the run, or continue running with the poopy shirt...  And of course you know which option won: We finished our run, stinky shirt and all.

I'll spare you a close-up.

Back home we were greeted by Will and Miss K's "what's-that-smell" faces, right after which Miss K pointed out, to my horror, that, in addition to the white-shirt-diaper-blow-out, a bird had also pooped on my shoulder.  More poop.  Lovely.  

Just keeping it real, folks - a morning in the life of a running mama!  Happy weekend!

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Apparently I'm as slow as a fast 79-year old...

One of the perks of belonging to a local running club, is always being in the know.  E-mails containing all kinds of local, running-related bits and bobs are suddenly frequenting my inbox and I love it - what could be better than some running news first thing on a Monday morning?

This week I was greeted with a gem: The dates and times of all the local races for 2015.  Wahoo!  And while that would have been a good mail in itself, it also contained some painfully humbling information: Qualifying times for being included in the provincial team in 2015 (at least that's what I think it referred to.  The heading only reads "Quilify (sic) Times for 2015").  Now, don't get me wrong: I have zero aspirations to make the team.  But I just couldn't help but have a peep at where I currently stand in terms of speed...

Yep, my best 10 km time of 51:something (which left me with a bloody aftertaste in my mouth and a sore body for a week) is equal to what is considered fast for a 69-year old...  And my half-marathon PB of 01:56:13, which I so proudly clocked last year, is regarded as being a fast time for a 79-year old...  Ouch!  I'm 37, by the way.  And it's not as if members of our provincial team ever dominate the international podiums, if you catch my drift...

Working on that speed.

Nothing like a bit of entertaining inspirational info early on a Monday morning, right?!  Happy running!

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Joining the Club

I joined a local running club!  And even though late afternoon running has never been my thing (exhaustion, heat and hunger, anyone?), J Bear and I lined up for our very first club time trial on Tuesday.

Strolling to the starting line.

Now I'm not the world's most outgoing person, so I always find it hard to casually stroll up to a group of strangers and introduce myself, but I must say that everyone was so friendly and welcoming.  The Bear and I genuinely had a great time!

My new club hosts weekly time trials on Tuesday afternoons, with 4 and 8 km options each week.  And since I know very well that the tempo run is my Achilles heel, and, ironically, will most likely be what gets me to a sub-50 min 10 km, J and I decided to tackle the 4 km.  

Quick briefing before we set off.

It was hot.  And believe me when I say that that stroller is getting heavier by the day, ha!  (J now almost weighs just as much as his big sister...)  Fortunately a large portion of the 4 km time trial route, which winds through a nearby neighbourhood, allows for us to run on the sidewalk, which is fantastic safety-wise.  Workout-wise, on the other hand, ploughing through the dust and gravel is quite a task - ouch!

We finished in 22:47, which I'm pretty happy with for now.  I guess the real challenge will come when we try to beat this time next week...?

Happy to be a Harrier!

Friday, 9 January 2015

A slow, but good start

My Year of Running Fun started off a bit like my grandpa's old Lister engine on the farm back when we were kids: With a huff and a puff and... well, not much else.  But, when the year's running finally did commence (and the coughing finally stopped, hooray!), it did so in style: With a parkrun, yay!

Love those results mails!

Annnnnd, to make the start of this Year of Running Fun even more fun, I nabbed these at a local sale...

The Nimbus 16s!  I know, I know.  I said that I was going to go with the New Balance 1080v5s.  But a niggly knee convinced me that I need new running shoes right now (my newest pair is already more than a year old), and the 1080v5s are still nowhere to be seen in our dearest home town.  Plus the Nimbuses were on sale.  And they're purple.  Can we go running now??

Colour: Purple/Lightning/Lime.  Sounds very promising to me.
A parkrun and new running shoes...  I'm having a ball already!

Happy weekend, everyone!

Friday, 2 January 2015

2015 Running Goals: My Year of Running Fun

I've been uncharacteristically hesitant about thinking of and jotting down my running goals for 2015.  Perhaps it's because 2014 taught me that we can plan all we like, but life sometimes has other plans?  Or perhaps 2014 has just left me so exhausted on all levels that I can't imagine chasing a new PB yet?  Whatever the reason, I just haven't been able to identify some exciting new goals with the same ease as I have in past years.  

I know all too well, though, that I'm the type of person who needs goals to help me focus and that I very definitely need exciting things (i.e. runs or races) to look forward to on those days when the everyday-blahs strike.  

We need exciting things to look forward to!

So here's what I finally came up with for 2015: It will, God willing, be my year of running fun.  2014 was all about PRs and improvement; 2015 will be about having fun.  A little sabbatical, if you will, from the never-ending quest to clock new PRs.  And since my idea of fun involves my family, running and travelling, most of my running goals for 2015 will revolve around these things too.  

Here they are:
  • Complete parkruns at five new-to-me official parkrun venues (you knew parkrun was going to feature in there somewhere, right?);
  • Do one international run or race in a country where I've never run or raced before (that will bring my total of countries run in to date up to six!);
  • Get a local parkrun up and running in our new home town;
  • Complete a race (our first!) as a family of four; and
  • Do a fun costume race (also my first!).

Can't wait to do a race with these two.

Encouraging myself to have fun - I like it!  Does this mean that I won't be entering races or training hard?  Or that I've forgotten about that sub-50 10 km?  Not at all.  I'll definitely be doing some local races and giving my all in each one.  But just for 2015 I don't want to place the focus purely on performance - I need to have a bit of fun.

Wishing you a joyful and fun year of running too!