Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Life, running, weather, perspective, gratitude.

Well, it's been awhile! A LONG while but I'm coming to the realization that this is just how I roll through the seasons of life....I write when I feel like writing and I don't when it becomes "work". Not that my blog is "work" but forcing words into an obligatory post is really not the direction I wanted to go with it...I've gone through many seasons with this blog. From deciding to eliminate it altogether at one point to feeling so VERY thankful to have had a place to just vent my thoughts on running, life!! This past week I've been doing a lot of thinking...about a lot of things.....because I think a lot....about things...a lot of things:) Ha! Anyway, I recently had the discussion about blogging with a new running friend who does not YET have a blog:):) She read mine which prompted me to read back through the archives myself. Wow, I really had a lot of fun with this. All this rambling about life in hickville, bragging about my kids, sometimes talking about my training, writing race reports, connecting with people with similar interests!! Making lifelong friends. It's been like a "not too personal" journal of events that I have documented!! This is actually pretty special! Although I don't have the time I once did right now, I sure have been blessed GREATLY through this blog and great for me to remember that! SO, tonight I feel like writing:) Or I feel like listing random bullets which developed as my style somewhere in 2011....


I'm working full time, MANY hours... I haven't exactly gotten a perfect system down here as far as balancing but I do feel like I've done a super job considering! I have 3 kids playing a traveling schedule of a combined 140 or more hockey games this winter. We have about 12 practices per week to haul kids to and from, we travel EVERY weekend, often in different directions and often at least a 10 hour round trip by car, usually more! Add in Confirmation, youth group, Junior volunteers, fundraising to name a few and I'm BUSY!! I still run, I manage to make some time (not as much as I would like) for those important to me and my kids sometimes eat something other than eggs and toast for supper! SUCCESS. I've been keeping my marriage TOP on my list of priorities and carving out quality uninterrupted time there. TODAY, even though I can't run anything with a 6 in front of it for fear of collapsing my lung and leaving my children motherless I feel very accomplished!

This past week, my sweet sister gave birth to a baby boy! My other sister and her husband legally became the parents of a little girl who is still in the Congo but now legally bears their last name!! Red tape red tape but SOON! And to top it off my baby sister just announced number three is on the way. I am the oldest of 6 girls and I absolutely LOVE coming from a big family. Constant excitement around here!

My kids start district playoffs this weekend!! Lots of nervous energy coming here in the next couple of weeks with my kiddos. Not putting the cart in front of the horse but both of my daughters teams have a very very good shot of making it to both the regional and then the state tournaments in their respective divisions if they play to their potential.....this means I am going to have to make choices as they are held the same weekend but in different venues. I don't want to think about missing these big moments in either of their lives! Ughh.


Since most people are more interested in running than whether or not I will get to wear a foam finger and drink concession stand coffee at Ryan's game?? or at Reese's game?? I'll move on:)

I've been running. Until last week I've been running all easy. No speed, no tempo, a little longer on the weekend but all just easy but CONSISTENT. Northern Minnesota has blessed us with some especially fun temps this winter as we've seen windchills of nearly -60 on some days and it has been BITTER much of this winter. Because it's no longer 2010 and I've gotten old and lost my BADass, I'm no longer willing to venture out into this:) The hours I have available to run are the COLDEST hours in the day and dark and icy. Finding myself blind because my eyelashes have literally frozen together solid or wearing my scary robber mask and duct tape on my shoes is just losing it's appeal....(I know, there are some of you playing air violin right now as you read this) ANYWAY, I've found myself on the treadmill A LOT. More than I like.

I've seen my pace improve since starting up after my break. I've not been wearing my Garmin much outside, (actually only 1 run on Garmin Connect in the last month!) but most of my TM runs have been averaging 7:40's now. Some slower, not many faster. I'm starting to see that my faster days are on the gym treadmills and my slower ones are on my home treadmill. Hmmm....

I'm realizing that I'm actually in pretty good shape even though I keep discrediting myself and telling myself I'm NOT. I'm not in "speed" shape yet because DUHH, I haven't run any speed, but I AM in good shape. I'm in a good good place! Last week I brought in both a little speed and tempo and will now be incorporating it regularly.

This afternoon we were blessed with 30 degree temps, a very light wind and a clear road surface which just seems so rare. Honestly, I don't remember the last time I ran with my feet touching pavement and not on ice. We don't have that nice firm packed snow that you can grip here either. No running paths in this rural country so the side of the road is either compacted ice or unpacked snow which is a problem as well (keep playing that violin:) Anyway, I started work before 5 am this morning so I would be able to run before dark and enjoy the beautiful day! I had run a double yesterday with some treadmill 1K's at the gym last night (I started but pulled the plug on a morning workout due to road surface and then a make-up workout-total miles only 9.1) so 6 miles easy on the schedule for today. I wore my Garmin, NO jacket and headed out into the sunshine!!

*I LOVE this new little weather feature on GarminConnect! COOL!*

OK-I think my home treadmill might be slow. I was running what felt comfortable and I wasn't pushing until the last 600 meters or so and my pace felt so much easier outside than it does on the treadmill. This was a great run for me. A really really great confidence builder to feel this good and look down when it was over to see these splits. I'm not comparing with the past, I'm looking at the present and this is AWESOME Jenn for how you felt! From here on out my running will change as I'm moving to a little more higher intensity, slower recovery instead of all this same pace stuff.

I've been fighting and am fighting a slight Achilles aggravation on my left leg (all my injuries before this niggle have been on my right side). It's not affecting me too much in running right now but my eye is on it and I'm thinking it's a good thing I will be moving into some warmer weather and getting off the treadmill!

Random-I think my perspective on life affects me GREATLY with running. So happy and appreciative this week. Very thankful for the special people in my life. People who support and love me no matter what. Thankful for ME. Thankful for what I have to offer. Excited to meet a new friend on Friday:) Looking forward to the next crazy month and racing season approaching!!!

Thank you for reading. Whoever is left out there. I started my blog with 4 followers for quite awhile:) Jill, you were one of them and I'm off to comment on your blog:)


Amanda@runninghood said...

Ah, I had a gut instinct that you blogged tonight. didn't even see it on my blog roll. Just googled Running Sane after your e-mail (I never do that) and here you are. Will be back after kids are settled, etc. etc. xo

Amanda@runninghood said...

Gosh, so much in here. A lot I already know about but not all. Awesome run today! Awesome splits...especially for just running 1ks yesterday. Gotta feel good about this. And holy heat wave Roseau! Sheesh...28 and sunny. ha! So glad that you are feeling good about this. I always loved the feeling of running on the road after being on the treadmill for so long...I usually felt stronger on the road after being on that mill. I like the TM to road transfer.

You are working so many hours..yes. Such a full schedule. So I'm so glad for this good perspective you have on life that makes all that you feel so efficient and energized for getting it all done. LIKE a CHAMP!

So much to say...thinking about your growing family, your kids and playoffs ...good luck! and so much.

Glad to read a Jenn post

Raina said...

My violin isn't playing because I think you are one tough cookie- even if you don't go out in 60 below anymore!

So good to read your post tonight! 140 games and someone/someones are doing confirmation? It was once a week for 2 years for me and my sister, I think. You are doing a wonderful job giving your kids all these opportunities, even with working like mad.

Must be wonderful to come from such a large family. My husband's is that way- not quite as big in his generation, but the one before. He has lots of cousins :) I can tell you just adore being an aunt 2 more times.

The pace on the garmin is very speedy Jenn! I would be beaming! Getting excited to see what your newer tougher workouts will be. ??

Ana-Maria RunTriLive said...

I always get such a big smile on my face when I read the description of your life; it really takes me there, and I like it. I often think of you and where you might be during your day, or what games your kiddos might be playing...You are busy, for sure, but you are so good at living your life in line with what is important to you, being patient about things that do not necessarily fit in (like running many miles), adjusting to what you can do, problem solving and adapting. There is a sense of accomplishment that comes with juggling many things in an efficient manner, and I sense that in this post. I said it before, and will say it again, this job is so good for you:) I often read through my old posts as well and smile (or cringe) of the phases of life. Surely running has changed a ton for me, as I think it has for you, too. And yes, we both found great people through our blogs. No violin for me either. I run in all kinds of weather, but my weather is nothing like yours and I only get frostbites when I put ice straight onto my legs, not from running outside:) I am so excited to see you add speed and tempos to your training; you will see a huge improvement! Congrats to all your sisters for the babes and good luck to the kidos. I would not be surprised if you come up with a Jenn clone so that you can be in 2 places at once and watch both Ryan and Reese:)

Katie said...

Still reading! I love reading your posts about your kids, sisters, sisters kids, and running! Its great to hear running and everything else is going well!

There was a really cold snap here like 10 years ago where it was -20 (and worse with the windchill). My eyelashes froze too. It was the only time I've ever thought that it just wasn't worth the run, so no violin here.

So the with the's possible you're TM is harder, but most people find the equivalent pace on the TM to feel harder (than the road). The reasoning goes something like b/c of the belt size people run with a shorter stride (so more steps per mile). Also they found when people run on the mill their feet don't linger as long on the belt (so more time in the air). It was hypothesized the reason is that with a moving surface we're more uncomfortable being on it. If that makes any sense. I have the same feeling. The pace outside feels easier...

Christie said...

You were one of the first running blogs I started to read when I ventured into this lifestyle and still continue to today! Love that you call it a robbers mask... I do too:) It has been such a long winter in Utah as well; but, not that cold, -60 YIKES!

Caroline said...

Still reading! great to read a post from you!!
What wonderful news about your sisters and the new little ones! My mom is one of 16 so our family is big and those news are the best ones always! Good luck to the kids! and I hope you continue to stay in a good place...

Allison said...

Wow, Jenn. You are a busy lady! I can relate, but I think you definitely got me beat with the kids' activities. I've only got one who is busy but definitely not 140-swim meets kind of busy.

So impressed with your discipline and drive. I've been playing my violin as I run on the Alter G this week. Trying to comeback from post-marathon total body destruction. It's been rough!

Anyway, great to read a post from you!

Jill said...

Hahaha....and then my computer dies and I don't even get to comment on this post when I was mentioned. So typical Jill. I think back to the days when someone first commented on my blog and it was YOU. I'm glad you came back and found me. Off to make a REAL comment on your latest post and stop babbling...