Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Training, Traditions and Time For Play.

Happy Wednesday! I'm going to have to make this a random post today seeing as my morning coffee/self time is quickly coming to an end and it is almost time to wake these wild things up and let our wild rumpus begin!  So a bullet post it least until I have more time to compose my thoughts.  

  • I know I've shared the picture above before and it is Runninghood's facebook profile picture, but I'm sharing it again this morning because it says so much of how I'm feeling right now with my upcoming training.  
  • I'm still read, read, reading about marathon training!  I know that it would be easy to just pick up any plan and follow it but I'm really trying to wrap my head around all the science behind the training plans.  
  • Base building is going really well.  I will be following a 20 week Boston training plan so that means that I don't start official training for another few weeks.  This gives me the month of November to keep building/maintaining mileage.  
  • I'm realizing that although I didn't run a ton of miles this summer, I built more of a base than I thought.  It was a win win win of a summer.  I had fun, didn't have serious training on the agenda, but I still maintained a lot of what I had from my spring/early summer marathons.  With the random speed workouts, races that I "jumped" in, and other few weeks of training for the Girlfriend's Half-Marathon last month, I feel quite strong in my base.  Running 49 miles last week felt good. 
  • Still trying to determine how big of a jump in weekly mileage I can safely make.  I want to take my training to a new level this time around but I don't want to get ahead of myself and end up being injured before I even reach half-way.  Finding that balance between setting lofty goals/dreaming big with being realistic about what is safe and wise.  70-80 miles as my peak seems okay right now but I'm not so sure how my body will respond.  And I know that some of these miles will have to be what some refer to as "junk miles".  Not so sure that they are worth it just to increase my mileage volume.  Still researching that.  
  • Always Learning!   

Halloween was FUN!  We had one of our better family dress-up nights.  It was truly magical to see how excited my kids were.  I grew up never being able to celebrate Halloween and so I've held on to some of those feelings but after this year, I'm dropping those old feelings.  Halloween is what we make it to be.  In my opinion, it is a fun time of year for kids to dress up and be kids!  A tradition. And for us, it is an opportunity to make memories and have fun with our kids!  It doesn't have to mean anymore than that. However, I respect how others choose to celebrate.  It isn't for everyone.  

Motherhood bullets:
  • I've been reading a book about growing grateful kids and it has given me lots of little things to apply to my daily life.  Today's chapter was about PLAYING with our children and enjoying them.  This was good for me to read because I get so one-tracked in my daily living. Always cleaning, reading, training, planning and thinking to the next thing.  This is all good too...part of being on top of things but I'm going to make a point of sitting down with my family just play!  It can be as simple as giving piggy back rides or building a lego tower.  Or letting my kids perform a play and really stopping to watch them.  
  • As serious as I want to be with my marathon training, my quality time with my kids and my husband comes first.  This is important to me.  It is also important for me to share my goals with my kids and allow them to see me working hard and reaching for a goal.  This is a great example for them and I think it is always good for mothers to have a chunk of their life for THEMSELVES!  I see too many stay-at-home-moms get lost in their family without having their own goals or things they do just for them...girl nights with friends, self-pampering, athletic goals, and other interests outside of keeping baby books and making sure they are making fantastic memories for their kids.  All this is WONDERFUL and admirable but I think it is so important to nurture and empower ourselves too!  
  • Time to make our yearly gratitude jar and start filling it up for Thanksgiving!  It really makes more sense to have this thing going year round but it never seems to last.  

1.  Do you keep a running log, running journal, or calendar with your training?  
2.  What are some traditions that you have incorporated into your family life?  I'm always looking for traditions to help make memories for my kids.  One of the things we try to make a regular thing around here is date nights with our kids.  We try to take turns with each one of them so they each get personal date time with mom or dad at various times.  Also, this gratitude can is a big one for us.  And on Thanksgiving we all have cards we write on and read before dinner.  The cards then go into a gratitude album with our picture for that year.  It is a special book to go back to look at year after year.
3.  Don't forget to check out the jewelry giveaway I have going on.  Awesome stuff for athletes, mothers, and so much more.  


  1. You are going to be in phenomenal shape for Boston! Love that you are studying up and figuring out the best approach. Running is lifelong learning.

    And--sounds like a great parenting book. I'm so bad about stopping what I am doing to just take in the kids. Thanks for the reminder to do it!

  2. It will be interesting to see what you determine to be the best approach with mileage. This is something that I have a difficult time with - building miles without the flame out.

    Boston better be ready for you - for you will be more than ready for it!

  3. " I see too many stay-at-home-moms get lost in their family without having their own goals or things they do just for them...girl nights with friends, self-pampering, athletic goals, and other interests outside of keeping baby books and making sure they are making fantastic memories for their kids. All this is WONDERFUL and admirable but I think it is so important to nurture and empower ourselves too! " This so applies to moms that work too I think. I work three days a week and still feel like sometimes I get lost in there somewhere while I am trying to make sure everyone else is happy and taken care of. So important to show our kids that Mommies need time for themselves too.

    I don't really keep a running log, except what I download from my Garmin.

  4. I love your gratitude can! Looks like Halloween was lots of fun.

    Good luck working out the mileage build... with such a long build up, you are sure to be in wicked shape by April!!

    I use a Google spreadsheet to track my training plan & workouts... I like that I can access it anywhere.

  5. Chris, Thanks for the vote of confidence! Christy, yes definitely still true for working moms. Surely! Right now, I am involved with way more stay at home moms so this is what is fresh on my mind. But certainly, working moms probably feel equally as stretched to still take time for their personal lives in addition to coming home and trying to cover the mom bases. ah, heck, let's throw dads in the mix all comes down to all of us finding time to take time for ourselves so we don't get lost and have nothing to give to our family. Self time is essential! period. :)

  6. Great plan for building up to Boston. I just started my 16 week training for the Arizona marathon and plan to have my peak weeks around 50+. I would love to build up to more someday though...

  7. I always feel so lame when I read your posts LOL! You are so creative and such a great mom! Now that my kids are getting older I'm so wrapped up in such stupid things.

    You are going to do so well in Boston! YOu are such an incredible runner, I'm excited for you!

  8. Your gratitude can is awesome, what a great idea. How do you have time to come up with all of this cool stuff?

    I keep a calendar with tons of side notes on it with my training plan and times. It can get quite messy. :-)

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  10. It is tough for most moms and dads, I believe. I know that in order to be a better runner, I should add more to my training, Working full time leaves me with just a few hours a night to actually BE with my kids and even that gets taken up by prepping for the next day. I like being able to at least see them in the morning a couple of days a week.

    You have so many great ideas! I love the gratitude can and may steal it, or make some version of it. We used to take our kids on special dates, but haven't in awhile. Thanks for the reminder.

  11. oh Nora, I'm sad that I make you feel lame. I'm really not all that cool...I share things that are cool but trust me, there are plenty of lame things going on around here. normal, lame, and ordinary! And you're amazing!!
    Tasha, so many of the things I do with my kids come from the teacher in me. Not teaching leaves me with a ton of creative home is like a really is more selfish than way of fulfilling that creative/teacher itch with my own kids....things I would do in the classroom if I was still there.
    Things I also do sometimes:
    Lose my crap
    Walk around with sweaty, greasy hair and wear pink pajama bottoms to walk my daughter to school.
    Turn on the t.v just because I need a break.
    Resort to feeding my kids crappy food because it is easy sometimes.

    oh, I can keep going don't feel lame! WE all have our strengths and weaknesses and are great moms in our own way. My kids could and would have a long list of things I could be better at. Even moms that work all day and only have small amounts of time with their kids...just as with training...quality is sometimes better than quantity!

  12. I think as a stay at home mom I sometimes take for granted how much time I have with my kids. Since I have so much, I think I don't always concentrate on making that quality time. I so need to remember everyday to play with my kids!!! Thank you for reminding me. I love the gratitude jar. I think I will steal that one from you!

  13. i LOVE how into Halloween your entire family cool that you all dressed up and enjoyed the moments of the day together :) i love reading about the thought you are putting into your training for sounds like you are very balanced and I am sure it will work out for the best for you!

  14. Morning:)

    Read this at work here! Will be back to reread in a bit!! Good stuff:)

  15. Love the costumes. Your family is seriously adorable and I want to join. I would fit in perfectly as spider man right?

    Great job with the base building. That is what I am working on now too and it feels good to run for fitness and not really have a 'plan'. Speaking of plans I think yours sounds solid and I am excited to see how it goes.

  16. I'm so freaking anal about logging my training, I do it on 2 online websites and then copy it to a word file :).

    You're going to have a great training for Boston season. Don't fret about it too much, just do what feels naturally and don't second-guess it for weeks. There is no one right way, it's all a matter of trial and error to find what works best.

    You're such a great blessed your kids are!! :)

  17. Amanda:

    You've got it together! The week I run 49 miles will be the week I die of shock--I'm very impressed.

  18. Your can is an inspiration to me! We did the jar last year and I have been thinking about how to do it this year. Maybe an oatmeal box would work better :)

    Can't wait to get to all that self-pampering...haha

  19. Always learning! As am I!!!! SO much talent, as I've often said:) A solid 20 weeks in a plan that works for you and I really believe your body will give you QUITE the performance on April 16th. Man, I can't wait for that day....or maybe that night.....or maybe the night after:) Nice job on the 49 miles last week as I mentioned before!

    You're a great mom Amanda. A great example to your kids, someone I have looked up to in MANY ways in terms of motherhood. My kids would have really liked to have "get your hands dirty and glitterize the floor" Amanda for a mom when they were little:) I totally agree with mothers needing to have a chunk of their life for THEMSELVES!!

    Yes, I keep a running log, not a journal but a log. I've also kept an online log which I like because of how easy it is to get my stats and breakdowns etc....

    Traditions. Love the individual date nights. My kids LOVE this. I'm so thankful that they genuinely like and look forward to spending one on one time with me. Fortunately during hockey season, I'm often traveling with only one of my kids and can make this work even when life gets busy! Gratitude can VERY cool.

    OK-super long phone comment over. Thinking about you today...a lot. Hoping the researching and processing is going well and hope you had a great run:)

  20. You are such a great mom! Your intention is so directed. I love it. Your drive and energy and willingness to learn every step of the way is really inspiring, Amanda. What a wonderful 'bullet' post :)

  21. I am fairly new to running myself, but I've been running since January of last year, and figured out that the book I use is the one my running BFF has used for years, and she has run a many a marathons. The book is Advanced Marathoning by Pfitzing and Douglas. I have Second Edition and she has first. The running training is set up for "up to 55 miles per week" and another from "55 to 70 miles" which sounds like it would be up your alley.

    I hear you about needing goals of your own as a mom. I've been feeling like that a lot lately. Luckily I have my running and planned races to keep me focused and happy. I do have my other little projects like sewing, quilting, knitting, but until I go back to work I feel like I'm not doing anything meaningful. Thanks for reminding me that I'm not alone.

  22. Looks like you're using a great approach to finding the right approach. I've always tried to build a strong base and then really speed up the last month. You'll kill it!

  23. Thanks for the great blog with great, thought-provoking ideas for us all! I love reading your stuff. We can all take from it and become better people/runners/moms. Quite a gift you have!!! Do tell what parenting book that is to help raise grateful kiddos. I'd love to check it out! Title and author when you get a chance!

  24. Good luck with your research. I know it feels like there is always more to learn. BTW, I'm currently in the 70-80 mile/week training mode.

    I log all miles in an Excel Spreadsheet (since 2005) complete with notes about heart rate, weather, splits, cross training, etc.

  25. Quality time with the family is still a priority for me. It's so much harder with everyone's crazy schedules but family closeness is priceless.

  26. I understand all the second guessing and gathering information as you begin this next trianing cycle. I know you want to be at your optimum. And you will be. Your in great shape as is going in. Not to mention being anxious and healthy. Everyting will fall into place. You'll set up your schedule and then work organically from it as your life and body dictates. IT WILL BE GOOD!

    I could't train without a calendar. There is something very cleansing about looking at your day and seeing productivity on paper. Even right now as I'm base trianing and taking it easy for the winter I have a calendar to put on the fridge. Mostly for my husband because he can't keep up with my scheudle :) but it's kind of a sick security blanket for me as well. It gives me a sense of order.

    I love your tradition of a gratitude jar. Teching kids to CHOOSE to be grateful is a lost art I think.

  27. I LOVE your family's Halloween picture. ADORABLE. Ya'll are the cutest.

    I do keep a running journal and it's usually with me (although I forgot it today).

  28. You are going to rock Boston!!! I keep a log and calendar but am really thinking of incorporating a journal for future races to see if my nutrition is playing a part in my overall performance.

    One tradition I started with Em that I am carrying over from my childhood is that I leave her a note every morning before I leave for work. My Mom was a stay-at-home mom but she always put notes in our lunch boxes and I loved it. When I got to high school she would leave notes for some of my friends I ate lunch with too! In college and even now she sends me notes in the mail all the time! Em keeps her notes in a basket next to her bed! We also end our day with saying what our favorite part of our day was. We've modified it this month to what we are thankful for.

  29. I love that first picture you posted. Such a true statement. Looks like a fab Halloween. Most of the surrounding towns by me actually rescheduled Halloween for this Friday because of the storm. I hope we get some trick or treaters!

    I can't believe it is almost Boston Marathon training season. I decided not to run this year, so I am truly excited to follow your training : )

  30. I have been such a blogger slacker! And I always love reading your blog! You are really an amazing woman! Your base miles would be my high training mileage! I also love how you are researching your brain out trying to find the right plan for you! You're gonna do great!
    My family comes first too and you are so right, it IS those traditions that the kids will remember and treasure! It's time well spent! Each of my kids has a gratitude journal and I help the youngest with his. It's a good thing to do before nightly prayers. It ends the day with a positive note and gives them something to really think about.
    I have missed you friend!

  31. I am planning on using one of the individualized Jack Daniels programs for Boston training. What do you think of that? I will have email support and all of that good stuff. I'm excited even though I'm just barely easing back into running.

  32. Yup! I log all my runs on
    I agree with the mileage stuff....DON"T go too fast....make sure you follow the 10% rule. I have followed it religiously this past 12wks and it's worked great...infact I'm still hovering between 40-50 for another 2wks..before I jump to 55:) You are going to do great no matter what plan you choose! xxx

  33. That sounds like a great book. I found myself alone with James last night and while I easily could have stolen some precious writing time, I rememebered precious time with my little man was much more fleeting. So Parcheesi it was!

    LOVE your guys' costumes and I completely agree that with's what you make it!

    Hope you're having a great weekend.