Life as we know it

Our family adventures

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Allie is so smart. When we were off together last week I asked if she wanted to watch her Baby Einstein. She jumped off the couch and went to the entertainment center and tried to open the drawer (thats locked) where we keep the remote for the DVD player.

I love how Allie is so mesmerized when watching her Baby Einstein. She will either stand right up in front of the TV or sit still on the couch like she did on the Sunday morning when I took these photos.

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It’ll be crazy

Tomorrow is the Crazylegs Classic. It truly is crazy. An article on the race web site from a month ago said 22,000 runners were anticipated, which would be a record. Last year was just short of 21,000.

So I’m not sure why I was surprised to be assigned to wave tt! The waves start with a, go through the alphabet and then go with double letters through the alphabet again. So there are 52 waves. I don’t know how many people are in each wave. I’m not sure how often the waves start either. It may be possible that I won’t start running until close to noon, and the race starts at 10!

At least I’m not last though! There are 7 waves behind me. I predicted 62 minutes when I signed up. I guess there are a lot of people who are way faster than me!

Doug and Allie are doing the 2-mile walk and they’ll probably be done walking before I start running. Its a little annoying, but its a Madison tradition.

Anyway, I’ve let myself set my expectations high for this race. My recent runs have been averaging right around a 12-minute pace. So I’m expecting to finish in under an hour. I thought when I signed up that 62 minutes was optimistic! I ran this race two years ago in 1:05:17.

What I’m debating right now is adding some miles in order to run a total of 9 or 10 tomorrow. This week was originally my cutback week, but since I cut back last week I’m hoping to do my long run this week. My thought had been to run 4 or so miles soon after the race. But considering how long I’ll be hanging around downtown tomorrow before the race, it seems logical to run extra before the race. But how would the race go then? I ran a mile to warmup for my last 5K and the results weren’t that good.

I guess I’ll just have to see how things go in the morning. Who knows what could happen?

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Friday flashback: Bittersweet

Five years ago this week I moved to Madison to start working at the Wisconsin State Journal. Well, I moved in with my parents in Rockton for three weeks before moving to Madison. Doug joined me a couple months later in June and started working at the Rockford Register Star.

A year later, on April 30, 2007, Doug and I closed on our house.

Its bittersweet because I love our life in Madison, but I still get sad once in awhile that I don’t work at the newspaper anymore. Sometimes I wish I’d never had to deal with the difficulty that was 2009 after being laid off. Considering that difficulty, I’m grateful that we still have our house.

I gave a speech during Jeni’s wedding reception, and it was in part inspired by the difficulty we’ve had in the past. Here’s the gist of what I said and what I live by: I learned a long time ago that our lives happen when and how they’re supposed to. We’re not in charge. I definitely learned that again and again in 2009. Theres plenty of bad but also plenty of good.

I know if I hadn’t worked in the newspaper business and gotten laid off, we wouldn’t have Allie or the great life we have now. We had to endure the bad in order to have the good. And that is why I look back fondly at both the good and the bad that were set in motion when I moved to Madison five years ago to work at the Wisconsin State Journal.

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My secondary goal #1

I have nine more pounds to lose before I get to my first goal weight of 175. But my secondary goal is only one pound more than that to reach 174. It is at 174 when I will change the category of my body mass index from obese to overweight.

Hopefully once I cross into overweight, the only further change I’ll have is when I cross to normal weight. I never want to be obese again.

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Ready to go

My cutback last week definitely had its desired effect. I am really excited for the Crazylegs Classic on Saturday and I was raring to go this morning for my run. I was aiming for 5 miles this morning, but left 4 on the table in case my shins acted up. I am happy to say I didn’t feel a peep from my shins AT ALL! I still iced after the run though. I do feel a slight ache in the right shin now, but its nothing I’m concerned about. Hopefully continuing to do all that will keep them from peeping.

When I run during the week I go through my neighborhood, but only certain parts because other parts a really hilly. Running the same route all the time gets boring though. I was going to take my normal 5-mile route, but it started to drizzle after about a mile, so I decided to stay closer to home. Instead of running the same loop a few times, however, I decided to branch out and up one of said hills. This road was part of my route three years ago when I did run/walk intervals, but I only had gone up from the other side, which was less steep. Well, this morning I ran all the way up and didn’t stop! I expected to stop, but I kept going. And it felt great to go down the other side.

After all was said and done, I ran 5 miles in 59 minutes and 36 seconds, which is averaging 11:56 pace, my fastest logged (non-race) pace yet! After Sunday I was starting to think I can run the Crazylegs in under and hour, and now I know I can. When I was registering the system couldn’t find my previous time (65ish-minute range), so I got to predict my time. I thought I was being optimistic by predicting 62 minutes! I went back into my archive blog posts and found that for Crazylegs 2009, I’d predicted 70 minutes and was in the second to last wave. I won’t be in the second to last wave this year.

And I’ve been on the runner’s high since. I was talking Doug’s ear off in the car about my goals and my excitement. I’m now considering changing my plans and doing a long run this week after all. My current thought is running 4 miles or so soon after finishing the race on Saturday. I’ll just have to see how I feel. I could also run 9 miles on Sunday, but considering I think it was high mileage two days in a row that brought on my shin splints, I’ll probably keep Sunday shorter. If I do a long run this week, I could still get to 12 miles the week before the half.

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Easter surprise

On Sunday while Allie was napping, a special guest brought her a present. He was a little late, but we didn’t mind.

The Easter bunny filled her bucket with Baby Einstein “World of Rhythm” and six plastic eggs. Guess which she liked more?

We were hoping the Easter bunny would bring Allie some eggs since she liked playing with them so much at the Easter egg hunt on Saturday. We had to return those because they get reused each year.

Luckily, he did bring Allie the eggs! We haven’t watched the DVD yet because she’s been too enthralled by the eggs.

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How is this so easy?

I’m quite surprised by the progress I’m making in my training lately. My runs are getting faster, but at the same time feeling easier. It doesn’t seem like those two qualities should be related.

But right now, they are. My average pace lately is right around 12 minutes. I ran 6 miles on Sunday and 4 of them were under 12 minutes. At the same time, my legs felt so strong and I didn’t even feel winded. I felt like I was moving slowly, but still I was going super fast.

I am at a point where I am more fit than I have ever been. I am still a bit slower than I was when I used run/walk intervals three years ago, but I think I’ll get past that point soon too. My weight loss, which seemed like it was starting to plateau, seems to be jumpstarting again. Perhaps its my metabolism speeding up?

If only I didn’t have to deal with shin splints right now, my running would be perfect! But really, the shin splints are getting better too. In fact, I probably wouldn’t do a second cutback week this week, but I’m not sure how well it would work to try to add miles onto my 8K race on Saturday. It certainly wouldn’t work to run 4 miles before the race. And considering how I push my pace right now, 4 miles wouldn’t work after either.

Hmmmm, I wonder whats in store for me in four and a half weeks? Hopefully my training for the four weeks after this cutback keep going as well as it is now.

One more good development: I’ve officially hit a mileage PR for April, and there’s still another week! As of this morning, I’ve run 59 miles this month. I finally did the calculation, and my previous month’s PR was 51.5 miles in September. Woo hoo! I won’t hit the 80 that I thought I would a couple weeks ago, but 70 is a possibility. Thats still quite amazing to me!