In every way possible. My husband took his school choir to New York City this weekend and it was my first time EVER alone with the two kiddos. It really couldn't have gone better. I'm a single mom for another 36 hours.... hopefully tomorrow will also go as smoothly.
My marathon training plan nicely coincided with my husband's trip as the "long run" is only 12 miles -- resting the legs for the big 22 miler next Saturday. My original plan was to do 6 today after Susanna attended a midday birthday party and 12 tomorrow (stoller/ treadmill combo) but after seeing the weather report -- a possible snowstorm tonight, but sunny and GORGEOUS today -- I decided to switch them around. Jack's childcare appointment at the gym was at 8:30 a.m., so that meant we needed to start about an hour earlier. So I got up at 6:25, loaded up the car with Susanna's swimming outfit, Jack's baby food, the birthday present, my gym clothes, clothes for me to wear for the rest of the day, and... what was I forgetting? I am prone to always forgetting at least one important item (example: running shoes, socks, a bra...) (Sidenote: As it turns out all I forgot was makeup. I can live without makeup.) Susanna's alarm clock went off at 7 and we managed to get in the car by 7:25. I had a travel bowl of cheerios and milk for her to eat in the stroller. Not bad planning, if I do say so myself!
Our gym -- Lifetime Fitness -- is one mile from an awesome trail that is pretty stroller friendly. I was feeling pretty good (guess I needed the rest day Friday because Thursday's tempo run STUNK!) and the kids seemed to be enjoying the ride. Then we turned onto the trail and Susanna freaked out. "Mommy! I don't want to be in the forest! The forest is scary! There are trolls in the forest!" What? Where did that come from? (I'm guessing Dora the Explorer since she is obsessed with that show.) Every time we went over a bridge we had to look for a troll. The entire four miles we were in the woods, she would scream every few minutes about trolls and scary trees. Interesting. She calmed down when we were back to the road.
So the road to the trail has a very steep hill and I run it all the time when I go to the gym in the mornings and do an outside run/ inside weights combo... never had tried it with the double jogger. Oh. My. Word. I tried running it for about 20 seconds and I was huffing and puffing and my heart rate jumped to about it's max. Had to walk! Perhaps pushing the jogger up this hill can be a goal for the future...
We got to the gym at 8:55, 25 minutes later than I had hoped. Since Susanna's swimming lessons started at 10:30, that meant I probably would have to skip out on the hot tub. Bummer -- it was supposed to be my long run reward. Oh well. I got the Jacked changed, checked the kids in, changed out of my tights/ jacket into a tank and shorts, and hopped on the mill at 9:16. I set the pace for 9:22 (the one Runner's World SmartCoach suggested for my "easy run/ long runs" ) and set my Iphone to a podcast from Another Mother Runner Radio -- Sara Bowen Shea and Dimity MacDowell, the women that wrote Run Like A Mother, the book I read over Christmas and inspired me to really get focused and train hard. This episode was on goal setting and I felt like I was listening to someone recite all the changes I'd made in my routine that have been so positive. Run early (way early!) in the morning. Be flexible in your plans. Log your plans and workouts on Daily Mile or a Blog so you're accountable (Hey! Seriously, are these ladies following me?) I glanced down at the numbers on the mill when the podcast was over and I was well past three miles. Decided to crank up a MotionTraxx podcast (highly recommmend it for finding a good foot cadence!) and push the pace. I did the last mile in about 7:30 and got off the mill in time to take a shower before picking up the kids.
I grabbed some breakfast while Susie had her swimming lesson and then we dashed off to her friend M's birthday party. This was the only part of the day that didn't go as planned. The party started at 11, but since Susie's swimming lessons are at 10:30 (that was the only time they had available that wasn't during the work day, and of course every birthday party she is invited to is scheduled at the same time) I knew we'd be late. I thought about 25 minutes. I mananged to take the longest route possible though and we were 45 minutes late. I felt so bad. M's mom runs a kid's cooking business (birthday parties and classes) and this was a party where the kids made the cupcakes. By the time we walked in, the cupcakes were about to go in the oven. Susie got to play outside with the kids while they baked and decorate them and then it was time to go home.
I met M's mom in my childbirth class for Susanna, and her second is a few months older than Jack. She is a runner and multiple Ironman finisher (in fact, she was the one that suggested I try triathlons when I broke my foot in 2009 and had to swim and bike to get in some exercise) and she says to me as the cupcakes are baking "Hey, do you want to run a marathon tomorrow?" DC Road Runners puts on a February marathon and I originally was going to do it but with Jamie out of town I had decided not to. "You can leave the kids here and they can play." My first reaction was "Why not?" If I hadn't already agreed to direct the children's choir rehearsal at church tomorrow, I may have taken her up on the offer. In the end, glad I had a conflict. Probably not the best idea 4 weeks before the marathon I've been training like mad for. And probably aslso not a good idea to do the day after a 12 mile run.
When we left M's house the temperature (take note, it's February 18!) was 58 degrees and the sun was beckoning us to go out and play. We spent the next couple hours at the playground. (Sidenote: I notice that everyone else's blogs seem to have photos. I don't have any photos on my blog yet. Since I usually don't pictures of myself exercising. So here are some pics from today's playground excursion:)