I had an awesome run Saturday morning. Awesome. I didn't have to get up at the crack of dawn, since there were no T-ball or soccer games that I had to get home for, and it felt luxurious to sleep until 6am and leave the house at 6:45. How life has changed...
It was a little warm and humid, but very overcast, so not too uncomfortable. I had planned on 12 or 13 miles, but ended up going 14. And aside from a litlte bit of fatigue during miles 10 to 12, I felt great the whole time. And I ran at an average pace of 8:46. And it felt easy.
As I was running the latter miles, and marveling at how good I felt maintaining that pace over that long a distance, I knew that my mind had been made up. I think my mind was made up a while ago, but I haven't wanted to fully commit myself, due to lingering injury paranoia. But I am now officially on the road to Hartford on October 15th, which will hopefully put me on the road to Boston or Gansett the following spring.
It feels a little scary to say it out loud, but I also feel confident and optimistic.
My training program will begin at the end of June, but I've already begun upping my mileage on my long runs, and I'm glad I have, because it's a huge mental boost to have a 14-mile run feel easy, since I'm looking at a plan that has me running five 20-milers between now and race day. But now that I've already done two 14-milers and a 16-miler, I'm not even that intimidated by the 20-mile distance, so I'm feeling good : )
What's scaring me a little bit now is the speedwork. I'm scheduled for one track workout a week, and I took a stab at my first one this morning. The last time I ran repeats was, um..... I have no idea when. That's how long it's been. And I definitely had forgotten how much they hurt!
It didn't help that this morning was the warmest weather I've run in so far this year. And I'm also battling a cold or allergies, or a combination of the two, and woke up feeling very foggy and tired and out of sorts. I was almost going to skip the speedwork altogether and just go for an easy run, but I decided to do a warmup and see how I felt once I got moving.
And I ended up feeling like I was up to it, so I gave it a shot. My goal was 4 x 800 (3:23), with 400 m rest intervals. I ran the first 800 in 3:36. Clearly not on target, but give the conditions, I was ok with that. Second one was 3:34, third one was 3:31, and fourth one was 3:33. And I was spent. Done.
I'm a little disappointed that I was so far off my target pace, but I also think I need to cut myself a little slack, since this was my first attempt at this in a long, long time, and the combination of not feeling too great and running in really warm weather for the first time all year definitely has to be factored in. So, all in all, I feel like it was a good first effort, and I'm looking forward to having another go at it next week.
Those workouts are definitely going to be the hardest part of the training plan, though. I feel really good about the long run on the weekend, and the tempo run during the week. Those moderate paces really agree with me. But even though the speedwork is intimidating to me, I can't get myself all freaked out about it. It's something I know I need to do, and I know it's going to make me faster, so the payoff will be worth it.
Now I just need to get myself acclimated to the heat. In typical New England fashion, our temperatures have gone from 50 to 80 in the blink of an eye. Tough for running, but great for hitting the beach, which we did yesterday afternoon for the first time! It was cloudy when we got there, but the sun came out shortly afterward, and we had a great afternoon.
This was Carmine's first time at the beach as a fully mobile toddler, and he seemed a little unsure about the whole thing at first. But once I filled up a bucket with water, he got busy putting stuff in it, and that kept him occupied for a while.
He also wandered off a lot, though, which I was expecting. My chair isn't going to be getting a lot of use during our beach time this summer, that's for sure. But even though I had to spend a lot of time chasing him around, we still had a blast. So nice to finally be back out there, after such a long winter and a practically nonexistent spring.
The whole long weekend was fun. We kicked things off with a bbq Friday night at our house with 4 other couples and their kids. We had 10 adults and 12 kids total, so it was noisy and crazy, but it was a beautiful night, so the kids were able to run around outside all night, which was great. So nice to see friends we haven't hung out with in a long time, and something we need to do more often, especially now that we have our nice new deck to hang out on!
And Sunday was another cookout, with the whole family in CT. As always, it was such a treat to see all the cousins running around together. They play so well together, and they have so much fun - it makes me so happy that they're able to get together as often as they are.
It was an exciting weekend for Carmine, too - he said his second and third words! His first word was 'slide' - he said that right around his first birthday, because his birthday present was a slide. But since then, there have been no recognizable words - until Saturday, when he said 'potato,' making his Grampy, who grew up on a potato farm, very proud : ) And later that day, he picked up one of Scott's sandals, and I said "that's Daddy's shoe," and he held it up and said "Daddy." And he also will imitate a "woof" sound when he's playing with a little toy dog he has. It's so cute to finally hear him saying actual words!
Still a long way to go, and I'm still glad we're having Early Intervention come out to work with him, but he's on his way. Soon enough he'll be talking my ear off just like his big brothers!
And speaking of his big brothers, they're doing well, too. Gabe is excited to be in his last few weeks of school, and is even more excited that I'm going to chaperone his last field trip this year. I'm excited, too. I've wanted to go on others, but with Dante and Carmine at home, it just hasn't been doable. But this time Scott is taking the day off to be with Dante and Carmine, so I can go with Gabe's class. It should be a fun day.
Gabe is also totally Star Wars obsessed right now. He's constantly reading his Star Wars Lego dictionary book, and watching all the movies, and even writing Star Wars stories - very long, detailed stories, with dialogue and everything! He's learned so much this year, it amazes me. He's such a different little boy than he was at the end of Kindergarten, and seems so much more grown up. If I think about it too much, it makes me sad, so I'm choosing to just focus on how proud I am of him : )
The other day he brought home a picture he drew at school, and it was a picture of someone on a riding lawn mower, and underneath it he had written "long mower." Even though he's getting to be a big kid, he still has some cute little slipups to make me laugh.
Dante's still chock full of them, too. I was thinking the other day that I'm going to be really sad when he stops calling it the "diming room." And the day when he stops saying "fribsee" is going to break my heart.
But for now, I'm just happy that the weather's warm enough for "babing suits" and the "slipping slide." : )