A month ago, summer vacation seemed so far away, but now it's right on our doorstep - and we haven't even made our 'summer fun' list yet! We managed to fit in a ton of fun stuff the past few years, and I'm sure we'll do it again this year, but as with everything in our crazy busy life, if it doesn't get written down, it doesn't get done. I'll have to find a few spare minutes with the boys tomorrow to get that list going!
Thankfully we do have at least a few extra minutes in every day now that baseball and soccer are over. Gabe's team lost their final game, as they had done with every other game they played this season - but they didn't lose by quite as big a margin, so at least they ended on a slightly higher note. And he didn't seem all that bothered by the losing streak. He still had fun and got out and ran around with his friends, and if that's good enough for him, it's certainly good enough for me.
School is in session until next Friday, but we're springing the boys out a few days early this year so we can head out for a trip to kick off our summer. We're visiting relatives in Maine, and are really looking forward to it! We'll see the coast - hopefully including a trip to Acadia National Park - and also the upper corner of the state, where my dad grew up. From there, we're taking a day trip over the border to Canada.
Gabe and Dante are so excited, they can hardly contain themselves. So excited to go to Maine and "sleepover and everything!" And the idea of being in another country is beyond exciting, even though we're only driving across the border, and we're only going to be there for part of a day. And they've already started packing for our trip - they have little boxes full of Pokemon cards, Legos, little bits of clay, rocks, and other assorted junk - all the essentials.
Carmine doesn't quite understand the whole concept, but he does know that we're going on a trip, and he keeps talking about how he wants to go see "Grampy's farm." I think his head is going to explode when he sees the tractors he'll be able to climb up on.
My truck-obsessed little boy mesmerized by the street sweeper
And of course being on vacation is going to give him a whole new audience of people with whom he can talk. Because let me tell you - I thought Dante talked a lot, but Carmine is giving Dante a run for his money. And he will talk to anyone, anywhere, anytime.
I was getting him out of the car yesterday at Stop & Shop, and he spotted an elderly couple getting out of their car - two cars away from us - and he leaned out of the car and yelled "HEY GUY! HI! WE'RE JUST GOING TO STOP & SHOP TO BUY SOME DINNER!"
And this is not the first time he's done something like that. What I think is the funniest part is that he always yells "HEY GUY!" The guys who came to put in our new living room rug last month and the guy who came later that week to fix the dishwasher were both pretty amused with him. Running errands is going to be very quiet when I'm not toting him along with me.
School is winding down with concerts, talent shows, and Field Day, and the boys were a little upset that they'd be missing the last day of school ice-cream treats, but I assured them that there will be plenty of chances for us to get ice cream in Maine.
Dante is counting down the days - literally. Every day he wakes up and tells me how many days are left until our vacation. He and Gabe are both excited, but Dante has been talking about it for months now. He's definitely our little adventurer - always up for an outing or exploration of some sort; always ready to try something new.
I'm counting down the days, too, but with an equal mix of excitement and stress, because I have so many things to get done before we leave! An added twist to us leaving this year is that we had to line up someone to feed Gabe's fish every day! The cat can be given a big bowl of food that only needs to be refilled every other day, but the fish need to be fed twice a day. So we've got someone to keep an eye on the house and take care of the fish. Who knew a bunch of little fish could be so much work?
I had, of course, planned to get in a few runs while we were away, and was daydreaming about how scenic and serene it would be. But then the last few weeks happened, and the last few weeks have not been good ones, running-wise.
I've been getting in the miles, but every one of them has felt like a struggle. Paces that should feel easy have felt really, really tough. Small inclines have felt like mountains. Slight breezes have felt like hurricane-force winds. My breathing feels off, my stride feels clumsy and awkward, my feet feel like they're lead weights every time I set out. I don't feel like myself.
I've had moments where I'll feel ok - where I get a little bit of spring in my step and it doesn't feel quite so hard - but those moments have been few and far between.
I could come up with a whole laundry list of reasons why this is happening, and the increasingly warmer weather is certainly a factor, although not the only cause, by any means, because there have been cooler days where I've still felt this way.
What it really comes down to, I think, is that I'm overtraining - which would seem odd, since I'm not really training for anything. The thing is, though, when I train for a marathon, I use the Run Less, Run Faster 3-days-a-week plans, which limit my mileage and keep me honest.
So now that I'm not following a strict plan, I've been running 4 days a week, sometimes 5, which I think would be fine in and of itself - but I haven't backed off on my cross-training at all, and have gone and added even more cross-training, in the form of several bike rides a week.
And I'm just feeling like it's all been too much. Too many 4:30am wakeups. Too many 35-mile bike rides. Too many sessions at the gym.
I'm not one to admit that I need to do less of anything, so if I'm finally saying that I need to back off, then I feel pretty certain that I really do need to back off - and vacation seems like it would be the perfect time to do just that.
I don't know if I'm going to take the entire week off and not run at all. I'm packing my running shoes and one running outfit, just so that I have the option - but if I choose not to exercise it, I'll be ok with that.
And I certainly will not be setting any alarms or scheduling my day around any workouts. It's a perfect time to ease up on myself, and I'm hoping that's just what I need, and that I return feeling like my old self - the one who runs with a smile on her face. I miss her.