Two months into the school year, and I feel like I'm finally making some progress on my enormous to-do list. I thought that with Gabe and Dante in school all day, I'd have so much time to get stuff done, but it's not working out that way. The hours fly by, and before I know it we're out at the bus stop waiting for them to come home, and I've barely checked off one or two items (and usually added three more).
Part of the reason for that, though, is that we've been enjoying some glorious fall weather, and I can't stand the thought of me and Carmine being inside all afternoon. So we often find ourselves strolling along the seawall, or at the playground, or just playing outside in the front yard.
And even though it sometimes makes me anxious to while away the hours like that, I'm making a real effort to just slow down and enjoy it. There is a part of me that does look forward to the peace and quiet that I know I'll have when Carmine joins his big brothers in going off to school for the entire day.
But another part of me is well aware that I'm going to miss constantly having a companion.
Sure, it'll be a lot easier to run errands and get stuff done around the house. But it'll also be kind of boring. Nobody following me around asking "Why" twenty times an hour. Nobody 'helping' me do things which I then have to re-do because of said 'helping.' Nobody sitting on the bathroom floor playing trucks while I get myself ready to go in the morning.
I know I still have almost two years before that day arrives, but I also know how incredibly quickly those two years are going to fly by, so I'm making a conscious effort to not rush the hours, and to indulge the little guy when he wants to stop and spend 15 minutes throwing rocks in the ocean, even if it means 15 fewer minutes for me to get things accomplished.
The gorgeous weather has also made for some fabulous running. Faster paces feel so much easier, and easy paces feel so enjoyable.
I've also been able to run with my friends a lot lately, which has been great. I've gotten in on many of the weekend long runs, including one this past weekend in Newport. We ran the course for the half that a few of us are running two weeks from now, and it was another perfect day.
And a couple of us have been meeting up for weekly track work, also, which is so nice. It's tough to get out there and do those track workouts all by your lonesome. We don't always all do the same workout, but it's still nice to not be there alone.
I'm still feeling slightly frustrated about the downward trend I've seen in my 5K times, but I'm not letting it defeat me, by any means. If anything, it's lit a fire under me and made me want to work harder.
Yes, I've been doing long runs and track workouts and tempo runs here and there, but I haven't been training to run a fast 5K, so I can't expect to magically run a fast 5K. And I'm not entirely sure what I can expect for next week's half-marathon, either. I'm hoping to at least run the same pace I ran last year, but without having specifically trained for that, I need to prepare myself that I won't.
I did have one absolutely awesome run last week that did a good job of rebuilding my confidence a bit, though. I set out to do a tempo run at approximately a 7:25 to 7:35 pace - that's what I thought I could manage at this point.
Instead, this is what happened -
It felt so good to hit those paces. And it was far from easy, but it felt appropriately hard for a tempo run. It was nice to have a little bit of confidence restored.
But since I'm feeling somewhat ambivalent about my Newport goals as of right now, I'm going to just do what I feel like doing on Sunday. If I feel great, I'm not going to hold back. And if I feel crappy, I'm going to just run whatever I feel up to. No matter what I do, it'll be an automatic PR, since this is my first time at this distance.
The final stretch, heading under the Towers and up to the beach.
It'll be interesting to see, given the results of these two races, if I've made any gains over the course of these last couple of months, or if I'm just holding steady (or going backward!).
Whatever the outcome, I'm going to work really hard to remember that this was supposed to be my 'offseason,' and that it's good that I didn't push myself too hard, because Boston training is right around the corner. Time flies when you're having fun - and when you're a mom of three kids who's also trying to start a business.
I have made some progress on that front, though. Minimal, but it's still progress, so I'll take it.
The first step was setting up an area where I could work. Hauling out notebooks and running books and folders and spreading them out on the kitchen table was not working out so well, seeing as how I'd have to put it all away before the boys came home from school every day.
I came up with a decidedly unfancy and simple solution, but it's working out really well. It gives me enough space to get stuff done, areas to stash all my books and manuals, and also allows me to keep an eye on what the kids are up to.
I'm also working with my first official client - woohoo!!!!!! - and am talking to one other possible client, and am working on getting a logo designed, and setting up a website. It's slow going, but it's going, and that's all that matters.
Relentless forward progress - in life as in running. That's all I have to keep doing. It may not always be quite as much progress as I want, as long as I just keep moving forward, that'll be good enough.