Our Lovely Chaos

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The New Chapter: Days 138 - 156

It has been a shamefully long time since I updated my adventures here. What can I say? Race training takes time, and we are fully embracing "summer schedule" by staying up late and having too much fun. For example: 

Oldest running her first race. It was a one mile family fun run, and I'm proud to say that she fell at the start and skinned her knees, but kept going because she "wanted to win." Like mother, like daughter.

Picnics at the park. 

Oh yes...oldest twin learned to climb the stairs. We are still looking for a good gate solution.

Outdoor playtime at the water table.

Big girls sharing food. (Doesn't it look like a mirror?)

The children's museum.

Finally bike training. FINALLY good weather to do it - this will prove a downfall later, but more on that to come. Still, the helmet looks cute. 

Keeping four entertained at the park - let the big kids swing the babies.

So in the midst of all that fun, RACE TRAINING. The big race was today, and what can I tell you? First...I was so nervous. I could not stop thinking about the possible downfalls - a partner in the swim who was way too fast for me. Flat tires. Being forced to walk on the run.

And somehow, I still got out the door to start the race.

The swim - honestly awesome. I let other swimmers who claimed to be fast start ahead of me in the lane. Got the sense that I wasn't even swimming on the first lap because I was so close to the swimmer ahead of me - ended up tapping her foot to pass, and then the next swimmer, and circled around to pass our slowest swimmer before I finished. The swim time? Close to 13 minutes.

The bike - I was very undertrained here. Spring has been slow to come, and a spinning bike is just not the same. Right out of the pool, the course climbed two monster hills, then a fun downhill and straight section, then a slow climb back to the pool to make two more laps. I did WAY BETTER on the bike than I anticipated. Hoped to finish under an hour (12.5 miles - sounds slower than it feels) and finished under 50 minutes. My cheer crew had planned to see me on the bike loop and missed me completely because I finished faster than expected.

The run - aah the run. It was hot and hilly, and I honestly had trouble turning my legs over at the start. I was climbing these hills and thinking I was totally out of my league, and took several walking breaks. Then we crossed a mile, and started a lovely downhill. I knew I was picking up time, so I just kept plodding along and letting gravity help me. My watch (which I later learned was overestimating the distance) told me I had a mile left, and I felt pretty decent. Then waaaaaaay up ahead of me, I saw the 2 mile marker. Knowing that my watch was off, I had an extra third of a mile at least, and that I wasn't running as quickly as I thought totally messed with my focus. It was very sunny (hot) at this part, and I took more walking breaks. I finally ran to the finish, hugged my four little people, one wonderful supportive husband and the sweetest friends who came to cheer for me, and celebrated victory.

The aftermath - I was bummed that my run was much slower than I expected. I'm not fast, in the 11-minute/mile range usually, but this 5K time was slow for me. In the end, I think my awesome bike performance just left my legs tired. I decided not to be bummed, and to focus instead on the fact that I finished. I - a mom of four who had twins barely a year ago - did a 525m swim, 12.4 mile bike and 3.1 mile run. That's pretty amazing! I also beat my time goal (race finish in under two hours total) and learned a lot to carry forward into my next race. 

The actual finish. 

Four babies later, and still a rockstar!

So that's what I did today. But you might find what I did the day BEFORE my race to be even more interesting.


The day before my race, Day 155...I did not run.

That is to say...I let my streak die.


Basically, I started this project as a means to develop a fitness habit again, and I did that. I have lost nearly 30 pounds, and am roughly 20 pounds from my goal weight. I want my exercise plan to work for me, and to get me there. I need more than 12 to 15 minutes of activity a day to keep me moving toward my goal; however, the stress on my body of running daily was catching up in a bad way. I have done several shorter runs recently to help an aggravating shin splint. I have skipped bike rides (that might have helped my legs be stronger after that leg of the race) because I need to run that mile. I have done shorter runs that might have left me undertrained for the running leg because my legs were too tired from the constant pounding to add more mileage. 

So I decided to start a new chapter after this race. I'm not exactly sure how it will look - debating between another triathlon this summer and an all-women 50-mile bike ride. Thinking of joining the master's swimming group here. Thinking of trail runs and bike rides. Thinking of yoga and the TRX bootcamp I joined that is starting in another week.

But what you will see here is running. And being active. And making that work within the demands of many young children. You'll see fitness and new adventures, and without a doubt - that goal weight by my birthday in January. I'm not running a mile a day anymore, but I AM running miles on many days and looking to do something active EVERY SINGLE DAY. 

I hope you are not disappointed. I am not in the least. Actually, I feel grateful for the journey and anxious to see what the next chapter holds. And I ran 154 days in a row - not too shabby, right? 

Miles added since last post: 

2.25 miles
2 miles
2.25 miles
1.6 miles
1.25 miles
1.25 miles
1.25 miles
1.5 miles
3.2 miles (kids in tow)
2 miles
1 mile
2 miles
2.15 miles
2.2 miles
1 mile
Bike (15 minutes), 1 mile, 1 mile (family fun run)
2.1 miles
13.3 mile bike...NO RUN
Triathlon race! (Including a 3.1 mile run)

For a total of: 34.1 miles

Year to date miles: 237.23 miles

Tomorrow, I plan to get up and run again. Streak or no streak, work is still ahead of me!


  1. Not disappointed at all.
    Your kids are adorable.
    That is a great triathlon recap. I hate it when I think I am about done and then realize there is still more to run.
    Great job on the weight loss. I can't wait to see what you do next.

  2. Way to go, Jen! Enjoy this accomplishment.

    (the word verification for this post was "unrest". How ironic.) :)

  3. I'm not disappointed at all about the running streak. My streak is 7 days (I'm dead serious), and I know that running without recovery days can be really hard on your body. It's better to avoid injury by including some cross training and rest days!

    You ran 154 days in a row, plus swimming and biking! Basically I think you are just amazing :)

  4. Congratulations!!!! I'm so proud of you and am motivated now!! Thanks for the inspiration.