Thursday, January 20, 2011
Family gives a lift (with pics) + training updates
Life has been busy! It's been over a week since my last post, a sign that a lot has been going on.
I now have 3 weeks of PT under my belt, and it is definitely working! When you think about it, if you put in over an hour a day into something, naturally it is going to improve. Whether it's learning German (which I am also doing), strength training, running, or anything else, an hour a day will make a major difference in one's performance.
Last weekend (MLK weekend), I decided that since it was so early in the semester, I should go away. So I booked a bus ticket, and went to Chappaqua, NY to visit my aunt, uncle and my 2 baby cousins. Rory is 4 and Nate is 21 months. They are absolutely adorable: I had such a blast spending time with them. We just played all weekend: Toy Story, castles (and no, I did not make them play medieval castles, that was their idea), board games, etc. So much fun. My aunt was around a lot for me when I was growing up, and the age difference between me and my cousins basically makes me their aunt. I felt like the weekend also gave me an opportunity to renew my relationship with my aunt. No longer was it like I was the kid and she was "the grown-up." We had lots of good chats, laughs, ate good food, and just enjoyed one another's company. No stress, no concerns of school or work - just family time. I even got in 2 6 mile runs on a very hilly road. They were very tiring, but then when I looked at the elevation, I felt reassured in the strength of the runs (elevation went up and down 250 ft in the out and back run). All in all, the weekend away felt like a retreat. Time away, time with family, all in a peaceful place (so much more quiet than DC!). I came back refreshed and renewed, invigorated about the week ahead and happy about the family time put in.
I have now been gluten free for 11 days and no failures/slips so far. My one temptation: the Starbucks at my school is now selling Red Velvet cupcakes. Looking forward to the day where that isn't even a temptation. My boss even made gluten free brownies that were delicious (2 other staff members are gluten free) - you couldn't tell the difference. While I was at my aunt's house, she stocked the pantry (and then sent them home with me) with lots of GF products. The brand Scharr is really good: we had their crackers, pizza crust, and shortbread cookies. All delicious! One of the tough things has been hearing people talk about foods I used to love - it is a bit hard to tune it out. People mean well, I just think they're not thinking about it. But, I got a lift when I got a care package from home! My parents sent gluten free hot chocolate, cake mix, and pancake mix. I can have pancakes after my 8 miler tomorrow! Amazing what the little things can do, and how a little bit of love can provide such a major lift!
Boston is now less than 3 months away. I am trying to channel a lot of Kara Goucher's energy, since we are both making a comeback (in very different ways), both hoping for success in Boston. My official training will start on Monday, but in the meantime I have been trying to build a good base to be ready. On Tuesday, I did a 7 mile run on the treadmill. I really don't like the treadmill, but we had an ice storm in DC, so I figured bored and safe was the better option. Ended up holding on at 8:04 pace, which was great, considering that is a little faster than my goal marathon pace for Boston. Then afterwards, I saw that the gym was offering a spin class, so I decided, why not? Hopped on the bike and hoped for the best. Thankfully, it was a beginner's class, so the intensity wasn't too bad. And, some of my running/swimming skills translated over, so it's not like it was the first time getting on the bike. So, it ended up being a reverse "brick" workout: run, then bike. I am sure a triatholon is in my future, just not sure that time is right now. But, there are certainly many benefits of training like one!
Plan for this week: