This time of the year is always crazy busy with packing every possible school event into the schedule before summer break.
It's been an awesome school year and I am holding onto my five year old daughter's last weeks of Kindergarten. Where did the time go? I am not ready for her to be a first grader yet, but I also know she must fly, spread her wings and move to a new phase. Josh is finishing up third grade and yet he is still my baby. I am feeling so thankful that he is allowing it - the snuggles, cuddles and extra long hugs. I love that he is nine, but not too cool for school to hold his Mom's hand down the block (that happened today when I picked him up from a birthday party and I couldn't have been more joyful.).
My youngest is almost finished with her first year in preschool and she is so full of life - wearing a tiara to school, dancing around the house and loudly never hesitating to tell us her opinion (we hear you sweetheart).
These weeks of running easy breezy have been so wonderful. I feel (pretty much) recovered from Boston and I haven't had an agenda - just running in the sun, appreciating the smell of jasmine everywhere and drinking in nature like never before. I am noticing everything - the blue jay on my trail run, the extra daylight we are getting in the evenings... such fun days.
I have been cooking interesting dishes and enjoying wine and chocolate. On Saturday, I woke up at 5:30 am, ran 12 miles (the longest since Boston), went to two basketball games for my kids, had a quick in person catch up with one of my dearest friends, and we all landed back home in the early afternoon pretty exhausted. The kids puttered in their rooms and Jerold and I had delectable salads and WINE at 3 PM. We talked and laughed together and had so much fun.
Life is fun right now and I love acknowledging that.
I also know that I love my running and I knew that soon I would want to think about the next step. What now? I didn't have a master race calendar for the year - I was so focused on rehab, getting strong again and running Boston that I just couldn't think much beyond April. Now I feel ready. My goals are still important and I want to have fun challenging myself with running and racing.
After a LOT of thought about which race I would like to tackle next, I have made a decision. I have to say - it wasn't a quick and easy decision! I knew that late summer, early fall would be a good timeline to prepare for another marathon. I thought about location, weather, race courses and more. I also decided that I will run Boston in 2017 (yay!), so a fall marathon would have to fit around that as well. One last factor for me was, if I couldn't find a race on the West Coast that appealed to me, then I wanted to pick something near my family - specifically my Dad. The hope was to have him come to the race or me to go and see him after the race.
I have decided to run the Erie Marathon in Erie, PA on Sunday September 11th! I know, right? Totally the opposite of the West Coast... I have signed up for the race and I am really excited about it. The timing gives me 18 weeks to train, which seems pretty short in a sense (probably because I had such a super long base period and then training for Boston), but I know I have plenty of time to train well for it. Lake Erie looks like a beautiful location and it is only four hours from where I was born and raised (Dayton, Ohio) until the middle of high school. The course consists of two loops around Lake Erie Presque Isle Park and it is one of the top courses in the country to qualify for Boston ---> which means it is a fast course. I feel confident that I will be prepared to run well there.
I am also excited to get even stronger and adding in some elements to my training that I didn't do for Boston. I will be swimming as a form of cross training - I'd like to shoot for once or twice a week. I know I will have to write it down and really push myself to get it done. I think once I get going, it'll be part of my routine. Jerold wants to swim more also, so we are going to try and do it together - maybe even with the kiddos and take turns. It's all about flexibility when it comes to training and parenting. Second, I am going to up the ante on strength training and commit to popping in the Iron Strength for Runners (have you tried it? It's intense!) and doing it twice a week at least. Third - I will keep chipping away at the hills and putting in more and more time on the trails, which I have been doing a lot lately. The hills are going to make me stronger and of course that is great!
So - here I go! Another marathon training cycle that starts, um - RIGHT NOW. I ran 43.5 miles last week, so that is a good start. I am still extremely diligent on doing the PT exercises every day - have to keep strengthening those glutes and hips! Oh, and I am also going to try doing some new yoga poses (now I do pigeon, legs up the wall, child's pose, tree pose and happy baby. I need to broaden my horizon).
Next step is to find some fun races to fit in with my training this summer. A half marathon for sure and I'd like to race a 5K & a 10K - it's been awhile!
What races do you have planned this summer?
Anyone starting a new marathon training cycle?
Happiness Is Running Life!