Saturday, February 9, 2013

Mama On the Run Musings: The 25th Hour

Greetings, fellow Cleveland Marathon runners!

I hope your training is going well and you're staying injury-free and healthy in this nasty sick season we seem to be having. I just completed Week 6 of training for my 3rd marathon - this time using the Jenny Hadfield intermediate runner 20-week plan and looking forward to the next three months as we prep for what hopefully will be an unforgettable marathon on May 19!


Before I start musing away, I want to introduce myself: I'm a wife of (almost) 8 years to my handsome and irresistible hubs, Jack.

I'm a mama to two, adorable (if I do say so myself!) kidlets - my 3 1/2-year-old sporty diva Mackenzie Claire (better known as Mackie), and my 16-month old chunk of love Braxton Cade (better known as Brax). 

I'm beyond blessed to have the amazing opportunity to stay at home with them as much as possible as I balance work from home and also in the office two days a week as the marketing/special events director at Hutchinson Recreation Commission. My job ROCKS! Not only do I get to communicate and market our amazing recreational opportunities in my hometown, but I also get to plan races (a 5K run/walk; a sprint triathlon; and a half-marathon). So as a race coordinator, I'm thrilled when I actually get to DO a race and not pull an all-nighter and hours on end of making sure everyone else has a fantastic time.


April 2012: 1/2 Marathon in Wichita with my sweeties post-race. 

You may wonder why this born and raised Kansas girl (go, K-State Wildcats!) wants to tackle a 26.2-mile trek (not to mention a 16-hour drive with two babes in tow) in Cleveland. We have special friends who moved to the outer parts of Cleveland two years ago, and thought it would make a very special vacation. Plus, I turn 30 two weeks after the marathon and wanted to do another full one before hitting the big milestone.

Okay....so enough with the housekeeping (which reminds me, when was the last time I actually dusted my house?)....let's get to talking about all things running!

As I said before, I have run two full marathons and plenty of half-marathons and 10K's in my seven years of "serious" running. I've gone into each one with a different plan of attack: my first (Wichita Marathon, October 2007) I conquered with my hubs. We were still in the newlywed bliss and had the perfect workout regimen: we could work out when we wanted, how long we wanted, and could sleep whenever and how long we wanted! While I was simply wanting to finish, I secretly had 4:30 as a goal time. I finished in 4:41. He finished (I will spare you the details of that story!). 

October 2007: Wichita Marathon near the finish line

My second one (Chicago Marathon, October 2010), was when Mackie was just 14 months old. I went into training full-throttle and felt great considering I had (somewhat) just given birth and was operating on much less sleep and time than before. I had a 4:15-4:30 goal in mind, however hot temps (hovering between the 80s and low 90s with humidity) caused most of us to throw our PR's out the window and simply survive. I managed to improve my time by two minutes (finishing in 4:39 and some change), but definitely a bit disappointed I once again missed my time goal.



October 2010: Chicago Marathon with Jack and Mackie

Fast forward to today, and I now have two kids, even lesser sleep (hello, coffee!), and have decided to train in the middle of winter and during hubs' crazy basketball season (he's a teacher by day and high school basketball coach by night). I'd love to finish in the same 4:15-4:30 goal, but quite honestly, I just want to have an enjoyable time as I celebrate my upcoming 30th birthday.

I often find there's never enough hours in the day. I'm sure you can relate. We always wish for an extra hour in the day - especially when you're in marathon training mode. In an ideal world it would be amazing to have that one extra hour to always depend on for a killer workout.

That extra hour isn't far from reality. It's all about multitasking. Introducing...the 25th hour! 

My 25th hour comes in the form of a variety of ways, depending on the day. When I'm pressed for time (when are we not?!), I have to multitask in order to create that "extra" hour in the day. For example: 

* Quickie Strength Set: I do my strength moves during lunchtime. Both kids are contained and are being quiet as they shovel food in their mouths. Rather than sit and eat their leftovers and sandwich crusts, I do a quick strength circuit in front of them. They giggle and laugh at mommy while she does her "extra-sizes" (Mackie's words) and I get a good 10-15 minutes of strength.
* Break Up the Run: My weekday runs are starting to get longer as I go farther into my training plan. It's not always feasible to get a solid 50- or 60-minute run in the morning before hubs goes to work or I go to the office, so type-A me has really had to swallow up the fact that it's okay to run as much as I can in the morning (usually 35-45 minutes) and then do the rest after work or on the dreadmill in my basement.
* Include the Posse: We are a BOB-lovin' family around here. We have the single Ironman and Duallie Revolution and take full advantage of them! I love taking my kids out during my workout time. We all take in the great fresh air, my kidlets get out the squirmies, and my runner-in-training Mackie gets her own lap and "finish line" during my cool-down as she gleefully runs down the street and then touches our mailbox for a race-worthy finish.
* One-Stop Prep & Baking: I'm not saying anything new here, but this really works for my busy family: dedicating one solid chunk of time to food prep, baking in batches, etc. I like to spend just one-two hours on a Saturday or Sunday browning beef or cooking chicken, dicing and peeling veggies, and even baking healthy version of pancakes, muffins, and waffles for quick breakfasts in the week ahead. It saves serious minutes when planning dinners during the week and definitely helps when you're like me and in love with the ever-reliable Crock-Pot or slow-cooker.

What are some of your tips for creating that 25th hour?! Please feel free to share!

Best wishes in the weeks ahead as you conquer those longer miles and runs. Power through and remember WHO you are and WHOSE you are!

I'd love to connect with you and share the Cleveland Marathon training experience. Please feel free to follow this blog as I update everyone on training and life in between. You can also follow me on Twitter at @MamaOnTheRun33 or you can e-mail me at jackconkling@gmail.com.

Happy running!

Amy




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