EDIT: I have just read through this post again, it certainly wasn't my most eloquent! Oh well, that is what happens after a bad weekend of little sleep.
This weekend has been a funny one, some great moments but I will probably mostly remember the tough ones.
We started out with a great Saturday morning, another excellent park run that the boys happily sat for, and I managed another PB thanks to mum who pushed the kids for me the last km as she had to stop due to injury.
25:54! One morning I will hopefully get to run it without the pram and see just how fast I could go.
The boys had a lovely play in the water park while we enjoy what is hopefully summer's last hot weekend. Before heading home to go to a birthday party.
From there the weekend went downhill, Hugo hasn't stopped whinging and crying, Otto completely stopped listening and acted as though we had given him some sort of crazy child medicine, no matter what we did, how we tried to parent this weekend was just rough. We are all exhausted, hot and sick of hearing and saying NO!
Tonight I have turned my attention to preparing for race week, what do I need to eat, sleep and prepare so that I turn up as race ready on Sunday as possible. In all my research I have found that of course I need to sleep as much as I can, eat high carb low fiber and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Nothing new there. I feel pretty good going into this final week, ready to get it over with and race on Sunday, see what this body and my legs can do.
I am nearing the end of my training for the half marathon, today was my last big session in the pool and I am so relieved. It has been amazing to prove to myself that I could develop a training program and stick to it for nine weeks, while working, looking after the boys with a husband that is absent most of the week. It has been hard and I have struggled with motivation more than once, but I pushed through it and now I get to taper ready for race day, I need to taper, my legs need me to taper, I need a rest.
This weekend I will run and bike ride as usual but from Monday I will limit my runs to just two for the week, I will walk or maybe ride with the kids to school on the other days but that is it. No cross training, no wind trainer, no sprints in the pool or long lonely 3km laps with my shoulders burning. I am quite sure I won't know what to do with myself.
But now it is time to talk goals. I have broken them up into three categories.
Finish the race. Obviously that is the primary goal, if things don't go well, if I don't keep hydrated or end up with a horrible stitch then I at least want to say that I ran the whole way, and learn from my mistakes to make the next one better.
Complete it in under 2.5 hours. This goal seems manageable, from my training runs I have picked what seems to be my most comfortable pace and if I can keep it steady for the whole race I should smash this time, but I would like to have a conservative goal in mind.
Complete the race in 2hrs 15min. If I can achieve this then I will be sky high happy, over the moon.
I am still trying to decide on what I will say to myself when the going gets tough, a mantra I suppose that I can repeat over and over to keep me going when all I want to do is stop, sit down and have a long drink, but I haven't got there yet, I assume something more than internally swearing at the part of me that thought this was a good idea is probably needed!
In just a few minutes Han will walk through that door, I will kiss him hello, pour a glass of wine and relax. It has been a crazy, hectic, fun week here and I am ready for some back up over the next two days.
I have noticed this week that hopefully the slightly cooler weather and darker mornings have allowed both boys to sleep until 6am which has been such a relief, I can't say how much I hope the mornings of 4:45am are over, at least for a little while. We have been going slower, Otto's stumbles in with a book, Hugo cries and demands milk and "cuggles", and how could I refuse! We all end up back in the big bed for at least half an hour, me slowly waking up, dreaming of the day they can make me a coffee and the boys full of questions about what kind of fun we are having that day.
Nothing special really happens, but this week almost all of it has felt special (well, except the tantrums and fighting). We have had fun, taken random trips out of our normal routes, I have napped more when Hugo does and Otto is having quiet time and all of us are reaping the rewards.
Parenting 80% of the time on your own isn't always easy and there are days when I question how well it is going, but this week, we did alright.
Today as the title would suggest is a rest day. I have heard that most people hate rest days and get cranky, I am the complete opposite, it is my day to go to work, have a glass of wine, soak in the bath and watch a TV show, I LIVE for rest day!
As the half marathon is fast approaching I am noticing that I am absolutely pushing my body to limits it hasn't reached before, which is thrilling and motivating, but also bloody exhausting. It hasn't been a wonderful coincidence that this training period has also coincided with some of Hugo's worst sleeping patterns since he was a newborn, I am one tired woman desperate for a massage, sleep in and chocolate!
I keep reminding myself that I am almost there, I can almost see the finish line, the race hasn't even really begun and I am already proud of what I have achieved, now I just need to keep the momentum going for a few more weeks and visualise the champagne, chocolate and chips and hamburgers (do I need to go on!) that will be at the finish line.
But, for tonight I will celebrate the end and beginning of another training week with a hot soak for my sore aching muscles, half a glass of wine and dietitian approved desert, knowing that in a few weeks I will miss my training program and goal, only to search out a new one and start training all over again.
My goodness what a crazy, happy, devastating and celebratory weekend we have just had. I feel like I have been through the emotional washing machine.
Saturday morning I decided to head to a park run that has started in my area, I took the kids with me so that Han could catch up on some sleep after working hard all week. I wasn't expecting much from myself, sure it is timed and a good way to practice race skills but I had the boys with me and a triathlon the next day so didn't want to push it. There were a few other pram pushers there ranging from 1-2 kids, with some of them looking well kitted out and professional. The starting whistle went and we were off, next time I will not stick to close to the back with the pram as I got stuck behind lots of walkers and dogs, but once I broke free and got running it felt great, I chatted to some people remarking on the pram and started to pass other pram pushers. It suddenly hit me, I was leading the prams! I have no idea why that is such a big deal to me but at that moment I felt invincible and also suddenly competitive, there was no way I was giving my first pram pusher spot up now. So I started to push myself a bit more, and crossed over the finish line in 27:16! 5th person to cross in my age category and 19th woman over the line. I was ecstatic when I saw those times, but slightly kicking myself for not making it the easy run I promised myself.
The kids had a wonderful time, especially as there is a brilliant playground right next to the run and I was happy thanks to a mobile coffee van who was parked conveniently there at the finish line. It was a great way to start the weekend, a 5km run, along the river with other people trying to reach their goals.
After racing home and showering I then attended the funeral of my high school friend. Talk about bringing you back down to earth. So many people attended showing just how loved Carolina was in her life, which was so tragically short. She achieved so many amazing feats in just 33 years, many more than most people will do in their whole lives. It was harrowing to witness first hand the grief of her husband and family, and certainly made me appreciate so much more my health and the health of those around me.
After celebrating such an amazing life, we headed to celebrate the 4th birthday of one of Otto's friends, complete sorrow to happiness again!
Then on Sunday I competed in the last Bribie Triathlon of the series. I will recap that event soon, triathlon is certainly becoming the sport that likes to teach me about aspects of my personality I hadn't yet discovered!
Now that is what I call a huge weekend, this weekend is shaping up to thankfully be a lot less intense.