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Life Lately

A brain dump update. Because life lately has been filled with more ‘living’ than blogging.

And life lately…

Has been changing. Maybe not as quickly (or as much!) as I would like, but it’s happening. And that’s a good thing. I love the feeling of forward progress. Of taking concrete steps toward a goal. This winter I felt a little like I was stuck in limbo. It’s nice to be walking forward again. I’m sure it helps that I can finally feel the season changing around me (despite the current sub-freezing temperatures and high winds).

Mom bday_1Celebrating spring…and birthdays!

Evan and I are moving at the end of this month. We aren’t going far, but I’m anticipating the move with that strange mix of dread and excitement that happens when you have a lot of unpleasant tasks to complete before you get to a really exciting outcome. I love the tiny touristy town in Southern Vermont that we’ve called home for the past year. It’s the town that inspired our move north, the town where we were married, where we had (have) our first house together…where we fuel our addiction to cheddar cheese and McNeill’s beer. The village is quiet and quaint and truly everything you would picture a Vermont postcard to be. With white houses, covered bridges, a stately inn, a post office that also serves as the town hall right in the center, and a handful of residents that know everything about everybody else. It’s been a fun retreat, but we’re ready for a change.

And the unfortunate truth about it all is this: no place on this earth is as perfect as the pictures make it seem. When you live in a teeny tiny picturesque place for awhile, some of the magic starts to wear off. And you start discovering layers and politics that you wish you never knew. This place will forever be one of my favorites on this earth…but some of the shine has worn off (if that makes sense). Which is totally fine and expected, but I’m ready to move to a community with just a few more people.

Easter

I won’t be leaving this town behind completely though, because Girls on the Run is starting this week! We’re a little late to start in Southern VT, but you can blame all the snow for that. I’ve been wanting to get involved in the program for a long time, and started the process of becoming a coach as soon as we moved to Vermont last summer. This will be my first year coaching and I really can’t wait. It’s going to be a fun couple of months.

GOTR logo

In other running news…

Training finally feels like it’s coming together. I’m not at the downhill section yet, but I’d like to think that I’m getting closer and closer to the top of that hill. I finally came to the obvious and important realization that the biggest thing holding me back this training cycle was my mental game…not my lack of physical strength. This is not rocket science or a new discovery, but it’s really a game changer when you finally accept it. More about that later though.

That being said, it’s not always a steady climb. Last week I had the best long run of this training cycle – 18 strong and hilly miles that I was able to finish fast and with energy left in the tank. The kind of long run that gets you excited about marathon training and does wonders for your confidence.

18 miler_elevation

This was sandwiched in between two of the best workouts I’ve had in a long time – a tempo run where I felt like I could run faster and go forever, and a fast hill workout that gave me the type of runner’s high usually only reserved for a goal race.

But then, because running isn’t always easy (and sometimes the universe is cruel), I was hit by a nasty cold that just about knocked me out at the end of last week. This happens fairly often around the time the seasons change, but that doesn’t make it any easier to handle. I know the standard advice is to run when the sickness is above the neck and rest when it’s below but seriously — it’s hard to run long when you can’t breathe. So between that and a packed Easter weekend with my visiting parents, I turned this last week into a cutback week. The goal was to run 14 – 15 easy miles. 10.6 miles of struggle later, I deemed it a “super cutback” and called it a day. Sure, I maybe could have pushed through for a few more miles (or at least another 0.4 to make it an even 11), but to what end?  Although my legs felt okay, everything else just felt really off and I spent the entire run counting down the miles until it was over. Sometimes you gotta know when to fold them. This weekend I’ve got 20 miles on the schedule — time to look ahead and focus on that.

Even with this little setback, I find myself excited to really dig in to these next few weeks of training. That’s how I know that things have really turned around. I’ve got a few hard weeks coming up, including my first race of 2013 (finally!!) sandwiched in between two 20-milers. It’ll be tough, but I find myself eager to tackle it (instead of being swallowed by fear and dread). I’m ready to push my body. I’m ready to feel the fatigue of heavy marathon training. And most of all, I’m ready to race again. I can’t wait to feel the pain (and that is how you know that running has made you insane…)

I’ll be running the Half Marathon Unplugged on April 13th – the same weekend many of you will be heading to Boston. It’s a relatively small race and promises to be both scenic and flat. While I’m not really expecting to be PR-ready, I am excited to put my training to the test. I wanna make it hurt.

Plus, you really can’t beat a $30 entry fee for a half marathon.

UNPLUGGED LOGO 2013

8 weeks until VCM. Let’s do this.

 

22 Responses to Life Lately

  1. You’re a perfect coach for GOTR, what lucky girls! Really excited about that for you. And great news about the move too…you’re right that the reality of dream places rarely match up with the dream itself. How great that you got to make your first married home in such a lovely little town!
    Cathryn´s last post ..A weekend off!

  2. You are going to make the best GOTR coach, Lauren! Get ready to laugh your pants off!
    Jen´s last post ..A fool no more

    • I seriously can’t wait! It’s a small team (only 11 girls) but I think that age group is so much fun to work with!

  3. That’s exciting! I was signed up to be an assiatant coach for GOTR, but then I got transfered by my company to a place without the program.

    And you run with crazy hills! I wish I could find some hills so that I become a stronger runner, but it’s a little too hard at the moment.

    • I have a love/hate relationship with them. I know they’re making me stronger, but I still psych myself out sometimes thinking about having to face them – especially on long runs.

  4. So exciting about GOTR! I’ve always been interested in doing that, I’m sure you will be a great coach :)

    I can’t believe it’s only 8 weeks till VCM!! I feel strangely ready, it’s going to be an awesome weekend. Can’t wait to see your new place!

    • I am NOT ready! haha I can’t believe it’s only 8 weeks, but I feel like I need every single one. I can’t wait to have you guys up here for the weekend though. That’s going to be the best part :)

  5. Glad things are looking up! Good luck in the race! I don’t know how you do it sandwiched in between two peak weeks. Initially I had signed up for the NYC Half expecting to race it but this training cycle has been exhausting with the high mileage (for me). No way was that happening. I am hoping taper restores my legs!!! Also I might be heading to Hanover on April 12-13 and was going to ask if you are nearby! It seems you may be away racing tho!!!

    • It’s probably a stupid decision, but I’m really trying to go into it with no expectations. Though who knows…I have a hard time just racing for fun. And I can’t help but think about the fact that my current half PR was run in between two tough weeks AND while I was sick. So basically, I’m just expecting it to be a suffer-fest ;)

      I think I’m about an hour away from Hanover…? But I’ll be in Burlington on that Saturday.

  6. Sounds like mentally you’re feeling really strong which is always good at this point in the training cycle. I think not getting mentally burnt out is one of the biggest challenges in marathon training so it sounds like you’re doing well!
    Amanda´s last post ..Running Sacrifices

  7. I’m running unplugged as well! It’s a nice low key half – which is good, because my training has been sub par for the past few weeks. Plus, the bike path is one of the best spots to run in Burlington. If I see you there I may have to say hi!

    • That’s awesome! Please say hi if you see me! What wave are you in? I signed up later so I’m running the second wave – but that’s actually more ideal for me anyway since I’ll be coming up from Southern VT.

  8. Hope your move is for all the right reasons! I just started volunteering for GOTR! You’ll love it!

  9. My physical training for Boston was going so well for so long…then I was hit with a cold a few weeks ago which set me back physically and KILLED my mental game. That’s so much harder to get back than the physical game.

    Hope the move goes well and that you like the new town you’re headed to!
    Susan – Nurse on the Run´s last post ..green shorts dude and a long run

  10. congrats on becoming a GOTR coach! i think it’s a fantastic organization. they are lucky to have you :)
    kristy´s last post ..expo fun and st. pat’s

  11. GOOD LUCK ON THE HALF! I know changes can be extremely emotional (Stressful, forlorn, etc), but it seems like you’re ready. Hope all goes well and it’s a smooth transition!

  12. I ran the Unplugged last year. I love running on the bike path. I wasn’t able to do it this year, but I’ll be there cheering on some of my running buddies. It is flat except for a small hill at the end :)
    christa´s last post ..Traveling Birthday Party

    • A hill at the end? That sounds a little cruel ;) I’m really excited to run the bike path – I keep hearing people talk about how much they love it.

  13. I’ve always romanticized the idea of living in a quaint little town where the postman knows my name and everyone in the town gathers at the park on Saturdays for big potlucks. The kind of place that doesn’t even get many visitors because it’s situated far away from highways and doesn’t have any tourist attractions (other than being a quaint little town). But I’ve also been wary of the kind of characters living in those towns too. I grew up in Texas and spent time in some places where people were way too comfortable letting their mouths fly off in judgment. Craziness. But surely it was still a great experience for you? I hope you don’t have any regrets!

    Good luck with the half marathon. I’m sure you’re going to kick some butt!

    • Oh we definitely don’t have any regrets. And I do really love the small town life. You’re right – there’s something wonderful about a place where everyone knows your name. Where you don’t have to wait in long lines at the post office or when filing paperwork or voting at the town hall. And where you can walk to the country store and the owner not only knows you, but sometimes stocks certain products because she knows how much you like them. I love the different way of life that you find in small towns. We’re actually still going to be living in a small town (most places in Vermont are!). The difference being that the place we live now has a lot of retired individuals and 2nd (or 3rd!) home owners. So we’re just looking forward to being in more of a community – without really losing any of the perks/values of small town living :)

  14. Hi Lauren,

    I’ve visited that touristy little VT town a few times (as a tourist) and my boyfriend and I have always fantasized about living up there someday. I wrote a blog post about it fairly recently: http://trailsandcocktails.blogspot.com/2013/03/vermont-getaway-part-one.html )

    I live in a large city now, and there is something very refreshing about everything in Vermont. Although, I can see where you’re coming from about the “magic” wearing off. Good luck in your half and the upcoming move!

    -Danielle

  15. way behind in reading. hope the move goes smoothly and you find yourself in a better place to call “home” for a bit. and super exciting about girls on the run. i think it’s such a great program and have wanted to get involved for a while.
    elizabeth´s last post ..Making Lemonade

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