As I sit down to write out my previous month’s summary, I realize that I didn’t take notes anywhere about the month. Dumb move; it makes writing these little training snapshots unnecessarily arduous. From what I can recall, compared to the racing-nearly-every-weekend that was March, April was considerably quieter. That said, it was still my highest-volume month this year and possibly ever (just over 240 mi). The one and only race was the Stow Lake Stampede, a PA 5k up in San Francisco at (you guessed it) Stow Lake. At the very beginning of the month, I lost a weekend’s worth of runs to some nasty puke bug I picked up from my kids, both who had it in the days prior; fortunately, it wasn’t anything like what I had gotten at the end of February, so the kids and I alike bounced back from it pretty quickly. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: trying to train or race through sickness just isn’t my jam. If I can be sick for 2 days or 12, I’m obviously going to choose the former. It’s just not worth it to me.
It wasn’t until nearly the end of the month that I realized I had begun an unintentional run streak from the beginning of April. I’m typically pretty adamant about taking one day off from running each week, but for the past month+ now, I just haven’t. I think all the “life” pieces just lined up, and it made more sense to run each day than to not. I’ll explain: during the work week, typically by Friday, I’ve logged around 40 miles with my kids. 24 of those miles each week are school commutes with both kids, A on her bike and G in the stroller, and the balance is comprised of me pushing G in the stroller for non-commute miles, usually in the ~4-9 mi range, and typically usually about 6-7 — nothing wild. Sometimes it makes more sense to run to places the kids/kid and I were going to go anyway (the library, the pharmacy, a playground, and the like), and honestly, I feel like it often takes less time to get the toddler in the stroller and the big one on her bike and just go than it does to load up the car with the kids and all their accoutrements, the seeming thousands of toys, books, snacks, whatever they insist they need for our 10 minutes in the car. It just seems simpler, and instead of more time in the car to drive someplace that’s only 1-2 miles away, we make a small parade out of the endeavor, and it’s suddenly fun and not another task.
My observations from this school year seem to suggest that, particularly with school pick-up in the afternoon, it costs as much time to drive there/back as it does to run there/back. The school traffic in the afternoon is just crappy enough that regardless if we drive to/from pick-up or if we run there (and then run/bike home), we’ll get home at the same time, practically to the minute. Weird, right? If I have to sit in traffic in the car with two kids, or run home alongside them, and we still get home at the same time, it’s a no-brainer.
Running/pushing G while going alongside a biking Big Sis has been a neat experience so far because I feel like we just tend to talk about whatever comes to her mind: stuff she learned at school, comments her peers said, her random observations about her surroundings, whatever. In that way, it’s kinda like any other training run I’ve ever shared with an adult, where the conversation comes easily and just flows, taking on a life of its own. Plus, running with my kindergarten daughter who just began biking to school in January has been really cool simply because she’s made such huge gains in a short amount of time (#mombrag, right? No really, she has. I have data to prove it!). Most people I run with have been at it for a long time, so I don’t often get to share in the experience that comes with hitting fun milestones and accomplishments, be it largest distance covered, quicker paces, or whatever. Dare I say that many of us become somewhat accustomed to being able to run X number of miles in Y pace, and sometimes, the novelty of it wears off. Sharing in this endeavor with a newbie — albeit someone cycling, not running — helps remind me really how big a deal it is to be able to move our bodies in this particular way. (I’ve said the same stuff about running while pregnant. Running and “life experiences” has a great way of throwing perspective at us sometimes, doesn’t it?). Obviously, my eldest doesn’t particularly care about how fast or far she’s riding — and rarely will she ask me what her time was or anything like that — but it’s hard not to pull my mom card out and tell her how awesome she’s doing and how strong she’s getting. Suffice it to say that from this side of things, it’s been a cool experience.
Aside from the general run-commuting and a 5k that resulted in a huge surprise PR, April was all about week over week consistency. Thrown into that mix were a couple runs up in the trails at Monument Peak and Alum Rock with a gaggle of friends, a couple TSFM promo runs at some local running stores, and a great overnight trip down to spectate Austin’s Big Sur marathon. Definitely no complaints.
With SF still about 70 or so days out, I feel like we’re still in the early stages of training (and thus, the shorter long runs and speed stuff), but I’m feeling well and am looking forward to May’s training and racing.
Sorry this doesn’t make for more interesting blog reading, but hey, no news is the best news sometimes. I’ll never complain about being able to run consistently and enjoyably.
Reading: I read both Anna Kendrick’s autobio and that of Amy Schumer. Admittedly, I like Anna Kendrick and the films I’ve seen her in, but I don’t know that I’d even recognize Amy Schumer on the street because I tend to live under a rock when it comes to most pop culture stuff. Their books were fine, just fine, but I suppose if you really dig them and their acting/comedy backgrounds, you’d enjoy them. (TBH I’m not sure why I grabbed these items at the library). I started Elon Musk’s bio (again with the celebrity biographies… ), which is pretty fascinating, as well as Angela Duckworth’s book about grit, aptly named … Grit. And of course, you can’t go wrong with the NYT or the local newspaper. Local politics are both hilarious and fascinating.
Listening to: I’ve been on a bit of a podcast break for a while (do you ever do this? I binge and then abstain for long periods of time for some reason), but I will say that I’ve enjoyed listening to KQED’s Bay Curious podcast about all the weird stuff throughout the Bay Area. Shoutout to Man Jose! Musically, I’m loving New Found Glory’s new album Makes Me Sick (I’m a huge NFG fan). I think we missed them on their most recent Bay Area tour stop, but I’d love to see them when they return.
Enjoying: This time of year. I feel like this is the time during the school-year when things seem to start flying by, with special events, year-end programs, and the like coming at us hot and heavy basically every week from mid/late-April until the last day of school. It just seems like there’s a lot of positive vibes in the air, and the longer days seem to buoy that a bit. (I could, however, do without the egregious levels of pollen in the air that have all but shut my eldest’s poor eyes each morning).
Dreading: Basically every time I get a push notification from the NYT. This GD president.
Watching: Nothing new to report here (although Breaking2, while technically in May, was pretty fascinating to watch. I can’t wrap my head around it).
Anticipating: Our yearly Midwest sojourn in late June to see my fam, heavier TSFM training, and some races in Ohio (with my sis!!!)