It’s been an interesting week here in the RRG household. It was the first week with the kids off school for summer vacation and we’ve been back and forth from sun to storms enough to make your head spin. We had a grand total of about 2 hours of pool time. And seriously, the other day when I took Ethan out on the lake in the kayak it was a perfect blue sky as we departed the shore, but within 15 minutes we were hauling butt back to the house because that previously perfect sky opened up with a total deluge. By the time we had secured the kayak back in the garage, the sun was out again. I can’t keep up with the storm fronts that keep passing through. All things considered though, I’m feeling blessed again today after more tornadoes blew through last night and the only post storm cleanup I had to tend to was the repositioning of some patio furniture.
So, needless to say, it’s been challenging to train for a half Ironman with all of that going on. At least I got in a round of kayaking with each of the boys. And some yoga. And boxing. Finally by, Thursday I dragged all the kids out to the Marquette HS track for some FLEET FEET speed work.
I’ve mentioned before that as a single mom, I sometimes feel a little bit bi-polar, going from being Lindsey the athlete, to Mom, to Lindsey the employee, etc. I can’t always keep track of which hat I’m supposed to wear next. A few weeks back, my friend Dan suggested that I try to merge my worlds. I’m still trying to figure out how exactly to do that. Thursday night speed work seemed like a great opportunity to start trying. The Thursday night summer crowd is a lot of the same people that I have the pleasure of hanging out with when I lead the social run during the non-summer months. And since everything is centrally located at the track, I don’t have to worry about where my kids are because they can just hang out on the field, or even run around the track with us.
So, on Thursday, we introduced this idea. Which was needed. I was desperately in need of a solid workout. Not that 800 repeats are a particular favorite of mine, but it needed to happen. I had mentioned to Silas that he could bring his spray bottle and use it to cool off the runners. And despite the fact that the skies opened up and dumped on us just as we were pulling out of the garage, he brought the spray bottle anyway. Ally wondered why we were going when it was pouring down rain, but in true Midwestern fashion, the skies had cleared and the sun was out by the time we toed the line for our first 800 meters. I don’t envy the job of the meteorologists in the greater St. Louis area these days.
I got in about a mile warm up with Nick and Diana. We caught up from the weekend, discussed Diana’s vegan oatmeal cookies that she had consumed more than the recommended amount of in the hour before running really fast, laughed about dumb things people do when they’ve had too much to drink and we made a point to locate the nearest bathroom. As runners, this is always necessary to know. Always. Especially when you punch it up a notch with speedwork.
The workout was 6 x 800 meters. We all had our goal pace. And Cole would reset the clock every 7 minutes. Run faster and you get more time to rest. This workout is not particularly fun, so Diana and I debated our pace. We both agreed on “non-puking pace”. At the end of the day, I was pretty happy with the fact that I held my pace for each of the 800’s, targeting a 3:30 marathon in the fall. And I didn’t puke. Bonus! Perhaps I didn’t push quite hard enough, but considering how long it’s been since I’ve done an actual, real, true track workout, it was important to just get back to it. It was fun to see Ethan sitting in the bleachers hanging with the other boys as I caught my breath and rehydrated with my running mates in between sets. And I loved seeing Silas spraying everyone and smiling as I came around the track each time. Ally had opted to stay in the car with her phone, to stay dry. She is 10, going on 17.
After the main workout, Nick and Diana and I ran about another mile to cool down. Even Silas joined us for a lap or two, in his swimsuit and flip-flops. I topped out at about 5 miles for the day, so I was glad I had dragged the kids out of the house. And just when the kids were about to complain about how long we had been there, I asked Ally, “Do you want to go to Dewey’s with everyone?” and a huge grin broke across her face. She is her mother’s daughter, pizza is a favorite.
As we sat at the table, Serena brought up my blog, wondering what I would have to say about that workout. I said, this blog would read, “Tonight we ran 800’s. I was pretty much hating life. The End”
BUT…since I’m Rambling Runner Girl, we all know I’m a lot more wordy than that. And even though speed work hurts, I was definitely not hating life as I looked around at my kids to my right and my friends to my left.
It was a different experience having my kiddos at Dewey’s with the speedwork crew. But it was fun. It was good. Lindsey is merging her worlds. Perhaps this bi-polar single mom thing is manageable without meds. Perhaps. As long as I continue to get a steady dose of endorphins.