I've been having a ridiculously hard time getting back to the norm after spending a week in California. I'm so tired in the mornings, and it's so hard to get out of bed!
This morning, after I got the kids off to school, I ate breakfast and got ready for my run. I was so sure that I had six miles on the schedule today, but when I double-checked, I saw that I only had five. I haven't had a run in a while where I could see where my pace is right now--yesterday, I forgot my Garmin; during Ragnar, I had a ton of stoplights and I got lost; before that, my sister was in town, and I ran with her at her pace.
Lately, I've been feeling so slow! This morning, my brother told me that he'd like to run sub-9:00 miles tomorrow, and it makes me nervous. It should feel like a cake walk--even my very first 5K was faster than that. But I'm feeling so doubtful right now, and I'm not sure why. I think it's just a combination of being out of my routine, and the weight gain over the past few months, along with all the treadmill running over the winter that's making me doubt my abilities.
Anyway, I was curious to see what my "comfortable" pace was today. I was hoping I'd be running an effortless sub-9:00 pace, but of course it didn't work out that way ;) My first mile was 9:32; second was 9:50; and third was 10:02. I was getting more discouraged by the mile. My fourth was 9:37. After that, I decided to see if I could even get in ONE sub-9:00 mile. I knew if I couldn't run one, then I certainly wouldn't be able to do three tomorrow.
I picked up the pace, and focused on my arms (my little trick for pushing through when it feels tough--I focus on my arms instead of anything else). My pace settled around 8:30, and even though it was definitely tough, I managed to hold on. I finished the fifth mile in 8:27. That definitely gave me some hope that I can keep up with my brothers tomorrow! I don't want to hold Nathan back on his first 5K. I just might be able to pull off an 8:59-ish pace.
This afternoon, I got a package in the mail from Caitlin, who was Runner #4 on my Ragnar SoCal team. She sent me a gift as a thank you for co-captaining the team--a three-month subscription to StrideBox!
It's a box of products geared toward runners. Each month, the box contains different items. In mine today, there was: Quest Peanut Butter Cups, NOW Trail Bar, Huma Chia Seed Gel, Achiva Native Energy Chia Seed Chews, CytoMax Sports Performance Mix, ZipFizz Energy Drink, and a StrideBox Running Belt. So awesome! I thought this was such a thoughtful gift for a runner, and now I have something to look forward to in the mail for the next couple of months. It's smart marketing, too, because now I'll get hooked on all these products and buy more ;)
I've been thinking about Mark a lot lately. His death is really starting to sink in. When I was grocery shopping yesterday, I would see something he'd like, and think, for a brief moment, "Oh, I should get that for Mark!" And then I'd remember.
I let myself think about him for a while today, and it made me so sad. When we celebrated his last birthday, we had no idea it was for the last time. He was diagnosed in November, and he died in March. It all happened so fast!
Something has been bothering me a lot about the last time I saw him. He apologized to my dad for his being sick for so long, and he said that when he gets better, he can go fishing with my dad. I had explained to Mark, when the hospice nurse came to evaluate him, that he wasn't going to get better; but I don't think he understood that. It just makes me feel so sad that he thought the treatments had cured his cancer. It was such a hard thing to explain to him, and I don't think he understood.
I've been trying to think about what his birthday will be like this year. Every Halloween, my dad brings him over to his house for Mark's birthday and to pass out candy. It's actually kind of funny, now--Mark always told us his birthday was on Halloween, and that's when we celebrated. But when he went into the hospital, we noticed that on his hospital bracelet, his birthday was listed as November 1. ;)
I was thinking about doing a Virtual 5K this year on his birthday, and possibly raising some money to donate to his group home. He loved that home and all of the residents and staff there! When I was visiting there, I saw that they could certainly use some donations, so I think it would be a good thing to do in Mark's honor.
Anyways, tomorrow is going to be a very busy day! I'm getting up way too early to drive up to Dearborn for the Martian race. I want to see Stephanie start the marathon, and then I'll run the 5K with my brothers at 8:00. Then, I'm going to try and go to a couple of spots on the course to cheer for Stephanie.
I definitely want to see her finish, which will be at around noon. I'll go home, pick up the kids, and take them to the Holidome for the night. My brother had some points on his credit card and wasn't able to use the night specified, so he booked the room for us. We took the kids there once before, and they loved it, so they're really excited to go back. I'm not sure what the internet situation will be, so I may or may not post tomorrow night.
Hopefully I'll see some of you at the Martian tomorrow!