Thursday, August 21, 2014


I really enjoy training. I feel like I might as well have a horn growing out of my head when I say that to people. So many people love to race, but not necessarily train. Obviously, I love to run races. Race day is my favorite! I love it when all the pieces come together and I can go out and crush a goal. Even if I have a bad race, there's something about seeing that finish line that gives me a rush like nothing else. Good or bad day aside, how do I get to that finish line though? TRAINING.

I've become kind of a training geek lately. I've never been the type of person who has to drag themselves out the door to go run. Even if I'm dreading a particular workout I still look forward to it. I absolutely LOVE a challenge. Something has clicked for me this year though where I'm really enjoying learning everything I can about the process of marathon training. I wrote a little bit about this on Dailymile the other day:

Heading into the final month before taper, I feel like I really understand the process of marathon training now. (Which is strange because I’m working toward #15. Huh.) I’m just really enjoying the ebb and flow of hard training and how my body is reacting to it. I look forward to the tough workouts of tempo runs and fast intervals but I also enjoy the easy pace recovery runs that follow. I imagine I can feel my body adapting with each new workout and on rest days I picture my muscles repairing and rebuilding themselves. It’s fascinating and a bit like magic at times. It makes me wonder where my ceiling is with this whole running thing!
As far as BQ-in goes, I’m also more mentally in the game than I was last spring. Back then I felt like “I can’t believe I’m actually doing this!” Now it’s more like, “I’m doing this.”
I like that I continue to learn new things with each training cycle. This time I've been really conscious of what I'm supposed to achieve with each workout- whether it's speed, endurance or recovery. I used to just run whatever pace I felt like all the time but I understand now that specificity in training is super important. I like the changes I'm feeling! Even if something goes wrong for me on race day this time around I feel like I've gained a much better understanding of how the process of hard training works. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Sands Through the Hourglass

Juliana started high school last week. She is turning 14 years old on the 26th of this month. Ava performed with her band all over town this summer and is starting her last year of elementary school after Labor Day. I feel like I should have been blogging about these events but every time I sit down and try to gather my thoughts about my girls growing up I get completely tongue-tied. 

Of course I realize they’ve been growing up for a while. Ever since they were born, right? Something about this past year though- even this past summer- has left me reeling like a pinball, bouncing around from emotion to emotion, unable to get a good grasp on how I’m feeling. Is it sadness? Is it pride? A mixture of both?

When I’m out with the girls and we see babies or toddlers with their parents I often tell them stories about things they did when they were that particular age. Everything triggers a memory about them lately and I’ll start rambling about the funny words they used to say or certain places we used to go together. Don’t even get me started about Throwback Thursday (#tbt) on Instagram. Every time I post an old photo of the girls and do the math figuring out just how long ago it was it sends me reeling. How can it be 9 years ago that I put Juliana on the bus to kindergarten? Images of Ava with her ringlets of curls in 2005 feel like they literally just happened.

At 22 years old, I started having kids way before most of my friends. I lived a different life than most people my age during that time but I always loved it. I was always "Tracey with the 2 little girls."  These days I know so many new parents- either with super young kids or in the process of trying to start a family. I find myself on the outside again having children that could be their babysitters. At (almost) 11 and 14 years old my girls are actually closer to being adults than they are to being babies. I'm so proud of them, and even though I know the road from here to 18 years old is still long and filled with god-knows-what before Jason and I retire somewhere on the English Countryside, I sometimes miss the days of chubby cheeks, sweet-smelling hair, and tiny little voices.

My mind knows that they are growing up but in my heart I still feel like “Tracey with the 2 little girls.”

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Tweet Tweet

There are lots of opinions out there about social media. From it's the most amazing thing to on the internet to it's the downfall of real life communication and everything inbetween. One thing that is pretty much universally agreed upon though is that it's good to take a break from such things every once in a while. Unplug, if you will. Now I'm m not one to trash social media (and the internet in general) since I owe half of my current friendships to Twitter and Dailymile, but good lord I can certainly see the benefits of stepping away from the computer screen- even for a short period of time.

I tend to be a sensitive person. Not that I'm a fragile flower so-to-speak, but I'd like to think that I'm fairly empathetic. I find that I'm very affected by the moods of people around me and social media can really amplify that. I realized that I was getting to point that I was checking in on Twitter constantly- and consequently being very affected by whatever I was reading at the time.  And let's face it: a large percentage of the time people are going on Twitter to bitch. Truth. I got to a point where I was being drawn in too much by the emotions of all the people I follow on social media. I like these people most of the time but I just wanted a break from the constant chatter, you know?

A few weeks ago Jason and I took a road trip out to Boston. We visited some of my family in a nearby suburb and spent some time exploring the city for a few days. Still, any time we were waiting in line somewhere or stopping back at the hotel- basically any free moment there was some downtime I was refreshing my friends list on Twitter.

What the hell.

During the drive home I made a decision. No tweeting for two weeks. None. And absolutely no lurking around checking on my feed either. That's really the time suck for me. For every tweet I post there's pages and pages of scrolling and reading things I never comment on or respond to.  What I really needed to do was just go about my day without any outside influences to muck it up. And you know what? I'VE GOTTEN SO MUCH DONE THESE PAST TWO WEEKS. It's been amazing. Without the constant distraction I've been incredibly productive. On the flip side I'm sure I've missed about a thousand and three things going on in my friends lives but then I think back to 5 or 6 years ago and I realize I wouldn't have known those things anyway unless I called them on the phone or saw them in person.

I'm not quitting the internet. I'd be lying if I said these past two weeks haven't been kind of freeing in a way. And here's the real kicker: I still posted on Instagram even checked Facebook once a day. I wasn't even remotely "unplugged" in the real sense of the word. Twitter is different though. I once explained to someone as "an ongoing conversation that is always happening." You can always jump in. You can always find someone to talk to. You can also find about a million things to roll your eyes about and ruin your day.

Today I got on Twitter for the first time in two weeks. I posted a couple of things and scrolled through my secret "besties" list to see what people were up to. Then I closed it. I'll probably look again tomorrow while I'm having coffee. I enjoy it, really I do! It was really hard for me not to check in at first. I just need to find a better balance. First World Problem indeed.