Hello, Texas Humidity!

I just realized that I haven’t posted this week!  What on Earth has come over me?

It has been a busy week, to be sure, but the busyness has turned out to be very manageable!

Mother’s Day was a great day.  It was rainy, but my house was clean which made the day so much more enjoyable since I didn’t have that hanging over my head.  My family knocked it out of the park again with my gift: a charm bracelet with the kids’ birthstones.

Taylor & Logan were born in November while Alli was born in February.  They were so excited to get a 2-fer on the November birthstone.
Taylor & Logan were born in November while Alli was born in February. They were so excited to get a 2-fer on the November birthstone.

Monday evening, I was privileged to coach the JV girls in their Spring league games.  In Texas, the UIL prohibits school coaches from coaching their own players except during the volleyball season.  I was so honored to be asked to coach!  Taylor was in town and came along, and I think we already know that she is a much better coach than I am!  However, I was pleased with the progress the girls made during the evening.  We practiced on Wednesday and this time, Taylor’s long-time friend and high school classmate, Mason, came to help.  He gave the setters some homework 😉Mason

We all know how much I love volleyball and this is going to be a fun group to work with over the next 3 weeks, because they are full of potential!

The run schedule was a little screwy again this week due to some factors outside anyone’s control.  I ran last night (solo) while Alli was at practice.  It LOOKS like a nice cool day from the pic, right?cloudy run

WRONG!!  It was so HUMID!  I don’t know what the actual temps were but I suspect somewhere in the 80s.  The air was so thick!  But it was good, because I haven’t worked out much in Texas heat this season and it will act as a nice segue into hot, sunny, humid runs.  I was to do tempos @ 10 and recovery @ 11:15, but I had a little problem in execution.  (OK I know this is nothing new….)Intervals

There was a loop of thoughts going through my head that kept me from completely focusing on my pace.  In addition, there is an area in this park where my GPS gets wonked up EVERY SINGLE TIME, so I don’t trust the pace on my watch completely.  The loop in my head: OMG it is so humid sweat is getting in my eyes.  I NEVER sweat that much.  What the hell?  Puddle.  Yay.  How wet shall I get my shoes this time?  Crap!  I’m going wayyyy to fast.  I can’t be going that fast!  Wait…breathing is harder.  YES YOU ARE GOING THAT FAST!  SLOW down Jen.  Slow down!  OMG I really need to pee.  I hope I can make it to the bathroom.  OK, I’ll slow down after I get to the bathroom.  If I slow down now it will take longer to get there and if it takes longer to get there I’m going to be in trouble.  (For the record, I BARELY made it.  I’ve never come that close! Whew!)

After the run, I sent the splits to partner/coach and he said – looks pretty good except for a few hiccups.  A FEW HICCUPS?  He had no idea.  The pacing within each tempo (and recovery) was all over the map.  Honestly, I am surprised I was able to hit them as close as I did.  But I got my work in, I wore myself out (I’ll blame the humidity) and all-in-all it was a good run.  I’m currently fighting tightness in my left glute, but what’s new??  I’m working to stay on top of it and hopefully it is just related to my return-to-consistent-strength-training. (Sigh…..yes I had slacked off a bit.)

Haha!!  Tired and sweaty!
Haha!! Tired and sweaty!

Overall, though, it was a very good week!  AND…..I have NO plans this weekend!!  Best feeling ever!

Happy Friday!

Jen

 

The weekend from which I am still recovering!

This weekend was fast and furious, to say the least, but it was one of the most fun weekends that I have had in quite some time!

Saturday morning I was up, bright and early, for my first run since my marathon on December 14.  Six weeks of no running.  Needless to say, I was excited, but I also went in with the mindset that it would be an information-gathering run – more of a state-of-my-recovery kind of assessment, if you will.

This was the first run with my new watch and I absolutely LOVED the change.  I had created my workout and synced to the watch ahead of time, complete with my targeted heart rate zones.  I planned a 5 min walking warm-up followed by 3 repeats of 5 min running in heart rate zone 3 (130-148), then 5 min walking in zone 2 (112-129) with a 5 min cool down.  Now, I realize these zones aren’t completely accurate for me, since I am unable to figure my threshold at this point, but I think they will work until I am able to perform all the diagnostic tests.  My first running interval was 10:21/average per mile.  The second was at 10:54 and the third at 11:24.  Since my watch only showed my heart rate and the countdown to the next interval, I had NO idea of my pace (which was a VERY good thing).  I knew on the 3rd interval that I had slowed considerably, and as a result I kept trying to speed ahead but my watch wouldn’t let me!  Believe me when I say that I wanted that thing to quit beeping at me, so I did as I was told! LOL!!  Overall, it was a very good run, except the crankiness in my right ITB on the 3rd interval.  I am not all that surprised or all that concerned, as my myofascia release has been focused on my left (gimpy) side.  I will be going this week for a full body release so hopefully we can take care of some of the right side issues.  Bottom line, though, is that the run gave me hope that I CAN come back and I WILL come back strong!

The old train depot was a beautiful sight on frosty Saturday morning!
The old train depot was a beautiful sight on frosty Saturday morning!
The walking intervals, coupled with using a watch instead of my phone, gave me opportunity to snap some lovely pics!
The walking intervals, coupled with using a watch instead of my phone, gave me opportunity to snap some lovely pics!

After the run, I dashed home to stretch, foam roll and shower in an attempt to make it to Logan’s 9 am soccer game on time.  I’ll just kill the suspense and tell you that I did NOT make it to the game on time.  I made it to the soccer game just before half-time.  The morning was BEAUTIFUL!  Sun was shining, light breeze and temps warmed quickly so that I didn’t even need a jacket!  Logan even played right midfield as opposed to his usual defensive position, barely missing heading the ball in on a cross in the second half.  A fun twist was our 2-student spirit section.  They brought their drums and played the entire game.  All would have been complete, if only we had brought our vuvuzelas!  The boys ended their tournament on a win and have gone to 3-2-3 on the season, which is about 3 wins and 2 ties better than last season already!

A long-time friend of mine owns an online newspaper in town, the North Texas E-News.  He is a phenomenal photographer (well, it helps to have a high-dollar camera) and he is so supportive of ALL the surrounding schools.  I can’t tell you how many amazing pictures he took of Taylor over the years.  Now that we have home soccer games, he is braving the elements to capture those moments as well!

A pic of Logan from Saturday's game.
A pic of Logan from Saturday’s game.
Another amazing Allen Rich photo!!
Another amazing Allen Rich photo!!

After the soccer game, I rushed home to pack.  Alli’s team was playing in a tournament at the Dallas Convention Center and I had made a last-minute decision to spend the night.  I scurried around the house like a mad person packing, rushed to catch the last half of Alli’s basketball game, and we were off to downtown Dallas!

As a refresher, Alli is setter on Madfrog 10s National volleyball team.  Even though the 10s age group is growing in USA Volleyball, our girls will end up playing in the 12s division in almost all of our tournaments, and it was no different this weekend.  However, our girls have been well-trained and our coaching is impeccable.  They rolled through pool play, with a 6-0 set count to clinch 1st place in our pool and end the day.  Sunday morning we were back, bright and early, at 7:15.  We easily won our first three matches of the day to secure our spot in the finals.

I knew that the team in the finals would be difficult to beat.  Our girls don’t take into account the age of the opponent.  Or their size.  Or how well they can serve.  Collectively, as a team, they never seem to get rattled.  Of course, there are times when our serving is off.  There are times when our serve receive is off.  There are times when the pistons aren’t all firing.  But they never look defeated.  The team they played was very good, but our girls kept playing their game.  They ended up losing the first game 25-22, but still battled in the second set.  The teams traded points (point runs, to be more accurate), until the opposing team was able to clinch a 25-23 victory.  The coach of the other team even came over to congratulate our girls on the way they played and added that he hoped to never face them again.  Even so, the girls were devastated!  And I giggled a little bit inside because they were sad about 2nd place….in a 12s tournament!!  There were several moments of tears.  While all of us parents are in awe of their accomplishment, they truly believed they could win and believed that they should have won (and they were right!).  I LOVE that attitude!

2nd place overall, 12s Division American Volleyball Challenge
2nd place overall, 12s Division
American Volleyball Challenge

Taylor’s team was also playing in this tournament, so I was able to watch her team play when Alli was off.  She is such a good coach and I am very proud of her!  She is the type of coach that finds something to say about every single play.  That kind of coaching is what develops great athletes.  I have no doubt that she will enjoy many successes in her volleyball coaching career!Coach Taylor

 

Now for the non-sport activities!

Taylor stayed in the hotel with us Saturday evening.  On our way to the hotel after our afternoon of volleyball, we stopped at Klyde Warren Park in downtown Dallas (to eat from the food trucks – don’t judge!).  This is a beautiful space that was built on top of a freeway.  Klyde Warren park

 

The REAL reason I wanted to eat at the food trucks was because I saw the Trailercakes truck.  How I have managed to live this long without having one of their cupcakes still boggles my mind.  Sadly, they only had coconut left, and we all know I have sensory issues with food – shredded coconut included, so I had to pass.  We finally decided to place our order at Butcher’s Son.  (OK, YES, the name grossed me out, as I couldn’t shake the vision of all the meat chopping going on in there, but the girls’ votes over-rode me.)  I ordered chicken quesadilla.  Safe, right?  WRONG.  THIS is what was inside:sausage quesadillas

CHICKEN SAUSAGE!!!!  I thought the meat poking out the side looked funny.  Then I thought the meat tasted funny and had weird/wrong texture.  Then I looked at the meat.  In case you don’t know, I have minor issues with meats that have been ground up and shoved into some sort of casing.  Yes….me.  I know it’s difficult to fathom, but go ahead and fathom it.

When we made it back to hotel, I stretched and rolled my ITB out with my trusty, portable friend, The Stick. (And then I read my Kindle 🙂stick

By the time Alli and I started making our way home Sunday afternoon, it was 3:30.  We were both starved and exhausted.  But, I had promised her Buffalo Wild Wings, so BWW it was.  Normally, we wouldn’t order appetizers and our meal, but, hey, her team had just ended up in 2nd place and she worked hard!  So we did order appetizers and when she had finished eating this happened:BWW

She actually laid down in the booth while I finished eating.  Winning wears you out.  Literally.

I am still dragging this morning, but she woke up refreshed and ready to conquer the week.  Oh, and she expressed the need for a medal hanger – like mine that I hang my running medals on, except volleyball.  Apparently she is planning on earning many more medals!

Happy Monday!