Monday, October 23, 2017

Pumpkin Patch 2017

I love Fall. And I try to get every ounce of joy out of it before it is over and dark and cold and I don't leave the house for four months. And I am extra lucky that I have friends who like to celebrate fall with me.

This weekend, I got the girls (and Dan) together to go to the Pumpkin Patch. There is a great location, just outside of town, which is smaller than other patches, but still has plenty to do. It's probably cheaper too! We stay busy the entire day. The kids are worn out, and I got to enjoy Fall Fun with someone. It's also not as busy as the bigger/crazier Pumpkin Patches. This is our third year going there! Sadie got to join us this time around!

The best thing they have is this corn bath. It is always Samantha's favorite thing. Plus Jennifer and I like it too. It's amazing how much fun you can have burying things in corn. And then how laughable it is how much corn you find in your crevices later that night! Sadie wasn't too sure about being buried, but she came around to it after seeing Mommy and Sammie take the plunge.

Somehow I got no pictures of the pumpkins, but we picked out some really big ones thanks to Samantha's great picking skills. They hardly fit in the back of my SUV on the ride home. I just hope I can keep the squirrels away from them this year.

It's about time this girl started realizing how much fun I am. I am by no means her favorite. But she will ask me to pick her up now and then, let me play with her, and even got a bit sad when I left last week. She's so cute with her piggy tails.

In an effort not to have "second child syndrome" where there are no picture of just Sadie, I try to make myself take a bunch of them. But Samantha is so busy running around, being crazy and doing all the things, that I find I don't take as many of her anymore. Someday we're going to wonder where Samantha was during her 5th/6th/7th year. So I have to try and balance it all out. It's a tough job!

On the other hand, it is nearly impossible to get a photo of both of the girls looking the same direction, sitting still, at the same time. So there are absolutely none of those.

We did all the things. Hayrack ride, pumpkin picking, slides, corn maze, snacks (funnel cake and kettle corn) bouncy house, more slides, swings, pond, corn bath, magic show, goats, llamas, picking up dirt and rocks and other gross stuff, putting some of it in our mouths, eating more snacks, listening to mommy, not listening to mommy, running around, and sitting.

It was a beautiful fall day, filled with my favorite people, and celebrating my favorite season. I was warn out by the end of it! It could be that I haven't had a whole two day weekend, in three weeks now. It could also be that I am getting old. And those kids have so much energy. Or that I ran a 5k before I met up with them. Or that my gut is working overtime to process all the food I eat. Or that I am falling apart in general.

But it makes me appreciate them even more. This is what life is all about!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

My Week in Workouts

According to RunKeeper, I set a new record this week (Sunday - Saturday) for the most runs per week. I did four. That's all I did, but I did do that. And after 12 days of nothing, it was hard to get back to it.

I started out on Sunday with good intentions, but I ended up walking the last mile. It's amazing how hard it is to start after even a short break. But that's okay. I told myself that walking was just fine. So the fact that I did more than that was an accomplishment. 

I tried again on Monday and did much better. I was off from work two hours early, and I went right away. So I had plenty of energy and used my two hours productively. I was still slow, but I wasn't trying to break any records.

I took Tuesday and Wednesday off -- I had to work 11 hours on Tuesday and Wednesdays I don't get off until 6:00. It's getting to dark to be out after work those days. Remember how I used to do a lunch run? I might have to bring that back.

Thursday morning I met Tracy, and even though I had warned her that my endurance had been suffering, we did just fine on our time. I really wish I could get her to do longer runs with me. But she's short on time in the morning, and I can't get up any earlier. It was already dark for our entire hour run!

Friday, I was off from work, and procrastinated all day until I had to go at 5:30 or it would get dark on me. It was a beautiful evening, but everything was wrong with my run. I tried mixing it up with 2:1 intervals -- the idea of running three minutes exhausted me, so I thought two would be a better mind-trick. But 2:1 is a tougher ratio than 3:2. I was finding that one minute wasn't enough time to recuperate, and I wasn't even going that fast on my runs. My breathing has been off a bit lately. That could be gall stone related. More on that some other time.

I am just loving the fall trails right now. No matter how awful the runs are, the views are amazing!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Ten Year Flashback

Ten years ago this week (and I am not exactly sure what day, because back then you took pictures on a camera and then had to upload them to your computer the next day or later that week!) I ran my first 5k!

I began running in May of 2007. I had a goal to do a 5k race. I bought a book. I looked online. I needed to build up to it because at the time, I couldn't run more than a minute or two. I made a chart. Or two. I love charts!

 I don't remember the first time I ran a mile. It must have been amazing. But I do remember the first time I ran two miles. All the way from Walgreens, down to Blue Sky and back again. I ran right to Jennifer's house aand made her celebrate with me. I was so proud. I don't remember the first time I ran three miles either. For some reason, two was such an accomplishment.

By the time October 2007 came around I was able to run three miles all at once. I signed up for the Govenor's Cup run around the Capitol building. Some mix of starting too fast and race anxiety and I needed more walk breaks than I had wanted to take.

I felt like I had failed.

The clock said 41:10.

I was so slow. But it was a good start.

Ten years later, I'm not certain I can run three straight (though I could six months ago!) I'm working on some different goals. Now I do intervals - it seems so much easier on my mental state. And my body. But I'm not much faster now.

But I am 50 pounds lighter. You'd think ten years and fifty pounds could make me a little faster. But I'm also ten years older.

I think I've aged well though!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Wednesday Weigh-in

Lowest Weight: 9.2 pounds

I've held steady at 9.2 all week. There has been very little movement. Which is kind of interesting since I haven't been eating all my calories most days. I have really been trying to get my stomach back to a state of "normal". It's been so anxious lately, that I can't tell what is nausea from Gallstones and what is nausea from anxiety.

I've been trying to eat low-fat. But that means 50 grams of fat. Which isn't that much lower than the 55 I was eating before. I have been trying to eat a lot of fruit and drink a lot of apple juice (which really increases my carbs - fast!) But most days I stay under my carb limit. I am not trying to eat all my protein. I haven't been focused on it at all actually. Though the things I eat are so protein heavy, that I get 70 grams without trying.

I probably need to keep going like this for a couple of weeks. It's not like I think the protein was hurting my gut. I just think I need to flush it out with apple juice and less fat. I need to be able to tell if eating hurts my stomach, or if it is completely non-related. This would be such a good time to do the Whole30... if only I could wrap my mind around where to begin.

I'm feeling pretty good. I started running again on Sunday and look forward to getting some more miles in during the beautiful weather the rest of the month.

If I'm going to have a gallbladder complication, I better lose weight from it! Though, I've also been trying to research a connection between having a faulty gallbladder and having a difficulty losing weight. Though it doesn't do much for you, it does help in the digestion/absorption of fat. And I've always thought that it was strange that my scale was up after high-fat day, even though everything tells me it should be higher after high-carb day. But apparently, most macro counters don't do research on gall bladders.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Weekend Recap

I'm going to try to get better at blogging again. So that means more meaningless posts about my weekend. Aren't you all excited.

My meeting with the surgeon went fine. He's ready to take out my gall bladder, but also says I can wait and see at this point. Do I want to live with side pain forever? Probably not! But I would like to try some things before I have the surgery. On the other hand, I don't want to have a full-blown gall bladder attack, where I think I'm going to die... first, I am going to try Apple Cider Vinegar. Even if it doesn't fix my gall bladder, it's supposed to do a lot of good stuff for your gut health. Immunity, more regularity, and overall detoxification.

We'll see!

I worked on Saturday. And it was busy. But it was a good library day. Busy with lots of families. It was rainy and cold outside, which made me feel less-bad about missing a fall weekend.

On Sunday, I "entertained" (that's what you call baby-sitting when you have just as much fun as they do!) my favorite little girls. Samantha and I played with every single new toy she got for her birthday. How do kids have so many toys? And why are they all so pointless? And we played Letter Sequence. If you have a kindergartner -- go buy this game. It's like the first game she can play on her own, that requires knowledge and strategy.

Once Sadie woke up we spent some quality time outside on the swings, and raking leaf piles to jump into/slide into/swing into!

I just love watching life through their eyes.

I also got my first workout done in twelve days. I planned to try out an Interval Run, but also told myself I could just walk. It was great fall weather, but I just couldn't get into it. My gut pain wasn't hurting. I just couldn't get my breathing or heartrate to stabilize. I started with the 3/2 pattern, switched to a 2/3 pattern, and then just walked the last mile. It wasn't a record setting run. But it was good to get back out there and get my lungs working.

Excerices, low-fat diets and apple cider vinegar are the three things I've read really keep your gallbladder from going crazy. I don't know if I believe it, but they're all worth a try. I had no pain at all while I was in Quebec. I was walking seven miles every day, and I was eating ice cream every afternoon. Maybe that's what I need more of in my life!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Weigh-In Wednesday

Lowest Weight: 7.8 pounds

Thanks to my tummy troubles, and my fear of eating any food that might make my gallstones blow up and do whatever horrendous thing gallstones do that land people in the emergency room, I haven't eaten a lot this week. I have also not worried much about protein and fat ratios. Just making sure to stay under all my numbers.

And honestly I am not sure where to go from here. If my doctor says I can control the pain with a low-fat diet, I might think about switching things up. I also might be better about keeping a diary of what I eat and when it hurts the most.

Or I will have surgery and not eat anything delicious for two weeks. But also not be able to exercise for two weeks. And there goes my whole hope for 40 miles in October.

I just want to feel better.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Tummy Troubles

For about seven weeks now I have had this pain in my right side. Kind of underneath my rib cage. The best way to describe it is like dull cramp, or a side stitch when you're running. It comes and goes. But it's there almost every day.

I thought it might be a pulled muscle or a bruised rib. So I just waited. And it never went away.

Then last Wednesday, during my last hour of work, I was at the desk helping people and I felt really nauseous and needed to go lay down on the breakroom couch. It passed in about 20 minutes. But I was paranoid. What if I had appendicitis?

I went to the Urgent Care and asked if they could do a blood or urine test on me to rule this out. They said No. "If it gets worse, go to the ER and if not, make an appointment with your regular doctor." I was scared that my appendix would rupture that night and I would have to call an ambulance. But it didn't and I woke up with an upset stomach, but not anymore side pain than before.

So I made an appointment with my regular doctor. In general, I am not impressed with doctors at all. What is she going to do? She pressed on me a bunch. Took my blood and then set me up with a different appointment to get some scans done at the hospital.

A couple days later, I got an ultrasound off my upper abdomen. And later that day they called to tell me I have Gallstones. So now I have a different appointment with a surgeon to talk about options.

I doubt it is any worse than it was before, but now I super anxious about it.

Plus, last Friday I came down with a cold. It's not awful, but mixed with the stomach ache and the anxiety, I just feel like I am falling apart.

I have not worked out for a week now.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Weigh-In Wednesday

Lowest Weight: 11.4
Weekly Change: -1.8 pounds

I'm headed in the right direction. But it could have been more and the weekend got in the way.

I was down to 11 pounds last Friday, but somehow (and I am not even certain how) after the weekend it bounced back up to 14. Then slowly fell back to 11 this week.

The weekend was hard. And I need to find balance. Right now I am just trying to stay under 1800 calories, hit my protein and let the carbs and fats fall wherever. This weekend I had a several social obligations (three out of the five meals I would count for the weekend.) I made my priority staying under my calories. But that meant my carbs and fats were higher than usual.

But I need to find a balance. I can't spend all week fixing what I ruined on the weekend. I don't think it would work to limit my calories further during the week, just so I can splurge on the weekend. Sort of a cheat-day... or a really odd carb-cycle.

On the other hand, I can't skip donuts for Sammie's 6th birthday.


That's not what this journey is about.

Monday, October 2, 2017

October Running Plan

Guys, something big happened in September. I set a running-mileage goal. I'd never done that before. I had run 33.5 miles in August, after just saying I wanted to "increase" my running. Knowing I'd be gone for five days, I set an easy goal of 35 miles in September. Then I had a few days of not feeling the greatest and suddenly, I was out of time.

I had 5.2 miles left and it was Friday night and I had a choice to make: do I skip my favorite kickboxing class to run? And do I run more miles than ever? That sounded like about the worse idea ever.

But I did it.

I ran 5.2 miles in intervals (3/2) and I hit my arbitrary September running goal.

So all there is to is set a new one for October.

My actual goal is to run 40 miles this month. This calendar has more than that listed, which means I can miss a couple of 3 milers or one longer one. Rain, weather, work, those things can't be planned out this far in advance. 

I also want to run six miles. Just once. Probably 6.2 - a full 10k. Just to say I did. I don't need to do it all the time. On the days I have 2 miles listed, I actually want to do 30 minutes and just work on getting faster. But it will always be at least two miles. Maybe 2.5! Those days I will do pull-ups in the park to go along with a shorter run. 

Then I will have to rethink my goals for November. It will be too dark and too cold for me to do that many runs. I will probably continue my Friday morning run with Tracy, and until the ice hits, a weekend run. But those after work sessions will be over. 

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Quebec City

I spent eight weeks in Quebec during college. I was in an intense French-Study program through the university there. I lived with a family and went to class all day and then on weekends there were fun excursions. I hated it. I was so homesick and lonely. I had nobody to talk to. This was before cell phones and I felt so cut off from the world. But, I remember Quebec was a beautiful city, and I have always wanted to go back. Under better circumstances.

When our Fifth Anniversary started coming up, I knew I wanted to do something special. We talked about going to Saint Thomas -- the place we honeymooned. But I would love to go there in the dead of winter some time, not during the beautiful fall. Dan reminded me that I had mentioned Quebec, and so I began looking into it. It was a bit cheaper than Saint Thomas and I knew that fall on the East coast would be perfect. We were set.

And it was perfect!

Everything is so old. And quaint. 

The Old Town is all in a mile radius so you can spend all day just walking around.

We got a hotel in the suburbs and then drove in. I was worried that the in town hotels would all be old and creepy (or $400/night). But now I wish we had stayed right down in this. Imagine waking up to that little window!

The history and war stories is what I thought would keep Dan entertained. Forts, invasions and lost  battles.

So majestic!

But it was the food that we enjoyed the most.

Poutine: fries, gravy and cheese curds. Why Canada thinks this is a thing I have no idea. The last time I had it, I thought it was disgusting. But this was actually really good. The gravy was thick, like for a roast, and the cheese was good quality. 

I tried Croque-Monseiur for the first time. It's just a ham and cheese and mustard sandwich. Nothing to write home about. But so many times in my French studies I read about it. 

Of course we had lots of Coffee and Croissants. They were all good. 

We do this thing on vacations where we sample foreign candy bars. There were a lot to try. Luckily I had a bite of each, and Dan ate the rest.

Last time I was there, my family made me eat these ketchup chips. Like they were their favorite snack. I hated them. Too much vinegar. I got them to make Dan try them. And confirm my distaste.

Along with all of the quaint shops are stores and tourist things like: Ice cream, chocolatiers, etc. We had ice cream on three different days. This Caramel mocha was the best.

At night, we spent time in the hotel's hot tub, but mostly in front of this fire. It was warm there, not as cool as I expected. But wine and a fire is the epitome of fall for me. 

And of course the Crepe. It wasn't as good as the place in Lincoln. I know, that's crazy. But I'm glad I got one!

Though I am not a big syrup or French Toast fan, I had it for our last breakfast there. I had to try the Real Maple syrup. Eh! It's okay every once in a while. 

Having a car allowed us to go a couple places away from the city. 

Montmorency Falls. Taller than Niagra falls, just not as wide. You park at the top, walk across that suspension bridge, and then walk down to the bottom. 

This was one of the weekend excusions when I was in college. I remember taking a group picture of all of us on the staircase. But I have absolutely no memories of this falls. We could have spent a lot of time in the surrounding park, if we had packed some food. 

We spent a different morning walking and relaxing around a city park (the Central Park of Quebec City). It was so gorgeous. I just liked strolling along and seeing all the colors. Fall makes me happy. 

So does this guy. Five years down. 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Weigh-In Wednesday

Starting Weight: 13.2

As sad as it is, I am actually really pleased with that number.  Before we left, my weight was jumping around the 12-14 pound range. I hated it. My jeans were getting tight and I was in a bad place. I was certain I would gain five pounds on vacation because I had no intention of counting macros or limiting my indulgences. You only go on a real vacation once in a while.

Thursday night, the day before we left, we went out to celebrate our anniversary together. We had Mexican food. I had a margarita. Plus chips and salsa. I didn't even weigh in the morning we left. Because of that added salt and alcohol, I am sure I was around 15 pounds from my goal.

I was really scared I would come back and be 20 pounds away. Which is just so awful. Even if it was retained water and extra sodium from travelling.

So seeing that thirteen on the scale. Actually losing a pound while I was away. That's awesome.

It must be all the walking we did. I had between 12,000 and 17,000 steps each of our active days. And I did enjoy myself and order full-fat mochas (because I don't know how to say skim in french!) and eat chocolate croissants. And ice cream. But we also didn't eat huge meals. And often left some on our plate because we knew we wanted to eat again soon.

Do I have a lot of work to do? Yes!

And I am tired and need to sleep and get groceries and do laundry and get back to normal life.

But I am motivated right now. And I have a good plan.

I am going to stay beneath 1800 calories and I am going to hit my protein (130-140) each day. Then I am going to allow myself to use my carbs and fats however they fall. I want to see if this more fluid approach helps me stick with it longer.

And hopefully my jeans stop feeling so tight. Soon!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Nothing to See Here

I know I have been MIA. But nothing good is happening around here. I mean, at least not with my weight. I have a few good days, my scale drops a few pounds. Then the weekend comes, or some other kind of event, and I eat whatever I want and my scale jumps back up.

I was busy working six days in a row last week, plus I was battling some kind of bug this weekend, and I didn't have time or energy to workout for three days in a row. It happens. But it's put me behind in my goal of 35 running-miles this month.

Now I am busy getting ready to go on vacation on Friday. I had a perfect day yesterday, but tonight someone is taking us out for our anniversary. It's hard to get refocused when you know you won't be tomorrow. Two steps forward, one step back.

And I know I will gain a few pounds on vacation. It's our anniversary. I plan to celebrate. Plus fluid retention just from flying. It's not going to be good.

And my pants are getting tight.

But I am going to come back. Stronger than ever. Just wait...

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Sometimes Running Doesn't Make Sense

I have had a lot of good runs lately. Which has been super good for my running morale. I made a decision in August, to focus on running more. I went from running basically once a week with Tracy, to running three times a week. Twice I run by myself. My goal was also to try to increase from running just 3 miles (and I don't mean "just") to running six miles again.

And I am getting there.

I made a chart, which has definitely been moved around and changed. I haven't increased as fast as I might have wanted. But I am trying to run each distance several times. I ran four miles three times before I increased to five miles. And I'd like to do five miles at least one more time before I attempt six miles.

I am also playing around with interval patterns. Tracy and I have been running a 3:2 all summer. And I really love it. But I know if I want to get faster, I need to be running more than just 3/2 of the the mileage. So I have tried 4:1 and I didn't feel like the one minute recovery was enough time. I should try 3:1 and see if I feel the same. I also tried 4:2 and the first time I did that, I hardly shaved any time off. which was frustrating, because I was running so much more. But I did it a second time and was able to shave much more time (39 seconds) off each mile, which got me to a 12:30 average.

The other day I tried a 5:2 and it was a complete fail. I did the first 4 intervals just fine. But then the mental game won out. My average was lower than my 3 and 4 minute averages, which takes a toll. Why am I running so much, so hard, so long when I am averaging a 13:30 mile. If I took my run down to only 4 minutes, I'd be able to average 12:30. Arghhh! Sometimes running just doesn't make sense.

Obviously there are other factors at play: weather conditions, trail conditions, how fueled my body is, how tired I am, how upset my tummy is that I almost killed my mom's boyfriend's dog. The usual things!

Perhaps it was just time to have a bad run again. It will make the success of my next 5:2 run so much better!

I am also contemplating trying to make the jump from minutes to distance. I always hate run-training with time. I hate the idea that no matter how fast you run, you still have to go for three minutes. If I was running distance (say half a mile) I could stop earlier if I ran faster. It gives you more motivation for speed. Which is what I am working on for my three mile runs.

It's tricky mixing your goals for speedier short distance, with your goals of adding mileage. Plus still trying to lift weights and not missing my favorite thing: kickboxing. But as I've said before, I only have a 8-12 week period of perfect running conditions. I want to make sure to take advantage of it.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Dog Poisoning

This weekend we were dog sitting my mom's dog, Hannah and her boyfriend's dog, Ben.  They both stay at Steve's house and then we spend the night there while we take care of them.  Ben is not allowed to be left alone at my mom's house because he's so big and tall and destructive.  And that's fine with us because Steve's house is closer to our house anyway. Though, I always feel more comfortable in my own mother's house.

So they leave sometime Saturday morning and we have to stop by around five to let the dogs out. We hang out at Steve's house for a couple hours while we finish watching the Husker football game. And then we to decide it's time to go to dinner.

We eat at one of our favorite restaurants in that quadrant of town, and then we head to Barnes & Noble. We're probably gone about two hours.

When we get back to Steve's house, we're playing with the dogs, I'm getting the television figured out. And suddenly Dan  says, "good idea to put away the candy bars."  I don't know what he's talking about. He  reminds me that he found two candy bars in Steve's cupboard that he thought we should have for dessert when we got home. "I didn't touch the candy bars!" I say. When all of a sudden, we both realized that we left some candy bars on the counter and they are gone and the only 'people' there were the dogs.

Chocolate is poisonous for dogs!

I start panicking and I immediately call my mom to figure out what her and Steve want me to do. Do I need to take been to an emergency vet? Do I need to make him throw up? Have I killed Steve's dog?

After lots of research, and texting my dog-expert friend, we decide Ben will be just fine.

But I am sick to my stomach. I am up every every hour of the night making sure Ben isn't throwing up or having a seizure. I hardly sleep and I am sick to my stomach.

He turned out to be just fine. According to the Internets, a dog can eat .7oz of milk chocolate for every pound. Ben weighs 100 pounds. So he can eat 70oz before he gets poisoned. Seventy! He ate three!

I hope Steve can forgive us. I don't know if I can.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

The Big Five

After three weeks of running and succeeding with my four mile run, I decided it was time to go for five! I tried to talk myself out of it saying, Five is too long, just go for four-and-a-half. But to keep myself quiet, I told myself that I could walk the last half back if I needed to.

But I didn't need to.

It was perfect weather. A bit windy, but not so bad on the trail. I went to my new favorite spot to run. Long enough that I never have to turn around. It was after work, which is definitely my most favorite time to workout. It was a hard day at work, but that just fueled my determination. I used the restroom at the park before I took off; I knew I wouldn't make it an hour bouncing down the trail.

And then I started running. Right down the long trail. My legs felt like lead, probably from jumping on the trampoline with Samantha last weekend. But I just kept going and they started feeling better. I ran 3/2 intervals. I told myself I could go as slow as I needed, and sometimes it felt like I was just dragging my feet down the street.

I think it helped to tell myself I was going to run for 70 minutes. Not five miles. Just seventy-minutes. Fourteen intervals. I tried not to let myself count them. If I can lose count after the first two or three it is best. Because thinking you're almost done, and still having 11 more to go, seems daunting. But just working out for 70 minutes seems better.

I listened to an audiobook, which isn't usually my favorite. It wasn't even that good of a book. But it took my attention off the intervals. With music I usually think, this interval will be over before the song is and then when it isn't the time seems to drag on and on. I thought that I liked to sing along, but I didn't miss it. The book made the time pass faster. I am going to try it again.

And then I was at the half-way point and I turned around and I was doing just fine. And then I texted Dan that I was half done and headed back. And that took up a little bit of time. And then I was at four miles. And I saw a coworker of mine drive by, and I waved. And I realized what a huge accomplishment this was going to be.

I haven't run five miles in seven years. seven years and three months. I haven't run five miles since I was a real runner. And now I think of running as something different. Running five miles doesn't mean I can't walk part of it. Running five miles just means I set a goal and five miles later I have accomplished it.

Two minute recovery breaks are great. Sometimes I only need 90 seconds, and sometimes I let myself start running early. But sometimes I need the whole two minutes. But I never feel like I can't start again.

Then suddenly I was done. And I had run five miles. And even though I said that pace didn't matter, I actually had a better average than all of my four-mile runs -- 13:39 vs. 13:55. I think I probably could have done it with a 4/2 pace.

Maybe next time.

Most importantly: it was a really good run. I haven't had a lot of those lately. And I am really proud of myself. This is exactly what I am looking for. Not running any races. Not really even training for anything specifically. Just being better than I was yesterday.