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Weekend Back to Reality: Speed, Gap and the Playground

We don’t get this kind of lazy weekend very often. John usually has to work (military life) and, when he’s off, we’re usually traveling so the Nebraska or California grandparent’s can see the baby. Our only weekend plans, a date night to see Deadpool, fell through because of babysitter logistical problems, so we had nothing on our agenda but a mini shopping spree for the baby–who’s pants have all become capris–and a trip to the grocery store.

Exciting, right? Welcome to real life.

Saturday morning was perfect, cool, early spring running weather, so John watched the baby while I attempted my second speed workout, running towards a 5k goal I haven’t met in over a decade. I got this workout from The 5k Runner, but I’m not following the plan religiously. Actually, I’m ignoring everything but the fast workouts and fitting those into my normal routine with a little extra emphasis on a Sunday rest day. Bring on the sore legs!

The workout was HARD. Much harder than I thought it would be. Sometimes I forget I’m old and not in pre-baby, mid 20’s marathon shape.

Week One // Speed Workout Two

1 mile warm up / 2x: 5 min, 30 seconds slower than goal pace + 3 min, 10 seconds slower than race pace / 6 minutes rest pace / 2x: 5 min, 30 seconds slower than goal pace + 3 min, 10 seconds slower than race pace / try not to collapse / cool down (.5 miles)

I didn’t hit my target pace for every interval, but it was reaching to think I could up my game this fast. I’ve been in the Saturday long run mode for about 5 years and it was refreshing to run short (I ran about 10k) and fast, instead of long, or really, really long, and slow.  I think John and the baby appreciated my workout not taking up half of our Saturday.

I feel pretty good about the IDEA of this 5k. The actual 5k? We’ll see.

Before our errands, we swung by my poll location so I could vote in the South Carolina primary (John is an absentee in another state). It was weird voting in the South Carolina Primary, and weirder that we’re officially in another election year. The last time we elected a president I had just met John, we lived in San Diego and John had yet to even get his next orders. I’m pretty sure I didn’t even really know where South Carolina was. (Just kidding? I shouldn’t say this, since my career is in geography).

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I won’t disclose who I actually voted for (it might be a surprise if we’ve discussed the election), but I will say I didn’t make up my mind until I had to tap the check next to their name on the ballot. John is convinced I wasted my vote. But I’m convinced I chose the person who would have done the best job. Would have.

I also didn’t get an “I voted” sticker. All around disappointment.

For Christmas, the baby’s Nebraska Grandparents got her a gift card to Baby Gap that we’ve been saving for when we could use our Gap cash. Gap had a cash bonus going on for a while where you got 25$ per 50$ spent to use on a 50$ purchase. I bought a few things for work in January, and John bought one 25$ coupon on eBay, so we had a good chunk of change to spend on her spring wardrobe. She’s so fashionable. With a 30% off store sale, we ended up with a lot for what we had to spend. (The cashier appreciated that we separated the clothes into 50$ piles to make our multiple checkouts easier).

**This is how we saved: we knew we would be spending the gift card amount so we had a set budget (100$). I had 2 25$ off 50$ from my prior purchases and we bought 25$ in Gap cash for 4 dollars on eBay. With the gift card and the eBay purchase, we ended up spending 7$. Always check eBay for deals like the cash back, if you know you’re going to be spending money at that store! It’s a great way to save BIG.**

The weather turned slightly on Sunday, a storm seemed just off the horizon, but it was still warm for February. We decided to take the baby to the park. Her first park experience.

South Carolina, to its credit, has a lot of beautiful, accessible parks. We chose Wannamaker, a county park with a great playground, running trails and water slides for the summer (which could almost be year round in South Carolina). I used to run there when we moved to South Carolina, in between looking for a job and intense couponing. Not my best days.

She was a little overwhelmed by Wannamaker. We put her in a swing and her little fingers turned white from holding the chains so tightly. She wasn’t too sure about the rocking horse. The slide was ok. Better with dad. There was a lot to take in.

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But then she saw the dogs.

This baby is obsessed with dogs. She squeals and wriggles and tries to escape my grip if she sees one when we’re out.

She got to pet a Golden retriever. She got to stand inside the dog park and watch a dog chase a ball. She got to see two dogs on a leash. I can’t even relay the excitement.

Having kids really does keep you young. (In spirit, don’t look in a mirror). When was the last time you were that thrilled about something? Or looked up from you phone to notice? I love the raw excitement, it’s such a fresh look at the world.

John is back to nights this week. But we finally succeeded in prepping three meals–lasagna soup, veggie chili and pulled BBQ chicken sandwiches–which will make my nights at home with the baby a little less chaotic. A little. And I’m back to speed work again tomorrow on my lunch break. I’m already a little nervous. Isn’t it weird that we self-impose things like running a certain time for a 5k?

What do you have going on this week? What’s something that still brings out that raw child-like excitement?

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