Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Monday, April 28, 2008
One French Horn rented from the school: $100.00
One Weimeraner/Chow/CharPei mixed
breed dog bought from the back of a car: $15.00
One run with dog up a hill at 6:45 am
while carrying the French Horn
that you left in the front
yard and the bus is amost here: Priceless
My big kid turned 8 Saturday (oh my gosh - I have an 8-year-old!!) so rather than go for my long run, I enjoyed bowling, pizza, ice-cream and potty humor from 8-year-olds (ok, maybe I didn't enjoy that last part so much.) It actually worked out for the best because Saturday was very humid, pushing 80 degrees and very sunny.
Sunday, I woke up to a major temperature change - 56! - a fantastic breeze and no sun to be had. Ideal for a long run as far as I'm concerned. I even got that misty rain relief when I was getting a little hot. I ran my butt of and got just under 12 miles covered. I'm pretty pleased with how the run went. I really wanted to focus on pace so I didn't shot out of the gate, just took it nice and slow the entire time. Also, the hills in my neighborhood didn't feel quite as awful as they normally do. Don't get me wrong, had there been a bench at the top of the worst one, I happily would have curled up on it, but I didn't get that overwhelming feeling of wanting to walk home after it like I used to. That is progress my friends!
This was my farthest outdoor run and boy can I feel the difference in my legs compared to long runs on a treadmill. Last Sunday after running 13 on the treadmill, they just felt a bit tired. Today after covering close to 12 outside, they are like over cooked spaghetti noodles.
The best part about my long Sunday run? When I got home, I opened the door to the sound of the vacuum cleaner. Now, you tell me, is there a better sound than that of someone else vacuuming your house? I think not! There was my husband, in full weekend cleaning mode vacuuming his little heart out. I had mentioned that I was going to tackle the house after my run but he beat me to it. Now that's hot! I quickly jumped in and mopped the floors downstairs (an interesting way to recover from a long run) and we had that house totally shiny in no time. Nothing like teamwork!
Sunday, April 27, 2008
I don't have a good excuse - just lots of little ones that add up to the only excuse I have.
I'm a slacker mommy blogger!
Anyway, not to dwell (the guilt is already weighing me down and I surely don't need any more weight on these bones), but I apologize to my fellow seemommyrun bloggers. I promise to do better and I plan on starting now.
Yesterday I ran (yep, ran the whole way) my first half marathon! The Country Music Half Marathon in Nashville, Tennessee - where I live.
I am amazed at myself. As I've said before, I'm not the typical runner and would have NEVER thought I could do what I did yesterday. But I did it! And I now feel a sense of accomplishment I've never felt before. I also plan on using that enthusiasm to spur on additional goals - losing the rest of these "pregnancy pound" (my twins were born 5 years ago - don't judge me), posting more on my blog and blogmommyblog (did I mention my guilt), finding a career that works with the girls' school schedule in the fall (apparently impossible in this area). I truly feel like I can do whatever I set my mind to.
I saw a few t-shirts when I went to the registration expo the day before the race. One of my favorites had a saying printed on it that I loved - "This sounded like a great idea three months ago." I thought that was hysterical, but - to tell you the truth - it still sounds like a great idea and I can't wait to do my next 1/2 marathon!
Friday, April 25, 2008
Thursday, April 24, 2008
It's been a wavering few months for us. Between the three of us there has been a job lost, a smashed up car, a return to the workforce, overtraining and undertraining, an impending move, perhaps a new child; celebrations and defeats. Or since we consider ourselves runners: uphills and downhills. So I find it fitting that we're headed to our last race together (so we think) in a town whose course has what we "Flat Staters" call mountains.....because hopefully we'll notice that other people are just running up and down hills....and we'll go home and deal with our situations the same way.
(by the way: Good Luck Shelly - I hope you have a great race!)
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
I’ve been hearing a lot more, “No stroller!” lately from my son, but if we are loading up to run to the playground, that’s a different story…
So here’s my biggest running secret for increasing mileage with your kids in tow…shhh!...destination running! The easiest way I’ve found to get in 30-40 miles a week with my kids in the stroller is breaking up each run in half. Our destination is usually a playground in the spring and fall and the pool in the summer. Wherever it is, hype it up! While doing two 5 mile runs is probably inferior to running all 10 miles at once, it is certainly better for distance training than running only the initial 5 and then calling it quits. The way I see it, everybody wins. The kids don’t have to sit still for more than about 45 minutes at a time and I get my miles in. Plus we are out of the house for a while.
Since you’ll be out for a while, you’ll want to be well-provisioned and prepared for any likely changes in the weather. (Check out my older post, Don’t Leave Home Without...) Remember to bring enough water and nourishment for yourself as well. If you don’t like being soggy, you may even want a change of clothes for yourself. It helps if your destination has rest rooms. And if you have any *special* snacks, don’t let your kids have them until the return trip!
Though I am running closer to 12-15 miles a week right now, I am still doing destination running; our destinations are just a little less ambitious! Give it a try!
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
I keep telling myself that a jaunt on a treadmill will do until this streak of Toddler Up At 5a ends (wont bore ya with the story).
what WILL I bore you with?
click the dots above and read about the cool new biodegradable running shoes by Brooks.
Monday, April 21, 2008
Now, while I have several sports related goals that I've proudly completed (see #8, 22, 47, and 51), it is number 63 I am most proud of (red notes are my updates):
- 63. Run 600 miles this year (starting 4/22/07 - 4/22/08) 8/15/07 200 miles, 10/10/07 310 miles, 12/16/07 460, 2/4/08 584, February 11th 2008 I reached 601 miles!!!!!!!!! Final Tally for year: 758.25!
Friday, April 18, 2008
As I ran my real 7-mile run, I considered these alternate runs. There are only two, but I run them in my dreams, repeatedly (though nothing like every night) – as one would any real running route.
The first route I have not “run” for a while. It is a city park-style run – not quite Central Park, not quite Rock Creek, but that type. I remember one hill – a lovely gradual hill – which required some effort, but I always felt strong on it. It came after a split in the road – a wide island of very tall leafy trees separated one side of the road from the other. While, in theory, there would be one-way traffic on each side, there were never any cars.
The second route is a suburban town style run – on winding roads with light traffic, lined by houses and trees, with loops that can be added on a whim to add a half mile, a mile, to make that 6-plus-mile run happen. It had hills, like my town does. But none of those roads exist in Cheverly.
I feel odd – recognizing that I have had these recurring dreams – having never done so before. And they seem to be about nothing but running – my dream self getting out for some exercise.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
I haven't had a good run since last Wednesday. I started last week right - had a nice 10 mile run on the weekend, ran 4 on Monday, 6.2 on Wednesday then it all went down hill. I woke up on Thursday with the beginning of a horrible head cold. I tried to run on Friday. Managed a whopping 2 miles before deciding to quit. The 2 miles had several walk breaks in it. It was really awful. I felt horrible. Then on the weekend, I still felt pretty bad plus we had our big trip to Philly to take the boys to the Franklin Institute where they have a Star Wars exhibit going on.
Anyway, I have no idea what happened to Monday and Tuesday this week other than that I'm having a party on Friday night and I've been so wrapped up in the planning and stressing for it that going for a run hasn't even crossed my mind. Until today.
I was already feeling stressed about what errands I needed to try and squeeze in while Quinn was at pre-school and then I got that email and I just flipped out. "I'll never be ready!" I think the stress of party planning plus not having run, my total stress reliever, got the better of me and my mood went down hill fast. I was getting mad at Quinn for not getting dressed fast enough, for not getting his teeth brushed fast enough, for us running late, etc etc...it was bad. The plan was to drop him off then head to Costco but once I got to his school, I decided a major intervention was needed so I came home instead, changed into my running gear and headed out. Thank goodness I did. I forgot about the party, the race, everything and just ran for the mental relief and it did me a world of good! I finished 6 miles and felt like I had run 20. I was so happy, so relaxed and all was right with the world again! Did I get all the stuff done that I wanted to? Nope. But I could care less.
Not just by conditioning through the resistance training; no, I mean, during races...while actually pushing my 45lb son. As I've said before, no one likes to be passed by a stroller. Even if they are close to having a heart attack or muscle spasm, they will push themselves as I push closer. It's like a wave in a pool: as the stroller approaches, the pace picks up, rippling through the area. So, as I begin to notice people going faster around me, my instinct is to accelerate, too. And although it's less enjoyable uphill, I find myself hauling tail to catch up with my runaway stroller on the way back down (even with the leash).
The stroller makes me faster. I have no other way of explaining why I've PR'd the last two races while pushing the stroller.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Friday, April 11, 2008
I'm a big fan of long distance running. I crave the miles sometimes. My husband says I dream about it on my off days because I kick him at night. The thought (or the reality) of a three hour run doesn't make me tremble anymore. But, of course, I am no speed demon. The Penguin speaks my language. The time my friends and I did a 5K under 30 minutes (and I mean, seconds below) we went out to celebrate. None-the-less, I feel strong.
But I have to confess that I WANT to be faster. No matter how much I know "I'm just racing myself," it really stings to get spanked by someone 40 years my senior. Truth be told, I've come a long way. I started just a couple years ago, and I've dropped major units of time off my races. Part of it was ditching the stroller race days, part of it was ditching my fear of getting hurt, and part of it was actually training. These improvements, though, take me from the back of the pack, to the back of the middle of the pack.
My running partner called me not long ago and asked if she could ask a personal question. "You've been running for about a year longer than me. Do you ever feel pangs of competition? Are you ever jealous of others' speed?" She had lowered her voice, like she was confessing sins.
Our team's creed is always about Finishing and Socializing. And, although we regularly talk about race times, there is never the sense of competition. Honestly, I'm very thankful for that. To voluntarily get up at 5am every Sunday morning, I have to be going to something I really enjoy. But, after every race, I habitually pull up the results page and study my times & splits. I replay the event, wondering if I could have done better and comb through the names and their position relative to me. I'm wounded by seeing my name so far below others I know who spent little time preparing themselves. I'm secretly jealous. I'm silently competitive.
Thankfully, for the love of my running friends and of the sport, I'm able to keep it to myself. I'm able to keep self-fulfillment in perspective and be mostly happy with my accomplishments; it does make me proud to get to the starting line. I know I'll never place in a race (unless there are only 3 of us in my age category), but I keep dreaming of that run where my body transcends it's boundaries and I can pull up the results to see I've run a sub 8 minute mile.
Second to moms, the next most forgetful group of people must be runners. Who does a second marathon without forgetting the pain of the first?
Constantly hounded by the feeling that I might be forgetting something, I am delighted when I remember something! Yesterday I went jogging by myself and you know what I had sort of forgotten? It is a LOT harder running with the double stroller than running solo! It turns out that my difficulty isn’t so much all the “baby weight” I’ve gained being pregnant, but the 75 pounds of child plus related equipment I’ve been pushing! I just didn’t notice it so much before.
So, pat yourself on the back if you went jogging with your stroller today! Plus it burns more calories than running alone….
Thursday, April 10, 2008
I also have to admit that I'm so thrilled to see the publicity for See Mommy Run (and the logo we worked on together! Woo hoo - my first design job goes national!). ;-)
How is that for a Bostonian talking Texan? I've got to get ready for the big move. Today I was contemplating my Mommy skills as I had three children on 3 different sports fields and a baby on my hip and I needed another Mommy to back me up in case I exploded. I called my friend, Lina, who agreed to take my eldest home from soccer if I failed to show. I remember having it all covered and thinking I was always going to do it all and not ask for help. I like to give help. I like to be in the black at all times and secretly I think those who are always asking for help or cannot get their acts together are not having a good Mommy time. But here I am sometimes needing to ask for help. It is humbling and it is REAL. Thank God for other Mommies out there who had children before me and "get it." I remember my good friend, Leslie, telling me in 1999 that we may not get to be friends because her youngest was the same age as my oldest and that I'd need to learn not to be uptight. We forged on and she is still a good friend. She turned 50 this month and looks and feels better than she did 10 years ago. She has it together big time.
See Y'all Later,
check it out!! It is Andrea and the Olympic torch!!!!
Monday, April 07, 2008
On the other side of the highway are the subdivisions. The box houses. The McMansions. It's also where the plastic surgeons have their offices, where the big-box stores are.
(I am not knocking it. That's what I'm trying to say. Keep reading.)
On Saturday (beautiful, inspiring, Saturday) I chose to lengthen my run by *gulp* crossing the freeway...baby jogger and all (no taking off into undeveloped fields...).
I would go through an under construction subdivision, down the hill by the high school, take a short shimmy through the park, cross at the Central Expressway, up (and, yes, I acknowledged to myself the bitch of hill I would be running) through the Country Club (where hubby used to Super), along the busy thoroughfare and then over the Central Expressway and then...
But wait...as I approached the stoplight set amongst the box stores just outside of the Country Club, I realized that there wasn't a sidewalk where I could have sworn I had seen one. So I pushed the 'cross the street' button (does that button have a name? does anyone know?) and waited. And I looked humorously at all the poor 'rich' people trapped in their BMWs and air conditioned SUVs. I crossed.
(previous scene repeats itself, except this this time character has lost some of her jovial patience.)
Set free again, I scurried for about 20 feet. And then that sidewalk ended, right before the bridge to go over the freeway. The sidewalk to get over the freeway was on the other side. Of course, there was no sidewalk leading up to that point.
So I turned around, feeling like a total dweeb, naturally. Aware of all the eyes watching my numbskulled 'progress'.
This is where I encapsulize. (Not sure if that's an actual writing term. Maybe it just became one.)
Called husband, hinted that he should pick us up, bravely asserted that we would make it. (Ah, my flair for drama.)
Back through Country Club. Passed a group of teenagers, felt good about myself when they said, "Cool!" as I whizzed by (ha-ha. no whizzing there. lots of walking, though.) But had unkind thoughts--despite my efforts to self-edit--about the young, unencumbered beauty that jogged so daintily from one of streets.
Finally. Across the d*****d Central Expressway, jaunt along the park, back by the high school, but this time...this time I said, "Ah...to hell with it." And I pushed the jogger over the grass (fully aware that a thorn just might puncture my tires.) until I got to part where the sidewalk began. And then finally home. Where I found my husband doing some heavy duty yard work.
Shortly thereafter we both collapsed into the bed, explaining to each other which of us was the tiredest and why.
The run was just work. That's the way it is before a route is worked out.
I love being a runner. It explains the rest of life to me.
Saturday, April 05, 2008
You know what? I can't keep a secret to save my life. Isn't that horrible? But it's true. I can keep a secret if I don't think it's a secret, but if I know it's a secret, like an act of deception, then the guilt simply overtakes my conscience and *boom* secret's out.
I am what I am. At first that statement seems full of arrogance when heard coming from the conscience of another person. But it is actually quite...humbling.
I am what I am. It means that I don't have to pretend, that I don't have to impress anybody.
I am what I am. It means that I am what I am and everyone else is what s/he is but in the end we're just the same and I have to respect those differences.
It means I did my best on my run today.
I did. It was my best. I have to be honest with myself: I gave everything I could.
If I'm not happy with the fact then I need to change it. Period.
But that's not the confession, that's just what it's about: My struggle with the threat of defeat. (Luckily, I'm in good company, my fellow running mommies...)
So maybe tomorrow, but more likely on Monday, I will ramble and drone on about my stupid, below my expectations of myself run today...Monday, when a roast isn't in the oven, the socks don't need matching and whatever else isn't demanding to be done in that precious slot of time before the posse bustles through the door fresh from a Wal-mart run.
I did wanna say that my YouBars arrived since I was semi-snarky in the comments when someone posted about them before.
They took a while (I think 8 weeks? 6? Im old and mamabrained :)) but I love them.
If I did this correctly I think you can click the dots above and see my videorambles about the bars.
(I also read in the video what I added/used to create them as I cant recall here off the top of my fingertips)
Two thumbs up!
Friday, April 04, 2008
Last Friday night
8:15pm - Gathering in the glow of a side street's lamp post, about 20 folks hovered, handing around a clipboard and studying enigmatic icons on the wall. A kitchen timer was set for 13 minutes, entrusted to a guy with a pocket, then activated before two women went scurrying in opposite directions. Dressed in black, saddled with packs & headlamps, the two met up a few blocks away, squatting at every intersection to mark up the ground with chalk. They wove through the hip urban sidewalk cafes, barged past tourists, and disappeared down a Ficus-lined street.
Just beyond the coral church, they unveiled the night's first cache: a keg of beer & cups. Looking at their watches with cups in hand, they were confident in their lead and agreed to slow their pace. They nodded to the late night dog walkers, even chattering & shuffling to appear harmless. Street after street, they laid the course in chalk: real trails with encircled arrows, false trails with frowns and checks backs with encircled plus signs. They ran past haunting old Florida homes with elaborate gardens, and Spring Breakers lost in the labyrinth of side winding avenues. Up ahead, they saw a familiar face...and the second table of supplies propped in a friend's yard: oranges slices, bananas, and more beer. By their 3rd cup, they had miscalculated their lead. In the very near distance, the pounding of 40 feet could be heard. A dozen flashlights could be seen turning the corner, descending on the two like a lynch mob.
For a half mile, the women sprinted, having only enough extra energy to scream once. They clung to their rattling bags and abandoned a fallen headlamp. With hearts pounding, they looked back to notice they were alone again. In order to keep that lead in the last mile, they had to slow the others down. Squatting, one drew a triangle and instructions for the hunters to sing. A little bit down the path, the other drew a triangle and directed them to sit for 60 seconds. The commands continued, back through town, past the singles bars, past the adult kickball league, past the random Spring Breakers handing out jello shots (why, yes, thank you, I would love one!), past the sailing club and the marina.
There they stopped. They wiped the chalk off their clothes, giggled about the adventure, swayed to the cover band on waterfront patio and waited for the hounds to buy them a beer.
Thursday, April 03, 2008
So, perhaps it is only a momentary reprieve, but I am up and running (literally) again. It is much reduced from the fall, but probably as strong as I could expect at 5 + months pregnant while pushing two 35 lb kids. It may seem counterintuitive, but I am finding that hill workouts are more successful than flat runs.
Given that I have to take walking breaks intermittently anyway, the hills help to keep my heart rate up while I walk. Second, different muscles are utilized in the up vs. down vs. flat so it does not feel like it is tearing things up as much as the repetition of running on flat terrain.
You might feel tempted to avoid hills while running with your stroller, but it is awesome mental training too. Then when you are heading up a hill in a race or just on your own, you can really tell yourself how it could be so much harder….
Most importantly, the kids still get the running-fast downhill-rush which keeps them happy. They’ve been getting fidgeting with this walking thing.
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
I'm picking through things and trying to get ready to move. I came across a bunch of pictures that included three taken during the Houston Marathon in 2002. I stared at those pictures a long time. I only had two children then. I lived in Texas then. 9/11 was only a few months earlier. I've had two more children since then. I was 38 years old. I felt strong. I was strong. Did I love my weight or think I was in shape then? No. I have struggled with this whole idea this week as I feel like I'm struggling with body image and weight. I look at those pictures and want to look the same. I'm only 3 lbs off from then, but do not feel that strong. Why do I feel so torn up about caring that I'm not the same. I've grown. I'm growing. I want my daughters to be healthy about mind and body and I need to set the example.