Friday, November 28, 2008

Running with my boy- a Mom's happy Day.

What a great feeling!! Yesterday at 8AM on Thanksgiving Day I ran fun 5K run with my 10 year old son, Max. He was so brave, so cute, so determined... just ate my heart up. Max is my high spirited one. He's the one I'm afraid I'm not connecting with as he matures. He's the one I really try not to get out of bed without praying for him. These past two months we've seen a big positve change in him. When I decided to find a turkey trot for me to get out of the house and enjoy my husband I signed the three of us up. The reasons were twofold. I think Max needs some extra loving from us and alone time with the two of us and I was concerned with leaving my 12 year old in charge of him and his younger siblings. I woke him up early, he did not complain at all. We got out there. Usual race environment and fun stuff going on. He looked a little nervous, but did not say anything. The gun went off and he ran a little too fast for my liking and almost a mile in he was upset and not having fun. I talked him into happy and pacing himself. Gave him some tips on form (you could hear his feet hitting the pavement). I made jokes and told him funny things that happened to me during races. I made a joke about the fine line between inspiring and annoying and asked him if he wished he brought an ipod. That sweet boy genuinely looked at me and said, "oh Mom, you're better than any ipod." I just about gushed. I just love that boy. It spilled over to the entire day and we're still basking in the closeness.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Plan B

I now understand the importance of having a Plan B.

Yesterday, I ran the Philadelphia Marathon, my third marathon, but my first in six years (first since getting married and having kids, though I have done plenty of halves and other distances). I was very well trained and my Plan A was a 3:50 finish. I even had my PaceTat (I love these). At the start, I found the 3:50 pace group. I focused on staying with them and missed the first few mile markers. At about 5 miles, I realized that they were running 8:20s-8:30s, far faster than the intended 8:45s. (Do I misunderstand what pace groups are supposed to do?)

I decided to drop off and do my own thing since the group was doing more harm than good. But some damage was probably already done. I knew I was in a little trouble before the halfway point. But I grit my teeth. I knew I was going to see my 4-year-old and my husband at the half. (My 17-month-old was with my husband’s aunt, inside, warm, and fussed over.)

Plan B was a sub-4:00 finish.

At about mile 16, I decided that I would take walk breaks at every water stop. It was so cold (maybe 30 degrees by then – it had been around 25 degrees at the start) that walking at the water stations was a good idea anyway; the road was covered in ice from the inevitable spilled water. A friend who was also running found me walking at the station near 18 miles. She was cheerful and looking great, with a blue fleece scarf waving behind her. I picked myself up and ran with her for three miles. I owe her a drink, dinner, something for perking me up.

Then I decided that I would walk for a minute every mile (in addition to very water station) and stretch my quads, which had turned to rock. My friend went on ahead.
At mile 23, the 4:00 pace group passed me. I drew on every last bit of strength and pure stubborness and joined them, determined to run the last 3.2 miles with them, without walking. And I did. As I passed Boathouse Row, I knew less than a half mile remained. I pulled away from the pace group and climbed the last little hill wrapping around to the front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. As spectators closed in (reminding me of the Tour de France crowds on the mountain stages – that I’ve seen only on TV) and yelled “Adams!” (my last name, ironed on to my shirt), I raised my arms and roared, “Yeah!” (Yes, I was losing it a bit by then.)
I finished in sub-4:00, just: 3:59:12.
I can’t believe I did it.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Need for Speed

One often hears about endorphin-highs and people who are addicted to exercise. I definitely feel better - physically and mentally - after I've had my workout for the day, but I think it is my kids that are addicted. Let me explain. Our weekday routine generally consists of walking my eldest daughter to school, going on a jog of variable length with the stroller, and then heading home. The baby always falls asleep during this evolution, though the 3-year-old is just along for the ride. I've observed that on days when we skip this because I've run by myself on a Sat. or some similar interruption of our routine, everyone is just a little crankier than usual. The baby doesn't nap well and the 3-year-old is out of sorts.

So, now that we are revisiting cold weather, I'm finding that this dependence on the stroller has adjusted my tolerances. In an earlier blog about cold weather running, I think that I defined my minimum temperature for taking a baby in the stroller to be about 40 deg F. This year, with this baby, we are redrawing that line at 30 deg F. Poor baby #3...*

*Don't worry, this baby is well-protected by the cold with a snowsuit and blankets and wind/rain shield. She sleeps like, well, a baby :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Rut Mommy Rut--

I have been avoiding this site as I've been in a rut since August. I think I've run a total of 6 times and maybe did Bodypump 10 times in that time. I'm afraid of the scale, but mostly I think I've lost my identity. Running is really my identity. An old boyfriend looked me up on email-- he was a sweetie and in the 20 years since we've spoken I've surely done a lot, but I mentioned running two marathons as important. How very odd. I did send back pics of the husband and kids so I'm not completely shallow.

I think there is a Mommy Running group near me. I'm going back to the web site and sign up now. My almost 2 year old would like it and weather is no excuse here. Funny thing is I'm not 200lbs. Surely I thought I'd be 200lbs plus if I were not frantically running around. I'm happier running though and do not have my fallback of living among an athletic community to inspire me. It has to come from inside me. Ok, here goes, time for me to sign up!!! I'm going to find a turkey trot too.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Season of Thanks

About 1 month ago I sprained my back, my husband left for Iraq, my oldest son was giving me alot of grief. ....... I managed to justify a full fledged pity party that was worsened by the fact I couldn't even exercise to relieve stress........... I also ended my 2 year maternity hiatus from being a nurse. That was the thing that smacked me back into reality. I have been reminded over and over again over the last couple weeks while teaching in the Emergency Room just what a great life I have as do most of us.

Yes, my back has been hurting, but I am fortunate enough to be able to feel it. Unlike a young paraplegic I recently was fortunate enough to care for.

Yes, I am sad my hubby is in a war zone ~~ but I am lucky enough to be able to be married and to a great guy who dedicates a large portion of his life for the protection of others. Many never find "the right one"

Yes, my oldest is going a bit crazy~~ But I am so grateful that he has the physical capability to do stupid college things. He could be in a wheelchair or worse.

Yes, my other 3 boys can be overwhelming some days~~ But how lucky I am to have them and watch them grow, although too quickly. So many want but can't have children.

Yes, I run slow, no matter how much I run, I just won't ever be fast~~ But at least I have legs that CAN run at all. I got back out there today for my first post sprain walk/run and now I am loving my sore muscles because I have the ability to make them sore and the ability to feel it.

I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving Holiday, we all have so much to be thankful for.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Confessions of a Baker Runner

When my child was born, I discovered that I didn't have to fight in the corporate world any longer and I could do what I enjoyed: Baking (hence the pen-name).  I've mostly been a black-market baker, baking and selling out of my home kitchen, but I've also worked in a cafe.   I have a less-than-healthy relationship with Sugar, Flour and, most of all, Butter.  As I always say: I love baking, so I've learned how to love running.

Now that I've settled into a new town, I don't have the connections I once did.  Besides, baking in my rental home with an inconsistent oven is much more difficult.  So, I've found a proper job in a proper kitchen.  

Here's where reality has turned itself on its head.  Now, it's no longer "I love baking, so I've learned to love running."  Now it's, "I love running and is baking going to get in the way of this?"

Now that I'll be working out of the home for 4 days, in the wee-running-hours-of-the-morning, will I be able to keep up with my training, have enough energy for my 3 1/2 year old,...oh, and remember what my husband looks like?  Do you see how crazy my priorities are?!?  I'm actually trying to figure out if I'll have enough time to commute to work on foot.

I'm a cookie monster!!!!  

Monday, November 10, 2008

Let's Race

When I'm not in peak shape, I often think of races as a waste of money. Why pay someone to go on a run I could just as well do by myself if I don't have a chance of winning anyway? Generally I can't bring the stroller, so I have to find a sitter or my husband and I have to take turns.

Well, a lot can be gained from running races even if you are not particularly close to the top.

5. Many races are beautiful courses that are not accessible under normal conditions.
4. Particularly for longer distances, the support is nice so you don't have to carry water, etc.
3. It is a goal to aim for that can really help motivate you to get out the door to train.
2. Improves your speed.
1. The whole family gains enthusiasm for running.

My husband and I run in a lot of races so we signed the kids up for a local Halloween Costume Fun Run. When they've done it themselves, they can start to better understand the need for Mommy to practice before her big race. Plus, we hope that they stay interested in running as they get older. It is good for their health and it is an activity that the whole family can do together, even as the kids outgrow the stroller. Now we'll see how that works out...

Addendum: The very next day, the kids were sprinting back and forth in the driveway (in the rain) while chanting, "The marathon, the marathon!"

Sunday, November 09, 2008

let me tell you something

Man - What a run!  Yesterday, oh around 3pm, I decided to sign up for the Keller Williams Run For the Water 10 Miler happening 7am today (Sunday).  You see, I'm running San Antonio's Rock & Roll Half Marathon next weekend and I needed to get one last 8-10 mile run in...only I knew I was going to be HIGHLY unmotivated to run on this morning if I went out on my own.  I haven't convinced anyone to join my See Mommy Run long run group yet, so normally I'm covering milage all by myself.  I'm tired of my thoughts.  I don't find myself witty.  

Plus, extinguishing what little ambition left flickering was the Dead Milkmen.  My FAVORITE Band for all those pivotal teen years, was putting together a reunion show on Saturday night in AUSTIN of all places.  How could I not go see them?!?!?!*  SO- a late night and a boring run didn't seem to add up to 8-10 miles in the morning.  

A race would be the only thing getting me through it.  And MAN what a run it was:  a long view of the lake, rolling hills, a few challenging climbs, and Jr. High kids dishing out sarcasm with the cups of water.
Of course, I drove the people around me crazy with my incessant need to talk (sorry!  I'm backlogged!)  I took it really easy, knowing next week I want to turn on my jets.  This was, after all still supposed to be just a training run.  Turns out, all those hill and speed workouts I've been doing are really making a difference:  I was taking my sweet time (and walk breaks) yet still came in 10 minutes faster than I expected.  Here's to hoping it's a good sign for next week!

*They lived up to my imagination and I'm not afraid to say jumping jesus on a pogo stick...i like you.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

You Are So Inspiring!

Yes,  YOU.

You, a mother who finds time to fit in runs between diaper changes, or feedings, or driving your kids to soccer practice.  You, who was so busy looking for your family when you crossed the finish line that you forgot to stop your watch .   You, who stayed up until midnight to make tomorrow's school lunches so you'd have time in the morning for a tempo run.  You, who carries all your running partners keys and water bottles in your stroller because you've got room.

You are pretty cool...and inspiring.  And I'm sure you've got some running tips you've discovered along the way that other moms would find interesting.

Marathon Mama wants to hear from you.  She's writing the book we've all been waiting to read.

The purpose of the book is to illustrate the ways that running and motherhood transform each other. The book looks at the connections that mother-runners draw between these two aspects of their lives, in terms of their day-to-day experience, identities, and sense of community.

So, go on - check out her blog for more details and offer your story.