And Baby Makes Three….

Nolan decided to grace us with his cheery disposition around 5:30am. I thought I’d heard him squawking in his crib, but decided it must have been some sort of audio apparition. Unfortunately, it wasn’t. And, Kevin and I had planned on getting a quick work out done BEFORE the boys woke up.

I quickly fed Nolan, while Ben (the soon to be six year old) still slept blissfully in his own room. And, living by the old adage, “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em”, that’s just what Kevin and I had to do!

We really only had time for three core moves this morning:
SQUATS:

Now, we did perform this while holding Nolan. He was sitting right on my lap, which added an extra 13 or so pounds to the move.

PUSH UPS:

Now, I placed Nolan underneath me while I did these, kissing his forehead while I did it, and counting to him. He really got a kick out of these!

STOMACH CRUNCHES:

I did something like this, only I had Nolan on my legs, and holding onto his arms, crunching, and counting.  This was his favorite move!

We did a few sets of each move, and by that time, it was time to get Ben up, and start the rest of our day.

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26 Weeks… And Counting….

Today is the start of our marathon training… a 26 week program that will lead us to being ready for the Omaha marathon/half marathon.

Both of us woke up tired. Neither of us wanting to hop on the treadmill (Nebraska isn’t getting with the “SPRING IS HERE” program, and it’s a balmy 26 degrees outside right now). But, we rolled out of bed and got it done, anyway.

I don’t know about others, but for me, I need to have a plan in action. A chart to follow. I’m someone who is devoted to her planner, the type to make sticky notes so I don’t forget what needs to be done. We are using the training plan from:
http://www.marathonrookie.com/

I used the Half marathon training plan back in 2009, and it went very well for me, so my husband will be following that plan as we get closer in. I’m following the 26 week training schedule for the full marathon, and Kevin will also be utilizing it until it’s time for him to break away and use his own for the half.

I’ll be updating my work out section so that anyone can follow what we are doing from day to day, and I’ll list the actual plan that marathon rookie has set, and the intermediate plan that Kevin and I are following. Maybe someone out there will also decide that today is the day, and wants to join us!

The Good… The Bad… And The Ugly….

I’ve read Runner’s World. I’ve read multiple websites that pertain to running.  I’ve read blogs of other individuals who are runners, who are training for some sort of running event.

In everything I’d read, nothing touched on the ugly of running.  It’s always the good.  Borderline bad would be referencing injuries you can sustain during running, and how to overcome said injuries.  There was always a beautiful little fuzzy line surrounding the articles regarding some runner’s tough struggle, and how they overcame it.

And then I trained for a half marathon, my first and only to this date, in 2009.  I trained with a good friend of mine, and even she never mentioned what I’m about to share with you.  Yes, this means I get to share information that might be classified under “TMI”.  This also means that you will learn more about me than you ever intended to learn, but I want you to be informed!  This is a part of the process, just like stretching, jelling and speed work might be.

1. RUNNER’S TROTS

Not everyone will experience this, but I certainly did, and I feared for my life!  A friend of mine and I recently conversed about this, although he was very embarrassed to even bring it up.  He had also trained for a half marathon, and had what has been dubbed “runner’s trots”.  I discovered the expression after searching several sites online. Bottom line, you have runny stools.  Like, really runny.  Like, water.  You eat, and it comes right back out. What causes this, is blood supply.  During your hard run, your body is pumping blood to the areas it’s needed the most.  This means your arms, legs, etc.  And then when you stop running, the blood flow which has been pumping to various other areas in the body, now can concentrate back in your stomach region, i.e. digestive tract.  And this really relaxes the bowels, which in turn… well, you get the idea. Some people will even experience a little blood.  Not a cause for concern, unless it happens more than a few days. If things aren’t back to normal within a week, I’d certainly get it checked out.

2. SHOULD I BE WEARING DEPENDS?

I can’t attest for men runners.  But a lot of women (especially ones who have had children) will at times have a urination issue while they run.  As in, they can’t hold it. It’s best to relieve yourself as much as possible before you go running, and even that sometimes won’t help.  Those of us who have had babies may do as many kegal excersizes (tightening and toning the pelvic floor) as we can, and because your insides are just a little different than they were beforehand, you will still experience this.  Some women wear panty liners. Others go as much as they can before running.

3.  SEXY RUNNERS LEGS

They get shapely, and more toned.  But all that pounding on the pavement can cause varicose veins (dark blue veins that can be thin or thick in appearance, may even be painful to the touch) or spider veins (small, red spider web-like marks).  Unfortunately, it’s hereditary.  And running long distances can cause veins in your leg to swell.  I’ve noticed that some on my own legs have disapeared (like the ones I ended up getting from pregnancy).  Sometimes losing weight can also help.  Try to switch up your running style.  If you can, try trail or track running.  Good running shoes also helps.  A self tanner can help, if you are bothered enough by them. That will help to reduce the appearance of the veins. You can always look into having a surgical procedure done if they are painful.

Now, I don’t want to deter you from running.  As with anything, practice makes perfect.  If you keep at it, your body will become adjusted  to what you put it through, which will minimize and may even eliminate the above items.   The goal is to start out slow, and listen to your body.

Now, who’s ready to get out there and run?!?  Anyone????  
Hello????

I’m A People Collector

I tried my hand at collecting when I was a kid… a fantastic rock collection which consisted of the standards, like quartz and whatever else I thought looked “shiny” or “pretty”.  I was 8 years old at the time, which meant mostly everything was worth a ticket into my shoebox of rocks.  I had a few prized possessions though, like the Indian spearhead a neighbor was kind enough to bestow onto me, or the large block onyx rock that I somehow got my hands on, but cannot remember to this day how it found it’s way into my collection.

And I moved.  And with that move, I left my rock collection behind.  Apparently I didn’t think enough of it to bring it with me, and it got lost, along with a lot of other things.

Almost everyone I know has either maintained a collection, or at least attempted to.  Stamps.  Shot glasses.  Shoes. Yes, shoes count.  I felt like the odd man out.  Where was my special collection?

On Facebook, you have your friend list on display.  Ok, you know what?  Let’s go a little more old school.  Because really, this discovery happened while I was on Myspace, back when it was new and fresh, and popular.  I was noticing a trend with me.  I was receiving friend requests from old boyfriends, ex husband(s).  The people who would be considered “taboo” and unacceptable.  Friends who I had fallen out of friendship with because we had some stupid fight 15 years ago.  One of my ex’s, well his wife wanted to friend me on there.  Now how bizarre is that, right?  And I friended every single one of them.  It was at that moment, when I was looking through my friend list, that it dawned on me.

I collect people.

I have friendships that have spanned over many years.  The longest, is over 20.  Now on Facebook, mostly everyone has shifted over as well, and although I may rarely chat with them, they are still there, proudly displayed on my list.  I can’t bring myself to let these people go.  They are my past.  They remind me of who I was, and helped to shape me into who I am now, whether that was for the good, or the bad.  I go months and years without talking to them, but I can know of them, all the same.  I can see how they are doing.  I can make sure that in their own place in this universe, life is going well and it’s all I could ever hope for.

I’ve formed incredible friendships with those who would normally have been overlooked because it’s just not acceptable, as is the case with my ex’s wife.  I wouldn’t trade that for anything, weird or not.  Other friends of mine, the ones who lead less weird lives will ask me what the hell I’m thinking.  How could I even allow such a thing?  And the honest answer is, I have no idea.  I just know to let someone go from my life (which I’ve had to do, believe it or not, but it’s rare) seems to hurt much worse than to just accept the bad patches I may have encountered with someone, and just move on from it.

It’s my way of dealing.  One person at a time.

 

Getting Back Into Running…Getting Back to Life…

Many people showed for the Blarney run, sponsored by Peak Performance.  Kevin and I jogged our way to the starting point, and already a large crowd had formed, waiting, getting ansy.  There were four girls getting their picture taken, posing in green hair, and little tutu’s frothed in green and black lace.  We were all asked to dress up as crazy as you wanted for St. Patrick’s, and it looked as though the girls had their eye on the prize- the winner who dressed the craziest would get a $100 gift certificate.

Kevin and I both wore green shirts, and I had my hair in pig tails.  It’s not that we didn’t want to get into the spirit of things, but I think we both knew that contending with a large wig and some outlandish get up might be harder for us to run in.  Not that $100 wouldn’t have been nice….

we went to stand in the back of the line, with a few moms who had come out with their jogging strollers and babies.  I always think it’s fantastic to see women out with their kids.   One mom even had a big kid with her, who had to be around six and seemed amped and ready to take on the 5K.

We stretched and waited.  And then we heard some muffled voice from ahead, and the crowd started to move.  Slowly. Kevin nudged me a bit, and he pointed to the left of us.  The race had begun, and people were already running, and all of the sudden I looked down at my feet, and I was crossing the two metal plates on the ground.

THE RACE WAS ON!

The last run I’d participated in was the Komen run, back in October 2009.  This was different.  You could tell that so many had trained hard for this event, and here I was ambling along as best I could.  Kevin and I have had maybe two solid runs outside.  Most of our training has been done on the treadmill, which propels you forward.  There is a huge difference between propelling forward, and having to do the work yourself.  It wasn’t long before Kevin and I were broken up, each doing our own thing, each running our own race.  I tried to pace myself, and be consistent but it was obvious that there was a lack of training on my part.  Talk about eating humble pie.  At one point, while jogging back up a hill, an old man passed me.  He was most likely in his 70’s.  He was smiling the whole time, too.

Usually with 5K’s, you run roughly 1.5 miles one way, and simply turn around to complete your distance.  That’s exactly what we did, and I started to see the fast runners coming back to head for home.  I recently had bragged on Facebook about shaving 4 minutes off my run time.  This was accomplished on the treadmill.  The roads don’t care about treadmills.  Put up or shut up, you know?

I felt so good out there!  I missed it so much, the feel of the wind running all around me, my feet hitting pavement, no matter how tired or sore I am afterwards, it’s this passion I have for running that is my own propeller. It’s the choice you have to race against yourself, to score your own PR (personal record), or to find someone to race against.  It’s the freedom, it’s knowing that you have this power inside yourself to keep going as far as your body will allow it, and sometimes it’s really how far your mind will allow you to go.

As I came up on the finish line, a large crowd was already awaiting my arrival, and they cheer you on.  It doesn’t matter if you run the race in 20 minutes or 50, they support you as you cross on over.  I ran my race in 33:19, 10:44 pace. Kevin ran his in 35:27, 11: 25 pace.  There will always be room for improvement, but I am proud of what we did. You need to start somewhere, and this is the starting point for us.

Did I Miss The Starting Gun?

I’m reading this book:

The Ten Year Nap, by Meg Wolitzer.  In it, you read about different women and their experiences of going from careers to being full time mommies.  They feel as though they’ve lived in some sort of cocoon, like they’ve been shunned from the outside world.  They wonder what it would have been like had they not stopped the clock on their own lives, and focused on the lives of their children.

It’s an OK book.  A good read, but a little on the wordy side.  Doesn’t flow as well as I’d like.  However, whenever I’m able to read a chapter or two (while waiting in line to get Ben from school, or during one of Nolan’s naps) I always feel incredibly reflective on my own life.

It was roughly 10 years ago that I would give my older friends with children a hard time.  We’d make plans to go see a movie, or go have a drink at some hole in the wall bar, and there were almost always cancellations.  A very good friend of mine would have to bail out due to one of her kids getting sick, or having some school concert to go to, or just because her child wanted to spend time with mommy, and I would get incredibly pissed off.  She never reciprocated.  She’d look at me with this “oh little girl, you have SO much to learn in this life” look in her eyes, and simply say, “You’ll see one day.”  And that would piss me off even more, because I’d always prided myself on being able to put myself into someone else’s shoes.  Why wouldn’t she want to spend time with me, to get out of the house?  Why wouldn’t she want to have time for herself, when she was “stuck” with her kids every day?

My oldest son Ben was born May 12th, 2005.  “WELCOME TO THE MOM CLUB!”  My friends with kids exclaimed.  My plan was to stay home with Ben for six weeks ONLY.  None of this staying at home crap.  I had somewhat of a career under my belt, no way would I lose that.  Only,  Ben looked up at me with these big eyes right after he was born, slowly blinking, and then looking around the room, quiet, and something happened in that moment.  I couldn’t go back to work.  I had to be with him.  And as he got older, I had to be there to see the new things he could do, or be the one to show him the new things he was capable of.  Now, I’m not saying that it’s not OK to work while raising a family.  Many women do it.   I myself work part time on the weekends, because I understand the need for a break, to have something that’s all your own, that isn’t interrupted by screaming, or spit up, dirty diapers or fighting.  My point is, something changed within me, that only would come from being inducted into the Mom Club.

Some days I swim adrift on a sea of what feels like monotonous daily routine “kid stuff”.  There’s no way I could re-enter the world of real estate and manage a property, because I’ve lost the want and need for that.  I’m strictly a “weekend girl” leasing apartments at this point in my life.  I’ve had to give up so much in terms of time.  I barely know what’s going on with my friends anymore.  My husband and I are in a race to the finish when it comes to dinner, getting the boys bathed and off to bed, so that we’re able to have a few hours to ourselves before the race begins all over again the next day.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been puked on, peed on, and pooped on (projectile poop, no less), how there have been times my boys have brought me to tears of frustration, where I want to run screaming out the front door and see if someone else wants my life for a few hours, so I can reclaim some sense of sanity.  Even just a little bit.

Yet,  Ben prays for me, the days I’ve been too tired to tuck him at night.  Nolan has this incredible smile when I go in to get him after he’s napped.  And seeing Nolan’s face light up at the sight of Ben, creates this feeling inside of me that is nothing short of pure love.  I understand the reason behind my friend letting go of her own free time to be with her children.  And, I’m now the one who has to let a friend down gently when I can’t do something, because I am running on a different time zone completely.

We have our whole lifetime ahead of us, and such a short amount of that is spent taking care of our children.  It’s a small price to pay.

Running… With Baby…

I woke up this morning around 5:30am. I look outside. DAMN. It was incredibly dark. Like, so dark, you can’t see anything dark. I had been anticipating running today, because the weather has decided to grace us with a somewhat decent temperature, but running in blackness isn’t my idea of a fun or safe run.

Now, I could have waited a little longer, even just half an hour. But by this time, my four month old is awake and ready to start his day. Followed a half an hour later by his older brother. So, I either suck it up and run on the treadmill (again, ::sigh::) or I REALLY suck it up, and take the baby with me. Well, based on the title of this post, you can imagine what I chose to do. Here are some guidelines I discovered during this morning’s run:

1. PICK A GOOD TIME OF THE DAY
When do you like to run? Are you an early riser, or a mid-morning runner? Do you prefer the afternoon, or the evening? You need to choose a time that you enjoy running, but make sure it compliments your baby. You might like to run at 5am, but will it be too cold? Or too dark? Also, would you like baby awake or asleep? I choose to run during a nap time, but it’s your preference.

2. DRESS YOURSELF AND BABY APPROPRIATELY
Babies aren’t fragile things; however, they are hostages, so to speak. They have to do your bidding, so make sure you have them dressed for the occasion. It was in the 50’s for us this morning, and I had Nolan bundled up in fleece pants, onesie, and a fleece hoodie, warm socks, and a very warm blanket. He was nice and toasy in his seat. I also dressed appropriately, wearing sweats, a t-shirt, pullover hoodie, and gloves. You may need more or less than that, go by your comfort level.

3. BE SAFE
Nolan rides in his car seat, which snaps into his stroller. I don’t own a jogging stroller, so I know I can’t run fast and hard with his travel system. However, I can still jog with it, and be mindful that it won’t take corners as well as a jogging stroller would. I still benefit from a fantastic work out (push yourself, a 13 lb. baby and his 5 lb. stroller up hills, see how much you sweat) but I don’t overdo it. You might find jogging with a baby in a standard stroller difficult. You may want to invest in a jogging stroller at that point.

4. DON’T WORRY
People are going to look at you. “Look at that crazy woman, jogging with her baby early in the morning!” So what. Don’t pay them any mind. As long as your baby is fine, and you feel fine, it doesn’t matter.

A Mom On The Run

GCC Creative Writing

Creative Writing at Glendale AZ Community College

Africanist, artist & woman

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