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Monday, September 27, 2010

Award! :)

Thank you to my blogging/running buddy Jennifer at One Step at a Time for giving me the nicest award!



So now I need to somehow summarize my blogging philosophy and experiences in five words.

How about this?

I am amazing, but never perfect.

Hmm.... right idea, BUT --- I think I have found it!


Rarely perfect, but always AMAZING!!!!

Countless times on this journey to becoming a runner I have become disappointed with myself, or grown impatient because I was holding myself to an unrealistic standard, or expectations. I so easily lose sight of how truly amazing and awesome it is that I AM RUNNING. I actually am RUNNING, and I love it, and it has changed me. I have more confidence (usually) and feel stronger, and like I am in CONTROL of my life. :) It is an exciting time, filled with great successes, and occasional defeats, and always, always, always lacing up the sneakers and getting back out there.

I would adore to pass this award on to Mindy, at 13.1 to go, a lovely runner/blogger that I have recently just discovered through dailyMile. I laughed out loud so many times as I was getting caught up on her last few blog posts. :)

Week Re-Cap

I was so gung-ho and ready to get my morning runs in - I had my reflector bracelets ready!

But then my household got "the cold," and I have been on the verge of getting it for nearly a week, and since my 5K is this coming Saturday, I did NOT want to be dealing with a cold, so I opted to not deal with pre-dawn cool air running without proper cool weather attire, and got my running in after school a couple of days. I think that I ran on Tuesday and Thursday. Friday I was planning to run, but my oldest boy had a croupy cough all night so we kept him home from pre-school and daycare, so I came home from work early to be with them, which meant no Friday running for me!

Saturday I tried to have a long run, but mentally I just wasn't there. It was just.... off. I don't know why. I think that I just need somewhere new to run. A change of scenery. I look up different runs on 'mapmyrun.com' all the time, but I never actually go to them!! It feels silly to me to drive somewhere to get out and run. *shrug* So, my same old tired street route it is. (I know, I know, in order for change to happen, I actually have to change what I am doing!)

I am trying to give myself a lot of patience and grace. I am dealing with so much right now. I had a very challenging week emotionally. Nothing was wrong, but I was just not happy -- and after feeling like myself for a few days I was not expecting a return of the blahs. Actually--- I CAN pinpoint when the downward trend started. But it will seem like finger-pointing, so I will just leave it at that. I hate being fragile.

This morning I really wanted to run because I am teaching a lesson after school and don't know if I can fit a run in before I pick up my boys. Besides -- I miss them like CRAZY on Mondays! I will post pictures soon - I got some adorable ones this weekend! Jonathan is the happiest baby. His smile just melts my heart! I know that every mother says that, and it is the way that it should be! Stephen is just a sponge, and while he is stubbornly regressing(sort of) in some areas (potty training), he is charming and impressing us in other areas.

OH-- on Thursday evening I just wanted to do something FUN with them, so I took them to a local diner for dinner. Stephen was an ANGEL. He did what he was told, he said please and thank you, he stayed in his seat (most of the time) and he amazed me with his writing ability. He wrote the letters S, T, H, I, A, Z, and O, and then read them back to me and said, "Stephen." <3
It was just adorable! And Jonathan tried mashed potatoes for the first time! It was a big moment! He is MUCH more of a talker than Stephen ever was, and I am sure it is because he is listening to his big brother talk ALL. THE. TIME!

So yes-- I obviously have mood-swings. But since it swung up, and I am now happy because I am thinking about my kiddos, I will take it, and hit "publish post" before I edit myself and delete it all!!!

Have a great day!

Monday, September 20, 2010

3.4 by moonlight

As promised, I am updating you on the results of my intended 3 mile run slated for "at some point" yesterday. We came home from church and lunch, and I was exhausted. I asked permission to be selfish and be the parent that took a nap that day. Normally Sundays are for sleeping for my husband, especially now that he is teaching Sunday school again to the high school kids. But he was already intent on staying awake for some football time and was totally fine with me grabbing a nap.

As it usually is, if I actually sleep during the day, I don't really feel rested. It would have been better if I had just gotten up and headed downstairs at 4pm, after just resting my eyes and being quiet, even though I hadn't actually slept yet. But, I think subconsciously I really wanted to SLEEP since I had said that I was going to SLEEP, so I stayed snuggled in bed (kid- free!!) for another hour. At that point, my oldest son came hurtling up the stairs, bounded into the room, and SANG (really) 'Mommy, it's five o'clock, and you should get up now.' He then proceeded to continue is little song about it being 5 o'clock, and of course, he is only 4, and does not really understand what he is saying or what it means. So yes, it was adorable.

Since my nap was longer than expected, I didn't get my run in until late. I was out the door just after 7pm, and did a .2 mile warm-up walk, and then ran for 3.2 miles. It was a gorgeous night. The moon was out, it was just getting dark-- the stars came out WHILE I was running. I saw the big and litter dippers, and gloried in creation. I didn't care about my pace, I cared about finishing, and not selling myself short. It was a great run.

I love being a runner!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A good day. :)

Yesterday was a lovely day. My family of four went out and about in the morning and early afternoon. On the agenda? A haircut for the pre-schooler and SUSHI! The haircut went SO well. Usually it is... how to describe this.... cruel and unusual punishment for EVERYONE in the vicinity. Yesterday however he was awesome. He was brave, and knew that if he hung in there that he would be rewarded with a "special" book AND a matchbox car. Whoa. He looks so handsome with short hair, and now if it might be remotely pleasant to get it cut, we might not have to put it off for MONTHS AT A TIME!

After the haircut and the necessary trip to "the Car Store" (Target), we headed to our FAVORITE restaurant, Little Tokyo. It was heavenly, as always. The boys were very well behaved, and the whole experience was delightful. I have only been eating sushi for about a month, but I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!! My husband was introduced to it when I was pregnant, and only too happy to use the pregnancy as an excuse NOT to try it. So when we went out with the same friends that introduced my husband to sushi, and I was no longer pregnant, I just squared my shoulders and tried it. Oh my.... I have not been the same since!!

During the times in the car I noticed again that I was not sad. I was just myself. We were heading to a rendezvous point with two of the other members of the Edith Jones Project, the all-women big band that I play trombone with, for a gig about 2.5 hours away. In previous days and weeks there had been much stress and emotion about the day, but yesterday was very pleasant. I didn't freak about the time away from my family (which had been per usual of late) and enjoyed the ride up, the concert and the ride home. I am so happy to be feeling like myself again!!

Today I hope to get a long run of at least three miles in so that I can be ready for the distance of the Dempsey Challenge 5K that I am in on Saturday, October 2nd. I will let you know how it goes!!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Running Frequency and Happy Thoughts!

It didn't hit me until just now that I ran FOUR days this school week! Monday and Wednesday I ran before school (with my new Nathan reflective slap bracelets!!) and Thursday and Friday I got a quick run in before I picked up the boys from daycare.

This is awesome! I am so excited!! Each day I got at least a mile in, and I am counting getting out there at ALL a victory. The amount of planning (and pep talking) that it takes to actually get suited and laced up and out the door any time is no small feat! So, in retrospect of my week of "training," I am quite pleased! AND what is more than that is that the one day (Tuesday) that I didn't run, I did a 2 mile walking video of Leslie Sansone's! My mileage count on dailyMile is 9!! WOW!!

On an aside-- today was a really good day. I didn't feel sad at all. Really!

This blog is new (a forced transfer due to wordpress being blocked at school), so if you are a new reader then you may not know that I have been struggling/battling with post-partum depression for a couple of months. I didn't want to label it that, and I tried the vitamin, herbal supplement, getting enough exercise, diet, and sleep remedies and it was just not enough. I am now on a mild dose of an anti-depressant, and this is the first day that I have cried in weeks. The first day that I haven't felt unbearably sad. The first day in weeks that my enthusiasm was COMPLETELY genuine and not even a teeny bit forced!

This is really big, folks!!!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Reflective Gear= Time for Running!

I was not prepared for the prices of long sleeve running shirts. Whoa.
I guess that I should just run a lot of 10K races next year so that I can get tech shirts in my goodie bags!

But I did score on the reflective gear. The vests that I found were just ugly or ill-fitting. Seriously ugly or seriously uncomfortable. So I opted for the slap-bracelet style reflective wear!



I got up this morning and everything lined up perfectly, and I was out the door by 5:15AM for a nice and crisp 2 mile run. I used the above reflective bracelets, and as luck would have it the only time I encountered cars were when they were rounding corners and wouldn't have seen me in advance, so I don't actually KNOW if the reflectors worked as advertised, but I FELT safer. Which.... if I am NOT actually safer then how I feel doesn't really matter, does it? Let's just say that I am very grateful that I live in a rural neighborhood and on a street that is not very busy at 5:30 in the morning! :)

I am happy with getting in 2 miles before work. I will shoot for running 4 days this week, and see what happens. It will be a major increase in the amount of times that I run, but not such an increase on mileage. This is a good time to do that because I have a busy weekend and might not get a long run in.

Happy Monday. :)

Oh- and my big boy started pre-school today.
Yes, I am a mess.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Struggle.

The Scenario:
-I have to be at work by 7:25 (or earlier) Monday through Friday.
-I live 35 minutes away.
-(possible TMI, sorry) I am still nursing my five month old at night and in the early morning.
- Sunrise is not until 6AM.
-I get sticky, yucky, and smelly when I run. (Which means I need desperately the 20 minutes it would take to shower and dry off and apply the make-up.)
---
-I am rarely finished at school and able to be out the door by 3pm. Add changing in and out of running gear, and driving to said running location (if applicable) and then the 35 minute drive to daycare, and I struggle to get my running done in the afternoon as well.
- Daycare closes at 5:30, but I feel guilty being late for taking time to run. AND I MISS my boys!



I have factored in the above and am struggling to find time to run in the morning. Especially now that I have conquered the elusive 3+ miler, anything less seems like I am not doing enough.

Yesterday was a very draining day. It was the first time where I REALLY missed my boys- so much so that it got in the way of productivity. (Or was that the massive headache that I had for most of the morning?) Even though all I wanted to do was go pick up my boys and snuggle them for dear life, I came home and banged out a quick 1 mile run. I was so focused on the time, and getting my kiddos, that going any longer was just NOT an option for me.

I know that the smart thing to do is just commit to running 1.5 to 2 miles 3 or more times a week in the mornings, and then do my longer runs on the weekends.
Once I establish a routine, I think that I will be okay with it. I need to find DailyMile friends that AREN'T TRAINING FOR A MARATHON so that I don't feel pathetic for not racking up the miles.

(This is where I need a banner that reminds me "you just started running THREE MONTHS ago, you moron! Quit being so freaking hard on yourself!")

Oh--- and if I am going to run in the morning, in the pre-sun glory that is Maine, I need reflective gear. Any thoughts, or recommendations?

Walking on the Stars!! (or HECK YEAH, I'm a runner!)

***** I am moving my blog here (runisthenewwalk.blogspot.com) from (thenextinstallment.wordpress.com) because wordpress is now blocked at my place of employment, yet blogger is not. Grr. For archive blog posts, please visit http://thenextinstallment.wordpress.com.

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Last Friday I decided run (humiliate myself) with the middle school cross country team.
Many of them are in my band, so they were SO excited that I was there. I was definitely right when I told them that I wouldn't be running WITH them so much as BEHIND them. Ha.

My legs felt like lead and the whole run (only 1.5 miles) felt like work. I had trouble breathing, and never really felt a groove. When I got back to my desk I looked up the weather and saw that it was 95% humidity! Holy crap!

It had been a while since I had really felt strong, and hadn't been able to break past the 1.5 or 2 mile mark on my runs, and I was seriously starting to wonder if I was going to be ready for my next 5K on October 2nd. Thankfully, friends reminded me about the evil nature of humidity and the mind/body games that it delights in! So when Saturday dawned cool, and beautiful (once the rain stopped), and 49% humidity, the runner in me was dying to see if it could be done. I mapped out a new 3 mile course, and took off, promising my husband that if it felt off at all that I would walk and come home. You see, this was my first time running two days in a row.

Run results: 3.19 miles WITHOUT stopping! Oh my word... it felt amazing. AND my pace is improving. It was sub 15 min/mile! (When I started, I was at 16:30 ish a mile) I was so happy. Ecstatic. I would fill THIS WHOLE PAGE with exclamation points to try to get the DEPTH of my excitement across, but I think that it would just hurt your eyes.

Sunday: Recovery Day. Didn't really hurt much, but knew I needed to rest.

Monday: 3.11 miles WITHOUT STOPPING AGAIN!!! So-- IT WASN'T A FLUKE!!!!
(Here we go, again with the exclamation points... ay yi yi)
And my pace was still fast (for me), and I felt at the end that I could have kept going, but I was SO ready to be with my family again, so I stopped.

I have turned a major mental corner -- physical, too, but mostly mental. I feel like I could take on a Hal Higdon training program now, or a Coach Jay plan from Nike+. I feel like I could DO that now.

Wow. :)