Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Dreams over dishes.

I typically love to wake up and have my bed made. It starts my day off right. I also love to have my kitchen sink and counter cleaned up before I head to bed. It brings closure to my day.
Last night, my counter was a mess. There were dishes to be washed and bottles to be cleaned. But, I piled the kids into bed and we read books. One went in her crib. One fell asleep, cuddled up next to me. I drifted off after a few minutes and the other got drowsy and eventually headed to bed.
This morning I woke up to the coffee pot and the dog barking to go on a walk at 5:00 am. I jumped out of bed and I felt refreshed for my morning walk at sunrise. I woke the kids up around 6:00 and they were ready to go, too. There weren't any major disagreements or forgetful minds this morning. We had a nice, quiet ride to school. Drop-off was followed by an early-morning trip to the grocery story and then a productive morning while the baby napped.
And the dishes were still there this morning. So, I got them done. Nothing tragic happened because the dishes weren't done last night. Sometimes I get so caught up in my to-do lists that I forget to chill. I'm afraid to sit down, because I'm worried that everything won't get crossed-off, because I nod off. I watch a movie, and I'm OUT. I read a few pages of my book and I'm a goner. I'm trying to listen to my body more and more lately. When I'm craving a run I pound out a few miles. When my body is aching, I need to take a day off of running. When my mind is tired, it needs rest.


My afternoon running group was cancelled due to rain. Normally I would make my classes run in the rain. However, this group has to work together in an office atmosphere for the remainder of the day. Don't any of my evening classes get any ideas!! They opted to hop on the office treadmills for their workout and check in with me via email.
I opted to hold myself accountable as well and took my cheering squad downstairs for a few miles on the treadmill. It's been a month and a half since I returned to work and I haven't ran on the treadmill much since then - or with the little one while on the treadmill. I wasn't sure how long we'd last ... so I decided to push myself. Put in the hard work. And get it done.
I pounded out three miles in 24:38 - close to a PR for me. All of that hard work the last couple of months post-partum has really paid off.
And, I've obviously "taught her young", because Baby Girl did amazing and didn't complain once. She's grown and graduated to the exersaucer and just watched me run in place, while she played with her toys. We also enjoyed my cool down walk and stretching together. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Took the stroller for a spin ...

This afternoon, in between coaching classes and picking up the older siblings from school, Baby Girl and I took our new jogging stroller for a spin.  I've been waiting for this moment!!  We ran six miles around town and she really enjoyed it.  She just took in the scenery, nodded off a few times and took some deep breathes as we turned into a strong head wind.  Neither of us had any complaints this afternoon.  The stroller was really easy to push and maneuver.  I was surprised at how light it was, too.  I can't wait to log more miles with her, as it seems that we finally have some nice weather to enjoy.  I couldn't help but smile internally while I pushed her block after block in the sunshine.  Sometimes, moments seem like the biggest blessing.  And everything else just fades away.  And she faded away to sleep - until I stopped - then, she woke up and gave me the happiest grin.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Songs added to my crazy playlist ...

People would think I'm REALLY crazy if they listened to the mix of tunes on my ipod. I'm all over the map. Here are some songs, that I recently added to my list ... consider adding to your's ...
Worry - Jack Garratt
Fire - Barns Courtney
Supermassive Black Hole - Muse
Drag Me Down - One Direction
Dangerous Woman - Ariana Grande
Naked - X Ambassadors
Jungle - X Ambassadors


The other day, I was listening to a morning radio talk show on my way to work - err, on my drive to the bus transfer point to my bus ride to my walk up Bascom Hill to work. They were talking about how the "American Dream" has changed a lot over the past several decades.  How people use to want the gorgeous house with the white picket fence, health, lots of nice things and money in the bank.   Now people are happy and satisfied more with experiences instead of things.  People want their health, to be surrounded by people that make them better and happier, omit those that bring negative energy to their lives ... and that people are learning to simplify. 
This really resonated with me.  Since I've gone through several life changes over the past five or six years and even more changes recently (good and bad), I've learned a lot about life and myself.  I use to go shopping to fill my time.  I spent money on things that I didn't necessarily need.  And sometimes I spent money on things that I didn't necessarily want.  I attended at home parties for friends hosting online businesses.  I felt the need to buy something.  When shopping, I also bought things that were "the new fad", because I thought that I was supposed to have them.  Not necessarily because I liked them or because I needed a new pair of shoes, gadget or outfit for my daughter.  These things were fad, I saw them in magazines or on friends' Facebook feeds.  I'm happy that I've learned life lessons and immediately have no problem saying "no" to at home parties, staying out of the mall unless I have a mission or need something and I am in awe at how much people spend on "things" sometimes.  I have no problem buying a garbage bag full of infant clothes for my child at garage sales or thrift stores - and thinking twice before I purchase something that she needs, even if it is only fifty cents.  Instead of going out and buying something new for myself or our home, I think twice about if I can fix it or if it can be repurposed.  Having more things and the best of these things doesn't necessarily make you happy.  I don't have fancy packages showing up at my doorstep - unless they are products to review for my blog.
After trying to find a balance with my schedule (which I'm learning is an ongoing process), I'm learning that less is more here, too.  I'm working half time and coaching several times a week.  My life is just as busy - if not busier.  But, I'm investing my time and energy in different places.  Things that are important - and most importantly, things that bring me joy.  And joy to others (my children).  I'm bringing home half of what I brought home five years ago.  Yes, HALF.  But, I'm so much happier with living simpler.  We still have everything we need and can take advantage of opportunities.  But we think twice (or three or four times) before committing to the things that we REALLY want to do.  I look for free/cheap outings and experiences that we can share together, rather than always spending money on expensive concert tickets and family vacations.  When we do make those extravagant purchases, it makes those experiences that much more special.  I've also been very open with my kids about how our family spends money.  I don't want them to be scared about whether we have enough money to put dinner on the table.  But, I let them be involved with making choices about doing one more expensive thing versus three more affordable options on a day off of school.  We can go out to lunch OR we can eat at home and do this fun activity afterwards.  I love having them involved in our decisions.
I use to feel the need to say "yes" to every opportunity that came my way.  I was afraid to tell people "no", even if I didn't find value in an experience or that it didn't bring something positive to my life or those immediately around me.  I said "yes" to satisfy others, not myself.  This is my year of saying "NO".
As I mentioned in my post yesterday, I use to feel the NEED to do every single race and travel all over the Midwest to experience races every weekend.  Not only should I not have done that from the aspect of my bank account.  But, after more than a decade of being a runner, do I need to prove to myself - or others - that I am a "real runner", by committing to so many events.  I am just as much of an athlete, running on my own or with friends and throwing a few half marathons and a marathon in there to give myself a personal goal to work towards. 
I am a runner.  Whether I run twelve half marathons this year - or three.  I am still a runner.  You may not see as many racing selfies of me on your Facebook feed this year.  You will probably be seeing me running by myself or with someone close to me or with my dog.  But I'll be putting in the miles, just like you.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

I earned my shower this morning

I started my Saturday morning with a slight feeling of FOMO (fear of missing out).  The popular Crazylegs Classic 8K was scheduled to start in downtown Madison this morning.  I haven't ran the race in the past couple of years.  However, it is "the" race to do in town for runners and "non runners".  I knew that my Facebook feed would be flooded with selfies and bib photos from the annual event.  However, I wasn't participating again.
I've really been trying to focus my time, energy and funds on longer distances instead of doing every race that pops up on an event calendar.  I really want to focus on quality - not quantity of events.  Sometimes I get just as much enjoyment out of meeting a friend for a run, running long with my husband on a local trail or scheduling a multi-hour training run all alone with my running tunes and a few energy gels. 
And then I'm coaching.  So fitting in my training runs along with helping others achieve their goals has become quite the balancing act.  Throw housework, errands, shuttling the kids around town - and valued family time - it requires a lot of planning and communication with everyone at home.  Communication includes discussing my plans with both my husband and my children.  I'm very thankful that my family understands how important running is to me.  And they either honor that alone time on my schedule, help me achieve the juggling act, or join me for a couple of miles.
Today, the alarm went off at 5:45.  I pumped and ate a light breakfast.  The most beautiful pink and orange sunrise lit the sky while I enjoyed my morning coffee.  I took the dog for a quick run around our neighborhood.  I then headed to the Glacial Drumlin with a group of women that are training for a 10K.  We ran thirty scenic minutes out on the trail together.  We spoke of everything from races, garage sales and church.  After heading back home, I visited quickly with my husband and Baby Girl before he headed off to work with her for a bit.  I headed out for three solo miles on my own with my running tunes.  Then I headed out for a couple more miles with a group of children that I am coaching this spring.  After picking up Baby Girl so that daddy could finish up his work, we headed out for an errand.  I came home and fed her, changed her, pumped and then finally showered while she went down for her nap. 
Fitting in time for yourself isn't always easy.  But, it's always worth it.  I got in about 8 miles this morning.  In those three hours, I would typically get in about 18 miles by myself.  But, I got in what I could.  When I could.  Life is certainly a juggling act some days.  I earned each mile this morning.  And I earned that shower that I finally took at noon. 

Friday, April 29, 2016

Sooooo ... this just happened!!

Sooooo ... this just happened!!

I was asked last fall to serve as a 2016 ambassador for the Milwaukee Running Festival. I had been debating and debating whether I should register for the half marathon or the full. I wanted to see how my body was going to adjust to getting back into long-distance running after baby #3 was born. So far, so good.

MARATHON #11 .... here I come!

If you want to register for one of the MRF events, use discount code RUNDIVA for $10 off your registration!


After being exhausted this past week, my body finally caved and I was cursed with a cold. I wasn't sure if I was hoping if it was allergies or just being sick. But I was exhausted. I went to bed very eary on Wednesday night and last night I crashed at 7:45pm while rocking my baby to sleep. 
However today ... I woke up refreshed and ready to rock my day!! The alarm went off at 4am this morning (yes, 4am!) for a run with some former clients, Laura and Cheryl. I jumped out of bed rested and motivated to start my Friday. My morning was going to be full (the good kind of busy!) and I was going to start my day with a 5am run with some clients (who I like to call friends!). I pumped, got dressed, ate breakfast and drove the next town over for a 5-ish mile run on my favorite trail. We caught up, I returned some borrowed maternity clothes and we got in a few miles at sunrise. And, we ran a 10 min/mile pace. BAM!

Sometimes, you just have to listen to your body. If it is telling you to slow down, do it. Take it easy on yourself. Sometimes putting your to do list off until tomorrow is just what your body needs. I thoroughly enjoyed going to bed early, cuddling and falling asleep before the sun completely set.
My Friday morning was filled with many things that make me happy and I was full of energy to tackle it all. Lesson learned. I even stepped on the scale for the first time in a couple weeks and have lost another 3.5 lbs since returning to work. Wow, I wasn't ready for that! 1.5 lbs til I reach my pre-baby weight and 10 more pounds til goal. And I wasn't even "trying".
I'm loving this lifestyle.  Loving this life.  And I appreciate that it's mine.  I will continue to listen to my body and be thankful for what it does for me - each and every day.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Being everything to everyone - including yourself.

Sometimes I'm a better mother.  Sometimes I'm a better wife (rare lately).  Sometimes I'm a better housewife (again, rare lately).  Sometimes I'm a better version of me and taking significant chunks of time for myself and my running.  Sometimes I'm a better co-worker at the office or running coach.
Don't we all try to be Super Mom?  I know I do.  I try to fill my day with all the good stuff that makes my family happy.  Making them happy makes me happy.  I plan ahead.  I work things into my day that need to be there.

And now I'm learning to work things OUT of my day that don't need to be there.  Learning to say NO.  Saying NO is hard.  I want to be everywhere.  I want to be everything to everyone.  Including myself.  I want to be everywhere when people need me.  Being there when I THINK that people need me, but maybe they don't. 
I've tried to limit my coaching schedule this season because of life changing events.  But, I've still managed to take on double what I initially committed to.  I love sharing my passion with others (primarily women, mothers and small children).  My plate is unfortunately full and I'm having to say no to extra commitments and say no to things that don't help me find my family's balance.  It's hard.  Saying no to opportunities is hard.  It means that a lot of positive things are coming my way and I don't want to let people down. 
I have an extreme fear of missing out.  I see post after post of friends running races or running twenty miles.  I ran a half marathon this past weekend.  I finished ten minutes slower than my pre-baby pace.  I was not fast, but I did it.  And I did it less than four months after I had my third child.  At least I have a starting point for the year and for this new life as a family of five (plus one crazy dog).
I told my husband this morning that I feel like I am being a hypocrite.  I'm not doing what I preach.  Telling everyone to fit in time for themselves.  I'm not pulling off two to three hours of running before sunrise.  Not focusing on speed.  I'm not running with my husband every free moment when my older two are at their dads.  Now I have a little one at home that I miss tremendously when I'm not with her.  I have to be fine with running a few miles when I can.  I'm still making time for myself and my training - just not as much of it.  As I said in a previous post, sometimes the running just fits into your life and your schedule differently from year to year.  Life isn't always the same.
Am I being hypocritical?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  Maybe I'm just showing my clients and readers that I struggle with the same things that they do.  Maybe other women identify with me.
So, I'm saying no to things.
But, I'm also saying yes. 
I'm saying yes to volunteering at my sons's school every Friday morning and having lunch with him.  I'm giving him something to look forward to during his school day.  I'm getting to know his teacher and his classmates and helping out where needed. 
I've also starting a mother/son book club with him and piling into my bed most nights to read chapters aloud with him and the baby.  These quiet moments and the endless cuddles mean more than anything.
I'm texting my daughter out of the blue to tell her how proud I am of her quite often.  Then she asks me what's wrong.  Nothing.  You are just a good kid and I'm proud of the amazing young woman she is becoming at twelve years old.
I'm trying to shut off the electronic devices while I interact with my little one.  I'm taking breaks to read her books.  Instead of running errands around town (like I did with the older two), I'm staying home a little more and making sure that she gets in the nap that she needs. 
I've turned off all notifications on my phone while I'm at work so that I can focus on returning to work and what's expected of me.  I try checking for emergencies and reply only in case of an urgent issue.  I'm using my time pumping and on the bus to respond to messages and read books.
I'm doing most of my own runs with our dog.  This makes him happy, gets out his energy and we both get exercise.
I'm staying committed to keeping Thursday evenings free for my husband and my little one.  No commitments.  Just us.  Last night, instead of getting things done around the house, we went to bed at 8pm while I read and we cuddled.  Lights out by 8:30.  Recharging and rest was just what we needed.
And for me ... I'm just trying to cut myself some slack.  Make sometime for myself everyday.  Whether it's running a couple miles.  Crossing a few things off of my to do list.  Reading a few pages in a book before I fall asleep from exhaustion. 
My life is full.  My life is full of commitments and obstacles.  It's full of really, really good things, too.  I'm grateful that there are dishes to put away because we had food to eat and enjoyed a family meal around our dinner table.  I'm thankful that my kids are eager to follow their passions and that I have to drive them around town to rehearsal and practice.  I'm happy that I have a great partner in life that is willing to help share the household responsibilities, vacuum up all of that dog hair and scrub the toilets for me.

Friday, April 15, 2016

sometimes, the marathon is just getting through the day.

Tomorrow is my first half marathon since having my baby at the end of December. EEK! I've ran ~50 half marathons ... but, I'm kinda nervous. I'm going to admit it. I haven't really trained for this thirteen mile adventure ahead of me. But, I've been getting mid-distance running back into my routine since January. I've logged double digits a few times since I had our baby girl. But, racing can put you in a totally different mindset.

I'm still carrying around about five extra pounds from my pregnancy and am not where I want to be. I'm pretty sure it is going to slow me down and that my pace won't be what it was previously. I'm hoping that this race will spark my urge to push myself through the rest of the spring and summer. Push myself harder.

Returning to work part-time a few weeks ago, I'm struggling with "mom guilt" just like the rest of you. I work or coach or run errands - and then the LAST thing that I really feel like I SHOULD be doing is running by myself (and for myself). Most of my miles have been put in on the weekends now, when I can "feel better" about it. That doesn't mean that I've been sitting though. When I'm not running, I'm walking the dog or putting our little bundle in the baby carrier and walking her around the neighborhood while her curious eyes take in her surroundings. And I chat with my older two on foot while we get in our walks.

Running will ALWAYS be a part of my life. Sometimes it just doesn't fit into my life the same way year after year. Sometimes I have to be fine with logging only three miles by myself ... or one mile with my son. Those twenty milers will fit into my life again soon enough. Sometimes you need to cross other things/priorities off of your list instead. You need some sleep. You need to do something for someone else. But this LIFESTYLE still allows me to squeeze in a few miles here and a couple miles there. I shop at the grocery store in my sweaty running gear. I combine active time with family time. That's what makes me who I am.

I struggle with the same things you do. I'm just a normal mom ... who also runs marathons. And sometimes, the marathon is just getting through the day.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Here's to taking a deep breath ... and starting all over again tomorrow ...

Sometimes ... life gets BUSY! I don't want to glorify "busy". But, it happens. Life gets insane. Friggin insane. It's all a matter of how you handle it. Sometimes I get stressed. Sometimes I internalize and then I explode. Sometimes I remember to stop and breathe. Sometimes I find balance by planning and strategizing. Sometimes I over-schedule, over-plan .... then schedules collide, things happen and all goes to hell.

And for one quiet hour today, I paused. And I thought about our busy life.

I rarely hear "I'm bored" from my children. They are happy and content most of the time. Running us all around town and being double-booked means that GOOD THINGS ARE HAPPENING. Everyone is finding their niche, their outlet ... and their PASSION. We have opportunities. We have friends. We have a supportive family. It all makes it's way onto our schedule somehow. My husband and I are a team more than ever right now. And we make it all work.
Here's to taking a deep breath ... and starting all over again tomorrow ...

Friday, March 18, 2016

Simple Wishes Hands Free Breast Pump Bra Review

A few months ago, I entered this whole new world of breastfeeding and pumping.   It is something that I didn't try with my older two children.  The process can be very frustrating and time-consuming.  It requires a lot of planning and a lot of patience.  But it is so rewarding for yourself and your child.  While trying to fit pumping 5-6 times per day into my already busy schedule, I often struggled with needing to do one or two more things while I pumped.  Interact with my baby.  Respond to a message on my phone.  Make a to do list (I LOVE lists!!).  Grab my glass of water or my cup of coffee before it gets cold.  Sometimes when the house was quiet, I just wanted to read a book.  But my hands were busy holding my breast pump.
A few weeks into my maternity leave, I was so excited to receive an email, with a request that I review a Simple Wishes Hands Free Breast Pump Bra.  Simple Wishes offers several different tank and bra options.  I received the Signature Hands Free Pumping Bra in pink.
About the hands free breast pump bra:
This innovative bra gives moms the valuable gift of time by freeing up their hands for other tasks or allowing them to simply relax while using their breastpump. The patented design is adjustable in size, using high quality Velcro, to sustain a perfect fit over time as a nursing mother’s size changes. Straps and 1” Zip In Center Panel included to help achieve the perfect fit!
I found that this bra offered the same suction with the machine that I offer, just by holding the bottles.  Sometimes even more.  I was pleasantly surprised.  I also thought that once I let go of the bottles that I would find spillage, but that has never happened.  The bras is comfortable.  And, I can't say enough about the so soft fabric. 
The bra covers so many sizes and is totally adjustable - up and down.  This will fit every shape and body type.  It will "grow" with you as you slim down and lose that body weight.
I don't wear the hands free breast pump bra every time I pump.  But when I do, it is a moment when I need to be supermom and juggle multiple tasks.  When I return to work in a couple of weeks, I'm looking forward to using it so that I can check my personal email on my break or read a book if the mood strikes me.
Straps and the 1" zip in center panel are also included to make sure that you are comfortable and that it fits correctly.  I haven't had to use these.  It works really well when wearing a sports bra.  I just flip up my sports bra and strap this on below it.
Did I forget to mention that this bra works with ALL ELECTRIC PUMPS??  I keep it in my nursing bag, so that I always will have it with me when I need it.
The bra retails for only $39 online, which is only a little bit more than I purchased for my nursing bras at the maternity store.  I know many women and mothers have spent way more than that on regular bras at Victoria's Secret.  This bra is WELL WORTH THE INVESTMENT and the convenience you will receive from wearing it.  Consider it an investment in your sanity!  And, to top that - they offer an 100% money back guarantee if you are not satisfied.  Definitely try this out.

Registration Open - Moms on the Move - Monona Stroller Class

Registration is now open for my MOMS ON THE MOVE class in Monona. 

Class starts Friday, June 10, 9:00-9:45 AM at the Winnequah Park Dream Park

Classes will combine walking, power walking and running with your little one in a jogging stroller.  We will finish with toning and stretching activities with your little one at the dream park.

Register Now!

Always Choose the Run!

After a busy morning of appointments, feeding, changing, pumping and volunteering and lunch at my son's school, I came home to a quiet house.  Baby went down for a nap in her big girl bed and the house was all mine.  She's such a good girl - and such a great sleeper. 

I knew that I would have a couple of quiet hours on my hands.  Our wooden floors are in desperate need of cleaning.  The furniture is need of dusting.  And, I also needed to get a run in.  Did I want to get a couple of things crossed off of my list for the weekend?  Or did I want to run and have to shower and get ready again?  After some contemplating, I opted to get on my running clothes and head down stairs on my treadmill.  Three miles turned into five.  And I'm so happy that I chose the five miles over scrubbing my dirty floors.  They are still there.  Dirty as ever.  I will get to the sometime soon.  But, first I focused on me.

Always choose the run!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Can't wait to log some miles in our new jogging stroller

Last week, we had accumulated reward points and gift cards at Babies R Us.  My sweet husband also offered to use his birthday money towards the purchase of our family jogging stroller.  Our little girl won't be able to use it for awhile.  But, I found the BoB Revolution SE on sale at Babies R Us.  I purchased it in black.  I noticed online that it is also available in navy and orange.  It is also available as a double stroller, if you have more than one munchkin that will be joining you on your runs.  It retails for $460 online.

Hubby couldn't wait to put it together this weekend.  The stroller didn't come with any cup holders and had little storage within hands reach.  So I also purchased an attachment that has compartments for our water bottles, cell phones, keys and energy gels.  I just wanted to make sure that we had room for everything we needed for our long runs and to make sure that it was accessible.

I am looking forward to many family runs with our little girl this summer and other outdoor adventures.  We are surely going to log many, many miles together!!


We snuggle as I towel off and cool down with her in my arms.

I've thoroughly been enjoying running on the treadmill as much as one can this winter.  On the days that I'm home with my little one, I've been enjoying a regular three to six miles daily.  Time goes by rather quickly.  I'm not dreading all of those miles running in place.  After the birth of my second child, I recall worrying about getting my run in, stopping the treadmill, comforting a fussy baby, stopping, starting again ... over and over again. 
This baby is so different.  She's been watching me since I started running again when she was 2.5 weeks old.  She sits in her bouncy seat with her little "buddies" and cuddles up with her blankie.  Occasionally, I need to help her find her pacifier again. But, usually she just sits there and watches.  Or eventually drifts off for a nap.  The dog has also been looking forward to seeing me open the basement door and following me downstairs.
I've really been enjoying hitting stop on the treadmill more than ever.  Now she gets such a sweet smile on her face when I reach down and pick her up and complete my cool down walk with her on the treadmill.  We snuggle as I towel off and cool down with her in my arms.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Two weeks until I need to zip up those dress slacks ...

I have two weeks remaining until I return to work.  Twelve weeks down and only two to go.  I feel so blessed to have had all of this time at home with my little one.  I'm also very happy that I only will be returning to work half-time and that I will continue to have the best of "both worlds", plus my coaching business.
I still have a few extra pounds left until I reach my pre-baby weight.  However, I am feel much more comfortable in my skin than I was a month ago.  Between running and some core work a few times a week, I finally starting to see my waist again.  Weather warmed up this week and it's been lovely to get outside and walk.  My Garmin Vivofit has set my current step goal to 14,000.  My typical day consists of approximately 20,000.  Yes - This means that I've been moving a lot.  Two weeks until I need to zip up those dress slacks ...

Note to self. And to you.

WOW - what a difference FUEL can do for your body. I ate very differently before each of these runs. I felt terrible during yesterday's three miler. I even had to stop once, because my stomach hurt so badly. Today, I felt quick and light on my feet and time clicked by quickly. Note to self. And to you.

Monday, March 7, 2016

It's ok not to run today ...

Since I had baby #3 10 1/2 weeks ago, I've just been going, going, going.  I started running again at 2 1/2 weeks post-partum and just went with it.  I have been very consistent with getting on that treadmill - five to six days a week.  I've also been blessed with pretty mild weather this winter.  I have been able to get outside for some mid-distance runs on the weekends. 
In February I logged 104.5 miles, during the shortest month of the year, in the dead of winter.  That volume of miles in the middle of winter is unheard of for me.  Usually I run half of that.  Sure, I have been home and have a patient, happy baby on my hands.  So, it's been easy to fit it in.  But, I also have to keep reminding myself that I did just have a baby.  And, my body didn't run at all for about seven weeks.  I need to listen to it.
With a rather nice day on the forecast yesterday, I planned a long run for my afternoon.  I headed out the door around 3:30 and was planning 9-10 miles around my side of town.  I was feeling pretty good and consistently hitting 10:05 - 10:30 min miles.  That is slower than my pre-baby pace.  But, I was happy to just be taking things easy.  However, by mile nine I had the option of running one mile back home or and additional four and I'd call it an even half marathon.  My pace was slowing down and my hip-flexers were starting to ache.  However, I went for it.  I shouldn't have.
I pushed it and clocked one of my slowest half marathon times to date of 2:19:28 and as soon as I hit stop, I could barely move my legs.  The sun was starting to set, the wind was in my face, and I was freezing. 
I arrived home, sore and chilled to the bone.  I had to hop in the shower to warm up and ease some of my pain.  All night I tossed and turned in bed - sore and cold.
I'm so proud that through running, that I've been able to prove that I can push myself - sometimes beyond my limits.  Beyond what my body is meant to do.  I have that mental toughness.  My body says no - but my mind says yes.  And, then I do it - I complete the task or those daunting miles.  However, sometimes I really need to listen to my body (not my crazy ideas) and just slow down.  Sometimes, it's not about going further or faster or pushing the envelope. 
My sore body is telling me to take that little girl on a nice, easy walk today and just enjoy the beautiful weather and the sunshine and reflect while she smiles back at me, cooing from her stroller.
It's ok not to run today.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Our Little Puppy

When I was in my last trimester, I purchased this adorable Puppy Hat and Diaper Cover set from Crochet by Carla on Etsy.  It was exactly what I was looking for.  A friend had offered to take some newborn pictures of our daughter and this was set was going to be perfect for what I had in mind.  I loved the hat and the sweet little tail on her behind.  Great customer service from this Etsy shop and speedy shipping, by the way! 
The photos were finally taken when she was almost two months old.  Baby Brooke was starting to get really fun and interactive at this point.  She cooperated and was awake and alert for the entire photo shoot.  We didn't get too many smiles out of this happy baby, but the photos still turned out absolutely adorable.  I just want to pinch her.  And grab that little puppy dog tail.

Fabletics by Kate Hudson Salar Crop Review

I reviewed the Fabletics Salar Capri and Leggings last fall.  Wow, Kate Hudson absolutely knows what she's doing!!  I absolutely have fallen in love with these running tights.  They are the only thing I have found that stay up around my mid-section.  Especially right now, as I am slowly getting rid of that extra stuff around my tummy from having baby #3.  I love the wide band, the rise (not too low; not too high) and how they stay in place. 
The Salar capri, crop, and leggings come in so many different colors and patterns and several different lengths.  They are perfect for running year round - in all temperatures.  I don't even get hot while running indoors on the treadmill.
Last week I purchased a few more colors and patterns of the Salar Crop.  The cost is a steal and was a great investment in my year-round running wardrobe.  They wash up great, too.  I wear the longer leggings style while working out and just being "mom".  They don't even look like workout gear when paired with something else.
You can thank me later.

Saturday's Step Count

Saturday's step count made me extremely giddy - it was all about fitting "life" in! 50 degrees in February in Wisconsin made it feel like spring - and I tried to spend every possible opportunity outside. I took the dog for a little walk around the neighborhood in the morning - this soon turned into a 7 mile run around our side of town. The dog was thrilled to say the least. I came home and spent time with the kids, pumped and chauffered Little Dude to karate. While he w...as in his thirty minute class, I was able to log an additional 3.5 miles on a nearby trail. I spent some alone time with Little Dude at the library and Costco. Came home and made the kids lunch, showered, put away some laundry. Then I headed on a walk with the three kids and playtime at the neighborhood park. This included a photo shoot with Little Diva. The older two headed home to play outside and then I headed back out on an hour walk with the baby and the dog until the sun started setting. My step count was through the roof after dinner. I finally relaxed, as we enjoyed the evening watching Fuller House on the couch. What a happy day of fitting everything in, making time for everyone and making time for myself, too!

Dog logged a half marathon this weekend

Dog logged 13 miles this weekend.
Dog mom logged 21.5 miles this weekend.

Last weekend, our dog broke off of his leash in the yard before dawn.  The chain in the yard snapped, and the excitement was just too much for him.  He ran all over our neighborhood and further into town.  Luckily he is chipped and tagged.  However, he runs full speed ahead - back and forth across the highway.  We were worried about him getting hit or causing an accident.  After his photo being shared dozens of times on local Facebook groups, phone calls from complete strangers and numerous unsuccessful attempts to find and catch him (he thought it was a game), he finally ended his fun run at someone's home across town.  We were so grateful to receive the phone call that he was caught safe.

If he wanted to just go for a run, I certainly would have taken him!!

Afterall, this past weekend we had beautiful weather.  Temperatures rose to the mid 50's in Wisconsin.  So, the dog logged most of my miles with me.  He was one happy - and tired - pooch.

Dog logged 13 miles this weekend.
Dog mom logged 21.5 miles this weekend.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Running off the Girl Scout Cookies

If you're like me, you've been approached by several adorable little girls or the mothers of those adorable little girls, selling girl scout cookies.  I love what these sales do for these young ladies.  I love that it helps them step outside of their comfort zone and approach family  members and neighbors for sales.  I love the confidence that the sale gives them.  I appreciate the rewards that the next generation is reaping from the annual sales of these cookies. 
I also love these cookies - tremendously.  They are tasty.  I rarely can bring cookies, chips or ice cream into the house, because the serving size is not recognized in my home.  I simply cannot limit myself to two or three cookies.  It's easy for me to devour a whole sleeve - or an entire box on my own.  They somehow disappear into my belly.  They're gone just like that.  Blink.  Leaving my belly full and achy and my heart empty, sad and full of regret.  Why do we do this to ourselves?!
I've been doing tremendously well on working out lately and have really cleaned up my diet.  An eight pound weight loss in nine days left me feeling less bloated and a whole lot better about myself, as I work on getting this baby weight off and fitting into my pants.
In the past few days, I was approached by several friends to purchase girl scout cookies.  And of course I wanted to help support all of these young ladies.  I ordered a couple of boxes here and there .... and then they started arriving.  One by one.  Two by two.
I opened up my favorite package of peanut butter cookies.  And I at one ... two ... a handful.  Then a whole row.  Then and entire friggin box was gone.  An entire box in my tummy.  At the end of an entire day of incredibly clean eating and an active afternoon.  One day after I ran in place for ten miles on the treadmill ... I consumed the number of calories that I burned in one regretful sitting with this empty orange box of cookies sitting next to me.
OK, it's done.  I'm human.  It happens.  But, more are on their way.
Sure, I could have my family eat them.  But, my kids don't need them.  And my hubby consumed an entire box on his own, too.  And I don't trust myself with them.
So, I opted to follow up with my remaining orders and tell them to please donate my cookies to the local food pantry.  And, I will also be giving the leftovers to my grandmother to enjoy.
Today I started my morning with my favorite Naked Juice and a run.  Those three miles are what I needed to set the tone for my day.  I ate lunch at my son's school and packed another Naked Juice, some Harvest Snaps, almonds and an apple.  After some errands and a visit to the library, I also opted not to sit on the couch and try to resist those leftover cookies in my freezer.  I ended up lacing up my running shoes again and headed downstairs for another round of three miles.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Mom Guilt

Do you ever have mom guilt?  Sometimes, I just want to snuggle this little munchkin to pieces.  I want to hold her forever.  When she's awake, I want to bounce her on my lap or play peek-a-boo until she's sick of it.  But her being #3, I've also learned a few things over the past twelve years.  She can't be held all of the time.  She needs to learn to be a little independent human-being.  The earlier that I show her that she can entertain herself and that I am still close-by and that she's safe, the easier things will hopefully be as she grows and develops into a toddler and later an independent and confident young woman.
Sometimes I get sad when I see these big, blue eyes staring at me from the treadmill.  I should go pick her up.  I should run later.  But, as I mentioned in some previous posts, she's watching me.  She's observing my every move.  Literally.

It's so easy to make excuses.  I still try to time things "right".  But sometimes, she doesn't nap when I think she will.  Or she wakes up during my run.  Sometimes her pacifier falls out of her mouth, and I stop the treadmill without hesitation to give it to her and make her content.  Then, I hop back on and push start while she coos next to me.  Occasionally, I will break my run into two - or three - short runs just to get a few miles in and still keep her happy as she observes my every step on the treadmill.  And that's ok.  She's watching me "fit it all in".  She's observing early.

Mom guilt may never go away.  I still try to do most of my workouts or commitments when my older two are at their other household.  But, this little one will be with me 100% of the time now.  I'm looking forward to pushing her in the jogging stroller as she gets older and taking her on little running adventures outdoors.  I want her to explore our city on foot, in a whole new way.  Visit new trails and playgrounds.  Embrace nature together.  I want her to travel with us to destination races and see new sites and cities, just because running has brought us there.
And she seems happy to be along on this little running journey with me.