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 ...