Thursday, July 28, 2016

22 Miles on a Saturday.

My alarm went off at 4:50 am yesterday morning. I eventually crawled out of bed at 5:00 when the coffee pot went off. After a quick breakfast, cup of coffee and pumping session I headed out the door shortly after 5:30. I was planning on 12-18 solo miles throughout town. The windows were all steamed up at home and I could barely see in front of me while I took my first steps outside. The humidity was through the roof.

I ended up logging 16 miles around town. I consistently paced myself at 10:50 miles. I stopped two times for gels and three times for more water. I drank four full water bottles.
I was slow. steady. smart and sweaty by the end of my run. At 8:30 it was already 81 degrees and 87% humidity. I was so sweaty that I could hear my feet and socks squishing with each step over my headphones. Yikes.

After an afternoon of family time walking around downtown Madison, my two loves opted for an afternoon nap. I opted to get in a few more miles outside after the thunderstorm passed through.

I ended up logging six more miles. I felt great as the temperature and the humidity had dropped. I was clocking faster miles than I had earlier in the morning.

Six more miles done.
Twenty two miles completed.
And an all time high of over 50,000 steps for the day.


Getting fit for running shoes.

It took me several years to find the RIGHT running shoe for me. I had been fit several times. I tried several brands and styles. I had tried tying my laces different ways. Experimented with inserts. But, the Saucony Ride has been my go-to running shoe for long distances for the past few years. I seem to be the most comfortable in this shoe. And they have the right amount of cushion and stability for my footstrike and the volume of miles that I log. I've been alternating two pairs of Ride's since I returned to running after pregnancy in January.
Shoes do expire. You should trade them in every 300-500 miles . And walking miles, count too. With a lot of miles on my agenda the next few months, my husband ordered me this pretty model to help log the miles - and keep me injury-free.

Make sure that you go in and get properly fit for running shoes when you get started. And if it has been awhile since you were fit for shoes, you recently had a change (weightloss, surgery, pregnancy, etc) or if you are having difficulty with your current kicks - go in and get fit at a running shoe store. They will watch you run and walk outside, around the store and/or on a treadmill. You aren't obligated to purchasing anything. But the professionals will select several different brands and styles that suit your footstike and your needs. I tell all of my clients to go get fit after our first running session.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Birthday Miles

This morning, I set my alarm for 5 am to get my 36th year started on the right foot.  After looking out the window to very dark skies, I checked the forecast, which showed 80-90% chance of rain for the next couple of hours.  I could have gone back to bed, sat and had another cup of coffee and made fifty million other excuses.  But I didn't.  I decided to get myself up and out there as quick as I could and told myself that I would do one or two short loops around the neighborhood and would return home when the rain came. 
sporting the birthday girl Bondi Band
I headed out the door and ran into the sun to the east, with the dark, dark skies following behind me to the west.  As my watch struck an even 10 minute mile at the one mile marker, I looked behind me to see if traffic was behind me as I crossed the road.  I was stunned to see a beautiful full rainbow spread across the sky.  Just then my favorite Mumford and Sons song started whispering in my ear.  The rain started to sprinkle ever so slightly and it felt amazing in the humidity.  I kept peeking behind me to watch the beautiful rainbow span across the sky from one end of the city to the next.  Then, I realized that it connected my old neighborhood to my new neighborhood.  My two "lives".  The old and the new.  The old me and the new me.  I got chills.
Twelve years ago I was miserable, but didn't realize just how miserable I was until I was set free.  And found myself. I was unhappy with myself.  With my body.  I didn't exercise.  I was unhappy in a unsatisfying relationship.  With my partner.  With food.  I loved being a mother two one special little girl.  She was the light of my life.  But many other things in my life made me sad.  I had few close friends.  I was stuck in my little "bubble".  Scared to try something new.  Yet I craved more.
I discovered running eleven years ago and it set me on an entirely new path of life.  I broke free of what was holding me back.  I met new people that embraced my struggles and supported my goals.  I removed negativity from my life.  I learned what I needed out of a partner.  I have added two more little blessings to my life.  And have still been able to commit to myself as my family has grown.  I found passion.  And I shared it.  I have encountered struggles and conquered them.  I have set goals and achieved them. 
The true me was in there, she just had to grow, learn some things about life and find herself.  Believe in herself.
The old me would have looked at the forecast and gone back to bed this morning.  Heck, the old me wouldn't even have set her alarm or thought that she could run around the block.  Birthdays are for eating cupcakes!  (They still are! - but first we run!!)
Here's to 36 years of being me and learning about myself.  The last decade of learning and growing has been a humbling experience.  Here's to many, many more years of changing, thriving and creating the life that I want.
Whether I knew you a lifetime ago - or have met you through this blog, coaching, my kids, neighborhoods, or work - or you don't know me at all personally - THANK YOU for reading my words, encouraging me and motivating me to be the best version of me as I publicly write out my thoughts on Running Diva Mom.

Nine birthday miles (can't get much more consistent than that!)
Reached my 15,000 step goal by 7:00 am

Monday, July 4, 2016

This bench.

This bench.
I have noticed this bench every time I'm out running on my favorite trail.  I've probably seen it two to three dozen times, as I go running by at my  middle-of-the-pack pace.  My favorite running locations are filled with little gems like this.  Quaint little spots that overlook the trail, little streams or scenic outlooks.  My favorite running trails are most likely my favorite spots to run because of these cute added elements.  I often run past, thinking how nice it would be to sometime take a break from life, grab a bottle of water or a coffee with a book.  And just sit and read.  Or watch nature pass by.  Possibly cuddle up with someone close to me and pause life for a bit.  But, who has time for that?
Well, yesterday I did.
I scheduled some time alone with Little Diva.  We went out to our favorite trail.  We took a bag filled with a blanket, our current reads from the library, a camera, some raspberries, and a Starbucks drink in hand.  We laid out the blanket and talked and laughed and read a bit under the afternoon sun.  By the bench that I so often passed by.
Unfortunately, the one thing that I forgot to pack was bug spray!  As the mosquitos decided that we were just having so much fun that they wanted to join us.  So our visit was cut short.  But it was the experience and the hike to our spot that made it all worth it.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Twenty things.

After some of my recent posts, you may notice that I am trying to redesign my life.  My family's life.  I'm trying to find balance.  I think that I finally have a pretty go grasp on that.  Since I have a "second chance on life" I'm trying to make this marriage the best that it can be.  I revisit our personally written vows in my head and want to make the life we envisioned, the life that we have.  After adding a third child, I'm trying to be the best version of myself, so that I can be a great mother to all three of my kids.  And a great wife.  I want to be true to myself.  Be a new, better version of myself, but the same ol' me, too.  I want to grow.  I want to learn  But I don't want to entirely change.  I'm trying to take the good with the bad.  Trying to fill our day with all the good stuff.  Trying to have open communication with each member of my family.  Schedule family meetings to discuss household responsibilities, chores, agendas and our diet. 

After finding great joy in moments recently, a smile was literally brought to my face.  While feeding my daughter her bottle on our front porch, my face felt warm and my heart felt full.  I started thinking about how saying NO to certain things have allowed me to say YES to other things that I wanted in my day.  Most of these things are small, brief moments during our day.  But they have made my day - and my life - that much fuller.

I challenge YOU to create a list of ten or twenty things that fill your heart.  Things you look forward to doing and that make you smile.  Write them in no particular order and revisit the list.  See how full your heart feels?  Then, add more of those things into your day.  You can thank me later.

Here is mine.
  1. Feeding Mini Diva her bottles on the front porch.
  2. Drinking my first cup of coffee while checking my email and listening to the radio with my husband.
  3. Getting up at 5:00 am to walk the dog at sunrise
  4. Running with Mini Diva in the jogging stroller
  5. Watching Little Diva pursue her passion with theater
  6. Playing Legos with Little Dude
  7. Family taco night - complete with sombreros
  8. Playing Scrabble and Scattegories with my husband
  9. Reading in bed with my husband
  10. Reading a book; then watching a movie
  11. Getting lost in a run with a few new songs on my ipod
  12. Blogging about my feelings
  13. Running with the dog at dusk
  14. Lists and crossing things off
  15. Being able to pick the kids up from school
  16. Planks
  17. New Moms on the Move class that I am leading
  18. Watching clients push themselves and answer their questions
  19. Visiting the library every week
  20. Making my bed in the morning; cleaning the kitchen counter at night

Strawberry Festival 5K 2016 Race Report

Mini Diva and I attended Sun Prairie's Strawberry Festival two weeks ago, to run their 5K.  I had never ran a race with a jogging stroller.  But this little one is so incredibly well-behaved in the stroller, that I didn't think twice about it.  I also knew that the race would be rather a small crowd, so I knew it wouldn't be congested.  It was pretty warm, even for an early start.

I immediately ran into several current and former clients, including Carol, who was completing her first 5K.  It was nice seeing so many former clients that had continued with their running this summer.  I also ran into a friend, Dan, who I had met during a half marathon about six years ago.  I enjoyed catching up with him and finally meeting his family.

The event had both a 5K and a 10K route.  I knew that the 5K route would have a pretty decent sized hill half-way, as I had coached this route several times previously. 

Mini Diva sported her pretty strawberry jumper and matching shoes for the occasion.  She received several compliments on her adorable outfit, while she sat quietly in the jogging stroller.  I seriously never heard a peep out of her before, during or after the race.  She has the best personality and is so easy-going.  She loves sitting in the stroller and watching the scenery and runners go by.  I loved seeing her strawberry toes hanging out of the front of the stroller while I ran each step.
I really tried to pace myself with the stroller.  It's easy to push.  But I wasn't sure how tired I'd be later on.  I knew I would still be going at a faster clip than I'm use to.  My plan was to hold an even and steady pace.  And that's what we did.  Even with the two hills that we were forced to run up, we hung around a nine minute mile.  We didn't need to stop at the water stations, because I had my water on board the jogging stroller.  I do love the convenience of having all of my necessities at my finger tips.
It had been a really long time since I had ran a 5K outside of one of my groups.  It felt strange being done with a race in less than thirty minutes.  But I stopped my watch at 27 minutes and some change.  That time is no where near my personal previous 5K times.  But I really enjoyed running with my little one in the stroller and I feel like I'm getting my rhythm and my body back.  I'm sure that she and I will have many more running adventures this summer. 

The gift of running.

For mother's day, I received two tickets to attend a concert with a friend.  I was immediately excited - and torn.  Torn?  Yes.  The mom guilt set in.  I was scheduled to have some time with a friend and also cross a big concert off of my to do list.  However, I was scheduled to have my kids on the day of the concert, would miss them terrible, would need to arrange afternoon childcare, arrange transportation to and from kid practice and rehearsals.  And I was going to have to juggle my breast pump schedule and endure the mom guilt of leaving three little ones behind.  Leaving the little ones may seem like a necessity for some.  Yes, we all need time apart.  However, when you only are able to share half of your child's life with them, I find that my mom guilt may be more than some.

After much debate and hesitation, I had a thought a couple of weeks ago.  If I was dreading this concert instead of looking forward to some time away from my family - then it really wasn't the gift that my family had intended.  It wasn't giving me the feeling of joy that they had hoped.  It wasn't making me happy.  It was stressing me out.  And when mom is stressed out, the whole family feels it.  They thought I wanted some time for me - when all I wanted was time with them.  I sat down my family and explained that I would much rather have some time with them.  And that sometime this weekend, that they could gift me an hour of running.  Or better yet, join me for a run.

Saying yes to less.  Saying no to more.  This year, I am really trying to get rid of the things that don't make me happy.  The tasks that I don't look forward to.  The things that stress me out and I "over-think" about.  And most importantly, I try to figure out WHY I don't enjoy it and figure out why or how I can avoid adding that task to my plate again.  Why don't I like coaching a specific class?  Why do I dread a certain volunteer commitment?  Why don't I like connecting with a certain friend?  If it doesn't make a positive impact on my family's day - I don't want it there.

If you are like me, your life is FULL of commitments.  Your days are filled with things that you want to do - and then there are the things that you have to do.  But sometimes you need to realize that everything doesn't need to be there.  You can say no.  Most often, people will understand that.  And they will admire you for it.  Saying no - or telling someone what you want - takes a lot of courage.  I feel blessed that I have finally gotten to that point.

The gift of running.  I haven't even thought twice about missing out on that concert today.  But, I have thoroughly enjoyed a full day with my children - and I'm looking forward to that gifted run.