Posts

Showing posts from 2018

34

Image
I turned 34 on the 15th. Around my birthday I always like to reflect back on what the past year has brought me and what I want from the year ahead. This was the first year in several consecutive years that didn’t have a sentinel event that defined the year. I didn’t get married, change careers, or have a baby. Instead, it has been a year of figuring out who I am after the dust from all of those major events has settled. Although 34 feels a little scary to me because it means I am officially in my mid-thirties, I’m also okay with it because I feel like in the past year all the pieces have come together and I am just where I should be in my life. It's not at all where I would have predicted I'd be 10 years ago, but it feels so right.
Motherhood- This wasn’t literally the year I became a Mom, but I do feel like it is the year that being a Mom became part of my identity. When I turned 33, Cooper wasn’t even 5 months old. I was still very much in survival mode. A year later, I’ve …

Time Machine

Image
The past week I went on my first business trip since Cooper was born. I was gone for 5 nights, which was, by far, the longest I've ever been away from him. When the opportunity to do a short consulting project first presented itself, I was so torn. (A little background: before I became a nurse, I worked with electronic medical records and traveled ALL the time.) It was great opportunity financially, but it was so hard to choose to leave my child.

I went for it, but I was an anxious mess as the trip grew near. I doubted myself professionally-would I be able to do the job since I'd been out of the field for awhile? I felt so guilty. Would Cooper be okay with me? I felt guilty that my Mom and Aunt would have to come help with Cooper and that my husband would have to take on additional responsibility. I frantically tried to prepare everything at home for my absence- writing detailed instructions, cooking all of Cooper's favorite foods. The day I left I hugged him a hundred tim…

How I Broke 2 Hours in the Half Marathon

Image
This past weekend I finally broke 2 hours in the half marathon. It wasn’t expected because my training was less than ideal and I felt terrible in the 10 mile race I did 3 week prior. As I reflected back, I came up with quite a few factors that all came together to result in a PR.


1)I weigh less. I actually weight 5-10 lbs less than I did pre-baby. Unusual I know, and please don’t hate me because it certainly isn’t due to good nutrition. I was so sick the first half of my pregnancy that I lost weight instead of gaining. Then after I had Cooper my body thought I was feeding triplets. I fed my own baby and donated more than 1000 oz to NICU babies. All that milk production really helped my metabolism. Since I stopped breastfeeding, I've kept the weight off because I'm so busy chasing an active toddler I don't have much time to sit and eat. Even though the weight loss wasn’t intentional, it helped. Lighter=faster (to a point) 2) Training conditions were challenging. I did most of…

Maine Coast Half Marathon 2018

Image
Well hello friends! Guess what I did yesterday....... I set a PR in the half marathon and finally broke 2 hours! If that's enough information for you, great, that's all you need to know. If you want the long version, keep reading.

I signed up for this race on New Year's Eve (after several margaritas). I thought "I gave myself a year after having a baby and now I am finally going to break 2 hours in the half." I started my training feeling very motivated. Then we had a terrible winter/spring where the cold, snow, and ice just never ended. And trying to find time for long runs with a baby and a husband who works overnights turned out to be more difficult than expected. The final straw was feeling absolutely horrible at the Portland 10 Miler, which I ran several weeks ago. I resigned myself to the fact that my life was not conducive to setting a PR right now and prepared to just run the race for fun.


I wasn't able to make it to packet pick-up Friday night, and I…

"Normal"

Image
Since Cooper turned one I feel like I’m getting a lot of comments from people about how I must be glad that life is getting “back to normal.” While things certainly have settled down from the sleep deprived, this is all so new and scary newborn days, I don’t know that I’d call my life back to “normal.”

Before kids, normal was:
Getting to go to the bathroom alone. Now I either have to deal with Cooper banging on the bathroom door and screaming or I can let him in with me and trying to keep him from unrolling and shredding the entire roll of toilet paper and/or finding things to throw through my legs and into the toiletBeing able to prepare food and eat all of it with both of my hands. Now meal prep is punctuated with frequent stops to engage Cooper in a non-dangerous activity. During meals I have to stop to pick up thrown food, cups, utensils, etc at least once a minute. And even if we are eating the same thing, he always wants what is on my plate instead of his own.Not having my heart…

Portland 10 Miler

Image
Hey Guys, I did a thing this weekend. I ran a race! It was my first race since last August, so it was exciting. I ran the inaugural Portland 10 miler. It fit nicely into my half marathon training and it is always nice to get to replace a long run with a race.

Packet pick-up was available the day before at Rising Tide (a local brewery). I thought it was a fun place to do pick-up and a lot of people took advantage of the beautiful day and sat outside with a beer after their got their packets. Unfortunately I had a whiny baby strapped to my back so we did not linger. The shirts were cotton long sleeve, which made me happy. I wear these all the time to sleep in and mine are all at least a decade old, so it is definitely time for a new one. The sizing seemed a big strange. The shirts were unisex so I got a small. It’s on the small side, but my friend’s medium was huge!
Race morning with a toddler who wants to be glued to your side is a challenge, but luckily the race didn’t start until 10 …

Aerial Yoga Teacher Training

Image
This past weekend I did something really fun: I got certified to teach aerial yoga! When I first saw that the training was being offered at one of my favorite studios, I was really torn about signing up. It sounded so amazingly fun, but it was a big commitment, both in terms of time and money. My husband works on weekends so it meant finding 3 full days of childcare. It also meant giving up a day of paid work and paying a significant tuition.


In the end I decided to take the plunge though. I had been feeling a little burnt out and like I needed something exciting, inspiring, and fulfilling in my life. It's been awhile since I immersed myself in something new.


The training was 3 full days and it was a mix of yoga practice, classroom instruction, and practice teaching. It was so fun to learn some new aerial tricks, but I actually found it just as fun to practice teaching. Teaching aerial is a unique challenge because many times your students can't see you. So you really have to …

A New Job!

Image
This morning I got to do something that I've wanted to do for a long time........ I taught my first class at my gym!

For years there was a metabolic conditioning class at 8 am Saturday morning that I loved. It was a great workout and I made a whole group of gym friends at the class. Our instructor left in May right as the gym was being sold. They ended up putting a different class in that time slot and we were all disappointed. We all gave it a try, but it just wasn't what we wanted. So we made our own class! For months I've been coming up with workouts for us to do out on the main floor. Our renegade group kept growing to the point where they asked me if I was interested in teaching an official class. I definitely was! I really enjoy putting the workouts together and leading them. Getting paid for something I like to do? Bonus!

I had 18 people at my first class this morning and it went really smoothly. The hardest part was getting myself and Cooper up, dressed, fed, in the…

Rite of Passage

Image
Last night I reached an important parent milestone- I caught my child's vomit in my hands. I'm a nurse, but I hate puke. Blood, poop, urine, pus, mucus- none of them bother me. As soon as I'm near vomit though, I start gagging.

Yet last night, when Cooper started to heave I instinctively held my hands in front of him. I get it now. It's really a selfish act. After cleaning the baby and myself the last thing I wanted to do was have to clean the carpet as well. Unfortunately, last night my hands couldn't contain the contents of Cooper's stomach. Luckily Rory was home and he took care of the carpet clean-up. That's love my friends.


What's the grossest thing you've done lately?

All the Bad things I Forgot About Long Runs

Image
I've done 8 marathons and a lot (I've lost count)of half marathons, so I've done my fair share of long runs in my life. However, I haven't done one in more than 2 years and somehow in that time I forgot about all the not so pleasant things. It's just like childbirth- you forget all the bad parts. Yet this week's 11 miler brought it all back to me.

Chafing
Y tho? Seriously, how can my own skin inflict so much pain on itself? I forgot how much chafing sucks. It totally takes all the pleasure out of the hot shower after a run. And for 2 days afterward people keep asking if I'm okay because I am moving so weirdly. I've already put the Body Glide front and center in my bathroom so I can't forget this week.


Carrying Water
I have tried every water carrying device ever made and I've yet to find one I like. They ride up and fall down and usually lead to chafing (see above). Lots of public water fountains is maybe the only thing I'd like about living a…

Comparison

Image
This morning I ran 9 miles, the longest run I’ve done since having a baby. It was wonderful. Despite starting at 530 am, I felt great. It was mild, the roads were clear, and there was a stunning sunrise. It was one of those runs where everything just clicked.

Then I finished and saved my run and saw that my over-all average pace was 9:47. My pride started to dissipate because I thought I was running so much faster. Then I went inside and looked at my phone while I stretched and saw that 7 years ago  today I had just finished the Antarctica Marathon, 4 years ago I was in Japan after the Tokyo Marathon, and 3 years ago I was in New Zealand getting ready to run the Mountains to the Sea Marathon. Suddenly 9 miles didn’t seem like such an accomplishment.

I’m finding this training for my first post-partum half marathon more challenging than I expected. Physically, my body has changed and I haven’t run longer than 6-7 miles in 2 years.  Practically it is really hard to fit in the training a…

When I Have Kids, I'll Never #2

Image
As Cooper grows, so does my list of things I do as a parent that I said I’d never do. I did a post like this when he was just a few months old and I thought it was a lot of fun, so here’s #2!
1)      I said I’d never let my kids in the bathroom with me I like my privacy. I don’t want my husband in there when I am going to the bathroom and I said I’d never let my kids in there either. Well it turns out letting Cooper in is easier than having him standing outside the door screaming and pounding on the door. Or even worse, hearing nothing but silence from outside and worrying that he has found a new way to try and kill himself.
2)      I said my house wouldn’t be overrun with toys I am a neat freak, so I planned to be a minimalist parent. My kids wouldn’t need a thousand toys. I'd have a place for everything and clean up every night. Well it turns out people love to buy babies lots of toys (and we do appreciate it, really!) and that babies get bored quickly and do need quite a variet…

Total Body Drop Set Burnout Workout

Image
My gym has cancelled a lot of my favorite classes. But every cloud has a silver lining, and in this case it has forced me to get out on the gym floor and create my own workouts more. I really have enjoyed this. It has forced me out of my rut of always doing the same exercises for 3 sets of 12 reps. I created this one Tuesday that was inspired by this workout on Peanut Butter Fingers.

A drop set workout was a great change of pace and a good way to really fatigue my my muscles! I was SO sore after this workout!


For superset 2 I did all the reps on each leg for the squats and deadlifts.

I used a mini band for all of super-set 4. It was easier than putting on just for the monster walks and it made the jump squats and long jumps harder!

Inspire me- what workouts are you doing lately?

The Big 3

Image
Sadly this post isn’t about This is Us, even though I love, love that show. It’s about running outside, which I finally got to do this morning. 
I've been spending an awful lot of time on the dreadmill this winter. There are 3 primary factors that determine if I go out or stay in: darkness, cold, and road conditions. I can handle any one of these factors alone, but when they combine I usually head to the treadmill.  
Dark + cold = Outside, except for extreme cold (which for me is usually when it is below 5 or 10). Dark + slippery = Inside. It’s not worth falling and getting hurt or hit by a car because I have to run in the middle of the road in the dark. Cold + slippery= Depends. If it is super slippery and super cold I usually opt to stay in because I can’t run fast enough to warm up.
Unfortunately this winter it has often been all 3- dark, cold, and slippery- which means my treadmill has been getting some heavy use. I’ve gone through the entire season of Fuller House (which is …

One

Image
Just like that, my baby is one. I truly can't believe it. We celebrated with a puppy picnic over the weekend.





It's so amazing how in just one year Cooper went from this tiny, sleepy, helpless baby to a real little person with his own personality and preferences. In some ways the year went so quickly, but at the same time I can hardly remember what life was like before him.

Becoming a parent is the most life changing thing I've ever done. It's challenged me in so many ways. It's physically demanding. It's challenged my relationships with my husband and my friends. It's forced me to look at my own values and determine what I want to pass on to Cooper. Nothing is just about me anymore.

It's been really hard, but a year in I feel like it's made me a better person. I feel like I'm more present, more focused, more joyful, less selfish, healthier, and stronger. Thank you Coop, for choosing me as your Mom.


Balance

Image
It's 3 pm on Saturday, Cooper just went down for his afternoon nap, and I'm having a debate with myself. Do I tackle sorting through the 3 enormous tubs of outgrown baby clothes or do I take a break and do some yoga? I feel like I have some version of this debate every day, and that no matter what I choose I end up feeling badly.

So far today I got up, took care of the dog, got myself and Cooper dressed, fed, packed up and to the gym by 8. I came up with a circuit workout and led myself and a group and friends through it. Then back at home, I made and fed Cooper breakfast and put him down for a nap. While he slept, I took the dog for a short run, took a shower (where I noticed how dirty and the shower and bathroom were so I cleaned them), cleaned out the humidifiers, and did a huge amount of food prep for the week. Once Cooper was up, I gave him a bottle, and then we headed out to return some Christmas presents (clothes for him that were already too small) at 3 different store…

Duh

Image
For Christmas I asked for some new running socks because mine were all in sad shape. My wonderful aunt got me a bunch of pairs of Smartwools, including one pair of crew (mid calf) style socks. This is something I never would have gotten for myself. I was raised in a time where tall socks were just not cool. Although apparently the look is back in based on the number of teenagers I see in shorts and tall socks. (I just don't get it, it looks so dumb).

OMG the taller socks are amazing for winter running. They are under my tights, so no one can see them. No more frozen ankle between my pants and socks! No more snow inside my socks! Best of all they also seem to help keep my tights from falling down as I run (I swear I spend half my run yanking my pants back up).

It's just always amazing to me how we get stuck in such ruts, and it often takes someone else to help us see the obvious and get us to change. I'm totally team crew for the rest of the winter.

Comeback

Image
Well hello. It's been awhile, but I'm okay with that. I gave myself all of 2017 to focus on my new role as a mother to this adorable guy. I can't believe he is almost one!



That meant that I didn't commit to any major running (or blogging) goals in 2017. It was absolutely the right decision. It kept the pressure off and made running and working out a treat rather than a chore. 

But now somehow it is 2018. I had been struggling with what I wanted to do fitness wise this year. Part of me was itching to get back to training and racing longer distances, but another part of me loves just being able to do what I feel each day. 

Last night I had a couple of margaritas at home with the hubby (because who doesn't want a frozen drink when it is -10). Before I knew it I found myself signing up for 2 races!



Well there you go. Apparently my sub-conscious really wanted to race! I'll be doing the inaugural Portland 10 miler in April and then the 2018 Shipyard Maine Coast Marathon …