06 August 2014

Why a girl called me pregnant and why I didn't punch her in the face

This morning as I was lapping my neighborhood at 5:30 am, the mental war that was waging was even more intense than usual.  I kept thinking about how if I was in this same physical situation ten years ago I would bounce back in no less than a couple weeks.  I'm older now.  My muscles take longer to recover.  I'm bigger.  My body feels different.  My frame of balance is not what it used to be.  And it's hard.  So hard.  Then the defeat started sinking in.  Why not quit?  Not forever, just for today.  Just quit.  Stop running.  Walk back home.  Who cares?  Who freaking cares.

I do.

Because giving in just this once starts a downward spiral that I have sworn to never fall into again.  Because quitting today means a reason to quit tomorrow.

Everyone goes through it.  You start something new, be it a new exercise regimen, a new diet, a new habit, etc.  You start out all fired up and nothing can stop you.  Then hard days start to creep in here and there.  All of a sudden you don't feel so strong or sure of yourself.  You start questioning your reasons for starting in the first place and whether or not it's really that worth it.

Then it hit.  A memory.  One I had pushed aside soon after it happened because I had deemed it unworthy to ponder (and rightly so).  This memory was the final blow.  As I was forcing one foot in front of the other over and over again, I remembered something.

It was my first 5k, almost exactly three months ago.  I was happy.  I was determined.  I was a little nervous.  I was about halfway through the course, huffing and puffing my way along at a much faster speed than I had ever done in my preparation for this race.  I was proud of myself.  I was excited, and yet very close to tears (happy ones) as I thought about what I was doing and what it meant for not only me, but also my family.

There were two girls in front of me, running at a slightly slower pace than I was, so I decided to run around them.  Just as I got to about 2-3 paces ahead, I overheard the one girl tell the other,

"See?  It's when I see someone like that who is pregnant and doing this race that it gives me hope that I won't ever have to quit!"

I looked around.  There were women of all shapes and sizes joining me in this race, but at this particular moment in time (of course) not one single girl around me was higher than a size 5.

It was me.  I was the "pregnant (one) doing this race and giving her hope that she won't ever have to quit".  Awesome.  Glad I could help.

The comment really didn't bother me at the time.  I knew it was true.  I knew to someone that didn't know any better I looked to be about 4-5 months pregnant.  That's part of the reason I was out here.  I wanted to change.  I wanted my pre-baby body back.  So that was it.  I didn't even turn around.  I let it slide right off and hardly blinked an eye.

But that comment didn't go away.  It was filed deep into my brain so that on really hard days when I can barely push on it can come back to haunt me.  Or fuel me.

Today it haunted...AND fueled.

After I was finished feeling sorry for myself I revisited all the reasons why I was doing this in the first place and came to the conclusion that YES, it is most definitely worth it.

There are hard days.  Days where I can barely move faster than a walk.  Days where nothing I wear fits right.  Days where a complete stranger makes wrong assumptions about me.  Days where the pain and hurt force out the joy and triumph.  These hard days, I have found, are absolutely worth it.

Because for all the hard days, there are also good, excellent, AMAZING days!  The days where I blow my own best out of the water.  The days when I can keep up with my kids without stopping to rest.  The days where I feel good about myself and what I am teaching my kids through my own trials and victories.

So to the girl who thought I was pregnant, I thank you.  May you never quit.  May whatever comments that come back to haunt you on your hard days never get the best of you.  May they fuel your fire to keep going, to never give up.

27 May 2014

Backpacking To The Library


Since being down to one car, I miss being able to just up and go somewhere with the kids during the day since the Hubs has the car at work.  Today we didn't let it stop us!  Trip to the library!  

One thing is for sure, I was prepared.  I can't believe I forgot to take a picture of the boys in the bike trailer/stroller.  Ice water, bag of books to return, diaper bag with essentials of diapers, wipes, and a change of clothes for the potty training dude.  Daisy rode her scooter, I jogged while pushing the stroller.  It really wasn't that far - just over a mile - but quite a hike for little ones.  One the way back, Daisy wanted to ride so her and Jesse switched out.  We hung the scooter over the stroller and Jesse jogged beside me.  When he got tired about 1/4 of the way from home, I put him on my shoulders and pushed the stroller.  If only the paparazzi had come along just then.  They're always just missing me, it seems.

Daisy was such a trooper!  We walked into the library, hot, sweaty, and red as beets.  I'm sure we were a sight.  People just smiled.  We freshened up in the bathroom and fully enjoyed our library play time. 

Our library has an awesome kids section.  Not only great books but also toddler appropriate computer games as well as oodles of learning toys.  My kids could stay busy there for several hours.  Unfortunately we only had about 30 minutes before we had to head back so we could get lunch and get into nap time.

Okay, let me just be a proud Momma and brag for a minute.  Jesse is currently potty training and has been doing so good.  Today was his first time "out" without a pull up.  Completely dry the whole time.  AND he jogged almost the whole way back home.  He just might be my athlete.  

Now nap time!  Kid tip #354: If you want kids to take a good nap, drag them around town for a couple miles in the hot sun.  Works every time.

11 May 2014

First 5k: Complete

Pre-race. Apprehensive. Excited. Nervous.

I did it!  While my family and friends never questioned my ability to meet this goal, I had my doubts.
I thought I would probably be walking half of it, throwing myself across the finish line dead last, after the awards were handed out and three quarters of everyone had gone home.

But that's not what happened.
I'm not really sure that I can adequately put into words what this experience has been.  I feel like I accomplished what I set out to do.  I feel like reaching the next goal is possible.  

I ran with 3,999 other women/girls today.  All with a goal.  All with a purpose.  All on their own, individual journey.

My Cheering Section

There are so many reasons why I run, but these three miracles are a huge part of it!

Finished!

I started out this race thinking if I can just finish in under an hour I would be happy.  I finished in 39:45.  One of the reasons I was worried is because I have done most of my training on the treadmill, which is a world of a different track than running outside.  I ran outside a handful of times the last two weeks before the race, attempting to adjust my body to outside running.  It didn't go very well for the most part.  It discouraged me more than anything except for maybe one or two days.  I ran around my neighborhood, which also has hills.  The course today was flat except for one hill.  I think that made the difference.

Next up?
The Color Run on May 31st!

I think I might be hooked.  I told Josh as we were getting in the car to come home that I think I just might be a runner for life.  

My post-run, Mother's Day roses - nothing ever smelled so sweet!

I feel like my running posts have hijacked my blog.  Hopefully we can get back to our regularly scheduled crafting program very soon!  I've been a little busy.  :)









09 May 2014

The Countdown Begins


In a mere 41 hours I will have started my first 5k.

I'm excited.

I'm nervous.

I already have to pee every 5 minutes.

I mentioned before that this is a Mother's Day Run.  There was a time where I struggled with the realization that I may never be a mother.  Something I have always known I wanted to be.

This run represents never forgetting that time in my life.  It celebrates the three little rugrats that are now in my life.  It is the start of my journey to health and hopefully many more 5ks to come.  It is about meeting a goal, striving to be better and stronger.

It is all of these things and more.
So, as I go out now on my last run before race day, I am more than grateful.
And I think I have to pee again....

01 May 2014

Remember This


Many times while I am running, I feel my legs working hard, how they burn, and at the end of my run, how they think they can't possibly go another step.

I feel how winded I am, how breathing in and out, while rhythmic, is tiring in and of itself.

I think about how this is hard.

I really do love it.  I love the burn and the sweat that tells me I am working hard.  I think there is a certain honor in giving something all you've got, in working hard towards a goal.

It's also in the midst of all of this that I think,

That piece of cake really wasn't worth it.  

It tasted good, yes.  Oh, did it ever taste good.  But if I am truly honest, the taste of that cake was not worth putting me backwards, however small of a step it may have been.  It just wasn't.

So why did I eat it?  

My goal over the next couple weeks is this:  When I am faced with a decision about food, 
I want to remember the burn, the sweat, the hard work.  
I want to remember what it feels like when I am in the midst of a run.  
I want to remember the feeling of thinking I can't go another step.  
I want to remember how hard it is at times to catch my breath.  
I want to remember how hard it is.  
I want to remember why I'm doing this.  
I want to remember that my kids are watching me.  
I want to remember that I have a choice.  
I want to make good decisions.

If I can remember all that, the decision to eat or not to eat should be an easy one.  
And with no remorse I can ditch the cake and grab an apple.  
Or nuts.
Or maybe make some eggs.
Mmmm, I have not had breakfast yet this morning.  Ciao.



28 April 2014

Sprinting - What I Look Like

There is nothing like finishing off your run with a good sprint.  You see the finish up ahead, you kick it in high gear, pumping your legs and arms as hard and as fast as they can possibly go.  It's a good feeling to finish well.



What I feel like I look like at the end of my run:
Image Source


What I actually look like at the end of my run:
Image Source





24 April 2014

I fail. A lot.



I realized the other day that almost all of my running posts have been about my successes.  So let's switch it up a bit.  I definitely have not been feeling the success as of late.

If you come to my blog for reasons other than my running posts, I do apologize.  My blog tends to mirror what is prominent in my life at the moment.

Failure.

I've been dabbling in it recently.  Up until this last week I had been doing pretty good with what I eat.  Then Easter hit and with it all the irresistible sweets and carbs that I find a hard time resisting.  Long story short: I didn't.  I didn't resist.  The scale proved on more than one occasion this last month that it knows my secrets.  Dumb scale.

However, I did reign it in a little - you know, eating enough for two people instead of five - always look for the positive!

I had been doing pretty good running on the treadmill.  I was a little worried about meeting my goal of running my upcoming 5k without slowing to a walk, but was starting to come out the other side of, 
"I may run it slow, but I can do it.

Today I ran outside.

And every last ounce of positive thinking drained out of me as I crawled and inched myself around the block.

Seriously?

I knew it would be hard.  I knew it was going to be quite a transition from treadmill to outside.  That's why I was giving myself a couple weeks to adjust (yeah, don't laugh).

I just didn't realize it would be THAT hard.

So,  I am back to, "I really don't know if I'm going to meet this goal."

I'm sorry this post isn't more inspiring.  But I also want to keep things real here, and the truth of the matter is, some days are hard.  Some days just really suck.  Some days you just feel like you will never get to where you want to be.

The trick is not staying in that place.
You get down.
You wallow.
You feel sorry for yourself.

Then you move on.

I once read a post by an extremely wise person that said,


He wasn't talking about running specifically, but the message can very easily be adapted to any area of life.  

I started running track in Junior High.  I believe it was my first or second race where I had a bad fall.  A hard core fall.  Like blood running down my legs, laid there for several seconds before getting up, fall.

I still don't remember what happened.  I didn't bump into anybody, my shoelaces weren't untied, I wasn't struggling to breathe.  My legs just couldn't keep up and I fell.  I was mortified.  I didn't want to get up.  I wanted the ground to open up and swallow me.  When that didn't happen I did the only thing I could think to do.

I got up.
I ran (hobbled) to the finish line.
And I crossed it.

I didn't think much of it at the time.  I was so embarrassed by the fall in the first place that it was all I thought about.

Then I realized everyone was congratulating me.  Everyone was smiling and clapping and cheering!
I kind of wondered if maybe they didn't see my embarrassing performance, or maybe they felt really sorry for me.

But THEN I realized they weren't cheering out of pity.  They weren't cheering because they missed what happened.
They were cheering because I got up.
They were cheering because I kept going.
Because they all knew what it took to keep going in the face of failure.

And so, with this in mind, I will move forward.  I still have two and a half weeks to the 5k.  I'm going to give it my best shot, and my best is all I can give.