Thursday, January 18, 2018

The Half That I Hated

Last year, I began my running journey. Like any other thing I've ever attempted, I researched, planned, and became focused on the goal, all the while knowing that the journey towards this elusive (for me, at any rate) 13.1 mile achievement would be filled with chaos (I have a three year old), ups and downs (I have a five now six year old that brings home germs from school), and multitasking (I also work from home). But, I was enjoying my new activity that gave me a mental mini vacation, pushed my body to discover every weakness it had, and made my yoga pants look fantastic.

I'm a mom, I live in yoga pants most days. Or workout pants that really resemble leggings from Victoria Secret. Sometimes, if I'm really lucky, jeans.

I signed up for this feat, knowing I had six months to prepare, and many 5k opportunities in between. I ran every morning, pushing my littlest in a stroller for added resistance, planning, and making running playlists.

My first 5k I found out a friend was expecting, which was awesome and a great way to start my race journey. No medal, but the memory made up for that. By my third, and one medal later, I was hooked. It was more fun than I realized, easier than I thought (I was putting the work in!), and I had a running crew to share the good and the bad with along the way.

Then, Facebook fooled me by posting a 5k/half marathon literally down the street from me.  With a medal for the half, plus a bonus windbreaker for the first so many who signed up!

That darn medal did it all for me. It was in our Metroparks, with a wolf as the main character in the design.  Close by, cool medal, and free bonus jacket if I signed up now? Yes! My husband even encouraged me to take the leap.

Then he asked, right after I signed up and had my new partner in crime locked in, how long a half marathon was. When I told him, he actually had the audacity to looked stunned. I am pretty sure he thought it might only be a bit longer than the 3.1 miles I had been running in over the summer.

Great.

So, I ran. And with any great plan comes insane complications. It seemed every single weakness I had (a weak ligament in my ankle from an injury while pregnant with my first, a bad knee, years of working in heels on marble floors for 45-55 hours a week, all those really cute shoes!!!) sprung up to hinder and attack my poor body.

I did yoga, tried to add strength training, and dusted off the stationary bike in my office. The office that had somehow become the cluttered mess I avoided since I had children.

Long story short, I never got beyond 6 miles for my longest run. Between my IT band being a complete jerk, PTA mom responsibilities, germs (UGH!!!!!), and life happenings (selling our "extra" house), I let myself down. But, there was no way I wasn't going to do my best. Even if I had to swear and cry along the way. I wasn't a total lost cause, but I would be lying if I didn't say I wasn't worried.

The race sponsors sent out info letting everyone know if they were walking (HALLELUJAH!) the marathon, they could arrive early to make sure they could finish before the roads were opened. And, the temps were forecasted for a chilly arrival of mid fall temps and possible snow!!!

The long and short of it...it snowed. I froze, layered correctly (the power of finding out and testing things in advance!!), had a great running partner who shares my love of intervals, and we did great until about mile 8 or so.

Then, I began to hit a wall. To be honest, the view was pretty in a way, but the simplicity of it all BORED ME TO NO END! Worst of all, the roads were banked, and while I run in my neighborhood, banking is pretty rare unless you count the hills. But hills and banking are two totally different animals. And not very friendly ones either.

We finished, texting and posting random Facebook updates in the snow with our gloves on or off depending on where we were interval and energy wise, shared Jelly Belly Energy Beans, drank all the water we were offered, Honey Stinger Wafers, and swore profusely as we neared the end of our ordeal.

I had my first ice bath (who knew ice could be so darn wonderful??), yoga recovery for half an hour, and gladly kissed my boys when I got home. That medal is hanging with its friends, and I both smile at it and glare as I pass by.

But, to be honest I just don't know if I'm going to ever do another one. My running group is already trying to get me to sign up for another one, but I'm just not sure I want to torture myself that greatly anytime soon.  If I do, there will be a castle involved, a few rides, and a good dose of training non stop beforehand, with plenty of swearing and new running shoes along the way.



But, I can say I'm a half marathoner now. And that's pretty cool.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

But Still I Run

I did it. I signed up for my first half marathon. Three and a half months from now.

I've run five 5ks, logged my miles training, sucked it up through injuries/healing/swearing during foam rolling, and somehow balancing it not so greatly with family life.

But 13.1 miles are coming, whether I'm prepared or not.

I run. Alone.

The only motivation I have is me. At any moment, I can stop my run and give up. There's no one yelling at me to keep going, go faster, watch my form. If you swim, you stop you drown (or float). But when you run, it gets tough. You might swear, cry (been there), scream...laugh, smile. But you have the choice every single step if the way to stop or keep going.



That's why I love it. And sometimes hate it.

There's the moments I want to give in, skip, or when life gets in the way and I can't get my run in I berate myself.

But still I run.



I'm tired of the moments I tell myself I'm not fast enough, or I'm not pretty enough, thin enough, or good enough. Running has changed me. I know I can beat goals I never thought possible, and my biggest competition is myself (though there are the moments when I look at someone else and still have that feeling of not bring enough, but it is quickly swept aside now).

Someone once told me at my first 5k that they don't give out "participation medals". Of course, this person never ran in her in life, yet still laughed at me.

It's called a finisher medal. And it marks my journey, and every other runner who makes the choice to keep running especially when they really don't want to.



Though, I will run for a really good margarita or chocolate, too.

posted from Bloggeroid

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Running, Rolling, And Run Disney

I'm drinking coffee, and thinking that all the swearing and pain from foam rolling was so worth it. After my last 5k, my IT band made my knee really angry. Like, incredibly bad. But, I was sucking it up, and trying to still run. I could barely do it, and pretty much went so far back in the progress I made that, I admit, I was getting angry.

But, I'm learning my body needs to be taken care of. That $35 was the best money I've ever spent (along with my shoes and inserts, lol!).

I know each of us is busy, and life gets in the way. I'm trying to remind myself to keep this morning's feeling of good health and contentment when I'm struggling.

These are my RunDisney Virtual Race Series medals (my son's for August haven't come in yet, and he's jealous!), and I'm excited to get beyond 42 minutes. If my body cooperates.



Going from being told I might never walk on my own while pregnant with my first, and the pain my feet have gone through this past year to running a 5k, and most importantly being healthy and becoming strong makes me want to keep this going. I know it won't ever be perfect, and I might not be the fastest, but that doesn't matter.

posted from Bloggeroid

Thursday, May 18, 2017

The Road To Running: Rain or Shine

My body has the crazy idea that maybe I need to take care of myself. Unfortunately, I don't listen well, if at all. This means I need the message delivered LOUD AND CLEAR.

If you've read any of my Disney revelation blog, you know some of this. But I'm pretty sure I really haven't let on just how bad it had gotten. Last Spring, my life was in a crazy constant tumble of insanity. As a mom to two adorable, active, and at times spirited little boys under the age of five, life was a nonstop journey of overwhelming activities that made me feel like I was forever on a hamster wheel dedicated to never-ending catching up. I was neglecting myself, my marriage (I kept forgetting how lucky and loved I was, and my frustrations made me stressed which definitely hindered my communication ability), but giving what I thought was my energy to my sons. Then, my feet started to hurt. Just a tinge here and there, especially after wearing a certain pair of really cute sandals. What I didn't know then was that I was developing a horrendous case of plantar fasciitis in both feet that would hinder my ability to walk for almost a year.

It became so bad that I had to seek medical advice. I stopped doing my favorite things (yoga, dance, walking, biking, playing soccer with my five year old) way before it got bad, but now I couldn't even attempt any of these things withour excruciating pain. An older ankle ligament injury became aggravated, doubling the pain. Not fun.

So, I started physical therapy. Ice, tons of ice! Rest (which made me so insane), new shoes (running shoes that took forever to find ones that gave me what I needed), and tons of yoga. To calm my crazy mind, and gently strengthen my body. My weight had started to climb up due to my lack of activity, but I knew if I could somehow get myself healthy and less stressed the journey back would be worth it.



So, I started walking after my son's bus picked him up with a fellow mom (who has since moved away) rain, snow, or shine. I learned to tape my injuries when needed, and started having movie nights with my family. I shared my fears with my husband, who hugged me, listened to me, and encouraged me.

Then, we went to Disney.

Life changing.

I began a Baby Steps to a 5k program, and I signed up for my first 5k. Every morning, without fail (weekends became optional so that my husband and I could work on our dream business) I walked briskly, knowing that slow and steady would be best for my body.

Then I found the Galloway Method and intervals!

To be continued....


posted from Bloggeroid

Friday, May 12, 2017

Mother's Day For The Newbie Runner

Since this mommy has found her way back to running (and let's face it, running with my golden is an entirely different proposition than a 5k...or more!), and Mothers Day is just a few days away, I thought I'd share my last minute musts any newbie running mommy would adore!!



I love my Flip Belt. My runs usually take place after my five year gets on the bus, and the lil dude us in the stroller. Not only does my Flip Belt help with tracking steps and keeping the app up to date (steps don't record when I put my phone in the stroller...i learned the hard way!), but I stopped dropping things. Which meant I stopped stopping to pick up the things I dropped which also slowed me down. And, I can carry my iPod, keys...a snack. Or a Hot Wheel to stave off any tears! And, I found this super easy fitness tracker (I even bought one for the five year old!) And wireless earphones in the Target Deal Spot! So, easy mom gifts for under $45!!



BEST HAIR TIES EVER!! These braided elastics are easy to use (no cutting off your circulation while doing the pony or mom bun!), and two to three twists are perfect for a thick ponytail on your morning run.



Raw Threads are my new favorite running attire. Eco friendly and Run Disney ready, plus so many styles and themes if your not into Mouse Magic!



My two favorite mom mini spa treatments. Keratin hair masque (I have tons of hair, and this is my all time favorite deep conditioning treatment!) And who doesn't have puffy eyes cause #momlife?? Caffeine and a cooling roller applicator takes care of that!



And this, just because. Post run treat, or late night indulgence. It's low cal, protein packed, and dare I say DELICIOUS?

Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there. We got this. And hopefully, you get some of this!

posted from Bloggeroid

Monday, May 8, 2017

Frugal Mommy Disney Planning: Disney World Within Reach

I'm pretty sure it's obvious I love taking my boys to Disney. And given the fact that they are checking wait times daily for their favorite attractions, it's a pretty good bet they love it, too. It's magical.



I discovered this little gem, and just by following one simple tip for Target gift
cards, I've saved $55 that I'm putting towards our upcoming December trip in JUST ONE WEEK. There are so many more tips that my mind is blown, land really excited to dig in to this book.

My family loves the magic of being at Walt Disney World, of the time we get to spend together, and the memories are priceless.

It definitely costs more than I care to admit, and while I wish I could say money doesn't matter, it does.

I'll keep you all updated as I forge ahead with my money saving strategies.

https://www.smartmomsplandisney.com/disneyworldwithinreach?affiliate_token=z1qiaQSyFHu4h5p8

(Please note this is an affiliate link, but the book and all materials were purchased from the fabulous mom author LJ by myself!)

posted from Bloggeroid

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Clean All The Fruit! Frugal Mom Tip

In the realm of declutter,  reduce the chemicals (not that they're all evil), and in the name of frugality  (two mortgages and diapers!!!), a few years ago, I began researching alternatives and methods for everyday cleaning and being more kid friendly.

That's when I discovered the amazing, everyday, multipurpose products I already had in my pantry. (Side note, the word pantry always makes me kinda giggle and I'm really not sure why!) Warning, Pinterest will boggle your mind with endless lists of the ways you can use ordinary and extraordinary staples, but really, if you're like me, you need the shortened version. The hope, no matter how small, of having an extra ten seconds to take the world's fastest shower is incredibly important.  Especially with two little ones, who just might, if you're extremely lucky, nap at the same time.  Of course, you'll probably end up doing something just as important as well. Like laundry or the dishes, because they will never truly be done. Neverending cycle of family life, laundry and dishes.

But, that is not the awesomeness of this post...it's all about apple cider vinegar.

First off, let me tell you, I like salad. But, smelling salad dressing-like fragrances isn't my favorite. Some people actually love the smell. Me? Not so much.

But, as a fruit and veggie cleaner? Fabulous!!! Yep, clean up the produce with apple cider vinegar...just put a few tablespoons or so diluted in water and soak your produce of choice for 5-10 minutes. Then rinse.

Done.

And, if you get fruit flies? Even easier...I use a container from something like Whole Foods Mango Pineapple Salsa (my newest obsession!!!!), poke a few holes in the lid and pour apple cider vinegar about halfway up then watch (or not!) the flies fly right on in to stay. The lid contains the smell (which, as we know, isn't my favorite) and keeps the containment easy to dispose of.

Voila!! Clean produce, and fruit flies be gone!!!