Momma’s Got a Brand New Schedule!

Trying to get back into running after hitting such a personal milestone as a half-marathon has been harder than expected.  I thought and thought and thought about what I needed to do.  Usually my personal trainer, (AKA running coach, AKA workout Nazi, AKA husband) is the one who motivates me to lace up and take my happy ass to the road or treadmill…but I’ve noticed since completing that last race series that he’s laid off of me a bit.  Which I find both flattering and annoying.  Flattered because I know it means he thinks I’m doing a good enough job to trust that I’ll keep with it.  Annoyed because now I don’t have someone pushing me out the door.  Which means more work for me.

I brainstormed ways to get my running mojo back.  I concluded that I needed something else telling me what to do, and when.  Then it hit me: A Running Schedule!  Of course!  Why didn’t I think of this three years ago when I began this journey?!

With that, my running schedule was born.  I photo-copied a summer’s worth of days and went to work.  I pulled up good ol’ Hal Higdon’s half-marathon training plan and tweaked it a bit to fit my personal (crazy) schedule.  My running coach moonlights as a teacher during the school year, so with summer vacation upon us I made my long runs on Monday’s, which I also have off.  I gave myself two rest days. Wednesdays, because I work late, and Sunday’s.  Sunday because now I’ll have a whole day to spend with my family to look forward to each week.  I figured that at least once per week I’d take a 3-mile day to do speed work.  Those days I plan on getting up early and going before my day starts, since I (should) only be at the gym for about 24 minutes.

I also sprinkled in some races for good measure.  Plus, I really like them.  I find that the more races you can get in, the more prepared you’ll be for anything else down the road. Since I race harder than I train I’ll let myself out of my long run on the weeks I have a race.  That’s fair, right?

I can’t believe the difference this schedule has made in my runs.  Somehow training is easier and I’m doing better than last year!  Here are the reasons I think YOU should make a running schedule if you’re training for a specific race:

– You know what’s expected. I hung my schedule up at the bottom of the stairs, right next to the front door.  Its somewhere everyone looks, probably the most high-traffic area in the house. (Well, next to the bathroom mirror maybe. Four women in my house. Four.) Pre-schedule “schedule” was hubs telling me what I had to do that day on my way out the door.  I think his rationale was that I wouldn’t have time to think, therefore wouldn’t have time to complain and sulk.  The reality is, is I seem to do better when I know what I have to do. Likewise, I seem to enjoy rest days more when I know when to expect them.  My rest days have shifted to actual days, rather than whatever day I didn’t fit in a run.

-Everyone else knows what to expect.  Like I mentioned, my schedule is up for everyone to see.  So I have everyone in my house (everyone who can read, that is) to answer to.  When your eight year old daughter asks you if you’ve run your scheduled six miler today, you’ll be surprised how much it feels like being called on by the teacher when you weren’t paying attention.  You just want to give the right answer. Guilt can be a powerful motivator.

-You have more help.  When there is a set-in-stone (or set-in-copy paper) running schedule, everyone can help you!  Maybe your mom says she’ll keep your kids an extra hour in the afternoon so you can get to the gym.  Maybe your kids fold the towels so you can get your butt out the door without having something nagging in the back of your mind.  Maybe your husband springs for a part-time housekeeper when he realizes how much work Cinderella has to get done before taking her glass running shoes to the half-marathon ball…just maybe 😉

-Satisfaction of a job well done.  No, really.  I have a big, fat, red Sharpie on the window sill next to my schedule.  I happily mark each day I complete with a big, fat, red X.  It’s so rewarding to actually see all of the progress I’ve made every time I walk out the door.  Its equally motivating to get my butt into gear when I notice a few of the days are NOT crossed off (hey, you can’t expect perfection!)  The fact that visitors will also see how hard I’ve been working is just a bonus.

So anyone who needs an extra little something to add to their running regimen, I would definitely suggest a running schedule.  My runs are easier, my times are better, and I’ve actually enjoyed more time working out than I used to.

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Up and running

I’m still relatively new at this ‘running lifestyle.’  I don’t know much, and I continue to learn as I go.  I do know you’re supposed to take a little time off after a long distance race, like a half-marathon.  I also know that a little time off probably isn’t three weeks and four days.
Lacing back up has been nagging in the back of my mind for the better part of, well, three weeks and four days.  I have have have to start training again because a very close friend convinced me to sign up for another half-marathon…thanks Amanda.
Amanda asked me to do a race with her a few months back, so I suggested she find one around her neck of the woods (she lives about 3 hours from me) on a Sunday.  That way I could drive up Saturday and stay the night and we could spend some time together.  It sounded like fun.  A 5 or maybe a 10k.  She sends me a link to the Towpath Trilogy  and up pops the info for a 10k. Great! She wants to do a 10k! I can do a 10k with her.  That’ll be fun!  Except she doesn’t want to do the 10k.  Amanda-the-overachiever wants to do the half-marathon.
So, I’ve been slacking and I have another half-marathon approaching mid-October.  I don’t know why it’s been harder to get up-and-running after a running milestone, but it really, really is!  I’ve been dragging my feet when I should be running with them.  But here’s what happened:
First it was because I was going to Florida. I took a much-needed mini trip to Florida with my mom and sisters to relax and meet a close friend’s brand-new baby girl.  When my husband asked if I packed my running sneakers, I laughed at him.  “Of course not! I’ll pick back up when I get home.”
He brought up the fact that Florida is warm and flat.  Ideal running conditions.  Except I didn’t know the neighborhood well.  Does he want me to get lost?  Mugged?  I think not.
I get home and have the post-vacation laundry to tackle.  Not to mention putting the house back together after leaving my husband and two older girls there unsupervised.  That took at least two days.
Then there were the shoes.  See, I promised myself a new pair of running shoes after my half-marathon.  I hadn’t been to the store yet, and I can’t possibly run in the same shoes.  Again.
Even I know that’s a stretch.  It’s unreasonable to think that I actually won’t run until I get a new pair of shoes.  I may be a bit of a diva, but I’m not that bad.  Ok, Ok, I’ll go.  Tomorrow.
But look, it’s snowing!  After that Polar Bear Series of races running in the snow and cold is really leaving a bad taste in my mouth.  I can’t go run in the snow.  Tomorrow, again.
I set my alarm for 5am.  I am going to do this.  I am going to get up early and run.  I’ll go to the climate-controlled YMCA and hop on a damn treadmill and get it all out of the way.  I put all my running gear on the bathroom counter and crawl into bed.
3am, baby wakes up to nurse.  Perfect.  No, really.  The baby will eat now and I won’t have to pump or wake her to eat before I leave.  So that’s still the plan.  It’s about 3:30 and back to bed I go.  I’ll see you at 5am.
Thirty seconds later my alarm goes off.  Nope, not happening.  Deep down I pretty much knew it.  I am not the type of person to get up at the ass-crack of dark o’thirty.

So later that day I’m at work and I get a text message from Amanda.  Apparently she and MapMyRun had a bit of a falling out.  She tells me MapMyRun says we’ve (yes, she said the app spoke for the both of us) have been slacking.  She just had four impacted wisdom teeth pulled, which kept her from running for the better part of a week (yes, only one week.  See now why I call he an over-achiever?)  I, as I mentioned, had just gotten back from vacation, didn’t have the right shoes, and had my share of cold weather miles.  Well…MapMyRun noticed.  Like Big Brother.  So now we must get our asses into high gear.

I’m a little nervous though.  When Amanda decides to do something, like really decides, it’s game on.  We’re talking about a woman who graduated high school with honors and went on to college to earn her Master’s in Behavioral Neuroscience.  The college offered her the PhD program, but that didn’t quite pique her interest.  She decided instead to go to Law School and will graduate this May.  She’s not even 30 yet. She says she wants to bucket-list this half before she and her husband start a family.  But I know that once she’s raced this one she’ll sign up for another.

So this being my second half-marathon, I have a PR to beat.  The first one is cake.  No matter what the time, it’s your best time.  Now I have to beat that time, plus attempt to keep up with a crazy-smart, athletic, childless, determined girlfriend who will have nothing to do after taking The Bar Exam (and probably passing with flying colors) except train.  And whatever time she gets, it will be her best time.

Not me.

I have the pressure of trying to beat my last time.  While working full-time, and mommy-time, and late-night-feeding time…
So today I convinced my mom to keep my little one for an extra hour and I logged four miles after work.  No more excuses, right Amanda?

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Finishing 13.1- Why My Proudest Moment Wasn’t Completing the Race.

Well, I did it.  I finished my very first half-marathon.  One half of a distance that only .05% of people in the US will run.  Something that I’ve trained for and hoped for and fantasized about for months.

So how come I’m not happier?

I wish I could tell you how elated I was to cross that finish line, how excited and supportive the spectators were.  I wish I was sitting here trying to put into words the euphoria I felt finally accomplishing something it took me so long to do.

Instead, I sit here and I’m not.  They weren’t.  And sadly, I don’t have to.  Finishing this race didn’t do any of that for me.

Please don’t misunderstand.  I am so happy that I trained and was able to successfully complete a half-marathon.  I know I’m lucky to be able to have that opportunity, as many don’t.  I guess I just fell into the hype a little too far, expected a little too much.

Before the race

Before the race

The day began with an interesting conversation with my race chauffeur and husband en route to the event.  I asked him if he thought my completing a half-marathon was a bucket-list-worthy feat.  I asked because for some reason I wasn’t as excited as I hoped I would be.  The race took up a lot of my brain in the weeks leading up, but not from excitement. More so because I just kind of wanted it to be over.  The gun wasn’t set to go off until 1:00pm, and I had even heard myself explaining to a friend that I wish it was an earlier start time because I just wanted it done.  My husband agreed, that while completing a half-marathon is certainly nothing to sneeze at, it’s also hardly of American Ninja Warrior status.
We chatted, and I came to the realization that I already knew I could do it.  I wasn’t excited because I knew that I could run 13.1 miles already.  So why am I paying for it?  Why did I sign up for a race, in a town that I don’t live in, with a bunch of people I didn’t know and would probably never see again, to prove that I could do something that I already knew I could do?  A little late to be having an epiphany of sorts.

Fast-forward to the corral.  I feign the excitement that my fellow runners are feeling.  I make small talk with two older ladies about how the weather was supposed to be in the 40’s, and instead we get stuck with 20’s and a wind chill of 12. Yes, it sucks…I’m wearing four shirts…blah blah blah…lets get this over with.

Mile #1 comes quicker than I anticipate. I don’t have a Garmin, or a Tom Tom, or any other expensive gps device telling me how well (or not-so-well) I’m doing. I only have Nick, my Nike+ running app friend, who whispers in my ear that I am right on pace.  My ultimate goal for this race is under 2 hours.  My realistic goal (I know, I know, you’re not supposed to have a ‘back up’ goal) is closer to 2:10.

I get through miles 2 and 3.  I smell cinnamon.  No, that can’t be right.  Cinnamon?  Cinnamon…cinnamon….it’s coming in stronger.  I look to my left and realize I’m running by an LA Cinnamon Bread bakery.

Really?

I’d like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank the route planners of the Olean YMCA Polar Bear Half-Marathon for making the first quarter of the race way more difficult than it needed to be.  That’s psychological warfare in my book.  But moving on…

The race is pretty uneventful for the next few miles.  I follow “girl in the purple shirt” because I notice she has a gps watch and, as I mentioned, I do not.  I only have Nick.  And Nick is free.  And, no offense to Nick, but his unreliability is proof that you sometimes get what you pay for.

By mile 6 I’m (surprisingly) still right on pace!  Although, I’m skeptical.  Nick has a way of sometimes telling me what I want to hear.  I feel pretty good, so good, in fact, that I pass “girl in the purple shirt.”  I can see her looking at me as I pass.  Her face looks different from what I pictured it would.

Mile 8 finds me with mixed emotions.  I’m growing weary and my shin splints are starting to hurt.  The song Guardian comes on in my ears.  I know its kind of a strange song for a runner’s playlist, as it’s so slow.  Ballads don’t usually make for appropriate ‘pump you up’ songs.  But it’s one of my favorites.  It makes me think of my mom, and my girls.  I feel like Alanis Morisette wrote it with a mother’s love in mind.  Wow, I’m getting teary.  I’m crying.  All these endorphins and physical excursion must have raised my emotions right there to the top.  I am more than half way through a half-marathon and I’m crying because I miss my kids.  Does this happen to everybody?  I gather myself as “girl in purple shirt” passes me.  I follow.

I approach a water station at the turn-around point (have I mentioned how much I hate out-and-backs?)  I hadn’t taken any water at the first two stations I passed.  I didn’t have a portable hydration system while I trained, so I didn’t want to risk a cramp by drinking anything at any point that I wasn’t already used to.  I grab the cup offered to me by one of the younger volunteers.  I take a sip and realize its warm! It makes sense to give warm water on such a cold day, but I never really thought about it.  The warm water felt so good, I must have drank it a little to fast because then, I threw up.

I’m sorry if that’s too much information.  But it happened, so lets move past it.

I’m excited when I learn I’m at mile 10.  Half because I’m so close to the end.  And half because I honestly couldn’t remember whether I was at mile 8 or mile 9.  My brain is mush.  I eagerly search for another water station to rinse out my mouth.  I spot “girl in purple shirt.”  She’s walking.  I increase my speed to try to catch up, but she begins to run again.

Nick tells me I’m at mile 11.  He tells me my pace, but I can’t recall it even two seconds later.  It doesn’t matter.  He lies.  And even if he was telling the truth I’m too tired to do the math.  At this point all I can do is run.  I’ve been on, or at least close to, pace this whole race.  All I need to do is drag these two numb, heavy, tree-trunks of legs through the finish line.

Miles 11-13 were the longest miles of my entire running career.  My vain attempt to catch “girl in purple shirt” pulls me into the home stretch.  I see my husband.  When I spot him, I know the end is near.  Like a welcoming Grim Reaper of races.  Instead of a sickle he wields a camera- recording my finish to later explain how my form is lacking towards the end I’m sure.

I see the neon green of the race clock, but can’t make out the time.  Nick is useless to me at this point.  I squint to make out the numbers…I’m hoping for something resembling 2:10… I see them!

1:59:54 SON OF A BITCH!

The guy who’s truck the race clock is on and the guy who is cutting off the race chips both heard me and begin laughing.  I didn’t realize I had said that out loud, let alone shouted it out.  I’ve never hauled ass so fast in my life, trying my damnedest to make a sub-2 time.

I cross the finish line with an unofficial time of 2:00:16.  I can’t believe it.  Neither can my husband.  He gives me a huge bear hug and admits that I did better than even he expected.  Hearing him say he’s proud of me makes me happier than I can explain.  That’s where my euphoria is.  That’s where I feel over-the-moon excited.

Feeling good post-race

Feeling good post-race

I knew I could run 13.1 miles going into this race.  I also knew my husband knew I could do it.  But to push myself and hear him say he’s proud of me was one of my proudest moments.  As adults, we don’t get the opportunity to make people we love proud of us.  We don’t have spelling bees to win, or tests to ace, or new friends to invite to our lunch table. We have to work harder to find opportunities to prove ourselves to those we love.  Even if we know deep down that they’d love us anyway.

But that just makes those moments mean that much more.

 

 

 

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My First Half-Marathon Eve. 13.1 things running has taught me thus far…

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My ‘big race’ is tomorrow, my first ever half-marathon (dun dun duuuun!)  When I began this whole running nonsense two years ago my ultimate goal (or so I thought) was to run a 5k that summer, and continue to be able to run 3 miles a few times a week as a form of exercise.  If someone told me even one year ago that I’d eventually be running 13.1 miles I wouldn’t have believed them.

So I decided to share what I’ve learned.  Not in a “running has totally changed my life and here are the awe-inspiring and magical reasons” way.  But in the “I’m a non-athlete who picked this up one day and thought-‘what the Hell'” kind of way:

13.1 things I’ve learned about running

1. It gets easier.  It sounds caleche, but it does.  That’s not to say that running isn’t hard.  Because it’s that, too.  The part that gets easier isn’t the running itself.  Its coming to terms with the lifestyle change and making running part of your day.  Consistency creates habit.

2. Invest in good shoes.  With all of the time you’ll spend in them it’s a good idea to be mindful of the only things coming between your feet and the earth.

3. Sometimes running with someone is fun.  Sometimes, it’s not.  They say its good to have a running partner – someone who will hold you accountable on early mornings, someone to help pass the time on those long runs.  Sometimes, however, you just need to run alone.  To clear your head and get some space.

4. Keep a snack-size ziplock baggie in your race bag.  If it rains, you can put your phone or iPod in it to keep it from getting soaked.

5. If you spot a porta-potty with no line at a race, go.  Even if you don’t think you need to.

6. If you really want something, you’ll find time for it.  For a long time I didn’t think I had time to commit to something like a half-marathon training plan.  But it was important to me.  I have three kids who are involved in extracurricular activities (one is a nursing infant), a full-time job, and a household to attend to.  I’m not saying everyone should run, or even exercise for that matter.  But don’t use lack of time as an excuse.  Because it’s not.  If you don’t want to exercise then own up to it.  I swear if I hear one more person say something like “Oh, you run? I wish I had time to run!” I’m going to smack them.

7. Don’t compare yourself to anyone but yourself.  You’re doing this for you.  Unless you are getting paid to run, you don’t have to concern yourself with how anyone else is doing. It’s none of your business.  There will probably always be someone in front of you…and there will probably always be someone behind you.  Run your own race.

8. Runners are nice people.  Well, generally speaking.  I’m sure there are also some real ass hole runners out there.  For the most part, I’ve only come across some super sweet people who only want to help.  Even the elite runners who finish the race way ahead of anyone else and run the course backwards as their cool down totally rock.  During a 15k I ran while I was pregnant with my third child I found myself way behind the pack.  There were only about 50 people racing to begin with, and my extra weight and shin splints kept me way, way behind everyone else.  Like, folding up the water station tables behind.  So behind that I didn’t see another runner for miles.  I turned a corner and one of the first finishers saw me struggling and ran with me! This total stranger who was jogging towards me just did a complete 180 to run beside me for a while.  There were no words exchanged, and there didn’t need to be.  I still have no idea who he was.  It was an awesome example of kindness.

9. Out-and-backs suck.  Personally, I hate them.  I would much rather run a loop, where the scenery is constantly changing and you don’t have to awkwardly run past everyone ahead of you, and then everyone behind you. Maybe I’m over thinking it, but I never know what to do.  Do I wave?  But if I wave to that guy, I have to wave to the guy behind him.  And then that lady.  There’s a whole line of them and I need my arms for running….

10.  Running sounds a lot sexier than it looks.  But then again, thats true of dancing for me, also.  So maybe thats more of a personal issue.

11. When you work hard, you do sweat. You don’t ‘glow,’ or ‘sparkle.’  You sweat.  Like a hog.  And you’ll smell like one, too.  Speaking of hogs, you’ll start to eat like one.

12. I’m pretty sure the race t-shirts are 80% of the reason I sign up for races.  I didn’t realize this until I couldn’t commit to the St. Patrick’s Dash of 2012 until the day of the race (I had just found out I was pregnant and wasn’t sure if I could stomach a race -literally).  That means I didn’t get a race t-shirt.  I spent the entire 3 mile run totally bummed out.

13. I constantly hear people advise runners to ‘listen to their body.’  Instead, try talking to it. Running, like most things in life, is mental.  I’ve learned that my brain will give up long before my body will.  If I were to only listen to my body there’s no way I’d be running 13 miles tomorrow.  I would have given up too many times, many of them right smack in the middle of a race.  Remind yourself that you are capable of much more than you realize.

.1. If you think you need a way to “force” yourself to train for a race, sign up and pay for one.  If you still need an extra push, post your intended race on Facebook.

So there you have it.  I hope someone somewhere picks something up out of all that running randomness.
As for me, am I ready?  I guess we’ll find out.  I haven’t run 13.1 miles before – but it shouldn’t be that bad.  After all, when you break it all down into numbers a half-marathon is only a 5k with a 10-mile warm-up 😉

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You Know You’re A “Mother Runner” When…

While out on a 6-miler yesterday, I began to think about my to-do list.  Moms know the kind, the one that never seems to end.  The list in which if you actually wrote down everything that needed to be done, if you could even remember everything, would probably circle the earth a total of three times.  And by the time it was complete the first mile of tasks would need to be done again.
For the first time in my running-while-being-someone’s-mother career I somehow didn’t feel much guilt over taking an hour (55 minutes and 1 second, to be exact) to go out and run.  If you’ve been reading along you know how uncooperative the weather has been here in WNY.  I really didn’t want to waste a 50 degree day to laundry.
I actually found myself chuckling over all the things I realize that “Mother Runners” have to deal with that our childless counterparts and runner-less mommas simply don’t.  I thought it would be fun to devise a list of these, because if we can’t find humor in the things we can’t control, we will go slowly insane.

You know you’re a “Mother Runner” when: 
– Simultaneously juggling laundry, dinner, homework and baths seems easier than finding time for two-mile speed work.
– Your three-year-old notices you haven’t been to the gym today and asks you when you are gong to “get your run in.”
– When you gather a load of laundry to throw in quickly and it consists of all your compression capris, t-shirts, sports bras…and 2 pair of each of the kids’ underwear and one work-outfit for the hubs.
– Your running schedule revolves around the last time you nursed the baby, or pumped.
– Your children know every YMCA Childcare staff member by name, the time of day they are working, and are the only children not screaming when you drop them off.
– You go through more Body Glide than KY Jelly.
– You always know which side of any given street has the fewest bumps, tree roots, and cracks.  To avoid jostling a stroller and waking a sleeping baby.
– Speaking of strollers, your jogging stroller is always in the back of the minivan in case the opportunity arises for an impromptu run.
– Everyone in the family comes to you when they’re in need of a safety-pin.
– Your bumper stickers read as follows: “My Child Is An Honor Student” next to “My Other Car Is A Pair Of Running Shoes,” “13.1,” “26.2”
– You’re not surprised when the song A Whole New World comes up on your shuffled playlist.
– You sometimes sleep in your sports bra.  One less thing to worry about at Dark O’Thirty.
-You always have chocolate milk in the fridge…and the kids know its not for them.
– Your kid comes home from school with a birthday invitation, and your first instinct is to look at the calendar to figure out which race it will interfere with.

Feel free to respond with more!

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A Story of Why Spring in WNY Stinks. Literally AND Figuratively.

So, I’m set (kind of) to run my first half-marathon in nine short days. Signing up for an early springtime half wasn’t my best idea.  Maybe it was the hormone crash in the weeks after giving birth.  Maybe it was the lack of sleep paired with the lack of caffeine.  Maybe it was the dangerously easy access to buffalorunners.com and a credit card paired with a rare instance of a quiet telephone at work.  Whatever it was, it was a stupid idea and I don’t recommend it. Here’s why:

I thought that signing up for this race series would put me on the fast track to, well, becoming fast.  On the track.  Knowing that guilt would force me to train and show up for races that I already paid for seemed like a great plan.  Yes, the races would be cold.  Yes, I hate the cold.  But knowing that I’d have to put up with the cold for, at most, 6.2 miles, didn’t seem that bad.  The 10k was the second to last race, I compleated it on March 2nd.  I knew there was a good chance it would still be chilly then.  Plus I know from experience the cold makes me run faster.

“The half-marathon isn’t until March 23rd!”  I told myself.  “March 23rd is spring! And springtime is warm.”

Maybe in other parts of the country, but not in Western New York.

I’m not stupid.  I’ve lived here all of my life.  I know that the winters are brutal and slow to turn to spring and it stinks. It stinks that I’m so excited at the first sign of melting snow, just to be disappointed when the cold returns. That said, I thought I’d have at least a handful of outside runs before this soon to my half…and the only one I did get in on Tuesday stunk.  Literally stunk. 

I went my usual course, down my trafficked road where I had to run around and jump over leftover slush and puddles caused by slowly melting snow.  I got further into town, where the roads are more heavily populated, and the smell hit me.  Garbage.  I found myself now dodging piles and piles of the stuff.  Fast food trash, piles of wet cigarette butts and dog poo.  Everything that was once hidden by the glistening snow now exposed, and you didn’t have to see it to know it was there.  I was in awe at how nice the warm breeze felt on my forehead and how insulting it was on the eyes and nose.

When I got home that evening I took solace in the idea that maybe I would get another run outside later in the week.  After all, the weather did seem to be warming up.  The more warm days in a row, the more people would (hopefully) be cleaning up, and the less puddles, slush, and dirty snow I’d have to run around.  But of course that evening we get hit with a blizzard warning.  Oh, and school gets cancelled the following day due to sub-zero temperatures. It remains in the twenties the following days, and by today (Friday) we’re back up to 45 balmy degrees.

Western New York running means you have to be flexible.  You will be bored to death after ten or 11 miles on the treadmill.  Hoping that no one has their name on the sign up sheet when they fill up as you hit “stop” and then “quick start” since they only let you run them for an hour at a time.  Western New York running means you’ll have to be prepared for warm, then cold, then warm again.  Sometimes on the same run.  Sometimes with rain.  That turns to hail.  That turns to blistering sun so hot it causes you to forfeit your sweatshirt on the side of the road, hoping it will be there in an hour when you can drive by and retrieve it.  Running in Western New York is the only place I’ve ever heard of where you can run through all four seasons in one short week.

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Alyssa vs. Girl Scout Cookies

I would LOVE to be one of those people who can make comments like “Today was a good day because I ran.”
I am not one of those people.  And if I was, today was not that day.
My day started innocently enough.  With daylight savings in mind, I decided to put a sign on my bedroom door that read:

“Unless you are *bleeding* do not open this door until the clock on the TV reads 8:00”

And it would have worked like a charm, too, if my older girls didn’t instead find the marker and proceed to change the time on the note.  Its ok though, the littlest was awake anyway at that point, ready to nurse.

So we were up, we go to church, we go to breakfast, we come home.  A normal enough day until I got the call.
It was a friend of mine, LeighAnne.  I had ordered cookies from her girl scout.  Only four boxes. Only thin mints and peanut butter patties. Now if only I could leave them alone. Only, I couldn’t.

So my husband, Bill, opens the first box of thin mints.  I take a couple while I’m folding laundry.  I get up and take a couple more.  And a couple more.  Then, conclude I’m not running today.  I look at Bill as I reach for a couple more cookies and I see that look on his face. A look similar to  that of Bruce Banner’s right before he becomes the Incredible Hulk.
Look at that…I guess I AM running today.
So I put my cookies back, finish up the laundry, and go upstairs to change.

I get to the Y and I run.  I was set to do about ten miles, but failed.  I instead stopped at 6.5 and cursed those damn girl scout cookies.  While I knew that wasn’t an excuse, it sure sounded good to me.  I finish my cool down, get into my mini-van, and drive home.  There, I find the Hulk, who wonders why I’m home so early.  I explain my story, mentioning how it was hot as balls at a packed gym where I had to wait for a treadmill and just lost my motivaition.
I then had to explain where the term “hot as balls” came from to my seven year old.  (“meatballs” was the answer, for those of you wondering…now I just have to wait for the phone call from her school.)
My husband leaves for work and I’m left home alone.  The soreness in my legs mocks how I didn’t run as long as I should have.  I attempt to make dinner- my four year old wants oatmeal.  My seven year old wants pizza rolls.  Both of them want jelly beans.  I just want to sit down, but the baby wants to nurse again.
Whatever- My kids ate oatmeal, pizza rolls, and jelly beans for dinner.  “Whats the big deal?” I justify to myself…”They get vitamins every night anyway.
Then the whole daylight savings thing hits me again- It was still so light outside I didn’t realize how late it was.  The girls still need baths and have to get to bed at a “school-night” bedtime.  My four year old is pissed, and I cant blame her.  For the last six months she has been going to bed when it’s dark outside.  Now the mean mommy is making her go to bed while it’s still light out.  The debate about why the sun wants to stay out longer bleeds 15 minutes into her bedtime.  Now my oldest is irritated, for good reason.  Her sister got to stay up 15 minutes later.  Why did we teach them to tell time, anyway?
She eventually goes to bed.  I nurse the baby to get her to sleep (I’ll see her again at about 2am)

My day ends very much like it began.  I sit down with a box of girl scout cookies that my husband has yet to find out that I opened, and a cup of coffee that I wish didn’t have to be decaf- wanting to throat-punch Benjamin Franklin for his ‘brilliant’ idea of daylight savings time.

But today was a good day, because I ran….meh.

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