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mother. marathoner. blogger. reader.

Monday, September 30, 2013

a dream postponed

On Saturday, I was supposed to run my first ultramarathon - a 50k.

Instead, I ran 9 miles with my running partner through the country. I took my children to get their pictures taken and then we went to Costco.

Not so much running through the woods for 6 or 7 hours.

It's hard to postpone a dream. But that's just what I've done; I've postponed it. I haven't forgotten it, or lost it, or shelved it forever.

September 28, 2013 may not have been my ultramarathon debut but I am certain that it will happen. At some point, I will run an insane amount of miles in one day and live to brag about it, I might even include some fabulous, sweaty, post race pictures for your viewing pleasure.

In a strange, demented, way I am almost grateful for this knee injury. Before this, I took running for granted. I took for granted my ability to walk out my front door and engage in some much needed free therapy. To pound  the pavement, shake the yuckiness out of my muscles, clear my head, and become a better version of myself.

Now, every run is a gift. Each mile is a reminder that I am blessed. Missing a race is sad and disappointing but right now, running pain free is enough.

Have you had to postpone a goal, a race, or a dream due to injury? How did you handle it?

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Profiles of Inspirational Women: Shelley

My friend Shelley is cool. Way cooler then me. She is a great writer, well read, intelligent, and kind. She runs like a billion miles a month, often pushing her two adorable boys in a stroller. She taught body pump practically until she delivered her second son. Yeah, she needs an umbrella because I sweat her so much.

She has graciously agreed to answer a few questions; sharing with us how she balances motherhood and living an active lifestyle.

Read. Get inspired. Get moving!  

My Story: I started running in 9th grade when my history teacher, who was also the track coach encouraged me to give hurdles a shot. I was a pretty serious ballet dancer, which he knew, and he thought my flexibility would be a good fit for the hurdles. I gave it a shot, and ran for two years until I broke my foot on a hurdle at a regional track meet. I didn't pick running up again until my freshman year in college where I was a walk on to the track team. I ran for two years in college, saw improvement in my times but after a semester in London and a series of injuries, called track quits during my junior year. I continued to run for fun, won a couple of 5k's and then the marathon bug bit hard my senior year of college. I ran with my best friend and we spent hours training together. One marathon turned into two, then a 50k, then a Boston qualifier and Boston itself. I took about six months off after I got married due to injury. After recovering from a nasty case of plantar fasciitis, my husband and I trained for a marathon together. That marathon was in 2006 and since then I've done a couple longer races including an attempt at 50 miles, a 50k and a really fun 12 hour race.

What Running Means to Me: I didn't really start distance running until my senior year of college. A handful of 5k's preceded my marathon days but as a former sprinter, running really long distances was intimidating. After college, running became a way for me to really connect with my best friend. We were living about an hour apart but would pick a race every 6 months to a year to run together. We met as often as we could for training runs. When I moved even further away we decided to try out a 50 miler. We called each other during long runs and enjoyed the day of the race together. It was a great way to stay connected. I ran with her after she had her kids, she ran with me after my first child was born. For me running is a way to stay connected to her as well as a way to keep my sanity. I am a better person when I run. It helps me keep a clear head, talk through life situations with a running partner or through praying. I love the time outside, the peacefulness of the sound of my shoes hitting the pavement and the quiet of the early morning.

Making it a Priority with Two Little Guys: I ran until about 30 weeks while pregnant with my first, although never more than 3 or 4 miles at a time. I ran until 40 weeks 3 days while pregnant with #2 and kept up 25-30 miles a week until near the end. Now that they are both a huge part of my life, running is a bit more of a challenge. I have two options: wake up when it is dark and run while my entire house is quiet or push both in the double stroller. I try to take option #1 as much as possible but with a little guy who doesn't always (or ever) sleep through the night, I sometimes hit the snooze and sleep in. It means pushing a lot of kid weight but, my two year old LOVES heading out for a run--especially if it means we will stop at the playground or Starbucks. My husband also likes to exercise, so he is encouraging and knows it is necessary for me to run!

Obstacles: My biggest obstacle right now is a lack of sleep. The lack of sleep leads to tired legs which leads to a bit of discouragement when I remember the runner I used to be. On those sleepy days, I leave my watch behind and focus on the fact that I am doing something that helps me be a healthier, happier person. Another obstacle is injury. Right now I am working through my first injury in eight years. A combination of running with a stroller and running on tired legs has contributed to the injury but each day I run is a blessing and I am trying to be responsible as I ice, stretch and rest when needed.

Advice: Get your spouse on board! Having a husband who understands that I like to run is a huge blessing. If he didn't encourage me to get out the door on some days, I don't know if I would. Exercise with your kids if you have to but do it as much as you can without them. I like getting up early to run because it gives me a little break as a stay at home mom. (If you do get up early have everything ready the night before, right down to having your shoes untied--it makes it a little easier). It allows me to have a few minutes before I am wiping faces, nursing a baby and changing diapers. Find a running partner or group that can hold you accountable and brag about your running on Facebook, a blog, or twitter. When I was pregnant I shamelessly posted almost every workout on Facebook through daily mile. Having people comment and encourage me online was a huge boost.

Goals: At the moment, my goals are mostly mileage related. This year I want to run 1250 miles, next year 1500. I would love to run a 1:40 half marathon but that might be a couple of years off as we look to add another member to our family in the next two years. I like to try to run between 30-35 miles per week as a number to shoot for and by the end of the year would like to be at 40. Eventually I want to work on my speed again, but right now my main goal is to simply run and enjoy myself. I am doing a 15 mile race this fall with my dear friend but don't have any real time goals. I love running for the sake of running, getting faster, doing long races, and sharing the activity with others are icing on the cake.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

living on the edge

Motherhood has been getting the best of me recently.

My daughter, who I thought was potty trained, has been wetting her bed at night. Last night was the 4th night in a week and at 4:30 am, with my alarm scheduled to go off at 5:20, I was less then pleased. Then she started singing. A rather loud and off key rendition of "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star". When my husband's alarm went off at 5, I gave up and went for a run.

There's been a lot of giving up.

Yesterday she declared she was hungry then couldn't decide what she wanted. Then she didn't want cold yogurt which, of course, makes perfect sense because she's only been eating cold yogurt EVERYDAY SINCE SHE WAS 7 MONTHS OLD! Then she decided she wanted PB&J but only if I made it. Daddy wasn't allowed to do it. My kind husband took one look at me and decided I probably shouldn't be anywhere near a knife, butter or otherwise, and made the sandwich. He left it in the kitchen and I delivered it. After that she was all smiles, butterflies, and unicorns. By then my nerves were shot and I needed a nap. and chocolate. lots of chocolate.

I think I need to stop praying for patience because God is definitely using E to test my resolve. I'm not sure that's theologically sound but I'm living on the edge here, people, and it's not the edge of glory like Lady GaGa is always going on about.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

such a bad blogger...

 Ok friends. I owe you an apology. I've been a HUGE blogging slacker. 

I don't have any excuses, well at least not any good ones.

School has started and we've been getting back into our respective schedules. W started kindergarten and it's been an adjustment for everyone to have him gone all day. I feel like I never see him anymore. He's having a blast though and has already won his teacher's heart.

I may not be running in the 50k next week but I have been running. For the last two weeks I've been back to my 4 day a week running schedule. I'm not back to my pre-knee drama mileage but I'm getting there. I ran 11 miles this morning with my running partner and the knee cooperated.

You're such a good knee, yes you are.

Today's run gave me the confidence that the half marathon I have scheduled for October is doable. It feels good to be back on the road, relatively pain free, and getting my miles in.

I am a happy runner girl.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Recipe Review: Oatmeal Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

I have a friend, Becca, who makes me yummy things to eat. When we're together, I can always count on a cookie, a cake, or a muffin to make an appearance - oh and chocolate chips pancakes and chewy bacon.

I am a lucky girl.

This past visit, I remembered to ask for (and did not lose) the recipe for these fabulous little muffins that I woke up to one morning. Becca kindly agreed to let me share this recipe with you because everyone needs a little chocolate banana goodness in their lives.  She's all about helping.

Becca's Oatmeal Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

- 3 large very ripe bananas, mashed
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/3 cup natural applesauce
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsps. baking powder
- 1 cup AP flour (or 1/2 AP, 1/2 whole wheat)
- 1/2 cup Oatmeal
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 3/4 cup chocolate chips

Mash bananas in a large bowl. Add sugar and mix until well blended. Add in the egg and applesauce and beat together.
Without stirring, add the dry ingredients to the bowl. Once they are added, stir the dry ingredients a bit, then incorporate into the wet ingredients. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Spoon into well greased medium sized muffin tins or tins lined with liners.
Bake for 20-25 minutes @ 350 degrees.
*if you can resist the temptation, let them cool completely before eating. Otherwise, they tend to stick to the liners - unless you like licking muffin liners and well then... have fun!

this is about as pretty as my food pictures will ever get
 I made 24 on Thursday. Today is Saturday and there are 5 left. Based on that information, I'll let you be the judge of whether or not they are tasty.