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mother. marathoner. blogger. reader.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

the quest continues

On Thursday morning, I signed up for another marathon.

"Dear Lauren,
Congratulations! You are now registered for Callaway Gardens Marathon."
That, in of itself, is not surprising.  

What is surprising is that this particular marathon is in about 5 weeks. 


5 weeks. 


The reality is that if I want to be an awesome Fifty State Marathon person, I need to start doing crazy things like running marathons 5 weeks apart and running 3 marathons in a year.

So on January 25th, I'll be running in the Callaway Gardens Marathon and knocking another state off my list. 

Since this is a whole new level of insanity for me, I don't really know what I'm doing in terms of training. I'm using Hal Higdon's 4 week multiple marathon training schedule and repeating one of the middle weeks for the 5th week. 

I'm adding another day of running, going from 4 days to 5 and hoping that I don't fall down into a tired, whiny, crying mess. I probably will cry at some point but that's ok - if running a whole bunch of marathons was easy everyone would do it.    

I'm nervous. I'm excited. and I'm already tired. This is going to be awesome. 

Friday, December 19, 2014

happiness is....

1 day ago, our car came back. 

13+ hours later, we pulled into an icy driveway.  

Christmas cookies are being decorated by little hands.

Life is good.

Thank you Lord for the gift of your Son.

Please help us to remember that He is indeed the Reason for the Season. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Christmas is the season for.... waiting?

I'm currently going through an exercise in patience.

Two days after Thanksgiving our car broke down. The diagnosis: a new transmission. It's been 16 days and we still have no car.

6 days ago, my family was supposed to drive to Alabama to watch me cross my 6th marathon finish line.

5 days ago, we were supposed to drive to Ohio to visit my best friend and her beautiful family.

3 days ago, I was supposed to see White Christmas, with my best friend in tow, on the big screen. Something that I was ridiculously and completely excited about.

Yesterday, we were planning on heading to my inlaws to decorate Christmas cookies and spend time with people we love.

Instead, we're here. Waiting.

(at this point I could/should write a post about Advent and how God is using this situation to teach me about patiently waiting for the Savior but right now my heart just isn't in it #truth)

My poor children are confused. We've stopped telling them anything and vaguely mention that we're going on a "long trip" at some point. Everyday, I have to send "we're still here" update texts to anxious grandparents.

I've been angry. I've been sad. I've been in denial. Right now I'm somewhere between all three. As I told my Dad, through clenched teeth and tears, I just want to go home.

I'm trying hard to trust the process. To believe that we're still here for a reason. I'm trying to listen to Christmas music and sing along with a cheerful heart. To watch A Charlie Brown Christmas with my kids and laugh when Lucy threatens to slug Snoopy.

Ultimately, I will get home for Christmas, even if I have to hitchhike up the Eastern seaboard, because no one should have to celebrate Jesus' birthday without their family.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Race Report: Nike Rocket City Marathon

Marathon #6 completed!

On Saturday, 12/13/14, my running partner and I ran The Rocket City Marathon in Huntsville, Alabama. 

It was awesome.

First and foremost, I am ridiculously proud of this girl ----> (the one in the Dunkin Donuts hat)

She completely, totally, and utterly rocked her first marathon. She never gave up. She never complained and RAN THE ENTIRE WAY. It was awesome to share this experience with her and reminded me how amazing long distance running can be.

As for me, I enjoyed every moment of this race. The course was pancake flat and part of it ran through the US Space & Science Center: giant rockets, space shuttles - so cool. There was no half attached to this race so the course and support were super marathoner friendly with ample port a potties and aid stations.

I ran this race in honor of my mother in law, Robin, who was diagnosed with breast cancer this summer. Thanks to some very generous people, I was able to reach my fundraising goal for the American Cancer Society. For race day, I reached out to family & friends on Facebook and asked them for the names of their loved ones to wear on my shirt. It was a honor to carry these names with me for 26.2 miles. 

I also ran this race in honor of my IRun4 buddy, Joshy. He is an amazing boy who has undergone, and continues to experience, physical pain and various limitations. It has been a boon to share this experience with him and his amazing Mom. They have been incredibly supportive and encouraging and I love sharing my miles with him.

 It's hard to believe I have run 6 marathons. I remember how far fetched and daunting the idea of running a marathon was. Who am I kidding? It still is! But I can genuinely say I enjoy the process. I feel blessed to have a family that supports my running and racing and a body that keeps putting one foot in front of the other.

Marathon #7 is the Pittsburg Marathon on 5/3/2015!    

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Running for the Future

My mother-in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer over the summer. She is the 4th woman in her family to battle this disease. Her mother and niece are survivors and her sister lost her fight. The clock has started for my daughter and I don't think I will ever hear it stop ticking. 

Being 11 hours away, I feel helpless. I can't sit next to my amazing mother during treatments, make her dinners, or clean her house. I can call, text, send her funny pictures of my kids but I can't be THERE.

and it's killing me.

But I can run and although there are many charities near and dear to my heart, I have never ran a marathon as a fundraiser. Basically, I hate asking people for money. Even if it's for a good cause.
Well, times they are a changin'.

On December 13, 2014, I will be my running my 6th marathon, the Rocket City Marathon, in Huntsville, AL. I will be running to raise money for the American Cancer Society in the hopes that someday our mothers, sisters, aunts, and daughters will be free from this disease.

I ask you to support me, foremost, in prayer. This will be an emotional race for me. I'm not just running it for myself but for my family. I also covet your prayers for my mom, Robin, as she endures months of treatment and uncertainty. In addition, a dear friend of mine, Tom, was also recently diagnosed with cancer and is also facing treatment. Some of you or someone you love may have been given this life changing diagnosis - please know that even if I don't know their name, I am praying for them. Praying for God's strength, wisdom, and love during this difficult trial.

Secondly, I ask that you would consider donating. $1 a mile. $5 a mile. Pick a dollar amount, 1-26, and I will pray for you during that mile. Every dollar counts towards defeating this disease. 
I have created a fundraising page, http://main.acsevents.org/goto/LJZP, where you can easily donate online. 

Thank you for you support, prayers, and love. Together we can make a difference.    

Monday, September 1, 2014

26.2 Training: Week 3

Week 3 is all about me being a wuss. I, unfortunately, live in a town where dog owners feel it unnecessary to leash their pets. Some dogs bark, some bark and chase, while others just come up from behind you and scare the ever living day lights out of you. Which is what happened to me on Wednesday.

I was running along, minding my own business, when all of the sudden there was a dog. I've seen this dog before and while he's not particularly aggresive, he is quite persistent. I was afraid he would continue to follow me and the uncertainty of his behavior is what unnerved me the most.

After I stopped semi hyperventilating, I firmly told him (using my best stern mommy voice) to go home and started to walk slowly backwards. After a minute or two, he lost interest and bounded back up the hill towards, what I'm assuming, is his home.

You know what aggravated me the most about the whole incident? The distance I lost; having to walk just in case he decided he wanted to chase me again.


I spent the rest of the run composing an angry letter to the dog owners of my town that I would never have the guts to actually send.

Thankfully, the rest of the week was uneventful. Saturday's long run of 6 miles went well and gave me a much needed ego boost.

This week the mileage increases, including a double digit long run. Hold onto your hats, things are starting to heat up!

Week 4
Tuesday: 3
Wednesday: 6
Thursday: 3
Saturday: 11

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

26.2 Training: Week 2

I'm sorry this is a little late. I was feeling particularly lazy after Saturday's long run that took place in a billion percent humidity and I've been reading a string of good books recently so I got distracted.

A good book can do that.

Anyhoo, week 2 went well. I bumped, or should I say ran into, my running partner on Tuesday so that was a nice surprise. Wednesday's run was hot as was the rest of my runs last week. I would literally give a toe not to have to run in the heat. I just keep telling myself I am going to be super fast when the weather cools down and I am SO thankful this marathon is in December.

Week 3 is a step down week. I LOVE step down weeks with a passion that is borderline scary. There is nothing that can lift you out of a marathon training fog like a step down week. My rookie marathon training buddy showed some signs of disappointment when she realized we were only running 6 miles for our long run this week. Just wait, I told her. Just wait and you will fall in love with step down weeks too.

Week 3
Monday: 3 mi
Wednesday: 5 mi
Thursday:3 mi
Saturday: 6 mi

Want more?  Week 1 Recap

Monday, August 25, 2014


A kind neighbor that we don't know very well stopped by my house today to offer me some vegetables from her garden. My kids, unknowingly to me, answered the door. At that moment, G started screaming. I scooped him up off the changing pad, in just his diaper, and made my way past the swim floaties, puddle jumper, skateboard, empty box, and freestanding fan that have found a home in my hallway. I avoided the backpacks and the sneakers that were abandoned the second their owners came through the door. I glanced at the table that still had the remains of lunch and a Nalgene bottle serving as a vase for a beloved sunflower.

When I finally made it to the door, I looked down and realized I was wearing the same clothes I had worn to the gym earlier that morning. Which means I smelled the same as I had when I left the gym that morning.

All I kept thinking as this wonderful woman was telling me about her bountiful garden was "please don't look past me into my house. Please don't look into the pit of despair."

Being a stay-at-home mom can be awesome. It can also set you up for a lot of guilt and unreasonable expectations. It could stand to reason that if you're home all day, your house should be clean. Or atleast the spaces that neighbors can see if they peer over your shoulder while standing in the doorway.

By 4:00 p.m. beds should be made, laundry that was washed on Saturday should be put away, and you should know what your family is having for dinner.

That was not the case today.

And it's not because I had an overwhelming or stressful day. The kids were relatively well behaved, although admittedly a tad bit eager to bring every book, car, and baby doll into the living room.

The truth of the matter is that I started reading a book after lunch and other then putting the girls down for rest, I did nothing else but read. And you know what? It was a good book. And after I finished it it, I cuddled with my two youngest children, put the laundry away and cleaned up my living room.

The beds can wait until tomorrow.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

26.2 Training: Week 1

I have a selective memory when it comes to running marathons. When I sign up for one or start organizing a training plan, it seems exciting, fun, and even easy. Then it starts and I am quickly reminded that sometimes it is not fun and definitely not easy. Especially when training starts in August. In the South. 

Week 1 is done. It wasn't pretty. I can't seem to get comfortable or get settled in quickly enough. This morning it took 6 miles to find my groove, which is a shame because it was only an 8 mile run. 

There are a few things I need to work on including properly fueling during a run and stretching more regularly. I have a nagging soreness in my hip and a stiff toe joint situation going on with both my big toes. I'm such an old lady. 

I'm having those doubts that are common when you start training for a marathon. What if it never gets easier? Can I really do this? Do I even WANT to do this? Will I be ready? I actually had to stop and remind myself that I've felt this way before and still managed to cross the finish line. Then I invoked my mantra: "Trust the Training". I tell people all the time if you put in the miles, you will do it.

Time to take my own advice. 

Week 2 
Tuesday: 3 mi
Wednesday: 5mi
Thursday: 3 mi
Saturday: 9 mi

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

my kids.

Kids say the darnedest things. Here are a few gems from the last couple of DAYS (not weeks. DAYS.)

while watching the PGA Championship 
Me: did you just try to hit your sister with the remote control?
W: mmmm. I don't know.
Me: give to me.
W: but I want to fast forward! There are commercials and TALKING!
Me: little boys who hit their sisters with remote controls have to watch commercials.  

during bedtime prayers...
E: thank you God for pickles
W: (whispering to Seth) pickles? When did you have pickles?
E: (whispering to W) you didn't finish your dinner.

Turn around to see E with a pair of scissors about to cut her hair
Me: NO! NO! NO! We DONOT cut our hair. Paper! We only cut paper! 
E: but Ms. Monica uses scissors to cut hair.
Me: *deep breath* She went to school for that.

E: Mommy what are we having for dinner? 
Me: probably something you won't like. 
E: what is it? Tell me. 
Me: noodles. 
E: I don't like that!
Me: see? I told you.

Me: tomorrow we start swim class! 
E: but I don't want to drain!
Me: drain? You don't want to what?
E: drain! you know DIE! in the pool!
Me: do you mean drown? You don't want to drown in the pool?
E: yes! drain!

I don't know about you but I'm thankful school started today.

Monday, August 11, 2014

26.2: Number 6

Marathon training starts tomorrow!


I am actually that excited. I love training. I love having a schedule and counting down the weeks to race day.

This will be my 6th marathon but it will be chock full of firsts.

It will be my first marathon training and racing with a partner. I somehow managed to convince my running buddy, Austina, to join me in Huntsville this December. It will be her marathon debut and I can't wait to cross that finish line with her.

It will be my first time training and racing a long distance as a Mom of 3! I foresee many stroller runs in my future. It will also be my first time training and racing within a year of having a baby. G will be 9 months old on race day. Craziness.

Oh, and did I mention my husband is also training for a marathon? There's a whole lot of running going on in this house these days.

This marathon marks the start of my big push to get into the 50 States Marathon club. I need 10 states to join and I'm putting my head down to power through these last 5. I'm hoping to get Georgia, South Carolina, Louisiana, and Kentucky marked off within the next 2 years (and maybe a 50k somewhere in there but I'm not saying that out loud yet).

For this race, I'm using Hal Higdon's Novice II training schedule. I'm a big fan of Hal and have used his training plans for all my long distance races. I'm sticking with running 4 days a week and cross training/strength training twice a week. I'm also hoping to make yoga a more regular thing which if you know me at all is something I say all the time but never actually do. However, as I get older (and more creaky), I appreciate the benefits that yoga provides. I need to make it more of priority. I also plan to drink my weight in chocolate milk and eat Fruit Smoothie Honey Stingers like they're going out of style. Yay for marathon training!

I'll be posting weekly updates on my training (if I don't fall sleep while typing) and the day to day goings on of a Mom training for a marathon.

I have big plans and I'm glad you'll be along for the ride!

Week 1:
Tuesday: 3mi
Wednesday: 5mi
Thursday: 3mi
Saturday: 8mi

Saturday, August 9, 2014

still here, still running

About a week after my last post, I packed up my car and left with my family for a 6 week, multi-state trip.

2,500 miles. In a car with three kids. I can now recite the Lego Movie by heart. Granted, I don't actually know what any of the characters look like because the DVD players are in the backseat but I got the dialogue on lockdown.

Did I mention the AC broke about three hours into leg #5? And then was supposedly fixed only to break again during the 14 hour trip back home? "Everything is awesome..." NOT.

*deep breath*

Despite the sweat and stress, we had a wonderful time. Any time spent with family is time well spent.

Somehow, among the merriment and pie eating, and bagel inhaling, and stuffing my face with pizza, I managed to run 156 miles. Including one 4 mile race to celebrate my 33rd birthday and our traditional lighthouse run with my husband.

Running is awesome.

Eating all my favorite things carb is awesome.

Being home, showering in my own shower, sleeping in my own bed, and wearing elastic pants because of said carb things is awesome.

Perhaps it's time to add a new movie to our repertoire.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

second sweats

There is a phenomena in running that my husband & I have dubbed the "second sweats".

Second sweats happens after you have already run and have already showered. You're nice and clean, smelling fresh like a daisy and then BAM! You're sweating. Your internal core temperature is rising with every passing second. That clean shirt you just put on? Soaked. Ladies, let's not even talk about your bra and underwear.

Second sweats makes me claustrophobic. The idea of even putting on clothes makes my skin crawl. However, since I'm not a nudist, I needed to find something that was loose, comfortable, and strong enough to stand up against the dreaded second sweats.

Enter the house coat.

White Stag Women's Snap Front Border Duster
*photo courtesy of Walmart.com*

I know, I know. Only grandmas wear house coats. Mine actually doesn't but that's because she is a hip chick. I am not a hip chick. I am a 32 year old, mother of 3, suffering from claustrophobia due to second sweats and I LOVE my house coat.

Now, the house coat doesn't eliminate the second sweats. It merely makes them a little more bearable. Cold showers help but the only way to avoid them it to take time after your run to FULLY cool down. Who has time for that? I do not. I will, therefore in the privacy of my own home, wear my house coat proudly while chanting "DOWN WITH THE SECOND SWEATS!" 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Race Report: Chick-fil-A 10k

I'm sorry that this race report is a little late. I've been unmotivated to do much these days except run and sit on my couch with a book. The baby is not sleeping through the night and while I am getting a decent amount of sleep, interrupted sleep is not my friend.

Enough about me. Onto the race!

I have nothing but good things to say about this latest race in the Chick-fil-A racing series. Registration was simple. The website was efficient, well organized, and most importantly, pretty to look at. The price, at $30, was at the top of my 10k scale but not overly outrageous.

The race itself was held in Anderson, S.C., with the start and finish in the same parking lot. There was ample parking, conveniently located steps from the finish line. It was a small race but had a great atmosphere. There were TONS of volunteers and everyone was upbeat and helpful.   

There were activities for kids, which as a running mother, is a huge plus. My kids weren't actually with me for this race but if they had been they would have been all over that bouncy house. There was great music playing and the announcer was doing his best to keep the smallish crowd involved.

I enjoyed the course. It wasn't too hilly or too flat. It would have been a bit of a nightmare if the sun had come out from behind the clouds but thankfully it was overcast, although a tad bit humid. The course was clearly marked and there were volunteers at every turn (of which there were quite a few) and Sherriff deputies at every street crossing.

My running partner and I BLEW AWAY our goals for this race. We came in at a blistering 1:06:17. She set a PR and I beat my own goal by 5 minutes.

Overall, it was a great first back to running after having a baby race. Low key, relaxing, and successful. I feel far more confident about training for the half I have scheduled for October. It's going to be a great racing season! 

Saturday, May 24, 2014


I ran a lot this week. 21 miles to be exact.

I also brought back #twoferthursdays - which I'm turning into a thing. Oh, the power of the hashtag. Admittedly, #twofertuesdays sounds better but I can't run twice on Tuesday and then again on Wednesday and Thursday - so #twoferthursdays it is.

In other news, my kids are out of school for the summer. Are these two things related? Definitely.

I got talked into running a 10k next week. Actually, all I got was a text and the next thing I know I was on the website registering. For a 10k. A 10k that takes place next week.

I ran 7 miles this morning so I know I can do it. It might take longer then I would like but I can get it done. I just have the first post baby race butterflies.

The fact that I'm even talking about running in a 10k race three months after having Baby G is insane. I can't say it enough (and I promise I'm almost done saying it) exercising while I was pregnant was the best. idea. EVER.

A race report will be forthcoming.

Monday, May 19, 2014


On May 13, 2014, 5 year-old Ben Sauer lost his battle with cancer.

I didn't know Ben personally. I graduated from college with his Mom, Mindy, but we were more of acquaintances then close friends. But his story, his family's story, dug its way into my heart and has not let go. 

Mindy's posts about her son's diagnosis, hospital stay, chemo treatments, and the eventual realization that he would not survive are poignant, heartbreaking, and gut wrenching. There have only been a few times in my life where the words of another person have had such a profound effect on me - this is one of them. 

Her faith in God and in His promises is HUGE. Not your everyday run of the mill let me go to church and sing the right songs and do the right things. No. Her faith allowed her to trust God with her son. Her baby. To know that God was walking and grieving alongside them. To believe that He would use this situation, through Ben, to bring glory to His name. 

And He did. 

Ben's story and the depth and strength of Mindy & Andy's faith has changed lives. 

It has changed mine. 

Her words, her absolute faith in the power of Christ, broke me. God used her, used Ben, used his battle with cancer to convict my heart. 

"God has assured me that His grace is sufficient. His grace is deeper. And His grace is powerful enough to carry me through. We just have to ask for it.
He doesn't supply all the grace we need at once. He gives us just enough to get through one day at a time. And in my case, one moment at a time.
I really wish we weren't in a position to discover just how deep the depths of His grace are. But we are finding them to be very deep. Very rich. And more than enough.
The road ahead is long. It is difficult. And God can't promise that we won't come across more difficulties along the way. In fact, He guarantees that we will. But He will supply the grace. My job is simply to obey. To rest in His strength. And to look for the ways He is trying to bless us through this storm.
I'm reminded of these verses:
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary
and burdened, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you and learn
from me, for I am gentle and humble
in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Matthew 11:28-30
Rest. I like the way that sounds.
Thank you, God, that your grace is deep enough to sustain us through even the dark times. We will continually try and rest in You. Please continue to mend our broken hearts as we mourn our loss. Remind us of your mercies. And that You have never - ever - not even once - failed us. Amen."
-Mindy Sauer

Those are words written by a woman who just buried her son. Hers is a faith that could move mountains. It is the type of faith that I want. A BIG, GINORMOUS faith that encompasses all aspects of my life. From the way I speak to myself internally, to the way I interact with my children, my husband, and the world. 

Thank you Mindy and Ben for reminding me that God is here. Waiting. Waiting for me to come to Him to receive healing, strength, or whatever else I might need.  

Thank you for sharing your son with us, for allowing us to come with you on this painful journey. You will never truly know how many lives you have impacted for the kingdom of God.

Rest in peace Ben.

If you would like to learn more about Ben's story you can read about it here

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Post Baby Running: Week 3

Give me a moment to brag a little.

I had G in the beginning of March. During the month of April, I ran 21.7 miles. This month, as of May 10th, I have already run 22 miles. There is a very good chance that I'm going to double my mileage this month.

Even I couldn't have imagined that I would feel this good, this soon, after my third C-section in 6 years.

I can not say this enough: exercising during pregnancy was the best choice I could have ever made. I watched what I ate but the time I spent on the road and in the gym made all the difference.

I'm doing the happy dance over here.

A 2:25 half marathon is looking more and more like a reality.

Week 3
Monday: 3mi / 31:39 / 10:33
(this fast run was brought to you by a Mom who needed to get home before her husband took her fair skinned daughter to park day at school without sunblock or a hat)

Wednesday: 3.03mi / 34:45 / 11:29

Friday: 4mi / 45:21 / 11:20

Saturday: 5mi / 1:01:09 / 12:13

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

jello yoga arms

Oh yoga.

I love to hate you.

When you tell me to go from plank to modified cobra to downward facing dog my arms want to quit.
As the blood rushes to my head, I want to go into child's pose and never move again. When you tell me to breathe deeply into the right side of my lung and shift my left seat underneath my left leg while in triangle pose, I want to scream "that's not possible, Cyborg!"

My ribs are actually sore. I don't think that's ever happened to me before. Muscles that have lain dormant all those baby carrying months are unhappy. Yoga makes them unhappy. But, and that's a BIG but, yoga makes ME happy.

and sore.

Yoga makes me sore.

and makes me feel better about the piece of cake I had in celebration of "no diet" day.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

pull ups, Panera, & Post Baby Running: week 2

I had the best of intentions. A picnic lunch at the botanical gardens. My cute kids frolicking among the blossoming flowers. Picture perfect.

Then reality kicked in.

First, as I was pulling E out of her car seat, I noticed it was wet, very wet. Disbelieving that my almost four year old would have an accident, I checked her juice cup. It was perfectly intact. Then I smelled her seat - yep, accident confirmed. Of course, I didn't have an extra set of underwear or clothes for her. Awesome. Thankfully, there was a random Lightining McQueen pull up in my trunk. I'm not really sure why it was there but hey who am I to question these things?

Problem solved.

After we made our way down a flight of stairs with a stroller, we discovered the garden's cafe was closed. By now, everyone is hungry and things are starting to unravel. Oh, did I mention that its like 85 degrees in MAY!

Hunger + heat = ugliness.

We make the wise decision to leave the garden and head to Panera.  However, it was time for baby G to eat. We're all about the schedule is this family. So, I plyed the other children with snacks to hold them over while my husband feeds the baby. Of course, G spits up all over his dad and then all over me. Like down the front of my dress all over me. At this point, W is the only family member not covered in bodily fluids.

Thankfully, Panera's air conditioning and amazing Avocado Chicken Cobb salad reoriented my world and people sat around us so apparently we didn't smell.

Ah, parenting. Not for the meek.

Even in the midst of life's drama, I still managed to get my miles in this week, including my first post baby run with my running partner!

Monday: 3 mi / 39:30 / 13:10

Wednesday: 3.01 mi / 35:09 / 11:40

Friday: 3 mi / 34:08 / 11:23

Saturday: 4 mi / in my semi sleep deprived state I forgot to charge my Garmin so I have no data for this run but I can tell you it was slow. and hot. I think my days of late morning / early afternoon running are numbered.

I'm hoping to get a 5 mile run in sometime this week but with end of school year activities out the wazoo,  I'll let you know how that goes.

Just joining the party? Here's how Week 1 went...
Post Baby Running Recap: Week 1

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Post Baby Running - week 1

It took the threat of a price increase to get me to register for my post baby half marathon.

I picked a local race, one that I have already raced in, thinking it would give me the confidence to attempt a half marathon 7 months after having my third baby. I know that there are superwomen out there who run 100 milers, 2 weeks after giving birth, and stop at rest stations to breastfeed their child. I am so NOT that woman. 

I'm more of the wearing my husband's running shirts because mine still don't fit right and his are long enough to cover my gigantic just had a baby bottom. Oh and there's probably spit up on that shirt because I had to burp the baby 5 minutes before I could escape out the door. Then there's the deer in headlights look that I have because I went to bed, for the third time, at 5:30 only to get back up at 6:50 to get the family up and ready for the day. 

Quite the attractive picture huh?

At this point, when 2 miles are torturous and my fuel belt still doesn't fit, it's hard to imagine that I'll be able to complete 13.1 miles.

Hard to imagine but still possible. 

I strongly believe that if I hadn't been so diligent (some might say obsessed) about exercising while I was pregnant, I wouldn't be in any position to train for this race. Just during the past week I've been able to increase my speed, cutting a few minutes off my 2 mile time. It wasn't something that I did intentionally, it just happened. Don't get me wrong, it's still hard but I can feel my body submitting and answering to the demands I'm putting on it.

I've been debating whether or not I should share my weekly mileage/pace with you. I'm generally in the not sharing camp because I never want anyone to feel that my slow pace is their fast pace or visa versus. And in this instance, coming back from pregnancy, no one should feel that they should do as I'm doing. But I know that there are women out there wanting assurance that they will be back to their normal running selves after having their baby - at least I know I did. So I'm going to share - the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Week 1
Monday: 2.50 mi, 37:22, 14:58/mi

Wednesday: 2 mi, 26:07, 13:03/mi

Friday: 2.14 mi, 27:23, 12:47/mi

Saturday: 3 mi, 38:39, 12:52/mi

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

running is hard.

"The first mile is always the hardest."

Truer words have never been spoken. 

The first mile I ran today was brutal. I felt like I was carrying 50 lbs of dead weight. By the time I got around the corner from my house, I was out of breath. I could feel the sun beating down on my neck and my mouth was dry and parched. I wanted to stop. I wanted to quit. I wanted to turn around and go home.  

But at home was my running partner, who graciously volunteered to come during her lunch hour to keep an eye on my kids, so that I could go for a run. I couldn't show my face 5 minutes after I had just left the house. 

So I kept going. Tried not to look at my watch. Prayed for a college friend whose 4 year old son is battling a brain tumor. Thought about how you hardly ever see used Toyota or Honda minivans for sale. Considered what we were having for dinner tonight. Thought about anything other then the torture I was purposely inflicting upon myself.

Mercifully, my Garmin finally beeped at me, alerting me that I had reached a mile. I could turn around and head home.  

As a marathoner, it is humbling to struggle through a two mile run. I worry that it will always be this hard. That I won't be the same runner I was before. These are not new fears. I go through this cycle of self doubt whenever I take time away from running. 

Thankfully, while today's first mile left me doubting, the second mile left me elated. 

Often in running, you need not only the courage to start but the courage to continue. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Thoughts on 3

On March 5, 2014, I became a mother of three.

The transition from two to three children has gone much better then I had expected. 

My two older children have adjusted relatively well to this new little person that has invaded their world. W generally ignores him, unless G is crying, then he covers his ears and says "I don't like that sound". Initially, I was concerned that E, my three year old, would be jealous of her new brother and would turn into a maniac. Thankfully, she has seems to love him and takes her role as Big Sister very seriously. She likes to tell him to burp and then when he does, she takes the credit.

The key I have found to maintaining some sense of sanity is to plan ahead. For the older two, I lay out their clothes for school the night before, make lunches, and consult the calendar as to what to expect for the next day. G is a great baby but becomes an angry, screaming monster about 15 minutes before he's supposed to eat. Thankfully, my amazing husband measures out all the bottles for the day so I don't have to fool around with making bottles while holding a screaming infant.

In our house, everyone "rests" in the afternoon. There might not be actual sleeping going on but that two or so hours gives me a chance to recharge or even get a little shut eye. E will probably be a rebellious teenager before I give up on rest time.

Surprisingly enough, I've learned that my children behave better when we're in public and it's easier to contain the insanity when we're out and about in the world. Playgrounds are the greatest things EVER. Playgrounds that are shaded are even better. The older two can run around and burn off the energy while I hang out with G. I pack a picnic lunch and BAM an entire day of relatively stress free fun.

Even though there are some stressful moments, I'm trying hard to savor the good ones. The late night baby snuggles, rocking with E and G on my lap, and singing with W before bedtime. Before I know it my three babies won't be babies anymore. Then I'll be forced to come up with another witty title for my blog.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Don't call it a comeback

Yesterday was the day. It's been 6 weeks since my c section and that can only mean one thing... I CAN RUN AGAIN. 

It has been quite awhile since I've been able to lace up my sneakers with the sole intention of going for a run. Running is such a huge part of who I am, a daily part of my life and routine, that not being able to do it has been strange, and at times, difficult.

Towards the end of my pregnancy, when I was going to the gym and walking on the treadmill, I would daydream about being able to run again. Being outside, with the sun on my face, leaving behind the stress and frustrations of life with every step. For me, running is not just about the physical activity, it's also about an emotional and mental release.

After 6 weeks of minimal sleeping and navigating life with three children, this benchmark came just in time. I actually had to be fitted for a night guard because I was waking up with headaches from clenching my jaw. Apparently, not running is detrimental to my oral health.

I woke up yesterday to a text from my fabulous running partner congratulating me on being able to run.


She totally gets me.

I got the kids ready, dropped them off at school, and then sat in my car in the school parking lot. I was nervous. I actually had butterflies. It was the strangest thing. What did I have to be nervous about?

Finally, I forced myself to put my phone down and get out of the car. Within two minutes of starting, all my nerves were gone. I fell into a comfortable trot and just kept moving forward. It was a fabulous 2 miles, slow but fabulous. 

Staying fit during my pregnancy definitely helped my recovery and return to running. My lungs and legs are strong and I wasn't sore at all this morning. 

I'm excited about slowly adding mileage and getting back into my running groove.

Watch out running world: this Mommy of 3 is hitting the road! 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Birth Story

While my pregnancy was largely uneventful, my experience with labor and delivery was anything but that.

At 35 weeks and 5 days, I started experiencing some cramping and contractions that landed me in the OB ER overnight for observation. They were able to slow the contractions down and eventually stop them and sent me home. 

Over the next week, I heeded their advice and did not go to the gym (even though I really, really wanted to) scrub my floors, or do anything overly taxing. 

That Wednesday, I had put my daughter down for "rest" and decided to lay down myself for a bit. E called out to me, so I got up to find out what she wanted. Somewhere between her room and mine, I felt a pop! then a gush. 

My water had broken. 

So not what I had planned for my Wednesday afternoon. 

I ran to the bathroom and asked E to get my phone. I called my husband and two friends; one to pick up my daughter and the other to pick me up and drive me to the hospital. My husband was already in the city where the hospital is located so he was going to meet me there. 

We got to the hospital without incident, made it through the OB ER, where they confirmed my water had broken. They wheeled me to labor & delivery where they started the process of prepping me for the c-section. 

At this point the contractions were getting worse. and worse. and worse. By the time they rolled me into the OR I was starting to hyperventilate. In case you were wondering, running a marathon is easier then labor. Just as they were getting me ready for the spinal, the blessed spinal, a nurse popped her head into to say my Dr. had an emergency and I would need to wait. Yea. That was awesome. 

The poor sterile OR nurses could do nothing except stand there and watch me sob hysterically as the back to back contractions took my breath away. Finally, another nurse came in and held my hand, which helped tremendously. 

They wheeled me back into my room, much to the surprise of my husband, and gave me some pain medicine. 45 minutes later they brought me back into the OR, gave me the amazing spinal, and a few minutes later Baby G was born!

After warning us that he might not cry, because he was early and may have lung development issues, I was so thankful to hear that fabulous newborn wail. 

He was, and is, perfectly healthy. There was no reason for him to have to go to the NICU and he was able to go straight to the regular baby nursery. 

He proceeded to spend the next few days eating, sleeping, and pooping. He is a joy. A cuddly and calm little munchkin. He fits perfectly into our family. I can't believe that he hasn't always be here. We are blessed. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Baby G!

Baby G has arrived!

He made his early and somewhat unexpected arrival on Wednesday, March 5th at 6:30 p.m.

Despite being early at 36 weeks and 5 days, he was a healthy 6 lbs and 12 ounces. Thankfully, he didn't need to spend anytime in the NICU. 

He is a wonderful, calm, and snuggly baby. Already, he fits in perfectly in our family and I can't imagine how we ever lived without him. 

Birth story to follow. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


We don't get snow here very often in Northeastern Georgia. I've lived here for 5 years and we've seen snow twice, maybe three times.

Snow is scary when you don't have shovels, scrapers, salt, sand, or plows.

Panic sets in and this is what happens...

 (photos courtesy of Austina Jordan)
and then there was one...

don't worry there are still bagels...

want a broken egg?

Meanwhile, while the world is ending, I'm doing laundry, the bathrooms are clean, and dinner is in the crockpot.

My only problems now are what am I going to do with my kids who have no school FOR THE REST OF THE WEEK and what will I do if the power goes out and I can't watch the Olympics?



Friday, February 7, 2014

Product Review: Jawbone UP

I got a Jawbone Up for Christmas.

I did some very unscientific research to decide which activity tracker I wanted. Unlike my husband who spends days comparing and contrasting, I just read a few reviews.

I ended up picking the Jawbone because 1. I liked that it was a bracelet. I don't have to worry about it falling off or forgetting to put it on. 2. The iPhone app is visually attractive, easy to use, and very encouraging.

look how pretty!

3. The band comes in different colors! I ended up with the black but the baby blue or mint is fabulous. 4. It has a long battery life. The website states it will last about 10 days. I've been using mine for 38 days and have had to charge it three times.

Initially, I wanted an activity tracker because I was curious about how much I actually move in a day. I've long been convinced that I'm actually quite lazy. Other then running, I don't do very much. I was also interested in information about my sleeping habits.

So far, I've had more days where I've reached my sleep and movement goals then not. Having a goal and wanting to reach it has motivated me to getting up and taking those few extra steps. Instead of enlisting my children into getting something for me, I've gotten my bottom off the couch and retrieved it for myself.

I've only had two nights where I knew the sleep data was incorrect. One of the forums I read mentioned that if you take 250 steps at a time, during nighttime mode, the Jawbone will switch back to day mode on its own. A few night ago, after multiple trips out of bed dealing with my children, I discovered that if I press the bracelet once I can quickly check which mode I'm in.

I've also discovered that there is something psychological about knowing how much sleep you did or didn't get. The other night I didn't sleep well and felt even more tired when my Jawbone confirmed I was up half the night. Conversely, when I see that I had a good night with more deep sleep then light sleep, I feel peppy and well rested.  

Jawbone can also help you stay on track nutritionally. There is a handy dandy bar code scanner that can go a long way in helping you make better, more informed food choices. I don't log my food because I'm lazy and don't really want to know the truth about what I'm eating. I'm not ready for that shock yet.

Recently, Jawbone launched the UP 24 band which wirelessly connects to your phone. I connect to my band to my phone twice a day, once in the morning and then again in the evening, and can't see spending the extra $20 for the wireless option. If you need constant motivation to keep moving through out the day then the 24 model might be for you, otherwise the original UP band will get the job done. 

Overall, I am pleased with the Jawbone. It does everything I want and need it to do. It will not replace my Garmin forerunner for running but for everyday use it's just what I wanted. 

**UPDATE** 7/2/14
It has now been about 6 months since I started my Jawbone adventure. I used mine faithfully from December until February 27th when I went into early labor with my son. I started using it again in April until I lost it during a trail run last week. 

It was totally my fault. It doesn't fit well on my wrist with my Garmin and my keys were already in my shorts pockets so I looped it on my shirt strap. Somewhere on that 1.88 trail it fell off. I ran it twice looking for it - nada. 

Surprisingly and thankfully, my Stepmother had a Jawbone UP 24 that she wasn't using and gave it to me! So this update is on the UP 24, which I've been using for about three days. 

As I noted before the main difference between the UP and the UP 24 is the ability to connect wirelessly. Now that I have used both, I will admit that connecting wirelessly is nice. However, I still do not think its worth the extra money. It would be if you need or want constant updates on your progress or motivation to keep you moving. 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Running (yes, Running!) @ 31 weeks pregnant

I had a revelation last week.

I was on the treadmill, logging time and miles for Meg, when I decided to try to run. I hadn't run in a few weeks, overwhelmed by a squished bladder and growing belly. This day, however, was about Meg so I pushed my doubts aside and implemented my version of Jeff Galloway's run-walk method - walking for 3 minutes, running for 1 minute.

BAM! Light bulb moment.

I was running again. Granted, just for a few minutes over the course of 40 minutes but I was RUNNING!

I can't imagine why it took me so long to figure this out.

All this week, I've been Jeff Gallowing it - working up a sweat and breathing hard.

Yesterday, I was on that machine for an hour - run/walking my butt off. It was awesome. Granted, I had to get off at 30 minutes to use the bathroom but I jumped right back on for another half hour. I can only imagine what the fit, athletic 18-21 year old college students think when they see this obviously very pregnant woman abruptly stop and make a beeline for the door. 

I can't even begin to explain how good it feels to run again, even in small increments. I feel like I have a part of myself back, a piece of myself that had gone missing.  

It also makes the post-baby comeback seem possible.

Let's be honest, when I can run, anything and everything seems possible.

Friday, January 24, 2014


I scheduled my c section this morning.

This is real. This is happening. I'm having another baby. I will have three children. Another body to wash, clothe, and take care of. Another voice added to the chaos. Another little face to smother with kisses. Another little hand to hold.

Beyond crazy.

The pre-baby To Do list has gotten smaller. E has been moved to a big girl bed. The crib is in our room. Our room has been dusted, vacuumed, and de-cluttered. W's room has been organized and has actually stayed clean for more than two days. The rest of the house is in pretty good shape and Seth has vacuumed the car, relieving me of some of my nesting anxiety.

Speaking of nesting: normally I don't give the dusty baseboards behind the bed a second thought but now that I'm pregnant, I found myself wedged between the side table and the wall desperately trying to vacuum under the bed. I actually got stuck for a minute and questioned my own sanity.

I also found myself dusting EVERY. SINGLE. one of the slats of the blinds in my bedroom. It was like an out of body experience; watching myself dust each slat and wondering if I was as bored as I felt.

The good news is that my husband is no longer sneezing when he's in our room and I feel less like I'm bringing my child into a potential death trap.

There's always a bright side. 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Running (or not) @ 30 weeks pregnant

I haven't run, really run, in weeks. Frustration and sadness have given way to acceptance and now I'm just trying to stay as active as I can within walking distance to a bathroom.

That means that I've been spending a lot of time at the gym; working up a sweat on the elliptical and treadmill.
I never look this happy


If there weren't televisions where I can watch Mike & Mike in the Morning (later dazzling my husband with all my sports knowledge), or Kelly & Michael, or (my personal favorite) Wendy Williams, I don't know what I would do. I can run for hours at a time and experience many things - but never boredom. Put me on an elliptical for more then 20 minutes, and its torture just to keep going.

I give you gym rats a lot of credit.

I will say this though - staying active while pregnant has been one of the smartest things I have done in a long time. I have had little to no swelling. Ankles are fabulous things. Other than a very unfortunate encounter with an avocado - I've had only two or three incidents of heartburn. I may feel huge and the scale may reflect that, but it really is all baby. I've been sleeping well - per my new Jawbone Up (product review forthcoming), I actually had more deep sleep last night then light sleep.

Granted, I'm pretty useless for the rest of the day after a workout, but you can't win them all. 

My daughter showed up early at 38 weeks, so we could be seeing this baby sooner rather then later. Hopefully, I'll be at home and not on the treadmill when that happens

Friday, January 17, 2014


On January 13, 2014, a young mother of three headed out for her morning run.

She didn't make it back home.

Even though she was reportedly doing everything in her power to keep herself safe, running against traffic on a two-foot wide shoulder, she was hit and killed by a drunk driver.

Meg Menzies was a avid runner, a marathoner, a mother, and a wife.

Everything that I am.

From the moment I heard about this tragic event on Facebook, I have been trying to wrap my mind around it. I know that pedestrians, runners, and cyclists are often involved in accidents, but to have someone that could be my friend, that could be me, be killed while going out for a routine run is extremely disturbing.

My heart breaks for her children that have lost their mother, her husband that has lost his partner in life, her family, and friends. For her fellow runners that will miss the sound of her steps beside them.

What happened to Meg is tragic. It is painful. It is maddening. One person makes a bad decision, in this instance driving while drunk, and numerous lives are adversely affected.  

The heart of the matter is that you just never know. You can do everything right and still not make it through the day. Every moment that we have is a gift. It is sad that it would take the death of a vibrant, young mother to remind me of that.

A friend of Meg created a Facebook event, #megsmiles, encouraging runners to dedicate their miles on Saturday, January 18th in honor of Meg.

"Take in the fresh air, be aware of your surroundings, keep your headphones on low, feel the heaviness in your lungs, the soreness in your legs, and be grateful for it - for all of it. The sweat, the pain, the wind, the cold... everything. Be grateful for that moment."        

I haven't been able to run, really run, since before Thanksgiving. But I will log time and miles on the treadmill and elliptical tomorrow in honor of Meg. In honor of a mother and fellow runner who died doing something that she loved, that I love.

Rest in peace Meg. Thank you for reminding me about the gift of running, of gratefulness, and of the joy in this life.  

Sunday, January 12, 2014

a new year

I apologize for the radio silence.

First, we were getting ready for the holidays. Then, it was the holidays. And then we had to recover from the holidays and before I knew it it was quickly approaching the middle of January.

So... Happy Thanksgiving! Merry Christmas! Happy New Year!

Speaking of 2014...

I'm excited for this new year. Excited for all the changes that its going to bring - a new baby, a post baby marathon debut at the end of the year. Yes. you read that right - I have pretty much committed myself to running a full marathon approximately 9 months after giving birth to my last child. I do love a good challenge.

I look forward to sharing in this new journey with you - 3 kids, marathon training, and just trying to make it through the day.

Better hang on... It's going to be a wild ride.