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mother. marathoner. blogger. reader.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

the one where I run quick like a bunny

This morning, I ran 12 miles in 1:57. Let's put this in perspective. Less then a year ago I was running 10 miles in about 2 hours. So, in the time that it used to take me to run 10 miles, I am now running 12. Well on my way to running a 2:10 half marathon (which is one of my goals for this year). I'm not going to break any records or win any races, but gosh darn it, I am pretty freaking pleased with myself.

This did not happen overnight. 4 mornings a week, I get up and choose to go running. 4 mornings a week, I choose to go running and to make it worth the effort. Running is hard and it doesn't get any easier but it is worth it. Especially, when I have mornings like today - mornings where I exceed my own expectations.

It is amazing what we can accomplish when we want something bad enough. When we are willing to put the time and the effort in. Running is important to me, being the best runner I can be is important to me. This morning was as good as it gets. Raise your glass of chocolate milk with me, people, and celebrate!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

the one where I step on a scale

Recently, I found out how much I weigh. If you know me at all you know this is surprising. I do not own a scale. I am not tempted by other people's scales. I hate knowing how much I weigh. It's a guaranteed way to get me depressed. When I was pregnant, I would stand on the scale backwards so that I couldn't see the number. A nurse once commented to me, "Wow, I would have never thought you weighed that much." Um. Yeah. Thanks. Took me awhile to get back on a scale after that.

I've never had a weight problem, but like too many young girls, I spent my teenage years convinced I was fat. I struggled with insecurities and blamed my body. There was a brief period where I cut my food intake in half. That ended with a fainting spell and the realization that I was being ridiculous. I like food. I like eating (I've never met a cookie I didn't like), and most of all I like living. How can you live when your obsessed with how many calories you're putting in your body and then how many calories you're burning?

Trust me, I am not the poster child for mental health. There are days when I'm not happy with the way I look. Two babies later and things are not as pretty as they used to be. However, that's where running comes in. Physically, it has helped me lose baby weight. It has made my body strong enough to run for hours at a time. Mentally, it has made me see myself in a different light. How can I be ashamed of a body that has carried me across countless finish lines?

I don't weigh myself because, to me, it doesn't matter. What matters is how I feel, how many miles I've put in in a week, and if I need new pants because my old ones don't fit. Running forces me to push my insecurities aside and to be proud of myself and what I have accomplished. I don't need a scale to do that.

Besides muscle weight more then fat.    

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

the one where I run trails and don't die

Sticks and stones may break my bones but running trails can only help me. Oh, I'm so good. I just came up with that little rhyme all by myself. That's what a four year liberal arts education can do for a girl.

This afternoon I allowed my friend to drive me to a local state park where we proceeded to run up rocky hill after rocky hill. We heard our shoes go "squelch, squelch" in the mud and watched as friendly squirrels crossed our path. It was hard. It made my lungs burn and my legs ache and it was FREAKING awesome! I felt so strong as the sweat started to pour and my breathing started to become more shallow. It was comforting to hear Maggie's footsteps beside me and to know she was working as hard as I was. 

Running trails is not passive. You have to keep your eyes on the ground in front of you, staying aware of each footfall and scanning the ground up ahead. As a beginner, there's really no time to settle in and lose yourself in the run. Instead, I found myself relishing each movement; the feel of my ankles and knees absorbing the shock, my thighs working to get me up those hills.    

It was a little scary and a lot exhilarating. I think I might be addicted. 


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

the one where I don't run on National Running Day

Today was National Running Day and I didn't run. I know, I know. I'm a sorry excuse for a runner. All day, my Twitter and Facebook feeds were full of "How are you spending National Running Day?" and pictures of people getting their run on. I spent the day forcing Will to sit on the potty, putting Elin in time out for hitting, and corralling Baby K.

I celebrated a day early by running hill repeats in the rain. Well, actually I ran 2.5 miles to the park then ran hill repeats then ran 2.5 miles back home - in the rain. It was pretty awesome. I had to stuff paper in my shoes to dry them out. (A downside to the newspaper industry shutting down is the loss of quality paper to dry your wet running shoes. Magazine paper does the job but it's not as effective.)

I had the privilege of running those hill repeats with a fellow running Mommy who just had her third baby. Three children to take care of, a home to run, a husband to love, and she still finds time to go running. She rocks my socks. She makes my life look like a cake walk. She's training with a friend for a 5k with a long term plan of completing a 10k and a half marathon. Less then two years ago, she couldn't even run a mile. Now, she's running hill repeats in the pouring rain. Running changed her life. That's what National Running Day is all about - no matter what day you celebrate it.

Friday, June 1, 2012

the one where I neglect to read the race website before bragging on my blog

Last night as I was posting about my potential future as a trail runner I neglected to do one very important thing; look at the race website. I did that after the post and this is what I found: 

"Up for more of a challenge? The 15k race course is brutal and will test the most seasoned trail runners.  It follows the same route as the 5k for the first two miles. However, the 15k course climbs nearly 2000 feet over the first 5 miles. You will struggle to make it over several gaps and reach the race’s high point of Pinnacle Mountain. As you descend you will be rewarded with spectacular views from Bald Rock and other overlooks. More stream crossings, gnarly roots and jagged rocks will keep you on your toes as you wind your way back down the valley toward the finish."

Seriously? Gnarly roots and jagged rocks? I tweeted my dear friend Maggie and asked her if she was willing to pull my bloodied body out of a stream crossing because that's the only way I'll finish the race. And on the off chance she can't find me because I'm bruised beyond recognition my RoadID will save the day.

RoadID? What is that you might ask? Only a nifty little product that could save your life while you're getting your miles in. Where I run, I figure there are two ways that I could bite the bullet while running. One is to get hit by a car. People don't look both ways before they pull out of fast food parking lots. Apparently having a bucket of chicken in your lap limits the ability of your neck muscles. The second is dogs. I'm from the North where people put their dogs on leashes or fence them in their backyards. Here in the South, people let their dogs roam. The one dog that I'm deathly afraid of is tied down by a chain. One of these days that chain is going to snap and BAM! there goes Lauren. Thankfully, my RoadID will be able to tell whoever comes to my rescue, my name and other pertinent information. 

I might have to pass on this 15k. Seth gave me a horrified look and told me "no" after I read him the race description. This from the man who just a few hours earlier was encouraging me to do the Disney Goofy Challenge (that's where you run a 1/2 marathon and then a full the next day). However, there is a 10k in December on the same trails that Maggie and I are going to be running this month. So I guess I can start my career as a terrified trail runner with the knowledge that I may get hurt but at least I don't have to remember my name or my husband's cell phone number. Thanks RoadID!