Thursday, September 29, 2016

Straight Talk

It's 7:21 a.m., and I'm sitting at the kitchen table. Miles is working on his homework; Si is sitting in his high chair, eating fruit snacks and flipping through "Don't Push The Button." We have 20 minutes until we need to exit the front door and 30 minutes until I need to put the minivan into drive and head to school.

It's a rare moment of calm this morning. Si was up at 5:05 a.m. and was screeching by 5:20 a.m. Screeching – that's his new thing. It's not endearing in the least bit. In fact, it's maddening and I have to keep myself from either screaming back at him or locking myself in the bathroom with a cup of coffee and earplugs.

Oh. There was another scream. I guess Si has finished his fruit snacks. I could go get him another pack but let's be honest, he shouldn't have had the first pack.

And while we're keeping real, here's a few things going on in my world.

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Mom guilt. I'm having lots of it. I feel like the grind of the work week and my extracurricular activities, the things that make me me and make me happy, leave me with absolutely no time with the kids. I get home at 6 p.m., make dinner and by the time we've finished, it's time for bed. I try to have meaningful conversations with Miles to make up for it but it's hard when we're either fighting the "it's too hot" battle or trying to get Si to shut the heck up. Or keep the dog from stealing bites. Or keeping one or both boys in their seats. I think there will be a breaking point and something will have to give. I'm not sure when it will be but I hope it coincides with me becoming independently wealthy.

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Post-long run breakfast with the girls

Food fight. After I finished Whole30, I sort of stayed Whole30. And then I was no sugar, no grains with a sprinkle of life into living. I then had a treat a week. Then treats only on the weekend. And then, I just ate a treat a day but stayed away from grains. Blah, blah, blah. Instead of living this super clean life, I'm sort of half assing it. I'm still far better than I used to be – eating a gluten-free piece of toast feels indulgent – but not where I want to be. I need to find a happy place because I need to make some diet changes – and I do mean NEED – based on my InsideTracker results and said changes will need me to redefine what foods are "bad."

Quad city. I'm talking about legs here. After running Ragnar Trail Cascades with Team Nuun, my legs were far sorer than they had ever been. It took me almost three or four days to walk normally and a good week to have no residual soreness. It was almost embarrassing. I expected some trouble since I'm not used to that kind of terrain but DAMN. I had doubted whether I could call the race a long run, especially since some of the legs came up short, but I'm thinking that I did a lot of muscle building. 

Joe kidding me. While I was in the PNW for the race, I had the amazing opportunity to go to the original Starbucks, aka Mecca. But because I was feeling so sick, I didn't get anything save for a mug. Let me repeat that: I DID NOT GET COFFEE AT STARBUCKS. It was a sad day, and I think I need to make a return trip to rectify it.

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Pre-swim lesson smiles

Sink or swim. Miles started swim lessons this summer, and I was hot to keep them up. He liked them and as someone who fears the water, it was important for me that he is comfortable. When I was looking at the upcoming session at the YMCA, I saw there was a Wednesday night class – not just for Miles but Si as well. And it got the wheels turning. I could take Si and Miles to their lessons and I would get good bonding time; Mark could work out or have some time alone; and Mark and I could connect over dinner after getting the kids down. It seemed like a win-win-win. But here's some notes:

• Things never work out perfectly. Si loves the water but doesn't love working in the water. Remember that screeching I mentioned? It is super fun in the pool. This whole scheme to ease the mom and wife guilt seems to be making more stressed with my kids and, as a result, more guilty that I'm not loving it.

• I had to check myself after entertaining some negative body image thoughts. Most of it centered on the way my tankini bottoms fit and my lack of a bosom, both of which are what they are. I reminded myself that people are focused on the babies in the class and not how I look. 

• Swim diapers absorb nothing. If you hold a baby in a swim diaper on your lap after his lesson, there is a 110 percent chance he will piss on your leg – especially if you've already put on your pants.

This is me. I have been super excited about the debut of "This Is Us" on NBC, as it reminded me of "Parenthood" and seemed like a show I could really love. Plus, Mile Ventimiglia. The night of the first episode, I stayed up and watched it. I was so proud as I'm usually rubbing my eyes by 8:30 and in bed by 9 p.m. But I did it. I stayed up till 10 and through the entire hourlong episode. Last night, I had hoped to do it again. Not so much. I went to bed at 8:45 p.m.

I guess I just need to admit that I'll be abdicating my position as Mother of the Year with a pint of ice cream in hand and "Gilmore Girls" on Netflix. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

What Have I Done {It's Race Week}

It seemed like such a good idea.

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Fort4Fitness 2015

My training plan called for 18 to 20 miles this weekend. Fort4Fitness, the largest running event in the area, is this weekend. The organizers are also putting on the city's first full marathon in more than 20 years. My friends are all participating in Saturday's races in some way and two of them are pacing the 4:40 group for the marathon.

Can anyone guess where this is going?

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Fort4Fitness 2014

So yeah ... I'm running a marathon on Saturday.

As a training run.

And I'm scared shitless.

It was after a hot, ridiculously humid early-morning run at the end of July when I registered. I was happy to have been running with Joe and Stacey and the idea of being with them for 4+ hours seemed like a grand time. It seemed even grander when I convinced another friend to run the race (and later the full), too. Sure, there was some incentive on my part but she was a willing participant.

Of course, I was fearful that I would have FOMO if I didn't run the first full marathon at Fort4Fitness. For years, I've stated in post-races surveys that I would definitely be all about a 26.2-distance if the event were to offer it.

And I guess I am. All about it, that is. Or at least full of it.

The most nerve-wracking aspect of running the marathon on Saturday is feeling ready, like I have the endurance base there. I've been consciously opting to run  the high end of the mileage ranges my plan has in the hopes that the midweek mileage will build that fitness. I also ran 18 miles three weeks ago, and it was a pretty decent run. I felt like I was holding back for most of it and my fastest splits were the last two.

But one 18-miler does not make someone ready to run a marathon. I know this. However, I also know that people have ran marathons on less mileage.

I also know that no matter how well you prepare for a race, you have what the day will give you. And you know what? I'm going to take that day for all it's worth. Let's just hope that bitch isn't a walker.