Monday, January 9, 2012

Keeping it real: Push it, push it real good

Dirty diapers, dog vomit, nasal aspirators, ripe morning breath. It's nothing but real in our house. And to spread some of that love, I'm dubbing this week "Keeping it real" week on Healthy Strides. I'll share some stories that might not otherwise make it on the blog.

No worries, though. I promise not to share with you the contents of Miles' diaper.


I'm a lazy mother runner. Really. I am.

About 1.5 of my runs each week are with my boys - Denali, Miles and BOB. BOB, of course, being my jogging stroller and not some random guy I hang out with while Mark is at work. The runs offer me a chance to wear out Denali, get Miles to take a nap and grow as a runner and gain strength.

But I only do two of those things. Wanna guess which two?

Running with the BOB is no easy feat, and I'm sure even the greatest of athletes would notice a difference in form, pace and endurance when running with a stroller and a nearly 15-pound behb. Instead of embracing the challenge, I use it as an excuse to avoid pushing myself ... because I am pushing Miles. I allow myself to skimp on mileage, often running less than my training plan dictates, and to keep the pace as easy as possible. The run is all about going through the motions and getting it done rather than the joy of running or feeling of accomplishment.

I embraced an "every run is a victory" attitude when I was pregnant but I have since adopted an "as long as I don't flake out" mantra, which is preventing me from making any significant gains in my pace since I returned to running nearly five months ago.

It's something that has got to change and, on Friday, I took my first step to doing that.

I had missed a 3.5-mile interval workout on the treadmill earlier in the week because of sleep deprivation and illness, and I wanted to make it up. I also needed to wear out Denali. My running partner doesn't win much these days (poor guy!) but he did Friday morning. I got everyone (Denali, Miles and BOB) ready to go and set out with a loosely based plan. I would do a half-mile warmup and do a series of pickups to cover 3.5 miles. Basically, I ran to x point (stop sign, parked car, etc.) as fast as I could then jogged to x point to recover; rinse, repeat.

It was hard. Really hard. It was the type of out-of-breath hard that I had been trying to avoid when I went out with the BOB. And you know what it got me? A blistering 9:26 pace - the fastest ever with the BOB and faster than any run I had done outside of a race since my postpartum return.

I still hope to do my interval workouts on the treadmill - if only to have one run for myself each week - but I learned something. Well, I was reminded of something. To run better, you have to run. To run faster, you have to run faster. To be the person you want to be, you have to act like that person.

How are you keeping it real today?


  1. I have been mixing up my workouts a little by accident lately. I run slow with my friend Sarah. I run fast when I'm on a schedule. Sometimes my legs want to go faster than my lungs can keep up with, so I end up walking for a bit every half mile or so to bring my heart back down.

    I wonder what I could do if I planned these things? Soon...for now I'm enjoying the different feeling of each one as it's completed...

  2. Let's keep it real: although I have been 100% committed to my workouts this week, I am still eating fairly terribly at night which I'm sure is canceling them out. Not so superb when I am trying to lose weight.

  3. I can't even begin to tell you how outstanding you are!!! I'm glad you pushed through this workout to re-prove to yourself you are strong - you are able - you are amazing! Great job girl!!!! Don't get hurt, though!

  4. What a great post! Way to push through what life's been putting in front of you. I fear the same thing - that having a child and a full-time job will force me to reevaluate my running - but what you've presented is a viable solution to that which is to keep working hard and know that you'll get to where you need to be.

    How I'm keeping it real today: going to the mall in an attempt to walk out the baby while walking off the three cookies and popcorn I ate after dinner last night!

  5. Nice job!!!! How I'm keeping it real today - I just ate an Entemann's donut and loved every bite. Might need to go back for a 2nd :). I am looking at getting a jogging stroller now and I'm afraid that I'm going to whimp out on hills. I already hate hills and I know that with a stroller in front of me, hills will never be on my route.

  6. Way to go! I broke down a bought a BOB last night. I'm super excited to take it out for the first time tonight, but am a little nervous about how tough it may be to push it.

    I use Ella as an excuse for missing a workout. All the time. It's gotten bad. Now that I have our new friend, no more excuses.