Good morning, Saturday

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So, the alarm still goes off at an ungodly hour. I get up because I know there is coffee.

No rain yet, but I hear a few rumblings of thunder. Give it a few minutes and it’s a downpour complete with lightning. That’s when the phone starts blowing up and you quickly realize your long run is off postponed.

It’s nice to have this quiet time that just belongs to me and my 2nd big mug of coffee while everyone else in the house is still sleeping.

Protect

Last night when reading about Curious George’s trip to the library, Libby was sitting in my lap.

I noticed she kept rubbing her nose.

Finally she said in the sweetest voice imaginable, “Mama, I think I’m bleeding.” as she pushed two bloody hands in front of me. We quickly got to the bathroom, got a cold compress on her bleeding nose, and cleaned her up. Poor thing.

That girl is tough. She didn’t cry, she didn’t freak out, she just wanted to wash her hands. She let me clean her face, hold the washcloth on her nose, change her PJ’s all without flipping her lid. I am pretty calm under pressure, but it’s a bit freaky to suddenly see your baby bleeding. Even if it is just coming out of the nose.

Mama Bear mode and the instinct to protect just kicks in, no matter how big or little the boo-boo.

Authenticity

I’m going to preface this by saying that  this original post has been in my drafts since Feb. 2011. I still don’t have the answer and it’s nearly 2 years later.

This past Sunday, we had a similar conversation at church in our small group aka Sunday School class. We all have different names, wear different titles, but who are we at our core, who is our authentic self. How do we learn how to just be ourselves.

This topic really weighed on me throughout the day and I guess I feel like I should know the answer. I know the titles that I wear: Mom, wife, daughter, sister, employee, volunteer, friend, etc. You could even add things like southerner and runner. But I feel like those are all just titles, or things that I do. Am I really different than any other Mom/Sister/Wife/Friend? We may do things differently, but that title certainly doesn’t make me unique.

Now, at nearly 40 (gulp), shouldn’t I know who I am? I will say, it was refreshing to see that others felt the same way, or that they had a hard time being themselves. I think from early on, we are taught what is “right” and “wrong” or “different” or “weird.” It’s very hard to find yourself as a 13-year-old and figure out that you are different. You just want to fit in, be liked, have approval of whomever is important to you. It’s probably much the same for 40 year olds comparing ourselves to others with the requisite house, 2.5 kids, minivan, a dog, a cat, and swim club membership.

Crap, and I still don’t have that other .5 of a kid.

Original post – 

I attended a Junior League women’s leadership training earlier this week with two friends. I love their company and I was glad that they agreed to go with me.
The speaker’s session was titled “Imagine You, Leading” and one of the first things she had us do was fill out/draw information about yourself. I wonder if anyone else heard the audible “ugggh” that came out of my chair.
I did agree with her statement about that we are all leaders … in our work, homes, churches, volunteer groups, social groups, etc.
But, I had the hardest time coming up with my list and found it easier to not take it too seriously.
What am I good at? I did say diaper changing and one of my friends said pumping. I can say that she really is good at pumping and I’m probably just OK at diaper changes.
How do I enjoy spending my free time? Ummm, reading, running, and drinking wine?
What is my life’s vision? Silence.
Can you answer this question?
I’ve never been one of those people who always knew what they wanted to be. Throughout my life, I can remember wanting to be a Veternarian, Fashion Designer, Artist, Writer, Public Relations Guru for Nike, Calligrapher, Stationery Store Owner, Stay at Home Mom, and a vagabond that works at Yellowstone National Park in the Summer and Jackson Hole all winter.
Do I know what I want to be? Is it crazy that I am almost 38(!) years old and I can’t answer this question?
This question spurred another conversation about who is the authentic Susan. Hell if I know.
So, I ask you, do you know who is the authentic you? If so, was it an aha moment, or just something that you have always known? I really hope this isn’t a mid-life crisis coming upon me.
Just wanted to post this to see if there are others out there that feel this way ~ I really didn’t mean to get all Deep Thoughts with Jack Handy on a Tuesday night.
I promise I will get back to tales of marathon training blisters, what flavor Gu is the best, how two four-year-olds can trash a house in .2 seconds, and what Zoe has pilfered off the counter this week.

20.

So, yesterday was the longest distance that I’ve ever run and I guess what a lot of people would call the “make it or break it” distance in marathon training.

Due to crazy schedules, we ran on Wednesday. Kind of nice to break up our week, but a little crazy making sure vacation was taken and kids were shuttled.

I met three other runners and we got started around 8AM. We were running on a fairly busy road for the first few miles, made busier by school drop off traffic. It was a little unnerving and we finally had a chance to cross over so at least we were looking at the cars zooming towards us and not just hearing them zoom past us.

The first 4-5 miles went by pretty quickly and then we were on the greenway that always feels like home.

We made it to mile 10 and where we had dropped off our cooler. When we stopped, I noticed that my legs were definitely more sore than usual, but it was great to stop for a few minutes, refill water bottles, eat bananas, swig Gatorade, and try to stretch.

We were off again with “just 10 more” left to go.

We lucked out with cool temps and mostly overcast weather. Fast forward to around mile 16 and I realized that my legs were hurting by this point. Nothing that was too unbearable, but they just felt like one solid cramp from about my knees down. I sped up a little trying to just shake it out, but that didn’t really seem to help, so I just kept going.

We were back to the home stretch and it’s always great when you realize you aren’t going to have to run circles in the parking lot to get to your final distance. 20. Bam. We did it!

Once I stopped, wow. My legs were definitely sore and crampy. We walked around, put on flip-flops, refueled, Facebooked our accomplishments, and all headed our separate ways with talks of ice baths, cheeseburgers, and naps.

I was pretty pleased with my pace. 20.02 miles at 3:36.  I averaged 10:48/mile. I had a few that were low 10 minute miles, a couple of 11’s and one 12. Oops. I blame the big ass hills on that one.

So, I can remember this later or if anyone is interested, here are a few boring details:

What I ate:

Pre-run: 1/2 cup of coffee, bowl of raisin spice oatmeal with craisins and almonds. Water. Woke up early enough to digest everything and no issues on the run. Whoo!

During: I brought a 21 oz. bottle of water in my Fuel Belt, 2 full packs of Shok Bloks, and a Luna bar cut into two pieces.

At mile 4, I ate 2 Bloks. Mile 10, I had 1/2 a banana and Gatorade. Mile 13’ish, I had a piece of Luna bar. Mile 16ish, I had 3 more Bloks and a sip of Ria’s Gatorade. I refilled my water at mile 10 and was pretty close to empty when we finished.

What I wore: All Brooks, all the time.  Seriously. My Brooks EZ tee with run on the front, Brooks Mesh skirt, and my Adrenaline’s.  Feetures socks and one of my Sweaty Bands hair bands.

Recovery:

I kept meaning to buy compression sleeves, but hadn’t done so. After this run, my first stop was our running store to pick out some socks. These things look kind of crazy, but feel amazing. I wore them out of the store and to the dry cleaners where another customer asked what kind of condition I had. I had to tell him it was self-induced.

 

Those are some ugly, non-pedicured feet, but ones that can run 20 miles.

I wore these home, took a 15-minute ice bath, and put them back on for a couple of hours later in the evening.

Bottom line: I did it, never felt like I couldn’t finish, and if someone would have told me I had to run the full distance yesterday, I could have done it. I’m sure there would have been grumblings and curse words, but I know I could have finished. Ok, Marine Corp Marathon, see you in less than 40 days!

Weekend

I needed a weekend like this one, and would definitely take more in the future.

In a nutshell, it consisted of “usual” activities, but they all just seemed to be a little more fun, have better weather, included friends, etc. Sadly, I don’t think I have a single picture, but then again … it really was just a regular weekend.

It started on Saturday with an 11 mile run. This was a 5-mile warm up followed by a 10K race. 

We had miles to get in and it was easier to do them prior to the race, and it does give you immediate rock star status when you run to the start of a race with 5 miles already on your Garmin. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt when 2 of you get a new PR and one of you ties your PR. Negative splits, baby.

I will admit, during the week, I am like a giant bear who doesn’t want to come out of hibernation to go run. On Saturday’s, I really look forward to my time to enjoy a cup of coffee so I get up extra early to enjoy it, eat breakfast, pack all of my gear, etc.

That afternoon, I headed to run errands and to the grocery and found a 50 cent pumpkin. At WalMart of all places. Early, but too cute not to buy it. Now I have an idea of a pumpkin tower/topiary in my planter and need to make it happen.

We had friends over for dinner … 4 adults, 4 kiddos, vino, hamburgers, corn on the cob, & chocolate chip cookies. Activities including running, jumping, coloring, swinging, playing & hugging (kiddos) and garmin geeking, cooking, drinking, adult convo, and a little football viewing (parents).

It’s nice to have friends that you can just relax with, let the kids run a little wild … and especially those who share your love for Garmins, red wine, cheese, and analyzing Facebook status updates.

Today included a rainy morning, church and small group (a first!), lunch (leftover sweet potato black bean enchilada pie), short nap, yoga, actually saving money at Verizon (another first!), dinner with the fam, baths for the girls, and an easy goodnight.

Like I said, nothing extraordinary, but definitely what the doctor ordered.

Welcome.

So, it’s the same blog, but at a new space and a pretty new header.

Bear with me as a learn a new platform, and stay tuned for updates on 20 mile training runs and trying very hard not keel over while doing it.

doesn’t it feel good

To file/delete 10,000 emails and clean out your inbox to a mere 26?

Unsubscribe from about the same amount of emails?

Clutter tends to overtake me – my house, car, desk, bedroom floor and I constantly find myself overwhelmed and ignoring the pile.

Today, I had a few extra minutes so I finally tackled the piles of paper on our kitchen counters. Pre K information, catalogs, bills, junk mail. It just make me feel so much better.

I have some friends who clean a room in their house every night, or those who won’t go to bed unless everything is put away, pillows fluffed, sink shining. I commend you. I wish I were you, but sometimes the power of my bed, or the thought of a 4:30 alarm clock is too great and the papers, baby dolls, dog hair tumbleweeds win.

But for now, I am happy with my relatively clean counters and inbox.

ballet

If we are friends on Facebook, you’ve already seen these, but I think this is what every Mom lives for …

posting cute pictures of your kiddos.

or kittens.

or your breakfast.

Maddy AKA the grumpy ballerina was not too happy or willing to have her picture made.

Is it just me or does the little ballet costume just transform them into little girls and not babies?
Recently, if I refer to them as my babies, I am quickly corrected with “We are big girls” or “We are big kids.” I will remind them that even big girls like to be rocked, have their curls smoothed, and their blankets straightened out.
Ballet class, truly “creative movement” started on Saturday and so far, so good. Their ballet slippers were too small, and had to be reordered, hence the tennis shoes. They twirled, stared in the mirror, walked on tip toes, jumped, learned to point their toes, clap and take a bow. From someone who never took dance and has little to no graceful bones in their body, I think they will enjoy it even if it is just for the pink costumes that they get to wear.

19 miles done

I think my exact words when I finished were “19 miles. Who’s your mama?” No idea why I said that, but it just came out with chill bumps and everything. It’s really hard to think that just 7.2 more and it will be a full marathon!

I have been trying a few things this week and so far, so good.

No more Nuun, and a switch from Balega to Feetures socks.

For pretty much every long or long-ish run we’ve done, I’ve been having some GI issues. Nothing crazy like sprinting to the woods, but definitely not comfortable either. The only thing that is different from the last time I trained for a half was the addition of Nuun. I really didn’t think it could attribute to everything, but after talking to a friend who is an RD and she mentioned that some drinks or energy gels use sugar alcohols which can hurt your stomach. Then, I was reading Runners World and noticed an article that mentioned Sorbitol can cause GI issues, and then realize that Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol and Nuun has Sorbitol.

So, that got nixed and replaced with good ol’ water and Gatorade. I tried it for our 8 mile run on Wednesday and our 19 miler today and so far, so good.

I have worn Balega for years, but just seem to keep getting a few blister/callouses after long runs. The Feetures feel really good and seem to almost compress your feet. I still got a few hot spots today, but not as bad as previous weeks.

The first 13 miles felt pretty good … relaxed and steady. When we got back to our cars at a little over 13, I was tired and hungry. After downing some Gatorade, eating 1/2 a banana, etc., we started out again. Those last 6 miles were hard. My legs just felt like they didn’t want to go. It’s also not the most scenic part of the route and includes a big hill during the last 1.5 miles.

But, we did it … now just 20 and 22 mile runs left to do before the biggie. Gulp. 13 weeks of training down, 7 more to go. We actually realized that this was our last really long run on a Saturday. Due to schedules, we are running our 20 and 22-milers during the week. Gotta love that two of us have taken new jobs recently. Atleast we will be doing something positive on those vacation days!

Oh, and don’t you love M’s chevron skirt? I think I may have to go for it … so cute & she said it was really comfortable too. 3 compliments from other runners today as well.