Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Running (does not) Give You Energy

It has been over two years since the last time I ran.

And it shows.

Now I have several good reasons for not running. They are as follows:
-Grad program
-100 degree weather (um, no thank you)
-Became an administrator
-Got pregnant

I also have several not-so-great reasons for running. They are not worth a list, but most of them involve my desire to sleep and/or remain on my ass.

I have been a "runner" for a significant chunk of my 32 years. I first started (was forced to start rather) at the tender age of 14. I lied about my mile time (ru-roh), and I think my dad thought that my running would be a character building exercise. I just don't think he realized how hard it would be to get me to run. Eventually, he won, but there were tears involved (mostly mine...just kidding...I think...)

Running took a back burner in college since I was so busy, you know, studying. (More like I was busy having a love affair with ranch dressing and fried chicken.)

25 pounds later (who ever said "Freshmen 15" can bite me), I decided it might be time to try running again. So I plugged along for about a year and eventually lost weight and even discovered that I, ack, liked to run.

Throughout college, off and on, I ran. I would occasionally take a break and try something new like hip-hop aerobic classes or swimming, but I would always come back to running. It's a relatively cheap form of exercise and you can do it pretty much anywhere.

Then I had a baby.

I tried to get back into running after having Emerson, but it never quite felt the same. I found I could run for longer periods of time, but I had a hard time getting myself motivated to run faster. So when I got serious about losing weight, I focused on my diet and weight training. Running fell by the wayside.

Then I had a second baby.

And I never have a second to myself. Seriously, if I am not fixing a ponytail, discussing Barbie, or searching for GD shoes, I'm changing a diaper, making a bottle, or folding an enormous pile of laundry. Then, Justin and the cats'll get in the mix and want some attention too.

Running has become an appealing option.

Or, at least it seemed to be. Until I went out for my first "run" yesterday. Then I remembered.

Running sucks.

Now, I know I just had a baby (well, "just" might be stretching it a bit...he is almost four months old...shhhhh.) But I'm not actually in terrible shape. Yes, I still have 30 pounds to lose, but I have been exercising regularly for the past month. I can do a ton (read 10) of push-ups and jumping jacks are no sweat (actually, they are a lot of sweat, but at least I live through them.)

That's the thing about running. No matter how strong or in-shape you are, running will literally kick your ass. Because here's the essential truth about running--you are fighting gravity with every step.

And gravity always wins. Always.

So yesterday, I headed out on the creek path by our house and went for a low-key 30 minute run/jog/ritual rite of humiliation.

As I was plodding along, I thought of a couple truths about running, nuggets of wisdom (ha!).

Running "Truths"
-The first day back to running always seems like a good idea. It is not. It will be terrible
-The first run will eventually be over. Thank gawd.
-There will always be something for one to obsess over while running: a droopy bra strap, itchy socks, a shirt that keeps rolling up (real sexy by the way when you've had two kids)
-No matter how tired you are, if you pass another runner, you will try your hardest to look like a "good" runner--no slouching, no feet dragging, no drooling, etc. Once you pass the runner, you will immediately go back to your Hunchback of Notre Dame posture.
-Midway through your run, you will discover any or all of the following thoughts--you should have peed before you left, you should have used your inhaler, you should have had more water, or running sucks.
-Nothing feels better than when you have finished running. (Some would say it's the feeling you get of accomplishing something that is purely healthy. I would say it's that your heart is no longer in failure. You say potato...)

So I did it. I "ran". I'm not sure if I'll do it again. I would like to say I plan on it, but I'm not 100% committed to the idea. It is nice to have 30 minutes to myself though...

Friday, June 17, 2011

A Bitter-Sweet (well, mostly sweet) Milestone

Five years ago today, I had just finished my last gestational diabetes dinner (pork, bell peppers, and wild rice...unfortunately I experienced it twice). I did not know it was my "last supper", as I was not due for three more weeks.

Emerson had other plans. :)

Well, fast forward five years later, and I am the proud mama of an adorable, eccentric little five-year-old girl.

For weeks, we have talked about her party, her Barbie party. Every year this girl has a theme--year two it was Dora, then Cars, then princesses, and this year it is Barbie. Oh, how she loves Barbie.

Last week we headed to the party store and carefully picked out the decorations and favors. It probably is as much fun to plan the party as is it to have it.

We were all set for her party this Saturday, which is her actual birthday.

Then, four days ago, she coughed.

She wouldn't stop coughing.

I played it off as allergies, a simple cold, etc.

This morning she woke up with 103.5 fever.


A visit to the doctor's confirmed my fear--pneumonia. Again. (Yes, I had to use spell check; you would think I could spell it by now.)

So now we have moved the party until next week, so we can spend a quiet weekend at home helping Emerson recover. She has been a trooper, but she is super out of it and can barely talk without coughing. Just not at her party best.

Unfortunately, very few of her friends can make it to her party next week (so glad I bought so many party favors...oh well.) Luckily, Em seems okay with it. At least her cousin Elizabeth will be there. Whew!

Tomorrow I have a quiet, fun day planned. I got Emerson a bunch of super girly gifts (mostly Barbie), a cake, and I plan on making strawberry/chocolate pancakes for breakfast. Hopefully, she has a good day and feels loved.

Because, really, that's all a person's birthday should be about.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Year 10 in the Bag

A couple weeks ago I finished my tenth year as an educator. And I feel tired, oh so tired. Seriously, I could nap right now (which is hugely inappropriate because I slept in until 9 this morning...thank you husband.)

Now, I have other reasons to be tired besides work, though work looms large. But allow me to catch us all up (since I just realized my last post was in

At the end of April, after a big Easter blow-out at our house, I returned to work. I'm not entirely sure why I did, but I survived okay. Right when I got back, I started working on a grant application. Writing grant applications is pretty terrible, but at least I had one main thing to focus work that is.

At home things were certainly not simple. It took us awhile to develop a two-kid-plus-work routine. Justin and I swapped baby duties at night, so whoever woke up with Eliot (he was still getting up at 3 or so) would dress him for the day. The other parent was responsible for getting Em ready for daycare. I took the kids in and picked them up.

Luckily Eliot has done really well at daycare. We have a wonderful daycare provider, and the kids at daycare were super excited about having Eliot to play with. It was nice to not have to one less thing to worry about.

The evenings proved to be rather labor-intensive. Here was a typical evening: I'd get off work at 5 or so, pick up the kids, and head home. First it would be Eliot's turn for a bath. Then we would have dinner, followed by Em's bath and book. Within that time Eliot would need one to two bottles. By nine o'clock Justin and I were pretty much wiped out.

School finished on May 20th for me and the following week for Justin. I am so happy about it, especially since my job was reinstated and it looks like Justin's will be soon (fingers crossed.)

I had a couple weeks of work to finish out my contract, which turned out to be really boring. It's not super interesting to work without teachers or kids, and it was hard for me to stay focused. But I finished up on Friday, officially, even though I have a couple projects to work on.

Justin attended a conference this week in Vegas, and I am still recovering from mommy-only duty. I had a lot of fun this week with the kids--Emerson started her first dance class and Eliot is just dang adorable. :) But it was exhausting to be the one to do everything. Needless to say I was very happy to have Justin home.

Now we have a relaxing summer ahead of us. We have planned some family visits and we are considering taking a small trip somewhere. I am really looking forward to spending time with my family. :)