My First Race*

I was really, really hoping to write this post on Saturday night, right after I finished the race…. but then, you know, life happened. And now it’s Thursday and here I am! YAY!

I swear days are simply blending together and I’m not sure when one ends and when one begins. My dad popped in for a visit today and asked me what I’d been up to the last few days, and I honestly couldn’t even remember. It’s been busy but not really busy and I just don’t know where time disappears to.

*sigh*

Anyway.

So, I started running again. It’s taken me some time to ease my old, post-partum body back into it, but I finally feel like I’m starting to find my rhythm. I registered for a race when I first started out so that I would have something to work towards, and the big day finally came last Saturday.

To be completely honest, I wasn’t even really sure if we were going to make it. Autumn has definitely arrived in Southern Ontario, and the forecast for Saturday was not looking good. The Hubster and I both registered for the race, which meant the kiddos were tagging along in our jogging stroller. Over the course of last week, Saturday’s forecast turned from bad to worse. By Friday night, the weather network was predicting a very chilly, very wet morning, and I had reservations about bringing the kids out in that.

We woke up to cold, grey skies on Saturday morning, but since it wasn’t raining, we decided to go. We packed the kids and stroller in the car and jumped on the highway… and then it started pouring. When we arrived at the park and found our starting area, the Hubster and I sat in the car and watched the rain stream down the windshield as we talked about what we should do. I dressed the kids warmly, and our stroller has a rain cover to keep them dry, so when the rain eased up a little, we decided just to go for it. Our friends who were running the race with us arrived, and we all registered and made our way down to the starting line.

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We ended up stretching (waiting) for a half hour as there was some mix up with the start time. Despite our smiles we were not impressed. It took some serious sugar bribery to keep the Wee-bean from melting down, and poor Hank just wanted the stroller to move so he could sleep.

Finally, horn blew and off we went. I lost sight of the Hubster in about 6 seconds, but I put my head down and focused on my own goals: Don’t be last, and finish in under 40 minutes.

I’m not going to lie, it was really hard. My clothes and shoes were soaked, and I have only run the full 5km a few times. The first 4 kilometers felt good, but I really had to push through the last one.

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I was the last one to finish in our group, but I don’t care. As I was coming toward the finish line and saw them all there cheering me on, there was a half second where I felt self-conscious that I was so slow, but I quickly shook it off. Even though they all beat me, I beat both my goals! Even as slow as I currently am, there is no way I could have run 5km 6 weeks ago. I keep telling myself that my journey to get back in shape is a marathon, not a sprint. I am just taking things one run at a time, and each day I try to push myself a little bit further.

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I’ve already been out running twice this week, and I can’t wait to get out again. It feels SO good to be exercising again… I wish I had never stopped.

I just registered for my second race at the beginning of October. I’m hoping to run the race in under 35 minutes this time, so I have some work to do! Seventeen sleeps to race day–time to get movin’.

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My Running Goals*

I recently joined a weight loss challenge with some other moms, and today is “weigh-in” day.

I’m not going to lie–I was  nervous to step on the scale. I was able to get out running four times last week, but I didn’t eat terribly well while I was up visiting my parents on the weekend.

(My dad bought these incredible baguettes and this to-die-for cheese… I won’t disclose how much of it I ate. ha)

Thankfully I didn’t gain any weight, but I didn’t lose any either. I’m a little disappointed, but I know that this is a slow process, and nothing is going to happen until I improve my habits in the kitchen. So, I’m starting fresh today. I’m home again, and I have a great goal to push me this week–I have my first ever race on Saturday.

Two months ago, the Hubster and I registered for a 5km race that his work is hosting. I felt that it was close enough that I could push myself, but far enough away that I would have enough time to prepare. I’m a little nervous that I lost out on three training weeks in August, but I am otherwise really excited to do this run.

When we registered for the race, the Hubster helped me set some running goals, and offered me some incentives to keep me motivated. I explained what I wanted to accomplish, and together we came up with this:

116270-magic-marker-icon-symbols-shapes-check-mark  1km under 8 min – $20
116270-magic-marker-icon-symbols-shapes-check-mark  2km under 15 min – $20

index       3km in 21 min – $20 

index        5km in 35 min – $20

index        5km average pace of 7:45 – $20

zyTogXxiE  $100 bonus if completed by end of September

Every time I achieve one of these goals, I “earn” 20 dollars. I’m terrible at spending money on myself, especially since I’ve had kids. I always feel so guilty when I buy something that I know is completely frivolous or that I know I don’t need. The money I earn here is for exactly that. It’s mine to put towards whatever I want–new clothes, accessories, and (let’s be honest) new shoes.

I’ve already achieved two of my goals, and I’m very close to reaching another. It’s sometimes hard to try and find time to squeeze in a run when my days already feel SO full, but I always feel SO much better when I do. I really love running, and I’m finally reaching that point where it is starting to feel a little easier. My body doesn’t feel like it’s going to die after 5 minutes and it feels so good.

I’ve been using a “Couch to 5k” app on my phone, and I feel like it’s really helping! The intervals feel so doable, and I already feel such a difference.

The best part is that I’m finally doing something for myself. I have been looking at pictures from when I ran regularly 5 years ago, and I was so happy. I want that back.

So, let’s do this. I’ve been so grateful for all the support and motivation I’ve received on Facebook and Instagram–you lovely people helped me kick my butt out the door for a run last week when I was so tired at the end of the day… but I felt so good after I went.

It’s time to get in shape, lovelies. Four sleeps to race day!

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Hello September*

Hellooooo beautiful September.

I am SO glad that we’re in a new month–I am so ready to put August behind me and pretend like it never happened. Aside from my ninth wedding anniversary with the Hubster (which we have yet to celebrate), August was pretty much a disaster.

At the end of July I finally felt ready to commit to losing some weight and found the motivation I needed to do it. I started running again, but it felt like the universe spent the last month trying to prevent me from it.

At the end of July I dislocated one of my ribs and I am still struggling with it. I’m finally making some progress with my chiropractor, but it’s been a painful few weeks. I have trouble lifting my arm above my head, and even simple tasks are difficult–hence how I managed to get stuck in a shirt at Target.

Even though that’s been uncomfortable, it doesn’t hurt too badly when I run so I kept going into August.

…and then I injured my knee.

My last pregnancy + giving birth to Hank the Tank pushed my pelvis and hips out of alignment (who knew?!). I was apparently putting too much pressure on one leg as a result, and I did a number on my left knee. My lovely chiropractor has been helping me get things back in order, but I ended up needing to take a two week break from running to give it time to heal.

Then, just as my knee was healing, Ruby picked up Hand, Foot and Mouth disease… and passed it on to Hank and I. I spent a blurry-eyed, feverish week tending to my sick kiddos, and my feet were covered in blisters. I hobbled around like an old man for two days before the pain let up a little. Whoever labeled HFMD as a “mild” virus has clearly never had it. High fever, no appetite, and I had sores / blisters on my hands, feet, and scalp–as well as in my nose and ears. It was not a fun week. I am so grateful that the Hubster was spared… I wouldn’t wish that illness on my worst enemy.

We finally came through the worst of HFMD and for one second I thought about going for a run now that my knee was healed and my blisters had callused over.

Of course that was when my legs broke out in horrendous hives that lasted for a glorious two days. Did you know that you can sometimes get hives when you are getting over a virus? I didn’t. It’s like the virus’s way of saying one last “Fare thee well!” as it leaves your body. So, I spent two very itchy, uncomfortable days shaking my fist at the universe for cursing me for AN ENTIRE MONTH.

…but that’s all behind us now. Helllooooooo September!

I finally feel healthy and I’m so looking forward to the next few weeks. I am easing myself back into running again and it feels so good. I’ve been out twice this week, and my knee feels great. The Hubster and I set up some goals and incentives for me, and I’m really excited about them.

I registered for my first 5k race on September 13th and I’m so excited. I’m a little disappointed that I missed over three weeks of training, but I’m going to run it no matter what.

Anyway, that’s where I’ve been these last few weeks. I’m just so happy that August is behind us and I am so looking forward to all that September will bring!

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Zombie Mom*

I had every intention of crawling into bed and curling up into the fetal position until I passed out tonight (which would probably take… oh, six seconds or so). But as I brushed my teeth, I realized that I needed to write tonight. Today was hard, and I think that I neglect to write about the reality of parenthood sometimes. I’m always eager to share my good days, but sometimes the hard days are the ones I need to share most, so that I can remember that I did survive them… and that a brand new day always comes the next morning.

My hard day actually started yesterday. Ruby had an unusually short nap after church, and when she woke up I noticed that she felt a little warm. She had a low grade fever but it wasn’t anything serious, so I just pushed the fluids and gave her a little Tylenol before bed. She went out like a light at 8pm, and I should have gone to bed with her. Alas, I stayed up until almost midnight watching a show on Netflix, enjoying a few precious moments alone.

At 3am Ruby woke up crying. She does this occasionally, and she often just needs a hug or to be tucked back in before she will drift off to sleep again. The Hubster heard her before me, so he got up and went in to her. He went through the usual routine and got her back in bed, and when he returned he mentioned that she felt rather warm.

So, I waited. Sure enough, less than five minutes later she was up again. I went in, armed with a thermometer and a glass of water for her. Her temperature had spiked up to 101.5, so I gave her another dose of Tylenol with a drink of water, tucked he back in, and slipped out of her room.

She was crying before I even had the door closed, and I knew then that my night was just beginning. It took a long time for her temperature to come back down, and she was only calm when I was either holding her, or laying next to her bed on the floor. I tried bringing her into my bed with me, but there are only certain positions I can sleep in right now with my bad shoulder, and we just couldn’t find one that we were both happy with.

So, I brought my pillows and a little blanket with me and camped out on her floor. It was almost 5:30am before she passed out and I quietly collected my things and prepared to slip back into my own bed.

…but of course Hank woke up just then, ready for his first breakfast. I nursed him and rocked him, and by 6:15am he was mostly asleep, though he seemed a little restless. I put him in his bed and prayed that he would crash and let me get an hour of sleep.

Nope.

By 6:50 he was wiiiiiiiide awake and ready to eat again. When I heard him on the monitor, I glanced over at the Hubster and seriously debated waking him and making him take Hank downstairs… but I knew he would want to eat and even though I felt like a zombie, I was already up.

And thus began a long, long day. Ruby’s fever came and went all day long. She would go from being her usual, chipper self then would crash and become small and whiny each time the fever reared its head. Hank was spared from the fever, but something was still a little off and he would not nap today. He was exhausted, but wouldn’t settle. It took him almost two hours to fall asleep this morning, and bedtime tonight was a disaster.

Having been awake since 3am with no real opportunities to get a good nap in today, I felt like a zombie all day long. My house is a disaster, I didn’t even get time to do my hair or put make-up on, and I can’t even remember if I ate breakfast or lunch.

But that’s okay. As much as today sucked for me, I knew it was worse for my kids. I could tell that neither one felt themselves, and it broke my heart that there was so little that I could do for them. They are both asleep now, and I can only hope that tonight will be a little less eventful for all of us.

So, I’m exhausted, and I honestly can’t even remember the point I was trying to get across when I first started this post. But maybe that is the point–someday, many moons from now, when Ruby and Hank have children of their own and encounter these hard days, I’ll be able to look back at days like today and say, “I understand.” And even though this day was filled with several excruciating moments, they do pass. Your ninth wind kicks in, and somehow the hours pass and you survive the day.

Being a parent is the best job in the world… but sometimes it’s also really, really hard. When your kids don’t sleep and whine all day, and your house feels like a disaster zone and all you want to do is sleep but your bed is buried beneath a week’s worth of clean laundry that you have yet to fold–I understand.

Just push the laundry back into the basket and go to bed. It can wait.

Tomorrow is a new (hopefully fever-free) day.

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That Time I Got Stuck in a Shirt at Target*

Ah, long weekends. The Hubster decided to take yesterday off to make it an extra long weekend, and we had a wonderful day together as a family. We went for a run, played at a new park we found in our neighbourhood, went swimming, and spent a fortune buying things we probably didn’t need at Costco.

Both the kids were tired, and by some happy miracle they were both in bed asleep by 8:30. One of our neighbours came over to visit with the Hubster, so I decided to go do something for myself: I went shopping.

When you have kids, going to a store alone is almost as relaxing as going to a spa. Shopping with kids means having a list of exactly what I need, and a map of which aisles to hit first to make it as short a trip as possible. Usually I am grabbing things on the fly, tossing an item into my cart while I am already seeking out the next. But instead of racing the cart through the store trying to finish shopping before Ruby has a melt down or Hank needs to eat again, I was actually able to stop and look at things.

Pretty things. Frivolous things. Things for me.

Going to a store alone means that I was actually able to browse through shoes and clothing and have time to try them on at the store. *swoon*

While I shopped, I had my purse on in my cart so I wouldn’t have to carry it on my shoulder. Two weeks ago I did something to my left shoulder and it has been killing me ever since. I’ve had two massages and it’s getting better, but my mobility is still limited. I have a hard time putting my hair back in a pony tail or lifting that arm above my head.

As I browsed through the store, I found a few cute tops that I wanted to try on. As it was after 9pm the store was pretty quiet, so rather than go to the fitting rooms, I just found a full-length mirror and tried them on in the racks over my clothes. I found a new pajama set that I loved, as well as a new running top. I also spied a cute pull over denim shirt that I really liked. It’s different from anything I own, so I thought I’d try it on and see how it looked.

It slipped over my head fairly easily, and I really liked how it looked on. It’s fitted, and looked a little nicer than my usual “mom-uniform” of shorts + cotton t-shirt.

Then I went to take it off.

I started to pull the shirt up from the bottom so I could lift it over my head, but I immediately realized that denim does not give and stretch like cotton. I got the bottom up as high as my chest before my sore shoulder loudly screamed, “NOPE.”

I tried to gently pull a different way, to which my sore shoulder responded, “NOPE. Not happening.”

So, here I am in a clothing rack at Target, stuck in a denim top that I can’t seem to get out of. Of course, this is when all of the women in the store decide to come shopping in the section I’m in. I began to look around for a quieter spot to struggle out of this shirt, and, not seeing one, do what any self-respecting woman who is stuck in a shirt she hasn’t paid for does: I dropped to the floor and hid behind a rack.

Now I’m hunched between my cart and a rack of clothes, desperately trying to think of a solution. I tried to shimmy out of the shirt again, but my shoulder prevented any success.

By this point I was beginning to panic and was trying to find alternate solutions. I thought about simply wearing it to the front and telling the clerk that I loved the shirt SO MUCH that I just had to wear it out of the store, but it just didn’t feel right. Then I thought about trying to find a sales associate to see if they could help me out of the shirt, but of course, every associate in the women’s clothing section at that time was male.

Awesome.

Then I thought, “I can just ask one of the other women shopping to help me out of my shirt! They will understand my plight.” But as I scanned around, all I saw were couples happily shopping together.

Where were the other young mothers who had just put their children to bed and needed a wild shopping adventure to soothe their souls!?

*sigh*

As my panic kept rising, I decided that I had to get out of the shirt no matter what. I pretended like it was totally normal to be wearing this shirt that totally didn’t match the shorts I had on or my actual shirt that was underneath it and kept shopping. A few minutes later I saw a window of opportunity where the happy shopping couples and male associates were all busy and out of my section and decided to go for it.

I tried to gently pull it off again, but my shoulder screamed in protest.

I knew my next attempt would be my last–it was either coming off or I was wearing it out of the store. I grabbed on to the hem of the shirt  and got ready to yank. For some reason, my body decided that the best position to do this would be bending over so far that I was almost upside down. I took a deep breath, braced myself against the mirror and pulled. I nearly cried out from the pain in my shoulder, but I finally felt the shirt go over my head and it dropped on the floor.

I closed my eyes and laughed a little in relief, momentarily oblivious to the fact that several shoppers were eying ‘the crazy lady who was stripping in the aisles’ rather suspiciously. When I opened my eyes several people looked away quickly, so they had obviously been watching my struggle. I blushed about eight different shades of red before I threw the shirt in my cart and ran out of the women’s section.

It was only later that it occurred to me that I could have simply gone to the fitting rooms to try and take the shirt off privately instead of diving in between clothing racks and putting on a show.

Oh well. I still got to go shopping by myself.

Totally worth it.

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