Archives For Health

See Mom Run!

Leigh —  February 18, 2013 — 4 Comments

I should probably start this post with a confession.  I am in no way, shape, or form an athlete.  I’ve never played on any kind of team sport except for a brief stint in college when I played intramural volleyball.  I was terrible.  Picture arms flailing, balls flying different directions, and a lot of apologizing to my teammates.  That’s it.  That sums up my athletic career.

So when I tell you what I’m about to tell you, please keep that in mind.  This weekend I ran my first half-marathon.

It all started about ten years ago when Ken bought a treadmill for me for Christmas.  I know, I know, that’s probably not what most newlywed brides want from their darling husbands.  And before you get all, “What?! A treadmill?! I would have told him to stick it where the sun doesn’t shine!”  It was what I wanted.  In fact, he tried to talk me out of it, but I stuck to my guns.  So Christmas morning, he surprised me with a treadmill.

He still didn’t believe that I would use it for very long even after he bought it.  Not because he thought I was a lardo and wouldn’t exercise, but because everybody who has ever bought a treadmill lets it collect dust in a corner after the first couple of months.  He didn’t know it at the time, but that was the most motivating thing he could have said to me.  I made up my mind right then that my treadmill was NOT going to collect dust in a corner.

So I started running, and I’ve continued to do so over the years.  Sure, sometimes I get bored with the treadmill and take a break.  Maybe run outdoors or do some other form of exercise for a while, but I always come back to that treadmill.  It’s convenient, and I don’t have to rely on good weather in order to exercise.

However, even after all these years of running, I’ve never considered myself a “runner”. (I mean, real runners hate treadmills, right?)  I run so I can eat chocolate and french fries with less guilt.  Period.  That’s what it’s about for me.  If I had any kind of will-power to resist those foods, then I would stop running in a heartbeat.  But I like to eat, so I run.

I’ve never taken running that serious because it’s always been about burning calories, not accomplishing goals.  Even six months ago when I started toying with the idea of running a half marathon I was thinking about calories.

I have this problem.  Every year between November through January, I eat like a pig.  Between the holidays, both my kids’ birthdays, my anniversary, and then Ken’s birthday, we party for three months, and I normally stop running because we’re just so busy.  I always gain weight during those three months.  Shocker! I know! Then I spend the first six months of the new year trying to get it off.  Over the years I’ve come to realize something…it’s getting harder and harder to get it off.

So I hatched a plan.  I decided that if I signed up in October for a half marathon in February, then it would motivate me to keep exercising through the holidays.  And so that’s how I got here.

I’m going to be honest with you.  This past month of training has been tough.  As far as I was concerned, I had met the goal.  I kept exercising through the holidays.  I had gained little to no weight over the last three months.  The couple of pounds I did gain, I’m totally blaming on muscle.  That’s what they always say, right?  So I had really already accomplished my goal.  However, to get this far and not run the half-marathon just didn’t seem right.

So Sunday morning, I begrudgingly woke up at the crack of dawn and put on my running shoes.  I just wanted to get it over with, and so I headed downtown to join these weirdos:

These folks really enjoy running.  They don’t just do for the chocolate and french fries.  They do it because they love the sport.  I felt like a poser standing amongst them.  As I stood there waiting for the race to start, I thought, “What am I doing here?!”  Then the guy next to me struck up a conversation.  Turns out this was his tenth marathon. Yea that’s right, TENTH! He told me he was from Colorado and set a goal to run a marathon in every state.  It seemed like a pretty audacious goal to me.  I mean, I’m just here to fight my slowing metabolism.

In conversation, he asked if there were any other marathons in our city, and I sheepishly told him that I had no idea.  The Mercedes is definitely the most well-known, but I wasn’t sure.  In fact, I even admitted to him that this was my first half-marathon.  His face lit up, and he high-fived me.  He said, “Congratulations,” and told me that he was proud of me.  And I know it’s stupid because he was a total stranger, but all of the sudden, I was proud of me too.  It wasn’t just about burning calories.  I was about to run a half-marathon!

The race started, and we were off.  I ran all around this city, my home.  I ran past the building where my dad used to take me with him to work sometimes so I could play “school” on the dry erase boards  and make suicides in the break room soda fountain.  I ran past Silvertron’s where Ken and I had our first date eighteen years ago.  I ran past the Harbert Plaza building where I used to work during my brief stint as a career woman.  With every twist and turn of the course, I went on another trip down memory lane, and I enjoyed every minute of it.  Seriously, it was the best run I’ve ever had.

Around mile twelve, I started tearing up.  I couldn’t believe I had actually done it.  Me, probably the most nonathletic person that signed up for this race, and it was almost over.  And I thought, “Maybe I’m not a poser after all.”

At the end of it stood my favorite cheerleaders, yelling from the side, and blowing me kisses as I crossed the finish line.  I felt awesome.  Edie even made me an adorable sign that morning to cheer me on from the sidelines:

  That’s definitely going in my keepsake box.  Along with this:Look at that guy behind me.  He definitely thinks I’m some sort of weirdo because I choose to run for fun. I know that look.  I had just been looking at everyone else that way a couple of hours ago.

And here’s one of Edie taking my picture while she shows me her sign and Roark fondles my medal.

All day long, I was receiving congratulatory texts and messages from friends and family, and it made me feel like a rock star.  Thanks everybody for that!

In the end, I realized that I actually did more than just burn some calories these last few months.  I proved that you don’t have to be an athlete to run a race, you’ve just got to stick with it and eventually the finish line will come.

So we got a little unexpected gift from Santa this year, and not the good kind.

It all started Sunday night around midnight.  I had spent the whole weekend cleaning the house and getting ready for a Christmas party the kids and I were throwing for our friends later in the week.  I was sound asleep, all snuggled in my bed when I heard the dreaded sound and seconds later, smelt the wretched stench of a child puking next to my bed.

I normally handle my kids’ stomach bugs like a champ. It’s one of the many ways motherhood has pushed me out of my comfort zone, and I like to think that I have risen to the challenge in the past.  I have been the perfect picture of comfort when my kids are puking their guts out.  I get wash clothes ready.  I rub on little backs while whispering encouraging things like, “It’s ok.  It’s almost over.  You’ll feel better in just a second.”  That sort of thing.

But for some reason, I was totally off my game Sunday night.  Maybe it’s because it had been about two years since anyone had puked in our house and I was out of practice.  Or it could have been because it was the first time anyone had actually vomited on the carpet RIGHT NEXT TO MY BED.  Or perhaps it was because I stepped in it because I couldn’t see where I was going in the dark. Whatever the reason, I immediately started gagging and throwing open windows even though it was freezing out.  I didn’t care.  I needed fresh air!

Eventually, I got it cleaned up as best I could in the wee hours of the morning, wiped down my feet and my child, got Edie tucked back into bed just in time for her to start puking again.

She went on throwing up every hour for the rest of the night.  It was miserable.  Then around six in the morning, I woke to two children calling out my name and fighting over the toilet.  Edie had already laid claim to it.  Even though there wasn’t anything left in her stomach, it was still fighting to get something up.   As I came into the hall, Roark informs me that his “tummy hurts too.” Great.

I get him to the next bathroom just in time for him to start the puking process.  This was the first time Roarkie has ever had a stomach virus.  I honestly feel like he’s been pretty lucky to have made it four years without throwing up.  Not many kids can say that.  However, when it comes to throwing up, he’s a novice.  He had no idea what was happening in his little tummy and his instinct was to cover his mouth.  WRONG.  Oh so wrong!  Afterwards he looked up at me in disbelief and said, “Mommy, that was a frow-up explosion!”  I couldn’t have said it better myself.  It looked like a bomb had gone off in that little bathroom.

Monday turned out to be a pretty crummy day.  I spent the day washing clothes and kids in between sanitizing everything little hands could possibly touch.

I totally blame Santa for this stomach bug too.  He was the only person my kids had any contact with in the three days leading up to our bout with the throw-ups.  In fact, they hadn’t even left the house once over the weekend because we had been getting ready for the party.

The party was another added stress to our sick day.  It was scheduled for Wednesday, but since our week was already booked with other Christmas festivities, we had done all the prep over the weekend.  So the idea of canceling it was really depressing because the majority of the work was already done.  We ended up rescheduling for Friday.  It made us sad to change the date, but it gave me time to mop again and the kids had ample to time to prove the bug was really and truly out of their system.

And the party was so much fun.  It was so worth changing the date. I know it’s cliche to say that you have the best friends in the world, but I’m afraid in my case it might actually be true.  The kids decorated gingerbread houses and ran around outside like maniacs while the moms talked and laughed until our bellies hurt.

This is fast becoming one of our favorite Christmas traditions!

Power Run 2011

Leigh —  March 8, 2011 — Leave a comment

Here are some of the pictures from this year’s Power Run I participated in on Saturday:

IMG_2600I suckered my friend, Brook, into running with me this year.  I’m really proud of her.  This was her first race, and she did great.  Of course, she doesn’t realize what she’s done by running with me.  From now on, I’m going to be pestering her to join me in every race because I enjoyed running with her so much.  We’re going to start training for that 10k tomorrow, right, Brook?

IMG_2637Here we are after the race.  I especially like the runner antennas that are coming out of my head.

IMG_2679Here are our girls showing off their frog tats.  I was really disappointed with the kid’s activities this year.  Last year there were all kinds of things to entertain the kiddos with jumpy-jumps and face-painting clowns, but this year just some frog tattoos and a lame LEGO table.  I’m blaming this on the fact that there was an 80% chance of thunderstorms, and not on poor management.  Otherwise, I am going to have a hard time convincing Ken to hang with the kids next time.

IMG_2624I know this picture is completely ridiculous, but it makes me laugh.  I’m not exactly sure why I’m smiling that big.  Maybe it was that runner’s high that I’ve always heard about, but until now never thought I’d experienced.  However after seeing this picture, I’m concerned that my husband might be right…maybe I do have the biggest mouth on earth.  For crying out loud, that grin is bigger than my forehead!