Better late than never…

Today is my first day running in approximately a year. I decided that I’d take advantage of a cool weather spell and put lil E in the jogging stroller. It was rough going at first, but I eventually got into a rhythm and found a slow but steady pace. Floating on the sidewalks under a marble sky I realized that, for me, running is like eating healthy vegetables. I may not always want to do it but I tend to feel lighter afterward.

An added bonus is that lil E fell asleep right before we got home.

I hope I can find the time to continue running. Reading previous entries of this blog is motivating me. I could always use more motivation though! -Amy

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Keep Calm and Carry on Running

First of all, I would like to dedicate this ‘crappy and boring’ blog (oh, ya gotta love trolls) to my friends.  No matter what happens in my life my friends are always there for me, encouraging me on and loving me through whatever comes my way.  I am very lucky to have such amazing women in my life and I cannot appreciate them enough.  So, Mariah, Nicky, Amy, Kimberly, Jenny, Lorraine, Molly, Ashley, Jessica, Valerie, Julia, and all the rest of you- this blog is for you.  I love you all more than words can say.

Lately my drama llama has been so overloaded that I fear he’s going to catch fire.  Some days it seems like there’s always some sort of crisis, and although I am happier than I have ever been, my stress level is high.  Very high.  I haven’t blogged in awhile because I stopped running for a bit.  I couldn’t find the time, things in my life imploded, etc. etc. On Monday, I blew the dust off my running shoes, pulled on my short shorts, and hit the road.

It felt amazing.  There’s nothing like six miles along the beach to make you feel like a new human again.  I’ve been running most days this week and it makes such a difference.  Running always makes me feel grateful, so when I hit the trail I always spend most of my time counting my blessings.  My beautiful daughter, the perfect love I’ve found, my friends, my family, the smell of salty sea air, and sunshine are what I focus on as the miles pass away unnoticed.  There’s something about a good run that cleanses my soul and makes me feel like a new, better version of myself.  I return to my life renewed and refreshed, my only concern being what flavour ice cream to buy when I take my daughter for a walk along the beach.  Despite everything, running helps me remember that life is sweet.  And, I am so blessed to be living the life I lead. -SarahImage

Run, mama, run?

Mucho apologies here at Run, Mama, Run for our hiatus. I blame Amy.

Just kidding. I think we’re both struggling with our mobile children and all the rest that motherhood entails. It’s a lot most days, but I’m going to double dog dare myself to write at least one blog a week. If y’all aren’t too bored, maybe I’ll strive for more- I have a few friends that have started running because of our blog.  That gives me hope and makes me feel that I must persevere.  To make certain Amy writes, I’ve installed an electric shock device on her computer so if she doesn’t blog once a week the keyboard gives her a nasty shock.  Y’all are that important.
Lately running has been difficult for me. I’m running the Brighton marathon in a week and a half and the training has kicked my ass. My hip has started to really hurt (old war/ballet injury) and the training hours eat away at my family time. Also, the weather here blows. It’s still freezing cold and I don’t think it’s helping ye olde gammy hip. I’ve decided that I’m going to pull up my Pollyanna positivity big girl panties and quit whining. Now is the time for strength and optimism. The weather will improve. The hip will hurt less. I will keep running. This blog will keep on keeping on.  -Sarah

I’m still here, but Runner’s Knee and illness kept me from running for awhile. In the time I took off from running I managed to gain back all the weight I had lost. I’ve noticed that the excess weight puts strain on my joints so I’ve had to take it a lot slower. Back at square one, and it’s not a good feeling. -Amy

Brutal 10, Never Again

Well, I hate to say never.  There are lots of things I said I would never do, most of which involve my child.  Fussy baby in the car?  Hand them your cell phone, and who cares if they call 5 or 6 of your nearest and dearest- they’re happy.  The list goes on and on.  However, in this case, I think I can safely say that it will be donkey’s years before I attempt another Brutal 10k.  I mean, I’m glad I did it, and I finished- but dude, never again.

I should start by saying that I am a girly girl.  I like to think I’m pretty scrappy, but I’m not a huge fan of things like camping, or  quite frankly of dirt in general.  I enjoy trail running, but primarily I just like that there aren’t very many people around and I can rock out and sing along to the Biebs to my heart’s content.  Not that I do that, I mean- how undignified!  Anyway, I like the great outdoors in snippets, but I prefer hotels to tents, if you catch my drift.  Also, I’m just a normal mother.  I mean, I cross my legs when I sneeze just like we all do.  When I signed up for the Brutal 10k, I figured it was a 10K with a little added difficulty.  My friends, that is NOT what it is.  As my mother-in-law (and one of my biggest fans) said, “Oh my goodness, that was a proper military assault course.  Never do that again dear.’ I love her because she’s wise.

It was essentially a military assault course.  It’s the real deal, for bad asses, and while I am a bad ass- it was not NOT the thing for me.  First of all, the hills they mention in the brochure?  They’re less like hills and more like vertical climbs.  I spent a couple of those hills scrabbling from root to root pulling myself up, and I was not alone.  If you like crawling on your face through mud up a vertical hill scrabbling for a root to hold onto- this is the race for you!!  Also, the mud and swamps? They are pits of mud and actual swamps, more of what you would visualize in the Ozarks than the picturesque British countryside.  Finally, I’m a short-arse (as my husband would say) and I was waist deep in mud on several occasions, as well as being face first in swamp water at one point.  I am clutching my pearls just thinking about it.  Disgusting.  It took many showers to feel clean.

The event was well run and I , of course, got a tee shirt.  It just was not what I thought it would be.  Perhaps I should have taken a clue from the word Brutal and not expected a normal hilly race.  Been there, done that, got the T-shirt.  Never again.

– Sarah

  047

I am a runner!

by Amy

On a solo run last weekend I had a shocking revelation: I actually enjoy running. What is wrong with me? Is there something in the water that causes yuppie mutation? Five years ago, hell, even ONE year ago I would have laughed at the mere possibility of running for pleasure. But now I am running a few times a week, and I am actually enjoying it.

The occasional muscle ache is eclipsed by the many benefits of running. My legs are getting strong, my posture is better, and my mood has improved. I bought new shoes! Not only do they look cool they are also so incredibly lightweight I sometimes feel like I’m floating over the pavement.

Totally awesome car repellents

Totally awesome car repellents

It has been nearly two months since I started running. While I have no plans to do a marathon anytime soon I hope to make running a lifelong habit. There are many factors that can prevent this from happening. Injury is an issue for many but I’m fairly in tune with my body. I’m not one to overdo it, and if I ever feel any pain more than a muscle ache I will take a break until I heal. What I am concerned about is my penchant for self-sabotage.

Like most people, I can become really good at something if I work at it. I learn quickly. But a couple of things often hamper my success: laziness and low self-esteem. The laziness is pervasive but it is fairly easily overcome if I am doing something I find interesting. Low self-esteem, however, is my achilles heel. That nagging feeling that I’m not good enough to succeed crops up right when I start to gain momentum. Friends and family have repeatedly tried to lift me up but to no avail. I subject myself to a daily comedy roast. The latest bit is “You’re too fat to run. You’re going to smash those fancy shoes with your high BMI. You’re like Jabba the Hut’s sister. Go ahead, eat that bag of chips. Turn on that TV. Running is lame! You’re such a worthless fat ass!”

Part of the solution to my self-esteem problem might be found in a book called “How To Be A Woman” by Caitlin Moran. I am loath to say “this book changed my life!” but I might just end up with that admission. It is a hilariously unapologetic feminist manifesto. I often wonder if I wouldn’t have the low self-esteem issues if I was a man. Sure, men have obstacles in life, but women face most of those as well as unattainable beauty standards, objectification, sexism, lower pay than male counterparts, possible violence/rape by loved ones or strangers, etc. 40+ years after the women’s liberation movement we still have a long way to go.

There are many great points in “How To Be A Woman” but the “I am Fat!” chapter particularly resonated with me. So many women turn to food for comfort.  I reach for carbs when feeling sad, angry or stressed. Moran points out that overeating is “the addiction of choice of carers” (often women) because it allows them to remain functional while “slowly self-destructing in a way that doesn’t inconvenience anyone”. Moran muses, “I sometimes wonder if the only way we’ll ever get around to properly considering overeating is if does come to take on the same perverse, rock ‘n’ roll cool of other addictions. Perhaps it’s time for women to finally stop being secretive about their vices and start treating them like all other addicts treat their habits instead. Coming into the office looking raddled, sighing, “Man, I was on the shepard’s pie last night like you wouldn’t believe. I had, like, MASH in my EYEBROWS by 10 p.m. I was on a total mince rush!”

I actually addressed my carbo-holism  on Facebook. I admitted that I had recently consumed half a loaf of french bread in one sitting. My friend Sarah (not to be confused with my sister Sarah, who also has amazing advice) commented “Breathe and give yourself a break! You cannot go through life eyeing up the forbidden fruit and not fall off the wagon. Just let yourself fall off the wagon, eat that bread and tomorrow, get up, eat an apple and go for a walk. Its not much, but its something. You cannot be perfect 100% of the time. Impossible! So when you fall into the ditch let it go, just do your best to climb out of it.” A few friends (including a man) empathized. It was just what was needed- a sense that I’m not alone and can get over it. I have also been talking about it to my husband, who has offered to help and support me. What I plan to do is stock the fridge and cupboard with healthy convenient foods. That way I don’t go hungry and there are no excuses NOT to eat well.

Exercise and a healthy diet are not only good for weight-control, they also are an effective anti-depressant. I am prone to depression but have found that I can avoid it as long as I’m taking care of my physical well-being. And if I am content not will I more easily overcome life’s challenges, but I will also be more motivated to continue healthy activities like running. To live long and prosper running- that is my goal.

Wit, wisdom, and inspirational quotes

I LOVE inspirational sayings.  If I had an office it would look exactly like Barney’s office on How I Met Your Mother.  Sometimes when I don’t feel like working out I log into Pinterest and browse the health and fitness section.  When I read things like, ‘No matter how slow you’re going, you’re still lapping everyone on the couch,’ I feel motivated to actually do something.  I don’t care if it’s cheesy, it works for me, and I’ll take anything that peels me away from a particularly engaging episode of Snapped.  So, when I get my mitts on a running book with lots of inspirational quotes I clap my little hands with glee and start taking notes.

This weeks obsession is a book called Eat and Run by Scott Jurek.  Y’all it’s awesome.  Beyond awesome.  And, it’s full of inspirational sayings and witty catchphrases.  My favorite thus far is, “Pain only hurts.”  Repeating pain only hurts got me through a particularly grueling hill repeat session on Monday.  Jurek is an ultramarathoner (he runs races that are like 100 miles long) and a staunch vegan.  He has inspired me to start really thinking about the foods I eat, and I’m even conducting a little experiment which I will fill you all in on another day.  I bet you’re on the edge of your seats.

The weather has actually been great here lately,  and I even ran in shorts and a tank top today.  While I probably blinded a few people  with my pasty white legs, it felt good to be outdoors without my usual winter gear.  Tomorrow I’ve got a sixteen miler planned, so hopefully it will hold for a while.  I leave you with a little advice on running a marathon from the LEGEN… wait for it… DARY Barney Stinson,

“Step one, you start running.  There is no step two.”

-Sarah