Sunday, July 31, 2011

B.O.B. (Baby, or Boulder?)

So, I realized that sometime between signing up for the Cleveland Clinic River Run Half Marathon on September 11, and actually running said half-marathon, I ought to do some training. And it's not like I can half-ass the training on this one, as I haven't run over 3 miles in a year and a half. (!)

I'd been getting back into the swing of things with a couple of recent 5Ks. Last weekend, I ran a bit before and after the Lakewood Summer Meltdown 5K, making my total between 4 and 4.5 miles. This weekend, I was set to hit the big 5.

I know that sounds like nothing to a lot of you, but to me it sounded monstrous. I usually feel "done" after only about 2 or 3 nowadays. (Well, to be honest, in this heat and humidity, plus the added "bonus" of the jogging stroller, I'm usually tired out after only 1.) Plus, Derek is away this weekend for a friend's bachelor party (yes, all weekend -- boo!)*, so it was B.O.B. time for me and Lorelei.

We set off to the Rocky River Reservation, my favorite place to run. I wasn't sure where to start. I was getting a little bored of always starting near the Detroit Rd. entrance, so I drove a little bit and parked by the Big Met golf course. My thinking was that it's easy parking, close to a water fountain, and close to a mile marker (5).

Let me just say that it was already hot and humid at 9 am! But there was really no backing out. I did all my "long-run" preparations for this, and I was doing it. Funny to think of 5 miles as a long run, but since my body wasn't used to it, I did have to make sure to do extra stuff just in case, like put on Body Glide, eat a PB & J, hydrate, etc.

I'm so glad we were close to that water fountain, because I was able to fill my water bottle and Lorelei's sippy cup right away. I headed north towards the really hilly portion that makes you think you're going to have a heart attack (you know what I'm talking about. Nice cliffs, shaded area, huge mountainous hills on both sides leading up to the top? Sorta think you're gonna fall off if you're not careful?). I said I'd get to 2.5 and then turn around, but after what seemed like forever, I was only at ... 3.5?!?!

I usually think the mile markers are a little screwed up in this area. For example, I can never really find the 4.5 or the 4 mile marker. One of them in this area always seems a little short, and another, really long. So I said I'd compromise: I'd hit 3, then turn around and make it up the other way.

But after another really long bunch of running, I still didn't see 3. I had been out for 35 minutes, so I decided to turn around. I figured I'd go with time anyway for right now. Since I haven't run for more than 40 or 45 minutes at a time lately, I figured a little over an hour was probably just about right because I didn't want to push too hard too soon.

Speaking of pushing, and pushing HARD, oh my GOD is that B.O.B. stroller ridiculously hard! Not to mention on hills. I certainly hope it gets me into better shape than just running solo, because I had to stop to drink about 5 times in a half hour! I even considered drinking the water from Lorelei's sippy cup (she was sleeping, after all) ... but I refrained. :)

Anyway, I was really feeling good out there in general, though. And a female runner passed by and said, "You go girl. You're my hero." Wow! That made me feel awesome.

When I got back to the original mile marker, I did about a half-mile going the other way, and back, making sure to refill the water on the way. I was out there for almost an hour and 20 minutes! I don't know if that's because I was super slow with the jogging stroller, or if I did a little more than 5. But either way, I'm really happy with how it went.

And next week, we'll be in Walloon Lake, Michigan, and there will be a bunch of nice running paths I can go on ... all alone! :)

Today I'll be taking Lorelei to a yelp elite event -- brunch at Phoenix Coffee. A bunch of people are going to the Indians game afterwards -- and it's a beautiful day to do it -- but I'm still not sure, with the baby and all. I probably won't go, but we'll see.

Happy Sunday, everyone!

*There will be a long elaborate plan for Derek to make it up to me for going away and boozing and staying in a hotel all weekend. First up? Mani/pedi. Next? Possibly a night to myself in a hotel with no alarm clock (aka, baby). Any suggestions are welcome...

Monday, July 25, 2011

Was it a Meltdown, or a Downpour?

Yay! Here's for more summer races. In the heat. And in the rain.

On Saturday night, I ran the Lakewood Summer Meltdown 5K in my neighborhood. It was part of the Lakewood Streetwalk (which sounds weird, but was pretty much just a street fair. Get your head out of the gutter!), and for once it didn't start and end at Lakewood Park!

I'm always torn about night races. On one hand, I love them because a) they're different; b) you can eat and hydrate plenty throughout the day and don't have to worry about all the morning rushing to eat and drink; and c) the sun isn't beating down on you. On the other hand, I dislike them because you're waiting the entire day to do it, and you get tired by the time it's supposed to happen. At least, that's what happened to me.

Add that to the fact that it was ridiculously hot this whole week, and that I was feeling like I wouldn't do so well at the race. But I went anyway, and I'm so glad I did!

I left our place at around 6:35 and walk/jogged there as a warmup. The clouds were forming and I heard thunder. Right after I got my bib (but no t-shirt; apparently they were out. What?! And I had pre-registered!), the sky finally said "I give up" and it started pouring. I hid under an awning at Panera because I didn't want to get soaked before I started running (my thoughts were more about chafing and wet socks than about being cold or uncomfortable -- believe me, the latter would have been impossible!).

Finally, we were off, and I remember laughing pretty hard during the first half mile or so. We started downhill on Belle Avenue towards Clifton, and then we stayed on Clifton for a good mile or so. We even passed by my house!

Shortly after the 1st mile marker (which by the way was 10:34 according to my watch!), we heard the horns and we saw the fastest runners coming back towards us. I always love that part. This time, I didn't shout out to them or clap, because I wanted to conserve my energy, but I sent out positive vibes, especially to the first female runner I saw!

We did a bunch of turns, and I was pretty happy with how I was pacing myself. I had the same few people in sight that I tried to pass, and I succeeded in some cases. Overall, I kept thinking about the fact that I wasn't really that tired, and that even though I wanted to walk, I didn't have to. I passed mile 2 and that split was 11:45.

The last mile wasn't really that bad, despite the ridiculously long block we had to come back up (Belle again, this time towards Detroit) and the biatch of a hill at the very end. There was someone on my tail, who said, "One more minute, or I'm finishing without you!" (Or she might have said "I'm not finishing without you," but that would be way too nice. Haha!) She gave me the motivation to keep pushing and not walk, which I really really wanted to do by this point. (I did take a short walking break for water nearing mile 2). Mile 3 read as 11:46, and then as I ran through the chute, I saw 34:xx but I forgot to stop my watch so it came out as 35:04 when I did click it. (Annoyance: the Hermes Cleveland site still doesn't have results up, nor does it have them for the Fairview Park one I did last weekend!)

[Edited to add: The results were in fact posted this afternoon. My official time was 34:56, or 11:14/mile.]

Well, even if I do go by 35:04, that's still better than the last two 5Ks I did, and better than my first one ever. Feeling good about stuff! Gonna get that time back down if it takes all year. ;)

My only other beef with this race? They ran out of water at the finish. What!?! How many people were they expecting, and how many actually ran? Did non-runners take water? Did runners take more than one? I was kind of pissed off. At least they had watermelon, and I went into Panera where they nicely let me have a cup of their water, but still, that's never happened to me before.

But all and all, a very good time, a fun race, and a nice cooldown jog home!

Monday, July 18, 2011

All's Fair(view) in Running and Eating

Surprise! I ran a race yesterday. Actually, it was sort of a surprise to me as well.

We just got back on Saturday night from a week at the Jersey Shore (Beach Haven). I ran three times when I was there, and I was thinking I might want to try and find a race this weekend.

I really wanted to do the Winking Lizard Shot in the Dark 4-miler on Saturday night, but we were still on our way back when that one started. So I looked at my good ol' Running in the USA site, and found out that there was a race in Fairview Park on the 17th: The Fairview Youth Association Run for Fun 5K.

I have been extremely lucky, by the way, that the baby has been sleeping through the night. It just makes things like working out and, oh, I don't know, staying awake long enough to eat cereal, that much more bearable. So she got up at 6:40 and after I tended to her, I got ready to go. I got to Bohlken Park, where the race was held, at around 7:50 (start time of 8:30). Registration was painless, got my bib and was good to go! No chip timing for this race. You know what that means! It's so small that I just may come in dead last!!!!

After a little speech welcoming us and thanking us for running the (2nd!!!) annual race, we were off. I thought of NYRR's Mary Wittenberg, and how she needed to use a microphone for all the runners to hear her announcments and speeches before races in Central Park. This was so different, but cool!

I started off a bit faster than I thought I could handle, but was still getting passed left and right. Whatever! Oh, I should also mention that it was hot as balls and even though I was probably in better shape than when I did my last race in April, the heat was stifling so I had very few expectations for this race as far as time was concerned.

The first mile passed by really quickly. I was relieved, because I was sort of having a hard time already. There were no volunteers calling out the elapsed time, and I'd forgotten my watch, so I really had no clue what we were looking at here in terms of my speed. However, a volunteer standing about a tenth of a mile past the first mile marker shouted out, "You're not last!" as I ran by. Gee, thanks. Do you think that really makes me feel confident? How about "Looking good!" or something!!!?!?!

The second mile did not pass by as quickly, but at least I had the water stop to look forward to halfway between these miles. I took two cups, and poured one down my back (I learned the hard way a few years ago not to pour it on the top of your head or on your face unless you want to become temporarily blinded by your sweat stinging your eyes!!!).

Now here's where I began to pass some people. My motto, if you can call it that, is "I won't get passed again" (which of course always makes that Who song get stuck in my head for a chunk of a race when I think about it). In other words, if I pass you, I'm going to make it my mini-goal for the rest of the race not to get passed back. This doesn't always work, but if I can get a good enough lead, it sometimes does. I even psych people out on occasion by surging forward long enough for me to lose them (or better yet, to turn a corner or something) making it mentally harder on them to catch up because I "have so much energy." (Yeah right! It's all an act, and the whole time I do this I'm praying that you don't take the bait and run faster to catch up.) Well anyway, yesterday I passed three people (four, if you count this one guy who was running with his daughter), and I didn't get passed by them again! I consider that small feat an accomplishment, especially considering I could feel the heat emanating from my body. Note to self: SLEEVELESS SHIRTS FOR SUMMER RACES. Duh! I'd put on my black (of all colors) River Run technical tee from 2009.

Anyway. The end of a race is always like running through a fog for me. But at least it propels me forward. People clapping from their front stoops, watering their lawns. A nice guy who set out a cooler and fashioned an unofficial water stop in the third mile. And the volunteers who kept shouting, "Less than half a mile to go!"

I reached the entrance to the park (which I kind of assumed was mile 3) at 35:50 -- this is what the guy with the watch told me. Then I just had a little ways to go. I had to rip off the bottom of my bib in order for them to get my time, which, based on the time I entered the park as well as my fuzzy memory of the clock, was 36:xx. Not bad for a scorcher and only my second race since getting back down to business.

So here are some goals for racing:
-Train and run for River Run half marathon on September 11 (already registered). I'm sort of stuck at this 3-3.5 mile zone for my runs, and I'm looking forward to getting some long runs in again!!!
-Slowly bring my 5K time back down to the low 30s by the fall/winter...and then hopefully back to 28:xx by the time I consider myself really "in shape" ;)
-Much more important than both of these: LEARN TO ENJOY RUNNING AGAIN. It's been so long since I've done it with any consistency that I'm feeling kind of down about it. I've been going out more, and doing it, but it's taking awhile not to feel slow and sluggish and just...tired!!

In other news....
-We moved from Tremont to Lakewood! That's partially why I haven't blogged in awhile. No internet for about two weeks, then we went on vacation. So that's that. So far, I am loving the new apartment and the new neighborhood.

Oh, and speaking of Tremont -- went to the Taste of Tremont yesterday, for the first time as a non-resident ... um, not sure I'll ever do that again! Parking was a nightmare. And it was so hot. Ugh, I guess I'm just getting old! But I sure did take advantage of burning some extra calories to indulge in some of the treats there.

Monday, June 13, 2011


Oh no! No blogging for a month! I do this every once in awhile. I've just been super busy, which, I guess is a good thing...?

But a lot has happened in the past month. Here's a short recap:

  • Lorelei started sleeping through the night (FINALLY!!!). While I don't want to jinx it, I'm so happy about this news that I really can't hold it in. She goes to sleep anywhere between 7 and 8 (depending on how sleepy she seems that night) and sleeps for about 12 hours. Hallelujah!
  • We are packing up the apartment and searching for a new one to move into ... by July 1. Yep, cutting it close! We had a couple of places that we really liked, but the timing wasn't right on those. But we told our landlord that we're getting out by July 1, so, somehow we will be ready. Let me tell you: I thought packing was annoying and difficult to manage before. Well, now it's near impossible! How do people with kids move? Do they hire someone to watch their baby every day while they pack? I'd love to hear your ideas. Keep in mind that unless she's napping, she is whining for our attention pretty much all day long. She's not really one of those "content to be playing by herself" babies, unless of course she's crawling all over the apartment and giving us a heart attack by getting into places she's not supposed to!
  • I'm beginning the search for a new job. Not sure yet what I'm going to be doing. I already applied to two jobs. One is for an Educational Field Assessor, and the other is to be a Gymboree teacher for their music & play class. Both are part-time. I also started online applications for some of the school districts in the area, but honestly ... I don't really think I want to go back into the classroom right now, or possibly ever. I feel kinda guilty about that, but I just don't think it's where I want to be right now. I think if I applied, it would be more about me proving that I still "have what it takes" to be a teacher. If I got hired, I'd probably take the job, which would be great but which would put a lot of additional stress on me and I don't think I want that right now.
  • Running has SUCKED lately. In fact, aside from a few jaunts with the BOB last month, I have been doing NOTHING. Ok, not nothing; I've been packing and apartment hunting and, ya know, doing the mom thing. But I feel out of shape and lazy and I'm ready to start exercising again for real this summer. You hear that, everyone? I'm gonna exercise!! But really, it doesn't help that it's been in the 90s off and on for a couple weeks. Seriously, weather, give me a friggin' break.
Anyway, so that's all for now! Here's a cute pic of Lorelei at the park.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

It's a beautiful day in the CLE-borhood

I'm not sure whether it's because it hasn't rained EVERY single day this week, or because it's just getting warmer in general, or because I've been reading other Cleveland blogs via Twitter and the Ohio Blogging Association ... but I'm lovin' on Cleveland lately!

I wanted to give a special shout out to CLEgal. Her blog, Why? CLE, is a great read, and explains why people keep coming back to Cleveland and what it has to offer. I've agreed to take the 31-day challenge for the month of May (albeit, a little late), where I post a new thing I enjoy about Cleveland every day for 31 days.

I started today, and I posted: Reason #1: Waking up thinking it's going to rain, and then it turns into a beautiful sunny day. I'm not sure if I just thought it was going to rain today because it was cloudy, or if I just got up too early to see any shadows (LOL), but now the sun is out, and even though it's not exactly bright, it made me happy.

Related to the nicer weather and the sun? More time for running! Last week I ran twice and was so happy about it. I "re-discovered" this one part of the Towpath Trail that I'd only run on once before. Instead of getting on at Harvard/Jennings (near Steelyard Commons), you go East on Harvard a little bit until East 49th street, then make a right and about a mile down the road is a park, visitor center (with fountains -- important!), baseball field, and plenty of paths.

View Larger Map

If you take the path down a huge hill (which, duh, felt much better on the way out then on the way back), you'll pass another visitor center, and then eventually reach the main Towpath trail just past the 7-mile marker on the trail (sorta near where that set of bathrooms are, before the train overpass). So I ran from 49th street park down to that mile marker and back. I didn't use a Garmin or anything, but based on the time (40 or so minutes), I think I went about 3 or 3.25 miles. It was a great workout.

Then, the next day, I went to a similar location, but this was technically the Washington Reservation (even though it was only a mile or so away from the other one. You can take Harvard to get here too, but I took 77 South to Fleet, and then made a left and it was right there. This path kinda goes in a million different directions. I ended up running on Washington Place (I think that's the name of the street), looking at really nice houses. Then I ran back and found some really nice paths surrounding that golf course over there. I was really tired, so I didn't run as long (only 30 minutes), but this is a place I'd like to come back and explore soon.

Today, I'm going to yoga at Inner Bliss in Rocky River! For the first time in ... forever! I think it's been almost a year and a half since I've done any "real" yoga practice. I did prenatal for a few months, which was great, but it was very very mellow (necessary for me!), and I'm ready to start getting back into the swing of things.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Not bad for a septuagenarian

Just when I'd lost hope at placing at a race ... I received a strange-looking package in the mail yesterday with a plaque inside. No, it's not what you think. Read on. I just cut and paste the exchange on Facebook. This way everyone can see the funny comments my friends and family made! (Last names and pictures omitted for privacy.)

15 hours ago via Android ·  ·  ·  · Share

  • MarjorieVallerieStefanie and 15 others like this.

    • Krystal You look good for your age!
      15 hours ago · 

    • Leslie lol
      15 hours ago · 

    • Kimberly Still better than I could do! :-)
      15 hours ago · 

    • Rachel Haha! I actually entered into the Athena (150 lbs.+) division, and for some reason it registered everyone's age in that division as 99. LOL!
      14 hours ago · 

    • Kristie They must be psychic, and predicting a long and fruitful running career for you! :)
      14 hours ago ·  ·  1 person

    • Julie OMG, LMAO!

    • Julie OMG, that means you got BEAT by two other 70+ year old women! This was funny and then it got even funnier!!! LMAO!
      14 hours ago ·  ·  2 people

    • Laura My, having a child has aged you!
      14 hours ago · 

    • Sandy Rachel, you are just ahead of your time!
      14 hours ago · 

    • Melissa  Nice!
      13 hours ago · 

    • Rachel Goal for next race: come in FIRST in the 70+ div.
      13 hours ago · 

    • Jack If you're over 70, how old does that make your mom and I? Very depressing! At least you can start getting senior discounts.
      12 hours ago · 

    • Chris Hilarious!
      12 hours ago · 

    • Stefanie LOL!!
      2 hours ago · 

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Proud to be an Athena

Ok, kids! Time for a race recap.

As I've mentioned about a jazillion times, I ran the Jog Into Spring 5K yesterday. Here's how it went:

It was a new experience being a mom and running a race. Just the little things that you take for granted (like being able to go to bed "early," for example, or waking up and doing your pre-race routine, get thrown for a loop when you have to tend to a little person). Luckily, Derek was there for support just in case it turned out to be a poor sleeping night for Lorelei. It wasn't really that bad, but she did get up at around 5 am. By the time I was done feeding, burping, and changing her, it was 5:45. My alarm was set to go off at 6:45, and I tried to go back to sleep, but after a little while, I thought: If I fall back asleep now, there is NO WAY I'm going to feel ok in only one hour. I'm going to be miserable, cranky, and groggy, and I'll probably snooze my alarm and then have to rush and feel panicked.

So, instead, I just took a hot shower, made some coffee, and had a leisurely breakfast. Then, in about an hour, Derek woke up, and we got ready together. We timed it pretty well, and Lorelei got up at around 7:30 for the day, so I fed her and we were ready to go by around 8.

We got to the Independence Civic Center by 8:20 or so, and I got all my race-day stuff. It felt so good to pin on a bib again! And I almost forgot how to attach the D-tag. Ha ha.

It was a bit chilly (like around 40 or 45 degrees), but I knew with a little warm-up, it would be fine, and I always appreciate that kind of weather for running (for me, 60 is already too hot!). Derek walked Lorelei around in the stroller while I did some jogging around. I was still feeling a bit sick (no voice, cough), so I knew I wasn't going to push it. (I did make sure I could breathe deeply, and I could -- there was no mucus in my lungs or anything.) I was still happy I was racing.

As I was getting ready to start, I saw my mom and Jack, who were waiting there, and my mom got this picture of me:

I was excited, but also a bit nervous. What if I couldn't finish? What if I came in last? It's funny to have these fears after having raced so much. But still, it had been a long time, and what if I was rusty?

We started off with a little jingly bell, which was funny. Shortly after we began running, I realized two things: 1) this course was kind of hilly and 2) this course was SUPER boring! Ack! All school buildings, convention center circumferences, and the like. Oh well.

For the first mile, I really had to keep talking to myself: Don't worry if people are passing you; just let them go. Don't worry if you feel tired; you're still warming up. Don't worry if you have to walk; you're only human. And so on! Oh, and I didn't wear a watch this time, but as I passed mile one the woman keeping time said, "11:04." Ok! Much better than I thought. Based on my "training" for this race (or lack thereof), I was expecting more like 12:xx or even 13:xx.

During the second mile, this older guy caught up to me, and we exchanged hellos and "good job"s. It turns out that he hadn't been racing since '09 either, and that Renee Roche (who this race is dedicated to) was a relative. That gave me a little more motivation to keep going. It's always good to find someone really close to the cause to send the message home: I can run. I can keep going. Some people aren't as lucky.

We did run through a fairly nice (and again, hilly!) residential section during the second mile, as well as a water station (thank god), during which I walked to drink. But that was the only time I walked! Yay! At the second mile, my time was 23 minutes. So just under a 12-minute mile.

The third mile was ok. It wasn't as bad as it usually is. It was a sort of modified out-and-back course, so I started recognizing things, and the end went fairly quickly. Right at the 3-mile mark, a stroller mom passed me (dammit! How on earth do they race with those things?!), but I kicked it into high, or maybe medium-high, gear. The clock read 35:50 with about 100 yards to go. I tried to make it under 36:00, but it didn't happen! Oh well! 

But the online official time was actually 35:53, due to the good ol' 10-second delayed start or what have you. So that made the last mile around 12 again, and the last .12 around a minute. Not bad! That made my pace for this race 11:38/mile.

I am really satisfied with this. Based on how I was feeling leading up to this race, and the wild card of no sleep, I would have expected a time closer to 40 minutes. This 5K time was just about a minute slower than my first 5k ever, during which time I was admittedly in much better shape (although inexperienced at racing). I am very confident that I can get my time back down in the low 30s by the fall. (Hello goals!)

Me, Derek, and Lorelei after the race
Also, I hadn't mentioned this before, but I entered into the Athena (150 lbs. +) division for women. Did I place? Wellll... I got fourth. Out of five. HAHA! But still, I was super proud to enter into that division. To me, "Athena" doesn't say "overweight" or "lumbering." It says "powerful," "strong," and, at least for me, "determined."

So all in all, it was a good race, and a great birthday present to myself. And I'll consider this a PRPB (PR Post-Baby!).

Hope everyone else had a great Saturday!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Birthday Race

I did it! I finished my first 5K since December 2009!!

Official time: 35:53 / 11:38 pace

More details to follow!

Monday, April 4, 2011

I've run an average of 0.114583 per day this year!

I just looked at my daily mile stats, and so far I've run a total of ... wait for it ... 11 miles in 2011!! Haha! That is hysterical. It feels like more than that. Oh well. At least I've run 6 of those 11 miles during this week alone!

Ok, so less than a week until the 5K. Two things that are bugging me:

  1. I think I might be starting to get a little bit sick. The plus? I don't feel too much worse today than I did yesterday, and in fact I think I feel better this morning than I did last night. Good sign. So far, I've just got a teeny scratchy throat, dry cough, and feeling fatigued. No other cold symptoms yet. Derek has been dealing with an awful cough, though, for what seems like weeks now. Actually, it's been a little over a week. Ugh, I hope I don't get what he had. And I also hope that Lorelei doesn't get it.
  2. It's supposed to rain next weekend. While I've not only run in the rain (sorta fun), but also raced in the rain (really fun, but really hard), it's not the best opportunity for my family to stand outside to cheer me on. That kinda sucks, because mom and Jack are coming in on Thursday and part of Saturday was going to be them coming to the race. Well, I guess I'll look online at the course, and see if there's a nearby store they can wait in until I pass by, or until I finish.
Other than that, it's just another day here in the Cleve! Oh, except that I recently made a decision: we've started to supplement Lorelei's diet with a little bit of formula. As I agonized about in great length in another post or two, it's really kind of ... sucking the life out of me (no pun intended, lol). So I am still breastfeeding, but also giving her up to 2 ounces or so of formula per day if she is still hungry soon after nursing. This gives me a physical and mental break, and it also takes the pressure off to pump if I have to be away from her for a few hours at night -- something that I seriously need to do once in a while or I'm gonna lose it! So since we started this (last week), I have been feeling a lot happier in general. We're using Gerber Good Start Gentle Plus, and it's worked out great. No weird reactions, no refusing a bottle, etc. Great relief.

Oh, another thing: I'm going to start reviewing the ABC Family show Make It Or Break It on Mondays/early Tuesdays from now on! If any of you watch the show (or even if you don't, haha) feel free to check it out at CliqueClack TV's website.

How is everyone's Monday going?

Friday, April 1, 2011

That Mom Friday: Dirty Little Secrets

I realized I haven't done "That Mom Friday" in awhile. Which I consider to be a good thing, because it could potentially mean I haven't felt like "that mom" recently enough to warrant writing about it.

However: I did come across something great in a book I'm reading (well, in the bathroom, which is the only reading time I get nowadays...) The book is called I Was a Really Good Mom Before I Had Kids: Reinventing Modern Motherhood (by Trishia Ashworth and Amy Mobile).

It provides a truthful look at how moms beat themselves up on a daily basis when they take stock of all the things they're not doing instead of taking pride in what they are doing. The book has helpful and funny ways of learning to stop comparing ourselves to other mothers and just enjoy time with our kids.

Every few pages or so, there's a little part of the page sectioned off for a "Dirty Little Secret," where moms confess things they've done that maybe they're not so proud of -- or simply things to get them through the day. A couple of my favorites are:

  • "I tell my daughter, 'You are only two years old. It says right here on the package you can only have two cookies.'" (page 146)
  • "I tell lies. Soccer's been canceled; we can't go. Or the pool's not open; we can't go." (page 142)
and, my personal favorite, one I can definitely relate to:
  • "I like to go to Starbucks alone. I like the adult sippy cup. I get to drink the whole coffee while it's still hot without interruption. My 'latte name' is Kim, and in my mind she's still single and living in the city with no kids." (page 165)
This makes me think I ought to come up with one or two of my own. Of course, they won't be secrets, because I'm sharing them, but it'll be nice to get it off my chest. Ok, here's one:

  • Some days, when Derek is working late and I have a lot of stuff I have to do, I just want to keep putting Lorelei back into the swing after each feeding so that she'll be occupied and I won't have to hold her all day!!
Before I became a mom, I had plenty too, such as ...
  • I would be happy if I never had to work again. I don't think I'd ever get bored of sitting around watching TV all day.
  • Sometimes I think I am always looking for something to be stressed/upset about. I can't just let myself be content and happy. If I'm having a perfect day, suddenly I'll look for what's wrong, such as that load of laundry that has to get done or the fact that I should have run 4 miles instead of 3.
What are some of your "dirty little secrets?"

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Not just a cookie anymore

Yay! I finally spent some time yesterday using Picasa to create a collage of special things/moments/people in my life to put as the new image on my blog. I'm really happy with it!!!

Yesterday, I was supposed to have a "mom's night out" with this meetup group I've joined. We were going to go to Shinto's steakhouse in Strongsville and I was gonna have sushi and a (strong) drink. But I got only ten minutes out of the neighborhood and I could hardly see in front of me (it had started snowing earlier in the afternoon) so I had to turn around and go back! BOO!

Well, that's ok, because I treated myself to a Left Hand Milk Stout at Edison's Pub in Tremont, while awaiting the delicious pizza I decided to pick up for me and Derek. Watching the snow was very relaxing (and of course the beer helped too!).

Tonight, I've got a yelp elite event at Visible Voice Books here in the neighborhood, so it looks like I will get some time to myself after all. And Derek's home today, so...perhaps a run? We'll see. Only nine days 'til my race ... YIKES!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I vow... never:

Refer to the bathroom as the "potty" in the company of adults.

Post every single milestone my kid does on Facebook as if she's the first kid to have ever smiled, rolled over, or taken a crap having the consistency of peanut butter.

Identify myself as "Lorelei's mommy" instead of by my name.

That's all that comes to mind right now, but those were the ones bugging me today!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Mission: Semi-possible

I'm trying to figure out just how few training runs I can do and still be "ready" for the Jog into Spring 5K on April 9.

I did one run two weeks ago...then another one on Sunday. Well, let's just say they were both difficult and I couldn't run the entire time (duh).

The problem is, I'm still not sure if it's ok to take the baby in the BOB, so I'm waiting to do that. And I can't really get away that much, and I am TOO DAMN TIRED most of the time anyway!

Moms! How do you do it?! How do you balance running and motherhood? I need to know. Now that I have a "deadline," this is getting scary. I mean, I know I can finish it...but I'd like to do it comfortably, and I'd like to not have to walk too much.

Do I have to wait until she sleeps through the night before I can start running again in earnest? Is it bad for me to run on next to no sleep? Or is it necessary?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Ten questions you should never ask a new mom

The other day, I came across this masterpiece on Twitter, posted by ScaryMommy (read her blog here). It was written by PregnantChicken and totally summed up how I felt during pregnancy.

That post inspired the following list, which I'd like to call "Ten questions you should never ask a new mom," the responses to which I wish had the balls to repeat each time I'm asked any of them.

(Note: I realize that these questions are, more often than not, asked out of love, so no, I'm not truly pissed off when people ask them. It's just that these questions cover the subjects about which I am either a) the most self-conscious or b) the most frustrated. They are also -- whaddya know?! -- the subjects that come up ad nauseum and therefore have to talk about again and again. I know my friends, family, and perfect strangers mean well when they ask them. It's just that I'm kinda sick of answering them.)

Ten questions you should never ask a new mom:

  1. Is she sleeping through the night yet? No. Not even a little. And if you tell me once more about your friend's baby who slept through the night at 3 weeks, or about how "a little formula might work," I'm gonna lose it.
  2. When are you going back to work? I. Don't. Know. Do I want to? Not really. But also, yeah. Have I considered daycare? Of course, but again, I'm not there yet. I'll let you know if and when I'm returning to work.
  3. Wow! She's so [big/little]! How much does she weigh?! Oh, did I forget to mention I'm [overfeeding her/starving her]? That's what accounts for her size. Not like, genetics, or her metabolism, or randomness, or anything. But I appreciate you taking the time to point out how [huge/petite] she is. (See also: What size clothes is she wearing?!!? My baby wore 9-month onesies at 2 months! etc.)
  4. When are you going to wean? Again, I don't know. It's personal. It's not really like going on a diet, where you all of a sudden alter your eating habits. It's a gradual process. I'm not ready to stop breastfeeding yet, and when I am ... I'm not going to tell you anyway.
  5. Are you still running? Now, this, I admit, is a fair question. A question about ME. However: Try not to look at my midsection when you ask this, nor at the bags under my eyes or the spit-up on my shirt. I'm really busy right now, and really, I'd rather be running than talking to you about not running.
  6. When are you gonna let her cry it out? Probably never. Next question?
  7. Has your hair been falling out? My sister/friend/coworker's hair fell out! Yes, and thanks for noticing. What, you don't like the strands of hair on my sweater?
  8. When's the next one? ... Next what? Oh, NEXT BABY?! Geez. Again, personal! And also: I can't even frickin' IMAGINE that right now. But I'll tell you what, once we start trying again I'll announce it on Facebook, k?
  9. Why didn't you send out a birth announcement? The same reason I still haven't finished sending all the thank-you notes: because I'm lazy.
  10. Wow, you take her out to restaurants? Why yes. How else will she learn good manners AND good taste?
Feel free to add your own in the comments!