Dustin’ Off The Jogging Stroller

We’ve already gone on a couple jogging stroller runs this year, but this week has seen the return of nightly trips out. Tuesday and Wednesday evening Max actually asked me if we could go running. Um, YES!!! 

I had my clothes and watch on before little dude could even blink.

I’m loving that he’s enjoying the jogging stroller time. It means that I can get doubles in without having to run at 10 PM. Or if I do run at 10 PM, I’ve already done 2-3 miles with the little man in the stroller, so I can do a shorty on the ‘mill and it adds up to 6 or 7 miles. Win-win.

Action shot!
Action shot!

Tuesday, my only run was 2 miles with Max in the evening, but yesterday I did 7 in the morning, and then did 2 with Max for a total of 9 miles. And I actually went to bed at a decent time. Nice weather and later sunsets are definitely a game-changer for this mom!

Stop and take a #selfie!
Stop and take a #selfie!

Little dude does have ulterior motives for running with mommy. He likes when we run to the end of the street, where they’ve been doing construction for approximately 9 billion years, give or take a year. There’s construction equipment everywhere and he’ll just stare at everything, mesmerized. It’s pretty darn cute.

Anyway, it’s been a solid running week so far, thanks to the jogging stroller, a cooperative little dude and nice weather.

Monday- 5 miles (#runch!)

Tuesday – 2 miles PM

Wednesday – 7 miles AM, 2 miles PM

Thursday – 3.5 miles AM, PM – ?

I haven’t done any speedwork. I did do some hills on Monday, but I’ve been sore and just plain tired lately. I got the medieval torture device known as the Ab Carver Pro this weekend, and my abs have been on fire ever since.

This is my husband trying it out...just kidding. It's some hot male fitness model.
This is my husband trying it out…just kidding. It’s some hot male fitness model.

I’ve also been doing tons of squats, push-ups, lunges, etc. which is good for me in the long run, but leaves me super tired. Plus, my arms are NOT jogging stroller ready. Pushing my almost 30-pound child is quite the feat for these chicken arms.

Arms courtesy of never lifting weights. Also, you're welcome for the public bathroom selfie.
Arms courtesy of never lifting weights. Also, you’re welcome for the public bathroom selfie.

On the subject of stroller running, if you are a jogging stroller mom or dad, don’t forget that National Stroller Running Day is May 31st (#StrollerRun15)! It was started by the amazing Moms Little Running Buddy and you can read more about it here.

You better believe I’ll be participating, will you? If you’re in the Indy area, I’m hoping to get a group together so shoot me a message (MotherhoodAndMarathons@gmail.com) if you’re interested!

Unrelated Maxaroni and Cheese picture. Yes, we call him that.
Unrelated Maxaroni and Cheese picture. Yes, we call him that

Happy running!

Do you run with a jogging stroller?

Do you ever run doubles (with or without a stroller)

I use doubles as a great training tool. I’ll leave the scienc-y explanation to the smarties in this Runner’s World Article, but basically, they’re good for you.

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Everything Is Awesome

Running lately has been pretty good. I squeezed in 12 miles Friday morning.
 
I also almost ran smack into a goose on that run. Now that was terrifying.
He didn’t chase me or hiss, but he did look utterly shocked. Ya know, if a goose can look shocked.

Saturday- 8 easy miles during nap time
Sunday-5 easy miles late
Yesterday, I had a glorious lunchtime run. 5 miles on a sunny, cloud-free day. It definitely beat staring at the wall in my cubicle and smelling the stale, stagnant air in there.
The view on my #runch
So, running has been going well. Lately, I’ll look down at my watch and I’ll see times that are faster than I’ve ever run before. Like 2-3 minutes per mile faster than what I would run 4 years ago.
So I get excited and I’m proud, but then I think, “but so and so runs this pace and 100 miles per week.”
Or, “Blogger x or blogger y can run a 3 hour marathon. They would think you’re slow.”
And then I feel like maybe I’m not so great. That I need to work harder, do more speed work, squeeze in some more miles. Get faster, dammit. You know, in my spare time.
I realize this comparison thing is ridiculous. But, I think it’s important to address because I’m guessing I’m not the only one. So when I start to compare, or feel like I need to keep up with other bloggers I stop and remind myself that EVERY BODY is different.
That I have come so far.
I am doing the best I can.
Someone else’s awesomeness doesn’t diminish my awesomeness.
This is a hobby. It’s for fun. When I die, I won’t be remembered for running an 8 minute mile or a 7 minute mile. I’ll be remembered for being a great mom, wife, sister, friend, daughter, etc.
That this guy doesn’t care:
 
And this guy doesn’t care:
 
I’m awesome. And you’re awesome. (Are you hearing the Lego song now? Everything is awesome!!!)
 
And when I start this comparison crap, I will remember that. Yes, I can use others as inspiration to be the best me I can be, but that doesn’t diminish how great I am now and the long road it’s been to get here. It doesn’t take away from my greatness when others are great.
We’re all awesome! And we all have a story that is just as important as everyone else’s. Plus, no matter how speedy someone is or how great everything appears, no one’s life is perfect.
Now, go be awesome!
Do you ever get stuck comparing yourself to others? How do you turn it off? 
Tell me about something awesome you did recently!

Every Run Is Worth It

running

There are runs where you want to quit, but you don’t.

Runs where you want to quit, and you do.

Runs where you push yourself so hard, you puke your guts out.

Runs where you puke your guts out because you’re pregnant and don’t know it.

Runs where you go faster than you ever have before, and it feels amazing.

Runs where you’re so sore from a previous workout that you can barely move.

Runs where you’re injured, but you don’t want to admit it.

Runs when you’re coming back from an injury and you’re scared to hurt it.

Runs when you have to pee with every single step (pregnancy!)

Runs where you pee your pants.

Runs where you poop in the trees.

Runs when you start off angry and end happy.

forest gump

Runs when you watch every single second tick by.

Runs when you finish before you realize you even started.

Runs where you make new friends.

Runs where you figure shit out.

Runs where great ideas come to you.

Runs where not so great ideas come to you.

Runs when you realize what you really want to do with your life.

Runs where you realize you’re not doing what you want to do.

Runs where you are just plain sad the entire time.

Runs where you are so hot, you fantasize about diving into an icy cold pool the entire time.

Runs where you know you’re getting brutally chafed, but you keep on keepin’ on.

Runs where you are with thousands of other people.

Runs by yourself

Runs where you leak milk.

Runs when you cry the entire time.

Runs where you cry when you’re finished.

Runs that earn you a medal.

Runs where the wind is blowing so hard, you feel as if you’re going backwards.

Runs that are so effortless, you’re not even sure they happened.

Runs where you’ve gone 20 miles, and don’t possibly think you could 6.2 more. And then you do.

Runs where you qualify for Boston.

Runs where you’re exploring a whole new place, in a way you never would if you weren’t a runner.

Runs where you have a cold, and your nose leaks the whole time.

Runs where you’re getting pelted with ice.

Runs when the rain is pouring.

Runs when the sun is shining.

Runs when your Garmin dies halfway through, and you have to do it blindly.

Runs where you get so confused as to how far you’ve gone (math is hard, especially when you’re tired) that you say screw it and just give up counting.

Runs where you think you hear your baby screaming, but he’s 4 miles away at home sleeping.

Runs that are “stolen” when you should be doing something else.

Runs where you make your to-do list.

Runs where you have to stop and take a work phone call.

Runs where you have to stop and go back to work.

Runs where you should stop and go back to work, but you don’t.

Runs when you’re drunk.

And so many, many more. Yet, every single run is worth it. Every run makes you better and stronger—whether mentally, physically or both.

Now, go kick Monday in the balls 🙂

monday-morning-enthusiasm-funny-ecard-OJR

What kind of run did you have today? Any types of runs you want to add to the list?

Trail Running Is Hard

I ventured out to the trails on Tuesday. They kicked my butt.

I usually stick to the neighborhoods around my house, or if I hit up Ft. Harrison (where I usually #runch—run at lunch—once a week or so) I stick to the paved trail. It’s very hilly, but since it is paved it’s not technical at all.

I’ve convinced myself that the reason I stay on the paved trail is because it’s safer. The dirt trails through the woods are certainly more secluded, and I always worry at lunchtime, especially in the winter, that I’m putting myself in danger by running alone in such an isolated spot. So, I stick to the pavement where there are far more people and it’s not so heavily wooded.

But, let’s be honest here. I skip the trails because I know they’ll eat this road runner alive, not because I’m scared of psychos who might jump me (OK, I am a little scared of this, especially now that I’m typing it). I know my running would benefit from switching it up and heading to a new surface, but man I get stuck in running ruts and it’s hard to break out.

Anyway, on Tuesday I decided to suck it up and hit the real trails. I was feeling a little left out I guess, after watching my sister’s marathon this weekend and Boston on Monday. Feeling like I need to up my game and put in a harder effort. I have a kid-free morning Friday (tomorrow!) so I’ll be doing my weekly long run then, so I didn’t want to do another long run on Tuesday, but I needed to do something more challenging than my standard 5-8miler in the neighborhoods or on the treadmill. So I headed to the trails at Fort Harrison State Park after work—and my ass is still sore.

The trail I chose isn’t too bad, it’s a good mix of smaller ups and downs and larger ups and downs. There are a fair amount of rocks, roots and streams you have to watch out for, but by far the greatest challenge is the boardwalk section. It’s maybe a quarter- to a half-mile of uphill stairs that lead to lookout areas over the park. It’s tough to walk, but running was brutal. I was reminded of doing stadiums—running up and down the stadium stairs a bajillion times—during high school track practice. I had to pay careful attention to my feet, something that’s not really a concern when you’re running on a treadmill.

The Boardwalk at Fort Ben. Source
The Boardwalk at Fort Harrison. Source

It was tough, and made worse by some brutal winds—making me respect those Boston Marathoners even more than I already do. I ended up doing a little over 6 miles in just under 54 minutes—I’ll take it.

Obligatory Garmin shot
Obligatory Garmin shot

My booty was on fire yesterday! I secretly love being sore. I feel like I must have really pushed myself if my muscles are still screaming at me two days later. If I can incorporate the trails into my training once a week or so, maybe that BQ this fall isn’t so far out of reach?

I’m off to work where something exciting is happening today! I’ll be celebrating at lunchtime with some Orange Leaf.

Plus, we have a date night tonight—that’s 2 in 2 weeks! Last week was a last minute, special circumstance for the Pacer’s game. We usually get one every month and a half or so. I can hear the wine and adult conversation calling my name…

Do prefer trails or roads? Ever switch it up?

If you’re a parent, do you ever get date nights?

My MIL very graciously takes the kiddo once a month or so. Instead of her waiting up late for us to get home, he stays the night with her. He loves it, and we can stay out as late as we want! I miss the nighttime snuggles and bed time routine, but I think it’s good for him to spend time with another person who loves him a lot 🙂

What’s your workout today?

Short run this morning – that’s all I’ll have time for. Long run tomorrow morning!

Getting My Racing Mojo Back

I think I’m getting my racing mojo back. Does anyone say mojo anymore? My dorkiness is showing.

Source
Source

Anyway, after watching my sister crush her marathon this weekend, and after watching some of the Boston Marathon yesterday and seeing so much about the race on social media, it’s safe to say that my marathon mojo is BAAACK.

I get like this sometimes, where the thought of racing has me hopping, skipping and leaping through my days. Where I’m actually jittery just thinking about how much fun it’s going to be. I hope that I can keep this excitement going until my next half marathon on May 16th. I’m also hoping I can keep it going all the way through summer training in the oppressive Midwestern humidity for my next full marathon—The Indianapolis Marathon.

I guess that’s how training and racing goes—your excitement ebbs and flows. At least, that’s how it is for me. Sometimes, you’re on top of the world thinking about your next race and then a week later you’re just not that into it. Injuries, training burnout, bad weather, life stress…all of that takes a toll on my racing groove. But I’m definitely getting it back!

Watching all of the racers at the Carmel Marathon definitely gave me chills and reminded me what it’s like to finish a race you’ve trained so hard for and that you’ve given everything during. It took me back to my last race and the emotions I felt. I never would have dreamed before I started racing how emotional running 26.2 miles is. When you’re fighting through the physical pain, it takes so much mental strength to keep going. Once you see that finish line, it all comes out.

Max and I at the race. He's way too cool for me. Also, why are my sunglasses so big?
Max and I at the race. He’s way too cool for me. Also, why are my sunglasses so big?

Watching the marathoners finishing on Saturday, I could feel their emotions. It was amazing to watch. I actually cried—which little man thinks is hilarious. He always cracks up when I cry and says “Momma crying!” So then I was laughing and crying.

Yep, I’m a total sap.

When I caught up with my sister, who ran a 4:30 just 6 months after baby, she was happy, tired and HOT. It was a really warm day, especially for Indianapolis in April. But she killed it, of course. My sister has amazing mental strength. She’s an Ironman as well as a marathoner. So yeah, she’s awesome.

My sis and her husband post-race.
My sis and her husband post-race.

Anyway, I’m definitely going to try to ride this high through the next few weeks until my next race. Geist Half Marathon – I’m coming for ya!

Is it emotional for you to watch others race, or am I the only one?

Does your training excitement ebb and flow? How do get excited again when you’re faltering?

Weekly Running Recap and My Next Race

Wait, I blinked! I need a do-over.
Wait, I blinked! I need a do-over.

Is it really already Monday? The weekend goes by so quickly. I propose that the traditional workweek be changed to Saturday – Sunday and then Monday – Friday would be the “weekend.” Why hasn’t anyone thought of this? #genius

Anyway here’s how my running week wrapped up:

Monday – 2.5 miles AM

Tuesday – OFF

Wednesday – 8 miles AM

Thursday – 5.5 miles AM

Friday – 10 miles AM

Saturday – 5 miles during naptime

Sunday – 8 miles during naptime

 

Not too shabby
Not too shabby

39 miles – right where I like to be. The week started off pretty low on mileage, but I’m happy I was able to squeeze in a couple of 8s and a 10-miler. Especially since this happened:

 

Wooohooo, finally something to look forward to!
Wooohooo, finally something to look forward to!

I finally committed to a race and actually registered before the deadline. It’s a spring Miracle!

I’ve talked about the Geist Half Marathon before and I’ve been telling people I’m going to do it, but now it’s officially official. The race starts 5 minutes from my house and is one of those not too small, not too big races—my favorite kind of race. It’ll be just low-key enough.

Childcare has already been worked out. I’ll be taking the kiddo over to my fabulous mother-in-law’s house after dinner the Friday night before the race. He’ll stay the night there and I’ll actually get some sleep before the 7 AM race. Post-race I’ll book it back to my in-law’s and pick him up. Overall, I’ll be losing at most an hour in the evening and an hour and a half in the morning with him. Not bad. I’ll make up for the lost time with lots of hugs and kisses. Also, have I told you lately that my in-laws are amazing?

Cutest. Bedhead. Ever.
Cutest. Bedhead. Ever.

With less than 4 weeks to go at this point, I’m going to try to squeeze in a couple 12 milers and possibly a 13 the weekend before. I’m not going to taper hard for this because I haven’t trained hard. I will take it easy in the days leading up to the race.

 

Running on my treadmill in the garage. Beautiful scenery, eh?
Running on my treadmill in the garage. Beautiful scenery, eh? Also, why do I look so serious? I probably watching the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills 🙂

Goals for this half:

  1. Sub 1:44
  2. PR (sub 1:48:30)

I believe that I am in shape for a sub 1:44. I think. I hope. I had been training for a full marathon and even after quitting, I’ve kept up speedwork once a week and hills as often as I can, so I have some speed. It’s just whether or not I have speed+endurance needed for a half that is the issue. I guess we’ll see. I’ll talk more about my racing strategy before the race, I still need to work it out in my head some more.

Good luck to everyone running the Boston Marathon today! #Bostonstrong!!! I’m sure no one who is running is reading this, because reading my blog probably isn’t anyone’s priority right before a marathon (why not? Haha), but I’ll put the positive vibes out into the running universe anyway. Can’t wait to watch it today!

P.S. My sister finished her 18th marathon on Saturday. The Cheese and I watched her finish and it was super inspiring! More on that later!

Who’s watching Boston today?

I am! I mean, I’ll be working, but you bettah (that’s my attempt at a Boston accent) believe I’ll have it playing in the background!)

Any races coming up? What are your goals?

Getting Back To Running After A Baby

This has only been used 10 million times on the internet, but whatever. Just pretend you've never seen it before :)
This has only been used 10 million times on the internet, but whatever. Just pretend you’ve never seen it before 🙂

Happy Hump Day! This day is actually almost over, which makes it practically Thursday, which is practically Friday. We’re almost there! I want to talk a little bit about getting back to running after pregnancy. I definitely want to do sort of a series on this, as I know it’s different for everyone. I’ll talk about how I got back into running soon, and you can read more about my running during my pregnancy in the Bump On The Run section, but today I want to talk about my amazing sister.

My sister and I on my wedding day, 2010
My sister and I on my wedding day, 2010

This weekend, she’ll be running the Carmel Marathon, her 18th marathon (she’s also an Ironman!), just 6 months after giving birth. Can you believe how awesome she is? She blows me away on a regular basis.

Sisters after The Indianapolis Marathon 2010
Sisters after The Indianapolis Marathon 2010

Running her 18th marathon alone is a huge deal, but I think the fact the she’s running one when she has a six-month-old is also amazing. What’s even more impressive to me is that she didn’t run during most of her pregnancy. This was doctor’s orders, so she stuck to low impact stuff like the elliptical and weights. And yet, even with that hiatus, she was able to get back to the sport she loves after giving birth, and to get marathon mileage in on top of that.

Us at the Carmel Marathon 2012...I wish I had some better running related pics of us!!!
Us at the Carmel Marathon 2012…I wish I had some better running related pics of us!!!

So, for anyone who is sidelined from her favorite activities during pregnancy, there is hope. You’ll be back at doing what you love, whether that’s running marathons or doing triathlons or racing on your mountain bike, after you have your baby. The drive that you had doesn’t just disappear once your bundle of joy arrives; in fact, I think for many it becomes even stronger. I know for me, I needed running because I felt like I was losing some of myself. With a newborn, I was constantly doing something for my sweet baby and I just needed 45 mins or so a day to just run. Whether you’re able to continue running or not when you are pregnant, just know that you can continue your active lifestyle after baby comes. It might be a little more difficult to find the time, but you can make it happen. The cheese and I will be cheering on my sister at the finish line this Saturday morning at the Carmel Marathon. Cheese’s Gymboree class is conveniently in Carmel as well, so as soon as it’s over we’re heading to race! I’m super excited and I hope little man enjoys it as well. If we time it right, we should be there right as she’s finishing 🙂 Of course, this all depends on what kind of mood Mr. Cheese is in, but I’m hopeful! In other news, I had a stellar run today. I did end up taking the day off yesterday, and enjoyed a date night with the husband that ended very late. We went to the Pacers vs. Wizards game and it went into double over time. It was so much fun, and the Pacers won (!), but we didn’t get home until midnight.

Pre-game last night
Pre-game last night

I still managed to drag myself out of bed this morning and run. I know, right: Who am I? I was feeling a little dehydrated and tired, but after the first mile it was like magic—I felt good. Really good. I ended up doing a progression run. First mile was 10 minutes, then splits were 8:35, 8:25, 8:15, 7:45, 7:20 and a two mile cool down at 8:50 and 9:15. Whew! That was not planned and was just sort of flying by the seat of my pants, but I think part of it had to do with an easy day on Monday followed by a full day off on Tuesday. 1-2 days off is ideal for me, but I often get so worried that something will come up later in the week that I try to take every opportunity to run. And then I end up going like 2 weeks without a day off and I feel like crap. I need to remember to take that day off, and then if something comes up later in the week and I have to take another day off, who cares? Running will always be there. I just forget sometimes 🙂 How many days off a week do you take? Do you get caught up (like me) in seizing the day and end up not taking days off? If you’ve ever been pregnant, did you have trouble getting back into your running or other exercise activities post-birth? Or did you bounce back quickly like my superwoman sister?