8 ( because it is my favorite number) things that I did not expect when I first started running with a group

1. I talk about everything and I mean everything with my running partners. Who knew you would be sharing deep dark dirt with gals that you merely have only met a year or two ago  (sometimes less than that). We have covered some pretty hefty topics in 5 , 10, or  14 miles that I have just grazed with dear hubby of almost 15 years.

2. You become obsessed with them reaching their goals almost more so than your own. Recently, I went away on a girls weekend with two of my non-running friends ( I am shocked they still wanna hang with me as running is my hot topic and all conversations lead back to me talking about running somehow…) and some of my dear running group friends were running a half marathon. I could not stop logging in to FB to see how they were doing. I also signed up to get text updates for a few of them.  Their victories are mine along with their losses. To be able to feel so ecstatic or so sad shows the depth of the relationship that has developed over the miles.

3. I am shocked at my ability to get up at 4:30am to meet these ladies for a run. If I try getting up at this time to go for a run by myself, it doesn’t happen. I have tried it. Even today. Set the alarm for 5am. Snoozed multiple times.  Because of this, I have already  lined up  3 “early bird” runs for this week with my alarm set for 4:15am. Not only do I get to catch up with some of my BRFs, I get my run in before the sun and kiddos are up.

4. You fall in to peer pressure… but the good kind. Plank challenge for 30 days straight. Sure! Can you run this half marathon with me? Ok! Lets do that 5k that is setting up after we just ran 8 miles and its hot has horse balls out. No problem! This actually just happened this past Saturday with my BRF Leslie. We were super tired and hot but we heard the 5k fee was for youth summer camp ( and we also paper, rocked, scissored- which in my opinion- is the best way to decide anything.).  They actually postponed the race for us so we could sign up and pay. SO much fun.  I even came in 3rd in my age division. Ok- so there were only like 15 people and I really wasn’t going that fast but I will take my 3rd place yellow ribbon proudly and mail it off to my whoirun4 buddy, Jacob. In fact, I thought the time said 24:38 and that we were going to break 25 minutes ( which is a summer goal I have for myself). Nope. The sweat got in my eyes and I could not see.  The time was actually 28: something. This just makes this spur of the moment 5k an even better memory.

5. You recruit other people to become a part of your running group because it is simply the best running group ever with the most supportive woman you will ever find.  I also belong to another running group and it is nationally known but to be honest, I am not a huge fan. They are very competitive (not my gig) and kinda bitches ( in my honest opinion). I am sure that they feel the same about their running group as I do mine.

6. You have this need to want to try to merge your running friends with your non running friends but you need them both for different reasons. Separate but equal. I love you both the same but in different ways.

7. The support goes beyond running. You are getting a divorce- how can I help? Need a new job- let me pass along your resume. Looking for a sitter- my teenage daughter is available. Where should we go on vacation? Belize for sure. I think my two year old is turning into a bully. Mine as well. Can I borrow your fancy black dress for this wedding I don’t want to go to? Of course!  The network is strong and build on a solid trusting foundation.

8. You can swear and bitch about your husband (not you of course sweetie), kids, jobs, in laws ( but not mine as they are truly the best), the rude stranger at the store, why in the hell is milk $5, lack of motivation, fell of the nutrition wagon ( again for the the third time this week), etc and after you are done, you feel better. Lighter. Less angry. More human.

Running is cheaper than therapy (except when you go to your favorite local running store to just buy new shoes and walk away with a new hat, socks, visor, nutrition, and whatever inspirational book they are promoting).

What do you love most about your running crew? group running

Finding the flowers amongst the weeds.

To say that the last two months the Universe has been testing me is an understatement. Now, I am aware that many other humans are suffering and going through shit storms that do not even compare to what I feel has been a trying time. Please note, that my perspective and disposition is typically Positive Polly although I do (sometimes) show my old  “waiting for the bottom to fall out” circa embryo to about 5 years ago.

I will not go through the entire list that keeps circulating in my head when I think back to the beginning of May to the present.  That will only make this time stay with me longer. Reliving and giving these events more energy is just like feeding a Gremlin after midnight.

Earlier this week, I met my yoga teacher/gal pal E for a short 3 mile run, dinner and drinks. E is my safe zone. I am my authentic self. Sometimes 100% crazy oversharing me. Sometimes the positive polly. Sometimes negative nancy. Sometimes quiet. One of the several traits that I admire about E is that she “gets on my level”. She listens with no judging when needed and sometimes judging when I ask her too. E and I were talking about how much we love “Hands Free Mama”. After we read this blog, while wiping the tears from our eyes and snot from our nose, this blogger gives us the motivation to become a little bit more. More patient. More loving. More real.  E sent me the link to one of her favorite “Hands Free Mama”posts.  It came at a perfect time. My new mantra after reading this is to find the flowers amongst the weeds.

 

Weed: My Uncle Gary took his final breath May 9th. He was 59 years old.

Flower: Besides no more suffering ( severe depression, CHF, COPD, diabetes), my cousin has returned to our hometown to live  in order to handle the path of destruction that my Uncle left behind. J, cousin that returned, was not doing so hot. Drinking to numbness became a daily (not nightly) occurrence.  J recognized this and took himself to AA. The strength to do this is admirable. I am not sure J would have came home without his passing. J would have stayed in his current situation and the spiral would have continued.

Weed: My Grandmother took her final breath June 4th. She was 89 years old.

Flower: Again, beside no more suffering ( Alzheimers, renal failure) and living in a nursing home that she despised, this side of my family has re-united after not much contact for the past 5-30 years ( depending on which family members/ different relationships). We all look older but the same personalities still shine through. Personalities and dispositions are timeless. Sharing what life has been like ( marriage, kids, divorce, marriage again, more kids, troubles with the law, getting clean from meth, retiring, moving, grandchildren) were just some of the lives that we have lived that none of us knew about. My hope is that this death has now brought life to our family again.

Weed: Earlier mornings. Later nights. Less “fun” ( I am being very picky with who I spend my time with and the events I attend).

Flower: I am training for my first marathon.( Eek. Gulp.OMG.) 4:30am is my alarm for tomorrow. Yes it is a Saturday and the Cavs are playing. I am finishing this post ( and my beer) and hitting the hay. Training for this marathon will keep me disciplined and I am only choose events that I truly want to go too. My BRFs are telling me that this training will be life altering. I can see this already. If it was not for running right now, I think I would be a hotter mess. Thank you to my body for holding me up when all I want to do is lay down.

Some more weeds have occurred in my flower bed but from now on, I am only admiring the growing, prospering and beautiful blooms.

 

 

The Sounds of Summer

{DISCLAIMER: To my dearest hubby and MIL (Grammy)… I love being a SAHM and I adore our little nuggets. The following post is just me using my not so funny/midwest Amy Schumer humor.}

“Moommmmmmmmmmmmm  Grant hit me. When is lunch. Why can’t we go to the pool? I wanna wear my Easter Dress. What can I do next? Can we have ice cream today? I don’t wanna read. Mommmmmmmmm Grant pulled my hair. Why do I have to go to the bathroom? Can I have screen time?  Can we leave the house? Why do I have to clean my room? Mommmmmmmmm Grant threw sand in my eyes…….

Mine. Fruit Snacks. No. Mine. Fruit snacks. No. Mine. Fruit snacks. No

This is my current sound of summer. M (6) is represented in the first paragraph and G (2 years old in 19 days) is the latter.

The day before M ended kindergarten I was on a summer high. I had images of glorious beach trips filled with the perfect amount of sun and breeze not dropped ice cream cones and a bird that attacked my head 3 times. Visions of bike rides with quiet content and nature filled smiles not fights over who gets to have the water bottle.  Dreams of blowing bubbles,  sidewalk chalk and picnics at the park. Instead, I am faced with my very own fight club, a never satisfying breakfast and without any official application or promotion that I am aware of, I am now a cruise director that must have activities planned for every waking second of every day (including back up ideas in case it rains).

I have reached out to my squad- other mommas, really at this point, the mail lady and I are BFFs ( just to talk to another person over the age of .. just anyone) to plan at least “one a day” playdates to get us out of the house. Just getting out to the house is a task that requires a to-do list. Water bottles. Sunblock. Snacks. Lunch. Snacks. Diapers. Wipes. Fruit Snacks. Coffee for me. Change of outfits. Legos. Coloring books. Crayons. Cell phone. Keys. Snacks. Beach toys. Ball. Beach towels. Money for daily ice cream trip because I am weak. More coffee. More water. More fruit snacks.

Today  I have 3- yep you read that correctly- 3 playdates planned. During one of them, G is going to the drop in sitters for 2 hrs. M is going to a friends house to play.

My to do list for these glorious 2 hours looks like this: grocery store, go get new running shoes, clean the entire house, read a book, go get nail out of the tire, fix an amazing lunch to enjoy outside with lemon water because you are fancy, watch 1 episode of Scandal, nap, take the dog for a walk, laundry, bake some banana bread, perhaps a bike ride….

I will probably be able to do two things from this list- get nail out of the tire and grocery store. Woooohooooo. But- I have already thought of how to make both of these tasks mo betta.

The place I go for all car stuff has this amazing waiting room with FREE  keurig coffee. I will take my book and make myself a cup or 3 while the nail gets removed. At Aldi, I will take my headphones and listen to a new podcast while sipping lemon water because I deserve it and I am fancy.

Oh gawd- I think they are awake. Time to take a 2 minute shower and brew another cup of heaven.  God speed to all the humans that are home with the kiddos for summer break. I am with you in spirit and sending you all the good juju.

 

1:56:49

It has been well over a month since my first half marathon of the season.  Glass City (Toledo, OH) was the half that I selected to conquer my goal of a sub2. The running group that I am so happy to be a part of (FTR… which means finish the race OR depending on how awful in is, F*ck this Race!) sets goals every January for the upcoming year.  For me the goals were 1) sub2 2) run a half for fun without considering goal time or pace 3) run a half at a steady pace the entire time  and 4) run a marathon .  It brings me joy to report goals 1 and 2 are complete!  Glass City was amazing.  1:56:49 was my time.  A friend from FTR, I call her Boston Nancy, paced me.  Nancy is a rockstar.  She knew just what to say and when to say it.  She talked me off the ledge miles 9.5-11. I am not sure what happens, but every single time I near 10 miles, even on a training run, my mind starts wigging out and then my body follows. Once I get past 11, I am gravy for the next 2. In fact, I have a tendency to speed up the last 2 miles.

Goal #2 was the Cleveland half.  I signed up for this with my gal pal/yoga teacher Erica 1 week before the race.  We wanted to do the CLE half  because we both love the little neighborhoods that CLE tucks away.  CLE half was my very first half marathon May 2012. It has a super cozy spot on my heart. Also, it is usually down right HOTTTTTT to the point that many people have passed out or have ended up in the medic tent due to dehydration. Not this year.  This year it was 30 degrees and  I am not kidding when I tell you, we witnessed all possible weather conditions in 13 miles.  On the way to downtown, we saw 8 cars in the ditch due to freezing rain/hail/ice.  Did I mention, that I also had strep throat?  Did I also mention that my uncle had died 4 days prior?!?!?!?  I was a hot cold mess.  Despite all of the above, we just took our sweet ole time.  We stopped at every water stop. We assisted a fellow runner who was pushing a girl with Rhetts syndrome.  We were literally removing hail and snow from this poor girls face while trying to wrap her up in dry trash bags.  E is in the type of person who just radiates calmness and good vibes.  If I do not see my friend weekly, I feel off. She balances me and makes me,me ( if that makes sense.). Our finish time was somewhere in 2:32ishhh range.  By far the slowest BUT the most rememberable race to date.

Goal #3- I have a half marathon in mind for this in the Fall.

Goal #4- Chicago marathon training started this morning.  7 miles at 8am.  Holy Shitballs batman.  It was ROUGH. Like- consider “why in the hell am I even a runner ” rough. I am so very thankful I had my sole sister Leslie with me. We were both on the struggle bus today.  Legs felt sloppy. Humidity was insane. Stomach was uneasy. Yesterday, M (6) and I did a lady tutu 5k but we did a run/walk combo so I don’t think that was it.  We did also take a bike ride and I mowed the lawn as well as helped lay some mulch. I didn’t feel sore. I felt outside of  myself. Like my body was foreign to me. So weird. Hoping to never experience this again.

The last few months I have been sick. I have had allergies, strep throat, and bronchitis with croup ( all diagnosed by the doc and treated with different meds). Because of this, my running, eating, sleeping, and hydration has been off. Todays run proved to me just how serious I need to get.  A marathon is a major event and proper training needs to take a priority in my life. Giving 100% is all I can do. I want to stand at the starting line knowing I gave it my all. Speaking of.. I better get off here and go drink some water.