The shittest 13.1 miles

It is my belief that every single run teaches you something if you are present and pay attention. Don’t let that smile fool you ( I am guessing  it is because I have a beer) Last Sunday, I ran the Cleveland 40th Anniversary half marathon. Let’s not mince words here… it was awful.  Every single mile was a struggle. I kept waiting and telling myself that the next mile will be better. Easier. Familiar.

The entire week was calling for thunderstorms. The morning as we were walking towards the start line was perfect. Blue clear skies and breezy. My attitude was upbeat and positive. A. goal was to come in somewhere between 2:00-2:10 B. goal was to just have fun C. goal was to cross the finish line. C was accomplished- barely.

My friend and neighbor, Jackie was running her first half. Jackie didn’t have a time goal in mind at all but wanted to run with friends to make it fun. Our neighbor and recent cancer survivor, Angie, was also running this half. One of my favorite human beings/yoga teacher/ best grown up girl friends, Erica was also running the half. We all lined up together with the idea that if you are feeling it and want to leave the squad, do so. Angie was having some breathing/allergy issues. Erica and I were very much undertrained. Jackie is a natural runner and was ready to tackle the day.

At mile 3, Erica needed to hit up the restroom and told us to go on without her. Mile 4 was a killer hill that I was not mentally prepared for. Cleveland Rite Aid marathon was stating over and over again about how the course would be flat this year. Um. What?!!??!?!?!  I will say, it was flat at the end but we endured a few killer hills until mile 8.

Angie fell back after the hill at mile 4. Jackie and I were holding a steady 9:00-9:30 minute mile pace until around mile 8. I was super excited when I looked at my Garmin and saw that at 6 miles we were about little under 1 hr. Mile 8 is when the wheels on the bus started falling off. It got humid. My mind was not focused. I felt nauseous. My legs felt like pudding. I saw my husband and kiddos at mile 9 and asked him to sent me all the energy he could. If my children were not present, I may have had my first DNF. I didn’t want them to see me give up.

At mile 9, I turned to Jackie and told her ” Batter up”. I asked her to please talk to me for the next mile. I would listen and interject if I could, but I needed to be distracted. Jackie did just that. At mile 10, I stopped to fuel. Around mile 11, Jackie needed to go to the restroom. I attempted to go too and had nothing but while we were in the bathroom, I said to Jackie ” I would be so happy if we saw Erica”. I came out of the bathroom and guess what?!?!?!?!?  Erica was right in front of me!  I almost started to cry. Instead I hugged and kissed her cheek and said ” Lets finish this and get a beer!” We all three ran together until mile 12. I could tell Jackie had more in the tank and begged her to go, promising her that I would find her at the finish line. Erica and I ran together stride by stride, blazing down the shoot and cross that line.

I think since I have started running, I have ran 13 miles or more, 15-16 times. Never have I ever felt that awful. Defeated. Tired. I don’t want to make excuses. A shitty run is a shitty run but I do think that if you have a shitty run and don’t learn anything from it, then the shitty run was pointless. This training cycle was a tough one for me. I missed 40 miles. Eating and hydrating was not on point at all. Sleeping was an issue as well. Mentally, I was not a runner. My mind was distracted with other things.

Chicago Marathon is 20 weeks away. Time to put in the effort. I don’t want to stand on another starting line not feeling like  gave it my all.

Moving Onward——->

 

 

I hate the age 2-4 years old.

I am writing this during my almost 3 yr old darling boys “nap”. It’s 2:19pm and I am just praying that he will sleep for like 43 minutes so he is not a total______ by 5:03pm.  We are also in the mist of potty training. ” MOMMMMMMMAAAAAAA. MOMMMMAAAAAAAAAA. I got to poop again (his little head up close screaming in the camera) !!!!!” This is the 3rd “poop” cry for help. I have no clue if he is actually pooping because he closes the door for “pri-a-ceeee ( privacy) and flushes the toilet before I can see what is going on. Which is hysterical since I have not went to the bathroom by myself in like 22 months ( Ok- I take that back… I did pee very very quickly during the Chicago marathon at mile 17 in a porta potty. Oh heaven!) I have also been in his room to fill the request of water, one more hug and room being too hot. This guy is a master manipulator with his blonde hair, blue eyes and eyelash for days.

I fear we are in the almost phase of no more naps. I can’t imagine how I will function with out this 1-3hr respite that I so very desperately need. DD napped until kindergarten and even then, she would sometimes come home and take a little 45 minute siesta ( she was half day kindergarten). I will be super excited for no nap in the summer when we are at the beach, park or waterpark. Its still March in Cleveland. Its 28 degrees today with rain expected for the next 13 days. Momma needs her time. Bad. My brain can’t play anymore trains, hockey or hoops.

2 weeks ago we got rid of the crib. He is now in half of my husbands bunk bed with is new Rogue One Star War sheets. I cried a little at the sight of him in his “Big Boy Bed”. G will be 3 in June. Preschool papers are in. He is registered to start the Tuesday after Labor Day. G will be going to the same place that M went. As I met the director to give my enrollment form and the downpayment, she was shocked that he was already preschool age. I also cried then. I will probably also cry when I no longer need to buy diapers ( maybe not now that I am thinking about that).

Why did I cry?  Is it because G is our last? Is it because I think I should have been more active with him- taking G to the zoo, park, beach more. Could I have been more patient- read one more book, given that 60th hug?  Maybe its because the ages of baby to preschool scare me. I feel like I have no control somedays ( most all days). Is it because this is solid factual truth that I am getting older? Am I where I should be at age 29 ( ok 37.)?  37 doesn’t seem too old but geez…I guess 40 is knocking on the door.

Every day I wish I could be more. More patient. More healthy. More of a fun mom. More of a better runner. More of a better friend, wife, daughter  ( insert the list that could keep going here_______).  I was just mediating before I started writing to attempt to distract me from G not napping. As I was setting up to type, something happened to let me know that I am enough.  ( This is my favorite saying from one of my favorite humans Glennon Melton Doyle). My daughters teacher ( whom I am OBSESSED with!) sent me an email today to let me know that they were talking about the meaning of the word brave. Each student had to give an example of this word. M said ” My Mom”. She went on to explain that I was brave because sometimes her brother ( G$) was mean but I still gave him hugs and played trains with him even after a timeout. She also mentioned that I was brave because I ran marathons.

Wow. I needed to read those words at that time. Thank you M, the universe and God. I needed the reminder that God ( or whomever you believe in) made me a mother to M and G for a reason.

Age  “almost 3 ” is not my favorite age but neither was mile 21 at the Chicago Marathon.  I finished that damn thing with a huge smile on my face and no doubt being transformed into a stronger person. This stage for me will be tackled how I plan to tackle the next marathon. Stay in the mile (minute) that I am in, rely on support to get me through  ( husband, family and friends) and lots of beer at the end ( same.)!

 

Just me and Hal for the next 12 weeks

Oh wow. It has been a long time since I wrote a post. I had a few saved but I just did not get excited about finishing either one of them. This post will be about running because if you know me… talking running always gets me excited!

Yesterday was the beginning of the first training cycle for me. Cleveland Half Marathon is #1 on the list which takes place in May. I am not sure yet what my goal will be. Maybe I will have a better idea once the miles start to pick up. Breaking 1:55 would be amazing but I also need to be honest with myself. I have truly rested the last 4 months with a few runs a week here and there. Sickness has plagued me and my family. Glad that we are all on the other side of it.

I do have  few goals for the next 12 weeks. Writing them here to keep myself accountable.

  1. Cross train. For real. Not just one time. Every week. I am following Hal Higdon’s Intermediate 1 training plan which has cross training for Mondays. I can do this.
  2. Strength training. I want to do this Thursday’s.  Run in the morning and then strength train in the evenings.
  3. Stretch. Especially after anything over 5 miles.
  4. Hydrate like a mofo before and after  long runs.
  5. Cut down on the booze. Once a week should be enough.
  6. Run in new places even if this means traveling 45 minutes- 1 hour away.
  7. Read 2 books that are running related.
  8. Yoga. Once a week.
  9. Treat myself to a massage. I still have not gotten one for the marathon back in October.
  10. Hit up the trails a few times. Maybe even do a trail 5-10k. Just for fun. No time expectations at all.

I have got my training plan hanging on the fridge and I know my darling daughter will check it every day to see what I need to accomplish!

Whatever you are training for, may this training cycle be filled with fun, love for the sport and NO INJURIES!

Happy running, friends!

 

 

P.M.S.? ( post marathon sadness)

Chicago marathon was 50 days ago. Since this, I have been in a funky funk. Sad. Lethargic. Depressed. Tired. Sick. Unmotivated.Just Blaaahhhhhhhhhhhh.

At first, I was beyond excited to sleep in. Not hearing the alarm go off at 4:3oam was so very nice. Running in snow, rain, and the humidity was a true testament to how bad I wanted to accomplish my goal of running a marathon. I could stay up to watch Jimmy Fallon and not stress about only getting 4.5 hours of sleep. Weekends were no longer structured around ” Momma’s long run”.

Laundry was no longer filled with shorts, sports bras, socks, compressions, tanks, jackets, hats, and visors. ( For running being advertised as “not needing much but a good pair of shoes” kinda sport, I sure have a hella lotta stuff!)

My Garmin went dead for the first time in 14 months. I actually lost my charger. Found it last week. We are back in business.

I lost touch with some of my BRF’s. We were no longer texting every hour updating on whatever we were talking about during the latest long run. My bitmojis haven’t been used nearly enough.

My oh my. I have gained 10 lbs- easy- from the lack of running and just allowing myself to pretty much eat and drink whatever the heck I have wanted. My pants with zippers are retired and out comes the leggings. I feel unhealthy and very out of shape. Something has to give. How did this body run a marathon 50 days ago?!?!?!

I have ran 4 times since the marathon. The longest distance was 4 miles. The others were 3, 3, and 2. Not breaking any mileage records.

Today, I got up at 5:30am.  Not too early but much earlier than my 50 days of waking up at  7:05am ( or later on the weekends). This gives me 10 minutes before M gets up for school. I was smart enough to have my clothes laid out last night. I do not even remember putting in my contacts. I stumbled out the door and decided to stick close to home and run a 1 mile loop 3 times . My pace was awful. My legs felt like I have never ran a day in my life. My shoes felt like the bottoms were falling out. It was not pretty at all BUT I did it. The first run after a hiatus is either simply amazing, like no time has past or like the run I had this morning.

I started making excuses for the shitty run. ” I didn’t have coffee.  Music always makes me focus ( I left the music at home because it was 5:45am and I am scared of freaky clowns jumping out of bushes. This is a real thing here in Ohio. Insanity). I do better if my body is more awake. Friends make every run better (#truth). I should have had some breakfast”. The excuses continued.

All of sudden, I stopped my Garmin.  I had less than a mile left. I took 5 deep yoga deep breaths and decide to turn off my Garmin. I knew the general idea of where a mile was. Focusing on my pace was digging me deeper down the rabbit hole.  I went by feel and not expectation. Instead of focusing on my concrete legs and the muffin top squeezing over my too tight capri tights, I started to realize how incredibly beautiful the run was. It rained all night long and the smell of the rain mixed in with the fall leaves… amazing. The temperature was 52 degrees in Cleveland ( Westside) at the end of November. I was up before my entire house. This was MY time. Before I am ” Momma. Sherri. Babe. Mrs.Coleman”.

This is what I need. I NEED to run. Running is a part of me now. It makes me- me. The break was nice. Sleeping in and eating /drinking whatever I wanted was simply spectacular but returning to what makes me whole is going to be even better.

Here is to 4:30am wake up calls to embrace whatever is waiting for me outside the front door in order for me to face whatever is waiting for me when I return.

Happy running and run happy!

Has anyone else experienced P.M.S.? If so, what did you do to get out of it?

Calf strain scare.

Chicago Marathon is 26 days away.  I had a left calf strain due to dancing in my kitchen a few Thursday mornings ago in hopes to making a not so happy 2 yr old laugh.  The dancing was not anything crazy. Not even one of my signature moves.  Just a little side shuffle action to the microwave and then towards Grant.

At first I felt a “POP”.  Thinking it was nothing, I limped myself outside to see if I go run to the stop sign and back ( maybe 1000 ft). My left leg was not having it. I could not even get 3 strides in.  I immediately sent a text to my BRFs and told them what had happened.   ” Ice now. Elevate. Put on your compression stocking”.  I did all the above and then got G to the back up sitters so I could not move. I iced my ass off. Called my PCP. Scored an appointment for the next day. Did X-ray. Got diagnosis. Scheduled appointment with ortho/sports med doc. Iced my ass off some more.

Hubby took the kiddos away for Labor Day weekend and I stayed back so I could continue to RICE. Took the rest of the week off as well and followed up with ortho PA.  PA told me to rest for another week BUT I was allowed to ride my bike fro 20-30 minutes as well as do some calf exercise.  Two weeks off completely right before my first marathon was mentally challenging.  I was a bag of emotions and just generally felt like I had a black cloud over my head.

Yesterday, I had another follow up with my girl. My lady. My favorite sports med doc in the entire world. She is a runner. And a mom. And just an amazing human being.  Doc has ran over 20 marathons. After the initial physical exam, I was cleared to run. Doc then sat down with me along with my ratty marked up Hal Higdon Novice 2 marathon training plan that has been hanging on my fridge since May and helped me.  She laid out for my what the next 26 days should look like in the “if I were you…”. Now, this week, I need to concentrate on the warm up and cool down as well as foam rolling. Icing after the run and at night is also a part of the plan. I was given heel gel supports to wear in my shoes for the short runs in order to absorb some of the shock that my calves would be taking on.

We ended this appointment by her telling me some encouraging words given the fact that this is my first marathon.  She asked that I email her after the marathon to let her know how I did. ( Goal is just to finish standing upright).

While being off for two weeks was a total mental f*ck, I am happy to say that not running made me realize how much I need to run.  Every area of my life just felt off.

After the appointment, I rushed home, put on my running gear and hit the pavement.  Run felt wonderful. I felt strong and proud. I also took the time to give gratitude to my body.

26 days until my life will no doubt be changed.

Happy and healthy running!

calf

21 days

How many parents are marking off the days until school starts? 21 days until M starts 1st grade. 21 days for me to have her home and not in school all day for the first time. The other day, M and G were fighting all.day. long.  The fights were over everything.  M counted how many pretzels I gave G and then counted how many I gave her.  I failed. I gave G two more pretzel twists.  In that moment, I thought ” I can not wait until you go back to school. One child will be so much easier for me to deal with”.

Now-I am going to be real. I have thought this before during other incidents and accidents ( and I am human and will think these thoughts again)  Wishing away the child who was causing me the extra stress. Just needing to have a break from the constant ” Momma. MoMMMMMMM”, the screaming and fighting.

During todays early morning run, I was very blessed to run with 5 other ladies ( all moms). Boston Nancy has a daughter who will be a sophomore at college. As we were talking about returning to school, Boston Nancy became sad just thinking about her daughter leaving. 2 of the other moms have junior high aged children and then the rest, grade school and toddlers.

This run almost did not happen for me. I got up at 3am and posted on the group page that I was out and would run 4 miles later.  Sleep seemed to be my focus. As I lay in bed tossing and turning, I prayed and asked God what to do. After 15 minutes, I got up and got ready for the run. Driving to the run, I was regretting my decision. A few more hours of sleep was my focus. Once we started the run and we were all talking about our children and being moms, I had a lightbulb moment.  I little insight, forgiveness and grace.

Its ok that I do not love every moment being a mom. Its ok that I go to the upstairs bathroom  or go to check the mail for the 4th time in a day just to give myself a mom pep talk and to get my GAMEFACE back on. Its ok that I use the back up sitter once a week for a few hours just to have some 1-1 time with M to do things that we can’t do with G (2). Its ok to text my friend when I feel like I can not take one more minute of anything. Its ok that I serve cereal for dinner and have ice cream dates for lunch. Its ok that I nap with G naps. Its ok that I have not bought my single item on the back to school list or filled out any school paperwork.  Its ok if I choose not to join the PTA and get side eyes from all the other “better” moms. It ok that sometimes bedtime is at 7pm or 10pm. Its ok if pjs are worn all day long or I ask them to get dressed as soon as they get up.

I know it will be all ok.  God choose me- ME- out of all the other millions of women to be M and Gs mom. He trusted ME to carry them for 9 months. He trusted me to guide and to love them through this world.  God did not expect me to do this all on my own. He gave me an amazing husband, family ( my mother in law is an angel on earth.), friends, running, yoga and mediation.  God also has given me faith, hope, patience, and love. God also has given me strong coffee, wine and date nights out with my husband. All of these things make me a better mom and human.

21 days ( or the rest of my life) left to start being me- the mom I am supposed to be. Not the mom that looks good in pictures, Pinterest and in Parent magazines.  Me. Not the summer checklist mom (you know the one- the one who does “things”  just so we can say we done things this summer). Me. The mom that God made because he knew what M and G needed.

As Boston Nancy and I finished the run, I realized that before I know it, I will soon be counting down the days until my gremlins come home from school. I will now just start counting down the seconds until the “not so glorious” moments are over.

Today, I encourage you all to give yourself love and grace. We are all in this together.

Time marches on

I will not throw time away doing things that are not contributing to me being my best self

Week 7 of marathon training is under way. Run, eat, “mom”, rest and repeat. The miles that I am logging is certainly taking a toll on my body. My feet have even grown and I cannot longer fit into any of my size 7.5 shoes.  Weird.

Saturdays long run is the focus on my entire week regardless if it is a Monday morning or a Sunday night.  I am very blessed to have a core group of ladies that I run with.  The long run crew usually is the same for every Saturday. We take turns picking the route and location so we do not get bored with the same old scenery. My alarm clock is set for an hour before the sun even considers getting up. The increase in miles is making me take a closer look at all my nutrition and hydration. Tailwind is my #1 choice along with salt tablets. I think these salt tablets have saved me more runs than I even wanna know.  This week, we run 14 miles on Saturday. Weekly mileage is going to be at 29. I have  not done this amount of miles prior and not with the humidity at 80%. Besides Tailwind, I think I may start to experiment with some pretzels, fruit snacks and raisins during the run. Gatorade afterwards.

The hubby is full on support with these training runs and understands when I return on Saturdays, I may not be up for a zoo trip or a bike ride to the park to play. With the hours that he endures at his job ( it is not unusual for hubby to work 14-15 hrs multiple times a week), he gladly takes lead as chief parent on the weekends so I can run and more importantly, rest.

As I lay in bed after a long run and shower, the mom guilt starts to enter.  Sometimes I think perhaps I am sacrificing too much to complete this marathon. The increase in running  is taking away from something. I no longer want to be out past 9pm as most likely, I have a run to rest up for the next day.  The hours of 1-3pm usually provide me with a daily nap.  I have been taking advantage of napping since my alarm clock often goes off at 4:30am to make a 5am or 5:30am run through out the week. This is when my 2 yr old still naps and my 6 yr gets in her summer reading, homework and a little screen time.

Before marathon training, this time was for cleaning the house, organizing, meal prep and following up on email, texts, Facebook bullshit, etc. Now that this time is utilized for simple rest, I am starting to notice just whats important to me. I am more precious with my time. Spending 1 hr doing nothing on Facebook is no longer appealing. That is one hour that I could be spending doing something meaningful and productive. You never realize how quickly time goes when you think the time you have is endless.

If I were to get diagnosed with a life changing disease or terminal illness, I don’t think I would just waste my precious time. I think I would honor what I truly want to be doing. You somehow get sucked in to other peoples lives and forget that your own life is passing you by one status update after another.

I have expressed the guilt I am feeling with other runner friends and they remind me that taking the time to do something that I enjoy is worth every minute. I do still love running. Every run challenges me in different ways. There is always mental and physical barriers to break through. Life will always be busy. Is there a perfect time to train for a marathon? Kids, house, husband, family and friends will always need me ( and I am very happy about this!)

When I first started the marathon training, my running pal who has trained for 5 marathons, told me that the actual marathon will be tough but the 18 weeks training for the event will be the hardest part. Juggling the heat, sleep, work schedules and kids is no joke. That being said, we have managed for  7 weeks. Sure the floors are vacuumed a little less and I am kind of a bore when it comes to Friday night plans, but to me, this is how I want to spend my time.

Tackling this goal of a marathon is more important to me now then when I started training. The last few weeks, I have been barely getting my runs in. My focus was not on rest, nutrition and hydration. I would awake to feeling like I barely slept. I went to see my doctor. He told me that I was experiencing  adrenal fatigue syndrome. This happens when your adrenaline and cortisol levels are all out of whack and your adrenals are unable to produce enough hormones that you need. My doctor actually prescribed napping to me. He also ordered me to bed no later than 9pm every night. I am monitoring my food intake and also taking an adrenal herbal supplement. Overall, it will take a few months to even out, but I should feel noticeable better in a few weeks. I have completed one week of above treatment and I do feel a little bit better.

Time is my most valuable asset that I can give to myself and to the things that I love. I will no longer feel guilty for running and resting. This marathon training is a short time compared to the rest of my life. That being said, I will not throw time away doing things that are not contributing to me being my best self.

What are you doing or not doing with your time?Time-1