Ruminating

Another year has passed by so ever swiftly. I  make a conscience effort of  not living in the past but I do feel it is important to look back on the good, the bad and the ugly. This, for me, develops a stepping stone on areas of needed growth as well as holding some joy for the breathtaking moments that I will be sure to conjure up all my remaining living days.

Here is what I have learned in 2016.

-I need time by myself.  Neglecting this results in a pissed off mom, resentful wife and a not engaged friend. Furthermore, I need this daily. Gs nap time is such a precious piece of my day. This is my time to reboot and do whatever it is that I need to do. Nap. Read. Declutter. Watch a pointless TV show. Bake. Mediate. Sit outside in the quiet. I am well aware that the nap will be making an exit soon but knowing just how important this is to my being, I just know an alternative will be found. Waking up early in the morning to have some “me” time is also critical. I have to start my day before the kiddos rise. Christmas break was a wonderful respite and we did sleep in every single day. Now that school is back in session, my goal is to be up at least 1 hr ahead of everyone else. This ensures I get to have a hot cup of coffee, mediate and make my to do list.

-Running is part of who I am and denying this piece of me leads to toxic behavior. Truth be told, I still get giddy, nervous butterflies everytime I lace up. Sometimes more than others. I think this is because of the anticipation of what the run will bring for me. Sometimes it is a struggle with every single step. Others runs, it feels like I am an Olympian that could run an ultra without even trying. Every run is different and teaches a new lesson. After running the Chicago Marathon, I took a 3 month break from running ( well, everything). I ran maybe 4 times. These 4 times were social events just to see some of my dear running friends. Luck was on my side and I did get in the 2017 Chicago Marathon. To be honest, I did take a few weeks to contemplate if I wanted to do another marathon. Marathon training is intense. Other areas of my life go away. Resting, eating proper foods and following a strict training schedule dominates who I am for 10 months. Dear hubby is the lead duck on the weekends ( especially when the long runs hit the 15, 16,1 7, etc mile marker). After much consideration and even some daily praying, I want to run Chicago again. Running another marathon is good for me- body, mind and soul.

-I think I had a social media addiction. Facebook would be the first thing I did when I woke up and the last thing I did before bed. I would feel left out of the loop if I did not stay logged in and aware of what all my 200+ “friends” were doing. Kiddos and hubby would not get the full me because I was distracted by some other persons life other than being engaged in my own. The hours wasted on this makes me want to throw up. Guilt is still present. For lent a few years ago, I gave up Facebook and I remember reading so many books with the free time that I had.  While most of 2016 I was logged in, I am proud to say that the last few months I have definitely cut back on my social media time significantly. Enforcing a time limit has helped and some days I deem as no Facebook days.This makes me feel less cluttered and more engaged at home. I am now also excited to actually see friends and family because I have not seen every facet of the past 3 months documented on a timeline. The only reason why I do not think I will give up Facebook completely is because of my irun4buddy, Jacob. This is how we communicate and I post for him my runs with pictures, jokes, etc.

-The election brought up some hidden demons that have been a part of me for 30 years. I do not and will not get political now but I have to admit, I was shocked at what surfaced. It also provoked conversations, internal and external, on how to raise a daughter vs a son. I am still working through all of this and I think I will be for a while. Self reflection is a good thing.

-Following a vegan diet is best for MY body. I have dabbled in being vegan on and off for a few years now. When I am 100% on the “V train”, I feel my best. I get better sleep. My skin looks freaking amazing. I actually cut about 30-45 seconds off of my overall pace. My clothes fit. I have a sex drive. All and all, vegan is best for me. I am not a preachy vegan. I truly believe that everybody needs to find what works best for their body. My one friend swears by Paleo. Her results are the same as when I am vegan.  For the last 5 months, I have kinda eaten anything that I have wanted too. The results are not pretty. I hit the resist button a few days ago and I already feel amazing. This is a work in progress for me but knowing what makes me feel the best is such a huge step.

-Cancer truly does suck. Seeing one of best friends get up everyday and help her daughter fight is heartbreaking and sometimes even takes the breath from my lungs. To continue to see just how brave, resilient and strong P is, is inspirational. This also keeps her parents going ( at least on most days) and fighting the good fight. Some days the diagnosis seems unreal. The desire to skip all of this and to get back to “normal” is an overwhelming feeling. P is here to teach us all. The lesson is not yet revealed but I know it will be. Maybe it is to be more grateful, more loving, more resilient. Maybe its all of that. Or none. To be a witness to so much strength will forever be life changing.

2017 brings with it a much clear perspective on goals that I want to accomplish. Instead of running on the hamster wheel or having most days feel like groundhog day, I feel clarity, focused and determination.

Cheers to the New Year! Hoping 2107 brings to you whatever is needed in order for your life to be amazing!

 

 

Letter to my almost 7 year old daughter

Dear M,

Hi. It’s me, Momma. I just wanted to take the time to write you this letter because sometimes in the quiet of the night when I lay awake, I think of things that I want to tell you. When morning comes, we get in to the hustle of the day and moments to share some of my insights are replaced by asking you if you want peanut butter and jelly or peanut butter and honey sandwich for lunch.

You, my darling, are simply incredible. You love with your whole heart. I still will never forget the day that I just realized how truly loving that you are. You were 3 yrs old and in the mist of hand, foot and mouth ( In my opinion, THE worst virus ever). I had rented a few DVDs from the library for you to watch. We were watching Clifford and I went to get you a popsicle from the freezer. When I returned, you had tears streaming down your face. I thought your throat was super sore and asked you if you wanted another cough drop. Your 3 yr old self then explained to me that you were sad for Clifford. The episode was  the one where Clifford ran away from home because he thought Emily Elizabeth and family could no longer afford to feed him because he eats so much food. Your heart hurt for Clifford. You didn’t want him to feel sad.

To this day, you still display this kind heart ( thats what I call it). Currently, in first grade, there is 1 student. A boy. He has no friends. The other classmates exclude him. He is a little rough around the edges and is often aggressive in his actions. YOU have made him a little softer . His mom, who is very much aware of his behavior, pulled me aside recently. She told me that this boy has had a really ,really bad year. They had to move in the middle of the night to escape an abusive situation right before the school year. The father has never been in the picture. Mom is working 2 jobs and going to school at night. She told me that this boy gets up in the morning just to see you at school. He tells her that you are the only one that is nice to him, besides your amazing teacher.

I am beyond proud of you.

Of course I want you to get good grades and exceed in school. Of course I want you to participate in whatever physical activity and try your best ( pretty please sweet baby Jesus make my gal a runner so I have a partner to run with!).

To me, being kind and spreading love in this somewhat scary big world tops anything successes that you may accomplish.

Its easy to teach skills to make you a great student and practice will take you to higher places in sports BUT it is hard to teach being kind. That is in your soul. In your being. Being kind, caring, loving and giving will take you farther in this life than anything.

My hope is that as you continue to grow, your kindness will grow with you.  The older you get, the bigger the kindness may be needed. Maybe it is to help a friend out who is in bad spot. Maybe it is for going against the grain and standing for what you believe in. Maybe its leaving a relationship that is no longer good for. (Being kind to yourself is critical as well).

Regardless, I am here. I am here to walk with you on your journey. Step by step. Always.

Thank you God for choosing me to be M’s mother. I just know that she will teach me more than I will ever teach her… she already hasmads-kind.

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?

Sing it, Johnny!

Don’t you want to enjoy whatever Christmas means to you?

You guys. Don’t tell my husband but… I am listening to Christmas music. I know. I know. Its early. Thanksgiving is 2.5 weeks away. I am usually “allowed” to start breaking out my Frank Sinatra Christmas CD the evening that we are decorating the Christmas tree.  Now, I am a sucker for some traditions, so ole blue eyes will remain in the dusty CD storage until the Coleman Christmas tree enters. For now, I am using Pandora ( which still blows my mind that you can get free amazing music).

Before you know it, I will be losing my ever loving mind trying to clean and get ready for us to have Thanksgiving.  We took on this tradition a few years ago and I do love it! Husband is a bad ass cook and I love to bake ( and drink wine!).  Usually I head downtown to do the 5 mile Turkey Trot but this year I may just run with some of my favorite running buddies local.  This is also the time that GG ( my grandma but the kids call her GG for Great Grandma) comes up and then stays with us during the winter months! We also started a family tradition of playing Apples to Apples were one of my BFFs ( S) comes over after her family dinner to have just ” a little bit” of wine and some laughs! Its usually a long fun night ending in more wine by the fireplace.

What I don’t love is what happens the day after. Now, I am not referrering to Black Friday where people much braver and motived than me ( and maybe a tad crazier) go stand in line for hours upon hours to get a pair of pajama pants for $5.  What I am taking about is the text, phone calls and emails from the family asking what my darling little angels would like this year for Christmas. I am forced to copy and paste some bullshit that I find on toyrus. com just to make the texts and emails stop. As I am giving them these ideas, my mind is focused on the fact that this is just more stuff. More mind numbing toys that my kids will like for maybe 5 minutes and then they will be off doing what they love most- asking me for snacks and refining the definition of fight club for our home with  the “hockey stick” addition sprinked in with “hula hoops can also be used as a weapon”.

Here’s the thing… I LOVE the family ( welp. most of them.) and they are all so very generous when it comes to Christmas and the kids but we do not need more stuff. In fact, I am in a scurry just to try to declutter the house now before GG arrives and before the holidays. This includes all toys, clothes, books, etc.

What I want my kids to have our memories and experiences. Come and take Madeline out to a play and lunch. Grant is obsessed with trains. Take him somewhere we would never take him to have an adventure. Don’t want to spend 1-1 time… then gift cards to movies, the aquarium, Disney on Ice ( shoot me, now) , an Indians game next spring, or a day pass to go tobogganing. Money towards monthly gymnastics fees or swim lessons. Let’s think outside the box, here. Teach my children something I can’t.  Can you sew?  Great. Teach my daughter. Master Lego builder?  Awesome. I will drop Grant off for 2 hours with snacks.  In fact, I want to do the “4 things for Christmas” for the kids ( want, need, wear and read) along with a few fun stocking stuffers.

And while I am at- I am done this year. Done. Done with doing brunches and dinners and breakfasts just so we can cross it ( as well as so you can cross us) off the “Holiday To Do” lists. Everyone can feel how forced, awkward and awful it is. No one wants to be there. Everyone is counting down the minutes until its over. Why?  Why are we doing this year after year after year?  I want to spend this time with my darling friends. I want to have a Christmas Holiday pajama party with hot cocoa, yummy food and fun holiday movies with my kiddos and some friends. I want to use this time to reconnect with friends that I have lost touch with over marathon training and “momming”. I want to sit by the Christmas tree with husband drinking an amazing red while Frank belts out all of my favorite songs. I want to bake cookies with my MIL, SIL and daughter.

Its time to Coleman this Christmas.  I encourage you to do the same.  Hate mailing out Christmas cards? Stop. Got to travel all day long for Christmas just to be in the car more than someones house? Stop. Buying pointless gifts for someone just because that is how it is always been done? Stop.

What if this is your last Christmas?  Your last holiday season with those that you love. Don’t you want to enjoy whatever Christmas means to you?

Done… Next.

Please add marathoner to my stack of “hats” that I wear.  I did it.  I completed The Chicago Marathon on 10.9.16 coming in at 04:35:26

There are days that I wake up and still can not believe that I get to cross “run a marathon” off of my list. The year of training was hard. Early than earlier mornings. Running in the heat, snow and rain. Overcoming an injury that took me out of training for 2 weeks. It seems like a blur but also like such a long year. I could not have done this with our the support of my husband, family and friends. Running was all that I talked about and really, all that I wanted to talk about.

After you run a marathon, people want to know if you will be “one and done”. I knew the minute I crossed that finish line that I will do another (several). I am already looking forward to running Chicago again next year ( if I am lucky to get picked in the lottery) and maybe /likely a spring marathon as well ( pending the winter weather). The mental and physical demands that I placed on my body was overwhelming. The fact that my mind and body responded so very well to 90% of the training made me feel like this is what I am supposed to be doing.

Now, I am not winning any medals with my time but that’s not why I am a runner. Some people run for competition. Thats not me. I run for stress relief and to bond with some of my dearest friends that I would not have met if not for running. I run to give my body what it needs and deserves. I run to be a better me not to be better than someone else.

I have only ran 1 mile since the marathon. My husband and I took a vacation to Mexico the day after the marathon. Since being home, I have done a few short yoga sessions while G naps. I think I just needed a little break from the early morning wakeups and the training schedule demanding from me what to do that day. There is no doubt that I will get back at running soon.

Run happy. Run always.

PS- This is my gal pal and one of my BRF, Krista.  We ran the entire marathon side by side. This was her third marathon and she PR’d!  I will write more on her later 🙂

Ps k-and-i

 

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

The big C

I thought we would beat the odds. I had no clue when we were at the playground just over a month ago I would eat my words. ” You know. We are so blessed to have healthy kids.  They may drive us crazy from time to time but we are very lucky”.  This was said to one of my best friends, K.  Now, not even 4 weeks later her world was rocked with what very well may be the worst news she will ever receive.  Ks daughter P ( 5) has Ewings sarcoma.  It is a very, very, very rare form of bone cancer. P has already started chemotherapy. P will be not be going to kindergarten that starts tomorrow. P is no longer doing gymnastics. Just overnight, their world has been flipped upside down. Playdates have now turned into doctors appointments. Sleeping and eating is not happening very often. Tears, screaming and more tears have taken the place of joking and making plans of getting the band back together (that is what we call getting all of us out for a date night).

Of course we have other friends and acquaintances that we see but in the “band” there is 6 of us. Each has claimed their role in the friendship and  we all play our part very well. The 6 of us is made up of me, K and S and then our husbands. Our kids is everyones kids.  You see my kid acting a fool.. feel free to correct their behavior.  Husband working late or going  out of town… come over for dinner. Sad, Angry, Happy, Blah, Sick, Tired- whatever… lets get together to talk about it.  The band is not just friends- The band is my family. My core. My support.

P’s diagnosis has stopped us all in our tracks. Of course we are doing everything we possibly can to help but we can not take this away from them. This nightmare that keeps reoccurring daily. Waking up knowing the truth and the long road that lies ahead. Praying, talking, crying, yelling and praying some more.

Why is it that in life it takes something like this. Truly life changing to make you dig in and dig deep. Things that used to over take life ( laundry, mowing the lawn, and dusting) is now replaced by ice cream for dinner, board games at night and that one extra story during bedtime.  Getting up to run at 4am is now seen as a privilege not a chore.  I now thank my body after every run. Thank you for holding me up and propelling me forward.Thank you for making me feel alive. Thank you for my heart beating out of my chest. Thank you for my legs pushing and pounding the pavement away. Thank you lungs for helping me breath hard and deep. Thank you God for another day that I am alive and healthy.

When its quiet, I cry and lose faith and then pray to get it back. When I am having a good time with my kids, my heart aches for K who is in the hospital with P. This never leaves me. Its always in the background. The fear of what will be and the mourning of what was.

P is not my child but she is. K is not my biological sister but she is.

I keep reminding myself that God has a reason for this. A silver lining. Something that we can all look back at have a ” Ahhh. Thats why”. I am not there yet. I am trying to believe and to not question. But I am not anywhere near here. I am trying and I will keep trying. Praying. Mediating. Crying. Yelling. Repeat…

But for now- I give myself permission to cry, scream, to be angry and to still pray for hope and understanding and guidance. Life can be ugly and beautiful. Life can be filled with joy and sorrow. Adulting fucking sucks. Being a parent is harder than hard. My heart can not even imagine having a sick child. How this is now your new life that you never planned on having. Never would wish on your worst enemy. Why God?  Why children? Why P?  Why them?

I will walk every step of this nightmare with my best friends. I will show up everytime even if it is hard and emotional. I will say inappropriate things to get laughs. I will cry with you. I will have one too many glasses of anything with you. I will rally the troops when needed . I will guard you and your family like a momma bear. I will keep asking you daily what I can do for you or your family. I will worry deeply about you when I am supposed to be sleeping. I will dedicate my runs and mediation to you. This is my role in the band.

And I will play harder and better and more amazing for all of you and all of us.

cancer sucks