By the Light of the Moon

August 8, 2013

So today was my second day of waking for my 5am run before work. Aaaand the second day it didn’t happen.  Why?  Well, yesterday I will admit to hitting snooze and rolling back over for another 30 minutes of sleep, but this morning I was up and ready to roll.  There was just one little thing standing between me and my workout.

It was DARK.

When we lived in the city I would run at night or in the early morning and not think anything of it.  The city lights cast a yellow glow over all of Baltimore and if I stuck to major streets (which I was apt to do for safety) there was plenty of light from the streetlamps.  Call me silly for not earlier considering the possibility, but this is not so in the suburbs!  When my alarm went off at 5am, I hoped out of bed, looked out then window, and…

It was DARK.  Like, REAL dark.

I peered down the end of our cul-de-sac toward the main road that twists through our neighborhood and saw nothing.  No street lights, no glow from the city, hardly even a porch light.  I couldn’t even make out my driveway.

So I went back to bed.

I fired up my Kindle and Googled “night gear for running”.  I’ve heard a lot of good things about Nathan’s vests so that’s where I started.  I found this lightweight vest that looks comfortable and a nice clip-on strobe for added visibility.

running vest nightgear

running strobe  nightgearAnd then I saw their headlamp section and realized I would probably need one of those too.running headlamp nightgear

This was suddenly getting a little expensive. Guess my morning runs won’t start for a while longer.  While I mulled these potential purchases over, I packed my gym bag and made plans for a lunchtime run.

No excuses.

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Welcome to Suburbia

August 3, 2013

I mentioned previously that my husband and I had purchased a new home across town. We moved in last weekend and this morning was my first run through the community. I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time. Our new neighborhood is pretty densely treed, with very little traffic. It’s beautiful and I still can’t believe I’m able to step out my front door and run though this lovely place whenever I want to.

I packed Logan into his stroller with snacks and drinks, and grabbed a street map printed from Google maps which I plan to keep in the stroller until I get my bearings. We set off on a planned 3 mile run, but I cut it a bit short. Holy cow, I thought my last neighborhood was hilly? This place is nuts! Especially when pushing 65lbs of stroller/baby weight. I think I’m going to leave him at home for my next few runs–I need to get in shape to conquer these hills on my own before I can take that stroller back out!

We had a good time though. I showed Logan where his elementary school is (who cares if that’s 4 years away and he has no concept of what school is?) and enjoyed the wildlife. There are a lot of deer, fox, and rabbits cohabitating with us in this new space (who cares if Logan calls them all dogs for now?) and I love that we can introduce him to that. It’s a far cry from the condoms and crack spoons we used to encounter on our runs in the city!


Now That’s Motivation

July 23, 2013

In my last post I mentioned that I started running again two weeks after I gave birth to my son.  That may seem shockingly early to many of you, but I was ready both physically and emotionally (what can I say?  I’m a quick healer).  Moreover, I was itching to get outside after so much time cooped up “resting” with a wailing newborn.  …Ok, he wasn’t always wailing.

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Our first day home.

As I can imagine is true for many athletes–or any woman really–one of my big concerns when I got pregnant was that my body would never be the same.  During pregnancy and childbirth things get stretched, engorged and… well, let’s be honest… flabby.  After the first couple months I didn’t recognize my own body in the mirror and, after several more, the image reflected back was downright shocking.  As my body changed to accommodate this amazing creature growing inside it took on a new shape that was beautiful, empowering…and undeniably permanent in many ways.  Of course I wanted to run and shed that extra weight.  Who wouldn’t?

Same Shirt Series

Still running at 36 weeks!

I stated with slow 3 mile loops around the neighborhood 2-3 times a week (Started? Who am I kidding? It never progressed much more that that!).  After 2 months I was back in my pre-pregnancy clothes and after 4 I was actually a couple pounds below below my pre-pregnancy weight (to put this in perspective I gained 50lb during my pregnancy and only lost 9lb in the days after giving birth).

I attribute some of my weight loss (and all of my fitness) to running but, as the extra lbs fell away my motivation to run followed suit.  These days my running has been reduced to no more than 15 miles a month and so I think it’s safe to say that breastfeeding/pumping had more to do with my weight loss than anything.

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Our bottle army. I’ll spare you a photo of my boob.

Which brings me to today, 14 months postpartum.  You see, my son nursed for the last time this past week.  It was a slow process wherein he dropped a feeding one at a time over the last 3 months.  It was important to me that I let him take the lead; never pressuring him, never denying him.  While I never anticipated nursing past a year (heck, I wasn’t even sure I would last a week at the beginning!), I wanted him to make this decision on his own and to be comfortable with it.

And that’s exactly what he did–one day he woke up and simply didn’t ask to nurse.  Two days later he crawled onto my lap, patted my breast twice and then got down and ran off to something more captivating.  It was if he came to say a final goodbye and thank you.

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My little guy, all grown up.

So, why is all this relevant to fitness and to this blog?  First and foremost since I’m no longer nursing I no longer have the calorie deficit I’ve come to rely on!  Breastfeeding helped me burn about 550 calories a day (approximately 20 calories an ounce) for the first year when I was nursing and pumping exclusively.  When I introduced whole milk at a year, and only nursed mornings and evenings, I’d guess I was still burning about an extra 200.  That’s still the equivalent of a 2 mile run every day–which granted isn’t much compared to my marathon training days, but it’s kept my waistline fairly trim nonetheless.

Nursing

Long story short, now that our nursing days are done, I guess it’s time to get back to the grindstone and pick up my training again.  I’ve become a casual runner lately–lacing up my shoes only when the skies are clear, the breezes are blowing and I’d be crazy not to run. It’s been great, actually.  Yes, I felt guilty at first, but after a couple months of letting my runs go in deference to spending time with my family I realized that, simply put, my priorities had changed.  Once I accepted that, the guilt slid away and I could actually enjoy spending Saturday mornings with my two favorite guys.

Becoming a mom changes everything.  For the past year, this tiny person that came to reside in our house has been all consuming.  I have given everything to my child and I’ve enjoyed it more than I ever could have anticipated. But he’s not a baby anymore; he’s a running, dancing, chattering little boy that doesn’t need his mommy for every little thing (like breakfast!) as he once did.  And now that Daddy’s on duty, I plan on celebrating my newfound freedom with a new 5am morning run schedule.

See you out there!


Hello There, Stranger

July 16, 2013

Two and a half years ago (has it really been that long?!) I left you all high and dry and abandoned this blog without a word.  Initially this was because I was dealing with a situation that left me craving a little privacy.  Suddenly putting my daily struggles and triumphs out there for all of the interweb to interpret didn’t seem as therapeutic as it once had.  For those of you that checked in during that time, thank you. I appreciated your concern, and knowing that I was missed gave me a good case of the warm-fuzzies.

You might have even convinced me to come back had it not been for one tiny hiccup:

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I became a mom.  This little guy now rules the roost and as you can imagine, my life has changed in every possible way.  Blogging came in second to snuggles and tickles … and, who am I kidding?  It came in second to showers and sleep, too.

You guys probably have a lot of questions so let me see if I can’t anticipate a few.

Did you run through your pregnancy?  Yes! Logan completed his first race–a half marathon–when I was 4 months pregnant.  I continued to run up until I was 36 weeks along.

Are you still running?  Yes!  Just not as full-throttle as I once was.  A few folks from my office started a small running club. We’ll tackle a few hilly miles 2-3 times a week during our lunch break.  In May we completed the Warrior Dash and this October we’ll be running the Baltimore Marathon Relay together.  We ran it as a group last fall too, so I’m counting on a good time.

Do you run with the baby?  Yes! My first stroller run was when Logan was a month old (I started running solo two weeks post-partum).  Back then he used to sleep through our runs–now, not so much!  I’ve yet to complete a race pushing the stroller though.

What type of jogging stroller do you use?  We have the Baby Trend Expedition.  I love it.

Are you back for good?  To be honest, I’m not sure. A baby isn’t the only thing that turned my life upside-down recently.  My husband and I also rented out our house and purchased a new one.  Our new place is a mid-century modern fixer-upper (we’re smack dab in one of those buy-the-worst-house-in-the-best-neighborhood scenarios) and it’s going to demand a lot of attention over the next few months years.  In fact, I started another blog called MCModern(ization) with my husband to document our trials in home repair/renovation.  We thought it might provide a nice creative outlet for us when the thought of picking up another paintbrush makes us want to scream.

Anyway, posting on our other site has made me miss this blog and the friends I made here and so I wanted to stop in and say hello.  I never stopped reading your posts and I must say, wow, some of you are doing amazing things!  You are as much of an inspiration as you’ve always been.

Feel free to visit us at MCModern(ization) if you’re into that kind of thing!


Metro Maddness

October 30, 2010

Thanks to Jon Stewart’s Rally to Restore Insanity and Stephen Colber’ts March to Keep Fear Alive, the crowds on the DC metro system made packet pickup for the MCM10k a complete nightmare.  Adding to the mayhem were the Homecoming weekend celebrations for the University of Maryland and Howard University and thousands of exuberant Halloweeners. 

Enter all the crazies in the tri-state area.

We ended up walking past 3 stops until we found a station we could even get into, let alone a train with space for us to board it.  Need a visual? 

Yeah, it was kind of like that.  Ok, I may be exaggerating, but seriously?  Not by much.

Here’s to hoping that tomorrow’s second trek into our nation’s capitol goes a bit more smoothly.  If I can just get to the start line, the rest is in the bag.


There’s Life Outside of This Blog

October 29, 2010

Or my office for that matter (not that I would know it).  I haven’t seen daylight in five days.  I’m at work before the sun rises and don’t leave my desk until it sets.  It’s a good thing I love my job and the amazing crew  I work with, that’s all I have to say… 

Since life is crazy (and I got to work an additional half hour early to post this) I’m giving you less words and more pictures today.  Because it’s Friday and I can. 🙂 

Marathonfoto emailed me saying they’d catalogued additional images of me at the marathon, and guess what?  There were FINISH LINE photos!!! 


Mile 20


Mile 26.2

That’s a happy girl right there.

On Sunday Uncle Paul and I are running the 10k race at the Marine Corps Marathon.  Riding the metro makes me nervous, but riding the metro at 5am, to DC, before a race?  I’m not sure it gets anymore fun than that.  Oh wait, actually I know it does.  And it looks a little something like this:

Yeah, I’m not going to let this one go for a while… 😉

My aunt sent me photos of us after the marathon.  I look equal parts happy and exhausted, but I guess that’s the idea.

Hugs from my mama

 

 

Lauren and Uncle Paul ran the half marathon!

The best part about Friday?  I get to wear jeans and (one can only hope) the work day ends at 4pm. I packed a gym bag full of trail running gear this morning and hope to use that extra hour of daylight to the maximum extent possible.  It’s even scheduled in my Outlook calendar just like the rest of my world.

Gotta run.  As you can see I have a meeting first thing this morning!

Question:  What’s the first thing to go when you’re schedule is overloaded?


Five Things Friday

September 24, 2010

Things have been crazy lately and I’m planning on fully enjoying my Friday night so we’re going with bullets today folks.  No hard feelings, mmmk?

1) It’s FRIDAY!!!!  And I sooooo earned it.  Two back to back deadlines, a board meeting and two photo shoots have been a huge time/energy suckage this week.

2) My foot hurts.  I think I may have just laced my shoes too tight on last night’s run — it’s almost like it’s bruised on top.  Anyone else ever have this problem?  Anyway, I’m resting up tonight in anticipation for…. [drum roll, please]

3) Tomorrow’s supported course run on the Baltimore Marathon course!  They’ll have water and gels for the participants and I plan on logging my longest run to date — 22 miles.  I’m slightly worried this course run will detract from the “newness” on race day, but I still think it’s a good idea –most my long runs have been on flat courses which the marathon most definitely is not.

4)  After the run I have two work-related networking events to attend– the HCC Grand Prix Horse Races and the Baltimore Claywork’s Clay Ball.  I’m totally looking forward to both (obviously, one is a ball!), but we’ll see how enthusiastic I am after four hours of running.

5)  And last, and perhaps most exciting of all, I finally dragged my butt to the Apple store today.  You may remember I ruined my Nano with my less-than-sexy and profuse sweat.  Unfortunately, the tech team couldn’t revive her.  My options were to pay $79 for them to replace her with another Nano of the same generation (circa 2006) or trade it in for a 10% discount on this baby:

 

I’m sure you can guess which route I chose.