Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Getting up is hard to do.

I successfully ran the 4 miler this past weekend and have a packet of race entry forms for upcoming races hanging on my refrigerator as I type but with the stroller mix-up and days growing shorter, I have already been slacking off. I did force myself to run last night for a half hour on the treadmill, but the treadmill has just never felt the same as running outside. I want to be able to see my progress and pace myself with the distance I am covering which just doesn't feel the same on a treadmill. I want to feel the breeze on my skin and the pavement under my cheap running shoes.

But alas, it has begun to get dark at a little after seven and one of us does have a job that keeps us away until after 5 most days. Soon the days will seem even shorter and the air a little too cool to take three small tots out into. But I must force myself to continue to train.

The days are short and our lives busy but that isn't the only thing standing in my way. I am an anti-runner by nature, I want to give up as soon as I am out of breathe or when my side begins to ache. These are the bigger things I am having to overcome. Everyone runner I have spoken with says that perseverance is key and that eventually I will be able to run long distances. I just have to want it bad enough. Fortunately, the high from completing the 4 miler is still pulsing through me and at the present I really do feel I want it bad enough.

The first 5k we are considering running is only next weekend and I haven't decided if I should get a few more weeks of training under my belt or just jump right in next weekend and see how well I do.

Of course we haven't figured out our babysitting situation for our upcoming races. My brother and his girlfriend were ever so kind to come out Saturday to the race and watch our three kids, but how often can I really ask them to follow us to different races and watch our children. On the plus side, a 5k should take less time, but I still feel it's asking a lot to have others watch our children. Also, I am extremely picky when it comes to who I will let watch our children. There are only a handful of family and even fewer friends who I feel comfortable enough with to have them care for our children.

But I can't let these little dilemmas stand in the way. I must keep focused on my goals. But getting up from the computer and putting on my workout gear (which includes an Under Armor bra I can't even put on by myself) can be just so hard to do.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Because I left this song on repeat for over an hour yesterday.

Mad as a hatter.

I am not really sure if that title works, but then I am not really sure how to convey just how mad I am.

You see I have three children under 20 months. That's a lot of rug rats any way you look at it, especially in this day, but it seems like more than three any time I attempt to leave the house. You see you have to make sure they are all properly full so you don't have to feed them while you're out and you have to give them cups, so they don't get thirsty. You have to change their diapers so you don't have to attempt the four of you going into the tiny handy cap stall at Target. You have to stock the diaper bag with snacks, because even with full bellies they'll want something, and have diapers, because with the cups they're sure to still need a change. Then if you're breastfeeding you may have to pump if you aren't comfortable about nursing in public. Then you have to put shoes on...everyone. By this point you'll be needing a nap, but you haven't even made it to the car yet. Getting all three into the car will involve something near acrobatics, but you will eventually manage and be on your way. But once you get to where you're going, you'll wonder how you alone will manage getting all three safely in and out of your target destination.

Eventually you will come to realize that a triple stroller is in order even though you really shouldn't spend that much money, but you will start to think about Andrea Yeats and Susan Smith and decide it really is just money and you would really like to keep your sanity. So with losing only a few hours sleep on the subject you will hit confirm order on the world's most expensive Italian stroller, hoping those wheels really do stay on.

Or at least that's what I did. But trying to be thrifty I bought it at a site offering 10% off, which was without giving the price of my purchase away, over $100 in savings. I should have known something was up when the confirmation page said something along the lines of we'll be in touch. When after four days I hadn't gotten a following email about shipping dates I emailed the company. They emailed me within 24 hours to let me know the item had been shipped. It was to arrive yesterday.

We live in the sticks and I waited all day anxiously for the UPS guy because I really wanted my stroller. Finally, at 6:45 p.m., the stroller arrived in two boxes. Todd commented that one of the boxes, the one with the stroller frame or chassis, wasn't long enough to be already put together. I argued that you didn't spend that much money to have to assemble your own stroller. We were both right. It wasn't long enough but it was already assembled. Upon removing the stroller and assembling the wheels we realized, all too late, that we had indeed received a 'duette' chassis, not a 'triplette' chassis. I was so disappointed and upset that I immediately went to call the company to find that there is not a single number on their website, you have to file all complaints via email. I cannot sufficiently raise hell in an email, without resorting to ALL CAPS.

I was so mad I felt almost sick to my stomach. Because my credit card has been charged, I have an opened stroller that I have to package back up, take to UPS (see above on how much fun this will certainly be) and wait for them to receive the item before I can get a refund (which their site says could take 2-3 weeks) before ordering a new one someplace else for more than $100 more.

And all this time I am thinking why didn't we take a child spacing class or something. We will ultimately be rewarded for having our children so close together right?


Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Little Engine that Could

Today I ran a red light in front of four police officers.

Fortunately for me, the road I was on was closed, I was on foot and the police officers were volunteering for the Virginia 4 and 10 miler races. That's right, I successfully accomplished my goal, I ran, walked and jogged the 4 miler earlier today. It was no easy task, Lynchburg's nickname is Seven Hills and I think I ran on every one of those hills this morning, but it was extremely invigorating and ultimately rewarding. Running amidst 1900 other runners was amazing. There is something about being involved in this sort of event that is even further motivating, just as I'd hoped.

I had set out two goals for myself for today's race. I am very happy to inform you that I accomplished both goals. The first was a tad bit silly, I will admit. I was very concerned about finishing last. I don't know why but coming in last was just not going to do for me. I ran three miles the other night in 36 minutes and decided that I wouldn't indeed finish last. So I set a new goal of completeing the four miles in under 50 minutes.

Where we have been training is relatively flat and the course, which included four of the most hilly miles in Lynchburg, was anything but flat. I figured this would slow me down as I don't take on hills very well and sure enough a mile and a half in a very intimidating hill slowed me to a walking pace. Of course, I only allowed myself the luxury of walking because so many other people were. You see, I am extremely competitive, even when I am not really as fit as everyone else. I didn't want to let other runners see me walking and this, I'm sure, helped me reach my second goal.

The last half mile though, what a trek it seemed. I really didn't know whether or not I would make it. Here's where I should tell you, I suppose, about my third 'secret' goal of doing the 4 miles in under 47 minutes. I hadn't told anyone but I had decided that 47 minutes or under was really where I wanted to come in at. So at the end of the race when I thought I wasn't going to come in under that time, and with the big time clock in view, I sprinted the last 300 feet, which resulted in my almost losing my breakfast. Luckily for the people taking the time chips and handing out finishing medals, I didn't eat any breakfast. Otherwise, it may not have been so pretty.

But I am happy to announce, that I did indeed reach all of my goals today. I came in at 45:45 for my first ever race. Sure a lot of people came in ahead of me and I ranked almost bottom for my age group, but I am ecstatic and ready to begin training for my first 5k in a few short weeks.

Todd also did well. He completed the 10 miler in 95 minutes.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Wish us luck.

Often times I have big dreams and aspirations but life gets in the way and days flash by into weeks and months and those plans are passed by. I know I have mentioned my interest in running before, but I haven't been motivated by enough to stick with it. When I got pregnant I gave up any exercise for the most part until I was ready to go into labor. A month before Sean was born we began walking 3-5 miles a few times a week at the Black Water Creek trail here in Lynchburg. I decided that after the baby was born, I really needed to take it up a notch.

Fortunately, I had a good easy delivery and my doctor gave me the green light to begin exercise whenever I felt up to it, which was at about two weeks. We've headed to Black Water Creek at least three times a week since then. Todd had decided to run Lynchburg's annual 10 miler race and wanted to get some training in, I had just had a baby and wanted to lose 35 lbs.

Now three weeks later and 31 lbs. lighter I have a secret to share with you. I have registered to run this weekend's 36th annual 4 miler race (the same day and time Todd runs the 10 miler). Why is it a secret? Well, to be honest, because I have no real faith in my self or my ability to do very well in the race. Why have I decided to come out? Because I realize I am a little nutty and I could use some added motivation for the race that begins in 19 hours exactly.

I don't think I will set any records, but I don't foresee myself finishing dead last either, but that really isn't the point to why I am racing. I have decided that the need to exercise for health and well being isn't enough to motivate me. I need something to be training towards, I need something competitive in nature to make me put on those two sports bras and get moving. I have decided, in addition to this weekends race, that I also want to run a 5k at the end of October, and possibly another one in November. I am hoping that signing up and paying the dues for these races will keep me motivated and goal oriented.

Small goals. That's currently my focus. Tomorrow for instance I want to finish the race. Sure I would love to do it in a timely fashion, but I did just have a baby five weeks ago, and have only been training for a few short weeks. I will worry with time goals later. Tiny baby steps.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

It's Been a Bad Day

OK, so I know it's only 11 a.m. but I already feel the world is against me on this fine second day of Fall. I am falling behind on sleep as I am failing to illustrate the benefits of sleeping at night with Sean as I probably let him sleep too much during the day so that I may survive life with our toddlers underfoot. It's a vicious cycle that I am don't know how to fix. So when I woke up at 6 a.m. this morning I wanted nothing more than to go back to sleep after feeding Sean. Only problem was I knew the kitchen was a mess because nowadays it's always a mess in the morning because I can't seem to stay up at night after the children are all finally asleep to clean it.

So my plan was to wake up, clean the kitchen and make homemade waffles (which I'd never done) for the family on my new Waffle maker, as my old one went kaput a week or so ago. Well, they were a lot of work, I mean who knew it could be so difficult to whip egg whites to stiff peaks and gently fold them into a not so fluid batter? I feel I should have taken home-ec, no? So all this work, flour on the flour, buttermilk in my hair, and a less than wow result. And the kids? They rewarded me by crying that the waffles weren't the frozen Strawberry variety.

The playroom is a mess. I let the kids play in their unaware of a box of crayons hidden on a top shelf. Apparently, they can reach the top shelf so now there is blue crayon on everything so the playroom is off limits until I can turn it right side up and confiscate any more crayons, chalk, etc. that I may have forgotten were in there. All I can say is thank you Crayola, your crayons are apparently delicious and fortunately, for me, also washable. So with the playroom off limits until after nap the kids were hanging out with me. I let them play with dirty laundry, am I just not the best mom ever? I went to the bathroom and in a few short minutes the dirty laundry became very boring and the DVDs irresistible. I came back in five minutes or less later and there was dirty laundry and DVDs strewn everywhere. I picked my toddlers up, toted them upstairs, changed their diapers (I am not completely awful) and put them down for a nap. At 10:30 a.m.

Just in case you start judging my every move I realize this is all my fault. I should never have allowed crayons to be left in the playroom. I should never let them play with laundry, clean or dirty. I should not have gone to the bathroom, that was just silly. I'm the one who needs a nap.

On a good note, they didn't resist or cry and I would have known because I forgot to close their door on my way out. So they needed a nap possibly as much as I feel I do. It's just that I'm having one of those days where try as I might to be the 'good' mom I come off feeling like the worst mom ever before noon.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Four weeks

Two days before Sean was born I was asked by another mother if I was ready for my cesarean, and I felt I was with one major exception, I wasn't sure if I was ready for the change in myself. I knew that overnight I would be going from who I'd been, a pregnant, mother of two, to a newer self' a no longer pregnant, mother of three and all that this new life would bring. It was far more difficult adjusting from being pregnant to being a new mother of twins just 20 months ago, I fell into a funk, not necessarily postpartum depression, but definitely a postpartum funk, and it lasted for quite sometime, about eleven weeks I believe. So I was, four short weeks ago, a little worried about my ability to cope with my new self and my new responsibilities.

I am happy to report that I am well. Sure, I wish I had more patience, spoke a little softer when Bailey shoves Cooper, and of course a third arm would be wonderful. But all in all, I am happy, I am well, I am adjusted. I have had a lot of help these past four weeks, help in many ways and I feel that with the departure of my sister-in-law yesterday, is for the most part gone. I am weary that the world that has emerged may start to shake now that I am all alone from 7-5, but in some form or another, we will survive, mostly (I hope) unscathed, as a happy and functioning family of 5.

It's good to not miss being pregnant, to not feel the level of exhaustion that accompanied newborn twins, to really know that this too will pass, so I'd better damn well enjoy those ten tiny precious fingers now before they are used to perhaps shove an older sister or smack an older brother. Being a second time around mom is like having already been to Disneyland and knowing which rides are worth going to first thing and which things should be skipped entirely. If only trips to Disneyland didn't seem to fly by so fast.

And like I've said before, as long as there is nap time, I know I will survive.