Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The one were I ponder where all of my time went.


A long time ago (2 years, 3 months and 12 days ago to be exact), I had entire empty days and nothing in which to fill them.  Those days would have been, could have been, great blogging days.  But alas, my first blog was created on the eve of Bailey and Cooper’s birth.  And then, BAM, motherhood arrived keeping me perpetually busy.

These days I often wonder to myself (usually one evening a month I find myself alone in the car and I actually get twenty minutes to actually THINK)-‘what in the hell did you do with your time before you had all of these kids’.

The answer?

Well, I watched T.V.  A lot of T.V. From C.S.I. to Big Love, House Hunters to Myth Busters.  If a station showed it I would watch it.  Hours upon hours.  If only I could get just a few of those hours back.

I searched the Internet.  Everyday I searched, in the days before my hcg levels began doubling, I searched for cures and treatments to infertility.  From Amazon to buy The Infertility Cure or A Few Good Eggs to places like for Basal Body Thermometers and Ovulation Predictors (that was money well spent). Once pregnancy became me, it was baby names and stroller reviews, gender prediction quizzes and back to Amazon to order A Child Is Born.

I also ate.  Again, I did this a lot.  Even when I wasn’t hungry.  And I shopped.  Surprisingly more than I ate, I shopped.  I would drive some afternoons the twelve miles into the city just to walk the isles of the Baby Depot at Burlington or window shop Mother Goose.  I was obsessed.  And more than just a little depressed.  I would venture into town some days just to order a large Coke (not diet) and an even larger order of onion rings from Burger King.  I spent a lot of time with my Grandmother.  That may be the single thing I will never regret.  That time was never wasted.

I would stay home on occasion and having done the five or six loads of laundry for the week I would wash guest room bed linens when we hadn’t had guests.  I would actually fold underwear.  I would fill a bucket with water and work my way throughout the house scrubbing baseboards and wainscoting .  Or I would spend the morning dusting bookshelves and books, then organize them by genre, then size.

I read.  Boy, did I read.  Sometimes three of four books a week. I won’t go any further on that subject as that’s one of the only things I am still mourning the loss of as a parent of many young children.  But I didn’t just read novels and novellas.  I read magazines and junk mail. 

I may sound as though I am complaining.  I’m not.  I am trying to characterize that lonely life for you in which I used to live.  The one where sleep was uninterrupted, the floors were clean, and the rooms were quiet.  Too quiet.  I had to quell the silence with television and Rhapsody playing constantly, the unsettling silence was deafening.  That life was, if nothing else, boring.  There were no noses for me to wipe, there were no disputes over who was playing with the Fridge Phonics last, there was no screaming in the backseat, only Talking Heads.  If those days were empty because of waiting for the children I longed for, these days are filled to the brim with activities in which to fuel their toddler brains or to keep my sanity. 

I was not right with myself for a very long time.  Even, to be honest, after the twins were born, I was still in some ways, struggling with depression.  But in these past few months, as the days have become busier and busier, I have smiled more, frowned less.  I am for the first time in a long time, if not ever, at home in my life.  I am satiated with this nuclear family of mine.  When Cooper wakes up from nap and looks at me with those eyes for which I’ve no name for the color and says “Mommy, I was tired.” I think, ‘me too, buddy, what took you so long.”

Monday, March 8, 2010

The one where I lose a watch, but win a medal.


This weekend was our second official race of the 2010 season.  This race, another trail run, was held in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains on the trails of the beautiful scenic Explore Park in Roanoke, Virginia.  The recent history of the park, and its limbo status, were enough to have my interests peaked in this race however I was a little worried after the Liberty mountain trail run how efficiently I could tackle another snowy trail.

Fortunately, the weather has been a tad bit warmer in these parts the last two weeks (40s and even some 50 degree days) and the trails were about 99% clear.  I had done some extensive result studying where I tracked the overall results of the Mountain Junkies Explore Your Limits last five races in my age group and decided that if I could muster up the strength and energy to finish in under 33 minutes I might just place in my age group.  The week prior to the race I had the best intentions to get a few runs of at least 5k distance in.  I got one.  On race morning, as on every race morning before, I was incredibly nervous and completely unsure of myself.    There seemed to be a lot of runners at the race who appeared to be in my age group and I was convinced I wouldn’t be able to finish the race in the time I had allotted myself and that I wouldn’t place. 

On the starting line Todd and I decided we would run together for the first mile with the hopes of him pacing himself better so he didn’t go out to fast and with the hopes of increasing the pace at which I began the race.  I always start races slow, it has something to do with that story of the Tortoise and the Hare I think.  “Slow and steady” wins the race (I literally repeated that mantra to myself at the Liberty Mountain run).  When the race began I held up with Todd for about two minutes.  He however, couldn’t bear my 8 minute mile pace and I was soon just a memory for him.  I did my best however to run fast enough to finish with a respectable time but so as not to bonk.  I was doing well until I reached the bottom of the first real hill.  The hill slowed me down so much that when I took a look at my Garmin I was convinced I wouldn’t finish in under 34 minutes.  My mind was apparently a little exhausted though because I wasn’t figuring my pace accurately and before I knew it I was at the top of the hill and then the next one and then before long I heard a volunteer shout ‘only 200 more yards’ at which point I switched into sprint mode, past the 41 year old man whom I had been pacing with for about a mile, and sprinted to the finish.  My time: 27:18.  I was ecstatic.  But not convinced that I had indeed placed. 

Within minutes the rest of our team had finished and we were all downing water and Gatorade.  We moved ourselves inside to partake in the famous Mountain Junkies Pumpkin Bread (which was delicious) as well as bagels, bananas and cookies.  Man, I love the free food that accompanies a great race.  We ate our food as they tallied the race results and handed out door prizes (Jordan, who is the luckiest person we know, won a door prize yet again).  And then it was time for awards. 

I am pleased beyond measure that I can claim second place in my age group for Saturday’s race, especially since after the official race results were posted I learned that I did indeed run in the largest age group (there were 16 in my age group, all other groups peaked at about 5 or 6 runners).  And I am just as pleased to tell you that East Coast Madness came home with four medals, three second place awards and one for third (yeah! Go Tyler!). 

I am not as pleased to tell you about what happened when I got home.  My watch, my most handy Garmin Forerunner, that I got as a Christmas gift from Todd and have yet to be able to really test all of it’s features, didn’t make the trip home with us.  I tore the house and car apart looking for it Saturday afternoon before emailing the race director with my lost watch woes.  Turns out someone had indeed come across my watch (which I had removed in the women’s bathroom when I went to pump) and turned it in.  My watch is now waiting for me in Salem, Virginia.  Not as close to home as I would like, but far better than it being lost to me forever.

Overall, it was an awesome race.  A huge thank you to Mountain Junkies for their ability to put on one amazing race!

I am looking forward to warmer weather (it’s 61 today), training outdoors (we got in over 15 miles this weekend) and seeing more marked improvement on my times.