Keepin’ it Real

In the spirit of honesty I’m here to share some of the ugly truths about motherhood. I introduce you to, The Threenager.

Before I go on and list all the symptoms of The Threenager, please know individual symptoms will vary.

The Threenager is known to include stubbornness, disobedience, out right ignoring, endless repetition, “I want”s, “I can’t”s, “you do mommy/daddy”, and “no”. The Threenager can become serious when disobedience is preceded AND followed by a full body spasm known has The Meltdown. Accompanying a meltdown be prepared for tears, flailing arms and legs, and general fussiness with whining.

Should you encounter any of these symptoms please be mindful of The Threenager’s trifecta: 1) eat – get food into The Threenager as quickly as possible 2) sleep – calm and soothe The Threenager as much as you can and perform an intricate Threenager Sleep Dance which is characterized by copious bathroom breaks, snuggles, books, and glasses of water/milk/juice and 3) outside – in the event 1 and 2 don’t work, get The Threenager outside as soon as possible. The fresh air, vitamin D and change of scenary can’t hurt (disclaimer: going outside is only anatoctal evidence).

Should the the above trifecta fail in your attempts to cure The Threenager, then proceed very cautiously with the following three steps 1) ask your partner to take over bedtime routine (or the task/routine where The Threenager rears itself) 2) open a bottle of wine. Red perferably, but in a pinch white or blush will do (disclaimer: results may very) and 3) pour a large glass of number 2 and drink. Repeat step number 3 as many times as needed to keep calm during a Threenager outbreak.

Individual results may vary. This information is based on a very small participant biased case study of one Threenager. Do not take any of the above information as a replacement for medical advice. Don’t sue either, just drink your wine and hope The Threenager leaves as quickly as it came. Cheers mamas and drink on!


Moms with toddlers, what are your secrets to meltdowns?

Anyone else experiencing The Threenager right now?

Favorite wine?

I May Have Found the Spark!

So you know in my last post how I was bitching commenting on the fact that my running motivation is at a low point? Well, I think its turned around – I’m excited again. I’m ready to tackle the next challenge in my training plan!

It all started with a local 5K that I wanted to race. Its been years since I have actually raced a 5K. I have ran several but usually with a jogging stroller and a 30 lb toddler in it. This 5K I wanted to really leave it all on the pavement and see how my training was going.

Friday night Diapers and I had a “date” since FirefighterDad was working and I didn’t stress about the race too much. I did some really good self pep talk that included reminding myself that 5K’s hurt. Its a weird distance where you don’t have 2-3 miles at your disposal to kinda warm up. Its race pace right outta the gate and since I’m not use to this, I was counting on the adrenaline to get me going. I also continued reminding myself that I was going to feel terrible. I told myself I was going to embrace the discomfort, the pain, the ragged breathing and get to a 9:20-9:30 pace and stick to it. As I type this out it sounds very pessimistic, but for me it didn’t come across this way. Races are suppose to hurt. They are suppose to be uncomfortable – knowing this, I didn’t want any regrets crossing the finish line thinking I could have done better. I wanted to give 100% so staying positive about the discomfort and accepting it was my race plan.

I woke up Saturday morning, got dressed, drank my coffee, pooped (an absolute must!), ate a little breakfast, pooped again (key racing strategy), and started drinking some ice water. I woke up Diapers and had some good snuggles then got him ready. At 7:15 we were out the door so I could register. Registration was a breeze and took significantly less time than I anticipated so the next hour was waiting around and keeping Diapers entertained. We “raced” in the gym, and I gotta say that little boy has some speed! We used the bathroom, and watched all the post-race vendors get set up. At 8:15 I used the bathroom one last time, got a bottle of water, and headed to the start. One last lucky kiss from Diapers and I lined up in the middle of the pack. The race was a minute or so late getting started, but as the adrenaline surged I was off.

Immediately I hit an 8:11 mile pace – I knew this was entirely too fast and I wouldn’t be able to maintain it so I backed off, weaved around people, and got settled in an 8:30 pace. Mile 1 had a quick downhill followed by an uphill and I knew once I got up it I would be around a 9:00 pace – much better for the race. Going into mile 2 I was around a 9:22 pace. Circling around at the half way point, I was hitting around a 9:37 and quickly dropped to 9:47 pace into mile 3. The whole time I was running with a water bottle so I didn’t stop at the aid stations, and only took a couple quick sips from my bottle. I knew once I saw the 3 mile sign I was going to toss the water bottle onto the side of the road and kick it in for the finish. The 3 mile sign came up, I dropped my water bottle, and kicked it in with the help of some adrenaline. I crossed the finish line, and all I could do was stand there hands on knees for a few seconds. I wanted to move and sit down, but I physically couldn’t move my legs. It was a little weird feeling, but I knew I needed to move as other runners were crossing so I stumbled over to the side walk and sat down catching my breath.

I finished in 28:52 setting a new PR!

AND…

I placed 2nd in my age group!!!

Ya’ll placing in my age group never happens. Well it happened once when I was 13 and I got 4th in my age group for a 4.4 mile run – I got a blue ribbon.

Needless to say, this race – pushing myself, my pre-race strategy and race plan – all of it just sparked a new level of motivation. I’m faster, I’m improving, I can do hard things and accept discomfort. I can overcome and conquer! Its been exciting to say the least!

I really think keeping this race “low key”, registering kinda last minute, and having a more realistic race strategy and acknowledging the discomfort of the race helped A LOT! Usually, I say things like “You’re going to feel so good, you’re going to feel like running is effortless, your legs are going to feel light and your breathing is going to be comfortable”. Yeah – that’s never worked in the past, so I’m glad I didn’t cloud my mind with unrealistic positivity.


What race strategies work best for you?

How was your weekend?

Life

Life right now is, well life. Its good, fun, and enjoyable with a lot of crazy tossed in! I’ve been a little absent from the blog so I figured I do a brief update on my going-ons.

Work

Work is going well and this was the first week in about 4, where I didn’t go from one meeting to the next. Lately, my job has involved a lot of follow up with several people/teams, lots of coordination, and meetings. Seriously, I would have meetings from 9 am – 12 pm, break for lunch and have meetings from 2 pm – 4 pm. Needless to say, the days were long, and didn’t feel very productive. This week most of my team was at a training so I have savored the 2.5 days I have had all to myself to get some shit done. Its been productive, quiet, and down right awesome. Next week, I will have another 3 days with most of the team out of the office and I have some serious plans to finalize some projects before I travel again.

Family

FirefighterDad is awesome – he’s saving lives, kicking ass, and takin’ names! I couldn’t be more proud of his hard work and dedication to his family and our community. He’s pretty much the shit. Diapers is doing well too. He’s growing like a weed, finally sleeping in a toddler bed (yay!!), and is sassy, rambunctious, and lovable. Life is good at 3.5.

Running

Running is… well, for lack of better words, in the crapper. I’m still running, I’m still training, but like most training cycles its not going quite like I imagined. I am more than half way through, and in typical fashion I have lost my motivation to wake my ass up at 4:30 am to run. I’m proud to say that regardless of my lack of motivation, I am still getting my butt up and out the door to run. Usually within the first mile or so I am happy I did, but its taking a lot more self discipline to start. I’d say that for most training cycles this always happens – I enter the “eh” phase. Training can be broken down like this:

First 1/4 of Training Plan: Yes!! I am a F***ing Bad-Ass!! I’m training for a half marathon!

Second 1/4 of Training Plan: I’m improving! I’m not breathing hard, my paces are faster – suwheet!

Second to Last 1/4 of Training Plan: F*** this! 4:30 am – Hell no! I am over this and want to sleep in. I am SO tired…and hungry!

Last 1/4 of Training Plan: Ohmygosh, ohmygosh, ohmygosh!! My race is in 4 weeks! I’m going to be tapering in 2 weeks – ahhh! I’m so excited, I can’t wait to race!

So needless to say, I’m not too concerned. I will move out of the “eh” phase and into the “reignited excitement” phase soon. Like other training cycles, when the challenge is gone, I lose motivation. I see improvement, runs are easier, paces are easier, and I have completed tough workouts – I met the challenge. Now I just need a new challenge and fortunately, my training plan moves from speed work to strength workouts and from tempo runs to goal race pace runs next week. A new challenge, a new journey, and running at a new level – all things that help me leave the “eh” phase in the dust. So to new challenges!


What’s been going on in your life right now?

Is this a busy time for you/your family?

Half-Marathon Training Week #7

Week #7

Monday: 4 easy miles.  I ran 3.84 miles outside during lunch. I had intended for this to be an easy run, and overall it was – maybe a moderate run – but the weather was damn near perfect, and I really felt great. I did have a creepy car honk at me, then pull of the side of the road and wait for me. yeah – cuhreepy MFer. Needless to say my last mile was a little fast. Splits: 9:52, 9:51, 8:31, not sure about the last .84 miles – probably in the 8:30 ball park.

Tuesday: 8 x 800 @ 4:00. I’ve never really been dedicated to speed work before in training. I was always scared/intimated by it. This time around I have committed to alternating between Yasso 800s and mile repeats and I am seeing improvement! This morning I woke up feeling FANTATIC! Like seriously, I felt SO good. I don’t know if it’s my cleaner diet (I’m craving veggies like crazy), my easier-than-expected-week last week, the snack I had a 9pm, or the 100 plus ounces of water I had yesterday, but I felt great. My warm up was around 10:30. It was also 57 degrees – Hello Fall!! The workout was tough, but in a good way. And I also think I need to eat more than 3 bites of bananas, because although my legs were tired, I felt pretty drained overall – I needed some fuel. Splits: 3:53 (whoa!), 3:57, 4:02, 3:58, 4:00, 4:03, 4:02, 4:01.

Wednesday: OFF

Thursday: 6 easy miles. Travel for work so I ran 5.3 on treadmill in hotel. I don’t know what it is about treadmill running but it feels much harder than running outside. I don’t know if it’s because my gait and/or form is off, but I kept this run easy but that meant my pace was 11:19.

Friday: 6 miles tempo. Travel for work so I hit up the treadmill again. This was the first morning in my training where the excitement of getting up early and running has faded. Hell, it didn’t just fade, it extinguished. In the span of 24 hours, it was gone. Anyways, I knew I would wake up and feel better after a run, even if I didn’t hit my 10:00 mile tempo pace, I at least wanted to get the mileage in. I did a warm-up that just seemed SO hard! Once I cranked it up to a 10:00 pace, I knew it wasn’t going to happen. I didn’t sleep well in the hotel, and my body was just exhausted. Since it was a cutback week I called it quits. I didn’t want to push too hard when my body was telling me to slow down. I half-assed some strength which even felt difficult with minimal reps (read: 15 reps) and minimal weights (read: 10 lbs) – I tossed in the towel.

Saturday: OFF. I landed at 11 pm on Friday night and FirefighterDad had to work so I knew my long run was going to be pushed back to Sunday and I enjoyed a much needed rest day.

Sunday: 10 mile long run. When FirefighterDad returned from work, Mother Nature and all her cruel and teasing power, decided that she wasn’t going to grace us with Fall like temps any more. No, instead I got 86 degrees and 90%+ humidity. WTF?! I was angry, but I went out and ran what I could. 3.5 miles later I called it quits. At this point in my training I know I can run 13.1 miles and I have a good feeling I’d PR. I’m not at the point where I will hit my sub-2 hour, but it would still be a good race. So knowing this and combined with work travel, higher temps, and my body telling me it’s tired, I was okay with being done. Next week I’ll move up to 12 miles and toss in a few good tempo miles for good measure.

Total Mileage: 18.8 (some serious “cut back”)

Business Travel

My current role involves customer interaction and therefore traveling. Currently, I travel about 10% of the time; some months its more and other months I don’t travel at all. A part of me would like to travel a little bit more because of the value it brings to my job, but I also recognize that traveling isn’t just hard on me, it has an impact on my family.

So here are my “rules” that I use when I know I will be traveling for work and how I prepare.

1. Be Positive. When I first had to travel, I was both excited and dreading it. Quickly, the dread took over and the excitement left. Even though I am always a little sad to leave Diapers and FirefighterDad, I recognize that its temporary and I approach it positively. It’s amazing how just our attitude about something can influence our experience.

2. Me Time. I approach all my travels as an opportunity for some “me time”. As a natural introvert I relish this. A bed to myself, yes please! Wine, I don’t mind if I do! Peace and quiet, sign me up! No bath time and bedtime routine for Diapers, no cooking dinner, no dishes, no feeding the dogs…really the list can go on. I need quiet alone time to feel rejuvenated and traveling is great opportunity to fill up my introvert cup!

3. Routine. I enjoy routine. Hell, who am I kidding, I THRIVE off of routine. When I travel, I make it a point to stick to my routine. During the week I wake up anywhere between 4:30-5:30 am depending upon my scheduled run and FirefighterDad’s work schedule. When I travel, I do the same. I stick to my exercise regimen and my routines. It keeps me feeling balanced, and when I return from traveling, home life goes much more smoothly. Also, running is my outlet – my days just don’t quite feel right without it.

4. Peace of Mind. When I travel I know that Diapers is having fun – and a lot of it. He goes to his nanny 5 days a week, so its routine for him (point #3) and I know he’s safe, well cared for, and loved. With my travels overnight and FirefighterDad working overnight, this arrangement works beautifully! Diapers sleeps at Nanny’s house on these nights and he sleeps well. I call Diapers every evening while I’m traveling and I hear of his adventures to parks, feeding birds, feeding fish, playing trains, and overall having a blast. Also, with toddlers, “out of sight out of mind” is SO true. I let Diapers know I’ll be taking a plane to work, and let him know how many “Nigh-Nights” he’ll have at Nanny’s, and he’s good. I don’t dwell, I’m positive (point #1) and everyone is happy.

5. Know Your Limits. 2 nights, 3 days. That’s it. Those are my travel limits. Any more than 2 nights and my mind is not focused on work. Most of my travel falls into this limit – however on occasion I have been gone as much as 4 nights and 5 days. It happens, but for the most part I can keep my travel to within my limit. This also helps out on the home front. Anymore nights then this (cost aside) it really impacts FirefighterDad’s routine and Diapers, so I keep this in mind.

6. Prepare the Home. Speaking of the home front, when I know I’ll travel, I put it on our family dry erase monthly calendar. This helps me plan for it, coordinate my flight times with FirefighterDad’s work schedule, and lets me communicate it to Nanny in advance so she can check her schedule. I typically give FirefighterDad general ideas for dinner, and I line up all of the child care drop-offs and pick-ups and communicate this to FFD and Nanny. Everyone is on the same page, and we’re good to go!

7. Good Food. It’s no lie that while traveling we take customers out and eat some good food and drink some good wine. And it’s ALL expensed! Eating out is my one big vice – I love it. It’s easy, there are ton of options, and there are no dishes afterwards. As a family we don’t eat out often for a number of reasons the main one’s being we try to eat a whole foods diet (no processed foods), it’s costly, and we have a 3 year old who has an attention span of exactly 2.7 seconds. Needless to say, we eat dinner at home a lot, so I look forward to this one small thing when I travel.

8. Career. Traveling is bittersweet, but once I drop off Diapers to Nanny, and I’m on my way to the airport, the hard part is over. I’ve always wanted a career and traveling allows me to grow, learn more, and be able to contribute more to the team – all things I value and leave me feeling fulfilled. Its also a time for me to be just Pantsuits instead of PantsuitsMom, and have intellectual adult conversations about my field of expertise – this is exciting and invigorating for me.


Do you travel for work?

What are somethings you do to prepare for a trip away from your family?

Half-Marathon Training Week #6

I know I’ve been MIA for a few days. Hopefully my 7 readers (haha) didn’t miss me too much 😉

Anyways, on Wednesday I had a vertigo and attack and it really laid me up. I missed a couple runs, but overall still had a decent week of training, although my mileage was lower than I would like.

Week #6

Monday: 4 easy miles @ average 11:11. My knees are sore. I really focused on going slow and reminding myself that recovery miles are just as important as the faster miles!

Tuesday: 4 x 1 mile @ 9:00. I had to do this run on the treadmill at work during lunch. I wasn’t looking forward to a treadmill run, or the work out but I knew I would be pumped getting it done. Had some great music and ended with: 8:57 (TM doesn’t have a setting for 9:00), 8:57, 8:57, and 8:49 with 0.5 mile recoveries somewhere in the neighborhood of 10:54-11:19. Total of 6.5 miles and I actually felt better than expected.

Wednesday: OFF

Thursday: 6 miles easy. I didn’t run this day. I had a vertigo episode hit me late Wednesday afternoon and I was miserable! Needless to say I was out of commission on Thursday and remained horizontal until about 4 pm.

Friday: 6 mile tempo @ 10:00. Lingering effects of vertigo still had me feeling lousy. I went back to work, and started feeling better as the day progressed, but I decided to play it safe and not run.

Saturday: 10 miles with a friend! After 3 days I finally got a run in! The worst part about this run was the mosquitoes. We started at 6 am so I have no idea why the mosquitoes were out in full force but I did 10 miles and got 24 bites! Splits: 11:51, 11:16, 11:54, 11:48, 11:16, 11:49, 11:26, 11:22, 11:30, 11:11. I ran with a friend who was doing a 16 mile long run so we took it nice and easy.

Sunday: OFF

Total Mileage: 20.5

I’m moving into the half way point of training where my speed work transitions to more strength work and I am getting a little bored and losing just a tiny bit of motivation. I’m considering mixing it up a bit and adding in some Insanity workouts 3x week. I think a 35-45 min legs, core, and arms workout would be sufficient while I’m training, but I also know I am going to be crazy sore for a few weeks. My goal with this would be to just add some strength work into my training, and not kill myself on the workouts. Maybe after this training cycle I’ll actual do the 60 day program, before training for another half. Decisions, decisions.


Have you done Insanity or P90X? What are your thoughts?

Have you incorporated these into training as strength workouts?

Weekly Menu 9/7 – 9/13

Being a working mom means balance. And flexibility. And improvising. And planning. And wine. Always wine.

In the planning department I like to make weekly dinner menus. This prevents the whole 5 o’clock what do you want for dinner? I dunno what do you want? and it also helps me grocery shop more efficiently. When this doesn’t happen, we enter the flexibility department and this usually means we have scrambled eggs. Or grilled cheese. And although I like these options, I also like to make sure we are all eating a well balanced and nutritious dinner. I also want diapers to be exposed to a lot of various foods because, if I’m being honest, I detest picky eaters. I know, I know. Judgey-McJudgerson.  

I’m not a huge fan of the actually meal planning part, but it makes my life SO much easier and the week just moves along very smoothly. I can grocery shop, prep, and go right along with my busy life without the added stress of figuring out dinner. So I suck it up and do it.

I’m hoping by posting them, I can help you and you can help me. Sometimes I need inspiration. So feel free to add your menu in the comments!

Monday: Panini Sandwiches with fresh fruit (strawberries and nectarines) – 15 minutes

Tuesday: Salmon and asparagus – 35 minutes

Wednesday: Cobb salad (I have veggies that need to get eaten. Diapers doesn’t really eat salad yet so he will have veggies and a cheese quesadilla) – 15 minutes (I have cooked shredded chicken in the freezer and I’ll make hard boiled eggs and chop veggies when I get home)

Thursday: Meatballs and veggies – 20 minutes (I have homemade cooked meatballs and sauce in the freezer that will thaw during the day and I’ll steam some veggies and pan heat the meatballs)

Friday: BBQ Chicken with veggies/salad – 35 minutes (I’ll make ask FirefighterDad to heat up the grill when I’m headed home and toss on some chicken breasts)

Saturday: Leftovers (standard Saturday) – 15 minutes or so

Sunday: Hawaiian Chicken with quinoa – 40 minutes (this is a frozen crock pot meal that I will cook on the stove top since my crock pot is acting weird)

Our dinners tend to be Paleo in nature since we have figured out that I can’t handle pasta well and FirefighterDad can’t handle rice and high gluten foods well. I also rely on quick and easy meals so I have included estimated prep/cook times!


What are some of your go-to or favorite meals?

Do you menu plan?

Half-Marathon Training Week #5

Week #5 – this was a solid week where I pushed myself through the discomfort of adapting and getting stronger and faster. I have had some really good work outs and some tired legs. I am officially a third of the way through my training plan!

Monday: 4 easy miles on treadmill at 11:06 pace. After a couple miles my legs woke up and were craving to go fast so I did half a mile at 8:57 pace.

Tuesday: 6 x 800 @ 4:00 minutes each. Ran with my Garmin again and seeing my pace is just AMAZING!! It’s very motivating and it keeps me accountable! Not to mention my other 800 repeats were long by about a tenth of a mile! Splits: 3:57, 3:57, 3:58, 3:56, 3:58, 3:58.

Wednesday: OFF

Thursday: 4.45 easy miles @ 10:28 average. For whatever reason I was thinking I only had 4 miles on my training plan. I was wrong. It was 6. Fail. Maybe I was hoping it was Monday? No idea but anyways this was an overall good run. Splits: 10:27, 10:37, 10:23, 10:29, 4:49 for last 0.46

Friday: 6 tempo miles. This run was tough to really hit the paces. My legs were tired and it just didn’t “click”. Easy effort felt hard so I accepted the harder effort and discomfort knowing pushing through when my legs are tired will make me stronger come race day! Splits: 10:06, 10:11, 10:28, 11:12, 12:05, 9:59. Miles 4 and 5 were just TOUGH! Does anyone else get a surge of adrenaline for their last mile? I do this every time and it makes me feel a little better about my crappier miles. Average @ 10:40/mile.

Saturday: OFF (FirefighterDad worked Friday which means he wasn’t home until 9 am-ish and this is past my ideal running time. I was a little grumpy this day; it’s amazing how much my mood is impacted by running, or this case NOT running)

Sunday: 8 miles @ average 10:24. I wanted to focus on negative splitting/fast finish this long run. With Saturday off, I knew my legs had more rest than typical so I stuck with the discomfort focusing on pushing through it. It all went well until mile 7 where I got this really weird and painful chest-side cramp thing! It was the longest .3 miles ever and I had to do a lot of walking and slow my pace. This is how it went: 10:41, 10:45, 10:42, 10:43, 9:51, 9:55, 10:58 (cramp), 9:32. All in all, I am very happy with this and my legs were very happy-tired 😀

Total: 26 miles

Next week is gonna get real! I have my first 10 mile long run!

Mommy Guilt

*This post is dedicated to my sister. My best friend, my support, my encouragement, and an unbelievably fantastic mother to 3 beautiful children. Sister, you rock. You are awesome and beautiful. You are doing an incredible job, and your children are living proof! When the bad days out weigh the good, I’m always here to split a bottle of wine with you! Love you always Sis!*

I want you to do me a favor.

Go pour yourself a glass a wine.

Right now.

I’ll wait.

Okay, you good?

Great, now take a sip.

Savor it.

Tastes good right?

Damn straight it does!

Al ’right lets chit chat. I want to talk about Mommy Guilt. We have all been there. We’ve all felt the pull – The Dichotomy of Motherhood as I like to call it. And here’s the thing, you are doing a great job! You are balancing several things at once; you are juggling schedules, priorities, and other peoples’ needs. So, take another sip of your wine. And relax. Because you are doing a GREAT job! And I want you to know it.

You’re not perfect.

You’re not always right.

You’re not always patient, or understanding, or level headed.

But, You.Are.Doing.A.Great.Job.

Let me be real with you for a minute as we sip our wine. You are your own worst critic. You are getting in your way of relaxing and letting go. Remember this okay? I’m not saying it’s easy because girl, it’s not. The guilt is real. The pull is real. But you need to level with yourself too and recognize that you rock!

In any given day The Dichotomy of Motherhood can look something like this:

  1. Yay! Its morning – a new day. I can’t wait to see my baby!

TDOM: God, it’s early. I want to see my bed-head child but I want some sleep. And coffee. Always coffee.

  1. Girls’ night! Heels, wine, and no bed time for me! Yay!

TDOM: [5 minutes into Girls’ Night] I miss my baby. I wish I was home with him, but I’m having so much fun with the girls.

  1. Oh sweet heavens the baby is asleep. Now it’s my turn!

TDOM: My arms feel so empty. I just want to snuggle with my sweet baby, but I really want to crawl into my own bed and sleep for days.

The Dichotomy of Motherhood is real. And I think this is the crux of why we experience Mommy Guilt. It’s not because we are doing a bad job. It’s because motherhood is a mix of contradictions, and last I looked, no one has won a Nobel Peace Prize in String Theory proving that life can exist in multiple plans of the universe simultaneously. Damn.

I experienced my first contradiction shortly after Diapers was born. The all-consuming raw emotion of love I felt for this child landed me in tears. But the complete and utter frustration and exhaustion of around the clock nursing had me hesitating, just a split second, every time Diapers cried. This is when I got some sage wisdom from my mom: You have to take the good with the bad. Oh, so true.

This constant life of motherhood-contradictions makes us think we are doing something wrong. But in reality, we’re not. We’re just juggling. So maybe we yelled when we wish we didn’t, maybe we reacted when we should have listened, maybe we forgot something we shouldn’t have, and maybe we stayed in the bathroom a few minutes longer than necessary. You know, all of that is okay because we are not perfect. We are mothers doing the best we can. We are balancing the constant pull of needing alone time and deeply wanting to be with our children. We are navigating our days with our own personal needs and those of our spouse and children.

And the most ironic part of mother hood is that we deeply, intensely, profoundly, and genuinely, want to nurture our children, cater to them, love them, and be with them. But we are also individuals, craving and needing time alone. So we all do the best we can with delicately navigating the opposing feelings of motherhood. It’s a complex, well balanced, and skillfully woven role. It’s beautiful, fulfilling, messy, exhausting, and so so deeply rewarding. It builds us up, inspires us, and opens our heart to the most pure and truest form of love, while simultaneously wanting some time to ourselves.

You are not guilty because you think you are a bad mother. At least this is what I think. You feel guilty because The Dichotomy of Motherhood is a bastard. He’s a loyal friend that always brings us back to our children but he’s also constantly reminding us that we need to balance our needs as well. And for that he’s a friend. It’s a love hate relationship.

So mama, know this – you are doing a marvelous job. Your life is messy, complicated, exhausting, but oh so so beautiful. Full of love, gratitude, and joy. And on the days where the bad out ways the good, well, girlfriend we have wine.

Drink on mamas and know in the deepest part of your heart that you are doing a phenomenal job. You are a great mom, and when you need a girl’s night, or night off from putting the kids to bed, take it guilt free.

Love on my fellow mamas!

Half-Marathon Training Week #4

Last week was a cut back in my training. Every 3 weeks are build up weeks – intensity, pace and mileage. After these build up weeks, I have a cut back week. These weeks will be reduced mileage, easier easy runs, and maintaining speed work and tempo runs.

I took this week easy, really trying to focus on giving my body time to adapt to the previous 3 weeks. I’m already experiencing typical training side effects – increased hunger, and increased fatigue, so most nights I’m in bed by 9 pm; some nights its been earlier. Sleep is so critical for our bodies to heal, adapt, and recover! Plus, I’m all about my sleep!

Here’s how my first cut back looked:

Monday: 2 easy miles @ 12:00 – I took it really easy today because I was on the treadmill at work running during my lunch break and I was over the treadmill. I was really missing my morning runs. Seeing Tuesday, I think taking this run SUPER easy was a great idea.

Tuesday: 3 x 1 mile repeats @ 9:13, 9:05, 8:57 – I need to bump up my speed next week. Speed is SO mental for me. I don’t think I’m this fast, so I hold back. This run gave me a huge mental boost! These miles felt relatively easy for speed work, but I was also just having one of those runs where it felt effortless and my legs responded. Over all it was a FANTASTIC run where my legs actually craved going faster. I like to think Monday’s shake out miles helped.

Wednesday: OFF – foam rolled like a mad women. I do this before and after every run, but I also try to it on days off.

Thursday: 4 easy miles. No idea on my pace. I finally got back outside in the morning to run! I had my watch but I honestly don’t remember my time. I’m guessing 45-47 minutes.

Friday: 4 tempo miles @ 9:50-10:00 pace – I felt really good and got into a comfortably hard pace and worked hard to maintain it. Another outside run in the morning! Yay!

Saturday: I was suppose to do my long run this day but – Unplanned day off – boat

Sunday: 6 miles @ 10:04 average– First run with my new Garmin! This run was epic. Seeing my pace was SO motivating. This run was probably more at my tempo pace but I felt great, weather was overcast with slight drizzles, and I was just in my groove, so with it being a cutback week I went with it. 😀

Total Mileage: 20

All in all, this week was solid. Fewer miles, easier easy runs, and running with my new Garmin! I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again – I am.Addicted. #GarminforLife.