Social running

I don’t have anything earth shaking to share this morning. Just some random thoughts that I felt like getting out of my head.

First of all, I am a social runner. It is made more clear every Saturday morning. Either I get up early and run with a group, or I sleep in and have to go it alone. I can easily run 25% (or more) farther with the group than I do alone. And if those solitary miles have to be on the treadmill, maybe the number is cut in half.

I do still have room in my heart to love the long solo run.  But it’s been so long since I did one that I’m not sure I remember how. And I don’t know if I can spend that much time alone with only the voices in my head to keep me company.  Although, a “lock-in” with that inner critic might do me some good. Perhaps I could finally put her in her place. She does seem to quiet down after 3-4 miles.

Second, I don’t understand (well, I probably do) why more people don’t get out on a beautiful, albeit frigid, morning like today. The snow was lightly falling, it was quiet and peaceful. Usually on the bike path there are other runners. Today it was only the three of us, and one guy and his dog. Totally quiet and relaxing.

Third, I need to reconsider my cold weather running wardrobe. My rear and thighs were red from the cold and it took a half hour before I could feel the seat heater.  Plus, as I warmed up on the almost 40 minute drive home, I started to violently shiver. A hot shower, pancakes, and two cups of coffee later, I finally am starting to feel warm.

And on a non-running note, I finished a crochet project this week. My niece has to wear double casts for a few weeks so I made her some slippers to wear when she is in the house. She was having a hard time walking on the hard floors, so these will help her not slide. Plus, she can put them on herself and they fit over the casts. I had to take a free pattern and do a lot of customizing to get these to work, but they fit perfectly and she loves them. And the supplies were less than $10 from Wal-Mart.  I’m pretty proud of these! And they only took a few nights to make.
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Snow Day

Since the start of January, we have had four snow days. (Well, technically, they are “severely dangerous windchill days.”)

In fact, the only reason I am able to sit down and write up this blog post today is the fact that I am sitting at home with my kids on the fourth “snow” day of the month.

Remember, when as a kid, you’d get super excited for a snow day?  I certainly do.  I remember waking up in the morning, finding out it was a snow day, and riding that high for the rest of the day.  I’ve always loved a good lazy day at home.

But the announcement of a snow day last Thursday brought this working mother to her knees in a sobbing heap.  

Why, you might ask?

For me, a snow day has become a stressful event.  These four days in January have been days that were cancelled not because of snow and bad road conditions, but because of severely cold windchill.

Work doesn’t close down for severe windchill.

I started a new job in October, one that requires a lot more out of me than my previous roles.  It’s a new level of leadership.  It also requires more travel, and a return to full time work.  (I was part time from 2005-2013). I have been trying so hard to do a good job, and to adjust to this change, and I LOVE the work I am doing.

But when last week’s snow day hit on Thursday, in the first three weeks back from the holidays, I had already missed two days the first week of January, two the second week, had MLK Day and missed a half day for my youngest’s doctor appointment.  And we were in the middle of planning for two workshops our team is holding this week.  (Yes, I am missing part of it right now.)  Compound that with a work culture where I work with mostly men, whose wives stay home, and my two team members are unmarried without kids, and I felt like I was

So when my husband and I were faced with trying to figure out who would stay home with the kids, and neither one of us wanted to stay home, the situation quickly degraded into an argument.  We were both selfishly trying to convince the other to stay home, but in reality we just made snarky comments towards each other and I stormed out of the room in frustration.

All the stress of the new job, feeling like I was not pulling my weight at work, and the self-imposed stress of trying to be the best mom, wife, engineer, AND team member I could be, and the tears came.

What didn’t help was when my husband decided to stay home so that I could go to work.  Because then, rather than feel like we had discussed it and compromised, I felt like the selfish one.

This weekend a friend shared this post on Facebook, and it resonated.  

“one of the greatest obstacles we face as women is the trap of comparing ourselves with other women.”

Because this is what I do.  Nobody is telling me that I’m a bad engineer, or a bad mom, or a bad wife.  In fact, quite the opposite happens.  I have lots of support from external people.  But I don’t support myself.  When I say “Nobody is telling me…” that’s kind of a lie.  Because someone is telling me that.  The problem is, she’s in my head.  And because she’s in my head, I can’t get away from that voice that says, “You’re not good enough.  You’re not doing enough.  Why aren’t you home with your kids?  Why don’t you want to be home with your kids?”

She’s sneaky, that voice in my head.  Sometimes, I almost think that it’s me.  But it’s not.  It’s someone else, someone trying to make me feel bad.  And I am trying very hard not to listen to her.  

 

 

For the record…this blog post took much longer than expected, mostly due to a potty training toddler who interrupted my train of thought at least three times…and is currently on the toilet yelling about the Avengers.


I’m not alone

I read this blog post today and wanted to share.

Sometimes, when I’m feeling down or a bit like I’m not doing something right, a post comes along that makes me feel that I’m not alone.


yarn, needles, and great runs

So. Where have I been?

The same places as always. Home, work, running.

So, one might ask why haven’t I been blogging?

Honestly, I haven’t wanted to.  I haven’t had the drive to write. Sure, I find myself thinking of blog post topics.  All.  The.  Time.

But I haven’t been able to bring myself to sit down at the computer.

What’s been taking my time?  Well, the same stuff that I listed in my Christmas post. That and two of my favorite hobbies, resurrected.

What are they?  Knitting and reading.

I realized that I have been spending most of my free time knitting. Like a little old lady, I get in the recliner with a cup of hot tea, a blanket, and my yarn and needles. The hubby watches whatever he wants on tv, and I knit.

But on a running blog, you probably don’t want to hear about my recent socks. Or gloves. Or my cardigan that I have had to cast on at least two times.

So I haven’t been writing.

Today I did have an awesome 6 mile run in less than ideal conditions. Imagine rain on top of snow. Yeah, it turns into ice.  Slippery ice. We (a few friends and I) met at 6 am to run the bike path and quickly realized it was not going to work. None of us had brought our ice skates.

We decided to test the roads and they were much better so we moved to the roads. Luckily they weren’t too busy at 6 am. The few cars that were on the roads no doubt thought we were crazy.

But it was a great run anyway. I have really missed running with the guys. It is so much more fun.

Right now I’m sitting in the recliner while the boys watch a movie, and I’m counting down the minutes until I can send them to bed so I can, yep, you guessed it.

Curl up with a cup of hot tea, a blanket, and my needles and knit.

Have a great rest of your weekend, friends.
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Back on the wagon

It’s time to start running regularly again.

Why?

The holidays are almost over, and it never fails. Around noon on Christmas Day, I start to get the itch to run.

I’m sure part of this is the holiday food that seems to have been ever-present since just before Thanksgiving. I almost feel like I need to detox. :)

Combine that with a return to full time work back in October and my weeknights consumed with Lego League practices since Halloween, and I have struggled to put together any regular running routine. (4:30 am is my new best friend though)

It doesn’t hurt that my gifts from my husband included running shoes, shorts, a skirt, socks, and the Brazil Butt Lift workout DVD set. (I didn’t ask for it but I’ll try it…)

And registration into this will help provide the motivation!

Wish me luck. It’s going to be a busy few months.

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reality: like a ton of bricks.

Do you ever have those moments when suddenly, your concerns and “problems” are exposed for what they are?  Insignificant blips in the reality of what goes on in the world every day?

I’m talking about the devastation that Typhoon Haiyan has caused in the Philippines.  It’s heart-wrenching.  So many lives lost, so many families torn apart.  People are dying from broken limbs – they have infections because their injuries have gone untreated for over a week.

This video, which I saw posted on Facebook, hit me hard this morning.  I’ll warn you, it’s emotional.

I know for some of you this may seem like old news.  The typhoon hit over a week ago.  But I don’t usually get the opportunity to watch the news.  Lately I have been running early, at 4:30 am, and I have turned on the TV to CNN to get a bit of the daily news.  Even that news is “light” and seems superficial.  Morning newscasts seem to be more about entertainment than in depth coverage.  So when I finally got a chance to see Anderson Cooper last night, and saw what is really happening there, I couldn’t help but start to feel like I should do something.

And then the video above, with those families that have lost their loved ones, mothers who have lost their children.  I couldn’t sit back and do nothing.

While trying to figure out what would be the best way to contribute, I learned that the Philippine government, with rampant corruption, may be taxing donations.  Taxing them.  The government is taking a cut of the money that is intended to help people.

So today, I made a donation to Doctors Without Borders.  This is an organization that can, and will, help the people of the Philippines. By helping them, I can help the people of the Philippines directly. Click here to see a CNN article about the organization.

I don’t want to tell you to donate.  That’s not my place.  But when I sat down to write about my run this morning, I just couldn’t bring myself do it.  My heart aches for the mothers searching for their children’s bodies.  My soul cries out for the children missing their mothers.

My run seems so trivial in comparison.


Dear Self: One Week of Motivation

I know I said I’d be back when I could. So consider this an update of sorts, but I’m not totally promising I’m going to be back to posting regularly.

So much has happened.  The summer was busy, the fall got even busier.  I had a huge project at work (HUGE) that ended up at the end of August.  About three weeks later I was asked to take a new job, and I LOVE it.  But, it required me to return to full time, and it is taking significantly more of my time.  It’s more of a leadership position, and so I have had a lot to learn and even more to try and accomplish.  It’s been about a month now, and I finally feel like I am starting to understand just what I need to do to be successful.

Throw in two boys on fall soccer teams, Lego League practices, and everything else, and I was one swamped lady.

So with all this going on, I wasn’t running much, and I wasn’t blogging at all.  I honestly found that in the evenings, if I was home, all I wanted to do was sit.

So I have been reevaluating some things.  I resigned from my writer’s position at the Quad City Moms Blog.  I had cut back my writing to only once every few months, but it was still causing me stress and it had stopped being fun.  I also was trying to figure out what other things I could remove from my list, things I could “not do” in order to help me stay sane.

Then, this last week, I figured out that there is something I CAN do to stay sane.  Something I haven’t been doing for a while.

RUN.

So on Sunday, at the urging of my husband, I headed out for a run.  It felt so good that when I got back I jumped on Facebook and posted this:

My letter to myself

My letter to myself

I remembered I have this practically new treadmill in the basement.  I have been ignoring Betty, and she’s been gathering dust.  Remember those evenings that I don’t want to do anything?  I realized that I am probably not going to change how I feel in the evenings.  After a full day of work, parenting, and everything else, I don’t want to head out for a run and I REALLY don’t want to go to the basement and run on the treadmill.

So I decided to try it.  I set the alarm clock for 4:30.  And on Monday, I got up and ran.  Then I did it again on Tuesday.  And Wednesday.  Thursday morning, I decided to sleep in.  And on Thursday, I felt worse all day than I had felt all week.  So on Friday, I got up early and ran again.  Then I ran outside yesterday, and today.  Six out of seven days.  Seven out of eight if you count the run I took last Sunday.

I haven't run this many times in a week in months.  Maybe not in the last year.

I haven’t run this many times in a week in months. Maybe not in the last year.

I have no idea if this motivation will continue, but I know that when I wake up at 4:30 and run on the treadmill, even if it’s just for 20 minutes, I feel better all day.  And I’m not overly tired at night.  So I am going to ride this wave of motivation as long as I can, because now that it’s getting colder and darker, my motivation to run in the evenings is going to get smaller and smaller.


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