Category Archives: me time

Today’s run

I headed out for today’s run fully intending to come home, shower, and change before doing anything else for the day.

Oh, how plans change.

Instead, I’m sitting here 10 hours later still in my running clothes. I have been to a soccer game, the salon for a cut and color, and have been relaxing at home by the fire, working on my Snowy Owl afghan. All without showering. Or changing. And it feels great.

It was a tough 6.3 miles this morning. The five day old snow was crusty and had not had any traffic to pack it down. So things were a bit slow going. And I didn’t eat breakfast before heading out. So I needed my emergency gel 1.66 miles into the run. Good thing I had it stashed in my water bottle pocket. But, a bald eagle soared overhead at mile 4, and that was all I needed for a perfect run.

Anyway, it was a great run. And I saw my son’s soccer game, and I have a fresh cut and color on my head. Pretty perfect if you ask me.

IMG_0646Doesn’t everyone read Popular Science at the salon?


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.

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.


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.

Coming Soon: Grandmother Power

A week or so ago I mentioned how I have been using Tara Mohr’s 10 Rules for Brilliant Women.  Also a few weeks ago, I subscribed to her email list.  In one of the first emails she sent, she challenged bloggers everywhere to join in to the “Grandmother Power” blogging campaign.

I didn’t really need much time to decide to join.  Let’s see…I have struggled to write, sometimes I need an idea for a post, and this gives me both a deadline and a topic.  Win-win!

And then I have put it off all week as the chaos of the kids’ sporting activities took over – we’ve had at least one activity every night this week, and when I get home and get the boys into bed, the last thing I’ve wanted to do was sit down and write.  Usually I want to eat some dinner and go to bed…yes, at 7:45 pm.

So today, during my youngest’s nap, after scrambling to address invitations for my oldest’s upcoming birthday party (they had to be mailed today), and going for a quick treadmill run and a shower, I am now sitting down to write my post.  Wish me luck.  I think I may have about 20 minutes before he wakes up…

I’ll come back and add a link to the post here when I get it written…here it is:

dreaming big…

Before I get into my real post, I have a random thought to get out of my head and onto the screen, so bear with me:

The true hallmark of the wacky weather we have been having?  I have worn all my headbands – I have never run out of Bondi Bands before.  I always need to do running laundry before I run out of headbands.  But, with this weather, which is 70 degrees one day and 40 degrees the next, I have found that I have been wearing almost all my running gear.  So, I still have running clothes that are weather-appropriate.  I haven’t had to wear all my shorts or all my tights…but I have worn all my headbands.  So the last two nights I’ve had to dig out headbands from the dirty pile (shhh…) so that I can run.

Okay, now to the real stuff.  Warning – the following is not running related.  It’s my blog and I’ll write what I want to.

I’ve been finding myself doing a lot of personal reflection these last few weeks.  I started working with a mentor earlier this year, partially for career direction/input, and partially to help me through some tough times at work.  She has been having me talk through what I enjoy about work, what motivates me personally, and the like.  It’s been enlightening, but I still haven’t found the “arrow” that points me to what my perfect job is.

I participated in a webinar a week ago entitled “Finding your best work.”  In that webinar, the instructor, Tara Mohr, led us through an exercise that was intended to help us identify the key elements to our happiness.  The idea is that through reflecting on the times when we felt most personally satisfied and fulfilled, we could identify the common threads to those experiences that made them so great.  It was only an hour, but it was an idea I had never thought about before.  What if the things I think that I like to do aren’t really the things that would give me personal satisfaction?  What if it’s other elements of those experiences that I need?  And what if I could recreate those experiences in my current life?

This motivated me to sign up for weekly inspiration and emails from Tara’s website, and to download her “10 Rules for Brilliant Women Workbook” – I’m only on the first rule, and already it has changed me.  (Hopefully for the long-term).  Step one is to start to support yourself the way you support those around you, in the way you talk to yourself, the way you are a champion for yourself, etc.  It was enlightening.  Already this week I have noticed that I tend to “talk down” to myself – and to others.  That self-depreciating humor that was funny in high school doesn’t always lead to success in the workplace.

Then last night I watched the Dove video.  I watched it and I cried.  I won’t lie.  It hit me like a ton of bricks.  I can be really hard on myself.  A lot of people seem to think that I am some sort of “super mom” – when in reality, I tend to think that I’m never doing anything right.  In fact, I’m constantly looking at others wishing I could be more like them.  Whether it’s being a stay at home mom, leading a charitable organization, or something else, I am always thinking I should be doing more.

And I saw this news article on Facebook.

Step 2 in Tara’s 10 step process is to dream big.  What would you do if you had no boundaries?  No inhibitions?  Nothing holding you back?  You’re supposed to write down what your ideal, perfect, can’t-even-start-to-imagine-it work would be.

I haven’t done Step 2 yet.  And tonight I think I may have figured out why.

It’s because I’m scared.  I’m scared to think about what that ideal would be.  I’m scared to put it out there and to think about what it might mean.  I’m scared that it might be something so totally different from where I am today that I couldn’t get there even if I tried.

I still don’t think I’m ready to let it be written down, especially not in such a public place.

But I’m starting to dream about what could be – if I only am able to let myself dream…

Maybe in a future post I’ll be able to tell you what that is.  But for now, it’s for me.  It’s my dream, it’s my vision, and I don’t want to make it public because I know that doing so will make me water it down.  I’ve almost typed it a few times and I noticed myself editing it down.  I don’t want to do that, I want to let myself fully embrace the dream and let it grow as big as it wants to be.

mayonaise (CD#7)

I’m pretty sure I’ve never run seven days in a row before.

I know that I run better on my long runs when I’ve run during the week.  But I never really expected this.  Today I was shooting for around 10 minute/mile pace, because I wanted to take it easy and not push it.  So I turned off the pace readout on my watch and just ran by feel.  I ran at what felt comfortable.  Turns out it was quite a bit faster than 10 minute/mile pace.  My average pace was 09:19, and I finished in 1:33!

I listened to Pandora during my run, and once again realized that sometimes, Pandora knows me better than I know myself.  It’s scary, really.  Right when I was starting to feel tired (and right before I usually get a second wind), around 4 miles, this song came on.

I love this song.

There’s just something about a great song, especially one that you loved at a specific time in your life.  A song can transport you to another time and place.  A song can lift your mood.  A song can make everything better.  This is one of those songs.  Immediately memories came flooding in, some bittersweet.  For a few minutes I mourned the loss of some very special relationships.  I cried thinking of a window in time that will never come again.

I love music.  I was a music major in college before switching fully to engineering.  For me, music has accompanied every important moment in my life.  And so, almost every song has meaning to me.  Today’s run, Pandora hit just about every one.  Of course, I was listening to Pearl Jam Radio – so in a way, I set myself up, but still.

Alice in Chains – Heaven Beside You
Pearl Jam – Oceans
Smashing Pumpkins – Mayonaise
Pearl Jam – Immortality (another one I could listen to on endless repeat)
Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here
Alice In Chains – I Stay Away
Radiohead – High and Dry
Candlebox – Far Behind

I’m on a runner’s high, but more so today I’m on a music lover’s high.

April CD Challenge Day 1

Well, now I’ve done it. I went and committed to an April consecutive day (CD) running challenge. The challenge is to run at least a mile every day. If you miss a day, the next day you run 3, if you miss two, the next day you run 5. Now for a distance runner like myself the 3 and 5 mile “punishments” don’t seem that bad. So I am going to try not to allow myself to take a day off just because a 3 mile run seems easy. We shall see…I imagine there will be more than a few evening 1 mile runs on Betty.

I also thought that while I’m at it, maybe I’ll post daily this month (what? Is she crazy? That’s more posts in a month than she’s had in the last 6!). Well, at least I thought I’d post something short after each run. Who knows, maybe I’ll find some really deep thought to share.

Today is the boys’ last day of Spring Break and I took a day of vacation to spend with the family – so I got to kick off the April challenge with a nice outdoor run in the morning! 4 miles felt awesome and I was loving the sunshine, even if it was a bit chilly (30 degrees! Spring, where are you?)

I took a picture to prove that it was sunny. With a day that looks like this, I don’t think you can have a bad run.


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