Thursday, April 26, 2012

Mommy's Project 52:39 Flexible

Mommy's Project entries are a weekly thing that happen on Thursdays.  I have been late a couple times.


Me: Fred, we're having apples and bananas with juice for snack.
Fred: OK.
Me: Wait, we're out of juice, so we'll have water.

Not flexible

My hamstrings, also not flexible

At work.
Are you busy?  I need help getting this project done and it's due tomorrow.
Sure, I can help.


Can we reschedule our play date for another day?  One of the kids is sick.
Sure!  Let's try next weekend.


I don't have the mental bandwidth to discuss whether I find myself to be a flexible person or not.  At least not with respect to flying by the seat of my pants vs being unable to change my plans as needs and circumstances change.  The world is a dynamic place, and everyone has to have some flexibility to some degree.  Even Fred.  Even when we're out of juice.  All I can say is that as a parent, the only thing you can count on is having to change plans at the drop of a hat.  And kids puking and pooping.  But that's not the point here.

Not only do I find myself in the midst of what some call adulthood, but I find my body mixed up in the whole mess, too.  I think my body decided to anticipate turning 40 well in advance so that by the time that happens (September, start shopping now), my mind would catch up.  Likelihood of this happening, slim.

Through physical therapy, I've discovered limited range of motion (lateral) in my right hip, my back is nearly stiff as a board, and it can take me several minutes to 'warm up' first thing in the morning or after sitting down for any length of time.  Honestly, I can't wait until I'm fully back running and I can get these things all ironed out.  Or at least get out of bed and not look like an 80-year old hobbling to the bathroom.

What - the - hell - ??

I didn't get a chance this week to spend much time putting a real, though provoking, laughter inducing, or meaningful entry about 'flexible'.  You'll have to deal with what you got.

Thanks for being flexible.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Mommy's Project 52:38 Emotional

I know I've been late on getting these Thursday entries in on, well, Thursdays.  I'm doing my best to get my act in gear, I promise!  I've been busy with the kids, physical therapy, and trying to be as present while I'm home as I possibly can be.  We agreed, as a family, to limit our screen time during the week, and it's been really nice to spend time together without someone's face stuck in a device or glued to a TV.

Being a mom, I've found that the highs and lows of every day life are much higher and lower than they were before I had kids.  I mean, there is nothing that can compare with the joy of seeing your child beam with pride when they master the task of putting on their own socks, or writing their name for the first time.   Conversely, what mom doesn't know the heartbreak we feel when we see our kids fall and scrape their knees, bang their head on a sharp corner, or when they are sick and miserable.  We can be happy, sad, angry, and frustrated all in one moment when it comes to being a mom.  Talk about being pulled in a million directions, literally!

I sort of expected to be more emotional after having kids, especially in those first few months as my body and mind adjusted to being a mother.  I figured that I had laid the foundation for moodiness with the help of PMS, and to be honest, the first few months after the kids arrived were just like prolonged states of PMS.  Post partum life added an extra layer to the whole mess by adding lack of sleep, which messes with one's head in it's own unique way.

After compounding the peaks and valleys of motherhood over a few years, I found myself in need of a release, a way to find my identity.  That is when I turned to running.  I still am not a huge distance runner, and in some ways that's a good thing.  I fear that once I'm able to run 80 miles, I might just run those 80 miles away from home and never go back!  OK not really, but running is one of the ways I get away from the madness at home, and there are times when running and not stopping is really a tempting idea.  Come on, who hasn't wanted to run away from home once in a while?

 One of the results of running I wasn't expecting was the leveling out of my moods, and an increase in my ability to face challenging situations with a level head.  Don't get me wrong, I yell, and I'm not ashamed to admit that.  After a good run, though, I truly feel like I can do anything, and I don't dread the day ahead of me.  I walk in the door and am ready to tackle the whining, demands, and high level of energy that the kids throw my way.  The biggest thing is that it doesn't defeat me like it used to.

Something that took me entirely by surprise was the range of feelings and emotions I felt during my first half marathon.  Overall, I was thrilled as I ran the whole 13.1 miles, and at the end I broke down in tears of joy.  I didn't know what was happening to me, but, I cried as I absorbed the last two hours and what I'd just done.  It was crazy!  I was happy, sore, and surprised all at the same time, and it literally brought me to tears!

All of this isn't to say that I'm all smiles and giggles all the time.  I am subject to road rage, ire, and simple frustration.  I have a hot temper, to say the least.  Unfortunately, you don't want to be on the receiving end when something gets me angry.  I am a mixture of extremes.  I've learned over the years how to manage those extremes, though, through being mindful of situations and remembering the one thing that has stuck in my mind since I heard it first -

You can't control what others do or say, you can only control your own reactions.

Monday, April 16, 2012

If only I could bottle it

Mojo in a bottle.  I'll have two!
Something was a little off for me Thursday last week at physical therapy.  Perhaps it was the fact that I didn't do all of my strength and stretching exercises, or perhaps it was foreshadowing the pending arrival of good ol' Aunt Flo.  Maybe my mind was anticipating being discharged from therapy, despite knowing it wasn't going to be happening for another visit.  Who knows.  The fact is that I stepped on that AlterG and felt completely out of sorts.  I struggled to find my stride, to get comfortable with my strike, ease into my pace, and get into a groove.  I felt like I'd never run before and it felt all wrong.  It was the strangest feeling.

A side note:
In case you're curious, hitting the "reverse" button really does stop the 'mill and get the belt going backward.  Luckily, it's nothing dramatic, I did not fall off, and I was not injured in this action.  And yes, you have to stop and start over to get going forward again.

So, Thursday was one of those 'off' runs for me (aside from being on a treadmill), but still it felt good when I was done.  I did as I had Monday prior and killed some intervals and inclines, up to 10%.  I did a full four miles and it felt really good as far as the hip.  I felt like I might even have a little endurance.  I dried the sweat from my head, arms, legs brow and headed home with the instruction to get out and run.  Get out there and do some easy miles, and make it fun.  Make it fun. 

How do you make something fun when it doesn't feel right in the first place?  Suddenly, I was feeling more anxious about this direction than ever before.  I have been waiting to hear the words "go run" (coupled with the time to do it) for weeks now, and now that I had a full weekend ahead of me with plenty of opportunity to get some mileage in, I was nervous and unsure of myself.  What the...?  How did this happen?  How did this become something so foreign feeling to me when it had once been so natural?

The truth is, it still is quite natural, it just feels different.  I might not have had my mojo on Thursday, but surely I'd be fine on my own over the weekend, right?  I mean, it's got to be easy to just head out the door without your Garmin and put in a few miles.  If I go out for 30 minutes, it should be a piece of cake, right?

Let me preface this by telling you that I didn't get much sleep Friday night (read: wine night with the girls), and the weather forecast called for a day filled with thunderstorms Sunday.  This left me just Saturday to go "make it fun", after a hair cut and cover the gray color, taking care of my 7 year old high fever puker, and trying to figure out what to make for dinner Saturday night when I didn't get to grocery shop because of all of the above.  Somehow, a small little window opened up in the late afternoon and Hot Dad agreed that it was a good time for me to head out and "make it fun".

I haven't been for a run without my Garmin guess a very long time.  I haven't run alone, a very long time.  I can't explain it, but I was really nervous about both.  I had a route planned out and told myself to take is slow and easy and walk when I might need.  That's all it took. 

It was a little rough starting out but it wasn't long before I was starting to feel better.  My hip doesn't hurt, per se, when I run, but I can definitely feel it, if that makes any sense.  I guess it's my body telling me not to bounce or be too aggressive as I ease back in and get my mileage up.  I found it pretty easy once I got going, and kept my pace such that I didn't feel like heaving at the end of the block.  Gotta set realistic goals, ya know?

I pulled out about 2.5 miles in right around 30 minutes, stopping once for a stop light and once to sort of reset things so that I wouldn't lose steam before getting to my driveway.  It was really tough starting again after that second time walking.  My IT band on the right started to talk a bit, and I just wasn't feeling it.  I had to really think and realize what I'd just done.  I had just run out on my own and wasn't gasping, not limping or crawling, and still feeling pretty good overall.  I didn't feel like my energy had been zapped the way I did when I'd been woken by a feverish 7 year old in the wee hours of Saturday morning.  It was at that point that the light went on and so did the after burners.  I got myself going again, and it wasn't more than 1/4 mile before my legs felt fine and I was coasting along, albeit slowly.
Hopefully not a marinade.

Was this my running mojo?  Had I relocated what I once thought was lost?  Could I be truly on my way back to running?

Tonight is what I believe and hope will be my last night of physical therapy.  Seven straight weeks, two therapists, lots of wobble boarding, deep lunging, leg lifting, squatting, and stretching, and it all comes down to tonight.  On one hand, I'm so ready to be done with therapy.  On the other hand, I feel like a kid going to kindergarten after 5 years home alone with mom.  Will I be OK on my own?  Will I get my miles back? Wait, did I shave my legs?  Whew.  I did.  I'd hate to go to my last night of therapy with cacti for legs.

I hope to have my mojo with me tonight, and to keep it with me moving forward.  And I look forward to moving forward in my running shoes, and to being a better runner as a result of what I've learned during my recovery from injury.  I guess I should try to figure out what it is that I learned and blog it.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Mommy's Project 52:37 Pretending

Speaking of 'pretending', let's pretend this entry was on time, shall we?  :)

I pretend I'm a good cook.  I pretend I'm interested in every single story my kids tell me.  I pretend I'm a good house keeper.  OK, you're right, I don't even pretend to be that!

So pretending is something we all do, not just our kids.  Granted, the kids are much better at it than we adults, but let's be honest, who hasn't pretended to be happy for their friend who just got engaged to a total jerk?  Or pretended we weren't bothered by something our spouse/SO has done or said?  Or pretended we don't mind taking out the trash?  I thought so.

My kids pretend like it's their jobs.  As a parent, pretending is my job!  Honestly, though, they are a joy and I love their imaginations and all the wonderful adventures they have together when they use their imaginations.

The ultimate pretend: playing with dolls (Ethel '06)
Hot Dad pretending to be asleep (Easter morn '12)
Doodle, pretending to be OK with the St. Patrick's Day
crown Ethel made her

Fred, pretending his cars are doing a car show

Time to come out and admit it, you pretend, too.  Come on, everybody's doing it.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter 2012

Our Easter weekend

Hm, maybe I should have picked the 'lime'...

...that's OK, my green is going to look awesome!

...just the beginning...

Red.  That's so 40 seconds ago.

Ya, but my red is going to kick your lime's butt!

Touche! {no, the beer isn't Ethel's}

Hope the local hens aren't reading this.
Fun outside before our Easter Seder (ask later)

What's some good fun without some,

Daddy to the rescue

Fred is in heaven.  I'm still working on the grass
stains on the knees.

Obligatory action shot.

That Easter bunny, leading
us out of Ethel's room with
jelly beans...

...and out of Fred's room...
...down the stairs... our Easter baskets!!

"I got PEZ!!"

What?  The Bunny hid an egg on the
back of the toilet?

We totally scored.  And we're going to
drive you crazy!!

...until we find the iPods.

Another soldier down.