Category Archives: running

We Ran Oh We Ran

Caitlyn and I ran our second 5k together today.  Well, not really together–she runs and then I come slowly up from the rear of the crowd…much later after she finishes.

Today’s race was a Turkey Trot.  The top finisher in each age bracket won a turkey.  Let’s just suffice it to say, I did not win a turkey.

But the weather was pristine.  Low sixties, sunshine–amazing.

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It was also the hardest I have ever run.  The course was all off road.  There were hills, so many hills!  And for many of them, you were turning in such a way that you were running on the side of the hill instead of in any manner of straight.  I almost cried twice, I kid you not, and I wanted to walk so badly, but my primary goal in every 5k I run is to do just that–run every step, and I did it this time too, just barely, but I did.  Caitlyn admitted she walked a few times, and honestly, that was probably wise, but I can be pretty stubborn and come heck or high water, I was going to run it all.

I ran step after step and finally, it was done!!!  I was once again frustrated with my time, but this race, that was greatly overshadowed by how proud I was to have finished and run the whole thing.

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And yes, I came home and started looking for our next race.  No matter how hard running is, I just keep going back for more.

Pounding Out the Miles

I started back to running August 16, right after the girls first cross country practice.  I watched them out there and just could not resist joining in.  I have logged between 6-9 miles a week since then.

I am not fast, my quickest mile in all of that was 13:37, but I am plugging away at about 15;35 on average.

Running is amazing.  It is not easy, but it gets easier somewhere late in the first mile.

I have run 5k with Caitlyn several times, as she has joined me on Sunday mornings to do a good run before church several times.  And then she joined me to do a 5k a few weeks ago.

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This Saturday, we have our second 5k–a Turkey Trot.

But I’ve decided to take it a step further…I would like to run a half marathon, 13.1 miles.  And I have someone with experience who is willing to help me figure out how to get there.

One of the moms from cross country has run several half marathons and a couple marathons…and she is willing to lend me her expertise.

Step one:  get stronger and lose some more weight over the winter since Michigan isn’t that conducive to much running at that time.  My personal plan is to run on the treadmill 3 times a week and do strength work 3 times a week.

Step two:  get out there and start running longer stretches when spring finally arrives.

Step three:  sign up for, and run a half marathon in October.

Oh boy!!!!

That  plan ought to get me stronger and thinner in no time, right?  It would be awfully nice to finally lose the rest of my baby weight–you know, since the baby is 6 years old and can read, add, and subtract…

There She Goes

“Go Caitlyn Go!!”  I have yelled that countless times since August 16 when Caitlyn and Sue started cross country practice.

Caitlyn loved the running, Sue loved the social time.

I ached watching Caitlyn put her heart and soul into the running and see little success.  She ran with such determination at every practice, from her very first step to her last.  But again and again she was beat by her sister and her teammates.  And yet, she never wavered, she never gave up.

She ran at practice, she started running in the mornings with me.  I was so, so proud of her every single time.  All heart and determination.  And right at the end of the season we saw some of her power come out as she plowed through her last meet with just over a 10 minute mile.

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While she was running cross country, she also trained with me for a 5k (3.1 miles).  Yesterday was the day.  We got up before dawn to get a decent breakfast and head on our way.

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Don’t mind the scratches on my nose.  I fell a couple days before the race while taking a short walk.  I landed on my face and managed to break my glasses, scratch up my nose (not broken, as first feared), and bruised up my knee.

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A couple days before, my sweet girl had asked me if it was okay if she ran ahead of me for the first mile “you’ll catch up to me in mile 2 I’m sure.”  Well, she sure did pull ahead of me–and I never saw her again.  My Caitlyn finished the race in 34 minutes and 6 seconds.  She ran a mile pace of 10 minutes 58 seconds!!!  She finished in 2 place of the girls ages 10-13 who ran.  I couldn’t be more proud.  Honestly, I couldn’t.

She finished WAYYYYY ahead of me yesterday and as I finally ran up to the finish line, I heard a voice yelling, “go MOMMY go!!!!”

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I can’t wait to run with her again–and watch out cross country, we’ll be unleashing a powerhouse on you next season!

 

The Balance

Three girls.  I have three girls.  I have no idea how that happened–well, okay, I know HOW it happened, I just can’t believe it did even 10 years into this mom gig.  I had given up on marriage and kids, but God had other plans.

These plans.

I have three girls, I homeschool three girls, they are pretty much my constant side kicks.  They see how I handle, and don’t handle, life.  I am completely aware their eyes are always on me.

Sometimes, I can handle it with grace, but much of the time I am second guessing how I handle it all.  I want my reactions to be balanced and healthy.  I am used to finding that difficult with the Bipolar in my life, but recently it has gotten complicated for another reason…sports.

My girls (2 of them anyway) have joined the world of sports–cross country to be exact.

It is the one sport I sort of, not really, know anything about and is truly the only sport I have ever enjoyed.  Seeing them get to run at practice reminded me how much I love to run and has me back out there pounding out a few miles.  I love having them run.

One, is a little older than the other, a little more serious about life, and a little more interested in running.

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She even joined me on my Sunday morning run last week.

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I am so proud.

Now, don’t get me wrong, Sue is also going to practice, never complains about it, and seems to have fun, but she just hasn’t caught the running bug.  She’s there for the socializing; Caitlyn says, “I want to run, that’s what I am there for!!!”

I am so pleased with both of them, but I want to just gush all over Caitlyn.  I love her can do spirit, she never gives up, I love her desire to run, I love her determination.  I like to talk to her about running.  I am seeking out help from others who run to help Caitlyn become a stronger runner.  I’m not kidding, I could go on forever about how proud I am of Caitlyns’ running.

But I don’t want to discourage Sue.  I want her to grow to love it, if it turns out to be her thing.  I want her to work hard.  I want her to know I care about her skills too.

Balancing the two is hard!!!

How do I encourage them both when their experiences so far are very different?  How do I let Caitlyn know how pleased I am without seeming to diminish Sue’s progress?  How do I show my pride in Caitlyn, without making Sue feel like she has to prove herself to me by running?

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I sincerely don’t know how to balance it all.  I catch myself when I feel like I am going overboard.  I try to remember to speak highly of both of them within their hearing.

I try.  I really do.

A Broken Record

As I have mentioned a million times, I love running.  I had to give it up for a while due to foot issues, but that didn’t change my love.  I am done with physical therapy and was given the go ahead to start running again…slowly.  I told the therapist, “at 41 the only running I do is slow” but I knew what she meant and actually got scared about starting and hurting my feet again.

Then, a fellow homeschooler found a cross country team for homeschooled kids starting at Caitlyn and Sue’s ages.  I could not wait to get home and sign them up.  I know other parents say they don’t want to push their kids, but I will fully admit, I am being pushy when it comes to running.

I had no athletic abilities whatsoever growing up.  T-Ball was a bust, ping pong and volleyball were a disaster.  I had nothing.  And it it was hard.  I watched other kids get acceptance and acclaim from sports, but it never happened for me.  Ever.  As much as we say brains are more important, or at least as important, they aren’t, not when it comes to approval.

I never found anything I could do until my 30s when I started running with Wii Fit and then decided to try running for real outside, and I could do it!!  Now, I don’t set any records, but each running goal I have set for myself I have reached, except the half marathon, I am still reaching for that.  And the runners high–I fell in love with it early on.

Call me selfish, I want running for my girls.  Jr. High, er Middle School and High School would have been so much more bearable if I had running.  I want that for them, I do.  Yes, I understand, they may find another sport that suits them better, but for now, I want to give them a place to start, something they can enjoy, something they can excel at no matter what.

I want that for them.

Another Mother Runner

Running has not been easy for a while now.  I’ve been dealing with desperate leg pain.

So I added compression socks.

Different shoes.

And felt some, not a lot, relief.

So I went back to my “soul” workout, PiYo.  I feel so strong even though I have a long way to go!

I began toying with and kind of decided to quit running.  Just accept it and walk…

Then this came from a sweet friend.

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She even got the book SIGNED for me.  I was blown away.  I immediately put the shirt on and had my daughter take some pictures.

Motivation in a little brown envelope.

Excuse while I go exercise to strengthen my legs!!!

And run.

Foot Break or Mind Break

I ran 3.5 miles last night, after running 3 the night before.  It felt good.  It was empowering.

And freeing.  for that hour of running (I’m not fast) the negative thoughts, the seesaw emotions, the gut wrenching lies recede.  It is nigh to impossible for me to think about more than putting one foot in front of the other, so I don’t.  I find my rhythm and go.

One step.  Two step.  Over and over, moment by moment.

Today, there is nothing to push back all the emotions, so they are all here.  And what’s more frustrating, it is a rest day for my half marathon training.  I want to ignore the schedule and run, but I know my legs and muscles need the rest.

I stand here typing, wondering, what I am going to do tonight.  How to push back the demons tonight.  I did a workout this morning and my body needs a break, but so does my mind…

2015-03-18 19.26.34“Wednesday run”

 

Every Single Step

Today was a long awaited day…my first 5k to run in two years!

I have been doing 3.1 miles and more on the treadmill, but earlier this week I tried running outside and with the snow and ice still around, it did not go well.  I lasted a very short time, only ran little sprints, and my legs hurt so badly.  I just wasn’t sure it was going to happen.

My exercise this week has been minimal.  I tried to run/walk outside on Sunday and Monday, then did a PiYo workout Tuesday, and yoga on Thursday and Friday.  I just didn’t know what was going to happen today.

Would I run?  Or would I disappoint myself and end up walking?

Well, drum roll please, I ran every single step.  Every last one.  My lungs sounded awful for the first 1/2 mile and my legs started to hurt around a mile, but I ran through both and felt fantastic.

My good friend who ran it with me tried to get a picture of me crossing the finish line, but it didn’t turn out.  But, I had her take others because I was just sure you would want to see my wild and crazy hair and t-shirt (my bun fell out around 1 and 1/2 miles into it, so my crazy mane got to be free and easy.

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My friend and I doing a pre-race selfie.

2015-03-14 10.53.16And my after race tomato face and crazy hair.

 

 

Linking up with

Tooting My Own Horn

I have shouted it on my Facebook status.  I have shouted it in Facebook groups.  I have texted it all over the world.

I ran 3.1 miles (5k) without stopping last night for the first time in a few years.

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And that was after walking a mile.

2015-01-22 20.07.57My legs felt okay this morning, until I did my 21 day fix dirty 30 workout.  That dude is killer and now,  feel every muscle I have ever used!!!  But I did it.  I am back to running!!!

 

 

Turning the Tables

Okay, here is a TMI post.  Read or don’t read.  You’ve been warned.

As I have mentioned, I am exercising and trying to figure out my eating like crazy.  My typical day includes 90 days of exercise.  I start with PiYo in the morning and then in the evening hit the treadmill.  I watch Disney movies (what??  I like them) and walk.  Well, most of the time.  Last Tuesday I RAN two miles on the treadmill.  I was watching Mulan.  I walked .18 of a mile then threw a shirt over the treadmill display and decided to run until they got to the part where the “soldiers” were singing about wishing they had worked harder in gym class.  That is, at my pace, two miles into the movie!!!!!  I am telling you what.  That run still makes me  smile.

Thursday night I watched Aladdin and logged 1 mile running.  There wasn’t quite as much in me that night.

Today I ventured outside.  I was so excited to try and pound out a mile or two.  Two bad I took the route that starts with a steep and then long hill, running into the wind.  I made it half a mile and had to slow down to a walk.  And coughed for a couple hours afterward.  I guess that cold last week is still hanging around.

I want to run 5K again, 3.1 miles, so bad I can taste it.  My goal is at least a 5K to celebrate my 40th birthday.

There is a wonderful beauty in the irony that will hold.

On my 20th birthday, I had been sick with Multiple Sclerosis for five years and was taking the first medication to ever show promise in giving a person more times in remission, but not necessarily better long term outcomes.

By my thirtieth birthday, I had done 15 hospital stays over a two year period, including learning how to walk again–twice after the MS yanked that freedom from me.  I was, by that birthday, into the second year of doing pulse IV steroid doses every 3 weeks just to try and be mobile.  We had to plan my meds around my wedding in hopes I would make it through the ceremony and honeymoon without the wheelchair.  I love my wedding pictures,  but hate the moon face I had thanks to those medications.

Thankfully, I went into remission, we had Caitlyn, then we had Sue, and finally Patrice.  I ended up being one of the very blessed people who experienced remission during and after pregnancy…and ever since.

Roughly four years ago, I ran my first step.  Then started doing 5Ks, a 10K and ran the five miles across the Mackinaw Bridge on Labor Day 3 years ago.

Unfortunately, the high doses of a particular medication I took for the Bipolar caused extreme muscle weakness.  I stopped running and lost my confidence entirely by May 2012.  Exercise and strength have been missing ever since…until about a month ago.  A friend of mine and my dear cousin, along with a host of other people had been encouraging me to keep trying.  And I finally started again.  It didn’t go well at all.  So I went back to walking and started doing PiYo.  I am now a little over a month into those Beachbody workouts and I feel so much stronger.  I am back to craving exercise, it makes me feel good no matter what the scale or Bipolar tell me.

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I’m seeing the start of weight and inches lost.  Here’s the TMI:  I have lost 6.5 inches around my hips and an inch in one leg.  And remember those steroid doses?  They gave me the gift of a rotten layer of fat over my ribs.  I hate that fat.  Maybe more than any other jiggles on my body.  But this week, I realized, I can no longer pinch the fat there!!!  There is still a lot there–40 pounds to lose–but progress is good.

I love that I am taking off that Ab weight.  The MS left that horrible junk, but now I am showing the MS who is boss by exercising, living, and doing.

So instead of those battles with MS during those other decades?  This decade, I am going to celebrate strength and sticking it to the MS.  I’m going to take my strength and work and run with it!!