Category Archives: running

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.

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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!!

How to Get Started

Earlier tonight, before he fell asleep on the couch, my hubby looked over at me as I ate Gelato, and said, “why did you buy Slim Fast?”

Do I get to just roll my eyes and say he’s just being cheeky?

No?  Then here goes my explanation.

I need to lose weight desperately.  I am so embarrassed that at one time I had gotten down to within 3 lbs of my pre Patrice weight and have since gained 30 lbs back.

Last time, I lost it by loosely following weight watchers and TONS of exercise.  The exercise was key in my mental health and was just an amazing outlet.  If you know me or we touch base via Facebook, you know I have a lot of stupid health issues pop up, so to be in a place where I can exercise?  Golden.

But, as I mentioned in this post, meds made exercise almost impossible, and I got lazy with my eating, then another med was nice enough to pack on 20 lbs.  It is time to fix some of this.  I know weight watchers has been effective for me twice, but just saying or typing those words makes me very anxious.  I can feel my mind start to whirl and the muscles in my head literally start to clench.  So I keep choosing to do nothing.

Then I remember kickstarting weight loss back in high school with slimfast.  Back then, the only choice was the powder you mixed into milk.  It was kind of gritty and livable.  Now?  You can get it already made in plastic bottles and the taste is much better.  So that is my new breakfast and lunch.  So far, I have left my dinner and night time eating the way it was–kind of a disaster.  I am hoping as I get back in the swing of exercise and start to see progress, that I will be able to clean up my evenings without feeling overwhelmed.

I don’t know if it will work.  I don’t know if it is the best option.  I don’t know if it is a good plan, but it’s how I’m trying to get started.

Have you ever used a phase in  plan?  What is your method to take off extra weight, baby weight, whatever the case may be?  How do you get back into exercise when you have fallen out of your groove?


Bit By Bit Step By Step

If you’ve been reading a while, which I hope you have, you know I used to run.  Not fast, most of you could walk faster than I run, but to me, it was running.

Then a medication messed it all up.  I know that sounds lame, how could a medication stop me from running, but it did.  It caused muscle weakness at my extremely high dose.  My doctor had warned me it was a distinct possibility but I didn’t believe him.  Until the day, I was forced to admit, my legs were too weak to run anymore.

The irony?  Running was my main weapon against the Bipolar Disorder.  I would repeat to myself, on a bad day, “outrun the demons.”  And then, the very thing it helped, stole it from me.  I went from training for a half marathon to running maybe two or three sidewalk squares.

Talk about demoralizing.

I got off the medication and I thought, okay, running would come back easily.  It had been somewhat easy after my second and third pregnancies, why would now be different?  But it was.  I didn’t see any progress AT ALL.  I would run inches and have to stop.  My mind would shout at me, “YOU USED TO DO 10 MILES AT A TIME.  YOU WILL NEVER BE A RUNNER AGAIN.”

So, I would quit.  Again and Again.

But today, I went for a walk.  I got up my nerve to try a bit of running.  It felt good.  Over the course of my 2 mile walk, I ran a half mile.  Not much, but enough.  I am so excited.  I am very motivated.  I can’t wait to get out there again.  I’m dreaming again.  I’m thinking about races in September.

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I really want to search for races right now and commit to it.  But I’m scared.  What if I don’t get there and I waste my money?  What if I’m not as far along as I think I am?  What if one of my many current medications sabotages me again?  My mind is not being nice about signing up, making a commitment.

What would you do?  Would you sign up now hoping it will motivate you?  Or do you play it safe and wait until you can run the entire 3.1 miles to sign up?

Lacing Up My Shoes

So recently, for Mothers Day, Caitlyn made an acrostic of attributes for me using the word Mother.  R was for runner.  That means I should get running again, huh?!

Tonight I was crawling it out on the treadmill.  I got 1.4 miles logged.  Part way through that, while I was helping Patrice go potty, a tweet came through about logging 10 miles of exercise this week in honor of a little boy who will not get to celebrate his 10th birthday with his mama this coming Tuesday.

Another great reason to get moving.  Here goes…



Please hug your little ones tighter, check out Jana’s blog, and consider joining me as I do #10ForCharlie.