Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Taking the Pressure OFF! It's Better That Way!

Fresh flowers are a necessary investment for my well being.  They always make a crazy day seem so much calmer!

Really, I don't have any cohesive thoughts worth sharing today.  I'm posting mostly for me.  For my sanity.  For a release in hopes that this brings some sort of clarity to my CRAZY head so that I can carry on with my day and think straight.  My kids have their first t.v time of the day and I'm giving them an hour to fry their brain and indulge in Cat in the Hat and Arthur.  We all know about Arthur...I'm sure I'll learn some valuable lesson that I can apply to own life.  Maybe there will even be a rerun of Muffy and the Big Bad Blog to make me feel stellar about posting my random bullets for the day.  Thank you Arthur for keeping my inner Muffy in check.  

*  Woke up today with so much anxiety about running.  Not sure why.  I'm not getting paid to run.  I'm not good enough anyway.  So why the heck do I feel any kind of pressure to do anything other than just have fun?!  Not sure what is going on with me.  I had bad dreams about running.  I'm ready to get a grip on these feelings of pressure and anxiety and shove them out the door because I certainly DO NOT perform well under pressure.  Especially the pressure I put on myself.  

*  Speaking of pressure, this week just seems crazy all around.  My oldest is turning 6 on Sunday and I am pretty much pulling a party out of my ear in a matter of a few days.  Hoping it is still "magical" and full of fun memories for her despite my total lack of energy.  But who am I kidding?  I am a very happy person who loves life immensely and I never had a birthday party as a kid.  We didn't even celebrate Christmas or any other holiday for that matter (long story) and I turned out okay.  Well, I guess that might be debated by some.  

When did the day happen that I gave my kids random sugary crap to eat in the car just so I can talk on the phone in quiet for five minutes?!  My oldest daughter didn't even get sugar until she was 3!  Okay, she was 1.  
*  I went to my old Elementary School that I worked at because I had to pick up some books from a teacher.  The above picture is what my son looked like when we pulled into the parking lot.  I cleaned him up as best I could considering my energy level.  He made quite the impression on all the staff.  He tried to beat up (hit) several of the teachers while shouting "Stop it!"  I love that his sisters have taught him such wonderful manners despite my efforts to try to reverse them.  

*  My daughter also looked lovely today on our visit.  She had on a pretty white dress decorated in chocolate, red paint, and mac n' cheese.  She went well with me and my stinky pits from my running top, usual running hat, and no make-up. Gosh, I need some pampering!  

*  On my way to the school I ended up driving in the direction of the grocery store that wasn't even near the school.  I didn't even realize that I was driving the wrong way until I was almost to the store.  Where is my BRAIN?!

I'm determined to NAIL my workout today!!  Now if only I can find some area in my neighborhood that doesn't have huge hills so that I can actually get some accurate split times.  Here is my workouts this week for those of you that enjoy that kind of thing and probably sick of my mommy rants and want more running:  

Monday:  10 miles slow recovery (just a little under 9 min pace)
Tuesday:  off
Wednesday:  1 mile warm up; 1 x 2 miles @ half marathon pace (shooting for right at 7 or a little under); 2 min active recovery; 1 x 2k @ 10k pace (6:45); 2 min active rec.; 1 x mile@ 5k pace (6:25/30 pace); 2 min active recovery; 1 x 800 @ 3,000m pace; 1-4 miles recovery run
Thursday: 8ish miles recovery/base pace and TRYINg to fit in resistance stuff
Friday:  2 mile warm up; 2 x 4 miles @ half marathon pace (shooting for 7 min pace); .5 mile active recovery. 2 mile cool down
Sat: 8 recovery
Sunday: 22 miles@ base pace.

I'm linking a Garmin activity stat page from my 21 mile run a few weeks ago to show you my elevation profile for my daily runs.  I want to find a flatter course sometimes for my speed work but I don't have time to drive somewhere...I'm squeezing my workouts in as it is.  The hills can really make it hard to hit pace.  But I guess the many uphills give me a fair amount of down hills too.  This was just a long slow run.  I tried to keep my miles at 8:30-9ish and hold myself back from running any faster on this one.  At mile 17 I picked it up just to see what it would feel like to hit marathon pace or around there.  ON my 22 miler this weekend I plan on running this same course and staying right around 8-8:30 with a few miles at 7:30 just to feel it.  I'll have a few marathon pace runs coming up too where I hope to maintain a 7:30ish for a longer distance to simulate marathon conditions.  Okay, here is the link:  

Enough Boring running talk.  Hope I didn't scare too many of you off but I know that some of you will totally dig the running talk!  

1.  Buying fresh flowers is one way that I pamper myself.  Having them in my house is a calm for me.  I also used to get my hair cut regularly before I started spending all my money on running clothes and gear.  What are some of your "self treats" that you pamper yourself with?  

2.  As a runner, mom, dad, etc.  do you put too much pressure on  yourself sometimes?  What do you tell yourself when you start to feel fearful or stressed about life?  I'm usually pretty down to earth these days and overall I keep everything flowing and feeling good.  However, there are certain places along my road that I get stuck in expecting too much of myself and feeling completely defeated by the impossible standards I'm setting.  I have to find things that just relax me, help me breathe and make me realize just how much I'm making things more than they really are.   I really should just drink more wine.  


p.s  Okay, so this was a fb status just now by some mom on there: my 5yr old slammed my 4 yr olds face into the video arcade- blood everywhere nosebleeds sure can produce. A witness told me some random boy did it! no it wasnt a hit and run, just his sister.

I think this is funny Stuff!  Seriously.  So I wrote this:  I'm sorry. But thank you because this makes me feel better about my crazy life and fighting kids.

The person after me definitely doesn't have my same sense of humor and she probably thinks I'm awful to have enjoyed the status.  her: Wow praying for you as you use wisdom in discipline . Hope he is ok..

What?!  Laugh lady!  This is funny and this mom obviously needs a vent...she probably already disciplined the heck out of her kids.  No need to pray now. Just laugh.  It's over.  


  1. i put a lot of pressure on myself. I used to think that the more pressure that I did put on myself the better I would perform. Unfortunately that is not true. I feel like as a SAHM I wear so many hats and try to do everything perfect. After a while it gets exhausting. A glass of wine at night is good or even a massage treat sometimes just gets the kinks out. I have been trying to journal my thoughts/feelings more, am hoping that that will help me get a visual and be able to wrap my arms around my anxiety.
    Great post as per usual!

  2. I used to be pretty tightly wound. Some might argue that I still am ;-) I talk to myself a lot to bring the pressure down. Running helps, except when I start feeling pressure about that :P but I rarely feel 'pressure' regarding running nowadays…i am Ms. SloMo! Sleep also helps. And being outside in the fresh air :)

    Wishing you well with your workouts this week :) Remember that just getting them done puts you ahead of over 99% of the overall population.

  3. I think that you are reading my mind today, weird. I woke up this morning crazed about heading out for my tempo in the rain and I am not even close to a professional runner either, so who knows why. I suppose that it is easy for our goals and dreams to over take us when the desires of our heart are true. Thank you for sharing this.

  4. Oh, Amanda if you could see the state of my kids on a daily basis you would feel better in that department...I rarely get the PB and J off their faces from breakfast before I head out the door...mud, chocolate, and yogurt all over them are the most common. I'm pretty sure the people at the store and gym think my kids are white trash. The fighting, whining, and tattling has got to stop in my house BEFORE summer or I'm going to the loony bin. I just stuck my kids in front of a movie so I could clear my head and check in on blogs. When does it get easier is my question? I'm sure your daughters party will be fabulous no matter what you do! Every time I clean my house from top to bottom (which isn't all that often), I have to get fresh flowers to finish it off. The house doesn't stay clean for very long...but my flowers last!! I also like to run away for a pedicure to treat myself. In terms of the running, I don't know if I have any advice...just know that I think you are amazing and although the goals and expectations we have of ourselves can throw us into a spin of anxiety and one else has them of ourselves...I want to set goals and work towards them but I need to let the pressure stop there... as a blogger friend of mine says, "just savor the run". And the facebook comment.... My goodness?!!! Those are the moms I run from because they obviously wouldn't like my parenting!! "gag", is all i have to say about that. Have a great rest of your week, amanda. My third is now at my feet screaming about how #2 hit her......the joys...

  5. shoot, i just posted that and realized i might as well have written a book...sorry about that!

  6. In my house, we'd laugh about that, too. Heck, we laugh at everything over here.

    So, I just taught my son to do a "Deep breath, 1-10 count" type exercise when he wants to hit a friend who does not want to do what he wants him to do, or when he gets impatient or yells. A few minutes later I was "almost" yelling at my husband about something and Petru started telling me to do the "Deep breath 1-10 count" exercise. We all started laughing. Kids!

    You are doing CRAZY mileage lady! Awesome! And that slow run was not that slow, particularly on those mountains. I used to run on a mostly flat bike path but this winter I was forced to run on the street and got some hilly runs in. Now I am searching for the hills and incorporate them in all my runs. I do go to the track for speed and do my tempos on flats though, but that is mostly bc I am pace vain!

    I have not had a haircut since January. It is not the money as much as the time. It's crazy busy and I'd rather fit a workout in than take the time for a cut. Pretty soon I might get a mandatory hair cut letter from work, or Chris will divorce me. Ha!

    OK, will sign off, here is a tired brain talking, just got back from work...

  7. self treats: a LATTE, a lucky lemon smoothie from Juice it Up! and books, I like to buy books.

    Pressure...Oh boy, yes but about everything. I always say I was born stressed out. The most pressure I put on myself is about how I am raising my boys.

    The facebook thing: I feel sorry for comment #2
    wisdom in discipline? condescending (is that spelled right?!!) poor gal!

  8. So, were you a Jehovah Witness growing up? I believe they don't celebrate anything.

    You have to drive to find someplace flat, I have to drive to find someplace hilly. Let's switch for a bit ;)

  9. Amanda,
    First - please feel at peace that there ARE others of us out there feeling like out kiddos are a "hot mess" along with us of course. Your post made me laugh. And it was a good reminder to just enjoy my journey - well - let's face it - I am too competitive with myself to not challenge myself. But I do need to enjoy the "small moments" (as I wrote about lately while taking it slow at the beach) more. Coming off of Boston - I am realizing that I have been super focused on that race and how "un-prepared" & under-trained i was. Luckily I made myself take it all in when I got there - even without the time i wanted. Pressure free running for a while is on my agenda.....

    P.S. - if you ever want to head to the Couv - Julie & I can introduce you to some flat spots. I know when I did the OHSU hills one morning with a group - we got some good flat miles in along the water and through the residential areas - wish i could give you streets. Could ask my friend who runs out your way all the time.

    Happy training!

  10. 22 miles then a half marathon a week later? Girl! Clearly I need to figure out what you are really training for...

    The picture of your son is adorable. He made me laugh. They sure are cute, from afar, when you don't have to clean them up!

  11. About that mom and her kids - that made me laugh! As far as "self treats" - I put on my pajamas, even if it's only 7 pm and I watch a movie that I've seen a bunch of times so I don't have to think about it. Or, I make myself a cup of tea and read a good book. :) And when the hubby notices I need a little de-stresser, he buys me a bar of chocolate, haha.

  12. Holy crap. I laughed at that FB status. That sort of happened to me once in a Kohl's dressing room. I was in the family-size room and I had on a dress (we were going to a wedding) and T Junior, who had recently turned two, ran straight into one of the walls. Like he didn't even see it! Freaking split his lip. Blood everywhere and I'm HALF in a dress, and all I've got is a dirty Kleenex in my purse. I was like Mrs. McGuyver (sp?) that day, I swear.

    I so hear you on the pressure thing. I do it to myself ALL. THE. TIME. I can send you the link to the numerous blog posts where I confess I can't balance life, running, job, etc. and must cut back. It's cyclical, I think.

    Trying to think of something funny for you, but I went to work today (while my child entertained someone else) and it was boring as heck. You could hear a pin drop in my office and I had to research lame statistics about random countries I know nothing about to write content for a language product. Blech.

  13. Yeah-I'm just not interested in the running....ha! I am sitting here KNOWING you are nailing your workout as I type:)

    Pressure-anxiety...I think everyone feels some sort of pressure if they have any bit of a competitive's learning how to deal with it. I'm obviously a slow learner and I often struggle with this. You've had a seriously AWESOME training cycle!!! Already a PR in the 10K, a more current PR in the half. No pressure now-nothing to prove to anyone, even yourself!! Relax and run girl-you obviously know how to do that well:) And yes-drink more wine:)

    I cut out sugar completely again, it's going to kill me for a bit here and I would seriously lick your son's face if he were sitting next to me....Laughing at your whole day!

    I want to trade you elevation for a couple of days. I love hills and have to drive 45 minutes to run real hills unless I want to fight the soft trail. By soft, I mean on all fours climbing up at times, but makes for a quick leg turnover:) You do a fantastic job training on that on a regular basis!! Your legs will be so STRONG from that and totally ready to NAIL a flat course!!

    Self treats-expensive coffee, and lately massages. I've had 3 in two months and since I've had 4 total in my whole life I'm going to consider this a treat!!

    FB comment-WAY too funny! Have fun party planning!!!

  14. Woo Wee. You got some serious training this week. Tonight's run looks intense? How did it go? Did you hold your paces? Your 10K pace is my 5K guess. I think, we'll see on 5/14 when I do my first 5K. With Meg. We may run together. She may be just injured enough to where she has to slow down to run with me :-)

    You know, I really don't put pressure on myself. I don't. I guess I put on positive pressure (like my old Blog title), but I don't stress on it. Oh I know, that's because I am so much older and wiser than you.

  15. I'm thinking balance. I feel like sometimes we put so much into running and we forget about the balance. Sometimes our families and lives need us to even put running on the back burner for just a bit... The hard part is we are tossed because the running is part of us and it makes us feel better, think better...etc. Am I rambling?lol

    I absolutely cracked up when I read the post about your son...its too funny the second and third child syndromes! I can't stop chuckling over the picture.

  16. I always put too much pressure on myself. Your training is spectacular,...some day. I hope you get a little sunshine in your day and find some flat roads asap.

  17. I am going to PM you, but I just have to say I love this post. you are awesome! and so glad I'm not the only one who has a 3yr old covered in chocolate this week;)

  18. I hope your workout went well! It looks tough, even before you figure in all of the hills.

    Throughout my life, most of my stress has come from the pressure that I've put on myself. I have a hard time letting it go, but it helps to see my husband's more laid back approach to life. I think it's slowly rubbing off on me. I've recently started to be more deliberate about incorporating some form of meditation into my routine. I was letting my nerves, stress, etc. get out of control and taking a few minutes to think about relaxing and enjoying life has been really helpful for me.

    Good luck with the birthday party. I'm sure your son will enjoy it!

  19. I totally agree with you about fresh flowers! So worth it. Hang in there! Great week of workouts...

  20. It's so easy to get down on ourselves about every little thing, but kids with chocolate and paint on their clothes just mean that they've been having a good day. Sweaty pits and running hat just means that you've been taking care of your body. It just shows that you're living life. And I'd take that any day over a perfectly pressed dress and a clean house. I'm glad you're able to laugh and enjoy this time. I know everyone says it goes by fast, but it really does. Have a great day!

  21. First of all, I thought the facebook thing was funny too!!!

    I love fresh flowers! They are a great way to put a smile on any woman's face!! I'm sorry that you've been so stressed!! I wish I had some good advice for you but the only thing I can say is just breathe! Everything will be okay. Who cares if your kids were a little messy. They are happy, healthy and content!

  22. man, sometimes you just have days like this! the shot of your little man is priceless ( : he kind of looks like he's saying "um, Mommy...little help here..."

    honestly, sometimes i feel like i struggle with not pushing myself enough with certain things. i'm not sure if that's just in my head and it's just me trying to push myself too hard, or if i can just be a bit lazy sometimes. it might just depend on the day!

    an iced latte from starbucks is a big treat for me, and i do shell out the dough to get a really good hair cut. i kind of think the price is obscene, but i just can't quit this guy--he's so good! i have not, however, committed myself to regular hair coloring (and, believe me, i need it). it's just too darn much!!

    hope you're feeling rested and ready for a new day! ( :

  23. What do I use to pamper myself: My BATHTUB lol, seriously it is like the best thing ever because I have bubbles and a fan to drown out external sensory triggers LOL :) Also, my weekly sanity time is going to Barnes and Noble (Friday afternoon) and having a green tea and reading magazines or books for 2 hrs....I LOVE IT!

    What do I do when I am stressed or what do I tell myself? My self check is always bad is this really? What can I do about this immediately? In the grand scheme of things rarely is it as bad as it seems. When you can be positive and just laugh it is the best feeling in the world. Laughter truly is the BEST MEDICINE! When I feel overwhelmed (like with all the running books I have been reading lately) I read something that is complete trash that will make me smile and that helps tremendously.

    Last night I dreamt about running, I am either extremely goofy or extemely motivated....I'll take either!

  24. What a nice treat for you! fresh Flowers!! Gosh, I'm not quite sure what lil treat I enjoy?? A new magazine maybe b.c I rarely get them.

    Your training looks so legit--wow!!! I hope you get a fantastic weather weekend to get some quality runs in!! Are you still taking this training from your original plan?

    Your kiddos are adorable! Love the youngest's messy hands-he he!

  25. wow...I am so impressed that you are able to keep up that training with three kids! I think as runners, we tend to be very goal oriented, which in turn, makes us have high expectations for ourselves as athletes, friends, daughters, and moms. I feel like it is challenging to try and balance it all but I keep telling myself that life with toddlers will pass by faster than I realized, so I just need to try and relax, enjoy the moments, and do the best I can to make it through the crazy world of motherhood!!

  26. What that lady really meant to say was "I pray that you didn't beat the living shit out of your kid, and if you did I hope he heals quickly."

  27. Omg, I was sitting here talking to the track coach about my f'n heel (I am allowed to use the F word on it now!!) feeling so freaking sorry for myself and I read your blog and just laughed. Your son in his car seat full of guck and your daughter's white dress have just made my day. I'm sorry, but it's true. Even though I don't worry about my kids clothes anymore (other than Brendan's armpit smelly fleece coat...god, why do boys smell so horrible and NOT care?!?!?), this post made me realize that we all have adversity in one way or another and we get to wake up each day and do it all over again. How cool is that?!? One day my heel saga will be behind day.

    Happy birthday to your oldest...I PROMISE you they will be happy with the party you throw them (even when they're in therapy at age 16 because you ruined their life!!! ;)).

    Run strong, girl!!

    I so need to get on FB more often to have a good smile :).

  28. the thing i mostly get stressed about is getting in a run/workout... when i slack off and don't get up to run first thing in the morning it hangs over my head all day and instead of just chilling out about it i stress. not great, i know. then i get moody if it doesn't work out / i end up being lazy after work too. pathetic.

    are you sure that was sugar? lol.

  29. I pamper myself by doing at-home facials or splurging and getting a massage. I also find that if I take the time to get ready, do my hair and make-up, and put on an outfit that actually requires thought... I feel a ton better about myself.

    I have totally had the FB comments where I was totally joking around and someone gives me one of those 'i'll pray for you' lines.... makes me laugh every time.

  30. I love your Mommy rants. We all go through it and honestly running, living, life all innertwines. I feel you on all the stress in life and feeling like your life is out of control or that your out in space somewhere. THIS is where I have been for the past 2 months and I am just now finally coming out of it.

    Just breathe, take it all in stride... Sugar.. No sugar.... or whatever you seem like an amazing/loving Mommy and that is what counts. Well all need to check out once in a while!

    Running: Dont beat yourself up... Your probably take one thing out on the other... again breathe! Try changing your playlist (if you run w/ music) to shake things up a little!

    FB: I feel as though people take life too seriously! We all need to take things in stride and just laugh about stuff... Have a great weekend! ENJOY!