Sunday, October 31, 2010

Injury Milestone

I'm thinking it is a little ridiculous that I've posted a blog every day since starting this thing.  Mostly feeling ridiculous because besides one or two people (including my mom), I might be the only one reading it.  I know I have to start somewhere and I guess since this blog is partly to help me grow and reflect on my life as a runner and mother, then I shouldn't worry about how often I post. Blogging has really been something I look forward to at the end of the day.  It is a way for me to reflect on my day, set some goals as a runner and mother, share creative things I've done, etc.  So, blog again I will!

Tonight I'm staying up until midnight so I can register for the Hippie Chick Half Marathon.  It is a race that fills up quickly and I never remember to register in time.  The exciting thing for me is that this marks my return to running!  I'm so excited to be registering for a race considering that just nine weeks ago I was barely walking normal!  Another special thing about this marathon is that it will be on Mother's Day.  What a great way for me to celebrate motherhood and running together! 

My training and personal goals for this week:
*  Continue to take it easy
*  Run 1-2 miles each day, hoping to be up to 3 without pain by the end of the week
*  Continue to cross train on the elliptical and bike
*  Yoga
*  Eating Healthy...lots of water, fruits and veggies
*  Positive thinking and being in the moment with my kids.

3 more hours until I can register for the Hippie Chick Half! 


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Hung The Moon

I should probably start by saying that I agree with my kids in thinking my husband "Hung The Moon".  He really is wonderful.  He's an extraordinary father, husband, son, engineer, public speaker...the list goes on and on.  Anyone that knows him would say the same.  He's pretty much everything that I am not, and more.  He's patient.  He thinks of others before himself.  He will always be willing to make a huge mess with the kids just for the sake of learning and making memories (he cleans it up too).  I can certainly see why the kids put him in super hero rank.  This is a wonderful thing!  I often wish I would have had more of a "daddy" figure in my life and words can't possibly describe the joy it brings me to see that my children have such a special bond with their Daddy.   

 (just got finished building a stool together)

I want to be on super hero/hung the moon status too.  Instead, I'm the one they see day in and day out.  I'm the one who enforces the rules around the house during the day and makes sure they have consequences when they don't follow them.  I'm the one that makes them eat their breakfast and get showered and dressed for school.  The one that loses her cool when they continue to scream at each other for something completely ridiculous like eating the goldfish that fell on the floor or for using the marker that their sister wanted to use .  I'm the one that makes them have quiet time so I can have a break. The one that says no to sugar and t.v. when they've had too much.  I'm the one they see every. single. day.  I love this, cherish it, and I know deep down they do too but by the time the weekend comes, I'm old news. 

This morning I told the girls that I would be gone all next weekend for four days to go to Napa with my girlfriends.  I kind of expected at least an "oh, we'll miss you mommy!"  or "Why are you going?" or some sort of sign that they were bummed to see me go.  Instead they cheered loudly and jumped on their Dad with a shout of "hooray!".  What?!  Now, just to be honest, I'm equally excited to have a break from them so I really do understand and know that they are just excited to be with their daddy but it still feels crummy to feel so easily discarded. 

This was a long week with kids. It wasn't a typical week but one of those weeks where everyone, including me, was cranky, sick and irritable.  I'm tired.  I'm sick of hearing my girls fight and finding myself acting just like them.  I'm sick of hearing the voice in my head mocking me with "Do as I say, not as I do" as I resort to yelling, knowing perfectly well that it isn't the appropriate parental response.  This was just one of those weeks that I felt lost as as a mom and missed being the teacher in the classroom just a little.  It was a week I missed having my students think I "hung the moon".  This was a week that I needed a long run.  A run where I could just pour all my stress out on the road and come back to myself and remember why I'm doing this and why I love it so much.  Unfortunately, I'm not there yet with running so I can only think of the runs to come. 

 I know my kids love me and they know I love them. I love my job and am forever thankful for my lot in life.  I know we all have those days and weeks where we find ourselves in a funk. After a little pity party and cry, I got away for a workout...elliptical and bike are better than nothing.  Then I spent time shopping (for me) and grocery shopping alone, which felt heavenly!  When I got back, my hubby had every item out of the refrigerator and was cleaning the shelves and wiping down the condiments. I think he really did hang the moon. 

Check out this awesome refrigerator job!  Thanks Hon!

 There was really no reason for me to feel like an outcast. I was just emotional after a tiring week. The cuddles and shouts of joy that came my way when I walked in the door reminded me just how much  my kids appreciate me.  I know what it is like to have someone around that you don't see as often as you'd like and taking for granted people that you see every day.  I know that I'm doing the best I can and that in the end it will all add up to great memories and a solid foundation of love.  It's just easy to lose yourself in the day-to-day world of motherhood.  Motherhood can seem like one of the most thankless jobs but it is also one of the most rewarding.  I'm looking forward to the break next weekend and to coming back fresh.  Maybe then, I'll also be the one who "hung the moon".


Friday, October 29, 2010

Vision Collages and This Runner's Birthday Wish List

Since my birthday is coming up, I thought it would be a good time to make something new to help me continue to mentally focus on my running goals and vision for another year of living a healthy lifestyle.  One of the things that helps me stay motivated is creating vision collages that are filled with words and images that keep me focused on positive things.  I usually put my vision collages up on places I look often like my bathroom mirror or refrigerator door.  Today I decided to put them up on my kitchen cabinets.  My daughters joined me in this craft time.  While I made my vision collage, they created their own collage of pictures that made them happy and that they are thankful for. 

My three year old thought that she definitely should add the lipstick to her powerful vision for her life.

My five year old is thankful for waking up happy in the morning so she took this picture for her thankful collage.  I hope this vision thing works because she doesn't wake up happy in the morning.

Thankful for Mommy, fresh fruit, ice cream, and waking up joyful.

My Running Birthday Wish list. 

1.  A Garmin watch (this one might have to wait for Christmas).   I need suggestions on where to even start with this wish list item!  Recommendations are greatly welcomed. What is the best one to get?  I have not even started to research them but from what I've heard from other runners lately, this just might be a must-have!

2.  Renewed subscription to Runner's World magazine.  How did I let my subscription run out for so long?  I'm tired of staying after my sports therapy appointments just so I can read their copy of Runner's World in the waiting room. 

3.  My gift to myself:  Start registering for and planning my 2011 race schedule.  A few races I'd love to run in 2011: 

Hippie Chick Half Marathon
Helvetia Half Marathon
Portland Marathon
Nike Women's Marathon
*  Definitely one or two 5k and 10k races...still in the process of planning and open to suggestions.

What races are you running in 2011?  What is something on your running wish list?


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Three Things Thursday That Start With "T" and a Few Goals

Okay, so I'm still new to the blog world and I'm picking up things as I go. I'm trying to connect with people, learn from the blogs I read and not waste too much time in the process.  I'm noticing a "Three Things Thursday" trend in the blog world and although I'm not one to normally follow the trends, I thought I'd jump on the wagon for tonight.  I figure I'd change things up just a bit and make my three things start with T. 

1.  Third Run!!    Wooo Hooo!  I just went on my third run since my doctor gave me the green light to start slowly getting back into running again.  I loved everything about it...the rain, the cool night, knowing that my kids were tucked safely in bed and I would come home to a quiet house. I even loved the sore muscles from doing Jillian yesterday.  I felt faster and stronger than my other two runs this week.  I'm glad nobody was watching me because I'm sure I looked a little silly with my head lamp and an ear-to-ear smile on my face.   I only went a mile since I'm trying to take it easy but so much of me just wanted to run forever.

2.  Time For Myself  This is only the second year I've been a stay-at-home mama and so it is still a learning process (well, isn't it always?).  I'm realizing more and more than I have to take time for myself in order to be ON as a mom and be able to excel at motherhood!  This is essential and true whether I have a job outside the home or not. 

3.  Thankfulness  For a few years now, I try to take time each day to write down a list of things I'm thankful for.  I usually write these things in my journal.  I've been inspired by a couple blogs to "blog" my gratitude list from time to time.  So, here are a few things I'm thankful for today:
* Running again
*  My 16 month old recovering from his ear infection
*  Girlfriend club last night and a good friend stopping by today
*  My Mama, a best friend and wonderful Nana to my kids
*  Date Night with my husband (shhh, here he comes...I'm not supposed to be blogging but I thought I'd take a quick break while he sets the Netflix up on Wii. Yikes, I better type fast and hope for few typos.)
*  Beautiful and Brilliant people that write blogs...I've met some really neat people in blog land that I'm excited to learn from.
*  The fact that I could list page after page of things I'm thankful for.
*  Did I mention Running?!

A few quick GOALS (I love goals):
1.  Take time to read and write daily to improve in my writing, learn, connect with others, and reflect on my life.
2.  Make opportunities to have one-on-one time with each of my children every day.  Even if it means only reading a couple stories or sitting down to cuddle and talk about the day. 
3.  Take more time to pray and nurture my spiritual side. 
4.  Continue focusing on positive thinking and visualizing a speedy recovery with my running. 
5.  Talk kindly about others and find the good in people even when it is difficult. 

Happy Thursday!


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Jillian, Jogging and Joy!

Jillian Micheal's No More Trouble Zones workout this morning!   Trouble zones or no trouble zones, this circuit training workout gets results!  Combined with running, it is cheese and wine perfect.  I first heard of it from a couple of my book club girls who were using it to get rid of the baby fat from pregnancy.  I wanted to do the same, as well as tone up my buns and have more lean muscle.  So glad I tried it's now my favorite workout to do at home.  It is hard for me to carve time out to get the gym so having something like this is ideal.  If you haven't tried it before, I'd highly recommend giving it a go!  

Also, My friend who is a personal fitness trainer in Oregon just started a new blog called Daily FitTip4U.  She's just getting started so check her out! She has lots of knowledge about diet, exercise and overall fitness and health.  

This joy I'm feeling from being back to running and exercise is contagious!  My energy has rubbed off on my kids.  Amazing how when I'm feeling positive and loving, they are positive and loving to each other (at least more than usual).  They were actually playing together nicely this morning and giving thanks for each other in their thankful can instead of ripping each other's hair out (and me wanting to do the same).  My oldest went off to Kinder with a smile on her face and skip in her step.  I could tell she just felt good about her morning and the extra positive vibes we were swimming in this morning.  Can't say enough about how happy this made me...I actually felt like giving myself a pat on the back and saying "Good job Mom!"  instead of the all to often feeling of failure that I've had the past several weeks. 

Jogging. Yes, I said "jogging".  I never liked to refer to my runs as jogs but today I will take a jog with joyfulness! A jog is closer to a run than walking! This injury has humbled me greatly.  I went on my second jog with the double jogger after dropping my oldest off at school. Felt awesome!  We combined it with a leaf hunt for a leaf wreath that we will make.  The jog was filled with many stops and shout outs from my 3 year old.  "Stop the stroller!! Quick!  There is a fine fine leaf!"  Of course the entire earth is covered with fine and beautiful leaves so it made for lots of shouting and lots of stopping to get out and collect the many colors we found.  This actually worked well to help me follow my plan to take it easy and remember that this should be a "light" run.   

So many things in life to find joy in!  Running helps me do just that...find joy.  It helps keep me balanced so I can focus on the important things in life that I might otherwise miss out on. What brings you joy?


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

First Run and A Window Into My Healing Process

My therapy appointment today went better than I could have hoped.  My sports chiropractor told me that I could try out light running.  Music to my ears!  My heart laughed when I heard this! Of course, knowing my personality, he specified LIGHT and said that it shouldn't be for a workout but only to start getting used to the motion again.  I'm so EXCITED! He also gave me the go ahead to start doing light lunges and squats and other types of strength training.   I know this doesn't mean that I'm back to running normally again but it is a first step and that makes me feel hopeful and happy! 

So, of course I had to try out my light run tonight as soon as I got the kids in bed and had free time.  I only ran about a half mile.  I don't even know if you would consider it running but more of a shuffle jogish thing.  I couldn't lift my leg very well and I don't think I am at the point where I can even attempt to run fast yet but I'm taking it all in stride.  Baby steps.  A positive outlook goes a long way.  Here's a picture of me about to go on my first run (with permission) since my injury.

Total Cheese but feeling happy!

Since this is partly a running blog and a way for me to document my transition back into running again, I thought I'd write a bit about what life has been like for me since August 15th when I fell in the forest and injured my hamstring.

I've always been one of those runners that is lucky to have never had a serious injury.  I never understood or gave much attention to all the articles in Runner's World about running smart to prevent injury, or how to recover quickly, etc.  I just knew I loved to run and I ran often.  Injuring myself at a time that I was running better than ever before and on track for a personal best in the marathon was in and of itself devastating. What was more difficult was that running and training seriously for something had become an outlet and goal for me to focus on  in the place of having a job outside my home.  Temporarily giving up my teaching career to stay at home with the kids has been a wonderful decision and I wouldn't trade it for the world but I still find myself needing personal goals and engaging in things I'm passionate about.  Training seriously as a runner was that.  It was a piece of ME every day and I felt so fulfilled with my progress and accomplishments.  Writing my workouts down in my running log provided such joy and because of my hard work and progress as a runner, I had more to give to my family. 

After my injury, it took a few weeks for me to adjust to the redirection my life was taking.  Not everyone understood this.  I had people in my life who just didn't understand why I would have any reason to be depressed over something like a hamstring injury when I had three beautiful kids, a husband that adores me and an overall wonderful life.  I don't know if you can truly make someone understand this type of feeling if they don't already just get it.  I was depressed, frustrated, and impatient.  I just wanted to be healed and back to running.  I even held on to the hope that I would still run the Portland Marathon and be just fine.  Even after the MRI showed that I had a complete tear of one of the hamstring muscles, I still tried to run despite the pain and difficulty lifting my leg.  Yeah, pretty stupid. 

It wasn't until I had time to redirect my focus and surrender to the fact that I would have to just be still and heal that I saw this as an amazing opportunity to reevaluate my goals as a runner and make plans for how I can use this injury to make me stronger.  I've been incredibly inspired by my sports chiropractor,  Dr. Ted Forcum at Back In Motion Sports Injuries Clinic.  He is truly gifted at what he does and incredibly knowledgeable in his field.  I switched to him after having less success with other therapists and when I googled him (yes, I'm one of those people that google people), I was so inspired by all he has done!  I was humbled that he was working on my hamstring once I knew all the great athletes he has done therapy on.  

My therapy with Dr. Forcum has been painful and left lots of bruising but I trust him completely to do whatever he decides to try.  The painful part of the therapy has been from something called The Graston Technique which is a technique used to break down scar tissue.  I just know it as an extremely painful form of torture that leaves bruising.  Here are the torture devices used on me:

Dr. Forcum preparing his Graston tools for torture

And here we go to my happy place.  My breathing techniques that I learned in birthing class actually come in handy here. 

After the painful part I always get to enjoy some quiet time getting ultrasound and electric stimulation.  This part is fun because 1.  I get to read magazines in quiet , 2.  Quiet time without kids, and 3. Did I mention that I get quiet time without kids?

After Graston Technique.  Already starting to bruise.  We can all use a little color in our life. 

At the end of the appointment, Dr. Forcum always comes to use this awesome kinesio taping that looks pretty cool and has become my favorite accessory the past 9 weeks!  Today he even taught me how to tape myself.  He was so good about taking pictures for me so I could share it on my blog.  He's a busy man too so I was really loving the extra time he took to snap shots with my camera.

The best part of my day?  For sure being told that I can start my steps towards running again.  However small my steps are and however slow I run, I'm still one step closer to where I want to be.


Monday, October 25, 2010

Pumpkin Art and Favorite Cardboard Box Creations

Since it is a season for pumpkins, I thought I'd include some pictures of our pumpkin painting fun. I wanted to use some from the past 4 years but this is the first year we have pictures where the girls are not painting in their undies. Bummer.  The undies pics are way cuter but probably not appropriate for a blog. This time of year is not the same without some pumpkin art!  I also included some pictures of some of our favorite cardboard box creations.

Amazing how much entertainment just a big cardboard box can provide!  This house that my husband made lasted a loooong time and was used for many things.

Neighborhood painting party

Little Fairy Houses

And a Big Fairy House (this was the first cardboard house redecorated for a Tinkerbell party)

Watching movies in their new favorite spot

Spaceship. Not so sure what N is doing. Looking fierce though.



Gratitude and Goals

I had nothing but good intentions for today.  After getting away with a close friend last night, I came home determined to be a better me. My vision for the morning:
*  Wake up before the kids to get some quiet coffee time
*  Computer off and removed from the counter until quiet time/nap (now)
*  Fully engaged and present with my children
*  No yelling or raising my voice.  Instead, modeling calm and composed communication when things get crazy
*  Take the kids some place fun like the zoo or children's museum.

Reality of the morning:
*  Got to sleep in a bit but unfortunately woke up with the kids so my day started off with everyone needing me at once. Sleeping in until 7 wasn't worth it. 
*  I did make time to be creative and we made a Thankful Can to fill with our words of gratitude until Thanksgiving.  Pictures included below.
* Samuel whined the ENTIRE morning so he was lovely background music while I tried to remain present and focused on my quality creative time with the girls and get him involved too. 
* Called the doctor to make an appointment to get Samuel checked out.  Thinking his incessant whining and snotty nose might mean something more than just a cold and teething and plain annoying. 
Got an appointment at 11:10 (still remaining calm).  It was only 10 so we had a good hour!
*  At this point we are finishing up our Thankful Can and Samuel is still whining and nothing will make him stop.  I couldn't even put him down to put my bra on without him letting me know he expected better from me. My mood was  quickly going from passionately positive to positively pissy. 
*  After not being able find my keys, having the neighbor offer to loan me her van and take my girls, and then come over to knock on my door just as I was growling (okay, maybe more of a husky yell) at my kids to get in the house and get their shoes on, I was left flustered and embarrassed and feeling like I could definitely do better.
*  I ended up getting Samuel to the doctor to find out he has an ear infection and possible sinus infection.  Thank God there is an explanation for his mood and not just part of his personality. 

Now it is nap/quiet time and I have a moment to collect myself and recharge for the rest of the day. Despite the fact that my 5 year old is pissed off that I won't let her watch Barbie Breaks Up with Her Boyfriend movie, I'm feeling pretty good about my day in motherhood.  Overall, my goals were not completely unmet.  We can all do better.  Grateful for goals to help me do just that, be a better Me. 

Here are some snap shots of our Thankful Can.  A great start to our morning.  Even with Samuel's mood. 

            It started with our empty coffee can, a glue stick and Samuel's whining (poor thing).

                 Writing down things we are thankful for.  We hope to fill our can up by Thanksgiving. 

 Even Samuel wrote down some things he is thankful for.  Note the lovely teething drool down his chest. 

              A few moments of peace and love as E and N reflect on things they are thankful for.


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Big Kid Falling Down

I've spent some time tonight going through some old writing that I had done from a few years ago and I came across this story that made me laugh all over again. In recent light of my fall in the forest and a conversation I had about grown adults who cry like babies, I thought I'd post.  Definitely a run I won't forget.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

big kid falling down

Current mood:   sore
Why is it funny to see an adult fall and hurt themselves?  It always catches me off guard when I see a perfectly healthy and stable "big kid" fall in the middle of a run or on a bike or dancing or doing something they normally do.  For example, one day in the city on my normal bike ride home from work I was just taking my time and enjoying the evening sunshine.  Then this man came around on his bike...he was going to show me how it was done by a true cyclist.  I happily let him pass and kept my own slow pace.  Then he turned the corner in front of me and as I followed ..."BAM!!!" he ran his bike smack into a minivan or SUV or something.  He quickly tried to pull himself together and pretend he didn't see that I saw everything.  Poor guy was so embarrassed.  I didn't know if it would make matters worse for me to ask if was okay or if I should just pretend I didn't see anything for his sake.  I think I asked if he was okay...all the while trying quite hard to keep a straight face.  Strange how that ended up being the funniest/highlight of my day...a true comic relief.

So, tonight on our family run, I was the "big kid" falling down.  Waylon had the double jogger stroller and we were nearing the end of our run.  We were going at quite a good pace and I was feeling in shape and energized.  I crossed the street and Waylon and the girls stayed on the other side.  "Where are you mommy?!", shouted Ani (Elliana).  I looked over and waved as I continued to move at a steady pace.  "Here I am baby!  You look so pretty with your hair blowing in the wind!"  All I remember after that is falling slow motion to the pavement.  Just like a 2 year old must feel when they fall, only I had a much further distance to fall.   I smacked my breasts so hard against the pavement (not good for my breast feeding), along with my right hand and thigh!  I instantly started crying like Elliana does when she falls. I bet the whole neighborhood heard my wailing.  (I think if Waylon wouldn't have been around to baby me then I would have acted tough and sucked it up).  Right as I fell, a kid rode past on his bike without saying a word.  I'm convinced he rode past with a smile and a chuckle under his breath.  Waylon also had to keep from laughing  until later. 

Needless to say, I'm quite sore indeed.  I have not fallen that hard in a long long time.  After a few Ani kisses and some  deep breaths, I too can laugh and find it all funny.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Runner Legs?

Had to share the first picture of my new nephew.  By the looks of his legs, I'm thinking running might be in his future.  His daddy, grandfather, and great grandfather (oh, and a few other Odums) were all runners so I'd say he has a head start!  Can't wait to run with you buddy! 

Power of Words

Not being able to run for the past 2 1/2 months really gets to me some days.  Today was a morning I woke up feeling like I was drowning as a mother.  My house was a mess, everyone needed me at the same time, and my head was swimming with ideas and lists of things to get done.  Typically when I feel like this, I take it to the road and run.  I run until my head is clear and my spirit feels alive and then I'm ready to deal with anything life has to throw my way. 

As I was looking around at the scattered dishes, crayons on the floors and table, toys making a trail down the hallway, and kids at my feet, I took a deep breath, stopped and looked at my refrigerator door.  I must have had the same pictures and various things attached to my refrigerator for quite some time now but just hadn't bothered to really notice it any time recently.  I'm so glad I stopped to notice it today because I needed to read the words I did. 

I had two thank you cards taped among the pictures that make me happy.  Thank you cards from two of my closest friends that just had babies.  Their words were just what I needed to clear my head.  Their words reminded me that being a mother is greater than running or anything else that life has to offer.  Their sweet words were magic.  I've always believed in the power of words.  Words to inspire and motivate.  Words to show love and appreciation.  Words to boost someone's spirits and give them comfort.  We can never underestimate what sincere words can mean to someone.  I'm a big believer in telling people how you feel and taking the time to thank people for what they mean to you.  These things are treasures to me and I'm so glad that I stopped to look around today...the same walls I always look at but today, I slowed down enough to really look.  So glad I did.

I even got one step close to running today on our family walk/near jog (don't worry, I'm still playing it smart). 

Look what I found!

As I've been reading running blogs recently, I've started to wonder why I didn't save more of my old running medals, racing bibs, racing stats, etc.  I must be acquiring some serious memory issues in my 30's because I figured I had just lost them over the years due to carelessness.  This morning I started digging through the garage in hopes that I saved at least a few artifacts from my past running days.  I struck running gold!  I found my old cross country box that a teammate made for me.  She even glued in inspirational quotes and pictures.  I'd been saving my bibs all along and I even wrote my times on them and things like "this race sucked ass".  Or the cloth napkin from our cross country dinner after regionals where I totally turned into psycho emotional runner who freaked out and ran horrible...gee, I really let the pressure get to me then.  But really?!  What did I think I was going to do with the steak and tear stained napkin from Outback Steakhouse? 


Glad to know I have something to hold onto as I try to get back into competitive running.  As I age, these things seem more important to me (well, not the napkin).  Before, I wouldn't think twice about sticking my racing bib in a drawer and forgetting about it but now it kind of feels like they are part of my story...part of me that I will leave for my kids some day.  And a huge motivation for me right now!  Some more fuel to my running fire!

Here are some of my favorite races after college and before kids.  It was so nice to run for me and with myself and not on or for a team!  No pressure. Emotional baggage cleaned out. My times improved and running no longer made me cry.  That's another blog entirely.

I also found some old love letters between my  husband and I before we were married. So fun!  And some awesome pictures of when we were first dating!  What treasures.  Here's a fun one.  Yes, that's a bandana around my boobs....not sure what I was thinking.  Hey, we were at the Country Fair in Eugene in 2000.  Good times.  Oh, and I crocheted (that word looks so weird) that purse I'm wearing.  I don't even think I'd know how to hold a crochet needle anymore. Check out the dude with the purple wig in the background....good times!  :)