Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I AM a Runner.

For years I have worked out. Sporadically. Regularly. Not much. A lot. A little. Anywhere in between. I just feel better when I do. I need it.

Pregnancy and post-pregnancy made it a lot more difficult, though. I had issues. A lot of issues. I had pain. I suffered from post-partum depression. I had a baby with reflux and colic, and I (we) didn't sleep. Regardless, though, I still found a way to do "something". For a long time I "just" participated in "Stroller Strides", a mommy and baby exercise class. It was great physically, socially, mentally...you name it. But, eventually it stopped being "enough". Eventually I felt I was pushing more than the instructors. I was looking for "more".

Now, in all the years that I have been active and an athlete, I have never been a "runner". I have run up to a mile or so, but it was just a part of my workout...not THE workout. I have always had reasons for not embracing running: I don't have a runner's body; I have had too many injuries and surgeries; I just don't enjoy it; I am in pain. And, I guess by reasons I really mean "excuses". The truth is, running is hard. Really hard, especially in the beginning.

But, at some points in life some of us have an awakening of sorts. I know that recently I experienced just that. My best friend and I were chatting on the phone a few months ago, and we both had the same complaints....we wanted to more for ourselves from an active lifestyle / cardiovascular exercise standpoint. So, we made a pact. We would be each other's long distance motivators. We would post our activity weekly and give each other updates. We would force ourselves to be ACCOUNTABLE! And, it worked.

I started with a mile at a time. A very slow mile. A long hard-fought mile. Which lead to 2 miles. Which lead to 3. Which lead to 4. Then 5. And 6. I began by running (huffing and puffing and blowing houses down) about 2 to 3 times a week, pushing a toddler in a stroller as I went along. As I got "better", I realized that I REALLY liked running alone, with my iPod barking me on in my ears, early in the morning before most people are out and about. So, sometimes I take time out to do just that. Other times I still push that stroller companion during a mid-morning jaunt. I am able to do it, even with all of my aches and pains...a bad foot, a bad shoulder. I have run farther than I ever thought I could. I run flat stretches, and I run hills. I CHOOSE to run hills. I run almost every other day, with a few 2 day breaks in between. I run outside. I run on a track. I run in the park. I run at the gym on a treadmill.

I used to tell everyone, even recently, that I am NOT a runner. I would tell them that I am not fast, and I am not very good at it. Then something happened. I realized after logging over 100 miles in my first 2 months that I AM a runner. It doesn't matter that I am not super-fast (although I HAVE gotten faster). It doesn't matter that I don't have a "typical" runner's body or legs. It doesn't matter that I am not running marathons. All that matters is THAT I RUN. AND, YOU KNOW WHAT??? I DO!

I feel good. I look better. I feel proud. I feel STRONG! Just yesterday I ran 6 miles in 63 minutes and 19 seconds. I ran my last 1.25 miles at clips between 6.0 and 7.5 mph. A little over a week ago I ran a 5K mud run...all off-road running with military style obstacles, hills, mud pits, and you name it. And, I finished. And, I never walked a second of it. Not one. Not even the brutal hills.

That's because I am a runner, you see. I run, therefore, I AM A RUNNER!

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Friday, July 15, 2011

Signs of Summer...By Dad.

I love being a dad. Sure, it's tough. But it is far more fulfilling than tough on any given day. Today was one of those days. Today Megan captured these photos, which illustrate a sure sign of summer. A dad and his daughter sharing buttery corn on the cob.

Tonight Finnley had her corn (shaved off of the cob) for dinner. When she finished her own she wanted mine which was still on the cob. As you can see she dove right in. Buttery face and all. Full of giggles as I made funny noises. She kept coming back for more and I obliged. We shared. We laughed. We bonded. We loved.

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

The little things...

Sometimes it is the little things, the sweet and raw moments, that bring about the most joy. We witnessed that during Finnley and Batman's impromptu sprinkler party in the front lawn the other night. The two of them were certainly in their element, and we just looked upon with scene with utter fondness. My heart just grew exponentially bigger during this tiny blip in time. I have a beautiful daughter, a funny (and overly loyal and tolerant) dog, and an fun-loving and amazing husband to thank for that.

Prepare to embrace the bliss.

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Crazy Person

Self-described, as it were. Can't help myself. I don't sit still. There have been a ton of "little things" around the house that I have been meaning to do for some time now. And, when I get my mind set on doing something, I just can't seem to stop until EVERYTHING is done. And, by "everything" I mean EVERYTHING! I am sure it drives my husband insane at times, but he also gets to reap the benefits of the end results. And, in the case of the "Death by Oreo" cupcakes, I don't think he can complain TOO much. So, my projects are all put to rest, and Finnley and I are back to doing just our regular overly-busy-all-week-long sorts of stuff. Here is a glimpse at just a few of the multitude of things I have recently done.

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Sunday, July 03, 2011

The perfect gift.

My birthday present to America is a video for the blog. That sounds good, right?  Well, I have never been great at giving the perfect gift.  (Matt really did need a new pink sweater vest for 75% off.  It was ideal for yard work on the weekends, I swear!)  Oh well, what can I say?  Regardless...here is America's birthday present! Enjoy!

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Fourth of July

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA!!!
Love, Finnley

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