Organic: Can I have what she’s having?

Inspired by Pic and a Word #147 – Organic. Again, Patrick’s lovely picture and prose lead me down a different path. This ode is to a practical struggle that some people (especially parents, I think) grapple with every time they go to the grocery store. (Also, if you don’t get the reference in the title, then you and I are not of the same generation!)

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I didn’t buy it

Despite the warnings

The “shoulds” of good motherhood

Like wipe warmers and vaccines

It’s a well educated privilege

Yet

The expense – Is it worth it?

You know, it’s a conspiracy, right?

We didn’t grow up that way

Don’t spoil them

A little dirt is good for you

But

It’s more than dirt

It’s more than chemicals

It’s molecules and manipulations

And making money

Still

The 9 haunts me

The butterfly taunts me

I should have just bought organic


©️iido 2018

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As a runner and a mom, healthy eating is important to me. However, following through on every food related recommendation can be daunting, especially when you have numerous mouths spouting (and sometimes shouting) competing requests.

This summer, I’ve been endeavoring to eat more non-processed foods, especially for the snacks. I was inspired by the book, Nutrition Performance for Runners. I’ve been buying organic, non-GMO foods when it doesn’t break the budget. Steering the kids (and myself!) towards whole fruits and veggies instead of fruit snacks and bars is constant retraining.

We are fortunate enough to live in an area with a lot of farmers’ markets and roadside farm stands. However, not all these farms are organic or non-GMO. I’ve found it is important to ask questions about how the food is grown. I still go to the supermarket and reading labels has become second nature to me. Needing to balance time (how many farmers’ stalls can I visit and still have time to stop at the store before picking up the kids?) and budget, factors into my food buying decisions.

Am I alone in this dilemma? A lot of people seem “all or nothing” regarding what to buy (as well as where. Did I mention we just got a Whole Foods market that is already causing traffic?).

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First Time

(An ode to my older daughter)

The first time I saw you

I thought

Perfection

Your stand up hair

Your knowing eyes

Your pouty lips

Your teddy bear belly

Your crinkled toes

Your peaceful breathing

I made you

(With help of course!)

I grew you

As I continue to watch you

In wondrous

Perfection

You hold me

You teach me

You admire me

You humble me

You forgive me

You better me

I am broken

I am healed

With each First Time

You remind me

You are already

Perfection

I should just stand back

And watch

©️iido 2018

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My older daughter joined me for a group run with my MRTT chapter. It was her first time running with me and my running friends. One of the other moms also brought her daughter (which is what inspired my daughter to join us). While this run was more of a walk, it was refreshing to see this route – that I had run many times before – through my daughter’s eyes.

I remember running in high school gym class. You needed to run a mile in under 20 minutes. We ran the laps indoors. I was the last one to come in at 19 minutes. And I collapsed on the floor when I crossed the finish line. One of the other students (Rob H – whatever happened to him?) came over to see if I was ok. I felt like I was going to die – from exertion and embarrassment.

I hope my daughter will never have to experience the Double E. Right now, she doesn’t absolutely love running (lol – in fact, her runs are more like “walking with some short running intervals”) but she is not daunted by running. I can see her getting stronger (in body and mind) and that sense of accomplishment at this age is priceless. The first time I realized that I could overcome the Double E was in my late 20s when I actually trained and ran my first 5k.

They say you never forget your first time – first run, first race, first PR. What running first do you remember? Was it a happy, sad or maybe even a double E memory? I’m looking forward to more runs with my daughter. She is my inspiration!!

Peaks

First a haiku…inspired by Pic and a Word Challenge #145. Thank you, Patrick!

Running up and down

Should I welcome the plateau?

I have peaked too soon

And now, some thoughts….

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A serendipitous coincidence occurred while we were hiking the Shirley Canyon Trail: the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run was taking place at Squaw Valley Resort that same weekend. The day before the actual race started, they held the Altra 6k Uphill Challenge and the route crossed the trail we were doing. (Um, running a race before the race? Seriously! These are some hard core runners!!)

I got really excited when I saw people with bib numbers on the trail. Of course I had to be all fan girl and clap and cheer for the runners I saw. It’s the closest I’ve been to seeing real live ultra runners in action and WOW! The grace and strength of their bodies coupled with the confidence of their strides – truly awe inspiring!!

While I probably will never run the Western States 100, I’ve still felt the excitement and anxiety of running such a challenging trail race. Have you ever had to step back and let your “little baby” climb up boulders on his own (or pour his own milk or walk down the hall to his classroom alone on the first day of school) because he is a big kid and wants to do it by himself? I’m pretty sure it’s that same feeling. It reinforces the truth that running (and parenting) is as much a mental activity as it is a physical one.

I’m an “advanced maternal age” runner so I haven’t been as prolific as runners who started earlier in life. I ran my first marathon at aged 40 and finished in 5:59 – one bucket list item checked off! But I haven’t been able to run a “sub-6 hour” marathon since. It’s still one of my running goals but as I get older, I wonder if I should keep it on my “list of things to do”.

Then, I see this:

Is there more than one peak in my life? Heck yeah!! At least, I hope so! Either way, I’m going to enjoy the journey as I find out. How about you?

1 mile = 100 Calories

All 4 kids will be in school this week leaving me with two whole days ALL BY MYSELF!! I haven’t had that in about 4 years (since my two older ones were in school and I hadn’t had #3 yet). I had a 3.75 mile stroller run this past Thursday and I can definitely say, I am not going to miss pushing a stroller on my weekday runs! 


(My last stroller run with two awesome mother runners from Moms RUN this Town. Can you tell I’m smiling in this picture?)

I have a long list of things to do with my “extra free time”. Yes, it’s in quotes and yes, I am being “slightly” sarcastic! 

Besides being able to run and go to the gym alone, I’ll also be able to grocery shop and do laundry alone, take a shower alone, work on some household projects alone…gosh, now I’m getting a bit sad thinking about all my kids being away from me for 14 hours out of the week…good thing I bought some food for self-soothing….


Oh wait, did I saw that out loud? (Note: maybe that whole last section should have had quotes! =)

Yes, these are some of my favorite Filipino comfort foods! Snagged them when I went to NY this weekend since there are no Filipino food stores near me (gosh, I miss SJ and Seafood City!). 

No worries though – I have my running plan all written out for increasing my mileage after my half marathon this weekend. My full marathon is coming up in about a month! All those calories will just get burned away (right??)!

Can you guess how many calories is in the picture above and how many miles I’ll have to run to burn it off? Best guess will get some Sweet Corn Balls and chicharon! 

Frozen

My heartbeat slowed

But didn’t stop

You made my heart Brake

And Break

Shattered and frozen

Because you couldn’t…wouldn’t….didn’t

So I pick up the pieces

And pick up the pace

You’re on your own now.

snow tree

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Hello! It’s been a long time….

It’s seemed like a very long winter for many reasons…yet, all seasons must come to an end and I randomly decided that today was the day for this particular season to end for me. Today is Mother’s Day 2017 – a day of significance for women who may be celebrating or grieving, answering their call to action or acknowledging that mothering comes in many forms.

I have “mothered” since I was a young child: helping out around the house by doing laundry, the dishes, watching my younger siblings. I was the “listening ear” and “shoulder to cry on” for my friends. I was responsible and dependable.  I have always been a caretaker in some form or another.  I even entered a profession based on care taking.

Yet, being a mother is something that, I still feel, doesn’t come naturally to me.  In the same way, that running doesn’t come naturally to me. What does come naturally to me is sleeping, eating, snuggling in a warm bed, and reading books for hours.  However, none of those things can get you medals on a regular basis.

But being an AWESOME MOTHER RUNNER does!!

awesome MR picThanks to the wonderful folks at Gone for a Run and of course, my fantastic Moms RUN this Town Chapter, I got a 5K run done on this Mother’s Day Weekend.  (Thanks to my husband and kids, the laundry got folded and I did not touch one pan this entire weekend!)

This run gave me some time to think about my relationship with my other female friends, most of whom are moms in one way or another.  I used to think that being a mom automatically made us “simpatica” – the shared understanding of the push and pull that comes with being responsible for these little bundles of energy and love.

However, these past few months has taught me the difficult truth that this isn’t always true – there may be a time and place, that another woman and I might connect but then later, in different circumstances, that connection becomes broken and may even become irreparably severed.

At times, I’ve felt that way about running, too – that running and I had reached a point where we weren’t on the same wavelength. More specifically, running wanted to keep me moving forward, while my body, heart and/or mind wanted to keep me firmly on the couch.  These impasses have always been difficult for me to navigate, yet in the end, moving forward always wins and I put my running shoes on.

So, that’s what I’m doing today. Because staying frozen is really not an option.  I’m ready to “let it go” (haha, of course! Insert eye roll here) and start moving forward again.

 

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Reality

At the end of our tour of Lehman Caves at the Great Basin National Park, Ranger Mark asked, “What do caves protect you from?”  Some responses included: the sun/heat, earthquakes and tornados, the zombie apocalypse. Ranger Mark mentioned that in the past few weeks he had children tell him that caves can protect them from “bullies” and “reality”. 

In the wake of the tragedies in Orlando, I realize that the problems we encounter during our trip – kids crying in the car, speeding tickets, lost souvenirs, white hairs – are minuscule compared to the struggles of others dealing with pain and death, discrimination and hate. 

This trip is our “cave” – protecting us from the reality of bullies and other ignorant and entitled people. I’m hoping the beauty and generosity of the landscape will be enough to keep our spirits resilient. 


Theories

Driving across the country and visiting national parks is fun

In theory

Running in every state we pass through is motivating

In theory

Being in the car for 8 hours a day with 4 children is doable 

In theory

Living for two weeks out of one suitcase for 6 people is expedient

In theory

Surviving this road trip without stress eating (me) and tantrums (everyone else)…..

Let the experiment begin!!!
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Some pictures from Yosemite – I can’t believe we only came here now. Words can’t begin to describe how breathtaking the scenery is. What a wonderful way to start our trip and have this as one of our last memories of our time in CA. 

We also visited this oasis of caffeinated deliciousness – the only Dunkin’ Donuts in CA!