Change Scale – A Quadrille and Running Update

I stare at you

And wiggle my toes

Willing you to change

With my mind

While my body remains

On the Couch

Softly spreading

Creaking with complaints

I finally get up to walk

To the fridge

for a cold beverage.

Change is thirsty work.

De Jackson hosts the 2019’s first Quadrille Monday at dVerse (#71) with the theme: Change. Another apropos theme for the start of the year. Thank you De Jackson!

As with a lot of people, I posted last week my health goals for the year. So despite the 30 degree weather, I went for a short run by myself while my kids were at their horse riding lessons. It was so cold that my breath never warmed up enough for me to see it, but I did feel pretty bada$$ running in the cold. Like I was a real runner and nothing was going to stop me from a run.

Of course, I am a “real runner” but my recent spate of not prioritizing running has made me feel somewhat of an imposter. I mean, isn’t family supposed to come before running? And what about my passion of writing? What I’m really striving for is balance! Not the sometimes elusive scale balance (holding an ice cream cone in each hand does not a balanced scale make!) but the even more rare, life balance. Where, oh where, is that life balance? Maybe it’s hiding under the running shoes….

©️ iido 2019

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Accountability – A Running Update and Haiku

It’s been a while since I’ve done a post devoted solely to my running life. This year, I have some “lofty” goals for running. I pretty much took it easy last year – I only ran two races: The Love Run Half Marathon and the Hershey Half Marathon.

Despite the fabulous picture above, the Love Run was not a good run. It was my first race coming back from a serious health issue (it’s a woman thing, don’t ask unless you REALLY want the details) and I was not mentally prepared. Thank goodness for a wonderful running friend (shout out to Janelle!) who stayed by my side and helped me push through to the end. I seriously wouldn’t be running now without my running tribe at Moms Run this Town.

I LOVE these inspirational mother runners!

The Hershey Half Marathon was much better! I had a steady training partner (you know who you are…Michele, it’s you!) and we kept to our training plan pretty well. Race day was cold and windy but running with Michele and Heather was fantastic! You can read my race review here.

This year, I’m trying some new ways to meet my health goals. I am posting this for accountability.

Goal 1: Consistently meet my daily move goal on my Apple Watch. Right now, now it’s only set for 350 active calories daily and there are still some days when I don’t meet that goal! Unless I can learn how to type and walk, I’m really going to have to make the time to move during the day.

To help with this, my MRTT chapter is doing a “Step into the New Year” Challenge. We’re counting steps and seeing which team can get the most! Admittedly, I have napped the past two days so my step count is low but starting tomorrow….

Goal 2: Complete the Taji100 in February. My friend, Katie from Cali, has completed this challenge the past few years. I haven’t been able to do the miles because of one thing or another. But this is the 10th anniversary of this virtual challenge and the cause is so worthy that I am determined to get all those miles.

Goal 3: Complete an international race. Well, as international as Canada can be to the US. I’ve decided to sign up for the Niagara Falls Women’s Half Marathon in June.

Goal 3.5: Sign up for at least 2 races this year. Any suggestions for another race?

Goal 4: Incorporate weights and yoga into my workout routine. For the past several years, I’ve focused so much on running and not so much on cross training. Now that I am “middle aged”, I definitely see and feel the muscle loss and flexibility loss as I start down the “other side of the hill”.

To help with this, my lovely hubby gave me personal training sessions for Christmas. My first one is next week so hopefully that will jumpstart this goal.

So, that’s it! If you’ve read this, I’m hoping you will call me out and ask “Have you moved anything else besides your typing thumbs today?” I can’t have my thumbs be the only part of my body that is beach ready!

Finally, a haiku for this post:

Because I tell you

Accountability is

How you can help me

©️ iido 2019

Not a Humble Brag

Nope – we don’t play those games around here!

This post is about some pretty cool things that have recently happened…much cooler than keeping my kitchen island clean!

First, I recently received a “Notable Mention” on the nature themed haiku I submitted to Vita Brevis. I am over the moon about this because Vita Brevis showcases some really beautiful poetry. And to know that they actually thought my haiku deserved a shout out…I’m seriously so proud and honored!

I told my parents about the Notable Mention and my mom wrote back this haiku for me:

<tears> My mom was so proud of me that she wrote a beautiful haiku despite her admission that she doesn’t even like haikus.

<still crying here> <heart overflowing>

Second, I’ve admitted – out loud – several times – to different people that…I want to be a “real” writer. And by “real”, I mean someone who spends time during the day (or night) to write something, anything with purpose, and then sends it out into the world in hopes that at least one other person (who isn’t their mom or other family member) finds their writing worthy. And by “worthy”, I mean, that after reading it, the other person can say, “I’m glad I spent the time to read that”.

Hopefully, that’s what you, my dear readers, say to yourselves after reading my posts. Am I right? Can I get a “like” in here?!

Since making this admission, I’ve joined a writing group at my local library. I met with this lovely group of writers tonight and was blown away at the amount of knowledge and insightful critique imparted. While I throughly enjoy the connections I’ve made on the blogosphere, meeting other writers in real life is a necessary experience for me. It’s just like needing to meet other mother runners in real life to run or needing to drink coffee around 2 PM or always needing to get fries with that.

Thirdly, I finished typing up a “back to work” resume. It seems that being a mother runner writer is not really making the big bucks (note to self, if you’re thinking about that career choice). So, I’m in the market to do something where my interpersonal and creative skills, coupled with my expensive…I mean, intensive schooling, can make a difference in some type of (paying) organization. This is definitely one piece of writing that I hope someone will find worthy enough.

Lastly, I’d like to brag about my awesome family who has supported me and continue to support me through this chapter in my life. I realized after I wrote this last post, that I really would not have been able to get those things done without my husband watching the kids while I ran or my mom (who was visiting) helping to clean up after the kids or even my kids who have started to consistently bring out their dishes (it only took all summer to get into that habit!). I am surrounded by some super wonderful, loving people and I just want all of you to know that!

Well, that’s it. I’m turning off the spotlight and putting away my jazz hands…at least, for now.

Taking advantage of Newton’s 1st Law

If you need a physics refresher, go here.

I’m on a roll this week…

I wrote three posts this weekend (two in one day – this one is my fourth!) and am working on one more post for this week. I’ve also crossed of half my weekly to do list AND my kitchen island has remained clutter free since Tuesday (that is a significant feat!). I’ve also started going through my kids’ clothes to sell at the Just Between Friends Consignment Event next month.

I’m pretty sure this spate of energy and motivation came from my sola 5 mile run this past weekend. There were several excuses that I could have used to not do this planned run:

-it was supposed to thunderstorm that morning

-my group run got cancelled because of this

-I overslept my planned start time by two hours

-by the time I got out, the humidity was so high because the storm hadn’t come yet, that I looked like it had rained on me (and only me) after a mile of running.

And yes, I am calling them by their rightful name, EXCUSES, and not reasons, because those items (individually or together) should not have been a factor in my decision to run or not.

Even though I did less mileage than I had originally planned, just the fact that I got out there was enough to make me realize a few things:

1. Even if I don’t really wanting to do something, if I have to do it, I should still do it (or at least make a good attempt to do it).

2. Even if I have excuses for not doing something, if I have to do it, I should still do it.

3. I need to stop thinking about the action/activity and just get it done.

4. The sense of accomplishment and bad-assery that comes after doing 1 and 2 (above) is immense and continues for numerous days after the deed is done.

I’m calling those Irma’s Laws for Getting Shit Done.

Now, I know, that what I’ve just written above is nothing new. I’m sure you type A personalities are thinking, “I’ve known that since I was 5!” Well, if you know me IRL, you know that I am not so much a type A or even a type B. If there was a type L (for people who want to get things done with the least amount of effort – you know, leisurely type people, not lazy!) or a type P (for people who procrastinate then run around crazy trying to do things last minute and still manage to pull it off even if it’s not their best work at least it’s done), that would probably be more like me.

I joke with my kids that I’m not a “Tiger Mom”; I’m more like a “Panda Mom” (FYI – I just googled that phase, totally thinking I was making it up but I didn’t! Panda moms are real!!) I am pretty relaxed about most things which works for me as a parent and partner (even as a therapist), but maybe not so much as a runner or a writer.

So, I’m going to keep rolling with this bit of insight and see how long it will last. I’ve discovered I love making little boxes next to my to do items and checking them off. Whether I love having a little more structure and discipline in my life is still up in the air….

Shhh, be vewy, vewy quiet…

…I’m hunting wabbits!! (If you don’t know where this is from – you’re still a baby in my book; if this brings back memories – get your dose of nostalgia here!)

Don’t worry! No rabbits were hurt in the writing of this post! But let me tell you about this fun run I did a few weekends ago and you’ll see the connection.

I went for a run with three fabulous mother runners, Cara, Emily and Olivia, from my MRTT group. They are faster runners than me and had to do more miles than I did on this group run.

We were on an out and back trail so the plan was that I would turn back at my half way point and they would turn back with me, then go back out again to finish their miles. (BTW, I LOVE this about my RBs at MRTT, they really try to not let members run alone. We’re all in it together – start to finish!)

So, I’m about to turn around at the halfway point of my run, when I had this idea. Maybe it was from reading about Harrier runs or maybe it was my way of making up for holding them back with my slow, interval running. I had never suggested this before but the ladies I was with seemed like a fun bunch who were willing to take the challenge.

My idea: they continue their run (it was about an additional half mile before they needed to turn around to get their miles). Then, they could catch up with me on their way back (they were faster and I was doing run/walk intervals) and we would continue the rest of the run together.

Now, these ladies are faster than me by a good 3-4 minutes – which doesn’t sound like a lot but every runner knows that each second multiplied over a run is a lot of time. I figured I had about a 9-10 minute head start on them. At this point, my competitive self appeared and decided that my secret goal was to try to beat them back to the start before they could catch up to me (insert diabolical laugh here). So as long as I kept my pace, I figured, I had a chance. Did I mention that running math was not my strong suite?

Anyways…I’m chugging along, enjoying the scenery and trying my best not to devolve into just walking (which is my tendency when I run sola). I’m checking over my shoulder every now and then and see no sign of these lovely ladies. Now, I have to admit, I’m feeling pretty proud of myself, thinking, “Ha! Intervals do make for a faster run (at least for me). I am pretty awesome for keeping ahead of these mother runners who I know can run faster than I can without breaking a sweat!” I mentally pat myself on the back and promise myself a mocha latte for the ride home.

I’m a little over a mile from the start and had just passed a male walker. I think to myself, “Gosh, I still don’t see them – I might actually really beat them to the start! I can probably walk and still beat them.” I mentally give myself a high five and include whipped cream to that reward latte.

So now, I’m just walking and looking over my shoulder (lone male walkers/runners keep me on high alert). I go around a bend and after a bit, look behind and lo and behold…I see these awesome women totally catching up to me! Ack!!!! Panic!! I start to run like they are chasing me because clearly they are!! Be vewy, vewy quiet…but I can’t, because my breathing is like a 1-900 Operator (do you young’uns even know what that is?). And of course, I still have to take walk breaks every now and then (because my heart is going to explode). When I do, I look over my shoulder and see them getting closer.

At this point, I’m in full blown “OMG! They’re going to catch me” mode because my competitive self has come out and is screaming, “Go! Go! Go! Don’t let them win!!” I’m about fifty yards from the start and I am totally sprinting like those people on the shirt with the dinosaur chasing them because these mother runners are totally on my tail.

I see the finish line about 20 or so feet ahead! I think, “I can make it! Run Irma Run!!!” Then WHOOSH!! Cara totally smokes me and breezes by to the finish line!!

OMG!! These mother runners are TOTALLY DA BOMB!! Emily and Olivia were only seconds behind. Even my competitive self had to give these ladies props and sweaty high-fives. After getting some water and chatting, these freaking awesome mother runners turned around and finished the rest of their miles. That’s right – they totally did what amounted to a speed workout for about 3 miles then went on to finish up the rest of their 8 mile run. Drop mike.

THIS is what mother runners are made of…

So proud to have run with these kick-ass mother runners! Thank you for indulging my crazy idea and for one heck of a workout!! We’re calling this the “Elmer Fudd Run Challenge”!

That’s all folks!!

(Seriously, if you didn’t get that last line, how old are you?? I can probably be your mother…)

Group Run Love

I’ve written before about my wonderful running group, Moms RUN this Town – but I’m doing a special shout out to my local MRTT Chapter. These women get me out and push me to run stronger every time. And since most of them are moms – they don’t put up with complaining or whining or any other BS.

Case in point, yesterday I was supposed to go out for a run, however:

Excuse #1: forecast called for rain. The sky was cloudy and it had been raining on and off all morning. But my running buddy (RB), Michele, sent me texts showing where we were running was rain free for a couple of hours.

Excuse #2: my kids started to whine about the possibility of rain, that they were hungry, that they wanted to bring a different helmet, that they wanted their bike and not the scooter, that they were worried about slipping if the ground was wet…you get the picture, right? But my RB said to just come up, if it rains, we’ll have lunch instead!

Excuse #3: on the way to the run, I needed to stop for a kid potty break, which would make us 15 min late for our meet up. But my RB said, no worries, I’ll wait for you!

(Sigh) All my attempts for getting out of the run were thwarted!

And I am so glad!!

We had a great run with minimal whining (adults and kids) and no rain. We even did hill repeats to break up our usual routine.

If I was running by myself…well, let’s just say this post would NOT have been about running!

So here’s to all the beautiful women who make up MRTT! LOVE my BAMR RBs!!

❤️❤️❤️❤️

Happy Global Running Day!

I did it and everyone survived! Well, almost – my 8 year old did end up falling off her scooter and scrapping her knee and I ended up pushing her 50 lb self (plus the 35 lb 3 year old) up the hill for almost a mile) – but we ended up with 3 miles altogether and I couldn’t be happier!

Several things prevented this run from being a total “crying my eyes out from sheer frustration” disaster.

First, I ran with two awesome women from my MRTT running group who kept me sane and prevented me from turning back. They even offered to push the double stroller! They had bandaids and kind words and ran ahead with my other kids.

Second, my trusty BOB double stroller. I got this stroller 2nd hand for $250 and it’s the best investment I’ve made as a mother runner.

Third, is YOU – because I said I would run today and I know YOU will be wondering and holding me accountable. (You know who YOU are!).

So there it is!! A run and a blog post, oh -and a shower!! Happy Global Running Day!

(Yes, only 3 of those feet belong to grown ups!)