Friday, September 27, 2013

One of those weeks

I think the picture says it all. These were my checkouts at library this morning.

Being a parent, a mom, is hard for me. Don't know if I'm just not meant for the role or what. My oldest has challenged me from day 1. He didn't like to sleep as an infant. It made me not shed a tear when maternity leave was over. I needed to go back to work for some respite. While other friends of mine who had kids around same time period were talking about "can't wait tell the next one"- I was thinking nowhere near their thoughts on motherhood- thought this was a sign that I was not a good mom.

The challenges have continued. We are too much a like in so many ways- both emotional, overly sensitive, inpatient and easily frustrated. It is hard to see your least favorite traits in a mirror image- your child.

I'm not saying I am the worse mom ever or that I don't love my oldest child. I'm just wondering why it is hard for me and don't like that I feel like I'm failing him in some big ways through my inadequate parenting.

So I will read these books and let you know if I gleam any "aha" moments. I'm thinking not, but worth a try. I'm also realizing I just need to let some things go, give myself and him a break and move on. Moving on doesn't mean allowing "bad listening, pouting/whining, and emotional break downs" ( from both sides) to be acceptable but handling each day as it comes and trying to focus on the positives:not the negatives. This is going to be tough, because I'm not a forgiving person (one of my worst traits). I will let things bother me and bother me.

I can't be like this for the rest of my patenting life. I don't want to wish away my kid's years just because I'm not willing to or wanting to deal with their naughtiness or ill prepared or just incapable of parenting. I also want my kids to not grow up remembering all the negatives ( arguments, yelling, disappointed looks) but instead my finest parenting moments ( hugs , cuddles, talks, books read together, and those fun childhood memories that even at 36 years of age I still remember and warm my heart).

As I share my running escapades with whomever cares to read so do I share my parenting escapades- not for reassurance or judgement, just to admit it is tough- for some of us more than others. It doesn't make us bad parents it just makes it more challenging. I also realize I could have it much worse- single parent, special needs child (physical or mental), or economically challenged. So please don't read and think "whiny women" :).

So onward into the weekend. Looking forward to some reading (obviously) and creating some positive memories for my kids and me.

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Sunday, September 15, 2013

Finish Strong

Meant to write about this on Thursday after my long run for the week but alas it is now Sunday- better late than never.

Despite having trained for a handful of marathons, 1/2's and sprint tris I still seem to get mentally fatigued at the height of my training. No matter whether I'm training for short or long distances. I get grumpy and just "blah". Sometimes I wonder if this is a sign I'm not a "real" runner. If I was a "real" runner my mileage would be 30 miles a week not 18-22:)- these days. Running a 9 miler would be nothing. But I think it is just me, I am a runner, but maybe never, ever an elite or ultra runner.

So when my daughter got sent home with high fever from school Wed I started worrying about how I was going to get my 9 miles in on Thursday. I had planned on running after hubby got home from his run at 7 am. I'd run when kids were at school. I knew what the fever meant -no school for daughter- and at kindergarten age I didn't think it would be smart of me to leave her for 90 min + run lying at home watching Disney Jr. So we improvised. Hubby ran Wednesday night and I was out the door by 5:30. I haven't run that early for awhile- I'm getting spoiled having both kids in school and being able to run in the morning but not "crack of dawn/so dark out I'm wearing a head lamp" morning.

I was not looking forward to it. I got up marched down stairs and found this sign on our fridge. Amazing how 2 words can change your attitude. Wasn't sure if hubby put it on the fridge for me, him or both of us. (He later said "whoever" when I asked him who he put it up for). I felt like my whole run an mental outlook really changed. I thought about these two words and how important the hardest part of any training schedule really is. The training is truly the hardest part of the race, not the actual miles run on race day.

So Finish Strong is my new mantra for now- maybe it will work for you in whatever goal, race or just life you are trying to live and experience. Put a sign like this on your fridge and see if it has same effect on your outlook as it did mine.

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Saturday, September 7, 2013

Realistic Running

Lying on my sister's couch having a lazy afternoon of family hanging out while waiting for the "big game" to come on.

Read this great article and had to share this quote from an article titled "In Her Shoes: Why do women run? Because they're human,of course". Peter Segal,author, ran with two great runners- women- and thought he was going to have some great epiphany on women running "ideas" he could share with his own daughters.

What he found was," Everybody runs-or doesn't- for their own reasons... There are no perfect runners, and although you can improve, sometimes greatly, you can never train yourself out of your own body and mind". So true, so true! Be true to whom you are and what you can be. Not to say you should be lazy, but you are who you are. We are runners in our own way.

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Friday, September 6, 2013

Little Free Library- no longer a dream

So this week the LFL I have been working on getting built, painted, filled and put in community space has happened.

This all started last November when I attended a meeting about the LFL movement- check back at posts if want that story. I left that meeting filled with ideas and places I thought the LFL could happen. I wanted it to be a community place- where those in need and the masses would have access to it.

After some letter writing and selling my idea I found a "taker" in the local community food bank. Then came my problem of finding someone to either help me build (my shop class from 6th grade probably wasn't going to be enough).

Well I found the "woodsman" in my soon to be next door neighbor. He had approached us about a tree on our lot that would need to come down for our house construction. I told him yes and then asked "can you build a LFL if we give you the tree?" He said sure. I gave him mock up blueprints from the LFL website and he went with it.

Then I got lucky again when this great neighbor said " my brother-in law is an artist he's working on painting it now".

I was further surprised to find out that he used wood from our tree that we gave him to make this LFL. As you can see it is perfect.

We made it moveable so that it can be moved around in the food bank and we didn't have to weatherize it which made it great too.

I filled the library this morning and was so proud to see it filled. The volunteers were just so excited to have it in their space. Next step is to get my LFL registered so it is part of the registry and noted on the map. These are popping up everywhere- even internationally. With registration we get a plaque to be placed on the LFL with a basic saying of Read and Learn- take a book and return a book.

I will post when it officially gets registered. Super Friday! Enjoy the weekend.

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Thursday, September 5, 2013

August Running

I kind of feel like a "broken record" these days in regard to running.  I'm running fine, no injuries (knock on wood), no high stress long runs due to not training for Chicago, and pretty perfect running weather (minus last week's "heat wave")- so why am I running so darn slow?  Earlier in the year when I was following the Another Mother Runner 1/2 marathon training plan I was running some pretty fast miles/short distances- these days I am running at 10 min mile to 10:30 min mile. 

Am I not pushing myself?  Do I need the break and my body is just feeling more relaxed and at easier pace at current min mile speed? Am I getting old? Am I lazy?  Yep asked myself these things just last week when I wrote about my horrific treadmill run at home (aka single mom week so forced to run "the mill"). 

So instead of over analyzing it and feeling bad and defeated about it I've shared the above thoughts and am moving on.  Moving onto finishing training for my third 1/2 of the year.  Moving onto still loving running as much as ever.  Moving onto being me and maybe 10 min mile is who I am right now. 

So here is the recap of my August runs...
Total mileage running- 63 for a total of 540 miles in 2013.  Only four months left and won't be making the 1,000 mile goal this year as I can't do or better sad have no desire to run 115 miles/month for the next four months. 

I ran 2 7 miles, one 8 miler and the rest were 3-5 miles with at least one or two days of cross training (bike or swim) per week.  My fastest time was my tri time of 2.1 miles at 18 min, however, of late my times have been SLOW- Tuesday morning 3 miles in 32:09 (10:53 min mile).  O.k, O.k., O.k, I'm getting over it and moving on.

Next step finishing up the 1/2 marathon training schedule for my October 20th 1/2.  Then a week off running and then I want to get back at it with goal of running 4 days/week with at least one semi long run 7-8 miles/week.  We will see how this pans out, but I always feel like after I write it down it is more likely to happen.  Onward to September- Happy Fall Running!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

August Reads

An Irish Country Village
An Irish Country Village by Patrick Taylor
I read this book, because my mom has read almost or all of the books by this author in the series.  It was a "fun" read, but not a ton of excitement for me and I just wasn't as in to it as my mom was.  I don't think I will be reading the rest of the books in the series. 
      Small Miracles: Extraordinary Coincidences from Everyday Life
Small Miracles: Extraordinary Coincidences from Everyday Life by Judith Leventhal and Yitta Halberstam
This was one of those books that you read and some of the stories you just can't believe, but you pretty much know that the authors wouldn't lie, or you'd like to think they wouldn't lie.  It is one of those books that reminds you of the everyday things that can happen that are truly amazing.  Long lost friends finding each other after the war at a supermarket, sisters finding each other after being separated at birth, etc, etc.  It was an easy ready and short stories so easy to pick up and put down when needed.
      Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake
Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake by Anna Quindlen
I LOVED THIS BOOK!  I listened to it on audio and LOVED it so much I plan to purchase it the next time I find it at the Half-Price book store or find it at Goodwill :).  It was a great audiobook and made my long runs more enjoyable.  I loved the honesty with which Anna Quindlen wrote this book.  I'm wondering though my favorite question after I read a memoir- what does memoir mean- what part of the book isn't biographical or autobiographical in this case?  Read this book- I think anyone can get something out of it or relate to it.   
      The End of Your Life Book Club
The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe
I listened to this book on audio during the trip to Virginia and then ended up finishing at the beginning of August.  It was O.K.  It was pretty intellectual- a lot of politics/international refugee/war/cancer- a real feel good book.  O.k. I'm being a little snarky.  I had read some of the books this son/mother team read and enjoyed hearing them talk about those books, but unlike other books that review past reads/personal reads I wasn't frantically writing down books to add to my "to read" list.  Maybe I would have liked this book better if I had read it.
The Age of Miracles
The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
This was our book club book and I really enjoyed it.  It is dystopian, but very real life writing.  I loved her writing style and could say I thought she was an extremely "smart writer". I'm amazed when people can write so clearly about the end of the world or that genre, because it is as if they have a crystal ball and can see what is going to happen before it happens therefore allowing them to write so realistically.  I enjoyed this one and recommend it!
A good month of reading.  Looking forward to some good reading in September.