Friday, February 27, 2009

My Hour

I would love to take this opportunity to pour my heart out to you. However, I am afraid that the wrong people may read what I have to write here. The chances are slim and part of me is all like, who cares! but the other part of me wants to keep my cards close to the vest. 

This week has been very very difficult for me.  It was my first week back at work for full days. By Wednesday night I had had it. I came home.  Tore my shoes off and ran to the middle of the living room and showered peanut with kisses as he grabbed my hair and ate fistfuls of it. He was grunty and slobbery and I was sobbing.  

Here is a synopsis of each day.  Mrp strokes my hand to wake me up at 6:45. Since peanut is sleeping with me, I gingerly try to escape the bed without rousing him.  Usually I fail and he opens his eyes and smiles a big grin at me and we play in bed for 5 minutes or so as we both try to fully wake up. I take him into the bathroom and he lounges on his boppy while I shower and do the ol' hair and makeup.  Then I dress my lower half and take peanut into the living room to change his diaper (and boy does he need it since I almost never change it in the middle of the night anymore! ew!) Then I set him down on his play mat for some fun while I get his milk and my gym bag together.  Then I pick him up to nurse for a little snack to buy as much time before he needs a bottle as possible and for a little last minute cuddling. Then I dress my top half and pack up the nut with his mallory the monkey and we're off to the sitter's around 8:00.  

By the time we get there, he's passed out so I drop him off with little to no fanfare (partly to keep him asleep and partly to avoid a full on crying meltdown on my part) and then I zip off to work. I get to work grab some coffee and hunker down for a long day of suppressing my emotions.  I have  a wonderful hour respite from this when I meet my friends for a lunchtime run, before I'm back for the last 3 hours of stoicism. At 4:30 I start anxiously awaiting mrp's phone call reporting peanut's status.  And at 5:00 on the dot I run out the door to the parking lot, jump in my car and drive like a maniac to get home ASAP because time is ticking. 

I arrive home around 5:40 and jump on peanut and play and laugh and squeeze every last drop out of his last waking minutes of the day.  Around 6:00 we head upstairs for a bath. When peanut hits the water he squints his eyes and because these days he is so tired from his nap strike (he pretty much refuses to nap at the sitter's house) he has a very difficult time reopening them. But he loves kicking and splashing in the bath so he valiantly manages some half-hearted splashes as I hurriedly wash him up. Then when we're back downstairs he gives up the fight and starts crying as I dress him and by 6:15 we're in the rocker as he nurses himself to sleep for the night. 

If you add up the time peanut and I spend together each day I work a full day, it's about an hour.  Yeah. 

How do other people do this and do this for years? I couldn't do it for 5 days in a row. I got what I needed to get done this week and took today off to spend with my baby.  I have never seen peanut as happy as he was this morning! And if I didn't have another week of this looming over my head, I dare say I would be just about that happy too!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Momdar


So, this working mother thing is tough.  Since I've gone back to work peanut has developed momdar and wakes up and cries when I leave the room at night.  We are lucky to get him to sleep for an hour at night alone before his momdar goes off and he refuses to go back to sleep unless I come to bed too.  The result of this is that I run around like a maniac at night trying to get everything I want to get done done before he wakes up again.  Sometimes mrp has to rock a fussing peanut while I brush my teeth and get my clothes ready for the next day.  Last night I made him rock peanut while I stretched because I hadn't gotten to it in two days! I know it's an adjustment (hopefully a temporary one--a topic for another day).  It just makes me feel bad for peanut that he needs to be so clingy and bad for me that I pretty much have no me time or mrp and me time at night anymore.  The upside is it forces me to get to bed early so I feel almost well rested!  

At least I have been finding time to run.  I think if I couldn't I would be in really bad shape right now mentally.  Running right now is time to clear my head and forget all my worries and now that I'm back to work time to socialize and have a little fun with my friends.  And speaking of running, it is continuing to come along.  I ran every single run but one last week faster than 9:00 pace pretty effortlessly.  I ran the one run intentionally slow and it made my legs feel really nice.  It was great to hook back up with my downtown running buddies and I am so pleased I can keep up with them now! I think once I lose this last 10-15 lbs that I will be in pretty decent shape.  I can't wait!! This week I am throwing in some strides into a couple of runs to get the legs and the brain reacquainted with the fast twitch muscles and then next week I will do one fartlek and probably a short tempo. Should be fun!

Here are the numbers for last week!

Mon: 7.5 downtown with DD (8:25 pace)

Tue: 7.25 downtown with E (8:44 pace)

Wed: 7 downtown with E (8:47 pace) (my calf hurt on this run so we took it a bit easier on the last few miles)

Thu: 5.5 downtown with DD, E and JC (~9:20's)

Fri: Off (took peanut to get his 3 month picture taken and the little bugger refused to smile pretty much the entire time!)

Sat: 8.58 on the mill (8:40 pace) (I thought about just doing my long run, but around 8.5 I got stitchy and light-headed, probably because I ate peanut butter for dinner the night before and the fact that I was sweating buckets inside so I was probably a little dehydrated)

Sun: 10.17 on the mill (8:30 pace) (Mrp had to work from home so I didn't want to leave him stuck tending to peanut and his job so I ran in the basement while peanut napped. I was hoping for 10, and got it in easily. Felt great! Played with the speed every 200 meters just to keep myself entertained. Watched an episode of Big Love for the first 6 and the listened to tunes for the last 4+)

Total:  46
Weight: 141 (just 9 lbs to pre-pregnancy and 14 to race weight!)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

It Just Happened


Yesterday, after my grueling half-day of sitting in front of a computer and researching gross receipts taxes and biting my lip trying not to worry about peanut, I met DD outside my office for a spin around downtown.  Lately I have been running a hair under 9:00 pace fairly consistently, but I did not time my 8 miler on Saturday or my 10 miler on Sunday. Instead I opted for nice relaxing no watch runs in which I focused more on my thoughts and goals and hopes for the future than whether I was going to run my routes faster than last time.  I have always been somewhat ocd about my easy runs, insisting that they be at an easy effort even if I could push them faster and look a lot cooler in my log.  Mrp always took advantage of this when he'd go out for a run with me and he'd always leave me in the dust unless he was coming along with me on a tempo or faster workout.  Could I keep up with him? Sure.  Did I feel like it? No. I'm not sure why I am like this.  In other areas of my life and even in my running life past I was eager to prove my talent or skill at every opportunity.  I am a bit of a show-off, I suppose.  But I guess somewhere along the way running became my laboratory for exploring a more disciplined and relaxed way of living. Of course, my experiments haven't always worked and I've been a show-off idiot or a ball of stress on a run here or there, but compared to other areas of my life, with running I am pretty restrained.  

 It's been a long time since I've run downtown in the winter.  I had my old route (I blogged about this route last winter--remember the Hustler Club?! Oh, how I miss thee!) , but that has since become a victim to redevelopment and much of the old road has been bull-dozed. The summer routes aren't ideal because they run along the lakeshore, which this time of year is a windy disaster of a route.  So, I followed DD with no idea where we were going to go.  We ran through the heart of downtown before descending down through the construction and along part of the old route, up into a thriving neighborhood, back down along desolate stretches of barely used access roads, back up into another neighborhood alive with gentrification, before heading across a bridge where I let out an eek and jumped behind DD as a dog came running towards us just seconds after I commented to DD how fearless she was and how wussy I was! Then we went back down along the river banks before ascending back into our familiar world of Starbucks drinkers, double-parkers and lunching co-workers.  When all was said and done DD's Garmin said we ran 7 miles at 8:25 pace together! And it was moderately hilly and I talked the whole time and never once felt tired or like I was ready to be done! I could have run all day at that pace!  I am still 15 lbs above race weight and my easy pace is almost where it was before I got pregnant! I am starting to think, maybe just maybe I can run a pr in the half in 15 weeks! I think that depends on those 15 lbs. We shall see! But the point is that my easy effort pace has been improving exponentially without really trying to make it happen.  Hopefully, the same will happen with the weight loss!

So after the fantastic run, I boogied to my car and headed back east to rescue my sweet little buddy from the clutches of the evil babysitter. (Of course she's sweet, but she's not she's not me so I feel both guilty that he has to be there and not with me and jealous that she gets to spend time with him and I don't).  I did not call once the entire day.  At 2:00 I arrived and there he was on a blanket on the floor flapping his arms and kicking his legs and smiling and laughing and having a great old time!  He drank all the milk I sent with him and he even took one 2 hour nap with no issues whatsoever! He did great and seemed very happy.  Even in the car, which he usually hates and often screams and cries in, he was content (I think it had something to do with his Mallory the Monkey because by the time we got home she was covered in slobber!) He wasn't even super clingy later in the day.  Since he hadn't taken his second nap he was pooped so he nursed for all of 2 minutes before conking out for 2 hours at home.  So, it went very well.  Does that mean this is an ideal situation? No.  Is this something I can live with in the very short term until mrp and I figure out an exit strategy? Yes.  More to come about that later!

Anyway, here are last week's numbers for the record books.

Monday: off
Tuesday: 8 rolling miles from mrp's parents' house while mrp visited with his parents and peanut (8:54) (the road I ran was so wonderfully rolling that I hope to do tempos on it this summer!)
Wednesday: 5 miles on the mill while peanut happily played on his play mat (8:35)
Thursday: 6 on the mill after work while my mom watched peanut (8:48)
Friday: 4 on the treadmill after work while peanut played on his play mat (8:42)  (I wanted a mile or 2 more but I felt so guilty not lavishing attention on peanut after working half of the day even for the short 34 minutes!)
Saturday: 8 hilly miles while peanut napped under mrp's watch (no watch)
Sunday: 10 hilly miles while peanut napped under mrp's watch (no watch) (Since his naps have become very regular and predictable I can sneak out right after he goes down and we don't have to waste any pumped milk on the weekends--having enough for the week and maintaining an emergency stash are one of the hardest things about going back to work!)

Total: 41 miles
Weight: 143 (2 more lbs!)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Very Much


I dropped off peanut with his babysitter for the first time today.  I didn't cry.  I took care of that last night.  Now I am doing everything in my power to resist the temptation to check in with him. I'll be seeing him at 2:00 and if anything is not going right in the meantime, the sitter would call. She's been doing this for over 20 years.  Of course, it's not helping things that I have the little song I sing to him when he nurses stuck in my head:

Who's a baby? Who's a baby?
You're a baby. You're a baby.  
Who's my baby? Who's my baby?
You're my baby. You're my baby.  
And who loves you? And who loves you?
And I love you. And I love you.
Very much. Very much.

In happier news, today I am running with my buddy DD for the first time in a long time and for the first time faster than 10:00 pace in a loooooong loooooong time.  Can't wait!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Off to the Races!

Last I left you, I mentioned a race schedule.  Since my last few runs have been easily under 9:00 pace I finally believe I can get in shape enough to enjoy racing this spring.  Of course, that doesn't mean I have to run pr's or anything, but rather that I will be in shape enough to run relatively fast and not feel like I'm spinning wheels in knee-deep mud! 

So, what I was thinking was that starting March 2, I will begin structured training for a half-marathon at the end of May.  That would give 13 weeks. I haven't decided how structured I am going to be in terms of training.  For March I just plan to do one fartlek run with short intervals and either a longer tempo fartlek or more likely throw in 2-4 tempo miles into the latter half of my long runs.  While I'm working I will more or less be confined to my lunch time to get my runs in, so I will probably do a longish run on Saturdays and my long long run on Sundays.  My first week will look something like this:

M: easy 4 
T: easy 6
W: 1 hour fartlek with 4 x 1:00, 1:00, 2:00 with half rest. 
Th: easy 6
F: easy 6 including 5 x 30 second strides
Sa: 8 easy
Su: 90 minute run with 15 minutes of up tempo between minutes 60 and 75.

This will give me 48 miles for the week.  I won't increase much over the month.  Maybe go to 55 miles per week by the end.  Then I will test my fitness on March 29th with a local 5k.  From this I will decide how to proceed.  

I anticipate I will follow the program I followed for the first half of my last marathon training cycle and I'll keep my mileage between 55 and 60.  A typical week will be as follows:

M: easy 4
T: run #1 5 x 1000 ~ 10k pace + 4 x 200; run #2 easy 4
W: easy 6
Th: easy 6
F: 4 mile tempo ~ HM pace.
Sa: easy 8
Su: 14 with 2-4 mile push at the end + strides. 

In April I plan to run a 10 miler which will tell me where I am for longer distances and I may tweak my training accordingly.  Most likely this will cause me to adjust my training paces and nothing else.

Then May will be my big month.  I plan a 5k the first weekend, a 10k two weeks after that and then my half-marathon 2 weeks after that.  I don't expect miracles, but I think I'll have a good shot to be fairly close to my pr's at least.  

If all goes well, I'll start training for the Akron Marathon in June!

PS I don't even want to mention what I have to do tomorrow. Ugh. 

Thursday, February 05, 2009

This is It

This is it. It's the dreaded go back to work week. I am doing everything in my power to remain open-minded, but I am not going to re-brainwash myself either. I am going to seriously consider what it is that is best for my family and myself. I am also going to start stashing a lot more of that paycheck for the just in cases!

It helps me get out the door knowing I am only going in for half days for the first week and a half. I start back on Thursday of this week and my mother is going to watch peanut over here. I'll be gone from about 8:00 until 1:00. If things go as I predict they will, peanut will nap from 8:30 to 10:30, take a bottle and then go back down around noon for his second nap and wake up around 2:00. I will probably come straight home from work these days and if he's still sleeping, sneak out for a run and if not feed him first.

Next week is the scary week--when peanut starts going to the baby sitter's house. Monday I will get over there as early as I possibly can and take him right home. As the week progresses, I'd like to try staying out later, but that first day I will be speeding down the highway back to get him as early as I can forgetting about frivolous things like running!

Yeah, it's going to be so much harder on me than on peanut!

I am going to miss him so much. He is just killing me with cuteness lately! He giggles at my funny faces and talks to the ceiling fan and wakes up farting and laughing every morning. It is just so so so so precious! He giggles and splashes in the bath tub and loves dancing along to his nursery rhyme cd. He has also discovered his play mat. We have one that is ocean themed and he LOVES it! He was hugging the stuffed whale and talking to it yesterday. It was so amazing to see him all of a sudden go from completely ignoring all toys to making one his best buddy.

The one thing he has not done is roll over again. I think it was a fluke--he has just the right position and just the right momentum that one day to do it, but hasn't actually figured it out yet. The capability is there though, so we are on alert that at any moment he can go flying off of anything we put him on! Oh, and for a few days he was sleeping 4-6 hours at a time for the first stretch of sleep, but that has stopped and we're back to 2 hour (or less) stretches until I can't take it and take him in bed with me. The last couple of nights he's slept with me from when I went to bed until I woke up. It used to be that he'd wake up at night in his co-sleeper and I'd take him into bed to nurse and then he'd quickly fall back asleep and if I was still awake I'd put him back with no problem. But this just hasn't been happening. I put him in the co-sleeper and even if he is stone cold out at the time he'll wake up in a few minutes and start flailing all over the place and grunting. I'll leave him for a while to see if he'll go back to sleep on his own, but invariably he starts to cry after a few minutes and will only fall back asleep with me. Maybe I'm projecting my feelings related to the impending abandonment and making him clingy?

Anyway, to deal with my stress I've been running, naturally. I have even been contemplating training for something. That will be for a future post. Here are last week's numbers. Definite progress!

M: 5 on the treadmill with rolling incline adjustments (9:28 because first half involved singing and dancing)

T: 5 on the treadmill with rolling incline adjustments (9:15 pace--same deal with first half but felt better second half, I guess).

W: off

Th: 6 on the treadmill with rolling incline adjustments (9:03 pace--same singing and dancing for the first half. I ran 9:31 pace for the first three miles and really picked it up for the second! 8:50-30 pace felt pretty easy even with the inclines. Good sign!)

F: 8 outside while m-i-l watched peanut. Ran from my house to the park and back. Sunny and mid-30's. Felt great! (8:52 pace--first 4 were in 36:40, but there is a lot more up on the way out and down on the way back).

Sa: 8 outside while mrp watched peanut. High 40's and sunny! Ran from home (in shorts!) the opposite direction through the big hills! I am felt very strong on the hills and didn't feel like I slowed down too much. Never been a strength runner so this is good for me! (8:53 pace).

Su: 10 outside while mrp watched peanut. Back into the 30's and the sun mostly hid, but did come out a couple of times which was much appreciated! (8:54 pace. I thought I was going much slower--especially for the first 6 which has TONS of uphills, so I was pleasantly surprised although my legs definitely felt the week of hills!)

Total: 42
Weight: Still clinging to 145.


Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Dreamland

For just $4.50 plus s&h I ordered my second copy of the book, Guerilla Tactics for Getting the Legal Job of Your Dreams. The first copy is somewhere buried in a box in the attic of my mother's garage and the walking path to said attic is buried under feet of snow. But, I need that book. Oh, do I need that book!

There is something about me that I put up with something and try making the best of it until one day I realize that no matter how hard I work at it I cannot make it into what I want it to be all by myself. Scandal alert! I was married for the latter half of my 20's to someone I was thoroughly incompatible with. Looking back, it made no sense to anyone who knew me why I was married to this person. Yet, I stayed married to him for 5 years. I ultimately decided enough was enough one day. I had been working tirelessly to make things better for years. I never gave up. I focused on the positive and down-played the negatives. And one day after spending a lot of my free time by myself I realize that no matter how hard I worked at this relationship it would never ever be a good one. I couldn't single-handedly force it into what I needed and so with no fan-fare whatsoever I said good bye. Of course there is much more to the story than that and I have always taken marriage very seriously, but I assure you this was the most obvious right thing to do and up until that point it was obvious to everyone but me.

Now here I sit at my kitchen table as my son swings back and forth next to me in his little private dreamland. (Aw! He is talking in his sleep!) Over the last almost 11 weeks I have come to realize the same thing about my job. Everyone who really knows me must have been wondering what the hell I was doing working as a corporate drone. I know I was attracted to the stability and predictability--the safety of the job. But now that I have had time to think about it, I am so bored and feel so uninspired there. I feel so far away from the best career-person I can be and the thought of ditching peanut all day for this job really rubs me the wrong way. Throw in the fact that they refused to allow me to move my schedule up one measly hour earlier and yeah, I'm over it.

And just like getting divorced and embarking on newly single life is scary, so is quitting a job. Of course, it will be much easier if I have a rebound at the ready. So that is where I am now, wondering whether there really is something better out there. In the universe of husbands my risk so so so paid off and I really did find my perfect match. Oh sweet beautiful mrp, did I! But, now I am in career purgatory. Heading back home to a job I do not love and hoping and wishing and crossing fingers for one that I do.

And this is the stuff I think about on my treadmill in my basement. That and when the heck am I going to fit back into my clothes?!

Monday, February 02, 2009

Vitamin D

I'm watching the Bachelor. I have a secret love for schlock. I love how all these women are so stereo-typical. What is notable about this is that my program has been uninterrupted by a crying baby. Peanut has been sleeping since 7:45 or so. That's great compared to the last few days. He must be going through a growth spurt because he has been eating constantly and he nurses for 1/2 an hour on each side and then proceeds to wake up every 15 minutes after that for two hours to snack. Today was a lot more normal. He didn't eat as much and he went down to bed much easier. He ate for 1/2 an hour on just one side then woke up and ate on the other for just a couple of minutes. Then he woke up 15 minutes later and just needed to be soothed and has been asleep ever since. Yeah!

Today I took the nut out for a little walk. Yesterday and today were very mild for this time of year (~40 degrees) and sunny so I didn't want to pass up the opportunity to get outside today. He wasn't so keen on the trip--he made his I'm-not-sure-what-I-think-of-this-but-I-think-I-might-hate-it-and-start-crying-any-second-now-face until he finally started to cry. I made sure he got a little vitamin D and some fresh air and then I let him off the hook and took him back home to cuddle.

Yesterday, though, I got out on my own--well with GP, but no peanut. We did another great 10 miler on a beautiful sunny morning. We kept the pace nice and easy and I felt great the whole time, even better than last week. Last week I slowed down my running on the treadmill and by the time Friday came around and I could get outside I felt very fresh and my outdoor miles were faster yet felt easier than the prior weeks. Here are the numbers:

M: 4 on the mill 9:30's
T: 6 on the mill 9:30's
W: 4 on the mill 9:30's
Th: off
F: 8 hilly miles outside while m-i-l watched peanut (9:01)
Sa: another 8 hilly miles outside while mrp hung out with peanut (9:09)
Su: 10 hilly miles with GP (9:18)

Total: 40 miles!

In other news I'm down to 145 lbs. That means 18 more to go to my goal and 13 to pre-pregnancy weight. I still can't fit into anything though! UGH. My middle is all mushy and muffin-tops over everything. I never really had that problem. It stinks. But, but! I am hopeful that I will get back in shape. Before I had peanut I told everyone I wasn't going to weigh myself until my birthday. 3 days after my birthday peanut will be 6 months old. If I just relax, I should be pretty close to normal by then. I hope!