Monday, April 27, 2009

The Mental Piece

On Saturday I woke up bright and early and so did peanut, but he did so happily.  It was nice to have his company while I sipped my coffee, ate my cereal and later put on my race outfit. Unfortunately mrp had to work and my mom's MS walk was later in the morning so mrp and peanut stayed home while I went to the race.  It would have been nice to have my fan club there, but seeing my good friends was a close second best. I found an out of the way parking space and headed out for a warm-up to find CV to warm-up more together. We hooked up, weathered the annoyingly long bathroom line and ran into another RP from work. The three of us did about 10 minutes together and then I continued on so I had about 2.5 miles warm-up total.  Then CV and I lined up and moments later we were off.  

We started off what felt easy, but CV said the Garmin said it was 6:26 so we backed it off. Like I said last week, I figured my fitness at best would allow a little under 1:10.  However, Saturday morning was HOT.  When the race started it was in the high 70's and by the end it was well into the 80's. Plus it was sunny and windy too boot. Not ideal conditions. Definitely not a good idea to go out too fast. We backed it off and our first mile was a little under 7:00. There were a lot of women who passed us in the first couple of miles, but by the 3rd mile many of them fell back. CV and I stuck together until about mile 4.  We were right on 1:10 pace, but I knew we had a little further into the head wind and I was nervous about pushing the pace too early in the heat.  Plus, I was excited for her to do well and I thought maybe I had been holding her back anyway.  So, I let her slip away.  Soon I couldn't even see her! A little after 4 miles we made the turn around.  I saw lots of friends running in the opposite direction and a nice guy ran with me for about a mile and chatted with me which were nice diversions from my slight dip in morale. At the half-way point I was just a hair over 35 minutes. But that was ok. That was my plan.  I planned to pick it up a little bit at the half.  

The cool thing was that shortly before the half I saw two of my teammates who told me I was 9th.  By mile 5 I could see a couple of women ahead of me.  They were pretty far up there, but I had 5 miles to catch up.  I focused on them.  By about 6.5 I caught the first one.  Then a mile later I caught the next one.  After her I could see CV and another woman in pink up ahead.  My mile 7 split was almost 50 minutes, even though I was passing pretty much everyone in sight. I gave up any real concrete time goal and instead focused on place.  Around mile 8.5 I caught CV andpink girl wasn't too far off. I asked CV to come with me to catch her, but she was stitchy from the heat so she told me to go on alone.  It was so hot, but I could taste 5th place and the finish.  I pushed on a little harder aiming for the pink girl.  We hit mile 9 and I don't even remember the split.  I then had to run down a twisty bike path and then under a merciful bridge (shade!) and once out I got smacked by the worst lakefront wind known to mankind. I pushed on and caught pink girl. I was worried she'd challenge me so I made sure to look strong when I went by and I even said some encouraging words. My fear of her coming back on me pushed me through that wind. I still couldn't see the finish. It seemed like the longest mile ever.  Finally we made a turn out of the wind and I could see the end.  I pushed through the blazing sun and finally, finally crossed the finish line in 5th.  

I was so hot and so thirsty.  But DD and JC were at the finish. Yeah! And then just 20 seconds after I finished, CV came through (she eventually passed pink girl too!)  I was so happy for her--a 4 minute pr on such a nasty day! It's an official 10 mile pr for me, but not the fastest 10 miles I've run. I am positive both CV and I would have easily come under 1:10 on a nicer day.  I felt very strong on the back half of the course, even though I ran it slightly slower than the front half (35:25). I think I lost more than 20 seconds on the last mile in the wind! The heat and sun over the last few miles was really rough.  So, I think the 1:10:32 I ran was pretty good all things considered.

Of course, my feeling are mixed.  I was elated after the race. The mental piece of my racing is the best it's ever been.  I think this was one of my all time best races mentally. I totally ran my own race and was very patient. I pushed the pace at just the right times and finished strong into wind (which is a huge weakness for me usually).  I was also fairly relaxed and stayed positive for most of the race--I nipped the creeping doubts I had around mile 4 pretty quickly.

Now I just need to get into shape! Physically, I was just hoping to be a little faster by now. I know. I know. But when I think about running a 1/2 marathon in a month, I can't imagine I'm going to be anywhere close to pr shape by then. It frustrates me a little bit. Yesterday, I ran at the park on the trails and got to thinking about it and even though I ran when I was pregnant I more or less took 10 months off from training.  Those 3 milers at 11:00 pace with 2 pee breaks weren't exactly the fitness place holders I was hoping they'd be! So, I can't expect miracles.  Plus, I'm still up 7 lbs. Sigh. This is my first foray into getting out of shape and then having to get back into shape, so bear with me. I suppose it's just going to take more than 4 months to get back to where I was a year and a half ago when I was at my peak fitness.  Do you think running a 5 mile pr in mid-July is too ambitious a goal? Any thoughts on what I can do to get there?

Friday, April 24, 2009

Buried Alive!

Oh dear readers, I am so swamped! I am wrapping up my last brief here at the office. It's headed for the U.S. Supreme Court so I am going out with a bang! I wish I was as motivated to crank out a high quality product as I should be, but it will get done and it won't be laughably bad. It just won't be as good as it could be. But such is the life of a working mom, I guess. It's the same tune with everything we do, it seems! And I suppose that applies to this blog. I cannot wait to be able to edit all those posts that I had to submit through e-mail. There are so many typos and missing links, it's driving me nuts! I can't edit from work and plus I really don't have the time, anyway. Soon. I'd also like to pretty it up. The brick red is getting old.

I have a bunch of posts swirling in my head, but they will have to wait. Instead, I will just leave you with this short shot of realism on this race day eve. Hopefully, I'll be back with a happy race report very soon! Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Post-Run Giggles

Here's how much peanut loves the BOB! After our run on Saturday we played in the grass before heading home and peanut just couldn't stop laughing.   Right there, yeah, that's what it's all about!        

Monday, April 20, 2009

Happy Patriots Day!

Oh boy. It's Patriots Day. That means it's going to be an unproductive day in the office as I follow the elite race at Boston and track my friends. I have a lunch date at noon so I'll have to peel myself away from the computer then. Hopefully, I'll be back just in time to see my first friend's finish time! By the way, what's up with the slow elite women's race? I'm getting irritated with the commentators who keep comparing this year's splits to splits of past years. OK! We get it! Geesh! Oh, and go Kara!

In other news, the last member of the Speed Bumps relay team had her baby yesterday! Welcome to the world Harper Danielle!

As for running, I ran 7 days last week.  I wanted to get in one solid week before taking this week as a down week as I prep for my second post-peanut race.  I'm racing 10 miles on Saturday.  I'm not quite sure what to expect.  I only have raced 10 miles once before back in 06. I ran a 1:11 something. I ran faster than that in the first 10 miles of my last marathon! But that's my official pr,  so I would just like to beat that.  I'll take any pr's I can get at this point!  If I can squeak under 1:10 I'll be thrilled to pieces! My workouts suggest I am getting into shape, but I don't expect any miracles.  I think sub-1:10 is a doable on a good day, but probably a slight reach.  We'll see!

But yeah, my workouts are going great and they get easier and a little faster each week. I am really stressed and busy wrapping things up at work, so I am really not expecting to do too much these next couple of weeks. This week will be a down week and depending on how the race goes on Saturday, next week might be a recovery week. I'm not sure what a hard 10 will do to me these days. As much as I want to get back to it and push myself, I am listening to mrp and trying to be smart about getting back into shape. Patience is my friend! It will come if I keep plugging along.  To that end, I ditched my watch for my long run this week. I have never done that  before. It was very liberating to just run and not worry about my pace.  I still treated it as a moderate effort run, but I went solely by feel.  I have no idea what my pace was, and I'm cool with that. I just went out easy and slowly picked up the effort throughout the run as usual. It felt good!

Anyway, here are last week's numbers:

M: 7.25 easy with CV (8:40's?)

T: 8  with 6 x 800: 3:19, 3:20, 3:19, 3:15, 3:15, 3:13. Followed it up with 6 x 100 hard.

W: Easy 6.5 with E and CV at lunch (8:40's?)

Th: 8 with 4 mile tempo: 7:14, 7:01, 6:53, 6:38 (7:38 average!)

Fr:  6 at lunch with mrp (8:01)

Sa:  7 no watch. Took peanut to the park and ran with the BOB.

Su: 14 no watch from home to the park around the trails and back home.

Total: 56.75

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Calling

Wow. What a wild ride the last three months have been. At the beginning of January mrp and I first began tossing around this radical idea that I might quit my job.  I have worked very hard on establishing my career and I really never thought much about possible deviations from the straight and narrow path.  Of course, I was able to imagine that raising kids and working a full-time professional job would be hard. But, it was hard in a much different way than I originally imagined.  It's less about the day-to-day time crunchy stress and more about ditching the most important job one can ever sign up for, for one that suddenly means very little besides a steady paycheck.  At least, that's how it is for me.

I spent so many years trying to find myself and figure out what I was meant to do.  Back in high school we had to take a career aptitude test.  I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up so I was more than happy to fill in the scantron bubbles and wait in line for my results.  For every kid in front of me the dot-matrix printer swept back and forth across an entire page or two, listing myriad jobs suitable for each one.  Finally, it was my turn.  The teacher loaded the sheet on which I painstakingly and very thoughtfully had filled-in.  The dot-matrix began it's crawl, but strangely stopped after just one pass.  Then the sheet of paper rose from the printer reel and there on the page was one lonely entry. I took the paper and there on the sheet was two words.  Private investigator.    

Ever since that day, I thought I was some sort of freak--that there was no perfect career for me. It took me 8 years and 4 colleges to get through undergrad because I felt so lost.  In between schools I was working at one horrendous job when the idea of becoming a lawyer came into fruition: it would be the perfect marriage of my math talent and skill in interpreting literature.  It made sense and I loved law school.  But on November 21, 2008 I learned where my real calling was. I'm meant to be a peanut's mom. The dot-matrix got it wrong.  Of course, I really do enjoy practicing law and I have every intention to keep it up and pick it back up with a vengeance in the future. But on that fateful day in November, I learned that for right now there is nothing more meaningful, more enjoyable, more necessary than being a mother full-time.  So, with that I jumped off the big scary cliff on Monday and quit the job preventing me from being a full-time peanut's mom.

My last day will be May 1.  It's tough to go through all the motions to pack peanut and myself up so I can tie up all the loose ends at work.  It's surreal in a way.  We really were just getting into a rhythm with everything.  I am much happier now though. The weight of the decision is lifted off my shoulders and I can see a light at the end of the tunnel.  Soon, little guy, we will be together!

* * *

In the meantime, my running is really coming along.  On Friday I ran from home to the park and did a 4 mile tempo.  It was my first real tempo and I was more concerned with finishing it with dignity and less concerned about running an awesome pace.  I decided to take it out easy and just see what happened.  After a 2.5 mile warm-up I hit the first mile of the tempo at 7:21 and it felt comfortably hard.  I maintained the pace for the second mile and ran 7:20.  I felt great at the half-way mark and very certain that I could finish all four miles so I picked it up.  I thought maybe I'd run a 7:10, but even with the turn-around I ran a 7:03. I still felt totally fine, so I picked it up a little for the last mile which is the hilliest and hardest mile of my route. I was shocked when I rolled through with a 6:44! It felt comfortable! The real kicker is that I was just trotting along home on my cooldown and I looked at the Garmin and it said I was running 7:40's! Maybe it was a fluke, but I like to think it means I'm getting in shape. I guess we'll see how this week's workouts go before calling it a trend!

Last week by the numbers:

M: 6 on the treadmill (8:40's)

T: Off

W: 9.25 track workout (6 x 800 and 4 x 200 all with 200m jogged rest)

Th: 7.5 easy with guys from work to a track while E did a workout (8:10)

F:  9 including 4 mile tempo (average pace 7:45!)

Sa: 6 easy no watch on roads

Su: 14.25 from home to the park. Ran about 5 on the roads and 9.25 on the trails. (8:14)

Total: 52

Weight: Don't know. Afraid to weigh myself after Easter pigfest!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Oh My Goodness!

I just quit my job!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Drumroll Please

And their answer is no. Ahh. Peace. Having an answer feels good and I am looking forward to chewing on this info and making a good decision with mrp. I did everything I could do to make this work and if I do leave, I will never have to wonder what-if.  When I think back to these past 2 months and the stress it's put on me, mrp and peanut I think it was worth it to at least try to make it work and it did allow me to save quite a bit of more money, so I suppose the stress it's put on all of us was worth it.  And if I do quit, I suppose I'll appreciate my time that much more.  Wow. Such a big fork in the road. I'm looking forward to choosing a direction and then promptly forgetting the other choice existed!

A Turn for the Sunnier

I am feeling much better. No, that's not because work has given me an answer--way to take initiative, guys. Instead, the weather has taken a turn for the sunnier, peanut continues to get cuter by the day, I was invited to a marathon I've been looking very forward to running for a long time, and well, I got a handle on my thoughts and feelings.  It also helped that I took a half day at work yesterday and had some me time. Yes, that involved running, but it didn't involve a rush and it did involve running at my favorite track.   I haven't been there in about a year and a half, so it was such a treat!  And to add compliments to healthy legs, my workout was 9 million times better this week than last week.  Not faster, but much better!

As you may recall, last week I hit the track and my 800's got progressively slower and harder to the point I felt like I couldn't finish the workout as planned.  This time I made it my goal to hit the appropriate pace targets and work on control.   It was really windy again, but the sun was out and the temperature was a perfect 48 degrees. I ran my warm-up up the hill from the track and around the soccer field and then around the school a bit. Then I hit the track. In my mind, I wanted to run 6 x 800 at CV pace (~10k pace) with 200 jogged recoveries.  My goal this time was to hit the first three at 3:22 (what I think is about the right CV pace for my current fitness), then if I felt good pick up the pace just a smidge for the rest and hopefully get through all 6 rather than quitting after 5 like last time.  The first one came and went exactly at 3:22. Then the second one came and went exactly at 3:22. And then the third came and went at exactly at 3:22.  And it felt like I was working, but still felt pretty easy.  So, for the fourth I picked it up a little bit and finished in 3:18.  Then the fifth came and went guessed it--3:18! For the last one I allowed myself to push the second lap just a little harder and for that one I finished easily in 3:15.  Afterwards, I did not feel toasted as I had the previous week.  I was able to get in all 4 of my 200's too. These were very much hampered by the wind, but my effort was there.  I'll take it! So, not the fasted workout at all, but one of my best for exercising patience, focus and control.  That part of my running is back! Now to find that speed....

Of course, I am very irritated that work has not gotten back to me with their answer.  First they promised me a couple of days.  Then when a full week went by I approached them about it and they said, "shooting for this week." However, the fact that they haven't made their decision yet has allowed me to get over my initial shock that they'd even consider my request and to really think about what I want and what would be the best outcome. Working here part-time is not necessarily the best thing. If they offer it to me, I think I'd be a fool not to at least try it, but the more I think about it the more I am looking forward to getting out of here and moving on. There is definitely a point at which I will no longer wait for them.  Maybe Monday? This week is over today since tomorrow is a company holiday, so after 2 deadlines have come and gone, I might just have to go too!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

A Little Afternoon Pick-me-up

Dear Salty,

Congratulations! You are now registered for Road Runner Akron Marathon 2009.

We look forward to seeing you on race day!


Mr. Race Director


I am not sure why but I feel so down in the dumps today.  It could be the yuck winter weather. I decided to take today as my off day so I could get a much needed haircut (I haven't had one since July--Hello, Crystal Gale!) But no, I don't think it's the weather.  After my chat with the boss last week I was in a really good mood--it went unexpectedly well, afterall.  But since then I've had a lot of time to ponder things.  On my drive home last night it occurred to me how sad it is that I was so excited that my boss said "maybe."  My expectations for this place are so low, that a maybe was worth celebrating. There are things I like about my job. There really are, but there are so many things about it that I hate to be perfectly honest. It is so much easier for me to just stay here. Mrp and I won't have to worry about money and I can keep plugging along as I have been.  The next easiest thing is for me to work here part-time because we won't have to worry about money all that much and I would have more time with peanut.  The absolute most difficult thing for me to do is to quit here. Then I have to find a way to make some money to pay our bills and also to keep my career afloat.  The time with peanut would be awesome, if I'm not up to my eyeballs in stress and hurtling like a meteor towards a depression.  All that free time sounds at once a dream come true and utterly frightening.

I would say this dawned on me today, but it's been building. As I contemplate these big possibilities, I can't ignore the fact that in the short term this schedule is crushing me.  During the week I have virtually no time to myself. I sleep with peanut. I wake up and usually he wakes up with me--although he has mercifully slept in and given me 20 minutes to get some things done these past few mornings! He's with me as I get ready for work and I have to tend to him as needed. I have my drive from the sitter's to work, I suppose. Then I get to work.  I do insist on taking a longish lunch everyday to get a run in except for the days I have a lunch date or do something else for myself like get a haircut.  That is my precious time. I pity the day someone tries to stake claim to it! Of course, then I have my afternoon at work. Then I have to rush home from work so I have some time to spend with peanut. We have so much fun this hour or so I couldn't imagine missing it to run on days I can't run at lunch or do something else I need to do.  So, I never do anything except rush straight home. And then after that I give him his bath and then nurse him for 45 minutes or so to sleep.  Then I have to tend to him  every time he wakes up until I want to go to bed. Sometimes he'll give me an hour without waking up, but lately I am lucky to get just enough time to eat dinner. I love peanut so much and most of the time I am overjoyed to just be near him, but really this is really wearing on me.  If I make mrp hold him so I can get something else done, I feel guilty. Either peanut's crying or he's staring at me waiting for me to finish. Sometimes I wish mrp would do more to get him back to sleep, but then there probably isn't much he can do.  With the current arrangement, nothing short of mom will do, I guess. While his need or want or wish for me is really sweet, it's also very oppressive at times.  He is always better on the weekends when we spend more time with him. I feel like I need to spend some time with him to work on becoming a little more independent, but obviously that's pretty tough when I'm working full time.  The good news is that except for a couple of days related to his teething (he now has two teeth!), he is sleeping much better at the sitter's, so I suppose I could start being a little more aggressive trying to get him down by himself for longer stretches.  If nothing else, this is one of many reasons that the safest easiest option is not necessarily the best one!

Sometimes, like right now, I am scared that I'm damned if I work and I'm damned if I don't.  But then I think about quitting and I realize that as the riskiest move that's not such a bad thing.  Sometimes we have to take big risks to get the big rewards.  

Maybe I'd feel better if they just gave their decision already so I could start planning my life.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Winter Again

Just as I was ramping up the training and getting psyched about the late spring racing season, the snow and wind and nasty weather returns.   Around these parts the wind in the spring is the worst thing to deal with. I HATE it.  It's not so bad if I'm just doing an easy run or even a long run, but for track workouts and tempos it's downright torture to deal with 35 mph winds! Add in the sleet and snow and gray skies and ugh--the treadmill is sounding awfully nice! Sure, sure we ALWAYS have one last April snow storm and yeah, we haven't had snow since mid-February.  So really, I've been very spoiled by the weather this winter and early spring. But if I may complain just a bit more, it stinks things are getting back to normal this week. I am taking a 1/2 day on Wednesday and I'm off on Friday so I thought I'd be able to get some good miles in those days. I was so excited to head out to my favorite track! Instead I will probably do my 800's on the mill tomorrow and a tempo at lunch on Thursday, unless Friday's weather forecast improves between now and then. Wa.

Last week, however, was a very good week for me.  I felt great after the 5k, but listened to mrp and put off doing any hard running until Thursday when I hit the track for the 800's. Over the weekend I had a really nice 14 miler--my longest run in over a year!  The weather said it was 37 degrees, but it was really sunny so I figured I'd be ok in shorts. On my way from home to the park I thought I was going to die! That stupid spring wind gave me popsicle legs! I thought I was going so slow, but what usually takes me 14 minutes only took a little over 13. Nice! Once I got to the park I hit the trails so the woods insulated me quite a bit from the wind. My feet got soaked from all the standing water and muddy spots, but it felt so good to hit my favorite trails rather than stick to the boring old bridal path the whole time. I ran out for a few seconds shy of an hour before turning around and retracing my steps.  With a little over 2 miles to go I decided to pick up the pace.  I slowly started dialing it down and for the first half-mile of this push I ran 7:36 according to the bike path mile marker. I picked it up even more from there until I reached 11 minutes and a giant downhill that takes me back home. I didn't want to push it too hard and I also didn't want to go careening down the hill so I just ran easy the last half mile or so. But it was like old times and I enjoyed it and felt like a real runner again.  And then yesterday I hit the roads by my house for 8.25 with no watch. I love doing that. I don't even think I ran particularly slow, but it afforded me the opportunity to focus on my feelings, my thoughts and my surroundings.  The coolest thing was I spotted a huge and beautiful coyote.  He (or she) ran right across the road in front of me.  He was so close, I was a little worried he might decide to chase me! He did keep looking over his shoulder at me, but luckily I think that was more because he was as wary of me as I was of him and less because he was considering me for Sunday brunch!

Here are the week's numbers (plus the previous week's since I never got around to logging here):

Two weeks ago

Mon: 7.5 outside downtown with DD (8:20)

Tue: 7.4 with 4 x 1:00, 1:00, 2:00 fartlek with half rest plus 4 x :20 hard!  Ran with E. Very tough. We were still both sick with that stupid cold so we sounded really lovely sniffling and snorting the whole way. I ran way too hard as evidenced by my 5k later in the week! (all reps between 6:00 and 6:30 pace--closer to 6:00 for most though!)

Wed: 7 on the mill at work (8:33)

Thu: 6 very easy with JC at lunch. Very nice chat and the easy pace made my legs happy! (9:30's?)

Fri: 7 with the ladies at lunch downtown. Many whistles at our scantily clad girl posse! (8:40's)

Sat: About 6.5 on nice hilly single track trails by mrp's parents with 5 30 second strides thrown in.

Sun: 8.25 including the 20:38 5k. Warm-up was 2ish and I reran the course for the cooldown.

Total: 49.65 (I'm usually too ocd to let that .65 happen!)
Weight: 135

Last Week

Mon: 6 on the mill.  Felt really good and had to hold myself back! What's up with that? (8:37)

Tue: 7.5 with the downtown girl posse plus co-worker ML of all people! We made JC do a progressive tempo and ML run up the long hill up W3rd. Fun times! (8:40 average, but we were all over the place having fun).

Wed: Off

Thu: 7.25 track workout

Fri: 7 on the mill. Boring. (8:41)

Sat: 14 miles described above (8:19)

Sun: 8.25 no watch!

Total: 50 (This time I made sure I has a nice round number!)
Weight: 134 (so close!)

Still no verdict from work. I'm going to wait one more day before bursting into my boss's office and demanding an answer...or rather, politely asking if he's had a chance to think about it yet. That's probably the better approach, eh?

Friday, April 03, 2009

Happy Toofday!

Yesterday was gorgeous here in the land of Cleve, so the downtown girls (E, DD and CV) and I put on our short running shorts and skimpy singlets and headed over to the track at the all boys Catholic school down the street.  Usually on really nice days the gym classes are outside and obnoxiously obstructing lanes and just generally being in the way.  But for whatever reason, the boys were really nice yesterday.  Once, as I was passing through, I overheard one teenaged boy say to another, "be careful! There's a runner coming!" How thoughtful!  

Anyway, E and DD were just along to keep me and CV company while we did a track workout and tempo run respectively.  I had planned to do 6 x 800 around 10k pace with 1:00 jogged recovery plus 4 x 200.  I ended up just doing 5 x 800 and 3 x 200 and that was plenty for now! Maybe it was the heat, but I really think I am just not ready for 6 quite yet. But 5 felt perfect so I went with it.  I thought I'd shoot for 3:22. That sounded about right, but the first one came and went in 3:16. Then the next one was 3:17. And then 3:18. And then 3:21 (this is when I realized 6 was too many--there felt like a huge gust of wind on the first 200 and I felt like I was standing still. I couldn't quite recover from it and this rep ended up slow yet it taxed me more than it should have). And finally 3:18 (I made a little deal with myself--under 3:20 and you're done! So, I went under 3:20--heh). I ran 200's in between each rep and they were all under 1:10 so I was happy with that.

After the 800's, I felt pretty whooped, but I wanted to get in at least a couple of 200's.  After my last 800 I walked for a few seconds and then jogged 200. Then I hopped right to it.  I started off pretty good and chugged around the corner feeling all right, but when I came to the straight-away the finish seemed so far away! It's kind of scary when a 200 feels really long! But somehow I managed to run 39, 40 and 39 for each (wind aided!) It felt so ungodly fast to me. I had to walk a little after each one to get a hold of myself. Someday I'll be in shape again, right?!

In other more exciting news, peanut cut his first tooth today! The sitter called me this afternoon to tell me the news. Apparently, the tooth popped out and he promptly took a 2 hour nap.  Cutting teeth is hard work, y'all!

Also, mad props to Meghan ( for coming in second woman at this years Marathon des Sables in Morrocco. It's a 4 day trek across the desert. All I can say is my girl's amazing!! Yeah Meghan!!!!!  All the weird looks she got wearing her giant backpack on the gym treadmill were well worth it!

Finally, marathon mommy ( is kicking cancer's ass.  She is one tough cookie and incredibly inspiring. She is in my thoughts all the time.  When I almost chickened out about talking to my boss, I thought of her and sucked it up and got it done.  So, thanks!

Well, it's 4:00 on a Friday and I want to work part-time (no verdict on that yet...) so I better get as much done as I can here to make it seem like I'm productive. Have a great weekend everybody!!!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

The Scarlet M

You know, there was a time in my life when I really didn't understand sexism.  My understanding of it was limited to 1) it's dumb and 2) it doesn't effect me.  I have always thought of myself as a feminist who isn't afraid to go after what I want and won't let the fact that I'm a girl stand in my way.  And for the most part, no one ever did--hence, my belief I was immune to sexism.  I had a baby and it changed everything.

Suddenly I felt marked. You know, the scarlet M for mommy. I felt like any time I showed a hint of emotion or weakness at work I would be immediately relegated to the mommy track. That's not because anyone put me there, that was just what was in my own head. It took a lot for me to come around and realize that the feminist thing to do is to be authentic and to admit what I want and to go for it.  No matter what that something was, it was the right thing for me.  I'm not weak for missing my baby when I'm at work and I'm not weak for wanting to work part-time for a while. It doesn't mean that I don't value my career, or that I'm not a hard worker, or that I'm any less important than a man.  I'm different from the men, because I'm not a man.  And that doesn't mean I'm less than a man. I'm just different.  I have come to realize that going for what I need for a fulfilling life no matter what it is, is always the feminist human thing to do.

In other news it is beautiful out, yet no run for me today.  A long time ago I agreed to take a law student to lunch to impart career advice and do a little networking. I love doing things like this, but at the same time the only time I can get a run in on work days is during my lunch hour right now so I had to sacrifice a run which hurt! I am feeling really good and just want to get out there and put some miles on my legs! I suppose it's probably a good thing to impose some speed bumps on myself so I don't overdo it.  It has been about 9 or 10 days since I've had a day off.  I can get out my excitement on the track tomorrow. Yeah! Maybe it's the weather, but I am seriously feeling the itch to train like nothing I've ever felt before. I am so excited to get out there and have some fun. I just wish I had a little more freedom to get in the miles. It will come, I'm sure.

But really, I am glad I went to the lunch.  The student was really excited about his impending career and it seemed like my advice held some resonance.  It was actually a fun time and I had a really nice Vietnamese lunch (vegetarian spring roll vermicelli bown with cucumbers and peanuts--mmmm).  What's really scaring me though is that I did not run, went out to lunch and am still sitting here starving and holding myself back from devouring the brown bag lunch I brought on the off-chance my law student date cancelled. Help!