Friday, July 10, 2015

4th of July Weekend

To celebrate this fourth this year we spent the weekend at a friend’s lake house. I mean not actually in the house so much as in a camper with Nic’s parents but either way it. Was. Awesome. I seriously could get used to living in nature, and the kids agree, three days spent pretending lake floating qualified as bathing really agreed with us.

I took a ton of pictures, never of all three kids together because that would just be insanity apparently. Actually I completely forgot to photograph one of them whatsoever, so all the cool things Conner did jumping off of boats and docks… not documented. On the plus side of that my middle child can no longer complain that he is always forgotten, I have the pics to prove that is simply not true… at least for this weekend.

Peruse the picture of that awesome middle baby Beau back floating around the pond. Isn’t he awesome? All the little guys got a quick “how to survive in the deeper than you end” training session and the main tool in their belt is the back float. Big shout out to my littlest who waded out too deep within the first 15 minutes of being in the water, thus necessitating the swim lesson.

I’ve saved each kid’s life at least once, if she learns from the first experience she’ll be way ahead of her brothers who I’ve had to rescue multiple times.  Beau seems to be a little less adventurous this year, and it’s about effing time, he mostly took it upon himself to alert us when other children were danger. In a shrill voice that suddenly takes on an accent thicker than Scarlet O’Hara’s he would yell “Mah sistah! Mah sistah, someone halp her! Oh mah goodness she cain’t swem!” Never mind that he was literally a foot from her and had an extra four inches of height she lacked in the shallow water… I guess we’ll have to work on emergency response skills later.

Although I did not get any good pictures of Conner over the weekend he did take like 30 pictures of me, sitting on the deck… apparently suffering from a bad case of Resting Bitch Face. I mean I didn’t even know I suffered from the condition, but I have the photos to prove it now I guess. Did people know this about me? How have I never realized. I’m working on a more pleasant resting face as we speak… maybe something like this…

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

learning to run

Almost exactly a year ago I went shopping with Kohl's cash and picked up a pair of Nike's. My thought was that maybe this time I could start running and things would be different than the last 20 times I tried to start running. I thought maybe with the right shoes on my feet I could wrap my head around a Couch to 5k plan, maybe I could be a runner.

Yeah, I mean I kinda had an excuse to be out of shape, having three kids in four years isn't exactly gentle on the core. Realistically speaking the kids only did half the damaged, I averaged a 15 minute mile in 6th grade so I didn't even have an athletic past to fall back on. I remember having to run a mile every spring as part of our final grade and developing what felt like an allergy to the sport. Pretty much I hated it, it made my teeth hurt, my head ache, and lungs felt like they were on fire and just in general I wanted to die.

So, flash forward all those years and why in the world would I want to get into running? Honestly, because the cool kids were doing it. I watched my friends doing fun 5ks, and eventually going on to do crazier distances. I started thinking maybe that could be me smiling in a sweaty group at the end of a finish line. I feel like half my frantic get healthy spurts stem from some kind of implied peer pressure generated by Facebook and Instagram, but whatever.

Despite the obvious issues I have with stalking the online profiles of friends and acquaintances at least it kind of led to a healthy hobby in the end. I downloaded Couch to 5k on my phone, paid a race entry fee, and got myself a running buddy. You know what, it sucked almost every bit as much as I had expected it to. There were days I actually hated it, there are still days I hate it and question any decision I ever made to start. Sometimes I rationalize quitting, and I do quit for a whole day... or two. For some reason though I come back.

With all my complicated emotions in tow I learned a lot about myself training for that first race. I remember when I ran my first full mile on the treadmill at my work's gym, I threw my arms in the air and cheered like a maniac... and maybe cried a little with pride. That was probably the point at which I became hooked, and definitely the point at which I realized I was a lot stronger than I had ever given myself credit. Over the next several miles of training I learned to be kind, to forgive myself when I sucked and quit halfway through a run because sometimes that whole one foot in front of the other thing just ain't gonna happen. I would pick up the next day and this time do better. Some runs were awesome, I felt like a million bucks after, and some were frustrating and made me hate everything.

I trained and showed up on race day and finished that run with a jubilant display of triumph so intense I peed myself. No really, three kids later my bladder is not what it used to be and I totally did pee myself from dancing around and yelling at the finish. With soggy pants I claimed my participant medal and it was pretty much the best thing ever. I am 100% a fan of participation trophies, especially for myself.

That race was the one that changed everything, and it wasn't just because of the bling. Now I'm looking at a 1/2 marathon training schedule (one that I made myself no less...woopwoop) and prepping for 13.1 miles in September. That may end up being the furthest I go, or maybe not, who knows. I hope if there's anyone out there who's questioning their ability to get running, or walking, or moving whatsoever you stop wondering and just go. Doesn't matter what speed, you're awesome and you can do it, I promise.