Lessons learned

Week 2, Day 3 done. We completed week 2 yesterday, and it was a good day for learning a few running lessons. Until now, we’ve had a relatively easy time finding childcare, fitting the run into our schedules and letting it be a refreshing sort of event in the early or middle part of our day.

Not so yesterday. Phil had an all-day training for substitute teaching, so our run was scheduled for after 4:30 p.m. — after he’d been in a seminar all day, after I’d been with the kids all day, and right around supper time. Thankfully, my grandparents bought us a jogging stroller/bicycle trailer for Christmas and it arrived last Saturday. So, we planned to load up the kids in it and get our run in for the day.

A little easier said than done. We changed and stretched, then had to cart the stroller up from the basement, reassemble it, air the tires and secure the kids. By then, we’d already been stretched for 10 or 15 minutes and it was dinner time. I started our run with a bad attitude, thinking there was no way we’d be able to get this done, that I’d be starving and because it was the end of the day, I’d be extra worn out. Some of those things were true, but five minutes in to the routine, I was feeling good. The kids were mostly happy. Corban looked a little uncomfortable but he put himself to sleep. Phil worked harder than usual because he was pushing 55 extra pounds. But all in all, it was a successful end to the second week.

I don’t really like running that late in the day, especially with supper waiting in the oven, but I learned that mental obstacles can be overcome and discipline is about sticking with the committment even if conditions aren’t ideal.

On to week 3.


A ballerina firefighter and her brother the clown

The kids seem to be growing/changing/developing at a crazy fast rate these days, and I feel like I can’t keep up with it all. To remember for posterity, to share with family and friends who are far away and might possibly not check Facebook every second of the day. (Shoot, if that’s the case, they might not read this blog, either!)

Isabelle, at 2 1/2, has decided that she wants to go to kindergarten. Tomorrow. And ride a school bus. Today. We live along the school bus route, so when she sees the buses go by, she almost always  notices and asks, “Am I going to ride the bus?” She also has asked if we’re going to watch her when she rides the bus. Another almost-daily occurrence is the declaration that she’s going to kindergarten or school. She often dons her backpack and says she’s ready for school. I’ll remember these days when she’s a teenager and refusing to get out of bed, right? Who knows, though, maybe she’ll actually like school and be one of those weird kids (me) who wanted to go to school. It’ll be here soon enough; I just wish she wasn’t trying to rush it.

When asked what she wants to be when she grows up, her current response is “a firefighter.” Good thing her grandparents found a firefighter jacket for her to play dress-up with. Occasionally, she also wants to be a ballerina. You go, girl. We live in an age where she could totally do both.

Today at the park, I saw, once again, our little social butterfly emerge. When we arrived, there were no kids at the park. Within minutes, a woman showed up with six  kids and another woman brought her two kids. Forget whatever plans I had for a relaxing time at the park with my two kids. Instead of letting Corban swing in a baby swing and Isabelle play on the age-appropriate slides and equipment for her, I ended up following my daughter around as she tried desperately to join these other kids in their pursuits. She even started calling out their names when she heard the other kids call them. I sort of felt bad, like maybe she needs more social interaction. But maybe she’s just got the sort of personality that easily makes friends and includes everyone. She certainly didn’t get all that from me. I couldn’t even bring myself to say more than “Hi” to the other women at the park, even though I wanted to tell the woman with six kids that she was brave to take on such an endeavor.

This girl wakes up at 90 mph. and doesn’t slow down for most of the day. Including now when she’s supposed to be napping so we can go to the library later. Some days, she is a greater test of patience than others. But she’s better than a cup of coffee to get me going in the morning. She jumps out of bed and yells, “Mommy, mommy” then takes off for the kitchen or living room before I’ve even opened my eyes completely. And if her brother happens to wake up at the same time, she runs to him, loudly shouting, “Cor-ban. Cor-ban. Hey, popsters.” (His dad sometimes calls him Mr. Popsters or Popping-pops. The little sponge has picked up on this nickname and many others we use to describe him. I hope he won’t have a complex that therapy can’t solve later in life.)

Speaking of the boy, he is nearly 10 months old and just this week has started to stand without holding on to anything for longer and longer periods of time. It’s still only a few seconds, but I can see his improved balance and confidence on his feet. He also “walks” while pushing things. It’s only a matter of time. He’s also developed what we call the maniacal laugh. It’s different from his giggle or I-think-my-sister-is-hilarious laugh. He’ll be playing with something and all of a sudden let out this deep “ha-ha-ha” sort of sound that puts Phil and me in stitches every time.

He’s starting to eat us out of house and home. OK, so I know that’s not true yet. Friends with teenagers, especially boys, would tell me it only gets worse. But he’s eating more and more, especially if he can pick it up himself and put it in his mouth. He shunned baby food from a jar for a while, but now he’s eating entire jars in one sitting. We may burn through our stash yet.

Maybe he doesn’t intentionally do it, or maybe he does, but Corban seems to always be doing something goofy to put a smile on our faces. Sometimes it’s just putting an entire piece of fake food in his mouth then smiling. Or walking around with a fake hot dog hanging out of his mouth. Or banging on stuff to make loud noises. Whatever he does, he thinks he’s funny. And I guess that’s a good ingredient for a playful personality.

I often feel like we’re in our own little world and I forget to share these meaningful and ordinary moments with those we care about and who care about the kids. This is my attempt. I know it can’t totally make up for our physical absence in people’s lives, but it’s something.

Enjoy. We sure do.

Runnin’ in the rain

Week 2, Day 2. One more run, and we’ll already be done with two weeks? Hard to believe. Today it poured during our scheduled run time. It was a cool, refreshing sort of rain, but we were soaked and chilly by the time our run was done.

Not much to report, but here’s proof that we stretch.

Our little fitness trainer makes sure we do the right ones.

Does pain equal gain?

Week 2, Day 1. Today we ran for 90 seconds and walked for 2 minutes, according to the plan. It was our first afternoon run, and the temperature happened to be over 80 today. A gentle breeze kept us cool as we tackled the first day of a new training week.

But I have to say, I’m a little confused. Is this supposed to hurt? Because I’m not feeling much pain or soreness in my muscles after I run. I feel good, but for some reason I don’t expect that to be right. As we ran, I was recovering well in those 2 minutes of walking, catching my breath and able to gear up for the next run. Am I not working hard enough? Or is this what it’s supposed to be like?

I’m expecting to feel it more the more time we spend running with less walking in our routines, but I’m pleasantly surprised to be feeling good. I even lost a little over a pound this week. So far, I’m hooked on this plan.

I welcome your experience and advice. I feel like I could push myself a little harder when we run, but I’m just not sure if that’s wise.

One week down

Week 1, Day 3, thereby completing week one. I didn’t feel particularly challenged by today’s run/walk. Is that normal? I’m glad it gets increasingly more difficult, though I may regret saying that. Part of me wants to push it harder, but I definitely don’t want to injure myself, so slow and steady is the way it goes for now. I appreciate the encouragement that anything we’re doing is better than nothing, so even if I don’t feel like I’m working that hard, at least I’m working. Right?

We drove our two previous routes and discovered we’re covering about 2 miles with our warm-up walk, the 20 minutes of alternating running and walking, and the cool down to get us back to our starting point. That’s nice to know, too. I like measurable goals and that sort of thing, so knowing that we’re doing 2 miles encourages me that at some point we can do 3.

Feeling good still. Saturday begins week 2.

Press on!

Hills and flattened caterpillars

Week 1, Day 2. After the soreness of the weekend, I wasn’t sure I was going to look forward to today’s run. But my legs were not as sore this morning as they were yesterday, so my outlook for today’s workout improved.

We tackled one of the giantish hills in our neighborhood but also slowed our pace a little. By the end, I was still breathing normal and I didn’t feel like I was going to puke. I realize these moments may return another time, but I’m glad that I felt good, maybe even great after today’s run.

Isabelle likes stretching with us. It’s adorable. I hope to get a picture soon. She takes good care of us as we “suit up” to run, making sure we have our shoes and socks and do our stretching. “You wanna stretch with me?” she asks after we get back. A fitness trainer in the making?

Phil stayed ahead of me today instead of beside, which was fine except that I didn’t always notice immediately when he stopped after a minute of running. I guess I run with my head down because I noticed a lot of flattened caterpillars on the road. And when I’d look up after running for a time, I’d see Phil walking, unsure of how long it had been since he stopped. In a few weeks, we hope to be running distances instead of times to give us a better gauge of how far we’re going.

We’re taking your advice and applying it as best we can. The encouragement is great. And being accountable to you keeps us going.

Till next time.

First run

Week 1, Day 1 completed.

If you’d have told me even a month ago that I would have run/walked for 20 minutes on purpose, because I wanted to, I would have said you were crazy.

But we did it today. And I actually looked forward to it. There were some tough moments. My husband’s stride is longer than mine, so we had to make some adjustments so I wouldn’t wear myself out trying to keep up with him. I had to remind myself not to go too fast too soon.

When the last minute of running was done, I had to will myself not to throw up. My lungs were burning. My legs wondered what had happened. And I felt a little bit sick. But by the time we finished the walk back to our friends’ house, where the kids were playing, I felt good.

Now, over an hour after we finished, I feel great. My legs hurt. I’ve discovered muscles I hadn’t used in a long time. I’ll probably feel worse tomorrow, and I’m sure when we set out to do this again on Monday that I might dread it.

But I’m excited.

Small steps.

Thanks for the support and encouragement already.