The Best Gift

Happy Monday and happy day after Mother’s Day!  I hope you all had a great weekend.

It was a little chilly and rainy in NYC this weekend.  In fact, we took the girls for a run on Saturday and got stuck in a downpour.  They managed to nap through it while we hid under the RFK Bridge on Randall’s Island.  Rock and I were soaked, but the girls were perfectly content in their stroller.

On Sunday Rock rearranged his work schedule to gift me an hour to run by myself.  I saw on the Today Show that most moms would like the day off from parenting, but I wanted to spend the day with my girls.  However, after pushing the girls in the BOB Dualie for the past two weeks, it felt awesome to run on my own.  It feels so effortless when you ditch pushing 60 pounds up and down the hills around here.  I was cruising!

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It was also a really great time for me to reflect.  I use my running in a variety of ways.  Sometimes it is about testing the limits of my body, or my mind.  Other times, running is a way for me to clear my head or work through different situations.  Running is my therapy.  I almost always come back with a clearer head and ready to be a better person, regardless of whether a run goes well or not.

On yesterdays run, I was reflecting on being a mom.  It certainly hasn’t gone the way I had prepared for most days, and it certainly didn’t start out the way I had planned.

Like many women, I had hoped to get married and start our family.  But as life often does, things took a little longer than planned.  At the time, it was very difficult for me emotionally.  I spent a lot of time dealing with those emotions on my runs.  It was cathartic.

Once I was pregnant, the miracle of what was to come was appreciated in a completely new way, perhaps more than I would have realized had things happened faster.

I ran through both my pregnancies and felt like it was a special time that I got to spend with that little peanut growing with me.  I hoped that perhaps my being healthy and active might be passed along to our little ones.

These days, I run with the girls in the stroller and I enjoy my times with them, even when I repeatedly hear, “Can we go back home now?”  I like our adventures to new places or playing “I Spy” as we go along.  I love having the girls see me enjoy running and exercising.  It is something we get to do together as a family.

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Things have definitely changed.  I don’t get to sleep in on weekends anymore because some people think 6am is a perfect time to jump up and get going.  I don’t have the luxury of sitting around and drinking coffee until I feel ready to go on a run.  We have nap schedules and bottle times.  You either get your run in during the allotted time, or you are out of luck for the day.

There isn’t always as much time for workouts or for prepping the best meals.  I haven’t done a workout besides running in several weeks now, because it just hasn’t fit into my day.  And you know what?  That’s okay.

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The night before Lucy was born!

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These girls….they’ve made me stronger in ways I never could have imagined.  My two year old knows how to test the limits in ways that drive me nuts and also secretly crack me up.  The way she can ask the same question repeatedly for 15 minutes makes me think she has a future with the CIA.

The love they have showed me and the things they are teaching me makes my heart want to burst full of joy.  Just thinking about them and what they have brought into my life brings tears to my eyes.  They have made us a family!

Being a mother runner isn’t easy.  Running itself will never be easy.  But I certainly believe that being a mother runner can actually make you stronger than you could ever possibly imagine.

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Somehow I have less time to run and less time to work out.  But in the months after having Mary, I PR’ed in my return marathon.  A few weeks ago I won a race as Lucy ran along with her dad.  Being a mom, and the act of becoming a mom, gives you the strength to do endless things.

The greatest gift I’ve ever received has been these two little girls.  I’m forever grateful for the strength they have given me and for their patience as I continually learn to be their mom.

I also want to send love to any woman who has hopes to be a mom.  There was a time when reading Mother’s Day posts was difficult for me.  A friend perfectly said yesterday, “Be patient.  God may not be done writing your story just yet.”

Happy Mother’s Day.  How was your weekend?  Anyone else love running with their kids or fur kids?

Getting Our Merry On

Happy Monday!  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  Ours was filled with holiday festivities and it looks like that won’t be stopping anytime soon.

Friday night we went to the local Christmas parade.  We did this last year and it doesn’t disappoint.  They make a fun warming fire and offer free cookies and hot chocolate for everyone.  The entire town meets up to watch a fun lighted parade to kick off the holiday season.

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Saturday morning started nice and early with a breakfast with Santa.  The local middle school hosted a full day of holiday activities.  We arrived in the lobby of the school to a massive craft show and warm pancakes, sausage, and Shetler’s milk offered in three flavors.  The breakfast was donation based and absolutely delicious.

Shetler’s is a local dairy down the road from our house.  You might have seen pictures of us visiting their corn maze and playing in their petting zoo.  Their milk is delicious (I don’t even like milk) and comes in glass bottles.  The milk is also served in the local schools, which is something I find really awesome.

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Even better, we dined with some of the Shetler family and their kids.  They are a really fun group and they are runners too!

After breakfast we went into the room where I used to take wood shop in 6th grade.  They had turned the room into a holiday playroom for children.  There were bounce houses, craft projects, and raffle items for kids.  Mary tried the bounce house out for the first time, and of course was in love.

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Next, we met up with Santa for the first time.  Mary talked about him for days before this meeting.  But as one would expect, she wasn’t thrilled when we tried to take a picture.  I can’t blame her, I find adults in costumes to be a bit creepy too!

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That’s a keeper!

Mary is really liking Christmas because her name is in it, “Merry” Christmas!  This is also why she likes things like “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” because she gets to sing merrily, merrily, merrily.  She thinks that is her name too.

After a late nap, we went over to the high school for a concert that benefited the local animal shelter.  Earlier this fall, Mary friended a boy who is a senior in high school.  He has been so kind to her and even let her play his drums at the homecoming game.  Ever since she played the drums she often talks about it and how nice he was.  As a mom, it melts my heart to see someone in high school treat my daughter so well.  Two year olds are a crazy bunch and it is pretty cool to see a boy so kind to my wild kid.  Talk about an awesome friendship!  It was a pretty loud and rocking concert, but Mary had a blast dancing and we love that she can enjoy all types of music.

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Everyone slept well in our house that night and we woke up ready to go to our nephew’s first birthday party on Sunday.  It was a fun bunch of running children, so I didn’t end up taking a single picture.  She was thrilled to bring gifts for her buddy and was super excited to come home with some party favors too.

This week promises to be another great one with more festivities and work for me.  I am absolutely loving seeing my girls embrace the holiday season.

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There were also lots of runs this past week as we enjoyed the nice weather before the temperatures drop in the next few days.  Forty two miles for me, but mostly on the treadmill.

A huge congrats to everyone who raced this weekend.  Way to go for everyone who finished CIM!

Food Is Food, Sweat Is Sweat-Enough With The Guilt

I’ve noticed a lot of posts on social media lately encouraging people to work out so they don’t feel guilty about eating meals during the holidays.  I certainly admit that I ran a Turkey Trot last week, knowing that I was going to enjoy a big feast later in the day.  But I also told my husband that we don’t use exercise as a replacement for overeating.  The two shouldn’t be a means to balance each other out.  Sometimes it may seem that way, but it shouldn’t really be the case.

Of course, many of us exercise to stay healthy and maintain a healthy weight, or even to lose weight at times.  But exercise isn’t just a form of diet.  It is a healthy activity that also releases endorphins and makes us feel good about life and ourselves.
On Thanksgiving there were a lot of #burntheturkey #earntheturkey and it was driving me crazy.  You don’t have to earn your turkey.  Thanksgiving is a holiday meant to be spent with friends and family.  The same goes for Christmas, Hanukkah, New Years and other holidays.  Exercise isn’t the ticket that allows you to enjoy turkey or any other meal.  You don’t have to earn that food through exercise, at any time.
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When we say that we earned a meal, it makes it seem like under other circumstances, we shouldn’t eat or enjoy such foods.  That is totally unfair!  Food is not only an essential part of life, but also a very important part of socializing and our cultures.
We should of course aim for a balance in our lives and strive to eat healthy most of the time.  We should also have times where we enjoy a little indulgence.  Dessert is delicious and so are hamburgers, french fries, or whatever your pleasure might be.  When we don’t allow ourselves to eat these things, we deprive our wants, and often go overboard when we have the opportunity.
Exercise on the other hand, shouldn’t be a punishment.  Sweat is not your fat crying.  That statement drives me nuts.  Enough with the fat nonsense!  Exercise is an important component of a healthy lifestyle and sweat is the output from your effort.  Nothing is crying.  Your body, in fact, is likely rejoicing.
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Aim for balance this holiday season.  Eat mostly healthy.  Watch your portions.  And exercise when you can because it is good for you.  But please don’t punish yourself because you overdo it at a meal.  Go ahead and enjoy some holiday appetizers, desserts, or drinks.
Pick an exercise that you enjoy.  Carve out time most days to get a workout in and enjoy that sweat.  Then take a moment to look at yourself in the mirror and smile!

Holiday Weekends, Lazy Blogging and Giveaway Winner!

Happy day after Global Running Day!  I obviously went for a run, but didn’t take a pic because I’ve been on a bit of a blogging hiatus this week.

Last week was super hot and muggy here in NYC.  For any runner, this is discouraging.  For a runner coming off of one marathon and trying to get back into training for another, it was disastrous.  I didn’t get a single planned run in last week.  I will touch upon this topic a bit more next week.

We decided to escape the city on Saturday morning for a little afternoon up in Fishkill.  This is one of our favorite spots to go to when we need a quick escape from the city.  In the past, we might have gotten a room for a night or two and dined out and strolled around.  But with a baby and dog in tow, we decided to make it a little day trip.

We had originally planned on hitting one of our favorite rail trails and take turns getting our six mile runs in.  But when we woke up and it was already sizzling out, Rock went for a quick run and picked up our car.  We loaded and up decided to go walk the rail trail for a bit.

It was so hot on the trail that we made it about a half mile into our trek when we were drenched in sweat and decided that was far enough.  I pulled out a water bottle for the baby and the dog and as they were slurping, I noticed a perfect shaded grassy area along the path.

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We ditched our plans and held up there for a nice long while.  Several cyclists came by and commented on how we had found the perfect spot.  It really was.  The dog loves to roll in the grass and sunbathe.  Mary is almost 10 months old and loves to walk with her favorite toy that I refer to as the lawn mower.  She was walking all over and just hanging out in the green grass.  It was seriously the perfect arrangement.

From there, we grabbed some sandwiches, dined in the car and then hit the road back to the city.  We were home by 3:00pm.  Oh how life changes!

Sunday was Rock’s birthday!  We celebrated with an early breakfast at the diner (thanks to Mary who thinks 6:00am is the perfect wake up).  Then we went over and tried out the splash pad at the park across the street from us.

It was a total win!  Mary loves swimming and all things that involve water.  She crawled, walked, and sat in every water feature she could find.  She also just loves waving at anyone who looks her way and is very taken by other children.  We had a blast in the park.

While the weather has cooled a touch, we are still trying to adjust to the heat.  Runs are starting to get back to normal and splash pads and pools are becoming the norm around here.

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We switched up the traditional Memorial Day fare for sushi (hey it was hot!).  Mary tried her first veggie roll, and loved it!

A big shoutout to everyone who made it through hot marathons last weekend, especially the Bayshore and Vermont City Marathons.  I know it was rough and many of you were unable to finish.  But let me say that anyone who survives marathon training is a finisher and winner in my book!

And now for the giveaway winner from last week’s blog post on The Benefits of Hiring A Running Coach.  A huge congrats to Katie@AdultingDaily.  Please get in touch at the e-mail address from my website.  We can set up a time to chat, get your consultation, and together we will create the perfect custom plan for your upcoming training!