Category Archives: Running

running loops and turning pages.

What’s up, chickadillos?

I’m still on the running circuit. Yesterday I had to run twenty minutes IN A ROW which is a very long time for me at the moment. It was very difficult but I completed it with only minimal treadmill grasping and heavy breathing. I would like to thank Carly Rae Jepson for that. Throughout my jog, I kept hearing 24-year old NP giving me shit, until finally it became clear to me that she was really kind of an over achieving bitch (I mean, I don’t blame her: we all get a little bitchy sometimes) and then nearly-31-year old Nikki was able to finish up and call it a victory simply because I was still standing.

So there’s that.

Other things going on around these parts: Boo is standing on every single thing, which is making life very interesting and also very dangerous, but we’re working through that.

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I’m also deep into a very long list of books I’d like to read. I’m currently sort of towards the end of Yes Please by Amy Poehler, which is making me laugh on the train: a success. One of my favorite little nuggets so far is on careers (a topic I think people my age just get stuck thinking about maybe more than they’d like): Your career won’t take care of you. It won’t call you back or introduce you to its parents. Your career will openly flirt with other people while you are around. It will forget your birthday and wreck your car. Your career will blow you off if you call it to much. It’s never going to leave its wife.

So weird, and yet, I totally get it.

Next up: This is Where I Leave You, of which I’ve heard mixed things but need to check out myself anyway.

thisiswhereileaveyou

I’ll keep you posted. Keep it easy, chickens.

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Filed under Good Reads, Running

keeping pace with myself.

Chickadees, I’ve been running.

Which means three days a week, I’m squeezing in 30 minutes on the treadmill during work hours.

I’ve been laughing to myself, thinking of all those 1.5 hours workouts before I had a nearly-toddler to feed and play with after leaving the office.

Despite the fact that I haven’t really been on a running schedule since, oh, the fall of 2012 when my joints decided they were no longer going to do what I asked, I’ve been a little hard on myself.

I’ve been hard on myself since I can remember. When I was in middle school I didn’t make the softball team despite the fact that every other person who tried out did, and even though I didn’t (and don’t, still) even like softball, I think that moment in time pushed me to maybe harder on myself than I maybe would have been otherwise.

Yes, it’s maybe a little crazy, but chickens, so am I. We all have random moments in time that frame up who we are.

Anyway, this has trickled up through soccer, yoga, running, kettlebells, races, and yesterday afternoon, as I found myself getting a little tired during one of my circuits, I started my “self motivation” talk, which is really anything but.

You’re lucky you can even run. Some people can’t run. Two years ago, you couldn’t run. Keep moving.

Then, all of a sudden (well, not all of a sudden, maybe after 26 months of yoga practice and a little life perspective), I thought to myself, you are doing this all wrong.

Obviously.

I’m not 13 any more. I don’t have the luxury of a body that works perfectly all the time, even though I am right in that I’m lucky it works as well as it does despite the fact that I wasn’t sure it ever would.

So I switched it up, and tried being a little kinder.

This is amazing. It is amazing that your muscles are all working. You had a baby this year. You have rogue joints. You’re still moving. Good work.

Guess which one kept me going when the going got tough.

We’re halfway through the first month of this year, chickens. Plenty of time left to learn to be nicer, especially to yourself.

Keep it easy!

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Filed under Did I really do that?, Reflections, Running

bright and cold.

Morning chickens!

And welcome to beautiful, new, cold 2015.

Very cold.

Like, I’m wearing leggings under my work pants cold.

Boo seems into it, but that’s because he’s a child of the polar vortex.

I only wish I had his enthusiasm.

Anyway, now that we’ve made it past the first Monday of the year, let’s pause for a couple of things that I find interesting.

1. This article about working too hard. For some reason it spoke to me, and I feel like it’s a good time to remember that we’re not saving lives here.

Unless you are. I don’t have applicable advice for you in that case.

2. Suddenly, Theo can pull himself up to standing on any damn thing he pleases. Our days are numbered, chickadees, but man is it exciting to watch the satisfaction in his little face when he masters something new.

3. I woke up early yesterday to hit the gym at work, which I did successfully, running through another leg of my couch to 5k training (walk/run, my old, athletic self scoffs at my new self. My new self says shut-the-fuck-up 24-year old, you haven’t even made a baby yet and your joints work great).

And with that, I’m off to bundle up and keep it positive, even with a cold commute staring me down.

One moment at a time, chicks.

Keep it easy out there.

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Filed under Chicago, Reflections, Running

off the blocks I go.

Ok guys.

So let’s talk about something besides the baby for a second.

Even though he’s pretty much the best.

On Friday, I decided to start running again.

You may recall, if you’ve been hanging around this blog or me in real life for awhile, that I used to be a pretty serious runner.

And then I had an RA diagnosis and a medication allergy, and I became frustrated and unpleasant and pretty much quit.

And then I found yoga and got pregnant and kind of left the running in the dust.

And then I had to nurse Theo every five seconds so he didn’t lose his shit, so that burned up another nine months.

So here I am.

Running again.

Well, run/walking, anyway.

I went during lunch (which deserves an entire post to itself, as I almost slipped and killed myself after showering, and also, I’m pretty sure my face is still red), and I started without a plan (this could be the first sentence of almost everything I do), and it took me 38:17 to run a 5k.

If I was to consult my racing spreadsheet (yes guys, I have a spreadsheet for everything), that would be an outlier in the wrong direction, but you know what chickadees, you’ve gotta start somewhere.

I can only go up.

Someone teach me how to get rid of that red face before my next meeting.

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Filed under Near Disaster, Running

more than a touch of grey

You guys, this gloomy weather is less  than desirable.

It made it 100% impossible to get out of bed on time this morning.

It also means I’m gonna have to hunt down a semi-functioning umbrella, or risk being soaked.

Again.

In any case, this better clear up for the weekend, because I have plans that do not include being stuck at home.

Thanks for your consideration.

Also: is it safe to shower in a thunderstorm? I mean, technically I just lived through it (I’m such a daredevil), but was just wondering if it’s a risk my mom made up or if it’s actually legitimate.

Moving on: last night included more post-work fun, heading to a happy hour to celebrate GB’s new gig, catch up with my pals, and eat tots.

All equally important components of a weeknight gathering.

Up today: a really, really important Supreme Court ruling, (pay attention to this one, chickadees), moving through lots of summer meetings, and finally, a night where my only activities include a run and hanging out on my couch.

That alone makes Wednesday a little bit sweeter, chicks.

Enjoy the sunshine if you’ve got it (and oh man, I hope it turns up around here soon).

 

 

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Filed under Chicago, Reflections, Running

you gotta work it out

Morning, chickens!

It’s a bright, sort of early morning for me. I wished I could have maybe hung in bed for a few more minutes.

I’m hitting work for a meeting, but the sun is shining, and it’s already Wednesday, so I’m all over it.

Right?

Last night, JD and I decided to try our hands at running after a long absence.

We like to just get back into it.

We can also be irrational at times.

Generally, our plan is to just turn up our beats so we can’t hear ourselves breathe, and go for it.

What resulted was essentially a walk/run combo, but since I was sure we weren’t even going to be able to pick up our feet, much less move them in a forward direction, I felt fairly good about the whole thing.

Take that, unruly joints.

I miss running too much to let a little autoimmune disease slow me down.

Up the rest of the week- returning to bells (and likely dying in the process while a crazy Russian laughs at me), visitors from MI, and maybe, one day, unpacking the second bedroom so it doesn’t look like hoarders live in here.

One thing at a time, right chickadees?

Enjoy the sunshine if you’ve got it.

 

 

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What I Learned from Quitting the Chicago Marathon

As I am on the road, today’s post is brought to you by Maggie. Hope you enjoy!

A little over a year ago, in the throes of finishing graduate school, leaving my long time corporate job, finding myself at a crossroads in life, and general “Fuck I’m in My Twenties” angst, I decided to run the Chicago Marathon. “How hard could this be?” I thought. “I just successfully completed a half marathon, I don’t have a job, or a boyfriend—I should have plenty of time to train.”

Well, it turns out that one doesn’t actually need a job or a boyfriend to find plenty of activities that are more appealing than marathon training. Concerts, weekends away, going to the movies just to be in the air conditioning…the days were just packed. I knew I was in trouble when, early on in training, I was scheduled to run 9 miles, which in my then-state of post-half marathon relative fitness, should not have been a make-or-break distance. 9 miles was a fun distance—an accomplishment but not a back-breaker. What, then was the problem? The problem was that on 9 mile Saturday, I wasn’t at home in nice flat Chicago, but rather I was in Begur, Spain — a small town in the Costa Brava. Narrow streets, heavy traffic, unforgiving hills…it wasn’t a locale conducive to long-distance running. “Oh well!” I thought, “I’ll eat tapas and look out at this Mediterranean sunset  instead of running this week, but next week I’ll be back in Chicago, I’ll do 10 and I’ll be back on track.”

Spoiler alert: that’s just really not how training for a marathon works.

Not that I’m complaining about having been in Begur, one of the most gorgeous spots on the surface of Planet Earth; I’m just saying that forces conspired against me.

As the summer wore on and my near-total failure to stick with my training program because more and more apparent, my guilt, angst, and embarrassment turned even short runs into nightmarish sessions of sweat and self-recrimination. There were still the occasional moments of transcendence—gorgeous views of Chicago from the lake path, miles that slip by unnoticed when you’re in “the zone”—that got me excited about running in the first place, but the experience overall had been tainted by the fact that I was about to Fail at the Marathon.

When the day came, I decided I was going to go out there and do my best. I’ve always loved the marathon as a spectator, found it to be one of the most joyful days to live in the community of Chicago, and I decided to let my love of the event carry me through as many miles as I could muster. At the starting line, I still carried some of my guilt at being unprepared—felt a bit of a fraud. Once we got started, though, that was forgotten. I was fully taken up in the spirit of the day, the spectators, and the gleeful energy of my fellow runners. Training got me through the first 8 miles, the support of spectators got me through the next 4, and previously-untapped stores of gumption got me through 3 more. At mile 15, I thought “well, this was a lot further than I expected to make it, I think it’s time to go.”

So what happens when you quit the marathon? For one thing, everyone is incredibly nice to you. You approach a medical tent, where you are greeted by medical professionals who are volunteering their time (which is so wonderful of them). They make sure you’re ok. You assure them that you’re fine, you’re just ready to quit now. They tell you that you did a great job and made it further than they could have. You are grateful for this validation but still feel sad that you’ve so totally botched your first (only? That’s a question for another post) marathon.

The other quitters and I were put on a school bus to take us back to Grant Park. The mood on the bus is subdued, some people are clearly physically hurting. Others are hurting in spirit. A woman behind me talked about how she hadn’t gotten enough sleep, how she knew when she started the race that she wasn’t going to make it. Her voice was emotional. I wanted to get up in the front of the bus and shout to everyone “Hey! Don’t be sad about this! We did something great! Celebrate the miles you did finish! This bus should be a party right now! YO THE FIRST DUDE TO DO THIS DIED, LET’S TRY TO PUT THIS IN PERSPECTIVE.”

But serious runners tend to be pretty serious people. Maybe THAT’S where I went wrong, way before that Saturday in Begur; I’m just not serious enough for the marathon. Not yet, anyway.

In spite of falling short, I’m still glad I went out to race that day. That 15 miles deepened love for my city, for my fellow runners, and most especially for the kind, capable, volunteers and staff who made me feel like my accomplishment mattered. They (the inspirational memes that collect on “fitness” Pinterest boards) say that in racing, the only person you’re really trying to beat is the voice inside that says you can’t do it. They’re right.

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Filed under Chicago, Reflections, Running