The Unsoccer Mom

35 minutes on Stair Master
Stupid Steppin’ Strides

I felt good so I hit the stair master…which was really stupid.  I have more thoughts on that in the future though.

Remember when I was complaining about the chronic lack of wrist sweat a few days ago?

I’m never doing that again.

On Wednesday I realized my ankle wasn’t swollen – winning!  I dug out an old ankle brace, took a sniff and decided it didn’t smell too bad.  I compressed the crap out of my foot and hit the bike for 30 minutes at the gym.  Minimal pain, no swelling when done so we’ll take it as progress.

Not too shabby.

Then the text came.  THE text.

Soccer Coach:  Hey Sheila, I have to be at my daughter’s school, can you run practice?

Uhh…sure I guess.  It was a cool, crisp 90 degrees so I can’t imagine anything else I’d want to be doing right now.  (sitting in the air conditioned Starbcucks sipping an iced latte)  

Plus, I know a lot about soccer.  You use your feet and kick the ball inside the lines.

Kidding.  I love it when my kids score touchdowns playing soccer!

My experience with soccer can be summed up in a few rules.  So here’s my runner’s guide to soccer.

#1 – Make awkward faces and strut around like a chicken.  The other team will be confused they will avoid you at all costs.

#2 – Choose to play against a team that is half your size.  And smile.  People always wonder what you’re up to when you’re smiling. 

#3 – When in doubt use air quotes.  It totally psychs out the other team.

#4 – And wear a cup. You never know when some unsuspecting 4 year old is going to cleat your special place.

I wish I were kidding, but that sums up my soccer knowledge.  I’m pretty sure the kids learned a lot from me.  Plus courtesy of the unrelenting heat – I got my sweat on, and then some.

Let’s just say that these studs were bending it like Beckham and likely disappointed by my appropriately short, undoubtedly failure ridden soccer coaching career.

The good news – after the kid chasing, biking and general silliness my ankle was okay, not great, but okay.  Methinks a short run is just a couple of days out.  And I think the soccer team only needs about 4 sessions with the real coach to undo the damage done.

Advice:  How do you say no?

True Confession Thursday: Did I Say That?

30 minutes on the bike
30 minutes coaching soccer practice
Slightly Swollen Strides

It’s Thursday kids!  You know what time it is?

Nope, not Tool Time.  It’s time for me to get real.  Usually these are outrageously real and light hearted.  So if that’s what you’re looking for – here:

We’ve had quite a few noticeable earthquakes lately.  The kids have probably felt 3-4 in the last week so I was explaining what causes earthquakes:  plates, building pressure, the Earth’s need to release, yada yada yada.  The first analogy that popped into my head was farting.  Fabulous.  So now my kids think earthquakes are the planet’s way of letting a gassy lunch go.

Now for the real stuff.  And by real…I mean REAL.

I was cruising on Facebook and learning about really important things like Rebecca Black’s new song is releasing and stumbled across this gem of a quote.

Don’t worry, I’m just pretend yelling in the picture. When I really yell my veins stick out just a little more.

Mother trucker.

I’m not going to lie, it stopped me dead in my tracks.  Sadly this was the second time I had seen it.  The first time I read it, I went to a super fabulous place called de-nial.  But this time there was no ignoring it.

I felt sucker punched.

I have spent a significant amount of time lately reacting to my kids instead of responding.  The do, I react.  They don’t do, I react.  Sometimes I find myself saying things and wondering when I’ve turned into my mother (love you Mom! you’re the best) who I’ve become.

Some kids get foot and mouth disease, I’m feeling a major case of foot in mouth disease.

My goal lately has been to just take a deep breath before I say anything.

This is so much harder than a 5am 20-miler.  I’m not even kidding.

My voice, my winces, my reactions are creating my children’s inner voices.  Oh sure, sometimes it’s funny.   Strawberry literally had the entire neighborhood pool in hysterics when he kept dropping the toys he was carrying and declared, “Oh my gosh, I’m a total hot mess”.  But watching his teeth clench when he’s upset and I know he’s being too hard on himself is like looking in a flipping mirror.

I’m thinking a lot about the voices in my kid’s head (and I’m hoping there’s only one in each respective little cabeza of theirs) and what they hear now and will hear in the future.  I hope it’s forgiving, gracious, loving, and kind – not only to others, but to themselves as well.  I want their inner voices to be confident, merciful and joyful.

The challenge is that I have to get my “voice” there first.  I need to stop reacting, start responding and make sure the voices in my head are giving a true read on what’s actually going on.  It’s time to stop playing the worry, people pleasing, and internal berating on repeat.

All of this begs the question:  Why don’t kids come with a manual?  It’d be so much easier eh?

Do you need to change your inner voice?
If you have kids, what do you want their inner voices to be like?

On Wrist Sweat

40 minutes pool workout
Swimmy, sammy, swammy, swanson..? Oh, Samsonite! Strides

Name that movie party peeps?

Can I tell you one of my favorite things about working out ever?

Wrist sweat.

I’m not even kidding.  There’s something about a workout where the sweat doesn’t just coat my back and head, but literally drips down my wrists.  It’s then I know I’m getting my full workout on.

But with my piece of crap uncooperative foot I’m using my wrist for other purposes.

Thanks to the cool breezes flowing from the frozen treat, not an drop of sweat was found.

Since the bike, elliptical, stair master & dreadmill are all off limits I hit the pool.  Actually I hit the pool because my kids were driving me crazy and it was wicked hot.  Plus I was looking for any and every excuse to not have to cook dinner.

Remember I said Vanilla would gank my Saucony bag? #proof

Two standard strokes in I realized the ankle wasn’t going to cooperate.  I could, however do a funky dog paddle, high knees and butt kicks in the water.  So for 40 minutes I looked like a total moron.

Basically a normal day in basking in my moronhood.

But when all was said and done, this is what was outside my front door by evening…even if it was 89 degrees at 7:20.

Not a shabby way to end a day…

Any ideas for workouts with a uncooperative bum ankle?  

Can you name the movie quote without googling it?  

Injury Report: What the Shizzle?

Can you figure out what is wrong with this picture?

I had a fab meeting with Dr. Scott on Friday.  You see my legs have been a little wonky – ankle & my groin injury again for about a week at that point.  I will spare you the details of our conversation since you probably don’t care much anyway, but the long and short of it – I’m a really crappy speedster.

When I pick up the pace I am sprinting longer distances instead of RUNNING.  Apparently when I’m doing speed work I’m getting on my  toes and powering with my calves instead of just using more force from my glutes and quads.

Note:  This makes certain muscle groups angry if you do this for long distances.

If you want more information on the differences between running and sprinting google it.  Being the nerd bomber that I am I actually read this entire ridiculous, and overly informative article.

I felt very encouraged as I left my appointment.  I had an ART session on my calves and things seemed balanced out.  Then I went to the happiest place on earth.

Fave Disney Ride Ever – Space Mtn. Strawberry’s mid-tantrum on the ride about who knows what, Chocolate is mad at Strawberry’s fit and Vanilla is pretend crying. Not even kidding.

As we know, my grace just overfloweths and just a few hours later I was bounding up an escalator chasing a crabby child at Disneyland and I rolled/jammed said slightly tender ankle and immediately knew this was not pretty.  Slight swelling, tried to run the next day and made it literally 3 steps.

Yes we rode this ride 3 times over the weekend. Yes Vanilla is pretending to be scared. Yes you can hardly see Chocolate. And yes, that is a live carnation in my mouth. We thought it would be funny. Not quite as funny as Flat Stanley on Space Mtn (true story) but funny to us no less.

It’s was a fab weekend of ice, elevation and compression.  No R for that RICE though as I spent Sunday hobbling around the Mouse House…again.The goal -to get this sucker under control before my half in a few weeks.

Running…I miss you. 

Hitting the Brakes

I can’t run.  I can’t bike.  I can’t swim.  I can’t do freaking anything without my ankle swelling up and making my life generally miserable.

So since I can’t run forgive me if I get a little Momish on you.  Yes, it’s like Amish but way sappier and a heck of a lot more sentimental.  But the next two weeks are quite possibly the worst time for me to be throwing the brakes on my physical exertion, because fits hitting the shan here folks.

Let’s preface this convo by saying I’m usuallynot overly sentimental.  I mean, I typically only cry when I have to get rid of a pair of running shoes I’ve been overly attached to or my sports bra gets thrown in the dryer.

Overly sentimental. Psht! Not me, I only watched him sleep like this for 40 minutes the other day. What?!  Who am I?

But for the love of the land the fact that my TWO youngest boys are starting kindergarten is throwing me.

Let’s talk about Vanilla for a moment because he’s my total snuggle puppy.  I mean, the kid wakes up and still asks for a quick morning cuddle before breakfast.  If we’re walking outside and I hold my hand out, within 2 seconds he’s all over it like a shark on chum and has his sticky little hand nestled into mine.

But. it. won’t. last.

Why swim when we can spend a 95+ degree day snuggled on the SAME lounge chair?

I know the days are numbered.  He won’t squeeze my hand for reassurance or hold onto my waist because he’s needing a little extra confidence boost.  He won’t think I’m the coolest person on the planet (which is really a shame because, hello, he’s almost right) and I’m really struggling with letting my last two babies grow up.  As a mom of almost twins (a day apart) it’s like a 2 for 1 blow to the gut with each milestone.

Normal TV watching stance. Poor thing, got Mom’s scrawntastic chicken legs. Shhh don’t tell him.

So I’m literally savoring these moments with my babes, because honestly, 5 & 7 are ridiculously amazing ages.  I lap them up like the last drop of wine in my cup and recognize that things will be far too different in the blink of an eye.

And in that same vein I have to remember that a few weeks of resting my craptastic foot will seem like nothing in the future and I’ll be just fine racing in a few weeks even if it’s not a fancy schmancy PR.  And I shouldn’t get crabby when I have a bad run because a bad run is better than no run at all.

Anyone else wanting to bottle their current phase in life up and drink it forever? 
What makes it so special?

Unexpected Surprises

As per ush, the week promised lots of surprises.  But this week there seemed to be a few more than normal.

First there was the unexpected few bucks I found on my dresser as I was running out the door.  I didn’t have anywhere to put it I just shoved it in my sports bra.

Few bucks – BONUS!

Double bonus 8 hours later when I found said cash in my sports bra after forgetting about it all day.

Sadly the 3 dollars doubled my cup size.  #scrawnyrunnerwoes

I also got a Plum District gift card left on my car randomly at Target.  Let’s just say the damage done at Target will in no way be offset by my whopping $5 gift card.

$5 already pre-determined to be spent on Chicago style pizza coupon on the website

THEN (I know, obnoxious ongoing list but whatevs, this stuff NEVER happens to me) I won the Zooma Bani Band giveaway.  With short hair, headbands are as necessary as a rubber band for long haired runners.  So trying out new ones without the initial investment is super sweet!  They shipped today and I can’t wait to get them!

Can’t wait to try ‘em out!

There were also some not so fabulous surprises.  Say, my computer woes, my injury, and a particularly awful fit my son threw in the line for Space Mountain at Disneyland.  It was one of those moments where you watch your child spill words out of their mouth and want to crawl in a hole and die.  Instead you pretend like you have it under control because approximately 300 people are watching and you get in the car and try not to cry the rest of the way home.

Injury Update:  Long story short, my tight calves are pissing off my  ankle.  No jumping for a month, an ART session and managing my speed work appropriately (more on this later) are in order.

Any good, bad or ugly surprises for you this week?

Listen To Your Heart

25 minute stair master
15 minute bike
10 Min Blitz to Daycare Strides

Yay for True Confession Thursdays and the baring of my soul…or more like soles.

Listen to Your Heart…or at least your mother truckin’ body.

I’ve been looking at going a bit shorter with the hair lately. Methinks this might be the way to go, no? Source

Are you channeling your inner Roxette yet?  ‘Cause I sure am.  I’m playing a mental track of “Doh!  That was so stupid Sheila!!” and “Smooth move slick!” over and over and over and over again in my mind.

I’ve been avoiding talking about this, but it’s time.  Gah!

Nah, nah, nah, nah….I’m not listening! I can’t hear you!

This summer was the summer of recovery and I’ve been doing it right for once.  Increases of about 10% a week and easing into speed.  Text-freaking-book recovery.

I hit my first 30 mile week and was feelin’ fab so I took the old legs to the dreadmill because of the heat.  I was doing the same darn workout I did in May that got me in trouble – 800’s on the mill.  I felt the pulls, I felt the twists, I felt off – but I pushed through.

To continue my with my genius maneuver I ran 5 miles and biked 18 the next day.  Smooth move slick.

Why:  Because it felt so good.

That’s how a lot of Lifetime Movies that have terrible endings begin as well.

I guess this girl never learns.  I can hardly run right now without irritating half of my lower body.  Something is off and I’m afraid to find out what.  My groin is flared up again and my achilles has a mind of it’s own.

I’m going to see Dr. Scott on Friday and hoping he can work his magic to pinpoint what is going on and get me back on track.  Until then – no running.  Just high steppin’ on the stair master and the bike because those are pain free.

Are you as brilliant as I am?
Have you ever pissed off an injury because you were pushing it too fast or too far too quickly?

The Daycation

40 minutes on stairmaster
Sweaty Steppin’ Strides

Ever feel like the pace of life is spinning out of control faster than a bike at the gym?

Yeah, me either.

Gone for a day or week?

So by Sunday morning I knew it was time to reset life from race pace to a nice recovery tempo.  I wasn’t sure how to do it, so I threw a bunch of our favorite stuff into the car and started driving north.

We wound up in Santa Monica and beat the heat avoiding crowds and got ourselves a little 7ish mile bike/razor ride.  I, on the other hand, partied like it was 1994 and strapped on my roller blades to strengthen my whatever muscles runners don’t exercise very much.

The premise of the daycation was not a day at the beach – we do that often enough.  The idea was less about the activity and more about pulling the reigns back on our pace and slooowwwing down.

Check out the little babes behind me – see exercising with kids is possible!

Our day at the beach allowed us to focus on the small things we miss in our hasty race pace…like sand in our buttcracks, avoiding jellyfish stings and trying to undo the emotional damage Shark Week wreaked on 3 little boys.

Sand crabs- nature’s pet for a day.

We then drove up to my aunt’s house for a family dinner and playing corn hole (as they call it).  I’m sorry, but in the Midwest it’s called bags and you can play a lot better because the humidity slicks the boards up nicely.  While we had the heat on Sunday, the humidity was severely lacking.

Corn hole? Sounds naughty. Bags works for me.

My family is 2 legit in awesomeness in our birthday photo taking tradition.  Every birthday – same shot!

Like I said the other day, my injury is resurfacing because I was getting to pacey and forgot to look at the spacey around me.  This little daycation reminded me that it was time to do that in not only life, but my running as well.  Thanks injury, you’re swell.

We reset our clocks, and I’d like to say our attitudes, but as I type I hear 2 babes fighting over a pair of socks…because of all the things to fight over in the world, socks are most definitely on the top of the list.

How do you slow down?
Have you ever taken a daycation?

One Fried Mother[board]

20 minutes stair machine
20 minutes elliptical
Seriously Scorned Ankle Strides

Sunday was an awesome day.  I have so much to tell you about it, but let’s just say our first ever “Daycation” was a raging success.  Which is to say that I probably deserved the Monday that was.

Sunday sneak peak – all so relaxing!

Let me preface this by saying I’m a sunscreen freak.  We were at the beach and I lotioned the boys up and then must have gotten interrupted by what could only have been an elementary boy travesty and forgot to finish the front of my stomach.  Oopsies.  One fried mother.

I got up early on Monday to get a jump start on work only to find my computer completely and entirely dead.  4 hours and a flourishing relationship with John Carlo the Dell Tech support guy later, and I found out I had one fried motherboard.

The rest of the day was a flurry of phone calls, trouble shooting, new computer buying (best boss *waves* hi Jim!), and by 4pm I’m in the clothes from yesterday, that I slept in, and I’m feeling flustered, disgusting and beyond crabby.

Naturally – I call my mom to whine.

At this moment yelled something about how it was time to make an adult version of that old Alexander kids book- My Terrible Horrible, No Good, Very Shitty, F-ed Up Monday.  It only made me even more angry that I sat there thinking about how other people have it so much worse and I’m pissy about some trivial inconveniences.

I wish I could blame some “ahem” hormones, but people, my personality is always this darling and bubbly (no really hormones were definitely to blame).

I swear this has a point about fitness – bear with me…

In other news…I’m in love. It’s a little rocky here as we’re getting to know one another, but I’m falling pretty fast and hard. Sorry John Carlo, our Dell love just doesn’t compare.

At this point picking up my children from day camp was a little dicey.  I love them and would like them to continue loving me, so I opted for a little pit stop at the gym for 40 minutes before picking them up.  Trust me, it was for their own good.  After sweating, slogging and even despite being unable to run (that’s another post for another day when I’m a little less hormonally raging), I felt 100 times better and picked my babes up with a smile on my face.

What workout “grounds” you?
What would you name your inappropriate children’s book about bad days?