About stridingmom

I chase my kids, my tail and sometimes I run...

Surprise….surprise…

Since I’ve been on a blogging hiatus, I thought it was time to dip my toe back in the waters.

A recap of the last few months…

What I HAVEN’t been doing:
Blogging

What I HAVE been doing:
End of the school year stuff (yes the kids went to school until June 25th), working, traveling, vacationing, slowly ramping up my mileage, starting to race again.

The Slow Return:
Since the whole car vs. foot vs. trying to return to running sooner than I should have debacle, I’ve been slowly increasing mileage and checking in with my friends at Rausch PT.

The Highlights:
Renegade Race Series Summer Trail Race #1 back a few weeks ago.  I did a half mile warmup pre-race and thought I was going to die, so my plans for the race were to just finish.  I had visited the PT that morning and got final clearance to race and I was thrilled to find myself…err…actually running at a pretty good clip.  I snagged a shocking 3rd place overall for the women and finished the evening by securing a 1st place overall female finish in pounding celebratory Doritos post-race.

I literally don't have a single pic from the entire night except the one of my being a good PT patient post-race.

I literally don’t have a single pic from the entire night except the one of my being a good PT patient post-race.

In addition, we hit the road (more like not so friendly and thunderstorm laden skies) and headed for the midwest to experience squirrel sized mosquitos and actual humidity.  I found a little local 5k (Kade’s Klassic) that started 2 hours before a reunion we had to attend in Wisconsin, so 3 generations of us clowns opted to hit the race.  A great time was had by all and we all took some some super sweet times and memories.

Of note:

  • Strawberry won his age group and came in the top 10 finishers
  • I won the overall women despite a serious footrace and challenge from another woman the entire time
  • Vanilla and Chocolate ran the entire race together and said it was the best time “conversationing” they have had in a long time and “didn’t fight one single time”.  When asked what they discussed the entire time they said, “racing and life”.  I’m pretty sure that means gummy bears and tag rules in 7 year old speak.
  • Showing up to a reunion post-race where you haven’t seen people for 20 years is always a SUPER good idea
  • Grandma Honey (my mom) got to be run in by her 3 favorite runners
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Some pre-race photo fun including some seriously wonky hair on all of our parts.

Apparently I’ve magically discovered the way to triumphantly returning to running races and feel better about yourself – wear a watch reading out slower than you are actually running times while you train thus underestimating your current abilities, stick with smaller local-ish races, and ensure some of those are in a place where most people can only feasibly run about 5-7 months a year.  Oh, and be sure you’re a stubborn mule who realizes that running faster means you finish the race sooner.

I’m sure I’ll keep this little place called blogging home a little more updated in the near future.

What races have you done lately?

Are you enjoying summer?

MIA & The Return

Yes I have gone AWOL.

In the case of Sheila vs. the Jeep Patriot, the Jeep won…and I spent a bunch of the month sidelined.

About the only running I was doing, was a fondant version of me atop my birthday cake.

Cheers!

Cheers!

Now I’m in PT, working on rehabbing the ankle and can run about 3 miles at a time.

On Memorial Day, one of my favorite events is the Renegade Race Series Laguna Hills 5k, 10k and Half Marathon.  Strawberry and I set out for what was supposed to be an enjoyable morning and ended up with me looking like a terror of a mother.  #funtimes

It all started out so well.  Happy faces and port-a-pottie lines.

IMG_6759Strawberry talked of a PR and told me to do what I had to do to get him there.  And then he became me…crabby, out of my mind, irritable, barking orders from the starting corral me.

*ugh*

I asked him to calm down and to just focus on having fun.  He retied his shoes 27 times, adjusted his sock 14 times and declared his hatred for every seam in every piece of his clothing.  I told him to just get ready to have a good time and he muttered something under his breath and got even crabbier.  I asked one more time what he wanted to do about the race and he said, “PR…I can do this.”

So we shot out of the gate and I told him to just follow closely behind me and I’d get him through the twists and turns that are the beginning of the course.  He got mad.  He yelled at me.  I tried to be nice, he got angrier.

I finally pulled him off the course about a mile in and we had a little heart to heart about being nice and calm and just having fun.  When it looked like we were finally on the right foot (pun intended), he went down about 1.5 miles on a corner tripping over a street grate finding himself face first in asphalt.  We pulled it together, but he was officially mentally unglued.

It was a tough finish.  I had to gently encourage him, “Hey kiddo, just 7 more minutes and we’re done….do you want to finish?“,  “Should we walk for a few minutes?” or “Hey, do you just want to walk?” were met with growls, grumbles and “Be quiet Mom”‘s.

But we finished – he PRed (despite two stops) and all was well with the world….or at least it was once I had a cup of coffee.

Sadly I understand his agitation and anger during the race.  Some races I’m just crabby during the event and then after I’m asking when to sign up for the next one.  Runners, we’re a crazy breed.

What was your last race?

Are you a Crab McGab before or during races?

 

Hit & Don’t Run

Two weeks ago I was thrilled with my training.  Things were finally feeling good and I had the audacity to actually try and plan a race with a goal.  I said it out loud, sent an email about it and within 24 hours….

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Day 5 and the multi-color rainbow is still alive….

Yes I always yell at the kids, “Don’t stand too close to a car when it’s on” because you’ll get run over.  I should really take my own advice.  Turns out my SO gave me the birthday gift that keeps on giving…a giant bruise on my foot from accidentally backing over it with the car.

I immediately GRICEd.

Gripe/Groan/Growl
Rest
Ice
Compress
Elevate

I might have cried, swore under my breath, then cried again when I found my little running shorts and tank by the front door that night – left there when I ran outside to have one more quick conversation before I got changed for a run.

Yes I could put pressure on it.
No, I didn’t go to the doctor because it felt okay.
Yes, I googled it and it turns out this happens fairly often.
No, it was not the Keurig that I wanted for my birthday.
Yes, this has actually happened within my immediate family before.
No, I have no idea when I can run again.

So instead of fabulous running and working out…I’m just going with the “Let them eat cake [flavored ice cream]” approach in the meantime.

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What’s the dumbest/oddest non-running injury that’s kept you sidelined?

True Confession Thursday: Older & Barely Wiser

They say with age comes wisdom.  I think with age comes wisdom to know my need for incontinence products….and perhaps a few other thoughts.  So to celebrate my birthday this week, I’m going to list the greatest running lessons that have spilled over into my life this year.

Take It Or Leave It World.  This is who I am – ruffles, wrinkles, and rough edges.  I will always strive to be someone better, but I’m just a person.  I choose those who join in the journey with me.  I will never be the fastest runner, and someday I might be the slowest, but I’m willing to run with anyone who’s going my way.

PicCollage

Slow Down to Speed Up.  Sometimes you’ve got to take it back a notch to speed up- physically, emotionally, spiritually…it’s all the same.  Rest for the soul, rest for my legs, and rest for my heart will help me to better propel forward as the best me possible.  Ironically the more I’m slowing it up, the better my body is responding in terms of speed.

Breathe In, Breathe Out.  A few deep breaths go a long, long way….

Chickens Like Wine.  Fact, cause my kid told me so.

photo-3Dig Deep There’s Probably Something In There.  In the last year there have been some huge highs and low lows…and a lot of times when I thought I couldn’t go on.  And then somewhere deep inside me…way deep inside me…I would get through.  It wasn’t always pretty, but the finish line always waited.

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The day I thought I’d quit at mile 3 and made it 10 more….

STREEEEETTCH.  So there’s this thing…you know…dynamic stretching.  Warm up the muscles, and slowly, methodically, carefully move your body and you find some pretty awesome results.  Beyond the PiYo I’ve come to like more this year, I’ve learned that slowly moving into something and giving some sloth-like, intentional, dynamic movement can actually make me a lot more flexible in life.

The things that once felt hard, painful and overwhelming can be achieved with slow, methodical practice and stretching tiny bit by tiny bit.  Too much too fast leads to pain, but taking the time to practice and using baby steps to get there lead to way better results.

And no, sadly it’s not an age group year, I’m just that much older competing against newer, younger (wine drinking) chickens.

What are you learning these days?

Race Recap: Hollywood Half Marathon

Last Thursday I made a very last minute decision to run the Hollywood Half Marathon up in…errr…spoiler alert…Hollywood.

I haven’t run a half marathon since last November and you can easily count my weekly mileage on your fingers and maybe a few toes, so I knew it was not going to be easy, but for what can only be defined as totally insane and personal reasons I decided to do it anyway.

The Race Itself:
Expo - it was small, efficient and the most awesome part – YOU CAN TRANSFER BIBS (thanks to Pam for helping a girl out…)!!!  Parking was okay (I found street parking pretty easily), but most importantly, as I was waiting to cross the street back to my car I was literally standing next to Hugh Laurie who was dining 2 feet from me at a street cafe.  Hello Dr. House….

Hugh Laurie Wallpaper

Race Day Pre-Race - I’m a genius and set my alarm for 4pm instead of am, so I was pretty frazzled getting to the race.  I parked at my uncle’s office and walked to the start line (I parked halfway between the start and finish which are about 6 or so blocks apart).

I couldn’t find the port-a-potties so I begged and offered to pay for anything at a 24 hour diner to use the bathroom and get ready (yes I was literally changing into my running clothes and ditched my old sweats I slept in on the side of the road).  I ate a pack of margarita Clif Shots for breakfast and ran to the starting line.

This was also about the time I regretted eating dinner around 8pm, drinking sangria and beer and having fallen asleep around 1am.  I am clearly the queen of good choices and sound judgement…and no I wouldn’t have changed anything because it was fun.

Starting line....

Starting line….

Race Time –  The race itself was well run and organized.  It started pretty close to on time and started in the dark and headed east so you got to see the sun rise.  You saw some of the Hollywood scenery and had a few minutes running towards the iconic Hollywood sign as well.

The course is a mostly flat out and back but has these little “offshoots” down side streets which makes for a LOT of turnarounds.  I kind of wished they had run us up to Los Feliz and ran the straight away there to get some miles in. It might have had a bit more incline, but it would have made for a much prettier view and way less side street turnarounds being needed.

With 10,000 people on a turnaround laden course, things got pretty congested.  This was further compounded by the fact that somewhere around mile 10, the half marathoners met up with the 10k walkers and it was packed.  It was the worst game of run-Frogger ever.

Post-Race - It looked like there was a lot of entertainment and food after the race, but I was literally grabbing my grub and hitting the road to get to Strawberry’s soccer game before it started.  As bananas, crackers and water bottles were being tossed my way I asked for a bag and a volunteer shoved this in my face.

Pardon the blur, post race sweat was all over that mad cell phone....

Who needs a bag for your goodies if you have a box….pardon the blur, post race sweat was all over that mad cell phone….

I saw bands playing and people looked to be having a good time and the finish line.  I, on the other hand, was squeezing my cheeks, huffing and puffing while I beelined for the bathroom informing my mother that this was not a “I’m going to crap my pants false alarm, it’s the real deal.”

Moms are awesome because she just laughed and listened.

Ironically I saw this later - I snapped a quick selfie for mumsie dear after the race and realized later the bathrooms were RIGHT behind me.  DOH!

Ironically I saw this later – I snapped a quick selfie for mumsie dear after the race and realized later the bathrooms were RIGHT behind me. DOH!  Oh and I never sent her the picture.  Hi mom!

My Experience:
I knew this was not going to be easy…and it totally wasn’t! I intentionally didn’t wear a watch and made it my unofficial goal to just stay ahead of the 1:45 pace group.  Around mile 6 I started chatting with a man who I had been running next to for a while.  Apparently he had trained about as much as I had(n’t) and was going with the “don’t die” approach to his race as well.

We started talking about local races, work, running, life, etc. and before we knew it we had hit mile 10 and gotten pretty far ahead of the 1:45 pace group (who had been on my tail the whole first half).   Things got pretty rough at mile 12, but somehow we powered through and finished.  I barely looked at the clock  as we peeled down the finishers’ chute and guessed a 1:42-1:43 finish…so I was pretty pleased to see my official results rolling in at 1:41:49.

Turns out good company makes for a pretty mean negative split.  Go team.

More than anything this was just that reminder I needed that I am capable of doing  bigger and better things with my legs, and with a little effort and training I could actually be a lot better than I give myself credit for.

In other news, 3 bathroom trips and 1 Starbucks detour later I pulled up to the soccer game just in time to see Strawberry score a goal.  #familywins

Have you ever impromptu raced?

Has your GI system ever hated you right after a race?  What was your best remedy?

 

Worth-less

This morning I took a (too) early PiYo class at the gym – a horrible reminder that my hip flexors are made of steel, and not the tensile tissue they should be.  #crosstrainingfail

As the class wrapped up, the instructor encouraged the class….”What sport are we majoring in?”  And everyone chanted back – “LOOKING GOOD!”

[insert record screeching]  WHHHHHAAAAAAAATTTTTTTT??!?!?!

maya-rudolph-0

The sport of looking good?  The sport of freaking looking good?

I waited to hear if it was an April Fool’s Joke, but sadly, this clearly wasn’t.

While the media would like you to think that I live in the land of blonde extensions, Botox, and bitty clothes, the truth is that most of where I live is a little less Real Housewives of Orange County and more Real Moms of the School Drop Off donned in paint-laden sweatpants and baseball cap covered ponytails.

And this morning, dear PiYo instructor, you made me hit my wall.  Since I have to add another digit to my age this month maybe I’m a little more sensitive to your comments, but really – taking care of my body only to look good?  Psssh…please.

Let’s face it, my body is most definitely ..errr…welll…ahhhh….changing.

The ongoing conversation between my belly button and boobs centers around the fact that the distance between them continues to grow smaller.  It would be a lot easier to be better neighbors if it wasn’t for the canned biscuit looking skin that a few pregnancies have left coming between the two.

My face has a few life lines.  The kiddo face plants into the asphalt, sleepless nights with babies, and tantruming toddlers have all started to make their appearance.  Let’s face it, some years have given my face a little more wear than the others.

The magazines, the TV and internet (and apparently the PiYo instructor) all tell me that my value is going down.  Like a brand spankin’ new car driven off the lot, each passing day chips away at my worth.  My miles splits will grow longer, my laugh lines deeper, my thighs bigger, and oh the places my boobs will go, but all of these things are happening only because I have lived.

And I have a hell of a lot more living to do which is the exact reason I am working out – not because life is a giant beauty pageant, but because I want to be the best me I can.  I want my body to feel and work well for a very long time (even if my parts aren’t in the same places they started out).

As an athlete I value my body and the things it can (and can’t) do, but more than that, my body is the mechanism to me being ME – not the definition of my worth.  I am mom, wife, sister, daughter, friend, employee, teacher, Food Network star wannabe.  I am aunt, bandaid giver, math tutor, computer instructor, rescuer to the bathroom floor which magnetically attracts pee.

So no dear instructor, I am not playing the sport of looking good, I am playing the sport of living well.

What “sport” do you play?

Have you ever heard a fitness instructor say something that’s pushed you over your limit?

True Confession Thursday: Bad Timing

I’m notorious for having the worst timing.

Take, for example, the time I was bowling and stumbled into the bathroom to find a woman struggling to take a poorly executed duck face selfie.  Being the kind person that I am person who wanted to avoid getting publicly humiliated with my horrible bowling skills, I offered to take her picture.

And that’s when it happened.  Duck face in the mirror selfie taker hoisted her leg up onto the bathroom counter showing the whole photo taking audience (hello, at this point it’s me) her thinly veiled bidness.  It was at that VERY moment that the bathroom door swung open and my family and friends poured in.

And there I was, holding a stranger’s camera, taking a picture of this woman who threw me into her very own personal moment.

#badtiming

Last night’s run kept up my bad timing mojo.  I did the mom thing of trying to run during a sports practice.

I started at the park and noticed a big problem – no bathrooms.  No biggie, I peed 20 minutes ago.

Half a mile in, the bottle of water I had just pounded caught up to me.  I started running up and downhill at a sub 7-minute mile pace with 3 thoughts running through my head:

1- My well woman visit the day before where the doctor asked about post-preganancy incontinence (yes 9 years to the day later) and I blew it off saying, “It’s pretty much under control.”  Which was basically the biggest liary of lies ever.  My traumatic first childbirth wreaked havoc on my bladder and still

2-  I lamented every stoplight that I have ever, ever sat at without doing any Kegel’s and wished horrible things upon the weakness of my pelvic floor.

3- A vision of my pink Dear Kates hanging on the drying rack instead of being plastered on my butt where they should have been at that very moment sparing me from the ever increasing likelihood of a football practice pickup with a shirt tied around my waist.  I still LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these bad boys.

The duds, and they’re certainly dapper!

A few miles in I found an unsuspecting coffee shop and my bladder contracted in relief…until I noticed the “Open” sign was off and they were closed.  *whimper*

With the clock ticking closer and closer to practice ending and my superior chauffeuring services being in timely need, I blazed into the next shop – a nail salon.  (eh, desperate times, desperate measures)

Breathlessly I squeaked out…..”Can I please use your bathroom?”.

The woman pointed towards the back and nodded yes while everyone else in the salon glared at me and muttered what I can only assume were really kind things like, “Wow, kudos to her for squeezing a workout in!” and “I love those running shoes!“.

My bladder did a happy dance at the sight of the porcelain throne, I barreled out of there promising to return someday to get what is left of my toenails prettified.

I sprinted the last 1.5 miles back to practice in time to watch a few minutes of practice before dragging the bambinos home for dinner.

The good news:  due to the bad timing, I had a fabulous hilly run with good times, even if my bladder will never forgive me.

What’s the worst timing you’ve had lately?

What’s the weirdest place you’ve stopped to use the bathroom on a run?