Monday, September 26, 2011

I. Am. A. Sponsored. Runner!!! OMG!!!!

Ok, well it may not be exactly how it sounds, but let's just leave it at that for now.  I would like you to think I am super fast and super cool for just a few minutes.

I want to first finish up the back story.  For some reason it feels important to get this all down.  Maybe it's because I think my kids will have an interest in the future, or maybe it is because I need to boost my own self esteem a bit by reviewing where I have come from so I can really appreciate where I am going.

So I think I finished off with getting pregnant on my Honeymoon. We were so happy!  I don't know why, but my head was stuck thinking it would take forever to get preggo...silly me!

I was still working full time in the OR and it was not easy.  I felt nauseated from the minute I got pregnant until the minute I gave birth!  I never really threw up that I can remember, but I felt like I had to the entire time.  The only thing that sort of made me feel better was eating.  So, 50lbs. later I was ready to have a baby.  My beautiful baby boy Ryan joined us on March10, 2009.  I worked that morning and was on my way home at about 11am when my water broke.  I was 37wks by the ultrasounds, but I had been telling everyone I was at least 2wks further along than that.

By 7pm that night I had my first child.  WOW is all I can say.  Everyone talks about the love you feel for your baby, but honestly in my opinion, there are no words to describe how amazing it feels to have this new little life in your arms.  I swear I did not set that child down for his entire first year.

The reality is I did least long enough to get pregnant again when he was about 3mo!  I found out I was pregnant with my beautiful Elise on July 16, 2009.  Shocked is not even close to what I was feeling!  It was a complete out of body experience!!!  I swear I was still in shock at every Dr. appointment until I was 6mo along.  I had no idea what my life could possibly be like in the future.

My sweet baby girl came to us on March 15, 2010...five days after her "Big Brother" turned 1yo.  She tried coming early...I had my labor stopped twice, but in reality I am sure it was mostly due to me chasing around a very active baby.  I remember contracting awful on Ryan's birthday and I had it in my head I would not go to the hospital until after midnight.  There was NO way I wanted to have two babies the same age at any point during the year...that was just too much for my brain to handle!

Both the kids had reflux and I was also blessed with Elise being milk/soy protein intolerant.  What does that mean???  It means I had to be on a strict diet because my sweet bean would not take a bottle and in any case, formula would have been an awful choice for her poor tummy.  I finally was back on the dairy by about 11mo and she now at 18mo is off ALL reflux meds!!  HOORAY!!  We made it!

Along the way though, I was hit pretty hard by Post Partum Depression (PPD).  The worst part is neither Mike nor I realized what was going on until I was coming out of the haze.  I was quite honestly the hardest thing I have lived through.  I could barely get through most days.  I was lonely, overwhelmed, stressed, anxious, ANGRY, and pretty much miserable for the entire first year of Elise's life.  I got through it without meds, but honestly I wish I would have realized what was going on because I SO needed meds, or something.  Life should never have been that hard.

And dammit I feel jipped!!!!  If I sit and think about it too long or too hard, I still get angry.  I basically missed out on my daughter's first year and my son's second.  I couldn't be the mother I wanted to be.  Everyone would tell me how great I was doing with the kids, but to me it did not feel good.

I actually tried running a few times during that period.  It always ended in tears.  Body parts where moving that never moved before.  I could barely breathe.  I had the energy of a tree sloth. I honestly don't know if it could have been worse!  Needless to say, I did not make it to the gym very often!

For some reason though, I still told my husband that the only thing I wanted for my birthday was a treadmill.  Now in case you don't know my husband, there is nothing in this world he would deny me I swear to God.  The man is a saint for putting up with me and he still loves to give me great gifts and surprises. I am blessed, there is no doubt in my mind!

Of course, he got me what I wanted!  To make sure that I was comfortable and quiet, so I could run while the kids slept, he got me the Cadillac model.  A Nordictrack C1500, sure you can get fancier and pricier, but honestly much more than this and you are just being indulgent! He also got me the iFit module to go with it.  This allows through the iFit server to have custom programs delivered to your machine.  This is great because it will mimic hills etc and will also automatically pick up or slow down the pace...fabulous when your brain is not quite firing at 6am.  Also a good thing so you don't get caught in the slump of running 3mi on a flat treadmill everyday.

And here we are inSeptember 2011.  I was still kind of iffy with finding time to run and I certainly wasn't being consistant when I saw that Kingston Adventures was hosting a Women's re-TREAT that involved Running, Yoga, and Stand-up Paddle Boarding.  I honestly just needed a break from my day to day.  So I took a leap of faith and signed up.  I. Was. Terrified!!!!!  You see my friend Beth (who is my dog Klaus' new mommy-that is a whole other story) was putting this on.  She is a Ultraman athlete which is even bigger and farther than an Ironman...honestly the first time I met her it was like meeting someone famous.  In fact I honestly could are less if I ever met another famous person again!  Those I have met are pretty boring and pompous!  But this was someone who had achieved things in real life that to me were bigger than life.  To say I was humbled is putting it lightly.  Then when I knew my puppy, who was very active and was getting NO activity living with two babies, was going to get to run with her every day, I would have to admit I was jealous!  Somedays I would have liked to run away and traded him spots!!

Somehow I was blessed with getting to know Beth more through Klaus.  She graciously sent me photos and videos to help heal my broken heart.  In the meantime I began to realize she was just a normal kind hearted person.

Sorry that was kind of a ramble...back to going to the retreat.  I knew I would be there alone.  I did not know what to expect.  Where they all going to be athletes like Beth??  Would I stand out like a sore thumb as the poser who could barely run 5miles??  Would I make a fool of myself and fall in the water when we went SUPing??  Could I make it two days away from home??

We all know how that story finishes...not only did I survive, I came away with this awesome goal that I am sharing with you!

So there you have it.  All caught up and now I can focus on the running.

Still wondering about my sponsor??   Well, I have already signed up for my first race and it will be this November 12 in North Bend.  I will be running with a four person team in a 5K adventure race...think obstacle course... and Kingston Adventures will be our sponsor WOO HOO!!  All that really means is I will be wearing a Kingston Adventures shirt while I race, but've got to start somewhere!

Just thought I would share how nicely pregnancy takes over my body!  These were taken five days before Elise was born on Ryan's birthday

Friday, September 23, 2011

Well....Here I Go!!

I would first like to say I have always felt that blogging about myself is fairly narcissistic.  In fact I have butterflies right now as I type this, not because I am setting out to achieve a big goal, but because I have chosen to share this journey with the universe!  OK, well not everyone in the universe will care what I am up to, but there will be some of my lovely friends and family reading this and that is scary!  I plan on laying out the good, the bad, the ugly and everything in between.

I spend most days locked up with my two toddlers, so this may get a little long winded.  I tend to over talk when I have the ear of an adult...workplace hazard I guess.  I will try my best to not go off on too many tangents.

I also promise NOT to make you read this every day...well, maybe at first I will be a little over the top, but I figure I have to keep talking myself into this  before I back out.  That is actually why I am doing this in the first place.  I wanted to keep myself accountable for this goal.  I have actually had the goal of running the Nike Women't Marathon for about 4yrs now, but I have not taken a single step toward achieving that goal because it was in my head.  I am hoping that when I start to feel like letting my training slide I can come here talk about it and you dear reader can give me a boost.  I don't think that is too much to ask for in return for letting you into my private fears, self doubts, and achievements.

Please forgive the layout, I am still trying to find the right time of day to do this...ATM it is during nap time, but I already hear a baby starting to fuss.

OH!  I should give you a little heads up on what bug got up my bum to do this.  I attended a GREAT women's retreat (running, yoga and stand up paddle board) and we started by stating our goal.  That was easy...finish the Nike Women's Marathon...had that down for the last 4yrs.  As the weekend went on though I realized that wasn't a real goal.  I hadn't thought of how to get there.  I just knew I wanted the Tiffany's finisher necklace.  Now in the following week, I have decided that finishing A Marathon before 40...April 29, 2013 in case you were the right goal to have

You see, I have not run in basically 3yrs and only VERY sporadically the 2yrs before that.  So in total 5yrs of very little cardio activity.  When I actually was running and cycling more, the furthest race I ran was a 10k.  I enjoyed my races, but most of them were chosen by how much free beer was given to the participants at the end of the race.  Yes growing up in Wisconsin has had it's affect on me.  I still LOVE beer and have NO problem entering a race if there will be beer involved for sure!

Well-babies are back to quiet so I have a few more minutes...I should take advantage.

A little background maybe??

I did not grow up athletic.  My parents are not athletic and for the most part some of my cousins are/were in sports, but on the whole a pretty sedentary group I hail from.  Not a bad not judging here, just stating the facts.  Something in me though has always wanted to weird is that????  I remember summers as a kid babysitting my sisters.  I would have all this energy that I did not know what to do with, so I would run up and down our house stairs or I would run to the bridge and back.  But that was hard and I didn't exactly know what to do with that.  I mean there was not pace, just me running as fast as I could until my lungs and throat were burning.

Then I got to High School and found the burn of cigarettes and booze to be more fun than the burn of being out of breathe!  (GASP) Yes I said it...I was one of those kids you heard about.  Drinking and causing trouble...that was me.  Not always pretty to think back on, but it was what it was and I am here today an non-smoker who drinks responsibly (at least most of the time).  So if you are reading this and you have a moody teenager who wants nothing to do with you and everything to do with their room and their dark moody music, have hope ( and confidence) that they too will come out into the sunshine with everyone else.  Some of us just have to work through it in our own time.

So how did I start running??  Well, in my early 20's I had a boyfriend who quite graciously explained that all women get saggy asses at 26 if they don't run.  I, having always had a perky butt, wanted to make sure I did not fall into the "saggy ass" category.  As it were though, 26 came and went and I was still partying and smoking (ok so I was a little late at growing up, I did get there)  Twenty-seven did come though and so did the realization that a lot of the people I was doing cardiac and vascular surgery on were smokers.  I also had quite bar tending all together at this point and I decided that a change was needed.

I started by walking for an hour.  Put on my trusty headphones that I had used for so many years to block out the noise of the world's population and just starting putting one foot in front of the other.  After doing that for sometime, I was actually doing the elliptical at the hospital gym when one of the guys working there asked me if I would be at the race over at UWGB.  I explained "I don't run" and he simply said, "I know you can go on that thing for an hour, you certainly can run a 5k"  That was it our one and only conversation.  He didn't know me and I not him.  Something in me though started to believe that I could run.

Let's back up here to were I talk about marathons and ironman's on tv...Every Single Time I See One, I Cry!!!  It has been that was since I was too small to even remember.  I knew even as a 7yr old that it took something so special to cross that finish line...or at least that is how they edit it.  Something in me always wanted to be those people.  Even seeing those with that awful grimace, falling down and not finishing.  My heart broke for them.  I cheered for every finisher that did cross that line, my heart was elated!

So back to me at 27 thinking I could put one foot in front of the other quickly..HA!  A Joke at best!!  But I thought, what the hell.  So I started at the crack of dawn 530 before I had to get to work.  Those first runs were awful!  I could not even do a short city block side.  I just started by focussing on going from one corner to the next.  By then end of the summer I could do a few laps, It was amazing

That is all it took.  I have had the running bug since.  I went gang busters when I first started. Running every day, spinning 2-3x per week and I also added swimming into the mix after my runs.

Then, it all stopped.

I was in a relationship that was slowly sucking the life out of me and I no longer had the energy to run.  I barely had the energy to get through most days. (Let's not dwell here)

Then life got busy.  I started running again, but found when I got engaged there was little time to fit it in. Added to the fact I was on the high of getting married, I did not make running a priority.

Next came our move to Seatttle, our wonderful wedding, and then our honeymoon where unbeknownst to us, I got pregnant on our first try. Let me just say pregnancy takes over my body and is not kind!

I think this is a good place to time I will tell you how I got to my first goal of being a Mommy

Thanks again for your support-it really means the world to me!
If you wouldn't mind leaving a few words in the comments, that way I know I am not alone, it would really make me feel like I am not bonkers for setting out on this journey