Sunday, October 28, 2012

Wine & Dine Weeks 9 & 10 Training–Yet Another Disaster


It’s a double week recap because I spent most of this week seriously ill, barely getting out bed for a couple of days,

Week 9

Monday – ?

Tuesday – ?

Wednesday – 5 miles + physical therapy

Thursday – ?

Friday – 1 mile (cut run short with some tummy troubles)

Saturday – 10 miles.

Sunday – SICK

Week 10

Monday – SICK

Tuesday – SICK

Wednesday – SICK

Thursday – SICK, finally went to doctor’s and started antibiotics (which I never do)

Friday – slightly less sick

Saturday – 45 minutes home PT exercises and core work

Sunday – 3.25 miles

So yea things aren’t looking good. Week 10 was supposed to be my last week before tapering, and I was looking forward to kicking butt! My body had other plans. An upper respiratory infection knocked me on my …. well ya know. This training cycle has been one disaster after another. Seriously.

Fullscreen capture 10272012 80040 PM.bmp

That is my weekly mileage totals for the first 9 weeks of this training cycle. Add a 3 at the end of you have the first 10 weeks. Whaaaat? Ouch. Frighteningly enough, I still have a chance of hitting the # of miles I ran before my first ever half marathon. Geesh, no matter that race hurt so much!  The good news is I’ve done more strength and cross training than I did before that race, and I weigh almost 10lbs less. At least I’ve got that on my side.

It is what it is. I can’t push the next two weeks because I’m recovering from illness and in the longer term injury. Plus, my body needs to be able to survive the Philly half marathon the week after Wine & Dine. Oh yea and there is this little hurricane coming through that’s going to throw life upside down!

I’ll nurse myself back to health and focus on my costume… now, to learn how to sew, hmmmm…


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Breaking Down Walls

He yells. He hurls insults and calls names. He throws things and hits. Sometimes he can control himself a little bit, and he picks soft things to throw or hits gently. He’s trying so hard. But other times, he can’t. It hurts. It hurts physically, and It breaks my heart. I get angry. I get angry because he’s being mean to me. That’s what I think. I don’t deserve this. He’s disrespectful and rude, and I have a right to be angry.

Actually, I get angry because I’m tired, because I don’t want to deal with this again. I get angry because I’m scared. I'm scared I’m doing it all wrong. I’m scared he’s broken. I’m scared I can’t fix him or his anger. I’m scared he’ll end up like me. I get angry because it’s easier to be angry than feel the fatigue and the fear. I get angry because it’s easier to get pissed off than to feel your heart break again. I get angry to protect myself.

If I let the anger win, I yell. I try to demand respect. I try to punish and take things away hoping that will force him to be kind to me, hoping that will force this all just to disappear. Maybe if I act like some of those normal parents, I can make him act like a normal boy. But I can’t, and it doesn’t. Because he’s not doing it to be mean. He’s not doing it to be disrespectful. He’s crying out for help.

It is so hard to see. I doubt it every time. Through the yelling and anger, the name calling and the lashing out, I try to remind myself, he needs you. He’s overwhelmed. His bucket of resilience is empty. He can’t calm his body down. He needs you. And yet there’s a part of me that’s yelling “no, he’s just a mean kid! I don’t deserve this!! I get to be angry. He needs to figure this shit out!” As if a child of 5 years with his unique needs could do that on his own. Most days I’m not sure that I can do it on my own.

But, I doubt the part of me that knows what he needs. I doubt it because society tells me to doubt. Society tells me that there is something wrong with him and something wrong with me. Society tells me kids need to respect their elders, and more rules and more “no” will make the world a better place. I can feel the judgment. Even when no one is around, I can feel it. Next time, someone might be around. I get so scared that I put up my walls and I let my anger win.

But if I fight through the judgment, the fear, and the fatigue… if I can let down my walls and just be there for him… if I can love him so fiercely that he sees that he cannot do anything that will make me flee.. if I can showing him that he is okay exactly the way he is and that together we’ll figure this out…. his walls come down, too.

Behind his walls of anger, insults, and violence, there is a tired and scared little boy. But he gets angry because it’s easier to get angry that feel what his body is doing to him. In fact, getting angry is the only way he knows how to cope with the onslaught to his senses – the noise from the tv, the tag on his clothes, the questions in his head, the emotions that are bigger than he is. It’s too much to feel, so he gets angry.

But when I can hold on long enough, when I can love him harder than he can hit, his walls come down. He crumbles into my arms. He clings to me and cries. In those moments, I get the real deal. I find out what was underneath everything. I find out the ways he was hurting or scared. And, together we can make it okay.

If I’m going to help him learn to deal with his walls, I’m going to have to bravely deal with mine. Anger might be easier, but showing up with love is what I need to do.


I can do hard things. I can do hard things. I can do hard things.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Gratitude & Sparkles - Wine & Dine Week 8 Training Recap


Monday – 80 minutes Physical Therapy

Tuesday – Rest (if you can call school field trip, presiding over a board meeting, and baking 4 dozen cupcakes rest!)

Wednesday – 3.82 miles of Couch to 10k intervals with the husband (run 3 walk 2 a lot of times) + 80 minutes Physical Therapy.

Thursday – Rest

Friday – 6 miles on the gym treadmill. Foam roll.

Saturday – Core, foam roll, ultrasound, and stim therapy.

Sunday – 10 miles!!!! Foam rolling, stretching, stim therapy.


I logged my first double digit run since February!!!  10 miles done. I headed out feeling fabulous. My head was in a great place after writing my guest post for The Orange Rhino and having some great conversation back and forth with her. Her kind words really lifted my spirit and reminded me how much I enjoy sharing my journey through words. Gratitude.

I expected it to be cold and windy but walked outside into the most gorgeous fall day. I quickly ran inside to shed a layer or two, prepped my iPhone and my Garmin, and off I went. I was overwhelmed by an intense gratitude for the run in the first 5 miles. I was grateful that my body could do this. I was grateful to live somewhere so beautiful and to be able to soak in the beauty on my feet.


I ran past an apple orchard packed with families enjoying a beautiful Sunday, lots of farm land, a couple cute country B&Bs, and the Appalachian Trail (where no less than 26 cars of people were enjoying the weather!). I kept my eyes peeled for those dang black walnuts, but otherwise I just enjoyed the run. My soul was bursting.


While I ran, I listened to an audiobook I’d downloaded from the library (love that feature!) on the recommendation of a friend. Haruki Murakami’s What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. It was perfect. It matched my mood perfectly. I’d loved listening to his journey and what exactly running means to him. And his words would carry me through the last few really hard miles even after I switched to music to carry me home.

 what i talk about

“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. Say you’re running and you start to think, Man this hurts, I can’t take it anymore. The hurt part is an unavoidable reality,  but whether ornot you can stand any more is up the runner himself.”

The last 4 miles were hard. It was a BIG jump in distance for me having only ran 8 miles once more than a month ago. But I finished filled with gratitude for my body, this sport, and my journey.


Plus, I’ve begun acquiring the necessary sparkle for my RunDisney Wine & Dine costume!!! Can’t wait to put it all together!

What are you grateful for today?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Fight or Flight


orange rhino button

Today, I’m guest posting at The Orange Rhino about my decision to change, just like that, and stop using yelling as a means of communication. It’s been great at times, but really tough at others… especially moments like this….

In those moments, when the kids’ volume is set on super-high-let’s-damage-mom’s-hearing and the dishes, clutter, and laundry are threatening to EAT me, my body goes into survival mode. Make. it. stop. MAKE IT STOP. Make it all stop. I can’t think of anything else besides a fierce, intense, primal need to make the world go black. I need quiet, darkness, and calm. I need a sensory deprivation chamber. And yet it’s not there, and I can’t run to find it. Fight or flight. Flight’s not an option and so I fight.

Come on over to The Orange Rhino, read the rest of my post, and join the conversation. Plus, don’t forget to take a look around the site and read some of the other posts for inspiration or a laugh – it’s a little bit of everything!

And if you’ve wandered over here from The Orange Rhino, welcome!!

I’m working on some site updates, including an About Me section, but otherwise feel free to take a look around. There’s a little bit of everything, but for the most part the headers at the top of the page or tag cloud on the right should help you find something that might interest you!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Wine & Dine Week 7 Training Recap

Oh dear. Only 5 weeks left, and this training cycle has been a total disaster!!!

Monday: 90 minutes Physical Therapy – don’t remember details but it was a LOT of hard work

Tuesday: Body Pump class

Wednesday: Spin class + 90 minutes Physical Therapy (again a LOT of hard work on extremely tired muscles)

Thursday: Nothing. Couldn’t lift my arms thanks to Body Pump and PT

Friday: Still nothing. Got attacked by a killer head cold.

Saturday: Nothing

Sunday: 2 miles (with no ankle pain!), core, and foam rolling. Killer head cold still killer but refused to take another full rest day.

Knowing I couldn’t run after the killer black walnut incident, I started this week determined to get my workouts in regardless. I went hard in the first half of the week and then burnt out. I have wretched head/chest cold that is totally kicking my butt right now. Excuses, excuses.

I’ve had a hard time this training cycle really feeling like I was in training with the lack of mileage, being careful with injuries, and the ups and downs. When I’ve tried to really get back up to a full training load (a very modest one at that but the bare minimum that I would consider training for me), my body has revolted in one way or the other. Injuries have been irritated. I’ve been absolutely exhausted. I’ve twisted an ankle. And now my immune system says I quit!

When I’ve started weeks out strong with workouts, I have been completely exhausted, passing out at 8:30pm from sheer physical exhaustion. My body has never adjusted to a training load due to lack of consistency in training. A lack of nutritional consistency is the other piece. I haven’t even been hydrating consistently. I haven’t been acting like I was in training at all!

But I have been successful at a few things…

*going to physical therapy and not pushing my body beyond a safe point (despite frustration!)

*more foam rolling and stretching then I have ever done in a training cycle

*more strength training and core work than I have ever done!

*cross training, especially spin classes!

I have 5 weeks left. Clearly. my goal will simply be to finish this race. It was before, but with the ankle strain any unspoken dreams of seeing what my body could unexpectedly pull out on race day are gone. I need to finish this 13.1 miles and be ready to pace my sister for her first 13.1 miles at the Philadelphia Half Marathon the following weekend. I will build on my successes, keep up the strength and cross training, add in more miles, work on my nutrition, and act like I am in training for this last stretch!

Monday, October 1, 2012

So I Changed. Just Like That.



Picture via Pinterest

I’ve been reading the Orange Rhino recently. She is a mom who found herself trapped in the yelling pit of parenting, and one day decided to stop. She made a pledge to go 365 days without yelling at her kids. She wrote about all the excuses she let get in the way before making this decision, all the reasons she simply couldn’t stop yelling at her kids. She followed the post up with rebuttals to those excuses. Her words resonate with me. I have so many excuses, and I swear they are good. We are hanging by a thread most days, and I finish the day feeling like I got hit by a truck wondering how in the world I’ll get up and do it again tomorrow. Another time maybe I’ll get into the circumstances of it all but for now it doesn’t matter.

There are so many excuses that keep us from going where we need to go. Habits take hard work to break and to build. There is great information out there on how to effectively make those changes, replacing habits instead of trying to start from scratch and so on. I learned a lot about habits in Dawn Trautman’s e-courses. I can be very good at looking at situations and planning. I can analyze where someone is going wrong and what tricks, tweaks, and solutions might help change that. I can talk the heck out of something – I know you would have never guessed! As my therapist told me recently before informing me that I no longer need therapy (is she the crazy one?!), I am intelligent, self-aware, pragmatic, and a good problem solver.

The problem is that I use all the planning, researching, and problem solving as an excuse. I use it as a great way to not do the hard things now.

There are a lot of things that I am spinning my wheels in research/planning mode about right now. Things that I can’t tackle because I haven’t had the time to properly plan and analyze. But almost 2 weeks ago, I made a choice. I didn’t want to be *that* mom. No, not the one described in my header above, I am totally *that* mom. But I didn’t want to be the one yelling. I didn’t want to  be one who didn’t have control over her own emotions so she couldn’t help her children learn to control theirs. I didn’t want to be the “drowning in guilt and beating myself up because every day I did every. single. thing. that I didn’t want to do” mom.

So I changed. Just like that.

Well, it’s not that simple of course, but it also is that simple. I made a choice to let my excuses be unacceptable. I made a choice to make certain habits and behaviors be unacceptable.


I celebrated by purchasing two pieces of jewelry. They balance each other out in a way that’s important to me. First, I bought the “I can do hard things” necklace I’ve been eyeing for a long time. This will be hard; I can do it. This reminds me to stand up tall, suck it up, and just do it. Yes it’s hard. I refuse to let that be an excuse. I am very capable of hard things.


Second, I bought this “just breathe” bracelet. Doing hard things is important, but it’s hard. I can put a lot of pressure on myself, and this reminds me that in those moments when hard just seems too hard that I can just breathe. Those breaths bring glorious life-giving oxygen into my body, slow my heart rate, and stop the stress level from rising any further. Sometimes, all you can do is breathe.

This started with a choice about stopping the yelling in my home. No matter how frustrated, angry, and exhausted I am yelling will not help. At best, it is not a good communication tool and sets the wrong tone for our home. At worst, it is a weapon of abuse. I haven’t been perfect. Perfection is not the goal. But I have refused to let myself spiral downwards into the yelling pit. I may raise my voice for a phrase, but I stop in my tracks, often mid-word. I apologize for yelling. I take a deep breath and start over. I am learning about what triggers my yelling and how I can better deal with those emotions on my end. Sometimes when I can’t shake the feeling – the tight chest, tingling body, and boiling blood – I do a quick head or handstand. It helps blood flow and forces my body to engage in a different way. Those muscles that were ready to explode gratefully accept the call to action. And I breathe.


My sensitive and passionate son finds it helpful as well.

Habits are important. Plans and analyzing behavior can make the difference between being successful or not. But for this girl, it was time to get off the hamster wheel of analyzing and planning and make a choice to change. I’m working hard at making similar choices in other areas of my life. One decision at a time. Over and over every day. Reminding myself that it’s not an all or nothing, put the most magical perfect plan in place, and suddenly it will implement itself for you. Instead, it’s in every small choice I make each day, and I have the opportunity to change those choices. They won’t all be good, but I can decide that they won’t all be bad. And it is hard. But I can do hard things, especially if I just breathe.