Thursday, October 9, 2008

Tone, Trash Talk, and Thanksgiving Turkey: Part II

As we look ahead to our 8k on November 23rd, I have to admit to feeling a bit uncertain about this whole race scenario, competitors included.  Is JM really serious when she talks about this being a true competition?  Does she kill it on the elliptical each day, dreaming of running the rest of us into the ground?  And how far is Red really running?  Yes, she's talked about completing "only 3 miles", but how fast is she clicking off those miles?  She's definitely known for speed.  Can I hang with these girls?

That last question gets to the heart of the matter--the uncertainty I have about myself and my current running abilities.  The baby is only 2 months old and my body is a wacky ball of hormones, belly fat, and leftover saddlebags with stretchmarks ;).  How in the world can I now call upon it to run?  And to possibly run competitively and fast?

These thoughts have circled through my brain over the past week a few too many times...  They are definitely to blame for the defeatist path I find myself on now and again.  It's almost as if there's a large wall in front of my postpartum self, standing in the way of smooth strides, effortless breathing, euphoric feelings, and general shape.  If you've ever really gotten into running, you would say life beyond "the wall" is truly amazing.  Heading out on a run transforms from a daily "to do" to a "if I don't do this I'll go insane" kind of thing.  You become hooked and addicted to the feel good of a jog.  Joints don't hurt, muscles don't ache because one's body is primed and ready.

I long for this again.  And I know it will come.  It always comes back eventually.  One step at a time.  Just as in everything else (except for maybe faith), you have to pay your dues before reaping the goodness.

I conquered the elliptical today.  5 minute warm-up, 5 "on", 5 "off", 5 on, 5 off, 5 on, 10 cool down.  Our oldest cheered from the sidelines--"Mommy, you're going really fast."
That's my boy.  That's my boy...


Elena said...

I know where you're coming from, but know that the Building Cathedrals fitness competition has inspired me to get back into the regularity of running. Thank you.

Right Said Red said...

Well, I've been a bit of a slacker around here! I have not run since last Friday. I came down with a cold, and baby Gus has been waking at night, so my early morning runs have been an afterthought. I'm hoping to get going again this weekend.

As for racing, I'm going to be thrilled to just complete the 8k. I will not be running super speed!

I'm still really impressed with your willingness to run the race B-mama. I don't get up and go until at least 6 months post-partum.

Elena--keep up the running! Thanks for letting us know we are an encouragment.

Juris Mater said...

B-mama, you deserve a MAJOR pat on the back. Thank you for humoring us amateurs by joining in the 8K challenge and for putting your body through some pain to get here. This is interesting--the college level among us will be the most recently postpartum, and the least serious runner among us (Red--who WAS however an outstanding college athlete) will be the furthest from having had a baby. This thing is really up for grabs. Is anyone betting money yet? JesusthroughMary, you're a good Catholic, do you want to help us get the gambling underway?

I ran a strong 8K outside on Sunday. Strong. Live Strong like Armstrong. The perfect fall weather helped, as did the fact that I had taken Saturday off so my legs were fresh. My eyes are on the prize.

Is anyone else enjoying extra outdoor exercise in this mild fall weather? Or are we all squandering it like Red is?

Juris Mater said...

(Yes, I realize that with all this intentionally-over-the-top, obnoxious trash talk, I'm setting myself up to lose big time. It's all in fun here at Building Cathedrals.)

B-Mama said...

Oh JM, you trash-talker, you! Get ready for smokin' B-mama!! Yeah, I'm postpartum, but I'll be ready on race day. Ready for you and your beautiful autumn runs... :)

Mary Alice said...

Well, before this all started I was taking a daily walk with the kids (some rode bikes). I clocked that walk on Running Ahead and it turned out to be a half mile.

I upped the regular walk to a one mile loop, and we have been doing that regularily (though not daily) this week. The first time, I have to admit, it was tough. to walk. a mile.

That was when I realized that it really matters that I am doing this, and also that having an event to prepare for really helps. Even pregnant, I should be able to walk a mile.

Well, over the course of the week, the mile loop has gotten easier for me and for the kids. My routine is that every other day the outing is "mom's exercise time" in which no whining is allowed -- your scooter is too tall or too short or too wobbly? Straight into the stroller. We don't stop for complaints or adjustments. Thankfully, I have a triple jogger, so I can hold alot of whiners, and by the end it is usually full!

There are some MAJOR upsides for the kids here -- I think doing something that is for mom is a good practice. Increasing distance in walking and riding bikes is also good for their fitness. And, there is my sweet John who runs each block saying that he is my brother J and this is his marathon.

When he did this, it dawned on me, kids learn what they live. My kids read alot because they are in a house full of books and a family full of readers. They love spaghetti and meatballs just like we do. While exercising myself will not guarantee my kids health and fitness, it really is the best start.

Perhaps this is something for the government to consider -- if childhood obesity is a problem, the trick is to figure out how to get the parents moving.

Today will be my last mile walk, and then we will bump up to 1.5. I am thinking that 1.5 is going to be my kids limit, and probably mine for daily walks, so after that I will have to start doing my longer walks alone on the weekends.

Oh, one last lesson that I learn when I increase my distance -- the first time is hard, the second time is easier and eventually you don't think twice about it. This is VERY VERY important. This tells us to push through the first hard time of things that are good and worthwhile.

May I say that this also applies to negative things? Have you ever fallen into a pattern of sin, like missing mass? The first time is brutal, you feel so bad about it. There is a chance to stop it right there, get to confession, make an action plan for getting back on track. If it doesn't stop, though, it gets easier and easier until you don't quite notice that you are not going. Call a friend and get them to meet you for mass or something else that will make that first time back easier and definate.

This applies to confession, too, or saying the Rosary every day. The first time, the rosary seems long, the kids interrupt, you wonder if you are going to be able to really do it -- if you say it the second day, and then the third, the good habit will develop and become almost automatic.

So, if a race is a good motivator for all of us to get through those first few brutal workouts, perhaps after the race we can begin a spiritual workout, let Christmas be our event and choose something (personal and secret if need be), but have a training plan to get our souls and families prepared to recieve Christ at Christmas.

texas mommy said...

Not to take away from the richness of Mary Alice's comment, which is fantastic and inspiring (can we make it its own blog post next Thurs?), but I thought I'd pass along a comment from Mr. Incredible in light of TTTTT Thurs, who meant so well...

"Wow, honey, those are cute green pants! Why don't you wear them more often?"

Me (taking a deep breath and sucking in my belly): "That would be because they are too big 99% of the time."

Mary Alice said...

Well, Tex, I wonder if you have any sympathy for Red, she is really struggling with what to wear to the pro-life benefit next week because all of her clothes are too big. This is apparently what happens when you are exclusively nursing a 10 month old while training for distance running.

Jessica Anderson said...

All of the trash talk is hilarious & entertaining - I'm kind of tempted to pick up the pace of my post-partum workout routine in time to run with you girls on Nov 23! That could be tough, though, since I'm only 7 weeks post partum and had a c section... BUT I've been blessed with a good recovery and have done the elliptical a few times and ran 1 mile the other day. So I'm making progress.

I agree with MA that the gradual, incremental increase in mileage & a schedule is the way to go - as well as setting a specific race as a goal. I ran two half marathons last year, one in Nov & one in Feb (when I was about 15 wks pregnant, which my Drs said was ok given that i had just completed a half mar. a couple wks before getting pregnant, so i didn't take much of a break in my training). having that schedule and that goal - especially the second one, when I ran with a friend - made them so much more do-able and fun.

anyway, I applaud all of your efforts, and if there's any way I can make it to philly that day, I may run the course for fun. I definitely have a competitive streak, but I'm also too prideful to get smoked by you three ladies. :)

keep up the great work - esp you MA! 5 miles at your stage of pregnancy is no joke!