Saturday, March 23, 2013

Loving this from Kristin Armstrong

"Here’s my point. When we wait to be perfect, we wait too long. We may wait forever and consequently miss every moment where our vulnerability would have been our victory. We have to run to get faster, we have to practice to play. We have to love when we’re scared to lose." From Runner's World Resonates with me right now after I posted my last post- no matter what one thinks about this woman, she can produce writing that speaks to me. I need to stop waiting and start embracing.



I am riding the train down to New York right now to attend the memorial services for a dear friend’s mother.  While I certainly wish I did not have to take this trip today, I am appreciative of the quiet time that the three hour train trip offers me.  Email has been responded to, ideas for work have been brainstormed, and a little light reading has been enjoyed.

One of the magazines I perused was the new Oprah.  Her theme this month was confidence.  I love one of the articles taglines- “Life take perseverance and pluck, and though we know you’ve got both, we’ll help you reinforce your resolve and believe in yourself like crazy.” Doesn’t Oprah’s words always make you feel better? I read the heartbreaking excerpt about Pat Summit’s acceptance of her Alzheimer’s diagnosis, but what really struck me was Oprah’s conversation with Sheryl Sandberg. 

As everyone in America knows, Sheryl Sandberg has just released her book Lean In, a manifesto encouraging woman.  Originally when I heard of Ms. Sandberg, I was anti-Ms. Sandberg before I knew anything about her.  At times, I feel like I am treading water in all aspects of my life, feeling that I am just doing enough to get by in my professional and personal lives.  And, honestly, I felt quite okay with myself her.  I still do in some ways.  However, after reading her interviews, I started to see her perspective. She shares the research that men apply for promotions if they meet 60% of the qualifications but women only apply if they meet 100% of the listed qualifications.  

Sanberg also states that she and her husband split household responsibilities 50/50.  But she speaks, “ There were a lot of discussions to get us there…. One of the things I really want women to know is that almost no men come fully trained. And we don’t, either, for that matter.”

This reflection resonates with me so much.  I have days when I simply think that I cannot do it all.  That I do not meet 100% of the qualifications needed for all my hats that I wear.  I also have days that I wish my husband was a mind reader and that he knew I needed more help with the boys or the house.  Is that too much too ask?  But, I realized too that he is my biggest supporter- he is the one who encourages me to lean in to opportunities.  And,  that when things are REALLY important to me, he just knows.  He figures out ways to be the mind reader and help me. He is the one who has more confidence in me than I do in myself.

It’s time for me to remind myself that I have earned being confident.

My running will return because I have worked hard at it.

My kids will flourish because I give them my all.

My marriage will thrive because we support and love each other.

My professional live will be fulfilling because I enjoy my work and colleagues.

My relationships with others will grow because I work on the ones that are important to me.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Boston Build Up


We are 5 weeks away from the Boston Marathon, and training is going well but not great.  Having 2 babies 2 and under plus the commute and full time job has put a dent in my training.  There are some people out there who can brave the 4AM wakeup call to get the miles in but I simply cannot do it.  I wish I could, but I feel that 5 is early enough.  That being said, 90% of my runs during the week are done at lunchtime at work where I can get 6 miles on a good day.  Any other weekday runs are done at 8:30 PM after the boys go to bed.  Needless to say, it has not been the best buildup for a marathon.  My long run have been on target and consistent, but I wish I had a little more time for the 8-10 milers during the week.  I know they work for me, but I just cannot seem to squeeze it in.

That being said, I do finally feel like my speed continues to return.  While I have not been utilizing my Crossfit membership well (note two boys above), I have been religious about incorporating in Crossfit workouts on my own.  I am OBSESSED with the She Rocks Fitness blog as the workouts are SO good.  I do think that the tabatas and the core work and the squats are helping me to get stronger. 

I also had the very cool experience to ride the bike leg of the Escape from Alcatraz triathlon last weekend.  The ride was HILLY and I have not been on a bike since before Jack was born, but I loved every second of it.  I smiled the entire time. And, the experience made me wish I was a triathlete and inspired me to sign up for the Nantucket Triathlon in July.  Nantucket makes me happy!

Today I also participated in the Davis Square St. Patrick’s Day 5K.  It was not my best 5K at all, but from first steps I knew was not in race mode.  5Ks are not for me, as I need a little bit to warm up.  So, I just ran it even and did not push it, finishing in just over 24 minutes for a 7:47 pace.  Three minutes off my PR but after yesterday’s long run on the treadmill, I just did not have it in me physically or mentally.

Luckily, though I have not had the best buildup to Boston, I still have 5 more weeks to go.  I also might just run Boston to enjoy it, as I do not think I will be winning it :). I also will be running the San Diego Rock N Roll Marathon so it gives me a little more time to build my endurance.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Boston Marathon- Let's Do It!

Of course- I wrote this over a week ago! ______________________________________________________ Wow! It has been so long since I blogged. But, I have jury duty today, and sitting in the room waiting, what better time! After having my second son via C-section, it was a literal LONG road back to running. I gave birth on July 4th and really only was cleared to run towards the end of August. Of course, I kicked that off by running my first race, one of my FAVORITES, the End of the Summer Classic 5 Miler. While I did not set any records, I felt steady at that race and knew not to push it. September brought an entire month in Nantucket, and the island was a perfect place for me to ease into running. Running/biking/walking there is so perfect as there are miles and miles of bike paths, dirt roads and beaches to journey on. It was a great atmosphere not to worry about speed or distance and to just enjoy every moment of the day. I am sure at times that onlookers thought I was a crazy lady, as I had my older guy in the stroller, the baby strapped to me in the carrier and the dog on a leash as we walked up and down the Madaket bike path. But, when I was alone with the kids on the island, I did not want to lose a day of perfect weather to exercise, so even if it was walking, I was out there. Returning to work was crazy as usual, as I literally began travel to high schools, albeit local ones, my first day back. However, working does bring consistency, as HARD as it is to be a full time working mother with a 3 hour round trip commute. I know it is all relative, but getting two kids out of the house before 7 is tough. But, I love my job and my colleagues so I do it. Not always with a smile, but for right now, being at work is the right decision for me. My employer, Babson College, does have some great perks including free access to a gym, so I have been consistently going to the gym most of the days I am working on campus. It breaks up my day, gets me energized for the afternoon, and provides me with some extra sleep (to 5:15 when I wake up) and some extra time with my guys at night. I also started inching into Boston training in November. I started with Crossfit, and although I am not a total convert as I will always be a cardio queen, I do think that the lifting has made me stronger. I felt so weak and flabby after I had Pete, so I needed something to jump start the return of my strength. Some weeks I get there 3 times, and some others it is once. My “box”, Reebok Crossfit Bare Cove, provides us with a travel WOD each day, so in addition to my running miles, I try to complete it as well. My speed in running is FINALLY showing signs that it might come back, and I know that Crossfit has helped with it. Longish runs also started in November as well. When I was in Nantucket, I mainly ran 5-6 miles, but in preparation for Boston, I knew I needed to step it up. I rejoined my little Hingham running group, a fellow group of mothers who I just adore. These ladies are always willing to get out and be out the door on Saturday mornings at 7AM, and they helped me to start tackling those 8-10 milers. Now, it is L Street all the way! I rejoined the club for our January runs, connecting with old friends, and even meeting some new ones, including Kim! I was so excited that Kim came to our run last week, as her and I have been twitter and daily mile friends for awhile. She is running Boston as well, so I am looking forward to pounding the pavement with her on Sundays over the next few months. Last week, we headed from South Boston, out towards Boston College, basically running the marathon course in reverse for parts. It was so freezing cold and windy, but I was lucky to have Kim and the others ladies to chat with to keep me entertained. I was proud of how steady we ran- 15 miles in 2:14 for just around a 9 minute pace, perfect for a long run. I am already looking forward to next Sunday, when we hit the Emerald Necklace. I am hoping to blog more regularly, but I just need to find time! But, who has time these days, so I just need to plan for it. Even if I am the only one who reads what I wrote, it is also fun for me to look back after my marathon and relive the training through my posts.