Archive | November, 2013

what if…

27 Nov

Last night, I went to bed crying, thinking about what happens if we never have kids.  I was in a dark place.

 

I woke up this morning in a much better place mentally.  I like hosting Thanksgiving–it gives me something to focus on and tasks to do.  I woke up with a sense of purpose and a list of things to do to get ready.  

 

And then I saw a post on a friend’s FB about a couple who built their own tiny house on a trailer that they can pull wherever they want to live.  So.  Cool.

It made me think of the blogs I’ve read about people who sold all their stuff except what would fit in an RV or a suitcase and traveled the world.

It made me think of this time a few months ago where I found this site full of tiny house plans.  Awesome! 

 

Image

I mean, really. Could it get any cuter than this???

 

I love these houses.  They are adorable. I love the idea of just getting rid of everything, of starting completely fresh someplace new, of doing something exciting and different, of not having to be tied down to one place, one job.  Completely impractical (in my opinion–I’m sure there are people out there who could make it work) if we had kids.  But if we were never able to have babies…

 

 

Going long…

23 Nov

Today I ran double digits for the first time in a long time.  By a long time, I mean since August 10.  Before that it was July 3.  And before that, it was the marathon, which was in May.  Wow.  I knew my running had kind of fallen off, but I had no idea to what extent.  I’ve still been running, but shorter distances, typically between 4 and 7 miles.  It’s funny how perspective can change so much in such a relatively short amount of time.  I still remember when I thought anything over 3 miles was a long run and anything over 5 was unnecessarily long.

 

Running long doesn’t always feel good when you’re doing it.  In the moment, it sometimes is pretty miserable.  Particularly when you’re getting back into it and everyone else around you has been doing it already, so it’s no big thing to them.  But if  you can hang on through that crappiness, when you’re done, you have the most amazing runner’s high ever.  Non-runners may scoff at that (I know I used to), but it’s true.   This afternoon, I was feeling pretty unstoppable (til I took that nap on the couch haha).

 

Today’s run felt OK up til mile 8.5ish.  We were at Black Creek Park with a good sized group for the first 6 and some change miles.  Chatting and checking out some new trail that was just built was cool.  When we got back to the cars, a small group of us went back out to get in 10 miles.  We came back to the cars again around 8ish, and I didn’t even once consider calling it quits, which surprised me and made me proud.  We set back out, onto more of the rolling, wide, grassy paths.  We had come out to a road and I just decided I didn’t want to do the grassy paths anymore.  Love me some single track, but for some reason I find grassy fields really tough to run.  I bailed on the little group we were with and took the road all the way to the other side of the park.  I had a brief moment of “uh oh” when I thought that I was mistaken, that the bridge/pathway that I knew connected the side I was on with the side I was parked on was not where I thought.  But I found it, just where I had thought it was, and made it back to the car.  Triumphant.  10 miles.  Boom.  Double digits.

 

Tonight I am tired.  Newbie runner tired.  I remember this feeling.  This is the feeling I got training for my first marathon–Saturday mornings I’d run long, then come home completely and utterly exhausted, laying on the couch the rest of the day and trying to recover.  And while this feeling tonight is similar, I know it’s not the same.  I’m a stronger runner, physically and mentally.  And that’s why tomorrow, I will get up.  I will brave the cold and the ice (already hating winter, for the record) to meet some friends and put in some more miles.  Because it’s what I do.

 

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Also, this is hilarious.  There is a plethora of hilarious Mo Farah running away from things memes out there.  Awesome stuff.

mo

 

why an ultra?

12 Nov

For the past year or so, I’ve been thinking about running an ultra marathon.  Really ever since we went to see Krissy Moehl speak at Medved, it’s always been in the back of my mind–what if I tried that?  Any time I’ve mentioned this to non-runners, I am usually met with questions or blank stares.  You want to do what?  Why?  In particular, now that I’ve been so vocal about our mutual desire to have a baby, people seem to think that running should be shut down, that my identity as a runner (which I’ve finally just started to really embrace) should have to take a back seat.

I don’t believe that.  I think running and pre-parenting and parenting can all co-exist together.  I guess my latest obsession of an ultra (I have done quite a bit of research now and am comfortable calling it an obsession) has a few different reasons.

1.  OK first and foremost, you get to eat some pretty kick ass food at ultra aid stations.  M and Ms?  Check!  Coke?  Check!  Peanut butter sandwiches?  Check!  Cookies? Check!  Salt potatoes?  Check!  I started running because of the Breuggers Bagels 5k–run 3.1 miles for free bagels?  Sure why not.  It seems fitting to move on to testing my limits by picking something that also involves food as a reward.  I see this meme online all the time about how “you’re not a dog, don’t reward yourself with food.”  I say if it gets you through a 30+ mile race, reward yourself with whatever you want.  In my case M and Ms.  And maybe some wine…

2.  When people tell me I can’t do something, I get very frustrated.  My whole life, I was told I can do whatever I want if I work hard enough.  I think that’s probably pretty standard in a white, middle class family (at least it was in my family).  So why does that message change as you become an adult?  This idea that you can’t simultaneously parent and maintain your own identity, or parent and be fit, is obviously not true–there are so many parents out there proving that.  And yet this myth continues, and I don’t get it.  I have every intention of running/exercising throughout my pregnancy and again as soon as I am medically cleared to do so.  It is amazing to me how many people think that exercise during pregnancy harms a baby and/or mother–we have forgotten how many women in the world still work all the way til labor and delivery and go back to work right after because there is no other choice–their family’s livelihood depends on their working.  I don’t delude myself into thinking that my running will be the same as it is now–it will be slower, it will be easier, there will probably be more walking mixed in.  But nothing about sitting on the couch for 9+  months is appealing to me.

3.  I have spent a lot of time over the past 3 years thinking about what my body can’t do.  Motherhood is very defining in our culture–as a woman, it’s an expectation placed on us by society.  Throughout this journey, I have repeatedly asked myself if my desire to have children and the devastation that comes each time I realize it’s not going to happen (yet) is just a manifestation of that cultural expectation.  I am positive that being a mom is something I want for me.  But it still doesn’t eliminate the cultural expectation, and so the negative, deficit thinking goes on (even though I am working hard to curb it at every chance I get).  Those thoughts still creep into your head.  Running an ultra would be another way to test what my body CAN do.  And I am positive that my body can do it–it’s just a matter of proper training and toeing the start line.  Even if I get pregnant before I complete my first ultra, I will complete my first ultra to prove to myself that my body is capable of so much more than I ever would have dreamed.

4.  For a long time at the beginning of our journey to have a baby, I found myself planning future life events based on potential pregnancies.  I would look at races and say no because “I have to be pregnant by then, right?”  Marathon #2 was actually put on hold based on this type of thinking, and only happened when we decided to take a much-needed break from trying.  In the months after the marathon, I have found myself again thinking in terms of “what-if” and scaling back miles and eliminating races from my calendar based on the possibility that I might be pregnant or even that I should be pregnant.  If you’d have asked me back in May (when we decided to seek more intense/invasive/medical treatments) if I thought I’d be sitting here still unpregnant, I’d have said no chance.  I purposely didn’t pick a fall 5k until the last minute, convinced that I would be pregnant this fall.  I didn’t train hard in large part because I thought for sure that I would be, so there was no point.  A few weeks ago, I realized that my mileage had dipped to 15ish miles a week with virtually no cross training.  And no baby.  What was I waiting for?

It’s not healthy to live life in a what-if mentality, thinking about the possibilities of the future and letting them dictate your now.  I have to live in the present, and I have to make decisions  based on what I want now.  Those decisions may, of course, have to change if I should (miracle-of-miracles) end up pregnant.  But if I do not, then I can say that I lived my life and have no regrets.

So I have done some research and have a new training plan made.  I am building up miles again, slowly so I don’t get hurt.  I am training for an ultra–at this point, I think I am looking at Highland 1,2,3.  A 30 miler, 3 laps of 10 miles each, close to Rochester, low key race, and I can register later in the year (closer to race day, just in case).  I will be training for this race either until I toe the start line or I find out I am pregnant.  It seems like a reasonable compromise to me between hoping for the best but being realistic about the possibility of failure.  I am excited to start training and see what happens.  And I am excited to someday run my first ultra–either pre-baby or post….

running

Park Ave pensamientos

9 Nov

Today I drove down Park Ave, like I do every day, on my way to my second job of the day.  For some reason, my mind drifted to when I had first moved onto Park Ave.  I was 21, fresh out of college, fresh start at my new job teaching Spanish.  I was so young–I look back and realize just how young, even though at the time I thought I was so grown.  I had a pretty sweet apartment–right on Park, 2 bedrooms (unnecessary, but of all the places I looked at it was the cheapest AND nicest, so I was sold, even though I never used the second room), a teeny tiny kitchen and bedroom, and windows that looked right out to Park.  It was heaven.  I’m really lucky–I never had to live in a really crappy apartment.  My whole life, I’ve had really nice housing.  Lucky.

 

Anyway, I had moved into this great new apartment, and I decided to take a walk down Park Ave.  This was before I started running, so I had no concept of distance.  I decided to go see what was going on.  I put on a cute outfit and a new pair of high heel sandals.  I walked from my place (near Colby) all the way to Alexander Street and the bars, then back home, which I think was like 2 miles.  By the time I got home, my feet were bleeding and I could hardly walk.  I was miserable.  But damn if I didn’t look cute.

 

Today, as I was driving down Park, I was reliving that and laughing at that silly 21-year-old girl and all of her insecurities.  I still have moments of insecurity.  I suppose those never go away, no matter how old you get.  But I know that I am beyond the point of wearing uncomfortably painful shoes just to look cute.   And that makes me feel just a little bit better about myself and how far I’ve come since then.

confession

6 Nov

I have always loved the summer.  I love sun.  I love heat.  I love lounging outside, feeling my skin get hotter and hotter til it’s so hot I have to hose myself down, then start all over again.  I love laying in a hammock reading a book.  I love the smell of suntan lotion and sunscreen.  I love campfires that last all night.  I love the beach, I love sundresses, I love outdoor concerts.  I love flip flops. 

 

But I hate running in the heat.  Since I’ve started running, I find myself loving all of the same things I used to love.  But running when it’s hot and humid is the pits.

 

So it’s time to make a confession.  I love the fall.  I still love the summer.  But this time of year is really perfect for running.  And I find myself falling a little more in love with this time of year every year that I run.  I feel kind of bad.  Sorry, summer.  I still love you.  It’s just that fall also compliments me so well.  It’s hard not to love it.

 

Tonight we ran at Durand.  It’s one of my favorite places to run–the trails are gorgeous and wind along the edge of all of these amazing little “lakes” (aside:  I don’t know who named them lakes–they’re ponds at best.)  They say when you take away one sense, the other ones are all heightened.  I didn’t have any senses eliminated tonight, but it’s not always easy to see well in the dark on the trails, even when you have a kick-ass new headlamp.  Tonight, I found myself noticing the little things.  The leaves crunching under my feet, the spots where the trail was a little soft from the recent rain we’ve had, the times when I landed on a root on accident (and realized how much stronger my ankles are now, after so much trail running–I used to have to stop when I rolled an ankle–now I keep running).  The sounds of animals rustling around just off the trail, running away from our group, jumping into the lakes to swim, all of the happy conversations among friends, new and old.  The smell of pine tonight was amazing–there were 2 times when I felt like I was sniffing a candle it was that strong. 

 

Everything about this run was just amazingly perfect for me.    The past couple of weeks have been kind of rough for me emotionally.  Through it all, my only real moments of peace have been when I’ve been out running.  Run some miles, either alone or with friends.  Have a drink in the parking lot afterwards.  Enjoy the fresh air.  Spend time with people who make you laugh til your sides hurt and realize you are, at least in that moment, right where you should be.  When you are looking at your life with uncertainty, trying to determine where you are, where you are going, where you fit in…finding a niche is reassuring.  Running is reassuring.  I may not be able to do other things right now, but I can still run.  And it might not be fast, it might not always be pretty.  But running is always there for me.  If I want it, if I need it, there it is.  Thank God the weather is cool and runner-friendly.  Fall!  Hooray!