Well guys, I'm proud to say that I stuck with my original plan and I ran the 5K Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning. It was a microscopic race with no mile markers, no clocks, no race numbers, no age groups, no real finish line to speak of, and no pressure for a woman who was six-and-a-half weeks post-partum. That would be me.
I went into the race with three different goal levels...
Level 1: Finish the 3.1 mile race without dropping any internal parts on the asphalt (uterus, bladder, etc).
Level 2: If all parts remained in tact, finish the race without walking.
Level 3: If I could do the course completely walk-free, finish the run in under 35 minutes.
I ran the race with my sister, who finished the Marine Corps Marathon in October. Mmm hmm, that's really fair, huh? Let me tell you, she was nothing but thrilled to have the chance to run with me, since she owed me a complete ass-whooping reminiscent to the one I dropped on her when her baby was four-months-old.
I really knew I was in for it when she--the girl who flat out refuses to pay more than 14 cents for a jar of name brand pasta sauce--jumped at the chance to cover my entrance fee.
We lined up behind some schmuck wearing a turkey on his head, and when the race director said "go" (remember, this race was way low budget--no start guns), we went. I think the race went past some really nice houses, and some picturesque New England churches, and the open ocean, but I really can't recall. All I remember was looking down at my brand new shoes and thinking, "If I accidentally let loose and pee all over these, I swear I'll throw down a tantrum at the finish line."
I'm very happy to announce that my sister was beyond merciful to me during the race. Rather than slapping me into submission like she very well could have, she kept us at a relaxed but challenging pace--enough for me to think "Wow, this sucks," but not so fast that we couldn't chat the whole way.
When we got to the end of the course (honestly, there was no real finish chute to speak of, just a bunch of guys wearing tights, doing slightly offensive stretches), she looked at her watch and said, "Oh, you'll be happy...29:17!"
And I was. 29:17 is about 7 minutes slower than I usually clock for a 5K, but then again, I don't usually run 5Ks when I have a 9-pound newborn hanging out at home.
I know that my sister could have gone a mess of a lot faster. But me? Not so much. And for that, I'd like to give her the Sisterly Love Award. You might laugh, but that's no small deal, I've only ever bestowed that award upon one person in the entire universe.
So there. I did it, just like I said I would. And I'm happy to say that the entire experience was poop, pee, and tantrum free.
Believe it or not, way back in the day, this blog had a lot to do with running. I was thin, I was fast, I was rich and sexy. I chewed up marathons and spit 'em out for lunch, I had an ass you could easily bounce quarters off of, and obviously, I was my own best friend. My own hero on a good day.
Okay fine, maybe my life wasn't quite that fancy. But I was running thirty or forty miles a week, I had a membership to the YMCA, and I missed the cutoff for the Boston Marathon by seven minutes and some change. Let's just say that I was no stranger to a well-fitting pair of running tights.
These days? Not so much. These days I'm lucky if I can even wiggle a pair of prepregnancy sweatpants over my ham hocks. This new look of mine might be appetizing to a hungry lion, or the Big Bad Wolf, but to the average human eye I probably just seem lumpy.
I've tried and tried over the last two years to keep running as a big part of my life (now buckle your seat belt for a long list of excuses), but with pregnancy, and a cross country move, and a rude reintroduction to New England winters, it's moved to the edge of the map.
Now I've got to say, I commend myself for the things that I have done. For example, I bought a treadmill last winter and get this, I actually used it--for running! You know, as opposed to using it as a shoe rack or as a conveyor belt for home-canning.
I also ran (mmmm, trotted) through my pregnancy up until 30 weeks or so. If you're new to the blog, you can read about my experience of running while pregnant here. And then, if you enjoyed that little story, you can read about the reason I had to stop here. Two most excellent posts if I do say so myself (I know you can manage to make the time, so go and read them).
I really haven't done a bad job by any stretch of the imagination, I simply haven't soared to new heights--and with Jared as the wind beneath my wings (and a constant willingness to hurl me off a cliff), I have absolutely no reason not to. But seriously, my husband is super supportive of my running hobby--"I stand behind anything that gets you out of the house and gives you a bangin' bod," he likes to say. I guess that's probably the reason he sends me to fat camp every summer, too.
OH MY HECK I'M JOKING, PEOPLE! He never makes me go, he only encourages it. By making the initial deposit. And buying me a bus ticket.
OH MY HECK I'M JOKING AGAIN, PEOPLE! Settle down, settle down.
So, without further ado, I give you my tentative race schedule for the next year (which, I reserve the right to change, alter, and/or back out of at any time with no guilt and/or excuses):
11/26/2009: The Chatham Turkey Trot in Chatham, MA. It's a 5k, it costs $5, and I plan to scare precisely 5 five-year-old children when I stuff my 5-gallon ass into some pint-sized running pants (not my line, the 5-gallon ass thing is completely hijacked from Travis Cowing, a laugh out loud funny guy I went to college with).
2/28/2009: The Hyannis Marathon, Half Marathon, 10 km, and Marathon Team Relay in Hyannis, MA. I'd like to commend the race director for developing the very descriptive, accurate, and literal name of the race. I know I'm not confused, and I bet you're not either. Well done Mr(s). Practicality!
I plan to run the 10k, and I abso-fricking-loutely plan to win the female clydesdale division. Because hello!, if it translates into a trophy of any sort, I'll gladly subject myself to a public weigh-in.
5/8/2010: The Polar Bear Triathlon in Brunswick, ME. No no, don't get excited, I still require three lifeguards and a set of water wings when I swim, so I won't be doing the full tri. But sometimes a girl's gotta get her bike on, so I'll be doing the du. Duathlon that is. It's a two-mile run, a twelve-mile bike, and a three-mile run. Unlike the previous race I listed, I plan to come in last--but to come in last with tons of style, of course.
6/2010: The Friends of the Kennebec Rail Trail Half-Marathon in Augusta, ME. It's fairly close to home, it's cheap, and if I get tired of running, it goes right behind a really great diner. I'll definitely bring my wallet along.
And then, depending on how things go (like nursing a baby), maybe a marathon in the fall? Something easy to get to, like the Maine Marathon or the Mount Desert Island Marathon. Who knows? I could be far more interested in wearing velour and eating Snickers by that point., and that would be okay. We'll just have to see.
So anyway, that's that. Let's see how it happens in real life.
Jared just informed me that my blog is headed south down the pooper on the express train. It's lame, it's ignored, it's all about the children.
I don't know where he gets off saying thing kind of stuff to me. I mean, he got a D+ in physics during his sophomore year of college (while he was a physics major, mind you) and you don't see me broadcasting that kind of embarrassment up and down the internets.
Jared would like you all to know that he got an A- on his second go 'round.
I would like you all to know that he once peed on my back a little bit while we were dating.
So fine. I get it. My blog sucks. My blog mega sucks. I suck.
Tomorrow, I vow to you, my fun and frisky readers, that I will step away my Weight Watchers points, I will step away from my daytime television, and I will step away from all of my parental responsibilities to produce a blog post that will actually make you laugh. Imagine that.
Just keep in mind, if James wanders off to the photo counter at Rite Aid and Maggie's belly gets so empty that she starts drinking blue Gatorade, it's your own damn fault.
And really now, have you seen a baby who's raised on super sugary drinks? Mmm yeah--let's just say they grow up to wear a lot of beer t-shirts and blaze orange.
Thanks a lot.
See you tomorrow.
As of Tuesday, Maggie is one month old and just as sweet as ever.
I know. She's so cute it makes you wonder what's wrong with your own kids.
I'm really no good at blogging while I'm on maternity leave. I guess I'm just too busy doing other things right now--like forgetting to bring Maggie while I go to pick up James from school (only happened once and I swear I won't do it again), cheating on Weight Watchers, and nursing in front of our huge picture window that faces the street.
See? Very busy.
Now, before I sign off to make myself a snack, I guess I'll quench your nosiness--because I know, for a fact, that a lot of you are wondering.
Yes, I'm going back to work in two weeks.
And here's the very detailed background information for the nosiest of readers out there:
I was a stay-at-home mom with James--for almost three years. If you want me to get super technical about it, I was in grad school when James was a baby. I went back to school when James was five weeks old, so with the exception of weekend trips to the library, a class here and there, and study sessions at Starbucks, James and I were together all the time.
We were still living in Texas when I finished school, and James had just turned two. Jared had six more months to go until he graduated, so instead of diving into my career in a state we were about to leave, I took a babysitting job.
"A babysitter with a master's degree." I can't quite remember, but I think that was the tag line on my blog for a while.
I went back to work full-time when we moved back to New England in 2008. Jared stayed home with James while he figured out the details of opening up his practice. You know--getting licensed, selecting a font for his sign, finding well-fitting trousers that would keep the lady patients coming back. I've got to say, you'd be absolutely flabbergasted by the level of planning that went into it.
When Jared opened his practice, I switched jobs and landed where I am now--in a part-time gig. Someone had to put a nice dinner on the table every night, and unless I was happy to eat a bowl of Cracker Jacks at 9:30pm, that 'someone' had to be me.
Seriously, where was I going with this?
Right. I'm going back to work when Maggie's six weeks old.
But get this--I'm going back to work, part-time, from home, and Maggie's staying with me.
So instead of checking peoples' status updates on Facebook every morning for four hours while James is at school, I'll do some work. You can laugh all you want, but I honestly think it will be very manageable.
I'm one lucky girl.
And the Board of Directors? They're one super lucky group of old guys. Who else gets to have a snugly, little infant at every single meeting?
So there you have it. Nosiness satisfied--and you didn't even have to come right out and ask.
November 6, 2009
Yesterday I made the mistake of checking my email while I'm out on maternity leave. Sure enough there was a message from the president of my organization--bless his heart--saying something to the effect of, "By no means do you have to do this, but if for some reason you're bored, can you....?"
Bored. Bored? Seriously?
Make no mistake about it, diaper and wipes aside, I've found ten-thousand-and-thirty ways to keep myself adequately busy over these last couple of weeks.
For example, I decided that it's never too early to do a little bit of college prep with James. So we've worked on his handwriting, his counting, and this kind of thing:
That's right. I taught James how to dance on top of a bar.
What? It kept him busy for an entire hour! And besides, if he goes to my alma mater--and I hope he does--this skill will really come in handy.
November 3, 2009
Yeah, I know, I can't seem to stop posting pictures of my kids these days.
What's that you say?... You think my kids are boring?... Well you know what?... I think your kids are a little bit slow.
And for those of you who actually enjoy these little snippets--you know, those of you with half decent taste--here's a video that captures fall in New England just perfectly.