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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Living Life to the Nines

This week has been pretty epic.  Mike and I celebrated nine years of marriage, and Logan celebrated nine months of, um, being alive. This week is also a down week in mileage (my longest run will be nine miles to keep with the theme), and then this happened:

Lawwwd, someone smack me!  ...homemade ice cream cake surrounded by homemade chocolate chip cookies and hot fudge.  Would it be excessively cheesy to say we are on cloud nine this week?  Too late.  I said it.  I'm a loser.  Shut up!  You weren't supposed to agree.  

Once the jiggle wears off from the cake, I anticipate my training will continue kicking ass.  I've been back at it for three and a half months now, and other than having a pet lizard living in my stomach, I feel awesome.  I rejoined a gym to hit the weights again, added tempo/speed workouts back in, and I'm not in as bad of shape as I anticipated after pregnancy and all that stomach surgery vomit.  My long run will reach 18 miles again next weekend, and I dropped two miles at 6:17 pace at the end of a seven miler the other day.  I start to hit the wall as I get close to the end of my long runs, but I know that is my endurance still rebuilding.  I am getting the itch to race and might enter a 5K for fun sometime soon.  Granted, the 5K is not my cup of Starbucks, but as a good friend said to me, I just need to "rip off the band-aid" and do it.  It's gonna hurt, and it might not be pretty to look at afterwards, but it's the only way to know where I am and move forward.  Seriously though, 5Ks kinda blow, dude.

So, yeah, this pet lizard thing. When you look at your stomach, does your belly button continually contract out and sink back in, even if you hold your breath?  Do you randomly see a bulge on one side that if you look five minutes later, might have either completely disappeared or moved to the other side?  Do you feel like you are being inflated like a hot air balloon the farther you run?  No?  That's because you don't have a lizard living in your stomach like I do.  It's the only thing that makes sense. So, I named her Lizzy.  Lizzy used to bite, but I keep her on a leash now, and her temperament is therefore well under control.  For reals though, abnormal abs have become my new normal, and as long as I am not in crazy pain or doing further damage, I am a-ok with that!

Life right now is all-around awesome.  Logan is growing up so fast (too fast!), and I fall more in love with him everyday.  He is standing up, has three teeth, and is so perfectly FAT!  Fat babies RULE!  He loves margaritas (proof he is my son) and wants to let all the single ladies know that he is on the market and ready to mingle.  

Disclaimer:  not allowed to date until age 35
I have become the master of efficiency lately.  It took me a while to figure out how to fit all the pieces of my life puzzle together, but it CAN be done.  When I am working, I am working; no random chit chatting with the nice lady sitting next to me at the coffee shop.  When I am lifting, I am lifting; less time in between sets, and less judging of those that take too long in between theirs.  What?  Me do that?  Nooooooo.  When I am done running, I move right on with the day; no more hoovering a bag of gummy bears, except for on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, because I earned it, and no more over-analyzing my run stats.  Ultimately, when I pick Logan up at the end of each day, I want all the other pieces to be in place so that he and Mike are my sole focus.  After all, they are the most important and beautiful piece!

Happy running!  
Only NINE weeks left until the Philadelphia Marathon!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Making Crazy Progress

I got a smartphone.

Next thing you know, I'll have a Garmin instead of my current GPS (Generally Pretty Stupid) running watch.  

Whoa now.  I can only handle so many changes at once without going crazy.  Although, I may already be there.  I texted someone the other night about being "auto-corrected", and my phone auto-corrected it to "auto-cracy" (ain't that irony).  Yep. I only owned the sucker for 12 hours, and it told me I was crazy.  Good times.

So, speaking of autocracy, which if you google it, is defined as a country, state, or society governed by one person with absolute power, I'm kinda there.  No, I'm not pulling a Hillary and running for office, but I finally feel in control of my life again (minus the 4am anxiety attack I had a few nights ago that I was never going to get all my work done...yes, relapsing is totally okay at least once, maybe four times, a week).  Working full time, raising the best son in the world (sorry, yours is pretty cool, but mine is the best), training for a marathon, and having time for friends/family ain't no easy feat, but I would have it no other way.  I mean, who am I kidding...I think I like being cracy?!  

Mm k, let's talk running...yay!  I have been hitting the roads again for nine weeks now, and I feel FABALICIOUS (please note that this word did NOT get auto-corrected by my smartphone.  oh, okay.).  Every time I make a jump in miles, my tummy and arm pinch me and remind me to stay in check.  They then settle down until the next jump, but I know now what to expect (thanks again, Elite Performance Chiropractic!).  I ran my longest run since the 2013 Shamrock Marathon this past Saturday (13.6 miles), feeling pretty cozy at 7:20 pace, and I gotta say, I'm pretty flippin' pleased to have done that already.  I have a long way to go to hit my goal pace over 26.2, but I am confident that I am well on my way again.

And on that note, it's time to get back to work to avoid another relapse.  We are taking Logan to the mountains this weekend, and we vowed to leave work at home.  Logan is hoping to add a few more pins to his "breweries and wineries visited" map, which is the weekend's goal.  Oh, your baby doesn't have one of those?  Oh, you don't know any other babies that do either?  Well, yeah, I already told you that we have the best son in the world, soooo, that makes sense...

Happy Running!
...or being naked, whatever.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Running on Empty and Loving It!

Yesterday, while fitting one of my runners for new sneaks at the store, I overheard another customer say, "I slept like a baby last night and had an awesome run this morning."  I thought about being a jackass and asking if she woke up screaming for her pacifier at 2am and peeing through her mattress at 4am, but I refrained.  I mean, I knew what she meant, but this phrase totally needs an extreme makeover.  Perhaps it should be:  "I slept like a koala bear last night and had an awesome run this morning."  Koalas apparently sleep soundly for up to 22 HOURS A DAY.  I want to be a koala bear.   

Yep, when you don't get a lot of sleep, you start doing stupid and/or insignificant things.  One of these things is googling and resenting animals that actually DO get a lot of sleep.  Good times.

Mm k, so even though I'm a tad sleep deprived, I'm no longer run deprived.  YAY!  I'll be honest, writing this post feels a little deja vu-ish.  I'm afraid to write too excitedly and positively because just a few months ago, my post-partum return to running was short-lived.  However, now that my false hernia has left the building, I've been hitting the pavement again for about three weeks, and I tell ya...I'm happier than a pig in shit!   

Okay, so I just googled if pigs are actually happy wallowing in their own shit.  Turns out that no, no they are not.  So seriously, who comes up with these phrases!?  Pigs apparently sleep for up to 14 hours a day though.  Bitches.

Anywho, I don't care that it's 95 degrees out, and I don't care that I'm tired.  Being able to run again has brought me back to life.  I'm more energetic, attentive, outgoing, and I probably won't bite your head off or start crying for no reason anymore.  It almost cancels out the sleep deprivation (almost), and I don't even go to Starbucks anymore.  Okay, that is a lie; I would never give up on Starbucks...I ain't a quitter.  

I'm working my way back gradually and am up to a 7-mile run again.  I can cruise along pretty comfortably at about 7:45/8:00 pace, so I'll take that, especially given the heat and my inability to figure out how to become a koala bear.  I still have some ab discomfort, along with what is possibly carpal tunnel syndrome, but I'm undergoing active release technique therapy with my sports chiropractor (Elite Performance Chiropractic) and hope to have both of their arses kicked soon.  My first priority is making sure I'm healthy; if all goes well, racing in Philadelphia this November will be chocolate icing on the cake.  Yes, chocolate.  Not vanilla.  Vanilla icing sucks.

  Happy comeback running, take two!

Koala'n after a tough 5-mile run today

Friday, May 16, 2014

Spaghetti-ng On With My Life!

There is only one way I like my spaghetti, and that is EATING it.

I am currently at home recovering from surgery to repair a possible spaghetti, err spigelian, hernia.  I was given a different diagnosis from my doctor and surgeon as to whether this bad boy even existed; however, I had to stop running in case it was a hernia, as the risk of it becoming incarcerated could have horrific consequences.  After trying to find answers some other way and procrastinating the inevitable, the only way to know for sure was through this "exploratory" surgery.  And finally, the verdict:  no hernia.  

Yay!  Good news!

Mmk, so raise your hand if you like having surgery for no reason.   Oh wait.  Your hand didn't go up.  Huh, whaddya know...mine didn't either!  I will stop whining eventually.  But not yet.  Maybe tomorrow.  Nah, let's go with next week.  Yeah, that's better.  Two weeks.

So, what was discovered:  my diastasis recti (a condition where your abs split in half during pregnancy) has not healed, there is evidence of other tearing and strains, and I have a small hole in my groin.  What?  Apparently none of this is causing my pain though.  Oh.  Wait!  What?  ...hence "exploratory" being in quotes.  No real conclusions.

So, my takeaway.  I plan to start working with a PT to restrengthen all this mess and start spaghetti-ng on with my life, eh hem, running.  According to the surgeon, I'll need about three weeks to heal until I can attempt running again.  I have been so good for the better part of a year now.  Following directions.  Resting when told.  Playing it safe.  I feel like none of that has worked?  So, time to revolt.  Ima get my a$$ off this couch today, rip off my steri tape, and go for a run!  Okay, no, no I'm not.  But I want to.  But this incision f*%^ing hurts.  And I refuse pain medicine.  Pain medicine is for wussies.  I'll probably be a wussy by the end of the day...

Don't you love how dogs have this ridiculous sense of when something is wrong with you?  Okay, total side note here, but all Zoe wants to do is put her head on my belly and stare at me with these oh-so-sad eyes as if she is saying, "Seriously, fix your sh*t, Mom!"  It's like, she knows.  Perhaps DOGS should be the diagnostic experts?  Now, only if dogs could talk.  We have all these technological advances today, yet, we can't figure out how to make dogs talk?!  Yes, I am bored and will probably come up with many more of these philosophical revelations by the end of the weekend.

 Mmk, back to sitting still.  To at least celebrate the good news of no hernia (cuz really, it is VERY good news), I think I'll have spaghetti for dinner.  With a big glass of whine of course.  ;)

Saturday, May 3, 2014

My Favorite Things to do When I Can't Run

Hi, my name is Jen, and it has been 47 days since my last run.

Currently, I am being monitored closely for mental instability.  Mike has removed all sneakers and other running paraphernalia from the house so I won't go off the deep end and hurt myself further.  Okay, just kidding.  But seriously, I miss running more than bread and peanut butter miss jelly.  I want my identity back.

I did have one relapse.  After watching the Boston Marathon, I was inspired by the great MEB.  I laced up and ran for 30 minutes.  HARD.  Not gonna lie; it was freaking awesome.  However, I was already sick with a cough, and the spaghetti hernia issue is still unresolved, so yes, I was in pain, but heyull if I cared!

So, I paid for it.  I now have strep throat, and since the surgeon and doctor still aren't sure whether or not I have a spaghetti hernia, diagnostic surgery seems inevitable.  I just wish I had more answers before going under.  If not a hernia, they won't even be able to tell me what it actually is.  Frustrating.     

Anywho, I have been keeping myself busy to take my mind off things.  I mean, I do have this thing called a baby, and work has me busier than a one-legged man in the circus.  In addition to these, I have compiled...

My Six Favorite Things to do When I Can't Run

1)   Honk my car horn.  Mm hmm, nothing quite burns off aggression like laying on the horn.  Did you just run a yellow light?  HONK!  Did you just cut me off at that traffic circle?  HONK!  Did you just stare at me for way too long while sitting next to me at a red light?  HONK!  And sometimes, my arm just develops a twitch, and for no reason, there it goes.  HONK HONK!  Ahh, so satisfying.

2)  Daydream.  Do you ever drive past a new road, path, or trail and think to yourself, "I want to run on that!"  Yep, I do it all the time.  My brain then spirals into running alongside Desi in the Boston Marathon, winning Chicago, or some other feat that clearly makes me a BADA$$.  Then when I'm actually able to run on it, I quickly realize that, oh, yeah, no, not even close, dude.  Poop.

3)  Set new the grocery store.  I mean, I have to be competitive somehow.  Okay, first, grab a shopping cart.  Second, make sure your shopping list has as many items on it as last time; no more, and no lessThird, wear the same shoes you wore last time to ensure no unfair advantages.  Fourth, reset your watch.  Okay, you are ready.  On your mark, get set, shop!  Stop your watch when you arrive at the check out line.  My current PR is 8:27 for 28 items.  Mm hmm, bet you can't beat that!

4)  Ride the indoor bike trainer.  Just kidding.  That mess sucks.

5)  Watch "Spirit of the Marathon" over and over again.  Feel awful about yourself as you lick cheeto cheese off your fingers while Deena Kastor pool runs for hours and hours on end while injured.  Then, cry like a baby when she still goes on to win the Chicago Marathon, and vow to never eat cheetos again.  Or until you watch the movie again tomorrow.  Whichever.

6) Appreciate life.  I have to remember that my life is pretty dang awesome and to keep everything in perspective.  Even though I have gone a solid year without real training, I can get it back; I WILL get it back.  Repeat this mantra over and over again.   If that doesn't work, get in the car, go back to #1, and honk the crap out of someone.

Tummy ultrasound.  Notice the black hole in the left picture compared to the beautifully flowing fibers on the right. Hernia?  Lodged flying saucer?

When Logan can't run, he favors the Irish jig.

Happy Running, y'all!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Adventures of Poopermom

Dear Supermoms,

How do you do it?


Mm k, so seriously.  Prior to having Logan, I couldn't quite comprehend what being a mom would really be like.  Don't get me wrong; I love my little man, but having only 24 hours in a day no longer seems, uh, practical?  My weekdays over the past two weeks have consisted roughly of the following:  wake up at some ungodly hour, yell at Mike about how life is unfair, feed Logan, negotiate if I have time to catch an extra 30 minutes of sleep before Logan needs to be at daycare, realize the answer is no, yell at Mike about how life is unfair, pump the girls, take way too long to prep for daycare, forget to feed Zoe, drop Logan at daycare, blast 90's music in the car and reminisce about being young, start work, stop work because Logan is now sick, take Logan to the pediatrician, meet with doctors about my spaghetti hernia (or lack thereof? ...more on that later), wash laundry that Logan barfed on (one of his sicknesses), clean pump parts, feed Logan, forget to feed Zoe, deny complaining about life when Mike expresses his concern to me, pump the girls, daydream about showering, yell at Mike about how life is unfair, and finally, read two whole words of the book "Life As I Blow It" before passing out.

I am finding raising a baby, working full-time, managing daycare, and marathon training, all on limited sleep, to be pretty dang challenging.  Oh, and I haven't actually started training yet.  Good times. 

So, what did I do to make myself feel better?  I registered for the Philadelphia Marathon on November 23rd.  Totally.  I figure everything will fall into place as time progresses.  Well, at least this is what I am telling myself.  Perhaps I should have just eaten a bag of cheetos and a box of bonbons instead.

Here are some suggestions I've been given to make life easier in the interim:

* Don't try to be good at what you do...just be good enough.
Hello, Type Z; my name is Type A. 

* Run at 3am. 
* Just wing it.
I don't even know what that means.

I envy the women that answer the question "How are you enjoying motherhood?" with "It's great; I love it!", as my current answer is, "This mess is %#*^@^& hard!"  I need to find balance; I am determined to find a way to make everything in my life work.  That is my promise to myself.

As for the spaghetti hernia,  I have now been to two surgeons after being given the diagnosis.  The first was a complete, well, err, douchebag.  Sorry for the unfortunate word choice, but it really is the only appropriate one.  Douchie was ready to have a surgery hay-day on my bell-ay without even really talking to me, so rather, I found another surgeon that totally rocks my running socks.  The only conundrum now is that he doesn't think I have a hernia, which I of course translated into, "Go running!"  Unfortunately, the pain was still there, so I have two doc appointments set up later this month to hopefully get to the bottom of this.  My gut tells me I do not have a pun intended.  BAHAHA (can I blame sleep deprivation for my cheesiness?).

Okay, did I just write the most depressing blog post ever?  Unfortunately, it is time for me to complain to Mike about how life is unfair, so look for a more upbeat post next time. 

Poopermom, out.

Logan teaching me how to tough it out, courtesy of  
Louisa Dominique Photography.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

My Spaghetti Hernia

I have a spaghetti hernia.


Okay, in actuality, I have been diagnosed with a spigelian hernia, but I think spaghetti hernia sounds better and is much easier to remember.  Don't ya think? 

I was a good girl.  I swear.  After my last "marathon", I did just what you are supposed to do:  recover.  I took a full six weeks off, allowing my body more than ample time to heal before hitting the roads again, and didn't complain once*.  I think I deserve an award for my patience, not a spaghetti hernia.

* I complained hundreds of times daily.

As it turns out, I kicked too hard in the final .2 of my "marathon".  After months of extremely conservative training, followed by a week of forced rest right before race day, I went gangbusters.  I had so much pent up energy that even the doctor commented on how strong of a "pusher" I was.  At 5:23pm on December 15th, the moment Logan was born, I thought I was a freaking bad-ass; I brought him across the finish line in less than 20 minutes.  Now, all I can think of is that I am a freaking dumb-ass.  A spaghetti hernia is when your bowel protrudes through a hole/tear in your abdomen.  The pushing force created this hole.  So, given my condition, it turns out I'm actually now a, uh, tummy-ass.  Literally.

I have been running again for seven weeks, nice and gradual.  From day one, I felt a localized pain above my belly button and assumed it was normal post-preggo stuff.  So, I ran anyway.  And then I kept running.  Then I ran some more.  Then I ran again.  Oh, and then there was this day that I ran.  Did I ever tell you about the time I went for a run? 

I finally went to the doctor after setting the world record in the mile.  Yep.  When the threat of a GI episode arises during a run, you sprint.  It does not matter how far you have to run; you sprint.  You keep sprinting until you reach that beautiful, porcelain god, never looking back, and never looking at your watch (okay, be sure to click your splits though because I'm telling will be FAST).  Anyway, all of this was slightly out of the ordinary for me, and after seeking medical attention, my spaghetti hernia was discovered.  I will be having surgery next week.  Poop.

Oh, and no worries...don't feel like a shithead for not congratulating me on the world record; I really don't give a crap.  I'm pretty mentally gassed from getting the shitty news this morning anyway.  Plus, there are far more turd-bombers in the world causing much worse doo-doo, so need to cause yourself so much strain.

I am still hopeful for running the Philadelphia Marathon on November 23rd.  I get so excited thinking about it that I could shit myself!  Oh, wait...

 Cure for a shitty day

Total side note, but did I ever mention how having a baby makes you super comfortable talking about pooh?!  

I'm really jealous of your Happy Running!  :)