Kickin’ butt at 515 am…

First off, as Mike and I like to say “the Owl sleeps”. He did great all week. Overnight he started sleeping long stretches and willingly moved into his crib. I can turn over at night again! I spent the last several months sleeping in a little ball never moving, so I had one shoulder much tighter than the other. He does still wake up once, and the other night he did twice, but he will sleep 5-7 hours at a time. My life is much better.

I am so lucky I have a husband who helps me do it all…..but he’s lucky too 🙂 He has a disc golf game early, as he finally decided playing all afternoon in 100 degrees sucks. So I volunteered to move my run from Town Lake to home, and started early. I must give a shout out to Mark here: He is always so nice to meet me where I need to start, and he is such a good role model for me. He’s a super busy working dad of two very active little boys, and he is a fantastic cook. He gets in his runs, and never takes time from his family. He’s given me endless encouragement and advice on what it is like to raise a “cheeky” little boy (Mark’s term….he is a Welshman). Anyhow, since he was meeting me today, I was a more willing to travel further from home in the dark. We did a great little tour of Austin for a nice 2 hour run. We took in Hyde Park, UT, MLK and Chicon (always a hopping corner), and finished up with a tour of the hills of Cherrywood. We both remarked how great it was we would be done before 730. I got home threw on dry clothes, said goodbye to Mike and took over Owl duty. He was in his usual jumping mood, when suddenly, a big yawn came….and another. The Owl decided to take a nap by 800, so I got to shower and eat. Now that is an awesome morning….
More good news today. A very nice co-worker friend offered to watch Jasper so Mike and I get to see a movie!!!! We have not gone to a movie together in over 6 months. This is pretty much the only activity that is impossible with a baby. We are going to the Alamo Drafthouse, so I am already wondering “Hmmm, do I get a milkshake, or a beer”. Important stuff to ponder…
And keeping with the good mood theme, some happy thoughts: Mad Men is back on!, I am reading the Girl Who Played with Fire, such a page turner, the weekend was almost derailed by another freakin‘ day care virus…this one was truly a 24 hour deal though, and I am fine now, and the Owl is taking an epic nap…..looks like I get to clean the house too.

New York-New Jersey whirlwind tour…

I just got back from my Uncle’s wedding in New Jersey. It was my first time away from Jasper, and a total whirlwind of a trip…but very nice. I left Friday morning very early and kissed the family goodbye. I was meeting my dad and uncle Charlie at the Newark airport and we were immediately taking the train to NYC to eat deli food and sight see. Since Jasper was staying home and he is still nursing, I had to drag a breast pump everywhere. That part really sucked. It was awkward, heavy, and sometimes difficult to find a bathroom. But, I managed. NYC was insanely crowded and fast paced. It took us a while to find Carnegie deli, but then I achieved my goal of getting a piece of cheesecake as big as my head. We then headed to the Museum of Folk Art (since MoMA had a line wrapped around the block 3 times), and we went to the MoMA gift shop where I got Jasper and Mike presents…I could have spent hours and lots of money there. Then there was the task of getting back to NJ in rush hour. Let’s just say Penn Station at rush hour is something out a cartoon…it was just unreal. I cannot imagine doing that commute every day!

The next day I went exploring on a run around our hotel and the wedding site. It was a beautiful area. Very New England country scenery. It was very green and lush. There was a beautiful residential area near the hotel that had huge old homes with huge yards, so I went running around there. When I travel, I just kinda give up the long run, and figure I can manage an hour or so without inconveniencing others. I just take it as a recovery week and don’t worry about making the runs a workout. I had 2 days of really nice runs, and I found a yoga/ pilates studio 1 mile from the hotel, so I did a pilates class for the first time. It was one of those moments of “well, I thought I did core work, but THIS is core work.” It was great, I am still sore, and I will be looking for a class here in the future. It was shorter than a yoga class which I liked. I am still a huge yoga fan, but since I don’t seem to make it regularly, I figure mixing it up with whatever I can manage is good.
The wedding was beautiful and lots of fun. There was a lot of food and drink and no one could accuse me of going hungry this weekend. By Sunday, I was ready to go home though, so after one last drive through the country it was back to the Newark airport.
There were a couple hiccups coming home and I got in after midnight. I was so excited to see Jasper. He slept really good for Mike, so it seems I am part of the issue, if not all of it. He slept 6 hours in his crib last night. I think I need to give him more time to put himself back to sleep and not get up so quickly.
It was super hard to be away from Jasper all weekend, as much as it was nice to have the break. It was a very busy weekend, and I am glad I went, but still looking forward to my real vacation next month.
It’s good to be home.

More inspiration…

If you have a kid/ kids, if you run/ or are just starting, do yourself a favor and get this book. Or get it for a mom in your life. Does it really tell me anything I don’t already know about running? No. But the authors give you every little tip there is to help you find running after baby, and there is a real life running while pregnant section (not just “prenatal yoga and walking are great!” type articles like lame-o Fit Pregnancy has). There is also a companion website and yours truly is one of the mamas listed (anyone can be…just send your info), and from that list are tons of cool blogs I’ve even yet to explore. The website has cool giveaways every week (I’ve yet to win, but keep trying). Anyhow…very cool stuff. Between this site and all its blogs, and all the cool cooking blogs out there, I could spend a whole day just exploring blogs. It’s funny there are so many cool running mama blogs when sitting down at the computer and typing is a really hard thing to do. I can read stuff on the computer but the only time I can type is if Jasper is asleep. Typing with one hand just takes too freakin’ long. So yeah, he is asleep now.

Speaking of sleep…..I have resigned myself to the fact that Jasper won’t magically start sleeping. He sleeps no more now than when he was a newborn. There are have been little blips of 3 hour stretches of sleep, and one night only of sleeping through the night, but waking every 2 hours just seems to be what the Owl does. This weekend he decided to wake up every hour. I just ask him “Dude, why are you hazing your mama?” He just smiles his little toothless Owl smile. I’ve tried many different things and the result is always the same: more or less Jasper wakes up every couple of hours and more or less I just get to feel tired. I just tell myself he HAS to outgrow it eventually. Maybe not until he is a year, or even more, but at some point in my lifetime I should sleep again. Acceptance is really all I can do at this point…I tried breaking down and crying, but that did nothing to change things. At least with acceptance there are no surprises when I put him down at 830 and he wake up at 1000, just as I was getting into bed hoping to read. Yeah, I am kinda complaining here, but it’s my blog and I gotta vent somewhere.
Anyhow….while the Owl currently sleeps I am going to get some stretching in!




Once again, a video only family members will appreciate. I had a busy week and weekend. Jasper and I are currently both well. I had a fever almost up to 103, which I still cannot believe. No one tells you if you decide to breastfeed be prepared to pretty much go without any immunity, since you give every bit of it to a little cute parasite.
Got some good runs in…my first weekend of two long-ish back to back runs since I met friends Sunday and then ran with Mike,Pancake and Jasper. I am sucking big time on making it to yoga, but I realize I can’t have it all. Maybe next week…
Ok, off to run. Up this week: my first time out of town away from Jasper 😦 lots of packing and stressing for that, and trying to do a long run before work.

How did I miss this?

I always knew about podcasts on Endurance Planet, but for some reason I thought they cost to listen. Well, I was wrong. So, I’ve been listening all week at work. They are great! There are tons of inspiring interviews with elite ultrarunners and triathletes who are also busy moms, and they answer a lot of questions about how they fit it all in. There is a fantastic interview with last year’s Western States winner, Anita Ortiz. She is a mom of 4 and works full time and manages to win one of the toughest races out there. She just says she gets up really, really early (like 3am!) to get her runs in. I am setting my alarm a little earlier these days. This week was challenging, as while the Owl is well, his mama is not. Yep, I am sick again. This one is rough with no real symptoms other than fever, aches and chills. I suspect I am just reacting to whatever virus made the Owl so sick over 4th of July. Anyhow, when I can walk across the room without my joints aching, I plan to let some of these athletes inspire me to get a little more in before the day starts, because as I have learned, once it starts, there isn’t room for much else besides work and the Owl. I listened to an interview with a former triathlete world champ who has twins and she said if you stand at the finish line of an Ironman, the moms finishing never need IVs or to go to the medical tent like other finishers. It’s because they know they can never be down for the count, and no matter how tired and wrecked they feel they have to keep on going, and something in them just never lets them get to the point of utter exhaustion. Ha! I love this story. While I definitely haven’t done an Ironman, I think about how comical it is I’ll come home from my long run, throw on mismatched dry clothes, sit down and feed Jasper before I get my water and a couple hours later finally get to shower and stretch a little. And, naps on long run days are definitely a thing of the past! I don’t want to sound like I am complaining….sometimes I am just amazed we are equipped with extra gears I never even knew existed.

This is a picture of Pancake ignoring a stealthy Owl. Pancake had her teeth cleaned today and underwent general anesthesia. It is always a little scary to have a 10 year old dog go under. She did great though…and she’s still running about 12 miles a week.
Ok…gotta get some sleep. I have a virus to get rid of, and an alarm set very early.

The Owl is well…

I don’t really have anything exciting to report, because the week quieted down by the end. Jasper is finally well. He is still hoarse, but acts normal. Yay! It was probably the worse sleep deprivation I’ve ever gone through. Wednesday I did my hill repeat day on about 45 minutes of sleep. I figured sleeping another hour wouldn’t do much and I would be mad that I missed my main workout day.

Yesterday Mike played in a disc golf tournament in Bastrop we went out to see. I had to limit my long run a little, so I tried to follow up with a good run today. I feel like I am finally back to where I was running wise when I got pregnant. No, I am not doing crazy ultra stuff, but I feel I could bump up to 20 and be ok. I am still trying to be a little conservative in my mileage and not go out and run long just for the heck of it. One thing about having a baby is you never have the same body again, so I still feel like I am running with a different body than a year ago. It’s hard to explain, but even though I lost the weight, I know I am not the same. I don’t think I’ll ever get my core muscle to meet back up…
Mark told me he signed up for the Rocky Raccoon 100 this winter. I questioned him about how he gets in the miles with 2 kids and a full time job. He had some good tips. He doesn’t do ridiculously long runs, and keeps to the roads a lot, instead of the time sucking trails. He also mentioned scheduling with his wife so they each get to do their activities. I am trying to use some of the same techniques to keep up all I want to do. I am not sure what races past my October marathon are in my future. Right now I am just happy that after 5 months I seem to be back where I was a little over a year ago. Mike and I are getting better and better with our scheduling so that we both get to continue enjoying our hobbies we are quite passionate about and spend a lot of time with Jasper when we are not working.
Speaking of, the Owl is just getting so cute. He loves to splash all over in the tub, he has a lot of jumping games now (makes for a good arm workout!), and he’s rolling all over the floor. He still likes to wake up a lot at night though. I am looking forward to going to my Uncle’s wedding out of town, so I can sleep through the night for the first time since January. Yay!

Croup sucks…

Here’s Jasper and his cousin Cameron. Despite the huge grin on his face, this was our hardest weekend ever, and had me longing for the holiday weekend to end. It was unfortunate Jasper got croup when we had family visiting him, so they didn’t really get to see him at his best.

We went to the Dr today, and as I suspected Jasper has croup. He has the saddest, weakest little cry ever. The Dr told me the worst is over. He also got a diarrhea bug on top of it. I could spend hours writing about sitting up in a chair two nights with a feverish baby, or sitting at home with Jasper while everyone was out having fun, or how ashamed and embarrassed I was loosing it in front of everyone when I felt like I just couldn’t take another minute, or how awful it is to see you baby suffer and nothing you do seems to relieve him. But last night, after a dose of tylenol, we both fell asleep for about 2 hours, and somehow I knew that the worst was over. Mike was kind enough to let me go for a run in the morning, and while lack of sleep slowed me down, I reveled in cooler temps, and somehow knowing I had made it through the horrible test of patience and strength that croup proved to be. At one point in the night I told Mike I should sign up for another 100 miler this year, because nothing could be as hard as over 24 hours with a baby with a fever!
Mike was great trying to help me cope with a sick baby who was soothed by nothing except nursing and being stuck to mama…a lot. He brought me key lime ice cream from Amy’s, he got me a new pair of running shorts, he let me go running every morning, and pushed me into yoga this morning (real yoga…no baby). He came home from the fireworks when I called crying that I couldn’t take another minute. I am thankful he understood how hard the weekend was for me and was willing to help me through it. I am sure it was no picnic for him either. Tomorrow Mike and I will split the day working half days to keep Jasper home from daycare. We both want to conserve precious time off, and I am glad Mike is able to help.
I never thought I would look forward to going back to work!
I am optimistic I made it through the worst part and things will get better from here. At least I got to watch a lot of the Tour De France.
Up next: going to Mike’s disc golf tournament, marathon training in full swing, continue to watch Netflix of Jasper’s favorite show…Glee.

The long run…

Today’s long run was what it’s all about: good times with friends. We did 15 hot and sweaty miles through a very steamy Austin this morning. I felt great…although I should not have. Poor little Jasper has croup and barely slept, which means I barely slept. I was rocking him back to sleep at 4am, and laid down next to him to help him go back to sleep, then woke up realizing I somehow missed my alarm and was late to my own requested 530 am start (a big faux pas…if you request an early start, you gotta show!). I got a hold of everyone to beg for 15 minutes later. I also don’t get ready as quick as I used to. Jasper eats, what Jasper doesn’t eat must be pumped away, Mama must eat after Jasper feeds all night long to soothe himself while he had a horrible raspy cough. I barely had time to shove a banana down, but really needed to eat more.

So I arrived a little harried, but thankful my friends were willing to wait for me. I think on these crazy mornings I try and use Jasper as my inspiration, as no matter what he always smiles. Even when he is sick and crying if I look at him, he stops for a second and tries to give me a little smile. I had fun laughing with friends and catching up. Mark and I were cracking up remembering bad movies from our childhood.
When I finish a run now I rush home and throw on dry clothes and feed Jasper before I even hop in the shower. It hasn’t been Jasper’s best day ever. He sounds just terrible, and I can tell his little smiles aren’t always easy for him since he feels so bad. So, it’s a little bit of a challenge for me, but at least I got my long run in!