Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The sisterhood of mothers

Last night the Princess asked me to read her Someday by Alison McGhee, a book that chokes me up on an ordinary day. I read as much as I could, trying not to cry, and when I got to the page about one day you will hear such sad news that your body will fold with sorrow I could barely get through the sentence. We finished the book and I quietly cried and then noticed that she too was crying. I asked her why and she simply said "Because you are."

It is the crying we do for other people's pain that is the hardest to stop.

Yesterday was no ordinary day.

Yesterday I learned that a friend of mine from high school lost his 11 day old baby. I had been following her progress on Facebook since the day she was born. I had been hoping and wishing and even forced my heathen self to say a prayer or twenty. I asked friends to do the same. But yesterday she lost her fight and they lost her.

I haven't seen my friend in 20 years. I have never met his wife. But I cried for them. I cried in the preschool pick up line. I cried in the shower. I cried myself to sleep.

They talk a lot about the mommy wars. Working moms, stay at home moms, breastfeeding moms, formula feeding moms, attachment moms, um, non-attachment moms. Screw that. We are all mothers. Mothers who love their children. Mothers who love ALL children. When one of us hurts, we all hurt. When one of us cries out in sorrow, we all cry out in sorrow. This is the sisterhood of mothers. While I cannot hope to know the pain, to fully understand it, I feel a paler version of it. I feel it for you. I cry for you. Today I give you my sadness, my tears, my anguish. I hope tomorrow to give you my strength. To give you some small solace in knowing that you are not alone in your pain. That I will not forget. This is the sisterhood of mothers. You are not alone. We are not alone.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Half marathon race report

This past Sunday was the race I have been training for and thinking about for a very very long time. It was my first half marathon, but I set out with a particular goal in mind: 2:15.

The weekend started with packet pickup on Saturday. My friends and I all went and what could have been a stressful situation for me with parking and doing it alone was transformed into a fun event! We picked up all our stuff and grabbed whatever freebies we could. 

I got up as early as I could Sunday morning and had my tea and my breakfast-- toasted white bread with jelly. I haven't had white bread in years but I was trying to avoid fiber. Vader and Nana got the kids ready and we piled in the van and headed to the start. It was probably much less stressful than it would have been without Nana there. Since she is capable of reading a clock and understanding how time works (unlike other grownups in the house), we actually left when we wanted to and arrived at the start with plenty of time for me to pee again and get a few pictures. 

The Strong Running Mamas (some of them)

Castleton Runners

I knew I had to average 10:18 a mile if I wanted to hit my A goal of 2:15. I figured I would run in the 10-10:20 range for the first few miles and then gradually speed up and then put into high gear for the last mile. 

That did not exactly happen. Actually, it wasn't even close to what happened! The first mile was on a narrow trail with lots of slippery gravel and not really the best running conditions. The first 8 miles I ran much faster than I had intended:

Mile 1: 10:27
Mile 2: 9:40
Mile 3: 9:49
Mile 4: 9:40
Mile 5: 9:40
Mile 6: 9:58
Mile 7: 10:07
Mile 8: 10:10

I was feeling okay though and I was keeping up with my friends so I just went with it. I was leaking pee but I was wearing Tena pee pads and I highly suggest that if you're in danger of leakage that you check these out! By the end of the race they were completely full and I never had any spillage. At some point I started to smell ammonia while I was running and I figured I was probably peeing blood (I was!) but I just put it out of my head and concentrated on finishing the race. 

I started to really slow down at mile 9. At some point my friend Jen was having hip pain and needed to walk. I stopped with her. I was doing okay and didn't need to walk (I even took my chews without stopping!) but when she stopped my first thought was Screw the A goal, I'm staying with my friend. She didn't need to walk for very long and only took a couple more breaks, but I stuck with her. 

Mile 9: 10:31
Mile 10: 10:42
Mile 11: 10:53
Mile 12: 11:02

At the 12 mile I just kind of lost it. I stopped for about 10 seconds (and Jen stopped with me) and then we started again and she caught up to Tracy and Sara and I tried to but just missed it. They crossed the finish line holding hands and I came in 2 seconds later. In some ways missing it by 2 seconds was a million times worse than if I had been 15 minutes behind them, but I was happy that I had kept up with them for most of the race. 

Mile 13: 10:26
Last .1: 9:40

That's the gun time.
 I did it. My net time was 2:15:02. Even with stopping to walk I hit my A goal. I am super excited that I finished when I wanted to in my first half marathon! I am happy that I ran most of the way with my friends. I am happy that for most of the race I felt good. I would have preferred to run slower in the beginning and not peter out at the end, but it is what it is.

478 out of 800 people
58 out of 104 in age group
Net pace 10:19

Me and Felice after the race. 

Castleton Runners finished!

So many of my friends ran wonderful races! Bridget had a major PR. Felice did what she always does and nailed it. Karyn had a great PR. Tammy ran it in 2:00:10. 10 seconds slower than what she had wanted but still amazing! Stephanie ran the full marathon in 4:18! Jen's husband Jim ran the full--his first--in 3:08 and qualified for Boston! In his first marathon! Crazy! It was such an amazing experience.

I'm taking the next two weeks completely off. My kidneys need a rest--a real rest--and I need to get this tendinitis sorted out once and for all. I'm going to slowly return to running and max out at 6 miles for my long run. I don't have anything on the schedule until the Ragnar in May, but I would like to get a 5K or two in before that. I'm not sure what or when but I'd like to get myself back to what I was before I got pregnant. I don't think I'll do another half until next year's MH. So I've got a year to work on my speed and not be 2 seconds too late again.

In the mean time I have this to tackle:

My "craft/working" table. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Half goals

Week 16.

I am in Week 16 of my half marathon training plan. A plan so long it took 2 pages on my fridge. Spanned multiple months (duh). My "taper" has coincided nicely with the plague that has overrun my house. The Princess missed 4 days of school last week. It is now Chewie's turn... Coughing until vomiting and getting snot all over. Just for the fun of it LightRunner decided to get a fever too. He seems much better though so maybe his was a fluke. I am drinking EmergenC every day and looking for bubble wrap.

I've had some good long runs and some bad long runs, some good speed work and some bad, and I'm as prepared as I'm going to be at this point. It is my first half marathon and everything I have read everywhere says to just run it to finish and not even think about time. (I didn't even have to do the speed work! It was just for fun!) And those are people without kidney stones and blood in their pee and smelling like ammonia after a run. Just finish.

I have no doubt in my mind that I will finish. I'm pretty sure I can do it without walking, but I may choose to walk while eating my Clif chews. But I can't just go in to finish. That's just not me. Not anymore, anyway.


My goals, because you know I have them:

C. 2:30 I truly believe I will beat this, but it could turn out freakishly hot & it's super important I not get dehydrated.

B. 2:20 I think this is also doable.

A. 2:15 or better. I did a 12 mile run with some rolling hills and stopped to walk for my chews in 2:05. I think I can do another mile in 10 minutes. 

I will be happy with any of these goals really. It *is* my first half and whatever I do is an automatic PR! But I'm going to do my best to reach my A goal. I don't want my kid to settle for a B, so why should I? 

My non-time related goals are harder to put into words. I want to truly enjoy this experience. I want to smile. I want to have fun. I want to finish with my friends. Training with friends has been so amazing. I couldn't do this without them. I hope that I can keep up and finish with them, instead of, you know, last. I want to push myself and run the best race I can and not leave thinking, I could have done more.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Sink or swim

The ginormous binder my 9 year old has to lug to school each day.

This is it.

No, not my half-marathon post. That'll be coming.

This is the year that I finally let SkyWalker sink or swim. He is so very very smart but so very very lazy. He has made it this far because I have nagged him to get his work done on time and I have pretty much held his hand each year. I don't do it for him because I'm not that bad. But this year he has to be responsible for himself. He has a giant binder and sees all three teachers and it's kind of like middle school in 4th grade. So he has so much more work to do. I have tried to teach him not to wait until the last minute, not to put off his work just because it's not due yet because he doesn't know how much more he will get by the time it is due. I've tried to teach him to take pride in his work and do a good job. 

But I've got to stop holding his hand. I've got to stop checking his homework to make sure he hasn't made stupid mistakes because of rushing to get it done so he can play minecraft. I've got to stop micromanaging and telling him what to get done. I've got to let him be in control. Even if it means his grades suffer and he doesn't live up to his potential. He has to learn to swim or he will sink. And I will have to let him.

He just turned 9 years old. I look at him and see him at 9 months old. But I need to look at him and see him at 19. Confident, indepedent, hard-working people don't wake up that way. They are made that way. I knew when he was first born that if I wanted him to sleep on his own I couldn't feed him, or rock him, or let him sleep in my bed. I had to teach him as a baby to do it by himself. The same is true now. If I want him to work hard and be successful, he's going to have to learn how. He's going to have to learn failure as well as success. I'm not doing him any favors by shielding him from that failure now.

So this is it. This is when I step back so that he may step forward. All I can do is hope that he actually does.