Life and running update

citymarket5kTime for bullet points!


  • I ran a trail 5k today and felt really good. The heat in August really kicked my butt but I am super proud I modified and still stuck with the training so I could feel the rewards now. I squeaked in under 22 min but was mostly just happy with how it felt, strong and relaxed. I didn’t push into the ‘pain cave’ that will come in the next training cycle I think. But the slow progression of fitness and constant training over the last year is really working. I did a 10k too two weeks ago (pictured below) that was seriously one of the best races I have ever run, not the fastest ever but comparing myself with the 21 year old D1 College running Tessa isn’t fair so F-it, it was a blast! One more half marathon and a 5k in November to round out the year.
  • rviv16ig00389
  • (Its funny, I remember thinking “smile for the camera” but this is what came out ha!)
  • The morning routine with the kids has improved so much. No TV until after breakfast and they are dressed and then only if there is time. They don’t seem to mind at all and will play or we just read a few books to wake up slowly. I havn’t gotten Lily off the bottle yet, thats next, or maybe I just don’t care so much about that anymore, ha! .
  • We are doing a “Spend as little as possible” month this month and its really fun. I love finance challenges. We just made our entire weeks meal plan with 75% items we already have in the house. We did go to the dentist for the first time in 3 years (eeeek!  Too long I know, part of this simplifying is doing the necessary things I have been putting off) and I managed to go out to dinner with a gift card I had. I want to see what a low end of our monthly budget should be. Its changed so much since we have had kids but we are working to get it back down.
  • We have a goal of using something totally before we buy anything new. I had a bad habit of getting another something ‘just in case’ and it means we were basically buying things we didn’t need. Extra food, extra beauty supplies, extra socks, clothes, shoes, you name it. Time to use up all the stuff we already have.  Now we try to go as long as we can and either substitute something else or think outside the box a little before we just buy more. I am also looking for more USA made, locally made, handmade, or used products before buying new from big sketchy corporations.
  • bin
  • We have taken 2 car loads of unnecessary items to the thrift stores, it really is helping with the day to day cleaning and maintenance of the house. Even getting rid of extra storage bins too! Have less stuff, less stuff to clean up! Its also weirdly and not so weirdly given me more time, energy and patience to say ‘yes’ to the kids. My ‘have to do’ list is smaller (on purpose, I say ‘no’ a lot to work/friends/extra stuff). Like wandering to visit the trains when we were near by the other day or strolling to the playground in the afternoon.
  • train
  • Fall is my most favorite time of year, its Torrey and my 7th anniversary tomorrow and the best time to celebrate how far we have come! A business, two babies and a life built together. I love everything we have made!

Breakfast Experiment with young kids


kidstvCan I tell you the truth? This is how our weekday mornings look…

One of the children wakes up, and wakes us up, between 6 am and 7:30. Its like they trade off early duty. Once in a while they both sleep until 7:30 but most mornings someone wakes us up before then. No alarm necessary in this house.

One parent (we trade off mornings) stumbles out of bed and settles the child on the couch. That child asks for a snack and a show. The parent is too tired to resist and their brain isn’t working yet (coffee? Tea?) so that is what happens.



The youngest child has a complete breakdown if milk is not in a bottle (she is 2 and too old for this) and if snack isn’t pretzels and goldfish crackers in a bowl (that she usually doesn’t even eat). When we have tried other things in the past she turns into “rubber baby, my body has no bones” toddler melting onto the floor with tears and tantrum that wakes up the whole house.

The show is turned on, the kid zones out and the parent dozes off on the couch or starts coffee or just stares at the wall trying to wake up.

By 7:30 both parents are up and showering and we try to then get the kids to eat something more reasonable, get dressed and out the door. Sometimes we eat eggs, oatmeal, pancakes, cereal, yogurt, muffins, fruit…who knows. Lately we have been making some tasty green smoothies that three out of the 4 of us will drink (better than nothing!).greensmothie


The part I hate is the crappy snacks and TV right away. Thats the part that I just don’t think helps us out in the long run. Non nutritious food and zoning to the cartoons (even if it is PBS) means when it is time to get ready to go there is whining and resistance. Also the couch really needs a break from all the eating that is happening on it. Thank goodness I can wash the covers.

So I am going to start an experiment.

The Breakfast Schedule and Morning Rhythm

Influenced by the Simplicity Parenting book

Here is the list I wrote up.breakfast


Hopefully this will take the brain work off the parent and make that part easier. Plus these kids loooooove predictability and routine. It might be a little rough at first but usually if we explain to them simply what is going to happen and let them in on the experiment then it helps. There may be some epic morning meltdowns but we tend to have those anyways and getting some decent food in them should help. But they will have to wait longer for their solid food and we are going to hold off on TV shows too at least until they have eaten and gotten dressed. Also, food at the table.

Side goals: Get Wesley to dress himself and wean Lily from the instant milk bottle to a cup of milk…

Also Im not sure what to do if one kid wakes up way before the other. Only milk until they are both up and can eat together? Start breakfast for one and just give the other one some when they are up? I also think the days/food choices might change on this list, but after a few weeks we should figure out a variety that works and can repeat it weekly.

I’m kind of scared but also really ready to change our morning rhythm …wish us luck! Also anyone have any tips for what seems to work for them?


The good and the ugly – slowing it down



Its been one of those weeks. For so many silly and legitimate reasons the runs didn’t happen. What was supposed to be a 6 mile run and strides, 4 mile jog and 8 mile workout over three days ended up turning into two slow 4 mile jogs. It wasn’t nothing, but it wasn’t what was supposed to happen. I was solo parenting for part, hiking for my birthday for part, my street was SHUT DOWN and loaded up with COPS with guns and bulletproof vests (We were not involved personally but it was a wild day) and just overtired for part. One of those weeks. Other than running I kept my stuff together and had some really good moments in the week, the runs just didn’t feel right and they just didnt get in. I still am figuring out why I have a little feeling of shame and guilt when runs don’t happen. I’ll blame it on all those years of coaches who were tough (but great coaches!). The reality is, it doesn’t really matter that much if I don’t get in a run or two.



(Birthday hike! Mt. Abe )

But heres the deal, in the past I would be like “F-This, I am done” and stop running for a week or two or three. Its the ‘all or nothing’ mentality that I am trying to recover from. So instead I emailed my coach, modified my week, then fell off the wagon anyways, and still feel okay about it. I am able to get my weekend runs in and I am moving on and starting fresh. I’m not trying to cram in the missing workout, I am just MOVING ON.

Life is full right now, I have been really into learning about living a slower, more simple life lately and it gives me lots of hope. I have been hooked on this podcast, The Slow Home Podcast. Its hard to put into words the mind shift I have had these past few weeks but I feel it in my gut. I have taken the need for bigger and better out of my life, less is more folks. De-cluttering drawers, toys, closets and basements. Working with these two mottos “If one does the job why do I need 2+?” and “Is there a need for this?”


Embracing moments like slow outside dinners with the kids, not thinking about what I ‘should’ do and just do the task at hand, staying off social media a bit more, running into a friend I hadn’t seen in ages and just chatting, journaling, taking baths, taking stock of the things I really truly enjoy and maybe even saying no to outside activities and events. When I feel the stress of a rushed mind I take a second to shut it down and breathe. Slowing it down. It is seeping into everything and maybe into running a bit. My drive is a little less right now, mostly because my plate got a little too full.

But to bring it back full circle I know running is one of those keepers, one of those things I do really need and love in my life. One of the priorities. So I wont step away totally this time. I will just dial it down a bit, and maybe thats what my body wants anyways.


Loved this! From the @womankindmag on Instagram




This past Sunday I ran a trail “5k”,my Garmin said it was 2.7 and I think it was not accurately working in the trails because some fellow runners said the race is 3 miles. If I hadn’t worn my watch I would have been pumped with my 22:30 finish. Because I would have remained ignorant to my mile pace and ignorant to the shortness of the race, and just less in my head about ‘pace’ according to an outside source.

Its one of those times that running with a GPS watch is such a bad idea. I knew the park well, I had run there many times but I never really knew my pace inside the trails, I don’t think I have ever run there with GPS. I assumed maybe they were 30 seconds or so slower per mile because of the dirt/hills. So knowing those mile splits really hurt during the race and made me come away feeling unfit and disappointed.



Then I went home and my coach correctly reminded me that trails are a whole different beast. Running on flat roads/paths around my house and using my GPS watch all the time has made me annoyingly tied to pace. Recovery pace 8:45-9:30, steady pace 8ish, tempo/GHMP 7:30-7:40. Not always tied to effort or true feeling. I sometimes do easy runs with just a time watch and enjoy the break from knowing too much. I wistfully think of the old days in HS and College where every mile was an estimate.

Anyways, today I went back to those same trails to do a run that I would normally go around 8:15-8:25 pace on. And guess what my pace was? 10+min per mile. So that made me feel better about the race. I’m sure my effort was equivalent to under 7min mile pace in the race and it was good to get some soft surface hills in for strength. Who knows what the distance really is in there, and who really cares. I am a bit proud of myself for not being so bummed that I just said F-U to trails/hills, instead it makes me want to get stronger and run them more. Maybe more trail races are in my future? Next time I will go watchless and really enjoy the hard effort for what it is.


Anyone have trail race tips? Any favorite races? Anyone have strong feelings about always knowing your pace?

Testing it all out


This is just a quick post to say, hi! Im still here and am testing out a new blog format over on wordpress. I am sure the visual aspect of this blog will be tweaked and changed from time to time as I get to know it. But I am glad to be writing and sharing again.

I have been busy working and running and enjoying my family. I just started a new three month training plan with my coach that will take me through a few 5ks, 10ks and one half this fall. I love fall running so am looking forward to the cooler temps and fast times!

I have also been appointed the VT Oiselle Volee team leader! This means I will be coordinating a bunch of fun Vermont meet ups as the year goes on. There are twenty or so of us Oiselle Volee ladies in the state and I can wait to meet everyone. I will have to chat more about what being on the Volee team means to me in another post.

We had our first meet up last night to wish Whitney off to travel/work with her family to the Dominican Republic for two years! She is such a bright, fresh, fun person and we will miss having her around but I cant wait to follow along on social media to where her adventures, and runs lead. About 7 of us meet at the UVM outdoor track to do a fun workout.

Mile W-up

3x400m at 5k pace (for me this was around 1:45) 200m jog rest in between

1x1k at 5k pace (4:20) with drink/rest break before and after

3×400 at 5k pace

Then Dani and I jumped on for a hard effort 400m (1:27 for me) and it was so much fun. Dani and I raced in college and as she said I used to lead her on the track and this time it was her turn to keep me going. My goal is to get more speed back in this next year and keep up with her more!!

We had a cool down and popsicles and lots of fun chatting. We joked that all but one of us had kids at home so maybe that is why we were all there, for the break, ha! I cant wait for the next one.


Unplugged Half Marathon Recap

Writing has been a little distant lately. I am the type of person to take time to internalize big events before I let out my thoughts and feelings. I may not even mention some of the biggest things happening in my life at any moment, sometimes when things get too ‘personal’ I tend to clam up and keep it all in my head. Its not good or bad, its just the way I process the world.

This winter running got a little like that. Running and life. My step dad got diagnosed with cancer early in the winter. I wasn’t even sure I was going to share that, my extended family is usually excluded from this blog, its just too personal, and the details of everything will remain so. But I am sure most of you know how much cancer sucks, and how at a loss you can feel when someone you love is hurting and how much you want to fix it but cant. The way I usually deal with things like this, is to get my own stuff together. Keep my ducks in a row, keep my life as stable as possible so I can be there as much as I can for these people I love. I pare down my emotional energy into the few things I really need (introvert much?). This may seem like something that is not running related. But if you find personal relief and mental clarity in any hobby or passion you may understand how running can help. Running has always helped me process hard things. When my chest feels tight, when the world gets a little overwhelming, when things that are out of my control rear their head. So this was no different. And I have to say… I am so glad I didn’t give up on running these past few years. 
I have so so much momma bear love for my children, so much joy in their lives and so much wonder in their even existence. But giving birth to a human is a bit life altering. Sometimes I would think ‘why run at all?’ When I spent the last few years trying to find even an ounce of extra physical and mental energy to get my gear on and butt out the door. When my body went through the double roller coaster of two babies and breastfeeding in 3 years and 20+ lbs sticking around after my daughter. If I couldn’t give it my all, if I couldn’t be fast again, if I couldn’t race like I used to, if I couldn’t finish a long run, why even do it at all? There were weeks when I said, Im done, I will find something else. But then after a few days I just got back out there. I did, because this tiny little voice in my head said…. you will need it.
You will need to have a base. Even if its just 10/15 mile weeks for a whole year. You will need, really need, running soon and you will be so thankful you just went out a few times a week. That you kept it in your soul and body enough to be able to turn it into something bigger when it was needed.
When I started this past training cycle, my first real one since 2009 I didn’t know I would NEED it. Even during it I didn’t know. But now, a few weeks after the goal race, I realize. When the world gets messy, when my mind gets cluttered there is NOTHING like those endorphins. There is nothing like being able to set a goal and get shit done. Something about my mix of personality, body and life just really fits with running, I am sure if I physically could not do it anymore for whatever reason I would find my new ‘running’. But because I can, I will and so I do. 
So… phew, now that that is on the table here is a quick recap of the two races I did this winter:
Shamrock Shuffle 5 miler March 20th in NY

I got to visit my family and run a race. Something I like combining if I can! There are so many races all over the place I really enjoy finding them on vacation, or including them in visits to new areas. 
Goals: 7-7:15 pace for as long as I could.
I was not tapering for this at all and was pretty much in peak weeks for this half marathon training cycle. Being said I knew I could run faster for these 5 miles than I could for a 5k I did on Jan 1st right before this training cycle began and that was awesome. A good amount of improvement in 2.5 months!
Results: 36:22 – 7:16 pace. I would count this races as a success even though I was hoping for my legs to feel a bit more spunky and go just a bit faster per mile. I really mentally won in mile 3 when I stuck to a woman who went by me and really used her to help me grind it out and pull me along. I have noticed I run in ‘no mans land’ during races and I wanted to try to stick to someone when things get rough and it did help so much!
Then I got back to work for my goal race
Unplugged Half Marathon April 9th 

(I did order this pic, it just hasn’t arrived yet. I think I look pretty focused!)

Goal: Under 1:40. I had a hope that I could even pull out a 1:38 on the right day
Thankfully my friend Katie said she would pace me, she had just run a PR half marathon a few weeks before and was looking to just get out for a upbeat run (she’s quite a bit faster than me). She SAVED me. I don’t know what happened. I started out really good running 7:20- 7:30’s but from the half way point on I kept getting strong waves of fatigue and even almost dizziness. Turns out I did get a cold (that the kids had had all week) a day later and that might have been my body fighting it off. But I am so happy I pushed and gutted it out. There were points around mile 8 where I said to Katie “WHAT IS HAPPENING?!” It was like I was treading water, every slight uphill would stop my turnover. I had done lots of long runs and speed and I was very ready for this race. All I can say is 7:35 pace for that long just finally got me. I was hoping to go faster the last few miles but instead it was all I could do to not go much slower that 8 min miles. I fueled well too, taking Honey Stinger gels and Katie handed me water when I wanted it (really it was so helpful!). But I was crashing hard at the end, it honestly felt like the last few miles of a full marathon, not a half! I thought I was going to be coming in around 1:42/1:43 so when I turned the corner to the finish and saw 1:39.40+ I screamed!

(proof of said screaming)

I still had a chance to break 1:40! I pushed and gave it a final surge to finish in 1:40.00.3.  

So, so happy to be done and get a post baby PR. But I didn’t quite know how to feel after. I know I did the best I could on that day. A part of me really thought I could have had more of a miracle race. What I have come to realize is my body has gone through even more than I have realized these past few years. That I have basically taken 3+ years off from any consistency and it is just going to take more time to get really back into the swing of things. My next post is really going to be about this. About how I have found a good grove of training for races, running, time off, and the rest of my life. Or how I THINK I have figured it out a little bit, who knows whats up ahead. 
Lastly I just want to leave a few highlights of this training cycle that I look back on and really am proud of myself for. There is so much more to running than the goal race: 
* I only missed 1-2 days of my scheduled runs
* I got into a really good weekly groove of timing and planing my runs
* I didn’t drive my family crazy or miss out on too much, I think!
* I finished 4-5 12+ mile runs! I really missed those long days
* I wasn’t over tired at all. I really was gentle to myself with my sleep and recovery it helped so much.
* I felt the most mentally stable and up that I have felt in years. I wasn’t in a deep depression prior but the endorphins, being able to finally get back into something I really love and accomplish my goals really did a lot for my day to day happiness.
* I did 2 track workouts! – LOVED getting back on the track and I found a good local one I am sure I will use many more times in the years to come. 
* I got help when I needed it. When something started to hurt I didn’t ignore it, I addressed it. 
* I had an epiphany about how I can fit running into my life as an adult. (see next post for more)
* My new mantra on long progression runs or track repeats was. “When the going gets tough, the tough get going…. GET GOING”
Thank you again to Mollie from Piece of Cake running for the awesome schedule and feedback. I know the motivation I got from having a coach again is really what made the big difference this winter!

Running Progress – Stepping up to my goals

(This is from the Oiselle Flight Manual I got with my jersey last summer, I taped it on the wall then, with the hope that that window would happen in the future.)

I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. To be honest I didn’t realize I was in a tunnel until I started to see the light. I thought maybe the tunnel was just my new world.

Sound crazy? Well thats what running is feeling like right now. Last year I was honestly thinking I just might not be a fast runner anymore. Its all relative, I know my times would be fast to some people. But I had been running ‘for fun’ with no plan and no consistency for 5/6 years. To be in this place where 4 miles was not an easy run, more like a struggle buss, and 9 min pace was a wobbly floppy mess it was strange. Every year my times got slower and after 3 years of pregnancy/babies I was starting to think it was my new normal.

But then I made a leap and a promise to myself. I got a coach (Mollie), I got a good solid training plan that fit into my life. I realized when in the year I had more time to train and when I did not. I realized I would rather train hard in the winter than in the heat of the summer. I got serious about making sure I got my runs in. I haven’t done that for real that I remember since training for the Boston marathon in 2009. No wonder I didn’t feel like myself running anymore, no wonder some days (most days) I didn’t even enjoy it all that much. All the days were up to me, all the pressure was on me, and I had no idea what I was doing.

I am running smart. Now my year looks like training blocks and then planing legitimate time off. The crazy thing is this type of training is so much easier than just running ‘for fun’ and 100% more enjoyable. I am working harder, seeing much better rewards (dropping post baby middle weight and dropping times!) and am so much happier with running. I get excited and giddy for workout days to do intervals and push myself. Long runs give me nerves but when they are done I am so thrilled! Easy days I just get to go slow (and I am being good about going slow!) and off days are OFF and I get two a week and its great! I ran 117 miles last month and have ran more 20+ mile weeks in a row than I have in many many years.

The consistency with my schedule means after a few weeks I know how to work each days run in. I just think about it for 5 min. the day before and communicate with Torrey so we both know when I am planing on running. I know that Tuesdays I run from work in the afternoon, Weds I do a easy recovery run on the treadmill while the kids nap, Thursday I run in the evening when Torrey feeds the kids dinner and am home by bedtime. Saturday I run whenever and sunday its long run morning while Torrey and the kids have a slow morning. Honestly having kids works well with this because I am not partying or having random late nights (now that they are sleeping well!). Our life is structured with work more now too so I can then structure in my runs.

Anyways, its happening. I have a goal race in April, a half marathon where I am going for sub 1:40. Where I will wear my Oiselle jersey for the first time because I believe I am worthy of it (I know that is lame, that I should have always worn it to races but this is the honest truth, I knew I was better).  I know I can run that time as long as I stay healthy and that is really exciting. I know I can also see 22/21 min for the 5k again with this training and that is really exciting too. Its been so many years since speed was in my legs. But without all that down time, without all that slogging and sloppy running, without all the 23, 24, 25 min. 5ks I don’t know if I would appreciate these times as much. I really appreciate being able to run 7:30 pace again. I really appreciate being able to drop my times and improve my fitness.

Guess what : Not running ‘for fun’ is actually really really fun.

Half Marathon training – RECOVERY

 Running around a college is great in the winter. They always have the best plowed and taken care of sidewalks and roads. 

Its been a fun last month on the running front. I feel my confidence blooming, and my fitness coming back. I know for most people being able to run a few times a week would be really in shape/fit. But for me and my body I don’t really feel fit until I get some serious training under my belt. Years ago this was 40-50 mile weeks and running about a min. per mile faster than I am now. I don’t know if I will see training like that again for a few years but for now things are starting to come together. I am LOVING my coaching and training plan from Mollie at Piece of Cake Running. Seriously having a momma of two littles who is a fast runner be my coach is pretty much the best fit. She knows whats up. I just finished a 32 mile week with a 12 mile long run. I also had a 400/200m workout this week that was SO FUN, I miss speed work bad. I have consistently been running 5 days a week for the last month and it is starting to feel really good again. I really missed this feeling.

I am also starting to see how staying fit and training this much might fit into my life better than I thought it would. It just takes some extra planing and being a little extra nice to myself.

Views from my run in New Orleans! We met some good friends there for an adult get away weekend and it was glorious, and too short. I love that city!

Im finding the hardest part of getting back into running isn’t getting the runs in. Its recovery.

You hear this a lot from seasoned runners, that recovery is the most important part. Recovery with young kids and a busy job is rough. But I am trying to make it a priority. Here is what works best for me in order to have energy to run and live the life I want to. Some of these I am working on and some of these I find easy to incorporate.

1- SLEEP: Obviously with two young kids this varies. Maybe 1-2 nights a week I get a really sold 8-9 hours. That usually still has at least one wake up for various reasons (baby, toddler, dog, cat, bladder). I wish I could sleep a bit better a few more nights. This means I have to get my shit together to get to bed earlier. I hear a lot of working parents or business owners sacrificing sleep for work/life. I can not do that. This time last year I was waking up every two hours with our daughter for MONTHS. It was hell, really. It makes me depressed, anxious, exhausted, cranky, foggy… not worth it.

Goal: Get to bed earlier and do not bring my phone to bed with me

2- FUEL: I love to refuel right after a run. I try really hard to do this within 15min of workouts and long run days. Chocolate milk, boiled eggs, Picky Bars, PB&J, smoothie, something with solid protein. My highschool coaches used to make us bring snacks for right after our runs, and would bring Cliff Bars with them EVERYWHERE. It works really. I am less sore the next day, I am less starving later. I am good friends with food, we are buddies, I rarely have food guilt and let myself just enjoy it as one of my favorite things in life. I almost see it as a feminist issue sometimes, what the hell are these bazaar messages women give to girls and other women about food?? Obviously I have strong feelings in this department. Here are some past rants if you are interested, here and here.

Goal: Eat more greens/veggies always. Keep more easy snacks, premade food (oatmeal, chicken strips) ready for easy breakfast/lunch.

3- STRENGTH AND STRETCH: I am happily addicted to two types of stretching these days. This Yoga with Adrienne Cool down video (its magic after a long run) and my JasYoga subscription. I always half ass stretching by myself and half ass doing core work unless I have a video/class I can go along with. These have been so helpful.

Goal: Do them more, even if its not right after the run. Even if its after the kids go to bed. Or when they are playing. They really help, anytime.

4 – REST: I am a fidgity, go…go…go person. Its really hard for me to keep my hands still. Its really hard for me to NOT do things. But I need to take more time to relax. I don’t need to surf the internet, play with my phone, or even fidget around the house so much. I need to spend more time letting myself just be.

Goal: Spend time resting if the kids are napping or playing contently. I dont always need to start a new project or go out to the store. Let myself spend more time doing nothing and processing my goals and life.

My new mantra is “Be nice to yourself” and I think it should be yours too!
Let some things go, do what really makes you happy, be with those that make you your best self, spend time doing things you love and spend time doing nothing.

What is your favorite way to be nice to yourself?? Id love to hear!

Whats been happening and 2016 Running Goals

(Oiselle Volee VT group run last Sunday, so fun!)

There have been some changes around here since October.

1- I am done nursing! That means hormones are back to normal and my energy levels are much better. I am also taking a multi vitamin and elderberry syrup regularly to keep my immune system up for sick season. I am not going through a sick winter like last year again if I can help it! My body feels like my own again and it is glorious. Those were good “childbearing” years but its nice to be back.
2- I am working 4 days a week out of the house. I haven’t done this since Fall 2012. Its also glorious. I am so much happier when I can produce things. My mind is so much happier working. I love my job and it feels so good to be back. Also I missed working with my husband and our relationship has improved now that we are both in the same workspace again. Its funny how many people tell me “I could not work with my partner” and for us we are so much better when we are working together!
3- The busy holiday season is about to wind down. By the way shipping cut off is DEC 19th for christmas delivery so go now SHOP New Duds and Foliage Handbags!  Winter means our ‘slow’ season, where there is some extra free time and less of a constant hustle to get things done ASAP at work.
4 – The kids are great! A combination of us all not being so darn sick of each other and cooped up at home plus they are both getting a little bit older. It means i’m finding it easier to be a better parent. Im less exhausted and burnt out and enjoy my time with them more. Its the honest truth. Also they are both napping and sleeping pretty well and starting to play with each other more. Being out of that first year with 2 under 3 is so nice, it was a rough one folks.

5- I made 175 feather zipper pouches for Oiselle!  RUNNING AND WORK HAVE JOINED FORCES, MY DREAMS ARE COMING TRUE, YES! I should do a whole blog post about just this but they reached out to me and the first batch sold out in 6 hours so I made 100 more and if you want one go check out their site HERE. They make perfect gifts! JUMP ON IT!

So that means I have brought my focus back to running again. I have new goals the biggest one being:
A fully raced, give it all I’ve got, Half Marathon in April.
I am so excited to do this. I really want to get back into good running shape and I was so intimidated about HOW to do it. I know a lot about running and training. I used to coach and I ran on competitive teams for years. But to make my own training schedule seemed way too daunting. How would I slowly work up to dropping 1 min per mile off my current race pace? How was I going to figure out my build up? I cant dedicated so much time to running anymore, so should I even try to race again?
But the truth is I thrive on outside motivation and I don’t need much just a little nudge to keep me going.  I love running and I don’t want to give it up. Also I can focus for 4 months a year, thinking of a marathon 2 years away was too much but thinking about a race in April, thats manageable. 
So to help me along I got myself a little Christmas present: a running coach for my training this winter!
I had Mollie from Piece of Cake Running make me a training plan last year that I loved. However I bonked hard from exhaustion mid summer and wasn’t able to keep up with the plan. So this winter I am going for the coaching too. I will be peaking at about 35 mile weeks and working some speed and strength back into my training and I am so EXCITED. It seems like a perfect fit and JUST what I needed! Thanks so much Mollie I am so glad I made the jump and the more I think about it the more I realize this is going to help so much to keep me on track. 
The plan starts in the new year so I am running 15-20 mile weeks until then. I hope to post more about this running journey along the way this winter so keep checking in if your interested!
And here is a current photo of my children for those who are more interested in that…
“Wesley, hold your sisters hand”
I’m on his side on this one, he was just trying to do what we asked for the photo and she was like “dont touch me brother!” Love these kiddos. 

Hindsight: thoughts about running and hormones

(Wes is THREE you guys! THREE! Mind blown)

I feel like all my blog posts should start “Oh…right…” Often times I am struggling with something then I learn something that wasn’t even on my radar as a ’cause’ and it clarifies the whole situation. For example all summer my left heel was bothering me. Causing me to cut back on running (I was exhausted anyways so I didn’t mind too much) and baby it. I was hobbling around all summer long blaming it on my flip flops or being barefoot in the house all the time. I swore it was NOT my running shoes. I only wore them running and it didn’t really hurt when I ran. Well turns out it was my running shoes. I got checked out by a PT friend and it was the first thing he noticed. I got more supportive ones (Ghost from Brooks) and its slowly going away. Damn I could have done that months ago!

I feel that way with hormones. I think I was always in a little bit of denial that they really mentally or physically effected me. PMS hormones, pregnancy hormones, breastfeeding hormones. Deep down I thought I could will their effects away, that I could blame my roller coaster emotions and energy to just life being too busy or me not getting enough rest or sleep.

Then in Sept Lily weaned. For the first time in almost 4 years I wasn’t pregnant or breastfeeding. FOR THE FIRST TIME I didn’t have hormone surges that were related to having children. And all of a sudden I am way less tired, I wake up in the morning with energy to start my day, not begging Torrey to please please just let me sleep a half hour more. I am up before the kids some days! I also feel totally different running. Dare I say it, I feel a bit like my old self. I am peppier and have more energy and it doesn’t wipe me out as much. But the biggest shift is that I can push myself again. I accidentally ran 12 miles a few weeks ago with friends. I hadn’t even run for an hour in over a month and I just busted out 12 like it was no big deal. If I had tried to do that two months before I would have CRASHED AND BURNED. Breastfeeding Tessa is like this “Oh you want to push yourself? Oh well NOPE, BODY SHUT DOWN, SHUT DOWN NOW, SAVE ENERGY FOR THE BABY” Really its dramatic, I have to stop and walk, dramatic. So I have taught myself to conserve energy and be really really cautious about not using up all my energy on running for life and the kids. I talked about it this summer after a 30 mile week wiped me out for 2 weeks straight. I just could not do it.

I am lucky that breastfeeding came fairly smoothly to me and other than being a little under supplied (I could never pump very much but this was just my bodys way and I don’t think running had anything to do with it) it seemed like we did well these kids and I. I cherish the moments I had and the ability and am so glad I did it for a year with both of them. I don’t regret one bit of it. But I wish I had really understood like I do now. I spent a lot of my runs this past year feeling off, putting frowny faces in my log book but for no real reason why.

This last month every run has felt really pretty good. I don’t know my pace (I stopped running with a garmin mid summer because it just stressed me out) but I know I feel better after. Things are a bit transition-y with work, the kids and our holiday busy season so I cant really devote more time to running but I am looking forward to this next year. For the first time in many months I think that maybe I can run and work and have a family. Maybe I will have the energy for it all now that my body is well… my body again and I don’t really have to share it anymore. And maybe I will remember this for when I hit menopause (or have another kid, but really…. hahahhahhaha…. that just makes me laugh right now. Not gonna happen). To be even more gentle on myself. To believe what they say about the energy and hormones and to know that it will get better and it is such a short time overall.

(Disclaimer: please do not let this scare you from having babies or breastfeeding if its something you want to do! Totally worth it, I was just in denial. There is plenty of time for running and its true, they are only babies once. But I will also say maybe this is part of the reason spacing kids out a little more is a good idea. I love that these two are close but I think physically and mentally it would have been a bit easier on me to have a true break in between. Ah well, I wouldn’t change a thing now.)

(Straight off breastmilk and on to ice cream cake, this girl knows whats up)