Friday, February 12, 2016

I'm not Super Mom!

Guess what after years of being in denial I am finally on board with the fact that I am not Super Mom (or my previous thoughts of Super Woman!). I can’t do it all and am finally realizing that my attempts at everything are making us all suffer. The past 3 years I’ve poured into my career along with finishing grad school all while continuing to train for marathons and being a mom and wife, well I’m the first to admit that I wasn’t excelling at the most important jobs on the list. I watch these young women surgeons working long hours, building big careers and being moms. I kept telling myself that if they can do it on 80 hour work weeks that I have nothing to complain about but I see they lack family time, focus on things other than work and just life outside. This isn’t what I want…

So I spent the past year figuring out what I want…
  • A career with growth using my education
  • A career I enjoy, one I look forward to most days
  • A strong relationship with my daughter
  • Time with family
  • Time to workout every morning and ability to see my running buddies
  • Time to travel and share the world with O
  • Evenings to eat family dinner and relax
What's on your list?

The past few weekends solidified my thoughts. Running home with barely any time before O’s birthday party, changing as family started arriving! The following weekend repeating as I missed half the neighborhood SuperBowl party due to another late day at work, finally heading over there without a shower for the day and ready to do nothing but sit on the couch.  Monday we all suffered from this as O was in tears because she had no time to spend with mom all weekend and insisted she come to work with me.

Moms, why do we do this to ourselves? We can accept that we don’t need to do it all! What is important to us now and in the future? How have you realized as a mom that you can’t do it all? What changes have you made?

So what is ahead…Well I have decided to leave my job with crazy unpredictable hours, working weekends and late days with a long drive in my specialty of surgery/trauma. Almost 16 years in trauma is coming to an end, this has hugely shaped who I am and has brought great people and experience to my life but to do what’s best for me as a whole I need to step away. Instead I will be working weekdays only, set hours meaning home for dinner, no more super easy mornings meaning time for morning workouts, plus close to home. Change is tough but knowing this is the best is making it easier. How many other runners factor in this as a decision maker for a job?

Have a great weekend, what are your plans? Hoping I’m ready for my long run after 11 days of being sick I’m back to running. Just 2 more weeks until RnR NOLA! And a fewmore days to donate to my fundraising (I have special thank you gifts for those who donate before Feb 17).

Linking up with Jill for Fitness Friday.

Friday, February 5, 2016

To Run or Not To Run: Running While Sick

Today was supposed to be the last big run for New Orleans, my final 22 mile run. (Still time to help me raise $ Click )Since last week the plans have been in place, get up early on my Friday off, meet 3 friends all needing varying distances but have company for about 3/4 of my run. Well thanks to my child and her ability to share germs my body had other plans. Tuesday I felt a little sick but I still ran a 10 mile tempo run without issues. Wednesday I barely managed a 6 mile easy run, ended up walking to make it to 7 miles. Then by Thursday I was miserable by lunchtime, low grade fever, nonstop cough and body aches. I left work early, deciding sharing my germs with my afternoon of oncology clinic was stupid.

I camped out on the couch with the fire on, blankets, House Hunters on TV and a book to read. I jumped on our group run text and let them know I was likely out and sure enough I was...
At the start of Boston 2012 with Jess, I look pretty good considering how bad I was feeling!
My goal since my last injury is to be a smart runner, listen to my body and think of the long term not just what I want today. In the past I would have run and suffered! In 2012 I was sick heading into Boston Marathon but I ran anyways (who wouldn't?). I took it easy since I was sick, coming off injury and it was 90 degrees by mid race but still I suffered for weeks after with a nasty respiratory infection requiring steroids and antibiotics to finally go away. Not this time!

Reasons Not To Run

  • Fever
  • Body Aches
  • Respiratory Illness
  • Flu-like symptoms

Check, check, check! I guess I am out!

Okay To Run

  • Nasal Congestion
  • Runny Nose
  • Sneezing
  • Sore Throat

Today I am feeling better but still sore throat and cough so planning a walk instead and reattempting my long run tomorrow if things are even better. Wish me luck! Do you try to run through illness and injury? 

And now a little good news! I'm excited to be chosen to be part of Team Rock N Blog for 2016. Stay tuned for a discount code for Rock n Roll Races. Have you run any Rock n Roll races?

Have a great weekend! Linking up with Jill for Fitness Friday

Monday, February 1, 2016

Birthday Fun

I will get back to running talk soon, don't worry! But as a mom your kid's birthday takes center stage for a few days.

Like I posted O turned 6 on Thursday and it hasn't stopped yet! 

Thursday night we took O to one of our favorite restaurants for dinner after gymnastics , Frozen balloon waiting. After dinner they offered ice cream but she can't have dairy so they offered a fruit plate for dessert. Then we had fun reading the cards written by some of here classmates. Kind of fun reading (and interpreting 5/6yo writing and spelling! Then the one and only present this slacker mom had time to wrap (in a Target bag!) cruise ship Friends Legos

Saturday she was off to a friend's party then gymnastics and her family party at home. I once again forgot that I don't have an angel food cake pan and made two fallen loaves of cake, oops!

Sunday was friends party! To fit it all in I was out running at 6:15, 18 miles done by 9am and on to party prep. 11 of her friends joined us for a princess party complete with a visit from Elsa! She helped them all make crowns, painted nails and relax to watch a little Frozen before cupcakes and presents. What a fun day and so great to spend it with so many friends.

But afterwards it changed, about 1 hour later she crashed saying she just wanted to lay on the couch and not eat dinner! She is always hungry! I knew things weren't right, yep fever 102.9F. Poor kiddo, after dinner, which she slept through, we cuddled on the couch and watched a little Cupcake Wars before an early bedtime.

Have a great day! I can't believe it is now February!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Menu Planning and UCAN Pudding

It was amazing how much smoother this past week went at dinnertime with the plans in place. How did I forget this?! I was so happy to have everything planned since my week was crazy; busy working 6 days, nonstop running around, O's birthday (and parties) and just life! Despite the best planning a couple meals went unused thanks to missing ingredients and no time to check another store, but that makes this week's planning even easier.

This week I even discovered a new snack that is actually keeping me full and not searching for food all afternoon! I'm starting to use UCAN more than just pre-run and it is great, especially the new cinnamon.
Pumpkin UCAN Pudding
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 tbsp almond butter
2 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
1/2 scoop UCAN Cinnamon
1/2 scoop UCAN Vanilla Protein
1 tsp chia seeds

Mix and top with pecans. Chill in refrigerator until ready to eat

Is it just me or does it seem like when you sit down to plan meals you go back to your fallbacks? So share with me What are some of your favorite go to meals for winter?

Sunday: Slow Cooker Curry
Monday: Quinoa Salad
Tuesday: Tortilla Soup
Wednesday: Spaghetti Squash with Marinara and "Meat"balls
Thursday: Frittata
Friday: Veggie Bean Enchiladas
Saturday: Work holiday party

What's on your menu this week? Check out other menus and at Laura's link up

Thursday, January 28, 2016

6 Already!

My baby is 6 today! Seriously where did the time go?

The past 6 years have been filled with joy and frustration as you develop into the strong, determined little girl you are becoming. You have your own agenda at times and aren't always the easiest kid but your strong willed, determined personality will make you a successful person. We love you!

This past year you have grown so much with starting kindergarten, learning so much that you can do, learning to be a student and friend and wanting to soak up knowledge everywhere. You are developing great friendships with so many people and are liked by so many. Your personality draws people in! 

Dance and gymnastics are a big part of your life! This year you started the first year of competition dance as one of two 5 year olds in a 6-7 year old group and are finding your place. You still love gymnastics (even more than dance I think) and continue to make great strides there. To my excitement we ran our first 5K together this year and soon you will be kicking my butt in these "sprints"!

We already fight over clothes! You will finally agree to wear jeans but would live in a dress if I let you, even while playing football with the boys! You love anything girly; pink, purple, glitter, jewelry! Are we sure you're my kid?! 

Happy Birthday! Love you to the moon and back!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Menu Planning and Back to Reality

This morning I woke up back in reality, but luckily not the reality of below 0 I missed last week or the feet of snow dumped on the east coast that many found. We in the midwest are lucky with minimal snow and temps in the 20s today! I gentle shock to the system after 8 days of 80s and sun!

This also meant a week of not planning meals and having my food served as I requested. Traveling with celiac (and as a vegetarian) can be rough but I have found Royal Caribbean crusing is better than many options. Although not as great this time with the combo veg and GF. My best meal was a curry they threw together at the last minute when they failed to mention I needed to give them 24 hour notice to have the eggplant parm made GF. Otherwise breast fast was eggs or grits and lot of fruit and PB, Lunch always a big salad and then there was bread, yes bread! Anyways more about vacation later now to get back to my own meals, no more dessert nightly...

Sunday: Tofu Stir Fry
Monday: Lentil Tacos
Tuesday: Veggie Wraps
Wednesday: Spaghetti Squash with Marinara and "Meat"balls
Thursday: Dinner out for O's birthday
Friday: Leftovers
Saturday: O's family birthday party: Sandwiches and Veggies
Sunday: Slow Cooker Vegetable Curry

What's on your menu this week? Check out other menus and at Laura's link up

Friday, January 15, 2016

Making a Comeback and the Reality

After two years of injury, attempting to run marathons injured, then healing and running a marathon on easy runs alone I finally feel ready to train again. I think this may have come sooner but a few weeks of less than ideal eating, more wine than I needed and a week of migraines pushed running in the wrong direction.
I have pretty good nutrition but a month of cookies, wine, guacamole, pie and more cheese than I've eaten all year messed with me. My running suffered, I was tired, I didn't sleep well...I drank afternoon coffee and the cycle repeated! 
Add to that cold weather, snow and minimal daylight and now I'm physically and emotionally exhausted. 
I'd attempt speedwork, I'd get no where near my goal pace and I'd quit. Instead running slower than marathon pace. Don't get me wrong I'm thrilled to be running pain free but I wanted more. I wanted to continue my forward momentum where I was running PRs and improving with nearly every race. I knew it had to come to an end but I didn't want such an abrupt painful end. Enough of the negative regressing!

The past week I got my nutrition back in line, slept better (frequently in bed by 9pm) and started feeling slightly better, although the lack of daylight and warmth is still not great and headaches continue. Despite these my running has felt much better.

It all started last Friday with an 18 mile long run I almost didn't run, instead I finished feeling great and faster than any previous long run in the past year! 2 days later I tried intervals and actually managed so at sub 7's! I am thrilled!

My whole point in this is to remind myself and others that running takes more than legs, it is everything! I lost my nutrition and sleep and suffered. I forgot that I was just coming back and couldn't jump back to where I was. Guess what Jen, you are not Superwoman! You need to allow yourself time to comeback and focus. Sometimes it takes a rough patch and reality to smack you in the face and remind yourself what you've been through and all you've done. Today I am officially feeling ready to say I am coming back stronger than before! My strength training and nutrition are on track and running will follow!

How do you get yourself through rough running patches?

Linking up with Jill for Fitness Friday