Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: A Three-Part Series

Here's the ugly: I'm at a crossroads of sorts in my life. I'm getting older. My metabolism is slowing down. I can't eat nearly as much as I used to. I can't eat nearly as casually as I used to. Exercise is much harder than it used to be for me. My knees hurt, and I'm slow and out of shape from all those years with little ones when I just could not fit in a regular workout routine. So what's a girl to do when her well-intentioned friend sends her a picture taken from behind that is downright frightening? I kid you not, I opened up this picture and was positively gobsmacked; my first thought was, Why is she sending me a picture of this frumpy, chubby lady in flip flops and white capri pants? My second thought was, Oh dear Lord, that's ME!

Here's what I decided to do:


Yep, the girl who used to be a runner and is no longer a runner has become a runner again. I needed some serious accountability, and training for a half marathon seemed to be a really good fit. I had enough time to get in shape gradually, and there was lots of built-in accountability in this little plan. First of all, enlisting a partner (my little sis, per the text above) to run the race with was a good idea. There have been lots of mornings over the last few months when I've woken up and reeaaaally not felt like running, but knowing that she was training away in Pittsburgh and counting on me to be doing the same was a big-time kick in the pants to get myself out of bed and get going. Choosing to run a half marathon was also a good idea. I think if I had chosen something longer, I would have been overwhelmed and tempted to quit. If I had chosen something shorter, I think it'd be easy to skip a lot of the training. I was definitely in the worst shape of my life when I got started, but I also ran competitively all through high school and college, so I know I could get through a 10K without really training, and that wouldn't help my cause at all. There is no way, however, that I would be able to run 13.1 whole miles without preparing for it. I have to train. That's been good.

The decision to run the ROC half has been a big help in jump-starting my plan to get back in shape. When I started, I was winded after two miles, and holy smokes, was I slow!! All this time I thought I was still such a whippersnapper, and the truth was I was hardly getting my heart rate up. I couldn't believe how long it took me to run a couple of miles! But it has been so encouraging to see that even at 38...


It hasn't been easy. It hasn't been painless. And I've been saddened to realize that training for this half hasn't resulted in the full-body makeover I'd envisioned :-). I seriously thought after a few sprints around the block, those 7 pounds would be gone, and then some. That hasn't been the case, people. I know I'm gaining muscle, but did you know that muscle weighs more than fat? Sigh.

I feel good though! I feel strong - daily, committed exercise is as good for the mind and soul as it is for the body. I'm planning to post soon on my training plan, and looking forward to posting a big success story on race day!

Monday, August 5, 2013

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: A Three-Part Series

Here's the bad: I just blew out thirty-eight candles as they flickered perilously atop my Wegman's chocolate fudge birthday cake. I nearly set the kitchen on fire. Like most women before me, I always insisted it wouldn't be me wearing mom jeans and cutting my hair off like a man's and getting all frumpy and saggy. I haven't gotten a buzz cut yet, and I don't even know where you buy those dreadful mom jeans, but woe is me, I'm feeling chubby these days.

It all started with a little cherub named Charlie. I turned thirty-six a month after Charlie was born, and for 18 months I nursed him, knowing he was my last little babe and wanting to enjoy every bit of our time together. I went for my annual checkup when he was about a year old, and when I got on the scale I noticed that that stupid silver marker thingy had to slide a wee bit further than usual to balance, but I convinced myself it was because I was still nursing and decided not to fret. And by not fret I mean I sauntered around the block once or twice and then went home for a giant bowl of ice cream. I was nourishing a child, after all! (A child who by this time was eating his weight in pizza, but that's beside the point.)

Right before we moved to New York I went in for another checkup. I had been done nursing for nearly six months, and Charlie was about to turn two. As I headed toward the scale I started stripping down, casually trying to dump my purse, coat, and shoes without looking like I was trying too hard. The nurse noticed. "You wanna take those earrings off too?" she asked with a wink. I almost reached over and pinched her.  That marker thingy seemed to slide forever, and the long and short of it is that I've gained a good six or seven permanent pounds over the course of the last few years. That may or may not sound like a lot to you, but here's the thing: I've been the same size and weight since I was in the 9th grade. I made it through the freshman fifteen unscathed; I made it through four months of bedrest unscathed; I made it through a twin pregnancy unscathed. But it does not appear that I am going to make it through my thirties unscathed.
Check in tomorrow for the ugly :-).

Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: A Three-Part Series

Here's the good: I'm healthy, and so grateful for that. Really, I'm not being trite. I am fully aware that at any moment, my health could be taken from me, and I try to live every day with at least the understanding that for today, I am one of the blessed ones as I chase after my kids and tuck them in at night, sure as the sun rises and sets that I'll be with them again tomorrow. Additionally, I think I have a fairly healthy attitude toward beauty and aging. I haven't worn a bikini since my honeymoon, and have absolutely no desire to ever put one on again. Frankly, I don't know what I was doing in one in the first place. I nursed four babies and have the bod to prove it, but I am not tempted in the least to drop five grand on plastic boobs (pardon the expression, but that's pretty much what they are). I don't mind a few wrinkles, and am way too practical to spend grocery money on expensive collagen treatments when a twelve dollar bottle of Oil of Olay seems to do the trick and lasts me nearly a year.
Check in tomorrow for the bad :-).

Friday, August 2, 2013

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Summer Catch-Up, Part 3: A Sweet Visit from Friends

A little piece of Pittsburgh came to Rochester, New York a few weeks ago when our wonderful friends, the Bozeks, drove up to spend the weekend with us.

Megan is Chloe's best friend, and she had a countdown going weeks before they actually pulled into our driveway in their lovely new minivan.

From that point forward it was Chloe and Megan, Megan and Chloe joined at the hip and the hand for the entire weekend.

Megan gave Chloe two days of dancing, dressing up, cartwheeling best friend bliss, and Chloe gave Megan a nasty summer cold.

Not exactly a fair trade, but we're so glad they came and brought us heaps of happiness, all the way from the Steel City. We're hoping we can talk them into making it an annual event.