Happy Thoughts From the Road

Mr. Higdon’s Novice 2 (week 3) long run, was like throwing this girl a bone; a relatively easy six miler, but run at long run speeds, 45-90 seconds slower than race pace.

I happily ran with the bone, fully aware that next week will begin the slow climb into, “Oh God, can I really run (fill in the blank) miles next week?” territory.  I took it as an invitation to slow down and enjoy myself, and I embraced the opportunity to notice my surroundings, while high-fiving every endorphin.

Here are some of the happy thoughts that kept me company on my run:

1. Every other house was decorated with hanging wreaths in the windows. Light up Frosty’s dotted door steps and mailboxes were wrapped in ribbon. How could this not be the happiest time of year?

2. I ran slowly enough to mess with my itouch. Usually I’m so consumed by my pace and mileage that I hate to fuss with it, and prefer to listen to the “recently added” playlist. Today I listened to some of the songs that don’t get enough play. A little Journey, some disco, Michael Buble, Johnny Cash, and a lot of Gaga and Mary J. Blige.  A mish mosh, sure, but all talented artists with something to say.

3. Running up the tallest hill of the day (Sawmill to Lead Mine, Raleighites?) I had my shadow ahead of me. This was an opportunity to do one of my favorite things while running; dance with myself. Here’s a little tip for non-runners, or runners who don’t consider their running to have anything to do with dancing at all. It starts with Swan Lake arms.

Here’s what you do:

  • Open your arms wide with elbows slightly bent, aiming toward the ground.
  • Connect your middle finger and thumb into a Om (and say it too, just to get that sound of the universe vibrating through your bod). It helps to see it in your shadow as confirmation that you really are doing this.
  • Release the fingers a little and feel the wind coming up under your wings.
  • Let your hands fly free, whichever way they choose, and move to whatever music is in your ears or in your head. My fingers like to do their own little dance, like conductors in an orchestra. A more accurate description is what I call,  “Mariah Carey fingers.” Quick moving digits, straight and long, tapping the air like keys on a piano.

As you run, as you move, you will know that your are free and strong and that your soul is in on this pavement pounding experience. I swear, too, that anyone who catches sight of you will smile, because who couldn’t smile at a person with dancing arms and piano fingers running up a great big hill.

4. My final two miles, I listened to (probably) the greatest break up album/cd of all time; George Michael’s Listen Without Prejudice. I am sure some folks’ eyes will roll at the thought of my vote for greatest break up album, but let me tell you, if your were 19 and breaking up with the love of your life, and you listened to this over and over again for more than a year, you’d think the same thing. Interestingly, I revere those songs like old friends. Of course, I thought a little about the big old jerk who caused the album to carry such weight in my life, but it’s not a negative thing anymore, rather a realization of the life I was meant to lead and how far I’ve come. There’s a reason most of us don’t marry the guy we dated at 19, right? I mean, really!

5. I was dressed perfectly for the cold. My long sleeve Dash top over my Lulu running jacket (zipped up over my chin) was perfect for the blustery wind. Even my toque didn’t make my head too hot (one of my biggest winter running pet peeves). My shoes were laced perfectly, loose near the toes, tighter (but not too tight) in the middle, and just pulled enough at the top to allow my ankles to be secure without cutting off circulation. I like running in all kinds of weather (except heat), but this mornings’ 32 degrees filled my lungs and made me feel alive. It also made my nose chilled to the touch, which believe it or not, is one of the silliest joys of winter running for me. Having my whole body covered and comfortable, with my nose sticking out like a little thermometer, I was reminded me that (yes), it really is this cold.

The best part about all the happy thoughts and rushing endorphins is that they didn’t end with the run. I came home, showered and got dressed, and went out to do errands all by myself. I hit up Lululemon (had to see Paris Pink in person), bolted through Trader Joe’s (ate half a box of delicious peppermint cookies on the ride home), and meandered though Joanne’s Fabrics collecting the necessities required for my attempt at crafty Christmas gifts (for the ones whom I love).

Here’s hoping that your day, whether you ran six miles or not, was as full of happy thoughts as mine!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Love and Pain

My attempt to run zen-like yesterday turned into a 9.6 miler. It occurred to me, while on the road, that running and yoga only have so much in common. One of the biggest differences is with yoga, if it hurts, you stop. As I hit 5, and then 6, parts of my body spoke out to remind me that they were there, and they needed a little attention.

I like the pain. I often think that people who run long miles must be masochists.  When my right hip said, “OH, HI!” I was forced to acknowledge that familiar flexor who is usually the first to scream.  I always slow down a bit when a new pain surfaces and am surprised when said pain subsides.

Pain when running happens (unless of course it’s an injury, which is totally different). I haven’t read a single marathoning blog, book or magazine article that suggests one can run that far without some discomfort.

As soon as I noticed my mind moving onto other things, and that my hip wasn’t so bothersome, I wondered who was next?

Throughout my 9.6 yesterday I was reminded that I had toes, a right shoulder-blade, quads (Holy quads), a left calf, and a left inner thigh (who says I must never run long miles in a skirt again).

The funny part that I have learned to love, is that as I keep going, as the pain in the parts subside, it turns into strength that helps to motor my body forward.

Yesterday I accepted (what for me is) a new truth. Yoga and running are way different. And like my children, I love them both for being exactly who they are!

Meet The Osmundsons

I’m meeting my Grandparents this week.

It’s as crazy as it sounds.

Since I was adopted as a baby it’s taken forty years to meet my biological kin.

Just last February my mom got a call from Gabrielle who said she thought she was my birth sister. Thanks to Facebook and all of her uploaded pictures, there was no doubt she was right.

I spoke to Gabby that night and to my birth mom the very next day.

It was the first time I’d heard the story the story of my birth; the giving up of me.

In the months that followed Gabby came to visit twice and on my birthday surprised me by flying to Raleigh with her children, whom I had yet to meet.

Being with Gabby is easy. We look and talk (a lot) alike.

We’re both stubborn, love clothes, eat too much ice cream, and needed each other in our lives more than we realized in that first conversation.

We’re different too, but meeting Gabby answered many questions that unadopted people take for granted; knowledge about nationality, siblings, body type and personality were finally confirmed.

My birth mom died last August. She was suffering from cancer when Gabby found me and passed away six months to the day after we first spoke. I had been nervous about meeting her in person, but Skyped her a few weeks before her death. It was sad, but I was glad to have a face to face even though she was so sick.

My birth mom had never told the family about me. She kept her secret her entire life only sharing my existence with a couple of people that she trusted.

Gabby only learned that she had a baby sister by the slip of the tongue (she then searched for 14 years).

Not only am I meeting my Grandmother and Grandfather for the very first time as a 40 year old (they are 89 and 90), I’m also meeting aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews (my other sister Danielle’s children), spouses, and (I’m certain) friends of my biological family. Once my birth mother died the secret slowly came out. The grandparents were the last to learn.

Adding to my anxiety about the whole thing is figuring out what I’m going to wear?

I actually do know what I’m going to wear, but the Libra in me will probably change her mind that morning and try on everything else in the closet, before settling on the first thing I’d chosen. It’s my way.

The whole thing is an overwhelming experience and it’s going to take a lot of processing. I hope they like me. I hope the experience is not painful for them.

When my husband awakes I’m going to get ready to run.

After my last run on Friday, I got a lot of feedback about listening to my body and being kind to myself. Instead of going out determined to do the 10 miler that’s on the plan, I’m going to attack my run like a yoga practice; go in with no judgement, setting my intention at the start. It’s not exactly tough marathon training where I must complete a certain mileage, rather a kinder way of being that will help me manage the uncertainties of this coming week.

The first day we met in person. Pure joy!
The Summer visit. Also, my very favorite picture of us!

So Yesterday

Isn’t it funny how things work out? Yesterday I was recovering from the flu, still too sick to run the City of Oaks Half Marathon that I was so looking forward to. I was blue.

This morning my girls woke up with happy faces. They dressed themselves for school, Sophie did her breathing treatment without any drama, both ate leftover chicken noodle soup that their dad had made for me when I was feeling crummy, got to school on time, and I felt good enough to run.

The weather is the best kind for running! Sunny, mid 50’s, cool enough to be comfortable and bright enough to see everything around me. I knew I should take it easy, so I opted for my favorite loop; a quick 4 miler, hilly and through some pretty neighborhoods. I mapped my run when I got back to confirm my mileage (3.84 actually), and indeed I took it easy. I averaged an 11:56 minute mile. To some, that it practically walking. They are probably right. For me though, my heart was working at a moderate pace and my legs felt light. I was listening to music, but could still think about all the things I wanted to write about for my runninginmommyland blog.

I am tempted to complain that today should have been yesterday. I have recently accepted, wholeheartedly (as opposed to sort of thinking it, but not believing), that “IT” is already written and everything happens as it should. This philosophy is becoming clearer all the time, but yesterday needed to happen for me to be reminded. So here’s a big, “THANK YOU, YESTERDAY!” If it hadn’t been for you, today wouldn’t have been nearly as fab!

About

Hi!

I’m Martha; a 41-year-old mom to twin girls who runs to stay sane and fit and balance the damage I can do with a bag of Oreos or a non portion controled bowl of ice cream (or two).

I consider myself a yogi having practiced for the past twelve years. Although I was blessed with a very bendy back, I struggle with core strength and still find it hard to get into the most binding and/or complicated (read beautiful/power filled) poses. Still I try, always returning to the mat for another go.

I love books and read when I can, but in my crazy busy world have become a a huge proponent of audiobooks (terrific tucked into my pocket when doing the dishes, folding laundry or just about any other mind numbing “mommyland” chores).

I write because I must; because it’s my outlet and my love. I am learning not to judge my work (not allowing myself to delete old posts) and am accepting that my job is to write and let the words speak for themselves.

I began Running in Mommyland as a way to document my life as I trained for my first marathon in March 2012. It’s been quite the adventure earning me new friends from across the globe and a serious addiction to social media (in all of its new and changing forms).

The marathon came and went (5:14) and was the culmination of a lifelong dream. New dreams and goals have been laid and I will run my next marathon (Miami 2013) in better shape, with a better plan and with a speedier time. and though struggling with a quadrecpt injury has forced me to reassess Miami 2013, I know for certain there will be another marathon in my future.

I should mention that I am not a doctor or a specialist of any kind. All of my opinions about training and health, food, fashion, child rearing, writing, etcetera, are my own.

Glad to have you visit and message me anytime!

XOM