Seasons of Change

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I knew going back to work was going to be tough, in many ways, but I did not expect it to be so overwhelming. Change is inevitable. Change is necessary. But working through change can be exhausting. This last week, I experienced many changes, and many emotions, and literally had no time to just sit and breathe. Take it all in. Reflect.

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I’ve experienced the back to work, from stay at home mom thing before, but it still didn’t prepare me for this second round of back to work shenanigans; especially after a long summer together. Clayton is older, wiser, and busier. He is at such a fun stage. Like crack you up till you pee your pants, constant on the go, can’t sit down for a second, curious, outdoor EVERYTHING stage. He is the best. He makes my world go round, and I his. The first couple of days were hard, but different. He enjoyed himself, and didn’t miss me too much. Although, the welcome home hugs were just as strong. But by mid-week, he began to make the connections. He knew if I was dressed, make-up on, ready to go that I was leaving. He started to stop sleeping through the night, after so much work to get him to that point (totally understandable), but it wasn’t just waking up and crying. It was mommy pick me up and I am going to cling to your neck and hug you kind of waking up. It was the mommy don’t put me down kind of mornings. It was the when you get home, I am going to cry kind of changes. This time around was much harder than the last. He is smarter, and makes connections to everything. He knows how to read my body language and when I am trying to play him over (to sneak out and leave). And the transitions are not over for him. This last week, he was at home with my mom, who was kind enough to fly up from Florida to watch him for us, as his nanny’s daycare isn’t open yet. But next week, he transitions back to his home away from home, and yet again learn to adapt to a different environment (a familiar one, but one he has not been to in a while). I’m hoping this transition will be a little easier because he will have his little friends to play with.

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With the change came a week, yes I said an ENTIRE week, of no running/biking, real intense exercise. Instead, it was filled with rainy evenings splashing around, evenings going for walks and doing things Clayton wanted to do. It was filled with grace and patience, family dinners and porch hangs. Travels to PA to see my family, and my brother and his wife visiting, before his big deployment to Afghanistan. We celebrated my birthday a little early together.

We watched Clayton run around the billions of acres my dad has, picking apples and pears, and running until he crashed. We (meaning they, mostly), were open-minded enough to make and eat a vegan meal, including my very yummy, and beautifully made vegan and gluten free birthday cake. The time we had together wasn’t nearly long enough, but it was exactly what I needed to celebrate the BIG 3-0!

So, I went on a little tangent, but the point was that I needed this time of grace and rest to get me through the changes happening at one time. I may not have put on my running shoes once this last week, but I spent it with my favorite people, doing the things that they love.

Anyways, back to changes, because I am not quite finished. Sorry. I know. This is a long one. Going back to school, and leaving my boy and our fun together, wasn’t the only change happening this week. There have been some big changes at my job, my position, my world pretty much. For those of you that have known me for awhile, like the past 6 years of my life, know that I was the Life Skills Program teacher, for Special Education. I created it, I molded it, I transformed it. For four years, that was my baby. My world. My everything. My first and only job as a new teacher. I ate, slept, and breathed that program, the students in it, and their futures. Then I got pregnant, went on maternity leave, and came back to changes. Changes out of my control. Changes without explanation. Changes I didn’t want. Changes that took me out of that program and into a different aspect of special education. This year, I am an English collaborative. Now, don’t get me wrong, it is still a great job to have. I am still changing lives. It’s just different. I am a little out of my element. The change is new. I have a lot to learn. My needs are different. My job is different. And the change into this new me has been overwhelming. It’s not just me and my ideas anymore. It is me and the four other teachers I work with, in four different classes. I went from knowing my same eight students for five years, to learning the names hundreds of students and their needs. I am learning new curriculum. I am learning the teaching styles of others. But I am embracing it. I am working through it. I am learning my new normal. It’s necessary. It’s life.

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It’s for this booger right here. And the new hundreds of students who need me. It’s for our community. It’s for the future. I may not understand why it happened, but I understand the importance of working through change, and making it the best it can be.

So this week, running/riding, and getting strength workouts in just wasn’t what I needed. This week I needed family. I needed rest. I needed stress free evenings, going to bed early. I gave myself the grace it needed to adapt to so many new changes. And now, heading into the new week, I have a sense of my new normal. I have a better understanding of when and how I am going to focus on some ME TIME. I still have a lot to adapt to, a lot to learn, and a lot to practice before I get my new schedule under wraps. But I am ready to tackle it all, and become that super hero mom, teacher, wife, daughter, athlete that everyone needs me to be.

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If you’ve made it this far, thanks for being such a supportive and caring part of my life. Cheers to the long weekend. ❤

Reflections of Year One- A Note to My Son

For my sweet, sweet boy,

You came into this world marching to the beat of your own drum. Don’t ever lose that.  That is something I love about you the most. You keep us on our toes, and throw  surprises around  left and right. 

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The first surprise, your arrival. Your timing was unexpected, yet just the right moment.  Though you came early, and we were scared,  our prayers were answered.  We thank God every day that you were born healthy, strong, and full of so much life. You arrived to us TINY, but oh so MIGHTY.

 

 

From the day you were born, you’ve been a feisty fighter, full of crazy energy and happiness.  You fight for what you want, and what you want, you get.   If you want to go outside, we must go outside. If you want a toy to do something specific, or something that you think it should do, you fight with it. You fight for attention, from anyone and everyone, including your fur siblings.  If people are talking to one another, and you are not included, you  talk and scream  loudly so we all  look, and  then you smile with such  pride. You fight sleep, oh do you fight sleeping, and half the time eating.  Cry it out, what’s that?? You just cry, and cry until you get what you want.  Night time weening, I don’t think so. If you want a bottle, you want a bottle. And you won’t forget you want one until you get one.  You like to prove theories wrong, at least in the nightime realm. 

You do things on your own time, when you choose  to do them. There  is  no coxing you into anything. You never  had a desire to roll over or be in tummy time, and we thought for sure you would never crawl. But then at ten months, without  any prior attempts to even go onto all fours, you were crawling. And shortly after, walking. You have the stuborness of your daddy and I combined, but you have so much more zest for life than anyone we know. 

You love to explore and be free.  There is no containing you in pack-n-plays, cribs,  the living room, or even inside the house, in any room. Rain doesn’t phase you, nor mess up your outdoor time. You’ll happily play in the rain, or any water at that. You’re already checking the ladies out when we go places, and get the biggest kick out of other kids. 

You are always on the go. Which is why I don’t understand why you do not love sleep.  Sleep is amazing, and maybe one day soon, you will think so too. You’re an old soul, and have the biggest personality.  You love hard. Sometimes so hard that you literally leave evidence in the form of smeared boogers on stuffed animals, pillows, and mommy faces. Hugs are your specialty, and cuddling comes so easy. You have the best smile, and have no problem sharing it with everyone, because well, attention again.  Your little laugh is contagious, and bringing it out  is easy to do. We just have to have a stare down, or say “boo.” And even laughing ourselves  make you laugh. You’re a ham bone with a side of ornery. Little boy, I can’t believe you are turning O N E. My gosh!

This first year with you has been nothing short of a crazy fun, ridiculously scary roller-coaster ride that I would ride again and again. 

We’ve laughed.

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We’ve cried.

We’ve questioned every step.

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We’ve made mistakes.

We’ve experienced.

We’ve feared.

We’ve worried.

We’ve cuddled.

 

We’ve run.

 

We’ve read.

We’ve been surprised.

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We’ve celebrated.

We’ve smiled.

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We’ve danced.

We’ve hugged.

We’ve pondered.

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We’ve been confused.

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We’ve raced.

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We’ve biked.

We’ve made friends.

We’ve grown.

We’ve loved.

You’ve surprised us with your multiple tummy troubles, including your first visit to the ER at only a few weeks old. At that time you had your first ultra sound and x-ray, but all came up clear with a diagnosis of acid reflux. And then at 3 months old, we went back for the same scare, but again they said acid reflux. The third, and hopefully last time, was the scariest time. At eight months old, you tried eggs, and eggs did not like you. Mommy had to rush you to the ER after having dihareha and a scary rash all over your body. Not ten minutes later, and your whole body blew up and was swollen and red. We couldn’t even see into your ears. Never again do I wish to experience that. 

Through the amazing times, and the tough, the scary and the fun, we’ve made it through year one stronger, happier, and oh so loved. Even when I didn’t feel like I was being a good mom, you never stopped loving me, wanting me, and needing me. You are perfect in every way.

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Thank you for being our whole world and choosing us to be your parents.  Thank you for teaching us about unconditional love.  Thank you for loving me beyond what I deserve.  I’ll never know a love like this again, and I never want to forget a love like the love of you. You make our lives brighter, happier, and complete. I love the way you hold on to my neck when you hug. I love when you hold onto my necklace when I pick you up. I love the way you touch my face when you eat. I love the way you concentrate on things and the face you make when doing it. I love the way you make yourself laugh. I love that you love the outdoors. I love that you brighten up any room and bring a a smile to people’s faces. I love your quirkiness  and goofy ways. I love that  you love.  Happy first birthday Clayton Tucker. We love you so much it hurts.  

If You Could Workout with Anyone Famous, Who Would It Be?

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Doesn’t everyone dream of working out with their favorite celebrity?  I know I have a million I’d love to work out with and have train me, and then a million more I could just stare and  gawk over.  So dreamy, so good looking, SOOOO MANY MUSCLES. Gahhhh!! ❤

I took a poll to see who you crave a sweat sesh with and with most I can’t say I am surprised, but some I had to look up…I guess I am too young…

 

LET’S SEE……

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Adam Driver was one of the first ones given, and if you don’t know him, he is from GIRLS, and Star Wars.  I can say for myself that I fell in love with him while watching Girls.  He is an amazing actor, like so good.  My friends and I used to argue over whether or not he was cute.  We agreed to disagree that he was cute in a weird, dark way.

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The next couple mentioned was Heidi and Chris Powell.  They are the power duo on the show Extreme Weight Loss.  They have since created their own APP where you can essentially workout with them from your home. The APP is called Transform with Chris and Heidi Powell.  Whenever I watched the show, I always said they would be fun to workout with, and truly care about the lives of their clients.

 

Image: Kelly Ripa Honored With Star On The Hollywood Walk Of Fame

 

My of my favs on IG was super sweet and said she would choose ME (which is crazy, but made me smile) and if I didn’t count, she would choose Kelly Ripa because of serious arm envy. 🙂 And I can totally understand that feeling.

 

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Well hello Mc. Dreamy.  Hugh Jackman wasn’t my fist pick, but he is definitely one of the million I would choose on my list of infinity.  The person who chose him said, “he does it all and he is funny and super nice.”

 

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The next two kind of go hand in hand, I mean just look at them.  But know, for real, the people who chose these two had pretty much the same things to say about them.

 

download (1) The Rock, otherwise known as Dwayne Johnson was picked  numerous times because, well do I really even need to say why?  “Mostly I’d like him to train me.  Or I guess to watch him train.  Look at him.  I just want to look at him.”  And I couldn’t agree more.  Actually, last April, I missed my chance to meet him when he was at a gym in Savannah, near where my brother was getting married.  Ugh….why didn’t I want to go to the gym that morning?  Oh yeah, I was preggers and more concerned with what I was going to eat and how I was going to look for the wedding.  So selfish of me haha.  Here is my brother’s friend meeting him.

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Did anyone else not know that Kevin Hart was super strong?  I guess because he always had on clothes for his movies, I never noticed.  But I can say that I do love him, and now that I know he is ripped, I love him even more.  He was chosen because he is “funny and jacked”.  Can we all just appreciate that he is jacked and an amazing actor? Swoon.

 

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I am not a fan of this team, nor Tom Brady, but I have to share him because he was picked.  This person picked him, one because they are obviously a Patriots fan and two they wanted to lift with him.

 

 

This next one is quite obviously only a given.  I was surprised it took so long for someone to actually say his name…..Anyone want to take any guesses before I post his picture…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wait for it……

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He is like the king of acting…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you ready……..

 

 

 

 

 

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YUP, there he is, Brad Pitt.  Of course someone had to say him.  I guess he isn’t too bad of a choice.  I mean he is like the most famous person of famous people.  He is no David Beckham in my eyes, but I guess he comes pretty close.

 

 

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This next person chose one from each gender.  For the ladies, he picked Mila Kunis.  I can’t blame him.  She is gorgeous.

 

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And for the men, he chose Paul Rudd, because if he wasn’t having fun working out, he knew he’d be laughing regardless, as he is  “funny as all hell.” He is pretty comical.  I’ll give you that.

 

 

 

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Almost all my runner friends chose this next fierce and inspiring lady. Kara Goucher is a mother, FAST AF RUNNER, and all around person to strive for.  She was also my first pick for the ladies.  Although, I have a lot of those too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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For the men, I chose Vin Diesel.  He is an awesome actor, and his voice.  Oh my gosh, don’t even get me started.

 

 

 

And then my power couple, because I have been obsessed with them since STEP UP, is the Tatums. She is seriously gorgeous, and he is my Mc.Dreamy.  The V line he has is everything.  And he certainly is super nice to look at.

 

 

If you didn’t get a chance to play along, who would you like to workout with? Or have you ever worked out with someone famous? That’d be a cool story to tell. 🙂

 

 

 

Friday Five Meets Currently

 

I was working on my Friday Five Favorites, and then Friday was done and over with and I realized I never posted it…so now you have FRIDAY FIVE meets CURRENTLY!! 🙂

 

Loving:  The Once Upon a Farm Cold-Pressed, organic, non-GMO baby Food. There slogan is “Fresh from Farm to Highchair” and it is so true.  These little gems aren’t just for babies either.  They make the perfect after workout snack, or pair well with recipes.  We’ve made pancakes with them and they were amazing.  The clear pouches allow you to see what is inside and you can rest easy knowing you and your loved ones are getting real, healthy and nutritious ingredients.

 

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Working On: Fitting in training for my first triathlon. I kind of have a grasp on the bike, run part. This weekend our neighborhood pool opens, and then I can begin the swim part.  I’m not really nervous about that part though, because it is short and I’ve always been a water baby.  I just need to keep practicing the transition from biking to running, because that shizzz feels so weird. Like for real…does that ever get better?  


Thinking About: Going back to blonde.  It is summer after all and going lighter is almost a necessity, am I right? Although, I’ve always wanted the ombre effect…. which inspiration do you like above?  HELP A MAMA OUT!  🙂

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Watching: BEYOND.  I don’t even know how I found it….I think I was just looking for something to watch on my long trainer rides…and this is what I found….but for some reason it got me hooked. Has anyone else watched this?

 

 

Wearing:  Thread Tank shirts….like all the time.  They are super comfy and tell my story.  Like, “I love Jesus, but I swear a little” and of course, “Mama all day, every day”! Click Thread Tanks to get to their website and order a million of your own.  Seriously, you won’t regret it.  What shirts tell your story?

For more fun currently ideas and posts, go check out Angela at RUNLIKEKALE.

 

HAPPY MONDAY MEETS FRIDAY….in like five days. HA!

 

Next up is your results of “who you would workout with” (famous person style). ❤

Took A Poll: Ultra Marathoner

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Over the weekend I took a poll.

QUESTION: If you walk AN ENTIRE 50k, can you call yourself an Ultra Marathoner?

This is something that has been boggling my mind for some time.  I think some people misunderstood the question as if you walk at all, but that is not what was meant.  This question was all about if you literally walk the whole thing. But anyways, I asked, and you answered with some shockingly surprising answers.  Shall we start with the positive first, because that’s always a good thing, right?


FOR THOSE THAT ANSWERED YES…..

“Yes, but no good runner should keep the volunteers out there that long.”

“I would say I DID an ultra, but I didn’t RUN it.”

“People walk every distance, so sure.”

“As long as you finish in the time limit.
I know a fair few folks that do multi-day races and they never run a step and still cover way more mileage than me in the same event.
I’ve done many 50k’s and as a mere mortal, in ultras, I walk the ups and run the downs and flats.Ultras aren’t tied to that hackneyed pablum of “if you walk you didn’t do it!”
I’ve been doing ultras for over 20 years and i can tell you, at some point everybody walks.”

“50k is 50k no matter how fast you do it.”

“Absolutely.  I don’t know where the premonition came that someone can’t walk during a half, full, 5k, or ultra.  What about Jeff Galloway?  Is he not a “real runner”.


Let’s talk about Jeff Galloway for a minute.  He introduced the RUN, walk, RUN training method.  Again, the question for this poll was about WALKING THE ENTIRE race, not using the interval method to see you to the finish.  The run, walk, run method was mentioned in other responses too.

“If you run/walk that is fine, and some walking is fine, but walking the entire ultra seems kind of pointless.”


FOR THOSE THAT ANSWERED NO…..

“If you walked a marathon, you can’t say I ran a marathon.”

“It’s mocking the sport.  A lazy approach.  Why even sign up?”

“You did an ultra, but you can’t say you are an ultra marathoner.”

“No, ultra walker.”

“Great question! Tough one. I think if you walk any distance race, you should call yourself whatever you want, but indicate that you walked.  The racer in me says “NO!”, but the other side loves that you moved.”

“If you are honest about your time/pace, then maybe. But, it’s really hard to call yourself an ultra marathoner when you walked it. It’s a running sport, not a walking sport.”

“Historically, marathon cut off time are around 6:30- 14:52/mile.  In military, the standard for a Ruck March (12 miles) is 3 hours-15:00/mile, except you have 35-65 lb gear.  Walking the whole way doesn’t count. Once you get slower than 15:00/miles you’re not really racing, you’re just participating.  It degrades the integrity of the race.


So there you have it.  I asked. You answered. Now bring  on the debate.  This was so 50/50 and unexpected.  If you did not get to answer, or after reading this you now have thoughts, please feel free to share.

QUESTION: If you walk AN ENTIRE 50k, can you call yourself an Ultra Marathoner?

 

Currently….

 

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When Angela (@Runlikekale) posted a fun blog about her currents, I was excited to play along.  She always has awesome, informational posts that you should all follow. It will definitely make you smile and laugh out loud. Plus, who wouldn’t want to see ridiculously cute pictures of G?  🙂  So currently, I am….

Loving: Watching CT explore the world on his own now that he can crawl, stand, sit, and walk with assistance. He is loving this new freedom, and it makes me smile from ear to ear.  Overnight, he has become fearless, independent, and so grown up. Gahhhh! ❤

Working On: Finding some kind of summer job, something that includes Clayton.  It’s almost I M P O S S I B L E! 

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Inspired By: The fierce mom club we have established on IG. 


Thinking About: S U M M E R break, and starting new traditions with our family of three. Day trips, hiking, teaching Clayton to swim, the beach, and oh so much more.

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Watching: The Leftovers, and driving my husband crazy, because I ask a million and one questions. Even after watching it over and over. It’s so confusing, but it hooks you.


Reading: Hands Free Mama…..Hands Free Mama is the digital society’s answer to finding balance in a media-saturated, perfection-obsessed world. It doesn’t mean giving up all technology forever. It doesn’t mean forgoing our jobs and responsibilities. What it does mean is seizing the little moments that life offers us to engage in real and meaningful interaction. It means looking our loved ones in the eye and giving them the gift of our undivided attention, leaving the laundry till later to dance with our kids in the rain, and living a present, authentic, and intentional life despite a world full of distractions.

Eating/Drinking: I’ve been on a mission to go more wholly with my foods and eating habits. So, I started Whole30, cheated once and it went downhill from there. But in the first week with no cheating, I lost 7lbs and learned a lot about how food makes me feel. So now I am starting over, and really trying to stick to it for the 30 days. #noms


Learning: To read braille. One of my students is partially blind and to help her become more independent we thought it would be a good idea to learn it.  And it grabbed me in, so now I want learn too


Dreaming of: Being a stay at home mommy. I miss it. I need it. I want it so bad. 


Trying: To juggle everything that goes with being a working mom, and finding time for myself, while still getting all the chores and daily house hold shenanigans done.

Missing: My little peanut.  Is it 3:00 yet?

 

Planning: Clayton’s FIRST birthday!!  Say what?!?!?  It came way too fast.  Like seriously, I get so emotional thinking about the last year and how far he’s come.  Why can’t they stay little forever? 


Needing: To get a hair cut desperately. And maybe going back to blonde……

Screenshot_20170417-161828-01.jpgExcited About: All the stroller races Clayton and I have, and the fact that some of them are letting me run with the stroller ((as they haven’t in years past).

 

Want to play along? Copy and past this in the comments and let me know what you’re currently up to.

Loving:
Working On:
Inspired By:
Thinking About:
Watching:
Reading:
Listening To:
Learning:
Dreaming of:
Trying:
Missing:
Planning:
Wearing:
Needing:
Excited About:

The Silver Lining: NJ Half Review

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The more I try to push running, the bigger it seems to backfire in my face.  I don’t want people to think I am just being lazy, or giving up, or making excuses, because I’m not.  At the end of the day, I love running, but running has become a lesser importance/priority in my life.  I had high hopes that I would continue where I left off before pregnancy, and I think I got a little too ambitious.  When I first had Clayton, it was easy to almost “jump back in”.  Every nap time, and they were often, I would workout.  I was hitting longer distances, at a much easier effort. But now that I am back to work, and little man doesn’t take an afternoon nap, there isn’t that freedom anymore.  And I am not complaining about that one bit.  I love EVERYTHING about my evenings with my main squeeze.  Especially since it is so nice out now.  Juggling work, momming, cleaning, cooking, and those everyday chores, it is so tough to squeeze in an hour+ long workout.  Add in the fact that my crazy boy S T I L L does not sleep through the night, like at all (every 2-4 hours), it is all one busy schedule, that leads to immense amounts of exhaustion. Something that isn’t getting any easier, too.  In fact, it’s getting harder. Later nights. Longer nights. Busier baby chasing days.  The end of the school year rush/pressure. Sometimes I questions how I do all that.  Let alone squeeze in a quick workout.

Basically what Chelsey (@chelseylovestorun) said yesterday hit the nail on the head.  If you lace up and go, you are a runner.  I am so sick of the stigma and bragging on social media that goes with running.  You have to be “fast”.  You have to run EVERYDAY.  You have to run far.  You have to eat, sleep, breathe running.  It’s really disheartening to the folks who aren’t all about that, but still love to run.  Pre-baby I was at the height of my running career.  I was hitting speeds that seem impossible today.  I was hitting distances that were easy in comparison to the struggle I feel these days.  I was so excited to see how much more I could push myself.  Well that lady is gone. Well, I shouldn’t say gone, because I still want to get back to that level.  But I am in a new place in my life.  I have bigger and more precious priorities right now. I do not want to wake up and regret missing anything in such an important part of his life. He is only little once, and I only get to experience the “first time mommy” goodness once.  NO REGRETS! I am a mother runner!

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When I downgraded from the marathon to the half, and then completely stunk at the half, it was really disappointing. But the entire race, I encountered awesome individuals who pushed me to see the silver lining in everything.  In the first two miles, I ran into another Oiselle mama bird.  I’ve been trying to find her on IG, but can’t remember her exact user name.  Anyways, she was up from the Carolina’s and running her like umpteenth million marathon (just kidding).  She is on a quest to run a marathon in each state, but has done over 30.  Well the day before she was set to travel, she strained her calf and wasn’t sure if she was even going to come.  But she did. And it was a privilege to meet her and run with her for a good five miles.  She is the definition of a mother runner.  She made me feel like the decisions I have made with my career as a new mommy are exactly how it should be.  She has four children, has BQ years after having her kids, and totally agreed that running comes in seasons.   I appreciate her positive talk and reassuring ways.  Now if only, I could find her and thank her in real life.

Then I came across this lovely gal.  She laughed at me when I asked the photographer if I could jump. She said I had great energy and it was awesome, even though I felt like I was going to die and just wanted to give up.  The power of people is a real thing.  Her kindness distracted my negative thoughts.  Her guts to run her entire half of the relay was inspiring.  She said she doesn’t run, but that her boyfriend does.  And she was running the relay to help him, because he got hurt and could no longer run the entire half.  She ran the first half as best and as hard as she could, without stopping, and then finished the race walking side by side with her love. It is those moments that matter.  It is about finishing, despite the universe throwing stones in your way.

Screenshot_20170502-082036 When she finished, and I was alone again, I tried really hard to focus on the positive notions both ladies instilled in me as we ran together, but I couldn’t shake the feeling of disappointment at the way things were going and my performance level. I was in pain, everywhere.  I was tired, so tired.  I had moments where I literally felt like I was going to pass out.  I couldn’t get enough air.  I needed to drink so much more than usual.  I had to walk way more than I ever have in my running career.  Every step was harder than it should have been. With every person that passed me, I felt more and more defeated. It was plain old ugly.   But I showed up,  and I didn’t give up.

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With only a mile to go, we were finally along the beach.  People were lined up the whole length of the boardwalk.  A father pushing his son on a peddle bike, working together to finish a half marathon, passed me and that was when I hit my breaking point.  If they could do it, I could do it.  I cried tears of joy at their inspiring ways, put a smile on my face and finished the race on a positive note. I would be lying if I didn’t say it felt like I had just run a marathon.  EVERYTHING was tight and achy. It was the kind of thing that if I sat down, I wouldn’t get back up.   But it is this type of race that makes you appreciate running.  And now, I am going to focus on running for me, for fun, for the love and joy that running brings.  I’m going to stop stressing on numbers, distance and pace. I am going to stop letting the pressure and status quo of social media get to me.  I don’t want to feel like a struggling runner anymore, because I don’t hold up to the standards that other runners maintain.  I am a marathoner. I have pretty awesome PR’s. But now I am a mother runner, with mommy goals and aspirations.

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Thank you to my loyal supporters, my friends and family, my husband, my other runner loves, and all those who still believe in me.  Thank you to those who keep it real & honest. Just know I’ve got your back and believe in you. We are all runners!!💙

 

So You Want a Jogging Stroller?

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Much like anything else with babies, and all things babies, picking the right stroller is overwhelming.  There are so many choices, each with their own pros/cons. Depending on budget and needs,  an expensive stroller might not be necessary for everyone.  When you research jogging strollers, it’s only inevitable that the top rated ones are crazy expensive, at least to the family who lives pay check to pay check and can’t fathom spending $500+ on a stroller. Especially since we will only use them for a few years, give or take.


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When it came time to add strollers to my baby registry, I did a lot of research.  I compared prices, weight, reliability, durability, other mothers views and opinions, and convenience; basically everything.  I knew if I put a $500+ stroller on my registry, no one would buy it.  And we couldn’t afford that kind of money on a stroller, regardless of how much it would be used.  I was heading into a 7 month unpaid leave.  We had to save everywhere we could.  So I narrowed my search to jogging strollers that were under $200.  My chances of getting one as a gift, at that price were a lot higher.

Enter the Graco Fast Action Click Connect Jogging stroller.  I was so excited when my BFF got it for me.  I didn’t really care what kind of stroller I got, as long as I could do what I loved with my new little love, that was all that mattered.  I loved it because it already came with everything I needed to take Clayton in his carrier as an infant.  I didn’t need to purchase any accessories, that also cost a fortune.  It folds up easily.  It weighs the same as a BOB revolution.  It was good to me.  I had no complaints.  We did a lot of running with that bad boy, including some 5k’s through hilly terrain, and  one at the boardwalk.

As Clayton grew out of the carrier, and we were able to run with him sitting forward, we started to do more and more runs together. The one and only thing that became an issue was the sun/wind.  The shield didn’t come down far enough to block the sun.  I bought a cheapo rain/wind cover at Target, and love it. That helped with the wind, but the sun was still an issue.

So why did I get a BOB? Well, simply because I am basically doing all of my runs with him now, and I wanted to get more serious about racing with him. That meant giving him the best there was, including the darn sun shield.  It also didn’t hurt that I got it for a steal of a deal. Sales on sales on discounts.  I would NEVER justify spending $500+ on a stroller.  EVER!! But $300…..okay…you got me.  But I still refuse to spend even more money on the cup holder for him and I ((it doesn’t come with any)), and the wind/rain shield.  Not when I can use my Choopie that is nicer, bigger, and cheaper, and I already have the rain shield from Target for like $7.

But okay, what is the difference between the two?  There is one big, noticeable difference and that is the way the stroller feels. It’s almost effortless.  It is a much smoother ride for Clayton and I.  It feels lighter, despite weighing the same, and my paces are faster ((but that could be because I’m getting stronger, and am a lot further into my postpartum comeback)).  So is it worth the extra, EXTRA money?  Well that depends. But for me, it was.  Would I have been fine with the Graco?  For sure.  And I still think it’s a great jogging stroller for the price. But I am glad I splurged a little for the BOB, and my hubby is too.  He noticed a huge difference. So whether you want to spend a lot of money or not, there is a stroller for you.  Depending on the needs, I would still recommend both to a mom in question .

No One Fights Alone- The Makings of a Benefit Half Marathon

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About a month ago, I was contacted by a girl named Texie to share this run on my social media accounts.  I didn’t just want to post a picture and say, “Hey, please sign up for this race.”  I wanted to know more.  So I asked Texie if it wasn’t too much, or too hard to talk about, if I could know more of the background story, and if it was all right that I share more about her mother and her love of running with my posts.

She was more than gracious in the information provided, including awesome videos of her and her mom getting tattoos together.  Her smile is enough to brighten your day. Below is a quote directly from Texie herself.

My name is Texie June Petchel. My mom, Tonya Petchel, recently passed away in January at the age of 47, after an 18 month battle against liver cancer.
My mom had been running for roughly 2 years before she was diagnosed in 2015. Running meant the world to her. She never played any sports when she was younger and she wasn’t sure if she even could run. She caught the bug though and completed 9 half marathons. Running was actually what helped to discover she had cancer because she would get this terrible pain, that was much different from a normal cramp, while she would run. We believe that running helped extend her life because it got her more in touch with her body and made her go to the doctor to check things out.
Before my mom passed away, she had been chosen to be a beneficiary of Charity for Charity, a local charity in Temecula. The charity event, where they were going to reveal their big surprise to my mom, ended up being the night of her memorial. It was a very difficult day for my family and I but, there were some incredible things that came out of it.
Charity for Charity is hosting The Tonya Petchel Half Marathon on May 13th in Temecula, CA. We are so thrilled about this and know this is exactly what my mom would have wanted. We would like for this to become a huge annual event. For that to happen, there needs to be a lot of participants in order for the charity to want to keep this event going.
I am asking you to please promote my mom’s half marathon on your platform; even just an Instagram post would be incredible! It would mean the absolute world to my family and I. I know you probably get a lot of emails asking for you to promote events but, my mom is genuinely the best person I have ever met. You can ask anyone who knew her, she made anyone she spoke to feel like they were the most important person in the world. Even during her long battle with cancer, she continued to care for others before herself. She is incredible and deserves the biggest half marathon anyone has ever seen.
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Click on the image to the left for an article on the event from the Temecula Valley Wish Fulfilling Organization. The idea that No One is Left Behind is so important in the running community and our world as a whole.
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The FAMILY FRIENDLY event is going to be held in Temecula, California, on Saturday, May 13th.  They offer a kids 1k walk/run, a 5k and a 10k walk/run, and the half marathon. For more detailed information on the event, and to sign up, click on the image above.


I feel honored to share this event and only wish that I could participate. Please, if you live in the area, check out this event. It’s in memory of another mother runner, and benefits a good cause.  Round up your family and friends and have a good time. 🙂

Mommy & Me Pancakes

With our recent discovery of Clayton’s allergies, and his big boy status on wanting to feed himself, I was struggling to come up with allergen friendly finger foods. All the BLW things are just fine and dandy, except he ends up squishing them and turning it into one big sensory play time (whether it’s in sqaure pincher grasp form, or sticks)). And he wasn’t interested in the veggies//fruit that way anyways. Enter fun vegan, gluten free, allergen friendly pancakes.

Pictured above is mommy’s version, but the only difference is added protein powder and some almond butter drizzled on top. 💙

You really only need four ingredients to make these yummy pancakes ((oatmeal, banana 🍌, baking powder, and water)), but I’ve been getting creative and making them into lunch/dinner time pancakes too, loaded with veggies.

As you can see, they are a huge hit with this guy. I think if I let him, he’d eat these for everything, all of the time!🤗 In this picture ((above)), he is eating sweet potato based pancakes with some grated zucchini, with a side of squash and beef. 🍽

This mornings pancakes were avacado and banana. And the nice thing about them is it’s super easy to turn them into mommy pancakes by adding your favorite protein powder. My current choice is the sunshine protein from Designer Protein. Holy yum! ((If you’re interested in trying any of their products…Use code: TANYA20 for 20% off!!🤑

Okay, so recipe time. You won’t even need to print it or write it down. It’s so stinking easy. Just mix all of the ingredients below.

  • 1 1/4 cup oatmeal (blended into flour)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup mashed banana (or any other base, like sweet potato or carrot puree)
  • 1 cup of water ( I use less, because we like them thicker)

Then get creative. For our advocado//banana pancakes from this morning, I used half a banana and half an avacado and mixed it with the above. For this week’s lunch/dinner version I used a carrot/apple puree as the base and added grated zucchini.

Try it out for you and your babes, and let me know what you think, or share all of the fun versions you create.💜