I'm not a writer. Actually, I really hate writing. I'm not a clever writer, nor am I able to write picturesque pieces about feelings. I'm not able to put together the right words to get a sarcastic point across, and I am not able to eloquently bring you to tears with a string of poetic words. I'm not a quirky writer and I'm not witty. In all honesty, I lie in bed at night, at least a couple of weeks before my blog post is due, writing and rewriting, changing topics at least three times and finally having to put the topic in a metaphorical box and place it under the bed before I can fall asleep.
I HATE cooking. I am unable to find joy in throwing random ingredients together to create a gourmet meal. I HAVE to follow a recipe or whatever in the hell I'm making won't turn out right. Cooking stresses me out. It’s not fun trying to wrangle a 22 month old who’s trying to take anything and everything off the counter top, and a five year old screaming because the wrong show is playing on Netflix. Doesn't sound like fun to me.
Forget about being CRAFTY. My anxiety escalates just thinking about crafts. In the era of social media, where Etsy, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest, bombard me with images of perfection, I’m constantly aware of my ineptitude. The perfect #foodporn #foto on Instagram puts my dinners to shame nightly. The family portrait with everyone in coordinating outfits makes me roll my eyes because now my children look like complete slobs in their play clothes. Why make anything from Pinterest when I can buy it from Etsy and pretend I made it? Let's not forget about the perfectly designed rooms you see all over social media. My house is truly clean when everyone's sleeping, maybe.
My point is (yes, I'm finally getting there), that it's ok that I hate writing, cooking, and crafting. The more I push myself outside my comfort zone in these areas, the more confident I become. Attacking obstacles head on teaches my daughters perseverance. Let me tell you, rearing girls is not for the faint of heart. I cook dinner a few nights a week but my significant other cooks more. I do crafts with my older daughter while my younger daughter naps. It’s become our special mother daughter time we share and treasure because little sister is not interrupting us.
My kids look cute only in the mornings because by the afternoon, they're messy from playing in the dirt all morning. My house, more times than not is a mess, but my kids are happy. I'm horribly unorganized and often late because I snuggle too long in bed with my girls. I'm perfectly imperfect. Slowly, I'm becoming ok with being the world’s most “OKest” Mom.
I know this season of life won’t last long, so I have to purposefully make an effort to not take life too seriously. I’m learning daily to go with the crazy flow, and living in the now. In all honestly I’m just winging life. I’ll take the sloppy, messy, unorganized “in the moment” because very soon these two little girls will no longer be “Little” and want to snuggle with Mommy, play in the dirt, or do silly crafts. There will be time when they’re older or gone for me to be organized, creative, and a gourmet chef. Until then, I will enjoy this beautiful crazy life.
Fall weather is upon us (or at least it's trying to be) and so is that time of the month where you get a personal meet-and-greet with one of our runners without all that awkward small talk! Each month we try to introduce you to one of our members so you can get to know this crew. How do we choose whose features to feature? With a hat draw from the nearest toddler.
This month you have the privilege of getting to know Teryn R., our resident yarn expert, and baker extraordinaire! Hailing from Canada, or the "land of the free, home of the wold's handsomest Prime Minister," as she puts it, it is no surprise that Teryn is one of the friendliest runners around. She has an infectious smile, and she truly, genuinely LOVES to run hills. Yes, you read that right. Teryn has been competing as a runner since she was 10 years old, and has raced too many courses to count. Her favorite distance is a 10K, because it is a fast distance, but her legs don't feel like they're crumbling beneath her like they do when she does a half marathon.
When she's not flying through finish lines, Teryn likes to train in Clarksville and Tarrytown. The cool houses keep her mind occupied so the miles fly by, and the streets are rarely busy because of the hills. If she has her sons Ben (3) and Finn (1) with her, she likes to frequent Ramsey Park because of its great playground as well as its proximity to TacoDeli. Ben and Finn do not mind the stroller rides, and usually pass the time hanging out (usually in adorable matching sunglasses) and asking when they will get to the playground. Teryn does not run with music (she says she would rather jump in the lake than listen to a song on repeat while running), but her sons' songs about dinosaurs keep her entertained during most runs. The boys ride in style in their Chariot CX2, which Teryn bought because she is holding out hopes that she will one day get to use the ski attachment.
Though she currently stays home with the boys, Teryn was a graphic designer in a former life, and is still a phenomenal landscape photographer. Her dream job would be an Instagrammer who gets paid, or a food critic who does not actually have to review the food in any written form, just gets to eat out for free all the time. Both of these would suit her well, as she is a culinary genius whose photos of the pies, donuts, and other food she creates are enough to make anyone's mouth start watering! No stranger to indulging, Teryn treats herself to coffee after a long run, and snacks on frozen cookie dough balls, peanut butter rolled in chocolate chips, and a bag of whale crackers that are most definitely hidden from Ben and Finn.
In addition to her other talents, Teryn is a pro with needles. She knits anything and everything, and often has a project or two in progress. Her favorite place in Austin also happens to be Hill Country Weavers. She recommends their friendly and knowledgable staff for any help one might need with yarn-related projects. Her own yarn stash is minimal, as her "postage-stamp sized" apartment does not allow her to be a collector of anything. She says she and her husband, Steve, are more than willing to pay that price for downtown living.
One thing you will not find in their apartment is Thomas the Train. Teryn wishes she could banish it in all forms because of the show's racist and sexist themes, not to mention the overall "ugh" of Lady as a character. On the other end of the spectrum, she feels that she would be lost without her Garmin watch and Strava app, which she uses to "obsessively track" her runs. The app, she says, has some really great functions, like Grade Adjusted Pacing, which will compare your pace on hills vs flat ground.
Though overall laid back, Teryn still gives an involuntary shudder at the memory of her most embarrassing moment as a mom. It happened when she, Ben, and Steve were in the security line at the airport on the busiest travel day of the year and Ben tossed his cookies all over himself, both of his parents, and several other travelers who were within a 4-foot radius. She remembers not only being embarrassed, but then extremely frustrated when upon opening her wipes container to try to clean up the mess, she found they only had one wipe left. Lucky for her, Ben has no residual memory of the event, and still wants to grow up to be just like his mom. He recently told her that he wants to run half marathons just like her when he gets bigger.
The next time you see a Zooey Deschanel look-alike flying down the streets or trails, make sure you say hello, and if you happen upon Idris Elba at one of Austin's hangouts, make sure to send him Teryn's way.
I was that girl. I was the one that silently judged you at the grocery store for buying your whining child a candy bar (and while it's being mentioned, 'Damn you marketing checker-outer gurus!'), or questioned why your child was playing with a toy the entire time you were in the store, but you never intended to purchase it, or why you can't simply put the cart back in the cart corral?!
Well, fast forward about 15 years... I am now THAT Mom. I have 2 kids of my own that constantly like to one-up each other whenever other humans are in their vicinity (why is that?!).
So let me just have a brief conversation with my 20 year old, child-less, unmarried self. I am buying my child that candy bar because I honestly don't have an ounce of negotiating left in me. I would rather my child pack in the sugar so long as the mouth stays munching, and the arguing is on a <very> brief standstill. I would rather the sugar rush kick in while I'm driving so that I can turn the music louder. I would rather block out their yells and cries alone, in my car, than in the middle of the store where some 20 year old, childless girl is staring at me and judging.
And you want to know why my daughter had that My Little Pony the entire time we were in the store? Because her clepto brother stole from her the only toy I had in my sherpa bag. And he refuses to give it back, so she screams until that pony is in her hand. It's not harming anyone, the pony will forgive us, and again, I don't have a single ounce of negotiating left in me (and it's usually only about 9am, so there's that). And if you're so concerned with the pony being displaced, perhaps you could offer to kindly, kid-lessly, put it back for my broken self.
And lastly, that cart... 99.9% of the time I purposely park near a cart return so that I won't be given dirty looks when I prop the cart on the curb and take off, but occasionally no such close spots exist and I'm forced to park a fair distance from any rational cart parking lot. So if that happens, I have 3 options:
1. Leave the kids in the cart while I unload our purchases. This will result in me leaving my children outside of arms reach, sugar-infused kids sitting way too close to one another (optional dividers need to be installed in carts for those listening), black eyes, bleeding, emotional trauma and a pretty good chance of a cart toppling over.
2. Pack the kiddos into the car, unload our purchases and then leave the children in the car as I return the cart to it's proper place. This would be my choice, hands down, had it not been for one fine day when I was ridiculed for walking .1 miles away from my children to return the cart to it's rightful place. So, yeah, I'd rather chose to leave an unkept cart than be hauled off to jail.
3. Load up the kids, load up the buys, hoist the front wheels of the cart onto the nearest curb and be gone.
So, 20 year old free spirit, if you ever see a lonely cart in the lot, please dispose of the candy bar wrapper left behind, and return it to the 'too-far-away to avoid a DCFS call' corral, would ya?
The (Tired of Fighting) Non-Negotiating, (Seldom) Non-Cart Returning, (Often) Non-Purchasing, No Longer Judging, Mom
We're back with part two of the running during pregnancy series. Last time, I left you with some tips on how to battle the fatigue and morning sickness while still being able to run during early pregnancy. Today, I’m going to share some more tips that will likely become more important as your pregnancy progresses and will hopefully help you make the most of your running while pregnant.
1. Always carry extra water
This is easier to do when running with the stroller because you have a stroller to carry your water goods. It almost goes without saying, but treadmill runs fall in the easy-to-carry-water category as well. You know your pregnant body best, but during my pregnancies I noticed that on average I consumed 20-40 ounces more than when not pregnant. Finally, choosing running routes close to home or in an area where drinking water is more accessible is a smart thing to do.
2. Lace up shoes extra snug
This one seems obvious but I can’t tell you how much of a difference it really makes to have snug fitting running shoes. One day, I was running along but my feet and ankles felt a little off. I know at this point it’s not because of extra weight I’ve put on but then I had an “aha!” moment and sure enough, my laces were pretty loose around the tops of my feet. After readjusting them and making them tighter, my feet and ankles got instant relief!
3. Do a quick stroller tire check
Another random tip: if you’re running with a stroller, make sure the tires are properly inflated. Many times, I remember chugging along and feeling like the stroller was AWFULLY heavy. As in, heavier than usual and I couldn’t blame it on pregnancy weight or heavier toddlers inside said stroller. If your stroller tires have some ‘give’ when you press down with your fingers, they need air! Think of the stroller tires just like bike tires. Needless to say, I learned my lesson and was grateful to have one less thing to work against what was an already difficult task. Keep those stroller tires pumped up, ladies!
4. Take walk breaks if/as needed
Mentally, this one was hard for me with each pregnancy, especially by my third one because I had two heavy toddlers to push around in a double stroller. By nature, I’m not a walker when I’m out running. It just about kills me to stop and walk, so having to constantly assess whether or not I need to take a quick walk break while I was pregnant definitely was a mental game. Whether it was walking 30 seconds at a time or stopping a run early and walking for an entire mile, walk breaks were good to slow down my heart rate and also catch my breath when I could feel myself needing a break. After all, it’s not like it was a competition to see how fast I could run while pregnant AND pushing a double stroller.
5. Focus on breathing
Another tip that seems obvious, but during pregnancy it’s even more important to pay attention to your breathing while you run. I didn’t notice this being a big deal earlier on in the pregnancy, but starting in the second trimester it became more important. Your body continues pumping even more blood than usual and along with that, continues adding extra (healthy!) weight so breathing properly is crucial. It was helpful to focus on taking on deeper breath in and two to three short breaths out. Simply, focus on not robbing yourself of oxygen intake (i.e. breathing IN) because it’s a lot easier to exhale while running than to inhale.
6. Listen to your body
Finally, listening to your body is the undercurrent to everything I’ve listed here. It is so, so important that you know that while some aches and pains are totally normal and okay, there can be times where you need to just trust your instinct and stop if necessary. When in doubt, explain it to your doctor. Looking back, I definitely had that instinctive reaction and remember stopping my run to walk for a few minutes before resuming or even just calling it a day. Remember: you are no less of a runner because you listen to what your body is saying, pregnant or not!
Some Honest Encouragement
Have realistic expectations. Try to not let your mind think about how fast or how much distance you were running, before pregnancy. It’s a slippery mental slope that leads nowhere good. So give yourself plenty of grace and enjoy this time to run pressure-free.
Take your time in starting out each run. Remember that every single run will look different. Some days will be harder than others, just like when you run without being pregnant. Know that the more important thing is that you’re growing another human being. Those fast times and PR’s (personal records) can wait.
Can I remind you, dear pregnant runner, that even though it feels like forever, you will not always be running while pregnant? Yes, it’s true! Someday very soon, your baby will be outside the womb and (hopefully) snoozing peacefully in their stroller while you are running. Breathe in and be extra grateful that you are even able to run during pregnancy at all - a miracle within a miracle.
Until next time, happy pregnant running!
Disclaimer: I’m not an expert, just a girl who loves running and has been doing so for over a decade. Everything I share about running during pregnancy is what has worked for me and what has been okay for me to do during my pregnancy. Always check with your doctor before starting or continuing an exercise regimen.
wife to 1 fine redhead. momma to 3, avid runner + health enthusiast.