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(Really) Happy Feet

My feet are really, really happy.  Really.  See my Christmas present from my wonderful husband:

2013-01-08_12-18-59_325Yay!  New shoes!

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 12.  I’m a Brooks girl, so this made me very happy.

Yes, I know that lots of people get new running shoes lots of the time.  So what makes these so special?  I’m glad you asked.  Behold:

Here is the tread on my New Shoes:

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Pretty, yes?

And here is the tread on the shoes that I wore into my amazing local running shop:

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Um.  Yeah.

So the conversation went something like this:

Me:  I need a new pair of running shoes.  Brooks Adrenalines.  I love them.  I’m overdue.  See these soles?

Beth (Shoe Goddess from Body N’ Sole):  Looks like you were overdue for a new pair a few months ago!

Me (sheepishly):  Yes, well, I normally get a new pair every year when I run the Rock N Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon each September.  Only this year I didn’t go.

Beth:  I see.

Me:  But I’ve obviously been on my feet.

Beth:  Obviously.  Didn’t your feet get wet?

Me:  Well, I pretty much ran in my trail shoes when it got sloppy outside.

Beth:  Hmmm.

Beth the Amazing got my New Shoes (which were even $30 off for trading up!) and offered me a color choice!

Beth:  Pink or blue?

Wonderful Husband:  I’d definitely go for the blue.

Me:  I’ve never had pink shoes.  Pink it is!

Beth:  Would you like to wear them home?  Please?!

Me:  Yes!

Beth:  And about these old shoes.  You should really never wear them again.  Not around the house.  Not to cut the yard.  Not to pick up dog crap.  Not ever.  For anything.  Please just throw them away.  Really.

Me:  Oh, but I’d better get a picture first.

Beth:  Well, for that you can keep them.  Then throw them away.

Poor old faithful, forlorn, pathetic shoes!  Way over a thousand miles on those puppies.  My feet feel great now in my New Shoes, though.  I just about forgot what running without touching the pavement felt like!

In case you are wondering, here is the tread on the shoes I wore just before the most recent Faithful, Forlorn, Pathetic model:

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Much more reasonable, though the salesman told me the tread in these was way too abused back in the day.  *Sigh*

The moral(s) of the story:

1.  Running on tread-bare shoes is better than lamenting the state of your shoes and sitting on the couch.

2.  Worn out shoes might get your feet wet, but they won’t kill you.

3.  Tread is better.

4.  New Shoes are awesome.

5.  You can always count on Beth the Shoe Goddess and those amazing people at Body N’ Sole to help you out, make you laugh, and tell it like it is!

Now I’m planning a proper burial for the Old Faithful, Treadless Wonders. (Suggestions welcome!)   While I’m at it, I’ll just lace up my New (Pink) Shoes and head out for a run.  If you see me out there, I’ll be the one running on Cloud 9!

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Well, it’s been about a bajillion years since I’ve written here and I feel like I’m finally getting back in touch with an old friend!  I’ve sure missed you!

Much has changed in the months I’ve been away and I promise to let you know the details about all that in a separate post.  But for now, I wanted to share one of the main things that hasn’t changed a bit.

I. Am. Still. Running.

On my birthday in 2011 (April 4th for everyone just dying to send gifts!) I challenged myself to go a mile-a-day minimum.  Ideally, I would run.  If that wasn’t possible, I would walk.  And if I was really in trouble, I would crawl.  I just wouldn’t miss a day.

I’m happy to report that I never had to employ the “crawl” option, though I had many days where I walked my mile.

During that year and nine months or so, I’ve run and walked in neighborhoods, on beaches, in strange cities, on trails, in mud, during snow, during rain, during 100 degree heat.

I did my mile when I was sick, when my kids were sick, when my mother was sick, when my husband was sick.  I did my mile the day I got divorced, the day my mother died, the day we buried her, the day I got married.

I did miles in and around hockey rinks.  I did miles in parking lots of high schools during show choir competitions.  I did miles at 4:00AM and I did miles at 11:45PM.

I did my mile outside of hospitals while my mother was in surgery and while my husband had two surgeries.

I did my mile when my children thought I was the best mom in the world and when I had been informed that I was the most horrible mother to ever walk the face of the planet.

I did my mile alone.  I did my mile with my friends.  I did my mile with my husband.  I did my mile with my daughters.

I had amazing miles.  I had terrible miles.  I had painful miles.  I had miles that were full of tears.  I had miles where I laughed so hard I almost wet my pants.

I had miles where I wanted to quit.  I had miles where I could have sworn I’d heard my mom’s voice demanding that I put on foot in front of another and keep going.  I had miles where I was ready to quit and never would have gotten out the door if my daughters and husband hadn’t pushed me.

I had fast, awesome, endorphin-filled miles.  I had the slowest-ever miles while walking with my husband as he learned to use his brand new hip.

I even had miles on the awful dreadmill.

Then on November 1, 2012, I woke up and realized:  I did not do my mile yesterday.  I told my husband and he was stricken.  The streak was broken.  He felt just terrible for me.  I would have thought I’d feel terrible, too.  But really, the only thing I could say was:

“Do you know what that makes today?”

“What, honey?”

“Day Number 1 of my next streak.”

And off I went to do my mile.

So whether the one missed day in 21 months qualifies as a mulligan, or whether it marked the beginning of my next challenge, I am still out there running.

And this year, 2013, my personal challenge is to actually run at least one mile, rather than give myself the walking option.  Just an added incentive to change it up a little bit.  (Don’t worry, all my take-care-of-yourself-moderation-junkie friends, I’ll keep listening to my body and not push it too hard!)

My plan is to be back here regularly, sharing my exploits.  Rest assured, though, that even if you’re not hearing from me, I am still out there running.

One thing is certain.  By the grace of God and with the support of my amazing family, I will not quit.  This I know for sure.

Breaking News!

Just a teensy little announcement on it’s way next week…

Yeah, that’s right.  Actually, kinda Big Stuff on it’s way.

So. Excited! 

Unveiling it next week.  And because you’ve been SO wonderful and patient, you faithful Go Mommy! readers get to be the first to know! 

Check back and see what all the buzz is about.

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DUH

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So I’M thinking this is funny. 

I wrote a post here a couple days ago and was completely surprised to find NO feedback or response at ALL.  I mean zero.  Zip. Zilch. Nada.

I’ve been away from my computer a few days, so could only check things mobile-y, so I didn’t have the chance to really go poking around.

So imagine my surprise when I found out tonight that the Post. Wasn’t. Here.  So weird.  I mean, I looked and looked.

At last, I found that I’d inadvertently posted it to one of my super-duper-alter-ego blogs.  It was actually on…(guys, you may want to avert your eyes for this one and come back on the next paragraph)…my crafting blog!  *Horrors*

See, I have these different little facets of my personality and I’ve kinda tried to separate them in my writing for my readers’ sake.  I figure, not everybody who cares about running or midlife necessarily cares about knitting (What the Craft?!) or Jesus (What’s God Got to Do with It?) or my weird philosophical ponderings about and silliness of my crazy life (What Matters Most).

In fact, I’d taken a vacation from these blogs as well and had even considered moving them to another platform when…OOPS…I inadvertently POSTED on one of them. 

So, because I am (quite obviously) technologically challenged, even if moderately amusing from time to time as a writer, I will just provide you the link to my silly little post on that silly little (crafting) blog ***macho athletes of all genders, I promise I will not reveal to ANYONE that you were visiting a crafting blog if you take a peek at this post*** and then you can pop over there and read it for yourself. 

The post is about That New Thing that I’m trying this week.  Once I’ve given you a chance to read it, I’ll update here in a day or two about all that’s transpired since then. 

I sure wish I had a brilliant explanation for this brain fart.  Thinking…Nope.  Got nothing.  Just OOPS.  Forgive me and rest assured, I’ll to my best to make sure that it never-never-never happens again. 

I hope. 

Enjoy the post:  THAT FUN POST ABOUT THAT NEW THING SHANNON IS DOING WHICH WAS INADVERTENTLY PLACED ON THE (SHHHH) CRAFTING BLOG SHE ALSO PLAYS WITH

“IF YOU EVER WANT TO SEE WHO THE TRUE RUNNERS ARE, TAKE A PEEK OUTSIDE DURING MOTHER NATURE’S NEXT HISSY FIT.”

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I found this quote on when searching for images under the query:  Running in the Cold. 

If I could have found the image associated with this cool quote, I’d have given credit and a link, but it’s completely AWOL on the net.  Boo!  But I liked the quote enough to share, and I sure wish I could claim it as an original!  Best link-ish thing I could find for it, (COOL QUOTE CREDIT HERE), in case you want to hunt it down.

So I love this quote because I seriously LOVE me some cold, messy weather running.

My friend Suzanne and I promised each other we would both go out on a five or six-mile run early Sunday morning.  We live in different towns, but we’re going to report in to each other.  Kind of like a long-distance running buddy.  Then we discussed the temperature:

Suzanne:  It’s supposed to be, like, thirty-four degrees tomorrow morning.  Ugh.  Wonder how late I can get out there so it’s warmer…

Me:  YES!  I LOVE running in the cold!  Wonder how early I can get out there so it’s colder…

Suzanne:  (looking at me with a mixture of alarm and disgust)  You’re a FREAK.

Me:  I know.  It’s great.

I can’t wait to get out there Sunday morning. 

I just checked weather.com and supposed to be 38 degrees when I start my run. 

38 degrees.  Farenheit.

I. So. Can’t. Wait. 

Prediction:  Awesome.  I’ll update you later, assuming I survive.  😉

[Update:  Awesome run!  5 miles!  I was SO happy to be out there in running in the cold.  Felt GREAT!  Weather was 44 degrees and I was wearing my stay-warm running gear.  No gloves, though.  Not cold enough for that.  Get out there and run while it’s beautiful, everybody!]

So today, my choice is this:  

My awesome running shoes that I L-O-V-E

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Or this: 

Hockey skates. Not mine. For sure.

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Option A: 

Today I have hockey (Ninja’s practice–leave at 6 a.m.) and hockey (amazing high school game–spectator–leave at 3 p.m.)  and hockey (awesome, but brutal, college game–spectator–no departure time, we actually will never have left the rink). 

See, Ninja (11 year-old–for one more day–ice hockey goalie on a boys’ team) has a Hockey Day ahead of her and I am Transport.  Helpful Husband is working All Day tomorrow, so really, he’s not helping so much in the Transport department.  

Option B  is:  

Run.  

And herein lies the problem.  For mamas.  Maybe for dadas too, but I really have yet to figure these guys out, so I just can’t speak for them.  The problem: 

I have a commitment to myself.  Ninja has a commitment to herself, her team, her development, her future, her possibilities, her…  You get the picture.  

Listen, if you’re a mama (parent), you probably recognize the agonizing decisions that have to be made when faced with your exercise routine versus your kids’ activities/involvement/commitments.  

And you, no doubt, surely are expecting to find some sort of get-tough motivation from this marathoning mama.  You might be predicting I’ll tell my kid to find herself a ride to her 14,952 activities she has scheduled for the day.  

Yeah!  Gotta love myself before I can love anybody else!  Gotta refill the emotional and physical tank first! Gotta take care of myself so there’s someone there to take care of those kiddos!  Of course, that’s what you’d expect from me. 

So who will be taking Ninja to her multitude of hockey commitments tomorrow?  If you’re a mama, you’ve probably already guessed it: 

Me.  

Yep.  Totally sold out on my workout for this Saturday.  Putting my Svelte-Self in the back seat and my Real-Self in the front seat as my kid sleeps while I drive an hour to get her to practice at the crack of dawn.  

Does this make me a Work-Out-Sell-Out?  Maybe.  But I hope not.  

Because years from now, my daughter might just remember the opportunities I’ve given her.  An even slimmer chance:  she might actually appreciate the opportunities I’ve given her.  But no matter what, I know for sure:  

I’ll remember the look on her sleeping face as her goalie stick rests on the pillow above her head while we drive to her early morning practice.  I’ll appreciate the chance to watch her sleep peacefully, not a single worry in the world, even though she’s navigating the turbulent ocean that is pre-teen life.  

And I’ll know I’ve contributed to something, someone, important.  Bigger than the workout, the run, the exercise schedule.  Bigger than me.  

Which is the difference between being a standard, regular Runner and being Mom-Who-Runs.  

If I’m a sell-out, then I’m a sell-out-for-my-kids.  Not every time.  But when it matters.  

The run, the sit-ups, the treadmill, will all be there later in the day.  Or even *gasp* tomorrow. 

And the wait is worth it.  

And I will be gentle with myself and stop judging myself about it. 

And for today, it is really, REALLY okay.

So when you saw the title of this post, did you really think I was going to post my “Before” photos here in all of my XL glory?  Seriously?  HA HA HA HA  No.

But here’s the idea: 

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Now please, before you go reading anything into this cartoon, please know I just snagged it from google images (credit given) because the lady still looked cute, even for a big girl.  Kinda like me.  So I appreciate her struggles, even though she is, well, a cartoon.

The thing is, I DID just take some super-duper-top-secret “BEFORE” photos.  I’m getting ready to start something new this Monday and I’m certain that the last quarter of 2010 is going to yield awesome results for me physically!  The Before Photos will be my evidence of how far I’ve come. 

But I am most certainly NOT going to be sharing those “Before” Pics here unless I’ve got some hottie “After” Pics of myself to post along side them.  This will take time, effort, and cooperation from my metabolism.

If you want to know why most people don’t embark on these weight-loss odysseys that require photographic evidence, I have a theory. 

I do NOT think the problem is not wanting to face one’s blubbery image on the screen.  I do NOT think the problem is embarrassment of the throngs of curiousity-seekers who might ogle at your photo like some sort of freak in a carnival tent. 

No, I’m pretty confident that the Real Issue is that Before Photos are NOT a one-person job.  There is another person clicking away at the camera to capture all that voluptuousness.  In theory, this photographer is an encourager, someone who you trust.  But the Before Photo is where theory meets reality. 

It’s ugly, people.  In so many ways.

I shall illustrate.

My photographic helpers were daughters Ninja (11 year-old tomboy) and Princess (10 year-old girlie girl). 

Princess:  Mom, you don’t look that fat.  You look cute.

Ninja:  You don’t look fat at all Mom.  (pause)  *giggle*

Me:  What?

Ninja:  (collecting herself)  No.  You look great Mom. 

Princess:  It’s just that we’re not used to seeing you with, you know, THAT (points to my XL belly sticking out between the bottom of my bright yellow running bra and the waist of my black compression shorts.)

Me:  Yes, I usually try to be more modest.  It’s not like I’m going to be wearing this get-up out at…

Princess:  (interrupting)  No, really Mom.  It’s not that you look like a hootchie or anything.  It’s just that I had no idea your belly was so…

Ninja:  (cutting her off)  Let’s take the pictures, now.  (clicks away at camera)  Okay, turn to the side now.

Me:  (turning) Like this?

Ninja:  Sure.  Yeah, Yes…Yes…  ACK!  WOW!  Oh Mom, I had no idea. 

(Princess flees from hallway photography studio, possibly in fear, possibly to avoid being caught laughing at mama.)

Me:  Nice.  Did you get the stinking picture?

Ninja:  Yeah, Mom.  Here’s your camera. 

Me:  (looking at the photos)  Ugh.  I have my work cut out for me.  Thanks for your help, girls.

Princess:  (peeking back around the corner)  You really do look cute, Mom.

Ninja:  In a silly kind of way.

Princess:  Yes, “silly.”  That’s it exactly.

Me:  (muttering to myself as I head away from the camera crew, who I imagine is now dissolving into a fit of giggles) I guess the whole experience could have been worse.

Helpful Husband:  (from the next room) What experience?

Exactly.

So this is exactly why most people do NOT put themselves through the ordeal of those Before Photos. 

Marathon training?  No problem. 

Intense cardio?  Awesome.

Strength training from hell?  Bring it. 

They are small potatoes compared to the ordeal of the Before Photos. 

But I figure if you can make it through the Before Photo ordeal, then everything else is downhill from there! 

Check back with me on December 31, and I’ll tell you whether it was worth it!  🙂

 [UPDATE:] 

Helpful Husband has now been exposed to this blog post.  After laughing hysterically–a little too loud and long, I might add–he asks, “When did this happen?  Was it here?  Was I here?  Really?” 

“A couple weeks ago.  Yes.  Yes.  And yes.”  Hard stare at HH.

Long pause while HH ponders whether he would have been in more trouble if he’d been involved during the infamous photo shoot than he is for being so very unaware. 

Again, I say, it could have been worse!

 

 

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