Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

For the past few years (ever since I had my son), New Year's Eve has always been a day when I think about my childhood and wonder if I am as good as a mom to my son as my mother was to me. I've heard the same sentiment from many women - they develop a whole new respect for their mom once they have children. (Disclaimer: I understand that not everyone has this feeling and that not all mothers are the same. My heart goes out to all those who have had troubled childhoods - I am with you on that one, especially those who did not have a parent(s).)

The respect for mom has always been there, but now that I have a child, I realize just how much she did for me and my sister. I don't want to call what she did "sacrifices" because again, I now realize that what we do for our children is not sacrifice. Our decisions are just decisions. We weigh the options and act. How she raised my sister and me on first no salary (when my dad left us) and then on welfare and then on a $10,000 annual salary still baffles me. It certainly explains why my sister and I have had jobs since we were 13 years old (we all helped with the bills) and why we ran the oven to warm the apartment instead of the furnace.

I want to keep this post merry in the spirit of the New Year, so I'll digress from my childhood and turn to the future. I read Terri's post that she had "goals" and not "resolutions". So, here are my goals for 2011:

(1)Work on relationships with my family (work harder to see my mom more often, spend more quality time with my son, work on my marriage, and really talk to my sister)

(2) Work on work (send out at least 5 manuscripts (yes, I live in the world of publish or perish), submit 2 new grants, be more consistent with student follow-up)

(3) Stay committed to running (at least three 5Ks and one half-marathon, do a destination run)

I think that's it... I want to keep 2011 simple, because 2010 certainly was not. There's that voice in the back of my mind nagging me... "what would you do if you knew you could not fail?" that is bugging me to write one more resolution (oops, I mean goal) that stretches me. So, my stretch of a goal is go back to therapy. I stopped because I thought I would fail myself and I was starting to dig too deep.

My question of the day for you is, what 2011 resolution would you make if you knew you could not fail?

Running update: no run today because I've been running 6 days straight. I was supposed to take a rest yesterday, but the new sneakers made me do it!

Thursday, December 30, 2010


All my life I have been searching for the right ONE. The one that would make me feel so good. The one that would take care of my body. The one that would give as much as I give. The one that was in it for the long haul. And, today, ladies and gentlemen, I finally found the ONE and he goes by the name Nike Free!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I love these sneakers so much that I've decided to give them a gender (male) and am searching for the perfect name... what shall I name my new loves? Please leave comment with your suggestion - tell me name and why. Also, let me know what sneakers you are rocking (wearing) and why they are comfortable - no I'm not thinking of cheating on my new sneakers, but I'd like to know what other good running sneakers are out there.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Addicted to Blogging

I spent the entire 2 hours that my son napped today reading blogs! Some themes...

(1) Mostly everyone who had a running-related blog loves to run. Well, duh, of course they do! But does anyone out there hate to run but run anyway? That's me... I don't actually enjoy the act of running. I enjoy the runner's high after my runs and the sense of accomplishment. How do I get to a point where I actually enjoy the act of running?

(2) People say they are slow and fat, but a majority aren't... I see your pictures LOL! It's like when I was in school and we'd finish a test and everyone would complain that they failed. Then, we'd get the tests back and everyone did great except me... FAIL! I am slow (hence the title of my blog "13-minute mile") and I am on the heavier side (5'5" at 187lbs). I promised myself a long time ago that I would love myself and have since developed a sort-of reserve body dysmorphia where I always think I look good (and I probably don't always). Anyway, I continue to try to love myself no matter what the weight, as long as I can honestly say that I eat healthy and stay active.

(3) The bloggers on this site are hilarious! For example, Shut Up and Run, Barbie Runs, From Fat to Fab, 12 Months 12 Races, and I am Boring are some of the funny blogs that I stumbled upon and I know there are a lot more but I only had 2 hours. Please don't be offended if I didn't mention you and you are funny - please leave me a comment with your link and I promise to read :)

(4) People are giving away stuff away on their blogs! Someone teach me please... is this common practice? Should I be giving something away? What wold people like?

Okay that's all I have for now. It's been a long day (that started with 2 miles in 26:00 this morning). Until tomorrow... but please let me know which blogs I should read next and what I should be giving away.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Does Shoveling Snow Count as Cross-Training?

Ahhhhh Winter in the Northeast... nothing like 36 inches of snow to close-out 2010! Woke this morning at 6:48am to my son yelling for me: "Mommy, I all done... where are you mommy?" This is his signature call in the morning letting me know that he is all done sleeping and ready to play. Being a nice wife, I let my husband sleep-in (well, partly because I'm nice and mostly because I wanted to run this morning and if I let him sleep-in then I would get to run when he woke up). And I did get a chance to run and my personal challenge was to kick-up the treadmill to 6mph to see what a 10-minute mile felt like. Now, this was not stemming from my competitive spirit. It was more inspiration I got from reading a whole bunch of runner blogs yesterday (thanks for the inspiration everyone!). So, for 10 minutes, I alternated every 2 minutes between 13-minute pace and 10-minute pace. It felt awesome, but not something I'll do soon because my knee is now killing me. (Today's run log: 2miles in 24:30minutes).

 Oh, a little background on my knee... I went to a specialist 3 years ago for help with my knee. She took x-rays and said that I had the knee of a 60 year old woman and will probably need knee replacement when I'm 50 (I'm 32). This is a result of a bad break/fracture combo when I was 12 that didn't heal properly. When I was 12, I went on a trip to the Statue of Liberty (with a school group without my mom). While the group was waiting on-line, a bunch of us decided to play Frisbee. A park's person came by and said in a nasty tone, "you kids better stop playing because the grass is wet and you'll break your neck!" I rolled my eyes at her and we kept playing. Well, 2 second later I slipped really bad and heard "crack crack crack" coming from my leg. I couldn't walk but didn't want anyone to call 911 (I was very well aware that my family did not have medical coverage) so my cousin carried me to a bench and we waited while the group went into the Statue. She also carried me to the ferry and back into the car once everyone was done. Ten hours later when my mom got home, she immediately panicked (as my leg was twice its normal size) and she rushed me to the hospital. I learned about Catholic Charities that day and I was in a full leg cast for the next 5 months! I had broken my ankle and fractured my tibia and femur. OUCH! 20 years later and I'm still feeling the pain.

Anyway, after my run I go back upstairs and my husband is calling around for snow plowing service. Really?! It's not that bad, so I thought. I made a deal that I would do half and he'd do the other. 36inches of snow is no joke! So, I ask you, can I log in my 1 hour of snow shoveling as cross training? And this leads to my training question of the day... what should I be doing for cross-training to get my stamina and leg strength up?

While shoveling, I was thinking about my third-life crisis and how I had a similar one when I was 25 (quarter-life crisis). Many of former students (whom I advised when they were in college) often reach out to me when they are in the quarter-life crisis (you know the kind... first job out of college is getting boring, not sure if they should be getting married, wanting more out of life but not sure how to get it). I have to say that it is more female students then male that I counsel through the quarter-life crisis (probably because I'm a woman or do men not go through it?). My train of though started yesterday when two of my former students contacted me to have lunch this week (they know the university is closed and I have off). I was so happy to hear from them and I'm looking forward to seeing them later this week. I could hear the quarter-life crisis tone in their voice when they called and I look forward to seeing them and hope I can help. My goal is to not tell them what to do, but to help them figure out what they want to do (those careful probing questions and paraphrasing what they tell me). I won't burst their bubble and tell them that once they get past the quarter-life crisis, they'll cruise for several years before the next existential crisis comes along! My personal question of the day... have you experienced (are you experiencing) a quarter-life or third-life crisis?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

First Post

We're approaching the New Year (2011) and I need to get a grip! Seriously, I am a 32-year old women with an amazing 2 year old son, loving husband, insane family, amazing friends and awesome career. On paper, I have a pretty great life. But, the reality of my life is not picture perfect. I often find my mind racing and constantly questioning myself - what am I doing? what's next? how did I get here? am I really happy? what does it mean to be happy? and on and on and on... I know a lot of my unhappiness stems from my not so perfect childhood, but seriously, who has had a perfect childhood? My past experiences have made me who I am today and usually, I am grateful for that. Still, there is that constant nagging - what do I want out of life? am I in the right place? Ahhh, the typical existential crisis that hits many of us.

When I was having a bigger-than-normal existential crisis in 2006, I started "running" to take on a challenge. Really, what I was doing was trying to focus on something other than what was going on in my life. I place "running" in quotes because I had not run a single block ever in my life when I decided that I was going to train for a half-marathon. Now, you're probably thinking, why the hell a half-marathon when you've never run before? Well, as you get to know me you'll realize that I like to aim high - not because I am an overachiever, but because I don't really think things totally through and if I set outrageous goals then I'll just focus on getting there and not on whether or not I really want to achieve the goal in the first place.

I also use the quotes because I don't consider myself a runner (even though I did train and run that half-marathon and have run a bunch of 5Ks). I run at a 13-minute mile pace, which I didn't know was actually running until I Googled it before starting this blog. I just finished running (2.5mi in 31min) and it dawned on me... this is MY life. I need to get a grip and start thinking before acting. Seriously, I don't want to spend another day doing something because I think I SHOULD be doing it or because I'm competing with someone ( I have a nasty competitive spirit).

With all that said, I decided to start this blog so that I force myself to put my thoughts out there - hoping that reading my thoughts will be therapeutic and allow for me to think before I act. I also hope to follow others who are in the same third-life crisis phase (is there anyone out there?). Lastly, I want to be proud of my 13-minute mile pace and run for me and not as a competition. I will not focus on getting faster or going further unless I feel like it :) That makes for a great New Year's resolution... I'll think more on that and aim to make a Resolution post in the coming days. Until then, I'll take my sorry butt into the kitchen and start working on dinner (homemade whole wheat pizza).