Losing Myself and My Joy

I’ve been off the grid lately. To be honest, I’ve felt some blues the past few months. I haven’t been sleeping well and have been stressed and lonely thanks to a variety of things, including Josh having to work pretty much seven days/week up to 15 hours/day. That is no fun for anyone. A combination of factors that leads me not wanting to blog at all. After all who wants to read complaints?

Over the past several weeks I’ve taken a few steps to help myself feel like myself again, including getting rid of my Mirena. Did you know that side effects include weight gain, depression, acne, and ovarian cysts, among others? That might explain this solid 10 lbs that I cannot explain how I gained and cannot lose no matter what I do. Which has done nothing for my self confidence. It may also help explain these blues. Lucky me, I also got a tennis ball sized ovarian cyst that ruptured a few weeks ago. I apparently have a really high pain tolerance because I just thought my IUD had moved. Not so much. Side note: DO NOT run a half marathon a week after your cyst ruptures. It’s a horrible idea. More on that later.

I also saw my family doctor who prescribed me something to help me sleep. Some nights I wasn’t falling asleep until 2-3 am. Other nights, I’d fall asleep but wake up around 1 am and not be able to go back to sleep for hours. I had forgotten what a good night’s sleep was. Now I’m finally sleeping well again. I wake up and I’m a better mom. In a better mood and have more energy, not to mention more patience.

All of these emotional and physical things have definitely started to effect my running. Even before Boston, I started feeling like running is a job. It’s something I have to do, not something I want to do. There is no joy for me in it right now and hasn’t been in at least six months. My training for Boston was really hard. I didn’t want to do it. I had worked so hard to get there and then, I just struggled.

I have all these thoughts and concerns going through my head as I put off runs as long as I can before I make myself trudge out the door. I have to continue racing. I have to continue doing speed work here and there. I have to maintain my reputation as a ‘fast’ runner within our running group or among my loved ones. What will happen if I stop running? Will I ever be able to regain my speed again? Have I peaked? Will I have a great race again?

I don’t have the answers to these questions and I am sick of them causing anxiety. I don’t know if I will ever set another marathon PR. If I don’t, is it really that big of a deal? Who even cares but me? For now I’m trying to take care of me, outside of running. Getting sleep, spending time with friends and family and trying to take back my joy.

 

Why I Became a Running Coach

For a while now I’ve been trying to decide what I want to do with my life. While I’m a marketer by education and trade, it is not something I’m necessarily passionate about. It is fun and I enjoy it but maybe there is something more for me. Make sense? Staying at home with the kids has given me the opportunity to think about other options. I considered looking into becoming a nutritionist or dietitian, but it always came back to running.

What made me decide running coach certification was for me? A few reasons.

  1. I remember well my first marathon. I was injured because I had no idea what I was doing. Even with the training plan provided to me, as a novice I was running too much, cross-training too little and adding mileage way too quickly. Not to throw my coach under the bus, but as an Ironman and a very seasoned endurance athlete, I think he forgot that newbies need hand holding. I certainly did. I want to help people feel confident and make it to the starting line (and hopefully the finish line) healthy.
  2. As I’ve made progress over the past eight years, I’ve had a lot of people ask me for advice, from training plans and paces to stretching and fueling. While I always offered up what works or has worked for me, I always felt slightly uncomfortable because what works for one runner, definitely does not work for all runners.
  3. Achieving a goal feels incredible. I want to help other people feel that satisfaction, that joy, of meeting or beating a goal.

My journey actually began last spring when I started looking into coaching certifications. For months I stocked the RRCA website looking for classes that were nearby and not sold out. After months of anxiously waiting, a class finally opened up for registration near me. I was so happy that I wasn’t going to have to fly across country or drive hours and hours.

I spent a weekend in August with about 20 other runners learning the ins and outs of how to coach. We covered topics from types of runners and their needs to nutrition and psychology of running, focusing primarily on distance runners. It was interesting and while some was a review for me, there was also a lot of new information. I took a ton of notes and a pretty substantial guide book. After the conclusion of class, we were sent a link to a 100 question online test.

The test took me a while because I wanted to make sure I was not just half-assing it and 100 questions is quite a few. If I was going to become a coach, I was going to do it well. After successfully passing my test and retaking First Aid/CPR certification classes, I’m was officially certified as a Level One RRCA Running Coach.

It’s taken me a while to put this out there. As excited as I am to help others, I’m also a little bit intimidated. Runners put a lot of trust in their coaches to get them to their goals and I certainly don’t want to let my runners down. Over the past several months I’ve been working with three runners behind the scenes. My first three clients were all very different which was fun and challenging. From wanting to get to the finish line to wanting to speed up and everything in between. So far they have had great success, which is exciting for them and for me!  In a post to follow I’ll share some information about them and what their coaching involved, what I’ve learned and hopefully include testimonials from each of them.

Eventually I’d like to offer a couple of standard half and full marathon training plans for both novice and experienced runners, in addition to working with clients for personalized plans depending on goals, fitness, etc. I have to figure out pricing and what each pricing level will include as far as in-person workouts, online/over the phone coaching or just here’s a plan, let me know how it goes. There is a lot to consider and figure out, but for now, here I am, open for business and ready to coach!

 

Four Things

As I wait for photos of Anderson to upload for his 15 month post, it’s time for a little Q&A courtesy of Kimberly. Here we go.

Four names that people call me, other than my real name:

Mommy

Lobster

Captain

JDub…though this is slowly dying. It has been more than six years now since I was a Walker.

Four jobs that I’ve had:

Retail

Nanny

Marketing Manager

Consultant

Four movies I’ve seen more than once:

“Office Space”

“Love Actually”

“Grease”

“Zombieland”

Four books I’d recommend:

Gone Girl

Pride and Prejudice

One Hundred Years of Solitude

An American Tragedy

Four places I have lived:

Omaha, NE

Lawrence, KS

Denver, CO

Maple Grove, MN

Four places I have been:

London

Paris

Rome

Belize

Four things I don’t eat:

Pickled Herring – Josh has been trying to get me to eat it for years. I don’t really even like regular fish, let alone pickled.

Twinkies – Also cannot wrap my head around why any would want to eat these.

Tripe – I will never forget when Josh accidentally ordered it in Rome.

Coffee – I love the smell but I do not like the bitterness, not even the girlie Starbucks drinks.

Four of my favorite foods:

Cheese – Love love love cheese. Currently we have about six different types in our fridge.

Peanut butter – I eat it every day. When we travel and I don’t have any, I actually kind of miss it.

Indian – All kinds of dishes. Spicy, sweet, give them all to me with a side of naan so that I can get every last drop of sauce.

Chocolate – There is little self control when good chocolate, let’s be honest any chocolate, is around.

Four TV shows that I watch:

I don’t actually watch much now that we don’t have cable.

The Good Wife – recently started binge watching on Prime

Sons of Anarchy –  also watching with Josh on Prime

Parenthood – I’m a few weeks behind, but catching up.

The Today Show – That is unless the kids are up. Once the kids are up, the TV is turned off.

Four things I am looking forward to this year:

Quick vacation to Florida – Josh has training so we’re going to fly down to meet him. Not so much looking forward to flying with the kids myself, but excited to see the kids’ faces when we walk into Disney World. Oh and escape the cold for a few days.

Thanksgiving -By far my favorite holiday. What’s better than good food and family? This year we’re headed to Indiana to spend it with my mom, stepdad and siblings. Bonus, I might even get in a run with Kim!

Christmas – Again, food, family and tradition. We’ve been working on introducing our own little family traditions. Ella is starting to really get things like this. I’m so excited to do all things Christmas with the kids.

Spring – Yes it’s only been a week since we had our first snowfall, but unlike in Colorado, it’s going to be here until Spring. The day the last snow melts will be quite exciting.

Four things I’m always saying:

“Anderson, sit down, you’re going to fall.”

“Did you leave your listening ears on your pillow?”

“Good morning I love you” (kids and husband)

“I’m just going to run ….”

I’m supposed to tag people, but eh, share your fours!

The Dawn of a New Decade

30.

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Today I am 30 years old. Remember when that was old, you know, like five years ago? I’d say that I am officially an adult now. I know that I have been for years now, but no longer do I have the excuse of being in my learning about life period.

As I enter this new decade and new phase in my life, it’s fitting that we are now in a new place with a world of opportunity. The opportunity for me to work part-time from home and be more of a full-time mom, find a new ‘dream’ house, make new friends and bond more with my family.

This morning I woke up early to go for a run. To have some me time and think about all that I’ve seen, done and experienced so far. When I got home, Josh had done a little decorating.

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He is excited that I’m finally 30, after me teasing him for years about being in his 30s. After he left for work I got myself cleaned up and was treated to huge birthday hugs from my sweet Ella. I think she is almost as excited as she would be for her own birthday. Of course she was disappointed when I told her we would not be having cake for breakfast.

The rest of the morning we spent at story time where Ella made me a butterfly for me. “It’s a very special day and you need a pink butterfly pretty mommy, Happy birthday, I love you,” she said. Melt my heart.

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I’m sitting in the still of our apartment now. My two biggest accomplishments snoozing away and Lucky at my feet. I think we’ll go to the park this afternoon and bask in the sunshine as we play by a nearby lake before Josh takes us out to dinner after work.

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This is my kind of day.

I thought I would dread hitting 30. You know what? I’m kind of excited about it.

 

A Day in the Life Lately

It’s been quite some time since we’ve done a day in the life post. Now that Anderson is nearly eight months old and Ella inching closer and closer to three (OMG!) here’s a glimpse into how our routines are shaping up.

4 am hour - Yes, it's ungodly early and I'm up. It's been a rough night with both kids. Anderson was up several times and Ella woke us up to tell us she needed to pee, twice. I long slightly for the diaper days and wonder why it is Anderson sleeps like an angel only on weekends. I hop in the shower, put on 90% of my make-up and head downstairs.

4 am hour – Yes, it’s ungodly early and I’m up. It’s been a rough night with both kids. Anderson was up several times and Ella woke us up to tell us she needed to pee, twice. I long slightly for the diaper days and wonder why it is Anderson sleeps like an angel only on weekends. I hop in the shower, put on 90% of my make-up and head downstairs.

5 am hour - Prep for work, nurse Anderson, finish getting dressed and am out the door.

5 am hour – Prep for work, nurse Anderson, finish getting dressed and am out the door.

6 am hour - Arrive at the office. I'm hungry so I warm up my breakfast apple cinnamon and cranberry oatmeal) and eat as I check emails.

6 am hour – Arrive at the office. I’m hungry so I warm up my breakfast (apple cinnamon and cranberry oatmeal) and eat as I check emails.

7 am hour - First pumping session of the day. I bring my laptop with me so that I can answer some of my emails.

7 am hour – First pumping session of the day. I bring my laptop with me so that I can answer some of my emails.

Laptop

8 -10 am hours – Sit through a meeting and it’s time to pump again. I take my snack and laptop with me so that I can eat while I do a module of my content marketing certification course.

Target basket

11 am hour – Another super exciting pumping session followed by writer’s block. I decided it’s the perfect time for a quick trip to Target. I return a few things and try not to accidentally spend $150.

12 pm hour - I'm so proud of myself for making it past 11:15 before eating my lunch. Leftovers...so exciting.

12 pm hour – I’m so proud of myself for making it past 11:15 before eating my lunch. Leftover BBQ chicken and spinach, artichoke and quinoa casserole…so exciting.

Cube

1-2 pm hours – Wrap up my day with another meeting, verify my flight and hotel for a last minute trade show I’m attending at the end of the week, and more emails. I swear the emails never end.

3 pm hour - I'm back in the car and off to get my kiddos. I try to get there by 4 so that I get as much time with them in the evening as possible.

3 pm hour – I’m back in the car and off to get my kiddos. I try to get there by 4:15 so that I get as much time with them in the evening as possible.

Kids playing on the floor

4 pm hour – We’re home! The kids play while I make dinner.

5 pm hour - We all sit at the table for dinner. This is one of my favorite times of day because we catch up on everyone's day. Ella generally induces laughter from Anderson who is babbling away while he tries out the new food of the day.

5 pm hour – We all sit at the table for dinner. This is one of my favorite times of day because we catch up on everyone’s day. Ella generally induces laughter from Anderson who is babbling away while he tries out the new food of the day.

Reading to Ella

6 pm hour – It’s bedtime for Anderson – diaper change, jammies and we’re ready to head upstairs to rock and nurse. Josh and Ella play and start her bedtime routine.

7 pm  hour - Bedtime for Ella. We follow these easy steps and pray that she'll fall asleep by 9.

7 pm hour – Bedtime for Ella. We go through these easy steps and pray that she’ll fall asleep by 9.

8 pm hour - With both kids in bed, I'm off to the gym for my run.

8 pm hour – With both kids in bed, I’m off to the gym for my run. I’m not the only one who loves watching Food Network while exercising am I?

9 pm hour - Arrive home and start prepping for the next day. I transfer milk into Anderson's bottles for daycare, pack up a solid of some kind for him and make my breakfast/lunch. Hop in the shower to rinse before getting into bed.

9 pm hour – Arrive home and start prepping for the next day. I transfer milk into Anderson’s bottles for daycare, pack up a solid of some kind for him and make my breakfast/lunch. Hop in the shower to rinse before getting into bed.

10 pm hour - Yes, I'm in bed! Shit is that Anderson crying? Ok, quick nursing session and I'm off to sleep.

10 pm hour – Yes, I’m in bed! Shit is that Anderson crying? Ok, quick nursing session and I’m off to sleep.