Upgrading from 1 year to 2 years old

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Cadence turned 2 years old on September 29th, and I can still hardly believe that she’s grown so much. It seems like last year I was a newly postpartum momma trying to figure things out. But actually a lot has changed between last year and the year before. Here are the top 10 things that are different between Cadence’s first year and second year.
  1. It gets more fun. I thought that I’d miss my tiny little baby, but I love experiencing every new thing that Cadence learns. We seem to have accelerated as she’s learned to communicate better, and I love every sweet little syllable out of her mouth.
  2. Breastfeeding doesn’t have to stop at one year. In my head I thought we’d be stopping at one year because that’s kind of what society says. But Cadence never got the memo, and she’s kept up nursing like a champ. I stopped pumping at 16 months (I was donating milk to my sister’s adopted son), but Cadence kept up nursing after daycare, before bed, sometimes during the night, and in the morning. It works really well for us, and I love it.
  3. Daycare doesn’t get easier. In fact, I think it gets harder. Back to #1, this phase is more fun than ever, and Cadence is learning so much! It kind of breaks my heart that I am not as big of an influence on her little life as I’d like to be. She comes home singing songs that I don’t know, and she already knows her ABCs and 123s like a star.
  4. Sleep might not happen until Cadence leaves for college. Just kidding. But Cadence still doesn’t sleep through the night most nights. I’m getting waaaaay more sleep than I used to, and I’m really ok with getting up with her. There is nothing better than a sleepy baby in your arms, and she won’t be a baby very much longer. When Cadence was <1 year old, I felt guilty and judged that I couldn’t get my baby to sleep through the night. Now I embrace it and feel really confident in the way that we have chosen to parent.
  5. Training is still possible. So far, Cadence has just rolled with my schedule. She used to play in the pack and play while I ran, but these days, she mostly just sits there and reads. ❤ We sing in the stroller, and she points out all of the puppies. Training definitely looks different with a toddler, but it’s more than possible, and it’s actually a really fun experience (see #1).
  6. Goals can still be big. I chased a few big goals after Cadence turned one year old (sub 3 hour marathon, 100k in Oregon), and it was really good for me to have something outside of mom and office to pursue. It takes support from a wonderful spouse to make these dreams happen with a baby, but that makes it even more rewarding.
  7. Your support system changes. When I had a newborn, I was plugged into a breastfeeding group, and I attended postpartum workout classes. After the first year, there aren’t any types of groups for mommas to plug into, especially for working mommas. I’m so thankful for the support that I had as a new momma because there is surely a lot to learn, but I think it’s kind of interesting that we don’t have more support for mommas of toddlers. Maybe there would be more extended breastfeeding if that were the case?
  8. My friendships are richer now than they were before. Maybe as the support groups have faded away, I’ve started to depend more on my girlfriends, but I have a few key friendships that I depend on daily for support. I hope that every momma has this in their lives.
  9. Discipline is a thing you have to start thinking about. As perfect as Cadence is, she isn’t perfect. Haha. Toddlers start to understand discipline around the age of 18 months. We try to limit our “no” and redirect when possible, but if Cadence blatantly disobeys, we do timeout. This is partly for her protection. We need for her to obey if she’s in a dangerous situation. It’s also a way to set the tone for an easy relationship in our future.
  10. The people in Cadence’s life really matter.  They mattered when she was one, but now she knows them and she interacts with them. She’s a little sponge! I am so thankful that we found a daycare that we love. Cadence’s teachers love on her and teach her so much. Cadence also gets to see her grandparents all the time. It’s so special that she knows them and has a special relationship with them. It’s not lost on me that so many people make an effort to love on our baby, and I am so so thankful!

Anyone else have something they would add? Am I in for even bigger changes in the next year?

Choosing Joy (in running and social media)

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Cadence will say “cheese” just once for the camera and after that, she’s done. 👶😂 Quick family run after work tonight. 🙌. It’s one of my very favorite things to do. ❤️ Love tank full. ✔️ Maggie even got to join because it’s just a tad cooler lately. 🐕

Lately I have seen a few people write posts about how “fake” everyone is on social media and how we only post the good stuff. I don’t know that I think it’s such a bad thing to write about all of the good stuff going on in our lives. Do you? As runners, we know more than anything that the mental side to running and life is more than half the battle. If we look at all of the good in our lives, it’s got to make the dark days look a little brighter, right?

Don’t get me wrong, I think transparency and honesty are great with the right medium and the right audience. But I really think it’s pretty great to post our good days and smiley babies on social media. Sometimes I start to write something about a crummy day, and then I realize as I type it out how incredibly blessed I am. Who am I to complain that I had a bad night of sleep with my baby? I have a friend who just lost her baby. I’m going to enjoy waking up with Cadence until I’m blurry eyed.

I have posted some of my tougher days on Instagram, mostly involving Cadence and being a working mom.  Even then, I feel a little trite because I have an amazing job (I work for my dad) and I have amazing co-workers (who all support my passions).  Don’t get me wrong, I think reaching out when you are struggling is a great way to use our community.  I have gotten SO MUCH support from the community of runners and mommas!!! But I don’t feel like it’s fake to not post about every headache and traffic jam. I’d just rather post about the delicious cake that I’m eating or morning baby snuggles.  🙂

I also think it makes us better runners to focus on the positive things in our lives. Daily stress is just as bad as the cumulative stress of training. I’m sure that I’ll have days when I just want to complain, and I know that this community of runners will be so supportive to lift me up and cheer me on, but in the meantime, I’m choosing joy when I can.

Philippians 4:4-7 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

What do you think? Is it fake to not post the good and the bad?

I mean, how can I complain when I’ve got this cuteness right beside me?!

Happy Days, Marriage, and Running

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My husband just celebrated his 33rd birthday this past weekend, and I couldn’t help but reflect on my life with him. I attribute so much of how easy marriage feels to Jon’s personality and constant pursuit of growth. We’ve been married 7+ years, and while we’ve had seasons where we both grew, it’s always been a team effort and I always trusted that things were going to get better through the trials. We’ve had 7 years to get to this place, and it’s pretty great.

We were talking last night, and Jon said that before he responds to adversity, he always tries to determine if it’s worth getting rattled over. He applies this in his career and personal life, and I think it’s such a good approach. We already have so many demands and stresses on our lives; why add more stress than is needed? If we just stop and think before responding, often we might decide to relax and let a few more things go.

This blog is about running, and there is so much application here.  How many times do we get caught up in our training plan, adding up the miles, and tracking all of the paces?  Injuries pretty quickly put things into perspective, as do lousy races (been there, done that).  Jon is absolutely excellent at what he does, but he is one of the most easy going and fun people to be around. He is most definitely my happy place. It’s a good reminder to me that I can still pursue big things without getting too caught up in rules and the plan (toddlers are also a good reminder of that–ha!). Thankfully I have a husband who supports my pursuit of big things and stands in as cheerleader, pacer, crew member, etc when I need him.

Running, just like marriage, has the moments where you are thrilled to be alive, and the days when you put in the work because you know that the outcome is so incredibly worth it. Cadence somehow learned “happy birthday to you” as “happy day to you” and I think it’s perfect. Every day is a happy day. 🙂

P.S. My parents just celebrated their 40th (FORTIETH) wedding anniversary!  Talk about an example!

Have you learned a lot about yourself through marriage? Does your partner support your running?

Easy Peasy: training with easy days

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Whew! 💦 I never thought I’d say this, but I’m ready for winter.☀️Today was a fartlek workout day that ended up being 13 miles round and round my favorite hilly park.🏃‍♀️By the time I was passing the same (walking) people the 5th and 6th time, they started cheering for me. 😂 And I got home just in time for my husband to hand off a dressed and fed baby so I could rush off to daycare drop off and work. ❤️ Have I mentioned that I have the best husband who shows me love by supporting my crazy running passion?! 😍

If you’ve followed along with my journey this past summer, you know that I’ve changed up my approach to training and I’ve decided to go coach-less for right now. The biggest change in my training approach is that instead of doing practically all of my runs at intensity with my former coach, I now have easy runs in my schedule too. I do about 3 harder effort runs a week and all of the rest are easy. Today was a fartlek run, which is a harder effort, but tomorrow, I’ll be back to easy to let my body recover.

It’s been a bit of a transition for me to embrace and understand what truly feels easy, but it’s starting to feel more normal. And get this, I’m a lot happier. My weeks don’t feel like they drag on from workout to workout (every single day), and I have margin to be flexible and run with the stroller or exchange a run for cross training if I feel like it.

Practically every training book will espouse the value of the easy run.  One of my favorites is Matt Fitzgerald’s 80/20 Running. He backs up all of his reasoning with research, and he gives a really great explanation for how to determine zones based on rate of perceived effort or heart rate.

Here’s a really great article by Runner’s Connect discussing the merits of the easy run.  Check out the table at the end of the article where it discusses the paces where capillary development, mitochondria production, and myoglobin content increase.

For a summary, easy runs:

  • help build up the aerobic system to utilize glycogen for energy more efficiently
  • allow the body to adapt and repair from hard runs
  • give the mind a body a break from stress and high impact
  • increase the number of capillaries surrounding muscles to transport oxygen more easily
  • increase myoglobin and mitochondria, which help provide more oxygen and energy

If you need further convincing or a good reminder (like me sometimes) about keeping easy easy, check out this podcast interview of David Roche on TriSpecific. Roche describes an athlete who wasn’t reaching her potential, and they couldn’t figure out why until they strapped on a HR monitor. As soon as she slowed down her paces and let her heart rate drop, she started seeing results.

What’s your philosophy on easy runs?

Back to shuffling, and my favorite running beats that will make you faster

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I’m trying to figure out what an easy run feels like. 🤔My last plan did everything at intensity. 😬 This morning was another easy at 6 miles. My shins started to feel a little sore again yesterday. 😖 So between figuring out easy and injury prevention, I’m glad that I have the option to cross train! 🚴‍♀️How do you guys decide what to run through and when to scale back? 😳

Yay! My wonderful husband found my shuffle wedged between my driver seat and the console. I swear I had looked all over my car. He’s my hero!

I mentioned yesterday that I like to listen to podcasts during strength work and other down time, but I really love to listen to fast music when I run. I started listening to a program called MotionTraxx a few years ago, and now that’s pretty much all I listen to. You can choose the beats per minute to download, and I always choose 180+.  They have several different playlists to choose on itunes to make it really easy.  For easy runs, I’ll mix in easy pop music for fun, but if I need to hit a hard workout or race, I always listen to MotionTraxx. The music is mostly instrumental fast beat, and you don’t have to think about anything (do I like this song? etc).

Check them out for free here and let me know what you think! I promise you will run faster if you listen to this music!

Do you listen to music when you run? Lately we’ve been playing children’s music in the basement.

No more shuffling and my favorite running podcasts

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Sunday worship before Sunday worship. ❤️🏃‍♀️⛪ 8 stroller miles with my little sidekick. 👶 I “officially” started marathon training again today for a late October race, and it feels good to have a goal! 🎉 I’m changing things up and trying to learn what works best for me this cycle. 🤗 Looking forward to easy days, baby days, cross training days, and lots of grace in the process!

I lost my shuffle somehow last week, and I realize how much I miss music and podcasts! Also, I happened to lose my shuffle just as apple decided to discontinue that perfect little running device. Nooooo! I listen to running podcasts while I do strength work, driving, doing menial chores, etc. I really prefer music when I run instead of podcasts, but I know that a lot of people pass the time of long runs with their favorite podcast host.

Here are my favorite podcasts right now:

I’ll Have Another by Lindsey Hein

Running for Real by Tina Muir

Runner’s Connect

Endurance Planet by Tawnee Prazak Gibson

The Science of Ultra by Shawn Beardon

Trail Runner Nation

Ultra Runner Podcast by Eric Schranz

There are several newer podcasts that I haven’t had a chance to check out yet, but as soon as I have a new listening device, I’ll be diving in!

Do you have a favorite to add to the list?

 

 

 

A TMI PSA

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I had planned to go for an hour on the bike this morning, but I heard a tiny voice calling my name as I was heading downstairs, and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity for morning snuggles AND a workout buddy. 👶 Being a working mom and training can be a hard balance, but thankfully, we’ve found ways to make it work for our family. ❤️ I couldn’t do it without the support of my husband (who came and rescued Cadence so that she’d get breakfast today 😁). 50 minutes on the bike today with a few speed intervals to get the legs burning. 🚴‍♀️

This post might be a little too much information, but ladies, consider it a public service announcement. (Honestly, we all know that there is never TMI when you are a runner or a mom. haha) A few cycles ago I started using the Diva Cup after reading this article written by Clare Gallagher, who I respect for her success in running.

My period returned 14 months postpartum, even though I have continued to breastfeed. This is the first time in years that I have had a normal cycle without the influence of birth control, so I’m getting to learn my body and see how my hormones affect me day to day and in running. Here’s a blog post about how the menstrual cycle affects our running performance. (The SF Marathon was as a high hormone phase for me; you can’t always plan your races around your cycle. Guys don’t know how good they have it!)

Anyway, back to the point of this post. I started using the Diva cup a few months ago, and it’s a total game changer. I don’t have to worry about the chemicals that are in tampons, I don’t have to change anything all throughout the day, and I am way more comfortable using a menstrual cup. It’s also cheaper than having to buy tampons and pads. The menstrual cup can stay inserted for up to 12 hours without leakage, and you won’t notice it at all.  It’s almost like you aren’t on your period. I have not altered any of my runs using the menstrual cup, it doesn’t leak, and it is waaaaay more comfortable than any tampon ever dreamed to be.

Apparently these are all the rage in Europe, and I understand why! There are different brands of menstrual cups, and I’ve only tried the Diva cup. Anyway, just had to share with you. ❤

Anybody else tried the Diva cup?