Saturday, October 6, 2012

Taking a day off

Night #2 of my six-night stretch: I woke up at my usual time, 2PM, but I didn't really sleep all that hot today. For starters, some electric/gas line/community Bob the Builders decided that today was the day that they were going to wage war on some buried something-or-other, which then lead to my in-laws' dog sitting RIGHT OUTSIDE of our bedroom barking.


So while I did go to bed at 8AM like usual, my trusty six hours of slumber wasn't exactly the most restful. And for the most part, I do all right when that happens. I work 12-hour shifts, (which I really do prefer), and in the nursing profession, by the time you clock in and get report, essentially you're already behind the eight-ball; the 12 hours you get is pretty much a giant race-against-the-clock trying to get your meds in on time, complete that health history on the Alzheimer's nursing home resident that came up right in the middle of hanging your antibiotic that is a timed start because it requires a peak and trough, taking your fresh post-op to the bathroom while you hold your own bladder, trying to coordinate what you're going to order out for supper because the pizza place closes in 15 minutes and ICU still needs to place their order because everyone is tired and no one packed a lunch...

And people think nursing is a glamour job...

So 2PM I woke up, threw on my favorite "granny sweater", (an old lavender chenille hoody that I putz around the house in), and while my Keurig was firing up some hot water for some Rocket Fuel, I got the computer going while I trekked outside in 50 degrees of cloudy, windy, damp overcast.

"Wonder what's in the mail today?" I mumbled to myself, shuffling down the sandy driveway in my baggy sweats and 5-year old Asics that I REFUSE to throw out. (Good mailing-retrieving shoes, I reason).

Opening the box while trying to avoid our resident wolf spider that I SWEAR is trying to stealth-bomber its little way into my house via my Victoria's Secret catalogs, my anticipation mounts as I hope for maybe an edition of "Fitness", "Shape", maybe perhaps "Oxygen" magazines. Upon finding "Better Homes and Gardens", and a bunch of political mailers, (I will be thrilled when this election is over), I trek the 0.08 miles back up into the house to move on to the next important slice of my pre-work day: Rocket Fuel.

My Keurig machine is my little slice of Heaven. A 26th birthday gift from my future in-laws, it is a God's physical incarnation of all things Holy to a night-shifter. And since I'm the only one in the house that consumes either Rocket Fuel or coffee, it's really worth it's weight in gold.

After making my old stand-by cup size selections, (one large cup with one small cup in my Port Huron coffee mug), my hot water jet-streams out of the machine to douse my two green tea bags and steep until room temp. "Rocket Fuel" is my nick-name for my Andrea-special brew of green tea. "Pour hot water over a single tea bag and steep for 2-5 minutes", says the instructions on a green tea box.


My recipe involves 2 tea bags steeping in boiling hot water until the mixture reaches room temp, (or my caffeine headache gets bad enough), and the tea itself is no longer green but rather an olive brown with a skin floating across the top. (For the record, I am completely convinced that the "skin" is actually a collection of super-potent antioxidants). Once the tea has achieved brown-skin perfection, then and only then is it deemed worthy of the "Rocket Fuel" moniker.

Usually it only takes one cup of Rocket Fuel to get my jets ignited. After a cup, I'm usually tapping my foot rapidly on the floor, my hands are sweaty, my eyelids basically glued to my eyebrows and my pupils dilated. My creative juices flowing, my energy picking up a notch, and after peeing about 5-6 times in an hour, I'm ready to go for a run.

And people think coffee is the way to go...

But today, even after my Rocket Fuel, after wading through wedding planner e-mails, printing off documents that my fiance and I need to sign, finally making a last-minute decision on our wedding favors and placing that order, fiddling around on Facebook and Pinterest, (don't judge me--that's my reward for getting through the e-mails!), I sit here, working away as a wanna-be freelance writer and committed runner, and yet...

...I'm not feeling it. My foot is jiggling, my hands sweaty, my eyes open and my whole body on alert, I sit. Waxing poetic about the wonders of Rocket Fuel, but with no desire whatsoever to make it happen. My Achilles tendons are a litte tight and sore, I have a crick in my back and physically every joint in my body is telling me that "today is not the day." 

And here I sit, Fueled up, antsy, but enjoying the peace and quiet that my rapid-fire typing is sporadically breaking up. So today, I'm taking the day off.

Starting the next stretch

Today I woke up around 12:30. To the average 9-5'er, that probably sounds incredibly lazy. And to those that would know that my fiance had been awake and hard at work harvesting corn since 4AM, that probably sounds ridiculously lazy.

But if we turn the tables, and think about in terms of nightshift, 12:30 is actually quite early, especially when you consider that I had to be at work from 6PM-6AM.

But when you can't sleep, you can't sleep. So I woke up. I checked my e-mail, reviewed some wedding planning information, played around on Facebook for a while, drank my vanilla protein shake, my Rocket Fuel, (my beloved green tea), and eventually checked my Weather Channel app.

At 3PM, I finally headed out the door for a 4-mile run. And I will be honest: after yesterday's 8-miler, it was brutal. Very brutal. After not really sleeping good, the chill in the air, the wind, and the fact that I just...really didn't feel like it, (in reality I would've preferred to sit inside and enjoy the last cupcake leftover from my bridal shower), that impending 4 miles seemed like torture. So I made myself a promise: "just finish the first mile. If you still feel like crap, you can at least turn back around and be back home in 8 minutes." So I took off, the wind in my face, (and down my long-sleeve fleece), "Tootsie Roll" turning my feet over.

At 3:10PM,  I was into Mile 2 and blew my farmin' fiance a nice little kiss as I ran by him, sitting in the semi, waiting for his next fill.

At 3:15PM I slowed back down, grateful that I had finally passed out of his sight. (Yeah, I do it, too; when I pass people I know I kick it up a notch.) The wind was pretty brisk; Weather Channel said it was only 53 degrees, and it was pretty overcast. For 3 out of my 4 miles, I was straight into a cold headwind that was akin to having someone's icy freezer-fingers tickling me right under the chin.

And like running into a wall. Yup...headwind into a wall.

But the pep in my step returned as I entered Mile 3, and my chilly-willy-nilly run warmed up a little bit as I changed directions from the wind, and the pavement under my feet was flat, smooth and otherwise a welcome break from having to constantly ditch rocks, stones, gravel and my new seasonal broken-bone favorite: walnuts. I managed to maintain a good 8:00-8:30 mile pace, and after I turned down my road, my pace picked back up even more, (so much in fact I actually had to unzip my quarter-zip to allow some of my steam to escape), and I finished strong, grateful that I forced myself out.

And at 3:36 I was finishing my cool-down walk.

4PM spawned my get-ready-to-nurse-all-night shower and get ready routine. (Hair, make-up, what super-baggy scrubs I plan on wearing).

4:30PM I'm packing my lunch and heating up my Lean Cuisine.

In between all this, I'm thinking about what work-outs I need to get in for the week-end, what mileage total I want to accomplish, when I'm going to suck it up and spend an afternoon inside with one of my Jillian Micheals strength DVDs, how I'm going to squeeze in a relatively appropriate amount of sleep over the next 6 nights, when I might get to at least see my fiance face-to-face...and on...and on...and on...

And I don't even have any kids!

At 5:30PM I'm packing up my truck and heading out the door to start my 20 min drive in. As I drove, contemplating today's run, I got to thinking about my most obvious point, and that would be that my routines during my "work-week" isn't always the most conducive to most standard training plans, and really, that's okay. Example? My training schedule dictated that today (Saturday) I was supposed to do 8 miles, but knowing full well that I probably wouldn't sleep the best, that it was going to be the second night of six, and (duh!), today was forecasting wind and rain, I did my eight earlier this week. And then squeezed four in earlier, and will probably do my DVD, (or take today as a rest day, who knows?), today. At the end of the week, as long as the miles get done, and done in way that I can at least part of, if not all, of them, then you know what? That's okay. I have figured out that most training plans are written for the "9-5'ers", who aren't working at 1:30AM on a Saturday night. So as a shout-out to all my fellow night-shift runners who have an "off day" with their training.

Just like this entry, my training may seem a little unorthodox, a little disjointed, a little screwy at times, but that's life.

And I like my life.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Something old, something new

Sometimes the oldest, most worn in items can be the comforting. Whether it be a favorite pair of jeans, (or in my case, my fiance's old sweats), a cherished pair of shoes, or the old trusty-rusty that never fails to start and get my ass to work and back, sometimes the oldies are the goodies. And in the case of facing the longest run that I've ever attempted since I made that first step out of the driveway 7 months ago, today I needed the comfort of a faithful route, sans surprises.

According to the "training plan" that I've been following, (and by that I mean, using as a general guide, as my nocturnal source of gainful employment isn't always the most conducive to following a strict, day-by-outlined-day plan), my long run was supposed to be an 8-miler. And since I work six 12-hour shifts starting tomorrow night, I decided that today was probably my best option. So this afternoon, I lounged around, resting and elevating my legs, drank a couple cups of rocket fuel, (double-bagged green tea, to those that haven't had the pleasure of tasting my preferred caffeined brew of choice), and down-loaded a few new songs to the old IPod before obsessively checking my Weather Channel app. Finally, at 3PM on the dot, I hit the gravel roads.

I ran in shorts and tee-shirt, and the warm 70-degree October air felt almost playful against my bare legs as I consciensiously kept my pace at a plodding 9-minute mile. The familiar old rolling hills felt like ant mounds under my optimistically chipper legs, (and this was despite running a hilly 6 miles the day before), and as I trucked happily along, the sounds of "Whoomp! There It Is!" playing background to the Fall breeze, I felt good.

Really good. Like...eerily good.

Coming up the final uphill climb, rounding the corner to start mile 2 felt awesome. The wind was head-on, but rather than starting an inner argumentative prayer dialogue with the Man Upstairs, I embraced the breeze as it played with the hem of my running skirt, cooling me off. Mile 2 is rather easy; a relatively flat course, with gravel to cushion my joints, and very little traffic to spook me, Mile 2 takes me gently out of my warm-up and eases me into my stride. My feet felt even lighter, the familiarity of every little divot, every little rock and walnut tree dropping little walnut babies helped to alleviate any niggling little apprehension that "I can't do 8 miles...what the hell am I thinking?!" The familiarity and proximity to the house also helped to calm me; IF I couldn't finish, at least I was roughly only a few miles from home.

In other words, less "walk of shame" distance to cover.

With Weird Al waxing poetic about an "Amish Paradise", I struck pavement to begin Mile 3. Miles 3, 4 & 5 held true to their faithful promise of reverberating solidity, no rocks to watch for, no free-roaming dogs, and lots of neighbors that know who my fiance is, and what he drives. (I have this irrational fear of 1: being kidnapped, and 2: being chased by dogs. In fact, my best friend bought me a pink can of pepper spray for my bridal shower). As I blew right through miles 3 & 4, I was really still feeling quite good. Still pretty awesome, in fact. Really digging the pavement, enjoying the way my Brooks Adrenalines took the pounding with stride, (no pun intended), and answered back with a resounding rebound, I floated through the final 2 miles of the first half of my long run.

Then...came Mile 5. I hit my half-way turn-around, (told you I stayed close to the house), and about a 1/4 mile into Mile 5 the pavement no longer seemed fun anymore, my "rebound" became a shock that echoed all the way up into my left iliotibial band and finished off my left hip like a struck tuning fork. And then to take my mind of the nagging little ache, I thought about the bacon cheeseburger and Pabst Blue Ribbon--

S@&! Hungry, too, aren't we?

So now with a sore IT band, and daydreams of a cheeseburger in paradise, I plodded along, still feeling my music, still enjoying myself, (for the most part), and still thankful that I was able to be out in God's creation, marveling over the vibrant, firey Central Michigan fall colors. Finishing Mile 5 was pretty epic; I didn't turn off to take my typical route, which would've ended in a respectable 6 miles.

But  that wasn't what I was after today!

I made it through Mile 6 under the comfort of it being part of my trusty familiar route; every house, every tree, every change in the view over the horizon felt predictable and safe. And when I saw the road sign for Briggs road, I became happy and less in tune with my physical discomforts and more elated that I had just 2 more miles to go.

Going into Mile 7 wasn't bad at all. The first 1/2 of Mile 7 was pretty much run on knowing that "Oh my gosh--only a mile and a half to go!" Again, I relied on the familiarity of my route, the knowledge of what was up ahead allowing me to concentrate on other facets imperative to "making it through".

I focused on my breathing. While I do run with an IPod Touch, I only have the volume high enough to provide a little ambience; background noise, if you will. I can get lost in my music, but I like being able to hear my footfalls, my breathing, traffic, would-be kidnappers, and murderous canines. And today was no exception; I focused on every breath, and concentrated on landing my my mid-foot, trying to keep my steps quick and light.

Soon enough, Mile 8 loomed. Mile 8 was familiar, but not in a comforting, "let me hold you to my bosom, little runner"-kind of a way. Mile 8 is The Climb Back Home. Mile 8 is rolling hills, but a constant upgrade, so even while going downhill, I still have to propel myself UPHILL. Mile 8, in a word, is bitch.

So I concentrated on "Tootsie Roll", and beat it out!

Every big rolling upgrade I took on with the gritted-teeth determination of knowing that this, THIS mile is my LAST ONE! My aches and pains, my hunger, my dried slimy spit in the corners of my mouth be damned! I had this bitch, and I was going to slay the beast! So I picked up the pace; screw  "mid-foot strides and quick, light turnover"! I wanted to finish strong! I called upon every ounce of energy I had left in my tank. I marvelled at the beauty of the trees, but only the ones 1/4 mile ahead of me. I didn't have the energy to sight-see like I did earlier, coming into my run. I counted the hills, knowing that after the first two, I only had the "triplets", as I called them. The final three big hills that I needed to conquer before I was done. In the distance I heard my in-laws' dog barking sharply, welcoming me home.

I called out to her. "Alicia-Dog, c'mon, pupster, bring me home!"

She bolted out of the woods, tail wagging, nose in the air, braying out her sheer happiness at running. Watching my familiar little friend, I suddenly found the last little bit of fumes that I punched through my injectors, and finished the newest, most unfamiliar distance I had ever completed. I threw my hands in the air, and finished the last 3 steps of 8 miles with a skipping high leap, elated, over-joyed.

Something old had taken me to something completely brand new.

The Day I Left the Driveway

It was a good day. A hot one, (we had a really hot, dry summer here in Central MI), and according to the Weather Channel app on my Droid, it was currently 92 degrees at 3PM.

"Sports bra and shorts," I muttered to myself, rifling through the basket of clean laundry that hadn't been folded in over a week. "Maybe I should just take the day off and fold," I reasoned with myself, using the rationale that I had worked the last 3 nights and was due to go in that night. "I'm sure taking 20 minutes to fold would be time well-spent," I continued, dialoguing with myself in my head as I paused long enough to really savor my central air and loose cotton sweats. But taking a deep breath as I leaned against the unfinished archway, (we have  a few little home improvements to do), I took a big yawn, and quickly shucked my beloved Liberty Mutual tee and 3-sizes-too-big Hanes drawstrings into the clean laundry pile. (I'll put them right back on when I come home from work in 16 hours)! Once the delicious chill of my air conditioned house hit my skin, I immediately burst into my aqua bra and purple running shorts before the goose-flesh could form microscopic speed-bumps across my frame.

"Well, 3 o'clock," I said to myself, (I was the only one home, and you know you talk to yourself, too!), "Guess I could check Facebook one last time before I head out."

Plopping down at the kitchen table one last time was easy; unfortunately, I have the CUTEST nephew in the world 200 miles away, and that devil Facebook allows me a little window into his life between trips to visit. Making the excuse to take "another 5 minutes" is always something I struggle with.

After 15 minutes ticks by, Judgement Hour arrives. "Now or never," I sigh to myself, staring woefully at my watch. I feel the sleep deprivation tickling like a little fog in my brain; nightshift as an RN is secretly great, (less peeps, less stress-for the most part-, more time with patients and education), but not-so-secretly great because we are CONSTANTLY playing cock-fight with our Circadian Rhythms.

At the end of the day, (or night!), it just depends what you value more. Hanging with your patients being all chill and relaxed, or sleeping like a normal human being.

I took one last swig of my Diet Pepsi Max, (love that stuff!), and pushed off from the table. Walking over to the currently-quiet pellet stove, I pulled on my I-Pod touch, and shoved my Asics 2170's on. 

Outside the damp heat hit me like a warm pizza stone fresh out of the oven, and as the unseasonable warmth pushed its suffocating weight upon me, I flirted with the thought of going back inside and checking Facebook again. And folding laundry. "I could fold laundry. In the air conditioning" I told myself, squinting into the sun.

But the reality that I had a form-fitting wedding dress wrapped nicely in a garment bag, sitting on my guest bed upstairs hit me hard, and with begrudgement suitable for election year campaign commercials and movie stars that "lost all the baby in two weeks just by breast-feeding and eating everything I wanted," I hit "play" on the 'Pod, and began my warm-up jog up and down the driveway.

Listening to the Black-Eyed Peas sing praises about my "humps, lady-lumps, and bumps" improved my mood slightly, until I saw the bright blue of my  best friend's fiance's pick-up turning the corner. I tried my best to make it look like it wasn't what it was; I waved big and heaved out a wheezy, "Hi, Jason!", and put a little extra kick in my step (that I totally did NOT feel!), to make it appear like I was just...oh, hell, it was what it looked like. Here I was, 28 years old, running back and forth in my driveway, throwing around 10# dumbbells and lying to myself about it being a "work-out."

I looked, (and was), quite pathetic.

And when things looked quite sad enough, then my future in-laws drove by, waving happily from their air-conditioned Jetta.

"F&#% this!" I gasped, approaching my now-ridiculous-looking dumbbells waiting for me by our walk-out basement door. The black neoprene was probably 150 degrees to the touch by now, sitting out in the sun, and my purple yoga mat looked positively wilted, a far cry from their original, full-of-toning-promise state when I had first set them out earlier in the day.

I paused at this decrepit station of depression, feeling at my lowest point, totally starting to doubt if I could really keep up this whole Utopian idea of "at-home, on the cheap fitness". Surely an air-conditioned gym with all sorts of bright, shiny new toys and fun colors would be much more inspiring, (if not less degrading), than killing myself outside in this heat while the whole neighborhood drives by watching me like a gorilla at the zoo.

As I stared down the driveway, wondering about the meaning of life, Miranda Lambert's "Gunpowder and Lead" came through my earbuds, and after entertaining a brief daydream of ceremoniously throwing my dumbbells through my living room window as a proverbial "f%&# you" to my crack-pot theory of "at-home fitness", I began to feel the music, and my mood lifted considerably. And while I wish I could sit here at my kitchen table, and wax poetic about how "the music carried my now-joyful body and spirit gracefully down the driveway with my blond ponytail bobbing happily in my wake", reality would have it such that I decided then with controlled resolve, (and the security that if my plan didn't work out, I could always turn back around like I had been for 3 months and run back down the driveway and right into my usual safe and trusty exercise routine), that I would...


So I took off. With Miranda by my side and in my head, I put one foot in front of the other at pace quicker than a fast walk, until I made it to end of the 0.08 mile driveway, and then...


After God didn't smite me, the world didn't end, and the Earth didn't drop off into some vast wilderness of unknown, I began to become more rhythmic with my gait.

In other words, I started out way too fast, and had to slow down or die.

And my world opened up. 92 degrees of straight, relentless, breeze-less sunny humidity became 92 degrees of heat, but I created my own breeze. And sweat. Sweat does lend quite the helping-hand in maintaining body temperature when you're moving in one direction quickly.

As I plodded along my gravel road, I learned what "hills" truly are. (We have several sections of decent rollers in our area). I hollered, (well, wheezed), brief words of greeting to the beef cattle pastured by our house, and took some enjoyment as some of the calves allowed their curiosity to take the better of them and approach the fence to get a better look at this sweating, wheezing stranger who is smiling like a kid on Christmas as she runs downhill...

...and swears like a sailor as she gets smacked in the face by the uphill.

But as my best friend's house came into view, and I realized I had just run a half-mile ON THE ROAD, OUTSIDE THE DRIVEWAY, I became elated. "Good girl!" I hollered to my in-laws little black mutt Alicia, (who happens to my second best friend), who ran up next to me, tail wagging. Slowing down a little as I approached Sara and Jason's house, I let Alicia find a happy trot and we paced on up the road, soon passing my neighbor's house, ready to take on the next set of rollers. And it was then that I realized that all my time with the "pathetic 10# weights" truly came in handy as I wondered what the fire in my ass going uphill is going to do for the overall shape of my booty in a couple of weeks. In other words, uphill requires some hard-ass work!

And about 45 seconds later, going downhill, did I realize what the noun "quadriceps" truly means. Oh, and "gravel road", as I twisted my foot in my vain first attempt at "running". 

But we trekked on, me and the dog, with the world suddenly at our feet, (literally), and our little eyes opened much wider than we ever thought possible. And when we hit the final uphill, (and I was convinced my ass was about to give out),  we met the intersection of the next road and I realized with sudden ecstasy, "Alicia-Jo...we RAN A MILE!" So to finish our journey, we turned around, and with joy in our hearts, started the downhill leg back home, learning quickly that when going for that first run while relying on an aerobic base laid solid through cycling is noble, it's not always the best plan...

Alicia and I moved forward with the fast-slow pace of beginning runners, (well, her excuse was there was stuff in the weeds, and in the woods alongside the road that she had to go and explore), tackling the backside of the rolling hills we just battled coming up the road. The second time around? I relied more and more on my music and Alicia's bobbing little trot to keep pushing me along. Every step became harder and harder, and I could've SWORN the hills were steeper, longer, and the gravel looser on the way back! God really WAS trying to smite me!

So I battled on, using the beat of Meredith Brooks' "Bitch" to keep me moving, as the sun seemed like it was getting hotter, and I began an inner argumentative dialogue with God. Just when I was cresting yet another killer mf-er of a hill and about to give my closing argument with the Man Upstairs, my house came into view, nestled coolly into the arms of a downhill.

"C'mon, 'Licia-dog!" I wheezed, the heat and sun making me a little dizzy. "Let's get this!"

And got it, we did. Alicia knew we were close, and even though she happens to be an almost all-black short-hair mutt, she kicked it up a notch and picked up her dainty little feet, making the whole journey look effortless, inspiring me to pick up the pace as my quads burned on the downhill. As we tore into the damnable driveway, both of us panting, drooling, tongues hanging out, fleshing slapping wetly against itself, I suddenly understood what inspires women to have more than one child. After the pain, the pooring of sweat, the agony, the ripping of muscles, the pain in my lungs, the fact still remained:


The horror was soon forgotten; all the discomfort was (almost!), a distant memory by the time we climbed the stairs back into the air-conditioning to enjoy a drink of water in a cool, climate-controlled environment. And like women with more than one child, these two girls right here quickly replaced with suffering with the joyful memories of knowing that today, we tackled those two miles together, and like women with more than one child...

...we couldn't wait to do it again.

Operation: Tinkerbell may now commence!

...Here we are, almost 4 months since my last post. And judging by the fact that when I logged in, I only had 128 views since my last post, I'm thinking the world didn't miss my blatherings too much. But change is good, and hopefully my new views from the window of my living room will be enough to inspire you, and maybe perhaps help you seek out that next big milestone in your life. 

So the update: In 4 months I have made quite a few strides ahead in my living room, and even managed to procur a "goal", (which was the main source of strife in the last few posts). In essence, hitting the living room has since turned me loose onto the road.


Allow me to clarify. So in the last posts that had managed to make, I was blabbering on and on about how I "needed a goal...something to work for to inspire me..." and so on and so forth. And for whatever crack-pot reason, I decided to hit the road, literally.

I have become a runner. :)

That's right...a few steps back and forth down the little 0.08 mile driveway to "get some cardio in" during my outdoor weight-training sessions soon led to a bit of wanderlust: what's it look like BEYOND the driveway? What do the trees alongside our road look like at 7.0 mph? I wondered what the rolling hills up and down our road would make my thighs and butt (my trouble zones) look like a few weeks later. And I wondered, "Could I do really do it? Could I really 'run' up and down the roads of our neighborhood?"

And not look like a slobbering, flapping, flesh-of-the-thighs-slapping basset hound in the process

And from that simple seed, a goal to run the Walt Disney Princess half-Marathon in Feb of 2014 was plated. That's right, readers: I, Andrea Soon-to-be-Something-or-Other, have not only found intense enjoyment in pounding my newly 34# slimmer body repeatedly into the dirt roads of Central Michigan, but have set a personal goal to repeatedly slam myself into the Orlando, Florida pavement in the Happiest Place on Earth.

And to make matters all that much more complex, I plan on getting pregnant, and having a baby between now and then.

Yea, me...

The best part? I continue to maintain my "ban the gym" philosophy so that you, that's right, reader--you too can be part of the fun without actually having to spend a dime to travel outside of your house. "Shedding and Saving for the Wedding"? Try "Running Away from the Baby Fat"!

But back to the matter at hand--my new-found love affair with running. And maintaing my current love-affair with nursing on the night-shift, (which by the way, has me working, on average, about 20-30 hours of overtime every two weeks due to a shortage in staffing currently), my relationship with my soon-to-be, and trying to find time to plan this crazy-ass wedding trip that is (gasp!) about 26 days away.

So see? Training for a Half after a kiddo doesn't seem NEARLY that difficult when we examine my current state of obligations.

In all seriousness, though, running has kept me sane. And having this completely insane goal of planning the "perfect" pregnancy, easy delivery, quick recovery time, being back on my feet and ready to train for a 13.1 has kept me on track and really has given me something to work for. Not to mention that quitting my birth control 3 months ago has allowed me a hallpass to claim temporary insanity due to a sudden surge in estrogen...