Thursday, June 20, 2013

Have you checked out the new blog yet?

Hi all!

Well, after a lot of work on Aaron's end and mine too (and of course Lee and Wubby too) we officially are moving to WordPress.  I hope you will make the move with me.  I am starting off the new blog with   the full truth/things I have never disclosed.  If you are interested, come see me at

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Checkout my new Wordpress Site & Find Out My Secrets

Hi all!

Well, after a lot of work on Aaron's end and mine too (and of course Lee and Wubby too) we officially are moving to WordPress.  I hope you will make the move with me.  I am starting off the new blog with   the full truth/things I have never disclosed.  If you are interested, come see me at

Hope to see you there!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Perfect Run

You ever have one of those days you feel like you are flying, light as can be, like no one can catch you (even if people are passing you).  Just one of those days where you hit your times, where it feels easy even when it might be a little hard still and where you have a smile plastered on your face the whole time....

They look like this right...sure I am running here

These were what my runs were like on both Thursday and Saturday of this week.  I am sure I am in for a dozzy (how do you even spell that?!?) for the next run.  But for now I will just smile and continue to gush to you all about how I have had two glorious runs.  I spend so much time lately being hard myself, not realizing that I am doing great, and that the work is paying off.  That needs to stop.  A few years ago, I would not be counting these runs as "perfect runs" - they were not the times I would have wanted to see, they were still hard at points, and they would not be considered my "very best."  Yet, these two past runs have given me perspective.  I will get back to the times I want  and even if I don't I am working hard, training, and having a blast!  Its been a long time since I have felt that way and its quite a glorious feeling.  It is why I say I run right....for fun...

So the runs.  On Thursday, I had 3 fast miles on tap.  I wanted to push, I wanted to do my best.  I got there and I did.  I kept my pace around 8 minutes and was ecstatic.  Was I also ready to throw up?  Sure, but that is just an indicator of a good run, right?  I came home gloating to Aaron (him and I are in a little bit of a running show down lately...more to come in a later post) and felt that wonderful runner's high all day long.

Forever recycled, always my favorite

But yesterday, yesterday was perfect.  I had 12 miles on tap.  The plan was that I would run the first 8 and meet Aaron at that point.  He was running 8 with the jogging stroller so we would do our last 4 miles together and hope the paces synced up.

I started and right off, I knew today would be my day.  The weather was a runner's dream and I felt light and airy.  As the first miles came in, I looked at the times in disbelief, even as I headed up a long 3 mile stretch uphill I was holding steady and feeling incredible.   9:03, 9:06, 9:15....

I was enjoying reminiscing with all my old favorite tunes, such as Glee and more Glee (the best running music, I swear!).  8:56, 9:20, 9:18, 8:59

The best part of this run however, hands down, started at Mile 8.  I saw Aaron and Lee and began clamping and screaming.  I was wondering if Aaron would make it to me on time and he was there for 10 minutes waiting! I was so impressed - 4 miles uphill with a stroller is hardcore!  9:13

My boys

I asked him "if he was ready to go fast?"  He said "what do you mean by fast?" I said "well 9s and it is down hill."  He nodded and said "it is downhill."

So off we went still feeling like I was flying...on top of the world so to speak.  Lee was enjoying his time by blowing raspberries and saying "ahhhh."  To which I had to respond with my own raspberries and ahhs.  Aaron was well...kicking ass.  At one point I looked down at my watch and saw 8:30s.  I kept him encouraging him, until he had to encourage me!!! He started to pick up the speed and dig deep and we pushed each other to the end...although I will admit it, and am happy to do so, he finished first!!!! 9:18, 9:02,  9:05, 8:55

Ok this is from 18 months ago but it sums Saturday's run up perfectly...nothing more attractive than a husband beating you at running...

This run was all that I could hope for.  It took 1:49:33.  Other times I would not be smiling from ear to ear.  Other times I would think I used to run a half in 1:47 or 1:51.  Not today.  Today I recognize where I am and know that there is no number defining perfect.  My runs are not defined by whether I beat a PR from 5 years ago or not.  They are not necessarily about if you hurt or not, because at points I did hurt.  But for me, these runs, these perfect runs were about enjoying time with my family, seeing my husband begin to become the runner I know he can be, and feel as if I am flying whether that is 7 minute miles or 11 minute miles.

Post run bliss

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and father's day!

Tell me, what is your definition of a perfect run?

Thursday, June 13, 2013

A 5, no 4.1 Mile Race Recap?!?!?

So...I ran a race.  Do you remember this is a running blog? Sometimes I talk about running right? Like here and here.  But I have not been doing much writing on racing or what is to come.  I have not mentioned many goals and aspirations.  Thus, most of you probably did not know that I ran a race last Saturday.  Geez, it is almost a week ago and I am only now getting to the recap.  Lee did his recap ages ago.  That could possibly be because Lee is not as self conscious about his running as I tend to be of late.

Ready to run

As I have mentioned before, running postpartum has been a struggle for me.   I generally have not felt light and airy like others say they experience and many times I do not have it in me to push.  A few weeks ago, however I resigned not to let this get to me.  No more, "woe is me I am not at the same pace I used to be" type thinking.  From now on, I am thinking about goals, where I am going, and finding the runner in me.  It will come.  I know it because I  am going to push it to front and center ;)  Do not mess with me.


With this in mind, I went into one of my favorite races of all time, the Squirrel Run, on Saturday. This is a 5 mile race put on each year by my coach to benefit ALS.  Leading up to this race, I kept saying to everyone that this would not be a fast race, it would not be anywhere close to what I used to be able to do.  But deep down I kept imagining myself placing and going fast.  I just knew somewhere in my legs was that 37:04 record I held from two years ago.  I even went as far as looking up race times from the year before to get an idea of how fast I had to go.

Initially, I was going to run this race with Aaron and Lee.  I was going to push Lee, but my knees have been acting up and thus Aaron took over the job.  I could have stayed with them and I battled over this choice.  Ultimately, I decided that I needed to run this race on my terms although it made me super sad not to be running with my boys.

Hard not to run with these cuties

As we lined up for the race, I said to my coach (who runs the race too) that I wanted to go fast - he told me to go fast for the last 3 miles.  Of course, I did not listen.  I ran down the starting hill as fast my legs would carry me.  I knew I could do this.  I wanted to push.  I wanted to win! (ok, no I was not winning the whole race but you know what I mean).  So I did. I pushed.  We were not even at Mile 1 and I was huffing and puffing but I did not care, I had something to prove....

Mile 1...7:40

Mile 2 began.... Did I mention my Garmin had died on the way to the race? Yea, uh that was fun.  Well in that way I had my out. It was not my fault I was going out too fast. I did not have my watch.  Even though it would not take a genius to know the smart thing to do would be to slow down.  But I did not want to.  I wanted to see what I had, I wanted to go - so I did.

Mile 2...7:40

Somewhere around Mile 3 it started to get harder.  There were longer larger hills and I was hurting. People were passing me, it made me want to just walk.  I resisted.  I remembered my mantras - I told myself I decided I needed to run this race alone instead of with my family so I better do it; I reminded myself that if I could give birth naturally than I could do this; and I told myself to dig deep

Mile 3 ...???? I don't know, remember the Garmin died and I did not hear what the announcer was saying on times, my guess around 8:05

Mile 4 or shall I say 4.11 was tough, I felt like I was going to throw up (which is the best test to tell you that you are pushing hard enough in my opinion anyway), I felt like I wanted to walk, I felt like my legs were led.  But then I saw it...the finish line?!?!  Now I was just super confused.  I did not have my Garmin and a running brain is a funny thing so I started wondering whether they changed the course distance and I did not know or I was super fast (clearly, you would think it would be the latter).  Turns out neither was right...Either way, I pushed up the hill to the finish.

 Ok, so I recycled this from two years ago but you get the point

What ended up happening?  It appears that somewhere along the course someone took a wrong turn and everyone followed!   Therefore, my official new 5 miler PR is 32:45 (or if you want to be technically my new 4.11 mile PR).

I should have been ecstatic - I was 5th in my age group and the 14th woman.  But in reality I was disappointed.  I really thought I had it in me to place (3rd place in my age group was 20 seconds faster than me).   But it didn't happen, not at this race. Am I still a bit disappoint? Yes.  But do I know it is still in there somewhere and I will continue to chase it? Hell Yes!!!

Post Race Lovins - how can anyone be that upset

What I was much more excited about was Aaron and Lee's race...Lee already told you his story, you will have to wait for Aaron to tell you his own because he rocked it...

How was it for you running postpartum or after a break in running?  Ever disappointed in your race even though you know deep down you should be happy? Ever go the wrong way on race day?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Breast is Best...or is it?

This is late coming but the winner of the Trail Sweepstakes is Bigzigfitness! Please e-mail me at

Note:  This post is not meant to offend anyone.  This is just my story and what worked for my family.  I have felt the need to write this post since Lee was 5 weeks old.  I want moms out there to know that they are not alone and they are in no way bad mothers for using formula.  So here we go…

When people meet Baby Lee (as we sometimes refer to him) or rather Lee Michael, the first comment is always “He is such a happy baby.”  And it is true.  I do not like to brag about it especially to other parents who may be having a hard time, because it can be so so hard (having been there I get it).  However, he really is a very very happy baby.  Aaron and I often joke that someone must have finally cut us a break.

 Happy Baby!

Very Happy Baby

However, Lee was not always a happy baby.  For the first 5 weeks of his life, he cried 24/7.  Now, I know babies cry and at first Lee seemed to just cry like any normal baby but by two weeks of age it was clear that his crying was not normal.  I specifically remember the first time he spit up and began crying.  I knew the cry was different.  It was a painful cry.  Something was wrong. 

No mom I am not happy, nope not in the least
From that point on, he never seemed to stop crying.  He would be awake from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  At 4 p.m., he would finally take a 1 to 2 hour nap and then be back up and down for the remainder of the night until 9 a.m. came around once again.  I now know why they use sleep deprivation as a form of getting people to disclose information – it is awful and crazy making.  I knew Lee’s cry was not normal, I knew there was something wrong.  I kept telling everyone, but it seemed like no one would believe me.  I was suffering from postpartum anxiety and I think people just basically, justifiably thought it was that.  I may not have before, but since becoming a mom, I truly believe in a mother’s instinct. 

At our four week appointment, I approached the doctor.  He believed me and tested Lee.  It became clear quite quickly that Lee was one of the many babies who had not yet developed the enzyme needed to break down cow milk protein. This means he was, in essence, allergic to the cow milk he was getting from me through my breast milk, and that was a lot of cow milk.  During pregnancy, I wanted nothing to do with yogurt, but postpartum I was having at least two Chobanis a day.  It pains me even now to think that my baby suffered. It makes me want to cry.


At that doctor’s appointment, my doctor simply stated, no problem you will just go off dairy and soy for a year or so.  He said it like it was no big deal.  I was on the verge of tears.  I was sleep deprieved, overly anxious, and now this guy was telling me no more dairy and soy.  And this was not just no more icecream this meant anything that had any traces of dairy or soy. Now, I know a lot of people live very healthy, happy lives on this type of diet.  But that is not for me.  Based on my history, my health needs, and my palate, a dairy, soy-free diet would not work for me.  I knew this instantly.  I may or may not have have given the doctor a piece of my mind at this point.  I may have acted like a 5 year old stating that “the kid would be getting formula.”   The doctor told me to think about it, that he would support my decision, but also told me how important breast milk is and that while it is an inconvenice, it is not the end of the world to give these things up.
Apparently people have missed the memo about my love for all things dairy

I stormed out of the office, put Lee in the car, and I sat and cried.  I was so upset.  I was angry.  I was even angry at Lee.  But more so I was angry at myself.  How selfish I am, I thought, to not want to do what is “best” for my baby.  I wondered why I was making such a big deal out of things.  I had always told myself, going into this, that if breastfeeding worked, then great and if not, that is O.K.  I never got it when friends talked about how disappointed they were that breastfeeding did not work out.  It just did not seem like it was a big deal.  Turns out, it does feel like a really really big deal when you are in it.

After composing myself, Lee and I went the only place we could – my running partner’s house.  We talked at length.  She let me know that she did not think breastfeeding was for me and that, that was O.K.  She let me cry and be angry.  Over the next week,  I went through hell.  I went off dairy and soy all together.  Aaron did too.  I was so enraged that I told Aaron if I had to do this, so did he.  He was a very good sport.  I had countless conversations with friends, family, doctors, and therapists over what to do.  Deep down, I knew I wanted to go with formula.  Insurance would fully cover it, so that was not an issue.  Everyone could help more, so I could sleep and try to kick the anxiety.  Lee would be happy and off dairy.  There were so many positives.  But it was so hard for me to see that.  All I could see was that I was a failure.  All I could worry about was that we would go off breastmilk and my milk would dry up and I would have made a BIG mistake.  I worried about losing my bond with my baby. I worried about the importance of breastmilk. You name it, I worried about it.  I am not sure who cried more that week, Lee or me.

Ok we did not take pictures but that is basically what it looked like but worse

Aaron quickly saw that the right decision was formula.  I could not see it.  So for the week we decided to do an experiment where Lee would get formula and breastmilk.  The idea being maybe I would just breastfeed a little and give formula the other times.  This was, in the end, ridiculous for me.  The whole point was that (a) I could not give up dairy and soy and (b) I was sick with anxiety, so how would breastfeeding just a little less help?  I would still have to give up dairy and soy and could not fully recover.  That week was more of a mourning process for myself.  I had to let breastfeeding go, but I could not.  Everything I had learned taught me that formula was the devil and that I must breastfeed.  So for the week, we did both, with me pumping in the corner while Aaron fed Lee. It sucked! I HATE pumping. I am so happy I will not be there again.

Baby Tears - so awful...

At the end of the week, I saw my midwife, she diagnosed me with postpartum anxiety brought on by hormonal changes, the 24/7 crying, you name it.  To treat it, she believed I needed medication and therapy. It was recommended that moms do not breastfeed on this medication.  That was the “out” I needed.  Looking back on it, I am sad that I needed an “out” to make this decision.  But at that moment, I was too far “in it” to make a change without a push.

Nutramigen here we come!

Going off breastmilk was one of the best decisions we ever made for Lee and for our entire family.  It was as if a light had turned on inside of Lee.  The crying stopped.  It was like night and day.  All of a sudden, he woke up, he ate, he took a nap, repeat.  He noticed things.  He was happy.  

 Almost immediately, his night feedings went down to two, then one, then none.  I know I should not say this, I know it may just be Lee, but since 8 weeks he has slept through the night without a peep.  I am sure I am jinxing us now.  I do not even want to define for you what that means “sleeping through the night” but be sure it is much more than I get in a night.  Maybe this is just Lee?  I think that is a part of it.  Maybe we are just amazing parents? Well, we like to think so (LOL).  Maybe someone caught us a break but we are screwed next time?  Possibly - I am in denial on that one.  Or, most likely, a significant part has to do with the formula as well.

 I admit it - I love sneaking into Lee's room at night and watching him sleep...the sweetest thing ever

Lee is almost 7 months old.  He is truly the" happiest baby on the block.I wish I was as happy as Lee. He engages everyone.  Aaron says he has my social personality with his relaxed disposition.  He has continued to grow and be healthy. He is about average in weight and above average in height.  He has never been sick (seriously, now I am just asking for it).  He is full of life.  Now, I promise I am not saying that formula, especially Nutramigen, was the only key, but for us, I believe it to be a large part of the puzzle.


More Smiles!

 More and More Smiles!

For me, I love Lee so much it hurts.  In the beginning, I could not say that.  I could not see much. I was so anxious, so unhappy, and so sleep deprived.  I did not know where to turn.  I could not help my baby and felt that I was, of course, a bad mother. I was a bad mother for not catching it sooner, I was a bad mother for not trying hard with breastfeeding.  It took time to move on.  It took medicine and doctors for the anxiety to lessen.  But as it did and Lee continued with formula I began to finally enjoy my baby.  To bond with my baby.  While I was breastfeeding, we were not bonding.  I was crying, Lee was crying, we were a crying a mess.  As Lee became full of life, I also came up for air.  No more pumping, no more midnight feedings, no more “breast is best,” and no more feeling judge.  People say “happy mommy, happy baby.”  But you wonder if they are just being nice.  I could care less what people think.  My baby is happy, my family happy, I am happy.
For Aaron, going to formula was a delight.  He finally felt he could help.  Breastfeeding is really a lonely experience and it does truly leave the husband or partner left out to dry.  From the day we started Aaron was overjoyed to take on feedings.  He took the night feedings that were left.  

 Happy Daddy , Happy Baby!

 We went to visit family.  I had a week off from night feedings.  My dad took Lee in his room for two nights, my aunt and uncle took him for two nights, and my husband took two nights.  I was a wreck.  I needed to sleep and be well. I could not do that breastfeeding.  But with the bottle all of this was possible.  I know, you can pump and get relief, but ladies it is NOT the same, and did I mention how much pumping sucks...

My dad fed him...

 My aunt fed him..

Aaron fed him...

 I fed him...

Lee fed himself, no big deal mom

I do not want to make it sound like this is the best thing ever or give people the wrong impression. It really is what is best for you and your family whether it is breastfeeding or bottle feeding.  But, I feel it is necessary to put such a spin on bottle feeding because no one does.  I mean, maybe some, but most make you feel like you are the worst mother to ever set foot on this earth.  Even if they don’t say it, you feel judged.  It seems like only a select few really were truly behind me and whatever decision I/we made.

I want moms to know, those who are pregnant, looking to become pregnant, have babies already – that you have a choice and either choice is really O.K. No, I mean it, IT IS O.K.  For me, I am like PUT MY BABY’S FACE ON THE FORMULA BOTTLE BECAUSE I LOVE FORMULA.  THANK YOU ENFAMIL  It saved our lives.  For others, breastfeeding is a wonderful experience.  Either way, you can be happy.  Either way you are a good mother.  Please remember that.

Mother's Day 2013 - fully present and happy

And with that, this maybe the longest post ever.  I hope you stuck with me and I hope this helped some of you.

Had enough pictures?

Are you breastfeeding or bottlefeeding? What are your thoughts?  Did you ever feel like this either with breastfeeding, bottle feeding, or with things that have nothing to do with babies whatsoever.... 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Lee's First & Second Race

This is not my medal.  Nope, wish it was - this is Lee's medal (he also a ribbon) from his second of two races that he participated in yesterday.  

There are a ton of firsts in our life, our children's lives, and our loved ones' lives; some we find more important than others.  For us, runners, well at least for me, this was a BIG first.  The baby book wants me to write the date he first held his head up, I cannot remember.  But I sure will remember June 8, 2013 - the day of Lee's first (and second) race.  Where is the line in the baby book for that?   I was thinking of how to write this post actually while I was running the race yesterday. I knew there was only one way to write it and remember the day by. I, however, cannot take the credit for the idea.  Jen came up with this style in her blog when W ran his first race.  You need to check out her post (Jen, help link please?!?).  Thus, this will be written from the perspective of the man himself, Mr. Lee.

Don't I look excited - Game Face People, Game Face

I had a great night sleep before the race.  But in the morning, I could not wait.  I was up bright and early excited about race day, but worried about the rain.  It was still pouring out.  I like my bath and pool as much as the next baby, but I am not sure about this whole running in the rain thing.

No matter, I fueled up quickly - oatmeal and formula, took a quick nap, and got into my race attire raring to go.

Let's fly!

We got to the race and I stayed dry underneath my wonderful, new weather shield Daddy bought me yesterday.  There was so much going on,  it was hard to keep focused, but I knew it was race day so Daddy, our friend Scott, and I began our warm up.  Mommy disappeared...something about a knee being taped and multiple bathroom trips that needed to occur before the race (this is why I have my diaper people!)

We did some sprints to warm up and then we took the obligatory (I know I have a good vocabulary) race photos.  Soooo many photos --- mom always makes us take soooo many photos, I will spare you.  But while we were taking photos the rain stopped and we knew we would have a good race after all.  We quickly removed unneeded layers like my weather shield and lined up to get going.  Mommy gave me kissed and headed to the front and Daddy and I stayed in the middle of the pack with our friend Scott.

YAY Running!!

efore I knew it, we were off.  I had my game face on as we rolled along and loved when we got to pass other people during Mile 1.  At Mile 2, things started to get hard and I did not like it. The wind was not fun, not fun at all, but I kept in high spirits.  At Mile 3, we said goodbye to Scott as his knee was hurting and just kept on pushing up and up the big hills. 

Then all of a sudden before I knew it there was mommy cheering for us like crazy.  She is very loud.  She ran next to us for the final last steps and we crossed the finish line together.  Strange though, this was supposed to be a 5 mile race.  Daddy and I were pacing for 5, apparently someone got confused...not us.  

Oh well I had my second race to prepare for - now the kids only race.   This race was quicker! It was just a little 25 yard dash.  I think Mommy was more excited to me.  She grabbed me straight out of Daddy's hands and ran to the start - we almost missed it.  Then, she ran me straight done the field.

Can you find mommy and me - hint look for a sparkle skirt

Finally, we were done.  I need to rest!  That was a lot, but all of a sudden I ended up on my first pony.  Not so much bigger than Wubby really....

Seriously, Mom, chill!


Ok then, then, I finally did rest and refuel! Next race is in less than a month.  Daddy and I have a training run on schedule for Tuesday.

What was your first race like?

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Dream the Impossible Dream

So ummm, I may or may not have a race on Saturday.  Where did that come from?  With all this talk about babies, doulas, and all things little ones, I guess I failed to discuss this upcoming race.  Actually, the real truth is that I have been in a little bit of dreamland or denial, it depends how you look at it.

See this race is a very important race to me.  It is the race I could not run the first year I was with my P.T./coach. I was in bad shape.  My knees were a mess. I remember learning about the race my P.T. was putting on and being extremely angry and sad that I could not run it, but at the same time, I was motivated as all hell to be at race the next year.  The next year, I was at that race, that 5 mile wonderful race in Quincy clocking in a time of 37:12.  But things were bittersweet that year and I was not at my healthiest of points. However, the following year, 2011, was my race year.  I was back, I was healthy, and I was ready crushing it with a 37:04 and placing in my first race every - an extraordinary feeling.

This year I am running it, rain or shine - most likely rain. In my dreamland, I am going to go out there, throw down sub-8s and win another medal.  No matter that this morning I did 10 minutes at 7:44 pace and it was HARD, no worries that it generally takes me 26 minutes to run 3 miles these days.  Nope no problem because this is a magical race so I am sure things will be fine?  So yea...there is that...

Lovin Squirrels

And then there are my knees.  They are "stirred up,"  a direct quote from my P.T.  He is not worried, which is good because I am doing enough worrying for the two of us.

P.T. and me

It does however mean I can not run with Lee in this race.  I planned to win the stroller category even though there is not one. So now Aaron is braving the stroller challenge.  I could run with him and Lee - that is what I do Run for Fun right?  I love my family so so so much.  It is also an easy way out - just have fun with my boys, don't worry about times. But truth is I also kind of want to race this thing and see what I can do.  Yes, it may mean that I am no where near sub-8s and that Aaron breezes along passed me with Lee laughing about, but I just can't help wanting to try. I feel extremely conflicted about the choice of whether to go at it alone or stick with my men.  I feel excited and guilty about just racing myself but then sad if I do not participate in my boy's first race....

Because really how much of a better view could you get running

Eekkk what to do, what to do....

How do you make a choice of running with someone or without whether it be baby or friend?  Ever get impossible goals stuck in your head?