Thursday, December 18, 2014

New Year!! Screw You!!

Whoa, Anna! That's harsh!

I know, right?

No less than six magazines (two of which we subscribe to!) have "New year, new you" on their front covers right now. And I have to tell you.... I'm totally annoyed by this. Every year I rant about using January 1st as the start-date for wild life-changing plans. This year I'm mad that people (according to print media) all want to be new.

As I type this, I'm holding a "new" person in my left arm. Trust me. It's not easy to completely start over. So let's all agree not to do that this year. Let's not all be new. Let's just take what we've got going on right now and make small changes, working toward a reasonable goal. That sounds better than scrapping everything old and starting new.

Let's just be better. Not new.

Also, completely unrelated to running, or thoughts, or kids, or anything... we've had a lot of crazy family stuff happen in the last few weeks and our schedules and lives have been thrown around quite a bit. My mother-in-law has been staying here, which is a big change for all of us. I'm still trying to run once or twice a week, and the sleeping and eating have stayed more or less consistent. Also, if you've noticed, it's the holiday season. And that's nuts. 

But you know what about all that... all this? I'm married to an amazing guy who has kept me sane through a lot. His mom is cool, and I have the time and space in my life to just sit back occasionally and be completely happy with everything I've been blessed with. 

(Didn't think we were going to end here after the way I started this post did you!!)

Tuesday, December 9, 2014


Today, in honor of running my first mile-post-Adam, I'm posting a list of 5 things I have been told about running that were completely WRONG. None of the below is true. Most of them I heard and believed when I was training for my first marathon in 2011. Enjoy!

1. If you stop to walk, it doesn't count as a run.

2. A run of less than 3 miles is worthless.

3. You cannot miss more than one day of training for a race.

4. If you walk through a water station during a race, you didn't "run" it.

5. Anything less than a full marathon is a training run for a full marathon.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Don't Park That Bike!!

Week 4/5

The first two weeks back on my feet were tough. The beginning of the third one was exciting... I was pushing really hard to make it to the 21-day mark (although, when I looked up the basis behind the "21 days make a new habit" theory, I learned it's total crap). But I did not. I fell off the bike. The new baby got sick and I missed three work-out days that week, and two days in week 4.

Now that I type that I'm a little embarrassed that I almost trashed the whole program for those few days. The scheduling got crazy, we had Thanksgiving, and I was pretty sure I wasn't meant to start running again.

But I did! Stephan set up the schedule at the end of last week so I could get the runs in. And this week starts week 5, and I set myself up with a 3.5 mile run/walk very early in the morning. I'm not a morning runner, but if I'm going to get back on my feet and start racing again, I'm going to have to seriously suck it up.

Which I did, by waking up at 7am (haha!) and putting in the 3.5 miles at 12 degrees with a 10 mile/hour wind. Whew! It's 3 hours and a hot shower later and my legs STILL feel colder than the rest of my body.

Riding the bike is great. But you're going to fall. Isn't this a saying somewhere? It isn't how you ride the bike, it's how you get back on after you've fallen? Here's to regaining momentum!!!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Another Week 3

It's about 10 degrees in Chicago today. I finally surrendered to reality and called a friend to watch the baby so I could get a training walk done. I finished the 1.5 mile speed-walk outside and was SUPER excited that I'm actually on-track for a third week in a row... but wait... the walk was supposed to be 2.0 miles.

Over it. SO over it. And I've pretty much decided to let the park district have my money so I can use their treadmills on days like this. Because dang.

Remember when you were learning to ride a bike and you just barely caught your balance and you weren't quite sure what external forces were keeping you up, but you were upright, and you just repeated to yourself, "I'm doing it! I'm doing it!" That's what this week 3 feels like. I'm still pedaling, but I'm also putting my trust more in outside forces to help keep me upright. If I keep my feet moving, the Universe will help me with the rest.

And.... breathe.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Another Week 2

Still not sleeping. Still with the colic. BUT still on track with the Couch to 5k program. 30 second intervals, and it only slightly feels like my organs want to escape my body. It's getting way cold here (giving a new meaning to a "Sub-30" run) so taking Adam out in the stroller isn't an option. I'm working on loaning the baby to local friends and family a few days a week to squeak my 2-3 mile run/walks in.

Sadly, my winter running gear is still nowhere near fitting, so I'm still in Stephan's clothes.

Yay for husbands!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Another Day 2

Advice to myself (and you, if any of it resonates):

+ Choose a mantra while running.
- Do NOT use: "This sucks, this sucks, this sucks."

+ Dress for the weather, and your body type.
- Do NOT squeeze into old workout pants and expect to have a good run.

+ Accept today for what it is: Reality always wins.
- Do NOT label your run as a -3 on a scale of 1-10.

+ Buy a new sports bra when your body changes.
- Maybe try it on first. No, actually: definitely try it on first.

+ Advil. Take Advil.
+ There is no negative to helping your body be more comfortable.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Public Service Announcement

If it's been 8 weeks since you've had a baby (not via C-section) and you are thinking that 1 minute of jumping jacks will be possible- or even comfortable... you should prepare yourself to be totally, embarrassingly, wrong.

It might go well. But prepare yourself that it might not.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Another Day 1

This morning I re-started a C25k program. The first day was a 1 mile walk. I stretched it out to 2 miles because I had to baby strapped to my chest and we were going pretty slowly (18 min/mile). I loaded up the Zombies, RUN! C25k program at the same time so I could have something interesting to listen to.

The walk was nice. But it's so hard to keep starting over. This is the third time I've started the Zombies 5k program. I tried breaking into a jog last week, but was still to sloshy to run more than 1/2 block. Well, I guess there's nowhere to go but up!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Through No Fault of Our Own

We broke an exercise ball without ever exercising.

Now, get your minds out of the gutter. It wasn't anything icky. The colic is continuing into its 3rd full week, and the exercise ball is still the method of best soothing. Last night, Stephan was sitting on the ball bouncing with the Tiny One, when he noticed his knees much closer to his chest than they used to be. And when he stood up, the now-egg-shell-shaped "ball" slumbered across the floor.

Stephan looked at me with panic in his eyes and asked, "How late is Target open?? We can't survive this without a ball!"

Welcome to week 7.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Best. Parenting. Advice. Ever.

"Honey, I was listening to the radio, I don't know what station, I can't tell what the stations are on this radio, just that it was 100-something FM or maybe 89-something AM. But anyway, this man who was talking started talking about the things the president is doing, and isn't doing, and he was proving it with facts, not just words, but facts about what is really going on and how he's ruining our country, and all of those other things, and then he said that all the kids today are fussy and hyper because their parents make them listen to all the terrible music that's on the radio today, instead of the classical music that people used to listen to all the time in the old days, but then I thought, no, not Anna, I bet she makes that baby listen to the good classical music and not all that radio music, and that's why I called you to find that out."

So we're listening to classical music today.

Because... facts.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Overheard: Church Parking Lot

Sawyer: Hey, those tires are cool!

Him: Yeah, you can say that the car is pimped out.

Me: No! You can't teach him that. Especially on the way into church!!

Sawyer: Pimped out? Can we drive that car?

Him: YEAH!! Then we'd be big pimpin'!!!!


Sawyer: Big Pimpin'!! Big Pimpin'!! Big Pimpin'!!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Macaroni Pants

That's the punch line. Here's the joke:

Tuesday night we went to dinner and took Sawyer's leftover macaroni and cheese to-go in a small cardboard box. As we drove along after that, Adam got hungry and we had to stop in a parking lot for me to hop into the back of the car to nurse him. Not thinking, I sat on the box of mac and cheese- smashing it- and spilling it all over.

Today (Thursday) I was putting my clothes back on after my 6-week postpartum checkup and realized that I'd worn the [unwashed] Macaroni Pants all day. Was my shirt long enough to cover my butt? No, it was not. Was I wearing a jacket that might have covered my butt? No, I was not. Was I walking around a mall shopping? Yes. Was I prancing around the doctor's office showing off a baby? Yes, yes I was.

And was I still wearing those pants 6 hours later when my husband gently suggested it was time I change clothes and.... just maybe... put the pants in the laundry basket?

Yes. Yes I was.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Eat the Ice Cream for Breakfast

Pregnancy changes a lot of things about appetite. But that makes sense- you're growing a human. And gaining weight is an expected part of pregnancy. They go together. Eat more, get bigger. It's pretty much the point of the whole thing.

And then the baby comes out. And a lot of things change. They don't necessarily change back, but they change. Physically, all bets are off. If you look up the caloric requirements of pregnancy versus breastfeeding (oh, yeah, I'm doing that), you'll see that pregnancy requires an extra 300 calories, and breastfeeding requires about 500!!

So now I'm weirdly losing weight (in a good way) and eating more (in a weird way) and having food cravings more than I've ever had in my life. But it's a craving only for sugar and chocolate. So I've pillaged my freezer and cabinets, and maybe even found some old Easter candy. Once I ate through all the sugar and chocolate we had stocked in the house, I started doing really weird things to satisfy these cravings: eating chocolate chips out of the bag, making Dreamwhip and eating it, making vanilla pudding and adding pumpkin pie filling (ew!!). After witnessing these culinary machinations for the last few days, Stephan came home with ice cream.

He brought my favorite ice cream: AmeriCone Dream. And I ate some. And I slept well.

So now it's the next morning, and I'm thinking that maybe I should just give in immediately to the ice cream and have it for breakfast. I'll let you know how it goes.

(Also, my 6 week postpartum checkup is Thursday- here's hoping for the all-clear to start running agin!!)

Friday, October 17, 2014


I had a baby 5 weeks ago tonight (actually, as I write this, it was exactly 5 weeks ago that my water broke, and three hours later, on September 13th, a baby came out). It was incredible. It was amazingly fast, amazingly intense, and amazingly amazing.

And that was the last time I remember seeing the world clearly. Adam was born at 12:45am. Stephan and I slept that morning from about 4am-6am. And I haven't gotten more than 3 hours of consecutive sleep since then. It's really my only complaint at this point.

We have an adorable, perfectly healthy, baby boy!! Sawyer is thrilled. Heck, even the dogs like him! I'm exclusively nursing right now, which is another miracle. Honestly, everything about having a baby is mind-blowing. I just grew a human. In my body. And he's cute! And all he drinks is milk. Can you stand it? Isn't that nuts?

Also, have I mentioned the sleep deprivation? And with the lack of sleep comes a constant bouncing/rocking because Adam has a touch of colic. But only from 7pm-6am. Ha! I was joking with Stephan that I needed to write an email, but the computer refused to bounce with me. I ended up typing it one-handed on my phone.

Most of the bouncing we do on a balance ball. It's the best invention for baby soothing ever!! With bonus core work for me (for a few minutes at a time- I get achy quickly).

So that's my world right now. Eat, poop, feed, bounce, make a vague attempt at sleep. I'm completely jonesing for a run- but that's out of the question until I get checked on by the doc, and my pelvis stabilizes in my body... it's really just sloshing around in there right now.

And... bonus baby picture!!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

38.5 weeks

I'm.... tired. Not physically sleepy, but the last 48 hours have just about done me in. I stressed myself out yesterday worrying about things and that kicked off an entire day of contractions, spaced evenly 8-5 minutes apart, but with some 30+ minute gaps. And they never got stronger, or closer than 5 minutes. Maneuvers were made- children were brought to our house, then brought to other houses. Bags were packed. The infant car seat made it into the car with the birth plan, deodorant and tooth brushes.

And then at 10pm, it all stopped. Once everything was ready to go, phone in-hand and OB office nearly dialed, it was over. The day of contractions ended. I fell asleep and had dreams all night about arriving at the hospital and having the baby. By the time I woke up in the morning I was exhausted from birthing the four babies I felt I had birthed overnight. After a slow morning of child-collecting and checking in with family, I insisted on a 2 mile walk.

I don't know what I thought was going to happen- but nothing did happen. So it's back to eating, drinking, peeing, and waiting waiting waiting.

It's not like it can go to college in there.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

36 weeks

Pregnancy is like marathon training. It's EXACTLY like marathon training. You have this thing that's going to happen in the future, and you have months to prepare for it. There are books to read, foods to eat, exercises to do (or not, whatevs)... Instead of increasing mileage, there's increasing pounds on top of your body. It just gets heavier, and harder to move around. But the harder it gets, the closer you know you are to the finish line.

Also- there's the one big push at the end. The hardest day is the last day. And it's coming. And you know it's coming. And you're kinda scared, and pretty excited, and you're not quite sure if you'll be able to handle it, but you really can't turn back now.

The main difference???? Scheduling. If I told you someone was going to come to your house with a bull-horn and announce the start of your marathon while you were sleeping, or working, or shopping, or driving- and you wouldn't know when... just a vague idea of sometime in the next 4 weeks.... and then ready... set... GO! Marathon! 26.2.

The second difference??? The actual mileage. Maybe labor will last 5 hours (yay!! Sawyer was so easy!) or 15 hours, or... sigh... possibly closer to 20-24 hours. You won't know until it's over how long it actually will be.

Another similarity... pulling the plug. What if something weird happens and they have to do a C-Section? Breech baby? Weird infection? You'll get a DNF (did not finish) for the laboring, but you'll still get your medal for trying.

More similarities: heat an humidity are enemies of both. You need new, life-event-specific clothes that won't really be applicable at any other time. Hydration is key, as is going with the flow: preparation will only get you so far during the actual performance.

Final similarity: you want pictures of the whole thing, but the pictures will come out kinda wonky due to sweating.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Overheard: 10pm

Him: I found your grocery list. And I'm going to go now. What else do we need?

Me: I dunno. Look at the list.

Him: It just says "chicken." I need you to be more specific.

Me: It's for your lunches.

Him: So we need lunch meat?

Me: No. You just need food for lunch. I don't care what it is.

Him: So we don't need chicken?

Me: Well.......... We don't HAVE any chicken.

[And he stared at me for several minutes before I broke down laughing so hard I thought I was going into labor. I wasn't.]

35 Weeks

I figure it's time for a real picture....
Yes, this is full-frontal at 34 weeks. It's why I think it's a boy!

Haha! See!! 34 weeks! I keep marveling at how the front-view is so different from the side-view......

34 weeks, side view. Stephan wants to invent a pregnancy L bracket.

I have tried to take a few walks lately- nothing more than one mile. I get all sweaty and exhausted. I've been doing the squats, 10 every time I go to the bathroom (which turns into a lot of squats!) Even though we have 5 more weeks- technically- I started to get nervous and I washed a bunch of clothes and diapers (we do cloth) and packed a hospital bag. The first time we did this, the Sawyer was born less than 5 hours after I started labor. The doctor predicted 1/2 the time for this one which leaves us... not a ton of time to gather resources.

Of course, saying that means it will be 3 days of labor. But I've started to see the light at the end of the feeling-terrible tunnel. A few more weeks and everything will be so different. I know I'll miss this a lot- the sitting- the ice cream- the one-on-one with Sawyer- the peace and "dwuiet" (that's what Sawyer calls it, it rhymes with quiet). 

It's also a quiet, weird type of confidence to know that I have all the tools to get back into shape as soon as I'm ready. Last time, I had never run a marathon, or followed a training plan, or been fitted for running shoes. I'm starting a lot further ahead this time than before. Also, sidewalks. And no snake season in the city. 

Friday, August 1, 2014

Bad A$$ Mother....

I went for a walk!! Yay me!! A one mile, brought my water bottle with me, sucked it up and just freaking walk, walk. It felt really good. And it realigned my brain again, which I missed. Here's what my brain came up with today:

I still wear a necklace my sister-in-law bought me for my birthday. It says, Run. I kept wearing it to remind myself that I'm still a runner. There is still a runner, somewhere, deep inside all this pregnant-ness. And as I walked, I listened to my old running playlist that's filled with punk rock, heavy metal, rawrrrrrr music. And I thought, Yeah. That's still me. That's how I run, that's how I live, and that's how I'm going to have this new baby (we've been working a lot on labor and delivery plans this week).

When it was Sawyer's turn to be born, our doctor in Montana worked with us very closely to make sure we selected all the options we wanted so his birth was awesome for us. We knew we wanted music, but I couldn't decide what I would need to hear at the time. I had two playlists: one of Enya and New Age, and one of country and rock and roll. When she came into the room and the Zac Brown band was playing she stated simply, "Huh, that's not where I thought you'd go with this."

So anyway, being inspired by the dulcet tones of the White Stripes, I realized that what really defines me, what makes me a Runner, why I'm still tough (despite all of the resting and sitting), is desire. DESIRE. It's why Stephan claims he's not a runner, running is just something he does. He doesn't have the DESIRE.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Must... do.... the squats.....

As part of our Bradley Birthing classes I was assigned a weekly set of exercises. It includes butterfly stretches, kegels, and, every day, squats. It's week 2, so I have to do 15-20 squats a day.

You can do that in your sleep, right? That should take about 2 minutes, right?? Just get those out of the way before breakfast, right???

I'm terrible at the homework for this class. And those squats are my new nemesis. I'm writing about them so that maybe my public declaration will motivate me to just get them done. When Sawyer saw me practicing while holding onto the counter the other day he chimed in with, "Our sensei says you have to go lower. No, Mom. Lower. Lower..... yeah."

Sawyer is 4 and he's harassing me about my squats.

Giant shout-out to our amazing Bradley teacher Karalyn Voelkner, who has put everything together so it's super easy to keep track of everything (and super hard to be a slacker about it)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Last weekend was the Chicago Rock n Roll 1/2 marathon. Sigh. I lived vicariously through pictures on Facebook. But I spent the weekend inside, in air conditioning. Also, at the pool.

It's third-trimester time. The cuteness of being big is wearing off, and the impossibility of moving from place to place is beginning. The baby weighs about 3lbs right now. In the next 8 weeks, it will more than double that weight. That's a lot of ballast.

But keep moving. That's the goal. Whatever moving means.... some days it's doing the squats assigned by our birthing-class teacher. Some days it's getting out to the pool to float. Some days it's making the trip from the bedroom to the bathroom 18 times. Other days, it means moving my eyes over the pages of a book (Divergent is as good as they said it was).

Also, ice cream.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

How is Pregnancy like College-drinking?

1. Awake at 3:30am drinking sprite and cranberry juice.

2. The farting.

3. Binge-eating whatever someone else left in the fridge (because anything you didn't buy is the BEST. FOOD. EVER.)

4. Reruns of epic shows have a strange attraction (Lost, Dances with Wolves, Passions.)

5. Mens' sweaters are the MOST. COMFORTABLE. EVER.

6. Until they're not, and clothing just gets strewn around the place because when did it get so hot in here all of the sudden???

7. Shoes are the devil.

8. You're still the crying girl at the kitchen table.

9. Everything on a Denny's menu looks amazing.

10. Creepy feeling there's something weird going on in your belly.

Monday, July 14, 2014

List of Awesome Things

Here is a list of things you CAN say to a pregnant lady that will make her feel awesome:

1. Wow- you're all baby! The rest of your body looks so thin!

2. I wouldn't even know you were pregnant from the chest up!

3. You are so cute!!

(That last one is particularly effective when said by a total stranger to a pregnant lady who hasn't had makeup on in 5 days because of a killer sinus infection that's making her eyes swell up like she's a prize-fighter, and forcing her to mouth-breath because her nose is more congested than I-294 Northbound at 8:00am on a weekday)

Thursday, July 10, 2014


Do you guys remember this post about me wrestling with a duvet cover???

Ok. Now imagine that I'm doing that exact same thing, but 7+ months pregnant. And then doing it again because we have approximately the national population of CHINA coming to our house this weekend and I wanted to have "all blankets on deck" for people who are spending the night.

This time, I Googled, How to Put on a Duvet Cover and got a lot (many more than I expected) results. Including videos.

I might be totally over duvet covers. For good.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Strange, but Comforting, but then Strange Pregnancy Dream

I dreamt I had the baby. At home. By myself. I just kinda looked down and there it was, outside. And I think it was a boy (which means this one is probably a girl), and it had a lot of hair, and it was totally healthy, despite being 3 months early.

And then I had Coke and Sun Chips for breakfast.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Things to Do on Restricted Activity

1. Complain and whine
2. Crochet granny squares out of all the spare yarn
3. Binge-watch Orange is the New Black
4. Drink a liter of water
5. Journal about being on restricted activity
6. Binge-watch House of Cards
7. Drink another liter of water
8. Sit on the floor and spot-clean the carpet
9. Repeat step 8 a few hours a day until entire carpet is clean
10. Pee. A lot.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

"Moderate Activity"


Overheard: OB/GYN office

So the ruling on the table is... NO bed rest (which, apparently, isn't even a thing anymore unless you're actively going into labor early), but to modify my schedule and activity level down to a "moderate level of activity."

I made the doctor define that....

Me: So I can do regular things like laundry and grocery shopping?

OB/GYN: Well, maybe. Don't carry full laundry baskets up and down the stairs. Is your washing machine in the basement?

Me: Yes. So don't carry full loads? Just half loads?

OB/GYN: No. Don't carry things up and down the stairs on a regular basis. You're starting to worry me. And don't carry all of your groceries in the house in one trip.

Me: So... like only 2 bags at a time?

OB/GYN: NO! Only one bag at a time. One. Light. Bag. Seriously. You're asking me the wrong questions right now.

Me: Well, it's not like I'm going back to running or anything...

OB/GYN: Seriously? Are you being serious? No running. Maybe gentle walking. Around the block. Slowly. With nothing in your hands.

Me: Ok. I'm a massage therapist. I can still work, just no deep tissue massages?

OB/GYN: If you are sweating, or clenching any muscles, don't do that. Look, I'm getting a real feel for what you consider moderate activity here, and I think I should just tell you to stick with "light activity", and hope that you hit some middle ground. I can't have you breaking an ankle, or taking a tumble, or giving yourself heat exhaustion in the next 3 months. Just hold on for a few more months and then I don't care what you do. Or just think about asking anyone else, "Should I do this?" and then imagine that will tell you "No" and then don't do that thing. Also, come back on Monday. Morning. First thing. I want someone to check on you.

Friday, June 27, 2014

I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and.... well, just keep sitting for a while

I'll skip the biology. The baby is fine. I'm fine. But after a few hours in a hospital yesterday the doctors told me to restrict my activity for 24 hours and come back to the office for a check up.

You'd think that would be easy. Rest. Take a break. Sit down. Watch a movie (or 6). Read a book. But the second someone tells me I have to do something, is when I don't want to do it!!! I'm telling you, the laundry basket is laughing at me. The dishwasher is repeating my name. And the pile of toys in the living room is creeping around the floor on its own power.

In other (unrelated) news: I found a new shrink! Nothing was wrong with the old one, but I wanted to make sure that with all the baby stuff, I had a female therapist on stand-by. And now I do! The threats Stephan made that encouraged me to do the research and schedule the appointment were creative and emphatic. So don't think I did all that on my own. Most things around here are a team effort lately.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Not Quite a Pregnancy Dream

**Edited to spell "Rocky" correctly**

I don't make a habit of being on the internet right before bed (it's just not good sleep-hygiene). But last night I scrolled through the Runner's World website, and stared longingly at the Run Outfit of the Day (RUNootd), while wishing I could just run a mile again.

A few hours later, in my sleep, I ran. My smaller, more efficient, body tackled the familiar streets of my neighborhood, and then did a Rocky-esque loop through the stadium at Wrigley Field: pounding into the turns and twists of the concrete ramps up to the top of the seats. Stephan was there, running next to me, and we talked and ran happily together (just like we never really have... so this was obviously a dream).

It sure beats that old Zac Effron pregnancy dream!!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Surprisingly Settled

I'm often surprised at how insightful I was when I named my blog, "Who Moved my Finish Line." Every few months or years I notice how my focus changes. Right now, I'm really not focused on running. After the week in Denver I haven't put my running shoes back on. I haven't involved myself in any type of organized exercise. I haven't even taken a purposeful walk.

And I'm shocked at how ok I am with that. When walking up the stairs puts me out of breath, and one imbalanced meal sends me over an emotional and physical cliff, adding up miles just doesn't seem quite as vital.

Weird, right?

I'm just about 6.5 months pregnant. I'm starting to think about lightening up my work load (not now... but eventually). We have a busy summer planned until August, when I'm assuming I'll be spending a lot of time trying to breath and refolding tiny shirts. We've started knocking house projects off of our list of things to do- and just generally get into whatever type of summer routine works for us.

This is a pretty good place to be right now.

(Side note: I'm doing amazing professional things right now. My exhaustion level has a lot to do with how excited I am to be getting my hands on the people I've had the privilege to be working with right now... regardless of the 12-hour work days.)

Sunday, June 8, 2014

"Crazy Can't Get Enough"

That's a quote from a Hoka One One ad. I read it this morning and instantly fell in love with it.

What's Crazy lately? I've been busy. I spent a week in Denver at a Trauma Touch class. I've been working a ton (which is fantastic). And I haven't put running shoes on since Mother's Day.

But I did just have the most amazing running-related experience yesterday at the Madison to Chicago Ragnar. I knew I wasn't going to run it when I calculated that I would be 6 months pregnant (!!) for the weekend. But I had a team I wanted to support, and actually missed participating in the event. So when I logged onto the Ragnar website I saw there was an extra-special volunteer opportunity. It's called the SWAT team.


The shifts range from 12 - 30 hours. Whomp. For the most intense involvement, rental cars, sleeping shifts, and hotel rooms are involved, as is lifting up to 45lbs. My max is 15 right now, so I knew I'd have to beg to be a part of the team.

A long internet application, 25 minute phone interview, and some confirmation details later, I was assigned a 12 hour shift in Lake Forest, IL at exchange 31. I was the exchange manager for this "minor exchange". The job started at 4:45am and ended at 5pm with no scheduled break. I was in charge of two six-hour shifts of 6 volunteers each who were all there to support other teams. I had a phone-training session, and a packet of pdf's and excel spreadsheets to review. I sent out all the confirmation emails and received messages back that every volunteer would be there.

I had a lot of trouble sleeping the night before. I woke up just before 3am to eat and pack my breakfast/lunch/dinner, drinks, snacks, water for myself and the volunteers, table, chairs, sunblock, giant hat, cowbells, etc. etc. etc. I skipped coffee and went straight to a small bottle of coke.

The day was beautiful. Partly cloudy, just barely 80 degrees, a great breeze coming off of the lake.

The volunteer t-shirt was adorable. Every volunteer showed up on time, with their own snacks and water packed, ready to work. They set up and did their jobs with SO much enthusiasm! They cheered on EVERY runner while directing traffic, runners, timing, and spectators. Things got pretty crazy for a few hours. Just when the heat started climbing, a gush of runners and vans and teams crushed into our tiny little parking lot. The volunteers kept their cool and never stopped shouting encouragement to the runners.

I checked on every position about once an hour, but they never needed anything more than a short potty break or a fresh bottle of water. I never once heard a complaint. They smiled through their entire 6-hour shift. Every person was amazing. When I asked, "Do you need anything? A break? How are you doing?" most of them told me they were fine, and asked how I was doing!! Some of the older women even instructed me to sit down and put my feet up for a while- they had everything handled.

And when the last runner passed our exchange we cheered as loudly for her as for the first one... 6 hours earlier. The clean-up crew broke everything down efficiently, and we left the parking lot cleaner than we found it. The Ragnar staff handled all of my questions almost instantly, with humor, professionalism, and gratitude toward me. We had every supply we needed, and never had to ask for refills.

I recommended the SWAT crew to a few runners who asked what job I was doing, and even encouraged some of the interested volunteers to apply for next year. I had such an amazing experience, I can't wait to volunteer again next year. Hopefully I'll be able to take on a bigger role- but even a "minor" exchange was a major experience.


Sunday, May 18, 2014

Sit[ing] Right Down and Write[ing] Myself a Letter

Dear Anna from-a-week-ago,

Hey! Long time, no time-traveling letter!! Good to be writing you from where I sit on your future Sunday night. I just wanted to drop you a note to let you in on a secret that you might not know yet...

You're pregnant. Which means you've got a lot going on, you know, inside. And that means that you should consider, maybe, not doing so much on the outside. Want to review? Let's see what you have scheduled for the upcoming week:

Monday- 4 mile run, day with the in-laws
Tuesday- 12 hour work day (!!)
Wednesday- 3 mile run, then class, then dinner with friends, then a fundraiser
Thursday- 9 hours of work followed by a 3 mile run
Friday- 5 loads of laundry, 3 hours in a car, 2 mile run
Saturday- 6 hours of work, 3 hours in a car
Sunday- 6 volunteer hours at a water station, 3 year old birthday party, family dinner

And guess what? On Sunday night (that would be tonight) you are so tired you just cry for a few hours. Your throat hurts, your head is pounding, your feet could fit into your husbands shoes, and you're d.o.n.e. I'm not saying you should do anything differently in these next 7 days... I'm just sayin', maybe think about scheduling more couch-time. K? Thanks.

Anna from-a-week-from-then

Monday, May 12, 2014

Week 21

It's finally summer! I finally ran a 5k again! People on the street are finally realizing there's a baby in there (not just too much cheese)!!

And I'm about to take a cold shower, because, dang, it'll feel beautiful. More later.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Flowers for Anna-non

In school, "Flowers for Algernon" was one of my favorite short stories. I have always been a sucker for using text and punctuation to relay information beyond words.

Having this second baby is a lot like living through that story, physically. I started out slow and fat, got really lean, really fast, ran a marathon at the peak of my training and coasted along for a while. But now I'm at the part where I'm watching everything start to fall apart. My body is pooching out in different places (totally healthy, I know). One by one my pants are getting put in a box... along with old race shirts in the Small and Medium range. My splits have gone from 10's to 12:30's to lucky-if-I-finish-a-5k-in-less-than-45-minutes.

And today I went for a walk. I never intended to break into a run- I dressed for, and prepared for, a walk. Sigh. Super-sigh. Luckily, I keep remembering that this isn't permanent. But it's just such a weird feeling to be getting slower, and bigger, and to be running shorter distances. The backwards feeling is undeniable.

I know "Flowers for Algernon" is more about mentally disabled people than the glib problems of being a slower runner. But each time I look at a positive split (for you non-runners, that's a bad thing) or see the walk-breaks getting more frequent, I can see what's coming up, and it's not easy for me to be ok with it.

Please don't read this as me not being insanely happy for everything else that's going on in my life right now- the world is doing amazing things for us- I really couldn't be asking for anything else. I've prayed and hoped and waited for this exact time of my life for SO LONG that it's weird that I'm even registering this as a disappointment.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Overheard: Festivus

Him (playing a game on his phone): I found 2 out of 3 hidden bunnies.
No bunnies were harmed in the typing
 of this post

Me: In the game?

Him: No (sarcastically). In the house.

Me: Well, we probably do have at least three chocolate bunnies around here. I had one in the bathroom for a long time.

Him: WHAT??! Why?

Me: I dunno. It was in there and I just keep forgetting to put it with the rest of the candy. The kid got a bunch of them and I just haven't consolidated them. This is weird?

Him: YES! You. Blog. Now.

Me: Um (laughing in a slap-happy way), I don't know if this is funny.

Him: We have actual chocolate bunnies stashed in different rooms of our house. That's got to be funny.

Me: It's just lazy to me, but ok.

Monday, April 28, 2014

2 Miles to Go

I set myself up last week to run 4 times (which is one more time per week than I usually do). But it was Sunday night. It was 6pm. Stephan was out of the house, so I had no babysitter for my 4 year old. He's proficient on a bike, but the furthest we'd ever gone was 0.5 mile out and 0.5 mile back.

Also, it was getting dark with rain clouds.

"Grab your shoes. We're going for a bike ride, kid!"

It wasn't fast (17 minutes per mile) and we could hear thunder once or twice. It started sprinkling at exactly the 1 mile mark. And I had to push him to keep him moving a few times. But we finished our first bike/run outing! As we walked into the back entryway lightening lit up the sky, thunder shook the floor, and the sky opened up and poured down rain.

It was pretty awesome.

Monday, April 21, 2014


About 7 years ago I had a client who had a tattoo on her calf of the number 6.2. When I found out it meant 6.2 miles, I was instantly impressed. I figured if I could ever run that far, I would definitely get a tattoo like that.
6.2 is also, weirdly, the hazardous waste
designation for infectious diseases

Yeah, I haven't done that. But I think about that ink a lot. I think about how specific it was to a distance that isn't very popular in running. I wonder if it was the farthest she'd ever run, or if it was a meaningful race for her, or it just marked a time in her life when 6.2 miles was important.

I remember how reverently I would treat her entire leg- knowing that the mark of so many miles was there. 6 miles seemed like a distance that no one would ever really, sanely, tackle. I remember how I thought she must be so dedicated to running to have ever gone that far. She must have, like, bought shoes just for running.

And as I trained for the marathon 5 years later I often thought about doing the tattoo thing for the 26.2 mile accomplishment. But then I would think of the 6.2 and realize that, as soon as you ink a distance, you're defining that as a big moment.... but what if that changes, and you realize (as I did later) that 6.2 can be just a half of a training run- not a really big deal- and you have dozens of big moments afterward, and just not enough skin to fill up with numbers?

Perspective is crazy in running. I say that partly fueled by this morning's Boston Marathon performance by the elite athletes, and partly because huffing through my 4 mile route today I had to work hard to remember when 4.0 felt easier.

But as of yet, no running tattoos.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Week 16

I should stop taking these at sunset.
My legs are not this long.
This was a week of realizations and promises. I had a super-secret goal for this spring, beyond keeping up the 10 miles per week. I wanted to run a half-marathon. I figured if it was early enough in the pregnancy, and the spring, that things like heat and exhaustion wouldn't be factors. 

So after 2 weeks of trying to extend my runs from 3 to 6, I had to call it quits. Ok, that's not quite truthful. After coming home after the last 4 runs with hands so swollen that I couldn't close them, and feet so giant they'd formed new blisters... Stephan took one look at me and declared my training officially over. 

And I cried. 

And he promised me that I could treat myself to a spring marathon (a FULL marathon) next year. And I promised to actually listen to him and not run more than 4 miles at a time from now on. 

Monday, March 31, 2014

15 Weeks

15 weeks (with dogs, and MUCH looser pants)
I've been using a paper running log since the beginning of the year. I'm testing the theory that physically writing goals down is more productive than simply thinking them in my head. I guess it's working? I'm already so goal-oriented that it's just reaffirming my obsessive need to track numbers. (See: my budget spreadsheets)

But, anyway, the weekly log starts on a Monday. A fresh page. A fresh week, ready to be moulded according to my desires. Good morning, Monday. Let's do this.

And I can quickly scan through the pages and see which weeks have evenly-spaced, evenly-paced runs, and which have nothing until Thursday when I get 10 miles in the last 3 days of the week (Ahem, last week). So here it is. 9am... Monday morning... It's go time.

Make it or Break it
Do or Not Do
Man or a Mouse
Now or Never
... or maybe after 5 more minutes of quiet coffee-sipping.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

I'll Bite Your Kneecaps!

It finally happened. It finally clicked.

I ran out a 1/2 mile, stopped for water. Went out for a mile, stopped to pee. Went out for another mile, and just kept going.... Because I felt invincible. I finished the 5 mile run with a sub-12 minute final mile.

Yep. That, is how I do THAT.

Sunday, March 23, 2014


Forgive me, Internet, for I have slacked. It has been four weeks since I last hit a goal. Obviously, there have been a myriad of reasons for the lower-mileage weeks. And I'm pretty mellow about it. This week I ran 10.5, and I'm only 18 miles behind where I should be for my yearly goal. Not too bad.

I squeezed in the 3.5 mile run today because of this conversation:

Me: I have a terrible headache. And probably an ear infection because I'm dizzy. I've been bleeding on and off for weeks, but the doctor said I'm fine. The kiddo has been screaming and hitting all day. Yesterday I ate only Doritos. Sigh. Should I go for a run?

Him: Obviously.

{{45 minutes later}}

Me: Ugh! YES!! I feel SO much better!! I forgot how much better I feel after a decent run. Wow. Thank you! I needed that.

Him: And that's why I'm not a "runner." I NEVER feel like that. I just feel an absence of guilt.

Me: Are you sure you're not Catholic?

Friday, March 21, 2014

No Pants Dance

In my life, I'm excited to announce that none of my pants fit. The maternity pants are too giant huge and fall down. The non-maternity pants are too small and fall under the no-man's-land below my beer-belly.

So I don't want to wear pants, but neither does this kid.... Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

13 Weeks

I celebrated the beautiful weather, and my lack of any sort of sickness today with a 4.0 mile run! It was toward the end of the day and I kept watching the funny shadow I was making. From the front I could see the hour glass shape I'm used to. But from the side... well... I started wondering if people who saw me knew there was a baby in there, or if I just looked like a slow, new runner.

The run was still pretty slow, with a walk-and-water-break about every half mile. Toward the end I started feeling extra fluid in my hands and stopped at 4.0 (I felt like I could run all night, with enough breaks, but the swelling startled me).

The thoughts that rocked around centered on why I'm not as impressed with running pregnant as I thought I would be. I'm still pretty hard on myself for walking, and being pretty slow (12-14 min/mile). So I started playing with my mind: what if I was running this pace through shin-deep mud? I would be impressed with that. What if I ran as rehab for some broken leg or foot bone? I would be impressed with that. Or running as part of a chemo treatment? Or with some weird exhaustive disease (I'm thinking MS, RA, or something equally activity-limiting). I even pictured the Runner's World article about the Dwarves running the Boston Marathon. That's SO badass!

So with a shift in focus I'm telling myself that I AM a badass. And that shadow is only going to get more curvy. And dang it, I'm going to keep going. Because I love this.

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Most Important Thing II

I started typing this post and remembered I had titled another post the same thing, about 7 years ago. It's one of my favorite life-memories.

So, with that experience in mind (yeah, go back and read it. Maybe you'll need tissue), I started repeating an unintentional mantra during today's run/walk. It was, "The most important thing is..." I kept coming up with different endings to it, and every time I thought of one, I immediately thought of a better or more accurate one (this is why I love running). Here are a few of them, with their rationalizations.

The most important thing is... keep to the scheduled 10 miles a week.
Well, that isn't realistic. The last two weeks I ran 3 and 2 miles, since Stephan put me on quasi-bedrest. So then what? just keep running no matter what.
Also, probably not ideal. If I run out of breath while running I need to slow down. And I need to be kind to myself even while walking and not get frustrated and quit. take regular walk breaks.
Ok, closer. Maybe if I went into a workout with a run/walk plan, the walking wouldn't seem like a concession to laziness. take care of myself.
Seriously? That's not any kind of standard. On any given day I could justify sitting on the couch for hours eating chips as "much needed rest." keep moving, whatever that looks like today.
Now, there! There is something I might be able to hang my hat on. I still need to conquer that old demon that tells me that if Nike+ doesn't count it as a mile, it never happened. Yoga happens (I should make that a tshirt). Walks happen. Small efforts don't mean failure. ANY effort is a success. Now... how do I make myself believe that??

The first trimester exhaustion and sickness should be ending any day now. I've been looking forward to a surge of wonderful energy to get myself back on track. I've spent the last 12 weeks doing my best, and, for the most part, getting in those 10 mile weeks, and being excited that I'm still so active. I have a 5k planned for May, for which I will be an obviously pregnant runner at a Mother's Day race. I'm really looking forward to impressing myself with my ability to stay motivated, even when I have a good excuse to let everything slide for a few months. Wheeeee!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Roommates and Friends

I'm starting this post with the non-offensive story first. Warning: After this story, things start to get real.

We got a hamster last week. Here is a list of things about hamsters you may not know:

1. Hamster is German for Hoarder. They hoard their food and it's kind of adorable.

2. Sawyer named the hamster Sweetie (which he pronounces Schweedie).

3. I totally love Sweetie. Watching her is more relaxing than anything else in the world.

4. I have never touched Sweetie.

5. I am scared to death of hamsters.

So having Sweetie in the house is a lot like those old episodes of Maury Povich (before paternity tests were so popular) where hypnotists treated people with phobias. I can watch her, but just the thought of her tiny face or claws touching my skin makes me start twitching. I'll keep you guys updated- but so far I love her from afar.

Now, here's where parents, and those under 18, should turn away. It's an Overheard: text message edition.

Me: :d

Me: I don't know what that is.

Clare: Tape mouth?

Me: It's a lower case d. So.... dickface?

Clare: But it looks like a roll of scotch tape. Dickface is more like :<>

Me: That's a vagina.

Clare: :<3 p="">
Me: :8=o

Clare: Yeas!

Me: I just handed the phone to Stephan and said, "We are trying to make a penis face. Help me." and he refused to look at the phone. He said he's glad I have you for a friend.

Clare: I feel like if he meant that HE'D BE HELPFUL!

Clare: Sometimes I also feel like if we posted our text conversations directly to a blog we'd be millionaires. With less friends, because of the smack we talk.

Me: Now he's doubting our collective creativity.

Clare: He's such a poser.

Me: I can post it, but it's a little racy for my running friends.

Clare: No. Don't post it on your blog. It should be its own anonymous nonsense.

Me: :-3=>

Clare: That's a dude with balls for a nose.

Me: I'm laughing so hard I'm snorting.


Sunday, March 9, 2014

Quoting the Big Book

I spent a few years in Al-anon. They use a lot of catch-phrases there. One of them is "Let go and let God." I paraphrase this in my head constantly (as much as the "Keep Calm and..." people do). This morning I started repeating, "Let go and... assume the miles will pile on soon enough."

I ended February 7 miles short of my goal, and this week I'm behind 4 miles. The outlook for next week isn't very positive either. Cramps, dizziness, dehydration or just lack of being able to eat, have all slid running down the list of priorities. There is no sucking it up when something tiny and amazing is sucking it all out of you. Which sucks, but in a way I wouldn't ever trade.

So being 11 miles behind, I've had to let go of my iron grip on the goal, and trust the process. I trust that, in a few weeks, I'll be back on my feet, and watching the miles tick by again. Sure, I'll slow down in the summer, and might miss an entire month or so later... but 10 miles a week is a doable goal if I can see the entire year in my mind's eye.

Let go and let it ride.
Let go and, seriously, let go.
Let go and it'll happen.

Keep calm and... seriously, just calm the 'f' down.
Keep calm and try to run tomorrow.

Friday, March 7, 2014


Runner's World was delivered today, and by chance I opened to Peter Sagal's article about being safely in the finish area at the Boston Marathon last year when the bombs went off. What he describes sounds like a type of survivor guilt... but a gentler form.

And I get it. It's why I always (purposely) forget to tell people I'm a cancer survivor. I just feel survivor-adjacent. But Peter Sagal is running Boston again this year. A LOT of people are running Boston again this year, to show the world that Boston will not be defeated by two villains.

And that's why I keep running (well, not a lot this week)... to show people that we're not going down without a fight. No matter what I'm surviving, I'm still running. And no matter what anyone survives, they can keep going.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Rookie Mistake

"Do you need to potty before we leave?"

No lines!

3 mile run
22 degrees with wind
actively snowing
about 2" in the street pre-and-post-snowplow

I didn't even think about it. But a mile and a half into my badassery I started to feel sharp cramps, then, slowing to a walk, realized it was my bladder sending emergency signals. I, like Neo, had to make a choice- the path to the right would bring me home in less than a mile (leaving me short of today's goal), the one on the left would finish the 1.5 mile loop.

I chose poorly. It only took another .5 mile to realize that it's impossible to do kegel exercises while running. And after an entire mile, it hurts to keep walking. I thought about trying to catch a ride with a passing snow plow, or begging a snow-blowing neighbor to let me into their house. But I did none of those. I tried to run to get home faster, but then walk to keep from peeing.

Man, I love running.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

White Flag

Dude. Guys. Seriously. Are you ready for this? Are you sitting down? Let me explain...

The last few months I've been very whiny. I've complained about- just about- everything. The running stuff, the weather, everything. I've blamed a lot of it on the endless winter. The endless cold. The endless everything. But I've kept up the 10 miles per week for the last 7 weeks. It was a triumph. And then I bailed this week. BUT in my defense... I'm 11 weeks pregnant.

YAY!!!! Yay!!!!!! Wooo hoooo!!!! If you've been a blog fan for a while, you know this is pretty much as much of a miracle as you can get. We'd been told we had a less than 10% chance of this happening. We were ready to start looking at other options. We were saving money, we were starting to research herbs, doctors, medical procedures. We'd taken every test they could think of. And then for no apparent reason, boom. Like my brother said, "What happened? Did you pull the goalie??"

So I've been running 10 miles/week with the most insane all-day sickness. Crazy food cravings, aversions, sensitivities... lack of sleep... some of the most painful chest-related symptoms (I have not figured out what combination of sports bras I can run in), and the exhaustion. But this week I'm calling it done for now. I ran 3 this week, and I'm tapped.

I've read as many running blogs as I can find that deal with running through pregnancy. The only solid advice I've taken to heart is, "You're pregnant? Throw away your training plan, and just move at whatever your new pace is."

Which is about 12:30/mile. Doc says I can run as long as I don't get short of breath. Some days that's just walking. La la la, increasing blood volume, growing a human, etc. means my heart races sometimes at the slightest exertion.

So from now on, until the end of September, this is officially a Running While Pregnant blog. I am taking ANY AND ALL advice you guys might have, especially about what I could wear while running to make this more comfortable. I've developed an amazing set of blisters and road rashes from my sports bras.... Do I make the plunge and go for another fitting now? Do I hang my head and just walk the 10 miles a week? Annie... I'm looking at you!!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Overheard: Aspirations

Me: Sawyer, what job do you want to have when you're a big adult person?

SJ: I want to clean up dog poop, feed a hermit crab that I buy, and help sharks not to be mad or sad.

Packing List

There are lots of reasons why I packed my gear for an indoor run on a treadmill this afternoon. I pack myself often, so I didn't think twice that I had everything.

Dude(s). I forgot the sports bra. All I had was the cotton one I wore to church. And I'm not sure about any of you... but I did NOT want to try a 5 mile run in a regular cotton bra. I thought about scrapping the whole plan, but that would leave me 5 miles short for the week!!

Sigh. I decided to walk it. Ugh. Walk 5 miles on a treadmill. I calculated it would take... scientifically.... forever to walk 5 miles. About 0.5 miles into it, I changed the plan. I decided to walk for an hour, see how far I got, and just call it a day.

And THEN.... THEN?!?!?

Nike+ had my pace at 11:40/mile. Hahahahaha!! The treadmill was set to more of the 15 minutes per mile, but Nike+ decided my short little legs and quick long arms were going much faster than that.

After an hour, Nike+ registered my 5.0 mile run. The treadmill read 3.5 miles.

Voting time!!

Do I take the 5.0? Or the 3.5 and just make it up next week?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Swirling-Whirling Pool (Before and After)

The title comes from a phrase my son repeats daily. I guess it's a thing on Jake and the Neverland Pirates. Something about a magic anchor. Anyway, it's how I feel this morning. There is SO MUCH going on!! It feels like a Monday... on Wednesday.

(My friend and I always email lists to each other when things feel overwhelming.)
1. Our (unoccupied) car got hit last week and I'm trying to figure out the repairs.
2. My business is starting to boom... good, but I have LOTS of phone calls to return.
3. Sawyer. He... exists, and is having a very demanding week. Still cute though!!!!
4. The exciting pilot study that I'm working on is revving up into gear.
5. My right glute/IT band is throwing shocks of shooting pain down my leg.
6. TAXES!!

And other stuff. Stuff with Stephan, and other family members. Sigh. So.... this is my "before" post. Despite the shooting pain, I'm going to head out for a run and see what shakes out. It's a beautiful day (30+ and sunny!), and I feel pretty good. So..... I'll be back after these messages.


Whew. I needed that. My brain had to stop talking to me and focus on the pain in my leg. Every. Step. I tweaked my stride over and over to find a comfortable gait. It took 2 miles, but I did it. Thoughts that kept creeping in were shelved until later. All those people who need to be dealt with were not on my run with me. It was just me, the road, and the sun. Oh, the sun. The beautiful sun. Sigh.

I had no mileage planned, just out and back for water, out and back, out and back until I was tired. I knocked out 5 and came in to shower before picking Sawyer up. I think I could have hit at least 2 more. Maybe another day. I'm excited to keep my mind clear for the next few hours, until it's time to get back on the computer/phone/Excel spreadsheets and deal with all of it.

Thursday, February 13, 2014


"AW, what a pretty day for a run. It's almost 30*, and those softly falling snowflakes just look heavenly."

Until the wind whips up and those pretty flakes turn into ice-knives of pain!!!! Also, if you're ever wondering if you need wind/water proof layer, the answer is yes.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Frackin' A...


Don't be cocky. 12* is still cold.


This morning in pictures of other people.

What I feel like when I run in the cold:

What I probably look like:

Sunday, February 9, 2014

6am... **Edited**

The alarm goes off...

(It's the first time since October I've needed to set it)

I grab running tights and a base layer...

(And a wind-proof layer, and sweat-clothes)

Print out directions...

(I KNOW my phone has GPS, but I like having something in my hands)

Eat a balanced breakfast...

(Plenty of carbs, add protein, maybe more carbs)

Maybe a little coffee...

(Hmm, maybe not. Don't know what the porta-potty situation will be)

Bottle of water, extra hat and gloves...

(All in blue and white)

And leave the house to start the season...

(No, not that season)

I'm volunteering as a sweep car driver at a 5k/10k this morning. Man, the things I do for zero dollars!!

**I did not get to drive a sweep car. I stood outside in 5* temperature next to Lake Michigan directing traffic away from runners. A stranger gave me her (sweaty) hand warmers. My toes went numb. Man, I love my charity.**

Friday, February 7, 2014

Faces of Winter

Stephan is training for a spring marathon. So... that's happening. His long run this week was a 9 mile, but with his schedule being what it was, he ran it from 9pm-10:30pm (and without an accurate GPS, he ended up running 10 miles).

Yes, running shorts over windproof pants.
Sexy eyes. Er, if you ignore the ice.

I am training for... nothing really. Maybe a spring 1/2. But maybe not. I don't know. I should run something. Sigh. I AM still focused on running my 10 miles a week, which has been really hard considering the streets around here. Wednesday's planned run got shelved for an hour of shoveling. I was so angry by the end of it I considered running in my boots and Carhartt, but the streets weren't plowed, so I'd be slogging through ankle-deep slush. I took a picture...

Angry face. 

So when the temperature slid back into the single digits I S'dIU and threw on layers and layers and layers and ran 4 this morning. It wasn't fun. But I was so happy to be out doing the deal, I, again, took a picture!

Bundled, but happy!
I've only turned in 7 miles so far this week, but dang it- I'm sticking to this!! 

Friday, January 31, 2014

And then.. The SIU part!!

28*. Windy... very windy... 4:15pm, with an expected sunset of 5:15pm. But it's cloudy, so it's getting dark fast.

Stephan says, "It'll be colder tomorrow. If you're going to get this done, you should do it now."

Sigh. I don't wanna.

But I do. I need 5 miles in the next two days to finish off my 40 for the month of January. Polar Vortex 2014 hasn't helped my new goals. But today (er, yesterday)... today I can't be stopped.

Cue Miley Cyrus.

(NO! Don't cue that. Never mind.)

The wind is really harsh. The slush-covered-ice is like running on a beach. But people haven't shoveled their sidewalks, so occasionally I chose to run through shin-deep snow. At 3 miles I'm back at the house chugging water out of a tiny kids' water bottle, and I decide to pull the last 2 out of my whiny self.

And I do! But seriously, at 13+ minutes per mile, it was definitely more of a slog than a run. But it happened! Yay me!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Putting the "P" in SIUP


I know it's cold all over the country right now (except, puzzlingly, for Anchorage and Florida). For some reason I can put on enough layers to keep my torso, arms, and hands warm (usually in the 4+ range), but my quads are always freezing! I've resorted to wearing three pairs of pants, and that keeps things tolerable.

But is it stopping me?

Uh, kinda. The run we left for in the picture above only netted us 2 miles. Sure it was cold, but having so many layers covering my mouth just doesn't work. And uncovering my mouth is definitely not an option. To make up the other 2 miles I drove 18 miles to my parents house to use their treadmill. Then 18 miles home. That's a little crazy.

It was my first treadmill run in over a year, and it was just as painful as I remember. That little panel is just so tempting! I can watch the seconds tick by. And the .01's of the mile. With that ability, who wouldn't watch every excruciating step. For 24ish minutes. It was a really long 24ish minutes.

The bad weather won't last forever. So I'm enjoying the badassary and photo ops while I can get them. Sweaty hot pictures in July aren't as fun.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Overheard: More Drama than Truth

Him: Whacha doing?

Me: [paging through Victoria's Secret catalogue] Planning my comeback.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Overheard: Lecture

I was doing my best wife lecture about the dangers of processed food at my husband last night. Specifically, that the Monster beverages he occasionally indulges in are GOING TO KILL HIM!!!! (I wish I could type more emphatically than just capitol letters)

So I said, "Don't even talk. I know what you're going to say. That you needed that cocktail to keep you safe while driving sleepy. But what if you'd said, "Honey, I just need this one sniff of cocaine?" do you think I would be ok with that?"

To which Sawyer (4 years old) began chanting: Sniff of cocaine!! Sniff of cocaine!!

Best. Parenting. Ever.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Lucky 13

Hitting 2k lifetime miles at the turn of the year made it really easy to calculate what I wanted my goal mileage for this year to be...


[Nike+ isn't working tonight, so I just did a LOT of math by hand]

Here's what the last few years' totals have been:

2010       2011        2012       2013
283.7     697.43      559.0     349.74

That's not an upward trend. That's a downward trend. And what's even more upsetting is that the month-to-month comparisons are all over the place. So this year's goal is to establish a routine of running that evens out my year. I'm planning to average 10 miles a week. That's a pretty simple goal. So there it is.

This week was my best week in a few months- 13 miles! So far, here are what my Januaries look like:

January   2010       2011      2012      2013     2014
                 0.0         89.9       42.3       8.54      22.1 (so far)

I'm right on pace. Yay for me!!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Why is a Raven like a Writing Desk?

I grew up on late 80's television. The Cosby Show, Who's the Boss?, Family Ties, etc. There were also after school specials and AIDS. But before AIDS really took hold of the media, dyslexia was a very popular topic on TV. It seemed like every network found a way to maneuver an episode about finding empathy for people who are different and have a harder time doing things we all take for granted... specifically with dyslexia as the focus.

According to a Google search, either a full 20%, or a more modest 10-15%, of Americans are affected by dyslexia. What I learned from watching television is that a dyslexic person sees printing on a page and their eyes make the letters or numbers jumble around so they have a harder time making sense of them.

Here's what I think today: I think mental illness is to emotions what dyslexia is to reading. A normal person looks at a calendar and sees this:

Granted, usually with a lot more stuff filled in.

With mental illness, a person looks at a calendar and sees this:

You can substitute whatever daily activity you want to.

Grocery shopping:

Can feel like:
I love the cow in this picture. It makes the same amount of sense to me as shopping.

These people are fake.
Can feel like:
I don't know what this is, but it's exactly as confused and terrifying as meeting strangers in a social setting can feel for me. 

See? It works.

Also, the answer, according to Carrol:
"Because it can produce a few notes, tho they are very flat; and it is nevar (sic) put with the wrong end in front!"

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Blogging the Truth

Running long runs with my husband rarely works. During marathon training we would get into at least one fight an hour. During the Soldier Field 10 Mile race we actually made runners around us feel uncomfortable with our bickering. By the time we get home everything is fine... however...

I've told him that he talks too much while running.

Case study: this week's 5 mile run in the slush and ice of a gently warming midwestern morning. Honestly, I wore 'cute pants' instead of 'smart pants' and was chafing only a mile into it. When I start to get miserable, I go inside my head for motivation. At the same time, Stephan begins practicing his stand-up routines. I lose my focus, start getting angry, and then just give up and walk.

Then he starts checking in with me every few minutes, requiring me to list out loud my various miseries... which brings them into sharp focus, and then... I just give up and walk.

The entire 5 miles he kept laughing at how frustrated I was getting by his constant bird-like chatter. He threatened to post the blog himself. He laughed, and acknowledged that I don't do well while he talks... and he kept talking!!

I'm still amazed we survived 6.5 hours (26.2 miles) of running straight together. Actually, I'm amazed I haven't learned my lesson by now!!

Thursday, January 9, 2014


aka... Stephan and Anna do a cleanse

Me: So, Stephan... what should I tell the internet about our 30 hour "juice fast"?

Him: WE SUCK!!!! No. Don't type that.

Me: First of all, this was not a New Year's Resolution. We've been planning this for years. The first "cleansing" book we bought 6 years ago was about giving ourselves colonics. We might still have that book around here somewhere. I'm glad we didn't do that. Instead, we watched the movie Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, last winter, bought a Vitamix in the spring, and downloaded the 3 day Reboot with Joe during the summer. We've always wanted to increase our vegetable intake, and figured this would be a good way to start.

Him: Tell them that after 30 hours we felt drunk and unsafe to drive our child anywhere, and we figured we needed some complex carbs and protein. Isn't the truth pretty much writing this post for you?

Me: Uh. Sure. It got pretty bad. And I'm glad we chose to break our blending/juicing reboot/fast with whole wheat toast and eggs, bananas and natural peanut butter, a cheese stick.... and Chicago hotdogs and ribs with fries and soda at Portillos Hotdogs.

[There was so much more to this post.... and somehow ate it. I'm SO SAD!]

To summarize, I'm glad we had this experience, we learned a lot about our snacking habits, we want to include more vegetable smoothies in our daily diet, and cops don't believe you when you tell them you're not drunk, you're just "on a diet."

Monday, January 6, 2014

Like a Thing that Taunts You

After nearly a week of constant snow here, we got a break. It was beautiful today... brightest sunshine, not a cloud in the sky, some wind, gorgeous.

Every time I looked out the giant front windows I swore under my breath. Because today, being outside could kill you. Windchill estimates ranged from 9-11 minutes outdoors until frost bite. School was cancelled for today and tomorrow. The dogs have resorted to peeing on the driveway. My friends are texting me with their emergency-wine-stock lists.

However, we used to live in Montana. We have a wardrobe for this weather. We learned a few lessons from the locals. And we survived an insane night with no power and no insulation (except dogs).

Stephan reminded me last night (as I was reviewing our own stocks of beans, rice, wheat flower, and tuna) that we've done a LOT more with a LOT less. So here's to being thankful for our wonderful, solid, house, our 2-year-old furnace, and the Home Depot 1/4 mile away if we need anything.

Sunday, January 5, 2014


No access to a treadmill means my 10 miles per week desires are not being met this week. However, I've been pretty busy, so I wanted to start figuring out what was going on...

For every hour of shoveling snow I burn a little over 400 calories.
That means that shoveling is the equivalent of running 4 miles per hour.
I've shoveled for 2.5 hours today already.... that's 10 miles today!!

So.... I win?
(This is stolen from This is also about 1/16 the amount of snow on the ground right now.)