Saturday, March 24, 2012

So, I Ran...

Ran my very first 5K "race" this morning. (By ran, you understand that I mean, "slogged along, snorting and snuffling", right?)

Anyhoo...I did it and despite my aching joints, I feel awesome. AWESOME!

42 minutes it took me...11 minutes less than it took me to traverse the same trail last week and only two minutes behind my friend Matt, who's a fellow Biggest Loser contestant and has been my slogging partner for weeks now.

Am I proud?

Hell, yes!

Do I like the photographic evidence of my still-too-heavy self, huffing and puffing, red-faced and sweating?


But I'm still far, far too proud of myself NOT to post more of 'em here. Heh.

Plus, I'd like to offer up some of the more inane things that went through my mind as I took my first tentative steps into the Land of Fit:

As we warmed up, I glanced casually at blatantly sized-up the other participants, especially the super-fit ones sporting "fuel belts" and running gear, instead of maternity leggings and an old gray sweatshirt from Mark's Work Wearhouse, like me:

"I am a hippo. A hippo wearing a stupid hat. Have my thighs EVER been that slim? Heck, have my ARMS ever been as thin as her thighs?"

As we gathered in a lump at the starting point, jamming earphones in and swilling down more water, I thought:

"What the EFF is wrong with my left calf? Is it seizing, already? Why? WHY? I can't believe my leg is cramping already-freakin'-ready.....wait.....shit, we're starting! AGH!"

So, I ran.

As Miley Cyrus's "The Climb" filled my ears during the first few minutes of the run, I relaxed enough to enjoy her voice, gently urging me forward:

"This song was a good choice. What a great voice....I love this song....I love Miley's hair, too. Wish I had her hair. If I had hair like hers, I wouldn't care as much about being fat, I'll bet. Have I been running for 7 minutes already? Holy crap! I'VE BEEN RUNNING FOR 7 MINUTES WITHOUT SLOWING TO WALK!"

At 8 minutes, I slowed to a walk, having psyched myself out completely.

At the half-way point:

"I wonder if anyone would notice if I snuck across this giant expanse of lawn, instead of going around it, like they said to? Where's the water? Didn't they say there'd be water half way? I'm thirsty....dying of thirst here. I wonder if they'd let me win "Biggest Loser" posthumously..."

Mark pulled alongside me, tossed out a fresh bottle of water and a thumbs up, which propelled me through "Love the Way You Lie" by Rhianna and Eminen AND "F*ckin' Perfect" by Pink, before I slowed to a walk again.

Note to self: For next race, get fuel belt, in case Mark isn't always available for drive-by fill-ups.

Randomly, over the next 20 minutes or so:

"What the HELL is up with my left calf? Why, WHY does it do this?"

"Thank God there's a breeze, otherwise I'd look like a SWEATY hippo wearing leggings..."

"Effing hell,, this breeze is like a wall. How much slower am I going because of this wind? The wind IS the reason I'm going so slowly. It is SO!" (Nothing quite like arguing with myself, whilst trying to run and breathe at the same time)

"I suck. I suck so bad at this. This is stupid. I am going so slowly, I've lost sight of Matt. I am such a loser."

(Singing) "I know you've got a little life in you yet, I know you've got a lot of strength left..."

"Shit...was that out loud?"

"I see the park! It's the park....there's Matthew! Oh, Luke, are you swinging by yourSELF? That's so awesome! Crap, does Mark have the camera? IS the camera. Run faster,, damn it...there's a camera!"
Matthew joined me for about 15 seconds before waving me on

Moving so fast, I'm like a blur....heh.

I forged on, heading into the final kilometre feeling tired, but so happy to have seen my boys, had them see me doing something good and different. But parts of me hurt:

"I am going to saw my left calf off and toss it in the Bay, just as soon as I am finished this damned race. Ow, ow, ow, ow......"

"Is that the parking lot?!? It IS...the end is NIGH!"

"Ow, ow, ow.....why is breathing so freakin' DIFFICULT?"

Fumbling for favourite running song of all time, "Running Up That Hill" covered by Placebo"...

"Bring it, Bellymonster!"

Buoyed by the music and the breeze and the knowledge that within minutes, it would be over, I ran hard, feet and heart pounding, blood roaring in my ears.

Rounding the last curve, I spied the others:  I could see Matt and my friend Susan, who'd decided to join in this morning, waiting, cheering. Spotted my best friend, waving and hollering encouragement from the edge of the trail. I couldn't see the Reds or Mark, but felt them anyway and grinning, I pushed harder, waiting for the final surge of energy I'd been promised.


I didn't have it, was too spent and instead sort of stumbled into the parking lot, only dimly aware of cheers and clapping and feeling a bit nauseous:

"Can't breathe. Can't speak. Must smile. There are cameras."

Heard, "42 minutes, 16!"

Looked at number pinned to my sweater: 16.

Blinked, trying to focus.

"That's ME! I'm 16! 42 minutes! Holy SHIT! I'm done! I did it! I'm done....ow, ow, ow, can't breathe, must breathe....can't.catch.breath.....I did it! Go, me!"

My friend, Susan.

Fellow "Biggest Loser" Matt Tweedy, who is an incredible
competitor and has kept me motivated. Thanks, Matty-Matt!

*       *      *

Maybe I'll keep my left calf after all.

I might need it.

There's another 5K run along the Waterfront in July and I think I can shave at least two minutes off my time...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

How Babies (And Marriages) Are Made: A Lesson From the Monitor

Kids are so funny. And curious. And are the reason I still use the baby monitor...

Resident imps at the House of Leprechauns

Saturday night at bedtime: I sat between the boys' bed, chatting quietly with them in the dark and listening to Luke name his body parts, beginning with his head: hair, forehead, eyes, chin. He traveled down, cheerfully naming them all, until he got to his privates.

(Gird yours now, because it's about to get...informative... around here.)

"And this is my pee-pee!" he announced, triumphantly, in that way of boys the world over. "But Mummy, what are the things after my pee-pee?"

"They're called testicles."

"Those bally things are called testicles?"

"Yep. Testicles."

"What do they do?"

While I willed myself to breath, Matthew jumped in, "It's where the seeds to make a baby are."

Said Luke, "Seeds? In the testicles?"

Matthew: "Yeah. The seeds make a baby in Mummy's belly. They stay in the testicles, kind of like when chipmunks store nuts for the winter."

*Brief pause here for me to die laughing, in my head. *

"Matthew's right." I said briskly, hoping to end the entire dialogue, and be quick about it. Alas, I was not quick enough, because Matthew had more to share:

"Then the seeds come of Daddy's pee-pee and he puts them in Mummy's belly and they grow into a baby."

Wait for it, dear readers......wait for it............

"How does Daddy gets the seeds from his pee-pee
 into Mummy's belly?"

Somewhere along the way, Mark (listening from downstairs) had the good (?) sense to grab the camera and record the rest of this unexpected and awkward conversation, via the monitor.

 It's a bit hard to hear, but if you turn your speakers up, I'm confident that you'll be able to hear me cringing as I fumbled my way through.

Hint: Listen for the incredulous and horrified, "YUCK!" from Matthew.

I'm also confident that (when you've finished giggling, at my expense) you'll join me for a Baileys wee drink. 

After that mess of a conversation, I reckon we could all use one!

And you? How have/will you handle(d) your kids' important (but awkward) questions?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Just to See You Smile...

It's not the big moments that get me. It's the small, seemingly insignificant ones that cause me to catch my breath in surprise - how quickly time is passing.

Over the weekend, Matthew lost his first tooth. There was much cheering and high-fiving and giggling at bedtime as he carefully placed his tiny tooth under his pillow. More cheering the next morning when he discovered that the Tooth Fairy had left him $2.

When I asked to take his photo he readily agreed, happy to capture this long-awaited moment. And for the first time in what seems like weeks, my beloved first-born son....smiled:

I often slip little love notes - hastily scribbled onto Post-It notes and affixed to cellophane-wrapped sandwiches - into the Reds' lunch packs. I collect little sayings and snippets specifically for this purpose because I don't always have the words I want at 6:00 a.m. and sometimes, a Mama needs a little help. Some months back, I found the prettiest words and tucked them away, waiting for the perfect moment to share them.

This then, was this morning's  Post-it message:

Blue skies, butterflies
Warm breeze, picking peas
Starlight, snuggled tight
All of these make me
But none as much as
the sight of your smile.


And you?
What are the small moments that take up the biggest spaces in your heart?