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Running Through a Fulfilled Life


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I’m Still Here

So this blog really fell off the wagon.  Like fell off, rolled down the road into a ditch, and laid there for several months.  What can I say?  Life has been busy and finding time between family life, work, recreation, and preparing for the holidays has got me cray cray.   I’m full of excuses and not full of a lot of time.  This weather and the total assault to my immune system with mutated germs has produced a LOT of illness as well, so my energy has just not been there in months.  I’ve had 2 bouts now with colds which have both resulted in 3+ weeks of coughing.  I’ve slept more nights on our couch than in bed, and I’m pretty sure that I should buy stock in Mucinex because I’m convinced I’m keeping them in business.  Double yuck.

Despite all that coughing and snot production, I’ve managed to still keep running (just not as much as I would like to, and definitely not enough to get me ready for any kind of training plan).  I finished the year off with 3 5K’s.  Its a day late and a dollar short to do any kind of race recap, so here’s my results.  Summary of all the races, I had some sort of terrible congestion or cough going on during each race, usually ending with snotsicles dripping everywhere.

St Pete’s Spooktacular 5K: 1st OA, 21:07
The Piggyback Run 1st OA, 21:40
Dave’s Turkey Chase 5th AG 21:01

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Utter snot devastation.  

I’m hoping to get back into more regular training, including long runs, speedwork, and tempos in the future, but until my post-nasal drip decides to leave its residence inside my nasal cavities, it’ll be informal training.

In other non-running related updates, my 2 kiddos continue to get large.  The past year has been a whirlwind and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  I’m definitely a #momofboys and #boymom and my house generally looks like it’s had a boynado go through and is in some stage of destruction, but that’s life with kids and eventually I know I’ll miss these early stages.

I’m hoping to get back to more regular posts and updates once I start training for the Glass City Half in April, since I signed up for that a year ago and all.  Hopefully half training post-baby #2 goes just as well after #1!  Eli Out!

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Race Recap: Shades of Gray 5K

Oh hey, I’m still here.  The thought of writing any kind of blog entry lately has produced a big fat “pppppppppfffffff” from my brain, which is why I’ve been on hiatus for way too long.  But yes, I’m still here.  I’m still running.  I’m still baby rearing.  Even if I have less time to do the running portion of the equation (spoiler alert: baby #2 takes so much more work!).  The Shades of Gray 5K is the 3rd race I’ve done since coming back into running post-partum.  It’s also the best I’ve felt and run since Lucas made his appearance 4 months ago.

This race was to benefit Serving Our Seniors of Erie County, an organization that I’ve referred countless patients to and know provides invaluable services in the community to those 60+.   Thus, game on.  I arrived early enough to give myself a bit of warm-up time, as this race started over by Battery Park Marina in Sandusky.  It was a 2 loop course of the downtown area and I’ve done several races in that vicinity before and it’s relatively flat.  The weather wasn’t too bad, it was about 72 degrees and slightly humid at race time, but I was ready to do this thing.  My 2 previous 5k’s had been pooptastic and I felt pooptastic during both–like I was running with sandbags for legs.  This day, however, I felt like I had energy and some bounce in my step even during warm-up.

The race started promptly at 9:00 AM.  It was a small turn-out, but hopefully that doesn’t deter the race from coming back next year, as it was well organized, had a cute shirt design and *bonus* pair of socks that came in the swag bag.  We took off heading down Water Street and I quickly found myself in 2nd.

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Look at me! Wee!

Like 2nd overall.  In the whole race (small races throw me off big time when this happens).  The lead male got slightly confused when we had to turn to head into our second loop during the course, so I felt like this did hurt my concentration and game plan for at least 1/2 mile prior to Mile 2, but I regrouped and kept pushing.

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Is this what “striding out” looks like? My legs are actually capable of this position? Gasp

Mantra: Run EVEN.  And I did.  Mile 1 was around a 7:04.  Mile 2 was around a 7:07.  Mile 3 was around a 7:03.  I finished the race in 21:43.  1st Female Overall and 7:00/mile avg pace.

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My finish line photos always look like a hot mess. Like real hot. And a real big mess.

The best part?  I felt good.  No sandbag legs.  No heavy “everything hurts and I’m dying” breathing.  No “I want to quit running because I just don’t have it anymore” feeling.  I felt really good.  It’s about gosh darn time!

I’m really hoping Shades of Gray comes back next year (so, race director, keep this thing together) because I am definitely marking it back on my race calendar!

Eli out.


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Life with Two: 2 month Edition

Lucas is 2 months old!  Hurrah, mission control, we’ve hit some semblance of head control!  He still has yet to show any signs of rolling, so it’s been nice that we can continue to keep him swaddled to help with his sleep (at this stage with James, we had to unswaddle him and build a barricade to prohibit rolling/waking…spoiler alert, it didn’t work).   He’s definitely got himself a little personality and is always full of smiles as long as he’s fed, dry diapered, and is being talked to.  He’s an attention whore, but we love him.  He’s up to sleeping for stretches of 5-6 hours during the night, waking usually anywhere from 1-3 times during the night.  I’m so looking forward to when he sleeps through the night, but I know this is still a ways away!  Also, he’s a butterball turkey.  Seriously, kid gained like 3 pounds in a month and grew 2 inches.  I will eventually be the shortest person in this family.

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Life with 2 kids continues to throw its challenges to us, but little did I know that our HOUSE, yes HOUSE would be the biggest problem child.  I really shouldn’t lump everything into the category of “house”, but since all things bad have occurred on our property lines, I will categorize as I want.  Seriously, bad things are supposed to occur in 3’s, but ours seem to have occurred in 10’s and counting.

In order of occurrence:
1)  The bathtub emptied into our kitchen, which emptied into the basement.  Holy flood.  Call to the plumber on a weekend=not good.  Lucas was a week old.
2)  During heavy wind, we lost some siding.  It adds character to our house.
3)  We got a bunch of heavy wind and rain, thus causing a large ceiling stain in our family room.  The roofing company we contacted wasn’t sure how this happened.  If you squint, the stain looks like Mickey Mouse ears,
4)  Our tree in the front yard started to lean.  It’s rotting at the base.  We need to find a chainsaw soon.
5)  Our latest fun thing: our fridge quit working!  It’s not even 2 years old, but decided it wanted me to throw out all my groceries I had just purchased.  But good news, it’s under recall.  Bad news, we are living out of a mini fridge (for a family of 4), until it gets fixed next week.   I need to re-home all my frozen goods so I can defrost this mother.

I’m really hoping nothing else springs up until I go back to work, but I guess if crap like this is going to happen, better it happens when I’m off.

My fitness life and running is coming along and I’ve been making an effort to workout 5 days per week.  This is going to become increasingly difficult once I go back to work, but I’m going to do my best to stay on the wagon and may just have to become a super early morning exercise type person.  Nothing like the threat of being thrown off a treadmill if you fall asleep to keep that adrenaline pumping!  Can’t wait to see what the next month holds!


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Race Recap: Dart Frog Dash 5K

Hark! A blog post that isn’t totally and entirely related to children or pregnancy.  These things DO still exist, kind of.  Back on May 20, Hubs and I registered to run the Dart Frog Dash 5K at the Toledo Zoo.  It’s a race that we did last year, thoroughly enjoyed (despite the weather), and decided it would be a perfect 5K to kick off “Project Get Eli Into Racing Form Again 2.0”.  In essence, it was my baseline 5K test to thoroughly gauge how in or out of shape I currently am.   If this were a pendulum, it would strongly be leaning more towards the out of shape realm (but approaching the midline, hopefully).

After I had James back in ’14, I ran the Melon Festival 5K as my first race back (at 6 weeks post-partum) and clocked a 23:56 after running for a solid 1 day.  I also ran with him up to my due date, so I really only had 7ish weeks away from exercising.

This time, I hopped off the exercise horse early (at 37ish weeks pregnant), but was able to start running again a bit earlier (4.5 weeks post- partum…hallelujah to no repair!).  So, I was off running about the same time, but didn’t run this race until I was approaching 8 weeks post-partum.  So, we are comparing apples to…bananas? here.

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Here we are heading to the start, James looking sullen in the jogging stroller

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Pre-Race family selfie! Dino sippy cup for the win!

The Dart Frog Dash covers the roads surrounding the Toledo Zoo and ventures through some old and very pretty neighborhoods.  My only gripe with the course is that the roads are in pretty god awful shape in some places.  Like, very uneven footing and chuckholes, so you definitely have to watch where you’re going so you don’t roll an ankle or fall into a pit of despair.

The last 1/4 of a mile ends in the Zoo, but has a bunch of hare pin turns that don’t allow you to get a proper kick.  I already knew all of this from running last year and being hella out of shape, I really wasn’t too worried about that part.  My goal, simply, was to A) Finish, B) Run a 24-25 minute race (although on a good day I knew I was capable of faster), C) Not pee my pants (hardy har, post partum runner humor).

The race took off nearly right on time and I cautiously started.  I didn’t want to start too fast (hello, out of shape) and get caught up in the excitement of the day.  Plus, I did no warm-up and my hamstrings were protesting just a tid.  Mile 1 felt like it was mostly downhill and registered at a 7:48.  Feeling good, I tried to pick up my pace a bit and hold steady.  Mile 2 clocked in at a 7:29.  Money.  There were a few runners in front of me that looked to be of the female variety and of my age group, but I felt no pressure to even try to race them.  Instead, I just focused on me.  Mile 3 was a 7:28.  As I wound around the final turn into the finish chute, I saw that I was going to finish under 24.  I crossed the line in 23:13  (7:29/mile avg) and 2nd in my Age Group.  So yes, I achieved all my A, B, and C goals.

Hubs and James crossed the finish line in 24:56 (which I think is impressive given that is 35 pounds of pure toddler to push up the hills going into the wind).  James told me all during the race that “he and Daddy were trying to find Mommy”.
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2nd Age Group 30-34

Definite sense of satisfaction for my first 5K race (and race in general) back since having Lucas.  It was fun to be back out running without having my belly make me do the backwards lean and waddle posture and have my back kill me at the end.  It was fun to be able share a fun event with my husband and son.  It was a pleasant surprise to get any age group award.  But now the work begins, I’ve got some big goals and I’m more than willing to put in the hard work to achieve them.

Eli Out!


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Life With Two: 1 Month Update

Keeping the blog up to date was hard before having another bambino, but it’s been exceptionally hard since!  You would think taking 5 minutes to jot down some thoughts, words, sarcastic comments would be easy to squeeze into the day, but *surprise surprise*, a 24 hour day somehow just isn’t enough.  Baby Lucas has grown by leaps and bounds since he sling shot his way into this world at the end of March (which I guess is reflective of why I have no time, I’m either toddler chasing or have a baby hanging from me and using me as a giant cow).  At his 1 month check up, he measured 22.5″ long and 11 pounds, 1 ounce.  Just to put that into perspective, when we discharged from the hospital, he was down to 6 pounds, 14 ounces.  Eating obviously isn’t a problem, but washing in between his baby fat rolls could be.

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Throw your hands up in the air if you pooped!

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I wear my sunglasses at night, in the morning, during the mid day, and on weekends

Lucas has been incredibly more chill than James was at this stage, which is a total giant blessing.  He is up to sleeping 2.5 to 3.5 hour stretches during the night, which equates to waking up 3 times during the night with him.  He’s still sleeping in our room, so he’s already beat his brother’s record (James got evicted at 1 month old because of his gaseous grunting all night).

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Baby selfie!

Toddler James on the other hand, has been less than incredibly chill.  He’s definitely taken slight offense to having sibling competition and has been more loud, needy, and whiny.  This sounds horrible, but I’ve really been enjoying all the time I’ve been getting to spend with both of them on my maternity leave, so I’ll take all the “gosh darn it, this kid is approaching the terrible 3’s that I can”.  For as bad as those “I’m going to throw myself on the floor and cry by yelling the words ‘Waa waa waa’ which is total fake crying because you gave me the sandwich that I asked for” moments are, they are quickly replaced by snuggling boy whispering “I’ll love you forever, mommy”.  Those moments are the ones that melt my heart.

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I think really, the main difference with adding another little boy to the mix has been that I am constantly doing something.  My hands are never empty, they are usually full of diapers, babies, laundry, dishes, etc.  I am a whirling dervish of mommydom.

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These 3 dudes are my world

I have started doing some workouts over the past week, slowly adding running back into the mix.  I’ve been trying to really hit on my core and hip strength and stability, because I managed to totally and horribly throw my SI joint out the day before I got induced to the point that I could barely walk.  So yeah, that’s a work in progress to fix, but it’s getting better.   I can now run 3 miles straight (slowly) with good form, no pain and no female post-partum issues…victory!

I’m slowly shrinking back down to size, from week 1 up to week 4 post-partum.  Almost there, but when the pre-pregnancy clothes still don’t fit right, you know there is still work to be done.

Phew!  That was a lot of typing to get out, but I look forward to sharing my continued journey back into fitness, life, work, and family from here on out.  Hopefully.  Maybe.  Kind of.  Sort of.


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Lucas’ Birth Story

Baby Lucas came into this world and entered our hearts without any drama or excitement.  I elected to be induced on March 27, 4 days ahead of my due date.  This made it easier to avoid any late night phone calls to family or neighbors to try and cover for Toddler J or worst case scenario, having to wake him up to go to the hospital with us.

Instead, we arrived to the hospital bright and early at 6 AM.  I slept like crap all night, it was like baby knew that the eviction notice had been served and I got bladder kicked all night long as retribution.  We checked in, were brought to the labor and delivery room, and I immediately was hooked up to my IV, had blood drawn, you know the typical labor set-up complete with ugly hospital gown to strip you of any dignity.  Although, if you’ve already had one kid, that has long gone out the door.

The pitocin was set up (I didn’t have to have this with Toddler J) around 7:30 AM and the dose was gradually increased as I and baby were handling this well.   My doctor broke my water around 9:00 AM, which further increased the strength of the contractions, but surprisingly, I was able to tolerate getting up after and ride around on the exercise ball for a while.  It was at that point that my husband decided he needed to take his ritual labor nap and passed out on the couch in the room.  By 10:30 AM, I was starting to get really uncomfortable and my doctor recommended I proceed with the epidural because I likely would have the baby faster (given it was #2).  So, I got my epidural, which definitely helped with the pain, but didn’t seem as effective as when I had one with J.  I had minimal pain, but I could feel pressure.  Lots of it.   I was grateful for Hubs at this time to keep me breathing well and stay relaxed as possible.

Hubby let his parents know around the time of the epidural where things stood (4cm), and they decided to head to the hospital right then and there.  MIL and FIL arrived around 11:30AM and stopped in to see me, and I told them all to go ahead and get lunch.  Things went really fast from there and poop got real.  I got checked right after they left to eat and I was 6-7 cm.  My nurse started to try to position me in sidelying and the heart beat kept dropping during contractions.  I got an oxygen mask slapped on my face.   After 10 minutes of repositioning me, she checked me again, I was 9.5.  It was then that I texted Hubby an “I need to push! Get back here now!”.  It was like deja vu, because with J he almost missed this part also being at the cafeteria.  A few minutes later, he rushed back in, and it was pushing time.  It only took 15-20 minutes and out popped a beautiful baby boy at 12:55 PM.  Lucas Aaron Mason.

My doctor joked that if we had another kid, I better schedule an induction, otherwise she could be delivering the baby in the hospital parking lot.  Fun OB humor.

Some pictures from the day:

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And some fun images of the visitors we’ve had over the past week to welcome our new baby boy to this world:

Expanding from a family of 3 to 4 is definitely going to have its ups, downs, and in betweens, but I’m looking forward to a fun transition and adventure.   And of course, looking forward to the days when I can start posting some race recaps and training updates, but for now–that can wait.


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Weeks 36-39 Update

I figured I’d just slap together a blurb about the final weeks of pregnancy since, guess what, I am no longer pregnant.  I definitely slacked on a final blog entry and I wanted to share my final belly pictures and how I was feeling over the final weeks of pregnancy.

How did I feel?  Like a stuffed, prize pig ready to take to the fair.  The inn had run out of rooms.  The whale had placed itself firmly on the beach.   I was definitely ready to meet our baby instead of carry it.  The final weeks of pregnancy were rough.  My energy waned big time and it became difficult by Week 38 to even walk on the treadmill for 25-30 minutes let alone think about running.  In fact, my last treadmill run happened at 38 weeks and then I never had a happy thought to do it again.  All I felt was pressure and discomfort and my bladder felt like it was being punched every 2 seconds.

I wound up gaining a little more weight with this pregnancy than I did with James, about 32 pounds this go-round vs. 27 pounds, and this was probably due to eating my feelings and then having no energy to do all the things during the day.   So, I’m sure that extra 5 pounds will be extra fun to try to lose later, but I’m hopefully going to be motivated and up to the challenge.   After all, I’ve been buying way too much Lularoe lately and I want some of the more fitted items to fit…correctly.

Here’s how the final 4 weeks shook out in belly form:
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39 WEEKS
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My next post will be the birth story, which hopefully I’ll be a bit more prompt with since I’m now on maternity leave and working on balancing a new family of 4, including a rambunctious toddler and snuggly newborn.  Wait, that sounds exhausting, but probably because it is.  I do know one thing for sure, it will be worth it!

This belly is signing off on another pregnancy adventure…and hopefully will be more toned up in a few weeks 😉