Being a new mom, having a full-time job, and training is not all butterflies and giggles. Let’s be honest, being a mom is both taxing and wonderful at the same time. I returned to work as an ICU nurse just 12 weeks after William was born last June and was just rolling with the punches. As I wrote in my last post, I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis 6 months after William’s birth. I always expected to be tired and that being a mom would be tough sometimes, but the disease was pushing me to a whole new level of exhaustion. Read more >>
I am a full-time critical care nurse, who, in my spare time, loves to pound the pavement around the west side of Cleveland, Ohio. I am originally from Wisconsin, and ran for the University of Minnesota where I learned how to run smart, healthy, and happy. I enjoy writing about my adventures in running and what I have learned from racing. I hope to be an inspiration to other women to reach high!
Back in October, I ran my 3rd half marathon post-baby, and I walked long stretches. Walked. I never walk in races. My body was telling me to slow down. I felt achy, tired, and just could not push forward.
Afterward, my body felt creaky, like an old wood floor. I hobbled around like I had just run for hours. Every step I took hurt my joints. My left foot had been hurting me for a few weeks, but now it was yelling at me. My friends asked me how it went, and all I could say was, “Today just wasn’t my day.”
But deep down, I knew something else was wrong. These aches and pains had been getting worse since I had my son, William, 6 months prior. I was experiencing swelling in various joints, too. Maybe I had overdone it? Pushed too hard post-baby? At first, I attributed my aches and pains to getting older (but really, I’m only 30! That can’t be it!)
It’s definitely soup season, and chili is a Salty Running favorite! Here is another chili recipe from Turmeric, a delicious sounding version that includes pasta and ground turkey!
Having a six-month-old, time is a bit limited these days! I’ve made President Obama’s favorite Chili recipe runner-friendly, and added bell pepper, carbs, and delicious healthy fats. I love a good chili, and making one with the super-spice turmeric was an added bonus!
- 1 T olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 5 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1/2 t ground cumin
- 1/2 t ground oregano
- 1/2 t ground turmeric
- 1/2 t ground basil
- 1 T chili powder
- 3 T red-wine vinegar
- One 28-ounce can peeled tomatoes
- 1 29-ounce can of dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can light red kidney beans
- 1 red bell pepper
- Cheddar cheese to top
- Avocado (diced)
- Noodles or Jasmine rice
- Heat olive oil in pan
- Add onions, green and red pepper. Saute until crisp-tender.
- Add turkey and brown until no longer pink
- Add all spices and cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly to ensure the spices do not burn.
- Add all of it to a slow cooker OR keep on stove for 30 minutes
- Add all beans, tomatoes, red wine vinegar
- If using a slow cooker, cook for about an hour or longer on medium-high heat
Top with whatever you choose (I recommend cheese and avocado). Enjoy!
Dear Saltines and Salty readers,
Life as a mom – it’s amazing, different, hard, exhausting, and wonderful.
How can it be all those things at once? I haven’t figured that one out yet, but it really is. I am writing this post as my son snoozes away during one of his very few catnaps during the day while I sip my 4-time reheated coffee I made earlier this morning. Finding time to myself is not easy these days. It’s something I have truly struggled with since my first day home from the hospital. My husband encouraged me to MAKE time. How do you make time? There are dishes to do, floors to be swept, errands to run, baby to entertain, feed, change, bathe, dog to walk, meals to be cooked, and now I need to make time for me too?
Not to mention I work three days of the week, and I leave the house at 6am those days only to get home at 8:15pm or later.
This past weekend, I ran a half marathon. Well, I tried to run one. Let me start from the beginning.
After having William, I set a soft goal for myself to run a few half marathons throughout the fall and try to get my time low enough to qualify for the NYC Marathon next year. I didn’t tell a lot of people about it, because I wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out. You see, I am on a bit of a time-crunch here. If all goes as planned (which, as we all know, it rarely does…), I hope to start trying for baby #2 sometime late next year, so that means I have about one year left to run a marathon of my choosing. The clock is ticking.
I began training in September, when I ran the River Run Half Marathon in 1:41. I was pleased with my time, though it was a solid 11 minutes short of my PR, because it was my longest run post-baby and I felt pretty good the whole time!
Fast-forward to the beginning of October, when I ran a 1:38 at the Towpath Marathon. I was semi-happy with this time, though I felt like my motivation in the middle of the race was lacking. I think I was having a hard time because I realized how much effort I was putting forth to run a half marathon time that was still about 8 minutes short of my PR. Again, I know I had just had a baby 3.5 months prior, but it still was very mentally challenging for me to get past it.
Last, I just ran a new half marathon I had never ran before called the Buckeye Half Marathon in Peninsula, Ohio. It was a relatively flat course on a cool damp day. My time? 1:44. What the heck happened?
It’s all about attitude. I went into this race feeling pretty crappy about my running. Since the beginning of October, I hadn’t ran over 7 or 8 miles. I hadn’t ran more than 1 or 2 speed workouts. I hadn’t put in the time. Remember when I talked about finding the time to do things for myself? Yep, that’s a punch to the gut. Attitude truly is everything. I was so angry about my lack of effort, I think I spent more time thinking about how I should be running or doing a workout or core work, than actually finding a way to do it. Instead of training, I had chosen to do laundry or dust the house or watching my son roll over during belly time (obvs the better choice, anyway!). I ran the first 10 miles between 7:20-7:40 pace (no, not NYC qualifying pace but a respectable pace, right?). Then I hit mile 11 and bombed it. I started to walk. I felt as if I was crawling. Everyone I had passed during the race was passing me back. I was angry, sad, and disappointed all at once. I told myself to stop being a baby and encourage everyone passing me by instead, which I did. But I still was so broken hearted those last 20-something minutes.
This is where I hope you guys can come into play. How do you do it? How do you find the energy? How do you find balance? Whether you’re a mom or not doesn’t matter, I need to know. I am in such at rut. I’m semi-embarrassed by my lack of understanding of how to do it all. I want to spend time with my son, get everything done, be an awesome nurse, and reach my goals in running. But how? Is there an algorithm to follow that helps you fit it all in?
I still want to run a solid marathon next year, but I can’t decide on one, especially since I don’t think I’ll be able to qualify for NYC by the end of this year (sad face!). Any recommendations? Do you guys think I can still run a respectable time?
I need your help, your encouragement and your advice, Saltines and Salty readers!
A heavy-hearted runner momma
Since the birth of my son on June 19th, my life has changed more than I can place into words and with all that change, I’m in the process of adapting. My body feels different, my mindset is geared towards protecting my son and raising him the best I can, and my psyche is still figuring out who I am as a runner and a person.
Who am I? Well, I’m Turmeric of course. But I’m not the same Turmeric who woke up early on the weekends, drank a cup of coffee and ate a snack, picked out some cute running clothes and got her long run nutrition ready. I don’t meander off through my neighborhood for miles and miles without a care in the world. I don’t come home, shower, put on some more cute clothes, perfect my hairstyle, eat brunch only to be whisked away into the day by my husband for more carefree fun like I used to. Now I sleep when I can, shovel in my food with one hand, sneak in five minute showers, and I can’t remember the last time my hair looked good. Read more >>
Hey friends! I am back, but in a completely different form. My son, William Carl, was born Monday, June 19th, and life has been a whirlwind ever since. After twenty-six point two hours of labor he was lying in my arms and I became a mother.
According to US News and World Reports, 15 million Americans work the night shift. And according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, one-fifth of all Americans work in the evening, at night, or on a rotating shift. I’m one of those people. Here is the story of how I adapted to training while working night shift.
I started as a nurse about seven years ago. The first job I landed was a day-shift only position. Sure, it’s not easy to wake up at 4:30 a.m. to squeeze in a run before work, but it’s relatively normal and something most runners have to do at some point. Less than a year later, I landed a better position for my career, but one requiring me to rotate from day shift (7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.) to night shift (7:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.). I was young and didn’t have a family to worry about or anything like that, so I just went along with whatever the scheduler needed. Read more >>
When I was 34 weeks pregnant with my first child, I was visiting my tiny hometown. Every fall a church on a main road sticks 4,000 crosses in their front lawn to serve as a representation of aborted babies.
My run took me right by this church, and there was a man walking towards me. As I passed, he said, “I’d hate for you to add another cross there” while pointing at the church lawn. It took me a while to digest what he said, I just smiled and waved as I passed him.
Then it hit me in the gut. This guy just implied I was trying to kill my child because I was running!
A good friend of mine told me this story and I still can’t believe it. Pregnancy can be an anxiety-ridden time, especially for first-time mothers. Our heads are often swirling with questions: How does this work? When does this happen? Why is this happening? What should I do for this?
And everyone, from friends to strangers like the guy above, seems to have an opinion. And what’s worse, is that they are more than willing to share it, even when we don’t want their opinion or advice. That’s true for everything about pregnancy, including running.
I feel like I’m finally growing up. I’m 29 years old and, after my first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage last year, I’m pregnant again, seven months along to be exact. I mean, I am almost 30, it’s about time I grow up, right? But for real, pregnancy has left me amazed by what the human body is capable of and it has also made me humble, count my blessings, and think a little more deeply about my life, including where running fits in it.
I haven’t always had a healthy, balanced relationship with running. Going into my first pregnancy, before my miscarriage, I told my husband all about how I wanted to be super-fit and not gain any unnecessary weight. I wanted to be like super-woman, pregnant style. But I think the realities of pregnancy have taught me that running is about much more than keeping me fit-looking or as fast as I can be. Read more >>
Spring is in the air! I went into this race being 28.5 weeks pregnant and had absolutely no idea what was going to happen. Lately, some of my runs feel decent, and I am averaging around 8:30-8:45 minute mile pace. Other days, I can barely hang on to a 9:20 and require numerous walking breaks. There’s no saying how I’ll feel on any given day.
My expectations for this race were out the window and I was prepared to just enjoy it no matter how I felt!
I have yet to post a training log since my training has been anything but exciting these past few months being pregnant. But, I thought I would highlight a random week of my fabulous pregnancy running!
Week 26 of pregnancy:
Monday: Back from a day of traveling home for baby shower #1, got on the treadmill at 8pm and ran 1.5 miles. Baby Turmeric wasn’t feeling it today, so we called it quits.
Tuesday: 6 miles at 8:34 pace, feeling much better!
Wednesday: Off day… working a few nights in a row wears me out lately. A typical night at work gets me around 10,000 steps, so lately I consider that a win!
Thursday: 4.5 miles at 8:52 pace. Took it easy today.
Friday: 7 miles at 8:48 pace! Not incredibly “far” but I will take it! Felt great, and it was beautiful outside.
Saturday: 1.5 miles + leg workout at home (squats, lunges, resistance band exercises)
Nothing crazy this week, but I was happy to run over 20 miles! My goal is to run off of feel, not over-do it but still remain active and healthy.
Well, here I am, already halfway through this pregnancy. I remember when I first discovered I was pregnant, I frantically googled and researched “pregnancy” to learn all the things I should expect. I was trying to figure out how other women felt at different points in their pregnancies so I could compare that to how I felt. I wanted to know everything. Was my belly showing more than normal? When should I start wearing maternity pants? When would my boobs stop hurting?
Looking back, I was nervous and wanted some reassurance, and I devoured Salty’s What to Expect From Running series. But, knowing how much I enjoy reading about other expectant mom’s experiences, I thought I’d add a footnote to Salty’s more general posts about running and pregnancy, to add a little more context. Read more >>
Ah, the easy run. In theory easy runs are so simple; just run, well, easy! But in practice they’re very difficult to get right. What exactly is “easy” when it comes to running, anyway? Is it a pace? An effort level? Is it an objective measurement? A subjective one?
Salty took care of explaining some of the basics in her post on easy runs. She explains why it’s important to run easy for: a) recovery from workouts and races; and b) building an aerobic base. I want to dive a little deeper into easy runs. Let’s explore more about not only why it’s important to get them right, but also how! Read more >>
Miscarriage sucks, in so many ways. It’s really one of those indescribable events in someone’s life that no one thinks they’ll ever have to experience until it happens, but when it does, it is absolutely gut-wrenching.
Last year ended up being one where we had to keep the faith, waiting and hoping for better news ahead of us. But that can be so, so hard, especially when everyone around you seems to be achieving all the things you want now. And for runners, this limbo of an extended period of trying to conceive is also, often, limbo for our running goals, which adds to the feelings of loss and frustration.
Photo by Ben Blair
Gabriele Grunewald, Gabe to her friends, is a professional runner and three-time cancer survivor.
Yes, you read that correctly. In fact, it was her first bout with cancer that inspired Gabe to see how far she could go in running. Before that, she never really thought a professional running life would be possible for her. But surviving cancer made her focus and she adopted a “Why not me?” attitude. We’ve been so inspired by Gabe’s courage, openness and determination in despite of all her obstacles and we know you will be too! Read more >>
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