ME Monday!

I started this blog at the end of May 2012 for a few reasons. One, because I’ve significantly improved my racing times in virtually every distance and people are always asking me how I did it and what’s my secret.

usatf niagara 3 mile championships

Lots of power behind that stride.

I figured if I give folks a glimpse into my everyday running life and thoughts, it could help them improve as well. I truly believe that the mental/emotional side of running is the key to racing success, much more than any “scientifically proven workouts” or “special training plan”.

I also started blogging to make sure I took a few minutes to myself EVERY SINGLE DAY and write down what I’m currently thinking about in terms of running. I haven’t succeeded with a post per day, but I’ve done a pretty good job of jotting down a little something most days of the week. I suppose it’s like my journal, but mostly relates to my running life and not much of the rest of my life.

I just got to thinking maybe I should make a post called ME Monday where I write about some other part of my life. It will relate to running because a lot of my life relates and sometimes revolves around the run, but it will be a little glimpse into other parts of my life. It might also help readers understand my training, where I draw my strength from, and how I juggle the stay-at-home-mom job which sometimes feels like single-parenthood. Or maybe it will help me in the ways that only a journal can…

Today, let’s talk about sleep. My husband and I need a good 8-9 hours to feel alive. Our daughter can survive and thrive on much less. It wasn’t always this way. My first question to our pediatrician when my daughter was very tiny was, “are you sure everything is ok with her? She sleeps so much!”

4 month old sleeping in crib

What a blessing. A beautiful 4-month-old who sleeps through the night and naps much of the day!

The first few months with my little darling were a breeze, partially because our family made the long drive to stay with us and partially because we had the most wonderful sleeper in the world. She would sleep 7 hours straight through the night just weeks after birth and slept so much of the day. It was magical! At that time I thought I wanted to have about 10 kids. Ok, maybe 4 or so.

Then she learned to crawl. Then she learned to walk. Then she learned to talk. I don’t remember when it all changed, but somewhere between the ages of 1 and 2, my daughter stopped sleeping.

kid posing with coffee cup

You might think we feed the kid babyccinos, but she is definitely caffeine-free!

Can you imagine trying to train for the fastest marathon of your life when your child is sleeping less than 8 hours at night (and sometimes napping, sometimes not)? Can you imagine functioning as a normal person with just a few minutes alone every day? Thank goodness for awesome parents and in-laws who make the drive more than most would to help us out. We have no family in the area so a 7-hour-drive is what it takes to see any relation.

My husband’s work is flexible in terms of where he has to be and when he has to be there, but he’s very busy all the time. He’s in the beginning of a great career and loves what he does so finding the time for me to run and recover (sleep) has been hard. (My husband is also a runner and spends an hour per day running and commutes to work by cycling one way and running the other.)

dad and baby after race

Hubs holding our daughter after a race. He won, daughter was 2nd (I was pushing her in the stroller) and I was third.

My secret has always been to “sleep when the baby sleeps” and that’s what I did at least for 30 minutes a day during her nap and it helped me through my first 2 postpartum marathon cycles. Now that my daughter doesn’t sleep much, I go to bed the instant she does and anything else I had in mind to accomplish that day has to wait. My house isn’t as clean as I would like and my “reading for pleasure” has gone out the window, but I’m maintaining enough sleep to get in mini-workouts here and there and keep the injuries at bay.

A normal day for me goes a little like this:

  • Wake up much earlier than I’d like, before my husband and daughter get up to get my run done or run with the stroller if I decide to sleep in.
  • Hopefully get a shower before my husband leaves for work.
  • Suit up in a comfy Oiselle tee and get ready to play. Try to squeeze in planks/pushups/squats while daughter plays at playground. Also try to do monkey bars, etc as some cross training.
oiselle 50/50 tee

Just one of the Oiselle Tees that I live in. This one has an updated version now with a v-neck and more runrunrunrun added. It's currently in the sale section too!

  • Go home for lunch, make something semi-healthy and attempt to get my daughter to nap. Many days this is a failure. If she sleeps, I sleep and clean/blog/twitter/facebook/email.
  • If she doesn’t nap, or when she wakes, we are back out of the house, maybe a trip to the zoo or a museum. We might also find some grass where we can race each other or get in some quality dancing time.
  • Hubs arrives home between 6-7, we eat dinner and he plays with daughter a bit while I try to cook something tasty and nutritious and clean up from dinner. Or, we go out to eat. This has happened a lot this summer with us being in Seattle. One big vacation!
  • Hubs gets back to work (from home this time) and I get the kid settled down and ready for bed. She falls asleep between 10-midnight.
I think a positive that has come out of the little lady’s lack of sleep has been I’m more efficient. I don’t get to read the latest novels but I also don’t waste time watching tv. (Except the Olympics which I plan to watch daily!) It has made my morning runs more intentional – if I am going to lose sleep over an early morning run, I want to make it count and enjoy the ME-time.

There’s the first ME Monday! My daughter is actually napping today so I’m headed to bed too!

 Do you get enough sleep? Have you heard of babyccinos? No, my daughter will never get one – sorry honey.

11 thoughts on “ME Monday!

  1. Yes! I love these kind of glimpses into the lives of people who inspire my running…and you are definitely one of those! Thanks, Jen. You are amazing!

  2. The sleep is a HUGE thing! and I know that I don’t get enough of it. I think that’s one of the reasons I had a really tough time in my spring marathon – my son would wake at 4am everyday! And go non stop all day, and then there are the other two kids – crazy. I didn’t go to bed early enough and was just chronically exhausted. I’m trying to be better about the sleep, and you are a great example of that. You prove that sleep is in fact necessary and other things just have to wait! Thanks for sharing:)

  3. I would love eight hours of sleep! But with my job that is not possible. If I wanted that much sleep, I would have to go to bed at 7 pm. I’m lucky if I get six hours of sleep a night.

  4. man, i’ll bet almost every parent would wish they could ask their baby’s doc if being able to sleep thru the night should be alarming! 😉 jk…naw, i get wat u mean, but i think u lucked out with a definite keeper!! hehe.

    thanks for sharing ur sked and i LUV that wat inspired u to start the blog is that u just kicked so much butt and improved so much…keep it up. :)

  5. I like ME Monday! I don’t know how you do it Jen. I also sleep during the day when the boys nap for my mental health (; but they sleep much longer at night than Currie does!

  6. ack! they’re supposed to start sleeping MORE as they get older – no fair for you!! as if I wasn’t beyond impressed with your running before… dang girl, keep up the good work. dunno if it’s doable for you, but I must sing the praises of our local Y and programs for kids whilst we adults get alone time/workout – it’s hands down my lifeline :)

    • Thanks Andrea! Yes, I looked into our local YMCA, and they won’t let me leave to run outside which makes me mad because I know some of them allow it. I will probably get the Y membership or a babysitter if we have another kid because it just won’t be possible to handle without family around.

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