Perfectly Imperfect

Wells is 6 months old!

6 months old!

6 months old!

Check out the new onesie he’s sporting from the Believe I Am Fit Mommas collection (it’s actually on sale right now!):

Hand-stitched, made in the USA, & so cute on my little guy!

Hand-stitched, made in the USA, & so cute on my little guy!

Like many parents, I think both of my babies are perfect little miracles. I wish I had this onesie when Currie was a baby too! It’s funny how many things change when you have kids. You learn to embrace how perfectly imperfect life can be! We’ve definitely traded in “perfect family photos” for new kinds of wonderful, perfectly imperfect, fun pictures that will keep us chuckling for a lifetime!

Mother! What are you doing to me?!

Mother! What are you doing to me?!

Wells is unsure about this photo

Wells is unsure about this photo. Much more fun to wear these tacky sweatshirts from my childhood than fancy attire at our holiday party!

Smush faces for Valentine's Day!

Smush faces for Valentine’s Day!

This way of thinking has helped me in my running as well. The pressure to run the perfect race, the fastest time, and beat certain people weighed heavily on my mind and made racing stressful and therefore not very enjoyable for many years. Having my first child 4 years ago helped me realize that racing should be fun and if it’s not enjoyable there are so many other things I can do instead! I still get worked up over races (and even workouts!) but I use the nervous energy as fuel now instead of paralyzing fear. Thank you to my little angels for teaching me this important lesson!

Here’s an example of a run I did last week that was perfectly imperfect:

Fartlek run on schedule. Realized I was late bringing Currie to school which meant I had to push her 1/2 mile in single jog stroller fairly quickly uphill. Pushed stroller back home, empty. (If you’ve pushed a BOB stroller when it’s empty you feel my pain here!) Another 10 minutes of warmup by myself then did fartlek workout finishing last fast rep at my door. Rushed in house, bundled baby as Jeff rushed out door, buckled baby in single jogging stroller and took him on 15 min cooldown. Realized I was late for baby’s doctor appointment so mixed up a recovery drink, grabbed a Picky Bar, threw those things and a few diapers in the stroller and quickly ran 1/2 mile to appointment. Devoured recovery food/drink in waiting room. Perfectly imperfect at its finest!

With that being said, my running felt more normal this week! Since I had Wells, most of my runs have felt really hard. Even easy runs have been harder than I’d hoped. I have little glimmers of hope here and there where I’d do some strides and feel super strong, but most days have me on the struggle bus. Oftentimes when running fast my legs feel like they are flailing around… like I have no control or strength behind them. They feel they are just doing their own thing.

One evening this week, I went to the track with a goal of 6 x mile in a pace that seemed too fast to comprehend (5:40). I ran the kids 2 miles to the track in the double jogging stroller to meet Jeff who was going to take them to the playground.

Double strollers are intense... especially in hilly neighborhoods!

Double strollers are intense… especially in hilly neighborhoods!

I did a lap of strides then got started. The first mile was 5:39 and I felt strong. I was shocked when I looked at my watch. I expected the first few to be 10-20 seconds slower. The next 2 miles flew by comfortably and on pace as well. No weakness, no flailing legs, just strength and speed. Reps 4 and 5 felt more challenging, but never out-of-control and right on pace. Right before the 6th mile, Jeff and the kids just happened to make it back to the track cheer and take my picture! The last one was the hardest, but I hit my time again and knew I had another rep in me if needed (no more needed, workout was done. My dad always told me I should finish every workout knowing I could do one more rep at the same pace. I have always believed in that little nugget of wisdom).

Jeff snapped this shot on my last mile repeat.

Jeff snapped this shot on my last mile repeat.

After that workout, I tweeted:

Screen Shot 2014-04-03 at 9.07.52 PMI think this is a good thing to share with new moms, people just starting to exercise, people coming back from injury, or anyone who is struggling with their workouts. If you hate running (or hate ANYTHING for that matter) you should stop doing it. But if there is any part of you that still loves it and wants to hold on, I encourage you to stick with it. Every time I’ve been at a breaking point in life (and especially with running) and saw it through just a little bit longer, the rewards have been totally worth it.

Hope you have a great weekend! Thanks for reading!

11 thoughts on “Perfectly Imperfect

  1. Those pictures are just too cute! Currie and Wells are both so adorable.

    That is a really awesome run Jen, I bet it was a huge confidence booster! So true what you said about sticking with it. It’s so easy to get discouraged (says the girl that has been feeling this way for about 6 months now), I keep waiting for the day to come that I don’t feel so tired running paces that used to be easy.

    We must run together soon. Have a great weekend!

    • Thanks Kristy! Yes, we need to run together soon! Come up with a weeknight or weekend you are free and let’s make it happen!

  2. I am really happy for you Jen that your runs are starting to feel stronger and better. It sounds like it’s been an awesome time. You do look seriously powerful and strong in those photos too.

    I think for the last few years, I’ve been a super “casual” relaxed runner and if things go wrong in my training…they do. I am glad you are finding that and your runs are getting better.

    Wells is so cute. I cannot believe he is 6 months old. Where is time going?

    • Thanks, Hollie! Yes, time is seriously flying! I can’t believe Wells is so old, and my spring goal races are getting so close! AHH! :)

  3. I’ve heard that about track workouts but never, ever adhered to it. I always finish track workouts with the worst butt lock of my life! I totally agree with you about sticking it out when you want to quit. I actually quit my college team after one year and almost joined a sorority! Thankfully I was talked into coming back :)

    I think you’re doing great, Jen. Hang in there! You’re going to reap the benefits of being on the struggle bus this past year. I bet that this fall you’ll run faster than ever!

    • Oh my goodness, I can’t believe you quit college running for awhile! So glad you came back too! Strangely enough, I briefly considered doing the same but didn’t. :)

  4. Awesome run! I finally tried the picky bars and I love them! They’re great for before a workout because they don’t “sit funny” in the stomach – super easy to digest!

  5. Wells makes the most adorable faces! I know I’ve said it before, but he just shows so much personality. I love it!

    That is a killer workout and I’m really glad to hear you’re starting to feel back to your old self again.

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