Mommy Wants a Timeout

In which I contemplate absurd moments in parenthood, occasionally attempt to refer to myself as a “triathlete” while keeping a straight face, and maybe post some random pictures of stuff I’m knitting

Archive for the month “January, 2012”

Seriously, I’m Not Crazy…I’m Inspirational!

It occurred to me while reading another triathlete‘s blog post about suffering from C.B.F. that I might have the opposite problem. You see, I smile at EVERYONE I see when I run. If you’re someone I see every day, I’ll give you a little wave. Sometimes, on an easy run, I have enough energy to say a few friendly words to a passing dog. And I’m an equal-opportunity bringer of good cheer…If I’m in need of encouragement, I’ll even speak a few words out loud to myself.

And just as someone else might assume that someone with C.B.F. isn’t very friendly, it occurred to me today that maybe some of the people I see on my runs and rides might possibly think I’m a little crazy. Especially if they think I’m smiling and talking to myself because I love being out in the cold and rain, huffing and puffing in the name of fitness.

Why do I do it? Not because I’m crazy, obviously. (Wait a sec…I think I can hear my husband arguing with me about that, even though he’s not home…Hearing voices isn’t a symptom of anything, is it?) I think I do it out of a sense of goodwill, and maybe a sense of shared experience with other people who are braving the elements to get out and get moving. I know from personal experience that it’s not easy!

Are we having fun yet???


I came to a realization when I was doing my first triathlons last summer that despite my best efforts, I will always be a middle-of-the-packer, which is really and truly okay with me. As long as I’m having fun and achieving my personal goals, I don’t mind where I place. I do, however, have a the potential to be inspirational to others. As I lined up in my wave at my first tri, I calmed my nerves by leading a group cheer for all the first-timers. On the bike leg, I tried to shout a few words of encouragement and/or admiration to everyone who passed me (and the one or two people I passed.) My exertion level precluded speech by the time I was running, but I did smile at everyone I passed on opposite sides of the turnaround.

I kept up that crazy cheerfulness the whole summer, and I hope I’ll keep it up for the rest of my triathlon career. If I’m ever too tired to give a smile and a wave to a fellow athlete, I doubt I’ll be having fun, and right now, fun is what it’s all about for me. Even if I look a little crazy sometimes.

Full of good cheer!

Photo credits: http://www.unausaeastbay.org/runforpeace/about_run.html; http://www.cheergiver.com

On relaxing…(or at least, trying to!)

Type A. Anxiety-prone. OCD. Rigid. Afraid of change. All of these are terms I’ve either used to describe myself, or have been described as by my (long-suffering) husband. For this reason I spent the first few months of my son’s life in a near-panic state. (Don’t turn the TV on while you’re holding him! You’ll give him ADHD! And make sure you talk to him while you’re changing his diaper, so his language skills develop properly!) It’s also why I started training for my first sprint triathlon over a year in advance…You can’t be too prepared, right?

Awww, he's so perfect...BECAUSE I CONTROL EVERYTHING HE DOES!!!


It seems kind of funny to me now…Did I really think my son’s emotional and cognitive development was so fragile that I had to do everything just as the experts recommended, every moment of every day, or risk turning him into a juvenile delinquent? And did I really need to read, plan, schedule, and train with that much dedication in order to cross the finish line in a race that only lasted an hour and a half?

Yeah, probably not. My son seems to be turning out just fine, except for a few little personality quirks, like stubbornness, that I take no credit for. And all my races last summer turned out far easier (and more fun) than I expected. So I’m feeling lots more relaxed about my parenting skills, and pretty chill about the triathlon stuff, too.

Oh, but now my goals are getting loftier…I have, in fact, emphatically stated before that I would never do anything with “marathon” in the title, and here I am preparing for a half-marathon in just one short month. And true to form, I’m convinced that my ability to complete the race is contingent on me being able to adhere strictly to an expert-approved training plan. My biggest concern when I was hit with the mother of all GI bugs a few weeks ago: How was I going to make up for the runs I missed? And today’s snowstorm, rare for Portland, got me worried about what I was going to do if weather threatened to get in between me and my upcoming long runs of 10 to 12 miles.

So I’m telling myself, just chill. Missing a couple runs isn’t going to make or break me on race day. If the weather’s bad on the day I planned a long run, it won’t ruin my training to postpone it for a couple days. Hear that, inner voice of panic? It’s your inner voice of reason talking: everything’s going to be okay. You’re going to do just fine. No worries here.

Now excuse me…I just need to do some stretching, go over my prerace checklist, make sure the items I need to pack are listed alphabetically and cross-referenced by color, and create a driving route with a contingency plan in case of any Sunday-morning race-day traffic. I’ve only got a month, people, so I’ve got to get started!

If only I could be as chill as this guy...

Top Signs that Someone Might Be Trying to Sabotage Your Workout

1. Your iPod library is suddenly full of toddler tunes and ABBA.

2. Your favorite running shoes have been mysteriously filled with Play-Doh.

3. On Tuesday (or Long Run Day, on my calendar), your preschooler decides he never wants to go to school ever again, and throws the mother of all tantrums as you’re trying to get him out the door.

4. You show up for a swim only to find that the pool just shut down for the second time this week because someone decided to skip putting their kid in a swim diaper “just this once.” (By all that is holy, that will NEVER be me!!!)

5. The ridiculous number of steep hills on the first half of your new running route is surpassed only by the number of insanely steep hills on the second half.

6. You have an unexpected weekend morning to yourself, the weather outside is sunny and perfect, and the bike’s ready to go…But you somehow find that Lifetime is showing a Project Runway marathon, and you just started knitting a new sweater.

© Joji Locatelli

By the way, this sweater pattern, which is threatening to distract me from all other duties, is available here.

The Year In Review

Now that the new year is upon us, it’s time for me to reflect on some of the proud moments and some of the minor failures of the past year. In no particular order, here are some of the highlights and lowlights of my 2011:

1. I parented a 3-year-old boy for the whole year, and he’s still alive. ‘Nuff said.
2. I made no strides in decreasing the aforementioned boy’s tendency towards screaming tantrums and grumpiness. Fail.

3. I finally achieved my lifelong (or at least adulthood-long) goal of seeing a whale in real life. (Despite the many hours I’ve spent on the Oregon coast, staring out to sea, I actually had to go to Maui to achieve this goal. Yeah, I feel sorry for myself, too.)

4. Had my first fall from my new road bike…Going about 1 mph. My knee still bears the scars.

5. Yippee! I finished my first (and second, third, and fourth) triathlons, and picked up a couple age-division awards in local 5Ks.

6. I introduced the kiddo to running, too.

7. I knitted a lot of crazy things, including handlebar moustaches (the perfect accessory for any cocktail party.)

8. Finally made it to Vegas, baby!!!

9. …with a three-year-old in tow.

10. Major fail: I was unable to eradicate viral gastroenteritis from the planet, and therefore spent much of the past week in bed (or in the bathroom.) New Year’s resolution: eradicate viral gastroenteritis from the planet. Also, if I’m going to fall off my road bike, do it while moving at a speed higher than 1 mph. Humble goals, really…

So that’s it, my year-end wrap-up. All in all, it was a pretty great 2011. A few of my goals for 2012? My first half-marathon, my first Olympic tri, and an open-water swim in Hawaii that doesn’t involve me bolting from the water because I saw a fish bigger than my fingernail. (If you knew about my fear of fish, you would understand that that’s actually a pretty ambitious goal for me.) Can’t wait to get started! Happy New Year, everyone!

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