More Naptime Rambles

I’ve been delinquent with blog posts lately. I think I’m going through one of those phases where I don’t think I have anything interesting to write about, and not enough energy to make myself write regardless. And so the radio silence. 

My half marathon training has been all over the place. I dialed it way back and intended to do a repeat week or two but really I’m just off the training wagon. Two weeks ago I managed 2 runs – a weekday 2-miler on a random gorgeous spring-like day, and a weekend 4-miler. Then last week I got a 5-miler in. But that’s it. No cross training (other than lots of walking at work). The road to Fort Hill Brewery is paved with good intentions. 

I did make my glorious return to the Sunday Morning Shammies last weekend, and it was glorious indeed… at least to see people! I set out for some solo miles and then met up at Shammies HQ, because I wasn’t sure if I’d actually run with anyone (I’m very self conscious right now about my speed and my need to take walk breaks as often as I do… I don’t want to slow anyone else down). I got to chat with my peeps, pet a doggo, and someone took pics and caught me getting some welcome-back hugs:

Feeling the love!


I ran about a mile with K before I was totally winded and had to split off to finish my run alone. But those Shammies warm fuzzies carried me for a few more miles, and I hit the distance I wanted without wanting to die too much. Yay!

So at this point, my half marathon that I signed up for to force me back into training will now likely just be an excuse to take a family trip to Western Mass. And you know what? I’m okay with that. My boss told me about a park near the race that has a train you can ride, and a museum that has dinosaur fossils, so we can have some fun with the Bairn and hopefully I won’t fail at running too badly. I figure if I can survive a really hot, hilly half while pregnant with no training, I should be able to survive this one. 

We had a nor’easter this week that dropped a bunch of snow and now the sidewalks are impassable again. It’s depressing. Especially after we had a few 60-degree days in February. Mother Nature is a cruel lady. 

I’m stuck in a book rut right now. The last book I finished was Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson, which I read for the social justice book club at my local library. It was a hard read, one that made me angry and broke my heart over and over again and made me feel helpless. The next book for the book club is pretty long so I feel like I should get a jump-start, but I really need something light and/or funny before I dive in. Nothing I try is really fitting that bill, or if it does I’m finding I just can’t get into it. I took Readers Advisory in library school- why can’t I work that magic on myself??

And the Bairn is stirring… until next time!

How is the weather where you are?

What are you reading? Any nice light books you’d recommend?


Hey, I Put Some New Shoes On…

…and suddenly everything’s right. At least according to Paolo Nutini.

One of those things I’ve been meaning to get around to doing for ages is get some new running shoes. My most current ones, Saucony Guide 8s in a snazzy blue color (see photo below), still have miles in them, but they don’t really fit anymore and have been known to give me a bit of grief every now and then during runs.

(One of the fun pregnancy side effects I experienced was growing feet. Thanks – I’m assuming – to the relaxin that flooded my body a while ago, spreading the bones in my feet, I’m left with feet that are a half-size to full-size bigger, depending on which foot you’re looking at. Which is another cool thing – one foot grew more than the other. Yay!)

Since I started experiencing knee pain last week, and with a half marathon and the lead-up training looming on the horizon, I thought it was high time I bit the bullet. So Drew and I grabbed the Bairn and headed to our nearest Marathon Sports this afternoon so I could get re-fit and have my gait reanalyzed for some new kicks.

The Bairn enjoyed the big doggy in the window display

It was during the fitting that I learned my formerly size 8.5 feet are now size 9 (left) and slightly bigger than size 9 (right). That makes things fun. Also, it seems that whereas my forefoot has spread out a bit, my ankle area is the same as before, so bigger shoes feel looser at the back now. That’s also fun, and makes it very easy to find shoes that work.

Luckily I got a super awesome salesman who knew what he was talking about, and he grabbed a bunch of different shoes for me to try. I gave my Saucony Guides a go again, only to find the new ISO model feels like it’s squishing my feet from the top. The new model of my Adidas shoes felt way too loose at the heel, as did the Brooks  I tried.

There were only two shoes that matched my flat feet/over-pronation/gait that also felt snug enough at the heel – Mizunos (maybe Wave Inspires? I don’t remember) and Nike Zoom Structures. I ran around the store in one of each for a while, and it ended up being the Nikes all the way.

I’m so pumped to take these for a proper run, but I’m a little nervous as well. I’ve been wearing Saucony Guides for almost the entire time I’ve been running, except for the time I branched out to Adidas and ended up with a messed-up knee. It was probably a coincidence, but there’s something of a superstitious comfort in knowing you’ve got a shoe that works for you, and the Guides were my ol’ faithfuls.

My fingers (and beleaguered toes!) are crossed that these Nikes do the trick!

What shoes are your ol’ faithfuls?

Have you ever had to switch shoe brands after being with one for a long time? How did it go?

Post-Bairn Half Training – Week 2


Alternate title for this post: “Well, that deescalated quickly.”

Sigh no more, readers, sigh no more
My training plan hopes were deceivers ever…

Okay, enough melodrama. TL;dr my plan got derailed pretty severely after my glorious first week. Is anyone surprised? Training plans and I are star-crossed, it seems. Let’s recap:

Rest | Rest

Like I said last week, I’m awesome at rest days. This one was perfectly timed too, since the Bairn woke up with a fever and we both stayed home and laid low.

3m run | 3m run

The Bairn was still home on Tuesday, and after being in the house with him for two days I was a little stir crazy. (We usually run errands or get out of the house somehow, but I didn’t want to drag a feverish wee one with a snot-fountain for a nose out where he could infect others.) Drew was working from home, and during a break in his meetings I booked it to the gym for a welcome break and a treadmill run.

Good things about this run:

  1. I remembered my ipod and had a bumpin’ soundtrack to get me going.
  2. The gym was practically empty. It was glorious.

Not so good things about this run:

  1. My right knee.

Oh boy. This knee has been the bane of my existence more than once on this blog, and I was not happy to feel familiar twinges. I should have stopped my run once I felt it, or walked the remaining distance to 3 miles, but I was stupidly stubborn (I completed Week 1, and I will complete Week 2, knees be damned!!). I finished the run, stretched, and headed home to rejoin my ailing Bairn, with my knee mostly feeling better. Ish.

2m run or CT | rest and ice

Wednesday the Bairn was feeling better and back at school, so I was back at work. A day of constantly moving from sitting to standing, going up and down stairs every few minutes, and lifting boxes and pushing carts didn’t help my knee any. I had originally planned to do some of my PT/gait retraining exercises to help bolster my knee but decided putting them up and popping some ice on them would probably be the best bet.


30 mins CT | rest

After the previous night’s icing, I thought my CT would either be a gentle bike ride at the gym or the PT exercises I had planned to do the night before. Then I woke up having inherited the Bairn’s snot-fountain of a nose. I didn’t feel right dropping the still-not-100% Bairn at the gym daycare, nor did I want to drip snot all over the gym equipment (nor did I really want to use the gym equipment with the way I was feeling) so the bike was right out.

As the day wore on, I felt worse and worse and really didn’t want to do any kind of physical activity beyond chasing the Bairn around the house. I decided to swap Friday’s rest day for Thursday’s CT and called it a night.

Rest | Rest

Then Friday happened. I well and truly had caught whatever the Bairn had at the beginning of the week, and Friday was my day to have a fever. My mom, bless her most wonderful soul, braved the germs and came over to help wrangle the Bairn while I sat on the couch, shivering under a blanket.

There’s really no point in finishing the week in this posting fashion, because as you’ve probably already guessed, I didn’t run at all at the weekend. Between dealing with the fever’s alternating chills and overheating sessions Friday night, and taking a mega-Sudafed as a last resort on Saturday night and being kept awake all night as a result, not to mention the Bairn’s coughing and night wakings, I didn’t get much sleep all weekend. Even if I had been feeling up to running, the lack of sleep probably would have kept me from getting the miles in.

So, sad trombone noises for Week 2.


Now the question is, how do I handle this training plan going forward?

In all honesty, I was setting myself up for badness from the start. I really should have been running/training more before diving right into a plan that asked for 3 miles right off the bat. I knew this deep down. I had intentions of doing just that. As is wont to happen in my distracted #mombrain these days, I lost track of time and all of a sudden had just enough time to squeeze in a 12-week plan, with no room beforehand to build up properly. Knowing my body, that’s just asking for an injury.

Before whatever plague this was hit me, I figured I’d sacrifice one run per week to focus on PT exercises for my knees, and to make sure I do the cross-training that’s called for, rather than just 5 minutes here, 10 minutes there. I wanted to do it right… or as “right” as I could at this point.

And then the plague. If this tale of woe sounds vaguely familiar, an eerily similar situation happened a few years back – almost to the day! – when I was taking a Couch to 5-Miler class at work and was making strides (ha!) and feeling great about myself. In fact, looking back on that post, the intro I wrote rings quite a few bells:

“My first week of training was going so well, readers. So well. As I ran my prescribed miles on the treadmill, I was eagerly looking forward to writing a wrap-up post on this blog that showed just how well I had stuck to my training plan (lame, I know), and I couldn’t wait to show up at my second running class with my head held high, having actually completed the “homework” of sticking to the plan. … And then I got the flu.”

More sad trombones.

So what’s the best course of action now? Do I…

  1. Start the training plan over/repeat Week 2 when I’m feeling better?
  2. Jump back in at Week 3, but with some tweaks?
  3. Scrap the training plan and start a 5K training plan, then start this one once that’s done, and then just run the half as best I can? (Having run a half with minimal training I know it’s possible, it’s just not ideal)
  4. Scrap everything, give my race registration to a friend who’s on the wait-list, and just enjoy a weekend in Western Mass without running?
  5. Your suggestion here?

Post-Bairn Half Training – Week 1

Hi! I’d like to introduce you to someone who’s very excited to be here: a version of me who actually completed a full week of a training plan! Was that your jaw I just heard hitting the floor? It’s okay, mine’s down there too.

I mentioned several posts ago that I had signed up for a spring half marathon so that I could have a goal to work toward. I knew I’d need to finagle some kind of legitimate training in beforehand, otherwise I knew I’d be a hot mess. Plus, the training – and thus getting back into some kind of shape – was really the motivation behind signing up.

…well, that and the chance to check another town off my Massachusetts running map… and the to have an excuse to travel somewhere new with the Bairn.

Anyway, I’m starting to ramble. All that to say – I dug out the ol’ Hal Higdon Novice half marathon training plan (which I attempted for my first half… you can read how swell that experiment went in this post), counted the weeks backward from race day, and set my jaw in a determined manner.

Last week was Week 1 of 12. And, reader, I nailed it. More or less. Here’s how the week looked:

Sunday (last day of Week 0)

1 mile run | 1 mile run

The first run in the plan was 3 miles. I hadn’t run much more than 1 mile post-Bairn, and that was in early December. I figured hoped a nice gentle mile would be a good way to ease me in to the plan.

When Sunday turned out to be in the upper 40s, I giddily set out for that gentle mile despite head congestion and a plugged duct (that made squeezing into my sports bra fun…). It wasn’t my best run by a long shot, and I didn’t feel great during or after, but I did feel accomplished at getting it done.


Rest | Rest

I’m very good at rest days 🙂 If Mondays hadn’t been rest days in the plan, I would have tweaked it a bit to make it so. Mondays are my late days at work, and are usually a bit hellish as it’s the Bairn’s first day back at daycare and his bedtime gets pushed late because I get home late and… just ugh. A good day for a rest day indeed.


3 mile run | 2 mile run

This is why I wrote “more or less” up there in the intro. While I completed the week of training, I did make a few small tweaks to take into account my general lack of fitness (see this post). Even after my gentle mile on Sunday, I mentally didn’t feel ready for 3, so I hit the gym for 2 miles of walk/running on the treadmill.


2 mile run or cross train | resistance band work

I figured I could use either some yoga/stretching or strength training during this half training, since my body is destroyed from hefting my growing bairn around all the time. Drew set me up with some resistance bands in our living room and showed me a few routines that would work my arms, chest, and back, and I went to it… in my most stylish cross training outfit ever:


If you look closely, you’ll see some glow-in-the-dark space otter socks and slippers, plus the sweet goggles that came with the resistance bands.

Anyway, it was a gentle intro workout, as my body was already feeling it after minimal reps and I didn’t want to wreck myself. I’ll work at building it up as the weeks go on.


30 mins cross training | Expresso Bike

Remember my good friend the Expresso Bike? I was so excited to hop back in the saddle. I brought the Bairn to the gym, got him registered for on-site childcare, and grabbed a bike. I probably should have started off with an easy lap around the virtual track, but I picked a 1-mile slightly hilly course to make it more interesting.

Yeah… after a half-mile my legs were dead. I hadn’t been on a bike since March 2016, before I got pregnant. And my mostly sedentary lifestyle post-Bairn meant my body was already reeling from 2 runs in a week and some cross training. Plus I was worried about how the Bairn, who is in the throes of some nice separation anxiety, was faring having been deposited in a strange new place. So I finished the course, hopped off the bike, and went down to childcare to pick up the Bairn (who was cheerfully bouncing away in an exersaucer). So it was only 5 mins of CT instead of 30, but it was something, right?


Rest | Rest

Neither the Bairn nor I felt 100% on Friday, so it was another well-timed rest day.


3 mile run | 3 mile run

When Drew and the Bairn settled in to watch the Spurs match, I set off on a 3-miler around the neighborhood, route courtesy of MapMyRun’s Route Genius. It took me down some streets I’d never been down, which is always fun. My first mile was strong, and is now my current post-Bairn best mile time, but the next 2 got slower and slower. Still a decent run, but I need to work on not going out so fast. I think I’m just so pumped to be running again, it’s hard to hold back!


4 mile run | 4 mile run

I was curious to see how I’d do with 2 runs in 2 days, and surprised myself by feeling pretty strong. I set off down to the pond, which was iced over and a bit grim-looking despite temps in the upper 40s:

Once again, I set out too fast for my first mile and then got slower as the run went on, but each mile managed to come in under 13:00 per mile, even with multiple walk breaks. I’ll take that!


So, Week 1 is complete! Huzzah! Here are some reflections from my first week of training:

Favorite sight while running: a preschool-aged kid dressed as Batman running around his driveway, [I imagine] fighting invisible baddies

Milestone of note: I already have a bruised toenail 😦 I suppose that’s what happens when I dive headlong into a training plan without even a small base settled. Ah well.

Lesson learned: Always have electronics charged and ready to go! Both my Garmin and my iPod were dead when I went to use them this week. The Garmin, meh… at least I have MapMyRun to play GPS for me, but man, treadmill miles are looooong without music.

How was your week?

Any awesome sightings, milestones, or lessons to share?



Inconsiderate Running

I’m pretty sure most of us have pet peeves when it comes to running, specifically with other runners. Whether it’s slamming on the brakes out of nowhere during a race, spitting or blowing noses without taking the direction of the wind or proximity of other runners into consideration, or what have you, they run the gamut from mildly irritating to just plain rude.

Here’s one that I was thinking about yesterday – running in hallways or other indoor spaces not intended for running. I hadn’t really thought about this one before, other than reading once about people on running streaks running in airports to make sure they didn’t break their streaks.

Let me set the scene that caused my ponderings: Yesterday I was walking from my office to my car, taking the longer inside route because it was pouring rain. I was approaching a corner when a man kitted out in running gear came flying around that corner and would have crashed into me had I not practically thrown myself into the wall to get out of his way. I glanced over my shoulder at him as he jogged off, and it clearly looked like he was getting his lunchtime run in, inside and away from the rain.

I mean, I get it. It was cold and wet and awful outside yesterday, so I can’t blame him for wanting a nice, dry runch.


For one thing, there are 2 gyms containing many treadmills on campus. Don’t like the treadmill? That’s fine, we also have an indoor track. Maybe he doesn’t like running in circles? Okay, but.

The school currently has a “don’t ride inside” campaign happening, trying to discourage people from riding scooters, skateboards, bicycles, and the like indoors. It happens way more often than what seems normal. I mean, I’ve almost been hit by cyclists in hallways more than once. Bicycles gunning for us lowly pedestrians on the sidewalk is bad enough; can we have no respite indoors either?!

Anyway, I assume campus police are tired of getting complaints from startled people who had near misses with people on wheels, so now they’ve imposed a fine for anyone who gets caught. To me, that seems fair… but I may be biased due to past experiences.

All that to say, using wheels to travel faster through hallways that are generally clogged with people is frowned upon. Should running be as well? The guy who almost collided with me yesterday came around that corner like a ninja [kudos on the proper running form, dude… I hear if you run properly people shouldn’t be able to hear you coming]. What if I had been a elderly professor with arms full of papers or a laptop, who couldn’t get out of the way as fast as I could? Or someone pushing a big heavy cart laden with packages or flat-pack furniture? Running Man could have hurt himself.

To me, running in a hallway – while a great way to avoid inclement weather – seems a bit inconsiderate. The thought to do just what Running Man did has crossed my mind before on gross winter days, but I’ve never really thought it would be a good idea… too many other people around, too many things that could go awry. Especially when there are multiple indoor running facilities right there, just waiting to be used.

What do you think – is running in hallways inconsiderate, or not too bad?

What running pet peeves do you have?


The Road to Orlando is Paved with Good Intentions

Sometimes I feel like a broken record, but, reader(s)… I had good intentions, I really did.

Drew and I (and now the Bairn) alternate Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays with our families, so every other year we usually have a warm-weather Christmas in California (which I’ve taken advantage of to run a few warmer winter races – see this post and this post).

Plans changed a bit this year, and the family all converged in Florida, where Drew’s folks rented a huge house in a gated vacation community owned by Disney. It was certainly different, and I missed my trips to In n Out, but there were some concessions:


Like Wawa!!

It was also very nice to be somewhere warm, especially because the northeast was starting to be hit by a polar vortex and snowstorms. Our house had a pool and screened-in patio, and it felt pretty nice to be enjoying alfresco lunches in shorts and a t-shirt while hearing reports of the snow falling back home. (Of course, the frigid temperatures were still present when we got home, which made leaving the 70s-and-sunny weather that much harder!)


Feeding the Bairn poolside

So, what did I have good intentions about, you might be wondering? You won’t be surprised… I intended to go running! Because of course I did. I packed my running shoes, a bunch of socks, running shorts and tanks, hairbands, the works. I envisioned running outside in the sun, and on a treadmill in the community gym if it was too humid outside. I wanted this. I even packed my LEGEND compression sleeves and my HeartZones Blink 3.0 heart rate monitor, with intentions of posting pictures on social media like a good brand ambassador.

And it all played out like so many of my post-Bairn running adventures, in that it didn’t happen. Traveling and being in a new place surrounded by his noisy cousins made the Bairn a bit contrarian when it came to keeping his nap schedule, and he also didn’t love sleeping in the Pack’n’Play. So most of his naps found me laying on our bed next to him, making sure he didn’t roll off, while Drew spent time with his family. It was relaxing, but it wasn’t what I had planned. (Drew’s family also seemed less excited to babysit than we’d hoped, which meant we had much less Bairn-free time than we’d anticipated.)

We did end up taking two walks around the neighborhood with the Bairn, but other than chasing him around as he crawled through the house and up and down the stairs, my exercise plans came to naught. My running shoes were only useful in taking up space in my suitcase. Oh well.

Like people have commented on other posts where I’ve lamented running plans gone awry, running will always be there when I can get to it. The Bairn is only a baby once, and he’ll only ever have one first vacation, so I don’t mind that I spent it all with him and didn’t do a whole lot else. Someday… someday I’ll make good on my good intentions!


Proof that we went somewhere warm, and even went outside once!


2017 in Review

Hello and Happy New Year!

I know I’ve been writing a lot lately about how fast time is going by, but I had a “get off my lawn!” moment this morning when I realized it’s freaking 2018. U wot m8? How is it this far into the future already? I can still clearly remember having trouble writing “1996” at the top of my papers in middle school when a new year started. This year will be 20 years since I started high school. How did I get so old??

Let’s look back at last year before I start screaming into the void, yeah?

2017 Goals Recap

I listed five goals/things to focus on in my post from last year. They weren’t all the sorts of things I could just do and check off, but let’s see how things went:

1) Get this baby out safely and make his little world as cozy, safe, and full of love as possible.

Okay, get the baby out safely – check! He took us by surprise, arriving 3 weeks early and only 4 days after I learned he was breech. That didn’t leave much time for me to try all the old wives’ tales, so my efforts to flip him the right way ’round were unsuccessful:


Two days before the Bairn arrived, I was hanging upside-down(ish) off the couch (pictured), putting ice packs on his head, and playing his favorite songs down lower, where I wanted his head to be. No dice.

His stubborn breechiness meant a c-section after I realized I was in labor. Even though his arrival wasn’t at all how I’d imagined it, he got here safely, and I like to think we’ve made his life cozy and full of love since that day.

2) As soon as I get the OK from my midwife, jump back on the running wagon. I’ve been missing running like crazy, and the new jogging stroller is all assembled and ready to go!

Hmm, yes. The running wagon. I’ve hopped on a few times this year, but couldn’t manage to stay on for too long. More on that below. Also, it’s fun to look back and smile fondly at pre-baby Dana who was so excited to run with the jogging stroller, not knowing that the bairn’s little neck muscles wouldn’t be strong enough for that kind of malarky until much later! (Once his neck could actually support his head, he was still such a little peanut that he never really looked fully comfortable in the jogger. I’m now hoping to take him on an inaugural run once the snow melts and it warms up a bit.)

3) Related to above, I’m hoping to be fit enough to run the Worcester Firefighters race in June. I’d like to keep that streak going!

Hehehehe, oh pre-baby me. Such optimism! To be fair, it seemed like a perfectly reasonable goal. What I didn’t know is how tricky it can be to plan things like this when there are bairns involved (see this post), or that it would be unreasonably hot that particular day. My streak got cut shorter than I would have liked, but that’s okay. I can always start another one!

4) Read. Read for fun, read to learn, read fiction, read non-fiction, read newspapers. Try to balance staying informed with staying sane.

I read more post-bairn than I thought I would! Actual, physical books didn’t happen too often, but my mother-in-law gave me a Kindle, and that bad boy saw me through SO many naptimes back when the bairn would only sleep on me. (Ahh, the good old days when he would take multiple 3-hour naps a day and I could sit and relax and plow through books like no one’s business.) I read fiction, I read non-fiction, I read (online) newspapers. I read for fun, I read to learn, I read to get woke. I even joined a social justice book club at my local library, which is pretty awesome. I hope I can keep this all up in 2018!

As for balancing staying informed with staying sane… that one was a little tougher. I quit Twitter, which helped a little, but that just turned down the flow of the hose a little. I’m still working on figuring this one out.

5) Do good, no matter how small, whenever and wherever I can.

This one is hard to quantify, but I can say that I did my best. I fell short sometimes, but it’s still a constant desire to do good.

My 2016 in Numbers (Running)

Total miles: 15.84 (down from ~106.84 in 2016… hey, 15 miles is better than no miles!)

Races completed: 0 (down from 8 in 2016)

States raced in: 0 (down from 3 in 2016)

MA towns raced in: 0 (down from 3 in 2016)

Countries raced in: 0 (down from 2 in 2016)

PRs beaten: none

DNSs: 1 (Kick in 4 Kids, read about it here)

Firsts and Milestones (Running)

Not much to report this year, as you probably figured out from the stats up there. However, I did enter my running club’s marathon lottery for the first time, and thankfully I was unsuccessful!

Firsts and Milestones (Personal)

  • I had a baby! That was probably the biggest first and milestone this year.
  • I traveled to Florida for the first time, if you don’t count the time I had a layover in the Miami airport.
  • …I’m sure there were more, but honestly the mombrain has taken over and I can barely remember things these days. I could tell you all about the Bairn’s milestones, but mine? 🤔

Last year I ended my post a bit bleakly, as I was feeling bleak about the state of the world I was about to bring a child into. I still feel pretty bleak, to be honest, but the constant tiredness and mombrain allow me to switch my brain off sometimes and just focus on the task at hand. So that’s handy. It all also makes me determined to do my best to raise a good man, and a good human.

In terms of short-term goals, here are mine for 2018:

  1. Get the Bairn registered at the gym so he can hang at their daycare while I work out. 
  2. I’m registered for a half marathon in April; while I ran a half in 2016 without properly training, I’d like to NOT make that a habit. So, I’d like to train for this race. 
  3. Continue reading. Read more books by People of Color and from backgrounds not like mine. Continue reading to the Bairn as often as he’ll let me. 
  4. Actually use the jogging stroller for jogging!
  5. Get out and about with the Bairn more. I was scared to drive with him for quite a while, and also scared to mess with his fragile nap schedule. But Drew and I realized we didn’t do a whole lot with him in his first year. His grandparents got him memberships to the aquarium and Children’s Museum, so putting those to good use will be a start!

How was your 2017?

What are you looking forward to in 2018?