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.

However.

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?

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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:

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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!)

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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!

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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:

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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.
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  • 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?

Creative Ways to Get Some Exercise In

I was reading a recent issue of Parents magazine the other day (heyo free subscription with the purchase of an owl-shaped humidifier!) and there was an article about exercises you can do to help with the whole being-a-mom thing… how to strengthen your back for optimal baby-lifting, etc.

Looking it over, I had a rush of motivation to follow this regimen. I pictured myself tearing the pages out of the magazine, tacking them up somewhere, and making it my new Bairn’s Naptime Exercise Extravaganza. 

Yeah. Reader, if you’ve read this blog for any amount of time, you’ll know I’m not so good at this sort of thing. I have great intentions for training plans and the like, but my execution is, shall we say, lacking. I mean, I never even got as far as tearing the pages out of the magazine. I don’t even know where the magazine is right now, or if I even kept it. #mombrain

Thinking about this and feeling bad about my inability to be organized and motivated, I started reflecting on how I’ve been getting exercise since the Bairn arrived. Clearly I’m not doing my Super Mom Parents Magazine routine, nor am I running very often. So what am I doing? With no further ado, here is my own special kind of exercise regimen:

Awkwardly Distributed Weight Lifting

As he approaches one year of life, my Bairn weighs probably somewhere around 19 pounds. He was a teeny jellybean of just under 5.5 pounds when he was born, but his growth spurts have all come on suddenly, leaving me almost constantly surprised about how heavy he is. I tend to carry him around on my right side, balanced between my hip and the crook of my arm, leaving me feeling super strong yet hunchbacked and constantly tired on one side. I need to start lifting weights on my left to balance out. 

Giving my right side its usual workout while decorating our Christmas tree

Improper Core Work

When the Bairn was tiny, he screamed and cried a lot because he has a dairy sensitivity and we didn’t know about it, so all the cheese and milky iced coffee I was consuming was giving him terrible gas pains. Before I realized what was happening and cut out my beloved dairy from my life, the only way to calm the Bairn down was to hold him while bouncing exuberantly on an exercise ball. Drew and I bounced him so often that it quickly became a crutch, both for calming him and for getting him to sleep. Exercise balls are great for strengthening one’s core, unless one is bouncing while hunched awkwardly over a crying baby. For months. 

Fun fact: we bounced on this ball so much it burst. While Drew was on it. Holding the Bairn. (Everyone was ok… except maybe Drew’s bum for a few days… and the ball)

Hamstring Bootcamp

When the Bairn started cruising and showed interest in walking around the house, we got him a walking/balance toy:

The trouble is, it’s not wide enough to provide good balance, and the wheels also don’t have anything that might resemble brakes. So, left to his own devices, the Bairn tends to either tip over or face-plant as the van peels away on our hardwood floors. So Drew and I – at least until the Bairn gets a better sense of balance – shuffle backwards while bent at the waist, holding on to the front of the van so our Bairn can cruise along happily. It either causes a sore lower back or burning hammies. I like to think burning hammies is at least benefiting my body, so I convince myself it’s exercise. 

These Boots Weren’t Made for Walking

The neighborhood by my work is in the midst of intense redevelopment, with multiple demolition and building sites. One result of that is that my usual route from the T to my building is now a giant hole surrounded by fences. As I shuffle under scaffolding and hunch against the cold, I try to focus on how the longer walk is good for me. The fly in the ointment is that I can’t seem to find warm, work-attire-friendly boots that fit my post-baby feet comfortably, and so my shuffle tends to be a limp most days. 

Being a Dairy Farm

While not exercise per se, nursing a baby apparently burns about 300-500 calories per day. Moo. 

The Time-Honored Winter Tradition of Shoveling

Our first snowstorm of the season happened the day after the Bairn had surgery (it was routine, and is all good now!), and the day Drew was suffering flu-like symptoms. So while the two of them slept off their respective ailments, I shoveled like a madwoman and cleared the whole driveway and both sidewalks in about an hour, which is a new PR for me 💪🏻

Maybe someday I’ll find that Parents article again, or will finally  make it back to the gym. But until then, I’ll be continuing my janky exercise regimen for the foreseeable future. Stay tuned for any new exercises I might uncover!

Are there any non-traditional exercises that are part of your normal routine?

Do you have any recommendations for warm boots or shoes that are comfortable and work appropriate and aren’t snow boots? These have to exist, right?!

Naptime Rambles

Um, since when is it the last day of November? Where did this year go?? How will I have a one year old in a mere matter of weeks?!


I honestly feel like I was still pregnant a few weeks ago. It’s totally cliche to say it, but I feel like I blinked and the Wee Bairn is practically grown up. (Cliche and hyperbole for the price of one!) That’s a bit of an exaggeration but still. He’s crawling, cruising, walking while holding onto us… he’ll be off running in no time!

Speaking of time flying, I recently hit my Larry Bird year:

Source: Wikimedia


Say what, now?! The world needs to slow its spin, dude. Two minutes ago I was in my early 20s. What the heck. 

I had “planned” on running a race on my birthday (“planned” because, well, read my post-baby running posts for context), one that my run club was going to have a massive presence at. And I think it was that run club connection that kept me from running it in the end. It was a 5k, and I still haven’t run more than a mile post-Bairn. Even though my club is full of supportive, wonderful people, I couldn’t get over the thought that it would take me forever to complete those miles, long after everyone else would be enjoying post-race beers. I’m just not ready for racing yet, as much as I’m dying to get back to the fun race-day atmosphere. It’ll happen one of these days. 

So instead of running, I opted for a family walk at the pond. It was surprisingly chilly, so it was s quick walk, but it was nice to get out and back down the pond again. 


Going against my better judgement, I bit the bullet and signed up for a spring half marathon (!). I need a goal to work toward and a reason to get out the door running again, and this one will also provide a reason for a family jaunt to western Mass. We’ve got a little cottage booked via Airbnb and I’m looking forward to an adventure with the Bairn!

Speaking of, I hear him waking up, so it’s time to cut these rambles off! Til next time, whenever that may be…

What have you been up to? Tell me something rambly!

A “New” Garmin Record

Simon is dead; long live Simon Mark II.

(For those of you new to my blog, or for those of you who may have forgotten, since it’s been so dang long since I’ve written about him, Simon is what I call my Garmin Forerunner.)

My beloved first running watch kicked the bucket last year. It was a slow death… taking longer and longer to connect to GPS, deciding he didn’t want to save the occasional run, acting erratically.

The final straw came at the QEOP10K last September, when I ran my first international race and was excited to have my run saved in Garmin Connect for posterity, only to have Simon basically give me a two-fingered salute after I crossed the finish line, crapping out without saving anything. Oh well.

I found a replacement – a bigger, shinier, fancier Forerunner 230 – on Groupon Goods a few months after The Bairn arrived, and have been wearing it on my very occasional runs.

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It turns out the timing for a new watch ended up being pretty perfect.

I feel like I’m almost starting over with my running post-Bairn. I didn’t run at all between said QEOP10K last September and the end of May, and since then have been getting used to a body that’s a bit different since pregnancy and childbirth, on top of getting my running groove back.

Last Sunday I ran a mile for the first time in who knows how long. That is, a mile without needing a walk break. It was awesome. It was a gorgeous fall morning, and I set out on a new-to-me route with the intention of just taking it easy and seeing how I felt. I made it a quarter-mile and felt good, so I decided to try for a half-mile. Made it to that no problem, and thought “what the heck?” I made it a full mile, walked a half-mile, ran another quarter-mile, then walked the last .25 for a nice, even 2 mile excursion.

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Now, hitting that mile felt like a huge accomplishment in itself, but as a bonus, Simon Mark II gave me a fanfare at the end of my run because I had run my “fastest mile.” At first I was a bit dumbfounded, thinking back to the glorious day when I ran my current fastest mile, but then remembered that I was wearing a whole new watch, with no memory of my blazing record.

As I work my way oh-so-slowly back to running regularly and rebuilding my base, having little moments of fanfare with digital bling makes the whole thing so much more exciting and motivating. Old Simon wouldn’t have given me any fanfare for running an 11:18 mile, and that’s totally okay. But the bonus props from New Simon gives me a little mental push to keep working at beating my new PR. And there’ll be “new” records to break too – longest run, fastest 5K, etc. It’s like having a clean running slate, and I think that’s just what I need right now.

No Marathon For Me

… at least not this year!

My running club held its annual Boston Marathon number lottery last night at our fall cookout. For the first time since I’ve been a member, my name was in the hat. As I wrote a few weeks ago, I was feeling a little Prim Everdeen about it all, but excited that I’d have the ultimate motivation to get back on a training plan. 

Anyone want to guess how well my pre-potential-marathon training plan execution went?

Yep. All I wanted was to build up a small base again, with 5k being my goal. Did I go running at all since coming up with that plan?


Finding motivation is hard right now, guys. On the days I work, by the time I get home I just want to cuddle the Bairn and then sit on the couch and do nothing once he’s in bed. It’s so dark now in the evenings already… I’m not mentally prepared for it to be fall. On the days I’m home, I’m a special kind of exhausted once Drew gets home and frees me from Bairn-wrangling, and the Bairn isn’t quite old enough to be pushed on runs in the jogger yet. And mornings? Ugh. The Bairn is my early morning alarm clock, and there’s no way right now I could get up even earlier. 

I have to admit I’m a little relieved that I didn’t get a number. Disappointed? Yes. But also very relieved. Now I can get back to building a base without the pressure of a marathon looming over me. Plus, all the people who got numbers have been running and training a lot, and deserve Boston way more than I do right now!

So, there’s always next year. But now the question is: what the heck do I use for motivation??