Sunday, November 30, 2008


I haven’t done a triathlon since 1995 (yikes: how old does that make me?!), yet lately I’ve been digging multisport workouts. I don’t have any reason for doing them except that I love diversity—it keeps my mind and muscles fresh. November and December are my do-whatever-I-enjoy months before I jump into marathon training with both feet. I am doing a half-marathon mid-January, so I can’t slack off running entirely, but I’m having fun mixing things up.

I adore riding my mountain bike to my health club—it takes about 20 minutes—then swimming for 45 minutes, then biking home. I started riding my bike to the club when gas prices were sky high, but now I do it to shrink my carbon footprint—and to see the sun. We’ve had a relatively sunny fall here in Portland, and I find it tough to justify going indoors to swim when the sun is shining. This way I get the best of both worlds—a direct jolt of make-me-happy sunshine plus time in the water.

Toward the end of the rowing season, about once a week, I did a workout I called the Three R’s: Ride my bike to boathouse; Row with the team; Run a 3-mile riverfront loop; then ride home. (Okay, so that’s 4 R’s, but one is repeated…) I adored the feeling of driving Phoebe to school and having all that under my belt already.

I’m feeling like the afternoons this weekend with the kids were multisport in their own way: Yesterday it was the park, then a dash to the library, while today it was a different playground, followed up by cookie-baking. (First time with all three kidlets!) I’d say those “workouts” are as legit as any swim-bike-run brick, don’t you?


Monday, November 24, 2008

Working My Mommy Muscles

I'm taking a needed rest day today: I ran 10 miles on Saturday, then biked for 2 hours yesterday. But it's not my legs that are sore. No, it's my left bicep. I feel like I did countless bicep curls. When the pain kicked in last evening, I couldn't figure out what made just my left arm ache. The raking I did that afternoon? Riding on the drops for too long?

Nope, I realized: It was carrying dear Daphne around downtown on Saturday when I took the girls coat-shopping for me. Funny how lugging 33 loveable pounds 10 blocks will do that to ya.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

No More Naps

It’s an end of an era: John and Daphne, our 3-year-old twins, are nappers no more. I tried to deny it as long as possible, enforcing “quiet time” in their room for an hour or two every afternoon. That system worked for a few months with their singleton sister, Phoebe, when she was 3, but with the twins it was a joke. Instead, it was “jump on the bed time” or “tear out the insulation time” or “rip pages out of books time.” Argh!

Yet as much as they don’t want to nap, the dear little things still need a siesta. Most days it’s John who is worse for the wear as the day progresses, getting grumpier and whinier with each passing hour. Sometimes cradling him and singing to him allows him to nod off for a 2-hour snooze, but then that wrecks him from going to sleep at night. Usually Daphne is a ball of energy from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. and then she racks hard, but last night, she short-circuited right before dinner, and we put her to bed at 6 p.m. No naptime is tough on them, and on our family.

And now it’s got me worried about my marathon training. Last go-round, a 3-hour nap on Sunday afternoons was as critical to my training as track workouts or weekly long runs. Honestly, doing my 18- or 20-milers, my mental “finish line” wasn’t our back door, but the twins’ 1 p.m. naptime. I’d put them down, set Phoebe up with an activity, and sink into my pillow. When I hit the heavy mileage for the Eugene Marathon, the twins will be about four or five months shy of their fourth birthday…not quite old enough to trust on their own while I rest. (With Phoebe at that age, it was no problem, but John and Daphne are a handful…and then some.)

My only hope is that I’ll find new resources of energy that allow me to power through my heavy training days without a nap. Yesterday, I ran 10 miles and didn’t feel tired all day. But as we all know—10 miles is a far cry from 20.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Mommy for a Day

Work has been crushing down on me lately, making each hour of my workday extra-precious. So it was a real kick in the gut when our babysitter called on Friday to say she was sick. Thankfully Fridays are the day both of our 3-year-old twins, John and Daphne, are at preschool until 1 p.m., so I had half the day to work. But after that I was on full-time mom-mode as my husband, Jack, was out of town on business.

It’s hard to break away from my desk on any Friday, but last week was especially hairy: I was staring down the deadline for the bi-annual Shape shoe review, due on Monday. (And, yes, even though I’d been working on the review all week—tabulating results, amassing great tester quotes, and gathering tech info—the Word doc was a blank slate as of noon Friday when our babysitter dropped the bomb on me. Uh-oh!) As I dashed off to pick up John and Daphne, I debated: I could either make a half-assed attempt at working by planting the twins in front of the boob-tube, or I could embrace my mommy-ness. I decided the kids and I both deserved my full attention being devoted to them, and I told myself I wouldn’t even attempt to work that afternoon.

As the sun glinted off our minivan’s windshield, I told myself it was a lovely day, I had two fun-loving 3-year-olds, and I was going to enjoy our afternoon together. We headed to my health club, a place John and Daphne had never been before. I toyed with dropping them off in the gym’s fun childcare (big sis, Phoebe, has loved it the few times she’s gone!) and swimming laps solo, but that ran counter to my new carpe diem (carpe afternoon?) dictate. Plus, Daphne won me over on the way in, exclaiming, “I love the gym! I love the gym!” even though, to her, it probably just looked like a cinderblock fortress. If she could be so blindly enthusiastic, I could, too!

Instead we headed to the kiddie pool, where Daphne continued to pile it on, shouting delightedly, “I love swimming! I love swimming!” Sure, John whined and barely stuck his foot in the water, but we all had a blast, playing with little floating sea creature plush toys. The twins seemed to comprehend it was a special outing, and they were relatively controlled. (Translation: My blood pressure didn’t spike, and they didn’t tumble headfirst into the deep end.) Before I knew it, it was time to get dressed (I had to bribe them with the promise of a cookie from the cafĂ© and return visits to the pool, an especially effective bargaining chip with Daphne a.k.a. the preschool Dara Torres!) and go pick up Phoebe from school.

While I’m not cut out to be a full-time mom, Friday made me realize I wish I had more latitude in my schedule for an occasional afternoon off with my kiddies. Maybe I’m the one who needs an occasional “sick day”!


Sunday, November 16, 2008


Hi Marathon Moms devotees! I'm going to post in next day or two, so please check back. We're so thrilled you followed us here, and we look forward to continuing to share our mommy-run-work balance with you all.