Tag Archives: running post pregnancy

Marathon Training Has Begun (Written 12/13!)

Workout #3 on the training plan is officially done!  Tim called me after lunch to ask how it went and if I “killed it” right as I was saying “I OWNED it!” 

 So what exactly am I training for?  A spring marathon!  There is one in Illinois in April (I think the same weekend as Boston) that I’m targeting and that’s what my training schedule is based off of. 

 What’s my goal?  Sub 3:10.  At first I said “low 3’s, but figured that wasn’t specific enough.  Ideally I would like to run as close to 3 as possible, but I’m trying to be realistic as I didn’t meet a single running goal in 2013.  At this time last year, I was planning on having already run a fall marathon at this point so I wanted to try to hit the Olympic trials B standard in the spring marathon.  My 2nd marathon I was within 6 minutes of this goals so it seemed really realistic at the time.  

 Two really big things happened to make that goal seem much less attainable.  1.) They changed the time on the B standard, its now 3 whole minutes faster. 2.) Life happened.  When I ran the 2:52 I had my husband as the perfect training partner, hardly got sick, got at least 7 hours of sleep on any given night, home cooked excellent meals just about every night and one other big advantage-TIME and FLEXIBILITY!  If the weather was really bad in the morning, Tim and I could run during lunch or after work.  Right now, we have such a limited window of when we can do our runs/workouts and if a huge snowstorm hits, we have much fewer options.  

 All that being said, I’m super excited to go after this goal and at least put in the training.  Even if I’m not running a PR, at least I’ll be proving to myself that I can get back in really great running shape even with all the craziness!!

 So I’ve done 3 workouts so far.  The first one was last week and it was a progressive run.  It was an 8 mile run where I started out at very easy pace and the only goal is to get faster every mile.  The last mile is supposed to feel comfortably hard.  These are typically one of my favorite workouts because the majority of it seems easy but it actually takes a good deal of mental focus.  It also usually leaves you feeling pretty confident.  Don’t underestimate the importance of workouts that build confidence!  Especially coming off of a season of missed goals and PR’s sometimes the biggest issue is in your head!  It takes mental focus to make sure you don’t do the first parts too fast.  Its great preparation for the mental strength you need to execute a great marathon.  Hold back in the beginning and push at the end. 

 I ran outside from work on a rainy, wet, chilly day.  I picked a route that was pretty hilly (although you are pretty hard pressed NOT to find a hilly route near my work).  I forced myself to run the first mile around 8 minutes.  Its hard.  I hadn’t done a workout in so long so I was kind of nervous all morning and that adrenaline made me want to go out hard, hard, hard.  I held myself back and each mile let myself go a little bit faster (it ended up being around 10 seconds a mile).  It felt like I was a caged animal and just wanted to be released and that was exactly what I was hoping for. 

 Some of the downhills I really had to hold myself back, while some of the uphills I really had to push to maintain my pace.  The last few miles were definitely hard but it felt REALLY GOOD!!!  My splits were 7:58, 7:40, 7:28, 7:18, 7:08, 6:55, 6:40, and 6:32.  I felt like a beast but was actually a bit sore in my legs the next day.  I went running with some lovely women that I work with and it ended up being just what I needed.  I run with these ladies usually once a week and they run a little slower than I do on my own and I’ve found it to actually be quite beneficial.  Anyway, a couple days later I was back to normal.

 My second workout I actually had to do on the dreadmill (not a typo) since the roads were just awful.  I couldn’t have picked a worse day to forget my headphones!!!  I survived though and did a 2 mile warm up, a 4 mile tempo and then a 2 mile cool down on the treadmill with no music.  The best part was that it felt EASY!!!  I wanted to race on Thanksgiving so I had an indicator of my fitness and could set workout paces but it didn’t happen so I had to sort of guess.  I figured 6:45 would be a good tempo pace and since I know the treadmill makes it easier (no wind, no elevation) my goal was 6:35 pace per mile.  I held that for my 4 miles no problem!  The worst parts were actually the warm up and the cool down because I was beyond bored!

 Today was my 3rd workout and was on the dreadmill again.  I’m very fortunate to have one that’s accessible to me though so I won’t complain.  It was another 8 mile day so I did 2 mile warm up again, then 10 X 800 meters (1/2 mile) at tempo pace with .1 jog in between.  Since my tempo run felt pretty easy, I decided to do this one a little faster and see how it went.  So on my ½ mile repeats I had the treadmill set at 9.5 which is 6:19 pace, but keep in mind I add about 10 seconds to that to make it more like outside so basically 6:30 pace.  This workout was designed to be kind of easy…its another confidence booster workout.  Its at tempo pace, but the intervals are short enough that it seems easy.  The recovery is short though so you’re still working on your speed endurance.  Anyway, BOOM, got it done, felt pretty easy again, so confidence is finally growing!!! 

 I realize of course that I still have a long way to go, but this was the fresh start I was hoping for.  Considering how I felt back in July-September when just running a few miles easy felt hard, breezing through these workouts shows me that I am coming back!  Had those “easy” workouts felt hard, I would be re-thinking everything. 

 That said, I did have a really bad run last weekend.  It was going to be my 3rd time running 12 miles since midway through pregnancy.  I woke up that morning feeling kind of queasy but still figured I’d run a couple miles, see how I felt and make a decision.  At 2 miles I was feeling pretty good so I kept going.  Around mile 4 I started to feel pretty bad but I told myself I was just a couple miles from my turn around point and kept going.  At 4.5 I felt really, really sick, tired, just overall not good and told myself I would turn around at 5.  At 4.82 miles I called my husband, fighting back tears asking him to load up our daughter in the cold and come pick me up.  I was feeling like I was being such a baby but when I got home I had a fever of 101 and ended up feeling really bad the rest of the day.  I stayed home from work the next day and got plenty of rest and didn’t eat very much and felt 100% better the next day.

 So that’s how my training has been going lately!!   I need some of you running mothers to keep me accountable for my spring marathon!!


A Great Workout and Our Worst Night Yet (7/16)

I’ve basically taken the whole training calendar I created for myself during my pregnancy (when I needed to think positively about the future to be ok with just running for fitness) and said “screw it!” I have to admit it felt pretty good. I love my training calendars. They help to keep me focused and stay on track. Plus I’m one of those people that loves checking off the box every day once I completed something. There are plenty of runners out there that just run whatever they feel like on a particular day and are perfectly happy. When I’ve tried that “plan” before the end result was that I didn’t run very much and got increasingly out of shape. For me the training calendars that I make for myself hold me accountable and motivate me to work hard towards a goal. I also HATE not hitting my goals.

Lately, I had been dealing with so little sleep, and a very demanding baby and you would think I would look forward to completing my runs/workouts everyday but I wasn’t. It just felt like another thing that I HAD to do. Sure, I always felt good after I was done but summoning the motivation to go out and do it day after day was starting to feel like dread. Its also summer in Michigan, which means HOT and HUMID weather. I don’t complain about the weather because it doesn’t really change anything but I really would rather run/workout in freezing temps and snow covered roads than 90 degrees and 80% humidity. Since I’m not about to move to Alaska, I normally deal with the heat/humidity by running early in the morning before work. When you’re getting 3-4 hours of sleep as it is, skimping further to get a run in just doesn’t even seem healthy. So, I’m left to either run on my lunch hour or in the evening when I get home. Since I actually want to spend a lot of time with my baby girl before putting her to bed at night the latter option doesn’t work for me most of the time.

So I’ve been running on my lunch hour. I kept scheduling mid week 8 mile runs on my training calendar thinking that at this point she’d be sleeping mostly through the night and that getting up and running in the morning would be ok. So every week I’ve been cutting it to 7 miles because I just don’t have enough time on my lunch to run more than that. Even doing 7 miles in the heat of the day was getting harder and harder. I was running the same route, all alone with my headphones sweating like a pig just wishing for it to all be over. Does that sound like a fun, stress relieving activity? No. It was adding more stress. At least I recognized this, probably not as soon as I should have. Monday I was supposed to do an 8 mile tempo run—HA! Hilarious! In 90 degree weather with a heat index of 106 according to Tim (who did a crazy impressive workout in that weather on his lunch break—who is this guy?!). So instead I got on the treadmill to do a 5 mile run and since it was boring decided to throw in a speed workout. Mile repeats. 3 of them. First one at 6 minutes, the second one at 5:21 and the last one at 6:00. It was not anything from any training plan I ever read, I just made it up on the spot and it was fun. I know that the treadmill makes workouts feel easier so if I had done it outside I’m sure I wouldn’t have had the same results. Still, hitting the 5:21 mile seemed like it would be a really big challenge for me. Especially after running one at 6 minutes. I had a half mile jog in between and when I first cranked the treadmill up to that pace it felt like I was sprinting. I just told myself to do as much of it as I could and once I took the pressure off I got into a good rhythm and ran the whole mile at that pace. When I started the last mile at 6 minute pace it actually felt really easy compared with the second mile. I think the workout served a few good purposes. First, it allowed me to have fun with running again. Second, it helped me re-learn what it feels like to run hard on tired legs. I haven’t run that pace for a mile in almost 2 years. Then I made myself finish strong with another 6 minute mile. Lately in 5K’s I’ve been fading in the last mile so it was a good workout for trying to practice finishing strong when you’re tired.

That Night I think Tim and I had the worst night yet. Our evening went really well. Peanut came home from daycare and they said she was fussy/tired and sad all day but we had a great evening with her. She was happy and in a great mood and she was just all smiles through her whole bed time routine. She went to bed about 8:45 without too much of a fight. Tim and I even watched a little tv before going to bed. Then at 1:40 she woke up. I went in, fed her and tried to put her back to bed for 40 minutes. Tim took a turn. He tried for 30 minutes before I went in and tried again. We tried EVERYTHING! It was so frustrating. We watched 2 hours come and go with no improvement. By 4 am I realized that any hope of getting anymore sleep for the rest of the night was gone. I thought about how I would have to get up for work at 5:45 and it was 4 am and she still showed no signs of sleeping. I thought about how I am so sick of the lack of sleep and got really angry that we are going through this. Earlier at work one of my co-workers was telling me her grandson (who is two weeks older than Alex) slept 12 hours straight the last night. He’s formula fed and already eats solids. I try to follow the “rules” outlined by my doctor and based on the latest research. I breastfeed her and am not starting solids until she’s 6 months (except for cereal which the doctors say is ok to start between 4-6 months). So I was utterly frustrated and started questioning everything I had been doing by the book. In my head I was almost screaming “Its NOT FAIR!” and I’d hear my own internal voice chirping “Life’s not fair” right back at me. I struggled with the anger and guilt having wars in my head. “Why do WE have to go through this when we try so hard to do everything right and people who break all the rules get to have babies that sleep 12 hours?!” Followed by “You are so lucky! You have a HEALTHY baby that you love more than anything, its just SLEEP after all. You will survive this, quit being such a whiner!” I realize I’m making myself sound pretty crazy but I’m being totally honest and I’ll admit I was feeling pretty crazy.

Tim was rocking her for the umpteenth time and she was just crying, not settling down. I looked at her, those beautiful eyes wide open and she smiled at me like it was time to play. Even at 4 am, that smile is adorable. At that point, I figured if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em and turned on the lights and started talking to her like it was day time. She gave me a look like I was crazy (again, probably pretty accurate at this point) and then started crying. So I turned the lights back off, rocked her, fed her and she closed her eyes and went to sleep. It was 4:20 am. Tim and I tried but never really got back to sleep except for maybe a quick 20 minutes. I had looked at the clock at 5:20 and woke up at 5:40 after having a dream that I fell asleep at the wheel and started to go off the road.

Nights like that are incredibly hard for so many reasons. There’s the obvious reason that you got less than 3 hours of sleep. For us that’s been the norm for the last 9 weeks but its been that she wakes up every 1-2 hours but would fall back to sleep after you fed/rocked her. You at least get to lay down in bed and TRY to fall asleep again right away before she wakes up again. She just would not/could not go back to sleep and we had no idea why. Its scary. We took her temperature and she didn’t have a fever. She would fuss but then settle down when picked up. You start to worry that its the START of a totally new issue. You worry that you will endure days and weeks and months of this before it gets better. You worry that you are actually going to lose your mind. Maybe not everyone would respond this way but I immediately started going into crisis mode. Since I didn’t know how to fix the problem (get her to sleep more and get her to go back to sleep) I focused on what I could control (how to cope with it). So that morning Tim and I talked about what we would do. We decided that if this pattern continued, we would need to take turns. We decided on every other night. We made a plan that included us sleeping in separate rooms because he and I had been taking turns during the night (every other time she wakes up the other one attends to her) but we were both waking up whenever she woke up and I know that I was staying awake the entire time he attended to her because I could hear her crying/and or I worried that he wouldn’t be able to get her back to sleep. I even went to the doctor and got a prescription for a sleep aid that was safe for breastfeeding so that on my night off I would really get some good sleep.

I’ll admit that this plan was not ideal for so many reasons but we were so desperate. I guess part of it was that I just kept feeling like I had to do/try something. I also felt bad for her because she was not getting the amount of sleep that she needed. I thought about giving her a bottle of formula, just at night since it takes longer to digest and I keep hearing how all these formula fed babies sleep better. I know that formula is not poison and I’m not one of those judgey, everyone has to breastfeed mommas. I think that everyone has to do what works for their family. Breastfeeding has had its ups and downs but in general had been going well lately. I’ll admit part of the reason I was reluctant to supplement with formula was because of all the trials I went through in the beginning only to feel like I was “giving up” now. It seems sort of silly when you think about it since we’re really only talking about 1 bottle a day. I talked to my sister who has worked in daycares and she told me that formula fed babies in general (not ALL) tend to have more digestive issues. Alexandra has had enough to deal with in terms of reflux and I just eventually came to the decision that it wasn’t worth it (for us). PLUS there was no science to back up the claim that it helps them to sleep longer. Finally, to seal the deal I really felt that her wakefulness was not due to hunger anyway.

So, we were all set to roll out said plan but my sister was in town and staying at our house (and taking the guest room) so we figured we would wait until the person “on duty” could use that room. That night, she only got up twice and didn’t have as much of an issue falling back to sleep. What a relief. We were still up a large portion of the night but it wasn’t as stressful because she at least went back to sleep ok. What a relief, for one night anyway!

Reeds Lake Recap and Project Get More Sleep (7/2)

Ok, I’m really behind in publishing my posts! I like to edit them obsessively before posting so I save them and then pubish when I find the time, which has been a real challenge lately! So this was from 7/2!

The Reeds Lake 5K did not go as I had envisioned it would. I went out fast enough (maybe too fast?) 5:52 for the first mile. After that first mile I was already really struggling. Just a couple weeks ago I went out in 6:06 and felt great so I wasn’t sure what to think. Doubt had already started to creep in but I willed myself to just get through mile 2 on pace and focused on achieving that. So mile 2 I was right around 6 minutes. Perfect. Still ahead of goal.

That’s pretty much when it all fell apart. I started my last mile at 7:33 pace! Oh no! I pulled out ALL my mental tricks at this point. I started focusing on the runners ahead and trying to just pull myself towards them. I started finding landmarks and telling myself to push just until that tree, then the light post, etc. It worked. My pace dropped to 6:45. Still WAY off my goal! I knew I had less than a mile and I thought about my Peanut and her struggling to crawl and I kept pushing and got my pace down to 6:20, then 6:19, 6:18 with a half mile to go. I was still off pace, but was happy that I hadn’t given up yet.

At some point during the last half mile a woman that I used to run against in college passed me. I had seen her name in local 5K results lately and she was running in the mid to high 18’s. I told myself that if I just went with her I might still make my goal. I focused on her and watched her slowly get further away. Finally I saw the finish line and knew I was almost done. I started to give it one last push and then…ugh. I made the mistake of looking at my watch. 19 minutes. There was no point in working so hard anymore. I found myself jogging through the finish line. Mad. Defeated. Disappointed that I did actually give up.

I found Tim and wasn’t actually surprised to hear him say that he didn’t run very well either. With my mother in law watching our baby, we went for a little cool down together. Even the cool down felt hard and we only went 2 miles at about 8:30 pace. In talking to Tim he felt very similar to the way I did. His second mile was 6 minutes (he usually runs close to 5:30 pace).

Here’s where I finally could admit that maybe it was too much. I said “We haven’t had even a decent night’s sleep in about 6 weeks.” I hate making excuses. I hate feeling like I’m making excuses. Sometimes you really have to just face reality.

It had been about 6 weeks since we’d even had longer than a 4 hour stretch of sleep. Most nights we were probably getting 3 broken hours with a few “good” nights where we would get one solid stretch of 4. When I say a “few” I mean probably about 3 in the last 6 weeks. The truth is that when I wake up in the morning my head hurts, my body hurts, my eyes hurt. We had finally overcome the 3+ weeks where she was up every 1-2 hours so getting up 3-4 times a night seemed like such relief at first. We go to work, we run, we come home and work until we go to bed and then have a night full of interrupted sleep. She actually slept for longer stretches at night as a newborn. Even at just a few days old she would sleep for a couple 4 hour stretches. The weekends come and we hope to at least be able to sleep in and find ourselves up earlier than we are during the week. You just never get into that deep sleep where your body actually recovers. You CAN survive on very little sleep (we are proof of that) but you certainly don’t THRIVE on it and maybe you can’t expect to continue to improve your athletic performance. Professional runners even take naps during the day…this after getting a solid 8-9 hours of sleep at night. At this point, I would be thrilled to even just get a solid 6 for a few nights in a row!

So that brings me to the next part of this post. We had her to the doctor yesterday for her 4 month check up. It was rewarding to hear that she’s doing very well. Its frustrating to hear that most babies her age that are healthy are only waking up once in the night to eat. She’s up at least 3-4 times. We’ve got a bedtime routine and we’ve been more consistent with a bedtime. Our doctor told us at this point its ok to start letting her cry for 20-30 minutes. Eeek!

So I started doing my research because so many things are controversial and there are so many different opinions. I also started talking to friends with babies and finding out what they’ve done. So Tim and I are going to try some version of the Ferber Method, and it will be soon.

I remember after her 2 month shots she got really fussy and woke a lot during the night for a couple nights so I figured it was best to wait a couple days after her shots before starting this. We have a 4 day weekend coming up, so I guess its as good a time as any to start. We just have to prepare ourselves mentally and physically for what’s ahead.

Letting her cry for 20-30 minutes is not something I am comfortable with. At all. This will be the hardest part for me, no doubt. That and the part where Tim and I will have to be up in the night while we’re doing this. Obviously you don’t start there and I really hope that we don’t actually have to ever wait that long. So the first night you put them down in their crib awake and leave them alone and let them cry or fuss for 3 minutes before going back in. Once you do, you gently soothe them and leave them awake again and this time wait 5 minutes before going in. You can progress with the waiting time however you’re comfortable with in increasing increments and according to the plan after 7 days they should be able to soothe themselves.

Ick. Alexandra has no problem going to sleep at night, it’s the waking up so many times that is our issue. Which means we will be doing this at midnight, and 2 am, and 4 am and 5 am. So we should just plan to be miserable for about a week and then the hope is that she can go 6+ hours without needing us in the night.

Why did our doctor recommend this? Well, first of all because she did used to sleep for 7-9 hour stretches so he knows she can go that long without food. When babies hit the 4 month mark (or for our little A it was right around 12 weeks) their sleep changes forever. They go from infant sleep cycles to adult cycles and so they wake several times in the night and some can’t get themselves back to sleep so they rely on you to do it for them. Secondly, she has been growing at an incredible rate so she shouldn’t need the night feeds for nutritional purposes.

Why am I ok with this? I do believe it is best for Alexandra in the long run. I have never been a great sleeper. If I wake up in the night I have a hard time falling back to sleep, especially if its within a couple hours of my morning wake up time. I’m hoping if I can teach Alexandra how to get herself to fall back to sleep at a young age it will stick with her throughout her life.

I hope so badly that the sleep training works well without prolonged periods of crying. I don’t believe that any parent can stomach leaving their baby alone to cry like that as it goes completely against our instincts.

I’m NOT looking forward to this. I will keep track of how it goes though.

A Letter to my Daughter: Life Lessons I learned from a 4 month old

Dear Alexandra,

Today you are four months old already. Last night I saw you do something that both amazed me and made me realize just how quickly you are growing up. For the first time, you tried to crawl.

Obviously, you couldn’t do it yet. Still, you kept trying. I had put you down on your tummy facing your toys on the little play gym on the floor. You generally don’t like tummy time, but I know its good for you so I try to make sure we spend a few minutes doing it every night. I jiggled a toy in front of you to try to keep your attention and to my amazement you realized you wanted it and gave an honest effort at trying to go after it.

At first you reached out your arm and realize it was far too short. Then I saw you kick your legs and start swimming your arms and trying so hard to propel yourself forward. You even tried to grasp the mat with your fingers to pull yourself forward but you weren’t strong enough. Yet. I saw you putting forth so much effort. You wouldn’t stop trying. You started grunting with the effort and getting frustrated that you were working so hard and going nowhere.

My first instinct was to pick you up and put you close enough to touch the toy, but I realized that I shouldn’t. Part of me was just so amazed to see you even attempt something so new and of course I had to run and get my phone so I could record it for your dad. I let you struggle for a few minutes. Now I’ll explain why.

Someday you will be able to crawl, and eventually walk and then run, but not yet. You have to first develop the muscle strength to be able to hold yourself erect, and the coordination to balance. You will develop that strength and coordination in due time my Love, do not worry.

Your struggle reminded me of what we all go through throughout our lives. If someone always picks you up and puts you within arm’s reach of that dangling toy, you will never develop those muscles to be able to get there yourself.

You taught me a great lesson last night. Lately I’ve been getting sort of frustrated with running and my career and even in dealing with the day to day.

Two summers ago I was running 5K’s in the 17:20-:40 range and now I’m struggling to run 19:00. I knew that it would take some time to get back, but I didn’t anticipate it would take this long, or even all the new challenges I would face. Yep, I was completely naïve to all the challenges of balancing work, taking care of a young baby and trying to train like I did two years ago.

Sometimes I see my times in workouts and the effort I have to go through to achieve them now and get frustrated, even mad. I think “why bother putting in this much effort for these results.” “Maybe I should just stop chasing some crazy dream and learn to be content just being able to run.” The workouts feel hard, and the races feel hard. I find myself wanting to give up.

Seeing you struggling, yet not giving up, was the hard smack in the face that I needed. I know that eventually you’ll be crawling all over the place, but you don’t. Yet you still put forth that effort, straining and grunting because you saw something you wanted and decided you were going to go get it. Yes, at just four months old you are already showing yourself to be tougher than your mama.

So it brought me back to all the years and years of miles and races and workouts and bad races that I went through to get to the point I was at two years ago running in the 17’s. It was hard, and it was frustrating and there were times then that I wanted to give up. I didn’t know then that someday it would all pay off, I just had to hope and keep trying.

Even balancing day to day activities has been a challenge for me since returning to work. Its been a month now and I feel like I should be settled into a routine but I find its still difficult sometimes. The past couple nights your daddy had to travel for work so I was steering the ship alone and it was incredibly humbling. I learned that I really appreciate all that your dad does every night that I don’t always see and I also developed a huge appreciation for single parents that are living that every single day. I only had to do it two nights and I ended up scarfing down a cold piece of pizza and ice cream bar for dinner at 9:45 pm on one night, and the next evening I got a speeding ticket while on my way to pick you up from daycare!

You reminded me that all our lives we’re laying there on our bellies, seeing the item of our desire right there in front of us, yet it still remains just out of reach. We never know if we’ll ever be able to grasp it in our hands, yet we know that if we don’t ever struggle to push ourselves beyond our limits it will always stay just out of our reach.

When I think back about all the most wonderful things that have ever happened in my life, not one of them has been easy to come by. Maybe that is part of what makes them so wonderful in the first place. Would there be as much joy in attaining something that you didn’t have to work hard to get? I had to go through several heartbreaks before I met your daddy, the love of my life. On the day that we said our vows I remember feeling such incredible joy and peace, knowing that everything that happened up to that point, any pain was all worth it. He was the only one for me, and I knew it.

The day I had you was so similar. I had some tough struggles through the pregnancy and I’ll always carry with me the scar from where they pulled you out of my belly. I actually like the scar. I see it and it reminds me of you and the struggle I had to go through to finally meet my wonderful, sweet little girl. The moment I heard your first cry was the best moment of my entire life. Our family felt complete and all the pain I had experienced paled in comparison to the joy and love I was experiencing.

When things start to feel hard, one look at your smiling face reminds me that its more than worth it. I was pretty upset about getting a speeding ticket yesterday. It had been a hard couple days without your daddy there. The timing of it all as I was trying to pick you up from daycare on time just made me feel like I was failing. When I walked into daycare and watched your face light up and give me a huge grin the moment you saw me completely washed away everything else and I knew I had everything I’d ever wanted.

Sometimes its easy to get impatient. We want what we want and we want it now. Its important that we always keep driving ourselves forward into the struggle. For it’s actually the struggle that develops those muscles and coordination that will eventually allow us to get to where we want to go. So keep trying, Love, never give up. You may feel like your efforts are leading you nowhere but they are always moving you forward. You may not always see this, but trust that it is happening. I will try to remember this too.

When I run in the race tomorrow and things start to get tough, I will think about you grunting on your belly and not give up. You’ve brought me more joy than I’ve ever known and now you’re teaching me important life lessons too. Pretty impressive for a four month old.

I love you always.