Wednesday, May 30, 2012

We've moved!

I have moved! If you want to continue following go to RUNFARGirl and follow me there. My newest post is up!

--Sarah

Friday, May 25, 2012

New Post on the New Blog

The Runner-Mom Chronicles has moved and has gotten a major make over. FInd our newest post here and find our new home here.

See you there!
--Sarah

Friday, May 18, 2012

Makeover!


The Runner-Mom Chronicles is getting a "make-over." We're changing our name and moving to Wordpress. Details and new posts are coming soon! Stay tuned for the big reveal!

Monday, February 20, 2012

I never wanted to be a "Stay-At-Home-Mom"

I never wanted to be a "Stay-At-Home-Mom." I didn't think (this was my 18-year-old self doing the thinking here) that it was the best option, and I wanted to be the BEST. I wanted to be successful, respected and known. Specifically in the field of nutrition and dietetics. That was THE PLAN. I hatched THE PLAN in High school, as a junior: I would go to a university with a well-known Nutrition program (preferably Cornell...I ended up at Syracuse), major in Nutritional Science, become a Registered Dietitian.  Get a job in a big city. Find a swanky apartment suitable for a successful single girl and become successful, respected and known. That was the plan. Well, that was my plan.

God drastically altered my trajectory at age 19. Teaching me, through very difficult circumstances (a serious battle with Anorexia and Bulimia), that success, respect and notoriety are not the stuff of satisfied souls. I left the university and the course of study that was supposed produce a fabulously successful single girl and wound up at a little state university feeling very confused about who I was and what I was supposed to do. There, I met the man who would become my husband (God knew what he was doing...thank God!). Slowly, (I'm talking like 10-years people; because my strong-willed-self takes so long to let go of "my way," even when it clearly isn't working) God began to change my values and thinking.

It has been a long, slow letting go. Letting go of THE PLAN--realizing that it never really was the plan. And recognizing that the place I am now: Mom to Sophia, wife to Mark. THIS is THE PLAN, and has been all along. Leaving my job this month was the final letting go. Now I get to be who I was created to be.

In order to enter into this season of life fully I'm trying to clear out distractions: vestiges of THE PLAN and the pursuit of success, respect and notoriety. Which is why I am ending this blog. I want to open myself up, to be available to His plan.

So farewell! Happy Running! Happy Cooking! Happy Mothering!



--Sarah

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

10 Great New England Races

There's a great running culture in New England, one that is dominated by a hard-core yankee spirit. People around here have grit. And of course there is the storied Boston Marathon, not to far from he'a (here) that lends a bit of history to the running scene. With that, I have to admit that New England (despite it's awful weather--although that's probably what produces such gritty runners) is a great place to run and race.

Here's a list of some of my favorite New England Races:

1. Big Lake Half Marathon, Alton, NH- May
This race runs along Lake Winnipausake in May, which means unpredictable weather (it could be sweltering, freezing or perfect). It's hilly, which makes it challenging and views of the lake make for interesting scenery.

2. Eastern States 20 Miler-Starts in Kittery, ME finishes in Salisbury, MA-March
This race runs through three states (which makes for great bragging) and for most of the course you run along the ocean (which is inspiring). It's a great marathon tune-up race.

3. Maine Marathon, Portland, ME-October
This race has a special place in my heart. It was my first marathon and most recently my PR. It is small and friendly. The course is pretty for the most part and feels like "home" to me. There are a few good views but for the most part you're running through neighborhoods, people come to the end of their driveways to wave, cheer and ring cowbells. It feels real.

4. Girls Inc. 5K Rochester, NH-April
This run is small, but supports a great cause: helping girls build confidence and self-esteem through running. Couldn't think of a better organization to give my $20 to.

5. Covered Bridge 10K Jackson, NH-September
Touted as the toughest 10K in New England this one is HILLY. There's a 500 ft. elevation climb in the first mile and then more than just rolling hills after that. It is truly challenging, so if you want to test your grit and toughness, this is the race.

6. White Mountain Milers 1/2 Marathon, North Conway, NH-October
The best part about this race is really the after party: an all-you can eat pizza buffet from the Flatbread Pizza Co.  (Which is my opinion is the best pizza on earth, and hopefully will be in heaven too.) The race itself is good too, a flat jaunt through very scenic North Conway, past horse farms with the White Mountains looming in the distance. It's quite pretty. But the pizza....OH the pizza!

7. Todd's Trott 5K, Durham, NH- March
This is another small-town race for a great cause: a scholarship in the honor of Todd Heuchling, a bright and talented cross country runner. At the race you see families in the community come together to remember a great kid. It's a good thing to be a part of.

8. Avis Goodwin Father's Day 5K, Dover, NH- June
This race is really new and so it's really small, which can mean placing in your age category of even winning. It's on Father's Day and is a great way to get out with your family. It also has a great post race spread: a breakfast burrito buffet from Margaritas. (Which is how I got my husband to go to one of MY races on Father's Day).

9. Peeper 5K, Barrington, NH-May
This race has local flavor...literally. If you place in your age category you receive a block of cheddar cheese from Calef's Country Store. You might be wondering what a "peeper"is, well if you come to the race you can find out. It's a great way to spend a Saturday morning.

10. Market Square Day 10K, Portsmouth, NH-June
This race is big and always draws a fast field. So if you're looking to walk away with a medal or prize you might want to look for a smaller race. But it is fun, has great cheering crowds and puts you in Portsmouth early for the Market Square Day festivities.


Happy Racing!

Sarah

Monday, January 30, 2012

Thank You.


Mark,

You come to all my races. You cheer and wait, cheer and wait, sometimes for 20 minutes, sometimes for three hours. Sometimes in the sunshine, sometimes in the pouring rain. Sometimes alone and sometimes schlepping a child, a diaper bag, a stroller and all my gear. 

You wake up alone in the morning. Make coffee and breakfast and wait for me to come back from my run. 

You play toys, entertain and occupy so that I can slip out (mostly) unnoticed, for a run. 

You worry and wait. Wait and worry. Almost get in the car and start searching because I added a few more miles to her long run. 

You hug and hold and celebrate at the finish line.

You speak confidence into my doubt. 

When I feel weak and unable, you make me feel strong and able. 

I love running. And because you love me, you love running. 

You support, you cheer, you wait, you worry, you care for and sacrifice so that I can run after my dreams. 


Thank you!

Sarah

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Books I'm Reading


Calling it reading is grossly misleading.  I really haven't read a book all the way through since Sophia was born. So when I say "read" I really mean where I open a book and glance at the page in the amount of time it takes my husband to fiddle with our airport and Apple TV,  run a few speed tests, and get Netflix up and going so we can stream a TV show or two and totally check out. Once he's got it up and running I put the book down zone in on Pawn Stars or Storage Wars. And if this weren't a nightly occurrence thanks to our unreliable internet connection, then I wouldn't really read at all. I'd just watch. All-Night-Long. 

But thanks to our intermittent internet and kind souls who purchased books for me for Christmas, this girl, who-used-to-be-an-English-teacher is reading again. 

The Rhythm of Family by Amanda Blake Soule has given creative shape and structure to our days. You may or may not know her from her blog SouleMama.com , a place where she documents the life she lives with her husband and five children on a farm in Western Maine. There is a peaceful, inspiring way about her writing both on her blog and in her book. It is evident that her family strives to live each moment, connected to each other and to the world around them. For them it is their farm and the woods of Maine. The Rhythm of Family takes you through the calendar year month by month with things to do, things to make and reflections that pertain to the season at hand. Her husband also adds his perspective every month, and there are several activities to choose from including recipes and crafts.
Here's an excerpt of her January reflection:
"Like the beating of a drum-in and out, out and in-we follow the push and the pull of where these days take us. Outside, inside, outside, inside. This is the steady rhythm of a midwinter's day." 
I remember living this rhythm as a kid in the winter: bundling up, going out, playing for hours in the snow, carving snow forts and making snow men. Coming back inside for a cup of hot chocolate and to hang dripping hats and mittens by the wood stove, only to head back out again moments later. As an adult this rhythm seems inconvenient, messy. The in and out of winter seems like a hassle. But she encourages to embrace it, build it in and make it part of every day. 

The activity for January is to create a sun catcher made of ice and found objects from around you. Here's a look at our sun catcher project:
Sophia gathered sticks, pinecones and leaves from the woods outside our back door. And added leftover cranberries from Christmas.

We let the catcher freeze overnight and then hung it on our railing.

It's a little cold isn't it? 

It is an excellent precursor to homeschooling (for preschool aged children) or a great addition to any curriculum. I'm sure the same is true of her other books: Handmade Home and The Creative Family Her husband also adds his perspective every month, and there are several activities to choose from including recipes and crafts. 

The second (and totally unrelated book) that I'm reading is RUN:The mind body method of running by feel by Matt Fitzgerald (the author of Born to Run, an equally good book). The general theme of this book is exactly as the title suggests: learning to run by "feel." The principles behind it are based in the connection between the mind and the body, perceived ability, perceived effort and the affect they have on performance. 

In the past I've always used structured training plans, generic ones, printed from major running websites. Or I've adopted ones from other books that I've read. They have always yielded disappointing results (falling short of my goal of running a Boston qualifying time). But this fall I ran my fastest marathon, due to the fact that I ran by "feel." I pushed the math and the numbers and the analytics out of my head and listened to my body. The results were not only a faster time but a more enjoyable marathon, the best I've ever experienced. I'm only a chapter in, but what I've read so far I've found to be true (from personal experience) and also encouraging: "Confidence is not some nonphysical quality snatched from the spiritual dimension and installed in the mind, It is the feeling that arises when the body's knowledge of itself is in harmony with the person's dreams."

The story's an anecdotes of professional runners are helpful: like the one of Kara Goucher, when her coach sent her home from a track session with the instruction to take a nap and come back later. 

It's all about being in tune and learning to listen to your body, like this morning when my alarm went off at 6 and I felt awful. I was dragging badly. But got myself dressed and out the door and in the car to go to the gym for a treadmill run. I made it almost all the way there. Stopped turned around and came home. I was hungry, tired and unmotivated the perfect recipe for a bad training session. So I'll do it later today when I'm fed, rested and motivated. 

I'm looking forward to getting through both these books 8 minutes at a time, and applying the insights I find. Should make for a more peaceful, faster, creative, thoughtful, mindful, in-tune with my body, my family and the world around me kind of life. Right?

--Sarah