Monday, June 8, 2009

Best Friends and Opponents

This weekend will be a first for first trail run! I am really excited but very nervous! I am not sure why because the distance is short but the idea of all those hills and different terrain have me a bit spooked. Also, being a Canadian, we could only get out on trails in May because it was either frozen or sludge until then. Not to mention, I don't like to go out to the trails by myself so I have to ensure I have a partner with me. This can be challanging when most of my running partners are also Mom's with crazy parent schedules. As a result, I have only done 2 trail runs and the race is this Saturday!

Here is my other problem and it is NOT a reasonable one. I often run with one of my best friends. Our children are both the exact same age and sex and we see and/or speak to each other nearly every day. Even our names are only different by the placement of the "E". She was a great short distance runner in her youth and as an adult she is still very active in hockey, lacrosse etc.. She and I are running this event together and she is PUMPED. However, she normally cuts runs off at 10km. While training for my marathon, she would often meet me on my second loop so to give me a push but she was not going more than 10k.

I am definately the stronger long distance runner and have far more mileage in a week but I can say with certainty that she will KICK MY BUTT in this race. She is super fast on the short distance. This has me a little bummed out! Do you think that is strange? What is even more strange is why would I even want to be so competative with my closest friend? Is that a woman thing or just a human being thing? It is even more strange that we are hardly Olympic competitors in our 20's. Does anyone else think that once you have a mortgage, two children and exceed the age of 35, we should be a bit more forgiving to ourselves and our fellow competitors?

One of my favourite things about running is the racing environment. I am addicted to the energy people give off and I can honestly say that I am fine with total strangers running me down but it stresses me when it is my best friend. I feel the same way when I am play soccer and tennis. I don't lose any sleep when a team of stranges mows us over but last week I played against a friends team and felt compelled to kick (forgive the pun) it up a notch. Playing tennis with my brother in law is probably the best workout I can get because I refuse to give an inch.

I think I need a little therapy!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Laptops, Sippy Cups and Running Shoes

So is the woes of a working mother. Don't get me wrong, I love my job. I spend all day encouraging Corporate Canada to support their employees in improving their lives, their health and their overall wellness. In this trying economic times, the message is louder than ever.

However, there are days.....for example, Friday of last week I started the day like any other with one MAJOR execption. I like to run in the mornings - it gets the job done, I get a nice jump start to the day and frankly, my evenings are often absorbed by so many other things. However, on this day, I just didn't. No reason really, I just took the children to day care, came back to change into running clothes and go. I was a little concerned about time as I had my first meeting at 9:00 which meant a short run and a quick shower but I had done it before. This particular morning, I just wasn't feeling it and instead, I read the paper (online of course!) and drank a tea and got myself ready at a nice leisurely pace. - I should have known not to mess with the order of things as I discovered throughout the day.

Off I go to my meeting, smugly enjoying my change in schedule and thinking about some article I had read in the paper. When I drove around a corner toward my meeting, my bag fell off my seat and its contents went flying out. Although a pain, it is usually not a problem but this time, a wayward sippy cup was in my bag from the weekend. Of course the lid had come loose and now the contents of the sippy cup were all over the place - including my wallet, my Blackberry, my expense cheque that I had not yet desposited....When I say contents, I actually mean GRAPE juice. Excellent. I allow myself a few cursory statements not suitable for family reading and carrying on thinking about how I was going to pitch out all the sippy cups and therefore end the ongoing battle with my four year that she is WAY too old for them. There, now I felt better.

I arrive at my meeting where I am scheduled to speak to a large group of community nurses about our new partnership with their employer. The room in which I was presenting was large and what was probably at one time a cafeteria. I get myself set up and pull out all my materials. Then I pull out my laptop for the presentation slide show and begin to source an electrical outlet. Now, under normal circumstances, it is faily likely that an outlet is a no brainer. But keep in mind this was a cafeteria and the set up of the room is not exactly "standard". With no outlet to be found, I think - no problem. The laptop has a battery right? Of course I had forgotten that on Thursday, I had sat in a coffee shop between my meetings where there was no outlet and I had used up most of the battery life. Now I am standing in front of 200+ employees eager to learn of the wonderful changes their employer is embarking on and my presentation will probably only last about 10 minutes on the charge I have. And so it continues...

End of the day arrives and I pick up my children, go home, make dinner, chat with the hubby and put kids to bed. I spell out the mishaps of my day and he says, "maybe you should have run this morning after all?". After thinking about this, I decide perhaps he was right. Now after 8:00pm, I change my clothes, put on my running shoes and head out the door. I am determined to correct the universe! I start up the hill that we live on (I won't miss that when we move) and get to the top - about to the turn the corner when I trip over a ledge on the sidewalk. Not only to a trip but my foot goes off the sidewalk and into the mud to the side. When I say mud, I acually mean, swamp that has been freshly filled by the rain in recent days. My foot, up to the ankle, is buried in indescribable sludge and when I pull out my foot, I see that my shoe is not even visable.

I turn around and call it day. :)