Running - my friend

I'm not as dedicated to running as I was when I started this blog. I take more random days off because running isn't convenient than I did when I first fell in love with running. I also take it for granted a lot, and I don't really race much anymore. I think I did just one race last year, and I only half-heartedly trained for it (the TC 10 miler, because if you are going to run just one race in a year you might as well make it a 10 mile race). I typically run 20-25 miles per week, without any training plan or any real goals from any of the mileage I put in. That suits me just fine most of the time. I might run  a few races this year, or I might not, but I can always count on being able to run a solid 6 miles if I feel like it.

We visited my Dad and Step-Mom yesterday and spent the night at their new house. When I woke up this morning it was raining steadily, and my initial thought of driving to the Lakewalk to run sort of vanished. I had visions of the kids throwing rocks into Lake Superior while T and I ran. In the cold rain though I knew nobody would be up for that but me. I still wanted to run though so I quickly scanned the map from my running app to see what routes I could come up with. I found something that looked to be a decent route and headed out. The first thing I realized upon starting though was that there was a really long kind of steep hill at the start. Rather than readjust my route I decided to suck it up and run up the hill and hope for the best. The run ended up being great. Despite the hills, I was in a good groove and the miles ticked away and felt easy. The best part of planning an out and back route with a huge hill at the beginning is knowing that you get to run down that huge hill at the end. The hills did make my overall time slower than I like to see, but even with that my time was decent. I ran faster than I do from home many times (although my routes from home all have at least one cursed hill in them too).

I won't drone on about running, because I think people who don't run actually hate hearing about running from runners. Weird. I will add though that today reminded me how much I love to run. It reminded me how awesome it feels to be out there in the rain when everyone else thinks you are a bit crazy, and it reminded me that I still have it in me if I want it enough. I'm glad running is still my friend, and I know it will be for a long time to come.

Notice the rain drop falling from my hat brim



My baby girl turns 10 today. It seems almost impossible that she has reached double digits already. I can still vividly remember moving into our "new" house while pregnant with her. So much has changed in my life since she was born, but then again so much is also the same. We have a great family, and our lives are so much richer and better because this girl is part of it.
One day old

Almost one year old

First Birthday

2 years old

3 years old

4 years old

5 years old

6 years old

7 years old

8 years old

9 years old
There isn't much more for me to say. I am lucky to be this girl's Mom, she has taught me more than I ever thought was possible. I can't wait to see what the future holds for you my now a tween baby girl.

The 10 year old rollerblading at her birthday party

Second year in a row playing in a soccer game on her birthday

Birthday cake

Had to take her hair down for pictures (same outfit as the 9 year old pic)

Big brother as a very close audience


Body Language

Here is where I admit that I am a TED talk junkie. I love them. I watch them while I eat lunch sometimes (the perks of working from home), and the talks that move me I watch over and over again. I am not sure if the most powerful talks I've seen were really powerful enough to get me to see things from a different perspective, or if I was ready to hear their messages and therefore they held some power. I've talked about the Brene Brown talks in a previous blog post, but her talks especially her TEDx talk is one of my all time favorites. I have watched it at least 10 times if not more. Maybe that makes me a stalker, or maybe the message is just that good that I want to hear it repeatedly. Anyway, I won't drone on about Brene Brown, but seriously watch her first talk if you haven't already, and read her books. You won't regret it.

The most recent TED Talk that has me fascinated is a talk by Amy Cuddy about body language. I watched it several weeks ago, and was curious about whether her power pose suggestions would work. I decided to try it for myself. In the past few weeks when I have had to give a presentation or just try to get my point across on one of the many many calls I find myself on each day (the perks of working from home again) I have done some form of power posing as I sit comfortably in my office where nobody on the phone can see me doing so. I also did more subtle forms of power posing while I was at my company's HQ and giving in-person presentations last week. The results of my not at all scientific study with a sample size of one and no control group have concluded that power posing is in fact effective. I have not managed to convince everyone at work that I am right about everything yet. However, I've made some small chips away at progress forward, and got approval for something that seemed almost impossible just a few months ago. Was it the power posing, or was it the year + of work I've put into honing my message? It was likely mostly the latter, but the power posing possibly helped me to deliver the message in a way that made me sound more convincing.

I was so excited by my power posing experiment that I told my kids about it. I showed them what power posing was, and then told them that they could do it before tests at school (the more subtle poses I suppose, though I think kids could get away with even the more overt poses). I also told them that they could do it before track meets and soccer games. They both rolled their eyes at me.

This week both kids had their first soccer games of the season. I don't think I reminded tortured the Girl with a reminder to power pose before her game - as I was likely busy just trying to get her there on time. She played well despite no power posing, scored a goal and got out of a 4 on 1 and away with the ball during one of her shifts playing defense. Her team won that game 8-2 - imagine if they had power posed! I think their success could be attributed to the cheer her team came up with. It is creative and pretty awesome - The Girl keeps repeating it. Or maybe it had more to do with skill and the mismatch between their team and the other.

I did say something to the Boy before his game though. He rolled his eyes at me. The first half of his game was rough. His team has 14 players, and I think 13 were there last night. 3 of his teammates have never played with the group before - and I think at least 2 boys are U11 players playing up to U12. Their passing fluidity wasn't quite there. I think they were all trying to get a feel for each other in a game situation again. The Boy looked okay during the first half, but even he was struggling a bit to find his groove. The second half took on a different note though. The Boy (and several others on the team) had some nice opportunities. He had at least one great shot on goal from a good distance away that was just perfectly placed - high in the net, hard for the goalie to save, but the goalie had a great jump save and managed to deflect it out over the back of the net. That led to a corner which The Boy took, and nearly led to a goal, and then a second corner shortly thereafter that he also took and did lead to a goal. His team ended up losing 1-2, in a game they certainly had the ability to win, but it was still a good game. When The Boy found us at the end of the game I asked him who had tipped in his corner kick for the goal, and he said the other team did so he got the credit for the goal. He was beaming, and clearly proud of how well he had played.

In the car on the way home he said "Mom, I didn't want you to be right, or to tell you about it, but I tried the power posing you talked about when I was sitting in the rain shelter tent between shifts. I pretended I was tired and stretching, but I was really power posing." He had a small little impish grin on his face, and he said "I think it works." So was it the power posing? Or was it the 9 months of him getting extra skills training at Left Foot Academy? I guess we can't really know, but hey power posing is pretty easy to do, and if it gives you a mental boost, why not try it?