That time I got nervous..

stayton.PNG

I love running.

As you may know by now by reading my blog.

It’s a huge part of my life.

I never thought that something could even come close to it.

That once I was done running in college I’d never have that feeling again.

That nervous leg twitch on the starting line before a race.

The butterflies in my stomach.

The feeling of fire in my lungs tired from the race I just ran.

I thought it was all gone.

Until I started coaching.

Watching your athletes race is such a crazy experience.

You train with them, run with them, and put everything into what they do.

To have it all come down to a single race that you can’t help them with.

That they have to do all by themselves.

It’s so surreal.

I have the same feelings that I had when I was racing, when my kids are racing.

Now I know what my parents went through all those years.

Thinking back on the four and a half years of coaching I’ve done, cross country and track, there are two races that stand out to me.

Two races that gave me goosebumps.

Two races that made me so incredibly nervous but excited at the same time.

Two races that made me remember why I love coaching.

The first race was during the track season of 2016.

I got to coach Adolfo for 3 years.

He struggled quite a bit the first two years to really find himself.

To hit those times that he knew he could hit.

He ended up running a seasons best of 11:28 in the 3000 meter run his freshman year, and didn’t even do the event his sophomore year.

Junior year he started to show progress and ran a 10:46 in the 3000.

Yet he still wasn’t happy.

He trained all summer and had a great cross country season in the fall, all to make sure he had an even better track season.

We were at the Stayton Twilight track meet, and the 3000 was going to be run in the dark under the stadium lights.

It was the best race.

Throughout the season he had run a 10:47 and 10:23 in the 3000, he was ready for a breakthrough.

He started off the race so strong and so tough.

He kept his eyes up and on every runner in front of him, knowing what he had to do to improve.

The last 600 meters were my favorite.

Cheering so loud for him, telling him that he was having a great race.

When he approached the final 100 meters I looked up at the clock.

I remember being in shock.

He was so close to breaking 10 minutes.

I remember sprinting down to the finish line with a bunch of other kids screaming as loud as we could.

He didn’t quite break 10 minutes but he ran a 10:00.14.

He was so close.

But he was happy, and proud of himself, and I don’t think he stopped smiling.

Even thinking about it now brings back chills.

Seeing that moment in an athlete when things finally click.

When they finally believe that they can do what you’ve been telling them they could do all along.

My second favorite race was during this most recent cross country season.

Ramiro, who’s only a sophomore, had been training so hard all summer.

All of us coaches knew that he was going to have a special season.

His freshman year he ran a personal best of 19:35 in the 5k, but never broke the 20 minute mark again after that.

We could all tell that he had more in him, he just had to figure it out.

This last season was crazy for him.

He started with a 20:45 which would have been one of his faster times from the year before.

And then he got faster.

19:38.

18:41.

And of course, the one meet that I had to miss, he ran a 17:58.

Breaking the 18 minute mark is huge.

And he did it.

I talked to him on the phone after his race and told him that since I wasn’t there he had to do it again, he agreed.

The next meet he ran a 17:57.

Ramiro kept improving.

It was insane.

Watching it all click for him, and watching him get excited to race, was so much fun as a coach to see.

His last meet of the season was the district cross country meet.

He told us before the race he didn’t want to know his place or time throughout the race.

So we all cheered as loud as we could when he passed us.

He looked strong, focused, and motivated.

We realized as he passed us, that he was in a state qualifying position.

We all looked at each other in complete shock.

I remember telling everyone that I had goosebumps.

Even though he might not have finished in the position he wanted, he ended up running better than he was ranked, he finished 14th.

And he ran a 17:23, which was a personal record.

It was the coolest thing.

Watching him run.

Watching it click to him.

Watching him in control of his race.

Deciding to coach is probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

Coaching gave me a purpose.

Coaching motivates me to be a better person.

Coaching is the most rewarding thing.

I can’t imagine my life without it.

So cheers to more amazing races to come.

Cheers to being so nervous that I can’t even think straight.

Man, I love coaching.

 

Advertisements

How to Survive life with a one year old.

If I had a dollar for every time Jason and I have said to each other..

“There’s not a book on this kind of stuff, no one tells you what to do”

when it comes to raising Ian I’d have a lot of money on my hands.

No but seriously.

No one tells you how to raise a child.

You just kind of figure it out.

However, certain things come easier than others.

Like finding out what puts your little one to sleep might be easier than knowing what kinds of food to feed them and when.

Getting them to ditch their bottle might be the hardest thing ever, and lets not even start on getting them to sleep through the night.

Some things might be easier for one family and harder for the next, but that’s just how it goes.

Everything’s different, you just have to learn and figure it out as it goes.

If you’re reading this and don’t have kids, I’m sorry, this isn’t the most assuring thing in the world.

This is just how I see it.

And it doesn’t get easier as they get older.

It’s different every day.

And in that moment you might not be able to see it, but it’s amazing.

Just not at that moment maybe.

Especially when they decide that they want to poop in the bathtub.

It’s a crazy ride, but I feel like as a mom of a one year old, I can give some advice on how to survive it.

How you yourself can keep your sanity and not want to pull your hair out.

laugh.gif

Have a sense of humor. Seriously. It’s so hard to get through the night and not laugh. It might be stressful and there might be days where you just want to scream, but if you can’t stop and laugh about it you’ll never make it. You just have to remember that when they sneeze in your face or throw their food on the ground, that they didn’t mean it and they still love you. You can’t laugh about everything, you’re human, you have emotions. Just try and laugh every now and then.

wine

Have wine on hand. It doesn’t have to be wine, it can be any sort of dessert. Something that you love and that’ll help you relax whenever the little one decides to go to sleep, if they decide to go to sleep. I’ve found that on those nights where Ian has a little too much energy before bed, a nice glass of wine (or two) is the most beautiful thing in the world after he decides to go to sleep. If I don’t have wine, brownies or cereal are a good substitution.

sleep.gif

Sleep when they sleep. This one is super important, and something I wish I would have done more when we had just brought Ian home. If you didn’t get any sleep the night before and they decide that they want to sleep for an hour, you might as well catch up on your z’s. Seriously, take advantage of the peace and quiet if you need it.

meh.gif

Pick and choose your battles. Your child running around the house with no pants on, doesn’t sound as bad as them playing with the garbage can, right? Or if they decide they want to take all of their snacks out of the bags and play with the boxes it isn’t as bad as them wanting to play with the outlets. There are some things that are ok and aren’t worth a total breakdown.

celebrate.gif

Celebrate the little wins. This one is huge, especially if the house is a jungle of toys and dirty laundry but you got your little one to eat all of his lunch without giving it to the dog. Celebrate those little wins and give yourself a pat on the back. A wins a win in my book and it’ll help your sanity. Remembering that you might have had a hard day but you got the house cleaned up is worth that extra cupcake you want to reward yourself with.

type

Have something that’s yours. I can’t stress this one enough, if you take anything away from this post, make it this. When I was on maternity leave with Ian I was going crazy. I loved it don’t get me wrong, but I needed something that I could do to take me away from the responsibilities and bottles just for an hour if anything. That’s where my blog came in. It was my escape, my sanity. Whether it’s working out, knitting, or starting a blog. Anything that can be 100 percent yours, will be a nice little treat when you can get a minute away from the baby.

There you have it folks, how to survive life with a year old.

It’s different for every baby.

However, there are things we can do as parents to keep our sanity.

To make days not as stressful and to laugh every now and then.

Remember, were all human and we make mistakes.

Kids can’t tell the difference and they love us no matter what.

A breakthrough

medals

It’s been almost three years since I’ve ran a race.

I’ve run so much in my life.

I’ve ran almost every event in Track.

I’ve ran so many 5k’s, 10k’s, and a few half marathons.

I’ve even done a marathon.

That was all up until May of 2015.

My life consisted of running non stop for thirteen years.

Then I took a break.

I got married, was pregnant, and had a newborn.

It was a three year time period where I ran a few times here and there but not consistently.

And that was my problem.

Consistency.

I wasn’t running consistently.

This summer I decided to change that.

I started running a little.

A mile or two turned into three or four.

Then four four turned into five or six.

Next thing I know it’s November and I’m hitting 8:30 miles.

When I first ran after having Ian I was at about 10 minutes for a mile.

Which isn’t bad at all, it just wasn’t what I wanted for myself.

For someone who could go under five minutes in her prime, it was discouraging.

Being able to crack an 8:30 mile made me feel on top of the world.

Then it was eight minutes per mile.

And 7:40 after that once for a three mile run.

That was the only run where I went under eight minutes miles for a whole run.

I decided to sign up for the 10k today back in November.

It was a race I’ve done probably six or seven times before.

It was a flat course, fun, and I got a shirt out of it.

I love getting shirts from races.

I’m not going to lie, I was super nervous.

I had set a goal of running under 50 minutes, because if I stuck to eight minute miles I allowed myself a little bit of wiggle room to slow down if needed.

When setting goals I like to make it achievable and realistic, because that’s who I am.

I kept telling Jason my hard to reach goal, was to place top three in my age group.

I was going to be bummed if I didn’t’ honestly.

But Jason kept telling me “this is your own race, worry about yourself.”

And right before the race I was talking to my mom, I told her that there were some quick people out there, her response?

“You’re doing this for you.”

And I was.

It was for me.

I was the one training for the past few months.

The one who realized that her knees weren’t as strong as they used to be.

The one who had just had a kid fifteen months ago.

This was for me.

I got to do it alongside two of my favorite athletes I coach, that made it so enjoyable.

It was their first 10k and introducing them to that race was so fun.

When the race started I took off, in typical Megan fashion, a little faster than I wanted.

In my defense however, I wanted to get ahead of the pack.

Once I felt good I decided to stay at the pace I was at.

I felt okay.

And I was so excited.

I told myself to treat it like two separate three miles runs.

Out three miles, and back three miles.

Honestly the first two miles were the hardest.

I realized that I was running 7:16 pace and had to stick to it.

But that’s the thing.

I could.

And I was.

I was out there running faster than I had planned, and it was crazy to me.

That I was doing it.

Each mile I just kept talking to myself.

That’s it Megan.

One more mile down.

You’re almost there.

Don’t slow down you’ve got this.

I’ve ran that course so many times, so much that I knew when the finish was coming.

I knew when there was only a mile left.

I could feel my body wanting to slow down, but I wasn’t going to let it.

I turned the corner and I could see the finish line, but that wasn’t the best part.

I heard my mom, my dad, my sister, and Jason.

Cheering for me like they’ve always done.

As I was passing them feeling stronger than ever I heard Jason say, “go mommy” for Ian.

That’s when it hit me.

I’m running this race as a mom.

I’m running 7:30 mile pace as a mom to this amazing baby.

It was such a great feeling.

Realizing that my body could make this beautiful baby and then turn around and run 7:30 minute miles just 15 months later.

I was so proud of myself.

So stinkin proud.

After I crossed the finish line I took my participation medal with so much pride.

Normally they’re just a medal, but this one is probably one of my favorites.

A local runner that I’ve known since I started running came up to me and told me that it was good to have me back.

And I was.

Back to my old running self.

And it felt amazing.

I crushed both of my goals.

I ran a 47:15 and got first place in my age group.

Something I’m so incredibly proud of.

And the coolest thing?

I went back and compared my times to what I ran back in 2014 and 2015. Back when I felt like I was in great shape and working harder than I was now. I was so close to those times and paces.

2014.2015.2018.

2014 I finished with a 45:26 and 7:21 mile pace.

2015 I ran a 46:39 with a 7:31 mile pace.

2018, three years later after having a baby, 47:15 and a 7:37 minute mile pace.

I’m not normally super cocky, but I’m a badass.

The end.

Being a Mom.


In four short days I return back to work after three months away. I remember thinking right before I left how long three months was.

“I can’t wait to spend three months with my little man..I get to have all of the holidays off to cherish them with him..and I can binge some serious Netflix.”

I always heard how fast those three months would pass but I didn’t believe them. I just figured they would be long, slow days and it would feel like forever till I had to go back..boy was I wrong.

I can remember the day so vividly. I was so nervous, never having any sort of surgery before can make you terrified for a c section, but I knew I had to keep it cool for him. I knew I had to be calm for my family and Jason who stood by side.

I don’t even think I was breathing as I walked to the delivery room. I was so nervous just for the shot, and for the fact that Jason wasn’t going to be with me for the first ten minutes. I remember asking the doctors where my husband was, and when he was going to be there..I’m sure they were pretty annoyed.

Eventually I was laying down when the doctor asked me if I could feel my legs, I actually started to laugh because I was so shocked that I couldn’t. I said “I can’t even lift my leg..watch.” They didn’t like that.

Next thing I knew the big blue curtain was up and I asked Jason to talk to me the entire time, I didn’t want to think about what was happening. I just wanted to meet our son finally.

I heard the doctors say, “well someone’s a chunky monkey” and I felt the biggest sense of relief I never thought was possible.

He was here, finally.

This beautiful chunky little piece of heaven that we made was finally here.

Jason left for the other side of the room to watch him get measured and I just waited very impatiently for them to be done so I could hold him in my arms. It was pretty quiet on my end at that point, I realized there was music playing over. I couldn’t believe I didn’t realize it sooner.

One of my favorite songs was playing when Ian was born.

You know those songs that seem to be a part of some major points in your life? It was playing, and I started to cry.

The nurse brought him in and I couldn’t stop looking at him. Smiling and looking. Kissing his big head and realizing that in that moment I had never been happier.

I won’t lie and say that the hospital was a breeze after that, there were definitely lots of hours spent in silence staring at him to make sure he was still breathing and nurses coming in every two hours to prick me and poke him.

We got to bring him home just four days later, I remember thinking that this was it. We were parents, on our own with no nurses to call into our room and answer questions. We were about to embark on the biggest journey of our lives.

I was so nervous the ride home, I made Jason take all of the turns extremely slow and had him drive a little under the speed limit. I probably said “careful Jason” twenty times in the ten minute drive home.

Having him home felt perfect, like the missing piece to our little puzzle was compete. His first two weeks consisted of sleeping, eating, pooping and lots of cuddles. We took shifts during the nights, every two to theee hours we would wake the other one up to watch him.

One night Ian was fussy, I wanted to make sure Jason got the sleep he needed so I took Ian out to the living room. It was only the end of the October but my favorite movie was on. I was amazed.

Ian and I sat and watched Elf together in pure happiness..well I was happy..he was asleep but every few minutes I would find myself just staring at him in awe, wondering how something so small could be so completely perfect.

I ask myself that every day, how he could be so perfect.

How I got so lucky.

What did I do to deserve this beautiful little boy.

Being a mom changes you..well obviously because you have a child now..but your priorities shift. You instantly know how to hold him, what to do to get him to fall asleep, what makes him smile, and how to find so many things within yourself.

Patience is not one of my strongest skills, but I was so surprised how it just showed up the second he arrived. No one is perfect, especially me. There are moments when I get stressed just like everyone else but I’ve noticed how easy it is to remain calm and do whatever it takes to make him happy. How patience comes more naturally since I’ve become a mom.

And god..I love being a mom.

I love being his mom.

It’s the best job ever.

That’s why I’m nervous to go back to work, not because I’m not capable of working or because I’m afraid of it being hard..I’m going to miss him like crazy.

I know it’ll get easier, I know I’ll still miss him but I’ll be able to handle it better. I’ll be able to trust that he’s safe and realize that at the end of the day I get to see him and cuddle the crap out of him.

I just keep telling myself it’ll get easier. That I’ll have to keep letting him go little by little. That I have to give him his freedom to grow and turn into the amazing human I know he’s going to be.

No matter how old he gets, he’ll still be my little chunky monkey. He’ll still be my cuddle bug and I’ll be able to kiss him on the cheek even when he gets embarrassed by it, he’ll have no choice in that matter.

I’ll always cherish those nights at three in the morning where all I wanted was sleep. Him being curled up in a little ball in my arms, and so precious that I swore time stood still.

I know that no matter what at the end of the day that I’m his mom and I want nothing but the absolute best for him. I’ll work my hardest to make sure he always has what he needs and that he dreams big. I want him to believe that he can move mountains.

It will always come back to  those lyrics of the song. The one that always seems to come up at crucial parts in my life..

“Look at the stars, look how they shine for you. And everything you do.”

Best Advice.

bestadvice

“Look at them and know that you are going to beat them.”

“Don’t worry about what anyone else thinks about you.”

“Give me strength, give me speed, let me fly.”

I’ve gotten some great advice in my life, all at the times when I needed them the most. I am so beyond thankful for everyone that was there for me, when I couldn’t find just the right words for that exact moment in time. Your words helped me see my true potential, or the answer to my question. Some of the advice I received was terrible, some wonderful, and some of it was not what I wanted to hear but rather what I needed to hear.

I can remember exactly where I was when I got my most favorite piece of advice. It was 2013 and I was in my room in the worst mood ever. It was most likely a Saturday night and I was laying in my bed watching a movie. I felt like I was the only person in my exact spot in life and I was miserable. Do you know that feeling? You are the only person ever who got a flat tire, you are the only person to ever get dumped, or to have everything in a day go wrong. That was me.

I had recently gotten dumped, and was feeling completely devastated. Contrary to what I had believed when I was younger, I didn’t have life figured out right after college..the complete opposite in fact. My mom must have had her mama bear instincts on high alert because she came walking into the room. She asked me what was wrong and of course I gave her my usual “nothing.”

I don’t remember exactly how the conversation went after that but I do remember word for word what she left me with.

“In order to fall in love with someone Megan you have to fall in love with yourself first.”

I remember her walking out of my room and thinking she was crazy, I clearly loved myself. Ask anyone, I am my biggest fan most of the time.

It wasn’t until the next day when I really thought about what she said. What does it mean to love yourself? How does one truly love themselves? After I love myself will my one true love walk into my life?

I realized that I needed to stop overthinking things for once, just stop obsessing over everything and to stop trying to control everything, which was so incredibly hard for me. It wasn’t easy, putting your worries of the unknown aside and putting your needs first.

I decided to pick up a book one afternoon instead of obsessing over the things I couldn’t control. I honestly don’t have the attention span to read but I decided to pick up a book I had heard some good things about and give it a try. To say it was good would be an understatement, but that’s besides the point. The point is that the book I read made me happy, 313 pages of words made me incredibly happy and thankful to have the things that I did. I never knew a book could do that.

I started reading more by that author. I started listening to more music. I started being present when I was hanging out with my family and really enjoy the small moments. I took moments to myself and really enjoyed being by myself. That was pretty difficult, enjoying the quiet and taking a few moments to myself.

I sang along to the radio more. I got a kitten. I started to really enjoy my relationship with my little brother. I ran more. I signed up for a marathon. I took more selfies and spent less time criticizing my appearance. I volunteered at my old high school and started coaching.

I got up every morning and started to absolutely love the person I saw. Not saying that I didn’t love myself before..I was pretty fond of myself..I just really started to appreciate every little thing that made me who I was. Everything that I enjoyed doing, I really took the time to enjoy it and appreciate every single minute of it.

I had finally realized what my mom was talking about.

Once you truly love and appreciate everything about yourself, you allow others to fall in love with you.

Would it be cheesy if I said I met the love of my life coaching that summer? We ended up getting married and have an amazing son? Because it happened. I honestly do believe that the only reason it happened was because I took the time to love myself. To find out what I was really passionate about, what made me happy, what my favorite things were. What Megan loved.

I guess the whole point of this post was to give thanks to my mom for some pretty amazing advice that she probably doesn’t remember giving. Telling me exactly what I needed to hear exactly when I needed to hear it. And to share the importance of this advice to anyone who wants to hear it.

Let it go, let it go.

If I had to point out my biggest flaw it would be that I am a control freak. I have to know what’s going on exactly when it’s going on. I try not to be too obsessive, because I know it’s not the healthiest thing in the world, but I find myself stressing out over the smallest things. The fact that the car in front of me is going too slow, or that I’m not early to work in the morning, because if I’m not early I’m late. I think that’s one main reason I hate flying, because I can’t see exactly what’s going on up front and have no control on if we hit turbulence or not..it’s either that or I watched too many episodes of lost.

 Having a child has made me lose most of my control, I have to realize that life now goes according to this two week old little boy who’s asleep next to me. I usually love the chaos, taking it and making it go exactly how I want it to go, but this chaos is like nothing else. This little boy lets me know when he’s ready to do something or when he wants to be held and cuddled, don’t get me wrong I love the cuddling, but my life is now on his schedule.

I think where it really gets me is when it comes to cleaning my house. I love cleaning, seriously it’s ridiculous how much I love cleaning. I get all antsy when I can’t wipe down the tables or organize our dogs toys. I haven’t vacuumed in 18 days…18 days. That might seem normal to some people but to me I would have never imagined I would live in a world where I didn’t vacuum at least once a week. I haven’t stopped cleaning my house because I am lazy or spend most of my time walking around like a zombie covered in baby spit up, but because my doctor told me I had to limit my daily activities due to my c-section. I hate being limited, almost as much as I hate not having control of everything. I want to constantly be doing things, all of the things.

This makes me sound like a head case.

I just know what I like and know how I like it done, but newborns don’t care.

It’s hard telling myself to let it go, to not stress and to just handle things as they come up. Life is about living in the chaos, not controlling it. Especially with a baby making it more chaotic, I want to just laugh in the middle of him peeing on me mid diaper change, and that’s what I’ve done. It amazes me how fast I have let things go. The other night when my husband and I were changing his diaper Ian decided he wasn’t done. We went through five diapers because he just kept going. Jason and I looked at each other and just laughed, making a joke out of the moment. In 5 years when he can go to the bathroom by himself we will be able to look back at that night and just laugh and tease our son for that time he went through five diapers at four in the morning.

I find myself thinking about how easily stressed out I was before Ian came into my life and how the smallest things would get on my nerves. Now obviously things stress me out still, life is not unicorns and roses, but I find myself letting the small things go a lot easier. My morning cup of coffee gets cold, the kitchen floor doesn’t always get swept, and sometimes dishes pile up in the sink, and the beauty in that chaos is that it’s all okay. Life doesn’t always go as planned and sometimes you can’t obsessively clean like you want to clean, and that’s okay. I never thought that lesson would take me 26 years to learn, but it did, and I feel like I am much better because of it. I’m not naive, I know there will be hard times and that’s perfectly okay with me. Life isn’t always perfect, that’s what makes it so great.