Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Crazy Legs and a Working Mom

Crazy legs. Today was supposed to be a 4 mile hard run. Well, it was hard alright but not for the reason it was supposed to be hard. Either my back needs an adjustment (which is most likely since my last "maintenance" appointment was back in Atlanta in August of 2008 right before we moved) or something is wrong with my left leg. I started off on a faster pace than usual this morning and 2/3 of the way in my leg started hurting. Pain emanated from my arch up the right side of my ankle up the outside of my shin to half way up my shin, and it got worse and worse. At the 1.25 mile mark I stretched it thinking that it would help. Tears came to my eyes as I rotated my left ankle in a circle and the pain in my shin intensified. I stopped stretching and decided that I would just have to suck it up and keep going. I ran a little bit more - maybe another .25 mile and the pain was so bad that I was on the verge of tears. I had to walk. Then another .25 mile later and the pain subsided.

So I ran. I pushed myself for somewhere between 1 and 1.5 miles running hard enough that I ended up with my HR monitor beeping at me because I was above 159. And then. The pain returned. This time starting in my heel and working itself up my ankle, up the outer side of my shin bone half way up my leg. I decided to deal with it until I started developing a pain in my outer hip/butt. At that point, I decided that I would rather be able to run during the 70.3 in September than today. I walked some more - at this point I was starting the last mile of my 4 miles, but I had to walk. Even my gait had changed. I could hear my foot as it hit the pavement and made a slapping sort of sound. I walked briskly as the pain subsided. I realized I was still sort of flopping my foot as I walked. I forced myself to walk correctly and the pain shot up my outer shin again. I decided my body was trying to do me a favor by flopping my foot and so I let it.

When I got home, I stretched and heard a little click in my lower back. I'm not sure if this leg issue has anything to do with my back, but I do know that my back has been a little clicky lately and the other day my pants weren't lining up with my bellybutton, which at the time I attributed to them being too big now, but in the past has been because my back wasn't happy even though I couldn't feel the pain just yet. So I promptly emailed Coach and told her I needed the name of her chiropractor. As soon as I get it, I'll make an appointment. This time I mean it. Hopefully that will cure my crazy legs. I have a 8 mile run scheduled for Friday and then 4 more miles (split by a 30 mile bike) for Saturday, so we need this little problem solved before then.

But even with the issues, I am proud of my run for two things: 1) I didn't stop. I got my 4 miles done the best way I could... and 2) I listened to my body and what it was telling me. Preserving myself for continued training instead of sending myself off to the trash heap where I can't train. I know I will have pain in the 70.3 that's the nature of triathlons in many ways. Knowing how to deal with it is half the battle.

A Working Mom. I sometimes think that husbands, like Mr. Darcy, have no idea how much a working mom like me does in a day. This comes up because Mr. Darcy had an evening meeting with a social organization he is involved with yesterday and he asked me to wait up for him. I told him that I would try to make it to 10:30 pm but beyond that all bets were off. Unfortunately, he got home at 10:15 pm and I was sound asleep. I didn't realize I had fallen asleep and at some point I had even woken up to shut the tv I was watching off. I felt badly this morning when he told me that he got home and I was asleep, but the fact of the matter is I have (like many working moms) 15 hour days, and the sleep I get is usually because I'm exhausted and can't do anymore and somewhere I think Mr. Darcy sometimes takes it personally when I've fallen asleep.

Here is my littany of what a typical day of mine is: 1) wake up at 5:45 am; 2) encourage Mr. Darcy to get out of bed as I use the facilities, brush my teeth, and dress in my workout clothes; 3) head to eat breakfast while telling Mr. Darcy he needs to get up and take his shower; 4) eat breakfast; 5) organize anything the girls need to take to school with them; 6) wake Angelfish and Ladybug, encourage potty usage, strip down any beds and children who have peed during the night, clean up said pee pee child, get children to put on clothes; 6) Mr. Darcy arrives somewhere during the getting clothes on the children portion and will usually take the less grumpy of the two (invariably Angelfish), I deal with temper tantrum or grumpy child until a) I am about to start yelling at said child and call for Mr. Darcy as reinforcement or b) I am sucessful; 7) get grumpy child eating some breakfast; 8) depending on whether children are being clingy I either head out for my morning training session in the neighborhood or get said children in car so Mr. Darcy can take them to school and then do my morning training session; 9) after my training session, I shower and get ready for work; 10) eat the rest of my morning breakfast and begin work; 11) work full day; 12) during lunch time I do odds and ends around the house like laundry, straightening, planning birthday parties, taking care of other social events, planning trips, birthday presents, sending cards, etc.; 13) immediately after finishing work, I take about 10 minutes to think about what needs to be done this evening and then head off to collect the little ladies from daycare; 14) pick up liliputians, herd them out of the daycare and into the car (which doesn't sound like much but they often want to explore the parking lot, play with the school mailbox, etc.); 15) if I have an evening training session, drive the ladies downtown to Mr. Darcy's work and then do my training session; if I do not have an evening training session; return home and play with them for a few minutes; 16) cook dinner, serve dinner, and at least clear the dinner table; 17) spend time with children and Mr. Darcy, usually playing or watching a children's tv show and keeping Ladybug and Angelfish from beating each other up; 18) spend anywhere from 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours getting children into bed - this is a struggle no matter how much we do the same routine every night and I fully blame daylight savings for it as the girls refrain is "but it still daytime." I am not a farmer and most americans are not farmers so let's stop with the daylight savings already. 19) It's about 9 pm now and I put on my pajamas, try to deal with anything that remains to be done (i.e. printing of birthday invitations, cleaning dishes, etc.) for the day and attempting to have a "how was your day conversation" with Mr. Darcy; 20) If I am lucky, I sit down and read a book or watch some tv that does not involve cartoon characters and somewhere fall asleep.

Working Moms have a difficult time of it. Of course, there are those that would say then be a stay at home Mom instead of trying to have it all. The problem is that many of us working moms would love to stay at home but either our temperment is that where it is better for both children and Mom to work or we have the temperment for it but without the 2nd income making ends meet and being able to send our children to college, take a simple vacation, etc. is not possible. The way I look at it is not to complain about my lot, but merely to explain that 10 pm is not realistic for me to be bright eyed and bushy tailed. I love my children and view my continuing to work as a sacrifice I make so they have the best life I can give them - not just materially, but educationally and experientially as well. That includes my spending the large majority of my waking hours outside of work being with them and caring for them, which I love but that at their age is a bit exhausting. As for the hours spent training for triathlons, that is the thing that I keep for myself. Yes, it makes me tired too, but I have to have something for myself or else I am no longer the woman who became a wife to Mr. Darcy or the woman who became the Mommy to Angelfish and Ladybug. And then we'd all be in a pickle.

So hurrah for all working moms everywhere!


  1. I couldn't help but read your daily routine in hurried voice- hats off to you both for surviving the day. Keep me posted on your low back, I've had the same clicking you described. The chiropractor visits help, but I also wear custom orthotics in my shoes- I have high arches, and the pain from running became almost excruciating. The supports for my arches have completely eliminated pain during running... just wanted to help you out because I know you can't afford to skip training! I hope you find some relief in your foot/shin/hip/back.

  2. oops... didn't mean to leave my comment as anonymous!