In which my excessive vanity is fully revealed
Oh no not this again

The running equation

This morning my sister called to ask if she could come over and use the treadmill, and oh yes, she would sit in the house with a quiet timing Jack and a napping Molly so I could use the treadmill too. In other words, there was no excuse not to exercise today. 

The wireless wasn't working in the garage, so I was forced to trade Hulu for copious amounts of Glee and Ke$ha and Taylor Swift on the iPod, and wow have I missed running. Wait. Not the physical part of running, I'm talking about the mentally zoning out part of running. I even ran past my usual cut off point, that's how awesome I felt.

And then I did not fall asleep with a book this afternoon, which is the first time in, ah, many afternoons.

While I was running I was realizing just how much my routine - my LIFE - has changed since Jack stopped napping. I suppose that sounds extra super melodramatic, but for a while I had things figured out. I DID! I had two excellent nappers (as long as they weren't in the same room) and I could get in my half hour of exercise AND write or read or avoid chores, whatever I felt like doing. Nap time was MY TIME, and once I got into the habit of exercising at the beginning and eating lunch/playing around afterwards, I never felt tired, not really. And I wrote so much! I usually got at least two hours out of those kids and it was awesome. 

Then Jack started not napping. And I started not exercising. Ugh. 

It happened slowly. As you know, I spent a long time trying to get Jack to keep taking a nap. I'd have him down, be halfway through a Shred and he'd start whining. It was so frustrating. I know some people exercise WITH their kids, but I tried that a few times and no way. The one and only motivating factor for me is ALONE TIME. See: zoning out while running. Even if Jack stayed awake upstairs, I was constantly worried about him interrupting me or needing something or being loud and waking up his sister and I just didn't feel like I could "let go" and let Jillian yell at me. Let alone disappear into the detached garage for a run. 

For a while I tried running at night, especially when I was so anxious earlier this fall. That was okay for a while, but after I started to feel better, I managed to find any number of excuses not to exercise. Too tired, too sick, too cold, too busy. I've gained weight, which is annoying, but not horrible because I know how to take it off. This time I'm experimenting with the LoseIt app. I decided I didn't like being restrained by low carb, and I didn't want to pay for Weight Watchers. So far so good (and I've even convinced Phillip to try it with me! HA!) (Anyone want to be my "Friend"?)

But I knew falling asleep every afternoon was due to my activity level (nonexistent) and I hate that, and I hate that I still feel so far away from my writing projects and you know what helps with that? Exercise. Specifically: running. 

I have to figure out how to start doing this again, guys. And it will be hard, because I'm not willing to completely rearrange my life or change too many priorities. I'm not training for anything, I'm not out to lose the baby weight, I'm not trying to fit in smaller clothes - I want to do just enough. And Jack does not nap, period. He plays his computer, he does puzzles, he asks for snacks and water and help with the potty, he colors and paints. Now that we have some sort of nap time routine I think I CAN go downstairs and do a Shred without having to think about him. He knows that he's mostly on his own while Molly naps and rarely whines or begs (at the beginning of quiet time, anyway!) So that's a possibility. But I am not leaving the house to run in the garage, obviously. 

I am hopeful that I can talk myself into running in the evenings again, but even that isn't a surefire thing. Like next week when Phillip is away - HE thinks it's fine to leave the kids sleeping in the house while I'm in the garage 10 feet away. I do have baby monitors. But I don't know. I just don't LIKE that. 

But I also have a sister with a strange work schedule who wants to use my treadmill, and if she keeps bargaining to use it with free babysitting, that would be awesome. 

I think I'm just going to have to wing it for a while. I still don't really know how to do this no nap thing -seriously, sometimes I just wish Molly would give up HER nap already so we can go DO something - but my run today made all the difference. I don't know why I have to keep REMINDING MYSELF that running = BETTER. So much better.


P.S. Thanks for all your very flattering, very kind, oh-my-gosh-I-am-mortified compliments. I also have to add to my Lurker Theory, which now states: To bring out the lurkers on one's website, one must 1) announce a pregnancy 2) give birth 3) drastically cut one's hair. 

P.P.S. In case you were wondering, the stretchy headband I used to keep my hair out of my face on the treadmill today was TRULY a style nightmare.



My treadmill is going to be delivered next week and I am SO EXCITED about it I can't even stand it.

I agree with Philip, you can totally run in the garage while they sleep if you take the monitor. It's not like you're going to be out there for four hours or anything.


I love running posts (and running benefits)! Good luck figuring it all out.


Is LoseIt for the iPhone? I have an Android and I'd be your friend but I can't find it :) I've been using CardioTrainer for my runs, which posts to facebook and therefore makes me feel like I'm getting a gold star for going on the potty.


Hi Maggie! I've been a sort of lurker for a few months, but I've commented a few times. One of my first was to tell you to go for the haircut, and I'm so glad you did! I just saw a thousand comments already that told you how great it looked, so I didn't have anything else to add :o). Also, it really made me want to cut mine short, but my husband started to inject "please don't cut your hair, it's so pretty" into every conversation and it was kind of funny, kind of sweet, kind of annoying. But since he looks at me more than I do, I decided not to go for it. But I'm a little envious because yours looks awesome.

P.S. I have a treadmill and I haven't used it in about a year. Your post is inspiring and I may try to use it tonight. But I probably won't feel like it.


My kiddo stopped napping when he was 2 and a half. No more bliss on the weekends. Sigh.
I exercise at night. I don't have a treadmill but either I go out in the evenings when it is nice or I use the WiiFit when the weather is bad. If I'm in the house I keep the baby monitor on and have yet to have an issue. (I'm in the basement and on the opposite side of the house from the kiddo). If I'm outside it is because hubby is home and keeping an eye on the monitor while he kills things in video games.
I think you should try for three days exercising during the day on the treadmill anyway and see how Jack does. As your husband pointed out, you are only 10 feet away and you have monitors. Not quite the same as being able to check out completely, but a good start!

And I think the hair is AWESOME! I'm a fan of short hair and luckily my husband likes it shorter, too. I think it looks wonderful, Maggie.


See, you just convinced me to keep fighting for the nap! I NEED the nap.


Your motivation = how good running makes you feel. I'm in the same boat right now, realizing that exercise is a vital part of stress relief for me. I FEEL better and am more capable of dealing with things when I exercise and for now that is reason enough for me to keep it up. As for the headband...ditch it for some bobby pins b/c looking cute while exercising has to be motivation in itself, no? I hope you figure it out!


The only time in my LIFE that I regularly exercised was when Fuss took 2 naps per day. I would do my chores or have my own "down time" during one nap and exercise (and recover) during the other. When she switched to one nap, my regular exercise ended.

(I'm recommitting to it now, though and doing the Shred - have I told you I think you look like Jillian?)

I hate running. I always have. I nearly failed a quarter of PE in Jr High because we were doing only running that quarter and I didn't dress-out so often... but I'm actually considering it - like maybe when my husband comes home from work, taking my iPod out and just jogging around the neighborhood or something... but... ugh. Other than the alone time and the iPod time, it sounds really horrible.


Didn't Santa bring you a jogging stroller?!?!

Not that I want to disrupt your precious mom-daughter time while Jack's at preschool, but that timing may be the best bet to get at least 20 min (possibly more!) of cardio in. (Jogging stroller/bike trailer required).

However, I would be "the pot calling the kettle black." Cardio exercise hasn't been a regular part of my life for MONTHS (I was training for a 15k which i somehow managed to finish on Halloween.)

In the long ago past, after dropping Jo at preschool, I would pop CoCo in the jogging stroller/bike trailer with a favorite toy/book/snack/drink, so that I could exercise. We would take the long way to a special playground (not the regular neighborhood playground) that had different slides/swings/climbing things. CoCo and I would play for 20-30 minutes and then head back home. I realize this plan is very weather dependent. Hence why I haven't followed it since October.

I know Jack only goes to preschool twice a week, but it would be a start to getting running back into a regular routine. Maybe your sister could fill in another day of the week to watch the kiddos and then you could run solo!

Just an idea


Hot by Thirty convinced me that I could actually run. And maybe even enjoy it. I finally started recently, doing the couch to 5k program with podcasts. I am actually starting to like it. There is a definite improvement in my mood on the days I run. So thank you!

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