laid off and learning to love it… my journey from corporate sprinter to life marathoner

the sweet spot: look at them 08/12/2013

Filed under: General,Parenting,SAHM Choice,Uncategorized — ccatet @ 6:47 am

usually i am right next to my kids, walking and talking with them. but this summer, i have been able to watch them from a distance a little more – and they amaze me.

last summer they both wore life jackets EVERY TIME we hit the pool. now they both swim like fish (or a mermaid in the case of my daughter). this week, they were each practicing flips in six foot water, my son was cannon-balling off the diving board and my daughter was swimming across the width of the deep end – and she did it easily. she bobbed and flipped between front crawl and backstroke, taking her time and enjoying the water. my heart swelled with pride.

i have to stand back, and not cling too tightly. they are ready to do it alone.  i am not quite ready for it, but i won’t hold them back. i watch them move through the water with such happiness and grace. and while they are good swimmers, they are also new swimmers. they aren’t aware of all the things can happen. true to my motherly duties, i watch around them constantly and keep them in spots where they can have fun and be safe.

the process of teaching a child to swim is in stark contrast to my old work life with deliverables and deadlines. you cannot rush any child to swim, or put him on any kind of deadline. you can offer lessons, expose them to water, make them feel safe, and make the time fun. and based on how frequently you do this, your child may or may not swim in the next ten years.  it can be a long road, or a shorter one. it all depends on the kid, and you.

nobody tells you this out of the gate, but most aspects of parenting are like this: a very long road. there can be so much day to day minutiae, especially as they get bigger and more autonomous, that you forget to just look at them and take it all in.

i don’t get sentimental very often. yet this summer, more than ever before, i am aware that they are becoming big kids and we are sliding into the sweet spot. my baby turns 5 and starts kindergarten next week. the minutiae is in high gear with birthday events and school coming, piled on top of the end of summer activities. even though i still need to get a lot done to be ready for each event, i will find a way to actually take it all in – by their side and from a distance. i don’t want to miss a thing.


runner’s ego: training to lose 03/11/2011

Filed under: General,Running — ccatet @ 3:10 pm

i ran my first half marathon almost 6 years ago. ah, may 2005: pre-engagement, pre-wedding, pre-marriage, pre-kids… the uncomplicated life. my finish time was a 2:06-ish. i was pleased because after running casually for almost two years, i finally had a baseline and it was an average of 9:36 minutes per mile. fast forward 6 years, and i want to try again. however, i also want to improve my time and lose some minutes.

i have been debating my second half marathon for over 6 months now. here’s my problem: i am competitive with myself. i want to run my next half marathon under 2 hours. i believe i am faster than i was six years ago, and i want my race time to reflect that. this is definitely my running ego talking.

i have determined that to achieve my goal, i need to run under 9:06 minutes per mile. yep, this means around 30 seconds less per mile compared the last race.

shaving several minutes off a race goal is no small feat. the good news is that i have had essentially six years to get ready. ha! plus, i have an amazingly supportive husband who will do whatever he can to make sure i get all my training time in. the bad news is that my knees are not top of the line. plus, training for the last race, i developed plantar fasciitis which requires a really fashionable boot to correct. i have to be cautious and diligent with training so that i do not injure myself – or end up wearing corrective gear that makes me look silly.

to top it off, i don’t like to run in races. it’s not my running mantra. first and foremost, i like to run for the peace and quiet of the road and how good it feels physically and mentally. i run on a treadmill in the winter to avoid injury and it’s not nearly as relaxing but i do it to keep my fitness level up. secondly, i am a cheapskate and do not like to pay someone else in order to run.

i also struggle with the idea that training for a 13.1 mile run, where i could potentially injure myself thereby taking away one of my great joys, conflicts with wanting to run for the next 20-30 years of my life. the need to run and be active is vitally important to me, yet i want to prove to myself that i can do another 13.1m – and do it better than my first.

here is where you come in. if you’re reading this, you’re probably a friend, a former colleague, a former classmate, or someone who reads every blog in the stratosphere and stumbled upon mine. regardless, i need your help. it’s difficult for me to coordinate training with anyone since it’s a constant juggling act to find the time to train just by myself. as a result, i am lacking camaraderie and motivational running spirit in my training. this is my official request for support and encouragement: please. i need it and will take any ounce of it you throw my way. thanks in advance.

i *feel* like i can do this. i just registered for the race and paid 70 bucks saying i *think* i can do this. now i just need to actually do this, and train hard enough to lose. wish me luck.


sahm: dinosaur bones in cleveland 01/31/2011

Filed under: Activities,General — ccatet @ 3:14 pm

several times during my childhood, my mom took my brother and i to the cleveland museum of natural history. one of my favorite parts was climbing the huge stegosaurus out front! i was excited when i learned that this museum was also FREE with a COSI membership – and yes, the stegosaurus is still there!

considering my 4Y son is enamored with dinosaur bones, i thought it would be fun to check it out with him. click here to read part 2 of my museum day guest post on the cbusmom blog!

it was a fun but long day. thankfully, the most expensive thing about the day was taking the kids to red robin for dinner… but the unlimited french fries always have a way of perking me up! YUMMMMMM!


sahm: a year in rewind 01/22/2011

Filed under: General — ccatet @ 3:09 pm

has it really been almost a year since i posted a blog? gosh, where does the time go? wait, i know… it was a tough year, probably one of the hardest ones i have had. first, i lost a good friend, my maternal grandmother to old age. then i spent the better part of the remaining year struggling with a medical issue, only to end the year with no real answers. overall, it was a year with too much stress and anxiety, thankfully, none of it stemming from my beautiful children and amazing husband. i try not to wish time away, but i was grateful to kiss 2010 goodbye! i am ready for a new year!

i typically don’t make resolutions, but i do believe in learning new things. this year, as a family we have decided that we will read new books, go new places, try new foods, play new sports, and continue to learn new things. with a 4Y and 2Y, and an insatiably curious husband, i have no doubt i will learn a lot this year too, probably without trying too hard.


sahm: mama wants a new dress (or two) 01/23/2010

Filed under: General — ccatet @ 10:40 pm

sure, i bought a wedding dress less than 5 years ago. but since then, nada on the dresses. oh wait, i did buy a cute gap maternity dress that was extremely functional, at the time. who knows where that thing is now… i gave it away, or sold it. my point is that i am not a girl who typically wears dresses. i prefer yoga pants and dri-fit tees, jeans and sweaters, track pants and fleece zip ups.

yet lately, i see all the spring dresses coming out and i long for a beautiful dress. i have no idea why.

my brother is getting married this year and i am thrilled for him. he also asked me to stand up for him which in the world of siblings is pretty amazing and wonderful. this is especially true for us since we used to beat the crap out of each other. we had a love/hate thing going on for most of our young lives. when he moved within 20 minutes of my family a few years ago, it was nothing short of fabulous.

i have decided that his wedding and the reception (which will be held in another place on a different date) are the perfect occasions to buy pretty dresses.

for me.

wow – does that mean i will get two dresses this year? i am chomping at the bit to start looking.

and the shoes? i am salivating at the thought.

i have already decided that i will be saving my pennies for this. i will focus on design and fit versus cost and coupons. this will be hard considering most days i am laser locked on savings.

secretly, i have a feeling it will be very easy to spend a lot of money, even just for a moment.

but i can do it. i am up for the challenge.