Just a look into a random summer day in the life of a competitive marathoner mom of 12. :)
4:13am - alarm goes off. Six hours of sleep is about as good as it gets.
4:18am - I slip out of bed and tip toe into the bathroom, careful not to wake up Noah. Keeping it real, my head is really not in the mood to run. In a very "unlike me" kind of morning, I even contemplate going back to bed and taking a rest day, and come up with a few reasons why that would not only be justified, but a good idea. Despite the back-to-bed-plotting going on in my mind, I continue to get ready to head out. Running clothes on, shoes on, Garmin on, warm up routine done... looks like I am not going back to bed today.
5:14am - I sneak out the front door and drive the five miles to the high school track. I can't help but pout at how dark it is starting to be at this time. I wish the longer days of summer would stick around awhile. I park, unlock the bathroom, take off my sweats, and jump into my warm up run with two friends.
After a two mile warm-up and a couple of strides it is time for my 8 miles with a target of 7:00-7:05 pace for the eight miles. My head is still NOT in the game and I am still feeling tired and sluggish. I tell myself it is just 56 minutes of running at a decent pace. I remind myself that I have done the workout before and have done it well. I suck it up and get going.
Two laps into it and I am doubting I will make it 8 miles at this pace. I tell myself that my legs are fine and my body can do it, I just need to shut up my head. So I practice some positive self-talk and take it one mile at a time. Right after mile 3 I finally start to feel good and get into a groove and the run gets better as I go. I relax and enjoy it. With just over a mile to go, cheerleaders start showing up and congregating on the track waiting for their practice to start. I finish the 8 miles smiling, feeling fast and strong, and glad I didn't go back to bed. I do a two mile cool down (dodging cheerleaders) and finish with 12 miles for the morning. Splits for the 8 middle miles were at a 6:54 average pace - 6:50, 6:55, 6:58, 6:56, 6:49, 7:01, 7:04, 6:38.
7:29 - I finish stretching, grab my pile of stuff and walk over to the van. Josh runs out (he is working at the high school) and gives me a quick kiss and I head home.
7:36 - Home! I wake up Amanda, Maggie, Belane and Marcus and get them eating breakfast and I put their lunches (that I made the night before) into their lunch boxes with ice packs and water bottles, and then pack their backpacks with their lunch boxes, towels, sunscreen, and changes of clothes so they are all set for their "Swim and Read" program. (Two weeks of reading activities and swimming lessons - tons of fun).
I make my recovery drink and get Noah's first feeding and round of meds ready. Noah is tube-fed and gets fed every three hours during the day. I let Penny (the Boston Terrier) out and back in, and Belane feeds her. I get Noah out of bed, change his diaper, feed him and give him his meds, make sure the four swimmers are ready, and then load them all up into the van.
8:19 - Drive back into town and drop the kids off for Swim and Read.
8:28 - Pull back in at home. Get Noah out of the van and take him to jump on the trampoline for a few minutes. He only says a few words but "jump jump jump!" comes out loud and clear when he sees that trampoline. :)
8:40ish - I pull out my Pro-Tec massage roller, Orb and a ball or two and spend some quality time rolling out my legs while talking with Noah and Shorty. (At this point Nate, Ryan and Ben are at work and Shane, Des and Sadies are still asleep).
9am - Noah shrieks with sheer joy as Micky Mouse Club House comes on, and Shorty and I eat breakfast. Cereal for him, and a peanut butter and jam sandwich and a banana for me. Shane rolls out of bed and heads out to cut the grass and Sadies gets up and starts getting ready for work. I finish eating and hurry and get into the shower.
9:45am - I load Noah back into the van (Shorty stays and hangs out with Shane and Destinee) and Sadies drives us out to the high school to pick up the big van that Josh drove to work that morning. Sadies takes the minivan to work and I drive the big van home.
10am ish - Get home, unload Noah from the van, and get him settled inside. I fold a load of laundry and start another, and then spend some time answering emails, checking training logs for the runners I coach, etc.
11am - Another feeding and more meds for Noah. I eat half of a honeydew and a couple of almonds.
11:30am - Noah's physical therapist comes and we have half an hour of therapy.
11:45am - Nate, Ry and Ben come home from work and hit the shower and the kitchen (they NEVER STOP EATING).
Noonish - I make lunch for Shorty and for myself. A bologna sandwich, apple, and yogurt for Shorty and a giant salad for me. I chop and mix up lettuce, half a cucumber, a full tomato, two celery stalks, a few baby carrots, half an avocado, and a grilled chicken breast. It is big enough to feed a small family.
Shorty and the other kids that are home go to play outside and I move the laundry, unload and reload the dishwasher, and clean up the kitchen. I jump back on the computer for a little bit and answer more emails, training logs, etc.
2pm - Round three of tube feeding and meds for Noah, and then we load back up into the van and head back into town to pick up the swimmers/readers. I stop at the bank and post office and listen to the kids' stories and reports about all the fun things they did at Swim and Read.
2:30ish - We get home and the little kids get into the bath tub/shower. We unpack their bags and luncboxes and they have a snack. I eat some plain popcorn and another banana. When the kids are all clean and settled we put on a movie (they pick Labyrinth) and they lay down and take a rest while I start more laundry.
3:20pm - I get back into the van by myself and drive back to the high school to pick up Josh. On the way home we stop at his other job to print out a form we need and then return a movie to Red Box. (The movie was "The Host". I read the book and liked it. I fell asleep to the movie. But I fall asleep to just about every movie).
4:00pm - I eat two eggs and some brown rice and start cooking tacos for the family. "Taco Tuesday" doesn't happen every week but the kids love when it does. 40 soft flour tortillas, three and a half pounds of ground beef, two pounds of shredded cheddar cheese, a huge jar of salsa and three bags of tortilla chips later - and dinner is done. (DEMOLISHED). I save and set aside two plates for Josh and Nate (Josh is going to Cross Fit and Nate is at football practice). Sadies gets home from work, Noah gets fed, Penny gets fed (not tacos).
6pm- I clean the kitchen, make lunches for the kids going to Swim and Read, move the laundry, lay out towels and clothes for the kids for the morning, lay out my running clothes, wash my face and brush my teeth, etc. Josh gets home around 7pm and runs the girls to a church activity, and then after he and I talk alone for a little while, we all sit and watch a little bit of America's Got Talent.
8pm - We say family prayers, give Noah his last feeding and meds, and the younger kids all go to bed. Nate comes home from football and destroys the rest of the tacos and tells us all about football (he is a senior this year!) I enjoy hanging out with Josh and the big kids for a little while, and around 9pm I lay down on the couch and put my head on Josh's lap.
9:02pm - I fall asleep. I cat nap on and off, pretending to be watching America's Got Talent.
10:00pm - Josh wakes me up and after a few minutes of talking to the big kids, setting my alarm, locking up the house, etc. we head back to bed. By 10:15 I am tucked in and asleep within seconds of my head hitting the pillow.
Ok, so in mixed in there, there was a whole lot of diapers, phone calls, texts, messes, cleaning, laughs, playing, etc. but that is a typical summer day in a nutshell. It is go, go, go, busy, busy, busy, but things move along smoothly most of the time and despite being busy and a whole lot of work, it is also a whole lot of fun. We have our stresses and bumps in the road like everyone else, but it is a blessed life I live and I wouldn't change a thing. I am tired at the end of every day, but I have joy in my heart and the satisfaction that I am doing with my life what I was meant to. Busy and blessed :)