Monday, October 20, 2008

I'm an idiot

As of today I still haven't gone running. Yesterday that pissed me off. Today, I'm OK with it and I'm actually not at all upset that I haven't done three miles or more today. I just feel better today, as if I needed the week off. I was ravenously hungry for carbs for a few days and honestly I felt badly about it. And then it hit me - my body was trying desperately to crack through this thick melon of mine and tell me that it needed some down time, some nourishment and some healing time. Begrudgingly, I gave in. I'm only now realizing that was the best thing I could've done.

To make its point, my body *alert - all men reading this who don't want to hear about uterus stuff run away now * even bled. I had a little spotting Thursday afternoon and a bit of me was so sad to think that I had started cycling again. It's been a lovely period holiday since getting knocked up with Chou Chou and while I know it'll be back someday, I want that day to be a few months from now. I was sad, but resigned. What can you do, right? But then, after a bit of old blood - nothing - for over 12 hours. Then a bit more (less than the first time), and then nothing at all. WTF? Lucky for me, my midwife and I still hang out and she's done a marathon and several half marathons. Over sushi, I told her about it.

"Oh that? Yeah, I always bleed after a half or a full. It's just some of the lining giving way after all that bouncing and stress on the body."

Um, really?

Turns out, she's right. (Insert Yay! here for not cycling yet). It's actually quite common, but also (and this is what hit me over the head and got me to wake up) it speaks to what my body has just gone through, while lactating, six months post partum.

The. Body. Needs. A. Break.

And today, I'm happy to have had a week of nothing. I no longer feel badly about it or want to berate myself for being lazy. I wasn't being lazy, I was resting.

Instead of being grumpy about all this, I'm getting excited. I've turned the corner in my thinking and I'm off on a new tangent. I'm excited because I've actually got a really good fitness base from which to work off of now. Sure, I'm not planning any half marathons until May, but there's a whole world of other stuff I can get working on, and it won't be that difficult to keep up a solid 6 mile running base. Imagine that - me! - always being at a fitness level that I could at any time go run 6 miles as a workout, not as a major accomplishment.

That's wicked good stuff, I tell myself.

And now, I'm off to visit for two weeks. I hope to update the blog while I'm there. I know I'll be running - but even if I do very little, it's OK. I've got a base. I ran a half marathon last week. That doesn't just disappear over night (or twelve).

Now, I just have to negotiate Halloween without going into a diabetic coma. Right.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The name game

This post got me thinking, and then a little angry, and then back to just plain old curious.

Me and Chou Chou don't share a last name. Neither do my husband and I. And we like it that way. Within my ladies and babies group, nearly half the children have their momma's names, not daddy's, and the daddies are the ones who wanted it that way (except in one case where it was decided by the baby's gender (girl = mum's name, boy = dad's name). For the record, we're all married and some changed names but most did not. Outside of my circle of friends and family back home, most women I know kept their name or hyphenated it, and babies are being given mum's name as a middle name, or mum's name, or both. Personally, I love the diversity of it. I love hearing the reasons for either or. I love seeing a little boy with his mum's name because the baby's dad had such respect and reverence for his wife's family. That's powerful, wonderful stuff.

And then those same wonderful people may be stopped at our border and questioned as to their authority in traveling with the child? That gets me angry. Then logic takes over, and I recognize that better safe than sorry fits here, and then I relax, just a little.

I think back to the agony over naming our Chou Chou - all before she was born, of course. The moment I saw her - her perfect face, the mop of curls, the sweet blond wisps of hair tucked behind her ear - I knew her name (none of the ones we had picked out, by the way). But before she arrived we spent hours discussing names, the importance of them, the meanings, the sound, the cadence, the significance, the spelling and, yes, the possible pitfalls of her carrying a name different than her mother's.

The travel question did come up. As did schooling and child care. Would it be an issue if I went to fetch her and our names were different? Would it bother her? Would she care? Ultimately, we decided it was as important to me to keep my name as it was that our daughter have both our names. Not wanting to saddle her with a huge name, we gave her only one as her last, and mine as a middle name (Chou Chou Caddywumpus really is enough, don't you think?). And before someone bites my head off, I get all the reasons for having a "family" name - but I don't think simply sharing a last name makes you a family, or more of a family, than those who don't.

I then go back to getting more than a little annoyed over the border guard's response (especially when the were coming BACK to Canada. Good grief, people). It's not like parents take this naming responsibility lightly. And I get more than a little pissed that, indirectly, it's a dig at a woman keeping her name. A name she likely kept for some very good reasons. I also get more than a little annoyed that in this age of blended families, in a country where all sorts of cultures collide, some of which have a tradition where women ALWAYS keep their name (in Vietnamese culture, for one, for those of you who need examples for credibility of argument), that we still get flak for doing so.

Lesson learned, though. Chou Chou and I will travel with appropriate documents, and just might end up changing names...but only so she carries mine as a last name, not the other way around.

Caddywumpus Comment Generator: What did you do? Would you do it differently if you could do it all over again?

Friday, October 17, 2008


The shitty thing about completing a half marathon is that now it's done.

I've been in a funk all week. I recovered quickly from the run, although Sunday's knee-icing was a good idea. By Tuesday I could walk with almost no soreness and yesterday I ran a few blocks while pushing Chou Chou and didn't feel any twinges. I still plan on taking it easy for the next few weeks, but I'm ready to get moving again.

I say that here, but in reality I've been a junk-eating, caffeine-fueled lump of mush all week. I couldn't stop eating (Thanksgiving didn't help, to be fair), and I've done nothing but walk (to the coffee shop, grocery store). What's wrong with me?

Shopping is not my forte. Anyone who's ever met me will tell you that. But I'm wondering if picking up my race-finishing present to myself might help with my mood?

Beautiful aren't they? They're Nike Air Structure Triax 11. Long name that translates in English to - super comfy, won't make your big toe go numb, joint-saving loveliness. Really, it does.

And then there's setting my next fitness and racing goals. In the short term, I've got a Halloween family fun 5 km I'm doing once in Winterpeg next week, but that's it. Long-term, I'm looking at a half in May and in September. I need to go one step back from that though, I need to look at my immediate day to day eating and training and try and work out some sort of truce with my mind and body. Right now, they're fighting like cats and dogs and I end up losing. It sucks.

Wow, when did this become all weepy and downer? Sorry, guys.

On the upside, I leave for the Hometown in just five sleeps to spend two weeks visiting, relaxing, riding, running, shopping and generally showing off the Chou Chou to any and all who care to see her. Perhaps the change of scenery, the catching up with friends and the sweet wrench in the hum drum of the everyday will be just what I need to snap out of this.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The First Rule of All Caddywumpus

Is not that there is no Caddywumpus, but that there are no real names used - not in comments, not in stories, not ever. Use my real name and you get bitten by one hundred furious hamsters, OK? Now that we've got that out of the way...

Welcome to All Caddywumpus, where most things are ridiculously crooked and stupid looking? Sure. We'll call it a metaphor for my life or a description of how I run. Probably more the latter than the former.

If you've been invited here, consider yourself lucky - you are the Caddywumpus elite. If you've just stumbled across me and my wumpusness, you're obviously gifted (or really good at clicking the "next blog" button. High five!).

What follows now is my new blog; all about me and the delicious adventures of being a stay at home mum to wee Chou Chou Wumpus all the while freelance writing, recovering from my first half marathon and training for my next. Welcome here!