November, 2012 Archive

Either the After Life is Just Like Real Life or I Really Did Survive My First 5K

by Alison Friedman in Mommy's Musings

I signed up to do it and I said I was going to do it, but it was not to be believed until it was complete. I finished my 5K and it didn’t even suck!

I woke up early on Thanksgiving morning after a surprisingly decent night’s sleep with no race jitters. Ate some breakfast, got dressed, and woke up the family to head out the door. Thankfully, the race was only 5 minutes away from our house, so we didn’t have a long drive and parking was easy. I know that’s not always the case with these runs.

We found where we were supposed to be even though there was a severe lack of signage, but we just did the sheep thing and followed everyone else who looked like they knew what they were doing. We arrived on the field at Cal Lutheran University where people gathered, warmed up, and registered. I’m so glad I registered a few days before and picked up my Tshirt and swag bag (which included such “swag” as advertising, a couple coupons, and a miniature power bar) so I didn’t have to wait in lines. It was really cold at 8 a.m. but I kept moving my legs to keep them warm and probably looked like an idiot because I had no idea what I should be doing.

Taking in the calm before the storm.

We ended up standing around for about 45 minutes. I thought it started at 8, but there was a kids’ 1K race first, so we waited for that to finish before it was time to line up for the 5K. I knew I shouldn’t be in the front of the 2,000-ish people grouped at the START line, so I went toward the middle and waited while Bryan, Madelyn, and Princeton got ready to cheer from the sidelines.

Isn’t my face just screaming of simultaneous excitement and dread?!

My view as we waited to star the race. I am very short and surrounded by very tall people.

I had downloaded a few Howard Stern shows with interviews I wanted to listen to during the run. I don’t like to listen to my music when I exercise because I find it too predictable and doesn’t keep my brain stimulated (read: doesn’t keep my brain from thinking about anything other than “I HATE THIS! MAKE THIS STOP! I’D RATHER BE EATING ICE CREAM ON THE COUCH RIGHT NOW!”). I like to listen to talk radio because I can sort of have a conversation with what I listen to. Ahhhh! Voices in my head!!!

I cued up my iPhone to the SiriusXM radio downloads so that it’d be ready for the first signal that the run had begun and it was time to take off. But the Apple spiral of death kept plaguing my phone and I wasn’t having a good feeling about being able to listen to Bradley Cooper on Howard.

The dude to my right is totally checking out the competition and thinking, “Girl in pink is toast!” womp womp

It’s almost time to go! Do I look like a runner yet?

Sure enough, the horn blew and it was time to go! The people in front of me shuffled along and then the course opened up and I was able to have some space. For the first five minutes of the race, there was steam coming out of my ears. Not because I was on fi-ah, but because I was so frustrated that the interview wouldn’t play! I could hear people talking and I could hear my own breathing. That was not part of the plan! Finally, after several attempts, the app just crashed and I couldn’t even get SiriusXm to cooperate. I couldn’t handle looking down at my phone anymore because I had a close call with a speed bump in the road, so I cut my losses and turned on Pandora. It was music, but at least there was some sort of element of surprise.

Bryan’s view of the crowd just before the horn signaled GO

1.2 seconds in, and I am still vertical. In other news, do you think girlfriend in the front is going to regret running a 5K in jean shorts???

Look, ma! All 4 of my chins and I are running!

I didn’t want to fiddle anymore with my phone so I just let the station that was already on play as my running soundtrack. The station? Dave Matthews Band Live. I know, not very typical “running music,” but it actually worked great for me! Since it was all live, he jammed a lot and when he jams, he builds and let’s face it, music that builds is great for the push-through. Hearing some of my favorite songs “live” while running and waiting to find out what would play next was pretty exciting as people passed by.

Before I knew it, I was at Mile 1 and I was feeling great! At the mile mark was a water station and I thought about stopping for a sip, but not because I really needed it… more as a “but what if I get thirsty later?” I decided to skip the water and knew there’d be more along the course if I needed it. And I’m glad I did because with every pound of my feet on the pavement, I started to feel like I could pee. Fabulous.

I passed by these cute girls who were dressed up in Thanksgiving feather handbands and tutus. Then there were these girls who had turkey-themed shirts.

Mile 1 and people look cute all around me!

I think if I were to do a race with a friend in the future, I’d dress up! That might make it even more fun.

Just as the course took us away from house-lined streets, I saw smoke. But it wasn’t, like, 911 Danger! Fire! smoke, but more like yummy BBQ smoke. Which tantalized my nose. I then realized that people were smoking a turkey in their backyard and it smelled so delicious which is really just cruel when you’re running a race and about eight hours away from Thanksgiving dinner.

Streets are different when you run on them instead of driving on them. The street that I’ve driven so many times to get to my house, or CLU, or even the hospital, looked so different when I was running on it. I’d never noticed a bus stop there before. Or the fact that the speed limit is 50 MPH (oops). And that it’s slightly uphill.

There were a lot of great cheerleaders along the path to keep us gong. Volunteers, water girls, residents in the neighborhood, and even police officers who lined the streets at big intersections were all cheering and clapping. I didn’t think I’d be motivated by that, but I was. As the course started to lose its flatness and take on a bit of an incline, I heard a swarm of cheering that got more and more powerful. A huge smile grew across my face as I approached a cluster of volunteers and I gawked at them in gratitude for cheering so loudly and enthusiastically. And then I saw that their mouths were closed and they were standing still. This particular group wasn’t cheering at all. I was hearing cheering, all right, but it was in my ears — it was the lucky fans at a Dave Matthews Band concert who were whooooo-ing for “Ants Marching.” So, thank you, DMB fans who were live at Red Rocks, for the encouragement during my run.

feeling the burn up the hill and making sure to follow the law and not go over 50 MPH. har har har

After Mile 2 happened, I was running uphill. I was beating the hill. I was still going. People were walking around and I kept trotting. Huff puff huff puff legs tightening huff puff. This is the stuff I didn’t train for in my, um, three days of training. So after about a half mile of this nonsense, the devil on my shoulder won and I walked. I walked really fast, though, so that’s okay, right? Actually, I really wasn’t putting too much pressure on myself to finish by a specific time (although I was projecting 45 minutes), but I think it would’ve been cool to say I ran the whole thing without stopping. But after 2.5 miles, that became a dead dream. I walked through the hill which, by the way, was really hardly a hill but everything else was just so flat and I’m such a rookie and I’d already been running more than I’d ever run in a period of time in my life, that I didn’t want to burn out and limp across the finish line.

The walk was good because it was short enough to catch my breath and relieve the tightening in my legs. I approached Mile 3 and kicked it in gear. I was entering the college campus again and I could hear cheering and the MC on the loudspeaker a mile away on the field.

I was getting tired again — I probably shouldn’t have walked… it felt too good — but I powered through because I wasn’t sure where Bryan, Madelyn, and Princeton were waiting and didn’t want them to get a glimpse of me walking instead of running. So as I listened to Dave in my ears, I pictured my family at the finish line and I was encouraged to finish strong.

I tried to get a picture of the Mile 3 sign, but a mother/son duo decided to do entire photo shoot around it and I wasn’t about to waste my time that was tick-tockin’ away (even though I kept telling myself I didn’t care about the time… time, shmime… whatever…), so no Mile 3 photo. But I still loved seeing Mile 3 because that meant I was .1 mile away from the finish line. And there it was!

I was conflicted… do I take a picture of the finish line from my perspective or do I find my family waiting for me? I did both! I saw Bryan soon after I saw the finish line and smiled big to see him shooting my run-in.

Thanks, man with giant head, for blocking my approximate time as I was about to cross the line. I SWEAR there was a 3 behind his noggin’.

Running it in!

Trying to get a picture of the finish line while crossing it. Oh look, there’s my finger in front of the camera lens.

OK, can I have 42 slices of pumpkin pie now??

And just like that, I crossed over! It was really exciting and I was about to jog out of the way and cry and enjoy the moment but the women who finished just in front of me stopped to talk RIGHT there and I almost ran into them. Aaaaaand buzz kill. Look, I’m no running veteran, but I’d think that Running 101 teaches you to MOVE OUT OF THE WAY WHEN YOU CROSS THE FINISH LINE… no? Runners, am I right? Or do you just stand there? Cuz eff that, next time I’m going to sob and sink into the ground right. there.

I met up with my people and Bryan kissed my sweaty lips! Madelyn looked exhausted and Princeton was like, “Ok, great, can we go run around the giant grass field and pee all over everything now?”

I saw that the time on the finish line clock was 37 minutes and 36 seconds, but knew my official time would be different since the time started when it read my chip actually crossing the starting line. Thankfully, I got an instant email with my time and couldn’t believe I came in at 37.17 with an 11:59 mile pace. This isn’t Olympic by any means, but for my very first run with hardly any training, I managed to come in pretty well under 45 minutes and my pace was slightly slower than my usual mile time, but I’ve never run more than a mile and a half in one time before! So, I gave myself some mental pats on the back and felt really proud about what I’d done!

I felt great the rest of the day and my Thanksgiving dinner tasted even more delicious because of my morning. I don’t think I’m exactly addicted to running yet like people said I’d be, but I can definitely see myself signing up for another 5K in the future and I’d like to see if I can beat my Turkey Dash time. Thanks for all your support and cheers on the big race day! Totally helped and I’ll need it all again next time!

I didn’t get a medal, but I have pure gold right here next to me!

  1. Renee
    11/29/2012 7:08 PM

    Way to go lady!!!! I am so very proud of you roomie!

  2. 11/29/2012 5:50 PM

    Great job! I love your commentary. I’m always afraid to make fun of people around me lest they happen to find the blog 🙂 congrats on a great first 5K!

I’ve Got The Runs

by Alison Friedman in Mommy's Musings

I hate exercise. I hate sweating. I hate ruining my hair. None of this is news.

But here I am, three days before a race.

That I’m running.


I know. I don’t even know who I am. So here’s the thing: I think in order for me to get really fit and be at peace with my post-baby body (I love Madelyn, but really? Did she have to vacate and leave her foreclosed home in saggy shambles?), I have to get serious about cardio and since I’m not joining a gym and I don’t generally like machines, I’m using equipment I already own: my feet.

I’ve done wel with with boot camp, losing inches and gaining strength. I think, though, that the added cardio of running homework will be the finishing touch on my healthier lifestyle.

I’ve been using RunKeeper on my iPhone to track my runs. I also listen to Howard Stern as I run because, let’s face it, he’s my kind of entertainment, and he’s not as predictable as my own music is. The only necessary tool I’ve been skimping on is my shoes. After almost a year of boot camp, I’ve worn out my Saucony shoes that I bought at Marhsalls because they were under $40 and they were pink. Ya know, because those are excellent reasons to buy exercise shoes. Well, they are if you’re not serious about performing and staying healthy! Which I wasn’t… until now.

Everyone told me to sign up for a run. I’ve never understood why I’d have to sign up to run when I can run for free on my own. But I wasn’t doing that. So I needed the commitment of knowing I have to show up to an appointment that cost a few handfuls of dollars.

Last night, I signed up for a 5k race on Thanksgiving morning that’s near my house. That’s right. I signed up four days before the run. I’d been thinking about signing up since I heard about it last month, but kept giving myself stupid goals like “If I go a whole day without eating carbs, then I’ll do the Turkey Dash,” or “If I can run a total of ten miles this week, then I’ll do the Turkey Dash,” but I never did any of those goals and I still hadn’t signed up for the Turkey Dash. I think I was afraid to sign up because I didn’t want to risk hurting myself or feeling sick or failing the race. But then I decided that crossing the finish line in any capacity is more than I’ve ever done since I’ve never crossed a finish line before. I plan on crossing that finish line even if it’s with a siren and flashing lights in the back of an ambulance. I decided I wouldn’t worry about my time or my pace. I wouldn’t compare myself to others.

I needed go all Nike on myself and just do it.

So a few clicks on the web site later, I’m a runner.

At boot camp this morning, I ran over a mile, made decent (for me) time, and didn’t feel like 100% crap (maybe just 60%) except for my left second toe which felt like 862% crap. My big toe was rubbing on it and I was starting to swell and blister. If that was only after a mile, I didn’t want to think about the status of my toe after 3.1 miles on Thursday. I knew that my pink shoes from Marshalls were to blame so I got myself to an actual running store for thorough measuring and fitting.

After a few sample walks and runs, the salesperson analyzed my step and now I have real running shoes that will actually do me favors instead of just look pretty. Good news: They’re good looking too! So now I’ll literally be hot to trot!

I’m still nervous about my race, but I’m hoping that I’ll be able to enjoy the experience and allow myself to get addicted like so many others claim after they’ve started running. I guess there are worse things to be addicted to. Like carbs. Oh sweet, sweet carbs.

I’m really looking forward to the finish line so I can experience the feeling of completing a race and seeing my two favorite people in the world at the end!

Chatty Maddie In Her Own Words

by Alison Friedman in Marvelous Madelyn, Mommy's Musings

You know what’s more fun than anything in the world? Dealing with an insurance company AFTER being on hold for 27 minutes with hold music that’s enhanced with static and repetitive interruptions about “longer than usual wait times.” Now THAT’S how I like to spend a Thursday morning. Why was I calling our insurance company? I had to find out about coverage for speech therapy.

Right now, our Maddie is very chatty, but her language sounds more like Nell’s “tay inna win” instead of recitations of Shakespeare sonnets. I wouldn’t care so much if Madelyn was pulling in Jodie Foster dollars for her “words,” but she’s not. So that’s that.

At her 15-month check up on Tuesday, the pediatrician said she’d like Madelyn to have at least 10 or so words by now. She is speaking tons, but none of it in English or even symbolic baby-English. I’m not particularly worried and neither is the doctor. She is hitting all other milestones perfectly and definitely shows no red flags to worry about. She’s social (she loves attention from friends and strangers). She isn’t sensitive to sounds or textures (she can sleep through anything and loves to get her hands dirty in her food). She loves music (she bounces up and down as soon as she hears a melody). She understands our directions and words (she looks down at her feet when we say the word “shoes.” She looks to the floor when we say “Princeton.” She brings us the remote after she’s stolen it when we ask her to). Her receptive language is fantastic (she reacts to our words and tones of voice, including disciplinary ones). She probably has words on the tip of her tongue and is having trouble expressing them. If it’s frustrating for us as parents, I’m sure she’s beyond frustrated, which may be the source of some of her (albeit, rare) toddler meltdowns.

So, a speech evaluation will help us with methods to help give Madelyn that push to producing language. And in case there is some sort of developmental delay, it’s better to get on the ball now and save time.

Still, though, Madelyn continues to entertain us with her extra special Madelyn language. If she picks up anything with printed words, she immediately looks down at the paper and “reads” it. She even moves her head and eyes to “scan” the words and her inflection changes to narrate her story. It’s unbelievably cute and makes me even more excited to hear her speak in her own language that we understand.

We go for our first speech evaluation next week. I know 15 months is still incredibly young, which is why we’re not worried. More than anything, we’re fascinated with the process and will follow doctor’s orders as long as it can’t hurt and won’t cost us anything (both true).

In the meantime, we’ll still continue to giggle over Madelyn’s babbling that sounds like a mix of Hebrew and Swedish that we like to call Swebrewsh. Here’s a classic Madelyn that puts Chaucer to shame called The Maddiebury Tales.

  1. Jan Glasband
    11/15/2012 8:33 PM

    What’s the problem? I understand every word she’s saying.

  2. KZ
    11/15/2012 7:39 PM

    Your pediatrician is on crack. A 15 month old does not need to be saying a whole lot of anything. At 15 months, Fiona was babbling like crazy, but not talking. She had maybe 3 words at 18 months, and was using two word phrases by 22 months. Do not worry for one moment or think Madelyn is in anyway behind. In fact, I know tow years olds who don’t even talk yet.

  3. 11/15/2012 7:27 PM

    She is precious! Her speech is priceless. I’m so glad you have her reading on tape. What a fun thing to look back on years from now when she’s up on stage acting out a piece from Wicked or Avenue Q.

  4. Mimi
    11/15/2012 6:28 PM

    Dear Sweet Madelyn! I love listening to your babble no matter how it sounds! Just so you know, I am always available to listen to anything you want to talk about & tell me, your old Mimi.

Fifteen Months!

Our little not-so-little, on-the-cusp-of-her-Bat-Mitzvah, basically-an-AARP subscriber baby is 15 months today and I can’t believe how fast time flies. I literally can’t keep up (as evidenced by the silence on BornFriedman) and have lots to share and will unravel some stories in the coming days!

But for now, we celebrate 15 months of Madelyn. She has definitely gone from baby to little girl status. She’s longer, leaner, and the hair — oh the hair! It’s finally growing like a weed and the curls are taking shape. This is going to be fun!

At 15 months, Madelyn…

  • Has about 10 teeth. Her molars are almost finished cutting through and if I had my act together, I’d have created Splash Zone signs for her to carry around her body. Anyone who gets near her is bound to get wet. She’s pretty juicy with the drooling, so I’m pretty much over the teething just for that reason alone! Thankfully, she’s not a terrible teether. She doesn’t complain much and she acts pretty normal. No fevers, no weird poops. Just drool. Like, she basically makes a basset hound look as dry as a raisin.
  • Runs and trips and gets back up again. Nothing fazes her. Falling is seriously no big whoop. She trips over her own feet all the time and if a toy or a shoe stops her saunter and she takes a dive, she doesn’t even blink. Isn’t it funny how babies are hardly cry babies at all? She’s a tough kid. I’m curious to know where she got that…
  • Knows parts of her face! Ask her where her ears are. She’ll be glad to slap them with her hand. Ask her where her head is. She’ll pat it enthusiastically. Ask her where her eyes are. She’ll blink really slow and with determination. Ask her where her mouth is. She usually makes politically incorrect Native American tribal sounds. We’re still working on the nose. She still dones’t know nose. I’m sure her Poppa will have a dirty way to teach her that one. Ahem.
  • Enjoys throwing food. Please tell me this is a stage. My dog is going to become obese and my housekeepers are going to become very rich because I seem to be calling them more and more. So, win-win for everyone except mommy. As soon as she starts to throw her food, we take it away, remove her from the high chair, and tell her that eating time is over. We don’t make a big deal, but we don’t ignore this behavior entirely either. However, the absolute lack of remorse and apathy she shows about this consequence makes me very, very, very fearful of her years to come. When does the food throwing stop? Any pieces of advice to share? And why does she not want to eat delicious food that I wish I could eat, but can’t because she made me fat? Oh, the irony!
  • Is almost 30 inches tall. I know this because I had to take her to the Van Nuys Entertainment Work Permit office to renew her show biz card (which basically sits dormant, thankyouvermuch casting directors. So all you who ask me how to get your kid to make a million bucks, I don’t know). I had to give her measurements (her bust is still not even pushing 30 and her hips, forget it. Nothin’ there.) and there was a juvenile-looking measuring stick on the wall. She absolutely loved standing against it and looking at the numbers and the colors. She then proceeded to prance around the dreary, institutional-like office waiting area and made sure that everyone paid attention to her. She’d walk up to a dad on his iPhone or a mom tending to her kids and literally do schtick until they gave her the satisfaction of a smile or a “hello.” This kid doesn’t work because she’s not friendly? Please! Anyway, this is what she does everywhere we go. I can’t run in and out of Trader Joe’s because she’s holding me up and putting on a show like she’s queen of the Catskills and our fellow TJ shoppers are old Jewish ladies eating borscht and smoking cigarettes. It’s criminal how much she steals attention. And they give it to her, too! They stop and the coo and they play peek-a-boo and all she needs is a harmonica and tap shoes and she’d be a complete traveling act. Then they eventually walk away and she looks at me with her deep, dark coffee See’s chocolate eyes and bats her Jessica Rabbit eyelashes as if to say, “See, Ma? I got it. Now, take me to the frozen pizzas.”

She fell out of her chair. Anddidn’tevencare…

She just keeps on keepin’ on.