Friday, June 14, 2013


It appears that I should've read the instruction manual to my body because I recently learned that running barefoot with my elephantine lumbering weight and turtle-like speed results in soreness in the top of the foot. Oddly enough.

As you can tell from the above notification, I have started my postpartum campaign to regain health/stamina and mobility. It's already resulted in an injury. What's funny is that all of the barefoot running websites say to take it slow when first switching to barefoot running. I thought that Couch to 5K week 1, day 1 was as slow as it gets. This involves a total run time of about 6 minutes. Yeah, I've got a looooooong way to go.

Part of my problem is that I walk sort of duck-footed, and when I was running that way my body was landing too much on the insides of my forefoot and put too much pressure on my big toe. After running for a couple of times and noticing soreness there, I decided to correct my gait and walk/run with feet pointing straight forward. So this last time I went running, I made a point to consciously keep my feet straight. I think this might have exercised muscles that aren't usually used and resulted in top-of-the-foot pain in the area right where my toes bend. I think I just need time and to keep walking and doing C25K week one a few more times than usual to get my feet used to the movement there.

Patience, patience. My first 6 weeks postpartum were such a challenge to me. I was sore, and had a tiny tear *down there* that needed to heal. Lilly's sleep pattern was a little unpredictable and I was tired. I felt like Oliver's patience with me was running thin and I didn't think I could count on him to be sympathetic to me. The absolute hardest thing was breastfeeding. It was super painful. When Lilly latched on I had to close my eyes and clinch my jaw for about 30 seconds to get past the pain. Probably worse than the pain itself was the psychological torment of dreading the next feeding. I knew the pain would return every 3 hours. I hated the dread of feeding my baby. What should have been a relaxing, bonding time for us was a cause of tears and frustration. I didn't know if the pain would ever end, how could I keep breastfeeding like this. I had a tear on one nipple that didn't show any signs of healing and would rip open every time the baby would feed. What started in the first week as a poor latch ended up developing into thrush. Six weeks of agony. Then miraculously, suddenly, mercifully, it stopped being painful when Lilly would latch. The thrush disappeared so suddenly, after weeks of taking diflucan and force-feeding the baby Nystatin to what I thought was no avail. It happened on a Sunday.

I thought that the most unbearable part of natural labor and childbirth was not knowing how long I'd have to endure. I feel like I can tolerate almost any pain for a time, but it becomes much easier to bear when you know a time frame in which the thing will end. The hope and knowledge that the pain will end (preferably soon!) is something that can buoy your spirits when your mind is in a fog of misery and self pity. During my labor, during my first six weeks breastfeeding and during rocky times of my marriage I found myself coming close to giving up. Can the pain be worth it? Am I even making progress? Is this task a limitless Sisyphean torture?

Every time the pain did end, and every time the end result has been worth the fight. Each time was both a fight and a surrender. A fight to keep going and to surrender the outcome to God.

So I think I'll take my chances waiting and praying out my inconsequential foot pain and trying again.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A Maybe New Beginning

The hubs and I got into a huge argument the other night. This was surprisingly good because it helped us air our frustrations that we've been bottling up. He accused me. I accused him. I cried and he looked rather gruff. After all this we hugged, kissed and decided that we were going to make some changes. One of the things I wanted to do was create some common ground between us that is not the baby. I am so happy that he started playing cards with me again, so now I have a desire to learn one of his hobbies. Watch out because I am determined to become:

Rachel, Beer Brewer

Ollie has been interested in brewing beer for several years. He's made several batches, has moved beyond using pre-made extracts into doing an all-grain mash method. He has a deep freezer with temperature controls for fermenting (which I have *ahem* commandeered for freezing food since his last batch was over a year ago). He swears up and down to this day that the best batch he's ever made occurred one time when I helped him with it. Ever since then he's asked me repeatedly to help him, but I never have because of a) selfishness b) laziness c) lack of interest.

All of those have got to change, and I'm planning on doing something really special for him for Father's Day. My plan is to gift him all of the ingredients from a beer recipe, clean out the freezer that's in the house and transfer all of the food from the deep freezer into there. I also need to order another temperature control apparatus because the one he used to use to control the temperature of his fermenter has been moved to yet another freezer that he has set up for aging store-bought brews.

The only part of this plan I have a problem with is still a lack of interest that probably persists because of a lack of understanding. Beer brewing seems so complicated to me. It has a lot of steps. It's almost like playing chemistry. I am up for the challenge. 

Now off to try and locate Ollie's introductory beer brewing book....we'll see if I can capture that elusive beast!