Liza Howard. Ultrarunning Mom.

Ultrarunning Mom

Setting myself up for success

I don’t want anybody to have a heart attack (especially you Dad), but I actually managed to clean the house a bit today.  Right, we’re not actually talking clean here.  It’s more “not filthy”  after four hours of scrubbing.  But at 10:30 pm on a Sunday night, “not filthy” is fairly satisfying.  I even planted the ornamental grass today.  And it’s not dead yet.  Tomorrow I’ll try to make friends with the bougainvillea.  I just set it gently by the front gate and smiled at it today.  And it didn’t turn black.

So Asa is standing up to use the toilet now, which is neat, — except when he misses the toilet entirely and pees all over the floor.  Like this morning.  “Mom, I need a new sock because mine got wet.”  Do you want to know how our bathroom’s on kind of an uphill slope?  No, me neither.

I ran on the road with some friends today and I’m very grateful they invited me along, or I might still be in bed with a box of tissues.  My legs and feet do feel like they’ve been beaten by a meat tenderizer, but it’s nice to have the run done.

I’m going to post my daily meals on the blog starting tomorrow.  I find it challenging to eat well consistently.  I’m good in fits and spurts.  And I want and need to eat well consistently this year, so I’m going to use you all for a bit of accountability.  Thank you!  Please don’t take what I’m recording as any sort of dietary guide.  And remember I’m about five feet tall and weigh 98 pounds give or take a couple of pounds.  So I  probably need to eat less than you do unless you have also been blessed by the elves.

I think we all have to figure out ways to set ourselves up for success.  For me that means planning to meet up with friends for runs — regardless of whether we actually end up running the whole run together –because it’s often hard for me to get going otherwise.  And it means telling folks what I’m trying to accomplish –because I’m too comfortable “adjusting” goals in the “Asa’s mom” bubble I’m living in right now.

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  • Pommers

    With a little help from my friends? I used to love running on my own Liza, but valued the companionship, extra incentive and session quality I often got from running with friends of a similar mindset. No (wo)man is an island!
    Will look forward to hearing about your food intake, especially before races, but I am no nutritionist so any implied guilt will be purely based on inconsistency on your part :-) keep well.

    • lizahoward

      Thanks so much Richard. I am hoping your recovery is faster than you expect and you are enjoying the trails again very soon.

  • footfeathers

    Good feeling going to bed knowing the place is clean(ish). I wouldn’t know but imagine it’s so.

    I imagine you want us to keep our comments to ourselves when you have that second dose of caffeine?

    • lizahoward

      No, no, I expect you to give me lots of grief.

  • Jim Saint-Amour

    Hi Liza! Black beans, brown rice, and spinach is a super fast and very nutritional meal that you can make for yourself or in a large portion for your family. I say this because you have a family and are a fellow busy Ultramarathoner!

    Good luck with your nutritional goals!


    • lizahoward

      Thanks so much Jim. Asa is not a fan of my black beans, brown rice and spinach meals. Yet. :)

      • Tika

        Have you tried letting him sprinkle some cheese on them? The cheese gets my little man to eat all kinds of things (including beans and rice) he normally wouldn’t touch. I also cave and let them have white rice (sometimes).

        • lizahoward

          Good point. Asa would eat the parmesan cheese without the spaghetti if we let him.

  • Paige T.

    I finally tackled our shower yesterday afternoon, with an awesome scrubbing sponge and some Comet. Shower = 0, Paige = 1. It is ridiculously satisfying even getting one thing cleaned, I feel your joy! I was spent afterward :)

    • lizahoward

      Nice work! I just put some cleaner and a scrub brush in the shower and told Eliot we both needed to spend 15 seconds working on the grout each time we showered. It’s a start.

  • Tika

    You mean Liv Tyler is not an accurate representation of elfish women?
    I so get the “mom bubble” thing. It gives me way too much wiggle room, and exercise and housecleaning are the two biggest activities that slip. I can’t see popping the bubble anytime soon though.
    When mine decides to stand up, I’ll have a new reason to be thankful for level floors!

    • lizahoward

      Right, who was in charge of elf casting?
      And enjoy every minute of the pre-standing stage!

  • Yukun

    Hello Liza, it is Yukun here and I ran that long run on Feb 27 with you and Joe… remember? I just got back to home last night from the west and decided to Google your blog… You done a great job in Rocky Spring!!!


    • lizahoward

      Thanks so much Yukun! It was great to run with you. I hope our paths cross again sometime.

      • Yukun

        Well you never know… I might end up taking up ultra one of these days like you guys predict; if that’s the case, I will have a lot to learn from you…

        • lizahoward

          It’s a slippery slope from hanging out with ultrarunners to running your first 100.