Scrapbook royalty Cathy Zielske came onto our radar last spring when virtual busloads of new fans showed up on our Facebook page, telling us that Cathy had sent them. In less than 36 hours, our fans doubled from roughly 1,500 to 3,000. Yes, we knew from the get-go CZ, as we have come to lovingly refer to her as, is a force! But perhaps her greatest contribution to us, other than her always-make-us-laugh friendship (she and I especially bonded over our mutual, undying love of Peter Gabriel!) and her designs of our T-shirts, is her dubbing me a “badass mother runner.” Thus, our slogan was born! Love ya, CZ!
Best recent run: A few Saturdays back, I clocked a nice and easy 7-miler—my longest run to date—on my treadmill. Now before you gasp and say, “Oh gawd, how awful for you!” I should point out I live in the arctic tundra that is South Central Minnesota and I’m a complete winter running wuss. If the mercury’s dipping below 20, the pavement and I shant meet. I have zero problem with putting my miles in on the old ‘mill. No, it’s not scenic and spiritual, but with the right iTunes mix, it gets the job done. Plus, no need to wear my Fuel Belt and cram tons of Kleenex into my sports bra. (The Kleenex? A necessity as running makes my nose run. I will never master the Farmer’s Blow, nor will it ever appear on my list of things to do.)
Does your chub rub?! My chub does in fact rub, but thanks to a 30-pound weight loss during my first year of running and an ample supply of BodyGlide, not nearly as bad as it did at the outset. I started running in January 2010, with my 5’ 6" frame tipping the scales just under 184 pounds. Chub reduction was the primary reason I laced up and starting clocking my 12-minute miles. I’m still amazed at what running has done for my body. No, I haven’t transformed into a tiny, sinewy runner, but I am stronger today than I’ve been since my adolescent figure roller skating days. But that’s a story for another day.
Running: What made you love it? A funny thing happened on the way to chub reduction: I connected spiritually to this amazing sport.
When you first start running, your goal is to make it to the next block without passing out, but over time, those blocks build into multiple blocks, and those blocks into miles, and then all of a sudden, you’re outside on a sublime 50-degree spring morning and hits you, “I. Am. Running.” This was a pretty powerful revelation for this former pack-a-day smoker, whose idea of exercise was folding and putting away the laundry. Now, every run has the potential to make me feel powerful, connected, and alive. Of course, picking up Run Like a Mother in the spring of 2010 didn’t hurt either. Suddenly, I really wanted in with this tribe. Twelve-minute miles be damned, I was officially a member.
Un-scrap-able you: As a scrapbooker, I pretty much lay it all out there. If you’re looking for scrapbooks full of pages showing how perfect my life and my family are, you’ll be sorely disappointed. But if you want to read about how over-the-top obsessed my son was at age 5 with Freddie Mercury, or some of the seriously sassy phrases that can come out of the mouth of a 14-year-old girl, or how I’ve struggled with body image and getting to a place where I’m okay with me, then you might connect to some of the stories I save. I think scrapbooking’s ultimate purpose is to save authentic slices of real-but-ordinary everyday life. Forget all the birthday parties and Christmas mornings. It’s the specific details of this life I’m going to want to remember and savor. Of course, I do have some limits. No pages about my daughter getting her first period, or me getting busy with my old man, if you catch my drift.
Meatless March—long trudge by soldiers? In my quest for better health and fitness, I gave up meat for the month of March just to see how my body responds to finding all of its nutrition through meatless means. I adore cooking, so I’m focusing this month on creating delicious vegetarian meals featuring healthy whole foods and grains. So far, no real complaints from my family, though my sweet hubby will always toss in, “Mmmm, Cath, this is really good. It’d go great with a burger.”
If running could scrapbook: It would make really tight, clean pages with absolutely zero fluff included. Great design, great stories, and no B.S.
Get racy: I’ve run two races to date, both 5Ks. The first one was last July--I was so nervous the night before I think I slept 90 minutes total. I ran it in just under 33 minutes and was on a permanent high for about three days following. I couldn’t believe that after four decades of living, I was outside in nature, running a foot race. Three months later, I ran my second 5K and shaved almost five minutes off my time. I wasn’t just happy to finish the 3.1 miles, I was there to kick some ass and take names. I haven’t committed to my next race just yet, but I’ll tell you what it might be: The Team Ortho Minneapolis Half Marathon in June. I currently run four days a week and crosstrain two. All I need to do is up that weekend long run and I’m golden. I guess I should get out that credit card and sign up already.
Follow this mother at: http://www.cathyzielske.com