How I Became a Happily Obsessed Runner

By Megan Cox

I am so pumped this week.

And no, it’s not the copious cups of coffee I’ve been drinking to survive my days. This week, the first book in my Teen Mobster Series is being released, and it feels like I’ve been waiting a lifetime for this moment.

The book was actually completed before my first half marathon in 2007, but by my full marathon in 2008, I still hadn’t summoned the guts to put the novel out there for rejection. I was enjoying my job as a government public relations pro, and my getting published had really been put on the back burner.

It wasn’t until I landed in Oklahoma City—a result of my husband’s job transfer—that I sat myself down and said, “Megan, it’s time to make your writing dreams come true.”

Two years later, I’ve got a book coming out, the rest of the series under contract, a creative writing workshop gig, and this awesome blogging opportunity where I get to tell all of you how I manage to fit training for a half-marathon into a busy working-mom schedule.

All this and I still have time to participate in tea parties with my toddler and enjoy giggle-time with the six-month-old baby. What a life!

Yes, it’s a busy, busy life, but I certainly can’t complain (or at least, I definitely shouldn’t). And with my first YA novel (that’s publishing talk for “a book for teenagers”) hitting the market, it made me think back to being a teenager—and when I started running in the first place. It seems so, so long ago…

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You Are What You Eat

By Megan Cox

I just had a great visit with one of my friends. We went out to the Cheesecake Factory, and the food was as good as I remembered. As a mama of two little ones, going out to eat usually involves whining, water spillage, and Teddy Graham crackers covering the restaurant floor.

I love my kiddos so, so much, but a peaceful dinner with JUST grownups can be a welcome respite.

Here’s the thing though—when it came time to order cheesecake, my conscience was kicking me. Yes, I may be training for a half-marathon, and yes, I am nursing a baby. These are good, calorie-busting endeavors.

However, as much as I feel like a bottomless pit, I am not one. And if I want to burn off those last few pregnancy pounds and really get back in tip top shape, it’s time to put my diet under a CSI-type investigation.

The result? I can only deduce that my love of sugar—namely ice cream, chocolate, and yes, the occasional piece of cheesecake—are not doing my physique any favors.

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Better Safe than Run Over

By Megan Cox

Ah yes, nothing better than, on an early morning run, the feel of the cool autumn air, the daylight just beginning to peek over the horizon, and the quiet stillness that hangs over a sleepy neighborhood.

That is, until I have headlights coming at me full speed ahead.

Currently, we have a little situation going on in my subdivision. It’s called a Facebook war, which has been waged between those who have been tracking cars driving too fast through the neighborhood and those who like to tell people to mind their own business.

As a mama of two little ones, I tend to side with those who caution the reckless speeders, but as a woman with a very full plate, I don’t comment. However, it’s fun to tune in to the Facebook drama—there’s usually a new episode every day.

Lately, I’ve been a little more perturbed with the reckless drivers, and that’s because I’ve been out very early to get in my training runs for my December half-marathon.

If you’ve been keeping up with my journey, you’ll remember that I can’t use the YMCA child watch because of the warning by my pediatrician about a whooping cough outbreak — at least not until my baby is six-months-old. That leaves my only training option to be six in the morning, which wouldn’t be so bad if I weren’t still feeding the baby at four a.m.

I know. Whine, whine, whine. And I promised I wouldn’t do that!

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How to Handle ‘Bug Season’

By Megan Cox

I hate bugs. Eight-legged ones. Six-legged ones. Slimy ones. Crunchy ones. They are gross and prehistoric looking, and I don’t want them anywhere near me.

However, the type of bugs I hate the most, especially as we head into fall, are the bugs you can’t see. Yet you know they’re out there. You know it because your preschooler brings them home in her snot.

Yes, I have succumbed to my first cold of the season. The doctors call it common for a reason! First the toddler gets it, then the baby, and then me. Somehow the hubby managed to bypass it, and I’m sure it has something to do with using incantations and holy water, but if so, he’s not coughing up his secret. Pun intended.

So what can I do but trudge on with my runny nose, stuffy head, and a voice that’s dropped a few octaves? The baby still has to be fed, the toddler still has to be kept busy, and my books don’t write themselves. Oh yeah—and that half-marathon-training thingy I’m doing. That’s go to get done too.

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