Wednesday, December 09, 2009
There is something about this time of year that brings out the kid in me. Must be the whole Christmas thing. I can't help but feel a little happier when I drive through town and see all the pretty twinkly lights. My three year old is really helping to bring out those feelings this year too. A couple of times now she has gotten my attention while we were in the car and said "Mommy me think our town is sooo beautiful"!! It cracks me up that she refers to herself as "me" and then uses a word like "beautiful" in the same sentance!! It is another beautiful day and that combined with my childlike attitude right now inspired my status for the day-"it's a beautiful day in the neighborhood, won't you be my neighbor." I could have typed the real lyrics word for word like many members of my generation and those a bit older and some who are much younger. Mr. Rogers was a staple of my youth. Any male wearing a cardigan was reminicent of every child's best friend. Mr. Rogers' neighborhood was NOT my favorite childhood show (Romper Room and Capt. Kangaroo) but he is still an icon of my youth and something about this time of year brings memories of childhood flooding back. Then that makes me think about the memories my husband and I are creating for our children. I want them to look back on their childhoods and have wonderful memories of growing up.
I am so glad that some of those memories are going to be about watching their Mom exercise. The home portion of my exercise routine has taken a serious blow in recent weeks (months) and my goals for December are to get that part of my routine back in motion. I still go out every morning and exercise with my sister (weather and exhaustion permitting-we both have had those mornings where we just say "too tired" and take a little break-fortunately we are usually up for the challenge and our weather usually cooperates also) but when it is time to go home and do strength I usually fizzle out. Part of it is that I do have travel time in between our walks/runs and the strength portion of my routine. I have let it get too easy to get distracted once I get back home. I have a million reasons. My house is so small that I have to store my weights, bands, step, etc. in a different room than where I actually exercise. When I get home the kids are up and want breakfast. I have to get the kids ready for school. I want to check some things on the computer. I need breakfast. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah!!!!! lol!! Excuses, excuses, excuses. Excuses don't pay the bills missy!!!
So FINALLY, today I set the excuses aside. I walked in the house greeted the family, went straight into my room and collected the gear I would need to finish my workout for the day. 5 year old daughter even helped by bringing my step, which I was going to have to make a second trip for!! I laid out the pages showing what I would be doing and got to work. Leg and Booty work today with 20 crunches thrown in. At first I wasn't really feeling it too much, but then the work started to set in and it felt....GOOD!! I was pleased as punch when my daughters took over the step after I had done my first set of step ups and started copying what I was doing. I even had to ask them if I could "work in" and have a turn to do my second set of reps-they were happy to oblige. I was a little rushed towards the end, but I did complete my stretching routine before I had to take the kids to school. Husband helped by pouring cereal for the kids on his way out the door to go to work. Kids helped by getting themselves ready, including shoes and socks (except I did have to stop a couple of times-daughter's shirt was not appropriate the first try (summer shirt) and I had to stop to tie her shoes because she doesn't quite have that skill yet). We dashed off right after I finished the stretches to go to school and when we got back youngest daughter decided a bowl of cereal was not sufficient for her needs and I had to make her a peanut butter quesadilla (a peanut butter sandwich on a tortilla instead of regular bread-a dish I think is unique to our family and not a quesadilla at all due to there being no queso (cheese) on it at all but that is what she calls them so...). While I was standing there making the sandwich (which has about two bites out of it and will serve as her snack for the rest of the morning) I felt kind of strange, I did a quick self-assessment and came up with two things. First I was hungry!! It was now going on 8 in the morning and I hadn't eaten a thing. Second, I was suffering jelly legs!! I haven't had jelly legs since a few hikes ago!! Woo Hoo my legs did get an extra workout today that they were not anticipating!!! I grabbed a yogurt and some Grape-nuts to satisfy the hunger part and decided that if this is going to work for the long term there is going to have to be some sort of nutrient intake between the walk and the strength sessions. A go-gurt (children's sqeeze yogurts in you've never heard of a go-gurt before), an Odwalla smoothie, a piece of fruit, a nutrition bar, SOMETHING in my car would do the trick. I've got ten minutes in the car during which some sort of easily consumed, yet nutritious, meal could be consumed giving me the energy needed to finish my workout and get the kids taken care of and off to school before having an actual breakfast. It will just take a little forethought is all. A thyroid medication that I have to take and prevents me from eating for 1 hour keeps me from eating before my walk/run, but waiting until 7:45 or 8:00 is setting myself up for a bigger breakfast than I need because I will FEEL so hungry I will think I need more than I really do. As it is right now I am watching the clock to make sure at least 20 minutes pass before I decide that the Grape-nut and yogurt breakfast really was not enough and I need a hard boiled egg to go with it now and not later as a snack!! LOL! Anyways, our town is beautiful, I got in a great workout, it's a beautiful day in the neighborhood so won't you be my neighbor!!
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
I don't know if this is just me and I am perfectly willing to admit I find aspects of myself strange, but I simply LOVE rainy days and more so days after rainy days. I've mentioned before I live in a warm arid area and we don't have a lot of rainy days so when we have days like yesterday. Yesterday rained buckets all day long, it let up for periods of time and then came back in a deluge. Granted, picking the kids up from school was a bigger nightmare than usual and I got a soaked foot when I had to step through a river to get to the driver's side of the car -one big disadvantage of driving on the right-the driver has to step across flooded curbs to get in the car!! Also, our town had their first big growing spurt during the depression and WWII so there were no supplies or money to build underground storm drains so the town designed the streets to be the storm drains and we live on the downhill side of town so our streets tend to get a little flooded after a day like yesterday and that is a big inconvenience if you HAVE to go someplace. We had to go get cat food because the dog cleaned out the cat's supply when he spent the day in the house (dumb dog)!! But despite the minor troubles a day like yesterday causes it is still something special. A day where pulling a blanket around yourself and watching a little t.v. is perfectly okay because there is really not much else you can do. We turned on the Christmas tree lights and enjoyed the extra sparkle they gave off because the day was so gloomy. The dog, who spends most of the day outside, got to spend most of the day inside and we enjoyed the sight of our little beagle curled up on a blanket taking a nap (beagles tend to be ADD so we don't usually enjoy the sight of him taking a nap-we get tired of his energy before he gets to that point and send him outside). Cooking was a pleasure because the heat the stove gives off was actually welcome yesterday and I loved doing laundry because the dryer gave the house that warm snuggly feeling and smell. And as great as all that was it will be even better today! Today we got to go for our walk and the air, though the coldest yet, was clean and crisp. The air, instead of having that slightly chemical smoggy smell, smelled clean and fresh. It was exactly the smell that a million and one household products try to capture in chemical form to make your home smell wonderfully clean. Only it was the real deal, not some poor chemical imitation. We don't get that smell very often. All of you people in Oregon, Washington, Alaska and all the other green, damp places, go outside, give a big sniff and appreciate how great you have it!! I sure hope you get the smell I am getting and not a dairy farm or something like that (I get that one on a lot of mornings and it isn't as fun as the crisp, clean smell of this morning)!! Today we will get enough sun to warm things up just enough that a warm sweater and a nice blanket will still be welcome additions, but the heater will probably kick off before mid-morning and not come back on again until early tomorrow morning. The puddles are gone and we got a nice festive sprinkling of frost on some surfaces. It was just cold enough to cause a frost but not cold enough to freeze the puddles so there is no ice to contend with (at least for us-the mountains just above us are a totally different story). Which is another fun part about today. All day we will be seeing clumps of snow lying by the side of our streets and clinging to the tops of the cars of our mountain dwellers who have to come "down the hill" for work and school (college students-the mountain does have its own elementary and high schools). Some of the teachers at school will bring some of the white stuff with them so the students who live in the valley can experience some of the excitement of SNOW!! This is a very early snow for us too, the ski resorts have got to be jumping for joy this morning. This storm has given Big Bear, Arrowhead, and other resorts just the boost they need going into an economically bleak Christmas season! This storm gave them the perfect base, if they didn't get enough to open this morning they will have created enough by nightfall to open tomorrow. If I were a snowboarder or skier I would be on this computer checking the ski reports and getting ready to come down with a serious illness that would keep me from work today!! The sun is getting stronger as I type. It is coming up behind me and the sky in front of me is turning from grey to the most lovely baby blue by midday it will probably be the color of turquoise. Today there will be no smog and tomorrow morning will probably be another crisp clear moring full of starlight unhampered by chemical laden air. Today is one of those days that makes you feel fresh and renewed, ready to take on the holiday season in style!! A day that gives you purpose and energy. I guess it is the human version of hydroelectricity. The rain comes down, charges the ions in the air, those charged ions are attracted to the human body and in turn give it a charge of fresh energy. My batteries have been recharged!! It is going to be a beautiful day!!
Monday, December 07, 2009
Its been a long and hard weekend. The good part is that my sister and I went for a hike on Saturday. It was a great hike, one we've done before, but we made REALLY good time. It was a cloudy, gray hike but it was kind of nice. The lake we hike up to was a steely gray on Saturday instead of the blinding, sparkly, blue it usually is and it was kind of fun seeing our lake in a different "mood". Right after the hike I met up with my family at the parade route for our local Christmas parade. They had been there for about an hour or so saving us a good spot. A few years ago our Wal-Mart shut down one location in favor of a newer and bigger store about a mile and a half away. Nobody has moved into the abandoned Wal-Mart and while it is an eyesore and creating some troubles for the city council because nobody needs a giant empty parking lot sitting dead center of a prosperous business area, it does sit right at the end of the parade route and provides a perfect parking solution for parade goers. Our family has staked out territory at this location for a few years now and it always works well for us. The kids loved the parade and stayed warm running for candy the various parade entries were throwing to the crowd. I however, found myself freezing cold in the outfit that had been just right for the hike. I discovered that I need a warm hat that also wicks. The knit beanie I wore on the hike had gotten a little damp (gross, I know) and was making my head cold now that I was not active but stationary. Despite the chill the parade was great, the kids loved it and we had a good time.
Sunday was not so great. There was a huge family blow-up when I told my MIL that my kids would not be able to go to her house if certain activities continued to occur in their presence. At Thanksgiving dinner a BIL and SIL were reading aloud a VERY ADULT joke and discussing other inappropriate subjects while my children where in the house, my son was coming in and out of the room where the "humor" was going on-I also did not appreciate the crassness of their behavior-this particular BIL is 38 and living with my MIL and not contributing to the household expenses despite working full time(he also does no chores, cooking, etc.-that alone says alot about this person). MIL immediately told all her kids that I "attacked" her. Not, I calmly explained the situation and why we could not expose our children to that kind of "family get together" . The real point was not that we were banning her from her grandchildren I made that COMPLETELY clear, she is ALWAYS welcome at our home, but that should it occur in the future we would be leaving her home and visits to her home would be limited. I had to spend the entire afternoon defending our choices to family members and defending our rights as parents as to what our children will be taught and when as regards sexual issues and telling them that we in NO WAY "ATTACKED" their mother. As a mother my MIL has every right to make her own decisions regarding her 38 year old son who still lives with her, but I think she needs to understand the impact it will have if she can't tell him when to shut his mouth (she was present while the joke was being read).
I was SOOOOO looking forward to taking some of that out on the pavement this morning. Then I woke up at about 2 something this morning and lo and behold it is raining buckets. I could hear the downpour outside my window. UGGGHHH NO RUN!!!!!! I hoped it would settle into something resembling a drizzle or take a break long enough to run, but at 4:15 when my alarm clock went off I could still hear the rain coming down. I am not going to complain that it is raining because it really ticks me off when people do that. We live in a VERY arid region. In lucky years we get maybe 30 days of rain in a year and lots of years we are stretching it to say we got 2 inches in an entire year. Yup, its bad and more and more people keep moving to our area and increasing the demand on those precious drops of water. I have lived in the So. California area my entire life and was raised to be aware of my water usage and feel a certain amout of concern when I see lawn sprinklers going off EVERY day and watering the street instead of the lawn or running for so long that the sprinklers create a run-off of water. We HAVE to be grateful when we get whatever rainfall we are going to get in a year. It comes when it comes and we MUST give thanks for it. So I can't complain about my run being ruined and I will have to pull out a nice video and work my ire off that way. Oooh maybe a good day for some TAE-BO or Boot Camp-yup some kicks and punches might feel REALLY good today!! I've had my sister's Jillian Michaels workout waiting to give it a try then return it-oops had it for awhile now, might have to do that and give Jillian my all.
Sure makes me grateful for family members who DO understand what is appropriate behavior for 6 year olds and younger and who DO understand that as parents we have rights to make decisions for our children. I might be biased but my family would NEVER parade that kind of content in front of my children, even if they were certain my children couldn't overhear (because really unless you lock them in a closet how can you be certain what a child will or will not hear). They would NEVER parade that content in front of me!! We would all feel that awkward "oooh too much information coming from my sibs or parent" type of moment. Can't wait for Christmas when I can let my kids have a blast with cousins, aunts and uncles who love them and would protect them and teach them as their own and I can be certain that they can be in any room and be safe without my eyes on them because there will be countless sets of eyes looking at them the way I would and seeing what I see and loving them the way I love them. I know my MIL loves her grandchildren in her way and her other children feel some sort of affection for their nieces and nephews, but something is lacking and it makes me sad. Oh well, my family makes me happy so it all works out. BTW-husband has the same opinion as me-he agrees that if anything ever happened to both of us one of my family members should take care of raising our kids and that makes me sad and happy at the same time. Darn the rain and darn messed up families!!! Tomorrow I will post a happy blog to make up for this mess. :)
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
Robert, of course, would be Robert Ullrey, the person who put together the C25K podcast I listen to on run mornings and I must have done something to make him mad because all of a sudden today he stopped speaking to me. We start out on our regular workout. I am repeating C25K after some shin problems set me back. The whole shin thing is something I don't want to repeat so I figured I would go through C25K again starting at week 4. Today would have been Week 5 Day 2 with intervals of 8 minute running sessions with (I think) 3 minute recovery sessions in between. Started out just fine, Robert takes me through my warm up and gets me started on my first run and announces my first recovery session. I was feeling the need for it too with just a touch of shin tightness starting to set in. So I start walking, my myself look like a total dork by moving my scarf from my neck and tying it around my waist because it was too warm for the scarf once I started running and I am walking and walking and walking and "boy this is a long 3 minute recovery" !!! I can hear the music fade out here and there but no Robert telling me what is going on!! The music is there, my ipod is running but Robert has fallen silent. I FINALLY figure out that something has gone haywire and start running again, the tightness in my shins has disappeared and I go ahead and pour on a little power. I go ahead and ditch the intervals and just run. I even ran past the end of the track because I know I've wasted a bit of time on my "recovery" and now I am WAAAY behind my sister!!! I finally decide to run until I meet up with my sister or until I get to a certain street. I met up with my sister first!! I felt like such a goofball!! Wow 3 minutes sure is a long time!!! LOL!!!! It really wasn't that bad. I probably walked for 5 or 6 minutes instead of 3, but still not realizing something had gone haywire sure did make me feel silly. Oh well!! I've decided feeling silly is one way of helping me stay feeling young.
Turns out my sister was not too far ahead of me as she went a little slower than usual due to an ankle that was protesting our run this morning. Other than that it was a great run this morning!! Yesterday I was on the computer checking out another 5K I am thinking about doing in February and just out of curiosity looked up Irongirl's website and found a 10K/5K in our area in May. I am totally excited about that race. The only thing I couldn't decide was 5K or 10K...I am nice and comfortable with 5Ks now and even though I am slow I am enjoying myself, but the ultimate goal is a 10K and then a half marathon so I was leaning towards the 10K. Discussing it with my sister this morning there are lots of good reasons to go for the 10K so when registration opens for that race, at the end of December, I will PROBABLY be announcing signing up for my first 10K!!
So I've got to go figure out what I did to make Robert mad at me so I can fix it and he will start talking to me again so I can get on with my C25K so I can start training for my 10K at the start of the year. Robert, I don't know what I did, but please forgive me!!
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Well, I almost didn't blog on this subject today because I really didn't feel like facing facts!! November was not my finest months, but despite this I still feel like I had a great month!! First the bad news. I didn't accomplish much in the way of the goals I set for November. I set goals in 4 areas-Food, Fitness, Personal and Family.
Food-track all food and water. Oops-didn't do this even once I think. I know there were many days I should have been tracking because it probably would have put a stop to some pretty stupid eating. So this goal is carried over into December.
Fitness-my goal was to bring strength training back into my program by following a set schedule of exercises each day. Didn't do it-all of my equipment is still exactly where it was 4 weeks ago and dustier too!! So for December we will be trying again.
Mon and Firday-Spark's Hip Slimming Workout+20 situps (adding 10 situps each week)
Wed-Spark's Booty Workout and Beginner's Dumbbell lower body Workout +20 situps (adding 10 situps each week)
Tue and Saturday-Spark's Dumbbell Variety Workout + 20 pushups (adding 5 pushups each week)
Thurs-Spark's Beginner's Band workout + 20 pushups (adding 5 pushups each week)
Daily-Salute to the Sun for core and flexibility
Personal-these were completely not Spark related and I didn't accomplish any of it either
1. finish sewing pinwheel quilt top
2. scrap two scrapbook pages
3. Find and read a comprehensive biograpy of Queen Elizabeth
These goals are also carried over into December with one exception the scrapbook pages are being put on a back burner so I can finish 2 crocheted scarves for Christmas for my kids (1 down 2 to go).
Family-Take at least one family walk each week-we did this twice I think, to pick up son from school!! This goal is carried over too.
So the good news. I didn't quit exercising altogether during the two weeks of shin difficulties. I did what I could do each day and kept searching for something that would fix the problem I was having (shin splint-my shins would tighten up and become painful after a short run but would feel fine if I walked at a slow pace). I ran a 5K and RAN the entire thing even though I had pretty much resigned myself to intervals due to the shin difficulties, but all the different things I tried and given them some of the rest they needed got me feeling good enough to do my race!! I went the extra mile and went along with my son when he ran his first race on Thanksgiving-a 1 mile kid's race which he finished in 16:50 (I am so proud of him). There were days I ate horribly, but I used those days to reflect and refocus and try to do better the next day and Thanksgiving day itself was not horrible-I ate quite reasonably that day!! I also have December to try again!! I also can see where I went wrong!! I did print out the workouts I planned on doing so I wouldn't have to get on the computer and look them up every day, but I put them in a folder-out of sight out of mind right!! I also did not print out my goals or transfer them to my Sparkgoals section!! Again out of sight out of mind!! So live and learn December will be better. My November failures will be my December successes!!! Happy December all!! My kids are so excited because it was day 1 of the Advent Calendar-they know we are on our way to the big day now!!
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