Thursday, August 25, 2011
Sheeeeee's baaaackkk-lol! Uggh, where to begin.
I've decided that at much as I like swimming and other summer activities, I HATE summer. HATE, HATE, HATE it. Sorry to all you summer lovers, but it's not for me. First off, I have three kids and I don't know why, maybe because they are older and naps are a thing of the past, but this summer was MISERABLE kid wise. Son has entered a very fun "everybody hates me" phase of life and literally picked fights with his sisters all summer long. Oldest daughter spent the summer partaking of her favorite past time-pushing buttons. She loves getting reactions out of people and is VERY good at it. I am WORKING hard trying to teach her that GOOD reactions are more fulfilling and less dangerous than NEGATIVE reactions, but at 7 she isn't quite there yet. Youngest, being the youngest, spent the summer with a giant target on her back.
The past month I've done very well with sticking to the running and that schedule went great, home based exercise, not so much. No strength, no yoga and lots of stress did not make a happy mommy and the morning runs were definitely therapy for me.
I kind of gave up the household battle and have a long way to go before my house looks the way I want it to again.
Which, brings us back around to the present, school started Monday (hallelujah-we all made it through alive)!! It has still not been an easy week. I suddenly gained an extra 3rd grader and a 7th grader. Since middle school lets out WAAAY after Elementary I am making extra afternoon trips. PTA is keeping me BUSY too. Hopefully that will settle down a bit. Then, it's been HORRIBLY hot this week and by evening I am wiped out and EXHAUSTED, so for the first time in quite a while my running streak has been broken and spectacularly so. No "exercise" this week. I put "exercise" in quotes because I've been having lots of activity, just no exercise.
However, the good, to balance the bad and the ugly, is that I have had more time to think about my food. I got to go to the store and buy what I wanted! Half a bagel with some fresh mozzarella and some sliced tomatoes (from my garden) has made an excellent breakfast this week. Salad at lunch sprinkled with some chicken or tuna. And time to actually plan ahead dinner. WOOOT. I am tackling the food monster. The ugly is the last of daughter's birthday cake sitting in the fridge. Yesterday, a piece jumped out of the pan and literally stuffed itself down my throat, nearly choking me in the process. Wish that was true, the real truth is I was tired and HOT and frustrated and tired and I ate it. I said "YUM, that chocolate cake is exactly what I want right now" and ate it...I did manage to make the piece smaller than usual.
So, now to get to work on more of the house restructuring before I go get youngest from kindergarten. Tomorrow I am fitting in strength and yoga SOMEHOW and then Saturday is a hike and I'm not skipping the chance to get up above the heat, even for just a couple hours.
Autumn is generally viewed as a time when the earth starts shutting down and getting ready for winter. I LOVE autumn, for me, in autumn is a time of reawakening. During the summer I go into a heat induced stupor and hibernate in a way. School has started and the weather hasn't changed, in fact it's getting hotter instead of cooler, but I can feel the change of seasons coming and I am waking up from my stupor renewed and ready to go.
I'm slowly, but surely, coming back around. YAY!!
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
I have been so hit and miss over here for too long. Time to make some changes.
Today has been an extremely productive day for me, so far. I've managed to make a payment so I can stay in school. I've made some phone calls. I've checked my bank account. I've solved several issues the kids have encountered. I haven't done any house work, but need to get on that right away and I haven't exercised, gotta get that in soon too.
Today is a day for getting things done. I've got a trend going. Three days now I've had great productive days. I've just gotta keep the trend moving and the circle of influence growing.
This is a good week for setting up schedules and making improvements. So, one of the things I need to do is start fitting spark into the schedule on a better basis. I haven't been reading much. I certainly have NOT been tracking (fitness or food). I've been moving along, but I don't have anything to show for it. My challenges have totally gotten sucked into a black hole and that sucks (haha-black hole-sucks-haha, not intended but still struck me as funny).
I've been hitting my three days a week running and my times are getting better, slowly but surely. The scale is not moving though. However, that means it isn't moving up either so I guess that is a plus.
I'm making better choices almost without trying sometimes, but other times I fail. Chips and salsa for lunch is not a good choice.
PTA is keeping me jumping, the kids are keeping me jumping and life is just a tad strange right now. But, I guess the real thing to take away here is that the MOST important things are still finding their places and sticking. Fruit is still being purchased when I go to the store. Running is still going on. And, here and there, I still am picking up a blog or two (usually whatever is at the top of my notifications).
I am anticipating a chance to sit and use the computer tonight, so hopefully, I can make a dent in my "inactive blogs" section and move a bunch of them over to active and maybe even pick up a new one or two.
Sometimes life gets crazy and when it does you sometimes have to just grab hold and hang on for the ride, other times you need to pick up a paddle and get to work so that you don't go over the falls. I've been holding on, now it is time to start using that paddle and get back into the flow of the stream instead of the whitewater. Time to take control and life work for me instead of the other way around.
(dropped another 20 seconds off my time for my regular morning run...dropping below 16 min/mile is in my sights and going down soon)
Thursday, July 21, 2011
I am sooooo ready for this summer to be over. Overall we have been blessed with, what is for us, moderate temperatures. Still too hot for my liking and we are making do without a/c this year. Really gotta wonder how people 100 years ago made it through summers. Probably the same way we are...lazy afternoons and lots of water (inside the body and out).
Having three kids, the ages of my kids, home all day is definitely more of a challenge than I'd been expecting. I think in previous years we had more naps and less computer time so I was still able to do more of MY stuff. Getting on the computer has been a challenge for sure. One computer split between 5 people, there just doesn't seem to be enough time in the day. Challenges are more of a struggle than I expected them to be just because I can't check in as much as I would like.
I'm still working hard and trying my best to accomplish the fitness goals I have. Today was an accomplishment for sure! Went running with mom and sis this a.m. and was kind of just plodding along, it didn't feel like a fast or strenuous run, but there is always a point where we meet back up with my sis and depending on our individual speeds the location varies. Today when we met up she says something to the effect of "you are really cruising this morning". I kind of scoffed, because as mentioned, it didn't feel like I was going fast. To those who are not familiar with my turtles pace...I'm REALLY slow and I mean that, I'm not joking. Spark never recognizes that I am "running" because I am so slow that many people WALK faster than I run. I ticks me off big time that I can't list my efforts as running, btw. Anyways, one of July's goals is to have TWO sub-17 min/mile runs. Well, I've blown that out of the water. Tuesday when we were running at 1 mile I checked my time and was over 17 min/mile so I amped up the speed and brought it down to 16:40-something-YES. So, today when I was told I was cruising and the effort just didn't feel the same I scoffed and then pulled out my phone and checked and I was cruising along at a sub-17 pace!! It REALLY didn't feel like I was putting forth the effort to hit that time, but I was!! COOL!! I ended up with a pace 20 seconds faster than Tuesday. Today was supposed to be my "easy" run and a slower pace overall, but the effort still felt "easy" despite the faster time. So, that is SUPER encouraging and shows that my efforts are paying off. Makes trudging along a little more fun.
This weekend is going to be a busy one...I have PTA training Friday night and all day Saturday. I thought I wouldn't get my run in on Saturday, but the group changed plans to meet up with me at my house nice and early so I can still run with them and then quickly get ready and head off for a long day of sitting in training meetings. I'm a little concerned about Saturday-lunch will be served and I've been doing really well this week with food and don't want to blow it. I'm considering throwing a packaged salad and a bowl into an insulated bag and taking my own. At least that way I know EXACTLY what I'm consuming and how many calories are involved.
I can still improve a lot on my running and definitely a lot on the cross training activities and strength training. Tracking has gone to hell in a hand basket as the saying goes. I've got to get out a little note book I have and start writing it all down so that I can enter it at the end of the day when the kids finally give up the computer.
School starts in one month and I am looking forward to the couple of hours I'll have all alone each day so that I can clean house, exercise and spend a bit more time on Spark.
Today we were at Wal-mart getting a treat for youngest after having to endure some shots for school. I stopped in the fabric department and looked at some tulle for my running tutu!! Fawn (the animal fairy from Tinkerbell) is my fairy for the Tinkerbell half. I found some really pretty brownish (like maple syrup) tulle and a buttery yellow that go really well together and are very "Fawn-ish". Gonna have to get some soon and play with it and see what fullness, length, etc. works well for a running tutu :). Need to check a bigger store too for fabric that is more "technical" in nature for some shorts since I haven't seen running attire in harvest colors (yet). Maybe as fall comes around some stuff will come out in the right colors and save me some time and effort.
Overall life is good and moving along and I need to find some reading time soon. The scale is being stubborn, but I've seen this happen to me in summer before. At least I am not gaining, which usually happens during the summer despite swimming and everything else. I'm not giving up and soon the scale will HAVE to co-operate. In any case, I'm looking for and finding some success and sticking with the plan.
Hope everyone is having an excellent summer :).
Saturday, July 09, 2011
Have I mentioned that having 3 kids home all day long has really wreaked havoc on my computer time? lol. It is mighty difficult to fit myself into their schedules :). But, here it is, Saturday once more, and I am in control of the keyboard : )
Okay, so I had copied and pasted and posted all this stuff from the DIY challenge and then Spark wigged out and wouldn't respond and I lost it all.
So, I am NOT going back and copying it...Here is a summary....I'm still doing the DIY challenge and doing fairly well. I've missed a goal or two, but have hit more than I've missed.
Goals for this weekend=
This weekend, you either have to make and take a picture of two beautiful healthy meals you create, and upload the pic to sparkpeople (in your team or on your blogs)...
OR (if you cant cook and dont have a camera) - make a fun colorful fancy schmancy shopping list for when you are ready to go grocery shopping again. Cover produce, meats, dairy, grains... all the necessities and some frivolous items! it can be on construction paper or in Excel or just your blog or whatever.
Roger-wilko. Today is menu planning day so I'll do either sometime this weekend or heck, maybe both-lol
Get in a workout this weekend that totally screams YEAH IM STILL ON BOARD! SEE! IM STILL FIGHTING!
Already done!! A 6.2 miler this a.m.-I wasn't giving up until I hit that 10K mark!! Yeah, that screams IM STILL FIGHTING to me :).
Speaking of the run this morning :)...it was great...slow, but great...averaged just under an 18 min/mile pace...which means, of course, that when I entered it into Spark it came up under cardio as a 19 min/mile pace...yes, Spark, that feature totally sucks, please fix it. There are a BUNCH of online trackers that leave your's in the dust...please make it a priority. Specifically the fact that it can't calculate pace down to minutes AND seconds.
It was a warm morning, but we all pushed through and finished a great group run this morning. I test drove a new product today. Check it out here: www.nuun.com/
Basically it is a tablet...no sugar, contains balanced electrolytes and you add it to your own water (16 oz per tablet), and is under 8 calories per tablet. Basically an easy to carry and store sports drink. On a scale of 1-5, 5 being best, I give it a 4.5. Yep, that happy with it. The tablets come in a tube so VERY easy to carry and store. When you are ready you drop a tablet into 16 oz of water, let it fizz for 2 minutes and then give your bottle a little shakey-shake and you are good to go. What is holding it back from that last .5 points to make it perfect? I am happy with the taste. Definitely not overpowering and quite tasty, a little salty, but that is the electrolytes showing up and DEFINITELY not as salty as GATORADE...can't stand the stuff...blech, but they taste better COLD, icy cold, and of course carrying a bottle of water out in the heat of day, it didn't stay cold very long. Today I packed plain water in my Nathan pack and carried the drink in a bottle in the pocket on the front of the vest. Water was my primary sip for the first hour, then I switched to the drink for the rest of the run...several good gulps every 10-15 minutes. By the time I was completely done, warm-up and cool-down included, I'd been out 2 hours and polished off the bottled drink. Next time I have a longish, hotish run I might swap it out. Sipping water the first hour from a bottle and having the drink in my pack. I kind of polished off the drink kind of quickly once started and having more might be better. Plus, I can add ice to the pack and it will stay colder longer.
Also, while this was just 6.2 I'll be using this pack in my half marathons and at the half last year there were not enough water stops and only one gatorade stop. The balance was not good. I'd rather carry a smallish bottle of water in the pocket and use the water stops for water and have more electrolyte drink on board. It is something to test and work with.
Runners...on long runs what do you do for hydration? Straight up water? Water cut with gatorade? Or electrolyte drink?
Did some Jillian when I got home and some great yoga that really helped my legs feel stretched. In a bit, a swim, and on with the day :).
Hope everyone is having a great weekend :).
Saturday, July 02, 2011
I start with the amazing what your frame of mind can do.
Yesterday, I did not get up and exercise. I slept. Then got busy with some house stuff and then it was hot. I had it in mind, all day, that I had to do my Jillian Michaels workout and for some reason just DID NOT WANT to do it. I kept thinking "I have to", but didn't and didn't want to. Finally something came up where I actually looked at my schedule and lo and behold...Jillian was not scheduled until today!!! DUH!! What was I putting myself through for nothing? Friday was cardio/yoga. I was so happy to see that and new that I would make my pool workout the cardio and if the yoga didn't happen well then...it was "extra" anyways-lol!!
I was so happy that I didn't have to do Jillian that I worked EXTRA hard in the pool. Making sure my heart rate was up and that it stayed there. If a child needed something and I had to pause the swimming I was running or jumping or something. I watched the clock on the wall near the pool and timed it at 40 solid minutes, taking time out for childrens' needs. I was totally happy with the 40 minutes and since hubs was home late from work I didn't even miss that I didn't fit in the yoga.
Today was the Anza Days 5K. Anza is a SMALL town up in the hills, not too far from our town. It took just under an hour to get there and part of that was trying to find the school where it was being held-lol!! Once we got there it was clear that this was a SMALL race!! Very small, probably the smallest I've ever done. Rough guess, between 50 and 75 people, and certainly under 100. We had just enough time to check in, get our bib #s, visit the potty (which was a real restroom located on the school grounds (yay for real bathrooms-lol), and take our race shirts back to the car. The race started on the football field's touchdown line (that was kind of a fun touch). Through the stadium and out a fence and on to a street before we went off road!!! OFF ROAD!! I was expecting a bit of off road running, but thought it would be a lot less. The majority of the race was in the dirt.
It took some getting used to, especially since the dirt here can be very sandy and we had a lot of that. Running in very loose, sandy dirt is quite a bit different from running on city streets. A bit more different that I thought, but I really enjoyed it. Particularly once I got better and judging where the harder packed soil was.
This must be a real part of cross country running-being able to find where the path is best for running and being able to avoid areas that would slow you down. I am feeling the challenge in my glutes now that the race has been over for a bit-lol!! I made a pretty good pace (for me) and thought I was doing fairly well. There was a really nice down hill section that allowed me to pick up some speed a little. This section was also through some really pretty fields of wildflowers. The scenery was gorgeous and a real plus to the race. Gorgeous small purple flower, mixed with small sunflowers (probably actually a variety of daisy) and green sage. I kept thinking that I would never put those colors together, but thank goodness God knows better than I what to colors to put together :).
Unfortunately what goes down must go back up-lol!! It wasn't long before we started the climb back up....it was long and gradual though and I thought the hills were very manageable despite the fact that I walked most of the uphill distance. Not sad over that. It was a tactical decision and I was able to power up the hills walking and not be too bushed at the top to keep going. By the time the climb was over I was gaining on a girl that had been ahead of me from the beginning and had maintained her lead for most of the race. The uphill had taken an obvious toll on her and she was slowing down. I recognized the look of "this is harder than I thought it would be. When will I be done." I recognized it even from behind-lol!! As I passed I asked "doing okay? Hanging in there?" She gave an answer I don't remember, but was very much along the lines of something I would say. I gave her some encouragement as I passed. At this point we were finally back on paved roads and in the 3/4 of a mile. There was another slight downhill and my tactic of walking the uphill left me with enough energy to run that last part to the turn back to the school where there was another hill I walked until reaching the entrance to the field. Here I started to run again and it was my first time running on a regular track. I likeeeeee :). It was FUN running in a lane down a nice, soft, springy track :). Kristen (4everadonegirl and my sister for those who missed that fact up until now-lol) was already there cheering me on and gave me a point to really push to the end and I did. I surged forward and finished in right around 53 minutes according to my phone. 53:18 to be exact, but it took me a couple seconds to turn it off.
I am totally happy with that time...an average pace of 17:01. For an unknown, hilly and sandy course I am ECSTATIC!! My mom came in shortly after that and then the lady I passed and encouraged. We all cheered her through the line.
It was a great race and I had a blast.
Now, it is another hot, hot day and I still have Jillian staring me down-lol!! I'll do it though :)!! I promise :). I'm rethinking the idea of doing Jillian after running. I'll give it another week to see how it goes, I can't really judge the effect on the day after a race.
Swimming later for fun :) and then Jillian :).
My July race is done and next up August :). Pretty much decided that I'm taking my backpack for even short distances. I LOVE my hydration and most races don't offer enough water. Tried my NUUN tablets for the first time and really like them. I'll be buying more of those too.
Okay, so hubs just came home from errands and brought me a Kindle for my birthday!!! Big turkey...okay, guess I have to forgive him now (wanted a NOOK, but close enough-lol)!!!
On with my Saturday...if I can get away from my Kindle I'll read some blogs tonight-lol!!
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