Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Goals/Resolutions for 2015

Been thinking long and hard about what my goals are for this coming year both running and in personal life.  Is it odd to say that I am pretty content in the direction that I am going?  No real big changes?
No this isn't from a meal we planned.  This is from our anniversary out but it is the only food picture I have on my phone:)
I like the fact that we are meal planning.  We have been for a few weeks now and I like controlling what we are eating.  We are cutting down on cost and on fatty fried foods.  We are getting one if not two veggies on our plate every night.  While it still isn't the healthiest of cooking, it is a huge step in the right direction and what our budget can handle right now.  I know the saying, the cost you save in the long run with healthy eating is worth the up front cost but I am pretty sure that was said by someone with a huge disposable budget.  I want to continue this trend and to continue to try new things and new recipes.

I like where I am going with running. I am for sure doing the Heartland series again and then more likely than not doing the Wicked, which is before that.  There is talk of a half in manhattan a few weeks after Running with the Cows (last race of the heartland series) and it is tempting.  Will definitely be a late call for sure.  I did four halfs last year and felt great but with this injury, I need to be careful, especially if I want to do a fall marathon, which I do.  I am adjusting to running for time versus mileage and am actually still hitting the mileage I would have been shooting for.  I am still doing some runs with walking breaks and I don't mind them at all.   We are just now starting to incorporate speed work back in and while I haven't actually missed it, I know I need it to get faster.  My time goals this year are a 2:05 for one of my halfs (to be determined) and to whittle away at my 5 K time (would like to be closer to 27 flat) and my 10 K time (would like to shoot for under 59 for the Brew to Shoe and under an hour for Speedy PD).  I am still not sure which fall marathon to do.  I am going to probably enter the lottery for Chicago and the Marine Corps Marathon and possibly New York.
I DO have to make sure I stay on top of my bio mechanics, so I don't re injure myself.  That includes everyday PT exercises along with some one on one time with Doug, the master of pain.  That also includes listening to my body and taking rest days when needed rather than pushing through the pain.  This injury has taught me so much and above all else, your body remembers, so don't freak out if you need to take some time off to heal.  While I did get on the bike and in the water fairly quickly after my diagnosis, I feel like I lost little to no fitness.  I also have been stressed the importance of warming up and cooling down.  SO many times I just head out because I am pressed for time.  Now I do a 5 minute brisk walk warm up and I am amazed at how easy it is to start my run from this warm up walk.  My body feels ready for running and my breath seems so much easier.  I don't feel like that normal fight I have with my body the first quarter to half a mile is there anymore.

I DO need to keep up my cross training.  One of the reasons I loved moving to 5 days a week running was to eliminate one cross training day (yeah I am naughty like that).  I have been really bad the past couple of weeks about not getting into the pool.  I need to make at least one day a week a pool day.  I like having it on monday as it works best with my work schedule.  Then I NEED to pick one more day and do SOMETHING else.  How many articles have a i read about cross training and its importance, yet I still skip it?  I have NO excuses.  I have a treadmill, a bike and trainer, a gym membership, and now a portable DVD player that I can pop my Barre DVD in and do upstairs.  Of anything I would like to change it is this.  DO MORE CROSS TRAINING and STICK WITH IT!

As far as family life goes, i am very happy.  My blogging is mainly done at work between experiments so that does not interfere.  I would like to get back to dog training and showing, but not until our finances settle down.  I thought we had everything under control, and we do but we keep having little blips that derail us slightly.  Like the fact that my brother in law's car exploded and he needed to use one of our vehicles to get to work and keep his job.  Like my hubby's weird eye infection that lasted for months and required twice a week visits to the  eye doctor's office and a second opinion with a specialist.  The good news is, Deuce's allergies seem pretty much under control now,  but we still are having to keep him on a limited ingredient diet, which is a bit costly.  He is my baby and I want him to be comfortable, so whatever it takes is what we will do.  I have really enjoyed having both him and stella on my runs and hope to continue bringing both when the mileage and speed is comfortable for deuce.

If I have to make resolutions, there would be three.  Number one, more cross training.  Number two, I would like for all of us to unplug more.  I am addicted to my phone, yes I admit it, and carry it everywhere I go.  My hubby has gotten into Clash of clans so now his phone or ipad is always nearby or in his hand.  I really don't want to teach andrew that this is how life is,  always plugged in, always in the know and always with a screen in your face.  That will probably be my most important resolution this year, to have phone/computer free time in the house so that our son doesn't start acting the very way we do with technology.  Number three would be to re connect with my dog friends.  It isn't that I have lost them, but I sure am not doing a good job in keeping touch with them since I am not showing.  I need to make more of an effort to pick up the phone and call rather than just liking FB posts or commenting on pictures.  I really, really miss them and the fun we use to have.  I would like to think we can stay connected, even if I don't show very much, as I am still a dog lover and a big fan of the sport of dog agility.

So there you have it, my goals and resolutions for the new year.  I am going to participate in the I Run This Year campaign for 2015 and I am going to make my goal 1000 miles again, even though I was short this year.  I really feel like if I hadn't been injured that I would have met my goal.  One whole month of no running really didn't help.  Happy New year everyone!!!!  Here is to a kick ass 2015!

Monday, December 29, 2014

A long run and parenting fail

I finally had my first long run this week.  Well, long as in an hour, but technically not  a long run since most runners consider an hour and a half a long run.  You have to start somewhere though, right?  Anyway, my BRF could go with and that made everything better.  We had a 5 minute warm up after our lunges, and then 30 minutes of non stop running.  We settled in at a nice pace and talked as we usually do.  My stomach started talking to me around mile 3, so we had to make a quick pit stop, and then headed out again.  The second part of our thirty minutes was divided into walk/run segments.  After running for 30 minutes, then walking for 2, our legs did not want to get going again, so that first 8 minute segment post 2 minute walk was tough.  Add to that a head wind of about 10 mph and we both got zapped.  You can always tell when either of us is struggling because we cease talking.  Well, it was deadly silent for a while.  Then it was like our bodies adjusted and the rest was fine.  Ended up doing a little over 6 miles with the warm up and cool down walk.
It was a perfect day for a long run, even with the wind.  I miss my BRF and getting almost a full hour together was like magic and therapy all rolled into one.  When she is with me, we can accomplish so much.  I hope that even though she isn't doing a marathon with me this fall, that she can hop in on some of my long runs and keep me going.   

After our run, I felt my normal post long run tired and hungry, but little to no soreness during the run.  The family had headed out for a last breakfast before leaving for Tennessee, so I was on my own.  I was a little sore in the problem area of my leg but I iced it and it responded well.  My BRF had noted that my running is more straight now, with regards to my legs, which is a win in my books.   When we were struggling and the wind was hitting  us full force coming up a hill, I do know that my mind went from keeping my legs straight to just get up this hill in one piece.  The good news is I am sore on both legs now in that same general area, so I must be doing something right.  

Post long run, we had a birthday party to attend.  I was a bit nervous because little red is WAY off of his schedule.  He had been out of daycare for 5 days at that point, and he was not napping or eating well.  He had gotten solid sleep the night before but I really, really wanted him to nap pre-birthday party.  I was also worried about the fact that all of the presents from the past few days had been his and his alone, and even if they weren't, he was usually allowed to help with the opening.  It was a train themed party, so I knew he would have fun if we could explain to him that all the presents belonged to someone else.  
All of the decorations were train themed.  He was intrigued by it all, even the napkins.  
They were given their party favors when they walked in the door, so he immediately had to open his and check out the cool train whistle and conductors hat.  Even the drink boxes were trains!
The opening of the presents started with him in our lap watching.  Many of the other kids were down in the floor helping the little one open his presents.  After watching several be open, Andrew wanted to go down and help.  I figured since the other ones were helping, that he could as well, and I would sit down nearer to the fun, just in case.  He was fine till the Thomas stuff started getting opened.  Then he went into a little bit of Thomas envy.  The hostess was so nice and let andrew open one of the Thomas packages, and play with one of the trains.  He made it through the rest of the presents fine, only asking a few more times to open some of the other Thomas stuff.  He always responded postively when the hostess told him no, that they were not opening all of the boxes.  
It wasn't until we had to leave that the fail began.  We had brought some of his Thomas trains, just in case he needed to swap little e's toys for his own.  We tried that, but as we were walking out the door, andrew decided that all of the Thomas stuff was his and he wasn't leaving it.  We had to take him out kicking and screaming.  At that point, we should have just gone home.  My gut told me that he was over stimulated and that he just needed to head home and decompress.  What did we do instead?  Go to the mall.  BIG parenting fail.  He had a melt down almost every where we went.  They had a bounce house room that you can pay a fee to let them bounce in for as long as they want.  We mistakenly thought that maybe if he burned off some steam that he would stop with the meltdowns.  Again, we should have just gone home but we are new to this so we are learning.  
While he did have fun and did burn off major steam, he decided that this car was HIS, and no one else should play with it. Notice this is in like an infant area and there were smaller kids there playing.  When he shoved a smaller child in the infant area because she wanted to ride in HIS car, we left.  We left with a kicking screaming totally over stimulated 2 year old.  I am sure the denizens of the mall thought we were torturing our poor little cherub, but we were not going to let that behavior go (even though we had let the other behavior slide, major parenting fail I know).  We now know that the best idea is to just go home, no matter what errands we needed to run.  I am very proud of how he handled the birthday party and presents themselves, I am not proud however of our desire to stay in town and thus potentially rewarding any bad behaviors.  I am hoping that this long term memory still isn't the greatest and that he doesn't associate the behaviors with the rewards he got, since there was some time between the behavior and the reward.  

I still feel insanely guilty about potentially screwing up as a parent.  I am still new to this and still learning.  I had a long talk post getting home with my BRF who is a school counselor.  We came up with some alternative strategies for the next time.  I am still back and forth on discipline strategies.  I tend to fall on how I train my dogs, ignore the bad behavior, reward the good behavior.  I am learning that that could be a ton of rewarding and I need to choose my rewards carefully. Currently we reward pottying with tic tacs or other high value candy and we are moving that towards stickers.  We also tend to reward good behavior when we eat out or go grocery shopping with little 5 dollar or less toys (usually trains or cars) but is this setting us up for a child that expects too much?  I do feel like in some areas we are ready to move towards a more random rate of reward yet in others we are not.  I just don't want to create a child that has the entitled mentality.  To be continued.....  


Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas 2014 Part two

Whew, part one done, on to part two!  Christmas morning dawned with some certain little red head not wanting to get up.
Santa had brought an awesome train table complete with all of the cool track and stuff.  Let's just say that Andrew played 13 hours straight with minimal eating and NO napping.
I want to say a HUGE THANK YOU to my mom, er Santa for finding this steal of deal in TN and for carting it out to Kansas and for Uncle Cayce for letting us store it in his storage shed.  
Uncle Cayce's RC car was a huge hit as well.  Little red is learning to drive it but mainly likes to chase the dogs with it.  The dogs were not impressed.
Both Grandmas hit a home run with the clothes they bought him.  He will be fashionable for some time in his batman, thomas, spiderman, spongbob, mickey, and ninja turtle gear!
He takes after me when it comes to picking up and cleaning up.  I will have a bag ready during the opening of the presents.  This year, he did all the cleaning up himself.  Thanks to the preschool for teaching him the pick up/clean up song.  It comes in handy!
Christmas was a huge hit all around. Both Grandmas found the perfect presents and Santa was spot on with the stocking stuffers.  We got some new Lodge cook wear and i got some yaktraxs to try out and a new running skirt for this spring.  The best part of the day and this week has been just being with family.  While I miss my family, it is really really nice to be with Tony's family.  I even have gotten two runs in this week despite the 20 mph southern wind yesterday.  I am looking forward to two more runs this weekend, one of 60 minutes of running and hopefully 6 miles in that 60 minutes:)  I also am ready for some time with my running buddy.  Our schedules haven't meshed the past few weeks so looking forward to some running buddy therapy!  

Merry Christmas to all!!!!!

Christmas 2014 in the books! Part one

Wow, what a whirlwind of a few days! We have been so busy that I haven't even had time to write so this will be a two parter.   Christmas has come and gone and our house is now officially train crazy!
This is our attempt at outdoor decorating.  This was in andrew's christmas program at school and they donated it to us because they knew how much andrew LOVES trains.  Maybe next year we will get a little bit more fancy LOL!
I am still struggling with starting traditions here.  We did get a sugar cookie decorating kit and we made some sugar cookies for everyone complete with chocolate chips and sprinkles, lots and lots and lots of sprinkles.   He also made real homemade sugar cookies with Grandma Mobbs and decorated those as well using raisins, chocolate covered pretzels and other fancy decorations.  Grandma M for the win:)

We spend Christmas with Grandma Mobbs and Mr.  Tommy (grandma's boyfriend) here in Kansas.  Andrew loves having his Grandma here and I love having a little bit of break from chasing a crazy 2 year old and some of the house hold chores like dishes:)  I had planned on working all week including Christmas Eve but we had a slow down at work so didn't have to work as much as I had thought I would.  That is fine, I have gotten to spend tons of time with Tony's family.  
Manhattan has the largest assembled tree in Kansas complete with lights and music.  We are going to see it at night hopefully before they take it down but we got to see some of it during the day.
Someone was a bad mom and forgot to bring his gloves so he got to wear mine.  Bad mom.  
They even had a letter box for santa.  Maybe next year we will write a letter:).  We never got the whole family to the three so maybe tonight.  We haven't officially cooked our christmas dinner yet.  Mr.  Tommy cooked prime rib and all of the fixings on christmas eve and we were still stuffed christmas day.  Okay, time for part 2, Christmas day!

Friday, December 19, 2014

A little bit of christmas and snow!

I got super lucky.  The fever stayed around for four days and I only missed one day of work total (worked one day with a sick worker, don't come in sign on my door).  Unfortunately, my hubby is now sick, but with totally different symptoms, so I don't think i was the culprit.  I have been taking a class a few days now over essential oils.  I bought a kit this summer, but then just kind of got lost and couldn't figure out how to use them.  I get really caught up in how much and how often, so I was kind of worried about using them and just didn't.  The class has really brought a ton to light, and I am forming a strategy on how to use them in our every day life.  I HATE using drugs for anything so EOs really fit into my life so well.  I have been utilizing alternative medicines for years on my dogs so it is time to use them for my family as well.  We will be a sickness free household this winter!!!!
I am really glad this little guy hasn't gotten sick too.  He has had a very busy week at daycare including his first performance. He was really thrilled about the whole thing.
But he did go up there and stay up there.  
I think the lights and crowd kind of freaked him out.  He never did a have a full out meltdown but we got some pretty funny shots of his facial expressions.  One of the kiddos didn't even go up to the stage and one cried I want my mommy pretty much the whole time, so it wasn't just him.  
After watching the other classes do their thing, all of the classes went back up to do a final song together.  He went back up willingly and although he didn't sing, I think he got over his stage fright.  
We also got a snow day this week.  We had about 3 inches dumped on us and I think both cities really didn't get after the roads very aggressively.  Now that andrew is in daycare at a school, they close when the schools close, so I had to stay home.  Use to I just stayed home because I was a huge winter weather driving wuss.  Now I have a valid excuse:)
We made edible snow men.  Yes, that is my one and only attempt at being a Pintrest mom.
I also got to hop on my very unused and dusty dreadmill.  I figured while Andrew was sleeping that I would get it out of the way.  I would MUCH prefer to get outside.  This was my second run of the week.  Just a few more weeks of unstructured running and then Coach Jenny and I are starting up the real training.  My leg seems to be cooperating well and I am getting about 12-15 miles a week.  I am looking forward to training again!
Then this happened today.  Why in the heck does he like this santa over the other one we saw at the union hall?  Who knows.  They work miracles at the preschool for sure.  The report I got was no tears at all and he willingly sat in his lap.  Go figure.  
Well, looking forward to some weekend running.  Stella was pretty mad that I ran on the treadmill versus us going outside.  This is her HOW DARE YOU face.  Hopefully will get some snow pictures if it sticks around.  It was a very pretty snow, very wet and clingy and perfect for snow men making!  

Sunday, December 14, 2014


Not fair.  We have had the PERFECT weather for running during winter and I am stuck in bed.  This is day 4 already of fever with no other symptoms.  I have no clue why my immune system hates me so.  I am very glad though that no one else in the house has come down with this.  I hope that this stays this way.  Andrew's first christmas program is monday and I don't want him to miss it.
What I am missing is the hunt for the Jingle Bell Rock.  The boys hunted all this week and have been out on the trails all weekend.  This little guy was so worn out that he went down at 5:30 and stayed out till 7 am this morning.

 They had so much fun hiking yesterday.  I can't believe how beautiful the weather has been for december.
Well, back to bed for me.  The fever comes and goes but comes when I do to much.  It's hard for me to do nothing for too long but any time I try and do too much I pay of it.  Have a great week!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Year in Review 2014

 I am having one of those days.  You know, one of those days were you just feel sorry for yourself for no real reason.  I am sure it is all hormonal and I can't wait to get off of work and go for a run to try and get rid of these feelings.  Running just makes everything feel better and I am so blessed and lucky that this injury was not serious enough to keep me from getting back at it.  I am still trying to take it easy and listen to my body.  Right now my body is saying, OUCH PT was tough last night.  He continues to push me and heal me and I love/hate every painful minute of it.  In running, I am now transitioning over to the timed method that Coach Jenny likes to use and I have to say, I am really liking it.  Something about knowing you only have two minutes or 5 minutes left versus half a mile makes it easy to push yourself.  I have been letting my body dictate pace during the runs to whatever is comfortable, and I am seeing the return of my comfortable pace (low 10s, high 9s) again already.  Thank you pool jogging!  I am also trying to get to the pool twice a week to continue my pool jogging.  Most days, I just try and keep up with my old men who jog quite fast. I count it as an hour pace run:)  I did get a few sprint intervals in the other day before they caught up with me and started asking me about stem cells.  They always have the best topics for conversations.
So I noticed all of my favorite blogs are already looking back at their year in running.  Instead of focusing on what I didn't get done (going to be short on my yearly goal of 1000 miles, boo), I am excited to look back on what I did do.  It was an EPIC year in running for me!!!!  I went from running a handful of 5 Ks and a couple of 10 Ks and one Half to running FOUR halfs in the spring, several 5 ks including a couple of 5 Ks with stella, and a 25 K trail race on a killer course.  All races were PRs for me and my training cycles were spot on.  Yes, I got injured but that was a function of biomechanics that caught up with me finally.  Here is my 2014 in Review!
I did the Heartland Series, which is a series of three half marathons, each a few weeks apart from the other.  The series offers different prizes for each year you complete the series so I am trying to complete all three years for the super cool jacket.  The three halfs consist of Rock the Parkway,  Garmin, and Running with the Cows.  I have re caps on my old blog so check out the links to read about them.  I also did the famed Hospital Hill half a few weeks afterwards.  My 10 Ks included The Speedy PD and Brew to Shoe and my 25 K trail run was Konquer the Konza.  I have officially fallen in love with the half marathon distance for sure.

Best Race Experience:
Without a doubt, Running with the Cows.  If you don't want to do the whole series, pick this race.  From the FB page updates they did every so many days, to the videos they posted, the volunteers on course, the awesome pacers, and the post race spread, this race was the BEST half I have ever run.  The course was hilly but managable, the scenery was amazing, and the aid stations were the best I have ever seen.  Plus, bonus, I met a girl in my pace group that was running just my pace perfectly and we hung out pretty much the whole race.  She pushed me when I wanted to let up and I pushed her through some rough spots as well.  We both had a nice PR and hung together post race and enjoyed many pictures.  While we haven't gotten to run another race together yet, I still will never forget her or that race.

Best Run:  In a race, it had to be Running with the Cows.  The weather was perfect, the stars aligned and the pacer was the best ever.  I have my half PR on that course and can't wait to do it again next year and try for an even better PR.

Worst Run:  Not sure if this was on the original list and I do try to forgot but hands down the Hospital Hill run.  Not only had I had some mystery fever a few days before so I was not 100% but it rained the entire 13.1 miles.  Yes, I wore a garbage bag the entire race to protect my phone.  I knew going in it would be a tough course and I don't mind hills, but hills plus driving rain = no fun.  I will take rain though over soaring high temps and humidity any day though.  The garmin half was a close second due to the thunderstorm we had from about mile 8 on.  I was on pace to get a 2:10 for sure and we had a horrible thunderstorm that flooded the streets we were running on making running a little tricky.  Add hail and some close lightening strikes and you get the gist.

Best new piece of gear:  The garbage bag.  Just kidding:)  My hydration pack that I got for my 25 K trail run is probably my favorite.  Not only do I use it on the trails, but when it is super hot, I use it to carry water for stella  and I.
I love the fact that it does not chafe our bounce once I got it adjusted well enough.  The water bottles are the perfect size and you can add a bladder in the back if you need more.  I also love the front pockets for storage of gels and stuff.   Visit Ultimate Direction if you are looking for the best hydration vest out there built by women for women!

Best Piece of Running Advice:  Do NOT run through an injury.  I did for a while but I finally listened to my body and I am sure glad I did.  I could have stress fractured my leg had I not stopped.  As a runner, you know your normal aches and pains.  This was more than normal and I listened and got checked out.  While I did miss almost a month of no running, I got to ease back in the second month of recovery with some walking and running (better than nothing for sure) and I got to try out some new cross training exercises (pool jogging rocks).

Most inspirational runner:  My mom of course!
I got her these socks last year for christmas and she proves the saying right.  Not only is she in Barre class 2 to 3 times a week but she manages to walk/run almost 4 miles every day!  Not bad for a 66 year old that smoked most of her life.  

So there you have it, my year in review!  While the year didn't end quite like I wanted it to, i should be healthy and ready to go for my next training cycle in January.  Right now I am for sure doing the Heartland Series again, most likely doing the Wicked Half in my hometown of wamego, and pondering a full in the fall!

Have a great week!