Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year 2011

Welcome to the New Year! What a fantastic opportunity we have to start new. I know it sounds cliche - but making resolutions isn't all that bad. The key is to start slowly or just build on what you've already started the year before. Don't take on to much!

One of my main goals for this year is to limit my sugar intake. It seems simple, but it's a slippery slope for me. Taking a closer look, I can see that even my protein bars have a second ingredient of "evaporated cane juice." Sneaky. I don't do sugar substitutes (one of last years goals), so I need to really think about when my body actually needs sugar.

I've read that for the first hour after a hard workout, eating or drinking something with carbohydrates (sugar), to replenish glycogen in the muscles and protein to help build it back will speed recovery. Some choose chocolate milk (skim), some count on recovery drinks. I prefer 1 cup of skim milk with 1 tablespoon of honey. Good, simple, food for recovery.

Posture is another thing on my list of 2011 improvements. I tend to sit with my shoulders hunched forward, and still stand like a pregnant girl with my back arched. I've worked hard this last year on controlling chronic pain in my lower back - I really think focusing on my posture will help.

One more simple thing (all in my head, really) that I'm working on this year is acting and visualizing myself as I would like to be. Last year was great! I lost 40lbs and started running again. But somehow I keep seeing myself as an overweight couch potato. I still have 30lbs to loose - but with a 6 day a week workout schedule - I am far from a couch potato. I need to start associating myself with athletes. Instead of chatting about binge eating on the 3FatChicks forums, I'm headed over to DailyMile and RunKeeper to talk about speed work and PR's.

I'm hoping that these changes in my attitude with help me reach my goal weight this year. I also decided to stop weighing myself every day. In essence, I'm going to try to Diet Like a Man.


I think a change of attitude will go a long way towards helping me reach my goals.

1. Run Lincoln Half Marathon sub 2:30 on 5/1/11
2. Complete another round of P90X to cut 5% body fat.
3. Learn to swim effectively with rotary breathing.

Yeah - that should take me most of the year. Hopefully, in all of that, I will shed this last 30lbs to boot. But weight isn't going to be a major part of my goals. I'm currently obsessed with what Sr. Scale says - and everybody knows he's a dirty, rotten pendejo anyway. Change will do me good.

One more video because it's a new year.



Happy New Year!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

What WAS That Blur?

I believe that blur that just went by was the last 2 weeks of my life!

My sister had surgery the 14th and I was blessed to be able to be there with her. My husband stayed home with our 4 children and our "5th child" - my little daycare sweetie. I was able to go early and stay late and be there for her. She did fantastic and is now on her way to a beautiful recovery.

Christmas was wonderful - all except for my being violently ill. I went to bed Christmas eve feeling a little queasy, but Lasagna and French Silk pie is pretty rich... You guessed it, I was up twice in the night getting sick and was so ill Christmas Day that my family went to the celebration without me. :( My Mommy called me in the afternoon so everyone could wish me a Merry Christmas. I was so sick, I slept ALL day that day. Ate a half a banana a couple of time so I could take some Tylenol, but that was it.

By Sunday I was up and around, but not eating. I made supper but couldn't eat it. Monday I was better but suffered something of a relapse on Tuesday...which just happened to be my Birthday. LOL I tell ya, that's just the way it goes!

Yesterday we all went to the outdoor sporting goods store to putter around. Our 19mo old pooped through his pants and we realized to late that there wasn't a change of clothes in the diaper bag. I had a pantless toddler cracking grins in the store till we could find some appropriately priced and sized replacements. One pair of size 18mo pajamas in the joint - they were $6.99 - but would it have mattered? After one store clerk asking me if every thing was okay, I likely would have given most any price to cover those sweet little legs.

One of my Besties Ever took me out to eat last night to celebrate the big 3-5. She got me two wonderful gifts (one of which was a LOCK for my bathroom door! It's a bi-fold, long story, another day). We chatted and ate and chatted some more. Afterward we went to the drugstore so I could replace my special *only-one-that-will-do-it-right* hairbrush. I hid it from my girls...and then couldn't find it myself. DOH! Stumbled upon an ity-bity flat iron for my hair that was on sale. Yay.

On the fitness front, I ran 5 miles on Tuesday and did fairly well. My left knee is continuing to be a pain (har har) but with the brace and some R.I.C.E afterward we came out okay. I can't put my finger on what's going on with it. It's not IT Band like I had in my right one - and with a 10min warm up and stretching routine I should be golden. Just getting old, I guess.

I signed up for a pod-cast type of class through www.runkeeper.com to attain a sub 2:30 Half Marathon time. It has a run/walk interval program that I'm not in love with. I find it hard to run again after the walking breaks. I'm going to try it - and see if I can buy some more time with these joints. I love running and don't want to switch sports...but my body constantly tells me it hates me when I run over about 45 minutes at a time.

Getting ready for the big storm tonight. Currently, it is 59 degrees here in good old Lincoln NE. I don't know that I've ever seen it this warm on December 30th. Last year we had 2 feet of snow and it was -10. Guess I better get the kids outside one last time today before we have to settle in. Though it is windier than heck...we'll see.

I hope our oldest son is safe and having fun. He's on a trip with the Student Ministry at our church. They went to a conference in Topeka, KS. I miss him, but his 8yo sister is so much easier when he's not around to be Mr. Exact Fact Man.

Well, that's the latest blur. Long post - will save New Years REVOLUTIONS for next time.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Rolls for My Rolls

I haven't done one bit of baking for the Christmas Season. I know me...and I could easily gain weight during this time of year IF the goods are available. I have zero ability to resist and can justify or ignore just about any indulgence.

We finished up school for the calendar year, yesterday. Essentially, we have two days of "flux" until the official shin-dig on Christmas day. I'm down to one daycare sweetie this time of year, and his Mom has tomorrow off. So I figured that today would be a great day to do some...

BAKING!!

Think I'll try my hand at some Parker House Rolls - my great grandma was pretty good at those. A few sugar cookies couldn't hurt either. ;o) Everyone can put something in the bowl, and after nap time, we can roll, cut and bake.

And eat.

I have speed work on the schedule for today, hopefully that will burn off the rolls and cookies. I've decided that sugar and simple carbs are the enemy and need to be vanquished from my diet. I'll get right on that, after the new year. Having my long run day be my "free carb" day should make it a little easier to stick with. I hope.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Bum Knee

Had a nice run today with a gal I met online. She lives here in town and we participate together on a social training site called Dailymile. I figured she was safe...we've communicated via FaceBook as well.

We set out to do 5 miles and boy did time fly! We were both a little surprised when we reached the turn around and headed back. I was telling her about my knee bothering me a little in my last few runs. Normally it resolves pretty quick afterward so I hadn't thought much about it - just the cobwebs blowing out from 60 days of P90X and very little running.

Well, today it didn't just hurt, it HURT. We got to mile 4 and I had to stop and walk. We did really well on those 4 miles - having a friend to chat it up with was nice (even if I did max out my heart rate for a mile or so, oops.) By the time I drove back home, it had tightened up so much that it was hard to get up to the house.

Ice, Ibuprofen, rest, elevation...I'll wear a brace on Thursday for my speed workout. Again. This knee. Next time, the other knee. Maybe my back. My right ankle has been a PIA lately too. *eyeroll*

I am fully open to the possibility that I am NOT going to be able to run longer distances. Through years of being overweight, smoking and substance use I have damaged my bones and joints. I have leached out the calcium and tried to damage the cartilage. It's no wonder that when, five or six years ago, when I decided to start exercising my body said "Huh!?"

I know that there is a sport out there for me. I really enjoy running, but the reasons that I do are ones that could apply to any fitness endeavor. I like the time alone, the sense of accomplishment, the idea of pushing myself to do more. Could I apply this to biking, swimming or weight training? Absolutely.

So, no worries. Above all, I will not feel bad. I may be down, but I will definitely get back up.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Crossroads

I've been sitting here stalling. I need to write this blog but I don't want to out myself. Somehow when you say something it then becomes real.

I've tried several first lines, fiddled around with some titles, and tried to lighten it up. I can't decide what to think, so it's hard to write it down.

I love our children. I want more. I tell myself and everyone else that I don't. I lie to myself and say things like - "I'm getting to old" or "we can't afford it." I try to remind myself about how terrible my last pregnancy and birth was, but underneath it all I wouldn't mind having another one.

I don't know if I would survive another year of sleep deprivation, another year of nursing, another year of recovery. We already have social issues arising from our plethora of pre-schoolers and hubby and I haven't been on a date since April. It's hard to go anywhere, and with the age spread, harder still to find something that everyone will be excited about.

Up until a month ago, whenever anyone would ask, I would say NO and laugh out loud about having any more kids. What changed? Is it a phase? Am I finally getting close to some of my fitness goals and want an excuse to stop working so hard? Is it the fact that our youngest is nearer to 2 years old that I'd like?

Whatever the reason is - I have babyitis. My logical mind knows that my personal 5 year plan has nothing to do with another baby. My head tells me all of the things that we are going to be doing in 2011 (running, learning to swim, more weight lifting) likely wouldn't happen. But every time I see a baby lately, my heart starts to whine.

I will turn 35 next Tuesday. Hubby and I used our massive brains to decide that we should be all done having babies by then. I feel a little sad. It feels like the passing of an era. I'm happy to mother the 4 children that we do have. Our oldest son is 12 and is starting to question the world. It's time to concentrate on the aspects of older children and leave the babies to the 20-Somethings.

Right?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Running Down a Dream

I was on the treadmill this afternoon, doing the ultimate boring task of running 4 miles while standing still, when my sister text me that she was thinking of me via this song.


I thought it somewhat poetic that I was indeed, quite literally, running down a dream! Although I am not a fast runner, I want to be! I practice, I take advice. I am working very hard on my body fat percentage reduction (okay, not AS hard during the month of December). I think about how slow I am and it makes me want to quit sometimes.

But the fact is, I ran 4 miles today. I RAN 4 MILES TODAY. I may have run them slower than most people, but I did it and that's all that matters to me!

Dreams are funny things. So relative, so individual to station and experience. Someone may dream of just having enough to eat, while I dream of running as sub 2:30 half marathon. Some may dream of going to college, some of meeting a super star. Some dreams may take focus, hard work, and much time. Others may be reliant on happenstance.

Whatever it is, you have to have dreams. I know, I know, it sounds cliche. But it's true! Even if your dream is just to pay off the MasterCard by the end of the year, that's great! Setting little goals to reach the big deal is important. Get to it and figure out what it is you want. Set a couple of little milestones along the way and before you know it, you will have at least done SOMETHING - even if you didn't make it all the way.


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Back Pain Again

Another beautiful Sunday in Nebraska! A bright and sunny 7 degrees with a northerly wind at 20mph. Ahhh...just gorgeous. :)

After another owey back pain night of sleep, the Little's woke up at 6:10am. On the bright side, they were both cheerful and ready to play. Just...awake...REALLY early. We watched a couple of episodes of Avatar: The Last Airbender on Netflix, had a little cup of juice and waited for it to be time to get ready for church.

Really irritated about my back. Yet another injury exasperated by my efforts to live longer. I had a slight twinge between my shoulder blades yesterday. You know, where you slept wrong and find it hard to turn your head? Yah. Well after a series of shoulder presses and biceps curls, followed by a 2 mile interval run, I could hardly lift my right arm! I took a bunch of Vitamin "I" and rolled out the muscles on the foam roller. I actually got my neck to pop and got a little relief.

At least it wasn't hard to sit at church today. So long as I keep my head up and try to relax, it seems to be getting better. I would take upper back pain in place of lower back pain any day. Okay, maybe not. I dunno... All I know is that I am SICK to death of back pain!! I was trying to figure out WHY my back is so darn sensitive. I exercise, I eat right...is it really heredity? Age? I once did a few side reaches during a workout, felt a twinge, and by the time I went to bed I had to crawl there!

I will just keep doing my strengthening exercises and hope for the best! I know that if I stop everything just stiffens up, then I'm in real trouble.

Onward!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Difficult Chicken

Happy Friday!!

We go grocery shopping on Fridays 'round here. My dear sweet husband goes with me to help me manage kids and haul and put away. Most times he's the 100% hauler and put-er away-er.

In our continuing efforts to eat the best fuel for our bodies, we had left behind the warehouse type grocery store in favor for one that carries more organic produce and specialty items in the Health Market. In the last few months, our Friday expenditure has been creeping up on $200 - and I don't normally buy any meat. This is not including our mid-week run for milk, eggs, and fruit!

I've been consistently stubborn on the organic/free range/all natural food choices. Sometimes when hubby picks up provisions, he will deviate because it is SO much cheaper. It bothered me just a little. Sort of felt like my efforts were being undermined. Though, really, you can't over think things. The more likely motivation is a) cost, or b) it was most readily available. No malice, just convenience.

Last week, I got a distinct nudge (okay, a shove) about how to cut our expenditures. I felt convicted that my unwillingness to shop anywhere else, was causing undo suffering in our budget. I hate sacrificing organics, but to be quite honest, we just can't afford most of them. Back to the Warehouse Store we go.

The bill came to $160 tonight, and I think we actually got a larger variety of fresh fruits and veggies. I was buying a LOT of frozen veggies due to the shocking price tags at the other store. We are even blessed with 3 different types of meat to eat this week due to some super sale prices. Though - I can't hardly stand buying factory farmed chicken. *shudder*

I did buy organic bananas, free range eggs, and milk from a local dairy. There were a couple of things that we couldn't find (the tortillas we like, the yogurt I eat, the bars hubby takes in his lunch). Overall, I feel okay about it - and I feel like we are being better stewards of our gifted income.

Now comes the part where I trust that we aren't sacrificing good health. When the Lord nudges me, I need to believe that it will work to the good.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Time for Introspection

You know how a woman's brain is like spaghetti? We think of one thing and it leads to the next and the next and the next? Well, today, a friends FaceBook status lead me to a song by Tesla.

Now, that got me thinking about this lady I used to live downstairs from in Florida who absolutely LOVED Tesla. She was groovy and taught me how to make a mean Shepherd's Pie. She had a knack for keeping plants and really had some beautiful specimens. She was very tan, had a boxer dog named Tyson, and liked wine coolers.

That's all the good I can drum up from this era 10 years ago. I absolutely hated when she would blast Tesla "Love Song" from her apartment. Love? I had a beautiful 2 year old that was my only living example. No relationship with God, drank to much, worked two jobs, had a boyfriend who was in constant trouble. Our relationship was volatile at best.

And I was thousands of miles away from home.

It's amazing how a song can transport you back in time. Oh, my heart just aches when I think about how horribly alone I felt. No family, no friends, so much burden on my mind. No answers about how life should be, no direction, just surviving day to day. I remember spending time staring through things, just deeply sorrowed and confused. I didn't know what to do. I thought of death. My young son kept me alive.

It's like watching my life flash before my eyes when I mentally fast forward through those years. My head spins and my stomach hurts when, finally, my focus comes in on the here and now. I cry for regret as much as relief. I feel so humbled that despite my mistakes, I have been blessed.

I look around and, as the song goes, Love has found a way. I don't have any more money that I did then, live in a nicer house, or have more clothes to wear. But I am square with everyone I know. I make choices, now, to please a Higher Authority. Ironically, I've ended up being at much better place with my fellow man.

December is always a little hard. My Dad has been gone since 12/10/98. Christmas is awesome but, admittedly, a little stressful in the cash department. Then there's my birthday - you know how that gets you to thinking.

Shed a few tears. Think I will go for a run later, crank some tunes, and cry it the rest of the way out. It sucked, but it's over.

Today is a gift - I'll try not to screw it up. :o)






Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Cold Running

I was so excited to get back in the running groove. I am in the process of formulating my training plan for the next few months. I'm using a hybrid of Hal Higdon's and the calculator on Runners World, adjusting the days to my schedule. Looks like Tuesday will be "long run" day as long as David's days off are Tuesday and Wednesday. Can't decide if I want a "just finish" goal for the Half, or some sort of time goal. Haven't trained for a serious distance for a couple of years.

Yesterday was crisp and calm, with the temp about 30 degrees. I was dressed warm enough, hat, mittens, layered shirts, tights under my shorts. For some reason, I just hated it! Not sure I waited long enough after lunch, could taste that goulash most of the way. My back injury from Friday had just straightened up enough for activity. I only went 2 miles but my body ached all afternoon like I had done the half marathon!

I guess it takes a while to get back in to the groove. As I get older, the groove gets deeper and deeper! Looking forward to my birthday the end of the month and pondering my fitness after 35. What!? No, I mean 25.

Anyway, Thursday we are expecting warmer temps in the upper 40's. I shall try again. My back has been much better today and I've had 2 nights worth of decent sleep - things will get better for sure!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Crazily Beautiful

Life is Beautiful. I will stay with that assertion despite the past week's issues. It's been difficult - children have been fussy, defiant and mean. It's not been pretty, but it has been beautiful.

By nature, I am somewhat of a high strung person. I'm not fussy about "stuff" but I am someone who appreciates the order and sensibility of things. I thrive on schedules. I am most comfortable when I know what is coming next. Children operate comfortably on the same notion, so we get along. Mostly.

I have one child that is like a hurricane. Strong and unpredictable. Once she gets going, there is no stopping her. We've never had her "diagnosed" so I don't have a medical term for her special needs, but there is definitely something much different about this child, the way she learns, and the way she copes with life.

Her school work is getting harder and is taking more time. We are playing less and less in our learning and using more book work. She has bowed up her back and refused to be promoted. It has been a week or two full of tears, outbursts and punishments.

I have one child that is like a weed. Determined and strong. When he decided he wanted the cup of juice from the counter today, he stretched up on those tiny toes until he touched that tippy cup and it tumbled to the floor.

I've cleaned up milk and juice off the floor a ton of times. It's always a drag. Sticky no matter what, always a splatter or two that I miss. Today was the first time I wrenched my back by doing so.

I have two children who are not "mine." Though, they are cuddled and fed. One was fussy and mostly screaming this week. The other is practicing being a bigger kid and taking things before it is the designated turn to play.

I have one pre-teen that came more into his own this week. Brooding and rolling his eyes. Slamming doors, staying out of site. Complaining for boredom, unwilling to work. I love him and want to poke him with a stick at the same time.

So now I'm insane. My sweet husband is the only person (here at home) who doesn't require me, yet still wants me. He helps me and understands me. He brings home a pizza when I'm to tired or broken to cook. He loves me and hugs me and tells me I'm beautiful when I haven't even been able to put on my makeup that day.

Crazy and in love. Yep, life really IS beautiful.