Sunday, January 30, 2011

Toot Toot

Just a recap post to remind myself of the progress of my New Years Resolutions. And, okay, a little toot of my own horn for some extra special hard work that I did this week.

I realized at the end of last week, that I had run 50 miles in January. With one week left (and an 8 miler on the schedule), I wondered if I could make it to 70 miles for the month. That meant that after I burned myself out with speed drills yesterday, I still had to run a mile and a half to make 4 miles, and that today I had to squeeze in another 4 at the expense of not eating dinner until 7pm. Boy, did I flub that one up. NOT enough fuel in the tank for that run. But I made it, and now I can say...

I RAN 70 MILES IN JANUARY!

God is good and chubby girls really CAN run!

So, on to my resolutions. One, was to eat less sugar. I think I have done that...I mean, I don't track sugars but my "crap" intake has been greatly reduced. I quit eating protein bars after being irritated about the second ingredient always being some form of SUGAR. The only bar food I will eat now are LaraBars. Check those out!

Next was to "Eat Like a Man." On the suggestion of my sage husband, I ditched the scale for the month of January. Okay, I admit it, I did weigh myself a couple of times before my month end weigh in today - but I wasn't weighing every day and THAT is a victory! From January 1st to today, I lost 3.4lbs. I really liked seeing such a different number. I dropped into another number decade and felt so good all day today. Senor Scale es mi amigo, hoy. Gonna try to stay completely OFF the thing until February 1st.

I've been reminding myself to eat like an athlete. Not a former fat girl. After all, what am I now? I love to play my sports and to train hard. I know what my body can use for fuel and...what will just taste good going down. :) Still some of that *ahem* ice cream *ahem* but only once last month.

Okay...posture. I've been aware that I need better posture and straightening up when I think about it. My silly back has been acting up again and keeping me on my guard. It doesn't hurt when I run, but the inflammation in my SI Joints makes bending over to pick up a toy/kid/piece of gum/hairbrush/cracker/tiny shoe is really hard.

My assessment is that I've done some good work in the first month of the New Year. Not perfect by any means, but I think February is going to be fantastic! Here's to you and your New Years Resolutions!!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Which Came First...


...the diet or the exercise?

It seems like when making a lifestyle change, this is the crossroads we find ourselves at. You can't start both. Honestly. Just how realistic is it to quit eating Doritos and watching American Idol on Sunday and then on Monday begin snacking on broccoli and hitting the gym instead? The reality of making too many changes is that it might last a week or two. Tops.

I've heard it said that "you can't out exercise bad eating habits." But let me put forth this as well - if all you do is eat right - you might loose weight, but your cardiovascular system will not benefit - and trust me - you need that. You need to exercise to turn your body into a calorie burning machine.

Here's a thought. Scrap the broccoli (for now) and concentrate on the removal of the hook from you butt that binds you to your couch. They have TV's at the gym - our YMCA has them on each and every cardio machine. Buy a pair of headphones for $5 and you can keep the excuse that "your show is on." Don't get me started on the wasted lives of Americans due to TV watching...gag.

When you invest in yourself in exercise, a curious thing happens. You bust your butt burning chub and look at mealtime from a slightly different angle. You may not be yet inclined to count calories, or understand that a 1000 calorie supper is to much. But when you reach for that second helping of mashed potatoes (the ones that you aren't really hungry for) you might think twice.

Any accomplishment is valuable for building self esteem. If you've never exercised (or not since High School...close enough!) then being able to walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes is a huge victory. Hey, hauling yourself to the gym, period, is a victory! For this reason, exercise can be a helpful thing to start first.

Inspiration for others equals inspiration for yourself. How many people do you know that hit the gym or even go for a walk 3-5 days a week? Everyone needs exercise. Yes, even skinny people. If you begin an exercise program, you will be special. People in your sphere of influence will be encouraged to do the same. I weighed 220lbs when I started my recent adventure and a run/walk program (more walk than run!). I share this, not for accolades, but so that someone may decide that if I can do it, they can too.

Start with walking in place in front of the TV during your favorite show. Grab some cans of food and lift those up and down while you do it. Make sure to reward yourself with something like a new CD or DVD, a manicure, or a new tube of lipstick when you stay with it for a week. Be proud of your accomplishments and inspire others!



Thursday, January 27, 2011

Being a Fruitful Tree

What do you think of when you look at this tree?


Being from Nebraska, this tree looks to me, like it is sleeping. This appears to be fall or winter, the leaves have all fallen off, there is no shelter for birds or squirrels. The branches look weak and brittle, It looks dormant.

What about this tree?

Looks like a great place for animals to build a home, children to play on strong branches, and even a place to take shelter from the rain. It looks alive!

My devotion today centered on this passage from the book of Psalms, chapter 1.

1 Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,

2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.

3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Joyfully Unhappy

Well, chalk four more things up to the list of "Things Out of My Control."

Liam, age 12.
Alahnnah, age 8.
Susan, age 3.
Cameron, age 21mo.

Lord, I'm sorry that I thought I had any sort of influence on my children. They are your children, after all, and maybe some day they will listen to you.

They SURE aren't listening to me.

But whatcha gonna do? I go the positive reinforcement route for one, negative for the other, time outs, and consistency across the board. At the end of the day, I can say that I did what was right (well, except for today when I bruised my hand by smacking it on the counter when I was mad) and didn't try to belittle, injure or bully anyone.

The last couple of days have been better. Cameron wakes at 5am (nearly) each and every morning. Dave gets up at 5 for work, so he goes in and lays him back down. The last two days he has gone back to sleep for 30 - 45 minutes without screaming, so that's something. Several days I just put the pillow over my head and let him cry until "morning" at 6:00. Naps have been better and he's not falling asleep at 5pm out of exhaustion. I just want him to sleep until 6am. SIX A M. I'm being consistent, I'm working the plan.

Why won't he do what I want??

I'm so frustrated that I don't even want to talk about it anymore. So congratulations, NO more FaceBook whining. It feels like if I can't have "victory" then I don't want to report. Yes, it is getting better - but we are working on the 4th week of consistent sleep training here. Of course, everyone knows what you should do - and they mean well. But nobody wants to hear that you've tried their suggestion and it just didn't work.

I've been holding on to the bright spots - when my child is so funny he cracks me UP. When he hugs me and says "I love my short little Mommy" and just melts my heart. When I catch my daughter reading. When my 3 year old runs across the room shouting "Did somebody say kisses!?"

And when Cameron pinches my neck.

Okay, not that. But the point is, I spent the last 2 weeks being depressed to the point of despair. I had God all figured out and was sure he was punishing me. What I forgot, was that there is STILL joy in suffering. I'm a big believer in that "joy" is nothing like "happiness." Joy is a state of mind. A contentment with what is. An assurance of what will be. Happiness is fleeting and fluctuates day to day.

I must remember to be joyful even when I'm unhappy.



Monday, January 17, 2011

The Survey

I took this from my Home Schooling-Running-Momma friend over at Wanderer In a Strange Land. Yes, actually, there are more of us out there...including my compadre at Random Thoughts of a Wanna Be Runner. It seems more crazy women than myself find solace in running!

Now this survey is as the question relates to your training, whether it be running, biking, dance, weights, etc.

In my dreams, I...can run fast and far. My legs feel long and strong and my feet never seem to quite make contact with the pavement.

My favorite book is...Arena by Karen Hancock - not a running book, but my fave nonetheless.

My favorite movie is...Spirit of the Marathon, but I just saw Hood to Coast and that one might replace the other.

My breakthrough was...when I started seeing actual progress. I came back from a 4 mile run and was faster than I had ever been without feeling wiped out.

My favorite run is... Speed Work - I feel so accomplished (exhausted) when I'm done.

My favorite season to run is...all but winter. Anything under 30 degrees is too cold for my lungs, and I'm so afraid of slipping on ice it's just not worth it.

My favorite distance is...I don't know, I like the challenge of the longer distances, but haven't run over 13.1.

My favorite race is
...so far, the Bill Seymour Run that I did with my brother. Good times...

I started running because of...I had quit smoking and wanted to build up my cardio vascular system.

My reason to keep running is...to keep challenging myself. I feel that I can keep doing this well in to my advanced years to stay young - I will not age and go quietly in to the night!!

I knew I was a runner for life when...I had two knee injuries in the course of 3 months. I did what I was told to recover and keep going. Never, never, never, never give up.

I am most scared of...falling and breaking a bone out on the trail.

My main goal as a runner is...to run a full Marathon...and a Triathlon...and and Ultra...and, and, and...just KEEP going!


Friday, January 14, 2011

Seriously

There are many, wonderful, kinds of people in the world. Women are more complex than men and there are more types of us than there are stars in the sky, I'm sure! Its not really fair to categorize people, but we all know a fancy girl, a tough girl, a coupon lady, and an earth day mom. Soccer mom, diva and the "wow, what is she wearing" woman. Whether we admit to judging, we most certainly categorize.

I happen to be kind of a no nonsense person. I favor jeans and t-shirts with comfy shoes. I have used the same hair spray since 1996...and the same eyeshadow color. I tend to say what's on my mind, though I have learned a lot about holding my tongue. I enjoy work, and like having things to do. I enjoy working with my hands and don't mind feeling tired and ready for bed at the end of a good days work.

Whining? Doesn't usually fit in to the plan. But here goes...

Oh why, oh why, WHY the heck is all this stuff happening to ME!? It seems like nothing is coming easy lately. Just tonight, I sat in the drive through at the bank for 30 minutes!! A car in front of us, one behind, no where to go - not sure what the hold up was - but our kids were getting fussy and my head almost exploded.

Insert gratitude for having babysitting checks to deposit in the bank.

My kid won't sleep. I'm so stressed at bedtime I get a head ache. Naps are even becoming hit and miss and today he cried for TWO HOURS. Nap time was over and the other children were getting up, so he won!

Insert gratitude for having children.

I can't wait to go do my speed work in the morning. I am so stressed out, I started having chest pain and dizziness in the grocery store. Granted, we were at Wal-Mart, so that's enough to make me throw up anyhow. I can never find everything on my list, the produce department is SAD and I noticed tonight that there are less frozen vegetables available than I've ever seen at a store. Most places have 5 or 6 doors with everything from Birds Eye to the store brand. Wal-Mart has 3 doors of mostly their brand.

Insert my brain screaming about a conspiracy to control the public through controlling food options.

I had better quit while I can. It's 9:20pm, and our youngest son will be up anywhere from 5am on. I have speed drills in the morning, then am driving our older kids to meet up with my Mom so they can stay with her til Monday. I'm going to make cookies with the younger kids to smooth the rough edges. Our 3.5 year old is now old enough to know that it's not fair that the biggers get to go with grandma.

I always say "Tomorrow will be a better day!"

Insert prayer here.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

One Good Pat

Sometimes all you need is one good pat on the back. Things pile up and it seems like you are kicked and kicked and can't catch a break. Struggling to keep your eyes on Jesus, you get discouraged, and even feel guilty for second guessing your fate.

This last week has seen me crying more than I'd like. Out of frustration, irritation, anger, embarrassment, and shame. I've pleaded with God, and later accepted my situation with resign. Things have been very difficult with my children. Between sibling rivalry and pre-teen drama, we've also had a 20mo old that won't sleep. I've gone back to the Sleep Lady method that I used over a year ago to get him to sleep more than 1-2hrs at a time.

I feel defeated. I feel like I am being punished. And due to the fact that I am home with the kids the bulk of the time, I feel alone.

I use my training as a healthy outlet for the frustration. But as you know, when you are over tired and stressed, even that can suffer. I officially started my marathon training three weeks ago, so that schedule is looming. I have been sticking to it, but my heart isn't always there.

Today I went to the YMCA, early, to run my scheduled 6.5 miles before school. I was nervous. My left knee acts up, I hadn't been to this facility before, the roads were slick, it was dark, blah - d - blah - d - blah. I'm so glad I did it anyway.

I am following a run/walk/run plan from Jeff Galloway to baby my tender knees and hopefully keep running. I set the treadmill a little higher than normal at first to try compensate for the walk intervals. I was surprised how effortless the first half mile was. I pushed the walk interval to the highest setting I could, and went back and forth until - over an hour later - I had run 6.5 miles at a pace more common to my 5K time.

Huge pat on the back! Fantastic run, no knee pain, finished feeling strong!!

I was on cloud nine while I was dressing. I had a "finish in less than" time in mind for the Half in May, and if this run is any indicator, I will have NO problem crushing that.

Now if I could just get a little victory in the kid department...just as with training my body to run faster, consistency will prevail with training my toddler to sleep better.

Monday, January 3, 2011

First Day of School

It's 8pm and I'm ready to pack it in for the day! Today was one of the more exhausting and aggravating Mondays in a while. Thankfully, as I was heaving the 3rd load of laundry up the steps, I was reminded that at least my back didn't hurt really bad today! Silver lining and all.

I had dreaded this day. While finishing up lesson plans last night, I could see the handwriting on the wall. Alahnnah hasn't had a full day of school in almost 2 weeks - it was going to be hard to keep her on task.

I picked the wrong kid! Liam was the one that was the issue. He couldn't stay on task, kept bugging his sister, getting out of his seat and talking back to me. He didn't show his work in Math and tried to get away with incomplete sentences in English. At 2pm he put an whole frozen banana in my blender and I snapped. He ended up finishing his work in his room. I haven't graded his Math OR English yet. *fume*

On the upside, I did get most of my Monday work done. Changing sheets, mopping floors, cleaned the bathroom, did 3 loads of laundry, cooked 3 meals and did dishes twice. *huff and puff* I also took down the Christmas tree and put away all the decor.

I had yoga on the schedule for today. I decided to mix it up a little and throw in an old DVD from Jillian Michaels called Yoga Meltdown. What a joke. She tries to put movement and reps into yoga poses. Not such a big deal for chair pose, but when you try to twist in and out of a prayer twist it's just downright dangerous. She doesn't have the demeanor for yoga either. *bark bark bark*

What a waste of time.

Tomorrow will be better! Hubby is home, I have a 5 mile run with a buddy scheduled and I think I'll make home made pizza for lunch. Life is still good!