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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Good morning!

Not really, actually.  It's just been a regular morning.  Ha!  However, I just remembered that my car is fixed!!  It starts and goes forward and backward!  Hooooooray! 

We shall see where this car will be taking us, but you can bet it will be taking us somewhere.  First and foremost we will be heading to Bible study this morning at 9.  That's a great place to start, don't ya think?

So, I'm going to be brutally honest here on a few things.  I'm kind of in a strange mental place right now.  It's not going well, but I truly hope things will be ironed out quickly.  I'm going with bullet points here...

*  Running.  I am totally burnt out on running.  I flat out don't want to do it anymore.  In fact, I made a conscious decision yesterday to NOT run when I totally could.  Ick, right?  Anything shorter than 5 miles seems like a waste of energy (I guess I'd better refer back to my own post about every mile counting, huh?), anything longer seems like a waste of time.  What is that?!?  I have these two major races just looming and I just want to finish them and get on to running for fun!  I read a blog this morning that I don't usually enjoy following, but her headline caught my eye...and it's good that I did.  She mentioned something about truly being purposeful on easy runs being EASY and not "racing" your long runs.  That is exactly what I do.  The thing is - I am clueless about pacing!  I just run to get my 3 or 4 minutes over with.  I can guarantee you that I am running too fast, but who knows when you're running alone?  I listen to podcasts, so it's not music that I can pace myself with...when I run with a partner, I'm fine because I talk so damn much that I have to go slower so I can catch my breath!  Unfortunately, I have no partner these days.  Speaking of "partners" - all of the running blogs I follow seem to have the most supportive husbands when it comes to running.  Some husbands run, as well, some husbands just really seem to appreciate and/or understand the time needed for training.  Well...not this girl.  It's really getting to me.  He thinks "supportive" means saying "Are you running today, or will you be staying home to hang with us?"  Yeah...as if that is the choice I am making.  Between running and hanging with my family.  It's not that black and white!  Even when I have been home with the kids all day long, I feel guilty leaving the house for 1-2 hours at night to run.  Because those 1-2 hours would be family time and that is different from stay at home mom time.  Or something.

I'm not saying these thoughts are CORRECT, I'm just saying they're mine.

I think I'm going to try to forget about the half and full marathons coming up.  I'm going to look at each day and figure out if I have time for any amount of running.  While I realize I may not meet any time goals I have set for these major races, I think it is more important - to me - that I finish both injury-free and feeling good.  Maybe tired, but still happy.  :)  After these races, I'm going to chill with the running and move on to some other fitness routines.  I want to run because I'm in the mood to run, not because a schedule is telling me to do it.  I definitely plan to run some smaller 5, 8, or 10K's throughout the year, because these races are so much fun and truly what got me loving running!  I also really, really, really want to do the Ragnar Relay in November, so no worries to anyone who was looking forward to that - I'm still in!  I think it would be fun to try Zumba again - when I'm not terrified of rolling an ankle or twisting a knee!  Also, I really enjoyed those Body Pump classes I was doing before...I just started getting so nervous about hurting myself and not being able to run! 

Diet - Ooooooh, boy.  I know I'm not the only one to say "UGH, DIET!"  Here's the deal - I am over it.  I am over obsessing about the food I eat, the food my kids eat, the food my husband eats.  It's ridiculous!  Grocery shopping should NOT be stressful!  I have decided I am going to make a weekly menu and stick to it.  Majorly stick to it.  I would love to say we are going to totally eat clean, but I'm not sure it's possible.  Some convenience foods are just too easy to give up.  Feel me?  I do have a thought on the childhood obesity problem, by the way.  My 3 littlest can eat a pound of strawberries and still be "starving".  Now, when strawberries are not in season, a 16 ounce thing is about $3/$4, right?  If those same three kids were allowed to eat a box of oatmeal cream pies, they would be sick to their stomachs and likely not able to eat anything else for at least a couple of hours.  Oatmeal Cream Pies box?  $1.  By the way - I have not tested this theory of mine because I'm pretty sure I have eaten a couple of those pies in my lifetime and my stomach never wanted much more food afterwards.  I love that my kids love fruit.  It makes me happy, I promise.  BUT, when I pay $7+ for grapes and the entire bag is gone in one sitting and they are still whining about how "starving" they are...blueberries?  One child can finish of the 6 ounces you get of blueberries.  Easily.  I want to figure out a way to make these foods more filling...not just something to keep their mouths occupied.  With strawberries, for example, I give them "kid-friendly" knives (real thing, from Pampered Chef!) and let them cut the stems off by themselves.  It's time consuming and they don't scarf them down as fast!  I have started giving them grapes on the stems.  Maybe I will start putting their fruit in containers and hiding them...then drawing up a treasure map for them to search!  You might giggle at this, but I'm totally serious.  Anything that takes up an extra 15-30 minutes of our day, is a golden idea in my book.  :)

Based on some recommendations from a few friends, I'm going to cut down on our meat consumption.  I am pleased with how many vegetables the kids like, so we're good with frozen there.  Also, pasta disappears in this house, so that's awesome.  Cheap and easy - even Shaun can cook pasta!  I'm starting with next week, so I'll keep you posted on how it all goes...I'm not going to be using any meal planning web sites at first, just me and the Food Lion ad and allrecipes.com.  Or cooks.com, another favorite!

Advocare - Let me start by saying I have some favorite products, and I am so happy that I was introduced to this line.  I would love to get my head on straight enough to be able to go for sales and succeed with this business, but I just don't see that happening right this minute.  I can tell you honestly, I have more energy and find it much easier to stay away from foods when I am using these products!!  Also, the Post-Workout Recovery Sports Drink (vanilla shake) and the Nighttime Recovery Supplements are awesome.  I was super sore last week after my long run and I used both of those products and felt rested in the morning!  That's new for me.  The Meal Replacement shakes I was drinking before were delicious and very filling...and frothed up an hilarious amount when I blended them with fruit and spinach!  Haha.  If anyone is interested in more details, I am happy to share my personal experience and also refer you to my....um, director?  I don't know the terms.  My Allison!  Who has had a very successful run and been around the products much longer than I and can answer all of the questions!  I am still a distributor, so I am happy to take any orders.  ;)  As I use the products I have already mentioned and try additional ones, I will be sure to review them on here.

I am going to jump in the shower now.  I need to post a new picture...because I got my hair chopped off!!!  I do mean OFF!  I can barely tuck it behind my ears at this point.  The pics will have to come next week, though, because the color is all wrong and my sweet Sarah at Moxie is going to make it all right.  :)  Stay tuned!

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Friday, March 23, 2012

My life these days

I had a couple of nice runs this week!  I really, really, really want to get a double digit run in at some point, but WHEN?!  When????  Ugh.  Tuesday I got in a little more than 4 miles in my spiffy new shoes and felt great about it.  Wednesday I ran almost 8.5 miles in my Kinvara's and felt the soreness, but still was really happy about the run.  Yesterday I took a "rest" day from running, but tried to focus standing/walking as much as possible.  Cleaning the house, playing outside with the kids, grocery shopping.  Ohhhhh, I hate grocery shopping.  :)

Anyway, I have no time to run today.  I mean, I have the "time", but not the freedom.  From the kids.  I was seriously considering doing a little "learning" activity.  This might sound ridiculous, but I was thinking about writing the numbers 1-12 on pieces of paper.  Then, I was going to give the even numbers to one of the boys and the odd numbers to the other.  We could "race" down my street (0.18 mi) and put the number of our race on the mailbox at the end of the road.  Then we run to the other end.  Does this make sense?  12 times down the street will be a little over 2 miles.  I'm not sure the kids would last that long, but it would definitely wear them out if it did!  I may let them ride their bikes and I could push Zoe in the stroller...we'll see. 

I work tonight and then Shaun is going to meet me in town at 9:30 to go see The Hunger Games!  We are both SUPER excited.  I am excited because I devoured the books and cannot wait to see it played out on the big screen.  He has been excited ever since I first showed him the trailer last year!  We are both excited about a date night involving popcorn and a movie.  My dad is going to come over to stay with the kids...so, Shaun's major task this evening is getting them all to bed before Grampa gets here.  He is happy to babysit as long as they are sleeping.  Haha!  (in truth, my dad watches the kids for around an hour every Friday so I can leave for work at 4:30 without Shaun having to come home early.  he's great with them...just don't ask him to serve them food or change any diapers.)

I also work tomorrow night, so I'm not sure I will be up for running tomorrow morning.  I need to just get out there, truthfully, but I have terrible mommy guilt when I do that...take away from family time when I'm already taking away from it to go to work.  Isn't that a little ridiculous?  I might be able to commit to at least 6 miles in the morning.  That should take about an hour and the kids will barely notice I am gone!  It would be cool to reach 20 miles this week.  I haven't done that in a while...since the end of January.  Ugh.  I have been seriously slacking and I am not happy about it. 

Did I mention I bought a car?  I think I did.  Well, I know I bought a car, I'm just "thinking" I mentioned it here already.  Hahaha.  So, it is at the mechanic's house and I am just dying, dying, dying for him to return with it running!  I have been in some serious prayer time about this.  I just want to understand what I am not doing that I need to do in order to be ready for transportation.  I'm not sure if this makes sense to anyone else, but I feel like there is a learning opportunity for me...however, I also feel like I really want to get out and do some things with the kids, without the kids, just be able to have some FREEDOM to serve others and do some visiting and actually do some training for this major task I am signed up for!  It's frustrating.  Every day I get angry about it....I'm getting myself a little worked up right now, actually.  UGH!

Moving on...I have to go break up a fight over MY cell phone.  It is the bottom of the line cell phone, has no games or internet or anything even remotely cool.  However, the kids have figured out the "drawing" option and now they cry and scream and whine when I realize they have it and take it away.  House full of toys and they want the one thing they are not allowed to have. 


Have a great day!

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Freakin' Out

Well, good morning!! 

Strep throat has cleared up.  Finally!  It was a rough bout this time...ugh.  It took 4 full days of medicine before I realized I was going to feel better one day!  Have you ever been so sick you forget what feeling good feels like and then you feel good and realize how awful you were feeling?  Yeah, that totally happened. 

Our DC trip was GREAT!  Conner was so perfectly behaved and he enjoyed meeting a new friend and our super sweet hostess was the best hostess anyone could ever ask for!  When we pulled in to town, it was foggy and raining a little (yuk), but I parked at the first parking lot I could find ($11 for ONE HOUR??  Seriously!?) and Conner and I ran to the White House.  He was very excited to see it up close...I'll admit I was a little excited, too!  I've never actually gotten out of the car and walked up to the fence.  Well, maybe back in 8th grade on a school trip, but I remember very little about that trip. 

Anyway, the next morning I got up super early and drove to the park where the race was being held.  It was chilly, but warmed up nicely during the run.  I ran hard and fast when I could, but walked more than I would've liked.  The course was pretty awesome.  Some tough hills, a lot of trail, even a suspension bridge!  The bridge kind of messed me up...it was after mile marker 4, I believe.  There were marines (this was an MCM race) at the entrance to the bridge making sure we went across in a single file line, and I tried to run across but found myself airborne!  Scary!  When I got to the other side (it wasn't long, but I don't know measurements.  Maybe....20 yards?) and went down the steps, I had to walk to correct my bouncing?  Does that make sense?  I felt SO strange and all dizzy, but not in my head...just my legs were confused.  That is the best I can do with putting it into words.  HA!  The finish line was at the top of a hill!  The TOP!  A rather big hill!  When I saw the 6th mile marker I figured I could just book it, right?  No.  Whew.  I crossed the finish line at 1:03 exactly (chip time).

Now I have had 2 days of rest and am ready to get on with my training.  I have 3 weeks until the Charlottesville Half, and the Blue Ridge Marathon is just 2 weeks after that!  I booked my hotel room in Roanoke, so it's totally on.  I have entertained thoughts of dropping out, dropping to the half, trying to find a relay team....but, I'm not doing any of those things.  I am registered and will start at the starting line to complete a full marathon.  It might take me the full 8 hours to do it, I might hate life at the finish line....OR it could be amazing.  I have read the entire website and the comments from previous years are all about how beautiful the scenery is and how the spectators are awesome.  The hotel I am staying in is at the 22.5 mile mark, so I am trying to make arrangements for Shaun to come with me.  Over the next few weeks, I will be amping up my training.  Really trying to get a good amount of miles on my legs and try out some different shoes/clothing combinations.  After the half marathon, I might do ONE more long run, but I will likely just do a lot of little ones.  I am going to majorly clean up my diet over the next 5 weeks...which I should be doing anyways. 

Speaking of that...I hate watching what I eat.  Beyond watching it go in my mouth!  Haha.  I love all things processed and sugary.  I also love healthy things, but they are harder to grab and go.  Fruit is great, yes.  It's good for you and all natural...the "problem" is how much my kids eat of it and still seem to be hungry!  We have a pretty small grocery budget (considering it's for a family of 6!), and I have the hardest time staying under.  I know I've complained before here about all the food these kids (and Shaun and I!) eat...there just seems to be no solution.  I would really like to buckle down and set a weekly menu, but who has time for that stuff?  Oh...I guess if I have time for Words with Friends, I have time for that, huh?  :P

That's it for today.  Have a great day!!

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Friday, March 16, 2012

Oh sickness.

I hate strep throat.  I HATE IT!  When I was younger, I was highly susceptible.  I would even joke that someone saying the word "strep" around me would result in my having it....it totally did at least once that I can recall.  Ridiculous.  When I had kids and actually stopped drinking as much and started taking care of myself, I didn't get it...well, ever.  Until 2012.  I've had it twice and it's only March!  Grrr.  I guess I have to build up my immuties against Virginia strep throat.  Must be different from Tennessee strep.

Anyway, all of that to say I am kinda freaking out about having gone 8 days without running and I am entered in the Irish Sprint 10K tomorrow.  I really, really wanted to run this under an hour and I know I totally could have a week ago!  I'm just not sure what a week off my legs will do to me.  Will I be faster because I am so well-rested?  Will I die because I have forgotten how to breath when running?  Also, my throat is flat-out killing me and swallowing has been difficult for several days now.  I started an antibiotic yesterday and got both doses in.  I am already feeling marginally better.  Just nervous.  Truly nervous.  I realize I don't necessarily HAVE to do well in this race...I am only running it to ensure a spot in the Marine Corps Marathon for December.  However, I'm way too competitive to go into anything with the thought of "it doesn't matter how I do".  It's not going to happen for this girl.

On a brighter note, I am taking Conner with me!  We are getting him out of school early today so we can go ahead and drive up to DC...just me and him.  That part is very exciting!  I am staying tonight with a friend who lives closer to the race, and she has a 9 year old son, so I thought it would be a nice excuse to take Conner to see our nation's capitol.  Fun!  What I didn't take in to consideration was that it is cherry blossom season?  Apparently everyone else in the world will be journeying up to DC this weekend?  Yeah, we're not really a big nature family.  :) 

So, along with this sickness kicking me off my running legs, it has made staying on the 24-day challenge very hard.  There are pills to be taken and I have had a couple days where drinking water was next to impossible, so getting a pill in there wasn't going to happen.  I have decided to not kick myself too much over my mess up days and just start fresh today.  I have been drinking the "Spark" energy drink - ever since sweet Allison recommended drinking it hot! - so my energy levels have not been anywhere near as low as usual when I'm sick.  I actually thought I was "curing" it on my own, which is why I didn't go to the doctor until yesterday.  Even the doctor said "I can't believe you didn't come in sooner!"  Well, see, I'm stubborn.  And I equate being "sick" with being "weak".  It's not a healthy mindset, but it's mine.  Sorry.

I really am enjoying the products from AdvoCare.  The cleanse went pretty well.  I feel healthier.  I haven't had coffee (other than 2 times when I just really wanted the flavor and warmth) in over 2 weeks now, and I have way more energy than I think I've had in a long, long time.  I just recently got my order of meal replacement shakes specific for workout recovery, so I'll definitely let you all know how those go soon!  I also ordered some AdvoCare Slim - hopefully to suppress my appetite when I'm at work so I will stop grabbing crostinis every time I go in the darn kitchen.  Ha.

I am revamping my workout routine as soon as I am healthy.  The plan is to really kick it in to gear and get some major time and distance on these legs.  I have just 3 weeks until the Charlottesville Half and then 2 weeks after that is the Blue Ridge Marathon.  I would love to do the half in under 2 hours, but I don't want to hurt myself attaining the goal.  The true goal is to be able to wear the Blue Ridge Marathon shirt proudly...knowing I finished in under the 8 hour time limit.  I have about 2 hours of daylight left once Shaun gets home now, so I can get out there and use that up at least twice a week.  I have started working during the day on Mondays, so I would like to use my first hour of that day for running downtown.  Once I get going at work, it's hard for me to stop for any amount of time (because there is always stuff to do!), so I think it will have to be my first thing.  I'm planning to slow my pace a bit, but go for longer.  I would like to get one 3 1/2 hour jog done before the half.  Regardless of what that distance ends up being, I think it is important for me to see what it's like to be actively moving for that amount of time.  At least! 

I got some new shoes.  Some new super fast beautiful shoes.  :)  I'll post a picture when I get a chance.  I haven't run in them, so I won't be doing the race this weekend in them, but I will do some training runs next week.  They are Brooks.  My first pair of Brooks!  Purple.  Soooo pretty.

That's all for today!  Hopefully this afternoon will be awesome with my oldest son, and then wish me luck for a good run tomorrow.  6 miles is nothin', right?!? 


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Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Surely I'm not the only one who feels like every 3 steps forward results in 3 1/2 back?  SIGH. 

I'm loving this 24-day challenge!  The 7 days away from Facebook and blogging were fine.  No big deal, really.  I ended up getting on Facebook accidentally (I am automatically signed in on the Kindle Fire and the internet pulled it up when I was trying to do a google search!), I went to close it quickly, but my fast reading skills distracted me with a friend's terrible news of being in the hospital!  I had to read further, and then I just figured I might as well catch up with everyone.  I think this was on Saturday, so I wasn't too far from the end.

Anyway, back to my 24 day challenge.  It's going very well.  I will admit I have run into some "obstacles"...mainly bread going in my mouth.  Damn bread.  Today is day 8 of the cleanse and I am down 3.7 pounds (even though a few days ago I was down 5.7!) as of today, and I feel lighter and healthier and way more alert.  WAY more alert.  This morning I realized I haven't had coffee in a week and I was more cheerful at the bus stop with Conner than usual.  I haven't taken him to the bus stop since Friday, so it is the first time I have actually felt awake by that time of day!  (Monday was a snow day and Tuesday the schools were closed to allow students and faculty to attend the high school's basketball playoff game in Richmond)

T.M.I. SENTENCE:  I was really worried about the "cleansing" aspect of the 10-day cleanse, but it has not caused me to be any different than normal.  That's all I'm going to say about that.  ;)

So, here's where my major frustration is lying at this moment.  Last week I bought a car (hooray!).  I bought it at an auction - which was SO much fun, and I am totally addicted it's a good thing I don't have enough money to just keep returning every Wednesday evening! - and I started it up the next day and drove it home.  The day after that, it wouldn't start.  We had a mechanic come by who told us we needed a new battery, new sensor, and it wouldn't hurt to replace the belts.  Fine.  Cost he quoted us would still have us under the Blue Book value of the car, and I would still feel like I got a good deal.  So, he orders the stuff, comes back Sunday to fix it all up...except the sensor is the wrong one.  He returns Monday with another incorrect sensor.  Apparently my car is a limited edition (what?) and the sensor has to be specially ordered and his contact apparently didn't know that....or something.  UGH.  Meanwhile, I got the tags and my Runner Girl sticker and I'm just so ready to D-R-I-V-E!!!

I arranged with my mother to go for a run today while she watches the kids....guess what's on the schedule?  @14 miles.  I say "@" because I have to keep changing my training schedule and my mileage and I still haven't run farther than 12, but I am so damn determined to get at least a 14 miler under my belt!!  The guy who is supposed to work lunch today called this morning and now mom has to go in so I have to settle for going to the gym.  Where I will most definitely NOT be running 14 miles on the treadmill.  Not necessarily just because it's a treadmill, but also because I don't have that much time before the gym daycare closes.  DARNIT!!!!! 

Let me try a positive spin.  There is always a way, right?  Well, I can do as much as time allows at the gym and then get out and do 6 when Shaun gets home.  Good training for Ragnar, right? 

Have I mentioned Ragnar here yet?  While I realize I keep second guessing my decision to run a marathon and I keep struggling with things like keeping up with a simple training program - the bottom line is, I recognize running is good for me and I enjoy it (when I'm not stressed about finding the time), and I have been looking into new challenges to keep my spirits high.  In November there is a Relay Race from Chattanooga to Nashville.  196 miles, 12 person team, you run for 2 days and one night.  Each team member will run 3 legs.  The distances and level of difficulty vary, but I see several that I would be interested in trying.  I am sososo excited about this!  There is one in D.C., too, but the timing doesn't work for me this year.  Maybe next year!  Maybe I will set a goal of doing every Ragnar offered!  Oooooooh.

By the way, so far I have come up with a team of 5 girls.  If you are interested, please let me know!  It doesn't have to be all girls, but I do think that would be kind of cool.  3 of the 5 have names starting with the letter "A", so if you are an "A" name as well that rocks.  ;)

Forgot to post before leaving for the gym!  I rocked the elliptical for 50-ish minutes and read more of my book.  LOVING this Kindle Fire.  Oh, it is awesome.  I am currently reading "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close"...it is rocking my world.  Sooooo good.  It is so good I was considering writing a book report about it!  For nobody.  Just because I am that big of a nerd. 

Anyway, I still feel like I have some energy reserved for this late afternoon!  I will head out for my 4 mile loop and maybe add an extra loop at the end if I'm feeling it. 


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