Monday, January 30, 2012

Goals-Part 1

I have decided I am consistently inconsistent.  This is a horrible thing to be when you are a mom.  Especially if you have a precocious 5 year old who lives to point out your inconsistencies.  And even better than pointing them out is to be the cause of them.  Just today I said, "If you don't move away from the TV I'm going to turn it off."  Maybe 5 minutes later (while I'm distracted doing dishes) she moves close to the TV.  I yell "Move back"  She smiles and said "Weren't you going to turn off the TV if I got close to it again?"  So she would actually rather prove me inconsistent than watch TV.  I am going to work on this.

I think the lack of consistency is linked to the lack of organization.  I would use my temporary housing situation as an excuse, but this has always been a problem for me.  I need to do something about it.

Fellow Tough Chik Jess posted about her January goals today.  She actually had goals at the beginning of the month then followed through and posted about how she did.  If any of you read my first blog post I vaguely outlined some goals.  Not sure how most of them would be measured.  Thankfully I have since switched from WordPress to Blogger so it's like those goals never happened.  So now, a month into the new year, I'm going to follow Jess' lead and actually write down some goals, that can be measured (kind of), and I will see how I did at the end of the month.

Here we go:

  • Follow my half marathon training plan.  At least get in all my planned miles.  For February that is 93 100 (added wrong) miles.  I will measure this by consistently logging my miles on Daily Mile.  
  • Have, and follow, a daily schedule for the kids.  I need to figure out how and where to put this in our new house, so EVERYONE knows what is happening when.  Not 100% sure how this is going to work.  I will post a picture when I get it. I'm thinking something like this will help the kids.
  • Post a list of rules and consequences and stick to it.  I'll post a picture.
  • Have at least 5 real dinners a week.  Healthy dinners with sides and all.  Not just a plate of pasta.  I think something like this (dinner) will help.  I will let you know how I did each Sunday.

I am REALLY hoping this blog will hold me accountable.  I'll let you know how I did 2/29. Wish me luck!

Cost of Children

Children are expensive.  I'm not talking about diapers, doctor bills, education...I expected all of this.

I'm talking about things like the $200 you lose because you try to buy a kitchen table on the last day of the furniture sale, but your children are being such monsters you have to leave before you can purchase the table.  I'm talking about the money you spend on hair dye and wrinkle cream, because in a day they can take years off your life.  Or the under eye concealer you need to hide the giant circles you get from staying up all night with a little boy who needs a snuggle  every time he wakes up.

I didn't think about these things before I had children.  I'm guessing it wouldn't have changed my mind.  This morning I can say it is a small price to pay.  Last night it was iffy.

For the record, we left the store, put the kids down an hour early, then I went back to the store and got the table.  I think I'll add the extra gas I used, driving back to the store, to their bill.

They are expensive, and sometimes I question what I was thinking when I decided to have children, but I can't imagine how boring things would be without them.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Little Things I Love

I've been bogged down by all the things that are not going my way.  This morning I looked up from doing dishes and saw Little Dude dancing.  It was the cutest thing.  Made me think about all the little things that make me happy. are some:
  • Spending time with Brian after the kids are in bed
  • Hearing Little Dude talk
  • Family breakfast on the weekends
  • Having "big girl" conversations with Pnut
  • A bike ride with friends on the first warm day of the year
  • The feeling I get after a big race-totally exhausted and proud
  • Snuggling while reading books to Pnut and LD
  • Getting to the top of a hill I didn't think I could climb
  • A clean kitchen
  • Fresh sheets on my bed
I need to remember these little things and not obsess about things that are out of my control.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Out of control

My life feels totally out of control right now.  I would like the whole world to stop for a couple hours so I can catch up.  Our apartment (have I mentioned how much I hate this place?) is a disaster.  I'm not sure what Pnut and Little Dude do, but they can make a mess.  I'm also at a loss with LD's stomach issues. He poops 5 times a day!  That is a lot of diapers.  I know it's not his fault but it is getting crazy.  And I don't know what to feed him that won't cause problems.  I obsess with it.  I'm stressed out just thinking about what to give him when he wakes up.  I am living in total chaos and I think I'm at my breaking point.

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  But it is SOOOO far away.  14 days.  Doesn't sound like much but it feels like an eternity.  I actually put LD down for his nap and curled up and cried.  I know it is a little dramatic but I just can't take it.  I realize I have no choice and  I'm being a baby.  I can't help it.

I found this on Pinterest:
I'm going to pout on the sofa, while LD naps, and think about this.  Maybe it will help.  If not, I'll go to the gym when I pick Pnut up from school.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Closet Competitor

I'm a closet competitor.  I'm guessing most people who know me wouldn't consider me to be competitive.  I secretly am.   I hide it because I never win.  And being competitive when you never win sucks.

Today's plan was an easy run on the treadmill.  I got to the gym and climbed on the only free treadmill.  I told myself I was going to go easy but the people next to me were running fast, so I ran fast.
As I was running I was telling myself to slow down.  But I didn't listen.  Why? Who cares that I ran faster than some stranger on a treadmill for 45 minutes?  That's right, I ran faster.  I actually pretended I was stretching so I could see how fast the person next to me was running.  Does that really do anything?  No, but I couldn't help it.

As I was running, faster than I should have been, I thought about winning.  And the fact that I never win and will probably never win.  So I thought, maybe I should reevaluate what winning is.  Then I decided that sounded lame.  Winning is winning, right?  You cross the finish like first, you win.  

So, what is a 36 year old, mother of 2 small children to do?  I came up with a ton of excuses as to why I can't win.  The list was long.  Mostly blaming my circumstances, not my ability.  True, I am not a professional.  I will never win a race, but why can't I win my age group?  Most of the other 35-39 year old women have the same responsibilities I do. The same time restrictions, same sick kids, or lack of babysitters. 

I realize this is a lofty goal.  I will not be disappointed every time I don't win.  I will have smaller goals too. Once I figure out my races for the season, and my goals, I will post them.  I've decided to come out of the closet.

Friday, January 20, 2012

confession time

Here's how dinner went.  I tried to get the kids to go for the grilled salmon and veggies.  They opted for fish and chips.  I guess that is a fish and a veggie.  I tried to stay on the whole food wagon.  Went with the grilled salmon and veggies.  The salmon and veggies came with a sauce.  It didn't taste great and I'm really not sure what was in the sauce.  I should have asked more questions but I didn't.  Oh well...I'll get better with time.
Here is how the night ended..

Trying not to go overboard

I tend to go overboard sometimes.  I get my mind set on something and it consumes me.  My latest obsession....whole foods.  Not the grocery store.  Eating whole foods.  Real foods.  Whatever you want to call it.  I was turned on to this by my friend Shelley about a year ago. She told me about  I tried, here and there, to do it but it never stuck.

Little Dude has been having stomach problems and he has always had skin issues.  Pnut has been congested since birth.  Having her adenoids removed helped, but it is still an issue. All of this has led me back to the real food.

I recently read Michael Polon's book Food Rules.  It is a very easy read and is full of common sense.  It helped me get an idea of what I was in for.  One thing he mentions is that it is a little more expensive to eat real food.  This is true.  I went to the store this week and got some organic eggs.  They were grass fed, free range, outdoor chickens and the eggs were hand picked.  Fancy pants eggs.  My kids are not huge egg fans but they couldn't get enough of these.  The eggs taste better and they are better for you, but it comes at a price. I saw a sign the other day that said "Pay the farmer now or the doctor later".  Makes sense.

Back to the family.  I started this Tuesday.  Today is Friday.  I told Pnut we were going to try it for 2 days.  No processed food. She's 5 and didn't have a clue what I was talking about so I went with "no food from a box".  She got it.  We broke the news to Brian Monday night.  He gave me a funny look but said he was in.

LD and Pnut's food groups, before this week, consisted of complex carbohydrates, milk and peanut butter.  I was REALLY scared to start this.  They are tiny as it is.  Was I going to starve them?  I decided they could live for 48 hours.  They have done great.  I am so proud of all of us.  Brian even suggested extending it past 48 hours. 4 and we are still good.  I have relaxed my "no box food" rules a little.  We had some whole wheat pasta yesterday.  I have decided what I really want to do is cut out refined sugar.  So that's my plan.

Here is the problem....we are going out to dinner tonight.  It is going to be impossible for me to get Penelope to order "real food".  She will want chicken nuggets or mac and cheese.  I REALLY want her to eat well but I don't want to go overboard.  I don't want her to think this is too restrictive.  I have decided I'm going to let her get what she wants.  Maybe one day she will surprise me and order some grilled fish and veggies :)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Stupid snow!

The snow is messing up everything.  We had an appointment to sign our paperwork for the closing this afternoon.  It was cancelled because the escrow office was closed due to the weather.  Seriously?  3 inches of snow and businesses are closed? Get some snow plows and salt!!

Speaking of closed, Pnut has been out of school ALL week.  Just found out it's closed tomorrow too.  She is not dealing well with the lack of 5 year old interaction, and I am not dealing well with a 5 year old cranky pants.

The snow is getting in the way of my work outs too.  Which adds to the hard time dealing with the cranky 5 year old.  Unfortunately the snow is not the only thing keeping me from working out.  I woke up around 3am with a horrible cramp in my hamstring.  I think I pulled a hammy in my sleep.  What does that say about my level of fitness?  And of course my foam roller is in storage, with everything else I own.  Guess I can't blame the snow for that. I'm hoping to make it to the gym tomorrow.  Maybe go for a swim. Or do the old lady pool aerobics.

Here is the one good part of the snow.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Lack of Control

Sometimes it just hits me...I have no control over things around me. No control over kids getting sick, or Brian working late, or Little Dude screaming, or Pnut holding her breath until she passes out...No control.

I was reminded of this again yesterday.  My plan was a 6 mile run.  I woke up to it dumping snow.  I didn't think it would be a good idea to run in it.  I was so disappointed.  My plan had been to run 6 miles.  Snow was not in the plan.  Although I should admit, I knew it was going to snow, I just didn't think it would mess up my plan.  I sulked for a little while, then I decided to head down to the "fitness center".  I'm not sure how they can get away with calling it that.  I would call it "place where we put really old stuff people used to use to exercise".  I tried to run on the treadmill, but it was a mess.  I couldn't get the speed right and it was really uncomfortable. Part of this could have been that I was just upset I wasn't outside running.  Maybe it wasn't as bad as I thought.  But that's my story and I'm sticking with it.

I came back home, sulking.  I watched the game and figured it was just going to be a waste of a day. I was cranky and angry.  The game ended and the snow stopped.  I decided the snow was not going to beat me.  I put on my shoes (and hat and gloves) and went for a run in the snow.

This was my first snow run and it was not easy.  I spent most of the time trying not to fall.  My 6 mile run turned into 2 miles.  Not what I wanted, but better than sitting on the sofa feeling sorry for myself.
I can not control everything but I can control how I deal with things.  I need to remember that.

Friday, January 13, 2012


I feel amazing after a couple weeks of running.  I took a LOOOOOONG time off after my last race.  I made too many excuses for not working out.  They were good excuses, but still excuses.  I ate like crap and did not exercise.  I felt disgusting, fat and lazy.
My sister, Kelly, came out to visit for Christmas.  She was feeling the same way.   Thankfully she decided to go for a run.  Kelly inspired me and I ran the next day.  Two days after Kelly's run we had signed up for the Seattle Rock N Roll Half Marathon.  We had started!!!
It has been about two weeks since I "started" and I feel great.  My pants are still tight and I have a long way to go, but I feel 100% better than I did 2 weeks ago.
I went to a tough spin class today and  I felt strong.  It is amazing how good you feel and what you can accomplish when you take care of yourself.  Kelly and I complained to each other for months about how bad we felt.  All we had to do was start.  I am certain a year from now we will be glad we did.
What will you start today?

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Wishing Time Away

I feel like I'm always wishing time away.  We have 21 days until we will have the keys to our new house.  Most of the time I think I would just give up those days if I could wake up and be in the house.  But yesterday I gave Little Dude a piggyback ride around our apartment.   The apartment I cannot wait to get out of.  I can still hear him giggling and shrieking with delight.  The whole thing lasted a minute; but I would not give up that minute for anything.  It was the best.  It made me wonder how many things I overlook or give up because I am wishing time away.
I'm going to start living in the moment.  I'm going to let Little Dude pick up 500 rocks on our 2 hour, 1/8 mile walk in the woods.  He isn't interested in what will happen 21 days from now.  All he cares about is what sound a rock makes when it hits the water.  Or what it feels like to dig in the dirt.
I'm going to let Pnut smell flowers instead of getting in the car right away.  Because the grocery store will always be there. Pnut will  not be 5 forever. 
I am going to enjoy my training runs and rides.  Not just think about getting to the finish.  Enjoy being outside.  I will try not to always be concerned with my pace and distance.
I will no longer wish my life away.  I am going to enjoy every bit of it. Well...I'm sure I still won't enjoy doing dishes or folding laundry.  But everything else.

Friday, January 6, 2012


The older I get the more I realize how important it is to have girlfriends.  I don’t have a ton, but the ones I have are amazing.  Racing has made some of these friendships grow and it has given me the opportunity to make some new friends.
When I was pregnant with Pnut I registered for the IronGirl Sprint Triathlon.  I thought training would help me lose the baby weight.  I convinced my sister, Kelly, to do it with me.  This would be her first triathlon.  She reluctantly agreed.  I had no clue how exhausted I would be with a newborn.  I never made it to the gym.  One day I took her out, in the jogging stroller, and ran around the neighborhood.  It was ugly.  I knew I couldn't do the race.  I felt horrible, but I called Kelly and told her I couldn’t do it.  I’m certain she cursed me after she hung up the phone, but she said she understood.  Kelly did the IG by herself.  Pnut and I cheered her on.  I was so proud of her.  This was Kelly’s start.
My start (or restart) came a couple years later.  I give credit (or blame) to Kim.  I’m laughing as I write this because every early morning race start or freezing cold training run/ride Kim would ask “Whose dumb idea was this?”  Looking back, it was Kim’s idea.
Three years ago Kim said something about running the Baltimore Half Marathon.  I said sure.  Didn’t really think we were going to do it.   A week or so later I went to her house and we ran.  I’m going to call it running.  Looking back, it was a painful jog/trot around the lake.  I think it was 2 miles.  Not that we ran the whole way.  A few months later Kim and I had each hit rough patches in our lives.  We turned to each other and running.  We actually signed up for the race and began training.
As luck would have it, Kelly decided to do the half too.  And her Spin instructor Marcie, and Kim’s friend Susan.  It was so much fun.  Kelly, Kim and I ran together for a while.  I only saw Marcie and Susan at the start and the finish. They are WAY faster than I am.   One day I hope to be able to keep up.  I eventually slowed down and Kim and Kelly kept going.  We all met at the finish line.  It was great.      (I have a picture of all of us at the finish line but I can't get it to download.)
A couple years after that Kelly, Marcie and I did the Baltimore 10-miler.  One of my all-time favorite races.

10-miler finish
In 2010 Kim, Kelly and I decided to do the IG (the race Kelly had to do alone in 2007).  This was Kim’s first tri.  She was awesome!

Irongirl finish
A few months after IG, Kim, Tress and I did the Half Full as a relay.  This was my first tri relay.  I did the swim.  My friend Amy swam on a relay with Kim’s husband.   She crushed me.  We swam together in college and I was always faster back then.  I’m still a little bitter about it :)

Before the Half Full
I met my friend Lori at a party.  We struck up a conversation because she asked about my Baltimore 10-miler shirt.  That's right, I had on a race shirt at a party.  I'm not the most fashionable girl.  We started talking about the race and before you know it, we were running together.  Our first race was a Turkey Trot.  It was freezing and raining.  The best part of it was sitting in Lori's car with our Starbucks.  From there, we registered for a half marathon and trained together every weekend.  Race day was chilly and wet. (seems to be a theme)  It was awesome.  I wish I had a picture.  My only Lori pictures are from Brian's (my husband) birthday party.  It would be wrong for me to post a picture of her with a fake mustache and giant Elton John glasses.
Lori gave me a copy of Mile Markers  by Kristin Armstrong.   If you haven't read it you should. What I loved most about it was Kristin's bond with her girlfriends.  I would tell Lori how I wished I had a group like that to run with.  Looking back, I did.  We never all ran together and we weren't able to met as often as I would have liked.  But I did have a group of girls that I could count on to push me, and swim/bike/run with me, and love me and cheer me on.  I gave my copy to Kim who I believe passed it on to Karen.  If not, she got Karen a copy.  Karen and I never got to race together but I still consider her one of my girls.  I hope the book continues to be passed around.
This is my shout out to my girlfriends.  You are an amazing group of women.  I am lucky to have been able to swim/bike/run with each of you.  You have inspired me in ways you probably don't even realize.  I love and miss you all!

Comfort Zone

When I was 8 (I think) I joined a swim team.  Swim Atlanta.  There were a lot of swimmers there who ended up in the Olympics.  Needless to say, there were  a lot of good swimmers.  I was average.  Occasionally above average.   But it was never due to my incredible work ethic.  It was just the talent I was born with.  One of my coaches talked about our "comfort zone" and the need to push yourself out of your comfort zone.  I listened and it all sounded good, but I never actually tried it.  I continued to swim off and on through college.  At each level I would do what was expected of me, nothing more.  I pushed myself as hard and as far as my coach thought I could.  I never looked inside to see how far I thought I could go.
I have only recently started to push through my comfort zone.  And I do so reluctantly.   It's called a comfort zone for a reason!  It's like a warm bed on a cold morning.  It's were I like to be.  But nothing extraordinary happens in the comfort zone.   You can't grow here.   You can't do exceptional things here.  I want to do exceptional things!  I want to do everything I am capable of doing!
Today I ran hills on the treadmill.  1 min at an incline, 2 minutes flat.  There came a time when I found myself leaving my comfort zone.  There were several alarms that went off to let me know.  The obvious trouble breathing and elevated heart rate were there.  But there are other clues.  Self doubt sneaks in.  Excuses pop into my head.  I start to convince myself that I should stop.  Thankfully I didn't listen to the doubt today.  I finished and felt great.
I know there will be times when the comfort zone is just too hard to leave.  There will be times when I quit, when deep down I know I can do more.  I can only hope a majority of the time I will have the strength to move past what is comfortable.