“At first an ordeal and then an accomplishment, the daily run becomes a staple, like bread, or wine, a fine marriage, or air. It is also a free pass to friendship.”
~ Benjamin Cheever, Strides

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

More Trail Confessions

I always enjoy other bloggers confession posts...so I thought some confessions might be a fun thing this Wednesday....

I am just a tad obsessive about things being organized a certain way.  For example, to ensure that Avery's spoons are used equally, I use them in the order ROY G. BIV.  That way no spoon is left behind.  Her unused hangers are also grouped by type of hanger, and her books are ordered on the shelves in descending size.  I would include a picture of the hangers, but since she's actually napping for once, no way am I going into her room to take pictures....you'll just have to trust me.
I cheer for her when she uses the "wrong" spoon.
While I'm obsessive about being organized, I often have multiple pairs of shoes out (i.e. not put away).  I always know which ones are where though - that counts, right?
I didn't even line them up or anything.
I always carry water on a run, even for short little 2 or 3 milers.  AND, I almost always finish however much water I carry.  For longer runs, I often run out before the end of the run.  It's the one time in my life that I'm really, really good about drinking water.
Although, this belt is officially too big for me...any new belt suggestions?
I think I am the only person on the planet that LOATHES Adele's song Set Fire to the Rain.  I can't get past the words "I set fire to the rain..."  Seriously???  Exactly HOW did you do that?  Collect it in barrels and add enough acid and base?  Yes, I realize that this emphasizes my nerdiness.
And yet, I find this image very cool.
Rolos are my new old favorite thing ever.  They are tiny pieces of heaven.  AND, because they are tiny, I justify eating them whenever I want to.  I think I will have a pile of unwrapped rolos in my pack for one of my On Rainier snacks.
Yummy little pieces of goodness
I think Avery playing in her exersaucer is the cutest thing ever....mostly because it buys me about 10-15 minutes to wash dishes or switch laundry, etc.
What is THIS part for?

What is your favorite snack food?

Do you carry water?  Any hydration belt recommendations?

Do you enjoy blog confession posts or they overdone?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Rainier Training: They're Laughing At Me

Quick Look Week of March 19-March 25:
# of Workouts: 9 
# of miles ran/walked: 30 
Weight: 180.0 (Down 1.8 lbs. from previous measurement!)
Chest: 40" (No change!)
Hips: 46"  (Down 1" from previous measurement)

Monday: 2 one mile walks
Tuesday: walked 4 miles
Wednesday: Weighted 3.86 mile walk (26 lbs); ST with Adam
Thursday: Ran 4 miles
Friday: Walked 6 miles - supposed to be REST
Saturday: Ran 6.2 miles, walked 1 mile
Sunday: Weighted (30 lbs) 2.75 mile walk
So, this week started out light because of the whole bronchitis thing.  I couldn't do nothing though, so I walked the dog and kiddo.  The first day, just two one mile walks.  I canceled my strength training that day as well.  On Tuesday I walked further and that night I slept ALMOST laying down....so Wednesday I stepped it up.  

I did two weighted walks this week.  The first one, I used the Kelty pack and Avery as the weight.  I have now realized that the Kelty pack shouldn't be a solo experience.  About mile 3.5, Avery decided she was DONE.  I had to stop, unload her, and carry her in my arms the rest of the way home, while still carrying the pack and walking the dog.  FUN.  Needless to say, I took the shortest route back.
Everyone wants a kiddo to wear these days!
When I realized Sunday was also going to be a solo weighted walk, I changed strategy.  I loaded Avery in the stroller, and carried my mountain pack for the first time.  I loaded it to 30lbs.  It went better, but I had to go a shorter distance so that I could make it to the movies in time.  HA!  I did get some rather strange looks from the people in my neighborhood.  My neighbors that actually knew me, didn't even bother to hide the fact that they were obviously LAUGHING AT ME.  That's okay, I did look pretty freaking hilarious.
Come on - this is totally normal
My Saturday run - last long run before my Knoxville Half Marathon this coming weekend, went about as fabulous as possible.  I barely coughed, and all the run-resting  during the week ensured that my legs felt absolutely spectacular!  I ran 6.2 (instead of 6) to make it a full 10K, my Spatula Runners virtual 10K!
And yes, I posed with a spatula before the run.  Perhaps I have to do that pre-half as  well!
It was one of those runs that makes you want to turn around and go right back out.  I was on a good run high for several hours afterwards and kept bouncing up and down saying that I couldn't wait for my race.  
Avery had to pose with a spatula too!
I lost another 1.8 lbs this week, bringing my overall total weight loss post-kiddo to 40.8 lbs!!!  I still have another 30 lbs to go to reach my year-end goal, but I know I can do it.

This week is full on taper - three short runs Mon through Wed, then rest and the drive to Knoxville!  I've been saying that I'm treating this half as a quasi-training run because of the hills, but if I'm feeling good that morning, we all know I won't stick to that very well.

Avery is very close to crawling as well....maybe this week?
Those other kids make this look so easy!

How was your training week?

Be honest, you would have laughed too, right?  :D

Have you ever inspired laughter from your neighbors?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Over-packed at the Zoo

I took Avery to the zoo today for the second time since she's been out of the womb, and the first time where I thought she might actually notice the animals.  I packed as though I was preparing for World War III.
Yes, that would be two diaper bags.
It was ridiculously hot for March in Ohio.  As a result, today was also Avery's first experience with sunscreen,  a sunhat, and attempting to drink water from a sippy cup.  I've given her a sippy cup to play with, but today I was hoping she might actually DRINK some of the water.  
What did you put in this thing Mommy?
The elephants heard we were coming and came right to the front pen where they rarely hang out to pose for the camera.  I kept saying "Look Avery, look at the elephants" and pointing like an idiot.  She kept trying to eat my necklace.  She did rather enjoy staring at all the other kids at the zoo.  The aquarium was also fascinating.
Just the two of us
Speaking of other kids - apparently I missed the memo, the zoo was PACKED!  Doesn't anybody work?  Hehehe.  Near the end of the trip, my friend and I realized that it was Spring Break week.  Note to self, avoid the zoo in late March next year.  
The line to get in to the zoo at opening.
I've been experimenting with letting Avery ride in the stroller without the infant carrier attached lately.  This was our first lengthy experiment with it.  She handled it like a pro and didn't seem to get what the big deal was.
Shouldn't you be pushing this thing rather than taking pictures?
Another first today - puffs.  Yes, the food that dissolves into a soggy mess when wet.  Avery loves trying to put them in her own mouth.  Mostly, she puts the puff in her hand, her hand in her mouth, and then removes both her hand and the now soggy puff from her mouth.  FUN!

I was hoping she'd be ready for a nap after all that excitement, but instead, she was rather excited to be home and out of the stroller.  
The animals here are WAY cooler Mom!
She did eventually "try" to nap at 3pm, but was back up again before 4pm.  This made her a very fun child to be around.  
Put down the camera and pick me up NOW
My husband called in the middle of all this fun on his way home.  I guess I gave it away with my voice, because he asked "How was today, was it good?" - I responded with "define good".  He then asked if today was okay.  I responded with "define okay."  He then said "Is Avery still alive?"  Silly man.  

I will say that I was very thankful for my 4 mile run break this evening!  First time I've run since my failed 12 mile run and the bronchitis diagnosis.  I coughed a bit, but not too badly.  I did more coughing right after the run than I did during the run, and I am not coughing at all now.  Hopefully, this means I gave the lungs enough time off!  (I did actually get to sleep laying down last night - rather than trying to sleep sitting up!)  :)

What's your favorite animal at the zoo?

Do you over pack for day trips like I do?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Let's Hear it for Honesty

Mostly, I'm a very positive person.  I choose to look at things with a smile and solve problems rather than create them.  One of the things that was so distressing when I lost my sister, and then my mom, was that it took that positive aspect of my personality away for a time.  Yes, I am also rather cynical, don't ask how those two things go together.  I'm also a realist and a dreamer.  I know, I'm confusing.  LOL.
Sometimes, the focus on the positive can be a bad thing.  I have been publicly focusing on all the positives on my training, and the weekly updates where I'm still losing weight, and logging almost all my running miles make that easy to do.  (Although I did I have a hiccup with the positive with my knee injury and my bronchitis).  Let's be honest though, when it comes to the mountain training, I'm terrified that I am WAY, WAY, WAY behind.  
Because this is the LEAST of my mountain worries.
As described on the RMI site, "Mountaineering is considered a tough endurance sport, and the importance of good conditioning cannot be overstated. Physical conditioning is the single most important way you can help to ensure a safe and successful expedition, and it is imperative that you undertake a rigorous conditioning program prior to your trip and arrive in top physical shape."

My knee injury required me to take a break from squats and lunges during my strength training.  I was also supposed to limit the number of stairs I did.  ALL OF THESE THINGS are the things I'm supposed to be doing MORE of for the mountain training.  I did add some squats and side lunges back in at the end of last week though.
Climbing this will require more than just a FEW squats though.
You may say - it's okay - you still have your cardio going - look at all those runs.  Honest fears?  I took a week off to ski, came back to a "March heat wave" and promptly went down with bronchitis.  In addition, my first of two Spring half marathons is 12 days away.  I know that I should trust my training, but with the ski break and now bronchitis, I'm getting paranoid about skipping a couple of runs at the beginning of this week to let my lungs heal.  Stupid, I know.  Two skipped runs will not define my race.
Rather all the runs outside in this should be the determining factor...
Bottom line though, with the mountain climbing, I need to do be doing more endurance type of workouts.  Long, steady, weight-carrying workouts.  I also need to lose 20-30 more lbs.  The mountain climb is just over 3 months away.  I. Am. Officially. Worried.
Don't mess with mommy when she's worried!
I keep telling myself that I must let my lungs heal, or I'll be sidelined for even longer.  That being said, during my walk today - my slow walking counts as resting - I was planning my first stroller run for tomorrow morning.  In my defense, I am only planning 2-3 miles, and that assumes my lungs keep feeling better.  I also will be strength training with my trainer again tomorrow.  Thursday, I need to get on the stair climber and more.

Ok.  I feel better now that I was honest about my mountain climbing fitness fears.  My lungs need to heal NOW.

Have you ever psyched yourself out about your training?

Do you ever feel like you aren't training enough???  How do you balance the fears and the training?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Rainier Training: Asthma

Quick Look Week of March 12-March 18:
# of Workouts: 6 
# of miles ran: 17 
Weight: 181.8 (Down 3.2 lbs. from previous measurement!)
Chest: 40" (No change!)
Hips: 47"  (No change)

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Walked 2 miles; ran 5 miles
Wednesday: ST with Adam, Elliptical endurance 32 minutes
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Ran 4 miles, took remainder off
Sunday: Unscheduled Rest day
Well.  I ran through asthma issues on Thursday.  Took my rest day Friday. Woke up with severe asthma issues on Saturday - but was determined to stick to my plan of getting in 12 miles.  I started by running 4 miles BEFORE my group, MIT, was to meet that morning.  The plan was then to run 4 with them, go host a baby shower, and then run 4 more.  My lungs were struggling so much on that first 4 that I decided to go home and hope to get back out for 4 more after the shower for a total of 8.  As a result of the run, my asthma was worse and I coughed so hard at the stop lights driving home that my car moved.  (Did I forget to mention that my rescue inhaler expired in December? I rarely use it, so I forgot to ask for a new one).  I coughed throughout the shower I hosted, and decided another run that day was not going to happen.
Me and Sarah, at her shower at my house
That night, I couldn't lay down without coughing.  Mark insisted I go to urgent care on Sunday.  The "doctor" I saw there, decided I had developed bronchitis by running through my asthma issues, gave me a breathing treatment, and gave me two prescriptions:  one for my missing rescue inhaler (yay!), and one for a codeine cough syrup to help me sleep.  Last night, tried the cough syrup.  Utter fail.  Tried to sleep sitting up - was finally succeeding at that - when Avery woke up screaming.  For another 2 hour cry session.   I think sleep and I have officially broken up.  Maybe we can still be friends?

I read in a blog last week that one aspect of good training is sleeping well, at least 7-8 hours a night.  Um.  Since Avery arrived, MAYBE once a month have I slept that much. I guess that's a fail on THAT part of training, eh?

On the bright side, despite adding an extra rest day, I still lost 3.2 lbs last week!  I knew it would be good when I was weighed in at the doctor's office on Sunday, and even on their scale (fully clothed), I was already down over 2 lbs.  :)  Other bright news, I bought Avery her first pair of sunglasses today.
I'm too cool to smile.
I'm trying to force myself to rest one more day...I don't think I can do two more.  I do plan to follow up with my primary care physician as well, since she knows my asthma way better than a doc-in-the-box.

The most memorable moment from the baby shower I hosted for Sarah on Saturday???  When I kept saying to other women, "Okay, here's your sperm."
Apparently, I'm the Queen of Slightly Inappropriate Shower Games.
This game was pretty entertaining though.

Are you good about adding in extra rest days when they are needed?

What's the most inappropriate baby shower game you've ever played?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Rock Star Mom

Apparently, I completely rock as a mom.  I should be nominated for mom of the year....or something.

As evidence, on Monday and Tuesday, Avery decided that 3am is a perfect time to wake up and cry/scream for a couple of hours.  Literally.  AND, she is still among the living!  See - rock star mom!
If Daddy would just hold me all night, we'd all get along great.
The first time, I gave in and changed her diaper and gave her a bottle at 4:30am before deciding she needed to cry it out. The second time, I tried cry-it-out from the beginning.  Both times, she was awake and crying/screaming from 3am to 5am.  

To add to my total rock-star momness in this regard, LAST night, we neglected to flip the switch that turns ON the outlet where the monitor is plugged in.  On accident, honest! I woke up around 4:30am because I could hear Avery screaming from down the hall and through two doors.  I have no idea HOW long she had been screaming.  I admit, I did sprint down the hallway.  She stopped crying pretty quick when I picked her up though - SEE ROCKSTAR!  :D
I was inching around my crib just like this for YEARS before she finally woke up!
You need more evidence that I rock???  Well, on Tuesday, I was changing Avery on the changing pad on her dresser.  She was sort of zen baby and not moving around, so I decided it was safe to turn around and get some baby hangers for a friend and NEGLECTED to strap her in.  THUD.  Loudest. Thud. Ever.  Silence- wait for it - screaming.  Yes, I let my 7 month old roll off of the dresser top.  I did pick her up and cuddle her until she stopped screaming though - see I still rock!
The scene of the crime
You need more you say?  Since her cold and teething, Avery has been a much less happy baby than usual.  Nonetheless, I have not left her out for the wolves yet.  I did give her a 30 minute bath last night because it was the only time she was completely happy.  And yes, I even drained out the water and refilled it when she peed in the tub.  See, Rockstar!

What else?  I replaced Avery's 3-6 month wardrobe with 6-9 month clothes, despite the fact that several of my most favorite outfits are not available in the new size.  I could totally have made her keep wearing the smaller clothes, but I'm trying to live up to my Rock star mom title.
Hey - this new outfit is pretty stinking cute too Mom.
Lastly?  Nose Frida.  Has anyone else heard of this?  It's a product designed to suck the snot out of an infant's nose.  
Instead of the bulb syringe ones, it has a tube that you SUCK through (yes, with your mouth) to provide the suction to remove the snot.  It's worked fabulous up to this point.  NOTE TO OTHER FRIDA USERS: Do NOT use the Nose Frida for "cold" snot - it's runny.  And, well, the filter on the mouthpiece is not really designed to stop liquid snot.  Yes, this particular experience involved a lot of coughing and gagging on my part.  See, if you'll suck your kids snot, how can you not win mom of the year?

Are you convinced that I rock as a mom yet?  (Let's not forget that I made the kid sleep in a closet while on vacation: Remember When)

I'm told by my other mom friends, that this is all pretty normal days for most moms, but a lot of mommy bloggers out there don't admit this kind of stuff....makes the rest of us fail to see our total rock star qualities!
Some rock star, I had to resort to eating my toys.
Would you ever suck the snot out of your kid's nose? (if you don't have kids, you can borrow mine for this experience)

Which example most convinced you of my rock star mom nature?

Monday, March 12, 2012

Rainier Training: Catchup

Quick Look Week of Feb 27-March 4:
# of Workouts: 7 

# of miles ran/stairs: 13
Weight: Not measured
Chest: Not measured
Hips: Not measured.
Monday: Ran 4 miles; ST with Adam 45 min
Tuesday: Ran 3 miles
Wednesday: Stair climber, 10 min 0.61 miles; ST with Adam 1 hour
Thursday: Ran 5 miles
Friday: Rest day
Saturday: Flew to Colorado
Sunday: 3.5 hours skiing
Quick Look Week of March 4-March 11:
# of Workouts: 7 
# of miles ran: 15 (vertical miles skied not included)
Weight: 185.0 (Down 0.8 lbs. from previous measurement!)
Chest: 40" (Down 1.5" from previous measurement - not sure I believe this one!)
Hips: 47"  (No change)

Monday: Skied 6 hours, Beaver Creek
Tuesday: Skied 5 hours Vail
Wednesday: REST day
Thursday: Skied 6 hours Beaver Creek; Ran 2.34 miles
Friday: Skied 3 hours, Ran 2.09 miles
Saturday: Flew back to Ohio
Sunday: Ran 11 miles
A lot happened in the last couple of weeks.  I was cleared to try getting on the stair climber again, and successfully did 10 minutes prior to my strength training.  My knee was sore the next day, and we did a healing day at Physical Therapy.

I moved my long run both weeks.  The first week was a fall back week, so I ran my 5 miles Thursday night before my trip and it went great - although the patellar tendon thing I bought to wear on my knee hurt more than helped.  I took it off after mile 3.  The second week was an 11 mile run, the longest distance I've attempted since having Avery.  I was flying on my normal run day, but didn't want to skip it altogether, so I ran on Sunday.  

This past week, I didn't do all my runs because I was on a ski vacation, and the runs I did do were shorter than my scheduled mileage.  I have to admit, the first run in Colorado after skiing for a few days and not running for a week was the most awkward of runs.  It was as though my legs had to RE-LEARN the running movement. It took a couple tenths of a mile until my stride actually felt normal again. 
I'm wearing a borrowed coat, because my old ski coat was a tent on me.  :)
Skiing was both fun, and scary.  I have decided that I am a smile skier, not a GRR skier.  I prefer to have fun and take it easy, rather than ski all the black runs and bump runs.  As many of you know from my Remember When post, I did ski a single black run and some baby bumps for the first time though!  Nonetheless, my proudest accomplishment????  Unlike my last ski trip, I did NOT fall and crack my ribs!  WOOHOO!  No ski injuries to interrupt my training.

The theory behind the ski trip was that downhill skiing is good muscle practice for the decent of a mountain.  Yet, I don't think any vacation is conducive to weight loss, just saying. 

Back on track this week!  For the first time in a while, I have no physical therapy scheduled this week!  I will try to add things back in with moderation though.  My plan is to add some squats back in this week, and try adding lunges back in next week if all goes well.  I will also try to make it back to the stair climber for another 10 minute session.

As a reward for reading all my training hubbub, Avery turned 7 months old on Saturday!  Because she was pretty cranky after flying with a cold, I took the pictures on Sunday. For being sick, she sure is willing to smile when Mommy does dumb enough things (and she loves being naked)!  In fact, this may be my favorite picture of her ever.
My mommy is so crazy!
In this next one, I had just pushed the bear's hand to make it play her heartbeat from in the womb (read the bear story: HERE).  She was completely enthralled by the noises coming out of the bear.

Mommy, Is it alive?

How is everyone else's training going?

I need to start increasing the length of time spent on my workouts.  Suggestions for things to do or ways to do so with an infant?

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Remember that time when...

...I posted a blog post at least 2-3 times a week and read all of your blogs, faithfully commenting on every single post?  I've been on a ski vacation to Colorado for a week - and am a bad blogger.  I didn't update my blog or read any others during that whole time period.  I will catch up this week. In theory.  :)
But my husband and I DID take time to pose with this awesome sign on one of the mountains.  :)
...we made the baby sleep in the closet?  My parents house in Colorado got pretty full by the end of the week with Mark, Avery and I, our friends L and M, my brother Ken, my grandfather and my parents.  To make things easier, and because the closet is bigger than Avery's room at home (well, almost), Avery's bed was placed in our closet.  Of course, once she got her first cold, she slept in our bed with us.  I use the term slept loosely in that last sentence.  Because I didn't take the pictures before her cold, Avery was kind of enough to pose in staged shots for the blog.  Does that make me a real blogger?
Fancy accommodations.
Ok, Mom.  I'll pose as though I'm sleeping for your staged shots.
...I cried because I had to ski down a black diamond run...BUT, I'm skiing because it's fun, right?  One of the "fun" black diamond runs on Beaver Creek is groomed once a week.  We were there the day it was groomed and my husband and my Dad thought it would be a fabulous idea for me to try out the run.  I normally only ski groomed blue runs.  So that I could look at the run from the lift first, we skied a non-groomed blue (the only blue option on that lift) first, and rode up the lift.  I HATED the blue run.  HATED.  So, at the top of the lift, my only real option down was the black.  The steepest part was right at the top.  I admit, I cried looking at it.  I knew that I would need to go faster than my comfort level in order to get down it.  My husband was good and didn't push me.  Finally, his friend, Matt, said, "just follow my tracks" and got me started.  Once, I got started, I actually enjoyed the run.  Not that I did it again, of course. 
From left to right: Mark, Me, Lindsey and Matt
From Left to right: My Dad, Me and Mark.  Different day and mountain - but love this picture.
...I skied the bumps.  On purpose.  Sort of.  And I have video to prove it.  Yes, they were the "training bumps" on a non-super steep hill.  But, still bumps damn it.  This video would be even better if my husband had not talked and distracted me.  :)

...I ran hills at elevation.  Sort of.  My parents house is in the "hills" near Beaver Creek.  Somewhere around 8,200 feet elevation.  Two days during the trip, after a day of skiing, my stepmom drove my brother and I to the "summit" and we ran back to the house.  It winds up being mostly downhill, except for a couple hills...one of the uphills gave birth to all other hills though.  Just saying.  My friends who regularly run at elevation?  I am now willing to admit that I am not in good enough shape to lick your running shoes. 

Imagine here a picture of the route - since I forgot my camera both times.

...I realized that my husband's best friend was actually the baby whisperer.  How have I NOT taken more advantage of this fact???  It didn't matter how fussy Avery was, if Matt picked her up, she was asleep in half a minute or less.  It was nothing short of magic.
I don't feel good....no...wait...I feel...zzzz
...Avery got her first cold and potentially first tooth at the same time.  She had been drooling enough to SOAK her outfits all week.  On Thursday night, she woke up screaming many times.  So, Friday we bought baby Tylenol, since we couldn't find baby Motrin at the place nearest the house.  Then the fever and the sniffles started.  Friday night, Avery spent moaning in our bed, ALL NIGHT.  I dreaded the airplane rides home on Saturday.  The lack of sleep may have been a good thing, however, because she slept like a champ both flights...and even played happily during the layover.  Love this kid.  The trick to baby congestion, apparently, is elevated sleeping.  Brought back out the Rock N Play sleeper last night!  Fever came back last night and this morning.  If it's still here on Monday - going to the pediatrician.
During our layover at he airport she feasted on plastic Giraffe.
This week absolutely flew by and was a great vacation from real life!  Tomorrow I will update on all things exercise and weight loss for the past couple of weeks.  I know your hearts pound with excitement just thinking about it.  No?  Well, okay, but it is good motivation for me knowing that someone out there might read my training updates.  :)

Have you ever been skiing?  What sorts of runs do you prefer?

Any suggestions for baby colds or teething?

What's your ideal vacation?  Something cold (like skiing) or something warm (like the beach) or something else entirely?

Me and Lindsey