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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Ode to Yaktrax

Dear Yaktrax,

When we first met, I was a little bit intimidated you. You have a brusque exterior, and seemed a bit tough to get to know.

What I soon realized though, is that toughness is mighty handy in slippery situations.

I have to admit that while I had often wondered about you, I really didn't think the reality of you would live up to my expectations.

I LOVE being pleasantly surprised!

Thanks for being you, and I hope that I am not being too forward if I tell you that I am really looking forward to all of the time that we are going to spend together this winter!


XOXO,

Meredith

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Poinsettia

I arrived at school this morning and the front stairwell (I teach on a stage with three entrances and three sets of stairs) was illuminating a lovely poinsettia plant!

The card said:

Meredith -

Thank you for the holiday cheer you have spread through the school and community this season.



---
I recognized the handwriting (and thoughtfulness) of my assistant principal!

What a beautiful way to start the morning!

And, today is a half day, and everyone is just so excited for the holidays!
The K-2 students are getting ready for their concert --- my Soccer Boy will be IN this concert next year!!

---

The snow is gently falling - beautiful big, fluffy snowflakes, that just make everything feel new, and fresh. I love the snow!

---
The next couple of days will be rushed around, wrapping presents, and buying at least one more gift card, making homemade salsa (my job is picking the cilantro leaves off the stems), baking more Christmas cookies, reminding Soccer Boy that, no, it isn't Christmas YET, but it is getting closer, and all of that jazz.

So if I don't get back here, have a wonderful Christmas, everyone!!!


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I Ran Today!

This morning when the alarm heralded 5:15 (o' dark early) a.m., rather than just blindly setting the alarm for another 30 minutes, I actually got up out of bed, and located all of my running gear. That was no small feat since the house has been cleaned, and re-messed, and re-cleaned several times since the last time I was able to run.

I was so excited to try out my new base layer shirt from Kohls, and my new warmer running pants, also from Kohls. They both worked great. I did layer another shirt, and then a sweatshirt on top of the base layer shirt, and I was quite warm during the run!

It was a beautiful, lightly snowy morning. Running on a little layer of snow is like running on a cloud! I love it! But, when I turned around to head back home, that side of the road was much more slippery. I don't know why, so more walk breaks happened on that side of the road.
I am not concerned, though, because under the tree in a few short days will be a pair of YakTraks waiting for me!

The one bad thing about my run this morning -- it is evident that my Nathan reflective slap-bracelets don't work for anything! Either that or the drivers in my neighborhood that are usually so courteous to me running on the side of the road and give me a large berth during the daylight are just freakishly mean during the pre-dawn hours. I would prefer to think that they just didn't see me, and not that I was target practice. :) So, I think we will be using the $10 coupon to L.L. Beans to be getting the clip on light that we saw there when we got my NEW WINTER JACKET, which will ALSO be under the tree for me in a few short days.

Tee-hee!
I am getting giddy from all the excitement.

And I am just so, so, so happy that I got to run today!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Concert Recap, More Technology, Life in General

Last night was the Holiday Concert for my 6th grade band, my Wind Ensemble (fancy name for the 7th and 8th grade band), and the Community Band that I also direct. It was a great concert, even if it had a rocky start because the bleachers didn't get pulled out, which meant that my musicians had nowhere to sit when they weren't performing! Thank goodness both the principal and assistant principal were there, and they helped track down a custodian to get the bleachers opened up. The audience was very patient, thankfully!!

The best thing? One of my high school students was babysitting the boys for me while the concert was going on, and she must have worked some voodoo magic on Soccer Boy, because he SAT STILL and watched most of the concert!! Cuddle Bug adores music, and in fact only fussed in between songs. But I was so excited to look over and see my little boy being so well behaved! Wow! He is actually growing up!!

My students know that the last days before a concert are a scary time known as "pre-concert freak out mode." They are extra patient with me (usually) and bear with me as I ramble and prattle about dynamics, and fingerings, and FOR THE LAST time will you PLEASE play an A NATURAL there? Overall though, I was pretty pleased with the way things were shaping up for the concert. Most of the groups were prepared. But there was this ONE PIECE that all joking aside gave me NIGHTMARES. I couldn't pull it from the program. We had invested too much time into it. (Too bad it didn't sound like it!) But in the performance of it we stayed together and got through the tricky section, and sounded great on the other parts of the song. A big, huge, sigh of relief was had by all. :)

Now to get ready for my high school band concert, which is on Monday night. Oh. That reminds me, I need to find a babysitter, since my miracle worker will be PLAYING in that one. That is the serious bummer about using my wonderful students as babysitters. They are always IN MY CONCERTS! LOL

------

Here in Maine we have the MLTI -- The Maine Learning Technology Initiative. Or something like that. What it basically means is that 7th and 8th graders have these amazing MacBooks loaded with really cool software to use. Being a music/band teacher, I have had very little reason to try out some of the software, with the exception of GarageBand-- which is SO MUCH FUN!!!
White MacBook laptopImage via Wikipedia



But this year I am so excited to be using a program called NoteShare. It is amazing. It is completely interactive. I have created my ENTIRE guitar class notebook in NoteShare. The kids will learn the song, record themselves, and then share the song with me, ALL USING THIS PROGRAM!! Sweet! We tried it out a little bit today. That was kind of cool! It takes a long time to teach the technology, but when everyone gets it, it is awesome!!



-------


On Sunday, my Soccer Boy has his preschool Christmas Concert! I am so excited! He has been singing Christmas carols (you should hear him sing O Little Town of Bethlehem!! ) all the time. It makes my heart melt!!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Learning Curve

I am so excited, because I just learned how to edit an embedded frame for my school website.

Boo-ya!

You want to see, don't you?
I thought so.
Okay.


Pretty rad, right? I am SO EXCITED. And I wanted to share it with the 18 of you that read this blog. Thanks for being there.


Oh -- and about that whole running thing?
I ran yesterday for 1.75 miles in the COLD, and I feel pretty good today. My foot barely hurts at all! But I am really certain that my current cold weather gear is NOT going to cut it. I was REALLY cold on the entire run. I did stop to walk for a little bit in the middle, and I know that I chilled significantly during that time and then never really warmed back up. But the air didn't really bother my lungs, which is fabulous. I was worried about that!


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I just learned from one of my SparkPeople friends about an AMAZING event coming up next week.

It is a FREE teleconference put on by the International Association of Women Runners (IAWR), and JEFF GALLOWAY is the keynote speaker. There are so many different speakers/sessions, and most of them are scheduled during lunch breaks (12 PM EST) or in the evening, and if you can't listen LIVE, then you can listen to the mp3 recordings that will be available after the event.

I am so excited about this event!

Go check out the link and sign up!!!


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

UGH.

I am so disappointed.

I ran yesterday. It was great! It was slow, and I needed to take breaks fairly often, because WOW it hardly takes any time at all to lose your endurance and strength -- especially for a newbie runner like me! It felt so great to be running again!

BUT----- as soon as I got out of the car to pick up the boys from daycare (35 minutes post run) I realized that all of the stretching that I did immediately after did not prevent the plantar fasciitis from acting up. My specific pain is NOT my heel -- it is the end of my arch, on the padded part on the inside of my heel. OUCH. It still hurts today, even after wearing the brace for a bit last night.

So I am walking as much as I can throughout the day, and just trying to become acclimated to the pain. I am seething with frustration.


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Running Headbands, Running in General

A person that over analyzes things to begin with being forced to rest to recover is never a good thing. I find myself worrying about getting re-injured if I try to run again too soon. Then I find myself worrying about how well I will be able to run -- or *if* I will be able to run at all. I fought so hard through the Couch to 5K program this summer so to be sidelined with plantar fasciitis, a cold, and now a knee thing, and a second cold. It is so frustrating. I tried to exercise -- doing my favorite 30 Day Shred video, and it destroyed my left knee. It has taken days to get it feeling back to normal. :(

Today I really want to try to get out there, but my cold has descended into my chest. Argh.

Ok.
Now I want to talk about a very controversial topic. Okay. It isn't controversial at all. I was joking.

But, in all SERIOUSness, I was over the moon excited to see sweatybands represented at the vendor expo at my last 5K. Seriously. I spotted the familiar font from across the field, and RAN (maybe even SKIPPED) over there. I picked out a gorgeous headband, and then was convinced to try a different one, because it was "new." That doesn't matter. What does matter is that..... I can't make it look good on me. :( I don't like how it looks with my hair DOWN, I don't like how it looks when I wear my hair UP. I am so disappointed. And it definitely doesn't work like I had hoped in the "sweat soaking" department. So for $18, it has definitely been the MOST expensive piece of running gear (besides my shoes and Nike+), and the LEAST EFFECTIVE. I guess I am going to stay away from the wide headbands, and I am going to support T of Racing with Babes and her etsy shop. Her headbands are absolutely adorable, and more than HALF the price of the sweatybands. We just don't have ANY extra money right now, or I seriously would already own about seven of them. (Especially the pink and lavender one... it is so beautiful.)

And just an update on the home-front--
Soccer Boy (age 4) is snuggled next to me on the couch, and Cuddle Bug (almost 8 months!!!) is rolling around on the floor trying to find anything other than the dozen toys around him to play with. I adore my family!!!



Tuesday, November 16, 2010

30 Days of Thanks - Day 13, 14, 15 and 16

Oh my word.
I had such grand hopes when I started this project! "I will become a daily blogger," I said to myself. Yeah. Right. That's worked out well, hasn't it?

Which brings me to things I am thankful for number 13. Humor. I love dry, almost sarcastic, but not quite, humor. I love picking up on jokes that the people who are not paying as close attention miss. If you ever watched Gilmore Girls, then you know what I like. The one-liners -- the obscure hilarious reference. Yup. I love it.


Number 14 -
New adventures. Seriously. Something crazy huge is happening in our little family. (No, I am not pregnant.) It is really exciting, and we are sitting on the edge of our seats, waiting and watching to see how it all unfolds.

Number 15 -
My husband, whose birthday was yesterday. Happy birthday, sweetie! I can't believe that I didn't even write on your WALL on facebook yesterday.... facebook and I spend even less time together than my blog and I have!!

Number 16 -
New books to read!! Yay!!!!!! I love when the UPS truck shows up with a delivery from CBD! It turns out that the bargain books were kind of a... um... not what I had in mind. At least they were only a dollar or two, right? But, the other books are already making me happy!

Recommitted

"Im not telling you it is going to be easy- I'm telling you its going to be worth it." -Art Williams


My eating has been out of control. Combine that with the fact that my plantar fasciitis has not gone away completely, and now it seems like it is resulting in KNEE pain as well, I have not exactly been active, either.

I am definitely an emotional/boredom eater. Hunger is RARELY the reason that I eat. I eat because it is lunch time. I eat because there is food that I like in the house. I eat because there ISN'T food that I like in the house.

So for me, counting calories can be useful, but it doesn't get at the real problem. The REAL problem for me is WHY I am eating. And the fact that if I am eating when I am not hungry, then..... um.... why the heck am I eating in the first place? There are more implications of a spiritual nature as well. (If I do share, because this is MY blog, it is because this is my own journey. I would never force my beliefs down your throat. Just sayin'. ) So, because I had experienced success a few years ago doing an online study at Setting Captives Free, and I knew that the structure, and grounded theology and accountability were exactly what I needed at this point, I signed up to take the course again. I already feel more optimistic, excited and happy.
The study itself is all about how to have an appropriate relationship with food. Food = fool. So -- yes, it is intuitive eating, but with a spiritual element included.

The hardest thing for me is definitely going to be to wait for hunger -- especially since my classes are right back to back on top of each other, and I usually have to scarf food down quickly or miss my chance entirely to get lunch from the cafe in the teachers room. Today, however, I brought stuff for lunch, so I am prepared whenever I get stomach rumbles. When I actually commit to waiting for hunger, I don't GET HUNGRY. When I am not thinking of it, I feel ravenous around 10:30, which means that it is most likely BOREDOM or ROUTINE.
Interesting.

And... since I am once again BEHIND on my days of thanks posts, there will be a massive thankful post coming up later today.

Ciao!



Friday, November 12, 2010

30 Days of Thanks - Day 9, 10, 11 and 12

OH My-lanta have I gotten behind on this!

Here we go.

Day 9 -- Thankful for being the director of the community band in the town that I teach in. Even though it means that Tuesday nights are .... a region below Earth that is full of fiery brimstone and bad things. Seriously. I leave school, drive home, pick up the boys from daycare, feed them dinner, drive BACK to school. (35 minutes each way!!) However, the people in this group are just SO much fun! They are the breath of fresh air that I need when I am tired of children that talk over me and don't pay attention when I am giving them instruction.

Day 10 -- NetFlix Instant.

Day 11 -- Paid Holidays! For the first time in our marriage, my husband has a job that he has benefits AND paid Holidays! And not just the two or three big ones.... he gets all of them, because he is also working for a school. Yesterday was super awesome because we were together the whole day! Yay! It is so nice to have holidays off together.

Day 12 -- It's FRIDAY!! It has, of course, felt like Monday all day because we had the day off yesterday. So every time I remember that it is Friday, I get a little THRILL! :) Please remember from Day 1 that I truly, truly do love my job. But... I love my family more. Weekends and Holidays mean FAMILY TIME!!! So happy!

Running Update, because I know you have all been on the edge of your seat.

I belong to dailyMile. (If you do too, then look me up -- mdawg722)
I love this site. It is a social fitness site, and has tons of information to help you track your running, biking, swimming, anything fitness goals. I love reading about other people's training, and being inspired and encouraged by people who are both at my beginning status, or those who are out owning the roads in pursuit of BQs. In fact, it was on dailyMile that I first heard about BQ and then researchedwhat a BQ is. I would tell you, but.... a little bit of work never hurt anyone.

Now I started this post on Tuesday, November 9th. I cannot remember why I wanted to start out with talking about dailyMile. But, I did, and I am always on the hunt for more runners to follow, so I went with it.

So the plantar fasciitis is definitely improving. I can wear my regular shoes again. I have been running 2 to 3 times a week. On those runs I can definitely tell that I have lost some of my endurance and stamina. But, I am not going to stress about it. I am just going to get out there and run as often as I can, and if I don't even run a mile? At least I got out there at all. I have a tendency to expect these ridiculous things from myself, based on comparing myself with people that the only thing that I have in common with them are a) I am human, b) I have legs and c) I am on dailyMile.

If I am going to compare myself to people I need to be looking for people a little bit more closely related to my circumstances and situation. For example:

1) Mother of two pre-school age children. (age 4 and 7 months)
2) Obese (GAH! I hate that word!) - needing to lose 8o - ish pounds.
3) Recovering from plantar fasciitis.
4) Living in the Northeast, where it now gets dark at 4pm. Or it will be in a couple of weeks.
5) NEWBIE runner - did C25K program in May/June.


Now-- you tell me. Do those criterion seem to line up at all with those who have been running for several years, and who are training for marathons, and are in peak health?

Nope.
So, I have been giving myself lots of grace, and freedom to just get out there and run, and to stop qualifying and quantifying everything. Just get out there, and ENJOY it. Because if I can ENJOY it, then I will CONTINUE to run, and while I am losing the weight and firming up, I can be slowly building up a base that will prepare me for 10Ks and beyond.

Monday, November 8, 2010

30 Days of Thanks - Day 8

Love.

I am so thankful that my boys know that they are loved. Soccer Boy has the sweetest heart. (He also has a typical 4 year old "I can do that if I WANT to" attitude sometimes, but no one is perfect.) He often times will stop playing and just look at us and say, "Mommy, I love you." He shows affection to us, to his brother, to his friends. It is a beautiful thing to know that we have broken the cycle of the violence and indifference that characterized my husband's childhood. Every day this summer, at dawn's first light, Soccer Boy would RACE into our room and ask, "Mommy? Is Cuddle Bug awake?" (Of course, the nicknames are a new thing. So he actually just said his brother's name. You know, just going for accuracy here.) " Can I see him?" Oh it melted this Mommy's heart BIG TIME.

And then don't even get me started on the look on Cuddle Bug's face as he is watching his older brother. It is just PURE adoration. It gives me chills, and happy goose bumps. :) And makes me feel like rainbows and sunshine.

Parenting is such an awesome (and by awesome I don't mean "dude, that is totally rad." I mean "wow. I can't believe that I am in charge of molding a human LIFE." You know. Like FULL. Of. AWE.) responsibility. I wish that I was a better mother. I wish that I wasn't so impatient. I wish that I loved to cook, and loved to keep our house clean. I wish that I was good at thinking of art projects and creative things to do. But what I am good at? That is pretty important too.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

30 Days of Thanks - Day 6 and 7

Day 6 --
I am so completely and utterly grateful for lazy Saturday mornings. We haven't had one here in months! Well... Not as a whole family, anyway. My husband works an evening shift. He goes in at 2pm, and is done at 10:30pm. Most times I am already in bed, and dead asleep by the time he comes home. You know, the whole having an infant that doesn't sleep through the night and having to get up really, really, really early to go to school and all that stuff. So for real, it feels like there are weeks that my husband and I don't even get to talk to each other until the weekend. ESPECIALLY if I happen to be busy during the two breaks that he gets during his work shift, and I am not available to take his call. That happened two or three times this week. :(

Being a single mom in the evenings is hard. We have a pretty good routine right now, but I wish that I had the energy and desire to do better meals for Soccer Boy and myself. Too often I stick to what is easy, which has led to him becoming quite a picky eater. Oh well... One thing at a time, right?

Anyway. Weekends are precious, and wonderful, and always, always, always go by too quickly. But I am thankful for them!


Day 7 --
I am thankful for Mexican Food. Well.... truthfully, I am thankful for ethnic food. I love all types of Asian food: Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese/Sushi; Indian (like India the country, not Native American), and European Food: Italian, Greek (hold the olives, please), even German and Austrian food. And if we are being honest, I really just am a fan of all food in general.

I love food.
That is why I find myself with the daunting task of needing to lose 80-ish pounds. But you know what? Even though I lost my mojo a bit recently, I will find it again. When I am again able to run regularly without my plantar fasciitis flaring up, I know that my head will be in the place that it needs to be in to make healthier choices and to have a bit more (well, any at all would be an improvement) common sense regarding portion control.


So to recap:
Day 6 - Thankful for my weekends.
Day 7 - Thankful for ethnic food, and all food

Friday, November 5, 2010

30 Days of Thanks - Day 5

Classical Music

Romantic and Post-Romantic Period.

There is nothing that can soothe my ruffled/stressed/tired feathers like a Hungarian Waltz by Brahms, or a String Serenade by Dvorak. Tchaikovsky's 4th Symphony heals broken places in my heart, whether I realized they were there or not.

I used to play trombone with a local (and by local, I of course mean an HOUR AWAY since I live in the MIDDLE OF NOWHERE) semi-professional orchestra. I gave it up after Soccer Boy was born, when at a dress rehearsal for a concert I looked over and saw him screaming in the infant seat and I couldn't even HEAR him because the music was so loud. And this was a child that LOVED music -- but even this was too much to ask of my 3 month old little person. I finished my obligation for that concert series, and then resigned from the group.

The beautiful thing is that one month later I was asked to play trombone for the Maine State Ballet Orchestra's production of the Nutcracker. I have been doing it ever since! It is two weekends a year, and it ALMOST fills the orchestral music performing void in my life!

I got my music for this year in the mail this past week. Yay! I am so excited!

The really, really cool thing? I know-- this is too much to bear. My cousin will be dancing in ALL OF THE PERFORMANCES this year!! Her first year, 3 or 4 years ago, she WAVED TO ME FROM THE STAGE. During BOTH PERFORMANCES that she was in! Oops. At least she was cute, right? She is getting fitted for her toe shoes this year!!! I love that she and I have this in common! (She is in 5th grade this year).

So- to review.
I am thankful for classical/symphonic music, the Maine State Ballet Orchestra, and my cousin K who I will get to see a lot during the Nutcracker weekends, and classical radio stations everywhere!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

30 Days of Thanks - Day 4 (a day late)

My brain is nearly completely fried.
Last night my school hosted auditions for the 7th and 8th grade honors music festival.
It went very well, and I learned an awful lot.
I am really, really glad that it is over.

Yesterday was chaos in preparation, and I did not get home (with my two sons!) until 10pm last night. I slept through my alarm this morning and haven't had any coffee yet.
I am working on the solution to that last one right now!

So.
What am I thankful for?

Being able to cross things OFF of my to do list.
I am grateful for the abundance of help that we had last night.
I am grateful for my high school students that came over and helped and took over in areas that needed it. I am grateful for the parents that baked yummy treats, and for my friend Sharon for taking ownership of the concessions part of the evening.

Did I mention that I learned a lot? We have hosted the actual festivals before, but not auditions. They are COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. We had WAY TOO MUCH FOOD. :( Oh well. Learning experience. I just hope that at the end of the day we even made a profit!


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

30 Days of Thanks - Day 3

My Sister, Stephanie!

You were the most adorable little girl. You had white blond curls (after Aunt Fonda gave you a perm) and you were so much fun. I did really love you. At first. And then you stabbed me with a fork, told me my french horn playing sounded like a cow, hit yourself really hard and tried to make Dad believe it was me... (the list goes on.) And in turn, I did what any older sister is SUPPOSED to do... I tried to make your life equally as miserable.

One of my favorite memories is when I was working on a school project with two guy friends and you were running around the house, vaulting onto the couches in headstand fashion. They thought you were really funny.

Then I remember when you were in middle school. It was the first time that we actually started getting along on a REGULAR basis. I think that it was because I FINALLY GREW UP. I am so sorry that I was such a brat to you for your formative years. I love you so much, and I treasure your friendship now. You are an amazing woman, and a fabulous Auntie! I have loved watching you with my boys, and seeing how much they love you back.

Have a WONDERFUL birthday today, and a great year!
SO much love,

Meredith

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

30 Days of Thanks - Day 2

SEASONS

I absolutely adore living in a part of the country that has seasons. I love each of them! Living in New England, I see the beautiful colors of fall, and then in Spring I see eleven different shades of green! This world is a magical place!

Becoming a runner has helped me to appreciate the world around me more. I have become more aware of my surroundings. It helped me to really enjoy the summer, where before I used to hole up inside out of the heat. This year I was plugging away at C25K, even on some of the hottest, most humid days of the year. However-- I still love the seasons, but now I am scared to death of running in winter! I don't have the gear for it -- and can't really afford the cool stuff. I have my big Michelin Man jacket, and I think that will just have to do! And that is okay. Besides.... next winter I am hoping to be much leaner (but NOT meaner)!

Monday, November 1, 2010

30 Days of Thanks - Day 1

Middle Name Marie, of Always a Reason to Run, is starting her 30 Days of Thanks for the second year in a row. I was inspired, especially since I haven't been exactly a ray of sunshine lately, and have been getting discouraged about the whole "not being able to run" thing.

So, I am about to embark on my own "30 Days of Thanks" journey. I would love it if we could start a movement! If you decide to do this as well, let me know, and stop by Middle Name Marie's site and let her know too! It is amazing to be inspirational to someone!


Day 1.
I am SO very thankful for my job, and the people that I work with and for, and my students.

I am the band director for a small oceanside community in Maine. I teach grades 5 - 12, and I truly love my job. The teachers that I work alongside are amazing, and the administration is fabulous. I feel blessed every day!

One of the many perks? That the high school brings a physical therapist to the school twice a week for the athletes, and the staff are encouraged to go and see him if we are in need. I have been to see him twice since my plantar fasciitis flare-up, and with his guidance, I have been doing stretches, and using a very helpful instrument of torture ankle brace that keeps my foot in flex position so that the tissues supporting my arch (the plantar fascia) don't shrink, and in theory I am able to walk in the morning.

So many things to be thankful for about my job and workplace alone -- I could probably come up with 30 from there alone!

And then there is the whole having a degree and actually using that degree, and that I was able to find a job IN that field right after I graduated college. That is becoming an increasingly rare event these days!

Wow. I can already tell that I am going to LOVE doing this. Thanks for the inspiration, Middle Name Marie!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Plantar Fasciitis

I have been battling with plantar fasciitis for a week and a half. :(
From what I hear, this is a very short amount of time for this particular ailment.

On Thursday, last week, I saw a physical therapist, and then proceeded to do all of the stretches that he gave me. They worked! I felt strong, and without pain by Monday morning, when I went for a run. I felt awesome post-run, as well. Then, all of a sudden, I got up from my desk to teach a class and could barely walk! It was awful!! Much worse than the previous week. I went back to the physical therapist on Tuesday and he gave me a night brace, and told me that it is going to go back and forth for a while as I learn how to manage it, and get it under control. *sad face*

It is starting to feel better. I am certainly not pain free, but I am giving it time to clear up. Most people experience the pain right in their heel. Mine at first was on in the inside of the heel. After the run on Monday, the pain became more like a stabbing in my arch. Delightful.


I hate not being able to run. I worry about everything.... I fought SO hard to be ABLE to run, that I am afraid that I am going to A) lose momentum and B) have to start over.

I am grateful, however, that I am not training for anything currently, or I would be feeling really stressed out!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

FREEDOM!!!!

It has been more than 48 hours since I have nursed my Cuddle Bug, with no ill effects! (Other than crazy dips in my emotional state, which is pretty much par for the course right now.)

I am very pleased with the methodical, and mostly painless way the weaning happened. I was so SMART (patting myself on the back here) to start the process before I went back to school. It was just a natural, gradual process that started a little bit more than two months ago, and now my little guy is totally on formula and solid food and mommy can start thinking about having cute underthings again! (Sorry. That might have been too much information. I am actually not really SORRY... I just... you know.... would totally be blushing in real life, so it's strange that I am comfortable blogging about it. But with this length of a disclaimer attached, I probably am not all that comfortable, and all I did was say the word underthings. Geez. Moving on now.)

I am SO grateful that there were no issues in switching back and forth between nursing and formula, and that my little Cuddle Bug is so NOT picky when it comes to the temperature of the bottles, because it makes it easy to just have the water ready in the bottle and dump the formula in, quick shake, presto, in the middle of the night. Because, no, my little angel does NOT sleep through the night yet. I do have hope for the future, though! (It kind of involves a home with more than two bedrooms though, so it's more like a "dream" for the future....)

I never understood the women who claimed that formula feeding was so much easier. I nursed Soccer Boy, and chained myself hooked myself up to the machine at least twice a day for an entire school year. Let me tell you the amount of time I spent worrying about my supply, or replacing the feedings I would miss if he and I weren't together, and what would happen if he had a growth spurt and I didn't send enough food, or know to try and pump more to compensate..... So. Not. EASY.

This time around, when I had a gig that was 3 hours away, I only needed to bring my trombone and music. I didn't need to bring the instrument of TORTURE pump. I didn't worry about finding a private place. I didn't need to worry about whether I had left enough milk with my husband. It was AMAZING. I felt FREE. So now, a little more than two months after the process started, I am once again, for the first time in.... um, this pregnancy, the ectopic pregnancy before that.... a LONG TIME, I am my own person.

Thank you, Target, for making a high quality formula that is so much cheaper than the name brands, and for being so affordable, that we were able to completely avoid the name brand formula recall that happened this fall!



update on the funk

I made a realization on Thursday evening.

I went to bed on the late side on Wednesday evening, and I was really tired and I didn't feel like taking the small MOUNTAIN of pills that I normally take each night.

For example:

3 Omega Three Fish Oil
2 Vitamin D
1 Prenatal vitamin (because I was still nursing -- although, I think I am actually completely WEANED NOW!!)
1 small blue pill that magically makes me not have to cry every day
varying amounts of ibuprofen because of various ailments, the latest being plantar fasciitis.

That is quite the list, right?

Right. So, I took just the super magic little blue pill. And then the next day, when issues arose, I was not able to handle them in the happy, glass half full way that is actually, believe it or not, my default setting -- stupid post-partum-depression!

So I might change things up a bit --- take some of them in the morning so that I don't have as many to take at night. The only thing is, I am SO FORGETFUL! So I think the best plan is just to suck it up, and keep taking my mountain of pills at night. But, I don't think that I will be forgetting the Vitamin D any time soon. That is what I am guessing made the difference. *shrug* Who knows.

Anyway -- all of this preamble is to say that I am feeling better now. Yesterday was a good day. :)

Now, on the plantar fasciitis front.
I am SO fortunate at the timing of every thing, and that I can't keep my mouth shut when people ask me questions whether they really want to know the answers or not! A colleague, the high school XC coach, actually, commented that I was wearing running sneakers. (Not my actual runners -- older sneakers bought before I started running, and totally wrong for my over-pronating, flat foot.) So then I proceeded to tell (whine) him about my heel issues, and that I thought it was PF. This is where there the timing is amazing. Our school has one of the local physical therapists come on Tuesdays and Thursdays to help with students (and staff!) that need help. It was Wednesday, and I was able to juggle my schedule a little bit to make sure that I could in to see the physical therapist the next day. He is AWESOME, and gave me a bunch of stretches, and tips, and it is feeling much better. I have a much better understanding about the whole foot and the way the different muscles and tissues function. Knowledge is cool.

This morning, when I got out of bed, there was very little discomfort! Woo-hoo!!

The interesting thing is that it never really bothered me when I was running, because I am a mid-foot striker and not a heel-striker. BUT, I rested it anyway, just to help it heal faster!


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Funk (NOT the musical genre)

Things that are NOT awesome, in no particular order.


1. Plantar fasciitis, which develops instantly, it seems, and then takes forever to go away (I have heard.) Yay.

2. Not having enough money.

3. Feeling crappy about yourself because you can't run/exercise/put a sentence together/ make smart choices.

4. Wondering if the medicine you are taking is even working. And if it IS working then holy crap I don't even want to THINK ABOUT how I would be feeling without it.

5. Being so busy that I haven't seen my mom or my sister in two months.

6. Wanting more than anything to just go have coffee with a friend, but realizing that there is no one to have coffee with.

7. Being so pathetic that #6 is actually true.

8. Sitting at my desk at work trying not to cry, for no apparent reason.

9. Trying to explain to a 4 year old, that YES, his friends from daycare are rude, obnoxious and NO YOU CAN'T TALK TO ME LIKE THAT, in a loving, calm way without it turning into a scene from the Exorcist.

10. Leaving my work laptop at home so that even if I WANTED to be productive, I couldn't.



Okay. Rather than leave it at that, which is sooooooo tempting, I will force myself to "count my blessings," as it is often said.

Things that ARE awesome:

1. Cuddle Bug
2. Soccer Boy
3. My students
4. Running (even though I can't/shouldn't right now)
5. My husband really does love me, even though I often times don't deserve it


*long belabored sigh*
I wish that had helped more.

*shrug*

c'est la vie.
If I can't be real here, then what is the point?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

paypal, cancer and twitter

I just saw this on earndit.com.


Paypal will donate $.05 to cancer charities for every tweet or Facebook update with the hashtag #BeatCancer.



So go ahead -- re-tweet using the hashtag #BeatCancer. It will only take a second of your time, and could make a difference!

And while you are there, go ahead and follow me on twitter! I am not on there much, but I am going to be changing that!

mduke722 --- look me up!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

I am paying for this?

-For the privilege of being purposely blocked on the walking/running track by a snarky 2nd grader while I am running. THREE TIMES.

-For the privilege of being stared add by 20 something grade schoolers as I run (slowly) around the track.

- For the privilege of dodging basketballs that don't make it in the net.

-For the privilege of almost being trampled by children who aren't watching where they are going.

-For the privilege of somewhere dry to run when the whether is rainy. (I clearly forgot that when the whether is rainy the afterschool program cannot play outdoors either.)


**
The only times that I can really think that this would be worth it is in the winter when it is snowy, or too cold. And even then, it would probably have to be in the morning to avoid all of the traffic issues.


HOWEVER---- I tried those 100 calorie packs of almonds for my pre-run snack, and I had LOTS of energy. So much so that I was really.... TICKED ( !!!!) to have to cut my run short.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Soccer Boy

I ran two miles yesterday.

Toward the end of it I felt like I was going to die had no energy left. Later it occurred to me that I had not eaten since lunchtime, and that meal was a salad and a yogurt. And by lunchtime, I actually mean 10:30 in the morning because that is the time that I have in my crazy hectic schedule to eat lunch. I didn't hit the pavement until 3:30pm. No WONDER I was running out of energy!

Even my brand new running socks from L. L. Bean couldn't keep my legs fresh and my body strong! I was so focused on getting home and getting out the door to RUN MY FUNK AWAY that I totally forgot to actually prepare for the run.

(I did run my funk away, by the way! yay endorphins!)

This dilemma, er, situation, begs the question:

How do I best do this?
Keep snacks in the car for the commute home?
Take an extra five minutes before I leave work and scarf down a yogurt?

Experimentation will ensue, and I know that I will have a PLAN soon.

On a personal note, I took my kiddos to dinner last night at a local diner. I adore doing this. My oldest is 4 years old, and in preschool, so he is ALL ABOUT writing his letters. It is the most awesome thing. He is a little sponge, and it is so exciting to watch him learn and take in the world around him! I adore him to pieces. It was a very, very fun evening.

Oh -- so I am giving the boys nicknames for the blog!

Personalities:
Older - age 4, runs like the wind, loves soccer .... Soccer Boy. That's his nickname! I just decided!
Younger - 6 months -- loves to be held --- Cuddle Bug. That will be HIS nickname. Yay!!!

I feel like a REAL blogger now.
Just sayin'.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The NEW Normal

I had no idea how difficult weaning would be.
Seriously.
It just happened in a very natural, easy way with my oldest son. However, he was over a year old at the time. Now I am actively trying to wean my six month old. It is coming to the point that I need to give him formula in the middle of the night because he is STARVING and I apparently have nothing left to give him. Now, I know that if I let him, he could very quickly get my supply back up to where it needs to be for me to keep nursing him at night time. But is it wrong of me to be ready for my morning routine to just be MY morning routine, and not "what time is my son going to wake up and be hungry this morning?"

All I can say is that it is a GOOD thing that I was in bed by 7:30, watching an episode of Roswell (I truly love Netflix instant on my iPod touch) and that I was asleep before 9pm, because J was up at 10, 2, 3, 4 and 5 -- at which point I told my husband "I have NOTHING left for him and he is starving. At least, I think that is what is going on. I am going to make him a bottle." I came back upstairs, and the little bugger LUNGED for the bottle and drank it in record time, and then proceeded to sleep until after I left for work. Poor starving baby! Tonight a bottle waiting to be made will be upstairs with me, ready to feed him when he needs it. I anticipate a higher quality (and quantity) of sleep to happen for all! Yay!!

Anyway, all of that preamble is to explain the reason why running in the morning before work has not been happening. Yesterday I counted on being able to run after work, but didn't anticipate being in a meeting with colleagues until 3:45, and not leaving school until close to 4. However, I used the commute to talk myself IN to running anyway, even if I only got in a mile. And that is what I did. I got changed faster than ever and pounded the pavement. I did intervals - fast running/slow running, to the timing of C25K week 3, and it KICKED MY BEHIND. Wow. My lungs were HURTING. Ow. At my fastest pace I have NO idea how fast I was going, but I was booking it. I was focusing on form, and footstrike and all that good stuff. I probably should have WALKED to recover, but I didn't. Lesson learned? I am not sure. Anyway, the point it, I got a run in, and I worked hard, and I felt great about making it happen, even though I didn't have enough time.

It is truly amazing how ADAPTIVE humans are, and how quickly things become normal. Think about it! 4 months ago I couldn't run for a mile, and now I am at the point where if I am running less than 2 or even 3, I can easily start berating myself. How quickly my NORMAL changed to something that used to be INCONCEIVABLE! That can be exciting --- but the same principle can also be dangerous ... and I think it is the reason that we slip out of the good habits so often. It only takes one missed workout or run for a new normal (that is really an old, unwelcome normal) to begin to form again. Vigilance is key!!

For me, the bottom line is my priorities.
I need to remember my priorities with every decision that I make, for as we all know, every decision can be a turning point. I don't want to keep TURNING AROUND. I want to keep making one good decision after another, walking in a straight (-ish) line toward the healthiest me that I can be!

Monday, October 11, 2010

4 mile attempt...

Truthfully, 5 miles were trod by my tired and sore feet. I did ,8 mile warm-up walk, and then the rest of the loop that I had mapped out was 4.2 miles. I had a GU Roctane to keep me going -- first time re-fueling on a run.

The first 2.5 miles were good. I was feeling strong. My pace was steady, and I think it was a little bit faster than my normal pace. Cool. The first .75 mile were familiar. Then I turned left. BRAND NEW PAVEMENT! It was so beautiful, and soft and squishy (not really... but very nice)! I was really enjoying the route!

And then I saw the hills. The major downhill was first. I was pretty relieved that I had chosen the direction that I had!
I got to about the 2.5 mile point and then I saw the huge UPHILL in front of me. Whoa. My legs just kind of stopped. I walked up the hill, and to the start last 1 mile part of the loop, which was all very familiar territory.

I started using the GU at about 1.75 miles, and just had a little bit every few minutes. I wasn't really sure about the best re-fueling methods, since I have never done long runs before, and for most people a 4 miler wouldn't be considered a long run, but it did take me an hour! Which means that my AVERAGE pace was just over 15 min/mile, and I did walk in the middle -- I think for at least a 1/4 mile, so my running pace had to have been below that. Cool! I am just getting stronger, which is great!

OH-- the weather was gorgeous. Cool, and crisp. I wore a new long sleeved "wicking" tee shirt from Kohls (on sale for $8!) and a vest with POCKETS!! YES! and my new RUN LIKE A MOTHER BondiBand, and I was good to go. Oh - I should mention that I was wearing my running shorts, that are like leggings, that go to just above my knee. Temperature wise I did get a little warm because of the vest in the sunnier portions, but overall, I felt good. :)

So-- I would love other runners to weigh in on this for me....
How would you describe what I did today?
5 miles, since I walked in the middle, it might seem silly to separate them like I did?
4 miles, since that was what I had planned for?
2.5 miles, then 1.25 miles?

Yes, I analyze things to death.
I do sort of feel like I am cheating when I have to take walking breaks. However -- I DO still feel like a runner, which I am happy about. :)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Cold weather running (AKA All I really want)

I love researching running equipment and gear on the internet. I think it is a majority of what I do online. Research and compare prices of running gear and read running blogs. Yup. Before any purchase for my running habit is made, a minimum of one 1/2 hour of internet research has taken place. Ok, well.... maybe not a half an hour... I am pretty fast with Google Chrome. Anyway - the point I am trying to make is that I like to be informed before I get to the stores because:

A) We are on a budget. A small budget. I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE (seriously) love to outfit myself entirely in UnderArmour coldgear, and NorthFace, and then not even mentioning all of the new brands that I am learning about - like Runningchics and LuluLemon and so many others, but--- I usually end up at Target, Kohls or Walmart.

B) I like to know what I am looking for so that I can find similar products for less money so that my children can still eat, have diapers, and be clothed.


Running is deceptive.
You start out thinking that it is so inexpensive... just you and the road!

Then you realize that the shoes you have are ALL wrong for the gait that you have -- or else they are worn out and tired and making you more injury-prone.

Then you realize that the clothes that you have are all wrong.

Then the seasons change, and you realize that the clothes that you have a REALLY all wrong.

Then you find out about the uber-cool technology out there.... Nike+ and Garmin Forerunners


Then you learn about needing to "re-fuel" on longer runs... and what the heck IS Gu, anyway!!


All of this is to say that it is a CHALLENGE. I am trying to hard NOT to be materialistic, and to not be wanting everything that is out there -- and to be practical with our money. BUT I WANT EVERYTHING!!!!

It is hard for me to justify the purchases, but some of them I know that I absolutely NEED in order to be safe and protected in the elements. (Reflective gear, cold weather outfits) So I try to be as informed as possible so that I can know an adequate substitute when I find one.

SO in the mean time I just enter ever giveaway that I can find, and just keep learning. :)

Happy running!
Tomorrow I am going to try my longest distance -- 4+ miles! :)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Step away from the cupcake....

Binge.
Mindless Intentional binge eating.
Detours specifically to hit fast food restaurants when hunger is not the problem.

*sigh*
This is where I have been. I just want to be accountable.

Things have been stressful and not healthy in our household. My husband is battling kidney stones. Like EPIC battle. Like they KEEP COMING BACK. ARGH. We had the ague of our four year old on Sunday, simultaneous with kidney stone attack #2. Monday I was sick, and that overlapped with kidney stone attack #3. On Tuesday, the baby was ailing, and that coincided with kidney stone attack #4. Yesterday was fine, complete with a Dr.'s appointment for the husband, and tonight, you guessed it, kidney stone attack #5. However.... he is working through the pain. He should be on his way home from work right now, actually.

I had an inservice day today, and all of our staff met at a school about 1/2 hour away from ours, which happily meant that I had only a 10 minute commute this morning! Oh the luxury of hitting snooze three more times! Another inservice day tomorrow, and then a lovely three day weekend! Yay!

I ran today during the lunch break. The cafeteria was so small that they had us eat in shifts, so during the "waiting for lunch" time (also known as the "running out of salad" time) I put on my running shoes and headed out to the football field and had a nice mile and a quarter walk/run. I did feel a bit conspicuous with my bright shiny sweaty red face in the lunch line afterwards, but it was worth it.

So in the midst of craziness, and bad decisions, there was a little glimmer of good decision.
Hopefully we can have MORE of those in the days to come, eh?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Dempsey Challenge 5K!

What a great experience!

Highlights:
1. Long sleeved tee shirt in the goodie bag! Yay! Boy did we all need it -- it was CHILLY! I wore it until mile 2, and then took it off WHILE RUNNING -- ha!
2. Hearing Patrick Dempsey over the PA!! I didn't see him, because silly me I was doing a warm-up walk in a different part of the area.
3. FREE Gritty's beer at 10 o'clock on the morning!
4. bondi bands AND sweaty bands were at the vendor area!!!! I am so freaking excited!!! I have a beautiful new sweaty band and two bondi bands -- one that says "run like a mother"!!
5. the company -- I went with my friends Lori and Sharon, and it was just DELIGHTFUL!!!


Things I would have changed:

1. SO MANY HILLS! BIG HILLS. Oh my word.
2. I would stage the runners and walkers in different areas so that the super-athletic weaving around walkers that were 5 abreast wouldn't have had to happen for the first 8 minutes of the run!!
So-- all in all? FANTASTIC, and I am SO looking forward to next year!!

Friday, October 1, 2010

All the training is over.... RACE TIME!

After my first 5K on july 31st my friend and colleague suggested the Dempsey Challenge 5K for my next race. I committed to raise the necessary $150, and even exceeded that by raising $250! (Thank you to all of my relatives that are cheering me on!!)

Two whole months have elapsed and now it is the eve of the big race. I am so excited! I didn't get to train exactly the way that I wanted to train because a silly thing like having to go back to teaching got in the way! (hahaha.) Regardless, I am going to go out there, and run my race. I am not setting a time goal for the race. My goal is to run the entire race course. And-- if things happen and I am not able to because of elevation, or anything else that happens, I am still going to celebrate the improvements that I have made. After all, I didn't run at all before May 24th! It IS amazing what I have accomplished!

Oh-- and in case you were wondering, no, the scale and I are still not getting along, BUT my clothes and I are. :)

Well, the episode of Fame, Season 2, that I am watching on Netlix is almost over, and my head is drooping. The rain is falling, and I am grateful that it will help me to sleep tonight! The forecast tomorrow is beautiful and cool -- perfect for funning! I love the fall in Maine!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Award! :)

Thank you to my blogging/running buddy Jennifer at One Step at a Time for giving me the nicest award!



So now I need to somehow summarize my blogging philosophy and experiences in five words.

How about this?

I am amazing, but never perfect.

Hmm.... right idea, BUT --- I think I have found it!


Rarely perfect, but always AMAZING!!!!

Countless times on this journey to becoming a runner I have become disappointed with myself, or grown impatient because I was holding myself to an unrealistic standard, or expectations. I so easily lose sight of how truly amazing and awesome it is that I AM RUNNING. I actually am RUNNING, and I love it, and it has changed me. I have more confidence (usually) and feel stronger, and like I am in CONTROL of my life. :) It is an exciting time, filled with great successes, and occasional defeats, and always, always, always lacing up the sneakers and getting back out there.

I would adore to pass this award on to Mindy, at 13.1 to go, a lovely runner/blogger that I have recently just discovered through dailyMile. I laughed out loud so many times as I was getting caught up on her last few blog posts. :)

Week Re-Cap

I was so gung-ho and ready to get my morning runs in - I had my reflector bracelets ready!

But then my household got "the cold," and I have been on the verge of getting it for nearly a week, and since my 5K is this coming Saturday, I did NOT want to be dealing with a cold, so I opted to not deal with pre-dawn cool air running without proper cool weather attire, and got my running in after school a couple of days. I think that I ran on Tuesday and Thursday. Friday I was planning to run, but my oldest boy had a croupy cough all night so we kept him home from pre-school and daycare, so I came home from work early to be with them, which meant no Friday running for me!

Saturday I tried to have a long run, but mentally I just wasn't there. It was just.... off. I don't know why. I think that I just need somewhere new to run. A change of scenery. I look up different runs on 'mapmyrun.com' all the time, but I never actually go to them!! It feels silly to me to drive somewhere to get out and run. *shrug* So, my same old tired street route it is. (I know, I know, in order for change to happen, I actually have to change what I am doing!)

I am trying to give myself a lot of patience and grace. I am dealing with so much right now. I had a very challenging week emotionally. Nothing was wrong, but I was just not happy -- and after feeling like myself for a few days I was not expecting a return of the blahs. Actually--- I CAN pinpoint when the downward trend started. But it will seem like finger-pointing, so I will just leave it at that. I hate being fragile.

This morning I really wanted to run because I am teaching a lesson after school and don't know if I can fit a run in before I pick up my boys. Besides -- I miss them like CRAZY on Mondays! I will post pictures soon - I got some adorable ones this weekend! Jonathan is the happiest baby. His smile just melts my heart! I know that every mother says that, and it is the way that it should be! Stephen is just a sponge, and while he is stubbornly regressing(sort of) in some areas (potty training), he is charming and impressing us in other areas.

OH-- on Thursday evening I just wanted to do something FUN with them, so I took them to a local diner for dinner. Stephen was an ANGEL. He did what he was told, he said please and thank you, he stayed in his seat (most of the time) and he amazed me with his writing ability. He wrote the letters S, T, H, I, A, Z, and O, and then read them back to me and said, "Stephen." <3
It was just adorable! And Jonathan tried mashed potatoes for the first time! It was a big moment! He is MUCH more of a talker than Stephen ever was, and I am sure it is because he is listening to his big brother talk ALL. THE. TIME!

So yes-- I obviously have mood-swings. But since it swung up, and I am now happy because I am thinking about my kiddos, I will take it, and hit "publish post" before I edit myself and delete it all!!!

Have a great day!

Monday, September 20, 2010

3.4 by moonlight

As promised, I am updating you on the results of my intended 3 mile run slated for "at some point" yesterday. We came home from church and lunch, and I was exhausted. I asked permission to be selfish and be the parent that took a nap that day. Normally Sundays are for sleeping for my husband, especially now that he is teaching Sunday school again to the high school kids. But he was already intent on staying awake for some football time and was totally fine with me grabbing a nap.

As it usually is, if I actually sleep during the day, I don't really feel rested. It would have been better if I had just gotten up and headed downstairs at 4pm, after just resting my eyes and being quiet, even though I hadn't actually slept yet. But, I think subconsciously I really wanted to SLEEP since I had said that I was going to SLEEP, so I stayed snuggled in bed (kid- free!!) for another hour. At that point, my oldest son came hurtling up the stairs, bounded into the room, and SANG (really) 'Mommy, it's five o'clock, and you should get up now.' He then proceeded to continue is little song about it being 5 o'clock, and of course, he is only 4, and does not really understand what he is saying or what it means. So yes, it was adorable.

Since my nap was longer than expected, I didn't get my run in until late. I was out the door just after 7pm, and did a .2 mile warm-up walk, and then ran for 3.2 miles. It was a gorgeous night. The moon was out, it was just getting dark-- the stars came out WHILE I was running. I saw the big and litter dippers, and gloried in creation. I didn't care about my pace, I cared about finishing, and not selling myself short. It was a great run.

I love being a runner!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A good day. :)

Yesterday was a lovely day. My family of four went out and about in the morning and early afternoon. On the agenda? A haircut for the pre-schooler and SUSHI! The haircut went SO well. Usually it is... how to describe this.... cruel and unusual punishment for EVERYONE in the vicinity. Yesterday however he was awesome. He was brave, and knew that if he hung in there that he would be rewarded with a "special" book AND a matchbox car. Whoa. He looks so handsome with short hair, and now if it might be remotely pleasant to get it cut, we might not have to put it off for MONTHS AT A TIME!

After the haircut and the necessary trip to "the Car Store" (Target), we headed to our FAVORITE restaurant, Little Tokyo. It was heavenly, as always. The boys were very well behaved, and the whole experience was delightful. I have only been eating sushi for about a month, but I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!! My husband was introduced to it when I was pregnant, and only too happy to use the pregnancy as an excuse NOT to try it. So when we went out with the same friends that introduced my husband to sushi, and I was no longer pregnant, I just squared my shoulders and tried it. Oh my.... I have not been the same since!!

During the times in the car I noticed again that I was not sad. I was just myself. We were heading to a rendezvous point with two of the other members of the Edith Jones Project, the all-women big band that I play trombone with, for a gig about 2.5 hours away. In previous days and weeks there had been much stress and emotion about the day, but yesterday was very pleasant. I didn't freak about the time away from my family (which had been per usual of late) and enjoyed the ride up, the concert and the ride home. I am so happy to be feeling like myself again!!

Today I hope to get a long run of at least three miles in so that I can be ready for the distance of the Dempsey Challenge 5K that I am in on Saturday, October 2nd. I will let you know how it goes!!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Running Frequency and Happy Thoughts!

It didn't hit me until just now that I ran FOUR days this school week! Monday and Wednesday I ran before school (with my new Nathan reflective slap bracelets!!) and Thursday and Friday I got a quick run in before I picked up the boys from daycare.

This is awesome! I am so excited!! Each day I got at least a mile in, and I am counting getting out there at ALL a victory. The amount of planning (and pep talking) that it takes to actually get suited and laced up and out the door any time is no small feat! So, in retrospect of my week of "training," I am quite pleased! AND what is more than that is that the one day (Tuesday) that I didn't run, I did a 2 mile walking video of Leslie Sansone's! My mileage count on dailyMile is 9!! WOW!!

On an aside-- today was a really good day. I didn't feel sad at all. Really!

This blog is new (a forced transfer due to wordpress being blocked at school), so if you are a new reader then you may not know that I have been struggling/battling with post-partum depression for a couple of months. I didn't want to label it that, and I tried the vitamin, herbal supplement, getting enough exercise, diet, and sleep remedies and it was just not enough. I am now on a mild dose of an anti-depressant, and this is the first day that I have cried in weeks. The first day that I haven't felt unbearably sad. The first day in weeks that my enthusiasm was COMPLETELY genuine and not even a teeny bit forced!

This is really big, folks!!!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Reflective Gear= Time for Running!

I was not prepared for the prices of long sleeve running shirts. Whoa.
I guess that I should just run a lot of 10K races next year so that I can get tech shirts in my goodie bags!

But I did score on the reflective gear. The vests that I found were just ugly or ill-fitting. Seriously ugly or seriously uncomfortable. So I opted for the slap-bracelet style reflective wear!



I got up this morning and everything lined up perfectly, and I was out the door by 5:15AM for a nice and crisp 2 mile run. I used the above reflective bracelets, and as luck would have it the only time I encountered cars were when they were rounding corners and wouldn't have seen me in advance, so I don't actually KNOW if the reflectors worked as advertised, but I FELT safer. Which.... if I am NOT actually safer then how I feel doesn't really matter, does it? Let's just say that I am very grateful that I live in a rural neighborhood and on a street that is not very busy at 5:30 in the morning! :)

I am happy with getting in 2 miles before work. I will shoot for running 4 days this week, and see what happens. It will be a major increase in the amount of times that I run, but not such an increase on mileage. This is a good time to do that because I have a busy weekend and might not get a long run in.

Happy Monday. :)

Oh- and my big boy started pre-school today.
Yes, I am a mess.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Struggle.

The Scenario:
-I have to be at work by 7:25 (or earlier) Monday through Friday.
-I live 35 minutes away.
-(possible TMI, sorry) I am still nursing my five month old at night and in the early morning.
- Sunrise is not until 6AM.
-I get sticky, yucky, and smelly when I run. (Which means I need desperately the 20 minutes it would take to shower and dry off and apply the make-up.)
---
-I am rarely finished at school and able to be out the door by 3pm. Add changing in and out of running gear, and driving to said running location (if applicable) and then the 35 minute drive to daycare, and I struggle to get my running done in the afternoon as well.
- Daycare closes at 5:30, but I feel guilty being late for taking time to run. AND I MISS my boys!



I have factored in the above and am struggling to find time to run in the morning. Especially now that I have conquered the elusive 3+ miler, anything less seems like I am not doing enough.

Yesterday was a very draining day. It was the first time where I REALLY missed my boys- so much so that it got in the way of productivity. (Or was that the massive headache that I had for most of the morning?) Even though all I wanted to do was go pick up my boys and snuggle them for dear life, I came home and banged out a quick 1 mile run. I was so focused on the time, and getting my kiddos, that going any longer was just NOT an option for me.

I know that the smart thing to do is just commit to running 1.5 to 2 miles 3 or more times a week in the mornings, and then do my longer runs on the weekends.
Once I establish a routine, I think that I will be okay with it. I need to find DailyMile friends that AREN'T TRAINING FOR A MARATHON so that I don't feel pathetic for not racking up the miles.

(This is where I need a banner that reminds me "you just started running THREE MONTHS ago, you moron! Quit being so freaking hard on yourself!")

Oh--- and if I am going to run in the morning, in the pre-sun glory that is Maine, I need reflective gear. Any thoughts, or recommendations?

Walking on the Stars!! (or HECK YEAH, I'm a runner!)

***** I am moving my blog here (runisthenewwalk.blogspot.com) from (thenextinstallment.wordpress.com) because wordpress is now blocked at my place of employment, yet blogger is not. Grr. For archive blog posts, please visit http://thenextinstallment.wordpress.com.

********
Last Friday I decided run (humiliate myself) with the middle school cross country team.
Many of them are in my band, so they were SO excited that I was there. I was definitely right when I told them that I wouldn't be running WITH them so much as BEHIND them. Ha.

My legs felt like lead and the whole run (only 1.5 miles) felt like work. I had trouble breathing, and never really felt a groove. When I got back to my desk I looked up the weather and saw that it was 95% humidity! Holy crap!

It had been a while since I had really felt strong, and hadn't been able to break past the 1.5 or 2 mile mark on my runs, and I was seriously starting to wonder if I was going to be ready for my next 5K on October 2nd. Thankfully, friends reminded me about the evil nature of humidity and the mind/body games that it delights in! So when Saturday dawned cool, and beautiful (once the rain stopped), and 49% humidity, the runner in me was dying to see if it could be done. I mapped out a new 3 mile course, and took off, promising my husband that if it felt off at all that I would walk and come home. You see, this was my first time running two days in a row.

Run results: 3.19 miles WITHOUT stopping! Oh my word... it felt amazing. AND my pace is improving. It was sub 15 min/mile! (When I started, I was at 16:30 ish a mile) I was so happy. Ecstatic. I would fill THIS WHOLE PAGE with exclamation points to try to get the DEPTH of my excitement across, but I think that it would just hurt your eyes.

Sunday: Recovery Day. Didn't really hurt much, but knew I needed to rest.

Monday: 3.11 miles WITHOUT STOPPING AGAIN!!! So-- IT WASN'T A FLUKE!!!!
(Here we go, again with the exclamation points... ay yi yi)
And my pace was still fast (for me), and I felt at the end that I could have kept going, but I was SO ready to be with my family again, so I stopped.

I have turned a major mental corner -- physical, too, but mostly mental. I feel like I could take on a Hal Higdon training program now, or a Coach Jay plan from Nike+. I feel like I could DO that now.

Wow. :)