Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Latest development in my exercise plan . . .

We got a treadmill!  I'm really excited about it too.  We've been wanting to get one for awhile now, but I get serious anxiety about spending that amount of money.  But, we saw one at Costco a few days ago that was a really good deal and it met all of our specifications.  When I say "our" specifications, I mean Ben's specifications of course.  LOL  He needs one that can handle a larger weight limit with at least 3.0 hp.  This one met those requirements, as well has having a built-in flat screen TV and fan.  Whoo hoo (note EXTREME sarcasm - are we so lazy that the only way we can exercise is with a TV in our face?)  Anyway . . . we didn't buy the treadmill the day we saw it.  Instead we went home, tried to find it on epinions.com and consumer reports, but with no luck.  I just did a Google search for the model, and found some mixed reviews.  But still, the price was almost 75% off, so Ben went back to Costco to b uy it.  When he got there though, he found the units had all sold in 3 days and there were none to be found.  Dejected, he decided to come home empty-handed.  But then, almost like a miracle, a store worker emerged from the depths of the storage room with one more.
After quite a struggle bringing the 400+ pound beast into our basement, its all set up.  I ran on it yesterday morning, and I really like it.  Its so nice to not have to venture outside at 4:30 am - especially on days like yesterday when there was a couple of inches of fresh snow.
I have still been 100% faithful with my workouts, although this chest cold is still kicking my butt.  But, I do feel stronger and healthier.  And my fitness level has improved.  I only think I've lost 3 pounds, but I'm getting compliments from people so I know I'm toning up.  If only I could get rid of my jiggle-belly.

Brynlee is one year old!

Brynlee's birthday was a week ago today. I feel like such a bad mommy for still not posting about it. Things have just been crazy. But I'm making up for that now. Here's what she's doing at one year old:

Bryn is pretty much walking, although she doesn't do it very often. She has the skills and abilities, but prefers to crawl for some reason. Each day though, it seems that she takes a few more steps. So, I'm sure its only a matter of time before she's running all over the place.

I think her favorite thing to do right now is make a mess - and she can completely trash a room in just a few minutes. She loves to pull all of her toys and books out, or to completely empty a kitchen cupboard (I have 2 that are full of just kid stuff). Meal times are always disasters. Bryn loves to throw her food and/or to squish it all over everything. I'm so glad we don't have carpet under our kitchen table. I have to sweep and wipe down the floor after every meal. At last my floor stays clean.

Bryn is becoming very vocal, and can say so many words. I got a few on video over the weekend - maybe I'll post that video tonight. She still calls me Dad, but she says it really well! She also says Gracie, uh-oh, cat, hi, bye, baby, kids, thank you, tick-tick (for tickle), kiss, hug, awwww (when she gives hugs) and e-i-e-i-o. She loves to sing Old McDonald Had A Farm, and she jumps in with "yi yi oh" at the appropriate times.

I've also totally bottle weaned her. She had a few rough days at daycare, but has come through it all just fine. She eats solids so well, and constantly seems to be hungry. She also still nurses once in the morning, right before bed, and when she wakes in the night (yes, we are STILL having night wakings). Which, is actually getting old. Mommy really would like a full night of sleep. Last night I just decided to let her CIO. After wailing for about 15 minutes, she woke everyone in the house. And of course the crying scared G, so I had 2 crying kids at 4am. Nice. So I ended up having to put her back to bed, while Daddy contended with an ornery (almost) 3 year old.

Bryn continues to be such a sweetie. She loves to give hugs and kisses, and to get them in return. She is also compassionate. The other day, her big sister fell down and was crying. Bryn was the first one on scene to hug and kiss the tears away. It was the sweetest thing. I just love my big girl.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Down another pound

I'm only 28 pounds away from my ideal weight. It sounds so close, but I know its still so far away. :) Its funny how once I started liking my body, and concentrating on my fitness level, things started to turn around. I feel great. And even though I'm only down 3 pounds in 3 weeks, I feel sexier and I swear my belly is smaller.

I'm doing really well on my running plan too. Last night I ran on the treadmill. I usually run outside, but there was too much snow yesterday so I hit the gym. It had been about 10 days since I'd run on the treadmill, and I noticed a difference in how well I ran since then. I did a running then walking interval for 90 seconds, then a running/walking interval for 3 minutes. This week on the C25k plan, I was only supposed to go for 20 minutes, but I went for a full 30. I felt really well, but Ben scolded me when I got home. The rules clearly state not to push your body to do more than the workout specifies. But, I really didn't feel like I was pushing my body too much. And I feel great today. Besides, its not like I'm super speedy anyway. In 30 minutes, I barely made 2 miles. I don't think it hurt me to do that extra 10 minutes.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Road trip to heaven

This morning on the way to day care, Gracelin was unusually quiet.
Finally, after about 10 minutes of silence, I hear her sweet voice from
the backseat ask me:

Mommy, do you remember when I was in heaven, then I was born, and then
I was your baby?

My initial thought was "what a sweet girl I have". (have I mentioned
she's not quite 3 years old yet?) Then, the following conversation

Mommy: of course I remember.

Gracelin: Did you come to get me from heaven?

Mommy: No sweetie. Heavenly Father chose me as your mommy, and he
brought you to me.

Gracelin: Oh. Can we go back and visit him? We could drive there,

Mommy: We can't drive to heaven. But we can go back to live there
after we die if we are good people.

Gracelin: I want to go back Mommy. Will you come with me?

I could barely answer "yes" because she choked me up. I just don't
know what I did to deserve such a sweet little girl, who is wise beyond
her years.

Running update

I wanted to quickly update my running for yesterday. I've got my system
down, and was up and out of the house in just a couple of minutes.
After my short 3 minute warm-up I started running. Really, I should
probably say its a jog, because there isn't much speed to what I do.
But, I forgot to stop. This week I'm on the 2 minute run/2 minute walk
cycle. But twice, I forgot to stop running after 2 minutes. Each time
I probably went about 5 or 6 minutes before stopping. Really, I could
have kept running, but I am forcing myself not to skip ahead in the
program. Its a good thing too. Yesterday for the first time, I felt
it. My foot (that I've been having some problems with for quite awhile)
was very sore. I think what I have is plantar fascitis, but I'm not
sure. But it was sore, which in turn made my shin sore and even my knee
was stiff. I think I was maybe not running completely flat-footed
because of the pain in my arch.

I am doing well though. I know its only been 3 weeks, but I notice a
huge difference. Not so much in my physical appearance, but I do feel
stronger already. And even though I get up at 4:30 am to run, on those
days I have more energy and feel better than the days I sleep in (if you
can call 5:15 sleeping in). I also feel better mentally about my body.
I feel sexier and I like my body better. Its amazing what endorphins
can do for the psyche.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Been slacking with writing, but not running

I've had every excuse to not workout lately. My kids have been very
sick - so sick that they've been to the doctor several times to no avail
(I'm starting to wonder if they'll ever be healthy again). They are
each averaging 2 night-wakings a night, and I'm a walking zombie. As a
consequence, I got sick too. I've got a sore throat, bad cough,
wheezing, and sneezing. It makes running very difficult. And, after
finally deciding that the club house really doesn't open before 5am,
I've been running outside (just incase any of my readers don't know
this: its winter and cold/snowy/windy/icy outside).

So, to recap: bad weather + sickness = a very good reason to stay in
bed 30 extra minutes in the morning.

But I've been good. I've stuck to my "couch to 5k in 9 weeks" plan
religiously. Or, as religiously as I can. I don't have a way to time
myself, so I either count steps or houses to gauge my running/walking
times. I'm feeling good too. Ben has been running at work on his
lunch break, and we've both noticed a big difference in how we feel. It
even feels like we're nicer to each other. Amazingly, I'm not even as
tired as I should be -I'm actually starting to really enjoy my early
morning runs. And as an added bonus, I've lost 2 pounds in 2 weeks.

This morning, Bryn woke up to nurse about 4:10. When she was finished
I just got my stuff on and went out. It had precipitated overnight, and
everything had a nice coat of ice on it. The road was very slippery,
but I found that if I ran in the middle of the road where cars had gone,
that it was runnable. I wear a pedometer, and in 30 minutes I did 2.21
miles. Not a race-winning pace, but not too shabby either.

Oh, and as a P.S. for those of you who want to know how I am posting
from my email (hence the strange formatting), if you go back to my first
entry of the year (titled So Much to Say, So Little Time) and read
Kristina's comment, it explains it. Or, you can go into the blog
navigator page and adjust it there. I can't remember the exact place,
but I can check from home later and post directions.

Monday, February 05, 2007

So. Incredibly. Sore.

I laughed at the alarm when it went off at 4:30 am this morning. Then,
I reset if for 5:15, rolled over, and went back to sleep. Screw
running, I need my beauty sleep.

My brother surprised us this weekend, but showing up unexpectedly from
Cincinnati. He and a friend came for a weekend of snowboarding, and he
convinced Ben and I to go with them on Saturday. Of course I was the
only skier in the group, so I felt like I was holding everyone up. But
it was a great day for skiing (or boarding) - they sky was blue, and the
temperatures were in the 30s. I actually dressed too warmly, and really
needed to shed a layer. We went to the Canyons Resort, by Park City,
and other than a couple of nasty falls, it was a fun day. I did get
completed blind-sided by a 12 year old snowboarder. Somehow he knocked
me off my feet, but he stayed on his. I got a nasty bruise on my hip
and severely damaged my pride, but other than that I was fine.

After a few more runs, I got my confidence back, and let Ben convince
me to take a double blue run - The Sidewinder. Now, the only difference
between a double blue and a black diamond, is that a double blue is
groomed, whereas a black diamond is not. And grooming The Sidewinder
run only made it worse - since it is a west-facing slope on a sunny
afternoon; it made the run very icy. Now, I would consider myself an
intermediate skier. I can generally hold my own, as long as the run is
wide enough for me to make a wide traverse if need be. But, this run is
a bit narrow and busy for me to slowly take my time. Of course my 3
companions blew by me at the beginning of the run. I stayed at the top
to survey my course of action and to let some other people pass me.
Then, I slowly started down. I was doing fairly well, going back and
forth, but I started to get a bit bored. I convinced myself I could be
more daring. So, I pointed my skis downhill and went for it. Of course
I crashed. The hill was so steep and icy that I probably slipped
downhill about 100 feet, head first, on my back, with my feet (skis
still attached) flailing in the air. When I finally stopped, I found
that I couldn't get back up. Every time I tried, I slid again. So, I
went over to the edge where the snow was softer and took off my skis.
But I still couldn't even stand up, and of course my companions were no
where to be seen. I had fleeting thoughts that I could die up there on
the mountain, when a good Samaritan came to my aid. He was so nice to
me, and asked if I was ok. I told him that only my pride was damaged,
that this hill was way above my abilities. He helped me up, helped me
back into my skis, and went on his way. I found that I could stand
sideways and slip down the mountain, but I looked silly and it was
taking forever. So, I decided to just go for it again.

I was doing really well, until I came to a place about 3/4 of the way
down the run where 2 ski patrol members were standing with a big Caution
sign. They were warning everyone that this was an especially icy place
on the mountain, and they'd had lots of injuries there today. I could
see my group waiting for me at the bottom of the hill, and I wanted to
get to them quickly. So, I went for it again, not really heeding the
warning. Big mistake. I biffed again (and apparently so did about 8
people behind me). Ben and company were having a great time watching
everyone crash at that spot. I decided not even to try to ski the rest
of the way. I just slid on my butt until it leveled out a bit. Then I
put on my skis, and amidst applause from my husband and friends, skied
to where they were waiting for me.

Actually, they'd all had a difficult time with the run. Only my
brother had managed to stay upright the entire time. Ben had hit hard -
the worst fall he claims to have ever had. So, I felt a bit better
about myself. We did a few more runs without incident, then headed for
dinner in Park City. My parents brought the girls up to eat with us,
and it was good to see them. I love skiing, but I miss my sweeties.

I actually felt pretty good yesterday, but today at 4:30 when the alarm
went off, I was sore and stiff. Even my forearms hurt. I've got about a
dozen bruises too - the badly bruised knee from my spill in the snow
running the other morning, my hip, a bad one on my calf (from my ski
boot?) and many other smallish ones. I'm a mess. I'll have to do
Tues, Thurs, Saturday runs this week, because I was too lazy to run

Thursday, February 01, 2007

From couch potato to runner - day 2

Well, I suppose today is day 2. The plan clearly states that you should
never run 2 days in a row. But, yesterday I really didn't run. So,
maybe today is actually day 1? Nonetheless, I went out this morning. I
almost didn't make it. I felt terrible when my alarm went off at 4:30
am, at such an ungodly hour. But, since I'd slept in my workout
clothes, I had no excuses. I pulled a sweatshirt on, grabbed my inhaler
and iPod, and was out the door. It was really cold this morning - about
15 degrees - and I was glad I'd be running inside. But, when I got to
the clubhouse, my key wouldn't work again. I'd tried it last night, and
it worked just fine. I'm thinking that maybe there are certain hours
when my key doesn't work.

I was really annoyed that I couldn't get in. But, not wanting to waste
another early wake-up, I decided to just run outside. I knew it would
be difficult. I have exercise-induced asthma, that is worse in the
cold. I knew that I'd use my inhaler more than if I'd been breathing
warmer air. And I really wasn't dressed for 15 degree weather, wearing
only a sweatshirt and no hat or gloves. But, I'm hearty and can handle
the cold. So I set off. The training this week calls for 60 seconds of
running followed by 90 seconds of walking. I didn't have a watch or
anything so I counted 60 steps of running followed by 90 steps of
walking. I probably walked too long, since my walking strides were
slower than my running ones, but it would have to work. I was amazed by
how good it felt. I'm not a very good morning exerciser (I do better
about 4pm). I really notice fast the fact that I haven't eaten for
hours, and my energy level drops fast. But, I was able to complete the
20 minute session on schedule for today. Towards the end, I did start
to feel a bit drained, and my left calf felt tight. But, after some
good post-run stretching and a long drink of water, I felt much better.

Ben has decided that he's going to train with me. He's going to the
running store to be fitted for some good shoes. We're going to find a
race in May to train for - I think with a goal in sight it will be
easier to stay focused on training.

I've also decided (thanks to a wonderful blog Kristina alerted me to
yesterday) to focus on increasing my fitness level, instead of weight
loss. Obviously, if I stick to my running goals, weight loss will be in
inevitable result, but I'm going to focus on increasing my stamina and
pace, instead of how much I weigh. I didn't grow up as a very athletic
person. I've always had bad asthma and worse knees, so in school I
usually had a doctor's note for gym. I'd usually sit out of any
activity that required me to breathe or use my knees (basically
anything). I don't really blame my mother, but I guess its kind of her
fault. I did have bad asthma, that even required hospitalization -
sometimes for weeks at a time to get me breathing again. I'm sure she
was scared for me to have an asthma attack at school. But, I grew up,
moved 2000 miles away from home, and realized that I didn't have
limitations. I discovered Advair, and realized that by taking daily
maintenance meds I could control my asthma. And I had knee surgery on
both knees. But, suddenly I could run, hike, backpack, snow and water
ski, etc. You get the picture. I could enjoy being physical, and I
loved it.

More than anything, I want to get my fitness level back to my college
days. I know that I can do it. It may take me a bit longer than the
average person to get in shape, but I can do it. One day I'd love to
run a marathon, or even an ultra. But for now, my sights are set on a
5k in May.