Sunday, February 28, 2010

stats

I forgot my run stats in that last post, and since tomorrow starts out a new week, let me at least say this. I wanted to do a lot more than I did last week, but I did a lot more than I could have, so go me!

Total Week:
14 miles
10 run
4 walk
0 P90X (FAIL)

NEXT week's goals:
12 run
5 walk
3 P90X

Because, I'm just like that...

180 degrees

In the 3 months (omg, has it been FOUR???) since the Richmond Marathon, I have gained 7 pounds, lost all my cariovascular fitness, and been overly frustrated by my (fill in the blank) injury. It's so simple to just call it a knee injury, but it's really been so much more than that. Today marked my return to racing, and hopefully my triumphant return to all things speed. Do you know the hardest part of all this? Watching TMB pull so far ahead of me speed wise. There was a time not that long ago when I thought if I trained hard enough, I could keep up. Now, I'm 4 months of speed behind. 4 Months of speed turned out to be A FLIPPIN' LOT of speed, but I'm getting ahead of myself.... I feel like a totally different person than I was then. As though I've made a complete about face, and I'm now running toward my running goal via a different route than everyone I know. It's lonely over here in the recovery ward.

Our race day started at 7:45 when T & V arrived at my house to prepare for the race. T had an extra Cheetah Skirt (because who doesn't have two these days?) and V suited up. And then we were off on our 25 minute drive to the race. Bright sunshine and chilly temps here we come!

Once there, we registered & hung out in the car until we saw DeNiece & Melis and then we moved from waiting in the car to waiting in the building that was hosting the race. The locker rooms were totally sweet. Two thumbs up. In the waiting area we snapped this super cute photo, and then we headed to the start.
DeNiece, T, V. & g.
My strategy for the race was to run negative splits, for a total race time of 30 minutes. Since I knew I was aiming for 30 minutes I lined up toward the back of the race pack. It wasn't chip timed.

They called for the start and off we went. In no time at all T was just a glimpse in the distance, and before long I couldn't make her out at all. V was on the fringe of my vision, but the course turned off the main road and onto well packed trails, so I lost sight of her.

The course wraps you around a 1 mile loop, and then again over the same loop. When I was still on the first loop, the 2 male finishers lapped me. S'ok. I was feeling good. First mile was a little fast, 2nd mile I toned it down a little and it was also a little fast... 3rd mile was toned down more, but still... a little fast, and toward the end of the 3rd mile I realized that my "run 30 minute" race was going to be an epic FAIL.

I emerged from the trees and there was V about 10 feet ahead of me. No really, she was just suddenly right there. SO I ran up beside her and said Hi, and scared the (fill in the blank) out of her. So we ran stead for another 800 Meters, and suddenly I could see T standing on the side of the course cheering, we turned, and the finish was there. In my head I knew Dr G would tell me NOT to sprint. But. I. Suck. so... I sprinted the finish, partly because V was about 2 steps ahead of me and I thought I could just beat her, but partly because I still "had something left" and wanted to rid myself of it before I finished. I mean, I hate to run and not leave it all on the course!

My finish time/PR for my 3 miler was 27:42ish. I forgot to stop my watch. My actual finish time will be about 5 seconds slower, because I crossed the start line a bit after they called the start. Still it was a super fun "come back race", T had her best race performance yet, and I think that's a good sign going in to the Half next week. V had an awesome race too, and finally beat me, which is always a goal of hers. De Niece and Melis also had smokin' fast times (but not as fast as T's...). Over all, it was a good day!

It has come to my attention:

That some of you are unaware of the GREATEST online running tool in the history of MAN KIND.... or. Not, but it's a really cool site for all "ya'll" fashionistas! Here's the site


I'll also be adding this to my side bar, incase you forget to book mark it!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Five Things Friday

I missed 3 things Thursday because I was late getting my Lent post out... so, 5 things Friday:

1) The END of an ERA - B. has given up her nap. ~sigh~ I saw the signs last month, but suddenly this week we're really over it. She's napped once in 6 days. Bummer.

2) I'm not going to make my "run 12 miles" goal this week, and that really irks me. I should have said, "run 6 walk 6", but then the goal would have been doable and the one thing I do best is set REALLY high goals that I can't always achieve. Sure does make them that much better when you DO achieve them though.

3) Today I'm making a vegetarian dinner, because it's friday. But also because I'm reading so much literature about why too much meat is bad for you. When I say Literature, I guess what I'm really talking about is my Anatomy & Physiology text book. We should all be eating fish, nuts, beans instead of chickens, cows & pigs. And that's harsh coming from me because I'm a cow, pig, chicken lover, and no, I don't mean in the "save them all" PETA sense. I've found so many recipes though that I can't decide between chickpeas w/ pasta, tomatoes, basil and feta with a green salad on the side, Sweet Potato Pancakes aka - breakfast for dinner, or my own concoction of sauteed squash, garlic, topped with crushed tomatoes over whole wheat pasta. H is arguing for Cod Fish Cakes, which... seems to be meat, but the Catholics assure me that Cod is not meat as far as LENT is concerned. Hmmm. I guess it will all play out at the grocery store when I see the cost of Cod versus the cost of 1.5 pounds of sweet potatoes versus the cost of Feta & tomatoes.

4) Speaking of A&P class, which we weren't, let me for a moment laugh about my prof and his tough accent. I know he's a smart guy, but sometimes its funny to hear him say certain words. Wednesday night he was lecturing about "why americans awl a-fat" (his words, not mine, but...) and "how get skinny" as a "people". And one of the students in the class had a lot of questions about his opinion on the science behind getting thin, and his ultimate answer was (sitting?):
"Get skinny, ah, a-roose weight? You need to eat a-ress. Exah-cise is no as good, because it makes hungry. Eat ress at night, a-roose weight over night. Oh, also, eat ress lipids. So. Eat ress. Roose weight."
I hate to be like this, he's not a bad guy, but he is hard to understand. And he's right, the science behind eating less fat boils down to this: "To convert dietary fat to body fat, 3% of the energy from each gram is used, leaving 97% for storage. If two people eat the same number of calories, but one person's calories come from higher fat percentage, that person will likely weigh more." (g's A&P text book, page 953) I could tell you how many ATP's that gram of fat will produce, but, let's not go there....

5) I realize that I should have gone to medical school. Yes, nursing school makes me wish I was young enough to go to medical school. I'm not though. So. That's pretty much the end of that book. But still, every day that I spend learning about the human body and the mysteries within is a day that I want even more answers!

Happy Weekend, and HIGH FIVE to all those who are racing this weekend including, M.Kish, DeNiece, T., FC, and anyone else out there testing their limits!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

40 Bags - 7


For Lent this year I decided to give 40 bags away. I thought that the first 20 bags would probably come easy, the second half would be harder - but the first 7 were so easy to assemble that I think I should have made a 2 bag a day goal. Especially since we decided that Sunday's bag will always be food for the Food Bank.

40 bags of good stuff, not 40 bags of trash. I had it in my head that I was going to collect it all and make one big trip, but - uh, that's not going to be possible. 7 bags in and I have to make a run. Not all the items go to the Good Will or Am Vets, 1 bag is for the Food Bank as I said, and that's items that me & my kids went out and bought just for them. This is about sacrifice. I'm not giving 40 bags of stuff that's junk. Some of the stuff is nice, but we have 2, or don't use, or just have too much and should be living a little leaner.
Today's Offering Includes...
6 wooden puzzles with all the pieces, 4 sweaters, 8 pairs of pants - one has the tags on, but they are SIZE 12!, 2 talbots kids items with tags never worn! (how embarrassing), many lightly used boys dress items and girls play items, a few race t-shirts, 12 perfectly good DVD's that we never watch, an old purse, 50 pieces of play food in perfect/never been played with condition, and other assorted things from around the house like un-utilized photo frames and a photo box for "BABY" that was never used at all.

The food bank bag goes back in the pantry for deliver on another day, because it's 20 minutes from here, and I don't have an hour of time before preschool pick up.

ALSO - STATS
Yesterday 2.5 mile walk, w/ dogs.
TODAY 3.88 mile run, w/ neighbor, overall 9:45 pace, felt good

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Self Obsessed?

I'm having a rough time lately. I'm not eating well, not that I'm not eating ENOUGH, but what I'm eating is carp. It started a few weeks ago when I "gave myself permission" to fall of the wagon for a few days, because I was a little depressed, and now I'm a mess. I feel disgusting. My body was not made to eat processed white flour, tacos, refined sugar and other nonsense for any length of time. I think I'm going to take a few days to cleanse my body with organic, natural and lightly processed foods. And, I think I might need to LAY OFF THE BREADS for a few days. Good grief. I am writing this here because I wanted to get some accountability, so... sorry for the not funny neurotic ramblings today.

Next thing is that yesterday I went on a POOL HUNT. And I found the perfect indoor pool. I did. Its awesome. Swim lessons for the B, and a lap lane for me, AND a place for B to hang out on non-swimming lesson days... but it's attached to a huge and expensive gym. I'm afraid that the hardship of paying for the membership will be, uh, hard. The PRO is that it's within running distance of my house. I run by it ALL THE TIME and it's open 24 hours a day. I could actually go on my way home from class late at night.

That's not the only pool I found, but the second one is not as perfect, though it is slightly less expensive. The pool is just as nice, but it's about 20 minutes from my house. With the rising cost of fuel, and the premium cost of "time", I wonder if I'll use it. I still have ONE more option to check out, but I hope to be swimming by next Monday.

And finally, I've received the Gorgeous Blogger Award.
Thanks to Anne from Asthma and the Gift of Running for this award. Anne is wonderful, and I truly hope she knows it. She inspires me to continue when I hate how my lungs feel, because I know that if she can do this, I can too. She also has a knack for dropping by and saying "just the right thing". Thank You.
How cute is that?

And I'm suposed to tell you 6 things about myself... that I haven't already told you. That's rough. I feel like I've covered a lot of ground, but, here goes anyway.

1) The name of my blog comes from a book project that I've been working on for the past few years. I write, I set it aside, and I write some more, I change things. It's never going to be published, but it's a good outlet for me and sometimes I'm able to see things about myself. In my NofSahm project the mother is a stay at home mom who fears she's losing her identity, and feels that she needs to take drastic action in order to find herself. Instead of an affair, she decides to take up running. I say, "instead of an affair" because in every movie you will ever see with a neurotic mother, they always seem very anxious to cheat, and I truly think that a neurotic stay at home mom would be more body conscious than that. No really. 99% of my GF's would cringe at the idea of another man seeing her naked.

2) I am not as self obsessed as I seem, and sometimes I really shock people with something insightful. It's a little insulting actually, when someone notices that and acts surprised. I like to joke that I'm listening while I'm talking.

3) My running hiatus has really hurt me emotionally, mentally, physically - and while I cannot wait to get back to it, I worry that it will be like going back to an old boyfriend. You know the one I mean, right? It seemed great when you were together, he hurt you, you go away from him, can't find anyone better, so you go back and... he hurts you again. I'm trying really hard to get involved in a little love triangle now with Me, Running and Cross Training. I'll let you know.

4) This blog is not supposed to be a fitness or weight tracking blog. It's supposed to chronicle my life as a Diary would... but the problem with an online diary is that you can't always write what you're thinking, because you don't want (someone) to read it. Someone changes all the time, sometimes it's H, sometimes it's my Mom, sometimes it's friends. Regardless... or is that Irregardless?

5) I used to have better grammar. I never would have guessed that Grammar was a "Use It or Lose It" thing, but it is. <--- See look at that nasty grammar!!!

6) I was once "Stalked" by a bad man. Even though it was about 15 years ago, I can still remember the feeling of helplessness and terror that overcame me when he cornered me once. It makes me a little leery about posting too many details in this blog about where I'm going and where I've been. But at the same time, I would LOVE to meet some of these amazing women who I've encountered in my Bloggy Travels. Sometimes I feel like I have been to around the world reading these blogs, and then I wish I could invite everyone to ME! So. If I seem to reach out and draw back, it's because I'm trying to find a "happy place".

I would like to give this award to the following blogs, in the hopes that they've not received it in the 4 hours it took me to write this between breakfast and now!

TMB at http://racingwithbabes.blogspot.com/ - because she's hilarious inspirational
SpeeDee at http://bitsnpiecesofme-runhapi13.blogspot.com/ - because she's beautiful inspirational
FC at http://temporarystayathomemom.blogspot.com/ - because she's amusing inspirational
JEN at http://settingufree.blogspot.com/ - because she's awesome inspirational
MCM mama at http://mcmmama.blogspot.com/ - because she's just plain old inspirational

Again, thanks Anne.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Test Scores

Well.

What can I say about this semester's classes except that they've probably been the hardest and easiest classes I've ever taken.

One of my classes is an online First Aid class. When you take a test for the class you have to travel to the campus and take it in a computer lab. Except the day I showed up to take it, the lab went down! So, I had to take a paper copy. Half Way into the test, the test administrator came in and said, "OOPS! I gave you the test for HLT 100, not HLT 106! So. You have to start over again". Uh. Sure, why not? So, after weeks of waiting my prof to go to the campus to pick up my test, yesterday the teacher finally posted the test grade. Weeks. I'd even sent a cheerful little e-mail saying, in a nice but playful way, that if she wanted to save herself the drive, she could just give me the A. She declined. Nicely though.

My other class is Anatomy & Physiology, which I had my first test in yesterday. Seriously the hardest class I've ever taken, filled with the hardest material I've ever tried to learn. Seriously, I was disarmed by how easy the test seemed. Which is alarming. You remember that feeling from college where you're sure you aced the test and go in to find a low C? Well, regardless (or is that irregardless?) I was fully anticipating getting my test back tomorrow, but because I logged into my online class, I went ahead to see if my A&P Prof updated our scores and... he did.

Here's the most interesting thing about all these test scores. I got EXACTLY the same grade on both of my tests. Seriously. First Aid - Easiest Class Ever, Harder Test Than Anticipated. A&P - Easier Test Than Expected,

both tests... 100%

No really. 100%!!! That's even amazing for me, the 4.0 student. Gosh. Just writing this sounds so unbelievable that I want to log back in and look at them again to make sure that I didn't get mixed up some how and checked my attendance or something.... Sorry - I had to brag.

Today's stats:
ZERO miles run.
Why? Because I was instructed to (and this is a quote) "GO FIND A POOL". Not allowed to run today, knee was "crunchy". Couldn't even find the motivation to walk. Instead I took a tour of an over priced gym.

Seeded Race

Last year I ran the Ukrops Monument Avenue 10K, and I was one of the only people I know who wasn't seeded in a super speedy wave. The reason was obvious: I wasn't super speedy.

So, this year, I put in my estimated finish time as though I'd been training all along, and then I registered for the race. When you do this, you have to provide proof that you're super speedy, so I put in my last year's 10K PR. It's 2 minutes slower than I'd like to have run this year. And then, I held my breath to see what they would do. Because I really want to be seeded with my girl friends so I don't have to stand alone in a crowd of 32K people. Really, this race is huge in Richmond. It's so huge that many people are finishing long before other people have even started. And they're nazi's about the waves. If you're not in the right wave, they will kick you out.

AND- I checked the site today to see where I've been placed: I am seeded in WAVE G.

I know, that my regular readers know that g. is my nick-name for my Nick-Name. I have a nice fancy name, Virginia. That's quite a mouthful for a neurotic stay at home mom, so I shortened it... and shortened it again... and it became such a habit to sign my name g., that people I know started calling me that, and I liked it. I liked it so much that I re-named my best friend "T", when I'm fairly certain she HAD a full name when we met, and another V, because her name, like mine, is a mouthful and really, who has time to write it out? V's name suits her too.

So, even if I decide to drop back into a slower wave, I get to have the Seeded Wave G BIB #, and that makes me happy today. Not as happy as running a 52 minute 10K, but you know, you can't have everything.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Manic Monday!

Of course, don't I wish I was writing Mellow Monday?

Nope, it's manic today because I have a test tonight, and I am a total freak about getting A's.

Have we met? I'm the freak who freaks out about my 4.0 GPA, entrance into nursing school (which is fiercely competitive), keeping my scholarship, and because of all these things I treat each and every test as though my entire life was depending on an A... which, is of course, because it is.

No pressure.

AND really, I should feel pretty good about this test. I studied on Tuesday, spoke with my prof on Weds about my questions, studied on Friday, Saturday... and yesterday I was feeling pretty good so to check my readiness I completed the review section in the back of the chapter. Which freaked me out. I missed about 8 of the 33 questions. Uhg. I stayed up an extra 30 minutes last night trying to study more and woke up feeling it.

So today in an effort to relax a little I took a 2 mile walk, which I rocked out in less than 33 minutes. And it's true, for a few minutes I was relaxed. Until I decided to study for 15 minutes while the girls were napping. I've been on a 15 minute study jam session for 64 minutes. I tore myself away to write this post.

Despite all this "jamming", I feel really unprepared for this test. ~sigh~

stats for the week:

Distance: 2 miles
Pace: Fast Walk
... and regardless of how today's test pans out, at least I can look forward to a 3M run tomorrow!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Long Run Sunday

I ran today.

My "long run" of 4 miles, which I was lame as once again I didn't make it to 4 even. I have a strict rule about NOT running through pain, so when I felt my knee twitch at 3.5 or so, I only ran a bit longer. Which was fine (or - lame) because my lungs were NOT in it. Cardiovascular-wise I've lost a LOT of fitness. The pace was sub 10m/mi, so at least I had THAT going for me. Barely.

Still not feeling Great. Hoping that todays run will burn off some of the ick and that I will be back on track next week. My short term goal for next week is to log 12 miles running & 4 miles walking. What can I say, I like to aim high!

Friday, February 19, 2010

~sick~

I'm sick. For real. The carrier monkeys that are my children have brought me some funk. So, hope everyone has a good weekend, and I look forward to catching up with you all on Monday. One of my favorite Followers/Blogs I Follow said something this week about her "Friends" in blogland, and nothing has solidified that more than the well wishes I received from you all in regards to my health. So, "Thank You Bloggy Friends".

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Three Things Thursdays

I wanted a snappy Thursday blog title, so I wouldn't have to steal from everyone else in blogland, but... I could not find a better alliteration. I've been pondering that for the 3 available minutes I had to ponder it, and nothing. So. Done with that and moving on...

Today I will post Three Things Thursday:

1) LENT - this year, I'm "doing the Lent thing" again. No Meat on Fridays and make a sacrifice. I'm not giving up chocolate again, because I don't think God really cares if you give up Chocolate. One thing that God does seem to care about is "doing to others as you'd have done to you" and "loving thy neighbor". So on that note, I decided to Give for 40 Days. I have tons of stuff in this house that's hardly getting used, so, I am going to give it away. Yesterday's bag of stuff to Salvation Army contained 2 wool sweaters that I hardly wear because they're itchy, a pair of too big pants, and a coat. Today's offering was some brand new plastic food Toys that B doesn't need. She has at least 100 pieces of Food. Really, it does nothing but cause a headache. So, I thought we could give 50 pieces away. Amazingly enough, removing 50 pieces of fake food from the fake kitchen didn't de-clutter the real kitchen very much at all.

2) YOGA X - yesterday I "attempted" P90X YOGA X. After 20 minutes of various Downward Facing Dogs, Runners Stances and Warriors my stomach flipped over and I felt like I was going to Dear Gentle Reader, this is where I will spare you the GORY details. So I had to stop doing YOGA X. I hadn't eaten much, but thought that maybe I'd eaten wrong. Though, typically dry cereal, raisins and some coffee 2 hours prior would be an approved pre-workout meal.... but now, I have some suspicions.... because today...

3) I went to the Witch Dr, and asked (aka begged) if I could RUN for REAL sometime soon. Last night I was totally stressed out by G, B, getting to class, the material in class, etc. I need to RUN. And, once I explained this to him, he said he would allow it... TODAY...blahblahblah if I promise not to run through pain or do any sprints etc and so forth. YEAH! So he taped me up with some nifty aqua colored tape, and I came straight home to run. I had directions to do Strides today - run fast in 20 second increments for 5 minutes, run a normal "steady state pace" for my run, and do 5 minutes of strides to complete my run.
The Nifty Tape on my knee that HAPPENED to match my AQUA skirt!
And since I thought it would be weird to post my leg without the rest of me....

So I set off to do a short warm up jog before starting a REAL RUN, and I immediately felt bad. Not bad in the knee, bad in the stomach. Still, I thought I might just be over analyzing my "feelings" and I kept going. I leveled out and hit a nice comfortable pace. Mile 1 was a 9:21, thanks to the Strides. Then, mile 2 slowed to about 9:40. Toward the end of mile 2 I hit a mental thing and had to force myself to keep going. At the beginning of mile 3 I felt wretched. And I had to WALK for about 1 minute, because my lungs could not keep up, and my stomach was on FIRE. I don't know what to think about that... except that I did strides again for the last mile, bringing me in around 9:40's for that mile, and I sprinted a bit (sorry Witch Dr) because I had to get home as quickly as possible because I knew I was going to be horribly and violently Dear Gentle Reader, let me again stress that this little edit is for your own good.

At this point I have suspicions that I might actually be ill. Or fighting off something. Certainly, this is not normal behavior for me on a "less than 4 mile run". My lungs feel icky too, which makes me sad. I haven't taken my rescue inhaler in a long long, long long, long long time, and I'd like to keep it that way. Tomorrow I'm to rest, and then I will try "real Running" again on Saturday or Sunday!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

NOT wordless today!

Wordless Wednesday came to me from another blogger, partly because I like alliteration, but also because Wednesdays are super crazy for me. I work all day, pick up C from Scouts, send her to dance, cook dinner, get the other kids ready for bed, leave for school as soon as H gets home with C - which is really stressful because it's literally a swap in the driveway so I can get to school on time, then I sprint across a huge parking lot to sit through 3 hours of class, come home exhausted and fried. Usually I even try to squeeze in a workout, some house cleaning, playgroup, and homework.

In other words - Wednesdays are too busy to blog... EXCEPT TODAY has been AWESOME! Too awesome to pass up talking about because I have some huge news. I have not stopped smiling for the last 10 minutes. Really. So, without further ado:

I AM A SPONSORED ATHLETE!

Seriously! I'm not kidding! Dr Green, of Active Chiropractic, my Witch Dr, has sponsored me for my first Triathlon - Pink Power on Aug 22, 2010! ~gasp~ I am SPONSORED! And PROUD of that, even though it wasn't my speed, or my fitness that got me sponsored. I like to think it might have been my "Attitude" or maybe my "Heart", but either way - GO ME!!!

Monday, February 15, 2010

speaking of Drug Pushers

Last week I randomly mentioned a race to a friend, and the next thing I knew she was talking about running it as a training run. During that conversation I sort of laughed that I had called her and offered her some crack. She's since come to her senses and just going to run my COME BACK RACE ... on 2/28, a 3Miler with a $5 race fee. My standards were low... But just to let you know, I've rescheduled my "return to racing", and this is actually a race I might be able to do "well in" (aka - finish without walking or re-injuring the IT Band/Knee/Hamstring).

Anyway, I think by now we're all aware of how much I "love" my Witch Dr. In fact, I could probably write a ridiculous Dr Suess Inspired Rhyme for him, except that at some point my husband is going to get jealous of this younger man and that is SO not the kind of drama I need in my life these days.... Did mention that I am, for the first time in my life, OLDER than my Dr? And did mention also that he calls me Ma'am. I'm obviously showing my age. I digress.

Still, every time I see my Iron Man Witch Dr we talk about my need to CROSS TRAIN and my LACK of interest in doing so, my hate for my Pink Schwinn, and my lack of pool. I finally said a few weeks ago that the best way to get me to cross train would be to set myself up for a public failure like signing up for a race....

So.

Armed with that tidbit of information he's pretty much all over me to sign up for a triathlon every time I go see him (twice a week). The 15-20 minutes we spend together is always a hash of what's up and which Triathlon he thinks is best for me. I feel like a kid in middle school being bombarded with PEER PRESSURE.

Did I mention that I wasn't very strong in the PEER PRESSURE department - well I guess that's not entirely true, I still never have smoked or dropped or snorted a drug, at this point I'd say I'm a little to old to start trying. Today, I mentioned to him that I'm really seriously considering it... a tri, not drugs, and Dr G did a little happy dance. By the time I was home from my appointment I had received an e-mail from him indicating that he'd e-mailed the race director, and included in that was a link directly to registration. Silliness.

Silliness too that for some reason the idea of swimming a few hundred meters, riding a bike ~gasp~ a few miles, and running a 5K is as scary to me as running a marathon. No really, you know how I got butterflies in my stomach every time I said or wrote the word Marathon for the 9 months leading up to the official start of training? That's exactly how I feel right now, and the two Tri's I'm considering are in JULY & AUGUST.

And finally - on other notes, I have been selected for a BLOG award - the Sunshine Award, but I'm afraid that I'm going to have to regretfully decline. The thing is, I cannot choose 12 bloggers to pass the award to.... because most of the people I read have received the award and seriously, at school this week I have 2 tests and 18 pages of lab sheets (challenging stuff, fill in the blank) that are due (no really, 18 pages, not kidding)... I do not have time to write it up and link it together. I'm sorry. Truly sorry. I feel like a cad. But I thank Anne for the thought and I am really pleased deep down inside that she thought I deserved an award that is focused on bringing sunshine to someones life. So thanks Anne. Really.

Meatless Monday

ODE to Mrs Bunny
a poem dedicated to my son's teacher

Names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Last year I spent numerous phone calls and parent teacher conferences listening to a woman who clearly did not appreciate my parenting style, or G's learning needs, go on and on about how difficult he was to teach...
well, have I conveyed how much I love his teacher this year??? No? OK, I will try.

My son G in second grade
is quite smart but needs some aide,
And because my prayers were answered here
a sweet dear teacher he got this year.

Mrs Bunny is the best for him,
(his last year's teacher was kinda grim).
Aptitude is not being met,
But it doesn't bother her, at least not yet.

He's disorganized and quite a mess
But she doesn't mind his uniqueness
She thinks he's great and tells us so
and tells us so and tells us so.

Her diligence is quite essential
as she strives to help him reach potential,
I know for sure that her success
results in his continued awesomeness.

Mrs Bunny is quite dear,
she reminds me of a sweet care bear
A name for her that's on spot
would be "Care Bear! Encourages A Lot!"

Thank You Bunny, all you do,
We could not live a day without you!
You're the best, we give applause!
(we don't miss 1st grade's Awkward Pause!)




Saturday, February 13, 2010

SNOW Diary

Snow Diary

December 18 - "IT's snowing! The kids and I are thrilled. It so rarely snows in Richmond that we're over the top happy that for the first time in my (XX) years we are going to have a WHITE CHRISTMAS. Even the Christmas's spent in MA were never white. Oh Happy Day! What joy! I'm going out to shovel the walk."

December 24 - "I can't raise my arms, they hurt so bad from shoveling, and now we're in the middle of a crisis. Two broken pipes in the house. This stinks. It's terrible too because it's so slushy outside I can't even send the kids out to play in it. This stuff either needs to melt, or freeze up again, but the "in between state" isn't fun at all. Yes, it seems to be Christmas Eve (or, wait, is it 2am on Christmas morning?) and we're dealing with broken pipes caused quite possibly by the colder than normal water table (due to snow). My sun porch is a mess, we're now using the front door, which is traipsing snow, dirt, salt, gloves and boots all through my house."

January 25 - "The contractor came today and fixed the ceiling on the sun porch and I've returned all the furniture to the room. I washed and put away the snow pants, because seriously, what are the odds that we'll get another good snow this year?"

January 29 - "The weather man says it's going to start snowing shortly. We're torn between excitement and disappointment. They say we're only going to get 4 inches, and in order to sled on our side yard you really need about 6. Well, it's all good, we'll make due with what we've got."

January 30 - "Um. The weather man needs to stop smoking crack. We've got 14 inches of snow on the ground, and the over night temperatures are in the low teens. Get these kids out of my house.... when are they going back to school? March?"

February 2 - "A ski shop threw up on my sun porch. I have 3 children, and somehow that translates into 20 boots in a pile, 12 gloves, 3 (YES THREE) mittens, 7 hats, 2 scarves and 5 jackets, 6 pairs of snow pants all piled on the heater vents and drying rack. I can't get my house clean. My eye is twitching. When will life return to normal? I can't take it any more. This is why I do not choose to home school!"

February 4 - "YEAH! The kids have a 2 hour delay but they're going to school. Finally, for the first time in February! I can get some things done! I can I CAN! But, I am a little worried they're calling for snow tomorrow afternoon."

February 5- "AT 5:30 AM my phone rang. OMW - someone must be dead.... wait, is that?... is that the school's phone number? WHAT! The automated message says they're closing school! Well, it must be really snowing out there.... it's... it's not even snowing yet. Somebody shoot me. There's no snow, and they've canceled school. Kids, get your snow pants on and get outside, I don't care, you are not staying here for the day. Come back at lunch, or when you get frostbite, whichever comes first." ... 2 hours later on the same day, "It's a white out outside. Heavy wet white flakes are falling, the wind is blowing, and you can't see the neighbor's house. What do you mean you put the dog out? Well when? Where is she??? Poor little dog!" (*she was fine, seems that she likes the snow)

February 6 - "Snowed in. Un. Friggin. Real."

February 7 - "It took me an hour, but I got my mom to the airport on time. Whew."

February... "what day is it? They've all blended together into a mesh of white snow, grey dirty snow, fluffy snow, crunchy crusty snow, snow that's icy underneath, snow that's icy on top, snow that the kids hate, snow that cancels school, snow that doesn't seem to stop school, snow that's forecast and doesn't fall... or, wait, it's snowing now! Damn the SNOW!!! I had the kids ready for school and walking out the door when the automated call came in that they had canceled school again. CURSE YOU SNOW!"

February 12 - "They're calling for snow tonight in the over night hours. I decided today to hit the library up where we rented a DVD Charlotte's Web (the movie where Julia Roberts plays the voice of Charlotte) because frankly, I needed a good cry today."


Friday, February 12, 2010

Come Back "Kid" or, uh, Ma'am

I'm planning my "big" come back race for this Saturday. I'm going to head out and race the Sweet Heart 8K.

I got my Dr's blessing, and a gentle threat to not go too fast, as well as a sworn oath that I will quit if I get into too much pain, and finally, he finished his gentle lecture with, "And, if nothing else, I'll be there if you get into real trouble and need me."

OK.

So. In Other Words - big brother will be watching, try not to get caught running all out.

That's all good though because I am going to run easy. I don't have an 8K PR, so any time will constitute a PR... and my goal is 11-10 minute miles, with negative splits every mile. No really, if I can't race fast, let me at least race in the ideal "race plan" and see if I can actually do it. Why not? There's no need to bank time.

I am really looking forward to it. Because the fun of racing isn't always about the PR, it's about the Free WATER, the CAMARADERIE, and the JOY of running!

update on the Sweet Heart 8K is that it's been cancelled due to incoming "icy conditions" & "possible Snow". Bummer. But thanks for all the well wishes anyway. I still plan on running tomorrow, it's just going to be in the privacy of my own "run".

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I can't get my house clean.

I can't. I just can't. My house looks like a ski shop threw up on the sunporch, which has evolved into a mud room. A mud room that is surrounded by glass and can be seen from 3 different living areas. It makes it cluttered looking, even if the kitchen isn't cluttered. Even if the family room isn't cluttered. Which they are. Add the clutter together and it's a REAL mess in here.

~heavy sigh~

I am not cut out for snow, because my house isn't set up for extended snow... because, did I mention, we're in the South here? And at the moment we have had 400% the annual snow fall for RIC, and guess what??? You'll never guess so I'll just tell you... Wunderground tells me that there is more "fun" to be had....

chancesnow
Presidents Day
Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow. Cold with highs in the mid 30s.
nt_chancesnow
Monday Night
Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow showers. Lows in the lower 20s.
chancesnow
Tuesday
Mostly cloudy with a chance of snow showers in the morning...then partly sunny in the afternoon. Highs in the upper 30s. Chance of snow 30 percent.

Thursday Therapy

Today is supposed to be my day off.

On Thursdays I put the kids on the bus, take the girls to preschool, and lace up my Therapy, er, running shoes. When I was at my strongest, Thursdays were filled with 8 miles of blissful iPod filled solo running. Not that I mind running with friends, it's one of my favorite things to do, but there truly is something great about going out by yourself for an hour and twenty minutes of alone time.

And today, I envisioned one of those runs. Albeit, a much shorter run, but still. I couldn't wait. I was going to aim to run for 30 minutes, with 6 minutes of planks, 2 minutes of stretching, preceded by some plyometric warm ups and followed by some ice.

Instead, I get to go for a walk, with a Double BOB and 2 hyper dogs. So NOT Therapeutic.

ON other notes, I think I should rename this blog "Neurosis of the Stay at Home Student" because I am FREAKING THE FREAK OUT over my Anatomy & Physiology class. I would like to thank Racing with Babes AND Endurance Isn't Only Physical for posting foot bone related injuries in their blog in the past few months, it would seem that I know my ankle, foot, toe anatomy very well. Now, the cellular anatomy, how many ATP's are used in cell transport of NaCl and K (keeping in mind that K needs to be IN the cell and NaCl needs to be OUT of the cell, only the concentration gradient makes it want to be the OTHER way around...), how the RNA strand is similar to DNA and which nucleotides are in which, and which organelle produces Protein again?... well, all that is escaping me. Can someone in blogland please blog about that???

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

It's the END of the WORLD

Ok, so maybe I'm exaggerating. It's not "the end of the world". But it's certainly the first sign of the Apocalypse. No really. I'm sure of it.... earth quakes, war, dramatic weather changes, and a girl's first bra.

A bra? What?

Yes, really, I bought my pancake flat, size negative quintuple A MINUS, child (let me stress that, CHILD) a bra. Actually, a 3 pack. These are not under shirts. These are real bras. With eye hooks and adjustable straps. Why is this freaking me out so much? I had a bra when I was 10. But, then again, I wasn't C.

My eldest, C, is sort of young looking. I mean, I think she's a young 10. She plays with dolls, she likes stuffed animals, and she'll watch Disney Movies till the cows come home and the prince and princess live happily ever after, The End. But lately I've been getting a lot of attitude from her. Something you would expect from a 13 year old, or a 15 year old, or someone who clearly knows that her mother is the stupidest person in the free world.

Nana was in town this past week, and saw some of this nastiness and while we were on a snowy trip to Wally World to pick up a few items, Nana pointed out a little cotton training bra. Now, when you describe my daughter, you would use words like completely undeveloped, lacking breast buds, or pancake flat. There is no need for a bra.

Except Nana pointed out that training bras aren't for support. They're for self esteem. Hmm. I wonder if this could be the source of the *witchiness I've been experiencing. C's best friend has a bra. She NEEDS one though, unlike C.

So I caved at my mother's suggestion, bought my daughter a pack of 3 bras, came home and gave them to her. And I was instantly promoted to the COOLEST MOM IN THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE. (as said in the big announcer voice)

Suddenly, the *witchiness" is gone. C is floating around like a million bucks. She's even dressing a bit nicer. Suddenly my 10 year old is acting 20. So this is good and bad. She's not acting 10, which is clearly NOT GOOD, but at least she isn't acting 15...

Monday, February 8, 2010

Meatless Monday

This post has nothing to do with food. I just wanted to ramble about something that is pointless but rambling. Sort of circa my "how much I hate fast food" posts. For those who missed that post, I think the Golden Moo is the DEVIL and should be outlawed. Today's post is all about Mommyhood and something I've witnessed repeatedly that annoys the daylights out of me. I fear that this post doesn't have a lot of meat though, so, thus the title....

The Stay At Home Martyr: A SAHM who spends hours of her day talking on the phone with her fellow SAHMartyrs about how hard it is to be a Stay At Home Mom, and all the sacrifices she has made by having children, and how if only she had more money she would be better off, but she cannot contribute to the household income because she is DOING THE MOST IMPORTANT JOB IN THE WORLD by raising her own children... who by the way, are in the other room parked in front of Sesame Street or Spongebob Squarepants (I put that show into the same category as the Golden Moo) while "mommy is on the phone".

Really? Sacrifices? Like what kind of sacrifice are we talking here? Like, giving birth? Didn't we all do that, regardless of whether we went back to work or not? Or Like being nailed to a piece of wood and suffering until your Parietal pericardium ruptures and you die a painful death?... or, Like giving up your favorite facial cream? For some women I guess, it would be hard to differentiate.

I can tell you exactly the sacrifices I've endured by having children and choosing to stay at home. Financially, we're not quite as well off as we "would be", or... are we? I pack my husband's lunch for him, and thus I offer him support so he can work longer hours. I make him dinner, which saves us money. Oh, another sacrifice I've had to suffer through is that for 5 years (before my oldest started school), my kids and I did not rise before 7:30am. Ever. Oh, well, except on Christmas, and then by choice.

I know a few of these Martyrs. The one that makes my eye twitch spends her days figuring out the best school schedule for her kids next year so that she can have 3 mornings off a week, even if that means a total of $600 additional dollars put out each month. $600! Seriously, because she "is exhausted an needs a break". Uh hello?

The classic Stay At Home Martyr talks about how this job is so much harder than the working mom's job, and at the same time, talks down about how those moms put their children at risk by putting them in day care. Well sorry folks, there are some seriously good daycare solutions out there that are hands down better than Sesame Street followed by Curious George switched over to Dora the Explorer. her cousin, and a fishy square corral with mean friends. (I assume Sponge Bob is a corral, right? I've never actually seen more than 3 minutes of the show, it made me nauseous.). I would probably know, since I've been providing part time day care for years, and I'm proud to say that I always try to offer my "day kids" something extra. Like learning to tell time if they're old enough, or teaching them to skip if they're not.

Additionally, let us consider that the definition of being a mother is not a job. I believe it might qualify as a state of being though, je suis une mere. "I am a Mother". The act of playing with your children, keeping your house up, teaching your children how to BE POLITE and SPEAK CLEARLY, as well as maybe cooking if that's something you do - sure, that's included in the Stay At Home Mom "JOB", but hey, you know what, that's also included in the working Mom "JOB".

So what got me on this anti SAHM kick, when technically I am a SAHM?

Well, recently I over heard that SAHMartyr say how I will be (~gasp~) ABANDONING my children when I finish Nursing School and go back to work! Abandoning? Like, leaving them forever to fend for themselves? Never to return? As far as I can tell, I will actually STILL BE THEIR MOTHER even if I am a WORKING MOTHER.

I don't meant to belittle my SAHM job. I did a good job as a SAHM. My children are, for the most part, fully functioning to their highest capacity. They are socially acclimated. They have ART or SPORTS activities that enrich their lives, and I am proud of their accomplishments, even if they aren't ever going to be students at the New York School for the Performing Arts (FAME!). I think that motherhood is really about DOING THE BEST YOU CAN for your kids, with WHAT YOU'VE GOT to work with. And isn't that what we all do? The best we can? Whether we work, stay at home, go to school, run, don't run, have a golden retriever, or no pets at all, etc and so forth?

I hate that this one mother feels that in order to feel better about herself, she has to put me down. I wish I could just say to her, in a cheap imitation of her southern twang, that she should save her breath, because "honey, when you're a marathoner, and a mother, it's HARD to be put down".

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sunday SUPER!

YEAH ME! Today I joined the group run. Yes, it was a tad snowy (or, for those who'd like real definitions, the roads were covered in 4 inches of ice dusted in snow for traction). I made it 3.8 miles before my knee said "we're walking". And so I walked the .2 back to the car, iced on the way home with my cold water bottle, and I am feeling good!

On another note....

Oh God or Goddess of SNOW, please find TMB's offering of YakTrax running gear enough that we may be DONE with any more snow this winter season. Amen.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Not to BRAG, but...

Can I just brag for a moment about how cool my son G is for a 2nd grader? He is so artistic, and I often think he might be my most gifted child (shhh, don't tell the other two). Well, in October he entered a photograph he took in a school wide contest. We'd gone to a local park and photographed the Koi fish. I was in charge of throwing crushed up Goldfish crackers at the Goldfish while G took 23 (no really, 23) photos until he got one he liked.

Well, it was SO NEAT, and I wasn't that surprised that it won at the school level. Seriously, a neat photograph that only a little kid could take. From there it moved up to the county level. And I gently told him that as cool as the picture is, I doubted very much that a 2nd grader would get to represent our entire county. He was cool with that. To be honest, I'd sort of forgotten all about it until yesterday.

I found out that it WON at COUNTY LEVEL! This means that his picture beat out several hundred other photographs that won at the school level! Next it advances to District Level, and while I have the utmost confidence in my son's photographic work, I highly doubt it will win again... BUT isn't it COOL???

The THEME is "Beauty is..."

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Thanks for Making Me Cry

Last week I had an awesome run, with CORE work, and couldn't wait to do some more. But this weather is really messing me up. The roads are not clear enough to run on, heck, half of them are not even clear enough to drive on! So I'm stuck here. At this point I would even take a "dreadmill" run.

But enough about the Snow, let's talk about me.

Finally my passion for running has actually shown itself to be useful ... It's the one thing that I love about my running style. I know I'm never going to win a race. I'm never even going to win my age group - but don't think I haven't at least fantasized about that in the smaller races I've run. But while no one would ever say I'm the fastest in my group (even though I have the standing record on Team RLAMother for the fastest Half Marathon, at least until the Disney Half Marathon when T blows it out of the water), I certainly would say that I enjoy "racing myself" more than some of my fellow runners.

Last year I raced over 90 miles. And while I'm proud of my speed racing (i.e. - the amount of time I shaved off my previous PRs), I'm more proud of the fact that for the most part, racing that much was the MOST fun EVER. And, only ONE TIME, did I think during one of those races "This isn't fun at all". It was August. I was, uh, "revisiting" my gatorade on the side of the road at about mile 6 of a half marathon. After that my blood chemistry/hydration was out of whack for the rest of that race. That day. Probably that week. It wasn't a shining racing moment. And I didn't PR. This year though, I haven't run a single race. Because I'm not fit enough? No and Yes. Because my knee is damaged? Maybe, yea, some of that. But a little bit because I know I'm supposed to be taking it easy during this phase of my recovery and it's
"not fun to race if you're not going to have a chance to PR". Or is it? Isn't some of the fun of racing the pre-race hype? The running alone in a sea of runners on roads the way GOD intended - CLOSED TO TRAFFIC for my use? The post-race high? The free water? (wait, are you telling me that no one else is running for the free water?)

My experience as a "running for the passion of running" runner finally has come in handy. I'd like to say Thanks to Anne for making me cry today. She says I gave her an Aha moment, well, she reminded me of mine. My list of priorities on marathon day in November, in order of importance -

Have Fun. Finish. PR.

I think I will sign up for the MONUMENT 10K. Because my Dr says I can, and even though I can't PR, I will start in my SEEDED wave (thank you very much), in a CHEETAH SKIRT (goddess willing I will have a new one by March) and I will run because it makes me HAPPY.

Monday, February 1, 2010

locks of love ROUND 1

C donated her hair on Thursday. It's so cute I could just die. I might too because she looks so different. UH. In a good/bad way. She looks cute in a good way, but not in a way that a woman wants her daughter to look at age 10. Here's the pic though, so you can all enjoy the cuteness and celebrate that someone somewhere is going to be wearing the healthiest wig with the thickest most wonderful hair. Thinking about that makes me feel a little sorry for the woman who gets the wig made from my hair when it's finally long enough, which according to my calculations, won't be until AFTER the next Richmond Marathon. No really, it grows THAT slow.

For the record, C donated 13 inches. She could have kept 3 for herself, but she didn't. She wanted SHORT hair. (and she wanted to stop arguing with me about her hair brushing, drying, braiding, tangles, detangler, etc and so forth).... so here's a quick reminder of exactly how long it was the week before Christmas...

and here she is on the day of the donation. Brittany at Nesbit Salon did the cut for free, so C got the big fancy salon experience and I don't have to sell anyone to pay for it...
Once the hair was measured, we had to come up with a plan. I knew C didn't have a ton of experience asking for styles at the salon, so I went up and told Brittany what I thought ("leave as much as you can"). Brittany told me what she thought ("That's a good plan, we'll leave as much as we can"). And C interjected and said, "no, I really do want it all cut off. Make it short." So I motioned at her chin with my hand and she said, "Yes, that's really what I want".
So, now we had a plan.
And after about 30 minutes of cutting, and shaping, and gasps (C's because the first cut was made with a straight razor blade), and a few tears (mine, hello, C was chill) this was the final result:


and because this blog is about ME, I think I should mention that my life flashed before my eyes right about now when I snapped this photo.