Monday, February 18, 2013

The Running Dead

This past weekend was relatively low key. Hubby and I had plans Saturday night for our belated Valentine's Day so Little Beast was with his grandparents. Sunday we caught up on house chores (fun!) and relaxed. I ran my first 5K on Saturday. It wasn't an official race but I ran 3.18 miles in 29:58 minutes. After I ran, my legs were killing me! I've been debating getting new running shoes - well running shoes in general considering I am using my everyday sneakers for running - but I told myself I would only get running sneakers after I could run 3 miles. So Saturday's run earned me a new pair of sneakers! We went to the local Run store in town - Runner's High and after trying on numerous shoes I decided on the overly cushy Brooks Ghost Sneakers

My Running Shoes

Sunday was my rest day, which equated to house work, planning meals for the week and organizing. If you think I do this every Sunday, you are VERY mistaken. My house is a happy mess. I'm not the neatest person out there but I definitely appreciate an organized house. I'm trying my best. I actually find that running helps me organize the rest of my life. How's that possible? Well because I take the time to schedule my runs and plan my routes, I have now found the time to plan other things. It's a win win situation. It's funny how you can actually make time when you once thought you have none.

Every Sunday night is the new episode of The Walking Dead. If you're laughing at me for watching it, you really should watch a show. It's not entirely about zombies. The show is brilliant with multiple plots and actually pretty emotional. Zombies are just the backdrop, or the icing on the cake - depending on how you look at it. Since the show is on at 9 pm and that's way too late for hubby and I, we DVR it every Sunday. We're both home today and caught up on it this morning. Wow! That's all I have to say. I'm not going to ruin it for those that haven't caught up yet but this episode was great! In fact, all I was thinking about on my run was zombies and running from them. Laugh all you want! It's freezing out today, with the windchill, it's around 13 degrees. I didn't go very fast and in all reality, a zombie probably could have gotten me (who am I kidding, there is NO way that would have happened) but I did go out there and run a 3 miler. My second one! My pace was 9:45 min/mile so I'm not too happy about that but I'll take it.

The other day, when I was researching things to do for Hubby and I on our 3rd anniversary in May, I came across a Zombie Run. It looked awesome. A mud race with zombies running after you! I'd be scared for days. Hubby and I are still thinking about it, it ain't cheap, but after my run this morning, we might just have to.

In other non zombie related news, it's less than a month until my first official 5K. Initially, my goal was to run it in under 30 minutes. Since that's attainable now, my new goal is to run it in 27 minutes or less. I am confident that I can make that happen.

Until my next 3.something miles,

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Best Valentine's Day Gift Ever

Happy Valentine's Day! I woke up this morning feeling like crap. I'm not sick anymore, thankfully, but I'm exhausted. Little beast (I really should think of a new nickname) didn't sleep last night. I was up at 10:30, 1:30, 3:30, and then 5. I have no idea why he's been sleeping so poorly. He's a 14 month ball of energy who just wants to be with mama and dada at night. It should be cute but we're beat! Unfortunately, I can't wait until he sleeps through the night to run. If I did that, I think I'd run in maybe 5 years! Please tell me it gets better.

Little Beast this morning.

Back to Valentine's Day. I woke up exhausted and cranky. Hubby, who's still sick (poor guy) and exhausted on account of little beast, came over and gave me my Valentine's present. I could barely muster a thank you, I was so tired. I opened the gift and was happily surprised! He got me Native Sunglasses. I've been complaining about sun in my eyes when I run and needed a pair of functional sunglasses that wouldn't fog up. I was excited to give these a try! And to my surprise, it was actually sunny out. Yeah! I'd get to try my glasses out today!

My Valentine's Present
Back to Little Beast. He was cranky this morning as well. I left him for all of two minutes to go to the bathroom and he managed to fall and get a bloody nose! Poor little guy. It took time to clean him up and get him ready for daycare and I was wondering if I even had time to get my run in. I was so excited about trying out my new sunglasses that I made it happen.

I ran my farthest yet (2.53 miles) with my fastest pace yet (8:59 min/mile)! I'm really happy with my run. And I am VERY happy with my sunglasses for the following reasons:

1. They didn't fog up
2. They are extremely light weight
3. They stayed in place
4. Hubby gave them to me!

I usually run without music (I hate having to adjust headphones) but I'm thinking music will give me the extra push to break 3 miles on my next run. What are your thoughts? Do you run with our without music? Any recommendations on headphones?

Until my 3 miler,

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Tax Free Running

In case you haven't heard, running is tax free. Why does that matter? Well, hubby and I didn't do so well with our taxes this year. Of course we paid them (this isn't a post about tax evasion) but we didn't get anything back. In fact, we owe Uncle Sam. We are both full time employees, have a son in daycare and have a mortgage. So what went wrong? For one thing my office temporarily relocated to NY. Since I reside in NJ, I have to pay both taxes. That's shitty number one. Shitty number two, and this is no fault but my own, I declared 1 instead of 0 on my tax form. So shitty one plus shitty two equals shitty three - no refund.

It wouldn't have been so bad if I hadn't been expecting a lot back. We made plans for the money and were hoping to actually get ahead and save! Unfortunately shit happens, or shitties in this case, and we are where we are.

Financially stressed and questioning my thoughts on life (how is it that we work hard to get paid more and then owe more in taxes. What's enough?), I woke up with a headache yesterday. Both my husband and I hate our jobs. We spend our days complaining and count the hours until we go home just so we can support our relatively modest lifestyle. Is that what life is about? Does anyone truly love their job and make enough? I  digress. Stress and the fact that my handsome little beast didn't sleep contributed to me snoozing yesterday instead of going for my morning run. That extra half hour of sleep did nothing. In fact, I felt even worse for missing my run!

I made up for it last night though. I got my run in and had some clarity. You can have enough no matter how much you make if you live within your means. Living simply is key. I say it as though I embrace it but I have to admit I'm still learning. When I house hunt, I look at big expensive houses knowing we would basically be working to pay our mortgage. That's not living. I'm trying my best to focus on simplicity and running helps me do that. I don't have to pay to run and it makes me feel great! Running is one tax free benefit I know I will be enjoying a long time.

Even Uncle Sam runs! :)

Monday, February 11, 2013

A letter to my son

Ever since Santino was a couple months old, I have been writing him letters. The topics range from feelings about how much he's grown, milestones he's met, recent things that have happened, advice and what I hope for him to be. I started these letters after I read the book The Wednesday Letters (it's a good read if you're interested). I'm really looking forward to the day that I can give him the letters - most likely when he's a father himself.

I will never forget the joy I felt when I first laid eyes on him. After 30 hours of labor and a C section, I had to wait 6 extremely long hours to see him. He was absolutely beautiful - small brown eyes, tons of black hair, and a look I will never forget. The look told me that he picked me as his mother. I get choked up thinking about meeting him, I had so many emotions but most of all, was just proud to be his mom. One of the first things I told him was not to get a girl pregnant before he's settled and married! I'm a little old school when it comes to that and am passionate about having children at the right time so I had to make it clear.

A couple months after Santino was born, we noticed how rashy his skin was. What I thought was a newborn rash and cradle cap ended up being eczema. Since eczema is usually inherited from an asthmatic parent (me), I was disappointed to have passed this on to him. I was hoping and praying that Santino wouldn't have asthma as well. He's a daycare baby so he's sick frequently and constantly coughs. He coughs so much he throws up. The last time he was sick, I took him to the doctor who prescribed a nebulizer. I thought TT (word etymology: Santino - Tino - T - TT) would hate it. He freaks out for haircuts and every time we take his temperature but he absolutely loves his nebulizer. This, I have to admit, freaks me out considering he loves the smoke (word etymology: smoke - bong toke).

So how does all this relate to running? And does it even relate? Yes. I was held back by asthma as a child. I laughed so hard I wheezed. I couldn't play too much without having to stop and catch my breath. When I outgrew it and was a chubby pre teen, I used asthma as my excuse for not doing any physical activity. No, Mr. Smith I can't run a mile because I have asthma. I was perfectly content sitting on the sidelines. Asthma became my crutch. I don't want this for Santino. I want him to feel like he can do anything he puts his mind to. I don't want him to make excuses for why he can't do something before he even tries.

I'm hoping to lead by example. After I got pregnant, my asthma came back. I use my inhaler here and there and take Advair daily. I will run my 5K with asthma and run my half marathon with asthma. I hope this shows Santino that you can do anything you set your mind to even if it's not easy. Running in winter is definitely not easy for me but I power through it nonetheless. We all have obstacles but if we use them as an excuse and give up, we're never going to get anywhere.

As for my training, I'm finally feeling better and off antibiotics. I will run again soon and let you know how it goes. I have 33 days until my first 5K. Time to get a move on!


A look I will never forget

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

I pulled an Armstrong

No, I'm not on drugs, steroids or performance enhancers of any sort. But I have recently realized my last couple of posts were full of crap. They are all 100% true yet they are full of crap. I'll explain. I signed up for the 30 day Bikram challenge in addition to training for my first 5K next month and my first half marathon in August. It is February 5, the challenge started February 1 and I have yet to go to yoga once! I have no idea how I thought I would be able to train for both races, go to yoga 30 (even 15-20) days in February and be a working mother. I set way too many goals up for myself.

My last post, and this one is the kicker, is where I basically said to run when you're sick. Yes, I actually said that! And to make matters worse, I did it. I went for a run last Thursday. Here I am 5 days later, on antibiotics and way too weak to go to work (today's my first day back), let alone run. What was I thinking?

I understand us runners, newbies and pros, share one thing in common - the post run euphoria. We run because it makes us feel great. We run to meet our goals and train for our races and marathons. We don't like setbacks and we'd much rather push through than sacrifice a training run. I get it. In fact, I would have called myself crazy a year ago. But now, I get it. I didn't want to lose my run on Thursday. I have lost a couple runs since then and didn't want to lose them either. But since Thursday, I've been listening to my body.

I am looking forward to feeling better so I can run. I'm hoping I can pick up where I left off but I'm sure I'll have to work at it. I'm just happy this happened now and not a week before my half marathon!

As for the goals I set for myself, I'll continue to try and go to yoga as much as possible but I am going to focus on running. I am like my mother in more ways than one and while she can't manage to finish a sentence without getting distracted, I guess I can't manage to finish one goal, without adding a couple along the way! Lesson learned - one thing at a time.

Since I have been home sick, I have spent a lot more time with my family and I am proud to say my son took his first steps last Friday! Soon enough, the little man is going to take off running and then we're screwed! :)

I am also extremely proud of my husband for making his blog public! As I've mentioned before, he is Mr. Rock Climber extraordinaire (at least in my eyes) and his blog details his Rock Adventures. Take a look and see for yourself - it combines both rock and ice climbing, exploration, climbing technique, gear review and fun times!

Proud wife and mama,

Santino's First Steps