Friday, February 5, 2016

8 Things That Make Me Happy

What makes you happy?

That was the topic of the hour on the morning show that I listen to during the morning hustle (home à school/drop off Miles à daycare à Y/work/run). The hosts were referencing survey of tens of thousands of Britons who downloaded a questionnaire and rated what made the most happy – and what made them the most miserable.

Best things in life: Having sex, going to the theater, going to the library or a museum, playing sport, gardening, singing, chatting and birdwatching.

Worst things: Being sick in bed, working or studying, carrying for an adult, waiting in line, doing admin and finances, attending a meeting, commuting and housework and/or DIY.

Birdwatching is the eighth best thing in life. Really? The only way birdwatching would make me happy is that it would be so boring that I would fall asleep in the grass and sleep is the best thing ever.

Yes, on my list, sleeping through the night would be No. 1. I mean actual sleeping, too – not that bull about the s-e-x. Sad but true.

My other favorite things:

• I’m stealing this from the radio host – sort of. To me, there’s nothing more satisfying than scoring a major deal at the store. 

For example, I found my new favorite running shirt for $4 on the Target clearance rack. With coupons and rewards, I got a pair of Athleta Chatarunga tights, Athleta Chi Tank and two Old Navy shirts for Miles for $6 out of pocket. And, folks, the Chi tank is so buttery soft that I could die in it … from boredom while I watched birds.

• Hot coffee in a cute coffee mug. I’m currently drinking decaf Starbucks Sumatra out of a reindeer mug that I got at, you guessed it, Target. On clearance. For 50 cents. I might need to refresh for Valentine’s day.

• Playing sport, aka running. A good, solid workout does more for me than any drugs would.

• Doing nice things for people. Sadly, I think many people move throughout the world without another expressing genuine kindness toward them. It makes me feel good when I can change that.

• Making my boys laugh. It’s easy with Miles – all I have to do is a read a book the “funny” way, which involves replacing random words with potty ones. Si is harder but when he does giggle, boy is it cute.

• Eating out for breakfast on the weekends.

• Working hard toward and accomplishing a goal. 

What makes you happy?

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Play It Cool {Three Things Thursday}

1. I wasn't going to open the email I got an email from the organizers Carmel Marathon, the half for which I'm training. I figured it was just a call for registrations –which I should probably do because, you know, it's required – and I didn't need a reminder. But, the word "announces" in the subject line caught my eye. The news was about a new challenge – Sprint to the Finish.

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From the email:

Carmel Road Racing Group and AmeriFirst announced today a new challenge to add excitement to the 2016 Marathon and Half Marathon. The AmeriFirst Sprint to the Finish challenge will pay a cash purse to the people who record the biggest difference between their overall pace and their last ½ mile split. The top three male and female will receive $100 - 1st; $75 - 2nd; and $50 - 3rd in each the marathon and half. 

 How the AmeriFirst Sprint to the Finish works: A timing mat will be placed at the ½ mile to go location and will record every runner's pace as they sprint to the finish line. Then, timing and scoring will compare each runners ½ mile finish pace to their overall pace for the entire distance. The top 3 participants with LARGEST difference will win the money! 

Example: Bill runs the marathon in 4:34 (10:30 pace) then sprints the last ½ mile and records a 8:19/mile pace. His difference equals =2:11

OK. How cool is that?

My plan for Carmel is to run a comfortable – I repeat, comfortable – sub-2 half marathon. I don't want to blow up at 6 or puke at the finish just because my ego got better of me. So, I'd like to really stick to that 9:00-9:09 pace for the majority of the race. If my training is any indication, though, I might have a solid kick at the end. A 7-flat kick? I don't know but it will be interesting to see. And the challenge gives me renewed motivation to train to keep my shit together in the beginning and run strong at the end.

2. Nuun announced this week that it has reformulated its electrolyte tabs. The change is part of a bigger movement on Nuun's part to focus on the importance of valuing its principles of living clean and putting the very best ingredients into its products.

One of the biggest changes is the switch in sweeteners from sorbitol to plant-based monk fruit and stevia. There's also avocado oil for clean, plant-based production. As a result, the tabs now have 10 calories instead of 8. But really, what's 2 calories?

 As you may know, I'm a Nuun ambassador, and I truly believe in the product and the company. I think it's exciting to see it grow and adapt – not just because the market demands it because the company feels compelled to do it based on principle.

3. Let's hear it for 100 grand!

For the first time in longer than I'd like to admit, my seven-day step total on FitBit is over 100,000 – and by a good number, too. The 100,000 weekly steps is a benchmark for me, and I feel better about my activity levels when I hit it.

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The most exciting part, though, might be that I am annihilating Mark.

I bought Mark a FitBit for Christmas because he's always wanting to try out my fitness gadgets. If I were nicer, I'd let him but he always jacks with my stats and I don't like that. Because, I am a brat. So I decided he could have his own.

While I'm being honest, I have to admit that I thought with the amount of miles I log that I would beat him on the friends board. WRONG. Seriously, so wrong. And I haven't had the best attitude about it. It's gotten better as I work through the 12 stages of grief but it is still frustrating.

Thanks to half marathon training and subbing seniors classes, though, I'm winning.

I mean taking more steps.