Friday, February 10, 2012

Sleep like a baby

Tomorrow is race day, with lots of (hopefully) good running talk to be had. In the interim, please interrupt our regularly scheduled blogging topics to discuss what I want. After all, it is my blog.

It's one of those days. A day where the Diet Coke and coffee can't flow fast enough. It's the kind where my hand keeps itching for my emergency stash of Jelly Bellys. And my mind, it keeps wondering if it's OK to nap during my lunch break.

And it's all Miles' fault. Or mine. Or both. Whatever. I'll let you decide.

I've briefly referenced to it here on the blog but we are a co-sleeping family. It wasn't so much an active decision, made after careful research and thought. It just sort of happened. There would be a night when Miles woke up at 4 a.m. and didn't want to go back to sleep. Instead of fighting him, we brought him into bed. Once turned into twice. Twice turned into a couple times a week. And now, at some point between the hours of 2 and 4:30 a.m. each night, Miles comes into our bed.

I don't particularly mind Miles sleeping in our bed. He doesn't thrash around, instead choosing to cozy up next to me. If he stirs, I reach for the paci and pop it back in. I also don't worry much about rolling over on him and, as he sleeps between Mark and me, I don't fear that he'll fall off the bed.

However, I've been having the feeling lately that he shouldn't be sleeping in our bed and that we should do something about it. I'm not sure where it came from. It was just like one day I decided that things should change.

And I decided that it should be last night. To say it didn't work out so well would be an understatement.

7 p.m.: Miles goes down for the night in his crib. I go downstairs, make a nasty "smoothie" with a packet (Weight Watchers caramel latte).

8 p.m.: I watch "Big Bang Theory" and amp myself up for the night ahead.

9 p.m.: Go to bed.

10:30 p.m.: Miles wakes up screaming. Give him a bottle and get him to go back to sleep in his crib by 11:10.

1 a.m.: Miles wakes up. I turn on Hushaby Vince Gill and rock him to sleep. Back in bed by 1:10.

2:30 a.m.: Miles is up again. Mark gives him a bottle (4 ounces) but screams. He tries 2 more ounces but Miles still screams.

2:55 a.m.: Exhaustion-induced mini fight with Mark.

3 a.m.: I take over. Give Miles the 2 ounces and get him to sleep. Lie him in his crib and go to bed.

3:15 a.m.: Miles is up. I try popping in the paci, rocking, swaying. Get him back to sleep and go to bed. Repeat till 4.

4 a.m. Miles is finally asleep.

4:30 a.m.: Or not. We say fig it and bring him in.

6:15 a.m.: Miles and I wake up when Denali barks in our face. I swear I might kill him.

As I sit here, wondering what the chances are that I'll faceplant into my Smart Ones Ravioli, I wonder if it was all worth it. Miles does start off in the crib and sleeps most of the night there. In the event that he ever sleeps through the night (I'm doubtful), we should all just grow out of it. Why should we sacrifice sleep and happiness now when it will all just work itself out?

Thoughts? Help!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Steps for a successful speedwork session

1. Don't spend the day psyching yourself out. Pump yourself up to run fast. Listen to your jams on the way home from work. Wear an outfit that makes you feel speedy.

2. Send the husband and baby to your mother-in-law's for dinner so that you can complete your scheduled 6x400 run without a jogging stroller.

3. While you could run alone, don't. Take the dog. After all, his only response to running fast is to push even faster.

4. Set up your GPS device to "lap" every quarter-mile so you don't have to worry about a lap button or a track.

5. Select a route with minimal stops so that you get the most out of your workout. The park is great for non-stop running and the setting sun will push you to go harder to get the hell up outta there.

6. Mess up the display on your GPS device so that you can no longer see your pace. Instead of sticking to the range dictated by McMillan pace calculator, you'll go as hard as you can until you feel your peanut butter and banana with honey sandwich start to come up.

7. During the last interval just happen to come upon a runner going at a decent clip to use as a rabbit. It works especially well when you think your rabbit is an older albeit fit woman. When you pass it, you realize it's actually a man in tights and a skull cap - giving you immense satisfaction that you could pass him.

8. Do not include a hill along your route, especially during the last interval. You'll feel like a slug and compelled to add another 400 to make up for a lackluster performance during round 6.

9. Upload stats and find yourself pretty proud. I should have done the 400s in 2:03.5 to 2:10.6 (based on 2 hour 10 minute half).

Actual 400 times: 1:59, 2:02, 2:09*, 1:54, 2:02, 1:58, 1:58

My splits are actually in line with a 26:59 5K so we'll see what Saturday brings.

*During the third interval was when I figged up the display and spent too long trying out how to get it back before just going for it.

What are you tips for doing speedwork?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


1. I have my first race of the year Saturday - the Fanny Freezer 5K. After unseasonably warm temperatures, Mother Nature has decided to allow the race to live up to its name.

See there - the temperature dips just in time for Saturday. I don't care all that much except that it might alter my outfit selection. You see, I bought my first matchy-matchy outfit from Nike, and it features a pair of plum capris. Capris + 22 degrees  = No good.

2. I would like to say that I have no particular goals for this race as I haven't done a 5K in a year and a half but that would be a lie. And, according to my grandma, lying is bad.

I know I can do it: Sub-30
I might be able to do it: Sub-28
Wouldn't it be nice if the stars aligned: Sub-27

3. Of course, it doesn't really matter how I do. It's more about having a baseline to use for my speedwork and tempo runs as I look ahead to the Martian half-marathon.

4. Oh, and the fact that I'm doing the race with a ton of awesome girls and having lunch with them after the fact. We're going to Chili's, which is not known for being healthy (the Quesadilla Explosion Salad has 1,300 calories) but I have a coupon and I'm a sucker for a coupon.

5. Coupons, and my love of them, are the reason I picked up some Balance bars at Kroger this weekend. They were on sale for 99 cents but them if you bought 10 participating items, the price got knocked down to 49 cents. Pair that with a $1 off coupon when buying three, and I couldn't resist.

6. I had one for breakfast this morning - mocha chip, I think. It tasted OK, and it was easy to grab and slam while I was feeding Miles this morning. What I hate about those bars and any bar like it is that they fail to hold me for very long. It's 8:30, and I have already had my second breakfast.

7. I was able to make breakfast because I actually got Miles to take a nap without going for run (I'll be doing that tonight). It might not seem like such a big deal but I find it nearly impossible to get him to sleep during the day without having him in the car seat/out and about. I hate to say it but I'm actually getting the hang of this mom thing.

8. I really wanted to use this unexpected time to do my hair but I can't find my hair straightener. I have a feeling that Mark put it away because I left it in the living room (where I sometimes do my hair so I can keep Miles company while he plays in the bouncer). So it's my fault ... sort of. It is Mark's fault, though, for not putting it anywhere that makes sense. I have checked every drawer and cabinet in both bathrooms, the laundry baskets and the dishwasher. Nothing.

9. Since I'm bound to look like a hot mess with unkempt hair and perpetual undereye circles, I decided to throw on some makeup and a pair of earrings. I'm sure most people do these sorts of things every day for work but I don't. I could pretend that I'm just so beautiful that I don't need it but it's really that I just don't get around to it/need an upgrade (read: need to spend $$$) in all things beauty related.

10. Or, I could say it's just no use trying to compete for cuteness around here.

Miles is always going to win.

We went shopping this weekend and as we were perusing Penney's, a woman from the portrait studio asked if she could take photos of Miles. The studio had gotten a new prop for taking babies' photos and she wanted to try it out since there were no appointments. In exchange for our time, we'd get a free 10 by 13.

I'm sure you can guess what I said.

I don't think you can have enough photos of a baby. Even if some of them look, well, a little ...

Well, I just don't think there are words. But look how good he's sitting up! And the little man, who is now 7 months old, is on his knees, rocking around. We'll be moving and shaking soon, I'm sure!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Free meal: Fakeout salad

Four days.

It was four days of solo middle of the night feedings, dog duty, floor cleaning, dish doing, baby wrangling. Four days of having to do things I hate like taking out the trash, cleaning windows and holding a baby while I brush my teeth.

It was four days of knowing that I'm one lucky gal who needs her husband. Even if there are times when all he does is take up the entire couch to read on his iPad while I do a Jackie Warner DVD.

But for all my melodrama, there is a small piece of me that likes it when Mark leaves. I don't have cold feet creeping on my side of the bed and the smell of spray bleach doesn't choking me as I brush my teeth.

And I can make dishes with things I like and he doesn't  - ranch dressing, vegetables, beans. Like my Fakeout Mad Anthony House Salad.

Mad Anthony's is a local brewery that has awesome flatbreads (unwraps), Old Bay-dusted potato wedges (Scooby Snacks) and deep dish pizza (deep dish pizza). One of my favorite menu items, though, is the house salad. It is a bed of mixed greens with tomatoes, cheese, red beans and rice and ranch dressing. It's an odd but delicious combination.

And something that Mark would never touch - so I made my own version to have for dinner this weekend. Actually, I made enough to have it for lunch every day this week.

Fakeout Mad Anthony House Salad
Adapted from Cooking Light

For the red beans and rice:
3 cups vegetable stock
1 cup dried red kidney beans
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
3/4 cup chopped celery
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 bay leaf
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups cooked brown rice

For the salad:
Spring mix
Diced tomatoes
Shredded 2% Cheddar cheese
Light ranch dressing

For the beans and rice: Throw everything but the salt and rice in the slow cooker. Cook on high for 5 hours. Stir in salt and brown rice.

For the salad: Make salad with scoop of the beans and rice on top. (Very technical, I know but I think y'all know what to do.)

I was really happy with the way this turned out, and I savored every last bite ... and the $8.99 savings.

What's your favorite fakeout takeout meal?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Let's catch up: Running

Road ID saved my life this weekend. Just not in a way I ever expected.

It seems that little piece of rubber makes an excellent chew toy for a teething 6-month-old. It's small enough that he can grab a hold of it but too big to choke on. It's colorful and squeaks when played with. And, technically, it's not a toy, which makes it all the more fun to enjoy.

And, thank God, too, because this gal was on her own this weekend. Mark was off enjoying the NFL experience in Indianapolis (read: drinking and sleeping in) while Miles, Denali and I held down the fort. It might have been a bit hectic and there might have been a tad too much co-sleeping but we managed. Heck, we even got in a few miles.

Last week, in running:

Tuesday. I went for a short run (2.48 miles) with the stroller to enjoy the unseasonable temperatures.

Wednesday. 30-minute tempo run. This was my first tempo run since fall 2010, and I was a bit scared. McMillan running calculator said I should do the 20-minutes at tempo (5 min w/u and 5 min c/d) between a 9:23 and 9:43 pace. Let's just say I nailed it. My pace for the entire run was 9:12 and I hit my first sub-9 miles since having the baby.  Oh, and I ran it in shorts. On Feb. 1.

Friday: 4.07-mile run with the stroller. Just a steady pace, get it done run.

Sunday: 6-mile run with the stroller. My "long" run of the week but it was a cut back week. Thank goodness I didn't have 10 on the schedule because 6 miles, with hills, is about all I can handle while pushing the stroller.

Total mileage: 16.43

Thoughts: I'm really excited for last week. I got in four runs because I wanted to - not because I had to - and hit all mileage goals on my Martian half-marathon schedule. I really want to get up to 20 miles a week but it takes time. And time I have.

How is your running shaping up?