Thursday, April 12, 2012

Just a feeling

I'm sick.

Or, I'm getting sick.

Or, maybe, I think I might be getting sick.

Any way you look at, one thing is clear: I don't feel the way I'd like to just two days out from a half marathon.

I felt fine yesterday morning but began to notice symptoms when I was sitting in an off-site epic work meeting. I felt, almost, well, stuffy. I could breathe but I had the urge to constantly blow my nose. When the 4.5-hour meeting was over, I was exhausted. Wiped. I just wanted to nap. And blow my nose. I decided, though, to keep my spin plans and headed to the gym.

Spin was great. I didn't feel bad or overly tired. I kept up with the instructor and felt strong throughout. I left breathing A-OK.

As I settled in for the night, the symptoms returned. By the time I went to bed, I couldn't breathe through my nose. My throat was sore when Miles woke up at 11:30 (so much for a repeat performance). When he got up again at 5, I was tired, cranky and an overall mess. I briefly considered skipping my run to rest, especially ahead of Saturday's race, but I thought it would be in my best interest to go out. The illness was above my head, and running always seems to do wonders for drainage.

I set out for three miles and knew if I had to turn back, I would. I coughed a bit. I snorted a lot. I spit even more. I didn't feel fantastic by any stretch of the imagination but I could breathe. Officially in taper, I didn't feel bad about going slower and taking a bit longer breaks at street crossings.

My symptoms seemed slightly better once I finished up but I was nowhere near 100 percent. I'm hoping that a stockpile of Zicam, Emergen-C and lozenges and hydrating my butt off will help.

It has two days.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Brought to you by the No. 9

Miles slept through the night last night.

Like slept through the night - not that 5-hour crap that books try to tell you is sleeping through the night. I put him down at 7 p.m. and woke him up just shy of 6 a.m. in a panic because I was sure that something was wrong.

I was in a panic? Yes, in a panic.

While most infants might be of the sleep through the night variety by 9 months, Miles has done this only a handful of times. It has happened with no pattern or regularity, and I am still unsure whether it will happen.

I actually admitted this, quite embarrassed, to the doctor on Monday when we went for Miles' 9-month well-child visit. She asked me how long he usually slept in one stretch. Four to six hours was my reply and I added that it varied depending on who put him down and how well our "end co-sleeping" efforts were going.

While she didn't seem overly concerned, she did seem a bit shocked. Thank goodness, everything else is in good working order.

Measurements: Miles is 18 pounds, 11 ounces and 26 inches long. In other words, he's a "lil guy," ranking in the 25th percentile for both height and weight. However, since his 6 month checkup, he jumped from the 7th percentile in weight to the 25th. Solid food has done wonders for the kid.

Eating: Speaking of food, my once reluctant eater now devours anything you give him. He still gets cereal with fruit in the morning but now enjoys "adult" food at lunch and dinner. He gets a protein, vegetable and healthy carb at those meals, and they range from meatloaf to tilapia to pasta to lentils. He has Indian, Latin American and Italian cuisine and enjoyed them all. The best part of this is that we can allow him to self feed, and I now get to eat dinner with two hands.

Miles-stones: He's sitting on his own, crawling like a champion, pulling himself up on everything and has six teeth. He's also a chatterbox. I swear he says some form of "doggie" and will scream "mamama" when he's super pissed.

He also had his first haircut this week, courtesy of me. It's a little jacked on the sides but I need a couple more go's at it to get it even. It might be surprising but a 9-month-old won't sit still very long, even with Elmo and Cheerios.

Loves: Ice cream (sadly), Elmo and playing in (and eating) the dog's food and water.

Personality: He's got one. He's determined, tenacious and temperamental. Nothing like me ;) He's also sweet and happy and very loving. Almost too loving as evidenced by the bite marks on my chin from where he's "kissed" me.

It's all very endearing, and I have to admit that this month, I'm finally starting to enjoy being his mom.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Truth ... I'm late

I know what you're thinking and it's not that. Oh, Lord, it is not that.

It's more that I'm late picking winners for the True Citrus giveaway. I do hope you forgive me. And by you, I mean ...

Commenter No. 1 Joy and No. 18 ye11owbrickrd.

Email your contact information, including mailing address, to hlthystrides at gmail dot com.

Thanks for playing!

Moves like Jagger

Mistake No. 1: I didn't pay enough attention in gym class.

Mistake No. 2: I didn't wear any socks.

Mistake No. 3: I assumed that showing up for a Piloxing class meant that I would be taking a Piloxing class.

Piloxing is a high energy class that fuses boxing, Pilates and dance moves "into a fat torching, muscle sculpting, core-centric interval workout, guaranteed to whip you into shape, using a class format that's both fun and challenging."

The class would be my third time attending; the first I did "on assignment" for work and the second last week with L. We both loved it so much - the energy, the workout and the fantastic instructor - that we couldn't wait to take it again.

When we showed up last night, though, we discovered that we were, in fact, going to have to wait to take it again. The normal instructor, Jill, was not there and Abel was going to sub. As Piloxing is similar to Body Pump and Zumba in that the instructor needs to be certified from the national group to teach, we were going to be taking a cardio kickboxing class.

Emphasis on cardio.

We started out with laps around the studio. Fine. Just fine. Well, except that I was barefoot. Piloxing is done barefoot to promote leg strength and I wore an old pair sneakers - no socks - for the sole purpose of driving/walking into the building. I had no intention of wearing them to work out when I put them on and had no choice but to ignore the advice that I'd want shoes for this workout.

From the laps we went to agility work and upper body strength using a ladder.

Let me tell you, round after round of push-ups, moving my arm in and out of those boxes, was no joke.

Sort of like the rest of the workout.

We did high intensity kickboxing moves, more jogging, footwork, jumping jacks and more agility training. We did more kickboxing, abs, more push-ups.

I attend classes like this for a good workout and that's exactly what I got (in addition to a blister). However, I can't help but laugh at the experience. From the woman who made me look like I had good rhythm to the confused looks on the women's faces to the music ... it was like we showed up for a Justin Beiber concert only to realize it was The Rolling Stones (except a little less cool of a band).

I bought a 5 class pass ($15 - average cost per class, $3!) so I know I'll be back. I just hope it's Justin Beiber and not Mick Jagger.

P.S. Don't forget to vote for me for Team REFUEL. You can vote every day though I promise not to bug you in every post :)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Nuun for me

I'm not sure if you've heard but there's this little race called the Hood to Coast Relay.

It would be understandable if you hadn't heard of it. After all, no one is talking about. nuun-one.

Obviously, we both know that's a lie. The blogosphere has been alive for weeks with chatter about HTC and the three (count them 1-2-3) teams that nuun is sponsoring. To be eligible, you had to be female and a blogger. Just like me.

I was all over it, the mania. The idea of running the race - and running it with women I've read for years - consumed me. I began to work in an excited fury on a concept for my application, compiling photos and figuring out technical things. I even purchased a whistle.

And then reality hit, like a checkbook to the head.

Don't get me wrong. Mark and I are not poor or disparate. We are your average couple who manage to make things work. We have two jobs, eat out, enjoy life as we manage two car payments, two sets of student loans, child care, diapers, formula.

There are good months and bad months, of course. Last month was a bad month. We realized that we couldn't just spend here and spend there and accomplish our financial goals. We were going to have to tighten the reins.

  • The grocery budget was going to go from $100 a week to $80.
  • Monthly allowance was going to be cut $20 per person.
  • We would negotiate (successfully) a lower rate on Internet (we don't have cable).
  • Once we're out of contract, we'll eliminate data plans on our phones.
  • Entertainment money (i.e. dinners out) would be cut $15 a week.
  • And, finally, we would have to cut the amount of money I spent on racing.

There's no denying it: Running races can be expensive. Let's look at my upcoming Martian half-marathon.

Entry fee: $50
Cheap a$$ hotel, 15 minutes from the race: $50
Gas: $25
Kennel, to board Denali: $30
Meals: ~$50
Gu: $3
Post-race M&Ms: $1

Without even blinking, Mark and I will spend close to $200 - the amount of money we'd like to, at minimum, put in savings each month (and thus, are cutting the budget by). This is a race semi-close to us -- nothing like Hood to Coast. And while nuun covers a lot of the cost, there's still airfare, Gu, parking at the airport, airport food (my favorite, seriously) ... and well, you get the picture. I would be spending $400 or more to run a race that seems so free. If I got picked, of course.

So when Mark and I looked over our budget, it was easy to see that I shouldn't put myself in that position - the position of getting picked. I quickly deleted the files I had started for my application and cleared my browser history so I couldn't see the link for the application info. I stopped reading blog posts about the race and resisted the urge to click on twitter links for applications. I tried to eliminate it from my thoughts.

Obviously it didn't work. And so today, the deadline, is a bit bittersweet. It would be nice to apply, to be picked and to run. But, it's nicer to know that I'm doing what's right for me and my family.

I don't tell you this in a "Let's all feel bad for Kim" sort of way. I tell you this in a "Let's be real" sort of way. I think it's so easy to feel like you have to do this race and then this race when you read lots of blogs. It's easy to feel left out when you can't do it or feel jealous when you see people dropping serious cash on Disney marathons or feel like it's all so out of reach.

Someone needs to say it's OK not to do it. It's OK not to join the hoopla because, what really matters, is the run. And all I need to run is me (and my Nikes, an old pair of shorts and a tank).

What a Ball

It might have been the lamest Easter on record.

We missed Mass because Miles decided to dump an entire water dish on his outfit just as we were walking out the door late. My last long run before the Martian was cut to 4 miles because Saturday's circuit class left me too sore to move.

 I couldn't get a crisp picture of Miles and his unremarkable Easter basket, which was full of plastic eggs with Cheerios, an Elmo DVD, a $2 bunny and a book. We spent the afternoon watching "Schindler's List" and swinging at the park. It was Lamb and Barley Stew for dinner. Dinner for us three.

But for as uneventful as Easter was, Mark, Miles and I did our celebrating on Saturday.

We met my brother, his wife and Grandma in Muncie for lunch at the Indian buffet and then headed to Minnetrista.

Minnetrista is the compound, if I can call it that, of the Ball family. As in the Ball family of Ball jars.

There is a museum, several houses and beautiful gardens on the property. Since we were visiting just to get more time as a family together, we stuck to touring the free natural areas.

We had an absolute gorgeous day for it - mid-60s, sun and a slight breeze.

And the early spring made for a colorful and alive walk ... that most of us enjoyed.

Miles napped for a good portion of our tour and woke up full of our energy ... for the car ride home. Yay for us!

This was the first trip that we made where Lil Man didn't sleep a wink during the travel portion. For 1 hour, 15 minutes down to Muncie and 1 hour, 15 minutes back to Fort Wayne, he was awake, chatty and in dire need of entertainment. Thank goodness that I finally realized that he could eat Cheerios. Those little O's provided plenty of distraction as I sat with him in the back seat.

Note to self: Plan all future trips around bed/nap time.

How was your Easter? More memorable than ours?