Twitter and Life

So I joined Twitter the other day, just to see what it is all about. Today I saw 2 things there that struck me.

The second was #plankaday. You post that every time you plank, and if you don’t post for three days in a row the PLANK POLICE hassle you on twitter. I know I’m a nerd, but how great is that??? Of course I joined right away, even hit a minute my first plank. Which is more awesome than it sounds, because last time I tried doing planks as long as I could I didn’t even hit a minute. Don’t laugh, they’re hard!

The first thing that caught my eye was a tweet by JillWillRun: “This working mom thing is bullshit. Taking her to daycare made me sad, had to deal with crap at work, now trying to figure out when to run.”

This working mom thing IS bullshit. My kids are way past daycare, the youngest is 11. But I will never forget leaving my son at daycare the first time, I no doubt cried as much as he did. But then we got used to it.

Then he started kindergarten and I was so intimidated by having to go talk to his teacher on parent/ teacher day (when did I become the adult?) But then we got used to it.

His sister was born the same year he started kindergarten, I walked him to school holding his hand in my left hand and holding his sister in my right arm. There is NOTHING stronger than a parent. Trust me on than one.

The next year they got a baby brother, it took a while to get used to two so close in age! (My sister has twin 1 year olds and I don’t have a clue how she does it)

The next year I got to figure out how to be a single mom with three kids. I also got used to that.

Long story short(ish)? I always go back and forth about how I’ve been running for this long and I still can’t get past a 5K.

Lots of the time I look at my schedule and think, how did I even get this far? I work full time and drive an hour and a half each way to work, it’s not like I have time to run. Or do anything else. I have 3 kids! And 2 dogs! One is a lab puppy which seriously counts as like 15 other dogs. Lelo never stops. Ever.

That’s where the Internet jumps in and can be incredibly inspiring (aka annoying as hell). I see people post things like I started running 6 months ago and just ran a marathon… or I trained for an ultra while pushing my newborn in a stroller… Wait. What? Humans can do that? I am pretty sure I will never run an ultra, and even a marathon is pretty dang doubtful, though I would love to be able to say I had done it. But watching, reading about, and knowing what other people have accomplished is just what I need sometimes. It reminds me that we humans CAN do crazy things, sometimes even things that sound impossible.

So I will do a plank a day and dream of the day I get to 5 whole minutes, and I will run when I can instead of as often as I should, and I will write this silly blog just because I like to. And I bet JillWillRun already figured out when to run.

Oh and P.S.

I now have a 19 year old who got his driver’s license, truck, and first job all in two weeks.
I now have a daughter in middle school who I can only hope will not want to go on a date any time soon.
I now have a son in middle school that can do ANYTHING on a computer.
Lelo. Enough said.

I am NOT used to that.

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Fasting, not fast.

Day 2 of my juice fast. I’m not aiming for a particular number of days, I prefer to decide each morning. It doesn’t say much for my goal setting abilities, but it keeps me from psyching myself out about how much longer I want to go!  I like to juice fast occasionally because  it’s like a jump start back to healthy eating when I stray to far into the world of Frito’s and cake…  I tend to actually want healthier food after fasting.  Too bad the effects don’t last longer.

I’d be really curious to see if my running improved or got worst if I did a long fast.  Not curious enough to actually fast for more than a couple of days to find out any time soon though!

Here’s today’s breakfast, lunch, and dinner of champions.  It made about 30 ounces of juice.  That and LOTS of lemon water and I’m good to go!

Last night I ran 3.14 miles with an average of exactly 12 minute miles.  I actually seem to be getting slower instead of faster, but at least I broke 3 miles that’s a long run for me!  My longest run without walking ever is 3.5 miles, I’m making it my goal to do that again on my next weekend’s ‘long run’. I really don’t want to walk any of the Pretty Muddy run in two weeks!

Time to reboot?

All this week I’ve been dragging myself out of bed, yawning through a fog at work, and generally cranky. To top it off, I’ve been limping around for no apparent reason, my leg has really been killing me. That’s a bit of a mystery, it can’t very well be an overuse injury since that would require actual overuse. Whatever caused it I’m ready to be over it.

I think Sunday it’s time for a start-over, I’m going to juice fast and then go whole foods for a while.  There’s nothing like a juice fast to clear your head and get things back on track!  I don’t know how long I’ll fast for, I’ve found I tend to do better when I plan one day at a time.  The longest I’ve ever juice fasted was 4 days, I’m not really out to beat the record or anything.

Top that off with lots of restorative yoga and I should be brand new by the end of the week.  And best of all, although I was limping to an embarrassing extent this morning at work I really do feel a lot better tonight.  Maybe the mystery pain will go away as quickly as it came on.  If so I’ll start running again on Sunday, I see no reason to push it.

Why wait until Sunday to start?  Because tomorrow I’m going to the Clearwater Jazz Holiday!  I can’t even pretend that I know a single thing about jazz, and I have no clue why it’s called holiday since I doubt a anyone will be there in a costume.  (I am sorely tempted to wear my flapper costume though).  But I do know that any type of music festival is good for the soul, (and yes, a bit of a holiday) so I am sooo in!

If that’s not enough reason to postpone a fast for one day our friends got us VIP tickets so there will be plenty of food and the wine will be flowing…

Music to heal the soul, then juice fast to heal the body, I should be right as rain in no time!

Pretty muddy? Pretty Cool!

What could be a more different mud run than the 5K Zombie Run I’m doing with Clay in December? How about a women only mud run with a bubble obstacle? Um, yeah, that’s different! So November 10th I’m running in Pretty Muddy in Tampa. I’ve never run one without Clay or my son, Nick, so I am really excited.

This time I’m on my own, and I have to admit it’s a pretty intimidating. But that’s what it’s all about! A mud run just for women. And even if I can’t see how it will help me prepare for a zombie apocalypse,running through bubbles cannot be anything BUT epic fun! I think that as a women only run this mud run will be all about comradry and having fun. I should have more information about the run soon, if anyone wants to join me I run at 10 am!

Now the only problem is I seem to have injured my left leg and knee just when I really need to step up the running – it even hurts to walk, and I don’t know what I did or when I did it. I think I will take tomorrow totally off and try a long, slow run Saturday or Sunday. I did a bit over a mile tonight, and it didn’t really hurt enough to make me stop but it DID hurt.

Walking Dead & Twisted

Well, I was planning on getting in an arm/core workout, but my sister taped the Walking Dead premier and called to see if we wanted to come down and watch it. Um, you have to ask?  It was awesome, as expected.

And because I am nothing if not great at finding an excuse to chill I decided that I should follow that up with a glass (or 2?) of wine.  So here I sit having a glass of Twisted Cabernet Sauvignon and doing nothing useful.  Sounds ideal!  I have to say, although this is a decent glass of wine it does not compare to the Twisted Old Vine Zinfandel.  THAT was a wine worth hunting down, totally mellow without being boring. 

And isn’t that label totally great for October?  Why yes, that is why I decided to try it.

Completely unrelated but cool, over at Shut Up + Run she’s giving away a $25 Subway card, if your interested here is the link:  Shut Up + Run: $25 Subway Gift Card Giveaway!

Running in Groups

I’m thinking about running with a running group this Saturday.  It would be a great idea, and probably really motivating, just what I need.  But even more it is Oh My God terrifying.

No one will run as slow as me, no one will run for as short of a time as me, and no one will look as much like they are getting ready to pass out as me.  Plus they start running at 6:30 in the morning. Which is, you know, at 6:30 in the morning.

I sent them a note tonight to see if anyone is going to be running this weekend at my speed. If they say yes then I have no excuses left- I’ll have to give it a try.

How did YOU start running?

I’ve wanted to be a runner since I was a kid. When I was young (like 11 or 12?) I went with my dad a few times. Of course, his legs were a billion times longer than mine but I was just so awesome I kept up anyhow (thanks dad). We only did it a very few times but like during everything else we did he threw out bits of wisdom. It’s his fault I refuse to run on the sidewalk, cars be damned. He always said the sidewalk would kill my joints but that running in the street was better. Therefore, running in a street full of hot rodders and semis will always be my choice, over the sidewalk lined by nice, green grass. After all, you only get one set of knees, right?

The problem is that although I tried to start running plenty of times, I never lasted more than a week before my knees and shins would start screaming and I decided I will just never be able to run at all. Every time I gave it up I was really, really bummed but I didn’t have much of a choice, I just wasn’t built to run.

This last time I decided it was now or never. I started running almost two years ago, and this time I decided to try it a little different. Obviously I am still nothing like consistent but I did do two things right.

First, I started using the Couch to 5K program. It kept me from overdoing things and also kept me doing things. Good combo.

Second I decided that since I am one of those people who hates wasting money I’d go out and buy a good pair of running shoes. I went to an actual running shoe shop near where I work and they did a gait analysis and everything. The guy handed me three pairs of shoes, only one felt right. So I went home with a shiny new pair of Saucony running shoes and never looked back.

I really don’t know if it was the running plan, the shoes, or a combination of both but I haven’t had much more than a twinge of pain in my knees or shins since. I still don’t feel like a REAL runner, but I do feel like it’s possible if I actually put in the time.

Consistency

My biggest enemy is the pull-up. I have never been able to do a single one. Not even one. Aren’t grade school kids doing them in gym? I remember they were one of the things we were graded on right up there with sit ups and girl pushups.

I even went so far as to buy a pull up bar and put it up like 2 years ago. Every once in a while I’ll give it a try for a few days in a row. Apparently stupid consistency is the key to EVERYTHING. I hate consistency. I can follow a plan for a few days, sometimes even for a whole week, but then I get bored and distracted by something else shiny and it’s all over. Anyone reading this could clearly see that if, you know, I had been consistently blogging since I started this.

Anyway, I decided to give them another go and this time I’m going with jumping pull-ups to get there. I read somewhere they are a great place to start, even if you have to start jumping from a pretty high box to get up there. Which I do. I knew that milk crate would come in handy someday.

So here’s this afternoon’s workout, which I intend to alternate with yesterdays for a while. I’m not giving myself the option of falling off the actually-getting-ready-for-the-obstacle-course wagon but I am always ready to trade these workouts for something else that looks shinier at the time. Like yesterday I ran through the whole thing twice.

• Squats: Reps 10 (8# each hand)
• Concentration Curl: Reps 8 (8#)
• Shoulder Shrugs: Reps 8 (8#)
• Hammer Curls: Reps 8 (8#)
• Standing Calf Raise: Reps 10 (8#)
• Curl: Reps 10 (8# each hand)
• Leg Curl: Reps 8 (30# each side)
• 17″ Step Up: Reps 10
• DB Dead lift Reps 10 (8# each side)
• Regular Grip Pull downs: Reps 10 (40#)
• Hyperextension: Reps 12
• Reverse Grip Pull downs: Reps 12 (40#)
• Cable Seated Row: Reps 12 (50# each side)
• 10 jumping pull-ups

And since the whole point of all this is supposed to be getting better at running I went for a run tonight. It was supposed to be long run night, but I only did 2.31 miles, 11’58”/mile. I had worked my way up to 3.5 last month, but just wasn’t getting there tonight. Once again, consistency would sooo pay off. I think it is about time to set some goals.

Oh yeah, and I saw FOUR snakes today, 3 in a row on a little foot bridge at the park (one swam off, so must have been a water moccasin?) and the fourth I came about 2 inches from stepping on when running. As you can imagine I kept my eyes down and jumped over every oil stain after that.

Maybe I can blame my lack of milage on all that jumping?

Lazy Productive-ish Day

I am still on a fairly low energy kick – I stayed in bed this morning till 9:30, maybe because the first thing on my to do list was cleaning? I managed to get in a full workout anyway, though the day did seem to just fly by.

Today’s workout:

  • Bench press on bowflex: 50# each side, 8 reps
  • Bicycles: 15 reps
  • Chair dips: 15 reps
  • Lateral raises: 5#, 8 reps
  • Db Chest Fly on bench: 8#, 8 reps
  • Reverse crunch: 15 reps
  • Triceps Overhead Extension: 13#, 10 reps
  • DB Front Raises: 5#, 8 reps
  • Abdominal Curls: 25 reps
  • DB Seated Shoulder Press: 8#, 10 reps
  • Side crunch: 15 reps

I cannot believe how much heavier 5 or 8 pounds feels compared to what it sounds like. I’m actually embarrassed to post those weights, but it is what it is! Usually when I do these I alternate sets on 2 exercises and then go on to the next two, but today I tan through all of them in a row and then did them all again. It felt like it went a lot faster, but that’s probably just because it was new. Either way, I’m doing it that way again next time!

I followed that up with a new yoga routine. It’s the first one I’ve tried from this site; I like the practice but the video and voice don’t always do the same thing at the same time which I find fairly distracting. Not like the American version of a Japanese horror movie distracting, where the voice keeps going after the person’s mouth stopped moving though. If you want to try it the routine starts a little after 4 minutes in.

Yoga is one of those things that I love but have to sometimes question. Settle into your breath…Interlace your fingers…soften your eyes…spread your wings…wait. What? Did she say spread your wings? Then I start laughing at myself and completely lose my zen. I’m not blaming anyone here, I also lose it when I try a bit too hard to radiate towards the ceiling in triangle or try to stay in warrior three on my left leg for more than 30 seconds and end up falling over. All I’m saying is I do not and will not ever have wings. That’s for those mythical people with grace and stuff, and my name and the word grace have never been uttered in the same sentence, except for in jest.

What I didn’t do today is get in a run, so it looks like I’ll have to set my alarm for a Sunday morning, so wrong. Every time I skip a run or procrastinate in some other way I tell myself at least I learned a lesson… but I never actually do.

Dragging

So much for a straight week of wins.  I dragged out of bed barely in time to get dressed, feed the mutts, and sleep walk out the door.  Why is it such a struggle some days just to get up when the alarm goes off?

Don’t know but the funk lasted all day.  Not feeling well so I took some Tylenol a bit ago and wrote off the run I intended to do tonight.

Hopefully tomorrow will be better, so glad it’s finally Friday!