Thursday, March 31, 2011

Running Journal Snapshot and Reflections of a Runner

Great news!  It isn't raining in Portland, Oregon today!  This is cause for serious celebration. Serious.  It wasn't raining last night either.  This meant that I got to do my repeat 1ks on the track OUTSIDE.  Unfortunately, I got pooped on by a bird but other than that, running outside was glorious! My repeats were not as good as I find myself doing on the treadmill though. The first 3 were right on at a 6:20 pace but then I got tired and found myself holding back a bit.  When I'm doing speed work at the gym I can just set the speed to what I want to run and then hold on.  And if I slow down then I'll fall off and make a total ass out myself right?  But when I'm on the track, it is so much easier for me to slow down.  On the other hand, I can see how it would make me a stronger runner to be able to push myself past these points without a treadmill to hold me to the pace.  I honestly think that the outside running and pushing myself to stay on pace will help me to be a stronger runner.  

Which brings me to some recent questions I'm reflecting on today.  I'm feeling tired this week and a big part of that is that I have not been getting enough sleep and feel like I'm getting a little sick.  But I've also just been tired with my running.  I'm hitting a lull with my "go get 'em" attitude and I'm starting to question where I'm at with running for fitness and fun vs. training for some big goals. Here are some questions I'm asking myself this week:

1.  Why am I training?  For fun, fitness, Personal Records, to push myself to entirely new levels of performance??  Why?  

2.  How serious do I want to be with running over the next few months, years?  Do I want to take it up a notch or two and try for some serious serious Personal records or do I want to just enjoy where I'm at and have fun with it?  

3.  Time for me to set some 1/2 or full marathon time goals!  It is kind of scary putting a time goal out there.  Always makes me feel vulnerable and like I have more to lose.  It is that fear of failure thing.  

I included these questions in my running journal today before I wrote this blog. I hope to have some answers for myself soon.  Here are a couple snapshots into my journal for today:

The Hippie Chick Half Marathon is my half marathon on May 8th!  Super excited about it!  Note Julie's (from Hot Legs Runner) running sticker! Thanks Julie.  I keep all my running stickers from all you awesome bloggers in my running journal.  Perfect place to be inspired by them.  

* So glad you all were amused by my messy house pictures and mad cleaning skillz video from my last post.  Your comments made me smile.  
*  Don't forget about my Hydration Belt Giveaway!  

What about you?  What are your answers to some of these questions I am reflecting on this week?  I'd love to hear how you would answer these for your own life!  

What are some time goals you have for running and what distances are your goals for?  


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Real Dealio and My Mad Clean-Up Skillz Video

"I love your smile so damn much Daddy!"  --My 5 year old

Last Friday my mom came over to watch the kids so that my husband and I could go on our tempo run together before our cocktail party date later that evening.  We had just walked in the door with runner's high from our awesome run and excited to have something to get dressed up for.  I was buzzing around the house making smoothies, saying hi to my kids, checking new blog comments at an already busy time, and then posting a facebook status to express my amusement that my daughter had just told my husband that she loved his smile "so damn much".  The chaos in my house combined with the sweet comments from strangers telling me how awesome I am and how organized I appear to be from my Goal Setting With Kids Post was quite the contradiction.  My mom couldn't stop laughing at someone calling me neat and organized and couldn't resist taking my camera to snap a few shots of the current state of my house.  She insisted that I share some REAL DEALIO SHOTs of the Hood at Runninghood.  Yes Mom, here they are!  She also took a video of my exaggerated clean up dance. I'm sharing that with you too!

Note:  I do put towels on my chairs for a normal day when we are not expecting company.  This saves my chairs from being ruined with stains of all kinds in a matter of hours. 

 I think there are a few noodles stuck to the floor here.

Ah yes, and here I am posting a facebook status and ignoring my messy house.  I know you love those mismatched socks too!  Ha!  Matching socks are a luxury.  

And finally, I thought you might get a kick out the video that my mom took of me demonstrating my MAD and Speedy Clean UP Skillz YO!  

A few notes about the video:
*  Yes, I did pick up a container of wax that I then threw into the hallway and announced that "I wax my mustache with that".  
*  I had just posted this as my facebook status when she started the video:
"crap!  E just told her Daddy :"I love your smile so damn much!"  crap crap crap!  Now there's some "real" Amanda Motherhood for you.  Now my mom is taking pictures of my messy "disorganized" house and cracking herself up after I received an e-mail from a blog reader telling me that I'm so "organized"!  Glad you get a kick out of yourself stop taking pictures!"
*  If I am honest with myself, when I post a facebook status is is always nice to get at least a "like" or a comment or two.  Especially when posting a status that admits to everyone that my kid just said damn.  There is an underlying vulnerability that comes with "putting yourself out there" sometimes.  
*  I totally exaggerate this fact in my video and demonstrate how easy it is to get compulsive about checking FB right after posting a status.  Is it just me?
*   If you can't tell, I'm humming the tune to William Tell Overture (Lone Ranger Theme), a go-to "in a hurry" tune I start singing or humming since I had to learn this song on the flute in sixth grade.  
*  I'm not quite sure why I keep saying "Check it!"
*  I'm also not sure why I talk as if my husband isn't home even though he is obviously there in my messy kitchen.  
*  No, I really don't spend all day reading Jane Eyre and using the computer...this was a joke really does get busy around here with three kids!  Despite the misconceptions about SAHM's, we do work too. Ha!  I like to say that FB is my "staff room" though...when I was a teacher, I could just pop in the staff room, office or my friends' classrooms and talk to adults, make some jokes, and unload.  Now, my adult interaction seems to be more of a virtual connection.  

Keep it real peeps!  

1.  Do you have a go-to tune that you hum or sing at times when you are in a hurry, excited, or happy?  

2.  Do you keep your house picked up most of the time?  
I try!  But sometimes I feel like if I worry too much about it then I spend my entire day cleaning and picking things up when really, I might as well just wait until the end of the day to do it all.  But I like a tidy house.  I also do a lot of art and messy stuff with my kids so this doesn't always lend to a clean house 24-7!  

3.  Any of you Oregon people out there planning on being there for the Race for the Roses 5k, 10k, or half-marathon this weekend?  


Monday, March 28, 2011

The Skunk and His Junk

*  Went to the library with my children today.  We found many great books. 
*  I always make sure to count how many library books we get so that we can keep track of them and then return them all on time.  I counted them up as we were checking them out.  We had 21.  Instead of just remembering that and making a mental note to myself I told my 4 year old "you remember that!  21.  That's the legal age to drink beer so I'm sure it won't be hard to remember.  21."  What?!  Seriously, what?!  What kind of a mom says that?  Out loud?  At the library?  or anywhere?  To their 4 year old?
*  I really do plan on changing the title of this post as soon as everyone who is going to read it reads it.  Because really, I'm kind of not wanting any more weirdos finding me on google from my titles.  Did you know that one of the top google searches for finding my blog is related to camel toes, hot sexy bitches, and naked ladies?!  What kind of people are seeing my blog?  So, I've thought about changing the titles on the following posts:  Camel Toes and Naked Lady Pens and Hot Sexy Bitch.  No wonder they are my most poplular posts. 
*  I have a tune-up race coming up in a couple weeks.  It is supposed to be a 10k according to my training plan but it is a half marathon.  There wasn't a 10k on the same weekend when I originally checked.  Now my question is....Do I only race 10k of the half marathon or do I just go all out and give it my all?   
*  Thinking that instead of my 5.5 mile tempo run on Friday, I might jump in a 10k race on Sunday?  Hmmm, wondering how I can fit this in and still get my miles that were planned for Sunday.  Maybe I could switch my progression run with my tempo run.  Just thinking out loud. 
*  I'm feeling a little sore from my 17 miles yesterday.  The trail we ran on was so muddy and wet.  I'm kind of sick of the rain but I really try hard not to complain since life really is filled with too many glorious things to be bitching about the weather.  But really, I wouldn't mind if we had some sunshine around here soon.  I'm feeling like I need a little vitamin D.  
*  So much for new blue Brooks Launch Shoes.  

*  I'm loving reading all the comments from my giveaway post!  So nice to read some real things about you.  I'm not quite sure how I'll choose the winner.  I'll probably just throw some names in a hat and draw them out but I might have to give some more entries to people that have the most convincing comments for why they should win!  
*  Several of my readers have e-mailed me and asked me about the journals that I write/keep for my children.  I plan on posting about this sometime this week if I feel inspired.  I have to be inspired to write about things like that...if not, the writing just won't flow.  
*  Speaking of writing flow.  I find that when I'm inspired to write, I really need to take my ideas and move with them.  If not, before I know it, my thoughts are deflated and I don't have any fire to write with.  I have some ideas rolling around in my head about books I want to write and I need to 1.Believe in myself. 2. Not get overwhelmed by the entire process but be able to take small steps and trust that things will come together.  3.Write from my heart and be real.  4.Trust that when the time comes, the right connections will be there.  
*  I have to say how proud I am of my mom and how honored I am to be her daughter (this will be a separate post soon too).  Some of you know that she is an artist....I've written about her before.  I'm inspired by her in so many ways and I never cease to be in amazement by what she brings to life with her paintings.  She just wakes up and starts painting from her dreams and by the end of a day she has created something that is truly fabulous.  She has also inspired me in my writing since I've always admired how she writes.  All my life, I've loved seeing her many journals that she fills in creative ways. They are filled with collages, poetry, sketches, stories from our life and hers, letters....treasures indeed!  She's where I get my love of writing and my creativity from.  Check out her link.  I especially love what she write about the meaning of her art!  Beautiful! 
*  Thank you SO very much for your kind, supportive and uplifting comments on my post about goal setting with kids.  One of the comments said something about me being so organized.  My mom found this to be so funny that she started snapping pictures of my messy house and told me that I really should show you the real deal. More messy than disorganized but what do you expect with 3 kids?! Ha! Perhaps I will include these photos in a post soon. 
*  My husband and I went to a cocktail party on Friday.  Before we left, my daughter asked me if I was wearing a shirt or a dress.  It was short but this picture makes it look way shorter since it is riding up from the way I've got my arm around my husband (hence the part of the dress that should be below my "boobs/bra" is almost above them).  This was at the end of the night so not the best picture but shows how it might have been mistaken for a shirt by my daughter.  She even said something like "you wouldn't let me wear that!"  Yes, that's right darling. 

Ha, how's this for random?!  

Happy Monday,

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Goals For Today, Success For a Lifetime

What is the framework for success?  What motivates us?  What works in helping us stay on track and experience success?  And most importantly, what makes us WANT to accomplish something?  

Some typical things I nag my kids about on an hourly basis:
*  Stop bugging your sister
*  Share with your brother
*  Use kind words with each other
*  Calm down and say that in a different way
*  Clean up your mess

In the midst of normal nagging and chaos this morning, I started to question myself as a mother and the effectiveness of my nagging, continual reminders and harping on my kids to do things the way I wanted.  And then it dawned on me.  Where was the ownership for them?  Where was I providing any kind of structure for them to OWN their behavior and work towards success? Something to be proud of and accomplish?   Somewhere along the road of motherhood, I forgot about the sticker charts and intrinsic and extrinsic incentives.  Instead of setting them up to take control of their behavior, I've turned into a dictator that holds all the power and hence all the weight of trying to make things happen.  I've resorted to bossing around, modeling poor behavior (yelling at them to not yell, losing my cool when I'm telling them to be patient, etc.), and expecting them to do things because I said so without putting the ball in their court to take control of their own actions.

I started questioning the things that motivate me to work towards success.  What makes me tick?  What makes me work hard to better at something, succeed in something challenging, push myself to keep climbing and becoming a more fulfilled person? I've always been a driven person and when I set new goals for myself, I usually meet them or change them as my life changes.  And that's when I realized... for as long as I can remember, I've lived my life with GOALS!  I live a goal driven life and I work hard towards the goals I set for myself.  Setting goals, visualizing them, and working hard towards them has been the framework for my life.

Some strategies I use to help me keep my goals fresh in my mind so I can visualize them and make them a part of my daily living:

  1. Write them down!  This is always the first thing I do when I'm setting new goals for my life.  Seeing them on paper is the fist step to breathing life into them and seeing them grow into a reality. 
  2. Put your goals up somewhere where you can see them.  When I first write down my goals, I write them in one of my journals.  I save my running goals for my running journal and personal goals are usually in my personal journal.  My husband and I even write our marriage goals in our shared journal.  
  3. Create vision collages.  I create my vision collages with pictures from magazines, books, real life, etc. that create a visual to remind me of my goals and things I want more of in my life:  love, peace, healthy eating, to be a better athlete, spending quality time with my children, travel, spiritual growth, etc.  I put these collages on my bathroom mirror and in my journals.  
  4. Self Affirmations.  I often write power statements to motivate myself.  I put them in places where I look often.  Notes of affirmation might include phrases like:  "You are beautiful and wise.  You will run fast! You are helping creating a magical and memorable childhood for your children.  Smile often.  Today is a joyful day to be thankful for!"  You might find these notes of affirmation on my mirrors, cupboards, walls, journals, car, etc. 
  5. Celebrate success and progress.  I encourage myself and celebrate my accomplishments and new goal setting.  

Helping Our Children Live a Goal Driven Life and Experience Success
Our children are people too.  Little people, yes!  But they need the same types of structure in their lives in order for them to learn to live a goal driven life, feel successful, and take ownership over their accomplishments and hard work.  One of my earliest memories is when my mom had us illustrate all the fruits of the spirit from the bible.  She drew a box for each trait:  Love, Joy, Peace, Kindness, Self- Control, etc.  and we talked about them and then illustrated what each one looked like in our life.  This really helped my five or six year old brain make sense of what these characteristics meant for me in my life and to this day I think back to that day as one of the starting points for realizing how powerful goal setting and visualizing the life we want for ourselves can be.

Charts Charts Charts!
I've always been a fan of creating sticker charts with my kids to help them work towards goals.  We've done this with potty training, chores, working towards earning a trip to Disneyland, etc.  However, it has been awhile since I've created a sticker chart and I'm not sure why I've let it go for so long since it works SO WELL with my kiddos! A huge thing for them is SEEING their progress and having the visual reminder of their goals.

So, today we made a chart with some of their biggest goals.  We talked about what they wanted to improve on and decided that the most important things were:
Being Kind and Loving
Self- Control

Then we brainstormed what each of these characteristics meant and what it would look like in their daily life.  We included some of these on the chart (more as a reminder for me to be on the lookout for these things so I can reinforce their positive behavior).

After our brainstorm session and typing up of our chart, they wrote each characteristic in a box and then drew a picture that shows what this characteristic might look like in their personal life.

We made sure to post these pictures along with the chart up somewhere in their room where they can see it every day!  Now my part will be to remind them of their goals and remember to "catch them" putting their goals into action!

I was highly impressed with how seriously they took this activity.  And how excited they are about it!  I instantly noticed them catching themselves and changing their own behavior.  For example, my oldest daughter caught herself when she was about to chew her sister's head off for something and instead, she calmed down and said it in a very loving and nonthreatening manner.  The great thing is that they don't expect anything other than stickers and an encouraging word.  They were not promised some big prize or treats of every kind.  I'm sure at the end of it all, I might take them to do something special like get a cupcake and hot chocolate but the biggest reward is that they get to feel PROUD and SEE their accomplishments.  They get to SET their own goals and feel how good it feels to meet their goals and feel successful in life!  This is the true prize!!  Personally, this is what keeps me driven in life...the feeling I get from accomplishing something and doing things that make my life better for myself and those around me.

Do you make goal setting a part of your life?  
Do you write your goals down?  


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Ragging Road Rage Run and Monkey Privates


  • Just got home from the most boring 9 mile run ever. Perhaps it was boring because it was so late and there weren't many interesting people to scope out.  And it was on a treadmill.  Enough said.
  •  I gained 4-5 pounds just from eating like a horse and being on my period the past few days.  Always makes me feel great to get on the scale and see that that I'm putting on the pounds to go along with my bitchy mood.  I'm thinking the several pounds of red velvet and white cake that I've been grazing on over the past few days might have something to do with it.  Yay for leftover birthday cake! 
  •  I'm loving the 7 comments I got on my last mommy post.  I'm realizing more and more that most my readers/followers are more interested in running related posts.  Now really the low comment count could also be due to the fact that I've been the WORST blog reader in the world the past several weeks and people have probably written me off their blog reading role.  I still read, I've just been at a loss for words (imagine that Chris) and haven't wanted to resort to comments like "great post" or "awesome!".
  • My 4 year old daughter kept asking me yesterday what Monkey privates look like.  I told her that they probably look quite a bit like our privates.  She said something along the lines of "Well, next time we go to the bookstore, we can look up Monkey privates in a book and then we will know!"  Tomorrow we will go to the zoo and check out the monkeys!  
  • I thought about introducing her to Google images but when I googled "Monkey Privates" I came up with a selection of photos that wouldn't be appropriate for a four year old.  I've gotten some great responses to this on of my friends (not naming names) even sent me a great google image photo that she found while googling monkey privates.  Loved it!


  • I hope to get 50-60 miles in this week but I find myself really excited to be done with marathon training and just be running for fitness and fun.  Hoping for a relaxed and fun summer!  I do love training for something but it takes a lot of time and there are some evenings that I just want to have a glass of wine with my husband over dinner and relax without heading out the door to the gym and missing out on family time.  But this is important to me right now and as long as it keeps being fun then I'll keep doing it!
  • Sunday was a 13.1 progression run.  It was supposed to be 14 but I cut it short.  It ended up being an interesting run.  The pros:  My husband and I got to run together.  The cons:  I had just started my period, I had stomach cramps, it was windy, we were running in a really crappy area with way too much traffic, few sidewalks, lots of stop lights, big hills, lots of turns and I felt like the biggest Bitch in the world!  It was like running with Road Rage and being on the Rag (do people still use that term?) didn't help. Everything was pissing me off...the people in their cars, the stop lights,  the rain and poor husband.  But we decided to run close to where our kids were since we didn't want to add travel time on top of our running time.
  • Progression run was supposed to be first 7 miles at base pace and then gradually increase speed until last mile is run at half marathon pace.  My goal was to run the second half of the run at lower 7's with the last mile at 7 or 6:50ish.  Considering the elements and how I felt, I'm satisfied with the run.  Here's the stats for all those who care and for my own reflection:
13.1 miles in 1:42.54

The rest of my week looks like:
Tonight: 9 miles@base pace and drills
Wed:  1.5 mile warm up; 5 x 1k intervals @ 5k pace w/3 min active recoveries; 1.5 mile cool down
Thurs: 4-8 miles recovery/base pace
Fri:  Tempo.  1.5 mile warm up; 4.5 miles @10k pace; 1.5 mile cool down  Cocktail party to go to that night!  Woot Woot!  I have an excuse to get all dolled up!
Sat: 4-8 miles @recovery/base pace
Sunday:  16-18 miles @ base pace

Running goal:  To stay focused and Have fun with it!  I'm not a professional runner so running shouldn't turn into a job.  Yes, I should work hard but I need to have fun with it too!

Personal Goal:  Continue to Relax this week (spring break) a good and light novel, let the house be messy, and ENJOY my children! Hug them, love them,  and take them to do things that are out of the ordinary routine!


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Cultivating Our Creative Spirits

This is part of creative exploration right?  
I've noticed a trend lately when it comes to the time I spend with my children.  We get busy.  We get rushed.  We spend a lot of time in the car, rushing to and fro.  Preschool, gymnastics, Girl Scouts, kindergarten, doctor's visits.  The time that we are home is often spent cleaning up messes, putting out fights, calming crying kids, and "getting ready" for some kind of activity.  I feel as if I'm always trying to maintain a sense of order instead of slowing down long enough to just enjoy the moments.  And I'm realizing more and more that this kind of living is something I need to be conscious of in order to change it and do the things that help to cultivate and enrich our creative spirits and to be more fully present in the joy that life has to offer...even when life is filled with what feels like limitless "go here, go there, do this, and do thats".

This week of spring break has been a reminder to me of the way things used to be before my kids started school.  We'd spend the day painting, mixing, finding uses for every cardboard box we found, and letting our imaginations lead the day.  I had the art easel and box of supplies up in the dining room and I did all I could to encourage  creative exploration.  We painted rocks, gathered pine cones, created little people out of popsicle sticks, and made castles out of the couch cushions.

This kind of creative exploration and living not only helped us feel more energized and enjoy each other more fully, but I could see how it enriched my children's life in other ways.   They were always coming up with ideas and asking new questions.  As a teacher, this is the stuff that makes me most excited!  To see children create, explore, and question their surrounding world!  Filling my days with creative activities like painting, exploring, scientific inquiry, and experimenting with different art media is not only enriching for my children, but for myself as well.  These things inspire ME to open my creative spirit and break down those ugly mental blocks that make me feel CREATIVELY Constipated!  They also inspire me to feel more open to new ideas, creations and writing possibilities.

Today at the Portland Children's Museum, I was reminded just how much I love it there! I love everything it stands for and all the stimulating and enriching opportunities for open-ended exploration, inquiry, creative thinking, and imaginative play.  We used to go once a week and I hope to start this routine again.  Yes, it is crazy sometimes but I think that the enriching experience it provides for my kids far outweighs the inconvenience and exhaustion it sometimes causes for me.

A huge "Light Bright".  This kept this little guy busy forever!

Some of my big mother goals:

  1. To bring back creative exploration in our daily lives and finding new ways to cultivate our creative spirits (and really figuring out what this means for me!)
  2. Allowing our "messes" to just stay where they are more often and making more time to "Live, play, explore, imagine, and create"!  Life is too busy as it is and if I don't make a conscious effort to slow down and pay attention to what is important to me, I could easily get lost in "managing" the life around me instead of "Playing in the game".  
  3. Have a set time where we try out new projects or let our questions lead us to new activities.
  4. Bring back 1-2 days a week where we have "NO T.V days"...none! Movies, shows, etc.  I'm not quite sure what happened to those days but it used to be that T.V was only allowed on maybe 2 days a week.  Now it seems like it is on every afternoon after my oldest gets home from school.  It has become a bad habit.  Don't get me wrong, I think t.v definitely has a place for me as a mother who needs breaks and my kids need to just "zone out" sometimes too!  But I do think that there are many things that can take the place of television and also help to enrich their minds and creative thinking that can be just as fun for them as a movie...the key is finding things that will still give me a break when I need it.  
  5. Remind myself that the days with my kids are numbered and the day that they are no longer "kids" will come faster than I will ever know!  Make the most of it! 
  6. Continue to create Balance in my life!  Taking the time to cultivate my creative energy and personal goals is equally as important and necessary in order for me to be the best mother I can be! This means taking "breaks" from my kids and not feeling guilty about working hard towards my goals with running, writing, etc.  

1. What are some ways that you cultivate your creative spirit?  

2.  If you're a mother, what are some things you do to encourage creative thinking and imagination?  Projects, games, activities, art ideas, etc?  

3. What are some of your big Motherhood (Fatherhood) goals?  


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Veganfit Blog Check It Out!

Happy Saturday! 
Today has been a much needed Saturday! Glorious!  Divine!  
Waking up slowly to our three monkeys jumping and cuddling in our bed.
Cake for breakfast
Finishing a good novel
Lazing around in my pajamas with No plans!
Enjoying the sound of my kids running around the house, building forts, and using their imagination.  Even the occassional hair pull and fight isn't bad.
Pure slice of lazing around and soaking up life kind of day!  And counting my blessings!!

No running for me today. After my tempo run yesterday, I had a lot of pain on the front of my ankle/top of my foot.  The pain was there at the start of the run but I thought it was just from my shoes being too tight.  By the time we were walking to happy hour with friends later in the evening, I could feel the pain with every step.  I iced and this morning it is feeling better but I still have some discomfort so I will be taking it EASY PEEZY! 

Good news is that my tempo run cut short was still a run that helped to boost confidence! I wasn't feeling up to doing the mental work and running outside but I did anyway and I'm so glad I did!  So much better than the treadmill!  And I wasn't limited by just sticking to one pace either!  
2 mile warm up @ 8:30-9 pace
mile @ 7:11 (mostly incline/climb)
mile @ 6:40 (flat to gradual downhill)
mile @  6:51 (mix of incline and flat)
cooldown @ 8:03 --Was supposed to do another mile at 6:40/50ish and then 2 mile cool down but I was really feeling the pain in my foot/ankle so decided to call it a day!

This afternoon I made smoothies for the family with:
Frozen blackberries
Plain Yogurt
Udo's Oil
Ground Flax
Whey Protein Powder for my Husband and I

I didn't realize that I was supposed to be grinding my flaxseeds in order for our bodies to properly digest them! I had been putting them in our oatmeal and smoothies whole. Thankfully, I learned about this from my friend Martha's blog: VeganfitPlease go check her blog out and say hello!  She's got a lot of wisdom to share and she's super passionate about what she writes about on her blog.  Even if you're not vegan (I'm not), you're likely to learn some great stuff about nutrition, fitness and health!  So, here's a shout out to

1.  What is your favorite thing to include in a smoothie/shake?
2.  Do you do tempo runs? 


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Fleeting Moments; Magical Memories

Just returned from a peaceful night run.  The air was cool, the moon bright, and the rain tucked away somewhere else for a change.  I could see my breath in the light from my head lamp. With each exhale, I felt myself settle into my rythym just a bit more and I couldn't help but smile! Tonight is one of those nights that I feel completely satisfied and joyful.  Today was wonderful.  A day that will go down in the memory books.  All three of my kids went to bed feeling happy, loved, safe and floating on the magic of childhood. 

If you don't count the fact that my 20 month old decided to rip this rather reasonably large chunk of hair from my now four year old's head when she took his turn on the slide at preschool....

...or the fact that he nearly pulled my mother-in-law's fancy tea pot and cups off the table with the table cloth while I was decorating for my daughter's party... was a darn near perfect day!  A day that makes you feel happy to be a mother and have a part in creating a magical childhood for your children. 

A day that you get to see this kind of joy on your child's face as she celebrates her life...

 ....and seeing the look on her face that tells you that she is bursting at the seams with excitement...

A day where doing a fairy dance for a room full of adults and 12 kids ages 1-6 means that the jewel fairy will come and sprinkle jewels under our Japanese Maple and allow 10 girls to gather magical memories and a purse full of jewels to wish upon tonight. 

A day where seeing girls try to act like ladies makes for a priceless memory and even burps and smiling with food in your mouth makes for a great picture.

 A day where
the pieces
come together
make a perfect day!

Kitchen is done, cake covered, last minute plans and invitatons made, and history written.

Life IS GOOD! 

Tomorrow is another busy day.  Going out for my husband's birthday with friends to see Roller Derby.  Apparently we are in a for a good show....tough looking ladies on roller skates trying to knock each other out of the way.  Good times! 

On the running front... tomorrow's workout calls for:
Tempo Run
2 mile warm up
4-5 miles at 6:50/7 pace
1.5 mile cool down

I'll be flying around trying to get home, showered and ready to go again.  Good thing I have a good sitter!  She's amazing!  And she's leaving me to go to college next year.  Boo.

What is one of your favorite childhood memories?  A birthday party?  A magical moment?  Seeing a relative? 
I grew up in a family where we didn't celebrate birthdays or ANY holidays due to our religion (that we are no longer a part of since I was 12).  My mom still found ways to make me feel special and create memories though.  I remember one day in music class when I was in third grade, my mom walked in and asked to take me out to the hall for a moment.  I thought that maybe something bad had happened.  When I got out in the hall, my mom said "I just wanted to tell you that I love you...that's all".  And she gave me a necklace that had pink beads with plastic and colorful fruit on it.  I felt so LOVED and special.  I still have that necklace on my bathroom counter and it is one of my greatest treasures.  I used to take it to show my students at school during a certain writer's workshop exercise.  I don't think I'll ever be ready to part with that necklace.  Not until I'm ready to leave this world.  I'll post a picture of it sometime.  :) 


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Rockin' Out in Footsie Pajamas

A little semi-wordless Wednesday.  This video makes me happy.  Reminds me what life is really all about...finding joy in the moment!  I love my footsie pajama days with my kids!  Savoring it for all it is worth.

Happy Wednesday!

P.S.  The poem to Nome in my post from this morning...Nome is a nickname for Naomi for those of you that might have wondered why I can't spell gnome, why I'd name my daughter Nome, or why the heck I'd call my daughter a gnome even if I didn't know how to spell it!

My Sweet Nome

 March 16, 2007
My sweet Nome.
You came to us,
brought me a peace unlike anything else.
You, like your father,
are a calm to me. Your energy and love wash over me,
I learn from you daily.
Thank you for your wisdom, beauty, and strength.
My sweet Nome.

When you came to us,
My tears of feeling defeat and disappointment in my labor,
tears of frustration and loss over my birth process going the way I wanted.
 The way I planned.
These tears dried up and were replaced with 
a joy and love so deep that
words cannot possibly describe.
Even then,
brought me peace, calm, love.
I watched you,
sleeping peacefully,
all night long.
Taking one picture after another,
sweet sleeping Nome
In my arms.
Today is about you,
Your day of Birth.
A gift you are to me, today and always.
My sweet sleeping Nome.
Thank you for teaching me, loving me, and shining your spirit on all of us! 
We love you.
I love you.
My sweet Nome. 

I'm four?  I don't feel four!  her breakfast request:  tofu, apples and snap peas (seriously.)

A few random thoughts before my kids awake:
*  Today is my baby girl's birthday!  We will do whatever she wants (within reason). 
*  Been crazy busy lately with my kitchen (it is done!! besides getting new curtains!), my husband's birthday yesterday, my daughter's party on Thursday that I have not planned yet, and just life.
* Lost my running journal somehow.  Wrote down my splits from my run yesterday (8.5 miles in the pouring pouring rain!) I feel lost without my journals.  Where could it be?  It disappeared in a matter of hours.  grrr.
*  Somehow have to fit in repeat 1ks today in addition to doing all I can to make sure I'm fully present in my sweet girl's day (she is still sleeping btw).  It is going to be hard to run too late (no energy) and I don't want to miss out on her birthday dinner.  Maybe a sitter this afternoon if she is available. 
* OH my, just found out that my 5 year old knew exactly where my running journal was...under her sister's bed.  This tells me that SHE was the one that hid it.  Just to see me squirm!!!  Only problem is that she was fast asleep when I was tearing the house apart looking for my journal at almost midnight.  Oh that little weasel!
*  On that note....I'm off this thing.  Sorry I can't keep up much these days.  I know I have not responded to so many of you and please don't take it personally.  I am just really trying to balance my life and spend less time on here and more time being present in my life with my kids.  Don't give up on me though...I'll be back....I find that with most things in life, there are ebbs and flows....cycles...
*  Peace to all of you this week! 

Here are a few pictures of my kitchen...I still need to do some touch ups, make some new window coverings,etc. but for now, we are done! 


Sunday, March 13, 2011

5k Tune Up Race Recap

Shamrock Run
3.16 (according to my Garmin so a longer 5k)

 Tune-up race
Training for: Marathon
I also thought this would be a good time to participate in Jeff's virtual 5k.  

Goal:  To get a good workout, have fun, and push myself without all those old feelings of fear and nerves to slow me down and causing me to doubt myself. And to not let my "off" week get in the way of racing a good race.

Weather:  Cold, Damp, Rainy, Wet, Wet, Wet!  My shoes and socks were sopping wet the entire race.  Along with my clothes.  

By Max Train!  Soooo many people ran this race.  The train was full of other runners.  We stopped at Starbucks and got an egg sandwich, banana and coffee (vanilla latte with half the vanilla for me).  I also had some of the energy/protein drink from Jill right before the race.  I was like a giddy little kid!  So excited.  I slept great and wasn't nervous AT. ALL!  This was great!  :)  

Course: Here is a picture of the course elevation.  It was pretty hilly.  Especially mile 2.  There was a good amount of downhills too but .75 to 2ish felt like quite the incline...not sure how it would relate to the incline on a treadmill.  Definitely not the easiest 5k I've run but not the most challenging either.  

Mile 1:  6:25.86
Mile 2:  7:04.38 (this is where we should have pushed it waaaay harder up those hills)
Mile 3:  6:20.97
last .16: :55.76

Overall time (unofficial.  on my Garmin.) :  20:46/  6:35 average  14th out of 6,000 plus.  
Official time:  20:48; 3rd in my age group

This was just the race I needed to shed the rest of my old college/high school baggage.  I don't have any regrets.  I used this as a good workout and I pushed myself enough to where I was able to end the race knowing that I can do better next time.  I had FUN and it felt great to feel strong.  

Goals for next 5k:  To leave it all out on the race.  I ran this race comfortable but working it and didn't push myself to pain. I would want to push myself to that pain level more next time.  At the end of the race I felt like I could still run 10 miles at base pace and be fine.  For a 5k race where I know I gave it all I had, I would not have this much energy left and I would have felt some pain and not stayed comfortable for the entire race.  However, the fact that I was comfortably pushing myself at this pace tells me that I'm where I want to be as far as marathon training right now!  Which is what this race was all about.  

One of the best parts!  A beer and music with my best friend (and no kids)!  

Thank you so much for your love and support in my last post!  Your comments were just what I needed to read!  Seriously, when I woke up this morning to a full inbox, your comments were just what I needed to start off on the right foot.  As Ana Maria suggested, I didn't think too much!