Thursday, January 31, 2013

I'm a Runner XXII

In case you didn't know, the I'm a Runner series is inspired by a series published in Runners World magazine.  I use the "interviews" and adapt my answers to formulate my own sort of interview.  I depend on the series being published every month.  It's one of my favorite posts to write and it's also get more reads than an average post.  Point is, I enjoy writing them and I think you enjoy reading them.

So imagine my disappointment when I opened my Runners World this month only to find no I'm a Runner series on the last page.  Instead, Runners World paused to look back at the 100-plus profiles they've run over the last 9 years.

What was I to do?  I realized I've written 21 "I'm a Runner" posts and I too am going to pause and look back at MY favorite I'm a runner moments. You're delighted.  I can tell.

decker challenge3

My job as a mom is the most rewarding job I have ever had.  It requires a lot of hard work and patience, but the rewards you get are 10 fold what you put in. 

When I run I'm not really sure what I'm doing besides just putting one foot in front of the other.  When people talk about stride length and foot strike my eyes go crossed.  It's hard enough for me to make my body move forward without worrying about perfecting it all. 

I don't know how people run 26.2 miles in less time than it takes me to run 13.1.  Actually anything less than a 10:00 pace impresses me.  Actually just running 26.2 miles impresses me, but you get my drift.  I just don't understand how some people get their body to comprehend that they are supposed to run FAST for 26.2 miles.  My body only knows trudge along. 

Having my last baby was a life changing event (as each child is), but it was knowing that I was finally finished having kids that inspired me to reclaim my body and get fit.  I'd love to get pregnant again (not going to happen) and see how being active during pregnancy changes things. 

When I run in the morning (which is most always) I feel refreshed and ready to tackle the day.  There's nothing like having a workout behind you at 7 am. 

Racing makes me stay focused.  It causes me to really evaluate what I am able to do and not settle.  If I register for a race (and plan to race) then I make sure I do the work to give it my best effort.  Granted I don't race every race and that's ok too because there's just something about the race atmosphere that invigorates me. 

I like putting, my Chapstick in my Spibelt or water belt.  I've master the one hand lid removal, application and recapping process.  It's probably the only talent I possess.  All while running mind you.  Nothing comes between me and my Chapstick. 

Health is my greatest motivator for running and working out.  Yes, I admit that it all started because I wanted to lose weight, but running has become something I do to keep my healthy mentally and physically and most likely I haven't lost many L-Bs due to running. In fact, most marathoners GAIN weight durning training.  Go figure.  

Running changes pretty much everything.  I'm not the same person I was before I became a runner.  I know that might sound ridiculous, but it's true.  My outlook on a lot of things have changed including the way I view my body.  I'm still a work in progress, however. 

The best part of running my first marathon was the sense of accomplishment.  There is nothing like your first.  You go in not knowing if you can do it, and come out realizing you can do it... and ANYTHING else you ever dream of doing.

How you approach a run usually determines the outcome.  If I think I can, I can.  If I think I can't, then well I probably still can, but it's nowhere near as fun.  

The perfect run is when you think you're running slow and you 're afraid to look down at your Garmin to find out your pace.  You avoid looking, speeding up because you feel so slow.  Finally you look down and you realize you've been holding a MUCH FASTER pace than you expected.  (If  you're a runner, you have to know what I'm talking about). 

Normally when I'm running a long distance I can't think about the finish line.  I'm only thinking about the two steps in front of me.  If I get wrapped up thinking about what's left I'm too preoccupied and not focusing on here and now.  It's better, for me, to just focus on what is in my control-- right here, right now! 

There have been MANY and I mean many days that I wake up and say I don't want to work out today, but 99% of the time I just tell myself that is not an option.  I'll take a rest day if I need it or if I have an obligation to uphold, but I don't generally skip workouts just because I didn't feel like doing anything that day.  If that were the case, I'd be curled up on the couch watching Ellen most mornings.  

People always ask how I find the time to be a mom AND train for a marathon.  The truth is, it’s not easy and many days I’m tired and I feel guilty because I’m not able to put as much effort into being a mom.  However, at the end of the day my kids are happy and honestly nowhere near neglected.  Having a little bit of guilt is ok because when I do find my energy the guilt motivates me to “make up” for lost time.  So, it all balances out. 

Running opened up the door to so many great friendships in my life.  Some of my best friends, in fact most of them, are runners and I cherish all the miles we’ve logged together. 

You have to be willing to make some sacrifices if you’re going to train for a marathon.   Well, maybe sacrifices isn’t the right word.  I’d say you have to know that not EVERYTHING in your life is going to get done and not everyone is going to have as much time with you as they would like, but training does have to be a priority.  Maybe not #1 (my kids are #1), but definitely no lower than #3. 

I don’t run every day of the week.  I also enjoy cycling, spinning, swimming and strength training.  I never thought I’d be that person who enjoys working out.  What can I say?  Endorphins make you happy. 

Running is not a 4 letter word, although sometimes I think it should be.  Ha! 

Interested in reading more from this series?  Check them out below:

I'm a Runner 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Do Nice things Edition

Do nice things for your friends (or a random stranger for that matter) because it just might be what they needed after having a craptastic day!

Flowers from Tracey.  Subway art printed by me from here

Thanks Tracey!  xoxoxo

P.S.  Had my MRI today and will go for my follow up/results Monday.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Things I'm Loving (about my house) Right Now

We've been living in our house for just over 3 weeks now, and while you might expect everything to be in tip top shape by now, let's just say it's not.    I really have been working on it EVERY SINGLE DAY.  Frankly, 27,000 pounds is a lot of stuff and it takes time to go through and set up and get just right.

Today I realize amongst the mess, there are definitely things about my house that are making me happy.  I'm all about the little things.  Little things really do bring me happiness.   While I'm not officially ready to give the house tour, I thought I'd show you some things I'm loving in my house right now.

My chocolate and mint green powder room.

The "Tirch" wall

My hall table and kids in the blue bonnets

The playroom toys being somewhat organized

The kids' artwork display

Ella's chandelier


The camo bathroom 

Ella's hair accessories FINALLY organized

EAT (as if I need reminding)

My Texas pillow

These forsythias.  They make me smile.

I promise a full house tour (in the daylight) within the next few weeks.  I know a few of you have asked.

Monday, January 28, 2013

January Photostream

Time for my monthly photo dump.  Most of these photos I have shared on Instagram (follow me:  MomSwimBikeRun).  Just my day to day stuff that makes me smiles. 

Jack discovered a pair of ski goggles while I was unpacking and wore them around the house all day.  He specifically told me not to share this picture, so don't tell him.  

I gave up Diet Coke.  There's my big glass of water.  I'm 27 days Diet Coke free!!!! Woot!  Guess what?  I miss it!  There I said it!

We moved into our new house!!! 

This is what my kitchen looked like on day 2 after the move in.

I discovered I have excessive tendencies when I saw my decorative napkin drawerS!  Oh my.  

My kitchen day 3.

I discovered my excessive tendencies do not just apply to napkins!

Nicholas room.   We are so excited hockey is back in this household!  

Bear (aka Jack) got a hockey injury playing in the basement and allowed me to hold ice to his lip.  I soaked in the snuggles.

I did this all by myself!!!  I impress myself sometimes.

My closet is too full and not really user friendly.  It will do for now.

Late night White Castle run while in Indy.  Sexy no?

The boys (ok and Ella) are sooooo excited to have a space to play knee hockey again.  I swear they do nothing else.  Poor George,  I don't think his knees can take much more.

I really wanted a turquoise hall table.  I saw one on a blog I read and immediately fell in love.  Low and behold, I was shopping and just happen to find one (and for cheap).  Yay!  I love it.

We got plenty of snow to go sledding.  The kids had a blast.

Jack started his "Learn to Play" hockey program.  He's a natural.

I tried to "bump" my ponytail.  It's the little things in life that make me happy.  haha

An exciting January wasn't it?  Especially that ponytail!

Interested in more from this series?  Read the other installments below:

April Photostream
May Photostream 
June Photostream 
July Photostream 
August Photostream 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Blah-- How's that for a Title?

Dealing with an injury really isn't any fun, and dealing with the unknown... well, that's even more not fun.  I also don't deal well with the loss of control.  I like to be in control of my life and right now things just seem to be so out of control.

Usually I can control my weight by keeping a careful balance between what I eat and how much I exercise.  Well without the exercise, I'm afraid my weight is going to creep up and up and that scares me.

I'm also afraid if this isn't a stress fracture, because if it isn't, then what is it?  At least with a stress fracture there's a course of action and a definitive outcome.  I don't like if this, then that and so on.  I just like knowing FACTS.

So I'll admit it, I've spent the day feeling a little sorry for myself and wondering what if.  So I tried to do some things that make me happy.  I cooked (5 meals for the week) with my friend.  Nothing feels better than knowing what you're going to eat for the whole week.  I also lit candles.  4 of them!  My house smells amazing.  About 4 hours later, I snapped to and blew them all out.  Seriously wasting good candle smell on just the Tirches?  I kid.  Kinda.

Ella is also sick today and I've spent pretty much all of the last 3 hours snuggled on the couch with her while she dozes and gets some good mommy time.

Tomorrow is supposed to bring about freezing rain and more snow.  So there's that to look forward to.  HA!

I'm trying to keep a positive attitude and focus on other things (besides fitness) that make me happy.

Off to continue the snugglefest.  Thanks for letting me vent my feelings.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Healthy Living Survey

I found this Healthy Living Survey on Tina's Blog (which I read every day) and thought it would be fun to participate.   So here goes.

What did you eat for breakfast?  

First let me just say that I only now (after 38 years of being alive) figured out that breakfast means breaking the fast.  How can I be so stupid?  I mean I've referred to it a break fast before, but it wasn't until I stumbled across something the other day that said breakING the fast, that it finally occurred to me.  Am I the only one?  Ok fine, I'm an idiot.  Anyway, I had a Cliff Mojo bar and coffee.  That's standard fare 95% of the time.  Truth be told, I really don't like breakfast foods and I would prefer to eat non breakfast items for breakfast.  When we were living with Jami, she noticed that my kids (excluding Nicholas) don't generally eat a good breakfast so she suggested they should be allowed to eat whatever they want for breakfast.  It has worked out great and you might see my kids eating leftover Chinese food for breakfast or mac n cheese.  It works and why does it really matter? (Right now you're thinking, I sure hope all her answers aren't going to be this long).  Ha!

How much water do you drink a day?  

Well up until recently I was a Diet Coke addict and pretty much drank only that throughout the day.  Now that I've given up Diet Coke (23 days clean thankyouverymuch), I drink a lot of water.  Probably 28 ounces or so.

What is your current favorite workout?  

Well as you know I'm not working out right now, but before I stopped my favorite was definitely CrossFit.  I love that it pushes me outside my comfort zone every single time and I love that it makes me feel bad ass and strong.  I do have to say that despite my claim to hate running, I have to say I would choose running over any other activity if every run was a good run.  If you're a runner then you know what I mean.   It's when all the stars align and you run a quick pace effortlessly.  You don't have trouble breathing, nothing hurts, and you're left with the runner's high.  Ahhhh, if every run were like that, then running would always be #1.

How many calories do you eat a day? 

I track all my calories on MyFitnessPal (user name momswimbikerun.. follow me) and I generally eat between 1700 and 2000 calories a day.  I eat more than the average person (from what I can tell from all my friends on Fit Pal), but I a) can NOT stand the feeling of being hungry and b) think I just need more calories than other people.  Maybe I have a fast metabolism.  Regardless, anything less than 1700 and I'm cranky.

What are your favorite healthy snacks?  

Let's be honest isn't that an oxymoron?  Healthy? Snack?  haha  Actually, I'm not much of a healthy eater if I'm being honest so even if I'd like to say fruit and veggies and the like, the truth is the healthiest snack I eat is probably pretzels or rice cake with peanut butter.  Having said all that, I'm really not much of a snacker at all.  I eat larger meals that generally hold me over.

What do you usually eat for lunch? 

I usually eat leftovers from the night before, but I also like to go out to lunch with my girlfriends or George.  Panera is my go-to spot and I get the U Pick 2 with tuna and broccoli cheddar soup.  It's about 500 calories and I LOVE it.  I could eat it every day.

What is your favorite body part to strength train? 

I love to do my legs because they're definitely the strongest part of my body, but I've been loving doing upper body work lately.  I assume it's because it's hard and I really like being pushed to do then when they're hard.  Apparently I don't like things that come easily (thus the running thing).

What is your least favorite body part to strength train? 

Definitely my abs.  I had ab work.  That's why I started the plank challenge.  I wanted something to hold me accountable and help me do a little for my core each day.

What are you bad food cravings? 

Well this is an easy one!  I'm actually not a sweets person.  I'm definitely a salty snacks girl.  I love chips and tortilla chips and cheez its and they like.  I would chose chips over ice cream most days.  I do love salty sweet though.  That's the ultimate combination.

Do you take vitamins and supplements?  


Do you eat fast food? 

I do.  Not ALL the time.  I guess it depends on what you mean by fast food.  If you're talking McDonalds and the like I'd say I eat it once a month.  I prefer to eat Chick Fil A when I'm pressed for time and going through the drive thru seems like a "good" option.  I do eat Moes, and Subway more often, so if you consider that fast food.  When I was in college I used to love McDonalds and Wendys, now I just think it's gross.  I really do like Chick Fil A though.  It's yummy!

Who is your biggest supporter?  

I have a LOT of great friends that have supported me through a gazillion races.  I can't even name all my girlfriends who have helped me train and run races with me.  I feel so loved by all of them.  But... you knew there was a but right?  But, George is BY FAR my biggest supporter.  He puts up with me EVERY single day.  He listens to this ailment and that ailment and he's the first person I tell when I have a good run or a bad one.  He acts like he cares, but who really knows if he does.  Haha.  Not to mention he's pretty much at every single race I run to capture pictures and cheer for me at the end.  He even has the kids make me signs even know that's not his thing.  Pretty much, he's awesome.  I should take note!

finish kids

Do you have a gym membership?  

Yes I belong to the Oxford Athletic Club.  It's an awesome gym and has indoor and outdoor pools, which is the primary reason I'm there.  The indoor for me for training and the outdoor for the kids in the summer.  I also love that they offer free childcare and I do enjoy taking spin classes for no extra cost.

Do you drink alcohol?  

I'd say occasionally.  I'm not a huge drinker.  I do enjoy a nice glass of wine and a good beer, but I kind of do everything to excess so alcohol and Susan don't mix because it usually winds up with me having a headache and regret.  Ha!

Do you have a workout buddy?  

Yes tons!  I love them all!

(not pictured... Jami because I have no pictures of us working out... hmmm) 

What is the best thing that has changed about your life since committing to a Healthy Lifestyle?

See question above... definitely all the friends I have made along the way.  

What was the last healthy thing you did?  

Hmmm that's tough since I haven't been working out for the past almost month, but every day I make LITTLE choices that add up to something big.  I eat a smaller portion or chose no dressing over dressing.  I also make almost every recipe at home "lite".  I think little things really do add up to something big and the little things just become part of your life.  Like parking far away, I rarely look for the up close spot because I appreciate the extra few steps I get to take.  

So what was the last healthy thing YOU did?  Share in the comments.  

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

My Butt Might Really be Broken

So I went to the doctor today to finally see what's the matter with my crazy leg/butt/hip problem.  I walked in there really not knowing what to expect.  I should mention this is the doctor I went to when I fractured my shoulder, so I trust him implicitly.  I know he's an awesome doctor and I highly respect his opinion.

Ok so I go into the room and we reminisce about my shoulder injury.  The last time he saw me he sent me off to a new doctor in Texas, just days after the removal of my pins and long before I started physical therapy.  When he left me, I couldn't move my arm more than an inch.

Post op pin removal (looking goooood!)

Needless to say, he was VERY pleased with my outcome.  I'd say my shoulder is about 95%.  I mean look!

But anyway, that's not the point of all this.  He did an exam and took some X-rays, but he and the Physician Assistant (before I saw the doc) both suspected it was an injury with my pelvis.  He seems to think I have a pelvis stress fracture (think low pelvis... what you'd call your butt bone).  It entirely possible that I do not have a stress fracture, but he's sending me to have an MRI to know for sure (my appointment is next Wednesday).

If it is a stress fracture then we'll deal with that accordingly.  If it is NOT a stress fracture, then I will be going to therapy to get better.  The things that scare me are:  my butt bone (i.e pelvis) now hurts while at rest, even with 3.5 weeks of no activity my injury hasn't felt the least bit better, and pressing on the bone is extremely painful.

Now it's probably NOT a stress fracture because that would be worse case scenario and seriously how does this even happen?  I'm not going to question him, however, and am taking his advice to exclude all physical activity until after the results of the MRI.

Who am I to question him?  I didn't before and he didn't let me down.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

How to make a Kids Art Display

When you move into a new house there are always a ton of projects.  Even if you're still using all your old stuff, new projects somehow arise.  You might not know this about me, but I'm a VERY impatient person.  As in, I do NOT like to wait for anything and when I want something done, I want it done NOW (more like yesterday).   The thing is, I'm not handy so all my projects have to go through George.  You know how quickly that gets done right?  Let's just say decorating is NOT his priority (rightfully so).  Today, however, I managed to squeak out this project pretty much on my own.

Back when I was living in Texas I pinned this pin to my board in hopes of making a display similar in my home.  

Seeing as this idea was going to take up a lot of George's time I knew it wasn't going to get done quickly.  I was determined, however, to make this art display and so I ordered my my vinyl letters that read Masterpieces from amazon.  I thought to myself, I can pull off this project all on my own.

Then, I went to Indianapolis this weekend and visited my brother and saw that he had his daughter's artwork displayed on a clothesline.  I knew I could marry the two projects and create my display all on my own-- no George needed.

What you Need:

Vinyl Coated Clothesline  (I got mine at Walmart)
Screw in Wall hooks (I got mine at Walmart)
Clothespins (I got mine at Walmart)
Vinyl Letters (optional)

That's it. That's all you need.  You just screw the hooks into the wall (I used three: one in the middle and two on each end) and attach your clothesline.  I just tied the clothesline onto the hook.  Attach your artwork with clothespins and you've completed the task.  Easy Peasy!

I just LOVE the way this turned out and am excited I can display my kids' artwork in a somewhat organized fashion.  The thing that's really nice is you can change out pictures very easily and the kids can add to it themselves if they create anything they deem worthy.

What do you think?  Would you make this to display your kids' artwork?