I have a plan (sort of)

Last Monday I was finally able to get my act together and go for a run during the week. At this point, I’ve built up the trouble I’ve had with weekday running so much that it’s like slaying a mythical beast (the bad kind though, not like a unicorn…I would never slay a unicorn…all that business about having a “cursed life”, no thanks!)

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I squeezed it into a free half hour I had between Mr. Baby’s bedtime and my standing Monday skype call with my friend.  I managed slightly over 2 miles. I essentially felt like a superhero for getting this done, and I’m thrilled to add this to my regular routine.

After that run, I didn’t run again for the rest of the week. (oops!) But I filled my time with doing things around the house, so I don’t feel too bad. I still want to work my way up to 10 miles so I can earn my medal for the virtual 10 miler I signed up for, so I’ll have to dial it back a bit on the DIY projects.

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My medal is in that package…I just have to earn it!

I’ve been hoping to make an easy stroller run a regular weekly thing, but so far the weather hasn’t been agreeable. I’m sure things will turn around soon enough, and the price per run of my stroller won’t be so astronomical. (With only two runs under its belt it’s a pretty expensive ride..haha)


For months, I’ve been thinking I need a training plan to keep myself on track, but I’m starting to think I just need a weekly plan. Both for running, and other things I want to get done. Just a little something to keep me on track.

So far, here’s what I have:

Monday: squeeze in quick run before my Skype date

Wednesday/Thursdsay: Get in another run! JUST DO IT!

Saturday: Long(er) run

Sunday: Stroller run

The Wednesday/Thursday run I think will be the toughest to get done, and Sunday is weather dependent, so we’ll see on that one, but I think this will be a pretty good start.  I plan to come up with some build up for the long run so I can get to that 10 miles, but other than that I’m keeping it pretty open.


Now, before I wrap up this post: I registered for a 5k on June 17th!

It’ll be my first 5k since November 2015, and only my second road race since then. Know what that means? It’ll be a post baby PR! Is that a thing? I’m making it a thing. 🙂

Free!

Immediately after I take an exam I always realize just how much time studying takes up and I feel like I have loads of free time.  This time hasn’t been any different! I think it’s partly that when I’m studying I feel like if I have any free time I should use it to study so if I’m not studying that must mean I’m too tired to do anything, so I just sit on the couch watching netflix and reading facebook/blogs. I know that this is not sound logic, but maybe my brain is too tired (from all the studying) to be logical. Yes, let’s go with that.

So, anyways, now that my exam is over and I have decided not to find a new netflix show, I’ve been getting things done! And, maybe this is weird and dorky, but one of my favorite things to do when I’ve had a productive day/week/etc. is to list out all the things I did and be impressed with myself. In that spirit, let’s recap the weekend-

Friday: My SIL and BIL brought dinner over and we told them all about cloth diapering and how awesome it is what it’s really like. My BIL told me I should start a blog about cloth diapers…one can dream. 🙂

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Saturday: We did our normal Saturday errands (grocery store, the dump, starbucks), but also got some house projects done while Mr. Baby was napping. We borrowed a power washer from my SIL and BIL, which we’re using as part of what I’m going to call the Great Deck Project of 2017. We also worked on wall mounting our TV, and did some spray painting (also part of TGDP 2017).

Sunday: On Saturday we did 3 loads of laundry, so on Sunday we folded ALL THE LAUNDRY.  Somehow we managed to escape MT. WASHMORE long enough to go for a jaunt through the woods at the state park. And during nap time, more power washing and finishing hanging the TV. We also made a quick trip to Lowe’s for more spray paint. (I have no concept of how much spray paint is needed for a project, but I think I’m good now.) <— Edited to Add: Nope, I will definitely need more spray paint.

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This beaut is gettin’ a makeover!

I got zero running in this weekend, but I did enough physical labor that I don’t feel like a slouch. I’m still working on what my “training” schedule is going to look like, and currently would rather spend my time and energy on house projects and walks in the woods. 🙂

I’ve also been giving myself a study break, which has been fantastic! I’m hoping I can start up studying at lunch again soon; if I can manage to accomplish enough that way, I’ll let myself have my weekends free at least until June.

I hope you all had a fun and productive weekend! Any projects on the horizon? Would you read my cloth diaper blog?

Note: Conceptually, I understand that it’s possible to recap the weekend on Sunday night or Monday morning and have a post ready to go that Monday.  However, in practice, I can’t seem to get a hang of it. For that reason, this post is a week in the past. You just time traveled! Congratulations! And, You’re Welcome!

A Week in Review

Over the past month, I’ve written several posts but have just gotten around to adding the finishing touches and posting them. If you know me in real life and are confused that some of this stuff is old news, it’s because this post is really from April 10th.  Sorry for the delay!


Back in the day when I used to blog and run regularly, I did a Monday post recapping the prior week and posting the current week’s goals. I can’t promise that I’ll start this up again every week, but I’m bringing it back for today at least.  Combined with a recap of some non-running activities to add a little content.

Week in Review –

Monday – No running. Went for a walk with Jeff and Mr. Baby after work. Had my weekly Skype call with one of my best friends and then baked angel food cupcakes.  Hit my step goal for the day. (Currently 6k steps.)

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Getting ready to inhale the cupcakes!

Tuesday – Could not convince myself to run, but I walked on the treadmill. Hit my step goal again.

Wednesday – Work was super busy and meetings got pushed back AND ran long. I ended up staying late, and got home about an hour later than normal. Was exhausted by the time Mr. Baby was asleep, and again didn’t run. Didn’t hit my step goal, either.  I ate cupcakes…yum.

Thursday – Again, no running.  I kind of suck at getting runs in during the week.  I didn’t hit my step goal, either. We were having work done on our house (moving our laundry room), and it finished today, so we ordered celebratory pizza.  It was delicious!

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This is going to be amazing.

Friday – Finally it has stopped raining (kind of). We met up with my sister in law at the nearby state park to go for a walk. I brought along Jeff and Mr. Baby, and she brought along her dog. It was a tad chilly and a bit rainy, but a good time. And, I hit my step goal again finally!

Saturday – Did a 6k run on the treadmill while Mr. Baby napped. I’m slowly eeking my way up to 10k in order to earn my virtual 10k medal.  I’m hoping to go up to 8k this weekend and then do the full 10k the next week. I switched my treadmill over to metric so I could see my progress toward 10k in kilometers rather than miles.  I have no concept of how fast I’m going at any given time, and the k’s add up much quicker than miles do.  It’s been kind of great.

Sunday – On Sunday I took Mr. Baby for our first ever stroller run. It was SO AWESOME!  I ended up not getting out until the afternoon because it was too chilly for my passenger in the morning and then I had to work around naps and meals. Pushing the stroller isn’t really too difficult, but I am definitely sore now from all the hills!  Originally, I had hoped to go to a (flat) rail trail, but because I went so late I decided to go to the state park instead. The roads inside the park are closed to cars this time of year, and I figured that there would be tons of people out and I’d want a wider path to run than at the rail trail.  In that respect it worked out great, but the hills! Yikes!

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There were so many people out. I don’t know how I managed this picture.

This week, I’m keeping my step goal of 6,000; once I get a week’s worth of hitting my goal I’ll up it to 7,000. I also plan on running 8k at some point (probably Saturday) on my mission to hit 10k. And, it would be nice if I could get a run in during the week.  I have a hard time motivating myself to do that, but I really would like to get back on the horse, so to speak.

Hope you had a great week!  Do you have a step goal? Ever run with a stroller? Am I the only one who falls apart when I have to stay late at work?

 

What Now?

Over the past couple of weeks, the following three things happened-

  1. I ran the virtual 10k I’ve been “training” for.
  2. I took my 5th Actuarial Exam
  3. I finished the Netflix show I was watching (Switched at Birth)

And now, I’m sitting here like, “What now???”

Soooo…last things first I guess. I decided NOT to find another Netflix show. Jeff and I still have a show we watch together, but I’m not going to start another show just for me. I’m hoping this will prompt me to do more things at night after Mr. Baby goes to bed.  So far, I can’t say this has changed anything except to make treadmill running less appealing, but I’m still hopeful.  I’m thinking I should find movies to watch while running. At least with movies there’s no “just one more episode.”

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I totally know the signs for “okay”, “thank you” and “dating”.  The essentials.

Moving backwards up the list, I’ve had some difficulty deciding what to study next on the actuarial front. There are some changes in the works in regards to the credentialing path, which has resulted in several deadlines I must meet in order to avoid new requirements. The timing of this stinks and is the main reason why choosing what’s next has become such a dilemma.  I think I’ve settled on focusing the next few months on an online course about corporate finance. I haven’t pulled the trigger on buying the course yet because I still feel unsure about what order to do things. Ultimately though, I need to stop waffling about this and just DO SOMETHING.  Something is better than nothing.

Now, on to the running.

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10k and S.P.E.W medal!

I’ve signed up for another virtual race through the Hogwarts Running Club. Technically, the suggested run date was yesterday, but that’s the beauty of a virtual race…you can do it whenever you please. This one is the Unmasked 10 Miler. Which means I need to progress from 10k to 10 miles. While I’m fairly certain I could build up to 10 miles in the same pathetic manner I built up to 10k, I’d really like to finally get my act together and run more than once or twice a week. I’ve settled on using the 80/20 running plan, but need to pick a distance – the plans in the book are for 10k or ½ marathon. Technically, I could craft my own plan, but I’m not up for that right now. Whichever I pick, I’ll tweak the long run distances, but that’s as far as I’m willing to go with that.

I know it sounds like I’m pretty settled on my running plans, so let’s throw a tweak in there. I got an email this week about a 5k near my house that would be work sponsored. I have a hankering to do this race, so then what plan do I use? Would I use the 5k plan and do the 10 miler later? Do I just run the 5k with no distance specific training (in other words, the same way I’ve run every 5k I’ve ever done)?  It’s a tough choice! I’m not sure there’s even enough time to complete the 5k training plan before the race…maybe that’ll be the deciding factor. 🙂

So, tell me…did you finish anything recently? How do you decide what’s next?

 

The Race That Wasn’t

As you may not know, since I apparently haven’t blogged much about running on my running blog, I had a race on the schedule for this weekend1.  A five miler that I originally hoped could be a PR race. I say “originally hoped” because I have not done one iota of training that would make me any faster.  I even hesitate to use the term “training” at all. I’ve been running, but it’s been sporadic and disordered. No purpose or structure to any of my runs. I HAVE run the distance, so I have that going for me, but that’s about it.

I haven’t been running outside. While I’m a firm believer that you can train for even a hilly race on a treadmill, I’ve been leaving the incline at zero, which leaves me with no question that hills would be an issue. (Not that I even bothered to figure out if this is a hilly course). I also question whether I am physically prepared for running in current temperatures. When I signed up, I envisioned March 18th being a nice spring day. I’ve lived in the same climate my whole life, so who knows where that silly idea came from.

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Training run

So, this week I’ve been going into the race with thoughts like, “Hmm..March 18th, already, huh?” and “Gee..looks like it’ll be a cold one?”, and as of Thursday afternoon I hadn’t even figured out the time or start location yet. Then I got a text that the race was cancelled. And then the official email. I’m left feeling pretty ambivalent about the whole thing. A little bummed because races are always fun, but I don’t really feel like I have any skin in the game.  (My entry fee was paid through work, even). I DO feel quite bad for all the runners who have made this their goal race (there is also a half), particularly because it’s not the time of year where it’ll be easy to find a “replacement” race.

The interesting part about the whole thing, to me at least, is that in lieu of a refund or even an entry for next year, they are deferring everyone’s entries to a race in October. A race that is a half marathon, without a 5 mile option. I emailed the race director to ask if that deferral included the 5 mile racers, and was confirmed that it does.  SO, GUESS I’M SIGNED UP FOR A HALF!

I’ve got quite a while before that race rolls around, so it’s not really on my radar right now, but in terms of what’s next, I’m thinking I’ll find a training plan (not sure what distance) and start following it. I think I could use a little structure, even if there’s not a race at the end.  Also, I’m signed up for a virtual 10K through the Hogwarts Running Club that I’ll be doing in the next week or two. My training for that has been, “Well, If I can run 5 miles, I’m sure I can run 6.2”. I should probably be a coach.

80-20 Schedule

I used to make crazy schedules like this.

I think I can safely say that I’ve gotten back into running. Now, it’s time to step up my game a little.

1 Technically I’m scheduled to run a race this morning since this post will go up Saturday even though I’m writing it on Friday — Does this bother anyone else? I hate the thought that my posts are inexact when I write “today”, “tomorrow”, or “yesterday”. How do you handle it when writing in advance? Do you just ignore it or do you correct it so it sounds like it was written the day it was posted?

In like a Lion…

 

I decided this morning that I am going to start using my lunch hour to write blog posts. At least some lunch hours. I haven’t been terribly successful at blogging in the evenings; most likely due to my intense desire to do basically nothing after Mr. Baby goes to bed, so I need a better time for the writing. (Currently, I attempt to use my lunch hour to study, so that’s a small hiccup in my plan, but let’s not worry about that just yet. ) So, in any case, here I am in Collaboration Room 3, eating my chili mac, and trying to figure out how to transition from this unimportant and unexciting announcement to whatever this blog post is actually going to be about. Which I think is going to be me whining about how snow days aren’t fun anymore.

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Sadly, it’s true. The magic and fun of snow days is officially gone. (Spoiler Alert: I have a plan to bring it back, so stay tuned). Yesterday was particularly unmagical because the task I was doing was not well suited to remote work.  I had to open up 4 files for each month going back to January 2016 and paste data from each of those file (56 files, I think. Whatever 4 times 14 is) into a new file I was creating. And over the remote connection it took way longer to open each of them than it should have. And then excel kept crashing, and it was just really frustrating, and hard to get anything done.  At one point I had finally made a good amount of progress and excel crashed and I hadn’t saved in over 45 minutes, so that was really disappointing.

“But wait!” you say, “At least you could work in your PJs! From the couch! Maybe even watch a little TV!” And you have a point. But realistically, I was mainly sitting on the floor, near the couch, “throwing” toys at Mr. Baby to keep him occupied while my computer took an eternity to open my files. Add that all up and I end up feeling like I didn’t get anything done (although in the end I did finish gathering data, it just took forever) while also feeling like I ignored Mr. Baby all day (which is also ridiculous and untrue).

Really, the day was not by any means a failure. And the way I feel about how it went is way more dramatic and harsh than reality calls for. It’s just. Well, I just wish snow days could be more fun.  More like they used to be. I never even got to go outside in the snow, what the heck?!

So, now what?

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Well, I am apparently a drama queen who throws even the slightest wrinkle in my plans why out of proportion. And I am also a bit of a whiny child who wants my snow days  to be actual days OFF. BUT I am not the kind of person who just complains and doesn’t try to come up with a solution for next time. So even though it’s March and it’s unlikely (though not impossible) that another snow day will come my way before next December, I have a PLAN! And here it is–

OPTION 1: Have a schedule – Jeff and I split our time taking care of Mr. Baby, but not by a schedule. I think I would have benefit from knowing exactly what times I could expect to be productive (work wise).

OPTION 2: TAKE THE DAY OFF.  Make it an actual snow day. Yes, this won’t always work, but yesterday I probably could have taken at least a portion of the day off. So, next time, I need to consider that option.

OPTION 3: Drink a glass of wine and eat a HUGE bowl of ice-cream after Mr. Baby goes to bed. I enacted this part of the plan last night, and it really turned things around.

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So, next time. I will be better. My snow day will be better. I am an eternal optimist.

Now, back to work!

My Popcorn Thoughts

When I was in high school I had a live journal, I called it “My Popcorn Thoughts” because I used to think of my thoughts as popcorn. Lots of random things just popping into my head out of seemingly no where. I don’t know what happened to that live journal, but I still sometimes think of my thoughts in this way when I’m having trouble concentrating on what I’m supposed to be focused on. Or when I’ve had coffee and my brain is zipping about. Today is turning out to be one of the first kind of days. I’m supposed to be studying (and I am), but I keep thinking about blogging and running and doing chores around the house instead. And it’s hard to keep my butt in my seat and my mind on practice problems.

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Studies

I’ve given myself a goal to get through 8 videos and work on 5 sets of practice problems. The 8 videos is realistic, the practice problems may be a stretch. And I’m hoping to bribe myself with breaks for blogging and other activities. (I’ve already got some laundry going, and am dying for a run). So here are some popcorn thoughts for you as I make my way through my day:

  1. February has gone by in a blur…and I’m not entirely sad to see it go. We’ve been on this seemingly never ending carousel of sickness over here where Mr. Baby gets sick then passes it along to Jeff, and then the process repeats. I have (with lots of luck and excessive amounts of airborne) made it out unscathed, but the whole thing has been stressful and exhausting nonetheless. It seems like we may finally be on the upswing, fingers crossed. I’m ready to put this experience behind us.
  2. After taking a year long hiatus on my blog, I have like zero followers now, and it’s bumming me out. Even though I didn’t start the blog to get followers/likes/comments, I liked the little community that was built up. And I miss it. I’m working on getting back into it, but it’s tough sometimes when it feels like I ruined it for good.
  3. I bought new running sneakers!!  My current pair is from March 2015 (I had to take a look in the way back machine to figure that out), so it’s been nearly 2 years! I have no idea how many miles I have on them, but recently my feet hurt when I run and that’s usually a sign it’s time for new kicks.
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    Old friends. 

  4. One of my best friends recently started teaching me yoga via Skype, and it’s AMAZING. The only time I’ve ever enjoyed yoga. Even better, though, the last two weeks we’ve just chatted instead. This week, I had a glass of wine during our chat. I don’t know why we didn’t do something like this sooner.
  5. I LOVE buying books for Mr. Baby. While home last week, we found an old Barnes and Noble gift card with $30 on it, and I bought 6 books for MB. Yesterday we read, “I Love You, Stinky Face” and it was hilarious. Our all time favorite over here is “Pout Pout Fish”, and we also really like “Don’t push that button”and “The monster at the end of this book”, but some new material is always nice.
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    Harry Potter is the best one. Haha

  6. The bright spot in February was the week of vacation time Jeff and I both took last week. We didn’t go anywhere, we just stayed home while sending MB to daycare, and it was GLORIOUS. I feel a little like I’m supposed to want to travel and I’m supposed to want to keep my baby home with me when I’m off, but really I just wanted some time to get a haircut, go out to lunch, cook up some freezer meals, clean the house, and go running without a baby monitor mounted to the treadmill. Yes, traveling and hanging out with your baby are great activities, but this was the vacation I needed.
  7. My friend and I are planning to do a selfie challenge in March. One selfie per day sent to the other. I’ll probably post some here. And I’m planning on coming up with some selfie challenges for her, but she doesn’t know that yet. ;-
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    This face is gonna rock selfie month. 

So there you have it, some random thoughts. Now tell me: how was your February? ever take a vacation with no plans? what was your last pair of running sneakers? do you have a favorite book to read to your kids? ever do long distance yoga or wine dates? and last but not least, how good are you at taking selfies?