Last Week Running – 3rd Edition

This week I’ve been all messed up about which day is which, since the holiday fell on a Tuesday. My office wasn’t closed on Monday, but I took a half day and worked that half from home, so it felt like an extension of the weekend anyways. If there was some way I could work 4 hour days from home and still get paid the same; I’d sign up in a second. But who wouldn’t?   

I had another fairly good week with my running, looks like I’ve figured out a schedule that works for me. Finally! Now to figure out a schedule that will get me to study…that’s my next mission.

Saturday – 6 mile long run. I started watching Grey’s anatomy on Netflix and it made the run fly by. I feel slow on these long runs, and it’s bugging me. I fit this run into morning nap time for Mr. Baby, but I ended up going over a bit and waking him up from his nap about 5 min late. I want to be able to fit these runs in while Mr. Baby is sleeping, but they’re getting a tad too long for morning nap.

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Sunday – Family run to the playground. These are supposed to be easy, but guys…ooooffff. Haha…I still loved it, though. Having a Gatorade break at the park, sliding down some slides, and swinging is perfect. We live at the top of a hill, and always run up on the way home even if we take walk breaks throughout the run. Someday it might feel easy?

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Tuesday – Short easy run. I think I only ran a little over a mile. I wasn’t really feeling this one, so I promised myself I could stop once I hit my step goal. I might try and do this more often as a way to get my steps in.

Then, after a promising start, the week petered out with no intervals. ☹ Work was really busy (quarter end) and I got home late Thursday when I was planning to do my intervals. I probably could have made it work, but opted to relax instead. Then I didn’t want to do the run on Friday because I was planning to run 7 miles the next day. So, I just let this one go.


Studying – I did a half hour on Tuesday. Again, bad. I was planning to do Assignment 1 for my Corporate Finance Online Course, but chickened out. Once I start, I only have 24 hours to do it and I’m terrified of not finishing. I can’t figure when would be the best time to start. I need to just bite the bullet and do it.

Steps –  Needs Improvement.  Didn’t really make an effort this week.

Around the House – I FINALLY was able to start painting the deck! YES! I LOVE LOVE LOVE painting. I estimate that it will probably take the entire month of July to get the painting done, and probably August, too. Between the weather, work, and only painting while Mr. Baby is sleeping, I think it’s a fairly realistic estimate.

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What I’m Watching – I picked up “Logan” at Target. I really like the X-Men movies. This one wasn’t my favorite, but it was good. I’d say it was better than the Japan Wolverine one (what was that called?), but the others in the series are better. We’ve also watched “Moana” twice now. The music is so great! And the story is okay, too. I liked it better than Frozen, which has great music but the story line bugs me.


Up Next Week:

  1. Running – 7 mile long run (maybe incorporate those missed intervals?), Family Run to the park, 7 (or 8) x ¼ mile intervals, easy run.
  2. Studying – SERIOUSLY….get this assignment #1 done already.
  3. Around the house – Keep making progress on the deck, Organize my clothes, Clean/Organize the guest bathroom.

 

Last Week Running: 2nd Edition

I did not sleep well last night, and despite the fact that I drank the biggest coffee I’ve ever had in my entire life, I’m struggling right now to put my thoughts into coherent sentences. So, bear with me, and please enjoy any oddities that might show up in this post. ☺

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This picture makes the coffee look smaller than it was. 

Saturday – 5 mile long run on the treadmill. I’m working my way up for my virtual 10 mile race! The medal arrived ages ago but I’m waiting to open it until I get the run done.  Actually, the medal for my virtual half marathon showed up this week, so now I have TWO medals taunting me. In a good way, though.

Sunday – Family run out to the playground and back. My legs always seem so tired on these runs. I imagine it’s a combo of pushing the jogger (part of the way), running outside (hills), and having run the day before. I also suspect that I run a tad faster outside than I do on the treadmill. Whatever it is, it certainly makes the break at the playground welcome.

Monday –  I snuck in a quick run between Mr. Baby’s bedtime and a phone call with a friend. I anticipated that this would be a hard run given the tiredness of my legs on Sunday, but it turned out feeling easy peesy. I only had about 25 min, so it wasn’t very long, but I think that actually helped. If I was going to have to run for longer, I probably wouldn’t have even started. I think this means I should change my idea of “minimum acceptable run time”. I didn’t even know I had a requirement for that, but turns out I rarely bother running unless I have at least 30 minutes. Who knew?

Wednesday –   6 x 1/4 mile Intervals. There’s just something about intervals that gets me excited. I don’t know what it is, but I’ll take it! I did the running parts at 10 min/mile and walked in between until I caught my breath. The pace is not super challenging, and I’m looking forward to speeding up.


Step Goal Progress – I bumped my goal up to 9000 for the week. I didn’t hit that every day, but I got it most days without having to pace around the house to do it.

Study Goals – well, I studied for one half hour this week. It wasn’t nothing, but it was still pathetic.

Around the House – I managed to finish going through my dresser drawers (but still need to go through the closet and two boxes of clothes, plus try on and reorganize things.) I also finished up spray painting the deck furniture and finished sanding the deck.

Joke- What’s long, brown and sticky?……a stick! (har har har)

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Now this week-

Looks like I excelled at the running goals last week, but could use some work on several other areas, so I’ll try to stick to some of my non-running goals as well for a change.

  1. Running – 6 mile long run, stroller run, easy run, 7 x ¼ mile repeats  
  2. Study Goals – Complete Assignment #1 for my Corporate Finance online course
  3. Around the house – Start painting the deck (weather permitting); Work on organizing my clothes
  4. Step Goals – Get 9,000 at least 5 days this week.
  5. Food Related – Drink less coffee, more tea.

Have a great weekend!

 

Last Week Running: 1st Edition

In an effort to make my “week in review” posts a little more timely, I’m going to try something new by switching up the order! It seems like most running blogs I read have a standard formula of posting a workout review on Monday and some kind of brain dump on Friday. While I know this isn’t mandatory, it is nice to have some kind of schedule/direction, and Monday certainly feels like a good “recap” day.

Unfortunately, I just can’t maintain this schedule. Actually, I can’t really seem to maintain any type of blogging schedule. All I know is that I WANT to blog, the what/when/how isn’t really quite as clear. I also think it would be nice if I wasn’t posting weekly recaps that are more than a month old, but that might be setting the bar too high.

I’m hoping that by freeing myself from the idea of “mandatory Monday”, I’ll have an easier time. Now, with no further ado…The 1st Edition of “Last Week Running”

Saturday – I ran a 5k! (Recap coming soon!) It was my first road race in a while, and it was a pretty good time. After the race, we had my in-laws over for lunch to celebrate Father’s day.  That was also a pretty good time with some delicious bagels and Buffalo Wing Doritos. These were the last “events” in a very busy month, and after our guests left I was pretty happy to have the rest of the weekend to relax.

Sunday – We woke up with no plans and no guests, so since the weather was nice, we went for a family run. My legs were pretty sore so we took plenty of walk breaks! We ran to the playground at the local elementary school and took Mr. Baby out of the jogger to play for a bit. The playground is a bit old for him, but he enjoyed a “controlled” ride down the slide and some swinging on my lap. It was a great way to break up the run, but we should have brought water or gatorade…next time!

Monday – I decided to skip my run because my legs were still sore from Saturday. Originally, I was going to push the run to Tuesday, but then I just skipped it. 

Thursday – Speed Work, Week 2! I increased to 5x400m (well, .25 mi). My plan (that I made up) is to increase to 8 intervals and then start over at 4, at a faster speed. Right now my speed is 10 min/mile. This is much slower than I’ve ever run intervals before, but my other runs are all at the 11 – 12 min/mile range, so I don’t think it’s an unreasonable place to start.


Step Goal Progress: My goal is currently 8,000 steps and I’m increasing by 1,000 every time I manage to hit my goal every day for a full week.  As I write this on Friday night, it’s the last day I need to hit 8,000 before moving up!

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Bunny seen on my walk

Study Goals: I’m on a 3 week studying “break” and it NEEDS to end.

Around the House: After living here for 2 years, I’ve finally set up the record player! We organized the basement which included setting up our old video game systems and the record player. I also set up a puzzle at the card table. It’s a fun place to hang out these days.

Fun Fact: A lot of people work from home on Fridays in my office, so each Friday my team tries to guess how many people that work in our area will show up. I have gotten it exactly right two weeks in a row! 🙂


Now this week:

  1. Running: Easy Run, 5 mile long run, Stroller run, 6x400s
  2. Studying: GET IT TOGETHER!
  3. Around the House: Organize my clothes
  4. Step Goals: Move it up to 9000
  5. Food Stuff: Don’t eat like crap, make banana muffins  and bbq chicken chili

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Week In Review

I did it! I ran 4 times last week, exactly according to my “plan”. ☺ Praise me!

Monday – Had off from work after our trip to Buffalo, which made fitting in a run a tad easier. I was exhausted from going to bed at 1 AM and still getting up at 6 AM, but forced/convinced myself to run mid-morning. I thought it was going to be awful because of how tired I was, but the run actually felt great!

Thursday – I checked the weather forecast earlier in the week and since rain was predicted for Thursday, I decided to get some work done outside on Wednesday and run on the treadmill Thursday night. I was not overly excited to do it, but I did anyways. A new season of Switched at Birth was released on Netflix, so I’ve been watching that while I run and ONLY while I run. It’s very good motivation.

Saturday – I took to the treadmill in the afternoon for my weekly “long” run. In this case, long is relative. My typical run right now is 5 minutes walking, 25 minutes running, 5 minutes walking. I want to increase to a half marathon distance, but I’m in no rush. So for this run, I just did the “route of the day” on my treadmill, which was 3.33 miles. I sandwiched that distance between 5-minute warmup/cool down walks.

Sunday – The weather was finally nice enough again to take Mr. Baby for a spin in the jogger. And, Jeff was up for a run as well, so the three of us headed to a nearby (paved) trail. I didn’t bring my garmin, but according to the charity miles app, we covered 3 miles. (2.99 actually…ha!) It was nice to get the run done early in the day and while Mr Baby was awake. This meant I didn’t have to spend nap time running, and could get other things done.

My plan for this week is 4 runs again, and this time I’d like my mid-week run to be intervals. I’m thinking I’ll start with 4 x ¼ mile, and add an interval each week. I’m not sure how many I’ll build to; maybe 8. It seems like a good amount while allowing me to keep the run relatively short. As for pace, I’m not sure on that either, but thinking I’ll start with 10 min/mile and see how it feels. I haven’t really been keeping track of my pace, but I know it’s slower than that, so it seems like a nice round starting point.

This week left me feeling good about my running schedule, and hopeful that I can get some consistency back. I know it’s only the first week, but I feel like I could get into a good groove here. ☺

Note: I wrote this about a month ago, but somehow didn’t get it published (goodness!) It would seem that I’m not always a very prompt blogger. As an update, I made it a second week with 4 runs (including intervals!) before we had a house full of guests and a packed schedule to keep my from running. Hoping to get back at it this week!

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. 🙂

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?

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?

 

Hack the App: Charity Miles

By now, I’m sure that many of you have heard of the charity miles app, (in which case feel free to skip the rest of this paragraph), but if you haven’t here’s a quick description. The app allows you to earn money for charity with each workout you do (run/walk/bike). Once you have downloaded the app and made an account, it’s a pretty quick process to get going. You select your charity from a list of options (I usually run for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America), choose your activity (run/walk indoor, run/walk gps, bike gps), and press go! It’s that easy! There are some additional features (you can join teams, post your runs to social media, and snap a photo of your run), but this is essentially a charity app, not a running app, so it would be used in addition to a running app, if that’s your cup of tea.

Anywho , I recently started using the app again after a long break. For a while I had a lot of technical issues with getting the app to work, so I stopped using it. Then, I got a new phone and never reinstalled it…you know the drill. I’ve come back to it in the last couple of weeks, though because I joined a (super awesome) virtual running club (more on this later), that uses the app to track miles for friendly competitions, as well as to encourage the use of the app to do #somuchgood.

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Within charity miles, I’m on a team associated with my running club, and any miles I run are automatically tallied under the team total. There are multiple teams associated with the club and we are essentially in competition with each other. And that’s where “hacking” the app comes in. Because really, whenever something is a competition, there’s bound to be some…ahem…creative…ways to win.

I know what you’re thinking, (cough..cheater…cough cough) but I promise there are ways to hack the app that are not cheating. And both Charity Miles and my running club encourage it. Obviously, sitting on the couch with the app on pedometer mode and jiggling your arm is a no go, as is putting the app on gps mode while you’re driving, but there are so many “approved” ways to hack the app, and you don’t have to be even slightly devious to come up with them. Hacking the app is basically turning it on any time you’re doing some kind of physical activity: walking to work, shoveling snow, vacuuming, etc.

Today, I’m hacking the app for the first time. In the most non-creative way possible: I turned on pedometer mode when I got up and it’s recording any movement I make all day (sadly very little with my desk job); but it has definitely inspired me to get up and move around just a tiny bit more than usual. I feel like I have this fun secret…I’m raising money (I think I’ve raised a whole 25 cents so far today..haha!) AND I’m getting miles for my team. (We’re currently in last place, so the situation is DIRE.)

At first I thought it was weird and a little wrong, but since it is encouraged (search #hacktheapp on Instagram) by both Charity Miles and my running club, I figured I should give it a try. And really, the end result is that I: a) raise more money for charity b) am more active, and c) have a little fun. How can that be wrong?

Do you use charity miles? Do you hack the app?