Weekly Wishes #1

I decided to join in this link-up for goal setting. Six Cherries On Top is the blog where I found it. Joni’s blog is super cute…you should check it out! She’s a fellow mother runner.

Since I don’t have any “last week’s wishes” to update on. Here’s my goals and challenges for this week.

  • Create an allowance chart for the boys. They’ve been begging for an allowance and I think it’s time. We figured we would make a chart and they could each earn a maximum of $2.50 each week for doing their regular chores. Of course, I reminded both of them that if we start this, it means the end to small treats here and there at the store. They will have to buy their own little treats from now on.
  • Make a Frozen ringtone for my phone. I use this tutorial that I found on Pinterest to make a ringtone from my favorite song snippet. I am obsessed with Let It Go…just like every other mom on the planet. 🙂
  • Spending freeze! It’s Spring Break so this will be TOUGH. I am not allowing myself to buy anything other than food or other household necessities.
  • Read two books. I’m so far behind on my 75 books for the year challenge.
  • Call and schedule a haircut for myself. Oh man…the mop is getting a bit unruly!
  • Take the boys and their bikes to the park. I have been promising them this FOREVER. It’s time mama made good on her promise.
  • Heal my shin splints. My 10 mile run caused a bit of damage. My left shin is tender and sore. Walking and elliptical until Thursday when I’ll do a slow test run. Fingers crossed I can still get my big 12 mile run this coming Friday.

e06c4-weekly-wishes-button

Musings of a Mother Runner

I know Friday is supposed to be a post about something relaxing, but I’ve got running on the mind. Why?

Because I ran TEN miles this morning. TEN. Double digits. Woah.

cc5fd-1229810_10101521864228851_1774960372_n

People ask me all the time why I run. Have I ever done a post about that? I can’t remember. I know I planned to. But yeah…I run for lots of reasons. I run to stay in shape. I run so I eat. I REALLY like food. I run for my own sanity. I run to get away from my to-do list. I run to take a break from my kids.

But I also run for my people. It takes a village to raise kids, and it takes a village to support a mother runner. My mom watched Brown this morning who started spring break today so I could get my ten miles in. I love my people. I have a close family, which I’ve talked about before. My VIPs would be my husband, my kids, my mom, my dad, my two sets of grandparents, my brother, my aunts, my inlaws, and my brother-in-law and sister-in-law. They all keep me going. I think about them a lot on my runs.

I realized this morning as I was going through the motions of TEN miles that my runs are supported by them. Nearly all of my gear has been bought by them.

My husband got me the running top I ran today for Valentine’s Day. He also ordered me a whole box of my favorite Honey Stinger cherry cola energy chews that kept me going. My sons picked out my socks for me for Valentine’s Day. My mom and dad gave me my hydration belt for Christmas. My inlaws gave me my shoes for Christmas. My aunts gave me my iPod Shuffle for Christmas. My Mema and Pa gave me my Garmin for Christmas. My Jidi and Gma gave me the birthday money that I used to guy my Tifosi sunglasses.

They are all with me when I run. I owe a chunk of my success as a runner to them.

So thanks to my village. I couldn’t run without you!

Runnerd, Geek Out! – The Essential Piece of Gear

I saw a meme last week that said something like, “All you need to run is running shoes and a good sports bra.” I thought…WRONG! There’s so much more that you “need.” Tech clothes. Fun socks. Water bottles. Nutrition supplements. Compression sleeves. iPod Shuffle. Garmin watch. The list goes on!

Ok, ok…so you don’t NEED any of those things to run, but they sure can make it easier, more fun, and maybe make you feel a bit more like a real runner.

There is, however, one piece of gear that I find essential, outside of properly fitted running shoes. It’s a bit underrated, and I never thought it would be something that I would spend so much time finding just the right one.

8ee71-image

Here’s a series of pictures from my 2013 races. Can you spot the one thing that’s in all of them? It might not be obvious at first. They are either on my face or on my head in all of them. My dependable Tifosi Optics Podium S Interchangeable sunglasses! I NEVER run outside without them.

3218e-2124992-p-multiview

You are probably thinking…sunglasses are an essential piece of running gear? You betcha. Before I got these bad boys, I was wearing either my regular pair of cheapo tortoise shell big frame sunglasses from Target or the free ones I got at the Color Me Rad race. I would often notice a headache after my runs. I figured it was because I was still a new runner and my body was adjusting. Then my running coach, aka Daddy Man, suggested I look at getting a pair of athletic sunglasses. And as usual, when it comes to all things athletic, he was right.

The number one reason to get running sunglasses…they are insanely lightweight. I forget they are on my face. When I push them up when I’m done running, I forget they are on my head. I’ve gotten in the shower with them on before only to discover them when I go to shampoo. Lightweight sunglasses = no headache for this runner!

So, why did I choose Tifosi? When I first started the hunt for running sunglasses, I had three criteria…a pair that would fit my child-sized face, a pair that wouldn’t pinch my temples, and a pair with interchangeable lenses. I wear these when I ride my bike as well and on a cloudy day when I don’t need sunglasses I still want a set of clear lenses that I can pop in…because bugs in your eyes suck.

I looked at Oakleys, but they pinched my head and caused more pain than my cheapo Color Me Rad pair. They are also a bit on the pricey side. I looked at Smith Optics. I love the look of their sunglasses, but they are unfortunately made for people with average to large size adult heads…not me. I wasn’t about to drop $100 on sunglasses only to have them fall off my head.

In the end, I went with the Tifosi Podium S. They are a smaller size than their regular Podiums. I like the sleek look of them and the pop of color with the pink temple pieces. They stay where I put them, even if I wear them over a Bondi Band covering my ears on a cool morning run. The lenses are easy to change, and the set comes in a nice storage case. And they didn’t cost an arm and a leg. I got the whole set for under $70.

If you are a new runner, make a good, properly fitted pair of running shoes your first priority and lightweight sunglasses a close second.

How Do You Do It? – Sometimes You Don’t

I love that the last post I did was about time management. Because for the last two weeks, I have struggled to juggle everything. So here’s my excuses… Blue turned five on the 28th, so we were busy for about three days preparing for birthday festivities. On top of that, work was crazy. I had a big program the first Saturday of the month. Planning this big super Saturday events at the library is akin to planning a wedding. And on top of all of that, Daddy Man and my training plans have increased. I’m up to running 24+ miles per week, including my first 9-miler on Blue’s birthday. Daddy Man has his first big brick workout this weekend. It’s non-stop swim, bike, run around our house.

Ok…so there’s my excuses. Oh wait, there’s a couple more… The past week was spent playing catch-up. The laundry piled up and I was forced to use overflow tubs. It was clean, but not put away. The sink always seemed to have dishes in it, but at least I was keeping up with cooking and we weren’t eating take-out every night.

So how do I do it? Sometimes I don’t. And thanks OK. Sometimes the laundry piles up for the sake of extra family time or extra miles in my running shoes. Sometimes the dishes don’t get done, but Daddy Man and I get an extra hour to watch TV together and go to bed early.

I have lots of fun things planned for the blog. I just need to get them out of my head and onto the computer screen. Lots of run stuff to share. Lots of funny things my kids have said or done. Stay tuned!

How Do You Do It? – The Big Secret

Dominic Toretto in The Fast and the Furious:

I live my life a quarter mile at a time.

I’m about to reveal my big secret for how I get so much done in the time that I have. I took some advice from Dominic Toretto. No, I don’t secretly street race cars. I do however live my life in blocks or chunks of time.

Think about your day. There’s 24 hours in it, no more, no less. What do you get done in those 24 hours? Maybe you take care of small children. Maybe you work fulltime or parttime. Maybe you are retired. Maybe you go to school. Whatever you do, you do it in those 24 hours. You have to find time to eat, find time to sleep, find time to clean, find time to workout.

I get a lot done in a 24 hour time frame. I get the boys to school. I run. I work at the library. I keep my house decently clean. I cook. I find time for myself. And I do it all in 30 minute chunks of time. Yep…that’s how I do it. I see my day as 30 minute chunks. Because you can do anything for 30 minutes, right?

When my house gets out of hand, I set a timer for 30 minutes. I clear the clutter, putting things back where they go. I start a load of laundry. I empty the dishwasher. I vacuum the living room. I go through the mail on my desk. And before I know it the timer is beeping at me. Maybe I’m done or maybe I need another 30 minutes. Either way, I made a dent in the mess that used to be my house.

People ask me if I liked running in the beginning. Most people might be surprised to learn the answer is no. It sucked. My pace was slow. I had to take frequent walk breaks. I used Couch to 5K which conveniently lasts 30 minutes (give or take a bit) per workout. You can run/walk for 30 minutes…you can do it! It might be tough. Your lungs and legs will burn. But it’s only 30 minutes…as long as a sitcom, as long as a waiting room wait at the doctor’s office, as long as it takes for you to check your social media.

You don’t have to use my 30 minute secret just to do housework or workout. You can use it to treat yourself too. 30 minutes is usually a decent break to clear my head. I give myself 30 minutes to cruise the internet, sit down with a book, or watch one of my favorite TV shows. Then I can tackle my next 30 minutes of whatever else I need to accomplish that day.

Once you master doing things in 30 minute chunks, you can take it another step and do things in one hour chunks or more. This is how I mentally prep myself for my longer runs. I know a 6 mile run will take me a little more than an hour, so I get through the first 30 minutes and then the next. My first 8 mile run took me three 30 minute chunks. Breaking it up makes it more manageable.

It seems simple but it works. You can be tough mentally and/or physically for 30 minutes. Self motivation. Self control. Mind over matter. It’s just about getting it done…30 minutes at a time.