Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Bragging about my Boy

Taking a break from running blogging to brag about my incredible son...

At 19 months old, this is what he's accomplished already:

* Has a very active vocabulary of at least 50-75 words. Can say and understand several phrases
* Knows and can point out several colors, including yellow, red, blue, purple, green, black, and white.
* Knows 2/3 of the alphabet letters; can recite what they are when pointed out to him. Also actively seeks letters his surroundings and points them out, such as on signs and license plates.
* Knows numbers 1-10. Somewhat knows the order, though he can't count from 1-10 he knows that 3 comes after 2, 4 comes after 3, etc.
* Knows most of his shapes-- circle, square, triangle, heart, star
* He remembers and can sing tunes from shows he likes. Knows the tune of the "clean up" song from Barney, for example. Also knows the theme song from Imagination Movers.

Those are the big things. There's much more he knows and can do, but these are the ones that really stuck out at me as advanced for his age. As we always say, he's sooooooo smart!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

When long runs are now short runs...

As I went out last night and plowed through 7 miles on a Monday night, I realized there was a time not too long ago when 7 miles was my long run, leaving me worn out and sore afterwards. This weekend, Erin and I are scheduled to do a 13 mile training run, the length of a half marathon. Last year at this time, 13 miles was the ultimate goal I was striving towards. My next official half marathon race is Thanksgiving Day, and I'll have run 13 mile, 14 mile, and 15 mile training runs beforehand.

But given the Hotlanta hills, I can't really call it a walk in the park. It's just amazing to think how far beyond my original goals I've reached.

I'm really glad I have this marathon as a major goal in my life right now. The business is not going as well as I'd hoped, unfortunately. I still have 15 people on my roster, but only about half of them are attending regularly, and I've only brought in a couple of new people in the past month. I'm also having a hard time getting the ladies to come out and attend the social events, which really surprises me the most because I thought they'd be all over the opportunity to get out of the house and get to know each other outside of class. I feel like I'm going nowhere fast, and I can feel my own motivation waning, which I think I'm masking very well in class, providing the same enthusiasm about getting in shape that I feel in my own life. I must admit I did not think it would be so difficult to keep new people coming in and keep the group happy and motivated. I really enjoy teaching the classes, but I'm not enjoying the business aspect of it, having to constantly worry about marketing and bringing in new people. I guess there's a reason why most people who try a venture of their own end up on someone else's payroll with time. It is dang hard to run your own business!

I have learned a lot from this experience though, and I'm proud of myself for trying it and having the guts to quit my dead end job and do something completely different. I've especially enjoyed the extra time with Anthony, which has brought us a lot closer. I don't know how long I'm going to try to keep this going myself. I'm thinking it maybe better off in someone else's hands, so I may end up trying to sell it before the year is out. I just don't know right now, I'm doing a lot of soul searching to find the best answer.

My training is a god-send throughout this up-and-down year as I try to figure out what it is exactly that I'm supposed to be doing. I know I don't want to sacrifice my time with Anthony as he grows, so I hope whatever options I pursue, they will be part-time for awhile. In the meantime, just keep running, just keep running...

Monday, October 20, 2008

What? I'm not even halfway there?!

Last night we conquered a 12 mile training run. Overall, it was a pretty decent run. My legs got tired around mile 9 but I pushed through it and actually felt more alive by time mile 11 rolled around. We paced 10:17 miles, not bad considering we did stop a couple of times for brief water breaks.

Hard to believe that even with a good run like that, I still haven't run half the distance yet. I think I could've squeezed another mile out last night, but that would've been all. Now, I know from experience that the race atmosphere facilitates the excitement needed to push beyond the usual limits, but that 26.2 still seems so far out there right now. I especially wanted to write about this particular run so when I complete my 18 and then 20 mile training runs, I can remember how challenging 12 felt at the time.

I really don't know what it is that propels people to pass the marathon finish line. That's why I'm doing my first at Disney World; I figure a little sprinkle of pixie-dust couldn't hurt! I'm still highly motivated though, even if my physical stamina isn't quite there yet, and I know half the marathon battle is in the mind.

Speaking of motivation, I don't know what's happening to my Baby Boot Camp girls. They seem to be falling off. Some of my most motivated students are skipping classes and don't seem to have the enthusiasm they did at the beginning. Surely this is "gym syndrome" that happens to most normal people, those who don't salivate at the site of a treadmill like me. It's hard for me to understand though, and I don't know how to help them through it. For me, not exercising is not an option. It's so ingrained in me and my daily life that just not doing it anymore is not even a possibility in my world. When I get upset, angry, or otherwise feel myself spinning out of control, a little 3 or 4 mile run puts my perspective back. If you don't experience that, I can see where it's just another thing you do. I live for those endorphins!

Gotta head out today for an easy 3 miler just to stretch the legs. I really don't feel like it, but I'm going to anyway. That's the mindset I wish I could give to the girls-- just do it.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Double Digits

It's all uphill from here! We covered our first 10 mile distance last week, my first since the half marathon last January! To the point of no return now... all double digits from here, let's just hope I can stay healthy and keep my body injury free.

I'm so incredibly stoked that I have five of my students training for their first 5K in December. I'm doing our first group training run in a couple of weeks. None of them have ever run in a road race before... are they about to get the jolt of their lives! Hard to believe my first road race was only a few years ago, the Gasparilla 5K. The energy, the excitement, the crowd, the sense of accomplishment-- needless to say, I was hooked. I took a hiatus for pregnancy but when I decided to come roaring back, I did it and then some. If you'd told me after that first 5K that I'd be training for a marathon three years later, I'd have said you were high on something besides runner's endorphins!

Man, did I mention how freaking HUNGRY I am since I started teaching classes 5 days a week and running over 20 miles a week? I'm a never ending bottomless garbage disposal! I can only imagine how much worse it's going to get as the training mileage goes up. All the time I'm like a caveman, ME HUNGRY! NEED FOOD NOW! Two hours will pass and then it'll be rearing up again. If I keep on this pace I may be serving up Anthony and Adam with a side of rice by time January rolls around! The funny thing is though I can tell I'm still toning though I'm trying to maintain my weight by putting back in the calories I'm burning. Most of my clothes are getting loser. I guess it's a good problem to have and I should just shut up about it.

My super-smart kid knows numbers 1-10 and can name off pretty much all of his alphabet. Totally amazing.

Until later... don't get in my way, less I EAT YOU! Time for some chocolate ice cream!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Pushing past a plateau

I'm eagerly awaiting the push past 13 miles... right now, as we slow ramp up, I'm getting impatient waiting for the "real" training to start. I guess since I've run the half before, nothing under 13 miles seems like that great of an achievement, well at least not for me at this point. I've only run the 13 once and been past 10 a handful of times, and it's been quite awhile since those actually. This weekend is our first 10 miler and it's all double digits from here on the long runs-- no more pansy 7 milers on the weekend! This is the point of no return, where turn in our 3 wheeler for big girl bikes and see how far we can coast without crashing!

Haven't been able to run with Erin any this week. My schedule's been packed with additional Baby Boot Camp classes, a jewelry party, and YMCA new hire training which I have to head out to in about, oh, 10 minutes. It's felt kind of lonely without my running buddy, and I realize how grateful I am to have someone undertaking this incredibly overwhelming challenge with me!

It's all the exercise I'm doing in addition to the marathon training that's wearing me out. I'm teaching 5 Baby Boot Camp classes a week (actually seven this past week!) plus teaching yoga at Impact Fitness. I'm about to start teaching an additional yoga class at the Y, which I'm actually really excited about. Still, it's a lot of wear and tear on the body. Thank goodness I have to pile in the calories to make up for all the ones I'm burning away!

Better go and get oriented now...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Whipped Man Syndrome

No, it's not a date night dessert, nor is it an infectious disease. It is a truly perplexing phenomenon that seems rampant among married men, particularly those over 40. I call it "Whipped Man Syndrome".

I'm not referring to the 20-something guy who spends every waking moment with his girlfriend to the point he abandons all his friends. That's a different type of whipped, as is the new husband who'll go on a tampon run at 11:00pm at night. No, those aren't the men who have me puzzling, though they are probably worthy of a separate blog.

This contemplation all started with a t-shirt that Adam received. It was a gift from his mom on her trip to Sedona, and the shirt is embossed with this wisdom: "If a man speaks in the desert with no woman to hear him, is he still wrong?" Mom got it as a ha-ha gift for Adam, and no slight to her on her gift choice. Considering the fact that first time Adam wore it out in public FIVE PEOPLE commented on it, the manufacturers can obviously sell a few of 'em. And, I guarantee, it was a dude that came up with it.

What started my reel of thought regarding this shirt was the type of man who would stand around the bar-b-q grill with his fellow whipped men and complain about the fact his wife is always so critical of him, yet he'd don this or a similar shirt as if to say to the world, "yeah, my wife controls me and I'm proud of it!" I've heard these men in their clusters before, using a condescending "yes, dear" when the wife asks if he'll set the table and promptly rolls his eyes when her back is turned. They'll sit around and moan about the fact they never get to watch a football game in peace, yet they hop right into the driver's seat when the wife announces it's time to buy new dish towels on a Sunday afternoon in October.

So, my question to these guys is-- if your wife is so horrible, your life so miserable, your thoughts so constricted-- WHY do you put it on a shirt and laugh about it later? Is it the woman that's whipping him, or is he doing it to himself because it's easier than admitting that he likes shopping at Bed, Bath, and Beyond?

This blog doesn't have a darn thing to do with running, but it's my blog, and if I feel like contemplating worldly matters, I will. It's what I do with my time while I have my husband out shopping for tampons.

My Amazing Child

let me take a moment to brag on my child, who is quite possibly the most amazing 18 month old on the planet...

Lately, Anthony has been into anything and everything alphabet or number related. Adam bought him a set of foam alphabet letters and numbers for his bathtub, which propelled Anthony to get over his dislike of the bath. Now he eagerly runs to the tub when we ask him if he wants to take a bath, and will sit until the water goes lukewarm just picking up his letters and numbers and identifying them. The number 2, his favorite, is often a bedtime or car companion now as well. The kid can identify the letters and numbers he knows out in the world as well, and will excitedly point and repeat to the letter of choice when he spies it outside of our home.

He also received a set of the old fashioned, wooden alphabet blocks from my dad last Christmas. I can interrupt anything he's doing, whether it be his favorite t.v. show or him just running around like crazy, and bring him to rapt attention by pulling the blocks one-by-one out of the bag and identifying them. He'll sit wide eyed and fascinated, repeating what I say like a little parrot, until we make it through the whole set and begin again. Totally amazing.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

You know you're a mom when...

.... you have the schedule of Playhouse Disney memorized
.... you talk about yourself in the 3rd person, ala Elmo
.... you pat your lap to get your car moving
... you think Anthony Wiggle is kind of cute
... you know who Mr. Noodle is
... you find stale goldfish crackers in unexpected places
... you think everyone is interested in your child's pooping habits
... you're more proud of your pimped-out jogging stroller than your car
... you can't finish out a t.v. show that starts at 9:00pm

My running buddy Erin is going to the USF football game tonight with her husband after work. They're both working tomorrow. The game doesn't start until 8:00pm. They can count on at least an hour, if not more, trying to get out of the parking lot after the game ends. I find that absolutely insane. I love a good football game as much as the next person, but dang, not when they interfere with my bedtime!

I know, pathetic. What a mom. I don't have the luxury of being able sleep in after a night out. If that rare occasion does occur, I usually don't take it because I'm too worn out from chasing my toddler around all day to stay up that late anyway! Sad, sad. Life as I knew it is no more. At least I've quit fighting that fact though, and am now looking for more square holes.

99 Days until the marathon! I can't believe it's getting so close. I have to step back my long run this weekend to six miles, according to my Hal Higdon training schedule. I'm ready to push on ahead to 10, but the schedule recommends step backs every 2 weeks to help in injury prevention. After my 3 week hiatus in the spring due to shin splints, I do take that seriously, as annoying as it is.

I'm eager to start doing some road races, now that the great state of Florida has started turning off the humidity faucet and the weather's getting more bearable. I'm really looking forward to the Atlanta Half Marathon on Thanksgiving morning too, a Walenga/DiMuzio tradition. This will be my first year participating. Last year it was about 55 degrees and pouring rain. Let's hope I can sprinkle some Florida sunshine on it this year!

Gotta wrap this up, I hear babbling over the monitor. Looks like nap time is over. You know you're a mom when...