Friday, November 30, 2012

forced rest ...

Remember yesterday when I said that things were kind of boring around here? Well, I may have spoken too soon.

You see, I have been fighting a cough for five weeks. Well, actually, the cough as been beating me into submission for five weeks. When I have an "episode", I sound horrible. Like I might die at any moment. After one round of antibiotics, the infection still didn't quit. So, I went back to the doctor to see what the deal was.

Once I reminded the doctor of what brought me in the first time, I told her about my current symptoms.

A never-ending cough.

She asked if I took the medication she had given me - Yes.
She asked if I had ever had asthma - No.
She asked if exercise or the cold made it worse - No.
She asked if I was sure I never had asthma - Still no.

She was baffled. I'm completely healthy except for this cough. My blood work is normal. My oxygen saturation is 100%. I do cardio workouts of one to two hours per day and am seemingly unaffected by illness. But, I am coughing (harshly and loudly) a lot. 

Since I am still coughing up gunk, she suspects it's just a bad infection. I made her get me a chest x-ray to rule out pneumonia and the black lung. It came back clean. So, I left with a prescription for Levaquin and an inhaler (which I will probably never use since I can breathe just fine).

I was excited to have a course of action and an antibiotic strong enough to kick this thing.

Well, that was until I read the side effects of Levaquin ...


I immediately called the pharmacist to see if I could exercise. She advised against it. And noted that if I do, it should be super easy and short. I wanted to know who's "super easy and short" we were talking about. So, I called her back. 

It wasn't my super easy and short.

So, thanks to this stupid mystery cough and Levaquin, I am being forced into 10 days of complete rest during one of the most stressful times of the year. I'm sure that the people who live under my roof are going to be really happy with me the next few days. (Yes, I realize this is a small price to pay for my health and to prevent tendon rupture.)

Guess that's what I get for complaining about life being dull ...

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Three Things Thursday ...

Trapped in the Everyday - Last night, Gina came home from work and asked me if I ever had a moment when I just sat there and thought, "Wow, this is my life. I do the same thing day in and day out."

Um, yeah. A lot recently.

I feel like since the girls went back to school, I am doing a whole lot of nothing. My schedule is jam-packed. I rarely sit down. But, I feel as if I am accomplishing very little. It's part of the reason I've been quiet here. I don't write this blog to catalog my workouts or what I ate. I don't care to log every mundane event of our lives. I don't want to read about those things, so I wouldn't expect anyone else to either.

Right now, we are going through a boring phase, which is really just a blessing in disguise. It means we're stable, grounded and functioning at our highest level. And although it may be dull at times, I much prefer it to some of the alternatives.

Feeling Festive - I am kind of a Grinch. Christmas is not my favorite holiday. My decorations are minimal. Christmas music makes my ears bleed. And it eats away at me that I am continually lying to my children about Santa. All in all, I just hate all the pressure and drama that seems to surround the holiday.

But for some reason, this year, I'm feeling a little less jaded. Maybe it's the sheer excitement my children are thrusting upon the world. Maybe, I just don't feel like putting up a fight. Either way, we got an early start on the Christmas joy this year.

We went to see a Christmas light extravaganza the day after Thanksgiving ...

origami chandelier

Sushi Tree ...
Waiting for the illumination ...
our little clan ...

Complete with S'mores.

And my Christmas tree was up this past weekend. In November. A big no-no in my book.

ornament explosion ...

I'm not sure what to think about this. It's clear that my kids are turning me into a big softy.

Hungry - Recently, Doodle has been taking it upon herself to go into the pantry and get some food. But instead of asking to have it and eating it at the table like a normal person, she sneaks off and eats it, hoping we will never find out.

Unfortunately for her, we ALWAYS do.

Like on Saturday, when I went to make the girls a snack and found this in the pantry ...

I knew it was Doodle from the start. She didn't want to fess up. So, like any normal parents, J and I matched the bite marks to know for sure. By the time we got to Doodle, she had run off to her room to prevent us from checking. Doesn't she know that the guilty always run?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

HCA VA 8K recap ...

Location: Richmond, VA
Date: 11/10/12
Temperature: 38 degrees
Official Time: 41:00
Place in Age Group: 23/369
Place in Gender: 128/2264
Overall Place: 480/3587

The Course:

Fast and flat. Out and back.

This 8K course takes a straight shot up Broad St., which has a gentle grade, for the for the first two miles of the course. Just after mile 2, participants turn left and make their way over one block to Grace St., where they head back towards the finish. Runners are greeted with a the only climb of the course at mile four. It is smooth sailing after that, as the course flattens out and turns right onto 3rd street where the runners are greeted with a steep downhill into the finish.

(Note: This has been and will continue to be my favorite course in Richmond.)

The Good:

The Course: I love this course. It is PR friendly and easy to navigate. And the downhill finish is KILLER. And since they changed the finish this year to an even steeper downhill, it's better than it's ever been.

My Pace (initially): I wasn't quite sure what to expect going into this race. My run volume is down significantly from the last time I ran an 8K (20 miles per week now vs. 50 miles per week in 2010). I knew I could probably finish comfortably with a pace between 8:00 and 8:20, but I would have preferred to run sub-40. Honestly, I wasn't even sure if I was going to attempt to race until I got to the start line and then I wasn't really convinced. I decided to just run hard and see what happened.

Things started out well.

Mile 1: 7:45
Mile 2: 7:53

Two miles in and I was actually two seconds ahead of my pace from my 8K PR. That's when the wheels fell off. I have had a deep cough for about a week and a half. Once I got warmed up, things started moving around and I started hacking. So much so, that I couldn't run and cough at the same time. I am positive that I left part of my lung on the course.

Mile 3: 8:28
Mile 4: 8:54

Once I hit the mile 4 sign, I just told myself I could do anything for a mile and I hauled it in. 

Last 0.99: 7:57

I finished at exactly 41 minutes with an average pace of 8:15. Right where I assumed I would be.

Racing with my sister: Can I just mention how much I love that my sister is a runner? It took me years to convince her to join in, but now that she has, it's pretty much the best thing ever.

Pre-race, not really feeling it
With a post-race glow ...

My Music Selection: For the first time in pretty much FOREVER, I changed my race playlist. And then, I set it to random before I ran. Yet, somehow, the PERFECT songs came on at the PERFECT moments. I was pumped throughout the race and there was a song during every mile that reminded me to push myself.

The Weather: It was 38 degrees at the start of my race. And I dressed perfectly for it. By the end of the race, I was warm, but not overheated. In fact, I wouldn't have minded if it was a little colder.

The Race Length: Even with all the coughing, this race reaffirmed to me that the 8K is my favorite race distance. I love it and wish it was offered more often.

The Bad:

Missed Alarm: Since J was traveling and Gina was also running, I had to wake my kids up crazy early to take them to Earth Momma Mer's house. The plan was to get up at 5 a.m., get ready and then wake the girls at the last possible minute. Unfortunately, I failed to wake when my alarm went off. When I sprung out of bed at 5:30, just 10 minutes before we needed to be out the door, I found out that Gina wasn't up either. Obviously, we weren't really stressing about this race ...

My Mental Game: Despite the fact that this my favorite race, I really wasn't feeling it going in. I considered taking a DNS on multiple occasions prior to and including race morning. I knew I could run five miles, but I didn't feel like I could race five miles as hard as I would have liked to. And racing without giving it your all doesn't really sit well with me.

Considering that I already didn't feel strongly about this race, I also didn't really care if I had to stop to cough up a lung. Had I felt really prepared heading in, I may have tried harder to run through the cough. Basically, I was just disappointed in where my head was at. However, I did leave feeling like I wanted to up my mileage and get back on track.

The Ugly:

My Cough: I can not stress how bad must have looked along the course. My cough was (and kind of still is) deep and loud. And I was spitting out gunk left and right. I feel bad for anyone who happened to run near me. I am sure they are convinced that they were going to catch some sort of deadly infectious disease.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Three Things Thursday ...

Beautiful - We got Dizzle and Doodle's school pictures back yesterday. My, um, confident, children were completely enamored with themselves. Shocking, I know.

Before I even had a chance to look at how the pictures had turned out, I heard Dizzle in the third row of our car take out the photos and say,

"Wow, I really am beautiful."

Obviously, my children have no issue with self esteem.

And although I told her she should learn to be modest, I couldn't help but agree with her when I finally saw the photos
Doodle, Kindergarten
Dizzle, 1st grade (left) and 2nd grade (right)

Honestly, I'm not really sure where my babies went. They are 7 and 5. It scares me for what things will be like in a decade.

Embracing Potential - I am the first to admit that I am very hard on my children. I expect a lot from them. I have visions of what they "should" be and at times, I'm not very open to accepting what they are. More often then not, I see them as little versions of myself.

Athletic. Intelligent. Sensible. Composed.

The thing is, sometimes, they're not. Sometimes, they have interests outside of what I am comfortable with. Sometimes, they are blubbering messes and frankly, I don't always know how to deal with it. It's a process. For all of us.

Most of the time, Doodle and Dilly are easy for me to process. They usually excel at the roles I've laid out for them. I can read them like a book and I know exactly what to expect from them.

Dizzle, on the other hand, is complicated. She's emotional and raw. Her strengths lie outside the physical, competitive and driven bubble I seem to force my kids into. She's graceful (despite her clumsiness). She's artistic. She's a thinker. She writes poems and songs, some with a depth, I'm not sure she really understands. Basically, from the time she could walk, she has been singing and dancing her way through life. And I don't know how to handle or foster that.

Yesterday, she spent the afternoon practicing a song they are singing at school. She had such a nice tone to her voice that I felt compelled to record her. Immediately upon finishing, she begged me not to post it to Facebook. Too bad that until she's 18, I'm the one with the control over that issue and her plea was denied.

Oh, and I also shared it on YouTube for the whole Internet to see.

I think she's pretty good and I should probably embrace her passion. Oh, and I'm confident that she'll forgive me. Eventually.

Where's My Race Mojo? - I am registered to run the HCA 8K this weekend. It is my all-time favorite race. The course is flat with a downhill finish. The distance is the best one out there. And historically, I have run really well at this event.

But, this year, I am SO NOT FEELING IT.

I'm not really sure why, but my head is not in the game. I don't feel ready (or willing) to race. It's kind of annoying. At this point, I may race. I may run with my sister. Or I may just stay in bed. I don't really know.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

pv.body review and 20% off for you ...

Remember when I got to try out Kona Kase? And do you remember how cool of a concept it was to get a variety of endurance nutrition samples for a fraction of the cost of the full-sized options?

Well, now imagine that the same service only with workout apparel. Think Lululemon, Nike, Lorna Jane and numerous other companies that you may not even be aware of. What if every month you could receive a new, complete workout outfit (top and bottom) valued at $150 for only $39.95?

Well, now you can, thanks to PV BODY

Never heard of it? Well, here's a little about the company's mission from their website:

"Why should you pay $130 or more for yoga pants? That’s just not right! So we’ve embarked on a journey to bring you the best quality active wear that we can find at a fair price. We’ll be curating brands large and small, new and old. So enjoy the selection, we’re positive you’ll love it!
We've built relationships with the manufactures of the biggest names in the business - and great new ones you've probably never heard of - so we can bring you an amazing value. With new items arriving each month we make it easy for you to always get cute new gear.
We want to inspire women to live their best life through active living. That's why all of our pieces are hand selected and designed by women, for women, so we can bring you clothing that makes you feel great and look great. Living healthy and actively is a way of life, and we want to look fabulous while doing that. So enjoy the selection, we’re positive you’ll love it!"
If you know anything about me, you know I like to look good while I work out. So, obviously, this service appealed to me. And getting started was easy.

I took a simple survey about my workout and personal style, entered my sizes, created my profile and was done. A few days later, I received my first outfit.

Inside was a Lululemon Zippy Run tank and Nux core low rise capris. 

Wicked cute and totally my style. But what if it hadn't fit or had totally missed the mark? 

That's not a problem, PV BODY has a fantastic return and exchange policy which you can check out HERE. And, if for some odd reason you don't love receiving a box of new clothes each month, you can cancel your subscription at any time. No questions asked.

Basically, I am in love.

And if you are interested in giving PV BODY a try, you can get 20% off your order by clicking HERE. That means you'll get a complete outfit valued at $150 for only $31.96. It's like the deal of the century.

So, what are you waiting for? Try it HERE now!

Disclaimer: I received this PV BODY box for free and I am also an affiliate for PV BODY. However, the opinions expressed here are completely my own.

Friday, November 2, 2012

October Rewind ...

Miles Run: 71.1 miles

Bike Miles Rode: 160.4 miles

Swim Meters Completed: 8600m or 5.34 miles

Rest Days Taken: 8

Highest Run Mileage Week: 10/22-10/28: 23 miles

Highest Bike Mileage Week: 10/29-10/31: 38.8 miles

Highest Swim Volume Week: 9/10-9/16: 8600m or 5.34 miles

Long Runs Completed (10+ miles): 1

Current Book: Right now, I am reading The Taste of Tomorrow by Josh Schonwald. It's a look into where our food comes from now and where it's headed in the future. I also finished the following books this month ...

  • Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Lawson
  • Seating Arrangements by Shipstead
  • Why Calories Count by Nestle
Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure: Stalking race websites. Planning my race schedule for 2013 and early 2014 is getting me all excited to get back to having a training plan.

Current Colors: Charcoal Gray, Turquoise and Orange
Current Drink: Lots of tea. It's cold here and it warms me right up.

Current Song: Die Young - Ke$ha

Current Triumph: I tackled my fear of Crossfit. And freaking loved it!

Current Goal: Be a better me. Each and every day.

Current Blessing:
Generally, I feel like my whole life is one big blessing and I am entirely grateful for that. I don't take anything for granted. Not even for a second.

Current Excitement: Um, obviously, Thanksgiving. It's the one day that you are expected to overeat. It's like a fat kid's dream. And since I was a fat kid, you know that I'm down with that ...

2012 To Do List Update:

  • Take 70.3 training day by day. Don't get caught up in what is coming, but rather focus on what is. Trust that it will get you where you want to be. - CHECK
  • Find the strength to NOT add races to your schedule during 70.3 training. That is your focus, don't screw with that because of FOMO (fear of missing out). - CHECK
  • Cross the finish line of your first 70.3 in less than 6:57:59. - CHECK. Goal crushed. 6:39:39.
  • Maintain at least one day of cycling and one day of swimming per week, post 70.3. Give J some proof that a new road bike would be a good investment. - CHECK. I'm crushing this one.
  • Log 4,000 miles, swim, bike and run combined. - As of November 2, 3779.61 miles completed
  • Race a 10K with a finish time much faster than your very dated current PR of 53:17.
  • Set a new PR in the Half Marathon, currently 1:57:06 (or 1:56:18, if the half split from the NYC Marathon counts). - FAIL. Better luck in 2013.
  • Race a Fall Sprint Triathlon. Actually train for the event, unlike in years past. - Rocked that. Finished 3rd Athena!
  • Add strength training to the routine. - CHECK. 
  • Eat like an athlete. Be mindful of the nutritional value of your food. - I've been killing this. But, apparently my scale doesn't care.
  • Consume no more than 18 desserts from either Shyndigz or Two Sweet Cupcakes (approximately 1 dessert/3 weeks) - As of November 2, 17 consumed. I need to just face the facts with this one.
  • Cut out snacking on the girl's leftovers. Just because they don't eat it, doesn't mean you have to. - CHECK
  • Only say yes to the projects you REALLY want to work on. - CHECK
  • Throw away the credit cards. Stop repeating history. - CHECK
  • Ignore your impulses. Take time to process the true value of the things you are filling your space/life with. - CHECK
  • Declutter and Organize using this calendar. - CHECK
  • Continue to balance family life, training and now, work. - CHECK
  • Prioritize and be a good example for the people in your life. - CHECK
  • Help and support J and the kids in reaching their goals. We are a team and that must always be the primary focus of our lives. - CHECK

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Three Things Thursday ...

Halloween - I'm kind of a big fan of Halloween. And although I don't really get into the whole "decorate your house and scare the crap out of people" thing, I truly believe there is no age limit for wearing a costume.

If you are trick-or-treating with your kids, you should be wearing a costume.
If you are handing out candy, you should be wearing a costume.
If you are going to the grocery store, you should be wearing a costume. If for no other reason than to freak people out.

Every year, I try to coordinate my families outfits. Back in 2009, we were BBQ themed.

Hamburger, Hot Dog, Pickle and Ketchup Packets ...

Last year, the food theme reappeared ...

Hot Dog, Cupcake, Ice Cream Cone and Chef ...

This year, I couldn't convince anyone to go with my "Fairies" theme. So, instead we were a mishmash of recycled costumes ...

Princess Dancer ...
Spider ...

Sushi Roll ...
Rainbow (Note: I didn't purchase anything for this costume. All of those things are part of my actual wardrobe.)
Witch ...
We may not have been coordinated, but we had a blast.


Candy Overload - On a separate, but not completely unrelated note, I may be a parenting genius. Heading into trick-or-treating, I came up with a deal for my kids to deal with the massive amounts of candy about to enter our home.

The girls were allowed to trick-or-treat like normal. We were out for 2 hours and they could get as much candy as they wanted. When we got back, I sorted and counted the contents of each of their bags.

Today, they will be allowed to choose up to 40 pieces of candy (one piece for each of the next 40 days). Then, I will purchase each remaining piece of candy for $0.05 each. They do not have to keep 40 pieces and I will pay them the five cents for each additional piece they give me. J also started them each off with a dollar for agreeing to this arrangement.

For example, Doodle got 125 pieces. If she keeps 40 and she "sells" me the remaining 85 for $0.05, she will have $4.25. Then, she'll also get $1.00 from J. Giving her a total of $5.25.

This morning, I gave the girls a final option. They could sell me their ENTIRE bag of candy and I will triple their payout. So, in Doodle's case, she would get the $1.00 from J, plus $6.25 for the 125 pieces of candy in her bag. Then I would multiply that by three for a grand total of $21.75.

I think this is a pretty sweet deal. At this point, I am not sure what they will pick, but they have until they get home from school to decide.

Quote of the Week - Recently, I have been trying to help J better manage his time. The other day, I asked him to finish washing the dishes after dinner. When I woke up the next morning, the sink was still full. When I reminded him of his chores, he said, "Well, at least I ran. I am taking baby steps," to which Doodle replied,

"Dad, you're not a baby. Walk like a normal person."

There you go, J. Put in your place by a five year old ...