Thursday, January 28, 2010

My Wheels Are in Motion

I rather liked RockStarTri's comment yesterday.  I'm not saying No (which makes me feel guilty for some reason), I'm saying yes to what is really important to me.  I'm going to remind myself of that on a regular basis.  Thank you!

Yesterday was super stressful and I didn't get around to doing my workout.  Start with a 8 am conference call, have a multitude of work questions to answer while attempting to finish an urgent research project, at the moment I finished said research project at 1:29, have conference call at 1:30 to discover the parameters of the project were changed, return to research project, finish said research project after other questions and work issues come in, finally get to legislative tracking to go through just under 200 bills, finish when Mr. Darcy, children and pizza get home and the girls have eaten all the garlic knots save 2, and then jump on conference call at 7 pm, straighten house so cleaning people can actually clean (the majority of the work was located in the playroom), and then plopped down on the sofa at 9 pm to see the State of the Union and after joking about Biden's inability to clap at the appropriate juncture, fell asleep.  I don't even remember going to our bedroom last night.... but I evidently did because I woke up there at 6:20 this morning.

Today will be another super busy one, although I don't have anything other than packing for this weekend to do in the evening.  And to make up for missing my speedwork yesterday, I did it this morning.  And I rocked it!  I think I might even have been able to go faster, but I was hesitant with my shin splints.  After each 3 minute interval, I walked for my minute over to the water fountain and then back to the treadmill and stretched each time and that seemed to keep the steak knives down to more of a sharper table knife.  I did a 10:20 pace for the 1st one, 10:00 for the 2nd, 9:40 for the 3rd, and 9:20 for the last one.  I think next week, I may try for 10:00 for the 1st, 9:40 for the 2nd, 9:20 for the 3rd, and 9:00 for the last one.

But I also didn't want to completely miss my weight training, so I did one loop of the weight machines and some ab work.  Then it was off to grab some breakfast at Davis Bakery - a berry smoothie (no corn syrup, added sugar, or other non-natural stuff and the equivalent of 3 servings of fruit and 10 g of protein) and an english muffin with an egg, some ham, and cheddar cheese.  Yum!  I haven't been the greatest about eating anything at all the past couple of days.  Yesterday I actually forgot to have breakfast (which is something I NEVER do) and ended up not eating until lunch at 3:30 when I couldn't hold out any longer - I had low fat cheese, a v-8 and a hearty soup.  Then pizza for dinner. So I thought that maybe I should start with a good filling breakfast to try to help myself out.  I'll have a v-8 in a few minutes and I'm thinking a nice salad and a sandwich for lunch. I know I can't not eat right with Team in Training starting Monday and an 8 mile run on the schedule for the morning!

While I was waiting at the bakery, I did something I don't usually do.  I looked out the window at the beautiful "lake" with the pretty fountain spraying up in the air, and the blue sky and the pretty houses and quaint downtown area and I realized that my life is blessed and that it is really beautiful outside.  I had a little feeling of peace that I haven't had in a bit, and I knew that all my rearranging of how I look at things is good.  That saying yes to what is really important to me, is going to let me realize on a more regular basis how beautiful this life of mine and this world really are.  I think it also helps that I realized while talking to Mr. Darcy about my parents that I've always worried that on their death beds they'll realize how much they missed out on in life because they didn't DO things, but that I don't want to be on my death bed someday realizing that by trying to experience everything that I didn't experience the things I needed to by doing too much.

So my wheels are in motion... and it's going to all work out just fine.  And training is definitely something that keeps me in motion and in the moment. What a journey!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wanting to Promise Something is Not the Same as Promising It

On my road to self-realization/learning to say no/getting my house in the order I want it to be, this morning I found myself with a dilemma.  I wanted to promise Angelfish that life would slow down after this weekend, but I realized I couldn't.  And it made me want to definitely get on the task of saying No.

My two little angels were found this morning snuggled up together in the same bed, which was a good thing since I couldn't locate Ladybug at first and which meant that Ladybug had found a way to not be scared in the night without coming to sleep in Mommy and Daddy's bed.  Angelfish sprung up and said, "Will we stay all together today?"  I told her no, that it was a school day and then started to say that we would be all together this weekend, when it hit me.  I'll be in Birmingham and they'll be at their grandparents with Mr. Darcy.  And then I started to say that things would slow down after I get back from Birmingham only to realize that I couldn't say that either because the Team in Training season starts this coming Monday which means Monday evenings and Saturday mornings and some Wednesday evenings would be taken up with practices until May.  So instead I told them how I missed them while at my meeting last night.  I had a nice time at the Junior League meeting and after at the little "new year" party at Brio.  But I did miss being home with their little faces and getting to have a nice snuggly evening.  And they made me valentines with their Daddy.  And I've noticed they're becoming Daddy's girls and not going to Mommy first for things as of late.  And I don't care for it. Not one bit.

The realization was clear and resonate and palpable.  I know what I must do.  It won't be over until May because of obligations that I look forward to, but that are too much.  I will be giving up 2 activities.  Leaving me with 2 others and training for triathlons of course, and also hopefully a more sane existence that doesn't tear at me right and left on a daily basis.  It's nice to know that I want to be a certain place in my life though, even if it takes me a little bit to get there.  Running around at Mach 5 with my hair on fire while fun and grand is also taking a toll on me and perhaps on my relationship with the ladies and Mr. Darcy.  I'm not giving it all up, of course, and I am sure that in the activities and training that I am keeping I will find new challenges to saying "no" (both to others and myself).

 I guess I'm in a recovery program, and I've just admitted I have a problem and am taking the first step to do something about it.  In my case, I'm addicted to life and wanting to be able to be a part of everything and do everything and fearful of inertia.  But I'm finding there's a big part of life that has to do with every changing little lifeforms that are the best and greatest experience of life and that running around at Mach 5 is making somethings a blur that should be slowed down and savored before those little ladies are up and gone and having babies of their own. 

Angelfish informed us that she is marrying a boy in her class named Ty.  Ladybug responded that her husband's name when she gets older will be "John Harrynose."  To which, I of course had to ask,"Does he have a harry nose?"  "No, Mommy.  That's just his name." All while dressed in jeans, a hot pink print dress, and a red and white "snow bunny" t-shirt, a pink heart headband, purple socks and brown shoes.  I just have this sneaky feeling, I'm missing a little bit too much of this.

In other good news, one of my close dear friends who I've mentioned before in this blog, "Belle" is moving from Atlanta to Tampa!  I couldn't be more thrilled in all the world.  She'll only be a little over an hour away!  I am thrilled to be able to see her and go shopping at times and all that.  I know it's not going to be the same as living in the same place, but it's so much closer.  Crafty Girl is happy for her, but sad that she won't be right there with her anymore.  Now, I just have to get to work on convincing Crafty Girl and her husband The International Man of Mystery (we used to joke that he was a spy because he traveled with work and whenever he did something always happened in that country not long after he left - whether invasions or natural occurences) that they must live in Florida.  Then the triplets could (sort of) be reunited.

Oh and I believe I have made a new friend.  She's in Junior League with me and I've pretty much hijacked her as my friend.  We just have such easy and wonderful conversations and a lot of the same interests too.  Now we're plotting to go out with the husbands as well.  Yay! 

So I'm working my way toward being happier and a little more sane... and toward being able to promise that things will slow down a bit. Kind of ironic it is happening on speed workout day!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

My Non-Tagged Post of the Day

First, thank you for all of your comments!  It felt great to have such wonderful encouragement from all of you - and all the commiseration for my poor shins.  (Oh and Heather, you are right - there's lots of gear.  The first year seems like you spend a lot of money on a lot of stuff.  But it all is worth it!)

Speaking of my shins...I went on a 3 mile run this morning and it was chilly (for Florida, mind you) and damp - in the upper 40's with a beautiful mist rising up from the open grassy spaces and the "lakes" (aka retention ponds) in the neighborhood.  I think the cold air helped my shins a little.  They didn't feel like being stabbed with butcher knives today, just steak knives, which really is a vast improvement. 

I had a super stressful day yesterday with nothing necessarily bad happening, but just constant work of one sort of another.  You know you're having a bit of a rough day when lunch ends up being at 4:30 and consisting of peanut butter and a kashi "breakfast bar" because you realize that you'll be cooking and feeding the family again soon and you need something to just tie you over until after you go get your bike from your local bike shop and pick up your children from daycare.  Anyway, the reason for all of that is that I think it made me well, superfast (for me) this morning.  That and I'll admit, I was wearing my running pants which keep my legs from sticking together at the top like they normally do when I wear running shorts, so my stride was better too. (Yes, I'm in the market for running shorts that work a little better for me.)

Ok, confessions made, like I said - I was superfast (for me) this morning.  I did my 1st mile in 9:05.  Which explained why my HR monitor was beeping like mad by the 1/2 mile point and why my lungs were not happy (I have minor asthma that kicks in when the air is cold - and I could see my breath while running this morning).  But I was impressed with myself.  Of course, I also slowed my pace down too because it dawned on me that if I was running harder my shins would probably hurt more later.  Plus, it was supposed to be an easy 3 mile run and 9:05 isn't really an easy pace for me.  I kept doing my 5/1's and was chugging along. 

I round the corner for the home stretch and see two gorgeous brindled greyhounds and their owner who is holding their leashes down by their backs and really bracing.  It dawns on me that he's bracing and talking to them calmly and softly, so I look at the greyhounds again. They're standing stock still and their faces have a look of intensity, like they want to chase my butt down and rip me to pieces as though I'm a rabbit.  I shout out to the guy - "Just what you needed this morning, a rabbit for your sight hounds."  He started laughing and said "yep. But it's not like we haven't seen you out here running before!"  If only I had that type of visceral intensity that those dogs did, I would be wicked fast.  But I'm not sure if I'd really have all that much fun if I had their intensity, and for me that's what this is all about.  Getting faster may take me time, but I'm in no hurry - the back of the pack is fun!  Come to think of it, I'm glad he didn't let go.

I look down at my watch after I pass the dogs, and see I'm not even at 29 yet, which is the next time I am to walk my 1.  I keep running and I'm in the home stretch and then cars start coming at me, which always slows me down because I get into self preservation mode and I'm ready to spring off the road on to the grass a moments notice (which I've had to do a few times - talking on the cellphone while drinking coffee and driving kids to school in the big SUV is my biggest telltale sign that I will be jumping soon.  I've learned to look inside the car at the driver, not just at the car.)  I get to the point where I decide I need to be on the sidewalk if I want to live another day (red car who was riding the road at the point where it meets the gutter and notices that I'm on the road just before I leap off, you were not my friend this morning), and I'm running  the side walk.  I look down and I'm at 29:40.  So I keep running until 30, walk my 1 and then run up the hill and to the house.  32:30.  Oh yeah! 

3.05 miles completed in 32:30.  A good run!

I'm hoping to get some yoga in today too because I didn't get my cross training done yesterday... Mr. Darcy overslept, I ended up taking the ladies to daycare (in my workout gear, always attractive) and traffic was terrible (it's rain people, it happens. you just drive through it.) so I didn't get home to even start work until 8:45, then I ended up working like a mad woman only looking up at 4:30 when my stomach was making all sorts of angry, hungry noises, and then working until 4:50, heading to the bike shop to try to get my bike before they close at 6 pm (it's about 30-40 minutes away), then back to get the girls, and then cooking dinner, trying to tame the wild children that they were last night, then bedtime, and by 8:45 pm when we left their bedroom the best I could do was make my way to the sofa. 

Yoga counts as cross training for running (especially since I have yoga for endurance runners DVR'd), of course now that I have the bike back I will be making myself get out and bike - chilly weather makes me not want to ride and I hate the trainer.  I have to become friends with it this season, I know, but ugh. So anyway, I'm going to try to fit that in if I can so I haven't really skipped a workout. : )  We'll see how it goes.

And off I go....

I was Tagged!

For the first time in Blogland, I've been tagged... 10 Things that Make me Happy.  So here it goes.

1.  Angelfish and Ladybug and all their antics.  You can't get anything better than hugs & kisses from girls wearing completely crazy outfits. (This morning was a blue skort with a pink and brown striped dress and a brown floral print shirt.)

2. Getting to spend time with Mr. Darcy without chores and parental duties.  (He nice to be around during those other times too, but it's harder to be just us instead of being Daddy and Mommy.)

3. My girlfriends.  We take care of each other and have fun.

4. Swimming.  Good Lord I love to swim and have been missing it like mad.  Good news is that I'll be getting my gym membership at LA Fitness back to supplement the local Y (which does not have a pool and the closest Y with a pool is twice as far away as the LA Fitness) so I can swim again. There are few things better than a good swim in this world.

5. The end of a run.  I don't necessarily always enjoy my runs, but I love how I feel at the end of them.

6. Training for triathlons in general.  It's one of the few times of the day that I am able to live in that very moment without thinking about what has to get done next and I enjoy the swim (did I already mention that), bike and sometimes the run.

7. People.  Yeah, there are some jerks out there, but usually people are good.  I love chatting people up and getting to know a bit more about them... and my life tends to be an open book, so it's not like I have anything to hide.

8. Ice cream.  There are times when the best thing in the world is ice cream.  No cone.  In the bowl with a small spoon so it lasts longer (but served with a big spoon).

9. Sleeping in followed by reading a book in bed.  It's a rare joy in my life, but that wonderful feeling of complete rest and relaxation and then getting to escape to another place mentally while still resting. Ahh.

10. Crossing the finish line at a triathlon.  I always feel a huge sense of accomplishment, like I have just done something amazing.  For me, it's not about where I am compared to everyone else who raced, it's whether I got it done in the way I wanted to get it done.  And even when I don't (like crashing my bike or being slower than I hoped), I tend to learn something.

So now to tag others (I tried not to duplicate from those who have already done this)... I'm not sure exactly how this works but:
Sherry (A Woman in Motion)
Heather @ Run Faster Mommy!
Marci (Ramblings of a Running Addict)
Missy (Iron things...)
Geni (Triluvr)
Coach Beth

Saturday, January 23, 2010

My First 5K... Well, 5.2K

This morning, the alarm clock went off at 5:45 am.  But, like any other race morning I can remember I was awake at least 10 minutes beofre the alarm went off, attempting to will myself to sleep just a little bit more.  After shutting off the alarm clock, I went through the race day morning ritual... race clothes, HR monitor and watch, Body Glide, deodorant, morning medicines, making sure I had my spibelt so I could stash a credit card, driver's license, cellphone and keys, fixing oatmeal and then I tried to put on my shoe tag.

How hard could a shoe tag be?  This was our timing device and it showed a picture of how it needed to go and everything.  Problem was I have yanks.  Triathletes know what I'm talking about - elastic shoe laces that let you just slip your shoe on and off.  Let's just say it made it a 5 minute adventure until I finally got things all settled and secured.  Then it dawned on me that I should take Mr. Darcy's car instead of mine because that way I don't have to use the garage door and take the chance of waking the wee ones.  So, it was into the garage to get my race tag and then out the front door (after gulping down my oatmeal and a big glass of water).

It was a rather odd sensation.  I had no bike.  No big bag of gear and stuff for transition.  No goggles or swim cap.  Just me, a pair of shoes on my feet, a race number and timing tag, and the spi belt.  It felt like I was forgetting something - like everything I'd need for a race.

I got to Winter Park around 6:45 am and everyone was trying to find a parking spot.  I'm not overly good at parallel parking, so I decided to take a chance and park in the Wachovia parking lot - despite seeing the sign that parking was for Wachovia patrons only and violators would be towed.  I called Coach who said she was meeting some others at Panera on Park Avenue.  Unfortunately, I never found Coach or the others because I headed the wrong direction down Park Avenue, but I ran into some lovely people I had met the other weekend and a very nice couple who I met through Team in Training.  I couldn't run with any of them though - the nice couple was fast.  He's attempting to qualify for the Boston Marathon and is just on the cusp of doing it.  The others were either 8 minute milers (too fast), 14 minute milers (too slow), or speed walkers (I was wanting to run).  I chatted with a very nice 14 minute miler until race start, and then as the gun went off we meandered forward a bit until we finally got to the starting line.

A few seconds before I hit the start line, I turned on my HR monitor and decided that I would do 5/1's because that's what I'd be doing in the Princess Half Marathon and with the shin splints, it would be a good idea.  The first mile was, well, crowded.  Usually being a back of the packer to begin with... but doing it triathlon style, I really am not used to seeing all those people.  I passed some and was passed by others.  I felt pretty good the first mile, and finished the 1st mile in around 11:50.  Not the greatest, but weaving in and out of people was kind of new.  Part way through Mile 2, my shin splints kicked in.  I'm not sure if it was the compression sleeves I was wearing or if it was just that my shin splints are now full tilt, but it felt as though someone was stabbing me with a very large cleaver along my shin bone - in both legs. 

At one point in Mile 2, the pain was so bad I wanted to just walk.  But I convinced myself that I needed to run through the pain and that I was doing 5/1's already so I should think of the 1 minute walk as my reward for the 5 minute run.  My legs were evil.  I hit Mile 2 and heard a couple discussing whether they wanted to run 2/1's again or stick to their 3/1's.  I invited them to join me for 5/1's, but they chatted with me a bit and decided they couldn't keep it up for 5 minutes straight.  I would pass them and be passed by them the entire rest of the race.

If it hadn't been for my shin splints and the amazing amount of phlem that my body produced today, I think I would have really enjoyed the race... it was in a beautiful part of Winter Park with gorgeous homes and manicured lawns.  I saw the scenery but just kept telling myself to keep going so the stabbing pain would be over earlier instead of later.  I just focused on picking someone and trying to pass them.  It generally worked, except with 2 women who hit Mile 3 and literally took off so fast that it made me wonder what the heck they were doing for Miles 1 & 2 when I was gaining on them the entire time.  Rocket propulsion or something.

I didn't make my goal of 33:30, but with the sheer volume of the crowd and the insane leg pain, I'm cutting myself a break.  I finished in 38:29.  I was disappointed in my time, but Coach told me I shouldn't be - that she thought it was decent.  She reminded me that the race was longer than just 3.1 miles and said that while it was purported to be 3.2 miles her Garmin said it was closer to 3.3 miles although not quite there.  I looked it up online and it appears that it was abotu 3.285 miles.  Which, if it was 3.285 miles would be an 11:42 average pace.  And if it was 3.2 miles, it would be a 12:02 average pace.  The calculations made me feel better, since that was at least a bit closer to what I had in mind when I thought 33:30 (11:10 per mile).  And really that's not so bad since I did 5/1s the entire race and had someone stabbing my shins with a butcher knife for about 2 of the 3.2 miles.

The good thing too is that I felt great afterward.  Like I could have kept going for a good long while, even with my shins attempting to mutiny and the strong desire to blow snot rockets but the inability to do so because there were just that many people around me and goodness knows I would have hit at least one of them. (My doctor finally called in my allergy medicine... but I couldn't pick it up until this morning, after the race. So it would not have been pretty and somehow I don't think the 5K crowd would have appreciated my snot rocketry.  The tri crowd doesn't even really notice - unless you get hit that is.)

I have to admit I almost cried crossing the finish line.  Not because it was an amazing feeling of accomplishment, but because there was a couple in their 70's who crossed the finish line in front of me holding hands.  They looked so frail and it was like they were doing something together that was such a quest for them.  I wanted to cry it was so beautiful.  Of course, later I wanted to cry because a couple in their 70's crossed the finish line before I did... but then again, who knows when they started the race or how long they've been running. 

I ran into someone I know from TNT after the race who is a well meaning person but who is a bit socially awkward.  She told me, "You look great!  You look like you've gotten to a comfortable weight for yourself!"  I took this to mean that I looked like I had lost weight, but now I'm wondering whether it meant that I looked comfy like old baggy sweatpants instead of being smaller.  I'm chosing to take it as a compliment though... I think.

I kind of liked the road race, but I think I like longer distances better.  Some people are the energizer bunny, I'm more like the Tortoise in the Tortoise and the Hare.  Slow but steady and I can end up outlasting some of those Hares out there. My performance wasn't too shabby, even if I didn't meet my goal, which may have been a bit lofty now that I use the calculator and see that I would have had to have around 10:12 or 10:30 pace per mile and other than speedwork, I haven't been hitting that pace at all.

So there you have it. My first official 5.2K without a swim and a bike before it. 38:29.

Friday, January 22, 2010

A Nice Stretch and Weekend Plans

Today my workout was stretching.  I LOVE this day of the week.  I stretched for a 1/2 an hour just stretching my muscles from head to toe.  It was lovely.  Especially since I have a few muscles that are tight and a little sore.  I'm not sure what has caused it (perhaps all this exercising after weeks of recovery gone complete couch potato?), but stretching was wonderful.

Even more wonderful was Ladybug this morning.  The child was an Angel (and yes, that's with a capital A).  Mr. Darcy said that they talked about getting up nicely this morning and that was just what she did.  Instead of grumping at me and yelling when I went in with my normal "Good morning, Ladies! It's a brand new day, let's greet the the day with a smile."  She asked me if we had gummie fruits (that's what she calls fruit snacks) in Seattle.  I said yes.  And then she said (and this made me laugh), "I guess our grocery stores here don't sell them.  That's a shame."  I told her that we only eat them on occassion as treats and they were treats while we were on vacation.  Then she started asking me about Nanna (my Mom) and cancer and how did she get cancer, etc.  So we chatted about it a little bit.  She said that she hoped we could go visit Nanna soon, and I told her we were hoping to see her in a couple of weeks.  Then she asked if she could have a few more minutes, so I said yes and left the room.

I found Angelfish with Mr. Darcy who was shaving, and Angelfish was sitting on our bathroom counter applying shaving cream to her face with a very serious look about her, raising her eyebrows like Mr. Darcy does when he's putting it under his chin.  Super cute.  Then back to check on Ladybug who was up and getting dressed!  She asked for "privacy please, Mommy."  I told her I needed clothes for Angelfish, so she handed me some clothing and off I went to get Angelfish dressed.  She was opposed to the jeans - she "likes soft pants, Mommy."  and went in search of her own pants (which did not match the shirt, but hey, they were soft and they were on).  Ladybug appeared in the bathroom to brush her hair and get some hair bows to bring to Ms. Ali at daycare so she could do her hair (she doesn't like the way I do it, only the way Ms. Ali does it), then nicely asked for breakfast bars and some milk for breakfast, put on her socks and shoes nicely and then headed off to the car, putting her seat belt on without trauma or fuss.  It was like a whole new child... and one who I hope stays for a long visit.  No wonder her teachers love her at school!  That's how she acts for them.

It was a lovely start to the day.  And then the nice stretching and a little bit of sorority work, and at some point I'll take a lunch break and get my race packet for tomorrow.

Tonight we have a bowling function with Mr. Darcy's work.  Two 3 1/2 year olds and us in a bowling alley.  Should be interesting.  Then tomorrow morning, bright and early is the Seasons 52 5.2K race.  I'm not looking to break any world records. 

Amazingly enough, this is my 1st 5K or 5.2 K.  That seems really strange in that I've done an Ironman 70.3, multiple Olympic distance and sprint distance triathlons, and I'm signed up for a 1/2 marathon yet this is my 1st 5K.  As I tend to say, I only like to run if I've swum and biked first.  I guess if I'm gonna go, I tend to go long.  The only other road race I've done was a 2 miler back in 2008.  I finished it in 22:21, and I was miserable once I hit about the 1st mile and had to just keep myself going.  I remember I started out really hard because I was running it with my friend Lauren who was really in good shape and there I was trying to keep up and she was running slow for me.  I pretty much felt like dying at the end of the race.  So, I guess my big goals for it are to finish and to finish in about 33:30.  I'd love to do sub-30 minutes, but with the shin splints starting and the reality of not being an overly fast runner to begin with, I'll just go with the flow.  I signed up for 3 other 5Ks before this in my life, and the 1st 2 were undoable because of major pain with shin splints for the 1st one, sick children and hubby for the 2nd one, and then the 3rd one was this past December and I can't remember if it was the weather or I just didn't make it out of bed.

So here's to the 5K and a nice weekend with the fam!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

So People Have Something to Do While Drinking Coffee...

Yes, that comment made me break through the busy week and post.  Granted I was reading Blogs when I should have been showering because well, it was lunch time and I did speed work at the gym this morning and still hadn't showered and I sweat so much that my hair was crusty.  So I showered, and went to the dentist, and did some more work, and then I blogged.  Can't disappoint my fan base. HAHA!

I've been super busy - to the point that I think my learning to say no is on the brink of becoming a reality.  But, some funny things have happened along the way. 

Sunday's 6 mile run.
Yep, it was 6 miles not 8 miles.  Coach showed up Sunday and said, not sure why you thought you'd be running 8 miles, it's 6 - I read your blog.  It was probably a good thing too because my allergies were going full berserkergong (Coach: "Dude, what's up with your breathing? Have you been taking your allergy medicine?") and she made me walk some to get it back down to normal before running more.  Perhaps my favorite thing she said to me is "I do not want to have to call Mr. Darcy and tell him I had to give you CPR.  Your face is red, your HR monitor is beeping because your heart rate is up, and your breathing is wacked. You're walking a bit."  Of course, when I run my face always gets red (I'm pale and Polish) and my HR monitor always says my HR is up.  But the 6 got done.

Monday's Shopping.
I need clothes. Badly.  Pulling a "What Not to Wear" on Yourself with a limited budget is not easy.  I went to the outlets thinking I'd get better deals, and went into Dress Barn.  I've never been in Dress Barn before Monday.  I think it's the name of the store - anything with Barn in it really shouldn't be a place you shop.  But, I must say I got some super cute clothes for a really good price and it was literally the best shopping experience of my life.  The ladies who work there were AWESOME.  I told them why I was there and that I needed clothes because I have been trying to get my body into clothes that I wore pre-twins and I look bad.  I may have tried on half the store and walked out with only about 12 things, but it was worth it.  I still need more clothes but what I got looks good on me.  There was an older gentleman in the store with his wife and he was the best ego booster.  He told me that he hoped he wasn't over stepping the bounds, but he wanted me to know that I looked good because he over heard me talking and he used to be a tailor and that the problem wasn't me.  The problem, he said, was that I have an hour glass figure and that the style right now is to be built like a boy, which I am not.  I told him he was my new best friend and he smiled (and so did his wife.)

It might as well been a Monday.  I got a late start (due to running 7 miles that morning) and ended up getting to the location of my CLE right on time (thanks in part to a lovely tractor going about 10 mph on my way to the highway).  The problem?  The Florida Bar put the wrong location on the card you have to bring to the class. SOOO... I ended up hoofing it over 1/4 of a mile (in high heels) to the Convention Center only to wander around the convention center for another 10 minutes until finally finding the location by luck (there was only one sign for the entire course location).  20 minutes late and I'm sitting there listening to the guys drone on about C corporation and S corporation taxation and referencing pages in a coursebook.  I have no course book, so I go outside and ask the women from the Bar about the book.  "Oh, that book.  We don't have it yet and will get it to you by mid February."  They were taping the class for replay and those classes would have the book.  Then the lunch options.  I ran 7 miles and had a smoothie for breakfast.  I was hungry.  My options?  A $5.25 hotdog or a premade sandwich that was also $5.  I opted for the sandwich, which sadly turned out to be mostly bread - to the point I ended up eating it as an open faced sandwich.  But that bottle of water was delicious!

There was only one other woman in the class.  She said that there is a true lack of women at anything tax related.  We had lunch together and chatted.  Very nice lady.  After class, heading back to the hotel where my car was parked, a nice man from the class started talking.  Next thing I know he's telling me how he's divorced but still friends with his ex-wife and that they're better friends not being married.  Then he asks me if I'm married.  I of course say yes, and then wonder if this is what this guy does - try to "pick up chicks" at the CLEs.  If he hadn't been old enough to be my father, I think Mr. Darcy might have been a little jealous but of course I was honest and didn't leave it out of the story.  Then I chatted it up with the valet while the other valet went to get my car.  Former drill sargeant and I started talking about running and mini-vans and how he used to drive a mini-van when in the army and he would get teased.  I told him, you were the drill sargeant - you should have made them run until they puked!  He told me that he liked that and his wife would get a kick out of it too - turns out she was a former drill sargeant herself.  I still have my random chatting with strangers skills, it would seem.

The Track Shack meeting was fine.  Except for the fact that I discovered they had some affordable compression sleeves, and I even went as far to have them measure my calves.  I love the woman who owns Track Shack, she said to me "I'll measure you, but I can guarantee you that you need the smaller size - I can tell just looking at you."  Ahhh.  And yes, my 14" calves put me into the smaller size.  But what did I do?  I grabbed the larger size on accident.  Good thing I have to go and pick up my race packet for Saturday... I'll do the exchange then. 

Wednesday's Junior League Meeting.
A group of lovely ladies and it will be fun to work on the project of putting together a life skills class for girls 10-12 in age who are very impoverished and work with a social worker to have them in an after school program to get them off the streets.  I think the class will be good for them and our interaction will be good for all involved, even if on some days just to remind us how blessed we are in this life.  You know it's a bad area of town when one of the League Members who is also a police officer will be there with us at the same time - in uniform.  The funny part was how old I am compared to some of these women and it came out with the ice breaker - you stated your name and told the story of your worst vacation.  Mine was about the Christmas that my parents' septic tank broke and poor Mr. Darcy helped my Dad try to fix it admist the stench of sewage.... we call it Brown Christmas.  Everyone had a good laugh. Another girl (and I do call her a girl - she's MAYBE 22), said her worst vacation was when she was 16 and went in a winebago with her Mom and Dad for 10 days to a variety of National Parks where there was no cellphone service and no internet and all she could do was look at trees.  I looked at another woman at the meeting who is right around my age and gave her a look like "we are stinkin' old."  When I was 16, only doctors carried cellphones and they were huge and weighed about 15 pounds.  And the internet wasn't something that the public was using because we hadn't heard of it yet.

The Girls.
They have been interesting.  Turns out that at school, Angelfish hangs out with 2 very nice little boys and orders them around... and they do what she says.  Ladybug on the other hand gets one of her teachers to do her hair up just the way they like it.  Angelfish told me I was the bestest Mommy ever, and then Ladybug told me I was not nice and then Angelfish told Ladybug that if she was a good listener she'd realize Mommy was nice. Of course, if Mr. Darcy is around, I am chopped liver this week - probably because I've been gone so much in the evenings this week.... oh and tonight I have another function I am going to.

I started the day realizing that neither Mr. Darcy nor I set the alarm clock and you guessed it - we overslept.  I threw on my running gear and went to look for the speed work plan.  Then helped get the girls ready.  Ladybug had a major meltdown because she was stalling, I had enough of it and called her bluff and put her in clothes that I chose and carried her out to the car.  Thank Goodness speedwork is not a super long workout because I only got out of the house at 7:45 am.

The speedwork was good - except that I think I'm getting shin splints.  I'm prone to them and I kind of ramped up my distance a little fast.  But that's what you  have to do sometimes.  So ice, advil and rolling the tennis ball with my feet and tracing the alphabet with my toes is back on the menu.  The pain started by the end of the 2nd set, and by the 3rd set my leg hurt badly.  So, I walked 1 extra minute - off the treadmill.  Then back on for the last 3 minute interval.  I had hoped to do a 10:30, 10:10, 9:50, and 9:30 pace for each, but with the pain, I did a 10:30, 10:10, 10:00 and 9:50 (3 minutes each with a 2 minute walk in between).  Eating breakfast before going - even if it was just a gel and a big glass of water (because I woke up so late) - made it infinitely easier than last week.  Amazing how that is.

The dentist was good too.  Although I had to laugh because the technician said "are you having any hormonal issues right now?"  I told her my endometriosis was giving me issues lately and she said that explains it.  So I had to ask.  Explains what?  The technician told me that the tissues of the mouth are like those of the uterus and if your pregnant or your having hormonal issues that your gums will bleed like mad even when the gums are where they should be and there isn't a lot of plaque and the tissues were the right color - like mine were.  Dang endometriosis!  My x-rays showed no cavities, my bite is good, my teeth were pretty clean and my gums where they needed to be, and other than bleeding like a crazy thing all was well.  I guess if you have to use your lunch break for a visit to the dentist the best part is hearing that your teeth are beautiful and it may only cost you the price of the flouride rinse if your insurance doesn't cover it. : )

Tonight is the UF Law Alumni Reception here in Orlando.  I'm not sure what to expect, but I'm going.  I'll get to see my good friend Shopping Girl for a couple of minutes until she needs to go rustle up the deep pockets for contributions, and I'm going with my friend Jen who is wonderful.  I wonder if I'll see any old law school classmates.  It should be a small adventure - and one that I'm hoping will put me home before the girls' bed time if possible.

Friday things should slow down.  I hope.

So was that a 1 cupper or 2?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I've been a bit busy...

which is why you haven't heard from me in a few days.  I'll be back I promise.  But right now I have to go take a shower, get the kids from daycare, cook dinner and head off to a meeting. 

I love that my post about pizza and Saturday's race (not to mention one of my shortest posts) got the most comments.  Are you all trying to tell me something? HAHAHA!

I should be re-surfacing soon... I think.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Just When I Thought I Couldn't Put Anymore on the Calendar...

I got an email about a race.  A small race.  A 5.2K race... next Saturday.  I would have to run anyway.  And besides, it was $20 and I had a $2 coupon.  And it benefits a good cause.  And you get a $10 gift card to the restaurant Seasons 52 (the sponsor - which is why it's a 5.2 K).  It sounds like fun... and it's early in the morning.

And my efforts to just say no - this time, to myself, didn't seem to work today.

Nor did they work with the call I got asking me to talk to 2 people about somewhat related and somewhat different things for the sorority.  Neither call would be fun.  I had to leave messages, so now I have to wonder when will they call me back? At least one already would know that the conversation will not be positive - just the fact that I was calling would mean that it was something she didn't want to hear.  And the other could probably guess.  I'll give them the weekend to call me back and then try again on Monday.

But Mr. Darcy convinced me that Pizza was a good idea.  Some days I can resist and some days I can't.  But I didn't really want to say no to Pizza anyway.

Coffee and a Good Book, Stretches, and Other Thoughts

Coffee and a Good Book
I am in love with my coffee this morning.  Last night Mr. Darcy was trying out his new XBox games, the girls were in bed, I had eaten dinner after the girls were in bed due to my call at 7 pm, and I picked up the book I've been reading, The Lost Symbol.  I looked at the clock and it was 9:30.  I told myself I would only read for 1/2 an hour and then go to bed.  The next thing I know, I'm entranced in the book.  Sucked so far in that I might have jumped if you talked to me because I was in the book's world.  Mr. Darcy says from the bedroom, what is the time on that clock? (We had our alarm clock set 40 minutes fast to try to get Mr. Darcy up on time by tricking him, but he claims it doesn't work so he was reseting it.)  11:30 pm I tell him and then "I'll be right there."

Being right there turned out to be 1 am when I finished the book.  I was only able to guess one part about the ending (if you've read it you'll know what I mean when I say it was the bit about why the bad guy really didn't like the Solomon family), but the rest was a good surprise.  I have to say that I view Dan Brown's books as a bit of fun fluff, but this was a great book.  I haven't read a book in I'm not sure how long where I didn't guess the end of things 3/4 way through or that I couldn't put down.  Good stuff.

And so, I am in love with my coffee this morning and will probably be having 2 cups.  I've been drinking decaffinated Mint Tea as of late, but this morning I knew that it was not going to cut it.  I needed the caffeine... and I made need more as the day goes on.  Although a nap at lunch time sounds soooo tempting.

Today is a stretch day, and I had hoped to check out the yoga class at the Y.  But the class is at 11:15, and unless my breakfast of coffee, V-8, grape nuts and vanilla activia light yogurt, some how super powers me  I think I'll do the stretches Coach gave us last year during Team in Training, and take a nap at lunch.  The more I think about that nap, the more I think it's a good idea.

I love yoga and love how relaxed, limber and strong I feel afterwards.  But today, I think I'm going to like the sight of the inside of my eyelids all the more.  There's always next week to try out the yoga class.  Besides I have some really good Namaste Yoga classes DVR'd that I can do if I have the energy.

Other Thoughts
I have to keep some energy today not only for work and the usual duties, but I also have another call for the sorority this afternoon at 4:30 - right after I am done with work for the week.  It will be the 11th call in 2 weeks.  The good news is that I have one call definitely scheduled, and only 8 chapters who haven't yet gotten back to me (and who probably won't because this is how these things go.  Collegiate women are of 2 groups, those who are happy to have a call and want to do a good job and further their chapter and then those who think that some "old lady" doesn't know what they need to do because it's "their" chapter.  A little bit of news for those women, it's mine too.  We're all in the same sorority which means that the chapter on X campus belongs just as much to me as it does to you.  Anyway... I digress.).  If the 8 chapters miss the boat on the call with TriMommy, well, there's not much I can do.

Of course I took a peek at next week's calendar.  I have a 8 mile run this weekend to do, and a birthday party for the girls' friend on Sunday.  Both of which should be a lot of fun.  The girls are already talking about the fun they'll have at the party - Ladybug is even expecting yummy icing on either a birthday cake or birthday cupcakes, which definitely means she is my child.  That's my favorite part of the birthday cake too.  For our date night, Mr. Darcy and I are going out to dinner with a friend of his from work and his wife.  So that should be fun!

As for the week itself, it will be a busy one.  But I think it will be a good one too.  Monday I have off from work and Mr. Darcy has decided that we need to switch back to my picking the girls up after work and him taking them to work because otherwise he really doesn't have any chance of making it to the gym (his words).  With Mr. Darcy working on Monday and daycare paid for, I am taking a TriMommy day.  I plan to ride my bike in the morning after the family leaves, and then I'm going clothing shopping with my worldpoints and gift money from the holidays.  And if time allows, I'm going to get a manicure and a pedicure.  And then get the girls at the end of the day from daycare.... I may even get us take out from some place for dinner.  I am really looking forward to it.  Tuesday I have a CLE to attend for the majority of the day, but the nice bit is that it starts at 10 am so I can do my morning workout, do a little work, and head out for the rest of the day. That evening I have a Track Shack event to try and get people to sign up for Team in Training, which should be fun.

And then Wednesday.  Yikes.  8 am is a Georgia LLC and LP Law Bar Committee Meeting (via telephone conference of course), followed by a noon Georgia Corporation Law Bar Committee Meeting, followed by a 1:30 pm departmental meeting, and then at 7 pm at Junior League Community Action Team Meeting.  I'm excited about the Junior League CAT team meeting though.  We'll be finding out more about our placement and the life skills course that we are going to be putting together.

Thursday is the dentist and then a UF Law Alumni Reception, which should be fun - the reception that is... not the dentist.  Friday is lunch with Mr. Darcy (yay!) and then a Family Bowling night with his architecture firm and another company after work.  I'm not sure what to expect with the latter of the two events, especially with two 3 1/2 year olds, but I'm hoping it will be a good time.

Other than my schedule for the next week, I've been thinking that I'm really glad that Mr. Darcy wants to switch back to the old routine where he drops the girls off and I get them from school.  I like the old routine so much better... especially after Mr. Darcy gave the girls a dinner of peanut butter and cheese-itz for dinner last night when he could have easily given them the heart healthy chicken nuggets that take literally 1 minute to cook in the microwave and applesauce, one of their favorite meals that is actually at least decent on the health meter.  We've discovered they like V-8 juice even though they won't eat vegetables... so we're sneaking the veggies in any way we can!  But I also just like the flow of the day better.  They go to school, I do my workout in the morning which energizes me for the day, I blog, I work for the day, get the kiddies, cook dinner and play with them and start the evening off nicely.  Then repeat.  The way we've done it this week is that I take them to school, get home and work, try to find a time either for a lunch break workout or I have to go after work, try to get home before they do (which doesn't work too well if I have to go after work), cook dinner before they raid the refrigerator for snacks (or before Mr. Darcy feeds them what I consider a questionable dinner for a 3 1/2 year old), and it's just all jumbled.  Plus, Mr. Darcy doesn't have a chance to work out at all - he is not a morning riser and will not be seen in the gym or out running before work.  He's a night owl, not a morning person. At. all.  He says lunch doesn't work for him either because he sometimes needs to work through it or has business lunches with people.  And by him picking up the ladies, he needs to get them home for dinner before they melt down - they melt down when they're hungry, especially Ms. Angelfish.  Just like her Daddy on that one. 

I liked my universe of chaos ordered in a different way.  So, I'm glad for the return to structure.

I'm also trying to figure out a way for us to return to some more structure for bed time etc.  We did so well and then when the girls were out of school with me for Christmas and New Years, we slacked and let them stay up late and then sleep in.  Getting us all back on the right track with that one has been tough.  I may resort to stickers and then each night award tokens based on the number of stickers.  We just have to stick to it  - we're always good at this stuff for about 3 weeks and then the wheels fall off the bus.  The parenting part is still there, just the reward system falters a bit.  And I really want to make sure I use positive reinforcement - not just the "no" stuff all the time.

So as you can see, I'm a bit of everywhere.  And I'll be returning to my reading of The Art of Happiness now that I have finished The Lost Symbol.  Focus in all things is the key.

Well, thanks for letting me ramble.  It's off to get more coffee and do more work!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Strange Sort of Day, but not a Bad One

I woke up tired this morning... my guess is the fact that I went to bed late again last night.  I'm great if I get my 8 hours, but without it, not so good.  I wasn't that grumpy until Ladybug woke up in one of her moods and started the morning by yelling at everyone about everything.  I remained calm, did not yell, until she kicked me in the face.  Yep, that resulted in my spanking her and then leaving the room after I told her that I spanked her for kicking me in the face and that you do not kick your Mommy in the face.  I hate spanking her, but I know that was the sort of thing that putting her in time out wasn't going to get the take home message.

Eventually we got to school, everyone had calmed down. Ladybug told me over and over she loved me and she didn't want me to go.  When I started to leave she burst into a loud crying jag while her teacher tried to soothe her.  Angelfish on the other hand blew me kisses, wished me a Happy New Year (not sure why but they keep doing this) and went back to playing with her little buddies.  I just walked out of the room with Ladybug screaming.  Maybe I'm callous but when I have to go, I have to go and I know that she's crying like that in an attempt to play me like a fiddle.  It's not that I want to leave with her crying, I want her to be happy, but I know if I go back in there it's just going to perpetuate things.

So then it was back to work.  Lots of legislation to weed through. Random questions.  The usual.

At noon, I excitedly sauntered off to lunch with my friend Jen.  When I got there, she wasn't at the deli so I thought maybe I was supposed to meet her at her office, so I walked over.  No one was there.  I called her cell and left a message and wandered back to the deli and waited.  Eventually I ordered my sandwich - homemade foccaicia with low fat herbed cream cheese, sprouts, cucumbers and turkey. Absolutely delicious. Left her another voice mail message and then went back to work.  She called later and had been stuck in a meeting with a potential client that was supposed to last 1 hour and ended up lasting 2 hours.  C'est la vie.

Then more legislation.  It made me tired.  Very sleepy. And I wondered just how I was going to get my training in for the day because I had a sorority conference call at 4:30 and another one at 7 pm.  So I was hoping that the 4:30 call wouldn't last that long since they have only 2 chapters on that campus and we seem to recruit pretty well.  But we would have to see how that call went.  I had overheard at the deli Chris (the deli owner) and someone who works at the Y who said that Thursday evenings tend to be busy at the gym.  You'd think it would just be steady all week long wouldn't you?  Or is it only us tri/endurance athlete kinds that hit the swim/bike/run/gym 5-6 times a week?

My mind was everywhere.  And going through my legislation, I again was tickled by the peanut board legislation in Virginia.  This time I imagined the Planter's Peanuts guy sitting next to twin Peanut Guys, all in a row at the front of a room filled with farmers in plaid and with hoes and pitchforks.  I also wondered why there were so many involuntary committment and psychiatric treatment bills that were coming up in my search (I look for legislation dealing with corporate and tax law), and also whether there were that many people that these bills affected in the state.  Troubling. Most troubling.

I found out that I will be getting a bonus at work through a person who heard from another person in our main office, but the question is what amount it will be.  At this point, I am just so thrilled that I'm getting anything.  So that was good.

I got on my 1st sorority call and it went well.  The woman was very sweet, and the call was relatively short.  By 5:15 I was changing to go to the gym when Mr. Darcy called and we chatted and then I headed out.  I jumped on the stationary bike and did my 7 minutes of the warm up mode on the intermediate level.  Then I hit the machines.  Oh the difference some lunch makes. : )  I finished my 2 sets of my full retinue of weight machines and did my best not to laugh at some of the antics of my fellow weight lifters. 

One guy was on the rowing machine that works your back below your shoulder blades down into the small of your back (I'm tired, please forgive me because the name of the machine is not coming to me, which makes me laugh at myself).  He had the weight so low and was doing a large number of reps but he was doing them so fast that I heard "Row, Row, Row your boat" in my head but more like at a techno beat.  Slow and controlled it was not.

The next guy was on the chest press.  He was taking it super serious and looked like a guy really into his weights.  In between sets he'd rest and breathe and stretch out like he was pressing a super heavy weight and really maxing himself out.  And maybe he was... but when I finally got to use the machine he'd only been pressing 40, which is what I press when I'm not trying to max out.  I don't think he did the inverse pyramid thing because he never changed the weight the entire time I was waiting on him.  But who knows.  It was just an awful lot of drama for 3 sets at 40 pounds.  That's all I'm saying.

And then there was the guy behind the counter who I asked about the Tri Club meeting because I couldn't stay for it because of the 2nd sorority call for the night.  He was trying to be nice and I admittedly probably don't look like a triathlete to some people because I'm not a bean pole.  He asked what was it that interested me in trying to do a triathlon.  His eyes almost bugged out of his head when I said that I was just trying to see if there was a group close to home that I could join in with since I've already done several sprint tris, olympic tris, and a 70.3.  Yeah.  I actually loved that reaction... it's not like it's all that unbelievable... although I have to admit I probably didn't look all that intimidating in my yoga pants, long sleeve pink underarmor t-shirt, having barely broken a sweat, and still wearing makeup that I forgot to wash off before heading to the gym.

When I got home the little ladies and Mr. Darcy were at home setting up Mr. Darcy's new XBox 360.  Angelfish had the headphones on for the system and said "Daddy, you're going to be my hero!"  Ladybug went and put on her pajamas because she wanted to be cozy and then gave me lots of kisses.  We hung out for a bit and then for the 2nd conference call.  It went well - even if I thought that an Area Wide Training was going to be in Daytona instead of Orlando, but oh well.  I chalk it up to a need for dinner and some sleep.

Which is where I'm off to now.  I have one sorority conference call tomorrow at 4:30 and I may check out the yoga class at the Y at lunch time for my "stretching" day.  I am looking forward to this long weekend when I will relax, run 8 miles with the Princess 1/2 Marathon group that Coach has put together, go on a date with Mr. Darcy, and get to go shopping for some badly needed clothing using world points gift certificates and christmas money, and if time permits even get a manicure and a pedicure.  I wonder - does shopping count as cross training?  It will probably be emotional and involve a lot of walking and changing of clothes... if only I had Stacy and Clinton from "What Not to Wear" to go with me!

Okay... off I go for dinner, water and putting the kiddies to bed.  Really.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Give that Girl a Sandwich!

I woke up this morning feeling pretty good.  A little tired because I stayed up later than I should have last night reading The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown.  It's a page turner, what can I say?  I was a little surprised to feel as good as I did, quite honestly.  I thought surely I would have been a little sore from yesterday's run, but I'm not. YAY!

We got the kiddies ready for school, Mr. Darcy headed out and I corraled the little ladies through putting on their shoes, eating breakfast, and getting into the car.  Amazingly, they got themselves in the car nicely and put on their seat belts and everything while I went in to grab my coat.  When Mr. Darcy takes them to school, this is usually one of the hardest parts of the morning.  I bet once they get used to me taking them to school, they'll revert. 

Ladybug was wearing jeans, a spring light blue gingham dress with flower appliques, a cornflower blue long sleeve shirt that had a flower stitched on it, a turquoise necklace, pink socks (her favorite socks to wear are pink - every day of the week), and brown mary janes.  Mr. Darcy told her that the dress looked silly, but I defended her and said she liked it.  I didn't want wailing to ensue about her dress.  Whatever it takes to have her get dressed in a happy fashion is fine with me.  She's 3.  I'm pretty sure she'll begin to conform to standards of dress after awhile.... even if Angelfish already knows that you don't wear shirts and pants with dresses.  She informed me the other day that those things just don't go together.  Luckily she hasn't said much about it to Ladybug.  I can see a fight ensuing if she did.

Once we got to school, Ladybug decided to have a fit over the fact that I closed the car door instead of her doing it.  She stomped her little foot and demanded that I go back outside, open the car door, and then she would close it.  I stayed firm and did not discuss the issue with her other than to say no and tell her we were going to her classroom.  It worked for a change.  So that was nice.  In the classroom, she told me that she didn't want to go to school today and that she has days when she doesn't want to go to school.  I told her I understood because there are days I don't want to go to work, but we just have to do it anyway.  Then she asked me to tell her the story about the first day they ever went to daycare and how I cried all the way to work.  Not sure if she was trying to guilt trip me, but it didn't work.  Lots of kisses and hugs.  Angelfish decided she was "shy today" but told Ms. Marianne "I'm feeling shy today, but not for you." and then gave her a big hug and a huge smile.  That kid is super sweet.

Then it was work and a call at lunch time for sorority business, more work, and then the gym.  I still wasn't sure what I was going to do at the gym today until it was time to leave... would it be strength training or speedwork?

I decided I needed to do my speedwork, plus it was only a 40 minute workout in all.  Before I left, I double checked what it was that I needed to do.  And that's when I got a good chuckle at my own expense.  Know how last week I did 2 sets of 5 minutes?  It was supposed to be 5 sets of 2 minutes.  So I was an amazon woman!  This week, though, I was sticking to the schedule.  4 x 3minutes.  Off I went.  I ran the 10 minute warm up at a 12:14 minute pace taking it nice and easy.  Had that wierd pain with my ankle again so I stretched and rotated and started back running, and it was fine.  I felt a little tight so I decided to push myself but not beyond what I thought was a good idea.  The 1st 3 minute set, I did at 10:10 and that was a bit tough.  So, Idid the 2nd 3 minute set at 10:20.  Still a challenge but I wasn't feeling like falling off the treadmill.  As I was doing the 2 minute recovery walk, I thought this was a little harder than it should be.  I didn't think it was all the run from yesterday or even that I didn't get a lot of sleep last night.  And that's when it hit me - I forgot to eat lunch.  I had a cup of hot tea after my noon conference call and then forgot all about eating. Not sure how I forgot to eat, but I sure did.  And I didn't even drink any gatorade before the run because well, it was just a 40 minute run.  So I went and got some water and came back.  Next set, 10:20.  Then I decided I would do the last set at 10:10 again.  I had to tell myself that I was only doing 2 minutes at first and then once I got to the 2 minute mark, I told myself to go 15 more seconds and then another and then another until I was at the 3 minute mark, but it got done.  And cool down was definitely cool - I walked the cool down because well, I was at that point where you need food and you're light headed and your muscles are yelling at you.   

So after showering and changing and jumping in Mr. Darcy's car (filled with the little ladies - Mr. Darcy was intent on getting his XBox 360 with his Christmas Money and the $250 gift certificate we got from our rewards credit card -"free money" from points), it was all about food.

I bet it would have been better if I had eaten lunch - and I bet I would have been faster too. 

So I had a burrito (no rice though) with beans and chicken, salsa, and lots of lettuce for dinner.  About 1,000 calories right there.  You know your body is mad at you for not eating enough that day when about 20 minutes after you eat your hungry again.  So when we got home from the store around 8:30 (we ate at 6:45) and I was still hungry, I had a piece of bread with peanut butter and drank some water.  I think my stomach and I are friends again (not to mention my muscles  - they were all pretty tight and tired by the end of it all. : )

Tomorrow I'm guaranteed to have lunch - I'm meeting a friend.  Tomorrow is weight training.  And with proper eating and hydration, it's gonna be on!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Happiness is a 5 Mile Run

First, let's just say that getting myself out there to do the 5 mile run may have been the hardest part of the run.  It was on the schedule for Sunday and it didn't happen.  I'm having some issues with my endometriosis that I went to the doctor about on Monday and had an ultrasound today (of course it didn't show much of anything - I can't remember ever having one that actually showed my endometriosis unless I had giant endometrial cysts on my ovaries), and well I just didn't feel like exercising with pressure in my pelvis.

And then I felt guilty about it.  I want to do the Princess Half Marathon in March.  I'm all paid up, as are the girls for their kids run.  The off season was supposed to be about getting faster at running, and before I knew it, a calf strain and Mom's breast cancer surgery later, I'm sitting here thinking I need to get my butt in gear.  Coach has been patient as all get out, but both she and I know:  If you don't train for it you're not gonna do it.  So she told me do the 5 miles instead of cross training. 

Yesterday by the time I got a chance to even contemplate going for a run, it was getting dark, I was a bit in shock from the doctor saying it might be a good idea to remove my uterine lining without even seeing an ultrasound (I'm getting a 2nd opinion from my regular OB GYN, who is in the same practice, once they look at the ultrasound), having my mammogram, and knowing I had to go back for the ultrasound this morning.  So I did an hour of yoga and told myself that I would run the 5 miles today.  I really did need the yoga.  I was much calmer about everything afterwards.  But I still had that 5 miles hanging over my head.

And I held myself to it.  Coach emailed this morning and asked if I ran the 5 miles yesterday.  I told the truth, but she didn't email back.  I'm just hoping she was busy at work today and isn't too annoyed with me. Rightfully so, she gets annoyed when she's coaching you and you don't do what she tells you to do. 

But, I think I made up for it.  The run was supposed to be a 5 mile run at a pace that is 1-2 minutes slower than you want to run in the race.  I want to run a 10 minute mile pace (that is probably the fastest I will have ever run in my life... honest to goodness), so I figured I wanted somewhere between 11 minutes and 12 minutes per mile. 

I was nervous about running it.  I haven't run 5 miles straight in awhile.  It's been long enough that the loop I did in the neighborhood I was pretty sure was my 5 mile loop that I came up with last year, but I couldn't remember if it was the 5 mile or the 6 mile one while I was doing it.  Coach wanted me to do it running 5/1's.  As she put it to me, all we need is for you to hurt yourself between now and the race and you can kiss your finisher's medal good-bye.  And I am a girl who likes me a nice finishers medal.  It's all about the bling, dahling! Not to mention that Team in Training starts up February 1st.  Hello, St. Anthony's! 

Once I got myself out the door (in my under armour running pants - I didn't need them... should have gone with the running shorts after all.  I got pretty hot.), I focused on doing my 5/1's and realized I was going along at a decent clip and when I got to the point to turn for the last of the 5 miles, I realized I still felt pretty good and wasn't having aches, pains, etc.  I felt like I could have gone farther even.  I saw on the watch that my last running 5 was going to be close to put me at the door step to my house - the 5.0 miles exactly.  So I ran a little harder.  Not a lot harder, mind you, because I heard Coach's voice in my head that this was supposed to be a long "easy" run.  But a little bit harder.  And I finished in 58:12. That's just a smidge over an 11:38 minute per mile pace.  Not super fast, but pretty much right near what I was supposed to run it in. 

Oh yeah.  Happiness is a 5 Mile Run.  Let's just hope I can get my speed work done tomorrow... although I'm tempted to move the speedwork to Thursday and do my strength training tomorrow.  We'll just have to see what happens...

Friday, January 8, 2010

A New Thought

Today was a stretching day, and I usually do yoga on those days but Mr. Darcy asked me to take the girls to daycare this morning, I'm supposed to be having lunch with a new friend this afternoon (my idea), I have a 4:30 call with a chapter (which is right when I get off work), and we overslept because neither of us turned the alarm clock on last night.  So, I stretch I did - for the 20 minutes it takes Mr. Darcy to shower, shave, dress, etc. Started with the calves, then hamstrings, quads, lower back and abs, arms and upper back and repeat.

While I was stretching, I thought about the comment made yesterday - saying no to myself versus saying no to others. I think I have a problem with both.  Part of the problem in saying no to myself is tied to the problem of saying no to others.  People ask me to do something, it's something that I'm flattered to be asked to do, and I don't want to disappoint the other person, so I say yes, and even will pursue it.  But then there are these other things I want to do and instead of thinking about making sure I have time for it all - because I'm a bit of a perfectionist and refuse to do anything 1/2 way - I add those to the mix.  Then something gets added that I'm not thrilled with but say I'll give it a try and I get to a point where things are all coming together and my mind wants to explode.  I get agitated easier, I'm tired a good bit.  It lessens up a little because something gives and I think it's not so bad, really.  And I avoid the point I need to realize I need to say no - not just to myself but to others for myself.

While stretching, it dawned on me that when we send our Christmas cards out we typically get responses like "where do you find the time for it all?" And one year, "when do you sleep?"  I've always laughed at these in the past, but now I'm realizing slowing things down is a better idea.  I tried to look at all that I'm doing from the eyes of someone who isn't the one doing them... and I'd probably be worried about me because I'm always going with full cylinders blasting because that's the only way to get it all done.  (Little Sister calling me out for emailing someone while talking to her because it's the only way I can get everything done that "needs" to get done, made me realize that I multitask almost all day long.) At some point, those cylinders are going to freeze up because of all the wear and tear and lack of oiling, aren't they.

I've committed to some things so I will see those through for the promises already made to a variety of sources, including myself, but I am going to have to pare things down after those things commitments are fulfilled.  Knowing me, there will be Pro and Con lists involved, some sleepless nights, possibly a few tears after the lack of sleep sets in, and then a decision will be made.  I will have to teach myself temperance with my time so my engine gets to rest, batteries recharge, so I can motor on with a smile on my face living in the moment instead of always (and I do mean always) thinking about what I have to get done next.  It will be hard to learn to say no to myself and to others....especially when it is something that is exciting, new and fun.  But I must persevere.   I have a feeling that my happiness and my athletic performance depend on it.

If I'm less tired from the craziness, I bet I'll have more energy that will be able to dedicate itself to training while I'm training. Of course, there's the worry that I'll get bored... but I'll keep enough to keep me occupied.  Training is a chunk of time in itself, and that I definitely won't be stopping.  It's the other things I have to weigh in my mind.

Tomorrow or Sunday is a 5-6 mile run.  I had hoped to do this outside because it is sheer boredom for me to do that on a treadmill, especially since I'm supposed to run it at 1-2 minutes slower than I want to run on race day.  (I really want to do 10 minute miles on race day.)  An hour on a treadmill sounds horrendous to me. BUT, it's supposed to be 29 and "rainy" on Saturday.  I think that's really snow since it's below freezing, or it's sleet.  Either of which doesn't exactly call to me, "Come run!"  (For goodness sakes - this is FLORIDA!)I'll get it done - it's just a matter of where.  As usual, I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Good Advice from Little Sister

I realize that the title to today's blog entry may seem a little misleading.  I am and always have been an only child.  But, I'm a sorority girl.  Yep, a 34 year old sorority girl.  For me, I've been lucky enough to get sucked into the vortex of remaining active with my sorority as an adult.  And two of my closest friends in all the world are my Little Sister and my adopted Little Sister.  (I adopted the other Little Sister, who ironically is older than I am in years but not in years in the sorority, after her Big Sister graduated.)  We've been through it all and back again together.  They might as well have been my own flesh and blood because we're family.  I thank God for them everyday, especially since he took Angela a bit earlier than I was ready for. (She was not a sorority sister, but friend who became family like them.  You're not just friends with someone from the age of 12 on in a passive sort of way.)

Well, last night after a bit of a stressful day, I called Little Sister.  She has grown so wise it's amazing when I think back to the girl who first joined Alpha Xi Delta - cute as a button, smart, but nervous and a little bit shy and a little bit unsure of herself.  Who isn't at 18?  I used to be the one giving her good advice, but now she gives good advice to me!

I went through my littany of everything that stressed me out and wanted her to know that a comment I made on email about being stressed wasn't because of her or Adopted Little Sister (we planned our girls' weekend for the year).  And she said to me, "So, let me get this straight.  You have a full time job, 2 children, a husband, a household to run, you're having phone calls, emails and travel for Alpha Xi Delta, you have fundraising, mentoring, and training for Team in Training, you joined Junior League and with that have a time commitment to a team to develop a community program to teach life skills to underpriviledged kids, you're trying to train for a 1/2 marathon and triathlons, you're trying to lose weight, and you can't seem to figure out how to take better care of yourself.  Maybe, just maybe, do you think that you might have too much going on and maybe you should take some things off her plate?"  I laughed because she was right and at one point we had a similar conversation with Adopted Little Sister because she was stressing herself out with all the things she was doing too.  I told her that, and she said "Yep.  You two have the same personality."  I reminded her that she did too but that instead of it being extracurricular activities, it was with her family life.  She admitted it readily and said, "Yes, we all have that aspect of our personality that doesn't want to let anyone down.  We want everyone to be happy." And then she told me that she learned the key to controling that personality.  "Yes, but I learned how to say no to people."

I laughed again because when the truth hits me that hard in the face, that's what I do.  I laugh.  Some people cry, get upset.  I laugh.  But every word was true.  I have to acknowledge that I have 3 things that drive me beyond end in this life - I want to make a difference in the world. I want to be the best at "it" (whatever that "it" may be). And I want the people I care about to be happy.  But but not being able to say no, I take on too much and let my own happiness slip a bit and make myself just a little bit crazy and wear myself down physically to a certain extent.

So I have to learn to say No.  This morning, I told Mr. Darcy about the conversation I had with Little Sister last night.  I think he was amazed that Little Sister could get away with telling me something like that, right to my face and everything.  And probably even more so that I didn't just ignore it.  It's funny because your closest friends can tell you truth and you don't want to fillet them with ginsu knives, but your husband?  Not necessarily.  Of course, that might be because your closest friends do it in this way that is very "I'm worried about you because I hear you stressing yourself out and I want you to be happy." Husbands try to do that too, but somehow it comes across as telling you what to do - even though they don't mean it that way and mean it just the way your closest friends mean it.

Mr. Darcy chose to agree with it by making a joke, that I didn't even realize was a joke at first.  Mr. Darcy said, "Can you take the girls to daycare for me this morning?" I sat there actually considering whether I should say yes when I really wanted to get my strength training done this morning when I saw his lip twitch like he was trying not to smile.  So I said "no." Then he smiled, said "good job!" and gave me a kiss.

Yeah, so I have to learn to say no to people.  Easier said than done.  And in some situations, it can't be done until a few months from now.  But it could still happen... as long as I remember to just say no.

In my amusement during work today, I discovered that Virginia has a Peanut Advisory Board.  I know the peanut industry is a serious matter, but I couldn't help but think of 3 people advising someone "don't eat that one, eat this one!"  Other amusement is Ladybug's choice of clothing - a long bright yellow dress paired with dark blue jeans and a cream colored t-shirt that has some pink and purple flowers on it.  I really need to get some pictures of these fashion travesties!  Of course, Angelfish opted for a red t-shirt that has cream sleeves (made to look like you're wearing 2 shirts) that says "snow bunny" with a picture of a bunny and purple leggings.  The 3 year-old fashion world has been turned on it's head!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Realizations on Food and Treadmills

Last night, I made the realization that Phase 1 of the South Beach Diet could not really work when I'm running and working out like I am.  It was already kind of bothering me that I would be 1,000+ calories below what Daily Plate suggested I eat - especially when I have Daily Plate set up to lose 1.5 pounds each week.  But when I was leaving daycare and I went to (physically) pick Angelfish up and I got a wee bit light headed. I realized that that headache I had for the 2nd day in a row was probably due to lack of food.  So for dinner we had soup and meat.  The girls had chicken noodle soup (with Dora character shaped noodles) and I had a hearty chicken gumbo (the girls don't do spicy).  We also had some deli chicken meat (they didn't want a sandwich, just meat - 3 1/2 year olds are funny).  Amazingly, my headache went away.  And when I got hungry at 9, I ate again... healthily though.

I decided that perhaps I'd try out Phase 2 with a little extra volume of food.  Oatmeal for breakfast before the run this morning was a good idea.  I didn't feel woozy at the end of it like I felt at the end of yesterday's spin class. As Coach (who restrained from calling me because - as she said in her email this morning when I told her I changed my mind - she was waiting to see if I figured it out on my own) said, those sorts of diets aren't intended for endurance athletes.

Anyone know of a good plan for losing weight while training?  I know that sounds silly because for most people, the weight falls off.  For me, my PCOS makes it a battle and a half.  Thus, the Daily Plate being at 1.5 pounds per week because I figure if I follow it, I might just get a pound off.  I'm probably the only person you know who can honestly say that she ate very healthily while training for a 70.3 Ironman and only lost 2 pounds. Yup.  This is part of the accepting my body for what it is goal for the year.  I figure if I do all I can, then I know that I am what I am.  Of course, maybe that's too much pressure.  Still reading The Art of Happiness, so my mindset is not quite 100% there yet. 

This morning's run was a good one.  It was cold.  The coldest morning yet - 28 degrees with a windchill that made in feel like it was 21 degrees. So I hit the gym.  I think that it was good that I used the treadmill.  I just heard you who know my distain for the treadmill gasping!  Yep, I found a use for the treadmill that I liked! 

Speed work is great on the treadmill because it makes me keep going faster when I would probably get slower if I were on the road because it's getting harder. A 10 minute warm up (12:30 pace for the 1st 5 minutes and 12:00 pace for the 2nd 5 minutes), 5 minutes hard (I did a 10:00 pace, which is hard for me but as I realized today it may be more mental than physical). After a 2 minute recovery walk (during which I got a drink of water and then walked at a 15:00 pace for the 2nd minute), another 5 minutes hard (this time at a 9:50 pace).  I had to tell myself that I could do it over and over and count down the minutes, but I was able to do it.  All because of the treadmill because unless I wussed out and pushed the button, I had to keep up with the treadmill or make a complete fool of myself as I flew off of the back of the treadmill.  Counting the time down helped.  Then a 10 minute cool down - I walked 2 minutes at a 15 minute pace and then did a 12:00 pace for 3 minutes and then 12:30 pace for the last 5 minutes of cool down.  I was sweating hard and red in the face, and it was great!

Tommorrow is strength training, so it will be back to the gym again!  Now I'm off to have lunch with the happy knowledge that my 2 conference calls are done for the day! Whoo Hoo!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Starting on those Resolutions

I know, I really started them yesterday.  But today I jumped on a few more - like accidentally finding the prescription for my crestor in the house after I called both the pharmacy and the doctor's office to get a new one.  I fixed it by calling them both back.  And I took my crestor after about 4 days of missing it.  I won't be missing anymore thank you very much and my heart and veins are happier for it.

I also emailed a contact at the American Cancer Society about any ideas for getting involved in a volunteer lobbying type position since nonprofits aren't hiring.  He was super nice and gave me some ideas.  Perhaps I'll discover if that's where I'm supposed to be this year.

Then I called my insurance carrier.  I had called my OB-GYN the other day about getting a mammogram and they told me that they wanted me to talk to my insurance before they arranged for it because women who were getting mammograms for family history reasons were getting denied coverage.  So I called Aetna.  And sure enough, even though my mother had her entire right breast removed, that's not a medical event for me and thus it is a "medically unnecessary" screening that would not be covered.  The only way the screening would be covered until I reach the age of 40 is if I actually have a lump in my breast.  Ironically, my mother's cancer wasn't able to be felt in either her routine examination or in the physical exam in her doctor's office.  But no, the insurance companies knows best. 

I was not about to give up.  No sir.  My goals included a mammogram, so by golly, I'd find a way.  I called the OB-GYN back and got the phone number for the radiology location they would send me to, explained the situation to the radiology group and they put me through to billing.  I was told that if I paid in full the day of the mammogram, it would be $173.  If I opted for a payment plan it would be $85 down and a total of $347.  They take credit cards.  So, Mr. Darcy and I decided that for $173, it was worth it for the scan which both my OB-GYN and my mother's oncologist and surgeon said was a good idea.  This coming Monday afternoon, I'll be enduring the mammogram (affectionately referred to by a friend's Mom as the "booby squish").  I expect it will be just fine, but no need to take chances.

In other news, Mom called and said that her oncologist told her that she does not have to do any chemo or radiology or shots or other treatments because they got it out before it had penetrated the wall of the duct and her lymph node biopsy was clear.  If it had penetrated the duct, she would have had to go with chemo.  Turns out that they couldnt' give her the pills for hormone treatment because my Mom had leg throboses when she was pregnant with me (way back in the day), but the doctor said she didn't really need them anyway because since she had a full mastectomy on the right, there's a 0% chance of return on the right and a little less than 12% chance of recurrence in the left.  So she is considered 100% cancer free today!  YAY!!!

As for my training, I couldn't pull my booty out of bed this morning.  Mr. Darcy had trouble sleeping and left the bed so as to not disturb me, but I ended up not being able to sleep well because he wasn't in the bed.  Plus it was cold for Florida.  LOW 30's.  But, I stuck to the plan - which was to get on the bike and do a medium to hard ride for 60 minutes.  It wasn't out on the road or on the trainer, but I went to the Y and did a 15 minute warm up with good resistance on the spin bikes (this one had aero bars so I spent 3/4 of the time in aero) and then did a 45 minute spin class.  Spin class is hard.  Getting out on the road seems easier to me, but then I don't have someone yelling at me to change into a harder gear every 15-20 seconds and then make me sprint in a super hard gear and tell the class we need to pedal harder.  I was pouring with sweat, but liked it.  Jumping from position to position while keeping your resistance high and focusing on not bouncing but pushing and pulling with your legs seems harder than getting in aero (which is sort of like position 4, except your standing in position 4) and staying there.  I was so hot that I walked 1/2 a block to my car in 43 degree weather in my bike shorts and t-shirt and only got cold when I hit the shade right next to the car.  I even steamed up the windshield a little.  Not to mention that in that 45 minutes I drank 20 oz of water.

Tomorrow is a little bit of running speed work, which I'm actually looking forward to...I'm going to try to be brave enough to run outside in the morning, but if I wuss out it will be on the treadmill instead.

And I'm proud of Mr. Darcy - he did some weight training at the gym last night on the way home from work.  I am hoping some cardio will work its way in there, which he says it will, but it's a great start.  He even said he might be interested in doing an evening spin class with me. : )

Oh and I even started re-reading the Dalai Lama's book The Art of Happiness yesterday evening.  And I'm officially on Day 2 of Phase 1 of South Beach, and only slightly concerned that after entering all I plan to eat today The Daily Plate food tracker says I can eat 1,009 more calories.  Of course, a little more than 500 of that came from their calculation of calories expended during my workout.  (I almost expect a phone call from my Coach within minutes of publishing post.)  But after adding back the weight I lost during the first part of the recovery season and then a couple of pounds  - from stress eating during the holidays, I have to do something and South Beach worked really well for me in the past.

Has anyone heard of Clean Eating?  I've seen it on some blogs and a friend is giving it a try.  I looked at the website and it looks like it's just eating less refined foods.  Anyone know more about it?

It's 2010 and I'm on the case!

Monday, January 4, 2010

I Return

Happy New Year everyone!  I am returning to a few things today: work, blogging, training, and taking better care of myself on a multitude of levels. (warning - it's a bit of a long one!)

Where I've Been
On vacation with the family.  Mr. Darcy was able to take the Monday and Tuesday after Christmas off and they closed their office early on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.  The week before Christmas was full of getting things together and finishing up Christmas preparations.  The week after was kind of like a recovery week, but not from a physical event.  We lounged around from Christmas Day until I couldn't take it anymore and melted down from being stir crazy and not doing anything but cook, clean, and sit around on Tuesday.  I had the meltdown late enough in the day that we didn't get to do anything but errands.  But that was okay.  A few errands made me a happy girl.  We also took the girls to see "The Princess and the Frog," which was a great movie.  Of course, when we were playing with some green tree frogs we found this weekend at Senior Darcy's house we had to remind them that you don't kiss a frog unless it talks, dances and sings.  (And I joked that was how I found their Daddy.  They thought that was pretty funny.)

I had a lot of fun playing with the girls.  Ladybug did my hair a few times, with results that were quite amusing.  One of the best things though was Angelfish waking us up on Christmas morning.  "Hey guys, I have something to tell you." Me: "What's that?"  Angelfish: "Santa brought me a motorcycle."  Me: "He did?!"  Angelfish: "Yeah, it's because I was really good this year."  And then later Ladybug telling us that "Santa must have been all out of airplanes by the time he got to our house." Me: "Why is that?"  Ladybug: "Because he didn't bring me one.  But I like the motorcycle he brought."  Me: "Did you ask Santa for an airplane?"  Ladybug: "No.  I thought he'd just know."  But she was happy all the same.

Another favorite was when Ladybug found a picture of her class and started talking to it and telling her friends that she missed them.  Angelfish told her that they weren't there, it was just a picture.  Ladybug said, "I know.  I just wanted to talk to them."  Or when Angelfish told me after I gave her a kiss that "I like your kisses all day long, Mommy."

On New Year's Day, I woke Mr. Darcy up and told him that we needed to start the New Year off right.  A few minutes later, I came back and told him we were going to be "wild and adventurous" in the New Year.  The girls were in on it too and told him, "Yeah, we're going to the zoo!"  So eventually we got ourselves to the Brevard Zoo.  It was rainy and cold, but we had a really good time and the girls loved getting to feed a deer.  We had to explain that it was a deer and not a reindeer though because Angelfish kept saying how much she loved the reindeer.  We saw a variety of monkeys, birds, alligators and crocodiles, tapirs, rhinoceroses and a cheetah before it got too cold and we had to head back to the car.  Then we made an impromptu visit to Mr. Darcy's parents.  We were on I-95 anyway... the girls took a nice 2 1/2 hour nap and were happy campers for their grandparents while we ate the traditional collard greens and black eyed peas so we'll get lots of "cash money" this year.  It was nice to do something completely unplanned - even if none of us had pajamas, toothbrushes, etc.  We made it work nicely and had a great time!

Yesterday, we sort of lounged around and then put together the grocery list and the new table and chairs we got for the girls' play room... and then rearranged the playroom and cleaned and organized it. Then it was grocery shopping and dinner.  Time flew by amazingly fast yesterday.

Where I'm going.
So with the New Year come New Thoughts.  Or just acknowledgements of the thoughts you already had with a willingness to do something about them.

You know it's time to turn over a new leaf when even your New Year's horoscope says that the past few years have been rough ones and you've done a lot of taking care of others and that for 2010 to be a good one, you need to learn to take care of yourself just as well as you take care of others.  The irony of the statement was that a few days before I decided that my new year's goals were to take better care of myself: emotionally, physically, and spiritually.

I once taught a course with a component just about goal setting.  So I know that you can't just say I'm going to take better care of myself.  I must be specific.  So here I go:

I am going to take better care of myself physically by:
1. putting myself before "others" by making sure I take the time to bathe, brush and floss, and eat healthily and in a relaxed manner on a daily basis. I know it's gross but sometimes to get things done for the house or the kids, I skip it.
2. leaving each morning at 7 am to do my training (no more skipping or half-butting it because I hung around to help get lilliputians in the car when Mr. Darcy says he's got it)
3. pushing myself harder (but still listening to my body) when training;
3. taking my medications and going to my doctors appointments;
4. having a mammogram (even if I have to save up for it in case the insurance company doesn't pay for it since I'm only 34... my Mom had a mastectomy.  I need a mammogram.)
5. Cutting out soda, sugars, and as much refined foods as possible.  That's not to say that I won't have any soda or sweets again ever... that would be lunacy because every once in awhile you should have a treat.  It's just to say that I'll be doing without them on a regular basis.

I am going to take better care of myself emotionally by:
1. working on being happy with where I am in life as well as finding the path that I feel I need to be on instead of dwelling on the ideas of "things could be better if...";
2. accepting that my body is what it is and that short of elective surgery there is not much more I can do;
3. dressing each day like I would if I were going into an office or out with friends, make up and hair done.  I feel better when I feel like I look good.
4. buying clothes that look good on me now - slowly over time without breaking the bank of course - not how I'd like to see myself; and trying to get over the size number on the clothing.
5. having fun with my husband and my children instead of always thinking about all the things that "must" get done.
6. reading books for fun again.
7. loving myself as much as I love the other people in my life and realizing that without me putting myself first I can't take care of my lovies the best that I can.

I am going to take better care of myself spiritually by:
1. reading the Bible more.  I'd like to say daily, but for now I'll say weekly (other than while in church).
2. attending church more often.  It's 1/2 an hour away, but it's important enough to make the drive.
3. raising more money for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society through Team in Training for cancer research.
4. re-reading the Dalai Lama's Book The Art of Happiness
5. getting more involved in the community, hopefully through Junior League or other ways.

Now, I know that this seems like an awful lot and when it comes to goal setting, the rule is to not focus on more than 3 things at a time.  The good news is that I'm already doing or in the process of doing alot of this.  And the reality is that there really are only 3 things: care of physical, emotional, and spiritual.  It's the implementation that gets a little more complex, but that's how it is with goals - especially with long term goals like these.

And you know what?  I'm pretty sure that it's going to work out nicely and 2010 and the coming years are going to be good ones. 

I already started by running 3 miles on the treadmill this morning at an 11:06 pace for all 3 miles, which is good for me - especially after the lack of training during the month of December.  The day of my Mom's surgery is the last time I remember really having a true workout - and I ran 2.1 miles in 20 minutes because my Dad asked me not to go too far because he was worried about the foggy weather and traffic.  I felt like I had run super hard.  Then I did yoga for about 30 minutes.  Not much else has happened since.

So this year, I'm returning to a lot of things: blogging, training and myself.