31 July 2014

Race Recap: Matthew 25 5K

This is the first race that I've done 2 years in a row. It felt different, even though it was the exact same course. I have made a running buddy in the past few months, and I convinced her to do this one with me. I told her about my success last year, since it's such a small race, so we were both out to win! (We're in different age groups, thankfully.)

Running the same course 2 years in a row is actually really nice since I could compare my time against the exact same thing and see improvement.

The weather was great (actually a bit cold, even though it's July), and I felt like I got a decent warm-up in. We were waiting at the line for probably less than 2 minutes before the horn went off for the start. No fanfare, just start. Even though it was shoe-chipped, it's such a small race that there's no chip time vs. gun time kinda thing. So it was very good that my friend and I basically had our toes on the starting line.

I know that my friend is faster than me (we do longer distances together where we just chat and take it slow). My goal was to try to keep up with her, or at least keep her in my line of sight. We stayed together for about the first three-quarters of a mile, and then she took her lead. Around the one-mile mark, I tried to look at my watch, but it had failed to start. Ah, well.
Right when I lost her. Those are my blue shoes and the top of my head behind her.
Around the half-way point, I realized I wasn't feeling so good, with some uh...bathroom issues going on. (I'm not going to delve any further into this one.) I just tried to chug along as best I could, willing myself to go faster if anyone passed me. I got passed a lot because I obviously started out way too fast. I had my headphones in and tried my best to let the music motivate me.

The good news is that I shave a minute off my time from this course last year!

My final time was 27:12 (last year's time was 28:17)

Unlike last year, however, I did not win my age group. But I came in 2nd!!

Here's a not-so-great pic of me receiving my trophy
There were 5 ladies in my age group, and once I saw the 1st-placer get her trophy, I remembered her passing me in the third mile. I tried to keep up, but she ended up beating me by 13 seconds. I came in 24th overall, out of 113.

Aside from my race, the best part of the day was that my running buddy WON the race! Top Female Finisher! She got a much cooler trophy that a local metalworker/artist made. It was super heavy!

Doing a race with a friend was great! I hope to do some more with her again, but maybe I'll just not try so hard to keep up in the beginning.

25 July 2014

7 Quick Takes From the Lake

Actually being hosted at Svellerella this week, and I don't think you'll be disappointed by taking a gander at that lovely blog.

We're at the lake right now!* Hooray! (I just got the Blogger app and am giving mobile blogging a whirl. Any suggestions for apps very welcome because I'm having a hard time with pictures on this one.)

*Okay, actually I had SO much problems with four (four!) different blogging apps that I am now back home with an actual computer finishing this post up. APP SUGGESTIONS MANDATORY.

Oh, and then I'm going to the Brickyard 400 in Indy on Sunday (weather permitting, I suppose). My first car race! Ear plugs have been bought.

Hey, did you know that it's NFP Awareness Week?

In case you didn't know, I've never taken any form of birth control, and I learned Natural Family Planning (NFP) during our engagement. I learned all about my fertility and my cycle, and we have used that knowledge to both avoid and attain pregnancy. Knowing all of this stuff about when I ovulate and how my body shows signs of that has been so powerful. It makes me mad that I didn't learn this stuff in 7th grade health class.

There have been a lot of great NFP Awareness week posts, and I haven't read most of them. However, I did read this one by Kendra and it struck a chord with me. We are currently trying to have another baby, and it has been much slower-going this time around.

Speaking of being at the lake, I caught this little guy today.

I've only been fishing like 3 times in my entire life, so I was excited.

The other day, I posted this picture and explanation on Facebook:
Okay mommy (and daddy) friends: we need advice. Every time we put her down for nap or night, even when she's dog-tired, she spends at least an hour destroying the place and climbing up the window. At least she found the bed again today; we usually have to move her from the floor. I really don't want to put the front rail back on. This has been going on for weeks now. What to do?

We got some really great responses, but all we have really done so far is remove all the clothes from the dresser, and the glider and ottoman have been moved out. (The glider was actually becoming a safety hazard because she pulled it over one night and was sitting on top of the over-turned chair when I checked on her. Yikes!)

I'm very open to more suggestions and we'll come up with a plan to start implementing next week. Yes, the bookshelf is built-in. Yes, we have a consistent bedtime and naptime routine (the same routine, both times). Yes, she has a consistent bedtime. Yes, she will be getting a twin bed soon, but probably not for another few weeks.

I got to cross something off my running bucket list the other day. I showed up for the weekly pub run at the running store, and they were doing a prediction run! That means you predict your time, and the closest to it wins! [No watches, no phones, no music allowed.] You can win the whole thing without having to be fast!
I yanked this from the store's FB account; this is from a pub run I went to back in June.
I'm to the right of the girl in the yellow headband.
Well, I didn't win. I actually finished a good 30 seconds under my prediction. The winners finished closer to 2 seconds off theirs. But it was a lot of fun! And we got free sandwiches afterward, so I was a happy girl.

I'm in an awesome book club here in Fort Wayne, but July kinda snuck up on us, so we had craft night instead. It was great!

We all sewed these grocery bag holders (with a machine that someone brought), and I'm so proud of mine.
Isn't she pretty?

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

15 July 2014

I Pick Things Up and Put Them Down

After over a year of just messing around with weights in the gym with no real focus, I have started a lifting program!

I had been wanting to do one for a while, after B said I had "eff-around-itis" when it comes to the weight room (although he used a much less-PC term). So I finally kicked my butt into gear. I wanted one designed for women, so I got the book New Rules of Lifting for Women by Lou Schuler, and read it cover-to-cover before doing anything.
Did I get this from the public library? Mayyyybeeee
I started day 1 and screwed myself over (started too heavy, crazy DOMS), so I decided to wait until after our vacation was over and start again. I did Day 1 last Wednesday, and I have been sticking with it.

So far, I'm really liking this program. It's a 6-month program with different stages and a Workout A and Workout B in each stage. I like variety! There's also a good variety in the workouts themselves--barbells, cable stations, dumbbells, and even the Swiss ball. You have to keep a workout log each time you go to the gym, and now I have them in a handy-dandy binder for reference.

Here was my starting point from each of the first 2 workouts:
Squat: 24-lb body bar
Deadlift: 40 lbs

Seated row: #5 (I think it's 25 lbs?)
Lat pulldown: #5 (25 again?)

Step-up: 10lb dumbbell (20 lbs total)
Shoulder press: 10lb dumbbell (20lbs total)
Lunge: 10lb dumbbell (20lbs total)

Yes, the weights are LOW (for me, I have actually done much higher just doing a few reps), but that's how it is designed. The first few workouts are high reps at lower weights, then you gradually move the opposite direction for higher weights and lower reps.

I'm excited about this. After 3 workouts, I already feel stronger and more confident. Sometimes just having a clear sense of direction can do that for me. Since you're wondering, yes, I am still running! I have a 5K this weekend, actually. Stage 2 of this weight program starts including cardio interval training, and I'm definitely hoping that will help my 5K times.

Any other lifters out there? I'd love to hear if you ever did a set program like this!

10 July 2014

2014 Resolutions Check-In

We're past the halfway point of the year. Hooray?! Again, I'm not one to think that time is passing too quickly/slowly, so insert your own comment here.

Here is an update on my resolution list 2014, and relevant comments:

1. Organize the basement. Make it functional. Make it awesome.
Not quite awesome yet, but it is functional now!

Here are some before pics. This place was a mess!

And now for some after:
Still need to do something or get rid of the blinds on the right

Decided to set up the table instead of letting it fall on someone.
I still have a few things to do down there, like get some pictures up on the wall. Buy a new shelf for games and books. So far, so good, though.

2. Start a toy rotation for Cora. Maybe once a month swap stuff out.
Being doing this on and off. We have 3 sets of toys, and a reminder in my phone goes off during her nap every other Monday. Sometimes I ignore it. The truth is that she mostly plays with the stuff we leave out all the time (toy kitchen and tea set, Lego duplos, books from the library). But when I change stuff out, she notices eventually. I should probably just sell/donate at least half of it at this point.
The other toys in a corner of the basement. She does like to play with them when she's down there!
Also, the fish painting will be going on the wall.
3. Re-start Weekly Family Meetings!
Ugh, we were doing so well until recently. B joined a sports league that has games on Mondays, which was our meeting night. We just moved them to Wednesdays, but sometimes I go to a running club that night. We do like to do it while we give Cora a bath. All of us in the bathroom together. And Cora loves us reading from her kids' bible.

I just started a weekly chore chart now that B is home with me, so maybe we should just move it to Sunday night so we revise our chart as part of the meeting?

4. Potty train Cora. Goal is to be daytime-trained around age 2, no later than 27 months. 
She's now in undies all day except for naps and night (started right around 27 months!). But this child is a holder and refuses to use a public toilet. It was really bad on vacation--once or twice she held it for more than 12 hours. She often goes only twice a day and then in a diaper at night. She is self-initiating, though (finally!), so I'm gonna go ahead and say she is day-time trained!

5. Use time outs for Cora. She still doesn't quite understand it and won't sit in the chair.
Still working on this. She knows what it is and talks about it and sometimes puts herself in time-out for no reason. But when we give an actual timeout? I have to hold her down sometimes. And then she laughs. And then she kicks the wall. Then she laughs some more. I don't think she gets it. Anyone have tips for this? Should I use the high chair and face it toward the wall? Or is she too old for that?

6. Conquer Cora's picky eating.
We've had a few small short-lived breakthroughs, but we definitely can see that only serving her what's on the table is our best shot at this. Now we just need to follow through with it. She eats oatmeal and drinks milk at breakfast, and I like that but not her other meals. I just don't even know with this. I have to bring food to restaurants because she literally will not eat anything on the menu, not even your typical 'toddler food' like mac & cheese or hot dogs.
We went to Waffle House on our vacation, and all she ate was ketchup. (And yes, she just scrapes it off of whatever you put it on. No trickery gets by her.) She drank her milk, though.
7. Get new passport. This has been on my long to-do list for a while.
Has not happened. I currently cannot leave the country. Time to get the wheels a-movin'.

8. Make a home management binder. 
I've started a file on my computer, and as of now it has less than 10 documents in it (including blank chore chart, blank menu plan, doctor info, etc.). It's a start!

9. Keep up with the budget on YNAB. And in effect, tithe more.
I don't reconcile accounts as much as I should, but I'm doing quite well with this. I wish I could get my husband on-board with using the app and inputting purchases right after he makes them, but he won't do it. I do about 80% of the shopping, and he knows to give me receipts, so we're making it work. As for the second part, we have been tithing about 20% more this year. We're still tithing even through this period of unemployment, thanks to YNAB's way of budgeting for a month ahead.

10. Read 7 books. And actually finish them. I was really bad in 2013 in regards to reading about 80% of a book and then not finishing it. It kinda drives me nuts when I think about it. (Most of the books are back on the library shelves, so it's not like I'll be finishing them tonight.)
  1. Unplanned by Abby Johnson
  2. Pope Awesome by Cari Donaldson
  3. Girl At the End of the World by Elizabeth Esther
  4. Strange Gods by Elizabeth Scalia
  5. Something Other Than God by Jennifer Fulwiler
  6. New Rules of Lifting for Women by Lou Schuler (my first textbook-style read this year, and it went pretty quickly)
  7. Saint John Paul the Great: His Five Loves by Jason Evert
Joining a book club has definitely helped with this one, so I'm upping my goal to 12 now.

11. Learn 5 new dinner recipes.
  1. Sweet & Sour Meatballs in the crockpot (we love these!)
  2. ATK Cooking School Hearty Vegetable Lasagna (this was a "labor of love" and was way too involved)
  3. Gouda/Cheddar Mac n' Cheese (from Betty Crocker)
Shredding the cheese for the best macaroni ever
B has been learning some recipes from our ATK Cooking School book, too. I hope he makes the pasta with the fried egg on it again. Yum!

12. Get pregnant. (!!) And pray I don't have another miscarriage, will ya? Because that sucked.
I gave blood back on June 3rd, and you cannot do that while pregnant. I also drank way too much at a wedding on July 5th. You do the math.

13. Make 2 friends in this town. Like, actual friends that give me their phone numbers and call me to hang out.
I haz a running buddy! And went to the zoo with a different friend and her kids. (She invited us!) I have also brought meals to 2 friends who had babies. Feels good, man.

14. Run 2 races. Setting the bar low because I'm not sure how much I'll be able do if #12 happens (see: bad knee).
Ditched the knee brace this spring, and I've already done 3!
  1. 5-Kilt
  2. Frontier Run n' Fun
  3. Nun Run

I just signed up for another one in July (and will hopefully be there with aforementioned running buddy!) and will be doing the one our church puts on in August.

Overall, I'd say it's good progress with my resolutions! Some of the Cora ones are slow-going, but when you think about it, I made goals for her, but I can't control everything about her so we can only expect so much here.