Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Reflections on 2013

I am writing this from my phone as I have a little peanut hanging out in my arms having herself a little snack, but I wanted to make sure I wrote today and I had a chance to reflect on 2013 before it was over. Today is about reflect, tomorrow will be about new goals (which I still need to figure out).

In January, I was pregnant with lil Miss A and we had just told out families over the holiday. I was anxious about it, but was also ready to take on this new challenge but determined to make sure I got in all of those things I wanted to do before baby. J got a promotion/new role at work.

I went to running group, I registered for races. I ran in the freezing cold and snow with my friends. We got though the audit at work. I accomplished my pieces of that very successfully and considered my goal met on a professional level for that. Spring started to sneak up on us. 

I was physically growing, Teek turned 3, J was getting more and more busy in his new job. I unsuccessfully attempted to run the Glass City half at 25 weeks (probably more of a mental block than a physical one), and two weeks later fell and broke my elbow. 

I underwent a surgical repair (while awake because they couldn't put me under while I was pregnant) and spent the next several months in physical therapy. I had my baby showers. Zeus turned 2 and I turned 30 with little fanfare. My youngest brother visited us and he and J attended a few baseball games.

Addie was born and my world and priorities changed dramatically. We visited Kansas City and Boston. I ran a half marathon on pretty much zero training and Addie was baptized. We had out first Christmas with Addie. And now we are getting ready to turn over the year together.

It has been one hell of a year, and I hope next year is bigger and better!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Weekly Workouts: Week of December 23

I want to apologize for the unintended hiatus from writing, I have not even touched my laptop since last Monday! I guess in some ways, that is a good thing, because the holidays are all about family time, right?

I still want to get back in the habit this week of regular writing, so I am going to review my workouts for the week as usual! Let's just say that last week did NOT go as planned, but in some ways, I suppose that is to be expected with the holiday and all, but as you will see, that's not all...

Monday: Speedwork - treadmill. 4.5 total miles
Tuesday: travel day
Wednesday: Holiday
Thursday: sick
Friday: sick
Saturday: sick
Sunday: a little bit of walking (mostly around target, kroger, and Trader Joe's)

Yeah...  So last week was kind of a lost week. So that pretty much stinks. I ended up sick on Christmas night. I woke up with stomach pains and hacking and ending up throwing up, which NO ONE likes to do. Naturally, I panicked about Addie, but did some research and read that I need to keep feeding her, as normal. So I guess that is all I can do.

I am starting to feel back to normal, finally, today/yesterday, and so I am hoping that this week I can log some miles, even if I am not up to speed!

But for now, here is a pic of the little one on Christmas morning at Grandma's house!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Weekly Workouts: Week of December 16

Last week was the first full week that I had the Runcoach program that I received a discount on because I am a member of team Oiselle.
I already knew that this was a program that I liked, as Karen and I used it a year ago when we were training for the Columbus Marathon. And Karen purchased a year membership after that, so she was quite encouraging that it was worth it after some major PRs from her. So that was the plan I have decided to use when training for the Owens Corning Half Marathon (part of the Medical Mutual Glass City Marathon).
Using this made me feel good about having a plan for the week. I have kind of just been winging it, which is not necessarily the most productive way to train. I do not "officially" start training for my goal race until around February 1, but the stronger I feel going into it, the easier it should be for me. Here are the workouts I did last week.

Monday: Speedwork. 3.5 total miles. warm up. 2 sets of 3x300m (@7:08) w/100m recovery, 400m. cooldown.
Tuesday: walking. 2.25 miles in 45 minutes. Nice, relaxing walk with my dog.
Wednesday: 4 maintenance miles at 9:22
Thursday: rest day
Friday: Tempo/Threshhold run. Warm up, 3x 1mile (@8:27) with 1:00 recovery, cooldown.
Saturday: 5 miles at 9:22 pace.
Sunday: rest day

Total mileage: 19.75

Overall, it was a great week of workouts. I am hopeful that this week, despite it being the holiday, is just as good!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

A Sunday List

Now that it is Sunday, I want to just fill you in on some things that I am thinking about. Things around here are pretty busy, and I am happy about that, and I got a good amount of work done today, which should eliminate my need to go in to work tomorrow, which I am very happy about. I am scheduled off tomorrow, but because Friday was so hectic, I did not get as many things done as I wanted to accomplish. So here are the things on my mind today.

  1. I got some work done today that I had figured I would need to get done tomorrow. I am relieved that I got it done today because now I think I am just going to log in to email for a little while tomorrow rather than actually needing to go into the office.
  2. Christmas is only like 3 days away. It is December 22 today. I am a little freaked out that maybe I don't have everything done that I need to get done. But I am reminding myself that I have all day tomorrow to accomplish anything else that needs to get done. I SHOULD manage.
  3. We are leaving early Tuesday to head up to Toledo for Christmas. I am wondering how much longer we will be doing that now that we have Miss A and having Christmas in Toledo will likely become more and more difficult as she gets older/bigger.
  4. I accomplished all the runs that I wanted to get in this week. I will do a full rundown of my workouts tomorrow in between errands and gift wrapping.
  5. It is currently naptime at our house. Teek and Addie are both asleep right near me. They are pretty adorable.
  6. Addie is also adorable when she is smiling.
How is your Sunday?

Friday, December 20, 2013

Going on a Date/Clean House

Well, it is my last day in the office before the holiday. I may or may not swing through on Monday depending on what is going on, but in general I plan to use that day without Addie to clean, finish wrapping gifts, and get ready for our trip up to T-Town the next morning. J will be at work as well, so I will have the house to myself. I am looking forward to some interrupted time to get a lot of things done! (Cross your fingers that this actually happens!)

Tomorrow J and I are planning on seeing a movie in the afternoon, which I am pretty excited about, but we actually need to do some cleaning at home before we go. His mom is babysitting, and if our house is a disaster (it pretty much is right now) she will clean it, and then I will not be able to find things! I hate that.

Sorry, I am complaining about someone trying to help me. It is just that it can be a little bit embarrassing to have someone come to your house and feel the need to clean it, you know?  I do feel a little bit more comfortable when it is my mom than when it is his though, which I would imagine is pretty normal.

So... plan for tomorrow is to go an see a matinee of Anchorman 2 (at 1:10 pm). It is a 2 hour movie, so after that we thinking we are going to grab a bite to eat, a late lunch/early dinner, so we can enjoy that time at a restaurant without Addie. Following some food, we may or may not go to Lowe's to look at washer/dryers. We are planning on using our bonus payments this year to buy those. Although I am sure that I will miss her, I always do. It almost seems ridiculous/crazy how much I miss that peanut when I am away from her for a few hours. It is usually a little bit better when she is at school and I am at work, but I definitely am missing her right now!

Anyone have any big "Last Weekend Before Christmas" plans?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Being a Positive Role Model

So I am working hard to be on the workout train this week. I struggled quite a bit with it last week (and also the week before. So lame) and spent the majority of my time feeling guilty that I was not logging miles, lifting heavy stuff, or even going for walks. Heck, I was walking 4 miles-ish per day the day before I was induced (not the day that I went in because when they told me I was going to have to go in, I was too overwhelmed/nervous to do anything but sit on the couch with my hubby).

The struggle makes me question my dedication, and also causes me to remind myself that I want Addie to grow up having a healthy image of exercise and food. One where she sees it as a fun activity, not one to cause stress or anxiety.

Because I want these things for Addie, I need to learn to go with the flow better. I want her to see me enjoying my workouts, enjoying healthy food, because then she will learn that is what this is about.

I don't want Addie to go through all of the body issues/eating struggles that I went through. It is a terrible thing. My mom had absolutely nothing to do with it, if anything she provided me with a positive role model as she was regularly active, but not overly so, ate healthily but enjoyed treats in moderation, and is someone I can look up to in that way.

I want to be that person for Addie. Because after all, this face is the most important one in my world.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Medical Mutual Glass City Marathon: So What Distance?

If you have been following me and my journey back from a broken elbow/pregnancy/giving birth, you already know that I have a goal in mind for the spring. I really want a 3 minute PR in the half marathon. I am planning on getting it at the Owens Corning Half Marathon in Toledo.
It took me a while to come to the decision to run the half marathon, instead of going for my other big, hairy, audacious goal (sub-4 or BUST) in the full marathon. I think that when you are trying to decide what race you want to enter, there are a lot of factors to consider. I hope to outline some of what crossed my mind in my decision making process, in the hopes that I can help you to make your own decision.

I am planning on highlighting the various distances for the Medical Mutual Glass City Marathon specifically, but this is likely applicable to most races when you are planning your 2014 calendar and related goals.

Why should I choose the 5K distance? If you are just starting to explore running, haven't run a race yet, or want to run really fast (and make it hurt) this is the distance for you. My current 5K PR (22:35) was the hardest I have ever run a race, and I nearly puked. That is not necessary at all though! If you want to get out there, see what racing is like, and see if you enjoy it before committing to much more involved/time consuming training, I highly recommend it. This race finishes on the 50 yard line of the Glass Bowl.
how much should I be able to run now? You do not necessarily need to be running at all to select this distance. The Couch-to-5K program is a great starting point, where you jog (as slowly as you need to!) just 60 seconds at a time. In 9 weeks, you will be ready to run. If you are a runner currently, start throwing in some speed drills (for a 5K, I would recommend 50-200m sprints) to improve your leg turnover to get you your fastest results!
how long do I need to train? As stated above, if you are not running at all, 9 weeks is the length of the Couch-to-5K program. If you are currently a regular runner, who just wants to complete the race for the fun of it, I would suggest just keep running!
*note* The course is open for 1 hour. This is something to keep in mind if you plan on walking the event.

5 Man Relay
Why should I choose the 5-Man Relay? You have a group of friends and you would like to complete the marathon together without the pressure of training for a full 26.2. You have graduated from the 5K but are not quite ready for the half marathon distance. You do not have a full 12 weeks to train for a half, but think the 5K will not be challenging enough.
how much should I be able to run now? The distances of the relay range from 4.75-6.1 miles. Therefore, you could reasonably run this race without having previously run a 5K race, but potentially having run 2-3 miles. The furthest distance that is part of the relay is just under a 10K.
how long do I need to train? It depends. If you have already run the 5K distance, you should be able to train for just a few weeks to get up to the longest distance necessary. There is an app/program that is the "Bridge to 10K" program which is a nice follow up from the Couch-to-5K.
*note* The course is open for 6 hours.

Owens Corning Half Marathon
Why should I choose the half marathon? This is easily the most popular race distance currently. It is a race that is long enough that you feel like you accomplished something HUGE, but short enough that you do not give up your entire life training. The Owens Corning Glass City half is a great race that I have run before, earning my first sub-2 hour half! The course is flat and fast (even with the changes that they are putting into place for the current year) and gives you a big finish on the 50 yard line of the University of Toledo's Glass Bowl stadium.
how much should I be able to run now? If you look at most of the popular free half marathon training programs, including Hal Higdon's Novice 1 program, your first long run is 4 miles. The same is also true of Jenny Hadfield's beginner program. The course is open to walkers as well, as long as you can finish within the alloted window.
how long do I need to train? If you are an experienced half marathoner, you should be able to train in approximately 6 weeks (I have done this myself), but most plan that will help you to feel very prepared, and ready to tackle any goal you might have, typically range from 10-12 weeks. In addition, you will likely complete your longest run of between 10-12 miles, so you need to have time for a 2+ hour run on a weekend (or whenever you plan to complete the long run).
*note* The course is open for 4 hours.
*note2* The Owens Corning Half Marathon has sold out the last several years, so if this is a distance that you are interested in, I recommend registering before the month of April!

Medical Mutual Glass City Marathon
Why should I choose the full marathon? I would say the biggest reason people sign up for a marathon, especially when they are not seasoned runners, is to check something off of their bucket list. And there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with that! This course is flat, fast, and a Boston Qualifier for those speedies out there!
how much should I be able to run now? Most beginner marathon training plans, including Hal Higdon and Jenny Hadfield have you starting between 5 & 6 miles.
how long do I need to train? A marathon training plan is generally between 16 and 18 weeks, with running anywhere from 3-6 days/week. Your longest run during your training will likely be 20-22 miles. Do not worry about the fact that you have not run further than that during your training, the adrenaline of the race will get you through the rest of it. For your first marathon, I think one 20 mile run is generally sufficient, and as you gain experience you may want to do multiple, or stretch it to a 22-miler. So keep in mind that some long run days you will need 3+ hours to complete the distance!
*note* The course is open for 6 hours.

Hopefully this information and these tips will help you make your decision for which race to sign up for.

Note: I am not a running coach or certified in any way, I am just telling you what worked for me. Please do not mistake this for advice or anything other than tips and tricks.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Our Weekend in Toledo

J and I spent last weekend in Toledo with Addie. We headed up there to get her baptized and for my mom's family house-to-house party, which I am sure I mentioned last year. We actually ended up having a very full weekend, which turned out to be very fun! (I am not sure if J would agree with me, since some plans ended up changing, but I had fun, and Addie enjoyed herself.)

I took a half day on Friday. My original intentions were to head to the gym and get in some cardio, but I ended up not making it over there because I got busy with some other things. I didn't want to get myself and Addie home too late, because we needed to get to Toledo in decent time because of plans we had at night. As it turns out, I am really glad that I left when I did because it ended up taking us an hour to go 10 miles because of an accident in the worst spot of downtown Dayton. There was no shoulders because of construction, a lane was closed due to construction, and there was an on-ramp right there. So we were pretty much stuck when it came to trying to get through that area.

Because of that delay, it ended up taking us 4 hours to get to Toledo (normally three). We went straight to my dad's as he was going to babysit Miss Addie while J and I went out for the night. We had plans to attend a Walleye (Toledo's minor league hockey team) game with my cousin Megan and her husband Pete. They also got a babysitter. These are the same cousins that J and I took a trip to Cleveland with back in 2012. We knew going in that we were going to have fun, so as soon as we knew that we were going to Toledo that weekend, I got in touch with Megan about going to the hockey game. Hockey is HUGE in Toledo, even when the Walleye are not good (proximity to Detroit/Canada, I am guessing). 

It was Santa night at the Walleye game.
Sorry for the creepy eyes/blurry photo. Apparently J stinks at taking pictures AND holding his beer. Also, Santa is definitely getting a little fresh with Megan if you look at this hand placement. 

Saturday was the day of Addie's baptism. She was being baptized at Blessed Sacrament. That is the church that I grew up in and the church that J and I were married in. Now that the Monsignor is the pastor there, we were glad that the same priest who married J and I was going to baptize Addie. He told us to be there by 2 pm. The unexpected thing? We were hanging around 6+ inches of snow fallen since the previous night. Going from my dad's house to my mom's for J, the dogs, Addie, and I was a nightmare. We got over there in plenty of time (and so did my dad) but it was BAD out. 

We decided that it was going to be easier to walk the block from my Mom's to Church, so we just bundled the crap out of Addie and walked over there. I guess that is the bonus of living so close to the Church (and walking to school when I was a kid, of course). Addie's Godparents are my sister Rachel and J's friend Andy.
Here are Rachel and Andy at their previous meeting.
We've come a long way...

With the snow, my mom and Aunt Teresa decided that they were going to skip the first couple of houses for the house to house. Since they were not going, neither were J and I. Our original plan was to go to the first house, so everyone could meet Addie, and then head back to my mom's to keep her on her regular bedtime schedule, etc. Well, without going to the first house, I made the executive decision to play with her until they got to my mom's! She got to meet everyone, which was good, and then went right to bed. That ended up being ok and did not throw her off her game too much.

We left early yesterday morning and the roads were quite clear, so I was happy with that, since our drive 20 minutes across town was so miserable on Saturday morning. So I feel like even though plans changed and things were adjusted, we made it.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Training - An Update

Well, because I am a member of the Oiselle Volee team, every once in a while we are offered an opportunity in the running world because various other team members are looking out for us. Thursday was one of those days.
I received an email from our team captain, Kristin, who was forwarding us an email with some information from another team member, which included a discount to the runcoach website. If you recall, that was one of the options that I was looking at initially, but I ended up nixing it because I did not want to pay for a plan. Once I had the opportunity to receive a discount though, I was sold.

So that same day, I signed up.

This is a very baseline review of the product, as obviously I have not yet started using the plans all that much, I just kind of got things set up in the system so I can see how it falls out. I entered the races in that I have planned for next year (some I am registered for already, some I am not), including my goal race of the Owens Corning Half Marathon at the Glass City Marathon. I also synced it up with my garmin account and my runkeeper account. And I even added my Athlinks username and password so it can pull in my race results.

Right now I have my training paces set up based around previous race results. I have not figured out how to set a goal time for my goal race and have it calculate my training around that (but I tweeted at the company this morning to figure out if I could, and how to do that!) Because I do not know how to do that just yet, I have my training set up around my 5K PR right now, as that will easily achieve me the half marathon race results that I want.
The website allows you to set up the days of the week that you want to be maintenance runs, long runs, speed work and cross training, and then it configures your workouts for you, based on your selected race (my 5K PR from last Thanksgiving). It has running set up for me for a full year (at least, I didn't go beyond that), but right now things are light after the GCM since I do not have a goal race after that. One thing, you can only have one goal race at a time. So I cannot set myself up for a fall goal race right now. Once I get through GCM, then I can make decisions on my Fall goal, and it will retailor my training.

Have you used runcoach? 
Would you? 
What price is too much for you to spend to get a training plan like this?

Friday, December 13, 2013

Medical Mutual Glass City Marathon - WINNERS

The Medical Mutual Glass City Marathon Giveaway is now CLOSED.

I had a blast running this giveaway and connecting with so many people who will likely be running this race with me in a few months time.

In order to generate a winner, I took all of the comments I received in the ORDER received (based on timestamp) and entered them into a spreadsheet assigning them a number. Then I used a random number generator to come up with the two comments who were winners.
And the winners are Chelsea Daniels and Trisha Sisi! Please email me at emily.a.nickles@gmail.com, and I will give you instructions on how to claim your race entry!

Next week I will work on giving an update on my own training, because I am coming up with a plan and making some progress!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Making it Fit

* Have you entered my giveaway yet? It closes tonight at midnight! I will be using a random number generator based on the time you commented to generate two winners! *

I am starting to see lots of "year in review" type posts from some of the bloggers out there. I know that the end of the year is creeping up and will likely be here before we know it, especially with the holiday coming between now and then. But at the same time, it is only December 12, that is not even halfway through the month yet! And yes, I might be splitting hairs a little bit, but darn it, I am not ready to review my year yet, because I have not met all of my goals... And that is a tough pill to swallow (a few of them I likely will not meet at all).

So I am not ready yet to look at the year as a whole. Instead, let's examine a few circuit workouts that I have managed to squeeze in over the last 2 days (yesterday and today).
This was squeezed in immediately upon arriving at home  yesterday. It took 20 minutes to get through 4 rounds of these exercises.

Today, while pumping (not joking) I completed another circuit workout, this one focusing on the full body. I wasn't sure how the day was going to end up rolling out, so I wanted to get some kind of workout in, even if I did not end up making it to the gym or my treadmill. I actually used the pump (while it was attached to me!) as a weight. 9 exercises + 1 minute rest, repeated twice through for a 20 minute workout.
By the second round, my legs were definitely feeling the burn, so I am pleased overall with getting this worked out. And no, for the curious, it did not seem to have adverse affects on my supply, and I was just cautious not to unplug anything. Since nothing involved crazy movements, it all seemed to go ok.

I guess you have to do what you can to get things done, right?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A Shift in Priority

Yesterday I was chatting (and by chatting, I mean emailing) with Karen. Since meeting her/getting pregnant 4 month or so later, she has kind of been my go-to for having it all. Balancing work and family obligations with your health and fitness loves and trying to make it all work. She has been invaluable to me as a resource for these things, and I am grateful for her insight, even when it makes me mad. And sometimes, it does.

I am slowly learning that right now, having it all is very different than what I used to think of having it all. Right now, I know that dedicating my life to my family, J and Addie, etc, needs to be my top priority. Having a kid is interesting and different with the relationship that I have with J. I know that is pretty much par for the course in the first year of having a baby, at least, that seems to be the general consensus. So I need to be able to dedicate some spare time to him (spare time? ha!) Addie is an all encompassing, needy, teeny little peanut of a human. So she absolutely takes up tons of time when I used to do other things.

Things that I used to like to do?
  1. Go shopping alone
  2. Run first thing in the morning
  3. Sleep
  4. Cook meals
Now, I am slowly slowly coming to terms with the fact that those 4 things are no longer the top of my list of most important fun things to do. The things that are suffering the most are running and sleeping. Because I am busy with work, I rarely have a chance to leave during lunch to squeeze in a run the way that I might like to do. And then when I get home from work, my day is full of the baby.

I need to come to terms with the fact that I could sneak in a run sometimes when I do not, but because that has fallen a little bit on my list of priorities, and I would rather spend the time with Addie and J. I know that I complain and feel guilty a lot (pretty much every single day) about not getting my workouts in, but I know that it is a choice that I make, regardless of the guilt and complaining. I choose to spend time with my family. I choose to focus on my job. I have made all of these choices for the betterment of the life of my family and they are the right choices for all of us right now.

Anyone else deal with this realization?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Weekend Update

I had started writing an entry on Friday all about how we had wanted to have a date night but then it was snowy and miserable, so we ended up not getting to... They actually cancelled the babysitting plan that they had at the school. I assume that the teachers that were there until 5 pm had a long commute ahead of them. Yuck. Will ended up letting our team leave around 1 pm so I went and picked up Addie and we went home. I worked some for the rest of the afternoon, and also put together cookie dough for sugar cookies!

Saturday and Sunday were days of zero motivation when it came to getting on the treadmill. I knew with the snow storm, I was not going to get out to run group. Even though the roads were mostly clear, the sidewalks were not. And let's be honest, running on snow covered sidewalks is tougher than running on trails! (I remember this from last winter.) So instead of getting up and hitting the treadmill on Saturday (original plan) I got up with Addie and started working on the tree, and working on baking the cookies that I made dough for the day before.

The dough was for sugar cookies and I decided to make all teeny mini cookies (seriously, you should see these things, they are tiny!) I made stars, stockings, bells, and trees. It took a decent chunk of the morning to roll out the dough, use the cookie cutters and let the cookies cool. In fact, I had to take a break to nurse Addie and everything there in the middle. I know J was annoyed with the process as it involves me spreading flour all over the counter and let's be honest, that is pretty much a huge mess. It irritates me as well, but since I am the one up to my elbows in flour, I have control over it.

We had two parties to hit up on Saturday as well. My nephew Cameron turned 5. That also gives some insight into how long J and I have been together. Our first Christmas together, Cam was a newborn. :) He had a construction themed birthday party. Angela always does the cutest stuff that fits the birthday party themes. I will likely be NOT that creative for Addie's parties, but what are you going to do? After that, we drove over to Chuck & Sara's for their annual Christmas party.

Last year we did not make their party for whatever reason. The year before we were there. No one had kids yet, although Sara was pregnant. I remember driving over there around 7 pm... it was dark and we were there late. This year, everyone now has kids. The party started at 4:30 and most of us were gone by around 8 pm. It is amazing how different life has become for all of us.

Sunday was a day of getting things done. The cookies were iced, some gifts were wrapped, Addie took some naps in her chair (yeah, we pretty much suck at getting her to nap in her bed, but she does always sleep there at night!) It was an all-around catch up sort of day. I once again was overcome with laziness (or the need to spend time with Addie/J/get other things accomplished) and did not run. Or do any other kind of workout unless you count toting Addie around the house.

The lack of workouts has an impact on me mentally for sure, and it is something I am completely uncertain how to balance and make sure that I can fit it into my life. Somedays going to the gym at lunch works out perfectly fine. But then there are other days when I definitely cannot fit it in. When things at work get hectic or overwhelming, I do not just leave. Admittedly, sometimes things get hectic and I could still have time, but usually then it impacts pumping. And right now I am still committed to that. I am still committed to breastfeeding as her main source of food, so pumping on regular intervals is extremely essential.

What suggestions do you have for me to help me fit everything in?

In other news, we have hit a milestone:
4 months old... Holy moly.

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Medical Mutual Glass City Marathon: A GIVEAWAY

As I have mentioned several times, I am one of the inaugural ambassadors for the Medical Mutual Glass City Marathon.
I have run the Owens Corning Half Marathon previously, and it was my first sub-2 half! That is the race that I am planning to train for again this spring, and I am shooting for the 1:49:xx, which will be a 3+ minute PR for me. The course for the half is great, and I have heard that the full is wonderful as well.

In addition to those two distances, the Medical Mutual Glass City Marathon offers a 5-man relay and a 5K option, all on the same day, which is April 27, 2014.It is a great race, flat and fast. It is a great place to get your BQ if that is something you are going for.

So as an ambassador, what can I offer you? How does one entry into the Medical Mutual Glass City Marathon race of your choice sound? I have been given the opportunity to offer you just that! To enter? Just leave a comment below and I will generate 2 random numbers because there will be two winners!

Want an extra entry? Tweet this: "I want to run the @GCM_Toledo with @redemily1" and leave me a separate comment letting me know that you did!

The giveaway will close at 11:59 pm on Thursday December 12.

I was given this race entry to give away as part of my partnership/ambassadorship with the Medical Mutual Glass City Marathon. I have received no other compensation.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Continuing to work on my Training

I have been spending some time thinking about what training plan I want to use when I am starting to focus on this big time goal that I have set for myself for Medical Mutual Glass City Marathon.
I really am hoping that getting through a very solid training plan will help me to achieve my sub-1:50:00 goal that I have set for myself this spring.

Right now, I have just been running miles. Working on ensuring that I can run 6-ish miles very comfortably. Working on making sure that my speed is improving a little. As I am becoming more and more comfortable with running, my speed is picking up on my weekend runs. And that is what I am working for during this base building phase.

I may or may not throw in a few speed sessions between now and the actual start of my training plan. I feel like I should because I need to start getting used to really firing up my legs if I am going to run on fired up legs for just under 2 hours.

I have eliminated a few of my training plan options at this point. I have decided that I am not going to go with the Hanson's plan for this half. I struggle to get 4-5 days of workouts in right now, so 6 days of running is probably not going to be particularly easy for me right now. My motivation is not at its highest currently, so I know that likely I am going to want at least one weekend day (plus, maybe even another day!) off completely, and selecting that plan is not going to allow it.

I am also not going to go with the McMillan plan. It is quite expensive. Yes, it will be personalized, but I just don't feel like it is a good investment right now, knowing that some workouts might be skipped, etc. But you bet your butt I am going to use their calculator to determine training paces for speed work!

In reality, as of now, I am leaning toward Jenny Hadfield's intermediate half marathon program. That will allow me 5-6 days of workouts. The 6th day, Friday, I can either run (if I feel up to it/have time for it) or rest. I feel like that has some flexibility built in, which I really need at this point. I may modify some things based on my own needs, but that is kind of where I stand currently.  

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Thanksgiving Weekend Recap

As I said in yesterday's entry, Tim, Debbie, Brooke, and Laura arrived late in the evening on Wednesday. Jason's mom came over and picked up food for us on her way, pizza from Papa John's. I ordered it when Tim and Debbie arrived and then she was able to pick it up.

I had Addie awake when they got there so they could see her, and visit with her, and hold her for a little while before she went to bed. I knew that would want to be done since they had not seen little peanut since she was only 6 weeks old when we were in Kansas City for the game. I think they were definitely excited to see her again. I can relate. I am excited to see her every single day when I pick her up at school!

Around 8 pm, I took her up to get ready for bed, as usual. We got into pjs and started our last nursing/feeding of the night. But it was LOUD downstairs. She could not get settled as a result. Normally when she feeds, we leave the door to her room open, so I can have the lights off and just leave the hall light on to give me enough light to see what is going on with her. But with all of the loud laughing and talking, I had to close the door and feed her completely in the dark to keep her settled enough to eat and get ready to fall asleep. Eventually I got her to go down as I needed her too. I was that nasty mom who got fresh with her friends/family and told them that they needed to shut the hell up, but seriously, I am the one who deals with the little screamer...

The next day, Addie and I were up early to eat before mom went to go and run in her race. After I fed her, J was up as well, and we started getting things rolling on the cooking. J got the turkey out of the fridge and started cleaning it out. He showed me the neck, which I had never seen before. I started browning the meat for my dad's stuffing. Addie sat in her little chair, hanging out while mom and dad started cooking. My dad arrived and took over on the stuffing and I headed downtown for the race.

When I got home, I showered and got dressed for the day, pumped and fed miss Addie.

Thanksgiving Day at Angela's was a really nice time. We had tons of food, all delicious, and the kids were all in high spirits. Addie, with all of the excitement, did not sleep at all. It was terrible. By about 2 pm, she was screaming her face off and there was nothing that any of us could do to get her to settle down. There was lots of rocking and attempts to lay her down (Angela has cribs in the girls room still that we thought we could use for her nap!) She would rest for a minute, but then she would roll over and wake herself up which was not helpful.  She ended up falling asleep in the car on the way home.

Due to the horrible napping day that Addie had on Thursday, I decided that it would be best to stay home with her all day on Friday. J and all of his family members went shopping at the outlets, at Jungle Jim's, and at a few other places, before they went back to Angela's. They ended up there pretty late, so J was gone for 11 hours. But having Addie home with me all day was quite helpful. She took some more normal naps, and went to bed in time. All of those things were very helpful in getting her back on schedule.

Saturday started off early with me feeding the baby and getting her back down to bed for at least another hour (fingers crossed) and I got ready to head out to run group. Some in the group were going to try for ten miles, but I pretty much was not interested in that. I decided to just run 5 miles, which ended up being just fine.

J was worried when I left that morning that because I was going to run group, I might not be ready to go to the bar in time for the Buckeyes game, which was number one priority for him that day. I told him that he had nothing to worry about when it came to me. I was right. When I got home, after about an hour, Brooke and Laura were in their pajamas and unshowered, hanging out and holding the baby. So at that point, I figured, take advantage, and got right in the shower and ready for the day! I was ready with more than an hour to spare.

The whole group of us headed over to Tap House, our regular haunt, to watch the Michigan v Ohio State game. Addie took a little nap during the game, and when she was awake, she really enjoyed looking at the Christmas Tree that was set up at the bar. She liked the sparkles and the colored lights. I took her home after the game for some more time at home which would hopefully continue to get her back on schedule.

It was a rough few days, and bad as it may sound, I was relieved to have family out of the house. Addie is still not back to her normal self completely, yesterday was definitely a "hold me Addie" day. So I hope that today is better.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Weekly Workout Recap: Week of November 25

Last week was quite eventful with the holiday and four days off and everything. Addie definitely struggled with the excitement and the lack of routine that the holiday and us having company built in for the weekend. Tim and Debbie along with their girls Brooke and Laura arrived on Wednesday evening around 7 pm. My dad called and said that he was going to leave super early (4:30 am) on Thanksgiving. So he would likely roll in right before I had to leave. But that is not what this is about. I want to write about the workouts that I did last week, even though they might have seemed to be a little bit light.

So here is what I accomplished last week as far as my workouts went:
Monday: Crosstraining. 12.5 miles in 45 minutes on the bike
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: Unplanned rest
Thursday: The 104th Thanksgiving Day Race (10K) see recap here.
Friday: 2.15 miles on the treadmill and a core circuit (which has my abs STILL sore)
Saturday: 5 miles with the Buckeye group, 9:18 average pace
Sunday: Rest

So I accomplished my goals for the week where it was related to working out. I ran the race and worked out three other days as I hoped. I finished the race in under an hour as I hoped and I felt good the entire time I was running. I have to call last week a win when it comes to that. I am definitely proud of myself for sticking with that plan even though it was absolutely a struggle of trying to find the time and dealing with he guilt of only working out for 4 days. It stinks, since that was my goal, so I should be happy to have achieved it.

This week's goals are 20 miles, run group on Saturday, and feel happy with my accomplishments. That third one is the trick.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Goals: Month of December

Well, we are now entering the final month of the year. It is really difficult to believe that we are already here. It has been a crazy year with a million changes, changes in my body, my job, my life, I have a baby now, for goodness sakes, but it has flown by. The year has been a very testing year, and I am really hoping to have a wonderful December in order to finalize the year on a strong and positive note. So let's lay out what I want to do for December to finish the year strong.

  1. Run/walk/crosstrain 100 miles - I have thrown the crosstraining in there since it is my goal to be better about doing it during my spring training cycle. Yes, if I cycle, it will make it easier to get there, but I can update annual goals come January.
  2. Create weekly meal plans and stick to them.
  3. Enjoy the holidays with my family and help Addie have a magical first Christmas.
  4. Cook two new recipes
  5. Set meaningful goals for 2014
I know that those goals all look simple and straightforward. I feel like I should be able to easily achieve what I want to get through this month, and I am hopeful that it makes me feel accomplished. 

I am looking forward to closing out this year that was all about change and growth. I am looking forward to having a whole year that is fresh and all in line with my new life, my life as a sometimes runner, full time mom, and getting through this last month with some success will help to lead me into it. At least, that is my hope.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Meal Planning - Week of December 2

I have decided that it may help to hold me accountable if I plan all of our dinners in advance and get them written out here. So from here on in, I hope to write about my meal plan on Saturdays, and that is the day I will also do my shopping for the week. So I am crossing my fingers that having all of this out here, making me accountable to any readers will keep us on track with our eating plans. That would be a pretty big wish for me. So here we go:

Monday, December 2: dream dinner
Tuesday, December 3: Chicken Fajitas
Wednesday, December 4: Butternut Squash from PaleOMG, and leftover turkey (Thanksgiving)
Thursday, December 5:Out
Friday, December 6: dream dinner
Saturday, December 7: Out
Sunday, December 8: Pumpkin Chicken Chili from the Civilized Caveman

So next week will include two Dream Dinners (uncertain on which two at this point), 2 new recipes, one easy/wing it type meal (fajitas), and two nights out. I would like to get us transitioned to just one night out, but for whatever reason, I am not feeling it yet for next week. I think with the holidays coming up, things might be a little bit more haphazard and a little more careless than they might be after the New Year.

For now, I am just doing the best that I can do to get through the time from now until the holidays. I am very much looking forward to the holidays. I am excited to spend so much time with my family over the next several weeks.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Race Recap: The 104th Thanksgiving Day Race

So yesterday I ran the Cincinnati Thanksgiving Day Race. It is the 104th annual race. The race takes place downtown and goes through both Ohio and Kentucky. J's company was the title sponsor this year for the first time. I figure that was my in to leave on thanksgiving morning and run six miles instead of hanging out and helping with the cooking. I wanted to show my support and appreciation to J and his employer for helping put on this race.

I was up early in the morning to feed Addie and then I started to brown meat and stuff for my dad's stuffing. Addie sat in her chair in the kitchen with me. J came down after I had been down for only about 5 minutes, and he started working on cleaning the guts out of the turkey. After 15 more minutes, my dad rolled in, and at that point, I felt like I could get in the car and head downtown for the race.

I arrived downtown right around 8:20 for the 9 am start. I stayed in my car for a few minutes getting my timing chip on to my shoe and my bib pinned to my Oiselle singlet. It also was freezing so staying in the car for a little while was not a bad idea regardless. I wasn't meeting anyone and there were not any official corrals so I figured the least amount of time I needed to spend outside the better it would be. It was just so cold outside, in the teens with lower wind chills and so I was not overly thrilled and honestly was questioning whether I was really interested in running at all!

But I sucked it up and lined up to run. This is a HUGE race, with 17,000 runners hanging out in downtown Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. I did not even hear the gun (or bullhorn or whatever) go off to start the race. But soon I was moving forward, rounding the corner onto Vine Street to cross the timing mats and head up into Cincinnati.

They changed the course this year, although in reality I do not remember the old course from when I ran this race 2 years ago anyway. So now the course went straight up Vine all the way into Over the Rhine, up the hill on Liberty (ugh) and back past the new casino. After that, you are halfway. The next three miles are fairly similar to the first three miles of the Flying Pig. You run 3 bridges in the 3 miles you have left covering both of the little downtown type areas of Northern Kentucky. Newport and Covington as well as the bridge that goes in between them.

I went into this race with only one goal. I wanted to finish in less than an hour. Not a huge of super challenging goal. But I just wanted to run and feel good running. I mean, sometimes racing hurts, really hurts. But with this race? It's thanksgiving! I want to enjoy myself.

The new course definitely seemed to add a few more hills. I hate that Liberty hill, J and I have run it in our beer series races before and it always catches you by surprise and always makes you mad. But hey, it was quick and then I was running back downhill past the casino and toward the river. I was focused on slowly picking up speed as my legs started to feel much more warm. But I still was not trying to push super hard. I am glad for the fact that I went into the race with this attitude. It definitely made things easier to not put pressure on myself and just to think about feeling good while I was running.

I honestly recall very little about running in Kentucky other than that the bridges hurt. Bridges are always a nice hill no matter where you are, and having so many of them was not that much fun. When I got back to the Ohio side, I was ready to pull out all the stops to finish the race. I started going faster and kicking up the speed to really sprint to the finish. I passed a lot of people in that last 400-ish meters.

The only complaint that I have is that immediately after crossing the finish line, you make a right to get to the finishers area (where they cut off your timing chip, you collect water, bananas, etc) because of this immediate turn, the area after the timing mats was crazy crowded with no where to go. It was tough to even step on the third mat because you came to a complete stop right away.

I finished the race in 57:58, so I met my sub-1 hour goal. It was a 9:22 average pace for the race, which I am happy and comfortable with. That is a good pace for me right now, even though it used to (before elbow break and baby break) be nice and easy for me.

Did you run a Turkey Trot?

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

No time for a big entry today. But I wanted to swing in quickly and wish you and your family's a

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Emily's Head and Body

First of all, this is an update about me, not an update about Addie. I will reflect on her being 4 months old pretty soon. But I feel like it will be important to look at how I am feeling about all of this, and our relationship as a unit. 

Let's do a reflection on the last nearly 4 months. Addie will be 4 months old in approximately 1 week. And I have spent those 4 months attached to her in all possible ways. Nursing, hugging her, loving on her, snuggles, and mentally attached. I have learned that she knows my face and knows my voice. I am her momma, and one of my most favorite things is going in there in the morning when she is ready to wake up for the day. She is awake in her bed, but happy, just waiting for someone to come in to feed and change her. When I go in there, she is still swaddled up in her blanket. I peek over into her crib, she smiles and scrunches herself up, which to me seems like a bodily reaction to my appearance. I love it!

Anyway, moving on...

We will start with my body. That is where I struggle the most. Currently, I sit between 5-7 lbs over my normal, comfortable, happy weight. It makes a much bigger difference in my clothes. My regular jeans do not fit at all in the waist. All 5-7 lbs definitely resides in my waist and hips. It is all soft, it is all fat. And I am not comfortable with it. I know that I am struggling to get it off most likely because of the nursing stuff. In reality I am doing everything that I can do in order to drop it as far as food and exercise.

The worst of it is that none of my clothes fit. Tops are ok, but jeans? I have a pair from Target that I pretty much live in. And they are huge in the legs. So I just deal with it for now. At least they button unlike my previous jeans. Now, I am not giving up on this, because I need to feel comfortable (we'll get to the mental side of things) with myself, and I think clothes that fit can greatly improve this. So that is what I am asking for from Addie and J for Christmas. New clothes.

So onto my mental state....

It improves greatly all the time. I love that baby and my family an incredible amount, which absolutely improves how I am feeling about things. It has been a true shift from the selfish Emily before her birth to someone who never wants to be without her. Admittedly, when other folks who were similar to me prior to babies had them, they changed their attitudes and their selfishness to become dedicated to these children, to their families. And that seemed, crazy, intense to me...  but now, now that I am going through it myself, I completely understand. Something that I denied to one of my besties (even as recently as Addie being 4 weeks old), was that I would live for this child. And as tough as that is to admit, it is true now.

Mentally, I am all over being a mom. I love my Addie so much.

Other side of the mental stuff? I am struggling with the mental side of feeling like me. I have so much new stuff going on being a mom. I am completely unable to look toward what I need for myself. I am the final priority in my life right now, which is ok, but it is mentally difficult. I know that I need to put myself in the background though, I am just trying to figure out how I can manage like that.

Any advice out there?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Training Plan Options

Like I mentioned last Friday, I really want to step up my training for this cycle, and make sure to include significant crosstraining and strength training in order to get the best results out of this cycle. I am exploring different training plan options to figure out what will be the best option to get me my PR in the Spring. I have found a few that are at the front as far as options, and I am going to lay them all out here.

1. Hanson's Marathon Method
I own this book and have read it recently. I like the idea of this book because it focuses on running on tired legs in order to imitate the last few miles of a race, rather than the first. But there is very high mileage during the week for what you might be used to, and therefore I am not sure if this is the correct plan.

2. One of Jenny Hadfield's free half marathon training plans from her website. I am leaning toward the advanced half marathon plan because it just feels like the best option to really focus toward
versatile training. Some strength training, some cross training and running (with speedwork) is all included in this 14 week plan.

3. One of Run the Edge's Level Up plans. This one looks like fun, kind of like a board game. You complete your workouts, etc, and then you get to level up to the next stage. How can you go wrong with a plan written by Olympians?

4. A plan from McMillan Running. I worship this pace calculator and I use it all the time. The plans from them are pretty pricey, but they are personalized unlike the Run the Edge plans.

5. RunCoach. This is what Karen and I used when training for the Columbus Marathon. She has since subscribed to it completely and LOVES it. It is personalized based on your recent race paces. Karen highly recommends it and loves the workouts and the plans that come with it. It is a subscription based service, it costs $130 for a whole year (the best value) and could be utilized going into the fall season as well.

Have you used any of these training plans? Any recommendations?

Monday, November 25, 2013

Weekly Workout Recap: Week of November 18 - Plus Addie

Let's talk about how my day started before I review my week last week and the workouts. So Addie woke up early today. She rose around 4:45 am. I got up with her and fed her with the intention of putting her back down for a little while. In between sides, I changed her diaper and reswaddled her, which usually gets her settled and cozy to fall asleep again. Today that didn't happen. Apparently it was morning and time to wake up. She was singing and talking and carrying on. So awake we were. We went and got Addie's puppies and took them outside to go and fed them and gave them their medicine. They are taking antibiotics still after they had their teeth cleaned last week.

I got ready, got Addie ready and then we headed downstairs to hang out and eat a little. The dogs were snuggling with Addie and I, they are currently very into her because she is much more aware of them. She pats them, and tries to eat their tails.

But then after we ate, and as we were trying to get everything packed up and ready for the day. I got the pump packed up, got the bottles I needed for the day, and got everything loaded up. And then it happened. A very juicy bit of gas followed by wet. Blowout. The worst blowout ever. Her poop went all the way up her back. I had poop all over me and she had it all over herself too. I got her undressed as best as I could, and then had to take her into the bathroom to basically bathe her in her socks and attempt to get the diaper off of her without an even bigger mess. I ended up with poop all over my hands and clothes, but she got clean and eventually I did too. But yes, that is how my day started.

So my workouts last week... They did not turn out exactly as I had hoped for, but I still hammered through 4 in the week. I hit my 20 miles goal, but I did get some of them cycling. I suppose it is what it is...

Monday: 4.5 miles. Warm up, 3x mile repeats @ 8:34 w/400 recovery, cooldown
Tuesday: 4 miles, easy pace
Wednesday: 1.5 miles on elliptical, 6.5 miles (easy) on the bike for 45 minutes of total cross training
Thursday: off
Friday: unplanned rest day
Saturday: 6.18 miles with the Buckeye group. 9:03 average pace (getting that little speed back!)
Sunday: rest day

Total mileage: 22.68

It was a really good week overall. I have to remember that when I am feeling discouraged about everything. When I feel like I am not working hard enough. 4 workouts is normal for people who work out consistently. If it is light for me, maybe it needs to be more of the new me. Maybe I need to aim for 3-4 workouts per week rather than 6. I need to come to terms with this.

Have a great week everyone!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Goals for the Week: Week of November 25

I kind of want to make a practice for myself that will allow me to set goals every week. I feel like it will keep me moving forward and accomplishing the little things that make me feel like myself. I know that the new me, this new normal is something that I need to adjust to, but I still need to be able to accomplish things and feel like I am a strong person like I was prior to Addie.

So if I can set little goals on a weekly basis, and then cross them off the list, one by one, it will allow me to feel like I am achieving things. For the week of November 25, I have a few things that I would like to get done.

  1. Run the Thanksgiving Day 10K in less than an hour.
  2. Work out at least three other days
  3. Cook a turkey with success!
  4. Stick to our prepared meal plan for the week.
  5. Finish decorating for Christmas (other than the tree)
  6. Wrap 3 Christmas gifts
It is fun that this week gets to be a little more fun and interesting than most weeks because of it being the holiday and I therefore have 2 days off work. Because of that, my week and my goals are much more focused on personal items, which is a nice change of pace.

Here is the Christmas decorating that is already started:
My village (I collect Snow Village by Department 56) is all set up and beautiful. I didn't even get it set up last year. It is the most involved of my Christmas decor (other than maybe the tree), and therefore, last year I skipped it. But I want everything perfect for Addie's first Christmas.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Long Run Day

Today was a long run day. I almost crapped out on going. I admit it. Addie woke up at 6 am and I fed her. I put her back to bed around 6:45 and I climbed back into bed. I kind of resigned myself to the fact that I wanted to sleep. 

J was up reading news articles on his iPad. At 7:15 he woke me up and told me to get dressed for run group. Who knew he would be the one to make me go! Now that it's over, I'm glad I went. But initially? Zero interest. Oh lacking motivation... You suck. 

There were people going lots of different distances this morning, so I decided to stick with my norm and do 6. There were two girls I haven't met before that decided to also do 6. They were right around the same pace as I, so that worked out great! Here were our splits:
So not super fast, but probably 15 seconds per mile faster than last week. The wind will do that I think.

Did you run long this weekend?

Friday, November 22, 2013

Incorporating Crosstraining: Goal

I know that a lot of readers out there are runners, like me. I am guessing that like me, you all struggle with strength training and crosstraining when you are focused on race prep. You need to run 4-6 days per week (normally) and it just makes it feel difficult to try and fit in any more workouts on top of those running workouts. Especially once you get to the point where you are training for time rather than just to finish. Then you start to throw speedwork, tempo runs, and hard workouts into the mix rather than just junk miles, just running.

I know that just logging miles is not the whole picture. I know that just running my workouts (including any speedwork or hard workouts that I might do) is not going to give me the full results that I want. Not to mention, I am not going to be as strong as I know that I can be.

That is why, this time, I want to take a different approach. I have always trained for a full marathon, and just run halfs along the way. So I haven't actually had the luxury of training to run a half. Unless you count the one I ran in early November (I am not counting that since I didn't actually train for it!)... So maybe the luxury of shorter weekend runs, less miles needed, etc, should allow me time for strength training and crosstraining. I am really planning on coming up with a plan for this training cycle that will incorporate all of the things that I need to make me a strong runner and to keep me from getting too overwhelmed with running (and therefore losing my motivation).

Everyone knows the benefits of crosstraining and strength training. And we are not immune to injuries. Doing the strength training and the crosstraining will help with those injuries.

I am really planning on trying to turn over a new leaf with this training cycle so I can achieve all of the goals that I want. I think that I would like to incorporate 2 days/week of strength training and crosstraining along with 4 days of running. I am going to explore training programs online (some free, and potentially looking at some paid ones as well), and see what I can find that will suit my needs and help me reach the goals that I have set for myself.

Does anyone have any good training plans that are free out there? Or how about paid ones? Any one used McMillan? A paid runners world plan?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thanksgiving Prep and Planning

As I posted in my November goals blog, I am making Thanksgiving dinner for the first time. I am in charge of the turkey, which is just the way that I wanted it. I ordered my turkey from Whole Foods and I get to pick it up fresh the day before Thanksgiving. I am headed up there on my lunch hour to pick up the turkey. That way I won't have to do any defrosting or anything when I am trying to prepare it.

Now, I have never prepared a whole turkey before. So I have been googling lots of options for lessons on how to cook a whole turkey. From time it takes to roast, to rubs, and stuffing recipes (even though I know that my dad is in charge of that, he claimed it right away!) I wanted to be as prepared as possible so I could have success.

Here are some of the options that I have uncovered.
The simplest, easiest method.
The Food Network Plan.
The Plan from TLC
There are obviously an obscene number of options that I can use in my turkey preparation, but I am thinking that I am going to wing a rub with some of the different options that I have read about. And I will definitely be following directions from these webpages on how long to cook the turkey. Because I do not know that.

Yes, I will have my dad and Aunt Debbie to help me, but I still want to be able to kind of do these things myself. That is why I have been doing this research rather than just waiting to rely on my dad for help. This way I can seem like I am completely in control.

Do you prepare Thanksgiving dinner? How do you prep your turkey?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Motherhood. My Girl...

I know that I already wrote an entry today, but I really want to write about what happened last night while it is still fresh in my mind. It was a good night for Addie's sleeping, but not a great night for mom and dad. That stinks since she slept so well.

Miss Addie woke up around 1:30, par for the course, I got up and fed her, changed her diaper and got her back down to sleep. It was all normal and how our nights go. She went right back to sleep and snuggled into her swaddle. I went back to bed, it was around 2:15 am. I was out almost immediately.

Only 15 minutes later, J and I both woke up with a start. The mobile over Addie's bed was playing music. It is a wind up thing, and I did not wind it up. It really scared us. I shot out of bed, staring at the video monitor. I didn't see anything weird, but I was still scared, so J went in there to check on her. He checked behind the door, in the closet, under her bed. No one. He checked the spare room. Nothing. He and the dogs went downstairs. No one. He rebolted all of the doors and came back to bed.

While I feel like at that point I knew we were safe, etc, I still COULD NOT go back to sleep. I stared at the monitor for another hour and a half after that. Every time she kicked or made a noise I got out of bed to look more closely. I went into her room 2 more times to check and just make sure she was still there.

My desire to be Addie's mom might have been wavering throughout my pregnancy. I struggled A LOT with my emotions when Addie was first born. I felt like I lost who I was, who I always wanted to be when she first arrived.

I feel guilty now for ever feeling that way. I cannot believe that I ever felt that way. I want to apologize to the universe for the struggles that I had going into motherhood. Addie is the most important thing in my life. My family means more to me than anything. It makes me a little sad that it took a scary situation for me to admit it (although I definitely got there more than a month ago, I just haven't really owned up to it yet!), but this little girl is the top priority in my life, and I would not have it any other way.
Thanks Addie and J. Thanks for making me a better woman and a better mommy.

Feeding Update for Miss A

So Addie is now around 3 and a half months old. Nothing is easy about being a new mom, but I am definitely kind of getting the hang of things in order to be a decent mom. I do think that Addie and I are getting there, and J is managing to fit himself in there and be extremely helpful. But there is an aspect that he has not been able to be helpful in, and that is no fault of his own... Feeding.

So, at 3.5 months post birth, Miss Addie is still exclusive fed breastmilk. I cannot say she is exclusively breastfed, since obviously I pump when I am at work and she takes a bottle then. I work pretty hard to stay on top of feeding and pumping. To make sure that I keep up with her and her appetite, I pump probably more than necessary to encourage more production. Not to mention I rented the hospital grade pump to help with that.
It is hard for me to believe that I have been at this for as long as I have already. It is a lot of work.

I definitely struggle with my supply a little. And that is why I have to really be on top of the pumping. It is all that I can do to try and be able to continue to feed miss Addie in the way that I hope to. My goal is to keep this going for at least 6 months. At least now, 3.5 months in, that is my goal. So I pump extra as much as possible to make sure that I have enough to fill the bottles that I need to fill to send her to school. I definitely do not get 4 ounces per pump which stinks. That is what I need to be able to do, but I don't.

As you all know from my Boston recaps, I was very much on top of pumping, as annoying as it might have been to J, while I was out of town. I pumped every 4 hours, even in the middle of the night while we were gone just to ensure that I was not going to lose any supply without being with Addie. 

But I am going to try really hard to keep up with it. I have set myself a goal and I really hope to keep it up. I think I can do this, as long as I continue to wake my rear up in the middle of the night to pump, in order to get the correct number of ounces that I need to feed her.

Any tips out there? Any other nursing moms struggle with their supply like I do?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Weekly Workouts: Week of October 11

So last week was a little bit of a light week because of the travel. I had plans to get in extra workouts on more frequent days, however things just got over my head. I just was super busy with everything going on at work because I missed a few days. So I took a few days off to relax and just work right through my lunch hour rather than going to the gym or for a run, even though I had my gym clothes with me all the time.

So here is the workouts I accomplished last week.

Monday: 5.5 mile walk - walking the Freedom Trail and back with a little bit of additional wandering in Boston.
Tuesday: off - travel day
Wednesday: rest
Thursday: rest
Friday: 4 mile treadmill run at 8:51 average pace
Saturday: 6 mile run with the Buckeye group
Sunday: off

Weekly mileage: 15.5 miles including 2 runs and one crosstraining-ish walk. I am not sure that I can call it crosstraining since we were definitely stopping at various places and walking at a strolling pace for part of it, but it was definitely still exercise (Boston has lots of hills!)

Fridays run was at the gym. I played with the speed the entire time that I was running. I needed to keep doing that just to keep myself distracted the entire time. It ended up being a decently speedy run. I was pretty pleased with that pace overall, so I need to be proud of myself for getting through a tough run at a rough-ish pace. And I squared away four miles running which was a happy thing.

I kept J in the loop all week about how I wanted to go to run group on Saturday. I felt like keeping him in the loop would definitely be a good way to make sure that I got to go. It is between time for training right now at the group, so we are just sticking to keeping our mileage at a decent average. We had 6 planned miles including a new route. Karen stuck with me, which was great because I was definitely running a good amount slower than everyone else. Here are the splits:
Mile 5 was directly into the wind. I seriously thought I might fall down. I also considered quitting the run right then. I am so glad Karen was with me. If she wasn't, I definitely would have stopped running.

How were your workouts?

Monday, November 18, 2013

Decision Making and a Cute Baby!

Well, I have a little bit of a running update. I feel like I need to post about decisions made and moving forward.

I have made the decision about what I want to do for the Glass City Marathon in the Spring. I was hung up between training for the full and training for the half. I hadn't figured out which I was going to do, nor was I sure how fitting full marathon training into my schedule was going to work. I need to be with Miss Addie a lot especially right now while I am still nursing, so I just was not feeling too confident in my abilities to train for a full marathon.

So I have made the decision to go for a half marathon PR. In the Glass City Marathon, which was my very first sub-two half marathon. So my goal that I am setting out there right now... sub 1:50:00. I want to run it in 1:49:xx.
I think that is a solid goal to have. I am going to be spending from now until mid January trying to get my speed and comfort with running back to where it was before I got pregnant or in my early pregnancy. And then in mid January, I start my workouts with full force and gusto to get to where I want to be!

So I have spent a lot of time with Addie over the weekend. She is such a funny baby. She was happy overall this weekend, even in the evenings, which is normally her rough time. She is growing up crazy fast, and I love this little peanut.
 Isn't she such a pretty girl? I love that silly baby so much. Did you know she is three months old already?
Gramma took this picture of her while we were in Boston, since she officially turned 3 months on the 9th when we were gone. What lame parents we are to not be around on her 1/4 year birthday! Regardless, she is pretty freaking cute. Happy 3 month birthday a week ago, little lady!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Boston Day 3

After Abby Lane for dinner, I spent another night waking up every 4 hours (at some point, J gets used to my alarm and does not even flinch when I wake up in the middle of the night - we have reached that point) to pump. When I am at work, I do not go as long in between pumpings. I go 2.5-3 hours. When you go further apart like I did on vacation, it is obscene the amount of milk that will come out! I am not sure if overall that would lead to more milk or not. Today I am going to space things out a little more and just see what happens, I think.

Sorry - tangent.

We got up slowly once again the next morning and we were showered and ready to head out by 10:30 am-ish. Now, to some, that might not seem that late, but we are both normally up and getting things done on weekends at home (even before the baby) by 8:30 or so. Our plan for the morning was to walk the Freedom Trail. J is into history, and I like exercise (and also seeing new things) so this was going to be a good one for us!

The Freedom Trail starts at Boston Commons. The greatest part of our hotel? It was 2 blocks (or less) from Boston Commons with a Starbucks and a Dunkin' Donuts in between. :) We stopped at Starbucks this time (we had Dunkin' Donuts on Sunday) and then hit the Visitor's Center at the Commons. We were not planning on taking a guided tour, as we wanted to do it our own way, but figured we should maybe get a map of the trail. So we picked up a map of the trail, learned that the red line was the trail (and went the entire length of it) and headed out. One of our first stops was the old city hall.
(Thank goodness for J getting his iPhone out regularly to capture things.) We were just hanging out across the street looking at this building. It's pretty, right? I think the gold dome is kind of funny, but it is a really neat building. We saw lots of gravestones, including this one:

This one made J decide that he wanted his headstone to say "Big Pimpin', Ardent Patriot" on his own headstone. It is amazing those old headstones, some of them are so faded that you cannot read them anymore. They have skulls or symbols on them and there are signs in the graveyard to describe what the symbols mean. We followed the trail around and got to see lots of neat things throughout downtown. It is funny. J actually knew about a lot of the stops because of a video game he played (Assassins Creed 3 took place during the Revolution, and that is J's favorite video game series. J would tell me that he had climbed on top of these buildings or drank at this bar with Revolutionaries.)
(This is actually that Tavern that he drank at in the video game). We went to this pub/tavern for lunch. J was very excited because they had $1 oysters. I am allergic to shellfish, so I did not enjoy that, but he thought they were delicious. We went to a lot of other neat places including the USS Constitution and the Bunker Hill memorial.

And J posed with Paul Revere.
After we hit up all of these sites, we headed back to downtown, right next to the Green Dragon, to go to the Union Oyster House - claim to fame: America's Oldest Restaurant. J got some more oysters, and we each had a beer. We had some time back at the hotel for pumping and picking dinner. We wanted to go someplace really different/kind of nice. I hopped on Yelp and started searching. I wanted there to be seafood/oysters since J was kind of on a roll. I also wanted there to be other options since shellfish is not one of those options that I can enjoy.

We ended up at a place called Post 390 which was a few blocks away in Back Bay. They had a "farm to post" (versus farm to table. ha!) menu, which I ordered from. J and I both had fish for dinner which was delicious. I would definitely recommend checking it out if you are in Boston!

We left the next morning.

We will soon be back to our regularly scheduling posting.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Boston Day 2

Sorry for the delay in this post. Things have been busy at home and work, so now I need to play catch up.

After our night spent drinking at Harpoon, J woke up with a headache. I cannot say I am surprised, but it turned out to be hangover mixed with a sinus headache, so it lasted much longer than such a headache should have lasted. We were slow to get up that morning for sure. I was relatively attached to the pump, even though I was not with Addie for 3 days, I wanted to keep all of the supply up in order to resume feeding as regularly scheduled upon my return to Cincinnati. So I had an alarm on my phone set for every 4 hours. While we were at the hotel, I used the big hospital grade pump. But I carried the manual one around with me while I was gone.

We decided that Sunday would be the perfect day to head over to Cambridge. We could see MIT, Harvard, Cambridge Brewing Company, etc. I wanted to find something Harvard for little genius baby Addie. That was kind of my goal, in addition to seeing the campus as I have heard it was beautiful. Cambridge Brewing Company was J's idea, although I was kind of surprised that he was up for that again since he was feeling yesterday.

Unfortunately I do not have any pictures of Harvard. So instead, here is a picture of Addie laughing hysterically.
J and I decided to start over to Cambridge walking, with plans to pick up a cab somewhere on the way. There was just a Cambridge Rd and we figured that if we followed it, eventually we would end up at least in generally the correct direction. We had a map of downtown as well as the train map, so we knew that this particular street would get us headed in the correct direction.

We ended up continuing to walk. We headed over the Longfellow Bridge which took us into Cambridge. MIT was directly over the bridge. Their campus was interesting. It seemed a little bit more urban than most college campuses I have seen. Not a whole lot of greenspace or anything. The buildings had labels on them that would be completely strange at other colleges. It was just extremely obvious how smart and science-y people are there. We walked by a bookstore and Jason (who, mind you, is SUPER smart) said, "holy crap. I don't even know that that word is!"

Lessons learned from walking to Cambridge...  Emily is SUPER great at reading paper maps, but lousy at understanding phone GPS. We definitely got lost. I have no idea how I managed that. I mean, I had specific directions on my phone to get to the University. But I was not using the navigation portion. I was just looking at the turn by turn directions, which somehow had me all turned around. Yes, we definitely got lost.

Eventually we made it all the way over to Harvard. We got there finally. That campus was unlike any campus I have ever been on. And by that I mean the buildings were beautiful brick buildings. There was greenspace everywhere. There was not a student to be found. Seriously, no kids (or adults) walking around campus. You could not find a school store or cafeteria or anything. Those things seem to be blatantly obvious at every other campus I have been on (ok, not MIT, that was another weird one). Not finding the bookstore was unfortunate because I had big plans on what I wanted to get for Addie.

After seeing all of the campus, J and I grabbed a cab and headed over to the Brewing Company. That was back close to MIT, so I am glad that we took a cab over there. We both had a beer off of their list - I got pumpkin, obviously - and we enjoyed our lunch. That took the majority of the day. We finally got back to the hotel (via train) and we just hung out and relaxed for a little while. We had walked probably 6.5 miles and were looking forward to a break. So we hung out in the room, I pumped with the electric pump (score over the manual!) and we made our dinner plans to hit the restaurant that was right next door to our hotel. Abby Lane.

The sign on the window of Abby Lane indicated that the chef/owner was on Hell's Kitchen and J and I just watched the most recent season of that show. Suffice to say, we are kinda into celebrity chefs. I made us a reservation for the restaurant since we were staying in the theater district and it was a show night. That just seemed like a good plan. J selected the restaurant because he thought there looked like there were a lot of taps in there. Turned out the food was much better than the beer, although we had good beer too. I selected a personal pizza off the menu. It had sausage, scallions, pesto, and balsamic on it. It was delicious. J got chicken with some kind of yummy rub on it. We both were extremely happy with our selections.

So ended Day 2 in Boston.