Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A new running record

Remember back at the beginning of the month (three weeks ago today, actually) I posted about doing a running class and having run down, then back up, then back down, then back up a hill with a 6% grade (though I checked something else today and it told me 10% grade, but whatever, it is a rockin' hill)? It is .7 miles each way. Well, tonight I did that same run again, but added another down and back! When I totalled up that run three times plus the walk to and from the top of the hill with my running group, I ran 4.5 miles. Holy moley. I think that might be the farthest I've ever ran in one running session!

My shins are hurting, which my instructor said is probably because I am pushing myself too hard too soon (gee, maybe she could have told me that before I started?) but it's not horrendous. I have been taking ibuprofen and icing my shins and it's tolerable. Man, feeling awesome from that kind of running totally outweighs some cranky shins (and remind me I wrote that when I am whining about being sidelined with an injury!).

Last night I did just a wee bit under four miles on a long flat stretch and I *think* I made my best time. I knew exactly how fast I ran because I timed it. Last week at running classes we ran 800s (1/2 mile) several times and though we were timed, and my times added up to a teensy bit faster than last night, each 800 came with a break between it, which obviously made them a bit easier to do.

This weekend I might get to do my first 5K, which would be really exciting!

Anyways, I just feel like tooting my own horn a bit, since this running thing is such an accomplishment for me. Thanks for bearing with me! Since I hope to be on a half marathon training plan you might be seeing more of these kinds of posts around these parts.

Home school projects

Iris and I have found that working on projects is a great use of our schooling time!

Check out the recent projects at my other blog The Schooling Bridge.

Monday, October 17, 2011

My Head is Swimming

I am kind of in the middle of one of those times where my head is full of so much stuff, so much heavy, important stuff, that I just almost can't think about any of it. I don't know where to start.

So you know what I did today to re-direct some of my energy? I signed up for a half marathon. Ha! Yeah, yeah, I know I wrote in my birthday post that I wouldn't even go there, but I did anyways. The 1/2 is in June and so far everyone I have asked (including my trainer) says I can TOTALLY do it, which means one of two things: I actually can do it, or else my friends are sadistic and are looking forward to me writhing in pain and misery come June 23rd. But, it is called the Rock-n-Roll Half Marathon, so come on, if I'm going to run one, that is right up my alley.

I have run 3 miles fairly easily a couple of times over the last week so I have a bit of confidence that I am starting from a place just a step up from total beginner.

My favorite thing about running is that I only think of two things while doing it: putting one foot in front of the other and the music playing on my ipod.

So what am I avoiding?

I have to make some decisions about actual, real live curriculum for Iris's homeschooling. I started off kind of winging it with some basic guidance, but now that we are signed up for an online public school they will fund and oversee our curriculum, so the sky is sort of the limit now. Which is great, except for the world of homeschooling curriculum is insanely vast and OHMYGOD if I don't pick the right one my kid will be dumb boring and stupid the rest of her life! Okay, just kidding, but it does feel pretty overwhelming.

The only thing overshadowing ALL of that is trying to figure out what to do for therapy and whatnot for Iris. This is one of those cases where the more opinions I seek, the more contradictory information I gather. It is so draining, because I want everyone I talk to to have the right answer, but no one does, of course. And them I am supposed to figure out the best thing to do, but this is my daughter we are talking about, and it is sort of scary to have no clue what the best thing to do is.

Of course, now that we've been drop-kicked from the homeschooling group, Iris is home with me all day every day and I have zero time not only for myself, but also for making any phone calls or working on figuring stuff out. If I am not directly supervising her schooling she won't work on it, so it becomes a juggling act of what I need to get done versus what I need her to get done.

And yes, finding a babysitter is on my to-do list. A babysitter would be immensely helpful, but it takes an awful lot of time to find the right one.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

And a box of ladies, on channel eighty*

I have now celebrated a decade of birthdays in Seattle. Guess this year will be kind of like that-- a decade of marking all sorts of things I started when I moved here. It is interesting to me that pretty much nothing in my life now connects back to where I was in my life when I started on a new path 2,000 miles from home. A decade ago I ate Thai food for my birthday dinner . . . wait! I ate Thai food tonight, too! Okay, maybe not totally different.

This morning Iris really wanted to make me breakfast in bed. I asked Matt to steer her towards letting me order a breakfast and I ate it at the table. It was one of those things that completely threw off my morning routine, but it was so darn cute how excited she was, I wanted her to know I appreciated her effort.

As a gift I decided to buy myself a new pair of running shoes so I went to a local running store and had them fit me for the right ones. My pickiness meant I had to special order a pair, so it will be nice to try those out when they arrive.

Today I was wondering if I am yet in the best shape of my life. I might have been in better shape when I did the Danskin Triathlon in 2001, but I was also ten years younger, so what I lacked in strength I made up for in sheer ignorance of my limits.

Good lord, I am getting old.

But this year I want to truly hit that spot where I am, without question, stronger and healthier than ever before. I am very, very new to running but I thought it would be fun to have a medium term goal of running a 10K. My thoughts skitted over to a 1/2 marathon, but whoa nelly, I can run a 5K now if I push myself to almost puking, so a 1/2 marathon is a pipe dream at this point. I also want to do just one real push-up. Just one! It is amazing how hard I work out and still can't do a damn push-up. It's like my arms are immune to strength training.

Anyways, I need something active, something to release my stress, and exercise is good. Did you know that it has been shown that exercise has at least the same success rate for treating depression as drugs? I don't have depression (just pointing that out. Going insane? Likely. But not depressed.) I still want to get back in to writing eventually, but every mother knows we are lucky to get any time at all for ourselves, let alone enough to do everything we wish we could!

So, yep. Another year older. Hopefully wiser, but who knows. I am not convinced that is always how it works.

*this morning Eloise's class sang me an extendo version of the birthday song and this is how she mis-sang a line from it. Too adorable!

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Apple Picking!

Oh, you are so in luck! A post with pictures, finally!

Yesterday the girls and I went apple picking. It was a long drive through a lot of rain, but we were lucky enough to get a couple of hours of overcast but dry skies when we were at the farm.

I just realized, none of our pictures are actually of picking the apples. Know why? Because I did that part. Well, that and we didn't get that many, only about 22 pounds. I am not a baker or canner, so most of these apples will be eaten raw-- which is just fine by us, but also means that we won't go through them very quickly.
Apple picking was clearly more for the experience than the need for apples. I certainly wouldn't have had to drive two hours each way just for apples!
Eloise rode in the cart most of the time. She was tired, apparently.
Our apples were beeeee-utiful!
Most of the apples we picked were Liberty (a McIntosh cross, and McIntosh are my very favorite. We used to pick those up in Door County, WI when I was a wee girl).
The highlight of the apple picking trip began after we were done picking. There were some fun activities for kids to do scattered around the barn, like a good old fashioned tired swing.

The teeter-totter (or is it see-saw?) was a hit. Iris and Eloise both took turns riding with the farmer's five year old son. The girls had so much fun playing with him and as soon as we left were asking when we could go back for a playdate.
A pedal-powered tractor was a big hit with Eloise.
It can be tricky finding activities like this when you live in a big city. Most farms that we can visit are basically just a mobbed tourist attraction complete with with jacked up prices. Not this place. It was nicely set up for visitors, but it wasn't full of people on a cloudy Friday afternoon.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

So, so sore

Ever since last winter I have been more serious about weight loss and my overall level of fitness. In late June of last summer I enrolled in a "bootcamp" type fitness class, where an instructor leads a group of us through a pretty rigorous one hour workout. We did sprints, stair and hill climbs, squats, push-ups, sit-ups, lunges, and tons more. The workouts are really intense but the best part of them is that we do them outdoors in a park overlooking Elliott Bay with the sounds of seals barking in the distance.

Last night, to make up for a missed bootcamp, I attended another class led by my bootcamp instructor. This class was a running clinic, for people who are working on improving their running skills. Let me first be clear: I am not a runner. I haven't really run since I did the Danskin triathlon in 2001, and even then the most I ever ran in a stretch was maybe three or four miles. I was a little nervous about the class, but I figured I could at least do some of it.

The instructor had us run from the top to the bottom of a road with a pretty decent grade (I looked it up, it's a 6% grade, with an elevation change of 165 feet!) and then back to the top, and then back to the bottom . . . . and then race to beat the person in front of you to the top again! Overall it was about a 5K run. I have to admit, I thought I was going to die on the last run to the top. BUT, I still made it. I was crazy proud of myself!

I am going to start going to the running class and my regular bootcamp class every week for the next few weeks. Maybe I will make a runner out of myself after all?

But this morning, I have a sort of overall soreness. Not just my legs, but everywhere. It's okay, I have begun to sort of cherish the soreness because then I know I really worked hard. (side note: it's not a "I hurt myself or pushed myself way too hard" sore, but more of a "oh, yeah, those muscles worked hard!" sore.)

Ever since I got my adrenals back in to balance (naturally!) I have reeeeeally enjoyed watching my efforts to lose weight pay off. Since May I have lost about 16-17 pounds. I don't really have a goal in mind, but more an overall feel about my body that I am working for. I keep hoping something will happen with my post-babies tummy, but so far not much luck. I haven't counted calories in a pretty long time, though I am overall conscientious about calories in the food choices I make. I definitely eat treats a few times a week, but I must have a decent enough exercise schedule to make up for it as my weight is still slowly decreasing.

This post is getting long, but I wanted to close with one more idea rattling around in my head. I don't consider myself someone who has a problem with emotional eating, but I definitely do sometimes struggle with my head and my gut not agreeing with how much food I should eat. One thing I have learned in my weight loss endeavors is that I really need less food, and get full much faster, than I realized. Like most people, I enjoy eating. It's frustrating to me to eat a small plate of something and feel full so quickly. So I keep eating, because I like the act of eating. And then I get really full and I don't feel good. This is something I am trying to work harder on, but it's really very much a mind game. Like last night, after my awesome run, I came home super hungry and made myself a two egg omelet with veggies, two sausages, feta and a side of one piece of toast. I only needed about 1/2 of what I made, I was satisfied and full after I ate half. But did I stop eating? Heck no! I finished it. And then I felt terrible.
But, hopefully, if I can wrangle my mind around being able to run, then I can wrangle my mind around not eating so much, right? Right? Let's hope so.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

What is up besides school stuff

Eloise is playing on a soccer team for the first time with six other five year olds. Our friend is coaching the team and Eloise's best friend, the coach's daughter, is also on the team. Eloise is mostly having a lot of fun with it, though her spirits were low after getting through the first game and not scoring a goal.


Today, though? She scored her very first goal! She was absolutely beaming, we were all so proud of her. It has been surprisingly tough for her to get in there and kick the ball, so I suspect that now that she has scored a goal her morale will be greatly improved. A U6 soccer game is mostly a bunch of kids just swarming around the ball as much as possible. They don't have goalies or (technically) keep score, they're just out there to get a feel for the game and have fun.

Their team picture was also done today and we ordered a set of trading cards with Eloise's picture on them. They are going to be crazy cute!

Iris has spent a lot of time with one her closest friends lately. I really like this one friend, in particular, because when Iris is alone with her they get along so perfectly (add in Eloise and it's a whole 'nother story!). After all the struggle we've had this week with Iris's Waldorf class I was so glad that Iris had some fun, stress-free time with a good friend this weekend.

This week we also challenged gluten and eggs for Iris and guess what happened? Absolutely nothing. That's right, nada, zero, zip. I am interested in talking to the ND about this and what it means. If Iris had a blood test indicating that she was sensitive to gluten and eggs but we don't see an obvious reaction to them, is it okay to let her have them? I am hoping so. It sure makes life easier for all of us!

I wonder how common that is, though, to show a reaction on a blood test and then none at all when you challenge those foods.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Where I've been

If you've been wondering where I've been blogging, then please come check out my new blog The Schooling Bridge.

It wasn't/isn't my plan to not blog here as much, but as it would happen, schooling issues are taking up about 80% of my brain these days. I will probably end up having quite a bit to say over there!