Thursday, January 23, 2014

Miles 4 and 5

Mike is an awesomely supportive husband - he is (eventually) encouraging of my crazy goals and dreams.

As one of my Christmas gifts, he registered me for a 4 mile prediction run. Seems like kind of a strange gift, but I was really excited about it - it would be a great challenge and perfectly timed with the distance I was planning for that weekend.

On January 11th, it was 40 degrees and windy. Just days after a really big snow/ice storm and a little spell of cold weather known as the Polar Vortex.  The prediction race was 4 miles, I predicted that I could finish the race in 48 minutes.  The course was a muddy and wet loop (modified from the original course due to the ice issue), but it was also still decently flat and fast.  5 loops = 4ish miles.

I don't particularly enjoy being muddy.  But it was fine. My feet were cold and I bargained with myself every time I stepped into an ice cold puddle of mud or ran up a very muddy hill.  It was all fine, it felt good and I was surprised at the results.


And I ended up running in the course in 47 minutes, better than I planned for.  I was a lot muddier than I had planned for, but that was fine too.

I have to do my longer runs on the weekends, and I aim for the morning before the day gets crazy. This past weekend, 5 miles was on my schedule.  It was 10 degrees on Saturday morning and Gianna just wanted to snuggle up on the couch together. So we did for a little bit but I knew I had to get the distance in or else it would just haunt me the rest of the weekend.  I promised her more snuggles when I got back, which she was okay with!

It was colder than I planned for and it was a little more icy than I thought it was going to be, but I ran anyway.  I wasn't cold until about mile 2.5, when the wind kicked up (and apparently the "real feel" was something like -7 degrees at one point) but at that point I was half way done and I had to run back home! I bargained with myself every 1/2 mile - okay, only "x" more to go until you can take a hot shower! 
My biggest lesson learned was to for sure wear another layer when it's below 15 degrees.

I ran a little slower than I know I can to account for the ice (I am super clumsy, I still can't believe I didn't fall!) and still completed 5 miles more than 5 minutes faster than the last time I ran that same path in October - I was pretty happy with that outcome!  It's nice to see the difference and the improvement as well, I don't usually feel like I am doing a whole lot but the numbers don't lie, right?

Another way that Mike is super supportive - he always has a good breakfast waiting for me when I get back from a run, no matter how long or short it was.  Gianna is pretty sweet as well - she always wants to know how my running was - she sat across from me and ate her breakfast (of grilled cheese...) and then chatted with me the whole time I was in the shower.  She cracks me up and motivates me all at the same time!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Just the beginning

I have always enjoyed running.   I always had a goal of completing a half marathon some time in the future. We have a really great race locally in September each year and I just never seemed to be able to get myself together in time to prepare for it, ever.  Busy life, blah blah blah.

I had a goal to run a 5k after I had Gianna, and I did that. It wasn't pretty, but who cares.  And then, graduate school/work/life got in the way (and winter came) and I stopped.  Graduate school/work/life continued and I just never picked it back up until this past summer. 

I was still feeling frumpy after having Aleesia and I had a beach vacation on the horizon - I didn't want to feel horrible about how I looked.  I decided to do the couch to 5k program again and literally would do loops around our very very small "neighborhood" to complete each workout.  Sometimes I had to repeat a work out (or a week of workouts) but I finished the whole program. It wasn't always easy, but it was enjoyable for me. I wasn't fast AT ALL and that was fine with me (even if it's hard to not be intimidated by people who run much faster than I do!)- my goal was to simply finish each workout without walking when I was supposed to be running.  I ran the 5k distance on my own and was really proud of myself when I did that.

A good friend challenged me to run a 10k in October - so I signed up and worked hard to accomplish that goal.  The actual 10k was postponed due to the government shutdown but we ran 6.2 miles anyway and it felt good to accomplish that goal.  Again, not fast but I finished it without walking which is all I care about.

I continued to run anywhere from 2-4 miles regularly and felt pretty good.  But not challenged.  I decided to add in some cross training and work a little on speed as well for an additional challenge. I did run a turkey trot in 16 degree weather, and did not in fact freeze to death, thanks to some encouragement and guidance from a good friend.  That was a challenge of a different kind!

Then a twitter friend mentioned entering the random draw for the Nike Run Women 1/2 Marathon in DC.  So I entered.  I never thought I would be chosen, but knew if I was there was no turning back on that goal.

I was selected.  And I promptly freaked out because it is winter. And I don't like the cold. And I have to run outside.  And And And THIRTEEN MILES IS A LONG WAY!

Then I got excited, or just determined, maybe.  I AM going to run 13.1 miles. At one time. With 15,000 people.  And it's going to be just fine. 

This isn't going to be easy for a lot of reasons (life is nuts, as usual!) but I know it's going to be worth it.

Thursday, January 16, 2014


I haven’t posted a Giannaism in a very long time – as much as this 4.75 year old pushes my buttons some days, she is still so so hilarious. And often times, wise beyond her years.

Just a few excerpts from recent conversations so you can get a glimpse into the good, the bad, and the funny that is my oldest sweetheart.  And I can capture some of her 4.75 year old world permanently. 

Mike’s new work schedule doesn’t get him home until at least 7:30 which means I do dinner and bedtime – a notoriously difficult time in our house.

Dinner is a really rough time for the 4.75 year old six and a half out of seven nights a week.  There is usually a lot of drama and tears involved for one reason or another. 

“I am NOT eating this chicken. It smells terrible. And don’t you know I only like finger chickens? Not THIS kind of chicken.”

she then moved the chicken on to a napkin, pushed it across the table and ate the applesauce and crescent roll on her plate. A little later  when she couldn’t have more crescent rolls…

“but MAH-MEE, you should know I only like to eat foods that are soft and fluffy”


After I made her exactly what she asked for for dinner….

“I am not eating at that table wif people. I do not want to eat wif people any.more.  … I just waited all day for you to come home so I could be happy and now you made me angry. And I am crying and I have a head-ick.”

And when there isn’t any drama, we have a lot of laughs.  Gianna is quite a story teller.  Most nights we can’t start dinner until her baby dolls are at the table ready to eat.  They even have their own spots at the table.  I don’t have any direct quotes (I seriously need to record our dinner conversations) just a few tidbits of things she has told me:

  • Her pretend husband, Stuart, is also her other pretend husband Mr. Cresawati’s brother.  Her and Stuart needed to quit the marriage though because it just wasn’t working out.
  • She re-enacted the entire Santa Clause 3 movie – including the part about having a baby and being a principle.
  • Her daughters are usually Lauren and Emily.  Sometimes Isabella. And now, Saige. Apparently they eat all of the dinner that she refuses to eat.
  • She also re-enacts and sings the entire Frozen movie.  She has to be Elsa and usually wears gloves around the house.
  • Apparently the light hurts her eyes at restaurants, unless she is at Panera or Applebee's. (neither of those places she eats at, by the way)
  • She often asks me about my work friends after I ask her about her day.

And on the topic of Giannaisms and memory keeping – I need to start getting an outfit of the day picture of her.  And a pajamas of the day picture.  Today she went to dinner in a pink hello kitty shirt, purple tulle skirt, grey leggings, pink shoes and a purple hoodie with her hair in a silly ponytail.  Tonight she went to bed in fire truck pj shirt, plaid pants and a yellow flowered night gown over top.

She can be a handful, she can be a challenge, but above all she is pretty awesome and she is growing too fast.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

so hard to believe this was almost a year ago


and now, that inside baby?

She walks!

12.25  (276)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

As I was making Aleesia’s birthday invites I came across this little bug’s first birthday invites:


This blew my mind when I saw it – no idea how it feels like it was so long ago yet just yesterday.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Bring on the busy(er)

Now that the holidays are over and a whole new year is here I feel like I can start thinking about the year ahead a little bit.

There are a lot of big events and plans and goals set for 2014:

  • train for and complete the Run Nike Women DC 1/2 marathon in April
  • start my PhD program (this one has me a wee bit freaked out)
  • decide on where we will send Gianna to Kindergarten (just when I think we have made a decision, I change my mind again!)
  • get stricter with our debt-reduction plans
  • hopefully list and sell our house
  • which means we get to buy (or build???) a new house

But! the very first big event of 2014 is a certain little girl’s first birthday – say what?

Aleesia birthday

A lot of these things are “bucket list” items for me which is exciting in it’s own right but I am all of a sudden feeling very overwhelmed.  I think the anticipation of starting new, big, time consuming projects is worse than actually being in the middle of the business.

so, bring it on 2014 – the good, the exciting, the scary, the fun – I’ll figure out the how and when it’s all going to happen along the way.

What does 2014 have in store for you?