Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Goal for 2011

I have one goal for 2011 - to have a garden. In my neighborhood, you are supposed to either have a fence or get your "landscaping" approved. I have been putting off the garden for years due to lack of a fence, but now, I have decided that I am just going to try it anyway. The worst that can happen is they tell me to get approval from my neighbors and/or tell me to get a fence.

Audrey and I have been talking about our plans and what we want to grow. I am going to do a raised bed for our first garden. I already know my backyard soil is bad and this way it will be fairly simple to put up some chicken wire around the garden to protect it from furry friends who may want to taste test the goods. It should be a fun project!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Kitchen Antics

Recently, we have been eating out less and less. I love it. We eat better and healthier. Also, I have been shopping more at Wegmans because I can get a whole bunch of different veggies. The result is, our grocery bill is fairly high, but we have been eating so well.

Right now we have soup in the crockpot - white bean, sausage and kale.

Also, I am trying my hand at homemade ginger ale. It takes about 2 weeks before it is ready. Hopefully in time for New Year's Day.

Friday, September 03, 2010

swimming goals

The other day I was reading some blogs/fitness articles about new swimmers and a how to do a swimming training schedule. I have never given much thought to improving my swimming endurance. I have just been thinking along the lines of learning how to breath on each side, do the stroke correctly, etc. Now I do not mean to imply that I have even mastered these basics - I am still learning for sure. But the articles that I read made me think that I should focus my morning swims on distance as well as skills so that I can build my endurance.

With that in mind I went to the pool this morning and did 11 laps (down and back) total (550 yds or meters (I'm not sure of the what the pool length is measured in)). So this will be my baseline. It took me the whole 30 minutes, but I do rest between laps. For the last lap, I didn't stop at all on the down and back doing the freestyle - that is a first for me!

For those who may be worried that they will unknowingly break some pool rules, they are actually pretty easy (common sense, not like bowling etiquette). Stay in your own lane (assuming you have a whole lane to yourself); if you do have to share - try to pick the lane that has someone of a similar skill level as you to share with; if you share a lane, stay on your side the whole time (not like a race track); don't talk to people - nobody talks when they swim and if they are resting, they are probably about to start up again; when you go for the ladder and have to cross others lanes, try to be as minimally disruptive as possible, as in try to cross while they are at the other end of the pool. Anyone else know of any other pool rules?

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

i did it!

4 miles straight! running the whole time!!

if i am around at the end of september (ie not in beautiful baghdad), i may sign up for a local 10k - and run the whole damn thing!!!

honestly, it was nice and warm out (upper 90s today), but the sun had gone down a little and it wasn't as humid as it was last time we did the whole 4 mile loop (before the chicago 13.1), so it felt a little easier. and i sped it up on the last little bit and angie (my neighbor and running partner) and i talked on most of it (except the last part of the three biggest hills), which we couldn't do last time. thursday we are going to do that again, but this time, add in the extra little hills section (i think it is another 1/3 mile).

the neighborhood i live in is all hills, seriously almost nothing flat. that has actually turned out to be a good thing for me. i think running is a very mental sport. i can push myself to the top of a hill and then tell myself to let gravity do the work on the way down. if i make sure i take it easy on the way down, it really feels like a recovery and i can push myself up the next hill. we always walk 1/3 mile out of the neighborhood, then start our run and end with the 1/3 mile back to our houses. it is a great little loop. hopefully someday soon it can be a several times a week 5 mile loop - that is my life-style fitness goal (for running anyway).

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Swimming (and running report)

This year at work, one of my co-workers talked about swimming all winter long. So, naturally I started wishing I knew how to swim for real. Don't get me wrong, I took swimming lessons as a kid. I feel extremely comfortable in the water, but I don't (didn't) know how to lap swim.

I found community rec center swim classes for Audrey and I at the same time on Saturday mornings and she and I just finished up our first round of classes and signed up for round two. I love it. It is an hour of Saturday morning working on the various swimming strokes, down the length of the pool and back. I finish completely exhausted and very happy.

Last week, I asked the teacher if there is some unwritten lap swimmers rules that I need to know. She gave me the basics and I went and did lap swimming for the first time last Wednesday morning. It was awesome. It was a great workout and a great way to start my day. I can definitely see what my co-worker was talking about and I am so glad I tried it.

Also, since I am clearly very bad at updating the blog, I did a 13.1 in Chicago with my sisters and it went well. I shaved 5 min off my time from the year before. I was still super sore the day of the 13.1 - my feet especially. But this time, after a nap and a good nights sleep, I was fine the next day - which is awesome.

I think my next one will be in Feb in Disney - the Disney Princess Half-Marathon awesomeness! That way we can fit in a trip to Disney for Audrey at the same time. Somehow, the 13.1 seems to be a good number for me. I have no desire to do a full 26.2 - that seems like more time for training than I am interested in committing and more pain than I am willing to inflict on myself. The 13.1 is tough enough, that I really do have to train for it, even though I walked most of the last two. It is a real challenge to complete. I hope I can shave off another five minutes this time too. That is the one good thing about starting at the bottom - no where to go but up.

And since we are at it, I made a new life goal - do a triathalon before I hit 50. I have a while to go, both in training and years. But I am making progress, I am now a short distance jogger and am starting to be a swimmer too.

Monday, April 12, 2010


Life is complicated.

The other day, my FIL was playing the piano and he played this song, Humoresque by Dvorak, and it just spoke to me and nearly brought me to tears (so of course I went home and bought it on itunes, so I can torture myself at any point). It brought me to tears because it seemed to epitimize life to me. Moments of brightness and lightness intermixed with more powerful feels and undertones of reality and grounding.

For example, I love my job. But my job takes up so much time and energy away from the people I love the most. Complicated.

And that is the easiest of the complications life presents.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Color me crazy

Work is chaotic! right now.

Plus it is Easter and I have the cutest little girl who is so excited to do Easter things and decorate cookies and color eggs.

All this is to say, I am a little stressed, so naturally, I decided to add another 13.1 walk/run into the mix. Chicago Rock n' Roll here I come....

Sunday, March 07, 2010

5K #2

This morning we left the house at 6am. In case you didn't know, that is early for a Sunday morning. We then drove 1.5 hours to participate in a small town's high school track and field fundraiser 5k.

Our intent was not to do two 5ks in sequential weekends, but March 5k pickings were slim for a Sunday mornings and I came up with the idea to do monthly 5ks at the end of February. Also, Audrey has dance class on Saturday mornings, so we must do all of our 5ks on Sunday morning.

Our time did not actually improve, it stayed just about the same. I am considering this a bit of a win for us. This course was much more difficult. It was advertised as having some "nice hills" - nice is not the word I would have picked for the hill on mile 3. It was darn near mountain climbing.

Also, we came up with a "training plan" which consists of going for a family run/walk every Sunday morning. In between Ryan and I will try to fit in a bit more exercise individually when we can. It is far from ideal, but it is much better than nothing. All things considered, from couch potato to 2 5ks in two weekends, I think we are doing pretty good.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Love the Run your with - 5K

Two weeks ago, I came up with the good idea of doing a 5k every month as a fitness plan this year. So today, Ryan and I did our first 5k. We mostly walked, but ran a little too. It felt great. Our goal is to beat our time every time. Progress thats the plan.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

New Year's Resolutions

Last year I had some pretty lofty resolutions and I accomplished many of them.

This year however, I am hoping to just be more grateful for all that I have and in doing so to honor the present by fully enjoying it.

That's it, my one goal for the year.