Monday, March 30, 2015

Weekends are for?

 Weekends are for relaxing and recuperating so that we are ready to tackle the week ahead right?  AHHHHAAAAA!!!  Said no mom ever!  It's when I take my second shift as cook, entertainer, dog walker, cleaner, laundry mat, caring wife, oh and yes a little bit of training!  I wanted to take a nap so bad yesterday during my sons nap but I had to take advantage of the downtown to get some stuff done.  But I do manage to get a lot done and if it's the only I can fit in every thing then so be it.   I'd rather live a jam packed life and feel like I'm squeezing every last drop out of it instead of letting Sunday come and wishing we had done this or that.  Yes, eating healthy, exercising and having a clean house is sometime over rated but I find I feel better when I have all these things in order.  I also have those weekends when it looks like a tornado has hit all rooms and I really could care less I just let it wait until the next weekend.  That's why we are so lucky we have that choice. 

Saturday I set my priorities and #1 became getting to REI to spend my $8 dividend on some socks and be one of the first ones there to get my free tshirt. :-) Then I saw this book and I decided I just had to have it.  Yes, total impulse buy which I never do as a matter of fact I usually give hubs a hard time for always doing that.  I'm on a reading kick lately not sure why but I'm really enjoying it.  It's probably because it's the quietest thing I can think of doing when my son is asleep.  He of course ran around the store wanting to get on every single bike he saw.

 Then priority #2 was going grocery shopping.  Every week as soon as I get home I do this.  I put all the fruits in veggies in a cold water/vinegar bath then brush them clean after letting them sit for a while.  That way they are washed and ready to go as I need them during the week.  I also prep a bunch of food for the week.  It's the only way I can manage to have home cooked meals most nights.  My son has hit his finicky toddler eating phase and it's driving us nuts.  This weekend we had a broken plate tantrum incident which resulted in him eating outside in his high chair while I cleaned.  And no matter how many times he asked for "agua" which he does for attention I was not going to give in especially considering he had already thrown it on the floor.  I love that kiddo! :-) but sometimes mom has to set some boundaries. 

 I'm trying a new thing for lunch: protein, spinach, frozen berry shakes with some fresh veggies.  I have to be able to eat a quick lunch since I don't have much time after getting a lunch time workout in!
 We went for a really nice hike this Sunday up the La Luz Trail and used our super comfy pack for "A" and the dog even got to join in the fun.  I managed to hike for an hour with the extra 30 pounds on my pack going uphill.  I was pretty sweaty and tired by the time it was time to turn around and for hubs to take over. 

I have my first sprint triathlon in 2 weeks and I'm panicking a little.  I'm not even sure I've actually been on the road with my bike yet this season just been in the garage on the trainer.  So next weekend I plan on getting out.  At least I've been in the pool a few times and I've kept up my running.  Last week was a good week for workouts and I felt strong during my sprint workout.

Monday, March 23, 2015

No particular topic... and some weekend recap.. meh

I struggled with what I should write about today as I had a lot of ideas for topics but some seemed a little too personal and others too trivial.  It is so much easier to pretend on a public forum that everything is right in the world and also if I try to write down some of my struggles they seem so ridiculous!  Working at a Cancer Center I am reminded every morning as I walk in there are people walking in to the sliding doors in the building right next to mine aren't there for work they are there for treatment.  Their world has been sent into a tail spin and they received the shock of their life when they were diagnosed and struggling every day not only to come to terms with the reality of their news but to physically battle for their life and side effects their treatments make them suffer through.  Another small part of me wanders if working here for too long being above the radiation treatment sites will one day make me have the same fate.  I mean I'm sure that stuff does a little more than just mess up your cell phone signal even though they account for it by extra thick concrete walls and ceilings.  Anyway didn't mean to start the week on a downer....that being said instead I'll just give a little update on my weekend.

Last week was quite lack luster when it came to my workouts.  Life happened and I had to skip two lunch time workouts in order to take care of my son for one and to attend a work luncheon for the other.  I also became too lazy at night after I put him down to get it done!  I struggle with that regularly.  On Friday I went for a run with the stroller and doggie and had to cut it short 2.5 miles due to a bathroom emergency, I know tmi.  On Sat. I timed a small 5k race with a friend then took my son and dog for another run.  I had intended for this one to be 4 mi. but again had to cut it short 2.5 because my son decided to freak out in the stroller for the first time ever and kept kicking his sunscreen off and crying so I figured I should head back so he doesn't end up hating the stroller.  I think part of it was that he was tired as he has gone down to 1 nap a day now but it is in the afternoons so he still gets a little cranky in the mornings.  The other thing the 1 nap a day affects is my ability to shower in the morning but I really needed to as I was supposed to go to a musical with hubs once he got off work.  So I put him in the highchair in the bathroom while I showered.  Luckily he stayed amused enough when I'd make faces at him through the plastic door.  That day was pretty stressful trying to fit so much in to one day and deal with a cranky baby while I tried to cook and clean and get myself ready to supposedly go and have a good time.  Good news is he woke up happy and refreshed so thankfully my bro and SIL had a good time babysitting!  Sun.  I got in a trainer ride while hubs watched my son for an hour.  Hubs spent the entire day building this for our son:

Which is why he got angry with me later.  I decided that afternoon that I wanted to spend my sons 2 hour nap swimming.  My parents were going anyway so I said we'd go together.  I helped hubs for 15 mins. after putting my son down holding some pieces in place while he drilled etc.  Then took off, swam, showered and came back. All the while my son woke up 1/2 hour early and hubs had to watch him instead of continuing to build the playset.  I was asked why I was out for social hour instead of paying attention to the priority of getting the playset done and if I was going to round it out with a run to get a triathlon in.  What I really wanted to say was Yes a triathlon sounds great and I still needed to run the dog so that would work out beautifully, but I refrained.  And sadly the poor little doggie was neglected and did not get a run or walk in yesterday.  But the playset was completed, yay!  I'm not bitter still at all.  This is why I don't get many workouts in.  If I can't make them to fit into my schedule where it only affects me then I'm SOL.  I know there are many underlying issues here and I won't burden you any longer with them.  On the plus side I really pushed myself during the swim.  I did some sprints instead of the usually slow and steady mile.  A few of the sprints I pushed so hard I felt like my heart might actually explode out of my chest, it feels so good to feel that alive!  Thanks to my dad racing me on a few of them.

Instead look at this happy smiling adorable peaceful wonderful face!!  This is why I do it all.  This is why I tough it out, suck it up, and keep trudging along.  He makes my entire life worth it with or without my ideal workouts.  I love him and would do anything for him.  And this other face is the face of a loyal friend who has put up with a lot from the new addition and doesn't get all her workouts in either! HAAA!  Lexi I feel your pain and we will all get through this together!  I have my first sprint triathlon in 2 weeks!!!! Ahhhhh!!!!

Happy Training!!!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Shamrock Shuffle, Uphill Finish!

When I signed up for this race I had debated whether I wanted to do the 10 miler or 10k.  I didn't even notice where it was being held.  In the end I settled on the 10k since I rarely run this distance as it is a really hard one for me to nail down.  I thought I'm going to train differently and hope for a PR I had to beat a 53:06 finish from 2006.  So I was hoping to finish in the the 52 min range.  Well it wasn't until packet pick up that I realized the race was in Rio Rancho which means one thing HILLS!!  Luckily where I trained there are hills no matter which way you go.  But that 52 PR would have needed a flat course.  That being said I was still very excited for the race because I found out my parents and brother decided they were going to come with me and cheer and bring my son with them so he was going to be able to watch me!!! YAY!!!!  Hubs stayed at home to finish sealing the floors in our house, although honestly when he has to watch Aiden during one of my running races he usually just stays home with him, I mean after a while people get bored watching me at races and prefer the comfort of their own home vs. chasing a toddler around for an hour.  So the day of I realized I was a little nervous due to the hills and actually having a fan club.  I had some butterflies which NEVER happens to me for running races usually only for triathlons.  Because with running I never place so there is no pressure.  Well today I was ready to tackle those hills and I was filled with such excitement and joy!  It was one of those moments when the gun goes off and I was overwhelmed with emotions almost crying tears of joy!

So here's the down and dirty 54/119 overall 5th in AG with a finish of 59:17; 3rd place in my age group finished in 54:42 I only mention that to point out the fact that the hills were a factor for sure if my PR would have actually placed me.  I had 58 and change on my Garmin but I stopped it right at 6.2 not the finish.  I kept repeating to myself "This is a race you are supposed to be uncomfortable." and "Finish strong for your son, he needs to see a strong mom who loves running!"  Well it worked.  As my lungs burned, my legs yelled at me and my mind went numb I kept running even though I was really tempted to join some of the others in walking some of the steeper hills.  Mind you sometimes my shuffle was probably slower than a walk! :-)  My mile splits were all over the place because on the downhill I tried really hard to make up the difference.  9, 8:30, 10, 9, 10, 8+  As I crossed the finish line the look of true excitement on my sons face as he saw me coming really gave me such a boost!  I high fived my brother as I passed him which was hilarious because we aren't ones to show much emotion and he was caught off guard but it was fun!  All I can really say about this race was I had fun and I felt so loved and supported and I kicked those hills hard!  I may not have finished in the time I wanted but I finished feeling strong and like I had given it my all, what a good feeling.  My dad entered my son in the kids k which was a disaster as 4 was the youngest age and at 18 months my son was confused and scared by the start horn.  I had to carry him most of the way and the only part I got him to run was when he chased a piece of granola bar(wrong on so many levels)!  But I guess he got his first medal as he crossed the finish line only running because he loves electronics and liked the digital clock and the shiny medal they were holding up.  See what happens when you leave your son with his grandparents! :-)  I will be waiting until he is old enough to understand and actually shows some interest in races before thinking about doing that again. 

Now bare with me I have more photos than usual since I had a fan club!   Happy Training!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Exercising your mind, your brain needs exercise too!

Have you ever had your brain "hurt"?  I feel that way sometimes by the end of the day!  I try to do things like the silly online brain games or read more instead of always watching TV.   At work I'm always giving my brain a work out both in emotional intelligence (don't strangle the employees empathize) and technical intelligence (drafting documents, building spreadsheets, analyzing data).  I sent my mom an article that talked about how if you help watch your grand kids it helps to reduce chances of Alzheimer's ok this one was mostly to make me feel better!

But the other day in my total body conditioning class that I teach during lunch once a week I was having them do an exercise that worked both muscles and brain and everyone really seemed to be struggling with it.  Then I tried to talk to them at the same time we were doing the exercise and they all let out an exasperated exclamation, Don't talk to us we're concentrating!!!  Haaaa!!!  So the next time around I let them do the exercise only on one side for 30 seconds then switch to the other side for 30 seconds instead of alternating each time between sides.  They were much happier!  I explained "in here we work muscle tone and strength, balance, coordination and make the nerves fire off in ways they aren't always asked to so that we can stay on top of our game!"  I think a few rolled their eyes and the rest were just happy to get through the workout.  But I find this kind of stuff so interesting.  I bet there is a ton of research being done on this connection between brain and exercise.  That's why I like to change things up all the time not just for muscle memory purposes.  What do you do to stay on top of your game?

This weekend was pretty decent workout wise.  I did a 20 mile tour de garage on the trainer and a 1.5 mi run with the dog and stroller on Sat. and on Sun. I did an 8 mile run up an arroyo that was dirt half of the way so it totally worked muscles that don't normally get worked on my runs.  And I got to do it with my great new running/mom buddy.  She has even offered to come out and pace/support me on my upcoming race which is awesome because she is a much better runner than me and I know she'll keep me on point or at least distracted.  Ok so I have my first sprint triathlon in about 1 month and I haven't been in the pool in almost a year!  Good news is it is through the University I work at so I get to enter for free, well almost they still tax it as income, but bad news is I've had a hard time getting myself to the pool.  So I went at lunch today on spring break and it was fabulous!!  It was weird trying to shower super fast before heading back to work but I got here half an hour early to make up for it.  I wander if anyone noticed my hairstyle changed from morning to afternoon and that I wasn't wearing my usual make up after lunch! :-)  My guess is no!  But the rings around my eyes from the goggles is a dead give away!!! Tonight I hope to lift some weights from home.  Now I just have to find some time to get out on the actual road on my bike instead of staring at a computer screen and some old greasy rags.  Just for fun... He thinks he's a big boy now and insisted on eating the corn on the cob!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Recipe: Vegetarian Stuffed Pasta Shells

I like to try new recipes I get bored easily in the kitchen.  While yes some weeks I stick to the tried and true and whatever I can whip up fastest other weeks I set aside a few new recipes to try.  Well when you do that it's hit or miss.  This recipe I had found and bought the ingredients for but when it came time to make it I forgot which one of my zillion online places I had saved it to.  So I had to wing it and hope that I at least got the main gist of it.  Turns out my son and hubs liked it a lot and it was a nice way to sneak in some healthy items into the mix.  Honestly for me it wasn't like OMG I want to eat this every day liked it but it was my family is happy and I'm happy kind of liked it.

1 box pasta shells
1 block extra firm tofu
spinach (to taste)
nutritional yeast about 1/4 cup
oregano, thyme, parsley, basil
onion or onion powder
garlic cloves 2-4
vegetable broth or olive oil (about 2 table spoons)
Marinara sauce (I used store bought this time but can easily make this ahead of time)
Parmesan cheese (optional, if you leave this out it can be vegan)

Cook pasta shells as directed on box
Saute spinach in either vegetable broth or olive oil until wilted (you could buy frozen for an added short cut)
In a food processor mix tofu, sauteed spinach and all other ingredients until smooth
in a glass baking dish pour a small amount of the marinara sauce on the bottom and spread.  Stuff each shell with about 2 tblsp of mixture from food processor and place over sauce once have all shells stuffed and placed in dish cover with remaining marinara sauce.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if desired.
Bake for 20 mins. at 350 cool and serve