Running Goals – Phase Two*

I’ve been trying to sit down and write all week, but the last few days have been a bit of a blur. And when I say blur, I really mean blurry eyes because Hank the Tank is still teething and has been waking up almost every hour at night. He is still such a cuddly sweetheart when he does wake up, but I’m pretty sure that I haven’t had more than two consecutive hours of sleep in the last two weeks.

So, when I “wake up” (I use that term loosely because to me it implies that sleep has happened) in the morning, it usually takes me an hour or two to shake off the “if-I-don’t-get-more-sleep-I-may-break-down-and-ugly-cry” feeling, and then my second (or seventh) wind kicks in and I’m okay for the rest of the day.

But the rest of my days have been filled with a revitalized effort to potty-train Ruby, as we are still fighting that war. We’ve had some small successes, but we’re not where I hoped we’d be. Today we inched closer to that dream, so I’m hoping to keep that momentum going. Pray for me. haha

I’m still trying to get out and run when I can, though the last two weeks have been really difficult. After I finally achieved my last running goal, it was like something inside me switched off and my motivation waned. The lack of sleep, incessant rainy weather and mismatched schedules with the Hubster made it really difficult to get out. When I did run, I didn’t have the same drive and my whole body just felt so sluggish.

When the times between my runs stretched 3 – 4 days, it scared me how easy it was to not go. I’m terrified I’m going to get lazy and break this new habit I’ve started, so I recommitted myself this week and set some new goals. I went out running yesterday and again today, and already I can feel the spark back. It makes SUCH a difference to have something that you are working towards–when I feel myself getting tired, they help give me that little push to keep going a little further.

Here are the new goals I laid out earlier this week:

Running Goals – Phase Two*

  • 10 run streak under 35 min {Current streak: 1}
  • 5km in 32.5 minutes
  • 2km avg pace 6:30 {COMPLETE – October 21}
  • 5km avg pace 6:45
  • 1km in 6:10
  • 5km in 30 minutes

I ran my butt off and achieved one of my goals on my run yesterday, and it was a great kick start to phase two. When I first started, it took me roughly 40 minutes to run my 5k route. I’ve since been able to shave about 5 minutes off that time, and my dream goal right now is to be able to run 5km in under 30 minutes. I’m still a ways away, but hopefully these goals will help me inch a little closer. I’m running my third race on Saturday, and I’m hoping these goals will help me push a little harder.

Anyway, both of the kids are asleep and I can’t remember why I’m still awake… so… bed time.

Sweet dreams!

(Fingers crossed that I’ll get to sleep long enough to dream… ha)

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A Little Frazzled*

I’ve been feeling a little frazzled lately.

Ruby has been a little under the weather for the past few days. I don’t think it was anything serious, but she had a bit of a fever and she was very snuggly. My poor little bean was either on my lap or on my heels for much of the last 48 hours.  Hank has also been up quite a bit at night as he just cut his second tooth, so my lack of sleep + their neediness during the day has left me feeling a bit frayed around the edges.

My house also seems to be in a perpetual state of chaos now that I have two tornadoes whirling around behind me. Hank started crawling last week, and he went from tentatively moving a foot or two to check out a different toy, to shooting across the entire living room like a torpedo in two seconds flat. Today my entire house looked like a write-off by 9am, and I could feel my tension rising as I faced disasters on all fronts.

The mess, and the lack of me-time (aka: sanity time) I’ve had in the last few days has been hard. I could feel myself start snapping at the kids, so I decided to drop everything and just close the door. I took the kids out for a walk, and it was exactly what I needed to let go of some of my anxiety. For 40 glorious minutes I pretended that the mess wasn’t there.

When we got home, I quickly made lunch and had both kids down for nap by noon. Hank only naps for 30 minutes, so even though I desperately wanted to veg on the couch, I grit my teeth and began cleaning.

Sure enough, I wasn’t even finished cleaning the kitchen or making my lunch before he woke up, but I put him in our jumper and kept at it. Slowly but surely my floors reappeared from under the carpet of toys. I was feeling a bit better about the state of the house, but I had an itch to really organize and fix something. I tore apart my front closet, and before long I had a bag of things to donate.

It’s amazing how something as simple as organizing a closet can soothe my soul. I don’t deal well in a chaotic house, and it seems like that’s just an inevitability with a toddler and baby in the house. As soon as I put one thing away, seven more things are strewn out of place behind me. It’s a constant battle to try and weave housework into the kids schedules, all while trying to find those elusive moments for myself to preserve my sanity.

I know I’ll figure out, and that this phase passes. For the most part I can simply tune it out and ignore the mess until I can deal with it. But for days like today when my nerves are a little raw… I’ll walk it out, and tackle a closet.

And hopefully no one drops in for a surprise visit. haha

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100 Days of Gratitude*

Over the summer I participated in the Happiness Project that was circling the interwebs. All you had to do was find one thing that made you happy every day, and share that one thing with the world via a Facebook or Instagram. It was a fun little project that I enjoyed doing, even on those days when finding something happy was a little more challenging.

I finished my Happiness Project several weeks ago, and I’ve found that I’ve missed it. As cumbersome as it sometimes was to choose my happy moment, take (and edit) a photo then think of a clever caption to go with it, it also made me focus on something positive every day. I liked sharing that bit of myself with those that were following.

This season of Thanksgiving got me thinking, and I’ve decided to embark on a new project:

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It’s going to work like this:

1) Find something that I am grateful for every day.
2) Take a photo of (or write a status update about) it, and
3) Share the photo / status update each day.

That’s it. The Happiness Project was amazing because it gave me time to really see all the good I have around me every day… and I’m hoping that this Gratitude Project will now allow me to give thanks for it.

I’m planning to use photos & Instagram for this project, but I’ll share them to my Facebook page so you can see them too.

I’d like to challenge YOU (yes, you) to do this with me! It won’t take more than a few minutes each day to complete, and you can either post your photos or updates to Facebook, or link up your Instagram photos. Simply add the hashtag #GratitudeProject to the end of your posts.

After all,

It’s not happy people who are thankful…
It’s THANKFUL people who are happy.

My Gratitude Project starts tomorrow… let me know if you plan to join in! I hope you will. :)

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An Attitude of Gratitude*

I love Thanksgiving.

I love that this time of year beckons each of us to be with those we love, to eat excessive amounts of turkey and all things pumpkin, and to view our lives through a lens of gratitude.

On Saturday morning we packed the kids in the car and drove to my Grandma’s house in Muskoka. While the weather didn’t permit us to take our traditional walk in the bush to see the maple sugar shack, some 30+ members of my extended family crowded together around tables to visit and eat. My grandma, Aunts (and my mom) prepared a feast of turkey, two kinds of potatoes, three or four different vegetables, salads and two kinds of stuffing.

And let’s not even get started on the dessert… there were SIX different options for pie. SIX.

(I was good and limited myself to a half slice of two different kinds.)

(Though I may or may not have also had a bit of pumpkin cheesecake. I admit nothing.)

It was so nice to get together with my aunts, uncles and cousins. I know that everyone says this, but I have seriously been blessed with the best family. We aren’t perfect, but we’re pretty dang great.

From there we drove to my parent’s house where we spent the night and most of yesterday. Mom prepared a ridiculous lunch for us, complete with turkey and a turnip apple casserole that I am still dreaming about. The kids both napped, and I spent the afternoon curled up on the couch with my sister and brother watching Bedknobs and Broomsticks.

My heart is full. I am so grateful to have a moment to pause, look around and give thanks for all that we have.

I am so grateful for my family. My parents are so incredibly hardworking and supportive, my siblings are awesome and my extended family–on both sides–is large, hilarious and glorious.

I am beyond grateful for the Hubster and our two beautiful, healthy children. Sometimes I quietly take a step back and watch the Hubster play with our kids, and my heart is filled with so much joy that it almost hurts. I am SO blessed.

I am grateful for incredible friends who inspire me and motivate me to better. I have been so moved by one friend’s incredible sense of optimism and hope in the face of all that she endures… it has made me want to see life the way she does.

I am grateful for my health, and for great friends who have inspired me to get healthy again. I feel like this amazing support group rallied around me on all sides, and it has given me the gentle push I needed to begin running again.

I am grateful for my faith. You may have seen a bunch of “I’m a Mormon” stickers popping up all over Facebook. While that isn’t really my style, you may or may not know that I am a Mormon. I don’t speak about it often, but my faith is woven through me and has helped make me the person that I am today. It is a constant light that guides me through even my darkest moments, and it brings a quiet, constant peace to my heart.

For these things, and so many others, I give thanks.

I am one lucky hot dog. :)

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I Did It!!!!!!

I DID IT.

After I wrote my last blog post this afternoon, the kids woke up and proceeded to destroy my house. I went from calm, quiet, happy time to being surrounded by a tornado of toys, cashews and raisins.

(Note: I did not eat the raisins. They are gross. But Ruby likes them and I am trying to be a good mom. Ugh.)

The Hubster got home from work a little after four, and even though I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go out for a run, an escape from the chaos suddenly seemed appealing. I quickly changed, laced up my shoes and off I went.

I’m on the final week of my C25K program, and today’s run was supposed to be 28 minutes. I wasn’t able to get out on Tuesday or Wednesday, and I felt so sluggish when I started out. After 3 or 4 minutes I was fairly positive that I wasn’t going to make it to 10 minutes, let alone 28.

But I kept going.

As MapMyRun chimed in and gave me my stats, I realized that even though I felt sluggish, I was moving at a pretty good pace.

So I kept going, and I decided to push a little harder.

BOOM!

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I did it!!!

In less than 8 weeks I went from struggling to run one minutes intervals, to achieving my final running goal–completing a 5km run in under 35 minutes. I can’t believe that I managed it today… my run felt SO hard. I had to convince myself to keep going over and over, and I’m so glad that I did.

There are just two runs left in my program, and once it’s complete I’m going to set some new goals. I want to spend some time improving my pace, then in the new year I’m going to start training for a 10km race in the spring.

In the meantime, I just earned my bonus! I can’t wait to go shopping for some new clothes. Happy running!

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