11/16/09

I got in an hour on the wii fit tonight. I love that thing!!!!  I’m getting better at the balance activities, the yoga and the strength. This seated rowing one just kicks my rear though! I keep getting the “couch potato” grade no matter how many times I try to correct my posture on it. I do like the feedback though and really think this is going to help me tone up this winter!

11/16/09

My wii age so far has been: 38, 38, 36 and 38. Apparently I can’t hit my real age (37) but I’m close. My balance sucks still though, so it will probably take a while for me to get to a wii age I like better.  You should pull yours out! It’s so much fun!!! We had people over until late last night and the kids just played and played that thing! They love it. I am having to sneak up early in the morning like today to get a turn or do my yoga and strength and balance exercises during the older kids’ math times and chore times to get my workouts in! I’m having so much more fun with this than I thought I would and I swear the “trainer” feels like a real trainer to me!!!! (Not that I’ve ever had a real one – but I am loving it!)

She keeps telling me that I have a tight left side and that side is also the one I do the worst on balance tests. That’s the side I injured last year, so I know it’s true. I think it’s helpful to hear those things and to try to improve.  If I can work on my posture and core through this maybe it will finally fix my worst trouble spot — my belly! I swear that hula hoop game (of which I’m the champion of the family) really does seem to work the abs!  I do the silly, little running one too and it tells me I’m a great runner.  Now, you don’t even want to know how badly I suck at the balance table one or the tight rope. Let’s just say I die a quick death in those and even the kids can beat me bad!

11/15/09

Today was day 3 of owning the wii fit! I’ve exercised with it (and played of course) each day for at least one hour of yoga, strength training and balance work. I can feel it especially when I do the yoga!!! I’m so wobbly on some of those poses and so stiff from running! This is really going to be good for me.  My balance is abysmal still too!!! I’m already noticing an improvement in my posture just by being more aware of it from doing these tests.

My wii age is now 36. That’s one year less than reality! I’m going for 29 though

11/14/09

I forgot to also mention that Wayne got me the Wii Fit last night at a Game store used! I’m so pumped! It was only $40 WITH the balance board! The whole family played with it last night, set up our players with BMI’s, goals and played some games! According to my wii – my BMI is 22, I weigh 129 and my wii age is 38. Not bad considering I’m 37.  I’ll keep working on it and try to get my age closer to 30!  4 of my children were in the “normal” range for BMI but Rebecca was just a hair underweight, so we set her goal up to gain 4 lbs over the next year.  Since she’s a vegetarian, she’s a pretty slim little gal. I’m sure we’ll be able to get her back into the normal range. I was happy to see Wayne Jr is finally normal – though just barely. He and Becca both have BMI’s of around 13%! That sounds so tiny! It’s hard to get your head around it when you think of the normal grown up numbers.  My husband was a bit overweight. He’s 207 and 6 foot tall. I’m really proud of him for focusing on exercise more this past few months though. He’s played more tennis, walked more and biked more. Now that he’s doing the C25K I know he’ll start to see some of those extra pounds finally leave and he’ll feel so much healthier! Running certainly helped me in those areas and I’m excited to see him enjoy the same benefits I’ve found in the last year and a half!. 

Bertha and I also decided today to try and meet once a week to do some Pilates or Yoga since we both want to implement other things into our running schedule.  Having a partner to do it with will help me in those areas as well!

AND…. I tried my first GU today and really disliked it! I know! I’m an oddball – but I really don’t like the super sugary sweet syrupy taste or texture at all.  I will have to try a cereal bar and Gatorade on my next long run and see how that goes instead. Who cares if it’s unconventional?!  It might be yummy!

11/14/09

Got in my 16 miles this morning!  I ran with five friends today, which was really fun. Four of them are marathoners and the fifth is the fastest local female runner I know (who also happens to be a Mom of five!)  Lots of great conversation — but it was COLD! 27 degrees when we started. We dodged ice patches in several spots but thankfully no one fell! Once we hit the 8 mile spot and turned around though, the worst, chilly wind hit us smack in the face. My nose was running. It was ugly out there the last 8 miles I tell ya! But.. we did it! My legs definitely felt like lead the last several miles. It’s amazing how fast you lose the ability to run long distances if you don’t keep doing it week after week. But.. that only inspired me to make certain I still push myself some this winter and make sure to get in some longer runs despite the weather. There was a lot of laughing and fun today out there. I’m so glad I made myself climb out of my warm bed and get on those Asics and get out the door! 

Stats: 16 miles. 3 hours 15 min 48 seconds (we stopped to stretch several times and my two pals were having IT band issues and stopped to rub Ben Gay on their legs a couple of times.) None of us were fast today and that’s fine since this was a “long slow distance.” With that horrid wind and the icy temperatures, honestly I’m not sure I could have done much better if I’d tried.  Average pace :12:14. I got to run the last 4 miles with my friend who’s qualified for the Boston Marathon. He’s about my Dad’s age and it just inspires my socks off that he’s so focused on his dreams. How many people could qualify for Boston on their first marathon? Pretty cool, huh? I listened to his advice on those last miles and enjoyed taking some tips from someone who is better at this than me.  I hope to be like Sam someday and qualify for Boston too!

11/12/09

I am so happy!  Wayne decided to CANCEL all our chess events for the rest of the year! That is, the kids will still participate in the state tournament and Becca will defend her Girls State championship in the spring — but other than those two tournaments — we canceled everything else! No more club at my house (I really hate hosting things – how bad is that to admit – but it’s true! It’s such a pain in the butt to get my house “guest worthy” with five kids who never leave.)  I adore my kids and I can live with legos on the floor — but I turn into Grumpy Mama when someone (or many someones) are coming over. I just hate the tension of it all!!! Anyways… Wayne also cancelled the local chess tournaments he’s been putting on. His other small business is just now taking off and he’s getting overwhelemed trying to keep all his balls in the air (that sounded funny!)  But, anyways… I’m thrilled that we’re taking a break — because that means I can run on Saturday mornings with Bertha again! 

This Saturday is something really special! Bertha, Davina, Emily and about 8 other people from D and E’s “team” are meeting us and we’re running 16 miles!! I am SO excited!!  I really need a nice, long, slow distance! Hmm.. with those girls, I might have to remove the word “slow” from it though.  It’ll be fun no matter what!

11/12/09

You know, I feel like a ten ton weight has been lifted since Wayne announced his cancellation. I feel a little bit of Mommy guilt about it — but I’m trying not to go there. The kids seemed fine with the news honestly. We’ll still play chess with them on our own (we keep two chess boards set up right on our dinner table and often play during meals) and I think Becca and Jr still have an honest shot at first place in their grades at state –but — even if that isn’t how the cards play out — I really think we’re fine with it. That’s a good feeling too. Less pressure! Wayne and I also decided that we’d like to give the three older kids some exposure to a sport that each of them is interested in over the next several months. Rebecca’s interested in gymastics and our local recreation center offers classes that you can take on a month-by-month plan. The last time she did it, she was only 7! Jr has been interested in doing baseball for some time and Josh is always kicking around the soccer ball in the backyard. Our hope is that by taking some of our committed time away from chess, we’ll be able to spread out our interests and time more with the kids. We may be insane and end up overwhelmed again —– but we’d at least like to try. Two of those things wouldn’t happen until Springtime — right when the chess state tournaments are finishing up.

Have I ever told any of you Wayne and I’s crazy pipe dream? We really want to be able to travel for a year in an RV with the kids and see as much of the US as we can. We figure it would take homeschooling to a whole new level and give the kids some really great adventures and experiences to take with them through life. We’re still in the early planning stages, but we hope to be able to do the trip in 3-5 years. I want Savannah to be old enough to remember this “U.S. tour” when she’s older. I’ve read about other families doing this and I just think it would be the coolest adventure as a family!  IF – and it’s a big if — we pulled this off — we’d love to save up and then do a three month tour of Europe when the kids are in their teens too! Wouldn’t that be amazing?!!! So, we’re kind of hoping to be able to give the kids a sampling of some of the other “normal” things they should be doing like the baseball and gymnastics and soccer during this 3-5 year period so that we’re free to try the “U.S. adventure” later. We’re goofballs, huh?! 

Oh, and I should add my own selfish ambition too — I would love to do a race in every state while on our adventure! Wouldn’t that be cool?!!!!

11/10/09

The park idea went so well the other day I decided to try it in a new way today. After school, I put the two younger girls down for their afternoon nap (they usually sleep for an hour or two), and let the older three kids play wii in the living room. Our living room has a big window looking at the street going past our house. (You can see it in my siggy pic actually)  We live in a newer subdivision, it’s very safe, has hardly any traffic and we’re not on any main roads or anything.

I live on a corner so I have four directions I can go for a small block (about 6 house lengths) in each direction. I can see my house from every spot. I ran that today, over and over and over. Turns out, running just one leg of that is about an 1/8 of a mile (once I loop it – so each section is 1/16 before looping), so doing the whole thing (all four legs) twice equals about a mile. I got in 5 miles that way today! It was repetitive –but I think it was a pretty good way to keep a close eye on the kids and house and still get a run in.

Here’s my stats: 5 miles – 51:45 overall time – average pace of 10:20. My best mile was the second – a 9:52.

11/8/09

You know, if the temperatures are nice, I’m ok with running up to 10 miles without bringing anything at all. BUT…. if it’s warm at all or I haven’t had a good carbo/protein snack an hour or so before I go, then I definitely would bring along whatever I felt I needed.

I wear a fuel belt that I bought on ebay a few weeks ago (I wore out my old one and just had to replace it.) It was pretty cheap – $13 it seems including shipping. I ordered the size small (my waist is 28 – 29 inches depending on the time of the month) but they sent me the size medium accidentally. I’m SO glad they messed up because the medium is perfect! I like that it doesn’t bounce like my old one. The small pocket is barely big enough for my keys, cell phone, a GU or some Shot Blox. It also came with this cute little flask for gels. I’ve never used one, but I read online that you can put your gels or GU in there add some water and then just drink from it as needed. I’m curious to give it a try and see if it’s worth the effort or not.

I use my Garmin’s “mile” beep to cue my walk breaks/drink breaks. During warm weather, I drink a sip or two at ever mile, then start running again. Now that the weather is colder, I drink about half as often. I carry a Nike ergonomic water bottle that I LOVE that holds 20 oz of Gatorade or Powerade. Here’s my water bottle if you’re curious:

http://cgi.ebay.com/NIKE-SOCCER-WATE…item1c0dc991cd

I don’t like gels and sports beans are yummy but I thought they were overpriced and didn’t seem to feel as easy to digest as the Shot Blox. I usually take one or two shot blox (one – two squares) halfway through a long run. I bought my first GU a few weeks ago but haven’t needed to use it yet. I will probably try it on Friday or Saturday this week and let you know what i think. I ran my marathon last month without taking any gels or anything like that. I really did underfuel though since I was relying on Wayne to hand me the Gatorade and I only saw him every 2- 5 miles and took a few sips and handed the bottle back to him. It just wasn’t enough. I did take an orange slice after mile 21, but wish I’d asked for something more substantial at that point. Anyways.. I hit the wall and learned my lesson about keeping fueling as a high priority!!!

In general, if you are exercising more than 45 minutes, I’ve read you should take in some type of fuel. Several of my friends take gels every 45 min – every hour. I’d probably get nauseous if I ate that often on a run though (anything besides Gatorade, that is.) I’ve been thinking about trying cereal bars on my runs honestly!  It sounds funny, but I like them, they’re cheap, pretty healthy and I “think” my stomach could handle them. I’ll let you know how it goes when I give it a try. I’m thinking of taking one an hour in and just drinking water or gatorade the rest of the time for say, a 10 – 15 miler.

Another thought is that hitting new distances OFTEN makes me feel exhausted during those runs. It seems pretty typical for me to feel like I’m dying each time I push the distance further and further until my body adjusts to it – regardless of the fuel I get.

So, listen to your body, hydrate, make sure you’ve had something to eat 90 minutes – a couple hours before you head out (a banana with a little peanut butter, a half peanut butter sandwich, peanut butter with crackers, a bagel, etc) and drink at least a full cup of water during that as well — and you’ll find yourself feeling pretty peppy on the run. I still take fuel after that, but find I don’t feel I’m bonking nearly as much if I plan ahead like that.

If you’re curious — here’s my Fuel Belt
http://cgi.ebay.com/FUELBELT-Summit-…item5636d05fce

11/8/09

Ok, between the darkness falling before Wayne even gets home from work and my desperate need to keep running anyway — I came up with a clever plan today! While Wayne was at work today, and after our school day, I took the five kids to a local park. It was one mile there, then I left Savannah buckled into her stroller while the older kids played on the swingset and slides. We were the only ones there. I ran around and around and around — got in three miles there, then we walked back home (I had to carry Anneliese on my back for that part so I figure it made up for walking instead of running that part)  Anyways.. I got 5 miles in today — for a total of 24 miles even for the week!  I’m very happy with that!

Wayne finished his third run/walk in his first week of the C25K while on his lunch break at work today too!  I’m very proud of him!

I have to tell you I didn’t plan that well as far as timing today. We left our house around 3:30pm to head to the local park, spent about an hour and a half walking/playing and running, and came home FREEZING just after the sun set. Oops! Luckily, I’d started a nice pot roast this morning and had a loaf of bread in the bread machine waiting for us as we came in the door. Mmmmmm. We warmed up over our tasty meal and washed it down with minty hot cocoa!!!!!! Very nice!