Thursday, January 31, 2008

I am frustrated

Here I sit, feeling miserable and losing my voice.

My chest is all scratchy, and I generally feel ill.

And I have a race on Saturday. And it's raining buckets outside and will likely still be raining on race day.

What to do??

I really don't want to miss this race. I am hoping I feel better by Saturday and can tough it out. I have been looking forward to it since I completed this race last year.

Of course, if I still feel crap-crap-crappy on Saturday morning, I will probably not go. I am not happy about that thought.

I haven't worked out since Friday because of this illness. I was starting to feel better until last night. I hope this phase is short-lived.

So cross your fingers for me, everyone. I need all the luck I can get.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Mother Nature must read my blog...

...because she is handing us one heck of a snow storm today!!

I almost can't believe it is snowing here in little ol' Fortuna, CA. We almost NEVER get snow here. But right now this town is a winter wonderland and the snow is coming down hard. This is the first time the kids have seen snow here, and we played in it a bit until they got too cold. I love being able to sit at my computer in my warm house and watch it come down outside. It is quite awesome, if I say so myself.

Since I have been under the weather this weekend, I will not be venturing out for a run in the snow, although that would be so neat.

Here are a couple pics! :-)

The view from our family room:

Kara in the snow:

Matty and Daddy:

Look at me! I'm in the snow!:

I will post more pics later, as the snow is still coming down hard right now. We have about 1/2 inch on the ground and it's only been snowing an hour. :-)


It just stopped snowing a few minutes ago, after coming down for more than three hours. Here are a couple udated pics:

Friday, January 25, 2008

Would it be too much to ask...

...for Mother Nature to bring a little snow to our neck of the woods?

I am having a little jealousy issue right now. Redding - where we lived for several years before moving back here 3 1/2 years ago - has had snow fall at least twice this week. It is not a city that sees snow often, so the fact they've had at least four snowfalls this winter is pretty incredible. It might snow again this weekend, from what I've heard.

As for us, we've had cold temps and rain, but not cold enough for snow. I ran in the crappy weather today with the kids in the stroller. By the end, I just wanted to be done with it already. But at the same time, I wished the rain would turn into big fat snowflakes. My kids have never seen snow in person, and I think they would love it. And I think snow is beautiful. If we want to see the white stuff, we have to drive to the hills. I would prefer for it to come to us. Just for a day or so. Then it could melt away before it gets all gross and dirty.

Back to my run. The kids and I headed out around 4:15 p.m. and it was raining. I put the rain shield on the stroller, and the kids were dry, warm and happy as clams. I was chilly and miserable. I think I am getting a cold, and I don't think that helped. But I felt like I HAD to run, since I hadn't in a few days. We ran to the store and back. Now that I am done, I am very glad I did it. But there was a period of time when I was thinking I was freakin' nuts for being out. I mean, nobody else was out running or walking or riding bikes or skateboarding. I was the lone crazy wolf this time.

Of course, my mind was spinning the whole run. This time, it was over anatomy terms. We went over so much information the first day of class, so every chance I get I either do some reading or go over the terms in my head. Right now we're learning about planes (midsaggital, transverse and coronal), the different body cavities, what different areas of the body are labeled (directional terms) and epithelial tissue. I had no idea what epithelial tissue was until Wednesday. LOL! But now I know it's tissue that covers an organ or lines a surface and it's always next to an open space. So think of skin, the inside of the mouth, inside of the stomach and lungs, etc. And now I know that epithelial tissue is classified by 1) the shape of the cells making it up and 2) the number of layers of cells. And there are three different shapes. I won't bore you with any more details, like how it's avascular and gets its nutrients through diffusion (oh sorry, forgot I WASN'T going to bore you guys), but I just wanted to give an idea of what I am already learning. Can you tell I am excited? :-)

It's supposed to rain for several more days. I do plan on running again on Sunday, but I will be going solo. It's much easier to run without the kiddies.

Today's stats:
Distance: (a very difficult) four miles
Time: 44:47
Pace: 11:11 minute/mile

Thursday, January 24, 2008

HUGE sigh of relief!!!

After days of searching, I have finally found someone to watch Matty temporarily!

One of Tim's cousins will watch him on Mondays and Wednesdays while I'm in school. I already watch her boy on Tuesdays, so it should work out well. She lives in our town, so I don't have to shuttle him to Eureka (thank goodness) and she's on the way to Kara's preschool. I am quite happy about this arrangement and I think Matty will like it, too.

I plan on running later tonight. Kara has a bit of a cough, so I don't want to take her out in the cold. So I will wait for Tim to get home and go running then. Maybe I'll leave the iPod home again......

Be back later to update!


So I didn't run after all. I got all dressed, stepped out the door into darkness and had the creepiest feeling wash over me. I know it is dark at 6 p.m. and I have run in the dark before, but for some reason tonight my "Spidey senses" told me to stay home. I just didn't feel comfortable for some reason, and if my gut tells me something feels off, I am certainly going to listen. So I did an about-face and headed back in. I think I will just take the night off (again) because I have a run planned out for tomorrow morning and it will be a hard one because I'll have Matty in the stroller.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

First day of school in the books

Today was my first day of school. It went pretty well! I attended physiology today, but I am really hoping to get into anatomy tomorrow. I am on the wait list for anatomy right now. If I get in, I will drop physio and take it during the summer session. Fingers crossed! But if I don't, the physio teacher is AWESOME and I think I will be OK.

So I was gone today from 11:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. A lot of that time was spent dropping off and picking up kids. I am still looking for someone to watch Matty after this week. It is frustrating.

I managed to squeeze a run in before I had to leave for a parent meeting at Kara's preschool. I didn't have tons of time, but I got it done and feel good about it. I think Thursday is the next day I will run.

Oh, and I have decided to start the HM training after my next race, which is scheduled for Feb. 2. I will have about 12 weeks or so at that point, and the program is 10 weeks. So that should work. But I'll probably have to start off with longer mileage on the weekend run, since it starts off with four miles on the weekend. I am already doing more than that most weekends, so I'll probably start with five or six on the weekend and go from there.

Today's stats:
Distance: 3.25 miles
Time: 35:34
Pace: 10:56 minute/mile

Monday, January 21, 2008

Kara's party was so fun!

We had Kara's birthday party yesterday, and it was a blast! The kids really enjoyed themselves at the gymnastics center. I took tons of pics. Here are a couple:

Kara running down the long trampoline to the big cushion at the end:

Matty climbing on the big cushion:

Cousin Garrett climbing a slide:

Kara's friend Jelena on the rope swing:

My friend Kristen and her boy Nick:

Kristen's daughter Miranda on the rings (her twin sister, Olivia, was there too):

And last but not least, the cake. It was Disney princess all the way for my girl, LOL!:

Kara's grandparents brought pizza, so we had a full meal after the kids played. Overall, it was a great experience for Kara's first real birthday party. Kristen's daughters now want to have their birthday party in May at the gymnastics center.

So I had to work out today to burn off some of the calories from the pizza and cake. *grin* It was worth it. Tomorrow I am planning a run. I have class in the early afternoon and a parent meeting at Kara's preschool in the evening, so I'll have to squeeze one in.

Today's stats:
Strength training:
seated row, oblique twist, bicep curl, triceps curl, pulley ab crunch, cardio pull, rear deltoid raise: 12 reps x 2 sets

Time: 36 minutes
Distance: 9.15 miles

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Happy birthday to my little girl!

Kara turned four today. What a bittersweet milestone. She is growing up so fast and I was a little sad about it this morning.

I'm sure the fact I woke up this morning with swollen eyelids didn't help my sad mood. Blame all the crying yesterday. But the good news is my father-in-law has offered to watch Matty next week when school starts so I have a little extra time to track someone down.

But I went on a nice mind-cleansing run today, and that really helped ease my emotional distress. It was the perfect day for a run, so I tested out the 5 3/4-mile distance I will be doing for my race in two weeks. It went well and felt good, so I am confident. The race course I will be running is fairly hilly so I'm sure I won't run it as quickly as I did today.

We are having Kara's party tomorrow. It should be fun! It will be at a local gymnastics center that Kara used to go to on Saturdays. Seven kids are supposed to be there, not including my two. This will be her real first birthday party with kids her age. In the past, we kept it limited to ourselves and the grandparents.

Today's stats:
Distance: 5.75 miles
Time: 1:03:15
Pace: 11 minutes/mile

Friday, January 18, 2008

I need a hug -- UPDATED

I am sitting here crying like a baby right now because I am so frustrated.

I have been trying to find childcare for Matty for weeks now, and today every good lead I had fell through.

I start back to school next Tuesday and need someone to watch Matty two days a week. I still am not sure which days, as I am on the wait list for a class that meets Monday and Wednesday. I am enrolled in a different class that meets Tuesday and Thursday, but if I get into the other class I will be dropping the T-Th one. I won't know for sure until next week.

Anyway, every provider I have talked to either isn't doing childcare anymore or not taking temporary kids. Matty will be starting preschool either in April, when he turns 2, or as soon as the preschool opens up its infant room, which will hopefully be within the next month. All our relatives here work and can't watch him. I was told by my school adviser to call about childcare at the college, since it is offered. I called, and they told me that I have to be low-income to qualify to be on the wait list. I am considered "private pay," and they're not taking any of our kind right now.

I feel like the college is penalizing me because Tim has a decent job, which he has worked hard for. I know this will sound rude, but why are only "poor" people deserving of help? Just because I don't live in the projects doesn't mean I don't want to better my situation, which is part of the reason I am pursuing this second career.

I don't have options for childcare coming out my ears. It seems like I would have a much easier time getting childcare if I was low-income. I am currently waiting for a call back from the local child care council, but I was told already that many of their providers only do low-income, also.

It is so stupid to be sitting here crying over this, but I don't know what else to do. I can't take Matty to school with me. If only they offered what I need at night, like the class I took last semester.

Oh, and I just want to add that someone gave me the name of a girl who would be interested in babysitting. She used to work at Kara's preschool. Then this person told me that the reason this girl got fired is because she got two DUI's recently. And she's only 21. OMG, why on Earth does anyone think I want some chick with DUI's watching my son??!!??


I can just say I have cried A LOT today over this. I called the local Child Care Council this morning, which has names and numbers of childcare providers in my area. I called about a dozen providers in my area (pretty much the whole list) and spent a couple hours on the phone. Nearly all said they couldn't take him because he is under two and considered an "infant" by the state and they are only allowed so many infants in their care. If he was two already, then they could have taken him. But if he was two, he'd be going to the preschool Kara goes to, so it would be a non-issue anyway, you know? A few others said they don't take part-time or temporary kids, because no matter what he will be going to preschool starting in April. I can understand they want to fill their slots with long-term kids. They need to make money, after all.

The Child Care Council lady told me that it is very difficult to find care in our area for infants. We live in what's considered a rural county, and there just are not enough providers for the need here. Plus, all the providers I talked to said they have to have a certain number of spots open for low-income clients who use vouchers, so that automatically takes up a whole bunch of spaces that people like myself could use.

This whole thing is so frustrating. I just called my mom a little while ago and bawled my eyes out again. I am so tired about crying over this, but I feel helpless. The preschool Kara goes to is supposed to be opening an infant room for kids Matty's age, but they said it could take another three to four weeks, minimum. I need someone now! *sigh*

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Yum.... cupcakes!

I baked cupcakes tonight that Kara can share with her classmates tomorrow in celebration of her upcoming birthday. She loves to "help" me bake, which means she sits on a barstool and asks me if she can have a bite of whatever I am making, even if it's cupcake batter. Blech.

I did work out tonight. I am so drained right now, so this post will be short. But I wanted to document that I did something. LOL!

Today's stats:
Strength training:
pull-ups, bicep curl, triceps curl, overhead pull, bench press, squats, crunches: two sets of 10 reps each

Time: 30 minutes
Distance: 7.69 miles

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I need a plan

So, fellow runners/bloggers, I have decided that I really need a concrete plan to train for the HM I will be running in May. I have been working out and running, but with no real rhyme or reason. So I perused some training plans online and think I have picked one. It's a 10-week HM training schedule (I have a little more than 15 weeks, so I don't have to rush), and it includes four days of running each week. I think it's a program I can live with and it will give me some direction so I can reach my goal. Oh, and I found it on ;-)

Plus, I know I will need to follow a program when I start training for a marathon (which I think I might attempt in October -- scary, huh?), so getting used to a real program now is probably a good idea.

I will be heading out soon for a twilight run. I'll post my stats later.

I'm back. The twilight run turned into a full-fledged trot in the darkness. For the first time, I left my iPod at home. And this run turned into one of the best I've had in quite some time. My stride felt really fluid and I could concentrate on my breathing since I didn't have my tunes. I might do all my after-dark runs without music now.

Today's stats:
Distance: 3.1 miles
Time: 34:41
Pace: 11:11 minute/mile

Monday, January 14, 2008

In just a few hours... will be one year since I started this little ol' blog.

Wow. Time flies!

I looked back at some of my old posts the other day. I giggled when I read how excited I was to run three miles for the first time. Now three miles is a short run for me. It's nice to see how far I've come since last January.

I did a strength training/stationary bike workout today. I have started breaking it into segments, akin to circuit training. I do 10 minutes on the bike, the strength training exercises (with no pause in between each exercise), another 10 minutes on the bike, another strength training round, and then one last 10 minute stint on the bike. It really gets the sweat going and the heart pumping. And it's a lot more exciting than riding the bike straight for 30 minutes. So I think I will keep doing it this way for a while.

Today's stats:
Strength training:
butterfly, crunches, kneeling kickback (for triceps), oblique twist, one-leg squat, seated curl, rear deltoid raise: 2 sets of 10 reps each

Time: 30 minutes
Distance: 7.64 miles

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Baby shower!!

I went to a baby shower today. It was for one of Tim's cousins, who is due any minute. It was a blast!! All the tiny pink baby clothing made me think "Awwwwwww...".

I did manage a five-miler this morning. Good thing, since I knew I wanted to eat at the shower and not worry about it. It was a good feeling.

Oh, and big kudos to my running/blogging buddies who ran the PF Chang's Rock 'n' Roll 1/2 Marathon today. I wish I could have been there!! Maybe next year..... ;-)

Today's stats:
Distance: 5 miles
Time: 55:56
Pace: 11:11 minute/mile

Saturday, January 12, 2008

I really love my new gym!!!

I did my second workout today on my Weider Total Bodyworks 5000 gym. The more I use it, the more I LOVE it!! I did some different exercises today, all of which were simple to perform but worked my muscles really well. I definitely think it was a good $100 purchase.

I am going to a baby shower tomorrow. It should be fun!! I am taking Kara with me. Tim and Matty could have come (guys are invited, too), but they're going to hang out with Tim's father instead.

I am planning a morning run tomorrow. There will be a candy buffet at the baby shower (the mommy-to-be emailed me today and mentioned it -- yum!!), so I need to work out before I gorge myself. LOL!

Today's stats:
Strength training:
bench press, squats, crunches, calf raises, side pulls, overhead curls, seated row: two sets of 10 reps

Time: 30 minutes
Distance: 7.75 miles

Friday, January 11, 2008

Not feeling "wordy" today

I ran today. 'Nuff said. :-)

Today's stats:
Run (in the dark):
Distance: 2.5 miles
Time: 29.01
Pace: 11:36 minute/mile

Thursday, January 10, 2008

So many things to talk about

I have so many things I want to talk about tonight, but it is so late that I can't spend much time doing it right now.

I will say that I found out today that I don't have to take all the general ed classes again for the nursing degree I am studying for. Turns out all the classes I took for my BA a decade ago will count toward my schooling this time. That will save me at least four classes worth of work. So I only have three prerequisites to take before I can apply for the nursing program. My counselor (who was AWESOME, BTW), said I can take one class this spring, the summer and next fall and apply for the program next January. So I might be able to get into the program a lot sooner than I thought! Yippee!!

I got my Weider Total Body Works 5000 yesterday, and I have to say I LOVE it so far!! I tried it out last night and did my first real workout on it tonight. I could feel it working muscles I haven't worked in years. It was very cool. I think I will use it three days a week, along with cross-training on the bike. That is what I did tonight, and it felt great. :-)

And lastly, Kara's birthday party is set! She will be four on the 19th, and we are having her party on the 20th at Flips for Kids Gymnastics Center. It should be a lot of fun. We are inviting 10 kids, so it will be small. We decided to make it a "no presents" party, as Kara got tons of toys for Christmas and doesn't need any more right now. And there's no pressure for her guests to get her anything, which is cool. We just want them to come, have fun, and eat cake with us. Kara really only cares about the cake, anyway. ;-)

Today's stats:
Strength training:
squats, butterfly curl, bicep curl, triceps curl, crunches, pull ups, over-head arm pull: two sets, 10 reps each

Distance: 7.63
Time: 30 minutes

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Two weeks...

...until I start my spring semester of college.

I am hoping to get into the anatomy class I am waitlisted for. If not, I will be taking physiology, which I am enrolled in. But if I get into anatomy, I'll be dropping phys and taking it in the fall. Either way, I am getting excited and a little scared that we're getting closer to starting school again. This winter break has been way too long.

I managed a stationary bike ride tonight. I can't wait to get my new gym so I can start doing some other exercises. My goal is to firm up everything and go down another pant size. I think I can do it before our vacation in May. And I know firming things up and working on my core will help with my running.

OK, not much else to post tonight. I'm hoping for a run tomorrow if the weather holds out. But they're saying we're supposed to get more rain. :-(

Today's stats:
Distance: 10 miles
Time: 39:40

Monday, January 7, 2008

Just beat the rain

I ran today for the first time in nearly a week. The weather has been so depressingly bad here for days that I was happy to have a little break in the clouds and rain so I could head outside. I loaded up Mr. Matty in the stroller and took off when it was time to pick up Kara from preschool.

The trip to the school was fairly easy, as a bit of it is down an incline and the stroller was only half-full. The way back was torture. Pushing 100 pounds of stroller and kids up hills while running really does suck big time. It is great exercise, but it feels like hell while I'm doing it.

There are some ominous-looking clouds rolling in right now and the National Weather Service is saying we're in for more rain the rest of this week. I hope I can get some more running in this week despite the weather. All the rain, wind and thunderstorms we had last week and this weekend just killed my motivation. And my treadmill is still down, as I haven't figured out the issue with it yet.

Oh, and my Weider Total Body 5000 gym should be here by Wednesday!! I am so excited to start doing some resistance training with it! :-)

Today's stats:
Distance: 3.5 miles
Time: 38:06
Pace: 10:53 minute/mile

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Ahhhhhh, so excited!

Woo hoo!!

We just booked (most of) our trip to Disneyland!!

Tim and I are going in mid-May. My parents will be watching the kids during that time.

We reserved our flight and hotel room today. All we have to buy are the park hopper tickets, but I figure that can wait until we get closer to our trip date. Unless I find an awesome deal before then, that is. :-) Looks like our flight will be the cheapest part of the trip. Who would've thunk it??

Note to my mom: After reading hotel reviews for hours, we decided on the Best Western Anaheim Inn, not the one I told you about over the phone. This one got good reviews, was priced right and is directly across from the park. The other one was a little cheaper, but got awful reviews. I don't want to stay in a hotel where people have complained of bugs and dirty rooms!

I am so excited!!!!! We haven't had a real vacation in several years. I hope to take Kara to Disneyland within the next few years (Matty will have a wait a few years after that, poor kiddo), so this will give us a better idea on how old she should be before we take her. I haven't been to Disneyland in more than 11 years, so the memory is a little foggy, but I know she's too young right now to go on the rides we want to. Space Mountain, the Matterhorn, Pirates of the Caribbean and Splash Mountain come to mind.

I am supposed to ride the bike. It is now late, since I spent so much time researching for the trip and booking things, so I don't know if I want to work out now. If I do, I will come back and post my stats. If not, well, guess you will see me later. LOL!

OK, I rode the stationary bike after all. It wasn't great, but at least I did something. I will try a run tomorrow if the weather isn't crap (like it has been for days now).

Today's stats:
Time: 30 minutes
Distance: 7.82 miles

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Post-holiday blahs

I think I am getting the cold that my parents have been fighting. It seems everyone in Humboldt County either has the cold or that icky stomach flu.

I have also been feeling the annual post-holiday letdown I seem to get every year. It's that whole feeling of emptiness that the festivities are over for the year, you know? Just ... blah. I will get over it, but it might take a few days.

Oh, I do want to clarify two things about my previous posts:

1.) I shouldn't have said that my Wednesday run was really slow. But it certainly felt slow while I was doing it, probably because my mind was racing faster than my feet could. So that's probably why I described it as being slow. I didn't mean to upset anyone or say their pace is slow. I am certainly NOT the speediest person around and I didn't mean it to sound like I am normally some awesome runner. LOL!

2.) When I said my running tights keep me from jiggling, I didn't mean it the same way a guy would. I meant it keeps my thighs and butt from jiggling around. Sorry for the confusion. ;-)

OK, that is it. I did ride the stationary bike for a few minutes tonight despite not feeling too great. I am off to shower and head to bed.

Today's stats:
Distance: 5.02 miles
Time: 20 minutes

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The run that almost didn't happen

I did manage a run today, but a series of events almost kept it from happening.

First, Tim came home sick around 9 a.m. He had only been at work an hour when they sent him home. I was trying to get Matty to nap at the time, but that ended up not happening.

Then I had to pick up Kara from school. We went looking for new outdoor light fixtures, as one of ours wasn't working anymore and they were rusting and paint was peeling off of them. We found one that I really liked, and were able to buy two, but I had to get a rain check for the other two I need.

I ended up installing the two I bought and Kara helped me. Matty was sleeping and Tim was resting in bed. Then I realized my stupid dog, Spike, wasn't with me anymore. I had left the garage door open since I was going in and out getting tools, and the little jerk managed to slip away when I wasn't paying attention. So I quickly finished the job of installing the second light and then Kara and I took off on foot to look for Spike. It took us about 20 minutes, but we finally tracked him down about .20 mile away. Jerk.

By the time this was said and done, it was 4:30 already. We are expecting a series of big storms starting tomorrow, so I knew I had to get a run in before the bad weather hit. So I hastily changed and took off. It was pretty decent, although kinda slow. I think I needed a slow run after the stressful afternoon I had.

Today's stats:
Distance: 3.59 miles
Time: 40:02
Pace: 11:08 minute/mile