Monday, December 10, 2012

GOTR 5K and a running break

Yesterday, I was supposed to be a buddy runner for the Girls on the Run 5K. Well, when we got there, I wasn't assigned a girl with whom to run, so I ended up just running with my cousin and her buddy. It was very inspirational to see so many girls running their first 5K. I wish there had been a program like that for me when I was younger. I hope their experience inspires them to keep running.

Okay, so the other part... I am able to stabilize my IT band and run without knee pain. That isn't a problem. I just need to continue to foam roll and stretch. However, my foot pain was getting better until I ran Saturday. I am going to take at least 3 days off of running, maybe 5. Hopefully, I will be able to get the pain in  my foot figured out before then. It feels like muscle and fiber pain on the top of my foot. I don't think it's a stress fracture, but I think I need some time off to see how it heals. I'm going to continue to ice and elevate it. I'm also going to wear my running shoes that are more stiff since it felt decent running the 5K yesterday.

If I don't blog again for a couple of weeks, I want to wish everyone a great holiday season!

Friday, December 7, 2012

My next adventures!

Sunday marks my last race of 2012. It isn't a real race for me. I'm a buddy runner for the Girls on the Run 5K to act as an encouraging running partner for a 3rd to 8th grade girl in one of her first races. The runners complete a 12-week program with a coach prior to the event. I'm excited, but I think these girls will make me look like a fat, lazy blob ;)

I'm planning for next year, too. I entered the lottery for the Cherry Blossom 10-miler in DC. If I don't get into that, I want to run the Iron Girl Half Marathon at the end of April. I know a bunch of people who are planning to run it, so that would be a lot of fun for me. Other than that, I am planning on running the Marine Corps Marathon 10K in the fall, but I haven't planned out the rest of my racing schedule. I would like to do at least one more half marathon in the fall, but am looking for suggestions :)

What's on your racing schedule for 2013?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Annapolis Half Marathon and Runniversary

I did it! I completed my first half marathon on December 1, 2012. This was coincidentally also my 1st "Runniversary." A year ago, I completed my first Couch to 5K workout and continued the program to completion. In the past year, I've run two 5Ks, Ragnar DC, the Marine Corps 10K, and the Annapolis Half Marathon. The only one that didn't get my nerves was the 10K.

So... Race report for my first half... I trained so hard for Ragnar and totally slacked off after it was done. I skipped 2 of my long training runs and I hurt my IT band. I felt really really unprepared. Two of my Ragnar teammates signed up to run with me. I was glad they did. Seriously, without Chris, I would have been walking at mile 4. I dunno why I thought that Annapolis would be flat.

First part of the race was around the Navy Stadium. The first water stop had a place for you to drop any extra clothes. They were going to bring them back to the start and donate whatever wasn't claimed. Then we ran through downtown Annapolis, past the Naval Academy, St. John's College and over the Navy Memorial Bridge. I swallowed my gum at the second water stop. Oops! It was so foggy that I couldn't really enjoy the sights. My cousin Jen had planned to take a picture of the Memorial. I wasn't with her at that point, but you couldn't even see it, so I doubt she was able to get one. I got a Gu at the turn-around and I really should have had another one.

I lost Chris at about 9 miles. I was sad to lose her and wasn't sure how I was going to make it back over the bridge without walking. I didn't. My calves started spasming. Right at that point, someone says hello to me. I turn around and it's my friend Meghan in her Sparkle Skirt. Running next to her got me through the next almost 2 miles until my calves spasmed again. After the last water stop, this woman who had been with me the entire time complained about the fog. Running with her got me through the last mile. My time was 2:19:10. Since my goal was to finish and aside from that I was hoping for under 2:45:00, I'm thrilled with my time. I have a shiny new medal for my bling wall, a nice running jacket from Born Fit, and a running cap (something I actually needed!)

The highlights of the race were a woman wearing a shirt that said "Will stop for morning sickness" and a couple dressed as a bride and groom with their bridesmaids and groomsmen crossing the finish line together.

I'm glad I did it. I have a decent PR for a first race. On to more racing!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

My First 10-miler and cross training

So, I'm running the Annapolis Half Marathon as my first half on December 1st. I did so amazingly well with Ragnar. I think I only missed 2 training runs in the entire 5 months. I've been slacking here, though. Sunday, I ran my first 10-miler... well almost. I hit 9.8 before my spasming quad made my knee hurt too much to run anymore. I was running with some friends and all of the starting and stopping messed me up a bit, I think. I was so incredibly proud of myself, though. It was at a 11min/mi pace even with the slowdowns and it looks like if I can stay on track, I might finish my first half at around 2:15-2:30. I did my last 10K at a 9:48min/mi pace with a cold, after all ;)

Anyways, so my knee is hurting a little bit. I did a class at my gym called Group Active on Monday. It combines step, weights, agility and balance. I really enjoy the mixture. I took a rest day yesterday because of rain, a clingy child, and a migraine. Today, I'm trying to decide if I want to run 3-4 miles or do the Arc Trainer at the gym. I would normally have gotten up and run and then done Zumba, but my husband had to work super late and I know Zumba is out until after December 1st. The Arc would be low-impact and help with the quads, but would it be enough to help with the half marathon training.

How much cross-training do you try to incorporate into your workouts? What is your favorite type?

In addition to this, I would like to thank Laura from Mommy, Run Fast. Last week, she emailed me to tell me I won her pink ribbon Reebok drawing and I can't wait to get my new shoes! I thought I'd give her a little shout-out.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Are you a safe runner?

Are you a safe runner? Do you always run with your ID or some emergency contact information? I am unfortunately not a safe runner all the time. I sometimes forget to throw my ID into my pocket or go on such a short run that I don't need my water bottle with the pouch. Ladies, you know how tiny those pockets in your running shorts can be. I can barely fit a key in mine, let alone my photo ID or phone. My reflective vest has an ID tag in it, but I don't always wear that when I run during the day.

Zooma has teamed with Go Sport ID to give away $25 toward the ID band of your choice. You can enter to win here!

Please run safely!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Breastfeeding Runner

So, in spite of my attempts to wean prior to Milk Dud's second birthday, we are still breastfeeding. It isn't necessarily every day and isn't nursing like a newborn, but I was curious as to the effects of breastfeeding with long distance running.

First of all, breastfeeding requires lots of maternal fluid intake. Running does as well, particularly during the summer. If you are a breastfeeding mother who is doing any sort of exercise, you should be very aware of your fluid intake. Feeling thirst is past the point where you should be drinking. I would encourage all breastfeeding runners to carry water with them while nursing.

I could one real study on breastfeeding and running. That can be found here, but I will summarize it for you. The baby was fussy, but there was no difference in lactic acid concentration in pre- and post-run milk. The researchers concluded that more study was needed. Obviously, if they only had one sample point, the reason could be from anything. I found this great informational site from Kelly Mom where they encouraged exercise and breastfeeding. They have suggestions that if the baby refuses to nurse, you rinse off your breasts or postpone nursing for 30 minutes. I also found this great blog post where she talked about how her breast pump was her most important running accessory ;)

2004 Olympic Bronze Medalist and American record holder for the marathon Deena Kastor breastfed and started back to her training regimen during those months. You can read an interview with her here.

I amazingly didn't need to pump during my relay race, but I'm nearing the end of my breastfeeding journey. Women train and breastfeed all the time. You just have to be aware of your needs and those of your baby.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Bad sleeping patterns and not training

So, between the boys and myself, my sleep patterns have been all over the place. I'm having a tough time working in my training plans. I did great all summer training for Ragnar 4 days a week, but 3 days is killing me, now. I can't seem to get up to run in the morning and I hate running in the evenings. Some nights, I go to bed WAY too late to get up at 5am to run. I hate running in the dark. I haven't been able to go to the gym because Milk Dud has a yucky nose and I'm the good parent who doesn't take their sick kid to the childcare area.

What are your solutions for training when you can't get out the door early?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

DC Ragnar -- It's OVER!

So, as y'all know, I ran in the DC Ragnar last weekend. I had a total of 15.1 miles in the 197-mile relay race that started at Rocky Gap State Park near Cumberland, MD and ended at National Harbor.

My first leg was crazy! We are talking about 1076-feet of elevation increase and 804-feet of decrease over 7.9 miles. It was hot, dusty, winding, and they're was a lot of gravel on the road.

Before starting my first leg

Here comes the runner before me

Off I go!

Handed off to the next runner

Checking off the box

My second leg was 5 miles in the middle of the night. It was very eerie. I enjoyed the country part of it, but when I was in a neighborhood, I kept expecting someone to come outside and yell at me.

My third leg was short and I took off like a bat out of Hades. I was so ready to be done, but I worried that the next runner wouldn't be there yet. I'm not sure how soon before I got there that she arrived, but I'm sure it wasn't but a couple of minutes.

All done!

We all crossed the finish line together and I now own my first race medal :)
Me and my medal

Our team

Jen and me. She's the reason I agreed to run up a mountain in the first place :)

Anyways... On to the next challenge... I'm going to run in the TCS Annapolis Half Marathon for my first half marathon this December. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

2 Days Until Ragnar / What's on your Playlist?

My Ragnar team has a Facebook Group and the wonderful person who jumped in to replace a member last week asked for suggestions for her playlist. It got me thinking, what's on your playlist for exercise? Do you have a go-to song that energizes you?

I'm going to address the second question first. I have a couple of songs that will pump up my energy based on my mood. The "Power Song" I have set on my MotoActv is "Stronger" by Kelly Clarkson. I downloaded it a few months ago when I was having a rough time and needed something to boost my mood. I really like "Freebird" by Lynyrd Skynyrd for the end of a run. I also find that "I'm Shipping Up to Boston" by the Dropkick Murphys (from The Departed soundtrack) and "I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)" by Pitbull put my pace solidly around 9:15min/mi (I run between 10 and 11 normally). 

Okay... Playlists.... I have several based on my mood and length of my run. I have some that shuffle and some that don't. I have one that is just called "Running" and has 65 songs on it and randomly shuffles. I have one called "45 Minute Classic Rock" and it is about an hour of music from 20 or more years ago. It kills me that "Mysterious Ways" by U2 is played on our local classic rock station, but it does fit in more there than in my "60 Minute Pop" playlist. That one is full of Katy Perry, Pitbull, and similar stuff. It also is the home to the songs I like from Zumba. Then I have one for a 120-minute run that is a mix of everything. 

I haven't decided to what I am going to listen for my Ragnar runs. My guess is I will go with a straight shuffle for my 7.9-mile leg and 5-mile leg and do the pop playlist for my 2.2-mile leg. I top-loaded that one with my speed-inducing songs ;)

What's on your playlist?  

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

3 Days Until Ragnar / Trying to Balance It All

So, it's 3 days until Ragnar! Let me tell you that I am terrible at trying to balance everything. I was supposed to run 4 days a week, still try to use my gym membership, work this summer, and hang out with two small children all day. Making it all work has been stressful. I had to get up at 5am to go run, particularly on days that required more than an hour of running. My house is a permanent mess, but I blame that more on having two kids. I haven't been to the gym at all this month because I'm too afraid to get hurt. I am in awe of the people who make it work all the time. Here's to all of you!

On another note, yesterday morning, I woke up with a pinched nerve in my shoulder. It feels better today, but is still kind of painful.

Monday, September 17, 2012

4 Days Until Ragnar / Food!

Yesterday, I mentioned packing. I was typing while my husband was giving my sons a bath, so I really was rather short about all of it. I have been rolling my clothes and packing them in Ziploc bags since I went to Girl Scout camp as a child. I'm packing each round of clothes in it's own bag and they go in there when I'm done.

So today, I'm going to talk about food. We have a group stash of food for which we each put in $10. I'm bringing my own supplies because, I didn't train on anything they bought. I trained on yogurt, granola bars, eggs, tuna, hummus, and berries. So here is a list of the food I packed for myself.

Hopefully, this with the list of food that we have as a group to share will be enough for me to avoid the fast food traps. I hope that we get to exchange 18 early enough for me to partake of the goodies that the creamery has to offer. I would love to be able to get a cup of fresh yogurt before my second leg.

What would you take with you on a 2 day car trip where you have to run 15 miles or more?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

5 Days Until Ragnar / Packing!

So, since I only have 2 runs left before Ragnar, I'm trying to start packing. 3 days out of a backpack. I need 4 running outfits, minor toiletries, extra running shoes, my running accessories, my stash of personal food, and my costume stuff. Tomorrow, I will take a picture of my food stash and post it here ;)

Sorry to be short.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

6 Days Until Ragnar / Proving It To Myself

So, about a week from now, I will be DONE with Ragnar DC. Yesterday, my team captain had me adjust my pace time. Our team was over 11min/mi and Ragnar doesn't allow that. I had my pace at 10:45. I ran my first 5K in April at 10:38 and my second 5K at 11:02. I figured that was probably about where I stood. Well, I've been consistently running 10min/mi and sometimes I manage even faster, so I adjusted my pace to 10. Well, today, I set out to prove to myself that I could do it, with hills. Oh, I more than proved it. I did 9:45 with 200 feet of incline over 4 miles! I guess I am ready for my 7.9 miles up a hill :)


Friday, September 14, 2012

7 days until Ragnar / Night running

So, last night I met up with two of my teammates for a night run. For those of you who aren't familiar with this kind of relay race, You start at a set time (6:30am for my team) and you don't stop running as a team (everyone has 3 set legs) until you reach the finish line. This means we will be running through the night. Don't worry. It's pretty safe. We are required to wear a reflective vest, a headlamp, and a tail light.

It takes a little getting used to the headlamp and running when there isn't much ambient light. I bought a vest that has additional lights on it and I have reflective bands to wear on my ankles. It also helps to wear light-colored or bright clothing. Our shirts for Ragnar ar hot pink :)

We started our run in a well-lit neighborhood. That wasn't bad at all... Just like a normal, daytime run with a little lower visibility and a little more equipment. Then, we went on a trail with almost no ambient light. The good news was that we could see each other well. The bad news was it was DARK. You have to pay more attention to your footing and that can slow you down a bit. I've run the trail we were on dozens of times and it still freaked me out a bit at first. I'm glad my night leg looks like it will be on some major roads and isn't unassisted.

Do you think you could run at length in the dark?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

8 days until Ragnar -- ACK!

I'm so upset. My training buddy found out that she won't be able to run Ragnar. We had run over 100 miles together in 3 months. She helped me get through many a run I didn't think I could handle. I'm going to miss her next weekend.

I'm not sure if this is a bright side or not, but I moved into her spot. This means that my longest leg went from 4.9 miles on a relatively flat surface to 7.9 miles with a 1000 ft elevation gain over the first 4. ACK! I guess it's been a good thing I've been training hard. You should train for what you want to do, not for what you can do now :)

Wish me luck. I think I'm going to need it.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

9 Days Until Ragnar / Running-Related Personal Questions

I've been following the Another Mother Runner blog. Monday, they did a post called "10 Running-Related Personal Questions." So, here are my answers

1. Best Run Ever: Last month, the second time I ever ran over 7 miles. I did it under my listed Ragnar pace and probably could have put in another couple of miles. This is followed closely by my run last Sunday when it was sunny, cool, and I had no problems pushing myself.

2. Three words that describe my running: slow, plodding, determined

3. My go-to running outfit: This summer, it has been my Reebok shorts and my Running Divas tank.

4. Quirky habit while running: I dunno. I know I am very aware of time and don't wait more than 5 minutes for anyone to show up for a group run.

5. Morning, midday, evening: morning... midday runs make me miserable

6. I won't run outside when it's: Icy or really hot

7. Worst injury and how I got it: I fell during a Zumba class and twisted my ankle.

8. I felt most like a bada$$ mother when: I ran during vacation in 100% humidity and with biting flies and mosquitoes.

9. My next race is: Ragnar DC on September 21-22.

10. Potential running goal for 2013: I want to try and do 2 half marathons. Probably Zooma Annapolis, but I'm not sure about my second one.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

10 Days until Ragnar / Remembering 9-11

So, we are 10 days out from DC Ragnar. I ran this morning, but just around the track in my neighborhood. I did 4. It felt good. I would have done 6, but with sick kids and a sick husband, I decided to cut it short. I actually made it out, ran, and showered before anyone else was awake.

Today is the 11th anniversary of the attacks on the WTC and Pentagon. I lived in a DC suburb at the time and worked for an international organization. I happened to be at our annual conference in Kansas City and was watching the news before my first meeting of the day. I got home a week later to learn that one of the other women in my young adults group at church had passed away in the Pentagon.

Where were you when the attacks occurred?

Monday, September 10, 2012

11 Days until Ragnar!

I'm going to try and blog every day until Ragnar and then blog about it when I get home :) It's only 11 days away! Aside from a small problem in May when I just didn't feel like running and the last couple of weeks when I was getting just a tad frustrated, my training has been great. I followed the beginner training plan from the Ragnar site for the most part and feel very comfortable running 5+ miles.

Yesterday, we had beautiful weather and I had a nice, but slow, 7.3 mile run with some of my teammates. Unfortunately, both boys are sick, so I didn't get to run my last 60-minute hill training this morning. I hope to be able to get a run in tomorrow... or maybe tonight. I'm really hoping they don't give the terrible cold to me.

How are you taking advantage of the cooler fall-like weather and lower humidity?

Monday, August 20, 2012

The end of being "Trapped Under a Milk Dud"

Don't worry. My blog isn't going anywhere... He is still a Milk Dud... just not a "Milk Dud." Last Monday, he asked to nurse and I put him off to walk the dog. He didn't ask again until Wednesday. I put him off then because I had just run 6 miles and needed a shower. I put him off a couple of more days because I was busy. Today, he didn't even ask. Milk Dud turns 2 on Wednesday and I guess I should be celebrating the end of an era. He nursed 10 days shy of 2 years. I am feeling guilty about not continuing. His brother only made it 17 months. My husband was weird about the fact that Milk Dud would say "I want to nurse" and then specify the side he wanted. He is my last baby, so I will never have this kind of relationship again.

I am proud of myself. Only a small percentage of mothers continue to nurse their children after a year, most aren't even nursing at 6 months ( Milk Dud only got 10cc of formula in the hospital when his blood sugar dropped and I was too exhausted to fight the annoying nurse. My oldest never received any formula that wasn't a breast milk fortifier, even though he was in the NICU.

A few minutes after birth

A couple of weeks ago

Instead of being sad that it's over, I should be glad that I was able to do it at all considering the odds were stacked against me as a parent of a preemie who had only seen breastfeeding once in her adult life.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Chocolate cake batter fudge

So, recently I tried a pinned recipe for 10-minute cake batter fudge. It was good, so I wondered if I could make it with CHOCOLATE cake mix.

So, here are the ingredients and things you need

Microwave-safe mixing bowl, 8x8 pan, cooking spray, milk, cake mix, powdered sugar, and butter.

Got kids? Make sure you add sprinkles... LOTS of sprinkles ;)

Add one cup each of the chocolate cake mix and powdered sugar to your microwave-safe bowl

Add 4 tablespoons (half a stick) of butter.

Add 1/4 cup of milk. Do not stir.

Microwave on high for 2 minutes.

Ignore cute, nosey toddler.

It will look like this.

Cute, nosey toddler will react like this.

Mix it up add sprinkles, if desired and you can get the container away from cute, nosey toddler. I didn't measure. I just put in the amount I thought would look good. Oh, and that is my favorite thing from when I sold Pampered Chef. I highly recommend the Mix and Scrape if you are ever at a PC party and want to buy something cheap.

Poor in a greased baking pan.

Refrigerate for an hour.

It will look like this :)

They were a little stickier than the regular cake batter ones. Maybe use 1 -1/4 cups of cake mix. I don't mind sticky for CHOCOLATE!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Eating like an animal

I know it's been a while. I've been busy training for my Ragnar race and teaching my anatomy class for kids at the community college. I am going to start a new little feature about the weird breakfasts we have been eating in our house.

Wednesday, Squirty woke up and told me he wanted breakfast like a monkey. I asked if he wanted it to look like a monkey or to be what a monkey eats. The answer was "eats." I've taken it to be a little bit of an ecology lesson. Squirty told me that monkeys eat nuts and seeds. In general, primates tend to be herbivorous, but do eat eggs, insects, etc.

This was my least creative day. I gave the boys part of a granola bar, a banana, blueberries, and yogurt (that was for Milk Dud).

I've never seen either child eat so quickly.

This was somewhere around 10 minutes later.

Considering neither one has really been a good breakfast eater, I decided to make a trend of this. I asked Squirty what he wanted to be tomorrow. "A lion! Roar!" Great.... he made it difficult on me. I felt like I was on that episode of Top Chef: All Stars where they gave one team the choice of carnivore or omnivore.

Here is what I decided, with a little help from my husband: Wart hog (bacon), ostrich (turkey breast), and ostrich eggs (lions DO scavenge a bit... Chip suggested a poached egg).

Gone, just as quickly, and followed by a huge cup of orange yogurt.

For today, Squirty requested to be a bird. Well, that is pretty easy. I gave them some more seed/nut granola bars, some fruit, a poached "robin" egg (some birds eat other bird's eggs), and "worms" (spaghetti I cooked in water with red food coloring).

Eggs were not consumed, but the rest was GONE.

Tomorrow, we are going to eat like a bear. I will continue this until we get bored with it. I think it is a great way to teach a curious child about how different animals eat different diets.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Teacher gifts

Squirty is finishing up his first year of preschool. I can't believe he is getting so big! The school gave us the option of contributing to purchase a gift card. Nice idea and saves time in picking out a gift. I declined to participate because one of the teachers lives across the street from my in-laws, so I wanted to do something a little more personal.

I decided to purchase travel coffee mugs and make a cute little gift that way. Here is the finished product since that is all that will show up when I post on Facebook.

So I bought the cute mugs at Walmart. They had a decent selection and were only $5. I bought some instant coffee packets and added tea bags that I already had.

I made a little personal note to stick in the rubber thing to keep your fingers from being burned. It's a little wider to there is a little edge to stick and hold it in place.

Then I stuck cut off the extra and put it into place.

I added two of each tea and coffee flavor I had.

Then I wrote on each bag and stuck a cute Nemo sticker.

 Oh, and here is an additional picture of someone who kept bugging me the whole time ;)

I hope Squirty's teachers enjoy them! Thanks Miss Ann and Miss Kathy for a great school year!

Monday, April 16, 2012

I'll take "Auditions" for $200, Alex!

So, one of the things on my bucket list was to audition for Jeopardy. Okay, I say that, but I've never even so much as tried in the past. Last fall, a friend's husband was on did quite well. My friend convinced me to take the online test with her this past January. I obviously did pretty well because today I got to audition!

I had to Metro my way to Farragut North. It was a  route I'm used to taking, but I hadn't done since I stopped working on "Eye" Street in 2006. I got there pretty early, so I walked around the square a bit. The burrito vendor on K is gone, as is the guy who used to sell hot dogs in front of my building. They put a restaurant where I believe there used to be a bank. There are restaurants across the street. I didn't realize that Farragut Square was a big food truck scene for DC.

The audition was in the Capital Hilton. I picked a table in the holding room and looked up to realize that I was sitting across from The RoomStore lady! Baltimore and DC people know about whom I am talking. For those who don't, please check out THIS link and let me tell you that I couldn't find any of her REALLY annoying commercials on YouTube. Yes, she does sound like that and is that perky. Thankfully, she was not in my room for the test and personality interviews.

I can't talk about the questions, but let's say that after a slow start with my practice game (didn't have a clue about 2 of the first 4), I cleared a category about NFL logos going against two men. When they asked about my hobbies, I mentioned that I recently took up running and completed my first 5K yesterday, 2 minutes under my goal time. That actually resulted in applause from the peanut gallery. Apparently, I have a Southern accent. I don't hear it. Do you? The main audition interviewer told me that she asked Justin Sausville about a certain medicine for men, he told her that the problem was for women of child-bearing age :)

I had a fun time and am in the contestant pool for the next 18 months. Let's hope that out of the 3000 people in the pool, that I get to be one of the 400 on for next season.

Oh, and I'd use my winnings to buy season tickets to the Gator Football games, if you care to know :) They wanted something interesting and everyone else was taking trips places.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

First 5K down. Who knows how many to go?

Since shortly after Milk Dud was born, I've wanted to take up running again. Several of my friends from my infant and child loss message board had successfully completed the Couch 2 5K program. I wanted to join them, but every time I'd get started with it, I wouldn't be able to get past week 3. I felt like a failure and was resentful of the fact that I didn't have time to exercise because I had a very clingy baby.

Last year, two of my friends from Baltimore Mommies started running. One of them competed in a half marathon in the fall, only 6 or 7 months after she started running and less than a year after having her second child. I was jealous. I wanted to be a runner and get into shape.

Last December, I took my first run on the treadmill with the first week of the Couch 2 5K program yet again. Two of my local runner friends said that I should find a 5K and sign up for it and that they would do it with me. Today, I completed that 5K. I ran in The Red Shoe Shuffle to benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Baltimore. I raised over $350 for the charity. The event was initially expecting only 500 runners and walkers. They ended up with 1500 and raised over $100K!

I was excited and nervous. Squirty refused to go to sleep until midnight last night and Milk Dud woke up around 4... again... That meant I did this on about 3 hours of sleep. It was nice and cool, but a little humid. I'm not really used to running in the city, so the exhaust fumes started to really irritate my lungs at around 1 mile. I don't know how city runners do it. I had to cough and walk a couple of times. My goal was to finish the race in 35 minutes or less. Yes, I was silly and set a time goal for my first race. I beat that by 2 minutes, crossing the finish line at 33 minutes almost exactly.

I would absolutely do this again. I hope to run another 5K in May through our local Striders club. Hopefully, I can better my time with some more training. Now, I have to go ice my knee. It wasn't bothering me until I sat at a restaurant for an hour and then walked around Old Ellicott City, which is rather hilly.

Me and Milk Dud before the race. He was obsessed with my earbuds.

All done!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Pins to Projects: Pancake Muffins

I found THIS pin on Pinterest via one of my friends. It didn't link to any instructions and the ones they had in the pin were a little confusing, so I made them work for me.

Preheat the oven to 350F. Mix together 1c Bisquick complete, 2/3c cold water,  and 1/2c maple syrup. Spoon into a greased regular muffin tin to 3/4 full. Sprinkle your topping of choice on the muffins. I used Craisins and pecans. I made one with Cheerios for my 3.5-year old. Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. It made 7. I stuck the 2 remaining ones in the freezer so I could see how well they freeze.

They turned out pretty well. L really liked his Cheerio one once I finally talked him into eating. It was a rough morning.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Breastfeeding affirmations

I recently read THIS post about breastfeeding affirmations. I wish I had seen it 3.5 years ago when I was exclusively pumping for my preemie, not knowing if I would ever be able to transition him to the breast. I know how hard I worked to switch him and how lucky I was to be able to do so. Many a lactation consultant has told me these facts, but I didn't have a lot of actual support or help with it in the beginning. My fear of taking Squirty anywhere in the early days prevented me from attending La Leche League meetings and a former coworker made me think that were too militant for me. I was lucky to have my mother-in-law who understood how much I wanted to nurse. I did eventually seek out La Leche League as my first reached a year and I didn't want to wean.

As I approach 20 months of breastfeeding with Milk Dud, I need to look at breastfeeding in a different way. It is a special time for him and me (and whatever toy he occasionally decides to bring along). In spite of the fact he was so sick all winter, breastfeeding has kept him healthier than he would have been otherwise. When he had a stomach bug, I was able to comfort him through nursing. He is super smart and I like to think that breastfeeding has something to do with that. I do want to get him weaned before the Ragnar race in September. He will be over 2 at that point and I don't want to bring a hand pump.

What are your breastfeeding affirmations? What positive thoughts do you use to get you through a rough patch?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

10 Days until Red Shoe!

So, it's only 10 days (including today) until my first 5K. I'm both excited and scared about running with a lot of other people. My goal is to finish without walking, but I'd like to be under 33-minutes.

The Red Shoe Shuffle is a race to benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Baltimore. I picked this event as my first 5K because it is an awesome charity.

If you want to sponsor me, my FirstGiving page can be found here:

Please help me raise money for the Ronald McDonald House!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Pins to Projects: Flower Cookies

Yes, a second blog post from me today. I promised Squirty that I would make cookies. He was supposed to help me, but then he went and did this:

So I did some cookies using the basic idea found HERE.

I just used bagged sugar cookie mix. I have my own awesome recipe, but this was easier with L since what I wanted to do was decorate them.

First I rolled the dough into small balls and then I rolled the balls in colored sugar.

Next, I cut each one down into petals, so they looked like this

The original site left them like this and put a piece of candy in the middle. I didn't do that. I flipped them over so the sugar side was up.

Baked them for 9 minutes, per the instructions

Voila! Flower cookies ready for spring!

Made Squirty rather happy with his pre-soccer snack. Pardon his crazy nap hair.