Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Confessions of a Triathlete...with a baby!

Well, Mind the Ducks Week 2 is in the books - 31 miles of running done - doesn't sound like alot, but for a multi sport aficionado like me, 5 days of running is a crap ton.  I assume I'll settle in on 3-4 days a week - I know bike time is good cardio, but I'm vested in a good base for this sucker.  No crazy repercussions yet - I have a small hot spot on my foot, but I'm working on breaking in a pair of shoes, so that's probably it.  My plan is to alternate two pairs of shoes for the whole training (not the same two pairs for 4 months, obviously!) and to have two good racing pairs ready to go on the day, with a backup pair.  My preliminary thoughts of "packing" for this beats are just ridiculous - what does one pack for a 12 hour race where you can have your own aid tent every mile?  But I'll talk about that in a few months as I experiment with this ludicrous race....that's to worry about after my 6 hour long run...lol.  Too funny.
Rest assured, as I go through this training, I am still very much into the whole biking, swimming and kickboxing/yoga/weight lifting - they are now just my respite from running (which actually makes them all the more sweeter!)  And as a mom with a baby in multi sport....even in the off season....I've found some hilarity in my training method.  Ergo, I give you once again....confessions....of a triathlete/marathoner with a baby!!
1.  My runs all happen....just sometimes in 3 parts.  I was home with kiddo on Monday with a 7 miler on
tap, which shouldn't be an issue, except sometimes we get an hour nap (perfect)...and sometimes we get 3 micro naps.  Not so perfect.  7 miles is 7 miles in 58 minutes....or 2 miles in 16 minutes.....2.5 miles in 21 minutes...and 2.5 miles in 21 minutes.....right?  Right.  I delude myself into thinking 3 bursts of cardio are better that one, right?  Errr.....ok, better than not doing it.  And that works.  (Except for that long run- which will NOT get broken up!).

2.  I've affectionately dubber my locker room at the gym as "T1".  I swim most days during lunch (when I can get to it!) so I race through a roughly 35 minute swim, then have exactly 12 minutes to shower and get back to my desk.  Clock starts post shower with a towel on and ends when I hit the door of the gym....including getting dried, dressed, hair brushed, jacket on and out my best is 3 minutes even.  Who says you can't tri train in January?

3.  On the days I have-when  kiddo duty and need to get in a workout...we get creative.  Plyos.  5 minute weight stints.  Drop and give me 50 push ups.  Who has time for 5 showers?  Baby Wipes.  Awesome.

4.  Our 2014 race calendar is picked with babysitters in mind.  Pittsford Tri?  Yep, we have family in Mendon.  Johnny's ROTG?  Check.  Pain in the Alleghanies?  Too far, no sitter.  Musselman?  Yep- Greg does mini, I do full.  Check.  That might change in a few years, but its the way of racing right now.  Lilac 5k and 10k double....oh yeah, Rob is so doing the 5k with mom :-)

5.  My friend Kelly posted about 3 things a parent needs to long distance tri train a few months ago....a treadmill, a trainer and flexibility.  Check check check.  Well, we added in another notch to flexibility by moving the bike trainer upstairs so we can spend family time while mommy gets in her ride.  Also good for working on those quick dismounts when baby cries :-)

Did I mention how much I love my life as a Mom?  It's the best!!

Week 2 recap:  5 runs

1.  6 miles recovery - 55:02
2/3.  Speed work/tempo 2 miles (14:36) and 3 miles (22:41)
4.  Long run 1:  8 miles (1:11)
5.  Long run 2:  12 miles (1:50)


Saturday, January 25, 2014

How to play for Less Part zillion: Online Savers

Hey hey there!  Well, we are in another deep freeze in Western NY and you know what?  i'm tired of hearing crap about the weather.  I think I'll just make some crock pot soup, run my little heart out on the treadmill (cause it's only gonna make me stronger) and enjoy the winter.  Yep, I said it.  Gonna enjoy it.  As I got in my 8 miler this morning (woop woop) I was thinking about how I would enjoy this freeze for 5 minutes at mile 9 in Musselman in July....grass is always greener.  Done with it.  My grass might be snow covered, but I've got what I need right here.  Boo.  Ya.  On with it.
What I don't have...are limitless funds.  And I know you guys don;t either.  After the holidays and the litany of New Years "I'ma do betters"  I bet (the money I don't have) that everyone wants to try to save a few bucks in 2014.  And I'm with ya.  So since I lamed out at helping everyone save with Christmas, I'm gonna do a quick overview of my "livin' it online savings" latelys (aside from the obvious ebates, groupon sites, and craigslist).....here we go!

1.  Checkout 51 - Similar to Ibotta, but without the smart phone (I'm an idiot, I just can't get Ibotta. I know).  They post a list of things you can shop for each week and you snap a pic with your phone of your receipt and upload.  Easy peasy.  I made $4.50 shopping last week and $1.50 this week - just by getting stuff I already needed (eggs, cereal, OJ, etc.)  when you get to $20, you can cash out with paypal or amazon.  Free money.  Cool.

2.  Savingstar - Another grocery savings site....this one does e coupons, but the neat part is that it links to your loyalty cards - so you go in, upload your shoppers card numbers (Tops, CVS, Wegmans, etc.) and clip the online coups you use.  When you buy the items, it credits your account, and after $5.00 you can cash out with online gift cards or paypal (be careful, in a sleep deprived state, my husband informed me that my amazon gift card....was only good at Amazon (face palm)).  The cool thing about this site is you can still use paper coupons for the items - so my store had yogurt on sale for 2/4 for a 4 pack, and I had a 74 cent coupon off 2, and so did savingstar.  So I used the 75 cent coupon, which doubled, then savingstar, which made the yogurt $1.75 for 8 containers, or roughly 20 cents a container.  awesome.

3.  FaceBook "Pass it on" sites...I belong to Free for All, Rochester Pass it On, and Simply Free.  These sites are great - people pass along things they don't need any more, no strings attached.  The only goodwill catch is that you aren't allowed to re-sell them - you need to pass it on when done.  I've gotten Rob 2 snowsuits, a v tech steering wheel, an activity mat, and learn to tie dolls from the site, and I've passed on duplicate books, some bibs, and any formula check I get.  I sort of feel like every time I get something, I need to pass something on, but thats not a rule- just my yin/yang working.  The free site has a big "sale" in Rochester on February 8, and I can't wait to pass on some of my no longer neededs and get some bebe stuff...for free!  Add it to your pages - you'll be glad you did!

4. Energy Saver programs -  Not sure if RGE does this, but my energy provider (NYSEG) pays me to be energy conscious.  So when I use a more efficient bulb, turn down the water heater, or unplug my computer outlet when not in use, they give me credits.  I earn roughly $5 every 3 months, and you can either credit your account or cash in for a Target or Walmart gift card.  I get the gift card 'cause I feel like it's more fun :-)

There ya go!  Not rocket science, but maybe a few new ideas for your 2014 savings repertoire.  Have a great weekend!  It's a double run weekend and hanging out with my slightly sick kid-ster weekend here....babe wants mommy when hes stuffy, and I am all sorts of there.  C'mon, who wouldn't be?

Monday, January 20, 2014

Rose Colored Specs

Hey all.  Hope you are enjoying your life on this snowy Monday.  It's a beautiful day.  No, I'm not just saying that.  As always, I have things to update you on.  Training for the week (spectacular), a few money saving links (that deserve their own post and I promise with a cherry on top you will get them) and, of course, some cute baby pictures.
But it's a Monday.  And with the weekend I've had, I'm in a waxing poetic kind of mood this afternoon, so pull up a chair and let's share some coffee, shall we?
It's been a crazy past year in my world, and the world of my nearest and dearest.  There have been births, deaths, big life changes, and minor everyday things that keep us chugging along.  Life. It happens.  Sometimes....I sit back and go....did it used to be easier?  When I could sleep?  When I had 20 minutes of me time that wasn't my commute?  When I could read 3-4 books a week?  And then....
I look at my beautiful kiddo.  The now.  And realize that I am happy.  And the past has it's place.....a beautiful place where I remember holidays filled with people that will be there for this years holidays...and people that won't be, for whatever reason.  The weekends when I would sleep until 9am, have a leisurely breakfast with coffee, and then go out for a 50 mile ride without a thought.  The concept of getting 8 hours of sleep.  Going out on dates with my husband, and dancing until 1am at a bar with my friends and the love of my life.
Let's go back further.  When I didn't have a mortgage.  Or bills to pay.  And either a frat party to attend, or a weekend out with my guys from high school.  The innocence of a first love, when holding hands sent butterflies swirling in your tummy and a carnation on valentines day was oh so thrilling.
I think that as the days become more hectic and life changes, it's so easy to yearn for these things that with the benefit of a fuzzy look back....look amazing.  We always forget that even though 2009 looks amazing now.... butit brought it's share of issues, too.  It wasn't perfect ( we probably looked back at 2007 then, lol).  And even though I would literally give up chocolate for a month to get a full nights sleep (nope, I didn't stutter).  But would I give up Rob, or even one second of his 6th month to get that sleep?  Oh hell no.  Never ever ever.  I love my life way too much now.
Did any of that make any sense?  I don't know.  It seems in the last year, there have just been so many damn changes - sometimes it makes my head spin.  Some of them I accept with open arms and joy, some of them take a little more getting used to.  But I firmly believe that if you aren't busy living, well...the alternative is just not pleasant.  So we have to live in the present.  And remember what we used to have fondly, but keep it there.  And keep our head up and love our life.  Just the way it is.  With everyone in it, and those that can't be or aren't with us anymore.  Life is amazing, and we all have so much to be thankful for.  Give it your all!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Got any Cheese(burger)?

Well, here we are, in the midst of the January doldrums.  The holidays are over.  New Years resolutions may still be happening (I'm about 50/50), and some may have fallen by the wayside.  All I know is, it's crock pot season.  I adore my crock pot with the tenacity of a kid in a candy store, and I use it quite frequently.  In the summer, it keeps the house cool, in the winter, you can make yummy soups and casseroles that are hearty, but not time consuming.  And now that it's January, I can use it to make some low fat deliciousness that is warm, hearty and not too bad for the ole waistline.  Check it out!

Cheeseburger Soup

16 oz 90% lean ground beef
One medium onion, minced
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup each green pepper, red pepper
2 tbsp garlic, minced
1/2 cup dill relish
1/4 cup mustard
2 tbsp ketchup (garnish)
1/2 cup 2% cheddar cheese

Brown ground beef and onions in saucepan.  Add beef, onion, garlic, stock, peppers, relish and mustard to crock pot.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours.  Add cheese, cook on low for 30 minutes.  Ladle into bowls, drizzle with ketchup.  Serve with warm crusty bread.
Perfect for a snowy Thursday.  You're welcome :-) 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Just Ducky

Hey there ho there!  Hope all is well in your corner of the world on this 50 degree day.....I give up on the weather.  At least it was warm enough to go running...which is really all I measure the weather by anyways :-)  That's right - as of this week, I'm back on the saddle and it's time to train!!  I've hinted at some new stuff and talked about this race before, but I finally bit the bullet and registered for my first ultra marathon in May 10.  What's an ultra?  For those of you that aren't crazy runners, it's anything longer than 26.2 (I know, duh, right?)  Most ultra marathons are 50k, 50 miles, or 100k or 100 miles, but it can be anything.  One of the craziest is the Badwater Ultra, which is 135 miles through the desert.  Yikes. 
No worries - Badwater isn't in my plans in 2014.  (I know- I never rule out anything long term!)  This year, I decided to pop my ultra cherry with a race that has intrigued me for years - Mind the Ducks.  It's not a distance race, it's a timed race.  So you see how far you can run in 12 hours.  The catch?  It's a one mile loop.  Wowza.  Before you have me committed, let me 'splain.  I would love to do Leadville or the Can Lakes Ultras and I probably will someday. Before I do, though, I'd like to see if I actually like running for that damn long.  So this race feels pretty safe.  It's only ever a mile to a potty or an aid station, and you can set up your own tent along the course (so YES if anyone wants to come laugh at me cheer me on for part of this race, you are so welcome to, I'll need it!).  So what about the ducks??  Well, they used to hold the race at Seneca Park zoo in Rochester, which had alot of ducks along the path.  Last year they relocated the race to a suburb called Webster (my hometown), and there's still quite a few ducks to be seen.  Plus you gotta have a hook.  I've been pulled into the race page and it seems like the other 149 people are as nutters as me, so it will Be a good day.
So how does one train for this?  Well, a Friend sent me a plan that worked for him, and that's good enough for me.  It has 5 runs a week, but I will probably do 3-4 in the beginning, with back to back runs on the weekend, which it seems is the big trick - to run 10-12 miles on Saturday then 15 or more on Sunday on tired legs.  I refuse to let this one interrupt family time, so I expect some 4am treadmill sessions and I know it will only make me stronger.  I will be documenting my weekly training, and feel free to shoot me an email with any questions, advice, or mental institution papers.
Week 1 :  3 runs

Run 1 - 6 miles (51:12) - Treadmill Polar freeze run.
Run 2 - 3 miles (24:12)
Run 3:  7.15 miles (1 hour timed run)

These are all treadmill runs, and let me say I have no concept about how well I will run/walk this sucka, but these runs are nowhere near race pace - moreso I need to get this in before the baby wakes up/needs to eat pace :-)  I have a distance goal in mind, but it hovers more about the 5 mile an hour or so mark :-)

Join me via the 'nets as I embark on the crazy of 2014!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Mommy Update - 6 months PP

It's been a few months since I checked in, so I figured it was time to share :-)  Granted, checking in with my physical or mental state might not be the best idea 10 days post holidays, but hey, we kep it real in these parts so here goes :-)

Physical Check in - I break this one into two parts - pre December 19th (first Christmas party) and as of this morning.  As of December 19th, I was 6 pounds lighter than my pre pregnancy weight and just 3 pounds from my happy weight.  2 and a half weeks of way too many cookies, rich foods and wine (aww yeah) I am now 5 pounds from my happy weight and 4 pounds lighter than pp.  Worth very cookie.  I'm focusing more on whole foods and quality protein in the New Year, and expect to lose those 5 in a few months.  Body wise, I am back in all my old shirts and the next size down in pants, and I think that's probably where I will stay.  My waist is still one inch bigger than pre baby, but lets be real here – I think I’ll take that one J  I have no doubt my happy weight will re-appear within the next month or two, and could’nt be happier about where I am body wise.  Plus, those Christmas cookies were delish!

Mental/Emotional Check in – I decided these go together.  As a mommy, I feel pretty darn good.  I’m not perfect, and I will, I am sure, stumble over decisions that I make until my child is grown and out of the house.  But overall, we are at a point now where we are sort of in a routine.  With that said, it’s a crazy routine.  Balancing a house, full time job, kiddo, and training is no joke.  And none of them are non-negotiable….have you seen me when I don’t get in a workout?  Not pretty.  Luckily, I have a partner who totally gets that and we do a hand off on after work workouts.  We both get a workout in, get to spend time with kiddo, then cram in the cooking, cleaning, bill paying, and random adult chores in the other slot of the evening.  Oh, plus another side business.  Yikes.  Whoever said that having a kid was a full time job wasn’t kidding!!  I have all the patience in the world with Rob, mostly with Greg, and less and less with the other BS.  I’m on social media less.  I blog less (sadly, but there are only so many hours!) and I spend way less time just mindlessly doing random things that accomplish nothing in the long run.  I’m getting better at saying no to things I really don’t have time for (probably pisses some people off, but oh well), and I’ve tried hard to shift my priorities as to whats important.  A perfectly clean living room?  No.  A 50 mile long slow ride?  Nope.  But I did vacuum and get in 10 tempo miles.  Good enough.  It’s an eye opening experience, and even though I’m dead on my feet, I love my life.
“Life” Check in – Last time I did one of these posts, I was just one week back to work, so I would say that commenting on real life with a baby is now acceptable.  This probably melds into what I’ve posted above, but life is really now a juggling and multi tasking effort.  We are a go go go from about 5:30 (or earlier) until about 10:30 or 11:00 at night, and I’ve found ways to combine things I never thought I would.  (Dinner and strength training.  Pumping and bill paying.  Vacuuming and lunch.  Wow.  It’s a struggle to get through everything, but I oddly feel so much more accomplished.  It seems like the days fly by, and Greg and I try to take time each night to have some solo baby snuggles, reading, bath time, and play.  And then mommy daddy time!  We aren’t perfect, but our little family is doing rather well.  I wouldn’t say another one is in our immediate plans, but being the parents is pretty cool so…..maybe in 2015 :-)  we'll see!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

6 Months - A whole half year!

Another month, another update.  This month you are officially closer to being a toddler than a baby....holy smokes, little man!!  We are having so much fun- every month just gets better and better!

Size -We go back to the docs next week, but according to my scale, you weigh in at just over 17 pounds.  That's almost triple your birth weight - my little man isn't so little anymore!!  As I feed you or snuggle with you, I marvel at how tall and chubbers you have gotten.  You almost fully scale the boppy, and your swing days are numbered!  Your little baby legs are not so little andymore- you have such nice roly polys!!  Its amazing how much different a half year makes....I dont want to know about when you're a teenager, k?
Likes: You are such a happy little dude.  You love bouncing, "walking" in your jumper, playing in your car, free mat time (so much better than tummy time!) and EATING.  Mommy is going to need to take out a second mortgage on that one, dude.  More on that on firsts....
Dislikes: You are a baby on the move.  You still hate being still, but you are getting to be a really good sitter, and you dont mind that so much.  Still, you would rather be exploring!  Oh, and peas.  You dislike peas.  I can undersand that one, buddy.  One step at a time!
Sleep: Good days and bad days.  We can get you in your room for naps, but for the night, its either
the crib by our bed or snuggles with mommy and daddy.  While neither one of us mind it, we know it's a work in progress!  You seem to be back to a 4 or 5 hour stretch then a night feeding - going down at 8ish, dream feed about 1030, then feed again about 3, then up for the day at 7.  There's sometimes a fussy bit about 5 am, but that depends on the day.  Sleep-who needs it?  (This is our theme!)
Eating: My little hoover.  We've started solids wuth regulariety - peas, squash, sweet taters, carrots, apples, bananas, avacados and prunes.  You adore it all except the peas, and sometimes carrots need to be mixed with a fruit.  You also like brown rice cereal mixed in with anything and oats.  You are your mommy's son!  As long as we feed it to you quick enough.....or else....
First Christmas!  You were amazing, buddy.  And oh so spolied!!  You helped really well opening gifts, but you seemed to like the wrapping paper much better than the gifts.  Dunno why we even shopped....lol.  You got lots of cool stuff from everyone - you seem to be winning hearts left and right!  You always had mine :-)
First Highchair feed!  You are a pro.  You grab that spoon and noms like its your job.  You also like to smear it on your face, but hey, I hear avacado masks are all the rage at the spa.  lol
First creeps!  You have learned how to pull yourself along on the floor - you roll onto your tummy and get your little tush up in the air and go go go.  Pretty soon you'll be a crawlin fool!
First unassisted sits.  You still topple sometimes, but are learning to right yourself.  Mys trong man!
First solid poops.  Sorry to the non parents - so weird seeing some little nuggets!  (I also apologize to the teen Ro-Bear who reads this in 2020).
First new Years!  You, of course, did not stay up for midnight, but we planted a kiss on your perfect little head and knew without a doubt that your first full year was going to be awesome. 

Best Moment: Christmas was magical, little buddy.  From making the pierogies with the cousins to Christmas eve with our Polish fam to Christmas morning with Santa and Christmas day with your mom, dad, and grandparents...you loved it all.  You were such a little charmer and in awe of everything around you - next year you might even understand some of it!!

Looking Forward to: Crawling, new teeth (any day!), and some swimming lessons coming up....oh we are going to have so much fun exploring!!!

Friday, January 3, 2014

2014 - Ready or not, here we come!!

Happy New Year!  I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and have kicked off 2014 with a bang.  As I said last post, we did things a bit differently this time - we had a small get together but celebrated the New Year with those in Greenwich - at 7pm our time :-)  a little lame?  Maybe.  But our guests thought it was pretty fun, we had a great time, and we got kiddo down to bed by 9pm.  That works for me.
So far, 2014 has been pretty interesting.  We got hit with a winter storm and some frigid cold (hey, no problem, I'm a seasoned New Yorker), had a few monetary surprises (nothing we can't handle), and I kicked off the year with a bang by doing a great 10 mile run - not by far my longest run, but my first double digits in a few months and a start to prep for the 2014 season!  So what's up with those New Years resolutions?  Well, you all know I hate doing the January 1 thing - too much pressure on just a random date.  But with that said, I do love the mentality of January and a clean slate and lets be real - we can all find some fun way to improve on ourselves and our lives...why not in the New Year?  I like to make just a few resolutions in a few areas.....so here goes.

1.  No more swearing.  yikes, this will be tough.  Greg and I realized that our wonderfully precocious son is picking up on things wayyyy too fast and while it would be humorous if his first word started with an F and rhymed with duck....it really wouldn't.  Uncle Alan got him a frog bank for Christmas to store his coin collection, and we've decided to start contributing a quarter every time certain words are chosen to err....express ourselves.  I already owe that damn bank $2.  What?  I meant the Hoover Dam....n.....oh man.

2.  Do me.  Wait, that sounded bad.  I mean - take care of myself.  I think that it's wonderful that I now have a little guy that I am 100% vested in taking care of, but I've been finding myself falling into the mommy martyrdom trap lately, and it's nowhere I want to go.  You know the one.  I never sleep, I eat like crap, I do everything in the world for my kiddo and the house and everyone else....but me.  That's all well and good, but it makes for a miserable tired and grumpy mommy, and my hubs and kiddo deserve better than that.  So as selfish as it sounds, I resolve to take at least a half hour of me time a day.  A bath, paint my nails, stretching or even making come chai and just being....I'm there.  I've never thought of yoga or meditation, but they might be making an appearance in my repertoire.
3.  Broaden my racing horizons.  Marathon?  Check.  Ironman?  Check.  While I would love to do another Ironman, it's just not practical for my life in the next few years....I will be back, 140.6- but not just yet.  I want something to challenge me and not take 20 hours a week, so I've decided this is the year to focus on my running.  I'm signed up for an ultra marathon in May (more on that as I start training next week), and I would like to set some PR's in the 5k and half marathon.  Maybe a fall marathon- we'll see.  I'm excited to do a few new distances as well as working on a few I haven't in awhile.....without the weekly 7 hour bike rides and 3 hour runs Ironman demands.  Ok, maybe a few 3-4 hour runs.  But that's not every week :-)

4.  Hit a house milestone.  Without being the d-bag that talks too much about money, Greg and I have some pretty ambitious house goals.  Having a short person ain't cheap, but I'm determined to continue paying just a bit extra each month to hit our house goal for the year. 

I think we have a well rounded set of goals here....let's see how it goes!  How about you?  Do you make any new years resolutions?