Monday, September 28, 2009

Last 5 runs

I've been following the Nike Plus 5k training program. I've done 5 runs in the last week. And as promised, I'll be sharing my progress, so that I'm accountable for getting out there, even when it's rainy, windy and -- soon to be -- cold.

I've run/walked over 20 miles in my first week.

Something I did right

We built our house in 2007. One of my wishes was that the back of our house would get a lot of natural light and southern exposure. Why you ask?

Because I love my cats. :-P

Here are Clawdio (12) and Maya (8) baking their brains out at 11 a.m. Can't you tell they're completely stressed out?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Shopping Shenanigans

Today, I drove up to Oak Brook and met Womanthatrolls for a shopping trip. First business was lunch and catching up at Stir Crazy.

Second order of business was returning a dress I purchased from Nordstroms last November -- and never wore. It still had the tags, but the receipt was long gone. And they took it -- and immediately credited my visa. Seriously, why would anyone shop anywhere else? Oh yeah, because not everyone can pay $44 for a pair of panties. Seriously! But we did scour the sales racks.

I didn't buy too many things. I picked up a convertible bra, some new tableware for X-man from the Disney store and some Vitamin E body butter from the Body Shop. I was sad that I was unable to find a kick ass fall coat anywhere in the mall. But I did manage to pre-shop at Karen's Kloset before I headed up, which checked off a lot of items on my list.

The weekend of Oct. 3, the Divine Consign will be happening in Urbana. I've got to print and tag my items for the sale still. It's on my list for tomorrow night. Well, that and a Child Psych test.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Weekend! Weekend! Weekend!

This week has been rough. Last week was tough. Next week is going to push me into October. How the hell did that happen?

There's so much happening between now and Thanksgiving, it makes my head spin. Tomorrow's big priorities (besides my first substitute teaching gig) are getting an oil change for my car, doing a bunch of homework and taking Joel on a date night to the Fur Ball Fundraising Auction for the Champaign County Humane Society.

Here's to hoping that everyone's Fridays are as successful and low key as possible. Saturday, I'm heading up to Oakbrook for some time with my friend Womanthatrolls. I think we both deserve some R&R.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Go, go, go!

Lots of things happening this week. Lots of homework. A paying gig on Friday. Babysitting for our neighbors tomorrow. Class. Oil Change on the VW. Fundraiser for the Humane Society on Friday night.

Busy, but happy.

Tonight I ran 2 miles straight, averaging around 10:15/miles.

Tomorrow, I'm going to run 4 doing intervals the whole time.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

20-minute run: Day of Reckoning

Yesterday, my congestion came back and I was miserable for the afternoon. But I did get a lot of rest, so I'm feeling better today. Since my physical activity has been down in the dumps due to my head cold (if not being able to breathe dampers the will to exert oneself physically, the complete lack of energy and cotton mouth pretty much kill it). But this morning, I was sick of being sick. Plus, I was curious. At the 5k on Sunday, Harley ran the whole race without walking once. When I first heard her say that I pursed my lips in deep thought. It never occurred to me to just run as long as I could run. I'd always done intervals. My gym teacher had taught me intervals when I was an obese 5th grader trying to run the mile in gym class (ironically, doing intervals I was able to pass the presidential fitness test while obese in both fifth and sixth grade). I'd also run intervals during my long training runs at the beginning of the soccer season every year in high school. Intervals was the only way I had ever been able to finish any running challenge because I AM NOT A GOOD RUNNER. I am slow and awkward and -- you get the drift.

"Well, crap," I thought. "You're running now. So best start trying to figure things out."

I thought I'd just join up with the Couch To 5k program that everyone else is doing, but I also know that I've been running intervals for a while and doing my best to exercise every day. So I wondered how far I really could run, if I didn't have a watch beeping at me to stop and walk.

This morning, I decided to give it a go. Week 5 Day 3 of Couch to 5k is a 20-minute run (I think I have that right). I've never run for 20 minutes straight.

I'm guessing most of the people on the program look at this day as some kind of day of reckoning. The other issue was that I have to get 45 minutes of high intensity PA today. So, I have to keep going after the 20 minutes. I decided to run as far as I could run and then to do intervals the rest of the way, like it was a normal run day.

The other extra challenge today was that I left my watch at home. Instead, I had a New-to-Me Toy -- the Nike Plus sensor that Apple gave MacTroll in some goodie bag at a conference a year ago or more. It's been sitting in a drawer collecting dust. I ordered a little pocket pouch for it for $5 and attached it to my shoe and plugged in my iPod and off I went. It dutifully counted down every 5 minutes for me by quieting my music to make the announcement. I liked it. I felt somehow less leashed to something on my wrist. And with the rain on my glasses, I couldn't really see the display on my armband to see how much time was left.

At 10 minutes, I was feeling pretty good. At 15 minutes I thought, "Mmmm, maybe I could push it to a 25-minute run." At 18 minutes, I decided, "Don't be stupid, you have a cold and you're already doing a really hard thing." So at 20 minutes I stopped and walked. I got some props by a woman in Prairie Fields who was leaving her house for work on my recovery walk. I <3> Savoy.

So here is my Nike+ chart (I hope this works).

It's actually pretty fun to chart. I'm hoping that one day soon I'll be able to run my entire path.

A huge part of my fitness goal and weight loss success depends on accountability in my program. So, if you visit my blog, you'll have to see these charts from time to time. And if you don't see them -- you can certainly ask for them -- to keep me honest. I'm also going to use the iPod for my walks.

But my 20-minute run is done. I guess I just need to work on some speed. So off I go to the Nike web site to visit their training area and see what info they have. I did just realize that the weight on my iPod was set to 114 lbs... so um, the calorie count is a bit off today. :-) I also just learned that I could adjust my graph... so it'll have more points and look a bit more even for future graphs.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Not bad for a girl with a cold

Today I ran my first 5k. And by run, I mean intervals, because I'm a faux runner. My usual mile time is around 13:30 doing my 3-mile runs during the week.

But today, I did it in just under 12:30 minutes per mile. There was no one around me, so I can't say that I was sped up by the crowd. Plus, there were hills. However, I got passed up by the leader before I even finished my first lap. But I finished.

Now I guess this means that I have to try some sort of formal program so I can continue to improve. I ran with several friends this morning, and they all finished and did a great job!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Slow and easy

Since I'm still a bit under the weather, although headaches and fevers seem to be gone, I decided to wander out for 2 hours today to go to the Monticello Celebration. It's a street fair, and X-man had so much fun he didn't know what to do with himself.

First, he went through an inflatable that looked like a train. Then there was a fishing game and a "pick-a-boat-win-a-prize" game. Then he got a free balloon animal (he wanted a pirate hat for Talk Like a Pirate Day, but the guy didn't have particular balloon knowledge yet, so X-man settled for a puppy). Then MacTroll shared a giant thing of curly fries and a lemon shake up with him, while I ate an apple and sipped on my Diet Pepsi.

After our snack, we purchased a 4' x 4' square canvas that was on the city street and X-man got to paint it (Square 118). While the boys worked on their public art (X-man named his painting -- "Museum is closed, but still happy"), I wandered into the new Village Wardrobe store. I have consigned at the one in Homer before, but hadn't been to this one, which opened earlier this summer. It definitely has more of a boutique feel to it than the last time I was in Homer.

I purchased X-man 4 shirts, a pair of pants, a desperately needed piece of wood train track that had two female ends (รก la carte Melissa and Doug track rocks!) and a Melissa and Doug Dress Up Puzzle. When I was done, I met up with the boys and admired their artistry, before we finished off our tickets by making goo and playing more fishing games.

Now that we're home, I'm pooped. I'm in bed (but I changed the sheets -- hooray) and am about to take a nap. I was hoping to get out to the free symphony concert tonight at Dodds Park to watch the fireworks, but I'm thinking we might just be hanging out at home.

Tomorrow, after all, is the 5k (which I'm not sure yet if I'm walking or running or doing both) and the large neighborhood cookout!

Friday, September 18, 2009


Today, I am feeling very limited not only in my physical capacity but in my emotional and mental capacities as well. I am of no use to anyone.

I'd write more, but right now I'm losing my peripheral vision... which means migraine. So, here I go trying to fall asleep fast!

Thursday, September 17, 2009


My nap and restful periods this week did nothing to ward off the inevitable.

I have congestion and a fever. It's a low fever, but I'm hoping I don't get another sinus infection like I had last March. That was uber painful on many levels.

Plus, it'll completely mess with running the 5k on Sunday if I don't get over it.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

When the Energizer Bunny Dies

I have a lot of energy.
I've been called "perky" to the point of excess throughout my life.
I try to zero in on the positive.
I spend a lot of time trying to figure things out in my head to the point where every boyfriend I've ever had has told me it's a turn off that I think too much.
But yesterday and today, I've been downright tired.
Usually, I'd chalk it up to my low iron issues.
But every once in a while, I think I just wear out and need some recuperation time.
My body tells me its had enough way before my head listens.
So, right now, I'm lying in bed, book on my chest, computer on my lap.
My eyes are closing.
The alarm is set for 3 p.m.

Please don't think less of me.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Dear Savoy, Champaign and Urbana Communities:

Just a warning that I went shopping the other day for new fitness shorts/capris on sale/clearance. Buying clothes as you get smaller (or bigger) is expensive. By now the changing in sizes has gotten a little old, at least until I start in a pant size that begins with a single digit. But for workout clothes that only come in S, M, L, XL, XXL there is wiggle room. I wiggled my room into a S this week. And when you look at me the first thing you're going to notice is a roll of 1" fat (or muffin top) that comes out just above the top of my sweat shorts. Seriously, I did see it. But the M fit just right, and that means in 4 weeks they'll be too big.

So, if you see me out (like I'm about to go out onto the farm roads to do my 80-minute walk), and think, "Dear god woman, buy pants that fit!" Give it 4 weeks. Then when you next drive by you'll think, "Wow, check out her ass -- nice!" Of course, by then it'll probably be cold and I'll have to invest in longer, more insulated running pants, since there's significantly less insulation in my ass these days... funny how that works, isn't it? Lose weight, become really cold all the time. I wonder if that's why skinny girls are notoriously known in phat circles as being bitches? The poor things are just physically cold.

Something to think about for my walk.

Monday, September 14, 2009

iPhone Found

Two months ago, my husband relinquished one of his three iPhones to me. He's gotten a new one every time Apple has released one. The office gave him the first and third. He bought the second when he dropped the first one and didn't think the Apple Store would replace it due to "abuse." However, on a whim, he checked and they took his old one and gave him a new "old" one.

When he gave it to me, it was after I threw away my old motorola cheap one from 1998 while in California. We had stopped because I was carsick on the PCH. I was sick, had a whiny 3-year-old and MacTroll needed to get to a payphone because there was no cell coverage on that particular spot of the PCH, so he could get to a 3 p.m. conference call.

That meant, I inherited the potty training, cranky toddler, the ice cream sandwich and juice his father bought him and my nausea at the same time. Cake to a good mom. And, to my credit, my child didn't fall off the ledge while looking at the ocean. And when he had an explosive poop in his pull up (because he was apparently too afraid to sit on the toilets at the rest stop, he only stood to pee in them), and I'm changing it while dry heaving on the ground near the scenic overview because there was no real appropriate place to change him in the bathroom. My brain went a little crazy. So as I threw away a crappy diaper, tons of wipes, two drink bottles, MacTroll's garbage and the kid's garbage, I apparently tossed my crappy cellphone into the garbage. 

I realized when, an hour later, we were 15 miles down the road. 

Anyway, I inherited Generation 1 iPhone. When MacTroll gave it to me, he said, quite snotty like, "Don't lose it or throw it away!" I ignored the jerkiness of his comment. He was trying to be funny, and besides, who could dwell on the past. I was in love with texting Freak and Quigs. I even toted around an ugly purse so that I would never have too much stuff in my hands ever again and make the same mistake. 

You can imagine my frustration when on Saturday, I go to run errands and can't find it in one of the three places I usually leave it: my desk (where the charger is), the kitchen counter when I come in from the garage or my ugly purse. I go on a giant 3-hour hunt through the house for it. I remembered the last time I used it was Thursday night when KTDID and I went to Schnuck's. And then -- my brain goes blank.

During the swap, KTDID and Quigs went through the house figuring I had just been looking for it too long and missed something. Or we figured we'd find it in a sea of children's clothes when I packed up the SWAP items to donate. But no luck.

Finally, last night MacTroll comes into the garage with a smile on his face. "It was on my desk the whole time."

Mmmm, I don't go into MacTroll's office willingly. And he certainly wouldn't take my phone in there. We both look at X-man. X-man who declares all iPhones -- "Daddy's." X-man who loves going into MacTroll's office. X-man who does stuff like play mailman with my outgoing mail from time to time so that people get their holiday thank yous 6-8 weeks after the holiday (because I figured I already put them in the box). 

Either way, it's all good. I have my phone. I didn't go crazy and lose it. It was taken from me. 

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Slow Poke

So, I've been walking a lot this summer. I moved my mile time from 18-minute miles to 14-minute miles. Recently, I've been allowed to return to running on hard surfaces, and I find it funny that I walked home from the gym the other day for 3.5 miles at just under 14-minute miles (according to the g-map pedometer and my iPod) but I also do my 3-mile interval run at THE SAME SPEED. One would think that I'd be somehow faster, but I must be walking a lot slower on my recovery walks than I normally do. On the other hand, I haven't been injuring myself or having any issues breathing, so I guess that's a win/win situation.

Next Sunday morning, I'll be participating in the Ambulance Chase 5k to benefit A Woman's Fund. It's the first one I've done where I've actually planned on running part of it. I'll be doing my 4-minute run, 2-minute walk intervals. And at my current speed, it should take just under 45 minutes, which is apparently, as long as it would take me if I walked it entirely. 

Fast I am not, but I do feel like I could go on forever when I'm out there.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Organizational Weirdo

I spent a quality 5 1/2 hours in my garage today. I swept the floors. I de-deadbugged the windows. I swept off the shelves. I threw things out, reorganized the shelves and labeled them. Then I set up some tables and started sorting through a couple dozen boxes of clothing, toys and books for the bi-annual CARE swap. 

Every spring and every fall, folks clean out their closets and we have a free-for-all exchange. I have to limit the number of people who come (and a few extras snuck in this time due to some RSVP errors) but we do a big potluck, I get some pizza, the kids play outside in the yard, and everyone goes through the well-sorted items and then we donate the leftovers. It's very green. And it's a crazy busy 3 hours. But I like doing it. Mostly because I get stuff out of my house, which, let's face it, is my sick obsession here. I love organizing things.

I've been visiting consignment sales a lot lately to drop off some of X-man's stuff and some of my stuff. I like to build up the sales and then go on a little shopping spree for our new sizes. But he's starting to get to the end of the sizes at All Things Kids, now that he's a 4T pants and a 5T shirt. But I seem to be fairing pretty well in the mediums (!) over at Karen's Kloset.

Now I have two new consignment events to explore. The new Frogs and Fairies in Urbana does kids stuff. And the Divine Consign event Oct. 1-3 in Urbana.

Monday, September 7, 2009

The Day of Labor

Look at this kid. Doesn't he look like he's the cat who caught the mouse? Really, he was so excited at the Labor Day Parade in Urbana. He was surrounded by friends, family and candy. Hours later, we went to the free admission skating at Skateland. His leg wasn't really ready for it (or so he said) but I give the kid credit for trying. Later, he and his friend J-man loved playing games and pushing buttons. 

Look at this kid, again. Doesn't he look happy? It was the first time he got into a "pool" of any kind since before the broken leg. 

It was a busy Monday, but it was busy with a lot of fun. So much fun that he passed out around 9:20 p.m., which made MacTroll and I very happy.

Friday, September 4, 2009

X-man and Pretty Girl: Cooperation

X-man and Pretty Girl had a playdate this morning. They did really well together. There were lots of hugs and train and space ship play. It was very restful to sit on the floor and watch them interact. 


I had a physical therapy appointment on Wednesday morning at Carle Foundation Hospital. On my way to my appointment, I stopped to use the bathroom on the 3rd floor. A woman in her late 50s-early-60s was coming out of the men's room mumbling about poor signage. She lead me into the women's restroom after looking briefly at the door and shaking her head.

I noticed this, but didn't really comprehend what the issue was. I just thought it was a simple mistake. So, I went in, did my business, washed my hands singing the Happy Birthday song twice after reading a blog article the day before on rampant infections spread at hospitals (I know Rogers and Quigs are so proud of my random germaphobe thought since I'm the mother of the kid who eats everything he drops on the floor. Don't judge! You try and stop him. Seriously, I've been bitten enough by him this lifetime.) When I walked out of the bathroom, I almost ran smack into another woman, around the same age as the one I had gone into the bathroom with who was staring down the men's room door.

"Why do they put the baby changing sign on the men's door, too?" She said aloud to no one in particular. "It's confusing." 


Times have changed. 

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Things I did today

1. Got a HAPPY X-man to pre-school by 9 a.m.
2. Went to the Library and checked out a lot of Patricia Polacco's books for my author study for class.
3. Interviewed for a toddler teaching position at Mother's Morning Out. I was invited back to visit the toddler room next Wednesday. 
4. Went to Target and purchased new card table for laundry room, so I have room to fold. 

5. Moved the litter box from our bathroom into the laundry room, so no more litter on the Italian tile floor. 
6. Went to class.
7. Ran around 3.65 miles in 45 minutes (a few streets aren't on google pedometer) doing a 4 minute run, 2-minute walk interval.
8. Laundry, shower, talk to Quigs.
9. Picked up X-man and took him to the Bob the Builder store (i.e. Lowe's), where we purchased him his own hammer, some small pieces of wood and safety goggles. 
10. Came home and built an airplane, weeded, played cement truck with the downspouts, picked raspberries, cucumbers and cherry tomatoes.
11. Ate dinner.
12. Currently, we're eating chocolate pudding (HMR for me) while watching Back to the Future.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Itchy and Scratchy

My poor miserable puppy. The early part of every fall since we moved to Chambana in 2003, Riley has come down with miserable allergies. Usually, they're controlled by frequent Oatmeal baths, a supplement and two 50 mg capsules of Benedryl. In 2007, they got bad enough that we had to use a Resicort solution in the tub to help with the itchiness. But nothing has ever been as bad as this year. 

I started him on his normal Benedryl/Allerderm supplement with baths every two days about two weeks ago. Then last Thursday night he woke me up when he jumped off the bed to itch and chew all night long. In the morning, I rolled him over and his entire stomach had broken out in dots (hives). He had red hot spots down the front of all four legs, on his sides, on his chest, under his chin and on his butt. I picked up the phone and called the vet, and we took him in on Monday morning (their first available slot). 

Because he was chewing so much, I didn't want him to injure himself, so I ended up putting on the lovely plastic e-collar, which makes me feel like the meanest mom alive. I mean, it's got to be torture to be that itchy and not be able to do something about it. He could still scratch with his feet, but at the same time, I didn't want the red skin to suddenly be large gaping open sores. 

On Monday, I took the e-collar off to put him in the car with X-man. I took X-man to pre-school and then drove straight to our appointment. In the 20 minutes he was in the car, he'd soaked himself with the licking and chewing. The hair around his penis was all matted. He was hysterical with finally being able to reach all his parts. He was so itchy that he rolled off the scale because he suddenly needed to bite at his back legs.

The good news, they're still just seasonal allergies, per Dr. Mary. The bad news, he's on an oral and topical steroid for a while. The topical for 3 weeks, the oral until probably December. But I have to admit, the combo started working immediately. I noticed when I applied the Genesis when I got home that he had relief within 30-45 minutes. Unfortunately, because of the danger of digesting the chemicals he's got to keep his e-collar on for a little while. 

So, if you see me out getting the mail with my pathetically sad looking dog in tow, don't feel too badly for him. He still manages to get through his 3-mile walk in the a.m. with NO CHEWING and he's e-collar free when we do it. I'm not sure what turns that part of his brain off when he's out and about, but it does.