Toddler in the (Home) Gym!!

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Every once in a while, when I don’t feel like running, I (try) work out in the basement. We have a little gym set up down there, nothing fancy, a bench with legs extensions and bench press/squat bar, curl bars, punching bag, and free weights. If I have to go down there, I try to do it when Aspen is napping or before the whole house wakes up. Otherwise, I end up fussing/entertaining her rather than working out. Xavier on the other hand can work out with that crazy toddler running around down there.

Xavier is helping me out with training this week, so when Aspen sees us getting ready to work out, she too has to “exercise”, she says. I protest, of course. But, Xavier says she can come, all we have to do is let her exercise, he says. I have tried to work out with her down there and it usually ends in a war and no workouts.

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Anyways, I start working out and after every rep that I finish, Xavier lets Aspen do her, “exercises”, in between when I am resting. Of course, why didn’t I think of that? He lays her down on the bench and have her do sit ups while she counts out loud. It helps with her numbers, he says, and she loves that she gets to do everything on the bench. If you let her be a part of your workout, she won’t be a bother, he says. Yea right.

But, I do notice that after she does an exercise she goes off on her own and starts playing with her toys and even goes back up to play with her sisters. She only comes back down when she is ready to do her next “exercise”. And surprisingly, I am working out without any issues. And all I had to do was let her exercise. Of course I’m sure that when it’s just me and her, it won’t go as smoothly. But I will definitely be doing that next time she insists on exercising with me, instead of skipping a work out because I don’t want to fight with a toddler.

I am so busy seeing her as a distraction down there, that I forget that she might actually learn something from watching me work out. Maybe, I should see how it might teach her the value of fitness and exercising, and help with her numbers. Maybe. We’ll see. I’ll let you know how the new method, “works out”, without Xavier.

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Don’t “Half” Do it!!

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This past weekend, I decided to run the Rock the Parkway Half Marathon. Big mistake. First of all, I whole heartedly meant to train for this run, I really did. But, I have no idea where time went, and the next thing I knew, it was this weekend. Second of all, I didn’t have to run this thing at all. I had no monetary investments or anything of that sort to MAKE me run it. So, my point is that, if I didn’t think I was ready to run 13.1 miles, I didn’t have to (I think I was just too excited to finally do a run here in Kansas City and because I hadn’t ran a race since the Dallas Turkey Trot this past Thanksgiving Day). But I did anyways, cause I am hard headed, and because I said I was gonna do it, and because I got all the way to the starting line undecided, and then the horn went off, and all of a sudden I was running, and so I had to finish it.

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This is not a post on how to train for a half marathon, rather, it’s a post on if you are not prepared or not properly trained or have not at least done a few miles here and there a week or two prior to a race: DON’T DO IT, NO MATTER HOW CASUAL YOU MIGHT THINK IT IS. I know this is an obvious, “duh”, thing, but to reiterate this point, I’ll tell you what happened to me when I decided to do it anyways 🙂 The last time I attempted 13.1 miles was the last half marathon that I ran, which was January of 2013. My longest run prior to this run was like 2 weeks before, a measly 2.5 miles. Though it didn’t end (too)bad for me, I finished, barely, but I finished, I did pay for it. It took me fifteen minutes longer than the first time I tried it, and I suffered for it after the race, and the day after, and the day after that. I was hurting everywhere, even my eyebrows and eyelashes were hurting, I think, I couldn’t tell.

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This is how it went: The weather was awesome, the last half marathon I did, it was like a freezing 30-some degrees, with rain, sleet, and bad winds. This one was 80 and windy. PERFECT, I thought. The first 7 miles was a breeze, surprisingly, I hit all of the water station, no GU though, cause I had no idea what it was. I was on my usual pace for what I usually run a 10k. The bands and the music sounded great. Then mile 8 came. And my left knee decided so say, hell no! It kind of like refused to bend a little, so I favored my right knee and continued on. By mile 9, my whole left leg and right knee was like laughing at me and wouldn’t really work, so I brisk walked a little to rest.

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This run was hard FOR ME because of all the damned hills. By mile 9/10 all I can muster was a light jog because all of my leg muscles have given up, like literally. It feels like this: you try to run, but you don’t go anywhere, for real. It felt like a magnet was pulling your leg down every time you try to lift it up. I was still kind of ok at mile 10, but then they want to put the biggest freaking hill at mile 11, and I’m like, I’m done, just get to the finish line, go home, and soak. Also, at mile 10, like right before the massive mile 11 hill or whatever mile it was, someone wants to yell out, “Come on!! You only have 5K to go!”, I thought I was going to lose it. FIVE-FREAKING-K!! I wanted to stop moving so bad, but for some crazy reason I kept jogging, and once I got over the massive mile 11 hill, I trotted to the finish line, and thanked the LORD that I didn’t pass the hell out. I kept walking around once I crossed the finish line because I was afraid I would collapse if I stopped moving. For real. Finally, I stopped and sat down, and it hurt so bad. It hurt to bend my knees, every step hurt, water and bananas didn’t do crap, and, I had to drive home. More importantly, I still had to walk to the car.

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I’ll end there, but the pain lasted for about 2 days. When I got home, my left knee refused to bend. Every time I tried to walk, it said, nope! So I had to pick up my left leg when I went up the stairs or to get in the car for about a day or two. It’s about 4 days later and I have down graded to being just a little sore. It could have probably been worse, I’m glad it wasn’t. So, the moral of the story is train properly before you attempt any race, and don’t half do it, no matter how casual you think the race is, because it isn’t, especially 13.1 miles. The End.

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PS: Do not let the smiling photo fool you, I was smiling through pain 🙂

Week 12: Thanksgiving Day 2013

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I hope everyone had a wonderful and delicious Thanksgiving. As you can see, no Friday post this week, instead, a Thanksgiving 2013 🙂

This year we went down to Dallas to celebrate Thanksgiving with Xavier’s family. So, we were close to home. It was a much needed trip, especially for Xavier and the girls. It was great to see everyone.

I started off Thanksgiving like I did last year, with a turkey trot. This year was the Dallas YMCA Turkey Trot, I ran the 5K. Last year was the Houston Turkey Trot, and it was a 10K. It is a new tradition that I am hoping to do every year on Thanksgiving, no matter how cold. Hopefully, my girls will join me, once they get a little older. It’s a great way to start the day. The weather was awesome, once I started running. Before hand, the cold was a little nippy, it was about 28 degrees. Brr! As usual, there were a ton of people, the course was flat and fast, and I ran ok, definitely not one of my better runs. But, I did get to see a little bit of Dallas, since I had never been downtown before. Dallas is very pretty and view of downtown from the front of city hall, is gorgeous. My lack of photography skills does it no justice 🙂

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After the run, everyone pretty much got to relax and hang out, while the elder ladies worked the kitchen with their magic. I have so much to be thankful for this year, it is unbelievable. The kids played with their cousins the whole time, and Aspen was so happy to see everyone, especially, her Mimi, Poppa, and Uncle.

I ate about 3 plates of food, and I could barely move after. The food was sooo good! I feel so bad that we forgot to pack some left overs to bring home. After we ate, we took the kids and the the big kids to the movies. We saw, “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”. It was great, but I think, no, I am positive, that there will be a part III 🙂 After the movie, we ate some more and just enjoyed the rest of the day with family. Now it’s almost Christmas time! 🙂

Here are a few photos. I am sure that everyone has seen enough food photos the past few days, so I opted for others, instead of food. Ok, maybe a couple of food photos 🙂

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Hike! November!

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This past weekend turned out to be gorgeous weather wise, so we decided to take advantage, and take a hike, about 4 miles. There was a slight wind and a little chill, but it was very clear and super sunny. Too beautiful for a November up here, I’m told. It was pretty hilly at some points of the hike, so it got to be a little workout pushing the stroller up and down the trail.

Of course, we didn’t embark without a battle. Aspen refused to wear her boots and was insistent on wearing mismatched socks with her ballerina flats. She had a ginormous fit all the way to the car, so I decided to give in and let her win. SIGH. Can’t win them all. So, excuse her mismatched socks and flats in some of the photos.

It was too nice not to take photos of the girls, so I thought I’d share some of them.

Happy Monday and have a great week!

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Running Challenge: Repeat

Week 3: Repeat

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Here is this week’s running challenge. Again, another fail for week 2, pretty discouraging. Therefore, this week’s challenge is a repeat of last week, which is 15 miles, again.

This time I was only about 3 miles short of the intended 15, but still short. It was pretty rough from the get go after a week off, but after the last run, I felt much better. No injuries and no blisters, (so I get to keep my yellow shoes), (YAY!), just ran out of time on Saturday. It was a pretty packed day from the beginning, and I was not able to fit in a run.

There is major bad news and a major set back: I waited too long to register for the Kansas City Half Marathon and pretty much ran out of time. I tried to register this past week, but registration was closed. I thought about doing the full marathon, but Xavier thinks that it might be a bit, you know, cucko, crazy, and I think he might be right. The next one I am going for is the St. Louis Rock and Roll Half Marathon on Oct. 27th. So, for now I am going to continue with the running challenges. I will have to settle for the Kansas City 5K and then the Rock and Roll, the week after. Let us pray that there will be no issues this time, amen.

PS: This Nike+ app, is a pretty great tool. It helps you keep up with your mileage and times, and shows your progress, which is extra nice, especially when it doesn’t feel like you are doing any progressing.

Week 2 Results

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Running Challenge: Scale Down

Week 2: Scale Down

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Here is this week’s running challenge. The first week was a total fail. I was about 8 miles short of the intended 25 miles. This tells me one of 2 things: too many miles or too little time. I believe the latter was the cause. I know I can get up to 20 in 5 days, so I will consider this my max for now. I have decided to scale down to 15 and work my way up to 20.

Week 1 was a fail in that, not only did I not come close to 25 miles, but I was physically drained, like totally drained, by Thursday, and had blisters on my right foot. So, I decided to take last week off and rest so I don’t burn out (that’s why this week is Week 2 and not 3). It was rough, but I think it was needed, plus life and work were turnt up, yes, turnt up. It was a busy week.

Hopefully, Week 2 will be better and I can be somewhat in shape for the next 5K and shave off a few seconds here and there. Any advice or suggestions are always welcomed. Oh, and I hope, I won’t have to change shoes(blisters) because I really like my yellow shoes. I plan on running in them until they start, “talking”. 🙂

PS: Go away cold weather! I am not used to this!

Week 1 Result:

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Running Challenge: Across the Pond

Week 1 of 4

Today is the first day of fall. YAY! I don’t exactly know who gets to decide when Summer ends and Fall begins, but I am glad it is here. Three things I like about fall are: football, fitness(running), and festivals. Not necessarily in that order. Fall weather is awesome for running events, cause less people are prone to falling out from the heat, so that means all of the awesome running events happen in the Fall. This year, I’ll be missing a few staple runs, but, I will get to do some new runs in a different city.

After taking a short hiatus from running back in May, due to a health issue(allergies, lots of hives and itching), I started back up, and have been running again for about 2 months now. I am running 5 days a week, and have gotten up to 20 miles a week. The goal is to run the Kansas City Half Marathon, and get back into running events. I’ve only ran one half marathon, 2013 Aramco Houston Half Marathon, and I did ok (2:45) for not training properly or at all. (Don’t judge my time I have only been running since October 2011, and quite frankly, 16 year old me would probably die at all of this running that I am doing. So, hush!)

Since I started running again, I decided to switch from the Runkeeper app to the Nike+ app, and discovered an awesome feature: You can create running challenges and invite friends to participate. As such, in my attempt to train my body to run longer and farther, I’ve challenged myself to add a mile here and there every week until the run on October 19. This week’s challenge was accepted by my cousin, all the way from the motherland, the Philippines. So, not only do I get try to see if I can run 25 miles this week, which I have never done before, but I get to do it with friends and/or family who lives across the world. YAY!! If you want to join me in my quest, feel free to let me know and I will extend the challenge to you! YAY! So, wish me luck and I will TRY to update my weekly mileage to see if I meet each challenges and shave time off of my half marathon time!!

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Sidenote: I am also hoping to get Jaelan to start running with me, because of my fear of fat(TM) for her. She started running today. Another YAY!

2012 and 2013 Running Gallery:

(Click on thumbnail to view)