A Little More Each Day

One working mama learning to run & to maintain my 100+ pound weight loss!

Finding things to laugh at

I’m a big believer in laughter as a stress reliever, so I thought I’d share some of the things that have made me laugh in my little world lately.

"Mom, what's this for? Is it a money machine?" while O and I were washing our hands in a women's restroom at his doctor's appointment this morning.

“Mom, what’s this for? Is it a money machine?” while O and I were washing our hands in a women’s restroom at his doctor’s appointment this morning.

  • A sign that it has been too long since your last run? When you go to put on your shoes and find that the toe is stuffed with underwear from your trip out of town a WEEK ago! I stuffed my shoes full of various bits of dirty laundry, etc to save space in my suitcase – apparently including underwear (not usual – I must have been tired). I missed this when I unpacked and didn’t realize it for over a week. Oops!

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  • This monkey scared me to death! My neighbors have lots of these little light up animals. The monkey is new this year. Unlike ALL of the other the critters, who are not mobile, this little freaky monkey moves his head. Just his head, in that slow, horror movie doll way. I realized this as I was walking by in the dark and caught it out of the corner of my eye. I literally jumped.

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  • Oliver saw this tackle box at Cabela’s when we were out Christmas shopping for my dad. He asked me “Is this a tackle box, Mama? When I catch tackles, I put them in here? And they grow up to be frogs?” We started off good and veered off course. Words are tricky. I would have never considered tackle and tadpole so similar before.

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  • I took that exam last week to recertify for part of my professional licensure (passed!) and it did not help my ego one bit to walk straight into the bathroom stall door on the way out of the building. I am such a klutz!
  • I treated myself to some fun holiday nail polish yesterday and while trying to a take a pic of my nails for my Instagram #grateful and taking time for me moment last night, I accidentally got my husband in the background in his underwear. That took some strategic cropping to fix! He was not amused.

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What’s making you laugh today?

 

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Friday Favorites: Full of positivity today!

I weirdly love the Friday of a four day week. You get the joy of Friday, but because it was a shorter week, you’re not nearly so run down and you’re pleasantly surprised that the weekend is already here again. 🙂 Of course, I have an outing to Children’s Theater in my future so maybe I shouldn’t be so excited about the weekend. I confess, I find it painful, but Oliver loves it.

Every day since this bulletin board has been put up at school, O tells me that he's going to ask his teacher if he can make a "Jessica" flag for me - he's fascinated that I have a name - so I can ride in the boat with him. :)

Every day since this bulletin board has been put up at school, O tells me that he’s going to ask his teacher if he can make a “Jessica” flag for me – he’s fascinated that I have a name – so I can ride in the boat with him. 🙂

In light of my cheerful outlook on the world today (yay for lots of coffee making up for an otherwise chaotic morning!), let’s look at some happy things I’ve found online this week. First up, a couple of good causes:

  • For the month of September, ASICS is partnering with Cookies for Kids Cancer to support the fight again pediatric cancer. To participate, they’re asking that people celebrate National Pediatric Cancer Awareness Day on Sunday September 13th, by being active in a way that many of these children unfortunately cannot be. Take a photo of yourself and your family playing outside (or inside) on Sunday and share it on social media with the hashtag #Run4Cookies. For every 100 uses of #Run4Cookies, ASICS will give a lucky winner a pair of children’s and adult’s shoes from the Accelerate Hope collection, benefiting Cookies for Kids Cancer. When you pledge, you are joining families in all 50 states that will Run 4 Cookies to celebrate the lives of children and create awareness around pediatric cancer. We will definitely be out playing on Sunday!
  • Greg, over at Why I Run Disney, is raising money for AdoptionLink as part of his participation in the Chicago Marathon. There are so many children in need of homes and support, so definitely check out his page here for more information and to help out. As a bonus, be sure to follow to see his reports of the DisneyLand races this past weekend. 🙂

Next up is Serena Williams’ absolutely FANTASTIC response to body shamers last week. Check it out here. I just love the quote “I don’t have time to be brought down, I’ve got too many things to do. I have Grand Slams to win, I have people to inspire, and that’s what I’m here for.” I wish I had a tenth of her positive perspective!

As some food for thought for developing our own positive perspective, check out this article from SparkPeople on 11 ways to silence your inner critic. I found the tips interesting in themselves, but really appreciated the links for further reading at the end regarding actual exercises to improve your self-compassion (here), among others.

Last, but certainly not least, for a laugh to lead into your weekend, check out this round up of running memes. My favorites are #3 and 4 – I’ve literally looked around before to figure out who was running near me, only to realize it was my own legs clapping that I was hearing. 🙂

One more pic of my big boy: Walking Abby for the first time as we left PetSmart this week. He was so proud! Abby was uncertain about the whole arrangement. As much as she likes him, I don't think she trusts him.

One more pic of my big boy: Walking Abby for the first time as we left PetSmart this week. He was so proud! Abby was uncertain about the whole arrangement. As much as she likes him, I don’t think she trusts him to be in charge.

Aside from the Children’s Theater, we also have family photos on the schedule this weekend. Here’s hoping O gets through his school day intact enough to be photo worthy tonight! What are your big plans for the weekend?

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Random confessions :)

Today is a day full of random confessions for you all.

I confess that I woke up at 5:20, got ready to run, ate breakfast and then decided to hang out on the sofa instead with a magazine and a cup of coffee. That workout will have to wait for evening!

At least I was reading a running magazine - that counts, right?

At least I was reading a running magazine – that counts, right?

I confess I was feeling successful in being caught up on laundry and dishes (a huge win!) until I opened the washer and realized I hadn’t checked O’s laundry basket closely before I tossed it all in there. Two pull ups in that load. Giant mess everywhere. Ugh. “I won’t do it again Mama.” Thank goodness he’s cute.

My heart just sank when I opened the door and saw this white stuff EVERYWHERE!

My heart just sank when I opened the door and saw this white stuff EVERYWHERE!

I confess that I have not done a single plank or foam rolling session in a week. So much for that goal this month – time to get back on it!

I confess that I haven’t worn actual pants since I got back from Italy, not because it’s summer and dresses are cooler, but because I’m worried my pants don’t actually fit comfortably anymore. With the cooler temps we’re having already, the moment of truth is coming sooner than I’d like.

Thank goodness I have loads of dresses! They're very forgiving for weight changes.

Thank goodness I have loads of dresses! They’re very forgiving for weight changes.

I confess that I am currently starving. I blame the increase in mileage with this training plan! Wowza! Thank goodness for a well packed snack bag. 🙂

I confess that it makes me smile to find safety pins all over my house and my car because it’s a little reminder of how much my lifestyle has changed (as I register for yet another race this morning – the Omaha Great Pumpkin Run – for O and I to do together!).

It is sort of handy to always have an emergency safety pin readily available.

It is sort of handy to always have an emergency safety pin readily available.

What do you have to confess this morning? Anybody want to volunteer to clean my washing machine? 🙂

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Friday Favorites: Frantically planning & packing!

I can’t believe I’m leaving my guys for a week tomorrow. I’m a little frantic trying to get everything settled at work and everything settled for them in terms of laundry, groceries, prepared food, etc. Beyond that I’ve also got to prep for the two days my mom will be staying with him since Darrell has to leave for Arkansas before I get home from Italy! Wish us luck with all of these moving parts. I did just realize that these overlapping trips mean that I won’t see Darrell for at least 10 days. 😦 That stinks. I like that guy.

My favorite thing this week, in a totally cringe-inducing way, has to be the “incident report” that started off my week:

Yep, my kid was pulling his pants down. Sigh. Boys.

Yep, my kid was pulling his pants down. Sigh. Boys.

Just in case you’re curious, at my particular pre-school, this particular incident also required a phone call to mom at work to notify me. I wonder if I’d be asked to pick up if more than his bare bottom was exposed? Needless to say, we had a long talk about private things in private places and not doing things just because your friends say it will be funny.

Other things I’ve enjoyed this week:

– I’m feeling totally validated in my massive coffee consumption! Decreasing my soda intake has definitely helped me drink more water, but I won’t lie – most of what I drink before noon is coffee (other than my big glass of water to start the day). It’s nice to see this round up of the many health benefits I’m getting from all of that java.

Glancing through my photo collection in WordPress, there are WAY too many coffee cups included in my food shots. :)

Glancing through my photo collection in WordPress, there are WAY too many coffee cups included in my food shots. 🙂

– Fitbloggin’ wrapped up a little over a week ago and I’ve been intrigued to see the comments from attendees as they’ve come home and processed things. For those who don’t know, Fitbloggin’ is an annual conference for people interested in promoting health and wellness via blogs and other social media platforms. It’s the brainchild of Roni, from Roni’s Weigh and the #WYCWYC movement (which I’ve raved about before). Kelly wrote (over on No Thanks to Cake) about how the conference made her pause and reassess where she was in her journey and how she felt about it. There’s so much conflict in being happy with where you are and the progress you’ve made while recognizing you’re still not at that “ideal” point. I love that this was an environment where they could have those conversations and come to a place of love. That environment is supported and generated by Roni herself, who I love even more than I already did thanks to this totally kick a$$ response to a questioner about what she really thinks about conference attendees who are still overweight. I want to read this over and over again because it makes me grin every time. She’s absolutely right. Every body is at a different place and none of us has any right to judge them. The people who aren’t “afters” (if any of us ever really do get there) are the most inspiring in many ways. I know for me, it was seeing those people that helped me to see that I could try too. That answer from Roni totally makes me want to see what Fitbloggin’ is all about myself in the next year or two!

– My life never gets less stressful and I suspect it won’t. That’s the nature of life, right? I just need to deal with it better. I keep meaning to work on incorporating meditation into my daily life because it is so good for you but it feels so huge to try to get to that “empty mind” state. This week’s #wycwyc podcast about meditation reminded me that it doesn’t have to be huge – it just has to be a moment of mindfulness. This post on Huffington Post about meditating over a cup of coffee is right up my alley. I’ll definitely be trying that this week when I’m all stressed about being away from my boys!

Currently I’m stressed out because I forgot to check O’s ears before we left for school this morning. He’s been complaining of left ear pain (naturally since I’m about to leave town!) and I meant to peek at his ear to see if we needed to make an appointment with his pediatrician this afternoon. Looks like I’ll be taking off a little early this afternoon so I can check him out. Maybe he was clingy at preschool drop off because he isn’t feeling well, not because he’s already missing me. Minor, but recoverable mom fail. 🙂 Send Darrell lots of good vibes next week! He’s a stellar Dad, so he’ll be fine without me but parenting is often easier with two sets of hands of deck.

Have a good weekend everyone!

PS One more random smile inducing thing for  your weekend: 22 reasons Tom Hanks is a national treasure

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Happy Independence Day!

Today we’re having our Coffee Date with a side dose of fireworks and flag waving, which is always fun. As much as I love my coffee, we’re also definitely having iced coffee for this particular July coffee date.Thanks as always to our lovely hosts! Be sure to check out the rest of the link up.

Thanks as always to Lynda, Coco and Deborah for hosting!

Thanks as always to Lynda, Coco and Deborah for hosting!

Other than discussing our plans for the weekend and the yummy food we’ll be having (burgers with some veggie-heavy, lettuce-free salads that I’m hoping to sneak in on Oliver; blueberry-raspberry cheesecake bars; way too much watermelon!), I know I’d be gabbing on about these things this morning:

– I’m going to Italy in a week and excited to see somewhere new (and a little worried that I’ll be disappointed – Italy has always been on my list of “must visit” places so expectations are HIGH). I’ve stocked up on books and magazines and healthy snacks for the flight over since I can’t manage to sleep on planes. Be sure to send Darrell good vibes for his week of solo parenting!

As new magazines have come in over the last few weeks, I've had to resist reading them so I could save them for this trip!

As new magazines have come in over the last few weeks, I’ve had to resist reading them so I could save them for this trip!

– Speaking of travel, my oldest, bestest friend and I have birthdays in the same week in July. We celebrated turning 30 together in Las Vegas years ago and on my recent visit to her house in Indiana, we made a plan to use my DVC points to visit a beachy resort somewhere for our 40th birthdays. No kids, no responsibilities, just laying on the beach with a book and a drink? Yes please!

– Speaking of books, I asked my husband to pick up a library book I’d requested when he was out running errands last month, not realizing that he’d have to check it out at the counter rather than the self checkout because it was requested in my name. He was more than a little embarrassed but the library ladies said they were just glad to see people reading, no matter what they read. 🙂 I LOVE the library! (Thanks the NPR Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast for this recommendation – it was a better-than-average romance novel, just what I needed for a quick summer read!)

I kind of love that Darrell had to check this out himself. :)

I kind of love that Darrell had to check this out himself. 🙂

– Speaking of Pop Culture Happy Hour, listening to their podcast this week has me tempted to go see Magic Mike XXL which was not really on my to do list despite my love of the charming Channing Tatum. I don’t really have the girlfriends in town to go see this kind of trashy fun with though. 😦 Maybe once it comes out on DVD, I’ll do a remote viewing party with my bestie.

– My birthday is this weekend. All week, we’ve been getting boxes and it is driving me a little nuts not to be able to open them. It isn’t the temptation to see my gifts – I’m a big believer in waiting until your birthday to open them. It’s that I know there are normal household purchases mixed in among the boxes but I can’t tell from the outside which are things I’ve gotten and which are gifts so I have to wait. I forgot about my birthday or else I’d have shipped things in Darrell’s name instead.

We are overrun with boxes and I've got them stashed all over the house. Here's hoping I can re-find them all so I can get timely thank you's out to people!

We are overrun with boxes and I’ve got them stashed all over the house. Here’s hoping I can re-find them all so I can get timely thank you’s out to people!

It feels depressingly adult to sit here on my birthday morning, when I am up well before the rest of the household, a) knowing I can’t open my gifts yet because Oliver would be sad he didn’t get to help – even the gifts I know aren’t from him & Darrell and b) knowing that the answer to the question “Would I rather spend my birthday cleaning my kitchen first thing in the morning so it’s clean when I get back from my run or spend my birthday saying I’m taking the day off from dishes and garbage?” was answered by me cleaning the kitchen before my first cup of coffee. Ah, adulthood. 🙂

Clearly, today there would be a lot chatting on my end on our little coffee date. I promise I’d pause to let you talk to, so please do! Let me know what’s on your mind this summer. In the meantime, have a happy Fourth of July everyone!

 

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Friday Favorites: Long weekend edition :)

I’m off today and could sleep in and yet I was still up at 5:30. Don’t you hate when that happens? I’ll look on the bright side, in that it gives me a little extra time to myself to share my favorite things from this week with you guys and to start my packing list for Italy (I leave a week from tomorrow!). I have plenty of time to get my run in (only 2-3 miles today) and get back here in time to try out a breakfast pizza recipe with Oliver. I can always sleep in tomorrow. 🙂

Apologies in advance for sharing this pic too often but a) SO CUTE and b) still a little mom guilt over missing the parade. :)

Apologies in advance for sharing this pic too often but a) SO CUTE and b) still a little mom guilt over missing the parade. 🙂

First, up the thing that has made me smile most often this week has been the coverage of Misty Copeland, who is now the first African American principal dancer in the American Ballet Theater (more on that here). In my younger days, I fancied myself a dancer and still get lost watching dance. The few times I’ve seen Misty dance on television I’ve gotten chills and watching her in person is on my bucket list. She’s such a great role model in terms of determination and perseverance and I’d highly recommend checking out more about her.

I ran across this article on the Positivity Blog somehow (not something I generally follow): How to take consistent action and it includes a lot of tips that could apply to weight loss, changing to a healthier diet, exercise or many other healthy habits. It emphasizes focusing on the process not the outcome, so that you are more focused on the most important thing in the moment – the task you’re trying to do – without distraction of worrying whether or not you’re going to get the results you want. So key! You can control only the inputs, not the outputs. We all know that the scale is an obsessed demon sometimes and race days have weather that leave us with finishing times we weren’t expecting and a thousand other things that derail us. If you worry about those too much, you won’t put as much effort as you should into the task at hand.

One of the tips in the Racing Weight was to front load carbohydrates during the day, with more protein heavy meals at night. This article in Runners World goes a step further and describes a study in which participants added a protein-heavy snack at night and saw a significant gain in muscle strength. It’s interesting because it suggests our body is using whatever we give it last for work overnight. I’d certainly like my body to be working on muscle not fat overnight! Maybe I’ll expand my night time snacking rule to include a protein or veggie snack if I’m hungry.

I'm glad I got my brain back in focus enough to notice this in front of me on the sidewalk before I crashed this week!

I’m glad I got my brain back in focus enough to notice this in front of me on the sidewalk before I crashed this week!

I had to laugh at this post on The Obstacle Course that is Running Through Suburbia on Womens Running this week because LOTS of those things have happened to me. Most of my runs are here in the burbs because I’m too lazy/busy to add the extra time of driving to the park, so I’m constantly dodging chatty people, small children, dogs of all sizes, sprinklers and countless other things. One perk of running in the ‘burbs in the summer, though, is that there is usually a lemonade stand near the end of the run and they frequently have cookies too. 🙂

One last funny thing and then I should probably hit the road to get my miles in before O gets up: the lovely Patty posted something this week that made me feel totally justified in the fact that we constantly have a Disney trip on our schedule – It’s healthy! That’s right, going to Disney is good for you. She shared a graphic from Florida Fitness showing the miles walked and calories burned in all of the Central Florida theme parks. When you throw the races I tend to run when we’re there, I definitely come out ahead right? Well, I would were I not foiled by all of the food (and booze) in Epcot, like Patty is. If you’re a Disney-lover, go check it out. I’m trying not to think about exercise in terms of how many calories it earns me to spend on food, but I confess part of me looks at all of those calories burned and thinks about lots and lots of Dole Whips.

We’re going to kick off our 3 day weekend here with a trip to the Durham Museum for an exhibit on Ancient Egypt and hit up the zoo tomorrow, with thousands of other people I’m sure. It’ll be good exercise for my legs and my patience. I hope you all have a safe and happy holiday weekend. Please be careful with the fireworks, especially if you have small children!

Happy Friday!

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Friday Favorites: Crazy week!

This week has been all discombobulated thanks to our travel delays! Having a stressful start to the week just got us all out of our routine. We forgot Oliver’s backpack on Wednesday, meaning Darrell was late to work, and then we nearly forgot water day yesterday and had to rush back to get him dressed appropriately for that. I forgot the power cord for my laptop today and am debating heading home to get it or making due with the desktop today (I think I’ll be okay). Needless to say, I haven’t gotten much done on the workout front this week or in housekeeping or anything else. I’m sort of glad it’s already Friday and we have a weekend to reset.

Can I say how much it warmed my heart to have O pick "Pretty" and "Healthy" as the characters he wanted on my bookmark at the Children's Museum in Indianapolis?

Can I say how much it warmed my heart to have O pick “Pretty” and “Healthy” as the characters he wanted on my bookmark at the Children’s Museum in Indianapolis?

I’ve recently discovered a new-to-me blog, Love Yourself Healthy, written by the lovely Christina. Christina is a fellow recovering binge eater in addition to being an all-around fabulous person and her post “On Mindfulness” last week was EXACTLY what I needed to read. I’m in one of those up-swings of professional stress (those come more often the more I “succeed” – Grrr) and finding it hard to stay centered, especially with the travel crazies this week. I’ve re-read this post over and over. If you need a reminder of how to get grounded and how powerful it can be, I highly encourage you to check this out.

If what you need today is a race recap with an awesome swag bag (bottle of wine!), an adorable Mountie and gorgeous scenery, check out Katie’s recap of her Niagara Half Marathon. 🙂 I’m kind of tickled that she didn’t know what a Mountie was – growing up watching Dudley Do-Right, including the horrible Brendan Fraser live action version, definitely shaped my education about Canada. For another smile, absolutely check out the story over on NPR about the lost stuffed tiger. As someone who still LOVES Calvin and Hobbes, this just warmed my heart in all kinds of ways.

The last smile I’ll share with you on this lovely Friday is this essay from the lovely Adrienne Martini: What Morning Runs Are Really Like for Moms.  Not only does it ring hilariously true for any mom or busy woman (or man maybe?), it includes the perfect shout out to Harry Potter, which makes me love Adrienne even more than I already did thanks to her regular column at Another Mother Runner. She’s absolutely right! Running can be just like a pensieve, which is why I love running alone. This essay is from the fabulous Tales from Another Mother Runner, which I reviewed here last month. Definitely check out the whole collection of essays!

I hope everyone has a glorious weekend and that all of you currently soaked thanks to the flooding and rain pummeling parts of the country get the chance to dry out a bit. We’ll be celebrating Father’s Day by making some of Darrell’s favorite foods (chili mac tonight – my first time tackling this, steak tomorrow and jambalaya Sunday) plus letting him sleep in a bit both days if we can. We’re also going to see Inside Out, which Darrell & I are possibly more excited about than Oliver.  Happy Friday everyone!

 

 

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TLWH Book Club: The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances

This month, the Taking the Long Way Home Running Book Club is highlighting a book I’ve read and reviewed here earlier this year: The Oatmeal’s The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances. Thanks to Wendy for hosting!

Running Book Club Badge

I’ve copied my original review here with a couple of updates on the re-readability of the book (spoiler alert – good!).  Be sure to check out Wendy’s link up for other thoughts on this book and others.

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I’ve linked the Oatmeal comics here before in my Friday Favorites, so I was excited to get the new Oatmeal book, The terrible and wonderful reasons why I run long distances, as a Christmas gift.  It’s a quick, easy, fun read and would definitely give the runner in your life a lot of smiles. I read it for the first time (and have dipped into again since then for a laugh) on my flight to California for the Rebel Challenge and actually ended up writing the info down for another passenger, who wanted to get it for her daughter. Side note: That passenger saw what I was reading and asked “”Are you a runner?” and I only hesitated a second. 🙂

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There is so much in here that is just so inappropriate and yet so perfectly true (like the idea of crunches being a kind of self-flagellation). I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re prudish, but I found myself laughing and identifying with so much of what the author, Matthew Inman, says. He has personified the thing he is running from as “the Blerch”, an embodiment of everything that makes him feel apathetic and gluttonous.

In the back of the book, there's even a Blerch sticker for your car!

In the back of the book, there’s even a Blerch sticker for your car!

My Blerch that I’m outrunning is my binge eating, my perfectionism, my impatience, lots of things. I think we all have our own Blerch and I’ve always appreciated Matt giving us a personification of the beast. Most importantly, I love that he reminds us that is something we can outrun, not some immoveable force.

Several of the sections in the book are things I’ve seen online, but they really didn’t lose their joy in the re-reading (like the awesome, random story about the run in Japan). One of my favorite bits, which I hadn’t seen before, was the totally and disturbingly true cartoon highlighting the fact that running is a much more socially acceptable way to lose weight than dieting. Think about – you tell someone you’re starting they diet, most of the time they’ll tell you don’t need to lose weight and ultimately offer you food. You don’t really get the same reaction if you say you’re taking up running (although they may rightfully, but privately, wonder if you’re nuts).

I think the reason I enjoy the Oatmeal online so much, and this book as well, is that so many of things he talks about things that the average runner understands, including that weird tipping point where it becomes more uncomfortable NOT to run that it is to run, because something in us “breaks” and we NEED to run. If you’ve never seen the online comic strip, definitely check it out – always funny and not just about running – and be sure to add this book to your list of gift ideas for the runners in your life.

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I’ve found myself dipping back into this book for little pick-me-ups since I first read and reviewed this book, which is one of my favorite things about physical (as opposed to electronic) books! It lives in the stack of reading books by my bed and especially this month as I’m weaning myself for nighttime iPhoning, I find it to be the perfect little bite sized smile before bed.

Next month’s book club read is also one I’ve read and reviewed here before, Running Like a Girl. I plan on re-reading that one because it’s been a while and I’m curious to see how my thoughts on it change now that I’m at a different place in my running journey.

What are you reading right now? Any recommendations?

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Friday Favorites: Already looking ahead to next week!

Last week I tagged a lot of articles about tapering as I got ready for this weekend’s Lincoln Half Marathon. Now that I’m looking forward to the race in just 48 hours (yay!), I also get to think about recovering optimally. Have I mentioned that I’m also running the Papillion Half Marathon here in town on May 17th? That’s just two weeks from Lincoln and I’m running it just for fun, not for time (apparently hilly, plus some gravel) but I still want to make sure I recover  properly from this race so I’m ready for that one. Thankfully, this week I saw articles from both Active.com (Your Minute by Minute Guide to Recovery) and LiveWell Nebraska (The Lincoln Marathon is almost here – how to refuel after your race) on recovery. As I’ll be driving to the race by myself (Darrell & Oliver not coming thanks to the cast), I’ll have to be sure to refuel before I hop back in the car and bring plenty of water/Nuun with me for the ride home. I’ll be sure to factor those things into my packing list!

The other thing I found helpful was this post from Runners World on how to bridge the gap between races. My scenario isn’t exactly the one in that question, in that I will run the Lincoln race (knock on wood) but I can use that sort of maintenance plan between races (adjusted for it being a half marathon, not a full of course). My plan is take the week after the race lightly, with a little cross training but not much else and try for a 5-6 mile run on Mother’s Day to shake things out (because Mother’s Day is on my list of “must run” days now apparently). The week before the Papillion half marathon, I’ll do a couple of 2-3 mile runs and a little mini-speed session like I did this week to keep things loose.

I'm also going to have to find time to see the new Avengers movie during this little break between races because Thor emailed me about it, after all :)

I’m also going to have to find time to see the new Avengers movie during this little break between races because Thor emailed me about it, after all 🙂

My other bit of running reading this week was this post from Runners World on avoiding race day mistakes. I’ve read this before but it’s still a good reminder – trust my training. Visualize a great race day. 🙂 I also have to highlight two of my favorite Boston marathon recaps – Pam over at We Run Disney, who had such a gutsy race after a bout of food poisoning and Bethany at Another Mother Runner, who wrote a recap I could read over and over but was even more fun to listen to on the podcast recap. Definitely check those out for a dose of inspiration!

Two non-fitness things I would totally recommend checking out to start your weekend with a smile:
15 Fun Facts about Disney’s Animal Kingdom: I really love the bit about the elephant choosing the plants! I’m also entertained by how expensive Expedition Everest was, given that the poor Yeti doesn’t work. It’s still my favorite roller coaster at Disney 🙂
What Plus Size Clothes Actually Look Like on Plus Size Women: I love the model faces and the commentary from these two real plus size women who are trying on plus size clothes. (I think the bit about the outfit at the superhero sale is my favorite). The struggle is real – it was always so  hard to find plus size clothes that fit reasonably well! That’s true with mainstream sizing as well, with the variability from store to store and even within the store (seriously bought an XS skirt and L top at H&M a while back), but with mainstream stores at least you have the opportunity to try it on before you buy it. It’s even more frustrating at larger sizes.
In addition to that little half marathon thing I’m doing we’ll be working on some clean up in the garden so that we’re ready to put plants in the ground in the next week or so (because you aren’t clear of a freeze in Nebraska until Mother’s Day most years, unfortunately). Whatever your plans are this weekend, I hope you have an absolutely glorious time!

 

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Friday Favorites: So glad it’s Friday!

This has been a super busy week and I’m glad it is finally Friday. I’ll work this weekend too but somehow  I’m still always glad when Friday gets here. I’m particularly proud of getting all of my assigned workouts for the week done even with a couple  of days where I’ve worked 11  hours or more. Thankfully ye olde Internet has kept me entertained while I’ve been waiting for people to call me back or waiting on the elevator. What did we do to entertain ourselves before smart phones?

I don't show many pics of O's face to protect his privacy, but I had to share this baby face. Wow he's changed! I can't believe it's already been 3 years.

I don’t show many pics of O’s face to protect his privacy, but I had to share this baby face. Wow he’s changed! I can’t believe it’s already been 3 years.

Maybe because of my busy work week, most of the things that have made me smile this week have nothing to do with health or fitness or running but we’ll start with one of the things that is running and fitness-related: Dimity’s post on patience here on Another Mother Runner. While she is talking a lot about patience in the setting of injury,  the idea of taking time to be grateful for all we do have rather than dwelling with frustration and impatience on those things we cannot control is key in so many settings. Patience as a mother, patience with myself, patience with traffic, patience with scale-none of these are my strengths. Practicing active gratitude may help me deal with those issues.

Other things making me smile:

-Pam’s fantastic letter to her sister as they approach the Boston Marathon had me grinning from ear to ear. So excited for them and can’t wait to hear how it goes!

– SparkPeople’s article on making more “me” time: The first point, deciding you deserve it, is so key. We’ve got to believe that it is okay to “put your own mask on first.”

– If you want to take advantage of the gorgeous spring weather to start running, check out Greg’s post on Advice for a Beginning Runner.

– As Emmie re-enters the dating world, she’s written some interesting thoughts on how body image can wreak havoc on the already stressful world that is dating. Her point about reassuring herself that any guy who has a problem with her weight is not worth it anyway is something I told myself over and over when I started eHarmony 9 years ago. I ended up meeting my husband who thought I was gorgeous and sexy and fantastic. Even though I told myself that the right person, the person who saw me that way, was out there and was worth waiting for, I was surprised and relieved to find him. 🙂 I’m glad knowing I wasn’t the only one who had to have those conversations with myself and had those worries. I wish Emmie lots of great experiences as she wades back into the dating pool!

– Speaking of body image, I love Kelly Clarkson’s responses to the never ending stream of comments about her body that she gets. I love her voice and love her attitude!

– Last, but not least, as a well known klutz, I can empathize with everything on this list on Hello Giggles. Glad to know I’m not the only with  a well justified fear of making sharp turns!

I hope everyone has a great Friday! Anyone else counting hours until it is officially the weekend?

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