Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Maven Says: Lovin' Ryka Kicks

The nice people over at Ryka, along with the lovely ladies at Parent Bloggers Network gave me a pair of MC2 Walking Shoes to take for a spin and let you know what I thought. I received my new shoes and was thrilled to give them a spin. Unfortunately they were too small. They run true to my running/exercise shoe size rather than my regular shoe size. They moved me up into the next size right away. Ahhhhhhh, room for my toes! Just like clothes, forget about what size they are and find the one that fits you!

I have been a reasonably regular walker for the last 6 years. After PDQ was born I lost nearly 100 pounds and most of my exercise was walking. We lived near a lake with a walking path and PDQ and I did it religiously. One of the only problems was my feet and ankles would get sore. Fast forward 6 years, I have maintained about a 30 pound loss after having another baby and I am still walking and fighting to find a shoe that is comfy for my foot. I generally hate the look of walking shoes and have worn every running shoe on the face of the earth (that I could find in a size 11!) including several pairs of Rykas. The result was generally sore shins.

So I went out to try my new walking specific shoes. After 2 miles, no sore shins, comfy feet and no pain in my knees or ankles. Oh, I like these shoes! For the next several weeks I put around 10 miles a week on the shoes and continued to be pretty comfortable walking--both on the walking paths and in the gym on the treadmill. My knees, ankles and feet all held up pretty well. With my wider forefoot and narrow heel it is sometimes hard to find shoes that fit well. These shoes, and the other Ryka shoes I've tried, fit the bill. I love the idea that Ryka only develops shoes for women. We deserve to have good exercise shoes that fit our feet and aren't just whittled down versions of men's shoes.

What I liked:
  • Good support & cushioning
  • Comfortable in the gym and on the street
  • Good fit in the heel and forefoot
  • Lacing options around the ankle for good adjustment

What I'd do different:

  • Shoes are all leather and a bit hot when walking during hot weather
  • I still can't quite get over the look of walking shoes, I prefer the sportier look of running shoes (but these are the sportiest of the walking shoes I've seen/had)

Just another personal plug for the folks at Ryka. A friend started training for a triathlon last year and it just happened to be the Ryka Irongirl Triathlon in Columbia, MD. I went to the event and it was seriously first class. The race was well run and the go grrrrrrrrrl feeling was electric in the air. In fact, I was so inspired by what I saw there that I am now training to do it as well. Soon I'll be trading in my walking shoes for running shoes so that I can swim, bike, run to the finish line next year. Registration starts next week and I'm signing up, then I'll be totally committed (some days I already feel like I should be)!

Free shoes? Yep, you can enter to win your own pair of free shoes over at the Ryka website and enter their Good for Your Sole promotion to win one of 50 pairs of shoes or performance tees EVERY DAY through October 25! I told you these people rock. So get thee on over there and sign thee self up!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Another one bites the dust

Yes, another evening gone, poof!

This morning Boobah's other eye was swollen. So I ended up back at the pediatrician's office this evening. Again, they answered my call and fit us in this evening. But by the time I picked her up at preschool, came home, made dinner, took her to the doctor and went to get the prescription it was bed time for the kids.

I ran/walked today at lunch and now I have a seriously sore hip. Perhaps my first assessment that I shouldn't run until I dropped some more pounds was accurate. It figures that this morning I decided I'd sign up for a 5K at the beginning of December to give me a short term goal. I am icing and resting and hoping it feels better soon. Tomorrow was a scheduled rest day so I'll take it and then try swimming on Wednesday. I'm not sure if cycling is aggravating it as well, guess I'll wait and see.

The MVA adventure went into trip #3 today (or 4 if you count that Gman had to leave and come home to get additional paperwork last time). I went at lunch time to return tags, get permanent registration after getting an inspection and to finally get a new driver's license removing the corrective lenses restriction from my license (I've been able to see for almost 2 years now thanks to LASIK). You could read about Gman's nightmare but unfortunately his host ate it. I manged to get the license and license plate thing taken care of but the registration--only at the biggest offices that are totally inconveniently located and only between 8-4 Monday through Friday. That is what we call customer service--NOT!

We can still party like its 1999

Actually, scratch that 1989. Well, mostly except for:

  • Making food for the party instead of opening a bag of chips.

  • Worrying about whether people will actually drink Budwiser instead of knowing that if you buy it, they will drink it, no matter what it is.

  • No matter how hard you try to make it look like a frat house the cutesy flag and live plant on the front porch kill the atmosphere.

  • Having to worry about a babysitter and leave the party at 10PM instead of that being when things just get started.

Our neighborhood ladies group had their annual progressive dinner on Saturday night. It was our first chance to experience the fun. All was well until the electricity went off 45 minutes before we were scheduled to start. There was much freaking out and screeching by grown women about their hair (yes, some things never change). The theme was back to college night, they gave out t-shirts and name badges just like orientation.

Gman, of course, memorialized the whole thing in pictures.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Update on MILF-ness

This was supposed to be a recovery week on my training schedule and it turned out I needed it. After starting out with a good swim and bike ride on Saturday and a rough spin class on Sunday it was all downhill. For some reason my stomach was out of sorts on Monday, only made it through 450 yard swim before I thought any more would have me losing my breakfast. Tuesday was my scheduled rest day. Wednesday morning I swam 500 yards and walked/ran for 20 minutes. I took another rest day yesterday--I intended to walk last night but ended up at the pediatrician with Boobah instead. This morning I had a great spin class.

So, what does the scale say about all this? Not much. Its holding pretty steady. I can see a difference in my body but not the scale. I am trying hard to be okay with it. Esmerelda shared a calorie calculator with me for tri training and it said I should be eating some amazing amount of calories. I am nowhere close but I haven't been eating all that well given the stomach thing, seems carbs are what I can stomach best. I have learned I am eating WAY too many carrots, need to find a substitute veggie to nosh on during the day.

Goal: -73
Progress: -5.2

Workout totals:
Swim: 71 minutes, 1950 yds
Bike: 3 hrs 10 min
Run: 20 min

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I HEART our pediatrician

When I arrived to pick Boobah up this afternoon at preschool she was sitting on the directors lap with a wet paper towel on her eye. Apparently she had been on the receiving end of a hand full of sand in the newly topped off sand box of doom. I hate the sandbox, I hate getting it out of her hair and shoes but getting it out of her eye, even worse.

When we left the school she said it was okay and bravely threw away her wet paper towel. After our 15 minute trip through the grocery store on the way home, she was howling that it hurt and begging me to find her wet paper towel. I retrieved the paper towel and called her doctor's office. I left a number and by the time we were home, a nurse was calling me back. Score 1 for the office. I told her what happened, she asked how close I was and when we confirmed I could be there in 10 minutes she said come right over. Score 2. We arrived about 15 minutes later (of course Boobah was taking her daily poop when I got off the phone--NOT something you rush!). The wait was brief. Score 3. She got to see her regular pediatrician (not that it mattered to me but it made her day. He came in, took a look at her, told me he was glad I brought her, even after he determined it was just the sclera that was a bit scratched and not her cornea. Score 4. He gave her a high five and shook my hand. We were in and out of the office in less than an hour from when I called. Priceless. Thanks Dr. M.

If it had been an adult that had the same problem we'd be sitting in the emergency room. It would cost $50 and we might be there all night long contracted some horrible disease and seeing things that no one wants to see. Even if I was able to get into see my doctor it would be hours from I arrived, not an hour from when I called that I would finally get seen. Why can we have great health care for our kids and not get the same kind of care for ourselves. Believe me, I've looked. I am just glad to have a gyn who actually calls me back. If I didn't have to have another doctor I'd pick him anytime but he delivers babies and obviously THAT can screw with your schedule.

So, here's to our dear pediatrician and the fantastic office staff. Could I convince you to see me?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Everyday is a many-athalon

So here I was thinking that training for a triathlon was way beyond my reach. Now I've decided that training for a triathlon is a lot like the rest of my life...

  1. Tri-swim, bike, run
    Life-Mom, Wife, Employee

  2. Tri-Well orchestrated transitions from one piece of equipment to another
    Life-Transitions from one part of the day to another, gym to home to drop off to work to home

  3. Tri-the temptation to overtrain
    Life-the temptation to overcommit (in my life this is MUCH more realistic than the overtraining thing)

  4. Tri-obsessing about equipment, times, how to fit everything in
    Life-obsessing about activities, Kindergarten, clothes, shoes, feeding the family, volunteering, everyones performance, how to fit everything in

  5. Tri-reading every book available on tri's, running, swimming and cycling
    Life-read the book of the day on parenting, stress, working mothers, or the obsession du jour
It keeps coming back to me that I need to find better balance in my life. I gave up trying to be the best at everything but I still haven't quite gotten over the doing everything thing. The tri training is actually helping with the balance, I have a little time to myself in the morning, I am ready for the day when its time to get everyone else up and moving and I feel so much better and more energetic. For the most part I am so tired that I sleep as well. Thankfully I have Mr. D to fall back on to poke me a bit and get me back in line when that part (or any of the others) falls apart.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

What happened to my stomach of steel?

Blech. That pretty much describes how I feel. I've been so good about working out. Yesterday morning I just couldn't pull myself out of the bed at 5:15 to go swim. My schedule yesterday was light on meetings so I went at lunch time, first few laps fine. Then the nausea hit me. I managed a few more laps on my back. Every time I thought about swimming freestyle again my stomach answered "do it and I'll revolt." I managed to drag myself out of the pool and stumble back to the locker room. Back at my desk I carefully picked things I thought would stop the madness. It worked reasonably well--until the gas came. I don't know what fired me up but the power of the explosions coming out of my backside are like none I've encountered before. I actually blew so much air in the tub it splashed water out--something I'd expect only from Gman (who, is experiencing technical difficulties with his host, he has not disappeared off the face of the earth).

Off to try the magic of acupuncture this morning and see if it can help right my system. Otherwise I might need to avoid others until is passes (no pun intended!).

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Just a day...or three late

So, Friday I was all fired up for my MILF weigh-in and the PBN blog blast on finding time to exercise and a chance to win some new Ryka clothes. Obviously, it didn't happen. Gman was in charge of the kids, I was playing in the golf tournament at work, the weather was coolish, and I firmly believe the adage that the worst day at the golf course is still better than the best day at work. Since I had kids though its not something I have time to do more than once or twice a year. I knew I'd get home early and have a little down time to myself where I could get my post done, still high from a day on the links. Yeah, you know the commercial, well...not exactly.

I played the best golf of my life. I expected my team to carry me, unfortunately it was the other way around and the best golf of MY life is certainly not as good as a lot of people. I was consistently straight and relatively where I needed to be. My team mates were all over the course. We had a good time, we started drinking about 10AM, only a couple of beers but we were loose and relaxed. Then on the fifth hole I got stung by a yellow jacket. The SOB apparently flew up the leg of my shorts and stung me on the inner thigh. Oh. my. gosh. It hurt like a big dog! I haven't been stung in a long, long time and I will pass on getting stung again. Ever. I ended up with a big red blotch the size of a pancake. Fortunately it didn't hurt my game. It just hurt. By the time I got home I just wanted to soak in a hot bath and take a short nap before I got PDQ off the bus. Why does the time pass SO quickly when you are alone?

Saturday I went to the gym, swimming and then the new exercise bikes with the cool handle bars that move, gears that change and a TV screen to watch yourself ride against other people. I swam 1000 yards, biked about 8 miles and came home to soak. My leg was still pretty tender. Then it was a quick couple of loads of laundry and off to soccer. Then home, pack up the kids and shipped them off to Es for the night. She volunteered to have a sleepover AND she made dinner reservations for us and paid the tab. Everyone needs a friend like that. Thanks Es! We went to Pazo in Baltimore and enjoyed each others company and giggled at the snooty waiter dressed all in black with the 'do that obviously took more time than mine. The food was awesome and it was fun to be grown ups and cut meat for no one.

Today was a blur, spinning, church, home to our distaste of a house. I don't know if the girls didn't sleep enough last night but the "no" and "I don't want to's" eventually drove me to scream and yell. I hate to even think about it. I did eventually apologize but it was pretty awful. I don't want to be mean mommy, I am desperate to figure out how to get them to do what needs doin' without resorting to yelling. I am hoping as the routine settles in we'll get back to our normal selves. Please?

So, on Friday the MILF thing wasn't going so well, AF was here and I was up three pounds. No surprise, I could barely get my rings on. After working out 6 times over the course of the week it was darned depressing. Thankfully this morning I was down 3.4 so, chalk up a .4 pound loss for me this week. 70 minutes in the pool and 1900 yards down, 30 minutes walking a little over 2 miles, and 3 hours 10 minutes on the bike, 8 miles covered outside of spin class. I feel amazingly good for all the work.

How do I find time to fit in the training? Getting up at 5:15 AM and heading out to the gym seems to be the ticket for me. I've been doing it for 3 weeks now and it feels like a good rhythm. It used to be after work but now I find that the kids activities fill up that time and if I try to work out too close to bed I can't sleep. Getting old stinks sometimes. If I start the day out with a workout I definitely feel better all day and its easier to climb out of bed, slip into my workout clothes and go than it is to get up and start dealing with the girls first thing in the morning. I also want to try and fit in more fun active stuff with the family, right now its hard though, definitely something for us to work on.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

A Return to Normalcy

Normal. Simple word. When applied to our lives, not nearly so simple. PDQ has been on the waiting list for before school care since May, before the conclusion of last school year. I was sure that with moves something would open up over the summer. I have been hounding the woman in charge of the waiting list, very nicely, through e-mail since the week before school started (so a month now). She was #2 on the wait list and finally on Monday she has a spot. Our current county executive ran on a platform that promised to provide before and after care for everyone who needed it and eliminate the wait lists. Guess he hasn't gotten around to that yet.

Normal for me is to get into the office between 7:30 & 8 to try and get some work cleaned up from the prior day and a jump start on the meetings of the day. Its quiet in the office until close to 9. There aren't many meetings, I talk to my colleagues, we go to the coffee machine for a caffeine hit and fill up our water bottles. But not for the last 3 weeks. For three weeks I've been getting up most mornings at 5:15AM, going to the gym, riding my bike or walking. Then its home to get dressed and get the kiddos up. Then its off to to take Boobah to preschool-she doesn't like to be the last one there and they start the academic part of their day at 9AM. PDQs bus doesn't come until 9:05, I could drop her off at the school which is right near Boobah's but then I'd be even later in getting to work since you can't drop them off until 9:15. Then I race into the office having put off anything that started at 9 for at least half an hour. No time to prepare. No coffee talk. Just feeling like I'm jumping in the fire.

Then there is that little issue of being up for 4 hours by the time I get to the office. Quite frankly, I am more ready for a nap than a day full of meetings and problems to solve. My mind also stops high functioning after 4PM. Being here until 5-5:30 makes me cranky, the extra 20 minutes the commute can take makes me even crankier and the time I am not spending with my girls makes me sad. At hour house, morning time is NOT quality time. It's frustrating because I am not at my best at home, I am not at my best at work and I feel like I am barely hanging on. The exercise really feels like the only thing that is happening when and how it should. Thank goodness for something I can control.

So here's to Monday and a return to our warped version of "normal."

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Beware: Its Girl Scout Cookie Time

Or more precisely it will be here starting next Friday. I took on the Cookie Manager job for PDQs troop this year. After going to training this morning I really have to wonder what the heck I was thinking! I sat through three long hours of forms, deposit slips and the boxes to case calculation for the cookie order. We learned how we would have to sign our lives away to receive the cookies--yes, when we pick them up we become financially responsible for them until we pass them on to the parents of the girl who sold them. There is obviously a process nut in charge of the whole thing, there is a precise timed schedule with forms and an online ordering system. I made my little project manager heart proud. One reason I took the job was a colleague telling me it was right up my PM alley.
If you live in Maryland, beware, the girl scout cookies are coming soon!

Friday, September 7, 2007

In Search of MILFdom--Third Time is a Charm

Yes, this is the third time I have started down the exercise and eating right track this year. Why do I think it'll be different this time? I guess because I have a goal other than just losing weight. I am going to participate in the Ryka Iron Girl triathlon next August. I'll probably also do the Tri-to-Win event in June as well. The foundation that sponsors the race is in memory of a co-workers mother who died of melanoma and raises money for that fight. Coincidentally my grandfather died of melanoma as well. Anyway, having a goal, what at this point in time feels like a pretty ambitious one is what I think is going to make the difference this time.

This week I hit the pool twice, it was hard, really hard. Especially with people in other lanes who seemed to be swimming effortlessly while I splashed around praying I'd make it to the end of the pool so I could flip over and do a lap of backstroke to try and get my breath back. By the end of today's workout I definitely felt a little better. I even had to share a lane so that "I don't want to" is done and over with. I couldn't believe all the lanes in two pools were occupied at 5:45 in the morning and several had more than one swimmer a piece!

I haven't been outside on the bike at all this week other than the quick ride around the neighborhood with my new pedals and shoes. Mission accomplished, I can get out of them without crashing--so far. I did do three spin classes this week, definitely my favorite of the sports.

Running, well, still haven't done that. The fall earlier in the week has kept me from even speed walking, hopefully I'll go back to that on Monday.

Weekly Stats:

Pounds Lost this week: 1.6

Total pounds lost (this go around): 4.6

Workouts: 3 hrs bike, 1 hour swim

Go check out Mom-o-matic and her fabulous progress or check in on the other MILFs in the making.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Just call me grace

I fell this morning. Splat, in the yard on my way to work. I think I must have stepped on the edge between the yard and the landscaping and in my sandals I went over. I was on the ground before I even knew it happened. In reaction I got nauseous, clammy and was shaking. Scraped the heck out of my knee, twisted the ankle that I broke two summers ago and now the hip I landed on is sore. I called my boss to let her know I was working from home today--I was already working on being late and wasn't sure if I could drive at the moment.

After a day of ice and rest the ankle feels pretty good. I guess I'll be relegated to the bike and swimming for a week or so though. I'm anxious to see if it swells when I am out and about tomorrow.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Happy Birthday Boobah!

Boobah, hour one. I had a planned c-section and we have photographic evidence of her arrival from the bloody beginning (I'll spare you).

It's hard not to compare your kids, just thinking about Boobah being born reminds me how much easier that whole pregnancy was than with PDQ. How different they were as babies--Boobah weighed in at 8 lb 6 oz and PDQ at just 6 lb. PDQ and I struggled with nursing and fought our way through the first year. Boobah took to it right away and it was a struggle to wean her at 2. PDQ has a group of 5 little girls that were born within two months of her at church that have been her friends since day 1 and they glide from person to person easily. Boobah has Tippytornado her "bestest friend forever." It amazes me how alike they can be in their stubborn moments and how different they can be other times.

We had 5 little girls over for a low maintenance birthday party. Thankfully the weather was perfect so they played in the backyard. I served pizza and cake, gave out rockin' goody bags (which was pretty much the only effort I put into the thing) and everyone went home happy.

This year its off to a new preschool. Struggling with the decision as to whether or not we'll have her tested for Kindergarten. Oh The Joys recently had this great post on the subject of when kids should start Kindergarten that just added more fuel to my fire of worry.
Happy birthday Boobah, I love you!