Happy Donut Day!

Happy National Donut Day, everyone! I would like to play it off like I totally knew about this and had everything planned, but the truth is we showed up at our usual Friday donut spot and were informed of our festive contribution by the large publicity poster.

So we celebrated, like the good Americans we are.

Meanwhile, on the home front, everything is crazy. I’ve been traveling a lot lately for various reasons, and with my upcoming trip to Australia nothing is going to change anytime soon. My apartment is a mess, and I finally did laundry which means there are now 4 clean loads piled on my bed. The kids have been complaining, “I don’t have any underwear in my drawers!” To which my reply is, “go look in The Pile!” I’m sure I’m the only irresponsible adult that does this and no one can relate. 😉

But I am a creature that prefers to thrive in order rather than chaos, so I did clean out one corner of my bedroom as my “clutter sanctuary” and finally got around to setting up the hanging pot for my sad neglected philodendron. Is it too cliche to name him Phil?

Workouts from the Week

Since I’m now in running training mode, I want to start logging my training from the past week. This will be the boring part of the post, so you can stop here if you’d like.

Saturday 5/26: C25K run, Week 5 Day 1 of the program. Run/walked 2.09 miles in 31″ up around my folks’ neighborhood in Oregon.

Sunday 5/27: Recovery day with a 4 mile hike along the Rogue River to Rainie Falls.

Monday 5/28: Drove home from Oregon, but I did stop at a couple of rest stops to stretch and work on my mobility to break up the drive.

Tuesday 5/29: C25K run, Week 5 Day 2 of the program. Run/walked 2.23 miles in 31″ in my neighborhood. I was crunched for time, otherwise I would have zipped over to Lake Chabot, which is way more scenic than the auto repair garages and medical buildings that dot the landscape of my backyard.

Wednesday 5/30: I had some bodywork done with my chiropractor. Holy cow, they went to town on my glutes.

Thursday 5/31: Example of “You fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Stayed up super late on a work project, so I slept in and the whole day was a rushed blur. Collapsed into pizza, beer, and a movie with the kids for the evening’s activities. Note to self: you’re never too tired for a little living room yoga or a few kettlebell swings!

That’s all for now, go make it a great day!

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Reality Sets In

Happy Wednesday, friends! How is your week shaping up? Mine is utter chaos. It’s good to know that life is full of consistency.

At least I got out of bed and squeezed in a run this morning.

I say “squeezed in,” but really I meant “accepted that I’m going to have a two minute shower and still be late for work.” Because goals, people.

I had a moment of panic the other day, realizing that I signed myself up for a half marathon wth am I thinking everything hurts when I run holy cow. So I need to take this seriously if I want even moderate mobility left come mid-November. My ailments are nothing unusual, just your basic I-spend-12-hours-a-day-sitting symptoms. I saw a PT about it a while back, and the recommendation was to work on core strength and hip mobility. Of which I’ve done none of it. Because core work annoys me. And I forget to stretch. Buuuut, I think I have to be a big girl now and work it in, because being able to functionally move >> sitting around. Or so I’m told.

In other news, I bought a new car last month, and I just found out it has the most perfectly sized snack holder in the door. I like it when the Universe has my back.

That’s all for today, go make it a great day!

She Did What Now??

What is up, beautiful people? I’m taking advantage of the downtime that resulted in a delayed flight to say hi and check in. How are things going?

I traveled to central Oregon this week for my company’s offsite retreat. We had gorgeous weather, and I had such a great time getting to know all of my coworkers better and participating in all the activities and shenanigans planned. And my hotel was GORGEOUS.

You couldn’t beat the view from the back porch.

Since I had a bit of downtime between sessions, I took advantage of the fitness center while I was there. I forgot to pack my gym shoes, so I decided to work out in my Converse and see how I liked it.

The verdict? I kinda liked it.

They’re actually quite comfy, and stable.

I hadn’t been working out consistently in a while, so it was great to have a full fitness facility at my disposal. I just roamed and played around with kettlebells, dumbbells, and even found an oly bar. I finished up with some core work and a good stretch.

I think I need to join a gym, since it’s hard to work out at home; I get too distracted with all the other millions of things I should be doing. And CrossFit has been difficult because my schedule gets weird and I can never make the class times. If I joined the local 24 Hour Fitness, I would have the distraction-free fitness focus with the flexible hours just 10 minutes away. And there’s a facility near me that has child care too, so on the days I have the kids that might be an option to me.

Oh, in other news, I signed up for a half marathon.

WHO AM I WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME??

Realize the last half I ran was four years ago, and I have yet to finish my full Couch-to-5k plan. So I’m going with the strategy of putting money down on a deadline, and see if that gets me motivated. Plus one of my friends is also signed up for the same race, so I can use the accountabili-buddy system as well.

Amy tips for easing back into a consistent running routine? I just know I’m going to go too hard too soon and end up with overuse injuries. Wish me luck!

Go make it a great weekend!

The Life and Times of Unemployment

Whew! Has this time flown by, or what? It’s hard to believe that a little over a month ago I was laid off, and now I’m looking at accepting an offer and going back to work this week! As much as I can’t wait to get into money makin’ mode again, I’ve really enjoyed this little break from the 9-5. It’s given me a lot of time to do things I enjoy doing, and some perspective on the classic line, “wherever you go, there you are!” Even when I don’t have a job to go to and a whole day is stretched out in front of me, it still fills up pretty fast. I joked with a friend that I felt busier unemployed than I did when I had the structure of a job to frame my day!

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Take a typical day in Unemploymentville for me. On days where I don’t have the kids, I lay in bed for like an hour and a half after I wake up just zoning out on my phone, not ready to get out of bed yet mostly because I can, and the day is WIDE OPEN so what’s the rush? Then when I feel like I’ve exercised my reluctant laziness enough I stumble downstairs to make my beloved coffee. Favorite mug in hand, I return to my computer to check my email and respond to any job posting replies. I’ll also look at my planner and review my to-do list for the week to see if I feel like doing any of the options on there. I always throw stuff like “clean out the closet!” or “get a car wash!” in case I want to take care of chores on a whim. Haha, probably nope.

After I feel like my email and job search leads are well handled, I will do some sort of exercise. It’s either a run in the park or yoga. I found an ah-mazing yoga studio near my apartment, so I’ve been practicing 2-3 times a week. It’s kundalini yoga, so more of the meditative/woo-type rather than the sporty fitness type, which is exactly what I need these days. If I can’t fit a yoga class into my schedule, I’ll do my couch-to-5k run at nearby Lake Chabot. I keep restarting my program because I’m not super consistent, and when I try to amp up the mileage all my old injuries start to nag me, so I’ll do a few weeks, then back it down again to Week 1. I’m not seriously considering any actual races in the near future, so it’s more of a semi-structured tool to get me outside and moving.

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After exercise, it’s back home to get cleaned up, eat some lunch, and prepare for any interviews or appointment I have for the day. If I don’t have any interviews, I’ll either run errands, do more email/job searching, or take a nap. Because let’s be honest, if you’re not napping at least once a week when you’re at home, I don’t think you’re doing it right, and it does all those people who wish they could nap in the middle of the day a disservice. So I nap for those who can’t.

At dinnertime and in the evening, I usually try to be social. After sitting around alone all day trying to not stress about my current life situation, I know it’s good for my mental health to get out. I’ll go to a friend’s house for dinner, pick up a yoga class, or meet up some friends at local event. Anything to get me out and around people, and not sitting at home polishing off a bottle of wine I can’t afford while watching reruns of Netflix shows I’ve already seen. Not that that doesn’t happen now and then, but I try not to let it become the default setting. I’ll save the couch-and-wine for the nights I really need to introvert it up.

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Overall it hasn’t been a terrible experience being unemployed. I’ve been very lucky that I had enough savings and residual income to keep the lights on and rent paid, and being out of work for six weeks is not at all bad considering most people in my situation end up job hunting for months. It’s been quite the blessing to be able to slow down, take care of myself, do some fun stuff with my kids that I don’t normally get to do when I’m working, and trust that everything will work itself out in the end.

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Go make it a great day!

 

When Workout Routines Change

Happy Fri-yay to you! I meant to post this last night, but the kids got the better of me. Which is fine; sometimes in the evenings I prefer kiddo snuggles to scrapping together the latest “create, not consume” campaign!

I haven’t been going to CrossFit lately, and as a result have been looking for other avenues to maintain my fitness within my budget and time constraints. As much as I LOVE CrossFit, it’s really challenging to fit it in my schedule right now, especially the days I have the kids. Plus, I was nailed with a mild flu over Thanksgiving, and I still feel really worn down. So I’m trying to listen to my body right now and choose more low-impact activities until I feel more energetic again. I know I have the tendency to run myself into the ground if I don’t pay attention, and these days I can’t afford to let my tank run dry.

One of the things I’ve been working on is my own personal yoga practice. It’s a rough go, because I have the attention span of a goldfish when left to my own devices, but it’s kind of nice just doing what flows I want to do with what feels good to me today, and not having to listen to someone else. I just put on some music, set my timer for 20 minutes, and stay on the mat until the bell rings. This is fitting nicely with my current goal of doing stuff at home without having to pack the kids up and haul them to the gym. And in the evening after a day of huddled over my laptop OMG it feels soooooo good to stretch!

The other thing I’ve been working on is getting into running again. For the longest time after Buttercup was born, running just felt awful to me. Slowly I’ve been testing it out here and there, and my body finally seems to be starting to adapt to it again. I’m sure the CrossFit has helped a lot with this, because we often have short runs in the workouts that’s just enough to get my body used to the motion and stress again. So I’ve re-re-started my Couch to 5k program, and am about 2 weeks into it. I find that the amount of time spent actually running so far is just enough to get my body moving without introducing too much stress, and I really like the freedom of itm that it doesn’t take any planning or prep; I just decide, “I want to go run right now,” and I throw on the shoes and go.

Finally, on the rare mornings I wake up before the kids and feel like a bit of morning movement is in order, I am a HUGE fan of my kettlebell. I also have my barbell in my apartment, so I can put together a nice little interval workout with kettlebell and unloaded barbell moves. My favorite these days is:

3 rounds of:

  • 10 American KB swings
  • 10 goblet squats
  • 10 single-leg deadlift (each side)
  • 10 barbell shoulder press
  • 10 KB snatch (5 each side)

Usually in the middle of the third round Buttercup comes downstairs demanding, “I’m hungry!” so I may or may not finish the circuit.

That’s all for now, go make it a great day!

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

I LOVE CHRISTMAS!

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I totally live in the camp where Christmas carols are for all year singing enjoyment, and when the Holiday Creep launches Santa-themed end caps at Target in September I do a bit of an internal jolly elf happy dance. The holidays are my jam.

Now that I am all moved into my new place, I was SO EXCITED to start decorating just in time for the holidays! Since the kids and I were traveling over Thanksgiving week, we decorated the week before Thanksgiving. Horrifyingly delightful, amiright? At this point you either want to shoot me or grab my hands jumping around in circles squeee-ing with me. You know what side of that line you fall.

But I think we did a great job. I found the absolute cheapest artificial tree at Target on my divorced-single-income-mom-on-a-shoestring-budget budget, and after the kids took turns breaking hanging up their ornaments, I think it came together quite nicely!

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Hulk and I agreed that I would have the kids Christmas Eve and bring them to his house on Christmas Day, so I wrote to Santa and let him know that we would be at Mommy’s House this year.

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I also found this festive bouquet at Trader Joe’s last night. Always buy yourself flowers. That’s a Melissa Hartwig mandate for ya.

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So I think we’re all set for Santa! Oh, and I am re-re-starting my Couch to 5k program. The other day I treadmilled. Really. I know, who am I?

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Always cover up the console, otherwise you’ll know how little and how slowly you really ran.

But I really want to get back into running again. It’s the easiest way for me to experience sweat therapy, doesn’t cost me anything, and with the apartment gym just across from my unit I can even treadmill when the weather’s lousy.

That’s all for now, go make it a great day!

Suburban Running Problems

I think Norther California has finally accepted the fact that it’s fall. Even though it’s almost winter.
  
With the cold(ish) temps and foggy, rainy days also come the early darkness. This whole it’s-5:30-and-completely-nighttime-outside thing is really putting a cramp on my attempts at running. Hashtag “convenient excuses.” But lately I’ve had a lot of motivation and maybe an opportunity to lace up when I get home from work, but it’s now so dark I don’t feel safe. Our neighborhood planner wasn’t exactly a big fan of sidewalks it seems, so I have to run on the shoulder on many of my routes. I also like to run on the nearby trails, but that seems like the perfect recipe for a twisted ankle.

I was complaining brainstorming with Hulk about this the other day, and he suggested for the trails I get some legit, waterproof hiking shoes. That way I could go hike rain or shine and not worry about getting too wet. I love hiking in the rain, so that was a no-brainer, and some (hopefully) super sweet Merrill trail shoes are being delivered by the merry Amazon elf today.

My next hurdle besides the proper gear is lighting. I’ve ran with my iPhone flashlight on, and it’s annoying and lame. Hulk suggested I carry a real flashlight, and that seems slightly less lame. I have considered one of those geek-tastic headlamps for ultra running in the middle of the night which seems to fix my problem but I’ll feel like an idiot wearing one. Unless I’m running a 50k over a mountain at 11:00 pm I feel not “legit” enough to rock one of those. Silly, I know. 

Finally, safety. I have a white windbreaker I’ve been wearing for visibility. I might want to get some reflective stuff for it, too. I’m down with the blink light thing; coming from former bike commuting I could not put enough red blink lights on my person to feel confident I was visible to traffic. But even with all the reflection and blinky lights, I’m still betting that the driver of the car coming right at me will actually SEE me. I’m thinking I need to find some safe sidewalks to drive to for runs instead of heading out directly from my house and crossing my fingers as I trot down the shoulder of the dark road.

Ahh, suburban running problems. I’ll have to mull this all over for a bit. But I’ll take this any day over hassling through downtown SF crowds and the occasional crazy person aggressively screaming to themselves and possibly urinating on various street corners.

Are you cool with night running/walking? I’m comfortable in group runs, but solo is tough.

Blinky lights while running – yay or nay?

Go make it a great day!

The Workit30, Days 1 & 2

While I’ve been feeling pretty good about life in general, I’ve noticed that a lot of healthy habits have been slipping. Despite constantly thinking about what I need to do, I’ve only been working out about once a week on average, and I may have had corn dogs for breakfast the other morning in a rush to get out the door. Darn adulty things and poor planning keep getting in the way.

I know I don’t have it in me to do a Whole30 yet. With the rabid Holiday season upon us now, I have some even to go to or host every weekend until New Year’s, including both of my kids’ birthdays.

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That’s right, bitchez. I’m almost a toddler now!

I know I need to do something to pull my healthy habits back on track. I’ve been listening to the audiobook version of Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin on my commute to try and inspire me, and decided a challenge with some at-home support sounded like a good idea. So Hulk and I cobbled together what I’m calling a Workit30 (in homage to the Whole30), a 30 day challenge to work out every day.

Here are the rules:

  1. Exercise every day for at least 30 minutes
  2. Any moderate to high intensity exercise counts – running, weights, power or flow yoga, HIIT drills, etc
  3. Low-impact stuff like walking only counts as a recovery day, and must be preceeded and followed by a moderately or high intense workout day
  4. Warm-up, mobility work, and stretching/light yoga are encouraged, but don’t count towards the 30 minute minimum time

We started on November 5th. I went on a 2 mile run/walk using my Couch to 5k app. I have literally been doing a couch to 5k for ten months now, because I never finish the program, and when I want to get back into it I just restart at Day 1.

This morning I threw some weights around in the home gym. Olive participated by selecting random trash bits on the floor to chew up in her favorite garage spot, the trampoline.

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You weren’t using this piece of cable, right?
  • Squats 3×10 @ 45lb
  • Bench press 3×10 @ 45lb
  • Assisted pull ups, 1×8
  •  deadlift, 3×10 @ 45lb
  • Kettlebell swings, 1×10 @ 35 lb

I’m hoping by the end of the 30 days I’ll have more of a rhythm going when it comes to working out, and maybe get a bit of my strength back. Let me know if you want to join in, or if you’re doing a similar challenge right now.

Go make it a great day!

Playing Catch-up: Parenting Rites of Passage and a Standing Desk Update

Greetings! I haven’t blogged all week, and I feel like I have so many updates now.

Filed under “parenting rites of passage achieved,” Buttercup threw my phone in the toilet last week. In the upstairs bathroom. Yes, while I was taking a nap, she crawled up the stairs, in my room, took my phone from the nightstand (which I had no idea she could even reach), crawled into the bathroom, opened the lid to the toilet (I think Squish just taught her how to do that one) and tossed my phone in. To quote Ron Burgundy, “I’m not even mad; I’m impressed!” This happened Thursday afternoon and thanks to a loaded schedule and me not being an authorized user on our phone plan, it took until Sunday night for Hulk and I to replace my phone. I actually really liked the unplanned electronic vacation, but I wish it wouldn’t have costed me the equivalent of a real vacation.

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The standing desk continues to work for me. It’s been a bit of an adjustment, mostly because I’m an idiot as usual very good at overestimating my abilities and figure I should just stand all day. And start up running again. My joints are very much “no, thank you” these days to put it politely. But it’s been very interesting to learn more about how my focus works. When I’m productive, I’m laser-focused. But when my brain just isn’t into it, since I’m standing I tend to get fidgety, and it’s very obvious that I need a break. When I was sitting, it’s easy to just sit and do nothing. It’s hard to stand and do nothing. So my productivity has gone up even though I find the need for more frequent breaks, which research shows isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

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Oh yeah, I’m trying to run again. Again. I keep going through this cycle of thinking, “I’m in rough shape, need to start working out again,” followed by an insane plot to do All The Workouts, and they only count if I do it at the crack of dawn, and I need to do them every day, then I burn out and can’t figure out why this isn’t sustainable. So I decided to take a step back and start small. What exercise makes me happy, do I enjoy doing, can be done whenever I have time, and can I see a lot of benefits from? For me, that’s running. So I’m committing to running three times a week to get back in the habit. Ideally, I want to add lifting and some yoga to the plan, but for right now my 30 minute runs three days a week is all I want to try to manage. So yesterday after work I went for a jaunt around the neighborhood to break in my new shoes.

And now we are sufficiently updated on the goings-on. Go make it a great day!

 

Whole30 Day 30!

Ahh! It’s Day 30! Holy crap, I made it!

I started out with a celebratory breakfast frittata topped with a perfectly ripe avocado, and coffee with coconut milk.

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Then a trail run. I did Day 3 of the Couch to 5k app and covered 1.97 miles. A smidge farther than last time!

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Oh, I also made the tangy bbq sauce from the Whole 30 book. I ate it with a spoon. Condiment or side dish?

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The last few days have been major “are we there yet” pains. When my family breaks out the snacks and beers, I may pout and whine a bit. But last night I thought to myself, “What if I’m doing a Whole60, or even a Whole100 and I’m nowhere near to being done yet?” I realized that if I was still in the middle of it, I wouldn’t feel so desperate to be done. I would happily prep and eat my compliant food just as before, since there would be no finish line taunting me with a guilt-free glass of wine and chocolate bar. Putting it into that perspective really helped manage the cravings for me. So I might not plunge face-first into a box of chocolate chip cookies tomorrow.

But tomorrow I am planning on reintroducing dairy. And by “dairy” I mean butter and cream. Not ice cream. Not yet, anyway. It stinks not being able to have cream in my coffee or to cook my veggies with butter, so I want to see how I handle it and make a decision on if it’s going to be a thing or not. Everything else I’m pretty okay with having on an as-needed basis, but milk or cream in coffee is a big deal for me, especially if I’m drinking coffee at work because I’m a total coffee snob and work coffee never tastes very good without it.

And I need to work on my did-it-for-real August Whole30 write up. It’ll be interesting once I start pondering things to put it all down in one place and see what happens.

Oh, and we’re leaving for Alaska this weekend. I’ll probably not be connected to social media, so if I don’t get eaten by bears, I’ll be back in a week!

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Go make it a great day!