Sunday, April 29, 2012

Trail Run!!

Deep breath. It's amazing how the magazines or books that sit in the bathroom can start to change your brain. This Trail Runner edition has got me thinking about taking on the Des Plaines River Trail this afternoon. It's pretty perfect. It has a trail head in the parking lot where I work. There's a section that's only 1 mile long (making a 2 mile loop) so I can start slowly. This thing is, like, 20 miles long. So I won't soon run out of trail to explore.

Thanks to living in Montana I already have North Face trail running shoes so.... Maybe I'll be one of those people who 'get in a quick run after work.'

That's so fun to say out loud!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Makes my 3.1 seem too easy!

Runners' World put out a special edition for Trail Runners last week. It was ok, but very heavy on the advertisements. Until this article totally blew me away. FOUR kids?! 3:30am for a 20 mile run??! THREE workouts a day?! I feel accomplished if I get the laundry put away every day.

Running is a rabbit hole isn't it? You start by putting your shoes on one morning and celebrating your first one mile run. And then you aim for the 3.1. And then you start reading about destination races, relays, distance, medals, better shoes, compression hose, foam rollers.........

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Moms and Massages

Mothers' Day is a few weeks away and, as the staff at my place of employment likes to point out, a massage is the perfect Mothers' Day gift! As a therapist, I'm always surprised about what people think they can or can't do or say during a massage. Here are some tips for you!

1. Dress comfortably. It hurts my eyes to see people walk out of a massage wearing heels and a business suit while their faces are wrinkly and their hair is standing on end. Your hair is going to get messy. PLEASE don't expect otherwise.

2. Tell the therapist what you want. Don't rely on the intake form you filled out before the session. We see 5-9 people per day and sometimes don't have time to read all of them. When you walk into the room, please tell us things like, "I don't really care for work on my legs. You can just work on my back and neck." Or, "Spend as much time as you can on my hands."

3. Communicate! I hate ruining the peaceful mood as much as anyone, but if something isn't comfortable your silence doesn't tell me anything. Too hot, too cold, a little too much pressure on that knot in your right shoulder... These things are easy for us to fix and can be the key to a relaxing massage.

1. Say you are comfortable when you are not. It comes around to bite us later when you tell your friend, or the front desk/our boss.

2. Make a 'funny' joke about massage and prostitution. It's not funny. It was never funny. It never will be funny. If you are a man, we may end your session immediately. Heck, if you're a woman we may end your session immediately.

3. Schedule a massage if you don't have money for a tip. Would you walk out of a restaurant without tipping? Like anyone who you normally tip- we get paid a low hourly rate, relying on the tip to make up the difference.

4. Wait until the last minute to schedule your appointment. You'll end up with the therapist who doesn't have many clients on purpose. You don't want that. You want a good massage. It's worth the effort to schedule ahead of time.

5. EVER SURPRISE SOMEONE WITH A MASSAGE SESSION. Definitely buy the gift card. But NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER schedule a massage, and bring the person, and then turn to them and say, "Surprise!" I have never once seen a surprise massage work out. I cannot stress this enough. No excuses. Don't do this.

You can add any questions in the comments and I'll be happy to answer them!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

What Other People Think

We've been talking about "what people think about you"this week at home. Mostly about whether or not a person should care about what people think about him or her.

One side insists that it never matters what people think about you.

My side thinks that "what people think about you" can be used as a motivating tool. I used this motivation to run faster, with better form, and more often. When I see people on the street I always check my posture, and pick up the pace a little. I think there can be a lot of value in transformation from the outside in. Fake it 'till you make it. Right?

Maybe it's my theater background, but I think a big part of being who you want to be is looking the part. And since most people don't walk around with a mirror all day, it's other people who are doing the looking.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Because what else do you do the night before a 5k?

It's 12am and I'm up reading DetermiNation blogs. And I read one, and thud. It's awesome. Now this is a lady who RUNS. Check it out, but don't complain to me that it made you cry.

I'm right there with you!

And in case you forgot, here's one of my favorites.

And I forgot the pictures!!

And while I'm posting funny cancer stories...

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Overheard: Kitchen Counter I and II

Me: Ok, we have peanut butter. We have jelly. What else do we need to make sandwiches?
Sawyer: MUFFIN CUPS!!!

Me: Ok Sawyer, we have the muffin batter all finished. Now what do we need?
Sawyer: SPOONS!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Step, step, jump

There's a blog post in this photo somewhere. But it's gonna take more than 1,000 words (credit: my dad, for originally teaching me that phrase).

At Least I Know it's Working

A few days ago I walked into the living room and saw Sawyer eating 4 Peeps for breakfast. I was stunned. He was stunned that I was stunned. I asked him what he was doing. He said, "Eating food."

Then it hit me: He doesn't know what candy is. We never have candy in our house. Any food he can reach, he can eat. Apples, bananas, pretzels, yogurt, cheese sticks, hummus, peppers.... This was the first time he has access to "off limits" food.

Pretty cool.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Overheard: Breakfast

Me: ARGH!! Sawyer!! Your Daddy is making me NUTS!!

Sawyer: He's making me waffles!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

What Doesn't Kill You...

I've had bronchitis for 2 weeks. I'm tired of coughing. I'm tired of Robitussin. I'm tired of resting. I ran 4 miles today. My chest hurts. But I did it. Why? Because I want to be a runner. I want to be a person I am proud of, a person I look up to. I want Sawyer to think that his mom is a runner.

Where is this motivation coming from? I try to surround myself with images of what I want to be. I have Runner's World magazine in the bathroom. I watch The Biggest Loser every week. My running shoes sit on the stairs that I walk down/up every time I leave or arrive at the house.

I make sure to read running blogs. I check in on Facebook with my running friends. I look up running sayings, pictures, news. Even when I'm not running, I purposely put running in front of my eyes. Even on days when you're not working toward your goal, don't let yourself forget what your goal is. Sick, tired, busy... keep your goal in front of your eyes.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Re: Define

A pamphlet titled:

So... you've decided to make a life-change?

There's a theme among my friends and family lately. I'm hearing a lot of, "Enough is enough. I'm really going to do this." Whether it's starting a business, setting new physical goals, or changing a lifestyle habit. People are making big changes. I know a little bit about this subject. But I'm way too understated to actually give people advice.

No, no, I'll just blog about it!!

Step 1- What do you want?

Step 2- Be specific. What will life look like when you get what you want?

Step 3- Write it down. I post my innermost goals to a blog, but you can grab a receipt in your wallet, or an envelope on the table next to you, and jot down your goal. Put pen to paper.

Step 4- Why don't you like what's going on today? Answering this question isn't important today. But in 2 months when things get HARD you will need remind yourself what disappointed you about today that forced you to make a change.

Step 5- Put a plan together. Just wanting something won't get you very far. As the Middle Easterners say, "Trust in God, but tie your camel to a tree." Get some rope. Wrangle your dream to your tree. You need a map. The internet is GREAT for maps! I found my marathon training program online. And my recipe index. And my house-cleaning help. And my financial strategies.

Step 6- What was your first accomplishment toward your goal? A new client? 10lbs lost? 30 minutes on a treadmill? Write this somewhere. It's proof that you CAN do it. You did it once. You can do it again. This is your proof. Even if you don't do it tomorrow, you did it once. Relish that.

Step 7- If you've gotten this far, you're all set. Step, step, repeat. Follow your plan. If you let yourself down one day, go back to step 1. Start over. Or just pick up where you left off. If you're here, you've already changed your life, so, as we say in our house, "Shut up and put your shoes on."

Thursday, April 5, 2012

"You are the Parent."

Pre-parenthood, that sentence made total sense to me. You are the parent, you are the boss. The child needs to defer to you, and you need to do what it takes to impress this fact upon the child.

I stood at the counter at Trader Joe's this morning while Sawyer made consecutive screeching noises. I was explaining to the checker that last night was a long night: the moose bit the sharkey, Thomas couldn't find Percy, and the other fishy died and was flushed down the toilet in the box.

Luckily, I think the guy was stoned. He just asked me questions about how the moose got into the ocean, and wasn't that a tough fight between the moose and the shark? Sawyer continued to scream. I gently put my hand over his mouth but he didn't stop. I assessed the situation and knew, KNEW, he wouldn't stop screaming for anything, so I just ignored it.

I'm pretty sure people were staring at me. But don't they know that addressing the situation would only make things worse? Screaming? That's nothing!! He wasn't throwing things! He wasn't spitting!! He wasn't recreating a seizure in a cart!!! Screaming was the smallest thing he could do. I just wanted to tell people, "Oh, you think this is bad? Do you SEE these scratch marks? Just consider yourselves lucky you're not within arms' reach." But we don't get to explain to strangers do we?

You know what, me-from-3-years-ago? I AM the parent. And sometimes the bad behaviour is angelic compared to worse behaviour. So just suck it up and pray for bad behaviour.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Fine Line

I've been working on this post in my head for a few days... But then I came down with a nasty respiratory infection (= a cold) and it's given me even more sleeplessness to ponder this thought:

What's the difference between motivating and nagging? Between being enthusiastic and obsessed?

I have a few hobbies in my life that tend to wax and wane. Running is one that's pretty consistent. But then there's general "working out" as evidenced by my foray into the Jillian Michaels world. Cooking at home is another favorite pass-time, not only for budget reasons, but because it's just healthier. The last few weeks brought to my attention the "Real Food" movement that tries to encourage whole, unprocessed ingredients in cooking and snacking.

I also love to have a tidy house. I wasn't doing too great with this one, so I looked up this phenomena  that adds one small house keeping chore every day until you really have a handle on life and organization. And if you know me personally you know that I live by almost every word that this guy has ever written.

But in my enthusiasm I'm afraid that I really annoy the people around me. I was once told, "Hey, can we just not talk about running anymore? Like, ever? Is that ok?" And I try to respect that. But what if I have a REALLY GREAT IDEA!!!!! that I think you'll TOTALLY LOVE!!!!!! It's not in my nature to casually mention the idea. It's in my nature to research the idea, put together a list of resources, go out and buy a binder for you, print out schedules, create a club, and mail you weekly motivating phrases to keep you motivated.

That's annoying, right?