Monday, April 11, 2011

Running circles in Theme Park

A lot of running, actually. So far, I'm sticking to it. I say that because I haven't solidly committed to be a runner. Because I have a tragic habit of not REALLY committing to something I have indeed claimed to commit to. You understand.

I ran 5 miles today in just under 55 minutes. That's not terribly fast, but it IS dang good for me, and totally set a new standard for myself. Today, for the first time, my lungs actually outlasted my legs. It was a major break through. I feel healthy, I feel pumped, I feel happy.

Around mile 3, I got to thinking about what inspires my running. A small, papery old man got onto the treadmill to my right. He was frail and slow. But he was THERE. With tubes hooked around his ears and into his nose, and his travel sized oxygen tank on the floor between our treamills, he panted next to me. A heavier set woman got onto the treadmill to my left, and began speed walking. She took a couple breaks. She sweated next to me, with me, and I wanted to tell her she was doing great. These people inspired me. I can't say that if I was old I would still exercise with that type of dedication. And I can't say that if I was heavier and more out of shape that I would be working at a healthier body. These two people embodied what I'm running from, and hopefully what I'm running towards.

What inspires you, and keeps you going when you feel like you've reached your limit?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Lost My Way to the Theme Park

Once again, I remembered to write Theme Park too late at night on Sunday.

But now it's Tuesday. Let's just call yesterday unsuccessful. I was foggy, and barely convincing my body to cooperate for normal tasks, but I never got my brain started. I exercised, I drank coffee, and nothing. I suspect it was a sleep hangover - my body doesn't seem to know how to process a full 8 hours of sleep. I'm going to have to have a chat with it because I, like most people, am very fond of 8 hours of sleep.


Since beginning my weekly Theme Park posts, most of my frustration and dissapointment in our current residence has faded. I look at this as a positive thing. I know that we aren't here forever, and that our living here now will serve a greater purpose in our future. At least that is what I keep telling myself.

The past week has been spent running, reading, and cleaning. I ran 12 miles last week, which is not a lot for a serious runner. None-the-less, its a huge accomplishment for me.

Books I've read recently include:
- The Nonrunner's Marathon Guide for Women by Dawn Dias
- The Scarletti Curse by Christine Feehan
- Catch of the Day by Kristan Higgins
- Call of the Writer's Craft by Tom Bird (this is my current read-in-progress)

I've found myself on a roller coaster these days. I've felt incredibly inspired (unfortunately this inspiration hits around 11 pm) to run/exercise, write, be the perfect housewife all at the same time. Then I coax myself to sleep and when I wake up in the morning, the inspiration is gone. Being a night owl with 2 small kids who don't go to school is not an option. I battle moments of feverish motivation followed by days of complete dispair. I constantly feel as though I don't have time, don't have the talent/drive, and it's downright frustrating. Mustache Man is ever encouraging and supportive, and I thank God for him.

My figuative wall is all the criticism I recieved from my mother while I was growing up. How being a writer isn't a REAL job that will pay the bills, that I'm not good enough, and that I just need to marry a doctor/lawyer/Ichiro. I kid you not, she used to tell me that I should marry Ichiro. Money is a sign of success to the woman-who-gave-me-life. How do you get past your figurative road blocks?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

It's in the water, it's in the air! Baby fever and adoption

Baby fever seems to be going around.

I've been seeing many a Facebook post about this epidemic as of late, and have a confession of my own. I, too, was recently bitten by the baby fever bug. Never fear - Mustache Man and I anticipated this "sickness" and after the birth of our second child I had a tubal ligation. Fearing repercussions of my surgery might crop up later and cause marital discord, Mustache Man also underwent a vasectomy. We are a very sterile couple. I do believe I was made to have babies, my pregnancies were wonderful experiences and my labor/deliveries were "easy" in the realms of such occasions. My body seems to be a baby making machine. You can see why we had to put an end to such madness.

I desperately wanted both our children, and they are my greatest joys. But I also know where my personal limits are, and I want to live a life of adventure and give my children every possible opportunity available to them.

I am still open to expanding our family. Mustache Man and I have talked about the possibility of adopting since we started dating. It's an important decision, and not one that we take lightly. The other day I brought it to his attention that I may still want more children in the future, and his eyes nearly popped out with shock. I suppose he thought I might find our two to be too much work. They are a handful.

But I do know that we could offer someone a very good home full of love, later in life. (This would definitely not happen for a few more years at least and only if our family is ready for it as a whole.) I look forward to the possibilities.

I'm a big supporter of adoption. Obviously, our family is not in a place to do this just yet, but I plan on participating in this year's Adoption Run which will benefit Antioch Adoptions. The event will take place on June 11th, 2011 though they are still working out some kinks in registration. You can find more information about the run and Antioch Adoptions at Adoption Run. Donations can be made online for anyone who is interested. In 2010, they had 123 participants and raised $8533 dollars allowing one child to be adopted.

Please consider participating in the event or in donating towards this wonderful cause.

Monday, March 28, 2011

3D 5K

I've been trying to expand my personal horizons lately.

Recently, I've felt a little bit "consumed" by being a mom and a wife. Disclosure #1: I love both of those roles, and am completely in love with my children and husband. BUT, I've been restless. I needed something for myself, and I've found this in running. WHAT? I've never been a runner. But I have found immense joy in it. Figuartively, I'm a runner in that I really don't care to committ to much and generally dislike expectations and responsibility. Oh the irony!

Back to running. It gives me the sense of freedom that I've been longing for. 2 weeks ago, I happened upon a brouchure for the CanDo5k. (, and decided to just go for it. 30 bucks later, I was panicking. 3.1 miles wasn't all that intimidating to me, but I was realizing that there would be other people there, experienced people who regularaly participate in these kinds of events. I must have looked just nervous when I picked up my packet the day before the event. The lady said there was a running chip in the bag and not to throw it away. I wanted to throw up. I'm working on being less reclusive and more out-going, but this seemed like to big of step to take all at once. Disclousure #2: The "what have I agreed to?!" feeling overwhelms me in just about every situation. I almost always come out on the other side feeling pumped and excited and proud that I did it, but it's getting to the end where I can appreciate the experience that is difficult for me.

The night before the 5k was Ayslyn's 1st birthday. We had a house-full of friends and kids to celebrate. It was a regular night in every way except that I didn't sleep at all. I would say it was nerves, but I have a regular problem with sleep. When morning came around, I dropped the kids off with Grandma half an hour late. I almost just climbed into bed instead of going for my run. I remembered to shave my legs (thank heavens my mind was working well enough for that!) and climbed into my spandex and got into the car to go to the event (which was right down the hill from where we live. Convenient, and I should have walked, but I didn't have a place to leave my purse and stuff so in the car I went).

Panic engulfed me when I got to the bottom of the hill, where all I had to do was take a left and I'd be there. I was a few minutes early, but the road was blocked off by some not-so-friendly police officers and the 5k'ers were already starting! I parked in an empty lot and jogged across the wet grass to the back of the group, cursing myself for my procrastinating ways. I jogged past the tail and up to the middle of the group.

My personal summary:
Overall place - 229 out of 654
Division place - 7 out of 23
Gender place - 121
Total time - 32:40 (minutes)
Pace - 10:32

Race summary:
Finishers - 654
Females - 421
Males - 233
Average Time - 42:21

My usual panic was magnified by the fact that I was alone. Most people were participating with their spouses/children, a friend, or group. I had no one, which wasn't that bad, I just definitly find courage in numbers. I was inspired by the other participants, and the sense of team spirit. Everyone was so encouraging and the whole event was charged with positive energy. My favorite volunteer was the lady at the half-mile-left mark, I'm not certain whether or not it was because she was so full of energy or because she was at the half-mile-to-go mark. Either way.

It was a great event, and I forgot all about my insecurities and being alone. I never thought I'd be doing this but now, I'm hooked. In fact, I'm going to register for a 10k that's coming up on April 17th.

What is going outside of your personal comfort zone? And how do you deal with it?

Belated Theme Park #5


I didn't quite forget Theme Park yesterday. It honestly flashed in my mind right before my hunky Hubby walked through the front door. All sane thoughts were forgotten as I realized not only was Mustache Man home from work but also the kids were still asleep! Putting two and two together, I followed him around the house until he dutifully sat down so I could accost (read: cuddle) him.

This week for Theme Park, I am pleased to announce that we have an installed garage door. Please note, that having a garage door and having an INSTALLED garage door are two very different scenarios. I am thrilled. The biggest selling point for me is not having to remove/reattach the front wheel on my jogging stroller every time I want to use it. I'd been hoarding said front wheel to deter anybody who might walk/drive by and think "Hey, that's a nice looking jogging stroller. I think I better take it home with me". It also makes the house look a little more finished/complete/normal.

We have also continued our fight agaist the muddy back yard. We managed to do some yard work during a sliver of time when the sun was shining. We have been dilligently aerating (poking holes) the back yard in hopes of helping our lawn come in. This process also includes spreading more grass seed. I am determined to have a full and beautiful lawn this summer, no more mud/dirt for me... er, for my kids.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Theme Park #4 - A basket of thoughts

1. The other day, a big, fat rat scuttled into the middle of the cul-d-sac, and just sat there. It was so round that I actually wondered, at first, if someones pet chinchilla got out. Then I saw the tail. I immediately hollered for Mustache Man to come and do something. This rat had to go - not only is it vermin and carries diseases, and could potentially bite my kids or dog if left alone, but they breed so quickly! This one rat could help produce hundreds, maybe thousands of other rats. My hubby valiantly went after the rat with a shovel... and while he successfully exterminated the rodent in question, he also broke his shovel handle into 2 pieces. I owe him a new shovel.

2. Our lovely trailer park neighborhood doesn't have sidewalks. I take daily walks with the offspring and pooch, and have taken note that the sidewalks start/end with the nice neighborhoods (aka the 2 story homes). What? Don't us trailer park residents deserve sidewalks too?!

3. My fellow residents here seem to be quite patriotic. I counted 4 American Flags and a Stars-and-Stripes bell/wind chime today.

4. We got our couches yesterday. This has significantly brightened my outlook on in regards to our living room. There is something extremely uncomfortable about going a month and a half without furniture.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Eat my treadmill dust

I've always wanted to be a "runner". I loved the speed when I was growing up, but managed to become one of those not-so-fit kids. I was skinny fat. One marriage and 2 babies later, I'm finally getting "fit". I picked up a lovely book by Dawn Dais "The Nonrunners Marathon Guide For Women" and find it to be not only something I can relate to but its also hilarious. As a back up, I also have "Marathon Training for Dummies". No joke.

I'm not committing to doing a complete marathon (26.2 miles) yet, but I AM committing to doing a half marathon (13.1 miles). Baby steps for me. Other than my marriage and kids, I tend to shy away from commitment/responsibility.

So, I have the books. The other day, Mustache Man got me some serious-runner's clothing - SPANDEX. If my get fit dream wasn't enough, just making sure I use this workout clothing is. My gosh it was spendy stuff! However, horror stories of chafing and sweat got to me, and if I'm going to see this through, I'm going to be as comfortable as possible. As a rule, I avoid anything form fitting and tight (hello, I've had two children, I'm not exactly eager to display the proof if ya know what I mean)... but it feels AMAZING, and what's more is how great I feel. I did 3.34 miles tonight at the gym, something I had thought would be impossible for me, personally. Yes, running on a treadmill is different from pounding the pavement, but it's something. I'm proud of myself.

I'm planning on entering in a Mother's Day run as the first of many stepping stones. It's a 5k, and I'm really looking forward to it. My only disappointment is that Mustache Man will be at work instead of the finish line.

It's 11 pm, and the kids don't appreciate the concept of sleeping in yet, but for your viewing pleasure, tonight's spandex-y outfit.