Tuesday, December 22, 2015

No, really, I have a plan...

If you remember, I finished my first* half marathon on December 13 (*first half marathon since having 3 kids and first since 2011). I finished it a lot slower than the ones I ran in 2011, but I finished:

I signed up for another one on March 20, hoping I can improve my time a little. It shouldn't be too hard since my time was 3:04.

So, my new goal is to finish the race in the time it takes to listen to the Hamltion OCR (It's about 2:45).

I have enough time to complete another round of training using the Hal Higdon method. I'm going to use the Novice 1 training program again because I just want to be stronger in my long runs. I knew last time I was really barely ready. I also think that finishing 30 minutes slower than my last half could be due to the fact that I'm about 20 pounds heavier than I was in 2011. So we're going to work on that as well.

So, what I started doing this week was the 5K Runner Pro program designed to go from nothing to 5K.The first few days have been easy-ish so I've been doing them back to back. Yesterday I did Week 2 Days 2 and 3 for my workout to make it more of a "long" run. So my goal is to get my 5K back to constant running, but for the long runs, I'll still run 3/walk 2 (just hopefully my run intervals will be a little faster).

I'm having some issues with my diet, but I'll talk about that later. I'm working on it. I'm optimistic.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

I ran a half marathon (well, "ran" is maybe an exaggeration)

This past Sunday was the Dallas (Half)Marathon. I signed up for this over 6 months ago. But, my training didn't always go great. I hobbled through a 10 mile run a week before and really wondered if I had it in me to complete 13.1 miles.

When I woke up Sunday morning, it was pouring down rain. I would be lying if I didn't admit I considered just staying home. But no, I made a commitment, so I got up and got out the door.

I was optimistic at the start. I peed 3 times before the race even started. Look at this poor girl- she has no idea what the next 3 hours will do to her:

It was raining so much right then.

At the starting line, I started to take a selfie as I crossed, and these guys photobombed me:

They were super cool. They were from Gambia. They were just so happy and excited it rubbed off on everyone.

I knew I had to pee at around mile 2. Not fair. The lines at the port-a-potties were so long and I just didn't want to give up that much time. So I kept going.

I listened to Hamilton as I ran, but occasionally there was live music on the course.

At around mile 6 I hit the wall. I started to think I couldn't do it. I stopped, stretched, and considered sitting down on the curb and crying. But I didn't. Here I am at mile 7:

I started updating Facebook at every mile. That helped a little bit. Plus, my husband was following my route on the app, and was posting where I was and how I was doing.

At one point, just after I considered stopping, there were people handing out beer and powdered sugar donuts. I totally took them up on that. That cheered me up quite a bit.

I finished Hamilton with a couple miles left. My new half marathon goal is to finish before the musical ends.

At around mile 10 I ran into the guys from Gambia. One of them was singing "No woman no cry"... They were so cool and cheered me up.

Eventually, I did finish. And it was a great moment. I might even say it was worth all the crying, all the pain, the feeling that I was going to collapse and die right there in downtown Dallas... And thankfully I got a picture of the moment:

My time was 3:04:02.

I wasn't real thrilled with that time, but I kind of expected it. 4 years ago when I ran 3 half marathons in one season, my best time was 2:30. So, I have a ways to go to get that back. But I have 3 months until the next half marathon and I think I can improve on that.

Here's some more pictures:
"Look, I'm in shock. I've got a blanket."
Oh and I finally got to pee. Wow that was a long 3 hours. And I ended up walking about 2 miles to find my car. Ouch.

I don't think I'll ever be a person who can run 26.2 miles in a race. I'm perfectly happy to keep doing half marathons though and see how much I can improve my time. And maybe soon I'll lose a little weight too- that will surely make running easier...

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

What's going on with my son?

I'm going to post something that's very personal, and that has nothing to do with working out or running or anything like that.

My son has been having problems.

They started last year. He would have trouble controlling his anger. His first grade teacher was great, and she would give him space. She knew exactly what to do to help him. I know she really cared about him. She did warn us, however, that once she was no longer his teacher she didn't know if he would have someone looking out for him as much.

He had one major incident last year, where he swung his lunch box at a kid who cut in line in front of him and gave him a nose bleed.

Then this summer, I got my new job, and we decided to move to Dallas.

He has been having more problems since school started.

He has had trouble getting along with other kids, and when he feels threatened, he lashes out. He started seeing the counselor at school. We had a conference with his teacher, the school nurse, the counselor and his vice principal. This was in December.

They referred him to a counseling program that the school district runs. So he started seeing a therapist weekly. He also had a diagnostic session with a psychiatrist which I attended.

The psychiatrist suggested that he may be high functioning autistic. Suddenly, a lot of things made sense.

We have been trying to get through the paperwork to get him tested by the school to get an official diagnosis, but it's taking time.

In the mean time, he is having more problems. It seems like every day I either get an email or a phone call from his teacher. Friday afternoon his teacher left me a message letting me know he had kicked another student, and she had sent a referral to the principal. She let me know I should expect a call from the Vice Principal on Monday.

Monday I received the call from the Vice Principal, which I expected. But it turns out it was worse than I thought.

He had been in an altercation with three boys at recess, and he ended up swinging his lunch box to hit a kid in the head. He had a hard thermos in his lunch box and it hurt the kid so bad he had to go home. When I asked him what happened, he said the kids were picking on him.

Even though Vice Principal knew the other kids were not completely innocent (and admitted they would be facing consequences, even though he was unable to talk to me about them), my son was still in a lot of trouble. He would not be allowed to come back to school until one of us met with the Vice Principal. He would have detention on Friday afternoon.

My husband met with the Vice Principal Tuesday morning (I had to work). It turns out what happened has been classified as a Class C Assault. I received a ton of paperwork with the original incident reports and the official reports detailing the assault and also two lesser offenses (scuffling and disrupting the classroom). If there is one more incident, he will be suspended.

The solution the administrators and his teachers have come up with is basically to isolate him from other students. So, he sits by himself in class. He stands in line away from the other students. And he tells me, "Mommy, no one plays with me at recess."

My heart is breaking. The bright spot is he does have a friend at after school care that he gets along with quite well. We are going to invite him over for a playdate. But, lately we were thinking we were going to take them out of after school care because we can't afford it. But now I don't want to, since that's the only place he is having happy interactions with other kids.

Oh, and I also have a parent teacher conference with my daughter's teacher Wednesday, because her grades are falling.

Everyone keeps telling me I'm doing ok, but I don't feel like I am. I worry so much about them. At least the 2 year old seems to be pretty happy right now.

I would love any support or advice you have for us. And if you live in Dallas and have a second grader that likes Pokemon, maybe they could be friends with my son?

Monday, December 7, 2015

I ran 10 miles...

I had a much better weekend than I had week last week. I stayed on track with my diet Saturday. Sunday, I ran 10 miles, so I was a little less strict, but I still logged everything and stayed within my calories on MyFitnessPal.

I took some "before" pictures this weekend in the hopes that I will look at them the next time someone brings cake/donuts/bagels/cookies etc to work. Not going to post them here though- they were pretty horrifying.

So, yesterday was my last training run before the Half Marathon next weekend. I was scheduled to run 10 miles. I got through it by posting about it on Facebook constantly.

It started out well enough...

but by mile 7 I could barely move my legs...          
It wasn't pretty, but I made it...

I think the worst part, though, was that when I got home, I still had to help parent. My legs got sore almost immediately. I didn't take an ice bath, and probably should have...

I barely made it 10 miles. I have to admit, I'm a little nervous about 13.1 next Sunday. I know they say the excitement of the race will get you through, but dang, my legs would barely move there at the end. The good thing, though, is I've already asked for the day after the race off. So I can wallow in my soreness completely all day Monday.

And then in March, I'll do it all again. The good thing about barely finishing is surely the next race will be a PR.

As for that diet thing, I'm determined to stay strong....

Friday, December 4, 2015

I mean, what's even the point?

I'm pretty discouraged about fitness/weight loss/body image these days. My workouts didn't go super great this week. My eating went even worse.

When I start to think how long it's been that I've been over weight (over 2 and a half years) and how many times I've tried and failed, only to end up back where I was... I get really sad.

It's a battle against myself. I succumbs to the treats at the office this week. And I can't eat just one of anything. I eat like 5. And then I hate myself.

I vow each day to do better, but I don't.

As for workouts, I went home sick Wednesday and didn't work out that day. Thursday's workout wasn't great because I felt bad. And TODAY, oh let's talk about today:

I went to the gym and got dressed, then tried to get in the gym. There was no one at the front desk, the gym was empty and the door was locked. At 10:45 AM.

See? It says nothing about being closed at 10:45
Every day this week I set my alarm for 4:00 AM so I could wake up and workout, and then have time to make the kids' lunches, get their food ready, prep my food, get ready, and leave in time for work. Instead I woke up around 6 every day and had to rush.

I did manage to get my makeup on today, once I arrived at work. I just couldn't put my coworkers through the alternative.

But I still couldn't get it together to put my contacts in.

Ok, but there are some good things happening. I got my dissertation proposal turned in, and the Incomplete on my record turned to a B. I'm happy with that. I also completed my last class assignment of the semester yesterday.

So, what can I do to get control over my eating? How can I finally lose this weight? I haven't weighed in a few weeks, but I'm estimating that I'm at 160-165. I'm wearing a size 12 pants. When I got pregnant with Aubrey I weighed after I first found out. I weighed 135, and wore a size 4-6. And I looked like this:

Any ideas? Do I need hypnosis? A self help book? Drugs? I don't know how to get back to that girl. But I do find myself listening to this song and wondering where she went:

Maybe I'll get it together this weekend. Stay tuned for a report.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Diet: Day 1

Well since last week was spent finishing my dissertation proposal, I decided to throw any "diet" plans out the window. Like, throw them WAY out the window. And run over them with my car. And set them on fire.

Not that I had been doing great before that, either. For several weeks the pattern has been to do great and eat only what I'm supposed to during the day, then get home and allow the kids to get to me and start snacking and oh hey why not just all out binge. 

So I've gained weight. 

This weekend I bought bigger pants. Yes, it's kind of a failure but it sure does feel nice to wear pants that aren't too tight.
So, today is Day 1.

I was back in the gym today. I ran 2 miles and lifted at lunch. So far my eating is on track. My goal is to get home and CONTINUE to follow the plan. Don't snack off my kids' plates. Don't get stressed out and eat a cookie. Stay strong.


 In other news, I completed the Turkey Trot 8 mile race on Thanksgiving. That was the only thing resembling a workout I did in the last week and a half (before today). 

See, here I am with my medal. Proof that I did it:

To be honest, it went much better than I was expecting. I was able to keep up my run 3/walk2 pattern the whole time. I finished earlier than I expected. I hope this is a sign that the actual half will go well (and maybe my 10 mile run this Sunday too).

And even though training has not gone well, I've already got my eye on another half in March, where I can maybe improve on this one...

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Getting a Doctorate


So, a few years ago, I thought it would be a great idea to get a doctorate. I made a lot of progress, took all the statistics classes and even got to the point where I was taking a class called Dissertation Research. The main activity in Dissertation Research class was to produce the dissertation proposal- the first 3 chapters of the dissertation, along with a powerpoint presentation to use for the actual dissertation proposal defense, and the IRB application.

This was last summer. Then I got a job in a new city and decided to move away. I took an incomplete in that class, and had until November 30 to finish all the requirements.

November 30 is really soon, y'all.

So I planned to take this holiday week and finish up my writing. I've finished chapter 1, gotten some good work done on chapters 2 and 3. I've completed the IRB application. It's just a matter of writing, and NOT SECOND GUESSING MYSELF ON THE LITERATURE REVIEW AND STARTING OVER (because I've been very tempted to do that.)


My topic: Developing a rubric to assess information literacy in undergraduate students using the new ACRL Framework for Information Literacy.

I've been working on the literature review for months. There is a lot of information out there. I'm so afraid I'll miss something. But now, my struggle is knowing when to stop. When do I have enough information?

I'm just having to accept mediocrity at this point and turn in *something*. I can always edit later. I just need to get a B in this class so I can get on with my life.

Hopefully in a couple days I'll have it turned in and I can get back to running, complaining about running, pretending to diet but cheating on it and then vowing to do better, and all the other fun things I do..


Friday, November 20, 2015

So, how's my training going?

In just a few weeks, I'm running in the Dallas Half Marathon. I started training for this over six months before race day. You would think I would be in amazing shape and totally ready. Well....


There was a time when my training was going well. I had worked up to running 20-25 minutes without stopping for my short runs, and was just starting my "long" runs at 4 miles. For these I was running 3/walking 2. Then for some reason, it got harder.

The short runs got harder. I wasn't adding any speed or distance, but found I couldn't run as long. I went down to 5 minute increments. Too long. 3 minute. I'm now at 2 minutes running/1 minute walking. My long runs are going worse. I start out running 3/walking 2, then I skip a few of the running intervals, then I just do what I can to finish. A week ago Sunday I did 6 miles. I ended up running 90 seconds/walking 90 seconds for the final 2 miles. I was supposed to run 7 last weekend but wasn't able to due to childcare issues. I tried to run it at work at lunch on Monday and made it 4.5 miles.


I'm signed up for an 8 mile race on Thanksgiving. Theoretically, I should do a 10 mile run the week before the race, and be able to make it 13.1 miles due to sheer adrenaline or something. But I'm nervous. I'm disappointed. And I can't get my eating under control.

Every. Day. (source)

6 months ago when I decided to do this, I thought surely I would have finally lost those 20 extra pounds I've been carrying around. Well, I'm exactly the same as I was 6 months ago, and that's primarily because I can't control my eating.

Me at night. (source)

I'm close to giving up on ever losing weight and just exercising because I like it. Except I don't like it right now. But you know what, my makeup looks great. Maybe I should just focus on that...

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

High Five a Librarian Day!

Someone on Facebook decided that today should be declared "High Five a Librarian Day". You can read more about the event here.

I'm fully aware that I haven't written a blog post since July, so I figured today was a good time to start again.

Here are some pictures of me randomly high-fiving students at the library:

I also recently discovered a new app called Photofunia. It lets you do cool things like this:

So, I guess that's my "update". At some point I'll take the time to write out what I've been doing for the past four months, but that's it for now..

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

I'm Making Progress!

Well, after a few weeks of some pretty sporadic, inconsistent running, I'm having a good week again. I have increased my running intervals to 5 minutes running/1 minute walking.

 My goal is to run 3 times a week. Since 3 30 minute workouts a week are not enough to get me in shape, I'm also doing 21 day fix... as long as I'm able to I'll keep going.

I'm only running two miles. I have a plan. I'm going to gradually increase the running intervals until I can run the entire 2 miles. This will be for my runs during the week.

I will start prepping for my "long" runs on Saturdays by increasing the distance. But, I'm going to run 3/walk 2 for those runs. That's what I plan to do race day so that's how I'll do it. I probably won't start Saturday running though until we move, but that's pretty soon so it won't be long!

In fact, today is July 29. My last day at work is August 7. I have to play at church on August 9. After that, we're going to load up HOPEFULLY a tow-trailer (hopefully our stuff will fit into it- we really don't want to have to get another truck) and make the drive to Dallas. We don't have a place to live yet so we'll be putting our stuff in storage (most of it is already there) and staying with my dad while we look. New job starts August 17.

I'm confident we'll find something. I'm also confident that my husband is going to find work. He has already had a job interview and we're waiting to hear about it.


Everything is going to be just fine...

(4 months 2 weeks and 0 days until the Dallas Half Marathon)

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Why isn't running getting easier?

As I was running today, I found myself thinking, "Isn't this supposed to get easier the more you do it?" Because it's really not...
I have been stuck at running 4 minute intervals for weeks. A few times I've been able to run those 4 minute running/1 minute walking intervals 6 times and make it about 3 miles. But the last few times I run, I could barely make it 2 miles. Today, in fact, I had to take a walk break during my last 4 minute interval.

This is not encouraging considering I'm running 13.1 miles in 5 months.

I need to be consistently running 3 miles 3 times a week before I start my half marathon training in earnest. And, to be honest, I probably won't start that until after we've moved.

This is kind of how I feel while running
To make things even harder, I restarted 21 Day Fix this week, and Day 1 has made me incredibly sore. Today is Wednesday- I did that workout on Monday and my legs still hurt. Squatting to sit down hurts. So it made running extra challenging today.

I must just be really out of shape.

So I told myself that this week I'm going to run 3 times, and run 2 miles each time. That's only a 6 mile week, but I think it's better to be consistent than to run one really spectacular day and then take the rest of the week off.

Next week the goal will be to run 3 times and run 2.5 miles each. Maybe by the next week I'll be up to 3 miles. And of course, I'll keep doing 21 Day Fix as much as I can through the moving process.
Except sometimes it hurts more...

Monday, July 6, 2015

How's it going?

Well, there are a lot of things happening so I figured I would blog about them...

I've had a couple of off weeks with running. I've been stuck at week 6. The week six workout is basically run 4/walk 1 6 times. I can do it 4 times. Maybe 5 on a good day. I went out of town the week before last and that got my running completely off track. The next week I was sick. So this week my goal is to run 4 times and to work up to doing 6 intervals (which works out to about 3 miles).

So the reason I went out of town...

I had job interview in Dallas. Dallas is very special to me. It's my hometown, and it's where my family is. It's also where I'm running a half marathon in December. So I'm pretty excited to announce that I got the job!

Of course, I have mixed feelings and a lot of stress. My goal for the next 6 weeks - between now and when I start the new job- is to keep up with my running. I also restarted 21 day fix again today. I figure I need some cross-training to go with the running and these workouts are only 30 minutes each, so it's doable. I'm going to try to keep up with this through the move.

This is how I feel about packing and moving 5 people and a cat to a place we don't really have yet:

I've recently learned the term "KonMari" from the book "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up" by Marie Kondo.

It's a pretty book:
 I'm hoping I can "KonMari" my stuff while packing and have a nice, organized move where no one feels the need to drink too much or have a nervous breakdown.

Oh and I'm still getting a doctorate. I'm supposed to write my first three chapters of my dissertation in the next month. So that's fun.