Category: erin is …

Thinking & Planning Ahead

Yes, it is definitely the time of year for resolutions, goals, purposeful declarations, positive intentions, claiming your destiny … um, did I cover it all?

Okay, good — it’s my turn to do all of those things. I don’t care if they’re goals, resolutions, intentions, whatever … choose the name that works for you. What’s important is to clarify what you want out of a situation or time period, state it so you understand it yourself, and then put it out there to keep yourself accountable.

I work with organizations in strategic planning a lot of the time, and that usually involves some sort of goal-setting. It’s super-easy to get caught up in the headiness that comes with making goals. “We can change the world! We can improve everything!” A lot of the times, though, we set our sights so high that it’s totally impossible to achieve any steps toward those ultimate goals. I mean, you don’t want to set your sights so low that you’re not actually challenging yourself, right? But you DO want to set your goals, resolutions, and purpose so you actually see progress toward your goals.

Here are my five goals (using the #AMRResolution template from the lovely ladies at AMR):

* Keep moving and stretching while growing Baby #4 (walking and yoga)
* Respect & appreciate my “mother’s body” through pregnancy and beyond – don’t push too hard, but challenge myself
* Be finished or in the middle of a 13.1 training plan by the end of 2014
* More Bible reading – spiritual nourishment
* More greens, less browns – physical nourishment

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Small steps. The moving and stretching has already been a challenge because of ongoing morning sickness and lingering fatigue, even though I’m a few weeks into the second trimester. Last night I did get the old running shoes and the old dog together for a good walk. I’d like to blame the dog for the slow pace, but let’s be honest … it was me. We kept a decent 15-16 minute mile while walking, but the poo breaks for her did give us some pause time.

I’ll be honest – after two years of trying to reclaim fitness (after Jude’s birth), it’s been a bit of a mind game to see my middle thickening and belly pooching more again. Other than the fatigue and nausea, I haven’t had many indicators of “Hey – baby in there!” That makes it hard to remember that there’s a reason for the pooch and the weight gain, instead of just getting discouraged.

I don’t want it to be an excuse, though. I pretty much need to stop giving myself excuses in all areas, which is where the rest of the goals come from. Respecting the body and life is one thing … letting yourself off the hook for the things that make you better? That’s something different.

There you go: positive intentions, purposeful statements, hopefully realistic goals. That half marathon training might be a stretch, but that’s my challenge goal, right?

The beauty of life isn’t in the plan, it’s in being resilient and embracing how your plan changes.

Or so I try to tell myself.

And for the first time, I’m joining a link-up I enjoy reading on other runner blogs: the Friday Five from the DC Trifecta of Mar On the Run, You Signed Up for What?, and Eat Run Pray DC. Cheers, friends!

Revise THAT Training Plan …

Back in the summer I started a half-marathon training plan with the women from Another Mother Runner. It’s the 13.FUN challenge, and I did the run/walk training plan. It was a great plan and a lot of fun. We had a private support / accountability group on Strava, and I really enjoyed having that network during the training plan.

In mid-September I did an 8-mile run that felt absolutely great … except for a tweaked left knee and hip. Not really a surprise to me since I’ve had multiple long-standing issues on my left side: torn ankle ligament, lateral release on my left knee, scar tissue/blood clot behind my kneecap (from a fall), piriformis syndrome, IT band syndrome … You get the picture. I took some time off from running and slowed down my training plan. “No biggie!”  I thought. “I’ll take a couple of weeks slowly and then get back to it.”

8 mile run for Gray

Well, by the time I got back to it in early October, I was starting to feel winded and slow. UGH. I hate that feeling, but attributed it to being off the plan a few weeks. I tried again. I went for a run on the National Mall in DC in October, which should be great compared to Houston. My same nice and flat, but with the bonus of cooler temperatures. Why, then, was I so much slower and struggling to breathe?

Somewhere around the end of October, I figured it out.

Newest Baby M - due June 2015
Newest Baby M – due June 2015

(This picture is almost 9 weeks after that, btw …)

Yes, that would be baby #4, quietly making his or her presence known when I tried to go for a run. Even at 6 weeks pregnant, my heart rate was climbing too fast and my breathing was too labored. My heart rate calms back down when walking, but I can’t shake the shortness of breath. I’ve tried to be a pregnant runner twice now (with Jude and now with this baby), and it just doesn’t work for me and my body. Whatever my body does to grow babies, it isn’t very compatible with still running.

So let’s just say that I’ve moved on to a new training plan … a nine-month walking and yoga strength and conditioning plan. I’ll follow that up next summer and fall with a “back to running” and eventual half marathon training plan. This could also be a great time to get focused on the healthier eating choices.

Well, once this morning sickness goes away. All bets are off until then.

 

Birthday weekend!

I know someone who had a birthday this weekend …

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Could it be … NORA?

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Yes, our spunky and feisty little girl turned four this weekend. We celebrated with Aunt Jeannie and Uncle Nelson, a whole bunch of Sofia the First decorations (Mommy may love Sofia just as much as Nora), and a Cinderella cupcake “cake.”

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Okay, maybe you have to squint a bit to see it, but it’s a Cinderella dress made out of cupcakes. I’m telling you, you haven’t truly lived until you’re pawing at your smartphone with buttercream-crusted fingers to find out exactly which shades of blue you need for Cindy’s dress. And kudos to my mom for taking the time to put the little pearls on as decoration! I pointed out that she’d made a “Hidden Mickey”, which was entirely by chance. 🙂

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Happy birthday, sweet girl! You are full of imagination, dreams, and drama. You might just be the funniest person I know, too.

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So it begins!

Half marathon training has officially begun!

I saw so many of my bunny friends out this morning, so it felt like a good start to the plan.

This may sound silly, but a simple change for summer running has made a big difference: tank tops. I didn’t think that removing sleeve would make such a huge difference in body temperature, but it’s been night and day. Feeling a breeze (such as it is) on my shoulders has been a great change to my running quality of life!

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This morning was a gorgeous sunrise. I’m trying to be appreciative while I’m out running, taking the time to think about what’s good about the day and run itself instead of just wanting to stop breathing or go home.

I’m looking for the race I’ll use to complete the training in mid-October … right at my birthday!