March 31, 2011

Three things Thursday

1. This weekend I'm trying my hand at baking bread. My mother went through a spell where she made all our bread. YUM for bread hot out of the oven! Superman went through a stint a few years ago, where he made bread every week for a few months. I have in the past owned a bread machine, but rarely used it. That's why this time I will forgo the machine until I know how much bread I'm actually going to make. If anyone has any good thick, dense bread recipes, I'm interested.
Being Gadget Girl, I did price out one of these babies.
The Zorirushi Bbcec20ba makes 2 lb. loaves that look like loaves of bread.
You can also make meatloaf and jelly with it...
2. I'm not sure what I'm doing on my runs this week, but I must be doing something right. I feel like I'm actually running. I feel like I'm pushing, and even though today was the 3rd day of running in a row, the run didn't suck horribly. Yeah, I walked some. Yeah, my legs are tired, but I still felt like I ran the whole thing. Understand there is a difference between running and jogging, and a difference between what these last 2 runs have felt like, and what running usually feels like. Though not easy or comfortable, this I can get used to!

3. Now that I'm done with the bathroom, I've noticed the house looks rather shabby in comparison. Because I don't know what to do with myself, I started mudding some of the cracks I noticed around doors, windows, and baseboards. I found myself talking to a friend who might be able to get me a huge discount on paint, so I can redo the first and 2nd floors. I need a new kitchen floor and carpet throughout the house, but can't afford those projects yet. I am seriously thinking about what I want and how to get it done, though. 

March 30, 2011

Coincidence or causation?

Monday I took my first Yoga/Pilates class at the Y. This is not a real Yoga class, nor a real Pilates class. The instructor said nothing about breathing. She just took us through a mix of Yoga and Pilates poses, with a focus on core work. This is good for me because I need core work. This is also potentially bad for me because it was mostly lower ab work.

Here's the thing. About 12 years ago I had a serious of issues which resulted in 2 surgeries. Things were cut out. Things were sewn back together. Scar tissue formed. If you think about it, sewing things back together involves pulling and slightly overlapping the edges. The edges have to touch to heal, right?

Soon after the first surgery, I started having lower back issues. I developed arthritis in the same hip the surgery was on. Coincidence? Maybe yes, maybe no. The back issues could be related to falling from the top of the pine tree in our back yard as a child. I landed on my ass on a root, and walked funny for several weeks after. That tree was as big as our house and it's astonishing to me that I walked away with no lasting damage. I do blame the arthritis on the surgery. I believe things got pulled, then things started rubbing where they hadn't...

I'm jumping all over the place here, aren't I? Stay with me now. The 2nd surgery was a direct result of the back pain. In addition to the tree incident, I also fell down at least 2 flights of stairs and popped something doing a throw at Tae Kwon Do. After years of doctor's visits, Xrays, scans, and several prescription drugs, they finally thought they figured out what was wrong with me and decided to operate. They didn't find what they thought, the back pain didn't go away, but I now have more scar tissue across my lower abdominal area.

What does all this have to do with my Yoga/Pilates class? Not much really, because the Yoga/Pilates class is the means to the end I'm trying to reach. In class we did a lot of lower ab work. Yesterday my knee hurt, which means my IT band was inflamed again. I rolled it out, which helped some. Later, I stretched on my Pilates ball and the pain went away. Want to know what I stretched? That's right, my lower abdominal area. Coincidence, or causation? I'm beginning to think this is where my problem lies. I'm not yet sure what to do about it except keep stretching and working the area. The scar tissue will never go away, but I understand it is possible to make it stronger and more pliable.

Oh, and by the way:





I still have to scrub the grout stains off the tile, then seal the grout. I also have not actually INSTALLED the sink faucet, but otherwise I am effectively done. Now to put my house back together and start thinking about how and when to do the kitchen...

March 29, 2011

Ok, so I lied

You don't get bathroom pictures today, because it's not quite done. I thought I could salvage the old sink faucet, but whoever installed it did not do so correctly. The whole underside was rusted and corroded. Of course, Superman discovered this just about the time Home Depot closed. No sink tonight = no pictures of a finished bathroom. I'm sooooo close!

In other news, I actually got out to run today. This was difficult as I've been having trouble with motivation. It's also difficult because apparently I've forgotten how to breath. I've got seasonal allergies, my thyroid is acting up (which also makes my nose run for some reason), and my back is stiff from all the sanding and grouting and painting I've been doing. Superman pointed out this past weekend I'm panting within the first 5 minutes, which probably explains why my runs have been the suck lately. This is not good when your planned run is an hour or two!

I tried to focus on my breathing today, but found my music got in the way! I was most comfortable in a 3-in, 3-out rythm, and none of my music matched that beat. Last year I ALWAYS ran with music. No ifs, ands, or buts. This year, I've run 2 and 3 milers without music. Tomorrow's run is 4 miles, and I'm considering running it without music to focus on my breathing.

I considered today's 5 mile run a precursor to the 5 mile race I'm signed up for Sunday. Should be interesting, especially since I'm running 11 Saturday as part of my regularly scheduled training plan. We won't even talk about the fact that I start painting my parent's tomorrow. I only signed up for the 5-miler because Energizer Bunny wanted to run it, though she's now running the half. That and the Towpath is celebrating their 20th anniversary, so we get a T-shirt if we do all 3 races they put on this year. Because I need more T-shirts. I was going to do the 10-miler and the half later in the year anyway. It just made sense to sign up for this one as well.

March 28, 2011

It doesn't get much better than this...

I took a shower in my own house this morning. You'll get pictures when I have the sink installed, which will be some time tomorrow night. Superman is going to help me with the plumbing.

My parent's hallway is ready to paint. Getting this far was a long process, involving a lot of mud and ladder climbing. Wednesday I start to prime. We should finish this project next Friday. Then we'll see what can be finished before they host Easter.

I start my new yoga/pilates class tonight. There will be a lot of markups on my calendar, because I'm switching my cross-training day from Wednesday to Monday for this class. Monday's run will become Tuesday's, and Tuesday's will become Wednesday's. This makes 3 days of running in a row, which will be interesting, but it also gives me 2 recovery days after my long run. The way I feel today after Saturday's 10 miles, I think this is a good idea.

Best of all, THIS came today!

Can you tell how excited I am? I've wanted one of these for quite a while. As soon as I saw the package I ripped into it, put the shirt on and started taking pictures. Thank you EMZ It's a perfect fit and I love it!

March 24, 2011

Anything and Everything

I am convinced I am capable of anything I set my mind to. I will find a way to accomplish anything, so long as I want it enough. I just have to want it enough, and set my mind to it. Those are not always the easiest things to accomplish.

What I am not capable of, is everything. At least not everything all at once. Case in point: This past week I  completed an A+ certification lesson, finalized an MIS project, and attended a new MIS class. I sanded and mudded my parent's hallway. I have been to Home Depot and/or Lowes every single day. I painted and grouted my bathroom walls, and today laid the tile floor.  


What I have not done this week, is run. 
This is my half marathon training schedule. The X's are days I have completed the exercises scheduled. The blued out squares are days I have not completed the exercises scheduled. Please note this past week (that would be the all blue one). I've been too physically exhausted from the other things I'm doing, to do anything physical.

If I'm lucky, tomorrow I'll get to the pool in time to swim. That hasn't happened yet this week, because I've been too tired to get out of bed in time.

I'm actually looking forward to my run on Saturday. I've found a new path with long slow rolling hills. The uphills don't kill me so much I can't fly on the downhills. I like flying on the downhills. Makes me feel like I can actually run.

Tomorrow, I'll be cleaning up some of the construction mess. I have to wait until at least mid-afternoon to grout. Saturday (after my 10-miler) I will put the toilet back, seal the grout, and put up fixtures. Saturday night, I will take a shower in my own damn house, before going out to celebrate!

March 23, 2011

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

This is how I spent my afternoon:


4 stores. <$100

I pull the toilet tomorrow and should have everything finished by Saturday night. Sunday is clean-up, and I finally have my house back!

If I'm lucky, I'll get my first run of the week in tomorrow, as well!

March 22, 2011

What HAVE I been doing?

I apparently fell into something of a funk this past weekend. I've been eating a ton of junk food, not hydrating, forgetting to water my plants, and basically not taking care of stuff around here. I did get my 9 miles in Saturday, thanks in part to Superman. I had 6 on the calendar yesterday, but blew them off in favor of a lazy morning. I'm currently procrastinating as I told myself I'd do the 6 today.

After my lazy morning yesterday, I worked at my parent's. We are almost ready to prime and paint the hallway. I'll do the final sanding/mudding on the 2nd floor Wednesday, and we should start painting Friday. First and second floor, front to back hallways with stairwell, a closet, and a refrigerator nook means at least 4-5 days painting: prime, ceilings, walls, trim. I'll have before and after pics to post when we finally get that done.

Because I didn't get my run on in the morning, I made a deal with myself and put in hard work on my bathroom yesterday instead. I'd painted over the weekend, but still needed to paint the door frame and medicine cabinet. I got that done and started working on putting up the new light fixture. In getting the ground wire out of the electrical box, I dumped a ton of what looks like pencil shavings onto my newly painted, still wet medicine cabinet! Then, just as I was finishing the installation, wouldn't you know I dropped the nut that holds the whole thing to the wall down the crack between the tub and floor! I prepared to go to Home Depot for a replacement. When I went back to get my phone out of the bathroom, I brushed up against my newly painted door frame, getting paint all over my favorite jacket. *SIGH*

Every single day I work on the bathroom, I have to run to Home Depot or Lowes. So I went to Home Depot for a replacement nut, only to find they didn't have anything that would work, and oh by the way I bought that fixture at Lowes. So I went to Lowes and found something that would work.

It was after 6 by the time I got home. I threw my jacket in the wash and got to work. First, I repainted the medicine cabinet and door frame. They will need one more coat, which I'll do today. Then I finished putting up the light fixture. Once I had the fixture up, I realized I'd miscalculated. I couldn't close the medicine cabinet door! I spent quite a bit of time bending and arranging the fixture, all the while praying I wouldn't break it and have to make yet another trip to the hardware store.
Finally!
I think I need to get lower wattage bulbs, as one blew out already while I was working on the next stage of the project.

Once I got the light fixture and medicine cabinet working together, I started grouting. This went much faster after I jury-rigged my tub faucet. I need a piece of pipe for the spigot, but was able to use the shower pipe Mr. Math left behind, to get water. Lugging a bucket of water upstairs every 5 tiles was not working! I was able to get almost half the room grouted last night.



Today's trip to Home Depot will involve a piece of pipe to connect my tub spigot, and a solution to get the "haze" off my tile. The grout says I should be able to wash it off, but that isn't happening. Hopefully by the end of the day I'll have the whole room grouted, the faucet fixed, and the shower curtain rod up. Once I seal the grout I'll be able to shower! THAT is progress!

Oh, and my team handing in our final paper yesterday, as that class ended. I get a week to relax a little while the new class gets under way, before I have to start writing papers again. Yay!

March 17, 2011

A letter to my dreams

You thought I forgot, but I didn't. Way back in October, I set myself a challenge to write 30 letters. Not just any letters. 30 specific letters. 30 not-always-easy letters. The list can be found here. I've already written a letter to my best friend, to my crush, to my parents, and to my siblings. This letter is to my dreams.

If you're not interested in my letters, you can click the image below for something more interesting. Check out the archive here for some truly beautiful shots.

Dear Dreams,

I'm not talking to the skeletons I saw in a waking sleep after watching Prom Night as a pre-teen. I'm not talking to the ever-changing, rambling maze of a house that I frequently visit in my nocturnal excursions. I'm talking to my goals and aspirations. Specifically, what I want to be when I grow up. Where are you, and why have you always been so elusive?

As a child I wanted to be a veterinarian, because I loved animals. It seemed like a good answer to the inevitable question "what do you want to be when you grow up?" I still love animals, but experience showed me being a vet also involved blood, gore, and death. I just wanted to love animals, not operate on them. I certainly didn't want to put them down! Being bit by a dog didn't help, either.

In Junior High, my guidance counselor suggested I find a nice man and settle down. I'm not sure what test results brought that up. I didn't realize at the time what a horrible thing that counselor did to me. I just took it to heart. I started thinking about becoming a masseuse, because the guys I practiced on seemed to think I had talent.

In High School, when asked where I saw myself in 5 years, the answer truly was that I didn't. I was convinced I would die young, because I simply couldn't conceive a vision of where I would be and what I would be doing. I don't think I understood the question to mean "what do you want to be doing in 5 years?" or even "what do you want to be when you grow up?" I lived very much in the now, with no plans or aspirations, no goals to look forward to beyond graduation.

After graduation, I became engaged. That was something to look forward to! A wedding! I had no real concept of what married life would be like. I certainly didn't think the divorce would be final 2 years later, to the day. During that time I'd started going to school to become an accountant, as I found the columns and numbers fun. I left the marriage with our bedroom set and credit card bills. He got everything else, including the car, making it very difficult to get to school and work. The CPA dream was discarded.

I found someone else and made babies. Now I had direction! I would be a mom, the best mom I could be. When that relationship fell apart, I was given the opportunity to go back to school. I could be more than just a mom! I still didn't know what I wanted to do, so took classes until I found something I liked. I almost ended up in a CPA program again, but what I really liked was to play with clay. I planned to open a storefront, renting shelf space to local artists, selling my work, and teaching classes in the back. I would work on pieces at the front counter while I minded the store. I even worked out a floor plan.

That relationship didn't last either. I realized I couldn't support myself and my children as an artist, and found a job based on my computer skills. I put you away, dreams, focusing on the reality of putting a roof over our heads and food in our mouths. I was able to do that for 10 years, until my children were grown. Then I started thinking about you again.

I thought about that little shop, and tried to see where I could take my art. Without confidence and a good sales drive, the avenues I approached didn't lead anywhere. I think part of the problem is, I've stopped believing in dreams again.

My poor dreams, you are now a means to an end. I dream of working in the IT field, not because I have a passion for it (though I really do like the idea of playing with computers all day), but because it's a good field to be in. I dream of having enough money to fix my house, to buy a car, to maybe go on a cruise some day. I dream of putting enough away so I can retire.

I have little goals that get me through the day. Races I want to run. Classes I want to finish. I always put something in front of myself, so I have a direction and something to learn. I just don't know where those somethings will ultimately lead. I'm back in high school right now, with no clue where I'll be and what I'll be doing in 5 years. Maybe by then I'll have new dreams, and the means to achieve them.

March 16, 2011

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Grout, paint caulk...I might actually have a shower by the end of the weekend!


I'll lay the floor next week, and be done! 

I also replaced an old cabinet and rearranged my kitchen:

March 15, 2011

Big doin's going on

I'm scraping together $50 to support EMZ of If I Can't Convince You, I'll Confuse You in her 24 hour treadmill run. EMZ is my kinda gal. She rocked a 50 mile Man Against Horse race. She's run like a gagillion (11) marathons. She's a great Mom who starts food fights with her daughter. She's also one of the more positive, inspiring, and supportive people I've ever come in contact with. EMZ is pulling off this insanity to raise money and awareness for the Sojourner Center.

From the Sojourner Center website:

Since 1977, Sojourner Center has provided shelter and support services
to thousands of individuals affected by domestic violence.
Through empowerment families discover hope and have the opportunity
to build a new future free from violence. As the nation's
largest domestic violence shelter, Sojourner Center is
a tireless advocate for domestic violence victims and survivors.
With the continued support of the community,
Sojourner Center can help women and children
overcome the impact of domestic violence, one life at a time.

Please consider donating. Donations can be made through EMZ's blog (here). Click the Donate button on her right sidebar, and it will take you step by step through the process. While you're at it, check out her blog. She's funny. She's real. There is no one like EMZ.

Meanwhile, if you take a look over at my sidebar, You'll see I'm participating in my first marathon! Well, it's not a real marathon. That won't be until next year. This is a virtual marathon put on by Barefoot Neil, because he can't participate in the real one he signed up for. Family comes first, and you have to respect the man for that.


The deal is, I have to run 26.1 miles on, or within the 2 weeks before, May 1st (with at least 1K run on May 1). I'll be running mine cumulatively. Neil will run his all on May 1. He's a madman who runs outside all through Calgary winters. Click the picture to check out his race, then check out his blog.

In the real world, this was my 4 mile run today. 40 degrees is not bad. I knew I would be running in the rain. I did not know I would be hurdling over snow piles and puddles. It made for an interesting time, at any rate.

Back to tiling. Hopefully I'll get the walls done today...

March 11, 2011

Tidbits

We got about a foot of snow over the last 24 hours, so I took a break from tiling and made this (FYI, all the snow in these pictures is from this latest storm. We had 2 solid days of rain prior, and all the snow had washed away):
Snow Man
Or is it Snow Person?
Speaking of tiling, I've less than one wall to go:

This is the shower wall, and pretty much all I have left to do.
I found another ITBS tidbit today while reading April's Runner's World. It seems core muscles and hip flexors do most the work when going downhills. Guess who has a weak core, tight hip flexors, and tends to train on a really big hill? Huh. Apparently, when these muscles are weak, "smaller muscles such as the piriformis and tensor fasciae latae" try to pick up the load. They become tight and pull on the IT band and Achilles tendon (I've had issues with THAT in the past too!).
Piriformis
Tensor Fasciae Latae
These are both regions I've had trouble. Huh again. Guess who's going to have to take Wednesday core work a little more seriously from now on? Not because it's good for me, but because I'll hurt if I don't...

March 10, 2011

Ok, so I'm an idiot

It seems so many in my little blog world are suffering from ITB issues. Beth at Shut Up And Run is going to have hers needled. Miss Zippy is about to reveal a revolutionary new treatment for hers. Michel at Baby Weight My Fat Ass just saw the doctor yesterday for knee pain, which was diagnosed as ITBS. Michel's post yesterday didn't click for me until today. Knee pain = ITBS. Huh.

When I got home I pulled out my foam roller. After rolling, I felt almost completely normal. No more knee pain. Huh.

This is the idiot part. Through the past month of half marathon training, I haven't used my foam roller at all. I haven't stretched after running. I've hardly stretched at all. Just get the run done, and move on to the next thing. I was supposed to do Yoga once a week, but the class was completely fail. It's not like I don't know the poses. I could do them at home. I did not. At all.

And I wonder why I hurt.
So apparently, I'm one of those people who absolutely HAS to stretch, to roll out after EVERY run. I simply have to make the time if I want to continue running.

I simply have to make the time if I want to continue running.

As if repeating it will make it stick. Stretching has in the past fallen under the "be good to yourself" category, which I am only good at in small doses. I have to move it to the "you'll hurt if you don't" category, and hope that will convince me. At the same time, I am looking forward to hearing about SUAR's results from needling, and Miss Zippy's new treatment details.

Bathroom update: 2 and a half walls tiled. I could have the walls completely tiled by the end of the weekend, providing I can borrow my Dad's pipe wrench to take the handles off the sink and toilet valves. Then it's time to pick out new floor tile and a sink cabinet. Wheee!

March 9, 2011

But... I was good!

Apparently I need to dial it down more than just a notch.
My knee started bothering me a bit yesterday. Today I can barely walk. I'm swollen and bruised. I did nothing different! I did not fall. I did not twist. I've actually been going easy the last week or so. This is how things started going awry last November...

I have 5 miles on the calendar tomorrow, but I'm thinking it's not going to happen. I have to walk a fine line between not losing what little fitness I have, and not damaging myself further. I don't know what is causing this. My back has been completely unhappy for several days now, but my hips are not locked and my ITB is not complaining any more than normal. I don't know what is connected to what, or if the knee issue is completely unrelated to anything else. All I know is I want to run!

*Sigh*

March 8, 2011

Dialing it down a notch

I've decided not to feel guilty over my runs last week (where I felt like it I was phoning it in), nor this week, where I've definitely cut things short. Yesterday's 4-miler turned into 2 miles. Today's 4 miles of progressive intervals included walk breaks.

Earlier today Barefoot Angie B posted this article from the Barefoot Runner's Society site. It talks about orthotics and running shoes, but the message I took away was that "Injuries are generally a result of intensity, duration, and recovery time." This rings true for me, based on my previous experience. When I started to go faster, I hurt myself. When I started to go farther, I hurt myself. I don't believe I gave myself the time or permission to recover.

So I'm trying to listen to my body for once, and not gung ho myself into another injury. My digestive system has been completely wonky since Saturday night, the arthritis in my lower back and hip have flared up, and I'm just overall tired. Maybe it's time to tone it down a touch. I'm not walking away, I'm just not worrying about paying the calendar back if I don't quite hit the numbers it keeps yelling at me to hit.

In other news, I've tile in my bathroom:
I will have the wall on the right completely tiled by the end of the night, and the wall under the window finished except the 2 spaces you see here, on the other side of the window. That leaves the plumbing wall and the doorway wall, both of which I have some tile cut for. I'm hoping to start working on the floor this weekend.

March 7, 2011

The real ABC's

I couldn't help myself. When I saw these ABCs floating around the blog world, all I could think of was the alphabet song I learned in Girl Scouts, of all places. Which I then taught to my children as a fun way to learn their ABCs, which they then sang to their kindergarten teacher...

To make up for Friday's post, today I'm doing the real ABCs. You're about to learn more about me than you probably wanted to know.

Age - 4 days older than Superman, which makes me the older woman (Cougar?).
Bed size - water bed king. And yes, I take up the whole thing.
Chore I hate - hate is such a strong word. Probably dusting, since I do it so rarely.
Dogs - currently none. Instead I have:
Ninja's Odin is the baby in the family
Monkey Boy's Spaz is the old man

Essential start to my day - caffeine in at least one of its various forms.
Favorite color - anything in the red to blue range (read "purple").
Gold or silver - silver, unless it's money in World of Warcraft.
Height - currently 5'6", though I was 5'7" at one time.
Instruments - I played a trombone named Monster in high school.
Job Title - Jan of all trades, Mom
Kids - 0. Masters of Disaster = 2. Adult children = 2.
Live - Yes. Somewhere in Northeastern Ohio.
Mom's name - Mom. She'll also answer to Lorraine, Lorrie, or Mrs. Ehrlinger.
Nickname - Sheba. Shebajc. Coop. Gypsy.
Overnight hospital stays - 5
Pet Peeve - I don't keep peeves, so no pet ones for me.
Quote - "Babies don't go clang!" The Thief and the Cobbler
Right or left handed - ambidexterous
Siblings - Big Bro, Princess, Little Big Sister, Energizer Bunny, Dr. J.
Time I wake up - 8:00
Underwear - No
Vegetable I dislike - I've never met one I didn't like
What makes me late - puttering
X-rays - teeth, back (multiple), kidneys (multiple), salivary gland
Yummy food I make - Decadent Brownies
Zoo animal favorite - big cats, big snakes

March 4, 2011

ABC's

A You're an Antelope
B You're a Buffalo
C You're a Cantelope with ears
D You're a Dinosaur
E You're an Elephant
F You're a Fairy in my arms
G You're a Goody-goody
H You're so Homely
I You're an Icky-Icky Poo!
J You're a Jelly Bean
K You're a Kidney Bean
L You're a Lima Bean too
M, N, O, P I can go on and on
Q, R, S, T Alphabetically speaking, you're disgusting!
U Wear no Underwear
V You're a Vomit-head
W, X, Y, Z...
I like to ramble through the alphabet with you
and tell you how you nauseate me!

My kids' kindergarten teacher hated me.

March 3, 2011

I'm not sure what to believe

I'm starting to doubt my GPS. Sure, 4 miles at 12:24 on Monday. I can believe that, even with walking as much as I did. The splits make sense and jibe with how I felt. The splits on today's run just don't make sense. I can't imagine I ran a 7:57, even if it was all downhill.

Turns out the splits are "simulated" from GPS data, and "may be inaccurate." OK, so let's go to the map, which gives a slightly different picture. The map data says I ran that same mile in 10:13. It says I ran the first mile in 11:01. Since when can I run an 11-minute-mile? Since when can I run an almost a 10-minute-mile pace? Even downhill, I've NEVER been that fast! The only thing I think I can really believe in is the overall time, which came in at 11:34. Wait, what?!? 5 miles at a faster pace than I've run anything so far this year?

I'm not sure what to believe.

I know I believe I have absolutely no core strength. I tried to do Chris K's weekly ab/core workout. FAIL! Some of the exercises I couldn't do at all, in part because of my back, but in part because I have no core strength at all. The only ones I could do for a full minute were the toe touches, which are crunches with your legs straight up in the air.

With that workout stinging on my pride, I went out and bought a new toy:
I've had exercise balls in the past, but they didn't survive the way Monkey Boy and my cats played. Monkey Boy is in Germany, and the cats have mellowed and aged a bit. I thought maybe the "anti-burst" feature would help this ball last longer, as well. I'm not sure about the weighted part. My box doesn't talk about keeping my exercise ball in place. It says (in huge yellow letters) "51% more muscle activation than standard exercise balls*." Whatever. As long as it helps me work my core without hurting my back, I'm happy. If I'm running this fast without any core strength at all, imagine what I can do once I'm rocking abs like EMZ!

March 2, 2011

Additions to the lineup

I'm officially signed up for the Towpath Trilogy Race Series, which effectively gives me running goals through the end of the year. It also nets me yet another t-shirt, about which I'm slightly ambivalent. Mostly I'm excited because Energizer Bunny plans to sign up for them all as well. She's trying to decide if she'll run the 5 April 3, or if she banked enough distance over the winter for the half marathon. I'm trying to figure out how to fit the 5-miler into my current plan, which is based on a half marathon and geared to end April 23. Right now I've got 11 miles on the calendar the day before the 5-mile race, and 5 miles the day after. Race day was supposed to be a rest day. Even if I walk it, it will be a PR as I haven't yet raced that distance.

On the bathroom front, I should be able to start tiling the walls tomorrow. I still have a bit of cleanup to do in the corner behind the toilet, which my Dad reminded me I can get to by pulling just the tank. I'll do that, clean up a little of the thinset under the tub faucet that bowed in drying, then start cutting tiles. It will still probably take a week or more before I can shower at home. Tiling the walls will likely take 2 days. Tiling the floor I can hopefully do in one. Grouting will probably take at least 2 days (floor one, walls one). Then it's just paint and fixtures. I'll be working at my parents off and on during the process, though I've been told I'm banned from their house as soon as the toilet is pulled, since I can't put it back in until I'm done with the floor. 

I was at my parent's today. The current project is the hallway, which runs through the center of the house, front to back on both the first and second floor. It includes the stairway and landing, the nook between the master bedroom and 2nd floor bath, the nook between the hall and kitchen where they have their refrigerator, and the hall closet. It's easily a quarter of the space on those 2 floors. Dad and I have been working on it off and on for over a month, and we're getting close to done. All that's left is the refrigerator nook, another coat of mud on the ceiling repairs there, the back hall and outside the bathroom, and sanding of the gallons of mud everywhere else. I count another 2-3 days of mud work, then we're primering and painting. We should be able to move on to the half-bedroom/sewing room by mid-March. 

Heading off for core work, homework, and a little quality time with Superman...

March 1, 2011

Hips Don't Lie

I was going to call this post "Phoning it in" because that's what I feel I've been doing this week. Yesterday was 4 miles in the park, and I walked a LOT. I still posted a 12:24 pace, which is faster than the 4-miler I ran less than 2 weeks ago. Today was progressive quarter mile intervals. I actually covered the 3 miles on my calendar, but only by counting the walk breaks, which I don't normally do. I opted to skip the walk portion for the first half, then was surprised when I felt tired for the second half. So I feel like I'm phoning it in, but I'm kinda not.

At the same time, I'm tired. I'm regularly sleeping in until 9, which if you read this post you know is not normal for me. I assume it's because I'm growing. At least parts of me are. I'm running faster than ever, but I end up walking because my hips get tired. All the time they were locked up, they weren't getting any workout. Now, they're weak and tired. I have to build them up while keeping to my program, but also without overworking them and injuring myself again. It's a challenge and a fine line.

Maybe I should take up belly dancing...