Progress and Setbacks

 

c25k

Well, week 4 and week 5 are under my belt. And the last day of week 5, I ran for 20 minutes straight. I was amazed that my body could actually do that. There were even times when I just forgot I was running and went inside my head. It wasn’t nearly as hard I was imagining it would be (isn’t that always the case?)

Then over the weekend my body kicked me in the ass. I couldn’t get myself to do anything all day Saturday. My body just didn’t want to move. Then Sunday I somehow found the motivation to get my running sneaks on and get out the door. But once I started running, I knew that it wasn’t going to happen. My body just wouldn’t cooperate and I felt like my lungs were going to explode. I gave up about 3 minutes into the first running interval and tried again the next one. Only got about 30 seconds into that one and I was done. I walked home with my head low and all kinds of negative thoughts running thru my head. As the day progressed I started to feel like every muscle in my body was tensed up. It started in my shoulders and gradually worked its way down my body. Monday morning brought me unable to get up and out the door for a run and then unable to make my body move in any way so I stayed home from work. Tuesday morning I couldn’t get up and out the door for a run because I had a lot of trouble sleeping Monday night but I did get to work, though wasn’t very productive. By last night, I was starting to feel like myself again. And this morning I got out and ran. It was tough but I’m very glad I did.

I realized something on my run. This was all because of stress. My body basically tied itself up in knots because of the stress I’ve been under with all the problems with getting this house. I always carry my stress in my shoulders. So the fact that it started there clued me in on the source.

I can’t let this happen. I thought I was dealing with the stress as it came but obviously not. I’ve felt like the Universe was punishing me for making a bad decision to sell my house and move in with the ex and I’ve been carrying that around with me. A person can only take so much punishment, especially when we are punishing ourselves.

I’m working on forgiving myself. I’m working on not punishing myself for something that I thought was the right thing to do at the time I did it. It’s not easy, but I have to do this…..for my health.

be nice to yourself

Meditative Running (And Week 3 Done!)

c25k

Week 3 is in the history books and my confidence was soaring. Then on Sunday I started Week 4 and damn was it tough. Week 4 includes two running intervals of 5 minutes, the last one at the very end and of course, there was a hill. I just kept telling myself “You are strong and powerful. You can do anything you want. You can do this.” That worked for a little while and then my mind went its own way and I started saying “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.” Luckily, Willow was behind me with my mom (who was having a tough run probably due to the six hours of yard work she did on Saturday) so there was no teenager embarrassment to deal with thankfully because that worked.

It’s funny where our minds go when we just let them. My meditation routine has been kinda slipping and I haven’t added anymore time to each session so I basically sit there and think about all the other things I should be doing. Running really is like 90% mental. You can so easily get in your own way. All it takes is one teeny tiny thought in the back of your mind that you can’t do it and bam, you can’t.

HENRY

For now, I’m going to Just Keep Swimming.

Couch to 5K Week 2 DONE!

 

c25k

 

I have stuck to it this time and I’m feeling great! I feel better physically, mentally and emotionally. Some of that may also be from being under contract for the house but I’m sure a huge part of it is my pride in how hard I’m working. It’s not easy but I’m up at 5am every morning and out the door either doing the program or just walking.

I’ve run into a couple of overuse type problems but some stretching and icing has worked for that. I may cut out some of the morning walks and substitute some yoga for strengthening. I’ve done some reading about the IT band (one of the issues I’ve been dealing with) and almost everything I have read says you need to so some strengthening so I may add a couple of mornings a week of yoga to keep other problems from arising.

Feeling better and better every day.  It’s good to be back to me.

Zero patience=zero concentration

So, I made an offer on a house over the weekend. It is one of those Fannie Mae Home Path houses so no one looked at it over the weekend. It ended up in someone’s inbox this morning and now they will take 48-72 hours to decide, basically, how the rest of my life will go. I’ve spent the last eight months (four of those while still living with the Ex trying to find a way to get WIllow and I out of that situation) trying to find a place for my family to live. Having two dogs makes it difficult to find a place to rent. And having been approved for a low mortgage makes it hard to find something to buy.

Well, I found an almost perfect house (beggars can’t be choosers at this point) for us and now all I have to do is wait for some person sitting in a cubical somewhere to decide the fate of my family. Overly dramatic. Yes. But that’s how I’m feeling right now and it’s causing me to not be able to get anything else done. What am I gonna do if I have to wait until Wednesday!?!??!?!?

Run Lotus, Run!

I’ve done the Couch to 5K running plan before…..but I did it all on the treadmill. I was completely shocked when I couldn’t even run five minutes on the road when I could easily run 30 minutes on the treadmill. WTF!?!? Guess what, it’s much easier to run on a treadmill than on the road because you’re not actually propelling yourself forward on the treadmill. Duh!

This time is different. This time I’m signing up for a 5k and doing it with Willow and possibly my mother (she didn’t get up in time this morning so jury is still out on that verdict). Once I make it through this week, I will be signing up for the The Color Vibe 5k Run. It looks like a blast and Willow almost peed her pants she was so excited when I showed her.c25k

Saturday all three of us got out there and did Week 1, Day 1 of the plan and did pretty good. Willow, as usual, bounced around like it was nothing but my mom had a little trouble finishing the running intervals though not bad for a woman who is almost 60 and hasn’t run a day in her life. She told me this past summer that she had read about Jamie Lee Curtis doing the Couch to 5k program and that she wanted to run a 5k before she turned 60. but she hasn’t done anything about it since then. So, when I showed her the race, she started with the excuses. ‘Oh, I don’t want paint in my face. There’s not enough time to be ready for it. It’s all young people. I think I need a different program for someone like me’….oh you mean for people getting off the couch and running..yeah, it’s called the Couch to 5k. I told her after she was done running through all her excuses either you do it or you don’t. And she did. We will see if she follows through.

So, I was up at 5am this morning and out the door with Daisy into the 26 degree cold (did you know that pants made out of wicking material (what the heck is that stuff??) actually wick the heat away from your legs too, I think. That’s what it felt like anyway. Sweatpants for me until it gets warmer!!) and walked 2.1 miles. I decided that in order to keep myself on track, I need to get out there every day. I can too easily say “I’ll do it tomorrow” if I don’t have a plan for every day. But running on a Monday morning is the fastest way to get me to quit the program. So, running on Saturday, Tuesday, and Thursday with a 30 minute walk the rest of the days.

The race is May 25th so we shall see if I follow through with this. I’ve told people at work and told everyone on Facebook that I’m doing it so hopefully that will keep me going. Only time will tell. The last time I started training with this program out on the road, I let people and life get in the way of finishing. I’ve learned the hard way how important it is to not let anyone else get in the way of your goals!

Five Reasons Why I Heart My Kindle

I was not paid to write this post. I was just  so against the Kindle and any eReader before and have fallen so much in love with my Kindle that I want to explain to those out there still holding out.

woman reading

A couple of years ago my brother asked if I wanted a Kindle for Xmas. I said that I didn’t like the idea of an eReader. I loved my books too much. I love to have them all around me. I even use them as decoration in my house. I feel more centered when I’m surrounded by books. And I didn’t like the idea that book stores were going out of business because of eReaders. My favorite place in the whole wide world is in a book store. My parents took my daughter to Disney World for a week a couple of years ago. I went to a book store and spent four hours just browsing. Excessive? Yes. Did I feel like it was a waste of time? No!

 A year later I was talking with a couple of people who have the same book obsession as me but also have Kindles. They loved their Kindles and said they would be lost now without them. So, I took the leap and bought myself a Kindle. And I will never go back.

kindle-paperwhite

And this is why:

1. Digital books are cheaper, usually. I won’t buy a Kindle book that is more expensive than the paperback. I just won’t do it. And usually if you wait a bit, the price will go down. And there are a sites that will tell you when books are free and discounted. I get the Pixel of Ink daily newsletter that has free and discounted books so I have a bunch of free books downloaded and ready to go for those times when money is too tight to be buying new books. There is also a section of free Kindle books on Amazon. And I recently found an article called 25 Places to Get Free Kindle Books over at About.com Freebies. I haven’t tried out all of them yet but they look pretty promising.

2. I’m usually in the middle of several books at the same time. So every time I would leave the house I had to decide which book to bring with me or bring several. Leaving the house without one was not an option and those days when I forgot to bring one, could be like the end of the world. You see, for me, there is nothing worse than having a few free minutes and no book to read. So when I downloaded the Kindle app on my phone, it meant that I had all my books with me at all times.  How freakin dorky cool is that?!?!? But I couldn’t read on my phone all the time. It’s just too small and requires too much page turning so a lot of the times I will bring my Kindle along with me. kindleapp

3. The second I finish my book, I can download another one. No more waiting to have time to go to the book store or waiting for them to come in the mail. Being in the middle of an excellent series and having to wait foto get the next one when you know it’s already been published is like torture!  Now I can have it in literally 30 seconds. I do, however, still browse around bookstores when I can. You can always download a book on your Kindle that you find in a bookstore.

4. You can read those embarrassing mommy porn self-help books without anyone knowing!

5.  And of course the tree-hugger in me loves that less trees are being killed so I can read books.

I loved it so much that when they came out with the Paperwhite version a year later, I just had to have it. I didn’t want the Kindle Fire because you couldn’t read it outside in the sun but I also hated that in the dark I still had to use a reading light (and they are expensive so I bought a cheap one that was a pain in the butt). So, in order to rationalize buying a new one, in my mind, when I had a perfectly good one, I gave my Kindle Touch to Willow.

I still feel  bad about book stores going out of business but I think because Barnes and Noble has their own eReader, they will be around for a while. And I still love all the books that I have collected. If I do read a book that becomes another new favorite, I will buy it in paper form to add to my collection to be passed down.

Anyone else no longer an anti-Kindle-ite?

My Top 10 Favorite Apps to Keep a Single Parent Sane

I was one of those people who fought against getting an iPhone (and the Kindle but that’s a different post). I just didn’t understand what was so great about it. I can get on the internet from my computer at home so why do I need it at my fingertips 24/7 not matter where I am? Well, now I know. I am now addicted to my iPhone , which I know isn’t a good thing but I use it to help me stay sane on this crazy ride.

app-store-iconOver the couple of years that I have had my iPhone, I found some really great apps that have helped to keep me sane, more organized and just generally make my life easier. So, I thought I would share them with you.

All apps that I get are free. Now, sometimes I start with the free version and end up upgrading because I like the app and know that I will continue to use it. But I always start with the free one because once you spend that $1.99 (and with sooooo many apps out there, that $1.99 will add up), that’s it. It’s unlikely that you will get your money back no matter how much the app sucks.

So here is the list of my top 10 favorite “Keeping Me Sane” apps:

Apps-2

1. bill trackerBill Tracker-This is one of the apps that I started with the free version then upgraded and paid the $0.99 for it because it was such a tremendous help and with the upgraded version you can add a password. With Bill Tracker you can input all of your bills for the month and it will keep track of what is due and what’s coming up due for you. It helps with budgeting to be able to see exactly what’s coming down the pipe. You can set up accounts for all your bills and keep your online login info, the account numbers, etc all together for all your bills. Once you’ve paid a bill, you go in and mark it paid. You can set up recurring bills for those bills that are always the same and you can put in bill amounts that change. You can also put in stuff that comes out of your checking account automatically (I hate doing this but it was the only option for Netflix and Hulu) and it automatically shows as paid on the day that it comes out of your account. $7.99 may not seem like a lot to worry about but with the huge fluctuations in my checking account each month, I need to have a reminder that they are going to be coming out of my account.

2. checkbookCheckbook- I use this app instead of a paper check register. I have a hard time keeping track of what comes out of my checking account and that’s really bad since I basically use my Visa debit card for everything because I never have cash on me. This app makes it much easier to keep track and you can do reports in it to see how you are spending in different categories each month. There is an option to set up a budget to make sure you don’t spend too much in a particular category but I haven’t used that yet. You can set up recurring stuff too. I set it up to automatically take out those two pesky automatic bills that I hate and I set it up to put in my paycheck. I have my car payment go directly into a checking account that I have with the credit union that my car loan is through so the money is automatically put in into that account on my app and then automatically withdrawn each month when they take out the payment. You can also set up accounts for your credit cards, student loans, car loans, etc and you can do a transfer when you pay on those things and watch your balances go down (or hopefully not up). This was one that I also paid the extra $0.99 for because I knew it was going to get used and I wanted to add a password to it. Set-up can take a little time but grab all your bills together and you can do it while sitting in front of the tv.

3. ipasswordiPassword- This is app is perfect for people who have tons and tons of logins and passwords (yeah, like every single person in the world). I try to use the same password for everything but some sites have different requirements and some make you change it every now and then and it’s just impossible to remember all of them. And I have all of my daughter’s passwords in here. This app also has the option of putting all different kinds of info. I put in my health insurance ID numbers (I also took pictures of my ID cards just in case something happens and I don’t have them with me) and all my info about my Jeep (license plate number, VIN number, etc) so pretty much any information that I need is all in this app. And it has a password.

4. pocketPocket- Pocket is also on the internet at getpocket.com. With this site you can keep track of stuff that you want to read later. You set it up in your favorites and you can click on a button and save something so you can read it later (it explains in better detail how to do that on the website). That always happens to me when I’m waiting for a meeting or a the doctor’s office and just browsing around. I’ll find something and then run out of time to read it. Now I can send it to Pocket and I can read it on my computer, my iPhone or my iPad later. Love it!

5. grocery palGrocery Pal-This app is just what it sounds like. A grocery list. You can set up different grocery lists for different stores. I have several of them. I don’t know about you guys but I hate it when I run to Wal-mart for toothpaste and forget that I actually needed toilet paper and conditioner too. So, now I just add it to my list and I always have it with me. You can also do it online at twicular.com and it will update your phone.

6. alamedAlarmed-This is my life saver. There are so many times that I think of something that I need to do at home while I’m at work and there is no way that I will remember by the end of the day. So I open up my Alarmed app and set a reminder to go off at the time I need to remember to do it. You can also set up recurring alarms. I have one to remind me to start the Jeep in the morning so we won’t freeze our butts off while waiting for the bus and I have one set to remind me to take my vitamins, etc, etc.  It’s very customizable.

7. calendarCalendar-The calendar already comes with the iPhone but use it! Did you know that you can go to iCloud.com and see and edit your calendar from any computer? Did you know that you can set up different calendars that you can share with other Apple users? I have a separate calendar set up for stuff for Willow that I share with her.  I can set up reminders in my calendar that will go off on her iPod Touch (though she has to have wifi to get them and that can be a bit of a pain). Having a calendar that I can get to all the time keeps me from forgetting stuff that is coming up.

8. errandsErrands-This is basically my To Do list. You can set up different To Do lists in the app. You can have one for work, one for home, one for kids, one for errands, one for recurring cleaning, one for basically anything you want. I’ll think of something I want to get done this weekend and I just add it to my list.

9. allrecipesAllrecipes- This also is a website at allrecipes.com but is an app too. I love this because you can set up a recipe box and save recipes that you like from the website or you can add your own. Then you can make a shopping list from them. I will put recipes into it that I find on Pinterest and then I can add them to the shopping list. Or, if I forget to take something out for dinner and I realize this at work, I can stop at the grocery store on my way home and know every single thing I need to make a recipe. I am always forgetting something in a recipe and it’s usually something big.The app also has a recipe spinner that is very cool. You tell it what kind of dish you are looking for (dinner, snack, lunch, etc), what the main ingredient is that you want to make it with (chicken, fish, veggies, etc) and how long you have to make it (20 mins or less, slow cooker, one hour, etc) and it finds all the recipes on the site that apply. This also helps when you forget to take something out for dinner and realize it at work.

10. podcastsPodcasts-There are so many free podcasts out there on every single topic you could ever imagine. Now there’s a separate app for podcasts. I listen to podcasts on my drive to and from work and I have learned soooo much good stuff about so many different topics. The list goes on forever. Check them out.

So, that’s my list of my to 10 “Keep Me Sane” apps that every single parent should have!

What are your favorie apps?