Sunday, February 21, 2010

Cheap childcare for Cheerios Butt

My husband has gotten serious about his knee rehab, but don't tell him I said that b/c I'm pretty sure he thinks his knee is already rehabbed. I, on the other hand, beg to differ since he not only hasn't put any money down on any races, but hasn't even picked one yet. That and he's just been running sporadically here and there a couple miles at a time while casting longing looks whenever any talk of longer running ensues. (He had knee surgery this past summer and THAT takes some time to heal from no matter what my darling dear tells you.)

He got the family a three month membership at the local Rec Center the other day so he could complement his running with swimming. Cool by me, because that means now I can take the little girlies for a dip in the pool whenever cabin fever becomes unbearable. And here in the last remaining weeks of winter, that's getting to be the norm. "PLEASE, can I go to the park." "Let's just go outside mom." "Where are we going today?" "We HAVE to go SOMEWHERE!" But I digress.

So as I sat munching on a bowl of cereal (hurray for eating!) this morning with the littlest miss by my side munching her own tray full of cereal and the Queen of Cabin Fever lay on the very top edge of the couch watching the new Chugginton cartoon, I perused the Rec Center's Winter/Spring program brochure. Some pretty sweet stuff for the kiddos.

But, **SIGH**, also a lot of stuff I'd like to go do if only there was the time. In fact, I got to thinking, I'd really like to go do some swimming. I mean I was a lifeguard and swim instructor for a good ten years or so of my life and I wouldn't mind getting back in the pool to workout. I am after all, supposed to be doing more cross training these days right? But as quickly as the thought popped into my head, I brushed it aside. Where on earth was I going to fit THAT into my day? And I'd need to get a babysitter, which even as I type this I realize I have some terrific family members that will be reading this and talking right out loud to the screen saying "HELLO! I will watch the girls so you can go swim." I know. I know. I just hate to obligate you all to do so. It feels, well, selfish.

So I resolved myself to the idea that yeah, maybe I'll go every once in awhile and pop in for a swim if everything works out, the planets align or cows fly whatever. But a regular "swim day" is not going to happen.

Then...pause here for dramatic effect...I turned the page.

THEY HAVE CHILDCARE! And not just childcare, but CHEAP childcare. $10 for a month, unlimited visits, no more than 2 hours at a time. Pretty sure my heart beat a little faster at this point. I could drop one off at school and let the other one play supervised at the Rec Center for 1/2 an hour or 45 minutes. It's perfect. But can I do it?

You see, I'm a stay at home mom. And let me just preface this to say I am in no way looking for a fight on what's better, being a stay at home mom or a mom with a job. I realize there's some pretty passionate debate on both sides because let's face it nobody wants to be called a crappy mom. We all want what's best for our children and we strive to do whatever we think that is. There's pluses and minuses to both. What's best for me and my finally may or may not be what's best for yours. Quite frankly as moms we do what ever it takes to get the job done. For some moms it's being employed, others it's owning a business, others it's staying at home, and others something else I'm forgetting to mention.

I happen to have two daughters both of which had breathing problems as newborns. Whatever uncertainty I had in my head about staying home with my girls was gone the minute I watched my firstborn 10 day old child struggling to breath. When we were finally sent home, she had breathing treatments to receive and I was under doctors orders to keep a close eye on her. Any thought I may have ever had in my head about going back to work vanished. I just couldn't trust that someone else would keep an eye on her chest like I would. And they certainly shouldn't because that would mean they were neglecting the other children in their care.

That was me then and that has shaped in some way who I am and how I make parenting decisions today. It is what makes me leery of placing my little Miss in the childcare at the Rec Center. Overprotective? Probably. Do I care? Nope. My responsiblity is to my children not to what anyone else thinks.

So, I'm torn. Do I put her in? Don't I? I'm sure the fine people at the Rec Center have been thoroughly screened. And they must be time tested mother approved too b/c it's not a new program. The pool is right across from the childcare room. I SOOOO would like to swim. She'd probably have a blast with the other kids. It would only be for no more than an hour. I wouldn't have to obligate any family. It's cheap. But I'm just so dang skeptical of putting her in someone else's hands and walking away. It's not her. It's not them. It's TOTALLY me.

In the middle of all these ponderings, I glance over at Little Miss who flashes me a grin as she chews on her sippy cup and milk dribbles down her chin on to her pajamas and I notice her tray is empty of cereal for the third time. Breakfast is done. I wipe her face off and unbuckle her seat belt still lost in my thoughts about whether or not to venture into these unknown charted territories with my baby and I pick her up.

Now, there's always some crumb or mushed something stuck to her after meals so brushing her bottom off is not even a second thought for me when I pick her up out of her chair. It's a habit. But as I do so this time, I realize I am brushing and brushing and brushing and Cheerios are just falling everywhere. Honestly, there could not have been more Cheerios stuck on her butt if I had first dunked her bottom in a vat of glue or her pajamas had been made with sticky tape.

After about the fourth brush, I snapped out of my thoughts and finally took a look at her bottom and the mess all over the floor, then swung her back around and looked at her face. "What did you do baby? Did you even eat anything?" I asked. With her bright eyes and toothy little grin, she just giggled a little. She got me. I think too much.

I haven't officially decided what I'll do with Cheerios Butt just yet. But I do think I'll go take a little look myself and pick up the "parents handbook" (why do I hear that phrase in my thoughts as a deep voice followed by dum dum it's something particularly suspenseful?). Maybe see what Cheerios Butt thinks of the place. I mean if I get there and she's crying her head off, no sense in traumatizing the poor little thing just so I can swim. And on the flip side if she loves it and it seems pretty well run, then the decisions not quite so tough. See, the clever little cereal hider is right. I do think too much.

'Til next time...

P.S. I should maybe also mention that upon further consideration I have realized it's quite possible that my daughter was NOT hiding cheerios under her butt rather choosing a more perferred location to eat said cereal. In her little baby brilliance she has discovered that Cheerios (or puffs, berries, chicken or whatever other food I give her) placed on her bottom will eventually be brushed off onto the floor. Anything that is on the floor (and I do mean anything) will eventually end up in that child's mouth. It is her perferred eating place. Perhaps she likes the vastness of the floor as opposed to the table or her seat tray? She likes her food spread out or she doesn't want her various food items to touch. I don't know. But I will admit that I have from time to time considered just throwing all her food on the floor and letting her have at it. It's all ending up there anyway and I've never seen a speck of food on the floor she didn't want. Not true for foods on the table, tray or spoon. I resist but the thought has crossed my mind.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Fish outawater!!!

I am a fish out of water. Not an actual fish struggling to survive, I am the 8 year old kid making a mad dash across the deck to the side of the pool opposite my once friend now temporarily blind adversary (all peeking aside) and I'm just seconds from hopping back in when instead of yelling "MARCO" he screams "FISH OUTAWATER" ("outawater" b/c you and I both know in the heat of the game those three words "out of water" MUST be combined to efficiently pour out of the mouth as quickly as possible to catch the perp.

I am that busted kid who thought they'd be able to escape deck detection, but sadly shoulders dropped in devastating disappointment, I am out of the least for now.

I had a sneaking suspicion for the past couple weeks that a new pair of shoes was on the horizon. While the treads of my running shoes were not what one might call wore out (fyi: they don't necessarily have to be for a new pair to be in order), I had been running in those same shoes since pre-Chicago marathon last year, so I knew the mileage on those puppies was racking up (sidenote: somewhere b/n 300-500 miles it is generally recommended to get new shoes so pay no attention to me and the way I arbitrarily decide the time has come as it is generally NOT the recommended way). But it was the little nagging by way of the shins that got me thinking I better get out to my favorite little running store, Running Fit (who gave me a 10% discount today for no apparent reason btw, thank-you very much Running Fit) for a purrty new pair.

But you know me: kids, writing, over scheduling myself, so I pushed the new shoes to the back burner where typically things...well...burn and ran on. Not smart. The nagging in my shins got louder and louder until finally it wasn't so much nagging but a full blown lying on the floor kicking and screaming temper tantrum. So rather than the scheduled speed workout on Tuesday, I took it off as a rest day. No big deal. Shift things around. Most importantly, get a new pair of shoes Wednesday morning, and I'm back on schedule as if I never missed a beat.

Just one problem. Wednesday morning as I happily got ready to head over to the running store (and by happy I mean, ecstatic, elated, overjoyed, actually singing out loud children's cartoon theme songs. Really, I was that thrilled about new shoes), I started feeling a little funny. A little funny quickly turned to not so good and I probably shouldn't leave the house right now which would in just a short few hours turn into downright disgustingly awful. It came in hard, fast and without warning and has hung on like that mysterious funk emanating from the refrigerator that no matter what you throw away you just can't seem to get rid of and thus begin to consider just buying an entirely new refrigerator (what? I know that HAS to happen to people other than just me).

It's now Saturday. I still haven't run or biked. I've lost 6 1/2 pounds. Just this evening the nauseous has started to pass (as a matter of fact I do believe I might actually be hungry! YAY!), and the headache is finally waning. Tomorrow is supposed to be my long run, but I'm thinking it's probably not a good idea and I'm sorely disappointed because the last one was so good.

So put on your coaching hats y'all. What should I do? Still feeling kind of out of it, but I'm sure I could do SOMETHING tomorrow. Nice slow run and see how it goes? Suck it up and do as the schedule says already (I mean I haven't done a thing since Monday after all and I'm going to have to suck it up eventually)? Cross train tomorrow? Take another day off and start fresh next week?

Ugh...Where's my Smurf towel? If you need me, I'll be sitting on a lawn chair with my goggles on top of my head (sparkly ones) trying to make up a new game plan as I wait for my turn.

'Til next time...

P.S. But on a positive note, my shins feel GREAT! AND I got new shoes today, which is a story all in itself (of course). I'll save that one for tomorrow though.

P.P.S. I would also like to take this opportunity to give thanks to my parents, my husband and my husband's dear Aunt Shellie who not only were forced to deal with me in less than pleasant conditions but who so graciously and loving took care of both me and my children this past week. Now everyone PLEASE pray the little girlies don't also get it. Thank-you!

P.P.P.S. (I know. I know. I'm always doing this.) I would also like to mention that I am in no way compensated by Running Fit to mention their store. I just like them and their friendly staff that much. And by friendly I mean even in the face of a customer who will spend a completely unreasonable amount of time walking around in their shoes but at the mere mention of testing them out on the store's handy dandy treadmill scoffs at the insinuation that they would have such time to do so yet continues to walk around undecided (Really, this happened. In the same amount of time I picked out, tried on, decided on my shoes, perused the nutrition section, purchased my products and am walking out of the store WITH two young children, they were still deciding and they had the shoes on when I first walked in. I sincerely hope customer turnover or commission does not play into how they get paid) STILL, so polite and friendly. Plus they organize what is fast becoming my favorite series of races at the Martian Marathon, a whole slew of courses for runners to help them get started or get better. AND they have suckers and/or toys for kids to keep them busy while you figure out what you want. So that, my friends, is why I am a fan. Oh, and they sell a whole bunch of running stuff too.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Caution: You are entering an interval training zone...with children

I feel like I need a sign. A yellow caution sign for my basement. There'd be a black stick figure of me running on my treadmill in true logo form (running skirt and ponytail but minus the jogging stroller of course) next to which would be a small child stick figure playing with an even teeny tinier stick figure dolly. THAT is how I run intervals.

My last interval workout went a little something like this on paper:
1 Mile Warmup
200 meters
400 meters
600 meters
800 meters
1200 meters
800 meters
600 meters
400 meters
(each with a 90 second jog/walk rest in between)
1 Mile Cool Down

Simple enough right? Only I had to run that during Tiger Baby's nap with Rough & Tumble Little Princess in tow in my basement on the treadmill. To accomplish such a feat required a snack, a drink, a movie and a little mini Ariel doll along with her luggage (3 dresses, 3 pairs of shoes, Flounder, Sebastian, an unnamed seahorse, a necklace, and a treasure chest...all currently on sale right now at Meijer complete with a tiny carrying case for $8.99 btw) to entertain my little darling who was coming along for the ride.

So were all set up and ready to go and this is how the workout actually went in the real world:

1 Mile Warm Up
Push the play button following the dvd stall after all the commercial previews
400 Meters
Help open snack & put Ariel's shoes on
600 Meters
Change Ariel's dress
800 Meters
Tie shoe (mine)
1200 Meters (Realize half way through that you've been running your speed workout on an incline because your husband forgot to decline the belt after his workout)
Take off Ariel's dress put tail back on
800 Meters
Help find Ariel
600 Meters
Tie shoe again (I don't know what my shoelace's problem was. Left foot only. Would not cooperate. Not in the mood for running I guess.)
400 Meters
Put Ariel's dress back on
Find one more show so there's time to get in a cool down and stretch
1 Mile Cool down
Help find Ariel's other two dresses, three pairs of shoes, necklace, Flounder, Sebastian, seahorse and treasure chest all of which went missing in the short time it took to complete the workout. (Fortunately, all were eventually recovered.)

PHEW. You should see me running like a fool between the treadmill and my daughter, trying to get it all in without missing a beat. (Hence the need for a sign. Lookout world! There's a fast moving focused mamma down here!) But perhaps the real accomplishment in all this is that I have successfully trained an almost four year old to wait until the treadmill slows down to ask for favors instead of interrupting my hard running (well...almost...she makes her requests whenever the mood hits, but she knows I won't oblige until I get a break in my workout and waits patiently. Actually, it works out great. I'm so distracted yelling "what? WHAT? Speak up."
to try to hear her over the hum...nay...ROAR of my fast moving treadmill belt and then busy planning how to get whatever task I've promised her done during my 90 second rest, that the intervals seem to get done in no time).

So really, I suppose you could say I run my interval workouts to teach my daughter patience. Now if I happen to get fitter and faster in the process, so be it. Who am I to complain?

'Til next time...

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Run Less Run More...all I know is I am sore

I know. I rhymed my title. Pretty pathetic huh? Actually I wanted the title to be Run Less Run More...geez my butt is sore. But on second thought, after considering the fact that I've hooked this blog to my facebook account, I decided to pass to avoid the never ending comment-a-thon about why exactly my butt is sore from facebook friends who probably won't read the actual post and definitely don't run, but are always looking for an opportunity to turn some innocent status update into something dirty it was never meant to be. Although sometimes this ends up being funny, why tee it up for them? They at least ought to have to work for their potty humor. Right?

Anyway, I've been through almost one week now of "3Plus2" from Run Less Run Faster and can I just say holy priceless collection of Etruscan snoods butt IS sore. And that my friends, might be an understatement. Take a look at this picture of a lying glute stretch:

It's a fantastic stretch, one of four that is recommended in Run Less Run Faster. Currently, I pretty much can feel it the minute I set my ankle over my knee. (Ah yeah...flexibility is my middle name.) Seriously, I am so so sore.

And it's all the bike's fault. The soreness kicked in the very next day. My husband is trying to tell me it's the extra wide seat, but I'm not buying it. I'm going with the 30 minutes (excluding warmup and cooldown) of moderate to hard pedaling the likes my poor glutes have never experienced before (I can just hear my other muscles laughing now..."ha ha! you thought you had it easy through all that marathon training and we were the suckers. Now it's your turn. You big A--!")

And the best part about sore glutes, that is if you have to have a sore anything of course, is that it's not like you use those muscles very often. Only when you run, walk, sit, or stand, do you really notice it and how much of the day do you spend doing any of those things?

I know. I know. Sore is good. Sore means I'm getting stronger. And in some sick sick way, I like it because it means I worked my ass off. Literally.

So tomorrow, the bike and I dance again. Week 1 will be in the books (yes, of course I start my week on Wednesdays) and I am on my way to a faster 1/2. (I hope.)

'Til next time...

P.S. That actually was a direct quote from Robin to Batman btw. Click on it, if you don't believe me. Then again, I just took it from some random quote blog and never really bothered to verify the source. Although, does it really matter if I made it up? Feel free to leave me your favorite Robin Holy whatever quote in the comments. Real or made up. I'm accepting both.