Life Lessons from a Two-Year Old

Two weekends ago, I drove up to PA to visit a very special friend of mine…my godson. He just had his second birthday and we went up to celebrate with him and his family.

Although he is very young, that boy is quite smart. Say what you want about the future generations, as children they have a lot to teach us. For example, here are a few life lessons that we seem to forget as we ‘grow up.’

1. Indulge every once and a while. Who doesn’t love sweets now and again?
B 2nd bday cupcake

2. Live every day to the fullest. This little boy has so much energy; it’s hard for me to keep up! He plays, he naps, he plays some more…it’s tiring being two! But seriously. He goes all out and, from what his mother tells me, crashes every night from sheer exhaustion. Wouldn’t it be nice to pass out from sheer exhaustion because you spent all day doing something you love? What are you waiting for? Go do it!

3. Forgive and forget. Someone else took something of yours? You have a few options: a.) cry a bit then move on, b.) go grab it and take it back, or c.) be the bigger person and go play with them. Adults, take note. Being petty is NOT the way to go.

this little boy is in a truck phase!

this little boy is in a truck phase!

4. Love openly. Little kid hugs, kisses and waves are possibly the cutest things in the entire world. They are given freely, on command, but are best when they appear unexpectedly. Some things don’t change as you age. Lovin’ is nice to see at any age 🙂

What have you learned this week? I learned that packing with someone else is drastically different than packing by yourself. One thing that stays the same? Wine always helps.

His and Hers: On Moving

Our house is a disaster zone. There are boxes everywhere – half of our stuff inside them, half still on shelves/in closets/strewn about randomly. It’s organized chaos but chaos nonetheless.

what do you mean we can't play fetch amid all these boxes?

what do you mean we can’t play fetch amid all these boxes?

The JA and I pack very differently. He’s very meticulous, marking everything and putting it in a designated space. I, on the other hand, pack things by room, then by need. I go through items only when I feel we need to get rid of a few.

That being said, this is the scene after I come home from the gym last night:

Her: Hey, babe. You look…guilty. Did you repack everything?
Him: No…but I do have something to show you.
Her: I don’t like the sound of this.
Him: Just come with me.
[The couple make their way through multitude of boxes to the basement.]
Him: I set up this staging area. This side is stuff for the movers. This side is stuff for us to take. The middle is stuff that to make decisions on, and the closet is where all of our donation stuff will go.
Her: So, you’re telling me I have to move everything I already packed from upstairs to downstairs.
Him: But it will be organized and out of the way!

the 'organized' basement

the ‘organized’ basement

Le sigh. With our schedules being so hectic this week and next, we made the decision to hire professional movers. This is our first time doing so, which causes a bit of extra stress. I want to take certain things over ourselves, but want everything else packed up and clearly marked so we’re not moving things from room to room once we get into the house.

We did our walk through last week, took some measurements, and figured out where we wanted our furniture. It’s a lot to do, but we’re making it through. Only a few more days!

Race Recap and Lessons Learned from The Baltimore Women’s Classic 5K

Well, I made it through my first 5K since 2010. My net chip time (according to the race website) was 27:28.50, making my average pace 8:51 min/mile. I came in 61st of my age group which placed me in the top 15%. I’m happy, but not as thrilled as I could be. And I’ll get to that. But first, my thoughts on the race itself.

BWC 2013

Since I haven’t run an organized race in a while, I don’t exactly have a lot to compare. I ran the Baltimore Women’s Classic in 2009, and my memory is a bit blurry to even compare that one to this year’s. However, here are my initial impressions for the 2013 race: for organizing a race with over 3,200 finishers, I think it was well done. Holding the pre-race festivities in a large, open park benefitted both participants and spectators. The JA brought Watson, and while I was running, they could hang out in the park or walk around Baltimore. The race was clearly marked, but mile markers were a bit off according to my GPS and the course ended up being a tad bit short. Volunteers and police were stationed throughout the course and all were supportive, cheerful, and encouraging. The race village had some good vendors, but with so many people, I ended up staying on the outskirts. After crossing the finish line, volunteers handed out roses, medals, and a cold, wet towel. They did a great job in distributing these items quickly to avoid bottleneck. The course wasn’t hilly, and took us on a nice jaunt around the Federal Hill area of Baltimore.

Now, to my performance. I had two goals: run the whole race, and run it in less than 30 minutes. I CRUSHED the one goal, but was so frustrated I didn’t check off the other. I’ve mentioned before that I have trouble pacing myself and I also let my mind get the best of me. After hearing my pace for the first mile, I freaked out a bit. Once I heard it for the second mile, I freaked out a lot. I felt good, but didn’t trust myself with the humidity rising and my legs covering ground so quickly. I was so upset with myself after I crossed the finish, and that feeling stuck with me for a good hour or so, despite my friends and families best efforts. I had run more than 3 miles before. I had trained for this race. I had properly fueled, and was stretched and fully hydrated at the start. I could have done it. I got in my own way.

What helped me get over it was a bit of reflection. The JA and I cleaned up and went to Mass after the race. It gave me the chance to step back and get a bit of perspective. Instead of being mad at myself for walking, I became thankful that I had legs to move me. A body that works with me instead of fights me. A mind well enough to motivate and push me.

I spent the rest of the day reviewing upcoming races for the rest of summer and fall. I’m aiming to complete another 5K (this time not giving in and walking AT ALL) and have sights set on finishing a 10K before the end of summer. I’ll keep y’all posted!

What’s your biggest challenge when preparing for or competing in a race?

The Best Laid Plans…

The past few days have been…interesting (to say the least).

After a quick run on Thursday night, I returned home to no cable and no internet. There wasn’t an outage in the area, just the landscapers cutting our ghetto-rigged connection. (Thanks, Comcast.) We had to wait until yesterday to get it fixed.

We were all set to close on our house on Friday, but again – no go. Our mortgage person called us on Thursday saying that the state is backed up and we’ll have to wait until this week to close. Silver lining? We still had our walk-through on Friday morning.

We arrive at the walk-through and the current owner informs us that since things have been pushed back, she cannot move into her new residence until next Sunday. Our movers were scheduled for Saturday. Obviously, not going to work. Thank goodness the movers were flexible and we weren’t scheduled to move out of our current place until July 5th.

WHEW! Now that we’ve gathered ourselves, I’m hoping to catch y’all up on some fun stuff that’s been happening – we’ve had a birthday, a wedding, and I ran my first 5K in three years this morning. Stay tuned 🙂

My Thoughts on Group Runs

(click for source)

(click for source)

Last night, I had my final session of training for the Baltimore Women’s Classic 5K. The training was provided by Charm City Run, and I couldn’t recommend their store(s) or their staff enough.

Initially, I was wary of doing group runs and so many questions ran through my head – how does it work? What if I’m the slowest one? What if I utterly fail and can’t complete the run as designed?

And then I let them go and simply went with the flow. My first run, as I wrote, was decent. The runs I’ve done by myself, also not too shabby. When I ran with the group, I put myself at the front and generally stayed there. (Note: I participated as a Beginner Runner.) I had some issues along the way, but found myself really looking forward to my Tuesday night group runs. The speakers they bring in are knowledgeable and the information they offer, even if you know it or have heard it before, is valuable. The runs themselves are fun, challenging, and fuel my competitive side. The coaches are extremely supportive, enthusiastic and available to answer any question you may have.

Would I do it again? Definitely. I liked having a specific training plan and a day that I absolutely had to make time to run. Plus, the group atmosphere was ideal for a nervous beginner like me. The training session I participated in had four levels: Beginner Walker, Intermediate Walker, Beginner Runner and Intermediate Runner so there was a group for every comfort level. Training like this does cost money, but I found that it was totally worth the $25. (Side note: training varies in cost, depending on the program.)

If you’re interested in meeting new people, being active, and challenging your exercise level, check out CCR’s new training website and sign up today!

Mind Is What Matters

Last night, I went to my regular Zumba class to find that the instructor was out & we had a sub. I don’t normally appreciate substitute teachers, especially in my exercise classes. I like knowing what to expect, and the temperament and cues from my ‘normals.’

However, I had this sub before and knew (somewhat) what to expect. I accepted the fact that I wouldn’t be getting my high cardio but instead, more ab work. Once I got that in my head, I was golden. I focused more on my abs and arms and ended up having a productive class.

When things don’t turn out as planned, it’s easy to get down on yourself. Easy to make excuses. Easy to give up. But even just a small change in the way you look at things can make all the difference.

I went from feeling frustrated, upset, and ready to leave to feeling good, happy, and thankful. Amazing what such a small shift can do!

Go out and kick some butt today!

as always, click for source

as always, click for source

Waterfront Wellness

Yesterday morning, I got up early (well, early for a weekend) to make my way into downtown Baltimore to partake in the Waterfront Partnership’s Waterfront Wellness series. Every weekend during the summer, weather permitting, the Partnership offers free outside fitness classes.

With a partly cloudy start, my friend and I arrived to West Shore Park for the 8:30a yoga class. Charm City Yoga served as the sponsor, and let me tell you, after another 3 mile run on Saturday, the stretching was much appreciated. The view didn’t hurt either, and the breeze that came through as the sun peeked through the clouds was divine.

the sky around 8:15a

the sky around 8:15a

Classes offered include Bootcamp and Zumba on Saturdays (8:-30a and 9:30a, respectively) and Yoga and CrossFit on Sundays (again, 8:30a and 9:30a). Classes run through September 29th. For more information and to sign up, click here.

I’ll definitely be attending a few more classes and hope to see you there!