The Return

This morning as I fed JG, I took a moment and looked at her. The past six weeks are a blur, and I am scheduled to return to work soon.

I wanted to cry. While I’m eager to return, I love our slow mornings. Our mid-day naps. Lunches with friends. And let me tell you, there is truly nothing better than baby cuddles. Her squeaks and eeks as she shifts in my arms or on my chest are precious.

JG cuddles 1-15

I feel like I’m just getting a hand on things. I was cleared for moderate exercise two weeks ago and have been making use of our new elliptical as often as I can. This past week, we started being able to discern an ‘I’m hungry’ cry from an ‘I’m uncomfortable’ cry. We’re trying to get her on a sleep schedule. There’s still so much I want to do before I’m gone most of the day. Granted, Mommy Janks will be here for a few weeks once I return before JG goes to daycare. I know I’m leaving her in good hands, but I’m still leaving.

Words of encouragement, strength, and wisdom are appreciated and encouraged.

Time for A Change

I’m a pretty predictable person. I like routine, and tend to stick to it. I can have the same thing for lunch every day of the week and not tire of it. I can listen to the same song on repeat for hours on end and still find it as enjoyable as the first.

But yesterday, I got the itch to change. I hit the breaking point, took a leap, and did something drastic.

hair

I don’t think my hair had been that long since before my wedding in 2012. Chopping it off and giving it its ‘summer blonde’ color was just as exhilarating as it was when I did it back then.

Seeing the hair fall to the floor did give me a minor panic attack at first, but I love my stylist and she’s never let me down. The color is perfect, the cut is divine, and why is it that even when washed it my own sink, my hair is always so much softer and smoother when a stylist touches it? Totally not fair.

cut 5-14

Here’s to a new season and changes to come!

Losing Steam

Ever have those days when it seems like time is moving so quickly and then you get into work and the day drags on? That’s what my life feels like as of late. It’s so nice outside and there are so many graduation-related activities happening that our ‘down’ time anything but relaxing.

Watson, however, has nothing but time.

Watson, on the other hand, has nothing but time.

With all that’s happening, I’ve definitely lost my workout mojo. I went to barre last week and ran on Sunday, but that’s about it. The humidity is already kicking in here in Baltimore. I’d wake up and work out, but I’d rather snooze. These are lame excuses, but they are swirling in my head. The JA’s been doing wonderfully with continuing his routine – working out a few times a week, sometimes twice a day. But for me, that time is over. Training is done and I’m happy with my race performance. I’m hoping that when Watson’s ‘cage rest’ is finished at the end of the month, that getting back into our morning and afternoon walk routine will light a spark and get me back in the game, but what until then?

lack-of-motivation

I trained for so long for the half marathon that now it’s over, I feel a bit lost. While I don’t want to jump into training anytime again soon, I also don’t want to lose all my dedication and tenacity (not to mention my muscle definition and sense of accomplishment).

HELP! What do you do when you’ve lost motivation?

The Early Bird

Yesterday was insane. My boss is going out of town, we had an event last night, and there was so much going on that I barely had time to breath much less blog.

However, that was just at work. You see, I’m not exactly what you would call a morning person. I would much rather stay up late than get up early, and when I do get up, it’s a process.

When I started running in the morning, I loved it. It helped wake me up, get me motivated, and start my day on the right foot (literally). Yet as the temperatures dropped, the snow and ice formed and the darkness took up more of the morning than usual, I became more and more likely to stay in bed longer. I opted for a short HIIT workout and more time in bed than a run.

So on Thursday night when I told the JA that I would be getting up and hitting the gym, I knew it was a half-hearted attempt at keeping myself accountable. Even as I woke up yesterday morning, I wasn’t exactly thrilled to be heading to the fitness center.

But I got up and did it.

And, MAN, it felt good. I forgot what it was like to be up and moving before the sun rose. That sense of accomplishment knowing that you had already made something of your day when most others were sleeping. The knowledge that even if everything else in the day was crap, this time was worth it.

morning quote

I completed a 2 mile hill workout and 2 miles on the elliptical. I also came home and signed up for me second race of the year – the Sole of the City 10K. This, in addition with the Shamrock 5K, falls perfectly into place if I were to follow Hal Higdon’s Novice Half-Marathon training plan in preparation for the Frederick Half Marathon. It would be my first half, and I’m a little nervous about signing up for it. But what’s the purpose of a big goal if it doesn’t scare you just a little bit, right?

Tips for a first time half marathon trainee? Anyone ready to keep me accountable if I do stop dilly dallying and make the commitment?

Sneaky Standing Stretch Workout

By incorporating running into my exercise routine, I’ve found that my legs appreciate a bit more stretching than the rest of my body. While yoga is a great help in this area, sometimes I don’t have the time (or patience) to commit to a decent stretch routine.

So I decided to make my own. These exercises keep you moving but sneak in stretches for multiple areas of the legs and open up the hips. A few bonuses – since you’re doing them standing,  the routine helps with balance and engages your abs as well! No equipment necessary, so you can easily perform these moves after a run or while traveling.

sneaky standing stretch workout

If you have questions about any of the exercises, here are a few demos:
Extended Toe Touch
Windmill
Lunge
Leg Lift
Oblique Crunch

A few notes:
Extended Toe Touch – Try to keep legs as straight as possible and arms high. Make yourself work!
Windmill – Again, legs and arms straight. Twist from the waist & hinge from the hip. Should feel good on the back of your legs.
Lunge – Knees should be directly over toes, and movement should be up & down.
Leg Lift – To deepen the stretch, flex your foot. If you’ve got the balance, let your foot hover over the floor instead of placing it down between each rep.
Oblique Crunch – Extend the arm over your head and the leg out to the side. This helps stretch through your side as well as your legs/arms.

Disclaimer: I am not a personal trainer, just a gal who likes to exercise. Consult with a doctor before beginning any exercise routine. This is pretty low-key, but if anything hurts (in a bad way), STOP. 

The Infinite Morning

When people hear that the JA and I work at the same place, a common question that follows is, “Do you ride in together?” A resounding, “No!” is our response and here’s why:

He: likes to get up early, take care of the dog, shower, eat a small breakfast, and be out the door by 6a.

Her: even on days that I run, I snooze at least once. Check email/social media, blog/listen the news, shower, make lunch, edit blog, eat breakfast, dry hair & put on makeup, put dog in crate (making sure he has no room to escape), and get out the door (preferably by 7:45a).

as always, click for source

as always, click for source

Yet there are some mornings, like today, that seem to drag on for hours. How is it that I wake up every morning (generally) around the same time, yet some days have time to dawdle and others feel like I’m in a mad dash to get to work on time? Oh well. I wasn’t going to look a gift horse in the mouth & spent some time eating a proper breakfast, petting the dog, and sneaking a few more pages in of the book I’m reading. Not a bad way to start the day!

Do you consider yourself a morning or evening person? I’d like to think I’m a bit of both – it’s a challenge for me to get to bed in the evening, but on the same hand, I’m pretty good-to-go once I get out of bed in the morning.

Holidazed

Today is Saturday. Penn State plays at 3p. My ten-year high school reunion is this evening.

It’s hard for me to maintain a routine during the holidays. I’ve been sleeping in, eating a ton, drinking waaay more than I should and not exercising enough. Last week, I vowed to recommit, but so far I’ve been falling flat. Granted, it’s hard to focus when surprise visitors stop by!

Last night, the JA and I were determined to get out of the house. We decided to see a movie, but I totally forgot that it was Friday night. I don’t know about where you are, but Friday night is teen date night at the movies around where we are. The movie we wanted to see was (of course) sold out, so we came back to my place and watched The Holiday. And then we evened it out with some Captain America.

It was the perfect evening to my extended weekend!

Do you have problems sticking to a routine during the holiday season?