Day 44: Walking with the Animals

I was scheduled for a 45-minute walk, but it turned out to be 2-1/2 hours!

That’s because we took T Junior to the Woodland Park Zoo today. I am so glad I wore my grubby sneakers because my feet would’ve died in anything else! We walked and walked and walked.

But I was really too distracted to notice if my legs or feet hurt anyway because I was having so much fun watching T Junior see the zoo animals for the first time. His baby face would freeze in wonder, eyes wide and mouth open. You know how you feel when you see something scary but amazing at the same time? Like when I saw humpback whales. Just awesome.

He especially liked the lion (I know this because it inspired him to roar for the next 15 minutes). And, the e-fant (elephant) was really cool too because she kind of lumbered around, even coming toward where we were standing. The best part of today’s trip may have been the monkey because it came right up to the glass where T Junior was parked in his umbrella stroller. They kind of touched each other through the window. Then, they just sat there and looked at each other. So cool.

He was so happy to see a berbra (zebra) because we saw a lifesize plastic one at the feed store and he’s been talking about it ever since. Oh, and a raff (giraffe), too. A friend gave him a Little People Noah’s Ark and there are these cute little giraffes in it he likes (zebras, too, actually).

It was fun, but it was tiring. Plus, it was way hotter than the meteorologists said it would be. We all could’ve worn shorts, but I thought it was going to be cooler so we were all in jeans. I swear, there was a pool of sweat in my shoes by the end of the day.

Day 43: What's Your Wave?

Now that I’ve been running for more than a month, I’ve passed my share of people out on the trail. I’ve noticed lots of littles things other joggers do, but the one I was thinking about today, is the wave. When I pass another runner, walker or biker, I usually attempt a Smile/Nod/Breathless “Hi” combo. Some people don’t acknowledge you at all and then you feel like a big dork. But I’d rather be dorky than rude.

Here are some of the different waves I’ve seen:

The Stop Sign: The runner holds his or her hand up like their wave has frozen, thus giving off a stop-sign effect.

The Broken Wrist: The runner flicks one hand up and down quickly, as if shooing a fly.

The Nod: The runner simply ducks their head down and then up again in a mini-bow.

The Smile: The runner flashes a toothy grin.

The Breathless “Hi”: Somehow, this runner manages to talk.

The Finger: No, not that finger. The runner points upward in acknowledgement with his or her index finger.

So, what’s your wave?

PS: Three miles today on the trail. It was nice to be back on the dirt path — it’s so much easier on my joints and it puts a spring in my step. Tomorrow, I’ have a 45-minute walk and then on Monday, I begin my new schedule: the 12-week half-marathon program. Yikes.

Day 42: Why Procrastinating Works

I had errands to do today, so instead of runnning in the morning, I showered. I’d save the 2-mile jog for the evening hours when T Junior is cranky and we need to get OUT.

Besides, I didn’t feeeeeel like running this morning

In the afternoon, I loaded the baby in the car and drove to Tukwila, where I became enraged at Babies ‘R’ Us. We finished the shopping trip at Southcenter, then headed home. I was crossing my fingers that the nap would go well and that I’d be able to take T Junior running afterward.

On the way home, I got a text from Mr. T. He was home early. Hallelujah! Turns out putting off my workout meant that I would get to go alone today. Two miles. All to myself. I hoped to burn off my anger at BRU.

I did a route in my neighborhood and it took me about a mile to feel warmed up. My back was causing me a little trouble at first, but I remembered to hold my stomach muscles in and that helped. I had on my Zune, too, which is always nice.

And, my feelings toward the money-hording baby superstore? They followed me. Still mad. But that’s a post for another blog.

Day 41: A Day of (Hardly Any) Rest

I took a total rest day today. That’s if you can call being a work-at-home mom “resting”:

  • Up at 6:30 to log in to work e-mail, drink my coffee and eat some toast. Up the stairs at 7:20 to transfer T Junior from crib to high chair. Pour milk into sippy cup. Slice strawberries. Break up cranberry muffin into little toddler-sized pieces. Scramble egg. Respond to e-mail.
  • Pick up dishes and wipe little face and hands while sticky toddler squirms. Set boy free in living room. Check e-mail.
  • Move laptop to couch to keep an eye on newly walking toddler. Take plastic shovel (aka dog-hitting device) away from T Junior. Ignore tantrum. Write copy. Respond to e-mail.
  • Trip over three dogs to answer cell phone. Take notes. Write copy. Check crying toddler for cranial damage. Give hugs. Put child down for nap. Kiss husband good-bye. Write copy. Check e-mail.

And, that was only up to 8:45 a.m.

Luckily, he had a good nap and I got more work done. After that, though, he was up and on the move again. During the lunch hour, I took him to the community pool in order to wear him out enrich his day, but his second nap was only an hour, so I didn’t get as much writing done as I had hoped.

In the evening, it was 90-plus outside, so we went to the grocery store. I guess that’s where I did my walk. Back home, T Junior was wired, so I put on Winnie-the-Pooh because I had to make dinner.

It was a long day. I’m done writing now.

Day 40: Untitled

“I’m going to bed on time tonight,” I told Mr. T around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday. “I’ve gotta do my 3-miler early in the morning.”

At 11, I turned off House Hunters International.

Oops.

I figured I’d be okay, but when I woke up at 2, I knew I was in trouble. I have a hard time falling asleep when I get up in the middle of the night. I opened the window, shuffled to the bathroom and then back to bed. I layed on my right side for a while. Then, tried the left side. Back to the right.

Ugh.

Finally, I remembered a tip I saw on TV or read in a magazine or somewhere that basically said if you can’t sleep, you should get up and do something, and watching The Rachel Zoe Project on TiVo doesn’t count. So, I pictured Laundry Everest on the couch in downstairs.

If I get up, I have to fold clothes all those clothes. And, we don’t have TiVo in that room.

Just thinking about it made me tired and the next thing I knew, my ears were picking up the radio news at 6. Then, a 9-minute snooze-button siesta during which I held a foggy internal debate about whether or not I wanted to get out of bed. Running won.

My brain, however, refused to accept defeat and fought back by making everything take three times longer than it should. I wanted to hit the pavement by 6:15 at least, but I’d only made it downstairs by 6:26. I still had to map out my route, eat something, get my Zune, put on my shoes and stretch.

The cold banana tasted nasty mixed with toothpaste. My headphones weren’t in my big blue Dooney & Bourke where they usually are, nor were they in the minivan or underneath the heap of bills and catalogs and random paper crap on the end of the kitchen island. (I had to use backups. Boo.) I couldn’t decide on a good 3-mile neighborhood route on MapMyRun.com either, and at 6:30, the thought to abandon the morning run and try again later flitted in and out of my mind.

If I don’t go now, I’ll never get to go.

Finally, at 6:35, I was jogging away from the house. But the pattern continued with my music. I had to put the MP3 player on shuffle because I didn’t have time to make a playlist. Of course, all of the songs it kept choosing for me were slow and dreary. Not even a single Gwen Stefani title for the entire 45 minutes. Really? Yet ballads for Phantom of the Opera showed up over and over again.

Oh, the drama!

Day 39: Half Marathons are the New Black

Have you seen Valerie Bertinelli getting teary eyed in the new Jenny Craig commercial? She’s talking about finishing her first half marathon. (And, here’s a really funny mean blog post about it.)

Is it me or is everyone doing a half marathon these days? I swear I see a new Facebook update every day that talks about half-marathon training. I didn’t know so many people loved to run.

Maybe halfs are simply in style right now. Or, has it always been like this and I am just noticing it more? Is this like when you find out you’re pregnant and then everyone you meet has a baby bump of their own? Or, am I part of some worldwide half-marathon fad?

Whatever it is, it’s keeping my enthusiasm up. In fact, I’m itching to get started on my new training schedule, but it doesn’t start till next week. I’m trying to restrain myself and continue what I have been doing until then.

Today, I worked from home, so I went back and forth between writing and editing copy for new DVD boxes, and changing poopy diapers and singing Winnie-the-Pooh. Good times.

I was definitely ready for a walk this evening. Actually, it turned out to be more of a stroll to and from the park. That’s okay. We had fun.

Day 38: Smoked Salmon, Tiramisu and, Oh Yeah, a 2-Mile Run

A good running buddy can be hard to find, especially for a mom who runs with a toddler most of the time.

That’s why I’m lucky to know someone in the exact same situation as I am.

Today, T Junior and I went on a scheduled 2-mile run with my friend and her one-year-old. It’s a good match because we both have a little boy to push in a stroller. Well, that and we have tons of stuff to bring with us: snacks, sippy cups, toys, wipes, extra diapers, bibs (which I forgot), sun hats (which she couldn’t find), sunscreen and loads of the other stuff moms need. Plus, after the run, we had lunch and then the kids played at the park.

Good thing we ran a couple miles because I brought smoked salmon and she brought homemade tiramisu! I felt like a total northwest girl.

The run was nice, too. I’ve got a week left of the schedule I’m on before I start a 12-week Half Marathon schedule, which will require more mileage than what I’ve been doing.

And, it’s official. I am registered for the Issaquah Salmon Days 10k!