Yes, I’ve Been MIA – Here’s Why

I’m sure you all (all three of you) have noticed that I’ve taken a little hiatus. Well, it was on purpose and it’s going to continue to be. I’ve been writing here regularly for almost a year now and my life has changed quite drastically in that time. When I started I was looking for a creative outlet that I could do in my spare time. Now, I have almost zero spare time. In the middle there I kept writing to keep my passion for running alive to ensure I’d go back to it after the babies were born. Now, the babies are here and I try to sneak in runs whenever I can. Most recently, I’ve been writing because I felt like I had to – I had to finish what I started. I was using the twins nap times or early morning hours to jot down some words that I hope made sense in my constant-tired state.

So, in an effort to spend more time looking at baby faces instead of computer screens, actually getting a workout in and to try to curb my babies from staring at said screens – I’ve taken a break.

I’ve ordered the Believe I Am Training Journal from Sisters in Sport and I’m going to track my progress the old fashioned way – with a pen!

I may be back some day – not sure when, but it will probably happen. Until then, check me out on Instagram. I’m planning to keep myself accountable there. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I think it will take less of my non-existent me time.

Oh, and if I left you with any burning unanswered questions, or you just want to chat and be friends – either leave a comment here and I’ll respond or shoot me an email at alismith731 [at] gmail.

* No joke: as I type this out with one hand, I’m using my feet to rock one baby in a bouncer and my right had to feed the other baby a bottle. 

Get-Back Plan – week of 10/13

photo (35)So, I just realized it’s Tuesday morning and I haven’t published my normal Monday morning update… I guess that’s what happens when you’re off work on a Monday, you lose track of the days!

Lately, I’ve been feeling like I’ve lost the plan part of this plan. I’m just trying to sneak in runs whenever I can and they are happening pretty sporadically. I’m going to take the rest of this month to figure out a motivational push and get through some things and try to jump start this thing so I’m really working hard in November.

Sunday I snuck in a 2.6 mile run/walk using Couch to 5k app. This run felt great, but below my fitness level. I went with week 1 day 1 just to start from the beginning but I probably could have started with week 2. Unfortunately (or fortunately), I didn’t hear the app tell me I was half way so I ran pretty far out before turning around. The planned workout was done and I was pretty far from home still so I put Brittany on Pandora and ran the rest of the way home! It felt great to be my own motivator for a little while but I do think I’ll continue using the app.

And, that’s it. This week was one that I don’t hope to repeat anytime soon. Onward and upward to better things! We have the baptism coming up this weekend so I’m in for another busy week but I’m hoping that fitting in some runs will help me deal with the stress of getting everything ready.

Get-Back Plan – week of 10/6

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So, this week was a TOTAL bust. If I’d have known what this week was going to entail I would have forced myself to get a run in on Sunday between all the cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping and laundry I did. 

I woke up Monday morning with a sore throat that migrated into a stuffy nose and out me out of commission for a few days. By the time my head cleared up enough to feel like I could attempt a run, the monsoon started! It poured all week. Not the kind of rain I like to run in – a cold soaking rain.

Saturday there were some pockets of dry weather and I thought that if I could be ready to go right when RJ got home from his conference, I could sneak a run in before he left for the Caps game. But, then I decided that was crazy and that I was going to call this week a wash and start fresh next week.

And I ra-aan, I ran so far a-wa-aay

photo (34)Sorry to get that song in your head!!

As you can see in my get-back plan updates, I’ve been running again!! I’m super excited about it!

It’s pretty tough to find the time to get out there but when I do, I love every second of it – even the ones that are hard!

I’ve been using the free version of the Ease into 5k app and I really like it. It plays your music and gives you audio cues as to when to run and walk. I’ll do a full write-up of the app later as I plan to use the Couch to 5k app too and compare them.

The first week of workouts on Ease into 5k consist of a five minute walking warm-up, nine repeats of 60 second run/90 second walk intervals, and a five minute walking cool down.

Here’s the breakdown of my first run back:

First run interval: I was afraid I was going to have to quit halfway through the run. It hurt. It was awkward and kind of painful near my scar and hips. This could be partly because I was just using my bellyband for support but it got better as I went on. Second run interval: I felt like Phoebe running like a crazy lady on Friends. I couldn’t find my stride and I felt cumbersome and like I was moving awkwardly – but I was moving and I liked it! Third: was AWESOME and it went by too fast! Fourth: I felt like I was flying! Fifth: I started feeling twinges in my legs. Sixth: More twinges. Seventh: my incision started hurting pretty intensely on the left side. Eighth: jogged – didn’t want to push it. Ninth: same but I finished!

My second run back was similar but with less pain and they’ve continued to get better since. Now, I’m at the point where I want to run more than the program lets me so I’ve been running through the walk portions when I’m feeling it. This however isn’t Ease into 5k’s fault – the beta version only lets you do the first week and I think I’ve progressed past that.

While it’s great to be running again, it’s also a little weird. My clothes don’t fit the same, I’m constantly trying to find my stride, I’m way out of breath most of the time, I keep forgetting things that make my run easier (like gum and my visor), and my body feels totally different. But, those things will get better with time and it’s nothing compared to not being able to run.

I don’t think I’m at the point that I can grab my iPod, head out the door and just run but I’m thrilled to be running! For me it’s such a great stress reliever and I’m happy to have it back!

Get-Back Plan – week of 9/29

SUNDAY – 2.5 mile run/walk on the boardwalk. Running at the beach is the best thing ever! I felt like some of my favorite bloggers running near the water. It really makes the time fly by when you run in a pretty location.

MID-WEEK - I would say I did nothing mid-week but that would only be true when talking about working out!

THURSDAY - 30 minute beginners warrior series on Yogify.

SATURDAY – 3 mile run/walk. Still using Ease into 5k’s beta app but I switched the run and walk portions and just ran at the end for about five minutes straight! May not sound like much but I was pretty psyched.

Beer Diary: The beers of September (and a wine)

This post is probably going to make it look like I drink a lot more than I do! Most of these beers were singles or shared six-packs. I don’t want anyone thinking I’m walking around loaded all the time :)

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A fancy little beer from Kona Brewing Co. Perfect for tailgating at Buffett! Review. (Technically, this is from August but I wanted to include it somewhere!)

photo (32)Found my fave NC beer in VA!!

photo 4 (1)I normally love everything from New Belgium but pumpkin beer is not my favorite. The only one I’ve ever liked is from Shock Top.

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photo 4 (2)Mom and Dad hooked me up with some more Natty Greene’s when they came to visit :)

photo 2 (1)This Long Bomb from VA winery, Tarara was delish! I bought it just over a year ago (about a month before I got pregnant) and I’m happy I finally got to enjoy it! If you live anywhere near Leesburg, VA you should check out this winery – it’s gorgeous! Review.

photo (33)Can’t forget my all time fave!! Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Nothing beats it! Review.

Get-Back Plan in Action – week of 9/22

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SUNDAY – 2.3 mile run walk. I’m using ease into 5k for now and I eliminated one of the walk sections so that meant that I ran for 3.5 min straight. It may sound small but I’m pretty pumped about it!

MONDAY – 2+ mile walk with the kiddos

Middle of the week = a total bust.

SATURDAY – about a 2 mile walk with my Dad, brother and the babes on the boardwalk in VA beach. It was so nice to have my Dad and brother there! I don’t often get to walk with people who can talk, let alone people I like to talk to so much! Also, I have no photographic evidence of said walk. Sorry, I will get better at capturing these things, I swear.

I would have like to have gotten in a yoga session or something like that mid-week but it just didn’t happen for me. Too busy and too tired. Maybe next week…

Getting Bendy with Yogify

You know how I decided that I was going to try to work out at home more? Well, I’ve been moving on that! I figured that I would start with yoga since I love yoga and it’s been a good workout for me while I’m trying to bounce-back.

I, in typical fashion, had already downloaded Yogify, by EA Sports, but had never used it. So i figured that there is no time like the present.  

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The app itself if free – which I love! It came with five different “classes” pre-loaded and offers nine programs for purchase (each offering five classes) for $1.99 per program. You can buy them all for about the same price as a bottle of cheap wine! The only hitch here is that it’s only for iOS, the website says they are always accepting feedback when it comes to making the app available on other platforms but that they are focusing on just iOS for now.

Here is their description of the app:

Yogify is a studio-quality yoga app available on iOS devices. Start your journey with free sample classes featuring fast-paced, energetic workouts that link powerful poses in succession to empower the body and mind. Yogify has three levels to make it both accessible to beginners and challenging for even experienced yogis. Master more than 275 unique poses from the comfort of your own home.

So far I’ve only done the level one classes: a 15 minute sun salutation, a 30 minute warrior series, and a 45 min beginner flow. I don’t know if it’s because I’m out of shape or what but these classes were hard to me! But, I guess that’s a good thing.

Once you start a class the “instructor” provides audio cues to move you through the poses. Along with the audio the screen has a picture of the instructor preforming the pose. On this screen you can hit “pose demo” to get more info on how to get into the pose and you can hit  “tips & benefits” to go even deeper into the pose. The tips aren’t monumental and definitely aren’t as good as having a real instructor but it gives you something more to think about if you’re having difficulty with a position. Even if you’re not, they’re not bad to read before or after doing a class since there’s always room for improvement.

The longer classes really feel like a regular class, starting with a warm up and finishing with stretches and corpse pose. I’ve never done a video class or on demand class that was challenging and included savasana.

A couple things I’m not fond of… Durning the warrior series class you go though the warm-up of down dogs to standing a TON of times but only do each warrior pose once. Since it’s called warrior series I figured I’d be doing a lot more of them! Also, sometimes it feels like you hold poses longer on one side vs the other. I know this happens in live classes all the time but I figured on an app like this it wouldn’t happen. I haven’t timed it out so I could be wrong but it does feel lopsided sometimes.

Overall, I’m a fan. I haven’t purchased any of the class packages yet but I’m about to. I love that I get a decent yoga class on-demand and I can set up wherever whenever. With these babies around you never know when you’ll have time so having classes of different lengths at my fingertips is awesome!

Have you tried this app? Likes? Dislikes?

Did you think it was hard? Or, am I just a wuss?

Get-Back Plan in Action – week of 9/15

Well, this week was much better than I expected all around. Going back to work was great! I was fine with leaving the kids with the sitter. And, I was much more active than I expected to be!

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SUNDAY – 2.31 mile run/walk with no music!

MONDAY – Nothing! It was my first day back at work…

TUESDAY – 30 minute level one warrior series on Yogify

WEDNESDAY – 2 mile walk with the babes

THURSDAY – Nada, unless you count walking for probably 20-30 minutes with a 15lb babies strapped to your chest something!

FRIDAY – The kids and I did a lot on Friday but none of it was exercise!

SATURDAY – Walked a few miles downtown at the National Book Festival with Marcie, while I had Josie in a carrier. Not really meant to be exercise but I’m feeling it!

Running with Intention

Sunday was the fourth anniversary of Nan’s passing. My parents were in town for the weekend and we went to church together that morning. It was nice to have some quiet time to pray and think about Nan. I had planned to run after church and even though I’m just getting back into the swing of things I decided to run without music to have a little more quiet time.

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Surprisingly, running without music wasn’t that hard since I had something specific to think about. I have so many great memories of my time with Nan – dressing up in her jewelry and scarves, walks through her neighborhood, snapping beans on the front porch, J and I riding bikes to visit her house at Pin Oak, cooking together, lunches out, and all of our many talks on the porch.

Normally, I just go about regular life and when I see, hear, or do something that reminds me of her it sends a flood of memories to me.  But, today it was nice to run and spend some time intentionally thinking of Nan.

I came to two conclusions on my run: one, I want to make sure to pass Nan’s spirit on to the twins and two, running in silence is great when you have an intention.