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It can slow down now, really

Sunday, December 07, 2014

I keep saying that after this or that things are going to slow down. I hope its really true this time!

Had a special event at work every day last week. Then we had our preschool holiday program on Thursday, my son's college Christmas program on
Friday, my son's semi formal dance and my husband's band gig on Saturday, then went to the circus today. Whew! Lots of fun, but I am beat and ready to get to bed early tonight.

Hope to catch up now on the many little things I have pushed aside over the last week or two. On a personal note, I have done fairly well with exercise, but need to focus on healthy eating. Not that it's been terrible, but just haven't been cooking much from scratch or doing any batch cooking and freezing. Would love to set aside some time to cook and store. Which requires some advance planning and shopping.

But family time is on my list, too. Both boys will be on school break soon, so I look forward to spending time hanging out with them. The holiday season has arrived ... No shopping or decorating has been done. Hmmmm, so it seems I am already behind. :-/

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KRISZTA11 12/8/2014 3:50AM

    It is great you stayed on track with exercise, and did well on the eating front too.
I hope things will really slow down for you this time! :-)

I planned to take a few days off before Christmas to do some preparations, but I had to push back due to workload and 22th is my first day off... I guess I will do less shopping and preparation this year, and focus on having a peaceful and resting holiday season, as much as possible.

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Introverted distance jogger :-)

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Yesterday I was out on a short errand in the car and caught an NPR program that I found interesting. The author of a book was discussing introverts vs extroverts and the tendencies of each.

As I tuned in, they were discussing some fun little "experiments" to determine whether someone is introverted or extroverted. The one I heard was the author talking about testing this by putting a drop of lemon juice on the tongue. Now this was radio, with some of the participants calling in, so I was curious how he planned to conduct this test. Turns out (according to him) that an introvert will start to salivate at the mere discussion of lemon juice on the tongue. Unfortunately, none of guests seemed too sure about whether the discussion caused them to have extra saliva in their mouths or not. :-)

At any rate, what was interesting to me was the discussion afterward about how being an introvert or extrovert affects your choices of activities. In running, he said sprinters tend to be extroverts (people who are high energy and push hard and strong), whereas distance runners tend to be introverts (often training alone, and more consistent and steady in terms of effort). This seems logical. I know I like distance runs because my job is very people-oriented, and I love the quiet solitude of a long run, and the fact that a long exercise session makes me concentrate on managing my breath and fatigue, and drives extraneous thoughts out. Sort of moving meditation.

They discussed other sports, such as football, that tend to attract extroverts. They are team sports, high impact sports and sports that put the participant "in the spotlight".

I find it interesting to observe people to see their tendencies so that I can better interact with them. For example, when I work the front desk, I know certain parents will stop to talk only when no one else is there. Or some children prefer to interact in a group, while others I need to interact with one-on-one, and try to keep the "interrupters" at bay. But I never really thought about how it affects other activities, at least not to the extent they discussed. They even identified extroverted and introverted instruments. Although once they brought it up, I easily guessed the results--trumpet players tend to be extroverts (loud and unafraid to think everyone can hear their mistakes), while woodwinds tend to be introverts (quieter instruments that can"hide" in the group). They even talked about geographic tendencies. New York and other big cities have more extroverts, while small towns have more introverts.

Obviously these are not rules. Anyone can choose an activity that doesn't completely fit their natural tendencies. But I think it's really interesting to think about, and important to consider if you are a parent, teacher or have a job where you might be coaching people to consider activities or jobs where they are most likely to feel comfortable and have success. We can all succeed outside of our comfort zone. But it's helpful to acknowledge that it likely will be a challenge.

In terms of exercise, if am introvert, I am more likely to enjoy and stick with exercising alone. Jogging, yoga and home workouts. If I am an extrovert, I would probably do better to join a gym, participate in a team sports league, or take group classes.

Unfortunely, I tuned in to this NPR radio show mid-program and reached my destination before it was over. Would have liked to know the name of of the author and his book, but didn't catch it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KAYOTIC 12/1/2014 9:28AM

    I'm decidedly an introvert, I get more energy from being alone and get drained in groups, but I still like to get out among people now and again, I think it's helpful to know where you stand in that way to not feel bad about wanting to leave the party soon, or engage it whole heartedly!

I'm guessing you could look up the interview on NPR online, they usually have complete transcripts of their radio broadcasts and links to the interviews as well.

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KRISZTA11 11/30/2014 5:52PM

    Very interesting, thank you for sharing!
I fit in the introvert group with my exercise choices (running and walking alone, yoga at home alone or with hubby) - any from personality tests I know I'm an introvert.
It is great there are so many opportunities everyone can find their own.

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SQUIRRELMOMMA1 11/30/2014 5:46PM

    I started salivating over the lemon on the tongue just from reading it so I guess I'm an introvert. Actually I always thought of myself as one anyway. I much prefer doing my exercising on my own, though I don't mind having a companion along once in a while.

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A good week, and I needed that!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Feeling like i am getting back into the groove quickly with exercising and eating. Had a pretty crazy week at work--lots of unexpected stresses--but having my evenngs and weekend back made a huge difference. i ate well, exercised and slept adequate amounts, and i feel the difference already. Haven't checked the scale yet, but I feel more energetic and leaner already.

I did two runs this week. I did just over 3 miles on Tuesday evening in 12 degrees. This morning I ran in 40 degrees (it got up to 50 this afternoon). Wow! What a difference! From ice to puddles, just like that. This morning I intended to do a "long" run of just 5 miles since I've been only having time for 3 or so miles for the last month. But I seriously misjudged my route (guess it's been too long since I did a longer route) and finished the five miles almost 2 miles away from home. Ooops! So I did about a half mile of walking to cool down well, then jogged the last 1.25 miles. With the warmer temp, I worked up a heavy sweat, and it felt really good. It also felt great to be able to take my time--most of my runs in the past month have been after I get home from work and before I picked my son up from band, so I'd have to be watching my pace, distance and the time.

I also did grocery shopping and laundry on Saturday, so that after my run I was able to tackle house cleaning. Boy, was that needed! House keeping is never my priority over family time and outdoor activities, but yikes! It got really bad over the past month when it was a struggle just to keep up with cooking, dishes and laundry. I decluttered a lot, vacuumed well, swept and mopped. Still need to scrub bathrooms and kitchen, but it was a great start. Even though I feel it's not a priority, it obviously stresses me out to ignore cleaning that needs to be done, because I suddenly feel so much more relaxed.

It's going to be another busy week at work, but at least it will be a short one. Then one more busy week the first week of December, and after that things should slow down. Of course ... I feel I'm always saying that about work, and that quiet time never really comes, or at least doesn't last for long. However, I do OK with either crazy work or crazy home schedule--its when they're both crazy at once that things get difficult.

I signed up for a Turkey Trot 5K on Thanksgiving Day. 8 am, so it won't interfere with any cooking or family time (they'll all still be asleep :-), and it's for a good cause--a local head start program and a toy drive. Also planning, but not yet signed up, for The Gingerbread Pursuit the following week. I hope the higher temps last a bit longer so I can build up my distance again. I ran through the winter snow last year--and we had a lot--but I wasn't able to do longer distances in snow. It's very tiring.

Ok, time for bed. Trying to get at least 7 hours most nights. Won't make it tonight because I was out later than I'd expected buying a suit for my son's first semi-formal. But it was worth it--he lookks very handsome in it--and he likes to dress up, so I know he'll make good use of it for other events, too.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KAYOTIC 11/24/2014 8:56AM

    I feel like I get more accomplished during the busy times than I do when I have lots of can be so easy to keep putting things off until time runs out!

I know how you feel about the clutter, it can be draining to live in that environment, and so uplifting when it's gone! That's why I have my morning ritual of enjoying my coffee while cleaning up the kitchen. I just feel better when the dishes have bee washed, and the counters are cleared off.

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KRISZTA11 11/24/2014 6:44AM

    Wow, this sounds like a great week!
Getting yourself back towards the top of priority list with sleep, eating well and running is wonderful, and in addition you tackled a lot of house cleaning too...
I'm glad things are slowing down in the near future.
It is really hard to have a crazy schedule at work and at home at the same time!

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Band season over, and I am back!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

It has been almost a month since I last did my "weekly" blog.

I have a son in marching band, and for the past month we have been at regional rather than local competitions, which took up my Saturdays from about 5 am until often 1 or 2 am on Sunday. This morning we got home and to bed at 4 am. Yikes! A really fun season, and with my older son already off to college, I know i don't want to miss these last short, fast years. But ... It's turned my Sunday's (usually my long run and R &R days) into grocery shopping and housework days. And once I get a bit of sleep, Sunday's are so short, that I end up feeling behind as soon as I get going!

But at any rate, the season is now done ... a great finale yesterday ... And I am ready to get back on track. This week there are no weeknight practices, so I bought lots more fresh prep stuff for dinners. I did fairly well by turning to my crockpot or premade freezer meals during the week, but there were many traveling meals where we had to eat on the road. And I've noticed that when I am tired, I munch as a way to try to get some energy. Which doesn't work.

Also, I tried to keep up with my exercise as best I could, but some sessions got skipped. Between exercising less and eating less healthy, I gained about 3 pounds in the last month. Hard to say exactly because my weight fluctuates naturally throughout the month and I think I'm at my high point, but I feel tighter in the waist of my pants and think there is an extra "pooch" in my belly, so time to pay more attention and move it back down. For me the beat healthy eating aid seems to be focusing on fresh, "real" food. When I stay away from processed and prepared foods, I feel better and slim down easily. So ... Back to better menu planning and eating more meals at home.

I also plan to look for a race to sign up for. I've missed the fun races, and need to write out a training plan so I can get back in the groove. I mostly got at least one run in each week, but no longer than 3-4 miles, and I've missed my weekend long runs. I think the Gingerbread Pursuit and Ugly Sweater Run are coming up in December, so I will look them up and hopefully can sign up for one of them. Today was our first snow that stuck to the ground. Had hoped for a bit more fall weather to run in, feel like I missed it.

To all my Spark buds that I haven't been in touch with, I've been missing you! I will check out some blogs and hopefully be up to date with everyone soon.
Here is a picture of my last race, and a picture of my sons marching band.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SQUIRRELMOMMA1 11/17/2014 9:50AM

    Boy I remember those crazy band days (and nights). It will pass one day and then you will miss it. Well not the crazy days but the constant music playing at the house. I've been looking at a Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving day. Still considering it and it's a week away. I know I can do it. You will find one!

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BA5454 11/17/2014 8:18AM

    Glad to have you back--you had a crazy few months there! I'm looking at a race, too. Just a 5K, though in Dec or Jan. Good luck!

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KRISZTA11 11/17/2014 3:40AM

    Wow, what a busy month!
It is great you only gained 3 pounds despite all the challenges on you eating and exercise plan.
I'm glad you are back, thanks for sharing these lovely pictures!
I wish you many happy long runs in wonderful fall weather!

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Did 10 miles ... In two parts

Sunday, September 21, 2014


Wanted to add some diatance today, but am hoping to get a 10k race in next weekend (if the family schedule cooperates). So today I jogged just short of 7 miles, then hit pause. I took a rest stop, walked a little, drank some water, ate a couple gels, then started my watch as a new run for the way back and did another 3.5.

Since I meant to take it easy on the way back, I reset my interval timer to a 2 min jog/ 1 min walk ratio. To my surprise, I actually averaged a slightly faster average pace at this ratio than I had on the way out with my usual 4 min jog / 1 min walk ratio. Of course it was half the distance, but I only took a 15 break before starting up the second run. It also became cloudy quite suddenly with a wonderful stiff breeze on the way back, so the cooling was probably part of it, too. Still ... It is enough to convince me that I should experiment with some shorter run ratios. I find it a bit tedious to be switching so much back and forth, sort of prefer getting in a groove and holding it for a bit, but at least in short races, I guess the shorter, faster ratios would make sense.

Anyway, since I was "taking it easy" on the way back, I also made a few stops to take some photos. I hadn't been out on the bike trail for a while, and there is just a touch of fall color coming in. A pretty place to jog! (And yes, the faster pace was despite the photo stops.)

This is where I ended my first portion and started my second. My favorite turn-around or rest stop on a longer run. Flush toilet, sink with paper towels to scrub my sweaty face, drinking fountain, and plenty of shade, and today the start of a nice, cool breeze.

Love getting away from cars, roads and buildings, surrounded by color with the winding path ahead. Makes me want to run long when the path just keeps stretching on.

I love running over bridges! From the minute I see them on the path ahead, they seem to urge me up and over. Followed a little guy who obviously just learned to ride his big boy bike over this one.

A pretty ending spot, with room to stretch while I enjoy the view before my walk back to my house.

Realized at this point that I'd better hurry home! Storm blowing in! (Although turns out it blew past. We only had a few sprinkles.)

Ha! Look what the sweaty first half and wind-in-my-face second half did to my hair. Yikes! :-/

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BA5454 9/21/2014 8:24PM

    Yep, the shorter ratio thing always works better for me--I'm not sure if I slow down for the longer intervals or what, but the 2:1 feels right to my legs. Great job on getting the miles in--hope you'll be able to do the race.

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