Monday, August 22, 2011


I've been a horrible runner lately.  I have serious trouble managing my time when I have to be at school and I want to spend time with my family.  Yes, this is nothing new, and I'm working on it.  Once the weather dips back down from the 80-90 degree range, it will be easy to run in the afternoons, but right now it's pretty miserable to push ye olde jogging stroller at 4:30 in the afternoon.

That said, I miss having an exercise routine.  We have the elliptical at home, but it makes me feel like I'm cheating on my running.  So today, before anyone else was awake, I tried to bring back an old friend- morning yoga practice.  I did fifteen minutes of mostly standing poses, and it felt great.  I plan to add five minutes a day until I'm up to around 30 minutes, which is all I get before the bambino comes running out of his room, ready to tackle (literally and figuratively) the day.  I miss how flexible I used to be.  I miss how strong my back, shoulders, and abs used to be.  I know yoga will get me back there, because when I did it regularly I felt amazing.

  • I started doing yoga in college.  Yes, I got credit for stretching on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  
  • I practiced at home for years, and then I took prenatal yoga when I was expecting my son.  It made me strong, mentally and physically, for birth and motherhood.
  • The baby and I attended mom and baby yoga for the first several months of his life.  While the teacher was the same amazing woman from prenatal, she pretty much attacked us new mothers (in a loving way) to get us back in shape.  Painful but amazing.
  • After going back to work, I continued to do yoga with and without the baby at home up until last summer, when I began training for my first marathon.  
Why did I quit?  I didn't plan to, but running took up my time and yoga time with a toddler is actually wrestling time.  So now, early in the mornings before the wrestler awakes, I will get back to my practice.  I have books, magazines, cards, and sequences online.  If it takes twenty-one days to make a habit, I've only got twenty left!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Adventures with Stevia (and a Long Run)

My dad and I are running the Cannonball Half Marathon here in Greensboro in October.  I have 54 days until go time, and I have been really lax about training.  Why?  Well, part of it is that a half-marathon sounds so doable after a marathon.  Hubris? Probably.  Will it bite me come October?  Again, probably.  Also, I started school two weeks ago.  Working sure takes a bite out of running time, especially when the only showers at your place of work HAVE NO SHOWER CURTAINS.  That's just not going to happen.  Add to that the heat wave that has just begun to abate, and it (at least partially) explains my lack of running.

Yesterday I ran 8.5 miles with a friend from my son's school.  It was great to run long, and she was also a fan of taking walk breaks.  It was fabulous.  I tried my first Chocolate Mint Gu, and I loved it.  I had Gu down my sports bra and Gu Chomps- watermelon, of course- in my skirt, with a water bottle in my hand.  I was well-fueled.  It was hilly and humid but not quite as hot as it's been.  Right as we finished the thunder and rain came, so the timing was perfect.

When I got home, I decided to make my favorite brownie recipe.  I always made them as a child and memorized the recipe by about age eleven.  Yesterday, however, I tried something new- stevia for baking.  The bag said to substitute it cup-for-cup with sugar, so I tried.  After dumping the gloopy, slightly-curdled looking mass from the mixing bowl to the pan, I decided to read the rest of the bag.   It said to substitute stevia for up to half of the sugar in the recipe; also, it might require more egg white or baking powder.  Oops.  The resulting brownies were short, hard, crumbly, did not taste sweet, and tasted like egg.  Disappointed?  You betcha.  I still ate some, and the bambino thinks they are delicious; then again, he hasn't had much experience with brownies...

This week the weather is supposed to be a little cooler.  I plan to take the bambino for at least two stroller runs and then run longish on Saturday or Sunday.  Friday my parents come to town to play Spades, maybe I'll even get my dad to run with me Saturday... We'll see!