Thursday, December 24, 2015

6 weeks of bar

When I first heard that a Bar Method studio was opening in Charlotte I was pretty stoked. I had always heard good things about the studio from some friends in Florida. When they announced a $79 6 week unlimited special for new members I quickly signed up.

It wasn't until November 14th that I took my first class. Lizzy led me through my first taste of The Bar Method work out and it was tough. I tried to do as many classes as I could weekly since they recommend 3-5 classes a week for full benefits.

Unfortunately between Ryan traveling and no childcare available I did an average of two classes per week. I was lucky to have my parents around for one week of classes and even got a sitter for a Friday noon class.

This morning marked my last class as part of the 6 week new student package. Technically I would have through tomorrow but they are closed on Christmas. Bummer!

The last 6 weeks by numbers:
- 13 total classes
- 4 different teachers
- earliest class I've taken 6am
- latest class I've taken 12pm
- heaviest weights used 3 pounds
- lightest weights used 1 pound
- over 300 push ups
- 1 pair of trusty grip socks through it all

I would love to take more of these classes in the future ... I just can't justify the $24/class price tag right now, along with our existing family membership at the YMCA. Good thing there are always birthdays, anniversaries, and Mother's Day to look forward to for gift cards!

These hour long classes truly pushed me to work hard. The teachers were helpful with their corrections and motivating with their words.

I'm back to pre-baby shape and have some killer abs and super toned arms and legs. I tried to run a couple of days week to complement the bar work out.

If you haven't tried a class at The Bar Method yet, and are looking for a way to shake up your work outs, please do so. You won't regret it!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

#39 - the No. 6

One of the perks of Mason being in preschool 4 days a week, is that random lunch dates with Ryan (and Anderson) can happen.  I suggested Earl's Grocery one of those such times knowing there was an item on the Charlotte Bucket List: 50 things to eat before you die from Thrillist, that I could order.

For $8.99 (plus tax) you get:
No. 6*

It's a huge bowl of goodness.  It's also one of the most random combinations of things I have ever ordered.  The bottom of the bowl is filled with large chunks of earthy beets and shredded pieces of duck.  On top of that is 2 runny eggs, a tangy slaw, and a generous drizzle of their aioli.  The slaw is the perfect complement to cut through the richness of the duck.

Ok ... this time I could see why the writer would add this to the list of 50 items.  It's something so incredibly different and unique ... and delicious, boy is it delicious.  There were a ton of other items on the menu that I would love to try so Earl's Grocery I will be back for you.  In the meantime go and try the No. 6 ... and be prepared to take a nap afterwards.

#23 - Guru Roll

The other night the whole family headed to Sushi Guru to use a "livingsocial" deal that was burning a hole in my iPhone.  While we were there I decided to order the Guru Roll, number 23 on the Charlotte Bucket List: 50 Things to eat before you die from Thillist. 

We also ordered 2 other rolls to share but enjoyed the Guru Roll the best.  The roll was filled with tuna, avocado and lump crap, flash-baked, then topped with fried garlic and shallots.  There was a "fiery" aioli drizzled on the top.

Meh.  It was ok.  The filling was pretty mushy and bland ... just tasted fishy (obviously).  The redeeming qualities of the roll were the fried garlic and shallot pieces.  Ryan and I were fighting over those.  Not really sure I would count this as a must eat in the top 50 items but there must be a reason the writer placed it on the list.   

Monday, December 7, 2015

Nine months - Anderson

A couple of days late but only because I was waiting to post after Anderson's 9 month check up at the doctor's this morning. 

Everything went well at his doctor's appointment.  He received one shot and is all set until his one year appointment in 3 months.

weight - 18 pounds 2 ounces (23%)
height - 28.38 inches (50%)

He's still so much smaller than Mason was but at least he's on an upward trend for weight gain. 

Anderson has 4 bottles a day, 6 ounces each, of formula, and 3 meals of baby food.  Favorites include sweet potatoes, apple/blueberry, and squash.  Dislikes bananas and green beans.  Hoping to try lentils soon!

He's also going through some major stranger danger and separation anxiety.  We haven't been to the childcare at the YMCA in a long time (mostly due to having colds, respectively) so I'm dreading the day we head back. 

He's a fan of bath time now which is fun to watch.  He also loves watching Mason do anything and everything.  He thinks he's hysterical which is good when I need him to stop crying. 

After sleeping horribly for a long time, he's back to sleeping through the night and taking at least 2 naps a day.  Yahoo! 

He's finally crawling .... it's not pretty but it gets him to where he's trying to be (usually by Mason). 

I say it every month but I can't believe time is going by so quickly.  He'll be one year old before I know it.  Looking forward to celebrating his first Christmas since he enjoyed Thanksgiving so much. 

Saturday, December 5, 2015

#45 - Everything Bagel with Smoked Salmon

A few days ago I noticed an article on Thrillist, "Charlotte Bucket List: 50 Things You Need to Eat in Charlotte Before You Die" by Keia Mastrianni.  Although I've eaten a handful of the listed items, I thought it would be fun to try all 50 items and post about it.  Some of the food items are cheeseburgers so that'll be fun. 

Today after taking 2 different classes (one at the Bar Method and one at Flybarre) I treated myself to item 45, Everything Bagel with Smoked Salmon from Poppy's Bagels & More. 

It was my first time having the lox bagel from Poppy's and the first time I spent almost $8 on a bagel.  It was good ... they give you a good portion of salmon and the combination of cream cheese, red onions, and capers is a good one.  I could do without the tomatoes; I took most of them off while eating the sandwich.  The bagels at Poppy's are delicious and I always recommend this place to people when asked about where to find a NYC style bagel in the Queen City.  My personal favorite is a toasted garlic bagel with olive cream cheese.   

Can't wait to document the next 49 items ... Thanks Keia for such a fun challenge!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Good good good!

This morning I took my third flybarre class in a row. The 6am start time was a little discouraging since Anderson had a rough night and didn't sleep well (aka mom and dad didn't sleep at all).

I made it to class with a few minutes to spare ... I probably should've used that extra time to find an outfit that actually matched.

Anyways while I was getting situated at mat 15, I couldn't help but notice how awake and upbeat the instructor was. I'm pretty sure it was my first time having Andrea as my instructor and I couldn't help but try to steal some of her energy during class.

While she walked around the room checking our form and making corrections as needed, she would say "good good good" and towards the end of the 45 minute class I smiled every time she would say it.

I'm super bummed that my last class will expire today and I won't get to use it. The last three days have been awesome work outs and I would've loved to have felt the burn one last time. Silly mom brain for letting these classes sit for so long without being used. Fingers crossed that the lovely people at Flywheel will extend the expiration date on my last class!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, November 30, 2015

on the bar/barre bandwagon

A couple of weeks ago I began taking classes at the new Bar Method studio in Southpark.  I had gotten lucky with an opening studio sale of $79 of unlimited classes during 6 weeks.  I've been feeling kind of burnt out over running so taking bar classes was a chance to try something different as a form of fitness.

Unfortunately they do not offer childcare so I've had to squeeze in classes during the times when Ryan was available, or more recently, during my parent's week-long visit.

This means I've taken 6am classes which is strange to me since I enjoy mid morning workouts the best :)  The instructors have all been super nice and it's always a treat to work out in a brand new facility. 

After signing up for a few classes of Bar Method in a row, I remembered to check my Flybarre account to see if I had any classes left there.  Unfortunately I had 4 classes left that expire on 12/1 and didn't realize it until too late.  I signed up for a class yesterday, this morning, and tomorrow morning but will end up letting one class expire.  Boo.  It's such a bummer but a total oversight on my part.  Those classes aren't cheap! 

The problem with taking so many of these type of classes in a row is that I'm not giving my body any time to rest ... and boy could I use some rest.  Plus I don't think I've done so many push-ups in my life! 

So far I've done 5 classes at the Bar Method since 11/14 and will do a total of 3 classes of Flybarre in a short 3 day window.  I'm thinking after so much bar/barre work I'll be ready for some running again!

Penland Tree Farm

Since moving to Charlotte Ryan and I have gotten our Christmas tree from a tree farm every year.  It's one of my favorite traditions and although we have had to scale back on the distance we travel, we still manage to find a farm that works for us. 

This year we were lucky enough to have my parents along for the ride and took them to a new to us tree farm in York, South Carolina.  I selected Penland Tree Farm for their choose and cut option and because it was only 30 minutes away from our home.

We arrived around 9:30am the day after Thanksgiving and discovered a small crowd at the farm.  Parking was a breeze and after a brief explanation of the process by the helpful staff, we were off to choose our family's tree.  We liked the look of the "Leland" variety and after measuring a few contenders we settled upon a 6 foot tree. 

My dad sawed down the tree and Mason and Ryan dragged it out to the pathway so that a worker could scoop it up and prep it for sale.

The tree was only $40 which seemed like such a deal compared to other tree lots in the city.  The only drawback was that it was cash or check only so make sure to bring some cash with you or parents who happen to have cash ;)

Also this was one of the first tree farms we've been to that didn't load and tie the tree for you onto your car.  It took my dad and Ryan 10-15 minutes but they were able to secure our tree safely for the drive home.

They also sold snacks (not sure what kind we didn't buy any) and had wreaths for sale. 

All in all it was a great experience to share with my parents.  It was especially fun to see Anderson's reaction to the trees since it was his first time joining us.  Luckily Mason is an old pro and was able to show him what to do :)

Charlotte Southpark 27th Annual Turkey Trot recap

On Thursday November 26th Ryan and I ran in the 27th annual Charlotte Southpark Turkey Trot.  We haven't run a race together since before the boys were born so it was nice to get out there with my favorite running partner.

I also think this was my first time running an 8k (although I could be wrong) so I was excited to see what my pace would be.  The race didn't start until 9am which was nice since we had family staying with us all week and a cranky 8 month old who hadn't been sleeping well.

I think at the start of the race, temperatures were right around the upper 30's.  I wore running tights, a long sleeve running shirt, and a headband to cover my ears.  At times I found myself a little warm but for the most part the running outfit was on point.

Although my time wasn't collected at the start of the race, my finish gun time was 36:40 minutes, pace of 7:23 minutes/mile, 14th female 30-34 age group out of 270.  There were right around 3,000 runners and I was the 289th finisher.  According to my watch my time was 36:31 minutes which seems accurate since Ryan's chip time was 9 seconds less than his gun time and we started next to each other.

The only drawback of such a popular race is that the course never thinned out.  It was a constant crowd of runners in such a narrow area which meant a lot of zigging and zagging around people. 

Overall I had a great experience during my first Turkey Trot and I would love for it to become an annual tradition in the Chalmers household.  Mason started the trend last year in the tot trot so we may have to alternate runners each year :)

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Eight months - Anderson

Holy moly what a month!  You've really thrown us through a loop the past 4 weeks ... ever since we got back from Florida you've been such a grouch.  Blame it on teething, blame it on your super sensitive skin, blame it on your digestive system, blame it on being sick ... I've blamed it all!

In your defense you did have your first ear infection 2 weeks ago.  I took you back to the doctors office today thinking you might have had another one, but nope you're healthy.  Screaming your head off and not sleeping well is just because that's what you're into lately. 

The doctor advised us letting you cry it out at night ... something we did with Mason (looking back Mason was such an easy baby).  It's a lot harder this time around since there could be any number of things actually ailing you and there's a little human sleeping soundly across the hall.  We would hate to have Mason wake up from one of your scream-fests cause God forbid we have the both of you awake at 3 in the morning. 

Ok enough of my complaining and onto the good stuff ...

  • you have 2 teeth now
  • new food is peach
  • babababa is the sound of choice ... still no mama (although I'm convinced I've heard it once or twice)
  • you love standing up and holding onto things
  • since bringing Honey home you've been obsessed with her and have a huge grin any time she's in the room
  • you celebrated your first Halloween and rocked an awesome Robin costume
  • you mastered somesort of backwards crawl which gets you places but not a whole lot of actual crawling
  • 3 meals a day with 4 bottles, 6 ounces each
  • current weight 17 pounds, 12 ounces

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

I feel like a hamster

Today marked the third indoor track run in a row. Eh. I'm kind of over it.

Total laps has been 132 ... 4 miles, 3 miles, 4 miles.

Although I would've been fine jogging outside today in the rain, I felt bad dragging Anderson out there. Instead he's probably hating his time at childcare (lately he's been having some stranger danger anxiety).

Hopefully he's in a decent mood so I can stop by Starbucks on the way home.

Fingers crossed the weather clears up so I can do another 3 miles tomorrow and 7 miles on Saturday.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

It's fall y'all

Wow. I didn't realize how long it had been since my last post. I've been lacking motivation in all facets of my life lately ... Running, blogging, participating in the Junior League, being social with friends. Having two kids really takes it out of me!

Although I ran out of time this weekend to do a long run, I did manage to find some time to take the kids to the park. Ace absolutely loved the swing and had a bunch of adorable giggles. He wasn't too keen on a mommy selfie though.

Fall is such a lovely time in Charlotte, and I'm starting to change my grumpy attitude. I'm looking forward to running outside and crunching all of the leaves as my shoes hit the sidewalk. I better enjoy the crisp, cooler weather before winter is here!

Next race is the Turkey Trot 8k which is around 3 weeks away. I can't wait to run a race with Ryan, although chances are he'll smoke me!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

A different type of 5k

This morning Ace and I joined my friend Steph on the greenway for a little walking and talking.

3.1 miles later we wrapped it up and headed home. It was such an enjoyable way to spend right under an hour. While we caught up, Anderson got to enjoy some fresh air and wildlife (deer were aplenty).

I'm still easing back into some running mileage after the half marathon on Saturday so this was the perfect way to get my legs moving. Looking forward to a run tomorrow while Mason is at school.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Rocktoberfest Half Marathon recap

Well.  It's finished.  My fall half marathon has been run and raced.  I ran this same half marathon 2 years ago and finished in 1 hour 51 minutes.  On Saturday I finished the race 6 minutes slower, 1 hour 57 minutes and 30 seconds.

Those hills ... man those hills ... my legs just couldn't move any faster.  After seeing my wonderful cheering section (thanks Steph and family) at around mile 10.5, I cleared mile 12 and pulled off to the grass to throw up.  I somehow managed to finish the last mile and found Ryan, Mason, and Anderson waiting for me.

I'm not going to lie, I was pretty disappointed.  But things happen and not every race is going to be a PR.  I ran 13 miles which is pretty impressive, regardless of what time I finished in.  I can list all of the things that went wrong that morning ... no sleep the previous night because Anderson has been sick since Thursday, I'm pretty sure I'm dealing with the same cold he has because I was super congested the entire run, and it was 45 degrees which was just a tad too cold for me right now.  My hands were so cold I couldn't press the GU out of the package.

Overall - 245 out of 756
Female - 77 out of 426
30-34 years old - 17 out of 68

I'm going to take a few days off from running.  Give my body a chance to recover and to get over this possible cold.  I'll find another half for next year ... hopefully in a flatter state.

Friday, October 16, 2015

My last long run

After being super disappointed at the cancellation of my half marathon on 10/3 due to weather, I stopped being sad and signed up for another race.

The problem was that the new race was on 10/17, 2 weeks later. I had already done all of the training for the half marathon so I just added one last long run into the mix.

While in Florida, I was fortunate to run along a gorgeous trail for my 10 miler. Unfortunately I hadn't run in Florida heat/humidity in a long time and found myself super dehydrated during the run.

After throwing up around mile 8, I felt good enough to finish the full 10 miles.

It's been one week since that last long run and since then I have only ran one more time ... An easy 2 miler yesterday around the outdoor track at the YMCA. I'm counting on my long walks through Disney World on Monday and Tuesday to count towards tapering this past week.

We'll see if all of my previous training will help me have a kickass race tomorrow. Fingers crossed!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Seven months - Anderson

We've had a couple of developments since the 6 month update ...

  • Anderson can now sit up on his own
  • Anderson has been saying "dada"
  • Anderson has one bottom tooth poking through

He's also tried a few new foods - bananas, avocados, carrots, pears (in addition to last month's list).  He's still having 4 bottles of formula a day, around 28-30 ounces total, with 2 or 3 meals of food.

We are still struggling with the naps ... some days he has 3, and others he can barely manage 1.  We are thankful that he has been sleeping through the night unless there is some teething pain or stomach discomfort.  At the end of the day babies are so unpredictable (at least mine are) so we take what we can in the sleep department. 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

first time pushing a double jogging stroller!

today was my last training run before the Volition America Half Marathon on Saturday October 3rd.  on the schedule was an (easy) 2 miles.  I met up with my friend Cindy and her daughter Vera Rose after we dropped off our boys at preschool.  She offered her double stroller to push VR and Anderson and it was a neat first experience.  I give moms a lot of credit that push a double jogging stroller ... those things are hard!  Cindy and I took turns pushing the stroller during the 2 miles then rewarded ourselves with some hot beverages from Starbucks.

Currently the forecast for Saturday is a whole lot of rain which makes me apprehensive about running the half marathon.  As long as it's not a torrential downpour, I plan on slogging along for 13 miles in the rain.  Worst case scenario, I take it easy on Saturday and just finish the race and find another fall half marathon to really rock it.  Fingers crossed the rain gods take it easy on me from 7-9am ...

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Isabella Santos Foundation 5k/10k race recap

On Saturday morning I ran in the 5k 10k Race for Kids Cancer presented by the Isabella Santos Foundation.  It was my last long run before the half marathon on October 3rd so I wasn't really expecting to "race" it.  Plus it was raining ... the ENTIRE race. 

Aside from the rain, I didn't love the race course.  The 10k course was the same as the 5k course ... except doubled.  10k runners were dodging people left and right, especially since it was such a family friendly event.  Think lots of strollers, walkers, and even dogs. 

Once I finished I quickly got a bottle of water and headed back to my car.  I just wanted to get home FAST so that I could shower and warm up. 

Not every race is going to be a PR or the best race ever.  Weather on race days can be so fickle; I'm proud of myself for even going out there and running with the rain.  Bonus was not falling down and hurting myself!

  • I placed 39th out of 255 10k finishers (males and females)       
  • I placed 11th out of 154 female finishers
  • I placed 5th in my age group (30-39 years old) out of 67 finishers
  • time 49:02 minutes, 7:53/mile

42 months (3.5 years)

Mason Alexander ....

My little boy has gotten to be so big. I know everyone says that, but sheesh he's super tall and looks like such a big boy ... Especially compared to his little brother.

He started his third year of preschool a few weeks back. He's going four days a week from 9am-12:30pm. Today was his first afternoon of extended stay at school and I picked him up at 1:45pm.
Although people told me to give up on naps, claiming Mason was done with them, I kept at it. We try to implement quiet time every day so that I can have a breather and so that he can decompress. Most days he doesn't nap; but two or three days a week he does and those days make me smile ear to ear.

He loves Anderson. So much. Too much sometimes. There's lots of touching and poking and wanting to be right next to him. It's truly magic when Mason makes Anderson laugh ... And the way Anderson looks at his big brother can make anyone say "awwww."

If I had to describe Mason at this point in his childhood, it would be strong-willed, stubborn, extremely chatty, and such a clown.  He seems to know exactly what he wants and when he wants it. And the questions JUST DON'T STOP. He wants to know it all and won't give up until you've answered him.

He loves super heroes, Paw Patrol (show on television), and learning about the planets.

There are days he drives me crazy from sunrise to sunset ... But I'm so thankful to have my sidekick. He's such a blessing and I can't wait to see what the next 6 months will bring.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Only 5 left!

The countdown is ON to my half marathon on the 3rd. Only 5 more training runs to go!

Just took it easy with my 3 miler today. Jogged a slow 2 miles on the treadmill and did the 3rd mile along the indoor track at a faster pace.

After running 5 miles around the indoor track yesterday, my right foot/ankle hasn't been feeling great. Since I can't afford an injury this close to race day I'm going to take it easy during the last few runs. Well, except for the 10k on Saturday. It's a race and no matter how many times I tell myself I won't push it, I just can't help myself.

Tomorrow's 3 miler will be slow due in part to pushing Anderson in the jogging stroller. Hoping the rain stays away long enough for me to get my run done after Mason's preschool drop off. Otherwise it's going to be another indoor track day for me!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, September 14, 2015

Things I like to hear while running

Happy Monday! Today Anderson and I took it to the greenway and surrounding sidewalks to do my weekly scheduled 5 miler.

I wore my new Brooks Pure Cadence sneakers and he wore a bear beanie since it was 50 degrees at the start of our run.

While running I caught up to a guy running and passed him. As I ran by he said, "not only are you running faster than me, but you're pushing a stroller."

Why yes dude I am pretty hardcore in case you didn't realize it. Actually no, I was flattered since my runs with Anderson are usually right under 10 minute/miles.

After we ran 5.4 miles I walked another 0.6 miles to extend his nap a bit.

Next runs this week are two 3 milers and a 12 miler this weekend. Three weeks until the half marathon!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Six months - Anderson

We are half way to your 1st birthday Anderson!  This past month has been full of changes ...
  • it's been just over a month of being on formula
  • after a 2nd round of blood work at the allergist it was determined you were allergic to dogs and we sent Honey to live in Florida with your grandparents
  • you've been eating solids at least once a day, most days twice, and have had sweet potatoes, butternut squash, peas, green beans, and prunes on a no-poop day
  • you've slept through the night without a swaddle on more than one occasion
  • you traveled to Durham, NC where you had another round of allergy testing (this time skin testing) and we found that you were NOT allergic to dogs but were still allergic to eggs, dairy, nuts, and now sesame (no hummus for you)

Anderson's 6 month check up isn't until Thursday but he was weighed last Tuesday while at Duke's Children's hospital.
  • 15.5 pounds
  • 26 inches
Aside from eating solids once or twice a day, Anderson has been drinking formula 4-5 times, 6-8 ounces each time.

He's outgrown most 6 month clothing and has been wearing a lot more 9 month clothes. 

Along with sleeping (mostly) through the night, he's been taking 1-3 naps a day.  It's definitely a battle with napping with both of my kids.  I don't get it; what's not to love about all types of sleep?

We've seen a lot more rolling over and sitting up with support from mom or dad.  Lots of babble and laughing but no words yet.  I've begun to teach you some sign language in hopes of making the lines of communication broader. 

Your face lights up when you see Mason walk into the room ... until he bites your finger or hurts you in some other way.  You're still his biggest fan and I can't wait until the day when you both can play ... and finally leave mom alone for a few minutes :) 

You had a rough summer with all of your eczema/food allergy nonsense and I think we've put a lot of that behind us.  You seem so much happier, your skin is way clearer, and your hair has been growing back.  We haven't had to give you any itching/allergy medication in over a week and I really hope we don't have to any time soon.  Here's to another great month!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Sundae Run 5k

On Saturday August 29th, I ran the Sundae Run 5k.  The race was located about 5 miles from our house and didn't start until 9am which made it an easy pre-race morning. 

Tradition states that I must eat a cheeseburger and drink a beer the night before a race ... the Sundae Run 5k was no different.  We went to Smashburger where I ordered their "big" Classic Smashburger, no tomatoes, and split a side of French fries with Ryan.  It was washed down with a Fat Tire amber ale.  So tasty! 

The morning of the race I drank 1/2 cup of coffee and had a slice of toast with almond butter.  We headed off to the race as a family and got there about 30 minutes early so that I could pick up my packet.

I wasn't sure what to expect and found that the race was smaller than I had anticipated.  It was held at a local middle school which was pretty cool since the start and finish happened on the track.

I lined up near the front of the pack and started off a little faster than normal.  I finished mile 1 in 6:51 minutes and was disappointed to see the hills in mile 2 and 3.  Somehow I dragged myself to the finish and ended the race in 22:08 minutes.

This time was good enough for 4th overall female, 1st place female 30-34.  The award was a plaque which was a nice change since most races don't give out actual awards. 

Instead of the normal post-race snacks (bananas, bagels, and granola bars), this race featured a make your own ice cream bar.  Mason and I split a huge bowl of cookie dough ice cream complete with sprinkles, marshmallows, and gummy bears. 

This was a great race that benefitted the local community.  Lots of families came out to participate which made it feel laid back and fun.  I would totally do this race again next year!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

6 weeks to go!

Things get pretty real when you realize your half marathon is 6 weeks away.  My longest run has been 8 miles which means I need to find the motivation to run another 5.1 miles.  I'm planning on doing 9 miles this weekend and even enlisted Ryan to buy me a couple of Gu's to use as fuel. 

I hadn't been using a training plan but just googled a couple of different ones and think I'll try to follow Hal Higdon's novice 2 training plan for the remainder.

Since I'm doing a 5k on 8/29, I'll just swap weeks 6 and 7.  I like this plan because there are 4 days of running, along with 1 day of cross-training, and 2 days off.  With such an increase in mileage I'll definitely need those rest days to avoid injury. 

I ran 4.2 miles on Sunday, 3 miles on Tuesday, and 3.1 miles yesterday.  I took today off and will probably try to run tomorrow or take a class at the Bar Method.  Looks like I'm right on track!  As the weeks tick by I'll put more thought into my goal finish time for the race.

week 6  Rest  3 m run  4 m pace  3 m run  Rest  5-K Racecross
week 7  Rest  3 m run  5 m run  3 m run  Rest  9 m runcross
week 8  Rest  3 m run  5 m pace  3 m run  Rest  10 m runcross
week 9  Rest  3 m run  5 m run  3 m run  Rest  10-K Racecross
week10  Rest  3 m run  5 m pace  3 m run  Rest  11 m runcross
week11  Rest  3 m run  5 m run  3 m run  Rest  12 m runcross
week12  Rest  3 m run  2 m pace  2 m run  Rest  RestHalf Marathon 10/3

NC Music Factory 5k Rock n Run

On August 8th I ran the NC Music Factory 5k Rock n Run.  Race start was at 8am which made it easier for my little family to come along to cheer me on.  I picked up my race packet the day before which made it super easy to just get to the race a few minutes early. 

In case you were wondering I followed pre-race tradition and ate a cheeseburger the night before.  We went to Bad Daddy's where I ordered a pimiento cheeseburger on a wheat bun, along with sweet potato fries, and a large Captain Jack beer.  Can't fool with what works right?

I wasn't really sure what to expect during this race since it was my first time running it.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that most of the course was flat (for Charlotte standards). 

Seeing my boys near the finish line always makes me push myself harder for those last couple of yards.

Although we didn't stay for the awards ceremony, I was happy to find out I placed First in the Women's 30-34 years old division.  Love when that happens!  Due to some mix ups at the awards ceremony, my award is going to be mailed to me ... at some point.  I am curious to see what it is.  I also won a gift certificate to an hour long massage that is also being mailed to me. 
22:25 minutes
overall place - 44 out of 414
women's rank - 9 out of 250

All in all it was a great race and I would definitely run it again in the future!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Five months - Anderson

Oh what a month!  We really struggled in July ... things with Anderson's eczema just would not get better and after a series of pediatrician appointments and one with an allergist, it was determined that I would no longer breastfeed.  The alternative is not my favorite since I'm a granola-eating hippie, but if it's for the betterment of my child then I'm all for formula feeding.

After not having much success with Nutramigen (there is still cow/dairy protein found in there) we made the switch to Elecare (amino acid based).  Anderson had vials upon vials of blood drawn at his allergist appointment and they discovered he had allergic reactions to wheat, dairy, eggs, soy, nuts, and soy.  I tried to eliminate those from my diet for almost 4 full days but after seeing soy listed as an ingredient in my prenatal vitamins I about lost it.  It was just too hard for me to eliminate ALL of those food items and potentially STILL eat something that I shouldn't.  I honestly felt like I've been poisoning him this entire time ... which is a very dramatic way to look at things.

It'll be one week of formula feeding Elecare on Saturday and I've read that it can take up to 2 weeks to see full changes in the baby.  What we are looking for is LESS ITCHING.  The poor kid is on his 3rd type of allergy/antihistamine and cannot find relief for the life of him.  We've done it all ... cotton clothes, new free and clear detergent (The Honest Co.), bleach baths, not bathing everyday, several layers of Vaseline or Aquaphor slathered all over his body, and he's still scratching himself all the time.  He's so itchy that he tore the skin so badly on his arms while using his car seat as a scratching post; his doctor compared the lesions to 2nd degree burns.

Oh and the sleep ... the lack of sleep.  Imagine being so itchy that you can't get comfortable.  He's waking up every hour looking for relief and I can't give it to him.  It's heartbreaking. 

This past month did bring a few (random) nights of 5-7 hour stretches.  He even slept 10:30p-7:30a one random Tuesday and 8p-6:15a two days later.  We have no idea how or why but have failed to replicate those nights of sleep.  

One a bright note we introduced sweet potatoes to his diet on Monday and the kid loves them.  So far no allergic reactions to them which makes me excited to introduce another vegetable this weekend.  

His hair is growing back so that's a plus I guess ... and even through all of these trials and tribulations, the kid smiles and laughs at us.  Especially at his crazy big brother.    

We love you Anderson and love seeing you grow!  At one of the most recent doctor appointments you weighed in at 15 pounds ... you weren't gaining weight for a couple of weeks and had even lost some weight since your 4th month appointment. 

Fingers crossed the new formula is the key in solving the itchiness issues and we can enjoy the next month! 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The day wouldn't wait for me

Last night Ryan and I did what most neurotic, exercise-centered people do, and plan out our workout for the next day. Ryan took the "holy crap it's still dark out" shift and I said I would run when he got back from the YMCA so I could be showered in time to make breakfast for my hungry crew.

It all seemed like a good plan until I found myself in Anderson's room at 9:30, 10:45, 12:00, and finally around 1. Mind you he only ate one of those times ... The rest was spent rolling back and forth being super uncomfortable as I tried to shove the pacifier in his mouth.

By the time Ryan's alarm went off at 5 and he finally got up at 5:15, I figured I would not be doing an early morning run and would just try to get a few more minutes of sleep.

Then Anderson woke up at 5:30 to eat. Sigh. I fed him and got him back to sleep, as he stared at me smiling. I know it's not his fault that his eczema is so severe that he's on his third allergy medication, an antibiotic, and a new kind of formula. But it's taxing and exhausting and pockets of sleep are not sustainable.

As I got back into bed I saw Ryan's text saying he was on his way back home. I told him I was skipping my run and going back to sleep. But the more I thought about it I realized I wouldn't be able to fit in a run any other time of the day. With a looming race on Saturday I knew it was now or never. I dragged myself out of bed and wrote Ryan back that I changed my mind and would run. I was laced up and ready to go as he entered the garage and we handed off the babysitting baton so to speak.

I ran while the moon looked on and lit the way for me in the otherwise dark street. On the way back from my short 3 miles, I saw the sun rise and paint the sky a pretty pink and purple.

I huffed and puffed my way inside the house when I was done and was greeted with ice cold water from Ryan and the announcement that Mason was already awake.

It was just 6:45am for god sakes! But I was right, the day wouldn't wait for me to get my act together. Tired or not the day had started and it was time to get going.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, July 31, 2015

Lather Rinse Repeat

I love schedules. I thrive on consistency. We've even raised Mason to rely on this way of life.

Sometimes I don't want to do the same thing at the same time, day after day. My life feels like the movie Groundhog Day.

With no preschool and summer camps officially over, Mason wakes up every morning asking "what are we doing today?" Today was no different. I didn't want to work out for the 4th day in a row. I wanted a break. But here we are at the gym. The kids are thankfully in childcare and I just busted out 4.25 miles on the outdoor track.

This time I didn't really mind circling the track 8 times. There was a mini triathlon going on for kids, and I found myself coaching them on. I'm not sure how much they swam or how far they biked, but they had one mile of running at the end. I ran with a few of the kids and encouraged them to finish strong for their parents at the finish line. They laughed and smiled as I asked them questions to distract them. I ran at their pace and didn't leave them until I told them to sprint to the big red tent at the finish.

Those kids were badass. I can't even imagine doing a triathlon and some of them have done more than one. Wow.

Happy Friday.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Running is hard without wheat

Day 2 is coming to an end of my new breastfeeding diet. I'm still tweaking my meals and found myself making pancakes this morning using oatmeal flour and a flax egg. The things you do for your three year old ... I want pancakes mom!!!

I found myself snacking on a rice cake with sunflower seed butter and grape jelly around 11 and then by 1 I was starving. I made myself a turkey wrap on a corn tortilla with honey mustard, spinach, and pickles.

Then it was time to rock my "long" run of the week. I managed 6 miles in 52 minutes and was BEAT. Clearly I haven't figured out fueling before a run yet. So far I'm down two pounds in two days and I think it's from dehydration (I weighed myself after my run today, although I downed a glass of water first).

Once I showered I devoured a bowl of rice crispies with coconut milk and chopped bananas as a second lunch/afternoon snack.

After a trip to Whole Foods I am now stocked on some more diet friendly food items including gluten (wheat) free beer. Joy.

I'm dragging Ryan along for this diet change and since he took Mason out for lunch, they dined on cheeseburgers. Sigh. I will eat you once again ... Promise. Hope everyone else is getting their fill of dairy, soy, almonds, peanuts, wheat, and eggs!

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Friday, July 24, 2015

my new diet

I really hate using the D word ... DIET.  My latest diet has nothing to do with losing weight.  Although for keeping track of it during this experiment I am currently 108 pounds, my pre-pregnancy weight.

As mentioned previously, Anderson has a whole lot of skin issues.  Mainly eczema and what appears to be a million food allergies which could be causing the skin trouble.  After weeks and weeks of struggling to keep him comfortable and itch-free, I finally took him to an allergist.  I don't want to jump the gun, but hallelujah!  What a noticeable change in just 1 or 2 days. 

She switched him from taking Benadryl every 6 hours to just having Zyrtec once a day.  Its crazy to think that a 4 month old is on such severe allergy medication but what can you do?

She also tested his blood for food allergies ... and this is where my new diet comes in.  We have two choices, switch him to the formula Elecare and forgo any further breastfeeding OR change my diet.

After seeing that Elecare costs close to $40 a can (roughly $350 a month) I decided to eliminate those allergens from my diet that may be causing Anderson harm.

For 2-4 weeks I will no longer eat: dairy, almonds, peanuts, soy, eggs, wheat.

Fortunately I have already been dairy free for almost 2 weeks, so that isn't too much of a change.  When I went dairy free I switched to all soy based products as substitutes ... think soy mayo and artificial butter.  I was already doing almond milk and coconut milk coffee creamer and yogurt.  The allergy to almonds really sucks because I use almonds in EVERYTHING ... almond butter, almond granola, almond milk ice cream.  Sigh.

So here we are 3 meals in to my new diet.  Fortunately I can still have oatmeal and grains such as quinoa and rice.  I stocked up on new pastas and coconut flour to have some options in the kitchen.  I can also have all the meats, fruits, and vegetables that I want.  Yay to bacon! 

The dessert aspect is what is going to kill me.  Last night I made a banana/chia seed/coconut milk pudding that wasn't bad and right now I'm working on a rice pudding with cinnamon and coconut milk.  I'm also going to try some pancakes tomorrow morning using oatmeal and coconut flours and flax meal as the binder.  We'll see. 

I just want Anderson to feel better and the thought of him being under so much pain for so long breaks my heart.  Fingers crossed this diet thing ends up being the cure! 

And for those wondering what we will do after the 4 weeks ... I'm not sure.  If there is an obvious improvement from the elimination of those foods then I will try to introduce them back one at a time to see exactly which one is the culprit.  OR if I'm completely over this experiment we'll go the formula route and become poor.  Joking.  Kind of. 

Was it a fluke?

Blogging has been the last thing on my mind lately. Anderson has been dealing with some pretty serious skin/allergy stuff and it's consumed my life.

Fortunately I think we are making positive progress after a (long) visit with an allergist. After some tweaks Anderson slept for over 9 hours last night.

Do you understand how glorious that is?? Unfortunately I woke up a bunch to check the monitor cause I was convinced something had happened to him.

Was it a fluke? Will he sleep that long ever again? After nights of 3-5 hour stretches it was more than welcomed.

Oh and I saw a deer in our backyard while I was doing the dishes.

Is it a great Friday or what??

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Friday, July 17, 2015

future race plans

holy moly it's been a hot minute since I last posted.  figured I would update y'all on my next race.

The NC Music Factory Rock and Run will take place on Saturday, August 8th.  I'm excited to run it with my good friend Steph.  Running a race with a friend always makes it 1,000,000 times more enjoyable.  I've never done a race in that part of town so I'm curious how hilly it will be ... knowing Charlotte, it'll be very hilly.

I just noticed on the schedule of events that breakfast will be served.  Breakfast at the end of the race will make me run that much faster.  Especially if there's bacon involved ... and pancakes ... and coffee. 

Aside from this 5k I only have a half marathon on the books.  Ryan hasn't raced since April so it's his turn to get a few race events done. 

The Volition America half marathon will take place on Saturday, October 3rd. It has an early start time of 7am and runs alongside Lake Norman.  I've never done a race in that part of town either so I'm eager to see what it's like.  Word on the street is that it's a fast, flat course which makes me oh so happy.  It's 12 weeks away which makes me wonder if half marathon training should start sooner, rather than later.  Probably. 

Any races on the books for you guys?

Monday, July 13, 2015

Four months - Anderson

This time I have a valid excuse as to why my Anderson update is a full week late ... I had/have (?) mastitis.  I felt super achy while leaving the gym Tuesday morning and it went all downhill from there.  Plus I was waiting for Anderson's 4 month doctor's appointment to hit publish (it's not until Monday morning).

I consider myself a terrible mom because I can't really remember much from the past month.  Ace is definitely alert/awake more and seems more interactive ... lots of cooing and smiling which is nice. 

His eczema is at an all time worst and I feel so bad for how itchy he looks.  He spends all day scratching himself and is now forced to wear socks on his hands at all times.  I tried eliminating dairy from my diet for 2.5 weeks and at the time I didn't think it helped. Since re-introducing dairy, though, I feel he's been so much more itchy.

On the sleep front he's been doing 4-6 hour stretches at night and about 3 naps during the day.  The morning and evening naps are pretty dismal but I've been working on his afternoon nap and it's been the longest.  We did hit some 3 hour nights recently but I blame that on the 4 month sleep regression. 

Ace went on his first long car ride during the 4th of July weekend.  He was a champ.  He also went to the beach for the first time and slept in a pack-n-play the entire time instead of a crib.  It seems like every day is a new first for that kid. 

Height - 26" (78%)
Weight - 15 lbs 3 oz (38%)

Monday, June 29, 2015

I wasn't going to waste it

I wasn't about to waste such a pretty morning and not run outside. Although the humidity is close to 80%, the temperature was only 77 degrees during my run, which is quite a difference from the 99 degrees we've had here lately.

I managed to run 4 miles in just over 33 minutes then headed inside the gym to do a quick back and biceps work out.

Now that I'm feeling fit(ter) it's time to rescue the boys from childcare and head to Publix.

Happy Monday everyone!

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Anderson's Nursery

Anderson is almost 4 months old and I'm finally putting up some pictures of his nursery.  This might be my favorite room of the whole house ... it is a calming gray color scheme with pops of white and yellow.

I finally splurged and got a real deal comfortable rocker.  It is definitely worth it after logging so many breastfeeding hours.

The changing table is the same one we used in Mason's nursery ... we just went ahead and bought the same dresser since Mason kept his. 

The black out curtains have been key in keeping the sun and summer heat out.

I love the gray utility cart from Ikea.  We took the wheels off the bottom so that it stays put.  It holds diapers, extra crib sheets, blankets, wipes, and random creams and ointments.

We didn't use bumpers in Mason's crib but Anderson has been known to stick his arm or leg out the slats so I invested in some breathable bumpers from Target.

The white pillow with yellow pom-poms is one of my favorite additions in the room.  It was made (with love) by my mom.

 I decided to forgo the ottoman that went with the rocker from PBK and went with a yellow pouf from CB2.  It adds such a fun pop of color and is quite comfortable to prop my feet up.
I ordered some prints from Paperrama (etsy shop) and love how they turned out.  They look great in the white Ribba frames from Ikea.

 My friend Katie purchased this awesome Penguin print for Anderson.  She also gifted us the LOVE stroller blanket that is on the rocker.   
We had to get Anderson his own "anywhere" chair from Pottery Barn Kids.  I got it embroidered at a local shop.
I love the addition of these simple Ikea ledges to hold a few books, a family photo, and some toys.  And of course more penguins.

 The "you are my sunshine" is a definite theme throughout the room and is featured in 2 different pieces of artwork, along with the whole YELLOW addition.
 A few more toys and books are held in the Catalina nightstand from PBK that goes with the dresser and changing table.  The gray felt basket hold a few toys, Sophie the giraffe, and a really thoughtful photo album my friend Steph gifted Anderson.   
The lanterns were purchased from Hobby Lobby and add a whimsical touch to the nursery.  They are replacing a more traditional mobile on the crib and I think Anderson will enjoy staring up at them.

And that's it!  I love spending time in this room and hope Anderson does too.