So be sure when you step. You step with care and great tact and remember that Life's a Great Balancing Act.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Powerbar Team Elite

I've completed nearly three weeks of training, which is a word a use loosely since technically, my race calendar is still blank.  But, I see progress!  Ever since Sedona, I have tried to keep things really simple.  And, letting go of certain pressures made me feel so much lighter.  Right after I realized that I had a little bit of pep back in my step, I also got the memo that I made Powerbar's Team Elite.  I am so excited and honored to be part of such an extraordinary group of athletes.

I think I have a few more weeks to go before I am comfortable enough in myself to sign up for some races. I have been noticing some signs of aging, which is an adjustment.  My warm ups, for example, keep getting longer.  My recoveries are getting longer, too.  I seem to also need more sleep.

Things that used to be easy, like pushing the stroller, also are not easy at all anymore. Although that is probably less about me and more about my kids.  My now really big kids:
 The other day, we ran to Costco to pick up a snack for Hayden’s preschool.   On the way there, our pace was pretty quick because it was all downhill with a tail wind.

We ended up getting a bag of veggie chips, on sale for $3 (Hayden wanted Goldfish crackers but the veggie chips were practically free!!)  Neither kid was willing to hold anything because it would infringe on their ability to eat samples, so we were limited what we could fit into our cart.

I narrowed it down to a few select items, including a massive bag of mandarin oranges to pair with the veggie chips.  Because we all know veggie chips are not really vegetables, and I wanted to please all the preschool mommies with contributing a healthy snack.

My kids weigh roughly about 39 and 41 pounds.  But, add in every single costco sample x 2, and  they weigh more like 42 and 44 pounds.  And then add in 10 pounds of oranges and we are over the BOB 100-pound weight limit.

So, what happens when you exceed the weight limit?

First, it is really heavy.  Especially when you are running uphill and in a headwind.
Second, the stroller makes a lot of creaky and uncomfortable sounds.
Third, all the tires slowly deflate.

About half way home, Hayden asked me, "Mom, Why are we going so slow?”  That is when I noticed he was letting his feet drag on the ground.  But, we eventually made it home and Hayden brought in his snack.

Fast forward to Valentines day - the preschool teacher handed out adorable heart-shaped valentines that read, "orange you glad we are friends?" 
and inside was taped a familiar mandarin orange. 
So - I am thinking our my hard work was in vein. 
Next time, we will just stick with the very light veggie sticks.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Weekend Away

Lately I have been feeling stressed out and strung out, even more so than my usual self (because despite my desire to be chilled and relax, it's simply not my character).  There is not one thing to blame, but rather an amalgamation of many things, coupled with my failure to step back and breathe.

We were doing Dancer's Pose, my favorite pose, in hot yoga class a few weeks ago and I kept falling out.  It was the strangest thing because normally I can sleep in this pose.  But, even as the rest of the class was ready to move on, I planted both feet on the floor, closed my eyes, took a second to re-center, and when I opened my eyes, I had my balance back.

I've been feeling like I've lost my balance in life so I attempted a similar approach and started taking moments to close my eyes.  But, it only takes a few seconds of standing/sitting with my eyes shut before I start hearing stuff like:
"Mom, I am going potty!"
"I am done now!"
"I said....I am done now!"
"Mom, can you come wipe my butt??"
"Hayden! I can help you wipe your butt!"
"Mom, Brenna is touching my butt!"

So I took a more exaggerated approach and went to Sedona.
And, here I am, typing in our hotel room.  And I promise that I am using this desk:

And not this table, conveniently located in the bathroom.  Although as someone who works from home and ardent about efficiency, I think this table is borderline brilliant.

One would assume that having lived in Arizona my entire life, I would have already been to Sedona.  But this was actually a first time for me.  I accepted the idea when my husband suggested it, but I would have accepted to escape anywhere -- even in a hotel down the street.  However, I enjoyed Sedona more than I expected, and it was the perfect weekend reprieve.

When we arrived into town, we could not find our intended hiking trail, but I convinced David that we did not need a trail.  So, we found parking off the side of the road and descended down some rock.

David was weary of hiking without a trail and it turns out he was right, because after 10 minutes of hiking down and over rock, we were stuck at a creek with no crossing and plenty of little scratches and scrapes to show for it.

So we did what naturally any couple would do it that situation.

We made-out and took selfies.

We also went wine tasting, ate brownie ice cream sundaes, and of course I went running.

Running has always been my go-to version of "closing my eyes."  Lately, it has been causing more stress than relieving stress, though.  Part of this is because I have not done speed work in....oh.....6 months?   It's a tad hard to see myself not running nor feeling like my former self.  But I know that if you don't use it, you lose it, and that it just does not magically come back.  So being hard on myself does not help, and, if anything, it is ruining the one thing in my life that makes my world a happy place - no matter what.

When I stepped outside my hotel room in Sedona, I tried to also step outside the fact that I wish I was running faster. I found myself seeking out the steepest hills, and running on roads named, "Ridge" and "High View" and "Cloud High."  It has been many months since a double-digit run for me and I was hoping to see that "10" on my Garmin when I returned to my hotel at my allocated time....but alas, all the vertical running slowed me down even more, and I was only at 9.87.  

But I ran up mountains and saw gorgeous views that were normally reserved for folks like George Cloony (he has a house there, don't think I wasn't searching out of the corner of my eye!)  I felt free.  I felt like me.
And that is why I run.

One wonderful weekend did not return me completely recovered, rejuvenated, and ready to battle the world.  But, I do feel refreshed, re-centered and ready to battle Monday.

I think I have my balance back.