Saturday, April 24, 2010

Run, Forrest! Run!

This was my first week back at working out since Bruce's unfortunate break and it was my best EVER.

Like in my whole 33 years of life.

Not being able to walk/run really put a damper on my spirits over the past few weeks. I started feeling sluggish and wanting to sleep alll the time and was just uninspired. Lamesauce, I know. So on Monday I recommitted to my workouts and I feel better than ever.

I specifically made myself run at an extremely slow pace (3.0 walk, 3.5 run) on purpose, seeing as it was my first week back after almost 4 weeks. In the beginning it felt too slow, but I don't want to injure myself. Slowing it down turned out to be the best thing I could have ever done. On Monday I did walk/run intervals for a half hour.

On Tuesday my goal was to do another half hour of 1min walk/1min run. After a 5 min walking warm-up, I did 10 min of that (3.0 walk/3.5 run). I kind of psyched myself out at first because I could see myself in a mirror and kept thinking "This feels sooo slow and I look like I'm prancing". At the 11th min (run) I decided to go into a 2nd min of running. I was specifially reminding myself to not jack up the speed, seeing as this was my 2nd day back at it, but figured it wouldn't hurt to run an extra minute (at 3.5). By this point I was feeling like "Why not just stay at this speed and test how long you can actually go?" So the 2nd minute passed and I kept going. I didn't feel tired at ALL and it felt great, so I decided to go for 5 min running. In full disclosure, I honestly didn't think I'd actually get there. (Have never done before, BTW- I think 3 min has been my max so far) 5 min turned to 6, and 7, and I decided to shoot for 10. Around 8 I started to get the start of a little stitch in my side, but being the bullhead I am, I wasn't going to give up till I reached 10. By 10 the stitch was gone. I ended up doing 15 minutes! I really don't think I'd EVER run this long (consecutively) in my life! I wanted to go for 20, but my right ankle started to ache a bit and I could see Max thru the glass window in the daycare room and could see that he was crying.

Thursday was monumental. After a 5 min walking warm-up, I decided to run. It was my goal to do 15 min @ 3.5 again, so I figured it'd be good to just get it done at the front end of my workout so I wouldn't tire. I intended to do the last 15 min as 1min walk/1min run. At 15 I decided to go for 20. 20 was the FIRST time I started to feel a little tired, but my mind went into high gear and said "Try for a half hour- you've already run longer than what you have left!" So I did and I wasn't tired at all! I was actually RUNNING and not huffing and puffing *and* it felt great!

I had my own Biggest Loser moment when I hit a half hour. I shed a couple tears of joy/amazement/"Holy crap, I can't believe I'm actually doing it!" and then did a 5 min walk cool down.

I planned to try for another 30 min run today. (Wanted to make sure that Thursday wasn't a fluke!) I did the usual 5 min walking warm-up, then started up. I've been using the same music mix for quite awhile now and am getting kind of bored of it, so after two songs I switched to a cast recording that two of my new Danish friends are on. Long story short, I ended up running for the duration of the whole album! By the last three songs I was ready to be done, but wasn't going to stop. I specifically covered up the clock with a magazine and didn't look at it much today, which helped. I think I checked in at 17 min, 30 min and then when I was finished. (50 min/3 mi) And I didn't get a stitch in my side AT ALL!

I DO feel like I've been hit by a semi as I post this, though. No pain, no gain, eh?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Talkin' on a... chicken phone. (Story to come soon in a future blog!)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

An Evening at the Park

No troubled water here, folks!
"I spy with my little eye... a DUCK!"

It's been awhile since I've blogged about the little man, so there's two major things to report about Max in his current state:

1) He's going through a massive growth spurt and can't get enough food down his gullet. (Recent examples: Last night's dinner- a huge biscuit with hamburger meat, a yogurt, more meat, green beans & applesauce; Today's breakfast- a big bowl of Kix with milk & juice; Lunch- Alphabet soup, green beans, mac & cheese; Afternoon snack at his request- graham crackers, 2 eggs) Yup. A bottomless pit, that one!

2) He's taken to telling me when he's stir crazy and wants to get out of the house. He'll either a) drag the Ergo carrier to my feet, b) bring me his shoes, or c) stand and dance at the front door. We'd gone on a walk around the neighborhood this morning, but he was ready for more come late afternoon.

I hadn't really decided where we were going, but I packed him into the car and we headed out. It was a beautiful sunny day, so we ended up at a local park. I figured I'd chase him around the playground for awhile before dinner and wear both of us out! As if playground equipment wasn't exciting enough, the park also has a huge pond (and dam!) and ducks 'a plenty! One of our favorite past-times is chasing the ducks. Today was no exception. (See above) Max's very original way of getting the duck's attention was to yell "Hello! Hello!"

We chased ducks for awhile and crossed a couple of the bridges. I'm sure every parent thinks this, but I *still* can't get over watching this actual LITTLE BOY run everywhere and take my hand to walk up the steps by himself! (Cue tiny string section and me crying softly in the corner remembering 'days gone by'.)

It seems as though I get seasonal allergies every other year and this year is apparently an 'on' year. How conveeenient, as it's supposedly one of the worst years for pollen! ;) ALAS, the sneezing and runny nose that I'm fighting right now as I type is worth a gazillion hours in the great pollenated outdoors due to the following incident:

At the end of one bridge we ran into a family playing frisbee. Max tried to join the game. The family consisted of Mom, Dad, a tween daughter & son and a little blond haired piggie tailed daughter about Max's age. (Or size, at any rate) They eyed each other as if to say "Hey. We're the same height. Whattup?"

Before I knew it, my son stepped closer. Wrapped his arms around her in a hug. And KISSED her on the cheek!

Needless to say, the parents and I were all "Awww! That's so sweet!" (gush gush gush) The girl, however, was confused. "Dude, this is MY dance space. Why are you invading my dance space?!"... and walked away.

Max was equally confused. He shot me a look (that melted my heart) that said "Maaaw! I thought I was supposed to be nice! Wasn't I being a good boy by hugging and kissing her?"

I wish I could just wrap him up and keep him at this age and level of innocence forever. Something tells me his dad and I are going to have a helluva time once he's a teenager, though.

P.S. I can't wait. :)

Friday, April 9, 2010

In Memory of Michael H.

Michael H. was a very special boy. The son of my dear friend Jenn, he was born with a serious heart condition and underwent three heart surgeries during his short life.

Michael passed away a year ago today at the age of 9.

Jenn and I met during the summer of '98 while working at a summerstock theatre in the northwoods of Wisconsin. Much like many of my theatre experiences, we were part of a tight knit group that has stayed in touch over the past 12 years, though we (Jenn & I) have not seen each other but maybe once since. (A shame, I know.) I did not have the fortune of meeting Michael in person, but I've always loved hearing and reading stories about him from Jenn.

Michael was an avid Star Wars fan who loved to dance, snuggle, watch the movie 'Elf' and most importantly, loved his Mommy. I didn't 'know' him, but I know this is true.

I'll never forget you, Michael H. You are the best form of sunshine, for you were borne of the sun herself.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

In Memory of Maddie

One year ago today a beautiful little girl named Maddie flew to Heaven. Like our Max, Maddie was a preemie and had been born just shy of 29 weeks. Her lungs were scarred due to her prematurity and on April 6 of last year she came down with a respiratory infection. She passed away very unexpectedly the following day.

I'll never forget the shock I felt when I learned of her death. I spent the rest of the day in a haze. My heart broke for her parents, Heather and Mike. Having a preemie of our own, it hit way too close to home.

Maddie's vibrant smile and personality united the interwebs like I've never witnessed before. Today, the anniversary of her passing, is no exception. Purple (the color of the March of Dimes) is everywhere, including on my toes. She was (and continues to be) so loved by all.

Heather & Mike have since formed an incredible organization called Friends of Maddie. It's main focus is supporting parents & families with a child in the NICU and is a cause I encourage everyone to support.

Another way to support is to donate to the March of Dimes. Here's an excerpt of their mission statement: "Our mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality". Every year there is a walk called The March for Babies with locations all across the country, not to mention hundreds of teams that walk in memory of Maddie. Should you care to donate to the cause, I encourage you to support my dear friend Colleen's team in Jacksonville, FL. Follow this link to her website and click on the March for Babies logo on the right hand side. Thank you.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

At the Copa

Seven years ago I toured the country with a delightfully cheesy musical called Barry Manilow's Copacabana. It was truly a blast and I made the most amazing friends. This past weekend a bunch of us reunited in Pittsburgh for an early 1st birthday party for one of our 'Copa Offspring'. Between the cast/pit/crew, I believe there are now 7 boys and 1 girl with at least one more expected sometime soon! (There were 4 boys, including Max, in attendance on Saturday.) It was so good to see everyone again and to meet the other kids for the first time!