Race Day – My first 5K

I got busy with life and never finished journaling about my Couch to 5K experience.

The week before the race I did pretty well on my runs, had a better attitude, and started believing I could actually do this. That was a good week and a good feeling. Our last group run before the race was horrible. It was hot. My legs didn’t seem to want to work and I was running with a limp. That was weird. Nothing had happened, I had not overdone anything or injured myself previously – they just didn’t want to work. I ended up having to walk a larger portion of the end of that run than I should have. So I didn’t have the best confidence heading into race morning. I was exited the time was finally there and I was going to reach my goal. I was excited to do this thing with my friends. Before the race I did everything right as far as sleep, nutrition, hydration and warm up. But I was nervous. I felt so much better once I got to the starting line area and met up with the running group. It really is true that I couldn’t have (or wouldn’t have) done any of this without the group’s support and accountability. Being there with friends and the excitement of the festivities gave me the pump up I needed. I was excited to go. Three of us lined up in the 12 minute mile section, and although the other two are typically ahead of me on our runs I managed to keep up with them pretty well for the first mile. The first mile was great. Crowded, but felt good that I was at a good pace, passing some people, and didn’t even have to walk over the incline of the bridge. Nope, I did not stop once for that whole first mile. The periodic walk breaks did start a bit into mile 2 and I dropped further behind my faster friends as expected. Mile 2 was getting frustrating due to the amount of children walking on the left hand side of the path instead of keeping right. Don’t those little bastards know the rules? And where are their parents? That whole second mile I really tried positive self talk and kept chanting in my head, “the body is a machine, the body can keep going. The body is a machine, the body can keep going,” trying to convince myself I didn’t need to stop. There was an Asian teenage girl and a lady in her forties with a blonde ponytail that we kept all passing each other than slowing down, passing each other than slowing down. They kind of became my new running team, they just didn’t know it. When mile 3 started I was like “oh hell no, I am not walking any more, I can totally do this and I need to run across that finish line. When my family sees me I better be running. When the finish line camera snaps a photo, I better be running.” And I did muster whatever energy I had left to make sure I ran that final 0.1 mile. And then…”where’s the finish line? The Finish line should be here by now. Hey, there’s my coach waving. Hey, this has definitely been more than 0.1 miles since I crossed the river…. any second now, any second now.” Out loud I say to myself (panting heavily) “You can do this” and an older lady ahead of me turns her head, smiles, and says “Thanks I needed that.” Then we turned the corner, went another fifty yards and the Finish Line was finally there. Yes, come to find out that course was too long. Instead of 3.1 miles for the 5K, it was actually 3.3. Probably not a big deal to most, unless you are a first time runner trying not to collapse, then it makes a big difference. The farthest I had run up until that point was 2.9 miles. My final time was 43:22, which was around what I expected. But the timing didn’t matter to me so much as just finishing, staying upright, and being done. My husband and kids were right by the finish line cheering me on, which meant so much to me since they are not the most enthusiastic crowd-loving people, so I ran over for a quick hug as soon as I was done. Then met up with the running girls who all came in at all various times. It was an awesome feeling – we did it! Whew. This couch potato ran & completed her first 5K race!

 

Running?

Today, Monday March 21, 2016, starts a new chapter in my book. Today I will start running for the first time in my life. On purpose. Yes, RUNNING. Me! This does not sound like me, the asthmatic who had a doctor’s excuse from PE so I wouldn’t have to run. The one that cannot go anywhere without her inhaler. The one that said I would never run unless being chased with a knife and even then I might take my chances. Today I will exercise my God-given right as a woman to change my mind.

Before I gain new perspective on running in the weeks to come, I want to discuss my reasons for finally giving in to the run-bug.

First, I have been wishing for better fitness level and skill, not only to be healthier and more active, but also to be a survivor. Whether it is outrunning a zombie hoard in the apocalypse, outrunning a would be rapist kidnapper, or chasing my dog down the street when he escapes from the front door I need to be able to take care of myself (and those I love) by being capable. I jokingly write down my running goal as “to be able to outrun zombies” even if I don’t actually believe the zombie apocalypse is going to happen. It could be any life or death situation you see in an action movie. I have always felt like I had strong muscles, yet also always felt weak my whole life as to what I can do with this body, like my muscles didn’t know what to do. I had such weak lungs I was always afraid. I knew if my life depending on me running, I was a goner. Like the great move Zombieland says #1 Rule to live by in the apocalypse is CARDIO! So if I can tackle running, this is one more item I can cross off my list of things that make me a weak victim versus a strong survivor. (1st item was being blind – with contacts I would have lasted 4 weeks in the zombie apocalypse, now that I had Lasik and can see without assistance, I totally upped my chances to like 4 months)

The second reason is that I was inspired by a new friend. She took my BFF’s Couch to 5K course this winter. She was not an “athlete” just like I am not an “athlete” and yet she did the course, she did the 5K and I watched her cross the finish line. Her runners high, sense of accomplishment and new-found belief in herself was evident and well worth it. It started me thinking that maybe I could / should stretch myself and go outside my comfort zone too and just maybe I could do something to surprise myself too. So whether I ever run again after this 5K in May is over or not, if I can commit to this, complete this and cross the finish line, then I will have succeeded. Remember, in 2016 the year of Katy, I want to stretch myself, break my own mental boundaries and do more than I ever thought was capable. This is a great first step. I may not be able to control much in this life, its time I control this body instead of it controlling me.

Year of Katy

In one of my favorite sitcoms, The Middle, the forever optimistic Sue Heck says “this is the year of Sue!” Well I feel like 2016 will be the year of Katy. Not necessarily career-wise, but on a personal level. I am starting 2016 with a huge desire to spend this year proving to myself that I can do things I thought I could never do before. A year of challenges and pushing myself and bettering myself. I’m one of those people who hate leaving my comfort zone, and yet I always know that when I do, I become better, I learn more, I always gain something, whether a new skill or just an embarrassing life lesson. I feel inspired and hope to see it through.

I will be turning forty this year and I have to admit, I have lived it pretty safe so far. I have wanted my stable family, career and household, and I got it. I planned everything in the beginning, then just survived day to day, my weekly routine pretty much on autopilot. On the surface, I love a weekend full of Netflix and chill. But I have also been so bored on the inside. No changes in scenery, company, house, car or man. I’m about as predictably stable as you can get. But even though I wanted a safe life, I also wanted adventure and lots of fun times. I wanted a more active family than the one I have created. We are all couch potatoes; the husband with his TV, the boys with their video games, me with my books or TV or Twitter. I always have good intentions of being outdoorsy like I was growing up, but in the day to day routine I just don’t force it. Most days I am too exhausted and it would just be so much work to so whatever it is I am contemplating.  “Once it is done raining this spring I’d like to go hiking,” I say. “Ugh, it’s too hot to go hiking when it’s a hundred degrees, let’s go this fall when it cools off,” I say. And of course my ever present regret that my husband is not taking my boys out teaching them how to fish, camp or hunt like we both always thought he would. He was outdoorsy when we got together too. He’s still outdoorsy – that one or two times a year we go to the mountains. The rest of time he is in the same trap as me – married to the TV and the exhaustion of a full work week.

Well, I don’t want to be so complacent any more. I want more adventure and more wonderful memories with my boys before they are all grown up. And I finally believe I have the power to make a change in myself. I find it really difficult to change my personality, but I can change my actions. I can move. I can get fit. I can push myself more than I have ever pushed myself before. This is what I want to do with my 2016. And just maybe by conquering more, doing more, feeling better –  just maybe it will change part of my personality for the better too.

JUMP

“I Can Do It!”  Photo via Amazon, I claim no rights to this photo.

So here are my goals for the 2016 Year of Katy:

Year-long resolutions:

  1. Change my eating habits, eat healthy, get fit, make my body the healthiest, strongest, happiest it has been.
  2. When I see something that needs done (picked up/cleaned/fixed), do it right then versus putting it off, noticing it every time I walk by, and then having guilt & unresolved clutter in my life from all the things not done (picked up/cleaned/fixed).

Baby steps & monthlies – starting a new side-resolution each month to build on:

  1. January:
    • Open my mail daily, tossing the junk, don’t let it stack up and build clutter.
    • Join the Gym, use the treadmills 3 times a week.
  2. February:
    • Get back to doing my morning workout DVD’s 4-6 days a week.
    • Hire a housekeeper.
  3. March:
    • Learn how to run!
    • Do something fun for kids over Spring Break
  4. April:
    • Turn 40 without getting depressed – have a big fun party with my friends.
  5. May:
    • Run in 5K race with my friends.
  6. June:
    • Clean out that horrible hoarder garage.
    • Take a beautiful day-long hike in the mountains!
  7. July:
    • Keep up with yard work even when it is “too hot”.
    • House hunt.

This is as far as I’m going now because after that, everything will depend on if we sell our house and move or not. (I really want a new house). But you get the idea. I want a lot to happen this year. I need a lot of good changes in my life. I will make it the year of Katy! Hopefully Katy will surprise us all in good ways.

A New Kitty for Katy

I started looking at kittens on our local shelter sights and on Craig’s List just for fun to see what was out there. I came across Sampson’s story. He was found when he was just a couple days old under an outdoor cellar door in the hundred degree heat. They guessed that the stray mother cat must have tried moving her kittens but couldn’t get this one out. So this lady took the kitten home and bottle fed him for the next two months. He grew up with the family’s two daughters, two adult cats, and three dogs. So even though he’d been away from his mother way too early, he was around other cats so I was comforted that he’d know how to act like a cat and not be too needy. The family loved him but didn’t really have the space or the money for an additional pet. They were giving him away for free but they weren’t going to give him to just anyone, they had to find the right home for him. I loved his story and that he was used to dogs. Maybe he wouldn’t run from ours so they could both be in the house. So my son and I went to meet him. He was adorable, playful and not shy. He started purring the second I held him and nuzzled up under my chin. After talking with the family they deemed us worthy and we took him home.

Sweet Sampson

Sampson was not afraid of our dog at all, at first. But our dog Moose only ever saw cats as something to chase so he had to be kept at bay for a few days until he could stop whining and barking at the cat. Within a week they could be together in the same room and if Moose got too close, Sampson would hiss at him and he’d just walk away. (thanks to some good training with the squirt bottle.) Within two weeks they were buddies and even play together now. We just have to watch our 89 lb dog when they are playing to make sure he doesn’t squish the 4 lb cat. Sampson is sweet and cuddly, as well as curious and playful and outgoing. He’ll start purring the second you say his name. He’s my snuggle buddy while I watch my shows and he enjoys hanging out with my boys. He wrestles with stuffed chipmunks and chases the mouse on the fishing pole for hours. He’s not scared of things like my old cat. He’s totally relaxed and laid back and has integrated into our family so seamlessly. I don’t know if its just that I haven’t had a kitten in so long that I forgot, or if he really is the coolest cat ever.

Sampson King of the Couch

Besides getting past the dog hurdle, we are also getting past the allergies hurdle. Me and my husband’s sneezers were activated for the first couple days but we’re building up resistance. And thankfully and most importantly my son has not seemed to be bothered by the cat at all, although we do keep him out of his bedroom just in case. The husband only stayed mad for about a day and because Sampson is so fun, even he has fallen in love with him. I took Sampson in for his first check up and vaccinations this week and the Vet and assistant totally fell in love with his personality too. After having Sampson for just three weeks I feel like he was meant to be our cat. I am totally in love with him. We may be providing a good home for Sampson but he is providing us enterainment and friendship. I notice he has a calming affect on me and my boys are also more mellow with him around. Having a little kitten is teaching these rough and tumble boys some compassion and tenderness. Thank the Lord for our kitty Sampson. Look at this sweet face.

What’s up Mom?

Vampires, Werewolves, Witches, oh my!

This vamp tramp’s random thoughts on Vampire Diaries – Season 2: Episode 20.

(Ok, seriously, I thought we were in season 3 thanks to the screwy split season schedule this show has had. ) Anyhow, I will start out by saying I love any episode that opens with Damon lying in bed! And then we are right into my second favorite thing about Damon, his hilarious sarcastic wit. He always has the best lines. The writers do a fabulous job of appealing to that twisted part of me that is attracted to the smart ass.  Best line of the night: when discussing plan options for killing Klaus and Elena says Bonnie cannot die, Damon says, “I’ll write her a great eulogy.” and gives that adorable smirk/shrug of his. Damon, you are my soul mate!

So does anyone else suspect Elijah might be holding something back, making stuff up, or perhaps flat out lying? Or is it just me? Why would he tell them everything? I have a hard time going from he’s the bad guy that’s going to kill them all, to all of a sudden trusting every word out of his mouth. I want him on their side, I do, but my trust issues are kicking in and my guard is up. And I might add, Daniel Gillies, who plays Elijah, makes a great original – seems sophisticated, respectful and old enough yet handsome – But Klaus, although very easy on the eyes, looks like a 20 year old surf wear model. Part of me thinks an ancient original vampire should look a little more… ancient, but come on, there has never been a bad looking actor on this show.

Sorry Stefan, but I couldn’t help but want Damon & Elena to kiss when they were talking in his bedroom. Heat baby, heat. And I ask you this: can you really force someone to swallow? (take that anyway you want to) And how many times has Elena swallowed vampire blood now – 3 or 4 times perhaps? Yet it always turns out fine with her remaining human. And how many times has Stefan been stabbed/staked in the stomach? Pretty sure it’s at least six by now – why were they so worried about him this time? He’ll live (well, figuratively speaking).

Things I loved:

  1. So Klaus needs a werewolf for the ritual…enter Tyler. Hooray, he’s back! Oh no, don’t hurt my Tyler. He’s too pretty. (But his hair does look a little odd today)
  2. Matt & Sheriff scheming – glad it’s back to that storyline. Oh, is Matt going to stick up for Caroline? Yes! It’s about time. And just like that, Mattie is back in my good graces.
  3. Alaric and Damon – you know I love it when they team up. Go Team Dalaric / Alamon!! And I am very happy Alaric and Jenna made up too. I would have been devastated if Klaus’ possession had killed him. He is my # 3.
  4. Great Elena line of the night: “super-powered vampire jumpy things”. And I love that Elena is opposite of Bella in the whole “I never wanted to be a vampire” category.
  5. Damon’s facial expression when Klaus says not to do anything he’ll regret. Um, too late.
  6. HOLD THE PHONE! Mattie with a rifle?! Yea, way to help out mopey boy.
  7. It’s mean, but I’m glad Jewels is going down. I didn’t like that bitch (pun intended). She’s always telling my Tyler what to do.

Other Random Observations:

  1. Jiminy Christmas! When are they going to remember to have Bonnie make them some kind of witch/warlock-proof helmet or something? That would be high on my list if I kept getting ‘mentally zapped’ by the bad guys.
  2. I know Elena now has vampire blood in her system in case she dies, but what about the no-expiration-date elixir? It wouldn’t hurt to have a backup. I’d have drank that too for double coverage.
  3. It seems like Nina Dobrev’s acting is so much better as Katherine than as Elena. But I guess true to real life, it’s easier to be the bitch. Niceness just seems fake or naive.  (PS- I don’t think she’s a bad actress, I’m just saying)
  4. When Caroline told Tyler she could never hate him, his eyes went from normal looking to what I can best describe as a hungry stoner looking at a cupcake. I love those two’s chemistry together and hope they end up together in the long run.
  5. Mid-way through the show there was a commercial for Magnum ice cream bars – which I never heard of until then and couldn’t figure out why the girl was running over tops of cars to get to the Magnum Condom truck. Heck maybe she was horny sitting in that traffic jam, who knows. All I know is that Magnum says condom to me, not ice cream.

Jenna a vampire? NO WAY!?!?  Damon suffering from wolf bite? OH MAN, how are they going to fix all this? And where are Elijah and Bonnie while all this Klaus kidnap chaos is going down? Man I love this show. Can’t wait until next week.   -Vamp tramp 1 signing off.

Hello world!

I feel like I am about ten years behind the curve but have finally started my own blog.

What took me so long? Well…kids, work, housework and the endless chores of motherhood made me feel like I had time for nothing or no one else. This is the first year of my life since parenthood that I finally feel I can take time to myself and even attempt things I like to do.  I started working out over a year ago, getting into shape – oh yeah mom’s can look good too! And I have started actively reading again. I had forgotten how much I loved it, now that I can read what I want and not the gigantic textbooks on Business Law or Accounting Principles that put me to sleep in my college days.  (Funny how college made me hate reading – isn’t that counter productive to the whole higher education idea?)  Maybe it’s because the boys are finally old enough to entertain themselves more, or maybe I just had enough of being an invisible piece of furniture – either way – watch out world, I finally care about myself again.

Now…to figure out how to use this fancy thing…hmm.

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