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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Running on vacation? Seriously!

I have a lot to blog about and Run #4 was kind of boring, so I'll try to keep this one short... We were away for the weekend at my in laws', and I wasn't even sure I'd run when we were there. I mean really - run on vacation? Also, there is nothing silent or even remotely quiet about their house - the floors creak, the water pipes oh-so-kindly announce to the world when you've gone potty, the stairs shimmy, and the door slams, even when you hold it so it doesn't... My MIL and FIL's bedroom is on the first floor, right near the front door and the above mentioned shimmying staircase, so unless I repelled off the second floor balcony, there was no sneaking out of the house without waking anyone up. That, and the simple fact that I've been in this family for 15+ years and other than the rugby matches they watched in college, they have yet to see me exercise or do anything remotely active. (And really, the jury is still out on whether or not rugby can really be considered exercise. Pure stupidity and foolishness, yes. Exercise, ah - it's questionable.) Why ruin a good thing???

Well, I brought my running clothes just in case. I mean, I had just gotten cute new shirts, so I knew I'd be tempted to wear them! And believe it or not, that was all the motivation I needed! I set the alarm for 7am, and even got up when it went off! In fact, I think I was so excited to run (well, to wear my cute new shirts, at least), that I had trouble sleeping that night. I kept waking up and checking the time, and finally, at 6:58, hopped out of bed with an extra spring in my step because I knew it was go time! I got dressed and was excited to see there was enough light coming through the well-past-their-prime blackout shades of my husband's youth to check myself out in the mirror and see that indeed, my new shirt was pretty dope! I tiptoed to the bathroom (past my youngest's room so I had to hurdle a couch and crawl on all fours in order to avoid guaranteed wake-the-baby-and-end-your-hope-of-any-alone-time creaky spots. I peed, brushed my teeth, and peed again - you know, just in case. I had to do this all with the door open - because as I said, there is nothing even remotely quiet about this house and the squeaky bathroom door might be the loudest offender of all! Nonetheless, I'm working on peeing very quietly and if I do say so myself, have gotten pretty good at it after almost 5 years of having a child sleep right next to the bathroom!

I peeked out the balcony to more fully consider my repelling options, but had to, sadly, decide against it. Had the patio umbrella below not been open, I definitely would have done it. Well, that, and the small fact that I forgot my rope. But next time... So, I tried my best to sneak out of the house, but likely woke up all six sleeping people to one degree or another. I'm certain my most un-Navy Seal-like trek up the long gravel driveway, which is overlooked by all four bedrooms, didn't help with my effort to be stealth... Regardless, I plugged my ears to any potential crying-out-for-me-and-sabotaging-my-run children (or husband) and kept on walking!

Initially, I wanted to take a route up the road that follows the channel out to the lakes. It's not at all a desserted road, as there are houses and camps all along the way, but it is certainly wooded. The view would have been picturesque, but I was afraid I might run across a bear and well, that would just ruin any benefit that would come from the gorgeous views. So, I decided instead to turn left and head into town.

It's a small tourist town, complete with many out of towners who have no idea where they are going, no care in the world that other people might, and that the stupid deer standing in the middle of the road is a) not the first one everyone else has ever seen, b) not a friendly sideshow at the petting zoo, and c) not to be fed, talked to, or invited into your car! (No, I'm not kidding. I've seen them try. New Jersey breeds some weird people, I'll tell you...) So, people watching was sure to be entertaining, even at 7am on a Saturday!

I scared some bunnies off the mini golf course, scoped out the new arts center, and counted the cars in the bar parking lot whose owners had clearly decided to stumble home last night instead of risking arrest by the police, conveniently located across the street with a big bench out front, which I don't doubt they use to rest while waiting and watching for the drunks at closing time. I passed the public beach house and when I saw the "Public Bathrooms" sign and realized the gate was open, had a fleeting thought that I should pee. Really - again? I just went, twice, ten minutes ago. I eventually convinced myself that I would forgo the bathroom now, but if I really needed to, I could circle back and do some cross training by hopping over stray toilet paper pieces, squatting over the sure-to-be-peed-on toilet seat, and maneuvering my way out of the stall and bathroom itself without allowing a single centimeter of my skin to touch any surely-contaminated object.

I have to say, I'm glad I kept running and passed the bathrooms. Not only did I almost instantly forget that I so urgently had to pee, but had I stopped, I would have missed seeing a friend that morning. Yep - I had to go 210 miles from home to see someone I know on a morning run, but at least I didn't have to run all of those miles! My friend Sarah was out running, too, and we passed each other near the tennis courts. Following serious runner ettiquette, we didn't allow ourselves to stop and chat. Instead, we said, "Hi!" and "How are you?" and "Getting your run in before the kids wake up, too?" while each eloquently doing a pirouette and mini-backward run, before continuing on our way. It was good to see her, nonetheless, and it made me feel like I was finally part of "the club." You know the one - the one where serious runners belong - the ones who get up early, even on the weekend, and even on vacation, to run. That one. I know you're jealous...

So, I came to the end of the lakefront, banged a right across an oddly placed cross walk that was well past the intersection but I used it anyway - who am I to attempt jaywalking at that hour of the day, in a foreign land? - and up toward the church I got married in almost 8 years ago. It was interesting to see it from this angle, and by myself. Usually, I'm rushing to it, at least 2 minutes late and dragging 3 kids, that I never take the time to really look at it. It's quite nice, really. And peaceful at this hour, too. Ahhh... I passed the church and continued on to the school. I banged another right and up a short street that runs along the side of the school, then, you guessed it, another right onto the Main St. Some people were beginning to get out and start their day, but truthfully, there weren't nearly the people watching opportunities I was hoping for. Oh, well - it let me zone out and honestly, I can't even remember much else about that leg of my run. I sprinted for the last 1/4 mile, then I was home.

I tiptoed back down the gravel driveway, maybe a little more successfully this time because I was all warmed up and feeling nimble and limber. I found my rope, but if I wasn't willing to repel down, what makes you think I would consider climbing up the balcony? I went in like a civilized DIL - in the squeaky front door. All was quiet still on the homefront, though, so I got myself some water from the fridge (no ice because I knew that would make way too much noise) and tiptoed upstairs. Before the final creak, though, I heard my 1 year old in my room, laughing and playing in bed with my husband. I admit, I had a fleeting thought to pretend I didn't hear her and keep walking to the shower, but then I remembered running past the church and thinking about my wedding so long ago. "For better and worse, in good times and in bad..." I did the right thing and went in to save my husband. And her.

2.6 miles, 29:31 minutes. Not particularly impressive in time, but it's my longest distance yet and I wasn't even dying. Looks like a 5K might not be too far off after all!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Never a dull moment when I'm running

I guess I forgot to post about my third run, probably because I was too scared. On Thursday, after thrice assaulting my alarm clock for only doing its job, I got up at 6:03am and was out the door by 6:15. Although it wasn't such an awful experience when I tried it, my moral compass has since told me that it is not acceptable to leave the house without brushing my teeth - EVER - so it's taking me a few extra minutes to get ready to run now. I roll out of bed, get dressed before I even open my eyes (thankfully there are three holes in my shirt and only two in my shorts, or I might have some problems telling them apart by feel alone), pee but don't flush for fear of waking the kids (sorry if TMI, but you're the one reading my blog!), and tip toe downstairs. Despite knowing where almost every creak is in our 1922 staircase, I inevitably hit one on the way down and stop abruptly and hold my breath to make sure no one makes a peep. Admittedly, even if someone did wake up, I wouldn't abort my plan to run, but I'd feel guilty. A little bit. I'd hurry out the door as quickly as I could so my husband thinks I didn't hear them, but then I'd feel guilty for most of my run, knowing that I know the truth... (For someone who just converted to Catholicism 5 years ago, I sure do have a lot of guilt... But that's another post for another day...) Anyway, I get downstairs, wash my hands, lace up my sneakers, and brush my teeth at the kitchen sink. Of course I wash my hands - I don't flush the toilet because I don't want to wake the kids up, but I still believe in basic hygiene and good manners - I carefully walk down the stairs without touching anything, which is probably why I end up hitting one or two creaky spots, and head straight to the sink to suds up. I do have standards, you know...

So, finally, I'm out the door. I stretch for a second or two - just in case my nosy neighbors peek out it can at least look like I know what I'm doing. Then I'm off - I push the start button on my newly figured out chrono stop watch and briskly walk to the end of my block. By then, my eyes are mostly open, and I push "lap" on my watch and start to run. For my third run, I zigged then zagged around my neighborhood, smelling my neighbors' coffee and catching tidbits of the news as I ran by their open front doors and blaring tvs. I scoffed at their lawn ornaments, tried to decipher their coded vanity plates, and even peeked in a few windows to see what I could see (hey, I'd be lying if I said I didn't, and you would be, too!). I came to the end of my neighborhood and hit High St., which is a partly commercial/partly ridiculously-huge-and-ostentatious-but-I-still-fantasize-about-owning-one-of-them-anyway houses major street through our town. Unfortunately, it's also one of the worst sidewalks in our town, too - I tripped and nearly wiped out at least three times in the 7 minutes I was gawking-I mean running on that street. Guess I should have listened to my mother when she told me time after time to "watch where you're going," but then how could I also people watch??? After drooling over the incredible houses and avoiding being run down by an ambulance backing out of the hospital (maybe it was a slow morning for them and they were trying to drum up some more business?), I banged a right onto Beacon St. I ran past the rectory where my priest lives, feeling embarrassed and somehow improper. I felt almost naked as I passed his house, despite being dressed perfectly appropriately for running. I'm just thankful Father wasn't outside to see me, although who knows - he might have been in his bathrobe at that hour!?! Crap - looks like I'll have to go to confession already for having impure thoughts... Anyway, down the hill, dodging overgrown bushes and weeds on the vacant lot that threatened imminent twigs poking me in my eyes, prickers scraping my legs, or spiders (or worse!) attaching themselves to me as I brushed by. Then it happened. I think I saw a ghost.

I should preface this by saying that I didn't have my glasses on and the building was on the opposite side of the street. My vision isn't horrible but I am at the border of the "you need your glasses to legally drive" cutoff, so I think they probably help a little bit. Anyway - I was running past the Catholic school. It shut down this summer, after 81 years of operation, due to lack of funding. My friend has spent hours and hours there, helping clean out old files, pilfering leftover school supplies, and do whatever else there is to do when a school closes. I imagine when any place that old and especially that religious closes, there's some definite doom and gloom to it. As I disclosed above, I have a habit of looking into windows when I run. (Maybe this experience then serves me right?) Anyway, I was looking in the windows of the school when something caught my eye. In the second floor, there was a classroom that I could see into perfectly. I could see the chalkboard and maybe an easel at the front of the room. Then there was a person standing next to the easel, or so I thought. The person didn't move, though. It looked like a woman, with plain white or off white clothes (like period dress, I secretly thought, but that just sounds too cliche) and maybe a brown or black hat. I kept watching, and it kept not moving. I think that's when the idea of "maybe that wasn't a person, but a ghost!" first crossed my mind. Interestingly enough, that's also the time that I think I picked up my pace a bit. Purely as part of my training schedule, though, and having nothing to do with fear, mind you.

So, I ran the last bit home and got online as usual to measure out how far I'd gone with 2.4 miles - woot woot! :) I also Facebooked (is that a legitimate verb now?) my friend who was working at the school to ask her if there was a statue or mannequin in that classroom. She is almost as addicted to Facebook as I, so she wrote back in 2.7 nanoseconds (I would have responded in 1.8 on a slow day, but what can I say - she is FORTY?!?) that she didn't think so. A couple of her friends (who I don't even know) saw the post and started chiming in. It turned out to be a daylong discussion with everyone making guesses or hypothesizing that maybe it was some obscure statue the school had of some even obscurer saint, but no one sounded too convinced. One person even drove by to check it out, and she didn't see anything! If I can convince myself to not be too afraid and just put on my big girl panties (you know, under my running shorts that have the underwear sewn in already), I'll have to run by again this week and check it out. I'm not sure I want to know the answer, though...

Saturday, August 6, 2011


Ever since 1998, I have been secretly in love with Matt Damon. I worked at a video store (yes, VHS, not DVD!) in college, and I instantly fell in love with Good Will Hunting. What's not to love - Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Minnie Driver, and Boston accents!?! I had never heard of Matt or Ben before, but I was instantly hooked. I begged and begged and B-E-G-G-E-D my boss to let me have a copy of the movie and one of the movie posters from the store. Thankfully, he agreed before I had to go to more extreme measures and risk losing my job and my (not quite stellar anyway) reputation! I made my sorority roommates watch the movie over and over again, and I endlessly intertwined quotes into my everyday conversation. "Howdya like dem apples" fits in pretty easily, but "Great, or maybe we could go somewhere and just eat a bunch of caramels" wasn't quite as smooth... Regardless, I did my best to make it work and my dear friends did their best to humor me.

Since Good Will Hunting, I haven't found another Matt movie that I loved him as much in, but I will keep looking. I'm sure there will be one out there someday...

I think I also have a secret girl crush on Gwyneth Paltrow. Interestingly enough, it seemed to have started around the same time. I remember working at the video store when Gwyneth's remake of Great Expectations was big - yet another one I convinced my boss to give me, but at least I didn't want the poster, too... Shakespeare in Love was also released around that same time, and I remember dragging my (clearly very tolerant or at least easily persuaded by a promise of anything that got them out of studying or playing yet another round of "I never" with that annoying girl down the hall who didn't take "no" for an answer) roommates to the crappy movie theater in our East Bumblef@*$ town at least three times to watch it with me. The popcorn was awful, the soda flat, and the chairs almost all broken. The projector was noisy and the sound quality from the speakers was probably second only to my grandmother's 1987 hearing aides, but it didn't matter. I was hooked!

Ah, the good old days - when I had oodles of time to just sit around and watch (and rewatch) movies just because I liked to drool over the actors. The plots weren't too bad, but really, I was there for the visuals. How is it that college students think they have no time for anything, but now - twelve years later - I can't remember the last time I sat through a whole movie the first time, much less a repeat viewing! Even when my kids are asleep, I'm up and down to put laundry in, feed the cats, feed myself, etc. I'm usually also on Facebook, my email, reading a report for work, and organizing pictures on the computer. Kinda makes college seem like child's play...

Anyway, next time I come across a Matt or Gwyneth movie, I will try my hardest to put down my ice cream, turn the computer off (okay, well at least I'll try to turn off the "ping" it makes when I get a new email), and tell the cats to suck it up and catch a mouse or something. I owe it to myself (and them, because how can they live without my secret crushes on them???) to give my crushes my undivided attention!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

In serious need of some serious kitchen help

I realized today that I'd be a pretty good mom if I just didn't have to make my kids meals. Well, I can actually handle the making of said meals (most of the time), but it's the deciding what to make that's most problematic. Perhaps I suffer from a lack of kitchen creativity because I honestly believe shopping is more crucial to life than eating and let's face it, buying groceries and kitchen appliances is not exactly where it's at! Or maybe my culinary repertoire was stunted in utero because my mom only ate fried eggs and ice cream when she was pregnant with me? Whatever it's called and whatever caused it, my MOD (Meal Options Disorder) is severely impairing my ability to be a good parent. We have to start getting ready for lunch at least 45 minutes before we plan to eat it, because that's usually how long it takes for me to think of a few things to offer and my kids to veto all of them. Then we battle back and forth until eventually, I just give up and make the same thing we had yesterday. That's almost an hour of time wasted - instead, we could have used that time to continue working on our toilet paper roll butterflies with the googly eyes that my two year old keeps dropping and my trusty one year old is so damn good at finding (and eating!). Or we could have emptied out the entire basket of at least 27 pairs of shoes to find just the pair we needed to match our eighth outfit change of the day. Or to chase each other around the house with no shoes on (because we didn't have time to find that perfect pair) while dodging stray googly eyes, taunting our siblings with the laser beam flashlights an unnamed extended family member thought was a great idea to give to kids and that we've warned them "Don't shine it in your sisters' eyes!!!" ad naseaum, to no effect. But no... Instead, we have to use those precious 45 minutes every morning to figure out what the hell to make for lunch...

The sad truth is, not only am I suffering from my Meal Options Disorder, but my kids are, too. Not only do they have to be subjected to my lack of creativity and therefore, often end up eating the same thing every day, but it gets even worse than that. Now, my kids have come to actually only want the same thing to eat day after day. My two year old constantly asks for "noodle soup" for lunch - every. single. day. Once in a while it's fine, but Ramen every day? Julia Child and Dr. Spock are certainly both rolling over in their graves (are they even both dead? maybe I should google that before I hit "submit post." I digress...). My four year old is a girl after my own heart - she just wants peanut butter and jelly (grape, never strawberry) every day, served in her current favorite shape (or at least the one that I can find the cookie cutter for from the abyss some might call a kitchen cupboard) - hearts, stars, Christmas trees (even in April), you name it. My one year old isn't quite articulate enough yet to state her culinary requests, but she seems quite content when I offer her turkey meatballs and pasta day after day after when-will-I-learn-not-to-feed-a-baby-red-sauce-when-she's-anything-but-naked-and-going-to-take-a-bath-anyway day.

Is there something I can do about this disorder? I have tried perusing cookbooks and looking on line for inspiration. It doesn't help that my husband isn't much of a foodie himself and prefers a small ensemble of "tried and true" recipes. Safe is certainly safe, but it's so boring!!! As good as it is the first time (or second or third), who wants to eat Parmesean Chicken for dinner every Tuesday? And Spaghetti Carbonara every Friday (except during Lent, but then my menu selections are even more limited, so don't get me started there...)?

I can handle the grocery shopping, the meal preparation, and even the clean up, but will someone just tell me what to make??? I honestly fear we're going to turn into a family of PB&Js, noodle soup, and turkey meatballs. Well, at least we've (mostly) got the five food groups covered...

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Two Days in a Row!

I did it! I went running again this morning! And today I had to get up even earlier - at 6am - so I could be back before my husband had to get up and start getting ready for work in case the kids woke up. And I went even farther - 2.4 miles!!! Of course, I did have to walk for about 1/8 of a mile in the middle there, but that's alright... I still did it! My legs are killing me tonight, but no pain, no gain, right? I was feeling so good and motivated that I even did some arm work afterward. I think it's a bad sign that 1) it took me 3 minutes to find one of my free weights, and 2) said "hiding" free weight was literally covered by a cobweb... But, alas, after a scan under the equally dusty and unused treadmill in the basement and a subsequent quick rinse in the sink (for the weight, but I honestly felt like I needed one, too, after seeing what lives under that treadmill!), the weight was as good as new (well, that and because it mostly is new!).

Of course there is a very steep learning curve to this whole running thing, and in my whopping two days so far, I have learned a number of invaluable lessons. Here goes, in no particular order:
1. Go to bed at least 6 hours before you need to get up to run.
2. Preferably lay out your running clothes the night before, with the lights on, so you can make sure your socks will match in the morning.
3. Brushing teeth before running is nice, but actually not horribly noticeable (at least to me) if you don't.
4. Be careful not to throw a shoulder out while trying to put on your built-in-shelf-bra-running-shirt. Taking it off can be equally as dangerous.
5. Running while trying not to drop or otherwise lose your house key is a royal pain in the tush, so either find a place to stash it outside your house, or trust that your spouse would wake up and save your family if some wacko walked in the unlocked back door.
6. As thirsty as you will be, do not gulp 3 pint glasses of water immediately upon returning from your run. Both your stomach and bladder will thank me for this oh-so-important piece of advice.
7. Don't bother trying to map out your route in advance on Gmaps Pedometer, as unless there are only two or three turns, you won't remember it anyway. It is, after all, the butt crack of dawn that you're out there. Putting one foot in front of the other while not getting run over by eager employees trying to beat the boss to the office or disheveled-and-clearly-wearing-last-night's-date-outfit walk of shamers is hard enough.
8. Learn how to operate all the fancy features on your watch before you actually need to use it. Either that, or just stick with the "start/stop" button and don't push anything else for fear that you'll lose any and all data you may want to later reference.
9. I think the jury's still out on this, but I'm guessing they put those built-in underwear in running shorts for a reason? I can't yet bring myself to "go commando," but essentially, I feel like I'm then wearing two pairs of underwear and that feels a bit excessive, even for a newbie like me. And, honestly, if I go "without," then that definitely means I have to wash my running shorts before wearing them again. I'm just not sure I'm really that committed, to either running or laundry...
10. Pee before you leave the house. Twice.

Tomorrow, I've given myself permission to take a day off. Although I'm afraid even one day without running will thwart my motivation and make my only subsequent running be that which I do on my way across the bedroom to hit the snooze button on my alarm for the 8th time that morning before it wakes up the kids, I know it's also good to give your body some time to recoup. Especially when you're just starting and maybe, might have, perhaps, gone a bit overboard... That, and my kids have an 8:30am dentist appointment and I can't even bring myself to calculate what time I'd have to get up if I were to try to run beforehand! For now, I'll just try to keep myself motivated by thinking of the great new running shirts and shorts (yes, built-in-bras-and-panties-included!) I bought today... I can't wait to show them off on Thursday morning!!!

Runner's High

I went for a 2 mile run today. Okay, 1.96 miles, but who's counting? I have never been a runner. Ever. In fact, anytime I've tried, I've totally T-O-T-A-L-L-Y sucked at it. I have the endurance of a 15 year old virgin boy. I played basketball in junior high and high school, but was not-so-discreetly positioned as a bench warmer because I was really good at sitting still and not breathing heavy. Oh, and I couldn't make a basket to save my life, but let's not mince words... I played softball in junior high and high school, too, but we all know there's no real running in that sport. In college, I played rugby, in which I did, unfortunately, have to run. However, if you know anything about rugby, there's only a need for one of two things: speed or power. I don't really have power, either, but compared to my speed, I guess I was pretty strong! I was in the scrum, and mostly just had to tape my ears down, squeeze my eyes shut tight, plow into a pack of 15 other girls (only half of whom didn't want to kill me), and hope for the best... Of course I had to run in practice, but I quickly learned all the shortcuts through the woods and figured out how to make a mad speed walk look pretty close to a run... And honestly, the vast majority of us were there to push people around in a mostly-socially acceptable manner, then drink beer and sing ridiculous songs with them afterward - running and athleticism were certainly not on our tryout lists.

A few times since college, I've tried to run and did meagerly okay doing about a mile each time, but I never really stuck with it. This winter, though, I finally found some motivation that stuck around for a bit. My husband was running pretty regularly on the treadmill at night, and I thought, if he can do it, I can, too. Nothing like a healthy dose of marital competition to get me going! :)

Well, sadly, when I say I finally found some motivation that stuck around for a bit, I guess I should be more specific. I think it was a whopping total of 3 weeks. Seriously. But for me, that's pretty darn good! Not only do I have the endurance of a 15 year old virgin boy, I have the attention span of a cat in a butterfly garden. Three weeks seemed like a lifetime for me. I didn't actually stop running because I got bored with it, but because life happened - again! We were getting ready for a vacation, and I got overwhelmed with laundry, packing, planning, and other crap that was happening at work. I slacked off on it, and sadly never got back into it. My friend mentioned to me that she was doing a 5K two days after I got home from my vacation, and I was so wanting to sign up with her, but I (for once) had good foresight and decided to say I'll pass. Her goal, though, was to do one 5K each month, so I thought I'd be able to find some motivation to get back on the treadmill and run that next one. Well, who knew there wouldn't be another one for a couple of months??? Ugh.

Anyway, my experience running this spring encouraged me to believe that a 5K could be a reality for me. In the past, I was usually only able to run a mile at a time, and felt pretty winded in doing so. This spring, though, I don't know why, but I was able to run longer and farther. I could run for close to 3 miles, which is just a few extra breaths and strides short of a 5K! Damn that vacation for throwing me off track!!! :(

So, I typically get annoyed by my impulsivity, but this time, it worked to my advantage. Last night, out of nowhere, I decided to go for a run in the morning. I set my alarm for 6:45 am (on a day I had NOTHING to do other than keep my kids from sticking forks in the electrical outlets or making the cats wear wedding dresses and marry each other, again) and actually got up! I got dressed before I could talk myself out of it and headed out the door. Two steps past my driveway, I realized that I forgot to brush my teeth and for a split second, I seriously considered aborting my mission (I had smellevision ideas of how awful my own breath would taste while I was literally sucking wind out there), but the force was with me and the wind was beneath my wings. I was fearless and unstoppable! I managed to run 2 miles, even sprinting the last 1/4 mile! I felt so good while doing it, and I got a whole new perspective on my neighborhood at 7am! Who knew so many people are up at that hour, much less with their front doors wide open and the TVs blaring?

Anyway, starting my day with a run felt great. I felt so good I drank 2 huge glasses of water, took a shower right away, and even ate a somewhat healthy breakfast. It was oatmeal, albeit the instant kind with maple brown sugar flavoring. Hey - it's a start! I got myself and the three kids out of the house by 10am, and had a fairly productive day. I managed to resist the usually unavoidable calling to take a nap this afternoon when the kids finally gave me a minute to myself. I made dinner, swept the whole house (which usually only happens on the second Wednesday of the month following the second Tuesday that falls on the first day of the new moon), and got the kids bathed and to bed almost on time. (I didn't clean the cat litter, put weeks old laundry away, or chip smushed-in-and-now-solidified Eggo waffle crumbs off the living room rug, but let's start small, shall we?) What else can account for this amazing turn of events??? I mean, my iced coffee was good, but not that good...

In fact, I'm even planning on running again tomorrow morning! I've mapped out some routes on line, and even looked up some upcoming 5Ks in the area. I'd love to be able to answer the age old, "What'd you do this summer?" question at our annual work retreat this fall with "I ran my first 5K!" And plus, think of all the new shoes I could buy if I became a serious runner? They say you should get a new pair of kicks every 100 miles or so... 2 miles/day x 3 or 4 x/week = 3-4 pairs/year! Woo hoo!!! Now I just need to find some friends to sign up with me!

Well, if I really am going to get up and go running again tomorrow, I need to get this ever-so-slightly-more-toned-ass to bed ASAP! Let's see if either of those things actually happen!!! Cross your fingers for me and I'll hope for the best!

P.S. Is it totally tacky to wear the same clothes again tomorrow? I'd change my socks at least... I'm sure the people who see me would be wearing their same bathrobes or pajamas, too... I won't say anything if they won't!